Friends

Life Happens So Always Look Again

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The past month or so have been odd — my son’s friend’s father died over the holidays and this week, my coach, Randy, at Highbar had to leave abruptly on Monday – unfortunately his father passed away in his sleep sometime during the night. Life happens and you never know what’s next.

I was talking to Randy this morning and he was sharing with me how in the span of a few short days – he is forever changed. He was talking about spiritually. I am not a particularly spiritual person myself,  but when I look back at the time when we found out my husband was sick – weeks/months before, there were things happening in our lives that were setting our family up physically, spiritually and mentally with resources, people and information that we would need on our journey.  I didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but there are things that I see clear as day now. Why did those pieces come into play? It is something I still find comfort in – proof that there is some sort of divine plan in play. Things will be ok and what happens is meant to happen and meant to be. Good or bad – we should learn from it, become better for it, and live our lives with the lessons in practice.

Always Look Again - LiveFitandSore.comI think it has helped me recently with the change in my career and changing CrossFit gyms this past spring.  Continuing to tell myself that things happen for a reason and I will indeed be OK. If things I am doing cause me a lot of struggle – I need to take a look and evaluate it. Maybe I am supposed to struggle and learn – maybe it’s just the wrong path for me. Always look again…

My daughter Hannah gets this whole concept — and I love when she reminds me how much happier I am after a big change. It’s a gift that kids have — we seem to lose it growing up — to see things as they really are. No filter to cloud it up. It is what it is to them -no interpretation, no bias.

Workout

Rest Day!

Recommended Reading

 Music to Your Ears

I’ve been listening to this mushy song by John Legend lately. You can tell whomever he wrote it for –is loved.

Happy New Year: Make Mistakes All Year Long

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I saw this quote this morning and it is perfect for the new year:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. — Neil Gaiman

I think this quote says it all — Make Mistakes. My last job was all about pointing out when you made mistakes – you weren’t allowed to. Looking back now – that was a clear cut issue with them. You have to give people the freedom and the comfort level to go ahead and make mistakes. The issue is when you don’t learn from them and make the same ones over and over again. That’s a sign that you are the issue!

Cheryl and Stephanie Hoaglund I am running a 5K tomorrow morning with a great group of Highbar CrossFit athletes – I’m crazy but need to start running to get readyMake Better MIstakes Tomorrow for the Scope it Out 5K again this fall. I am not a fan of running, and need to start the year working on things that need my attention!

17th Annual REHAU Rotary Resolution Race

I’m also going to be starting a Nutrition Challenge so I can rid myself of the extra weight I have put on since this fall. I am starting to feel uncomfortable in my own skin and that’s a clear sign that I need to start paying attention and doing the work to get my nutrition back on track. It’s never too late to focus!

My friend Cheryl was in town from Florida – she and I met at Highbar and did a WOD together. Cheryl is my Jersey girl — I love her spirit and her sense of humor. It was great to see her and she is still super fit and doing amazing things — Ironman and triathlons races.

Recommended Reading

Workout

Bench 1×4 115#
WOD
3 Rounds
1 minute each station/10 sec transition time

  • Slam Ball Throws
  • Row
  • Wall Balls
  • Plate Rotations
  • Wall Sits

And finally – Happy New Year to everyone! Life is a crazy journey and I am so blessed to be able to share it with so many amazing people…

You are confined by the walls you create yourself

Happy Birthday CrossFit Chick: Christmas Abbott

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There are quite a few things on my mind today -

Stephanie Hoaglund - CrossFit Yesterday, I posted this pic of me and my friend Kath who has joined our 6a group at Highbar CrossFit. My sister and I were talking and she asked me how long I have been at Highbar CrossFit.  She said you were at that other CrossFit gym for a few years and never had the definition in your arms like you have now. Six months of smart programming and great coaching has made a HUGE difference in my progress. You can hear me say that until I am blue in the face, but the proof shows.  Those arms are created by strength training and hard work. Now I need to get my eating under control once again and I will be hard to beat.

