Monday, May 26, 2014

2014 Regional Reflections

"A key discovery is that we cannot win; we can only dissolve.  And in the moment of dissolution, what remains is that for which we have been hoping all along; unbounded love & effortless, abundant being."  - David Deida
Hang Snatch PR @ 155lbs

A couple years back I was having dinner with one of my friends/mentors (who also happens to be an awesome coach) & she inquired about my recent training & goals.  I told her about my goal of qualifying for the CrossFit Games.
During this discussion she asked me, "What do you want to feel when you qualify for the Games?"
I don't remember exactly what I said, but I remember being taken back by this questioning of my feelings around my goal.  I hadn't prior given much thought to it.  Rather my focus was simply on the goal, figuring out how to get there & putting in the work.  I said something along the lines of wanting to be on the floor of the big stage and feel the rush from the crowd in the stadium.
She continued to dig deeper with something along the lines of, "What feeling would that experience give you?"
I was still a bit lost by all the curiosity around my feelings & recall having quite a bit of hesitation around my response.  Again, I don't recall my exact response, but I recall wanting to feel pride, self-love & justification that all my training was worthwhile.
Her next remark blew my mind.  She brought to my attention that I could have all of these things irregardless of whether I ever achieve my goal.
At the time, the goal was essentially my be all & end all focus aside from primary needs but I was definitely in a struggle with myself around this goal.  I was struggling with wanting to be an athlete & I felt that in order to justify such a desire that I had to prove myself.  To me, qualifying to the CrossFit Games was my justification for the time & effort I put into doing what I to be the best athlete & person I know how.
I am so thankful that she opened my eyes to this realization.  It didn't happen overnight, but years later I am able to recognize & appreciate my growth.
Looking back I see my struggle with accepting my top value of wanting to be an athlete.  The feeling of wanting to qualify to the Games wasn't just for myself, but it was my way of proving to everyone else...all the people that I created in my head that judged me for all the training I was doing....that all this training & my lack of coaching/working more &/or not taking the time to have babies was worthwhile.  I created pressure to justify myself & my own values.  I was stuck on what I perceived as societal expectations.  I felt like if I didn't qualify to the Games that I was disappointing people & I hate disappointing people.
My proud Momma 

Possibly my youngest & most enthusiastic supporters

In recent months I've been putting a lot of effort towards self-love & acceptance of my values.  I had a period before the Open where I started to fear the disappointment that I may cause if I failed to reach my goals.  It's rarely about my own disappointment, but always that I'll disappointment others.  Then I had one of those obvious aha moments that was very freeing for me.  I realized that I had been to Regionals for five consecutive years now & not once had I qualified for the Games despite this always being at least a dream if not yet formed into a distinct goal.  Yet whenever I returned to the gym everyone still welcomed me with open arms & excitement to have me back in action as their coach.  They still supported my pursuits as an athlete.  No one has ever said, "You didn't even come close to qualifying I can't believe you haven't given this up yet!"  I finally realized I could let go of the idea that I was disappointing others by doing what I love.

This year at Regionals I was able to experience my freedom around this realization.  I reached some of my goals...huge improvement on my placing in the strength event by taking 8th in the hang snatch with 155lbs (last year I was 28th in the strength event!) & to not just be in the final heat on Sunday, but to be in contention to qualify for the Games.  I've always made the final cut at Regionals & the past two years when they haven't had any cuts I've been in the top heat, but this is the first year that I numerically had a legitimate shot.  Unfortunately the last two workouts didn't play out as planned & I dropped from 4th to 7th overall.  However, the biggest victory for myself was my ability to stay positive & experience self-love & acceptance for what was happening in the moment even when it was far less than what I had envisioned.   At CrossFit Asheville we have come to call this a "PR of the Heart"! 
With my fellow teammate & great friend! 
I felt support from so many folks this weekend & I am thankful for each & everyone one of you! The text, FB, IG messages are greatly appreciated & always bring a smile & extra boost when you know others are pulling for you near & far.  I cannot list everyone involved, but I do want to recognize some key folks...
Thank you to Corey Duvall (Stay Active Clinic) for taking the time to work on me & keep me moving well & feeling good workout to workout.  Most of all for being my main support in the direction of my dream to be an athlete.
Much appreciation for the guidance I receive from my coach, James FitzGerald, and the entire OPT Team particularly Mike Lee & Matt Bryant.  While I always prefer to have y'all there in person I hear your words in my head when you're unable to be there.
Shout out to Jacob Ballard of iWebXpert for his support this weekend.  I'm excited to have his help in upleveling this blog into a website in upcoming months!
Thank you to Carter & Amber from ModPaleo for making it easy & delicious for me to eat well during all the heavy training months that lead into Regionals!
A huge thank you to those that made the haul to be there in person this weekend.  It's awesome to look up into the stands and see familiar faces and to have hugs from friends at the start & end of each day.  I have much gratitude for the effort you put forth to provide your support.  Simply, thank you!
Thank you to all the competitors I had the pleasure of sharing the experiences of the weekend.  So many class-acts out there.  I love being a part of the greater fitness community & look forward to cheering on the top-3 ladies in the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regionals in Carson later this year!  Well deserved ladies!

Up next...Final round of the NPFL Combine in Vegas June 16-18th where I'll go with the goal of being selected to the NPFL Draft in July.  The potential end result is to be signed as a professional athlete in this exciting new sport & opportunity for fitness athletes to specialize their skills in order to play a key role on a team.  It would truly be a dream come true!  Exciting times!! Onward!


  1. Don't ever feel like you are disappointing others! Not a chance... you inspire us all to do our best! Everyone is so very proud of you, and it is super exciting to watch you grow as an athlete and an awesome person. I am not even a "teary" person but I swear a got all choked up watching your 155# Snatch PR.

  2. Shanna, I am humbled and honored to have had that influence on your experience. And - as always - it is difficult to find words to express how inspired I am by your perseverance, dedication, and commitment to ongoing growth (personally, physically, and professionally). You are truly a rock star! :)