Posts Tagged ‘CrossFit Lisbeth’

Here’s a post from CrossFit Lisbeth. I lived this exact situation for…. the last 4.5 years of my life in regards to a pretty big part of my life. Talking, planning, “goal-ing” (that was for you, Rejalicious), asking, sharing, thinking….. but nothing changed.

I didn’t go to Business School, I didn’t walk away, I just talked. And complained. Inaction.

I know several friends who has been in the same boat for days, weeks, months, years in other areas of their lives, too. At a certain point it’s about doing one thing, though. And it’s something I say to myself more and more often as I “get older”.


The best part is, the more I say it to myself, and the more I’m doing it…. the better my life is getting. I “use my words” and speak my mind more often when I think something, and I feel better about situations. I actually train to try and get stronger instead of just saying “I wish I would get stronger”, and it’s working. I have accepted that certain people are the way they are, plain and simple, so instead of trying to change them (or worse, change myself on their behalf), I stress less about other people’s actions and live my own life. I mean, this stuff really works! 🙂

As Lisbeth says.. just ACT. Whether you share your goals/thoughts/ideas with others or not is entirely up to you. But when you feel a certain way about any given situation, realize that you have TWO choices on how to react to it. Accept it and move on. Or ACT and do something to try and change it.

It’s as simple as that.

Happy Tuesday!


~By Lisbeth

So, you don’t like something in your life. You’re complaining, you’re mad/sad/depressed/pissed off. You’ve got 2 choices:

1.) Take action

2.) Don’t take action.

It’s that simple. Choose one: Take action or don’t. Try to change it or don’t.

People talk about goals and charts and numbers and lists and plans. Maybe there is some ideal way to plan/structure/prioritize/accomplish everything. But for every piece of advice that tells you to do it this way, there’s another piece of advice that tells you to do it another way. Remember hearing that you should tell somebody your goals so they can hold you accountable? Well, there’s another psychology study that shows that telling somebody your goals makes your brain tick that goal off as accomplished, hence you should not tell anybody your goals. Hahahaha. Great. You gotta laugh or you’re going to cry.

But goals told or goals kept secret, so what. It still comes back to take action or don’t take action.

So, what are you going to do?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had some conversations with some of the athletes I get to work with that have gone really well. I mean, surprisingly well! A lot of times, people who are in the gym are expecting (or hoping for) perfection. They want to ALWAYS PR. They want to ALWAYS feel good. They want to ALWAYS feel like they did really well in the workout.

Well, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes you’re really sore. Sometimes there’s too much on your mind outside of the 4 walls of CrossFit Lakewood. And you know what? Sometimes you just don’t really feel like working out!

BUT, and here’s the catch. You still showed up. Even if being at the gym wasn’t your first choice, you still came in, and you’re still going to leave better than you were when you came in… hopefully a bit happier than when you arrived, too!

The conversations I’ve been having with people have made me so happy because they (you guys!) are doing a GREAT job of:
Keeping CrossFit in Perspective!

I am SUPER competitive. I ALWAYS want to do really well, and when I don’t, it can definitely get me down. You guys are helping me chill out those pressures on myself a little bit. If a CrossFit issue is the biggest problem I’ve run into today… I’d say the day went pretty well, right? What you guys are reminding me to do, is the same stuff I try to work on with each of you.

Take a “problem” of yours, and instead of getting upset at yourself, the barbell, the weight… focus on what we can do to IMPROVE the situation, and learn from where we are at that exact moment. Pretty simple concept that can be easy to forget “in the heat of the moment”.

There are so many SERIOUS problems in the world. So many people going through struggles I could never imagine. And I let myself get upset over a workout?

THANK YOU to the CrossFit Lakewood Family for helping me keep life in perspective a little bit more, and thank you to Lisbeth and her blog, for sharing another gem.

As Fran (an amazing member of the CFLW Family) said to me the other day (and it really hit home and made my heart smile):
“I appreciate you.”

All of you. Really. Thank you for all having such a positive influence on me. I try daily to repay even a portion of what you all mean to me.

I am thankful for all of what I am blessed enough to have! Friends. Family. Health.

(Sometimes it’s just nice to remind YOURSELF of what you’re thankful for, to do it “out loud”!)

Grateful For These Problems

~by Lisbeth

Be grateful for your problems. They’re here to teach you.

Be thankful, especially if your problems are “first-world”: the coffee isn’t hot enough, your new shoes don’t fit right, the boss didn’t say “Thank-you” and you just didn’t like the workout at the gym this morning.

Those are great freakin’ problems.

