#ACTION — Getting yourself unstuck

When we first took Baby J into our home last year, Lianna didn’t get any maternity leave or bonding time. She was fairly new at her job, and for foster care most companies don’t have any policies in place for family leave. From day 1, Lianna felt like she was missing out on time with J. I was at home learning the ins and outs of our new 6 month old, and Lianna was stuck at work.

The guilt and feeling of missing out kept nagging. Rather than taking time to work out and take care of herself on the weekends, Lianna felt that she needed every spare ounce of time and energy to spend on our little guy. I felt super guilty that I had more time with J during the day. Working out became less and less consistent, our diets slipped a lot, and now the guilt was mixed with low energy and just not feeling good.

We needed Lianna to work full time. Financially we were stable and finally starting to make headway towards a down payment for a house. Her full time job had wonderful benefits, great coworkers, and rewarding work, but it was holding her back from getting the quality time with J that she craved. Lianna quitting her job or going part time was just not an option.

We talked through our options, can came to our ideal scenario: Would it be possible for Lianna to go down to four day work weeks, to get a weekday at home with the Bub? We knew Lianna’s boss was very supportive, understanding, and flexible, but to Lianna it just seemed like too much to ask, at first.

There was always a reason not to have the conversation.
“I just started this new position.”
“It’s too busy at work now, maybe I’ll wait a couple months.”
“What if they fire me or something?”
“What if they say no?”
“What if my boss gets upset?”

When it comes down to it, as many of us do — we were avoiding a tough conversation, that we weren’t sure would go our way. So we kept the (unhappy) status quo for way too long.

Take a minute to think — what is the tough conversation you’re avoiding right now? We all have them. Maybe it’s a bad work situation. Maybe it’s a sticking point in your relationship with your significant other. Maybe your roommate drives you insane and you want them gone — but they’re your friend, so it might get weird.

Life is short. Too short to sit around hoping the situation will resolve itself.

So it’s time to take action. I learned this great process from one of the Two Brain Business mentors, Jason Williams.

Answer the following questions:
1. What is the uncomfortable situation I need to address?
Spell it out for yourself plainly — why is it making me unhappy, who would I need to talk to, and why am I afraid to go through with it? Example: Lianna wanted more time at home with J. Quality time with him was highly important to her but working full time, it was crushing her.

2. What is the realistic worst case scenario, if I initiate this conversation?
I’m sure you can think of some awful things that could happen. What would be the hardest outcome? What is the root of the fear holding us back from pushing for what we need? In Lianna’s example, the worst case scenario was getting terminated from her job.

3. How likely is that worst case scenario to happen?
When you think about it — you’ll probably realize that the probability of the worst case scenario happening is pretty low. Would Lianna’s boss really fire her for asking for a different schedule? Would she think less of her for wanting more time with family? Highly doubtful.

4. How would I recover if it happened?
This is planning for the worst, hoping for the best. If Lianna got fired, we’d find her a new part time job with a schedule that allowed her the time she needs. Would there be a tough period during the interim? Of course. But we would figure it out! You can also think through some of the other more likely outcomes, and how you would manage if those happened. Being prepared takes a lot of the fear and unknown out of the equation.

5. What is it costing me NOT to have this conversation?
This is a big one. Most people discount the cost of the status quo. They don’t take into account their current level of frustration, guilt, anxiety that they are experiencing, often every single day, all because they are avoiding a difficult conversation that may shake things up, or make things worse in the short run. It might be more than just feelings too — is it costing you time, money, or other resources?


Eventually Lianna had that tough conversation with her boss. Now she works a little longer Monday-Thursday, but she has Fridays off, and works for a couple hours from home during J’s afternoon nap. Friday mornings are just for mama & Bub now. This has lead to so much less guilt and FOMO, which has lead to Lianna staying strong with nutrition, and getting a third weekly CrossFit workout in on the weekends. The one uncomfortable conversation lead to a big life improvement. As I write this I’m getting Snapchats from Lianna of her and J at the park on a beautiful Friday morning, and my heart is full.

