Random Thoughts of a Coach, Mother, Wife, Friend, Competitor, and Woman

Yes, it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted, and in all honesty, I’ve just been having a whirlwind of thoughts flood my mind lately.  I have at least 10 rough drafts completed, but none of them are ready to be posted yet.

So much to say.  So much to do.

Writing is a blessing and a curse.

Tonight, I thought I’d try something new…

Instead of trying to write intelligently and grammatically correct, I’m just going to share with you 5 minutes of what goes on inside my head…My crazy, beautiful mind…Every day…All day…Completely unfiltered…

Sometimes, it’s nice to just vent and let things out.

Ready?  Brace yourselves…This could be dangerous… 😉

3…2…1…GO!

10352582_549466858520190_7523399922307013146_nI really don’t want to clean up right now, but the kitchen is a mess, and it drives me crazy!  But, every time I clear off the counter, it inevitably gets covered with sh** again the next day.  Cleaning is a crappy cycle that never ends.  I wish we could just afford a maid.  I wish we could afford a chef. God, I wish we would just win the lottery.  People say money can’t buy you happiness, but it sure can make things a hell of a lot easier!  Man, if we won the lottery, the first thing I’d do is finish this damn house!  Another never-ending project in our life.  I wish HGTV would come over to our house and renovate the entire thing in one week!  Ahhhh, I watch those episodes with such envy.  We could move to Texas and get put on the show “Fixxer Upper!”  But, then we’d have to live in Texas.  And, we really don’t have any reason to move to Texas.  I would love to live in the east coast, though.  Or, maybe New Zealand.  Or, Hawaii?  Mmmm, I’d probably get “island fever,” though.  I’d miss my family and CrossFit family, though, if we moved.  Man, if we won the lottery, though, I would totally add in a Peet’s Coffee bar, a juice bar, an awesome kids playroom with licensed babysitters, locker rooms, showers, and a foam pit and trampoline in the gym!  That would be so awesome!!!!  I wonder what our members say about us?  I wonder if they ever think that I’m mean, or boring, or don’t like something about me?  Sometimes I wish I could be a fly on the wall.  Although, I don’t know…Would I really want to know what others think and say about me?  I’d like to think that people think I am a good person.  I hope I’m never condescending to anyone.  Hopefully, they can tell when I’m being sarcastic.  I think they can.  I think I’m pretty obvious with my feelings and intentions.  I wonder if I will ever get to stand up on a podium.  I think I work hard, but then every competition, I’m always shaking my finger at myself.  How much is too much?  How much is too little?  Sometimes I really wish I was just born talented and gifted.  But, then again, I’d probably take it for granted.  I guess I should be thankful for all of the lessons it’s taught me to have to earn it…But, damn…Sometimes it would be nice to have something come easy to me for once.  What are we going to do for Christmas?  I don’t even know what to get Spencer.  He is so hard to shop for.  I really wish I had the money to buy him his dream Eames Chair.  Maybe I should start saving a few bucks here and there every month…Maybe in like 5 years I will have saved up enough money to buy him one.  That would be pretty cool to see the look on his face if I got him one.  Maybe…Someday…  It’s like how my mom used to tell me that if she ever had the extra money, she would have bought my dad a Ranger Rover.  I think I can make Bailey’s Halloween costume for her.  Boo’s monster costume is pretty straight forward, and the nice thing is, it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Maybe I’ll try it.  Would be pretty awesome to be able to say that I made Bailey’s costume for her.  I can’t wait to watch her go trick-or-treating again!  I wonder if we’ll have a boy or girl for the next one.  Do we even want another one?  Hmmm…I wish there was some way to make it a boy.  I’d love to have one of each.  Of course, I’ll love whatever we get!  I don’t know if I could handle two kids, though.  Am I patient enough?  How the heck did my mom do it with 4 of us?!  If we won the lottery, I’d be all for having 4 kids, though!  Maybe we could adopt a boy.  That would be pretty neat.  I need to start lifting more.  My lifts have not been increasing enough.  I keep saying that, but I actually really need to shut up and just do it already!  Why is it so easy for me to coach others, and not myself?!?!  I wonder if Bailey is going to like CrossFit.  I’m really afraid of dying.  It scares me to think that death is going to happen anytime.  I try not to think about it, but sometimes it really haunts me.  I get why so many people believe in Heaven or other religious beliefs.  It’s so much more comforting to believe in something happy and beautiful to go to afterwards.  How is it that I’ve lived 34 years and never experienced even one death of a loved one?!?!  Sure, pets and grandparents have passed, but no one immediately close to me has died, and it scares me to think who my “first” one will be.  I often think that it will be my dad…or my brother.  They are like two peas in a pod.  I love them so much.  God, I wish they took better care of themselves.  Maybe that’s why I’m so crazy into fitness and health.  But, even being healthy doesn’t guarantee that I’ll live.  I really hope and pray I get to watch Bailey grow up, and I get to be a grandmother some day.  Sometimes I feel bad after a long day, and wish I had done more, said more to everyone.  Because, what if today is my last day?!  How do I want to be remembered?!  Will I even be remembered?!  I wish I could come back as a spirit, though, so that I could watch my family and friends, and still experience everything with them.  I need to switch over the laundry.  God, another endless task!  What if I could go back in time and start all over again?  What would I do differently?  But, then I wouldn’t have all the things I have now, and I definitely would not want to give up having Bailey and Spencer!!!  It breaks my heart watching some of my friends struggle being single or going through a divorce.  What would I ever do if that happened to me and Spencer?  I honestly don’t know if I’d ever want to get married again.  Dating sucks!  That is one place I never want to go back to ever again!  Why are some people so sh***y?!!!  It pisses me off when they do sh***y things to other people.  How does someone just cheat and then leave their kids?!  I can understand screwing over your husband or wife…But, how can you screw over your kids?!  What the f*** is wrong with people?!  Sometimes, I feel like we’re surrounded by idiots and a**holes.  Why can’t we send them all away?!  A lot of my anger stems from stupid, mean people.  Sometimes, it’s really, really difficult to have compassion for others.  Really difficult!!!  That’s when I love to use the slam ball at the gym!!!  Speaking of, we haven’t done slam balls in a while.  Maybe I’ll throw that in to the warm up this week.  Oh crap, I need to finish the coaching schedule for this month, too!  Am I doing a good job?  Am I a good coach?  Am I being a good mother to Bailey?  Am I good enough for Spencer?  Sometimes I worry that I’m not enough.  Sometimes I feel like I am failing at life.  Other times, I feel like I’m on top of the world.  Ugh.  Maybe I’m in a funk because of my period.  I hate hormones.  I need some chocolate.  I’m going to eat the rest of the s’mores stuff!  I really wish we’d win the damn lottery…

