Thanksgiving has come and gone — I still can’t believe December is here. I love holidays but I also love getting back into the swing of life. I’m excited about what’s happening in my life — new career opportunities and new paths to follow. I am testing out the theory about letting go and letting life take you where it’s supposed to without fear of what’s next. And everything little thing, will be alright. This is new for me but I am committed to trying it this way – worrying and stressing myself out hasn’t really helped before. And so far, new opportunities have appeared from the least likely spots.
I started creating my consulting website: LiftPotential.com. It’s very much a work in progress but I’m excited to see it evolve. Check it out when you get a chance and if you do have any marketing needs focused around social media or integrating social with traditional marketing, let me know!
I didn’t go to workout as usual on Saturday –instead spent it with the family at Mount Vernon. Nothing replaces some good old fashioned time with the family. Scott’s family was in town from Southern Cali, so we met his Aunt and Uncle along with his cousin and her daughter and walked the grounds. I love Mount Vernon — I’ve probably been there 4+ times now and never get tired of it. I love to think about how Washington and his family spent their time there –and we were lucky enough to get to see the third floor on this visit, which is only open one month a year. The room where Mr Washington died is up there. Just a pretty cool day overall…
I have mentioned before, that many people ask me how I manage to stay so inspired and motivated to continue being fit. A lot of it is finding what works for you and being passionate about it. CrossFit and being overall fit has definitely helped me explore a new path in my life – but a huge driving motivator for me are my kiddos.
Your actions and decisions lay the foundation for their lifelong health – and I know how hard it is to start when you are already an adult. My goal is to have being healthy and fit be a normal part of their every day life just like it’s mine now. They won’t know any different – Read this article below and hopefully it will help you get moving the next time you start to slide and lose motivation.
10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out - “Exercise is a lifestyle, not an event. Being an active person isn’t about taking a class three times a week at the gym. It’s about things like biking to the grocery store and parking your car in the back of the lot and walking instead of taking a cab and catching up with friends on a hiking trail instead of a bar stool.”
This next article is a long read but worth it. It really takes a good look at obesity, from a medical professional’s perspective. Where does personal responsibility fit in while treating it? Is it ok to just give people pills and procedures – enabling them to continue the myth that modern medicine can cure them from their disease? Such a tough subject – from a health standpoint and because society judges harshly those it affects.
Recently someone told me a story about their daughter in law who has gastric bypass – she lost 100 pounds before the surgery at the doctor’s request, then had the procedure and a year or so later - is back to many of the same habits and almost has returned to square one. The problem is not what she is eating. The problem is what’s eating her. It’s easy to say that while I am looking at someone else’s situation, but when you are dealing with people who are so deep in denial about what they are dealing with, or who are so scared to address the feelings they are burying deep inside them because it will no doubt cause serious pain – a quick pill or procedure seems like the right way to go. It’s such a tough subject, because I am one of those that people who believe that everyone deserves kindness, but to teach people to embrace their obesity is not Ok either. Everyone deserves respect and decent treatment period but you have to be realistic and sometimes the truth is harsh and painful. Such a tough, tough situation and topic…
Strength: Power cleans
1P wall balls
Clapping Push ups
- 10 Spiritual Things To Do On Black Friday Instead Of Shopping
- 100 Life Hacks That Make Life Easier
- The Top Ten Mistakes CrossFitters Make
- How CrossFit Can Benefit Triathletes
- ‘Hercules’ star Kellan Lutz embraces paleo diet for better health
- Pint-sized 17-year-old weightlifter packs quite a punch with intense workout
- thxthxthx: The Art of Finding Happiness in Everyday Gratitude
- ‘Giving Tuesday’ encourages kindness in reaction to commercialized ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’
- A month of random kindness – although this article is specific to a local area, many of these ideas can be used in your own area.
