On my way down to the Crossfit Hoboken Winter Challenge on Saturday... after a few long weeks of work, not sleeping (for as long as I can recall) the full 8+ hours I need to function at my best... I had goosebumps and a redonkulous smile on my face. At the buttcrack of dawn by myself... an absurd amount of delicious paleo-fuel in tow... in my car, trusting that the universe (and my iPhone) was going to get me there swiftly and without too much of a scenic route (aka getting lost)… I was beaming with thick, juicy, sexy, delicious appreciation– knowing I was soon to be surrounded with badassness. Time slowed down enough for me to pay homage to that moment.
I felt alive.
I have found a community through crossfit... a tribe that I am proud to be a part of. While the journey with numbers and times are gauge to each individual of their own practice, the collective energy of crossfit rocks-my-freaking-socks-off. My community is growing every day. I am fortunate to connect with other boxes (a beautiful thing about my job at lululemon)... to plant seeds of change, and have seeds planted within me… to grow from the influences of others... to see the power that is perseverance… discipline… coaching… leaders. What leaders look like… Leaders so humble and passionate about their purpose. Leaders that inspire others to lead.
Competition brings out the good, the bad, and the ugly. The AMAZING thing is that there is opportunity to learn from it all – just in a more public display of beast-status. We met some incredible spirits in Hoboken. The 2 women next to our group, Kaleena and Maria – owners of Crossfit Port Chester. Beautiful women and powerful in every single way.
Ultimately we know what we need. And if we don’t know, we learn. I know I need you. We are given but so much time in this life. I saw this image of the back of my head in the Hoboken pictures, cheering on Steph (Crossfit South Brooklyn). As much as I was there to be better than I am with my own feat of physical abilities, I was there to be a part of the whole… I am thankful to all those around me who are doing great things…‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ ~maya angelou
This past year has been a challenging one for me, to say the least. The death of a very close family member, my Mother-in-law’s battle with cancer, & and the betrayal of a close friend hit me all at once. As the mother of 3 young children who demand a lot from me, it seemed the best thing to do was to brush it all under the rug & leave it up to CrossFit, running, & triathlons to do what they’ve always done.....make me feel good. As it turns out, it was too much to ask of myself physically because all of that stuff under the rug was really on my shoulders. The results of trying to out-train my troubles left me feeling tired & defeated. I suspect this is not an uncommon occurrence among us CrossFitters, who face adversity head on & power through it. So I wanted to share my experience with doing too much, taking some big steps back, & what I have gained from it moving forward.
On August 12th, 2012 I woke up at 4:00am, packed up my gear & set off for Camp Buckner to compete in the West Point/ Army Triathlon. My time last year was 1:43:31. This year I was going to do it in 1:35:00. Last year just doing it was enough. This year the clock mattered. I had been lifting, running, biking, swimming 7 days a week for months & I needed to see the results of my hard work on that clock. While I was setting up my transition area, they announced the water temp was 80 degrees making wetsuits illegal. If you opted to wear one, you were not eligible to place. I put mine on. I started towards the lake then turned around & took it off. I thought what if by some miracle, I place? What if I could go home & tell everyone I came in on top? How would that make me feel? Powerful, in control, strong, happy? My sadness & anxiety over the years events would surely disappear if I could succeed that day. That was a lot of pressure to put on myself.... a lot to ask of this sport.
And so I swam, biked, & ran & didn’t enjoy it one bit. The year before I loved every moment of it. It was adventurous & the people competing alongside me inspiring. I finished so full of pride & excitement. This year I finished feeling empty. I got a drink & stood by the results board hoping I had at least hit 1:35:00. So when I saw the 1:41:51 my eyes welled up with tears & I walked off. I drove home that day planning what I could do to work harder, determined to get up at 4:30am & hit crossfit the next day, which I did. The following day I did 2 WODs. 100 burpees + 200 du’s in the am & Grace in the pm. & so on & so on. All the while, getting slower & weaker, tired & run down, resenting those getting faster & stronger, & wanting to give up. It was the same experience with the CrossFit festivus competition. I never gave myself credit for what I did do that day but left feeling angry & disappointed in myself. And now the thing that always made me feel good was becoming a source of stress & frustration. Despite this, I was convinced slowing down would make me feel even worse. Fortunately, there was an outsider looking in who took a few minutes to point out what was eluding me. I needed to just stop.
