I am known for being able to do a one legged squat, standing on the handle of a kettle bell. I have, in my athletic career, pursued feats of strength such as a 300 pound dead lift, 200 pound squat and body weight clean. Though I have achieved all of these goals at one time, I am hesitant to say that I can currently do them. As I inch closer in age to 35 than 25 the numbers on the bar matter less to me than the quality of my movement. I’d like to be known as someone who moves well always, and occasionally moves heavy and fast, relative to their size.
CrossFit Level 1 Certification
CrossFit Level 2 Certification
Growing up, I was not a particularly athletic child. I could more often be found picking daisies in the outfield or staring at my shoes than actually performing athletics. My athleticism was buried until I found it in the form of dance. Growing up, I was very passionate about music and singing, which led me to musical theater, and eventually the discipline of dance. Dancing taught me that I was flexible and capable, and with enough practice, and time I could accomplish even the most intimidating of movements. I went to college to study theater where I continued movement in a non-traditional sense until I found myself with a part-time job at the local Gold’s Gym. This introduced me to bodybuilding and group fitness classes. What I loved about group fitness was the camaraderie, the friendships, and the familiarity of a stage, a microphone, and a pre-recorded track. Not long after my discovery of group fitness, I became an instructor. I taught a martial arts-inspired aerobics class a dance-inspired class and a weightlifting-inspired class. I already knew about dance, and I thought I knew about weightlifting so in a pursuit to make my classes feel more authentic and deliver a better product to my participants I joined a local Muaythai gym and begin training with the fighters there. It was in this environment I was first and formally introduced to CrossFit. Over a short period of time, it became harder and harder to be passionate about my 50-minute aerobics classes when I was seeing such amazing results with shorter and higher-intensity workouts. In 2013, after almost 5 years at Golds, I hung up my Britney Spears mic for good and decided to pursue training CrossFit full-time. Within a year I had signed up for my Level 1 and was coaching at a brand-new gym in my city.
Stepping away from an environment that I have been so comfortable in, to join a local box for the first time was incredibly intimidating. I had been a gym rat and I had been an instructor. I felt like I had been around the block and knew a thing or two about gyms and fitness. But CrossFit was a completely different atmosphere and methodology. I had to humble myself in many ways. What I had thought was right, and good I was now learning was maybe not so helpful or ideal at all. Though I had an opportunity to be frustrated, I decided to be inspired instead to take this time to relearn and become acquainted with the future of fitness. I was interested in following the science and getting results. Cross fitters were doing things that the traditional fitness industry had deemed impossible. Cross fitters were pursuing goals that I had never heard of. A Burpee muscle up? Handstand push-ups? Though I did not initially understand the importance and functionality of these high-level movements, I trusted the process and that they were worthwhile pursuits. The mental toughness of getting through a hard workout or battling with a heavy barbell has given me so much strength outside of the gym. And the self-actualization that comes with training hard and giving it your best leaves no room for shame or embarrassment. In a competition, I PR’d a lift, putting more weight over my head in that movement than at any other time in my life. It was objectively a huge win for me! However, in a field of 20 athletes, my performance landed me 16th place. It’s important to understand that sometimes your absolute best is not good enough. But that does not negate or deny the truth of your success. I was given an opportunity that day to feel defeated, but instead, I chose to feel proud and continue to celebrate my success, even if it didn’t land me anywhere near the podium.
Everyone has the capacity to profoundly change their life. You can change your thoughts your habits your behaviors, and your environment, but the tricky part is doing it on your own. I am not too proud to admit that I have had countless people help me along the way they have either helped me directly by being a driving force in my life, or indirectly, leading by example, or offering support from afar. I have learned that you never know who is watching you, and your ability to inspire extends far greater than you can imagine. It won’t always be fun, and it will hardly ever be easy but it will be worth it. Do the hard things, and don’t be afraid of being humbled. The joy is in the journey, and it is my honor to walk alongside you on it.