And finally, very sad news over the weekend about Paul Walker dying in a car crash. I can’t honestly say I have seen one of the Fast & Furious movies, but reading about Mr Walker and how he resonated kindness and lived his life from a perspective of giving, it’s a big loss to the world. He was also a father, a son, a friend to many and losing someone that special so sudden and tragically is hard to understand. There has been a lot of backlash on social about the support and acknowledgement of his death which has really surprised me. Who are we to tell someone how they should grieve or recognize the death of someone? Everyone deals with tragedy and death in their own way and we have no way of knowing what it represents to them. It sounds like Paul Walker was a stand up guy who didn’t let fame and celebrity get in the way of being kind and giving back. The world needs more people like that. Rest in Peace – Mr Walker.
Now that I am temporarily unemployed, Mondays are a bit tougher for me than normal. I think all the hustle and bustle of the weekend, and being around people feeds my soul, and come Monday -it’s back to being somewhat solitary. I know it’s only temporary, but it’s been tough on me mentally. I am focused on making things happen this week – no more wallowing and throwing a pity party. It’s time to walk the walk, talk the talk. I am not the first one that this has happened to, and won’t be the last.
I had a good lift this morning too – we are working on our cleans. Cleans have always been a challenge to me. I can muscle it up with no issue, but technique wise – issues, issues, issues. We have been working on the fundamentals for months now and I think I finally have conquered it. I heard more than once this morning that my lift looked good from Coach Randy! After almost six years, it’s a great feeling to continue to see progress and improvements. All the practicing of the positions and then the tweaking by the coaches has made all the difference. It is a pain to continually practice all the positions of the clean, but it works. Whenever I find myself having issues, I hear Coach Dan in my head saying “Work the Positions!” and I go back to P1, then P2, and finally P3. The other thing I started to really focus on is to not rush the lift. I used to be in such a hurry to be done during my strength training – no real reason, other than no one ever corrected me until I moved to Highbar CrossFit. Now I am really aware of the timing — and taking breaks between sets and between reps in some cases. For cleans, I am starting to learn to take my time going from Position 2 to Position 1 so that I can ensure that my technique is spot on. It’s amazing how all the tweaking I have been getting from experienced coaches has really stepped up my progress.
In my ongoing quest to spread kindness, and showing how it matters, here are stories to make you feel good and hopefully, inspire you to be a kinder person.
People seem to get so rattled when something about CrossFit is questioned or debated. I personally think it’s important to question, to raise concerns and challenge all of our experiences — It’s part of always improving, innovating and inspiring. And at the end of the day, you don’t have to agree with everything and you come to your own conclusions. God bless America!
Watch this video – World’s Highest Flying Pushup – this is amazing to watch!
“Circuit training while performing the Olympic lifts is clearly unwise, since such training will almost surely undermine the weightlifter’s technique.” -Arthur Drechsler
Last night, we did our annual pumpkin carving as a family around the kitchen table for Halloween. It’s so funny to see the different personalities that come through as we create our masterpieces. This year I decided to do a CrossFit theme – and created a Strict Shoulder Press image! I think it came out pretty awesome!
HB has also been asking for me to find some new recipes for dinner since I seem to always make the same stuff – night after night. So last night I found this one from Paleo Porn: CHIPOTLE PALEO CHICKEN THIGHS. I didn’t have the green beans she mentions but did roast the garlic alongside the chicken and let me tell you – it was so good! I used boneless chicken thighs and from the looks of the picture included, she used thighs with skin which would have been yummy too.
I paired it with some carrots and a sweet potato – I was really happy with the outcome and the kids ate it with no complaints! I loved how easy preparing the chicken was and since I used foil on top of the pan, clean up was pretty easy too. Win/Win in my book.
I mentioned before that I am trying to really surround myself with positive people more. Trying to find out what makes them tick, seeing what I can learn from them. Doing this is very much stepping outside of my comfort zone in some cases because I am setting up appointments with people that I have only know casually. Yesterday I met with a CEO of an up and coming company to find out more about what he’s doing and ask for some advice. As awkward as it was – something my sister mentioned to me the other day really helped me – She said something to the effect of “You have nothing to lose. You are no worse for wear after you ask or reach out to someone.” She is looking for job opportunities and decided to just start following up with people even if she doesn’t know them because in the end, the worst that can happen is that no opportunity arises –and she is really no worse off than before. So why not. It’s back to the meaning behind Why Not You?
