Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's You Against You

So, remember when I was checking out a lot of local affiliates in the hopes that I would find one I liked enough to join?


Well, I found one that reminded me a lot of life back in Texas. It's a bare bones, no-frills facility, but I was drawn to this great sense of connectedness and community. It's a smaller space, with a close-knit client base in a laid-back (and kind of neighborhood-y feeling) corner of Atlanta. The owners are married and both retired Army, and I was drawn to them instantly. For a moment, I felt like I was right back at Fort Hood!

Not only have I been training at this affiliate, I'm coaching there as well *cue cheesy grin!*


The last two weeks have just been awesome. It feels so great to wake up with a purpose every morning, to be given the opportunity to help people in an area of life that I am so incredibly passionate about. It feels so good to work for people who appreciate what I have to offer and make me feel like I am a real asset to their team.

The community within the box is also so supportive and coaching these athletes is a blast! They're all like little sponges, soaking up every nugget of information, ready to test their limits, try new things and hone their skills. Their excitement is addicting. And wow, seeing them succeed gives me so much joy. It's a feeling that just sticks with you all day.


I was reflecting on my personal CrossFit journey earlier today, and how my vision of what it means to be a CrossFitter has changed so much from a year ago, when I really delved into the sport.

Back then, it was faster, faster, faster! 
Screw form, I need to PR!
I hate heavy lifting days, I only want to do met-cons!
I need to be the best!
Compete, compete, compete!



Of course competition is the backbone of CrossFit, but it's not everything. You don't need to compete to be a CrossFit athlete. You don't need to have a goal of going to the Games to be a CrossFit athlete. The Games do not equal CrossFit. Competitions do not equal CrossFit.


Once I wrapped my mind around the reality that 1% of CrossFit athletes will ever be competitors at the Games, it took a lot of pressure off. I was able to take a step back to really analyze myself as an athlete as a whole. And wow, I have a lot of holes. And the competitive aspect was actually hindering my growth. I will say these last few months of working out alone have been lonely, yes, but they've been immensely beneficial. I've been able to work on my goats, my flaws, without the beep of a timer rushing me. I've been able to focus on form without worrying about someone "beating" me. I've been able to program workouts and take the time to work on specific movements that have challenged me and helped me grow as an athlete. I've been able to scale weight without my ego getting in the way.


I realized that there isn't a time table that I'm rushing to meet performance goals by (aka the Open), as I plan on being a CrossFitter for the rest of my life. When you think about all that there is to learn within the realm of functional fitness and CrossFit, it's easy to get overwhelmed. But, when I think about how I have the rest of my life to master these skills, I am excited! I am so excited to know that if I train smartly (and optimally) and don't beat my body into a pulp, I'll be able to continue to grow and hone my skills for years to come. Maybe one day I will be competing in the Games, in the Master's division! 



I used to have this very arrogant view of CrossFit. That you had to be an athlete or already in good shape to do it, that it for just for the "elite" ... Ugh, why didn't anyone slap me! As an athlete and as a coach, my favorite memories are when I was first starting, and my favorite clients now are those people who are just getting into it as well, people who maybe have zero athletic background at all (my grandma!) I love coaching people who couldn't hold an air squat when they first started, or clean an empty barbell.


Because that was me when I started. I couldn't do a push up without leading with my ass (you know those wormy push ups), I was the queen of the jumping pull up, and I couldn't thrust an empty 45 pound barbell. THAT'S RIGHT. I was a total pansy. But I'm proud to say that because I have definitely come a long way. And I'm damn proud.


I love working with people who want to put in the effort and believe they are capable of anything with a little perseverance. I love working with people who want to be better for themselves, their families, their husbands, their jobs. Not because they want to make it to the CrossFit Games, but because they just want to suck a little less at life. They want to bring all the groceries in from the car in one swoop. They want to be able to pick up a laundry basket and not throw out their back. They want to look good (or at least a little less jiggly) in their bathing suit.


Because at the end of the day, it's just you against you. 

I'm so excited to have been given this coaching opportunity, and I'm so excited to be able to share it with all of my readers! You can bet your butt I'll still be trying to make it to Spin a few times a week though, at least until I can convince the instructors to come try CrossFit. ;) 

P.S. I'm getting a tune up on my road bike next week! I'm hoping as the weather warms up to park my car and ride my bike to the box. 

1. How do you commute to work/gym?
 Carpool? Bus? Bike? Walk?

2. Are you more competitive against yourself or others?

3. Would you rather do burpees or wall walks?

67 comments:

  1. Great post :) I loved every bit of it and agree completely. At the end of the day, what really matters? The CrossFit Games or you being your best self.

