Posts Tagged ‘You Can Do It’

When it comes to my personal life, I’m generally a pretty private person. This morning, however, Facebook reminded me a few events that have happened “On this day,” and it made me want to share them with my friends. Reflecting on them filled me with this huge sense of pride, and it made me really happy! Here are the two memories I saw:

On this date in 2010, I received my CrossFit Level 1 Coaching Certificate:

By the time this happened, I had already been doing CrossFit for a year and a half alone in a Bally’s, and a few months prior I attended a Barbell Certification to learn more about Powerlifting. My formal education started, and I had already spent hundreds of hours (literally) reading books and articles, watching videos, and practicing different techniques, but passing the exam meant I was committing to actually try and coach others. 

For the next four years of my life I coached part-time two to three nights per week after my “day job” and then on weekends. That entire time, though, I knew my heart wanted to be coaching full-time. One day, I was given the opportunity to do just that, I took the really scary leap of faith, and I haven’t looked back since! Taking (and passing) my Level 1 was the REAL first step to be able to live that dream.

On this date in 2012, I paid off my final undergraduate student loan:

My mom always told me (no, not “life is like a box of chocolates”) that I’d likely always be paying three things in life: Rent or a mortgage, taxes, and student loans. Well, when the day arrived that I was able to send away that last paycheck and wouldn’t be receiving any more college bills in the mail… I was so excited! It felt like in my own little way, that I achieved a monumental step “only” seven years after graduating. It’s crazy to put it into perspective now, but it’s almost as though that was the moment that I felt I ACTUALLY graduated.

When I decided to pursue Personal Training/Coaching as my career, I knew it wouldn’t always be easy. I mean, for someone who isn’t a morning person, I’m up around 4:00am four days per week. (If you’re wondering, that’s insanely early.) But I’m doing what I love and getting the opportunity to help people every single day in the process. I am so incredibly thankful for that privilege!

When a few friends told me that my post “inspired” them, I didn’t necessarily understand why at first. I mean, I just wanted to #humblebrag for a minute, and remind myself that, even though there were (are?) moments where I wonder if I picked the right career path, I went out on a limb and followed my dream. It was seeing other people follow their own dreams that gave me the confidence to do the same. So if my actions can inspire even one other person to do the same, I totally get it, and I’m flattered.

Too often, we don’t let other people know about things we accomplish that make us proud! We feel like it’s too arrogant to be excited about something. This post today reminded me that there are more people out there in your corner than you realize. Use the internet for good, share positive news, and encourage one another. Teamwork really does make the dream work, and I want each and every one of you to win. Be proud of yourself, and let us be proud of you, too! (Even if you don’t want to share things publicly, feel free to share them with me directly, I’d LOVE to hear!)

Thank you all for the support and love.

Thanks for trusting me to try and help you all get just a little bit better.

And thanks for reading my rants on this silly little blog.

I’m humbled.

And proud!

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The CrossFit Games Open is such an incredibly fun time of year! It gives those of us who have been in the game for years a chance to see how far this sport has come. We sit around like alumni back at our old college bar reminiscing about the glory days. “Back when I started CrossFit, you were a beast if you could hit a 225lb snatch!” “Remember when an Open workout was seven minutes of burpees, and that was it?” “I used to be in the top 200 in the Region.” Gosh, those were the days.

Nowadays, some of us look at scores that are submitted during this competition and LITERALLY think, “Nope. That’s impossible!” I chuckle to myself trying to process some of the outlandish things we used to say would NEVER HAPPEN. Today, a 275lb. snatch for guys and a 335lb. clean and jerk rarely even causes an eyebrow to raise, and that is just beyond me. But that’s what this event allows us to see.

Click on a workout, filter by top score, and watch just how many people are capable of incredible feats of human strength. For workout 18.2A, there were over 330 men worldwide that cleaned over 350lbs, immediately AFTER a workout. I remember watching Jason Khalipa fail a 135lb snatch AT THE GAMES a few short years ago. That’s an awful lot of progress in not that much time.

With all of that there is something we all need to remember. All people are not created equal. All athletes don’t spend the same amount of time working out. No two humans have the same genetic makeup. There are always going to be athletes who are better at some things than others. All of that is normal. It is completely alright and expected. And we should never be upset if we’re not the best.

