challenges

The Real Struggle

The struggle is real in life sometimes. I confidently state this based on experience and nothing less. Maybe I should say the struggle is real for many in life, daily. Different obstacles. Different battles. Different consequences. Different choices. Just a different set of variables that create the real struggle.

Anxiety is real.

Depression is real.

Fear is real.

Anger is real.

The list could go on and on. Sometimes it’s one struggle. Sometimes the struggles are intertwined like a tangled web. When multiple challenges hit at once the struggle compounds and many feel helpless. It may take a special person in their life to help them find the hope they need to see or feel to push through the barriers of tangled web. This person could be you. Always be ready to help others.

Today I had a struggle. I was angry. I couldn’t let my anger go. My anger hand many prongs.

I knew better than to let anger steal my joy. My time. My energy. My productivity. Despite knowing I held onto it for longer than needed. I knew my anger spilled over to others around me. This poor choice didn’t define me, rather it consumed me. It took a few unexpected wrinkles in my day to realize I could just let it go. Bye Felicia. It was like my day started over at that moment. A fresh start of sorts at almost 4:00 pm after I was no longer consumed by anger. 

Then a shift to an in-person encounter a few hours later. There was a need. I could aid in the solution. I was called to duty. A young life needed my support. My time. My me energy. My positivity. I was on it. I knew what needed to be done and I plowed through the action items. This struggle was different in content or context but in reality the let shit go aspect was a common denominator. The struggle was addressed despite the curve balls of the day. If I didn’t let go of my anger I might not have had enough mental clarity to help this young person. A good reminder to just let shit go that is weighing you down.

As I winded down for bed a close friend hit the “phone a friend” line. I was there on the other end. I listened with curiosity. We set boundaries. We discussed the value in seeing beyond 5 feet ahead. The what’s on the horizon visual. Hope was offered. Hope is free. Hoping for a better day tomorrow. Hoping for a new opportunity. Hoping to see what is ahead vs. focusing on what’s in the past. The past can’t be changed, but in the future you get to write your own story. A new chapter begins each day. It could be a happy chapter, a sad chapter, a progress chapter, a new beginning chapter or other fun stuff.

All three of these scenarios are real. The people are real. The problems are real. The pain is real. The struggle is real. Each chose the next chapter despite their burdens or struggles. Life’s path is never easy. Never uncomplicated. The adversity of life is part of the journey. Without struggles we could never learn about ourselves or others.

It’s easy to walk away from those who struggle. Many fear helping those who are struggling because it means sharing in their pain. Opt in. Offer to help others through the struggles. It doesn’t mean you need to give people money. It means you can help them see the sunshine in whatever is holding them back or weighing them down.

Do your part. Offer hope in any form.

This post is dedicated to my gal Patty. May everyone have the power of Patty as they overcome their next obstacle in life. 

author moments

Content

Writing is interesting. Sometimes I write in my journal. Sometimes I write on sticky notes. Sometimes it’s thoughts and ideas in my iPhone notepad. Often times I write in cards. Many times I write on my hand as a reminder. Then of course there is this blog. It’s all content of sorts. What is contained in the written document. But since I like words, I am ever so content with writing and the process involved in each step.

Many different forms of writing or typing. Many different moods or mindsets are involved when writing. Many different people, places and topic spur my interest to write. Some writings are for my eyes only. Some writings I share with my writing partner. Some just sit for future use. Some get published on this blog. Some are seeds planted for future books. As a story teller it’s important to share. The share part of writing is where it gets real.

When you are young you turn in your best writings for grades. Teacher marks it up for punctuation, grammar, and the key components such as a start, middle and end. Sometimes that feedback is received well, others not so much. It’s a learning process. As we age the task of writings are usually more defined. The polishing process takes place. Some go from good to great while others just get by.

As adults we write. We write notes to school for our kids. We write to do lists. We write emails. We write business letters or proposals. We might even be the one guiding younger writers in some way through teachings. The point is to write. Don’t lose sight of writing. It’s therapeutic in ways but it’s also communication.

