live. fate loves the fearless.

EVOLVE

EVOLVE
March 4, 2016 miranda

evolve: verb //   to develop gradually from a simple to a more complex form.

I just submitted my score for 16.1.

I got 225 reps which is good enough for 143rd place in Southern California.

7 months after having surgery for a complete ACL tear and a meniscus tear I managed to do 160 overhead walking lunge steps in a workout.

Those closest to me have been nothing but proud and supportive….everyone else? Maybe not as much.

The common question that is asked ALL OPEN LONG is “how’d you do?”. Random strangers, people you barely know want to know what you got. When you are known for being an athlete in this sport that makes it to Regionals and has competed in the Games they expect you to say some amazing number every week. So, how long do I have to keep that up for?

Almost every person who has asked me what I got has responded with “REALLY?! Why?! What happened?!” when I tell them my score. It’s then followed up with, “Are you going to redo it?!” or “Don’t worry, you’ll crush the other workouts I bet.”. All of this without me saying whether I was upset about my score or not…

For the past few days I have felt like I need to apologize or explain myself and my score to EVERYONE. I scramble to remind them that I got hurt, to tell them how difficult the lunges are for me, to explain that I had moved, and gone through this or that life situation. WHY AM I EXPLAINING MYSELF?

I also love the “You’ll be back next year” or “You’re going to come back stronger than ever.”. Again, well meaning, and really sweet that people believe in me and love watching me compete. But I ask again – how long do I have to keep this up?

mirrowI am an athlete.

I am super competitive and I LOVE training.

I love CrossFit.

But guess what?

I am human. I get busy. I have life challenges. I get injured. I have a job and other responsibilities. And, newsflash – athletes get burnt out too.

I have noticed that often, in CrossFit and other sports,  athletes kind of “disappear” when they retire from competing. It can be very emotionally and psychologically difficult to continue to allow your fitness to be public when it’s not at the level that it once was. This is why every year we have well known athletes that just don’t sign up for the Open. Trust me, these people still work out – but they don’t want to deal with what it will feel like or how others will respond if they are no longer performing at the highest level.

For me, this year, I KIND OF have an excuse that I could use with my knee. Now, it’s a legitimate excuse in a lot of regards, but that’s not the whole picture. I have made other things in my life more of a priority and I have made a commitment to get out and start having more fun with my training again.

I train once a day, most days, for about 1.5-2 hours is all. I have been salsa dancing, doing yoga, hitting some bodybuilding stuff because (spoiler alert) that shit is FUN!! And, I don’t feel any pressure to impress everyone when I do that stuff. I am just working out!

progenexyoga

This past year has given me such a new perspective and such an amazing opportunity. I can choose to continue the path I have followed for 9 years. I could really focus and get back in the gym for hours every day. I could quit my new amazing position with Progenex so I have more time to train. I could tell my significant other that I can’t spend as much time with him. I could drop the dancing and the yoga and the other activities to get myself back to where I was. I am sure if I did that that I could do better on the first workout of next year’s Open.

OR

I could choose to recognize the amazing place that I am in in my life. I could choose to appreciate the success that I have had over the past 9 years competing in CrossFit and be SATISFIED. I could instead, seize all of these opportunities and create some new and exciting goals. I could learn to LOVE working out again, with no pressure on the outcome. I could inspire people by being a real person and doing my best with my busy schedule and the 33 year old, post broken neck and torn ACL body.

At some point we need to allow ourselves and others to EVOLVE.

My goal for the rest of the Open is to treat this as a psychological and emotional challenge more than a physical one. I strongly considered not posting my score this week. But, I forced myself to – because I need to learn to find the joy again and to not worry what others might say or think. I don’t want to run from that, but allow it to make me stronger.

I am not necessarily retiring or anything like that, but I am no longer a full time athlete – that is for sure.

I’m EVOLVING.

  • Julian

    You are amazing babe love this

  • Maggy H

    First time on your site, thanks to PaleoMG, love this post. EVOLVE, true for athletes at so many levels. Your inner strength and ability to balance life and the challenges that come our way is inspiring.
    Thank you for sharing:)

  • Michele

    I am by no means a full time athlete or competing in the games. We as humans, as mothers as daughters as girlfriends, wives whatever, need to allow ourselves to evolve. It is in these times of evolving that we can see who we really are and can fully enjoy the journey! Congrats on your numbers for 16.1. I am sure you were slightly disappointed, again that’s normal. I wish you continued luck and strength as you continue to evolve.

