This, ladies and gentlemen, is a happy day. Why, you ask? Because it's Thursday. Nope, I'm not confused. As soon as my workout ends on Wednesday night, it becomes Thursday, which is my rest day, which is SO deeply needed right now I don't know if I could even begin to articulate it.
Before we get into the meat (yes) and the potatoes (no), let's do something a little different first. Instead of my "deep thoughts" (or whatever) at the end of my blog, I had some learn-from-my-mistakes ideas today that I thought I might share with you.....*Sound the trumpets*
Why Your Struggle is Actually AWESOME:
1) When you don't get what you want, you get experience. Someone obviously misplaced my order in the holding tank we all come from before we're born. Because I'm pretty sure I didn't expect to have a shot metabolism that would require me to consistently say "no" to every sugar-filled delicious treat on the planet. But that's what I was given. And even though it still SUCKS walking away from a tray of brownies as my skinny coworkers feast, I get the awesome lessons that come along with taking care of my body, KNOWING how hard saying "no" (or "yes", depending on the circumstance) can be, and the ability to relate to other people that have similar struggles. My "no" is not just a no- it's an opportunity to change my mind about my "destiny" AND serve as a role model. My struggle=my opportunity. Cool.
2) It could be worse. No. Really. It could be. If you're reading this, it means you have internet access and a computer. Which makes you more fortunate than a good MAJORITY of the world. And I mean that quite literally. I'm going to assume if you splurge on the luxury of internet, you have running water, electricity, heat, and a place to live, too. Seriously- you are rich. Even if it feels like you're losing it some days, you've got more than you think..and if you decide you want more, you likely are in a position where you can seek and find the opportunity to have it; Not everyone on this earth can say the same.
3) You're freaking interesting. Once upon a time, a princess lived in a bubble and had everything she ever wanted and was the most beautiful person in the land she got married and had babies and kept her washboard abs and wore tiaras and ballgowns and lived to be a hundred years old the end. (You're welcome for the run-on sentence). But you get my point. That's. Not. Interesting. You know what's interesting? Once upon a time, there was a kickass chick/guy who faced the impossible and people underestimated her/him and you never would have guessed by looking at him/her that they would amount to much but they crawled and climbed and clawed until they were victorious and spent the rest of their days inspiring everyone they touched, building a legacy and teaching that anyone, from any circumstance can follow and achieve their dream. That's the good shit, right there. How many times do people set off to climb a sand dune? (Other than when they've been drinking). No- it's go big or go home...Everest. If your life is an Everest, that's something to be proud of, embrace and conquer. You weren't invited to live at base camp. So start climbin'.
4) It really doesn't matter in the end. Take those two (run-on) stories above: Pretty princess vs. Everest. Who wins? Um, the answer is- no one. We all come into this world as children and we all ultimately leave this earth. That should be enough to inspire you to do more, regardless of whether you're struggling or you're dancing down easy street. Life- it's beautiful and messy and random and temporary. Read this. Remember it. Embed it in the corner of your heart. And the next time you feel like you "can't", get off your pity pony and understand that even worse-case-scenarios are fleeting, wonderful, painful, terrifying lessons in humility of our own humanity. It's so much more awesome to have SOMETHING happening to you- even something challenging- than to have NOTHING happening to you at all.
5) You get to be a student. You know what happens when things really suck? You get busy. You learn things you didn't know before, because you didn't have to know them. You start researching and conducting experiments in your life, your body, your relationships. You become a mad scientist of all things awesome and learn about the role you play in your own world, and the world of others. Continuous learners are continuous thinkers, and most often, leaders of innovation. Go, you!
6) You get to be a teacher. Conversely, you know what happens when you start learning about yourself and what to do to "fix" things? People notice. It might not be a physical change, but something about you shifts when you're forced to pick yourself up off the ground and get better. And the truth is, most people want to be better. If they see you losing weight, they'll ask you how you did it. When you make your first million, they'll ask you your secret. When you find an earth-shaking love, they'll want to know where they can find Cupid. You go from being a self-imposed weakling to being an expert in a field you were once scared of. March on.
