Movement is Life

Movement is Life

I spend most of my daydreaming choreographing some imaginary variety show in which I somehow combine hip hop dancing with ballet, layered with CrossFit moves and basketball shots, sit-up challenges and rowing contests, all of which I am the star and the winner, of course. My show plays in my head like an eighties movie montage with music, and in the end of the montage, I honor my own strength and perseverance for having completed such a talented journey. I thank all of my supporters, and I am also super fit in the end of this montage, looking like Demi Moore in G.I.Jane.

I began dreaming this up years ago from my couch with large pizzas and ice cream sundaes in hand. It was where my head went to put me in a different story while I was living this anti-climactic one. The choreography was always on point, backup dancer status if you ask me, but there was just one problem. I could not physically do any of the movements. I could not dance anymore or lift weights or do anything that a ballerina can do, and I could likely not run down a basketball court more than twice without dying. It was too late. I was already not those things for so long, and I gained more weight from the acceptance of that over the years. But the dream montage stayed with me.

I waited years for Motivation to come. But it never would.

Didn’t Motivation know where I lived? Didn’t it know I was waiting on my couch for it, really in need of it? Am I on the Motivation Naughty list, and it skipped my house? Would it come slap me in the face on the couch or rip the Little Debbie from my hands? Motivation, you had one job!!!

As the years went by and I didn’t move, the couch sunk in on my end, and my body began to hurt. I could not lay on the floor flat on my back because my entire hip area and lower back fat were in the way. Hills felt like mountains, and minutes on my feet felt like hours. I ran restaurants at the time, so I did not have the luxury of sitting down at work for long. This caused a lot of feet and joint pain regularly. I lived on sweet tea, sugary snacks, processed chain restaurant meals, and heartburn medication while my body slowly stopped being able to move like a woman in her thirties. I had stopped living like a young woman because I was not physically capable of being young anymore.

Somewhere in the agony of all my self-loathing, couch-dwelling, and my new health issues, my path began to reveal itself. I met a personal CrossFit trainer who did not take “No” for an answer. I cried regularly for the entire first month of working out with her and cancelled on her often, in fear of the workout pain, the pain of failing, and the pain of trying. My body was screaming at me for not having moved it in so long in these ways. Muscles cried out like they had been gagged for years.

My trainer taught me so many mental strengths beyond the physical workouts. When the workouts became the Wipe-the-Floor-With-My-Face kind, as I call the seriously raw and dirty ones, and I was ready to stop and break, my trainer would get close to my face and say, “This is it, Katie. This is where we get better. This is where we cross the threshold.” I could not stop in that moment because it is not about keeping going while it is easy; it is about pushing yourself when it gets hard and you really want to quit. Something spiritual happened in this space for me where I pushed myself past these thresholds. Before I knew it, I crossed them all the time. This trainer pushed me into competitions I never would have dreamed entering. I lost seventy-something lbs. with her and could move again!!!!

Inner Fitness NC Health Coaching

I began dancing again and feeling like I was twenty-two! The health problems on which I was teetering before started to fade slowly. My body stopped hurting from excess weight, my circulation got better, and I could move energy physically through my body again.

CrossFit is probably the most difficult workout I could have found. It is intense, and some say it is dangerous because of the heavy lifting and injuries. And at almost forty years old, this is a worry. Yes, it has its risks like everything. I would say the risks do not outweigh the risks of being overweight and the potential that has for some of the most painful and debilitating health issues.

I have been doing various programs at CrossFit for over four years now. I am still frequently last in group classes because speed has never been my thing; I’ll give you form but speed?!?!It is usually my limiting belief when I walk into the class that I will be last again. No matter how true that is in the world of CrossFit, it is not true in my world; I was last when I was on the couch. I was last when I did not show up for myself. I was last when my body stopped knowing how to move. I was last when I stopped living. I am not last as long as I am still showing up.

I have hesitated to call myself an athlete for the years that I have been at my gym. How many years does one have to be a member of a challenging gym before one is allowed to call herself an athlete? Or how much does one need to weigh first? Anyone?

I am an athlete.

Sometimes an intense need for change and an intense desire to truly live constitutes an intense program. That is why I have stuck to this one. It matches my fire.

The only way I have been able to make it in this gym is by visiting the unrealistic and negative beliefs I have developed about myself over the years that cradle the “I can’t’s” and the “It’s too hard’s” and rewrite my story one workout at a time. Each time I go there I prove to myself that I can move, I can keep going even when it gets to the pushing point, and I CAN truly live.

Spiritual things can happen with physical exertion. Sometimes the will to live can take over for you, and you cross thresholds you never thought were meant for you. Movement is life, and I pledge to live.