Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Women of Crossfit =STRONG

Back in March I had the opportunity to meet and Wod with Meg the founder of women of crossfit = strong. I knew one day I would share with her my story but didn't know how-or when. It wasn't until we were getting things for our 6month box anniversary that one of the girls said that I should share it on Meg's page 

I had shared it and to my surprise people liked it. I had 800 likes, 40 shares, and a fee emails to thank me and give me encouragement. Which is what I love most about the crossfit community... We support each other.  

Below is my story:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”

June 22, 2012 I found myself living in a chicken coop of pain, sadness, and anger. I found myself covering the wounds of my pain with a bottle of Jack Daniels on the weekends, a pack-of-cigarettes-per-day, binge eating, along with being mentally handicapped by countless toxic relationships. At twenty-four, I was a size fourteen, 194 pounds, a victim of domestic violence, a DHR case, and living in a wilderness of unemployment. I was immobilized by depression and anger.

I began my journey to eating healthier and trying to maintain a weight loss plan with just a basic cardio, low carb strategy. As I began to loose some weight and meet the 5k mark I became bored. I became interested in CrossFit for the same reason any girl would… Rich Froning Jr.. It was through infomercials, ESPN Games, and twitter feeds that the flame was truly ignited. CrossFit was portrayed as a positive. For me, CrossFit was an answer to my prayers. I’m talking part-the-waters intervention. I began praying that God would place positive people into my life to help me change.

I grew up in a family of anger with parents who never once told me they were proud of me. I had countless boyfriends and friends who were toxic to me mentally and physically. I began doing research of CrossFit gyms that were near work and home as well as pocket-book friendly. I had no luck. Then, after praying that if God wanted me to really do CrossFit that something would open up that I would know if it was really something I should consider. A month later, CFA had a ribbon cutting ceremony. I still continued to pray, “God, make this not intimidating for me.” October 8, 2012, I walked into the first Fbox of my life and became a CrossFit Alabaster Athlete.

When I walked into the doors  the first person I saw was this little short female who introduced her self as Coach Leigh. My thoughts, ”Answered prayer, not intimidating meat head at all.” The first words out of my mouth were, ” Hey, my name is Ashleigh & I’m ready to join CrossFit- but I’m really intimidated.” My first WOD/baseline I vomited. My second WOD I cried with Coach Leigh and a PVC pipe. I kept coming back though because my coaches were so happy for me and proud of me! My coaches at Crossfit Alabaster have instilled many things in me, most importantly that my mind is a muscle. I am able to look at my past as a stepping stone to a new PR, a heavier weight, and just a few more burpees when I think I cannot do one more. I have learned through them to use it as willpower to overcome my obstacles.

I have learned through my coaches that the only limitations I have are the limitations of my mind. With practice and time I have conditioned it to perform seemingly remarkable feats that have strengthened my body and hardened my emotional resolve. For the first time in twenty-four years I have people who tell me that they are proud of me. People believe in me at CFA & that is why I crossfit.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists. When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence -Goncourt

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Eagle in the Chicken Coop

Growing up, my family, for about a year, decided to have a chicken coop. One of my smaller childhood memories is of me waiting until my dad got home to go to the chicken coop. We would go together and fill pales with eggs and feed our chickens.
When you open the door of a typical southern style chicken coop you will first see the mass amounts of chicken poop all over the ground. Next, you'll observe the chickens constantly pecking at the ground in hopes to find something to eat.

As I've grown up I've realized that many people go through life without any hope or dreams. I, myself have always tended to be a dreamer. Since the third grade I would walk to career day in hopes that my career would surpass all the others in my elementary class. Number one, I wanted to make the most money. Two, I wanted to dress cute. Three, I wanted a fancy title. Before that I remember playing with Barbies, and dreaming of my Prince Charming Ken look-a-like that would appear on a white horse- sweep me off my feet and marry me. I would raise kids that were beautiful, smart, and well behaved.

But, it wasn't until one of my past relationships when I was going over my list of life plans. The guy told me, "Life never goes as planned." He was right. But, somewhere in that line, I realized I probably should stop dreaming... and that is exactly what I did. For a year or so, I have gone through life without a dream. I've not only realized that my happiness was placed in a dream, a hope of a better tomorrow.. I realized that it was stupid to have dwarf minded thinking and to stop dreaming all together. So I made a list. A list in my head of dreams that I wanted to obtain. I moved beyond pettiness and started thinking in an altitude into powerful thinking.

