CrossFit Doesn’t Work

It doesn’t. 

I got a message from an acquaintance a few days ago in which she expressly told me that CrossFit doesn’t work. It just doesn’t.

Her message went something like this:
“I was so inspired by you and all the stories you share that I decided to try CrossFit out. I found a Groupon and did the first month. It was so hard and I was so sore. I was hurting all the time–Aislinn, I could barely walk. I went once a week and nothing even changed for me. I’m not any closer to looking like any of the girls on TV. I don’t know how it works for everyone else, but CrossFit just doesn’t work for me.”

I wanted to scream. 
And yell.
And throw all of the things.

But I didn’t. I responded: 
“I’m really sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you. Sometimes, CrossFit isn’t for everyone. I hope you find something that you’ll enjoy better and maybe one day, you’ll head on back to a box.”

Honestly, I wanted to punch the shit out of her because she was so wrong. I mean, hello, I am a walking testament to the fact that this crap WORKS.

SEE?!


And then I realized, she’s right.
CrossFit doesn’t work.

I don’t know how many times I have to say this but being fit is not freakin’ easy. I always refer back to what Coach Lauren said to me the very first day I tried CrossFit: “if you come once a week, you’re gonna look like you come once a week. 

Girls like Camille and Julie don’t just happen. They didn’t wake up like that (sorry, Beyonce). They take the time to train everyday, multiple times a day. They take the time to analyze eating for performance and be athletes. 
Hell, those of us who aren’t elite still don’t just wake up and say “oh, I think I’ll look like a crossfit athlete today!”

Anyone who really knows me knows that I didn’t just faith away 30 pounds, okay? I worked REAL hard and worked my ass off (literally) and I’m STILL working on it. 
It is never, ever easy. And it really shouldn’t be.
Because if you’re getting better everyday, you’re supposed to be finding your limits to surpass them.

So you could join some box somewhere and just half ass some workouts every blue moon, but you sure as shit can’t get better if you’re only trying things out every once in awhile. 

So my friend is right.
Crossfit doesn’t work…
…unless you do. 

It’s not you. It’s me.

Dear Reebok,

I hate to do this to you. Really. I swear it hurts me more than it hurts you and I’m doing this for your own good. But we have to break up.

I want you to know that I worked really hard at this relationship. I did. But things just aren’t working out. I was dedicated to you. I was all, “oh, I LOVE reebok! They’re the official apparel for CrossFit!” so I made literally every effort to support you.

But you don’t support ME, Reebok! And I can’t take it anymore.
Let me explain. 

It started at last year’s regionals. I bought your black, skinny strapped sports bra. You know the one with the little CrossFit triangle on the back and the “Reebok CrossFit” written in the neckline. So cute. I took out those weird little soft mold cups (wtf are those, anyway?) and I wore it really proudly to the 5 am workout and everything was good.

Until it wasn’t.

Our workout consisted of something involving box jumps and toes to bar. There could have been other movements, but honestly, I don’t remember what they were and I don’t care. What I do remember? Those eeny-meeny straps letting my boobs MANHANDLE that bra until the damn thing was at  my waist. Have you ever tried to do box jumps with your sports bra hanging out like a belt?! 
I was having to stop every 3 seconds to pull it up. I seriously considered chucking the damn thing and just winging (jiggling?) it.

I decided it was time for a break in our relationship. I was so mad at you.
So I took my nice, new, $60 bra and let it sit at the bottom of my sports bra drawer (Ace, you have a sports bra drawer? Yeah, I do).
For the rest of the year. 

This is the bra I’m talking about. Y U NO STAY ON ME, BRA?!

Fast forward to this year’s regionals.
I worked the event again so Reebok was really generous and gave us discounted apparel. And I was like, “AW REEBOK! YOU DO LOVE ME!” so I decided to welcome you back into my loving arms. I bought a cute regionals tank and some cute shorts…and then I saw them. NEW BRA DESIGNS. 

Gone were the days of skinny strapped bras! These new sports bras had thick straps. Some had double straps. I rejoiced! But not one to get beside myself, I approached with caution. I tried one on and, at the suggestion of my friend Kat, I came out of the dressing room and did a burpee. AND IT STAYED PUT. 

Had my double D prayers been answered? It appeared so, Reebok.

LOOK AT THOSE STRAPS, Y’ALL


I wore my bras all through regionals. I was jogging up stairs, running around like a chicken with my head cut off on the floor, doing all the things! And I was impressed with the bras.

