“I’ve spent enough years punishing my body for not being “perfect” that letting it perform in ways that make me a better, stronger, happier human is a daily reminder that I am enough…that the space I take up in the world is a good thing.”
Vice-President of Implementation – FAB Solutions Consulting.
Evaluation Director – Future Problem Solving Program International: Washington Affiliate.
As a kid, I never really played sports, per se – I was an avid English horseback rider (dressage, jumping, the whole jam) and essentially spent my summers feral: roaming, running, and riding all over my parents’ land and the surrounding farmers’ fields outside Colfax.
Then, college took me down the path of eating disorders and being “That Girl” who was the first one at the gym in the morning and the last one to leave at night – exercise was punishment, penance, the calorie-count on the elliptical a measuring stick for my worth that day. I struggled with that mentality and those behaviors for years.
At some point (almost 6 years ago now, wow!), a friend from work started asking me to come to Farmgirlfit with her. I told her “no” for months, but she was persistent…
It was 90 degrees. The workout was 10 rounds of box jumps, some bar movement and 200 meter sprints. I was thrashed by the end of it…but I was HOOKED. I haven’t looked back since.
0:10… Why’s the clock starting?! I’m not ready!
0:09, 0:08, 0:07… Make eye-contact with the girl next to you. You got this, babe!
0:06, 0:05, 0:04… crap, where’s the chalk? I need more chalk. Chalk makes you stronger. (Even for box jumps. This is the truth.)
0:03… Set yourself up, hands on that bar.
0:02… brain turns off; body turns on.
0:01… LET’S GO!
The thing that’s been most emotionally satisfying has been getting strong enough to lift my own bodyweight over my head. And deadlift twice that. There’s something really empowering about knowing that you can literally pick yourself up.
Someday, I will do a real muscle-up and an actual handstand walk. Also: I just want to not be the last runner finished at Seawheeze!
Favorite: any of the bro-lifts (and, really, any “one rep max” opportunity), rope climbs, box jumps, BEARS! I get excited when the workout is an EMOM or a chipper!
Least favorite: wall-balls (the #1 reason I am terrified to sign up for any competitions!), weighted lunges, squat thrusters. Fight-gone-bad workouts (1 minute at each station, 3 rounds) are the worst.
I picture every workout as a hill – I acknowledge that the first half is going to be a slog, but the second that clock ticks past the halfway point, I imagine myself coasting downhill. It doesn’t get any easier, but the mental image of the wind on my face definitely helps!
The lack of clique-ishness. There’s something equalizing about communal suffering (in a good way!). It doesn’t matter who you are – student or CEO, old or young, thick or thin, seasoned or newbie – you’re all in this together and those burpees aren’t going to do themselves. Sweaty high-fives all around!
Almost all my favorite memories at FGF don’t involve me – they’re about watching other women accomplish new things. The first time someone does a box jump. The first handstand someone holds. A virgin rope-climb. New PRs. The moment when someone decides to level up and – even if it takes longer – rocks a workout with a heavier weight. Those moments are joyous.
It’s probably silly, but trusting my body, knowing that I can push myself to my limits and recover, has made me so much more confident – in work, in my personal relationships, etc. Also, I’ve had to re-evaluate how I buy clothes, because these shoulders no longer fit in a lot of dress shirts! Stretchy materials are your friend!
I work from home for a technology start-up, which means that every day, I’m doing something different – product development, client meetings, demos, etc. I’m also the Evaluation Director for the Washington affiliate of an elementary-through-high school academic program called Future Problem Solvers – I manage and organize a group of over 30 evaluators who grade over 300 teams’ work. In a few weeks, I’ll be headed to Wisconsin to participate in the FPS International Conference! Additionally, I’m a freelance editor and compiler of the Datebook for Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living, a local magazine. Woof! (Can you tell I don’t like sitting still?)
When I’m not hustling, my husband and I can be found playing board games or video games, imbibing in Spokane’s fine array of craft beer offerings, arguing about movies and hanging out with our two ridiculous cats. I am also an enthusiastic (if hilariously ungraceful) student of aerial silks!
Is it terrible to say myself? I’ve spent enough years punishing my body for not being “perfect” that letting it perform in ways that make me a better, stronger, happier human is a daily reminder that I am enough…that the space I take up in the world is a good thing.
Well, in one of those “About Me” assignments from first grade, I wrote that I wanted to be “an adult.” I’m still working on that!
If you’ve talked to me, you’ve probably figured out, I have a stutter. It ebbs and flows in severity, but it’s one of those constants that’s guided the course of my life in innumerable ways. Some days, I can talk a blue streak and sound like a normal person…sometimes I can’t even say my own name. Ironically, I love talking about it, though! It’s a fascinating – if incredibly frustrating – disorder!
On a horse. I miss having the opportunity to ride!
The capital-T Truth is about life before death. […] It is about simple awareness - awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: "This is water, this is water."
~David Foster Wallace, adapted from his 2005 Commencement Address at Kenyon College
Someday I’ll get a “this is water” tattoo.
My own personal holiday is March 4th. It’s the only day that’s also an exhortation, and I love that! I use it as my “new year”–an annual reminder to march forth and conquer whatever life throws at you!
Guacamole: the chunkier, the better. 😋 And olives. So many olives.
Baking bread: there is nothing more satisfying than kneading a warm knot of dough. And riding the carousel at Riverfront Park. 3 minutes of pure joy!
Not every day is going to be your day, but if you show up, you might just surprise yourself. The hardest part is just putting on your shoes/sports bra/shorts/ponytail and getting out the door… the rest is programmed!
Also: honor your failures as much as your successes. PRs take time. Being the fastest one done with a “for time” workout might never happen. You might not be lifting as much, or jumping as high, or running as fast as the girl next to you. That’s fine. That’s AWESOME, in fact. You showed up. You worked. You did what you could, today. There is so much to be celebrated in that!