I remember very clearly the day my CrossFit coach approached me to discuss my decreasing performance. That conversation meant & will always mean a great deal to me because , at a time when I felt like life was working against me, It reminded me that I am a part of a community of people who care, people who notice when we are struggling & need a little help. He said, “ there are a lot of things in life that will stress you out. This should NOT be one of them.” So it was suggested I do a de-load week. No WOD’s, no running, just mobility & some strength. I left that day feeling relieved & hopeful.
This was the beginning of me coming to understand that this wasn’t about my abilities as an athlete or my will to succeed. It was the beginning of me understanding that our bodies perceive stress no different physically then emotionally or any other stressor in life. The stress in my life outside of the gym was affecting my body in much the same way as my intensive workouts making it all simply too much. Thinking back on some of those 30 mile rides & 10 mile runs, that time would’ve been better spent sitting on a rock by a lake just taking some deep breaths. I have come to respect how my life outside of the gym affects my performance in the gym & vice versa. I am learning to find the balance & give equal weight to my physical & emotional health. Most importantly, I am learning that sometimes a few steps back are just what you need to keep moving forward......& I’m loving CrossFit more than ever...especially watching others succeed, overcoming fears, & doing things they never imagined they could do. That’s really the heart of it for me & it feels good to be back. :)
“Everything that isn’t exercise is recuperation, but for me the benefits of off time come not from enhancing athletic performance but from enhancing life. Exercise, fitness, sport, and even health are only important in that they serve a broader purpose – life.”
She let go.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…
- Ernest Holmes
I am in such tremendous admiration of the powerful women surrounding me in my life. We redefine who we are... every moment of every day.
Big ups to all the PR's accomplished today. There is a collective power in the strength that we have all committed to. This power far exceeds what those numbers mean.
Commit. Commit to the lift. Commit to who you are... and what you are.
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 Hours in a day is not enough -- Remember... The mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee (or beer... or nor cal margaritas).
The story goes...
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students, "Is the jar full?"
They agreed it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again, "Is the jar full?"
They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous, "Yes."
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided,"I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - Family, children, health. Friends, and favorite passions --Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter. Like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- The small stuff." And he shook the jar.
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. So... Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play With your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal."
"Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled.
"I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee (insert beer... insert nor-cal margaritas) with a friend."
The universe is incredible. I haven't written a blog post since the huge blow up with my last nuclear blast to my own familial tribe. Shifts have taken place within myself, rippling out to many avenues of life... my relationships.... my perseverence.... my commitment to living authentically. I value and appreciate growth so much so that even though some may dismiss it - I carry on.
Carry on. I'm gonna turn some sand into glass soon... or maybe find some fulgurites
on the beach. Beauty is everywhere... you have to shift how you see too see it.
Starting college is an adjustment for any teenager and recent high school graduate, especially at the age of seventeen. My entire life I have always been an optimistic, positive and passionate person—I
dedicated my life to the things I love, including my family, music, art, and history. I yearned for knowledge, and would always look to my surroundings in complete awe, desperately trying to understand the world around me. I entered my dorm hall at Drew U., and began my classes as a bright-eyed student ready to suck in all the knowledge my brain could handle, I found I had to adjust to a different set of problems beyond the realm of academia. I began to experience excruciating pain in my left pelvic region, at first only once in awhile, and then it became constant. There were days where I couldn’t walk (and instead hobbled) to class because the pain became so intense. It took several ultrasounds and quite a few embarrassing appointments for a seventeen year old, but the doctor insisted I had a condition known as endometriosis.
Unfortunately, a full diagnosis and cure for this condition required surgery. Unwilling to go under the knife, I opted for what appeared to be the better option: oral contraceptives. After a failed prescription
(the pain just didn’t seem to go away!), the doctor prescribed a low-dose pill called Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. The pain faded to a degree—enough to appease me at the time—and so I chose to stay on
them. I felt anxious and nervous—but considering I was the type of student to push my limits, I figured it was related to my coursework and sleepless nights studying. For six years I took these pills religiously, and any and all anxiety I felt I attributed to my schoolwork—first as an undergraduate, then through graduate school applications, and through to my thesis this past spring. I refused to
consider removing myself from the pill—all I could think of was the excruciating pain, and I convinced myself they were absolutely necessary.
I forced my body to acclimate itself to these synthetic hormones for six years, when, toward the end of last year, the pain started up again significantly. Considering I lived in Vermont, I went to the clinic at my graduate school, and she decided to increase the dosage, and following her orders, I switched to the generic version of Ortho Tri-Cyclen this past February. At about the same time, I experienced several personal issues—a death in the family, rejections from school and job applications flooded in, and I was in the process of finishing my thesis with no job prospects to look forward to. I found myself quickly agitated and frustrated, and on days I wasn’t angry, I was sad. I tried so hard to get out of my “rut” (as I called it) – and Katie, a best friend of mine for years—suggested I join her gym, and Crossfit helped immensely. By July I was working out three-four times a week, I had a new job for the summer, I got the job I wanted as a professor for the Fall semester, and everything in my life had calmed down. But there were still times I couldn’t bring myself to come out of bed, found myself napping in the daytime, and finding little to be happy about, even though my life had improved
drastically! The agitation and frustration became worse and I found myself yelling, screaming---at people I cared about. I recognized that how I was acting wasn’t who I was, but I couldn’t stop it. I found
myself questioning my own actions—whether out of anger or sadness—and being unable to figure out why I was acting this way, feeling upset or angry, and unsure how to fix it. I was constantly anxious, overly defensive, and taking it out on everyone I cared about, especially my family. For another month I struggled—thinking that I was doomed to remain completely out of control of my emotions. It was something I didn’t want to face, and to be honest, it frightened me more than anything in my entire life. Can you imagine simultaneously screaming or crying uncontrollably about something trivial while thinking to yourself that how you were reacting is absolutely insane? I felt completely nuts!
I put two and two together, and asked my mom when she noticed this significant change in me, and we found that it was the increased dosage that threw me over the edge. I scrambled to the Internet,
searching for anything that suggested that Ortho Tri-Cyclen could result in such wild emotional outbursts, and to be frank, significant personality shifts. I found nothing except “oral contraceptives may
cause mood swings.” – I figured I must be crazy then, this isn’t "just" a mood swing. Struggling to understand if birth control pills made me act this way, or if I was crazy, I even called my old health care
provider that first prescribed me these pills for endometriosis. The nurse made it clear: Yes, this is a common occurrence among women. Yes, women experience more than just mood swings on these pills—they experience significant emotional shifts. No, under no circumstances should I take the full dose Ortho Tri-Cyclen pills. Well, then, what should I do? – Then she suggested it: Why don’t you just stop taking it? You’ve been on contraceptives for six years – the worst case scenario is your pain comes back, and we can treat that with Motrin. If it becomes unbearable, she’ll prescribe me my old pills in a month, when my medical records are pulled out of the archives. But, she assured, your emotions will level out within days, even if the pain does come back.
It’s been two weeks now. People who didn't even know about my choice to remove hormones from my life made a point to comment on how differently I’ve been acting—how relaxed I’ve become! This entire time I thought that I was calm on the low-dose contraceptives—in reality I was still overemotional and sometimes irrational. I haven’t felt this calm since before I started college, and for the first time in a long time, I am genuinely excited about the world around me—eager to experience everything that life has to offer. And to top it off, the pain has yet to return—which I can only attribute to my healthier diet
and more active lifestyle.
When I approached Katie and told her about my change to contraceptive-free living, and the emotional change I felt, she asked if I would write this guest blog. While, for me, this topic is embarrassing—as I’m revealing my biggest physical and emotional difficulties of the past six years---I did not hesitate for one second. If it can happen to me, it can happen to any other woman in this gym or in the community. Women SHOULD know the emotional and physical distress that synthetic hormones can cause, beyond the realm of “mood swings,” regardless of their ultimate goal in consuming them.
