Monday, November 21, 2011

A week of Thanksgiving-Day 6

Happy short work week everyone! Today I am thankful for my community. Community comes in many forms; the family and friends that surround you, those that support your goals and share in your adventures, the people you turn to celebrate your victories and soothe your defeats, and of course, those that “like” your facebook updates. These are your people, the reflections of yourself, and the multi-faceted colors of your life.

I have been thinking a LOT about community over the past 2 months. Not to beat a dead horse’s knee cap, but indulge me in a broken knee story once more (I promise not to dwell too much on my injuries, but it’s so darn relevant to today’s thoughts!) When I went into my knee brace, I felt a strange wall of isolation go up. I felt cut off from the people that had previously given me great strength. My crossfit gym and my heavy lifting forums are full of amazing people with positive energy and similar goals. I enjoy each interaction and always feel uplifted after I’ve spent time talking with them. And then suddenly I was with them, but not of them. I couldn’t have my typical discussions about max squats or how much I love deadlift days because I couldn’t even walk well, let alone lift heavy things. I continued to go to crossfit, worked on achieving an unassisted pullup (which I’m proud to say I can now rep out 3-4 at a time), and whatever else I could push my upper body to do without the support of my legs, but I couldn’t participate in most of the workouts. I lost my competitive spirit, my sense of accomplishment, and I missed my name up on the wall with everyone else. I cheered loud for everyone as they struggled to beat the clock while their muscles ached and their lungs burned, but secretly I was sad and envious of their fully functioning legs, thinking of how small and ineffective my own leg was becoming. I was experiencing a full-blown loss of community, and it sucked.

And then last Thursday, a remarkable thing happened. With the brace off and 3 weeks of physical therapy under my belt, I walked into a workout of 40 clean and jerks. The first Olympic lift I’ve even been able to consider in months. Granted a full clean was too much for my knee, but a hanging clean and jerk put me in the game with everyone else. Of course the weight on the bar was definitely nothing to write home about, but that didn’t matter to me. My PR for the day was returning to the community I’d lost. I was OF them again. And when I posted my victory to my forums, and they celebrated with me. I had rejoined the pack, and it felt great. They say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, and they were right. I missed my communities, and I’m so thankful to have them back!

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