I have many confessions to make. After this I might get a call requesting I turn in my street cred, but that’s okay. I would rather be honest than fake anything.

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I didn’t see snow until my teenage years and after I moved to Massachusetts, for most of my life, I did everything I could to hide from the cold. I wore only T-shirts and ineffective winter jackets. For over twenty years I didn’t really learn much other than how to get from home to car to work and back.

I also stayed up late every night, sometimes even going to bed at 3am. I drank coffee at all hours of the day and avoiding going outside even when it was raining.

This was me at 18.

I wore black all the time and didn’t know what goths were. I didn’t generally work out, except for a stint in grad school where I joined the gym with some colleagues that ended with me having a preppy phase–but don’t worry, I was back in black soon enough. I definitely did not run or believe that was necessary. It just seemed silly that a big guy like me should stomp around for fitness–but I did like the stair climber. A lot.

Fast forward to now, I have been doing free fitness for about 6 years and everything has changed. Working outside year round taught me how to layer, how not to be afraid to live life fully because it is cold, snowing, raining, etc.

I learned to wear colors, and found that neon pops in pictures and makes for more fun pictures for when I am busy struggling through a workout. I even have colorful non-workout clothes now. (There was an article posted about free fitness that actually said the words, “…and Elin, who always wears orange….”)

I easily wake up early now, and even thought it was a tough transition, it feels right and good to have made that change. I adore going to bed around 9pm and I still struggle for a minute or two when I wake up early for a workout, but I absolutely know my day will be better for it.

I also learned one super important thing; the worse the weather, the better the workout. Why? Because everything you do is harder. Because the energy of the people there just seems more amped up. Because I know I will remember that day, It will stand out as a strong memory of crazy fun with friends. Because if the people who showed up weren’t my friends before, they feel like friends now, people who if I see them on the street I will run to and give a very happy hug. Because even on the coldest days where my toes or fingers take a while to get circulation back, I feel accomplished. Finally because I always leave days like those feeling wicked alive. I feel like my life is not one where I could fall asleep at the wheel and wake up years later feeling like nothing special happened.

So, if you were there this morning, I believe you will see and understand much of what I mean. If you weren’t, maybe next time you see the weather is bad, you might choose to make it a good day and join us. We don’t want to judge you if you didn’t make it today, but we welcome you to join us in this crazy ride.

The Proud and Crazy this morning!

See you Wednesday morning at 6AM sharp at the Rock!

–Elin


Confessions of A Tropical Man
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