There are other alternatives—for me a healthy diet and a newfound Crossfit lifestyle has uncovered the possibility of a pain-free (and hormone-free) life. On top of a healthy, natural lifestyle, one needs to refuse even a temporary glitch of unhappiness in one’s life, purge the negative, and embrace all that life has to offer. Only then can you reach your potential, both physically and mentally.
Thank you Kelly for an honest and bold reflection of your experience. There is POWER in sharing and communication... bb
REVISED... and still honest:
I was with my son’s father for a LONG time (10+ years) before we got married (reminiscent of my days on the kickball field… forced this hand too) and had Braedan. By default, I assumed that when you met someone… you fall-in-love-get-married-have-a-baby-or-3 and everything just works out just because. I don’t remember much about my childhood at all actually (except visceral-meets-tangible-meets-etherial things… like the way the lights on the subway looked… or the gorgeous flowers in my front yard… the huge hairy-ass spiders in our old house… the texture of the school bus seats) . QUITE the opposite from my son - he remembers EVERYTHING.
The human body… and mind… is amazing. Resilient… forgiving… Work out at the gym doing the same thing… your body adapts and it no longer is effective. Eat foods that are processed and harmful – your body goes into survival mode to defend itself so that you can still function to the best of your ability, but over time systems break down. Do what you know, because you know nothing more… you get what you’ve always gotten. Live without lights for long enough, your eyes adjust to the dark.
One fine day, the epiphany struck. The pieces came together and I was able to have tremendous clarity. The day I had this epiphany, was the day I took a stand for my life… and for my son’s future. Up until that point, I resolved to ‘make it work’ and accepted that I was not going to ever really be happy. Blasphemous that I would succumb to less than what I believed possible for happiness. Giving birth to my son, gave birth to a new me.
I left my son’s father shortly after my son was born. The birthing process never intimidated me… Pain is temporary. Rearing and guiding life…. Was something that took special care and love. The kind of love that I truly believe exists in the stars and moons and rainbows and twinkles.
I broke the code of process when I left my relationship and got divorced. It was the hardest choice I have ever made, but the most sound in the depths of my soul.
Life through the eyes of a child is boundless. The Pandora’s box of possibility.
My son is at a point, where he is aware that his dad is not a part of his life… but the way he sees it he belongs here in our house – with us. He sees him just a few times a year, and typically only a couple hours each time. “ALL” (according to Braedan) of his friends have a mommy and a daddy – and while I don’t doubt that he has genuine love and connection to his father, the castles we build in our minds as children by far shadow reality. The pedestal my son has fabricated of what the idea of his father is, far outshines the reality of what his father has been. Of course it does. My son is 5.
I made a choice. I chose love. I am navigating now how to most soundly and honestly share that with my son… not to knock his castles down – but encourage him to keep building. Surround him with a vortex of love and commitment to self so strong, that the essence of being inspires greatness stemming from his toes. For him to understand that where he sees a hole… exists a realm of possibility for SO MANY THINGS.
Kiss your babies… hold your loved ones. Celebrate that bright, shiny, twinkly rainbow love that does exist. Sometimes we just have to find it first within ourselves.
I am sorry that my family was hurt by the words that did exist within this post, now edited. I was accounting my path and my life. I did not intend to belittle, demean, or slander anyone - I was reflecting on how I got to where I am... and how ACTUALLY to capture best the reality I am in of my son asking such honest questions about his own father.
This post has caused some polarity amidst my friends... definitely from my family - but the reality is not only grim. A number of peers and friends have reached out to me thanking me for articulating similar experiences they have had. Challenges they have experienced within their own family unit... their dysfunctional tribe... their foggy journey. I would like to thank those brave people for sharing THIER stories with ME.
'bright lights reach dark places'... thank you
I posted a question on the Crossfit Warwick facebook page recently... in response to a meeting we had - for potentials at CFW who are interested in coaching and further involvement. We were tasked to come up with our own elevator speech (in a way) of what Crossfit means to us. Our definition of it. How it has impacted us, and how we can facilitate further empowerment to our loved ones, our communities... and beyond.
