Adventures 2016, Get Healthy, Health and Fitness, Thoughts

My road to The Open

Going through the motions of trying to decide what to write or which of my many mock posts to choose from can be difficult at times. The Crossfit Open is now a day away, so sharing my thoughts and feelings on how Crossfit has affected me is a pretty obvious choice. But again, my insecurities surrounding my writing and choosing to be so open with people on the inner workings of my mind is kind of tough at times. No joke, I wrote this on Monday night…it is now Wednesday. But, the other night it kind of became clear to me what I wanted to, but not necessarily needed to, write about which is insecurities, more or less. Maybe.

A friend of mine, who I obviously respect or else I wouldn’t be writing about this, posted a status on facebook. Not political, nor was it one of his funny posts, but one that made me think, a lot. Like, a lot a lot. He simply just brought up the point that he doesn’t understand why people hold themselves back and don’t fully commit themselves to their dreams and goals. For most people, they will think nothing of this post and agree. One of his friends brought up a point that hit so close to home for me on a few levels, what about the people who are insecure with themselves? I tossed in my two cents in a very simple way with the least amount of words possible. I brought up that some people have higher hurdles to jump over, whether its emotional or mental. I also said that one bad experience can be a huge mind fuck for people and can be detrimental to future commitments or goals. Then a few more exchanges occurred and I said the light at the end of tunnel is sometimes so far and can seem unattainable and the light seems less bright the further you have to go down this path. His response, which for some people is very valid, was to just then push harder. Oh, my sweet friend, if only it was that easy. My heart sank a little and I didn’t respond, I just wanted to leave it a that. And as you can see, hours (days) later the response still hurts. How do you explain to someone through a computer screen that just about everyone with deep insecurities wishes it was just that easy. To be able to simply push through can seem so effortless to others. And I am speaking from a place of very real experience of having to fight my demons on a daily basis. I am now twenty eight and still have demons to battle with. I accepted a very long time ago that I always will have these struggles. I have been fortunate enough to have certain aspects, like Aurora, be my driving force to get through life. But, not everyone is blessed with things like that. So, how can I make people understand that?

I can’t.

I am not able to, in any capacity, sit here and make someone understand the struggle so many people face. It’s beautiful to know that there are so many people who are able to fight and make their way to their dreams and make them a reality, absolutely beautiful. But, we are all built so differently and need a better understanding of that. Even me describing my daily battle with myself won’t make people understand. It’s hard to understand something when maybe some people haven’t had to deal with it first hand. Not that anyone or everyone is not open minded, but when it comes to depression, social anxiety or insecurities these topics are hard for people to grasp. They can’t understand why people feel this way and just think they are throwing a pity party for themselves, which is the opposite a majority of the time. My depression and insecurities have been about me and only me. I try and do my best to cover those things up because I don’t want people to judge me for it. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

It is no secret how much Crossfit means to me. I have come to a point where I am willing to give up my social life and sanity and dedicate myself to Crossfit and be everything I can be. To eventually be the best and strongest version of myself. Now see how easy that was for me to sit here and type? It’s a nice thought. But holy shit, I am so good at talking myself out of those things and tend to a lot. It’s scary to think that way sometimes, to set a goal like that. Not because of the end goal itself but everything that will go into it and the endless questioning of my ability. Will I be good enough? Am I good enough? Am I wasting my time? Am I wasting my coaches time? Does anyone here actually like me? Did I make the wrong decision? And so on and so forth. I won’t say my weight stops me anymore that is not an insecurity for me at this point. When I began my fitness journey those insecurities slowly went away on their own. My weight doesn’t matter to me as much like it did in the past and it is no longer my main focus. I lost forty pounds and that’s all I needed to begin the process of being comfortable with myself. I don’t weigh myself anymore or necessarily care about those three digits because within four months I have gone from 162 pounds to 175 pounds (I weighed myself so I knew the actual number). Certain clothes are too big on me and things I purchased a size smaller months ago fit just right or are starting to get a little baggy. So what does that tell you right there?

That I am a mythical creature, duh.

