Life of ambition

Complacency feels like death to me.

The definition is:  self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies–an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction

When I was in management at UPS, I think I was the most complacent in my life ever.   I also compartmentalized myself.  I was Tricia at UPS, Tricia at home, Tricia in public, Tricia at the gym.  Different Tricia’s for different scenarios.  I had so many versions of myself that I couldn’t really keep track.  I worked hard and did well there, but nothing else really existed for me.

I would work 12-17 hours a day, go home, do some chores, start drinking, watch t.v. and go into my evening.  After a year of this, I was grossly unfit, not only was my physicality a hot mess. My brain was functioned minimally and I lived under a high amount of job stress just dumping fight/flight and freeze into me daily.  As I went into my evening night after night, I became accustomed to a fairly meaningless existence.  It was easy, un-provoking and consistent.

As humans, we almost always opt for the easiest way out….we will choose to be lazy over putting in extra work.  We no longer live to live.  We hit our limitations and think they are set and solid…..insurmountable.  We live for things in the future or we live to get away from our past and somehow the here and now is forgotten.  We dream but don’t do and blame circumstance for our circumstance.  We live for the comfort of the usual and expected.

In the ring, you have no choice to be anything but present.  If you are looking for particular punches, they won’t be there.  You have to go in and see what opportunity is there.  You must be prepared to deliver any punch from any angle at any time.  Once you realize the patterns of your opponent, you might plan ahead a bit to set up more opportunities but you are still living in the moment.

You have to be adaptable to react to what’s working and what’s not working.  Andy Basich – Life Below Zero

You must be able to observe yourself while experiencing your moments.  You must be able to feel and recall the feelings of your experience.  Each moment must be physically connected and engaged so that the full picture can be actualized.  Our minds and our bodies work together for each movement done with strict intention.  It is in this place, this kind of living that we banish complacency.
There is always room for improvement in any lifestyle…mine happens to be such that I must rely on myself in the end…When I’m the only one in the winter I count on to get my chores done…you know the only ass that get’s kicked for not completing the job is my own.  Sue Aikens- Life Below Zero
#Box On!
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A coach’s coach-Joe Kelly

Every year the WAC holds a collegiate rugby awards event.  My previous teammate M.A. Sorensen comes to town from Philadelphia and gives out an award in her name to a deserving college athlete.  I look forward to seeing her and getting together with our other teammates Liz Kirk and Marie Hahler.  We tell stories of the past and get caught up on the rugby scene of today.  This year was no different as we had a tremendous meal prepared by one of the Hahler–Kirk’s sons and laughed our butts off for several hours.

M.A.’s husband Joe Kelly was the USA forward pack coach for the 1998 Women’s World Cup of Rugby.  Joe is a stand up person and a coach with whom I model a lot of my current style.

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He is a fair but firm kind of person.  No nonsense, fundamentals based, with a contagious passion that made you want to climb mountains for him.  He was the first coach I didn’t want to please or get attention from….I just wanted to honor what he put into us.  I wanted the world to see what we could do because of what he taught us.  I felt more internal motivation from being in his presence than I ever imagined possible.

Joe was also vicious player himself.  He shredded opponents with the little nuances it takes to leverage and manipulate another person’s body to your advantage on the field and he passed those techniques onto us.  Our team was known for our technical scrummaging and Joe was the mastermind.

Every year I look forward to seeing both M.A. and Joe and love it that they get into the gym to do a little training and if you are lucky and in the gym at the same time, you will get to see them too!

#BoxOn!

 

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Experiment

Life is a major experiment.  You can decide to be your own scientist or you can give in to the social constructs set up for masses to follow.

I know that my lens is stained with the environments that I inhabit so I take with a grain of salt the “truths” that I find.

We seem to be backwards in our daily life because we avoid the things we don’t like about ourselves.  We try to squash and annihilate the behaviors we feel shame in.  We pretend they don’t exist. But in sport we drill over and over the skills we are poor at.  We perfect the little nuances that are inhibiting us from success.

Why the difference?  This I do not know, but I do know it is a giant disservice to humankind to not embrace our follies.

