“Giving the Gift of Sweat, Soreness, and Smiles is My Calling”

Meet Dodi Darrow. She’s a 42-year-old boot camp director living with her family in Telluride, CO. When she’s not creating new workouts for her classes and Do The Good Stuff, she’s busy hanging out with her best friend/husband Andy and their two kids. Dodi is also a couples group leader, outdoor enthusiast, and Crossfitter. She believes giving the gift of sweat, soreness, and smiles is her calling.

We talk to Dodi about support squads and more like:

  1. Family time and fitness don’t have to be incompatible. Everything can (imperfectly) work together.
  2. The ups and downs and tips and tricks of joining a fitness community.
  3. The key to feeling your best isn’t about making grand plans, it’s about creating small consistent habits.
  4. How to be patient with yourself and others to free yourself to be happy.

Dodi was interviewed by her friend and DTGS Founder, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Villa. Here we go!

#1 —Family time and fitness can work together.

Lizzy: What does a day in your life look like?

Dodi: Most days start with bulletproof coffee and some time in the quiet dark practicing gratitude before the tyrants awaken. I coach two boot camp classes and cherish walking my kids to school. A little time to myself to get organized and do some dinner prep, and lots of days I’ll hit a Crossfit class or hit the mountain with my squeeze. I grab my kids from school, get dinner on the stove and head out to another boot camp class in the afternoon. Brush, books, bath, and bedtime routine with kids and I’ll read a couple chapters of a book and I’m out like a light by 9pm!

L: I love this! I have been there to see it in action and I’m constantly impressed by how much your days reflect your priorities.

What’s good about it?

D: Routine is good, but we relish the ability to have some spontaneity each day. My best days are when I am organized and don’t have to scramble with things like missing items for dinner prep. I LOVE creating new workouts and when the ladies come back the next day and tell how sore their muscles are! :))) Sadistic right?!

L: As someone who has been one of those ladies, I can attest to how good it feels, so not totally Sadistic!

What’s hard about it?

D: My 4 and 6 year olds are gaining independence yet they’re still quite needy. It’s hard to hear whining, screams (“HE HIT ME!”) and doing homework (I am a proponent of Finland’s “no homework” policy!) They’re long days, but short years.

L: Do you have any “lifestyle hacks” that you use to help you fit working out into your life?

D: We have a rule that you HAVE to spend time outside, no matter the weather! Occasionally when we are short on time or babysitters, we do a quick inside workout, but we only do that if we have been outside for at least an hour or more.

#2 — Find support where you need it.

L: How do you pursue support for your health and fitness within your marriage, in your family, and in other relationships that are important to you?

D: Priorities. My family is my top priority, but without feeling well and healthy, mentally and physically, I can’t be my my best for my family or my friends or my clients. So I prioritize getting in some physical activity each day, along with some alone time for journaling and practicing gratitude. These things keep Mama happy. And if Mama ain’t happy… ain’t nobody happy!

L: What’s your approach for supporting the women in your bootcamp, Box Canyon Booties?

D: My partner and I try our best to look out for everyone to keep them safe, first, and then encourage them to push themselves. It’s become this amazing community–the women all cheering each other on, especially during partner or team workouts, which I love, because we will always work harder when others are counting on us!

We try and cultivate an environment of support without comparison. It’s amazing the bond we feel with those people we suffer alongside!

L: Why is having support important for your journey?

D: Support is everything. My husband and I laugh because we are such opposites. He loves to workout alone and that’s my personal nightmare. I feed off others’ energy. But even he needs a push from me now and again. I think he’s a little different than most people–most of us need that accountability and encouragement when it comes to staying consistent in pursuing our health and being our best selves.

L: What’s some advice you’d give people who are weary about joining a fitness community?

D: Great things happen when we find ourselves in a community. I’ve seen fitness communities rally around people who are sick, have lost loves ones, even raised funds in a single day for one who lost her home in a fire. We were not meant to do this life alone.

We are all human. Humans are meant to be connected in real life. I’ve seen fabulous bonds born in fitness communities. Lifelong friendships too.

L: Love it! Any other thoughts, tips, or encouragement for people who are feeling the need of some support?

D: Day 1 can be hard in joining a new fitness community. It can be awkward. Try and be yourself and laugh at yourself. Introduce yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Give yourself grace in feeling intimidated or anxious or whatever emotion pops up. Breathe. Everyone was the new girl at some point. Bring a friend if you can. Sometimes that makes it easier too!

#3 — Create small and consistent habits.

L: Which three words describe how you feel about health and fitness in your life right now?

D: Energy, restraint, consistency; Energy because I know if I work out I will feel more energized. Restraint because if I try to do too much and let pride win, I will get injured. Consistency because just showing up is key for me.

L: How has health and fitness looked at different times or in different seasons of your life?

D: Ebbs and flows! I gained a lot of praise for being a high school athlete, and even in college captained our intramural teams. After college I worked a couple of jobs I strongly disliked and working out was on the back burner. It was a low point in my life. I found an amazing trainer and have modeled a lot of what I do today after her. Now I truly feel giving the gift of sweat, soreness, and smiles is my calling.

L: What are your thoughts on resolutions? Do you have any?

D: Typically no. Although I’m human and I tend to overdo the baked goods over the holidays, I honestly believe that the key to feeling your best is creating habits. Like creating a healthy meal plan with real foods and planning out the menu each week.

Having a schedule that includes working out as a top priority. Date nights regularly. Massages occasionally. Annual trips with girlfriends. Reading. Gratitude. Making these things a priority is my resolution.

#3— Be patient with everyone, including yourself.

L: What self-talk have you developed to help in your life?

D: I find if I start my day thinking of things I am grateful for, I set myself up to have a much better, peaceful, content and positive day. We all have our days where we are short on time, patience, grace (for ourselves and others) but if we can learn to step back, breathe, and think about what truly matters, it frees ourselves up to live in a more positive, healthy space.

L: Do you have any baggage that makes that hard?

D: I think we all have some baggage. Family of Origin stuff mostly. Now as a mother I realize my parents didn’t know jack (just like me now!) and we’re all just doing the best we can with the tools we have. Grace for everyone.

…we’re all just doing the best we can with the tools we have.

L: What are the tangible benefits you’ve experienced because it?

D: Of grace? Letting go. Assuming everyone is doing their best frees me up to be happier. (Thank you, Brene Brown!)

BONUS — Fave Workouts, Book Recs, & More Kindness

L: What’s your favorite thing you’re watching, reading, or listening to right now?

D: I ADORE BOOKS! I read this really heavy, racially charged book and needed something light. My library had Amy Schumer’s new book and I started it last week. I LOVE her vulnerability and straight-forward thinking. She is quite a go-getter! I read her chapter on when her dad pooped her pants twice and laughed until I cried!!

I also highly recommend Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success by Angela Duckworth. It has given me some great insight into parenting my children to develop grit.

L: What’s something you learned recently?

D: I am constantly learning to practice more kindness and compassion. Those are my “focus words” for 2016 AND 2017.

L: Okay, finally… I have to ask. Do you have any favorite workouts or activities right now?

D: ALL THE WORKOUTS!!! I love boot camp-style, yoga, pilates, dance, Crossfit, hiking, snowboarding, swimming, exploring- you name it. I just feel more myself when I use all the bullets in my gun. (My dad used to say this.) ❤

That’s it for now… You can keep in touch with Dodi by following her @dodidarrow.


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