If someone beats you on a strength workout, it could just mean they’re stronger than you. It doesn’t mean that they’re a better person. If someone else score more reps on an endurance-based workout than you, they may just have a better engine. It doesn’t mean that “you wasted an entire year of your life training.” This CrossFit thing has become an UNHEALTHY obsession for thousands of people all over the world. Are there less healthy obsessions? You BET! But it kills me to see people beat themselves up over their ranking in a competition where you don’t even know WHAT you’re preparing for in the first place!

Look, with two weeks left in the 2018 Open, all I can ask of you is that you try your best. If you’ve been busting your butt for the last 12 months, be proud of that! Congratulate yourself for being that focused on trying to make yourself better. Most people do not have the determination to stick with something that hard for that long! If you have NOT been training hard for the last 12 months, then be aware that being a “competitive CrossFitter” is now a part- or a full-time job. And even then, there is ONE PERSON who wins.

It’s probably safe to say now that all of us are more likely to get drafted as a kicker for an NFL team than to win the CrossFit Games. Another fun side note is that the minimum salary for all rookies in the NFL is $465,000. EVERY ROOKIE  in the NFL will make at least that much. In a league with nearly 1,700 players. Now in CrossFit, in a worldwide competition with over 440,000 athletes registered, the OVERALL WINNER (both male AND female) make $275,000. The 20th place person makes $2,000. Two Thousand Dollars. They likely spent more than that to fly TO the Games and on lodging. If not, they very likely spent more than that on supplements and body treatment over the course of the year. The point there is that I doubt very many of us are trying to get better here to make a living doing CrossFit!

I say that to keep this thing in perspective. One of my friends recently said, “Ok, so you made it to Regionals. Congrats! What happened the next Monday? Did you still have to go to work? Yep. You did. Oh, you made it to the Games?! That’s awesome! Did you still go back into the office the next week? Yep, you sure did.” That’s not to knock the efforts, motivation, or inspiration people have to make themselves better. I love that. No, really, I LOVE THAT! And THAT is what I think your focus should be. Are you actually getting better? Are you able to live your life and be healthier and happier and stronger and faster? If yes, then you’re good. Be proud of that!

If you’re sore and hangry and miserable and lonely all the time because you “HAVE TO” train and limit your calories and go to bed early and work out again…. to hopefully be top 400 in your Region… is it worth it? That’s a question that you can only answer for yourself. I just hope that whatever your answer is, it won’t be one that you regret in two, or eight, or thirty years.

I have so much respect for athletes who commit their lives to constant improvement. I’m lucky enough to coach a LOT of them every day. But it breaks my heart when I see them absolutely devastated for not performing better at a random workout on a random day. My heart cries when they comment on their lack of self worth or say how poorly they feel they did, when after MONTHS of hard work, their efforts have improved their performance in so many areas! Imagine working really hard on something, getting SO MUCH BETTER at it, and still not feeling good about yourself? THAT is where this equation goes wrong in my brain.

Please know that your self worth is in no way assessed by your ranking in the worldwide Open. Your family and friends won’t love you any more because of how well you do. If your goal is to get better, then I’m all about it. But constantly remind yourself that all we’re doing is working out and trying to be healthier humans. I hope you can remember that most days.

Two more weeks to go, everyone. Keep your head up, and try to have some fun.

NotYourRanking

Here’s last week’s recap and my goals for the upcoming week.

Last week:

  • Fitness
    • Week two of the 2018 CrossFit Games Open is over.
    • For workout 18.2, I retested and went over one minute faster than my first go-round, and hit the same weight on my clean. I worried that I wouldn’t hit the last rep, so really glad I did.
    • This week for 18.3, I’m actually pretty happy with how it went. I only had one round where I fumbled with my double-unders, and hit everything else pretty much according to plan. The only thing I would improve if I decide to retest tomorrow would be to consider hitting muscle-ups in 3 sets instead of 4. The risk there is if I’m more out of breath, the double-unders might suffer more… and this is definitely a double-under workout. We’ll see what I decide.
  • Friday hit and I was absolutely crushed. My body and brain had a long week, so when wifey told me we were staying in (even though I argued) I ended up getting in bed at 9:00. Yep, you read that right. I went to sleep at nine o’clock on Friday night. Needless to say, it felt good to get more than 8 hours of sleep for the first time in a long time… even though my body naturally woke up at 4:30 thinking I was late to coach somewhere!
  • Last week I was proud to announce that drywall in the garage was done! Yesterday, the pegboard in the garage was finished, too. A project that took MONTHS to make the time to complete is finally done! All it took was a full weekend in the 60’s and nothing but sunshine. Proud of this one!

