Every single time I go to the box, I have to walk 20 minutes to go there and 20 minutes to go back to my house. A lot of times takes me longer, very few times less, but the 20 minutes are there. I could take a couple shortcuts and be faster, but I don’t do it. Those are my 20 minutes.
20 minutes that I spend walking following the Water of Leith path, hearing the birds, away from cars, and sometimes, “enjoying the rain”. And I love every single one of those 20 minutes, because every single one of them is full of meaning.
They mean I’m going somewhere where I improve myself, or I’m coming back after testing myself.
And that’s one of the best things you can do.
When I first came to Bob’s Garage I hadn’t being in a gym for about 15 years, and crossfit was something some of my friends did, but never me. I came looking for a place where I could finally be pushed beyond I could push me.
I’ve been trying to lose weight and become healthier for a long time. I was very close to achieve it by myself with diets and some light exercise (I lost nearly 30 kilos) but life happened and I went back to square one. Bloody square one again.
The time of excuses or trying to be smart was over, I needed something and I was going to get it. I checked a few places, and Bob’s looked good. Not too big, the people there seemed to be nice and the guy in charge seemed to know what he was doing. So I gave it a shot and I went there a Saturday morning at 9:00.
It was eye opening. You don’t know your limits until you try to break them, and I discovered that my limits were nearly “walk and breathe at the same time”. Few weeks before going to the box ago I was able to run 1 hour nonstop, but I injured my left knee in the process, that’s the price of trying to outsmart your own body. I, as a fat version of Icarus, had paid a price too high for a reward too small.
So I went to the box, I learnt about the yoga flow and then I started doing some stuff…
Do you know the bear crawl? I was unable to do it properly. The part where you crawl back, well, not for me, my body didn’t knew how to do it. My brain knew, but my body was somewhere else, I literally was unable to make my legs and arms move back.
That was eye opening. That was the truth.
Let’s not talk about doing squats, or even burpees, out of the question. Hell, when I was doing my yoga flow I was already sweating big time (I still do, there’s enough DNA of me on the floor of the box to create and army of clones). So I finished the beginners session absolutely destroyed and feeling like shit.
It was time to do the only right thing to do: I got the monthly pass. Not a group of classes or anything, I paid the £70 without a second thought. That box was my place.
Everything has a price, and I was ready to pay it, to push myself, to accept the reality of my situation, and getting the help I needed (and still need). And I did it because I knew that the people there and Bob understood what was going on. Bob didn’t judge me, he studied me, I could see his brain work thinking about what to do with me, how to encourage me, how to take me to the limit and once there, take me beyond there to reach the next level.
I have been going there for nearly two months there and I’ve loved every single day there. I was able to feel the benefits of crossfit and Bob’s teachings since Day 1. Slowly, but constantly, I was gaining mobility, control, I was taking my body back. I didn’t care if meanwhile other people were doing awesome stuff (and trust me, the people there are able to do amazing stuff) I was unable to do a proper squat. They were examples to me, I saw them and I was thinking “Man, I want to be able to do that”. I’m reaching a point in my life where I don’t have time for envy or anything like that, I like seeing people pushing themselves just because they want to be better. I respect that, I want to do that.
So I kept going to the box: 20 minute walk, getting a 1 hour session with Bob and then another 20 minute walk, and after that going to the swimming pool just to recover and relax the muscles.
But it had an unexpected price: My left shoulder started to get angry, and he was really vocal about it. I started to feel pain, soreness, all kind of bad things were happening there.
The solution was obvious: I needed more help, and Bob sent me to the right place, to see Colin, a Sports Therapist that started treating me. And it was painful, but it worked. Again: everything has a price, and I paid it willingly. Because it was worth it.
Things started to improve. That bear walk? No problem now, look at me going and coming back, in fact you can follow my trail of sweat on the floor. Other people are better at it, but I’ve no problem with that, I’ll try my best to reach their level. Squats? The 21st of October I was able to do proper squats with 24 extra kilos (so that makes a total of nearly 145 kilos of squatting) without any pain. I’m able to get a kettlebell and raise it over my head with my left arm.
Pain is a thing of the past, but I also know that is going to be in my future. Let it come, if it’s the price I’ve to pay, I’ll pay it willingly, because now I know how to solve it, and if I don’t, I know the people that will tell me how to solve it.
Now when I go to the box and I check the whiteboard, I understand a lot of those strange names written there. Now I don’t use knee braces anymore, the pain has disappeared. Now my left arm is catching up with a vengeance. Now I’m walking the path I wanted to walk for years.
And that path is a 20 minute walk. I don’t care how tired I am, or how bad the weather is. I just keep walking. Because the only way to reach your destination, is to move towards it. And if it must be at walking speed, so be it. I’m loving every single step, every drop of sweat that hits the floor, every muscle that starts to burn but still keeps going, every breath that feels like it’s not going to be enough, but it is, every time that I feel that I’m done but then I look around and find myself doing another rep.
I don’t care if I’m not at my 100%, if I’m feeling a bit sick, if the last night I was out for too long and drank a little too much. I keep going. I don’t have time for excuses; they take time from my 20 minute walk.
Because you know those 20 minutes? Those are my reward. I’ve fought for them, I’ve pushed myself beyond my limits for them and I’ll keep doing it. Because I must earn them every single time I go to the box, only then I allow myself to enjoy the sounds of the birds, the peace of the walk, that moment when it starts raining, you pull your hoodie and you just keep walking with a smile on your face.
You smile because you know you have tried your best and know that you will do it again, and your only wish is to be able to do it better the next time.
Because the reward it’s in the price. That’s why you pay it.
Community and culture has always been a driving force behind this gym. It brings people together to form lasting bonds through going through challenges together.