Sunday, April 13, 2014


"Are you...?  I think I follow your blog."
It's one of my favorite things to hear at the gym.
Meeting folks who have seen me on the blog, read my contributions to the Tabata Times, or who have just seen me hammer out a workout at the gym is always a day-brightener, even if I have my 'game face' on and am rocking out to some tunes while cranking out a self-imposed-torture-toward-awesome.

It never gets tiresome hearing that this blog helped encouraged someone or let them know that it's possible to gain confidence and freedom through hard work and a solid commitment.

In fact, it only helps me hone my focus.

Time warp back to 2010 -
I had signed up for my first out-of-state racing event, the SheRox Triathlon in Tempe.
That's me on the far left.
My goal was just to finish - and not to finish last. At the time, I was carrying around a tumor the size of a golf ball where one of my ovaries should have been. Ovarian cancer hadn't been ruled out - and I knew the dismal survival rate of ovarian cancer.  By the time they find it, it's usually much too late.  I had channeled all the agony of uncertainty into my training, but it was lacking structure.
All that said, goal achieved. I survived the tri (and the subsequent removal surgery which snagged the tumor out just in time).

I'm still proud of that race, even though I'm a far cry from it today.

Now, my goals are a bit more...focused.
'Survival' is assured.
Structure is achieved, both with and without Trainer Guy's expertise.
Fear is still alive and well....
Final WOD in my first crossfit throwdown
but it doesn't own me anymore.
 (Yes, it's a relief to be cancer-free. But that's not the kind of fear I'm talking about here.)
I understand the nature of competition in a whole different way than I did then.
'Competition' makes me better.
It makes me earn and appreciate what I have, and how far I've come.

Though I've played team sports for years, it's different. When the team wins or loses, you win or lose as a team. Cross training, racing, and weight lifting are largely independent sports. While I have an amazing team of supporters behind me (and a coach that rivals Yoda), there is a difference between being part of an ensemble, and taking the stage solo.
Now, I'm a veteran performer. I don't exactly get 'stage fright'. 
But, when it comes to competition time, no one is immune to that little voice that whispers  "I can't," or "What if I fall/fail?"
Today was a great example of that. I was the last one to finish up the WOD in my crossfit class. I had opted for heavier weights than the rest of the women. I wasn't entirely sure if I was capable of doing the required rounds with it, but I knew that selling myself short would be nearly criminal in this arena.  Especially since shucking weights is sort of my thing. I'm a big girl. It's gratifying to pick up heavy things!
That said -

 It would have been easy to throw in the towel and call it a day before all 5 rounds were up. After all, I was a bit slower.  I was fighting nausea (and that 'I wanna quit' voice was making me mildly regret the heavy weight choices).
But, louder than that little voice that wanted to justify quitting
was one crystal clear fact -

The only person I'd be cheating is the one staring back at me in the mirror -

She deserves better than that.
She's worked hard for every bit of progress so far, whether it be financial sacrifices, scheduling changes, or sheer sweat and pain. She's been ripped off enough in life. She doesn't need my help in that department. But she does deserve to harness the power she's capable of. So I pushed on.
 I finished.

True, there is a time to know when to throw in the towel to avoid injury - or when puking or passing out is evident. But in the end, no one can give you what you're not willing to give yourself.

The world isn't a 'fair' place.  If you haven't felt 'cheated' at some point in your life, you might want to check and see if you have a pulse.
It's amazing what's possible when we stop cheating ourselves.

For me, the girl in the mirror deserves to set lofty goals, and she's worth the work necessary to reach them.

Whether it's finishing a challenging work out adhereing to my "No PPQ" (No Puking, Passing Out, or Quitting) mantra, or PRing a new lift or run time - she's worth it. The body, weight, and other goals will comes along for the ride, if the aim is right.
So I'm narrowing my focus.
I'm looking forward to training in California and Florida in the next few weeks.
I'm looking forward to pushing hard with my friends in those areas of the world.
I'm moving into these trips with a plan of attack that I'm confident will work towards my goals.

So what are some of those 'lofty' goals? 
PR the 5k portion of the Expedition Everest Challenge on May 3rd.

Gold status for the Bar Bender Power Lifting Competition on May 18th.

Stay tuned to see if I reach them. (More to come as I train my way through 2 trips!)
Either way, there is only one route to awesome.

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