Happy Hump Day to ya. First things first. I wanted to show you a picture of my dog, Charlie. He’s checking out all the cool cats(and by cats, I mean all different kinds of people) that walk by our new house during the day. He doesn’t bark or anything crazy. He’s just inquisitive. He’s not supposed to be on the couch, but I let him anyway.
Bare with me. I don’t usually get too deep with the words, but every now and then I do. I wanted to share with you the number one thing I’m learning right now:
Whatever it is that God put you on this earth to do, live it out with the intent to make others better. You’ll find yourself get better in the process.
I may not may not know you, so therefore I don’t know what you believe, but I hope you know that you exist on this earth for a purpose. You’re not here by accident. And everyday you have a choice… you can either live your life just going through the motions, or you can live your life with purpose.
Without trying to sound too dramatic, half way through 2015, I had a quarter life crisis (actually, not really…but I had some things to think through). I woke up every morning feeling like my life had no purpose. I had a great job – a job that so many would love to have – at my church. But something just didn’t feel right. I felt like(for me) I wasn’t in the best spot to make the most impact in this world – and all I’ve ever really wanted to do was simply help people make their lives better. Every single day at work I would walk past the same sign in the same stairwell that said: “What would you do for God if you knew you couldn’t fail?” All I could think about was how I wanted to coach, train, and ultimately make people better through fitness, nutrition, their habits, and ultimately their lifestyle. For the longest time I shrugged those feelings off because that dream seemed impossible. First off, I knew nothing. Second off, I already had a full time job. Third, I was so scared of rejection and failure. People continually called this out in me, and I just laughed it off because for the previous two years, I was always the girl in CrossFit that was there to get a great workout, release stress, utilize my competitive drive, and make friends. But as my coaches would go over technique in all those complex movements you have to do, I really just didn’t care. (I now wish I could take all of that back 🙂 I was wrestling with all kinds of feelings in my job before Daniel and I decided that it was best for me to just get out, reevaluate where I was at, and start working toward these dreams I had to help people help themselves and ultimately make their lives better.
We invested the money to get my CrossFit Level 1 Cert. Despite being the most humbled as they picked apart all of my movements, it was one of the best weekends of my life. I passed the test, got my certificate in the mail, and immediately became the best trainer that ever lived. Hahahahaha, actually that last part is 100% false. But my eyes were opened, and since that weekend in December, I’ve been working hard to make myself better – so that I can ultimately make other people better. The JOY that I’ve found through that can’t be beat. I promise. There’s something about this working out thing… You naturally bond with people over mutual experiences, like working out. And when you’re training or coaching someone, they’ll tell you allllllll about what’s going on in their life. I have LOVED getting to build relationships with people I’m training or coaching. It always goes back to relationships. How can you not care about the people you’re investing time and energy into?
Right now I know about 1% of what I would love to know, but I’m working towards learning more. First of all, I’m at the gym 6 days a week learning from the best coaches around. I’m not saying that ignorantly either. I go to a gym where the owners and coaches genuinely care. Several months ago, they cared enough to not let a trainwreck like me just jump in there and start coaching class by myself — and I’m really thankful for that. Nick and Cindy are the owners of CrossFit Electric City, and they took a chance on me. That’s for sure. Back in November, they started letting me help out in class, and it was one of the most fun, yet uncomfortable things I’ve ever done. (It actually still is). I remember the first time I went over the workout in front of class, my brain froze, and I’m sure nothing I said made sense. Not only are Nick and Cindy great coaches, but they are great friends of our’s. They’ve been in this fitness thing for a looong time. I look up to them, and I’m pretty much watching their every move in the gym. My life wouldn’t be the same right now if it weren’t for them, and Dan and I are very grateful for that. I kinda just started showing up to help coach back in November and made the gym my second home, and they just went with it I guess. I don’t take that for granted. Nick has called out a lot of potential in me and has believed in me more than the majority of the world, so I’m thankful for that too. If you’ve ever been trained or coached by Nick or Cindy, you know that this is more than just a business. They’ve invested a lot of time, money, and resources into making the fine people of Anderson,SC better.
Here’s a pic of Cindy and Nick in their gym, CrossFit Electric City. Nick is pretty chill- except when he nails me in the head in nutmeg. Check out his beard. And Cindy (tiny Cindy) is somewhere around five and a half months preggo with their baby boy (name yet to be determined, but right now, he is Iron Man Potato Head Meeks).
photo cred: Josh Wilson Photography
I’ve also been able to learn a lot from my friends Kelly and Colin. They’re both coaches at CFEC. I already told you about how great Kelly is a couple of weeks ago here. But I also want to make it known that CFEC wouldn’t be the same without Colin Leonard. The guy has a gift. Mostly everything he says just makes sense. He’s a great coach. He’s patient. He’s smart. He wants to see others get better. Him and his wife Lindsey (and their famous, now toddler Emerson) are some of our great friends, too. Last Wednesday, Colin was helping me with ring muscle ups. He tried thing where he spotted me on the rings, and something just clicked with me. He said something that I’ll never forget — “I’m no longer concerned about making Colin Leonard great. I want to make Alison Stall great.” He said it because he sees potential in me. The fact that he would even say that meant a lot to me, and I’ll never forget it. The reason I’m even telling you this is not to rave about the imporvement in muscle ups, but because I want to be a coach like Colin– someone that wants to make others great.
Here’s a picture of Colin and me (and Em, who is not my baby) back in July when we competed at the Independence Games in Florence together.
Who knows what the future holds?– But for right now, this has felt right. God has humored me as he’s brought me clients to train. But I’m beginning to believe that I am good at it. Am I where I want to be? Hell no. But am I WAY better than I was in November? Definitely yes. And the coolest thing is that as I’m having these opportunities to help others get better, I’m getting better in the process. I’m implementing what I’m dishing out, and I’m seeing results in my own life.
If you want to get better, spend as much time as you can around great people. Write down what they say. Listen to them. Do what they do. I hope this encourages you to figure out what you’re good at, and use it. Don’t waste that gift. That would be lame. If you don’t know what you’re good at, ask someone that actually knows you. Life is way better when you use your gifts to help other people. And most importantly, life is too short to be stuck in a rut. If you feel like you’re supposed to step out in faith and do something crazy, do it. Like me, you don’t have to have it all together. Just promise yourself (and those that have taken a chance on you) that you’re going to hustle, learn everything you can, and be humble. Results will come.
So, with all that said, let me know how I can help you. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll go figure it out for you. CrossFit may not be for everyone, but CFEC has other options as well. There’s something for everyone. Email me if you’re interested.
I leave you with some classic song lyrics (well, not really classic.. pretty sure the song is only a couple years old) but music speaks:
“Keep the earth below my feetFor all my sweat, my blood runs weakLet me learn from where I have beenKeep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn”
-Mumford and Sons