As I go through life and the obstacles at which it brings. I believe that God hides the answers to the questions we all want answered in higher places so that only eagles can find them and be nourished by them. The problem is that too many of us flounder as chickens rather than fly as eagles. While eagles soar and scan the skies, chickens are busy looking down and eating off the ground. Yes, they do survive from lower-level consumption, but they don't fly far or do much because they're too busy pecking at the ground below them. They never move beyond lower thinking into the power of spreading their wings like eagles and flying high.

Are you choosing to eat small-kernel thoughts off the ground, or will you seek the mountainous summits of success with those who overcome the giants of life and rise above a storm? As tasty as chicken may be to those of us who consume it, always remember that chickens eat mostly waste. Their overhead counterparts are too high to consume what was; eagles only eat what is.

Life is filled with giants and chickens live in fear of them. Especially with their heads looking down, they could be squashed, decapitated, or destroyed. Their vulnerability is that they remain within the reach of the giants of possible destruction. Giants only fight what they can reach. They only find the treasure that lies in low places. So chickens and those who have chicken ideas are always in the reach of those who seek to destroy them.

If you have lived with chickens but thought like an eagle, it is only a matter of time before someone will see the eagle in you and allow you to spread your wings and fly higher. But, keep in mind, if you want to go for it as an eagle, you must let go of the chicken's perspective. Don't let the giant problems, budget restrictions, or even legitimate excuses deter your dreams and overpower your passions. You may start on the ground, but for God's sake end up in the air! From the eagle's view, the giants shrink and become inconsequential. From the eagles view, new opportunities are always within sight.

Confession, I'm a closet eagle. Now, don't get me wrong, like I've said I've raised chickens, taken care of chickens, helped incubate chickens, and even eaten them. I have been told since I was sixteen that I was big fish in a small pond. I needed to get into a bigger pond where I my resource would be of value. Like the saying goes, "Iron sharpens iron." Well, I finally realized one day that living in the chicken coop as an eagle really dulled my visions. It took a hard giant to come down and shake me to realize it- but, we all are where we are in life for reason. So I fled the coop. In the past six months, I have learned more as an eagle than I ever learned as a chicken. I still talk to my chickens, but I treat them with a long-handled spoon. My past life is too small to fit me as I grow into the fullness of all that I am meant to be. It's like wearing your sixth-grade band uniform to a symphony concert at Carnegie Hall.

Are you ready to change clothes? It is my hope as we embrace the challenges of higher-level thinking that we will inevitably, both as a society and more attainable as individuals, evolve beyond the dwarfed ideas that leave us captive to what was. It is my hope that those who think at an altitude beyond attitudes will find nourishment beyond their personal chicken coop into a powerful terrain of higher thinking. Your mission- should you accept it- is to look up and consider who you are and where you are going.

For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall.But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles,They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind.-Isaiah 40.31


Thursday, February 23, 2012

You Have an Incoming Call From...

Little side note: Never in my life have I ever called a guy first. Nor, have I ever asked a guy out first. Why? Not because I'm old fashioned, nor is it because I am scared. But, I love control. I also love for someone to chase me. So much so that even after the initial phone chats begin- I typically turn the guy down two to three times prior to the first date - If I am really interested.

Not to brag, but I've gotten many numbers in my lifetime. I do not text first, nor call. I in reply either give my name and say find me... or I give them my number. I simply say. Thanks, here's my number you can call or text me anytime. I simply always leave it at that. If I totally am uninterested, I go by the name Brenda so that they never can find me again.

First of all, my dad taught me that men find it very satisfying to get what they want... If they want you, they will find you. Here's a scenario.. A guy gives you a number at a bar, over facebook, at church... etc. Is he giving you control, or did he just get you to do the heavy lifting? No, what he did was a magic trick... Men for the most part, like to pursue women. They like not knowing if they can catch us. They feel rewarded when they finally do. Especially when the chase is a long one. My belief is that if you are the agressor... He is just not that interested: You, and I by all means are worth asking out.

Unfortunately, most women in the dating world don't have men throwing themselves at them every night of the week.

Here's an even brighter thought: Men know how to use the phone! With the invention of cell phones and speed dialing it is almost impossible not to call someone. Sometimes I call people from my pants when I don't even mean too... The excuse "busy" is another word for "butthole." If I remember correctly I already have one of those and do not need another one. We, ladies deserve a freaking phone call.

Think of it this way. That phone call is the first brick in building a foundation for a relationship based on love and trust. If he can't pick up one stupid brick and start building that foundation. you ain't never gonna have a house...and from what I've learned it's pretty cold outside.

