Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Childhood and Beauty.

My last two posts have been pretty Deep. So before someone drowns around here I'd like to be kind of shallow for a moment and share something - I want to talk a little about what we look like on the outside and how it makes us feel on the inside.

I'd like to tell you all a little story first.

Once upon a time there was a little pre teen girl named Allie. She wasn't born with a silver spoon in her mouth and couldn't wear fancy clothes like her friends. She was fat in all the wrong places. She ate cheap junk food like Ring Dings and Bunch a Crunch. Big belly, flat chest. She had snaggle teeth. One of the top front ones was traped behind the bottom row.... until she got braces... with yellow and orange rubber bands. She had horrible super short boy haircut which she tried to maintain by using a bottle of gel on her hair everyday. Because of that, her classmates gave her the nickname "helmet head". The boys called her "Barkey" because they said she looked like a dog.

One day after a long day of teasing in Junior High, the little girl ventured into the deli where all the cool kids hung out after school. She was nervous but she really wanted some Eye Poppers and Cry Babies which were only sold there. As she was digging though the gum looking for her favorite flavors - green and yellow, the most sour ones - some girls and boys started making fun of her. She felt like she was going to cry so she decided to get the hell out of there. She went to the register and behind the counter was a realllly cute guy who most of the girls liked. He was probably in high school and "cool".

That boy looked at the young, shy girl and said "Don't let them get to you. One day soon you're going to be beautiful. The boys will love you and the girls will hate you. Stay yourself and don't listen to those mean people. Their words are only a reflection of themselves". The little girl never ever forgot that boy and his words and kindness made her smile that day and stuck with her forever.

A few years later she was off to high school. The summer before crazy things happened. She lost some weight from being on two swim teams, she let her hair grow out, she learned a thing or two about eyeliner and grew a huge set of knockers.

Things still weren't perfect though by any means. She went overboard in her quest to not be what she was. She tweazed her once bushy, overgrown brows into super thin lines which were barely visible in photographs or sunlight. Her mother called her "Baldy Brows" and "Minny Mouse".

No one on this earth is perfect but we need to accept ourselves for all of our beauty and all of our flaws.

Anyway, over the years I've grown into myself. I'm not that awkward kid on the outside anymore, although sometimes I feel that way on the inside.

But my experiences with beauty and weight and teasing have really shaped who I am and how I treat other people.

I HAVE NEVER AND WILL NEVER tease another person for how they look. I'll never compare myself to another woman for better or for worse. I will never put another person down for their looks.

People who use looks as a way to make other people feel badly about themselves are mean. Flat out mean. Every single time I've been around people who have teased or made comments about someones looks to their face or behind their back, I've at the very least stood up to them and will not be involved in that kind of talk. It's hateful.

As a woman I've thought a lot about body image. I've thought about what I look like, what I've looked like in the past, and what I'd like to look like. I've been blessed with a very supportive Mother and because of her I have a very healthy, realistic sense of myself.

I've been called fat. A lot recently. This morning I got on the scale and weighed in at 123# at 5'2. I'm beautiful but more important.. I'm healthy. I am not fat by any stretch of the imagination. Anyone who's said that about me is a fool and out of touch with reality. Those are mean spirited comments made to inflict harm to my self-esteem. They didn't work. I don't listen to hateful people and I know I'm fit and getting fitter. I'm at a healthy weight - not over or under.

As a CrossFit trainer I feel like I have a responsibility to my clients and to everyone around me - friends, family and people who've seen me on the internet and have reached out to me through e-mail - to maintain a positive attitude about my body and about health and fitness. I want to lead by example and know on the internet, words count for a lot.

We need to accept ourselves for who we are and how we look right this minute while working towards making ourselves the best that we can be... Not the best that someone else can be.

We should never use our looks as a weapon to make other people feel badly about themselves. Instead we should be encouraging, and lead by example to inspire people to feel good about themselves and become better. We need to be fit on the outside and feel happy on the inside. Our jobs as trainers include helping people achieve both of those things.

