Lean Into Stress and Embrace Fear

The first post I ever published on the CrossFit Unstoppable site was called “Our Story….” To be honest, I was living life day to day by Faith…But I knew that there would be some “sticky moments” that would come about…I wanted to do something for the CrossFit community so I embraced the fears I had, leaned on faith and came out strong. 

My point—and one of the enduring goals of CFU—was that OUR gym will give you a life worth living; that we want our members to go and DO stuff with their fitness. We love it when you post about your 5K’s, half/full marathons, hiking in the Ozarks, doing a Spartan Race, Kayaking on the Osage and other feats of fitness! We can get you ready for any of it!   That doesn’t mean those things won’t be scary. Much like the start of the WOD, before that 3,2,1…GO!, most of you may get the jitters and the nerves set in because you don’t know quite what to expect! 

Here’s how I’ve learned to lean into the scary stuff, embrace stress and live a better life:

First, understand that your body doesn’t know the difference between fear and excitement. To your body, they are the same – When you start getting a bit nervous before an event, ask yourself: “Am I actually scared, or am I just excited?” That’s a toss up with some of our workouts! 

As adults, we’re not excited often.(well, I’m speaking for myself!)  Our body’s default response to increased blood pressure, elevated heart rate and surging adrenaline is FEAR. Then we fall into a downward spiral and get scared when we should really be excited. FEAR can be explained as Face Everything And Rise or Face Everything And Run…Which do you choose?? I’d rather be excited about things instead of scared all of the time! 

Something that comes to mind when facing a big event or even a workout is to think of it as opening a present…you really don’t know what to expect, but in the long run, you’re probably going to like the ending! 🙂

Second, know that anticipation is worse than the event. The buildup is far more stressful than just going through it!

Our fear of what might happen is always way out of scope from what actually happens. Our lizard brain takes over and our minds go to the worst-case scenario; I hate when I do that!! Trust me, we all go through this! 

Waiting, deliberating, anticipating—always worse than doing the actual thing!  If you can choose the HARD thing to do in your life right now without hesitation and worry, that’s in your best interest; know that the actual doing will get you through! 

Third, put the event in perspective: Is this going to be a distant memory a year from now? 

If not, it’s not worth stressing about.

If you WILL remember the event a year from now, then it’s worth doing! Go for it and have FUN! 

Life is a series of moments. These standout moments—not the routine of eating breakfast and heading to the gym—become your story. Who wants a boring story?? LIVE LIFE!! 

Every time you go through something where you feel your heart racing a bit but the results are happiness, lean into that stress and beat out the fear…Enjoy the moments and count your blessings! 

Work Hard, Eat Clean, Be Blessed! 🙂

*Inspiration provided by Chris Cooper at


To Rest or Not to Rest…

Rest days are not just staying home and thinking about working out! I know it’s hard to rest sometimes because the workouts look fun and you enjoy the CFU atmosphere, but everyone needs to rest here and there. 

Rest days are often overlooked as not being as important as active days, but they shouldn’t!  Rest days are as equally as important as your active days, and below is why.

We are often so busy and focused on a “go-go-go” mentality.  We try to get many things done and workouts in that we forget that our bodies do need a mental and physical break. Our bodies need adequate rest for proper healing and recovery. I think I’ve mentioned this a time or two 😉

How can you tell if you need to take a rest day?

Being on the go all the time we may miss the signs that our bodies are crying for a rest.  On the other hand, you may be well aware that your body is telling you that it is time to “tap out” and take that needed rest.

Some common signs that your body is exhausted and overtrained and in need of rest are:

•muscle weakness and twitching

•weak grips


•mood swings


If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then it may be a great idea to take a rest day.  Your body and the people around you will thank you for it!

On that note, i just realized that I’ve logged pretty tough workouts for the past 6 days and I’m definitely taking a rest day on Thursday! Do not let me work out! 🙂

Work Hard, Eat Clean, Be Blessed!