Okay, okay, I had an idea for this post like two weeks ago, but I have been putting it off because its kind of (very) cheesy and I tend to sound like an annoying infomercial when I talk about it. Also, (mainly) it is pretty personal. I have already talked about the content of this post to some of the closest people in my life, and they always reaffirm me and add meaningful commentary. I feel a little funny about it, but I figure I can't leave it off the blog anymore.
Here it goes! (Be a dear and try not to judge)
Let's start with a little bit of insider info on me:
Before Cody and I moved here, we were living at Fort Rucker in Alabama. And before I was with Cody, I graduated from Morehead State University with a B.A. in English with a Secondary English Education Certification- which I have never even used. I subbed for two different school districts, but besides that, I have been working random serving and administrative jobs. For the first few months in Alabama, I didn't work at all, but once I was settled in, I found a job serving at Mellow Mushroom. After that job, I worked as the Administrator for a new restaurant, Cheddar's. I liked who I worked with at both of the jobs, but I didn't enjoy either of the jobs themselves, nor were they very meaningful (or financially rewarding).
Sometimes, while living in Alabama, I struggled with not knowing what I was supposed to be doing, and I would feel like I was useless, or a loser, or that I should be furthering a career because that is what you are "supposed" to do when you "grow up." At the same time, I didn't know what direction to go in, didn't have a desire to try to find a teaching job (which I couldn't do anyways with not knowing when we would be moving away), and I couldn't even think of a different career-path that would be fulfilling. Even though I felt really lazy NOT working, I hated the unnecessary stress and unhappiness that I felt when working pointless, time-consuming, sometimes-demeaning jobs.
I had this imbedded idea of myself as a career-woman, which is what I always thought I wanted, and what I knew I was more than capable of. But I got to that point in life, and realized I didn't want it anymore, and I didn't know what to want instead. I was kind of disappointed in myself that I didn't want a career, because growing up with a single-mom, I knew that I should always be able to take care of myself. I always thought that as soon as I finished college I would start working and that would just be a part of my life. I never wanted to depend on anybody to take care of me past my college days, and there I was, depending on Cody. Other military wives were understanding of this aspect of Army life, but as much as I appreciated the understanding, it still didn't make me feel 100% okay with me.
Don't get me wrong, anybody who knows me knows that I am a pretty happy person in general; I don't spend much time "depressed," and I feel like I adapt pretty well to most circumstances. I was happy just being with Cody and being alive- I loved our friends and the community at Fort Rucker. But deep down, I felt very unsettled about my own life. I felt like the only interesting aspect of my life, and the only topic I had to talk about, was Cody's job; which is really pathetic because that has nothing to do with ME, at all. I hated feeling like I was in his shadow; I wanted something "cool" to care about, too, and something to work towards. I would tell Cody all the time that if I went to a high school reunion I would have nothing to show for myself... I was just a girl with a useless bachelors degree, living off of her husband, and barely making minimum wage.
It was frustrating to know that I am an interesting, intelligent, capable woman, yet, nothing in my life spoke to that point...
Even though some of those aspects of my life haven't changed, I still feel like everything has changed since moving here. I know it sounds silly, but Crossfit has totally changed how I feel about myself and my life.
I have gotten more and more hooked over the past 3 months, and I can not remember a time that I felt this passionate about something. I have always been a "quitter" in everything except school. I have tried almost every sport possible, but never wanted to stick with one, or put any time or effort in. I've had a million hair-brained schemes and not one has stuck. Now, as much as it can suck in the moment, I yearn for that feeling of pushing my limits. I am scared of what I read on the board somedays, but I never leave disappointed, and I always show up the next day. When it comes to Crossfit, I can't get enough. Even when I'm not at the box, I am absorbing all the information I can in books and videos and articles (ask Cody, its the truth).
When I start my day at Crossfit Ansbach, I leave feeling full; I am happy and motivated to tackle whatever the day has in store. I feel like I'm rarely in a bad mood anymore, when I used to spend weeks just moping around- and although I still don't care about cleaning as much as Cody would like me to (haha), I feel like I'm on a roll the entire day- workout, cook, eat, clean, walk the dog, go the the grocery, write, read, cook dinner, ride my bike, etc....
