"I have spent so much of my life thinking about what I would be missing out on if I don’t eat that doughnut or pasta. As well as convincing myself that I don’t have time to run 3 miles because things are just too hectic right now. The truth, however, is that I should have been thinking about how much I am losing by not making my overall health and happiness a top priority."
This is an excerpt from the essay written by Ashley McCaherty that you will read shortly. I love this essay because is showcases the fact that our minds are the limiting factor in so much that we do in our lives (I always here the words of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine cartoon: "It's all in the mind, 'ya know!"). To be able to move--to exercise--is a gift. A gift you give to yourself. I adore the fact that Ashley came to this realization. Thank you, Ashley for this timely reminder. And thank you for all of your commas that were properly placed :)
The Best Version of Myself
It can be a quite humbling experience to go from thinking you are in-shape to realizing quite the opposite....
I have always considered myself to be an athletic person. And, like many people, linked that to being in-shape. In high school (from 2000-2003), I took pride in the fact that I played sports year-round (volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring). In my house growing up, sports were not an option they were THE OPTION as far as extramural activities goes. So, needless to say, what started out as a fun game of t-ball or picking flowers while I was supposed to be playing defense in soccer, turned in to not only a passion, but how I came to identify myself. I was an athlete.
Six years later, and basically no physical activity in-between, I’m walking into a CrossFit box to witness what could only be described as a handful of people beating themselves up to the point of not only exhaustion but physical injury. The first time I met Lauren Plumey, she was jumping down from a pull up bar, hands dripping with blood from rips she had just sustained, probably thinking the same thing I was thinking, “there’s no way I was going to join this gym.” Shockingly enough, I came back; and I am still here. While I am not an OG, it will be 8 years since I became a member as of this December.
You would think having been at Shoreline this long, I would have mastered the proper form in all movements and I am setting PRs on a regular basis. Sadly, I humbly have to say that is not the case. Over the years, there have been a few gaps in my attendance and while I will make no excuses for this, as a result, I am now playing catch up. So, admittedly, my form isn’t the best and so my Olympic lifts seem to follow suit. While I do feel embarrassed at times that I still don’t have a movement correct, I will never give up. I will continue to enter Shoreline Athletics with the desire to learn, practice, and if I don’t get it right today, there is always tomorrow. I will use the amazing coaches around me to always better myself.
This hasn’t always been my attitude in life. I can think of countless occasions over the years where I didn’t think twice about quitting when things seemed too hard. Fast forward to the 2017 Shirts Off Challenge. When this was first mentioned to me, my first thought went straight to all of the things I would be giving up and self-doubt attempted to rear its ugly head. However, with a little bit of pressure from my husband, Adam, (which I greatly needed), I decided to give it a try. I realized about halfway through the challenge, how backwards my way of thinking has been. I have spent so much of my life thinking about what I would be missing out on if I don’t eat that doughnut or pasta. As well as convincing myself that I don’t have time to run 3 miles because things are just too hectic right now. The truth, however, is that I should have been thinking about how much I am losing by not making my overall health and happiness a top priority. That moment of false happiness from eating crappy compared to the rush of energy and excitement from working out seems like a no-brainer by comparison. I can proudly say I made it through this challenge with an average of one cheat a week. For me, this is a huge accomplishment.
Now that the challenge is over, and I have crossed that hurdle; I have started thinking about just how detrimental a defeatist attitude can be. I have wondered: why do we as individuals give up so easily? Is it because we truly believe we cannot accomplish the goal? Is it because we really are incapable of crossing whatever bridge we’ve created for ourselves? The simple answer is “No”. While I know I shouldn’t speak in generalizations on behalf of society, I feel confident in saying that we give up because we tell ourselves something is too hard. We let our minds convince our bodies that we cannot do something that is within our reach. All you have to do is try. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you strip your mind of the negative thoughts that are constantly ruminating inside of you and just get after it.
I would like to say being a part of CrossFit has changed my life for the better. While this is true, I sincerely believe it’s being a part of the Shoreline Athletics community that has made the real difference in my life. Being a member here makes me want to be a better version of myself.
Ashley, pictured with her two beautiful daughters, Shelby and Rowen.
That is what Shoreline Athletics has done for me and I will be forever grateful.