Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Being Strong

Over a year ago I wrote a post on mental and emotional strength. This week I'm thinking about physical strength in general and my strength in particular.

I've had an idea in my head for the past three years that if I pursued my passion and developed my strength I would NEVER find a man. I am a bright woman, you would think I would have realized by now that if I subvert who I really am for anyone I'm lying and you can't base any real, lasting relationship on lies. Let's face facts, I'm 45: it seems pretty unlikely that I'm going to find anyone anyway. I'm not whining, even if there is someone out there for me I'm not ready yet. I'm not done growing yet.

Besides, I AM strong. I don't want to hide that. The men I know and spend the most time with don't seem to feel humiliated when I lift more than them. They cheer me on and encourage me. So, if you are intimidated by a woman who can deadlift 345 pounds on a barbell or hex bar and 550 pounds with a tractor tire you and I probably won't have much to discuss anyway.

I'd love to be a petite pretty woman. I'd like to weigh half of what I do now. While we're at it I'd like to have straight hair, small calves and arms without flab. Oh heck, while I'm dreaming let's wish for a jiggle free butt and thighs. Ooh, let's get rid of the jiggly belly too. All right, now that I'm done dreaming let's get real and I'll get to the point of this post.

I hit a new PR, personal record, during Muscle Hour. Prior to tonight I was thrilled with deadlifting 325 pounds. I'm still thrilled with that frankly. When I pulled that I hadn't done any heavy lifting in a quite a long time and I was beginning to wonder if my trainer had completely forgotten that I LOVE lifting heavy. Nope, not for a second. It turns out he had a plan and the things he had me doing instead made me stronger, improved my balance and made me just all around better.

Imagine that, the fitness professional knew more than me and he knew what he was asking of me would build a stronger, better me.

I wasn't sure I was going to deadlift over 295 tonight. My left shoulder, the same one I tried to crush attempting to tumble without a nice cushy mat, has been sore and achy lately. Lifting wasn't bothering it so after playing with single arm prowler rows and monster walks I went to the weight cave to try 345 pounds.

 I'm not necessarily a fan of an audience when I'm trying to do something I'm not 100% comfortable with. There was an audience in the weight cave. I expected Tyler to be there and I found I didn't mind everyone else gathering around either. I've learned what I need to focus on and tonight that was my form and picturing myself successfully lifting that bar. It worked and a little bit later I tried to lift 365 pounds. It didn't work as well for that, but the bar came up a half inch: that means I CAN do it. Not tonight, probably not next week, but if I keep applying myself and giving my all to everything I am asked to do 365 pounds will come.

As much as might have wanted to hide or play down my strength at one time, that just won't be happening. I want to embrace it and brag about it. It makes me happy to lift heavy or push or pull heavy so why shouldn't I be proud of that? Why shouldn't I want to talk about what makes me ME?

I am physically strong. I'd like to believe if there is someone up ahead on this journey then that person will be proud of my strength as well. If there isn't someone, then I am still surrounded by the most amazing support system anyone could ask for and I am not going to bemoan my single status. I am living a life I enjoy and doing what makes me happy for the most part. There are still a few things in my life I need to change, but I have a plan and I will take care of those last few details in good time.

For now I am going to bask in the knowledge that I am stronger than that 309 pound woman I once was. I will be proud that a co-worker told me yesterday that she couldn't believe that I was 45 years old. I will be proud that when I wake up most mornings I look forward to the day ahead and I am deeply thankful for the opportunities I have had to turn my life around.

I am strong, I won't hide that. I won't pretend not to be strong to protect any one's feelings or ego. I'm not going to walk around bragging about my strength and annoying everyone around me, but I will be quietly confident.

I keep looking at the rope and cowbell when I'm in the gym. I have a strong desire to climb it and one of these days when it's relatively quiet and I don't have an audience I am going to try. I might not climb it before July 31, but before the end of 2015 I will have climbed the rope and smacked that cowbell. I don't feel I have anything to prove to anyone, climbing the rope is something I want to do for myself and the little girl who watched her friends climb the rope in PE when she was in elementary school knowing she couldn't begin to get up it and she was too heavy for her PE teacher to help her.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Comfort

I am a HUGE fan of comfort zones. I do know I won't grow if I don't step outside what's comfortable for me, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. I am trying not to whine, but I wish I could find a way to grow and become who I want to be without stepping outside what is comfortable for me.