Some people struggle to verbally express themselves. Maybe they lack courage or confidence for a face to face discussion. Taking pen to paper allows for drafting, revisions, thoughts, and think again scenarios. Words are powerful. Writing is documenting that power. I enjoy the reflection point of writing especially within this blog as well.

A time stamp. An evolution of where I was. What I was doing. Who was along for the journey. Who wasn’t. Many details. It also shows highs, lows, and everything in between in life. A brutally honest portayer from my line of sight. Feelings, emotions, celebrations, struggles, loss and so much more.

I would have never thought in my teens that I would enjoy writing the way I do now. Maybe it was a plan to write a book hatched years ago on a whim. Maybe it was a crazy pal who sparked the word passion in me. Maybe it was just what was meant to be.

For now I am here doing me. Writing away. Enjoying the time I spend to share my words with others. One day I may be a New York Times best seller or not. It doesn’t matter to me. That’s not my goal. My goal is to write. Whether I type or use pen to paper, I’m choosing to write for others.

A passion. A purpose. Unique to me. No teacher or professional can tell it’s good or bad. It’s mine, all mine. My artistry. My story. My evolution. My ink. My style. And boy does that style bend, flex, pivot, shift and rewind often. Never the same. Never dull. Always progressive. I’m documenting how one lives life to the fullest or the fullest in my eyes.

My content makes me content. Does that sink in with you? At 3am when I’m sleepless. At 3pm when I need a break from the daily hustle: freedom to write the content. Personal choice to post the content. 100 percent chance of being content with me and my writings.

Just a rant worth sharing on this chilly 5 am morning. As a fun tidbit to readers, this is a post I will future date. Sometime ahead. I’ll glance at it again to see if I have any additions or deletions. I may opt to postpone again if the timing doesn’t seem right. Nonetheless I will revisit this rant or story of mine and reflect on where my mind was when I was in this writing space. Just sharing some of the behind the scenes process that many would never think about.

Since you were thinking just now. How about asking yourself if you would be able to log the world and share you soul with a stranger? 

Enjoy your day.

celebrations

That Time of Year

Graduations. Awards ceremonies. End of year gatherings. Oh how fortunate one feels to be in public this year celebrating others. A gift of sorts. Really it is if you compare it to what others missed in 2020.

For me I’m selfishly excited. First I’m happy to celebrate others. Next to celebrate being able to celebrate at all. And finally to secretly honor those who missed their chance last year. The chance they can’t get back as time has moved on.

As we celebrate in any fashion this year let’s think of those who missed out last year. Some missed graduation. Others missed a normal funeral to honor a loved one lost. Many missed their wedding day. Some missed a big award day they waited many years to be a part of. Maybe even a final season of one’s sports team was missed. 

This year I went to a graduation. It was masked. It was socially distanced. It was different. But I was able to participate and celebrate the graduate. I didn’t take that lightly this year. While waiting I had many thoughts or reflections. It’s was an eye-opening experience in many ways. An awakening.

I went to a college signing event this year. I listened to the stories. The athletes who sustained season ending injuries in 2019 causing pain and rehabilitation to prepare for 2020 seasons only to have a pandemic hit. Only to emerge in 2021 to rise again and overcome. I would have missed these stories as they are not in the headlines yet deserve a spotlight as do the other untold stories. I may cheer in silence but I’m celebrating all who missed that opportunity for whatever reason I’m 2020. 

This experience also gave me a whole new level of understanding for playing like there is no tomorrow. Every game is like your last. Leave it all on the line. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed on or off the field.

Now that we are in 2021 and restrictions are lifted I seem to be on the go. Go here go there. Do I complain about being busy? Yes. Would I want to be in isolation? Heck no! I do however need to be able to pause and make sure I don’t miss celebrating others due to my busy schedule. For the reasons I noted above, others need the chance to celebrate in 2021 because so much was missed in 2020.

