It’s all about the barbell. Living the dream. USAW sports performance coach

I continue to live the dream. My dream.

I spent the weekend attending a USAW Spots Performance Coaching certification course (formerly the USAW level 1). Something I have been wanting to attain for quite some time. I guess you could say the barbell bug bit me 3 years ago when CrossFit entered my life.

I dabbled with all things Olympic Weightlifting from the perspective of a CrossFit athlete, but really didn’t dig deep into the nuts and bolts of the sport of Weightlifting until a year ago this month when I entered as a participant in the ‘60 day challenge’ hosted by Columbus Weightlifting.

It just grew from there. I did the first challenge with some fellow athletes at my CrossFit box. It became quite the experience, enhanced by some great continuous personal feedback via the 60 day weightlifting challenge facebook page (and then private facebook group).

I was getting top tier coaching cues from some of the best weightlifting coaches on this side of the country. During that first challenge I hit numerous PR’s, even as I suffered through numerous injuries and setbacks.

The summer progressed. My box initiated and founded our very own barbell club. I attained my CrossFit level 1 trainer certification. Then I started to assist and eventually coach our barbell club.

I had (and still have) weightlifting fever. My next stop was talking the talk and gaining the knowledge to be able to coach my athletes at a higher level of performance. I also wanted to improve my own personal performance.

The stars aligned this past weekend. I got to rub shoulders with one of the premiere Olympic weightlifting coaches in the U.S., Mark Cannella. The man has a laundry list of experience. He’s been involved with and coaching the olympic lifts for the past 15+ years, including personally coaching numerous national champions and former and current Olympians!!!

Shut. The. Front. Door.

Here were some pics taken by our head coach as well as Mark:

(guess who I was? Yep, the guy in full depth squat. Big surprise)

Yep. I caught the bug.

I’ll be looking  for my USAW Advanced Sports Performance Coaching certificate.





A week of ups, downs, side-tracks and embracing the grind

I really need to blog more. As a blogger for Scrubs Magazine and a Vlogger (is that even a word?) for Scrubs Beat, I’ve been siphoning all my creative juices, thoughts and opinions for them. As a result I’ve been hesitant to tippity-type anything related to nursing on my personal blog. I was once told to ‘save the talent’ for the bigger audience. I mean lets get serious here, there are a lot more readers and viewers over at Scrubs, than on my lil ole’ blog.

But I digress.

I’ve been busy as usual living the dream. Dividing my time between saving lives and improving fitness. This week at work was draining. It was busy.

Let me re-phrase that. It was a bit of a mad-house for 3 of my 4 shifts.


~delete~delete~delete……. (that would be me deleting a paragraph of words)

As usual I can’t really divulge the details of that info. (I have to practice what I preach.. and keep that darn HIPAA ‘hippo’ under wraps). No need to go breaching protocols and breaking laws at the expense of ‘venting’ on my blog.

Let’s just say, I left 2hrs late 3 out of 4 shifts. It was one of those weeks. LOL.

Training this week sort of stunk. I think I may have been over-training? Or not enough sleep. Not sure. Regardless I was missing lifts and weights that should be a no-brainer lift. After this week’s set-back, I decided to change my game plan a bit. I stopped short of completing my previous program that involved high volume complexes and changed over to a simple strength emphasis.

I signed up for a weightlifting competition the weekend of Thanksgiving. So I’m exactly three weeks out and I need to focus on hitting my numbers and stop worrying so much about increasing my numbers.

I decided to punish myself a bit after a crap-tastic lifting session over last weekend and dig into some pause squats:

They actually felt really good. I’ve talked a lot about my fear of squatting heavy since my hip injury over the summer, and these pause back squats felt solid. So it was a nice confidence booster. And I wasn’t sore or achey afterwards, so no DOMS.

I did a lot of technique work with my Clean & Jerk:

And then played around with my OverHead Squat:

It was a nice rebound for the end of my week, after struggling with the basics. I took a schedule rest day from the barbell and decided to work on some dynamic mobilizing and then out of the blue worked up to a max static box jump. It was only a mild 1/4 inch increase, but an increase nonetheless. It felt good seeing as I did this pretty cold:

Work is going great. Precepting a handful of NP students right now, and I’m having fun watching them work through the process of leaping from classroom to clinical practice. It’s surreal being the preceptor and not the student, but thoroughly enjoyable. I definitely love to teach.

