when in doubt, follow how you want to feel.

I don’t think I realized how bad everything was until I got a phone call that jump started this next chapter in my life. The message: “You are not happy.”

Having someone actually say this out loud – to me – was a slap in the face, in the best way possible.

The first three months of 2014 were hellacious. Then the months that followed up until the day I left just felt as if I were playing catch up. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything meaningful, I wasn’t showing up fully, and my mood and energy levels were the pits. I had been going through the motions, not realizing that my actions (or lack there of) were affecting how others see me, and ultimately, how I felt.

Rewind to last year. I had a choice between two jobs. One that sounded fun, cool and all the things you should totally go for, but also very unfamiliar to me. The other? Completely familiar and fell in line with what I had already had some experience in – plus – it was more financially stable. I deferred to the familiar (read: comfortable) territory. In hindsight, the irony of my decision is that I’m always mentioning to friends, and constantly reminding myself to do things that scare you and make you uncomfortable – and I didn’t even take my own advice!

This time around when I knew and felt that I had to get out of this environment, I also had a choice between two jobs. This time, I trusted my gut and made the decision based on the sole factor that every fiber of my being wanted to feel free. The minute I received the offer, I literally felt lighter. I had dug myself a hole and fought with my own thoughts thinking that I’m just having a bad day or a bad few weeks, but that phone call changed the game. I shifted my pieces and made moves to launch me in a different direction.

So, I quit. Again.

Sidenote: Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map has been extremely beneficial this past year, and I owe a lot to her for helping me get some clarity on how I want to feel in my life.

I’m in full swing of my new job, new position and entirely new field.  Now, I’m:

  • Free to make decisions based on helping others.
  • Free to plan my off days however I want, without being paranoid on missing out on important emails.
  • Free to take ownership in leadership, development and actual things that matter that will help my team.
  • Free to share my ideas with those who are like me.

Before I knew any better, I would‘ve said that I feel more balanced today than ever before. Instead, I feel free. I’ve learned that “finding balance” is a never-ending battle that I'll never win. On some days, yes, I feel balanced – everything is in flow, my to-do list is crossed off, I took a yoga and CrossFit class that day(!), birds are singing, I made the best coffee ever, etc. – but I know that there will be days or weeks on end when shit just does not add up. I no longer strive for balance, because when one thing goes off kilter, I’ve found myself fighting too hard or wasting energy in that one thing to make sure everything else doesn’t fall off the scale. That shit does not work, at least for me.

Freedom. Agility. Action.

This is what my life is like right now. Having the freedom to decide, to implement, to work around my schedule and my team’s schedule, and the ability to take action on each item.

A few days after I quit, I received a text from a friend that read: “They relied on you to carry their sinking ship.”

And that same day, I came across this article that quoted Warren Buffett:

“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”

Amen, universe.

judgment day.

For 10 minutes I was in my element, on the other side of training.  I coached an athlete who recently started CrossFit, as in today was her 5th workout. CrossFit Owings Mills introduced a “new” type of programming wherein every member will be doing some sort of benchmark workout, titled Judgment Day.  It sounds scary and almost Terminator like, but it’s actually quite opposite. For the next four weeks of programming, the movements from the benchmark workout will be a focal point of the next month.  At the end of the four weeks, everyone does the same benchmark workout again, to see if he/she improved.

“Having someone judge your workout adds an element of accountability and pressure that is not always found in the daily WOD.” - Coach Nick

To get a true feel of what it’s like to be in competition mode, this box introduces a format in which members can be the coach/judge and competitor.  In a pretty packed class of about 20-30 athletes, we were broken down into pairs and the head coach explained how to be a judge (e.g. what to look for in each movement, what a “no-rep” is).  In addition to counting reps and looking for good form, the judge is also there to encourage the athlete through the workout.

I didn’t realize how much I missed this aspect of coaching – cheering on an athlete to fight through each rep.  I took into consideration that my partner was new to this (she mentioned she’d never been in a competition like this before) so I made sure I wasn’t being too hard on her.  Since this benchmark had a time limit, in the moments where she was resting I gave her succinct cues on how to strategize the next movement, by breaking down the rep scheme.  As a newbie, and I’ve been through this as well, you don’t necessarily know how to strategize the WOD.  Typically you just fight through each rep ‘til exhaustion, and that’s not necessarily the best way to go about a workout – as in you’ll get burned out early on.

Completing all 270 reps (ranging from single-unders to thrusters to pull-ups) in 9 minutes and 42 seconds, she finished her first competition-like workout under the 10-minute cap.  Although exhausted, and lying on the floor in true CrossFit fashion, she was completely stunned and elated that she got through it all.

Kudos to her for pushing through, and I’m proud to say I had a minor role in her accomplishment.