In Love and in Numbers

I’m starting to read this article that was shared with me via the all-campus email. It’s about love in the age of data, but there’s more to it, including the history of love and how we in the West have made love our unofficial religion and purpose.

And isn’t it so?

Does it feel like this blog was/is a testament to all the failed attempts at love I had in nearly three decades of existence? (For the most part, yes, plus a lot of learning and education in the formal sense.) Thankfully, what I learned from my mistakes (and frankly, the mistakes of others at my own expense) changed my trajectory and what I valued, and I luckily found myself in a partnership that feels unlike anything I ever experienced previously and also feels like exactly what I was searching for.

Anyhoo, read on for Love in the Age of Big Data, and enjoy your Friday.

If you’re looking for more recent musings, hop on over to my “less heavy on the emotional baggage, and way heavier on the weight plates” blog at The Average Athlete.

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2014: The Year in Review

I rang in 2014 on a Seattle sidewalk with lovely lady friends on a walk back from our neighbourhood Dick’s Drive-in.

Now I’m sitting on a couch in my jammies. In Scotland. Sore from two days of CrossFit in the midst of my two-week holiday from work and eating properly and regular work-outs.

A lot of things happened this year, a lot of good things. I’ve cut back on blogging because I’ve been busy in the gym and with my offline life. It’s been really fun, I have to say.

I have some 2015 goals, mostly in regards to what I do with my fitness.

Rehab and build up my shoulder strength.
Clean up some skills and technique.
Lift, because I love it.
Compete a few times.
Have fun, and keep proving myself wrong.
Etcetera.

Beyond the gym, well… Let’s see. I’m currently abroad, and it has been wonderful to see my friends in Scotland and also just generally explore a new place. It feels like a big sigh of relief after not going abroad for over three years.

I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t say I’m looking forward to seeing a certain someone in three or so days.

I’ve been pretty bad at checking off things on my old 30 Before 30 list, but I don’t seem to particularly care because things are constantly changing and my goals and wants have changed dynamically even in recent months. That’s okay. The most important item not on my list was apparently to get myself to a place where I could successfully pursue one big item on that old list: essentially, to cultivate a relationship that is healthy, and in which I can place my energy and feelings and be happy.

In a nutshell, my boyfriend is amazing and nice and wonderful and respectable and an entire slew of positive adjectives. (He’s not in Scotland with me, seeing that I booked the trip before we were dating; I get to Skype him from the future, though!)

That’s where much of my time and energy is invested. It is where I do everything I can to be present. And I think that’s the great theme of the present–to be present. To live life. (Accidentally typed, “To live lift,” just now, which is also true.) To have experiences. (And to also be content with mastering the art of doing nothing.)

What will 2015 bring? Many things, I’m sure. Things out of my control, things in my control, unexpected things, and little butterfly effects here and there. That seems alright.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year. Here’s to 2015.

And now, here are some photos from my Scotland trip (and not the rest of the year because I cleared all my photos off my phone before I left).

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Another Revolution

Well, I made it. I made it to 29.

My birthday was yesterday, and it was the perfect birthday for me, the me who’s lived nearly three decades now. I went to work and celebrated with donuts and lattes–little treats I don’t normally have. Then I struggled with an Excel chart until I flip-flopped some info and finally got the stupid thing to do what I wanted. I felt accomplished, as it was another treat to learn and figure out something new.

I left early, practicing balance and self-care; that was my present to myself. I decided on getting a haircut, and the stylist who saw me turned out to be a Filipino brother. We talked about food and our experiences growing up Filipino. Another unexpected treat, I’d say.

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I took a nap on the couch–one of my favorite things to do, and then made my way to the gym for my birthday WOD. It was a workout with some of my favorite things in CrossFit (not the med ball carries, though), appropriately timed for my age. Once I was done and rendered to nothing more than a sweaty mess, it was off to switch modes and try to put myself together for dinner with an absolutely fantastic guy.

The thing about me is I love my birthday. When JD asked about my preferences for my birthday dinner, he said I could either pick the place or he could choose something. I chose to be surprised, and I also chose to have the dinner spot kept a secret (note: I also love surprises… Surprises and a birthday?! Perfect.).

He chose well.