It's been a big week of stepping outside of what makes me comfortable. Going to conferences and learning new techniques and strategies is part of being a good teacher. I like to attend conferences so when the opportunity to attend the BEST Institute at the Killington Grand Resort came up in the Spring I asked to be included. I learned so much in the four days of the conference, things that will help me as a professional and things that I need to work on personally.

The team I was with worked hard. I tried to work hard too, but Tuesday was a rough day. I was over two hours from home, my cat, Eeyore, was sick and I felt like a fraud. I like to think I am an adequate special educator, but I am not a public speaker or a leader. My principal was there I wanted to show her I could be a leader, but it wasn't in me. I cried a lot on Tuesday: I was worried about my cat, homesick, missing my workouts and trying really hard to be a good team member. I swear every time we had a break or slowed down I was staring at the ceiling and blinking back tears, or not blinking them back. It got to a point where I dreaded needing a bathroom break because I knew the instant I was alone there would be tears and I'd have an overwhelming desire to run. Fight or flight I guess and I prefer flight.

Should you want to know the Killington Grand Resort has a nice fitness center. I visited it Monday and Tuesday and spent some time running (with some tripping) on the treadmill, using the elliptical, riding the stationary bike and using the rowing machine. Then did the "little" core circuit Tyler gave me to work on. I also did the core circuit Wednesday and even added a 2 minute plank at the end to see if I could do it when Tyler wasn't there encouraging me to hold on. I can do it, not sure my form was perfect, but given the trembling in my abs and quads I'd guess my form wasn't too bad.

I lived through it, so did the rest of the team. We have more work to do, but we accomplished more than I would have believed we could. I wasn't a leader, but I didn't need to be. I worked when I needed to work and that to me is what counts. To the people who think I have leadership potential thank you, but I'm not seeing it yet.

This morning I was back at Pride Fitness Performance. The workout was a team workout. Partners had a series of exercises to complete together. There was a Warrior Carry. Cool, I love the warrior carry. Oh wait, my partner was going to have to carry me? Seriously? CARRY ME?!? (Cue anxiety)

A million different questions ran through my head: Was Tyler trying to kill my partner? What was I going to do if my partner couldn't even pick me up? Would I be able to shake it off and make a joke of it or would I cry? My partner for this workout was Eric, the person I did the Warrior Carry with at Tough Mudder. I knew I could carry him, but I refused to let him try to carry me at Mudder. He assured me he could do it this morning and I bit my tongue, swallowed the doubts and fear and let him try.

I'm not going to say it was easy: there is a lot of me to lug around, but he did it. He told me that I worried too much when we switched and I carried him.

There's another thing I come up against that is far outside any comfort zone I might have: having my picture taken. Tyler takes a lot of pictures of our workouts. I think it is great to be able to relive the workouts by looking at pictures and I usually look at the photos and hope he hasn't taken any of me, or if he has I am waaaaay in the background, like he's by the Pride logo on the wall and I'm across the gym in the weight cave.

A little while ago, I noticed he'd posted pictures of the team workout. I loved them, seeing my friends flipping tires, carrying each other, sprinting, jumping hurdles and the pictures of the tug o'war. Then I saw it. It was black and white and I was carrying Eric. I won't deny it's a great picture, but that doesn't mean I like being in it. It takes me time to look at pictures with me in them and not cringe. There have been some pictures I've seen where it's been all I can do not to email Tyler and plead with him to remove them. I doubt he would: he knows what needs to be done better than I do. He certainly believes in me more than I believe in myself. If he posts a picture and I'm in it I have to trust it should be posted and move on with my day.

6/26/15 Warrior Carry with Eric H.
I have to stop being so hard on the woman in the mirror and cut her some slack. I would never talk to my friends the way I talk to myself. I know I've mentioned that endlessly, so I won't go on about it now. Maybe I can be a leader even if I get nervous and nauseated before any situation where I'm going to need to be with a group. Maybe, just maybe I am too hard on my body: it does some pretty amazing things. I should appreciate it. I'll work on that. I'll work on a lot of things. After all, nothing amazing happens if you stay in your comfort zone.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Struggles

Maybe I'm just a whiner. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm just a normal human being who wants what she wants NOW, not later.

For two weeks now I've been struggling. Struggling to the point that I have missed two workouts. Yes, you read that right: I have skipped two workouts. I could claim I was tired, I could tell you I was giving my body a chance to recover from Tough Mudder. I could sugarcoat my absences any way I wanted, not to brag, but I am pretty good with words when I want to be. Maybe I could even make myself believe the excuses.

