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A closeup of the broken metal sleeve of a silver 45-lb. barbell at CrossFit 204.
A closeup of the broken metal sleeve of a silver 45-lb. barbell at CrossFit 204.

A closeup of the broken metal sleeve of a silver 45-lb. barbell at CrossFit 204.This was our first barbell.

When I became fascinated with @crossfit in 2008, I started collecting equipment. I found this bar on Kijiji and drove about 45 minutes to pick it up for $150 or so.

It’s not what people would now call a “good bar.” Its sleeves barely spin, and it wasn’t really made for lifting heavy loads. But it was more than I needed to learn how to lift and to get stronger.

This bar used to sit in the corner of my second-floor apartment, and I would regularly practice cleans and overhead squats in front of the TV. It was stuffed between the seats of my Honda Civic many times and is responsible for many gouges therein. At one point, it served as a clothes rack when @204lifestyle moved in and I needed something strong to support her hefty collection of clothes. Eventually, it went into the basement gym, along with other bars I started collecting, and it was often hauled to @assiniboineathletic, where I taught my first classes.

In 2011, it went to 483 Berry St., where it was used less frequently after we bought a whack of much better bars. But we still used it, and it still did the job.

Whenever we bid farewell to a piece of old equipment, I’m always reminded that people are stronger than steel. This bar is done lifting. But we are not.

Thanks to everyone who squatted or deadlifted with this one over the years. You know who you are.

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