But we both know this was a temporary fix to a much larger problem in our relationship (see what I did there?)
I got home and wore my brand new purchases to the box. 6:30 class. And sure enough. There I was adjusting. Pulling and pushing. Desperately trying to keep my dang boobs in my bra. And then there was the running–the SPRINTING. I almost flashed approximately 4 people and a dog on a 400m. run. 

It just wasn’t working out. And I knew that this was going to be another purchase that sits at the bottom of my sports bra drawer. 

I can’t do this anymore. The frustration. The power struggle. Who will win today? Will it be you or my bust line? Who even knows anymore? We can’t keep score like this! 

I’m exhausted, Reebok. I can’t support you and me by myself. It’s time I moved on and found something with a more restricting lycra blend. 
I hope you understand. 

And if, one day, you ever develop a more mature fabric that knows what it’s goals are and meets them. Give me a call.

Until then, this is not a farewell, just a “see you later”.

All my love,
Aislinn

Stop. It.

All olympic athletes. All healthy. All different shapes, sizes, weights. Via

You are you.
You have every right to every opinion about yourself.

What you do not have?
You don’t have to express your opinions about someone else.

Maybe you think someone’s too thin.
That does not mean they’re anorexic.
That does not mean they don’t eat.
That does not entitle you to run around screaming that they’re unhealthy.
The idea that someone is too thin is based solely on your opinion.
Your opinion does not give you the right to shame someone.

Maybe you think someone is too fat.
That does not mean they are lazy.
That does not mean they aren’t fit.
That does not mean they aren’t strong.
That does not entitle you to run around screaming that they’re unhealthy.
The idea that someone is too fat is based solely on your opinion.
Your opinion does not give you the right to shame someone. 

In today’s society, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. 
If you’re fat, you’re too fat and if you’re thin, you’re too thin.
And everyone feels like it’s okay to tell you just what they think. 
Especially if they’re feeling super secure from behind the screen of a computer. 
And that’s sick.

My opinion?
I hope everyone is their best self.
I hope that everyone can experience the benefits of being healthy–whatever healthy is for THEM.
I hope that people make good choices–about physical activity, about food, and about life.
I hope that people realize that hurt people hurt people and what people say is a reflection of THEM and not a reflection of YOU.
I hope any and everyone can set a personal, mentally and physically healthy goal and have the determination to reach that goal. 

I am no one to judge anyone else’s journey.
It’s not my place. 
I’ve been “too fat”.
I’ve been “too thin”.
I’ve been “too muscly”.
I don’t know you, I don’t know where you are in your life or how far you’ve come. 
I just hope the best for you and pray that you make the kinds of choices that are going to benefit you in the long term. 

Because I am me and you are you. 

Comfortable, juicy peaches

Being comfortable in your own skin.
This was a topic that a friend of mine encouraged me to write about last week (two weeks ago? I don’t know. My days are blurring together).

I want to be able to write that everyone should just find the beauty in the thigh dimples, the wrinkles, and the love handles. I want to write that you shouldn’t care about anything and you should just be you and that’s beautiful enough. That’s comfortable enough.

But I can’t. 
Because I don’t live that life everyday. 
Because sometimes, that shit sucks!

Some days, I’m okay with cellulite on my thigh and a sometimes muffin top. Other days, I’m not. Most days, I’m totally okay that I’m halfway to 30. Other days I have a panic attack about it. Some nights, I put on my little black dress and nobody can tell me I’m not gawwwwwgeous. Other nights, I put it on and think, “nah. Let me stay in and wear my sweatpants, this dress is doing nothing for me.” 
I have bad hair days. 
I have bad face days.
I have days where nothing fits.
I have days where everything fits, I just hate the way it looks. 
I have days when slipping into the right pair of Chucks makes me feel beautiful.
Some days I’m Ariel, other days I’m Ursula.

Most days I just feel like I don’t fit into anyone’s standard of beauty.

But Dita Von Teese said once, that “you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there’s still going to be someone that hates peaches.”

hey, girl.

I think that since I started this journey to being a healthier person, it’s helped me realize that I may not like everything about my body. What I like and don’t like will change day to week to month.
But this journey has helped me take hold of those things and embrace them. To feel comfortable with the little things. To impress myself with the ordinary and astound myself with the extraordinary.

