Where are you going… Where have you been?

Out of  8/10/06“>

 We are not our past. Our past reflects varied experiences good and bad that give us wisdom, abilities and feelings. While those experiences shaped our journey and some could be hurtful, they do not define who we are, what we can be or limit where we can go in the future. When we release the hold of the past over us, we free ourselves to embrace the wonder of all we can be and do.                                ~Life is a fork in the road.

Recently I read  this post from Life is a Fork in the road  and I felt like I was just given permission to move forward and not stay in the swirling waters I knew so well. I seem to be constantly in a place of seeking ‘The Answer”… to many things.  One of my constants that I could always go to and dial in a little “me time” was a CrossFit WOD. Four weeks ago I decided to make a huge change in my constant. Now THAT will almost certainly rock your boat when you change courses and you didn’t even know which way you were going in the first place.  The book I’m currently reading is The Noticer by Andy Andrews.  It is about having perspective and realizing that the small stuff actually does matter.  Hard to go into too much since I’m not finished with it, but it’s already setting my new course. 

Moving into week four of the CrossFit Games Open Sectional  it’s been hard for me to be off course.  I am not a full time CrossFitter (and that is REALLY ok) but I expect more from myself at the same time.  Then I look into what all is going on… get a little perspective. Full time nurse, Full time Mommy to a beautiful 4yr old and advanced “treading water” participant in life. Would I change that just so I could have a higher ranking on the leaderboard? NOPE! The days when Mekenzie wants to play a little longer on the living room floor or wants to bake cupcakes, SHE wins and so do I!  I know I should go to the box and work on skills or get another WOD in, but then I look at why I actually do crossfit.  One reason yes is because it makes me feel healthy, strong and well who doesn’t want that.  The biggest reason is that at 35 yrs old, I can run around as long as MK wants to and not get tired.  I was given what I took as a compliment the other day at the box by another member who I had just met.  We finished the wod, all gasping for air and she walked over saying “How old are you? How long have you been doing this?” Kinda off guard for a minute, I answered “35, and since December of 2008”. She replied, “I hope I can do it like you when I’m 35 and a Mom” What she didn’t know was, I was not happy with my own performance…. PERSPECTIVE…. ding ding ding LISTEN SHANNON… It didn’t really sink in until I got home and started putting MK to bed.  WOW, I actually am doing what I set out to do. Be a good example for my daughter in a way of healthy and fit living.  I will keep doing CF so that I can run longer and faster as MK gets older and faster. And if I can help another woman see that we can ALL do it, then bonus!   When Mekenzie showed me how her Barbies were doing handstand pushups for time I knew that I was doing something right.  Yes, she is still a Diva and loves to be pretty, but she also knows that exercise and moving is part of your everyday.  Makes a Momma happy!

CrossFit is not the only course I fumble thru.  Think about this. How many times do you stub your toe on a piece of furniture before you actually move it? How many times do you drop something before you realize your hands are too full and you need to set something down? I seem to stub my toe over, and over, and over again and think that I will get wise and remember to walk around the furniture next time. Then…. BAM… I hit it harder than ever before and instead of getting upset at myself for knowing better from past stumbles, I take it out on the furniture.  Does this look a lot like the definition of insanity? Repeating the same behavior with the expectation of a different result. A good dear friend shared this

We don’t always know that our streets will have potholes. New and old alike all have small chips that when not tended to grow beneath the surface. You just have to keep your eyes open. Gain perspective and mind the small stuff in order to see the big picture.  Open your mind, Open your heart and love BIG!  Where you have been doesn’t mean that is where you are going!



Lessons for my daughter

I continue to grow from my journey and hope to pass on lessons of life to my precious daughter.  May she find happiness in all her days and continued to be surprised in so many wonderful ways!

 Open your heart and LOVE BIG!!

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. 

– Ann Landers

Strong is outside… Strength is inside… Combine the forces.

 “Strength is not about being Strong”

So how do you prepare? Can you prepare for what it takes to be “Strong”?  How do you know what will test your strength? You can practice, train and mentally dial into every aspect of what you think will be asked of you, but will it be enough? Will it be like last time? Will I be able to handle it if I’ve never experienced it before? 

*************3 months later************************

I guess this question had me stumped…. it has been three months since I started this post.  I’m not sure that even with that amount of time I have been able to come up with a solid answer.  It seems most people take a look ahead and start a plan… then they implement the plan…. assess the plan in action and then evaluate and change what didn’t work.  LIFE DOESN’T WORK THIS SLOW and PREDICTABLE… ever heard of Plan B?  That is because so many times Plan A is kicked to the curb in the evaluation process. Many times the plan seems solid and we don’t even consider needing a Plan B, then when we evaluate Plan A we are scrambling to regroup for this “What the heck do I do now” phase.  Again, life isn’t a science fair project displayed for you to just sit and look at.  You really do need some kind of backup plan if the volcano doesn’t erupt when you combine the ingredients while all the judges are watching. 

