Draw A Line

boundaries-2I have always worn my heart on my sleeve, and been very vocal and communicative.  I am also a very open person.  However, I think to a fault.

There is something sacred and valuable to having some mystery and privacy.

Social media has really opened a lot of doors for us worldwide.  There are a lot of great things about it.  There are also a lot of dangerous things about it that we are just now learning.

There really is such a thing as “too much of a good thing.”

More than ever before, we need to remember to set boundaries with others, and even ourselves.

First, you need to set boundaries within yourself.  It has to start with YOU.  Everything starts there!  Decide what your likes and dislikes are, your beliefs, values, morals, etc.  What is your priority list? Where do you draw the line?  Where is your limit?  And, what are the consequences if those limits are broken?  And, how will you follow through with those consequences?

Then, set those boundaries with the world.  That includes family and friends, and yes, even your most treasured BFF.  No one is an exception.  If you make an exception for someone, they will then further test your limits, and not because they are a bad person, but because they’re human, and we all test each others’ boundaries everyday.

There’s really no right or wrong answer to what your boundaries should and shouldn’t be.  This just has to be YOUR list.

Creating your own boundaries is a necessary tool for protection and self-care.  It is putting c8c015b123264d33b030e3fcc71d57dfyourself first.  It is NOT selfish or mean.  It’s healthy and functional, and allows you to live a quality of life that you want for yourself.  It also allows you to keep your priorities straight, your goals met, and your life moving forward.

If you don’t like flaky people and really can’t tolerate it, then make those boundaries clear that showing up late and/or a no-show is unacceptable to you, and if it continues, you will no longer plan outings with them.

If you don’t like dogs, make it clear at your house-warming party that dogs are unfortunately not welcomed to attend.  Let friends know that you’ll hike with them only when their dog is not there.  It doesn’t matter why you don’t like dogs, either.  People will certainly take offense to it, and others will think you are crazy, but let them think those things – That is THEIR ISSUE, not yours.

You can’t control how people react to your boundaries.  Let them react.  Their reactions are about THEM – NOT you!  

Boundaries-QuoteThe challenging part is to NOT react back to them!  When you react to their reactions, often times that is when you will crack and give in.  Reacting can also make the other person feel like they’ve found a weakness in your wall.  Even if you don’t actually give in that time, they will push that boundary again, and again, and again, and if you keep reacting, it gives them satisfaction and hope to eventually break your barrier.

Practice and prepare to RESPOND, not react.  When you react, they are in control of you.  When you respond, you are in control of yourself and your boundaries.

And, when in doubt, sometimes the best reaction is NONE!

You can’t argue with someone who won’t argue back.  You can’t continue a conversation that is one sided.  You can’t play the game with no returns.  So, if someone reacts in an unfavorable way to your boundaries, and you’re not quite sure the best way to respond in the moment, simply do nothing at all.

Their anger and frustrations have absolutely nothing personal to do with you, and everything to do with their own issues that they are dealing with.  That is much easier said than accepted, though.  And unfortunately, you will most likely be used as their reason for pain and dysfunction, and you need to still stick to your boundaries and let them go, if need be.  It is much easier to blame you for being a bad person with your “mean boundaries,” than it is for them to admit their faults and rise to the occasion.

Boundaries bring out the best in you.  It can also bring out the best in others when they respect your boundaries with you, and vice versa. 

Unfortunately, boundaries can also bring out the worst in others, and you have to okay with that.  You will be tested.  You will lose someone close to you.  You will be blamed for it, too.  But, remember, they are not walking away from you…They are walking away from personal responsibility.

Have the courage of your convictions.

Stand your ground.

Because the only person you really have to live with everyday is yourself!

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You’re Not Important

 

5bf0d81f3a6ace7d256cea0af9c4e7bfSeems harsh, right?!

Let me explain, though…

The older I get, the more I understand the lessons my mother tried to teach me growing up.  One of the millions of lessons she tried to pound into my pompous little teenage ego was that I was indeed important and very special, BUT only to her, my family, and a few close friends.

The rest of the world really doesn’t care.

We live in a society that is constantly trying to tell us what to do, what to say, where to go, what to like, what to hate, what to believe, what not to believe, who to watch, who to follow, what to vote for, what to wear, where to eat, who to hang out with, what to be… Just a constant fire hose spewing in our faces.

And, what’s worse, we have social media to amplify it all.

We are increasingly growing a sense of false importance to the world.

Posts and comments made with reckless abandon all over the place.  Second by second.

6a8d5e2df29b383ce48e26cdb58c3fdbPersonally, I find sheer entertainment in it all, but it is also intriguing to my constant desire to understand human behavior.

Our inner drive for self-importance is what motivates many, if not all, of our actions.

All of us what to feel important.

The biggest mistake many of us make is trying to be important to the masses, though, rather than to the few who actually matter most in our lives.

If we put as much time and energy into ourselves and those who matter most as we did in pleasing others and playing in the popularity game, then not only would we be better people, but we would also be a lot happier!

It’s time to make a list.  Everyone will have a different list than mine.  However, there is one person you must have on your list that is on mine…

#1 is Me

I need to be the most important to myself.  And, I’m not talking about being selfish, narcissistic, and a one-man show.

I’m talking about self-love, self-care, and self-improvement.

You need to be the most important priority to yourself.  You need to love yourself, and strive for constant growth and improvement.

You need to take care of yourself – Body, mind, and soul.

When you are well taken care of, the rest of your life is easier to deal with, and you are a better person to society.  Period.

When you are not first on your list, you will fall prey to manipulation, distractions, negativity, dysfunction and confusion.

You have to stand for something, otherwise you will fall for anything.  So, stand for yourself, first and foremost!

Here is my list:

  1. Me
  2. My children
  3. My husband

It’s short, and direct.  You don’t have to agree or disagree with it, either, because it’s not your life.  It’s mine.  You need to decide for yourself who is on your list, but as I said before, YOU need to be first on that list!

My husband and I have agreed that if in an extreme situation we had to decide whether to save the kids or each other, we would both choose to save the kids.  Certainly a full-toned and highly unlikely case, however still an important discussion to have.  Hence why they are #2 on my list.

My husband is my partner in life.  Our relationship is our first priority.  We come first.  Our family is first.  And, we both put in a daily effort to make it happen.

I repeat – A DAILY EFFORT!

Now, I am sure many of you are asking, “But, how come you don’t have any other family or close friends on your list?!”

If there is anything I have learned in my short life, it is that family and friends are not to be taken for granted, nor assumed.

Life has a funny way of bringing people in and out of our lives.

Nothing is guaranteed, and that’s scary to admit.  But, it also makes me appreciate the days I do have with the people I love a lot more.  And, if and when one of them leaves my life, I take the good memories and valuable lessons with me.

So, it is not that the rest of my family and close friends are not important to me and not a priority, because they most certainly are!  When push comes to shove, though, and again, in an extreme situation, I will always choose my kids and my husband first.  That’s just my M.O.

Of all the people in the world, my kids see me as their world, and I am the most important person in their eyes.  That’s a feeling and a rare gift you just can’t get anywhere else!

My husband is my biggest fan, cheerleader, friend, and supporter.  Next to myself, he knows me the best.

I am most important to my kids and my husband, and they are most important to me, therefore, I put my time and energy into them the most.

For a loooong time, I spent countless hours and energy on others.  I put everyone else first, before myself, and even before my own family.  I took my kids and husband for granted, because I knew they loved me and wouldn’t go anywhere.

So, I made them wait while I gave everything I had to other people.

I put work first.  I tried to help everyone, please everyone, and do everything for everyone at our gym.  I tried to be everything to everyone…except my kids and husband.  I was doing “just enough” for them.

How many times do we see this in society?!  Putting work before family.  Putting friends before family.  Putting social media before family.  Putting other things and other people before family.  It happens a lot more than we’d like to admit.

For some reason, we tell ourselves that it’s okay to make them wait for us.  We know they love us, flaws and all, and they want to be there, so we take that for granted.  We don’t have that same guarantee with others, so we pine and work overtime to “win” them over, all while the ones who love us most and actually deserve our time and attention are sitting on the sidelines, painfully waiting for us to give them the same effort we give to complete strangers.

And, this is the problem…We put everything and everyone else first, and take ourselves and our few loved ones for granted.  We care more about what others think of us on Facebook than we do our own spouses.  We care more about posting favorable Instagram photos of our lives than we do in actually living a fulfilling life.  We care more about what strangers are gossiping about us than we do in what we tell ourselves.

We care more about the opinion of sheep than we do of our own, and those who actually matter most in our lives.

So, guess what eventually happened in my personal life while I was putting the rest of the world in front of myself and my family?!

That’s right…Sh** hit the fan…I lost myself in the process, and was suddenly identified only by the things I could do for others.  I needed constant validation from others.  Exhausting!  And, I was also missing out on my kids growing up and yearning for my attention, and my husband wanting his partner back in action with him.

Eventually, things will break if you do not take care of them.

Once I started putting myself and my family first, the pieces came back together.

So, after all of my blundering, what I am trying to get at is:

12193698_10207768438991949_3819249186017108548_nOnly divide yourself up among the people who you are most important to, AND are most important to you.  I am most important to my kids and husband, and I adore them more than anyone else, so they get most of me.  The rest of my family and few close friends get the other portion.  Everyone else is when it doesn’t interfere with my list.

Still having a hard time deciding who to put on your list?!  Ask yourself these questions, then:

~ In an emergency, who would you call in an instant at 2:00am, and you know they would answer?  And in turn, who would you answer the phone for?!

~ Or, if you became a quadriplegic and needed someone to wipe your ass everyday, who would that be?!  And in turn, whose ass would you wipe?!

Yes, again, extreme and highly unlikely, however, your answers to these questions tell you who really love you unconditionally.  I have a lot of people who would visit me and bring me dinners and do other nice things if I became a quadriplegic, but there really are only a few people in my life who would actually wipe my ass day in and day out without hesitation, and vice versa.

Most people find us important as it serves their own needs.  And, we ourselves can even sometimes find others important who actually are not, and/or do not feel the same way about us.  Which is why I say choose people who find you important AND you find important – It has to be mutual.

