I had an undesirable start to life. But I met this amazing boy when I was thirteen that changed everything. My childhood sweetheart and I found out we were going to be parents when I was seventeen. We started our life together as newly married teen parents. If that doesn’t sound difficult, add in the fact that my husband’s new Air Force career had taken us far from all of our family and friends when I was seven months along. I’ve had to have C-sections with all four of my children and then a Hysterectomy due to health issues. I started staying home to raise our children when our oldest was four years old, that was thirteen years ago. In that time the Air Force had moved us from state to state multiple times. We have done all of this mostly on our own with very little outside help. But I can honestly and whole heartedly say, CrossFit is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
In the beginning, some days I felt like I had done well and boy was that a great feeling. I would leave feeling so proud of myself. But most days were not filled with victories. On these days my inner voice was especially cruel. I would tell myself that I was a loser, wasting the coaches time and that they were going to realize who I really was and tell me to leave because no one wanted me there. My inner voice was a mean bully because thin or heavy I hated the girl in the mirror. She was weak and worthless and I just wanted her to die. I didn’t hate what I saw, I hated who I was. I’ve suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts since I was eight years old. My abusive childhood created my people pleasing, perfectionist personality. Failure is unacceptable. (Unless it’s someone else’s, then it’s totally forgivable.) One day in class I had to do bench press. I had the upper body strength of a toddler. My coach was pushing me to add weight and I panicked, not so internally. He said “Melaina, do you trust me?” My only thought was “with my life”. It’s only now that I realize how pivotal that thought was. CrossFit stripped away the white noise of life and put me face to face with myself.
My mother died July 3rd 2014. We hadn’t had a relationship in fourteen years. My brain didn’t know how to process it or where to even begin. I was numb. This was the beginning of my downward spiral. My inner bully became ruthless. I mentally ripped myself apart during workouts. I practically sprinted from the Box after the WOD, avoiding eye contact so I could make it to my car before I started to cry. I would sit in my driveway and sob. Every day. I had plenty of people offer to be there for me. I didn’t want to talk about it because I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what I was feeling or why I was feeling it. As a writer it is jarring to be without words.
My mean bully started to show her ugly face more and more, surprising me when I was driving down the road or popping in while I was doing mundane tasks, like cooking or cleaning. One day while she was playing the “you’re nothing but a failure” record on repeat, I saw two butterflies dancing around my kitchen window. It was enough to disrupt my thoughts. My heart instantly lifted. It took three more times of this happening for me to take notice. Every time MB would start her crap I would see two butterflies. Not one, not three but always two. While driving I would see them on the side of the road or in my front yard when coming home and also in my kitchen window.
During the end of my second month I had had a really bad week. It was Saturday August 16th, I was at CrossFit and the workout was “Angie” (look it up. It’s horrible). I was tearing myself apart during the run because I suck at running and MB was replaying my horrible week in my head and then added that I was fat and lazy, just like my mother, that my kids deserved better than I could ever offer them. I was running around the corner on my way back into the box and one of the coaches was outside to encourage people (me) to push through. There were two big white things on the ground and he thought it was paper so he picked one up. It was a huge white butterfly and it flew out of his hands right at me. I know now it was God saying “I see you and I feel your heartache.” Even though I could hide my horrible thoughts from those around me, I couldn’t hide them from Him.
Months later while driving in the dark to CrossFit God revealed a beautiful truth to me. Caterpillars go through their lives just doing what they do based on their instincts. But they only become butterflies through hard work. It was then that I realized that Saturday was the day I had emotionally hit rock bottom. Some of my thoughts and fears had come to life. Before CrossFit I had just been going through my life building and reinforcing my brick wall to keep others at a safe distance while locking myself in with MB. Then these two coaches came into my life like wrecking balls. In two months they fractured my safety wall. I had a choice to make; I could believe MB and die in the brick chrysalis I spent my whole life building or I could break through it and become the beautiful butterfly God had created me to be.
****Please Note: This website is under construction, just like me.****