So I ask the question again… Can you prepare for what it takes to be “Strong” — Can you prepare for what it takes to have “Strength“?

January is the ultimate time of self-evaluation. Resolutions to change, improve, do that ONE thing you have always said you would do are in just about every other conversation. So….. DID YOU MAKE A PLAN? What parts of your life are you giving priority to? After spending some time with a dear friend and mentor lately, we discussed setting my goals.  Similar to resolutions, I realized that if I made a list of 10 goals for myself I would certainly not be able to give 100% to all 10 things equally.  This means even more reflection and prioritizing those goals.  Am I willing to change what I have at the top of my list or can I just put it in a holding pattern? I decided to make two list. One has big, long-term goals with supportive measure to achieve those bigger goals. The second is the do now and “make it happen” list.

I am coming out of an autopilot mode and forcing myself to take control again.  We never know what will test our strength. I believe that you can’t put away all your tools just because the work seems to be done.  Autopilot is nice! It is comfortable, it is usually not a bumpy ride and you are anticipating a smooth landing.  What happens when you are given the controls before you are ready? Regardless, it’s time to step up.  You can’t worry about what was supposed to happen but must now form that Plan B and get it done.  In CrossFit it’s all about training for the unknowable.  Last year when I got injured, I didn’t have time to pout about it (ok so I may have pouted a few times.. but then I got my ass handed to me in a particular Deadlift/pushup WOD-twice).  Injury required a Plan B.


The last 6 months has been hard on my inner strength due to that injury.  I could not get past the fact that doing a simple push up hurt, so advancing skills and lifts was out of the question.  How can I train to be STRONG when my STRENGTH is tied up in a knot.  I had to transition into maintenance mode…. good luck getting a Crossfitter to agree to that.  Once I believed in my Plan B, it actually started working. Sometimes you just need that little voice that has been telling you the entire time to slow down to say it one more time.   Just a few weeks ago I jumped back in a WOD and instead of having to manipulate my ROM to not hurt, I was done and IT DIDN’T HURT. The true test was to test again.  FINALLY! Things are mending and I’m getting Stronger – now I need to work on  mending my Strength.

 I still am working everyday on both being STRONG and having STRENGTH.  I know that it takes a lot of effort, sacrifice, persistence and determination to build something amazing ——– and that is exactly what I want!

What are you asking of yourself in 2011? 



HOMEWORK… it never goes away!

Homework has a “four letter word” feeling to it most of the time.  It’s always been there and it seems to never go away and sometimes I just wish I could get a free pass on turning in my homework.  I have been thinking lately about how life is full of homework assignments, and we tend to choose which ones we want an “A” in.  In school we usually didn’t have to do homework in the subjects we are good at, things just went smooth and we finished before it added up to have to take home.  Then we all had those subjects that we just could not figure out in the alloted time we had at school under maximum instruction and guidance.  Graduation of any kind sure doesn’t mean the end of the work. 

As I separate parts of my life into which assignments I have left in my bag to the “I’ll get back to it” pile and the ones I make sure are taken care of right away, I have found that there is not one most important one.  Letting any assignment get ignored will lead you to some kind of detention.  In my role as Mother, if I even ignore one simple assignment in parenting my daughter, not only am I affecting her outcomes, but I make the work harder on myself for the next test.  Parenting is a constant challenge and luckily we do start to get better at some of the subjects that are included in the job.  I am in this class for the rest of my life and it’s my favorite one by far!

I am a list maker, this doesn’t mean that I get all the things on the list checked off in a timely manner.  Maybe it’s a comfort thing, if I make a list it means I’m aware I need to do it.  Well, list get lost and stuck in the same “do it later” pile.  Having a constant awareness is exhausting but necessary!  Ensuring that all areas in my life are equally visited in my daily homework session has become more difficult that any class I have taken.  It’s easy to want to bail and go do the fun stuff, then you realize that even that has it’s work. I could run off to get a Crossfit WOD in any day and it would satisfy my “want to” but then after you get through the workout you realize…. sheees I haven’t been doing my homework.  If you think that you can PR on a lift or snag the fastest time without putting in the time to dial in your technique and skill, you are going to do poorly on any of those test.  Not saying that we need to ACE every test, but it sure feels nice every once in a while.  So back to class on areas to improve my Olympic lifting, making myself do my daily Mobility WOD and preparing my body for the test I expect it to pass.  

