How Budgeting is Like Crossfit


“There’s no way I’m going to swing that over my head.”

This was my response to the fit, thirty-something, long-haired California surfer (in Utah?!) who was teaching me the kettle bell swing.

“The key is in your hips. You generate all of the power from your hips.”

His response was supposed to assuage my fears of having a 70-pound kettle bell directly over my head. I wasn’t feeling it. I opted for the 44-pounder and managed to complete the workout.

I came back the next day.

A 70lb kettle bell over my head!

“My body doesn’t move like that anymore. In fact, it never did.”

This was my response to my coach, as he talked about using hip power (why always the HIPS?!) to manage a ring muscle up.

“Trust me. You’ll be high enough. Once high enough, you violently throw yourself through the rings and land in the dip position.”

His response included the word violent. And throwing myself through something.

I came back the next day.

A ring muscle up!

“That thing is huge.”

This was my response to my coach, when he asked me to flip the largest tire I had ever seen. Multiple times.

“You just drive hard. No arms. All—“

“Hips?” I interjected.

“Yes. And your posterior chain.”

I wanted to sit on my posterior. Not really do much else with it.

I came back the next day.

A big tire being flipped!

Now I’m the Coach

With a brand new year, you can’t deny the excitement in the air. It’s a fresh start! I’ve seen it at the gym with newcomers having the same doubts I had.

And I see it with new budgeters. Having the same doubts all of us have had.

It may feel like I’m asking you to do the impossible.

“Just save a month’s worth of money, even though you’ve been barely making ends meet! It’s all about your awareness!”

Your response may be a lot like mine.

“Um, you don’t quite get it. I’ve never been able to do that.”

But maybe you come back to this budgeting the next day anyway.

“Record everything you spend! Manually if you really want to make an impact on your behavior!”

This, from a guy that’s a former CPA and loves checking things off of to-do lists.

Your response may be a lot like mine.

“My life is hectic. I barely have enough brain power to remember where I parked the car.”

But maybe you record a couple transactions in your phone to see what it’s like.

And then maybe you come back to budgeting the next day.

“Pay cash for Christmas. And vacation. And your next car!”

This, when Christmas just wrapped up?! And when the cars are doing just fine and don’t need replacing?

“Listen, I’m still recovering from Christmas of ’09. There’s no way I can give an inkling of thought to the holidays that are 11 months from now!”

But maybe you notice you spent $600 on the holidays last year. So you set aside $50—for curiosity’s sake—into a holiday budget category.

And then maybe you come back to budgeting the next day.

Just Come Back. Often.

I suppose that’s where Crossfit is like Budgeting. It looks intimidating. It looks hard. To some, it looks downright impossible. But you just keep coming back, starting fresh, and rolling with the punches.

(And with that, I promise to never write about Crossfit again. Because honestly, people who do Crossfit, HATE talking about it. This post was a real stretch for me. HA! I cannot and will not make any such promise. In fact, I’m already drafting my post about Julie working on her “double unders” every single day until she mastered them.)