Tillifinney's Journey - The final post! For now...

  • By Eric Evenstad
  • 25 Jul, 2015
You guys. It’s here. This is the official end of my six month DeCO journey. To say that I can’t put into words what the past six months has meant to me would be a lie... it’s all that I’ve been able to do. So, take another cliché of your choosing about how amazing this experience has been and apply it here. Ugh. Here we go with the tears. Let’s talk about happy things first!

HOW AWESOME WAS THE PARTNER COMP ON SATURDAY?! Shoot. I loved it. There is nothing better than pushing your hardest while surrounded by love and support from most of your favorite people. Personally, I did way better than I thought I would. I think most of us were in PR City for the Clean and Jerk WOD, and it was awesome to be able to celebrate that all together. I got at least two PR’s on Saturday: 125# Clean and Jerk and a slightly over two minute handstand hold. Here’s a picture of me in my handstand hold zone, snapped by the lovely Sus.
Now while I did my best individually, let me also brag on my awesome partner for just a second. Way back in September when Leslie first announced the competition, I knew I wanted to do it and I knew I didn’t have a partner. So I posted on the page that I needed a partner, and not too long after that, Tyler sent me a FB message saying that he would “gladly WOD with me”. Oh man! I was ecstatic and terrified at the same time. Tyler’s a coach, and I don’t know about you, but I kind of see all of our DeCO coaches in the same way one might see a college professor. They’re cool people that would totally meet you for lunch, but they know way more about the topic at hand than you do. Add that to the crazy amount of respect I have for those types of figures in my life, and you have me feeling honored and like I need to step up my CrossFit game STAT in order to not let Tyler down come competition day. I went through several different team names before finally settling on the most obviously perfect one that we ended up using. Hot and Dangerous (who’s who? That’s for you to decide) showed up on Saturday looking sick and sexified, and we had a great time! Can you believe our eye makeup stayed on all day? Tyler, you f***ing rock. You are the best partner ever! Thanks for being so flexible with our “strategies”, and especially for doing two minutes of slam balls and 50 bandless pull­ups. Here are some pictures of the 3rd place finishers in the M/F division that we took prior to any WOD, but had we taken any post­WOD, we still would have looked just as fabulous. Don’t worry, Tyler, we can still practice your “fierce face” and get it to look a little less...scared.
So, with the competition talk done, we are brought to today. To right now as I try and wrap up six incredible months in hopefully less than a hundred pages. It’s emotional, to say the least. As I discussed last week, so much has changed since April. I’ve changed, my surroundings have changed, those around me have changed, and I think everything is going to keep changing. And you know what? I’m ok with that.

This Journey started off as a fitness journey, and I guess when you really come down to it, it still is. I am still going to CrossFit DeCO five to six times a week and trying to be a better me physically. What I didn’t anticipate was how much of a personal journey this would become, and how writing down my thoughts and feelings about CrossFit and everything else would help me process and grow as a person. I also didn’t anticipate having so many people follow my journey, and eventually turn into friends. This final blog is for you, you guys. And I’m going to take a few paragraphs to do some personal shout outs.

Carla. Dr. Aguilar. None of this would have even been possible without you ordering a bunless burger and no alcohol at the bowling alley at CMEA. I know I tell you all the time that you’ve changed my life, and you always say, “No, Tillifinney, you’re changing your life.” Well, fine. But you definitely have played such a huge role in this whole thing. We rarely get to WOD together, or even see each other at DeCO much, but you’re a huge source of inspiration for me both in the gym and in the real world. Thank you for helping me hop on the CrossFit bus, and for having dinner with me, and for being my texting buddy. I appreciate you a whole bunch.

Maxwell, thanks for agreeing to come to CrossFit Saturday with me. Remember how Carla thought we were going to bail? Look at us now! Now, if we had to, we could actually make something more than a bag of almonds for a Whole 30 potluck! Remember back a few months ago when you told me that I inspired you to be better? Well, you do the same for me. Every day in every aspect of my life you inspire me to be better. Shoot, I wouldn’t even know about that “make your best better” story if it wasn’t for you. I credit you with a lot of my personal growths over the past few months, and for making me reflect on who I am and who I want to be. Thank you for constantly pushing me to make my best better, for helping me through the hardest time of my life, and for being my lifelong best friend.

Kristi, our DeCO time together was short, but you are always making my day via Facebook. Without you, I bet I still wouldn’t be able to do a handstand. I will always remember that day. I thought you were crazy for just hanging out at the gym on your rest day, but now I totally get it. I will also always remember your birthday with two breakfasts at Jelly. Thank you for always putting a smile on my face, for giving me helpful hints, for reading my blog every week, and for being you. I miss you! Come visit soon.

Coach Haven, thank you for always taking your time, and making sure I take mine. Also, thank you for often being the loudest voice to push me when I am too much in my head. You have helped me clear numerous hurdles with your loud voice, kind words, and patience.