Be happy your daily vocabulary doesn’t include phrases like white blood cell count or transplant, or visiting hours. Be thrilled you can take your health for granted. Be happy you can take your friends for granted. Be estatic you can take your life and safety and security for granted.

We are lucky, so very lucky, if our concerns center on chalk abuse and not child abuse, on “Did he get to depth?” and not “What do you mean he didn’t make it to school?” And that our CrossFit concerns, while very real and valid and centered in our lives, are exactly what they are: sound and fury.

Her wall-ball didn’t touch the mark. I bounced my deadlift. He didn’t lock out.

Yeah. Good problems. Be happy, be grateful, and go help somebody.

Sometimes I think that Lisbeth Darsh is reading my mind when she posts on her blog. I literally had this same exact conversation with friends multiple times this week.

The conversation was about women. CrossFitting women in particular. And how AWESOME they are to me.

There is something that happens when you get that mix of strong, independent, athletic, humble, caring and confident… yeah, it’s pretty incredible.

What is sad, is when guys (or sometimes other women) don’t truly appreciate those qualities. I’ve found the reason (99% of the time) is jealousy. Yeah, she might be able to squat more than you, or run faster, or get more double-unders in a row, or maintain her composure better when life throws wrenches in her gears. Instead of hating, or making cynical comments, or making excuses for why she can… just take notes.


Check out her post below. Strong women: love ’em!

Never More Beautiful

~by Lisbeth

A woman is never more beautiful than when she is strong: this, I believe to be true.

There’s something about a woman showing strength and confidence that is sexy and arresting to many people. Whoever you are — man or woman — the image of a strong woman will provoke a reaction. Sometimes, this is positive. And sometimes there is a backlash.

Love strong women or hate strong women: you can have your opinion but really it doesn’t matter. You can’t change what is — that’s like trying to change the sun: pure folly.

And if the image of a strong woman bugs you? Then you really need to look closer. Look at what bothers you: really look hard. Why does it anger you? What threat is it to you? And ask yourself: what are you afraid of?

A lot of what is written below in the post from the CrossFit Lisbeth Blog is how I try to live my life every day. This rings ESPECIALLY true for me “CrossFit Life” while I’m in the gym.

To her final question: “Are you old school?” I would need to say: Yes.

Are YOU?

Old School

~ Posted by Lisbeth on Oct 12, 2011

What is Old School?

Integrity, honor, commitment, doing the right thing. Being impeccable with your word. Not gossiping. Treating people like you wish to be treated. Being true and honest. Reducing bull**** in life instead of adding to it.

Being polite.

Getting your chest to the deck on a push-up.

Opening your ears and shutting your mouth when someone else is speaking.

Sitting all the way up in a sit-up.

Counting all your reps . . . and adding more if there’s any question in your mind.

Not counting the wall-balls that don’t go to the top of the mark.

Getting your chin all the way over the bar in a pull-up, not just up to the bar. (Except on butterflies!)

Facing your fears, whether they’re handstands, overhead squats, or some bogeyman under your bed.

Calling your mother, even if you don’t really like her. (Or your sister, your brother, your grandma, etc.)

Wiping down your bar, even if you don’t think you bled on it.

Respect. Apologies. Minding your own business.

Putting away the bumpers in an orderly pile.

Community, not cliques.

Looking people in the eye when you talk to them.

Helping break down someone else’s bar.

Introducing yourself to any new person in the gym.

Finding and throwing away your water bottle at the end of class.

Cheering for everyone in class (even people you don’t like that much) because we all bleed the same color: CrossFit.

Having respect for those who came before you.

Being a human first, and a CrossFitter second.

Are you old school?

Lisbeth Darsh makes me smile. Her blog, which I have featured about 5 to 17 dozen times here, has some great messages and some powerful concepts to take with you in your journey. This one today, I just read and smile.

Not a cute little smile, but a true, heart-warming, “I know and LOVE the feeling” smile. This is what CrossFit is about to me. Not just adding weight in a workout at the gym. That’s just one scenario. But surrounding yourself with people who help push you just a little bit farther than you’d like because they KNOW what you are capable of accomplishing.

And then you… hearing that little “push” from a friend charge on, even if the butterflies creep in and you get a little nervous, because in the back of your mind you knew you could do it all along, anyways. Or if nothing else, you were excited for the challenge. Excited for the ability to be “Better than yesterday.”

Thank you to all of the people in my life who help give me that little push ALL of the time. I appreciate you more than you know.

Getting Called Out

~ Posted by Lisbeth on Oct 6, 2011

The woman next to me called me out in class today.

