I try not to be one of those Crossfitters that does nothing but ceaselessly drone on about how awesome it is, or how much Fran sucks, or how it is that Sweden and Iceland seem to be the scariest places on earth after you watch their people compete in the Crossfit games.
Today, I might be a little like “that girl”. I will be that girl because last night I achieved something that I basically never thought possible, but more on that in a minute.
Let’s start at the beginning. Four years ago this May, I was having your average day. The Captain was blithely eating Cheerios in his high chair, and I was washing dishes. Above the dishes I was washing was a row of canned beans. Somehow, one of the cans of beans jostled loose and fell. When I tried to catch the beans, I instead caught my wrist on a wine glass and severed my ulnar nerve and an artery. I called 911, it was the scariest moment in my life up to that time, and yada yada yada, my hand is now partially paralyzed and is given to ticks and the like. One nerve. Mucho damage. –aside–I no longer use or own glass wine glasses, I am super-duper terrified of them now. I can’t help it. I’m having a party in December, and we’re using stemless wine glasses and silver and gold rimmed/stemmed champagne flutes. Yeah. It’s that bad.
Because of this paralysis and subsequent weakness, I’ve always had to severely modify my wods at Crossfit. Lately, though, I’ve been slowly but surely building strength in my weak hand and doing things like pull-ups, assisted muscle-ups, etc.
Last night I had friggen HAD IT. Everyone in the damn box was doing the one thing I’ve never freaking attempted because of my effed up hand: rope climbs. I was so jealous, but my stupid hand tends to be a perfidious beast, not heeding my mental commands, and often just giving up the ghost entirely. I decided to say “well fuck that, I’m trying it!” and got in line to go up.
The Viking and the Hipster looked upon me with a very strange sort of awe and sense of “WTF?” on their faces. Behind those, more obvious expressions, I could tell they were rallying for me. The Viking sidled up next to me, bumped my shoulder, and said “are you sure you want to try this?”. I nodded in assent, not as confident as my nod implied, and he replied “well, you better chalk up!”
When upon it was my turn, it was as though time stopped. Everyone in my box understands my physical limitations, and has watched me modify countless times to accomodate said limits. When they saw me first grab ahold of that rope to climb it, all you could hear in the room was muffled utterings and Mumford and Sons “White Blank Page”.
I grabbed the rope and set my foot in the loop like I was taught. I grabbed. I slipped. I had to recollect my thoughts, and the Viking and Hipster both patted my shoulders and said “you got this”. I rolled my neck and wrists and grabbed again. I made it up a foot, and then another. At this point, the whole box was starting to shout at me. “Get it, Cat!” “Bitch, please! This is easy!!!” Before I knew it, I was halfway up the rope. The Viking yelled “YOU’RE HALFWAY THERE!!! YOU’RE HALFWAY THERE!!” I kept climbing, climbing, feeling the bite of the thick rope, hearing the cheers of my friends, seeing the Viking nervously rock from foot-to-foot, and the Hipster bouncing on the balls of his feet. Two more pulls, two more and I’d be at that fucking bell I thought I’d never ring. My face was slick with sweat, the hairs falling down from my bun sticking to my neck and tickling my ears. One more pull. One tug. I’ve got this. I heaved a great sigh and stared at the silly polka-dotted cowbell attached to the ceiling with tinsel-wrapped rope. I grabbed the rope, loosed my foot, yanked it up and re-set it. I stood straight, pulling up with every ounce of strength I had left in my arm and hand, and I rang that fucking bell like it was my gods damn job.
The box erupted. From outside the box I can only imagine it sounded like a sports arena or plangent concert, what with Mumford singing “RAGGGE!!”. The Viking was jumping up and down like a teenage cheerleader with a negative pregnancy test, and the Hipster actually smiled in something other than in smug satisfaction. As I slid down the slick rope, the cheers were deafening. I was crying. I couldn’t help it. I was–undone–in the best possible way. When both my feet felt purchase on the mats, I was accosted, knocked to the mats, and danced about like a babe just taking her first steps.
This. This is why I love Crossfit. It’s not that I’ve strengthened my hand more in one year of doing it than in three previous years of therapy, (though that is a huge benefit) it’s not even that I climbed the stupid rope, it’s that my Crossfit family supported me the way they did. It was a party in the box after that, and the acceptance and love I felt was overwhelming. Amazing. Indescribable.
Yes, in spite of that long-ass story, there is still a recipe.
I love crackers, I love blue cheese. I made blue-cheese crackers.
Blue Cheese Crackers
by Cat Bowen
Prep Time: 5 minutes+30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer side snack
Ingredients (64 crackers)
combine all ingredients in a food processor until stiff ball forms, adding more flour if needed
form into a 2″-18″ log and freeze for 20 minutes
slice into 1/8″ thick slices
Preheat oven to 400F
bake slices on greased cookie sheet until golden brown on the edges