Happy Mothers Day – Sun 5.13.18
Happy Mothers Day to all the hardworking moms at the Compound!!!
You carved time out of an already-busy schedule. You found a way to make it fit in your budget. You swallowed your pride and worked through those classes in which you felt lost and awkward.
You kept showing up, day after day, even after the newness wore off and you had to accept that your body wasn’t going to look like Stacie Tovar’s or Patrick Vellner’s any time soon.
Then one day, something happens: An obstacle drops in your path, and instead of leaping over it, you stare at it, hoping it will disappear.
It’s amazing how hard it is to develop a good habit and how easy it is to pick up a bad one. You never hear anyone complain about how challenging it is to include a cocktail in the nightly routine. Conversely, no one ever gripes about being unable to kick that morning-run habit.
I remember the first time I skipped a CrossFit workout. I’m not talking about missing a day because I was out of town or dealing with an unexpected scheduling issue. I’m talking about waking up and making the decision not to go to class.
I’d been attending classes with my husband Hugh for nearly 18 months. Hugh was unable to attend class due to foot surgery. I didn’t really want to get up and go alone.
“I never miss,” I reasoned as I clicked my phone’s alarm off.
Somehow I knew it was a mistake.
I had started my CrossFit journey morbidly obese, unable to complete a single burpee. In the beginning, just showing up was a PR. That was the goal I had to be content with: Show up at class and do whatever version of the workout you can. Just don’t miss. And I didn’t. Three days a week turned into four, and four turned into five. I was a fixture at the 6:30-a.m. class. I worked so hard to develop that habit.
But that day I just didn’t feel like going.
I skipped another day later that week. The following week, I only took three of my five scheduled classes. The following month, I skipped two entire weeks. I had a bevy of excuses. My body needed a break. I was stressed and overwhelmed by work. I was planning my son’s wedding.
In a conversation with my sister Alise, I mentioned that I was slacking on my workouts. Alise had followed my struggles with my weight. She knew my history of binge dieting and other unhealthy behaviors. She had also seen all the positive changes CrossFit had already made in my life.
Less than 20 minutes after we got off the phone, I received an email from her with “tough love” as the subject. In part, she wrote:
“I’m not your enabler. It’s bull to give up on your workouts. I don’t care how busy you are, or how exhausted you are. Get your ass back to CrossFit. Letting your workouts go is totally reverting to your old self. You are not that person. I refuse to sit back and not say anything and just let you go back to that.
“You may think it’s just a side step and that you are just taking a small break. Nope. Small breaks turn into big ones. … You aren’t going to accomplish anything else significant if you don’t put yourself first for that one hour a day. It will be totally impossible to be the person you need to be to become successful and stay successful. You are the strongest woman I know. Now go prove me right.”
Fortunately, it was the kick I needed to get me back to class. Alise stripped away my excuses in a few sentences, and her email got me past an obstacle I hadn’t been prepared for. I’ve gone back to those words more than once, but I haven’t skipped a planned workout in over two years.
An obstacle is defined as “something that impedes progress toward a goal.” If the obstacle wins—if it actually stops you—you won’t reach that goal. There are only two choices: continue to get healthier or start getting sicker again.
Your obstacle might be a schedule change or an injury. It might be huge, like a divorce, a health crisis or a death in the family. It could be discouragement or depression. Maybe someone new showed up at your box and got toes-to-bar on the first try—that one is oddly specific for a reason.
Whatever your challenge, I implore you to listen: Do not give up on CrossFit.
Show up. Do the work. Then deal with whatever life is trying to smack you with.
When stress is high, you aren’t going to crush every single workout. Some days, you might top out at 50 percent. But you will still accomplish a heck of a lot more in the gym than you would have on your sofa. On days like that, I tell myself I am there for my soul, not just my body.
Some of the first people who found CrossFit weren’t like you and me. Some already thought of themselves as athletes. Some were fit and healthy. CrossFit made them stronger, leaner and faster. If they hadn’t found CrossFit, they’d still be running marathons, climbing mountains and playing sports.
For a lot of us now, CrossFit is the first sport we’ve ever participated in. It took a very long time not to cringe when we were called “athletes.” If there is one thing we need to stick to, to tightly hang on to, it’s CrossFit.
It took the nudge, or rather the hard push, from my sister to make me realize that I needed to make CrossFit central to my routine to continue becoming the person I wanted to be. It had to be a core component in my daily life.
Immediately after this setback, I finally addressed my nutrition and started building the foundation I had been lacking. My body began to change rapidly.
If you’re struggling, you aren’t alone. Reach out to coaches or fellow athletes. Share your struggles and ask them to help you be accountable. Reach out to me! I’m happy to help you put a plan in place to get over whatever is threatening to stop your momentum. Just keep showing up, and before you know it, you’ll be dishing out this same advice to someone else.
You are the strongest people I know.
Now go prove me right.
This article is Part 6 of 6.
Part 1: “An Open Letter to Those Who Need to Lose Weight”
Part 2: “Change Your Life in 24 Hours”
Part 3: “I’m Working out but Can’t Lose Weight”
Part 4: “When You Never Rx Anything”
Part 5: “Your New Diet in the Real World”
About the Author: Kai Rainey lives with her husband of 21 years in Tucson, Arizona. At 42, she was over 300 lb., with a BMI of 49.9. She lost over half her body weight through CrossFit and healthy eating. In November 2017, she earned a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certificate. She hopes to reach others who are battling obesity and help them take steps to reclaim their lives. Read more at Mylastfatsummer.com.