I woke up this morning to a kiss from my husband, as he went off to do what he loves. My pups jumped into bed with me to cuddle, as I answered emails from people who are passionate about CrossFit, education, health, fitness, and life in general. I made some delicious Rocket Fuel Mochachino, and hit the gym with the family…. Then, it hit me….
I am pretty lucky at life, and it’s about damn time I took at least 15 minutes out of every day to really appreciate it.
It is so easy to get caught up in the stress that life brings, but what I have learned is that how we deal with this stress is essential to a happy, self-made lucky life. I don’t believe that being lucky at life necessarily has to happen by chance; it is possible to create our own lucky lives through perspective.
Last week, I listened to this TED talk, and I had a little epiphany… stress has been demonized over and over again, but the reality is that everyone experiences stress. It’s all about mindset, how you take on the stress, and what you CHOOSE to do as a result.
Many of you are CrossFitters, which means you purposefully put your body through LOTS of stress every time you hear “3, 2, 1… Go!” Is 14.5 ringing a bell?
I love this picture, taken moments before “3, 2, 1… Go!” at a Level 1 I worked last month in Costa Mesa
CrossFit workouts are an example of a positive adaptation to stress. During a workout, adrenaline pumps and endorphins are released, as we strengthen our hearts, muscles, and minds. It’s hard to argue with the fact that working out hard is a good thing. So why not take on life’s other stressors with the same mindset?
What if we started to view the indicators of stress (increased heart rate, sweat on the brow, the feeling of loss of control in a new way? What if we view them instead as signs that our bodies are energized, preparing to take on a new, exciting challenge? That pounding heart is preparing you for action. If you’re breathing faster, it’s no problem. It’s getting more oxygen to your brain.
In the TED talk, Kelly mentions a stress study. Participants who learned to view their stress response as helpful for their performance were less stressed out, less anxious. Even their physical stress response changed. When participants viewed their stress response as helpful, their blood vessels stayed relaxed. Their heart was still pounding, but this is a much healthier cardiovascular profile. It actually looks a lot like what happens in moments of joy and courage (or even a CrossFit workout).
So we can improve our health and fitness in the gym, but we can ALSO improve our health and fitness by working out our mindset, tackling life’s challenges with the same state of mind that we tackle Fran, 14.5, or any other workout!
When you get thrown a curveball, and your day goes to crap, consider how you can take the unexpected and roll with it…
Perspective is key, so don’t sweat the small stuff, hug a loved one, get a kiss from a cute dog, and enjoy life because every day brings with it an opportunity to make the BEST of what you’ve got. Workout didn’t go your way? Learn from what went wrong and come back with more knowledge and experience. Work got you down? Step away and appreciate what that job allows you to do outside the office. Diet becoming frusterating? Take a moment to remember that food is fuel for your body, a gift that no one can take away from you.
Happy Monday everyone! Don’t forget to ENJOY THE RIDE and take on life’s stressors like you would a CrossFit workout… 3, 2, 1… Go!
Here’s a quick lucky at life picture. So fortunate to get to travel the country and work with the raddest people on earth, my coworkers on the Level 1 Staff. This was last weekend, when I got to jump on Cameron’s bike before starting Day 2 in San Diego