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To Luke


This weekend, the North Central Regional CrossFit Competition takes place in Chicago, Illinois. I’ve attended the past two years to watch my husband, Luke Reiland, compete as an individual. This year, our gym, CrossFit 8035, was fortunate enough to qualify a team, which Luke will help lead through an undeniably challenging and wonderful experience. Our athletes have been working hard, our members have been more than supportive, and many will make the journey from Central Iowa to the Windy Cindy to watch and cheer on both our athletes, as well as the other athletes from our area. Our gym co-owners just had a beautiful baby this week, and nearly all of our trainers will be competing, so at the last minute I determined it’d be best for me to stay behind to keep our classes running. My husband was disappointed but recognized it was for the greater good. So to cheer him on from afar, a surprise and very public letter to my love.

Dear hunky and big-hearted husband,

You amaze me every day. And so does your ass (if you see him at Regionals, check it out…dynamite). It’s hard not to be by your side this weekend, but it’s probably better for the bathrooms at Navy Pier; my anxiety-induced poops aren’t pleasant, and I get nervous before every single workout.

I want you to know how proud I am. And not just of having exclusive rights to your rear. You inspire everybody around you. Although your flawlessly chiseled abs might appear to be the key to CrossFit success, it’s really your hard work, kindness and commitment to others that puts you on the top of the podium to me, and many others at 8035. It may not be the top of the Games podium, but quite frankly, I think this one is more important. Who you are will always trump where you place (although I’d still like you to kick some asses and take some names).

You are indescribable, but I’m gonna give it a go. Charming. Tenacious. Witty. Immature in the most wonderful way. Supportive. Handy. Strong enough to carry me when I fall asleep on the couch and don’t want to walk to bed. Handsome. Compassionate. Smart. But dumb enough to marry me. Open-minded. Friendly to all. Helpful. Only cocky in bed (hehehe, get it?!?). Creative and conscientious. A-mazing. And more.

Anyway, since I won’t be able to yell at you or boss you around, here are 10 tips I would give you if I were there:

1. Wear the purple bandana for the worst workout. Swear it has special powers.
2. Give the team what they need, whether it’s leadership, support or encouragement.
3. Take your shirt off for every workout and let the ladies enjoy the view.
4. When you’re hurting, suck it up and keep going. ’Cause you can.
5. Don’t forget Mother’s Day. It’s on Sunday. This is a reminder and a warning.
6. Keep your legs controlled and your tummy tight on your hand-walking.
7. Holla at the other Central Iowa athletes and give ’em my love.
8. Buy me something cool. This is key.
9. Don’t eat anything spicy until it’s over. I know what that does to your bowels.
10. Give the team some ass slaps and high fives from me. After every workout.

I love you, and miss you, and the kids and I will be watching you on the live stream. Upon your return I’ll need a back rub. Kidding. Kinda. Muah.

Your cheerleader from afar,

Mrs. Reiland

And to the rest of you, my apologies for any oversharing. If anybody at Regionals reads this, please let Luke know his letter is available online for him…and everybody else to see.

Abi Reiland
Co-Owner / Trainer, CrossFit 8035
Author, Pretty N’Gritty