When you give your best to the right people, it comes back to you tenfold.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much more satisfying and rewarding my life is now because I put me, my kids, and husband first.  I give them so much, and they give me so much more in return.  That’s how it should be.  I don’t have that need for validation anymore from others.  I don’t need Facebook or Instagram to validate me or represent my life.  I don’t need to bend over backwards for attention and approval.  I get everything I need from my list.

When you are most important to yourself, the rest of your life is easy to live.  I will never apologize for putting me, my kids and my husband first.  I will never allow someone to interfere with my list, either.  I have boundaries, and not everyone can understand or accept that, and I am okay with that.  My decisions are easy to make because I know who I am and what and who I value most.  I can move forward with ease, confidence, and clarity.

Be your own hero.  Be your own role model.  Be your own example.  Be your own leader.

As I said before, life has a funny way of working, so who knows what my list will look like in 10, 20, or even 50 years from now.  It could change.  I certainly hope not, but until life decides to throw a curveball at me, I will continue to live by my list.

And, if at some point in my life my list does have to change, the ONE thing that will NEVER change is me being first.

I am important.

Not to the world.  To the right people. 🙂

Let Them Be

Let them say what they need to say…Their words have meaning to them and gives them purpose.

Let them believe what they need to believe…Their beliefs are what gives them hope for a better tomorrow.

Let them think what they need to think…Their thoughts are what create their own reality in which they can thrive in.

Let them love who they need to love…Those people are serving a specific need in their lives.

Let them follow the path they need to follow…Their journeys are not yours to direct.

Let them try what they need to try…Experience is the only true teacher in life.

Let them fall when they need to fall…It’s the only way to learn how to get back up.

Let them talk out loud when they need to talk out loud…Their volume fills a void inside of them, and tunes out the demons in their head.

Let them win when they need to win…It allows them to build up confidence where there is none.

Let them save face when face can be saved…For no man or woman, under the right circumstances, is incapable of any act of humankind.

Let them hate you when they need to hate you…For, it’s really not even about you.

Let them conclude what they need to conclude…It allows them to close this chapter with certainty and move on.

Let them move on when they need to move on…They no longer serve you, grow you, or inspire you.

 

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We all play a part in each others’ lives, whether for a split second in traffic when a man cuts you off, just a couple hours at the restaurant with a friendly waitress, a few months with a new boyfriend, a few years with a company, or a lifetime with a father.

How you choose to allow those people in your life – How they serve you, grow you, and inspire you, is all up to you, and you alone.

People’s words and actions only have meaning when you give it permission to in your life.

Who you choose to allow in your life, and the words you give power to, will dictate your journey.

So, choose wisely and boldly.

 

Own It

thWA7RRJ35So, I am in my 4th week of Chiropractic school at Life Chiropractic College West, and next week is midterms already! Yikes!  It’s been about 12 years since I’ve been in school, so I’m a little rusty, to say the least.  However, I am loving every second of it, and soaking in all the knowledge bombs I can! 😉

As I quickly and forcibly figure out the most efficient and effective ways to cram in my health and fitness, my schooling, quality time with Spencer and Bailey, my CrossFit business, my family, my friends, domestic duties, and everything else under the sun, I can’t help but find the entire thing entertaining.

College at 18 was a lot like shooting darts while blindfolded, standing on one foot, during an earthquake, and trying to hit a target the size of a pinhead.

Just… aimless.

I went to college because I “had” to.  I majored in Occupational Therapy because I “had” to have something to do.  I went through the motions I was “supposed” to.  But, none of it had any meaning to me.  I eventually dropped O.T., and finished my B.A. in Psychology.  It was the safest option at the time, because I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.

I continued with my aimless journey as a retail manager for Fleet Feet Sports, then I leaped into elementary school teaching, which finally started to settle the earthquake, and I could stand sturdy on one foot at least then.

10270048_10203537615944017_1083241700_nThen, CrossFit came into my life, I found my footing on both feet, and suddenly I was an affiliate owner making a difference in people’s lives through movement and function.  Awesome!!!  🙂

However, I still had the blindfolds on.  As fulfilling and indescribable this period of my life has been as a CrossFit owner and coach, there was still a feeling inside of me that something was just… missing.  I just knew I wasn’t done yet.  There was still something more that needed to be done, and I didn’t know what.

And then, I found Chiropractic!

Blindfolds off.  The world wide open!

So, here’s the thing, though.  I chose to be in that earthquake, on one foot, with the blindfolds on.  I allowed people and events to keep me there.  And, for so long, I made excuses and took very little to no personal responsibility for it.  And, to be quite frank, I sat around waiting for someone else to fix my life for me.

How many people do you know who are like this now?!

You know what’s funny?  The less responsibility I took for things, the more unfair life seemed, and the more I felt entitled and self-righteous.  Imagine that! Ha!

On the flip side, the more responsibility I started to take, the easier and more fair things started to get, and I started to appreciate things more, want less, need less, and suddenly I could get those darts really close to that pinhead target!

I haven’t quite hit that target yet, but man, oh man, am I really close!  And, that’s exciting!

So, what’s the difference now from years passed?

I am OWNING everything!

