On creating our own stories, realizing our potential, and letting go

We are often limited by the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.

My story used to be that I was shy, weak (physically and mentally), and unable to deal with failure.

Your story might be that you’re not the type of person that could be fit. Or that you could never write a book; go to college; travel the world; change careers.

These stories can come from anywhere. They can stem from a single comment from a bully in third grade. They also come from our families, the town and country that we grew up in, and society as a whole.

While these stories can shape who we are, we can change these stories to become the person we really want to be.

The first step to changing your story is to take action, no matter how small.

For example, if you want to become strong, do the things that strong people do.

This might mean you start out day one doing a single push-up against your countertop because that’s what you can do right now.

It might not seem like much, but do this day after day, and you’ll begin to build up strength. Do it for long enough, increasing the difficultly slowly and steadily, and you’ll have changed your identity to from someone who can’t be strong to someone who is strong.

But you have to take that first step. 

What I’m reading this week —

Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life by John Kaag

I absolutely love this book. William James was an American philosopher and psychologist and considered a leading thinker from the late nineteenth century. But you don’t need to know much about James to get something out of this book. John Kaag, the author and a professor of philosophy, eloquently breaks down the lessons of James, showing us all how to create meaning in our lives and become who we really want to be.

James was a big believer that most of us have barely tapped into our potential:

“Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make very small use of their possible consciousness, and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger.”

A quote I’m inspired by —

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” — Lao Tzu

What I’m listening to —

Huberman Lab podcast (all episodes)

One of my favorite neuroscientists, Andrew Huberman, recently started his own podcast all about nerdy brain stuff. He talks about how our brain works, as well as lots of life-applicable stuff like how to use science to optimize sleep, how we can change our nervous system, and lots more.

If you’re brand new to nerdy brain science stuff, Huberman also has a really cool Instagram account where he breaks complicated brain and neuroscience-related subjects down so that even the non-scientists among us can learn how to apply it to our lives.

What I’ve been training this week —


I got a skateboard for Christmas, and I refuse to let it sit in the closet and collect dust like other toys I’ve received in the past. I’ve made tried various attempts at learning to skateboard before, but never gave it more than a day or two before declaring I was terrible and giving up.

This time around, I’m taking a different approach: I’m taking it slow, not putting too much pressure on myself to be immediately good, and not comparing myself to others who have obviously been skateboarding for longer than I have.

Basically, I’m trying to just have fun with it.

I’ve been skating a little (~20 minutes) three or four days a week, and it’s going pretty well so far. I haven’t made any huge breakthroughs, but I’m becoming more comfortable on the board and getting better, slowly, which is just fine with me.

Three new workouts from last week —

Last week’s workouts were from the third week in our latest community challenge.

Missed the first few weeks of the January Accountability Challenge? Don’t worry, it’s never too late to start getting some movement in for 2021.

Check out the challenge page for all the details (including the downloadable challenge calendar for the month).

Remember, you can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete (this is WAY cheaper than joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer! In addition, you’ll be helping to support the site and making future features to the app possible.).

As always, I value your feedback, so please feel free to reply directly to this email if you have any questions or comments (yes, I am a real human). I get a lot of emails and messages, so I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read everything you guys send me!<

Here’s to writing our own stories,

Krista Stryker



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