Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Meet my FXB Instructors: Jedi Master

Jedi Master: a.k.a. Erik

Transform your life, you want.
Encouragement and support, you need.
Lost and discouraged, you feel.

Help you, I can.

OK, so Erik doesn’t employ Yoda-speak on the mat, but that doesn’t stop me from hearing it in my mind. I can imagine there are a few Yoda quotes he would be able to accurately apply to the FXB life-style (found thanks to

Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
Always pass on what you have learned.
Patience you must have, my young Padawan.
You must unlearn what you have learned.
You will find only what you bring in.
Do or do not. There is no try.

As I stated, Erik doesnt talk in Yoda-speak, but somehow everything he says has a sort of hypnotic resonance to it. It makes you want to push for that Level 10, even if all you want to do is take a nap on the mat. And, thankfully, unlike Yoda you can clearly understand everything Erik says.

In addition, Erik has a unique ability to bring out your Level 10 simply by being in the room. It’s as though the FXB-Force pulses from his every pore. (What he won’t tell you is that Liquid Awesome actually transforms into the energy that makes up the FXB-Force once you reach the status of Jedi Master. Sorry—you can’t look this up to validate because it’s an ancient FXB secret, but you can trust me. I’m a fiction writer so it must be true.) As soon as he steps into the building, his presence is felt.

Dig deep, young Padawans.
Level ten you must find.
Stronger, you will become.

If you happen to be the Padawan (a.k.a. 10 week student or FIT member) he selects to be his bag partner when he’s not instructing, well, may the FXB-Force be with you because you’ll need all the help you can get!

Go faster, you can.
Push harder, you can.
Tired, you are not.

Finally, I’ll use some on-line definitions of a Jedi Master to support my claim. I added in the numbers to help order my follow-up comments.

(1) The title of Jedi Master was the highest formal rank obtainable by a member of the Jedi Order. (2) Reserved for those who had shown exceptional devotion and skill as well as balance in the Force and (3) often combat.

(1) If we think of ‘the Jedi Order’ as Mr. Lance Farrell himself, then as an FXB owner Erik has earned the highest formal rank obtainable.
(2) I’ve used the term FXB-Force above already. This is the energy of living a healthy lifestyle. Erik has certainly shown exceptional devotion and skill and balance toward the FXB-Force.
(3) If ‘combat’ represents the 10-Week challenge, then yep—he’s conquered it time and time again (because I truly believe he experiences each new 10-week session right along with all the new Padawans).

Jedi Master: (4) A term of respect used by beings who respect the Jedi. (5) Regarded as among the most recognized polymaths in the known galaxy. (6) Upon completion of vocational or postgraduate education, a Jedi Knight become a Jedi Master after successfully training a Padawan learner to Knight status.

(4) Erik is certainly respected by all of us FXB beings.
(5) Erik’s recognition in the known FXB galaxy is growing, as evidenced by the picture shown below of the larger-than-life photo of Erik that now adorns the FXB East Peoria location.

(6) Erik has trained several Padawan learners to Knight status (a.k.a. instructors). I mean, look at that crew (and this photo doesnt even show all of them)!

Add all this up, and hopefully you’ll agree that Erik can only be the Jedi Master.

The Force is strong with this one, yes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My Fear Will Set Me Free

About a month ago I commented on my Facebook page that I had hurt my foot while painting my office. I’ve continued to go to my workouts, with self-imposed restrictions. That meant no:
  • running
  • jumping
  • jumping jacks
  • plank jacks
  • lunges
  • multiple kicks on the left side
  • burpees (darn)
  • basically anything that would cause me to put pressure on my foot while it was in a flexed position

While my foot has not gotten worse, it has not gotten any better. There were days when I felt as though it was feeling better, only for it to hurt the next day almost as bad as it did on the first day I hurt it. In my last post about obstacles, I mentioned how I didn’t want to let this stop me because I’ve had so many other things thrown in my way lately. I didn’t want one more thing to keep me from my goal.

Well, I’ve come to terms that it’s now time for me to take a break. And I’m so afraid right now. What am I afraid of?

I’m afraid that if I take a break from workouts then I’ll let it become too easy to skip in the future for random reasons.
I’m afraid that the scale will start to tick back in the other direction.
I’m afraid that I’ll let self-doubt start to seep back in.
I’m afraid that I’ll be adding another failure to my long list of F-bombs.

I don’t say these things lightly. I’m truly scared. I’m crying as I type this post. I don’t want to fail again. I don’t want to go back to the way things were before. I’ve been happier with myself over this past year than I have been in a long time.

This morning, my trusted friends voiced their concerns and brought be down to reality. I have been in a form of denial these past few weeks, thinking that I could just push past the injury and everything will be OK so long as I don’t overdo it. But that’s not happening and now it’s time I do the right thing. This fear has been circling me all morning, and then I remembered something.

“Fear is a difficult emotion to overcome. It’s as if it casts a shadow over everything. When you let it take over, it holds you in darkness. It cloaks the bad, but it also transforms the good—making you believe it’s just another demon hiding in the shadows, waiting for the chance to overpower you. Controlling your fear, working with it to move forward, that’s what will set you free.”
~ Kingston’s Promise by Carrie Beckort

I wrote those words above. They are in my second novel, Kingston’s Promise, which I published just over a year ago.

Right now I’m so afraid of failing that I’m letting it cast a shadow over everything. I’m letting it transform what’s good for me (taking a rest) into something bad that I believe will overpower me. I don’t know how I came up with those words I wrote in my novel. I wrote them to help my fictional character Marcus face a tremendous fear. But now I’m thinking it’s possible that they were given to me because someone watching over me knew that I’d need them myself some day.

I realize now that I have to face this fear. A vast majority of my journey is a mental game rather than a physical one. I’ve made significant progress over the last couple years, but the way I’ve reacted to the idea of taking a break has opened my eyes.

If I can’t trust myself, how in the world will I ever be able to make this sustainable?

Because that’s what this is about—trust. I need to trust that I can recover from this. I’ve come to believe that this is just another test that has been thrown down in front of me. I know that I’m never tested with something I can’t overcome, so it’s time to listen.

It’s time I start working with my fear. It’s time to be set free.

The best way I know how to do that is to have a plan. So, here it is:
  • I’m not going to go to the gym for the rest of this week or next week. I’ll decide on the following week at that point.
  • I’ve set up an ‘immobile’ office so I can elevate my foot while I write.
  • I’ve set up alarms to remind me to take ibuprofen and ice my foot regularly.
  • I’m going to ask my husband to do the grocery shopping.
  • I’m going to skip walking to the bus stop, watching instead from the front door, and hope my daughter will understand.

All of the above will help me stay off my foot for the majority of the day. However, I decided that I still need to figure out how to get some form of a workout in every day. I have bands here at home and we also have a Bowflex machine. I can use that as an alternative to resistance band days and do exercises where I can sit. The real challenge is getting in some form of an aerobic workout. We have an elliptical in our basement, but that’s no good—it will apply too much pressure to my foot. I haven’t been able to find any credible chair dancing routines on the Internet, so that’s out. That leaves me with the Bowflex machine again. It has a rowing feature that I’m just going to have to try using to get a good calorie burn. It won’t be the same as kickboxing, but at least it will be something.

I feel better knowing that I have a plan. I’m still worried about my eating. It hasn’t been 100% lately, and usually when something like this happens I turn to food. I’m just hoping that the fact that I’m supposed to be off my foot will help—because we don’t keep what I want in the house and I won’t be able to go and shop for it!

I’ll take all the positive energy you want to send my way. Thanks for being here to listen.

~ Carrie