We headed downtown–after I flipped from sweaty mess up to more or less put together (I had on a dress!) in 45 minutes–and he hinted it was around Pike Place. I had not a clue what it could be, though so, the hint meant little. We parked and went looking for the place, as he had not been there before. We walked into Post Alley, past several quaint shops and some bars, and stopped at the end. We had almost decided to turn around when he remembered, “There isn’t a sign out front.” Next to an unmarked door on one of the buildings, there was a tiny business hours sign. We walked in, down the stairs, I still had no idea where we were, and JD confirmed with the hostess that he did have reservations at the restaurant in which we stood.

It was The Pink Door, an Italian-American restaurant/cabaret with a beautifully decorated interior that was rustic and sophisticated and dramatic and quaint and all sorts of different things all at once. It wasn’t too dark nor too bright; everything seemed just right.

Just right. That’s what I would say for the rest of the dinner date. The wine and food were both spot-on, and the company I had was even better. It was a nice, relaxed time, and I did, indeed, feel very special. Even when the waiter forgot my dessert’s candle–unlike all the other birthday girls around, whose cakes and tarts had candles. Our waiter realized he had forgotten (which really was no matter because the Cabaret Cake was so delectable), and brought out my candle on its own little plate.

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Take that, other birthday girls in the room!

All in all, 29 started very well. It was a day in which I felt loved–loved by others and myself. I look forward to exiting my twenties, to leave this decade behind, but I’m in no hurry. Like I did with every moment last night, I plan to savor these upcoming days.

I have a feeling that 29 will be just right.

PS – Thank you to everyone who made it such a great day, especially my swole mate and significant other, JD. (He’s just really great, you guys.)

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Birthday selfie! Whoo.

Flex Appeal and the Double Down Competition

It’s not easy being me.

What I mean by that is that I spent most of last week sick with an energy-draining cold, and because of that, I haven’t even had a chance to recap the competition from the 11th. CrossFit425 hosted their first annual Double Down competition, and it was a mixed-pairs (i.e., two-person teams consisting of one guy and one gal) competition with divisions for Rx and Rx+ (a.k.a., awesomely elite athletes). JD and I signed up for Rx, after convincing him it would be a great first competition.

The day started early, leaving my house around 6:30AM to get to Bellevue. We signed in, got settled into the athletes’ holding area, connected with our friends who were volunteering at the event, and eventually were briefed on the day. Then it was on to warm-ups and the first work-out at 8:40AM. We probably could have warmed up more, and we probably could have come out harder in the first work-out, but hindsight is 20/20. WOD 2 followed the first work-out immediately, though, and we did go all out there, which then warranted about an hour of rest until our third workout.

Teamwork

The pace of the competition, I should say now, was also very good. Although the length of the work-outs and all the heat times left about an hour between each of our work-outs, it felt like we had just enough time to recover with a quick snack and some water and watch some of the competition before it was time to get back onto the floor. The competition actually ended up running ahead of schedule, too, which is virtually unheard of, as anyone who has ever done anything competitive might know.

Our third workout was, by far, the hardest for me. Overhead squats and wall balls were right in the middle, and those two movements are notorious for slowing me down. However, pull-ups went quite well for both of us, especially considering that neither one of us utilizes the butterfly technique. (Side note: say what you will about the utilization of “fake” pull-ups in CrossFit, strict and kipping pull-ups are both burners in their own special ways–and yes, I can do both.) I was able to hit all of my sets unbroken, partially because the pull-up bars at 425 are high enough off the ground that I needed assistance getting up to the bar! Talk about motivation. Anyway, we got through the full 11 minutes without too much of a meltdown from me, although I was definitely running on empty at the end.

We had some time between finishing the third workout and starting the last workout, and that’s when we took care of the Wildcard WOD. Braxton had arranged a mini obstacle course consisting of a wall, a tire, and a weighted sled. Each partner had to go through the course once, and the team’s time was recorded. For the Rx division, partners could assist one another over the wall if needed, and thank goodness for that (well, for me). We completed the course, and I did not get stuck at the top of the wall, which is what I was most concerned about.

Train for chaos, right?

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The last work-out for us was a down-and-back chipper. When the WODs were released, I thought the chipper was going to be the hardest. Chippers almost always are for me, because the rep schemes always include numbers like “50” and “100” and “you’re probably going to die midway through this set.” However, the more I thought about it, the more I started to think that maybe it would be a good one for us. Certainly it would not be easy, but it could be a workout that played to some of our collective strengths, I thought. JD is very good at double-unders and quick on box jumps, and I enjoy deadlifting quite a bit. Partner push-ups were of concern, though, since I know JD can outpace me by a ways. We knew we needed to stick together on those, so during a strategy session prior to the competition, we agreed to pace the push-ups off of me. We also agreed that I would do more deadlifts, and he would take on a larger share of box jumps and all of the jump rope work since he can typically go unbroken or at least work in large sets, whereas jump rope is still a major sticking point for me.

