by Christy Baroni

I heard a definition of hell not too long ago that struck a chord with me. I can’t shake the image from my mind. Someone told me that hell is a place where we have to see our own lives lived to the fullest potential. We see who we could have been if doubt, self-loathing, and fear were stripped away. We see the absolute glory of our talents put to their best use. We have to watch the results of all the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s played out.


Think on that for a moment. I have yet to meet someone who didn’t wrestle with fear or doubt. For example, I have an amazingly beautiful and talented girlfriend who just had her first book published. It was published this year, 2013. Guess when she finished the work? 1997!!! She has been sitting on this brilliant piece of prose for over a decade because who would want to read it? What would people think if she stepped away from her career? Wouldn’t it be irresponsible to pursue something so risky when she had a good thing going?

What could you accomplish today if nagging doubt never entered your thought process?
As you know, many of us are doing the Whole Life Challenge. I knew going in that it would reveal some weaknesses in my own habits, but would be a chance to take on something big with the support of my peers. Game on!

But something happened during Week 1 that has impressed me beyond measure. Everyone started the competition by logging their weight, waist, and hip measurement. But a handful of competitors took me up on the offer to do their body composition measurement as well. If you’ve never seen this done, it’s a caliper that grabs skin on 5 points of your body to measure what percentage of your body is fat. Let’s be honest, it’s awkward. But the awkwardness doesn’t end at the physical. It’s a mental awkwardness too of seeing a black & white, data-driven number that shows what you are physically made of.

You came in to CrossFit and to the Challenge to learn what you are made of, and then literally learned what your body is composed of. Maybe you don’t even see it in yourselves yet, but you had to draw on a level of courage to do this. What I saw in that handful of people was a step in the direction of telling fear and self-doubt to shut the F up. The only way to overcome fear is to know it, to see it, head on. And then tackle each small decision all day long to move toward your goal.

For those of you who stepped out of your comfort zone to do the Whole Life Challenge, I am already crazy proud of you. You hit this first week hard. I see that you are in this. For better or worse, for days of kale chips and avocado ‘sandwiches’. For days of refilling that water glass one.more.time. I just want to encourage you to keep doing the small things that take you down the path of leading your best life. Keep doing the things that eliminate ‘what if’ and replaces it with ‘I Can’.