Friday, November 30, 2012

Cleansing...

I have a few minutes to put some thoughts into words. I like to have a good amount of time to sit down, digest my thoughts and then finally put them into writing, but sometimes you may not always have a two hour time frame, you may only have ten minutes.

So with my ten minutes, I want to share thoughts on what a day like this brings to my mind. With the rain pounding on the pavement, creating rivers in the streets, sidewalks and driveways, it washes away all the debris and miscellaneous things that get collected. It is a cleansing. What kind of cleansing? Well it is up to you to decide that.

When I think of the rain, a hard down pour or a soft drizzle, I think of a body and mind cleansing. What have we collected in our lives that are not necessary? Are there things in our lives that collect negative or bad energy? Are our relationships, work, personal or family creating positive energy in our life?

I love the rain. I love a cloudy day when the clouds are dark and mysterious, so rich in color that you know a storm is coming. Watching the fall leaves blow in the wind is amazing. Yes I may be infatuated with nature, but I think it is important to be connected in some way or another. Whether you live in the mountains or you are surrounded by trees and some grass in your neighborhood, make some sort of connection with the outside world.

To come back to my main point of a body and mind cleansing; I think it is very important to cleanse ourselves throughout our lives, whether is once a week, a month or even year, go through your life and see what is serving you. Take a look at your relationships and the people in your life. Reflect back on how you do your job and if you are making a difference.

I am reading a book my friend Justin gave me and the author, John Kim, asked the question, "If you died tomorrow, would you feel okay with your contributions on earth?"

This made me feel that I want to make a contributions to my family, friends and loved ones and be a positive influence. I want to be a advocate for positive change. I have had to do my own cleansing a few times, but it has served me well. To go through my life and see what is helping me and what is pulling me down is huge, it has helped me in so many ways. I hope that I can reach out and help others as well.

Well my ten turned into fifteen, but that's okay :)

Enjoy the rain and play in the puddles.

~ MCA

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Being'

It's been a few days since my last post, so I wanted to sit down and share some thoughts. I wish I could write everyday, and I may actually get there, but until then I will make the most of every post...

Right now I am sitting in my new room, relaxing into a soft and plush chair, listening to the sound of my fingers tape the keyboard with the slight humming of the mini fridge in the background. For those that know me, I am trying to mobilize as well - rolling a ball on the bottom of my foot. :)

I want to share my thoughts on 'being'. I have talked to my life coach about this a handful of times, in regards to just 'being' verses 'doing'. I feel as though we, humans, go through life doing one thing after another. We complete one project and then we have another project already lined up and we do not enjoy the journey nor the finished product at the end; we just rush to another task.

I catch myself in this position a lot; working on one thing and then thinking about the next thing on my 'to-do' list. Then I look back and realize that I didn't even appreciate all the hard work I put into that first project. This relates to all aspects of life; workouts/training, hobbies, personal possessions, travel, etc. If you are on a trip to Spain, focus on that trip and don't worry about where you will go next. If you like to build miniatures for a hobby, enjoy one piece at a time. If you hit a new personal record (PR) on your front squat, see that accomplishment, smile and enjoy it and don't let the next number consume your mind.

It is great to be striving for more, challenging yourself to see what you can accomplish. At the same time, how often do we just sit and 'be'? I am working on just 'being', sitting in a chair and staring at the sky; laying in bed and relaxing my mind and body to just enjoy the time to unwind from a long day. It  definitely is a work in progress, but practicing a little bit each day helps. Just some thoughts that were on my mind.

Try to practice being in the present moment and enjoy the journey.

~ MCA


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful for training

I love to have motivational posts and will have many of them, but some posts will also be about training and a quick overview of workouts.

On Wednesday Alex programmed mile repeats, 1:1 recovery, and the 12.5 open workout, Thrusters at 65lbs, and Chest-to-Bar pullups, 3/3, 6/6, 9/9, etc. The mile runs felt good, I am working on my form and pacing the runs to finish around the same time. I hit 7:02, 7:08 and 7:06, respectfully.