Here is my challenge to you: Go through this exercise for an uncomfortable situation in your life. I highly recommend talking through these steps with a friend or significant other who can help you see the various outcomes.

THEN…DO IT. Have that conversation. Start moving that “mountain” and realize it was really just a molehill.

Life is too short to tiptoe around and feel like a victim to your own life. Sometimes the only thing standing between your current situation, and an awesome situation, is one uncomfortable conversation. Every once in a while we get lucky, and everything falls into place just the way we wanted, without having to push. More often than not, it’s going to be up to you to make it happen.

It’s time for action.


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“Self-Love: Setting the same goal for myself three years in a row.”

Recently we hosted a four week small group seminar focusing on self-love and overcoming negative self-talk. We asked our longtime member Brandy to tell us about her experience with the seminar, and why she signed up in the first place. Here’s what she had to say!

Setting the same goal for myself three years in a row.

Every winter Crossfit Sabertooth puts on a goal setting seminar around the start of the new year, presumably when people are most interested in pushing reset on the way they are living their life.   It’s winter in Minnesota; people are locked indoors, frustrated and ready for change. I have attended this goal setting seminar annually and without fail because I have gotten results from it in the past.   

Again, in this year’s seminar I made a list of the potential things I wanted for myself.   Like many of my friends there, I had obvious items: Do a strict pull up, pay off student debt, be happier.  But the last one, “have a more positive body image”, had come up annually. Looking back at my last three years of worksheets, it was always on the list.  I had ignored it because I couldn’t wrap my head around how to work on that or how I would even know when I had achieved it.

I’ve gained and lost weight over my adult life, and I knew that being thinner certainly didn’t mean that i stopped being a jerk to myself when I looked in the mirror.   Certainly if I could just become perfect at everything, then why wouldn’t I just be happy all the time. Some of my thoughts are such garbage. Those little nasty squirrels running around my brain always found a way to nest in the cozy corners of my mind.   

I’m very proud of myself for recognizing that the problem wasn’t my body, but the thoughts I have about my body.   A younger version of myself would have set a weight loss goal and booked a haircut.

I didn’t want to share this goal with the workshop group…but I did. I reluctantly talked about it, and my friends never cease to amaze me with their supportiveness and just bad-ass acceptance of me.   The sentiment was shared around the room, and after some discussion we had some ideas about what we could do to make this a meaningful goal.  

This is the part where my gym is the best ever.   Coach Chris followed up.  He’d found a coach to come to the gym to put on a body image seminar.   We needed a thing, and Sabertooth delivered it. BAM!

The 1 hour seminar was great, but really just a teaser for the kind of work that is needed to clean out years of squirrel poop in a person’s mind.  

Sonja Ecklund of Wild Hope Coaching ran the seminar, and set up a four week small group option for those of us who really wanted to dig deep into this stuff. 

If you’ve ever been part of a group before you know that they have the potential to put you in some crazy brain space.   Luckily everyone in the group was ready to go deep. Most of our conversations started with us talking about showing ourselves love, but often got into life changing events like betrayal and loss.  I looked around the room and felt really lucky that everyone there was willing to be vulnerable, share their stuff and be real.

On the last day of the group our topic was forgiveness and Sonja directed us to make lists of things we needed to let go of in our lives.   Inevitably for me, my divorce is going to come up on any list of “shit I gotta deal with”. I didn’t want to share this stuff with the group.   This is my poison, and I liked them too much to allow my inner toxins just come leaking out into the room. Again, I didn’t want to share this stuff with the group.   (That’s usually how I know it’s probably REALLY important).

