Positive Changes Produces Positive Changes

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Yes, you read that correct. It’s a play on words but it is exactly what happened. Yesterday was CrossFit F3’s Summer Fitness Games. It was my first team wod. Always thought of doing one, but felt my personal athletic abilities were not quite there yet. It wasn’t until my friend Tina Eklund asked me almost a month and a half away. I said yes because I liked her. She is a really cool girl and an excellent athlete. For the first hour, I was excited. Then I froze. The hard truth was starting to sink in. Someone else was relying on me. Now that I had an actual team mate there was no slacking. A certain accountability was in place and there was no turning back.

About 2 weeks before competition, my brother Wayne came down to live with me. What first appeared to be a distraction turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. He possessed the same drive and passion for competition as I did. He soon became the “athletic trainer” I always wanted day of competition. He always had my recovery drinks available when I finished. He knew how to stretch me out when I got tight. Knows just when to yell and push. His voice carries so I can always hear him in the crowd. Even up to the night before the competition, I wanted to go to the movies. I figured it would be a nice little treat for all of the hard work I was putting in. He quickly reminded me where my focus should be. Needless to say, I stayed home and went to sleep early.

With my brother in place and an awesome team mate, everything just felt right. I felt so much anxiety around me but yet, I wasn’t stressing. It almost felt like I was overlooking something? I kept second guessing myself but I had this gut feeling our team would be ok. No need to waste energy, keep training as usual and get some rest the day before. I refused to worry and stressed out. This was supposed to be fun.

We hit all three workouts like a well oiled machine. There were only 2 Female Masters Team. However, “making podium” was not a concern. My focus was beating my Bacon Beatdown numbers from two weeks ago. I am proud to say I did! I pr’d my Power Clean at #145. At BB, I got stuck at 125. My Deadlift I ended at #265. I was also happy for Tina. She pr’d her Power Clean at 165# and her Deadlift at #265 as well.  Then came the Finals. Yes, you read correct, another workout. In total there was 4 workouts in one day.  It was a tough one but I somehow managed to hit all 30 goblet squats in that workout.  I have never done that either. It was the most I ever pushed my body.

In conclusion, I didn’t care about podium. There were two teams and we came in second. So what?  What mattered was the improvement in my weak areas? Did I do absolutely everything necessary to prepare for this competition? If I can answer yes, then that is all that matters.

One final note, John Hawkins looks like The 15 Valuable Laws of Growth are working. I applied what I learned from Chapter 1 and used it in this comp. “DO IT NOW”

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The Bacon Beatdown 2015: A New Beginning

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June 26th-28th was the 2015 Bacon Beatdown in Daytona Beach. The Bacon Beatdown is one of the most challenging and competitive CrossFit competitions here in the Central Florida area. Besides the fact it’s two days, it is also set up tournament style. How well an athlete performs during the prescribed workout determines whether they move on to the next one. As the day goes on the number of competitors dwindles down until we have an obvious winner.

My category was the Masters Women (40+). Starting out we initially had 15 strong women who registered. Each coming from their own unique background and ample months of training. There were more women THIS year than last year. So I was actually intrigued as to how this was going to play out. In the past, I’ve experienced competitive rivalries. But as the weekend went on, I was pleasantly surprised how much camaraderie there were among us. In the above pic we have the awesome ladies from CrossFit BearCat (Krista Walbert, Kim Halliday, and Cathy Mittel pictured with me here) who were nothing but awesome towards me!

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In the picture here, we have Maritissa Vazquez. Her husband Frank and her friend Mary Porat were absolutely phenomenal. They introduced themselves to me and told me how much they liked me and enjoyed watching me compete. That really made me feel awesome because I have never met these people before. I discover in this sport, the longer you stay and really give it 100%, people will remember you. WOD 2 was where I Iearned this valuable lesson. The WOD consisted of the following:

WOD 2 (Top 12 in every division)
21 C2B (Pull-ups for Intermediate and Masters)
9 Wall Ball to 9ft target 20/15#
15 RMU (Chest to Bar for Intermediate and Masters)
15 Wall Ball to 10ft target
9 Legless Rope Climbs (Rope Climbs for Int and Masters)
21 Wall Balls to 11ft target

I was fine with everything EXCEPT the Chest to Bar pullups. That was my nemesis. Before the workout, I practiced different techniques but I ended with the same result. So I decided I was going to do the best I could. Whatever happens, happens. After a quick prayer and the infamous 3-2-1 countdown, I was off. Did pretty well until the chest to bar pullups. I actually attempted to do these for 9 mins straight. I ended with ONE. Needless to say,I was eliminated from the pack. I waited until I left the workout area before the tears and anguish flowed from my body. I gave it all that I had but to no avail, it was over for me. As my friends and family consoled me, a wonderful man by the name of John Hawkins came over to me and informed me that he is a public speaker for John Maxwell. He was moved by my determination and pure heart of the sport.  He informed me that goes all around the country and speaks on different topics. My experience will be a topic on one of his upcoming articles. It completely caught me off guard. He mentioned people may not remember who one or lost but they always remember the ones who gave it their all. He suggested that I read 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth from John C. Maxwell. It will help me grow and transition from this experience. I took his advice and purchased one today.

