Posts Tagged ‘confidence’

“You are your own worst enemy.”

I started this post on February of 2016. Yep. I didn’t finish it because it didn’t seem powerful enough. Like I said yesterday, I suffer from “paralysis by analysis” in most areas of my life. I sit and think, and overthink, and think some more. Then, I’ll ask one person for their opinion, then another, then another. At that point, I’ll convince myself that what I wanted to do in the first place is good enough. Rinse. Repeat.

But now I’m just going to share more. Half thoughts. Incomplete thoughts. The “gist” of certain thoughts. My hope in doing that is to start dialogue with all of you. I don’t expect my posts to be the *hard stop* of any of my thoughts. I started this blog to create a conversation with all of you! So, here’s to starting that two-way street again.


As a trainer, my greatest goal is to prove to the athletes that I coach just how powerful they really are capable of becoming! Given that I’ve coached thousands of athletes, I’ve notice some trends. First, a woman who walks into the gym for the first time and considers herself “out of shape” is usually MUCH harder on herself than a man who walks into the gym for the first time. What happens next, though?

Through a supportive community, consistency in their effort, and a bit of decent coaching, in no time at all the confidence of the woman (re)appears. The empowerment they gain from an increased sense of accomplishment and independence, the belief that they’re capable of so much more than they had imagined, the desire to uplift and encourage others around them…. on average, I notice female athletes adopting those traits far more rapidly than men.

Many of us can quickly think of several “top performers” at our gyms. Often times, they might be the men who can lift the most weight, or run the fastest. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, if we stop and think about who creates the heartbeat of each individual box, of our unique CrossFit community, I’ve found most of these core members are women. Like most of us, they’ll be struggling through a workout but they’ll see a friend struggling across the gym and shout a few words to keep them moving. They might be done first, but they’ll rarely clean up and leave without cheering on their colleagues. In this world of ours, I don’t think it should be about thinking, “how good am I”, but rather, “how good can I make this place, this secondary family of mine?” Women do that more often than men.

It may seem like a blanket statement, but I’m just saying what I’ve seen. Women, in so many aspects of “American” culture, are almost trained to view themselves as underdogs or “less-thans”… but I’ve found that through helping these individuals see just how powerful they are, barriers are knocked down in their own heads and this new sense of strength is transferred into every other area of their lives.

To quote Queen B: “Who run the world? Girls!”

The next time you’re in the gym, look around. Look for that “eye of the tiger” stare in your fellow classmates. Remember that “beast mode” isn’t just defined by who lifts the most or moves the fastest. The individuals who inspire others around them the most are typically the ones who push on when things get tough. They’re the ones who never quit.

Ladies, you’re awesome. Please don’t ever forget that! Thank you for constantly inspiring me to push myself just a little bit more every day!

Know that your friends can see your progress, and they’re amazed by what you can do. Don’t ever stop believing in yourself.

…. Post that I started 18 months ago: Published!

Traditionally on this blog, the Moment of Awesomeness posts include some sort of Extreme Sports video. Today’s post does not.

Even though this post won’t focus on those who voluntarily jump off of a perfectly good mountain, or people who just hate being safe with two feet on the ground, it will still focus on people who I think are brave and worthy of recognition!

This past Saturday I had a pretty busy day:
– Alarm goes off at 7:30am

– Make and eat breakfast, clean my place a little bit, head out the door

– 8:40am- Arrive to gym #1 where some friends were throwing down at a local Indoor Rowing competition

– 10:00am-Leave competition, head to gym #2 for CPR and First Aid Recertification

– 11:00am-1:00pm – Play with a really creepy mask, and feel more confident helping people if the situations ever arise where they need it!

– 1:30pm- Drive to gym #3 to cheer on friends competing in a CrossFit Competition

-3:30pm- Grab lunch w competing friends and celebrate their huge accomplishment

Row, Row, Row Your Boat:

Peter and Scott were good at rowing. Peter and Scott wanted to get even better at rowing. Peter and Scott did just that. After committing to sign up for an Indoor Rowing competition, my friends approached me about getting in better shape for their respective races.

I bet Peter could pull a 1:25 for a 500m row in his sleep. The dude has rowed a 1:21.8 for crying out loud! In my head,that is insanely fast. He didn’t want to race that distance, however. He wanted to step outside of his comfort zone and race the 2,000m distance, a pretty significant jump in distance for a sprinter like myself. Scott comes from a history of cycling. So, while he’s no stranger to racing or “endurance” events, rowing for sport, however, was a new concept for him. When these two approached me about getting them on a 12-week program in preparation for race day, I was stoked! Few things make me happier than watching athletes push themselves just for the sake of pushing themselves!

After nearly 3 months of row-dedicated workouts and time on the erg, we were so happy to see that BOTH of them PR’d in their respective distances! Peter (aka Birddog) rowed a 6:43 for his 2k, and Scott rowed a 1:28.3 in his 500m. Stoked for you guys!

The Rowers together!

Rowers and their cheering section!

Safety First:

I first became a lifeguard at the age of 13. That means my first CPR and First Aid Certification happened OVER 18 YEARS AGO! (Wow, that makes me feel old!) The point is that in my industry (as Head Coach at a CrossFit Gym), safety should always come first. 

While to some people, putting your face on a creepy mask and breathing into a “dummy” may not be the best way to spend an afternoon, I kept reminding myself that if something happened where an athlete collapsed or got hurt… I have been tasked with being able to do my best to help save the athletes in the gym. I remember always thinking as a teenager, “I hope I never have to use this information, but I’m glad I know it!” It’s a big responsibility, so I’m glad to have had that refresher yet again.

Creepy mask, important function

Veteran and the Rookie:

Oh, Danny and Sarah! By far, one of the most fun couples I know. Danny and I met years back competing in CrossFit competitions, and I met his wife Sarah when they came over to train at the gym where I worked. Sarah has always been Danny’s number 1 fan, showing up to events to cheer him on, these last few with their amazing baby boy in tow. When I heard that she had finally agreed to COMPETE in an event, and do it as part of a TEAM with Danny… I was beyond happy!

Not only did they compete together, work together, suffer together, and SURVIVE together… but out of FIFTY SIX (yep, 56) teams in their division, they placed THIRD on one of the events. Now THAT is awesome. Congrats to both of you, it was so fun watching you two throw down together!


After the final workout of the Competition!


The point of this post is to acknowledge and congratulate EVERYONE who has the courage and/or confidence to put themselves out there and compete on a public stage! In my opinion, it’s never about whether or not you win. It’s about did you put in the work to do well, and did you give it your all on Game Day! 

If you have any questions on whether or not you’re ready for a race or competition of your own, or which one you should do, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I’d be happy to talk it over together! 🙂

This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to go to California to watch the 2012 CrossFit Games. I knew some of the athletes, had friends from all over the country going to watch, and made some really great new friends, too. It was kind of a win-win-win-win-win scenario!

One of the people I met there, and now consider a friend of mine, was a woman named Leah Van Hoose. Leah is the owner, and a trainer, at CrossFit Nation in Easton, Maryland.

Now, most of the stories from the Games aren’t appropriate for my blog… mostly because our group had free beer and promised not to post stories from that weekend on the internet! 🙂 I’m just kidding, but what I CAN say, is that Leah is amazing! (She is the young lady to the right of me in this picture below.)

CrossFit, Smashby Training, CrossFit Games, Thought of the Day, CFGamesCrew

Part of the awesome crew I got to hang out with at the CrossFit Games!

Today, she posted a link to an article she wrote a while ago on Facebook, and I read it for the first time… it is amazing.

The post is called “Confidence Learned Confidence Earned” and was featured on I’m just going to direct you guys to the link to read it there yourselves, but let me summarize it the best way I can:

One day she started to lose her hair. Over time, her two boys would also lose their hair. There has been no medical or chemical explanation as to why this happened, but the post discusses her challenge(s) and her journey into accepting the change in appearance, and how she realized that (even though she DOES look great) looks aren’t everything in life!

I have to share my two favorite quotes from the piece, though… as they’re incredible.

1- “What happened was with acceptance for me, everyone else accepted it to. People see what you project. If I wasn’t comfortable with my head why should they be? We feed off each other’s emotions. I had to be confident. I was still Leah. I just looked a little different”

2- “The hardest time not wearing my bandana was in the grocery store that first time. I felt like everyone was staring at me, and they probably were. How often do you see a tall, fit, bald woman in shorty shorts and tall socks in the grocery store? I embraced it after I got over the initial fear. Yes people were staring and it was OK, I just smiled, they smiled back and I continued on my way. The lady at the checkout told me that she had been waiting for me to ditch the bandana and I was much more beautiful without it. Exactly what I needed to hear!”

Please click here and go read her post, and then come back here so you can comment and we can chat about it. I am so thankful to know such awesome people!!

Can you think of people who try to push you around? There’s blatant “bullying” (which is generally easy to point out), and then there are those people who think they’re being “politically correct” about trying to embarrass you or take what could be yours. My advice… starting today… stop them.

Stand up for yourself (most of the time, simply opening your mouth and using your words is enough) and be proud of what you believe in. Trust me, some people go through their entire lives unchallenged because we’re almost trained in this country to take the path of least resistance. Obstruct.

This can mean saying something to that jerk in the office, to that attendant at the store or to the barbell in the gym. BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, and follow through at all costs. Don’t sit around and wait for the “path of least resistance”. Tell yourself… failure is not an option.

My best friend, Jared Steven Rector, said: “A path of least resistance leading nowhere is no path at all, but a path of lessor resistance leading to your goal may be the best path of all. It may allow yourself to discover new paths along the way… Brute force is rarely the most productive means to an end.”

I am not advocating aggressive action against nay-sayers and bullies. What I am trying to introduce into the minds of people who have been taking the “back seat” for too long, is to feel confident voicing your opinion to people who otherwise would have never heard it.

Obstructing does not mean breaking rules or crossing lines. It means being a confident person who knows what he or she wants, and not being ashamed or too shy to go after it. Try this just one time… it’s pretty liberating.

Here’s to being a more confident person than you were yesterday! You CAN do it. You ARE worth it.

(Also, for the sake of this video, teach your kids how to talk. That will also help.)

My good friend (and Executive Director of the Wren’s Nest House Museum in southwest Atlanta, Georgia), Lain Shakespeare, showed me a blog today that he really likes to follow. Less than 10 minutes into reading it, I already came across some wonderful material. The post I’m going to share with you today is entitled “Dancing faster than ever, but why?”, and is written by Blog master, Seth Godin (Check out his blog sometime, it’s awesome).

I am really posting this for the last 3 or 4 phrases he says. Most of us could probably replace his example (of someone who is not conforming to the “norm”, or what people “think” he or she should do) with one that is closer to home, but the message remains the same:

There will always be someone telling you that you’re not hip enough, famous enough, edgy enough or whatever enough. That’s their agenda. What’s yours? Shun the non-believers.

Take a stand for what you believe in, and pursue it shamelessly. If you know in your heart that something is important to you, why would you not give it 110% of your being… every single day.

Legendary Coach Vince Lombardi once said:
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

If you believe in a cause, you’ll get back up stronger every single time. Pick one thing in your life that you’ve been putting off because of fear and change it. Today.

I’m interested to hear what you chose, and how it’s changing. Let me know.