7) Secrets of the world? They're yours faster. "There are no shortcuts", "There's no such thing as an overnight success", "You've got to keep showing up". You hear these things from our old, wise sages, but don't ever believe them till you live through them...and once you've lived through them, you get to apply this ridiculously huge knowledge to every beat of your life. You- yes you- become wise and (hopefully) stop making the stupid mistakes others seem to have on repeat for the duration of their life.
8) You get a whole new lens. Oh...it totally stinks that your best friend's ex-boyfriend's brother didn't call when he said he was going to. Buuutttt... that's small potatoes and you know it. When you deal with the real nitty-gritty, the other stuff might still hurt and might still pierce, but it's not going to derail your life. You've got bigger fish to fry, so those little he-said, she-said situations won't matter to you (and they shouldn't).
9) You're way more likely to change the world. I'm not saying struggle-less folks can't do some world-changing too, but how many people can you think of that founded a company, inspired a movement, or changed the face of some portion of the world that didn't see extreme opposition? Don't think of it as a burden; think of your struggle as a gift- an anointing. You are a chosen one. Awesome.
10) You get the real-deal love. Imperfections, insecurities, challenges, and struggles bring out the beautiful, achy, imperfect perfectness of people. You've looked at yourself square in the mirror and have micro-examined every "flaw" you hold. And you know what? Because you've been honest with yourself about what you're NOT, you have also likely been honest with yourself about what you are and all the kick-ass reasons why it's great to be you. And you know what happens when you're honest, and you see your faults, then you see your beauty- your TRUE beauty? You start to fall in love...with you. And I think the majority of self-help gurus have it wrong. It's not "No one else can love you until you love yourself". It's: "No one else's love should or will matter to you more than the love you have for yourself". Listen, I know that sounds selfish and borderline narcissistic. But hear me out: YOU are the only person guaranteed to be in your life for your WHOLE life. YOU are the one who knows your history, the deep, shaded dimensions of your heart. YOU are the one who wakes up and makes the choices you choose. YOU are the one who sets your path and bravely follows it. YOU are the one who (along with Ben and Jerry) mends your broken heart. YOU are the one who will either make or break your body. YOU are the one who ultimately chooses if you have a family or not. YOU are the one who will choose how you live, and ultimately, how you die, and every variable in between. If you are not head-over-heels, I'm-a-rock-star, Holy-God-I-am-amazing in love with yourself, you won't make decisions that support a life full of adventure and love and achievement. And I have a sneaky suspicion you'll find once you embrace the struggle, your love story- maybe not your ONLY one, but by far your greatest one- will begin.
-Do something I've been procrastinating
-Go to bed early
Mission: Eat Clean
Accomplished? Yes! This was a boring food day, so I didn't take any pictures (they'd be redundant). I had, for both lunch and dinner- a chopped salad with lettuce, kidney beans, carrots, and chipotle dressing. Lunch my protein was chicken. Dinner is was a billion eggs (and by a billion I mean 4 eggs and 3 egg whites). I had my usual Tri-Pep pre-workout and Intek Chocolate Protein shake post-workout. Morning supplements: Rodiola (Cortisol buster), Kelp (thyroid supporter), Probiotic (gut bacteria builder). Evening supplements: Kelp (yep- again), Omega 3s, Blood Builder (some extra iron when I'm feeling blah), and a multivitamin. Here's how the nutrients broke down (although PLEASE note, the "taco bell chipotle" was NOT taco bell chipotle-- but a homemade chipotle that resembled it calorically. Taco Bell falls under a 'Never would I ever' for me):
Went slightly over my calories, but it was because of a lot of protein, so I'll forgive myself :)
Mission: Survive Crossfit
Accomplished? I lived. Barely. By Wednesdays, I'm generally ready for my Thursday rest day, but I was especially hurting today. Those 150 situps on Monday k-i-l-l-e-d me. My abs still feel as if they're seizing. Here's what today looked like:
I'm honestly too tired to even explain what this all means, so to sum it up, it means death. Slow, painful, fast, awful, wonderful, accomplishment death. And though I am completely exhausted right now, it was wonderful. To sum it up even more clearly, here's what ONE of the three rounds looked like, in 200% speed:
This is the 5:30 pm class rocking it. They're reeeallly fast!
