Suffering in Silence

By Molly Godby

In The CrossFit Life

November 08, 2012

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Molly Godby may work out alone, but in the middle of the WOD she feels the presence of other garage CrossFitters who urge her to keep going.

Tick-tock. It’s just the clock and me. No one else dropping weights. No coach yelling at me to pick up that bar, to explode from the hips. Only me, my music, my sweat, my thoughts … and that ticking clock, mocking me as I struggle for air.

I am not one of the many athletes who have an affiliate to call home. I work out five to six days a week, and I work out alone. All alone in the back of a warehouse at my husband’s office.

Even though I truly suffer alone, I know that I really am not all alone out here. In fact, I share my gym with other loners. We pass like ships in the night. What we see of each other is what we leave behind—drywall scratch about WODs and times, sweat on the floor, chalk on the bars, the evidence of our pain and our accomplishments.

CrossFit, from the instant I did that first WOD, instilled in me a never-quit mentality. No matter what the devil inside my brain is telling me, I will get it done. I will finish. But then there is that voice that creeps in and tells me, “No, you can’t do this. Drop the bar. Take a breather.” The cynical voice doesn’t care about accountability or progress or goals. It doesn’t care that writing the workout on the board means I must complete it. It is the voice of unearned reps and shaved time. It whispers, “No one will know, so who cares?”

Except I know. And I care.

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16 Comments on “Suffering in Silence”

1

wrote …

Thanks for this great article, Molly! I know exactly what you're talking about. I've always worked out alone--first in a globo for 3 years, where people stared at me, and now in my unheated, un air-conditioned garage gymn, where I'm truly alone. The motiviation has to come from somewhere else besides someone yelling you on. I admire your dedication. And I wish we could all be in CF boxes!

2

wrote …

Wow, great article Molly. During my WOD's I think about the great athletes on the "over 50 crossfitters" forum: William Hoogsteden, Claw, Deb Weber, Alden Hingle, Jon Burch, Cliff Miller and others. We have never met but they push me with their amazing accomplishments and won't let me quit when the voice inside is screaming "quit" even though they are only with me in spirit.

3

wrote …

Thanks for the article! Due to timing constraints I am often alone doing my WOD as well & the thought of cheating just fuels my anger to finish faster! It amazes me how much more I can accomplish with the cheering on of others, but just sticking with it & not making excuses has it's own merit too. That voice inside my head, my judge, my jury - that's what makes me execute my WOD. As much as I love all other extrensic voices, it's mine that makes it happen.

4

wrote …

Good Stuff. Mental toughness built when training alone.

5

wrote …

Keep it up. I also work out in my garage and consider it my sanctuary. Keep it up!

6

wrote …

Was an amazing article , exactly she describes my situation at this moment , specially the voice inside of our head wants sometime to quit but it is changed later to virtual coach in head it always yelling on you , FINISH IT STONG MOLLY !

7

wrote …

Great article, I can really relate to this, I have been crossfitting in my garage gym for a while now, but recently more family is starting to what to join me, and although the company is good, I find myself missing the solitude sometimes of just me the wod and the clock. It gives you you a mental strength that you do not get when some else is there watching you.

8

wrote …

Thanks so much for this, Molly! I've been crossfitting for almost 2 years, in my garage, also alone. It is a daily challenge to work out, push hard, be honest, and not quit, with no one to rely on in that moment but yourself. Thanks for pointing out that there's even a community to be found among those who aren't able to work out at an affiliate!

9

wrote …

Great article Molly, thanks for writing!

10

wrote …

Really enjoyed your article! I've been "crossfittin'" alone in my garage gym for over four years now, and can certainly relate to your experience. I happen live in a very rural area of north Florida, and the closest box is over 50 miles away. While I suppose it would be advantageous to frequent a box now and then in order to receive some feedback on proper lifting technique and such, I must admit that I prefer the solitude of working out alone. One thing that helps keep me honest and motivated, in spite of not being around any fellow Crossfitters, has been to maintain a detailed journal of all my workouts. Thus, my benchmarks and PR's are documented for future reference and used as fuel to keep pushing myself to go harder and to get better.

11

wrote …

This is exactly how I feel! Just finished a solo garage wod five minutes ago, in fact. I especially relate to the part about skipping reps, or not using good form and abhor both, which is why I video tape each of my garage wods. It not only helps me improve but simulates the encouragement felt in group wods to complete each rep perfectly. Luckily, I also belong to a neighborhood garage gym group and we post times to a blog so I have a benchmark for time.

12

wrote …

Thank you for the article. My dad works out with my brother and sister in our shed. They improvise a lot, he scales some of his workouts but they get through them. Now they are beating his times and he loves it when they do.

13

wrote …

Really motivating...! I've been working out at home for the past month and those 'just leave it' voices have been very loud and insistent at times... Your article was what I needed today...

14

wrote …

Thank you Molly!

15

wrote …

Great article - just want to echo the comments on here. I passed my 4-year anniversary with CrossFit earlier this week. Started in the globogym, then accumulated enough equipment to construct a basement gym.

I am always struck a little speechless when a "box" CrossFitter says glibly that I have everything in my gym except someone pushing me. I usually just bite my tongue. Maybe one just has to experience working out on his or her own. Or maybe it takes a different breed to go it alone. In any case, at the end of the WOD, we're all laid out on the floor just the same.

Here's to all the home gym CrossFitters out there!

16

wrote …

Great article - I am a 20 yr old Catholic seminarian (studying to be a Catholic priest) and I am a solo, garage-gym, CrossFitter. Those moments of being alone fighting the voice that shouts "stop" is a daunting battle.

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