Life is meant to be lived and to do that to the fullest, you have to get out there and try shit. All sorts of shit. Sometimes, you will not like it and you need not keep going. But even when you didn’t like the shit before, if enough time has passed, try again and see if your tastes have changed. This works for foods you don’t like as well as activities you have passed on previously. You change with time, you might want to give things a second chance. This is not necessary with every person from your past. Some of them get no second chance for good reason.

When you decide to incorporate things into your life, it doesn’t have to be for eternity. I’ve crocheted and knitted enough scarves to wrap up entire communities. It kept my hands busy for a long time, and I enjoyed it while I was engaged in the activity, but it doesn’t mean I have to crochet or knit daily. I do have the craft available to me and can engage in it when I choose. The skill has not been forgotten.

When you choose to live a healthier life, remember nothing is perfect. Not even you. If you need to say that to yourself a few times, I understand. We are not perfect and it is unattainable. We can only do so much, but … and this is the hard part, you can probably do more and do better than you think.

Healthier is a different word from healthiest which is quite handy since no one can agree on what the latter really is. So how do you commit to a healthier life?

Eat food. That’s the first part. Not chemical shit storms or food products, but food. You know, ingredients. Things without ads. Once you get the hang of eating food instead of crap, eat only one serving of food not mounds or plates-full. The healthiest thing you can do diet wise is to cut out all added sugar and all fake sugar products. No soda. Ever. You don’t need it. Ever. Sugar tastes wonderful, but has no nutritive place in our diet.

Move consistently. You can’t walk ten miles on Sunday and be done for the whole week. You need to move daily in ways that stretch your abilities. And your joints. You need to increase your range of motion until you actually move your body the way you did when you were a young adult. We don’t need to revert back to the bendy status of toddler, but if you really want to lick your own toes, it is possible even for old farts.

But healthy isn’t just your body. You need to find peace within as well. Look out onto your world and find three things to be grateful for each day. Start a list. Three different things. The sunshine. The rain. The smell of a rose. There are many things to be grateful for. Find them. List them. Reread your list on unhappy days. This will help you gain the perspective of inner gratitude. Life is precious.

Those are the ideals. However, it isn’t easy to be ideal and it is impossible to be ideal all the time. So now what. I’m heading out to celebrate the fathers around me. We are going to a party. There will be food there, but it won’t all be sugar free (I know because I’m bringing brownies and cookies). I could throw up my hands and just pig out. Or I could celebrate consciously and eat mostly good foods and some not as good food choices. Is that quitting? I believe it is balancing the special day and special circumstances with my overall life and goals.

If you have special days and special circumstances on a daily basis, they aren’t special and that is your life. Only you can tell the difference, but lying to yourself about every single day’s excuse for living outside your stated dreams only means you have stated your dreams incorrectly.

I’m going on vacation – twice. Each time for nearly three weeks. I have no plans to go to any CrossFit things while I’m gone. I do have some plans for moving, stretching, exploring, and keeping active while I’m away from the box. And I have plans to return to my four times a week schedule upon arriving back at my normal life.

The problem with these things is that once you give yourself permission – to eat the brownies or skip the workout – you have to decide all over again to get back to your stated goals. When you consistently choose to live the path you have built, you just plug away at it. And in doing so, you may miss out in other ways.

Life isn’t just black and white. It is mostly shades of gray. Once you quit, you have put your dreams at risk. But not quitting means you can only live within the rut of your healthy good habits. Much of life is a balance between what you want and how you have to live to get it and the glorious otherness of leaving your path. Just remember to get back or you will wander, lost and without achieving you goals.

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I have been doing CrossFit for almost five years now. That makes me a CrossFitter and I would love to bravely say, I’m pretty good at it. Not because I’m really all that good at it, but because I keep showing up and letting other people boss me around. Others, including coaches and other athletes, have more faith in me than I have in myself.

I have muscles. Really. I’m an old fart with muscles. I don’t quite have six pack abs. I can’t do a hand stand push up. I can’t do a pull-up. I can only clean and jerk half my body weight. I still can’t deadlift 200#. I can’t run a mile. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. So what on earth would make me think I’m any good at this?

I show up. Even when I’m scared to death. I show up. When I can’t do a single thing as written, ever (okay, I once a did a WOD RX, but it was supposed to be fast and light and for me it was slow and heavy, but I did it RX) I still show up. I scale every damn thing, all the time.

And as bad as I am today, I’m so much better than when I began. I would love to see every old fart in the world join me in this adventure. Not because then I might be able to be better than someone for once, but because it improves life outside the box. Really. Even when I occasionally injure myself, I know I’m stronger and more able and more confident and more awesome just because I do CrossFit on a regular basis. The feeling of empowerment is worth every drop of sweat. I can do many things that people half my age cannot. Really. With all the stuff I can’t do, I still do many not-at-all-old-lady things four to five times a week.

I’m killing this CrossFit thing. I’ve failed my way to success. I am good. Even though I know some people might judge me by different standards which would not be as kind or as generous. I have learned so many things by showing up and failing. I’ve mostly learned not to give up and to give myself the chance to succeed.

I’ve tried yoga a few times before. I hated it. Loathed it. Really, really disliked it. But I really like Cindy. She has been my CrossFit friend since I first started. She is a positive influence, a lovely person, and now a certified yoga instructor.

Back in February, while she was still learning to be a yoga instructor (and three years into her own yoga practice), she started to have a yin yoga class on Fridays after we were finished with CrossFit. She hadn’t been making too much time for CrossFit since she was so consumed with yoga. I made a deal. I would yoga, if she would CrossFit.

So I’ve been doing yoga once a week since February. Except, back in April, she was getting closer to graduation and wanted to practice some more and needed guinea pigs and began a Tuesday evening yin yoga class. I really like Cindy. She is a good person. I love that she is chasing her dream and taking all the steps to make it happen, not just wish it were so. I came to her Tuesday evening class, too.

Then in May, to get people used to coming to yoga classes, all of them were free for the month. Dick started to come with me. It has greatly helped him in his mobility which has allowed his golf game to improve. He is more flexible and has more stamina on the golf course, making yoga worth the time and effort. So we both go on Tuesdays and I still go after CrossFit on Fridays.

Twice a week makes a difference. Danette started at CrossFit about a year ago. She usually comes to Cindy’s yin yoga classes too. She also signed up for and does a nightly ROM WOD from an online subscription. It’s been intriguing. Her mobility is quite improved after her nightly stuff, which is a combination of yoga poses as well as stretching.

I decided to try using You Tube to search for yin yoga stuff and lo and behold, there were a half million hits. This week, completely broken by the yoga world and now a more than transient yogi, I’ve been doing a nightly yin yoga before bedtime. I’m getting better at setting up my home space and allowing myself the luxury of surrendering to the space yoga provides.

However, I’m a CrossFitter. Any time the instructor/You Tuber says “if available” I CrossFit that shit and give it a try because in CrossFit there is a need to prove you can at least freaking try. This is not the yoga path, but it is the CrossFit path. I sometimes have to back out, but at least I know I’m not holding back in my practice out of fear.

I’m a CrossFitter. I do yoga. They actually do go together.

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