How Competing Changed Me.

Because today is the last day of the first month of the year, I was planning on reciting the list of New Year Resolutions I have made for myself… But yesterday, something amazing happened to me that made me rethink what I wanted to say.

Yesterday I competed in my 3rd RX’d competition (and amazingly I placed 3rd), this aligns with one of my NYR of competing as much as possible, preferably once a month if I am able. But while I was competing, I found that what I love most about competing is being around strong women who are only there to be their daily bests.  That’s what crossfit is about.  None of us workout together, none of us know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  We only know our bodies and our personal bests… so we push as hard as we can and we hope that it’s good enough. I just love that…


But that’s not why I am posting today.  I am posting today because of what happened going into the final workout for the competition.

A little back story though, in December I competed for the first time in Las Vegas.  I competed RX in a competition, assuming I wouldn’t make it to the final round which the standards clearly showed “Bar Muscle-Ups”… which is a movement I have yet to figure out.  But, only 7 girls were in my divisions so I ultimately ended up in the final workout.. (Don’t worry I let my judge know that I was NOT supposed to make it this far) And in it was this movement I didn’t have.  Thankfully, though there were 3 different final workouts so I was able to redeem myself… but as I went into the workout with the bar muscle-ups, I called to the crowd for a coach to help guide me through the movement, I even asked my judge to help me as I attempted, and failed at trying.  But the crowd was supporting me as I tried and tried and tried.  So finally when that workout ended, and I placed last, I went into the final workout motivated by the crowd and ended up getting first! So I got 5th in the competition–better than I had expected of myself…

So this brings me to yesterday.  Prior to starting the final workout that helped ensure my third place finish a woman stopped me to ask if I was the one from the Crossfit Competition that couldn’t do bar muscle ups… after I confirmed her that that was in fact me, she looked at me and said “Thank you.” As I stood there looking confused, she continued to explain to me that my courage to enter a competition as RX even though I didn’t have quite all the movements for, inspired her to compete in the competition as RX’d instead of as scaled.  I had given her the inspiration to push herself even if she would fail…IMG_8600

That to me was better than any trophy, any placement, any reward I got from competing. That was my inspiration, and that is why I am so motivated to compete!  So as I continue on my crossfit journey, push yourself to compete, even if you can’t do everything, even if you might fail, you might not realize that you are inspiring someone else to face their own fears.

Now, competing has changed my mindset. I know I am not the best, I may never be, but I know that I can and will always push myself to be my best. And maybe I can help inspire people, and maybe they will help inspire me… you just have to try.


How have you been inspired? Who has helped inspire you?

New Home. New Gym. Part 1.

Today marks my 1 month anniversary to my new home in Las Vegas.  Where has the time gone?


It has been extremely busy getting settled and trying to continue my life as if I hadn’t moved.

When I got to Las Vegas aside from having a place to live my only other goal was to find a place I could call my home gym. I went through so many emotions leaving my home at Crossfit Regulus.  I knew I wanted to find a place that mimicked how I felt with my lion family… and after a few gym shopping trips, I settled on my new home gym.

I am now a member of Crossfit CULminaTion.

The crossfit community and the family like feeling is the reason why I have been so obsessed and addicted to crossfit. When I was getting ready to move to Las Vegas I knew that I had the ability to choose a more elite, more well known gym that would probably help me become a more competitive crossfitter…but my main goal as an athlete is to workout until I’m 90 with people I love and want to be around… this is why I chose my gym.  Plus they push me to be competitive anyways. So jokes on you big gyms!


With my new CULminaTion crew for a photo shoot! Good People and Good Vibes.

The people and the coaches so easily and quickly allowed me to become a part of their family.  They pushed me crazy hard the first workout and they let me talk smack. They have invited me to gym events even though I was so new.

I feel so lucky to be a member of this new gym.  I honestly am the luckiest person because I get to selfishly be a member of two crossfit families without remorse or guilt.

Looking forward from this point I am preparing for another RX’d competition in Las Vegas.  RX’d competitions still intimidate me because I don’t think I’m quite good enough, but I also don’t think I would be doing myself any favors by being scaled.  I am rehabbing a hurt wrist, well I am pretending to be rehabbing it.