To me, I don't call first because I consider it lazy for a guy not to call you first. And who want's to go out with a lazy guy? It's that simple. I didn't make the rules and I might not even agree with them. I'm not advocating women go back to the Stone Age. I just think we might need to be more realistic in how capable we are of changing the primordial impulses that drive all of human nature.

I do not date LAZY. The end.

Men do not forget how much they like you so put down the phone.

Ladies, you have to have faith. You made an impression. Leave it at that. If he likes you, he'll still remember you after a tsunami, flood, or Red Sox loss. If he doesn't, he's not worth your time. Know why? You are great.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just a daily thought..

“Loneliness is not a time of abandonment…it just feels that way. It’s actually a time of encounter at new levels with the only One who can fill that empty place in our hearts.”

God longs to fill our hearts with Himself. Yet we often try to fill the desires of our hearts with the things of this world. Yet those attempts to find replacements for God are fleeting and insubstantial, leaving us even lonelier than before.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

12 Relationship Truths We often Forget

The following is a Blog post by Mark & Angel Hack Life So in regards to my Post Valentines Day Blues... Hopefully, you will find it of interest.

It’s easy to make your relationships more complicated than they are. Here are twelve simple reminders to help you keep them on course.

  1. All successful relationships require some work. – They don’t just happen, or maintain themselves. They exist and thrive when the parties involved take the risk of sharing what it is that’s going on in their minds and hearts. Open communication and honesty is the key. (Read The Road Less Traveled.)
  2. Most of the time you get what you put in. – If you want love, give love. If you want friends, be friendly. If you’d like to feel understood, try being more understanding. It’s a simple practice that works.
  3. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot in someone’s life. – Never force someone to make a space in their life for you, because if they know your worth, they will create one for you.
  4. There is a purpose for everyone you meet. – Some people will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you; but most importantly some will bring out the best in you. Learn to see and accept the differences between these people, and carry on accordingly.
  5. We all change, and that’s okay. – Our needs change with time. When someone says, “You’ve changed,” it’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes itjust means you stopped living your life their way. Don’t apologize for it. Instead, be open and sincere, explain how you feel, and keep doing what you know in your heart is right.
  6. You are in full control of your own happiness. – If your relationship with yourself isn’t working, don’t expect your other relationships to be any different. Nobody else in this world can make you happy. It’s something you have to do on your own. And you have to create your own happiness first before you can share it with someone else. If you feel that it’s your partner’s fault, think again, and look within yourself to find out what piece is missing. Your partner can never ‘complete’ you because you are already whole. The longing for completion that you feel inside comes from being out of touch with who you are. (Read Stumbling on Happiness.)
  7. Forgiving others helps YOU. – Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
  8. You can’t change people; they can only change themselves. – Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example. If there’s a specific behavior someone you love has that you’re hoping disappears over time, it probably won’t. If you really need them to change something, be honest and put all the cards on the table so this person knows what you need them to do.
  9. Heated arguments are a waste of time. – The less time you spend arguing with the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you. And if you happen to find yourself arguing with someone you love, don’t let your anger get the best of you. Give yourself some time to calm down and then gently discuss the situation. (Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)
  10. You are better off without some people. – When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you. If someone continuously mistreats you or pushes you in the wrong direction, have enough respect for yourself to walk away from them. It may hurt for a little while, but it’ll be ok. You’ll be ok, and far better off in the long run.
  11. Small gestures of kindness go a long way. – Honor your important relationships in some way every chance you get. Every day you have the opportunity to make your relationship sweeter and deeper by makingsmall gestures to show your appreciation and affection. Remember, making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. Your kindness and gratitude matters.
  12. Even the best relationships don’t last forever. – People don’t live forever. Appreciate what you have, who loves you and who cares for you. You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they are no longer beside you. And remember, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday

What If You Woke Up Today With Only The Things You Thanked God For Yesterday.

My Grandmother- The one woman who has never been anything other than a True Proverbs 31 Woman. My grandmother has a backbone of God and Steel. She loved my Grandfather for fifty something years before she became a widow. She survived and overcame the battle of Breast Cancer twice in her lifetime. She now is mentally suffering with dementia. But, it sure keeps the family laughing even though it is a test of patience. She is beautiful, has more friends than any lady I've ever known and has always kept God number One in her life.