Coach Andrew, thank you for having faith in me when I didn’t have faith in myself. Thank you for staying right by my side when I was struggling the most, and then celebrating with me upon success. SLAP HANDS! Coach Jared, while we may not always see eye­to­eye on music selection, thanks for keepin’ things real. Generally, if something is going to suck, you’ll be the first one to say it (even if you’re dissin’ the teen girl pop), and then you’ll be right there making sure I’m doing it the right way. Also, squats are no longer my most hated movement thanks to you!

Coach Tyler. First things first, I’m the realest, and it was a pleasure WODing with you this past weekend. Thank you for being my #badasspartner! Also, thanks for setting me up for success with some #That’sWhatSheSaid jokes, for having the best music taste out of the whole DeCO staff (#djturnitup), and for making me a more conscious #runner. You’ve also, whether you know it or not, played a big part in my journey via your #perfectlyfiltered Instagram #foodpics, so thank you for inspiring me to change the habits of my inner #foodie. You remind me often that #weRwhoweR, even if #weRthecrazypeople, so who cares what everyone else thinks?

Lisa L. and Sarah, you’re such badasses that often times during a WOD I wonder to myself, “What would Lisa and/or Sarah do”? While I am far from your badassery on many things, you are an inspiration to me to always bring my A game. Both of you have been with me since the beginning of this journey, and I have loved getting to know you as my friends. Thank you for keeping the bar so high and not only pushing me, but constantly pushing yourselves.

Team Sharts, aka Josh and Danny, thanks for being an integral part of our poorly organized softball team this summer! Also, thank you for being two of the nicest guys I have ever met. I love WODing with you, particularly at 4:30, because I know I am in the company of two amazing, hard­working, and down to earth people. Thank you.

Susan, I feel like you and I are very kindred spirits. I can’t remember when or how it happened, but I am so glad that you and I are friends. Thank you for following my journey, and being right there next to me the whole way.Michael, thank you for always blowing me away with compliments and kind words. You always know what to say exactly when I need to hear it. I am honored to WOD next to such a kind and thoughtful gentleman.

To my Fletcher family, thank you for the support from the work side! Abby, Stephanie, Lori, David, and Donna, you guys have been particularly helpful on those days when I feel like quitting. I am thankful that I get to see your bright and shining faces five days a week, and I am lucky to call you friends.

To my entire DeCO family, thank you for being a friend. Traveled down the road and back again. Really though, I never imagined that I would gain such an amazing, inspirational family by walking into a free CrossFit class on a Saturday. You guys are seriously the best people in this entire state, and I am so proud and happy to be a part of your community.

Rachel, thank you doesn’t even begin to cover it. We started and finished so many journeys with each other, and this one is no exception, we are just in different roles for each other now. I know I can still count on you to be one of my biggest supporters, and above all else, my best friend. Thank you for your honesty, your determination, and for racing me when we run near each other. You have been such an extremely important part of my life, and in helping me learn who I am, that thank you is simply not enough. I hope that I have impacted your story even a fraction of how much you have impacted mine, and I look forward to the next chapters and what they will bring for both of us.

Leslie, none of this would be possible without you. Thank you for building such an amazing community. Thank you for asking me to write about my journey for six months. Thank you for knowing me, for pushing me, and for helping me when I need it (even when I think I don’t). Thank you for being my friend, my confidant, my coach, and the most badass of them all. You are an inspiration to me personally, professionally, and definitely within the fitness realm. When I grow up, I want to be Leslie Friedman. Thank you for welcoming me into your community, and for letting me figure out a whole bunch of things under your guidance. You are nothing short of amazing, and I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

Whew. That was rough. You all mean so much to me. Let’s hug next time I see you. I don’t even care if you’re sweaty and gross.

At the beginning of this journey, I set some goals. A quick check of the goal board today reveals two and a half unchecked things. I am still working to get 10 unbroken double unders, and a full handstand pushup, but I think I might be able to cross off the last thing on my list, or at least put half a checkmark there like I have next to HSPU. The last thing on my list is to become a badass. I don’t think I’m a total badass yet, but I think I am getting there. I know you’re dying to know how much weight I’ve lost. My final weigh in today said 223. If I remember correctly, I started this journey at 264. See ya never, 41 pounds. I think my only regret from this whole thing is that I didn’t keep track of inches. I wish I would have, because the difference in my appearance now is so different than it was six months ago. I have to say this too, even though they’re a pain in the ass, I’m glad I still have my boobs. They help my shoulders look good. J Here’s the final comparison picture, comparing me from six months ago to me from yesterday.
Just before I took above pictures, I decided to give a one handed handstand a shot, because it was one of my unofficial goals. Check it out, friends.

And with that, friends, I must say so long. It has been a hell of a ride. Will you do me one last favor? If you read this blog or any other blog that I have written over the past six months, will you click the “like” button from the Facebook link you followed to get here? And if you just happened upon this blog by total way of the interwebs, leave a comment! I’m really just curious to see how many people have read/are reading what I have to say. Also, keep your eyes peeled for my new blog that I will be updating all by myself! You can find it

here , but bear with me as I try and figure out how to make it pretty.

I love you, friends. Thank you for everything.

Do something great today. I will if you will.

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