I may have too many graduations to make them all but I will send that card. Send that text. Make that call. It’s an important step in 2021. For all those virtually reading this I’m sending you a celebratory high five if you are in need of celebrating. For those of you who have the opportunity to celebrate a milestone in 2021, make it a point to honor others.

It feels good to celebrate others. If you have somebody in your life who missed something big in 2020, send them a follow up this year. A card. A note. A call. A secondary celebration for making it a great year despite the blah of 2020. Why not? We have so many have-tos in life why not just do something different. 

adventure

Meet the Cast

Meet Mandy. She is sweet like candy. The sweetest girl you ever did meet. Kindness is her way of life. Whenever something sweet happens candy is involved. Do you have a friend as sweet as my candy I mean Mandy?

How about Secret Sally? Sally is the confidante of the group. The trusted soul you share all your secrets with. Your secret is always safe with Sally. I surely hope you have a Sally to do life with.

Daring Danielle is a a diamond in her own way. She dares to be different in many ways. She is the pal that invites you to be daring. Dares you to try a new skill.  Dares you to test your comfort zone. Dares you to test a new vacation spot. Daring Danielle will keep you asking for more.

Completely Crystal. When I say complete, I mean the complete package head to toe and everything in between. The brains. The brawn. The genuine heart. The flirtatious giggles. The adventurous soul. The flashy and famous sunshine girl. The one from the T-shirt. Bare it all kind of gal. She keeps the tribe spirit alive on many levels.

Simple Sarah. She is simple some days but complex other days. Sarah is fun to be with. Some days she is a drunk nurse while other days she is an actuary. Such a simple girl yet complex in many ways. Sarah is a such a great cast member.

There are so many cast members to speak about. So many stories to tell. Unfortunately the stories are still unfolding. The book is full of adventures but also tales of scandal, vengeance, treachery, betrayals, intrigue, and utter stupidity.

The betrayals are hideous. The adventures are amazing. The vengeance is unspeakable. The scandal is press worthy. The treachery would embarrass any grown woman’s mother. Interesting stuff coming to light in the future.

A real page turner, if I do say so myself.

fitness and nutrition

21.2 Meets 17.1

Here we go again with my CrossFit Open stories. This one has a twist. 21.2 is really 17.1. A repeat workout. Flashback to 2017. I was new to CrossFit. My very first Open workout. I did the scaled version.

Today I did the Rx version which entailed 35 pound dumbbells instead of 20 pounds as well as box jumps instead of box step ups. Such a drastic improvement for myself. One of the major reasons I do the Open is to have a snapshot of my performance so I can track my highs, lows and everything in between. Because let’s face it, life has everything in between. 

The picture above shows the competition floor before the chaos began. So much sweat hit the floor. So much pride was in the air. So many cheers. Many gasping for breath as they endured the workout. The ambience of a competition. There really isn’t anything like it. The Open is special. Many working along side each other but working at different paces, goals and so on. It’s definitely an experience even if you are just a spectator.

Tidbit corner:  If we never measure our progress, we may never see where we need to improve. This can be applied to all aspects of life. Of course that’s not what this particular post is about today. The post today is about 21.2 and my progress from 2017 and the infamous 17.1 workout.

In more detail, this post is about my Open journey. My Open journey this year includes my daughter as she tackles her first Open. It is amazing to watch her grow in a sport we can both enjoy together. She competed Rx for her age group and finished with time to spare. She should be so proud of herself. Look at her fly through the box jumps below.

So many memories. So many milestones. We are living life to the fullest. Trying new things. Experiencing adventure and competition all in one. Welcome to my CrossFit world.

As I read about many hating this workout and its punishment on one’s back and legs afterwards, I am still planning to redo it on Monday. A glutton for punishment I’m sure. But in the end I want to see if I have more gas in the tank to perform a few more reps.

Off I go. Gotta jump, jump and jump some more. Hoping not to puke in round 2. The photo below is proof I did the workout again. Only improving by 2 reps, but still an improvement I would not have known I was capable of if I didn’t attempt it. And I did want to quit many times.