My grades are not up to how well my professors teach it to me, nor how well my study groups work together.  My education, understanding, and application of the knowledge is not dependent on this school and everyone around me.  My grades are up to me and how well I proactively learn and understand the information, as well as what I decide to do with that knowledge.  I OWN my education.

11716096_10206977167330652_713893883_nMy health and fitness is not reliant on outside conditions, the equipment availability in the gym, my training buddies, or even my Nutritionist or Chiropractor.  I OWN my health and fitness by making my lunch break a priority to workout, and I make the workout count.  I choose to eat quality, real food, and drink more water throughout the day.  I get up an hour earlier on some days so I can run before school.  And, I continually educate myself and learn from other professionals and specialists to ensure my own safety, efficacy, efficiency, and quality of my movement patterns and training.

My business and coaching skills are not reliant on outside forces, seminars, other coaches, certifications, CrossFit Headquarters, athletes, or anything else.  I OWN my professional growth and education, and I OWN the management and success of our gym with Spencer.

Now, of course, it should go without saying that there are many important people in my life who help me with all of these things.  I am not trying to discount any of them!  My professors and classmates are definitely important.  My teammates and Chiropractor are imperative.  My husband and my staff are exceptional.  I cannot do all of this on my own, and they most certainly are an influential part of my life and success.

But, the important point I am trying to make is that I don’t sit back and rely on all of them to do it for me.  I am not sitting on my ass, waiting for the bottle to be fed to me.

I am finding the right people, making the right conditions, and owning everything I take in and allow in my life.

I proactively surround myself with people who are positive, successful, and are continual learners and doers.

And, all of the experiences I am given, the information I am provided, the people who participate in my life, and the knowledge I gain, it all comes down to ME and how I decide to OWN it all.

When an asshole is a part of my life and affecting me negatively, it’s not his fault that I am annoyed and pissed off.  It’s my responsibility to kick him to the curb and avoid his involvement in my life.  And, it’s up to me to ignore him and not allow him to affect me if he crosses my path again.

When I gain 5 pounds of fat, it’s not my stressful job and school’s fault.  It’s not due to lack of sleep and convenience.  It’s not my teammates’ fault for not holding me accountable.  It’s my responsibility to either prepare food ahead of time for the week, or buy quality food at the cafeteria.  It’s up to me to make time to workout daily.

And, when I get a C in class, it’s not my professor’s fault because he didn’t teach all of the information that was going to be on the test.  It’s not because class was boring and unengaging.  It’s not because my study group spent most of the time gossiping instead of working.  It’s my responsibility to ask for clarification, seek tutoring, find resources, and learn it the way that makes sense to me.

Bottom line…

OWN YOUR SHIT!

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Spread Love

11650663_10206885422837097_1535398151_nI’ve been reading a lot of great books lately, and the most recent one is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.  I read the entire thing while on my flight to and from Minnesota last week.

Life-changer!

By the end of the book, I had a cornucopia of mixed feelings.

One of my deepest feelings was that of personal shame and regret.

For so many years, I have been a self-righteous prick!

Coaching and teaching have been my profession since I was 18 years old, so I’ve been at this for over 17 years!

But, I’ve realized something…

I have criticized and condemned people along the way.  I have talked poorly of others.  I have used shame as a way to “motivate” others.  I have posted many blogs with an “I’m right, you’re wrong” attitude. And, I have always had this dysfunctional need to tell others when they “lack integrity.”

The Psychology major in me knows that this self-righteous path is due in large part to my past and the hard experiences I have had to face…The choices I made that I once swore I would never do because “I’m better than that.”

The harder I fought my past, the harder I condemned and pointed fingers at people to make myself feel better.

man-in-the-mirrorBecause I could not look at myself in the mirror, I grabbed everyone else’s from them and forced it in to their faces.

Now, there are two sides to this coin.  I sincerely wanted others to succeed and be better people, too.  I wanted to help them avoid the mistakes I made.  I wanted to live vicariously through them as redemption.

And so, I used condemnation and shame because it was the only way I knew how.  I was given so much of it by other authority figures throughout my life, and I also gave it to myself tenfold daily.

So, here is my public apology to all of you, past and present, for ever condemning or criticizing you, and making you feel unimportant.  While my intentions were sincere, my execution was lackluster, and even harmful.

Okay, what do we really need more of in this world?!

LOVE!

Yes, I know, that sounds really cheesy, but it is the truth!

How many comments on Facebook are negative?  How many times do news reporters and show hosts criticize and condemn people?  How often does your mother, father, husband, wife, boss, supervisor, customer, co-worker, friend, and perfect stranger remind you of the things you either did not do, did wrong, or need to do more of?!

How many times throughout the day are you reminded of all of your faults?!?!

And, how many times throughout the day are you appreciated, praised, or even just smiled at?!

coffee-stainIt’s a chain reaction.  The boss spills his coffee all over himself during traffic, so he takes it out on you in the office.  You then take it out on your kid after picking him up from school.  He then takes it out on his little sister during playtime.  She then takes it out on your wife during storytime.  So, then she takes it out on you as you’re both getting in to bed, and now there’s no “cuddle time” for you!

While you can’t control anyone else, you can control yourself.

When your boss rips you a new one at work because he’s pissed about something else unrelated to you, instead of taking it personally and inadvertently returning the poor favor to your kid, strive for understanding.