We are caught up in the What Ifs and the Fear behind doing something that makes us uncomfortable –but in the end, for the most part, the choices we have to make are not life and death situations. You may end up looking like a fool or it not working out — either side of the coin isn’t that bad. So Why Not?
Last night, I came across this story shared by CrossFit Eternal:Training through illness and injury that I think is so important to share. Short story: A CrossFitter is battling a MRSA infection that developed after an appendectomy and what he discovers as he recovers from a pretty grueling, serious situation is that being physically fit and nutritionally balanced before this battle is what has helped him recover faster and smoother than so many others around him.
In my mind, the most important point he shares is:
If you wait until you NEED to be fit, you’ve waited too long.
Kurt learned very quickly during his hospital stay that he wasn’t the “average” patient. There were others who had similar surgeries who were not faring as well. His overall level of fitness was helping him to get better faster and stronger sooner. Clean Paleo(ish) eating and working out on a regular basis help to make him strong both physically and emotionally. And when you’re really sick and/or really injured, all those things (physical/emotional/spiritual) come together and are deeply affected. Therefore, if you’ve built a strong foundation during your “good” years, then you will draw on what you know when you are hit with illness or injury. As CrossFitters, you know how to suffer. You know how to endure. And you know how to maintain a positive attitude when you are suffering.
So many people all the time – say oh I will start focusing on my health when I lose xx pounds or they just wait for a ‘sign’. The problem is that when that sign comes, that is usually when you need the strength, physically and mentally, the most and it’s almost too late.
One of my driving forces in my ongoing fitness focus is that I don’t want to be one of those women that ages and becomes immobile — unable to take care of myself. I want to be moving and jumping around until I am six feet under. We all sit on our asses way too much — and then complain about how bad our health insurance is and how it won’t cover this or that. While that is all true –we need to start taking care of ourselves NOW so that we don’t need to put all that crap in our bodies to help us function. I am not against better living through chemistry – trust me. Sometimes – you can do all the right things, but genetics or lifestyle can’t be helped. But – you see people with bad hips, bad back, obesity related issues and all of those can in most cases be addressed with some physical fitness and proper nutrition.
None of us have any real excuse not too! It’s 4% of your day – one hour to go for a walk, join a gym, take a CrossFit class, Zumba, Yoga – WHATEVER it is.
Kurt, the athlete in the story above, didn’t ever expect to have to battle MRSA. He was doing all the right things and because of that — he is recovering better than most. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Here’s the video of Kurt’s Story:
It was a busy weekend full of socializing and family time!
Saturday, I helped out with the Grand Opening of Highbar CrossFit in Ashburn, VA. The guys have been open almost six months and it was time to officially welcome everyone. It was a great event – and seeing all the people there, socializing, working out, and supporting these guys was great to see. I know a lot of people out there think I am my own kind of crazy – getting up early all the time to workout, sharing information about how it changes lives, sharing milestones and breakthroughs. It’s no secret I love it but the other part i love is seeing it change other people’s lives and bringing people together. I know I have mentioned before how many amazing people I have met through my own fitness expedition – but to get to see firsthand it changing others, creating relationships, and bringing a new found sense of self to others is the bigger bonus for me. Doesn’t happen all the time, but you would be surprised at how often it does.
The guys from Highbar are also young, smart and ambitious. Here they are – making a go at owning their own business- The American Dream. They are putting in the work. They share a passion to help coach and transform people. It’s more than just giving instruction on someone’s power clean – it’s believing that they can do it and they are worth the attention and effort to get them there.
From my experience, if you lose passion and focus in the core of the business you are in, it shows. It starts to show itself in small issues and then over time, those issues become the big ones that in most cases are insurmountable. A lot of people, after finding CrossFit, decide they want to open a gym. The thing that they forget is that running a gym isn’t at the core of what they love. Highbar is all about the passion. These guys went to school for this – it is what they are going after. It is not a second career they found later in life that they are doing so they can quit their jobs and make money. They are making the sacrifices now to invest in what they are passionate about. Following their passion — and it shows. It shows in the effort they put in with their programming, their coaching and right down to their gym.
