The Ripple Effect of Crossfit: Part 1
By Angel Naivalu
A few year s ago, the term “ripple effect,” would have made me cringe and think of my thighs while
jogging. Things have changed, however, and since I’ve embraced the world of exercise and nutrition as
a part of my lifestyle, I have been amazed at the “ripple effect,” my lifestyle choices have had on others.
Aspen Crossfit (the best box in the world, let’s be honest), which came into my life as a God-send, has
had an unexpected “ripple effect” on my life. I celebrate its impact and I’m sure you can relate as well –
the world-wide growth rate of Crossfit says it all: RIPPLE EFFECT!
My husband and I will soon celebrate 10 years of marriage. With baby BOY number 5 on the way, you
can bet it’s been 10 years of learning, growth, sometimes joyful, sometimes painful. Above all that I’ve
learned over these last 10 years together, one lesson stands out:
I own my wellness.
After 2 children, and plenty of weight gain to go with that, I realized that no one else was going to
take care of MY WELLNESS, nor should they be considered responsible for it – it was up to me. My
first goal was to run a full, 26.2 mile marathon and to train from couch-to-finish in 5 months. Mission
accomplished in 2006. That decision started a “ripple effect,” which has resulted in a life-shift for me
and perpetual happiness and satisfaction in my marriage and in my role as a mother.
When I decided that, regardless of what anyone else (insert “husband,” here) thinks, I deserve to feel
well physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, a lot of “residual issues” began to dissipate from
my life, namely: resentment, jealousy, judgment, criticism, martyrdom, justification and fear. I let go of
the “victim mentality” and the idea that my health, my total wellness, (including mental and emotional
happiness) was a by-product of my environment, and acknowledged that it was exactly what I created it
to be! I began to live my life from the driver’s seat instead of the back seat!
As I took care of me, I began to love my life more! (Right, Erik? Mr. “I LOVE MY LIFE” so much I
have it printed on everything I touch…I’ve wondered if he owns Aspen Crossfit underwear that says, “I
love my life!” ???? Anyway…) As I loved my life more, consequently, I was able to love my husband
more….love my children more….love everyone around me more. This quote sums it up for me:
You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting
yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence
can make others happy.
Owning your wellness, taking the initiative to be educated about health and fitness, gaining knowledge on how to make improvements and adjustments to what you eat, how to exercise more effectively, how to rest, and how to manage stress, are the foundational building blocks of loving yourself – THEY ARE ACTS OF LOVE TOWARD YOURSELF.
Back to “Ripples”….
Before my “conversion,” to wellness, I often lamented over my husband’s lack of attention to
wellness – isn’t that ironic? I’m sure I’m the only person who has ever projected my feelings,
fears and insecurities onto anyone else, and so I share this, humbly . As I turned my attention
to owning my wellness, I worried less and less about my husband’s choices. The next great life
lesson after discovering that I own my wellness, came from Stephen R. Covey,
“Be a light, not a critic. Be a model, not a judge.”
Since 2006 I have had 3 additional pregnancies/deliveries and run 4 more marathons, a
½ marathon, a duathlon, and a triathlon. In addition to the physical changes, there were
mental changes as well – creative ambitions and unexpected energy that emerged – I
created a ½ marathon trail run on the North Shore of Oahu that is in its third year (http://
www.gunstockhalfmarathon.blogspot.com), co-founded an online wellness game called Isa
GAME On (www.isagameon.com) that has served nearly 3,000 people in 19 months, and hosted
3 wellness retreats for participants from the U.S. and Canada.
I am not sharing this to try to impress you – rather, to IMPRESS UPON YOU, that YOUR
WELLNESS is the gateway to YOUR GREATNESS. I would have not considered attempting
any of these things prior to investing in my wellness. The physical, mental, emotional and
spiritual fuel was not there!
What creation is waiting inside of you? Can you see it? Feel it?
I know that your potential will expand to new heights, and your ambitions and abilities will be
FUELED by your continued commitment to fitness and nutrition. I believe each one of us is
FULL of LIGHT! We just need to turn it on!
Aspen Crossfit Turns it On, Baby!
Aspen Crossfit has IGNITED the light within so many individuals! The “ripple effect,” is
that the difference it’s making extends beyond tighter abs and firmer tooshies. The effect is
generating greatness among our community, in our homes and families, in our workplaces. So
much so, that people often ask Crossfit athletes, “What are you doing? You seem so different
Acknowledge the “ripple effect,” that Crossfit is having in your life. Embrace it. Own it. As you let
your light shine, you will begin to find and live your mission, your message, your meaning and purpose.
Best yet, “…your simple presence can make others happy.”
(Stay tuned for part 2 of “The Ripple Effect of Crossfit”
It's time to get your game on,
Isa GAME On!