“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”
-Henry Ward Beecher
I did a push up the other day, ONE WHOLE PUSHUP! HELL YEAH!!! I got excited about that.
It seems comical that this would excite me when I could at one point bench press more than my body weight and would joke with my coach about needing new jeans from the stretch marks from gains during the rowing season. I was an NCAA athlete and collegiate rower for 4 years, physically I would say that was the start of my athletic career, mentally it started long before.
I was not athletic at all growing up, in fact I’m pretty sure my twin brother stole all those natural genes before I kicked him out of the womb for taking up too much space. Growing up I loved being active and outside but I was never good at sports, especially those that required hand-eye-ball coordination (I blame it on being left-eye dominant and right-handed ha) I loved anything to do with the water, especially water skiing and I loved to play volleyball. I even did track to keep in shape for volleyball and I hate running. I worked really hard but just never seemed to be able to get to the level I needed in High school to play volleyball on JV or Varsity.
When I was a Senior in High School a friend of mine invited me out to row knowing that I liked water sports. She was part of the Omaha Rowing Club and they needed an eighth person to be able to practice for the day. I immediately fell in love with the sport that day and continued rowing with the club. One day I was out in the double rowing with our coach and he asked me where I was looking at attending college and spoke about scholarship opportunities. I thought nothing of it and shrugged it off, rather, I laughed it off.
‘ME?! Get an athletic scholarship to college? Bah ha ha.’
Well, somehow that happened and it laid the foundation for the crazy journey to follow leading me where I am today. As an Adventure Filmmaker, Photographer and Storyteller, fitness is key to being able to do my job. I need to be in top shape to be able to work with the athletes and tell their stories. My fitness goals change and adapt according to where and how I will be working. My goals and progress have gone through a massive shift as I take my focus from the sea to the mountains, trading in my sea legs for my ski/mountain legs and prepare for the next chapter.
Traveling all the time, not being able to stay on a consistent plan, recovering from a head injury and offshore sailing made it more difficult to maintain the muscle and fitness level I had acquired. I knew I would lose some muscle doing my job, as is the nature of offshore sailing, especially when you aren’t actively sailing, but I didn’t realize how much. I was mortified when I did my fitness testing to see where I was and couldn’t even do one push up.
ONE PUSHUP. COME ON! I USED TO BE ABLE TO BENCH MORE THAN MY BODY WEGHT!
I was really frustrated. As I talked though my goals with my coach, Mike Brownfield, he wrote it all out on the big white board in front of us and I started to feel better as I saw the plan all laid out as well as optimistic about where we were heading.
I have been there before, I can get there again.
Inhale the good shit. Exhale the bullshit. I left feeling fired up and ready to charge ahead.
I read a quote the other day that said, “Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.”
Well, ok then, I'll be damn proud of that pushup!
If it’s one pushup or ten, be proud of the progress. Don’t be afraid of beginning.
Trust your coaches, trust in the plan and trust in yourself. You Got This!