how do you take your experience of what you’re passionate about and make it positive when you felt your expectations were defeated?
he must have seen the disappointment on my face before i could hide my emotions. “heids. welcome back champ. how are you feeling? you should be proud. coming back after your injury and giving it your all. i’m proud of you.”
the last four words were all it took to begin the process of coming out of my post-competition depression. now it is three days later and i am starting to acknowledge my accomplishments, rather than feeling only the defeat that had been hanging heavy in my heart.
i was never an athlete. growing up, i was forced into ballet and tap as a kid. then i moved onto gymnastics for a couple of years, only to injure myself and i was never encouraged to go back. shortly after, music entered my life and followed me all the way to college. while i thoroughly enjoyed playing the piano, drums, marimba, saxophone and violin, i secretly wanted to be running around outside and involved in a more physical activity.
it wasn’t until the last year of college that i joined a local kickboxing class that also introduced me to taekwondo. i was drawn to this martial arts form quickly. i had finally found my sport, along with an amazing group of friends who are forever my “taekwondo family”. i trained and competed for three years at Extreme Martial Arts. during those three years of competing, i took silver at states (Ohio) in 2005 and then in 2006, i won gold at states and gold at the AAU taekwondo national championships in my division.
not until three years later, with much time off and time spent, enters: CROSSFIT.
two years of training. various competitions. full-force. injury. complete time off. heartbreak. inconsistent training. hesitant movements. developed skills. focused form. humility. accomplishments. goals satisfied. gain in strengths, both mentally & physically.
i went into this day with the expectation to win. and i placed 8th out of 35 woman in the scaled division. (yes, i have accepted that i will always be a scaled/amateur crossfit athlete. this i am ok with.) but the final outcome was what burned under my skin. the competitive bones in my body awoke for the first time ever and i was completely devastated and jealous of those before me. i immediately forgot everything that the day had brought me and couldn’t see anything else but the failing that i brought upon myself. my mind started racing to go through each WOD i had performed and questioning every move, rep, count, minute and moment. where did i go wrong?
i finally awoke to my existence and realized that i had been defeated by my own expectations. my incredible accomplishments from everything leading up to and during the competition were crushed by my trap of expectations. i had diminished my experience of the Games and i felt like a failure. longing to find comforting words to heal me out of my negative thinking, i picked up my book “Kindred Spirits” written by the founders of Cafe Gratitude, and re-read the chapter titled, “the trap of expectations”. i want to share the excerpt that spoke strongly to me:
i realized that i had been creating expectations in my day to day life over the past month, instead of putting my intentions into what i wanted to create and experience. with this new reflection, i immediately shifted my sketchy negative thought patterns and began to see all the beauty and glory that being a part of that day brought to me.
crossfit has become my passion but, like with all emotions attached to love, we need to constantly be “in the change” with them or we will grow apart. i have definitely been following the ebb and flow of this journey over the past two years. i know that i performed to my best ability and i laid it all out there with an open heart and some tears. i got to perform and cheer next to all my incredible, amazing, determined and talented teammates! we gave it our all on that day. i am so proud of everyone–all of you who competed. and, i am so proud of myself for allowing crossfit and the community i am a part of, to have taken hold of my heart and allowed me to be confident enough to pounce and jump into a higher level of existence. to my crossfit lover: i commit for life!
i would like to share my appreciation and gratitude for some important people who have been with me along this journey:
TJ and Yago, two of my incredible coaches who showed me how to throw weight around properly!
my bros – Jerimiah and Dylan. you two always support me in and outside the box and shower me with so much love!
to all of the strong & beautiful women that i get to train with at TJs Gym. you all inspire me every day and bring much happiness and so many smiles into my life
Dr. Doug – i would not be sitting here at this very moment, pain-free, if it wasn’t for “the thumb” and your healing touch. thank you for offering your services to our community and bringing my body back to good health.
My WOD Gear family. i feel honored to be a part of the team and wear my gear with pride!
and last but not least, Toni – you’re not just my coach but my mentor and friend. you believe in me when i have given up and you know how to push me past my limits in crossfit and in life. i am so grateful for all you have taught me. i love you, Toni and Thor! <3