Identifying the necessary task to obtain a feeling of balance and forward stride means digging your heels in and doing the work.  There are many times we think we are preparing ourselves for the next test in the ideal way and it’s  a sure thing that it will go well.  Then when the time comes to put pen to paper and show what you got…. you realized you were reading the text book from last year when you failed the course.  When we realize that we didn’t take the ideal steps to prepare a reevaluation time is necessary.  I have had to restart many of my paths lately due to realizing what I was doing was indeed not preparing me for where I needed to go.  It was time to realize that just because it went bad before, didn’t mean it had to be that way this time.  I am in an entirely different classroom this time with entirely different people.  When you have people around you with the same goals, it’s easier to do the work. 

One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the last year has been to slow down.  It’s funny how I can teach new nurses the need to slow down so they don’t make mistakes or to allow them to see the big picture, but I have a very hard time making myself do this.  I have seen how it can make things brighter and much more manageable when you accept the tortoise  approach.  When you do the work, you learn a lot about yourself.  You can see the areas that you let go and allow to be pushed aside and the areas that took over when they should have been equally weighed. 

I wish I could finish with the note  HOMEWORK IS DONE, but I don’t think I want to ever think that it is DONE.  If I do that then that means I am not willing to do the necessary, difficult work to make my life the best it can be.  I also know that I can’t figure this assignment out on my own.  If I had all the answers then I’d make the test.  I still seek others to help me learn and grow. I count  on them.  We count on teachers, professors, coaches, mentors, family, partners and friends to help us learn what makes each life lesson what it is for our lives.  Even though we might have to retake the same life lesson test, we don’t always get the same grade.

Beauty in Strength

In the CrossFit Box it’s all about you.  Go faster, harder, stronger and all quicker than you did it last time.  It might sound vain to claim that when I walk up to a WOD, I am in a FIGHT against myself.  I recently talked about how I found out how much you learn when you slow down and how obvious things become in those quiet moments.  Some days you can cruz on those quiet moments and other times the light starts finding the itsy bitsy cracks in that foundation and turns them into the Grand Canyon. Part of what I found in CrossFit was how far I could push myself.  I read in the  CrossFit Journal article linked below, the question asking if it takes a certain type of women to do CrossFit or does CrossFit make you into that person.  I believe it’s both. Just as I learn how insightful slowing down is, I also have learned a halt to a dead stand still isn’t comfortable either. Back to finding balance.

I have always considered myself a confident, independent woman and will take on any challenge you throw at me.  CrossFit is a perfect match for me.  I may not be the fastest or the strongest, but if you want someone to push till the end I will give you everything I have.  It is all up to YOU on how the WOD goes.  We all know it’s going to suck but the feeling you get when you can yell “TIME” and drop to the floor in sweet exhaustion and joy that you just tackled a beast is what keeps me coming back.  I feel like I’ve been chipping away at earning my “CrossFit Chick” member card over the last year and 4 months.  There have been many highs and lows, times when I questioned my desire, questioned my ability and questioned my place amongst those other athletes.

The CrossFit Journal,  Beyond the Body, defines what a CrossFit girl/chick is. I will tell you that EVERY single woman who steps into a CrossFit box and looks at the whiteboard and says “ok let’s go”, has already found that place beyond the body! Gaining strength over our mental challenges is a much larger gain than any barbell we can lift.

CrossFit Journal-Beyond the Body

CrossFit chicks swim upstream. They battle against all the images of  female physical fitness that have been implanted since birth. They fight the self-limiting mentality put upon their gender community. CrossFit chicks possess a confidence, commitment and sense of accomplishment that puts them at the forefront of their gender. They know the anxiety of stepping up to competition. They savor the taste of victory. They sweat, suck wind and give their all. They are part of a community that snuffs out the mantra of popular culture—the CrossFit community. (www.crossfit.com) required reading!

As I read this journal article it reminded me of how far off my path I had gotten.  This day was NOT a good day in my little CrossFit world.  I DO CROSSFIT! I am not supposed to let my mind cloud with doubt, fear, and frustration.  I went to training this morning with a purpose…. unfortunately injury interfered with my training.  The WOD included running, clapping pushups and a rope climb.  I can run.. I can clap in  midair and do a solid pushup…. I can climb a damn rope….  Not staying true to my stretching and Trigger Point, I fell to injury.   I have been unable to squat below parallel, unable to jump, run or do any other move that involves hip extension.  So after painfully pushing through a wimpy warmup I decided it was best to switch to an active rest WOD.  Like a ton of bricks the mental battle hit me.  I walked out of the gym, sat outside and tried to figure out WHAT THE HELL I was doing!?!?!?!?  I knew exactly who I needed to talk to.  I may be a CrossFit woman, but I felt like I was fading away like Michael J Fox in Back to the Future when his future is being altered before his eyes. (ok that was hopefully the last random example I use..haha). I saw myself a year ago, not only as I walked into the CrossFit box for the first time with a “kick ass” attitude as my Coaches would say, but also mentally TORN down.  So I sat there and tried to figure out how I could have come so far in that mental and emotional whirlwind and still get slapped down over a WOD.  My very own Popeye opened up my can of spinach for me…. as I stewed away at my dissapointment, he said ” So, how’s that working out for you?”  DAMN he was right. 


