Monday Motivation is BAAAAACCCKKKK. Aren’t you excited? Now that the Open is over (for real, this time), let’s get back to some motivation on Mondays, because everyone can use more of that from time to time. I was supposed to post something last Monday, I suppose, but I just wasn’t feelin’ the most motivated, so I gave it another week. But enough with shizzy attitudes. Let’s talk about friends in the gym.  

I really didn’t have a good title for this. Just when I think I’m creative and kewl, I realize that I can’t even come up with a good title. 

I’ve said this before on here, and I’ll say it again… you learn a lot about yourself in the gym — hard work and discipline, the way you handle failure, the way you react to success, and last but not least, being able to accomplish something that you thought was out of reach. You do those things and develop good habits in the gym, and it carries over into the rest of your life. 

But let’s talk about relationships in the gym – not like lovers or anything- all friends here in this post. 

The relationships you build in the gym are pretty significant. I’d like to think that suffering through a workout with someone right beside you helps form a bond, but there’s more to it than that. In CrossFit you really get to know the people around ya (sometimes a little too close and personal) which is what makes it so great. People come…and then sometimes they go for one reason or another…but they have the potential to bring out the best in you. I’ve talked a little about some of these great people in my blog before, so just scroll through past entries, and you’ll see where I’m gettin’ at. 

There are a lot of great people that I’ve been fortunate enough to workout with at CFEC over the past several years. So, the intent of this isn’t to like single any one or two people out, but I did want to make the focus of this about them – especially Marlie since she left us yesterday. But don’t get me wrong. I love everyone I get to workout with – especially the crew that I’ve been able to workout with over the past year in between classes. But those are mostly guys, and this post is girl power, so I’ll save them for another day. 

Long story, short. I’ve known Marlie for awhile… since I started doing CrossFit at CFEC like 4 ish years ago. She was really good (despite eating sonic and zaxbys everyday) and I was not. We weren’t like super tight or anything, but we worked out together some. She met Harry at CFEC (more than just gym friends), and shortly after that, they got married, moved away, and had Ella. Well, back in August, Harry was deployed, so Marlie and Ella moved back to Anderson to be closer to family. Good news is, Harry will be home soon. But bad news is that they moved back to Tennessee yesterday.

I was pretty much working out with all guys before Marlie moved back here, and I remember one of the first times she came in the gym (last summer, about a month before she moved back…) and I was practicing my clean (it was probably supposed to be a power clean, but ya know me….) but she started using my bar, and ended up cleaning 5 more pounds than me. I PR’d that day, but so did she, and I was like, “hmmmm…ok?! I can’t let this girl be better than me.” But meanwhile, I had to put a smile on my face and cheer her on. I’m actually pretty annoyed at myself about that, and I hate to admit that I felt that way, but whoopsies. I’m competitive, and not as kind as I look. 

Well, Marlie moved here and started working out with me. Sometime last fall, we decided to try and qualify as a team for Wodapalooza – which is probs the coolest competition ever – and my friend Jackie said she would be the third girl for it. So, Jackie and Marlie finally met (that took awhile to work that out) and the three of us started working out together a little bit more. 

I had known Jackie for awhile. We met at a competition, and I realized how great, encouraging, and strong she was, so we did a couple of competitions together, despite working out at different gyms. I always loved working out with Jackie before this because it was just great to workout with other girls, and not only guys, she’s really positive, and pretty good.

Well, as always, I’m going to be real with y’all. And maybe you can relate to this as well… 

As a girl (or I guess I should say woman, but that makes me sound old, and despite being almost 30, I’m not ready for that), I sometimes assume, judge, compare, and try to one up others. As a coach, I of course want people to get better every day, and seeing someone succeed or get something right is about the same feeling as if it were me succeeding. BUT, when I’m actually working out with other people, even my friends, I want to dominate, and I want to be the best. 

