Month of Love #12 & #13: Phoenix and Dragon

July is my episode month.
July 9th, in fact.
And I didn't get here alone.
And so, it seems only fitting, that a few of these posts have to do with the many people who played a significant role in helping me to learn, I MATTER.
And don’t get me wrong – that list is LONG.
TOO long for this blog.

However, there a few that, especially this year, this year of Extreme have really shown me that not only do I love them, but also they, in turn, love me.

Back in a big way...Introducing Dragon and Phoenix.  My at home trainers.

Reality is Chris and Heidi are two people.
Some of the greatest people you'll ever know.
But just two people.
And they can't be everywhere, all the time.

After the 3 month weigh in, Chris connects us with at home support.
Enter Joli and Ken.
Mostly Joli and Ken, too.

Moving home to Chicopee was a big decision, and I had to switch trainers around since I would no longer be in Philadelphia.

Enter Crossfit Firestorm.
Crossfit didn't really change my life.
That's real life.
And really, I don't LOOOOOVE crossfit.
At all.
That's also real life.

Crossfit Firestorm is my second home.
And the people inside have become my family.
I love getting up early and gossiping with the morning crew.
And I love going back at night to get sassy with the 5:30 crew.
I love being surrounded by extraordinary normal people who want to be healthy, too.
I love being surrounded by people who accept and love me for all my brokeness.
And who willingly share their brokeness with me.

So I love the people.
The place happens to be Crossfit.
So by proxy, I love that too.
I do love the challenge.
And being able to do things over time that I never thought I could.
And I love when Joli and Ken don't even entertain my...but...I...and Ken will usually just say, "DO it."
And Joli will say, "Oh no, here come her excuses again."
And I'll do it.
Because they believe I can.

The first time Joli stopped by my little condo above the Munich Haus, I knew a hundred things all at once.
First, she rocked.
For 100 reasons.
She rocked.
Her hair.
Her kindness.
She rocked.

Second, she never saw the morbidly obese person.
Just the Warrior.
She saw the Warrior, when I couldn't.

Third, I had just herniated two discs in my lower back.
Reinjured them filming work outs.
Reinjured them falling down a flight of stairs in my home two days before.
And technically we weren't even supposed to have met yet.
(Thanks for bypassing red tape, Chris.)

And I remember thinking, well, this is fine mess we're in.
And she just looked at me and said, "We've got this."

And for the first time of many to come, I trusted her.
Believed her.
Because she believed in me.

I have a deep faith in God.
Higher power.
That there is a divine plan.
And that the head honcho has, at times, a pithy sense of humor.

Never have I been more assured of this than with Joli and Ken.
Our plans, aren't ours alone.
And the roads that take us to our destinations and pit stops are not straight.
No matter how badly we want them to be.

So you can either spend your life fighting that.
Or you embrace it.
And everything those curves bring you.

Like opening two Crossfit Gyms.
A 2nd marriage.
7 children.

And a bunch of crazy clients.

And I can't imagine them not embracing it.
Laughing all the way.
Enjoying every moment.

And how perfectly opportune that I'd walk into THAT gym.
With THESE trainers.
When the BIG lesson of my year is letting go of needing to be perfect.
And to stop worrying about taking up space in peoples lives.
And just start taking up space in their lives.

I have never met, including Chris and Heidi, a more kind, generous, authentic, strong, funny, genuine, integrity filled pair in my life.

When I'm 100% convinced I can't.
They know I can.

When I stopped eating for while.
They stopped my work outs.

When I stopped being able to perform at my elite level.
They called me on it.

When I knew I had failed.
They knew I wasn't out.

I struggle to articulate it to them in a way they accept.
I'm convinced they think they're just normal peeps.
But they are as close as you can get to being Super Human Peeps.

Joli and Ken.
I adore you.
Respect you.
Couldn't have made it without you, and if you want to argue that I could have, because I was driven, then fine, I might have, but I wouldn't be the person I am today.

And the journey wouldn't have been nearly as fun.
Or funny.
Or brutal. :)

Thanks for knowing the Warrior was there all along.
And for recognizing I'm still broken.
And have a ton of work to do.

I love you both.
To the moon and back.

Want to meet real life Super Heroes?  
Come visit Crossfit Firestorm.
And meet Dragon and Phoenix in real life.


  1. Shhhhhh... you LOVE CrossFit!!! Admit it!!!

    1. I love your face. And yes, Kat, you're right, I probably love CF too, a lot, a lot. :)

  2. That's awesome! Very happy for you and all your blessings! :)


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