Monthly Archives: August 2017

I will hug you

Guys, we did it! We covered all the Yamas and Niyamas. I hope you all learned something about your selves and have noticed changes in the way you think and act.

Just a quick refresher here…

1. Yamas (way we act towards others/the world)

Nonviolence

Truthfulneness

Nonstealing

Nonexcess

Nonposessiveness

2. Niyamas (ways we act within ourselves)

Purity

Contentment

Self-Discipline

Self-study

Surrender

Now I realize most of you aren’t going to remember these. Heck, I’m just grateful if you’re reading this blog post. And if you’re not going to remember them, you’re probably not going to attempt the path to pure enlightenment like the traditional Eastern Yogis. And that’s totally cool. But here’s something you can take away:

Mental illness is highly prevalent in our society. Mental illness is the root cause of violent attacks, the opioid epidemic, failed relationships, and countless other issues. Having a strong mind and a positive attitude can combat mental illness. Practicing the niyamas and yamas builds a strong mind. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, depression, or whatever else it might be, reflect on these principles and put them into action in your own life.

Likewise, even if you’re not struggling with mental health but you’re looking to take your athletic adventures to the next level, a strong mind will go a long way. The Games Athletes are not weak-minded individuals. Sports Psychology is a part of their training. In the recent Netflix release “A Decade of Fitness,” Katrin Davidsdottir talks about the concept of competing against herself. She must perform the best she can, regardless of anyone else. It’s something she and her coach, Ben Bergeron, discuss regularly.

In CrossFit, it’s hard not to compare. We write our scores side-by-side on the board and enter them on an app that ranks us. We see other’s more impressive lifts and think “I wish I could do that.” These are normal feelings. But use them to your advantage. Let those thoughts motivate you, not detroy you. If you find yourself feeling down, stop and think of 3 things you’re thankful for.

We have a great community at CrossFit Infiltrate. I’ve been here for 2.5 years and have gotten to know a lot of different people. I met my future husband and 2 girls who will be bridesmaids in that wedding. I love walking into the gym and knowing I’ll see a friendly face. I love knowing I can text anyone on a Friday night and say “What are you guys doing tonight?”

There’s something powerful about suffering next to someone else during a workout. My point is that there are plenty of great people here to support you. I know I speak for any of the Coaches when I say if you find yourself needing someone to talk to….someone to give you support….someone to hug you…..we’re here for you….Doesn’t have to be related to CrossFit.

*Disclaimer: Hugging Jared doesn’t mean he’s cleaned his beard in a while, proceed at your own risk*

It’s been a pleasure writing these posts.

Be gracious. Be kind. Don’t cheat. Do the work. Be the best version of yourself and love that and you’ll never have a problem.

*Mic drop*

Why Can’t You Be More Like Tia?

Yogic Principle: Surrender

Think about the last time you told someone you had a “bad day” or “one of those days.” What was it that made the day “bad?”

I thought about this myself and thought of last Monday. This is what made it “bad:”

1. Work related bs (coworkers, no respect for time, late to meetings because of it, etc)

2. Chick Fil-A was closed and I wanted nuggets

3. A lady yelled at me in the parking garage for parking “too close.” (Guys, I was between the lines).

4. Someone on Poshmark cancelled their order from me and it deleted the post and months of work.

Literally as I type this out I’m laughing at myself. None of these things are bad. I’m lucky to have a job that gives me independence, respect, and pays the bills. I have plenty of food at home. I’m lucky to have a car to drive and a parking pass. I sold the item on eBay earlier this week.

The truth is, what we consider “bad days” are when life doesn’t go as planned or as we wished. The best thing we can do about these bad days is surrender.

Surrender is releasing. Having expectations and fighting life creates tension and rigidity. By releasing, or relaxing, we can begin to act more skillfully, carrying less burden and tension.

CrossFit: Have you ever tried to workout when you were tense? Chances are, it didn’t go very well. Russ said to me a few weeks ago after the Burpee/Deadlift workout that he wishes he could feel more relaxed during workouts as he thinks he would move better and more like Jared. Russ is right. We’re more likely to move better, think faster, and lift heaver with a mind that is surrendered.

Surrender is engaging. Whitewater rafters use the raging waves to their advantage, going with the flow, but skillfully manipulating themselves downstream. Similarly, we must do the same in life. Fighting life and demanding that things go our way is a disastrous attitude which wreaks havoc in our minds.

CrossFit: The CrossFit games were great this year. I love that they were hosted in the Midwest and that there were some new faces on the podium (led by some familiar favorites). Games athletes don’t get the luxury of having all their WODs released ahead of time. They must do whatever is thrown at them and embrace it to have a shot at performing optimally.

Surrender is accepting. We can’t control life. Maybe you believe in a Higher Power, or maybe not. Regardless, you can’t argue that many things in life are out of your hands. Accept the things you cannot change. Address them as opportunities to learn, grow, and skillfully move through life.

