Proud

I hesitate as I walk into a CrossFit box I’m visiting while traveling.  The coach asks me about any injuries or things he needs to know about me.

“I’ve only been doing CrossFit consistently for about a year.  I’m still really new at all of this.”

He smiles at me broadly.  “First of all.  Don’t say you’ve only been doing CrossFit for a year. You’ve been doing CrossFit for a WHOLE YEAR!  That’s awesome! Don’t downplay that!”

I blink at him, startled.  “Thanks.  I’m here with my friend – she’s the one who drug me to my first class a while back.  I definitely wouldn’t be here without her encouragement.”

He looks at me with a side tilt to his head “She might have brought you in the first time, but you are the one that kept showing up.”

I smile awkwardly and nod.  And walk away quickly before this stranger can call me out in any more ways.

I only remember his first name, but his words keep rattling in my head for weeks.

 

Don’t downplay that.

You are the one that kept showing up.

 

About the same time, I had reached a milestone in a workout skill that I had been working on for some time.  My coach at home had been programming special workouts for me for months, cheering me on, watching my progress and tweaking the workouts to focus on my weaknesses and to push me.  When I was finally successful, I wanted to shriek and whoop and break out a celebratory dance. I felt so amazing and strong.  And Stinking Proud.

But I didn’t.  I didn’t want to make a big deal and seem like I was bragging to other people.  I told my coach a bit later and then sent him an email thanking him for all his help, and encouragement, and time.  And ended with “I wouldn’t be here without you.”

He replied with the sweetest note about how proud of me he was.  And the phrase “It was your hard work that made this happen.”

It made me uncomfortable and proud at the same time.

It was your hard work that made this happen.

 

Somewhere in my complicated brain and my complicated relationship with Jesus, I’ve taken the idea of pride as a sin, and confused it with the idea that I should never take or accept credit for any of the accomplishments in my life.  And not just as it relates to the gym.

Any compliment, any accomplishment – is immediately downplayed.

“Oh-gosh-it-was-really-no-big-deal”

“Oh-well-thanks-but-it-is-really-somone-else’s-work-that-made-it-happen”

I don’t know if this is my illnesses or my confused religion or some weird tic related to growing up in the south.  But I know that it is not helpful as it relates to recovering from my illnesses.

 

Fighting depression is hard work.  And I’ve done it every day for years and years and years.

Living with anxiety is a battle.  And I’ve picked up my sword and swung it overhead over and over and over until I stumbled into bed, exhausted and sore and bloodied.

I’ve gotten up on days that I wanted to stay in bed.  Not every day.  But I’ve done it.

I’ve shown up to therapy and support groups and doctor’s appointments on days when every cell in my body was telling me not to go.

And I’ve kept living on days when I could have not.

 

God is proud of me for this work.  I can feel it as surely as I can feel the keys under my fingers as I type.  Solid.  Warm.  Comfortable and familiar.  Smiling as He sees me fighting, smiling with pride, recognizing that this is good work that I am doing.

And so I’m making a concerted effort to give myself credit.  I did this.  I fought through this.  I lived through this.

 

And you did too.

Don’t downplay that.

You are the one that kept showing up.

You are still here.  Exhausted and sore and bloodied maybe.  But you are still here.

It was your hard work that made this happen.

Give yourself that credit.  Sit with it a moment and rest.  Relish it a bit.

Let it fuel you to get back up and fight again tomorrow.

 

You are still here.  Exhausted and sore and bloodied maybe.  But you are still here.

 

And I’m so proud of you for that.  So, so proud.

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