Once the work-out began, we started flying. JD went unbroken on the first set of dubs, and I picked up on box jumps. I felt faster than I usually do, finishing twenty and moving on to set up for deadlift while JD finished up box jumps. We covered some major ground on the deadlifts (I love me some deadlifing) and got to the push-ups with plenty of time. Maybe it was adrenaline, and maybe it was because they were hand-release push-ups, but we also got through those quickly, without me burning out. And then it was back to deadlifts, a little bit slower this time, but still at a good speed. Then we moved onto box jumps–in which I realized my hamstrings would no longer fire properly because of all my deadlifts–and JD took control, went all-out on the remaining reps, and transitioned smoothly back to the jump rope, going unbroken, and giving us a final time of 7 minutes, 58 seconds (at least from what I could discern). We had a full two minutes to lie around on the ground and congratulate each other on a job well-done. It was a fantastic work-out to close out the day and an absolute testament to what teamwork is about.

Even with strategy sessions, things came up that we needed to work around. We adjusted on-the-fly, and we communicated. We anticipated where our individual strengths were and how we could capitalize on those. We anticipated sticking points, and how we could work around that. And most of all, we went in with the right mindset: to have fun and challenge ourselves. It didn’t hurt one bit to also have a few good friends there, and the atmosphere of the competition was positive and vibrant.

Oh, and our reward after all that work? Korean barbeque. Absolutely the right choice.

If you’re curious, here are the work-outs we completed. WOD 2 (Max Kettlebell Swings) and WOD 4 (The Chipper) were our best showings, finishing tied for 2nd and holding down 4th place, respectively. Our other scores were no lower than 24th, so at the end of the day, we shook out to 12th out of 34 teams in the Rx division. Not bad, not bad.

WOD 1:
AMRAP5
Max ground-to-overhead (85#/135#)
Only one person working at a time
Score is pounds lifted, e.g., (85*27) + (135*39) = final score

60 seconds rest, then…

WOD 2:
AMRAP2
Max kettlebell swings (35/53)
One partner is swings while other partner holds their KB in one hand locked-out overhead
Score is total # of reps

WOD 3:
AMRAP1121 Pull-ups
21 Hang Cleans (65/95)
21 OHS (RX: 65/95)
21 Partner wall ball burpees (RX: 14#)
21 Med-ball partner sit ups (RX: 14#)
Reps MUST be split 10/11; doesn’t matter which partner goes first on each exercise, however, partner A must complete 10 reps before partner B can start their 11 reps (not applicable to partner sit-ups and wall ball burpees)
Score is total # of reps

WOD 4:
Chipper, 10 minute time-cap75 Double-Unders
50 Box jumps (20/24”)
40 Deadlifts (135/205#)
30 Partner push-ups
40 DL
50 Box Jumps
75 Double-Unders
Reps can be split up however teams want to; ex: one partner may do all the double-unders, deadlifts can be split 35/15, etc.
Score is for time (results sheet showed # of reps completed, with time used as tie-breaker for teams who completed)

Wildcard:
Obstacle course
Partner A climbs up and over barrier
3 tire flips
1 sled pull down and back (45#/70#)
3 tire flips, then tag teammate
Partner B climbs up and over
3 tire flips
1 sled pull down and back
3 tire flips
Score is for time

Did I actually mention our team name was “Flex Appeal?” No? Well, it was.

Flex Appeal.

🙂

Two Years’ Time

September 19th, 2012 is the day to which I ascribe my CrossFit anniversary. Two years ago, I wrote:

Finally made it back in to the local box. The coach at this particular box is fantastic, and the team members are fairly easy-going. Now, I’m no strength trainer. Never have been. The prescribed weight for today’s Workout of the Day (WOD) [The Chief] was 95 lbs. for females during hang power cleans. Guess what I used? A 35-pound bar. And that was still difficult. It’s okay, though. Weights are something that I have always avoided. That said, I got through the work-out. It broke down to this: one round consists of 3 hang power cleans, 6 push-ups with hand release, and 9 squats; there were 5 segments at 3 minutes each; in those 3 minutes, you would complete as many rounds as possible. I got through 3 rounds each time, grand total of 15 rounds. Which at baby weight and slow-ish pace isn’t all that impressive, but it’s impressive for a chronically-injured ex-dancer… with asthma.

