Jess Racz, Part 2

Every day, you spend an hour with your coach. But how much time do you have to get to know them? Our community is built on the foundation of relationships. To support that, each week, your coach will share a part of their story.

Continued from Jess, Part 1

I’ve a TON of extremely impactful moments in my 21 years of life so far that have shaped me into the person I am today and continue to be. I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I believe that we are not our past, nor does our past dictate who and what we can become. I believe that problems do not exist. I believe failure doesn’t exist either. Our “problems” and “failures” are rather challenges and an opportunity for growth if we choose to see and act in that way. I believe that if you put your mind, your actions, your commitment, your consistency, and your absolute best, you can achieve anything you’ve ever imagined. I believe it is not our successes that make us, but rather the setbacks we experienced that lead us towards our successes in the first place. It is in our setbacks, those moments where as if we feel like we’ve hit rock bottom, where we have an opportunity to sour. To shine bright. To share our story and our heart. To show grit and tenacity. To adapt in order to become the best we are capable of becoming. Is it easy? Hell no. It is worth it? More than you’ll ever know.

What has lead me to think this way? What has helped me find my true calling in life? What has allowed me to share my authentic voice to those around me? What has given me the courage to be my unapologetically weird self? What has given me more motivation and grit then every before? My L5S1 herniated disc.

I was the athlete who always identified with the sport she played. I identified myself with my performance: how many points I was scoring, if we won or lost, how much weight was on the bar, the time of my metcons, if I was better than this person or better than that person. I identified myself with the numbers. I identified myself with things completely outside of my control, where my happiness was dictated by those around me. Because of this, I completely was burnt out from basketball and was driving myself into the ground with CrossFit. Because I was pushing my body to a capacity it couldn’t handle, all while under-recovering, under-preparing, and caring more about how much weight was on the bar, I ended up herniated my L5S1 disc. At first, it was absolutely devastating. The luxury we have to able to train each day was completely stripped away from me. My dreams were crushed. I went from “I am going to make the CrossFit Games” to “Will I ever be able to train again?” Now, if you have ever experienced an injury, you understand where I am coming from. I had a complete identity crisis. I felt lost and confused and angry. “Why me?” “Why now?” I couldn’t sit, stand, sleep, bend over, or even lay down without immense pain and spasming in my back shooting down my leg. I was crying more than the hours in the day and in constant pain that never seemed to go away. A day felt like a lifetime, a week felt like an eternity. The first two months were the hardest two months of my entire life.

And now, in my 5th month into recovery and still a whole lot of recovery to go, I can now say with 100% certainty after A LOT of time to reflect and develop myself mentally, this injury was the greatest blessing of my life. Let me tell you why.

Those values, goals, beliefs, and definitions of who I am; my manifesto I was describing in my first post, were discovered and written because of my injury. Finding what gives me the greatest, intense burning in my heart and what I want to spend the rest of my life being and doing, was found because of my injury. My appreciation for my friends and my family was able to grow because of my injury. My gratitude for the little things in life; GETTING to work out, GETTING to wake up each morning, GETTING to do the things you love, GETTING to move freely, was enhanced because of my injury. My forgiveness towards myself, from the people and situations that have hurt me in the past, was forgiven because of my injury. My immense growth mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and intentionally, soured to new heights because of my injury.

All of the things and more happened BECAUSE of my injury.

So, the next time you think you have hit rock bottom, have the faith deep down in your heart, there is good that will come out of this. You may not know when, you may not ever know why, but one day, it’ll hit you, and you’ll understand what seemed like the darkest days of your life, was the only way for you to be able to climb towards the light.

Follow Jess on her journey on her Instagram page.