What’s in a name

A few months ago someone asked me if I ever considered changing the name of my business. I wasn’t surprised that this eventually was brought up by someone, I know I don’t have a name that screams “grit”, “hard core”, “lean/mean fighting machine” and I’ve wondered from time to time if I made a bad name choice. But when I think back to how Realistic Fitness was chosen, it fills me with joy. I remember the exact day and place it came to me and that I was going to make this dream and goal of mine happen one day.

You see, I spent YEARS of my life setting unrealistic goals for myself. You name it and I probably had an arbitrary target that was either 1) out of my reach or 2) within reach but came at a cost. While I had race times I thought I should be able to run and strength results I thought I should be able to see, I also thought I had to have a certain body fat percentage and be a certain size/weight. I pursued these goals as if my life depended on it and most often came up short. I did achieve my ideal body weight through disordered eating but when I got there, I realized there was a new ideal weight just waiting around the corner. I pushed myself so hard to get to this point that I found myself passing out on long runs, constantly injured, a complete cranky pants, my hair was falling out…these are just a few of the lovely rewards of trying to reach my goal. It even got to the point that my husband Andy had to do all the driving to work because I had run myself so ragged during my morning workout that I struggled to stay awake when driving.

One morning when we arrived at my gate at work, Andy woke me up to drop me off and proceeded to fix my hair for me. I remember the look on his face; he looked so sad and concerned. I looked, and honestly felt, like a mess. I remember getting out of the car thinking, “What am I doing to myself? What am I doing to Andy?” It was a pivotal moment for me and I realized things needed to change; I knew I needed some help and had to be more realistic about what I expected out of myself. I started back up with therapy, started seeing my nutritionist again and really made an effort to change my mindset.

Flash forward to a random Saturday. While waiting for my bike to be tuned up, I went for a run to pass the time. I was day dreaming of the day I would quit my job and start my business. Aaaahh, such a pipe dream that I never actually thought would come true. I reflected on my own struggles, past and present, trying to physically be someone I wasn’t. I thought about all the images we see on social media portraying what we think we should look like. I thought about Facebook posts boasting killer workout sessions and Instagram pictures showing and how “clean” someone ate. The list went on; there was (is!) so much out there distorting our reality. As I thought of all of this, I started getting fired up. I was running harder and faster and then I literally said out loud, “this shit is so unrealistic!”

That was it. That was the exact moment I decided if my little dream of owning my business came true, I’d call it Realistic Fitness. And we’d set realistic goals and we’d achieve them. We would not beat the crap out of ourselves trying to be someone we’re not or drill ourselves into the ground trying to reach some far fetched goal. I finished my run with so much happiness and excitement. So much determination. To not only make Realistic Fitness a real thing, but to follow my own advice and to help others do the same.

So there is my little story of how I came up with my name. It’s not a fierce name, I know. It may not be catchy either. But it has meaning and I believe in its meaning and its cause. I coach my athletes and clients based off this premise and stand by it 100%. I’m open and honest with my clients and athletes about their goals and make sure we aren’t shooting for things that aren’t attainable. I’m not saying we can’t or shouldn’t have stretch goals or goals that push us out of our comfort zone. We absolutely should! That’s how we push our limits, test ourselves and get better. I’m just saying any goal, even the hard ones, need to be realistic.

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