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?


Coaching is about the EXPERIENCE

NOT YOURS……. your clients.  If you’re coaching means coming in, running through the technical side and leaving you’re leaving so much on the table.  how-to-create-experiences-customers-would-crawl-over-hot-coals-to-have-1-638

At Coca CrossFit we do our best to create an experience….. the whole experience.  It may be my 5th or 9th class but it’s the first class for your clients.  It’s important my energy level reflects how I feel about being able to serve each member each day. From a warm felt welcome, to asking how their interview went or how the kids are doing, but engaging in my clients lives and what’s going on in their world.  Hell the simple fact that I know every members name is critically important to me.

It’s important you get members to engage with other members.  There’s nothing worse than someone feeling left out or even worse, no one talking to each other.  Doesn’t happen at Coca.  I could care less how different someone is from the person next to them I’ll find something they can connect on.

It’s important you ask them what they want to hear…..yes I could rock the music I want to hear all day, but it’s not my class, it’s theirs.  And honestly more often then not it’s ‘Rap’ or ’90’s Hip Hop’ that I have requested.

It’s important your members know you’re proud of them.  While they may not be ready to wear your logo on the floor of the Reebok CrossFit Games giving your ego a boost because you’re such an awesome coach……. putting 5lbs more on the bar, hell not adding weight but moving better is a WIN!  You should be able to find one thing a day to celebrate each athlete.

It’s important people leave the gym feeling loved, important, validated and more importantly that the work their putting in is working.


NEWS FLASH….pushing someone down does NOT pull you up

I wish I could keep track of the number times a day I hear someone push someone down…… as if it will some how pull themselves up.  It’s simple comments like:

  • ‘who do they think they are?’
  • ‘what the hell is she wearing?’
  • ‘she’s a complete moron, how did she get a raise?’
  • ‘that’s not even full range, how is that a PR?’

If we all spent 1/2 the time we spent pushing others down investing in pulling ourselves up what a world we’d have.news-flash

This is something I have personally battled with, and working with life coaches and counselors since opening up my business I have done a ton and i mean a TON of soul searching.  And what I realized is that I pushed people down.  Why?  Because I had to justify why I wasn’t living up to my true potential.

Instead I have started seeing my own self worth, value and ability to live to my potential.  No excuses, just plan old hard work.  I want something I have to roll up my damn sleeves and put in the work.


What I learned dating a woman…..

I’m not sure I’ll ever truly be able to capture all the things I learned about myself, my family and the world around me….good, bad, indifferent in the year I dated and lived with a woman.


Let’s get the eye opening (aka the bad) out of the way:
*I learned that those closest to me were the FIRST to turn on me because they were ‘god loving and righteous’…and I was immediately cut out (after 2 years of ‘being family’)
*I learned that those that worked for me were the FIRST to tell me to be careful how I presented myself because working for me was an ‘iffy’ thing now because it was a reflection on them (talk about being self focused)
*I learned coaches were calling telling people to GET OUT because Coca had now become an morally corrupt place (keep in mind this was over night)
*I learned that families can tolerate others life choices as long as they don’t come home
*I learned that fear shapes a lot of lives

*I learned that I could run a business that accepted people EXACTLY as they are (ZERO EXPECTATIONS)
*I learned that the community of Coca CrossFit flourished under my strength to be ME….if I was confident enough to stand for what I wanted they too could stand for something they may have hesitated to in the past
*I learned that my family can hit ROCK BOTTOM and survive (to the point there were silent relationships, that were screaming at each other relationships, that blossomed into truly UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING relationships)
*I learned that I will do ME regardless of how difficult or how many people don’t understand
*I learned that more than a dozen other CrossFit affiliate owners who had kept their same-sex relationships out of the gym integrated into the gym and were embraced and strengthened their community as a result
*I learned that those that truly love you will always love you even when they don’t understand or accept you
*I learned that I can forgive even when I felt like I was the one that was wronged
*I learned that I am stronger than I ever knew
*I learned that I will share my struggles and story and all its ups and downs without fear of judgement…..

Because if I can not only survive being called a disgrace as a human being by a friend and come close to losing my mothers love to only have the strongest friendships I’ve ever had and a relationship with my mother that is 100% unconditional….nothing can hold me down. I will stumble….I will fall…. but i will never stop licking my wounds and moving forward.


Why you won’t see me on the arena floor….

Yesterday on my ‘mental health’ day aka working out in the middle of the afternoon in an empty gym I realized how much I love training, and I’m probably one of the few that likes doing it alone.  It’s calm and peaceful and the go go go pace that happens when you’re working with others is removed.

Today as I tackled a what seemed like a ‘death by Diane’ after an hour of gymnastics and and hour of lifting I had a true ‘AHA moment’idea-qisur-flickr

The gym was all but empty with just Russ and I.  As I set up all the weight changes and deficit increases for the HSPU and was getting ready to go.  I found P!nk radio and Russ asked ‘do you want me to start the clock?” I almost said no I don’t care, but felt like if he’s asking I should do accept.

As I finished my Diane (21-15-9 Deadlift/hand stand pushup), increased weights and headed into the heavy Diane, I felt relaxed and at ease.  Until I looked up and could see Russ onlooking.  I started an internal battle with I should GO and put up a solid performance, but then I really wasn’t concerned about the clock and I held strong with my original plan.  Move at a steady pace and finish the workout.

It was also the moment I realized that I KNOW what keeps me off the arena floor….. my drive to push to the dark place, my drive to race the clock.  I truly enjoy working on my gymnastics and all the conjugate lifting and WOD because I feel like I have to and it is good for me.  I used to have a fire that all I cared about was WODing and running the clock down.

