The new 42
Strong bones & a new box! What more could you ask for to celebrate getting two years into your 40’s. It’s that time of year again for me, but I’m not just another year older or marking just another year of crossfit. As I move through the rhythms of life, the cycles of love, the motions of time, it is not years, but merely reflections that create wisdom. Taking time for self-reflection is necessary to learn & grow. It is the reflection that enriches my life & encourages personal growth. Self-doubt is a real thing & is often the culprit that holds us back in life. 3 years ago at the age of 39, with 5 kids in tow, and 15 years of devoted parenting, I was nailing healthy eating but my life was completely deficit of any fitness, exercise or time for me. Little did I know that the WILL it took to tackle my self-doubt & start crossfit, would be the WILL that has strengthened more than just my physical fitness.A better version at 40 revealed what was driving my lifetime avoidance of participating in a structured physical exercise. With clarity, I could see that my excuses for not exercising were shrouded by deep-seated fears & after one year of crossfit I was fitter & stronger than I had ever been in my life. I was a better version of healthy & a better version of myself. I had learnt that it is never too late for change. Even at 40. Fun at 41, recognised that there is a very important journey behind every milestone & it is the journey that is worth celebrating. A lot can happen in 1 year & even more can happen in 2 & 3! 3 years ago I did not own a pair of joggers let alone a pair of tights. 3 years ago I could not do a sit up. 3 years ago I devoted little time to ‘me’. 3 years ago my journey with real food, lead me to a journey with fitness….a journey with fitness & a whole lot more….a journey that revealed so much of me I had forgotten or never knew. 3 years ago, I knew that I needed exercise in my life. I knew exercise would be good for me but did I really know HOW it would be good for me? The answer is NO. I didn’t need to lose weight but I wanted to be fit. I didn’t want to get big muscles but I wanted to be more ‘toned’. I didn’t give a shit about doing a pull up but I wanted to be stronger. I wanted to be fitter & stronger & of course I wanted to look good. Not once did I think that I NEEDED to exercise to discover things about myself; to grow as a person; to be a warrior to my own mind.Every workout, every day of the week, every week of the year, turning up to crossfit reaffirms to me a very powerful mantra that I apply in every aspect of my life. “It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you. If you allow it” (Leon Brown). This mantra not only gets me through the battle of a workout that leaves me flat on my back, gasping for air, but it also gets me through the battles, challenges & adventures that I face everyday…. at work, at home, as a wife, as a mother, as a midwife, as a friend, sister, daughter.Some call it an addiction and many do not understand the habitual daily ritual of prioritising time for crossfit; affectionately known as the cult. After spending a lifetime feeling guilty for not exercising, in the past 3 years I have discovered the exact opposite of this. Feeling guilty for prioritising fitness. It’s called ‘FIT GUILT’, and as a mother, I am my own worst enemy. Letting that shit go is so liberating. Letting go of feeling guilty for dedicating and prioritising time for fitness; time for me. The dulling out those voices in my head that question me about exercising instead of doing housework. Why do I feel the need to justify that it is ok to go to the box for an hour after work, before going home to kids, homework & another round of meals on the table? And why does that voice in my head have to justify my need for another workout on a Saturday morning?