I can toss a 65 pound kid over my head.
I can carry all my groceries into the house–at one time.
I may not be able to find jeans that fit my ass, but I can fill out a bodycon dress with my lovely lady lumps.
I have discovered a new line of workwear called: gym clothing chic.
I realized that I’m funny.
I have good friends that get me.
I’m smart. And pretty nerdy. And that’s kind of cool, too.
I have flaws–and I can accept them (finally!)

Yeah, they’re there. But affirming all the good qualities I have makes the bad ones not so glaring and I’m learning that I don’t have to hide them. They are what they are and I am who I am.

And maybe that’s the key to being comfortable: is finding a way to not be uncomfortable. 

After all, this is your body. It’s the only one you get and you’re in it for kind of a long time. Better get used to it. The world will try to tell you to be self-conscious. To worry about the “rules” of beauty and to be the perfect model of whatever everyone thinks beauty is. But people who follow rules are quickly forgotten…but those who break the rules, those are the people we remember. 


Be a rule-breaker. 
Wear white after labor day.
Be your own beautiful. 
Be remembered as a person who was unapologetically comfortable in their own skin and if you don’t like something, change it for y-o-u.

Be your own peach.



The Cost of Fitness

I want y’all to know that I’ve been trying to write this post for days now. Literally.

Recently, a guy I know from high school posted something on facebook to the effect of:
“I had heard a lot of good things about crossfit being this great workout so I tried it and it was okay, but not that great. I’ve seen results based on the workouts I’ve made up myself, so my opinion is to save yourself the (insert ridiculous amount of money here) and just workout on your own.”

Y’all, this guy is an insufferable asshat. He’s been a dee-bag since I’ve known him and growing up hasn’t done him any favors.

Right, Rich?

Which is why it completely pains me to say that he’s right. 
Ugh. That left a terrible taste in my mouth.

You do not have to be a part of a box to crossfit. You don’t have to do crossfit to be in shape. And you don’t have to pay dues to anyone to workout. He’s right. 

But, I’m going to attempt, with my most honest and concentrated effort, to express why I–and a lot of other people, I think–pay our dues every month to do this crazy crossfit thing. And I’m going to give it my best because the last thing I want to do is take this…thing…that I hold so close to me and make it sound like some douche-y, fad thing. 

I do crossfit because I love it.
But I fell in love with it because of the people it brought me to.
I don’t make it a secret that I love my box and the people there, but I don’t think people really realize how much they matter to this journey.
I would not have stuck with this if I couldn’t count on Andrew’s dirty jokes, Stephen laughing at me while I fall off a box, Lauren making me keep my elbows up, Jess forcing me to use my hips, Mama Melissa reminding me to register for class, Jarrell yelling at me in general, and countless other people cheering me on. 
Yelling for me. 
Encouraging me. 
Making me pick the bar back up when I didn’t want to. 
When I felt like I couldn’t. 
Getting down on the floor with me after they finished their WOD to do pushups with me and push me through. 
Bringing me chalk.
Sharing their protein.
Cutting the ripped skin from my hands.
Never forgetting to tell me good job.
Even when I came in last. Which is often.

I need them. 


When I pay my dues, I never look at it as a hassle. Ever. Because I know that those dues take care of my crossfit parents, Andrew and Melissa. I know they take care of our box. I know they take care of my crossfit family. And that’s worth my money to me. 

Because I couldn’t do it alone. I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t have them to support me and guide me.


And no matter where I go, there are branches of crossfit family everywhere. People who understand what you’re doing and want you to succeed. Who will sacrifice time, sweat, and pain to help you, even when they don’t know you.
And that’s an incredible thing to me. 

I want to be that for other people. I want to help them be their best. And then exceed their best.


The thing is: crossfit is what you make it. If you don’t immerse yourself in the culture and community, you’re wasting your time. 
If you don’t go balls to the wall everyday and shatter your limits,
If you don’t yell and cheer for every PR,
If you don’t push your boundaries and encourage other people to push theirs,
If you don’t take time to clean up your weights and lay in a sweat angel on the floor,
you’re just wasting your time. You’re wasting your money.

This is not one of those things that you can do half assed. You have to come in here, every time, and decide that you are going to be better than you were yesterday. 
And your family is going to hold you to that decision.

photo credit: http://www.crossfit.com

If you can go it alone, I applaud you. I am impressed by you. Maybe you are a far greater athlete than I. But I thrive with my family. I tried a lot of things alone before I came to crossfit and none of them stuck because I needed those people. I needed their help to make me who I am today and help me determine who I will be tomorrow. 

I pay my dues to my community dedicated to sport of fitness because it helps my family grow. 
Nothing could make me more happy. 

Judging and cheering on Jarrell (maybe during 13.1?) Photo credit: http://www.mikebuckphotography.com


The thing about: being worthy

Over the weekend, I read this post by Mama Laughlin.
Then this morning, I read this post by Chris McCombs.

Two very different people.
Two very different fitness goals and levels.
Both having the same point: sometimes, our outward appearance is directly correlated to what we feel our worth is.

I’ve touched on this before, but I think that it’s really important to touch on it again. I’ve never felt like I’m pretty. Ever. Of course, my wonderful mother told me everyday that I was her beautiful baby, but I always felt like, “she’s my mother. She has to tell me that.” In high school, like a lot of girls, I felt like I was fat. I constantly compared myself to other girls and wondered why I couldn’t just be like them. 

There were things I never admitted to myself, much less other people. 

When I got to college and started gaining weight, I became even harder on myself. Like Mama Laughlin, I started trying to build myself in other areas because I felt deficient in the appearance areas. I tried to be a really great girlfriend because I felt badly that my college boyfriend had to be with someone that looked like me and weighed what I weighed. I tried to compensate by being the funny one, the smart one, the whatever one. 

I didn’t feel worthy of being loved. 
I would run away from love because I would tell myself, “they don’t know what they’re doing.”
I, honestly, didn’t love myself. I couldn’t show my own body that I loved it by treating it right, how could someone else love me?

Cliche as it sounds, I didn’t really feel confident until I started working out and losing weight. I was putting so much time and energy into my body–and myself–that I began being proud of how it looked.
I dressed differently.
I acted differently.
Even more importantly, I began treating people differently. I stopped tolerating people who weren’t respecting me. I stopped trying to make myself acceptable to them by lowering my standards.
I stopped thinking I had to settle for someone who would tolerate me.

Throughout this past year long journey, my ability to love other has changed because I finally feel capable of loving myself.
Sometimes, there are still days that I hate my thighs or my one dimple on my left cheek or my tummy.
But I’m not someone that has to be tolerated anymore.
I am worthy.
The journey I’m on may be difficult.
I often have set backs.
I sometimes fall off the wagon.
But I always love me.
Every second of everyday.

Dealing with The Askhole

We all know that person.
The Askhole.

The Askhole is that person that constantly asks you for your advice or opinions and then blantantly does the opposite of what you said to do.

The face you make when you waste your breath giving your honest and well thought out insight and advice and then The Askhole does the complete opposite:

It sucks, but we all know someone like that.

I am not a health specialist. I don’t specialize in nutrition. Like I’ve said a bazillion times before, I’m just some girl who gained an f*ckton (it’s a metric unit) of weight and then didn’t want to be fat anymore. So I got rid of it. And it worked. And that’s great news.

Naturally, I get a lot of questions about how I lost weight and what I do now. And I LOVE questions. I love to help anyone in anyway I can on their fitness journey (or through life or whatever).

Of course, there is no fitness plan that’s going to fit everyone. Some people can eat whatever and stay rail thin.
Other people (like me) think about a cookie and gain 40 lbs.
You just have to try stuff out and figure out what’s right for you.

But this is where the Askhole comes in.

They sit you down with whatever problem they’re having and beg for your help. They tell you that you’re the only one that can possibly help with what they’re going through and you just HAVE to. So you do.
You think up some awesome and well planned advice. You are considerate of their feelings and give it to them.

AND THEN THEY DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE.
Ugh.

This used to really disappoint me. I seriously used to get upset. I used to get really mad about it and just sit on being mad for a few days. Like, what a waste of time!

Until yesterday. I just gave up being mad. After her pleading with me to help her, I literally spent 45 minutes explaining to a woman about how her diet consisting completely of simple carbohydrates was probably not ideal for her body or health. And when I was finished she said, “well I just love bread and pasta so I’m not going to eat anything else. I just want a pill to make me lose this weight”

Annnnnd I’m done.

I give up. I think I’ve just taught myself that sometimes, the best thing you can do is tell someone. But you can’t force them to listen and you can’t force them to do the things that are good for them or that will benefit them if they don’t want to.

Just proof: you can lead a person to diet and exercise, but you can’t make them do it.