This weekend was a weekend of thinking. Thinking about life, loosing, missing, hurting, pain, joy, family, happiness, and strength-both inner and outer., mental and physical.
I had to attend my husband's grandmothers funeral. As most of you readers know, Chip has been deployed to Afghanistan for over 8 months and we've been apart more than 11. Chip's family is very tight knit, something I had never experienced until I met his family. While I never got to know Grandma Mary very well since she's been quite ill the past 6 years, I knew I had to be there for Chip and his family this weekend. I couldn't replace Chip, but I was apparently the best stand in possible. I had dozens (he has a big extended family) of people thanking me for coming to support the family and asking about Chip and his well being, my well being etc. So many people asked what I did to survive all this time alone, apart from Chip, worrying, stressed, etc. I told them I didn't really worry, just sometimes, because I know Chip is doing the best he can to keep him and his men safe and my worrying doesn't change a thing. I said I just keep myself busy, working out, running, completing a triathlon, etc. Others couldn't help but notice my ripped and calloused hands, and refusal of of desserts and carbs and asked--what?? I said "i lift a lot, and run, and do this thing called Crossfit" -- staying healthy is what keeps me sane and balanced. They just couldn't comprehend that working out helps me not to worry. This is the truth.
Crossfit has allowed me to find the "me" in me again. That former hard nosed, I can do anything, survive anything, try anything kind of confidence that I had before I became a broken, self-loathing, wannabe tough girl. I have decided that being physically strong and healthy allows for confidence in other areas--knowing that my marriage will survive any test the Army gives us, confidence I can keep my $hit together in the darkest, loneliest days, that I can do the tough emotional things like be there for my in-laws, my "sis", and even the extended family as a way to bring Chip that much closer to them when he is so far away.
My quest to build physical strength through Crossfit has more importantly transformed my mental strength in more ways than I could have imagined.
Can you tell I'm missing Chip? Luckily all this new mental stamina should get me through the next 110 days or so without any breakdowns!