Getting to workout alongside Marlie and Jackie over the past several months has definitely made me better in the gym. But, more importantly, it’s helped me to stop putting on a front, and instead, it’s made me actually want other girls working out alongside me to succeed – even if it means them being better than me (which isn’t hard to do with a heavy barbell – and they are both know that by now). 

Here’s what you need to know…The people in your life – the people all around you – whether in the gym, at your job, or in your social circles…are there for a reason. No matter what your faith is, or what you believe, I hope you would at least acknowledge that your life isn’t an accident, and neither are the people’s around you. An with that, there is only one of you. And one of them. Therefore, you have something to offer, and so do they. So, no need to “one up” them or try to outdo them. And it never hurts to bring other’s successes to the spotlight either. I promise, it’s actually pretty freeing. 

We just wrapped up the Open, and Marlie got 129th in the SouthEast. That’s out of like 11,000 people. And it was her first time ever officially doing the Open. LOL. That’s crazy good. She really learned how to push herself while she lived here, which I know has translated over into her life outside of the gym, and more specifically, who she is as a mom and army wife. When she moved here, she was like hardcore no cardio queen at all…all squats and lifting…which isn’t a bad thing. But we corrupted her, and turned her into a CrossFitter. Since then, she has learned how to go to that dark place in a workout. She realized that she could push herself harder than she thought she could, which led to her being able to handle more than she thought she could—> which has revealed to her that she can do more outside of the gym than she thought she could – (even as she was by herself with a barely 2 year old over the past several months – all while her husband is fighting for our country). One time Marlie rowed a 2K (for wodapalooza qualifiers) and I think we all put the pressure on her, so she had to GOOOOOOO. She said she hated all of us (but she still loved America, so that’s good). We made up for that incident by doing the burpee muscle ups for the same qualifier in our halloween costumes (I was an angel and she was a cat). I thought it would help us do better, but I don’t think it did. I’m thankul that Marlie carried me off the floor in Miami when I passed out and didn’t know where I was, even though she was probably frustrated that my performance (or lack there of) prevented her from even doing anything in that workout. 

Jackie did the best she’s ever done in the Open this year. She got like 109th in the Southeast- still out of almost 11,000 girls. Which is pretty incredible. She actually submitted all of her workouts this year, which was a goal of her’s since her biggest struggle of the open last year was remembering to submit her workouts. She’s strong AF. (That’s probably not great to say that on here. I apologize in advance for that, but that was an appropriate time to use that reference). She’s a great coach. She’s encouraging, and she’s never made fun of me or been frustrated with me in a competition when there was a 1Rep Max Lift and she did way more than me. I’m glad that Jackie hung around more during the Open while we had high aspirations of having a team from CFEC make Regionals. Here’s to hoping she hang around more because there’s always next year…….haha). She has also tried her hardest to help me live out my dream of being a gymnast, (but prob doesn’t want credit for that) which I appreciate.

And all  of us can say that we have survived spending the night in the Miami International Airport (as in check in lobby, not terminal) – even though by this time, the fun we had from our kill cliff margs and tacos had worn off, and we kinda just wanted to kill each other (not really). 

 That's about as real as it gets there. #TeamJAM for life. Ride or Die. 

That’s about as real as it gets there. #TeamJAM for life. Ride or Die. 


Sorry for all of the rambling. But hopefully this helped someone out there. As a female, always be looking for ways to build up and encourage the other women around ya. You can still do that, all while trying to beat them in a workout too. When you focus on just doing YOUR best, you win regardless, so just do that. There’s nothing wrong with competition. BUT there’s enough drama in this world, and the gym doesn’t need any of that — especially with all of the younger girls that are always watching us more than we think. 

Remember that you have the potential to help make others better in and out of the gym– and I promise you’ll be better for it. 

And last, but not least, again, remember that you can be confident in YOU because there is only one of you. That means there’s only one person that can do what you do, love how you love, hustle like you hustle, and inspire like you inspire. 

YOU DO YOU. Take steps to be the best you can be, confidence will come, and use that as a driving force to help those around you succeed.