Embrace LIFE, Shed FEAR

 

“Embrace LIFE, Shed Fear”

A shaman’s response to the super nova of 1054 A.D. comforts the people and tells them not to fear.  Life is precious and fear diminishes our ability to fully enjoy it.  When we shed fear we gain the power to truly live our lives and realize our dreams. 

TRUE Strength

the Strength in leadership

“Stepping forward is stepping back…”

I heard this statement at a Board meeting a few weeks ago and it really struck me.  From a very young age I would tell people (you know, as I was “campaigning” for student council president and whatnot) that true leadership was knowing when to take the reins and when to give them to someone else.

That concept has stuck with me and to be totally honest, I have used it in job interviews and written passages before.

This new concept goes one step further… not only is it important to understand the value in empowering someone else to take the reins… it’s key to step back and let them fully step forward.  Many of us struggle with the concept of letting someone else step forward as we step back.

Do we feel threatened?  

Are we afraid of loosing power all together?  

Are we worried we won’t get the praise or attention we crave?  

Experience has taught me the most successful leader is the one who supports, uplifts, and empowers those around them.  They get pleasure from the success of their “team” without laying claim to that success.  They also work hard to make sure their team knows they are supported and this leader is the number one cheerleader.

It takes real work to be a leader.  You have to be willing to put in the hard work without the glory… you have to educate yourself and instill confidence in your of your ability.  Sometimes that even means… exuding confidence even when you’re unsure.

Do you do this?  Are you saying… I’m not the boss so I don’t have to… NOT TRUE!!!  There are multiple… countless times each day where you can be a leader.   BE a leader… around your office, at home, at the gym, at church and temple, FOR the environment, FOR politics, FOR a cause…

Show your leadership with TRUE Strength, have CONFIDENCE in your leadership, and step back and let others step forward.  

No longer running away

“I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” – Jesse Owens

A mere three/four years ago, going out for an HOUR long run was an “EASY” day for me… Running consumed me… I based my sleep, eating, home-life, fun, and work schedules off of my running training.  Was I “training” to compete somewhere?  Nope… no Olympic trails were in my future, not even trying to qualify for Boston.  But I was consumed.  I wanted to burn calories and sweat and only felt good enough after a good long run beat down.

I had never been trained on proper form and never listened to coaches about rest days and the value of recovery but I was functioning within a disordered mind.  I was constantly injured and a true weakling.

At the lowest of my points I was introduced into CrossFit and my life has never been the same.  Read a little more about the transformation and my fairly new “growing” life (and love) of muscles 🙂 HERE  

Once I started CrossFitting seriously I stopped running… sure… I’d do sprints or whatever running required within the CrossFit WOD… but going out for a run was not something I either wanted to do or even felt comfortable doing.  Now, full disclosure I have enjoyed a few trail runs here and there and love taking the dog out for a short run so it’s not as if I have sworn off running.  BUT…

SO… last night when I laced up my shoes with the intention of going for a long run I was a bit nervous.  My plan was… an hour on the streets.  NOW I know my CrossFit friends are reading saying… WHAT????  An hour??  You’re probably nearly done already writing a comment directing me to CrossFit Endurance … let me clarify… my plan was to do the hour in an interval style of: 2 mins of running and 2 minutes of walking.  When I very first started running I did intervals like this (starting with 1 min of running and 4 of walking!) Last night’s cycle was the perfect length (for me right now) because it was short enough I could push myself and long enough I was really happy when my walk cycle began!

I put in my headphones, blasted the music and hit it.  With each foot fall I let my mind wander more and more.  I explored some of the stressors currently circling… lots of change, a lot of unknown, two paths that can be taken… one very clear and known the other… very unknown… but with the potential to rise above all expectations of the “safer” other path.

30 minutes in I realized, in many ways before when I was running so obsessively, I was running away from a lot of things…and now… I don’t have to run away anymore.

I can simply enjoy the music, the foot falls, the walk breaks.  Going for this run was uncomfortable… My endurance is very, very low right now… AND I am not a fan of doing anything I’m not THE BEST at… (really the creation of this blog is because I was not only NOT the best… but LAST).

Yet, there was joy in the challenge and pleasure in the change from routine.  I LOVE my CrossFit days and I LOVE strength training.  I have missed the quiet alone time found along the running path.  A big challenge for me is to have balance.  I am all in or all out and tend to pressure myself to be 100% in all directions no matter what.  Last night I learned… balance is key… a little this, a little that… it’s a bit scary to me to be honest.  Balance means giving up a little control and letting things happen without orchestrating each movement.  I will continue to strive for more balance… it will be a long journey… much like a long run… sometimes going fast and sometimes taking a walk break.

