Bringing Home Baby Hope

When you think about bringing home your baby for the first time you think of all the joy, fear and excitement that come along with a tiny infant strapped into car seat that seams to engulf them.

In our case it was a VERY different experience.  We had to walk into a funeral home……. in a room on the side there was a tiny velvet bag wrapped around a container with our daughters ashes in it.  Candles burning and small wooden cross.  The director left my fiancé and our living daughter for a few moments with Hope.

It had been along time since I had cried that many heart felt tears, and for a good 5min there was no way to stop them.  The reality of our daughter being gone from this earth and the final step in the process had set in.

Two signatures later and we walked out carrying our daughter in a box.  As sad as it was, and as opposite from what we wanted it was, it was an important step for us.  Our family was finally whole, not in the way we had envisioned, but for the first time our family was complete and everyone was home.

My fiancé and I are not church goers by any means, but in extreme times we need to find things to give us peace, and in this case the tiny wooden cross was a great keep sake of the care and love our daughter had received while in her final moments before cremation. As a symbol of her, and the love and care we gave her, it seemed only appropriate to have her in our kitchen so that throughout the day everyday we can keep her alive and talk to her.

So while bringing baby Hope was a much different vision for us, at least she’s home with her parents and our family is together.



Hearing good news is hard…. and so is forgiving myself….

Today was the day we had to face our OBYN for our follow up appointment and it was with a mixed bag of emotions that sat in the waiting room.

Tears began flowing the instant a mom came out with an ultrasound for her teenage daughters newly conceived baby…..talking health and due dates…… knowing I was going in to talk about the death of our daughter I couldn’t hold them in.  Two families at the same doctor for two very different reasons.Good-News

The doc came in and began to explain my diagnosis – pre-prom…..not a miscarriage…. what’s the difference?

  • With a miscarriage something went wrong with the placenta or the uterus making it difficult to carry baby.


  • With pre-prom the water breaks and its so rare and such an anomaly that there isn’t enough research to even explain why it happens. The uterus and the placenta are healthy and theres no reason to think I can’t carry to full term.

So what does that mean moving forward?  That means that there is no physical reason to think that once my body is healed that we will have issues conceiving and even less issues thinking that under the super vision of a high-risk specialist that the baby will do anything but make it full term.

Hearing good news that we can have HOPE in our future and pregnancies to come ….. that my body didn’t do anything wrong or have any major issues…… that we have a 70=90% chance of having a successful second pregnancy….. that we can try to conceive again in as little as 6-8 weeks….  such a sense of relief and a moment of forgiving myself and letting go of so many fears and guilts.

As I sit talking to my mom I realize it was hard to hear good news….. I’ve been in such a dark sad place full of heavy bad news that I had forgotten how to get good news and how to be happy about it.  It’ll take a bit to process but today I am focusing on accepting good news and forgiving myself.


Learning to Laugh Again

One of the hardest things through all of this horror is moving forward.  There is so much pain and sadness it feels like there will never be a day of joy again.  You live for little moments of hope and happiness and they seem few and far between and fleeting.

And to compound it…… when you do find moments of joy and happiness they are accompanied with a feeling of guilt.  Guilt in a way of ‘how could you possibly be happy when your daughter just died?’time-quotes-life-is-mixture-of-sunshine-and-rain-teardrops-and-laughter-please-and-pain-just-remember-there-was-never-a-cloud-that-the-sun-wouldnt-shine-through

That is why the short over night Matt and I spent in Chicago was so critically important for me.  It was a chance to leave the house that’s so full of such heavy emotion.  Leave the house that’s full of all the baby things that won’t be used (at least not for now).  Leave the stress of mounting laundry, dishes and bills.

To get away from reality and just learn to laugh again.  To do stupid things like sip a cocktail with our fiancé at a corner bar and chat up the bartenders.  They don’t know what happened nor did they care.  The didn’t ask how we were doing or have an concern.  We got to pretend for a day that we were just Matt and Kate on a mini vacation.

