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Till Those Lights Come Up

Cold metal and dull black rubber plates. White, chalky particles drifting in the air, then settling on the black mats. A bunch of sweaty bodies, some dripping more than others. Perspiration dots staining the black floor, like some sort of putrid rain. Wooden boxes. Some giant rubber bands. Maybe a dog in the middle of it all, watching, observing, sometimes barking, but often just tail wagging in content silence — the way that dogs are, happy just to be warm and dry.

This is what we go to every day. Just a place, and some things. A cold warehouse in a neighborhood where men drive trucks and wear shirts with their names embroidered over the pocket.

What we see, when we’re there — along with the emotions we feel — far overwhelms what that place actually, physically, is.  Without people, without coaches, without effort, that place is just four walls  with some banged up equipment and a whole lot of emptiness. That same description used to fit us, too. But then we found the place.

Like nothing special. Like just another business. And then …

“Till those lights come up, and we hear that crowd, and we remember why we came.” (Jackson Browne)

*For Joe Lengel, CrossFit Toledo. R.I.P., Joe.

(Photo: CrossFit Halo in CT.)

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