No, but really, it just tells you I am still losing inches and possibly fat, but gaining a lot of muscle. My goals fitness wise have changed drastically due to Crossfit. Yes, I still want to lose weight, but I’m not exercising anymore, I am training. That mindset right there has changed so much for me. My goal is to lift more weight, to squat, snatch, and power clean with ease. I want to do a freaking pull-up and hand stands like it is second nature. I want to throw a weighted ball up a wall, catch it in a squat and throw it up again, repeatedly. I want to get to a point where I can do 20 burpees without stopping for a break. I want to be ridiculously strong, mentally, emotionally and physically. Okay, that tangent is over. But, you get the point. My insecurities with weight are gone, but that doesn’t mean I don’t face any others. I just began Crossfit and I have to do everything I can to NOT COMPARE myself to the other athletes I am training with. You know how tough that is? I can barely thrust or even just hold two 35 pound dumbbells over my head, but other girls can do it with ease. I have to constantly remind myself to not look at what they are doing and focus on my own shit. I get so into my own head and that’s when the light at the end of the tunnel starts to dim and seems unattainable. That sprint towards my goal is practically gone, I trip over my own thoughts and struggle to get back up and running. I cried last week during a workout, which was terrible. I think I hid it well, but I don’t know. I’ve had a lot going on in my life and was struggling to do front rack lunges with 75 lbs. I was whipping my arms so incredibly bad with the jump-rope because I could not hit my double unders. I felt like, in that moment, that I wasn’t good enough, like maybe I am making the wrong decision. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing Crossfit, maybe I’m not an athlete. That thought occurs on a daily basis. More-so now with The Open upon us and it sucks. Do I need to get over everything and “push” through it, duh…I don’t really have a choice. I signed up as soon as the registration opened up on purpose. Once I registered and paid, I couldn’t back out. I mean I could, but then I would be out of twenty bucks. So, pushing through is something I have to do, but to be able to be at that point mentally is huge. A few years ago, I would’ve just said fuck it and not done it and let that time and money go to waste. This is something that has been four years in the making. This all didn’t happen over night, it doesn’t quite work that way. It would be awesome if it did. So push through it I shall. I had a great WOD yesterday and was probably one of the only people excited to do it. This year Dave Castro gave the hint that there will be dumbbells used in The Open. We have been using them to better prepare ourselves, which is why I seemed annoyed earlier when I mentioned not being able to use the 35 pound weights. For time we need to do the following



Dumbbell Thrusters


I got that done in 13:21, I was ecstatic. Yes, I used 20 pound dumbbells, but I got through it bruises and all. (My shoulders are so tender right now, it’s ridiculous). So insecurities aside, I am really excited for Thursday’s announcement. But this is just another step up my emotional ladder and I only hope that everyone else dealing with insecurities can find the same courage to break through those barriers, at their own pace. Do things on your own time, and not what other people think. Make yourself happy, forget everyone else.


Adventures 2016

Mount Tamalpais | Ca’Momi

Time is flying people! I swear it was just January 20th and I was walking onto campus for my first day of classes. It is now February 17th, I turned 27 and am still loving my classes. But, can I just say how exhausted I am? I am doing so much right now and I love it. The exhaustion is real, but everything I am doing right now I am 100% vested in and it is awesome. We are focusing on Happiness still in my English 1A class and I am still really enjoying that. I find myself looking at myself differently in that regard and everyone around me. It’s pretty crazy.