Good bye party to my Regulus Family. They made me cry with a signed shirt. I love them.

I am excited to make some new PR’s with my new gym, but I will never forget or fully let go of my family from Reno.



8 Definitive Reasons as to Why #KaraWebb is my Spirit Animal

Yes, you read it right… I truly believe that Kara Webb is my spirit animal.  Have you seen her though, who would not want her to be the voice in your head when you feel like giving up during a work out?… So because of that I have determined 8 specific reasons as to why she is the spirit animal.

Reppin' my Kara Webb shirt... All Day!!

Reppin’ my Kara Webb shirt… All Day!!

  1. Her intensity. Kara Webb is intense for every single workout, every single competition, every single crossfit games.  She was incredible as she crossed the finish line after the dreaded “Murph” this last crossfit games, basically passed out, and still she ended in the final round of the games.
  2. Her sass and sarcasm.  If any of you know me, you know that my sass and sarcasm are the first things you meet.  That’s why I love Kara Webb.  She is someone I want to be best friends with. (this is how I judge any celebrities, if I wanna be friends with them– I like ’em)
  3. Her quads.  When I was growing up, I figure skated competitively for about 7 years and I was criticized by my unknowing friends about the size of my legs and my quads.  As I transitioned from figuring skating to school team sports, the comments never stopped about my legs.  She has helped me accept my beautifully big quads as gifts of strength instead of embarrassment.
  4. She’s funny. Another thing I judge people on.  She seems hilarious.  Please let me be your best friend!!
  5. She’s normal. You guy’s might think I am crazy already but she’s a real person.  She isn’t pretending to be anything more than who she is and I love that about people.  When they are 100% content with who they are, that’s when they deserve respect and that is who Kara Webb is to me.
  6. She’s Australian. I’ve always wanted an Aussie best friend… mostly because I suck at accents and they are my favorite.

    Photo by: CrossFit HQ

    Photo by: CrossFit HQ

  7. She’s badass.  She showed up to the crossfit games with a vengeance and she brought her “A” game.  She came stronger and better than ever and she straight killed it. She is proof that an injury doesn’t define you.
  8. Most importantly…. She’s Kind.  She seems kind and humble and fun.  I don’t know for a fact, but from what I have seen on tv, facebook or instagram… she is kind.  She cares about people and she cares about how she presents herself.  That more than anything is important to me.  That is why she is my role model.

So there you go.  Those are my reasons. She is a beast and a badass.  Watching her compete has motivated me to climb ropes and push myself.  It’s so insane how a person I have never met has encouraged me in life and in crossfit, but that’s what’s so special about it.

She is my spirit animal… who is yours?

Moving and Leaving your Crossfit Community…

This week has been a pretty big one.  Overwhelming and scary.  I have been in Las Vegas for the past 4 days on a house hunting trip.  I have accepted a job in a new city–albeit only an hour and twenty minute flight– but it is somewhere new.  Somewhere permanent.  I have been asked by multiple people on multiple occasions if I was nervous or scared… I decided to use this blog post to discuss some of these things…

The loves of my life.

The loves of my life.

I am absolutely frightened of the next adventure I am about to take.  I am heading to a city that I don’t have roots.  Of course I am nervous and scared, but I will never let that stop me from taking risk, from learning, or from growing.  I needed to do this for myself.  I really believe that moving is an essential life step that allows you to always learn and to grow as a person.  I never want to stop.

This is where crossfit comes in though.

I am so incredibly lucky to belong to this community of people.  I have support from strangers in this new city because I belong to crossfit.  It is amazing how many people are involved in the sport and are willing to reach out to you to make you feel welcome.  That is why I decided that this was a good time for me to start moving.  No matter where I go I am comfortable that I will be able to meet people because I have enveloped myself in such a rich and welcoming community.

I have only had the opportunity this week to go to one gym, but at that one gym a trainer put me in contact with a realtor that helped me find my new home in a matter of hours.  She reached out to me because I was a crossfitter.  How amazing is that? How strong of a bond is this sport that allows you to interact with people who I just met on such a personal basis?…

Yes, I am going to miss my gym more than I can even describe… Those people have built me to be the person I am, they have supported me as I went through the interviews and the internal struggles I had as I questioned whether I was good enough– but those people are ones I promise will always be a priority when I do get a chance to see them. (Jamie and Zack) I am scared, but the most beautiful thing about crossfit is that it is a universal language.  No matter where I go, it is still crossfit.

I have an opportunity to establish new roots at a new gym. I am so excited to start blogging about those people and my new adventures.  For now, I am engulfing myself with nostalgia and reminiscing on the beautiful path I have had at Crossfit Regulus. When I leave I will have had a year and four months with them.  Just a short time in the big picture of life, but enough for me to know that those people, those faces, those personalities are the loves of my life. Again, thank you for letting me be a lion.  It has been an honor.

Summer lows and Crossfit Woes

It has been quite some time since I have blogged about my crossfit addiction… No worries though, I am still very much dependent on my drug– maybe even more so than before.  This summer I decided to step away from blogging to really focus on myself.  I have learned a lot about who I am and who I want to be.  I watched the crossfit games and saw amazing athletes get pushed to their absolute limit and fell more in love with this sport than ever before.

You’re probably wondering what on earth did I need to step back from to learn about myself… well, as you all know I have been strict on my diet.  I decided to test the waters of that this summer to see how I felt.  I am still very much paleo, but I decided that my body wasn’t getting the proper nutrition that it needed so I mix it up a bit from time to time… I allow myself to munch on rice occasionally and I have upped the times I will eat sweet potatoes in a month… (these aren’t my fave because they make you so FULL.) I also did some soul searching.  I decided that being at the old age of 24, I was limiting the experiences I was having by absolutely never ever going out– so with that, I have become a young person again… more apt to go and grab drinks with friends because I refuse to live with regret.

I competed in my very first RX competition for my 1 year anniversary to crossfit and successfully did a muscle up in a workout.. a PR at the time.  I have worked on and progressed this skill exponentially since that moment.  It was in that moment that I finally found comfort and motivation in that skill… and I traveled to Botswana Africa to visit my sister… This place had no idea what crossfit was and it was a crazy culture shock.

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In summary, there were some things that I have to remind myself about crossfit, especially for someone who works full time and goes to school full time…

  1. Use crossfit and nutrition as therapy. It is a place to go to be happy.  I would so often get caught up with weight and times that I forgot that I actually really love crossfit for taking me out of my busy day. Crossfit is supposed to be fun, once you lose that what is the point anymore?
  2. You are still a damn human being. Your body get tired.  Rest when you need it.  Push when you can, but remember you are a human and sometimes things come up that take priority.  That is OK! You can miss workouts and still get better. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  3. If you want a damn beer, drink a damn beer.  I found a new love for beer this summer… so I drink it for fun.  Don’t limit yourself, if you are doing a lifestyle change you still get to treat yourself.  Self-control is a diminishing resource… allow yourself to indulge to keep yourself on track..
  4. Not every day needs to be max effort.  This is something I struggled with mentally for a long time.  Some days your head isn’t in it, or your mind.  That’s okay. Do what you can and be okay with it.  Go for daily PR’s.
  5. Do team competitions.  If you want to feel good about competing, grab a team and do a competition.  I just did one yesterday and I absolutely loved it.  I was injured a bit, but you just get this insane adrenaline rush knowing that you have a support system right there with you… DO IT.

Let me know what you did this summer at crossfit!!!

Saying “See Ya” to one of your Crossfit Coaches

This blog is to serve as a spotlight on one of the coaches that I have had the honor of knowing for the past year.  He has pushed me, pissed me off, and made me better basically each and every day that I entered the gym.  This is JB “Jibby”.  He has an amazing work ethic and inner fat kid… like all of us. He was there for my first pull-up, my first hand-stand push up (that happened yesterday), my first muscle up, all of my PR’s and Max’s, and now he is leaving to greener and greater places and adventures as he continues his education in Las Vegas.  So how do we say goodbye or See ya?

