2018: Let’s Get Real

Well hello 2018. I am looking back at this past year and for probably the first time in my life, I can say it was a good year. And I do not mean that I have never had a good year before. Because I have. The difference is I used to (note past tense) fixate on the bad parts. Forget if I got a promotion or if I hit a new PR at CrossFit, I would gravitate towards the bad shit that happened. And when you have bad shit happen, it can become a cycle you just cannot get out of. I used to very much be “Woe is me! Why do bad things happen to good people?”

And today I am more like, shut it, sister. It ain’t all bad.

Don’t get me wrong guys. I am by no means minimizing the not so fun things that have happened to any of you this past year. I have had my share of sadness and stress this year as well (things I have not even posted about on social media or blogged about). I have lost someone who was like a father to me. I have seen friends and family go through some pretty scary health stuff. I have almost lost people I have loved. I had plenty of restless nights and a whole lot of tears in 2017. 2017 was not all rainbows and unicorns, I had a lot of heavy and heart wrenching shit go down. I say this not for sympathy or pity but because I 100% get what it is like to have to go through really unpleasant stuff.

 

The thing with New Years is that as that as it gets closer, we all just are ready for it. We want to escape whatever the last year brought us. We want fresh beginnings. We want 2018 to right every wrong from 2017.

But we also have expectations without doing our part. We cannot expect 2018 to bring us all our hopes and wishes if we do not release 2017. We can choose to leave our baggage or travesties or whatever negativity was there but we often take it with us. And then the new year becomes an extension of the previous year.

So if we really want 2018 to be our year, we have to accept all that has happened in 2017. We have to leave it behind. We have to also give ourselves permission to not carry guilt from whatever mistakes or failures we feel we had into 2018. (I may be sounding like I have watched too much Long Island Medium)­.

To me, a new year is a great time to reevaluate ourselves, our lives, our relationships, our jobs, our health routines, our finances. All of it. Whatever it is that we feel may be holding us back from what we want. We probably should have reevaluated them during the year, but let’s be honest. We get complacent. And it takes a milestone, like a new year, to light a fire under our asses. We get awakened when we realize  “FUDGE! A new year and I am still doing X.” Or “A new year and I still have not done Y”. You get what I am saying.

A new year also mean we cut a lot of things from life. We cut out toxic relationships or toxic food or toxic habits. Which we absolutely should do, but we need to do more than that. We also need to really get in our own heads and understand “why” we had those things in our lives in the first place. (When we don’t, it is why we have patterns. Look at dating. The horror!). When we just let things go without understanding the “why”, they are like boomerangs. They will come back to us in some shape or form.

We also forget that a new year is an ENTIRE YEAR. Which means it is 365 days. There is such a tendency to get pumped for January and go after our goals like we are sprinting instead of treating them like a marathon. Then before we know it, we forget even what our goals were. I am not going to give you a how-to set a goal because that is a post all in itself. What I really mean to convey is that it is ok if our goals take more than a few days or a few weeks or a few months. Just do not give up on them. We get discouraged so easily because we fixate on what we still have to do instead of appreciating and applauding what we already have done. Deciding to make a change takes a lot of self-awareness in and of itself and that’s no small feat. Knowing is half the battle, G.I. Joe.

It is like we view a new year as if it is this being sent from the gods. Like it is this creature that is going to bring us everything we want. Call me Debbie Downer, but it is no such thing.  It is just another 365 days in which we can choose how we want it to be. We give a new year so  much power when really we need to give that power to ourselves.

 

 

 

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Sometimes It Takes Stitches to Find the Right CrossFit

I have done a lot of really clumsy, stupid, embarrassing shit that I normally can just laugh off without thinking twice about it. I have had countless near accidents that were probably a hair away from cracking something open or needing stitches. Basically I have tempted fate many MANY times, and it finally caught up with me. In the most embarrassing way I ever could have imagined. It also gave me cause to pause (and re-evaluate).

As you probably know, I have been on a serious quest to find a different CrossFit box to switch to. I have taken this more seriously than when I have gone car shopping or even job searching (well in a past life at least!)  It is my health and well-being that are going to be affected and well, I take that very seriously.

Finding a CrossFit box is more than just finding a place to workout that has the right class schedule and is less than 7 miles from where I live. It is about finding the right environment, coaches and programming that are going to keep me getting progressively stronger all the time. I want to look and FEEL better every year because I do not want my 20’s or 30’s to have been my peak. (I say this about my experience, but I also encourage everyone to take that into consideration. A lot of people stay at a box often that is not the right fit for a slew of reasons, one of which is they may not even know what better is. This could be another blog post in and of itself so I digress).

