SEVEN DAYS. I am officially one week out from the American Open and I could not be more excited. I feel like a giddy little kid when I think about it – so I am trying not to think about it too much. I will head to Dallas on Thursday to prep, get settled, and watch the events starting in the days before my session. Both of my coaches will be there as well as almost ALL of my teammates. I think there is something like 30 Outlaws lifting in the AO this year. That is something I am proud to be a part of. I am really excited to get up on the platform and do my thing, but I am also very excited to see my teammates go to work, and of course all the other amazing, national level lifters that will be there. The experience is going to be pretty cool. My workload has been tapered down for the week and I am eating very strict (I am now an experienced weight cutter) as to be sure I make the 63kg weight class. This combination of knowing I have a big game ahead as well as being very regimented in my food intake causes me to become a lot more introverted and “in myself” than usual. It is not a bad thing though; this feeling is familiar to me from bus rides on our way to big games. It’s a true kind of focus I create for myself. I can’t seem to stop thinking about my actual lifts, though. I just want to get to the warm-up area in Dallas and start moving – yes, this is happening SEVEN DAYS before it is my turn to lift! However, I know all I can really do is stay focused on the goal while taking one day at a time.
If the current schedule holds, I will be lifting during the 7:30pm session on Saturday. Although the night session will be something different for me (I have only ever lifted in morning meets), I know that in sports, the night-cap is the “game to watch”. Every athlete loves to be performing in the last event of the day - it has that sort of “under the lights” importance to it. This is the American Open, and I’m headed to Dallas… with a purpose. If you will not be in attendance (which im assuming most of my readers will not be), there is a live web stream all weekend.
Obviously, this past week was that time of the year when we take a second to reflect on the year and the things we are most grateful for. What kind of blog would this be if it didn’t include a list of “things I am most grateful for” ?! So here are my top 10….
This includes chocolate in ANY form and color - most notably ice cream, cookies, or cakes with chocolate in them. I love brownies and blondies with big old chooclate chip pieces (like the ones my best buddy Jess makes me almost weekly when I'm not in weight cut). There is something about chocolate that makes everything right in the world. Chocolate chip pancakes have been my "pregame meal" since I was about 8. M&M's have been my halftime and post-game snack since about then as well. I run on chocolate, very happily. Anything chocolate is GREAT. I am very thankful for it.
This may or may not be an out of control addiction, but I love it. I know there is nothing special about it, almost every exerciser has their coffee obsession. However, I am extremely grateful for my morning Starbucks - Grande Red Eye (black or with a little whole milk, depending on my eating schedule). This is one of those little joys in life that keep me smiling and content. In the summer I switch to the ice version, however the hot version on a cold morning in the gym is one of the things I am most thankful for.
8. Cow Harbor CrossFit.
This gym has been my sanctuary for the past year and a half. It has seen me grow as both an exerciser and a coach and I am forever grateful for the people I have met, the things I have learned, and the way they make me feel. I have met some amazing friends because of this place that have stood by me in some difficult times. The members here are my biggest fans and supporters and are an amazing group of people. No matter how my day is going, when I walk through the doors at Cow Harbor my mood immediately switches to positive. I love being their coach, and I love working to make them proud. The guys on the coaching staff are the same - some of my best buddies that take care of me like a little sister. I cannot be more thankful to be part of the CHCF family.
7. The Outlaw Way.
Eight months ago, I attended an Outlaw Way camp in Brooklyn. I walked in blindly, no idea what it was about or why I was even really attending - basically I promised one of my coworkers I would go with him. I left with the whole-hearted decision that I wanted to do all I could to become a competitive crossfitter at the highest level. Dan Tyminski, also an Outlaw, took me under his wing and led the way for my training. I have made progress in this past 8 months that would have been impossible without the help of him, Rudy, Spencer, and the rest of my Outlaw teammates. They have changed the way I look at training, the sport of exercise, and also coaching. I learn something new everyday from them and I am thankful to be a part of Team Outlaw. I'm looking forward to making them proud.
6. My former teammates.
There is no bond in life comparable to the bond of teammates. My college teammates were and still are literally my sisters. I'm in touch frequently with a good percentage of them and speaking with them always puts me in a great mood. I'm so proud of all of them and what they have been able to accomplish since we have parted - some of them are overseas playing, some coaching, some are working great jobs in the "real world", some are great mothers, and some are in continued schooling to be nurses and lawyers. Fortunately this exercise thing I do involves a bit of traveling. Whenever I am on the road, I immediately think about where my closest teammate would be and how I can fit meeting up with them into my schedule. I am thankful for the lifetime bond I have made with some amazing women. PrideSis gang always.
5. The ability to see the truth.
The truth is something that is not always easy for us to come to terms with. However, I am thankful that I have gained the ability to see things for what they really are and not for what I want them to be. Too often in life we get caught up in wishing and hoping things will be a certain way, so much so that we actually ignore the signs of the truth that is right in front of us. Often this truth is uncomfortable or hurtful and so we ignore it. Sometimes however, it is just a truth that our higher power has made to be true for a specific reason - it is part of a bigger plan. Our human instinct wants to ignore it and "make our own truth", but that just leaves us stressed and confused. The ability to see the underlying truth in things is something I can never take for granted.
4. Physical Capabilities.
Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for the physical capabilities I was blessed with. I am amazed day in and day out at what my body can do and I work hard to honor the abilities I was given. This is part of the reason why I love the sport of exercise, it leaves me with a huge appreciation of the capabilities of the human body both when I watch myself and others. I am thankful for where they have taken me and continue to take me.
3. Internal Passion.
I have always lived with passion, I almost know no other way. I don't often speak about pursuing something that I don't follow through with. If I am going to do something, I do it to the best of my ability. Whether it was playing ball, something academic that I was interested in, or now this exercising for time thing - if I get involved in it, I do it with serious passion. I'm almost positive no one taught me this, I had to have been blessed with it naturally. Again, incredibly thankful.
2. Friends & Family.
This goes without saying, however I still feel the need to express my thanks. My family is the most amazing bunch of people I know and I am 100% the person I am because of the influence they have had on me up until this point in my life. My parents are the glaring example of what great parents are and I cannot be more thankful for raising me the way they did. They have given me the confidence to face anything head on and succeed. My friends, specifically the ones I have had for 15 years now are also something I am extremely grateful for. Although I don't see them as often anymore, we are in touch often. Their support and love for what I do keeps me going. I am thankful they will always be in my life.
Although not very religious per-say, I have always had an unshakable faith in things working out exactly how they are meant to. This has gotten me through, and continues to get me through, my greatest successes as well as my hardest times. I don't pray everyday, I don't attend church every week, but I do know that there is someone out there looking out for me and protecting me. Someone who has blessed me with things I mentioned previously, and someone who expects me to use those blessings to help myself and others. I know no matter what happens in life, good or bad, it was meant to happen exactly in that way. I just need to keep working and have faith. This is, by far, the most important thing I am thankful for.
*You can find this post and other posts by my peers and I at: