• Sarah Skedsvold

"Long Strange Trip" *REPOST 1/10/20*

I never expected to take 18 months off from writing but here I am…


…so what did I do with my time, you may be wondering…


well…I achieved and fulfilled a dream…actually…multiple dreams…some of which I’d never considered. My life has been filled with more magic, more color, more reflection, more devastation, more beauty, more love, more curiosity, more support, more life than I can ever remember and I just never took the time to write…


I have learned, though, that writers need to write. I am a writer. There’s an inextinguishable fire for writers to write, and I’d been ignoring that fire for far too long…


...writing maintains the fire inside of me, it gives me an outlet to think and ponder and considerer and reflect….it gives me practice in the craft of writing, fully developing my voice…


I never considered myself a writer…as full of confidence that I am, there was just something there that held me back from fully embracing the role of a writer…after these last 18 months, i am very happy to say that those days are over…


Welcome back!!


I do have a lot of words to put together to fully cover my last 18 months, but here is the short version


Became a full-time member of the CrossFit Icehouse team, and coached…a lot the summer and fall of 2018

I was noticing some old stories and habits appear, and with the help of my friends, I got to work

I unlearned my limiting beliefs and started feeling during Training Camp for the Soul

The trajectory of my life changed significantly after Training Camp, and I truly learned what surrender feels like and means


So…when I left my full-time career with the North Dakota Army National Guard, it wasn’t exclusively to work full-time at CrossFit Icehouse…but… it kind of worked out that way.


I put a lot of time in learning the art of coaching at Icehouse, under some amazing human beings and compassionate coaches and I just wanted to fit in the best I could with who they were and what they stood for…


I wanted to be immersed in the Icehouse universe all of the time. I was so excited to be a full-time staff member at Icehouse I wanted to learn all of the things, all of the time. I’d coach extra classes to get some more time with athletes, and get extra reps as a coach. I’d schedule coffee meetings, and goals meetings regularly with athletes who’d take me up on it, just to get to know them better and, in turn, be a better coach for Icehouse


I went from coaching 25 hours a month for my first 3 months, to upwards of 60 hours a month for the following 3 months…and I just kept telling myself that I can do the work; I don’t need to ask for help; I just started, I need to get better and coaching hours is how I’ll get better…


…Here’s the thing... I’d come from an environment where my entire identity was intertwined with my career, and then I jumped into a small-business setting, and well…placed myself in an environment where my identity was intertwined with my career once again.


So what does that mean?


Early mornings, late nights, closing the gym and then opening the gym the next day….weekends…events…studying at home…taking classes or working out with the coaches...


I have a historically poor relationship with work/life balance, and a lot of that is based on being very driven. When I have had a mission that I believe in, or goal I want to achieve, I will just go and do it, no questions asked, whatever it takes…


Couple my relationship with work/life balance with feeling super inadequate to be a coach and add the fact that we were really just a small team that had a lot to do and a lot of old habits and stories were coming up.


Fortunately, I had a solid support system who could see that I was struggling and offered resources. I started talking with a therapist within my first 3 months as a full-time coach at Icehouse. It was absolutely normal to take the time and talk with someone with a different perspective, who can help


Therapy started on a new journey… taking me off the professional development path and putting me on the personal development path. The main difference between the two in my estimation is personal development asks the question “why”…for every tool that professional development provides, there has to be a “why” that maters. Look at it this way…you can be really great at a task, skill or organization tool that doesn’t bring your joy, or fill your cup, or matters to you, or that you even need to do will never need to do, and what good is that task, skill, tool?


Listening to a number of podcasts on a routine basis is how I’ve supplement my learning for at least the last 10 years. I heard about Training Camp for the Soul on a few different podcasts and a few different episodes and I was very interested. I’d contacted the founder Anat Peri in January to possibility take part in the on-site immersion camp. I never considered that I could take time off to do camp, and it felt like there were pieces missing…so in April, when I’d heard about a virtual program, covering 12 weeks rather than 5 days, it felt right and I dove in.


I stated Training Camp the second week in June and finished the fist week of September…in that time I thought about and felt way more than I thought I ever could. I am grateful to have had the friends that i’d had. They gave me a lot of space to figure things out for myself and unconditional support when I did.


I knew that I was driven and competent; i knew I was a good person; I knew I was loved I also knew that I could be a better version of myself as well. I knew I could develop a better relationship with work and life; i knew I could feel more comfortable saying things that were on my mind and my heart; I knew I could feel more secure in my relationships of all kinds, especially with myself and that’s what my time at Training Camp provided. They gave me tools and they gave me space, and I did the work…


During Training Camp I was challenged to stop thinking and feel without naming or telling a story and feel all the way through …I was asked to consider what I wanted in life, not what I was willing to tolerate…I was supported and loved and worthy of being unapologetically me…


All of my life my drive and focus has been a strength, and even a strength needs to be moderated. I am more than my drive and focus, I am more than my career, I am more than what I do...


…in that realization I felt a lot of guilt…I made a lot of decisions that affected people I love without taking into account any of their input or giving them a voice…. I chose to do things, oftentimes away from home, taking for granted the time that I had with people who loved me


Out of survival, I kept people in my life at a distance and tried super hard to manage and control my relationships…I felt like if people got to really know me and all of my unique features that make me, me, that they’d leave.


By the end of Training Camp I’d had a number of realizations and had started to make a number of changes to live a more aligned with the best version of my self…


This all sounds really wonderful and great and now that I’m 3 months removed from Training Camp, it is starting to feel that way. Just as in ‘The Alchemist’, the universe conspires with you at the start of your journey and tests you to your limits at the end of your journey.


I have heard that change isn’t easy to explain or experience, but it is worth it. I imagine I understood the idea behind it, but I have felt that sentiment in these last 6 months and feeling absolutely outweighs understanding to an infinite degree…To paint with a very broad brush my marital status has changed; I moved out of my house; my family lost our bulldog, Bella; I’m stepping away from the gym…


…sounds pretty bad, right?


It’s actually been a beautiful experience…it hasn’t always been easy... at times it’s felt devastating, but I can’t imagine thriving as I am now without having made these changes…I’m more present; connecting and reconnecting with friends and family; I’m setting healthy boundaries; voicing my wants and needs; and feeling loved and supported for who I authentically am…


Yes, so it has been a while ride. Thanks for reading, and thanks for coming back…I promise to bring you all back on my journey


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