It’s too easy and too ingrained in all of us to jump to judgement and criticism.  It’s natural for us to become defensive, but before you react, reconsider.

Change the reaction.  Change the action.  Change the course.

If instead you notice your boss’ coffee stained shirt and offer him your extra one in the car, and share in the frustration of spilled coffee in traffic with him, he will then be defused and realize he was too hard on you earlier.  He then asks if you’d be interested in helping him lead the next project coming up, which could potentially be the foot in the door you need to move up in management.  You then praise your son on his good grades after picking him up from school.  He then helps his sister climb across the monkey bars and high-fives her efforts.  She then snuggles with your wife during storytime.  So, your wife then “snuggles” with you in bed!

Way better day!!! 🙂

So, here’s some new “life rules” that I am practicing daily:

1. Never criticize, condemn, or complain about anyone or anything.  Ever.

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation, and do it often.

3. Avoid any and all arguments, especially ones you can win.

4. Ask meaningful questions, and avoid direct orders.

5. Let others save face.

6. Give others a good reputation to live up to! ❤

7. Be genuinely interested in others, and let them talk about themselves more.

8. If it’s not true, kind, AND helpful, then don’t say it.

productmockupAnd…One of the most important lessons I keep in the forefront of my mind now is that under the right circumstances, there is no act of mankind that I am not capable of myself!

We are internally driven by the need to feel important, and yet, we spend so much of our time telling and showing each other how unimportant we are.

What if, instead, we spent more time building each other up?!

What if we gave more benefit of the doubt?  What if we smiled more?  What if we walked away from an argument?  What if we let someone else be “right?”

What if we strive for more understanding?  More compassion?  More love?!

Imagine…A world with more love!

Be good to each other.

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“People will forget what you say, they will forget what you do, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

~ Maya Angelou

Doesn’t Really Matter

1185156_10201738525407878_1441643318_nA couple of months ago, I had someone ask me if I would ever write about my traumatic experience in high school.

No doubt, I have definitely considered it, many times, in fact.  I have even made a few rough drafts.

I used to share my story with friends, co-workers, first dates, and pretty much anyone who would listen.

I had this compelling need to tell anyone and everyone.

For some reason, I felt like it defined me.

I also felt like people could see right through me, like they knew something was “wrong” with me, so I’d beat them to the punch and tell them how f***ed up I was.

Before, I shared my story for all of the wrong reasons.

Mainly, for attention, and not the good kind.

But, also as a test – Would they still be my friend or boyfriend knowing that I went through this?!

A year ago, I would have shared it, and it would have been to help others who are going through a rough time or similar experience.

But, admittedly, it would have also been for praise and attention…That unhealthy need to be recognized as an “inspiration” for overcoming such a tremendous obstacle…Honestly, complete bullsh**.

But…Every time I am about to share my story, there is something that holds me back.

That little voice inside that tells us, “No!”

Thank goodness I have listened to that voice!

Not that I don’t want to share my story, but when it comes right down to it, folks, my story doesn’t really matter.

Let me ask you this…

What if I told you that I was held at gunpoint in a bank, and had to watch someone die?

Or, what if I said that I got pregnant in high school and had to get an abortion?

How about if my story was that my uncle molested me one night while my parents were out to dinner?

Or, let’s say that I was beat up by a group of girls in the gym locker room and was in the hospital for a week?

What about if I was in the Marines and had to leave my dead friends behind on the battlefield?

Let’s even go out on a limb, and say that I was tugged back and forth through my parents ugly divorce.

None of these are true…However, I bet you had very different reactions to all of them, and maybe even thought differently of me.

Don’t deny it.

We all do it.  We are human.

Held at gunpoint and watching someone die would be a horrible experience, and I’m sure many of you empathized for me.

Getting pregnant in high school and getting an abortion.  How many of you judged me?!  Judged my parents?!  How many of you thought less of me?  How many of you made religious judgments on me?  Did any of you feel any empathy at all for that one?!

An uncle molesting me – How many of you pitied me?!

Getting beat up in the locker room – How many of you thought, “That sucks, but that’s not traumatic.”

Being a Marine – How many of you glorified me?

My parents going through an ugly divorce – How many of you said, “Sh**, my parents did the same thing,” or, “That’s so common nowadays.”

So, my point is – People often think differently of you when they hear your story.  

It’s really unfortunate.

And, most often, it is not intentional or ill-willed.  It’s a learned behavior.

But, the truth remains, and as a whole, I do not want what happened to me back then to interfere with what I want to do now.

And, I definitely do not want or need people to pity me, nor talk about what an “inspiration” I am.

Can I be blunt for just a moment?

I really hate the word “inspiration.”  It’s so meaningless today.  And, often times, really patronizing!

So, let’s just stop using that word.  Please.

Sh** happens.  What you do with that sh** is what is important, though.  You can either sit it in, throw it at people, push it into the corner, cover it up with stuff, or, you can clean it up and throw it away.

Whatever my story is, it doesn’t change the fact that I have overcome it, and have been evolving into a better person.  It doesn’t change the fact that I live to make a positive change.  It doesn’t change the fact that I love people and the world.  It doesn’t change the fact that I am a good person.

