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A Trip Down Memory Lane: A Letter from Jill to Jill

Hey there, Champ…

I was wondering if we could take a trip down memory lane together. Some of it, you may have to dig out of the archives because you probably blocked some of it out. But I do think it’ll help us and others to recognize the changes that have occurred in the last year or so. And maybe give others a hope for their future with CrossFit Off the Grid in general.

Let’s go back.

June 7th, 2016 was your first day of foundations. Anxiety was high and you wanted to vomit. You walked in, met fit people and were intimidated. You thought; this isn’t for you, what was I thinking? You hardly spoke. The only things you muttered were insecurities of “You want me to do what in how much time?” You weren’t’ you. You’re usually outgoing, energetic, and funny. You enjoy socializing, drinks all night long, watching TV and snacks! You joke, but Netflix and Chill really was your hobby, that was reality and it was comfortable.

After it was done, you were sweating, shaking and sore. You crawled back into your car. You signed up for three more of these “foundations things” guess you have to come back, you’re not a quitter that’s for sure.

Day two, same thing. Except this time there is a compliment: “You have a really nice form when you squat.” Is this guy crazy? You have zero clue what you are doing. The only squat you know how to do is when you have 5 drinks in you. He must be just saying this to make you feel good about yourself.

This makes you feel awkward and confused, you don’t like it. Not at ALL!

Days three and four you had a new coach which meant new anxieties and insecurities. But days three and four were slightly different. You were trying a bit harder and probably looked like you were on death’s door, with your red face and heavy breathing. Hoping these coaches know how to bring you back to life when you collapse. “You did great” is all you remember and again you thought these coaches are full of it. But when asked about joining, you say, “sure why not, what do I have to lose at this point?”

June 24th, 2016 first day in the “Big kid classes.” HOLY CRAP! Of course the feeling of vomit hit your throat and the thought of turning around crossed your mind. But you talked yourself out of the doubt that day and entered.

Strict press, 8 min AMRAP (what does that even mean?); 10 push press, 10 Russian swings, 20 Russian twists. Is this even English? Do you sit/suffer and look like an idiot during the workout, or do you tell them you have no clue what just happened during the introduction of class. You’ve met the coach before, he’s nice but these other people, they’ve never met you. They’re going to judge you, and you can’t have that. Being judged will just cause the vicious cycle of anxieties for you. “WHAT DO I DO?” Maybe stay quiet, find a friendly face, ask them. This is a great plan Jill, great plan. But you left the gym frustrated, sad and useless. Can you fake it until you make it? Otherwise, we are going to have to rethink this whole situation.

August 2016, you still don’t know the difference between a snatch, jerk, power clean vs “regular”. But… there’s this competition for beginners and well, why the heck not. You enjoy a little competition and maybe this will break the barrier of getting to know people around here and make you learn the movements.

So you sign up to hang out with these “gym people” at this competition, but you’re not ready just yet to be their friend, so you chose to skip the member hangout at the beach. They are all good-looking people, their family is involved in their gym life and you are absolutely NOT on their level in any respect.

You just tell yourself, “Maybe another time, champ.”

Here it is, October 8th, 2016 the Rookie Rumble. Game face on, there’s a ton of people from your gym and they share nothing but love for one another. Someone even wrote you all notes about doing well and having fun. Don’t get emotional, Jill! You’re not about that life of feelings. It’s just a note… “GET IT TOGETHER, WOMAN!” You realized that everyone in the gym had proven over and over that they are there every step of the way for each other, it’s genuine. Now guess what Jill, you now must do it too, and be your own cheerleader.

Event completed; 6th out of 32 women! Though the feelings you experienced were not that of doing well, but rather who you were doing it with and just feeling accomplished that you completed it at all, PERIOD.

This was it. A turning point in this journey. My fears of being judged by other members subsided. These people don’t want to judge, they are a strong circle of friends, something I had needed. They all understand you better than one would want to admit. The times of climbing into your car, having a good cry by yourself because you didn’t understand a concept has now transformed into the ability to open up, because they can relate. You can now throw a tantrum if your significant other doesn’t understand the time you need at the gym, if work is getting you down, or if you’re annoyed about having to go food shopping later that day.

Remember that lack of emotion referenced from earlier, yeah “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Let that flag fly free with these people. It’s okay to let people in. Barriers were coming down, you were becoming more of that social, energetic person we talked about before that June 7th. The girl you knew you were, you just weren’t sure when you wanted to share that with these people.

They are you and you are them.

Reasons for anxiety were now transforming. Stress of “what is the WOD, who will be there, I couldn’t possibly go to any other class than 12:30 (those 5:30ers are scary),” was turning into fears of missing out in the gym in general. People noticed if I wasn’t in my “usual class.”
Present Day, August 31, 2017. Guess what Champ, you’ve made it this far! All the struggles, tears, insecurities; they aren’t the norm anymore. What you’re now feeling is wonderful and fulfilling; something I hadn’t experienced before.

How to keep up with this moving forward…

Don’t beat yourself up with “what if’s” regarding the past. You know you can’t go back, change history, and be a different person at 10, 18 or 25 years old. The only thing you can change is how to move forward. You’ve really made a change for yourself and let’s keep that momentum going. Love yourself for the athlete, wife, mother, overall human you were and currently are. Be that inspiration and open door for someone, reciprocate that feeling of inclusion that others gave to you. Allow others to see where you started, what you experienced, and where you want to go in the future.

Simply remember this; be comfortable in yourself, never try to be anyone else because you are enough, and that’s all that is needed. There is always tomorrow to make changes and people to help you in that, if you are willing.

Let’s do this again sometime,
Your Present Self

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