They aren’t a fancy gym – having just started out. They are building it slowly so they set up a good foundation. Too many gyms out there decide to go big before they are ready – and forget about the core principles of running a small business.
I’m reading this book entitled How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins and although it’s about the lessons one can learn from looking at some of the giant corporations that have fallen and no longer exist (think Circuit City, Zenith), the principles discussed can be applied to small businesses as well. Once you lose sight of your driving principles and become so wrapped up in the riches – you start to fall from grace. You have to keep focusing, redefining and most importantly, listening to your customers.
As with anything, it comes down to people. You can have all the fancy technology in the world at your disposal, but if you ignore the people around you and what they are trying to tell you, verbally or by their actions, then you are your own worst enemy.
I constantly hear about people talking about opening their own CrossFit gyms. They catch the bug and think it will be super fun. I am sure there are a ton of fun aspects of it — but at the core, you are running a small business and the same crap others go through – you will go through and many times, your customers have way more passion for CF than you even thought possible. Have you ever dealt with someone that has OD’d on passion? Everything you say and do has extra meaning and it can be exhausting.
I watched a recent story on CrossFit and Greg Glassman by Bloomberg: CrossFit: C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and what struck me was when it came to asking about money, all of the people they talked to shied away from actually answering the question. We all know CrossFit is making a lot of money Then Mr Glassman said -”The ones that have the passion are making all the damn money.” It got me asking:
Who are all these CrossFit Affiliates that are making all the money? I know a lot of box owners and none of them are dripping in cash. I came across this blog post that I thought was interesting and more realistic than many of the others that seem to sugar coat it: So You Want To Start A CrossFit Affiliate?
Just some food for thought if you are in the mindset of yeah, it would be fun running a CrossFit gym.
I gotta say that I love Russell Brand – he’s wacky, screwed up in so many ways, but sharp and smart as a whip and because of that, I just think he’s awesome. He has a way of getting his point across in such a coherent way that hits the point where it counts. I embedded an interview below that is making its way around the web that he did earlier this week with the BBC – at the end of it, he says something that totally resonated with a quote that I shared earlier this week from, of all people, Jillian Michaels:
Mr. Brand says: “Why is that naive? Why is that not my right because I’m an ‘actor’? I’ve taken the right. I don’t need the right from you. I don’t need the right from anybody. I’m taking it.”
Jillian Michaels’ quote asks Why Not You? Think about it: Russell Brand is saying: Why Not Him? So, I ask you – Why Not You? We are all responsible for the message we send out to the world and we can all make changes in our own lives, that in turn impact us all. Watch the interview and you will start to understand what I mean…and probably become a Russell Brand fan.
Here’s the link to that video as well as the first video, where I discovered how awesome he really is. Again, he’s probably a really screwed up character in many facets of his life –but many times, those are the people who end up having an indelible impact on the world.
On another note, we all know how important exercise is – but this study “Study: More Active Teens Get Higher Test Scores” highlights an interesting finding:
“…the effects seemed to be lasting. A child’s physical activity at age 11 continued to be linked to how she performed academically at age 13. And at age 15 and 16, for every 17 minutes a day a boy exercised, he enjoyed a boost in his scores while 11 year old girls saw a benefit in their scores for every 12 minutes a day they exercised. As the girls grew older, the link between more exercise and better science performance continued to be strong.”
The impact of having physically active kids doesn’t just impact their here and now, it actually helps them learn and progress academically indefinitely. And for girls, more exercise led to better performance in STEM subjects. Findings like these are no joke — we need to get our kids moving. We are failing our kids as we continue to see cuts in physical fitness programs in school. There is proof, actual scientific proof that exercise helps them learn. Why are we not screaming and yelling about this to our school board/state representatives?
workout: Muscle up progressions
Some days it just flows out of me. Which reminds me of something I read that Tom Clancy once said when asked about writing:
“I tell them you learn to write the same way you learn to play golf,” he said. “You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired — it’s hard work.” – Tom Clancy
R.I.P. Mr Clancy – your words and inspiration will live on.
Lots of good reads yesterday that I am sharing. It’s all about moving forward and getting better each and every day. The more you know, the more you can improve.