Last month Kyndra and I hiked our first new trail and tried out a new restaurant. Both were amazing! We hiked Mount Tamalpais, in the rain. Not by choice, but I don’t think I would have changed anything about it. Kyndra is in her final year at Sonoma State and graduates this year (WOOHOO) and works full time and well I am in school and working as well so our schedules are pretty packed. So we try to plan everything at least a couple weeks in advance, so we don’t know what the weather will be like. It just happened that Northern California wanted to squeeze in some more rain. We began our hike at Pan Toll, thanks google maps. It was fine, the ranger told us to take Old Mine Trail to begin our trek to East Peak. It was all fine and dandy until we got a little turned around and went in a circle, literally. Thank god it was within the first 15 minutes of our hike and gave us a really good laugh. Our first goal was to get to West Point Inn. I honestly can’t remember the exact route we took, I know Bootjack was involved and that we ended up at the Mountain Theatre which was definitely a site to see. The rock amphitheater was incredible and the pictures I took do not do it justice, though the fog just made it seem for mysterious and like we stumbled upon some hidden gem. What was also beautiful was all of the waterfalls. The great thing about hiking in the fog, was being able to actually focus on our surroundings and not so much the view in the distance. We were feeling a little defeated at times though because we had no other view then what was in front of us. We couldn’t necessarily gauge where we were on the mountain, so we never knew how close or far away we were East Peak. When we eventually reached West Point Inn, we were so excited. We followed a road, instead of a trail, and found a stunning waterfall. At this point though, our map was starting to fall apart…we know, we should’ve taken a picture….we decided to take pictures and sneak in a snack break. Whilst sitting on the ground I looked over and there it was a trail marker, something we hadn’t seen in a while. We both ran over to it and investigated it to see where we were. Boom! Our first sitting of East Peak on a trail marker, we were so over the moon. We had been hiking for maybe 2 and half hours at this point and didn’t know if we would make it there. Another hour later and we made it to East Peak. We jumped around like two little kids and the best thing I could compare the feeling to, was like walking into Disneyland. Just pure happiness. We hiked up to the Fire Lookout. Not much to see other than the lookout itself, but we were still proud of ourselves. We went back down to the parking area and checked out the old railroad. They used to take people to the top by train where a hotel was once located. Honestly, I wish we still had things like that, how cool would that be to ride a train up and around the mountain. Maybe one day, someone with a lot of money will bring something like that back. We headed back down and were trying to go a much shorter way back to Pan Toll, well we ended up taking a longer route to West Point Inn, and it was so lame. We found our saving graces though, Harriet and Maeve. Two very experienced hikers who took us under their wings and showed us the Matt Davis trail, which they said the Ranger should’ve told us to go in the first place. Thanks Park Ranger Carol. It was great seeing another trail and talking with Maeve and Harriet. They have hiked so many places and had so many great suggestions for us to hike in the future. Despite getting turned around a couple of times, the Mt Tam hike will probably always be one of my favorites and Kyndra and I definitely want to go and hike all the other trails the mountain has to offer, hopefully when it’s sunny though!

For our restaurant to try in January we ended up at Ca’momi in Napa. It was a suggestion from one of my Uncle Joey’s friends, Kevin, who I have known since I was young. I ran into Kevin while on a walk with one of my friends in Sonoma. The conversation came up of food, of course, and he said he was on his way to Napa to pick up Pizza. Now, if you aren’t familiar with Sonoma and Napa County, Napa is about thirty-minutes away from Sonoma. I had to ask him, what pizza was that good to drive that far for? His answer was Ca’Momi. Well, from experience of having chef’s in the family, when they tell you something is good and you should try it, you just do it. No questions asked, you just go. I told Kyndra immediately and we knew that was the first place we had to go, who could say no to pizza? I mean really. Ca’Momi is located inside of Oxbow Market, which is really cool. I had never been there before so this just added to the experience. When we placed our order we took recommendations from one of the hosts. If the employees love it, then again, you listen to what they say. She told us to get the Inferno, which had house-cured spicy salami, gorgonzola, olives and onions on it. We also ordered the Burrata which had prosciutto, house made buratta and basil. Holy shit, both were simply amazing. If I had one tiny remark it would be that the Burrata have more fresh basil on it. Seriously though, best 20 dollars I have spent on a single pizza. It was Napoletana style and the best thin crust. It wasn’t thin and chewy, but instead soft and fluffy. I still dream about it and it was almost a month ago that I consumed it. You all should go try it when you get a chance and you certainly will not regret it.

Kyndra and I have hiked our next location and I can’t wait to tell you about how much I didn’t love it, ha-ha. No really, it was a pain in every sense.