Happy Birthday to one of my all time favorite CrossFit Chicks ever: Christmas Abbott. If you haven’t checked out her website – ChristmasAbbott.co - head over there. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet — and a badass a the same time.

christmas abbott Christmas AbbotChristmas Abbott  - CrossFit

Kindness MattersBe Kind - Kindness Matters

Now, let’s talk about this stupid Duck Dynasty shit for a minute – I have never watched this show personally and have no idea who Phil Robertson is.  My friend Lisbeth Darsh posted this Facebook status yesterday,

So much anger in the FB stream, mostly centered on a backwoods fella who spoke ignorantly. Some folks attack, some folks defend.

I’d rather everybody turn their attention and energy to doing something good, to building something. Love. Family. Fitness. Community. We only have so much time here. 

And tell that old fella with the beard he can come to my house. We’d welcome him, just like he was Santa Claus. Hate? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Deadlifts? Yeah, we got time for that. Overhead squats too. 

Adding on to that thought - I think people are losing their internal filter and ability to relax and let stupid shit roll off our shoulders. Someone says something ignorant or stupid — it’s not the first time, nor the last. Don’t buy their shit, don’t watch their shows, don’t waste your valuable energy on that shit. Put your focus and energy towards positive things and above all else, be kind and understanding – some people really just don’t know any better.

For a Laugh

Chuck Norris wants to wish you a happy Christmas, Jean-Claude Van Damme style

Workout

Twelve Days of Christmas (sing the song to figure out the sequence of movements)

CrossFit: Twelve Days of Christmas

Losing Someone Jolts Our Hearts To The Core

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7888-life-is-short-and-unpredictable-dont-waste-another-minute_247x200_widthYesterday afternoon I found out a friend of mine passed away unexpectedly the evening before– I feel numb and sad for his family. None of us know when our time is up – so don’t waste time leaving things unsaid and actions undone.

Kal was the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He loved his family, always had a kind word and Khal Sudkia smile to offer.  His biggest pride and joy were his two boys. My heart aches for them and the rest of his family.

Earlier this week I read something from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson about losing someone:

“Losing a loved one jolts our hearts to the core… 

It also has a very special way of helping us move forward in life with an even greater perspective. 

We hug our loved ones a little tighter. Pray a little stronger. Work a little harder. Smile a little bigger. 

Life goes on and memories are forever cherished…” 

It’s odd to think that The Rock is someone I am quoting, but there it is. Rest In Peace Kal.

Let Things Happen

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doubt I had lunch with a friend yesterday that I haven’t seen in almost a year and it really helped me recharge. Sometimes you don’t realize you miss someone until you spend time with them again. Sara left the company I worked at up until recently back in February – for many of the same reasons I was unhappy. She took the plunge and just left. Decided to take a risk and jump –and guess what? A Net appeared. It wasn’t necessarily the net she envisioned but part of the reasons she did it was to make some changes in her life. Since February, she learned to relax  - not be dictated by a schedule or the clock. Routine free – Freedom.  She told me how hard it was for her to embrace this type of freedom at first. Goes to show you even learning to relax and go with the flow is like anything else, it takes practice.

I was really inspired by her yesterday. She has always been a big supporter of me, many times believing in me more than I thought I deserved. And she completely understood where I am mentally right now. Learning how to live this new life career wise without fear. Letting things happen – seeing where the path takes me. I have always lived a life of routine and structure. It is my safe place and now that I don’t have it – it’s so uncomfortable for me. Learning how to be comfortable being uncomfortable is key.

We spent a lot of time yesterday talking about the difficult people we have had to deal with lately and how well or not well we have fared.  She said a few things that really resonated with me – that may not make sense to others as I share it but it sure did connect some things for me:

Part of the issue with my last job, I didn’t deal with certain difficult people well and just because I don’t have to deal with them anymore, doesn’t mean that I am done learning whatever lesson they were meant to teach me. Whatever that personality type is, I will run into it again because I haven’t really finished learning the lesson that they were there to teach me.  Sounds very ‘out there’ I know, but I do definitely believe that people are put into our lives for reasons.  And I definitely need to work on hiding some of my emotions when I am in a professional work situation and learn to accept that not everyone cares as deeply as I do about the work they do.  That’s one of the toughest things I have had to understand. Some people are really OK with 80% being good enough. Crazy but true!

I think everyone should reach out to someone they haven’t talked to in a while – it’s amazing how re-energizing it can be!

