‘Tis the season for giving. No doubt by this point in December, you’ve seen your fair share of solicitations: end-of-year giving, Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday deals, all encouraging you to, in some way, give. And who doesn’t love that feeling: the thrill of watching someone open the perfect gift you spent hours meticulously selecting; your partner, family member, or friend gushing “you shouldn’t have” or “how did you know?” It just feels, well … good. But as the holidays draw closer, do you ever find yourself running out of time and ideas? Have you ever bought someone a gift just for the sake of not showing up empty handed? Rather than getting lost in a sea of holiday gift guides, shipping deadlines, and panic buying, hit pause and take a moment to reconnect with the joy of giving. Cue the old adage “it is better to give than to receive.” Here’s why:
It’s easy. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you have much more to give than you think.
It’s free. You don’t have to spend money. Compliments, smiles, volunteerism, acts of service, or the gift of your time (which some say is the most precious commodity of all).
It inspires others. How many times have you been inspired by someone else’s generosity?
It puts others’ needs ahead of our own. Giving asks us to step outside ourselves to consider what the recipient values rather than what we like or might want for ourselves.
It inspires gratitude. The real pièce de résistance. Giving someone else something means we have to first take stock of what we have to offer, and if we do it honestly, sincerely, and genuinely, we usually find that we have far more than we ever thought. And if you need a little reminder, you can refer to that gratitude journal you started a few weeks ago … right?
In short, giving is not unlike fitness or nutrition: in its purest form, it’s more about the journey than the destination with an opportunity to learn something about yourself along the way. And of course the real gift is doing something nice for someone else. Hopefully it brightens their day as well as your own!
Feeling extra generous this holiday season? Check out these easy ways to give:
Pay it forward: gift the stranger in line [six feet] behind you a free cup of coffee.
Do something nice for a family member or housemate: kitchen clean up for a week?
Are you a master at your craft? Why not mentor someone just starting out in your field?
Consider donating to a charity or nonprofit in someone else’s name.
Donate gently used clothes and household goods to Goodwill or a similar organization.
Check out volunteermatch.org to find various ways to donate your time, services, or skills.
Shop small and local businesses. They need our help now more than ever!
Lastly, Fearless Athletics is grateful to continue our partnership with People’s Emergency Center for their annual holiday giving drive. In the wise words of Coach Gary, “You might think your small gift is inconsequential, but all the donations together chip away at the needs of many, just like chipping away at your favorite hero WOD.” This holiday season, please consider supporting PEC. Check out their website for ways to help!
Having said all that, the new Fearless Athletics hoodies are awfully nice and available for pre order, and did we mention they come in two colors?
Give your body and mind the gift of this breakfast. Rich in protein, brain-boosting fats, and healthy carbs, this meal will keep you going for the long haul.
2 pieces protein of choice: organic sliced ham, turkey, smoked salmon, or prosciutto
1 oz spread of choice (fresh avocado, goat cheese, or guacamole)
1 sprouted-grain English muffin or 2 pieces sprouted-grain toast (I love the Ezekiel brand which can be found in the freezer section of most grocery stores)
Handful arugula or other leafy green
Prepare eggs according to recipe.
While eggs are cooking, toast bread.
Spread avocado, goat cheese, or guacamole on bread.
Layer your fixins’: bread, cheese/avo, arugula, protein of choice, and finish with the egg on top.
If you try it, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@nataliefizbo). Paired with a piping hot cup of coffee, this is hands down my favorite breakfast of all time. And sometimes lunch. And who are we kidding—more often than not—also the occasional dinner. I love preparing it as an open-faced sandwich so I get to enjoy it twice (pro move).
Because we all love a theme, here’s an at-home workout that just keeps on giving long after you’ve finished. Give your legs the gift of this workout, and let us know how you did!
3 Rounds For Time:
50 air squats
40 reverse lunges
30 DB deadlifts
No dumbbells for the deadflifts? Sub bodyweight hip hinges, or grab a broomstick and sub good mornings. Use a three-second eccentric tempo to really fire up your hamstrings (count three seconds down, explode up and squeeze glutes at the top).
Don’t have pistols yet? Check out these scaling options! If you don’t have access to weight plates, try using a book. No plyo box? Use a stool or stable chair.
Going RX+? Use your dumbbells, a kettlebell, loaded backpack, or whatever you have on hand for the air squats and reverse lunges, or go for the gusto and hit some weighted, overhead walking lunges (single arm or double).
As always, be your own coach and get creative! Reach out to a Fearless F.A.mily member and get after it together … outside or on Zoom!
Interested in learning more? Check out this interesting piece from Psychology Today on the neuroscience of giving.