Thursday, April 23, 2015

Breath of Fresh Air

It's easy to fall into a rut, follow the beaten path, do what everyone else is doing, act like a robot, and breath stale dusty air.

Sometimes you just talk down to yourself, you talk yourself out of everything, and you think "why even bother".

Nothing is going to be perfect.  Not all things go the way you planned.  Not all days are full of adventure and excitement.  Sadly, your coffee order won't be perfect every time.

There isn't always an easy way out.

Every day your hair and make up won't be perfect, you won't PR every single time, and your kids won't always say "yes mom, whatever you say".

This is reality and you know it.

Don't give up.  Don't stop.  Don't quit.  Don't talk down to yourself.

Get a breath of fresh air.

You need to have breaths of fresh air.

Find a way to take a breath of fresh air.

Breathe, that is what you have to do to stay alive, but breathe for a different reason today.  Breathe for a new perspective, breathe for new joy, breathe for a newfound interest, breathe for hanging on, breathe for sanity, breathe to come to grips with something, breathe to bask in the fact that you are alive, breathe for strength, breathe to get calm, breathe until the day is over- just breathe!

It's easy to want to throw in the towel.  It's easy to get bored.

It's hard to climb out of a rut.

Take a breath of fresh air- fill those lungs with pure fresh oxygen.  Now look up at the walls of the canyon you are in and start climbing.  Walk this way and that until your perspective is changed and that fresh new oxygen has shown you something that wasn't there before.

Things aren't always going to go the way you want.  But that doesn't mean the way you are going is wrong.  Take a breath of fresh air and face your challenges.

Stop spending time worrying about things you cannot change.  Put away your phone or get off the computer.  Stop reading gossip or other people's opinions about stuff that does not affect your life.

Stop refreshing the scoreboard to see where you lie.  You did what your body was capable of and be happy with that.

That mess will still be there tomorrow, stop what your doing and go get a breath of fresh air.  Go for coffee, take a walk, read a book, or write a letter to a friend.

Over and over you feel like you're dealing with the same problem and you can't seem to figure it out.  Stop. Get a breath of fresh air.  Pray about it.  Ask for help.  Think about it differently.  We don't always have all the answers or instant solutions and hey, that's ok.

Do whatever it takes to get that breath of fresh air.   All you have to do is open the door.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Everyday a Friday

The first half of last year was very difficult for me.  I went through something I had never been through before, gossip, drama, the whole nine yards- it was awful!

I felt like I was in the middle of the movie Groundhog Day.  I'd wake up each day with a smile on my face, telling myself that I was going to ignore it and be the bigger person.

More and more stuff would happen- I would lose my smile, I would lose myself.  I would lose my temper on my kids and husband- trying to be the bigger person was just not working.

People would ask me what was wrong and it was the same old story, he said/she said.  When I'd tell it out loud to someone not involved, it sounded ludicrous.  When I'd tell my family and close friends how I was being treated, they'd always ask me why I was allowing people to treat me that way or how could someone even say such things about me to begin with.

I was trying to be upbeat and always see the good.  I bought a book called Everyday a Friday by Joel Osteen to help me find the good.  The premise behind the book is that people are always happier on Fridays and how can you make every day like a Friday.

You don't need to read a lot of pages to get a message that you probably need to hear.  I pretty much read 3-5 pages every other day.  Even if I read the same pages over and over, they lift me up and remind me to see the good and be the good.

Within the first chapter, I came across this phrase over and over, " never let anyone steal your joy".  That is a phrase I carry with me all the time - NOTHING AND NO ONE is going to steal my joy!!!

What I realized was I was letting these gossipers and bullies steal my joy, I was letting them control my emotions and affect my life, something I had the power to stop.

"The abuser, bully, or critic isn't hurt by our anger or bitterness.  We're just poisoning our own lives with it."  There are just so many awesome points in this book!  I never want to feel like I felt last year or go through that again (I don't think I would ever allow it again).  I don't want any of my friends or family to feel like that either.  If you are looking for something uplifting to read, I'd suggest give this book a try.  

