Everyone has a story. Some people are in the middle of theirs. Some are just starting a new chapter or finishing an old one. Some stories are completely finished and are passed down through the generations. There are stories that define us. There are stories that change the course of our lives.
The great thing about life stories is they all follow a specific pattern:
fall down. get up. repeat.
My favorite stories are the ones with tragedy and triumph. They possess grit and determination. The characters were told they couldn’t or shouldn’t or won’t. Those stories are the ones I embrace because the ending is ALWAYS magnificent.
And so that is where our story begins….
One hot, hellacious day at the gym, a new girl was in my class. Her name was Kristina. [Her name has not been changed to protect her identity. That is actually her real name.] She was quiet. She stood in the back slightly blending into the wall among all the equipment. I could tell – she had a story. And her story was going to be amazing. As the days turned to weeks, I moved closer and began to chat her up. Finally saying “Tell me your story.”
“Where to begin? My weight loss journey began back in 2002, when I weighed my highest ever at 375 pounds. I knew I needed to find a way to take control of my over – eating and start losing weight. I contacted my primary care physician about getting the gastric bypass surgery and it began. After that surgery, I went from 375 to 240 in a year; unfortunately I gained a majority of the weight back. I thought it was useless until December of 2011 when I got the shock of becoming a pre-diabetic and my physician said I had 1of 2 options: I can either get the weight down or go on medication. With my hip issues, he told me if I didn’t get the weight off, I would not be walking in a year. My best friend, Nicole, and I sat down and she taught me how to balance out my eating with protein and carbs. I joined Weight Watchers, got myself into counseling, and joined a gym. I lost 60 pounds in a year. It was all about changing my habits from bad to good. Now, almost 2 years after changing my bad habits, I have better mobility, no medications, no diabetes and now the next level begins. With CrossFit, I want to get my weight again under control and get myself more fit by building muscle.”
fall down. get up. repeat.
Life is messy. Life is hard. Life sometimes knocks you on your ass so fast and so furiously that you just want to stay down…sometimes forever. Because that is easy: Laying on the ground. Sitting on the sidelines. Never participating. Watching it all go by.
One day, the stars all align [like they did for Kristina] and you realize there is a whole big, beautiful life out there that YOU ARE MISSING. On that day, you decide to Embrace the Suck and start living your life.
To my friend Kristina, if you are reading this, you are the bravest person I know. You show up. You give 100%. You could have given up a long time ago but instead chose a path of hard work, sweat, blood and tears. You inspire me to do better and to be a better person. It is a privilege to work out beside you. I can’t wait to watch your new chapter unfold.