CrossFit, Life

What The CrossFit Open Means to Me

If you are a part of the CrossFit community, or you know someone who is, you are probably aware that this week marks the beginning of the CrossFit Open. The CrossFit Open is a 5 week competition where they release one workout a week for 5 weeks and if you register you can submit your score to be ranked among athletes in your region and worldwide. The top tier of athletes from each region will compete at the regionals, and the top tier of athletes from the regional competition get to go on to compete in the annual CrossFit Games in Carson, California over the summer. For many of the elite athletes the open is the start of their competition season and it is a way for them to earn their way to play with the “big dogs” at regionals and the games. That is like 1% of the people who sign up for the open. But what about the rest of us? Us every day moms, dads, business owners, average athletes… What does the open mean to us? I’ll tell you what it means to me…

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For me it is not just about a workout or a score. It isn’t how good or bad you are. For me as an athlete the open is about getting to participate in a  world wide sport. As a girl who spent most of her life overweight, this is something I never thought I’d be able to do. And even if I could, there is no way the “fat girl” would want to compete in a workout… right?

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I used to avoid any excess activity because I was so overweight. Walking up and down a flight of stairs was exhausting, how could I ever imagine signing myself up to compete in a physical fitness type of competition?! While I may not be close to winning, I’m light years away from where I was a few years ago. For 95% of my life I couldn’t dream of doing the things I can do today, and because of that I’m proud of every rep I get to put down on that little score sheet. I used to look for ways to get around doing anything physical because I hated the feeling. Now I look for any opportunity, like the CrossFit Open, to challenge myself to do hard things… because I can.

The CrossFit Open is about giving your all, because you can.

And that feeling when time is called and you collapse to the floor because you gave it all… I love it.

It also allows me to see my progress from year to year. Maybe one year I am in the bottom 30% but the next year I am closer to being at the top 60% – Or maybe one year I get a handful of broken double unders and the next year I’m able to string together 10 at a time. Progress is Progress no matter how small! The Open is good for using as a bench mark each year to see that progress.

For me as a coach the open is about more than just a workout. It is about seeing the people I’ve coached from couch potato to every day athlete achieve things they never thought possible. It is about watching the community that I have put my blood, sweat, & tears into building come together on it’s own, with people who used to be strangers now more like family cheering each other on. Those cheers are just as loud for those who hit a 5lb PR as they are for those who hit a 50lb PR. They are often louder for those finishing last than they are for those finishing first.

Everyone is there to do their best and they expect you to do the same.

 

The open is about watching the girl who used to be afraid of heavy weights throw around a heavy barbell without a second thought. It’s about watching those who struggled with finishing their baseline WOD push themselves to get that one more rep before time is called.

Everyone is there to do their best and they expect you to do the same. So you do. And you surprise yourself. In that workout where you get your first toes to bar or double under when you never thought you could… you learn to believe in yourself. That you can. And that is life changing, not just for your fitness… but for life outside the box.

For me as a crossfitter the open is about knowing we are participating in something bigger than just our box. It is about knowing that somewhere down the street or on the other side of the world everyday athletes and elite athletes alike are prepping to throw down the same WOD you just did. Everyone remembers how they felt on that last round of 14.5, as you wished with every thruster and burpee that it was an AMRAP so the clock could save you from having to pick up that bar again. When we find ourselves talking to fellow Crossfitters in the airport, at work, or at some local competition we exchange what become our war stories about the open. It binds us together as one big crazy, sweaty family.

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And so as we go throughout these next 5 weeks of workouts remember that it isn’t just about where you place. It’s about appreciating the fact that you have the ability to do the workout and that you have a community of people, both in your box and around the world, who are just crazy enough to do it with you.

Good Luck, and have fun!

Are you doing the open? What does it mean to you?

 

 

FitFluential, Life, Weight Loss

Healthy isn’t A Size: My Thoughts on the Being Thin Doesn’t Make Me Happy Post

The last few days I’ve had a few discussions with people about health, size, & plus size fashion, plus size models in the media and several other topics which got me thinking about my point of view on it and then this morning I caught a clip on the Today Show about a woman who wrote about how Being Thin doesn’t make her happy, but being “fat” does. The article is beautifully written. I can see her point of view. And I agree, where she was when she said she was at her peak of “physical hotness” was NOT healthy. She said she was eating 1000 calories a day, sleeping around 3 hours, obsessively tracking food, and getting to the point where she lost her period. None of these habits are healthy at all. Yes, she was thin. and she was unhappy. but most of all she was unhealthy.

