I think I’ve been a little off the past couple of days – although there’s nothing major going on at all. I really do live a great life. There’s not a lot to complain about. I try to focus on the positive aspects of it more than the negatives. However, this morning I went to Starbucks to waste 20 minutes before 8:30 class started. I never just “run in” starbucks because I love our coffee at home, and I love my yeti thermos that was gifted to me. I usually save my Starbucks gift cards for meeting with someone or just changing up my environment if I’m reading. Well, I came back to the gym. I go to reach for my grande black blonde roast, and the barista didn’t put the top on all the way. Sooooo…the entire scalding coffee spilled all over me and my car, and my phone. Like there wasn’t a drop left. I cussed pretty loud, but shook it off, smiled a little at myself, and made my way into the gym. The fact that I had breakfast waiting for me in the fridge at the gym made it better.
I’m not telling you this to bash on Starbucks. I love Starbucks…and who knows? I’m pretty clumsy. It was probs my fault. But I’m telling you this to say that I had to do something to make up for it. I work well when bribed with food. I’m learning this more and more about myself. I had already worked out at 5 am, before I was supposed to train back to back clients and coach 8:30 class, and I knew I would be working out again after 8:30 class was over ( I don’t do this everyday, but recently, just on Tuesdays during the Open).  Well, Colin pushed me hard, and made me do this dumb (I only say dumb because it was a 100 lb ball) ground to shoulder 5 times, then run with the ball on my shoulder 25 yd. Then do 5 more ground to shoulders with that dumb ball. And then run back 25 yd. We then rested for the amount of time it took to complete the round. We did a total of 5 rounds. So, let’s see….50 ground to shoulders at 100 lb, and a total of 250 yards trying to somewhat run(or gallop) with that big ole’ black ball. That was after the workout. SO I DECIDED TODAY WAS THE DAY. TIME TO GET A CHICKFILA FROSTED COFFEE. I deserved it after spilling that hot coffee all over me and wasting $2 off my gift card. And I deserved it from all those balls to my shoulders. 🙂

Ok, enough venting. The reason I’m telling you this is because I’m learning what it means to live a little. The Open is fun and all, but this year it’s made me realize that I do sometimes take myself too seriously. It’s just working out, y’all. Set yourself up in a way in which working out will be enjoyable for life. You’re gonna burn out if not. Reward yourself every now and then. So, don’t go be drinking frosted coffees everyday. Don’t eat thin mints or ice cream everyday. But if there is a day in which you’re just feelin’ it, drink the dang frosted coffee.

Another example of how I’ve been trying to not take myself so seriously is after each Open workout (on Fridays) I’ve been treating myself to a beer right there in the gym. This past week I had two. (Actually I think I’ve had 2 each week). Now do I drink every night? Nope. Do I drink during the week? Nope. Honestly, we have a nice little setup where unless if it’s a special occasion, all of our meals are cooked at home (so we know what we’re eating and how much of it we’re eating). We don’t drink alcohol or eat sweets really during the week, unless it’s a special occasion. But hey, every now and then, I wanna make sure I’m livin’ a little.

All of this was confirmed as I was just reading through this cool book Cindy and Nick gave me to read, called the Primal Blueprint. The author lays out a good 80% rule, along with a quote from John Wooden that I love. Sometimes quotes, song lyrics, or bible verses just jump out at me and stick. This one will stick with me for awhile: “Perfection is impossible. However striving for perfection is not. Do the best you can under the conditions that exist. That is what counts.”

Ok, all of this has to do with 16.3, I promise.

16.3 was my favorite Open week so far. Not for ME, by any means. But I love seeing people do things that they didn’t know they could do. Several people in our gym got their FIRST bar muscle ups. Those who had been struggling with them got better at them. Some are closer to getting them now than ever before. Also, for our in house competition, we had a division where people could do chest to bar pullups (as long as they weren’t signed up for the Open through CrossFit, online). Well, there are like 10 people I can think of off the top of my head who were able get their FIRST chest to bar pullup — which is a BIG DEAL, people! You have to pull so much harder, and pull into the bar (and your chest actually has to make contact with the bar). They’re hard. And when someone gets one, it should be celebrated.

One of my favorite moments from Friday night was Allison Thomason – I’m not gonna say too much about her here because one day I want to write allllllllll about her family on here and let the world know just how great the Thomason family is. But for today, I’ll just say she’s great, and she makes excellent cupcakes. And she is a hard worker. Well, she was trying so hard to get a chest to bar pullup, but honestly, from an outsider looking in, I could tell that the only thing she was lacking was getting her mind right. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough.” So, I pulled her aside, and said some choice words to her. And long story short, she ended up getting like, I dunno, a decent amount of chest to bar pullups. THE OPEN! She then went on to judge and cheer on a girl named Kelly Mullane (who is one of my new favorite people), who ALSO got several of them.

