Ashley Lanagan – November 2016

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Ashley Lanagan – November 2016

“Who I am today, and who I was September 5–the day before I sat down at the table in the lobby of the hanger to try my free Crossfit 101 class–are two different people; both mentally and physically.

The 1.0 version of me–the years prior to Sept. 5, 2016–was a career woman, workaholic, cross-country traveler, former athlete, wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend. I worked 70-80 hour weeks (more if you count answering phone calls and emails at all hours of the day and night), and post-work, I was happy sitting on the couch at home, spending what little free time I had with my husband and dogs, or out and about with friends. I ran on 3-5 hours of sleep and took very little time out for “me” because I was always so busy in other ways. While I did watch what I ate, within reason, I loved my sweets and dairy. For just shy of two years I had a picture of myself from a decade ago posted on my refrigerator, and had been paying for a gym membership monthly that I was certainly going to use. Not. I can count on one hand the times I went to the gym in the last two years…four times. So roughly, my visits to the gym were $120.00 per spontaneous “today’s the day” energy burst. Who was I kidding…I couldn’t comprehend having time to fit in a 20-30 minute workout, let alone a complete hour.
 
Fast forward to the beginning of September. Labor Day weekend. It was the first weekend that I had at home, without having to prepare to travel by plane the following Monday and be gone the entire week for work, since June. I was reflecting on my experience just a few days prior. I was out of town for work and needed to burn off some energy. Basketball has always been my “go to” when stressed. It was my life for so long. I found a local court, purchased a basketball, and headed there around dusk. I watched a small group of guys and girls play half-court for some time. More people showed up and there were now enough people to play full-court. I stood there, dribbling the ball, weaving it in between my legs, and one of the males asked if I wanted to play. I quickly took him up on his offer. For the first time in almost a week I had interaction with a human and other humans that wasn’t work related or my husband via phone! Two minutes in, I thought I was done for–couldn’t run the court, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t…–I asked for a sub, picked up my ball, and walked back to my car. I sat in the parking lot for a good 30 minutes and cried. Cried is an understatement. I sobbed. Uncontrollably.
What was I allowing myself to do to myself? No one else had a hand in this…it was me. All me. Years of neglect and putting things off. As a leader of an organization, I preached leading by example and “work, life, balance”. As a former athlete, I lived for competitiveness and the adrenaline rush. As a former coach, I was teaching others to do things for which I was not holding own self accountable.
Rock bottom. Lightbulb on. Why that day? Why then and not a year prior? Two years prior? Five years prior? No idea. But that was my “ah HA!” moment.
I had heard of The Fighting Fit through friends, and was always interested in the Crossfit/kickboxing/Krav Manga-type classes. I loved watching it. As a kid, I participated in Taekwondo and Jujitsu for years and loved it. I logged on to the website, inquired about the free class they were offering, and received an email back not too long afterward from Jaimie Brewis, telling me to pick a day, pick a class, and to come on in.
I showed up not knowing what to expect. I was able to put a friendly face with a name–Jaimie Brewis–and she gave me a rundown of what The Fighting Fit offered and gave me a tour of the facility. I decided that the Crossfit 101 class was my choice. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared a bit. Okay, a lot. Intimidated…absolutely. Jaimie then introduced to the Crossfit 101 instructor, Todd Montroy.
Todd walked me through each and every step of my first class, and made it very clear that I was only to do what I was comfortable with and that if I needed anything, he was at my disposal. It wasn’t easy. The hour seemed to last four. I sweat more that day than I had in the last decade. I thought for certain at one point my entire body was going to give out. But I survived and was still breathing. I managed to make my way to the front of the hanger. Jaimie asked me ‘how I thought things went’ and I handed her my credit card and told her to “sign me up now, cause if I leave without doing it, I may change my mind.”
 
Day two, I showed up. Day three, I showed up. I continued to show up. The first weekwas brutal. My body fought me every step of the way, but I continued to show
up. I continued to show up because of the encouragement and support I received from Jaimie Brewis. I continued to show up because of my instructor and trainer, Todd 
Montroy, who has pushed me to the brink and brought me back again, who has supported me, broke me, and quite literally, has rebuilt me. I continued to show up because of the other Badboys (and girls) and the sense of community that exists in that magic hanger. I continued to show up because of the support from the other trainers and instructors that are always there and willing to lend a helping hand, word of advice, smile or the much needed “YOU CAN DO THIS” when you feel you have nothing left. Most importantly, I continued to show up for me.
The new and improved 2.0 version of me is still a career woman, workaholic, cross-country traveler, former athlete, wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend. I still work 70-80 hour weeks (more if you count answering phone calls and emails at all hours of the day and night), and I will always be happy at home, spending what little free time I have with my husband and dogs, or out and about with friends. I still, at times, run on 3-5 hours of sleep.
But now, I leave work at 4:30pm to make it to my 6:00pm class daily throughout the week, and attend technique classes or open gyms on the 
weekends. I watch what I eat, started eating clean (Paleo), and found sweet and dairy alternatives, but don’t deprive myself. I made time for ME. For the first time in two years, the picture of myself from a decade ago posted on my refrigerator isn’t a constant reminder of what seemed to be an unattainable goal, and is now a goal to beat and exceed. And I will. I now have two gym memberships; The Fighting Fit, where I spend 4-6 days a week, and the gym membership I had paid for years on, for the sake of my workouts when I am out of town for work, that I now use (only when I’m out of town). I am now the person that gets upset if I am late, miss a class, or cannot spend time at The Fighting Fit. I am now putting my “money where my mouth is” per se, and actually living it and doing it. I am now that person that knows what the others are talking about when they say that ‘it’s addicting’ and that it is truly ‘their happy place’. I know that, because it is absolutely addicting, and it is now my “happy place”. The mindset that “there is no time” has gone completely out the window. I made the time, and dropped the endless excuses, because that’s all it ever was…excuse after excuse, day after day. No more.
 

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