What is up? Happy almost weekend!!! Hopefully you have fun plans…If not, that’s cool too, I guess. 

Are you excited about the eclipse? I still don’t really know a lot about it. I also don’t have glasses yet for Daniel or myself. Although he’s pretty indifferent about it and says that taking care of patients in the hospital is more important. I’m a procrastinator, and apparently it’s too late now to get those glasses. They are nowhere. I only know that from instagram. I haven’t looked for them myself or anything. But apparently this is a BIG FREAKING DEAL – especially in the state of South Carolina. So, if you have some extra special eclipse glasses, hit me up. 

You know what is really great? Seeing people hustle. You know, the hustle for the muscle. Like on the assault bike. If you know, you know. 

One girl that inspires me so much is my friend, Ara. She doesn’t inspire me by being some elite work out girl that gets everything right, that can lift the most weight, and has the most perfect movements in the gym. But, instead, she inspires me because of the effort she puts into her workouts AND she inspires me by the way she thinks. 

Ara came to CFEC a little over 2 months ago. She just showed up at the 8:30 class one day with two of her friends – Dulci and Elizabeth. They heard about CFEC from one of my friends, Lupita, who has been a regular at the 8:30 class for a loooonnnnggg time. 

Ara went through foundations and learned all of the basic movements before jumping into class. And since then, she has been a regular at the 8:30 class. CFEC, and that particular class, wouldn’t be the same without her. 

Ara was realllllllly intimidated by everything CrossFit at first, but she tried to hide it behind her big smile. Ara is originally from Mexico, and while her English is pretty great, I know she probably had NO IDEA what I was saying about ANYTHING when she started. But she put up with me through that CrossFit language barrier (and still continues to put up with me) and now it’s rare for her to miss a day. Ara loves to wear cool tank tops to the gym that say things like “gym first, wine later.” And “I love the gym. JK I love Pizza.” <—–But I know she really does love the gym. Ara is an artist, and she can do some great face painting for children or adults. You should hire her for your next party or social gathering. She’s sometimes “fashionably late” to class, but she just jumps right in and smiles. 

Ara didn’t have much of a workout routine before CrossFit, and she had major surgery several years ago that ended up being pretty dangerous and almost took her life. After surgery, Ara said she gained a good bit of weight, and her health really suffered. She was having a hard time getting back on track, and while her health got worse, so did her confidence in her appearance and her overall self. 

BUTTTTT fast forward to several months ago, Ara was brave, and despite feeling out of shape and with little hope, she decided to make a change in her lifestyle. That’s the number one reason why I love Ara. So many people get to a place where they feel like no matter what, they can’t bounce back. So, they sit around, do nothing, and their health gets worse, and their life isn’t lived as fully as it could be lived. But not Ara. She quit feeling sorry for herself, took a step, and has never looked back. 

The second reason I love Ara is because she will straight up tell you to your face that she could care less about being “skinny.” She just wants to be strong. <—-Opposite of most girl’s way of thinking. She’s a great role model in that way, and her attitude and perspective reminds me daily to be cool with muscles instead of striving to be something I’m not. 

The third reason I love Ara is because she hustles. The more she shows up to the gym, the better she keeps getting with her movements. She always tries her best, and has even finally figured out how to fall out after a workout. She is able to keep lifting more weight now because she worked really hard to get her form right in the beginning – even if it meant doing her squats to a box or deadlifting with an empty 25 lb barbell.

The fourth reason I love Ara is because as her strength does go up, so does her confidence – confidence in the way she feels and in how she looks. She told me awhile back that she had the opportunity to help a family member, and she was so proud of herself for “building the muscles” to be able to help, and how before she wouldn’t have been able to do that. One of the reasons Ara said she loves CrossFit is because she now has more energy and muscles to help people. Earlier this week, she showed me a picture of her in THE CUTEST CROP TOP…OMG, and she said she hadn’t been able to wear that top in five years. Now she can, and she is rocking it. When Ara showed me that picture, and when she told me about being able to help more people because of her muscles, she even cried a little. 

Ara has inspired me tons, and we can all learn a lot from her. From her initial decision to make a change in her life, to caring more about muscles than just being skinny, to hustling in the gym, and finally, in her *confidence*