Tagged: Women

Coaches of T9

The team at Title Nine has many players -- and many coaches. Our own athletic and personal lives have been shaped and influenced by coaches we've had, making the decision to embark on the same path an important one. We look up to those who lead the way for us: it's time for us to lead the way for the next generation. Do YOU coach? Tell us why below.   Coaches of T9

Kicking Butt at Crossfit and Loving Every Minute

[caption id="attachment_6216" align="alignleft" width="293"] Photo credit: Thomas Campitelli[/caption]

I started Crossfit exactly one month before my 29th birthday in August 2010. I was living in North Lake Tahoe and had been hearing about Crossfit from a number of friends, including one friend who was able to finally quit smoking and who totally transformed himself all in a couple of months. His results were inspiring, and I had also heard you got to jump around on things, swing on other things, and get upside down. I was so in! Those first couple of days I wasn't sure I'd be able to make that five minute stroll home because I was so frickin' sore.

I’ve always been active in a variety of different types of exercise, including cycling, triathlons (I can barely swim and I hate to run) Tae Bo, P90X, and more, but none were able to garner my short attention span for long. Crossfit has complemented my A.D.D. perfectly because there are literally hundreds of skills, movements, and lifts not just to learn but also to get the technique right. There's little time for boredom with Crossfit and I always have a list of things I want to accomplish; some of it is improving technique, some of it is doing a skill for the first time, and somewhere on that list is to run more, too. Basically, there is ALWAYS something that I will pretty much suck at doing, so there is always something to improve and whatever it is, I will hammer it until I get it, get better at it, and then own it. That first month I started, it was double unders, clearing the jump rope twice in one jump. I couldn't do those things to save my life, but after every workout I'd go out into the parking lot and keep trying. This process included thousands of failed attempts, and so, so many painful leg lashings. The first time getting consecutive double unders was like a rite of passage (you know, because people call it a cult). High fives abound! Soon instead of 4 or 7 DUs it was 34 and when I broke 50 I pretty much threw a party. That, in the CF world, means proudly writing my name up on the board, “Michelle M: Double Unders: 52”. Oh the glory! The support from everyone has always been and continues to be incredible and never ceases to amaze me. Only four months after I started CF, I moved to Oakland. I missed the trainers, I missed the friendships, and I didn't think there was any gym that would be able fill those shoes. And then I found Crossfit Oakland. I was surprised to find the same high quality trainers and high quality people with whom to surround myself and I remember on my first visit I watched (from afar) the two strongest women in the gym back squatting, thinking, “damn, they are strong” and subsequently, “I could never do that.” Fast forward to now, and I am proud to call them my friends and I am back squatting not only with them, but also at almost the same level! In March 2011, with much hesitation, I signed up for my first Crossfit competition, The Crossfit Open. At one point, I went through a bout of “my muscles are getting too big” thoughts but that lasted about a minute. I decided I loved seeing and testing what my body was capable of doing, what my muscles allowed me to do much more than anything else. Individuals from different gyms submitted their scores online and then can see the rankings at the end of each week. By doing these competitions I learned, or remembered, rather, that I can be crazy competitive, and that I pee A LOT before any competition. While I absolutely believe that this is all about improving the person I was yesterday, to find someone else who's at a similar skill level as me can offer some unique opportunities to challenge myself and push past what I previously thought I could not do. It's just another element that makes going to the gym fun. I'm competitive, I want to beat the girl next to me. Always. But when she beats me, I turn around and don't hesitate to congratulate her, because she pushed me, and that was the goal. Since that first Open, I've competed in a couple other competitions, with a couple more on the horizon. The last one was the Nor Cal Regionals team competition. Regionals were a great experience for me. They did a great job of exposing my weaknesses (pull-ups, for the love of God, pull-ups!), but I found I can do well under pressure and I got a PR along the way (140# snatch). It was a 3 day roller coaster of highs, lows, and wtf’s...I love to hate that anxious panic attack in the minutes leading up to the 3-2-1 GO! The best moment is that split second after “GO!”, right when all that nervous energy gets transformed into kinetic energy; which I'm pretty sure is, like, a law of physics or something.