Our barbell club is finding its footing. We have a steady influx of athletes who are growing a learning every day.

I have a handful of athletes who will be joining me during that weightlifting competition in three weeks, so we have been pretty focused. The bad thing is I can’t really stuff my face during the Thanksgiving holiday, otherwise I might not make my weight for the competition. I need to stay in my 85kg weight class.

Coaching is still as fun as ever, my job is still as fun as ever.

Living the dream here people. Living the dream.

Daylight saving time. The ‘White Elephant’ of nursing.

It’s that time of year again. Time to ‘Fall back’. Daylight saving time is our wacky tradition of time-warping our clocks twice a year in an effort to have more ‘daylight’ in our every day lives. Well, at least in theory. There’s all sorts of arguments for and against this crazy habit. Does it truly expose us to more sunlight? Are we really saving money on electricity?

We all blame (err sorry, I mean credit). We all credit good ole Ben Franklin for coming up with this grand scheme, but it seems DST was not a Ben Franklin original idea. We can thank some dude  from New Zealand named Hudson.

But I digress. Back to that ‘White Elephant’ thing.

A white elephant is a possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost, particularly that of maintenance, is out of proportion to its usefulness. The term derives from the story that the kings of Siam, now Thailand, were accustomed to make a present of one of these animals to courtiers who had rendered themselves obnoxious in order to ruin the recipient by the cost of its maintenance. In modern usage, it is an object, scheme, business venture, facility, etc., considered without use or value

The expressions “white elephant” and “gift of a white elephant” came into common use in the middle of the nineteenth century. The phrase was attached to “white elephant swaps” and “white elephant sales” in the early twentieth century. Many church bazaars held “white elephant sales” where donors could unload unwanted bric-a-brac, generating profit from the phenomenon that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Many organizational and church fairs still use the term today. In general use a “white elephant” usually refers to an item that’s not useful (decorative) but may be expensive and odd.

DST is the ‘white elephant’ of a nurse’s working world. During the Spring season, we ‘jump forward’ and set our clocks one hour forward at 0200. For those of us who work that NOC shift, we lose an hour of pay. For those who don’t work will lose an hour of sleep.

Then, in the Fall season, we ‘fall back’ and turn our clocks back one hour at 0200. If you happen to work that NOC shift, you have to work an extra hour (a dreaded 12hr shift becomes 13hr). For those not on NOC shift, you get an extra hour of sleep.

The only time this whole DST is actually beneficial is when you are not working in the fall on the night of the ‘leap’. You will technically get an extra hour of sleep. As for all the other given scenarios, there is no benefit what-so-ever.

So. DST. The white elephant. It’s both a blessing and a curse. It’s an item that really has no use (non of which have been consistently proven) and it can be expensive for those losing an hour of pay… and of course it’s odd as ever.

How many times have you started your day on Sunday, or even that following Monday and things just seem a bit ‘off’…..



The problem with commuting…


Nothing was more aggravating than that ONE driver who thought they were ‘smarter’ than the rest. Better yet, how about having a handful of drivers who thought they were smarter than the flow of traffic. The last time I checked everyone who was commuting was trying to get to their destination just as fast as the next person.


I was a commuter for years. I commuted a long distance for a former job, then I commuted again for school. Traffic patterns and flow was so temperamental, just when you think you had it figured out…. you’re sitting in your car (AGAIN) for hours on end.

I can remember when I first starting commuting. I thought to myself, “this will be a great way to decompress after a stressful day”

[face palm]

What made things really fun was during inclement weather.

Gewd times… ahh the memories.




Image source: Driving – iFunny :.

That first question on an exam….


Was it just me, or did that first question on an exam make or  break you? I mean seriously. When the first question on the exam tripped me up, confused me or completely perplexed me… my confidence for the remainder of the exam went down the tubes.

All I could think was, “Good gawd… please don’t let me fail, please don’t let me fail”.

I would wonder, did I even study this stuff??!!!

Am I alone on this one??

Image source: Taking a test – iFunny :.

Honoring the memory of a fallen CrossFit family member. Coach T.

CrossFit FBO @crossfitfbo lost a member of its family after a long hard fought battle. Tucker beat all the odds and survived longer than anyone ever predicted. Those who were lucky enough to have known him KNOW he survived on the love his extended family had for him especially his owners Lumpy & Kris. While his heart was failing we all knew just how much ‘Heart’ he truly had. He brightened our second home with tons of love and laughter. He will be missed. RIP coach T. Thank you for blessing my world. #crossfitfbo

I remember the first time I saw Tucker. I thought to myself, “wholly sh&t that dog is huge. I hope he doesn’t get hungry.” Tucker stood above waist height. He towered over most other dogs, heck he towered over some human beings. But his physical size only told a fraction of his story.

