Thank you, Morning Chalk Up

3 months ago, I was stepping GINGERLY into the shower with my husband and I looked him in the eye and said “I’m never going to PR my squat again and I’m okay with it.”

The last time I was able to max was Fall of 2017. And my joint health has just been such a problem. But I didn’t ever give up. And I never stopped working.

In 2016, I had my first trip to the knee surgeon. The surgeon gave me 5 diagnoses on my left knee and assumed the right knee was in a similar status because I have a congenital defect. To simplify it – I was born with my knee caps in the wrong place and dislocate very easily. The surgeon told me that there was little to nothing that he could do. To quote him as closely as possible, what he said was “one day you’re going to not be able to bear the pain anymore and you’re going to say “it’s time” (to get a total knee replacement). The reason that he said “one day” is that if I went for a TKR, it would be a long and slow rehab and it would probably remove me from competitive CrossFit and Olympic lifting.

I’ve done the work that the knee surgeon recommended – I tape my knees (McConnell taping technique), wear braces, ice, compress and done so much PT.

Fast forward. May. I can pinpoint it. It was the Thursday before we were to do Murph. I had just done a shitton of double unders. I mean. SO MANY. Because my assignment was to get 10 sets of 30 unbroken and to keep going until I could do that. So. I did. And it took me about 45 minutes and 23,000 attempts. I was moving onto Snatches and had set up on the OLY platform. Next to the platform was a stack of weights that butted up to the weight shelf. I put my water bottle there, but being clumsy, I dropped it. I walked around to the front of the shelf to retrieve it, but I couldn’t reach. So, I stooped down and leaned forward, reaching for the water bottle. My knee gave a loud pop. But that was it. I got my water bottle and went back to practicing snatches.

Middle of the night, I got up to go to the bathroom, and I could not bear ANY weight on my knee.

After a day, we went to urgent care. Got x-rays. Got sent home with a big metal hinge brace and prescription for 400mg Ibuprofen. Doctor’s appointment and then surgeon appointment and then MRI and another surgeon’s appointment resulted in one course of oral prednisone (and a weight gain of about 8 lbs which is BOOOO HISSS) and then a cortisone shot in my knee … because … I tore my medial meniscus this time. I started PT at Rokke Therapy and had to lay off squatting.

But then. Slowly, strength in my legs started to come back. Jake programmed SO MANY exercises besides the PT (which I still do EVERY MORNING) … following the PT’s recommendations of lots of single leg work. Lots of slow, steady movement. SO MANY BOX SQUATS. BORING WORK. But work that I was willing to do.

So when there was a front squat ladder at last weekend’s competition that went from 65 to 175#, I was aiming to HOPEFULLY make the 155 bar. That one went down and up easy … so I decided to hit the 165# bar. And figured why not try on the 175. It was money.

I’m always learning.

I now know that I just can’t ever say something is not going to happen.

And I also know that the world is watching, or at least Mama Danger is ❤️ and she writes for the Morning Chalkup and they celebrate all of the wins.

Being Authentic … and having a Growth Mindset … is a CHOICE

authentic (1) of undisputed origin; genuine (2) based on facts, accurate, reliable (3) relating to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposeful, and responsible mode of human life

Photo by Molly Bermea of Frizz Studios; Style by Megan Blake of MB Beauty; Outfit by The Chestee; Site CrossFit Code Red, Hillsboro OR

Last weekend, I was so fortunate to have been the subject of a photoshoot. I am a brand ambassador for The Chestee and it was time to get more than screenshots from video for promotion of my involvement with the brand. I’ve never had a photoshoot like this before. There was a makeup artist and hair stylist. There were multiple outfits to change and so many props. And honestly, good music thanks to my CrossFit coach and so many laughs, smiles and fun thanks to everyone involved.

The photographer Molly was amazing. She has some experience shooting CrossFit, a graphic arts background and has an amazing gift at capturing someone’s spirit and personality in a photo. And this gift is why she was chosen for this photoshoot. We wanted someone to capture ME. Not just another fit girl modeling a sports bra.

I will be 100% honest about what I first saw when I saw this picture vs what I see with my growth mindset focus.

I first saw the flap of skin hanging over the waistband of these pants and was immediately disappointed in myself for not tucking it in.

But then, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that the skin is there as a sign of human life and healing. That skin is just a physical representation of growth between when I was trying to find my way and today.

And in this moment of realization, I immediately felt so happy, proud and motivated to just keep plugging away.

The truth is … flap of skin or not … THIS PHOTOGRAPH IS AMAZING. It captures the ESSENCE of WHO I AM. I am HAPPY. I am STRONG. I LOVE the barbell. Living life to the fullest, laughing and spending time with my family and working towards my goals using small baby steps is the core of my identity.

I could have made the choice in that moment to remain critical of my body and not like this photo. Or I could have requested that my photographer photoshop that skin out.

