Last week, I wrote an update on Facebook announcing I had reached my two year CrossFit anniversary, or CrossFitersary. I reminisced about my first WOD, which was a Tabata deadlift at seventy-five pounds – bless my heart – after which we did a workout called “Cardio Gone Bad.” Gasp. A lot of my friends “liked” the post and congratulated me. One friend, who admittedly I don’t know very well, wrote, “Dang, you sure love CrossFit.” For a nanosecond I was a little embarrassed by the comment because it put an overly bright and exposing spotlight on something I spend a lot of time doing. Like having a passion is a problem.
We seem to be a culture that is defined by its consummate coolness. If we get too excited about something, spend a lot of time doing it (especially if we’re not getting paid to do so), speak a lot about it, or are just genuinely fired up about something then we’re freaks, fanatics, in a cult, drank the Kool-Aid, etc. We should be embarrassed if something revs our engines, and we get to hear comments like, “Boy, you sure do love fill-in-the-blank, huh?” Which I guess really means, “Tone it down, will ya?”
It took me a long time to sort out that which I am passionate about. I grappled for so long with guilt about any time spent on passions outside of my family and work. Almost every parent I know goes through this. And if it’s taken me this long to let myself enjoy the things I truly enjoy, then it seems kind of ridiculous to feel embarrassed about being so into it.
So, I’m just gonna love the f*ck out of it.
I’m gonna love the f*ck out of CrossFit and everything else I put a hundred percent into. Really, what’s the point if we don’t? Once I began living my life this way, it was like I unclogged the storm drains. Every experience heightened. Everything seemed more fun. The returns have been a hundred fold. The smallest progress feels like a million bucks. Every moment is not the road to something great; every moment is it.
I don’t consider myself a materialist person, but I say the same about material objects. For me, there are a few sentimental objects that I love, some obscure, none of high value. My bike is probably my favorite “thing.” I spent a lot of time getting that bike how I love it. I decorated it for God’s sake. And every ride I take on it is the best. I’d be sad if it was stolen tomorrow, but at least I’ve enjoyed the hell out of it every minute I was on it.
A friend of mine once expressed her remorse for leasing a new Mercedes, a sparkly burgundy convertible. “I shouldn’t have gotten it,” she sighed. We were sitting in the pristine grey-white seats surrounded by dark, glassy, wood panels. Everything on the dashboard glowed blue. She knew I am not a car person, especially an expensive car person, and her face was weighted with guilt, though underneath I knew she wanted to be excited about the car. “Listen,” I said. “You worked hard for this car, right?” She nodded. “And you got it because you wanted it. So just love the f*ck out of it.” Her eyebrows rose. “Seriously,” I said. “Why not just enjoy the f*ck out of it while you have it?”
I know that’s not the answer she was expecting from me, but if you think about it, everything is temporary. Material things are easily lost or stolen or destroyed. This moment is also temporary, even this life. It all has to be cherished and enjoyed right now.
This is not to say I love everything. In fact, the philosophy of Loving the F*ck Out of Something has narrowed down the field of what I bring into my life. It’s a simplifier and heightener all at once. And it turns out what I really and truly love is way, way less than what I kind of like. Why just simply like every meal I eat? If I love it, then I’m usually eating quality, fresh food that tastes amazing and makes me feel my best. I don’t have time for crap. Or if I’m going to eat some crap, it better be some amazing crap. In fact, why buy anything I don’t love? This truly has cut down on impulsive, meaningless purchases. Even my daughters now shop by this discriminately rule of thumb: Don’t buy it if you don’t love it.
Buddhists believe attachment to things brings suffering. I can’t argue that. It would sting if my bike really did disappear or if CrossFit was taken away tomorrow. But being consciously aware of what I love has helped me be fully engaged and thankful for what’s here right now. It has giving me a freedom to be braver, take more risks, and completely dive into what I love and enjoy it deeper than I ever had while staying cool and wading through a shallow pool of disconnect. So, I’m just gonna keep loving the f*ck out of it.
What do you love the f*ck out of?