I had found a box that I was going to try for a month, but I was not 100% sure if it was the right fit for me. I figured I would not know until I tried and was set to do just that until I had posted a blog I wrote earlier in the year called “4 Common Reasons CrossFitters Divorce Boxes” (link here) to a CrossFit Masters group I am in on Facebook as the members share information and questions. Anyways, I am glad I did it because an owner of a box that is just under 7 miles from where I live reached out to me to drop in. I think he just really wants masters athletes there which I am happy to represent (although after my embarrassing incident, he is surely going to reconsider).

I did drop in and I did like it. I was excited too because he invited me to come back the next day when he would be working out. I should mention, he’s a Regionals/Games athlete. I felt like I got invited to hang with the cool kids. So when I got there for my second drop-in, it kind of felt like meeting CrossFit celebrities. (It was him and 3 other equally bad ass coaches). Despite feeling intimidated, I was digging the vibe. It was a bit exhilarating to know I would potentially be a member at a box where there is that kind of caliber (and for the record, I am NOT insinuating I am ever going to be a Games athlete! I just mean it is inspiring as a unicorn to be working out alongside that talent and coached by the best of the best).

The workout that we were going to do had chest-to-bar pull-ups.  After the warm up, I figured it would be wise to do one or two before the actual workout since truth be told, I am not the best at them. I hopped up on a bar and swung (probably violently as I tend to do that to make sure my chest makes contact with the bar). It happened pretty fast so I’m not 100% what went down (or up) exactly, but at some point in my swing, I smacked my forehead at full force into another bar maybe 6 inches above the one that I was on. Yeah, I somehow managed to not see that when I picked my spot to do a pull-up.

I do not even know how to explain the pain of having my head go crashing into pure metal other it felt like this sort of slow shattering sensation. It was then very quickly followed by pure shock like “What the FREAK just happened?”  It is also possible that due to shock or denial, had someone not said “hey get down, you are bleeding” I would have proceeded to attempt another pull-up. (I never said I am the brightest bulb on the porch).

When I got down from the bar, I went totally numb at that point other than a little tingling in my nose which thankfully I did not break. I was being asked if my head hurt while we were attempting to stop the bleeding. I felt no real pain at that point. Just sheer and total humiliation. (And I probably said at least a dozen times, “I am fine. I am just so embarrassed.”) My ego hurt far more than my head, at least for the ten minutes until I left to go to Urgent Care.  I was also annoyed that I did not even get a workout in which made me even more so embarrassed. (Have I mentioned how embarrassed I was??)

Anyways, I did have to get stitches (3 of them) but it could be worse. I did not break any teeth. I didn’t crack my skull. It is just a bit of a gash prominently on my forehead that may or may not scar. (Also for the record, I typically cannot hit a target to save my life. You should see me trying to do wall balls. Yet, I somehow managed to hit my head dead center. I aced that one).

So I will probably be known as the new girl who needed stitches from a pull-up, but it also made me realize a few things.

For the first few days after my sweet little injury, I was freaked out about the realization of just how many things can go wrong. Because like any sport, there is always the risk for injury. I have already had my share of injuries, and really wanted to believe I was beyond that. I realized I could either continue to wallow in self-pity and fear what may or may not happen, or I could just get over it. I chose the latter. I knew that it would take more than 3 stitches to keep me away from CrossFit.

Despite how much of a drama queen I may feel like, it has made me very aware of something that I did not really want to admit to myself. I had lost my zest for CrossFit. Over the last few months, I have not been enjoying it. I have just wanted to get in and get out.  I have not really cared a whole lot about what my WOD times have been or how many reps I have done or even how much weight I have used or if I felt stronger than yesterday. And that is no way to be.

The fact that I am still looking forward to going back and becoming a member is very indicative of how much I am in need of a change.  The reputation of their box is astounding and getting a small taste of it has like reawakened the bad ass hidden in me (well I guess re-awaken is up for debate. I am not a bad ass, I just want to feel like one. Again).

I know that when I can get past this little blip (because in due time, it really will be just a blip), in the long run, I will get stronger there. I also know that I am sure to discover my areas of weaknesses and problems with technique that will be hard on the old pride too, but a necessary evil to get better. If I can handle walking out of a box after 15 minutes to get stitches, I can handle anything.  My point? The experiences that leave us humbled are often the ones we need the most.

