California here we are…Back to my roots at the 2014 CrossFit Games

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California here we come!…well, here we are.

 

The Kepler clan and CrossFit Central team has landed in the Mecca of CrossFit culture and I am more stoked than ever for the week of festivities ahead: cheering on the double-C’s, catching up and reuniting with friends from all over the world, hitting up the beach, making new memories, and, of course, remembering the old.

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It is crazy to think how much this event—the CrossFit Games—has grown and changed over the past 8 years.

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From being able to sign up, show up and throw down on a ranch in Aromas, Calif., to now, thousands flooding the Stub Hub stadium in Carson, and tuning into live coverage on ESPN, to watch the top men, women and teams compete for the title of the “Fittest in the World” is nuts!

 

Each and every year, my heart is filled with pride and joy for this community and this sport.

 

Like all the other “Kool Aid” drinkers out there, it’s changed my life in more ways than one.

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Quite honestly, it’s hard to imagine what I would be doing in my life now without this amazing community and all-around lifestyle.

 

It’s been an honor to have played a small role in seeing the CrossFit movement reach the level it has today—not only as a CrossFit athlete over the past 9 years and the 2009 “3rd Fittest Woman in the World” at the Games, but as a coach and a co-owner of one of the first top-50 affiliates in the country.

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Coming out to the Games every year reminds me of that—my mission and purpose to build a fit community and inspire others to the greatness to which CrossFit has inspired me.

 

Whether you are a CrossFit lover or hater, there is no denying that, when something moves you to be a better version of yourself and live out your calling to your fullest capacity, it is a good thing.

 

Regardless of who is standing on the podium at the end of this weekend, there is one thing that rings true at the CrossFit Games: Passion.

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The city of Carson is FULL with passion and passionate people who have discovered so much more than just a fitness program, fun or lean muscle mass…they’ve discovered something that drives them to believe that:

 

  1. The impossible is possible

 

  1. Never to settle (in a workout, in life, career, relationships, etc.)

 

  1. Hard work pays off

 

  1. And, there is strength in numbers (community)

 

Raise your water bottle to the 2014 CrossFit Games…and let the Games begin!

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I’ll keep you posted on the experience.

Posted in Carey's Life, CrossFit, Fitness | Leave a comment

Your Best Body Now…Only You Know

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Our bodies were made to move.

 

Yours.

 

Mine.

 

We weren’t made to be stagnant. Sit at desks all day. Sit in traffic all day…(gotta love Austin!).

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So this ‘little’ (big) left arm injury (three torn ligaments/tendons), that  I’ve had for the past two months now (since Regionals), is getting in the way of my natural zest for being active to my fullest potential—or so I thought…

 

Recently, I’ve been working with local trainer, Patrick Estes, who has been guiding me on a path to recovery through…movement.

 

If you DON’T move it, you lose it, and I am learning, more and more, how to be in tune with my body, rather than a black-and-white, one-size-fits-all Google treatment or 10-minute doctor check-in every 6-weeks.

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If you have a leg injury, say a torn meniscus, for instance, the doctor may say, ‘No squatting. Absolutely no squatting for 6-weeks’…and you, say, ‘Yes sir, no squatting. Squatting is bad’…but think about it, you may  not be squatting in the gym, but you are probably squatting every day—you sit on the toilet, you drive your car, you sit at a table or desk…squatting.

 

Or, in my case, the doctor may say, ‘Don’t use your arm at all for 12-weeks’…so I may not be snatching or doing pull-ups every day…but I am most certainly not ‘not’ using it.

 

I have been amazed with the everyday function I am able to perform—opening a pickle jar (and testing my strength…can I open that new one today?), carrying my bag, twisting a bottle cap off my water bottle—the simple stuff…using it. Then, last Tuesday, when Pat came up to the gym for some recovery work, I found myself able to do wall push-ups…without pain.

 

When it hit me what I was doing (wait…what am I doing?! ) and I realized that I was pain free…it got me thinking…only I really know my body.

 

Light-bulb!

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In recovery from an injury…your fitness…your nutrition…your life, fitness…there are NO absolutes! There doesn’t have to be.

 

There is not necessarily only ONE way to recover or to train or to eat…there are general templates, guidelines, others’ experiences and life advice, books, blogs, experts…all are wonderful information!

 

In my case, for instance, while there is definitely some validity to conservative treatment and a general template for injury-healing and injury-recovery protocols…I am beginning to realize that I actually know my body better than anyone and I am learning HOW to trust myself in that.

 

Only you, and you alone, know your body—how it best moves, when it feels the best, when it is in pain, when it is tired but your mind is stronger, when it needs a good stretch or some mobility work, when you need to sleep.

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This is called being intuitive.

