This past week I have came across a quote, in which every time I read it, it leaves me pausing for a few minutes and actually thinking about what it is asking.
“If the 10 year old you could see you now, what would he/she think?”
Coincidentally, I celebrated another year of my life this past week as well. Around my birthday I always find myself reflecting back on where I have come as I can always clearly remember where I was in previous years. Often, the days and weeks pass me by pretty quickly. I have a busy schedule between training my clients, coaching at the gym, and exercising myself – it is sometimes hard to really live in the moment and step away from myself to see how my life has transpired over the years. I felt like my birthday week blog post would be a great opportunity to do this.
At 10, I wanted nothing more than to be a successful athlete. I was the definition of tom boy and a gym rat. Dresses and dress shoes were not an option. If I wasn’t running around like a wild woman in some basketball shorts and sneakers, I was not happy. Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird were my biggest idols and I imagined myself to be better than them one day. I looked up to hard working female athletes like that. They were on the biggest stage, hundreds of people watching them and following their story, and they were winning. If you know anything about Taurasi and Bird, you know they also always had smiles on their faces while being total bad-asses. They were clearly having a ton of fun and loving every minute of what they were doing. That was where I imagined myself. If you asked me at 10, what I wanted to be doing at 23, I would probably say playing in the WNBA after being an all-american at UConn – my face all over ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Believe it or not, at 10, that was what I worked for day in and day out. That was athletically. Professionally, (or what is I guess considered professionally at 10) I wanted to be the smartest person in the room. ALWAYS. Growing up, my mother was consistently a stickler about my school work. She always was, and still is, one of the smartest and hardest working women I knew. I expected to grow up to be nothing less than her. I knew how much she appreciated and supported my athletic endeavors but I also knew she cared about my academic endeavors a whole lot more. She set my mentality at an early age that it was cool to do well in school and get good grades. High standards were set for me early, so I had high standards for myself. I was always reading a book. I would come home and get my homework done before I did anything else. I took pride in getting the highest grades in my class (this fed into my natural competitiveness perfectly). I’m pretty sure at 10 I would still tell people I wanted to be a veterinarian. At about 12-13 I think it changed to “a doctor”. Then at about 15 it changed to “I want to own my own gym and help overweight children”. Through all of these aspirations, I just wanted to have fun. As soon as something stopped being fun, I stopped doing it.
Thinking about all of that – then taking a minute to look at my life now – things didn’t all end up as I had planned. No, I am not exactly who I imagined I would be. I wore a Hofstra jersey my entire collegiate career (very very proudly) instead of a Connecticut one. (However, we did play at Storrs my sophomore year which I know the 10 year old in me would have been in awe about.) I never made it to the WNBA, my life and mind went in a different direction. I never became a veterinarian or a doctor because frankly I had no desire to be in school anymore. However, I regret none of that, nor do I wish any of that had happened. I am confident 10 year old me would think I am pretty cool just the way I am, and that makes me happy. It makes me want to keep making a life that would make her proud. Currently, I am able to wear exercise clothes 90% of the time. I am still the definition of a gym rat. I am fortunate enough to be able to make a living off of helping people be more active and a healthier, stronger version of themselves. I made it through years of playing my favorite, and the worlds greatest sport at some of the highest levels in some of the best arenas. I now pass it on to other’s with a huge smile – because I know the joy it is capable of bringing. I have found a new sport, CrossFit, which I have fallen in love with; one that I wish the 10 year old me could partake in because I know she would be so excited to do so. I like to think I am able to make a difference in the lives of my clients and the athletes I coach day to day. Interestingly, when I really reflect I realize that no, this isn’t exactly how I would have drawn it out, but it is exactly where my life is meant to be. Taking a hard look at where I am in life right now, I am happy, thankful, and appreciative of the person I have become and what the past 23 years has given me. I think 10 year old me would be as well.
For as long as I could remember, I had a quote by Mia Hamm taped in the dead center of my bedroom mirror. It read:
“Somewhere behind the athlete you have become,
and the hours of practice you put in,
and the coaches who have pushed for you,
is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back…
Play For Her.”
This is still what I try to do everyday, except the game has now changed to life. Everyday I want to live in a way that would make the 10 year old me proud. She worked so hard for so many years to set me up for success. I would feel terrible if I didn't follow her lead and “Play For Her”. I want to be the best athlete, the best professional, the best person I am capable of. I don’t want to ever sell her short – because she had big dreams. She had goals for us, I am just trying to carry them out as best as I can. If I can make this happen more often than not, I feel like I have truly reached success.
These past two weeks have brought a slight increase in workout volume. I've been focusing heavily on my gymnastics skills. I know they are the weaker portion of my exercise ability and I refuse to let them dictate my success in this sport. I am embracing my inner gymnast in as many ways that I can and trying to improve slightly on something everyday. Where I use to hate working on my weaker skills, I am now finding myself enjoying it more - sometimes even looking forward to it. I think this is probably a good sign because this sport is very much about facing anything, even if it is something you are uncomfortable with, and having the confidence to destroy it. That is the mindset I have been trying to burn into my head, especially toward my gymnastics movements. I'm sure that is going to be the key to any success I can have. In traditional Crossfit fashion, I still have to stay on top of all of my other areas of fitness. A good bunch of my metcons this week have been monotonous pieces that I really don't like - pieces that are 80% burpees, constant running or rowing like 500m or 800m repeats - but I have approached them all as if they came up in competition. I have no choice but to destroy them. The American Open is quickly approaching - it is a little over a month away. I am lifting in a last minute weightlifting meet on November 10th in Richmond, VA, then the American Open the first weekend in December in Dallas, TX.
I will jerk 96kg. That is all.
*You can find this post and other posts by my peers and I at: