Friday, January 31, 2014

I've got a CrossFit Problem

They say the first step to recovering from an addiction is to recognize the issue at hand.

So there's mine: I have a CrossFit problem.
I did not know I had one.  It was brought to my attention quite recently.

My husband has always said I have a CrossFit problem (keep in mind he does not do the sport)...but ya know...he thinks I have a problem with everything I throw myself see, I'm pretty much an all or nothing person.  I'm all in...or I'm all out!  I put my every effort and thought into whatever I am passionate about at that moment.  Over the years that has been running, triathlons, International adoption, growing my fitness business, personal training...and on and on.  I will go so far as to push everything else aside, to determinedly accomplish what I put my mind too.  And...that drives him absolutely bonkers.  He accepts it, just doesn't understand it!  And I can't seem to help it. Thank God he helps keep me grounded.  I need it! And I recognize that.  So it works...usually.

Anyway...I still didn't think I had a problem.  I love CrossFit.  It has changed my whole view of working out, fitness, and training others.  I love the people that CrossFit.  The community aspect.  I love coaching and instructing CrossFit.  I love seeing people progress and grow..get stronger, more confident, and more fit...and walk out of the gym each day a little bit taller.  I love talking about CrossFit.  Reading about it.  Researching it.  I love the style.  I love the mentality of all the people that do CrossFit. (even my clients) The culture. Amazing. All of it.  I love.

I also love Jesus.  And Jesus loves me more.  So when I prayed this prayer, on my knees one morning, a month or so back..."God, please remove anything in my life that is taking the place that belongs to you..." And truly meant it... I had NO idea how my life was about to change.  (Deep down I knew I was craving my personal, desperate for more, deeply passionate relationship with my God.  One that I experienced so strongly at certain times of my life. Most recently with our adoption of Blake.  And our diagnosis of Leah.)  I had gotten away from that...somewhere.  And therefore, began to lose myself.  But did not realize how much.  Or what it would mean.  

@Jesus Calling, "Worship me only. Whatever occupies your mind the most becomes your god...But I rejoice when your mind turns to me.."

And BAM!  That all became apparent.

You see, I'm the kind that God can't whisper too lightly on things that need addressed in my life.  At least most of the time.  He has to grab me by the shoulders, and shake me up, to get my attention.  Sometimes I even feel like He gives me a swift kick in the rear or a gentle slap on the cheek before I snap out of my haze.  As if He says "Anna!!! (snap* snap* of His fingers) Refocus!!!

Long story short. CrossFit has been reduced in my life.  In a way I never saw coming.  Or would have ever wanted.  But God knew needed to happen.  And was probably the only way I'd step back from the sport. 

I had become powerless over my obsession with the sport. My character was even brought into question.  God has slowly been peeling back the layers of the onion, one by one.  Revealing my true heart.  And it hurts.  It cuts like a knife.  It is messy.  It is humbling.  It is a day to day battle of emotions.  Of trust. Of questioning.  Of truth. 

For some reason, I LIVE for this madness. :)
I know God has put some big goals in my heart and in my mind with CrossFit coaching and competing.  To compete at a higher level.  To coach at a higher level.  I know He has a plan for my gifts and my desires. Someday.  Not today. "There is the birth of a dream.  The death of a dream.  And the resurrection of a dream."  But right now He also has to work through some weaknesses...just like in the's NOT fun.  Nor easy.

I have heard this before but have been clinging to it more closely as of late, "Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were..."

And as of now, I have no idea what my future in the sport looks like.  I'm just wading through the mess.  One step at a time.  Hip deep.  Moving forward.  Trusting.  Only in Him.  In His plan.  His timing.  At times, defiantly.  Wading in and out of peace. Wanting my own way.  Trying to manipulate the situation in my favor.  With words or actions.  But always returning.  Back to trusting.  It's all I can do.  As God has His way with my heart.  And in humble submission I am...

 ...ever hopeful.

@Jesus Calling, "Seek My face, and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible...I am the goal of your searching.  When you seek Me, you find Me and are satisfied.  When lesser goals capture your attention, I fade into the background of your life.  I am still there, watching and waiting; but you function as if you were radiantly by expanding your focus to include Me in all your moments...Let nothing dampen your search for Me..."

I am trying Lord, I am trying. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Scenes from the Woods Household

We were rushing to get out the door to school this morning...van was in garage and the kids were told to head toward the garage.  Leah makes it through the doorway, I scoop Blake up to carry him over to his side of the van...and I look back only to see Autum standing in the door frame, all relaxed...looking off into the distance.  I holler back, "Autum, what are you doing?  Hurry up we gotta go!"  To which she smoothly replies, "Hold on a sec, I'm peeing in my diaper!"  (The girl has been potty trained for months...she still wears a diaper at night to bed...and for some reason chose to leave her diaper on when she and Leah were getting I know why)  UGH...

Autum has been carrying around this bag for a week now...packed with all her necessities.  A diaper, her "ga" (pacifier), a baby, a baby bottle, a shoe, some gum, a few hair bows, a comb, and an assortment of jewerly, etc.  I asked her why she was carrying that bag with her.  Because it has slowed our parade out the door a few times...because she didn't have it.  She finally tells me the other day she packed it because, "I'm waiting for Jesus to come!" (and yes, she said Jesus, not cheese stick) :) 

Out of the mouths of babes...maybe I need to take some of her advice.

