Fear Anonymous

By Juli Bauer

CrossFitters are funny. We all think we're awesome. We drink the kool aid, we wear the shirts, we join the Facebook groups, and we pretty much talk about CrossFit in any situation possible. "Oh hey Becky! OMG I love your dress! This new happy hour menu is so super awesome. Did you know I PR'd on my clean and jerk today?!" You know who you guys are....because I'm totally that person. Minus being in a social situation that does not include a gym.

Anyways. Since we all think we're awesome, we tend to not love doing things that make us look less awesome. Understandable. We're human beings. Being defeated does not feel good. We like the feeling of confidence that CrossFit gives us, and we thrive off that confidence. We get to walk out of the gym with our heads held high because we know we did something great today. And that we were literally AWESOME.

But what happens when that confidence goes away?

For the past two years of my CrossFit life, I have hated--literally HATED--muscle ups. I don't like to do them. I don't like the mental OR the physical pain that is paired with failing in a muscle up. And because of that hatred, I didn't really do them. So I failed even more at them when I actually tried. I thought if I worked hard at everything else, they would just come. Well, crap on my doorstep, they didn't. In the "Amanda" event at the Southwest Regionals last year, I got one muscle up. Yes, one. And I cheered on the girls around me because I couldn't get anymore.

I was defeated. Frustrated. And aggravated. And that feeling haunted me. I would look up at the rings and any sort of confidence I had built in my two years of CrossFit were out the door. I had built up a fear for muscle ups. A close second to my fear of the chocolate bowl on Valentine’s Day. Muscle ups made me sick to my stomach. They made me cry, they made me kick walls, and pretty much made me a different person than I was. A person with no confidence.

When “Amanda” finally came up the other day, I ran to the bathroom in hopes of not crapping myself. But running for the toilet doesn’t make the muscle up WOD go away. It’s still written on the white board. My WOD buddies are still waiting for me. And muscle ups are still going to show up at Regionals. So I did it, I faced my fears. And finished “Amanda” as prescribed. And my confidence came back.

We can't always feel awesome. Why would we come back? Why would we do handstands in the back of the gym, at the end of class, if we didn’t have anything to strive for? Why would we pick up a barbell hundreds of thousands of times if we were perfect at it?

So ask yourself, what do you fear? And when was the last time you did something about it? Admit your fears and learn to accept that even as an awesome CrossFitter, you still are allowed to be scared sometimes.

My name is Juli Bauer and I have a fear of muscle ups.

Juli Bauer is a regular contributor to Again Faster and the sole author of PaleOMG. She coaches at CrossFit Broadway in Denver, CO.