Friday, December 26, 2008

So, THIS is Christmas....

I spent Christmas Eve with my parents and my niece, Davina who is 7 years old. It was just the four of us because my brother and his wife spent Christmas Eve in the pediatrics unit of Mt. San Antonio hospital. My 5-year old nephew, David, had a serious asthma attack that day and was admitted to the hospital for a series of treatments and observation.

This might sound as if this was an awful Christmas, but not so. In fact, it was one of the best Christmas' I have spent with my family. The true spirit of Christmas, that of sacrifice, giving and thankfulness filled our home and lifted our spirits.

We spoke to my brother on the phone, and he told us that Davey was doing very well, was in no pain, but that he still needed further treatment the next day (Christmas day). He and his wife would be taking turns spending the night there.

I had a really lovely Christmas Eve getting to know my niece better. We watched Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, along with my mom and dad. How cool...this was the 1971 version with Gene favorite! I was 10 years old when I first saw it in the theater...great trip down memory lane for me. My mom, Davina and I also assembled and painted a set of really cute cardboard insect models as a gift for Davey. My dad got a kick out of how "into" the project my mom and I got.

My little niece surprised me with what a really good kid she is. She decided on her own to make her brother a "Get Well and Merry Christmas"card and she did just that. Wrote everything out herself. She never fussed about having to wait to open her presents from Santa which were at her house. We had a few things for her to open from us on Christmas morning, but she knew that she would be waiting to open the rest once they were all able to return home.

So Christmas day we headed off to the hospital to bring Christmas to Davey and spend the day with him and his mom and dad.

The pediatric nurses and doctors were wonderful. Sure, they are paid to be there, but they did so much more than the minimum. They worked to keep the environment cheerful, playful and full of Christmas while carrying out their duties...really great people. When we arrived Davey was excited, in fact, a little too excited..he needed to be reminded several times to relax as he was not quite ready to be released yet and needed to rest. I noticed he had a new huge bright red fire engine and a street cleaning truck on his bed. When I asked if Santa brought them I was told "no, they were from the people at the hospital". They provided gifts to all the sick children. How sweet.

Later that day we were all in the playroom and in comes a family who introduces themselves and as the "Smits". The Mom, dad and four kids came to bring some Christmas cheer to all the sick kids. They too were handing out toys. They even gave one to Davina although she was not a patient there. What great parents teaching their kids about giving at not only toys, but some of their day to bring happiness to less fortunate kids. (This makes me tear up even now).

I don't think I've ever spent a more meaningful Christmas with my family. Pulling together in a time of need, supporting and loving one another in a circumstance that could have made everyone very grumpy, ungrateful and depressed. For the record, my brother and his wife were amazing, they were tired and yet remained positive and worked beautifully together with no bickering. I'm not a parent, but I so respect and admire that job, especially when it's done well. I'll be there as "auntie" to help in any way I can.

Davey is back home and doing well, and we are thankful.

This is Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Present to myself

Tonight at the Academy we worked FRAN...she is one mean lady. Standard weight is 65lbs for women and 95Lbs for Men. Exercises are Squat Thrusters and Pull-ups, reps are 21-15-9 for time.

I went into this with a lot of trepidation. I've not attempted the 65lb standard weight before. I can do kipping pull-ups, so I was okay with those. Well...I managed the 65lbs through the second set (15's) but had to reduce the weight to 55lbs at the 9's. I just could not clean the weight from the floor, that 10lbs makes a huge difference and I was then able to do the 9 thrusters. My last 9 pull-ups were agonizing because my forearms and grip were shot! I finished with a pathetic time of 14 mins?? or so. But you know what..I'm okay with that, because I came so close to the standard. I'm convinced that it won't take me too much longer to get strong enough to manage the 65lbs throughout the time probably won't be great, but it will be to standard!

Testing limits..smartly,..indeed brings confidence. Once again, facing fears and defeating them one rep at a time..a little Christmas present to myself.

Speaking of the's wishing all of you:



NO MORE STRESS, be done with all the stuff that doesn't matter and

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's A Wonderful Life

"Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"

"Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends."

Quotes are from: Clarence Oddbody - The Angel in "It's A Wonderful Life" A film made in 1946

One year after the end of WWII
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MOVIE? If so, please post your thoughts, comments. If not, you NEED to see it. Everyone has something to gain from seeing this film.

This movie speaks to the important questions that most of us have asked ourselves at one time or another: "What would the world be like if I had never been born?" or "What would the world be like if I wasn't here anymore?" " Has my presence in this world made a difference...either for good or bad?"

Realize that we make an impact on our community, for either good or ill. Realize that not doing anything has an impact too. George Baily, the main character of the film, has spent his life "doing the right thing" -( before Spike Lee made the phrase so popular). George is a good man, yet, when things go very wrong...he almost gives up, until he is shown what the world, and in particular his corner of the world, the town of Bedford Falls, would have been like if he had never been born.

