Reps, meters, miles, calories, pounds…the various units of measure that one can use to track performance in CrossFit are nearly as varied as the exercises and workouts themselves. On the one year anniversary of my wandering into CrossFit Durham, I’m offering a different unit of measure…smiles. Over the course of the past year at Crossfit Durham, the people there and the experiences we’ve shared have resulted in more smiles per moment than I ever could have imagined. This is just a way to take a moment to say “thanks for the smiles” to all involved and offer to you a sampling of some of them.

Welcome — I will NEVER forget the welcoming smile that Coach Ashley Denton gave me the first day I stepped into CFD for my first bootcamp class. It was warm, welcoming and without a word said, “c’mon in. You’re going to fit right in and let’s get to work.” Coach and Owner Dave Rubin and Coach Ashley Totten gave me the same smile when I took the leap from bootcamp to foundations. Coach Jack gave me the same smile when I graduated foundations and moved up to “the big kids” room. In fact, every CFD coach that I’ve been lucky enough to train with has offered this smile at some point. They must teach a coaches-only clinic on this smile alone.

Commiserating Smiles — there are multiple variations on this one
Good Morning —  I favor 6:15am workouts. They fit my schedule. The good morning smile is the one that we share as we stumble into the box first thing in the morning.  It says, “Thank, God you’re here too. I don’t want to go through this alone this early in the morning.”

Have you seen the WOD?-– This is the slightly strained pained smile everyone shares as we look at the whiteboard and it dawns on us how much pain we’re about to endure together. It’s also the smile we share as we wonder in the back of our heads, “tell me again, why is this a good idea?”

You’re Gona Make It! —  Most commonly passed around as athletes transition from one exercise to the next. It’s the one you give to someone to say, “yup, it hurts, but you’re gonna make it, pal. Hang in there.” Around CFD, I expect it’s exchanged most frequently out on the 400M run course, where we run out the street 200M and then hustle back.

We Survived! –This is the one that everyone exchanges post-WOD that says, “Great job. We lived to WOD another day.”

There are a variety of smiles of amazement that happen around the box. Here’s a few of my favorites:

Did you see what h/she just did? This is the one you share with your lifting partner as you watch one of the firebreathers pull of a particularly impressive feat.

Did you see what I just did? This is the one when you startle yourself with a particular lift or maneuver and you’re just hoping to GOD that someone actually witnessed what you just pulled off.

Unexpected Victory – This is a special variation on the “did you see what I just did” smile. I love this smile, because it’s pretty damn rare. It has to be examined from both directions. From the Student to Coach angle this is the slightly surprised, highly excited, if-you-get-to-the-end-zone-act-like-you’ve-been-there-before smile. I mean afterall, you knew you were gonna lift that, right? 😉 The other side of this smile is when it comes from your coach and is directed at you the athlete and you KNOW in that instant they didn’t honestly think you were going to pull that shit off. I love that one!

From Far Away Family/Friends – this is the one you get when CrossFit has rearranged your entire body composition and the folks who don’t see you in person that often haven’t borne witness to the transformation.

This is one that’s shared with your spouse or partner, whom ever you share a household budget with. The “Sorry, but I need to shopping again, because all my old clothes are too big” smile. I’ll be honest. I’m at best semi-apologetic about this one when I need to use it. I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve had to use it on at least three different occasions in the last 12 months! There’s a related smile here — the self-satisfied (all right I’ll say it) smug smile that precedes the one above. This is the grin that happens when you’re by yourself, you try something on that used to fit and now it’s too damn big! Or something that fit long ago, grew too small and now miraculously fits again!

Let’s Play
At the Gym — this is the one when the WOD is in your wheelhouse and you know you’re gonna rock it. I wear this smile during any WOD that contains ball slams.  My “let’s play” smile at the gym is a very goofy-lookin’, “yeah, I just ate the fuckin’ canary and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it” smile. If you’re a steady reader here, then you know I sing for ball slams. “Ball slams in the morning make me happy. Ball slams in the morning make me smile.”
At Home
“Daddy, Let’s Play” This one is priceless and a smile I cherish most of all. This smile brings me more joy than any of the others. Over the past year, they’re happening more and more. This is the smile of joy you get from your kids when they say, “Daddy, let’s play” and you say, “ok,” and you genuinely mean it. They know you’re going to get off the couch and run with them. Not just sit on the back deck and watch them play.

Nothing makes smiles and giggles in our house like Daddy using the 3 yo or the 8 yo as a kettle bell for “kiddie bell” swings. Or going out in the back yard and teaching them things like burpees and wall walks up against the side of the house. Of course, the 8yo is better than I am on the rings, but I’m working on that! 😉

“Honey, let’s play” a more adult and intimate variation on the Daddy Let’s Play smile. In the last year, there are more and more of these around the house too.

So those are my favorites and the ones that CrossFit has given to me, or given me the opportunity to share. It’s been an absolutely remarkable year. I will be forever grateful to all of those that helped me discover these smiles. I look forward to sharing more of them with all of you for a long time to come. So what about you? What are your favorite crossfit smiles and what ones have I missed? Let me know.