The other day I was talking with a coworker about snowboarding telling him how badly I wanted to go this season. He asked if I wanted to make a day trip up to Big Bear. I told him about my training schedule and expressed that I wanted to, but I couldn’t and he said “what’s the point of living if you can’t do what you want.”

 

I thought about it for a quick second, and quickly changed my response. “Its not that I can’t, its that I CHOOSE not to.” He said, “fair enough, if you change your mind just let me know.”

 

All in all, he brought up a good point, something I am certain most, if not all, athletes encounter in their athletic career: how much are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goals?

 

I choose this life I live because I’m the only who has the power to do so. I make my choices and stand by them because in the end I control my own destiny and if I make a poor decision, I have no one else to blame but myself. I’ve missed out on a lot of shit. Yes, I decline invites to go snowboarding because I don’t want to risk injury. Yes, I’ve missed out on MANY nights out with the homies because I had training the next day. Yes, I’ve missed birthdays and weddings because it conflicted with training. And as a highly social person and a people pleaser, it’s hard to say “no” and reject invites and not show up to events. To be completely honest, sometimes, I feel like I’m missing out on life because I know I’m never going to get this time back. Every now and then, when the stress piles up, things aren’t going my way, I question if this is really what I want to do. Doubt sinks in. Do I want to keep making these sacrifices and give up all my spare time to this sport? Is it really worth it?

 

And then I think about training. I think about the excitement I get when I look to the board to see what’s programmed for the day. I think about the speed and power I feel when I lift. I think about the grind, good and bad, I get to go through with my team and I remember I have a goal that makes it all worth it. I don’t put in hours of work every damn day for multiple days a week for nothing. I’m here to build something. And in the end, choosing to say no to my dream would be completely unforgivable than choosing to say no to snowboarding trip. I realize that sacrificing things I want to do now for the things I really want to do in the future is never easy, but is necessary for the things I am going to do in the future.

My advice for reaching your goal/goals in 2016:

 

  1. Write it down

I never believed this to be true. Trust me, I thought it made no difference. It took me years of multiple people telling me to do it before I finally did, but when you write things down, they really begin to happen. Most days, the world will throw something new at you to break your routine, get you off track, and make you lose sight of your goal. If you write it down and have it somewhere visible, you can always refer back to it and hold yourself accountable.

 

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

As simple as it sounds, I know sometimes its easier said than done. But really, you are in control of your life. No one knows you, your goals or your grind better than you. And you can’t expect them to understand it either. If you think for a second it will throw you off track of where you really want to be, just say no.

 

  1. Be Consistent

The more routine you make your life, the easier it will be to achieve what you want. You’ll create a pattern that will eventually become second nature and that structure will become the building blocks to your success.

 

 

May 2016 bring all of you lots of success. And lots of gains!

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I may be biased, but in my opinion, girls who lift weights are like an absolute gem in this world. And I’m sure most men would agree. Girls with muscle send out vibes of self-sufficiency, confidence, good health, and strong minds because lifting weight requires dedication and persistence making it a hard, yet admirable grind. So it’s not rocket science that guys would be attracted to it. I’m honestly flattered when people take time out of their day to approach me and talk to me about what it is I do to look the way I do. But let me tell you, it gets old quick when some of the same questions and statements are repeated over and over and over again by strangers who half the time are not listening and only interested in what that booty do, for lack of a better term. Ladies, I’m sure you’ve heard a few of these questions time and time again. Here is how I answer these questions vs. what I’m really thinking:

 

IF I HAD A DIME FOR EVERYTIME A GUY ASKED OR TOLD ME…

  1. “Do You Work Out?”

My response: Haha yeah you could say that.

What I’m Really Thinking: *insert sarcasm* No Bitch, actually, I look like this by doing absolutely nothing. No big deal man, genetics hooked me up… Obviously, I work out dude. And I already know that you knew that so pick something a little more creative to break the ice next time because I’m hearing this so much that I’m starting to think that it looks like I actually don’t work out.

 

  1. “How Much Do You Bench?”

My Response: I don’t know. I never bench.

What I’m Really Thinking: I am an Olympic Weightlifter, NOT a powerlifter. I literally just spent maybe six minutes of my time that I could’ve spent rolling out this knot in my quad at the gym before training explaining to you exactly what weightlifting was and the different lifts and how its nothing like powerlifting at all and how I never bench, and after all that, you’re STILL going to ask how much I bench? Like why? Why?

 

  1. “You Could Lift Me Over Your Head”

My Response: hah Probably.

What I’m Really Thinking: I could power snatch your ass for a triple fool.

 

  1. “You Could Squat Me”

My Response: For sure.

What I’m Really Thinking: I could squat four of you. For reps… and multiple sets.

 

  1. “Are a Lot of Guys Intimidated By You?”

My Response: I mean, I don’t know, maybe?

What I’m Really Thinking: I seriously don’t understand this question, like I never know how to respond. What do you mean? Intimidated to talk to me? Intimidated to look at me? Intimidated to ask me out? Are you asking this because I’m single? Are you asking this because I intimidate you? Are you asking this because you want to ask me out? How would I know if a guy was intimidated by me? If he was intimidated by me, that would mean he would never talk to me, and I would never know him, therefore I would never know he was intimidated by me. You see how that works? It doesn’t, and neither does this question, so don’t ask this question. Stupid question.

 

  1. “You Could Probably Kick My Ass”

 My Response: Nah I’m a lover, not a fighter.