 

Through this process of healing from this booger of an injury I incurred at the 2014 South Central CrossFit Regional back in May, I am learning to become more intuitive.

 

I’ve been an athlete all my life—and by that very nature, I am pretty darn in-tune with my body:

 

-How it feels after I sleep 8-hours, as opposed to 5

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-How it feels when I eat chips and salsa or a Margarita, and when I don’t

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-When to back off on running mileage because my shins are getting sore, and when to press on—even if my mind is telling me it’s tired, my body can keep moving one-more-rep….

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If you’re into fitness or athletics, wellness or nutrition at all, you probably can relate.

 

YOU know your body better than anyone…so trust that. Trust your gut.

 

Don’t get me wrong…I am not saying, by all means that if your body is saying it hates running to never run again…or if your body is saying it really has to have some chocolate cake to eat that chocolate cake most nights after dinner….or if you have a torn labrum in your shoulder, but your body is really telling you to try to get your muscle-up today….

 

No you’re missing the point.

 

What I am saying is, more so, get to know your body.

 

I may almost be 40-years-old, but I am STILL getting to know my body. It’s a fun, ongoing process.

 

Through this healing process, I am learning my body can gradually tolerate a little more than what Google says it should for 6-12 weeks, and while I am not being stupid, I am being curious, and finding I am able to do a little more with it again each passing week.

 

So what I am saying is….

 

If you know your body can tolerate some rice or quinoa, even though a strict Paleo diet says otherwise…forget the rules, and don’t stress over ordering a sushi roll or sashimi the next time you’re out for sushi (eat the roll!).

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If you know you feel puffy after you consume cheese or other dairy…cut the cheese to get rid of these feelings…

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If you know you don’t function well if you don’t get your beauty sleep, prioritize that beauty sleep!

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If you know you’re body thrives off of more fitness-based, fast-paced workouts, rather than the drudgery of a treadmill or StairMaster or several hours spent pumping iron in the gym, join a boot-camp or CrossFit class that gets you in and out in an hour or less…

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If you know you have a tough time getting motivated to move your body, surround yourself with motivation (awesome music, a cute workout outfit, a group class to socialize and sweat with others)…

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If you know you have a tendency to get shin splints when you run, or impinged shoulders when you do a lot of pressing overhead, or poor elbow flexibility, spend 5-10 extra minutes mobilizing and working on your ‘weak areas’ before your workout…

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If you know you feel drab when you drink Diet drinks or artificial sugars—even though they taste good…replace them with water spritzed with an orange, grapefruit or lime…

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You get the picture.

 

More than anything, stop looking to rules, regulations for how to live—especially when it comes to your body—and do what is ultimately best and right for you.

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The art of saving money (and feeding a family of 4)

Last weekend, my husband Kris and I had the opportunity to attend a Dani Johnson conference in San Antonio.

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We’d been to a handful of these before, but let me tell you, each time we go, it’s as if we are hearing something brand new!

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Dani Johnson, the motivational speaker travels around the world every month to deliver her “First Steps To Success” and “Creating A Dynasty” seminars to thousands, all wanting to learn how she went from being homeless to having millions of dollars.

 

In short, from her bio: Dani grew up on welfare in a violently abusive and drug-infested home. She was emotionally, physically, verbally and sexually abused on a regular basis. The personal trauma and violent conditions that Dani identified as home were all she knew. Consequently, she was pregnant at 17 and homeless at 21. Instead of accepting what life had so far scripted for her, Dani rewrote her own playbook, chapter by chapter – and by 23 she was a millionaire. In the years since, Dani Johnson has become a multi-millionaire many times over, owns five companies with her business partner and husband Hans, is a best-selling author, internationally sought-after speaker and radio show host.

 

Pretty radical stuff, to say the least.

 

One of the questions she posed to the audience during her talk on money management really struck a chord with Kris and me.

 

She asked: “When you first started making money, what was one of the first things you spent it on?”

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The answer for many?

 

“Food!”

 

As a kid, I can even remember going to spend some of my allowance money at the local convenient store on some kind of ‘grub’—bubblegum, a soda, a candy bar or bag of chips (this was before CrossFit, mind you).

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And, when I first started actually making some money, more than breaking even on my rent and living off of tuna fish packets and peanut butter, one of the first places that money went was—food.

 

I could afford to go out to eat, I could actually afford to buy groceries.

 

While food is most certainly not a bad thing to spend money on (After all, we need it to live! And I prefer to invest in quality products more then junk food nowadays)…it is also an easy thing to spend too much money on.

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How often do you go grocery shopping one week, only to throw away at least 1/4th to 1/3rd of those same groceries the next week because they went bad?

 

How often do you have food in the fridge at home, but neglect to use it, opting to go out to eat more often than not?

