Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning


December 2015

2015 – a Doing Year. Oh and Crossfit.

This has been a really interesting year. It’s been full of learning for just about all of us in my house. Aiden finally tackled two-wheel bike riding and swimming. Avery rode ocean waves after being fearful for two days, and she got the hang of ice skating. Alexander did a colossal job developing a 32-unit condo building. And among other things, I discovered my inner child and started drawing with a new blog about menus. In this era when it’s so easy to be a passive consumer (we are that too), it’s fun to look back and see the DOING and the CREATING.

This year was also big for me physically. For the first time ever, I stuck with an exercise program diligently, and I did it without an end in mind. Of course I had goals, but in the past my goal (running a marathon or a ten-miler or a half-marathon) has also been an “end.” I would sign up, train, do the race and then stop running for weeks, sometimes months on end. Totally unsatisfying; not sustainable.

I started going to my gym – yes, Crossfit – July 2014 and I told myself I would just try it for six months. Six months came and went and I kept going. I wanted to be there, to do the work, to see results and push to keep getting better. This really was about the Means not the End. It’s a place where people know me first as Kylie, not as Mommy; not as Avery’s mom or Alex’s wife; not where our reason for knowing each other is work-related. The relationships start with you as an individual and branch out from there, rather than the reverse which I find is so common at this time of our lives. It’s a place where you have personal victories and it’s really exciting to see your friends and coaches hit their goals. There are moments of defeat as well. One day this year I just had to leave – mid-workout. Nobody does that. You never really feel compelled to stop but on this day I did. And then the best thing happened, people thoughtfully reached out, just to see if everything was ok. Nobody pushed, they just wanted to be sure everything was ok. (This is a good place to mention that the coaches – James, Maillard, Reggie, Mario, Lauren – are great. Like any business, the culture of a gym is a reflection of the values of leadership. Every day they care.)

I don’t know about you but I find this age trying at times in terms of friendships. People are scattered and busy. Often interactions don’t get past saying hello at morning school drop off. Whatever it is – a regular dinner club, a book group, a gym – finding a place where you get a bit beyond just “hello” is really really nice. I didn’t know how much I needed that.

It’s not all warm and fuzzy…exercising is also about numbers. I dig metrics and Crossfit is pretty trackable. I track my weight lifted each workout (weight * reps * sets). Here are my numbers for the year.

2015 Weight Lifted (lbs) YTD Average Average lbs per Day
January 26,265 26,265 876
February 22,030 24,148 816
March 14,620 20,972 487
April 23,495 21,603 810
May 31,010 23,484 1,034
June 45,140 27,093 1,557
July 26,885 27,064 896
August 31,525 27,621 1,051
September 28,065 27,671 968
October 40,355 28,939 1,345
November 34,408 29,436 1,186
December 39,962 30,313 1,332
TOTAL   363,760        


I’m pretty pleased with those figures. Three Hundred Sixty Three Thousand pounds. I have never felt better or more physically capable. I can get almost 100 pounds over my head. Each month I am able to do more and more. The work I am doing now will benefit me for years to come. I also did about 1200 burpees…they are just awful…which means I should do more of them in 2016. Always good to be able to get up from the floor.

Last thing to mention on this – a constant motivator on this has been my mother (not sure she knows this). My mom never worked out when we were kids now regularly goes to a trainer. She is in great shape and can take care of herself at age 73. She is always eager to listen when I call her with some Crossfit feat. What a nice thing – finding a new way to bond with your mom even at the ripe young age of 43 🙂

Know Thyself

When I was about 25 I took the Myers Briggs assessment. The first measure pegged me as 50/50 E/I, as much an introvert as an extrovert. My friends found this surprising “Really? I always think of you as so outgoing.” Little did they know.

Now nearly twenty years later that “I” side seems to be getting stronger. As I introduced more elements of “others” to my life, that little “I” side got really strong. In my twenties and thirties it was easier to be alone, to be quiet, to sit in my own head. I took all of that for granted – half the time I am not even sure I knew I was recharging.

Introduce husband and kids on top of work, etc. and my world changed.

I hope it goes without saying that my husband and kids are the most important thing to me. Without a doubt, full stop.

And yet.

And yet I need to put my mask on first. This means different things for different people, but for me it means I absolutely must have quiet downtime, or time doing something on my own be that reading, cooking, working out. I can be around other people but my interactions with others might be less than normal. Being at home with the kids is awesome on weekends but it also means there is a constant buzzing of activity, of voices, of inquiry. “Can I have milk?” “What are we doing today?” “Where is the hammer?” and I don’t know about all of the other moms out there but in my house, 90% of the time I am the object of this inquiry.

I find it tiring. And then I feel bad about that because it’s my family and they’re awesome and nobody is sick and we live in a great place and who am I to complain. SUCK IT UP.

What happens then is the “Push Through.” Don’t we all do this? It works for a while. Until it doesn’t. Until you have an inkling that the dinner you planned to attend, the playdate you need to go to, may just be a little too much. The smart money doesn’t ignore the inkling. The funny thing about introversion is that it is really fucking fierce personality trait (not shy; not meek) and it will demand to be heard. Ignore it at your peril. You can take heed and say to your husband “Can you take the kids to this playdate?” and listen to yourself, OR you can Push Through, once again and well, it’s not pretty. In my case, ignoring the inkling too many times means I freak out about things that don’t matter. I can get mean. I am not a good mother or wife or friend in these moments.

It’s hard to accept this and not feel like a self-indulgent complainer. Life is good. We have food family and opportunities. I don’t worry about running out of water. But to be there for others, you’ve got to be there for yourself. This is ok. I keep telling myself this is OK.

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