fitness and nutrition, friendship

Odd Couple to Awed Couple

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You know the phrase “The Odd Couple.” People who just don’t seem to fit together. On paper, they make no sense.

If you had to match pairs of friends, predicting who might get along, you might think of people with similar personalities, political views, walks of life. One of the great things about CrossFit is it brings wildly different people together into communities. Each box has it’s own culture, but ultimately we are all united by a commitment to our fitness, our health, our crazy workouts, and even the health, wellness, and happiness of our crazy CrossFit friends.

That being said, we do have some odd pairings in our box. Some would say the 2 Chicks make an unlikely pairing. We are opposites in many ways. But, many of those opposites are why we work. Puzzle pieces that fit together somehow. Another “Odd Couple” is Caitlyn and Milagros. Just two very different people united by a mutual affection, support of, and giggles with one another.

Fitness can bring us together to meet people we might never have befriended otherwise. We can all feel connected after enduring a marathon workout like Murph, after encouraging each other’s best efforts. It’s a funny thing how that suffering and triumph (or even missed attempts) can break down the apparent differences that keep us apart from each other. In CrossFit, we are all basically the same once we set aside our scrubs or heels or suits, and get into our tank tops and metcons for the day’s sweat-and-suffer-fest.

As Chick 1 mentioned in her recap, Milagros and I ended up as partners through a series of unlikely suggestions. It won’t surprise those of you who know Chick 1 personally to hear that it was her idea for Milagros and I to partner up. Chick 1 has a knack for connecting people and figuring out who needs who. She’s just gifted in that. I hardly knew Milagros at all before this matchup happened. We don’t workout at the same time for the most part, and our paths hardly ever crossed. I only really knew of Milagros because she was taking the photos for the CrossFit Open, so I met her on the Sunday of WOD 19.1. I knew she had an amazing gift for artistic and evocative photos from her instagram, but that was about it.

It may have been that very Sunday we met when this partnership was first set in motion. Next thing you know we were registered, a couple of weeks later we had our team name, our shirts, and even scheduled short strategy sessions. (I am not very competitive outwardly, but inside I am a perfectionist and do want to win. I hide it because I hate losing!)

In some ways Milagros and I are opposites, an odd couple. Milagros favors long, incredible socks. Mine are short and white. Milagros goes hard hard hard into a workout from the start. I will start at a pace that ensures I always have energy in the tank at the end. (Sometimes this means I am slower at the beginning than I should be. My latter rounds are usually faster than the first.) Milagros is so positive about the workouts leading up to the competition. She was so confident we would finish and dominate. Me, not so much. I manage expectations and approach things analytically. As I told her, I don’t expect we will finish, but I’ll be darned if I won’t fight as hard as I can.

We had a loose plan. We had practiced to some extent. But we had decided to just communicate through all of it and trust each other to be there when the other was faltering. Over time, we learned that we were both afraid of letting each other down. We both wanted to give our best efforts for each other. And that’s the way we walked in Saturday morning, shirts on, ready to lay it all out for each other.

The first WOD would be simple enough. 30 snatches, 30 clean and jerks. Split it up. We had decided I was more comfortable with snatches and Milagros was better on the clean and jerks, so we split it up by 10s. I took Coach Stefan’s advice and talked to the judge before hand to be sure I knew what he would be looking for, etc. And even though I was shaking scared, as soon as the countdown started it was a lot like Coach Alex said, everything just kind of fell away and we just did it. In the zone. Go go go. Didn’t take much longer than 2:30. Took turns, cheering each other on, it was all good. And just like that, WOD 1 was over.

And in that moment, we turned from an odd couple to the awed couple. We were just both like, heck yeah, we just did that! In awe of each other and probably ourselves. And we hugged for like 30 seconds and laughed and it was just a great feeling to have done that thing with someone who wanted to do their best for me as much as I wanted to do my best for them. Pretty profound moment, really. Who knew?

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I will spare you the details of Milagros rocking the heck out of jump ropes and thrusters and me managing to throw the wall ball not just to but *above* the target height over and over (huge surprise!) I won’t give you the blow-by-blow of how we worked together to endure a workout featuring a long grueling row and seemingly endless thrusters and burpees. All you need to know is that, even though I didn’t think we would finish, we finished all the workouts well under the time limit. And we used most of the rest of the time to just hug it out and laugh and have our awed couple moments right there on the gym mats.

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Thinking back I am pretty sure no one else was hugging it out the way our team did. Most people either fist bumped or fell on the floor or just walked away. Not us. We were freaking ecstatic for each other after every. single. workout. We may not have won or even made the podium, but we did some pretty special stuff for two women who have overcome a lot and plan to keep on doing that for a long time.

It was also incredible to be surrounded by a community that supports you. Our box friends came and watched, cheered, and encouraged us through each event. To hear your coach’s voice pushing you harder, faster, lights a fire when you’re just about to flame out. Then to watch them compete, push themselves, work a plan, it’s all pretty amazing for a first-time competitor like me.

When’s the next competition? We are already on the lookout. How can I resist the chance to get better alongside these athletes?

Milagros will always be my first CrossFit competition partner. Pretty cool title if you ask me.

Thinking of our team name, WOD we get into? Yeah, I’m pretty sure neither of us knew what we were getting into with all of this. And I don’t know about her, but I do know what I got out of it: Confidence, an amazingly accomplished I-didn’t-even-know-I-had-muscles-there soreness, giggles, and a heartfelt awe for my very special partner, Milagros.

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fitness and nutrition, friendship

We Battled the Mountain!

What do you after the CrossFit open ends when you are a diehard CrossFitter? You battle a flipping mountain!

And so the story begins with a sign up for a CrossFit competition. Competing makes sure you continue to train hard, push limits and compete with like-minded nut jobs like yourself.

Oh what fun! My partner this competition is Tasha, or Tashi to me. My sweet, sassy, saucy little amazing Asian friend. She might weigh like 105 pounds soaking wet but she is a beast in the box.  This is my first competition with her and I have been super excited to compete with her as a dynamic duo. And we added a plus one. Caitlyn, our fabulous professional cheerleader. She is the cherry on top (literally) for this competition. Caitlyn is preggo so she isn’t competing, but she is being the best friend to all of us and cheering us on all day which is just amazing in itself.

Our team name is Katashi which is just a fusion of our names but we are seriously a hot mess in more ways than one. Both are competitive. Both speak our minds freely. Both don’t take shit from anyone. All of which can lead to craziness in the heat of any battle or competition.

We have been practicing for a couple weeks here and there when our schedules align. Nothing major, just timing on transitions and focusing on strengths vs. weaknesses because let’s face it, we have them, and I may have just a few more weaknesses than her?!?!

To make it even more fun, there are about 5-6 other teams from our box competing making it a competition to remember. And I almost forgot, there is a cash prize so who really doesn’t want to work hard to maybe win some cashola.

Up before 6am to hit the road to get ready for the competition. About an hour drive and it’s a bit chilly and overcast making it hard to wake up fully. First WOD starts before you know it. We worked hard and beat our practice time which was good. A few challenges, but our time should be one of the top 5, we think.

3rd place after round one. Seconds separating the pack. No time to analyze what we missed rather it’s time to strategize on round 2.  We start with a game plan in mind and we finish strong with a few mishaps in the mix. Tasha hits her lip with a dumbbell and I got hit with a moving steel rope in the face. Ouch on both occasions. Breaks in rhythm and concentration can mess you up but we pushed through. 1st place after round two. Small celebration, then for me it was fear of oh no! we have pressure to win now. There was no pressure before. Ughhhhhh!

On a side note, we dressed the part for our competition. Sparkling #Katashi shirts in round 1. Cheetah shorts in round 2 that were pretty revealing and then off for a quick change to lemon booty shorts for round three.