This week:

  • I plan to record my strategy video for the fourth workout of the 2018 CrossFit Games Open. People are still responding well to them!
  • Last week, amidst all of the stress of life, I didn’t eat quite as much as I should have. After running to Costco this morning, I have no excuses to not prep and have meals with me this week to fuel my body. A concept that a lot of people can’t fathom is that for most of us, eating MORE (predominantly healthy things, of course) will help you lose weight, burn fat, have energy, etc. I’ve known so many people who will INTENTIONALLY not eat when they’re trying to lose weight or perform better, then wonder why they don’t get the results they’re looking for out of it. Give your body fuel and it will thank you! (I just need to make meals that are more conducive to eating on the go, and don’t require a fridge or microwave.)
  • I’ve been (kind of secretly) wanting to get into DJing for the last….. 20 years of my life. However, the cards have never all fallen into place at the same time for this to happen. Last week, I finally upgraded my computer, so the gates have been opened to allow me to play a little bit. After a few more days of software downloads, cable and speaker connection work, and carving out a bit of free time, I might finally be able to start a hobby that includes one of my first passions (music) and does not include the need to practice scales for hours per day (yet, at least). No, this does not help my already-struggling prioritization of reading more this year…. but we make time for what’s important to us though, right?!

Alright, your turn. What’s going on with all of you?

The pic of the week comes from my Thursday morning. As most of you know, I do NOT love waking up at 4-something in the morning 4 days per week. However, the line of work I’ve chosen calls for it, and the people I get to see at then are RAD. At least the sunrise that morning, coincidentally on the first day we’ve been able to run outside in what feels like months, was incredible. I hope you all have a great week!

SunRise3.8.18

A lot of people have said the first month of 2018 has dragged on forever. Others have already called for the arrival of 2019 so they can start over fresh. C’mon, friends! I know that things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows, but you’ve got to snap out of this negativity. Most of us go through life in waves of emotion…. today things are great, tomorrow they’re horrible, this week they’re amazing, next week the worst… that’s what being a human is all about! It’s our ability to bounce back from the bad with a smile on our faces, and be appreciative for the good moments, while realizing that they may not stick around forever.

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By providing a monthly recap, I’m striving to focus on a few of the things that happened over every four weeks or so throughout the year. In keeping a list of (mostly positive) things that I’ve experienced, on the days when I feel sorry for myself, I can always reflect back and say, “But look at what you’ve done so far this year! Check out where you’ve gone! Life is pretty good!” Helping other people find the good in things is really easy for me to do. That means this year I can work on practicing what I preach in this very specific way! YOU can also use this blog to serve as a place where you can share your own goals and successes, as well. I want this space to be INTERACTIVE, so if you put yourself out there, acknowledge the good, and share with your friends, we can all be accountabilibuddies together.

Jan18Recap3

Ok, here we go!

January 2018

Fitness- First and foremost, I didn’t get hurt! That’s huge. As we get older, the body doesn’t always bounce back like used to, and mine certainly does not! While I’m still training by myself 90+% of the time, I have made an effort to hop into a few classes here and there. So yay for working out with other humans on occasion!
In terms of actual numbers, I’d say my favorite lifts of the month were my deadlifts. With a lifetime 1RM of 450lbs, I hit sets of three reps on both Conventional and Sumo Deadlift over 400lbs. I hang-snatched 230lbs which was fun, and the heaviest I clean and jerked was 275lbs. Hitting a Front Squat at 300lbs and a 315lb Back Squat was nice. I also took my first ever Yoga class with Em, and it was just as stressful as I thought. By the end, I couldn’t even use my mat because it was too sweaty!

For February, I’d love to Clean and Jerk 285lbs and Snatch 235, bringing me a little closer to my lifetime bests. Hitting 315 for a single Front Squat and repping 315 for Back Squats without completely crashing at the bottom are on that list, too. Next, I’d love to hit 10 consecutive Ring Muscle-Ups. Finally, running a mile under 6:00 and rowing 500m in under 1:35. I’m starting with goals I hope to hit, then building from there as the year goes on. Finally, I’ll aim to take another fitness class I’ve never done before. Not sure where or when, but that’s my goal!

House- This was a big month for me as a “Home Owner” doing home owner things. First, Em bought a ton of new toys; a snow blower, leaf blower, AND a power washer! I installed an outlet in the garage all by myself, everyone! Finally, as of today, insulation has been installed in the garage, and we’re 1/3 of the way through dry-walling it.