Tucker was CrossFit FBO. CrossFit FBO was Tucker. Tucker might have resided at his owner’s home, but he lived at FBO. Tucker was a part of such a larger family. Every person that stepped foot through the gym doors learned just how engrained Tucker truly was. He left an indelible mark on every person’s heart both young and old.

The irony of it all? His biological organ that was failing him was unequivocally the ‘glue’ that stitched our small  community together. Tucker suffered from heart failure, but he truly was the ‘heart’ of our gym.

I’m still considered a ‘newbie’ at our gym. I’ve only been there a year and a half. What I know is that Tucker out-lived all his doctors predictions. He was maxed out on every prescription medication you can give a canine, and yet he was still plugging away. Barking, playing and sleeping just like every healthy dog should.

I truly believe in the depths of my soul that Tucker outlived all the odds because of the love in his heart, and the love everyone had for him. Tucker brought smiles to everyone that crossed his path, and before you knew it he had you wrapped around his paw.

Tucker slipped his way into your heart without you knowing it. I miss that gentle giant. I sometimes walk the floors of the gym thinking he’s sleeping in the office, waiting for someone to walk in. I often miss the greetings you would get when you opened up the locked front door, perched at the entrance waiting for the first visitor.

Tucker had a presence. I’ve never met a dog who had a presence, yet he had a presence. You knew when he was there. You missed him when he wasn’t.

Tomorrow our gym is celebrating his life the only way our CrossFit community knows how, by sweating it out:

The Tongue: teams of two (any gender combination)

10 rounds of:
10 front squats
10 burpees
5 rounds of:
20 push press
20 cal row
2 rounds of:
50 hang power cleans
50 front rack lunges

**work can be divided anyway you want between team members. 2 bars for male/female teams. Females 55/65/75. Males 75/95/115.

** there will be a 30 min cap on this Wod. Scale accordingly**

A Memorial WOD and Fundraiser, proceeds benefit the ANNA Shelter (where I believe Tucker was from)

The night before this even, and I find myself feeling pensive.  I’ve been thinking about the gentle giant, and here are just some of the memories I have of Tucker:

  • I remember the first time I saw him and his ‘tongue’… I couldn’t stop staring at first. I felt so bad for the big fella, but he made it work
  • no matter how big he was, he acted and played like a puppy
  • I still remember how he would run, jump and prance up and down the gym
  • I loved when he would run, and then try to stop on a dime and just slide on the gym floor. Always reminded me of the movie Bambi, when Bambi slid on the ice
  • I remember how he used to bury his head into your hip (or groin) wanting attention. His silent way of saying, “pet me”
  • He actually knocked me over several times when he would bury his head to gain attention
  • “Tucker hates DanceVibe” still makes me chuckle, even though we all know he didn’t hate anyone
  • While his bark was ‘worse than his bite’… his bark could make strangers shake in their shoes
  • I was always amazed at how he could sleep on the most oddly sharped objects.. and it never phased him
  • Boy did he love to run. Give him the chance and he’d let loose out the back alley and into the streets of the city. I heard he loved chasing rabbits
  • Let’s not forget his slobber. It was impressive. It was sort of FBO’s hazing ritual, you weren’t really considered a member of the community until you got slobbered

That damn dog will truly be missed. I know his owners miss him. There’s a void now. I know they say time heals all wounds, but this one may never completely heal. The only comfort I can offer to Kris and Lumpy is that they are not alone. We miss him too.



Who needs an alarm clock…??


More than once this week I’ve woken up before my alarm clock. I’m talking 10-20 minutes earlier than the alarm setting.


Not 5 minutes.

Not 30 minutes.

That gawd-awful time frame that is too short to lay back down and fall back asleep, and it’s too long of time frame because you could very well just fall back to sleep to be jarred awake by the actual alarm clock.

I’m not sure what’s worse? Taking the chance, laying back down and being jarred awake… or just getting up and losing out on that 10-20 minutes of needed sleep. I’ve made both choices.. and they both sort of stink… LOL

Does anyone else regret fighting ‘nap time’ as a kid?


Image Source: