This past week many of you completed your very first CrossFit Open Workout. I’m sure it was an eye opening experience. FOUR years ago I entered my first CrossFit Games Open Competition. This is what I wrote about that first day of self-torture…

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February, 2013

2014-03-02IMG_52332014Today I completed workout 13.1 for the CrossFit Open. It was hard. The workout was as many reps as possible of

  • 150 wall balls with a 14lb ball to 9 feet,
  • 90 double unders (jumping rope with the rope passing under twice for each jump)
  • 30 muscle ups on the rings.

The 14 pound ball was heavier than the 10 pound I was used to. I couldn’t get my rhythm on the double-unders and I have never successfully performed a muscle up.

But the really hard part was what was going on in my mind. You see, I just moved back to Dallas a newly divorced mother of 3 kids and have bee2014-3-15 029n trying quite unsuccessfully to find a job. I was a teacher, but this is not the easiest time of year to find a teaching job. So, for now, I am just doing everything I can to find a job. I am keeping very busy working on ways to make money, but I haven’t actually made any yet and I am getting nervous! And all of this was going on in my mind while I was doing the workout.

At several points in the workout I found myself wondering, “Why?”. Why am I putting myself through this? Why does it matter if I push? Could I ever do anything with any of this? Am I too old for this?

2014-12-26 006I finally came back to the realization that I stay fit so that I can keep up the fight. I realized that this workout is just a metaphor for the rest of my life. Every day we come across obstacles, hurdles, things we have to deal with even though we really don’t want to. Sometimes it’s just cleaning a dirty house and sometimes it’s struggling to pay all of the bills or put dinner on the table. Sometimes it’s learning how to get out into the world again after a difficult part of your life and sometimes it’s deciding to get up off that couch and change your life. What ever the hurdle is, you must have the fight within to take it on. That is what a CrossFit workout is all about.

At the beginning of a workout I am always dreading what is to come. I look at it with apathy, apprehension and misery. As I start to warm up I feel the dread begin to slip away as I plan my strategy for attacking it full on. 2014-03-02IMG_52772014Once the real workout begins, the doubt actually increases. I wonder if I can do it, why I am doing it, how I am going to possibly finish? About one-third of the way through I start to think maybe I can handle it. After all, I have already completed so much, another small amount isn’t that much harder. That’s when I start to really push. I get faster, stronger, better. About two-thirds of the way through I am really feeling the pain of the workout and part of me really wants to quit. That’s when I tell myself again that I only have a small amount left and I am not a quitter! I give my all in that last third and finish the best I can. I am heaving, sweating, trashed. But I did it and I am proud.

And although I didn’t get a score that will take me to compete in the CrossFit games (I was number 2060 in my age group out of about 14,000 women my age who competed), I got through the obstacle… just like I will get through all of these other obstacles in life. I will find the fight within me to be the best I can be. I will persevere. I will succeed. And I will do it with passion and grace!

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Wow, what a lot has changed since then! Soon after that I opened my own CrossFit box with my best friend, John Mariotti – CrossFit Odyssey. There are a lot of reasons I wanted to do this as opposed to teaching High School English in a school. The obvious reasons were being able to make my own schedule as the mother of 3 kids, being able to workout every day as part of my job and with my entrepreneurial spirit I always dreamed of having my own business. But the real reason I wanted to do this is because I wanted to help other people have the experience I had above – the self-realization that I am strong, I am capable and I can do this. That self-confidence has done so much for me, I wanted to be able to give that to others.

When you come to CrossFit Odyssey for your workout, I hope that you are making friends and getting healthy and strong, but mostly I hope that you are finding an amazing and capable person in yourself. I hope that every workout brings you awe and satisfaction with what you can do and who you can be. I hope that you leave this little box ready to face the world, conquer your obstacles and shine as the amazing person that you are. That is the Journey to Extraordinary.