Friday, December 7, 2012
But I'm finally giddy again.
Well, silly, I got a spot for FrostFit in Winnipeg! The last FrostFit has some of my favorite CrossFit competition memories ever. I love traveling with the team, I love wearing my team bunnyhug, and I love competing in the name of good times and good friends.
Beyond that, I love progress. I don't know how I'll stack up against the competition this year, but that part doesn't really matter. What does matter, is I know I can do a lot more now than I could last year; it's going to be fun to go into this competition and give it my all once again. Plus, we won't be staying at the Marlborough, so something tells me I'll be operating on a bit more sleep this year. Maybe. ;) I think the only reason I slept last year is because Tron was willing to check under my bed for monsters and all things sketchy. Thankfully, there were none. So many fabulous memories.
On the basis of so many fabulous memories from FrostFit, I find myself giddy and incredibly excited to make more. It looks like there will be a lot of Synergy folk making the trip this January, so laughter and good times are guaranteed. Can't wait.
Otherwise, I haven't posted forever, and for that I'm sorry. I've been living in my academic hole and paying attention to nothing other than school, work, working out, eating, and breathing. (Oh, and I think maybe some sleeping in there somewhere too). As much as things have been crazy, I am proud to say that I have still been giving the gym my best effort. I did miss a couple of weeks in there due to being sick, but sometimes life happens.
I have been enjoying being a part of the HIIT study taking place at the gym; it's always a good time when Fran and Cindy come out back-to-back followed by a lovely wingate. I'm sure we all agree, haha. Oh, yes. Good times, indeed. Sarcasm aside, you have to love the personal records. It is awesome to check the PR group on Facebook and see numerous posts every evening from awesome folks at the gym detailing their epic successes. Even with having missed the chunk I did, I was absolutely shocked and pumped to get personal records on almost everything we re-tested. So yeah, I am pretty happy with life all in all right now. It's awesome to be a part of a community that's so dedicated to personal fitness as well as to a team atmosphere. Awesomeness radiates at Synergy.
On that note, sorry for the most random blog post that has ever existed on this blog. That's what happens when you wait ten years in between posts. Lesson learned. ;)
Anyway, moving right along, as we all are heading into the holiday season, let's remember to be thankful for what we have, where we're going, and remember to enjoy the awesome moments along the way.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
As I was thinking about her positivity and smiling to myself on the ride home, Katy Perry's "Firework" came on the radio. I'm certain you're all familiar with it. Then suddenly... BOOM, I am nostalgic and having a full on deja vu moment (No, the boom was NOT a car crash, you can breathe. Ha). Anyway, I flashed back to my first Crossfit class ever, running prowlers. As it was my turn to run, Katy Perry's "Firework" was on. I remember as I heard the "3, 2, 1..." hearing "ignite the light and let it shine..." Crazy how this suddenly popped back into my memory, but it did. As I thought about my friend at the gym and about that first day at Crossfit, I began to consider how not everything is perfect, but everything happens for a reason. I believe good can come from anything, sometimes it just takes time to see it all. I don't think I ever would have found Crossfit if it weren't for a series of unfortunate/fortunate events.
A lot of you may know, and some of you may not, but before I went back to university, I spent four years working as an Educational Assistant. I absolutely ADORED this job. I spent the school year working at school and I spent my summers doing summer camps or the paddling pool programs.
Life was pretty good. I loved my job, and I was convinced I would spent the rest of my life as an E.A. Now, cue the ground shaking earth shattering unfortunate events stuff. In my fourth year of working as an E.A. there were cutbacks in our system. Our school was informed we would be losing a large chunk of our E.A. staff and that it would be decided via seniority. Job performance mattered none. I was informed I would be losing my job at the school I loved and offered a part-time contract at another school. While this was a nice consolation prize, it crushed me. My world was rocked. I loved my school, I saw myself there forever. I couldn't see past that moment for any potential that could come from it. I spent an entire night with my poor room mate bawling my eyes out. Thank goodness she always has a shoulder. :)
Then cue potential. Ever since I was young I always wanted to either be an actress (ha, of course), or be a teacher. The whole university thing was horrifying to me because I didn't know anybody personally who knew the ropes. That is, until that exact moment. An E.A. friend of mine told me she was going to apply to the U of S and get a degree to teach. This was the crucial deciding moment for me... it was either take the jump, or hold on to my complacency and hope for the best. I jumped.
Cue my first day of school. I was so excited, a new world was opening up for me. On this day especially, I considered how lucky I was. Had my world not been rocked in the way it was, I am pretty certain I never would have had the courage to chase after this dream. As much as University has been a crazy and occasionally very stressful ride, it has been a worthwhile one. I've been finding myself. I'm finding myself as an academic, as a teacher, and as a person.
Then the unexpected, I am finding myself as an athlete. My jump to university gave me the courage to break out of my complacency and try new things. That's how I found Synergy. Another moment of the really "unfortunate"... being very unhappy with myself turning into the discovery of an incredible gym and the changing of my life again. It just keeps getting better.
So what have I learned from all of this? Well, just when things may appear to be bleak, or dark, or upsetting... keep that chin up. The sun really does come out tomorrow. Just as quickly as something can crush you, it can turn into something five million times better than it ever was before. If we never faced challenges in life, we'd never fully appreciate our successes.