 

How often do you spend $15-$20 on one meal eating out at a restaurant, instead of stretching that $15-$20 between two to three meals, cooking from home?

 

It’s easy to do.

 

Well, this week, Kris had a brilliant idea to sit down as a family: myself, Kris, Stone and Savannah, and brainstorm a grocery list and meal plan for the week ahead, Oyr goal? To stretch out our food budget and groceries long enough to last us through next Tuesday morning when we leave bright and early for the CrossFit Games in California!

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The planning session commenced with us all thinking through our schedule for the next week—the days and evenings we would be home and the days and evenings we would be ‘on the go’, unable to sit down or cook a meal.

 

For instance, we knew on Friday night, we will be at CrossFit Central’s Team Send-Off Workout (for the Games), so dinner would be more snacks than a sit-down meal, and Saturday, we will be visiting Kris’ parents all day, so we did not need to cover groceries for that day.

 

The final grocery list looked a little something like this:

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-Mixed greens

-Romaine lettuce

-Brussels sprouts

-Broccoli

-Celery

-Berries

-Cherries

-Bananas

-Eggs

-Grass-fed Beef

-Organic, sugar-free cereal and Monterey Jack cheese for the kids

-Unsweetened almond milk

-Chicken sausage

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We had a bit more frozen meat in the freezer, and of course, the seasonings and condiments we would need for making things delicious, but otherwise, that was it.

 

Half of the battle was just sticking to the list when everything else was ‘in sight, in mind’, however, when Kris and the kids returned from the field trip to the store, Kris had a huge smile on his face.

 

“You’re never going to guess how much I saved.”

 

$110.

 

Saved $110 from last week’s bill of $200 for a family of four.

 

In total, he spent $90.

 

Now, we will see if this new method of saving really worked come next week if any other trips to the store happen to present themselves this week…but I am thinking, things are looking up.

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A penny saved is a penny earned, and with a little bit of thoughtful planning and assessing what you really need for your weekly grocery stock up, you may actually surprise yourself.

Posted in Carey's Life, Health, Nutrition, Personal Development | Leave a comment

Spontaneity

Hello!

 

Where is the time going?

I cannot believe it’s already the First of July!

 

Time flies I guess when you’re having fun, and I can tell you most certainly that I am enjoying summer I believe just as much as most kids.

 

I love sunshine, warmth and beach time (On the horizon!…California, here we come!).

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Summer is always the most opportune time to get back to the ‘simple things’ in life:

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Catching fireflies.

Splashing in the pool.

Sipping lemonade (Spark)

Quality family bonding time

Homemade cobbler (Yes, it’s true. My mom makes some of the best).

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A couple of weeks ago my husband and I loaded up the kids and a couple bags in the car and set out on the high open road to make the seven hour drive to Lubbock to visit my folks.

 

Six to Seven hours?!

 

The thought of simply sitting in a car for seven hours nearly exhausts me…Or rather, should I say once exhausted me.

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Taking the time out of me and my family’s busy week to go visit ‘Nana and Papa’ during the summer, or really any time for that matter, was honestly something I used to dread.

 

Not the seeing and spending time with my parents—but just the effort it takes to get back to my home roots from the big city of Austin.

 

Nevertheless, I did so a couple weekends ago, and you know what?

 

It was awesome!

 

Home truly is where the heart is, and the 7-hour trek to my ‘old stomping grounds’ was so worth it.

 

The kids, Kris and I fled Austin at 11:30 a.m. on a Friday, seven hours later, we were in Lubbock by dinnertime, and the weekend festivities began. Simplicity: A birthday party celebration, helping my dad on the farm, mowing the lawn, going to the market with my mom, grilling out, sharing family meals, helping my mom clean out the garage…simplicity.

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By 11:30 a.m. on Monday, we were back on the road to Austin, and home by that evening, only missing one day of work, and having made new memories for a lifetime.

 

All of this got me thinking…how often do we make things more complicated in our minds than they actually are?

 

Why, in my mind, was making a trip home to see my parents and creating new memories with my own kids, seemingly, such a drag?

 

Sometimes, we just need to be spontaneous, and just live in the moment.

 

Spontaneity is good for the soul.

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I honestly always hesitated to drive home to Lubbock because it was so far, and if I was going to stay, I would ‘need’ to stay super long in order to make it “worth it.”

 

You know what I learned this weekend?

 

Carpe diem—seize the day.

 

If it is spent with ones you love, or doing things that make you tick…I guarantee, it will be worth it!

On a side note:

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Thankyou for all those of you who have checked in on me and asked about my arm injury from Regionals.

 

To catch any of you up to speed: I incurred an Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) tear, an avulsion (tear) of the common flexor tendon, from the medial/ulnar side of the elbow and partial tear of the radial collateral ligament ALL in my left arm,

 

The injury happened during the final event on the final day of the South Central Regional when the overhead squat bar came down wrong on my last rep.