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  2. Fantastic post, and congratulations! Love the sincerity and enthusiasm!

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  3. I walk to gym since it's in my garage ;) I'm a little of both. I'm really hard on myself if I'm not measuring up to everyone else. This post really hit home with me! This is something I need to learn to do. Wall walks anyday!

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    1. We are all our own worst critic. What kind of programming/training do you follow? Do you go into your gym with a plan every morning or wing it?

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  4. I commute 2 ways. Car on days I'm doing an HIIT Chaos class or have a trainer for upper body and walk downstairs to my gym if I'm doing a solo or legs.
    I'm competitive against others in cardio classes, but against my own pr records on weight days.
    I wouldn't really RATHER do either, but love the exhaustion that burpees cause. I have bought 2 shirts that have "Buck Furpees" on them for just those sort of days!!

    Great post. I'm glad that life here in Atlanta is starting to feel more like the home that you left behind in Texas. Welcome!!

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    1. This has definitely warmed me up to Atlanta, though I still think people are insane for wanting to move here out of their own free will! ;)

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  5. I walk sometimes run to "work" because I'm a stay at home mom. And I walk to the gym b/c it's in the basement. As far as competition, I do both. I compete against myself and other. I'm bad about body image. I'll see pictures on blogs or Pinterest of Crossfit elite athletes or weight lifters and think, I need to look like that. So although I try and better my workouts, I still have body image in the back of my head. Lastly, burpees for sure!

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    1. I have to say, I think body image is something we all struggle with, even the most confident women. I know I do, but I've learned that thinking like that only made me feel "smaller" and less powerful, and somehow subdued my efforts at the box or in the gym. Comparison is the theif of joy, and I believe that because I remind myself of it everyday.

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  6. love this post, great point that you're competing against yourself first and foremost.

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  7. Congratulations on the coaching position! Also, great post! I think it's easy for us to get caught up in the rush of out-performing and competing when it's really about our personal growth.

    I commute by car everywhere, but I'm hoping to start running to and from my box when the weather gets warmer, since it's only about a 4 minute drive from my apartment complex.

    Competition-wise, I can go either way depending on the situation. When I'm lifting, I'm competing against myself from the last time I went for a max weight on that particular lift, but more importantly, I'm competing against the voice in my head that says "That's too heavy. You can't do that." During WODs, though, there's a group of us that all come in at relatively close times at the WOD time I go to. So, we try to at least keep up with each other, or get ahead of each other. It's a great way to push each other without being too in-your-face.

    I've never done wall walks, and I'm not sure what exactly those are... But I have finally learned that the trick to burpees is not stopping! That's when you really feel the suck. Only problem is, I get pretty winded after number 8 or 9...

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  8. CONGRATS!! So happy you found a place where you not only felt like you but can also impact other lives!! Loved reading this.

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  9. I'm glad you have found your peace within the crossfit community again. I had a difficult time when I switched boxes at first but now I'm back to loving every minute of it.

    My competitive stand point changes...I used to watch times and try to beat certain folks, but my goals have changed (no longer want to lose weight) and I am trying to gain strength (put on a few pounds of muscle) so now that I am going heavier than I am sometimes comfortable with to push myself, I end up at the bottom of the pack. I just keep telling myself, more weight=more strength, and I know my times will get faster again...

    I would prefer burpees. Wall walks wear on my shoulders funny and they cramp up....I love the cardio blast of burpees and when they are involved, the playing field levels in the box.

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    1. I really was struggling there for a little while, wasn't I? So happy I've come to find some peace, too. Praise The Lord.

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  10. Woot Woot Congrats!!! I've always enjoyed the feeling of helping someone out and seeing how happy they get at what their bodies are capable of.

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    1. Thanks! And yes, it's a pretty awesome feeling. :)

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  11. This is amazing news and I'm very happy to hear you have found the beginning roots again as to why crossfit is important and why u are an important part of it and what your role is in it. You are very valuable to this sport in sharing your experiences with newbies and teaching them all you know but your attitude most of all is what makes this sport grow this community bigger. Yes i agree crossfit can be competitive and some people can be down right nasty but the reality is what we make we have faults withint our selves and somethings can be very hard on our selves competively but its up to us to make this sport into what is and what it was intnded for to change lives inspire communities to get into the best shape of their lives and finally happiness. You are amazing and im very humbled by your personal reflections and changes u are an inspiration to read i looke forward to your sucess as a coach and just as a person we all deserve the chance to grow and change and better ourselves and u are proof. Congrats on your new position and look forward to hearing the success of your clients:-)

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    1. If you could see how red my cheeks are how cheesy my grin is right now, thank you, this was the kindest comment!

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  12. I wanted to add on your thoughts with the games yes not most crossfitters will be games competitors but encouragig newbies to participate in the open is just ankther great part of the crossfit community its a chwnce to take part of something that makes us great as a community a chance to try out what the elite do even if per say they have to scale fir their ability and get a zero in that particular event how great is it to see the progress in time and have he memory of the first event they die that they coulent do then in time to see what progress theyve made just my thoughts have a great weekend:-)

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    1. Agree! I consider the Open to just be another set of workouts to track an athlete as they progress in their CrossFit journey!

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  13. I just found your blog and I love it! Esp since I am a fellow CrossFitter!

    I commute via subway everywhere :-)

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    2. Well thanks for reading! And wow, that's rad. I have to admit, I've only been on a Subway once. I know, I live under a rock ... how long is your commute?

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  14. Really enjoyed this post and so happy for you! That's exactly what I want and I tend to get competitive with myself, but I am working on just bettering myself. Added in yoga again to keep myself from revving up too much :) Wish I could afford Crossfit, but goin back to school makes it sort of impossible, so I'll be doin it on my own...gotta keep myself accountable!! Thanks for the motivation and inspiration!

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    1. If you ever need help with workouts or motivation, I'm here! Yoga is such a great addition to CrossFit, cheers to you!

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  15. This is exactly why I want to do CrossFit.. but I can't afford it! I try to do my own WODs at my gym but sometimes it doesn't work out as flawlessly as I would like.
    Excited for your new coaching job! Can't wait to hear more about it :)

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  16. I drive to work even though it is only 1 mile away but I get out late at night, so it's more a safety thing than a 'physical' thing. But the gym now, it's exactly 1/2mile away and I've been working on speed intervals all Feb so I'd warm up for 1/4mile then bust ass the rest of the way, pop on a bike in the gym while I wait for a clearing, then kettleball swings. Repeat backwards to home and shower.
    I think I'm more competitive with myself but I never take group classes. Actually, that has me very nervous if our new box ever does open here. Working out with people??? What is this strangeness?!?

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    1. LOL! Learning to work out solo is a skill in itself! It takes a lot of motivation. I commend you, it ain't easy! But, it has a lot of benefits, like less distractions and really allowing you the moments to focus on YOU.

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  17. Love it! What I really need to know though is where you got those awesome hot pink knee sock! LOVE THEM!

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    1. They were a gift from a friend! I think she scored them at Target. <3

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  18. What an awesome post!! It sounds like you've finally found a "second home!" You sound so positive, like you're really found your groove in ATL, which I know is difficult being a part of a military family also.

    I don't commute to work or the gym since I'm a stay at home mom. I run and do P90X right now. Too much going on to justify a gym membership right now!

    I am more competitive against others. I SHOULDN'T be but I am. I compare my run times to others' and whether they did more strength training than I did or not. But I do get stupid stoked when I set a new PR for myself so I guess it does go both ways LOL

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    1. I used to LOVE the P90X Plyo DVD! Jumping = SEXY LEGS!

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  19. Sounds pretty awesome to me...congrats!

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  20. Since I follow you on IG, I knew this fabulousness ;) However, I always ALWAYS look forward to you blogging the story behind your pics :)
    SO SO SO SUPER STOKED for you!!!!!
    I drive my car, but I have been known to run to the gym and back (5 miles round trip)
    I try to be more competitive against myself cause no 2 people are alike and it just makes more sense to beat that girl I was last week, or a month ago :)
    Um, wall walks are fun, burpees are a B*tch but I tend to do them more just out of convenience :/

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    1. Thank you! And 100% agreed, burpees are a bitch. I'd wall walk any day. ;)

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  21. Congrats on your position and getting your CF mojo back!
    Also,good point on competing against our own selves and remembering to take time to work on form/faults instead of always trying to go faster.
    I'm still in the 'jumping pullups' phase of my crossfit journey, so I guess I'm a pansy, haha. How did you transition from those to kipping? I guess how does one know when it's time to start trying kipping?

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    1. Ananda, GREAT question. It's a personal belief of mine (some other coaches may tell you differently), but when you can do at least 2-3 strict pullups (not chin ups) you're ready to start kipping.

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    2. Interesting. I've always thought of kipping as the intermediary step before strict pullups but your belief suggests the opposite (which actually makes more sense to me). I get frustrated because I'm stuck in this phase of jumping pullups and pushups on the knees while I watch girls at my box progress. Guess there's nothing to do but continue to practice.
      Thanks for the response!

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  22. What a great post- you have a wonderful outlook! You've described perfectly how I feel about Crossfit. I love seeing my own progress and the progress of my peers- however minimal or slow to come. It's been a humbling experience for me; Crossfit challenges both my ego and my body.

    Not too sound like a braggart, but my commute is a flight of stairs :-) Gotta love working from home! I'm definitely my biggest competitor, and I would take burpees over wall walks any day.

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    1. Jealous of your tough "commute!"

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  23. I love every thing about this post. It is so true, I am my biggest competitor. I may not ever get to the games, but I am better at life. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. My gym is in my basement, so I walk to the gym :)

    I make up my own strength routines, but I also like to follow challenges that I find on Facebook (this month I just completed an Ab Challenge, last month was burpees). I compete against myself in that I try to go harder than I did the week before, go faster on HIITs, or up my weights.

    I dont know what wall walks are, so maybe I'd like them more than burpees??? Burpees suck like hell, but are so awesome for so many reasons!

    Great post, I felt your joy as you were writing it. Those ladies are super lucky to have you as their trainer.

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    1. Aw thanks Amy!

      And if you Google wall walks ... You'll discover the agony that exists outside of burpees!

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  26. Congrats on coaching! It seems like the people at this box are what inspired this post - the feeling of how it felt to start out vs how far you've come. If that is true, my vote is that you've found your new CF home in Georgia. :) I can tell in your words that you're happier. Good for you!

    Wall walks, because I suck at them. And I'm way more competitive with myself, but I'll use others as inspiration to keep pushing through a tough workout.

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    1. I suck at them too, which I think is why I'm obsessed with them, hah ;) Does anyone else have problems sleeping at night because they can't stop thinking about tackling their goats?!

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  27. Aw, hooray! It is true - so much of the joy of CrossFit is average people improving their confidence and their everday lives!

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    1. Ain't nothing wrong with being average! I love it :)

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  28. This is a great post! I am new to CrossFit a month in now but I have lifted weights for years so Crossfit was a little humbling for me. I always seem to be one of the last ones to finish a round and this REALLY bugged me at first because I am in shape but I find now when I look around at the others that this it's ok with me because I know that I put a lot of focus into my form whereas I see other women who are really competitive and just want to finish first.
    Thanks for the awesome Blog! Keep up the good work you're an inspiration!

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    1. AMEN girl. Trust me, in the long run, if you're going heavy and your following good form, YOU will persevere. I commend you! It's not easy, it takes a little bit of ego checking, but at the end of the day, you're the one coming out on top!

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  29. thanks to your post i did my first power clean today! i watched a video on youtube. great post.

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    1. Fantastic! Isn't it exhilarating getting all that weight off the ground so quickly?!

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  30. Thank you x100!! This is such a great reminder of why we do what we do. I have been doing crossfit for over a year now and still feel so very new in my journey, so many new skills, techniques, and weights to master. I recently got my L1 certification and hope to start up a kids program at our box.

    You are always such an inspiration! Keep doing what your doing. Thank you!!!

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    1. Congrats on your Level 1! I too, think teaching CrossFit kids would be SO much fun! :) Good luck on your journey, and remember, enjoy the ride!

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  31. I participated in my FIRST EVER CrossFit class this morning. It was very beginner (pushups, squats, situps, learning how to row, learning the kip pullup), but I loved every minute of it! You were the one who inspired me to find a CrossFit in my area, so THANK YOU! Super excited to hopefully continue on :)

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    1. Oh, my heart is so HAPPY hearing that! Keep me filled in on your progress and if you have any questions or need help with progressions or anything, I'm here to help you get to where you want to be. :) Happy CrossFitting, girl!

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  32. Glad you finally found a box you like! It can be hard to find a place that makes you feel at home. I thought you were already interning somewhere though? Are you still doing that or did you switch to another box completely?

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    1. I was interning, and I learned so much. I don't think I would be the Coach I am today without a lot of the skills I learned there, but it was a short internship, it ended before Thanksgiving. I haven't been doing that for months now! I've been CrossFitting on my own and at a small local gym, close to home. It's been great to be at CrossFit ATC, and have bumper weights again! It was getting really hard not to dump those metal plates!

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  33. Hella awesome post! I love this and it's making me want to get out and lift and just become a better, cooler, leaner version of myself :)

    Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily

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    1. Are you from southern or northern California, per chance? I love when people use the world HELLA! ;) HOLLA!

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  34. Congrats on getting the coaching position! I've never tried crossfit, but I'm doing a bootcamp program right now that is really pushing me to my limits (though without the group atmosphere - it's an online program). Crossfit seems super intense!

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