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Ten Minutes and Twenty Four Seconds

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For ten minutes and twenty-four seconds this evening, I wasn’t drowning in grief.

For ten minutes and twenty-four seconds, my heart felt like it would break, but not with sadness.

For ten minutes and twenty-four seconds, my lungs ached for air, but not because I was sobbing.

That is why I love CrossFit. Our family is coming to terms with a death that seems senseless. A young boy, beloved of many, and especially by my daughter, died suddenly last week. It was unfathomable when we heard. It is still unfathomable.

I came in tonight to work out with the class at CrossFit Algiers. It was a tough, but short workout. Ten minutes and twenty four seconds in my case.

Tonight wasn’t my first time back at the gym since the funeral. I came in a few days ago, and did a half-ass workout on my own. It didn’t make me feel better. I left just as angry at the universe as when I had arrived.

But what I did that day wasn’t CrossFit. It wasn’t side by side, in friendly but fierce competition, with two of my ace coaches. When I came in on my own, I didn’t begin the class with hugs from my friends. The previous workout didn’t end with sweaty high-fives from my teammates, like what happened tonight.

The pain will come back, but I know how I can be stronger through it.  There is something special about CrossFit, and about CrossFit Algiers. A reprieve, even if it’s only ten minutes and twenty-four seconds, is a miracle, and I am grateful for it.