IMG_3085OR, THE BIG “F” WORD–Get you mind out of the gutter. I mean I guess it could be that too, but i’m talking about the dreaded “F” word:  “FAIL.”  That is actually what is checked on my little score sheet for Level 2 Certification.  And, it kind of sucks:

Because, I didn’t FAIL.

I worked my @$$ off, and I actually rocked everything!  I even rocked my press, but my body said, “Not yet.”  I have 3 months to submit my video of my press, and I know once I rest up from the brutal-beat-down weekend, that the bad boy will go up and I’ll get to share my official “PASS!”

Failure is actually a pretty big issue for me. Like, no bueno.  It’s been a work in progress thang for me, and I’ve made strides on finding my inner Ape.  I had to prepare myself that if my head got into the way, that I would–well, the F word.  Firetrucks too.  Full sirens screaming FAIL FAIL FAIL, right?  I always do my best, even throughout school, and i’m extremely hard on myself when I do not make a goal when I expect it to happen. I’ve made a lot of progress and I have learned that goals are goals, and sometimes the deadlines need to be extended.  Here’s the thing–sometimes, it isn’t just time.  I always say there isn’t a such thing as “can’t;” it is just “not yet.”  So this is my “not yet.”

The prep for level 2 was a journey. I never go into anything unprepared, i’m actually quite the nerd. I love studying, I love books!  There are many skills going into a Certification through StrongFirst (or RKC where I was previously certified).  I had already reviewed those for Level 2, and felt comfortable thanks to Joe Sansalone (, who is an amazing educator.  Joe literally satisfies the “nerdy girl” in me because he breaks everything down for complete understanding, and this is essential for me so that I can then share this with my clients–Joe is also an hour away…..

Time, time, time–the white bunny rabbit always worries about TIME!

IMG_3095As I pursued further knowledge over the years, I sought out trainers that would educate me, as well as help me to find my special place in my training goals. I look for this not only for myself, but to ensure that I am a continual wealth of knowledge for my clients–if I do not know it, I will find an answer.  I was already training for strength and my press with Steve Mattheu of Iron Athletics (  and making gains that felt amazing!  Steve was one of the first trainers I met at BAAC that I shadowed and learned a ton from, and I thoroughly trusted him because he was extremely educated and always seeking to learn more.  Most importantly, with my stupid time schedule, he was 3 minutes from my house.

Earlier this Summer, I met Artemis of Iron Body Studios ( at OPTI for the Female Fitness Formula. She and Lauren created an amazing program ( to ensure women know how their bodies should truly be treated with food and strength training–consider the opposing approach of restricted calories and massive cardio….  I had already “met” Artemis through Facebook (and totally stalked her on her blog!), and she reached out to me to help with my my press for Level 2 because that was my biggest concern.  Here’s something else really awesome and amazing about Artemis–she’s a chick!  She’s a woman–and a freaking amazing and strong woman too!!  I always trained with men.  The exception there is one of my best friends, Danyelle Berger.  She was literally the strongest woman that I knew, and when I met her in 2011, I immediately wanted to learn as much as I could from her to be “stronger.”  She was, and still is, one of my biggest inspirations and the reason I even learned about kettlebells–but we are an hour apart.  (I LOVE YOU YELL!)

Enter the lovely form of technology–internet, videos, and Facetime!
Artemis stole my heart, and also inspired me in such a way that I began an online coaching journey with her–that was my birthday present for August, along with pressing the 20kg which I totally got too. My press was literally better than ever.

She taught me all about “BUTTAH!”

Seriously–the Level 1 press was a piece of cake with her programming!  Even my husband couldn’t get over how much progress I had made since I began the new programming.  I was preparing to press the 22kg, but there was still that chance that I may have to do 24kg because i’m comfortable right around 155-159.  Ladies, you know that this fluctuation can depend on so many things especially if it is that “time” of the month.

The Scale and Clean Eating to the “Umpth” Degree
Since we are talking about the numbers, let’s chat about that real quick.

I f-ing HATE the scale.

