What is up?? HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY! AKA a great day for you to take off of work and enjoy some time with your kids – who also get a day off. I asked some smart people this morning why we celebrate Prez Day. Is it to honor past presidents? Or our current one? Or future? I dunno. But Happy Prez Day to everyone out there. God Bless the USA.

Y’all! , are you just loving this warmer weather? Well, I guess not today, but yesterday was almost perfect. Spring time is on the horizon, and I couldn’t be happier about that. I tried to stay outside yesterday, but church, fighting (pretend), and yoga kept me from that. But I’m not mad about it. Y’all should have seen us fighting yesterday. First of all, poor Jackie. If you don’t like blood, skip this part. But I kicked her (just pretend) and somehow busted my toe open – aka I missed because it’s more like your shin is supposed to hit the pad – not toe. Well, the blood just went all over poor Jackie. So gross. Me, not her. The worst part is I didn’t even know it was bleeding so bad, and she was like “something wet just got all over me.” And then she was like, “What’s this red stuff?” Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s just MY BLOOD JACKIE! Anyway, sorry about that. But this minor injury probably kept me from kicking for the day, which probably isn’t good for a recovering brand new achilles tendon. However, that is good for me right now, because my ankle still looks like it has a tennis ball is in it. God Bless Dr. Robin Koeing though. She comes to the noon class at CFEC, and she is a helpful, kind woman indeed. She scraped my ankle today, and that helped! I’m also going to lay off the dark chocolate and almond butter this week, and see if that helps with the swelling. I’ve talked about this on here before, but what we eat and drink definitely affects inflammation levels in our bodies, so it’s always worth trying to periodically cut out foods that may be causing it, and see what happens!

Oh, Born Primitive released some brand spanking new sports bras today – in fun colors and prints. You should do yourself a favor fav and check them out. Buy something to wear in the Open. Look good, feel good right? Or if you’re not doing the Open, you can still buy away. You can use my code: ASTALL10 for 15% off (I know, I know). It will give you 15% off though. 

 PICS BY @BUCKETHEAD.MEDIA

PICS BY @BUCKETHEAD.MEDIA

 PICS BY @BUCKETHEAD.MEDIA

PICS BY @BUCKETHEAD.MEDIA

Ok, moving on! The CrossFit Games Open starts this week. Can you believe it’s already here? If you’re unsure of what the Open is, I wrote about it awhile back here.  

If you don’t do CrossFit, but you know someone who does, good luck, because you’re probably going to detest them over the next 5 weeks as they tell you allllll about their scores from 18.1, 18.2, 18.3, 18.4, and last, but not least, 18.5.

It’s a fun time, for sure! If it’s your first year doing the Open, my hope for you is that it exceeds your expectations. If you’re still on the fence about doing it, you should watch your friends do their workout THIS weekend, and then sign up and do the workout yourself. I’m pretty sure you don’t have to sign up until you submit your score by Monday night by 8 pm. 

I’m excited about the Open this year at CFEC. We have OVER 100 PEOPLE signed up to compete – either online through the CrossFit Games, or just through our In House competition (these peeps will be doing the same workouts with the same standards, and they’ll still be on a team for our in house competition, but they just didn’t want to register online through CFG). Everyone gets a t shirt, or more importantly, a TANK TOP for the ladies (or guys) if they want. I’m personally thankful for tank tops this year. 

We’ll have opportunities for people to get their workout in before it’s due Monday night, BUT we really push Friday Night Lights. You can’t beat that atmosphere (or at least in Anderson). Tell me a place in Anderson, SC that’s more HYPE –  besides the Anderson skating rink on a Saturday afternoon, or Pizza Buffet after church on Sunday?!?!?

Ok, let’s talk about mindset for the Open! This goes for anyone competing for the first time, to someone looking to place within a certain ranking or percentage (so someone looking to make a run for Regionals – aka be in the top 99.5% or whatever it is). 

For me, this is all so important. I’ll be honest, I have mixed feelings about the Open this year. I’m happy because this year, it is “just for fun” – which takes some of that pressure off. I’m just over 4 months out of surgery, and well beyond where I should be, which makes me think I can crush some of these workouts. However, I need to keep reminding myself to CHILL OUT, have fun, and don’t do anything crazy that could deter or harm me from this great recovery I have going on right now. The fact that the Open “is just for fun” takes away some of that pressure I put on myself last year (aka the year I felt like butt mentally and physically from pushing myself and putting so much stress on myself for 5 weeks – all to come up a little short of my goal). It feels good to not have that pressure this year.

However, I still want to do my best for where I’m at right now. So, with that said, I’m still taking this mindset thing seriously, because it’s so important – whether you’re doing the Open for fun, or dedicating yourself over the next 5 weeks to CrossFit and making a run at qualifying for Regionals, there’s something for everyone here!

  • Have *FUN* This is what the Open is all about. Remember, at the end of the day, this is all about competing against yourself, setting goals for yourself, seeing what you’re capable of doing, and getting to workout – and suffer a little- among likeminded individuals.
  • Have a *PLAN* And stick with it! Know when you are going to do your workouts, who is going to judge you, and how you’re going to attack the workout. If you’re unsure, ask a coach or someone you workout with. Make sure you EAT and stay hydrated. Figure out what your weekly training schedule will be during the open, and be willing to change it up if your body needs a little more recovery time. Challenge yourself to go to sleep a little sooner. Warm up well. Get crunk when it comes to music selections. These will all make the workout much more pleasant for you. Also, know where you’re going to eat after you do the workout and who you’re going to celebrate with. Rituals are great, especially when they involve beer – and/or in my case, gin – and tacos.  
  • Feel your *BEST* This could mean a number of different things. To me, it means RECOVERY and MOBILITY and LAYING OFF OF MYSELF 🙂 — which is all so hard to do. Unless you’re just freaking amazing and you know that you can legitimately walk into the gym and put up a score that will guarantee you to make Regionals (aka like the 99.8% of humans out there) you need to plan your workouts and intensity levels around the Open. If your body feels worn out, give it some rest. This isn’t the time to push through that. Active recovery is great (I personally prefer it) but more volume this time of year isn’t best for most of us out there. Train smart. Stretch smart. Mobilize smart. Warmup smart. Perform smart. Rest and recover smart. AND THEN WHEN THE OPEN IS OVER 🙂 all you crazies, me included, can go back to wearing ourselves out multiple times a day.
  • *TRUST* the process: At the end of the day, you doing your BEST is a win. Focus only on what you can control. Worrying about what the workout will be and how other people will do in it is just a waste of energy. Don’t get caught up in the leaderboard. Don’t get sad if you start to feel like you’re just not as good as you think you should be right now. Don’t compare yourself to others. Know that each of the five Open workouts is just an opportunity for you to get better. 
  • *CELEBRATE* Yourself: Hopefully you will surprise yourself at some point over the next 5 weeks with what you are able to accomplish. Maybe it’s your first toe to bar, or chest to bar pullup, or even muscle up! It happens every year. The Open brings out the best in people. I’ll never forget two years ago during that TTB, double under, squat clean workout, I was able to clean a weight I didn’t think I could, and then I did it multiple times.
  • Cheer for *OTHERS* Don’t get so caught up in yourself that you forget to cheer for and support your friends. The Open is about community after all! 
  • Stay in a mindset of *GRATITUDE* I wanted to end with this one, so it will be fresh in mine and your sweet little heads. This is the most important when it comes to mindset! Remember to be thankful to be able to participate in the Open with all your friends in the first place. The ability to MOVE is a GIFT that shouldn’t be taken for granted. We all may potentially see this differently than others do. For me, it means grace (undeserving, yet it’s there). If you start to feel nervous, remember to be thankful for the opportunity to compete in the first place. I’m not perfect. I’ll probably cuss my way through some of these workouts (just being real) but I always try to remember Colossians 3:23 – which basically says that whatever you do, work WILLINGLY as if you were working for the Lord, rather than for other people. I literally have to write 3:23 on my wrist when I compete so my crazy head doesn’t forget to remember WHY I am able to workout competitively in the first place. Basically, give it all you got, and remember to have a “why” – as in WHY you are doing the Open in the first place. Celebrate strength. Celebrate fitness. Celebrate progress. and Celebrate community. 

Remember, the lessons you and I learn in the gym carry over into life outside of the gym – in our families, friends, job, and how we deal with favorable or unfavorable circumstances. So have fun, make the most of it, don’t lose your soul in the process, and learn a thing or two as you go. 

May the odds be in your favor.