“It’s not that deep, Boo!”
That’s the mantra Cody Rigsby greets me with as I clip in for another ride. A mantra, my body and mind needs, but I am doubtful that I can sustain.
I smile and think to myself, that’s right – it’s not that deep, just pedal, however you want to.
This is how my journey began. And over 100 days later (a perfect streak still), I am so grateful for making the decision to be kind to myself.
Those of you reading this who don’t know me personally may need some backstory to understand where I am coming from. I’m a wife, mother of two girls, step-mother of a college freshman, attorney, business owner, and former athlete. I was a dancer, cheerleader, weightlifter, CrossFit Coach, marathon runner, and group fitness instructor. Moving and being physical every day was part of my being. And I admittedly lost that part of myself.
I lost it when I gave to my marriage, my children, my profession, my business, and the professional and charitable groups I was passionate about. I care about the quality of work and energy I give to my loved ones and my clients. But, I had stopped caring about what I had left over to give to myself. I considered that a luxury I didn’t have. I know I am not alone. Most moms I know are walking the same path.
This year I found myself dealing with a few pretty challenging situations at the same time. My struggles were not the worst in the world, and I reminded myself of that daily. I was healthy, everyone I love was healthy, therefore, everything was good. There were plenty of people in worse situations. The problem was, by trying to keep perspective on what I was dealing with, I was really not appreciating the toll it was taking on me, and by extension, my loved ones. I am always mindful to be grateful. So it felt selfish to acknowledge that I needed to start taking back some of the time and energy I was giving to others.
Like everyone else on social media, I found myself being inundated with advertisements for a popular at home spin bike. A spin studio in the comfort of your home. It was ironic that I was drawn to the ad, because in the 1990s when I was a group fitness instructor in college, the gym I worked at was intrigued at the new fitness craze “spinning,”. I wanted to know if I wanted to get certified to teach it. I took one class and hated it so much, that I never sat on a spin bike again. Until January 6, 2019, that is.
Making a change
At the end of December, I pulled the trigger and ordered my spin bike. I was afraid that I was going to have buyer’s remorse on this large purchase. That I wouldn’t be consistent, or that I would hate it. My bike arrived January 6th, and while I was excited to start, in the back of my mind I was anxious. Was this going to be another aspect in my life where I held myself to incredibly high standards, making it stressful instead of helpful? I knew this was a dangerous pattern for me. In 2012, I started and fell in love with CrossFit. I loved it so much, I decided to get certified to coach. I loved coaching, but again, eventually, my desire to help others with CrossFit robbed me of the joy I experienced doing CrossFit for myself.
Immediately hooked, I set a goal to reach a 60-day streak (the highest badge awarded for a streak). It didn’t matter how short or easy of a class I took, the goal was just to show up. I started taking more classes of Cody’s, and now he is one of my regulars. I turn to his rides on the days when I am my most exhausted, or not sure of how the ride is going to go. Why? Because he is kind to me when I am not. He encourages riders to give themselves a pass when that is what they need, and to not overthink it or assign a heavier weight to the ride – it’s not that deep, boo.
It is ironic that I am constantly teaching my girls to be kind to others, to themselves, to treat people gently, as you never know what they are carrying – but I was not being kind to myself.
So now, almost 150 rides in, I clip in almost joyfully every day, knowing that I will be kind to myself for the next 30-45 minutes. And it is even carrying over to my life off of the bike. Take a moment to consider how you treat yourself. Are you as gentle and giving as you are to your loved ones? Are you as diligent in taking care of yourself as you are in completing work tasks? Do you hold yourself to standards that you would not hold others to? Be kind to yourself – it’s not that deep, boo.