 

 

The Beautiful Mind of a Disjointed Boss Babe

A month into my new life (which hot damn, that month has gone fast!) and I am just a big ball of emotions. All the time. How am I feeling exactly? I wish I could answer that in one or two words. I can’t though because every day, every minute brings me something different. Liberated.  Scared. In control. Not so in control. Happy. Definitely happy.  Overwhelmed. Motivated. Accountable. Grateful. Humbled. Inspired. Inspiring. Empowered.

I have moments where I feel extremely grateful without a care in the world. Like this past week when I took an impromptu trip to visit my brother and his family. Being able to be in the moment with my niece and nephews and just appreciate how lucky I am to be their aunt brought me more holiday joy than anything else possibly can. While I know it was my choice to move across country and away from my family, that does not mean it makes that distance any easier. I miss out on so many milestones and events like my nieces’ dance recitals and my nephews’ soccer games or just being able to baby sit on the fly. I got to attend my nephew’s kindergarten Christmas pageant on Friday which was the most adorable thing ever. I got to meet his teacher who told me how excited he was that he selected me to send a gingerbread boy to as part of a school project on geography. I got to just feel like I had a bigger part in his life. With my new journey, I have the freedom to do more of that which is just pure gold.

I also have moments where I get so freaked out because well studying is hard (and I have not done it in forever). I get serious butterflies when I think about having to pass an exam in another few months. What if I do not pass? Then what? What if I do pass?  I have moments where I wonder if I am focusing on the right thing at the right time. I assumed initially doing the ketone slaying thing would make the most sense because that has a more immediate sense of potential versus coaching which still feels like something far off in the distance. Something I am clearly not ready for.

Or am I? I met with a potential client (and while it has not panned out with her, it is still an experience I needed), which was way earlier on my timeline than I expected. When opportunity knocks though, you don’t tell it, “Oh my I don’t think I am ready! Can you come back in a few months?” Because let’s face it, opportunities come around for a reason. I will never be 100% ready so if I waited for that, I will miss out on so much. Anyways, I digress. I realized talking with her that yes, I have a lot to learn in the coaching business, but I actually have more to offer than I gave myself credit for. My point is, I am realizing I often short change myself instead of remembering I can do this!

Overwhelmed is another common emotion for me these days. I have so much I want to do that I feel like I am not actually doing it. Writing for example. I have always loved writing ever since I was a little girl writing quite possibly the worst short stories ever, probably (most definitely) loosely based on Sweet Valley High characters. I ignored writing for many MANY years because I really just did not know what my medium or voice is. And now, I feel like I have finally found it or at least am damn close to finding it. I have not figured out how to monetize writing, yet I have this sort of instinctual feeling that I could be on the verge of some break through with it. Or, is it just wishful thinking? (I reposted a blog yesterday that I wrote earlier in the year to a CrossFit Facebook group I am in and got almost 3,000 views. IN ONE DAY! I feel like a rock star who is being discovered. So let’s hope it is not wishful thinking!)

Pretty much at most times I am guilty of feeling like there are a million things I should be doing. Do I need to be learning more on becoming a coach? Do I proactively have to start putting together a plan? What do I need at a minimum to start? Do I need to read articles about monetizing blogging? Should I be reading books? Am I not dedicated because I took an hour a week to watch “Outlander” when I could have spent that time researching? (Who am I kidding? Jamie takes priority!)

It goes on and on and it’s overwhelming

I am definitely happy in my new venture albeit more freaked out than I think I care to admit to myself. While it is nice to be liberated and chose how and when I utilize my time, it is overwhelming. I have days where I sit down and I will literally be having 2 conversations with customers, my personal Training textbook open and Word open with 2 lines to a possible blog post. And I end up snacking. Which is a whole other conversation.

Anyways, my point is, taking on a new adventure, a new life really, is so many things. When friends and family ask how I am, it’s inevitably a minimum of a 15 minute conversation. It is quite apparent from this blog, this journey is very disjointed. Which is a good thing. Journeys are not meant to be cut and dry. Turn here, go there. Journeys are meant to be teaching moments. To challenge us. To make us question ourselves and our paths. To make us persevere. To make us appreciate what we have. This is the first time I really have had no set income which for now, is ok. I am enjoying little moments in a totally different way. I do not have this heart achy feeling of doom like I am stuck in something I do not want anymore. I can go for a leisurely lunch on a Tuesday and walk around a farmer’s market. I can sit on an outdoor patio at a local coffee shop in December (#braggingrights). I can face time with my sister and her kids at 2:00 on a Thursday without having to sneak off to a conference room for just a few minutes before rushing off to a meeting. I can workout at 9:00 or noon or really whenever I want. I can choose to fear what I do not know or I can chose to go with it and trust. Yes this journey is scary at times, but for right now, I am overall loving it.