When I've seen and heard other trainers knock peoples bodies, I've been horrified. It's an embarrassment. It's wrong. How can you be supportive to your clients honestly when you're on the internet or out in the world bashing other peoples bodies? It's a contradiction and a failure as a trainer.

As CrossFitters we work hard in the gym to become FIT. We ignore societies ideas that have been promoted about what "true beauty" is. Our one goal is to become as fit and healthy as we can be. What we look like as a result is strictly determined by our functional training and genetics. Not by training to look a certain way. We eat right to be healthy. We train hard so we can live long, healthy lives.

Apparently we're a more superficial bunch than I initially thought. But we are human after all and our looks do matter to a certain extent. I'm aware of this and I except it. It's reality.

I like to tell people "Train Hard and the Looks Will Come". I like to think of looking good as a side effect of a healthy lifestyle.

But should being thin be our goal? Are we chasing low body fat or fitness? Are we after being the tiniest we can be or the healthiest?

Women and men come in all shapes and sizes. We know what's healthy, but healthy people don't all look exactly the same. Some people are naturally thin, tall, tiny. Some are bigger, heavier, stacked...

We have to make the best of what body type we've been given and make it into the fittest that we possibly can. That's why comparasons of two women or men are ridiculous.

Whatever our bodies look like when they're fit is beautiful. They will not all look the same. It's impossible and that's great.

I'm concerned largely what my body can do - I can run, clean and jerk, deadlift, squat fucking heavy, press 98# right over my head. Looking hot in a bikini is just icing on the cake. I have some jiggle in my ass and I love it.

My goal is to become fitter. Fitter by the day through CrossFit training and with the Zone diet. That is my one and only true goal. If my body changes I'll be fine with that. If it doesn't I'll be fine with that, too. I don't care if I lose body fat. I don't care if my legs get bulkier. I don't care if my arms look muscular and I don't care if I keep a little pudgy belly. I feel blessed that I've been given a beautiful healthy body that allows me to move though this world and do incredible things. To hell with anyone and everyone who wants to shit talk it. Blatant bashing should never be tolerated.

This nonsense about me being fat scares me. The junk about comparing my body to other peoples does as well. Especially considering who it's come from. As CrossFitters and CrossFit trainers we have a responsibility to everyone who comes to us and to represent our whole community well. I want us to have a reputation for being an insanely fit, realistic and a positive, supportive group.

I don't want us to get caught up with the rest of the world preaching that skinny is "better" and anyone who isn't a size 0 is unattractive. I don't want to make standards of beauty for our microcosm or the rest of the world. I don't want us to define what is perfect an acceptable. We knock that kind of talk in Hollywood because it isn't healthy or realistic. Lets not let it seep into our community too.

Train Hard. Eat Right. Be Healthy. Abandon the negativity and be nice.

If you're ever tempted to make comments about another persons body, try this - Think of someone talking to your Mother, Sister, Son, Daughter that way. What would you do and how would you feel? That can and should apply to the rest of your life and behavior as well.

Can we please start lifting each other up instead of breaking each other down?

Let's feel good about ourselves, work hard to become our best and help people around us achieve those same things by being positive.

Here's to a healthy 2009 filled with lots of WODs and tons of PRs.

Happy New Year to you all.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

When Someone Shows You Who They Are... Believe Them

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstein

We're all just going through life trying our best. Trying to succeed at all the things we aim to accomplish, trying to figure out how to be happy, trying to make the best decisions that we can at the moment with the information we have.. and trying to look our best.


What else can we do? None of us are perfect human beings. That's what I think life is about - going along, fucking up, paying the price, asking for forgiveness, learning, and in turn, becoming a better person.

Is anyone of us really perfect? When you look back on your life is it really that hard to think of something that you've done that makes you say to yourself - "Shit, what the hell was I thinking? What on earth possessed me to do that?". Probably not.

Now, I don't believe in living with regret. I've done a million stupid things in my life... at least. But I believe my mistakes and the lessons I've learned from them have made me a better person. They've changed how I see the world and how I move through it just as much as the good things I've done... if not more.

