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Thank You Note to My Body

Dear Body,

Not many things remain constant throughout our lives, but you’ve been there through it all, so I wanted to finally take the time to thank you for all the lessons you’ve taught me along the road.

“Rather than focusing on what I can’t do and who I don’t look like, I now choose to focus on the incredible things that my body allows me to do, day in and day out.”

First of all, thank you for teaching me that your appearance and health don’t always go hand in hand. When I started college, for the first time I felt pressure to look good, which was what initially lead me to develop an interest in fitness. I started doing traditional bodybuilding exercises and tried to stop eating refined carbs, all in the hopes that my body would start to look better, and this would make me a happier person. I didn’t care that I felt tired and weak all the time, and was getting sick almost every other week. I checked the mirror every day to see if I grew a 6-pack overnight. When progress didn’t come as quick as I’d hoped, I got discouraged with my body, thinking I would never be good enough.

Related: Measuring Progress Off the Scale

When January of 2017 came along and I started my internship at CrossFit Slipstream, how I viewed my body started to shift. For the first time in a long time, CrossFit gave me something to work towards. I wanted to lift heavier weights, learn difficult gymnastics skills, and do a workout faster than I’d done it before. I started to view eating as a way to fuel my body, instead of make it look different, so I started to pay attention to what foods made me feel healthy, strong, and ready to work. Within weeks, I started to sleep better, feel stronger, and generally felt happier. I stopped paying as much attention to the aesthetic side of fitness. But a funny thing happened, my body composition continued to improve thanks to the work I was doing in the gym that I actually enjoyed, but I now saw this as more of a side benefit than my main motivator.

Related: Positive Self-Talk: What is it Good for Anyway?

Throughout this process, I started to become increasingly aware of how amazing the human body is. Our bodies constantly adapt to what we put them through, placing us in a state of constant improvement. Weights that seemed impossibly heavy when I started CrossFit, I’m now able to lift for multiple reps at a time. I can do gymnastics elements that used to scare me to death. Rather than focusing on what I can’t do and who I don’t look like, I now choose to focus on the incredible things that my body allows me to do, day in and day out.

So thank you, body, for proving to me that I am already strong, that I am enough, and that how I look does not have to define my self worth. Thank you for allowing me to adventure and do the things I love to do, like skiing, hiking, CrossFit, yoga, and traveling. Even when you’re sore, tired, and cranky, you endure and teach me how to love myself a little bit more. Thank you for constantly improving, and doing things now that I never imagined I could do. While I could never truly repay you, I will continue to strive to treat you as best as I can, so that I can do the things I love as long as I live.

–Jay Alexander

Coach/Trainer

jay@crossfitslipstream.com