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!

 

A CrossFit Mom and her Village

CrossFit Texas community!

 Crossfit — it’s “YOU AGAINST YOU”…. even when there are 10 others with shins to the bar ready to tackle the same work you are. At “3-2-1 Go” it is about the work YOU are going to do.  Even though we know the work is ours to do, we are all still a team.  This is best seen at the end of a WOD -one person finishes but they aren’t done… you see them at the foot of another who is still working and they stay right there encouraging them every step of the way.  I see this day after day in our gym and it defines the CrossFit Community that I love so much. 

As a Coach I can walk in the box and if I’m in a bad mood or had a bad day… you leave it at the door.  I see our members and I immediately forget my worries and thrive on seeing THEM improve, get stronger, faster or do something they NEVER thought they would able to do. 

 As an athlete myself, I have those same “just not into it” kind of days.  These last few weeks I have been blessed with receiving some of the CrossFit Community love myself. 

Every Saturday a group of us gather to train in preparation for the CrossFit competitions. An intense 2 hours of skill sets or heavy work and then a WOD to follow.  One of my favorite things about our little community is that all the kiddos are welcome.  I know my little Mekenzie has a blast!  They all tumble around the gym until we are ready to work… then off to the playroom they go ~ only a few “they aren’t sharing” moments happen -haha- but one of the many parents work the room and we are off.  My little Mekenzie has been in a CrossFit gym since she was about 2 yrs old so she knows the drill…and fits right in – usually with her own WOD right next to Mommy.

My norm is usually a few seconds during each WOD for Mommy moments between minutes of work. This Saturday, I had a little angel helping me as Mekenzie was really wanting me to stop and come play during my WOD. I have mastered the ability to talk to her when I can’t even breath because I’m mid burpee or kettlebell swing.  After a few quick stops to open a juice box or tie a shoe, my good friend Ashley just saw a Mommy moment. She saw a need and stepped in. The need for Mekenzie to have a playmate and the need for me to finish a workout. Both things provided what each needed. CrossFit is one of the sanity moments I need… after completing a WOD it gives me more than a fit and healthy body… It also provides a fit and healthy mind. These both carry over into my fit and healthy Mommy role

Saturday rolled around again.. I had to miss the first half of training and walked in as the group was about to start the WOD. I helped Coach the team and then had planned on doing it after class alone.  As I finished up working the heavy skill set I just LOST IT! I had no passion, no desire, no GRRRRR to do the WOD. I honestly just did not care in that moment. I wanted to pack up and go.  This is where my teammates stepped in and became my coaches and my motivation.  Crossfitters all know how it feels to have an “off” day, and this day they helped me through mine. 

These are the days I am remember how blessed I am to have a family in my Crossfit community. Thank you to all the “get up girl…get it done!” moments you share with me!

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.

ADAPT and OVERCOME. 

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.

The Power of Defense

 “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

GET BACK!

If you think that spending two hours of a Saturday in a hot warehouse is fun YOU ARE RIGHT!  This past Saturday as part of our CrossFit Texas Women’s program we hosted Bonnie and Rob Claudill for a little Defensive Tactics session.  Both Bonnie and Rob are a part of the CF Texas family, they also have a great history of experience outside of Crossfit.  They both are former Marines (no such thing as an Ex-Marine so don’t even try it !), and both Austin Police Officers and instructors for the APD Academy Defensive Tactics.

“CrossFit women rock!” This sentiment resonates with both men and women. CrossFit women are redrawing the boundaries of performance and having a blast doing it.   Crossfit Journal Jan.01,2008

 Saturday was the first session of our Self Defense classes. 14 women committed to learning something new this day.  We all walked in unknowing of what was to come.  The cages that were usually reserved for the barbells had heavy bags tied up with rope, stacks of black pads cushioned the areas below the pull-up bars and the WOD on the whiteboard today was definitely the UNKNOWABLE!      I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be like any kick boxing class we had ever taken! I’ve personally seen how one’s body is beat up, bruised and battered after a Defensive Tactics course…. well after a Law Enforcement level class…. BUT STILL that’s all I had to go by! YIKES.

Two lines of women (and a few of our little ladies by their Mom’s side) lined up – our wrist and knuckles taped up like we were headed into the boxing ring.  That in itself makes ya’ feel like a badass! The game plan of the day was layed out, now it was time to get back to the basics.  Bonnie lead us through the stance, the fist position, balance & stability for quick moves.  It felt like I was setting up for my WOD and “getting organized”. 

You better not  assume that once these two left the Corps, they forgot how to command a group! HaHa. We were given great detailed instruction and now it was time to put the Combo in action.  Once I finally yelled the right thing at the right time I was up to speed with the group.