People make mistakes. And if we're lucky enough to live a long exciting life, we'll make a boat load of them.

It's hard not to get hung up on ourselves and cast judgement on other people sometimes. Its easy to think "that person is such an idiot. How can he not know what the hell he was doing? What a moron, what a piece of crap." I've found myself doing it and have had it done to me. It sucks both ways.

I try my best to be understanding. Try to put myself in other peoples shoes and "get" why they do what they do when they do it. It's tough.

Sometimes it takes time and things only seem clear after it's all said and done. Hindsight is 20/20 or some shit like that.

What I don't get is making the same mistakes twice... Especially mistakes that effect other people.

- Learning from our mistakes and not repeating them is what makes us better.
- Acknowledging our mistakes and repeating them anyway is what makes us pieces of fucked up shit.

The key is not being wreckless. Sometimes people know they're doing the wrong thing and continue on anyway. That makes forgiveness hard. It's hard to forgive conscious mistakes. It's easier to forgive mistakes that were made because of lack of information or experience.

There are two sides of forgiveness - Forgiving someone else and asking to Be Forgiven. Both can be incredibly difficult.

It's not always easy to ask for forgiveness. Pride gets in the way and makes it hard to admit fault. But asking forgiveness and admitting a mistake doesn't necessarily need to involve going to the person you've wronged, with your tail between your legs and kissing their feet. If you know what you've done wrong in your heart, it shows.

But that brings me to the act of forgiveness. How do you know when someone is deserving of forgiveness? Is it the sincerity of the apology? Is it talking about what went wrong and truly believing the person has learned, is sorry and won't do it again? What is it? Some people are just more willing to forgive than others. Stubborn people who hold grudges are angry on the inside. I was like that for years.. I don't think it's uncommon for teenage girls to be angry but I took it to new heights. As I got older I've learned that forgiveness is like letting go. Letting go of negative energy that would eat me alive from the inside out if I held on to it. Forgiving has been a very selfish act for me - I've done it to set myself free.

I believe in karma. It's got me a few times. I'm glad it did because it's made the lesson all the more memorable. It's like getting smacked with a whip after doing something naughty even if you weren't naughty on purpose. It leaves a scar and it's a strong reminder of what you've done and how it all felt. That scar serves as a reminder not to do the same thing again.

Once when I was ten I was walking down the street with my father. My dad was a real SOB. Brutal but brilliant. Certifiably insane and wildly aggressive, uncontrolable and strong but Columbia Grad several times over and proud member of Mensa. He loved me but had strange, difficult to understand kinds of ways of showing it. Anyway, I went to step out into the street without looking both ways. Even though it was obvious there weren't any cars coming, before my foot touched the street he geared up and smacked me so hard across the face with his huge calloused hand that my ears rung. I think I went cross eyed for a minute, ended up with a hand print on one side of my face and cried in public (which made made him mad enough to smack me again). This was one of his more gentile moments. That's the way he was... all the time.

It's taken me a lifetime to forgive my father for the way he showed his "love" and for his disfunctional brain. As I got older I realized there was a physical chemical imbalance and a whole lifetime of his own trauma that made him who he was. I understand him and love him and I've forgiven him. Forgiveness has been the only thing that's allowed me to move on. That, and staying far, far away for years.

The moral of the story is... I never stepped into the street again without looking both ways. The pain of the lesson made me never forget it. Sometimes pain is physical, sometimes it's emotional. Emotional scars last longer from my experience.

If you repeat your mistakes, you deserve to get burned. I'm not exempt from this rule.

If you let someone else repeat their mistakes at your expense too many times, you deserve that too. Give people the opportunity to fuck with you too many times and they will. It comes to the point sometimes that you have to suck it up and realize that people just don't change. You have to trust your instincts. Get rid of denial and see people for who they actually are, not who you wish they could be. When people show you who they are... believe them. Even if the truth is ugly.

My Granny told me she heard someone say something like - "Burn me once, shame shame on you. Burn me twice, shame shame on me."

