By Melissa

Excerpted from Melissa’s blog, mbracelife

For the second time in March (and it’s only the 8th people), I have committed to something entirely out of my comfort zone. It has me wondering why.

First, I jumped on the “Run Everyday in March” challenge.

Next, I signed up for the CrossFit Open.

I hadn’t planned to. I was simply scrolling past the FB posts in my newsfeed about it the weeks leading up to it. Didn’t engage in any convo at our gym about it. I mean come on – I don’t even do the prescribed weights on 99% of the workouts so far in this little thing called CrossFit, why on earth would I sign up for the Open which in a nutshell is signing up to compete with CrossFitters all over the world? Umm, I’m the weakest at our gym, don’t need anymore competition thank you very much.

Then I read a blog post by one of the owners of our gym and all of a sudden I find myself signing up right then and there on my iPhone.

This was hours before I met Fran. Fran is a four letter “F” word that includes thrusters and pull-ups. It’s meant to be an all out sprint for the the 3 rounds for time (21-15-9). People complete it in crazy times of under 5 minutes. It took me………..get ready for it………13:51. I was “that girl” that was still going after others had already re-racked their weights and were headed out the door. My hands tore early in the 2nd set. The weight was seriously heavy for me and I started having to do the the thrusters only one at a time. The whole thing was pathetic. I even said the “F” word. I wanted to quit. I actually wanted to cry for the first time in a WOD. I was embarrassed. I felt defeated. But I had wonderful supporters counting and cheering me on. And I had a little chubby, curly haired boy peering through the kiddo gates watching his mommy. No. quitting.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’ve been in a funk since Fran. Others refer to the “Fran cough” – the lovely burning sensation you feel in your lungs for a long time after the WOD. While the burn was there, the feeling of defeat outweighed it. To make matters worse, I had committed to blogging about the Open. Crap.

I’ve had to dig deep for this post. I needed to stay true to my blog theme which in essence is me 99.9% of the time – positive. Uplifting. Glass half-ful. But it’s also an honest blog. And, if I’m being real, than I have to admit, I’m better at cheering on anyone and everyone else around me. When it comes to myself, well, that’s a different story.

So here I sit and type on the eve of the Open workout for my gym – tomorrow I will attempt the 17 minute match up of burpees and snatches. The younger me would have never contemplated this. The younger me was notorious about only going after things I was already good at. Rarely would I set out to achieve something I’d have to work hard at due to the sheer fear of failure. Guess what? In CrossFit, you actually have to learn how to fail! Seriously! You learn how to properly drop a weight in an Olympic lift that you’re not able to complete. Holy crap is this a new concept for me. And there are entire workouts designed that no human can probably actually complete but instead you are to just see how far you can get. Huh? My pre-Crossfit world was about straight A’s, perfection, highest bar on career ladder, best, first, finished, complete. Did I mention perfection? Yea.

But guess what? That old world wasn’t exciting. It didn’t give me goosebumps. It didn’t keep me up at night like pre-race, pre-long distance run, or pre-WOD jitters.

And so here it is – my goal for the Open – mbrace it. Mbrace failure. Mbrace that I have a lot of areas to work on and that’s why I’m there. Mbrace the accountability. Mbrace the challenge. Mbrace the jitters. Mbrace the fear. Mbrace the community that inspires me daily. Mbrace living far outside of my comfort zone. Mbrace mperfection.