My Daddy- My dad and I have had our countless vein-in-your-forehead-popping-out-arguments. But, In the end we both know its because we are both just a like. Stubborn & Set in our own ways. He's made me mad. I've made him mad. But, it wasn't until the past two years when My dad became one of my best friends. From teaching me to load a shot gun to baiting a hook as a child. My dad taught me many of things, to where to pay your tithes, how a man thinks, & most importantly how to pray. He may not be perfect, but his advice always goes back to the "ya daddy told ya so." He showed me how to get out and stand on my feet & the past two years I have had the bestrelationship with him. From when I was little until now. I know day or night. My daddy will come running fast- packing heat, or with a trunk of packed groceries. I will always be a daddy's little girl.

My mother- Although we disagree on where I should be in life. I will have to say there are sometimes I know I have no one else to call or text and say Mom, I need someone to talk to... and I just know that she's my prayer warrior. She is a woman of God and I am forever thankful to come from Mother that is rooted in God's word.

My Aunt Cindy and Uncle JW- I have always been my Aunt's favorite since I was small. This woman taught me to shop, to love, and to buck up. She's been there when I needed to know that I was a woman of worth. She was there to tell me that it would be hard, lonely, but worth while. She was there to tell me when I needed to be reminded as to what My Grandy would do in a situation with a bad man. My back bone is made strictly of my "Matson Blood" I'm mean because My Grandy was mean. But, like a lady I was taught by her that you only need to stand up when you need to stand. But, you never let a man tell you to sit. haha! She brings care packages when I need them and text when she knows I need an ear. I don't know where I'd be without you and your blunt loving advice!

My Dog Maggie- Maggie was a Shelter pup that I picked up when I was laid off from work and going through the hardest time in my life. I was heartbroken and unemployed. Maggie knew why she was in my life from day one. Day's where I didn't get out of bed, eat, and just cry turned into days getting up to take her out. She was the Step to getting back up and hitting back the ladder in my life. She helped me get up and enjoy the outdoors. When I didn't wanna do anything but sleep and cry she would bury her head in my shoulder and just sleep with me. Her therapeutic way helped me cope. After someone giving her antifreeze this past Summer. I turned into her ladder. She didn't let me give up and I didn't let her. We've been through hell and back together. Without her. I know I'd given up.

Katey Martin- I don't know what I would have done in many of my Life's curve balls without you by my side. Even when we go without talking from time to time. Your still my go to girl and we pick up right where we left off. Thank You for everything you've ever done for me or said to make my hard times better. You truly are My Best Friend & I am so Thankful for you!

Jeanie Ogle- My number one positive influential friend. As a Wife, a Youth Leader's Wife, A director in direct sales, An MBA job title, Antique loving, dog compassionate, 9 to 5 Xray Technician, and a Alabama Teen Challenge passionate lady. I have never met someone who is so positive and well put together. The Many Dr. Pepper Can's and Front Porch therapy sessions we have had on Milton Avenue have done me more help and good than you will ever know! God uses you my friend in so many ways!

Brooke, Carey, & Kirstin- I met you all nearly two years ago in Vancouver, Washington & the moment we sat at out "Southern table" we four became best friends and soul mates. Each of us were going through a change in our lives or about to endure a hard ship that each of us couldn't have gone through without encountering a few strangers on the West coast that week in August. I know each of you have given me advice that I couldn't have ever received from anyone else. Although, we are in different states, I am thankful that our clique has remained to be very close. Each of you are beautiful women. I thank God for each of you on a daily basis. Single. Married. Mothers. Or whatever You will always be my go to girls for a fun night out or a shoulder to cry on. Whether it's Kirstin's dry to the point advice to Brooke's wild nights at Fado and relationship advice over mimosa's on a Sunday. Or Carey's Been there done that shoulder to cry on and bed to lay in on a Sunday and watch tv. Each of you hold a special memory, and special place in my heart.

Alison Sorely- Whether it's a midnight chair on the streets of downtown Sylacauga, dancing to jute box tunes, a Road trip to Atlanta, or Walking the Streets of College Station Mall in Texas. You have been a soul mate type friendship. I am thankful for our late night texts, your kicking butt skills in Words With Friends, our conversations about men, God, clothing, fashion, weddings, and life have helped me so much! I am thankful for you in so many ways.

Kayla- Although we have a don't talk for awhile but pick up right where we left off friendship. I am so thankful for you! If it's tears on my couch in the middle of the day, or advice over our what's suppose to be a monthly date to Sips & Strokes, Or that gym membership we never worked out with. You are one of the strongest women I've ever met. You are the most beautiful put together person I've ever met. & I am so thankful for you!

Angela & Tammy- Both of you have meant so much to me over the past six years. I look up to you in many ways. From Charge Nurses, to "moms", and my best friends. You both are strong women and I don't know what I'd do without you both!

Be thankful.