"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget." - Szasz

Has there been a time in your life where you've made mistakes with far reaching consequences? Mistakes that you've made that didn't seem like mistakes at the time but once things became clearer you realized you fucked up big time? How do you ask forgiveness? Do you forgive yourself first? Or, do you just say fuck it, a lesson learned?

I hope this post inspires you to think about the people you've wronged or someone you should forgive. I hope you think back on some of the things you've done in your own life.

Reflection is a good thing. It's healthy. It helps us grow.


I was feeling really down yesterday. You know those days when you feel like life just sucks? You feel pathetic, like you can't do a damn thing right and there's no sense in trying anymore? Well, that was me. I've been feeling like that for days now and despite using every bit of brain power I have to will myself out of this cloud, nothing has worked.

Until I jumped on the E train to head downtown.

By this point I think it's obvious that I have a love hate relationship with this city. I will always feel at home when I'm here. Everything is so familiar. But it feels lonely and cold to me. I crave new scenery, a place with a whole new vibe. I'm going to get it in a few days when I move to Virginia Beach.

I was standing up, leaning on the doors, slouching I'm sure. Pathetic disposition in every sense. Tears welling up in my eyes and head hanging low. A posse of 3 dirty kids strutted on to the train from the next car.

I'm used to this shit - people begging for money. Most of the time they piss me off. Asking me for stuff I don't have when I know they're taking their booty and counting it in their penthouse apartments on the UWS. These people rake it in. I could go on and on about the scams I've seen after riding the same trains every single day for years.

Once there was a dude I saw every day. He was dressed in some crumby clothing and had a cup that he shook and a song that he sang. I can still hear his strange voice.. I'd write the words here for you to read but couldn't ever understand what the hell he was saying. Whatever it was, it wasn't English. Anyway, one day I saw him with a stick that blind people use. Either he had gone blind overnight, or he was faking the funk. Something tells me it was the latter.

So, I get pissed when people ask me for money. The only people I don't mind are the ones who tell it like it is. "I'm homeless, my life sucks. Please give me some change so I can buy myself some booze and I can drink my pain away". Yeah, I get that.

Back to yesterday. The 3 kids come on the train and pump up their music. Strong beat comin' from an old school boom box. Some people clap, most people don't even look up (perfect example of jaded New Yorkers - people who I've grow to resent, partly because I'm one of them). They start busting moves like pros. Breakin', poppin', spinnin', flippin'. One kid picks up another kid, throws him into the air, he bounces off the ceiling of the train, does a flip in mid air and lands on his feet. WHOA. Dude, it was hot. The next thing they did was grab each others ankles so that they were in some kind of loose ball and they rolled down the subway car, through people and bars and seats. I don't even know how the fuck they did it.

I was impressed. Impressed enough that I gave them $5. They worked for it. They didn't just ask me for some money, they put on a show. And it was a good one.

So for a moment I was feeling a little better. I was looking around and seeing the city for all the things I love about it - the life, the energy, the variety.

But it can only last so long when there's a rain cloud hovering overhead.

I sat down and slouched in my seat. I felt like I was suffocating. Tears welling up in my eyes and even though I've had enough of crying in pubic I just couldn't help it. I closed them and took some deep breaths. I heard someone else saying something like "if you have a dollar...". I opened my eyes. I saw a man in a wheelchair with no legs. He had American Flags on the back of his chair and a kind face. I wanted to give him some money but I didn't have any more bills smaller than $100.

When people like that pass me I usually keep my eyes busy on something else. This time, I looked him right in the eyes. He stopped and quietly said, "You're beautiful".

Usually I hate when men say things like that to me. I feel like they're trying to be slick or see what they can get. But this guy, I knew he wasn't saying it because he thought he would get laid, or I'd fall in love or anything like that. He just meant it and wanted to be kind. He had nothing to gain and that touched my heart.

I can't explain the way it made me feel but I smiled sincerely and said "Thank You". He started to roll past me, stopped, rolled back and said "Thank You, your smile is worth more than all the money people can give me."

