One Girls’ Journey

by alexis

Preparation is important, but execution is everything. –Dr. Stephen Franson

I’ve been working with the Bonfire Health team now for a little over three years. I can tell you pretty much all you need to know to live a healthy, vibrant, optimally functioning life – eating, moving, and thinking like a rock star. But there is a vast difference between knowing the facts, and practicing them.

You’d think that after three years of working for a phenomenal wellness program, I’d have everything down. That I wouldn’t battle keeping my workout schedule regular.   That I wouldn’t stay up late, screw up my sleep patterns, and mess with my hormone balance; That I would never consider looking at sugar because I know of its life-threatening effects – the insulin secretion, the fat storage, the blood sugar overload, etc.

But it’s funny…our health is such a fabulously dynamic thing: a progressive, ever-changing entity, shaped daily – hourly! – by our lifestyle choices, in a culture with countless unnatural options. With new flavors and fixes and temporary calms offered, and a pace that offers little space for thoughtful choice, I struggle. Our culture lives in such a state of “Choose-now! – Fill up! – Quench your cravings!” – at times I still find myself caught in its whirlwind. Then after I’ve craved and caved, I’m off my good rhythms and looking for my next fill, weaker and sadder than I was before.

Every day, with every choice, I know I am shaping the only life I’ve been given to live. The opportunity stands, readily available to me as it is to you – to give life to our bodies; to grant them health and nourishment; to bring to life the soul beneath our skin and build into our remarkable existence! Or to give in to what we’re sold.

 “Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.”  Ann Voskamp

I know all too well the bafflement that comes with feeling like the body you are in is not your own. When your senses have grown numb to the interactions of the day. When excitement has been replaced by the monotony of routine. When your body craves movement, but no part of you can muster the courage (or find the clothes) to grace the gym with your months-of-unexercised presence. And if you do get there, your feelings could equate with those much like an elephant on a trampoline. And that’s just during the warm-up.

But I also know the beautiful life of vibrancy that lives inside my body – that comes out when I’m making right choices and giving my body the essential nutrients it needs. I’ve tasted of the freedom that fills those days. The lightness on my feet and extra room in my jeans; the puffy cheeks replaced by a vibrant, genuine smile; the sore knees replaced by strong quads; the ease with which I can lift my favorite little toddlers, juggle grocery bags, or jog to my car; the clearer thinking and greater capacity to be present with the people I love – with all of my senses attuned.

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is – touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it. Because in the last analysis – all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.”  Frederick Buechner

So, humbly, I’ve decided to begin again. To choose what I know is best for the body I’m the only steward of. To choose those things that give life to my cells! To no longer let that which I’ve allowed to stress my head, stress my health – nor rob me of the life I know I have full capacity to live. To step into the gloriously optimal functioning life I talk so much about.

….And I’d love for you to join me. 

My Three WHYs:

… Because I long to be authentic. Truly authentic. To live what I teach and teach what I live. Period.

… Because this season deserves all of me. Transitioning from one great season of life to another, I long to be fully present. For my senses to be fully awake and able to deeply relish sweet moments with the precious people around me; for a clear head and well-rested heart; for the capacity to articulate my gratitude for the treasures of this last season; to unwrap each of life’s gifts slowly and with full awareness of their value.

… Because wellness is more than just fitness for fitness sake. It’s about learning how to live life well and care for the body I’ve got, in order to discover all that a healthy body can do! What kind of capacity it’s got when it’s unburdened by lethargy and sickness, drugs and disease! The people it can serve! The lives it can touch! The calls it can answer! I want to discover what the healthiest version of this body can achieve…

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life 
I was a bride married to amazement.
 I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it is over, I don’t want to wonder 
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
 I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”  Mary Oliver

Let me encourage you – before you start – to consider your WHYs:

Why are you really doing this program?

Where are you now?

And where do you want to be at the end?

Here is a Bonfire Health_ Initial Assessment to guide you through the process of setting yourself up.

17 thoughts on “One Girls’ Journey

  1. Alexis, dear friend, you amaze and inspire me! Thank you for your wonderful, honest words. 🙂 You rock!

    • Thanks, Kristin – and ditto! Your dedication to raising Lia in a proactive, wellness lifestyle is remarkable – and I love watching it.

  2. Fantastic perspective; written with honesty that many of us could not bear to put into words, let alone sign our name to (even though we feel that way). Thanks.

    • Thanks, Brooke. Your and Bob’s consistency in keeping yourselves fit and keeping serious goals out in front of you is nothing shore of inspiring to me – and I appreciate it more than you know. Thank you!

    • YOU – rockstar – are modeling the ideal breakfast habits for all college students – nationwide. I think you should teach a workshop… 🙂

  3. Alex G. Your transparency is wonderful and inspiring as your words flow to speak for so many of us and how we feel. But most wonderful is the end goal of… because we are healthy, how can we serve. Continue to live for an audience of ONE!

    On the Journey with You

    • Mom – I love that you are on this journey with me. Thanks for being the never failing cheerleader of my life! Excited to keep growing with you…

  4. Thanks, Doc. I HAVE super role models… and am grateful for the ways they steadily set my bar higher. Thanks for setting such an authentic example of what you teach.

  5. The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step which I am proud to see you have taken!
    Can I ever relate to starting over just one more time , over the course of 60 years I can’t begin to count them. Numerous times have felt like the ” elephant on the trampoline”. You are inspiration in your transparency!

    • Dad – Your lifetime of dedication to forward movement, discipline and growth has shaped my little head and heart indelibly. Thanks for setting such a steady example of commitment for everyone around you..

  6. Alex, what a well written piece of encouragement to stay focued on one’s vision, despite and through the challenges, knowing the big picture is always so much more important and valuable than the minor but powerful digressions and derailments. I love all of the quotes you have interspered to illuminate your points. It is so amazing to have you as my wonderful niece and now a mentor in the realms of health and commitment. Love you. BEA

    • Bea – I’ve gotten some of my best quotes from authors YOU have introduced me to!! i so appreciate your thoughts – and am blessed to have an Aunt as health conscious – and as well-read – as you!!

  7. Great piece! I can certainly relate to starting and stopping at a gym…..I’ve must have donated thousands in monthly dues at the Beverly YMCA to build a new wing! But now, because of you, I have finally found a passion for health and reaching fitness goals!!! Though I’m just a beginner (a late bloomer 😉 I look forward to the journey…..and I have you to thank!

  8. I am feeling inspired to move tomorrow (beyond moving out of bed and fixing my kids breakfast). It was wonderful to read a bit about your journey. Franson and Bonfire have been instrumental in the health and wellness of our family, and it is nice to get confirmation that it is still a journey and we haven’t failed..or arrived..yet.

  9. Alexis! I LOVE reading your thoughts and seeing your passion and personhood ooze out! You are inspiring me to get this body moving, and not just so the jeans fit a little looser, but for ALL the benefits it brings to one’s life, soul, and perspective! Keep writing girl! (you got skills!) 🙂

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