My teammate, my friend and my newest accountability partner Terilyn, stuck around and we  found some quiet time to train.  With the huge garage door rolled up and the sunlight as our only light.  The rings hung down….. time to TRAIN YOUR WEAKNESS.  Working through every variation of transition work, dip work, false grip pullups… we did it, we worked on muscle ups. That was a great perk in my day! Thank you girl for sticking with me!


Second attempt at a WOD.  Round 1 Push Press, Back Squat, Overhead Squat… oh yeah, I can’t squat.  I made myself sub out of squats because I just couldn’t mentally handle another failed attempt to train and finish a WOD.  Sometimes outside variables … those situations, people, and events that you can’t control sneak in through those tiny cracks again.  This time I had a witness and I didn’t like how I allowed all of these variables to leave a mark.  Grumble Grumble Grumble… allow yourself to feel bad, to be mad, to GET PISSED OFF.  THEN, LET IT GO! 

One day on a max Deadlift effort I stood almost nose to nose to Ashley and told her exactly what I knew she needed to hear to lift that bar. She got a PR that night.  We almost cried in the emotion that was exchanged in that short moment.  This Saturday that I had been beat down, I walked across the gym to hear those exact words casually said to me. WHOA. That stopped me in my tracks.  What was actually said isn’t what’s important.  What is important, is the moment that we all have that makes us realize we are stronger than the itsy bitsy cracks in our committment.

Third attempt: WOD was told to me on that moment.  I immediately felt myself rise above it.  When you feel supported in every way, it’s amazing how your strength comes from within.  

10 Rounds: 15 Deadlifts 155#, 15 pushups. Great strength builder on my 1st pull … 5 rounds down then we decreased the weight to keep the metcon component.  HOLY CRAP…………… I”M BACK! 


Finding strength beyond what your body can lift, push, pull is what true beauty is.  That is what I define as a CrossFit Woman.  I will continue to work toward any title that aids me in finding my strength beyond my body.  Thanks to my own Popeye and knowing when to make me eat my spinach.




Temporary SANITY when you step out of the box!

Sitting on the edge.  To some it’s all nerves, to others it is a place of comfort. I take a deep breath as I look at this picture and realize I am comfortable looking over the edge at the new things that I am blessed with in my life.  Maybe because I have more balance or maybe because I have a better scale. 

I was blessed to go on vacation to beautiful Mexico recently and experience some temporary sanity.  I think my jaw is still on the floor of the patio outside our room from the amazing views and accommodations.  It’s always hard to leave my baby girl at home when I go away, even if for a short while.  But this time it was all about BALANCE and just taking a breather. 

As I remember sitting on the edge of the pool looking out over the ocean and hearing the waves crash beneath me, I was quiet.  I checked in with myself… Mekenzie is safe at home with family, my heart is calm in knowing that.  I am right where I want to be.  It’s easy to say it’s perfect balance when you are looking over the ocean and the sun is shining all day.  I’m not saying I don’t need to keep working and tackle many more obstacles, but I am happy. And happy hasn’t been in my life outside of being a Mommy in a long time. 

I can sit and list the things that throw me off my rocker and get me whipping like a kite tail out of control until the wind finally dies and I come crashing down.  That is the easy part.  What I needed to do was make that same list of what keeps me at an even glide. I was thinking about all the times I hear people say ” UH…. I need a vacation!”.  What is it that we need to get away from? Work, daily household chores, the unforgiving work schedules, bickering kiddos???   Do we ever really get away from it? I know I walked back  into my house with a load of laundry that didn’t care if I was sunning myself for a few days. We I guess just stepping away from the vice of the moment is what really helps. 

I use that more than I realize. If I’m working in the ICU, I often need to step back and look at the big picture, it allows me to see what would ultimately help my patient the most. When I’m Coaching CrossFit, I find myself on the perimeter of the class scanning for technique issues, fatigue setting in or those athletes that just want to finish the WOD. Looking from afar and dialing into what motivates each athlete to push a little harder, tweek their form or boost their confidence .  As a Mom, I have to step back more than I would like.  I sometimes have to let lessons be learned the hard way, but I also get to watch amazing changes happen before my eyes!