I see our Crossfit/Bootcamp community as microcosm of the larger world we all live in. This is our "Bedford Falls". What we do or do not do in this world not only directly affects it, but is also a reflection of our character. I'm not just talking about the physical aspect of training together, I'm talking about what we do and say while training, after training, and in other situations outside of the Academy. I'm talking about the friendships I've seen blossom, the talents I've seen grow in others and in myself. I'm talking about potential made into reality because of the support and encouragement we have given to one another.

I pray that I have a positive effect on my world. I know how much I've benefited from being part of it. You have all in some way touched my life..thank you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Goat Races..and Goats Racing!

Take a look at our upcoming race season:
2/8/09 China Town "FireCracker 5K & 10K

MARCH many choices, what's a goat to do? Well, Pasadena Marathon is a must for me. So...with all the training for that during the next few months, I should be well prepared for Derby Day because I'll be getting back to track work, including those nasty "double 5k's! Continued hill work will be critical for Wilson and hill work makes you stronger for EVERYTHING!

I probably won't do the Agoura race because it follows too close to the Pasadena Marathon and I don't know how long it will take me to recover from that. So far I'm not planning for June 's Mud Run..but who knows, a fickle goat can change her mind, so long as she does so before registration ends! As for the L.A. Marathon; depending on how I fair in Pasadena and how I feel after Wilson, there is a sick thought in my mind that this could be an interesting challenge for me. I wouldn't expect to run L.A. well, but it would be good training for an Ultra to do both races so close together. I'll have to run this thought by my more experienced Ultra friends.

So what are you all planning to do this race season? A curious goat wants to know.

Check out this link...Goat's really do race! BAAAAAA!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


SATURDAY 12/6/08: Grand Opening of our new Crossfit Academy.

[ Winning the fight against sloth, indiscipline, and mental weakness]

The whole celebration was inspiring to me. Once again our extended community came together, pitched in on many levels to make this event a resounding success. My faith in human beings to be decent to one another is so often shattered...but rarely within this Crossfit/Bootcamp community in which I spend a lot of my time. I have seen this group...and a rather diverse group at that, continually lend a hand when needed, encourage those who are new or at a lesser fitness level and cheer each other on during competitions. Yup, that's right..cheering, not jeering, fellow competitors. That's awesome, and that's rare and it makes me proud to be part of this community.


On a personal level, competing in the FIGHT GONE BAD (FGB) event was something I really needed to do. Honestly I don't like attention when I train, I prefer to "suffer in silence" with my own group and with my fellow coaches there to push me when needed. This large group made me even more nervous about doing FGB than I normally am. That's right, FGB makes me nervous. I would rather run up and down the Mt. Wilson trail twice in a row than to do FGB. It's so f*&#ing tough both mentally and physically. I KNOW how bad it's going to hurt (yeah, good hurt, but still hurt) and on top of that, I now have the mental pressure of trying to keep my score above 200.

Since I'm a trainer, a Bootcamp coach and an intern at the Academy, there is an expectation that I will perform well. It's my expectation of myself, but it's also the expectation of of our Crossfitters and Bootcampers. This doesn't mean that I will be at the top of every WOD or that I won't have a bad day sometimes, no way. I hope no one would expect that of me. What it does mean is that I must always put forth my best effort and set an example for our members. In other words, this community not only holds each other accountable, but they hold me accountable too. I must "practice what I preach" or be perceived as a hypocrite. This is sometimes a daunting task, but I'm glad to take it on and I'm even grateful for it because ultimately I too become a better human being by upholding those values and principals which I preach. Warning: because I'm human I will not do this perfectly and that's when I am grateful to have this community there to pick me up when I fall (after making fun of me first :)).

Well, in the end,I got over my nerves, focused entirely on the work at hand, forgot about the crowd and scored 203 -- hell, I'll take it! Special thanks to Kelly for being my scorer and not letting me chicken out (cluck, cluck)!


A SIGHT TO BEHOLD: As I was driving East on Sierra Madre Blvd., not far from La Salle HS,I heard the sound of a LARGE jet aircraft, and what did I see gracefully cruising the sky above me? The STEALTH BOMBER!!

I thought it was in honor of PEARL HARBOR DAY, but turns out it was part of a funeral service for a man named Verne Orr who was our former Secretary Of the Air Force during the Reagan Administration. He was 92! A very interesting and important man in matters of the defense of this nation. I learned a lot about him from this article:

Verne Orr, Air Force Chief Known for Fight Against Waste, Dies at 92



I do not forget that we are vulnerable...that we have always had and will continue to have enemies....

Look at this photo...can you imagine seeing enemy aircraft invading your country and dropping bombs on you? This happen before most of us were born. Then again on 9/11/01 in a completely different way, we were briefly invaded and thousands died. Complacency kills.

I took some time today, to remember and to honor those who have fought and continue to "Fight The Good Fight".


There is a time to fight...know why, know who, know how and know when....that's my goal.

Sometimes the battle is within myself, like it was for FGB...those are really tough battles.

Be well and FIGHT ON!