Yeah, I busted out the inhaler today. Cool, right?
Again, it’s okay. I’m making progress towards wellness and trying to get back in the routine of challenging myself.

I had done two other WODs previously, Grace and the Filthy Fifty. Grace was modified to 22lbs., and I halved all the reps in the Filthy Fifty. My third WOD, the “sticking point,” apparently, was The Chief, completed with a 35lb. bar and what I’m sure were push-ups from the knee.

To be completely honest, I haven’t attempted any of these WODs in the last year, let alone attempted them as Rx. However, I’m to the point where I can Rx all of these things (yes, even the double-unders in the Filthy Fifty). That’s not to say I would have an amazing end result after each WOD, but Rx’ing those things is sure as heck progress when I consider where I started (which was essentially several levels below rock bottom).

In two years, strength has become my bias, particularly squats. Maybe I should have been doing strength training all along. I would have definitely developed a much better snatch technique if I had started at 16 rather than 26, right? Then again, who knows. My athletic trajectory wasn’t calibrated correctly, and I suppose I should have at least been lifting weights and lifting heavy many, many years ago, but so it goes.

I’d say I’ve made leaps and bounds towards wellness and challenging myself. As far as challenges go, every day I’m in the gym, I’m facing a seemingly-impossible task list. Every day, I come away with more goes. The biggest pitfall for CrossFit and me is that I don’t seem to have enough hours in my day to add in the skill work I need and want without over-training. I have to do things in bits and pieces, and my next goal is to keep myself on track. I need to set small goals, work on those, level up, and then take on a new skill. Then I need to revisit those other skills, refine them, advance them, and so forth and so on. For example, I set a goal to get my double-unders and ring dips several months ago. After trying a new rope and working for several weekends on ring dip negatives, I have double-unders and ring dips; I don’t have big sets of those yet, but that will do for now. Right now, it’s toes-to-bar and handstand push-ups that are big gymnastic hurdles. I need to work on my advanced pull-up technique and muscle-up technique. I need to get comfortable in executing the full snatch, not copping out on power snatches every time.

I’ve also decided to compete more. I’m not bringing an incredible athletic background nor natural talent to the field; instead, what I have are sets of skills that I am continuing to work on and improve. They’re not elite by any means. I just simply like seeing where the gaps are in my skills compared to others–all with the additional element of other people watching as I do so. It makes me grumpy yet excited, and it’s a way to cultivate relationships with my friends, both here in Seattle and elsewhere. I’ve done a number of competitions in Oregon, even competing recently with a former teammate from Human Evolution Labs (which, by the way, has since closed its doors) in a team competition. Recently, on September 7th, I competed in the women’s open division in the Elysian Games, which was an absolute blast. It was a challenging competition, and to just finish most of the workouts felt amazing. Granted, I got pretty cranky after my first two workouts, but as soon as it was my turn to get back out there, I perked up and started joking with the judges. Once I was done with the last two workouts, I was in a completely different state of mind; I was elated to have gotten through the competition. Overall, I finished 15th out of 30 women. Not bad for my first non-scaled event (although I did modify rope climbs halfway through the last WOD; most of us had to, as our grips had been taxed in all three previous WODs. Even so, by taking the modification, I was able to continue through all the movements, including my new favorite skill: toes to rings).

Toes-to-rings, comin' right up.

Toes-to-rings, comin’ right up.

Wellness is definitely a centerpiece in my life still. I feel very strongly about holistic wellness, and finding CrossFit was a catalyst in changing my priorities. Sadly, there is much less whiskey and craft beer in my life; when I do seek it out, I go for the good stuff, at least. I found my “third space,” and “meet me at the bar” has much different meaning. My social circle is heavily influenced by my friends from the gym, and yes, I met someone amazing and wonderful and fantastic–I could go on, but I’ll reign it in–at my gym.

And the best part is that it’s the healthiest relationship I’ve been in. I’m in an entirely different mindset compared to all prior relationships and quasi-relationships and whatever you want to call that period of time from [insert which of my prior relationships you had the biggest qualms with]. Seriously, just read my blog from, like, 2010 until early 2014. Those were some dark times for heartache and my mental well-being. There were some things that happened in there that had repercussions for many years afterwards, and I’m glad that sometime around the start of 2014, the fog finally started to lift. I’ve healed for the most part. Things are better within me. And because of that, things around me are better, too.