Crossfit has transformed me in ways I couldn’t imagine. For starters, I'm no longer afraid to walk over to the “men's side” of the gym. It's also not unusual if I'm picking up a heavier weight than the dude doing his bicep curls, and start doing some dumbbell thrusters if I need a quick workout. That in itself has been a mini transformation for me. And recently I tried rock climbing for the first time outdoors in Kings Canyon National Forest. I had the opportunity to do a multi-pitch climb and was shocked that my arms weren't shaking – at least not from lack of strength. Being able to trust and use my legs and pull my body up with my arms was an amazing application of the functional fitness I train for inside the gym. In short, I’ve found what works for me. Any gym where the clientele applauds a 31 year old woman walking on her hands down the length of the gym is my kind of gym. Literally, no weird looks, just an actual round of applause for a little handstand walking. How cool is that? I just want to play, challenge myself, and stay healthy in the process and I get to do that every day. If you or someone you know has an inspiring story to share about achieving goals, overcoming obstacles or stepping outside the comfort zone, send them our way. That's how we found Michelle! Any and all ideas are read by a real T9er and will be responded to: timeout@titlenine.com (Our greatest thanks to Thomas Camptelli for the fab photo!)  

Life Lessons in a Years Worth of Roller Derby

Our Creative Project-Managing whiz Danielle, stepped out of, WAY out of, her comfort zone and  joined a women's roller derby league a year ago. Below she shares with us some life lessons and with wisdom like this Danielle, it sounds like you're on the right track. :) Keep it up! You rock! [caption id="attachment_6174" align="alignleft" width="230"] Photo Credit: Russellreno Limprecht[/caption] A year ago, I decided to join Reckless Rollers, the rec team for the Bay Area Derby Girls Roller Derby league. What started out as something fun to try has turned into one of the best experiences of my life. I have bonded with a family of women who have taught me so much and to whom I have a fierce loyalty to like no other group I have ever encountered. I love my derby sisters like family, and I have learned and continue to learn from them on a daily basis. The support system that the B.A.D. girls foster is unlike anything I have ever experienced, and I am forever grateful. While it hasn't been an easy road, and my learning curve is a long one, it has been an amazing road to travel. So, on my year anniversary, I thought I would list some things that I have learned in the past most awesome year with the B.A.D. girls. I hope this list makes someone who reads it go out and try something that they think they would never do, which brings me to my first point: 1. If you want to try something new, just try it. Don't hem and haw and come up with a million excuses not to. If it doesn't work out, so what, but you will never know what you are missing if you let your mind talk you out of doing it. 2. Don't let your age be a barrier. I definitely thought about the fact that I would probably be one of the oldest people in Rec, and I am. This isn’t an excuse to not be active - age isn't a reason to give up on fun. 3. You don't always know what you think you know. I thought I knew how to skate when I signed up for rec. What I realized almost immediately is that I know how to move in a circle on a rink with wheels on my feet. This does not mean you are ready for roller derby. At all. 4. Admit your weaknesses. It's the only way you will start to work on overcoming them. 5. Overcoming the aforementioned weaknesses doesn't happen overnight. In some instances, it doesn't even happen over the course of a year - I know this from experience. 6. Don't focus on what you can't do so much. I still do this, and I take for granted what I can do now that I wasn't able to a year ago. T-stops took me a month to get down last July, now I can't even imagine how I DIDN'T know how to do them, but instead of patting myself on the back when I finally am able to do something that I have worked on, I tend to piss myself off about the next thing that I can't do. Turn and toe stops became my next fixation, and now that I am actually able to skate and turn 180 degrees while moving (although still not at top speeds), I am starting to fixate on my next obstacle. Give yourself time to enjoy the accomplishment of learning something new. 7. Don't compare yourself to others. There is always going to be someone better than you. That doesn't mean you won't get it, it just means you didn't get it yet. 8. Overthinking is your enemy. 9. I still cry from frustration as a grown woman. At one point or another, derby frustration will probably make you cry. Do it, get a tissue, and move on. 10. Don't get dragged into the drama and don't create it. There are a ton of different personalities at derby, and tension runs high. You will probably get pissed at someone. Actually, you WILL get pissed at someone. Use that anger in a positive way and focus it. Don't dwell. Get over it. In the end, we are all there to support each other when the day is over. 11. Sometimes you have crappy practices. Take them for what they are worth and move on. Crappy days make you realize where you need to focus. If every day was a good day, we'd all be on the travel team. 12. It's ok to screw up. Even in front of a warehouse full of bad asses. Everyone falls - it's derby. You are on wheels and people are trying to knock you over. You are going to fall. The list of what I have learned goes way beyond what I have listed here, but these are the things that really stick out. I am so happy that I jumped into this opportunity, and I wouldn’t trade any of my bruises, tears, or sore quads for the world.