An Open Letter to my Future Boyfriend/Partner/Husband

Congratulations! You’ve done the seemingly impossible. You’ve gotten me off online dating forever (hopefully) and made me insanely and deliriously happy.Although, you have greatly disappointed all of my social media followers. But I digress.

In all seriousness, I want to thank you and acknowledge you for so many things, so I thought I would write you a letter and share it with the world. Because that’s romantic, right?

Choose You

Every morning I leave my building to head to CrossFit. I’m dressed in my gym clothes and have my enormous bag on my shoulder. I’m also usually holding my protein shake and coffee. And every morning there are people sitting outside my building…smoking. At 8am. Or earlier. Some of them have children. All are either obese or emaciated. There seems to be no middle ground. And it makes me wonder what they think when they see me walk by. Knowing I am doing something good for my body and they aren’t. Do they even allow themselves to think like that?

The Awareness Alphabet: Gratitude

Let’s be honest. We’re all spoiled brats. We live in a first world country where we pretty much have anything at our fingertips. We want for almost nothing. No matter what most of our incomes, we all have more money than most of the world. We have it fucking easy. We don’t walk miles to get fresh water. We don’t worry about rampant disease or unsanitary conditions. Most of us have access to more food than people elsewhere could dream of. We live in lovely homes with walls, central heating, plumbing, A/C and electricity. We literally carry the world in our pockets.

What keeps you coming back?

I was warming up the other day at the box (That’s CrossFit speak for ‘the gym’) with a younger member and I asked him if he was doing the Open. Yes, he said, his first time. I asked if he’d been able to Rx (do the workouts as prescribed, without scaling the weight or movements) both workouts so far and he said yes. He’s only been doing Crossfit for 9 months. I told him it was amazing he could Rx already and that after 3+ years I still couldn’t Rx many things. He asked me, “What keeps you coming back?” I said, well, I’m an older athlete and it’s possible I may never be able to do certain things. But I can always get better and I can always get stronger. That’s what keeps me coming back.

Scaling is Not a Punishment

My former coach used to hammer this home every workout but no matter how many times he said it, I disagreed. I always felt like I SHOULD be able or capable of doing certain movements. Like my tenure in CrossFit had earned me that dubious honor. It doesn’t. The only thing that earns you anything is hard work. Consistent practice. And dedication.

Worth It: Why You Should Make Smart Indulgent Choices

Food has to be the second most popular topic in any box. Walk into any CrossFit and chances are people are talking about how they can’t wait to go home to eat. Or they’re sharing what they ate last night or what they’re making for dinner. In fact they probably Instagrammed it. And while often this is something healthy, it’s also just as likely that it’s not. It might be donuts, or burgers or pizza. And that’s ok.

Find your focus

Let’s face it, distraction is par for the course in 2017. With everything at our fingertips, it’s almost impossible to be able to do anything uninterrupted anymore. Ding, text message. Ding, email. Ding, Facebook notification. Ding, Instagram notification. Ding, breaking news. Our phones alone are wired to not allow us one moment of peace. Not to mention the constant distractions of family, work, commuting and more.

Dump doubt

I don’t understand doubt. And no, I’m not a narcissist or a sociopath. I’m just me. But I’m also quite capable of acknowledging how much work I put into being me.

Let’s break it down for a second. I’ve been writing — professionally — for 20+ years. So when I pitch a job or I talk to a potential client, why would I ever think I’m not qualified or the role is too big for me? Of course I’m qualified. I’ve been immersed in this space and learning all I can to keep getting better for years. I’ve put in the work. Doubting I can do it doesn’t even enter the realm.

E is for effort

Does this sound like you? You run the same pace and distance a few days a week. You do 30 minutes on the elliptical reading a magazine? You do the same weights and reps and sets every week. In other words you workout pretty regularly but you feel like you aren’t seeing results. Maybe you blame the monotony of your routine or maybe you blame your diet or maybe you chalk it up to getting older and having a slow metabolism. But how much effort are you putting into those workouts?

So you’re thinking of trying CrossFit...

I’m not fit enough to start CrossFit.

That statement is the epitome of #AlternativeFacts. CrossFit is no different from any other exercise program in that you can start it no matter what your level of fitness. Now, that said, it’s actually better than most other fitness programs for that very reason, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

 

Dive headfirst

My grandmother taught me to dive when I was probably 4 or 5. We would go to the town pool every day and she would instruct me, and eventually my little brother, on how to dive. We were fishes who definitely took naturally to water but diving is not something anyone enters into lightly. Even a child can see the danger of putting your head before your body and plunging into the unknown.

Master your mind

If you know me, you know that patience is not one of my strong suits. I'm very quick to anger and I let little things get to me. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I'm extremely logical and I do things quickly. So when people don't behave with common sense or they're somehow inhibiting my progress in a timely manner (or what I deem timely), I have a hard time being ok with that. It's a flaw and one I'm acutely aware of. 

Conquer your fear(s)

Fear. It might be the single biggest thing that holds us back in every aspect of our lives. And the older we get the more fear we have because we know exactly what could happen...if. When you're a kid you jump on your bike and go. You don't give a second thought to potentially falling off and scraping your knee. You don't have time to worry because you're too busy having fun and living in the moment. You're being present. Actually, being a child might be the ultimate study in being fully present in our life. You aren't thinking about your homework or what chores you still have to do, you're simply playing and having fun with your friends. That is all that matters in that moment. 

Going from Inspiration to Motivation (or how to get the fuck off the couch)

I am so honored to hear from friends, colleagues and fellow athletes that I inspire them. It's humbling and flattering and, of course, rewarding. But there's definitely a disconnect going on, because while most of them tell me this, the next words out of their mouth are something like "of course I still haven't done anything myself." 

You are your before picture

So I stole this line from, I believe, one of my favorite podcasts, Girls Gone WOD. They had an episode lamenting the rise in before and after pics and how it invites unfair comparisons. And as someone who has posted many before and after pictures, this isn't about negating your physical hard work and it isn't about not being proud of your accomplishments. There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to improve your health and showing off those improvements.