3 transformational lessons learned from the gym...probably not what you think!

Sadly, today my gym shut down their business.

Fortunately, the owners/coaches brilliantly pivoted and went remote, which is awesome....yet the community as we knew it is over.

My heart is so freakin’ heavy.

I sheepishly walked in there January 2018 -
DESPERATE- I had spent much of 2017 using a cane and managing pain. I needed to be healthier.

The transformation I experienced was priceless.

First of all...I actually
SHOWED UP and to be honest, I walked in terrified EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And every day I walked out to my car a

For the first time I felt physically and emotionally safe in a gym setting. All shapes and sizes were welcome and present. Modifications and scaling was available for anyone at any level of fitness.

Oh how I will miss the community!!

We had daily celebrations of achievement and badassery...support and compassion for life inside and outside the physical four walls of the gym.

2018-2020 were some of the most emotionally difficult years of my life and being present with the community and pushing myself physically supported me in ways I never could have imagined.

3 transformational lessons I learned from the gym: 

1.  It was never about my weight. People would compliment me on my weight loss and how great I looked...and honestly, it made me cringe. 

2. I would smile and share how amazing I FELT. It was always about feeling better in my body, being able to move without pain, to get on and off the floor, to climb stairs without my arms, and to live my best life.

3. I wanted to be seen for the way I was showing up for myself, for that was where the real loss was. The LOSS OF GUILT for putting myself first!

In 2019 when things in my life took some painful twists and turns I struggled to stick with my radical self care. I had pain again and became acutely aware of what a shamp I was at holding my emotions in my body.

Fortunately in the last 6 months I have learned a technique to release them….and am now getting certified in it so I can help others!

This community will always be in my heart, the coaches will always be in my head, and I will continue to move my body, to push myself past the point of my mental comfort zone, to step outside myself and find my inner warrior.


She is there and she is resilientAF!  

Check out
Project Wellness...remote training from two amazing coaches!!

and join other resilientAF midlife mamas on Facebook in our free group!! 

2.2.19 My First Year of Crossfit

1/18/18: I nervously walked into Crossfit of Ithaca and met with Coach Jared about starting Crossfit.  I was full of fear and doubt.  I was too angsty to join the Foundations class so I opted for the 1:1 route.

1/26/18: With a couple foundations under my belt I finally took my free trial class and got a sense of what I had gotten myself into.  Burpees.  Really?  I looked at Coach J and strategically, without using the word "can't", expressed that I wasn't sure how my body could do them.  He told me it's just like falling and needing to get back up....something I couldn't do.  Well, the falling part I had become skilled at...the getting up, not so much.  So I slowly and methodically laid myself down and hiked myself back up.  It wasn't graceful.

2/2/18: One year ago!  I did my first official WOD (Work Out of the Day)!  I can't believe it has been a year! My burpees are still not graceful, but I am so much stronger and functional than I was a year ago.  I am 37 pounds lighter and the completion of every single workout feels monumental.  I walk out of the box feeling like I can conquer anything!
I decided to commemorate the year with some photo highlights:

Look how clean my sneakers are!!  I started off 3 times a week and then became more consistent.  I made Committed Club a few months (20x) and am aiming for that again! 


2/23/18: Crossfit Open!  I figured if Ross was going to spend 5 Fridays in a row at the box I might as well join him.  I joined the Mother Thrusters team and pushed through the workouts.  I was terrified and felt completely unprepared every single week.  Many times there were moves I hadn't done yet. 

I persisted in attempting every single workout, pushing myself week after week.  I got my first jumping pull up, my first push up, lifted more weight than I had before, and I single skipped one. at. a. time.  in slow motion with one foot at a time.  I won an award for my efforts.  Alright, maybe I am more capable than I thought. 


11.7.18 Stronger 💪

So, this crazy thing happened...Monday morning.  I got to see how much stronger I am than when I began this CrossFit journey 10 months ago.

When I first started I thought logging all these numbers was unnecessary.  I wasn't really interested in how much weight I could lift or how fast I could do things.  I just wanted to be healthier.

I was focused on doing things like stairs or getting off the floor without pain or having to hold on or be assisted.  I wanted to have better balance so I wouldn't keep falling.  I wasn't really even focused on weight loss in the beginning...just being able to function better.

10 weeks ago we did a workout called the CrossFit Total made up of back squats, shoulder presses, and dead lifts. Then each week we did those moves in a progression starting at a low weight and building up.  Then we redid the workout. This picture shows my 10 week progression...but that's not the best part!

crossfit total

Yes, this shows progress and I am still in awe that I can lift these weights, but I wasn't necessarily wowed enough to share this.  Then I looked back to the beginning!!

On 2/20/18 I did my first back squat with 30 pounds (1 rep max!) and Monday I lifted  90 pounds (1 rep max)!!!

On 8/30/18 I did my first shoulder press with 30 pounds (2 sets of 10) and on Monday I lifted 55 pounds (1 rep max)!
The deadlift is what really boggles my mind!  

Check this out:

deadlift num

I started with 30 pounds on 2/14/18 and on Monday my 1 rep max was 165 pounds!

ummm...I think this CrossFit thing works!

I am measurably stronger and so much more functional!!

10.22.18 OUCH!

My husband and I drove up to Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday to visit our oldest.  He is in his first year there as a transfer and we were excited to have our first Parent's Weekend experience.  RIT calls it Brick City Weekend and it is also an Alumni event.  We were on the shuttle buses heading into downtown for the men's hockey game and my son was scrolling though his phone and found this TIGER BINGO game.  We laughed together as he read through the different squares.  At some point I looked over at the game and my eye went right to a specific square that he had chosen not to read aloud.  I love him dearly for being sensitive to it and skipping over it. 


I couldn't help but keep thinking about it...I was really disappointed that it was out there.  I was also really grateful to be on this side of it...meaning that two years ago I would have been that parent waiting for the people mover.  I was the parent unable to keep up.  I was the parent using a cane.  I was the parent that would have not participated in the activities.  OUCH- my heart was hurting.  It was such a depressing place to be and I struggled everyday with wanting to be more for my kids.  My physical challenges with fibromyalgia began way before my weight and not keeping up wasn't just about my size.  Society is so quick to judge. There is so much we can't see with our own eyes.

For the rest of the evening I was overly conscious of every move I made: climbing the stadium steps, fitting into the stadium seat, walking briskly across campus.  I slowed down to navigate some steps that I couldn't see well in the dark and my son joked with us about being slow.  It felt good to be slow because I couldn't see, not because I couldn't move.  Steps were once my greatest challenge.

This morning at CrossFit for the third time I used a 12 inch box to step up on (today I added a 1 inch plate) and I also conquered lunges, without holding the post.  I was able to touch down with my knee and get back up!  I did a 40 minute intense slow and steady burn kinda workout and the entire time I was visualizing that darn square on the Bingo board.  I was pushing through my discomfort lifting the dumbbells over my head, actively processing the functional changes I have made, committing to myself to never go back.  I will never go back.

8.2.18 update

This is the benchmark workout that we are doing each month...

My modifications are a 6# medball, 35# barbell, and 8" step ups



I improved by 33 reps since June!!

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