That’s exactly what I did. Nothing fancy, no magic formula, just small steps-365 as of December 7th, 2016-adding up to an entire year of strength training for me. I’m not where I want to be but I do believe I’m right where God wants me to be. Goals are great and horrible, fantastic, hard and easy. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. It’s okay if you move slower, struggle longer or buckle under the weight you thought you could press, just don’t quit. The secret is not skill or talent, those things help, but the key is persistence. If you want it, lift like you mean it. Do it for yourself and no one else. All you have to be is better than you were yesterday. You are your only competition. I did this and I’m not consistant with much. If I can lift, if I can get strong, if I can be a baby beast, anyone can. It all comes down to a choice and a prayer. One year ago, I chose to replace my abuse of alcohol with the healthy habit of fitness that I’ve always wanted for my life. I prayed a lot too. I prayed I wouldn’t get lazy, give up, or give in. Some days I just prayed DOMS wouldn’t kill me. One year later, I’m still here and physically, I’m a better me than I used to be. Thanks everyone for tracking with me and encouraging me to always be a gym rat. I hope I inspired you, too. I am not special. I’m not a beautiful or unique snowflake. I am the same decaying organic matter as everything else. I’m just an example of how anyone can treat their body like the temple it is. Here’s to an excellent 2016, onward and upward to my insane aspiration to one day become the fittest female with Cerebral Palsy.
Have you heard of The Games? It’s an annual competition instituted by the government where boys and girls fight to the death while the rest of the world watches the televised event until there is one lone victor remaining. Wait, that sounds like something else. The Games I’m referring to are all about fitness. The Crossfit Games are a series of physical competitions testing both strength and endurance in order to crown both the fittest man and the fittest woman on earth.
I stumbled upon a documentary about last year’s Crossfit Games on Netflix while I was recovering from leg day. I figured since I needed to rest and wasn’t going to be able to kick my own butt again until I did, so I might as well watch the athletes I aspire to be kick theirs. In a word, it was mesmerizing. I find it extremely compelling to see people push themselves to their breaking point and then right over the edge of the cliff. When the heat is hottest that’s how you know what you’re made of, it will either mold you or melt you. Watching the best of the best face that pressure is hypnotizing. As the stakes grow higher and higher you start to see who is truly the strongest, not just physically but as a whole; mind, body and soul. This is why I love to write, I get to break my characters to see what’s inside. I think it’s rare to see that intensity in real life which made The Fittest on Earth all the more interesting to watch. Sometimes the competitors you think will make it to the end do, then other times a dark horse emerges and you’re left awestruck and pleasantly surprised, partly wondering where you would land in a competition as relentless as The Games. With only a year into strength training I have a long road ahead of me before I could even think of qualifying for the Olympics of fitness, let alone participate in them. However, all those champions I was rooting for started as beginners-just like me-so I can never say never, what I can say is someday, some way.
Things like The Crossfit Games and the fitspo icons I follow on Instagram keep me motivated. Of course first and foremost I’m in fitness for me, myself and I but it’s awesome to have those that are better than me out there to chase. Whenever I don’t want to lift I look at what tattooed, deadlifting, badass Krissy Mae Cagney is up to. Whenever I want to strangle my optimism with fists of misery I watch an update by Brooke Ence. No one ever achieves anything alone and for this I am grateful. The latter part of my 2016 could’ve been better. I let the holidays throw me out of routine when I should’ve been more disciplined but just because I got knocked down doesn’t mean I got knocked out. On a particularly apathetic afternoon I saw a clip on Crossfit. The opening scene is a little girl trying on her mother’s heels, they’re too big of shoes for her to fill. She then finds a pair of gym shoes and flashes of the girl’s mother flipping tires and running in the mud and rain flutter across the screen. Her mother is a champion, a leader, and the best leaders don’t have followers, they raise up more leaders. That’s when it hit me; es I am doing this for me, always have, always will but I am also doing it for my kids, the ones who are no more than a thought right now. Disability or not their mother is going to be one strong woman; mind, body and soul. Maybe one day they will find my lifting gloves worn out from the bars and dumbbells on top of a weathered bible scribbled with footnotes, along side some of my many journals and know I did it all for them. I was a fitness goddess for them, a fortress of faith for them, a writer who made a life out of words for them. One day I hope they know I became a full grown beast so I could raise up baby beasts and they will be inspired to do the same. As Bukowski said; what matters most is how well you walk through the fire. God bless.