Last August when I joined 13 Stripes I could barely walk up the stairs into my house without getting winded. As a matter of fact, I HATED steps. I wished we lived on the 1st floor. I wished I didn’t ever have to step up on a curb or take stairs to get somewhere.  I prayed that escalators worked when I went to the mall. If they were out of service, so ended my shopping trip. Steps were my arch enemy and I avoided them like it was my job.

Then my foundations coach pulled out a little step, I think maybe it’s a foot high, and said “Step up”.  I just looked at her.  I watched her mouth for the words again “Step up” and I continued to stare. I pointed down and said “You want me to step on THAT?”  I kept wondering if she was serious, did she see my body?  Was she aware of how much I weighed? How was I going to get up on that thing? She said it again. This time with a teeny bit more force.  “Elena. You CAN do this. Step. Up. Now.”  And, because I was always taught to listen to the teacher, I did as I was told.  I stepped up. It was scary. I had to work up the nerve. I had to get out of my head. But I did it. Then I stepped down. Then I stepped back up again. And down. I repeated that a bunch more times (I seriously didn’t even count because I couldn’t believe I was doing it!) and I haven’t stopped stepping since.

Last weekend there was a partner workout and my trusty WOD buddy, Mary Kate Cowher pulls out a box for us to step up onto.  I thought it was a 16 inch box. I’ve never stepped up on anything higher than the 12 inch without the aid of the rig or a pvc pipe because, well, I’m a scaredy-cat. My biggest fear in life is falling down. So, she pulls out this box, we proceed with the workout. We kick out a bunch of rounds and at the end I ask how high the box it.  After lots of discussion between the coach and two other gym goers we break out the measuring tape.

That box is 20 inches. I stepped up on a 20 inch box. Many times.  Not as many as Mary Kate did but I STEPPED UP ON A 20 INCH BOX. No rig. No PVC pipe. Just me, the air, a little fear and my legs.  Ya’ll let me tell you…  I was so proud of myself and I was in total shock for like 10 minutes. I couldn’t believe that I actually did that.

As I’ve gone on this journey I have found myself being shocked by what I can do. Almost every day I’m noticing something I could do now that I couldn’t do before. Sometimes I just celebrate internally, sometimes I write that accomplishment here when I type the blog, and sometimes I tell everyone who wants to listen.  I don’t tell people for praise, mind you. I tell them because I’m just as shocked as the next person. No kidding. That being said… celebrating victories is what weight loss journeys should be about.  It’s a journey, a hard road paved with pain and tears, blood, sweat, and all the yucky dirty stuff so when we can take a moment and say “I stepped up on a 20 inch box without help” that should be celebrated.

Your journey belongs to YOU.  As my hashtag always says “MY standards MY way”.  Only YOU know when you’ll be ready to step up on the higher box.  Your body will tell you, too. It’ll remind you how strong you really are. It’ll support you when you take that leap as you push yourself harder.  Your coach can help you along the way, showing you what you’re capable of but they can’t do the work for you. They can’t physically take your foot and put it on the box and then take the other foot and do the same.  You have to take their support and do it yourself. Believe me when I say: YOU CAN DO IT.

What’s my next part of this box step journey? Box jumps? (My head is shaking no right now. haha!) Maybe. They scare the bejeezus outta me but it’s something I’d like to try one day. Like.. maybe next year…  on my two year anniversary at 13 Stripes.

Or even a little sooner.

Come step with me. I promise it’ll be fun.

See you at the box!

#fromcouchtofitness #mystandardsmyway #stepupshowout #startsmallgobigger #onestepatatime #celebrategoodtimescomeon