These past few weeks I’ve been picking myself apart and it’s really fun.  The first week I searched for everywhere I am a hypocrite.  The places that my beliefs are only circumstantially true.  It was illuminating to say the least.  The awareness gave me the ability to make more conscious choices.  I can choose hypocrisy or I can choose to put myself in alignment.

The second week I looked at everywhere I was lazy.  I saw myself barking instructions from outside the ropes and whether or not the person understood or not, I still parked my ass outside instead of stepping through the ropes and showing them.  So, so lazy.  There were countless places I refused to “step through the ropes.”  I’m so glad for this metaphor because I now just tell myself to step through the ropes and it is unreal the workload I was able to add to what I already accomplish.

Lastly I decided to take on my relationship to eating.  I started by fasting Monday and Tuesday 8 hours, then Wednesday and Thursday 10 hours then Friday 12 hours and finally a full blown fast Saturday and Sunday with only water and some Kombucha as my intake.  What resulted was a whole lot of awareness of how much I mindlessly consume food.  I already knew that I eat far to fast and far too big of portions than my body needs, but the desire to fill the spaces with consumption was enlightening.  Monday I began practicing smaller portions, eating smaller amounts and paying attention to the need to fill in the space.  I loved this experiment.  It was uncomfortable, it took discipline and I got to know my behaviors a bit better.

I wish to live each day with the utmost intention.  I wish not to leave of legacy of me, but to leave a legacy of a way of living.  I don’t need to be remembered for a day or a year after I pass.  If this very deliberate way of living is passed on, then that will be a measure of my success beyond my life.

#BoxOn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Still stuck on Life Below Zero

Subsistence living folks measure wealth by being able to provide and being able to share.  It’s a simple and necessary part of surviving harsh conditions.

We in the city, we are a little soft.  Needing so many comforts that we have completely disconnected from where we came.  Measuring wealth by what we maintain and continue to achieve.  It’s a lot more about us vs. them.  We have completely swallowed the binary thinking way of life leaving little room for grey….and leaving a lot of room for constant wanting.

Boxing may have a red and a blue corner…but those are only places from which to emerge.  Boxing is all about the infinite possibilities in between the red and the blue.  For red and blue never truly exist except in moments of rest and reprieve from the battle.  The grey area, a blank slate to engage with an agreed upon foe…. A mate who agrees to go to the depths with you so you can see what’s your make-up….. A comrade who will take you places you can’t get to alone.  There is no room for binary, limiting thoughts, just pure response in multiple forms built up over months of training.

Boxing is about sharing one’s vulnerability, her might, her failures, her doubts, trepidation’s, curiosities and countless more feelings.  It is done in the gym and on stage in front of others to witness the vicarious expressions unfold.  Boxing is about sharing, about allowing expression to exist in us all.  The boxer is the vehicle in which we all take the ride-  that is truly a great gift.  At least in this city life.

#BoxOn!

 

 

 

 

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Struggle

How do you define struggle?

If you don’t struggle, you don’t learn and your experience doesn’t really get to be your own.

I worked with Highline College to mentor an intern, Mahamoud.  I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do or how I would actually teach him.  I met him twice before he started, so I didn’t really know him or how we would communicate and work together.

Mahamoud started and I showed him how to do a task or two and I went about coaching and doing my own tasks in the gym.  He put in his first day and I didn’t feel satisfied but couldn’t really put my finger on it.  I’m busy and juggle a lot and I didn’t want an added job or person to tip me over.  Without anything concrete, I just kept in mind that I was dissatisfied with how I handled my first day with him and that I wanted something different.

Then my answer came.  I was sitting at a restaurant bar and watching a supervisor train a new employee.  The supervisor was telling the employee exactly how to do each task and both looked bored and slightly dead in the eyes.  The employee wasn’t encouraged to try things, be independent or think on their own.  The supervisor had to manage every single little thing the employee did, so they were doubling up their work load for the day.  The supervisor seemed stressed and the employee was bashful and demure.

That was it, that was exactly what I needed to see.

