My strength comes from a place of weakness

So if you’re waiting for my usual humorous post, stop reading now.  Today I’m going to share a piece of me that VERY few people have ever seen or heard about.  Why?  Because it’s down right hard to admit.

So many people have emailed me about how strong I am and how I’ve inspired them to work harder.  Many of them as where I how I’ve become to be. I usually glaze over with a nice ‘I’ve always been goal oriented and hard working’ type story.  The truth is….my strength comes from a place of weakness.

So in college I fell for the dreamy popular guy that any girl would want to date.  He was tall, charismatic, athlete, super funny and nice, or so I thought.  A few months into the relationship he started dropping little criticism, nothing major.  Things like I’m not sure if I like those shoes with those jeans.  I took it as honest criticism and actually appreciated that he was being so honest.  Over time they became more critical and almost too honest.

Being a ‘dumb college kid’ I didn’t know anything about mental or emotional abuse. At the time I put it all on myself.  He was right, I wasn’t good enough, fit enough, smart enough, funny enough, etc.  No matter what I did it wasn’t enough, and he always had a way of persuading me into believing it was my fault.  And for a year, I thought it was my fault.  It was the night I had blood dripping from my nose I decided it wasn’t my fault.

I was ashamed and didn’t know who to tell or how to deal with it so I turned to alcohol.  As sad as it is to admit, I can’t tell you what happened for 5-6 months of my life….literally.  I’m not proud of it, but I spent months lost in booze.  I knew where the happy hour was at every bar in town was and it was never too early to drink.  I blacked out at least 5 nights a week.  Lucky for me I had surrounded myself with so many amazing people that managed to keep me out of too much trouble, and help cover for me.

As my grades stated to tank…I mean on the verge of failing every class I was in my parents started to take notice.  I remember one night in college I was so frantic and out of control my parents drove 2 hours to bring me home…..at 3am!  I still never told anyone what was the real driving force behind my issues.  And honestly I don’t remember the story I cover story I told, but I did talk to a doctor and got on anti depressants.    I started feeling better about myself again and I got my life back on track.

I vowed that I would never let anyone treat me that way again and I slammed my schedule with 1,000 activities so that I was too busy to date and get close to people.  It was my way of keeping myself safe, and if I was busy doing 1,000 things I had to live my life via a schedule that I CONTROLLED!  Ever since that year I’ve needed a sense of control and portrayed a strong confident woman with the ‘fake it til I make it’ mentality, and slowly over time I did become strong and confident, and every year I get a little stronger and a little more confident.

So now you know, my strength actually comes from a place of weakness.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.”

4 thoughts on “My strength comes from a place of weakness

  1. Kate,

    I have been following you across the various Crossfit blogs, boards and Games since I started Crossfit about 6 months ago. I have heard wonderful things about you from the gang down here in Austin, outside of you being incredibly strong. 🙂 However, this story really touched me and I have so much respect for you for putting yourself out there. I went through a very similar situation when I first moved to Austin and I still continue to play the woman with the “fake it ’til I make it mentality.” Or as I like to sya “Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.” It’s nice to know I am not alone in this battle I started against the world.

    Keep your chin up and smile.

    “God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.”

    Carissa

  2. Kate, I just wanted to say that I’m glad an amazing athlete like you is admitting to having been on anti-depressants (without bad-mouthing them). Every time I see someone continue to stigmatize them because of some little vendetta against pharmaceuticals, it pisses me off to no end.

    Your drive, work ethic, athletic abilities, and honesty are awesome. Keep kicking ass, can’t wait to see you perform at next year’s Games.

  3. Kate,
    Just got caught up reading your posts. I appreciate the fact that you are so honest and out there with your life. Many times, we think that the ones we admire are invincable, but when it comes down to it we are all just real people, striving to make a difference in our lives and others.

    I also appreciate that you mentioned anti-depressants. Many people belive that if you need them at one time or another in your life that you are weak, crazy or not strong enough. My question to that person is, if you had diabetes, would you not take your insulin? Same thing, if the chemicals in my brain are imbalanced, why would I not try to regulate them. Many times this comes from a family history that you just can’t avoid.

    I admire your drive and your suggestions, for all of us to become better people whether it be Crossfit or dealing with the world outside of Crossfit.

    No one deserves to be abused, and you are a strong woman for walking away the first time the physical abuse happened. Manytimes, we don’t realize the mental abuse.

    Stay strong and keep encouraging us!

  4. I truly believe in bringing it to the light to heal it. I am nearly one year out of a 3 yr marriage that mirrors your experience – including the blacking out. Except for I am 39, not 19. I have a long way to go in healing, feeling strong, xfit scares me to death and I pretty much suck at it but I know my outer strength will give me the inner strength through what Xfit teaches. Its all connected somehow, physical, emotional and spiritual. Following your journey gives me hope that I can do it too!

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