I went home and started searching online and it didn’t take me long to find KnightsPTR.  They had a website and I was all 1holmanover it.  I finished the Warrior Dash a few days later. I felt like I had been hit by a truck (no, not a train).  I emailed KnightsPTR.  They emailed me back promptly and they seemed nice enough.  A few days before my 34th birthday I walked in the door; looked around and realized I was not significantly older than anyone there (I teach high school the last thing I wanted was to spend my afternoons working out with a bunch of kids).  Without giving myself time to talk myself out of it I decided this was where I needed to be.

My biggest fear walking in was probably just the fear of making a fool of myself. Let me be more specific, making a fool of myself in front of people I didn’t know (obviously this isn’t much of an issue anymore). I didn’t know what this stuff was. Power cleans and hang cleans and buprees and box jumps and muscle ups. This was not my world. Grace and Fran and Murph. I had wandered into this place where they all knew each other and knew exactly what to do. I was never going to fit into this place.

I made a decision. I was going to try and fit in. I am the person that is content to just fade into the walls. In the beginning the hardest thing wasn’t the work, it was the putting myself out there and talking to people. This was a huge obstacle for me. When I had to miss six weeks due to a back injury (NOT KnightsPTR related) I made a point of keeping them informed about what was happening. I dropped by a few times. I was doing something I had never done; I was forcing my friendship on people.

Over time, the challenges have changed. And I work to overcome them (well, except maybe the box jumps). These challenges are part of why I’m there, day in and day out, week after week. There are things, like squat cleans or pull-ups or double unders, that I will get. I may not have the heaviest weights or the fastest time but I’m trying.

There are long term reasons why I keep coming back. I plan to participate in the Open next year (2014). I really have to work hard to make sure I don’t look like a fool then. But the long, long, long term goal and the one that scares me the most is that when you read my obituary in fifty years or so I want you to know I had all my toes, both my feet, and it wasn’t diabetes that did me in.

I love the time I spend with the KnightsPTR community. Not just the time we spend working out together and cheering each other on. I remember holding Bobby’s hand just so we could finish the last ten minutes of the GORUCK Challenge (talk about misery). I loved watching everyone stand knee deep in some of the thickest mud around while they did squats during the Krew-Sade. Crystal and I shared a lot of determination to keep flipping that tire in the pouring rain. The look of relief and joy on Sarah’s face during her GORUCK Challenge when I confirmed that that was indeed the sun coming up was priceless.

You walk into KnightsPTR ready to make yourself better, faster, stronger. You walk out with all of those things and an amazing community of people who become your support system and your friends..