Throughout the 60 minutes I learned…

  • Struggle is a good thing
  • As a CrossFit athlete I should dip my toe in multiple sports and fitness adventures
  • I no longer have to run away from anything
  • It is totally possible to dance while running   <— True Story

Wanted to share TWO pictures… one of me running away from life and one of me living and loving it.  I know which one I will continue striving to strengthen…

  

TRUE Strength

The last few days…

The last few days have been full of emotions… 

Celebrating family and the excitement that comes with a new family member on the way

 

Building and strengthening new friends – true friends… ones with zero judgement or qualifications

Exploring NEW ADVENTURES for our family’s future 

 

A bomb scare at work… (everything are all safe and sound) – Many, Many thanks to all who protect and serve

 

A little lack of self confidence… it happens… I’ll get over it!

And stress … not necessarily my own, but in those around me… work… gym… friends… I wish I could take it away… so perhaps the feeling of helplessness when it comes to taking away their pain.

AND… it’s only Tuesday… 

May tomorrow bring more adventures, more emotions, more laughter and more stories! 

 

Perspective Perspective Perspective

Today has gotten off to a bit of a rough start… 

However… it could be worse… and I’m confident the day will only go up from here.

How do you keep perspective while in the middle of a rough day/week/month… year??

When I was a young girl, I know I was that annoying silver lining child… probably more because I was a smart ass… but the streak continues and is ultimately a positive trait.  My father used to comp[lain about a rough day or traffic or whatever and I’d say… well did you fall and split your pants?  Did your car break down?? on and on until I finally got the… Megan, you better stop talking look.

I may be a smart ass… but I sure do know when to keep my mouth shut!

SO this morning I had to play my own Perspective Perspective Perspective game.  Wanna play with me??OK… so… had to have five vials of blood drawn for blood work first thing this morning… I’m not sure there are many other things I dislike more than having blood drawn.  My blood is slow (sounds funny) so it takes forever, I always feel super sick afterwards… light headed and nauseous, and I bruise like none-other.

BUT

The nurse only had to stick me once… I DIDN’T get sick, and I didn’t have to wait for the appointment… zipped in and out easily.  

NEXT right after the blood drawn I got into a minor fender bender.  How it happened… We were on a busy road, stopped at a light.  I was looking to my left and my foot slipped off the brake and I rolled into the SUV in-front of me.  CRAP!

BUT… 

NO ONE was injured… the only damage was to his bumper which now has an imprint/scratch from the edges of my licence plate and bolts… he was kinda a jerk (and so helpfully reminded me that “Mercedes are very expensive”) which now gives me a giggle… and thanks to CrossFit my reaction was so quick and cat like that I slammed on my brakes before any real damage was done.  (smart ass in me coming out??)

THEN I stopped at a coffee shop (don’t worry… no new rant about iced coffee!) and proceeded to spill hot coffee all over the counter and onto my pants.

BUT… 

I have dark pants on so you cannot see the stain and everyone, at least acted, as if they didn’t see me do it!

I’m now finding fun in the day thinking of all the PPP game events… like… I walked to work and although it’s warm and muggy out… I didn’t get rained on and no cars splashed me while driving through puddles! 

No, I do NO want cream in my coffee…

Let me WARN you… this post is simply a rant and vent… if you’re not in the mood for a little giggle please forgive me for a second and find some great inspiration, motivation, heart tugs in my previous posts.

IF you don’t mind though…

NO!  I do NOT want cream in my coffee… for real… yep, nothing… nope, no sugar either…

I love summer time for many, many reasons and I’m not ashamed to admit one of them include my love obsession with iced coffee.  I like it strong, cold and just black… no cream and no sugar.

Over the last few weeks I’ve encountered SEVERAL baristas  (and several different coffee shops and companies) who question my coffee choice… even giving me, not only quizzical looks, but also looks of disappointment!  Almost as if they are shaking their head in complete disgust and dismay… wanting to tell me I need help for my issues.  WHAT??  I’m sorry… I didn’t ask you to crush up some cocaine and sprinkle it in… I just want coffee and ice.  That’s it.  Boring?  Yes… but why is it so upsetting to you??  <— the person/company I’m paying to provide the coffee!