Mission: Do something I've been procrastinating
Accomplished? Yes! (Well, the start of it). For a long time, I've been "waiting" to take pictures for my website and a bunch of projects I've got cooking. "Waiting" to get to my perfect. Whelp, perfect doesn't exist anymore. The present exists...and in it, even with weight to lose, and lessons to learn, I think I'm a pretty cool chick. So I texted my favorite GENIUS makeup artist friend and asked me for the number to her go-to photographer. Hopefully we can get some shots clickin' and get my mug up on this website a bit more (sans selfies)
Mission: Go to bed early
Accomplished? That's my cue. I am off and taking my "rest day" seriously.
Thanks all, for letting me wax poetic. I hope you're finding some use from my musings. Love to you all!! See you Day 4 (REST DAY! Hooray!!)
Day 2 of my P3 Challenge. For those who are late to the party, P3= Personal Potential Project. My "take-care-of-me", build-some-new-dreams, conquer-the-world project. Not exaggerating. :)
-Compliment a stranger: This is a carry over from yesterday because I got LAZY and forgot. (No excuse). Why? Because it makes me feel good to know someone smiled because of me. It's easy, it's free. Why NOT?
- Get inspired (well... more inspired. As a whole, I've been pretty lit up lately!)
Mission: Compliment a Stranger.
Accomplished? Yes! So, funny story. This woman IS a stranger, but I've seen her a few times waiting for the elevator in the garage at work. She's one of those women who looks like she rolled out of a Nordstroms. She ALWAYS looks so put together, and she's beautiful, on top of that. I've never really said anything to her, other than Good Morning, but have thought several times how much I liked her outfit, etc. So, today, I told her so. I said, "I love your outfit... I mean, everytime I see you you are just SO put together." And this Carrie Bradshaw-esque superwoman that I had imagined to have a personal wardrobe consultant at her disposal, looked up at me almost sheepishly and said, "Oh, gosh..thanks. By the end of the day, I just feel so frazzled...And I really need to get my hair cut". WHAT? Superwoman has insecurities? Who knew? I reassured her, of course, that she looked perfect. I think she felt better, and I felt better knowing that even though she looked like superwoman, she still has chinks in her armor. Phew.
Mission: Eat Clean
Accomplished? Indeed! I neglected to tell you yesterday about all the supplements I take. As I mentioned, I do NOT eat breakfast. It's an intermittent fasting thing. I could explain it, but I wouldn't do it well. Read about it more here. I do, in the morning, take a kelp supplement to support my thyroid (I'm NOT hypothyroid, but like to give it all the help it will allow!), I take a Probiotic (did you see THIS study? intriguing, if nothing else). I also take a Rodiola. A who/what? A rodiola: It's an herbal supplement that has been shown to reduce the cortisol your body releases when responding to stress. When is cortisol release at its highest? 7:00 am and anytime you're physically taxing your body. So I tend to take a Rodiola when I wake up around 6:15, and 30 minutes or so before my workout (if I remember).
At 12:00 (later than usual) I broke for lunch and had a salad with lots of chicken (as you can see), balsamic vinaigrette, tons of greens, some dried cranberries and a teeny touch of gorgonzola cheese. It was delicious. I had a meeting at work and managed to walk away from the piles of sandwiches, pasta salad and sweets unscathed, so I'm calling it a win!
Nutritionally, here's how today broke down:
As you can see, it was around the same calories, but a bit lower carb and MUCH higher protein (which is good.. my protein tends to lag behind where it should be). My workout didn't call for Carbs the way last night did (although at times it felt like it). Good choices were made. :)
For those of you that want in on my awesome asparagus recipe (and it IS awesome), check out my first recipe video below.... (Please excuse my disgusting, sweaty pony tail and no makeup. A full-time working mom only has so much time in the day, and mine happens to be after I've gone running... Ah, well.)
