The Hoops, Squares, Steps, Texts We Are All Jumping Through With Little Confidence.

Alright……so how is everyone holding up? I know we are all tired, frustrated, and maybe even going crazy, but…’ll end, right? I mean it has to. 

That being said, I know the minimal and varying interactions we do all have with each other can be misunderstood. I mean, how can one properly communicate through a text message? We thought it all went so well before. It took a microscopic virus to show us that full communication through text is not as functional as we thought it would be. And sometimes, the rumors and posts about what is going to happen in the future in our cities, states, country and world only feed our own frustrations. Games of “telephone” that are a combination of verbal discussions to text messages to zoom meetings……are worse than a straight game of telephone. And when trying to discern what happens from an in-person verbal discussion to texting the other individual about the “dos and do nots” basically means you are taking a verbal discussion at face value without asking someone else’s interpretation. 


This is all difficult and frustrating on everyone. And it makes the times that we do physically see each other even more difficult and awkward. Trying to maneuver a group balance is not really all that possible in the same way when everyone is working from home. Whether it be working on the camaraderie dynamic of your “family” of crossfit, or friends, or work, or anything else.  And when we can only communicate with family over the phone when we are used to talking in person, even video chats can’t replace it. Or when one is trying to stay motivated for routine, and struggling in the worst way, even with support from those involved in your normal routine, sometimes a text, call, or video, just simply does not work. 

Digital communication is a way of life now. More so than it was before. It does not always work the way we need it to. There are glitches, there are people that struggle with the medium at all. The expectation that everyone can do anything because everyone has the internet is ridiculous. However, that is the way of our world right now. Being more patient and understanding is the way of the world now. And yes, that is difficult. We are used to being able to properly communicate frustrations, or our impatience. However, we need to learn new avenues. 

And again, this can be difficult. Extra steps need to be made to get things done. Plans to complete things in ways that others may not approve of may need to happen. Or going the extra mile to get things done is a necessity. It is what it is. And sometimes others will see our best as not being good enough. But does that matter? Should it matter? Who is to say our best is not the best we can do?   

Just do your best, that will be enough


In an effort to not breakdown….

It has been about six weeks since the Governor issued a stay home order and I began working from home. We have two more weeks left on this order. While I have been feverishly trying to get in to a routine, help my clients get into a routine, and stay on top of things, the complete opposite has happened. I am slowly beginning to break.

I can’t be there like I used to for my clients. I fear that they are struggling more than they are letting me know. I am trying to do what I can to develop some ease for the up-coming court session that will be over video. After working on it for two weeks, making sure everyone has video access, making sure everyone is grouped together to keep technical issues at a minimum so that my clients can have as much of a seemless session as possible, I am told that it would not work. Re-do it.

I. Am. Breaking. I fucking hate my job and the people that I need to deal with within the system. It is a constant do more….do more……but what you’re doing is simply not good enough. Fact is, I am never good enough. There are times where I find myself sitting, and “Wake-up” hours later having been staring at the wall for hours.

I am beginning to understand both sides of the coin with the requests from government in this pandemic. I get it…..the virus is dangerous, there are people out there that are much more vulnerable, there are people out there that could care less about others. Not everyone will adhere to rules and requests. If that were the case, I would be out of a job.

But I also see domestic violence calls increasing, child abuse calls increasing, substance use increasing, and little help to those that are vulnerable, but not considered in the same group of vulnerable people that we are all talking about today.

I have clients who have been calling DAILY for their unemployment since this began…and still have nothing. I have clients who were denied unemployment because……get this…..THEY DID NOT MAKE ENOUGH when they were working. What? So they have to start the process over again. I have people that were approved early on and STILL HAVE NOT RECEIVED THEIR FUNDS. Huh? Michigan’s unemployment system was simply not prepared or set up for this. And even with the “upgrades” it is not working.

I have clients that are suffering from symptoms of other conditions, and their telehealth doctor recommends they go to the ER or urgent care, and they refuse to do it for fear that they will contract COVID while there. So they suffer. I have clients who needed to go to Pine Rest for some concerning mental issues, and are denied because they can not have people admitted into inpatient right now. So they are told to go to the ER….but, back to the fear circle again. So suffer mental illness that slowly taking over…..which usually leads to suicide.

Yes, the state has assisted in making mental health resources more available and free. However, even in 2020, not everyone has the ability to access the internet. Simply because someone has a smartphone DOES NOT MEAN THEY HAVE ACTUAL INTERNET ACCESS!!!!