- What We Eat Affects Everything How men and women digest differently, diet changes our skin, and gluten remains mysterious: A forward-thinking gastroenterologist on eating one’s way to “gutbliss”.
A really interesting read — and aligns a lot with what I have discovered the past few years changing my own diet up. I know how my skin responds to certain types of foods – too much dairy, my eczema comes back. Gluten causes my stomach to bloat, fatigue and crankiness and acne. I can go on and on about how I feel after eating certain foods but will spare you the details….
- Power Supply is a Paleo/Vegetarian Meal Delivery company I do some side work for. Great owners, great service. They posted info about a sleep app that can help you understand your sleep habits using your iPhone: Getting your sleep on
I downloaded the app and started using it last night. Let’s see how well I snooze. Sleep is a huge component of being fit and healthy and quite frankly, I love it. Any improvements I can make to get more benefits to my waking hours, I’m in!
I am so sensitive to this issue, so please read about what you can do to help shape your daughter’s body image perception. I am definitely not perfect and do sometimes mention my weight or share out loud my thoughts about others. I do really try to monitor that though because I know personally how it will shape how my HB thinks about herself and has lasting ramifications.
“Zero talk about dieting, zero talk about weight,” she said. “Zero comments not only about your daughter’s weight, obviously, but zero talk about your weight and even other people’s weight.”
Bench 5×5 103#
7 Rounds 2mins/round
- 5 Pull Ups
- 10 Push Ups
- 15 Squats
remaining time: TGUs
There ain’t no rest for the wicked…even on a holiday, so up I got and headed in for my usual 6A workout. I thought I would be the only one there – but nope, there were three others! Yay but the workout was a tough one, so boo!
So, let’s post the workout details so I can get to what I really want to share today –
10 push ups
4 sampson stretch
4 instep lunges
cash in: 400m run
5 dumbbell high pull snatches
10 wall balls
10 alternating jumping lunges (ouch!)
2 min rest
I can’t breathe worth a crap today or lately. I have to start working on increasing my lung capacity if I want to get better. It’s frustrating for sure to keep having to stop because you feel like you have someone sitting on your chest while trying to workout. Yeah -it’s really like that at times!
A friend posted this – When Your Mother Says She’s Fat.
When I first read the title, I didn’t want to read it. I kinda already knew what it was going to cover –I ended up reading it anyway and wow, it was powerful for sure. How many times do you find yourself talking down to yourself or being mean and critical of how you look and your worth? I’m not sure if this is applicable to guys as much, but probably 95% of women in the world can relate to this topic in some way.
I remember my mom being very conscience of weight and appearance on a regular basis. It was the way they were brought up — the role of the woman was very different during the 60′s and early 70′s. It was to support their man or find a husband if you didn’t have one. Taking care of yourself was paramount. There was little concern with how you felt, or whether you were fulfilled and if you lost your man – it was your fault. You weren’t put together, you were over weight, you didn’t do ‘something’. And those are the parents that brought up the next generation — and some were more progressive as the times changed, but some still held onto those opinions. Parents teach their children the right and wrong of the world – as filtered and biased as they are.
I remember feeling horrible about myself during my high school years because I was pudgy. I didn’t exercise – i was great at couch sitting and eating potato chips. Makes a perfect environment for developing low self esteem. I am sure a lot had to do with being depressed and uninspired by anything.
We are grown up now, and can’t blame our parents for things that happened in the past. We set our own course and looking back and being able to evaluate our experiences to make better choices is a skill we all need to develop. I so deeply do not want my daughter to grow up thinking her self-worth is tied to the way she looks. I want her to think she is the cat’s meow, so that she will look her best inside and out. When we feel great about ourselves –it shows. I try very hard to not make disparaging remarks about myself in general but if I find myself slipping, I try to make sure she’s not around. I don’t want her worrying about it as much as I did. It held me back from doing a lot of stuff that I now regret.
We all need to remember our kids hear, see and react to what we do and say. We may not think they are noticing, but they are. Next time you hear yourself falling into negative dialogue, stop and ask yourself is that how you want your kiddos to see their world?