If you ask me in person, sure, I’ll talk to you about it.  But, please ask me for the right reasons.  I have no problem talking about it, but not to fill your own need to gossip or pity others, or even to feel better about yourself for a brief moment.

My stories are accessible to everyone, but all that I ask in return is respect.

10928047_10205580519455328_527607395_nSo, what’s my story?

It’s still being written…  😉

Be Great Right Now

BackToSchool-Guess what?!

I’m going back to school…I’m getting my Doctorate Degree in Chiropractic!

At quick glance, it seems like an impulsive decision.

I made the choice to apply to Life West and Palmer a few days after we had an awesome seminar at our gym by a chiropractor.  Within three weeks, I decided on Life West, did a half-day tour, completed the entire application process, was accepted into the program, and I start in July!

Yes, it all happened that quickly!

But, what seems like an impulsive decision, has actually taken me 18 years.

Yes, 18 long years.

Huh?!

You see…It’s been just a little over 18 years since my traumatic experience in high school, I was only 16 years old, and since that time in my life, I have sabotaged many, many opportunities and opened doors.

I had very little to no self-worth and confidence.  I truly believed I wasn’t good enough, nor even deserving, of being anything more than a lump on a log.

Being “average” was comfortable.  Being average meant no one was looking at me, and I could easily hide and go unnoticed day to day.

Being average did not bring any attention to me, and that felt very safe.

In hindsight, I realize that was my way of protecting myself from any other potential danger.

As a kid and teenager, I was actually very outgoing, ambitious, and outspoken, and I brought a lot of attention to myself.  I loved the spotlight!

But, then, I was used and abused, and suddenly getting attention was a very bad thing.  It meant danger.  It meant pain.

So many times, I got close to greatness, and then ran away like an a**hole with cold feet on his wedding day…

I could have been an Occupational Therapist.

I could have owned my own Fleet Feet Sports store.

I could have competed on the Team at the CrossFit Games.

I could have been a Family & Child Psychologist.

I could have qualified individually for the CrossFit NorCal Regionals.

All of those could have happened…But, because of me, they didn’t.  I had many excuses back then, and really good ones at that, but after many years of growth and change, I can finally admit out loud to you that it was all my own doing.

I made those things fail on purpose!

I truly could not believe that someone as awful and pathetic as myself could actually be someone that awesome.  The horrible things I used to tell myself…The self-doubt…The disbelief…The poison that seeped through my bloodstream and heart…

It makes me sad to think that I used to believe those things about myself.

And, it makes me even sadder when I watch others do the exact same thing to themselves today.

But, then…

I married Spencer.

We bought a house.

Got a dog.

Opened up CrossFit 707.  And, it became an incredible family!

Had a baby girl.

Expanded and grew our business.

Started my own blog.

And, all the while, my husband asking me, “When are you going to finally write your book?”

This question is what sparked the “new me.”

I do love to write, and I would be elated if one of my books got published, but in all honesty, writing a book isn’t even the point here right now.

It sounds corny, but every time Spencer asked me this question, what I actually heard was, “I love you, and I think you’re amazing, and I want the world to see it, too.”

The more he asked me and encouraged me to write a book, the more I started to believe that maybe I could actually be something great.

Ahhh…The power of love! 😉

So, in a nutshell, after years of darkness, and then years of ruined opportunities, followed by years of regrets and wishes, and then finally years of therapy, Spencer, and CrossFit, I suddenly found myself believing that I could actually become a doctor.

To most, this doesn’t sound like any big deal.  People become doctors every day.

It’s not even becoming a doctor that’s the important part here, though.

The points I’m trying to get at are…

A. Genuine and constant love and support can go a long way, and many times without you even realizing how powerful it is to the person you’re giving it to (Thanks, honey).

B. It’s never too late to change directions.  Never.  Seriously, never.

And, most importantly…

C. When you finally give yourself permission to be great, great things happen! 🙂

I have a friend who told me she’s always wanted to go to Nursing school after I told her I got accepted to Life West College.  I asked her why doesn’t she just go for it now, then, and we can study together.  The excuses came out like a cannon full of confetti.  But, nothing out of the ordinary – I’m too old, it’s been too long, it will take too many years, I have too many things going on now, it would be so overwhelming…The usual excuses so many of us give ourselves.

But, the truth of the matter is, the “right time” really doesn’t exist.

For a rare few, it actually happens, and good for them.  For most of us, though, life happens.  Kids happen.  Lay-offs happen.   Deaths happen.  Illness happen.  Divorces happen.  Accidents happen.

Where I am at in my life right now, there will never be a “right time” to go back to school, but I know it’s what I want to do…It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, but was too afraid to do for far too long…So, I just did it.

And now with school in my very near future, the question remains of when we’ll have a second child…And, inevitably, I’m sure I’ll get pregnant within the first week of school. Haha!  Of course I would, right?!  But, we’ll make it work.  Because, waiting until I’m done with my doctorate is definitely not the right time, nor would it be as safe as I will be close to 40 then.

So, to my friend who wants to go to Nursing school, and to any of you out there in the same situation, I say – JUST DO IT!!!

The “right time” is right now!  