I held my throat as I choked my way through how pissed I am that there are knee jerk reactions in many areas of my life that the ex is still in my brain.   I went on to talk about how I try not to feel judged by this relationship anymore. Enough time passed and this person isn’t even in my life to judge me anymore.  “I should be over this”. But my brain still has patterns that give me anxiety when I do things that would have bothered “The Ex”. I went on a tangent talking about how I still use the little forks in the house, so that the big forks are clean for other people since the little forks are “terrible”.

In a second, it was like “Where the f— did that come from?”

It seems obvious, but no shit.  Of course my old dishes and flatware that I see and use every day is connected to how I feel about myself and what I eat and my body.  Every day I’m having these tiny feelings about a fork, and then literally swallowing its contents.

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Sonja was totally cool about going into the mind body connection.   She mentioned that a person’s 5th chakra (throat) is often related to forgiveness.   Even though I knew that already intellectually, this was a realization. Throats, and choices, and forgiveness, and swallowing, and forks, and  food….oh my.

Since the end of the workshop I told my BMF Ryan, (Beardy Man Friend) about all these realizations and we spend time together choosing new dishes and flatware.   I’ve boxed up the old dishes and I’m waiting for them to tell me what to do with them. Should I smash them in the dumpster behind my house? Should I give them away?   I haven’t decided yet, but they will be gone soon and I’ll have fewer things in my life for my inner squirrels to observe and remind me about a time I made different choices.  

I can say that in the first week after this I ate good food, all my laundry is done, the new dishes are clean and aren’t piling up,  plus I’m finishing stalled projects all over the place.

Yes, my brain is still infested with squirrels… but there is one fewer …. And I’m better at figuring out what they sound like.    

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Advice for New Parents, by Lianna

Lianna is a longtime Sabertooth member, and mom to a super high energy 20-month old foster son. Since we have half a dozen new gym babies popping out in the next month (and some already here!), we asked her for some advice for new parents. 

I recently visited my parents, who are thrilled to be grandparents and absolutely dote on J (who is now 20 months). It’s amazing to see the grandparent-grandchild relationship blossom and my parents truly enjoy every single second they have with my little guy. He loves them so much in return and asks to be held by Nonna or dance with Boppa all the time.

Watching the three of them, it sunk in that I actually am not overjoyed every second I’m with my son. I love him, and there are many, many moments of pure joy where I feel I am truly in the moment. Then there are times when I’m watching the clock for bedtime, or hoping Chris will be home early so I can have a second to sit down. Having a toddler is a lot, but I feel guilty, especially because, even though we’re well on the path toward adoption, J’s future is still a little bit up in the air. I feel I should relish every single second and, to be honest, I don’t.

I mentioned this to my mom, my feelings of guilt and sometimes wanting a break from my own child. She smiled and told me, “that is what parenting is and if anyone tells you different, they’re lying.” I was shocked, but she went on to explain that the loving every second is what grandparents are for and what parents are for is showing up. Just showing up day after day, night after night. Showing stability, warmth, love even when you’re exhausted and burnt out. That’s parenting. And then I thought, “huh, that’s also the gym.”

So here’s my advice to new parents: just show up. Show up for your kid and show up to the gym (I mean, after your doctor says it’s ok if you gave birth). Show up when you’re exhausted and you smell and you haven’t done your dishes in two weeks. Show up when you don’t think you can even do part of the workout at a scaled weight. Show up because your community is here for you. I can guarantee someone will hold your baby or wrangle your toddler while you slog through a workout. It’s not going to be your best workout but it also probably won’t be your worst. Come once a week or five times, just come.

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Here’s the second part of my advice, and try and let it sink in: YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL. You seriously can’t have a clean house, happy baby, good sleep, great relationship, daily workouts, dinner on the table, laundry and dishes done and also look put together. Ignore those dumb insta-famous moms who have potty trained their triplets by three months and have their pre-baby body back and are drinking green juice and look refreshed. That isn’t real. Showing up is real. Showing up and finding the little joys is real. Making it until bedtime is real. You are real and you’re a really good parent and you have a community to lean on at Sabertooth.