What I’m Really Thinking: How original. But seriously, why do guys say this? Like, it’s a little creepy. Do you want your ass kicked? Is this like a fetish thing for you? Or are you just trying to be funny? Because frankly, I think that’d be humiliating for you and such a turn off for me if I could actually kick your ass. But yes, I could definitely kick your ass. For sure. No doubt.

 

  1. You Make Me Question My Manhood”

My Response: Sorry? My bad?

What I’m Really Thinking: I don’t know what you want me to say to this one fam. Whatever it takes to be more of a man, you do that. I myself am a woman, so I have no advice for you other than to stop being a little bitch.

 

  1. “I Repped (insert number of) Plates on the Leg Press the Other Day”

My Response: Oh wow, that’s dope.

What I’m Really Thinking: I don’t even know what you’re talking about. What does that even mean? Why did you walk all the way over here to tell me this? Chances are, you’re probably not doing it right, and in reality, you probably can’t squat for shit because your mobility is so poor and your legs and back are so weak from sitting down in weight machines all day. Man, I almost want to ask you to do an air squat now just to see that form.

 

  1. How Do I Get Big?”

My Response: Not sure. Maybe high reps as heavy as you can go.

What I’m Really Thinking: OMG. Again, I literally just explained to you I am not a bodybuilder. I don’t know how to “get big”. I only know how to get strong with a lot of hard ass work. When you wanna mess with that, hit a girl up. And damn, do I really look that big today? Dooope.

 

 

…ID SERIOUSLY HAVE A LOT OF MONEY

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132kg/291lb clean at the 2015 American Open in Reno, Nevada

Growing up, I was completely self-conscious of my body.  #TeamThighs was not something I was proud of, and DEFINITELY not something I would have advertised.  Naturally, I was just taller and bigger than most girls my age. I mean, my dad is 6’5, it was inevitable.    When I heard any comment, negative or positive, about my legs, height, or my size, it would get to me.  And I mean REALLY get to me.  From a very young age, I was always the one people would come to, to find comfort or seek advice but the matter of the fact was that I was never comfortable in my own skin and I didn’t know how to express this to anyone. So I stayed strong and never let it show.  The absolute number one thing I loathed the most about my body were my legs.  They were big, they stuck out, and they just didn’t look like the legs that everyone considered beautiful.  But they were strong.  One particular moment I will remember forever was track practice in 8th grade.  One day they had all the girls learn how to throw the shot put so they could add the event into the big track meet at the end of the season.  So the coaches had us all stand in line to give it a shot.  A few girls went before me and made their measly attempts at tossing.  Coaches were unimpressed, spiritless, distracted, and all the girls were in line whining about being bored.  I was next.  I spun (with absolutely no idea what I was doing, and most likely with horrible technique as well) launched it, and the shotput flew.  I laugh now because thinking back it seriously FLEW. And I was completely mortified.  Completely embarrassed.  Embarrassed because of how strong I was.  I had never seen a head whip so fast as I had seen my coaches when he checked to see who had just thrown that shot put.  He paced quickly to read where it landed, jotted down something on his clipboard, and dismissed us.  He pulled me aside and informed me that I had broken the school record that had not been set since years prior (mind you, it was only middle school).  He told me that I should consider throwing in high school and meeting the coach.  Had I’d known then how much my life revolves around power and strength now, obviously, my answer would have been extremely different.  But back then, it was an easy and thoughtless “thanks, but no thanks” kind of deal.  Yet part of me deep down really wanted to meet with that coach because I knew I had potential to be great at something, but I was too afraid of what others would say and the way people would perceive me.  Point is, I spent my whole childhood and teenage life trying to hide my strength scared of people’s judgement.  I didn’t know how to embrace it.  What kind of girl would I be if I could throw a ball further than the guys? It just wouldn’t be normal and I did anything to reject my true talents and true self to stay in that lane of normality. 

            About two years after high school is where my perception of “normal” began to change.  I heard about Crossfit and decided to try it out with one intention in mind: to lose weight.  As time went on, without realizing it, my mentality began to change.  There was no exact moment, it just sort of happened before I even knew it was happening.  I was no longer going back to the box everyday for my initial intention, but rather to get better at being faster, stronger, and more efficient because pushing myself to be better was where my true happiness was radiating from.  I started to care less about my appearance and more about the time I was posting for every workout.  And more importantly, I had finally found a place where strength was accepted.  People admired me for what I could do with my body (uhh mostly how much I could squat) and ultimately, it allowed me to start loving my body as well.  Loving what my body could do.  And in turn, loving myself.  At last, I was comfortable in my own skin and it led to a vulnerability, finally a point in my life where I was comfortable enough with myself to open up to others. I was proud to talk about my strengths just as well as my weaknesses, with absolutely no shame.  I began to fully accept and embrace the way I was made and I found the confidence I had been lacking all those years prior, trying to hide myself. 

            Fast-forward three years to present time and it’s shocking sometimes at where I’m at now.  The strength I spent most of my life being ashamed of is now the thing I am most proud of and it is what my life revolves around.  The part of my body I was once absolutely embarrassed of has now become what I am most grateful for.  The sport of Olympic Weightlifting has given me the opportunity to come full circle because of the beauty and power it allows me to see in my body and myself.  It’s constantly pushing my body past the boundaries that my mind has previously set, teaching me the most important lesson I’ve learned thus far: Your mind is far stronger than your physical strength.  With a strong mind, what you and your body can do is limitless.  Be you, accept yourself, and love yourself.  Don’t settle for the basic because at the end of the day, who wants to be basic?