Crossroads

I had an undesirable start to life. But I met this amazing boy when I was thirteen that changed everything. My childhood sweetheart and I found out we were going to be parents when I was seventeen. We started our life together as newly married teen parents. If that doesn’t sound difficult, add in the fact that my husband’s new Air Force career had taken us far from all of our family and friends when I was seven months along. I’ve had to have C-sections with all four of my children and then a Hysterectomy due to health issues. I started staying home to raise our children when our oldest was four years old, that was thirteen years ago. In that time the Air Force had moved us from state to state multiple times. We have done all of this mostly on our own with very little outside help. But I can honestly and whole heartedly say, CrossFit is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

In the beginning, some days I felt like I had done well and boy was that a great feeling. I would leave feeling so proud of myself. But most days were not filled with victories. On these days my inner voice was especially cruel. I would tell myself that I was a loser, wasting the coaches time and that they were going to realize who I really was and tell me to leave because no one wanted me there. My inner voice was a mean bully because thin or heavy I hated the girl in the mirror. She was weak and worthless and I just wanted her to die. I didn’t hate what I saw, I hated who I was. I’ve suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts since I was eight years old. My abusive childhood created my people pleasing, perfectionist personality. Failure is unacceptable. (Unless it’s someone else’s, then it’s totally forgivable.) One day in class I had to do bench press. I had the upper body strength of a toddler. My coach was pushing me to add weight and I panicked, not so internally. He said “Melaina, do you trust me?” My only thought was “with my life”. It’s only now that I realize how pivotal that thought was. CrossFit stripped away the white noise of life and put me face to face with myself.

My mother died July 3rd 2014. We hadn’t had a relationship in fourteen years. My brain didn’t know how to process it or where to even begin. I was numb. This was the beginning of my downward spiral. My inner bully became ruthless. I mentally ripped myself apart during workouts. I practically sprinted from the Box after the WOD, avoiding eye contact so I could make it to my car before I started to cry. I would sit in my driveway and sob. Every day. I had plenty of people offer to be there for me. I didn’t want to talk about it because I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what I was feeling or why I was feeling it. As a writer it is jarring to be without words.

My mean bully started to show her ugly face more and more, surprising me when I was driving down the road or popping in while I was doing mundane tasks, like cooking or cleaning. One day while she was playing the “you’re nothing but a failure” record on repeat, I saw two butterflies dancing around my kitchen window. It was enough to disrupt my thoughts. My heart instantly lifted. It took three more times of this happening for me to take notice. Every time MB would start her crap I would see two butterflies. Not one, not three but always two.  While driving I would see them on the side of the road or in my front yard when coming home and also in my kitchen window.

During the end of my second month I had had a really bad week. It was Saturday August 16th, I was at CrossFit and the workout was “Angie” (look it up. It’s horrible). I was tearing myself apart during the run because I suck at running and MB was replaying my horrible week in my head and then added that I was fat and lazy, just like my mother, that my kids deserved better than I could ever offer them. I was running around the corner on my way back into the box and one of the coaches was outside to encourage people (me) to push through. There were two big white things on the ground and he thought it was paper so he picked one up. It was a huge white butterfly and it flew out of his hands right at me. I know now it was God saying “I see you and I feel your heartache.” Even though I could hide my horrible thoughts from those around me, I couldn’t hide them from Him.

Months later while driving in the dark to CrossFit God revealed a beautiful truth to me. Caterpillars go through their lives just doing what they do based on their instincts. But they only become butterflies through hard work. It was then that I realized that Saturday was the day I had emotionally hit rock bottom. Some of my thoughts and fears had come to life. Before CrossFit I had just been going through my life building and reinforcing my brick wall to keep others at a safe distance while locking myself in with MB. Then these two coaches came into my life like wrecking balls. In two months they fractured my safety wall. I had a choice to make; I could believe MB and die in the brick chrysalis I spent my whole life building or I could break through it and become the beautiful butterfly God had created me to be.

butterfly

 

****Please Note: This website is under construction, just like me.****

Flash Back

I have been dancing around writing my next post. Avoiding it like I avoid my husband when he has a fever blister. Thinking about kissing him, even going to kiss him, then realizing I so don’t want to go there.  Partly because I’ve been too busy to give it the time and attention it needs but mostly because it hurts. Finally sitting down to write it this morning and I realize I need to “set the stage” first. If I don’t, you won’t understand the gravity of my revelation.

In May of 2013 I wrote a blog post for my friends at New Wave Feminists. I actually wrote two. The first was a quick happy paragraph. Which was promptly returned with a very nicely phrased response (because these ladies are pure awesomeness) of  ‘this is nice but we want the raw, gritty long version of this.’ To give you an idea of what you’re getting into, they are a Pro-Life group that I LOVE.

So, do me a favor, click HERE and read it.

Done? Okay. I cry every time I read it. Not because I’m holding on to the hurt or because my heart breaks for that little girl, though it does. Every time. But because of this line: “If I could go back I would stay in those moments longer and appreciate them more because life would fall apart all too soon after.”

I’m not sharing this with you because I want your pity or to debate Pro-Life/Pro-Choice with you. I am sharing it because this background information is of pivotal importance.

I’m not expecting this blog to go viral or change millions of lives. My hope is that by documenting where I was, where I am and where I’m headed, it will help at least one person begin their own path to healing.

Insp2

 

****Please Note: This website is under construction, just like me.****

In the beginning

My next few blogs are going to focus not on where I am now but where I was when I started.  I have been doing CrossFit for seven months and I know I am not the same person I was when I started. It has been a long and painful journey. So let’s start at the beginning…….

How did I hear about CrossFIt?

Two years ago I joined a local all women sale/swap group, Savvy Sisters. It was and still is run online with weekly gatherings to swap items with each other, which is WAY safer than Craig’s List. I mean I don’t want to meet some crazy person to get rid of a desk and wake up in a bath tub full of ice,  missing a kidney. Believe me, they don’t want my kidneys anyway. (That’s a whole other story meant for another day) Wait, where was I? Right, sale group. Well Savvy Sisters had a weight loss competition called SBL (Savvy Biggest Loser). Last year I joined that too. It is eight weeks long and includes weekly challenges with prizes and a grand prize of $500 for the lady that loses the largest percentage of weight at the end of the eight weeks. The great ladies that run the competition have gone out into the community and found local companies to be sponsors and provide donations and/or discounts. In June of 2014 Anthem CrossFit came onboard as a sponsor. A group of us went to try a FREE class. Of course they were all going at 5:30 am. And I cannot go to something new by myself. I had NO IDEA what CrossFit was. I was told it was kind of like Boot Camp. If I had looked it up on YouTube I would have promptly talked myself right out of that insanity.

The first week….

When you have no experience with CrossFit you go through an “On Ramp” program that is designed to teach you the basics and prepare you to join the regular class. Anthem has a five day on ramp program. First day the warm up was a 200 meter run (1/8 of a mile). I thought I was going to DIE. I could NOT run. I had to walk most of it. Talk about embarrassing. Despite the miserable run I had a really good squat so I went back for day two. I was sore and ran (ran- read as ‘bouncy speed walked’) a tiny bit better than the day before. I felt like this was the kick in the rear I needed. Day three was more of the same and it felt good to “work the soreness out”. By day four my gait resembled that more of a new born giraffe than an athlete and I was so tired. The early mornings were kicking my butt. I would get so anxious about what I might be asked to do the next day I  barely got any sleep. Day five, still alive. We were introduced to “Fran” and the Wodify system that would retain all of our information and stats. Looking back I realize I wasn’t hooked yet. I was still in the quick fix mentality. I loved lifting weights but could only handle low intensity cardio. So I knew if there was a run involved I was going to be dead last, every time. And at that point knowing that really sucked.

