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Miki Tips: CrossFit Taught Me to Love Myself

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Okay, gang, I’m going to get real here. 

As most of you know, I am a passionate freak about CrossFit. I love everything about it – the community, the training, the sport, the way it teaches me to be a better human. I am, as they say, “all in.”

There’s a reason for that.

When I was a young woman, I was singularly focused. I loved to sing and dance, and in pursuit of this I moved to NYC at the tender age of 18, ready to take on the world.

I was prepared, I was persistent, and I got very lucky early on, so I continued to prepare, to practice and to be persistent to keep that lucky streak going.

An unspoken part of the contract in show business, at that time, was that women were expected to be “a certain size.” I’ll spare you the ugly details, but let’s just say I made sure to meet that requirement by keeping myself as small and light as possible. 

I left the business when my first child started school. Brad and I needed to provide some stability, and moving around all the time to “follow the work” just didn’t make sense anymore. I got a job, one I didn’t particularly like, but it offered health insurance and a steady paycheck. We had another child. I continued to climb the corporate ladder, because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? There was plenty of love and laughter, but the truth is I was deeply unhappy.

You know that phrase, “living on purpose, with purpose”? I was doing the opposite of that. I felt lost. So I continued to keep myself as small and light as possible. At least that was something I could control.

Fast forward a few more years. The skills I learned in my corporate career enabled me to launch a consulting business and work from home. My kids got older. I got older too. I have found that getting older offers some perspective that you maybe can’t have when you have young children and you’re in the trenches, fighting for your sanity. 

Enter CrossFit.

My husband joined first. Then our son joined. Finally, Brad convinced me to try it. “I think you’ll like it,” he said. I thought he was crazy. I was a desk jockey. I’d never touched a barbell. I went anyway, and for some reason, even though it was physically and mentally harder than anything I’d ever experienced, I kept coming back.

Slowly, something began to bloom deep, deep inside me. I hardly recognized it, hidden as it was behind work and housecleaning and mountains of laundry. But bloom it did. And grow. I began hanging out at the gym more, working on learning skills, doing a little extra lifting. There were people at the box who saw that little seed growing and encouraged it. And all the while, without my even noticing it, that part of me that held onto the concept of “a certain size” began to melt away, to be replaced by a new appreciation for what my body could do. 

I could be strong. I could be fast. I could be an athlete.

And to my surprise, I wanted that. 

There is power in reconnecting to your purpose. Training has become my practice. It teaches me to be in the moment, and to strive to bring my best self to everything I do. I am not always successful. I fail pretty much every day. But I learn from that, and I continue to grow. 

To anyone out there who struggles with body image, or feels lost, or like they don’t know who they are anymore, I see you. I have been where you are and I am with you now. We all are. You’ve got a whole Dark Horse community behind you, standing ready with a little water, a little sunshine, and a lot of nourishment to help you grow.

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