“Lifting my grief” by Alejandra Morisi

My father died recently and there are days when I really struggle with my grief and the heaviness of my sadness. What seems to get me the most is the absurdity of it all…the fact that someone existed in my life, played such an important role in my life, LOVED me and was the recipient of my love…but is no longer here. Like it doesn’t make sense. How do I make sense of that? It’s surreal that he is no longer here.

So, when I step up to the bar now, there are days when I feel like my grief steps up with me and rests on that bar. The weight feels heavier and I feel like I need more time to recover between my efforts. And it feels hard and so freaking defeating at times.

I kept telling myself that I was trying to get back to my structure, my routine, the time before this happened to me. So, I kept thinking, “I just need to get back to my routine after the holidays” because that was really tough and then it became, “I’ll get back to my routine after this big project at work.”

But I’m coming up against myself. There is no getting back to my routine. I keep on trying to “get back” to something when there really is no going back. I was texting my husband, Tony, when I realized this. I’m not the same person anymore. I’m different. This loss has deeply affected me and my body feels this. And it makes sense because what happened is big. And I want to be gentle with myself because of that. It takes energy to process pain, change, grief, sadness, heartbreak. Maybe I don’t feel as strong as before because my energy is also being used to process these emotions.

So, I can’t go back because I’m the one who is different now. And I imagine this is something many can relate to. There are many events in our lives that change us. Hanging on to how things were at a different time doesn’t really serve us. And it doesn’t mean I will throw everything out the window because things have changed. I still love working out and I know that being at CFB is so good for my heart and soul. I think it just means I get to create something new. I get to stop pressuring myself to live up to something from a time when things were different. I get to love myself through this and create what works for me now.

I trust this process. I know there’s growth here and I’m okay putting my head down, focusing on the work and not stressing about what things look like. Maybe I’m scaling movements more right now. Maybe my schedule is changing. Whatever. I know for certain that working out is good for me—for my body and mind—and I know that part of loving myself is taking care of myself in this way. So, though it looks different, I’m still here.

Anyway, it reminds me of something I always think about. I have always wondered about the butterfly in its metamorphosis process. When it’s in the chrysalis, right before it becomes a butterfly…I’ve read that a lot is happening, a lot of changes and growth that will eventually yield a butterfly. But I have wondered, “is the butterfly freaking the fuck out in there?” There’s all this stuff happening and the future butterfly is in this confined space. I know the answer to this. I don’t think the future butterfly is feeling or thinking anything. Lol. But it seems like such an incredible transformation to me. And when you look at videos or pictures of the chrysalis, you don’t see it moving or swinging wildly (that would be me if I was the future butterfly). This perceived stillness gives me a feeling of trust in the transformation. So, even though there are all these changes, there is trust in what may come and that what I am doing right now is enough.

My dad loved that I did CrossFit and he loved his life. Toward the end, I sent him videos of me at the gym. And we would talk about how active he was when he was younger. Things like how many strict pull ups he could do. And how, as he got weaker, he wished he could do one. So, I’m going to continue to step up to that bar and honor myself and my dad. And I know that I will get to the point where I will feel stronger and that bar and grief will feel lighter.