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Getting Past The Pain

I didn’t touch a barbell for five days. I lost seven pounds, but that lightness certainly didn’t come from sweating anything except life’s unexpected turns.

No workouts. No lifting. Not even an air squat. I didn’t do my daily bend-and-bows. No stretching for my wonky SI joint. My stick for the Burgener warm-up sat in the corner, gathering dust.

I hiked some trails. I walked along the ocean. I watched my little dog run at the park; he was so happy that we had time to go every day and make new friends. But I didn’t do anything to strengthen my body. 

Finally, a friend brought my barbell and bumpers from my former workplace. We put them on the floor in my garage. I thought, “Okay. Now, I’ll feel like getting after it.”

I picked up the bar. The steel felt funny in my hands, like I didn’t know it, although I had grasped this bar thousands of times. I deadlifted that empty bar for a couple reps, then pressed it, then cleaned it. Even front squatted it a few times.

Nothing helped.

I put the bar on the floor and closed the garage door. I thought, “Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow.”

No. Strike that. 

The weight will still be the same. Like Henry Rollins says, “Two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.”

But my heart will be stronger. Sometimes, you have to let the wound open itself fully to the air and the sun and the wind. You have to see the blood rise to the surface … and then watch it stop. You have to know, deep inside, that the worst of the pain is past you. Then, healing can begin.

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22 comments
NealThompson
NealThompson

I really enjoy reading your work Lisbeth. Thanks for sharing and being a great voice to be heard.

laurieks
laurieks

I felt your words....they took me right back to the time when my world turned upside down.  I'm damn strong but I like to prove it when I want to prove it - not when others do things to test me.  I spent a lot of time realizing true strength involves acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness.  For myself.  Being hard on yourself isn't always the way to go.  Love will help - I'm sending some your way. 

MadelineDahlke
MadelineDahlke

Lis, I know it's such a cliche, but I find it to be useful as I approach a similar "forced" change in my own path: what might immediately appear to be a challenge is often an opportunity in disguise. I love your writing and I KNOW that this is meant to set you free to pursue bigger, better things. <3

thehealthymom
thehealthymom

It's strange that I'm worried about you even though we have never met, but your words have gotten me through some rough times, and I'm grateful for that.

I experienced the phenomenon of finding myself suddenly adrift career-wise last summer. It hasn't been easy, and there have been a few missteps, but I feel like I'm heading in the right direction.  


You've got a community behind you, and I'm sure you'll be right where you need to be right when you need to be there.  Hang in there! *hugs*

AprilElsbernd
AprilElsbernd

Lis, know that there are many people standing beside you. Lots of love coming from all over the country!

PamelaMKramer
PamelaMKramer

I feel like I missed something really important that you may or may not have written about. I felt this way once. The box I belonged to for 2 years went through a break up. My coach was gone it was rough for many months. Long story short we all healed, moved on and things are even better now.

RhiannonDeCosta
RhiannonDeCosta

This is me right now too. I go into the gym hoping it will give me respite, but it just feels empty and I can't make myself care about any of it. So I hope for both our sakes you are right, and the top of this hill is almost here. Xx

NikkiWarnek
NikkiWarnek

You are strong Lis. You already knew that. But this is an opportunity to prove it to yourself, again. "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says: 'I'll try again tomorrow...'" - Mary Anne Radmacher

kristin cannon
kristin cannon

Oh Lisbeth....my heart just aches for you. I know exactly how it feels to have the barbell seem foreign....the once effortless movements feel momentous.. I'm sending you big hugs.....you will get past this and you'll be even more awesome.

shoaglund
shoaglund

It's all part of the process. Change is hard but necessary for all of us. Sometimes It's where we do the most growing....xo

lisbethdarsh
lisbethdarsh moderator

@thehealthymom Thank you! And thanks for sharing your story -- it helps to hear from others who have found their way. I'll make it back -- it will just take a bit of time.

lisbethdarsh
lisbethdarsh moderator

@AprilElsbernd Thank you! And between my family and you all, how can I not rise again? I'll be back!

lisbethdarsh
lisbethdarsh moderator

@PamelaMKramer It's on my FB page, Pamela. But I'll rise again. Just working through the rough stuff right now, and sharing my journey. Trying to live an honest life, you know?

lisbethdarsh
lisbethdarsh moderator

@RhiannonDeCosta We're going to make it! I'll let you know when I get it back -- and you let me know too. I care.

PamelaMKramer
PamelaMKramer

@lisbethdarsh @PamelaMKramer WOW! All of a sudden I feel really lucky. I know that sounds strange considering the situation but hear me out. I've never connected that you worked for head quarters. I've been reading your blog for...I don't know how long but it feels like a long time. I never went to your Fan Page to check out anything further. We've connected on Instagram etc., but I've always read your articles here. 


For that I feel lucky because I've always thought your articles were very thought provoking based on your experiences as a gym owner, coach etc.,


As a reader I still get to read it all right where I started. I can't imagine the pain, because regardless of how well you will do in the future there has to be that recovery time. You have to lick your wounds so to speak and you will move on when you are ready. 


It all makes sense now. Best of luck going through the stages of grief. It's sort of like that regardless of the loss, right? 


I read some of the comments people were making on FB but to me you will still always be connected to CrossFit. It doesn't matter if you work for HQ or not. How could you not be? You are incredibly in tune with that inner talk, the things we tell ourselves. The things you write but we just say inside our heads. Keep writing, it works for you and works well for me as a reader. :)



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