The weekend is here! You made it. Pat yourself on the back. Hope you were able to sleep in this morning.
Let’s talk about protein shakes. Man, that’s a lot of protein to keep up with. Protein shakes have been my new motivation for working out. They keep telling me I can drink a shake after I’ve had a hard workout, so I just keep working out hard. And then they give me chocolate shakes. Or I give myself chocolate shakes. But I’ve been told that’s good, and it will help. Where have protein shakes been my whole life?

But for real.. here’s what my past week has looked like: I’ve drank more protein shakes than I ever have. I’ve worked out with more determination than I ever have before. I’ve learned more skillz than I ever have before- (skills that I’ve always put off, so I take blame for that). I’ve been eating ALL the food. I’ve been watching all the videos, and I’ve been listening to my coaches more now than I ever have before. I’ve been getting body work done that I’ve put off since I started CrossFit. I even have my first gymnastics session this Sunday! – Thanks to my friend Jackie…Get ready Jackie. (Good thing she’s a good coach).

The past week has been a whirlwind and a dream all at the same time. That’s for sure. I’m learning a lot. Not just about how to improve my snatch or split jerk or finally walk on my hands or do butterfly pullups (about time, right?) But I’m learning a lot about life.

Because you know what’s been WAY cooler than getting better at working out?? Seeing my friends, CrossFit Electric City, and even the great city of Anderson, come together to support me. I’m incredibly undeserving, and it’s shown to be just another representation of grace in my life.

The very next day after I got that invite, my friends and my gym jumped right on it to help. Honestly, it was a little overwhelming. My coaches came together and gave me some next steps that would cost some money. But with that, my gym has rallied around me, helped me set up a GoFundMe, designed a shirt for me(Crazy! I haven’t had my name on a shirt since middle school PE!), people have bought shirts and tanks to support me, and local businesses have stepped up to “sponsor” me. Someone offered to take pictures of me. Another friend bought the rights to a new website for my blog, and is actually designing it for me. Another friend from CFEC designed the shirt. Daniel went behind my back and bought ALL kinds of new protein for me to try, as well as some cool little gadgets to help with my mobility and make living out of a gym a lot easier, and other people have just been really really kind and generous.

Businesses around Anderson have stepped up to sponsor me. Even another local CrossFit gym in Anderson reached out to me and said they wanted to help. That’s what CrossFit is all about. In the midst of the competition, it’s easy to lose sight of that. That meant a lot to me, and I’ll always remember that.

Last Saturday afternoon, Dan and I were straightening up our house to get ready for his parents to get here, and the FedEx man brought me a BIG Lululemon box. I dunno about you, but it’s not every day that a Lulu box shows up at your house, and I’ve never had a BIG Lulu box show up at my house! Inside was the coolest, hippest gym bag and a sweet note from some of my friends. They did it because they 1) love me 2) believe in me 3) didn’t want me to take my torn up, 3 year old Lulu shopping bag to regionals

And here’s the crazy thing.. I would have NEVER initiated any of this. This has all been done by people who love me and support me. I know I keep talking about my friend, Lindsey, but for real, none of this would be happening without her. She’s doing things for me that I don’t even know about. I don’t think she sleeps. Colin has had the most patience with me and knows how to kill me in a workout, yet not make me feel like sh*t after I don’t do so great. Which helps me hold my head up, remember that this is all for fun, and move on. My friend, Nate, took time to design a shirt/tank for me, and my friend, Jerry ran with all the details of that, along with so much more.

There are so many shoutouts and so many great people and businesses to name, but I’ll save that for a later post. Right now I just wanted to throw out there what I’m learning through it. 

Because of the way people have believed in me, supported me, invested in me, encouraged me, affirmed me, and coached me, I am being pushed like I never have before to do my best. People actually believe in me. And that makes me want to do my best. It’s challenging me, in the best kind of way. I want people to know just how appreciative I am. It’s been incredibly humbling.

Now don’t get me wrong. I really would still be trying my hardest even if people hadn’t rallied around me. Don’t think I’m doing this just to make other people happy. I’m learning more and more everyday that this has to be for me after all. I’m learning that you have to make yourself proud before you concentrate on making anyone else proud. (I’ve always struggled with that- can’t you tell?)

I’m humbled. I’m grateful. And I won’t EVER forget this season that I’m getting to live out. The past 6 months really has been a step of faith. As I’ve prayed for this whole unexpected Open to Regionals thing to happen, I’m getting to train others more. I prayed for 5 people to train- (because I knew that was the perfect number of what would be challenging for me, yet I’d still be able to maintain and give them the attention they deserve, and I just got my 5th person last week!)

I’m praying and believing in God like I never have before. I’m being more real with him and with other people than I ever have before. I’m more thankful than ever for my friends and family. I am incredibly thankful for CrossFit Electric City. Man, there really is something special about that place. CrossFit is about way more than just getting in that hard workout so you can have that great summer bod. It’s about the people. I’m thankful to be a part of such a great place, with great people.

No one has had to do any of this. But it’s shown me the impact a group of people can have. This is what it looks like to “go after the one,” and it means the world to me that right now, I am that “one.”

Luke 12:48 is a verse about being ready and stewarding well what has been generously given to you. It has always stayed with me through different seasons. The second part of this verse says,   “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return…” 

I’ve been given much. A LOT. So what am I going to do with it? This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to show up in Atlanta on May 20-22 and win every, or any event. BUT to me, it does mean that I’m going to show up prepared, ready to do my best. It also means that while I get ready, I do my best in every workout leading up to that weekend (which is actually pretty painful). I want to carry myself well, smile, have fun, enjoy the ride, and know that I did my best. These skills I’ve been working on, and the workouts Colin has been making me do, or even the workouts Nick programs for class, are exposing my weaknesses big time. It’s easy to want to give up. I would also love some pizza and beer. Or ice cream. BUT because of the way people have rallied around me, it makes me not want to give up or give in.This is an amazing opportunity, and the support has blown me away, so I’m going to give my best. It makes me excited to workout. Shoot, I’m about to head to the gym right now to do one of those Masters Qualifiers that I didn’t do on Thursday because it was my rest day (PTL for rest days!) all before training my friend, Stacy at 9:30. Then I get to workout again. I seriously love it so much.

Never underestimate what your time, resources, money, or simply words of encouragement can do for someone. It could be a game changer. 

I’m working hard to go to Atlanta, show up, represent CFEC, Anderson, the Upstate, and last but not least, myself.

Thank you, again! Thank you for even just reading my blog. I’m starting to actually believe that this is just the beginning for me. And it wouldn’t be possible without you.

Although, SO MUCH support has already come in, here are the ways you can support me: GoFundMe.com/chasingstall

If you are a local business owner, you can sponsor me. Ask myself or Lindsey (lsweval@clemson.edu) if you want details.

We also ordered a few extra shirts, but not that many. If you want a shirt or tank, let me know, and I’ll add you to the list.

Thank y’all

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