 

Long story short…I had an MRI done and consulted with an excellent doctor who said, for now, (for at least 6-12 weeks total) we will see how my own body heals on its own before resorting to more drastic measures, like surgery.

 

To be quite honest, my spirits were pretty low during the first couple weeks, with my arm swollen up like a balloon, barely able to move it.

 

Now, with time, the swelling has definitely gone down and it, at least, looks like I have an arm again!

 

I can use my left arm for my daily living activities, but barbell lifting, pulling, pushing, and really any working out with my left arm, for that matter, has been put on hold.

 

I am trying to make lemons out of lemonade though, and recently spoke with an old running partner about lacing up our trail shoes to complete a 30-mile race this fall.

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I am a firm believer in that life’s curveballs, and life’s injuries, are a time to make lemonade out of lemons…and I am a pretty darn good runner!

Posted in Carey's Life, CrossFit, Fitness, Personal Development | Leave a comment

Keeping our kids fit

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True or False: Health and fitness is important as we age.

 

True.

 

It’s a no brainer. As we grow older, health and fitness seemingly become more important.

 

However, for anyone of us, I bet you would say that the younger you start, the better.

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The greatest wealth is health, and that is why our CrossFit Kids program at CrossFit Central is so important to me: Raising up kids who realize the power of fitness and nutrition.

 

Fitness is IMPORTANT across the lifespan, and it’s never too early to start or get your kids involved in active activities outside of their two to three days of P.E. at school.

 

Many of the kids I work with are not the star athletes on their sports teams, or even the kids dominating the playground game of dodgeball.

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They are the every-day kids—average participants on a sports’ team or primarily getting their fitness through the occasional bike ride in the neighborhood or game of ‘Sharks and Minnows’.

 

I love working with the ‘average’ kid—teaching them the fundamental skills of core strength, coordination, proprioception and body awareness.

 

Do you work with kids in fitness, or are you a parent trying to get your kids more active and develop their body coordination?

 

Here are a few key points I stick to when working with young athletes in my CrossFit Kids classes:

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  • Forget the weight. I rarely (if ever) use weights! Maybe a light kettlebell for goblet squats, or for my athletes who are a little bit older (12 or 13), maybe a training bar, but, for the most part, we stick to body-weight movements. If a kid can’t do a squat or a pushup with good form, why put a weight in their hands? Focus on helping kids develop the fundamentals.

 

  • Don’t focus so much on time and competition. Instead of doing AMRAPs or making workouts a ‘race’ for time—at the sake of risking good form—I focus on having the kids work through ‘sets’ or rounds at their own pace, doing the best they can for themselves. I try to make it as much of a ‘you vs. you’ experience, versus having the kids compete, all-out, against one another.
  • Monkey see, monkey do.  Parents do CrossFit and kids want to do what their parents do.  If you want your kids to be more active then twiddling their thumbs on video game controllers all summer, you set the example. Maybe it’s CrossFit, or maybe it’s some other type of fitness, but if you can focus on instilling good habits in your own life, chances are, your kids will do the same.
  • Nutrition is the foundation. I’ve probably said it time and time again—nutrition is the foundation for good fitness and overall health. I think they say something like 80% of your fitness and results in the gym are directly attributed to your nutrition. You want your kids to think better? Perform better? Feel better? Reach their highest potential? Nutrition for our kids can’t be neglected! They need vegetables just as much as we do. Veggies aren’t just for adults. I try to talk to my kids about nutrition during each session. Two of my kiddos this past week, in fact, reported, “I like carrots!” (Drew), and “I love kale!” (Gracie). What kid in their right mind likes carrots and kale? CrossFit Kids do! The more you instill good nutrition—and make it a normal part of routine, not just occasional, the more kids will adapt and discover that veggies, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats do a body good!

 

Interested in learning more about CrossFit Kids at CrossFit Central? Programs continue throughout the summer and can be a great way to break up, otherwise long days of ‘I’m bored’ complaints as the weeks begin to go on.

 

Email me at careykepler@crossfitcentral.com

 

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Newsflash: Summer IS Here…Creating a Summer of Intention

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had summer fever!

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I’ve felt like a little kid, counting down the days ‘til summer ‘vacation’ is here.

 

And even though we are all adults here, let’s be honest…we still get that summer-bug. You know, even though we work, there’s something inside us hard-wired to take a little bit of a vacation—figuratively and/or literally.

 

Well, guess what!?

 

Summer is here! (at least my 90+ degree thermometer and daughter’s last day of school officially say so).

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My motto for this summer?

 

Intention.

