In September of 2012, when my youngest child started preschool, I pulled up at Crossfit Outcome on Bainbridge Island. I was scared to pieces but ready to invest in myself in a new way. I had no idea, walking into that experience, that a year later, I would leave my life as I knew it, for a life of travel and new landscapes. I also didn’t know that when I barely survived my first class, over two years ago, the knowledge I gained from the coaches in that gym would empower me to explore the world with my family with new confidence and endurance.
I learned proper form for many broad, general strength exercises we need in our everyday life, but I learned so much more. I learned that I was strong and that intuitively I knew a lot of what they were teaching me but had lost it somewhere along the way. I learned that excuses don’t matter because they are really just words I used when I felt I wasn’t worth the time or energy. I learned that selling my self short and sacrificing my health to “take care” of others was not taking care of them at all. I learned that fitness can be inclusive and supportive while also pushing every limit I had ever set for myself. Most importantly, I learned that investing in the best teachers, no matter what the cost, is always a bargain.
I read this quote on the Crossfit website:
We have sought to build a program that will best prepare trainees for any physical contingency — not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable.
I am sure they had other things in mind when they wrote those words that had nothing to do with family travel but I am here to say, without that knowledge, I am not sure I would be on this journey. My husband and I set out with our children in tow, every morning that we can, armed with our Travel Workout of the Day (WOD). We have worked out in stairwells, fire escapes, empty piazzas at dawn, closet-sized hotel rooms, and sprawling Spanish beaches. We have two jump ropes, and bodies full of knowledge we learned from the best coaches either of us have known to date.
I think part of why Crossfit resonated so clearly with me and why it serves me every day is because it was about preparing me to be independently healthy. I never felt like it was about creating a dependency on a specific gym or methodology, but rather an unconditional commitment to fitness, wherever life may lead.
When my children decided they wanted to walk up the Eiffel Tower instead of taking the elevator, I was right behind them. When my children decided they wanted to spiral up Notre-Dame’s narrow staircase to see if the Hunchback was in the bell tower, I followed. When my children wanted to hike close enough to the Matterhorn to touch it, I led the way.
I won’t be winning an Olympic gold any time soon, but I am overwhelmed with gratitude for having the stamina to tuck into life and get all I can out of each day from any corner of the globe. There is no greater gift.