Almost 6 years ago I met Mark Addy in a tiny office in downtown culver city. I came in to learn more about Herbalife and health coaching wearing jeans and a hoodie with one completely bloodshot eye from a #rollerderby tournament the weekend before. I showed up because I was sick of working 3 jobs and I was looking for something more. In the middle of a room full of people in suits and ties he took a chance on this roller derby girl and substitute teacher. He saw greatness in me that I never knew existed. Mark and his amazing wife Jill have mentored me through the ups and downs of learning to become an entrepreneur, showed me how to lead an ever evolving life of personal development and self growth, and how to turn my dream life into my real life. I now run several successful businesses in herbalife, fitness, and (coming soon) social media technology. You never know when or how or who you will meet that will alter the direction of your life forever. I can only hope to take this gift that they have given me and give it away to someone else, to help someone else from darkness to light, so that one day they look back on the last half a decade and say “I did it because you believed in me and have me the courage to go after it.”
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. Its the thing you do that makes you good.
-Malcom Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
To become stronger at anything the equation is actually very simple:
REPEATED ACTION + TIME = STRENGTH
This works in any situation I promise. In college I was a really good beer drinker. Like really good. Keg stands? Bring it. Beer bong? Hell yes. Shots? Tequila please!
Why was I so good at it? Repetition over time. The first time I got drunk I puked all over the bathroom at my dads house (sorry bro…guess you shouldnt have fed your little sister Zima). But don’t worry, I didn’t give up. I powered forward and became a beer chugging champion by the age of 20. Or maybe 19. Or who really knows its all a little fuzzy. Here’s the point I am making. I practiced daily and I got good at it.
After I turned 21 I took my beer drinking skills and went pro, bartending at less than quality establishment in town. And at the ripe age of 23 I was working in a bar putting my professional beer drinking skills to good use when I found roller derby. After seeing a commercial for some crazy sport with chicks on roller skates smashing into each other I googled it and found a local league. The Orange County Demolition Divas said I could come try it out so I went and bought a pair of roller skates.
Oh shit. I was about as good at roller skating at 23 as I was at drinking beer when i was 16. There was a little less throwing up but definitely about the same amount of falling and bruises. But, just like my first career pounding brews, I started to put in the work every day. I would skate around my neighborhood, go to skating rinks, and I even got a job as a cocktail waitress where I was allowed to wear my roller skates. You want to know how to become stellar at roller derby? Skate through 200 drunk people in a bar at 1:00am stepping over spilled PBR and fishing cocktail napkins out of your wheels while carrying a tray of Patron shots. Yep. Footwork.
When I transferred to LA Derby Dolls about a year into my derby career I had dumped my bartending gig and was back in school to get my elementary school teaching credential. I would leave work at the school at 3pm drive my ass all the way up to Los Angeles from Huntington Beach and arrive at the track 3 hours early. I would study for 2 hours in the parking lot and hop on the track as soon as one of the coaches got there and allowed me to skate. Becuase even after a year in derby I could’t stop. T stop, plow stop, hockey stop. None of it and I missed making a team because of it. So here we go again. Repeated action over time creates strength.
Its been almost 9 years since I first put on a pair of skates. I think I am now more coordinated in skates than on my own two feet. I have skated all over the world, experienced the victory of a 3 time banked track championship, competed in some of the highest ranked WFTDA roller derby tournaments, and shared the track with many of the greatest roller derby skaters who have ever lived. But it didnt happen over night and it wasnt easy.
I dont know where inside us drive comes from. I don’t think its something we can ever manufacture or get from a book. But I have seen it enough in myself and in others to know that when you want something, I mean really really want something, you will make the sacrifice of time, sleep, social events, whatever to go out and get it. Malcom Gladwell says in Outliers that the key to success in any field is simply a matter of practicing a task for a total of around 10,000 hours. So if you are on hour 1 or hour 1,000, be patient. Your strength will come.
This!!! So true!! My new mantra is “of course that happened.” Anytime anything amazing happens to me I tell myself, of course that happened. That stuff happens to me. I deserve it.” And more awesome keeps coming. Most people do the opposite. When shit happens they say “of course this happens to me. This stuff always happens to me. I’m unlucky.” And of course it always does. Then when good stuff happens most people say “wow I CANT belive this is happening. This stuff never happens to me! I’m usually unlucky.” We get what we expect to get. We get what we tell ourselves we deserve.
