I consider myself somewhat of an expert on setting and reaching goals based on what has happened over the past 48 hours. First, I'll talk about the CrossFit stuff. Then the bigger, life changing event that many of you know about.
Earlier this fall, I fell out of love with CrossFit. I love seeing my athletes set PRs, but I hadn't set my own in quite a while. When I feel really strong feelings, it shows on my face...I felt like I was having meltdowns all the time. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't fun for me anymore. And when you spend so much time at a place, it should be fun. So I tried to take a break. It wasn't a good break since a lot was happening at that time and I couldn't extricate myself from it completely. I needed to take some deep breaths. I needed to reevaluate.
But I came back, like I always do. Right now, I'm just trying to not put pressure on myself (in positive terms, I'm trying to be calm and realistic). I'm trying not to let outside factors affect my workouts (be mindful of what I'm doing). I'm trying to remember that it's just exercise, and I need that to feel better. It takes work to just be happy. A lot of work for some of us.
Today I attended a Goal-Setting Seminar. We learned a lot about positive self-talk and how to help our athletes set and achieve realistic goals. And I set my own goals for the next month (125lb. clean), 6 months (RX Diane), year (muscle up), and week (run 2 5Ks). As I listened to Greg Admundson speak about CrossFit, I kept thinking of how to apply this to the rest of my life. All of it applied to the rest of my life. I wish I could have other people in my life hear what he was saying. But all I can do is what I have control over. All I can do is present my best self.
So here's the rest of the story...
About 8 weeks ago, I was at a low point. I felt like over the summer I was supposed to figure out some big life stuff. Basically, I need to figure out how to make money doing what I love. I feel like I have a lot to offer. I'm just not sure how to translate that into a living. I have these books about how to turn passion into meaningful work. I have the tools I need. I just wasn't seeing anything.
And one night I got really frustrated. I had my books out. I had my journals out. I had my pen ready. I just didn't have anything to say. And I distinctly remember lying on my bed, thinking, 'Depending on what song plays next, I'm going to write tonight or I won't.' I didn't even know what that meant. But the next song that came up was this little dance track called "Put Your Hands Up for Detroit." And I started thinking about Detroit, specifically an essay Mitch Albom wrote in late 2008. Since then, I've wanted to do my part in saving Detroit, but I didn't know how.
And maybe I didn't know how at that time in 2008 because I was too busy saving myself. I was not doing well. I was in a job that made me unhappy and frustrated. I didn't have very many friends in Eugene. I was unhappy in other parts of my life. So how can I save an entire city when I have so much to work on with me?
And as I was sitting there thinking about myself and thinking about Detroit, then these ideas flooded over me. And I wrote down everything that came into my head, everything that was meaningful to me about the city and what I knew of efforts to improve it. And I was so excited that I sent one of my closest friends some of my ideas. And although those ideas were pretty vague at that point, he was excited that I was excited about these ideas.
And I talked to more people and it started to take shape. I talked to a friend who had a project funded on Kickstarter earlier this year and got some advice. And I came up with Reinventing Home, a book of essays centered around the question How does a city coming out of a depression compare to a person coming out of a depression? And after being very thoughtful and careful in putting these ideas together, I threw it out into the world. I gave myself a (modest) funding goal and a time frame in which to raise these funds.
And the coolest things started happening. I got messages from people from my hometown who understood the project. They gave me ideas. Other people talked to me about it. I'd get emails telling me who just pledged toward my project. Some days were quiet. People sent me links to stories about Detroit, or depression. Some days friends would talk about or share my project. And it all took on a life of its own. At one point, I started to worry that it wouldn't get enough funding (although something in my heart told me it would). And now, it's funded. It's real life.
An idea I had in my head on September 6 is now a project with funding that I need to make into reality.
One of my strengths, I believe, is my creativity. I'm an ideas person. In college and grad school, that was mainly with theatre and writing plays. I'd come up with these bizarre ideas and they'd take shape on stage. I started to lose that in the real world. I had jobs where I did have to be creative, but there were goals and deadlines and people who were affected by my work. And now I've been teaching, which is lovely and fun and challenging. But I realized the other day that I need to create again. I need to put my work out into the world.
The funding is a big thing. But even bigger is knowing that so many people believe in my abilities and in this project.
I'm grateful for the support from my friends. I'm also grateful that some of the pieces are starting to come together again.