 So stepping away is GOOD! We all learn the hard way on a daily basis, how about stepping back and telling yourself it is ok to WATCH!  You will grow and you will take more away from that experience of quiet and calm than you could during any chaotic moment of the day.

Learning to SLOW DOWN, now there’s a concept.  Fortunately, I have found a wonderful teacher for this life lesson, and I have realized levels of self confidence that I didn’t think exsisted!  Hard-headed is probably an understatement for a description of me, and in this case it took me a few times to realize that it really is in my best interest to let go.  I think once I have done it 20 or so times I will be proficient and not feel like I have to be running around like a rabbit.  It truly is revealing when you step out of the box, step out of your comfort zone.  Do you even know what that feels like? Why would you? Leaving anything we “know” is uncomfortable….so you would think.  When we were babies we didn’t know how to walk, but are you still crawling? Nope, we seek out things that bring us a bigger reward and sometimes we get a little bruised along the way.  As adults we get stuck in that comfort zone with the fear of those bruises.  One can make a conscious decision to change and step out of their personal box.  Others are forced out due to lack of the ability to control all of our surroundings, events and people in our box. The best is when we are taken by the hand and gently encouraged to test other options. 

I have been through all three of those over the last 2 years.  I learned that I can not control other people, events, or my surroundings no matter how hard I try.  You can control YOU and how you react to those elements.  I also have made a conscious decision to make changes in my life that ultimately bring happiness “my reward” for my daughter and I.  Finally, being gently lead and encouraged.  Who doesn’t like encouragement?  What I found was that by stepping out of my comfort zone and changing myself rather than trying to change the system….. the system ultimately shifts back to making it all work.  Life will surprise you if you let it.  Surprises usually mean the unknown and that is a scary place.  Seek out some Temporary Sanity…. SLOW DOWN….. STEP BACK….. TAKE A VACATION!

*would you like Spinach or Bacon with that?


For all you CrossFitters out there, here is a little note from Andy Petranek that will get ya’ moving! I know it will be easy to take with you into your next WOD, but I encourage you to take this “GO FOR IT” attitude and step out of your comfort zone.  It might mean literally in a WOD, or finding something in your everyday that you struggle with and put the same 100% into it.  The results can only be amazing!

Going For It
by Andy Petranek on Facebook
What would it look like if you were 100% committed to your health and fitness? Would it look different than your commitment does currently? 100% commitment would mean showing up, without excuses. 100% commitment would mean eating right, sleeping right, and drinking enough water EVERY day. 100% commitment would mean going all out in the workouts, stopping to listen to the coaching, not cutting corners, and not losing count. What if you aimed for 100% every day?

“Everybody Gather Around”…says the little redhead.

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Miss Mekenzie….. My JOY!!!

*turn your speakers on

I don’t have a huge moving topic to write about today.  I have been racking my brain lately about things to blog and “what would help my clients, newcomers, firebreathers, myself” in this CrossFit world I devote myself to?  I have my ongoing list of the “need to research” tid bits and random things about my training that always flood my head, but honestly it’s not really important right now.  As I was brainstorming today my little girl, Mekenzie, was joyfully running around the house singing and dancing at the top of her lungs.  Not a clue that I was listening and ultimately sneaking around the corner to watch, she had ZERO self-doubt, ZERO worry that she sounded silly or looked silly.  Actually she loved it more the louder she got and the more wiggle she could pull out of that 3-year-old tush. 

I sat there and had an overwhelming feeling of JOY! I wanted what she had… NO WORRIES. So as she saw me I was then summoned to participate.  For the rest of the day it was all about having fun.  Somehow my chores still managed to get done between Princess Dance Class, cupcake baking, Barbie adventures and a nap. YEAH NAPS!!!

One of the coolest things about being able to Coach and train at CrossFit Texas is that I get to have Mekenzie with me much of the time.  She has been around CrossFit over a year now and even though she is only 3 yrs old, she is a little Firebreather herself. She won’t let me get away from the warmup run and will actually take off for the 400m jaunt.  I can usually coax her back into the box with the friendly faces of Mary, Amie and Alice in the mornings.  So the little sponges that they are at this age only sets up for her to pick up CF moves/lifts etc.  One night I looked around the box as we circled up for a technique focus and review and right in the middle of the circle was MK with her 5ft PVC pipe ready to learn.  The  other night we had been working on snatches, I must have said a few things that stuck.  At home a few nights later MK grabs her little play broom and precedes to break down the snatch… HAHAHAHA.  Ok so maybe it was somewhere between and Clean and a Snatch but it was close.  Then when I asked her what she was doing she announced, “My workout Mommy, I(‘m) doing SNAPS..” I could not help but laugh out loud. 