Take some time, appreciate your successes. Give yourself a pat on the pack for them - you deserve it!
Cause Baby, you're a firework. :)
Saturday, September 29, 2012
So I guess I have just learned that it's totally okay to go back to the basics. Everybody has to do it sometimes and there's no shame in it. If going back to the basics will make you better, don't question it, just do it!
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Anyway, on with the actual reason for this post...
Yesterday was Synergy's annual Bridge City Beat Down so as expected, here I am to write about it!
This year, the BCBD was held at the old soccer center in order to house the 200 competing athletes and even more screaming (and cow belling) fans - yes, the largest CrossFit competition in Canada, and I was able to compete in it. How cool is that?
For some strange reason I was more nervous about this competition than any competition ever before - perhaps it was because my category was so huge? The female "Brute" division (div 2) was made up of over 70 athletes. Never before have I competed on such a large scale and against so many incredible athletes from all over the place. Also, going into this competition, I knew these workouts were not tailored to my strengths and that also made me nervous. I went into the Beat Down with a top 10 goal because I feel it's always important to have a goal. I like to set my goals really high because it gives me something to fight for.
Here's how the day shook down for me:
WOD 1 (Workout of the day) was a 5 rep max clean. This was the WOD I felt most comfortable with but also the one that made me most nervous. We were given 4 minutes to successfully get a 5 rep max completed. In order for it to be considered a true 5 rep max, all five lifts had to take place within 35 seconds of each other. If you failed or succeeded you could add or drop weight and try again (within the original 4 minute time frame). I came out and successfully lifted 135 pounds, and I was happy with that. I tried for 141 pounds after but due to the lack of recovery time, I just couldn't make it happen. In retrospect I think I probably could have started with the 141 and lifted it successfully but it's hard to know that until you're in the moment. I am happy with how I did in this WOD. I took 8th place of 72 girls in this one.
WOD 2 was a burner involving 8 115 pound deadlifts, 12 leg raises (on a bar), and 50 meter sprints for a total of 3 rounds (for time). This workout had a 4 minute time cap. I was comfortable with the sprints and the deadlifts, but I knew the other girls would make up time on me during the leg raises. Not that I am slow but my legs are definitely a little slower moving than some others. I was hoping to make up some time on the others during the deadlifts but unfortunately they were pretty light and most girls seemed to breeze through them. Regardless of this, I did my absolute best and finished that workout in 3:08 putting me right in the middle of the pack for WOD 2 and landing me in 24th place overall.
WOD 3 was a puke-machine of a workout... a 13 minute chipper. 30 ring rows, 30 jumping squats, 30 shoulder to overhead (with 20 pound dumbbells), 30 burpees, 30 dumbbell snatches (same weight), 20 burpees, 20 shoulder to overhead, 20 jumping squats, 20 ring rows. The time cap was 13 minutes so the idea was to get as far as possible in this one or to complete it. I was 8 reps away from completing it when the buzzer went. Many girls finished this workout and many didn't, so again, I was right in the middle. I did my absolute best in this one and didn't stop moving so in that aspect, I reached a goal of mine.
I wound up placing 35th of 70+ girls in the end. Unfortunately, this really discouraged me for a little while and I had to put myself into the locker room for some thinking time to get my head on straight. I had to remind myself that these WODs did not play to my strengths. I had to remind myself that where I placed changes nothing at the end of the day - I am still who I am, and I have still come as far as I have. The only thing that changed is my desire to work even harder. I will. I'm going to let this competition sharpen me, I'm going to let it push me, and I am going to let it fuel my fire for next time.
Beyond placings and all that jazz, a huge shout out goes out to Synergy for putting on such a top notch event. an event with 200 athletes has huge potential to go awry but you guys kept it ticking like a well oiled machine. Everything ran on time and smoothly, the judging was great and the score keeping was totally on the ball all day. Everything about the day was well thought out and completely top rate. Kudos you guys, I am definitely proud to be a part of such a rad gym. No question.
Also, shout outs to everybody in their first competition - you guys were awesome! Way to give your all! I look forward to working out with all of you guys at the gym again... let's sharpen each other and hit the next challenge head on!
Friday, August 31, 2012
For those who don't know what the BCBD is, that's short for the Bridge City Beat Down, a CrossFit competition taking place in Saskatoon next weekend hosted by Synergy. The cool part, there are so many competitors, Synergy has rented the old soccer facility to house us all! Spectators are more than welcome, I'll be competing all day Saturday!
I think back to a year ago, the BCBD was my first ever competition and I was more nervous than the first day of school/every trip to the dentist/and every public speaking expirience I've ever had combined; it wound up being an incredible day. I think back to that competition and how much a year changes things. This last year I've seen exciting changes in my strength and physical abilities but the funny part is, I still get butterflies every single time WODs are posted for a competition. Today the WODs were posted, I am PUMPED about the first two WODs but a little apprehensive about the third. So all you out there who are new to this competition thing and you're feeling the nerves hitting you - you're not alone, I think it happens to everyone.
Though, I have to say, I LOVE the nerves! The nerves force me to dissect every single WOD in my mind; they force me to strategize, re-evaluate, and strategize again. With all the forethought that goes into the competitions in my brain (though I try to tell my brain to stuff it, it never works), by the time the competitions actually roll around, I usually feel pretty darn pumped and excited. So bring on the nerves, let them hit me hard, and then let's do this thing!
