Friday, August 26, 2011


What are you doing? 
Why are you doing that?
Do you think that's the best way to get what you want?
What DO you want?

These can simultaneously be the easiest and the most difficult questions to answer. You can be simplistic and literal, "I'm drinking coffee to wake up because I want to wake up." Or in my case right now "well, I'm writing a blog post. Why? Because I want to connect with all of you out there in the world; share my thoughts, my hopes, feelings, experiences and the occasional tirade (lucky you!) and hopefully inspire you to engage me in return."

As CrossFitters though, we are accustomed to being asked "why do you DO that to yourself?" I don't know about you but I have a tendency to stumble over my words when it comes to explain our workouts to an outsider. I stumble over science and application and emotion and it comes out, "uuum because it's awesome..DOH!" So I am proud to say that at long last I have discovered a stylish & elegant way to describe it. It came to me in yoga the other night as we were discussing the Yoga Sutras.

The first word (in Sanskrit, being first denotes great importance) of the second chapter in the Yoga Sutras is "tapas." Not to be confused with small tasty Spanish dishes that cost $15 each, tapas can be translated as austerity, self-discipline, dedication, and motivation. Tapas initially referred to ones committal to Yoga as a method of perfecting the body, senses and the mind in order to become a "shining one". I happen to think it applies equally well to CrossFit (or your physical discipline of choice).
  • Tapas is a taking on a discipline (yoga or CrossFit etc) and knowingly and lovingly devoting yourself to it in order to reach a goal.
  • It is not a chore, it is not a burden. Without your desire for the end result, there is no tapas. 
  • Tapas is the strength and courage to commit to your goals despite trials and tribulation. 
  • Tapas is fiery: it is a deep passionate desire and yearning to achieve your goals. No obstacle is too great because your inner fire will incinerate anything that stands in your way! Tapas is NOT a to-do list and it is NOT complacency!
  • This burning desire makes the path, and the challenges you encounter, LESS burdensome because your heart is set on the goal instead of on the difficulty of each obstacle.

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will fall amongst the stars."

So why do I continuously return to CrossFit and to yoga? Why do I take a beating and come back happily tomorrow? Because these are my disciplines, they are how I care for myself. I CrossFit and do yoga to push the limits of my mind and body, and then to push beyond that. My abilities, heart, and mind are constantly achieving, discovering and seeking new horizons. I do yoga in addition to CrossFit because I want to be able to have strength and flexibility in every possible combination of directions that my body can achieve; leave no stone unturned! I am a better person because of the work I have done in each of my disciplines. I am a better friend, daughter, sister, co-worker, coach and athlete because of them. I have a burning desire to be better than yesterday, to consistently evolve into the highest and best form of my self that could possibly exist! I want to shine!

Do you want to shine?

“Discipline is remembering what you really want.”
“Tapas…is the choice of finding a better way.”
~ Doug Keller

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