For the 12.5 workout, my nerves kicked in a little bit. I know I was nervous for the result; the anticipation of how I was going to do was running through my body. Right before the workout started, a friend of mine asked why I would do that workout again. First thing, it was programmed, so I do it. I will have questions and Alex and I will discuss training and all the details so we are on the same page. Second, since I am doing this workout, I wanted to surpass my score and see what I was capable of after all the hard work that I have put into my training.

My score on this workout during the open was 95 total reps. Once I finished this fabulous workout, :)  I had a total of 113 reps, an 18 rep increase. I was happy to surpass my prior score; I was proud of all the work that Alex and I have been putting into my training.

My biggest area of improvement is gymnastics, pullups, handstand pushups, muscle-ups, so we are working hard to tackle this. Alex has done an amazing job of programming workouts and I am very thankful for all he has done. We are a good team and I am looking forward to all that is ahead.

So to leave on one last note, I am thankful for all the amazing people in my life, family and friends. I am thankful for all the opportunities that have been presented to me. Yes, Thanksgiving just passed, but remember that we should be thankful everyday verse just once a year. Take a second to breath in, close your eyes and smile and tell yourself what you are thankful for; the family or job you have, the jacket you are wearing, your significant other next to you or the coffee you are looking forward to drinking. It is those small things that make a difference. So this post turned a little motivational at the end, but hey, life is good and wanted to share these thoughts.

~ MCA

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Determination

What is determination?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives a handful of definitions, but of the ones that I read these two stood out at me:

1) "The act of deciding definitely and firmly; also: the result of such an act of decision."1
2) "Firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end <a woman of great courage and determination>."1

Now, I think, why is it that these definitions stood out to me the most? Is it because I am looking for this word to hold so much value and strength to it? Or is it because the other definitions seemed so bland and did not connect with my thoughts or emotions?

In my opinion, it comes down to the individual. What are you determined to do? Is it to go to the gym every other day, think positive on a daily basis, complete school within a certain time frame, or apply to your dream job? If you are determined to do something, then do it. Yes, obviously saying something is a lot easier than putting it into action, but it is the small steps that you do day in and day out that will help make your goal a reality.

When I reflect back on my life and certain achievements that I have accomplished, I think about the determination and drive that had to be there in order to do all that was on my plate. Let's go down memory lane... when I was 8 years old I was involved in numerous activities, Tae Kwon-do, ballet, gymnastics, horseback riding and golf.

I loved each activity and I wanted to do them all. But in reality, it's a little hard to be in five places at once, let alone my parents drive me around the Bitterroot Valley like a pinball, hitting all the fun activities that a young, active girl wants to do. It makes me smile thinking about it now because I am grateful that I had a lovely mother and father that gave my sisters and myself that opportunity. I had the chance to do a lot of things that not every child could do and I am so very thankful for all of it. Thank you Janie and Roberto.

I remember putting all my energy into every activity and sport I took part in. I wanted to get a black belt in Tae Kwon-do; to graduate to the next class (Point) in ballet. I also wanted to ride in Equestrian horseback riding competitions and play in golf tournaments... and I did it. Reflecting on this now and writing these words, I'm realizing that I met my goals that I aspired to. I think I'm astonished because this determination of mine started a lot younger than I thought.

I would love to write more and more examples of experiences that I have gone through (golf tournaments, outrigger canoe paddling races, traveling abroad), but I think I want to forward to the present and relate all of this to my current situation. My current goal is to focus on my training for the CrossFit Games.

I started crossfitting about a year and nine months ago and it has been an amazing experience. Once I found CrossFit, something clicked in me and I had this deep desire to do it more. Thinking about it, I am realizing that it was and still is a challenge for me. There were these movements that were so foreign to me, but I wanted to learn how to do them. I was trying to learn how to perform olympic lifts, do gymnastics movements and push myself harder than I had before. It was a whirlwind but I was determined to learn and grow.

There are a lot of people that have taught me along the way, adding their advice and words of wisdom. I have also learned a great deal by also coaching and being able to watch other coaches. I want to say thank you to all the coaches, members, co-workers and friends that have been there to make an impact on my life. A big thank you to Alex, as he has been there for me and has made a huge impact on my life, helping me along the way and being an inspiration.