From Airplanes to Harassment, Enough With Acting Entitled

 

The older I get, the more refined I have become at who I let into my world. Energy is a real thing for me and I strive to only be in the presence of nothing but the best, most authentic energy. I am surrounded by people who do great things regularly and who are innately good natured people. So when it comes to the little world in which I live, I feel like as humans, as a species, we are winning.

If you take me out of my little bubble though, I often question if as humans, are we really winning? (and now I sound like Carrie Bradshaw).  Try driving in LA. You will know exactly what I mean. There are so many times that I feel like collectively we are not so evolved and are actually taking steps backwards instead of forwards. Which makes me sad. And I know not one miniscule blog from little ole me will catapult us forwards, but perhaps it will inspire us to act differently or not tolerate the losing behaviors when we see them.

I write this as I am sitting on a BIG 777 flying across country so we all can be home with our loved ones for Thanksgiving. We all should be nothing short of appreciative and kind, right? We are until the boarding process commences. And I admit this is one of my biggest pet peeves ever because I pack extremely efficiently. Nothing makes me more livid than having to check my tiny bag when I see people’s umbrellas, jackets, and laptop bags taking up valuable real estate in the overhead bins. And yes I get it, some people are tall (something that is totally foreign to me) and they need the space under their feet. This is not usually what is going on.

I bring this point up because it reminds me that so many of us just feel entitled. We feel entitled to take up more space than someone else just because we can or boarded first (despite that this is controlled by the airline). We feel entitled to cut someone off on the elevator because they did not step on fast enough. We feel entitled to jump to the front of a line at the grocery store because we just came out of a yoga class and are rushing to pick up our kid up from daycare as soon as we pay for a few items (yes I went there). We feel entitled to that promotion at work because after all, we took every training available and clearly that makes us qualified (when perhaps performance and qualifications are lacking). We feel entitled to say whatever we want because we cannot be bothered to filter what comes out of our mouths even at the expense of (which is not just entitled but seriously bad communication skills).

So yeah… there is a common theme of feeling entitled. And feeling entitled is not winning.

 

I recently saw a post on Facebook from a guy who was essentially making light of all the recent sexual harassment charges in Hollywood. His post was to the effect of how the charges have gotten so out of control, that soon a guy won’t be able to say hi to a girl without that being considered sexual harassment. Ok really dude? Innocently saying “hi” to someone is nowhere near the same as inappropriately soliciting someone for sex or forcing oneself on someone. So yeah, being ignorant and insensitive ­­­­is not winning.

I also do not think it is winning for anyone to post things that objectify woman (the things I have seen about men making references to women being good for cooking and sex only make my skin crawl). I do not think it is winning to post with pride about getting put in Facebook jail for calling someone a faggot on a public page. (And for the record, I unequivocally loathe that word and even typing it makes me feel like a horrible human). I do not think it is winning to praise a president for wanting to ban Muslims and basically anyone who is not White from entering the United States. I do not think it is winning to body shame anyone. I do not think it is winning to bully anyone. Ever.

I do not think being stagnant or complacent is winning either. It might bring contentment and status quo. Perhaps that works for some, but it does not for me. That is why I personally do things like CrossFit and blogging.  CrossFit keeps me challenged (physically and mentally), disciplined, and aware of myself and even those around me. Blogging forces me to be very cognizant of the words I chose. I am a firm believer that in communication, the responsibility of what message is heard is very much that of the person speaking (or writing).

We all have the ability to influence other people. We may not reach as many people as a celebrity or public figure does, but we reach those in our own worlds which is pretty freaking powerful. We can influence others to not be stagnant. We can influence others to not dismiss conflicts or even others’ emotions.

Winning to me is to being so aware of people around us. To me that is the common theme in this blog, in all my seemingly disjointed points. Winning is to realize the power we really do have, albeit small or big, and more importantly not abusing it. Winning is being respectful of others whether it is when you board a plane or how you choose to treat someone else. Winning is a choice. Strive to think about others. Strive to correct those who do not. We need it now more than ever.