I know many other parents who have there kiddos around the gym experience similar things, but I wanted to share my little JOY and how COOL it is that I get to be Mekenzie’s Mommy! Here are a few pieces of entertainment from my little redhead.  MK and her “snaps” in a tutu OF COURSE!!

CrossFit Texas Women

CrossFit Texas Women's Gathering & Goal Setting.


The first Women’s Gathering and Goal Setting session was held Saturday Feb. 20th at CrossFit Texas.  About a dozen of the ladies that leave their blood-sweat-and tears on the box floor throughout the week came on this Saturday with a different purpose.  We gathered to build upon the awesome community base that CrossFit has laid down for us.  This time it just needed a “women’s touch”.  Mary and I wanted help develop a group where we could have an open forum to talk about the struggles in any and all areas.   



Many issues were thrown out to start our forum: 

  • How do you stay motivated?
  • How do you know if you should Zone or Paleo?
  • How do others stay with a nutrition plan with a family and kids?
  • What supplements should I take?
  • How do I set goals?


  When you make a regular habit of reviewing your goals, you will be better able to achieve them. Goal setting is an important method of deciding what is important for you to achieve in your life.  Separating what is important from what is irrelevant or a distraction, motivating yourself, building your self-confidence.


S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Attainable


T- Time Bound

Set performance goals NOT outcome goals!

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is MOST important to me?
  2. What could get in my way? (obstacles to accomplishing your goals)
  3. What actions do I take to meet my goals?
  4. Who can help me to meet these goals?


  1. When do I start? Make a “kick-off” date for taking action and a date to accomplish it by.

My “TO BE” List

Lifetime Goal

Long Term (6mo-yr)

Short Term (3-6mo)

Immediate (1-3mo)

What other areas are important to you? For example, do you want more community involvement, spiritual growth, more leisure time, a greater self understanding?  To get started #1 Plan- identify the action plan, #2 Implementation – who/what is your monitoring system, #3 Evaluation – who is providing feedback related to your goal?

Goals will change as time goes on.  Adjust them regularly to reflect your growth.  If your goals don’t hold any attraction any longer, let them go.  Time to reevaluate and make a new plan.  If you achieve your goal too easily, make the next one harder. Realistic doesn’t mean it has to be easy, just “do-able”.

One of the best stories of setting a goal and realizing how it changed as she grew is with Ashley Hartgrove.  I would like you to read her story and if you see her in the gym please stop and chat.  She is an inspiration in making a goal a reality and then some! 

Ashley Hartgrove’s CrossFit Testimony 

The wisest person I’ll ever know was quoted as saying “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.”  So… 

I can tell you that I went from a size 10 to a 2.  I can tell you that the scale hasn’t read 135 for me in 8 years.  But, if you want my testimony for CrossFit, I’d rather you listen to how others testify about me…  When they stop me in the hall at work, at the gym, or at church and ask me what I have been doing because I look like a different person.  That is my testimony.  When I describe a CrossFit workout to them, and they respond back with an “I could never do that” and I reply back to them, “neither could I… but I do it every day”. That is my testimony.   

I’ve been a CrossFit athlete for six months now.  CrossFit started as a size and scale thing.  An “I have to wear a strapless gown for a wedding in October and I want my arms to look good” comment to my husband. Every journey starts somewhere and that was where I wanted to go. It wasn’t half-way through my 6-month plan when my path changed directions. The body-fat analysis, scale, and measurement goals were being surpassed faster than I could make new ones. The desire to look good gave way to a passion to feel good… to BE good. No longer did I need the scale to go down or to look better in the mirror. The goal soon became a workout with ‘real’ push-ups. It became an unassisted pull-up. It became a workout ‘as prescribed’ (Rx). The joy of seeing a small number on a dress or on a scale became miniscule compared to a small number on the board with Rx next to it.  

If you want my testimony for CrossFit, you can find it on the white board. Daily, I desire to know what the white board says.  Daily, it has a new goal for me. It testified about me last time and it will again but this time with a smaller number, or an Rx, or both. October is no longer a goal, it is a month. That is my testimony.  I hope you will join me, I want to testify about you!



An update on Ashley- she is training to compete in the CrossFit Games Central/South Texas Sectional March 13th.



  This topic always seems to be the hot topic.  One of the things I heard at my CrossFit Level 1 Cert. from Level 3 HQ Trainer Lisa Ray was, “you have 23 hours of your day to mess up the 1 hour you spent in the gym”.  This is just the tip of the iceberg! The hardest WOD you did that week is still easy compared to the level of difficulty dialing in your nutrition.  But…….IT CAN BE DONE! All the ladies attending on Saturday shared stories of how they make it happen.  It’s not big changes, or dramatic meal plans…. it’s just a PLAN that matters.  The best nutrition plan for you is…… wait for it…… ONE THAT YOU WILL DO!  Kerri and I share our funny stories of our “support” texting when one of us is tempted by the Oreo’s or ice cream.  Kerri and Heidi, sisters and partners in crime!