*Whew* 😉

 

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Open Arms

291708_4875163839951_1369268_nBeing a CrossFit Co-Owner and Coach, I see and hear A LOT!

I know so much about my clients, both athletically and personally.  Not only do I know their 1 rep max Front Squat and their “Fran” time, but I also know about their struggle to care for their mother fighting cancer, I know how their husband proposed, I know that they are working two jobs to make ends meet, I know about the cheating wife, the monster-in-law, the traumatic childhood, the husband away on deployment, the daughter with special needs, the car accident that took away their parents, the daily struggles of being a single parent, the insecurities they have in a swimsuit, the demons that haunt them.

I know everything.  Being a coach isn’t just about training people in fitness.  It’s also about being a mentor and therapist in many ways.

I know when my clients are having a bad day, when they are sandbagging a workout, when they need me to yell at them, and when they need me to hug them.  I know when I can push them, and when I need to back off.  I know what drives them, and what pushes them away.

And, I have heard so many amazing stories.  So many feats of courage.  So many heartbreaks, tragedies, hardships, and downright sh***y things.  And, believe it or not, sometimes it’s the person with the brightest smile and seemingly “perfect” life who has the saddest stories to tell.

So often, when a client pours her heart out to me, she then assumes that everyone else at our gym is living an awesome, carefree life.  She thinks she has it harder than everyone else.  She believes that no one else is going what she’s going through.

She feels alone.

I think this is why so many people often feel ashamed or embarrassed about their lives.  They think they are the only ones going through whatever it is they are dealing with.

The grass always looks greener on the other side.  And, many of us feel the need to put on a front and fake perfection in order to be like everyone else…When in actuality, we are all faking it, and we are all hurting inside.

Facebook is by far the biggest culprit of this!  Check out this short video:

I can tell you, from firsthand experience, from ALLLLLLLL of the thousands of stories I have been told by hundreds of clients ~ YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

Heck, even I have sh***y days and a few demons lingering around.  My life is not perfect by any means, and I still have hardships from time to time.  Last year, I went to therapy for over a year to overcome a traumatic experience in high school.  My father is a food addict with Diabetes Type II.  My brother is an Alcoholic living with my parents.  Spencer and I fight sometimes.  I’ve yelled at Bailey before.  I’ve done things that I am not proud of.  I’ve said things to my mother as a teenager that I wish I could take back.

Sh** happens.  Life happens.

You are not alone.

You don’t have to pretend.  In fact, of all of the places, the CrossFit gym is the last place you need to put on a front and hide your life.

Why do you think we all come here, anyway?!!  That’s right – To sweat out all that bullsh** from the day, to grunt out all the pain, to lift up our moods, to run off some steam, and to fight and support each other through it for that hour.

That one hour – We get to be together as one, and through all of our personal struggles, we get to escape our lives for that moment, and just be.  We get to turn it off, and for that one hour we can be together as a family and help each other through it.

But, instead of directly helping someone through her nasty divorce, during the WOD you are helping her through those last 10 reps to prove to herself that she can not only get through the WOD itself, but she can also get through this divorce.  By encouraging and supporting her through the workout, we are inadvertently supporting her through her tough time.

Running alongside a member in the last 400m, you are inadvertently telling him that you are by his side, both inside the gym and in life.

Cheering on a member during the workout, you are inadvertently helping her gain self-confidence.

The things we do for each other inside of the gym have a HUGE impact on our personal lives, whether we realize it or not.

So many people write about how CrossFit has saved their lives.  But, the truth of the matter is, CrossFit has saved ALL of our lives in some way or another.

None of us have it worse.  None of us have it better.  It’s a relative thing.  We all have struggles and hardships.  We have all experienced difficult times at one point or another.

The question is ~ Are you going to be a victim, or are you going to be stronger?!  I don’t like the word survivor, personally, because it implies a victim.

Remember that you truly are not alone in this world.  You are not the only one.  Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed.  Don’t assume others have it better, either.

You have one of the best support systems ever ~ Your CrossFit family!

CrossFit is here with open arms.

Embrace it.

Beautiful Barbell

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The barbell never lies.  Ever.

But, are you paying attention when it’s talking back to you in your lifts?  You should…

This is me the other day trying to get a PR in my 1 rep max Snatch.  One of my best attempts at triple extension, if I do say so myself. 😉

I have to be honest, in the past year, I’ve completely slacked off in my lifting.  I definitely did not do nearly enough strength and skill sets as I should have been.

What I did do is “maintain.”

The sad truth is, I am Deadlifting and Snatching the exact same weight I was a year ago.  Why?  Because of all of the lifts, those are the two I hate the most.  They are my weaknesses, and just like any other human being, my natural tendency is to avoid them whenever possible.

But, after my big breakthrough in the CF Open season, I realized that the Snatch is the perfect representation of how I’ve dealt with my life for so many years.  I worked up to a weight that I was comfortable with, and then once it got hard, I stopped progressing and just stayed at that plateau, and made a lot of excuses for it.

Somehow, I was okay with staying in the same place.

For many years, I worked hard to get to a certain point in my life, and then I would just stop progressing and would maintain a level of “good enough.”

I got by in life.

I got just enough good grades for the honor roll in high school.  I did just enough to please the teachers and keep them off my back.  I did just enough on my SATs to get accepted to college.  And, I actually only applied to one college.  That’s how little I thought of myself.  It was totally a safe situation, though, because I knew I met all of the requirements.  I went with the “easy route.”

I originally majored in Occupational Therapy.  But, then it got hard.  Really hard.  And, just like the Snatch, I suddenly stopped progressing and made excuses.  I got scared.  I didn’t want to face it and put in all that work.  It was just “too hard.”  So, I eventually quit OT, and went into Psychology.  Psychology was “safe.”  Another “easy route” for me to take.  And, even there, I did just enough to graduate with decent grades.  I can claim to have graduated with Psi Chi Honors, but in all honesty, I just barely met the minimum requirements for that.

After college, though, I did grow up some, and eventually took pride in something I did, which was being a summer swim coach in San Rafael.  I coached the team for six years, and was Head Coach for the last two.  It was the first time in a very long time that I actually went above and beyond the call of duty, took great pride in what I did, and worked really hard.  I invested my heart and soul into that team.  For once in my life, I actually felt fulfilled and accomplished.  But, then, unfortunately, the volunteer board members my last year of coaching had ulterior motives, swept the rug from under my feet, and I suddenly found myself betrayed and left out in the cold.

It was a heartbreaking experience, and it only validated the reasons why I hadn’t tried so hard in the first place.  I hate to admit it now, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth, and made me step back into my old bad habits again.

As an elementary school teacher in Corte Madera, I was thankfully surrounded by awesome people, which in turn, motivated me to be awesome.  Unfortunately, though, it didn’t trickle down into any other areas of my life.  So, I was a super awesome, hard working teacher, but then the second I got home, I was mediocre at best at everything else.

Then, I found CrossFit.  It was just like everything else in my life – I started out strong and motivated, worked really hard, was even asked to train with the team, and then I reached my plateau.  I stopped progressing, I started making excuses, and I missed my opportunity to go to Regionals and the Games with the team.

When Spencer and I opened our box in 2011, I was reinvigorated and ready to take on competition again.  But, right at my peak, I suddenly got pregnant, which obviously put things on hold for a while.

So, this all leads us now to the last two years of my training.  After I had Bailey, I trained like crazy for the Open 2013, and I was actually doing really well.  All of my hard work was finally paying off.

But, then in the 4th week of the Open, I managed to get a horrible stomach flu that left me depleted and dehydrated for a week, and I was barely able to even get a decent score completed.  I was like 500th overall in that workout, which yanked away my chances at Regionals.

It gave me flashbacks of my summer swim team being taken away from me.  Now Regionals was being taken away from me.  And, again, I fell back into that “feeling sorry for myself” mode.

And so, I trained hard this past year for the Open…But, definitely not like crazy like the previous year, and honestly, I did “just enough” most of the time.

Deep down, I was holding back due to fear of it being taken away from me again.

The barbell was telling me this the entire time.  My lifts were not increasing.  The Snatch felt foreign to me most of the time.  I wasn’t making gains and getting PR’s like I should have been, and the barbell let me know it.  But, instead of listening to the bar, I made excuses.

About six months before the Open began, I finally did something for myself that I should have done a long time ago – I started going to therapy.  Therapy is just like CrossFit – It only works if you have a good therapist, just like CrossFit only works if you have a good coach!  Thankfully, I have a great one!

Through therapy, I was able to finally face some demons and deal with my past.  In dealing with my past, I was able to start taking things head on.  But, when that happened, it was already too late for the Open.  I still did really well overall, but I didn’t qualify for Regionals.

That’s my fault, and mine alone.  Bad habits die hard.  Change takes time.  And so, the Open became my breakthrough therapy session, rather than an actual competition.

I was fighting for myself…not for a high score.

I was qualifying for life…not for Regionals.

I was certainly heartbroken that I didn’t make it to Regionals, but the difference this time in my life is that I am NOT left with a bitter taste in my mouth, nor am I feeling sorry for myself or wanting to retreat.

This time, I want to try harder.  I want to be better.

For too damn long, I floated through life and ducked from every punch thrown at me.

Now, I’m the one throwing punches.

Lately, the barbell and I have had a different relationship.  A better one.  A stronger one.

Last Thursday, when I was going for a 1 rep max Snatch, it was the first time since August 2013 that I attempted anything over 125#.  And, I didn’t just add a few pounds, I went for 135# with gusto!  Unfortunately, after about 7 or 8 attempts, I failed to complete it.  However, I did get under that bar every time, and the fact that I kept trying was a huge deal for me, personally.

Then, yesterday, during Competition Training class, we did a Clean & Jerk ladder.  It started at 65# and went up by 10’s.  I made my way to 185#.  I missed the Jerk, though.  So, I tried again.  Missed again.  Tried one more time.  Just barely missed the Jerk, again.  But, each time the Clean felt stronger, and the determination in my kept grew (Rather than diminish, like the old me).  So, I went for a 4th attempt.  Cleaned it well, again, but missed the Jerk.  Oh well.  It was another successful experience for me still, because I was finally going hard and fighting for things.

The barbell is a beautiful thing.  I really have learned a lot from it.  Because, even though I have made huge changes in my life recently, and I am finally moving in the right direction, it’s still going to take time for other things to happen.  It’s not all overnight!  I have to keep working hard at it. And so, even the barbell reminds me of this fact with my recent Snatch and C&J lifts.

So, the next time you’re lifting that barbell, listen to it.  What is it telling you?

What does the barbell say about you?