I'm so stolked, it's going to be SO cool to look at this competition thing in a full circle kind of way - what does a year of work look like? We'll see. It'll be fun to take last year as a bench mark and remember all the thoughts that went through my mind last year and compare them to where I'm at now. Regardless of what comes from this day, I am pumped to leave it all out there on the field. For all you who are entering into the BCBD as your first competition - WAY TO GO! Have fun, breathe in every moment, you've worked your tail off to get here so enjoy it! Be proud of yourself.
So excited guys, one more week!!
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Of course, I'm only 25 years old, so that's probably to be expected.
Here's the biggest thing I currently don't understand; why is it that muscle mass is sexy on a guy but taboo on a girl? I'm not saying I want to be "jacked" or "huge" but I see no problem with having some muscle. To me, muscles are a sign of health, a badge of honor for life-changing work, and a tool helping me to attain greater things. So why are girls expected to be weak to be attractive? Isn't it attractive to see someone caring for their health and longevity?
This next picture is me before I started taking care of myself and I don't find it attractive. I didn't have muscle but I certainly did not feel good, nor did I ever really feel like I looked good.
So I took matters into my own hands, or, took them into my own hands with the help of Synergy. This is what I look like now:
Absolutely, I have muscle. Each muscle is a reminder of every workout I have done, every drop of sweat that hit the floor, and every pound of fat I fought off of my body. My muscles are my journey. Nobody can tell me that's not acceptable.
To be clear, my goal is not to have huge muscles, my goal is to have a huge life-span. If working out and eating well will get me there, then you better believe I will embrace whatever muscles show up as a result of that.
I think it's time women stopped allowing everyone else to define what's beautiful or acceptable and just started putting time and effort into being healthy.
Let's make some new social norms.
Monday, August 20, 2012
I went on a camping trip just over a week ago, and I spent the entire time relaxing. I had a fantastic weekend. However, due to the travel required to reach our destination, our food options were pre-determined. I knew this going into the weekend and had fully prepared for it, even looked forward to it! I thought eating differently for a few days would be fun and well deserved. We didn’t eat anything too crazy, but definitely enjoyed some French toast and a fair amount of chocolate and cookies. To put this into perspective, basically, I ate the way I used to eat on a daily basis. Also, due to the mossy/squishy ground and copious amounts of trees, no workouts happened despite my best intentions going into the weekend.
It goes without saying I had an excellent weekend, but I came home feeling physically trashed. You know that thoroughly disgusting-can’t-even-stand-yourself feeling? Yeah, that one. That’s how I felt. I was so excited the next morning to wake up and make some eggs and was equally excited to get back to the gym and work out. After even just one day back into my usual routine I felt 100 x better (also factoring in a good amount of sleep, of course!). So besides learning that jumping off the Paleo bus for four days does not feel nice, I also realized something (I think) is really exciting. And it’s this; exercising and eating well used to be a novelty to me, certainly not a habit. The norm was eating poorly and exercising very rarely and at a low intensity, anything other than that was a very rare occurrence. Now, eating well and exercising has become my habit, so much so that dropping out of the “norm” for a few days left me feeling less than excellent.
Monday, July 30, 2012
We competed, we laughed until we cried (or at least I did... turns out you have to be careful with how you use Olympic weightlifting terms in public - sometimes they can sound incredibly inappropriate), we cheered each other on until our voices cracked and we sincerely celebrated each teams victories. We were the definition of community.
We were a community that won champion of champions, first place, and third place. Most importantly? We were a community that had one heck of a fantastic day together.
Look at that - we're so strong. I don't often have days I wish I could do over and over and over and over again - but I would do this day fifty times over if I could. The races were awesome, both boats were so synchronized - each person giving their all, no one person carrying the weight of the team.
Oh, and in between we laughed - oh did we ever laugh. I am convinced some of my new found Crossfit friends are the most hilarious people on the planet. Case in point? Observe...
In between we also frolicked... some people are very talented in the art of the frolic...
It's okay though, you don't have to be able to toe-touch to CrossFit... though I think that's probably what a lot of people watching thought. I just thought to myself... that's awesome.
So not only did we frolic, we also had a pretty sweet finish against the Pirates... anybody who has known me for the past year probably knows I've chomping at the bit to take on the Pirates again. Here's what happened - photo finish...
ARRRRRRRR!!! That be ARRRR boat out in front :). Seriously though, thanks to everyone from FMG for your hard work during the day - it's sure appreciated!
Lastly, after the laughter, the frolicking, and the epic photo finishes - we managed to take home some pretty sweet trophies as a team. (Also, I'd like to just make a shout-out to Brio for getting into the final heat, you guys did so awesome! Can't wait to see you back next year!)
I can't tell which one is Claire/Chad and which is Christianne/Tyler... but it was a dynamic battle of epic proportions.
So basically, what I'm trying to say is... Saturday was awesome and what made it awesome had everything to do with who I spent it with. On top of all the hilarity, I also really enjoyed the time we had to sit and visit. I was able to meet some new girls to the gym during the afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with them. I wish they would have come out to the after party. I guess that just means I'll have to surprise super soaker them at the gym instead sometime... then it will be like they were there. Along with the new folks, I also really enjoyed getting to know the old folks (haha!) even better.