My AHA moment….. realizing that I am in a place of truly enjoying the process, chipping thorough workouts, without the pressure of chasing other or the clock.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy working out with others, its just that I add pressure to myself to ‘perform’ when I’m with others.  I truly love the lifting and challenging my body.  The WOD portion….eh….

I am not saying this is how I’ll feel for ever, but its the evolution of my athletic career right now.


My version of a mental health day……

One thing that is lacking when you own your business is set aside paid vacation days, sick days and the often over looked ‘mental health day’.

Out of Order Sticker Funny Quote

Out of Order Sticker Funny Quote

Today it was 75 and sunny in november in Cleveland….. UNHEARD OF!!!  I had my usual start to the day for a Thursday;

  • 6:00am wake up
  • 6:30am breakfast
  • 6:45am-8:45am admin work
  • 9:00-10:15am LCCC college class
  • 10:15-10:30am take dog to vet for surgery
  • 10:30am-12:30pm  Workout……… well at least that was my plan….
  • 12:30 turned into 1:30 turned into 2:30pm

As the time ticked away I became more and more relaxed where as I usually would have become more and more stressed because I have so much to accomplish.  But as I mentioned it was 75 and sunny…. the bay door was open….the jams were pumping AND the gym was empty.  It was such a state of peace and calm that all I could think is ‘I think this is my version of a mental health day’.  And in that moment I made the decision that was just what it would be. Of course I couldn’t help but laugh that my version of a ‘mental health day’ was being in the place that causes me my stress (irony).

No Admin work between training and coaching. Just enjoy the weather, my life, reflect and breath.  4:30-7:30pm coaching was truly enjoyable because I wasn’t franticly running around all day returning phone calls, emails, making meetings etc.  I was calm and zen and was able to be in that moment each class.



My #wcw goes out to me….

today…… i take the time to celebrate me….and all that I have found the last few months….. MYSELF!

As motivators and coaches we spend our days celebrating others we often forget to celebrate ourselves and all we have done to get where we are and the impact sharing that struggle can have on others.

so today…. my #wcw (woman crush wednesday) goes out to Kate ‘killer’ Rawlings….. 2010 Kate ‘killer’ Rawlings… the girl that looked fear in the face and leaped.  Lead to competing at the 2010 CrossFit Games, getting picked up by sponsors and opening an affiliate.  Since then it’s been a wild ride of injuries layered on top of learning how to run a business.


3 months ago I finally said ‘enough’…. enough putting myself last, enough trying to be all things to all people, enough of feeling not enough!  I decided to set aside the time I needed to train, and I mean really train, and enjoy the process.  I’m not talking I”m going to give myself 60min and I’ve got to get in and out and back to the grind. I mean really relax, and enjoy training again even if it takes 2-3 hours.

Fast forward 3 months and holy hell……I’m down 16lbs, feeling a lot less stressed, I”m getting more done productivity wise, my nutrition is on point allowing me to run 14-16 hours a day day after day.  It’s a beautiful transformation.

I was down at CrossFit Conjugate two weeks ago and it clicked…… I FOUND ME AGAIN!!! and the craziest part…. I didn’t even know I was lost.

So it’s been a crazy 5 years and I can say I have never felt this alive!  I love what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and those around me.  I’m truly blessed and doing me….. allows me the energy to help others do them to!



conjugate logo and tattooHONOR- RESPECT – GRATITUDE – CONJUGATE

(image on left is in Slovak, I’m 50% Slovakian, and might just be my new ink)

I’m not even sure what happened but as I was reaping 255lbs stiff legged deadliest for sets of 6 after also managing to;
– hit 30 burpee muslce ups in a workout
– squatted without a box pre-workout ( and in a workout- hasn’t happened in 4+months)
– hit a bar muscle up, strict pull-up, kipping complex
– hit strict chest to bar pull-up
– lost 14lbs
– hit 8″ deficit hspu……50 of them….
all within the last week……IT’S ALL STARTING TO CLICK!!!!!

Then walks in Laura Phelps Sweatt…. and I couldn’t hold it in…. tears welled up. why? Because since competing at the CrossFit Games as an individual athlete it has been a rough go. Injury…. recover….. to an injury….to recover to another injury……

3 years ago I hosted the CrossFit Powerlifting certification where I first met Shane and Laura, and we discussed working together. They wanted to see if they could get me to be a better fitter faster athlete than I was before the string of injuries. I reluctantly agreed because I have always had that ‘bug’ to be the best I can be.

Layer in meeting Sean Lind last year at a seminar put on by CrossFit Conjugate and I began to realize just how difficult moving my own body weight was…..layer in conjugate gymnastics programming……

3 months ago I made an all chips in full commitment…..commit to doing conjugate gymnastics programming everyday on top of the conjugate nation programming……no excuses….and man oh man was it frustrating. I was tired, and moving my own weight made me feel like a hippo on the rings.

2 months ago I finally reached out to Jason Ackerman about macros and I decided…. time to clean up my diet….

I was then committed to conjugate nation, conjugate gymnastics and macros……It seems to be the perfect trifecta…I am getting leaner, lighter, moving my own weight easier and getting stronger!!!!!

it seems like I have finally found myself and holy moly does it feel amazing. Laura walked by as I was working stiff legged deadliest at 255lbs and it hit me and my eyes welled up with tears….. this 3 year journey helped me find myself and the crazy part – I didn’t even know I was lost. It’s not often we find people that are genuinely just looking to do good by you, support you and encourage you without any expectation in return. I could never repay them for all they have given back to me! Conjugate for life!