Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Why I Did What I Did

While I don't believe I should have to explain my decisions to anyone, I have realized that we exist in a world now of over-sharing, so one's desire to keep matters private comes off as being prideful, spiteful, or worse--personal.  As if the reason I choose to make life decisions for me is, in any way, for someone else.  I keep a very small intimate group of best friends with whom I share my personal struggles and triumphs--but to all others, I prefer to keep things light and fun.  I don't deliberately choose not to spill my beans to everyone, I have just simply always been this way.

With that said, it has been just over a year since I switched careers originally, and only a few months since the latest change.  Every time, I have made changes that affect a lot of people.  With this last move more people noticed, and it has caused some rippling.  That start of the story is when I went from working in an office from 8am to 4pm, doing something I was not passionate about, to working full-time in fitness and wellness.  While my official journey into health/wellness began in 2010, when I received my teaching certification and began teaching yoga, I believe I have been a health/fitness coach my whole life.  In the end, it took a deeply hurtful event to push me out of my comfortable office job. 

For those of you who know, you know, for those who don't, I won't explain here.  But know that I had to mourn something I had lost, and as we all know, the grieving process is long and complicated and different for everyone.  The event start during our engagement and I melted into yoga to help me move through the sticky situation with ease.  I was deeply hurt, but also deeply in love.  I wanted to make sure I felt everything, savored every moment of our engagement and was truly present at our wedding. I wanted to get through it without breaking.  And I did.  

After the wedding, I didn't want to just be a survivor, I wanted a new beginning.  I didn't want to think or feel anything I felt before. I wanted to be a fighter.  I found CrossFit and a fighter I became.  I fought through workouts, I fought through fear, I fought through emotion.  Before long, my yoga practice was no longer a priority.  Looking back at it now, I know this was all part of my mourning.  CrossFit was the perfect next step.  Something to get me on my feet and punch back.  I had to be strong for the person I loved first, and I was.  I became her strongest support, and gave up a lot of myself in our relationship to be there for her.  I started to feel empowered again.  CrossFit that gave me the courage to leave my office job and it was the people at CrossFit who offered me my next step.

When I started yoga, I worked hard to lose my competitive self.  I was constantly comparing, judging, and fighting myself.  Yoga helped me let that go.  So, it comes to no surprise that CrossFit, in it's natural form, brought a lot of that back.  I didn't mind at first, I felt really strong and super badass.  In fact, I believe I needed some of that fire back in my life, because the event left me feeling vulnerable and soft.  But, because I had the tendency to be self-conscious, self-hating, it wasn't long before instead of feeling proud of my strength and the things I could do, I was beating myself up for not being even better. 

My body is no idiot though, it kept injuring itself to force me to take a step back.  I tried to listen, but I was seduced by the particular culture of the particular CrossFit gym I was a part of.  It's no one's fault.  Our gym was/is a very strong gym. The people are amazing and do amazing things with their bodies.  As one of the better females, I felt pressure to always perform--or if I wasn't--justify why I was resting, or feel bad about doing lighter weight.  I take full responsibility for going back before I should, for pushing too hard, as I know now that I should have known better.  But my co-workers were friends, our members were inspiration, and ultimately my own ego was pushing me.  

At the same time, my job at the gym became very demanding. It was less a 9-to-5, as it was a full-time 24/7 position.  I had to live, breathe, sleep it.  At first, this was a relief--our box brought me so much strength, the strength to get past something so difficult.  But then I began to truly lose myself in it. I was competitive, harsh, and stubborn.  My personal yoga practice was almost nonexistent, my time for my husband had to be second to my desire to work hard at my job.  My own personal interests disappeared.  Instead of being a fighter, I had became a machine.  I know now that my blind drive to keep pushing was all part of my grieving and I know this step was necessary in me being where I am today.  

I guess, as really great things are often born out of tragedy, another heartbreaking event had to take place for me to see I had to make yet another change.  This time it was a deep hurt suffered by my husband.  I saw that while he suffered and needed my support, I was truly detached.  I could not find the emotion to help him or comfort him.  Even at the funeral, I felt nothing, despite me having love and gratitude for the deceased.  

So I had to take a hard look at where I was going, who I was, and I didn't like it.  I wanted some of my vulnerability back, I needed to feel open, I needed to feel free.  It's challenging in our society to say to yourself, 'I have to do something for me' without feeling like you have to justify it to others.  And, we as a social society tend to take other's actions and personalized them.  People are always going to ask you why, are you sure, what will you do, what did I do to you, etc.  Even myself, I had to think, 'is leaving my job smart in this economy?' 'what on earth will I do?'  But the risk of losing all that I loved by staying was too great.

Without a true plan, without a job, I left.  Even my dear friend helped lie for me, saying I was leaving for something, because leaving for nothing didn't make sense.  Free, I felt a surge of inspiration and I began reaching out to all those that were doing something awesome with their lives.  Little time passed before I was involved in a lot of wonderful projects.  I volunteered, I taught yoga, I read, I wrote, I practiced.  I started to pave the way to my own destiny and I had NO IDEA where it would go.  I even began the tough road back to my yoga mat.  It was hard, my body and mind felt rigid. But I had to begin again.  

Then, something amazing happened.  A friend who had been scorned by the same gym I had just left reached out to me with an opportunity.  Scared to jump into something too quickly, I decided to take some of his CrossFit classes to see if his community was right for me.  My husband and I went together, and we both left feeling freshly inspired.  This was a place where I felt I could design my own road, I had the freedom to go at the pace that I wanted, and all were welcome.  He even wanted to start and develop a strong yoga program.  We proposed a partnership, and bada-bing-bada-boom, I had something.  

I believe I had to truly jump-off, with no safety net, to land where I am today.  I am finding the balance between feeling strong and in control, with being flexible and open.  I did this for me, for my life, and even though I don't have to justify it to anyone, I can and I will. 


  1. Bianca M (your public allies friend)July 15, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    Completely inspirational! Thank you for being so open and honest. Reading this was just the latest inspiration i've been needing to take my own leap "with no safety net"! Congratulations on your leap of faith & best wishes for each new experience!

    1. Bianca, I am SO glad to hear that. And your words are equally as inspiring. Life is to short to just test the water with one big toe, you gotta jump in and swim! Rock it girl.