Fantastic day. Thanks for keepin' it real Synergy, love y'all!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
According to Dale Carnegie, "People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."
So THAT'S why CrossFit worked for me, and that's why it keeps me working hard! Tonight I had a couple awesome girls at the gym mention that they checked my blog today and there was no update. As much as it was a small thing for them to say it put a huge smile on my face and inspired me to make a new post. Generally when I write an entry on this blog it's because something has triggered a string of thoughts and made me want to write. Well, their comments certainly inspired me to make an update for Pete's sake! It's crazy how a few words on a piece of paper (or a blog in this case) can mean something to somebody; I'm so glad it does. I'll keep writing! As I went through the workout tonight, I thought more about how Synergy creates success stories one person at a time. As I thought about all the people I know who have come leaps and bounds since I've known them at the gym, I realized there was a common thread among them all - they like to have FUN!
Win or lose, competitive or recreational - there's always some sort of fun or uplifting mood shooting off the rafters at Synergy like wildfire. Whether it be the upbeat music (tonight was "dontchya wish your girlfriend was hot like me!") or the smiling faces, there's always a reason to smile when I walk in the doors. I think that's what keeps me coming back, bettering myself, and having FUN while I am doing it!
Sometimes people laugh at me a little during rest periods when I have my own personal dance parties... because, well, it has been known to happen - even in competition... (*cough*frostfit*cough*)
But you know what? The thing is, I think the fun is what keeps me going. It motivates me to push on. So what if dancing re-energizes me more than sitting quietly? Okay, that's certainly not always the case - there are times I'm on the ground gasping for air (haha, aren't we all!)... but the point is, the fun attitude brings positivity, and positivity is what helps me push through a hard workout. The positive atmosphere of this gym makes people succeed; positivity breeds successful individuals.
Sometimes I challenge myself just to smile during a really hard workout, I don't always do it, but when I do it almost makes me laugh - people watching must think I'm insane... and maybe I am, but I'm having FUN... and fun means success.
Not everything in life needs to be so serious, Synergy line dance anyone? :)
So get out there, have some fun, and succeed!
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Tonight I should be celebrating. I should be jumping up and down for joy... but I can't bring myself to that place. Tonight as much as I killed the workouts - far surpassing my old personal records, I am feeling really down on myself. Tonight we tackled two CrossFit benchmark workouts, "Fran" and "Grace." Fran is 21 65lb thrusters, 21 pull-ups, 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups, 9 thrusters, 9 pull-ups for time. Tonight I did the workout fully as prescribed in 9:07, and I've actually never done "Fran" before - not even once. After 10 minutes rest, I did "Grace" for the first time as well, 30 95lb clean and jerks, and I finished in just over 6 minutes. So why aren't I celebrating? I should be, right? It's because I can't shake the feeling of being picked last in gym class. Tonight's workout brought me back to a place I haven't been in a long time. You see, tonight's workout determines who makes the "beast" boat for the dragon boat races, and who makes the "brutes" boat. With the times I put up tonight, as much as they're incredible for me, they're likely not enough to make the beasts team. That's what I am struggling with tonight, that moment in life where your best just isn't enough.
So where do I go from here? I learn to be humbled. I learn to keep fighting. I remind myself that hard work pays off and this doesn't mean I'll always be "picked last" or I'll never make the team... it may just mean not right now. It may mean wait. Hard words for sure, but they're words that create character. It means that one day when I do make the team it'll mean the world to me; it'll be one of those mountain-top moments. I choose to believe in that moment, whenever it should happen. So while this hurts and it'll take a while to shake that completely ridiculous lie of a "not good enough" feeling, I am going to try my hand at continuing with positivity. If I am in the brutes boat, I will bring my smile, I will bring my team spirit, I will rally my team, and I will be proud to be among Synergy members - Beast or Brute. I will make it to that place.
For now, I will remember the journey. If you happen to be where I'm at right now - keep fighting. Work hard. Side by side, we're going to get there someday.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
It was an incredible event for me because there was a time in my life where I'd never have thought the words "I ran a 5K" would ever come out of my mouth. Accurately enough, those words were impossible for me at one point; they're not impossible anymore. Below is a picture of me at about the 2.5km mark (thanks for the picture, Scott!)
I didn't expect this event to be so emotional for me. However, as I ran, thoughts and flashbacks of who I used to be jumped through my mind. I remembered the girl who would have loved to be able to run but never thought it was attainable. I remembered the girl who accepted defeat. I remembered the girl who believed in impossible. Then I remembered the girl who decided to get up and start fighting for her life... and because of that desire to fight, today I was the girl who crossed the finish line.
That's right, today I crossed the finish line in 31:46. I did so with a big smile on my face and tears streaming down my cheeks.
Sometimes it's good to remember the journey and to thank yourself for fighting. On that note...
Dear Kimmy G in April of 2011,
thanks for fighting - I love you for it. It was hard, there were days you were exhausted and days you didn't know if you were really going to go be successful but you hung in there. You fought with everything you had, all of your passion and all of your energy. Thanks for fighting for a better future, because of your dedication, I am now able to experience a sense of freedom like none other. Because of your perseverance, I am learning what it feels like to be 100% alive.
Friday, June 15, 2012
I'm not perfect (obviously, nobody is) but I do my best to eat Paleo - sometimes known as the 'hunter-gatherer' diet. Essentially, I eat a lot of protein, I get most of my carbs from vegetables and I'm not afraid of healthy fats. I don't count calories and I don't starve myself. When it comes to sugar, well, there's no better kind of sugar than the natural kind, good old fruit! Sure, I slip up from time to time and maybe eat
I ate by Canada's food guide for a few years, or at least I tried my best to do so. I continued to gain weight. I started eating paleo... and well, this blog is a testament to that journey. I may not win the battle in my Kin class but I am going to listen to my body. If it continues to respond positively to how I am eating, I will continue to fuel it with whole and healthy sources.
Personally, I want to eat well for my health, for longevity, and for the best performance I can put forth in every aspect of my day. On that basis alone, I will kindly disregard what I learned in Kin today and continue with what my body tells me is right. For me, that’s Paleo. No matter what it means for you, become aware and eat for your health.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Actually, from what I’ve seen, a great deal of the CrossFit world centers around positivity. I’ve had people from other teams cheer for me in competition just as I’ve been able to do the same for them. It’s not so much about annihilating the competition as it is about being positive and doing your best… and if at the end of the day you actually are the best, it’s usually accepted with pride as well as humility. One common trend I’ve noticed of those (I know) at the top, they seem to be the first to encourage and give tips to those who are learning. They spread positivity.
When I stumbled across the quote by Mark Twain at the top of this entry, I was immediately drawn to it. Though, I would make a slight addition if I could... just as you should avoid those who belittle your ambitions, be careful not to belittle the ambitions of others. Also, just as it’s wonderful to receive encouragement, be intentional about encouraging others as well. Be the example; positivity is full circle and it keeps us all striving for better things.
Alright all, let’s get positive!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
That’s what happened this weekend. There were a couple of girls from Brio in my heat, as well as Christianne from our gym. It was kind of neat that we kept the same heat all day because I actually got to know these girls from Brio a bit, and let me tell you, they’re awesome! It was excellent to work out next to them because they cheered me on and I did the same for them. This is what CrossFit is, a community that strives to encourage one another while striving to reach personal bests.
Monday, May 21, 2012
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive." -Howard Thurman
I found what makes me feel most alive and it's not something I would have ever predicted prior to discovering it. It's good to stretch ourselves and try things that may seem a little scary or intimidating from time to time. You never know when you're going to find the thing you've been missing, the thing that makes you feel empowered and gives you that missing spark.
For me, as you all know, this is CrossFit. The journey has been unreal so far, reaching way beyond any crazy expectations I had when I joined. I thought I'd share some of the story just for kicks because it's fun to look back... when I look back, I get so much more excited about today and about the future.
Here is where I began:
Now, I had the good sense to realize that crash diets were not the way to go and I knew exercise had to play a major role in my new goals. I thought about hiring a personal trainer for a couple sessions a month to teach me how to use the gym equipment to get results and quickly discovered the cost of just one session in most cases was more than a whole month's membership at a gym. However, I had the best stroke of
I started my fast track with Chad the next week. Obviously I was nervous and I say lots of
The first really big deal:
One day in the middle of the summer, word came out that Synergy was entering two boats into the Dragon Boat races. Anyone could sign-up but I didn't give it a second thought because I felt like with the shape I was in, I would have held the team back. This is where Val comes in. I was just finishing a workout and she asked me... she actually asked ME if I was going to sign-up for the dragon boats. I told her why I hadn't and she said if I didn't sign-up she would put my name on the list for me. I was in. I was a part of something bigger than my own goals. This gave me something to work hard for, something to train for other than just losing weight. This switched my head over into competition mode. I was pumped.
When the day of the races came, it felt a lot like that feeling I used to get on Christmas morning - SO crazy excited. I knew I was going to be a part of a winning team, whether we won the races or not, I knew we were going to do well. I was determined to push through every race too, not a chance I was going to let myself be the weak link. By the end of each 500m race I think my lungs were
It's probably a good thing I didn't give this a ton of thought:
The best part? I was my only competition. I wanted to do MY best. I was cheered on by so many members of the gym that day and I took joy in the doing the same for others. The sense of community was absolutely incredible at the BCBD, once again, I felt like I was a part of something huge - not just an onlooker. I wound up finishing 23rd of 51 girls in this competition which absolutely floored me. How did I do that? How was that possible for ME? Yeah, let's just say I was hooked.
Skinny versus strong:
I began to desire to become an athlete rather than a barbie. I stopped going to the "gym" and started training. I started to make goals that weren't weight loss related. I made goals like getting my first pull-up, or being able to run, both of which I can do today. I have had such amazing role models to look up to, as I was searching to find myself in all of the newness, I had people to watch who helped me keep my head screwed on straight. This was the point where my desires really began to shift away from the typical size 0 form of beauty in favor of athleticism and whatever form or "size" that may make my body. I realized I'd rather be a CrossFit woman... to celebrate strength rather than size.
