Wanting It Is Not Enough

Another week has come and gone, far too fast if you ask me. Lately I feel like my life is a never ending version of Groundhog Day


Wake Up. Coach. Work. Coach. Cook. Clean. Sleep. Repeat. I get overwhelmed far too easy and let myself get sucked into the routine of the day to day, trying to survive… when this is the year I wanted to thrive. I spend a lot of time running on auto pilot and checking off to do list boxes on the “Must Do’s” of daily life, still. Mostly right now I struggle with having these goals I want to achieve and not making the time to invest in them. I say I want it, but wanting it is not enough.

Wanting it is Not Enough. You must take action to see results.

Those moments of motivation come in waves. We are absolutely driven to achieve our goals in that very moment. We want it so bad we can taste it… In that moment. But that desire to be better, stronger, faster, lighter… it fades away. Life goes on and unless you consciously decide to do something to achieve your goal it won’t happen.

Using my @passionplanner to stay focused on my big goals while being able to juggle the day to day #passionplanner

A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on


 I recently order a Passion Planner and so far it has helped remind me every day that I have a bigger goal than just making it through the day. My big goal? Finish my Nutrition Cert. My smaller every day goals? Make good nutrition decisions, spend quality time with my family, and take some time to refresh myself every day, even if its 5 minutes of silence or playing a stupid game on the iPad… Just some time to try not to think about what I have to do.

You can apply this idea to any goal you have. You may want to lose 5 pounds. Get Pull Ups. Learn a new language. Teach yourself to crochet. Wanting it is nice and it sounds great on paper. But you have to put in the work. I was reminded of that again today as I attempted The CrossFit Open workout 15.2, which included pull ups. Last summer before my surgery I was close. I was doing a pull up progression program 3 days a week and got so much closer to doing a strict pull up. I even got to the top of the rope a few times! After my surgery I stopped all hanging/pulling movements for a good 3 months. I couldn’t hang from the pull up bar without pain until probably December. Since then I just didn’t focus on pull ups at all. I barely fit in regular programming and didn’t make time to do any extra work on my major weakness. If you struggle with pull ups, hitting them every now and again in regular programming isn’t going to make them better. You have to make a dedicated effort to improving your strength. I knew that. So I’ll take my score of 10 on 15.2 and use it as a reminder that my weaknesses will stay my weakness until I decide to something about it. Reminds me of this guy:


When I made this I was terrified of box jumps. I conquered that fear.

Now I’ll attack the biggest hole in my CrossFit arsenal… gymnastics. This year I will get pull ups and rope climbs back! You are my witnesses, now keep me accountable!

What is something that you are wanting and need to take action to make it happen?
Let’s crush our weaknesses together! 

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…



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?


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.


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?



And Then What?

I’m just over a month away from turning 28. Is that too early to feel like I’m going through some serious self-reflection/mid life crisis stuff? Maybe because 28 is so much closer to 30… and for some reason my whole life I thought I would have it all figured out by the time I turned 30. The decade of the 20’s is the one for figuring it all out and the 30’s is when you get to enjoy it all, right? Isn’t that how it works?

See, the problem isn’t where I am. As I stop and look around I am really super duper happy and blessed to be where I am. The problem is where I thought I should be. the problem is the expectation of what “arriving” or “achieving a goal” would look like.


A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

this isn’t just with life in general. it has happened in marriage, parenting, weight loss, nutrition, finances. like we spend so much time and energy chasing a goal and then we get there and then what?

in my head i would get there… achieve this goal… and then what? it would be smooth sailing, of course. I have absolutely no problem clawing my way to a goal. I set my sights on something and then sprint after it. and then all of a sudden I have it. and I want to sit there and bask in the moment. but then what? that goal becomes a moving target and I’m forced to chase it again. it’s like I thought if I hit that goal it would stop being so hard.

but it doesn’t.


I lost a good amount of weight, but it doesn’t just stay off because I reached a goal.
I thought because I got to a “comfortable” place with my body I wouldn’t have to think about what I ate, but I do.
We both got laid off of really good paying jobs right when we first bought our house. We clawed our way through some dark financial times and ended up starting our own businesses (yes, multiple. we are crazy). We aren’t doing bad, but finances still require hard work to manage properly, More money doesn’t mean less problems… it means more work.
I thought that finding the right person to marry would be the hard part. that marriage brought pixie dust and butterflies and rainbows. and sometimes it does. but it requires tough conversations, uncomfortable vulnerability, and lots of hard work.
Pregnancy is hard. Labor and Delivery is hard. and yes, the long nights of feedings and diaper changes are hard. but answering tough questions and being responsible for shaping the world view of this little girl… it is hard work every day.

And I’m not really scared of hard work. but somewhere in my naive little mind I thought some day the hard work would end. Like this fairy tale would all come together on its own. that I would reach my goals and get to just be for a little while. I knew I’d make new goals. and I was ok having to work hard for those. I guess what I wasn’t expecting was to have to work so hard to maintain what I thought I’d already achieved.

The catalyst for this post was realizing it has been almost 6 months since my abdominoplasty/skin removal. And yes vacations and holidays and life have happened since then… but I was up 10lbs since surgery day. Since realizing that and reluctantly getting back on a structured meal plan I’ve lost a few pounds and am now just 6lbs heavier.  They removed 8lbs of skin and fat. and I know the scale isn’t the only judge of progress, but I also feel a bit softer in the middle than I’d like. I wasn’t eating stupid or anything, but I was being a bit more lax than I was before. I was happy with my body and loosened the reins a bit. I explored what “maintenance” would be like and ended up gaining. And I kinda sulked about it for awhile. I finally got to a place where I felt good about the body I had worked so hard to achieve, it couldn’t be too hard to keep there… but apparently it was. Do I want to eat chicken and rice and green beans for the rest of my life? No. But do I need to have dessert every night or a “cheat meal” every meal during the weekend? No, I don’t. I had to realize that once you reach a goal doesn’t mean you get a get out of jail free card for that particular goal for the rest of your life. You still have to put in the work.

this isn’t just for weight loss. or fitness. but for relationships… finances… life. i was overwhelmed at having to try so hard. to put in so much effort. but not because i hate hard work, but because somewhere along the way i adopted the mindset that it wasn’t supposed to be this hard. regardless of what it is supposed to be or not supposed to be, this is what it is. hard work. that is the then what. it’s hard work. and now that I realize that, it’s time to do it. live the then what.

Have you ever struggled with the “then what” part of the story?