Out of that I learned that I can laugh again…… I can smile……I can make it through this because as much as I would love to avoid this and put in a box and pretend it never happened…..that’s not a choice.  My only way through this…is to go right through the eye of the storm.  And while I still cry more than I laugh I am learning to do it again.



Just enough strength to cry

there is no one want to grieve or mourn when facing  loss….. there is also no way of predicting how you’re going to react or feel day to day – hell hour to hour and minute to minute.

Today was a day where my strength ran out.  It took everything I have had the last few days to not completely fall to pieces and today it showed.  The only thing I have had the strength to do is cry.2ec6a4b470b7aafc8c52bb1435ca682c

  • Cry for my broken heart
  • Cry for the emptiness
  • Cry for the loss
  • Cry for my finances pain
  • Cry for the sheer exhaustion
  • Cry for the old me that will forever be changed

I made a few attempts to get up and brush it off and they all led to tears…… so I stopped fighting it –   I turned off the lights, I closed the curtains, I put away my phones and I cried.

While I know I need to move forward, and do my best to smile and look for the positives I also need some times to fall apart and cry.  It’s a part of the process and one that while truly painful will make me stronger on the other side…….when I eventually get there.


Finding HOPE in despair

One of the hardest things I’ve ever faced is the loss of our daughter to a pre-term labor this past weekend. Through out the 3 days in the hospital Matt and I went to so many dark places…… and coming home to our quiet, still, dark house made it seem much darker.  When you’re in that place it seems next to impossible to ever make it back to the light.

Thankfully Matt and I have such an amazing support system around us that they made it impossible for us to stay there.  The greatest gift we have had is connecting with other parents that have dealt with similar situations.

A dear friend of mine shared her experience with loss and all the things they learned and gained from their tragedy…… through that we discovered our daughters purpose on this earth…… to give us HOPE……

  • HOPE in Matt and I being bonded for lifeshutterstock_137307233Hope-300x300
  • HOPE in our family
  • HOPE in our future
  • HOPE in our children to come
  • HOPE in being able to help others through this in the future

It seemed only appropriate that we named our daughter Hope Spinner as there is no greater word to describe what she gave us.  I am so impressed with Hope’s strength and ability to bring her parents so close in such a short period of time.  I’m so impressed with Hope’s sacrifice to assure her siblings parents will never part. She is truly the strongest little girl this world has ever seen and from this extreme despair we are walking away with HOPE.


Not posting your daily WOD doesn’t make it better……

If there is one thing that always makes me giggle is affiliates that treat their programming as if it’s gold…….. I love you and you’re commitment to the work you’re putting in, but you’re programming isn’t made of gold.bw-padlock

I’m not belittling the time and effort that people put into their programming – hell we write our programming 4-6 weeks in advance and have physical therapists review it so we think our programming is pretty solid.

Let’s look at some BIG DOGS in the CrossFit world, CrossFit Invictus, Hyperfit USA and Crossfit New England, gyms that have a huge following in the CrossFit Games level athlete level…….. guess what they do…… POST THEIR DAILY WOD!

Why?  Because the magic of programming isn’t in the workout itself.  Yes of course a thought out program is important, but they understand that the magic of a program is in the coaching, the cueing and the motivation.

So get over yourself….. your programming isn’t a magic program…… your coaching is your gold.


CrossFit does not mean CrossFit

One of the hardest things to explain to people in and outside the CrossFit world is that CrossFit doesn’t mean CrossFit…….what does that mean?

It means that other than paying to use the word CrossFit we have NOTHING in common.  Every facility is run 100% independent from each other and putting CrossFit in your business title doesn’t mean your gym is even CrossFitting.xxAoQ163

It has become such a buzz word that gets gyms climbing up the google search results that some gyms pay the affiliate fee for that alone, but when it comes to applying the original philosophy they are far from what CrossFit believes.

  • When was the last time your gym sat you down and talked about the philosophy of CrossFit and why you’re doing what you’re doing?
  • When was the last time your coach walked you through the sick – well – fit curve?
  • Have you ever been shown the 10 general physical skills and where that is reflected in the programming?