I lied and said I wasn't there to compete:
Regardless, I went into the competition and allowed myself to believe. I told myself to embrace every workout, to give my all and leave nothing to question later. I did that. I wound up in 4th place of 27 girls at the end of the competition and once again, I was in total shock. I was confident I could for sure reach middle of the pack but I did NOT expect a top 5 finish. At the end of the day I was able to watch three of our champs compete in the Div 1 final workout, Matt, Val, and Vanessa. The display of athleticism was beyond incredible and really lit a fire in my belly. Watching everyone that represented Synergy that day as well as other teams blew me away. THIS is who I want to be. Watching Courtney pound out incredible C2B pull-ups, watching Sarah climb the rope like a monkey, watching Chris plow through DU's... I look at them and can't help but feel inspired, I may have come from athleticism ground zero, but with amazing people training me and awesome members alongside me the world is wide open.
I also want to pay it forward. I've had so many people believe and me and I want to do the same for others who are new to the gym. I love seeing new faces come through the doors and I love even more when I can introduce myself and make them feel a little less on edge. It's so cool when people recognize my testimonial from the website and talk to me about how it inspired them... I try to make it known that if I can do it they can too. I think back to Chad's words when I started, if you stick with it and commit yourself you will see results. He was telling the truth.
What he didn't say was that there's a solid chance you'll find yourself too. You'll find that strength is one of the most important elements of beauty and self confidence. You'll find that you can do way more than you imagined possible. You'll find that limitations are only something you place on yourself out of fear.
Stop stopping yourself. Embrace the truth, you can make a change. Commit yourself, see the results. Revel in them!
Thanks to all the awesome athletes at our gym for inspiring me. I hope to continue working and training and inspire others just as you've done for me.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I only have one life. I’m not going to get a chance for any do-overs. Still not shocking, I know. Though, it does change how I plan to live my life and how I plan to attack my goals and dreams. If I keep thinking “that’d be great, I’ll do it someday,” it may never happen. My chance is right now.
I can’t look at other people, think about how nice what they have is and be content to do nothing about it as though my chance will come someday. If I want something, I need to work now to get it. I think sometimes I imagine a life where I will have many chances for do-overs and what I am doing right now doesn’t make a huge change in the grand scheme of things. That thinking is so off base. What I do now, and the choices I make in this exact moment will either set me up for a life where I am living my dreams and accomplishing my goals, or it will set me up for a life of mediocrity or unhappiness.
This also applies to health and fitness, what I work for today will impact the rest of my entire life. I could choose a road of instant gratification in no exercise and eating whatever I want whenever I want it but then I am choosing a life I don’t desire for myself. Or, I could choose a life of eating whole, healthy foods and exercising regularly because it’s good for my body. In so doing, I will have chosen a life with potential to bring me to the places I want to be, the places I have set goals to reach. With these options laid out so clearly before me, knowing I only get one life, how could I choose anything but the latter?
I choose to exercise and eat well today to be an athlete. I choose educate myself and work hard in my studies to become a teacher. I choose to embrace opportunities today to bask in fulfillment tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” –Don Narcisse
I may not have natural talent at certain things, but I do have the determination to work hard at them and become great. You know what else? If I work hard at them, it will have been worth the entire journey. With perseverance I will have gained character, and that character will have come from the times when I wanted to quit but kept continuing on. The journey of hard work holds with it a sense of pride, something those who things come to naturally may never fully experience in its wholeness.
Word hard. Earn where you stand. It’s worth it and will mean so much more when you blow past the finish line.
Friday, April 20, 2012
I'll be writing my last final on Monday and then sweet freedom is mine... with the minor exception of a spring class in June and work but those hardly count.
What's on my mind?
Well, I've been thinking back to how awesome last summer was with CrossFit and how going to the gym made my summer one of the best summers ever. Those memories alone make me SO excited for this summer but it's even more than that. This summer I will actually wear SHORTS, not something I've ever really done since I was a kid, unless you count shorts that go all the way to the knee. I used to be incredibly self conscious about my legs. I still am a little bit, but nowhere near what I used to be. In fact, I have challenged myself to wear shorts and wear them with pride this summer. Forget what anybody else thinks that doesn't know me, I know what I've done, and I am going to show it!
What else? Oh yeah, this summer I am also going to wear TANK TOPS on a regular basis and be comfortable in them. I used to wear them, but I never liked it... I wore them out of necessity. This year I will wear them because it's fun.
There are so many exciting things I will get to enjoy this summer, like going to a pool and not constantly wondering how I look... because you know what, who cares? Not me. I will put myself out there proudly knowing I worked for what I have. I choose happiness. I may not be perfection, but who is? I am perseverance, and that's worth showing a little too, I think. :)
Dear girls: don't worry about showing your perfection this summer, show your perseverance! What have you worked for? Show it off and be proud of it! You earned it!
Indeed, this summer I will have a ton of fun with what I wear, I will have a blast at the gym, and I will enjoy the hot summer sunshine!
Happy almost summer, everyone!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
As of today, it has officially been one year since I joined Crossfit. I am so full of gratitude, so full of pride, and so full of joy.
If you dream hard enough, believe passionately enough, and dedicate yourself wholeheartedly enough- you can do ANYTHING. This, I am learning.