The fact of the matter… He has done great things, and he will continue doing great things.

See Ya Later Coach Jibby.

See Ya Later Coach Jibby.

What can I say about JB?… Ahh, well he has seen me break down and cry, he has seen every single struggle I have gone through and he has been there to build me back up and help me get better.  That’s what everyone will miss when he leaves.  He is an energy in the gym. He is a friend and a coach.

I guess it’s hard saying goodbye to people who have been there for you and with you for the past year.  I can honestly say that I have spent more time with these people than I have with my family and with other friends who don’t go to crossfit.  That is why we are a family.  We support each other’s dreams and goals and we love and cherish the time that we have with each other.

I know that you will do great things JB.  Thank you for being a coach and thank you for inspiring my crossfit journey.  You will be missed but you will not be forgotten… not like you would let us forget you anyways.

Cheers to Vegas.

Has anyone else had to say goodbye to a coach or crossfit friend? Share your story in the comments below.

Memorial Monday “Murph”

Most workouts create this inner dialogue within myself that sounds a lot like “this sucks” or “why do I keep coming back?” or “I like this right?” because you don’t feel the benefits of the workout until the endorphin rush after you finish. Today was different.

Boxes all over the country and even the world went out and did the Hero workout “Murph”.  This workout was created and named after Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan at the age of 29. Actually, the movie “Lone Survivor” based off the book of the same name was written by the only survivor in the firefight that took Lieutenant Murphy’s life.  Murphy lost his life as he exposed himself to enemy gunfire when he made a call for reinforcements, even after being shot he signed off of the radio “Roger that, thank you.”

This workout was one of Murphy’s favorite, he named it “Body Armor”.  This is appropriate because in the crossfit description it states “if you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.” It consists of:

1 mile run

100 pull-ups

200 push ups

300 air squats

1 mile run

I broke up the body of the workout by doing 20 rounds of 5 pull-up, 5 push ups, 15 squats, 5 push ups.

Crossfit Regulus about to start "Murph"!

Crossfit Regulus about to start “Murph”!

Crossfit workouts are created in honor of these forgotten hero’s.  A lot of us support the troops and we are proud to be an american, but we often struggle with showing how to do that.   This is one of the ways we are able to honor those who have lost their lives by sacrificing for our and my freedom.

So today my inner dialogue lost its negativity and found purpose.  I was doing this workout for Murphy, for the memory of him, for the sacrifices he made, for the family that lost him, and for those who are doing what he had done.

Today was my first Memorial Day as a crossfitter and it was by far the best way I could have spent it.

How did you celebrate your Memorial Day?

Why I Watch the Crossfit Regionals

How many of us are on our second binge of the Crossfit Regional’s? I have my hand raised as high as it can go.  I have been binge watching all of the events and competitors from around the world.  For those of you who don’t know, the Regional’s are the competition that immediately follows the Crossfit Open. It takes only the best of the best from each region to narrow down the playing field even more to find those who will be competing in Carson for the Crossfit Games.  It’s an exciting time because it gives us viewers a chance to see some of the new standards that are being raised prior to the new batch of “gamers” take the field in July.  But for me, I watch it for something completely different.

That one time I did "Randy" for fun. #firebreather

That one time I did “Randy” for fun. #firebreather

For those that read my blog a lot, you know that I am pretty loud about how I feel about women being judged for having muscles or being ridiculed for looking to masculine… well, watching these men and women compete at these events makes me little heart happy.  These competitions are a place for these men and women (especially women) get to showcase their hard work and their powerful bodies.  This is a place that not only accepts these body types but glorifies them and promotes them.  This is what excites me.  I loved seeing Kara Webb kill Tommy V and Randy and then get a killer weight on her 1RM snatch, but I am most excited to see her because she has this amazing body that only exemplifies power and strength.  If I ever met her I would tell her to “Give me her muscles” because she is a serious crossfit beast. Or you get to see people like Lauren Fisher who is a young athlete, who is still rehabbing am injury, and kill workouts even against all the odds. I get inspired to work harder and to be stronger.

