HiiiiI! How’s your Thursday going? I’m feeling extra motivated and energized right now because I just ate some leftovers that had bacon AND ground beef. That’s exciting in my world. But back to you. I hope your Thursday is going swell. Hopefully you’ll find it in your heart to make it to the gym or do something outside — especially all of you out there that have been complaining about how “hot and miserable” it is. Well, I hope you’re happy because now it feels like 70 degrees… in August…in SOUTH Carolina. WHY? Yesterday I looked around, and there were LEAVES falling. What is up with that? 

Back to fitness…hopefully today you find some time to do something to better YOUR health. Because that’s important. It’s easy to make excuses – especially when our bodies may not feel 100%, or if the workout planned is intimidating, or if we’re just “too busy.” It’s easy to take our health – and what our bodies can do – for granted. 

Today I wanted to tell you all about my friend Noelle. I haven’t known Noelle very long – less than a year. I met her at CrossFit Reaction at Greenviile Games (I think?) last Fall. She works out at CrossFit Crash in Spartanburg, and was one of the first of all the cool people I’ve met that workout there. She was so bubbly, really cool, and easy to carry a convo with. She told me that she was going to be competing at Wodapalooza in Miami in January, in one of the adaptive athlete divisions, and that was one of the coolest things I had heard in a long time. After that, I was hoping #TeamJAM would make it (we barely did) so we could go down to Miami and hopefully get to hang out with Noelle and watch her workout. PS Noelle went on to win SECOND in her division at Wodapalooza this past January. 

Noelle was born with Cerebral Palsy, which has the potential to affect her body’s control, coordination, reflexes, and overall movement. For some people, CP can affect motor skills and overall motor functioning. 

I’m not the most observant human on the planet, but I  would have never known Noelle had CP unless she told me. And she is seriously one of the happiest, most encouraging people I know. She’s labeled the hashtag #leftsidestrongside because cerebral palsy affects her right side, which limits some of her CrossFit movements, and moving in general. 

Noelle has a website that you should check out – tacosnotmacros.com

Tacos sound great to me. They’re actually my favorite. If I had to choose one last meal on earth, it would be TACOS. Or Mellow pizza, but that’s besides the point. So, when I kept seeing Noelle wear this “Tacos Not Macros” shirt, I was like “HA that’s really cool! I wonder where she got that from?” But I never put two and two together that Noelle actually designed this shirt and sells it, and other ones, on her site. 

Well, once I stopped hanging out under a rock two weeks ago and realized that I too could have one of these shirts and support Noelle in the process, I was like, “Ok cool. I need one.” So, Noelle made it happen, and now, I too own a #TacosNotMacros shirt. 

But just for the record, I’m not against macros. Every meal I eat, I’m trying to make sure my macronutrients and micronutrients are all there somewhere because that’s what helps me to feel my best. (although I don’t count macros). I just needed to throw that out there. Butttt if you want “real Alison,” then tacos are always > macros all day long. 

But back to the site and the shirts…

The money that Noelle makes off of these shirts goes helps her with the expense of CrossFit competitions – which I think is really cool. If you’ve ever been to a competition, one of the best things about it is the people you get to meet there – the laughs, the encouragement, the fist bumps, the cheering…you know. And Noelle is one of those people that can brighten up your day, so in my opinion, she needs to be out on that comp floor. And you need a shirt, so go get one. 

The other reason I am writing this is to tell you about Noelle’s CrossFit journey. Because…..maybe that will be of some encouragement to you – no matter how big or small your limitations are. 

Noelle started CrossFit in November of 2014 – only because a friend continued to invite her to try it out. She was hesitant for awhile because she didn’t know much about CrossFit AND she intentionally avoided all “group fitness” classes until then because she didn’t feel great about working out in front of other people. Being born with cerebral palsy, people would ask Noelle questions about her movement and why one side didn’t look or move like the other side. She didn’t want to have to keep talking about it, so she just avoided working out around other people. 

But ONE DAY Noelle was brave enough to try CrossFit, and in her own words, it was one of the best decisions of her life.

Her favorite thing about CrossFit is the people and the friendships she has made through the sport, at the gym she trains at, and in the CrossFit community. 

In her own words:

“I love watching people push past their “I can’ts” and seeing their face when they do. I love watching when I know someone has put in the extra work to get one unassisted pullup, and celebrating when they finally get it. I love competing with a team and us suffering together, because we know the reward is worth it (the reward usually being pizza or tacos:). And getting to be a part of the adaptive CrossFit community is probably my favorite. My adaptive friends know struggle, know determination, and their fight is contagious. CrossFit and the friends I’ve made from it, have not only made me a better athlete, but a better person.”

Well said 🙂

As far as being limited in her movements, Noelle said that CrossFit has literally helped make what was once a huge insecurity, something that she now enjoys doing and talking about.

That’s what it’s all about people. 

So, to end this. Here are two points. 

  1. Check out Noelle’s site. She’s still working on it, but at least you can read a little more about her and see some of her products she currently has. 
  2. Realize that we all have limitations to some sort of degree – whether it’s being “too busy” or facing a nagging injury, or just not feeling 100%, or literally having a body that may not be able to move the same way others can move. We are all different, and that is what makes each of us unique. The world would be a boring place if we could all move, talk, and look the same. Am I right?!? So, always remember to celebrate what your body can do. Because that is a gift…I believe, from God. Use what ya got. Do what you can to make your life the healthiest it can be. And never stop being thankful for what you can do.