 

I often talk about living an intentional life—investing time and energy in things that matter—and that all can boil down to the ‘little things’—even summer vacation.

 

Reflecting back on the past four or so months, a lot of my time was dedicated to training and preparing for the ‘big show’ at Freeman Coliseum—the South Central Regional.

 

True, training and CrossFit are very important to me, but even more so, my family and people I love are honestly even more important to me.

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So in consideration of the next three-or-so months ahead this summer, a huge part of my intention involves spending more time with family and friends.

 

Less time training, less time working—more time making memories.

 

As crazy as that may sound, the older my kids grow, the MORE I realize how fleeting and how precious time is (I guess that’s what happens when I grow older too—40’s here I come!).

 

There has never really been a summer that I have felt the freedom to step away from work for a bit, or to forgo some of my training amidst travel and change in routine.

 

But this summer is it!

 

Ultimately, what I envision, in the near future, is being able to leave all that seems so ‘pressing’, ‘demanding’ and ‘necessary’ behind for 2-3 months, traveling to some beautiful, remote island, such as Costa Rica with my family, and ‘just being.’

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This summer will be a preview of that:

 

-A 3-day trip to California this week to see my friend Gilly Smith and support her Femme Royale competition, and also celebrate friend Jill Baker’s birthday

 

-A week in the Dominican Republic, on the beach with the fam

 

 -A week spent ‘at the farm’ with my mom and dad, and the kids—letting the kids ‘go to work’ and get a taste for what it was like growing up on a farm

 

-A week spent in California at the 2014 CrossFit Games

 

What does your summer look like? How are you spending your time? Your days? How do you want to be spending them? With whom do you want to be spending them?

 

Here’s to planning an intentional summer—and a few steps to doing so.

  1. Define your values. What are your priorities in life? The things that matter most to you? Make a list. Family? Friends? Not wasting time? Doing what you love and loving what you do? Being true to yourself? Not stretching yourself thin? Experiencing new adventures? Your answers are totally specific to you. You decide.
  2. Make a plan. Write it down. Schedule it. Call and make reservations. Get coverage at your job if needed. Communicate openly with your co-workers and/or employees that you will be gone. Work out potential virtual communication if needed for meetings or pressing issues (Skype, Facebook group message page, etc.)
  3. Take action. My favorite word, ‘action.’ You can’t do any swimming if if you don’t get off the bank. Put your intention out there…and live it! If that’s where your heart is, you won’t regret it! (no matter the work, the stress or the training you miss).

 

 

While you’re at it, work on your tan for me.

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Is it really over?: Reflections on 2014 CrossFit Regionals

Is it really over?

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I felt like a little kid waiting on Christmas to get here—more than two months of training, and waiting, and training, and waiting—for the South Central Regionals to come.

 

Then, this past weekend…it came…and it went.

 

Snap. Blink.

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Like that.

 

I rolled out of bed Monday morning, a little out of sorts.

 

Now what?

 

I have a clean slate.

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Nothing pressing on me to train for.

 

No strength or skill gains I have to attain.

 

No butterflies of anticipation mounting.

 

It feels…amazingly freeing.

 

I told my daughter, Savannah, that morning: Guess what?! We get to set NEW goals!

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And sweetly enough, her blue eyes lit up real wide and she cheered with excitement for me and her.

 

2014 South Central Regional: Check. Check. I can tuck that one away—and now, I am feeling like, the world is my oyster!

 

Many people this week have asked, “So, how was it?” or kindly encouraged, “Great job out there, you really hung with those young ones” (That comment to me is funny. Am I really the old woman now?). Others have asked, “How are you?”

 

Yes, if you haven’t heard, I incurred a bit of an injury.

 

Currently, as this is being written, my left arm is in a sling.

 

I don’t know exactly what happened, but all I know is my left arm hurts—and I didn’t bounce back from it within 24-hours.

 

It happened on the final movement of the final event of the final day (is this foreshadowing something here?).

 

The workout: 64 pullups + 8 overhead squats at 135 lbs.

 

Translation: that is some heavy weight overhead!

 

I was on a gratifying steady pace to complete the workout within the 6-minute time cap, when….

 

Somehow or another, I lost a bit of control of the bar over my head, and I attempted to steady it…unsuccessfully.

 

Before I knew it, the bar jerked out to one side from me, and took my arm (and shoulder) with it, in the moment. I dropped the bar as it lightly grazed my back, and about 10-seconds later, the workout was over.

 

DONE! Done for the weekend.

 

Now, several days later, yes, I am still in a sling, icing this puppy a ton. Depending on the healing and when the swelling goes down, I may have to have an MRI.

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I am practicing the power of positive thinking, however, and all in all, I have NO regrets about choosing to participate as an individual in the South Central Regional weekend of festivities.