Any of my clients know that I tell them to smash it.  Do not weigh yourself, and just listen to your body.  Feel your body in your clothes.  Just don’t step on the…..yeah, that horrible thing that tells you a number that is meaningless.  Here’s the problem–I had to weigh myself for the certification because I had to press 1/3 of my body weight.  Dear scale, I STILL hate you!  Love, always and forever, APE!  When I talked to Artemis, we essentially knew that the 24 was a few weeks out, and 22kg was way more manageable.  So, I cleaned up my eating and stayed ridiculously clean–to the point that when I went to Texas to see my sister and my niece, I didn’t even get crazy!  That says a lot when me and my sis get together–we LOVE food!!  So, I still say smash your scales….. I made the weight though to press the 22kg kettlebell.  In fact, my tummy was the flattest it had EVER been–to the point where I actually sent “selfies” to Artemis, and my husband the morning of my weigh-in!!!  I was a little nervous about the scale (ok, a lot nervous) that I actually weighed in with MINIMAL clothing–think of the boxers weighing in…… that was ME!

Letting the Brain overthink my Press
Ok, moving on from the scale crap: Now, here’s something you should know about me:

My head gets in the way of my progress.

It did for my pull up, and it did the same for my press.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks before certification. I’ve trained HARD, and I have the skills, and I have strength but the second that my brain leaks–not my body, because I trained that hard right….. I miss the press.  It happened every Sunday when I pressed 20kg for singles.  Sometimes I just over thought the clean, or some stupid little piece…..

I went into certification knowing that I had to have my head in the right place.  Thursday night I painted my toes, ate brussel sprouts and hard boiled eggs (those were the main stars in the meal!), and BREATHED!  I was in bed at 7:30 reading and preparing for a LOOOONG weekend.  This was all part of getting my head straight.

On Friday morning I knew I had to ensure that I followed my warm up specifically so that I was ready to press that 22kg kettlebell and make it my B!TCH!  I stomped my feet, talked crap to it, but Friday morning after cutting approximately 7 pounds from my typical weight–that damn kettlebell wouldn’t go past the sticking point.  Sometimes the over thinking is just no bueno….

I know better to push and lean and to sacrifice form to get that press, because I do NOT want a bell to go up poorly.  I want it to go up like my coach has taught me, “LIKE BUTTAH!”

More importantly, I do NOT want to have an injury from a bad press (read more here:

SO. I had additional chances.  And, I sort of felt like I knew I needed Saturday to get the press.  I was ready, more so than Friday, especially so with my Athleta gear from my 2013 Sponsorship! #powertotheshe  My awesome partner for the weekend and I got there (we both had some head games going on….) and got into our zones.  I had my awesome shoes too so that I could totally embrace the power of BAREFEET–I was well known for these bad boys aka Granny Slippers, Old Man Slippers… you name it–I heard it.IMG_3092My partner and I were pumped and ready.  But we both had cut weight, and we both were IMG_3101exhausted from all of the Level 1 recert and review from Friday.    I pulled my team leader over, knowing it was going up–and, it didn’t.  I felt devastation at first, but then I realized my body was saying something to me-

“Hey, I’m depleted.  I’m struggling here and this is really hard.”

I listened and didn’t lean, didn’t keep going, and waited.  After text messages with my husband and my trainer, the decision was made,

“Don’t sweat the press.”

IMG_3087The encouragement was amazing and every single person was cheering me on–so how could I go home without trying again on Sunday, right?  Nope.  This is where all of my counseling, all of my work, all of my education and self-love comes into play.  I’m ok typing this and telling you I FAILED–according to that lovely check box on my assessment form.  I’m ok saying that I feel fantastic, and I’m really truly ok because I tried my best, but I didn’t sacrifice anything by trying many more times, burning myself out more, and coming home without that certificate that says you passed.  I’m ok, really.


  Wanna know what IS important here? The love. The support.  IMG_3100


The amazing, Joyce, who constantly took care of my hands, humbled my heart, and truly encouraged me constantly to keep pushing and bettering myself.  Karen Smith, my RKC I Team Leader, who gave me the feedback to never to give up and continually get stronger!  Robin Arnone for being an amazing partner–and a complete riot!!!  My husband for continually telling me how proud he is and always making me laugh when I need it most.  And, because he cleaned the house and ensured I didn’t have to do anything when I got home.  All of my friends and clients who cheered me on and sent me amazingly supportive messages–YOU ALL ROCK!!!  And, the fact that I know I WILL get that press really soon.  When MY body is ready, and when my head is right.  My husband is going in for back surgery next week.  And, that is freaking scary as SH!T too!  But, guess what?  I’m going to be ok.


This was actually the theme to my entire weekend and I’m absolutely grateful to Joyce for that gift.  I didn’t have a theme song, but I still truly believe from RKC I’s theme song Flatfoot 56 “Through our weakness, we grow stronger!”FullSizeRender




I cannot wait to share with you more of this journey, to let you know that sometimes we just have to listen and know when our goals may just be “Not yet.”

Hugs and love,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>