Friday, May 16, 2014

Go Bigger!

When I started this journey four years ago, my biggest goal was to lose weight. I never dreamed that I would have turned something I formerly hated into a passion and addiction. Not surprisingly, weight loss is only one of the many benefits I've gained from this hobby of mine. One of the most notable is the friendships I've developed with people from all walks of life. Runners are a funny community and no matter where you go, once you find out that you share that common bond, there is a connection made.
 My running peeps. Plus my uncle Matt, our bodyguard and photographer, who hates running but loves my aunt.
I think back to before I ran and what my life was like and it's amazing how much fuller it seems now. Simply making the choice to take back my life [and that's how I look at it - I was a prisoner of my own apathy and laziness] has opened up so many doors for me. More than ten years ago I tried snowboarding and remember despising it. My legs were weak and I was on my ass more than I was standing. I gave it several attempts before I finally decided that it was too hard. Fast forward to today and I have grown to love it nearly as much as I do running. So much so that I bought a pass to Canyons Resort last winter so that I could go up almost every weekend. Let me tell you, there's nothing more terrifying and exhilarating than conquering a double black diamond you've never tried before.
Snowboards are heavy bitches, for the record.
When half-marathons and marathons started to seem like less of a challenge, I decided to up the ante. Surely a Tough Mudder would be the answer to what I seek, right? 
Electric Eel. Just after I blacked out. You heard that right, fucking BLACKED OUT.
When I started running I also started working out with a group of people at a local boxing gym, known as Fight For Your Life. I found that I loved competing against myself and my friends at the gym. We would do killer circuits and it was there that I learned the art of boxing and found it an amazing way to take out frustration. Sadly since the gym is a side gig for my friend Heath, the schedule changed and with no morning classes offered, I found myself needing an alternative workout that would challenge me in the same way.
Heath Haraki. He is Maori, the sweetest guy and not nearly as scary as he comes across. Plus he lets me punch him. Bonus.
When CrossFit started growing in popularity, my FFYL friends and I scoffed at it. A ten minute WOD? We would laugh to ourselves and  say "I want more than a 10 minute workout." But desperate times call for desperate measures and I found myself walking into CrossFit West Jordan, which is only .8 miles from my house. [I know this because I ran by it all the time and my brain is weird like that. Don't judge me.] I remember feeling SO intimidated by these uber fit people. I didn't realize it at first, but the 5:30 am class has a reputation as being the most intense and hard-core group to work out with. What I found surprised me... Not only did I learn the movements quickly and love the workout, but I was welcomed by each person and immediately felt at home. I am amazed at the progress I've made since starting over a year ago and find that I seek out the new faces to welcome them just as I was welcomed into the box family.
Started with the bar, now I currently can squat clean 105 lb and improving every day. Boom.
I suppose the take-away is this: be open to trying new things, even if it's something that scares you or makes you get out of your comfort zone. So often I hear people turn down an offer to try something new and I think about all the missed opportunities and friends I would have never made if that had been my attitude. I'm always seeking improvement and approach life with an open mind.

We have a finite amount of days here, so why wouldn't you want to make the most of them?