This past year, as every year I suppose, has been an absolute roller coaster of events. Unlike other years, however, this year seems to be one that has shaped my daily life- the ins and outs of who I am, what I do, and what I represent- the most! It has also given me the most perspective on what is important to me and how I plan on approaching life moving forward.
(As a CrossFit athlete, my year is based around my training season, so since 2012 my years have ended in May and have begun somewhere shortly after that, depending on my training cycles)
To give a brief timeline of this past year, I’ll begin in August just for a little perspective:
In August 2014, I stepped down at my job at the time, which significantly changed the amount of time I had and the ways that I spent it. I was able to put a lot more emphasis on my training and I took a good amount of time and spent it with my family, both of which helped me to gain perspective on the fact that my family and utilizing my talents to help inspire others were truly important to me.
In October 2014, I tore my right glute medius. I experienced a lot lower back pain, I had a pretty hard time squatting and pulling off the ground (which we all know is a bulk of lifts in CrossFit). This injury also affected much more than just my training, many daily routine things that I took for granted became a struggle. At times I even had a hard time just standing up straight. (But thanks to the patience and diligence of Dr. Eric Campbell and Dr. Devin Shea I was in the best hands to get through this.) This placed a lot of perspective on how blessed I was to be strong and healthy, and to have great people to keep me that way throughout the year as I trained and prepared for competition.
During this same time, I also took a chance on a nutrition regimen to help me lean out and be a better athlete and example for the people that I was coaching. I don’t think this could have come at a better time! Measuring my macros definitely helped me stay busy and distracted from the injury.
Also, during this time, CrossFit announced that the qualification process for Regionals was going to be a little bit harder in the upcoming year. That instead of taking the top 48 men and 48 women from each region and allowing 3 men and women from each region to qualify for the Games, they were now only taking the top 20 men and women from each region, they were combining TWO regions together, making the competition much harder, and only allowing 5 men and women from BOTH regions to qualify for the Games. I didn’t know whether I was happy that Regionals now became a mini-games, or bummed that it was going to be much harder to qualify, all I knew is that I was going to go for it all anyway.
In November 2014, God completely changed the course of my life by closing one door and redirecting me down a path toward another. From December 2014 until the end of January 2015, I was forced to make some big decisions on what direction I wanted to take my life. When weighing my options, I realized that CrossFit was much more to me than a job. Over the four and a half years I had been a part of CrossFit, it became my way of life, something I was willing to make a career, it became a family unlike any other for me, and a lifestyle that I wanted to live out as long as I could. So I was forced to truly walk by faith. To take a chance on making this a life-long career and opening my own CrossFit Gym.
During this time, I was also forced to hustle–to pay my bills, to get my training done each day (where and with what resources I had), to take all the steps necessary to open my own business in a timely manner, and, most importantly, this redirection of life forced me to realize who really had my back and supported me no matter what the circumstances.
In early February of this year, as my right glute medius was almost fully healed, due to the overcompensation of using my left side during training, I tore left glute medius as well. Not that the initial tear on my right side wasn’t a tough road, but the tear on the left definitely tested me much more than the initial one on my right, and not just physically. This helped me to gain perspective on the bigger picture of life- the life outside of training and competing- a big eye-opener for me!
Near the end of February, the lease for CrossFit Unscathed went through. During this same time, I began participating in the Open, in an effort to qualify for the 2015 California Regional. In two weeks’ time, thanks to the AMAZING help of Ross and Dave, along with Veronica, Ana, Lynn, Taylor, Sonia, Cassie, Ashlyn, my Mom, Chastity, Genna’s Mom, Dad, and Sister, Andre, Miriam, all the Teens, Shawna, Maggie, Angela, and so many other people, we were able to setup and paint the entire place to open on March 2nd. Through all this, I continued participating in the Open, that week and the following three weeks of March. During the 3rd week of the Open, my coach that I had had for the past year and a half, Corey Capella, had to tend to some personal matters which forced me to switch my training/coach at a very critical time in my season. The next seven weeks leading to regionals, due to everything that had taken place in the beginning of 2015, I felt like I was in a foreign place in basically all aspects of my life. I found myself questioning a lot of things in life, which really forced me to take a huge leap outside of the things that were consuming me, and made me put things into perspective once again.
Exactly 1 week before regionals, I was pain free for the first time in 8 months, which gave me a great mental mindset going into regionals weekend. (Talk about God having a DIVINE plan, and everything happening for a reason)
With all that taking place in the past year, and leading up to this years’ “new and improved” regional, I found myself in a pretty awesome place once I really let it all set in. I realized I am very happy, fully healthy, and completely capable of anything I put my mind to. On Thursday, the day before Regionals, Miriam sent me a video with one of the opening lines spoken by Jim Carey in which he stated,
“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is!”
And I must say that this one line completely changed my entire approach to the weekend and will change how I move forward into this next year of training, coaching, competing, and living!
As I look back on the weekend, all the workouts seem to be a blur- the pain, the struggle, the injuries, the soreness, the standings, etc.-all of the negative TRULY seem to be overshadowed by the ABSOLUTELY AMAZING support system that I have had this entire year, as a person, as a business owner, and this weekend, as an athlete! A support system I could NOT have even dreamt of or fathomed in my mind. From the people who liked or commented on my posts, those of you who bought my regional shirts, text me before, during and/or after, those of you who wrote me on Facebook, those of you who donated items or supplements or money to support me over the weekend, those of you who showed up one day, two days, or all three days of regionals, those of you who watched it at home on your computers and TVs, who text Genna to see where I was at and how I was doing, those of you who came out to give your talents and expertise to help me physically, those of you who have supported me through the thick and thin, each and every day leading up to this past weekend, genuinely the list goes on and there is not enough gratitude I can express, but EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO ARE READING THIS BLOG AND WHO I TRULY CONSIDER TO BE A PART OF MY FAMILY, WHO I VALUE AND APPRECIATE MORE THAN WORDS CAN OR THANK YOUS OR GIFTS CAN SAY, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR WHO YOU ARE AND FOR BEING APART OF MY JOURNEY WHICH IS ONLY BEGINNING. Whether I make it to the Games next year, any year, or not at all, I appreciate seeing your faces in the crowd, hearing your encouragement and cheers in the workouts, reading your words in cards or on posts, talking with you under the tent, laughing with you and sharing your time, creating lasting memories! You have all had a DRASTIC EFFECT ON ME and for that I TRULY THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!
I will continue to work towards the Games as long as I have the desire and I am healthy enough to do so! Through that process, I am blessed to have you all in my corner and I truly appreciate your love and support.
“We’re STILL going to the Games…SOON!” 😉
To another year of goals and training, another month of diligence and responsibility, another day of immense blessing and gratitude, and another moment to embrace it all!