Since the Spartan Race, I’ve been feeling more athletic. It’s as if my body, having been extensively trained for more than six years by backpacking and CrossFit and some running, has finally broken through my sedentary childhood and young adulthood to reveal that I can be athletic too.

I’m still a pretty slow runner. But I run. And I’m slow at most of the cardio related things that I do at CrossFit, but I do them as hard as I can. I do them consistently. And I’m making improvements in my cardio, slowly but surely.

And those improvements are noticeable to me, if not really to anyone else. I mean, I’m still the slowest runner in most classes I go to. But I go.

I go and I enjoy myself. I might not be able to lift the most, but I enjoy lifting weights and learning how to improve my technique, now more than ever, because now I have this confidence, this faith, that I can improve and that someday I will be lifting the heavier weights. That makes it all that much more important to build a strong foundation. To practice the things that I can do so that they are highly proficient and efficient movements that can be applied to ever cooler things as I continue to gain strength.

It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. A lot of self-talk convincing myself to stick with CrossFit. A lot of self-talk convincing myself that doing the workout at my best possible speed was still good enough, even when that speed was slower than everyone else. Okay, I’m still heavily involved with that kind of self-talk. But it has changed from “I’m not athletic so it doesn’t matter how fast I go as long as I try hard” to “I’m athletic and doing my best; no need to compare to anyone else.”

But that’s a big improvement.

I’m at the point now where I can honestly look forward to doing crazy things like muscle-ups, even if it’s going to take time and concentrated effort. I’ve proven that I can put in the time and the effort and get results. I know that I can change my body now. I proved it to myself.

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