Day 365: How Did I Get Here?

//theascentblog

First of all, I just realized that I never officially said a huge THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to write guest posts for me last week. It was an amazing honor to be trusted to post some of the most personal and vulnerable moments in your lives, and to learn about what makes each one of you tick! Thank you thank you thank you!!

If you missed ‘em, you can check them out here: Jessie, Shilpa, Martha, Simone, Dana, Mandy, Laura, Evan

Last week while I was out playing in the desert, I quietly reached my 1-year CrossFit (and blog) anniversary. Well, sort of quietly. We “celebrated” by doing 365 burpees in the park in the middle of Moab, which took over a half hour to complete. Let me just say that, among everything else, if you had told me that in a year I would be gearing up to do 36 and 1/2 minutes of non-stop burpees just for fun, I would have laughed in your face and not even felt a little bit bad about it.

And yet, there I was, half the toes on my right foot totally numb for some reason, tiny sticks poking me in the chin ever time I went down, and at one point I almost put my face on top of a worm. How the heck had I gotten there, to that point, where I was so motivated to see what my body could do that I had opted out of cheeseburgers and milkshakes in favor of burpees in the park (to be fair, we caught up with our friends and got the cheeseburgers later, but still)?

In the last year, so much has changed in my life that I hardly recognize myself. Physically I look a little different, but more than anything my priorities feel like they are finally where they need to be–or at least close to it. What used to be important to me–like sleeping all day on the weekends, drinking lots of beer, and worrying about my weight–no longer seems like a big deal, but things I never used to think about–like the health of my gut, my hip mobility, and the way my actions impact my community–now dominate my daily thoughts. I started to think about the old beliefs that had shifted the most, and here are the first few that came to mind:

1. “Life is short and I want to enjoy it” is not a good reason to eat crap and sit on your butt. Because if you stop and think about it, ultimately the combination of those two activities does not result in a joyful life. Almost ever. Really.

2. Fat does not make you fat. Fat, from the correct source, is actually super good for you! I am so glad that I discovered this early in my life and didn’t have to go through life eating low fat yogurt and melba crackers. I would much rather eat bacon.

3. “I don’t want to get bulky” is the stupidest reason in the world not to lift weights. It is SO hard to get bulky period, let alone if you are a girl. Also, even if you are the type of girl who naturally builds muscle (Luckyyy!), you are unlikely to wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and think, “Oh my god where did these muscles come from!? I am huge!!” Giant muscles do not happen overnight, and especially do not happen without a lot of very concentrated effort set toward that very purpose. I’m not sure that I was necessarily worried about getting bulky when I started CrossFit, but now I definitely am not. If anything, I wish I could get more ”bulky.”

4. Your weight does not dictate how you look. This is one of the biggest ones for me. Over the last year, I have lost a total of about 10 lbs, but that number is such a poor reflection of the work I’ve put into my body that it almost feels pointless to even bring it up. Almost anyone can lose 10 lbs over the course of a few weeks. Not almost anyone can back squat their bodyweight, do a pull-up, or stare down a workout full of movements and weights they’ve never experienced before, and feel motivated instead of scared.

Even just these four items make me realize how impossible it will ever be to sum up all the things that have changed about me in the past year. But don’t worry, this won’t be the last post I dedicate to all the random crap I’ve learned over the past year–but I think it’s a good place to start, huh?

  • Pam

    Hi Claire!I found this blog by accident and glad I did!!! I consider myself quite active but I have a very bad back and arthritis that does put limits on me such as no hi impact workouts no running etc so do u have any suggestions for a crossfit workout for those who are in my situations? I swim, bike, yoga, lift light weights…but always look at things with a glass 1/2 full!! Thanks!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21306089 Caroline McPartland

    Hi Claire–Just wanted to let you know that I find your blog and its contents to be massively inspiring. I too kickstarted my way toward some general fitness goals a year ago, and while the scale has barely moved in the last six months, it’s kind of a big deal to finally be able to feel like you’ve hit your stride in physical fitness and health. I mean, a year ago I never expected to be able to do some legitimate man-style push-ups, or that post-workout, I would still feel motivated to race my pup down an empty street late at night and still have the energy to race up four flights of stairs afterward. I use your WODs for when I travel and have recommended your blog all over the interwebs (from Gawker to Refinery29!), just an FYI! I love what you’ve got here, so please keep it up girl–I look forward seeing you murder some burpees on the CrossFit games someday! Thank you!

  • http://www.njpaleorunner.wordpress.com/ NJ Paleo

    Congratulations on the year! I too am finding that I’m caring less about what the scale says and more about how much I can lift. And I wish I’d get more “bulky” too! Keep up the great work, love your blog.

  • http://twitter.com/fatgirlhealthy Fat Girl Healthy

    Congrats on the anniversary! BTW, I’m in love with that pic of the barbell.

  • http://twitter.com/SnowfoxBandit Simone

    Can I just say that I love watching your subscriber count on the left rise every time I visit your blog??

    You’re my hero. :)

  • Samara

    You’re totally right!! It’s so inspiring even when you hit one tiny goal… last month I could not do one (yes, it was that pathetic) proper ‘man’ pushup … now I am up to about 5 (not amazing, but still something!) and I am at 50 kneepushups ! No walls!! PS this all started with your blog. So thankyou for being such an inspiration!!

  • http://twitter.com/winetoweights Jennifer

    Congrats, Claire!! And you are CRAZY for doing all those burpees. They slay me.
    Yesterday we had to do KB swings, wall balls, and burpees, AMRAP 20 minutes. Loved the wall balls, oddly enough. KB Swings were my “Rest”; but burpees. Ugh. :)

    Keep up the awesome inspiration, chica!!

  • Katie

    Love your recent post about eating fat and the truth about muscle mass. Imagine a world where people get this one day! I was in a breakfast meeting the other day where I had provided these beautiful organic sandwiches with sprouted grain bread, eggs cooked in real butter, thick bacon and a nice piece of aged cheese. I suppose if I’m honest with myself, I wouldn’t have appreciated this breakfast either a few years back. The people in this meeting DESTROYED their sandwiches. Most of them are banding together to do some kind of spring shape-up plan and most removed their bacon and threw it away. The next most frequent thing to go was the eggs. Watching this while I presented was fascinating to me (I had trouble concentrating it was such a strange experiment unfolding before me). Most ate the cheese and the bread but there were even a few that didn’t like the flax in the bread and only had one bite. Hahaa! I was the only person who thought they were awesome. ;)

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