I imagine people overlook someone like him a lot. I wonder what it feels like to be one of those "invisible people". It must be lonely and sad. But still, somehow, this man was smiling. His strength and grace were beautiful.

It put things in perspective for me. Things in life aren't always easy. Sometimes they get really fucking hard. Sometimes things happen that all you can stand to do is cry and put one foot in front of the other to go through the motions of your day. But can you imagine what it would be like for someone smiling at you to be a big deal? I can't, and I'm thankful for that.

Every once in awhile I encounter situations and people like that who remind me how wonderful my life is and how much harder it can be. I'm blessed. I have passion in my life. I love what I do, I've had great opportunities given to me, found interesting, exciting people to spend time with. I have a wonderful, kind, loving Mother. I have the greatest gift I could ever dream of - My Brother Ethan Boo. Nothing, No Person, No amount of stuff or anything could bring me the pure joy and love and happiness that he does.

Sometimes I look at him and I think "Thank God". Thank God he exists. This little thing , this little, wonderful thing has had the power to change my life. To pull me out of a severe depression that meds couldn't even fix. The power to make me smile, on the inside, not just the outside just by thinking about him and just knowing that he exists. He's shown me what true, unconditional love is. He's shown me that I'm capable of feeling it when I was sure I didn't even have a heart. He's incredible. He makes me want to be a better person, the best woman I can be. I want to make him proud and set a good example for him. He's the best thing that has ever come into my life and I'm grateful for him.

But still, sometimes we all need things to remind us of what we have. Because when life get tough, it's easy to lose sight of the good.

What brings you back to reality when things go wrong in your life and you're feeling like shit? What are your reminders to not take things for granted and to look at the glass half full???

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

CrossFit Goals for 2009

  • Full ROM HSPU on Parallettes
  • Free standing HSPU
  • 40 pull-ups unbroken
  • Master the fucking Zone, stay on it and lean the fuck out - only to be able to do "Linda" as RX'd
  • 150 Jerk... at least
  • 250# Back Squat
  • 270# DL
  • Sub 3 Fran.
  • Grace as RX'd with 135#
  • 165# Clean
  • 110# Press
  • 100 Double Unders in a row
  • Follow the Main Site WOD. No skipping workouts because they suck. No over training either. Extra runs don't count.
  • Pick a new sport and stick with it. Are there gymnastics programs for adults?
  • Better dips. Deeper, and stronger.
  • Consecutive Muscle Ups... lets say 5

My biggest, most important goals are to keep my training consistent and to stay in the Zone. Nothing else will happen if those things aren't in check.

I have some work to do! I've been on my way to these numbers before my training became inconsistent for awhile. So I have to make up a little ground and then keep going. It's been brutal to see and feel my fitness go down. I feel my best and look my best when I'm in the gym everyday or close to it and training hard.

A year is a long time. Maybe I'll hit these goals and then some.

What are your Fitness Goals for the New Year?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Frustration.. Are You ready? If so, Let's Go!

I'm going to keep a growing list of words and phrases that I can't stand when people use. Some are OK sometimes but people abuse them and use them incorrectly.

Feel free to post yours to comments and I'll add them to the list.

Here we go:

  1. Conversate
  2. Basically
  3. Amazing and awesome (I annoy myself with how much I overuse these. I'm going to quit them.)
  4. Physicality (I really hate this one)
  5. Synergy, dude and sweet (Darcy's additions)
  6. Sick & Fabulous (Payton is bugged by these. I'm guilty of saying the latter. I'll quit)
  7. Musicality
  8. Honestly - People are usually LYING when this is the first thing that comes out.
  9. Literally - Get a freaking dictionary, people. Don't use this word unless you "literally" know what it means.
  10. Irregardless - MJ added this one. I haven't heard anyone use it yet. Thank God.
  11. I should go back and make these all #1: the proper use of the words their, they're, there; where, were, we're; to, too, two.

My Booty Hurts!