In the past two years, my life hasn’t gone from godawful to perfect. No, it’s morphed from “it has its peaks and valleys” to “it still has its peaks and valleys, but I feel much better about myself.” I feel more sound, although I still battle some nagging insecurities and stresses. I finally figured out what it meant to truly care and love myself first, even though I knew that’s what I was striving for. It finally manifested, even though it was a rocky ride to get to that point.

I’ve endured a lot, and I always anticipate the Universe’s next great blow. After all, that’s what I’ve come to expect. But I think that I’m learning to expect happy things, too–although I’m still wary of that (with good reason. I mean, come on). This weird little multidisciplinary cross-training fitness modality I discovered helped me cultivate strong, positive traits that I’ve had all along, but that have been suppressed.

So, I suppose you could say I was saved by Grace…

and the Filthy Fifty…

and The Chief.

Because here I am. I’ve stuck with it. Let’s see where this crazy journey takes me next.

Time Flies

During the past two weeks, I was busy. At the end of July, I drove back to my hometown for my ten-year high school reunion, where many of my good friends were back in town. We all had the chance to reconnect with people we hadn’t seen in-person for quite some time, and I left feeling content. People from my graduating class grew up to be some really cool individuals, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to converse with so many people. I had some good conversations, including one where a classmate somewhat lamented that he had taken so long to decide to go back to college, but I was so excited to hear about it–and I might have slipped into student affairs pro mode for a second. It was also funny to hear people’s recollections of myself from a decade or so ago. I’d have to say the coolest thing I heard was that someone perceived me to be the type of person who was always talking to everyone, regardless of the group that person was in; they said it was no surprise I became an adviser.

Not surprisingly, given how much I post about this kind of thing, there were a lot of comments about my workouts and the crazy CrossFit things I do. They were all positive, but I do feel like I need to remind people that this “fitness nut” version of me didn’t happen until late in 2012. Then again, it’s the current me, and me for the foreseeable future, and I am certainly proud of the progress I’ve made. It’s become so central to my lifestyle. I did run into one of my classmates who was one of the voices that advocated for me to try CrossFit while I was still waffling about the whole thing, and when she asked, “Aren’t you glad you did?” all I could do was smile and say, “Hell yeah.”

Overall, I got to spend some time with my friends and family, got a few very good workouts in, and reconnected with good people. There was even a day trip to Chelan–and a sunburn for me, which is so rare in my world, I had nearly no idea of how to take care of myself.

Speaking of sun… I spent last weekend in sunny Seattle, mostly hanging out with the new boo. After finding out he had never experienced Stumptown Coffee‘s actual shops, I insisted that we go. He found the coffee more than acceptable, and after taking in some sun in my old neighborhood, we drove out to West Seattle and Alki–his old ‘hood. The next day, after the gym, we both went to Issaquah to my friends’ place, where all of us partook in running a beer mile. It was glorious and terrible all at once, but I survived and left in surprisingly good shape.

As you can see, this is not my greatest blog entry. I’ve glossed over many details, and I’m not concluding anything profound.

tl;dr – I went to my high school reunion; it was awesome. Also I spent last weekend hanging out with the awesome guy I’m seeing.

And if “tl;dr” is still too much, here are a smattering of pretty pictures for you. There are many, many more, and those of you that are Facebook friendsies can see the whole collection.

Enjoy.

At least I know how to clean up well.

At least I know how to clean up well.

This dress and I get along quite well.

This dress and I get along quite well.

Dolled up for our ten-year high school reunion.

Dolled up for our ten-year high school reunion.

That time we did that thing.

That time we did that thing.

Lady arms

Lady arms

Champs

Champs

Why I Do CrossFit

That is such a cop-out title. People love the “Why CrossFit is Dangerous,” “Why CrossFit Isn’t For Me,” “Why CrossFit is the Best Thing You’re Missing,” etc. Even so, I want to consider and share why I continue to participate in this form of fitness and recreation, and why this is the only other athletic thing I’ve stuck with besides cheer and dance–and why it’s the only athletic thing that I feel like I’ve grown in and continue to progress in as I approach my two-year anniversary.

The Workouts
I remember my first workout clearly. I got left behind on the warm-up lap after a very nice girl chatted with me for a bit and then picked up her pace to match the rest of the group. I learned how to clean and jerk from a very hands-on coach. I was the last person done with the lightest weight possible. And I was thrashed for several days following. But I logged on to Facebook and left a very telling status update that night which basically told my circle of friends, “Okay, I finally understand this CrossFit thing.”

