There is something about personal recommendations and our need for them. If I hear you say that you love something and I even sort of kind of trust you, I will most likely buy it or download it or borrow it or go see it or listen to it.
I want to share my favorite things with you. Like every week. Big things and little things and meaningful things and practical things and not-at-all practical things and delicious things and glorious things. Every time I share things, you guys are all like “I want that” and “Thank goodness you told me about this thing that I never knew I needed” and “It looks crazy, but if you like it, I’ll try it”.
The CrossFit Open
Let me first explain the Open. Anyone and absolutely everyone can sign up to participate and it is basically the preliminary stage before CrossFit Regionals. For five weeks, each athlete that is registered must complete one workout each week as prescribed (read: no scaled movements and listed weight) in front of a certified judge. If you do well enough, you move on to Regionals.
Let me repeat. Every single person that wants to sign up and participate can do so. This means we are theoretically in the running to move on. Does this mean the majority of us will move on? Absolutely not. So why do we sign up?
In 2013, I had only been doing CrossFit for about four months when I signed up. A few of the prescribed movements, I’d never even heard of before and the majority of weights I had never lifted. My scores were low but I found myself setting personal records (only because I’d never tried some of the movements before). If I had been in a regular workout, I would have scaled the movements or lightened the weight to something more manageable, but this forced me to give it my best shot and see what I was capable of. The community of my gym members was like something I’d never seen before. We all banded together to worry about and dissect the workouts, cheer each other on and pump each other up after every week.
In 2014, I now have the unique experience to share with all my fellow athletes who are newer to CrossFit. When people find out about the Open, most assume it’s not for them because they are too new or “not good enough” at CrossFit yet. I convinced and yelled and argued with anyone who would listen that they should sign up, based on my experience in 2013. We have since created this AMAZING group of athletes who I have already watched set their own personal bests and push past their limits and it’s so inspiring.
For me, this year has been a whole different animal. The prescribed weights are all completely manageable and I am halfway decent at all the movements, so my preparation and thought process going in are completely different! I have been setting goals for myself (more than just one rep!) and have been able to push through so much more. There is a certain level of anxiety that comes with actually trying to do well, versus just trying to not die and get through a workout.
What’s been most interesting to me this year is that I can see a measurable difference over last year. Last year, I was only able to do 3 chest to bar pull-ups, this year I got 15. Quantifiable improvements and results!
My favorite part of the Open this year is that I get to be the encourager. I get to cheer and motivate and talk to people about their accomplishments. Paying it forward in the healthiest possible way!
While my kids are terrorizing the kids’ section at the library, I take approximately 45 seconds to quickly browse through the adult section and see if something catches my eye. I’ve been reading a lot of biographies lately and I am always intrigued with books about sports and famous coaches in history, so this book on Pat Summitt caught my eye. I had watched a short documentary on her with my husband, but didn’t know much about her beyond the fact that she was a coach for the Tennessee Lady Vols for many years and she had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Things I didn’t know: She started coaching when she was 22 and won an Olympic Gold medal with players who would become athletes that she coached. She has a 100% graduation rate with her athletes. 100%! She cooked meals for her athletes to make them less homesick. She was ruthless, amazing and big-hearted all at the same time. She never backed down, but fought her battles with grace and words instead of being an instigator.
This book was AMAZING and I highly recommend it for everyone. Even if you’re not a basketball fan. It does talk a lot about the games she coached, but mainly from the context of the individual players, how she coached each game differently, how she coached to player’s personalities, how she fought through stereotypes. All the lessons I pulled from this book can be applied to life, parenting, business, sports, anything. She is a remarkable woman and I sincerely wish she could influence every young girl (and big girl) out there as she truly understands what it means to be a female and how far we can go.
You can find it here on Amazon in hardback or for your Kindle or check out your local library.
Zella, Zella and possibly some more Zella
Apparently my profound love for Zella workout gear is spreading like wild fire. My fabulous friend who works at Nordstrom sent me some Zella goodies to review and I was all “This is impossible. My job is too hard”. As you know from my one zillion 17 billion 45 million posts about them, I have big puffy giant love for the Zella Live-In Capris. I work out in them. I live in them. I’m wearing a pair as I type this.
But NOW I get to try a pair of the Zella Flare Booty Pants. I would never in my life have ordered these because I have this weird quirky obsession with flare pants. My legs are one hundred miles long and my whole life, all of the pants in all of the world have been too short. Or they fit great when I try them on and then shrink to an embarrassing flood length. Lo and behold, even after a few washes, these babies are keeping my giraffe stems in check. Can we please talk about a 33″ inseam in yoga pants?
They are AMAZING. They are made out of the typical Zella material, which means they are super soft and comfortable, with enough of a compression fit to suck everything in without squeezing everything out. They suck up the thighs and lift up the butt and they have flat seaming, so no chafing. They are also made out of a moisture wicking material, so perfect for working out if you aren’t like me and can’t stand to be hotter than 52 degrees.
Check them out at Nordstrom! I can’t guarantee anything, but Zella usually does go on sale in July during the Anniversary Sale. Unless you just NEED a pair of pants for St. Patrick’s Day. Which I totally get.
Are you now or have you in the past signed up for the Open? What was your favorite part?
Do you have a favorite biography (autobiography?) to share?
Have I convinced you to buy a pair of Zella leggings yet?
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