I was about to strip some weight off my barbell to get down to the RX (women’s) weight for the metcon and she yelled over at me (and wagged her finger!): “Na-uh. Don’t you dare. You can handle that weight.”

I was shocked. And kind of pleasantly surprised. See, this woman doesn’t really know me. Barely knows my name. Doesn’t even Facebook. So it doesn’t matter to her who I am or what I do for CrossFit. She just knew I was someone about to not live up to my potential and she wasn’t going to let that happen, not during her gym time. She stood there and gave me a staredown that would make a mugger give back a purse.

I gave one more try, with a grin, and nodded at my barbell: “But that’s RX plus.”

Now, she smiled too: “That’s okay. You can handle it.”

Ah. Accountability: it’s what’s for breakfast at your CrossFit affiliate. I did the RX plus weight and was glad I did. Sometimes you need to get called out. It’s good for your soul, and your lift . . .

I know this post is a little longer than usual, but I ask that you all take the time to read through it.

I am going to feature another one of Lisbeth’s posts from last week because it really spoke to me. As a coach, I have SO MUCH faith and confidence in all of my athletes, and as I grow as a coach, I am learning more and more that thinking that way can be almost too intimidating to some people.

“Why does he think I can do this? There’s no way!”

“Yeah right, Tom.”

“I can’t.” ~ Ahhhh, I HATE that one!
(Please don’t say “can’t” or “hate” around me if you don’t mind. I’ll let Casey tell you all what to say instead.)

I can’t explain why exactly it is that I feel that way, but I just have seen so many people exceed even their WILDEST dreams (in the gym, in their health, at work, in their relationships, it doesn’t matter!) that I think I’ve stopped believing that some things are “impossible”. If the person puts in the hard work dedicated to their cause, whatever that cause may be, a huge part of me has simply switched to the mindset where I know the goal will be reached. That is my excuse.

I will rarely “call out” a specific athlete here on this blog when it comes to specific conversations that we have, but today is going to be an exception to that rule.

The reason I know that Heather Beck CAN get her elbows higher and nail that Front Squat is because I know she works her ass off EVERY SINGLE DAY she’s in the gym. The reason I KNEW that Casey Polk would get through an entire workout without bands for her pull-ups is because I’ve seen her spend HOURS before and after class just working on technique. She EARNED it.

So if I ever push you a little bit farther than you’re used to… or if I’ve ever scared you into thinking that you can lift more weight than you thought you could… I’m sorry for not being sorry. I don’t know how else to word this, so I’ll just say it.

It’s your fault.

I only say, think, and BELIEVE in you because at some point or another (or imagine this.. EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE YOU) you have proven to me that you CAN. And that you WILL. So, stop being so strong, and successful, and stop fighting so hard, and stop performing your reps with such incredible technique, and then I promise you I’ll try to stop believing in you so much. 🙂

Diamond in the Rough” ~ By Lisbeth

Some of us can see it in you — who you could be, with a little work — even if you can’t see it in yourself. And that fact will either thrill or frighten you. Or, maybe both.

Some coaches have technical skills, or fantastic eye for movement, or a phenomenal grasp of human mechanics. But some can kinda see under your skin. We watch you breathe and we notice your body posture and your interaction with the world and listen to your words. And it all sort of adds up.

We know who you are. Or at least, we have an idea.

For some people, that’s a seriously frightening prospect: that someone could really know who they are. Some folks have spent a lifetime building their walls. They don’t want anybody to see over their fences, or through their windows. They want to control everything: life feels safer that way. And along comes a coach or a person or a loved one who can really see them, even beyond the push jerk — and that diamond in the rough, and wants to help polish it up so the world sees it too. And that is scary.

It’s okay though. Be scared but let them look anyhow. Be brave. And maybe a little crazy. Many folks probably understand more than you give them credit for . . . and they’re probably kind of freaked out too. But you know what? Life doesn’t have to be so frightening — for all of us. I know a fella who says “The more people that know your intimate secrets, the safer you are.” Sounds totally wrong, but maybe he’s right? Whichever it is, and whatever happens, good or bad? You’ll get over it. That is the only certainty.

So just press on. Let your coach try to polish that diamond. Tell ‘em to back off when you need to, but let ‘em in when you can. Both your lives will be better for it.

Lisbeth strikes again.

If you don’t know what that means yet, welcome to my blog. CrossFit Lisbeth’s author, Lisbeth Darsh, is amazing.

Simple message. Yet SO powerful and true. Regardless of your role at work, at home or in the gym… think about this.