Fast forward to today, I am still learning things, how to fine tune my technique when it comes to certain lifts or movements. I am pushing myself to see what I can do. Why? Why am I doing this? I want to challenge myself, I want to see what I could do. What am I capable of when I put all this work in front of me? I am determined to work hard and focus on my goals, because I love to. I like to work hard for what I want because it is all worth it in the end. Every day that I spend in the gym, every minute or hour that I spend stretching, all the time I spend in the kitchen getting my food ready for the days ahead, it is all worth it.

Hopefully all these thoughts that were swirling around in my head came out fluid to those reading. Reflect back on the definition of determination and ask yourself: what does determination mean to you, what are you determined to accomplish in life? Whatever your goal or aspiration, give it your all and make it worth the energy and time you spend on it. Do something everyday that helps you get closer to achieving your goal: live, breath and dream it.

~MCA

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/determination

Monday, November 19, 2012

Reaching out

There are many thoughts that cross my mind on a daily basis. One of them that has been consistent through out the days, months and years is being able to reach out and help others.

I have always had an inspiration to write and share my thoughts, most typically it occurs with my journal or in my mind, but as I sit down and put my thoughts on paper or the computer, I feel as though I have put it off long enough. I have wanted to create a blog and share my thoughts and feelings about life. I am now doing it, finally, a huge thanks to my boyfriend Alex, my life coach Katie and my friend Megan M. and all those that have encouraged me.

For those that know me, I love health, fitness, wellness and anything related to it, I truly enjoy it. This blog will not only be about that, but also life experiences, what we may go through that will teach us, make us grow and see things in a new light.

To delve right in and say why I have this want or desire to help other individuals is a deep question. I have always wanted to help others and be able to assist them in reaching their goals since I was a little girl. As time has passed, this desire has grown stronger and has developed more meaning. There has been a lot of support from Alex, family and friends to do what I love and when I think of helping others, a family member pops in my head.

A long story short, when I was growing up, it was my parents, myself, my middle sister Kerstin and my youngest sister Remy. Yes, we fought when we were little over little stuff, but we also had tons of fun playing with our dolls, then our legos and then playing in the sprinklers at my grandparents house. As the years passed on, we all got closer, laughed and had fun memories together. There were ups and downs for sure, but that's life, everyone has them, you have to be able to make the most of what you have.

In 2008, Kerstin passed away in a car accident. This was devastating and was very hard to wrap your mind around at the time. She was a young, passionate woman with such zest for life, working hard to make her dreams come true and truly enjoying every moment in life. It makes me smile when I think of her because one of our last adventures together was snowboarding in Montana. We went out all day and when we came home, I was exhausted and ready for bed, but she got cleaned up and dressed up to go out for the night. She truly made the most of life and every opportunity that came her way.

There is one dream that I never forget. Flying home on the redeye, I was in a high rise in Waikiki and I saw her on the balcony. Sun shining through the clouds, her hair blowing everywhere from the cool ocean breeze, I rushed to the sliding glass doors and opened them, so surprised to see her. She said, "I can't come in, but I'm ok." Then I woke up. The dream lasted less than two minutes, but I think it was her way of letting me know that she would be alright.

This has definitely been one of the hardest experiences in my life, but it has also taught me something and has inspired some of my passions. It has taught me to really enjoy everything that comes your way and to never take things for granted. To be appreciative of those special ones in your life and to enjoy everything that you do, whether it is to celebrate a friends birthday, go out and travel the world or read a book inside on a rainy day.

My passion to helps others has become heightened with this experience. I wish I could have helped my sister in some way, whether it was to be there for her so she could talk to me or to give her advice on things that I had gone through, that maybe in turn would help her with future situations.

I know this is a very personal first post, sitting here with emotions running high, but I want to share my thoughts and feelings about life and about following your passions. My passions are to help others and bring encouragement and motivation and show them that they can attain their goal. My other passion is to write. To be able to share thoughts, experiences and lessons that I have learned, so that in turn, maybe someone can learn from what I write about.

I want to be an advocate for positive change; I want to inspire myself and those around me. Keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with those that make you feel good. Make the most of every moment you have and cherish those around you.

~ MCA