The Grinch Saving Herself with a Barbell

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Erica, pictured top, right, with her 6:30 Family


I'd like to share the essay of the runner-up for our

Summer essay contest.  I cannot tell you how much I love this essay by Erica Lee.  We all become victims of negative thoughts, some worse than others, all manifesting themselves in a different manner.  One thing that I know for sure is that CrossFit has saved me in many different ways.  Perhaps your sentiments are the same: 



My first draft of this essay was quite lengthy. It was a good essay. A typical, chronological account of my journey through fitness, both mental and physical; a collection of thoughts and feelings that I am proud of—especially proud that I was able to get them all down on paper. But, it was missing something. As I read through my essay I was reminded of a quote that I often come back to, something I heard Bob Sheppard, “The Voice of the Yankees” say once in an interview: “My purpose in public address and in speech is really encapsulated in three C’s: clear, concise, correct. No overblowing rhetoric or anything like that. As simple as possible: clear, concise, correct.” Concise. That’s what I was missing.


This past year, I became a victim of my own negative thinking, which inevitably lead to a terrible, and at times, debilitating binge eating habit. I felt the love I had for myself shrink, like that imagine of the Grinch’s heart, two sizes too small. But, I continued to show up to Shoreline Athletics. I didn’t want to stop moving. And, in a word, that’s what Shoreline Athletics has done for me. The coaches and the friends I see there each week kept me moving. It may be one step forward and two steps back at times, but I could always count on my body’s ability to move, no matter how much damage I had done to it with food and self-deprecating thoughts.


When the Grinch snatches that too heavy sled full of toys over his head, he may be saving presents for Whoville, but, and I think sometimes we forget, he is also saving himself.  Although the part of my heart that contains my self-love may not be busting through a wiry, cartoon, brass enclosure on a daily basis, there are times when I quite literally feel myself overcoming all the negativity in one sweaty, lung-burning moment. I’ve come to learn that there is no substitute for that in life. There is no substitute for stepping up to the barbell and picking it up.


“Be aggressive Erica!” Coach LP says.


“Save yourself, Erica.” I say.

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