February 06

Find Your Ladybug

Life moves fast.  Society pushes us along at a rapid pace, pressures weigh us down, and time slips by every day, with or without us.  We all get stressed out about little things in life – things that have to do with workouts included.  When’s the last time you got annoyed that you couldn’t squat as much as you wanted to?  Weren’t as far along as you’d like in your handstand pushup progressions?  Got last in sprints during the warm-up? Couldn’t run as many miles as you thought? The ladybug story is for you.

My ladybug story started the other day when I was having what I considered a “stressful day.” Most of you know that I juggle coaching with my “day job” working for ESPN, and sometimes between those things, I just feel like one of those people at the circus spinning the plates on sticks and I’m just hoping that none of them crash to the ground.  I know you guys ALL have felt this before with your multiple jobs, families, social obligations, and gym priorities.  And if you haven’t felt this panic before, you might be Jesus.  Which would be sweet, because that would mean Jesus does CrossFit.  I digress.

So, I was rushing into my apartment from teaching a class at the gym, text message alerts going off, 4 bags of groceries in hand, dog jumping all over me, late for a conference call for my other job. I was ready to just drop everything and scream, when I realized my the wildflowers I planted in my window boxes hadn’t been watered.  Of course, I was immediately annoyed that I hadannnoootthhher thing to do in that moment. I couldn’t just let them be thirsty, so I dropped my crap and decided to water them right then.

As I rushed around to water my wildflowers, all the sudden I pulled my hand back quickly and stopped short. I saw a little ladybug sitting right on top of one of the flowers.  I hadn’t even seen her sitting there! She was 100% minding her own business, enjoying the flowers that I planted from seedlings, and I was moving so fast I didn’t even see her.  For a few seconds, I was so appreciative to just sit in that moment, and see the tiny ladybug.  It slowed my entire day down, and I would have just missed that beauty if I had rushed right past it.  The ladybug story whipped my perspective back into shape, flipped my bad mood around, and I realized that there was really nothing to be stressed about.

There she is!

There she is!

My point with the ladybug story is sometimes we all need to find our symbolic ladybugs.  Take a few days this week and try to find beauty in something small and usual – or even better, in something you hate.

We can easily apply this concept to our workouts.  Instead of getting irritated about a couple pounds you’re carrying from a birthday feast, a deadlift PR that you missed, or getting one rep less than you wanted on 13.3, why don’t you take that energy and look for a ladybug – for example, the way the mats feel when they get warm in the sun, the laughs of classmates during a fun group warm up, the babies of the gym playing in the corner while their moms work out.  Let it go, and be light.

Take a second and appreciate that we live in a climate where we can workout outdoors 350 days out of the year - so rare!!

Take a second and appreciate that we live in a climate where we can workout outdoors 350 days out of the year – so rare!!

By focusing our energy on the positive things in the gym and letting go of our stresses of how much weight and how fast, we allow our bodies to just move and flow.  You allow yourself to find fun in every day at the gym, and fun in fitness.  None of us (probably) are going to the Olympics.  So what are we working out for?  We do it to improve our bodies and our performance of course, but aren’t we kind of doing it to improve our souls too?  Aren’t you doing it to make friends, enjoy workouts, and encourage others? Of course you are. We need to exercise our power to improve our souls just as much as our power to improve our Fran time. So, next time you walk into the gym still returning emails from your pain-in-the-ass client, carrying 75 things, knowing you have nothing for dinner at home, 10 minutes late for class – take a deep breath, keep it in perspective, remember why you are here, and find your ladybug.