11263863_10206568634717592_1597926397_nEvery year that goes by, you will wish you had done it last year.  Every friend or family member you see accomplish your dreams, you will have wished you started when they did.  Every decade that goes by, you will have wondered what would have been had you done it then.

So many years of wishing, wanting, and wondering.

I’ve already had 18 years of that…That is plenty long enough for me!

I’m ready to live the rest of my life with adventure, risks, mistakes, a little bit of fear, and a whole lot of satisfaction and fulfillment.

After all, if it both scares and excites you, then it’s definitely worth pursuing! 😉

Give yourself permission to be great.

Stay Tuned…

hiatus

No, I haven’t left.  I’ve just been “living my life,” and actually asking  a lot of important questions.  I’m not going to go in to too much detail just yet, because I’m still searching for some answers, but once I get all of my ducks in a row, I will have a great post for you!  🙂

So…Please stand by…

Live Your Life

10850192_847813375240325_7104050146132093880_n

As I reflect on the 2015 CrossFit Open, I find myself asking where I want to go from here in my competitive career.

I’ve broken through the fact that I do not want to be an individual competitor, at least, at this point in my life, but as far as training goes from here, I actually feel the desire to just train for fun.

What exactly do I mean by that?

Well, as I said in my last post, I have never really experienced CrossFit in any other form other than competition.  It’s all I’ve ever known for the 6 years I’ve been doing this.  And, there is a part of me that lives vicariously through my members who are truly just training for life and fun.

Another part of me is feeling my mortality, and there are others things far more important to me than qualifying for Regionals – For instance, having a second child.  Continuing to grow our gym and inspire others to be healthy and fit. To be a better wife.  To be a better mother.

To be a better me.

I secretly fear death almost every day.

I saw a great video shared on Facebook the other day.  It’s a profound interview with author, Maurice Sendak.

Please take a moment to watch it, and even watch it a second time…

When I saw this video, I started crying, because it really hit home for me.  I rarely, if ever, talk about politics and religion, because people are extremely passionate about their belief systems, and I’ve seen it rip families and marriages apart.  So, I’ve always just left it out of the equation, but I do have my own belief system, as well.

Without going in to too much detail, though, I will say that I deeply share in Maurice Sendak’s sentiments – I am in love with the world!

And, that is all that matters.

Whether I am religious or not, I love the world, and try to live my life with the utmost quality and passion.  For when the day comes, I hope to be able to say to goodbye with a smile.  And, even more so, I hope that I will be remembered with fondness and appreciation.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

Thinking about the Open and my mortality, I’ve suddenly started asking myself, “If tomorrow is really it, what do I want to make sure to leave behind?  What will my ‘mark’ in this world be?”

I don’t want to be remembered for my 178# Clean & Jerk, or my 95th finish overall in NorCal, or my Strict Muscle Ups, or even my 250# Back Squat.

I want to be remembered for being an inspiring coach, a loving mother and wife, a good friend, a hard worker, a giver, someone who strived to make a positive change in the world…A happy person.

I keep thinking about Maurice Sendak’s last words in the interview, “Live your life.  Live your life.  Live your life.”

Three simple words.

Yet, a very difficult task for most.

Too often, we live other people’s lives.  We live through their expectations of us, or what we think they want from us.  We be the person who we think we have to be.  We do the things we think we have to do.

So many of us are prisoners…All while holding the keys in our own pockets!

I’ve been a prisoner of CrossFit competition for over 5 years, and while I am grateful for all of the other wonderful things and people it’s brought into my life, I am ready to live MY life, and train for MY goals.

Go live YOUR life.

Love the world.

Top 100

1185156_10201738525407878_1441643318_nAs I sit here typing this, I can’t help but give a heavy sigh and shake my head.

The 2015 CrossFit Open is upon us, and we just finished WOD 15.2, and I find myself in the exact same spot as last year…And the year before…And the year before that…And the year before that…

I’ve always placed top 100…Every year…Never moving up that damn Leaderboard…Never making Regionals…

WTF?!

I could type up my entire sob story for you right now, but I’ll spare you the dramatics and just get right to the point…

I don’t think I really care to quality for Regionals, or ever to make it to the Games…At least, not as an individual, and not at this point in my life.

Say what, coach?!!

Well…Here’s the thing…

I’ve always done fairly well, and thoroughly enjoy team competitions.  Always!  But, time and time again, I give individual a shot, and I find myself miserable and frustrated every single time.

Team competitions, I get excited and always have fun and treasure for a lifetime.

Individual competitions, I want to throw up, and secretly, I don’t get pleasure out of it at all.

I actually hate individual competitions!  And, I’ve never been able to admit that out loud until now.

I think Regionals has just been this meaningless goal that I placed on myself right from the start, just because.  It’s the same as how we just always have had “Rx” in our WODs…Because that’s just always how it’s been done…But, then when we finally questioned it, we realized there was a better way for us, and now it’s actually more awesome at the workouts!

Regionals was always this goal that was just assumed on me from the start…I progressed rapidly in CrossFit and showed a lot of potential, and so instantly, I was pegged for competition.

It’s all I’ve ever known in CrossFit —> Competition.

It’s never been a true hobby or lifestyle for me.

I’ve never experienced it the way 99% of you have and currently are.