In the beginning of practicing this you may have to fake it. I did. It was practice. Every good parking spot, every little thing id says “of course I get that!!” And every little or big not so rad thing is practice brushing it off. Letting it go without attachment. It takes PRACTICE but it works. I swear. The universe is conspiring to give you exactly what you expect deep down. Most of you won’t try this but maybe just maybe ONE person who reads this will actually take it on and it will change your life like it did mine. Everyone else will live inside of “great for you, not for me.” And that’s fine too. Because we get what we choose to consistently ask for.
“The majority have been programmed from their past experience to expect physical decline. And while it is something they don’t want, they are programmed to expect it. And so, they’re going to get what they expect. It’s not that what they expect is the reality that everyone lives, but that everyone lives the reality of what they expect.
One year ago today I ran my first @spartanrace with a few of my favorite people. I 100% fell in love with the challenge, the community, the mindset, and the values behind the spartan race. I got a taste and I got addicted. In the last 365 days, together with a few amazing friends, we have created a beautiful community in #longbeach that stands for these same values and lifts eachother up to push beyond our comfort zones. Last year four of us raced. This year 29 of us took the course. Each of those 29 people had their own story of preparation and doubt and strength that got them on that course today. 365 days after falling in love with #OCR I earned a trifecta alongside my best friends. When we place people inside an opportunity to see themes selves as greater than they already are in a way that allows them to honor and love themselves along the way to their own personal growth we become a catalyst for positive change. The friendships that have grown out of our creation of #fitlifelongbeach are more valuable to me than any medal. This trifecta marks the beginning of so many more life changing adventures with my best friends and family. You guys make us great. You made Fitlife a reality. Thank you for believing in us and thank you for saying yes to a journey into a muddy cold unknown adventure.
Wow. It just hit me. 2 #Spartanssuper races Saturday. Elite heat in the AM (goal top 20!) followed by team heat in the afternoon. 8.9 miles and 31 obstacles for each race. Sunday 1 or 2 of the 4.5 mile and 21 obstacle #spartansprint races depending on if I feel like I can compete Sunday AM I will for sure race with all 29 of our #fitlifelongbeach race team and may or may not race the elite hear before hand. This is a big weekend. 27.8 miles and 108 obstacles if all goes as planned. Plus earning my first ever #spartantrifecta that eluded me in 2014.
The best part is that I get to share this whole experice with my amazing FitLife friends. We have trained hard and stayed focused. Most of our team couldn’t have imagined running any kind of race just 90 days ago and this weekend we embark on our own personal journeys to push beyond our limits. Am I nervous? Yup. Will it hurt? Hell yes. But is it worth it? Most definitly.
Shits about to get real.
How many minutes, hours, days do we lose thinking about what should have been and worrying about what’s coming? I wonder how much of our lives we actually live in the present moment. The moments that I am present are by far the most valuable moments of my life. Never is it the time spent thinking about what’s happened or what’s coming. The NOW moments laughing with friends, climbing canyons, breathing in the scents of ocean air, snuggling up with someone I love, engaging in conversation that challenges the mind. These are the moments where life is happening. Don’t miss them. Make more of them. All men die but not all will truly live. #breathe #love
Sometimes we feel like we are missing something. We sense there is perhaps a blindspot, an answer, an elusive je ne sais quois on the tip of our tongue that would solve it all, make it all better. The interesting part that most people fail to realize is that all of it is actually inside us already. It’s all there. And when we allow enough silence, enough space, for our inner knowing to speak, the answers come pouring out of us. Meditating to still the outer thinking and allow our inner truth to speak or asking ourselves quality questions and then journaling the answers are much more effective ways to find the answers than scouring the earth. It’s all inside us, waiting patiently for us to quiet ourselves, ask, and then listen.
“The perfect contrast of your time-space reality will continue to stimulate your thirst while also holding the promise to fulfill every desire that has been inspired. And so, whether you are focused upon contrast in this moment—and so, are in the process of asking for more—or whether you are focused on your breathing in this moment and are allowing what you have asked for, it is all part of the process, and it is all on your path.
Over time, your appreciation for the question will become equivalent to your appreciation for the answer, and your appreciation for the problem will become equivalent to your appreciation for the solution. And in your newfound ease with what-is, you will find yourself in the state of allowing what you truly desire. And then, all manner of cooperative components will reveal themselves to you in a delicious co-creative dance of Deliberate Creation.”