Today’s workout was 5×5 pull ups and then we did 125 Wall Balls as our met-con. If you stopped at all, you had to do three burpees! It was definitely not one of my favorite workouts.  But I got through it and now it’s time for a rest day tomorrow, and lots of good food!

Recommended Reading

Kindness Matters

What Makes You Happy?

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My sister in law recommended watching Happy, a documentary that according to Netflix:

…takes viewers on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real-life stories and scientific interviews, the film explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

Kind of fitting that after watching that documentary, I came across this from Huff Post: The Habits Of Supremely Happy People. Is the Universe trying to tell me something?

Have you ever stopped and really thought about what it takes to make you happy?  


I often hear people say if I only had more money or <fill in whatever material possession>, I would be so much happier. Whenever I hear that, I think about all the ‘famous’ people out there that have enough money to not have to worry but aren’t the most healthy, happy people in the world. They divorce, they have health issues, their kids are all kinds of crazy….  Money doesn’t buy happiness – no matter how much you want to believe it. It removes one category of worry and stress yes, but when you peel back all the layers – it’s not what satisfies you as a person and a single individual living in the world.

Being loved, having great people around you, exercise & movement, laughter, joy, having a purpose, being challenged, loving others, giving back — all of those things fill your heart and give meaning to your life. That’s the key – -having a sense of meaning and purpose I think.

We all have low moments in our lives — but being able to bounce back after the lows is what helps us grow and progress.

Resilience, not happiness, is the opposite of depression.

Thinking about this lately has really challenged me to think differently. I often think about people my age – is our life how we envisioned it when we were young and unencumbered by fear? Younger people have this sense of being able to conquer whatever they want –they can do anything, they can be anything. There is nothing wrong with having that feeling as your guiding mission – but it has to be tempered by reality and what you are willing to work for. What happens to us after we have the marriage, the kids, the mortgage that we lose that sense of adventure?: Do we have to lose it — or can it just mean redefining it? I want to recapture that feeling again, so I can be open to all the possibilities that are out there for me.

I believe it starts with making sure you are doing what you can to be happy…. do you agree?

happy

Day two back on the Magnesium Supplement and I feel more rested and calmer. Maybe it’s all in my head but whatever works! Today’s workout beat my shoulders up once again –

Strength
Second position cleans 5×2 93#

WOD
For time:
800m run
100 double unders
200m db farmer carry walk 70#
400m run
time cap: 15 min

I went over the 15 minutes, so not sure where I finished but boy whether you walk or run with dumbbells — that is brutal.

Perspective

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0695bd51d92911a6314e68a340e68695Yesterday was a tough day I am sure for everyone. I was taken a bit by how emotional I was throughout the day. I’m going through some shit personally and it seemed to be compounded yesterday  - which made for a day of sadness and feeling sorry for myself. I’m mad at myself about it  – because what happened to all that perspective I have on what’s really important?

I had no idea Scott wrote this yesterday, and came across it this morning and it brought tears to my eyes — it really touched me. He doesn’t tend to get very emotional about things –he’s my steady rock. I am in awe of what he wrote — simply speechless.

I Remember…

Whenever I see the numbers 9 and 11, I remember.

Whenever I fly and go through airport security, I remember.

Whenever I drive past the Pentagon, I remember.

Whenever I see the New York City skyline, I remember.

Whenever someone says “Let’s Roll”, I remember.

Whenever I see the letters F.D.N.Y. or N.Y.P.D., I remember.

Whenever I see Giuliani, or hear his name, I remember.

Whenever I see an American flag at half staff, I remember.

Whenever the Department of Homeland Security is mentioned, I remember.

Whenever I hear about a U.S. soldier being killed in action, I remember.

I remember seeing my yet to be born daughter for the first time via sonogram, and how happy I was. I remember the confusion going on in the doctor’s office as we were leaving, but not understanding why.

I remember my boss calling me as I drove to work late, and her telling me to turn around because they were evacuating the campus.

I remember being glued to the television, when the second plane hit the south tower, and I remember watching the footage over and over again until it was permanently etched into my brain.

I remember people hanging out the windows, and then falling/jumping to escape the fire.

I remember the shock of watching the south tower collapse.

I remember “All circuits are busy” when trying to use the phone.

I remember hearing false information about the Pentagon, and the White House.

I remember being scared and helpless when the north tower collapsed.

I remember footage of thousands of people walking out of the city, covered in grey ash.

I remember newscasters switching from talking about and showing the horror, to honoring and showing the heroes.

I remember reading the scroll at the bottom of the screen for hours and days.

I remember breaking down and sobbing in the middle of the night as I thought about all of those lives lost.

I remember mobile surface to air missile launchers deployed around Washington D.C.

I remember David Letterman, coming back on the air and not telling any jokes.

I remember New York City tourism grinding to a halt, and making it a point to show my support by visiting. 

I remember seeing the gaping hole where the Twin Towers stood from the top of the Empire State Building, and the site still smoldering over a month after 9/11.

I remember walking all over the city with my pregnant wife, and having a great time.

I remember Shock and Awe.

I remember ignorant people saying horrible things about Muslims.

I remember having a great sense of Patriotism, and being thankful for the brave men and women who serve in our military.

I remember crazy conspiracy theories.

I remember President Bush standing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln with a banner that read “Mission Accomplished” in 2003.

I remember the U.S. soldiers that were killed in action.

I remember having a conversation with a young coworker about where we were when the planes hit, and he replied in middle school – I remember I am getting older.

I remember how precious life is, and how much I love my family and friends.

I remember that the world was forever changed.

You are damn right I remember……..everyday.

After that – how can I complain about the small annoyances in my life? However, I think it’s the day to day stuff that we focus on that helps us move forward and beyond tragedies. Life does indeed go on – whether we like it or not and we have to pick ourselves up, persevere and do our part to ensure we are making the world a better place day in and day out.  Which is why I am focusing on doing a 21 Day Kindness Challenge – if we all practice kindness, we really can change the world.

mobilityWOD

  • 800m run
  • 5/side Turkish Get-ups 26# KB
  • 400m run
  • 7/side TGUs
  • 200m plate run 15#
  • 15 burpees


Mobility

  • Ankle
  • Hips
  • Shoulders
  • 3min Plank Holds

 

Great friends, great community = CrossFit

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Great friends, great community = CrossFit

Had a great day today celebrating with my friend Cassie who is getting married next week. A group of CFI ladies met for lunch and mimosas as our way of giving her a proper send off!

Christmas Abbott, CrossFit Athlete, Coach and NASCAR Trailblazer

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Christmas Abbott goes after her dream

I make no secret that Iove Christmas Abbott – CrossFit athlete, coach, amazing person and now the first female Nascar pit crew member!  CrossFit helps women achieve great things – helping inspire women to embrace strength and mental grit is one of the best thing about CrossFit for me. Showing women and men to some extent that Yes they Can – redefine who they have always believed they were.

Christmas says Conquering the fears that scare you most is the most rewarding, once conquered — and I feel that way about getting PRs, learning new skills and I get to do that often and with hard work at my own hand. No one hands it to me or her or others who focus and commit to making meaningful changes in their life.

And as I have said before — Christmas stays true to herself. She has been successful at CrossFit and when I heard she was doing something with Nascar, I dropped her a note asking her what’s going on? She told me she was going after a dream of hers — and look where that journey has led her. Don’t let fear stand in your way.

Here are two other stories of people doing what they love –and getting recognized for it:

It’s meeting people like Christmas and reading stories about inspiring people and their feats that keeps me inspired, motivated and committed.  Look what redefining who I was four+ years ago has opened up for me —  I am blessed (and sappy).

It was a strength day for me — and I am learning to allow myself to let go of the fear of lifting heavy.

warmup
100 single jump ropes
10 Pass Thrus
5 push ups
10 whirly birds
5 push ups
10 Hand Stands

Skill
Front Squats

WOD

  • 10min of Double Under practice
  • 7×3 Front Squats with a 2 second hold at the bottom

65,75,85,95,105,145,135#

That extra hold at the bottom of the squat really changes the lift and helps you become more aware of your form! It’s awesome, yet sucky at the same time!!

Good Friends

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These ladies right here are my rock –they help me make sense of some of the more complicated relationships I have in my life right now and are often my venting and sound boards for experiences and frustrations. You know we call them –good friends. I wouldn’t trade them for the world….

Had a quick workout today and then headed up to the Wounded Warriors competition at CrossFit Rubicon. I will share pics and info about that tomorrow ….

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