Thursday, April 18, 2013

What Dreams Look Like

Now that I’ve left you wondering about what these dreams I’m chasing are... It is time for some details.

I started writing about them a few days ago and after I got through about four pages of words I thought, “I might need to break this up.”

So, this is the “what it looks like” edition. I hope to share more of the why in the future. 

But, exciting things are happening around my house that are fun to talk about and fun to  share. 

I am now officially a CrossFit coach! 


Yes, it is true. 

People show up to my house in black leggings and I ask them to do hard things, and then they do it!

A couple of months ago a friend of mine was lamenting a stuck place in her life, specifically in the area of fitness. 

I felt like an absolute fraud, but I offered to have her come to my house a few times a week to do push ups and squats and maybe lift some heavy things. 

I kept reminding her that I am just a regular girl who happens to like CrossFit and happens to have a few pieces of equipment in my garage, and that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I was willing to cheer her on.

Well, she showed up, despite my disclaimer. 

Then I opened up the invitation to a few more gals, since it is infinitely more fun to workout with people than alone (in my opinion). My open invitation received a much eager response than I expected. 

Suddenly, I had FIVE girls showing up three times a week to get sweaty.

Then, Andy and I got the wild idea to get enough equipment for all these brave ladies. 

So, in our house that is still without a couch, we installed a few pull up bars, collected some kettle bells, wall balls and weight sets and invited a few more people to join the fun.

Now, we have “classes.” We have a website. We have a GYM!

And I am a coach.

Who would have guessed?!

The more that people started showing up, the more responsible I felt to make sure they were being safe, and that the workouts we were doing would move them toward their goals. 

So, I chased another wild hare and registered to go through the official CrossFit coaching course. 

This in itself was an amazing experience to me. I mentioned to a friend that I thought I should get a little more instruction on how to coach and she suggested that I go through the course. I looked it up online and low and behold, there was a course in Washington, just three weeks away. Every other course, around the country, before and for months after was already sold out. Except the one I needed.

So this past weekend, I spent full days practicing squats and lifts and learning how to teach pull ups and why CrossFit is what it is. I almost cried twice, from appreciation and warm feelings toward this culture and community of people and sport.

I came home feeling slightly more informed, but still just a girl who likes CrossFit. More than anything, I was inspired to keep chasing excellence - stronger skills in coaching, in my own fitness, in my challenge and encouragement to others. 

The more I coach, the more I see people improve, the more I practice being an athlete and trainer, the more I love my days. 

I feel full of energy and enthusiasm. I am inspired by the women who come to my house and try hard and scary things. I feel a huge sense of possibility for what our family is moving toward. 

I feel a freedom to fail that is new and refreshing. And equally exciting, I feel a freedom to succeed! 

Our little gym might grow, it might stay just a hobby, but whatever it is, it is fun! And I will love it for what it is.

So, if you are in our area, and want a good workout, stop by The Compound! I promise I’ll be nice!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What happens when you say yes?

More and more I am learning to appreciate the life I am living.

We have been back in Washington for a wee bit more than four months now, and just within the last few weeks, I feel like I have “woken up” from the fog and fatigue that come with big changes. 

I was trying to express to a friend the liberation I was feeling and she asked me if I could pinpoint a reason for the change in my mood and outlook.

Well, for one, the sun has been out for almost a whole week, which I realize goes a LONG way with me. I will have to be mindful of that on grey and drizzly days.

I also have had some kid-free time to wander and enjoy silence. Another piece of the puzzle of knowing myself better. For as much as I love hustle and bustle, I NEED silence. 

And to make the final crack in my shell of survival mode, I have put words to my dreams and set my feet on a path to make them happen.

That is no small matter, I assure you.

Dreaming is hard work. It is incredibly scary to say out loud what you wish for in your heart. What if people laugh? Or worse (for me) what if someone thinks you can’t, or shouldn’t do it...

Yes, very scary.

But as I have been mulling over what makes my heart come alive, what gets me excited and what I gravitate to over and over, I have come to the conclusion that it is much more dangerous to try and silence a dream that it is to chase it.

There are parts of my longing that will have to be patient. I give them space to grow and nod to me, but because of either time, or skill, or finances, they just can’t happen right now. For many months that was frustrating to me. I felt stifled. Like I was suffocating under the weight of the things I couldn’t do RIGHT NOW.

Until I started looking for all the things that I CAN do. 

Because every end goal has tiny steps that need to be taken to get there. Every skill worth developing is built with small blocks that add up to something big in the end.

So, I started looking for the tiny ways I could move forward. 

I started to say yes.

And when I started to say yes, instead of focusing on the no... The way opened up before me.

I am feeling a bit dramatic as I type this. 

But I am really, really excited.

I feel as if I have pushed my boat out into a strong current and its momentum is pulling me along. 

I try and steel myself for the day when I have to do the hard work of paddling my boat, but for this very moment, I am enjoying the swift and exhilarating ride down this river.

To say yes. To acknowledge the want and to DO SOMETHING about it is a wonderful feeling.

I hope, dear friends, that you find some space to let dreams spring up. 

Find the courage to say yes to the little things.

Look at what you CAN do, right now, and do it. 

Let hope and enthusiasm meet you as you celebrate each step in the right direction. 

And silence the voice that wonders if your dream is big enough and godly enough and good enough. If you listen to that voice you will do nothing. So quiet it and go do SOMETHING!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What's Happened in Washington?

Exciting things are happening around here.

Since we have moved back to Washington, there are a few things (silly, vague word... moments, occasions, thoughts, experiences... nope, just "things" and now I've used it twice. Ugh.) worth noting.

Arizona was very hot. Washington feels very cold. 

I dress in about three full layers of clothing to make my way to the gym. I slowly create a heap of discarded clothing as I warm up, lift, and then get ready for the workout. I will try to remember to capture my pile of clothing in a photo so you ban know that I am not exaggerating (very much).

I have accomplished my mission of developing a "Washington Uniform." 

Prior to moving to Arizona, I loved getting dressed up and wearing "real clothes." After my stint in the desert and our life that was almost exclusively gym or home-based, I discovered my deep love of wearing only stretchy things. Coming back home I vowed that I would have an easy, go-to, mix-and-match way of dressing that would allow me to wear stretchy clothes, but still be almost-presentable for real life interactions. Enter my uniform. Leggings. Boots. Sweater/Cardigan. Done. I would like to give myself a gold star for this ingenious and executed (we all know I struggle in the follow through of great ideas) wardrobe plan.

I got a job.

I mean a real, clock in-clock out, job. It was just for the holiday season, but it was strange and momentous to "go back to work" after being an at home mom. I worked at my favorite gym-wear store. I scored some great employee deals and probably spent more than I should.

It was a bit of a shock to my system to go from working with the underprivileged to the over-privileged. I was reminded about lots of the things that I think are so lovely about the Seattle area as well as some of the unique traps that my city holds for me. I am one shift away from wrapping up that stint and then I will start looking for a "real" job. The time has come that our family needs me to be a wage-earner. I hope it won't be for long, but since it is what we need, I will do it. So look out "real" world, I'll be joining the fray soon!

And finally...

Our house is almost done!

Currently we are cozied up with my lovely parents. From way back when, the plan had be that Andy's parents wanted build a mother-in-law house on their property and we would borrow it while Andy finished school. The house wasn't done when Andy started school, so we took a break in Arizona. The house still isn't quite finished, and Andy is BACK in school... but ladies and gentleman... we are getting close!

I mean, paint colors in my purse close!

I mean, ordering lights and picking out a shower curtain close.

To me, this is almost an all-consuming event.

For the last two and a half years we have been a family plus. Our family PLUS whoever else we are living with. In-laws, foster children, parents... There have been great advantages to all of these arrangements, and I am certain that each new placement developed something in us as a family that will be crucial to our coming days... but let's just put it out on the table. I want my own space.

And it is almost here!!

So be prepared. I'll probably be talking about refrigerators and dishes and bare floors and doing a lot of celebrating and most likely a little whining. Just know, that to me, this concept of space, a place that is MINE, has seemed so illusive for a very long while. Now that it is within my reach, I can hardly stand the wait. But, I will.

Like I tell Jack, patience is being able to wait cheerfully.

I find that I don't much like that definition now that I have to practice it myself!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013



Today is January first.

The first day of a new year.

Fresh starts and resolutions and recaps.

You know the drill.

For many, many months I have craved to get words out, into sentences and paragraphs and stories... but every time I get an inkling to make a picture out of letters, I get distracted, or scared, or overwhelmed or... worst of all... "busy."

It seems like there is too much to tell.

Like the stories and thoughts that I want to express require too much back story. Too many bits and pieces are missing to convey what I want to say.

But I'm pretty sure that is just me being lazy and probably scared.

I keep meaning to catch this little blog-space up with the "where are they now" of our family life.

I keep meaning to catalogue the interesting observations I've made about life since transitioning out of foster parenting.

I keep meaning to...

But meaning to and executing are two very different things.

I don't feel quite brave enough to get my actual, real life, specific 2013 goals out in the midst of a blog that has been sorely neglected for the last year, but I do feel brave enough to start putting words together. Into sentences. Into paragraphs. Into stories.

I'm feeling a bit out of practice, but with a few more runs and lots more typing and deleting and starting over... we will get back into the swing of things!

So 2013, here's to many more words!