Mission: Workout Hard
Accomplished? Felt like it. Dear. God. Did it feel like it. Whenever running is programmed- no matter how much or how little, I sincerely want to call in sick. Mental road block. Here's what today looked like:
Yeah, no... "Nancy", as we call this WOD, is a biatch. We warmed up then did the 1x1x1 (etc) movement of power snatch, hang power snatch and Overhead squats. I only got through 2.5 rounds of Nancy, before I thought my legs or my shoulder would buckle. I kept repeating to myself through my running (which I hate) that I would need to blog about this, and wanted to give it my all so I could WRITE I gave it my all.
I felt OK about my WOD today, given that I truly suck at running. (I mean, I mentally suck. Physically, too...but I really beat myself up about my speed, my stamina, etc).
Getting this text from my coach was incredibly uplifting. Yesterday I felt great about my workout...today, just by default of the movements, I wouldn't sum it up as great. That makes encouragement 10 times more important and 10 times more valuable.
I know I have (and will continue) to sound like a broken record, but the power of community and support cannot be overestimated when building yourself as an athlete. Ours is the most incredible community I could imagine being a part of. You should try it. (click on any of the purple links to visit the gym page)
Mission: Get Inspired
Achieved? Ohmygod, yes. So, in a promised effort to be 100% authentic and almost annoyingly-honest, I'll tell y'all that I have the most kick-ass therapist in the world, and our session today was invigorating, awakening...exciting. Like, really. And this is coming from someone who had no use for therapy 2 months ago. But, things beyond my body were starting to come to a rolling boil in my life, and I just felt gone. Deflated. Disconnected. Twisted and tied and trapped. A friend's positive experience with a therapist inspired me to find my own. All I can say is this: EVERY single adult on the face of this earth should go to a therapist as often as possible. If you think you wouldn't benefit from one, it's because you haven't gone, or you haven't found the right one.
Our lives are so over-saturated with crap, opinions, people, technology, rules, media, that I'm pretty sure we're all slowly going crazy. Do I mean we're all going off the deep end? Nope. I mean, a different kind of crazy. The kind where you die inside, and you don't even notice...Or worse- the kind where you die inside and you DO notice, and it's ok.
I decided dying inside isn't an option for me. Not at 28. Hopefully not ever. I realized when I started saying things to friends like, "Well, maybe in my NEXT life..." shit had really hit the fan. Who succumbs to a reality they don't want in their 20s? What are we? Martyrs? Please. That's never been me, and it was quickly becoming my point of view. Screw. That.
So, I found my therapist and I couldn't have dreamed up a better fit. What started as centering around my relationships and circumstances has evolved into centering around what I've given up in the name of growing up. I've self-imposed so many truncations on my life that I've forgotten I'm naturally a dream-bigger, love-deeper, live-harder kinda gal. Suddenly, my life forecast is hazy, lukewarm and partly cloudy? Um. No thanks.
I've always been self-sufficient, independent and ambitious. I also always thought my accomplishments had to be done solo to mean anything. How crazy am I? Through my Crossfit community/family, new friends, and my therapist, I feel like I'm building the most bad-ass army of support warriors I could find. Because the truth is: I'm going to forget all of this awesome stuff that right now is at the forefront of my mind. I'm going to have days where my platinum passion dulls and I need someone to look at me, tell me to get myself together and keep my eye on my prize(s). I haven't done the research, but I'd be willing to put significant amounts of money on the idea that NO successful person has gotten to where they are without a dream team behind them. Whether that's family, or a therapist, or a church, or some other group, or all of the above, the power of people is not to be underestimated in the journey to find the power of yourself.
So, what are you guys thinking about all this? Leave me some comments, and join my newsletter list to stay up to date on all the details. I'm hoping my honesty is inspiring some serious, game-changing action in your own life.
Lots of love and excitement and life fuel heading to each and everyone of you (because, let's face it, you can't do it alone ;) )