Thursday, June 13, 2013


Almost a week has passed and I have had some time to sift through my thoughts, embrace reality, tackle disappointment, and shift my focus.  Thank you to those of you who have flooded my inbox, Facebook account, Twitter, and phone with heart-felt messages.  Your encouragement has been overwhelming.  Thank you for believing in me, more than I believe in myself at times.  Thank you to my husband who has walked this journey with me for 5 years and is willing to walk again.  Thank you to Rogue Fitness, who has made it possible for me to maintain a training schedule amidst a crazy, busy life outside the gym.  Thank you to my amazing coach, Eva Claire Synkowski.  Thank you to CrossFit for changing my life forever.

"Any elite competitor needs to be prepared for some heartbreak.  It comes with the territory."
- Chris Spealler  

I do not wish to rehash every moment of this past weekend, there were highs, there were lows and there was everything in between.  There are things I would do different, there are things I would never change, but most of all I am just grateful for the opportunity I was given.  Rather than giving you a recap of the weekend or trying to put into words how I feel at the moment, I want to offer some thoughts to the lucky souls that are about to embark on a trip to The Big Dance, whether as a rookie or seasoned veteran.

1.  Be confident.  Be humble.  Carry on the spirit of the Games.
2.  Try not to define your worth on your overall placing, don't allow an Update Show or a Workout Recap affect your thoughts on what you believed to be a good performance.
3.  Veterans, the Rookies believe you have an edge.  Embrace it.  Rookies, the Veterans fear you may have an edge.  Embrace it.
4.  Know that hundreds of others around the world have sacrificed countless hours to be where you are, allow this to fuel your training over the next six weeks.  This will likely be your longest stretch of training all year.
5.  If you are training alone, try to find a partner.  The clock cannot replicate the sting of defeat, nor can it replicate the glory of winning.
6.  Recognize that a resilient spirit will be the most positive attribute to your success and an overall amazing experience.

I am proud of you all, more than a little bit jealous, and still hungry.  Jennifer Smith, Michelle Kinney, and Lindy Wall, show them what the Central East is made of and that you can stand with the best.  You all impressed me immensely.  Keep up the great work!

I will be watching from the sideline.

God bless,

"I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me."   - Psalm 13:5-6

Monday, December 31, 2012

Love Is...

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 14

Ok, so I realize I am shifting gears a bit with this blog, but I am going to write about something thats been on my heart the past few days.  It's not about fitness, its not about CrossFit, and its not about coaching.  Its about the first "M" you see in the banner at the top of my page.  It's the "M" that began before the second, will far outlast the fourth, and coincides with the third.  Not to say, that I am an old pro or anything (going on year 6 of marriage), but I will confidently say that Web and I have been through a thing or two that would mature our marriage well beyond its years.  

As Alexis and I were headed to my parents earlier this week, she said to me, "Having a husband isn't as easy as you would think, is it mom?"  I couldn't help but laugh, but her innocent question lead me  deep into thought about love, how we define love, and the numerous stages love experiences during the existence of a relationship.  I look at my parents, my grandparents, my siblings, my life.  To define love as an emotion, or a feeling, only means that you have not experienced love in my opinion.  I could not think of a worse explanation.  When you read the description laid out in 1 Corinthians it speaks of no such thing.  In fact, the definition of love here is a display of servant-like actions that defy the selfish nature of the human heart.   Love is not self-seeking.  Crazy, right?  Let me break it down, your intent in loving someone else should not be to fulfill some need or desire you think you have. That is a recipe for disaster.

When Web and I started dating, we spent hours a night on the phone talking about nothing.  We are lucky now if we can get each others ear for more than a few minutes a day.  Everything in his life used to intrigue me, some of what he cares about now (music lyrics, most movies, RGIII's twitter account), does little to capture my interest.  He used to play Scrabble with me, we haven't played in years.  You get the point...

In reality though, I wouldn't trade what we have now for all of that "silliness."  Marriage is more like the perfect business relationship than it is a fairy tale.  It is a constant balance of you support me, I support you, I sacrifice for you, you sacrifice for me, I respect your vision, you respect mine, and together we move forward, always forward.  

My grandfather, who had been sick for a number of years, passed away when I was 17 years old.  I remember sitting outside the hospital door in a heap of tears as my grandmother (we call her Bobby) entered the room and cried out "Oh, my dear dear husband.  Oh, my dear dear husband."  This memory forever left an imprint on my heart.  Bobby was not longing for the "feeling of love" she was longing for companionship, her best friend, whom I had watched her graciously serve for years leading up to this day.  This is love.

God bless and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Succeed With Me.

Grit: noun a firmness of mind or spirit; unyielding courage in the face of danger or hardship; fortitude

Training for the 2013 CrossFit Games has already thrown a slew of challenges my way.  After a recent doctor's appointment I called home to Web to tell him of what I had known since February... my meniscus was torn.  Silence on the other end, and then, "How long before you are back?" More silence... and finally I say, "I don't know if I can do this anymore."

However, a pivotal interaction, just a few short days before I went under the knife changed my perspective drastically.  I was working a L1 Seminar and a fellow tall CrossFittin mama came up to me.  She had a wonderful presence, a bright smile, and was eager to learn.  At the end of Day 1 she asked me if she could have my autograph at the conclusion of the Seminar.  I would be honored, I told her.  As I went home that evening I was cleaning out my closet and I came across my Games gear, and while its pretty awesome to wear a shirt with my name on the back at the Games, it always kinda loses its appeal when I get back home.  My jerseys frequently land an eternal spot in the bottom of my closet.  I decided to take one to the gym and offer it to my new found friend, in place of a signature.  When I handed it to her, she burst out in tears and dove in for a sister-like hug.

That night, I got home and told Web this story.  He looked at me and, in the way only a husband could get away with, says, "So, you still thinking about not competing?"  Now, through my own tears, all I could do was shake my head no.

When do I train?  I don't know.  Its hard for me to come up with a plan, because all too often it gets messed up and interrupted by nothing more than life itself.  So, I take it one day at a time.  That's all I can do and therefore that is what I will continue to do.  As I balance my new role as Athletic Director at Columbus School for Girls, I can't help, but to get overwhelmed at times.  I often find myself juggling the 12 different fall sports, determined to see all of our kids perform.  Alexis travels with me from game to game to game.  The court, field, green, and course have become her evening playground.  My playground though, is still the gym.  I know one thing that makes me different from so many others is that I truly love to train.  It doesn't get old to me.  I don't get tired of it.  If it wasn't for the responsibilities of adult life, I could train all day long.  Sometimes I get frustrated at the realization that I don't have the luxury of training mid-day, but then I look around and realize how blessed I am to have a job I love.

As most family members of Games Athletes know, this is not a one-man-show.  The dedication required to train for the Games requires sacrifice from the entire family.  I could not keep moving forward without Web and Lexi on board.  I cannot tell you the last time I emptied the dishwasher (that's love) or the countless dinners that I haven't cooked because I was at the gym.  I appreciate their love and support and promise regular home-cooked meals in days to come.

More than ever I am determined to succeed.  Surgery, schmurgery... it's about time I fine tuned my gymnastics skills anyways.  This will make me better, it has made me better.  For weeks I have sworn Web to secrecy, I attempted to go under-cover with my surgery.  I'm over that now.  Come, succeed with me.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Phil 4:13