This annoys me on several different levels… in no particular order…

  • I am allergic to dairy… should I pull you aside and explain what happens to me when I eat/drink dairy?  YUCK… I do NOT think anyone wants that! Please… if I ask for no cream… just believe me… NO cream
  • Maybe you’ve heard of a little obesity issue we have in the United States… and all over… why do is it ASSUMED I want extra cream and sugar in my drink??  Why not assume I want it plain and then require the ask to be in to include something additional??
  • I’m saving your company money by not adding cream and sugar… why are you giving me a hard time???

OK… so… please take notice I am NOT judging anyone who likes cream and/or sugar in their coffee… not at all… I’m just asking that I am not scolded for asking for it without.  The mere concept that I have to ask for my drink to NOT come with all of that blows my mind!

I’ll leave my soap box with a re-enactment of a real conversation between myself and a coffee shop barista…

Barista: HI! Welcome!

(Sweet! She seems nice and friendly, this will go well!)

ME: Hi, can I please have a medium, iced coffee, just black, no cream and no sugar.

Barista: Sure!  Medium, iced coffee, do you want room for cream?

ME: No thank you…

Barista: You sure??  You don’t want me to add any cream?  I can do it here for you.

ME: Oh, no thank you – I just like it black – no cream and no sugar.

Barista: REALLY? WOW! How about some sugar free flavoring or liquid sugar?

ME: Just coffee and ice… Thanks

Barista: Yuck… ok here you go

YUCK??  Really??

Probably, ultimate answer is for me to make coffee at home, put it on ice and stop my complaining.  

Thank you for allowing me to vent… Cheers!!  (without cream and sugar for me please!) 

the Strength at 4:29a.m.

It’s 4:21a.m. and I’m wide awake staring at the alarm clock… 8 minutes until I need to be up, 8 minutes until my alarm will sound it’s peaceful sounds of ocean waves designed to gently wake me up.

Instead of sleeping, I’ve been waking every hour making sure I do NOT oversleep.  I have a date you see… with the 5:00am CrossFit New Albany crew.  For the last month I’ve been given the honor of coaching this great group of hardworking, dedicated, fun, invigorating, and motivating (any more adjectives??) people.

Although I’m a morning person and a natural early riser, I still get the excited/nervous gitters the night before a coaching morning that often keep me awake throughout the night.

I officially became a CrossFit Level 1 certified trainer a few weeks ago and thanks to the great coaches I had throughout my training course, I feel confident in my ability to share these skills and lifelong lessons taught within CrossFit.  I DO know, however… CERTIFIED DOES NOT MEAN QUALIFIED.  Much like in other areas of life… a certificate, a passing grade, or a stamp of approval does not equate to qualified. 

Life, experience, passion… these are the training tools taking you from certified to qualified.  

Out the door by 4:40a.m. (yep… I lay out my gym cloths in the order they have to go on so I don’t have to even turn on a light). To CFNA by 4:42a.m. lights on, garage door up, music on… loud! I’m ready.  Some mornings I get to write the day’s warm up… on these days I KNOW my 5am crew does NOT like me very much.  I make sure they are VERY warm 🙂

One of the aspects of CrossFit I love so much is the fact that ANYONE can CrossFit.  Your intensity is all relative and kept in perspective. Each person supports that fact and supports each other.  This morning, I’m proud to say we had CrossFitters of all levels… every single person had something to learn and something to teach.

By 5am everyone was ready for the warmup.  Some still wiping the sleep from their eyes, but bless their hearts, ready to give it their all.  Together, we talked form, mechanics, intensity.  We worked with dumbbells, box jumps, BURPEES, lunging, hang cleaning, deadlifting, pushup (ing?).  Every person gave it their all… they were responsive with my coaching and took in change ques.

We ended our time together sweaty, tired, and rapping to MC Hammer… without a doubt… a great morning… all before sunrise.

At 4:29a.m. I awake and am taught how coaching and leading this great group of hard workers aligns to the way we lead and conduct our lives at work in an office and at home with family and friends.  Again…

CERTIFIED DOES NOT MEAN QUALIFIED

a certificate, a passing grade, or a stamp of approval does not equate to qualified. 

Life, experience, and passion… these take you from certified to qualified.

TRUE Strength of body, mind, heart, spirit and soul…

these are taking me from certified in life to qualified in life.

My 5am crew… I call them invigorating and motivating in a selfish way… they strengthen and motivate me!  I know I’m supposed to be their coach at that moment, but their dedication and hard-work makes me energized, excited, and more and more passionate.  More dedicated to striving to find and sustain my TRUE Strength.