It began innocently enough. You missed a long run one Saturday and when we got together the next week, you casually mentioned that you bought a Groupon for a month-membership to the CrossFit place in town. I snorted, “CrossFit?! So how long before you contract MRSA and slip a disc doing burpees or bungees or kippers or whatever?!” You laughed, and promised you’d only push the small tires around the gym so you wouldn’t have to miss any runs, and, like always happens, the conversation drifted on with the miles.
I signed up for the local spring marathon, the one we’ve trained together for three times. As I began to plot out my training plan, I felt a chill in the air when you told me you weren’t going to do it this year; you told me on a mid-week 5-miler, the longest run you’d meet me for anymore. Ok, I thought. I’m a big girl and I don’t need to always have friends training for the same race as me. I swallowed my disappointment, and the conversation drifted on. You proudly showed me your raw, blistered palms and described the rope-climbing competition the day before. I caught a glimpse of the rope-burns on your ankles, too. Rope-climbing? What is this, elementary school gym?
“Want me to grab you a mocha after my run?” I asked a few weeks later. You declined, saying something about counting your macros, and when I showed up at your place to hang out you were drinking what looked like thick chocolate milk out of a fancy plastic container. Sugar-free soy whey vegan free-range protein blended with ice, dark-chocolate, and peanut butter. “Like adult formula?! Want a bottle?” I said while snorting. You didn’t laugh. Your bicep caught my eye as you put your formula … errr, shake, down on the counter.
“I guess I can do three miles,” you said the last week before my marathon when I begged you to meet me for a run. Your defined shoulders and arms pumped in the sun, and some faded Sharpie stained your calf from a weekend competition. You were happy that the chiropractic adjustments were finally working, and your slipped disc was improving although your rotator cuff was askew because you RX’d yesterday’s WOD for the first time. See??? I wanted to scream, See what they’re doing to you??? But I held my tongue.
“So-and-so got rhabdo, have you heard of that? The WOD was an AMRAP of kipping pull-ups. He went so hard his muscles started breaking down into his bloodstream and he ended up at the hospital on dialysis. But he can’t wait to get back!”
What. The. WHAT??? I couldn’t take it any more. Who. Are. YOU??? Where is my running buddy? Where is the girl who is always up for a 15-miler at 5:00 in the morning? The badass chick who gets up at 3am to road-trip for a quick half marathon and post-race mimosa party? Where is my friend who scoffs at cross-training and fad exercise ‘fixes,’ who considers a couple of baby wipes a ‘cleanse,’ and happily eats a cinnamon roll after a hard run without cataloging every crumb into her food tracker? Who is this toned girl with actual biceps speaking gym-rat-ese, drinking adult formula, who can’t say running without inserting ‘just’ in front of it, who would rather spend time in a stinky padded room instead of on a path in the woods??
It happened right in front of me, but before I realized it, it was too late. CrossFit stole my running buddy.
Have you lost any running buddies to CrossFit or other sports?
What the frick is in that shake, anyway?