You are not ready for CrossFit…

…and you will never be ready for CrossFit.


So you should absolutely start today. Right now. Right this second. 

Photo by Christopher Nolan-www.metconphotos.com

I am never prepared when I walk into the box. 
Whether I know or I don’t know what’s on the whiteboard for today.
There is always a feeling in the pit of my stomach that reminds me that I am decidedly unprepared for whatever I’m about to do.

Kind of like when you’re about to take the test of your whole life and you know you should have studied harder or memorized more.
Except this is not that kind of test. 

This test is going to ask more of you.
Demand more of you.
It’s not about your body. Your body can handle it.
This one is about your mind.
Can your mind push through the suck?
Can you convince yourself to give those last 5 reps?

I can.
You can.

This is not easy.
This is not leg lifts in leg warmers on your living room floor watching tv.

This is sweaty.
This is difficult.
This will be painful.
This will get done.

Whether it takes 5 minutes or 35 minutes.
You’ll do it.

And you’ll be back tomorrow and the next day and do it all over again.

That’s when something awesome happens. One day, you’ll walk into the box and you’ll do the work out and it will seem…easy. That’s you, getting better.
So you’ll do the unthinkable.
You’ll do something that you never thought you’d do when you first entered the box.
You’ll make it harder. On purpose.
You’ll add more weight.
You’ll move faster to make it more difficult.
You’ll get even better.
You will purposely make sure that you aren’t ready.

Because your success–your goals–are beyond comfortable. 
You have to be uncomfortable to see how far you can really go.
To find your best self.
So you’re not going to be ready.
But you can start out toward your dreams.

Today.
Right now.
Right this second.

3…2…1…GO. 



‘Cause we could all be better people

I’m taking a cue from my friend Lauren over at Breaking the Mold today and making some goals for this year. Not too many, not too few, just enough. 

20 in ’14.

I’m not much for resolutions, but I always seem to find areas in my life that I can improve upon. Because we can all be better people, right?!

So here it goes:

Blog:
1. Increase readership through use of social media (I’m stuck using my personal twitter when I should be using my Eat.Pray.WOD twitter!) If you wanna follow me on Eat.Pray.WOD twitter you can do that HERE. If you want to follow me on my personal twitter, you can do that HERE.
2. Post more often. I was kinda slacking in the last half of 2013.
3. Bring back some fan favorite features…like Athlete Profiles!
4. Promote my Facebook Page more.
5. Gain more/Maintain awesome relationships with sponsors and fellow bloggers. Hi friends!

Family:
6. Write my daddy a letter every week
7. Call my mama everyday.
8. Visit home once a month
9. Spend a major holiday with my sister and brother
10. Visit Hebbronville home at least once this year

Fitness:
11. Continue running 3-5 times/week
12. Continue crossfitting 4-6 times/week
13. 18% body fat! Say whaaaaat? I don’t even know if this is really possible.
14. Mother effin’ muscle ups.
15. 8 minute mile.

Personal:
16. Buy myself a new piece of work clothing twice a month.
17. WEAR JEWELRY! 
18. Actually do my laundry all the way. Wash, dry, fold, put away–at the same damn time!
19. Run Komen Race for the Cure in memory of my girl, Randa
20. Volunteer at the VA clinic on a regular basis. 


So there you go. 
20 in ’14. 
Here’s hoping I can keep it together and accomplish this stuff and hoping my girl Lauren will keep me accountable!

Do y’all have any big goals for 2014?

Here we go, 2014. Me and you.


You, too, can be a supermodel…in 37 seconds

Somewhere, right this very second, a little girl is wishing that she was a model. Back in 1997, that little girl was probably me. I just knew that I would grow up to be Kate Moss. I KNEW IT.

I would be 5’10”
I’d weigh about 107 pounds (112 if I was bloated)
Wear a AAA cup bra
My hips would be a perfect 29″
I’d be the perfect sample size 0

Never mind that genetics were against me. I was going to be Kate Moss, dammit. She was perfect.

Genetics was NOT dealing with me and my model dream.

Literally the next year (fifth grade!!!), I hit 5’0” and stopped growing. I got boobs that year, too. I walked across the elementary school graduation stage in a Playtex Just-my-size almost B cup bra (come on, ladies, you know what I’m talkin’ about). 

I’m pretty sure that’s when the self talk started. I was not pretty because I was not a model and I wasn’t going to be a model. 
Mama Nancy told me I was pretty all the time. She always said that I was beautiful. 
Know how I responded?
“You’re required to say that, you’re my mama.”

As I got older (and started crushing on boys), my list of idols grew. 
And grew. 
And grew.
And grew.

I spent a lot of time in high school saying things like, “I wish I looked like ____(insert celebrity name here)___” and “why can’t I just have her ____(insert perfect attribute here)___?”

2010. Pretty far from the “sample size 0″. And I’m also fairly sure my hips were around 45”.

Now that I’m a grown up and I’ve entered into this fitness thing, I realize that I spend a lot of time discounting my own hardwork. 
“My butt’s looking nice…but it’s not like Jennifer Lopez’s”
“My waist is thinning out…but it’s not as slim as Eva Longoria’s.”
“I wish my face would slim down to look like Beyonce’s.”
“Why can’t I be married to Ryan Reynolds?!” (okay, this is not at all related to body image, it’s just a question that needs to be answered)

Thanks to the miracle that is the interwebz, this video was posted today:

The first thing I thought? 
“well, shit. With PhotoShop, I can be a model now, too!”

The second thing?
“what if little girls really think people look like this?”

Both thoughts are true. Obviously, I too, can be a model through the power of photoshop and didn’t I think all those celebrities really looked like that when I was little? Weren’t those the images I was basing all my personal fitness success on?

It has to stop. 
Photoshop is not real life.

This is me.
I am not perfect. 
My beauty and my life have flaws.
I make mistakes.
I have cellulite.
I love to eat a lot of chocolate when Aunt Flo comes to visit.
I hate the way my back looks, but I love my shoulders. 
I have a freckle between my first two toes on my left foot.
I have a birthmark that even my Mama didn’t know existed until 2 years ago.
I sweat when I do…pretty much anything.
I can never put on eyeliner right.
My concealer (when I wear it) always creases beneath my eyes.
I have scars because I like to play rough.
I have tattoos. And they’re cool.
I have a belly somedays and other days I don’t. 
When I don’t feel good, I like my dog to take care of me.
I get lettuce stuck in my teeth all the time.
I get zits. And I WILL pop them.
I make a ton of mistakes and only hope (and pray!) that I can recover from them and learn the lesson.
I have boobs that photobomb every picture I take and make buying shirts really difficult. 
I have teeny feet. 
My hips are still 40″ around. 
But that’s who I am. 
Those things are why my mama thinks I’m pretty.

I am flawed but funny.
I like to laugh and have a good time.
I think it’s more important to live in the moment and eat the damn cupcake than skip the cupcake and miss the moment.
I am a hard worker because I want to set a good example.
I want to work hard now so that I can play hard later.
I like to do nice things for people because it’s a nice thing to do.
I am a good friend.
I am not photoshop.
I am not a model.
Or a celebrity.
But I am beautiful.

And so are you. 

Fitness Shaming

A few weeks ago, the CrossFit main site posted this photo:

Lee Ann Ellison. Photo by Nick Stern

I didn’t think anything of it except, “Man, when/if I get pregnant, I hope I can do that!” I wrote a comment under the photo that said something to the effect of “you go, mama!”

I was shocked 3 hours later when my FaceBook was bombarded with notifications from this photo. Users called her “selfish” and a “bad mom”. They said she was “putting her child’s life at risk all to look good.” One of them said “I guess killing your baby is worth it to have washboard abs.” 

Appalled would be the correct word to describe how I felt. Appalled that people could not only be so ignorant and misinformed but also so hurtful to someone they don’t even know. An interview with Lee Ann later described her fitness journey: This is her third pregnancy. She has been an avid crossfitter for a number of years and she was cleared by the doctor to continue any exercises that she had participated in prior to pregnancy with modifications as needed. Lee Ann said, “this is the way I’m able to maintain my sanity. My sense of normal.” Because, let’s face it, it’s not everyday that you grow a human. 

After I finished feeling appalled, I felt angry. So people were really going to troll this woman and berate her for her own personal fitness choices, but not say anything about the people eating 15 double cheeseburgers at McDonalds? They’re going to assassinate her character for wanting to stay in a good physical condition? Seriously?

A few weeks later, this photo hit my FB News Feed:

Once again, I saw it and was inspired. I thought to myself, “Man. I know I work full time and am a student, but I’m not responsible for 3 whole lives, a husband, a household, a full time job, AND making sure I work out. She’s right. I shouldn’t make excuses.”

And again, I was shocked hours later when I saw that people had been attacking this woman. Accusing her of “fat-shaming” and “bullying”. They called her all kinds of derogatory names. They attacked her character. 