To all the brave heroes that give up so much to protect our freedoms,
Recently someone told me jump and a net will appear – and I have really taken that to heart. In many decisions I have made to help improve things in my life. I decided to get serious about things that just weren’t working out for me and instead of doing what I always do -put up with it and move on, I decided to say Nope. Enough is enough. And the last few weeks, has proven that it is indeed true — Jump and a Net Will Appear. I just feel better, more refreshed and good things are happening all around me.
And it’s nothing earth shattering to share either –just good vibes, a better outlook and I just feel better. There is a lot to be said about just changing perspective and trying something new to help bolster your sense of happiness and get you back on the right track. Ok, enough unicorns and princesses for this morning…
My workout was tough. It’s hot and muggy outside and adding box jumps to a burpee is just not called for. In fact, it’s downright mean.
10 Push Ups
4 Instep Lunges
4 Sampson Stretch
8 Ring Dips
10 Burpee Box Jumps
100m Farmer’s carry 25# dumbbells
Bench Press Ab Work (Try this one, sometime!)
Lying on back with end of bench above butt, hang on to bench and bring knees into chest, straighten legs and slowly bring them down, pausing at parallel for one sec before repeating. 3 Rounds of 12 Reps.
Yesterday, I did my second 5K of the season for a great cause –the Joe Cassella Foundation 5K. I didn’t know Joe, but have come to know his wife Gina and she is a very special woman. The gang from CFI Endurance all gathered to run together and it was so fun. It was a great way to bring everyone together to help one of our own. That’s what really matters at the end of the day. Helping one another out and being there for someone when it really matters. I came in 72nd overall in the women’s division and 13th in my age group. There were 272 women running –so top third isn’t too shabby. Again, not my best 5K time but it was better than the Chris4Life one and I did focus more on form than speed. I would never consider myself a runner, but I am sure improving and that’s what counts.
So – for the remainder of May, I am going to try a different approach to my fitness routine and get some different coaching at a different gym. Don’t panic – I think its important to see how other gyms in the area approach CrossFit and I am burnt out, so I am hoping having some different coaches will help me regain some of my mojo when it comes to lifting. I plan on returning to CFI in June — if all goes well, but for now I am attending a local CrossFit gym that just recently opened. Good guys — have a lot of strength training under their belts.
This morning we worked on a bit of strength and then did a mini metcon which was deceptively hard as usual.
4 sampson stretch
4 instep lunges
10 push ups
5×5 Back Squats
Warmup to your 5RM back squat
EMOM for 12mins
8 KB Swings
10 Sit ups
total rounds 11 hard, yucky rounds!
I have been buying flowers the past few weeks –to brighten up the house and also to help brighten up the family. I think even if you aren’t depressed or feeling low, staying connected to beauty, nature and wonder is key in staying centered and at peace. It’s all a part of self care –continuing to take care of yourself and making you and your family the priority! And come on–flowers are cheap therapy!
The world is a really pretty place if we stop and pay attention!
I so needed to read this article: Fighting the “Mehs” – When Taking Some Time Off Is Good
I often lose sight of how I am really feeling inside because my fitness routine is so ingrained and so much a part of who I am. I miss being at the gym when I am not there and I know that people look to me to help spur their own journey to getting fit and healthy. The reality is that sometimes I do experience burn out and need time off.
And just like Dizzle says — it’s good to step away, get some real rest and get re-energized and pumped about heading back in. I have noticed that I havent made huge gains in certain areas and quite frankly am not too pumped about even trying. That’s when I know there is an issue.
The one thing I have been pumped about is running –getting to figure out my damn running form. I saw a bunch of pics from my 200 mile relay this weekend and man — I don’t lean. Don’t get how to lean even when I think I am leaning. I am straight up and down. Proof is in the pictures. Now some of that was due to sheer exhaustion but man — I am fired up to figure it out. So I am going to either take a few solid days off or de-load and just focus on form for the next few weeks to refuel my inspiration tank so I can feel pumped up again!
I need a vacation -
1 Hang Snatch
all the way to 11. (I went to 8 until I ran out of time and stuck with a 53# to work on Snatch form)