Lessons from 2019
Happy New Years Eve! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday spending lots of quality time with family and friends. We had an amazing time with Shawn's family in Arizona last week.
We went out to see the Christmas lights, ate tons of delicious food (of course the prime rib was amazing), had a blast at the family Christmas party, took a day-trip to shop and gamble in Bullhead City/Laughlin, and so much more. It was such a great vacation.
I cannot believe that it is already December 31st. Where the heck did this year go? Who's going out to celebrate tonight?? Not this girl. You can catch me on the couch in sweats, finishing up the second season of You on Netflix, grilling some steaks with my hubby, maybe having a glass of champagne, and going to sleep by 10. That is my idea of a New Year's celebration if I've ever heard one.
This year has been a whirlwind between transitioning from heavy CrossFit training for competition to a more laid-back training style and finding ways to fitness outside of the gym, to starting the blog, to packing up, moving across the country, and figuring out life in a small town- a complete 180 from the lifestyle I've led in the past, this year has been a little chaotic to say the least. I'm looking forward to kicking off the New Year with a bit more stability, and a whole lot of determination to make this my best year yet.
Reflecting on the past year, I think it's safe to say that I've learned a LOT. With all the life changes and transitions, it's hard not to be faced with some hard truths. I've had to learn to let go of things, move on, and not be so damn tough on myself for things that are either out of my control or that really don't matter that much in the grand scheme of things. I'm planning to move into a new decade with a new vantage point, revamp my focus, and set some really great goals for the year. Before I talk about my goals for the upcoming year, I wanted to take some time to look back on the past year, and talk about some of the growth that has come from it.
I learned it's ok to let go and move on from periods of your life. Back in January, I made the decision to stop competing in CrossFit. After being completely absorbed in that world of training, eating, recovering, sleeping, repeating for five years, it was WEIRD. I think that not having a solid plan of how to occupy that additional time, really did a number on me. I felt lost, and even sad that I was losing that part of me. I was also terrified that I was going to gain a ton of weight, be totally unfit, and become super weak. I realize that these thoughts are pretty ridiculous. Even my normal training regimen probably seems pretty intense to an outsider looking in, but they were real thoughts that I was dealing with daily. I was struggling to balance my desire to live a more social, career-focused life with the routine that had become so ingrained in my life over the past several years. Old habits die hard. A'int that the truth. It was hard not to be overly critical of myself as I began to train less and pay more attention to the other parts of my life. It was a process, but I've decided that moving on from that piece of my life has actually enriched it for the better, and having a little extra body fat is a small price to pay for the benefits that I reap from a more balanced life.
This brings me to the point that: there's a lot more to health than eating right and working out. In fact, when I was training multiple hours a day, watching every single thing I ate, and sitting at my leanest body composition in my life, I would argue I was the least healthy I've ever been. My body felt like garbage all the time because I was overtraining and undereating, I was constantly tired, neglecting my personal relationships, completely preoccupied with my fitness goals, and living a totally unbalanced lifestyle centered around my next competition. Fast-forward to the end of 2019, I have found a much better balance of eating healthy most of the time, while still allowing myself the guilt-free occasions of going out for a drink, having popcorn at the movies, or eating cake at a friend's birthday party. I still make fitness a priority each day, I just don't make it a four+ hour part of my day that leaves me feeling drained and unable to accomplish anything else. I believe that health is a multifaceted state composed of your physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Each component must be maintained and sustained, otherwise overall health suffers as a result. Keep this in mind if your goal is to live a healthier life in 2020! Don't neglect a piece of the puzzle.
In my effort to re-invigorate my social well-being, I also learned that it's ok to lean on those closest to you for support. I think that I forget that others can relate to my feelings too. Even if it's from a totally different perspective, people want to hear what you're going through, relate to your experience, and comfort you by sharing their own stories. There was a period where I closed myself off from my friends and family about what I was feeling and going through, and, subsequently, forced myself to go through things that were troubling me alone. In what world does that seem like a good idea? Don't bottle up all your problems friends, let people help you out! I'm not saying post all your deepest thoughts on social media or write a blog post about it, but confide in those closest to you. It may surprise you how much one person's words or stories can impact the way you look at something. Someone else's experience can point you in the direction of a healthier approach to your problems.