But instead, I am so proud to be able to share this amazing picture. I have made the choice to be authentic, to love myself … and I am sharing it, proud and happy. This is who I am.

 #lovelife#happyhappy#workharder#traineverydamnday#maketimeforyou#eatcleantraindirty#realitycheck#growthmindset#crossfitgirls#momswithmuscles#fitness#transformationtuesday#thisis200lbs 📸 by @frizzstudio 💄 by @mbsbeautypage outfit by @thechestee (use CORINNE10 in your 🛒 to save some 💰) || #worldsokayestweightlifter#mastersathlete#snatch#barbell#babe#crossfit#weightloss#transformation#transformationjourney#ilostweight#crossfitmasters#sweat#fitspo

So, The Cooks were featured on the Morning Chalk Up …

Morning Chalk Up.png

About a year and a half ago or maybe more, Caleb, one of my friends at CrossFit, introduced me to this great daily email called The Morning Chalk Up.

So, of course, being ALL IN to this newfound CrossFit life … I enthusiastically subscribed and religiously read it. Even when I am B-U-S-Y … I leave the emails unread in my email box so that I can catch up on the weekend.

I have sent the Morning Chalk Up’s “tips” email a few items here and there  … mostly events.

One morning, over my cup of coffee, I noticed that neither of the upcoming Barbells for Boobs events we are attending were appearing on the email’s calendar.  I decided that I better submit them.  After all, I set a fundraising goal of $250 and I needed to meet it … plus I felt the publicity would be great for both gyms.

When I sent the email to their tips line, I think that I said something along the lines of “this is the event at my new gym” and “this is the event where I met my husband – you should share that story.”  The completely unexpected response was … “Okay. Let’s hear this story.

My full intent in dropping the hint in the first place was (1) to fundraise for Barbells for Boobs (and … YES! it worked – we got a random donation from a person saying she liked our story).  And … especially because one of my favorite instagrammers is going through some dating world shit along with three of my Ashlete sisters sharing terrible dating stories … (2) so that the message of hope could be spread.

THANK YOU MORNING CHALK UP for helping me spread this message <3.

When it comes to relationships … I now write “believe in the fairy tale … it does exist” to other women. BECAUSE IT DOES.  This is not Disney bullshit. It’s about living life without compromise.

I LOVE to keep life positive and am living proof of how working hard, keeping focused and slow and steady can have terrific outcomes…. YET …. SO MANY WOMEN (that was me a year ago!!) feel like they have to work SO HARD to pursue men in order to find the one AND DO IT IN A HOT MINUTE.

But mine fell in my lap.  Truthbomb: I would have NEVER found him on a dating app. Not. Ever. He’s old (my age range on the app ended at 50. He’s 52). He’s short (seriously he is seriously short – 5’2″ and maybe a half and the shortest my range went was 5’8″).

Fast forward a few email exchanges with Jessica Danger over a few weeks time and I woke up to about 300 instagram notifications and knew it had been published.

Read and enjoy …

She Just Came To Do Grace And Left With A Husband

I have qualified AND he registered me!!!!! This will be my first individual masters athlete competition!!

If my loving and supportive husband Mike didn’t encourage me to try for this masters division in the @canwestgames, I wouldn’t have. 💕💕 . And tonight, he sealed the deal and paid for my registration.  MY FIRST INDIVIDUAL MASTERS COMPETITION>>>> and yes … I know that I may not be able to do ALL the things prescribed, but you know that I will do the best I can with everything that does show up within my abilities!! So, maybe there will be muscle-ups and me staring at the bar, but the yoke-carry, jump-over-the-wall, farmers-carry workout should be do-able for me.

Mike – thank you for your patient, encouraging and loving ways. Thank you for videoing, and for judging me (even in the one you no-repped me) … and for not giving up on me even when I was crying for not being able to get a HSPU … and for meeting me at the gym on our off day so that I could redo the clean workout because you believed as much as I did that I could get more.

A year ago life was so different. I’m so grateful you are in my life now to share these moments and this growth.

#hegetsme #igethim #crossfitcouple#imnotlast #progressnotperfection#domoreofwhatyoulove#imlearningtodomoreofthethings#liftalltheweights #ilovetoclean#andbycleanimeandipanddrive#doubleundersarethedevil#butirowlikeamotherfucker#anddowallballslikeaboss#burpeesaremyjam

Today is a Big Day

 

Over 5 years in braces. I’m so happy for my 16 year old daughter to get her teeth naked today. This was a huge investment in time … so many appointments.

The reason I’m posting this here is a little reminder for everyone doing Transform You.

Lizzy’s teeth “transformation” is so much like a weight loss transformation .. it took patience, time and a bit of discomfort … she relied on a team of supporters (mom, dad, sister, orthodontist and techs, friends who also had braces), had to follow instructions, be patient/not disappointed/remain hopeful through multiple changes (gaps appear and disappear and unfortunately sometimes reappeared), remember to wear her headgear and bands and trust the process.

Today’s a big day 💕💕💕