The next time I had Mahamoud, I told him to clean the bathroom.  He asked me how would he do that?  I asked him to look it up on his phone in google or you tube and figure it out and I would look at the finished product.  This approach did wonders.  Mahamoud figured out how to clean things, how to empty vacuums, how to do all the tasks in the gym that I gave him because he looked them up himself, interpreted the information then implemented a plan he came up with himself.  In the meantime, I got my work done with minimal interruption and now have help that is independent and willing to make mistakes and take time to learn.  By the way, Mahamoud did a more than sufficient job cleaning the bathroom.

This was a terrific paradigm change for me and a huge lesson.  Giving Mahamoud space to struggle, gave him personal efficacy and confidence resulted.  I’m proud of the way he developed over the time of his internship and I’m stoked to have my eyes open to a different way to lead people.

#BoxOn!

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Saturday morning

I’ve got a playlist on, putzing around getting some initial chores done before headed to the gym.  I’m thinking of what skills I want to work on today.  Ultimately we want each and every person so confident in their punch that they know that they could “sit” someone down if they wanted.

We aren’t just invested in this in our competitive fighters.  We want it for everyone. The kind of discipline, self-awareness, body-mechanic implementation it takes is something every person should have the opportunity to experience.  The body-  completely connected to itself and the ground is definitely something everyone should at least get a taste of…..because once you do, it is motivating….

This feeling of muscle, sinew and bone working together is self-mastery.  Self-mastery is the highest form of accountability and necessary to be able to interact, box, coach, whatever you do……it is necessary for you to be able to honestly communicate…to be direct.

Come to the gym, keep working on your skills, get in the best fitness level of your life and be a part of a dynamic community if you aren’t already!

#BoxOn!

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Changes

We are coming up on 5 years this October.  I look in the mirror each morning and think, “You are doing this?!!” It’s nothing at all like I thought.  I had no idea my vision looked like this and now that I’m in the midst of seeing it, I want more.

More diversity of community, more evolvement in my coaching skill.  I want to keep being surrounded by coaches who hold themselves to the highest account of self accountability and impeccable instruction.  When we are all in this space together holding ourselves to the highest account, great things happen.

I want more of the ocean air as I drive in to the #6amcrew-  more coaches downtime- more hound time-  more connection in my body and the people I am coaching.

I want another 5 years of exponential evolution in business, mind and athleticism.

Basically-  I want to keep having it all.

#BoxOn!

 

 

 

 

 

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Comfort

One of my favorite shows is Life Below Zero.  It follows several folks as they demonstrate their method of subsistence living in different areas of Alaska.  They live, not survive and are fully engulfed in their day to day activities.

I like to imagine my capability or lack of it were I in the same situation.  Most of them are self taught, or sought out people to teach them and most of them are about learning as you go.  My favorites on the show are a young guy Erik who loves the land, the animals and everything about his existence.  He’s matter of fact, respectful, resourceful, and determined.  A young guy with a wise outlook.  And the couple Agnes and Chip.  They have a community mentality with wealth being their state of mind and providing with and for others.

I always see parallels to boxing in this show and then I’m able to bring it back to city life.

Excessive Comfort is detrimental to one’s character
-Erik Saltine

I wholeheartedly agree and I keep pushing myself to experience discomfort.  It is amazing though, how often I fail, and how many times I will choose the easy way, the more comfortable way– Even though it eventually leads to discomfort anyway.  I wouldn’t be 1/2 of the person I am today without all the discomfort I’ve experienced in life.  I’m not certain why I still find myself trying to avoid it, but ultimately my goal is to dive in without as much trepidation 100%.

I’m everything but a formula
-Ely Guerra

Frida Kahlo is a person who intrigues me.  She used her suffering in her art for expression and release.  Boxing serves this purpose for me.  Frida was a person who wasn’t afraid to show all sides of herself publicly.  She was there for others to identify with and to be an example of living life in all it’s facets.