We worked so hard for nearly 15 minutes as a unit. Sometime one partner carried more of the load than the other, but we did it together and came out on top. First place after round 3. We won. We friggin won. Wait, we went back and forth like three times to be sure to the scoreboard was right. Tasha even took a picture of it. We were so excited. Our hard worked paid off.

The podium call came. We ended up in second place. What? Well, there was a tie when the final tally came in. They had to go back to the tie breaker of round 1 and we lost by two seconds. Would have, could have, should have. Those two seconds won’t be the death of us. It will be motivation to push hard next time. A little disappointing at first but back to celebrating that we really did win our own game and we had an amazing cheering squad.

Mentally strong. Physically strong. Committed to competing. All the feels for us.

And then there was our extended team/family. The heart and hustle crew: Sarah and Courtney. They hit the podium in third place in their division. They killed it and had so much fun doing it.

The newbies, Beth and Milagros: First time competing and just celebrating doing the competition together. Each round they finished. Each round they hugged in celebration. It was amazing to watch.

The big boys: Damion and Alex. True competitors in the elite division nailing second place. They did everything as planned and they helped the newer teams plan for each workout. True inspirations.

The coach plus one: Erica and Lauren. 2 strong and fierce women in the elite division. Both injured to a point. A sore back. A sore shoulder. Did anyone notice? Nope! They were so fun to watch and awesome to hear cheering us all on.

My buddies: David and Chris. A shy pair added on at the last minute but two good guys. I didn’t get to watch them as we were in the same heat but they both said they had an amazing time. Love hearing success stories like this.

The 5am crew, Mindy and Heather: a whimsical entry late to the competition due to schedule changes. They challenged themselves to compete in the intermediate group. A stretch for some movements but they dug their heels in and fought like tigers to compete.

There were many firsts, many smiles and even some I should have done this or that different. No matter the outcome, we were competitors and we did more than many on a Saturday before noon which is a big success. And for me, I did it in style with booty short changes for each WOD.

I just adore all of my extended friends and family I have met through CrossFit. Whether it’s the local box, a box I visit on vacation or a competition, everyone I meet is amazing. My love for booty shorts is shared across women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and so on. Conversations at the bathroom include what brand you are wearing? and how they ride or don’t ride your crotch.

Where else can you meet perfect strangers and have the best conversations about snatches, cleaning, jerks, booties, sweat and more? Certainly not at the office water cooler.

CrossFit has many benefits. It starts with a physical transformation and shifts into a mental transformation and somehow in between spurs community and long lasting bonds and relationships.

CrossFit is more than an expensive monthly membership. It’s a lifestyle and an elite club that many are scared to join because of the unknown or fear. Those are the very reasons I love CrossFit.

The constantly varied workouts. The not knowing what’s around the corner. The grit that is required to get to the next level. The crazy people I meet. The boundless opportunities to get better. The drive you witness in people daily.

Now it’s time to let my body recover. Hot tub, swim and a massage coming my way for the day after then back to the grind on Monday. Get after your fitness this week people.

perspective

Are you Broken?

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On any given day we are all a little broken. It could be a simple hangnail type of broken, a big breakup type of broken or anything in between.

Some days we break a little, like a small crack in your cell phone. Some days we seem to be broken in a million and one pieces like the shattering of a mirror. Fortunately for us, there are bandaids for little boo boos, bandages and Advil for bigger cuts and bruises and then there is always the gym, counselors and good friends to help you when the heavy kind of broken happens. Loss of a loved one, divorce, mental breakdown, financial losses can all leave one broken which is just part of life but we all need to find coping mechanisms to deal with brokenness.

Remember, everyone can break. It’s not a sign of weakness. One can break at 2 years old resulting in a tantrum. One can break in their teens when social struggles hit hard. One can break as an adult for many reasons and the elderly can even break. Caring for an aging family member takes a big toll on people but many don’t talk openly about it. Being broken offers an opportunity to realize change is needed.

