Thursday, November 20, 2014

Time Out Thursday - Get Happy

Jennifer Rae talks to the Pink Heart Society today about how CrossFit changed her outlook on life, helped her realise her strength, and gave her back a community of friends.

I’m a friendly person. I like having friends, making friends and being a friend. I like laughing and going out and eating too much and drinking too much wine and falling over and losing my phone and eating kebabs and regretting it and doing it all again the following weekend. 

I’ve never had trouble making friends. I’ve moved a lot but it’s always easy to find like-minded party goers – at work, playing sport, through mutual friends.

But when I was in my 30s I moved to a country town and found myself in a situation I’d never been before. I had no friends. 

No. Friends. 

That for me was unthinkable. But it was true. I worked from home so found it hard to meet new people and I had three small children. I was often so busy with them I wasn’t able to focus on meeting friends. For two years I lived in this town feeling increasingly isolated and frustrated and sad. I was reminded of growing up on a farm. For a highly social person – farm life is almost torture. I couldn’t wait to move away from home. But here I was again – alone and lonely, spending way too many hours watching mindless TV.

Finally after a 10 day straight rain storm that had me locked in the house with three small children and massive tantrum (me – not the kids) I snapped. I realised the reason I was lonely and sad was not because the bitches at the preschool wouldn’t talk to me. It was because I was sitting in the house feeling sorry for myself. So for punishment, I looked up the stupidest, cruellest, craziest sport I could find, called them up, payed my money and turned up.

Bugger. What have I done? Would they notice if I turned around and left? I can’t do this. What the hell have I done? All those thoughts rushed through my mind when I entered the box at CrossFit. 

CrossFit. The Sport of Exercise. Apparently. All I could see were a bunch of strangers grunting and sweating and yelling and high fiving each other. Torturing themselves lifting weights and climbing ropes. Their hands were calloused, their legs bruised and there were NO girls in pretty gym gear or pumped up bodybuilders here. They dressed in black and grey and wore weird colourful shoes. Not that it mattered what they looked like – there were no mirrors.

I felt like the new kid at school. Standing awkwardly to one side. Hoping my drink bottle was cool enough. Trying to look like I didn’t care that I had no one to talk to. Pretending I knew what they hell they were talking about when they started rabbiting on about WOD’s and snatches and double-unders. I wanted to leave. They were all fit and strong and knew exactly what was going on. But I didn’t leave. Because I remembered the way I’d yelled at my family. And the days I’d spent lying in front of the heater crying ‘cause I had no friends and I wanted to eat worms.

So I sucked it up and kept going.

Best thing I ever did. CrossFit cops a lot of criticism. They call it a cult. They talk about bad form and ‘losing gains’ (don’t worry gals – that’s a boy thing) But CrossFit has become more than just a way of meeting new people to me. I’ve tried things at CrossFit I would never have imagined. 

I’ve deadlifted 80kg. I’ve hauled a 40kg bar over my head. I’ve punched out 60 toes to bar in under three minutes. I’ve climbed a rope so high that I’m pretty sure every bone in my tiny body would break if I fell. I’m strong. Not just in my body but in my mind.

It takes being low to realise how high you can be. It takes trying something completely mad and impossible to make you realise you’re stronger than you think you are. You’re smarter than you ever imagined and your body is an absolute machine.

Like all women, I’ve had body issues throughout the years. Too fat, too thin, if only I could change this bit….But CrossFit has changed all that. I don’t look at my body as something that has to look good anymore. I see myself as fit and strong and the shape I’m supposed to be.

But the most important thing CrossFit has given me is a community of real friends who care if I achieve a personal best in my clean and jerk. They worry if I get injured. They ask me about my relationships and my kids and my life. 

I’m not lonely anymore. I’ve found the peeps who make me laugh and I’ve found a great bunch of people who laugh at my jokes when I’m drunk, find my phone when I lose it and shout me a kebab on the way home.

Jennifer's latest book release is Sex, Lies & Her Impossible Boss:

'There's no such thing as "just sex", Cash'

When the new boss of Faith Harris's TV station, the famously ruthless and annoyingly gorgeous Cash Anderson, tells her he'll be cancelling her sex and relationships show she knows she's in for a fight. She's worked her silk-clad butt off to get her high ratings, and no man's going to take them away from her - however hot under the collar he secretly gets her...

But sugar's better than vinegar any day, so Faith decides to prove to Cash just how meaningful her show really is. The only trouble is, it's also rather... risque. And there was enough chemistry between them even before Faith set about proving just how riveting sex can be...!

To find out more about Jennifer and her books, you can visit her website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram orTwitter.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Jen! I admire your bravery going into a Cross Fit gym on your own the first time - it sounds crazy!!