Start believing. You can!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
This is what I am telling myself right now. Starting out in CrossFit, there are tons of movements and elements which are crazy intimidating but the great part is, with any CrossFit element, there are stepping stones to getting there; we call them different scalings. For instance, when working toward getting pull-ups, a person may start by doing ring-rows (like I did) where your heels are on the ground with your toes pointed up, then you tilt yourself back while holding onto the rings and pull yourself toward the rings. The next scaling may be to move to the pull-up bar with big elastic bands on your feet (which are also attached to the bar) to give you extra oomph to get your chin over the bar. As time progresses, you use smaller and smaller bands and one day – voila! A real, for serious, no joking pull-up!
Now, obviously there are movements I still have to scale to a large degree but I need to stop scaling the ones I can already do. I’ve been so scared to finally throw the bands out of the window for pull-ups in a workout even though I know I am capable! Sure, saying goodbye to the bands may add extra time to my workout but I’m never going to get there if I don’t allow myself! Yes, there may be workouts where bands are still necessary (dead hang pull-ups/workouts with time caps) but otherwise, I think it’s time to graduate!
Recently, beyond pull-ups, I realized I scale a lot of things that just aren’t necessary anymore, like weights for instance. I can do any weight thrown up on that board, I just need to tell myself to stop whining and do it already! Obviously within safe parameters, and depending on how I’m feeling each day. I guess the point is, I need to stop making things easier out of fear… it’s time to boldly accept new challenges.
So, all that being said, what's my new goal? Where possible, no more scaling! This is scary to put out there because I’ll have to live up to it but I’m ready for the challenge. A year ago (right before I started CrossFit) I got a tattoo on my foot that says “Rise Above,” this phrase means so many different things to me. It’s a constant reminder of some wonderful people I know who have risen above incredible challenges as well as a reminder to keep pushing myself forward; time to rise above my old successes and make some new ones! How exciting!
I guess if there’s anything to glean from this, it might be as simple as “don’t sell yourself short.” If you know you can do it, don’t stop yourself! Keep reaching, keep climbing, and remember to enjoy those awesome moments of success in between!
Sunday, March 25, 2012
... and so the CrossFit Open draws to a close.
When it began I thought to myself that 5 weeks is a really long time, now it's over. I'm going to miss it. I started to really enjoy my routine of eagerly anticipating the Wednesday WOD release, trying it out on Thursday, and throwing everything I have into it with our gym community on Sunday... then a couple days of rest before repeating the cycle. It was wonderful. I think I'm going to feel a little aimless without it this week!
Am I happy? Absolutely. My goal was to stay in the middle of the pack and I think I did that, if not, I was really close. Regardless, I pulled off some things in this open that I didn't think were possible for me. As such, I am more than satisfied! More than anything, I'm feeling inspired. If I can already do some of the things the open challenged me with, imagine what I'll be able to do in one more year. It's exciting to think about! Especially watching some of the other athletes this year and hearing their stories and successes over doing the open a year ago, I'm pumped... let's do this thing!
So what have I learned from this? Probably a lot more than I even realize right at this moment. Though, definitely, I've learned once again not to take the path of least resistance. Sometimes rising to a challenge can be the most exciting and epic thing even if it's intimidating at first.
I'm feeling ready for it... whatever it is...
Hard work, and dedication - here we go!!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
So what do I love about CrossFit?
I love the person it makes me. It makes me better.
CrossFit teaches me the importance of community. I am supported and encouraged, I am pushed to reach the fullness of my capabilities. I am challenged to reach for those things I want and I am coached as I work for them. Just the same, I am able to use my voice to encourage others in the same way. Community matters, without each other our growth would be much slower. We spur each other on.
CrossFit teaches me dedication. Nothing in the gym is particularly easy to grasp on the first try, it takes persistence to reach goals. To be successful, a person must dedicate themselves to the sport; even in the hard times it's important to remain focused. This isn't to say I'm perfect, I definitely have days where I feel frustrated... but the important part is to come back, refocus, and keep persevering. Dedication brings up little (and big) moments of excellence.
CrossFit teaches me integrity. I can only achieve what I am capable of, honesty is important. Further than that, whatever I am capable of I need to be proud of... it's more than I could do a year ago. Way more.
Lastly, CrossFit helps me to find dreams I never knew I had. It makes me believe in the "I can" and the "I will" rather than the "never." I keep having these little moments where something will come up and I'll default to my old way of thinking forgetting who I am now. Forgetting that I'm so much more in shape and so much stronger. Running has been my nemesis for as long as I can remember, so you know what? I just signed up to run a 5K in June. Dear self doubt: take that.
Why do I love CrossFit? ... because it changed me. For good. Also, that it continues to change me, there's so much room for growth. Love. Love. LOVE.
Friday, February 24, 2012
... This is the part where you say 'duh...'
However, today I am finding this thought to be quite revolutionary. I am me. I am not the person ripping out five muscle-ups in a row and I'm not the person throwing down handstand pushups... but I might just be the person banging out 10 pull-ups. You see, I may not have everything but I do have what I am now capable of.
I could choose to dwell on the skills others have and I don't, or I could choose to focus on the amazing and exciting things I can do now that I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams a year ago. I am me. That's kind of awesome. The neat part about being me? It doesn't mean I will never get a muscle-up or a HSPU, it just means I get to enjoy the journey toward achieving those things and I get to be thrilled with each step I take that gets me closer. Awesome.
