Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Learning from the People Around You

I've talked a lot about what I learn from my training and my personal experiences both in and outside of the gym, but over the past year or so, I want to say I've learned equally as much from the people (both good and bad) that have been a part of my life. I'm going to be specific in some cases and purposefully vague in others, but I feel like I need to start with someone who's become a huge part of my CF and personal life. 

Melissa: My training partner, competition teammate and now best friend. I will be the first to admit and be proud of the fact that Melissa trains harder than me and pretty much anyone I know. She is dedicated and determined, but at the same time human. She has bad days, days where she is down, but she always seems to pick herself up and kick ass the next day. We are lucky enough to balance each other out almost perfectly, but rarely do I get to tell her how much her dedication inspires me. It doesn't need to be perfect, but it's there. Having her around has given me more confidence, something to work towards, someone to laugh with and someone who listens and gets me better than most people in my life. 

The plethora of men I've dated in the past year: I could probably write a book and really make you all laugh, but what I learned from this is much different than what I expected. The most obvious things would be that I had to learn to be happy with myself to realize what I want from a relationship and sticking to the things I wanted without sacrificing too much or settling is perfectly okay. Two things I learned that were much more subtle would be the following: no matter what happens, the gym will always be there, as my safe place and an arena where I can feel strong, where I can celebrate my happiness and work through tough times; it is consistent and always works. Secondly, I've learned to be unapologetically me, to do what I want when I want and to stay true to myself no matter what result that will have on the relationship I am in (this is HUGE for me). 

Lastly (for this post), would be all of my coaches, Chris at CFW, Mike and Gilbert at CFN and Steve at Downstate CF/Swistak Olympic Lifting. Having people around you who care about your training, spend the time to correct and observe what you are doing and giving helpful feedback is invaluable. As hard as it is to believe (wink face), I've never been great at listening to authority, but working with coaches on something I love has taught me to listen, to accept constructive criticism and most of all to do something about it. 

This is only a start of who and from what I've learned recently, so likely I'll be back to write more about this later in the week :) Just remember to look around, to take things in and learn from all of it. 

165 Power clean!!

Crossfit Sistttassss

Mel stringing 3 muscle ups!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Appreciating Success and Failure

The past couple of months of training have resulted in tons (seriously, countless) huge successes and PRs and huge disappointments. Sometimes even in the same day.  Unfortunately, my immediate reaction is to let the failure outshine the success and even more unfortunately this also happens in my personal and work life. 

For some people, including myself, thinking positively and separating success from failure is a really difficult thing to do. It takes work, a lot of it. I'm constantly reminding myself to be conscious of where my mind begins to wander and actively pointing it in the right direction. For example, the other day at Crossfit I PR'ed my power clean and got it for 3, but immediately after I sucked ass at a workout and in my head that completely cancelled out the PR. Days after, I realize that they are 2 separate things and that neither really has bearing on the other. 

No one will always succeed at every single thing they do, but when they do, it should be able to be celebrated. Each individual success, whether its tiny or huge, should be taken for exactly what it is. 

This doesn't mean we should ignore our failures, sometimes they teach me the most about who I am and where I want to go. Yes, the feeling can suck, but once you get past that and are able to reflect upon 1. why you failed and 2. how you can modify your life or training in the future so you don't continue to fail, it can be a blessing in disguise. And not to forget how it always brings you back to a level of humility. 

So take the successes, appreciate them. Take the failures, appreciate them. Let them separately and jointly guide your life, but never let them outshine or discount the other. 

I never sweat this much so I had to take a picture, which doesn't do it justice at all

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Fight with Food

Let's just say for me...the struggle is real when it comes to food.
I've spoke about this a little here in the past, but about 6-7 years ago my relationship with food was horrendous. How little I could eat was a contest with myself and the guilt I felt when I indulged was unbearable. That mental battle plagued me for years as I went up and down in weight with extreme swings, which usually went in line with my happiness. I was 100% controlled by food (which sounds absolutely ridiculous). 

For the last 2-3 years, I had convinced myself that I was better, that because I was no longer afraid to eat I was healthy. But...this resulted in me literally eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, paying no attention to what I was really putting into my body. I became more and more involved in Crossfit, so the pounds of jelly beans and chips and greasy food never really made much of an impact on my physical appearance. For once, I felt like I controlled the food. (which again, sounds ridiculous)

At the time it was hard to see, but each of these was equally unhealthy for me. Either way, I was 1. not listening to my body and 2. not giving my body the correct nutrients it needs to perform and thrive. 
I can't tell you how many times people have told me that my performance at the gym would get better if I actually made any effort into what I was eating. My stubborn ass denied it for as long as I could and then....
The past six months have been the first time since I was 14 yrs old that I truly eat when I am hungry, don't look at food as a battle for control and think through what is going into my body. 

Do I eat perfectly? Not by any means. Do I want to eat perfectly? Not really. I want to eat to fuel me, to satisfy hunger and to have fun. So how do I put this in place? I've limited cheese to one meal a day, indulge in small amounts of chocolate and ice cream every day (yes, every day) and really listen to what my body wants. Each decision I make regarding food is no longer a fight, but just a simple, educated decision with a goal and level of balance in mind. 

How do you keep this balance? 

omg love this
what are you training for? What are you eating for? LIFE 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Update Your Goals: CF Edition

I think as we progress in both life and in the gym, we have to constantly stop, take a look at how far we've come and where we want to go next. In essence, evaluate our past goals and shape and change them according to where we want our path to lead next. You are the only one in total control of where your life goes and this is a way that I make sure to hold myself accountable for this.
(I'll start with in the gym bc the "in life" goals take a lot more thought)

A year ago my main goal was to get all of my lifts and abilities back to where they were before I had knee surgery. It may have taken longer than I wanted it to, but I have successfully achieved that goal and feel lucky to have been able to work through it and improve beyond what I even imagined. So without further adieu, here are my updated CF goals: 

1. Snatch 125# (current: 100#)
2. Squat Clean 170# (current: 155#)
3. Front Squat 195# (current 175#)
4. OHS 135# (current 115# for 3)
4. 10 linked butterfly pullups (current: 6 max), maybe even some C2B :)
5. 10 consecutive HSPU from the floor (current: 2)
6. 1 muscle up
7. Jerk: 145# (current: 125#)
8. get into a freestanding handstand, maybe even walk a couple feet!

Time to work!!

B Tracy