Heidi and Kerri - A great Team!

They have created an AWESOME circle of accountability for each other.  I encourage you to not hold back and share those moments with us.  Grab one of the trainers and we will help you find a plan of accountability. 


Mark’s Daily Apple

Performance Menu

Paleo Blocks blog  


At the end of the day it always feels good to get into those favorite pair of jeans.  Getting our goals in line, understanding how to implement the nutrition and workouts for optimal outcomes is going to get us there! So everyone brought in some of their old favorites that don’t fit anymore and we got to SHOP! What was the cost?  Being a part of this wonderful group and sharing yourself with others.  What a blast! It was like a big walk in closet that we all got to pick from.  Some snagged a new pair of workout shorts, others found a cute shirt or two.  What we had left over didn’t go to waste. Jackie Holcomb was able to take them to the Hope Alliance in Georgetown for us. I encourage you to visit there website and learn more about them.  

Developing partnerships and providing services that renew hope, highlight possibilities and change the futures of those whose lives have been affected by family and sexual violence.    

The 1st gathering was a success and more are to come.  You all are the drivers and we can take this vehicle where ever we want!  If there are topics that you would like discussed please email  Mary (mary@crossfittx.com) or I (shannon@crossfittx.com). 

Celebrating some of the awesome Ladies of CrossFit Texas

in our journey in and out of the CrossFit Box 



Self Defense! Our own Bonnie (and we might let a boy in…. her husband Rob 🙂 both are Officers with Austin Police Department) has offered to come do a session on self defense! WOOOOOOOOOWHOOOOO learn how to protect yourself…. I mean in case you can’t CLEAN the dude! Let me know if you are interested.  We will put a sign up sheet up in the gym when the date has been decided. 


We have one body – one life – one chance. INVEST in yourself! 

A fellow Crossfitter brought my attention to this article in the Wall Street Journal of a former US Marine that was injured in Iraq and lost interest in himself upon returning home and dealing with his recovery.  This is his story of how he pulled through his injuries and has fully invested in himself with the use of CrossFit. Click US MARINE: What\’s Your Workout?  to watch a video and read about his journey. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

  Don’t let life pass you by! Don’t let situations define you. 

One of the books I’m reading now talks about one of the greatest sufferings noted to man, but it also helps you see that however great or small the suffering we experience is, it’s defined by the meaning WE give it.  How WE respond and react to it.  Life is full of potential meaning, under any and all conditions, how will YOU define it, how will you react to it. Have you ever felt like you were clueless to how to feel better, do better, overcome a situation that was bringing you down? I have! Then when you least expect it POOF… you are given so many options, you aren’t sure how to put them all together.  I have had so much going on lately that I wasn’t stopping to even figure out how to handle it.  I was given a book and immediately the connection hit and I started to see how I needed to define my situations differently.  Aristotle believes that stormy situations are exactly what helps us as humans grow stronger.  When I start to focus on the suffering or pain of a situation my newest homework for myself is to stop and define that moment… MIGHTY GROWTH! I take aim at the moment and will strive to make it an opportunity to be a MIGHTIER HUMAN BEING! Don’t stunt your growth -make the choice to take advantage of the ‘suffering’  and create an opportunity for change! 


I lay out all this new homework for my mental wellness, now lets’ get to the physical wellness.  They go hand-in-hand in my book.  I know I’m not happy if either are too far off midline.  Figuring out which one is the problem that needs attention 1st is the challenge.  I know how when I’ve missed too many WODs in a week it throws my mental wellness way off.  Then if I’m mentally not checked in I don’t make sure I do what I need to do to workout… vicious cycle.  So how do we stay on track?  GREAT question… you think I have the answer.. NOPE.  I do have a  great network of people who help in different ways.  Somedays I need to get a butt whooping in the CF box and have a Coach yell at me to push harder.  Somedays I just want to look across the table at that special someone and quietly talk about the highs and lows of our day.  A sure fix is my daughter, she slows me down.  She is the oil that keeps my engine running.

A precious moment with my daughter Mekenzie

My INVESTMENT: Know that everyday is not going to be perfect. Define each situation and make it an opportunity for growth! Find the mental and physical balance in my day.  Control what I can control. 

What a little help with your challenges?

