Posts Tagged ‘Responsibility’

Earlier this week, Facebook showed me a picture that I shared a few years ago. It happens to be one of my favorite pictures of myself in existence, and it’s awesome for three main reasons:

  1. First, it was taken at my grandmother’s old house; the place where I fell in love with the water.
  2. Second, I was jacked and I knew it. You can totally see me ‘mirin’ them gainz.
  3. Third, is in the moment that picture was taken, my biggest worry in life was what we’d be having for dinner.

At that age I mostly ate, played, slept, and smiled. How AMAZING does that sound right now?!


Unfortunately, most of us move away from that mindset as we get older. We’re less happy, more stressed, worry about what other people think, go into careers we don’t love, and we spend money on things we don’t need because we think they’ll make us happier. (News Flash: They usually don’t.) Wow, when I put it that way, adulthood doesn’t seem that fun. I have good news, though. It’s not too late for us to make simple changes that can make a profound impact on our overall quality of life!

Since I’m a visual person, I’ll share a quick list of things you can start doing today that will get you on your way to being happier more often:

  1. Identify 3 People that make you really happy
    • Make it your goal to interact with them at least once every two weeks. If they’re in the same city as you, schedule a lunch, dinner, or a walk on a weekend. If they’re not, schedule a time for a phone call of Facetime with them once every two weeks. Once a week becomes too hard to maintain for most of us, and once a month simply isn’t enough to connect with the people we love.
  2. Identify 3 Activities that make you really happy
    • Ideally, they’re activities that you can do with little preparation required. While SCUBA diving in the Maldives may have made you really happy, it’s unlikely that most people can just “up and go” to their favorite place. Instead, if being outside makes you happy, give yourself time to go for a walk or a hike every few weeks.
    • Do you like live music? It doesn’t need to cost you hundreds of dollars to travel across the country to see your favorite band. You don’t need to pay $50 for a ticket and then another $40 in service fees to go that big local venue, either. Most cities have free live music all over town, every night of the week. It just takes a little research and an open mind that’s excited to see new bands you’ve never seen before.
    •  Do you just like spending time with friends and unplugging for a few hours? That doesn’t need to look like a big expensive night out with a fancy dinner and cocktails. Have one of you pick one night per month where everyone gets together, brings one meal or side dish each, and you just sit around talking, playing games, and laughing together.
    • Pro Tip: To make this night even more special, try putting all cell phones in another room so everyone is more engaged. I’m working on getting better about this myself. Be. Present. More.
  3. Identify 3 Foods that make you really happy
    • As with the two sections above, this doesn’t need to be a seven-course steak dinner at Morton’s. Maybe you’re like me and love Macaroni and Cheese. Perhaps ice cream or raw cookie dough straight out of the fridge are treats that make you really happy. (Also me.) If you plan a meal that you really look forward to eating (maybe even cooking yourself), it can make the monotony of our “day to day” grind a bit more exciting.
    • For a lot of us, the foods that make us smile the most are the ones that we probably shouldn’t eat all the time. So, while I don’t want to call them “cheat meals” (since I think we should eat whatever we want, whenever we want, as long as we accept the outcome of those choices), I think indulging a little here and there is a required part of life!
    • Besides, if I ate tater tots and drank IPAs at every meal, they might not be as special for me all the time. They probably would be, but they might not!

By identifying these 9 simple things, I’m suggesting that you’ll live a happier life. The best part, is that every two or four or six months, you can reevaluate the list and change it up. You control how often you decide to go through this process!


For me, the key is to try and PLAN FOR and SCHEDULE these things. If there’s one thing I’m learning the older I get is that if I wait until I “have time” to do something, it’ll never happen. We lived in simpler times when we were kids. Now that we’re older, if you schedule your fun like you schedule that conference call for work next Tuesday, you might find that you just start making time for more fun!

Today I received one of the best compliments ever!

A friend of mine, who I’ve coached in CrossFit for a long time, pulled me aside after class and said, “You know, I love coming to your classes, but I hate it, too!” Obviously I needed him to elaborate on this one a bit.

He went on to explain that when he works out on his own, he never warms up properly. It takes too much time, it’s not glamorous, and honestly sometimes he just doesn’t know what to do. When he comes to my classes, he said he always feels as though he is warmed up sufficiently, and ready to go!

Why share this compliment? It’s not to brag. In fact, quite the opposite! While I’m completely humbled and flattered by his words, it could have been me saying them aloud, myself! I ALSO don’t always spend enough time warming up when I work out. And it’s for those very same reasons. I’d rather “use the first round of the AMRAP to get warm” or “warm up as I go” to save time. Butttttt, I know that’s not the right thing to do!

As coaches, I feel it’s our job to prepare the athletes in class to be as safe as possible. That will typically involve some dynamic movement to get blood flowing, a bit of stretching and mobility to work through tension or soreness that may exist, and then some sort of skill work to prepare for the day’s training requirements.

At a previous job, I would write warm-ups for every single day, that would be completed by every class in the gym. To be completely honest, I dreaded doing this some weeks. Why? Because while I could have thrown something together in 20 minutes, that wasn’t my style. I wanted to keep things fun and varied. I wanted to introduce new movements to athletes and give them skills to learn. I wanted to make sure that regardless of ability level, the process I selected for that particular day would be effective for both national-level athletes and beginners alike.

It’s important to realize that as “CrossFit Coaches,” we’re tasked with far more than simply reading words on a white board to a group of people. The responsibility, and quite frankly the privilege, we’ve been given is to make our athletes better than they were when they walked through the door. This could mean helping them prevent or recover from injury, improving strength or range of motion, giving them a safe place to disconnect from the stress of life for sixty minutes, and any combination of the above plus countless other options.

The next time you find yourself preparing to lead a class or train a client, try to remember that. Yeah, my friend told me that he always feels warm when he takes my class, and that feels great to hear. But really, it served as a reminder to myself that by striving to never “phone it in,” I’m actively working to ensure that every athlete I work with has the greatest likelihood of success. I don’t take that responsibility lightly, and don’t think others should either.

Also, it reminded me that I need to warm up more effectively myself before I work out alone. 

Stay safe and have fun out there, friends!