This new-found passion has brought me success in other areas, too. It is so inspiring when my mind thinks there is no way I can finish a workout, but I do it anyway. I believe that inspiration has bled into other aspects of my life. I have noticed that many of the people I work out with are happy, successful, and driven; I don't know if it is because Crossfit attracts people with those traits, or if it makes those traits in people, but I'd be willing to bet its a combination of the two. Having the support of a community has to help (check out the video at the end for more thoughts on that).
As far as I go, I've been keeping a blog since I got here, and like the other blogs I've had, it was meant for friends and family members to follow my travels. There was a time, in college, when I couldn't stop writing and I spent a lot of time in a creative writing community, sharing and reading and hanging out in coffee shops; but since then, writing has been an on-and-off hobby of mine.
Amazingly, and thanks to my trainer/coach, one of my Crossfit posts was recently read by around 500 people! I almost couldn't believe it! It is so funny that I have tried to force myself to focus on my writing since those college days, with no success; but when I found passion in my life, it bled into my writing. All I ever wanted was for people to read something I wrote and get something out of it, and the Crossfit community made that happen.
Also, through focusing on this working out and all around interest in health, I finally found something that I would like to go back to school for- Dietetics. I love school, but I have had this hesitation about going back to school because I haven't even used my Bachelor's degree; why go into debt for another one? But since I have been doing Crossfit, I have been reading a lot of books on nutrition and I am so interested in it. Between my love of cooking, planning, working out, and eating healthy, it seems that I may have found a future career that I not only care about, but may also be monetarily rewarding, as well (something definitely lacking in my first career choice, haha). It would be even more amazing if I could combine studying diet with studying Crossfit, and maybe someday becoming Level One Certified. I am hitting some brick walls in my research, but I am hoping to figure out a way to move forward towards this new career path. (If any of you have any tips or insider information on becoming a dietician, please help me out!) **UPDATE: I am currently taking my first two classes heading towards my goal of becoming a Registered Dietician!**
On top of these, and several other, "side" effects of my new passion, there are the more obvious effects as well. I am getting really strong! I don't lift much compared to some of the more experienced women I work out with, but each step forward is still a huge accomplishment. The sky is the limit! I know in a years time I will be more fit than I could have ever imagined before. It feels amazing to push myself every single day, and the results I am seeing are pretty incredible. I have never felt so capable and healthy. I think that feeling of power is another reason I feel so happy and motivated outside of the box, too.
Mainly, I have goals for myself again. I feel like most of my pre-adult life was focused on going to college and getting my degree in four years. Once I completed that, I just floated around, lost and not sure what to latch onto. I took a year off to travel after college graduation, and once that was over, I didn't know where to turn. All my friends were either continuing school or starting up promising careers, (or stuck in the same rut as me) and I didn't want to go in those directions. I always knew I should have some sort of life-goals to reach for, but what goals are you supposed to have when you care about happiness more than a career, and haven't found one within the other? Finally, I am reaching towards daily improvement, and feeling motivated by those personal records I am sharing with everybody at Crossfit Ansbach.
I know that working out seems like a stupid life achievement to some, and I can laugh at myself when people poke fun, because it is does seem kind of silly that Crossfit is my passion- I know, I know, "its a cult and we drank the Koolaid." I guess the way I think about it is this: a job can't love you back for all the time and energy you put into it, but my body is the only body I will ever have, and the amount of care I put into it will hopefully pay me back with a healthy, long, and happy life. It isn't just the working out that has made Crossfit such an important part of my life in such a short time, but also the strong community that I have become a part of. Everybody should be greeted happily by people who care about them on a daily basis. I think I get just as much fulfillment and motivation from the hugs, hand-shakes, and high-fives I share with my Crossfit family as I do from the WOD...
We are all in this together.
They always say it takes a village; thats just as true for us "adults," as it is for children.