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.)