As I begin the new week, I kept in mind the highs and lows of the competition weekend I look forward to using the new information and applying them to my current training regimen. Until next time…

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Strengthening Weaknesses Only Makes Us Better

better person

This week was a challenging one a far as training was concerned. I injured my neck grinding through handstand pushups. Mind you, I have been working on them. Besides handstand holds, I work a lot of strict upper body movements such as presses and pull ups to help build my strength. By the time the actual metabolic conditioning part came up (aka WOD) my upper body was spent. The rational side was screaming, “STOP NOW! GO HOME!” The Badass CrossFitter yelled back, “STOP BEING A WIMP!” Well, needlessness to say I should have gone home. I landed wrong on my head and felt weird. I immediately stopped my workout and sat in the office with an ice pack on my neck. I tried to be brave and act like it didn’t bother me but deep down inside I was afraid. What if I actually did something wrong? I felt all along the base of neck and it felt swollen. It was the scariest feeling I’ve ever experienced. Couldn’t take it anymore. I left without saying goodbye. I was angry, hurt and frustrated.

After some mobility and ice, I was back to my old self again but the lesson learned was important. I need to “retrace my steps” and focus on the fundamentals. Once those are mastered, THEN I can go to the next step. As far as my training goes, time to take it down a notch. Not in volume, mind you. I should not be skipping steps just to get a faster time. If I don’t, my “dysfunction” will eventually get the best of me and my body will fail resulting in injury.

How about you? Are there areas in your life that you know deep down inside there is a disconnect? Instead of focusing on improving, you skip steps and “wing it”? Let my testimony be your lesson. Personal growth occurs when we slow down and take the time to apply new knowledge. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How you spend them depends on you and your desire to become better.

Face your obstacles head on. FIND YOUR GREATNESS!

Sugar+Starbucks= a whole lot of burpees

Sugar in Starbucks

When I waited at LAX last month, I wanted to grab some coffee and oatmeal. It was a long flight back to Orlando and a little bag of peanuts was not going to be enough. I figured I had some time so why not? As I came around the corner, I was shocked to see how long the line was. It wrapped around the corner and actually entwined with the boarding group leaving for Ohio. It was crazy to see people rocking back and forth with a glazed look in their eyes as they ordered their beverage. I say beverage because there were so many “i’s” and “o’s” in the names of their drink I didn’t know if it was coffee or an entree`!

The closer I moved in lined, the more I can hear what they were ordering. Admittedly, I was tempted to ordered one of those drinks myself. Then I went online and started looking up nutritional information on these drinks. (I am lactose intolerant so I do this to protect myself from vomiting all over the place.) I came across the above infogram and it quickly persuaded me to purchase water with my oatmeal.

Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself and ask are those empty calories really worth it?

What Can You Do At Home To Stay Fit?

Working out can sometimes be boring. We always want better, exotic, fancy..I even hear “cool” sometimes. All meaning this, a different kind of workout to keep me entertained, focused and challenged. I get it but sometimes fancy is not always the best when form is not quite right. In the above video, I go over some easy exercises that can not only be done very easily at home but can have some variety added on as well.

Exercise is an extension of ones journey. It doesn’t always have to be hard nor does it have to be boring. Consider the end results. Is there an event or a specific goal? These should be the things in mind when considering an exercise regimen, not the latest trend or an endorsement of a popular celebrity.

If there are specific questions you have about fitness, nutrition or just wanna give some feedback please reach out to me here or at http://www.facebook.com/FOY1966 I would love to hear from you.

Stay fit, stay blessed, and I will see you soon!

TIME FOR A CHANGE IN DIRECTION

The struggle helps us evolve.

The struggle helps us evolve.

Going in a new direction with this blog. From now on, it will just not be about competing. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. Inside, I will always be a competitor. But I also need to take it back to basics, to my roots if you will.   I feel like there are some other areas that need to be addressed. I receive requests on a weekly basis for videos on simple ways to attack problem areas like smaller thighs and tighter arms. A new voice is out there and it’s asking for do it at home fitness. Motivation for the everyday person and not always for someone who is trying to go “To the Games”. Kinda hard to explain but I feel a change in the air. A different kind of energy, if you will. The struggles I encountered during my hiatus actually shaped the content of videos now. I returned to Jay Hunter for my training partner and now include active rest days. Another words, I am not going “full throttle” everyday. Neither should you!

Keep your eyes open for videos incorporated in my blogs too.

When the time is right you will see. Until then, please keep on reading!