Sometimes you feel lost in a situation, like there is no way out.  Tell your story to someone close, someone not involved in the situation.  Hearing it out loud is oftentimes the key to realizing how foolish it actually is.  Your joy is yours and no one else's- don't forget that!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Advantages and excuses

How often have you looked at the workout and immediately thought, "that's not fair for me" ?

I hear it all the time, "tall people have an advantage for wall balls and rowing.
Short people have an advantage for burpees.
Small people have an advantage for bodyweight movements".

It's easy to see this and to rationalize this, isn't it.  And maybe it's even true.  But here's the thing, I don't want to approach any workout and say, "well, I have an unfair advantage".

I may have to work harder on the row because my legs are shorter, but heck if I'm going to let that long legged person take me down.

I have seen a woman shorter than me beat myself and many other people who were longer legged and larger legged on the row.  That was an unfair advantage for her, but she killed it.  Instead of making up excuses, she worked.

I have heard of a 225# man running a faster mile than me- that makes me want to work harder.

Sometimes it seems easier to excuse your score or sell yourself short before starting because the workout "wasn't fair to you".  But, reality is, your score is your score because that's what you were capable of getting.  So what if someone beat you that you didn't expect- if you gave all that you had, that's what counts.

I realize I have some disadvantages, but that makes me work harder.  I work hard because I don't want to have any excuses.  I don't want to look at the guy next to me and think "well he's going to beat me, he's a guy".  I will work harder to give him a run for his money.  I want him to know that if he's going to beat me it's because he earned it by training harder, not because he has an advantage.

I'm not going to let anyone else's advantages become my excuses.  Neither should you.

Go in, work hard.  Train your weaknesses to become your strengths- you will no longer need to worry about advantages and excuses.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Being a Mom

One reason I enjoy this blog is because it allows me to be me.  I enjoy being able to inspire others whether it be to cook something from scratch, crossfit inspiration, self improvement, project idea, etc.  

It has made me aware that being honest is not only ok, but necessary.  In life, oftentimes, we look to the surface of people and our imaginations write a story.  We judge ourselves and compare ourselves to others.  We hide things for fear of what someone else might say.

I'm over that.  I'm going to be an honest mom - I always have been, but I'm going to write more about some of my experiences and my honest thoughts about them because I'm real and those situations are real.  The more real we hear, the more ok we feel- I'm tired of feeling alone.  Being alive is hard, being a parent is hard too, let alone when you feel like you're a bad one.

I often question whether or not I'm a good mom. Just because people tell me I'm a good mom, I still don't always believe it. There have been days when I just don't know what to do.

I have acquired a lot of parenting books, but they do not predict or mention every single situation I am going to be in.  I do enjoy reading them, because to me they are my ammunition for situations that I might be in, I like to be armed and ready for anything one of these kids of mine brings my way.

Sometimes these books frustrate me though because the author has everything perfectly laid out, and I'm over here like really, OK, "use your words" when your son is shouting at the top of his lungs and your other kids are running crazy about the house, or "yes, let's bargain" when your son just told you that he has "the worst family in the world and you are the meanest mom in the world."

Have you ever felt alone, like your kids do things that surely no one else's kids are doing?  I have five kids, my parents and all my brothers and sisters live 17+ hours away, my husband travels out of the country sometimes- things can get very very hard.

Recently I've been at war with a Nintendo DS2 and a kindle fire.  Right now, they have me on my knees with a white flag half raised.  I have tried everything and it seems like nothing is helping.  I finally took off my shield and put on Facebook how alone I felt and how desperate I felt with the situation.  Immediately, I got many responses from others in the same situation, and how they dealt with it.

We don't need to share all of our dirt with everyone all the time, but let's be more honest with our struggles.   Share them with someone because you will not feel so alone anymore.  Even if no one has the answer you are looking for, there is bound to be someone that has been hanging by a thread and you just saved their day by giving them the realization that they are not alone.

Parenting keeps getting harder and scarier as my kids get older.  I'm doing the best I can do, but sometimes I wonder am I really doing the right thing.  At the end of the day, I tuck my kids in, kiss them on the forehead and tell them "I love you", no matter how strugglish our day was.