  • Adrian B

    You are amazing. And inspiring. Congrats on the launch of your blog.
    Let’s all continue to evolve together.

  • Rikki Boss

    If you’re not happy, nothing else matters! Do you girl! Keep up the great work.

  • mc

    Really enjoyed this post. Your are an awesome athlete I have been following the past 4 years. Couldn’t agree more with everything you said. Great journey.

  • Shelena Hoberg

    Excellent post! Well done Miranda, you are an inspiration for Fitness and Life!

  • Nina

    I think this is a great perspective to have! I’m happy you are enjoying life around you!

  • Amanda Wilder

    Inspirational! That is all that needs to be said.

  • Inspirational! That is all that needs to be said

  • Arianna Finnane

    So excited for you and your life decisions. You’re right, you don’t have to explain yourself. Very proud of you.

  • Tony

    I enjoyed reading this. Keep posting! I hope you get back into commentating for the games too. I actually think you’d be great and entertaining when it comes to interviewing athletes.

  • Vanesa

    Thank You Miranda for being 100%real! I love this ❤️❤️❤️

  • Kris Clever

    U awesome. Stay in it to win it. (life, that is)

  • Pam

    Good on you.
    I also have injuries and I’m getting tired of being in pain and pushing through to stay competitive all the time.
    I also have a full time job and it’s hard work doing both work and getting to regionals!
    This past year I had to scale back and work the basics , do some bodybuilding, and train less… you come back stronger and healthier physically and mentally.

  • Tami

    Well said! What makes you happy and satisfies you then that is all that matters. Love your blog! Love your determination after your injuries. Let us a EVOLVE together. Thanks for your perspective.

  • Chrisie

    Love this! I recently considered not signing up for the Open for the same reasons. By no means was I a Games athlete, but I agree about getting burned out and needing to evolve to LOVE working out again after the several years of busting my ass. I also experienced the same feelings after my college basketball career was over. We are not defined by what we do but who we are as humans. 🙂 Good luck on your journey.

  • Beta Rodriguez

    This is so amazing and inspirational! Love it love it love it !
    You will always be great and there is no need to keep up a different image from who you really are and what you really want to do! You have motivated so many people throughout your journey and showed us where hard work and dedication takes you! and I am sure you will keep motivating us whether you are a full time athlete or not, you have done your job right!! 🙂 Enjoy your life and keep being the amazing person you are !

  • Keniko

    Really well said, honest and heart felt ! Enjoy your life however you choose – you have a long life ahead and your head is screwed on perfectly. Good luck!

    Keniko

  • Megan

    You are an inspiration Miranda – CrossFit is NOT the be all, end all. Through I love the CrossFit community, some of the people in it just bug the crap out of me. They think that you have to eat, breath and sleep CrossFit. Well honestly, that’s unrealistic. Life happens. People have relationships, work, families. CrossFit can’t be priority at al times. Health and fitness, I agree should be one of the top priorities, but not so much that your shutting other things in your life completely out. People need to learn BALANCE.

    Good luck in all your endevors Miranda. You are a strong and highly impressive individual.

  • Erica

    Herniated neck, devastating break up, moved 3k miles, new job….. Still doing the Open and I am having more fun this year than any other. Training went from 4-5 hours to 2 hours after work, and I feel less prepared. But my scores are for ME. Not a team, not to impress, or compete for a spot, or win favor or get to regionals. My scores are all mine. And I love them. Also I go to a globo gym sometimes and it doesn’t matter what I do everybody is impressed. You should try it.

    Your tranparency is awesome. You’re not alone. Thank you!!!!!

  • Saska

    You continue to inspire me. Thank you for having the courage to speak your truth. I love following you!

  • Yes! You are the reason I found CrossFit. After finding your story of a broken neck online, I started my CF journey after getting mine fixed. You do not owe us anything, you owe it to yourself to be you! Get it gurl! Best of luck in your journey!

