Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's Your Hoodie? (Or, what happens when a chubby, Jesus-loving girl joins CrossFit)

Yep. That's me. Deadlifting 190 pounds.
I joined Five Forks CrossFit in November.
I know. I’m surprised, too.

My husband’s been doing CrossFit for years, but when a new box (that’s what a CrossFit facility is called) opened a few miles away, he finally convinced me to give it a try.
I love it.

Well, except for the 8-20 minutes of the WOD (workout of the day). During the WOD, I hate it with every twitching muscle fiber that is begging me for mercy.

But other than that, I love it and I keep going back. All through our renovation, even one day in the snow, I’ve dragged myself out of bed well before dawn, pulled on my compression pants and my dry-wick shirt, laced up my CrossFit nano 3.0 shoes, and walked through those doors.

My sweat has dripped on the mats, my shins have the scrapes, my collarbones have the bruises, and my hands have the callouses that come from Olympic lifts, and my body has changed enough that people have noticed.

So why is it that every time I pull on my Five Forks CrossFit hoodie, I have to remind myself of all of that? I have to talk myself into putting it on and wearing it out the door?

Because there’s a part of me—the deepest, most insecure part of me—that wonders if I have any business portraying myself as a CrossFitter, because I don’t look like a “CrossFit Woman.”

Have you seen these images on Pinterest or your Facebook feed? The pictures are almost always of women in sports bras and boy shorts, with knee socks and chalk on their thighs. They’re doing pull-ups and one-armed handstands and no one can question that they are physically elite.

I just can’t compete with that.

I look like a woman who has three children and a serious sweet tooth. I can’t do a pull-up or a handstand, much less with one arm. And I try to keep as much of my skin covered as possible, because no one wants to see me in boy shorts.

With that said, there is another part of me that knows that I’m just as much a CrossFit Woman as those elite athletes are. Not because I can do what they can, but because I’m in the game. I’m learning. I’m using muscles I never knew I had and I’m not the same woman I was four months ago.

So I remind myself of that, put on my hoodie, and walk out the door. And when someone says, “You do CrossFit?” I look look them straight in the eye and say, “Yes! And I love it!”

I’m wondering if you feel the same way about your Christian walk? I know I do.

Sometimes I’m terrified to speak truth into a situation. I feel sick to my stomach in the first few hours after I post a blog. And when I’m with friends, sometimes I know I should say, “Let’s stop talking about it and start praying about it,” but I rarely do.


Because I don’t look like an elite Christian Woman. Have you heard of these women? They always do the right thing. They never yell at their kids, their husband, or dog. They don’t cuss when they burn dinner. They know exactly how to respond to every parenting dilemma or family crisis.

I just can’t compete with that.

I’m a woman who has a temper. Who likes things done the “right” way—by my definition of “right” thank you very much. I fight my pride, my fear, and my tongue.

Satan loves to whisper in my ear that I have no business claiming I love Jesus, especially after that fiasco of a morning we just had.
But the Holy Spirit says different.

He reminds me that while I have a long way to go, I’m in the game. I’ve been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. My sins are forgiven. By His grace, I’m not the same woman I was ten years ago, or even ten months ago. I’m learning, changing, becoming more and more like Him every day.

I know when I wear my FFC hoodie, there may be a few people who look at me and think, “There’s no way that chubby thing does CrossFit,” but what I’ve discovered is that most of the time, it opens a door. Someone who might be nervous about trying it looks at me and thinks, “If Lynn can do it maybe I can, too.”

My FFC Hoodie
Maybe that’s all the Holy Spirit is asking of us.

Just to put it out there. Not because we are elite. Not because we’ve achieved perfection.
Precisely the opposite.

If God can speak to us and through us when we are such a mess, then maybe He can do that for them, too.

I don’t know what your “hoodie” is. Maybe it’s telling a co-worker what God showed you this week or sharing a book you’re reading with that mom who sits beside you at gymnastics. Maybe it’s as “simple” as getting out of your house and meeting your neighbors, asking God for the opportunity to be a light in your cul-de-sac. Whatever it is, God wants you to put it on now.

Be brave enough to let His light shine, and when someone says, “So, you’re a Christian?” you can look them in the eye and say, “Yes! I love Jesus! He’s changing my life.”

Satan just can’t compete with that.


What happens when a chubby, Jesus-loving girl joins CrossFit. (Click to Tweet)

What's your hoodie? (Click to Tweet)


Sandra said...

Great. Great. Post. :-)

Cathy Baker said...

Lynn, I can't remember a post you've written that I've not mulled over for hours past but this one stopped me in my tracks. Of course, you had me at the "I look like a woman who has 3 children and a serious sweet tooth" but the latter part of the post really drove it home. Wow...on many levels.

Thanks for your transparency, my friend. :)

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Sandra - Thanks! :-)
Cathy - I'm humbled by your response. You know how much of a hot mess I am :-) Thanks for sharing life with me!

Mel @ Trailing After God said...

Wow, Lynn, I totally get this. I often don't feel like I should have a voice in the online Christian realm because I'm not perfect, don't have a sweet southern accent, not a skinny pretty gal, etc. And I swear when something goes wrong :( Working on that but it's in me. If satan can keep us quiet by telling ANY of us we're a fraud, he wins. We can't let that happen. Way to go on the crossfit stuff! I don't even know what it is but it looks hard core! Thank you for sharing honestly.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Mel - I'm so glad I'm not alone! I know those "perfect" women aren't really perfect, but it sure does seem like it. I'm learning - slowly - to catch those lies from Satan and call them what they are. Then speak some Gospel truth to replace them. It's a long process. So glad God's got us all the way! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Beth said...

There aren't words to even describe how awesome this post is! I love it and you and I'm so proud of your strength!

asher said...

Hi, I just found your blog. Excellent post. It was really moving. You seriously can deadlift that much? That's over your head? I'll pray for you about your anger. God is helping me with that too.

Unknown said...

This is the first of your posts that I've ever read (found it via Lori Stanley, who is also an amazingly gifted writer). Your post was fantastic. It spoke very much to me personally. In a similar situation myself (6 kids, exercise/cross-fit). Hit home a bit. I love how you say it like it is. On another note, I wonder how your gifting (writing) will be magnified in Heaven. Will you write big pieces for all to read and enjoy? Just curious...I like to think on those things. :-) I'll be back to read more for sure. Thanks for being transparent; it's refreshing.

Anonymous said...

Very good. You must be my twin separated at birth. Ok maybe not since I'm way older than you but I sure feel the same way. Keep on keeping on!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

@Beth - Thank you friend!
@Heather - Welcome! Lori is my hero :-). Thank you for taking the time to come over here and leave a comment! 6 kids AND CrossFit - you rock!