Friday, March 30, 2012


How you see me (yeah I know Bec's in the pic too... apparently I'm not a big self-portraiter so bear with me here... plus let's be honest she makes it so much prettier lol)

How I "see" me about 95% of the time...

Or, occasionally...

What a nightmare, train-wreck, disaster.. I saved these pictures on my desktop as file names "hot mess" and "sick" respectively because that's exactly what they are. I know that isn't REALLY what I look like now, but at the same time it's hard to get past that mental image of who you were. Everyone who comes along in life writes on the slate of who we are and who we will become. But it is ultimately up to us to pick and choose who we will allow such an important role in our lives--that is the hard part. Even after you realize you deserve/desperately neeeeeeed better people and become more selective, it's still a hell of a process getting rid of the negative things that seem to be permanently etched into our psyche.

The gym has been one of the most consistently bright spots in my life next to my son, because you can rack up positive experiences and accomplishments daily--tangible and intangible. More reps, higher weights, being able to master a movement you couldn't do last week. Friends who will cheer you on every day, who send you a message saying "where the hell are you" if you don't show up for class, and who tell it like it is on the days when you need someone to give you a swift kick in the ass. I talk about this stuff a lot because it's all so damn true. I see it and live it every single freakin day. We've found strength--physical, mental, emotional--in getting through these WOD's together day after day, and by leaning on each other outside those walls.

As one of my fellow strugglers recently said, "at Crossfit is where I'm most comfortable because I am in control there. How good I am is determined by how hard I push myself and not by how anyone else treats me or what they have to say." Isn't that how it should be in every aspect of life? Probably. But at the gym there's nobody else in the background jeering or treating you like garbage no matter how hard you try. Nobody says what you're doing isn't good enough unless it's true, and that just means they expect more from you because they know you're capable of better. That's where we all need to live.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Leaning out

I've spent a lot of time the past couple months trying to get my shit in line, and I haven't tried to hide it. I figure I spent enough time hiding in the dark, better to shed some light on the situation to keep things on the legit side now. It's been a long road to say the very least, but thankfully I've had a lot of great people in my corner and that has made all the difference in the world.

At some point in our lives, we might find ourselves wasting too much time and effort on garbage--asshole people, bad habits, and terrible vices were all my chosen distractions. It started around November for me, and progressively got worse as the year came to a close. By January I knew it was time for a change, but I really wasn't ready to do what was necessary.. because real change isn't easy. Choosing to lean out your life and pare down to only what is necessary means giving up and getting rid of a lot of things that are keeping you from having to deal with the real issues.

Leaning out is fucking tough--in your body, in your environment, and in your life. It's easier to eat shitty fast food and mow through a pan of brownies without a care in the world than it is to pay attention to what you're putting in your body. Surrounding yourself with like-minded idiots (however assonine they may be) is much easier than facing the ones who are gonna tell you when your acting like a selfish jackass. And of course choosing vices over positive habits is simpler too because once again, there's zero accountability. It was easier for me a few months ago to hole up in my basement with a bottle of wine and a pack of smokes and pretend my life wasn't going to hell in a handbasket. All I needed was a few enablers to tell me what I was doing was just fine and we're on our way! True story.. sick, pathetic, unbelievable story.. looking back on that now makes me wonder who the fuck I had become in those moments.

Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but I still have a hard time believing that just a few months ago I was such a freakin trainwreck. I tend to be pretty hard on myself, I beat myself up over things long after everyone else has forgiven and let it go. I often wonder where I would be if it hadn't been for some of the better influences in my life that have come along thanks to Crossfit. Those are the people who never gave up on me. So many I can't even name them all. But one in particular said something to me recently that really stuck and made me think... she said something to the effect of, "Stop beating yourself up. You don't deserve it no matter what you've done in your life. Maybe you made some mistakes, but you shouldn't have to pay for them forever. I don't give a fuck what you've done in your past because I know you now--you're a neat person with a lot to offer, and that's what matters today."

We're hard-wired as humans to go for the instant gratification--everyone wants a quick fix. Putting in the man hours and paying attention is scary because we see the truth only once we force ourselves to read between the lines.. and sometimes it requires a hell of a lot of work to reclaim life from the trenches. On one hand I wish I could go back to where this all began and bring it all to a screeching halt, but then I realize maybe I needed to go through all that to get the reality check necessary to end up where I am today. I've leaned out my life, and I'm damn proud of it. Wasn't easy or painless, but just as with all other difficult changes I'm much better and stronger for it... and from what I understand, strong people are much harder to kill!

Monday, March 19, 2012

When you're at the end of your rope....

Tie a knot and hold on! Eventually you'll get strong enough to climb back up that biotch--literally and figuratively!! While I'm still working on doing that in my life outside the gym, I'm feeling quite victorious about my 6, count em, 6 rope climbs tonight (as you can clearly tell haha).. At any rate, a great way to start the week, yippie!!!!

What I felt like


What I probably looked like... hahaha...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

You Know You're a Craver When.......

