Yoga, CrossFit and Being Ok

Posted on Jan 17, 2016 |

Last week I attended Facebook’s Women’s Leadership Day. It’s deserving of a full post, but to summarize, it was phenomenal and inspiring. One of the things that struck and inspired me the most was the bravery the speakers displayed through their candidness and vulnerability.

I have a whole lot of partially written blog post drafts because I never seem to feel I’ve completed the thought. So I’m going to hit publish on this one whether I finish it or not..

Being Ok

As soon as I was given the go-ahead after surgery last fall, I went to yoga. It had been years since I’d had a regular practice, that coupled with a lot of weight-training, and (purposely) easing up on stretching, resulted in me not being able to get into a lot of poses that had previously been available.

But I noticed something almost right away.. I was ok with it.

Yes, that is an epic realization. For the first time in my 31 years, I was ok with being “not as good as I had been.”

Now.. if you’ve been to yoga, you’re probably thinking ‘isn’t that how it’s suppose to be?’ Well, yes… but.. have we met?

When I first started yoga it was all about ‘what’s next?’ If I was in class and saw someone add any extra handstand or arm balance, I thought I was slacking. If I skipped a chaturanga (push-up to up dog then down dog), I worried the teacher would think I wasn’t trying, or that I missed a chance to get better.

Over time that faded a bit, but it wasn’t until I came back to the mat, after so much time off, that I noticed my mindset completely changed.

I pushed my wrist, but when I felt like it had had enough, I backed off. When I couldn’t get into binds (a way you clasp your arms behind your back) because my shoulders were larger and tighter than years past, I was ok with it and went as far as I could.

After a few months, my wrist could take more, I could handstand again, and even started to get back some of my shoulder flexibility.

At the same time, CrossFit training was not going so well. Between time off after the CrossFit Games, time off for surgery, and inconsistent training, I lost way more strength and conditioning than I’d expected. My performance in the gym was disappointing me, and I was (perhaps, am) really struggling to keep a positive attitude for more than a few days at a time.

Then in the middle of a yoga class it occurred to me.. why can’t I have the same attitude with CrossFit? Why can’t I pushed myself, and be happy knowing that I did everything I could do? Why do I have to beat myself up for not meeting expectations created by past results? Why do I care so much about what everyone else thinks about my performance, and overwhelmed by worry that they’ll think I’m not trying?

The answer is..

I don’t know. This isn’t a post saying ‘I figured it out, and I have this fantastic positive attitude all the time, and rainbows and butterflies and sparkles!’ 🙂

This is the post a few before that when I say, ‘I know this isn’t quite right.. but it’s interesting to me.. maybe I’ll figure it out.. or at least move the right direct.’

Very related, I’m loving this poem right now and I don’t know where it came from..

There is always risk in being yourself. In following your true nature. Your innermost voice.

The risk is that you can lose things. You can lose parts of yourself that no longer fit. That crack off like old branches in the wind.

You can lose ground that you thought you had conquered as you realize that you need to rework it but this time with bare feet and with less urgency and more absorption.

You can lose people whose ears and hearts cannot hear the frequency of your rhythm.

It’s ok. The risk is the way our innermost self calls us in. It is what all nature asks of itself.

Go ahead. Your truth is worth the risk.



Photo by Caleb Kerr

Photo by Caleb Kerr

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