400M Walking Lunge gets me Every Time!
512 Steps

I got off to a rough start. On one of my first lunges, I didn't "kiss" the ground with my knee. It was more of a high speed collision with the concrete - a self correcting error. I lost some time bent over and cursing in the street, but once I got going again I felt strong... until the 26th step. Then I stood up, realized it was going to be harder than I remembered, cursed again, and continued down the block.

It was downhill from there, literally. Until the half way mark here I had to turn around and lunge UP hill. I kept asking myself why I was subjecting myself to this discomfort just like I do during most workouts.

When I pulled up to my house I had three flights of stairs to climb. I dove into my bed and started tearing off my clothes. I was overheating. I soaked my sheets but couldn't move. When I finally stood up to put myself in the shower and rip the gross sheets off of my bed, my leg gave right out from underneath me. I knew I was in trouble and asked myself once again why I did this to myself.

Right then when I was hating myself I caught a glimpse of my booty in the mirror. I had my answer. My ass looked incredible.

In the (rear) end, it was all worth it.

This morning when I woke up, I reached for the asprin, got out of bed and went to kiss my Boo like I do every morning (I'm the luckiest girl in the whole world to have a sweet EthanBoo to love). Well, he woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Either that of he was just pissed because I was blocking his view of Thomas on TV. He kicked me in the legs. >:O

My Mama laughed her ass off when she saw my backside. She said it looks like I have butt implants. See girls! No need to complain about not being about to do anything about your booty. Just lunge yourself to death. You'll be stronger and have a great, perky, round ass!

Going to get my hair done today. I've been wearing a hat for 2 weeks. I don't like to do too much to my hair very often because it's so long. I want to avoid damaging it too much. Healthy hair is beautiful hair. The only way you can get away with bleaching or coloring all the time is if it's short.. and I'm not cutting my hair anytime soon. I'm still not over the trauma Santonio inflicted on me years ago.. another story for another time.

Did you ever wish we lived in the future where we could just go through a machine and come out the other end looking fabulous? I do. I love looking beautiful and put together. But sometimes the process to get there is borrrring and tedious.
Going to the salon feels like a
chore to me sometimes. I LOVE how I feel when I leave.. like a new person in some ways. I'm sure I even carry myself differently. But there are plenty of places I'd rather be than sitting in a chair for HOURS making small chat. I HATE SMALL CHAT.

Here are some (not all) of the things I can't stand talking about:

-The weather
-My personal life

-Their personal lives


-Where we grew up
-Celebrity gossip

Some people say that their hair stylists are like their therapists. Not me anymore. I used to go to the same woman named Adrian for years. I loved her and she loved me. So it was easy to follow along with her life and invest a little energy in getting to know her. I liked her and it made sense. But she moved and I miss her. Now I go to a new salon (which is awesome) and I pick a new person pretty much every time. It's exhausting spending a couple of hours getting to know the basic facts about someone just to walk away and not see each other again for a long time. We both know we don't REALLY care what we do in our spare time. We walk away with a bunch of trivial information about a person we won't ever really know. THEN I feel like I have to store that information for next time to avoid seeming rude or forgetful. It's hard!

Am I being terrible? I guess I'm just cranky about having to sit in one spot for hours. I'd be able to handle and enjoy a strangers company if we were out moving around and doing things. But it's like my brain can't work and come up with things to talk about when I'm not moving for such a long time. It's like my body is so frustrated that my mind can't function properly. Usually I feel fun and creative with my conversation, but tie me down and I turn into a lame ass.

I feel bad for Marissa today. I'll bring a good book or read trashy magazines. But how will she
be entertained? I guess she'll be able to concentrate on my hair. But for some reason I feel a sense of responsibility for keeping her happy. Salons are supposed to be relaxing aren't they? I get all stressed out.

But again, in the end it will all be worth it. My hair will look as awesome as my Booty.

I'm so thankful for my Mama and my Little Boo. I love them more than everything in the whole universe.

And this is just ridiculous. What you can't see is he has another dog in the basket with the newspaper in the front of his Jazzy. Makes me laugh every time I see it. It's the simple things in life, isn't it? :)