Do your research and understand WHY you’re doing what you’re doing vs following a coach blindly.  I truly believe that the only way to buy into a coach and a program is to understand the whys of what you’re doing.  At Coca CrossFit we do as much education as we do coaching.  We want our members to understand the benefits of what they’re doing and why its called ‘CrossFit’ vs just working out.  Get them to ask questions and become knowledgable about their bodies and their journey so they can actively participate in the process.

Much like any other consumer product that you research the CrossFit gym or any gym you select should be put to the same test.  What is the owners resume?  What have they done personally?  What educational back ground do they have? Is it their life or their hobby?  How long have they been coaching?  What have others said about their experience?

An educated consumer is a happy consumer (in my humble opinion)


Falling a part and pulling it back together

Over the last two months I have learned more about fatigue and nausea that I ever knew possible.  Feeling like a walking zombie, barely keeping food down and the idea of having any brain function is laughable.

Now as I enter my second trimester I am finding that there are more good hours than bad hours on days, but I’m far from saying I feel good.  What I have realized now that I am having more good hours is just how badly I let everything go….. my home…my gym…my body….my nutrition……all way below my normal functioning level.


Of course having a clear moment to realize how far things have unraveled only drives me to unravel farther because I am my owner worst critic and bully.  A few hours of ‘what the hell did I let happen’ ….. a few tears….. and learning on my fiancé and the reality is this is where I am at, now lets pull it back together.

It’s ok to no be ok….. and today i was not ok, but that does not mean i’ll find a dark room and disappear, it means I did what i needed to do emotionally to get it out of my system, I’m pulling my big girl pants back up, and taking a step forward, no matter how small.



Guess what….. You’re NOT that cool…..

If there is one thing I know in this world it’s that you’re not possibly as ‘cool’ as you think you are.

There is nothing that erks me more than hearing someone belittle those around them for their choices.  Your way of thinking…. feeling….working out….. eating….. its not the ONLY way to do it.  You can feel as strong and as passionately about what you’re doing as you want, but it’s not black and white the best way.  It’s simply the best way for you.  Great!  Own it!  Stop--Youre

BUT you choice to call someone a douche or laugh at how stupid they are doesn’t make you any better.  In fact it makes you smaller than the person you’re trying to be ‘cooler’ than.

I battle this everyday because there are things that I feel strongly about, and watching others do things that just don’t make sense, or may injure people is difficult.  Watching people post videos of bad reps bragging about their PR.  Reading blogs from ‘experts’ that clearly just started a coaching career 6 months ago is maddening.

But guess who’s issue that is…… mine….. so i do my best to put on my blinders, do that best I can to educate those around me with the best knowledge I have available. And that’s also why it’s so important to me to continue to be a student of my sport.  The minute I know it all and call myself an expert is the day I’ll retire.

So regardless of how cool you think you are….. you’re probably not as cool as you think you are….. and instead of judging and belittling those that ‘don’t know as much as you’ – try reaching out and sharing knowledge.


Are you RX’ing for your ego?

One of the biggest things that I see taking athletes down in the long run is chasing the RX and sacrificing all things; mental, physical and emotional health to get it.

I often clarify with myself and my athletes that just because I CAN RX (do a workout as written) doesn’t mean I should.  Scaling back or modifying workouts isn’t a dirty thing or a weak thing, it’s a smart thing.  Ego2

What are examples of good times to NOT RX:

  • You’re running on 4 hours of sleep because your kids didn’t sleep the night before
  • You’re feeling a ripping soreness in your muscles
  • You’re feeling a tweak in anyway going through the range of motion
  • You’re completely over whelmed by life and you’re at the end of your rope
  • You’re not strong enough to do strict movement (i.e. muscle up) but you’re going to do 100 kipping and blow out your shoulders

Can you survive a day, a week a month…… sure…… in the long run you’re doing yourself a disservice.  Allowing your body the ample time and resources you need to recover in the short term, while isn’t sexy, will pay dividends in the long run.

On a daily basis evaluate yourself….. are you RX’ing because you want to or because you’re ego of having that little ‘RX’ next to your name is driving you?