This is what Crossfit means to me:
Crossfit means empowerment. It means providing whole perspective for my son, on health, fitness, love, community, goals, perseverance, process, dedication, support... Crossfit means a manifested reality - of who i always thought i was but never thought i could be... Crossfit is a journey to the essence of being alive... surrounded by all walks of life, who are paying homage to their future and future generations' future... leading by example. Crossfit means growth... jumping higher than I ever have before... climbing a rope for the first time yesterday EVER... sculpting a body that I am proud of not only in aesthetics, but in the work that it has done and has the ability to do... Crossfit means FUNCTION. Everything about it makes everything in life richer, more rewarding, less intimidating, achievable, with boundless potential of what is possible...
We have the collective power to move mountains by sharing our stories. I would LOVE love LOVE to hear what Crossfit means to you. Post a comment... share the blog post... get a wave of testamonials going... let's rally and get this power to MORE people and MORE families and MORE spirits... We will all be BETTER because of it. 3... 2.... 1... GO!
Picture this – I was (secretly to myself, but whatever - perception is reality) QUEEN of kickball damn near every day in elementary school… my fire engine red hair would be the icing on the fire engine red puffy face-cake from sweating so much – yes, from being the super-duper-dominatrix of kickball.
I married Brian Kirschner. We were 7. He was a cutie pie. Adorable smile… blazing blue eyes… I sort of (just kidding... he had no choice) forced him to hold my hand… and facilitated the 'totally big deal elementary school marriage process' – strong-arming him (literally… I had the death grip while we were on the playground so we could just get the ceremony over with) Even at an early age, I was one for succinct processes.. I have never liked having to wait… or compromise…
Lately I have been thinking about the journey and process that is life. I have learned (by taking the scenic route) that the journey... is the destination. I always say to my son and my students… Anything that is worth anything, is going to take time and effort. It's a stretch sometimes (okayyyy... a lot of the time) to embrace that idea. We live in a fast food nation, which can be applied to any and every circumstance in our society. Immediate gratification has become the norm... Technology... Food... Industry... Packaging – look at how much plastic we throw away every day… Communication... The list goes on and on. I marvel at how the social media umbrella has shifted the dynamics of interpersonal communication and relationship building - for better or for worse...
I took my son this morning to a yoga class at lululemon. In the class, our teacher spoke about the reality that when you let something go within you that has been occupying your mind and energy, you make space for other things to come in.
Let go of the vulcan death grip control... (totally talking out loud to myself with that sentiment) and trust the process. Whether it’s adhering to your strength regimen even if it seems like you take 2 steps back some days... Making a pact with yourself to do yoga 2x a week... Calling your best friends from college once a month... Vowing to do unbroken burpees every time its in the WOD... Kissing your loved one passionately every single day... Taking 5 deep breaths each morning before everyone else wakes up... Whatever the IT is... DO THOSE THINGS - and know that your efforts determine the outcome of your land. Life doesn't just happen, we steer it at every point along the journey.
Brian Tracy says in his 'psychology of achievement' series...
'what you are reaping today in your life is a result of what you have sown in your past...'
I find myself marveling at relationship dynamics and entrenched (whatever... dabbling here and there) in the dating scene... And FINALLY I believe I have seen the light (can I get an AMENNNNN)... It's important to trust the process, enjoy the journey and appreciate the time you spend learning... This time assists to blossom the love that is cultivated each step of the way... The love within yourself - for yourself. Then, and only then - are you able to fully love someone else.
'there is no passion to be found, settling for a life that is less than what you are capable of living' ~ Nelson Mandela
Be great. Every.Single.Day - be great. That dedication to life and to love will reward you on the regular.
*the photo is about 6 weeks ago when I got my tattoo... my mantra I now am reminded of daily
My mother… has cancer insurance. CANCER insurance. Insurance… that in her logic – WHEN she and my dad get cancer… they will be insured. NOW… a little background – CANCER is rampant in my family tree. Perhaps we are genetically predisposed to it… My mom and dad are SMART people. My mom works out like a 30 year old woman… It doesn’t add up… Have you guys watched that TED video on Dr. Terry Wahls who discovered how to reverse her multiple sclerosis through her diet? NO? Watch this...
KNOWLEDGE. IS. POWER.
I have had a few epiphanies in my journey thus far. One of them was when I realized I needed to be happy in order to be a good mom... EPIC in proportion to the universe.
Another was more recently… We eat 3… 4… 5+ times a day… this is the fuel that allows our machine to function. Disease, sickness, aches, pains, worry, CANCER… is not our destiny – IF we take control of our path… the path being EVERY single day… fueling with sound, REAL food. No list of ingredients… REAL color… not blue lake #40, red #30.
I do realize that the excitement I get from all that is FOOD, is slightly obscene… I have and the quest to get as many colors on my plate in a sculptural way as possible. Food… has always been a source of exploration and excitement for me, sometimes tingling from my toes to my ears in a single bite of deliciousness. My happy place.
I used to weigh well over 250lbs (pregnant with my son... but for YEARSSSS i was 200... 210... 215lbs). I also know what the other side looks like. When food becomes a friend-also-known-as-crutch. I used to be close to a size 20/22. In the 3rd grade… I remember weighing over 100lbs – being bigger than all the other kids… sweating like a little piglet in gym class (a love hate thing... so not fun to be a schwag-sweatty adolescent, but I LOVED gym because I have always been good at sports… strong… not fast, but HELLA strong). I have always been big-ger. Was called ‘BIG RED’ any time I would go anywhere on any number of the teams I played on in school (soccer, basketball, softball, bowling). BIG RED. I even remember being called a HEIFFER. FOOD… was, and still is a source of pleasure for me. That said, at that time in my life – until I was mid 20’s fueling with food that was unknowingly detrimental to my health and my immune system, coupled with life stresses and emotional voids – yielded a seemingly functional, yet obese, sickly and unhappy me.
Change… starts with a single step. One foot in front of the other. Instead of thinking about all the things you can’t have… think about all the things you can. Pair foods together… play a game with yourself to have full zone blocks every time you put something in your mouth. It makes a difference. Knowledge – seriously is power.
It’s shocking and hilariously tragic to me that the majority of our society doesn’t think twice about prepackaged ‘food’ and sugary sweetness to celebrate a special occasion. I’m telling you … each time I go to an event or party or hear people say ‘it’s a special occasion – you can cheat’ it floors me. For me… the special occasion, is TODAY. Being healthy. Being strong. Having an immune system that doesn’t need cancer insurance… actually having a BRAIN that understands… only the choices I make are what maps out my destiny. Think about that. Paying for insurance for CANCER. That is fear mongering right there… tricking yourself to ‘feel better’ by paying into an insurance plan that will ‘cover’ you… WHEN you get cancer.
FEAR is no way to live. Disease is not our ultimate destiny if each step along our journey – we choose to elevate and celebrate and honor that which is our temple. REAL FOOD fuels our bodies and minds. Try it for a while… see how you feel-think-breathe-poop-work-love-sing-dance-workout… We are the masters of our own journey. If you can harness it, the possibility of happiness and strength and longevity and abilities and all that is healthy and empowering – lies in the FOOD we power up with 5+ times… every… single… day.
And how about a ‘special occasion’ workout? When there’s a birthday… a holiday… people are visiting… how about a shift in THAT tradition… lets sweat together to highlight our potential and our strength, further amplifying the amazing machines we reside in. I’m down…
Dear Diane, (the Balanced Bites mastermind... the goddess of Paleo nutrition)
I am writing to attempt to put in words the gratitude I have for the clarity I have experienced… perhaps even enlightenment – since meeting you.
WHO IS THIS WEIRDO… you say? (umm... that would be the little-wee-bay-bay in the picture probably being fed cheerios) While I do realize writing a public blog post that is incredibly intimate – perhapssss is a bit over the top (it is however, how I roll)… I also want to put on blast the magnitude of thanks I have… just because you exist…
Let me break it DOWN for you.
I joined Crossfit Warwick just over a year ago. A few influences caused this to be – and I have been better for it ever since… transformed actually. Crossfit is the component that I didn’t realize I had been missing in my life, until I had it. Same with Paleo.
