How Crossfit [Texas] Changed My Life

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2011 at 4:03 am

I don’t normally step on the scale.  As a rule of thumb, I tend to stray from the scale and use how my clothes fit as a measure of my success.  However, after much deliberation, I decided to brave the scale yesterday.  2.5 months, and 20 lbs.  TWENTY!  I was beyond stoked. The best part is that I haven’t even taken new measurements.  And those numbers will prove all the more exciting! 🙂

But you see, that’s the beauty in CrossFit, and particularly in CrossFit Texas. This isn’t about competition. [I suppose competition is a relative term. Ha.]  These are people I look forward to seeing every day.  These are people who push me to work harder, because they want to see me get better.  But most importantly, these people care.  I’ve been in and around gyms my entire life, and while people are very good at putting on a facade, and pretending as if they’re genuinely interested in your well being [don’t get me wrong, some trainers do…] few truly are.

But at CrossFit Texas?  These folks are my family.  We hold each other accountable.  When someone misses class, we call them, text them, heck, even Facebook them! We want to see everyone achieve their goals- whether it’s losing a few pounds, or hitting a new back squat max.  The key in all of this?  We’re a TEAM.   We may work out as individuals, but don’t be surprised if someone stops in the middle of their WOD to help you out (as Joel did with me today).  Don’t be surprised when you’re in the middle of a back squat, and from across the box you hear someone yell, “GET LOWER!!!” Because while we all want to complete WODs as fast as we can, we also want to watch our “family” succeed.

So to Gideon, thank you for taking me to class that night!  I wouldn’t be where I am if you hadn’t introduced me to these people. 🙂  And to Brannon and Becca, thank you for your love and support.  I can’t adequately express just how much those post-WOD congratulatory hugs mean.  You guys are amazing.  To Mike and Sampson, thank you for talking so much shit to me that I have no choice but to one-up yall! 😉  And to everyone else (you know who you are…) thank you for making every day brighter.  I’m blessed to consider y’all my family. 🙂

And just to “see” the proof.  I’ll post two pictures [30th April, 2011]:


 [After] [15th July, 2011] [My friend Allie and I]

The Road Less Traveled

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 at 4:26 am

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled

Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  Robert Frost is right– the glory of the unknown far exceeds anything that lies in front of you.  There’s a promise that lies in the discovery of something new.

For years, we’ve been told exactly what to expect.  Or, the majority of us have.  As long as you stay in school and get decent grades, you’ll end up at a university somewhere.  And after you’ve attained that bachelor’s degree– the world is yours.

I tell people I’m going through a 1/4 life crises.   Instead of looking at it as a crises, maybe I need to step back a moment and see it through Robert Frost’s eyes.  It’s a new journey, one which promises to be the greatest journey I’ve ever imagined.

For years, I’ve had my life planned out.  College. Graduate/Law School. [I chose Law School.]  Good Job. Make Money. Live Life. Be Happy.  WARNING: That’s not how it works.

There’s an extraordinary amount of debt involved, one that cautions me to stray from law school.  Especially when upon my graduation, chances are I wont have the opportunity to pay back the loans as fast as I’d prefer.  Hell, who knows if I’d even find the job I want.  There’s a good chance I’d be living off a mediocre salary, using most of what I make to pay back the debt I’d acquired. That doesn’t sound like fun to me at all.  At least not at this point in my life.

So I find myself here, at a crossroads.  The road I’m on splits– one to the east, and the other to the west.  The one to the west is the path I’ve traveled back and forth all my life.  The path to the east is new.  It’s fresh, green, and beckoning for my attention.  Because of nerves and the comfort of habitual actions, I’m tempted to continue back down the western path.  However, the beckoning call from the east just gets stronger.  Something is telling me to walk eastward, away from what I know and those I love most.  The feeling resonates in my chest, and gives me strength.  As I head towards the eastern path and place my flip flop on the fresh green trail, I come to the realization I’ve made the best possible decision for me.

It’s time to chase my dreams.  Everything else will fall into place.  And those I love so dearly will always be nearby.

This Quarter Life Crises Thing…

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I did it.  I survived high school with decent enough grades.  Strong enough that I was able to make my life long dream of attending Michigan State come true.

I did it.  I survived college.  Went to class.  Was a resident mentor.  And even managed to party here and there.  Embarked on the most amazing of journeys 1200 miles from home, and enjoyed every second.  And now?  Now I wish I could go back, and do it all over again.  Everyone said, “Amanda…this is going to be the greatest four years of your life.”  I knew it would be, too.  I just wish now that it never had to come to an end.  If money were unlimited, I’d stay in school till the day I die.

And now I’m faced with the question;  WHAT THE HELL DO I DO WITH MY LIFE?

It may seem like a relatively simple question.  But I assure you, it’s not.

There’s no denying I’ve been fortunate.  My parents were willing to take on the burden of paying for my college education.  For that, I’m eternally grateful.  I’ve been blessed with a job at a thriving tech company in Austin, and I just celebrated my 23rd birthday.  Really, life is great.  Except that nagging question hanging over my head.

A few years ago, I began to entertain the thought of attending law school upon my graduation.  In reality, I think it was my way of ensuring I had a plan for my future, and prolonging the inevitable need to come to terms with the end of my four years in East Lansing.  As long as I stayed in school, and stuck with that decision, I’d be fine.  My path would be laid for me, and I’d follow it — just like the green line you see in the finance commercials.

After my LSAT scores came back in November of my junior year of college,  I began wrestling with the idea of taking a year off after graduation.   But I told myself that meant failure.  No way. No how.  I couldn’t give up on my dream.  It wasn’t until my Assistant Hall Director, Adam, expressed his concern for me, that I realized, “Ok, taking a year off might not be such a bad idea.”  Afterall, law schools almost always say that “real world experience” is incredibly important when seeking admission.

That’s just what I did.  I moved home, and was offered a position.  As I said, I’m incredibly fortunate.  I understand how many people are struggling to find work right now, and I’m thankful I was given this opportunity.  My plan changed somewhat, but this time I told myself, “Okay, I’ll work for a year.  Then I’m headed to law school.”  I registered to take the LSAT in December of 09, and am currently waiting to hear back from prospective schools.

I went to Wells Fargo the other day to discuss my loan options.  I was  looking to take out a $16,000 loan for housing/food/living expenses.  Keep in mind that that’s one year’s expenses, and not tuition, etc.  After almost having a nervous breakdown in the bank, I began to question my choice.   I told my parents I’d take on the graduate school/law school responsibilities (and yes, I fully intend to do so, if I do indeed head away to law school.)  But, I’m unsure that I…pardon my language…have the “balls” to do such a thing.  There’s no guarantee in this world.  No guarantee that upon my graduation, I get a kick-ass job with a kick-ass salary.  Salary enough that I might pay back my loans at a decent rate, anyway.  Plus, lets be honest… the major firms will say “fuck off” to anyone that’s not a Yale, Harvard, or USC graduate. That’s not to say I couldn’t get a job working at one of these places, but I assure you it wouldn’t be easy.

It’s not that I’m trying to take the easy way out.  That’s not it at all.  I’m simply trying to make an educated decision before I incur this kind of debt.  And even though I have an undying idealist in me, when it comes to money, I have to be realistic.

What I’m saying is this:  Do I take the “dive in head first, never look back, no questions asked” sort of approach and risk all that’s involved?  Or do I take more time to ensure that I’m absolutely, 100% making the right decision for my future.  Because it reality, it’s not just my debt, but my future husband/family’s, too.