All of our most precious roads lead to CrossFit.
Jesse and I walked into CrossFit Tribe over eight years ago, and so it began. The deep love of intense movement and community led to our love and marriage, the completion of our family with sweet Cruz Joseph and our beloved circle 1.
At the center of that circle are the friends who have turned into family. Like much of your transformations—it all started with and rig, a box and a barbell. A member of the #squad gets married tomorrow, and the circle continues to grow and become even more awesome.
If you are an old school member, you know Dr. Valerie Cohen. She’s often referred to as Jesse’s first wifey and my best friend. But she’s much more than that. She’s a god damn genius. Her capacity for caring and her love of helping others knows no bounds. This passion for healing leaves her exhausted most days and takes her away from the ones who love her most—but she has no choice. Being a doctor is what she was born to do.
Speaking of her choice and the one that loves her most, Valerie is marrying the most amazing woman. She met Jennifer in a hospital almost 6 years ago, and instantly she knew she was the ONE. Watching them fall in love has been joyful, and Jesse and I are beyond honored to stand next to them tomorrow as they become wife and wife.
Valerie called me just a few months after she met Jen and said, “You are going to think I’m crazy, but I have to tell you something.”
“Please,” I responded.
“Jen and I put an offer in on a house. Together.”
Without hesitation I replied, “That is the least crazy thing I’ve ever seen you do.”
When two people are right for each other, they become better people. The calm stability that Jen gives to Val has made her stronger and more grounded than I have ever seen her. The confidence, joy and laughter that Val gives to Jen is a palpable happiness that can be seen on her face. They are drop dead gorgeous, so add that to the intense planning and investment they made into their wedding—and tomorrow is sure to be a stunning event.
FRIENDSHIP WITHOUT END
The first memory I have of Val is in the back seat of my red Lincoln Mark pick-up truck. I offered her a ride to a 5K we had organized to benefit a local charity providing respite to families who are affected by Autism. I remember thinking how awesome it was of her to come—she didn’t know me or Jack at that point. What I don’t remember is anything without her after that moment. The anything includes a divorce, a death and a deployment. Surgeries, sorrows and sixteen birthday celebrations. (Including 30 and 40.) Two engagements and one destination wedding. And tomorrow will not be a destination—but yet the beginning of another journey, as it all begins again.
Sometime in the spring of 2010, I was talking to Valerie on the telephone as we were both shopping. She was at Target, and I was at Walmart. We were on the subject of Crespo, and in that moment I had a revelation. In complete shock and surprise I said to Val, “I think I love him.”
She became wildly hysterical. And if you know Val, you can almost hear how this went down in your mind. Laughing and snorting so hard she could barely speak, she composed herself to choke out, “OMG you’re crazy. You are in lust.”
As usual, we were both right.
Happy Wedding Day Valerie and Jennifer. Clearly I’m not an expert—but I’ve done this thing a time or two. If you were to ask me for advice, it would be very simple.
Cherish each other every day. Words can’t be removed once spoken, so even when you are delirious with anger—and you will be—choose them wisely.
To quote some advice Momma Merle gave me, “If (s)he doesn’t pick up the clothes for days on end, get over it. (S)he probably never will, so focus on the stuff (s)he does right. You’ll stay married that way.”
And above all else, always make time for the physical. Even if it’s just a hug or a kiss good night, staying physically connected in the hard times will make them infinitely easier and the good times as sweet as the honeymoon. It’s the key to staying in love AND lust.
No matter how horrible life gets—and at work you both see the tragic devastation of reality everyday—it will be ok at the end of the day, because you lie next to each other.
And that my friends, is the most precious road of all. The one you will take each day, back home to the ONE you love.