 

I must also say, something that made all the difference was the support from my friends, family and CrossFit Central fans, at large, who cheered me leading up to—and during—the weekend. I am thankful for your spirit of encouragement and believing in me! A big heart-felt thank-you also to the HQ staff and volunteers for being awesome and working hard to put on a great event for all the athletes!  We all obviously could not do it without all of you!

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I must say though, my experience this year, as a 39-year-old, on the brink of ‘exiting’ out of this division, was quite different than my ‘days of old’ when I regularly competed as an individual at Sectionals and Regionals, only a few years prior.

 

While nerves were high, once the first-day jitters were out of the way, I really settled in to my role as an athlete, and more than anything, tried to have fun with it—more so than years past when I was definitely more serious (plus, winning a couple events in my heat, such as the legless rope climb event and the ‘50’s WOD’ this year, wasn’t all too bad either).

 

And, even though I was the ‘old kid on the block’, I felt more like the ‘new kid on the block’, since most of the girls I was competing alongside knew each other and had been in this arena over the past couple years. They had inside jokes, I did not. Warming up, sharing barbells, I had to go out of my way to get some girls to talk to me—they didn’t know me, they were shy and nervous for the next event.

 

All in all, it was just a different experience—but one I would not trade it for the world.

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I grew. I stretched. I got outside my comfort zone (I still don’t love handstand walking!). I learned new areas I can work on, should I choose to work on them (ie. A need to gain some mass and strength). And, if anything, I took an evaluation—and re-evaluation—of my own goals.

 

While I LOVE competition athletics (I’ve been an athlete all my life!), I ultimately aspire to do fitness for fun!

 

I want to have a tight butt well into my 40’s, 50s, 60s and beyond.

 

I love the adrenaline rush you get when you hear that “3, 2, 1, Go!” beep on the clock in the gym.

 

I love a good sweat and pushing myself to reach new personal records and feats for nothing more than the sweet success of hard work paying off.

 

Also, fitness aside, in the evaluation of my goals, post-Regional, one of my number one goals, more than anything, is to invest in my family!

 

The people who matter most. And spend the most time I can with them.

 

I’ve had many, many, many years and opportunities to invest more time in myself, training for a major sporting or CrossFit endeavor.

 

Now, 2014 Regionals are OVER—and it’s time to hit the pool with the two kiddos, and husband that I love.

 

I am diving in (sling and all).

 

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Posted in Carey's Life, CrossFit, Fitness, Personal Development | 4 Comments

The Champion Mindset Experiment

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Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?

 

Have you ever heard that expression?

 

In essence, it’s talking about your mindset.

 

Are you keeping optimistic and positive?

 

Or battling negativity?

 

Your mindset and outlook can totally change—depending on the situation or circumstance, but, more often then not, we tend to veer one way or the other.

 

With nearly two weeks in-counting, before I enter the Freeman Coliseum for the South Central CrossFit Regional for the first time as an individual competitor since 2011, I am realizing just how powerful the mind is!

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Mental performance can—and does—have a huge effect on your workouts. Whether you are training and competing in CrossFit Regionals, running a 5K, or simply training in the gym on a daily basis. If you lack focus, drive, or feel extra anxious, more likely than not, you’re not going to do your best on the tasks at hand.

 

Prior to the 2014 CrossFit Open and my focus, now, on preparing for Regionals, I honestly had not been training—physically or mentally—for the competition scene.

 

I was training to just train—maintain strength and fitness.  I was relaxed. No real need to necessarily have a ‘powerful’ mind—after all, I really wasn’t pushing myself towards anything in particular. Just purely enjoying CrossFit and fitness.

 

However, as the 5-weeks of the Open ensued, and it began to become apparent that I may qualify for Regionals by default (heck, I had definitely not been training with that goal in mind)…I realized that things were about to shift. I would need to become more focused—physically and mentally—if I was going to accept the new invitation and challenge at hand to compete amongst the top 48-women athletes in the South Central Regional.

 

Now that I have committed to going on to the next stage, I have ‘stepped up my game’ when it comes to my focus, my drive and my nerves—and, while I am a coach for others on having a ‘Champion Mindset’—I am equally learning how to coach myself in using the strength of the mind to carry me every step of the way!

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Here are a few things I have learned and am putting into practice thus far:

 

 

Change the language you speak. Instead of saying, ‘I am not as strong as these other girls’ or ‘I can only handstand walk 20-feet’ or whatever…I am telling myself, ‘You can do this,’ ‘You are stronger than you think,’ and ‘Faith in action.’ Such positive phrases keep me positive.

 

Ask yourself: Why am I doing this? And, what can I learn from this? Continually  re-evaluating your intentions, your goals and your outcomes (or what you want your outcomes to be) can help keep your mind ‘in check’ on the road to positivity.