 

 

 

I stood in my place in line and every time we pivoted to attack again, I looked around at the amazing women that stood there.  It was hot, it was their day off from work, it was time away from family…. BUT THEY WERE HERE! They were not here for the best time on the whiteboard, or to pull a PR on a Oly lift, they were here to better themselves.  No one was asked “why” they wanted to be here, they just were.  I can not even assume to know the answer to what brought 14 women to a self-defense class.  I know for me, I wanted the experience to learn something new.  I wanted a few hours with my friends, I wanted a tool to tuck away in my “bag of tricks” to know I can take care of myself and my daughter.

When you spend 2 minutes punching a strike pad held up against your friends chest and you are pulling out every bit of power you can, there is a reason why you are here.  HIGH INTENSITY – that’s what we as Crossfitters do everyday. Taking these skills and using it to push through the “can I do this” moment, is another feather in your hat. On top of that, it was just FUN! Two minutes of combo punches standing – down to our knees- down to the ground. WOW that will take you outside of your box.  Then it was 2 against one!  I was paired up with the power houses… Lauren and Ashley H.  Every 10 seconds you were either getting bumped from one or the other… you had to decide was it going to be a combo punch, a palm-heel strike or lay down the HAMMER!! Woooowhooo … crap there is more from behind.  Now we are grabbing their shoulders and driving our knees into them (the pad actually)… until you get blindly bumped again.  All I could think about was… well lets just say we all had our “motivation” that day.

The funny thing was as I was behind one of the pads on the receiving end, I could hear myself yelling at the girls to hit harder or grab here/there.  Talk about supporting each other… haha. I think a few chins were grazed and a few wrist left swollen but it was all in good fun.

The final piece was sparring. SAY WHAT? Yeap, Bonnie and Rob -vs- us! It was one on one with one of them…. seriously they actually know how to hit and HARD.  I was paired to go ’round with Rob.  Ok, I thought about all the technique and moves I had been taught this morning and I had a plan to just try to keep covered and execute what I could.  A few punches into it I realized he really wanted me to hit him… haha. Then I found out what it meant to not cover yourself… tap tap – yeap those are my ribs. The good thing is that Bonnie and Rob are so good that they know how to get you moving without hurting you.  I’ll have to say, it got ME moving!

I can’t wait to attend the next session! Here is a little slide show of the group in action!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

CrossFit Texas Women

A little bit of this… A little bit of that

 

  Weekend Games Training, Paleo recipe swaps, supplement training, speciality Olympic lifting sessions, getting the WOD in no matter – it is what made up much of my time …  well outside being Mommy of course! Since before the New Year I was in “gettin’ ready” mode and had specific timed goals and had to show up and make it work.  The competitive CrossFit session was in full swing, CF Texas represented well at Sectionals and went right back into training for Regionals in May.  

My last two post tell the story of an awesome weekend experiencing the cumulation of all my training.  I was able to stand proud of the work I had done and knew I had left it all on the playing field.  I also walked away with weaknesses …. opportunities to improve! We often are shown weaknesses in ourselves in our daily life, but when do we get excited about training specifically to overcome them? This is one of the many things in the CrossFit world that translates straight into the life OUTSIDE the CROSSFIT BOX! 

So what to do now…..  The weekend after Regionals I had the chance to attend a CrossFit Movement and Mobility Specialty Certification. with Kelly Starrett.  It was a day filled with PAIN and a lacrosse ball… haha. Well, a day of how to prepare your body for the work you demand of it.  I have seen great changes in friends and clients using some of the techniques we learned.  Improving your range of motion will only do great things for you in your WODs and also in the daily grind.  It’s amazing how we beat our bodies up just by going to work everyday.  Preventative maintenance is  the best medicine!  

CF Texas Coach Mary, Kelly Starrett, and Coach Shannon

June 4th was another little milestone for me.  I turned 35! What a great place to be! Thank goodness I’m not 20 something anymore, I didn’t know half of the mistakes I would make and had no clue what blessing were coming my way!  Everywhere I THOUGHT I would be I’m not… and that is OK!  There are moments in your life that are  meant to make you a stronger, smarter, more passionate, more loving and happier person.  I’ll be the first to admit that those moments aren’t always fun, but doing a Tabata anything isn’t “fun”, but it makes you stronger and faster.  So, hard work to handle each of these moments life or a WOD throws at us is what we have to do if you don’t want to get beat.  

My summer has been filled with a new light on life, literally.  I have been an ICU nurse for 8 years and have worked the 7pm-7am shift the entire time.  Working nights will put a toll on you and you end up living opposite of the rest of society.  Just prior to Regionals I switched to day shift……………. WHOA — what are all these people doing up and about during the day???  I was determined to make my daughter’s life as normal as possible.  No more sleeping over at family’s houses while Mommy worked.  Now we get every night together.  What more could I ask for.  I miss being in the box as much as I was before, and it was challenging  trying to find time to train before Regionals on this new schedule.  

In July I attended my very first AdvoCare Success School.  It was awesome seeing so many people’s life changing stories being told in front of me.  The community that is seeking to help others just continues to unfold in front of me.  I realized that it’s time to start dreaming again! I had forgotten that it was important to have those dreams…  not just goals but TRUE DREAMS! I have an amazing support team that is right there with me for the ride! 

THE NEXT STEP 

A little break away from the Crossfit hustle and bustle gave me some time to reevaluate my goals.  I had been training for performance and had a specific goal.  I decided to make a change in my routine.  I struggled with not really having one.  Then life took over and has recently reminded me what is important. FAMILY.  Mekenzie and I were blessed to take a quick vacation to the coast with my Dad and Step Mother.  Nothing is more fun for a kiddo than digging in the sand and splashing in the waves for a few days.  Mekenzie was able to visit my Mamaw (her Great Grandmother) and the two of them had some special memory making moments.  I just sat back and watched the joy in each of their eyes as the two of them read a book, played ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ on the organ, and sat in a calm peace.  My life is pretty darn great! I am working every day to share the joy my daughter brings me back with her, show my family how important they are and most importantly I’m learning how to forgive. I look forward to the rest of the summer and many more days with those I care about most.  

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?

UnBreakable (part 2).. Sectionals Day 2

SUNDAY at MABRY  

  

Today was all about NOT STOPPING!  The final WOD of the competition.  Of course I didn’t get much sleep last night and was running later than I wanted.  Mommy duty was my first priority of the day and getting Mekenzie to her grandparents.  I arrived to find out that the heats had changed and also the rankings had changed.  The heats had been reorganized to put all the top 30 in the final heats together…. I looked at it as HELL YEAH I gotta push with these gals in my heat! But then WHAM…. I had a ohhhh no moment and realized I was going head to head with the top 30 gals of the weekend.   

My mind now had to shift from running the WOD at 9am to the new time of almost 1pm.  I really don’t like going in the first heat, I like to watch others and use it to fuel my fire.  I have to make sure though that I take time to focus and not just be Coach and Cheerleader for others.  The first few heats made me realized OH SH*T this WOD is gonna HURT!   

My mind took an immediate ease when Pete showed up, one of the best CF Coaches I’ve had.  I lached on to his presence and fed into everything he had for me.  He is one of the best mental guys out there… oops that sounds bad.  No, he can get me into a mind-set that others can’t.  He knows my weaknesses with just a quick glance.  He also knows how far I can push better than I do.  (He would sit and deny all of the above b/c that’s how cool he is! haha)  We talked strategy a little then all I had to do was wait.  I got another lil message from across town…. “Have fun and don’t over think it!”.  Mark is always able to settle me and get my head straight and today was no different.  

 CHIPPER WOD  

15 Thrusters 65#  

100ft run  

50 – 35# single arm kettlebell snatches  

100ft run  

100 double unders ( IN THE FREAKIN’ GRASS)  

100ft run  

50- 35# kettlebell swings   

100ft farmers walk with 35# kettlebell  

15 barbell squat snatches (65#)  

This was the most nervous I had been all weekend.  I was FIGHTING to stay in the top 30…. the top 21 spots were secured due to WOD 2 yesterday, so I was against the field for only 9 spots.  As they called us to the field I summoned Pete to my sideline.  I knew I was gonna need to look at him for some “calm down” moments in this one.  The top 25 ladies all lined up as we filed out onto the field to meet our judge.  Justin was in spot 24.  We walked the course and talked standards and he asked… “what’s your rep scheme?” My answer was, “BALLS TO THE WALLS.. Don’t stop”. He laughs and I said, seriously I just can’t stop!!!!!!   

3-2-1…GO.  15 thrusters at 65# fresh I knew I was gonna do these unbroken.  I had the majority of the other athletes in my sight and when I saw a barbell hit the ground for a rest it just made me push harder and not stop.  The ground was a little challenging, being in one of the last heats of the day after many bars and bumpers and chewed up the ground was a new challenge on core strength!  15 unbroken and done….   