Here's the important thing to remember about being yourself, be the best YOU possible. Don't try to be somebody else or to live up to their standards. When you're in a hard workout and it seems everybody around you has lapped you multiple times, put it out of your head. Focus on you. Try and beat your personal best and celebrate that victory. If you're competing against everybody else in your mind you may become discouraged, if you compete to beat your own personal best... there's nowhere to go but up.
So, rather than comparing yourself to others, encourage them; just as importantly, believe in yourself as others encourage you.
Initially, entering the CrossFit Open scared me, now I am excited. Why? Because just being in this competition is a record for me regardless of what happens. I will fight my hardest in every workout, I will be the best version of me and I will be darn proud of it.
You are you... how awesome is that?
Monday, February 13, 2012
Be the phoenix.
Don’t spend your life in a less than healthy or happy state because you are afraid of the ashes, embrace them, allow yourself to be transformed. Don’t steer away from hard situations or workouts because you’re afraid, embrace them, these challenges will enable you to soar.
I think there is a little phoenix in all of us, the question remains, are we willing to embrace the fire?
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
What an honor it was to compete with such an awesome group of people this past weekend!
It's so nice to compete with a group of people and yet never feel as though I am competing against them, only with them. The feeling of "team" was overwhelming this weekend and I think that speaks volumes of the gym environment we have. If we see something in another CrossFitter we don't have, the tendency is not to tear that person down, it's to admire them and work hard to join them one day. This is just one of the many things I loved about this weekend, we were all there with common goals... but just as much as we were happy to reach our own goals, we were over the moon pumped for our team mates who did the same.
I just re-read my previous post and I am happy to say this weekend caught me completely by surprise. I went into the weekend telling myself no matter what I would give my 100% in every workout and be completely pumped with whatever that meant in the standings. I wound up taking 4th place of 27 girls in the intermediate category. I was shocked... and I still am. What's even better than that? I got to share this epic moment with a whole lot of Synergy members who also achieved incredible things this weekend. Standings aside, everybody was there to give it their all and everybody has more than enough reason to hold their heads high. I always have been... but especially after this weekend, I am so proud to be a part of Synergy.
Thanks for being a part of my journey guys. You inspire me.
With Tons of Love and Appreciation,
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Then I remember how far I've come and suddenly the feeling of defeat flips slightly. I am only defeated if I choose to be; perhaps what I am tempted to view as defeat is actually victory in disguise.
They released the WODs for FrostFit today and they're terrifying. I'm not just saying that to be dramatic, there are actually things in the workouts that I've never successfully accomplished before and more than that, there are things I haven't even tried. This makes me feel defeated before even arriving in Winnepeg. Then I think to myself, what if the only true defeat is not to have tried in the first place?
I am victorious. I have taken hold of my life and changed it; I have come a great distance. Regardless of how this weekend shakes down, I have won. The very fact I am able to be in this competition screams victory, as myself a year ago would never have considered it even a slight option.
This is what I will remember going into this weekend, I have victory. With that in my mind, I will smile and enjoy each moment. Regardless of what I can't do, I will focus on and be joyful about what I can.
Hey FrostFit... Come at me!
Friday, January 20, 2012
I think we all have different opinions and images that conjure up when we think of the word strong. What happens when I put the words strong and gym together, what do you picture? The picture will differ slightly for everyone but I think a common picture that may come up is one of a very muscular and in-shape person. What if I put the words strong and emotionally together? What are you picturing now? How about if I say strong and mentally? See, strong can mean a lot of different things. Of all of these, which is the greatest strength? I don’t think I could choose just one, but how about this: the strength to love yourself.
In the generation we live in, we’re constantly being bombarded with images and media that tells us we’re not good enough. We’re told that we need to be strong yet so much of what surrounds us exists for the simple purpose of making us feel inadequate. The only way we’re ever going to overcome this ever growing need in society is to fight back. How? Be strong enough to love yourself. Recognize that you are capable, brilliant, and strong in every way. Are you feeling weak in one area? Find a way to fight back, find your strong. You can choose to be defeated or you can choose to rise up and face whatever it is head on. That, my dear friends, is strength.
I felt really weak in a lot of ways for quite some time then life changed. I realized that strength is not something I would one day happen across as I was going about my merry way; rather, strength is something I chose the day I decided to embrace my potential. Scratch that, not even my potential, just the day I decided to embrace myself. There is so much strength in that.
Are you finding yourself wishing, wanting, even jealous sometimes? Take a moment to sit back and appreciate what you can do then make goals to take on those things you think you can’t. Find the strength to fight back. Most of all, be strong enough to love yourself.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I think this is important and it helps me in a lot of ways. For me, it takes focus off of being competitive and puts it back into why I am at the gym in the first place; to better myself. It takes the focus off of couting reps and places it directly on pacing yourself while pushing forward. Interestingly enough, when this has been my mentality, my reps have been higher. Go figure?
I met a couple of awesome ladies at the gym last night, apparently they have read my blog. This makes me happy. They had that same look in thier eyes I did when I joined and thier questions were similar to all of the things I was thinking. So, if you ladies are reading this... I only have one thing to say... get excited! Promise yourselves that you'll keep on moving and never turn back. I am SO excited to watch you two on your journey and to cheer you along the way. Oh, and I look forward to reading your blogs one day too. :)