The women of CrossFit Texas are gathering this Saturday – Feb. 2oth at 12noon. We will be discussing Goal Setting, Nutrition and all the challenges that go with sticking to it. We will have a Paleo/Zone recipe swap & Pot Luck.  We are also  having a Clothes exchange.  Details on the clothes exchange are to come this week.  Register for this FREE seminar online at CrossFit Texas under “seminars”. email me for info shannon@crossfittx.com

 *TWIB* thank you for sitting across many tables with me!

So Long Status Quo…

what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? by dreamsrey.

I have recently started blogging about my CrossFit experiences, my everyday experiences as a single Mom, and everything else in between.  I have done CrossFit just over a year and it has been really good to me.  But, the old saying “ONE BAD APPLE SPOILS THE WHOLE BUNCH” sure has pulled at my shirt tails lately.  I have taken myself to a VULNERABLE  place, the public eye.  My friends and family are great followers of my little world and all the adventures in it, but the Nay-Sayers voice seems to be LOUD and clear.   I’m not sure if it’s because they are mean, curious, or have nothing else better to do.  I was excited the 1st time I received a comment on one of my earlier post and was eager to chat with the fellow Crossfitter.  “AMY” had made comments about WODs and exercises so I knew she at least knew the lingo of CF.  Well, I was unsuccessful to reach her through the email address she used… “NOT VALID”.  Well, the next time she posted it was a different email. Surely this one will work, I knew it was the same person based on the IP address that is logged on my blog. IP ADDRESS TRACKING is GREAT!  Again, bogus email address.  Huh, I couldn’t figure out why someone would take the time to comment but use a bogus email address twice.  Well I just let it go. 

Then the reality of my little world kicked in.  Across the freeway here in Austin is someone who just can’t seem to understand I DON”T CARE about how they try to get under my skin!  Rose colored glasses scratch, break and eventually are not able to “pretty up” what you have to look at and deal with. Just an annoying day dealing with irrational people. (*I do have a point with all this) 

Well, back to this place of vulnerability. IT’S HUGE! I take pride in myself, my family, my work and the way I treat people.  “Treat those the way you would like to be treated”…. do I really need to say where that quote comes from?  So, “Amy” appears again. This time she is a little nasty  When I read her latest comment I was offended and not sure what exactly to do with it.  I have chewed on this for a while and decided to lay it out there! She asked why I wasn’t “putting it all out there”, well let’s see where that takes us. Here is her comment and a little bit of information that I found interesting to follow.


How can you claim to be putting it all out there and holding yourself accountable if you are only posting the results of the workouts you feel you did well on? What was your rowing Grace time? Posting the results, even the shitty ones (IF they are shitty), will keep you pushing harder. Nobody wants to post a sub 7 Fran, but its all part of the process…Surrender to it.

Plus, there are others aiming to qualify at sectionals that like to know what our competition is up to

What I found interesting was the IP address that was connected to the comment.  I am a professional and will not show exactly where it linked back to. I have contacted the owner of the CF Box/facility that it is linked to and hope it is handled for once.  This person has turned her personal pain and ignorance into a waste of my time. 

I have thought more and more about what is truly important in life.  Things weigh differently, my daughter and her health and happiness out weigh it all.  Life is not a smooth ride and we have to learn how to steer through it without crashing…. too much.  When I realized that I let this “naysayer” upset me I asked myself  ?why?.  Why do I feel like I need to put myself out there for anyone other than myself? Why does she feel like she is the judge on whether I’m “putting myself out there”.  Is her life measured side by side to mine? NO!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Crossfit and I have thrown myself into it in more ways than one over the last year.  I also have let it chip away at my core in more ways than I’m ok with.  So ultimately I decided IT’S JUST CROSSFIT…. IT’S NOT EVERYTHING. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh you may say…. but if someone thinks they are the judge to my level of vulnerability they have another thing coming! 

“Amy”, when I decided to “put myself out there”, IT WASN’T FOR YOU! It is for me! YEAP ME! Who cares what my Fran time  is, who cares if I don’t post every single WOD I do.  You say you are curious about other competitors going to Sectionals… WHERE IS YOUR BLOG about your training?  So I do not write this blog for you, just this post… no more!  I hope you can find other things in your life that give you joy rather than using fake emails from your work place to try to bring me down. 

I am living with my doors wide open and it has been amazing what has stepped through! Sometimes life isn’t fair, the white picket fence gets knocked down, people disappoint you, people change…. forget about what “should of been” and worry about what it is!  I was told some great advice and I repeat it on a daily basis… “Live with an attitude of gratitude”.  How can you go wrong when you live like that!   My road is still full of bumps, but I am learning how to avoid the potholes. 

The video below just gave me a reminder of what’s REALLY important! I hope it will redirect you on your off days too.