Every Single Time you interact with someone in your life… please just TRY to think about this message.

Teaching Moments ~ By Lisbeth

Teaching moments aren’t easy, for the teacher or the student.

You might be the member, thinking “Oh man, he’s picking on me.” Or you might be the coach, thinking “How the heck can I get this point across? How can I get her to change that movement?”

But you’re both in a situation that could be so illuminating, if you allow it to be.

Let go of your ego and your fears. Let go of the idea that you have to be the best in every single moment of your life. Open your heart, open your mind . . . and learn.

Apply the student mentality everywhere you can today – just for a day — and see what happens. There are a lot more experts in your world — on so many subjects — than you realize.

They are in your gym, in the coffeeshop, in your workplace, and in your neighborhood. And often the loudest voice is not the most educated, so learn to listen to the quiet ones too. Seek out those who would share their secrets. Become enraptured by the truthtellers and just smile at the blowhards. But learn. Always learn.

Below is a post from CrossFit Lisbeth. This woman is amazing. Thank you, Lisbeth, for another gem.

Those of you who know me have hopefully seen that I feel having “Faith” in life is incredibly important. We control so much more than we want to admit sometimes, and that can be really scary. Having some faith in yourself, in your choices and in your hopes and dreams… and then working towards them with 100% of your heart and soul is such an empowering way of life. It’s one that I’m working on every single day.

I’ve made some major changes in my life recently (in terms of following my passions), and I’ll blog about those another time, but there are also some changes I haven’t made yet. Mostly because I’ve been afraid of “not knowing” what would happen next. Like I said, I’m working on it. But if you’re willing to put 100% of your being into those things that are important to you, then all you have left to do is believe, have faith and know that whatever happens next was meant to be.

Love this post, Lisbeth.

Faith – by Lisbeth

Faith: you got to have it.

I’m not talking about “throw your hands up to Jesus” faith. You can have that or not, I don’t really care — that’s up to you.

I’m talking about faith in yourself. In the person next to you. In your loved ones. In what you’re doing here. In your life.

Faith that if things are bad, they’ll get better. Faith that if you work hard, dreams will come true. Faith that love is out there, waiting for you in so many ways — you just have to open your eyes.

Without faith, life is kind of mean. You look over your shoulder all the time. You expect the worse. You prepare for the letdown. And so the dark dreams come to pass. Your life feels hollow and dry and interspersed only with random points of happiness. Joy eludes you and seems always to sit in other people’s pockets.

Without faith, the bar is always too heavy, the kettlebell is too much, the pull-up bar is too high, there are too many muscle-ups in the workout. You’re not a gymnast after all, right?

You can feel this way. You can be this way. It’s probably valid.

Or you can just say “F**k it.”

Life isn’t perfect. The bar is heavy, but I’m going to lift it. The pull-up bar is too high but I can get there. The other guy got this promotion but I’m getting the next one. That spot on the x-ray? F**k it: I can beat that. So he left me? Yeah, there are a million other fish in the sea. F** it all.

I‘m here. I’m strong. And I’m not going anywhere. I got faith.

Your life. Your choice. Your ending is happy or sad, your life is happy or sad, your day is happy or sad — depending not on the circumstances in it, but on how you view things.

So don’t come to me with your stories of woe. Don’t come to me with your self-pity and your Poor Me Syndrome. Come to me with your victories of the spirit, with your smiles and joy. Same breeds same. With every breath and every thought, you decide what you want more of. Choose darkness, or have faith. Of this you can be certain: Life will reply.

For the last 2.5+ years, I’ve really improved my tendency to “push” CrossFit onto other people. Yes, as sad as it sounds, this is me pushing it less.

CrossFit Lisbeth took a few seconds today to remind us (me) that it’s not always a good time. In fact, it’s never a good time to spread the word or get somebody else into CrossFit when YOU think it’s a good time. THEY need to be ready.

Ready or Not ~ By Lisbeth

Some folks just are not ready.

For CrossFit, for change, for love, for life, for lots of things new and untried.

Remaining the same is safer, and more comfortable.

Let them be.

What? Isn’t that wrong? Shouldn’t I be telling you to go after them? To pursue them and convince them that this is the best thing for them? That CrossFit will save their life?


They have to be ready to take the first step. You can’t take it for them. You can only keep living your life. You can’t live theirs too. Help them if they want your help. Walk away if they don’t.

It will be hard, really hard, but you have to do it. For yourself, and (in a way) for them. People don’t change because you want them to change. They change because they are ready to change.