  • Jolene

    Great post! Great score for 16.1 too?I had ACL and meniscus surgery a couple months after you. 16.1 was my first time doing weighted lunges since surgery…. And they were hard! So be proud and continue your evolve journey???

  • Mona

    So good! I love the perspective and your attitude about evolving. Trying new things. Living. Life is short. You’re so inspiring!

  • Nancy

    Thanks Miranda. Well said.

  • Norm

    I am 48, I’ve had surgeries on my shoulder and my foot in the past 18 months, and I hurt daily. But I fight everyday. I workout. I lift. I run. And I will not let my body dictate to my mind. You are an absolute inspiration. The way you continue to fight, after your accident and injuries. Keep fighting. You are inspiring us all to continue dispite the pain.

  • Teresa

    You are so inspiring in every way! Beautifully written by a beautiful women. Enjoy, embrace and love your new journey! Best wishes in all that you do.

  • Masters athlete. Been to the games. Said I would kill myself to get there. And I did. Had massive rotator cuff surgery in September and rediscovered why I love to train. I can totally relate to ur post. It has been a blessing in disguise. Never thought I could compete this year but I am. And my results. All I say is that’s what in the tank right now. I know it will get better. Great insight. Keep on keepin on. I’m out. #comptrainmasters.

  • Chanel

    Great post. Life is a journey and we have to enjoy it. Your score was still awesome ?

  • Shannon Oran

    Atta girl Miranda O! Much respect for someone who doesn’t let life dictate them. Dictating your life!!!!!

  • Marie Huesgen

    You’re the most inspiring athlete I know!! You’re amazing and keep doing you. Have FUN in life and I wish you all the best for crossfit and everything else.

  • Alejandro P

    Thanks for sharing this!! You are an inspiration Miranda, whatever you choose to do we’ll follow you.

  • JunimalJune

    You are such an inspiration!! Thank you for sharing. Live your life, love lots and be happy!! Thank you for ALWAYS being a real person and never putting on a facade. Blessings, Miranda.

  • wayne

    Do it as long as you love it.

  • LRay

    Super proud of you, Miranda. Your strength and integrity to yourself are awesome to watch. Believe in yourself and others will follow. I believe in you.

  • KT

    Always inspirational … pro athlete or not. It’s admiration of the effort and dedication that you always exude, no matter what you are doing 🙂

  • Honest , strong and inspiring. Keep bringing it Miranda, and keep mixing it up and having fun. You have achieved at the highest level, and have the runs on the board – no one can take that from you.

  • Cheri Gaul

    You feeling good and being happy is what it’s all about! You owe no explanation or performance or outcome to anyone. Thank you for your honesty and I’m sure so many others appreciate it too.
    We are here to be healthy,happy and fit for a lifetime whatever that looks like at any given moment.
    Enjoy!

  • Tiffany Berry

    I love the “this is where I’m at” acceptance. We’re hardest on ourselves and have the highest expectations of ourselves. When we’re fixed on reaching a goal, that thing can begin to define us. If we meet it, we’re worthy. If we don’t, we’ve done something ‘wrong’, not worked ‘hard enough’ or are simply not ‘good enough’. Why, with all of this? WHY?! There’s SO much in life to find happiness in and to experience. Crossfit / HIIT training is a very small drop in a very big bucket. I love it as much as the next athlete but like you, there are other realms of life that offer a richness that makes my heart and soul happy. And that’s the shit that matters. In CF, in eating a meal with our family, in supporting those we love, in creating a job that we make good $ in and offers us different challenges that we get to rise to, in SO MANY areas of life!!!

    This was a nice testament to read. I think everyone (including myself) could stand to be a little kinder to our bodies and minds. <3

  • Craig Howard

    My thoughts exactly. Thank you.

    CFG Masters 1st , 2013
    CFG Qualified: 2011, 2013, 2014
    Competing since 2008

  • Karen Arnold

    I absolutely LOVE this! You are a true inspiration. I met you at Crossfit Costa Mesa for my level one, and am so thankful for your pure honesty in everything you are. You don’t have to explain yourself to ANYONE! Just keep stepping out of that comfort zone, having FUN, and setting the great example as a positive role model for aspiring athletes everywhere! Thank you!