Sometimes I then go to bed with a guilt ridden mind of how I could have had a better day or what I could have done differently.  I think of all the ways I'm ruining them and their lives.  Honestly, I'm a positive upbeat person, but this is the truth, my biggest fear that I can single handedly ruin their lives because I have no clue what I'm doing.

The truth is, no parent is perfect, kids do have minds of their own, and mistakes will be made.  It sure is hard to make those mistakes or see them happen, but that's why it's important to be honest, so we can all learn from it. We can all see that none of us are perfect and that day by day we are doing it- we are living and teaching and growing, one day at a time, together, not alone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


What's the big deal about RX?

Remember when you came to your first foundations class, you had to ask what RX meant.

Why are you bending over backwards killing yourself just to say you did RX?

Rx- a shorthand for prescription, pronounced "arr- ecks"

RX as you used to know it, pre-crossfit, wasn't always good.  Getting a prescription, or Rx, meant you had something wrong that needed fixing.

RX in crossfit, still means prescription.  But not to fix something wrong-- to define an intensity.  Rx is a coach's way of telling you if you are to go fast, slow, heavy, or light.  RX is a coach's way of assigning movements and ranges of motion that they want you to perform.

RX is not a death sentence or some set of golden letters for you to wear on your chest.  RX is a goal, an intensity you should be achieving.

I'm not going to lie, it sure does feel good to click on that button to say "RX".  But, you know what, it feels really really good to put in any score- to be capable of doing the workout.  I love feeling my heart racing, shortness of breath, my face burning up because I got so hot, my sore calloused hands, smelly sweaty shirt, chalk all over my clothes--to me that is my RX.  My RX is to work all my crazies out to be a happier, better, more patient, tolerable person.

Two and a half years ago, I could not RX anything, but I kept showing up and I never complained.  I just kept working hard- there were lots of things I could not do.  Um, yeah, there are still lots of things I can not do.  I do not let these things get the better of me because my goal is to get the better of them.

Don't let RX be a thorn in your side, instead let it be the fire under you.

Maybe you can do the weight, but you can't do some of the movements.  You have lots of muscles and memory patterns to sync to get that movement.  It isn't going to happen with a sprinkle of pixie dust, it takes hard work.  Instead of using your voice to release your frustration by complaining, use your body.

So, you didn't get that muscle up, well how will you know what to work on if you don't try.  Attempt complete: you could not get the swing, well get in the rings and practice your swing, strengthen your hip flexors to give yourself more power- practice holding yourself up in the rings.  That push press at 95 setting you back?  Well, practice at 65 or 75 until people are looking at you like DAMN- that form is legit!

Envision yourself getting that double under, then go practice- have someone film you so you can see what you're doing.  Weak abs holding back that HSPU? Stay after class once a week and do some L-sits or sit-ups.  You got 140 as your 1 RM but you can't get 145, well, you go for 142, you approach that bar until you're the one intimidating it.

Just because you didn't RX a workout doesn't mean your workout is any less valuable.  Do you feel good about yourself, were you pushing as hard as you could?  Maybe if you RX'd, you would have had less reps, maybe your form wouldn't have been as good, maybe you would have given up on yourself.

If you didn't RX a workout, you are not a failure.  I came across this great quote today:

" There is no such thing as failure, only feedback."

If you can't RX, figure out why and strive to get better at those things.  If you did RX and you got a whole lot less reps than everyone else, figure out why.  Stop looking at yourself and your performance as an excuse to have a pity party- because nobody wants an invitation.  Instead, rise up, and tell yourself some positive feedback.  Every mistake you make, every failed attempt, is one step closer to getting it right.

There are 26 letters in the alphabet.  Stop focusing on two of them.  Here are some letters that I like to focus on:

You can add your own.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Because of You

Because of you standing next to me moving, I don't stop.

Because of you continuing to put forth effort day in and day out,  I work harder.

Because of you cheering me on, I got that extra rep.

Because of you and your desire to be something better, I am inspired.

Because of your voice and your enthusiasm, I got better.

Because of you and your presence, I look forward to coming to class every day.