I’m sure we all wish we could sprinkle pixie dust on our brokenness and it all just goes away.  In reality, it’s not that simple. It takes strength, wisdom, encouragement, time and perseverance to realign with what’s important and needed to move ahead when brokenness hits us.

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(photo by @ahborson)

One may find hope with Jesus and the church. Another may exit a bad relationship and find peace in forging ahead alone. Another may readjust financially to a setback with counseling or help from a friend. In each scenario options are visible. Taking a step may be hard but if a step is never taken one will never move forward and may be burdened with sadness and sorrow from the brokenness.

I describe brokenness to my kids as we all have an emptiness inside of us.  And some of that comes from the broken places that we all seem to collect throughout life…  Seeing that things aren’t perfect. Accidents happen with awful consequences.  Humans are messy and flawed. People let us down or fail us. We lose someone we care about, for whatever reason. Each of these leaves us cracked, spilling, a little emptier.

It’s up to each of us what we fill those broken spots with.  Will it be productive or destructive? Some will fill that emptiness with substances, addiction.  Some will fill it with meditation, yoga, religion. Some will fill it with giving.  Some with an empty kind of busy-ness. Some with hopelessness or detachment. Some may write their way through grief to a deeper understanding of themselves. Some will fill their lives with new or deeper relationships, reflection, and a true attempt to find joy in the brokenness.  We each choose how we fill those cracks, whether we choose carefully or consciously or now.  We choose how we mend ourselves and even others.

I read about the Japanese art of Kintsugi. It’s the centuries-old practice of repairing broken ceramic pieces with gold…in this tradition, the cracked and repaired spots are not blemishes, but make the piece more beautiful and unique.  It’s a powerful metaphor for our broken human life. Our cracks don’t mean we are useless. Instead, they are part of what make us precious and ultimately more valuable.

I am broken. I have repaired cracks in my life journey and I have many stage one cracks in my life now. I am content with my brokenness. Life is not perfect and neither am I. I grow through my life lessons. I wander. I encourage. I challenge. I test fate and when I do I risk it all. The risk could be emotional. The risk could be financial. The risk could be unknown.

If I lived in a bubble could I still break? Yes, of course. I can however control my attitude when I start each day. I can manage my emotions when times are tough and I can fuel my body with health and fitness regimens that help me stay the course. It’s all in the mindset.

It may be hard to share, but I find that when I am brave enough to share my broken, I often also get the chance to be closer to people.  So often, others are suffering in ways we don’t know or can’t see, even refuse to see.  If we take a risk, make ourselves vulnerable, show our tender spots to a trusted friend, we will often learn we are much less alone in our broken. Many are fighting battles we can’t imagine, and often they feel they are fighting them alone. The cracks are opportunities to shine a light on others and share a light in what can be a very dark time. Be the light and share your broken.  Be the gold that fills another and reflects their unique beauty.

Be the gold that fills the cracks. Your gold may melt different than mine but it doesn’t decline in value. Gold is precious just like you and me.

If you thought this post was meaningful, please share it. Share the words that speak to you. I know there are some keys phrases in this post that make me smile and work towards being a better person. I am always filling my cracks with gold and trying to help others find their gold to fill their cracks as well.

 

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(photo by @svklimkin)
fitness and nutrition

Chick 2’s Open(ing) Days

(Photo courtesy of the amazing MGS Photo Creations.)

The 2019 CrossFit Open has ended. Even though I was writing throughout the 5 weeks, I never felt it was the right time to post. Most of my workouts were done without fanfare. I faced most of them with a healthy sense of apprehension, given my recent injuries.
Just like 2018, my goal was to complete each workout with some kind of score. I wanted to both participate and give each workout my best effort. I knew it was very likely that all my workouts would be scaled. That was ok by me, since staying functional and healthy is of primary importance.

There are many stories from my Open, some of which I might eventually tell in detail. But for now, I’ll share a highlight and a lowlight, using excerpts from what I’ve been writing all along. Reflections follow.