  • Kristy Taylor

    Thank you for this. You are an inspiration!

    Wait until you have kids! :/

  • Julian Serna

    Good read, nice to see people that you’ve made the conscious decision to not let CF define who you are.

  • Lynda Schmidt

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! At 46 I tore my ACL it’s taken me almost 2 yrs to get even close to where I was. I am A mother! I am a Nurse Practitioner who provides for my family! I am a warrior! As are you! Keep it up lady! No one can take away what you have accomplished ever!

  • Dena Floyd

    That’s what’s up.. Live your purpose and enjoy the season that you’re in… Know one else knows that but you. Great blog post!

  • Mary Gacanica

    You are soooooo amazing and inspiring!!! This hit home for me. You are such an awesome woman! Keep killin’ it girl!! ❤️

  • Erika

    Miranda –

    I’m not even at the level you are at and am going through the same feeling. You are one step ahead of me posting scores as I didn’t want to hear what you are hearing. I know people care, but I needed to just like Crossfit again, join classes, move pain free. It turns out I let other people’s expectations and achievements push me to a bad place. 2 acl surgeries (pre CF) and disc herniations (during CF) later, it’s the only choice I had to stop and get healthy. It made me find my identity away from CF. It was needed. Reading a story like yours and knowing there’s others on a higher level experiencing the same is comforting. It’s kind of an uphill battle every day but I notice I’m happier. In the end, isn’t that all that matters? You’re awesome. Keep doing what you love. Thanks for sharing.

  • Good for you Miranda! You are a strong woman physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and a terrific example of persevering through very hard times and adapting to whatever changes come your way. Good luck with your new position, and keep having fun with your new activities!

  • Amy K. Smith

    I feel like I could have written this. Thanks, Miranda, for sharing your story and perspective.

    After losing my sister in September, I could not get the wherewithal to function at a 100% in the CF environment, and with the pressure I put on myself to push when my mind and heart wasn’t able to. Combined with a growing realization that I couldn’t keep the aesthetics I prefer and feeling burnout – ultimately led me to pull myself out of CF at the end of my contract four months later.
    I have “rediscovered” my love for BB, running and getting back to MY basics where it all started. It was hard to let go because of the camaraderie – but it has let me “heal” by focusing solely on myself without letting the pressure to perform get me down, potentially hurt from pushing beyond ability and hurt.
    Amen to you, and can’t wait to see what you do! And LOVE the hair!

  • Janine Marcoux

    Beautifully stated. Enjoy life. Choose what makes you happy. You are beautiful and inspirational.

  • Jerry Wilson

    Nice story, thanks for sharing, I know where you are coming from. Take care

  • I am Guilty….
    My sister is a Master Games athlete. It finally hit me, she has gone to the Games three years in a row an incredible feat at any age. She is a busy wife, business owner, mother to three amazing grown women and I never stopped to ask myself when does she find the time, how is she feeling, does she want to compete again this year and best yet how can I help? Instead, I expect her to win every workout and when she doesn’t I know she will do it again Monday morning and better her score by double digits. It all came to a screeching halt Monday morning when she text me that she did one less than Saturdays 16.4, my response was your first score was good enough. There was a long pause and she simply text back a simple “thank you”. I realized no matter what Shellie Edington does this year or any year going forward she is always number one to this brother and I couldn’t be more proud.

  • Dale Smith

    “Life gets in the way of the best laid plans” and that can be a great thing. Great balance of being “satisfied” and driven to compete for new challenges in life. Thanks.

  • Kathy

    I absolutely love your article. I wish you luck in your evolution. You are a bad ass in my book. I wouldn’t care if you were at the bottem of the deck. You have shown us what you can do. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone but yourself should you do so. Keeping living life.

  • 100% love just following your adventures and whether your competing or doing random fun stuff. You’ve been a great leader in our community!

  • KMK

    You don’t know me and I don’t know you, but I enjoyed what you had to say. I wish you much happiness and joy for the rest of your very long, we’ll balanced and healthy life!!!

  • Miranda – I must open by admitting that I have never heard of you; I am only loosely familiar with the competitive side of Cross-Fit. I am, however, a strength & conditioning coach in the NFL ( this is my 24th year) and have coach male and female athletes in high school and at the Division 1 level. I share this because I gather you have been and are a highly accomplished competitive athlete. I came across your post on Facebook while drinking my morning coffee. You have captured emotion and transparency in your post; cut through all the BS to share “you”. It can be uncomfortable to put yourself out there and share joys, fears, goals, and hurts, particularly for one who, even in a smaller community, is in the “public eye”. Really just wanted to thank you and let you know that you made my morning better today. I respect your words; please know you have reached others Miranda.
    Sincerest gratitude.

  • Kelsey

    Well done. Evolving will simply bring you back to the heart of Crossfit… Busy moms, service workers, students, masters, and everyone in between making the box a place to come during our busy life’s to be community and make each other better. Good luck on your journey!

  • Beautiful post. As an affiliate owner for 10 years and (once) a regional team athlete I can completely relate. I have 4 daughters, am in the Air Guard and a spouse who all needs my attention and I decided last year (after foot surgery and a large skin cancer tumor removal from my face) that I God has slowed me down for a reason. And that reason was to get me back to appreciating the little things in life and just use Crossfit as a means of making me move better and live a life that is enjoyable. When training for hours everyday, it becomes an obsession. Glad I was once there and am thankful for the experiences it brought me, but I am more thankful for the wakeup call I have had this year. Thanks so much for posting and sharing your experience and continue on your path of an awesome life!

  • Love this Miranda! You are a winner period…no placement in a workout or competition can take that away from you!

  • Elizabeth

    I admire you, Miranda – Stay strong and get out there and enjoy life !

  • Shirley Ferst

    Life is about balance! Life is about making changes! Life never stays in one place and time marches on. It is very hard to find balance in life, and make changes when we need to and realize that time goes on and we need to be able change with our ages and roles and responsibilities in life. When one way of life changes we have to find a new way to live life. Do not be afraid to make changes, do not get stuck in one place and miss what new things have come to your life. I didn’t start Crossfit till I was 61 and it has changed my life. I can run again, get up off the floor, roll over in bed easier, climb a ladder and go up and down stairs with ease, no I can’t compete like most like to and I feel bad that I can’t do big numbers like the younger adults but I will continue until it doesn’t work for me or my body won’t let me continue. Just keep going, do what fits where your are!!!

  • Julie Lorusso

    Love this!

  • Powerful

  • Love it! Thanks for sharing, girl! I can’t imagine the pressure athletes at your level feel when I even feel it my own gym sometimes, this pressure to keep getting better and always be pushing, well, maybe sometimes I just want to chill and go to class, do the WODs with athletes of all levels and have a great time without worrying about programming or scores…that’s the heart of CrossFit anyways, isn’t it? Enjoy your journey and have fun!

  • Miranda,

    I hope this message finds you well! My name is Chip Johnston and I am a teacher as well as the founder and Head Coach of a non-profit school-based CrossFit Affiliate called CrossFit MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools). I had the pleasure of having you as an instructor for my CFL1 Seminar at CrossFit Park City in April of 2012 along with Chris Spealler, Eric O’Connor, and Jason MacDonald.

    I am writing to solicit advice on recovery as I recently suffered both a torn ACL and Meniscus and will soon be having surgery to repair them. I was sad to hear that you suffered this injury during the CrossFit Games last summer, but incredibly happy to hear that your recovery is going and has gone well! I will obviously be working with a team of sports medicine professionals; however, I thought that information from an experienced and high-level CrossFit athlete and coach would be invaluable as I go through this process.

    I thank you in advance for your time regardless of whether it is convenient for you to respond or not, and I wish you nothing but the best as you move forward from your injury!

    Sincerely,
    Chip Johnston M.Ed., CFL1
    MacDowell Montessori School/CrossFit MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools)

  • Gwen

    Thank you for these posts. I love your honesty and truth of character. Those are the things that make you win at life. On my end, at 40 years old, I have achieved a great deal in spheres outside of athletics (married with children, great education and career) and now find myself wanting to focus more on competitive crossfit. I feel self-conscious about moving in that direction. But using the word “evolve” makes it feel more meaningful and really true. Thanks for that!