Piggybacking on that point, family and friends deserve to be made a priority. When I was competing, I will absolutely admit that I became a hermit. I never wanted to go out and be social for fear that I would eat or drink something that would throw off my nutrition or training. Over the past year, I made a goal to say yes to social and family gatherings more than I said no. I'm proud to say that I accomplished that goal, and as a result, I was made aware of how lucky I am to have the friends and family that I have. I have some pretty incredible people in my life, and those relationships are so important to me. Just as a single example, I spent several weeks with a running weekly dinner/exercise date with my friend Amy. Over those several weeks, we reconnected on such a deep level, and I think we were both able to help each other through a pretty shitty time in both of our lives. We literally became each other's personal therapist for a while. It meant so much to me to have someone that supported me so unconditionally. Cherish and nurture those kinds of relationships in your lives! They are absolutely priceless.
Also this hard truth: not everything happens exactly when we want it to. Well this one picked me up and slapped me across my face this year. I feel like everything that I truly want to happen I tackle with intention. If I want something badly enough, I do what it takes to make it happen. Two summers ago, they announced we had to handstand walk across ramps and stairs for CrossFit Regionals. For the life of me, I couldn't fucking do it. I must have tried 1000 times to get across that damn thing and failed all 1000 times. The Saturday before we left for the competition, I went to the gym, by myself, and set the clock for one hour. I practiced, kicking up, falling, getting halfway, falling, over and over and over. Finally, on the 57th minute (no joke), I made it across the ramp. And then, it was like all the struggle just melted away. Completing that workout at Regionals is one of my proudest CrossFit moments of all time. All of my goals in CrossFit, college, work, this blog: my motto has always been put in the work, and make it happen. This year, I came to the realization that not everything works that way. If I had it my way, I would have been pregnant MONTHS ago. Unfortunately, I'm not. I was HARD on myself at first. I convinced myself that I was overtraining, not eating the right things, not eating enough, that I did damage to my hormones while competing, the list goes on. Blaming myself for something that is completely beyond my control became my norm, and, subconsciously, I knew that was unhealthy and damaging all in itself. After talking to family and friends, I concluded that some things just have to happen when they happen, and patience is an effing virtue (I'm not a patient human by nature, guys)! This is a tough lesson that I have to continue to focus on daily, but I'm working on it. I'm also well aware that I'm not alone, and that these things take time. A baby Wassy is definitely on the horizon, and fingers crossed that horizon is in 2020, but if not, that's ok too.
And lastly, sometimes we just need to take that leap of faith. It took me a long time to make the decision that I would pack up my life, quit my job, leave my friends and family and everything I knew to move hundreds of miles across the country. It's a big risk to leave it all behind and start over! Also, goodbyes are awkward and tough for me. Change, in general, is difficult, especially when that change comes with uncertainty. Shawn works short-term contracts on job-sites, so there's a chance that we will move pretty regularly over the next few years. We have no clue where we'll be next or when that will be. That is a giant leap of faith. I put that trust in my husband, because 1) he's awesome and I was didn't want to go on living apart from him all the time; 2) sometimes a big change is exactly what we need to give us the kick in the ass towards making our dreams happen; and 3) I changed my perspective on starting over and started to look at it as a fresh start, a blank page so to speak, to an adventure that Shawn and I would tackle together. Plus, who doesn't love a good adventure story? As much as you guys might be wondering what's happening next, I'm in the same boat! We're just out here flying by the seat of our pants, and I'm just happy to be doing it with someone that is pretty dang cool to hang out with. Twenty twenty is bound to be filled with surprises, so buckle (saddle?) up.
And that's my soap box rant to round out the year! Thanks to all of YOU for reading my posts and showing me love for them. I've enjoyed every second of bringing my writing back to the light and getting to share my advice, experiences, and random healthy lifestyle tidbits with you guys. I'm excited to continue on that journey with you guys in the New Year, too! So cheers to another year of fitness and health and looking forward to great things to come in 2020!