Worst Workout (for me):

19.3 – AKA Weighted Dumbbell Lunges of Death

Lunges.  I immediately think “I don’t lunge.”  I have said this to my coaches.  But if I’m being honest, my problem is I don’t feel good about doing lunges.  I don’t feel confident.  Balance is a struggle for me.  I am a total klutz.  While I watch many at the gym fly through lunges like they were skipping through daffodils, carefree and effortless, my lunges are much more likely to leave bruises and scuffs on my knees from hitting the ground so hard.  And then, once I’m down there, I don’t have any understanding of how to get up properly, either.

I did start doing lunges more often after I moved to my new box, CrossFit Faded Glory.  Once in a while I do one in a way that doesn’t feel like just inelegantly dropping and flopping, but not often, no matter how many great tips my coaches share. But I generally don’t do them with weights.  I’m still trying to get a feel for them unweighted.  So seeing a 35-pound dumbbell lunge in the scaled version was enough to make me shudder.

Then, enter step-ups.  I’ve talked before about my journey to jumping.  After my injury I’ve made it back to jumping on the 12-inch box.  But, I figured the scale for anything in the Open would be step ups on the 20-inch box.

I distinctly remember living in fear of this movement last year in the Open.  I could NOT step up onto a 20-inch box one year ago.  Again, clumsiness and lack of balance (or sense of how my body moves in space) is a problem, plus fear of falling.  Kinda sad but it’s true.

Last year, at my previous gym as the Open approached, I would try and try to get those step-ups.  I would put plates on the 12-inch box, etc.  I finally got it on my right side, but still couldn’t alternate. Thankfully, step-ups were never a part of last year’s workouts.  After an Achilles issue and the end of the Open, I went back to 12-inch boxes with dumbbells and decided that was enough of a challenge.

I started trying step-ups again about a month ago and was surprised that I could do them with both legs without too much trouble (but definitely not quickly).  So, I felt pretty good about that. But throwing a 35-pound dumbbell on my back for them could be a different story.

Flash forward to Friday, the day of the Open 19.3. My nerves started about noon.  Could I do any of this?  (Where’s that fearless when you need it?)

I showed up.  There were lot of people there, enough for 2 heats in the 4:30 pm class.  I went in the second group.  I tested the movements a few times and knew I could get through at least the first few reps and then I would see how it went.

And how did it go? It went verrrryyyyy slowly.  The dumbbell was awkward and clumsy on my shoulder.  I spent time adjusting it.  When I lunge, I have a shuffle step / balance check which thankfully Alex told us in advance was not legal.  So I warned my judge on the front end to watch me on that.  I made sure to come to a full and complete pause at the top.

9 lunges down, 9 lunges back.  The ones coming back were harder since the 35-pound weight was on my weaker side.  There were lunges I got stuck in the bottom of and had to will myself to push out of.  It was not graceful, dainty, coordinated, or remotely pretty.  I am sure I use the completely wrong muscle groups to do it.  It took me about 6-7 minutes to do the lunges, but I did them.

Then step-ups.  This was just grueling.  I had to mentally do 10 at a time.  Felt like my legs were just shot.  So, I would get my bent leg up on the box, move my weight up a little to basically be crouching on the box, then stand up.  My friend Milagros took a video of this and when I watched, it looked as absolutely painfully wrong as it felt.  As I pushed through the last 15 or so, I knew I was overrelying on my back (which is what I default to and what gets me in trouble) but it didn’t feel like I had other options. See our Instagram feed for a video. 

Final verdict: 65 – definitely a lower score than I would have liked but I made it through it.  Last year I might not have gotten to the step-ups at all.  So, a win, also a benchmark to follow up on over time.

Runner-up for misery: 19.2..cleans that were MUCH heavier than I am used to doing with a barbell.