 

Calm and focus your mind. For me, my spiritual connection has taken a whole new level and meaning within my physical fitness. Every day, I try to start my day with focusing my purpose and intention for the day. I am stronger, outside of my capabilities, because of my walk and the God I believe in and who will carry me through.

 

Fear not. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. The more I think about what I ‘can’t do’ or what ‘could happen’, the more anxious I get. Instead, by telling myself mottos that instill self-confidence, such as, ‘Bring it on’, or ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ or ‘I have made it this far! I’ve got this!’, the less anxious I am. Find your motto to push past fear!

 

Re-check in. I can totally lose my mental edge at any moment. I am definitely NOT perfect If I miss a lift, or get to the middle of a workout and start getting down on myself, I have to re-check in with myself and remind myself to keep strong, focused and that I am capable of more than I can sometimes think (especially when I feel like I am losing at a workout or not making a lift).

 

Put good things in your mind. Think books, music, audio-tapes, podcasts, documentaries, and more. Lately, my read of choice has been ‘Outwitting the Devil’  by Napolean Hill—a book a friend gave me about a year ago, but I hadn’t really picked up until just now. There was some reason I got that book (I believe everything happens for a reason), and that is because it is exactly what I need now. I think the more we can learn and put positive things in our minds, the more we begin to think positively. Some of the lessons I have learned, include:

 

“Every great leader of the past, whose record I have examined, was beset by difficulties and met with temporary defeat before ‘arriving;”

 

“Combining your Passion with your Talent and then seeking the right Association and taking the right Action are very important components for Success…but it is when you combine all those components with a strong Faith in yourself and your mission that you truly have Your Personal Success Equation;”

 

And, “Faith is definiteness of purpose backed by beliefin the attainment of the object of that purpose.

 

Seriously, it’s been a great book, packed with some meaty lessons. You should take a look for yourself!

 

Here is a free online PDF version.

 

And if you have any book recommendations that promote a positive mindset, I am all ears!

 

While I am by NO MEANS perfect at the ‘power of the mind’, it’s a daily practice that is made perfect by practice!

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Posted in Carey's Life, CrossFit, Fitness, Personal Development, Women's Fitness | 1 Comment

Getting Stronger-Redefined

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Strong is strong, right?

 

With Regionals less than 5-weeks away (in-counting), I am determined to get stronger in order to hold my own with whatever weight is thrown my way.

 

For those of you who know me as an athlete, my ‘strengths’ as a CrossFitter lean towards metabolic conditioning and endurance.

 

I like to move—fast.

 

So when I decided to accept my invitation to the South Central Regional the weekend of May 23-25, I knew that meant one thing:

 

It’s time to REDEFINE heavy.

 

(ie. It’s time to get swole!)

 

Moving forward, Coach Michael Winchester has been putting me through the ringer to ensure I am ready for whatever ‘heavy’ weights are thrown my way.

 

Dragging sleds, squatting a lot, pulling and pushing with weighted vests on, and working on my Olympic lifts at less-than-comfortable weights and capacities.

 

All this extra work I’ve been putting in to redefine what ‘strength’ and ‘heavy’ means to me, got me thinking…

 

Change, and re-defining the way we think, act or operate, is challenging—and requires extra effort, but, in the long-run… it’s worth it.

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While it may not be comfortable or ‘feel right’, this very moment, come ‘the big show’ at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, perhaps my redefinition of ‘heavy’ will actually begin to turn this weight into ‘light’.

 

Even more, the power that our thoughts and our mind can have over our actions and outcomes is incredible!

 

The more I find myself telling myself, ‘This 160-pound sled is not heavy!’ Or, ‘This 205-pound deadlift is normal!’—The more my body actually starts to cooperate and agree, the only way to get through it, is to ‘just do it.’

 

Just lift it, make myself think it’s light—and move on.

 

This philosophy can apply to so much more too than the weights you put on the bar!

 

REDEFINING our thoughts and our mindsets, can have a profound effect on our outcomes!

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That is what this Saturday morning’s REDEFINE event for women that I am hosting with my friend, Lauryn Lax, is all about—redefining any self-defeating or non-edifying thoughts and mindsets we may have about ourselves, our purposes, our hopes and aspirations, our results.

 

As cliché as it may sound, you really can do and be and achieve anything you aspire to do—I am a firm believer in this, and you should be to.

 

I hope if you are a lady and you live in Austin, or the Austin area, you can make it out to CrossFit Central, this Saturday, April 26 , from 9 a.m. until noon for a FUN morning of being with some AMAZING WOMEN!

 

The morning is going to be jam-packed with inspiration, exploration, and of course, a great workout to top it all off.  (annnnnd….NO CrossFit experience is necessary—this is seriously for EVERYONE!).