As a coach, I work to be seen as a human.  I’m in this with everyone.  I use my experience  to guide others and I use others’ experience to guide me.  I’m getting more and more comfortable with the hidden parts of me that need to be exposed.  I’m getting more settled in with seeing how cool it is to discover what is behind my actions and decisions.  It’s exciting to understand how ridiculous I am and how much in my own way I can be.  I often laugh at my stupidity and feel motivated to be more aware.

Boxing is completely about discomfort and it is the perfect reflection.  It exposes are defensiveness, our willingness, our fears, insecurities, strengths……it just exposes.

When you work on things in the ring, it shows in life and vice versa.

So in the spirit of Erik and Frida, develop your character by moving into more discomfort!

#BoxOn!

 

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Results

I’ve been in boxing since 2002.  I grudgingly entered the coaching world around 2004 or 2005 because I was fixated on being a competitor.  I didn’t want to let go yet so I had both toes in the competitive water and one hand thinking about reaching for the shore.

I’ve listened to every possible comment you can imagine about being female in boxing ….probably over a million times each and that’s not including all the comments just simply growing up in the 70’s and 80’s as a female with a midwest influence.

The gym is rapidly approaching 5 years.  I have worked diligently to simply be good at what I do.  To cut the crap out of my life that I created out of not taking responsibility for myself.  I have worked hard to be a gym owner, not a female gym owner.  I take pride that I am female that I may inspire someone else to have possibility but it is not my label to wear.

My motives shouldn’t be to change people’s minds…….My job is to be the best that I can be and if that changes your mind then great, but I cant be consumed with how you feel about me.

Becky Hammon- Assistant Coach- San Antonio Spurs

To be a good coach I believe you have to deeply care for people and their welfare.  You have to have empathy at times and hold a stern line others.  You must guesstimate when it’s time to say enough is enough and when it is time to leave space for them to continue to make the same mistakes for learning purposes. The only way to do this is to do it yourself.  To hold yourself to high standards…..to fail miserably and find the blend of kindness and disgust with your own habits.  You must do this work so that you trust what you know.  So that you can go all in and see what happens without specific expectations and understand the outcomes.

 

With a new job, when you go, you shut up, you don’t try to prove to people how smart you are or that you have better ideas……….

Gregg Popovich-  Head Coach- San Antonio Spurs

I search all the time, search for new methods, old methods, any method that makes sense to me in training the body and mind.  I’m looking how to connect myself, my community and my fighters.  I go in and quietly learn, pay attention to my judgments and doubts because they are relevant to get me to understanding.  I go in assuming what I’m learning is everything I need to know then I go test it’s applicability in my world.  Going in with this belief that what I’m learning is everything I need, allows me to suspend judgment until the testing phase.  It allows me to utilize a greater amount of information so I can later pare it down to what really does and doesn’t work.

This approach has forced me to go in and be my best…..to trust what I am capable of doing.  It’s given me the right measures of confidence and reserve, directness and submission.  This approach allows me to create a setting for others to flourish and find their right balances.

Self-awareness is my life’s work and boxing is the heightened medium I test it in and show my results.

#BoxOn!

 

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Another early morning

As I move through my life, I look for gaps in my identity and behavior.  Where am I not true to myself, where am I hypocritical?  Where am I resisting change?

This morning I got up at 4am, made coffee, took a cold shower, did some last touches on the food prep and then sat down and relaxed.   I had 30 minutes to just sit and think about my focus for the week.  It was a terrific morning.

I am continuing to address all the places laziness creeps into my daily activities…..to see where I take short cuts or just out right avoid.  I’m also adding an element of looking at how I don’t really own what I accomplish.  The little ways that I stay in my past rather than acknowledge exactly where I’m at.

Each week I enjoy pushing my knowledge of myself as it will help me to hold the space for others to discover themselves in the gym.  I’m able to put less of my own picture on others and meet them where they are at.  This work I hold myself accountable to also allows me to ask more of those around me.  I can comfortably handle more difficult interactions with a calmer demeanor or a more intense one if needed.

This work instills in me a deep confidence to embrace every situation before me.

I’m looking forward to another week in the gym watching everyone find themselves, increased boxing skill and a passion for living that surpasses all expectations.

#BoxOn!

 

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