Healthy Isnt A Size

because healthy isn’t a size.

i’m with her up to this point. she was in an unhealthy place, physically and emotionally. she doesn’t go much into depth of her current exercise or eating habits other than saying she loves cake (who doesn’t?!) and we should be unaprolligetically fat and eat pizza and drink wine and not feel bad about it. I can’t judge her current health because again, healthy isn’t a size. I just don’t like that it seems she, and the media that helped this go viral, are promoting exchanging one extreme for another. she may be the healthiest she has ever been, but this particular post makes wanting to be healthy seem like a bad thing. And maybe this post will give some people the freedom they need to break out of the obsessive disordered eating. But it also doesn’t address how to still make your health a priority. She talks about having time for her family now. You can still exercise a moderate amount and have time for your family. Too many people, moms especially, already feel guilty for taking time out from their busy days to invest in their health. They don’t need another woman implying you can’t adequately take care of your family if you take 30 minutes to an hour a day to invest in themselves. I firmly believe you can’t adequately care for your family if you don’t take the time to adequately care for yourself.

You dont have to be thin or fat, just be you

no, you don’t have to be thin or fat to be happy or healthy… because healthy isn’t a size.

If you’ve been around for a while you know my story. I was fat. Hell, to modern standards I still am fat. At a size 14 I ride the line between plus size and “normal” sized clothing. I’m too big for a lot of average clothing and too small for most plus size clothing. In a world that thrives on being able to put everyone in a pretty little box… I’m a disappointment. I don’t fit in those labels. I don’t consider myself fat anymore, but I’m certainly not thin. But I’ll tell you what I am… I’m the strongest, fittest, and healthiest I’ve ever been. And yea, some people may look at me and think I’m fat. But they don’t know my story or the road I’ve walked to get here. Another reason why healthy isn’t just about your size. And losing weight isn’t just about eating less and moving more.

Fitness isn't about your weight and healthy isn't a size

i think that we need to move away from labeling people as thin or fat, judging people’s health by their side, and look to encourage people to find more balanced healthy habits. This includes learning to have a healthier mindset towards eating and exercise. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to be fat or thin. It’s not about punishing yourself. You shouldn’t be miserable. Does striving to live a healthy balanced life mean you’ll never eat cake again? Nope. I love cake. This week was my daughters birthday and I enjoyed a lot of cake. But do I do it all day every day? Nope. Find what works for you. Find what makes you happy. This lady ran 35 miles a week. Don’t like running? Try Zumba, walking, or CrossFit. Find something that keeps you moving AND makes you happy. It is possible, I’m proof.

You should take care of your body because you love it, not because you hate it. Because if you are only trying to change yourself because you hate yourself, the chances of you loving yourself once you reach your goal aren’t great. If you don’t love yourself now, what makes you think losing 10, 20. or 50 pounds going to do? Once you come to place where you truly love yourself you can’t help but want to take good care of the body you’ve been given.

Your Turn- What are your thoughts on health, size, & happiness?

Family Life

Five.

Today is a pretty special day around here…

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Today this little lady turns five. She is one whole hand old!

I remember being pregnant and wondering what she would be like as a 5 year old. I was so curious what her personality would be like. And you know what? It’s even better than I could have imagined. She is such a blessing in our lives.

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One of her biggest strengths, and quite possibility her biggest downfall, is her huge heart. Seriously, she is so sensitive and tender and loving. One of her very favorite things cuddling. With me, with daddy, or with the dogs or her stuffed animals. Every night she asks if we can cuddle. You can’t say no to that! Because she is so loving and her heart is so tender she does get her feelings hurt pretty easily. I hate knowing that she hurts so easily. I still want to protect her from as much pain as I can.

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As sweet as she is, she is equally sassy. She isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions and press you to get the answers. When she believes in something she believes in it fiercely. She is absolutely your classic girly girl. She oohs and aahs at every diamond commercial. She already talks about getting married and having babies and weddings and all those fancy things. She is currently in a phase where she loves talking about going to Paris or Yew Nork (thats how she says New York… it’s adorable)

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Oh my little Payt, I am so thankful for the joy you are to our family. I’m SO proud of the big girl you are becoming.
I can’t wait to see what this next year holds for you. I know it will be filled with fun and exciting adventures. It will also be filled with just as many challenging and intimidating moments. Know that whatever happens Daddy and I will be right here with you.

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We love you to the moon and back.
Happy Birthday baby girl.