For the second time in less than a month, I was appalled. I was angry. Really angry. I felt terrible for Maria Kang. All she was trying to do was motivate people and now these ridiculous people were taking shots at her as a mom, a wife, a person. A HUMAN. 

Last week, I posted this picture:

In case you didn’t see it, the left is me a year ago at 175 pounds. The right is me today at 175 pounds. The only difference is how I eat and how I exercise. Why did I post it?Because I was obsessed with the scale and a lot of my friends are, too. And I wanted to show them (and myself) that the freakin’ scale doesn’t matter. 

The scale can’t show me how hard I work, how much I’m loved, how much muscle I’ve gained, how much confidence I have, or what a good person I am. 

The scale is so limited in what it can do that it can only show me my relationship with gravity. 

My friends liked my photo. The awesome people who like the Eat.Pray.WOD page liked my photo. The best part about the photo was not even seeing the change in myself. It was seeing the change through other people’s responses. There were so many “oh my gosh, this gives me hope that I’m changing, too” and “the scale wasn’t changing but I could see the change!” and “thank you for posting this, this is what I needed today.” 

And then the trolls showed up. People started sharing my photo calling ME names. 
A bully. 
A fat-shamer. 
Saying that my only goal was to diminish other people’s self esteem. 
That I should “put some clothes on because I’m not as hot as I think I am”. 
One girl went so far as to say that I’m a liar. She said, “she probably had surgery because there’s no way she could do that in a year.” 

Fitness-shamers.

These people literally are going out of their way to shame people who make changes with their lives.

This time, I’m not appalled. I’m not even angry. 
I’m sad for them. 
I’m sad because if these fitness-shamers spend half the time they spend shaming others on things that would make their lives better, they’d be better people. 
I’m sad that they have to hide behind computer screens to say ugly things to people that they don’t even know.
I’m sad that they feel entitled to opinions about things that don’t concern them.
I’m sad that they blame their lack of self-esteem on anyone but themselves and manifest it by saying hurtful things about others. 

But I’m proud of me. 
I’m proud that I realize that these people and their opinions really don’t matter.
I’m really proud that I’m making my own lifestyle changes and increasing my own self-esteem.
I’m super proud that I took a freakin’ photo in a sports bra and posted it online for God and everybody to see.

I work hard.
I play hard.
I have fun.
I screw up.
I get back on track.
I work out.
I work out more.
And I’m happy.
So sorry, not sorry, fitness-shamers. Better luck next time at finding someone who cares. 

A’in some Q’s

So. I’ve got some Q’s that need A’in’ so today, on this marvelous Thursday, I’m gonna do just that.

1. Where the hell have you been?
I’ve been barracading myself in my temporary office at LSU. Between studying, teaching, working, working out, and attempting to sleep every once in awhile, I actually have no idea what is going on ever. I found myself asleep on top of my dryer last night for a quick nap before I woke up and read more chapters for class. In case anyone’s interested, your laundry room is a fantastic place to nap.


Right you are.

2. You started running. How do you know when to run, how far to run, etc?
I started doing the Couch to 5K program which has a free app for iPhone (and Android, I believe). I’m very lucky that the developers of this app not only integrated a music component that uses my own music, but also a cheery lady  voice that reminds me when it’s time to jog and time to walk.
It also has an automatic status update available for you when you finish your workout for the day to let your facebook friends and twitter followers know when you finish your day. Because, you know, if you can’t tweet about it/facebook about it then it didn’t actually happen.

3. What classes do you teach?
I teach undergraduate jogging, weightlifting, and principles of conditioning. Those poor students.

4. I bet you’re the nicest teacher ever.
Most of my students would disagree.

5. How’s the nutrition thing going?
It’s going well. It’s been a little harder since school started since I spend so little time at home, but it’s still going. I’m hoping to have an awesome photo session in a month and a half to keep my motivation up.

6. After the CrossFit games, is Camille still your favorite girl athlete?
Uh, yes. I would never abandon Cammie. But it should also be noted that I met Jenn Jones at regionals, she trains at coaches in Houston, and she’s one of the nicest athletes ever. I was cheering her on so hard and I’m so happy that she placed as high as she did. Definitely one of my new favorites.

7. When do you go to the gym now?
Whenever I can. I recently started going back to 5 am class and loved it. I missed it so much. All of my RSCF family is so great, but there’s something about 5 am that’s unbeatable for me. Maybe it’s because we’re all nuts. Whatevs.



8. Are you really competing at Battle of the Fittest in Alexandria this weekend? RX or Scaled? Can I come talk to you?
Yes, I really am. I’m competing with my friend Nicole in the scaled division (Southern BarBELLEs, what’s up!) and I’m super excited/nervous about it. And OF COURSE you can come talk to me. Kidding me? You would make my day. Fo’ reals.

9. Did you find a boyfriend yet?
No. I am developing a questionable and potentially unhealthy relationship with my daily planner AND my Research Methods book.

10. What are you studying in school and when do you graduate? What the heck are you gonna do when you graduate?
I am a graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at LSU. I focus on Sports Pedagogy and Psychology with an additional focus on strength and conditioning and integrated rehabilitation. This is a lot of words to say: I teach people to pick up heavy things and put them down in order to make their lives better (hopefully). My research focuses on the role of physical and nutritional education in low income neighborhoods. I graduate (God willing) in August of 2014. After graduation, I’m planning on moving back to Texas and securing a position as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist. That’s all, of course, dependent on me actually–you know–graduating.

And I’m off to read for Methods and wait patiently until my class starts at 4:30…or maybe I’ll end up taking an involuntary nap.


Go. G-E-A-U-X. Geaux.

Can we please stop for a second and revel in something? Okay, so I’m a grad student right? I’m working on my masters in Kinesiology focusing in pedagogy and strength and conditioning. I finished my first semester in August and cheese and rice it was hard.

Thankfully, I worked my entire ass off and-lo and behold-I got a 4.0. Which is definitely worth it considering all the nights I stayed up actually reading all those case studies for Dr. Garn’s class. 

Say what? Did this really happen? It did. (sorry for the crappy screenshot. I suck)

And THEN…I got offered a Graduate Assistantship with my department. In case you’re not aware of what that means (don’t be shamed, I had NO idea what it meant), I get to teach class at LSU. Like, I get to TEACH CLASS at LSU. So I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to teach Weightlifting, Jogging, and Principles of Conditioning…AT LSU. Holy crap. 
That shiz is cool.
Not so cool? The first day of school is literally 4 days away.

Me, writing my syllabi.

While teaching is not new to me (duh) this is definitely a new endeavor. 

SO! Say a little (or a whole lot) prayer and wish me luck as I’m officially on staff at LSU as a graduate assistant. 


AND there are less than 14 days until kickoff.
GEAUX TIGERS!

The Games is not CrossFit

The CrossFit Games are over.
I have no doubt that after being aired live on ESPN (!!!), CrossFits everywhere have had an influx of people wanting to be the next Froning, Khalipa, Valenzuela, Leblanc-Bazinet, Akinwale, Briggs, Chan, whoever.

Photo Credit: http://www.games.crossfit.com

Photo credit: http://www.games.crossfit.com

Don’t get me wrong. I want to be them, too.
But if you know nothing about crossfit, walking into a box is probably a big shock to you. Because The CrossFit Games is not crossfit.

The CrossFit Games is the celebration of our fittest athletes. The games is a chance for our whole crossfittin’, kool aid drinkin’ community to cheer on the fittest in our sport. Arguably, the fittest in the world. The best of the best.
The most elite.


Crossfit is the 8 month pregnant lady doing overhead squats.
Crossfit is the skinny kid trying to put on muscle to play on the varsity football team.
Crossfit is the 65 year old grandpa reaching depth on his squat for the first time…in over 30 years.
Crossfit is the mom of two.
Crossfit is the girl just trying to lose those last 4 lbs.
Crossfit is me being able to (finally!) run a mile unbroken.
Crossfit is the overweight kid working hard to like what she sees in the mirror.
Crossfit is the D1 athlete just looking for something to keep up competition.
Crossfit is the elite olympic lifter learning to do double unders.
Crossfit is every person that competed at the 2013 games and every person who just started their foundation class today. 
Crossfit is investment bankers, teachers, project managers, pharmaceutical reps, lawyers, cops, weathermen, real estate agents, students, firefighters, secretaries, nurses, and doctors.
Crossfit is you and me and them and us. 

I love the Games. I love what it represents. Not only because I get to watch the fittest in our field compete, but because I know that there was once a day when those people competing weren’t elite. There was a day, for some of them in the very recent past, when they were all beginners. Like me.
And that gives me hope.
Maybe I won’t be a games competitor.
But maybe I will.
Maybe I’ll be the fittest I’ve ever been and that will be enough.
I know that road won’t be easy.
But luckily, I’m a part of a community where “easy will no longer suffice.” 
Because CrossFit is about testing your personal limits and then finding new ones. 
Because it’s not about being THEM. It’s about being YOU.


And everything you’re searching for is out there. Just outside of your comfort zone.