This weekend was totally badass, really had a great time celebrating Dylan's birthday with some friends and people from the box. Literally cannot think of the last time I had that much fun! And it was an incident free evening, hahaha.. always a plus! So of course today I was thinking about some of the crazy shit we CFer's do that other people might find a little... ummm... unsettling, and I've compiled the short list! Enjoy!

You know you're a Craver when:

*You do handstands. Everyfuckingwhere. And then take a pic of it to send to Ashley.

(Of course I'm at the far left struggling for life... booze + new to handstands = Fail)

*You have so many bruises people either think you're a battered wife or training to become a cage fighter

*A newbie at the gym asks what you do for fun and you say "This..."

*Nobody understands half the shit you post on your FB status because it's always in Crossfit lingo (and they bitch about it... haters gon' hate, haha)

*You've seen the glorious Open 'stache

*Your chosen mode of getting from one place to the next is never walking--instead you high-skip/karaoke/do some other random movement that pretty much scares anyone who doesn't understand what's going on

*You legitimately know someone with the nickname "Steel Panther"

*Everything you do is for time and begins with "3...2...1...Go!" even if it's only in your head

*When life hands you lemons, you do a lemon drop!

Short but great, true stuff always is the funniest! I love my box, I love our trainers, and I love these crazy ass people--my life has truly been enriched by everyone I've met there. Here's to the gym that has become a second home, and to friends who have become more like family! (I'd drink to that but I'm pretty sure I couldn't even look at a beer after last night)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blockin' bullshit!

"You know what you need to do? Just cut all this extra bullshit out of your life right now. You got too much shit goin on. Focus on you, Connor, and the gym and just say fuck everything else!"

"Focus on the positive. If there is anyone in your life who makes you feel the least bit unwanted, self conscious, or just not good let them go. You have to value yourself more than anyone else to get the respect and love you deserve."

Two of the best pieces of advice I've probably ever been given in my life, both received from fellow CF'ers in the past couple weeks. I share a little bit of my struggle because I want other people to know they aren't alone. That even if your plans get effed up a million times, life has a way of balancing back out once you steady the sails again. There comes a time when you have to start making the hard decisions whether you like it or not. Sometimes that means leaving people behind whether you want to or not. Sometimes it's a whole group of people that become nothing but deadweight to your dreams and progress. Time to crawl out of the rut with the help of those who have a positive effect on your life. I figure something/someone is either building you up or breaking you down... and if you aren't sure which one it is, you should probably drop em like the bad habit they are. Often times we know the answer but we try to find a way to get around it when the truth is staring us in the face.

Ironically enough as I'm writing this tonight I get a ridiculous text from one of my former "friends," and I remember exactly why I decided to take TC's advice and cut the fucking bullshit out of my life once and for all. And Ash K's, for that matter, to finally stand up for my damn self. Life is too short to get caught up in other people and their drama; the truth is when people try to tear you down it's only because they want to bring you to their level. I'm rising above that today. For the first time in my life I'm putting on the effin gloves to fight for my own happiness. The things that make my happy are simple--my close family and real friends, Connor, Crossfit/the people there, and work. Fuck all the rest. It's time to block bullshit.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Drink the Kool-Aid

Do you ever think back as to why you began Crossfit in the first place? It's been almost a year since I started my love affair with the box. Granted I strayed a few months here and there, but only because I let what was most important to me take a backseat to a lot of unnecessary bullshit. So I was thinking about what brought me to Crave in the first place.. I had actually emailed Ashley a few months prior just to see what it was all about, but at the time I was in really poor shape and just beginning to reclaim my health. Several months later I was talking to my zumba instructor (Josie :) who said that she had just started taking classes and I jumped at the chance to go too--in fact, I showed up the next morning for the 6 am class! I'd made my way into every workout known to man by this point--running, kickboxing, zumba, triathalon style training... working out at least twice a day... but nothing had prepared me for Crossfit. The first two weeks were GRUELING, I napped every morning for like 3 hours after class! But eventually it became second nature and the aches weren't so unbearable.
I think I was pretty much hooked from the beginning, but I can't pinpoint exactly what it was that brought me back every day begging for more. These days I do the occasional zumba class or go for a run, but in the workout realm of my life Crossfit is second to nothing. So why do we do it? What makes the WOD such an irresistable b*tch? This is my personal (Pinterest) compilation of reasons why I Crossfit:

>To change my life, one rep at a time
>To be able to sell more tickets to the gun show!
>Because I want to be a BEAST!
>Because it takes ALL I've got, yet somehow gives back more
>Cause I love when I'm randomly walking around looking at big stuff secretly sizing it up and thinking "I could totally lift that..."
>To be able to endure ANYTHING
>Because the stronger you are, the better you feel
>To (one day) not be ashamed of my body
>Because I'm making myself a fighter
>To feel like I'm on top of the world after every damn WOD
>Because every day is one step closer to who I want to be
>To shock everyone, including myself, with what I can accomplish

Crossfit is about so many things--strength, endurance, speed, lifting heavy shit... but the reach is far beyond that. It's about friends and family, a sense of pride and community that no one can truly understand until they become an indoctrinated member of the club. All the CF-haters call it a cult, and maybe they're right...

But if you just drink the kool-aid I'm sure you'll understand ;-)