The latest from @TeamCinderWars on Instagram...

Monday, March 31, 2014

365 to Change

Rachel began CrossFit one year ago, here is her reflection on that year. 

Saying Goodbye:
One year ago today, I was 24 hours away from investing in CrossFit -- and investing in myself. Through CrossFit, I've gotten stronger, gained new skills, and gained a community of friends. 

I want look back and say goodbye to the person I was on March 31, 2013. Because on April 1, 2013, I decided to invest in myself for once.

While I've gotten physically stronger and gained new skills, the most amazing change for me has been the mental strength I've gained. Correction: the self-respect I've gained -- and the ability to hold on.

Coming Clean:
This past year, many people told me that I've been inspirational to them. I want to be that person, but first, I want to be honest. This past year has been a hard and difficult fight for myself. I want to start by getting something off my chest, because as I mark this year of change, I want to let go of the person I was. I want to be that person people believe I am, and to do that, I want you to know who I used to be a year ago.

The old Rachel was bulimic and depressed. I am pretty sure I have spent more time facing a toilet than I have putting on makeup in a mirror these past six years. The number of people I have lied to, or made excuses as to why I needed to use the restroom again, is insane. For that, I am sorry.

I battled through the worst of it three years ago, but it never really left. I never truly escaped the purging until this year. While I ceased vomiting after every meal, in the last few years, it would still happen on occasion. It became a comfort to purge; it would allow me to feel control. When I felt fat or stressed, I would purge. When I hit a depression swing, I would purge -- hoping that would somehow right the wrongs. It never did. That mentality of what order to eat food in to optimize purging, or constantly weighing myself  to measure how I felt about myself that day was always there. There was always a voice telling me I was fat and not good enough. I sought comfort in the control of the purge.

Where is this all leading? To a place of self-respect. I had no self-respect or self-confidence when I walked into CrossFit on the morning on April 1, 2013.

This past year, I found a strength within myself I did not know I had. You can't purge when you need to back squat 200+ pounds  or run 48.6 miles. This past year, I finally saw food for what it truly is: fuel. Food is no longer something to fear, but rather something I can enjoy and fuel my muscles with. I found that I can feel good about myself, not by the number on the scale, but by what I can accomplish with my body.

Now, when life becomes too much, or depression creeps in, I seek out a barbell. Seeing what I am capable of reminds me how far I've come.

Scale in a dumpster...GOOD RIDDANCE:
This year, I finally threw away my scale. I used to weigh myself morning, evening, and really anytime I was near it. I finally gave it the boot, and now I wake up and go to bed much more relaxed and happy.

I also ran in my underwear! As someone who was uncomfortable in my body, that was a huge step.

Do I still have days when I don't feel great in my own skin? Yes. But now I don't run to the toilet. I go to the gym and lift, or I run, or I phone a friend. I've learned to reach out.

Find good people and life seems so much easier.

To the Future:
So on the anniversary of the eve of me starting CrossFit, I want to say goodbye -- once and for all -- to the person I used to be. The person who did not think she was capable of much; the person who hid what was really going on; the person who did not respect herself enough.

Being bulimic has affected me, and that voice will always be there. But now – now, that voice is drowned out by the fight within me. I have caused damage to my body that I can't undo, but I've gained the strength to stop hurting myself and instead grow into an amazing, strong person.

Sure, I still get frustrated with myself or upset when something doesn't go well. But instead of beating myself up about, I take it as a challenge. I cannot wait to see what this year holds for me, because I believe in myself, and I want to fight for myself.

My new happy place. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Avengers - assemble!

When Rachel and I made the decision to pass on the Dumbo Double Dare registration a few months ago, opting to save our credit card limits for the Wine & Dine, we thought we were giving up any chance of getting our Coast to Coast medal this year. Then runDisney announced an exciting new Disneyland race the week after W&D - the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon!

An inaugural, super heroes themed race in Disneyland?! The thought was too good to pass up for these runDisney addicts. After an incredibly brief conversation (along the lines of "so.... do we want to?" "um, duh?"), we decided we were in for the extended race-cation, combining Wine & Dine weekend with a cross-country flight to California for Avengers.

Now that we're officially registered for both races (WOO! Especially since Avengers opened 35 minutes ago, and is already at 75% as I type), it's time to start thinking about costuming, flights, accommodations, and park passes.... not to mention training schedules ;)

Are you running Disney in the fall? Have you ever run back-to-back Disney races on opposite coasts? If you could run as any superhero, who would you run as?