Here at Lady Smut, we talk a lot about women. We talk about women’s bodies, women’s sexuality—we talk about women’s sexuality a lot—women’s relationships, women in the media, women’s issues. We’re particularly passionate about women’s issues. To do this, we’re personal and vulnerable to you, our readers. We share from our hearts, from our own experiences, our hurts and disappointments, our joys and triumphs. We share our dreams and fantasies. There is no surefire way to know the heart of our dreams than to read our books. The deepest meanings of the stories we tell reveals the heart of each of us.
Maybe not our entire heart, mind you. That would be a bit much, even for the Interwebs.
My story has been changing rather dramatically for several years now. I’ve been on a personal journey of health and wellness. Not health and fitness, though fitness is a large part of the journey. Health and wellness. Being well physically and emotionally, reclaiming parts of myself, parts of being a woman, that I had long resigned myself not to expect in my own life. I looked at my life and saw unhappiness and sorrow. A life unfulfilled. Arrested. A life I was physically unable to fully live. I wanted to stop saying “I used to do” and get back to saying “I’m doing” or better yet, “I did.”
So I did.
Because everything these days requires a hashtag, I hashtagged this journey #BringingMeBack.
And, well, it’s been a struggle, I won’t lie. It’s been expensive. Helluva expensive. It’s required me to do things waaayyyyy outside of my comfort zone. It’s forced me to trust people, something I don’t do easily. It’s made me have to get over and past myself time and time again. It’s ebbed and flowed, started and restarted and then started again. I failed repeatedly. I’ve refocused and reexamine and reframed.
This year, that reframing meant a huge investment of time, energy, and hard, hard work.
I joined a CrossFit gym and committed to a 12-week “Transformation Program” that along with an exercise regimen and weekly weigh-ins, includes a meal plan adapted to my medical needs.
What is CrossFit? Here is a snippet from the definition on crossfit.com
CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. These are the core movements of life. They move the largest loads the longest distances, so they are ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time. Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work divided by time—or power. The more work you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort. By employing a constantly varied approach to training, functional movements and intensity lead to dramatic gains in fitness.
Basically, you’re working your ample ass off. The beauty is that the workouts can be modified, not changed, but adapted, for any physicality—or in my case, lack thereof. I have arthritis everywhere. Name a joint, it’s inflamed at one point or another. There’s no cartilage in my knees, and a slipped disc in my back that sometimes sends shooting pains down the front of my thigh.
I am not, by anyone’s definition, an athlete.
So, this was an enormous, often painful challenge, and it continues to be so. Fitting the program into my whacky day job schedule means me, the avowed night owl, getting up at 5:30 AM every morning but Sunday to take a 6:30 class that stretches me to my limit physically and mentally. My coach made me cheat sheets every morning that modified the warm ups workouts everyone else was doing to my abilities while not compromising the quality or intensity. I kept every sheet and constantly pushed myself to increase weights at appropriate intervals and keep pushing forward. Happily, I can say I now no longer need, nor do I get, my cheat sheets anymore as, with only a few modifications, I can now keep up and do every movement along with the rest of the class.
And I absolutely love it.
I completed the 12-week program last Saturday. This week I ate my weight in chocolate chip cookies. (Not really, but it felt that way.) The next morning, I got back at it. Again. Because I committed to this, full stop, and that means getting right back on that painful horse.
And not just with CrossFit either.
I was thinking this week about what this means for me, practically and internally. It means I pushed myself physical on what has come to be a daily basis. They say you are your own worse critic, and I take to that philosophy like a life motto.
And that hasn’t changed. I look at my progress pictures and don’t see a tighter ass or strong arms or reduced belly, but the unevenness of my legs, the wobbly lines in my thighs, the bulges under my arms. I’ll never be able to look at my image and not see the flaws. The faults.
I look at my writing, my publishing career, and I don’t see an award-winning debut novel or the successful follow-up novel, but the long-delayed, as-yet-incomplete proposal on which I can’t seem to get any traction. The fact that I haven’t written a word in months. The feeling that this too like so many other good things in my life before, might only be for a short time. But, if I can challenge myself and push myself to physical achievement in CrossFit, starting over again when I stumble, why can’t I apply that same determination and focus to my writing projects?
That’s the next journey. Challenge that mind set years in the making that I can’t or I shouldn’t and tell it to fuck off and get out of my way. In the gym. In writing.
That’s what we do as women. We start again, over and over again. We march for the same issues decade after decade (unfortunately). We have the second, third, or more child. We go back into the work force…again. We pick up. We move forward. We go on.
We bring ourselves back over and over and then one more time again.
Follow Lady Smut. We’ll bring you back every time.
Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocks, is now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.