Biggest (and Most Unexpected) Moment of Triumph:

19.5 – Endless Thrusters and Pull-ups of Punishment

My prediction for 19.5 at my evening class on Thursday was 100 thrusters for time then 1 rep max deadlift.  Each was outrageous, laughable, and struck fear in me.  Little did I know how close I would be.

105 thrusters and then 105 pull-ups…broken into lonnngggg sets with descending numbers.  It made me nauseous the entire night and day before.

Busy at work with book fair…just like other Open Fridays when I led a school parade, helped 500 kids find books…the Open has life as its backdrop. Life happens. It will always be busy.

As for 19.5, from the moment I heard the workout, I just wanted it to be over.  Thankfully there were a few people there doing it at the same time.  Doing it alone really isn’t fun. Honestly, I just wanted to get through whatever attempt I would make and let it be over.

For me, it was small sets from pretty much the start.  7 or 6 thrusters at the beginning turned into sets of 5 for the most part with 4s to even it up.

Pull-ups were threes with a shake of the arms to reset.  Others easily passed me and finished quickly, or did Rx versions then hit a stopping point.  I just tried to keep going…. going…. going.

Seemed like those 20 minutes would never end.  It was gut wrenching.  A few friends started to cheer me on, which helped without overwhelming me.  I won’t forget the amazing John grabbing a clipboard to fan me as I tried to breathe during jumping pull-ups.  I just kept going.  Breaks got longer longer l-o-n-g-e-r.

I had no idea how far I would get. My hope was to get into the round of 21.  Ok, finished that round with maybe 5-6 minutes to go, I don’t know.  I didn’t want to go back to the bar or the barbell. I hated each one for different reasons.

Just keep going.  I don’t want to pick up the bar.  I pick it up anyway.  Alex counts me down.  Through the rounds of 15.  Like 2 minutes left.  There is no fricking way I am going to finish but I’ll be close which will make me so grouchy.  But I keep going.

Round of 9. Alex wants me to go all 9 thrusters.  Body won’t have it.  5 then a short break then 4.

Then jumping pull-ups.  Jumping like my life depended on it.  No shake breaks for this one.  Counting down, just keep going, going going…Alex screaming for me to keep going. I finished with zero seconds to spare.  Zero!  Nothing left to spare!!!

Collapsed on the ground.  Almost cried but then my breathing went south so I had to just calm down.

I finished!

I didn’t really know what it meant.

I still don’t.  At the least, it meant I didn’t give up.

I know I was hurting. A lot.  I still got up and worked out the next day. I still have bruises all over…clavicles (from cleaning the bar too roughly – see pic below)…legs from who knows what…my chin from hitting the bar.  Kinda battle worn.
Cheering for others all weekend long.

Runner-up triumph: all unbroken burpees in 19.4

Yes, I scaled the whole thing. All 5 workouts. Didn’t feel the need to go for Rx. I did give each my best effort.  And for the most part, I didn’t let fear get the better of me.  So, I achieved my goal.

The best part of the Open for me was cheering others on and feeling connected to the community.  More about that in my next post.

friendship

I Survived the _________!

-grueling week of travel.
-ups/downs life tossed my way.
-changes in daily schedules, vehicles and life.
-19.5 OPEN WOD, just barely.
-pollen.

When I reflect on what I pushed through this past week, I celebrate! I celebrate life and all its adventures that I get to enjoy and all the wonderful people I get to meet along the way. I even celebrate the sad times and the failures as each give opportunity to grow. I embrace it all.

This all hit me smack in the face on Friday. I was tired from a long week. I was unsettled in many areas of life this week. Too many distractions and complications. As usual I put my head down and muddled along.

Then it happened. My spirit broke in a work out. That never happens but it did this fine Friday. I wore my defeat on my face and in my mind thanks to 19.5 OPEN WOD. It happens to the best of us.

I pouted a bit. Mostly to myself but I pouted and it impacted my day to an extent. I needed a reset button. What would that be? How can I reset my mind when I keep recycling my missed opportunity?

