Well my friends, it is "Bear Crawls" and not "Bear Claws" that I am talking about. Today at crossfit, bear crawls made up 2/5 of my workout. If you are unfamiliar with bear crawls, hands are down on the ground as well as the soles of your feet and you move across the floor on all fours. For someone like me who has not done this sort of exercise since I was about 16 years old, it was quite the feet for me to do them down the mat and back three times. The first two times I did them, I had to pause at least two times to catch my breath in the distance of about 50 feet. I did it with no stops the last time because I was working so very hard to beat the time to get in one more round. At the end of the timed round, the trainer told me that I had done a great job and he hadn't even expected me to try to do the bear crawl part of the workout. That made me feel good considering I didn't know if I could do it either. However, I figured it was better to try and fail and then have to modify to something else than to never try at all.
That is one of the main things I am learning about myself since I started my new lifestyle just six weeks ago. Many times when I have tried to do something that I am unsure of, I am able to do it or at least do it better than I thought. Yes, more times than not I have looked ridiculous as I am trying. And I am quite confident if someone had a video camera today and recorded me doing bear crawls across the floor it would be sure to make the finals on America's Funniest Home Videos. But the more I try new and difficult things, the more I don't care what I really look like when I am doing it. The elation that comes when I complete it far out weighs any embarrassment I might feel.
As I considered all of this today, I also reflected on how much joy I had lost over the years, fearful to be myself and do something that might seem crazy to some because of what others might think. Fortunately, I feel like those times are now behind me. I want to enjoy what I am doing and try new things. I want to be able to laugh hard and cry less. And I want to be confident enough to challenge myself in areas that I never even knew I could achieve.
I feel so much stronger today than I felt 51 days ago. One of my fellow crossfitters after our workout today told me he could see such a difference in my strength level from when I first started there 30 days ago. I know it will keep getting better and better. Bear crawls will become much easier. And before I know it, I will be like ponytail girl was today finishing five rounds instead of two.