Crossfit has brought a lot of things into my life.  I like to think that it took me from being this “small” person who was afraid to break the barrier of societal norms to this person who literally doesn’t care if someone isn’t pleased with how my body is looking.  It made me want to promote a healthy lifestyle and strength and weight training and for women to love the body their in even they were blessed with thunder thighs or thighs that touch…

So while you are all watching the Regional’s look at these athletes and appreciate and thank them for their journey.  Many of them have had the same struggles that we are dealing with.  They have had haters and supporters, but ultimately they have embraced the community that has allowed them to be comfortable to be in their own skin and proud of their bodies and hard work.

What have been your favorite part of Regional’s so far?

Crossfit Separation Anxiety

Last week I went on a 10 day crossfit binge.  I knew I was going to start class today and would ultimately have to sacrifice crossfit for 11 days… not in a row, but in total.  Tonight in class we discussed what opportunity costs… and for my example I wrote hesitantly, the opportunity cost of showing up to class was greater than that of going to the gym.  This is how much of the kool-aid I have had to drink! Even when the I struggle mentally to push myself, this is the place I want to be.

Tonight was the first day.  I have 3 more days until I will be back in the gym.  Until I am back in my therapy session and my happy place.  When I think about this, I think I am silly.  Like come one Danae you were at the gym for 10 days straight, but this place is more than a gym to me. If any of you know Maslow’s hierarchy of needs then you might be able to understand this.  I have found ways to fulfill most of the layers of the pyramid. I have always felt I struggled with the social/love layer… that is what crossfit is to me.  It allows me a place to have friends, to be open, and to love people who enjoy the same things as I do… I don’t have to be working out to feel this way, yes, there is some science behind the whole endorphin thing, but for the most part this place makes me feel good with out the physical release of a natural drug.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Photo Courtesy of simplypsychology.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Photo Courtesy of simplypsychology.

Yep, this is what happens after one day away from the place. I freak out and get all gushy.

As I head into my second day away from my gym… keep me in your thoughts.  I will mentally be preparing myself to fight any urges I have of falling into the fetal position.

What was the longest that you didn’t go to the gym? Why? Comment with your stories!

Scaling Up

Recently,  I have been on a mission to work out as hard as possible for as many days as possible.  You are probably thinking.. What?! This girl is crazy… Part of it probably has to do with the fact that next week I am taking a summer school class that will require me to be at school Monday thru Thursday from 5:30-9:45… so my thought process behind it is if I can work out as much as possible on the days that I don’t have class then I will be fine when I am only able to work out three times a week. I definitely haven’t followed the Invictus recommendation… going on 9 days in a row.. EEK.

Did you just read that though?  Last year around this time I was working out like zero times a week and now I am sad that I can only work out three days a week rather than the normal 5 or 6? This is what crossfit has done to me… I think if crossfit were a person, it would sing Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed” song to me.. because that’s what I am obsessed.

Anyways, so recently I have been trying to do all the workouts RX’d or RX’d+.  Scaling up (there is a discussion on this topic, check the link!) has been a real challenge mentally for me.  Just thinking about the additional weight or the taller box jumps gets to you. A couple of days ago we did a 20 minute partner AMRAP: 5 Burpees, 7 Box jump overs, 9 goblet squats (53/35) with each person alternating rounds.  Well, I teamed up with my coach because I need that extra push sometimes. I grabbed the 45# kettlebell for the goblet squats…

Goblet squats are the devil. Especially after maxing out your back squat the same day.

So we started the workout.  I started with the 20″ box jumps because I had already scaled up the goblet squats… until my coach changed the box… being someone who can’t handle being challenged and folding to peer pressure, I started doing 24″ box jumps… and not to long after that I found myself with this…



I didn’t stop when this happened because you have to keep going, you have to get over that fear of the box again.  I kept pushing. And the workout finished.  Thankfully.

Sometimes I need these reminders to tell me that I have improvement to make.  That I have to focus on the things that I am doing in the gym because when I get careless, I get hurt.  It also shows me that I can keep pushing myself.  Actually, it helps me eliminate the excuses I have for days I don’t put max effort in.

Does anyone else try and scale up just to fight their mental demons rather than their physical demons?