REWINDDDDD… My mom said that I was a red-featherheaded baby vacuum cleaner when it came to food and eating. Apparently, one of the first things I could say… KILLS me to admit this… was ‘BURGER KING’… hilariously tragic on so many levels for anyone who knows me now… but yes, this is a fact. I was… and still am very motivated by food. My parents couldn’t feed me fast enough. Seems crazy though that the food I was eating nearly my whole life was unknowingly reeking havoc on my immune system.
I had urinary tract infections when I was a weeeee one (baby-baby until like 4 or 5)… I remember the smell of the train and the flickering color as it passed the lights in the tunnel… I also remember the trauma that I experienced every single time I had to pee… felt like teeny weeny razor blades and grains of sand going through tubes that should have only held liquid… Would get cold sores all the time – usually during school picture time, or for any family gathering… GOOD times. Fast forward to being chronically ill with debilitating strep throat most of my childhood into years of high school… so sick that my tonsils would swell and be completely white with infection. I was on antibiotics most of my life. Headaches EVERY… SINGLE... DAY. Teenage to adult years - chronic yeast infections… chronic, as in EVERY SINGLE MONTH. Not fun.
I remember going to the doctor at one of my breaking points… pleading with them to tell me why this was happening to me – and their response was to give me an unlimited prescription for diflucan – the little pill to make everything ‘better’. I used to think doctors made people better. That day, the fog had lifted from my eyes. I saw through the smoke and mirrors of healthcare. I consulted many doctors that only had bandaid solutions… antibiotics… pills… I actually had to have my tonsils removed last year. After about 10 years of no strep throat, I developed an abscess that I kid you not… was THE most painful thing I have ever experienced.
The emotional repercussion fallout of ALL of this… (relationship challenges, self-esteem issues) WHEW – cray-zayyyy. I finally took charge of my own well being about 10 years ago and cut out white sugar and wheat. Many of my symptoms went away. Headaches gone. I wasn’t quite gluten free, but wheat free – to which I saw tremendous improvement.
A few months after joining Crossfit, I took your Balanced Bites: Practical Paleo seminar. While I sat there, feeling fairly knowledgeable about food and what is ‘good for me’…. Your very no frills and quite frank presentation furthered the awareness that is one of my major passions. I must say, your demeanor and interjections of opinions totally stuck with me. I remember very clearly – sitting in the 3rd row, close to the wall… having conversations in my head about a few things… ‘Wow – she is allowing her opinions to potentially turn off people in thinking she’s a WAY left/right/center/outerspace-field with this conspiracy theory stuff’ – and how much I didn’t realize it at the time – but that was an important piece of it. Learning: It doesn’t EFFING matter. THIS is why my stomach is like this, and has never been flat? Eating my then breakfast of champions – amaranth flakes with raisins and sometimes bananas with soy milk (GASSSSPPP you say… I know, I know)…. Was making me bloated, and making me hurt. It was that day that I even FURTHER understood my body, began the quest that is Paleo, and shifted consciousness on what is important.
Fast forward about 1500 pictures later of delicious-o paleo crafted meals on my Facebook page… with near smell-o-vision features of how glorious it all looks…. And beyond what it LOOKS like, it is fueling me properly, keeping my immune system strong (as it is meant to be)… and fueling those around me (sometimes physically… sometimes through osmosis… always educationally)
One more MAJOR thing I have to shed some light on to you. So after I took your course, I became friends with you on Facebook – I sometimes comment, I like things ALL the time. One post you put up a while back was how grateful you are of the goals you set while working at Lululemon, and how much you accomplished – blowing out of the water what you thought was possible…. Or something like that…
That day, I applied to Lululemon…
I recently wrote my 10-year vision goals. My life looks and feels pretty sweet 10 years from now, but RIGHT now… My life is as amazing. I appreciate my body… my mind… and my spirit. I am honored to work for an amazing company, surrounded by kindred spirits, further fueling many facets of my life. 'Elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness' ~ the Lululemon mission statement
Diane – I must thank you for being very alive, very opinionated, and a pillar of strength (both physically and intellectually) to learn from.