Friday, March 29, 2013

Just a bit of backstory

So how did I end up here? Journaling about my fitness journey never occurred to me. I share my story freely with those around me - and under their encouragement I agreed to start a blog that shares my experience. I think to "get me" is to understand a bit about what brought me to this point in my life. So let's back up - to the moment that in hindsight I can peg as "The Moment" for me. The loss of a parent at any age is a defining moment for anyone. Summer of '11 was mine. I was conservatively 80+ pounds overweight with my own list of health issues starting, as I helplessly watched my father's body completely unravel. He was diagnosed with cancer - but cancer isn't what killed him. You see - my father never got the chance to fight the cancer, his body wasn't healthy enough to handle the very treatment that was designed to save him. Sparing the details, I'll just say my father never came home from his first chemo session. Complacency and denial were no longer possible for me. Everyone has their own personal low point. This was mine. However, I only share that to say that over the past two years, my life has experienced an emotional and physical journey that started with losing my father – but resulted in regaining my health.

So to get up to speed – I went a little nutty as I was losing my Dad. I believe in an effort to “control” something in my life I went on an unsustainable extreme diet. I experienced enough weight loss to convince myself I knew what I was doing. I became obsessively fixated on a number goal with my weight loss – that once I achieved it I believed I would be "healthy". But then I realized something – although I had made my personal weight goal – I still hadn't achieved health. My hair started falling out, I was weak, and I still didn’t have the energy to be the active mother I was desperately trying to become. I could run gimp two miles, but I couldn't do a push-up. I was only one size larger than my high school size – but I couldn’t hold my own body weight while hanging from the monkey bars. What was I doing wrong? I was in an odd place. I had lost enough weight people were coming to me for advice. Who was I to tell anyone what to do? I still couldn’t really get out and do all the things I wanted to do – which as simple as it sounds – started out as wanting to play on the playground with my kids. No – not just stand there checking my iPhone while drinking Starbucks – I actually wanted to be the mom running, jumping, climbing and racing with my children.
A quote I had heard a long time ago, began resonating with me (and also explains the name of my blog) it is by Mark Rippetoe, “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general." I’ve applied this in business numerous times, but its application to overall health was lost on me until last year. If my father had been healthier prior to his cancer diagnosis – he might have been able to fight his cancer. I started looking around for examples of strong, healthy, active people and kept finding a common thread of CrossFit. I wanted to go – but I was intimidated. So I watched for about a year. I did successfully do a few things while I sat back NOT going to CrossFit. I did regain a healthier relationship with food. I started hiking - even trekked Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon (a story for another day); I started running; I learned about plyometrics, and finally thought I might be “strong enough” to venture into a CrossFit Box. 
What I learned Day One  – there isn’t a “strong enough or fit enough to start” requirement. That was a line of bull I fed to myself while sitting back intimidated. So let me spare you the wasted time and just tell you that. Day One also confirmed that I was indeed weak, but the coaches at Capital City CrossFit were able to get me doing modified moves that enabled me to start building my strength. I am early in my CrossFit journey – but can already see and feel the difference. I may never be the poster gal crushing a WOD, but every day that I go to the Box is a victory of discipline and determination. Every time I complete a workout I learn that I am stronger than I knew. I’m not setting records – in fact I’m almost always the caboose of the class. So don’t put another excuse between yourself and the start of your journey. Come join me – at the back of the pack. 

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