I'm not making excuses for myself, it won't help and I owe it to my trainer and to myself to be as honest as possible.He asked only one thing of me when he took over from my previous trainer: he asked me that I always be honest with him. If I wasn't happy with the changes he could deal with that, he just wanted me to be honest with him. Okay, I respect you Tyler, and I will be honest with you, with myself and with anyone reading this: I have missed those two workouts because I CHOSE to be lazy. I chose to roll over, look at the alarm and shut it off. Yesterday morning, I chose to let it start ringing, shut it off and snuggle Abbey. My body was ready to go, I was uncomfortable all day long because I changed my routine.

As is so often my problem, my mind got in the way. As hard as I try, there is still a mean girl whispering in my ear. She delights in pointing out all the ways I fail. It is her pleasure to sit on my shoulder when I look in the mirror and tell me I am still fat, I will always be fat and no amount of exercise is ever going to change how ugly I am. Since I've pretty much accepted that I won't ever see what other people see when they look at me, she's had to change her tactics. Attacking my looks isn't getting her anywhere, so now she's going after my fitness.

I gave that nasty little voice plenty of fodder at Tough Mudder. I noticed that I was the slowest one on the team. Big freaking deal: so I wasn't charging up the mountain: I got up the mountain and back down and up again. It wasn't a race for time, I knew that going in, but my speed or lack thereof bothers me so it makes a handy target for my perfectionist streak. Then there is my strength.

I am proud of my strength. I have reason to be proud. A 550 pound tractor tire deadlift, a 345 pound hex bar deadlift and a 325 pound barbell deadlift are things to be proud of, even I know that. The morning after Mudder I could not pull the sleeper sofa out to take off the sheets. If my friend Eric hadn't been there to make a joke of it and help me out I am pretty sure I would have had a tantrum, dissolved into a pile of tears and embarrassed the hell out of myself. We'll completely gloss over the meltdown after Skidmarked and the 10 minutes I spent alone on the balcony after we got back to the condo Saturday afternoon. Yeah, we'll forget about those. Even more for my mind to throw back in my face at every opportunity.

And let's talk about my headstands. On second thought, let's not. I can get my feet off the floor finally, but getting those legs up in the air is going to take a freaking crane, possibly an act of God. At the very least it's going to take one trainer a lot of time and talking to get me to attempt it.

So I've skipped two workouts, does that mean I throw in the towel, wave the white flag and walk away? In the past that is absolutely what it would mean. "I've missed two workouts, I've blown it, screw it". I would have justified walking away by saying I was only wasting Tyler's time, that without me around he'd have time to train someone else who deserved it more. I would have decided that my friends would still love me anyway. They definitely would still love me anyway, but deep down I know I wouldn't love myself.

It's not like I love myself a lot anyway. Sometimes I like me, but by and large I am not someone I would seek to spend time with. That's a horrible thing to say, isn't it? It feels horrible writing it, but there's that honesty thing again. I can't change it if I won't own it. I kind of like myself, but mostly I don't. There, I said it.

As much lip service as I've paid to knowing this is a process and a journey I'll be on for the rest of my life I didn't really believe that. I honestly thought this was a trip with an ending point, not a journey with more obstacles, twists and turns than I could have dreamed.

My next step is going to be silencing that nasty voice yet again. My inner "mean girl" needs to meet a hideous end. I know it won't keep her away forever, she'll creep back in the second I get lax about thinking about what I did well and trying to learn from what I didn't do well during a class or training session. When I forget I won't be the best at everything and that the goal is to make progress, not to be perfect that voice will be waiting to tell me what a waste of time this all is.

I have free will though and that means I can choose to listen or not. I get to decide if I am a waste of time that Pride Fitness Performance can do without, or if I really am inspiring to people for whatever reason. I don't pretend to understand how or why other people might see me as inspiring, but that's none of my business. My business is to do the best I can do to apply the coaching cues I get to become better, faster, stronger and hopefully more athletic.

There you have it...crazy little me in a nutshell. At the moment I'm going to end this post, go change and see if I can pull a double. Pride Fit class then buddy training. There's a chance I'll wind up a puddle on the floor, but I'll never know if I don't try and no one has told me not to try yet so I'll give it a whirl. I'll try anything once and maybe if I'm especially lucky there will be tire flips or something else I dearly love to do. A girl can always hope!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Don't Feed The Fears

Saturday, June 6, 2015 was the first day of Tough Mudder New England at Mount Snow. It was also the day I became a three time Mudder. Basically that tells you I have absolutely no clue that I have limits and that's a good thing. If I thought about my limits I'd just call it a day and go back to bed. Some days that sounds appealing too.

The course was challenging and long (10.2 miles). From my first Mudder I have felt the same way in the hours before go time: anxious, nauseous and excited. This time there was a tiny, tiny bit more confidence: after all I have been training a lot: 3 Pride fit classes, 1 Yoga Corr class, Muscle Hour, Buddy Training, and Saturday Morning Sweat every week I could. A couple of weeks I was able to add a second Yoga Corr class and head to Lyndonville for MRT with my badass friends. I'm pretty sure when Tyler asked me one morning if I wanted a part-time job he wasn't entirely joking, but he never told me to get out so it must have been fine, right?

Ah...there it is, the self-doubt. There was a heaping dose of self-doubt swirling through me every time I thought about Tough Mudder. Yes, I had completed the course two times before, but maybe that was just luck. Maybe I wasn't good enough. Not even a fist bump before we headed to the warm-up corral helped. I honestly didn't think I could do it.

I put on my best game face when we got over the start wall. I'm not sure if I looked confident, but I don't think I looked terrified. Thanks to sunglasses I don't think anyone even knew there were tears at that point. When we were released onto the course I started up the mountain with my team reminding myself it was one step at a time, all I had to do was keep putting one foot in front of the other and I'd be fine.

The first obstacle was "Kiss of Mud 2.0". You get to army crawl under barbed wire that is right above you. I know this because it snagged my back a couple of times. This year Kiss of Mud included a chance to crawl through mud, then a really cold, muddy water and finally more mud. Then more hiking up and down the mountain.

Of all the obstacles we completed one of my favorites had to be Beached Whale. Not because it was easy, but because I got to try out some of my upper body strength. Tyler boosted me up, Eric grabbed one hand, Hailey the other and then I found the rope and pulled. It worked, I hefted myself up. Not that I did it on my own, not that I thought that was even possible, but I did some of the work on my own.

My favorite obstacle of the day was Warrior Carry. I made a promise to a friend that I would carry him the next time he did a Tough Mudder. I got my chance on Saturday. It was around Mile 7 and the right side of my lower back was complaining, but Eric was there waiting for me when I got to the obstacle. He asked if I was sure and I said I was. I gave him a piggy-back ride with a brief break to walk, then had him get back on and I carried him to the halfway point. Eric offered to carry me, but I said no. I might be smaller than I used to be, but 245 pounds is way too damn much for anyone to lug around, no matter how short the distance.

You noticed what I did, didn't you? I took a moment where I could have just been proud of how far I've come and what I've accomplished and I sabotaged myself by worrying about how heavy I still am. Well, if nothing else I'm consistent. Let's move on, shall we?

I conquered a fear on Saturday too. I completed Arctic Enema. The first year I did Tough Mudder I had every intention of completing Arctic Enema, but when it came to ducking under the water I lost my nerve and walked to the side to get out. A diver tried to help me, but I wouldn't allow it. Arctic Enema was "improved" this year. I used the quotation marks because I am not sure that sliding into icy water is an improvement. It certainly made it impossible to back out. Once I started down the slide I was committed. There were those moments I thought about clinging to the chicken wire and climbing back up and out. Glad I didn't do that...video proof of chickening out isn't something I want. Instead I have a video showing that even though my brain was frozen on "HOLY CRAP THIS IS COLD!" something kept my body moving so I could get the heck out before I completely froze. On a happy note at least that dip in the ice water eased some of the complaining from my calves and back.

After we finished and gathered our headbands, finisher shirts and beer a few of us went to the merchandise tent. I found two t-shirts I wanted and as I was standing in line a decal I'd noticed when we went in before the race caught my eye again and I couldn't stop looking. It wasn't that it was so striking, it was what it said. "Don't feed the fear". I must have stared it for a good 3 minutes before I grabbed one. I had to have it, I really need the reminder that I am my own worst enemy.

I feed my fear all the time. I turn minor mistakes into glaring, irreversible character flaws that mean I should move to a cave in the woods and never see another human again. You know, that idea has a certain amount of appeal. Yeah, I should reel it back in and get to my point. You've wasted enough of your time on my rambling.

It's not that I want to feed my fears, but I'm not sure how to stop. Some of the fears (I am not good enough, smart enough or pretty enough) are messages I took from the way other people have chosen to treat me. I am smart enough to know intellectually that the way someone treats me is a reflection of them, but my heart clings stubbornly to the idea that if I were just a better person, people would like me.

I conquered some fears on Saturday, discovered a few other fears  (peg boards, heights and Walk the Plank) that I will be conquering. Some of my fears are works in progress and I need to figure out how not to feed them.

In the meantime I have completed three Tough Mudders  and I am planning how to complete my fourth. I don't want to weigh 245 for my next Tough Mudder, Not that the number on the scale is a measure of my worth, but I'd be a complete idiot to think this weight doesn't make it harder on my body to go up and down mountains. I am many things, but I am not a complete idiot.

So I will continue training and yes I will likely show up so often Tyler will wonder if I've moved in. I will follow a nutrition plan that will help me get leaner. As much as I think a Tough Mudder at a venue without a ski mountain might be fun, I think I might have one more go at Mount Snow in me.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, May 29, 2015

The Dance

Yes, I am in a Garth Brooks kind of a mood. I was fortunate enough to see him in concert in January with a phenomenal group of women I absolutely adore. This post is not about Garth Brooks though, so those of you who might not be huge Garth Brooks fans don't need to disappear. I do have a point, I will get to it...eventually.

Believe it or not there are times that words fail me, that no matter how much I want to put my feelings down I just don't have the words I need to express myself. If you've ever tried to carry on a face-to-face conversation with me the fact that I run out of words isn't a surprise. In fact, some of you may be reading this saying "WELL DUH!!!" Yeah, I'm a heck of a listener, not so good at conversation.

This blog started out solely as the record of the fitness journey I was starting. Along the way I veered off into the journey that is my life. The truth is my fitness journey and my life are hopelessly intertwined. What happens in my life has an impact on my fitness and the energy I devote to it.

I mentioned in my last post that my mind has been going just about nonstop. I decided that I wouldn't go into detail, but I've rethought that position. I might not be much of a conversationalist, but give me a way to write and I will spill my guts every damn time.

I am the queen of too much information when I sit in front of my laptop, some of you reading this know that for a fact. I could apologize, but I'm not planning to stop so there's no sense in saying I'm sorry. I might give you way more information than you ever needed to train me, work with me, or be my friend, but there are benefits. Seriously, there are and when I figure them out I'll get right back to you with them. Kidding, really, I'm kidding. I am rabidly loyal. I am a good listener.

I guess it's time to stop beating around the bush and just put it out there. My father has cancer. I pray for a miracle for him. I feel bad for him, my stepmother, my sister and my nephew. I have felt bad for not going to see him, but the truth is he and I do not have a relationship. That probably sounds like the height of callousness.

I am not that cold or that hard. The fact is we never saw eye to eye on anything. I was a mystery to him, the quiet, moody one. He parented me to the best of his ability, but we were absolutely never close. It's hard to be close to someone who considers it helpful to remind you frequently how fat you are. I'm not rehashing my childhood here, there is no reason and absolutely no point. I love my father, but I do not like him. End of story.

This is why my mind won't stop. Debating the right thing to do. Do I ignore my own feelings and do what feels absolutely wrong? Do I stand up for myself and do what feels right? A friend recently reminded me that the decision is mine to make and whatever I decide is right for me is fine and she supports me.

My workouts aren't just about building strength right now: they are about burning off some of the crazy. They are about pushing my body to the point that the only thing I can focus on is what I am doing in that moment. To avoid the risk of injury I need to focus on only what I am doing

Working out is my escape and my refuge. I am learning to trust. I am learning to listen to my body. I am learning to focus on the moment. I am trying to learn to leave the worry outside the studio door. Someday I hope to see myself the way others see me, not as a nuisance or a colossal pain in the ass.

The journey is passing through some rocky terrain at the moment, but this too shall pass. I will come out on the other side having learned what I needed to learn. If I could go back I would choose to miss this, but there are other things that are happening now, positive things that I would also have to miss. As Garth would sing "I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance". I'm not willing to miss the good just to avoid some pain.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Again?

There have been so many things running around in my mind in the last two weeks. I've spent long nights wishing my mind would shut off . I have walked into my happy place feeling anything but happy. Sure, by the end of the workout I was feeling better and I actually smiled, but I started out wondering why I bothered.

I've debated whether I write about some of what's going on or not. At first I hesitated because I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that. I am strong, I will move through this too. I might get stuck, I might look like I'm going down, but you can bet that if I go down, I'm not staying down. Now I'm hesitating, because the situation is what it is. Nothing I could write will change it and honestly, it is not that interesting. I'm not that interesting either if you get right down to it. I love to write, there are wonderful people who read what I write, but I am not that special.

What it boils down to is no matter how you try to hide from it change finds you. My life is changing and I am changing. That's causing the most over thinking now, wondering who I am.

I was always the shy one, the quiet one, the invisible one. I'm not really those things anymore. I'll never be the life of the party, I'm still quiet. I'm still shy. Give me a choice between a face-to-face conversation or an email and I'm going for email every time. It's just easier. Sorry to those of my friends who wish I'd just talk to them, but I'm more comfortable with written words. Then I can edit and I don't need to worry about stuttering or forgetting what I wanted to say in the middle of a sentence.

On the fitness front I'm changing too. I know I said here not all that long ago that I was not a runner. I was frustrated and disappointed with myself. I want to run, but I HATE the jiggle. There, I said it. The elephant in the room has now been addressed. I jiggle. My thighs jiggle, my belly jiggles, my arms jiggle. I'm one giant jiggle when I run. Couple the jiggle with my speed which is highly reminiscent of turtles plodding through peanut butter and it's not hard to see why I might decide that I am not a runner, nor will I ever be.

I feel lumpy and dumpy enough. Why the heck would I want to engage in a form of  exercise that let's me feel body parts jiggling, flopping and flapping with every step? I can focus on developing my strength and work on endurance with the rowing machine. Or so I tell myself while the part of me that never wants to back down from a challenge snarls that I'm a quitter.

I'm not a quitter. As much as it pains me, as much as the jiggling will make me wish for a home liposuction kit I will practice, I will jog, maybe someday I will run and not hate my body. Just please, please, please if you see me out there grimly enduring the jiggling, don't tell me to keep up my slow jog. I KNOW I'm not fast, I know I've been lapped by a turtle, but let me hold on to at least one illusion: Let me at least pretend that I'm running. I know comments like that aren't intended to hurt, they are meant as support. I get that and I appreciate the support, but a "keep going" would be just as good.

This body is mine for better or for worse. I don't really like it, in fact, not to put too fine a point on it I hate it. I am working on accepting it, on improving the body I have and celebrating what my body allows me to do. I'm not there yet, I'm a long, long way from there actually.

So...should you see me at Derby Elementary making my way around the track, or at Pride Fitness Performance jogging around the pond feel free to offer me a thumbs up or an "atta girl" or just nod, smile and go on your way. Just please don't mention that herd of turtles behind me who seem to be gaining. I know they're there...I'll outrun them someday.

I am backing away from my statement that I am not a runner. At least now when I run my lower back doesn't seize up and start aching. It's progress, slow though it may be, it is still progress.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Roar

Recovery week time.

A much needed recovery week, to be honest. What I do every week is hard, but I love it. With that said I may as well be honest and admit that this week was not my best. Instead of being excited to work out before I got there it wasn't until I was immersed in the day's workout that I felt any excitement at all. I do know not every workout will be my best performance, but this week was a real struggle.

Yep, I said it. I struggled and I wasn't my best. No excuses, no blame: I am human. I did the best I could, I got good workouts in, but by no means were any of them my best performances.

Oh trust me I could make a million excuses for myself, but excuses don't help. Yes I am tired. I am absolutely sore. Basically my body needs a break from all the things I love. I need a week of walking Abbey and playing with her. I'm hoping to hike with her as well.

Not so long ago I'd have been crushed by a week like this one. There was a moment on Friday, during Chutes & Ladders when I realized I was looking at 15 more burpees, because I wasn't going to finish the ladder in time that I admit I had a momentary breakdown. I put the kettlebells down, hunched up for a moment and cried. Then I remembered that I only needed to do the best I could. If I did burpees I did burpees. If I disappointed my trainer so be it. The only person in that room I had to prove a thing to was myself. At the end of the workout all I wanted to say was that I did the best job I could do and made myself proud. I can say that. I may have had to do 15 burpees after every round, but I. Did. The. Best. I. Could.

So why did I choose the title I did for this post? I need to roar. I used to believe my best course of action was to go through life as silent as possible. If I could fly under the radar everything was perfect and as it should be. There's problem with that: I'm not really a fly under the radar person. It would be easier if I really was, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I'm not a puppet. I'm not a doormat. I don't need or want to be the center of attention. Roaring doesn't require that I trumpet from the rooftops who I am and what I do. To me roaring is quietly doing what I can do to the absolute best of my ability and letting the rest fall into place.

I am me. If you support that then I welcome you with open arms and for the first time an open heart. If you want me to be your vision of what you expect sorry, I have no time for that. I won't be rude, I won't be mean, but I just can't live life to make anyone else happy.

Thanks for reading!