100ft run, HOLY crap this already didn’t feel good and I had only just started.  50 KB single arm snatches.  I had gamed this a little knowing that my left shoulder was still tweeked from training.  I figured I’d do as many on the right as I could then use the left as my active rest all while chipping away at the reps.  I don’t even have a clue how many I did before switching but by looking at the pictures people took…. it must have hurt.  I do remember my Judge Justin with his constant calm voice… ” keep going, just get to the next station…”  Right – left -Right and then all of a sudden the left took over and my shoulder stop hurting (probably b/c my right was screaming!)….  100ft run (walking the green mile is more like it…) into 100 double unders….. IN GRASS.  I am confident in my du’s, as I can usually knock out 40 or so in a row.  So when I only got 5 then failed… uh-oh. My shoulders where on FIRE, my legs wouldn’t jump and my mind….. creeping in was DOUBT.  I could hear other athletes counts and I was way under their’s.  I look up and there was Pete.  He just gave me that “calm down” look and I tried.  What my mind was actually doing was thinking about how I was trying to motivate Chanel earlier in the day to push through these and yelling for her to “DONT STOP”…. talk about having a moment of guilt.  haha.  I just wanted to tell her “Sorry Chanel, these SUCK ! Now I know”.   I had to just get comfortable with the 2-3 I could link together.  This element is one I thought I would breeze through…… wrong. 100ft run ( this was slooooow) to 50- 35# KB swings.  

 Again, I thought this would be a catch up moment and as we all know in CF, when you think it’s gonna be easy it will actually kick your butt.  The standard for the KB head was “bell up” so you had to swing the bell overhead, show your ears and have the bell straight up.  I just stood there and swung the hell out of it.  In these moments I think rep scheme but the truth is it comes down to grit.  Push till you wanna puke then do another one.  

 100 ft kettlebell farmers walk into the barbell area.  I was soooo ready for the last element.  15- 65# barbell squat snatches. I love this lift.  I had thought about the elements of the ground being unstable, and how  tired I was. I figured in order to have NO WASTED REPS I had better play if safe.  I would power snatch then overhead squat it.  I am totally comfortable in the bottom of the squat with weight overhead.  So I hit the bar with the HELL YEAH I’m gonna nail this….. errrrrkkkk. Damn I couldn’t breath.  I ended up doing them one at a time for about the first half. Then I heard 

the little voice in my head say…  

WHAT ARE YOU DOING>>> STOP WASTING TIME.  Shins to the bar… and squat snatch the hell out of it….. DONE and it felt great! I finally had gotten in a groove.  One at a time with my rest only being following the bar to the ground.  One failed rep… uhg. Back on it. I was in PAIN, my lungs burning, my legs screaming to stop but my mind was COMFORTABLE IN THE UNCOMFORTABLE! TIME = 17:04.   

   

All I could think about in that moment of being done was how bad it hurt and how much I wanted to lay down. I also remembered Mikko Salo the 2009 CrossFit Games Mens Champion, saying that he didn’t lay down after a wod because he refused to lay down in defeat. So there was NO way I was gonna lay down after this one.  Now, curled up in a little ball – sure 

.  

Again, I was disappointed in my time and knew that it may not have been fast enough  to hold on to a top 30 qualifying spot.  Pete was there and we had a great debriefing on getting my mental game in check with the physical game of my wods.  Now it was the waiting period.  

THE FINAL SCORES  

All the athletes gathered around as Jeremy Thiel started preparing for the final announcement of the top 30 Men and top 30 Women who qualified to move on to Regionals in May.  I had no idea if I had been fast enough to hold my spot so I just convinced myself I had not made it.  ……….HOLY CRAP… they just said my name! I had snagged 29th place. I’ll take it!  In that moment I finally realized that all that time I doubted that I could hang with the 20 year olds who lived and breathed CF…. I really could!  I was so proud that I was able to stay true to who I was. #1 a MOM and a balanced role model for my daughter.   

After many ranking changes due to the scoring in WOD 2 and the Handstand pushups… I was moved up to 26th and 4 other athletes from CrossFit Texas made it through to Regionals.  Congrats to all the athletes that competed and left blood-sweat and tears on the playing field! We had an awesome group represent!  

 

Top 30 women Qualifiers: Terilyn, Lauren, Shannon, Ashley

Top 30 Men Qualifiers : Rob

 Now all the hard work, training, dialed in nutrition, supplements…….was NOT what we were thinking! It was CELEBRATION TIME!!!!! Hula Hut on the Lake or BUST! I hadn’t had a margarita in ….. I have NO idea how long much less Mexican food.  I wasn’t sure if this celebration meal was gonna make me regret it later… haha.  

 

On to the Next One!