I think I’ve always wanted Regionals because it’s always been expected of me by others.  I’ve allowed this label to define me and control my CrossFit training, when in reality, it’s not important enough to me.

And I know it’s not important enough to me, because when I got pregnant in November, my first thought was, “Hooray!  We’re having a baby, AND I don’t have to worry about the Open this year!”

And then, when the pregnancy didn’t work out, my first thought was, “Damn…Now I have to actually do the Open and try for Regionals again…F***!”

Not the words of a champion…And, definitely not the words of a Regionals-hopeful.

These are the words of someone who needs to re-evaluate her goals, and then be honest about them – With herself, and everyone else.

These are the words of someone who’s been suffering from “competition depression” for too many years, and needs to remedy the situation.

Regionals Team?  YES!  That actually excites me!  Thinking about my team in 2016, and the thought of hopefully competing with my “family” out in that stadium gets me pumped and ecstatic!

Regionals Individual?  No…Nope…Not really.  It doesn’t excite me the way Team does.  And, it actually stresses me out and makes me turn away.

So, what’s the deal, coach?!

Let me make some confessions here, and lay it all out for you in black and white…

Back when I first started competing in CrossFit, I participated at Sectionals, which is similar to Regionals now, except that you didn’t have to qualify for Sectionals (CF wasn’t that big, yet), you just signed up for it and competed with every other hopeful.

That was by far one of the worst experiences for me personally, because after every workout, I ran to the women’s bathroom and cried my heart out in disappointment at my performance.

In hindsight, I really wasn’t ready for that competition, both physically and mentally.  I was thrown in to it, and I went in with complete naivety and lack of experience.  I chased waterfalls, when I should have been sticking to the lakes and rivers. 😉

From there, it set the stage for all the years to come in my CrossFit career.

I should have stepped back from competition after Sectionals, and re-started my training with fitness in the forefront, and a break from competing.

But, I didn’t.  And, I never have since then.  And, I think I’ve been battling with “competition depression,” as I call it, since that day.

I say I want it, I mostly train like I’m going for it, BUT, really I do and say just enough to play the part well, when really, I am constantly fighting and struggling inside.

After every team competition, I am left elated and grateful.

After every individual competition, I am left defeated and deflated.

Today, after completing 15.2, I walked outside to be alone for a few minutes, and I ended up sitting on the curb crying my heart again…I was back inside that bathroom stall at Sectionals so many years ago.

I had to really think for a moment, and answer some hard questions as honest as possible with myself.

Why aren’t you climbing that Leaderboard each year?  Why is everyone else passing you by, and you’re still exactly where you started?

Because, I haven’t been training hard enough to really earn it.  I’ve been allowing everything else in my life to be more important than this.  I’ve neglected my weaknesses time and time again.  And, I’ve even let some of my strengths plateau.  I’ve self-sabotaged this entire thing.

Why aren’t you doing more?  Why aren’t you training harder and hitting your weaknesses?  You know what you have to do to get there, so why aren’t you doing it?!

Because, I like the idea of it more than the actual work of it.  Because, I don’t like individual competition.  Because, I’m just not wired to be an individual, I’m designed to kick ass with a team, but I haven’t been able to really see that and admit it until now.  Because, I’ve been trying so long to force myself into this mold, but it’s not my mold to fill.  And, because it just hasn’t been important enough to me to make it a #1 priority like other things in my life.

So, what is really important to you, then?!  Why are you doing the Open?  Who are you doing it for?!

It’s important to have fun and enjoy the ride!  I keep doing the Open the way I’ve always known it to be, and the way I think everyone expects me to be, but really, I don’t know anymore why I do the Open, because every year, it makes me miserable and unhappy, and I always end up burning out and taking about 2 to 3 weeks off from CrossFit by the end of it.  I’ve been doing the Open for everyone else, and NOT myself.  It’s never been for me.  Never.

So, what do you want?!  What will make you happy in CrossFit?

I want to walk away from individual competition, at least, for this point in my life, and focus on just having fun in my CrossFit workouts, and enjoy more team competitions, and put more effort and focus on Team Regionals with my friends.  I’m always happy with my teammates.  Always.  That is my home.  That is where I belong.  That is where I want to be.

So, what about the rest of the Open?!

I’ll still do my absolute best, however, it’s not for everyone else, anymore.  It’s not for Regionals (And, honestly, it never was), it’s not to prove anything to anyone, and it’s not even for the sake of competition anymore.

It’s learning to let go of this heavy false pressure I’ve been putting on myself, thinking that everyone expects this of me, when really, those who love me and support me just want to see me happy and successful in whatever route I choose, and whether or not I ever qualify for Regionals, they will be proud of me regardless of my placement on the Leaderboard.

It’s time to finally do what I should have done over 5 years ago.

Take a step back and re-prioritize my goals and aspirations for ME, and not the world.  Admit that I’m not an individual competitor, but I AM an awesome teammate!

Stop the vicious cycle that I torture myself through every year during the Open.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Albert Einstein

I’ve been driving myself insane for far too long.

Enough.

I need closure from Sectionals.

I need a new outlook on CrossFit and competition.

I need inner peace.

And, that is what I’m going to do!