The Clang of the Iron.

If you are going to speak, speak to be heard. If you are going to sing, sing loudly and clearly. If you are going to write, write knowing that it will be read.

At Open Gym recently, I was reminded of memories as a child. I couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7. The blaring loud music. Sometimes classical, old time country, or 80’s pop at its finest. I hear the clang of the iron barbell up against the rack. Steel up against steel. Looking at my brother next to me ready to push back the bar as my Dad did his last rep of bench press. Making sure our timing was just right. This was a common event of spotting our Dad and his friends while they lifted weights.

We were in that small square weight room next to Dad and his lifting budd(ies) more often than not. The homemade 4×4 wooden beams and metal rods as the rack. Watching them do pullups, squat, or yes, curls. The washing machine singing, and the dryer rotating whatever change was left in my Dad’s pockets.

Most times, I think that the reason we were in the weight room while Dad lifted was because my Mom needed just a little bit of time to herself. Between her non- stop going of taking care of 7 kids at home at the time. I am one of ten children. She may have been off at a softball game, that she loved to play, but usually it was caring for us. Dad was a principal and teacher. Mom worked part time as a waitress and at the bank. There was always one in diapers. Always dishes to be washed, laundry to be folded, and someone to be yelled at to “stay in line!”

I am even reminded by one of my Dad’s old friends, how between sets of whatever lift, they had to take care of holding the said baby. I am reminded of my Dad’s sweet dance moves in between his sets. He still thinks he is a pretty slick dancer. Apparently, one time I fell down some steps, but that is another story.

The point of this story is that I remember mostly my parents taking time for themselves. I am reminded this daily at Jefferson City CrossFit when I come to work out beside membership or coach a class. By hearing the clang of the barbell as I hear it hit our rack over and over again and the up and down of the deadlift bar. Or possibly even the deep gasping breathing of yet another member pushing themselves to his/her limits.

I am reminded as I watch the three mothers/teachers team up on one squat rack and work away. I am reminded as one Father walks away from the class to go over to take care of one of his twins in the car seat. I am reminded when the women and men show up at 5am, noon or 9 class to get in that workout of the day because doing it then is the only opportunity they have. Morning and night family duties take precendent. I am reminded as one mother walks to the side to walk her little one to the bathroom. When Mom gets a special toy out of her purse. Or that extra snack hiding in the back pocket. Husbands, wives, and fellow members looking out for each other so that the other can get in their workout. Friends encouraging the person next to them to allow them to finish what they started.

I am reminded by our community every day of the importance to invest in your health, body, and mind. No matter age, size, stature, position, or level that you are in life. Whether a parent, spouse, student, retired, or employee.

Our children are watching, they are listening, and you are their example. The clang of the iron will be forever drilled into my head as a sound of happiness, triumph and drive.  How magnificent that it continues to roll through at JCCF every single day.