 

Cost is free to attend, and all we ask is that you consider making a donation to GENAustin (www.genaustin.org) –a non-profit for arming elementary through high-school girls in Central Texas with self-esteem and the same message that they ARE FORCES TO BE RECKONED WITH.

 

Don’t settle. Redefine what society says you should look like, be like, dress like, act like…redefine what others tell you, you should be or achieve or dream or do….redefine those thoughts in the back of your mind that tell you, ‘You can’t’, or ‘Never’, or ‘Forget about it.’

 

Be bold, be you, be brave…Redefine ‘heavy.’

 

-CK

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Interested in what exactly the ‘plan’ is for Saturday’s REDEFINE event?…Check it out:

 

8:30-9:15 Arrival, Check-in, Coffee & Paleo Baked Goods, Mix and Mingle

 

9:20 Kick-off & Welcome

 

9:30 Lauryn Lax-’Redefining Beauty’

 

10:15 Carey Kepler-’Redefining Purpose, Passion, Intention & Goals”

 

10:45 Amanda Villarreal (GENAustin)- ‘Redefining Self-Worth’ & GENAustin’s Mission for Girls’ Empowerment

 

11 Nicole Kepler- ‘Redefining Self-Beating Cancer’

 

11:15 Workout!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Carey's Life, CrossFit, Fitness, Personal Development, Women's Fitness | Leave a comment

The Secret to Accomplishing Great Things

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 Picking weeds

 

Yup.

 

I am on a mission.

 

More like a demolition…

 

Yes, to do well at Regionals.

 

But today, I am talking about…picking weeds.

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My yard is full of weeds!

 

And it’s funny how I really don’t realize it, until the suns out, guns out and that spring garden is on the horizon (fresh tomatoes and zucchini anyone?).

 

There’s nothing like picking a few weeds to make yourself feel accomplished in a day.

 

Seriously, you should try it!

 

Over the past week or so, I have set forward the intention to the universe to pick at least 10 weeds each day. Just 10. In my comings and goings throughout a day, picking those 10 weeds (or more on a good day) are just what I need to tangibly feel—in the midst of a crazy hectic schedule—that I am getting something done.

 

Another rule of thumb, new to the Kepler household, is that if anyone is on the phone (ie. Kris or myself), we must also be outside picking weeds simultaneously.

 

(How’s that for killing two birds with one stone?)

 

And you want to know a crazy thing?

 

As I pick one weed at a time, and my yard comes back to life, greenery and less clutter, the more I realize that is exactly how life works too.

 

When we look at the ‘big picture’—the yard FULL of weeds, the long daily list FULL of to-dos, the daunting tasks we need to get done, the BIG goals and dreams we have for ourselves (but don’t know where to start), the person we want to be (but are not today), the total amount of money on the bills we owe, the project that needs to get done—it can feel overwhelming.

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However, when we focus on doing the one thing we can do today:

 

  • The 10 weeds we can pick today

 

  • The one lift I can work on to strengthen my clean today

 

  • The one client I can truly invest in and show I truly care today

 

  • The act of love I can do to show my son and daughter they are everything to me today (such as attending a football game or a choir show)

 

 

The more those big, overwhelming things become more and more within reach.

 

Another mission, along the same lines as picking my weeds, that I have been working on lately is one word:

 

No.

 

Yup.

 

N-O.

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Ouch.

 

It stings the ears for me to hear it.

 

It’s such an awkward, unlovely, harsh sounding word….primarily because I lovvveeee saying, ‘Yes!’

 

Stretching myself thin—sometimes one may confuse me with a Stretch Armstrong Doll.

 

So my intention?

 

For the next 5-weeks…leading up to Regionals…to be bold in saying, ‘No’ more often.

 

And while it kills me, because I want to do it all, and be it all—and I absolutely LOVE doing what I do—coaching, training, counseling, meeting, volunteering, speaking, scheduling, planning, conquering the world (ok, just joking there)…I realize I can’t do it all—and that’s ok.

 

After all, a girl needs sleep right?

 

And you do too.

 

Do you ever find yourself overcommitting yourself?

 

Saying ‘Yes’, when really the back of your mind is saying, ‘No.’

 

Even if it’s all good things! And you really want to help or do it, or be part of it…sometimes your gut just says, ‘No’….

 

And you have to listen to your gut.

 

I want to challenge you to tap into that voice.

 

Dig deep.

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And, if you are one to overcommit yourself or say ‘yes’ more often than ‘no’…just say, ‘No.’

 

Just once.

 

And see what becomes of it.

 

On a mission,

 

Carey

Posted in Carey's Life, CrossFit, Health, Personal Development | Leave a comment
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