We continued the Open allllllllllll weekend. It really does consume your weeknends. But it’s fun, and it’s worth it. It’s only 5 weeks a year. I didn’t see too much of it Saturday because I was training my friend Stacy, but we continued it all day Monday. Well, Monday was GREAT because we still got to see more first bar muscle ups and chest to bar pullups. I had a couple of favorite moments on Monday — 3 that I can remember off the top of my head. One was my man, Dan, who is a pro at those muscle ups. That’s why his name is Muscle Up Man. As much as he hated it, I somehow ended up judging him. I tried cheering him on and pushing his pace from the start, and he quickly told me to stop. So I just tried to be pretty quiet, smooth, and cool, ya know?  I just focused on counting his reps. But he did BETTER! – a good bit better actually. His pace actually got better throughout the workout. I’m jealous of his muscle ups. I love him. Anyway, another fav moment was my friend Seth. Seth did way better the second time around too. Which he needed that. This was his workout. I was proud of how hard he pushed himself, even when it hurt. Sometimes Seth comes out really strong and fast, but burns out before it’s over. But he was so steady! And the grand finale of the Open 16.3 was Haley Sanders getting her FIRST bar muscle up Monday evening. She worked so hard Friday morning, went off to Asheville for her bachelorette weekend, came back Sunday night, redid the workout, and got 1! She put a lot of hard work into it, and it paid off.

For me, 16.3 was a mix between a pride check and celebrating how far I’ve come in the past four months or so. I did the workout Friday night, and I was a little nervous about the bar muscle ups because I hadn’t done them in awhile. I LOVE light snatches though! I like anything light with a high rep count. Give me anything light and fast, and I’ll take it. 16.3 on Friday night was painful. But it was good. I got 103 reps, but I wanted more. So, I thought about it all weekend, and attempted to redo it Monday, although my arms still felt like there were knots all up and down them, and my mind was off. Everything in me kept saying to just walk away, Alison. I even watched Colin redo it with his mind not right, and he had a hard time. I thought if Colin can’t do better, I prob can’t do better. So, I did it after noon class (dumb Alison) – after everyone had left, except for Colin, John Roberts, and the Garren family….And I’m embarrassed to even say this, but I felt so weak and so off, that I QUIT in the second round. I promise I have never quit a workout. There have been some that I just couldn’t physically finish in a time cap, but I’ve never just quit. So, I had to redeem myself. I came back two hours later, right before 4:30 class, thinking no one would be there, and I convinced Dan to come with me to judge me. Well, my friends(and fellow KidFit coaches) Lia and Nate were there. They told me I couldn’t give up this time. They watched me do it, and even when it was pretty evident that I was tired and wasn’t going to do better, they still cheered for me. Those muscle ups are waaaaaayyyyy harder when you’re not recovered, but because of Daniel, Lia, and Nate, I didn’t quit -even when I missed one of them. I fought hard for each one. My hips never seem to help me the way they should, but this was pretty bad. Each one was a FIGHT. It was tough. I fell a couple reps short from when I did it on Friday. I was a little bummed.

But….all that to say…. and the moral of the story….

In this workout (and in any workout) I can either be disappointed in myself, or I can celebrate how far I’ve come. So, for me (and maybe you too), 16.3 was a reason to celebrate:

  • The fact that 4 months ago, most days I couldn’t even do ONE bar muscle up, let alone, string 3 of them together. In just 7 minutes, I was able to get 103 reps.
  • The fact that I am able to see weaknesses in myself, and can work on getting better at them. I used to only work on what I was good at. Now I try hard to do what’s uncomfortable. I’ve seen myself get better in the process of that. This Open has also opened my eyes up to that, along with the potential I have if I CAN get better at these things.
  • The fact that I at least tried to do better…Yeah, listening to your body is important and all, but I really did feel like I could push through the soreness and do better. Because I’ve been doing SO good at listening to my body and not overdoing it, I figured I would trust my gut on this one.
  • The fact that CrossFit never ceases to humble me.
  • The fact that Dan could have been annoyed when I asked him to come early to 4:30 class and judge me, but he believed in me enough to care.
  • The fact that life is waaayyy better when you put your own self aside and help others push through. Never stop celebrating others.
  • The fact that in the midst of this, I can look back and say that 16.3, although it was painful, it was a lot of fun.

Keep pushing, y’all!


Muscle ups Friday night — painful, but not too bad.


Bar Muscle Ups Monday – a struggle.


This pic sums it up pretty well. I pretty much had to fight for each one.

Difference in Muscle Ups between Friday Night (left) and Monday afternoon (right)


I do love light barbell work though

Haley’s First bar Muscle Up!


Carrie got her first chest to bar pullup!


My man, Dan cranking out muscle ups and making them look so easy.


This is what 16.3 will do to your forearms.


Go Brooke! One of the best around.


Go babe.


Friday Night Lights @ CFEC


Yeah Terri!


Nate the Great.


Lia cranking out Bar Muscle Ups


What the Open is all about


Some of the guys starting us off well Friday morning


Allison Thomason got her first chest to bar pullup!


Meghan Bundrick Fundrick got her first chest to bar pullup!


Friday Night Lights @ CFEC


Kelly- I think your bar muscle ups are beautiful


Niki got her bar muscle ups back


Kelly Mullane got her first chest to bar pullup!