So, work on the only person you can change: yourself. Live the best life you can. And, if someone asks for your help, give it with all your heart, because now maybe they are ready . . .

Let me start this post by saying that I have never met AJ Moore, but from what little I know about him, he is an INCREDIBLE athlete (and a really cool person).

This past weekend, he became an even bigger “CrossFit Celebrity” when his was no-repped on an incredible 60 or so reps of the “100’s” workout at his CrossFit Games Regional competition. SIXTY Reps were not counted. Many in the CrossFit community are outraged, and there have been several blog posts written about judging at the Regional competitions around the world. There’s this one, specifically about AJ, from the crew at Beyond the Whiteboard, and then there’s this article on judging and the “Sport of CrossFit” in general that I read from the SICFIT Crew.

My own personal take on the whole scenario is this:
There will always, and I emphasize ALWAYS, be situations where people get places they shouldn’t in sports due to blatant cheating or bad officiating. That’s a risk we take when we have the potential for “Human Error” in any task (gladly, if you ask me). Humans, as much as we would like to think, are not perfect.

(For example, some people probably made it to Regionals who shouldn’t have because of this potential pattern, but it happens. I finished in 79th place out of over 1,000 in the Region and only 60 places made it. I could be “bitter”, but instead of making excuses I am just training harder for next year! CrossFit Lisbeth wrote this quick and dirty post the other day, and I agree with her 100000%.)

That being said, I need all of you who care about this topic to CLEARLY READ the standards that were explicitly printed a few weeks ago from CrossFit HQ on the CrossFit Games Website.

Kettlebell swing:
At the top of the swing, the kettlebell must be fully inverted (bell over the handle), centered over the feet with the hips and knees fully extended and the arms straight. At the bottom, the wrists must touch the thighs and the bell must pass behind the heels. There is no requirement for flexing the knees.

Those details are VERY specific, and at least in my history of competing in CrossFit events, more detailed than any I have ever heard. (Usually, I’ve heard hips fully extended and ears visible in front of the arms at the top, or something like that.) But you know what? They posted that info online, weeks ago, for the WORLD to see. There were no surprises on game day.

Now I must warn you, the video below (which I copied from the comments sections of the beyondthewhiteboard post) was PAINFUL for me to watch… PAINFUL. At that level of competition, I can only imagine the amount of frustration AJ must have felt when rep after rep was called back. When I read and reread the standards, though…. I have to agree with his JUDGE on this one (maybe aside from a rep or two). The crowd, and others witnessing this were furious, though, and I’ll tell you why I think that was the case. If I was cheering on my friend who had all of these no-reps called, but then I looked over at another competitor who wasn’t being held to the same exact standards, I would be furious, too. For me, that’s where the role of Head Judges and Event Coordinators comes in. Manage the floor as actively as you can, or appoint someone who can, to ensure that those standards are being upheld consistently.

Regardless, some inconsistencies will always exist, and as athletes and fans, we just need to accept that. The year they introduce robotic judging and infrared cameras to ensure standards, there will be outrage in the community because we’re taking the “human touch” out of our sport. Trust me.

I’ll end this post by saying this:

AJ Moore – You had one of the classiest performances I’ve ever seen in CrossFit. When I found myself yelling at the screen watching this video, I realized how emotionally charged we get as athletes cheering for a peer of ours. The sense of family and Community we have in CrossFit is incredible, and as an athlete you’ve got yet another new fan through all of this. Me.

Judges – All I can ask is that Competition Coordinators do their best to properly train judges, and then walk around during the event to ensure consistency across the floor (and I think that many or most CrossFit events do this well). If the judge is truly trying their best to uphold standards based on their understanding of the rules and standards, that is all we can ask for in sport. If a judge needs to be replaced, do it. It’s as simple as that.

Fans – Arguing with or mistreating judges is a complete waste of time. All the time. It only offends and insults, it poisons the sport and accomplishes nothing. If there truly is unfair judging taking place, there are productive means to try and remedy these injustices. Event coordinators are probably a good place to start, and having video evidence of what you think is wrong will surely help so it’s not a he-said she-said scenario. When possible, handle it as diplomatically and respectfully as possible, because when we CrossFitters get emotional and upset, there’s little that can calm us down!

At the end of the day, like the Chyna Cho and Michelle Benedict situations that have also gained popularity throughout CrossFit over the last few weeks, I’m sure that all athletes at that level of competition will step up their game, maintain their class and work even harder so that next year, when Regionals rolls around… It won’t matter what happens with judges. They’ll crush it, and crush it harder than ever.

CrossFit. I love you.