CrossFit: There are countless stories of CrossFit Games athletes who overcame bad finishes. Katrin failed to qualify in 2015. Tia barely lost in 2016. Annie suffered heat stroke in 2015 and a mediocre finish in 2016. Mat Fraser lost to Ben Smith in 2015. They are Games athletes not only because of their physical strength, but their mental strength. They have staying power. They practice acceptance and surrender. All these athletes came back and kicked ass.

Practice surrendering. Practice acceptance. Be the best version of yourself.

Oh baby, you should go and love yourself.

Yogic Principle: Self-Study

First of all, I promise not to reference Justin Bieber ever again.

Secondly, who are you?

But seriously. WHO ARE YOU?!

Take a minute to think about it. If I came up to you and asked “Who is Alexa?” or “Who is JJ,” how would you answer? (Insert your name in place of theirs).

Most of us would respond with something like “I’m an architect who lives in Indy.” Or “I’m a student and a new wife.” But your job, your home, your role within your family, etc. do not define you. Your belief system and your experiences do.

Practicing self-study increases your awareness and helps you learn to love and accept yourself. The rewards are endless—happiness, satisfaction, and reciprocity of love and affection. Here’s some tips:

1. Notice how you treat others. Notice what others do that upsets you. Is the problem with them? Or could it be with you? In psychology, projection is the idea that you see in others what is actually within you. For example, pretend Natalie (who is a sweetheart) is very boastful after work-outs. She takes her shirt off to show us her muscles, tells everyone how hard the WOD is, & tells everyone how she’s going to the Games next year. Then one day she works out with Betsy and Betsy destroys her in double unders (cuz she’s freaky fast #JimmyJohnstatus), so Natalie starts telling everyone that Betsy is a show-off. Natalie is projecting herself onto Betsy. It is common for jealousy and discomfort to trigger projection.

2. Stop and ask: Why do you feel this way? When something upsets you, get to the root cause. This can take practice. If you’re like me, first you need time for the emotional outburst to resolve…sometimes I get a little fired up (shrug emoji). A former coach once said to me after I hurt my knee, “This may be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. You can stop relying on your legs.” I was immediately offended and complained to Zane in the privacy of my living room. The root cause was not that it was rude. The root cause was that it was true and that it implied that I wasn’t well-rounded. Get to the root cause and address it.

Self-Study is about knowing yourself and also about loving all facets of who you are, even the parts you’re not proud of. Study yourself and don’t run from what you find. Embrace the glorious Justin Bieber-loving mess that you are.

As always, love yourself and others. And squats. Always love squats.

Put the Donut Down!

Yogic Principle: Self-Discipline

The practice of self-discipline is probably the hardest yogic principle to practice (in my opinion). It requires courage, persistence, saying no to delicious creme filled baked goods, and trust….all in combination to get us to where we want to be. We practice self-discipline daily, we use it as a “staying power,” and we use to it make hard decisions. I shall elaborate below. Anyone else want a donut now?

Daily Basis: Ya’ll know you should eat your veggies, go to bed at a reasonable hour, go to the gym, and mind your Ps and Qs. Do you always? These are tasks that come up everyday and we must practice self-discipline to provide our minds and bodies with what they need to prosper. The consistency of self-discipline over time will give us some great results.

CrossFit: Johnnie came back from the far East just before the Open began. I remember watching her do 17.4 against Clara and she had a hard time with the deadlifts of 155# and was pretty frustrated afterwards. If you’ve seen Johnnie lately, you know how self-discipline in her diet and fitness regimen has made some incredible changes. Last week I watched her snatch only 10# less than that damn deadlift. Hard work, diligence, and self-discipline pays off.

Staying Power: “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Making lemonade out of lemons isn’t an easy path, but we’ve all heard stories of those people who had something terrible happen to them, but stuck with it, and came out fine, if not grateful. Self-discipline is the ability to stay in the unknown and unpleasantness rather than run in fear. Team USA Weightlifter Jessica Lucera posted a while back that “injuries are your body’s way of making you address its weaknesses.” Home girl has some staying power. Injuries are the perfect example to work on something that you’ve ignored a little too long.

CrossFit: Jared and I did a Parallette program after my first knee surgery. This was beneficial in several ways. 1. It kept me from going crazy by giving me something to do. 2. I can actually do more than like 2 push ups in a row now. 3. I realized what a freak Jared is for being able to flip himself upside down on those things. Regardless, lemonade ya’ll. #beyonce

Decision-Making: Self-discipline can be practiced through decision -making. I SAID PUT THAT DONUT DOWN! It can also be practiced in decisions that have a lot more uncertainty and more on the line than chocolate sprinkles. Decisions to leave a relationship, for example, are not easy ones to make. We practice self-discipline by staying true to ourselves and what we believe and by making those tough decisions.

Go forth and be disciplined little yogis. Until next time…