Tiger Blood

There is something you, (mysterious internet user), should know about me.  I have never been that athletic.  Or coordinated. Or agile.  Or into sports.  Or into working out.

That just wasn’t me growing up.  I was artistic sometimes.  And I found myself funny.  But I never tried that hard when it came to any physical exertion.  I always gave up before I started.  I didn’t believe in myself or my abilities.

And that sucks.

But wait! There’s more!

I finally started taking care of myself my junior year of college (after two years of competitive level eating…with no competition) .  I was 21 and started exercising.  You know what? I loved it.  I toggled between using the elliptical, jog/walking on a treadmill (HARDCORE!) and taking drop-in classes at the university’s gym.  I did yoga and pilates and kickboxing (all were incredible).  ***(see note below)

When I got into nursing school, you know what happened? I got busy.  I got stressed.  I started focusing on learning about how to take care of other people before taking care of ME.

Photo credit HERE

This semester,  I knew I needed a change, a kick in the butt.  So, I signed up for the Cub Corps.

You may be thinking, “What the heck is that? An army of tiny bears?!”

Photo Credit HERE

Yes.  That is exactly what it is.  And this is what I look like in it.

Photo Credit HERE

Bahaha, I couldn’t help myself!  You want some fun? Google “Bear Army”.  Phew. Adorable AND menacing.

But I digress.

So I joined the Cub Corps.  It is a class offered at Lombardi Recreation Center at UNR.  It is an intro to fitness class that teaches the basics of CrossFit movements. When I asked an employee about it and whether or not it would be right for me, he replied, “I’m not sure, its for a beginner.  It is good for someone who can’t even do one pull-up.” …At that moment, I knew it was for me.  (I am pretty sure, I have NEVER done a pull-up.  In my life.  Not even half of one.)

I have been curious (and skeptical) about CrossFit for a looong time.  I thought it blew out people’s backs and was only for intense meanies.

I know, I know.  Generalizing is bad.  And today, I can fully admit that I was wrong.  I have had a great experience with the CrossFit-ers and you know what, there are intense meanies in every group on the planet, so I shouldn’t judge a whole based on an part.  Sometimes people go all “Lord of the Flies” without any need to.  (Sucks to be your ASMAR!)  Digressing…

I have gone for four weeks now, three times a week, and I have had an incredible experience.

My fellow cub corp-ers are kind and we are all there for the same reason, to learn and get stronger.

The instructor (Johnny B) and coaching helpers (various strong men and women) are encouraging and patient.  They spend a lot of time with us ensuring that we are doing the movements correctly and safely.  Then they tell us to add weight.  Then add more weight.  Then add more.  Then I feel like the Hulk, and it is awesome.

Yes, that is really my face. Thank you internet.

While feeling stronger than I ever have, random aches and pains have slowly gone away.  My back isn’t sore after a long clinical day and I am doing real pushups (no knees!)  Then afterwards, I am POOPED.  It feels great to work so hard.  And I sleep incredibly.  So does Zo, but she always does.

I love her so much I can’t stand it.

Instructor Johnny was the one who introduced me to the Whole 30.  By the way, I am on Day 15 and feel ridiculous – in a good way.  So far, I am finding that all of those random claims the Whole 30 guide makes at the beginning (better skin, better sleep, better digestion, more energy, better workouts, and on and ON) are true.

If you remember, when I read about it, I was skeptical (surprise, surprise – read about it HERE).  But honestly, I feel great.  My skin has cleared up, I sleep incredibly, and wake up with greater ease and a clearer head.  I don’t have any more heartburn and have loved cooking (which is good because I do it a ton now).  As everything in life, I’m just taking this one day at a time.  Today felt good, so I’m in it for tomorrow.  I have to say though, I haven’t had any sugar or sweeteners of any kind  for 15 days and that rocks.

This experience has taught me to once again care for my body.  Learning these new movements is humbling, but great.  I have fallen over on boxes (while attempting to jump ON them), done partial pull-ups (still working on it), and dropped a weighted bar on my leg (just while walking…).  But you know what?  I still love it.  These classes have become a favorite part of my week.  I love learning new things and feeling sore the next (several) day(s).

My focus is shifting from thinking about what I will get if I do all of these things to how it feels just to do them.  Learning this stuff is fun and I feel strong doing it, not just physically – but mentally.

I am proud of myself, I am grateful for this experience, and I am enjoying it one day at a time.

***Note: During this period of time, I began learning how to take care of myself, holistically, not just physically.  We are complicated creatures that deserve care physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.  In this particular post, I’m not sharing about the other stuff, but in order for me to do one, I had to put work into all. ❤

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