Tuesday, November 20, 2012


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.


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