Day one of the real class……

I felt like a weak loser that didn’t belong even though everyone was really nice and encouraging. My fellow newbies were adding weight like they had been there for a month while I was working with the trainer bar (15 lbs). After the WOD (Work Out of the Day) I realized I had made a HUGE mistake! I panicked. I had already paid my first month’s membership so I couldn’t just quit going or my husband would FLIP OUT over the wasted money. So I decided I would go for the month and suffer through then tell my husband that it just wasn’t for me. He didn’t need to know I was a weak loser that couldn’t hack it.

30 days later…..

After going five days a week for a month I couldn’t wait to renew my membership and was looking up CrossFit on Pinterest. Don’t judge. I saw pictures of women that looked like they could be Thor’s sister. I got a glimpse of what my body is capable of. I still had that quick fix mentality and had lofty hopes of having that in a matter of months. Plus for the first time in my life I was surrounded by positive people. When everyone was done with the workout and I was still struggling through they would cheer me on or run an extra lap with me to keep me motivated. Even though internally I was beating myself up for being weak and slow the desire to be around these people kept me going.

To my Anthem family, I loved you then and I love you even more now. Thank you for changing my life.

 

****Please Note: This website is under construction, just like me.****

FREE week at Anthem!

Trial

I’m sure you’ve heard me talk (endlessly) about CrossFit and my Anthem Family. Because the first rule of CrossFit is to always talk about CrossFit, Duh! Well I would like to personally invite you to try CrossFit at Anthem for a whole week for FREE!!! Who doesn’t like free??? I’ll bet I can read your mind right now. You’re thinking (or saying out loud) ARE YOU CRAZY???? I can’t do CrossFit!!!! Well friends, I am here to tell you YOU CAN! Let me help you get rid of those excuses.   ****FREE week January 5th-9th at 6 am or 4:30 pm****

  • “I’m too out of shape.” ~No you are NOT! You will start with the basics by learning proper form and movements. You will not be asked to do anything you don’t already do in every day life. Ex: squats- you squat every time you sit down. Press- you have to put things on the top shelf of the pantry. Etc.
  • “I’ve never lifted weights before.” ~Ok. Time to start. The coaches are right there with you watching to ensure your safety.
  • “I can barely lift 5 pound dumbbells.” ~No problem. You don’t start with weight at all. You start with a PVC pipe. I am serious. You use a PVC pipe until you have proper form and the ability to add weight. I had to use the 15 pound bar (trainer bar) for the first month before I was able to add any weight to it.
  • “I can’t run.” ~Ok….. walk. You do what you can. Whatever your 100% is, give it. If that means walking so be it. I couldn’t even run 200 meters when I started. (200 meters=1/8 a mile or 1/2 of a lap on a track)
  • “I’m afraid I’ll embarrass myself.” ~There is NO reason in this world you should be embarrassed. 
  • “Sure the first week is free but after that I can’t afford it.” ~That is a valid point. It is not your cheap $10 gym. You are paying to work with a personal trainer that does WAY more than put you on a treadmill and walk away. You are worth it. Your health is worth it. Look at things you can cut out. If my family cuts out a few trips to the drive through, there’s my payment. 
  • “I can’t go at 5 am like you.” ~No problem! Anthem offers multiple class times. You pick what works for you!
  • “I won’t know anyone.” ~FALSE! You know me! 
  • “The people there are really fit, they’ll laugh at me.” ~FALSE! NO ONE is going to laugh at you. And not everyone there looks like they can be in SHAPE magazine (have you seen me lately?). You are going to meet the most amazing, uplifting and encouraging people. Strangers are going to help you and cheer you on. 

The point is, you need to stop longing for the life/body you want and get up and make it happen!   ****FREE week January 5th-9th at 6 am or 4:30 pm****

****Please Note: This website is under construction, just like me****