For February, I’d like to finish putting up drywall in the garage, AND installing our Pegboard. That’s a lofty goal since it’s a short month and we’re out of town one weekend, but let’s see what we can do!

Other- I successfully made it through posting once per day for the entire month! That’s big for me, and I’m really proud of myself. We adopted another dog! Her name is Dakota, and she is an 11 year old pug mix. Homegirl made herself right at home, and she and Bacon get along great. I got to see one of my brothers and his entire band, the Big Mean Sound Machine, when they toured through Colorado for the first time. Also, we hosted ALL of them at our house. It was awesome! We got out of town once, too, when we spent New Years in Manhattan, Kansas.

For February, I’d like to prevent Em from adopting another dog! It would be really nice to say I’ve read two books in 2018 by the end of the month, too. It’s been a rough start, but I’ll keep working on it. There will also be a new Meal Prep video on the blog. Instead of copping out and featuring a meal I’ve made dozens of times, I’ll make something for the first time and document it for you!

Jan18Recap1

What our house would look like if Em had her choice, only they’d all have short legs!

I am typically not a fan of the concept of New Year’s Resolution. Why? Because I don’t think you need it to be a new year on the calendar to commit to making improvements in your life. Also, it’s far too common to have the majority of people come out strong in January with their steps to get better, only to completely lose progress by February or March. This same pattern, year over year, leads to so many Americans approaching the topic of resolutions with so much cynicism that some people are actually laughed at when they tell others’ about their goals. Not cool.

What I’ve noticed is that while it’s easy to SAY, “I want to x, y, or z,” in January, it’s much harder to stay the course without someone to help keep you accountable. An “Accountabilibuddy,” if you will. The first time I ever heard that term was in an episode of South Park, but since then I’ve seen it all over. Instead of just having a friend, family member, or spouse to tell your goals to, this person is tasked with specifically holding you accountable for goals that you’ve set. It might be random check-ins, or maybe a well thought-out action plan with timelines. The point is, you have someone to answer to along the way.

THAT SAID, instead of just sitting back and telling YOU to be more accountable to your resolutions, I’m going to double-down and hold myself accountable to some, too! Each month, I’ll update my list, and you can all be a part of making sure I’m sticking to my goals! Here goes nothing…

Tom’s 2018 New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Create at least 25 posts per month on my blog – This can include multiple posts on the same day, and can even be a simple re-blog of something else I’ve seen. (Stretch Goal- One post per day)
  2. Read at least one book per month – Reading a kid’s book to my (soon-to-be) 5-year old neice? Counts! haha, not really. But, there is no minimum page requirement, just as long as it’s a complete body of work from start to finish. (Stretch Goal- If applicable to health and wellness, include a brief review and summary of the book here on my blog)
  3. Formal Continuing Education – My goal is to obtain TWO new Certifications this year. The first, is a Nutrition Certification. The second, my CrossFit Level 3 Certification. I’ve talked about getting both of these for years. Now, it’s time to talk less and do more.
  4. New Adventures – Once per month, I’d like to do something for the first time. It can be trying a new restaurant, taking a new fitness class, seeing a band perform live for the first time, or visit some place I’ve never been before. Anything goes! I think we do this more often than we think, but by keeping track, it will serve as a fun reminder of how often we step our of our comfort zone. (Stretch Goal- More than one new thing per month)
Accountabilibuddies

Let’s be there for each other!

What do you say, friends? Is anyone with me? Anyone else want to put themselves out there and let our community hold each other accountable? Let me know!

Arthur Boorman’s story is incredible. I first saw the video below years ago, and just had to write about it on my blog. Arthur was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years. Through years of being a paratrooper, his knees and back slowly started to deteriorate. After gaining a lot of weight, he was no longer able to walk without assistance. Doctors told him he would never walk without support again.

One day, he came across an article that talked about famous professional wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page, and how he had been practicing Yoga. The article inspired Arthur to give it a shot. As you can imagine, the road was a rough one. Progress started slow and he fell often. But he never gave up. DDP took interest in his story, and began communicating with, encouraging, and supporting Arthur through his journey. He ended up losing 140lbs in 10 months, and just a little bit more physical independence!

Watch the awesome video below, share it with someone you know who might need a little pick-me-up, and remember… through consistency, discipline, a strong support network, and a well-thought-out training program, so much is possible!

I swear every time I watch this. Every time! I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying!