Bouncing Back

Sometimes life slams you into the boards and it’s a struggle to pick yourself up and get back in the game. There may be a personal set back or an unexpected roadblock appears in your journey towards a specific goal.

It doesn’t matter what has caused you to become derailed, but what does matter is how you get yourself back on track. When you find yourself sliding into that pity party where you wonder why you aren’t doing so well and how come everyone else seems so happy and successful and you’re not, then its time to redirect that energy so you can get back to a positive space.

I’m a really good cheerleader. I think sometimes I should have pom poms because I do know how to support others and I feel I am generally successful when I see someone who can use some encouragement and I’m able to help them feel good about themselves again. As a coach I can spot those signs in others and even myself when discouragement starts to take over, but as an athlete I am prone to the same worries and self-doubts that can get in the way of solid performance.

When that happens to me I know I have to challenge myself to face the next workout head on. I cannot take a break, or relax and have some extra rest time. I need to reignite my desire to do better and fan those competitive flames.

Today was one of those bounce back moments. Yesterday we had done a workout that had been a part of last years Crossfit open competition and while I set myself a good target I fell short of it and didn’t even match my previous score. I felt awful. I thought here I was, one year later and after all the consistent and focused training in that time I was showing no improvement, in fact, I was not as good as I was a year earlier. I went home dejected with my performance and the nasty little creature of self-doubt perched himself firmly on my shoulder where he could easily whisper his negative words in my ear. But if nothing else I am steadfast in my training schedule and tonight I was back in the gym to take on today’s workout. The warm-up was okay, then the conditioning work was very tiring so when it came time to get ready for the 3 rounds of 300M row, 7 double kettle bell push press with the 56lb kettle bells plus 14 ring rows, I was not sure if I’d do the full weight or go lighter. I picked up the heavy KBs and did a couple of reps and decided I had to do this workout as it was meant to be done, at the recommended weight.

Three, two, one …go! As to clock started I leapt into the workout, giving it every I had. I stayed focused and pushed to do it as fast as possible. 7:47 later I was finished. After I caught my breath I looked at the board showing all the times of the day. To my surprise I had recorded the best time of everyone in our gym today. I realized I had beaten Corey, who as one of the top athletes at Crossfit North Vancouver, is someone I am constantly in awe of and who I respect so much for his determination and athletic ability. On a day that had started with so much self-doubt I had pushed myself to be better and had been successful.

In one moment I had unseated that little shit from my shoulder had cleared the way for me to continue on my own journey of self-improvement.

Sometimes you need some kind words and some gentle encouragement to get you on track. Other times you just need to kick some butt.

An important moment in 2012

The end of the year offers a unique perspective and allows the chance to see what the results of the efforts of 12 months have brought.  There are some years where big changes have come and others where much more subtle alterations occurred. 2012 was a year filled with big highs and not many lows. It’s not unusual to have ups and downs but it is always more about how you handle them than how big the challenge they present.


I was very lucky in 2012. My family was healthy, active and energized by their personal direction and experiences. While my hope and ambition would lead me to wish for more time spent together I can recognize that we are each on our own path and the points where those paths intersect changes and I can celebrate those times we connect but shouldn’t bemoan the times we are apart.

I was surrounded by many remarkable people this year. I enjoyed the warmth of their friendship and hopefully was able to reflect some of that love back. I think I was able to be a friend that could be counted on and when someone close to me struggled with illness I was fortunate enough to be able to be there and continue to be someone who could be depended on.

When I think of what I accomplished this year I could choose an artistic high point of producing many new paintings, or qualifying for the Crossfit Games and competing against men my age from around the world. I could think of the support and encouragement I was able to provide to dear friends and to fellow athletes starting their own journey. Those things and more I can feel good about but there was another moment that in all the year stands out.

On a summer day I was walking in an unfamiliar area in New Westminister and as I looked for an address I saw a figure lying on the sidewalk beside a parked car. I picked up my pace then ran up to what I now realized was an older woman who had fallen and was struggling to try and stand up. I was able to help her to her feet and provide someone to lean on for a moment as we determined that she was able to walk. I luckily had Kleenex handy to deal with her bleeding nose and scraps. In a couple of minutes she was ready and I took her arm, carried her shopping in the other hand and together we slowly walked the short distance to her apartment. Once inside she was more confident and able to carry on to the elevator. I don’t know her name nor will I ever see her again but I am so happy that I was able to be there at the right time to help her. I am grateful to her for the opportunity our chance encounter provided for me to be a better person. Random, unplanned, spontaneous, those situations that allow your instincts to take over and for you to react based on who you really are don’t come along that often but for that moment I was able to see myself as a good person and who could ask for much more.

I hope that the New Year brings peace and joy to everyone who will open their heart to those possibilities. I hope I am given the chance to care for others, to share the love I have inside of me, to be there for friends and for strangers, to have the chance to grow as a person.

Best wishes to all.