Back to DSGP, working out with my dearest friends!
 I made gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread from a bag mix, that was a super fail by the way.  Anyway, I had to put yeast in it and let it set in water, then put the bowl in the heat to rise.  Autum and Leah were helping me prepare it.  Autum kept asking why we had to let it set in the warmth for so which I said because it has to "rise."  And Leah chimes in, "Duuuhhh! Autum tha'ts why it is called Cinnamon Raisin' bread! Sheesh!"

A few nice days at the park.  These 2 have decided this is the only way to go down a slide now.

A CrossFit competition in Omaha, Neb.  TactFit Games. Practicing the Firemen's Carry in our motel room the night before.

Our team: Hot in Pink (Chad, Sarah, Anna, Johnny)  We got 6th place out of 25!

The Firemen's carry in action! Ahhh!

We were pretty confident in pink :)

And a little morning devotional time with Jesus Calling, while getting my hair done by our in-home stylist.

Leah practicing her back tuck at gymnastics.

"Monkey" at 2 weeks post-op...yay!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

10 Years in the Field

I very distinctly remember walking into my department head's office my Junior year of college and telling her that I decided to switch my major from Art/Graphic Design/Communications to Biology/Exercise Science.  She looked at me like I was nuts for a minute...then said, "oooooookaaaaaay." And directed me where I should go to start in that program.  I never looked back from there..

I immediately walked up to our JR Holder Wellness Center (which was pretty awesome) and began to ask all the questions I could think of to the Wellness Director.  How to become a personal trainer?  IF there were certifications available?  Could I get a job there?  Group exercise? Her experience with this degree? ....and on and on..

From then on I spent the majority of my time in that Wellness Center. I remember other members and staff joking that the facility name should be changed to JR Woods Wellness Center...(hence the name of my business now)...

Two other gals and I went to a personal training certification in February of 2003.  And I began working with clients as soon as I got that certification back in the mail.  I laugh now thinking back to my first clients and what all I put them through in workouts as I got a feel for what I wanted to do and focus on.  I would read books and books, magazines, Internet sites, etc for anything and everything I could get my hands on to do.  I taught some bootcamp classes, some elderly fitness classes, some water aerobics, some spin classes, weight training...and worked with athletes to the frail and elderly, overweight and sick.  I graduated with my degree in Exercise Science in 2005 and pursued a job at a physical therapy clinic in town, working as a Physical Therapy Aide...and finishing the rest of my days in the JR Holder Wellness Center on NWOSU campus.

After we moved to Kansas, I had to start all over with finding a niche and a job.  I immediately pursued a job at our local retirement community (as I began to realize my passion for special populations)...and started up my own fitness business in town.  I taught group exercise classes at our local elementary school 2 nights a week, and taught weight training and dance classes at Parkside Homes 3 mornings a week.  I partnered up with our local pharmacy for The Biggest Loser contest for our county.  I conducted a Health Fair at Parkside Homes for our residents and community. I even had the blessing of training with an 80-year old nursing home resident for 2 different 5K races in our area.  I had the opportunity to train 2 master track athletes competing in the US Master's decathlons.  I partnered with our local Hillsboro Recreation to host a summer youth triathlon every year.  I turned our basement into a workout area and trained with multiple clients weekly. I mentored a handful of students from Tabor College interested in the health and fitness field.  I developed close friends who I now consider family and my kids call "grandma and grandpa."  I hosted several online fitness challenges.  I lead several groups to train for local running races.  I spoke at women's nights. Hosted free workout sessions at our local high school weight room.  I blogged.  I set up a website:  I trained local high school athletes in the weight room.  I did Tabor volleyball conditioning every pre and post season.   I threw myself into my passion for fitness and health.  I truly desired for people to improve the quality of his/her life.  As my family grew, my involvement in so many activities became less...even letting go of a downtown business venture I had--hosting tae kwon do, ballet, zumba, weight training, kids play time, high school girls groups, yoga, line dancing, personal training clients, etc.  I was featured in the newspaper on for several big community events and promotions I partnered up with local businesses to complete.  I held fitness party promotions. Made my own workout flash cards for people to follow at home. Made an ab video.  I feel like I've done it all.

As I embark on this 10th year of service to the health and fitness field, I feel like I need to focus back on what feeds my soul the most.  What I leave feeling the most passionate towards, energized by, and thankful for.  And that is my work with my friends at Disability Supports.  Nothing overflows my heart more than working with these friends of mine.  God called my heart to this population for a purpose and I only hope I can continue to forge a way for these folks to experience life at its fullest through a longer life, a more quality life, and a more independent one.  I feel like God has been clearing this path for me, as I'm the type that seems to take on anything I can related to this field because I love it....but over and over again I am called back to this humble service of helping those in need.

And for that I'm grateful for all my 10 years of service to this field--bringing me to this point where I'm at today. Here's to many more!  And wherever that may lead! 


So much as evolved out of that one decision to change my degree.
My work then spread to include providing fitness and nutrition programs for adults with developmental delays in McPherson and Hutchinson--Disability Supports of the Great Plains.  I have since spoken at the Down Syndrome Society of Wichita for 2 years, at the Kansas Parks and Recreation Association Regional Meeting, various church and MOPS groups, I've lead a Sunday School 6-week session on the Spirituality of Health.  I have spoken at the CDDO of McPherson County.  I earned my CrossFit Level 1 Certification along with some mobility and nutrition continuing education certifications.  Brain Gym and Health.  I coached at CrossFit Pathos for 1 year.  I got to compete in various competition measuring my level of fitness against others.  By myself and with teams.  I've had several articles published in the CrossFit Journal.  Accessing Athleticism Lifeline to Independence