After one session, I realized that it was a form of fitness which provided the opportunity for people to push their boundaries, not in terms of physical limits, but in overcoming mental hurdles. Weightlifting, for example, is something I was mildly interested in, but societal norms in rec centers and other gyms is that girls, ladies, and women don’t use the weight room. It was always intimidating, uncomfortable, and a sure-fire way to look like the novice I was. But CrossFit basically says, “To Hell with that.” Women learn the same lifts, the same moves, and the only difference is that sometimes our prescribed weights are lighter. There is nothing that says we can’t aim for the males’ prescribed weights, and depending on the workout and people’s fitness levels, sometimes I lift heavier than the guys. And there is no shame in any of that for anyone.

Essentially, the workouts continue to be challenging as a person progresses. The seemingly endless ability to scale and modify–whether that means “down” or “up”–means that it truly “never gets easier, you just get better.”

The Third Space
Typically, people have their home space and their workspace. In my line of work and in the spirit of balance, we often talk of establishing the “third space,” that place that exists outside of home and work. My third space in recent years always tended to be a coffeeshop or a bar, somewhere where I spent time reading and writing, for the most part. After graduate school, I didn’t need that function as much (for better or for worse), and I floundered a bit in trying to establish a different sort of third space.

What my gym has provided me is a third space for recreation, the ability to shed the weight of the day (ironically, usually by throwing literal weight on me) and a place to rejuvenate. For some folks, that place isn’t and never will be a gym or a fitness center, and that is perfectly fine. Trust me when I say that I’m surprised the gym became my third space. For a long time, I was the girl who made every excuse to avoid going to the gym; I still do that–except I establish good, solid reasons to keep myself out so I can get a rest day in (over-training is bad for you, people!). My third space is a place to reconnect with myself, where for a small amount of time, I can disconnect from technology and the tasks at work and focus on self-improvement. It’s also, luckily, a place where I can interact with other people and feed my social life.

The People
And that brings me to the people of CrossFit. My athletic background was, in my mind, fairly minimal. I spent 12 or so years dancing and 4 years cheering between high school and college. I dabbled in other team sports, but mostly harbored a distaste for the years I attempted soccer, basketball, and softball. I enjoyed being around other people, even though I didn’t have a ton of incredibly close friendships from dance and cheer, which is no one’s fault; to me, it seems like I just didn’t quite fit in the same way most of the other ladies and men did. (On a related note, I fit in quite well with my band people, but that was outside the fitness spectrum by a long-shot, at least in my experience.) However, I still loved the team dynamic, understanding how each individual’s strengths played into a bigger picture while we were each able to hone our skill sets and work on weaknesses.

After college, the opportunity to participate in team-based fitness seemingly disappeared. I think I’ve mentioned numerous times that I tried running, I tried yoga, I tried group fitness classes, but each time, I lost interest and quit going (even after buying memberships for some of these things!). Nothing grabbed my interest enough to make me commit. Looking back on it, part of that reason was there weren’t other people to hold me accountable. Sure, there were regulars in my classes, but the environments weren’t conducive to socializing and getting to know other people.

But then there came CrossFit. Technically, CrossFit classes are group fitness classes; there are scheduled times and a coach, and you’d think it would have been the same situation as with Zumba or spin or cardio kick-boxing. For some reason, though, a team develops and emerges, and in my case, I was able to integrate into a team, which then led to my accountability to others kicking in, which then led to returning over and over to the gym, which then led to a greater want to develop individually and contribute back to the overall skill set my gym showcased.

That sounds fairly convoluted, I think, and there are a lot of psychological and social processes at work there, but what it comes down to is, there are a lot of good people that I met, and that mindset that we are all in this journey together is prevalent in the community. (“Community?” Yeah, there’s definitely a community around this form of fitness.) There are more and more fitness communities springing up, too (based on my social media), and there is a ton of potential in those teams and communities to shift the habits of other adults towards health and fitness.

Oh, and also–they’re fun!

Some of the SEAtown CrossFit crew during float day on the Yakima River near Ellensburg

Some of the SEAtown CrossFit crew during float day on the Yakima River near Ellensburg

In a nutshell–it’s a healthy combination of fitness, self-improvement, relationship-building, and fun. We push and challenge each other to try new things. We teach each other. We laugh. We encourage. A personal fitness journey moves to “we,” and the secret to what I need to be happy and healthy is no longer a secret.