Because of you, our box and our class are complete.  Maybe you can't RX every WOD, maybe you can't do any advanced movements, maybe you are still using the trainer bar for your lifts- you are important and you matter to me.  Without you, something is missing.

You are all the members of my box.

Because of you and your programming, I do things I am bad at.

Because of you and your knowledge, I am getting better at things I would not normally try.

Because of your compassion, I feel safe.

Because of your cues and attention, I feel confident.

Because of your smile, I feel welcome.

Because of your trust, I have a job that I love.

You are the owner of the box and my coach. You give us a wide variety of movements, weight schemes, rep schemes, wod designs, and time frames that keep the workouts interesting.  You recognize it's more than just a competition, you strive to make us better and keep us safe and healthy.  The time it takes to program like this is not short, that I know.  The grief you deal with, the time you take, the ear you lend... because of you we have the best box around.

Because of you I strive to improve on complex movements and increase the weights I can move.

Because of you and your unknown, I have something to look forward to.

Because of the challenges you present, I am able to test my limits.

Because of the movements I know you will test me with, I am constantly striving to achieve the next level.

Because of your deadline, I know I have to have a timeframe to achieve my goals.

Because of you, I have focused my training to make my weaknesses my strengths.

Because of you, I am forced to try things I normally talk myself out of or don't make the time for.

You are the crossfit open.  Even though I may not be good at all the moves, be able to perform all the standards, or even rank high compared to others, it's the one time that I am truly 100% motivated to finally attempt or train that move.  Thank you for challenging me and even if it was only for 14 minutes, you made me try something that I want to get better at but in all the other 364 days a year, can't seem to find the 14 minutes to do it.  Because of you, our Thursday nights are exciting, because of you, I have an excuse to get out of the house on Friday nights.  Because of you, I am having fun.

Because of you, I am getting better.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

You are awesome no matter what

You are awesome no matter what.

You did not sign up to walk in and compare yourself to people you didn't know.

You did not sign up to focus on what others are doing.

You signed up to get better, fitter, healthier, stronger, more confident.

Stop looking at what everybody else is doing.

You have 60 minutes from start to finish.  Use your time wisely to move more, lift better, build muscles, get good positions.

During the workout, focus on your range of motion, get into an unbeatable mindset- pay attention to yourself.  If you are using someone to pace yourself, fine.  But don't get caught up in watching people go through motions with bad form or not full range of motion- if you are focusing on the count of someone else's reps, you are wasting your own energy.  Use your energy to become more awesome.

You are awesome no matter what that person next to you is doing.

You are there for you.  You are not getting better if you feel spiteful, bitter, angry.  Let those emotions go.  This is life, people are going to lie, cheat, steal, take short cuts, but you do not have to be one of them.

If that person doesn't perform to standard or even skips a set, that is their loss.  You may show up lower on the whiteboard than them, BUT you are awesome no matter what.

Your score is used for you to push yourself against the clock, for you to push the you of yesterday to get that extra rep or that extra pound.  Do not allow your progress or yourself to be poisoned by the actions of others.  Instead, be humble, because you know deep down inside, you did the best you could do, you did the full range of motion, you know that the next time, you will get that extra rep, or you will be able to replace the 2.5's with 5's.

You have 60 minutes from start to finish- focus on you.  You are awesome no matter what score you get!  If today was the day you decided that you were going to hit the target on every single wall ball or no rep yourself on squats that weren't to depth, don't let that sour your attitude and poison your day when other people who didn't meet this standard scored higher than you.  Walk away, the only person your score really matters to is you and the person you want to become.

You are awesome no matter what!  Even if you have the lowest score on the board, you showed up and worked hard. You put in effort, which gave you a score.  You decided it was time to follow through and meet the standards for every single rep.  Don't get down on yourself because someday, that score will be higher or faster.

Everybody signed up for a reason.  Everybody keeps showing up for a reason, even if their score isn't their score, even if they can't get that position- they keep coming.  It's ok to be last, it's ok to be first, it's ok to be in the middle- everybody is awesome no matter what.  Some people need more convincing of this than others.  Instead of focusing on negativity, focus on making them feel confident with where they are and what they can do.

Work hard and leave with a smile on your face no matter what.