For me, it was Friday Night Lights at my box. I sat on a box (literally on a box) and I watched a workout. It wasn’t the best athlete at the box doing the WOD, just a Wonder Woman of sorts getting her groove on. She did her thang. She didn’t give up. She persevered. It was real. In that moment I shifted my mind and celebrated others versus focusing on my defeat. I found the sunshine in my day. It might have taken until 6pm but I saw the light shining the window and my mind.

And then, out of the corner of my eye I see another sparkle. A little girl emulating her mom and dad on the bar. Some toes to bars, some pulls ups and smiles ear to ear. A “watch me, mom and dad!” moment that said “look, I can do what you do.” Talk about modeling. Wow, it was amazing. At this point my week of woes was all in the rear view. In the past. And we can’t change the past so focus on what’s ahead is what it’s all about.

A big sigh. A pregnant mom-to-be was on the other side of that little girl. I saw another sparkle or shine. It was the maternal glow of a mom-to-be. A wonderful moment of sorts. What was in her mind as she smiled in the distance. Will her little bundle of joy be an energetic monkey too? My cup was pouring over at this point and my mind had nothing but carefree thoughts.

Some giggles, some shenanigans and time with friends celebrating community and the past five weeks in the OPEN was the cherry on top. We all celebrated our own accomplishments together. Some competed at a level they didn’t think they were capable of. Others figured out new moves. Some put more weight on their bar to level up. And then a speech by two key people at the box. They were thankful for the community and the experiences shared over the past few weeks. Kicking back in a social setting surrounded by people who work hard but play hard too. It was a good time.

Find your tribe. Find your reset button. Let the worries of the world sit in the rear view. Embrace the new beginnings ahead of you.

Try new things. Meet new people. Focus on sunshine when clouds want to dampen your day.

This week I took a new class. I did some kicks and punches to change things up. What a blast I had. I almost got my toes-to-bar at a practice session too. Just a little more work and I’ll get there. No time line, just putting in the work.

Wonder what my next blog post will be about since the OPEN is now in my rear view? Guess you will have to wait and see what sparks my fancy. Or better yet send me your thoughts on topics and I’ll see if I can accommodate  your request(s). Don’t be shy, I love interacting with our readers! It makes me appreciate the power of my writings and inspires me to reach more and more folks virtually and in person.

Happy Spring, peeps!

awareness

Hope Over Heartache

Hope and heartache go together like ketchup and mustard, tacos and tequila, or chocolate and peanut butter.

Hope and heartache follow one through most, if not all stages of life. For me in the past year, I have seen far more heartaches than I should have but somehow found hope in the midst of the chaos.

One afternoon, after having an off morning, I grabbed some coffee with a friend. Not a planned event, just an opportunity that came about. A little coffee, some giggles and then a blog post. That’s right a blog post was like a shot of caramel in my coffee.

Sometimes I get the itch to write or type at inopportune times, but I flex to get it done. My inspiration is normally whimsical to an extent but my content is normally heartfelt and full of hope at the root or the end of the story.  A signature of sorts for this Chick. And with that I decided to blog about hope and heartache. Mainly because some like to read the good stuff. The juicy gossip. The tall tales or even the sweat stories I write.

Today’s post is a little different. It’s somewhat about life’s turbulent times. Life lessons. Speed bumps. Hurdles. We all have different versions of life’s blah moments.

It’s a choice for me. I choose to find hope instead of dwelling on the heartache of negative situations. It works for me. I like to reframe and bend and flex with life’s ups and downs.

The past few months, my life has definitely had some curve balls and some struggles. Through the days I followed my heart, I settled my mind, and I focused on the hope of a new day or a new beginning.

A restart button of sorts. Only time could allow this to happen and no specified time was known. For me that is like tackling the impossible. Not knowing the end game. Not knowing what’s next. Not knowing how long or how much.

Another person close to me was in the same situation. Not knowing what’s next. We can call them growing pains. Not knowing how to hit the restart button. They needed time to sort through the weeds to find the wisdom. The path. The path less traveled because it’s not an easy path.

As the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, hope faded. Hope didn’t disappear, it faded. It took strength to endure the unknown in one area but that same fading allowed for sunshine to illuminate a path not visible to others. You see, sometimes giving up control to gain control is what is most needed in challenging life situations.

We can’t control or anticipate everything but we can control our emotions. How we react to uncomfortable situations, challenging people, and negativity. We choose each day to be happy and see hope or dwell on heartache and anger. What do you choose daily?

Trust me, some days are harder than others. Some days I need a friend to take my volume down a notch and other days I need to practice my patience muscles. Part of my mind balance is to stay fit. Keeping my body and mind stimulated is a must in my weekly routine.

With my mind balance, I choose daily to be around people and environments that  not only challenge me but inspire me. I reduce the negatives and walk away from individuals who wear anger and heartache on their chest daily.  I seek out those who need a pick-me-up. I seek the isolated individual who may have faded hope. I aim to help them see hope through their eyes.

As I write this post today it is my hope that somebody reading this can feel hopeful in whatever circumstance may be challenging them at the moment. Everyone has a battle of some sort in front of them. Most won’t see it daily.

Until next time, choose happy. Offer hope. Make a difference.

hustle

Round 2 it is…

 

 

Well, I made it 1/2 way through the OPEN! I am still breathing, but I definitely feel some aches this week!

Week three I got to hit the RX button again. How exciting that is for me. A step up of sorts or maybe more like 50 box step-ups weighted with 35 pounds after a grueling 200 feet of single arm weighted overhead lunges. Can you feel the burn in your buttocks as you read this? Could you imagine dropping a 35-pound dumbbell on your head at 6:30am? I almost did that when my weaker left arm said one more rep was one too many!

It was a cold Friday morning when I made my first attempt at the 19.3 workout. I had a goal to make it to the third movement noted as the wall for strict handstand push-ups. I fell 3 reps short and didn’t make the wall. Do I do it again?

Of course! Round 2 it is for this girl. The OPEN is about pushing yourself. Testing your limits. If I didn’t make a second attempt I would just be settling. It may only be 3 extra reps but that’s 3 extra moves to my finish line. My finish line matters to me. Now there is a bit of an irony with the wall. I have never completed a strict handstand push-up therefore I may never get one rep on I the wall but I have to try.

I want to make it to the wall for handstand push-ups. I don’t want to hit a virtual wall in my mind. The only way to avoid the virtual wall is to saddle up and get after round 2.

Fast forward to Sunday. The box vibe is different. My muscles are still achy to an extent. My mind is pre-occupied with parenting things but sometimes a hard workout is just the thing for me to balance my life’s craziness. Off I go….

My legs were tight as I stretched for sure. I was super anxious. I had to run to the girls room like three times before I started. Maybe my weight belt was squeezing the nerves out of me!

The countdown begins and the pain starts with the first lift up. My core was a lot more wobbly on my lunges and I had to compensate with my dominant arm for more lunges fatiguing me differently than round one. I made it to the box. And boy did those step-ups suck on round 2. 10-20-25….1/2 way there says Damian. Don’t put that weight down. Keep stepping. Breathe. Push. Am I there yet? I said to myself. Nope!

Those steps seemed like they would never end. I hear Tasha say “10 more Tink Tink” and I literally forced my way through those last few. 9 minutes 18 seconds. On to the wall! I made it to the wall.

I can’t breathe, let alone kick up to a handstand. Okay I get up. And bend my arms to decline but not far enough. I’m gassed. One more attempt. I didn’t get one handstand push-up but I gave a valiant effort. On a positive note, at least I didn’t land on my head.

The picture below shows me hovering at the wall post wod. 19.3 didn’t kill me but my second attempt let me get to the wall. Crossfit definitely feeds my appetite to become stronger physically and mentally.

Until next post people, stay happy and healthy.