One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else. Authenticity is the very answer to this tragedy & that means finding & knowing who you are & being brave enough to live it. Figuring out what feeds your spirit is critical in this process & has the power to make a busy life, quite simple.As a midwife & mother, food & health have always been an integral part of my lifelong passions for birth, babies & nutrition. The decisions I have faced & made in finding and living the truth of my passions have taken strength. It has taken strength to be brave with my decisions even when it goes against the grain; feeling like I was always going left whilst everyone was going right. My biggest challenge has been overcoming the silence I subjected myself to, in order to feel ‘accepted’. Whilst we all have a common need to feel accepted, it is important to find that inner strength to stand alone, to let go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embrace who we are.Sharing a reciprocal passion for nourishing foods with my lifelong friend Pinky, as we joined forces in motherhood 8 years ago, progressed my lifelong food journey exponentially. The creation of Pinkfarm resulted from this journey of inspiration & the kindred spirit of two friends sharing a passion. We put ourselves in the face of vulnerability & began to share our experiences & knowledge with the world; instilling our belief in the power of REAL FOOD to heal, nourish & nurture healthy humans. This was the beginning of breaking my silence, accepting that going left, whilst everyone was going right was ok, and I didn’t need to hide it from anyone.My journey with real food lead me to crossfit & at 42, I can vouch that every next level of your life will demand a different version of you. Every day we make dozens of choices that rely on our inner strength – and we don’t even know it! Crossfit reminds me to keep working from this inner place, in order to perpetuate more strength. More strength to face up to life. To keep going with the boring, the mundane, the exciting & the challenging. To face up to that mountain of clothes to fold, to prepare those 22 meals a day, to wash dishes over and over again or to spend 3 hours of my day grocery shopping and packing food away. The homework, the newsletters, the excursion forms to sign, the bills to pay, the meetings, the shift work, the preparation of real food. Crossfit prepares me for the physical demands of my work & gives me the emotional strength to support women transitioning to motherhood.Crossfit has taught me that skipping over the hard stuff just doesn’t work. We don’t change, we don’t grow & we don’t move forward without the work. Sure I can celebrate how far I have come in 3 years with a 90kg back squat, a long-awaited 45kg Snatch & some chest to bar pull-ups! I hang onto that moment of excitement getting a 67.5kg squat clean! And shit I am stoked that my bone density is higher now than it was at 40! However, overshining these milestones is not only the journey it has taken to get there but the lessons I have learnt along the way. The lessons of inner strength & self-awareness that infiltrate & influence the rest of my life.
Making time for crossfit everyday, is not ONLY essential for maintaining my physical fitness, but more importantly, it strengthens & maintains my inner warrior. It makes me the warrior of my own mind. A warrior to defeat the self-doubt. To stay true to myself. To kill the fit guilt. A warrior to live authentically. To own responsibility for my health. To stand by what I believe in. A warrior to follow my passions. To be accountable for my actions. To stand proudly alone. A warrior to embrace vulnerability. To love courageously. To listen with compassion. A warrior to connect with my integrity. To overcome fear of failure. To accept my weaknesses. A warrior to embrace challenge & to inspire change & growth.It takes inner strength to find that warrior to your own mind. The warrior that will create change. The warrior that will build the strength it takes to start working out, to break bad food habits, to give up unhealthy lifestyles, to make time for you, to repair relationships, to strengthen families, to create revolutionary change, to start new adventures or to just show up in life. “It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you. If you allow it” (Leon Brown). This is the daily battle in my mind that gets me through a workout. It keeps my inner strength ignited & strong, & I carry this with me when I leave the box and get on with life. I’ve learnt that an element of intolerable discomfort precedes the choice to be strong. Subjecting myself to the daily challenge of crossfit builds my inner-strength to exact control over the things I can control & to surrender to the things beyond my control in that moment. Strength is driven by moments of anguish that we just can’t ‘take any longer’. Experiencing a degree of unpleasant emotion, fuels one to take action. What we think becomes what we do, which eventually becomes who we are. And at the end of that unpleasant emotion, is a nice big dose of endorphins, that leaves me feeling invincible & capable of embracing the art of living with more passion, happiness & love.
Crossfit has taught me & reminds me every day that our body hears everything our mind says. With courage, I share my journey with you, in hope to inspire & encourage others to find the warrior of their own mind. In reality, life can be a challenge for everyone. Nothing hard is easy and everything easy is hard. Every milestone is worth marking. Every year of life is worth celebrating with the tribe that surrounds you.Thank-you Crossfit HBZ Tribe for the amazing journey. With happiness, sadness & excitement, I am ready to embrace the move to our ‘new box’ & the new adventures with Coach Tommy & Coach Mads. Cheers to Crossfit HBZ & MCT Fitness! Anyone Can Do It! Fitter, Faster, Stronger! Out with the old & in with the new for 42! When you love what you do and do what you love, life is amazing!