Now the ridiculousness that has occurred at the capitol in Lansing over the last few weeks, rallys and gatherings and guns???? All went too far. There were much better ways to express the concerns of many within our state. And the need for guns was uncalled for. No one is saying that guns cannot be owned. In fact, there are increases in shootings across the state, and people being murdered because they would not allow people to enter a store without a mask on.

Being outside is about all that many of us have right now. So yes, when the weather is fantastic, people will head outside. To parks, and dunes, and beaches (although…not sure why the water, not like it was all that warm….). And yes, there should still be social distancing, even in these areas. BUT NOT EVERYONE WILL GIVE A SHIT!!! So then the Governor is “disappointed” in the amount of people at parks within the state. With the exception of forcefully keeping every citizen in the state locked in their homes 24/7…..people will ignore rules and recommendations. However, in my opinion, making things harder for those that could not care, is unfair to the population as a whole.

The stay home order is set to expire on May 15th. However, when that does expire, there will still be nowhere for people to go as public places that have been shuttered will remain so until at least May 28th.

I agree with the slowness of re-opening our economy. I disagree with who is considered essential and non-essential. I agree with wearing masks in enclosed public places. I disagree with not letting people enter places such as grocery stores if they do not have a mask on. I agree that if you do not have to go anywhere, it is better to stay home. But I disagree that if I or anyone else needs to go to the store, wearing a mask, to get what some people would consider “non-essential” items that we be scolded by others. I agree that all we can do is the best we can. I disagree with telling someone “their best is not good enough” or, “their best won’t work”.

I am tired of hearing, “in these unprecedented times”…..we get it. We were woefully not properly prepared for this. We don’t need to be reminded of it constantly. I am tired of policies with companies or local governments changing all that is happening with their staff EVERY.FUCKING.DAY! Way to work on confusing all of us more than we already are so that you can sneak in some sort of cut for the work we are doing.

So, much like others, I am tired. I am struggling. And I fear I am breaking more and more every day.

….and before I knew it, a month was gone. (not really “before I knew it” it has taken forever!

Well, it is now four weeks of working from home and 5 1/2 weeks of basic shelter orders. No gym, no kickboxing, no crossfit….all things that have a great contribution to my mental health. Granted, there are online workouts, and my crossfit box is offering daily workouts we can do at home. But it is just not the same. I do the best I can.

I try every Sunday to develop a plan for the week. What part of the house I will clean each day, a schedule for client calls and updates as well as time to get outside and get in some workouts. Does it work every day? No. And that is frustrating.

I have woken up with a massive headache more days often than not. My sleep schedule, what schedule I had, is very off whack. My nutrition is half in the gutter, and half mindful.

My furkids are completely over me being home all the time. The dogs could care less about staying calm and quiet, even with walks. The cats are all off kilter. Hamlet spent 75% of Wednesday vomiting all over the house, then not eating dinner at all and just sleeping. I was very happy when he woke me up on Thursday all meowy and ready to eat. But that same day, Dante was urinating blood. UGH! A vet visit basically all but determined stress and an infection. Stress. STRESS!!!!! Obviously, it has to do with me being home all day every day and the dogs being out during the day when they are usually in their crates while I am at work.

Attempting to maneuver a caseload of 53 clients and monitoring them with little to no possibilities to do so has required me to give some extreme amounts of trust to each and every one of them. But also, keeping track of 53 individual timelines to make sure they are doing what they can to not have to add 1-2 months on to their program.

And do I even need to bring up the bi-polar weather we have had?????

I am over it. All of it. DONE!

However, I know the importance of social distancing and the like. I understand the need for the state to approach a re-open carefully. So, I have to keep reminding myself of some scenarios:

  • I do not have human children who I have to try to help with school work. 
  • I am still working. Albeit a clusterfuck of a job and is perpetually a series of questions to a magic eight-ball for a response, but, whatever.
  • I have the opportunity to plan some minor lifting, yoga, bike riding, and walks into my day. I have even had the opportunity to try to work on some meditation and breathing exercises.
  • I can still pay my bills.
  • I am healthy and safe. 

So, all that being said, things could be very much worse for me right now. Every week I try to stick the schedule I plan out. It does not always work. And I am learning that is okay. My work gets done. The animals are fed and cared for. I need to get used to being in this feeling of unknown because it is going to be like this for a very long time.




A Cornered Off Whirlwind

Okay….I get it. Everything has stopped, yet there are required things to do, but you can’t do all of them because everything has stopped, and deadlines are in the air. It sucks for sure.

I am still going into work. “Meeting” clients over the phone. Still conducting drug screens on some of the clients. Maneuvering emails and calls about what to do to keep on track. We have cancelled April court sessions. This means I could go almost 1 ½ months without seeing a client in person.

So, you’re asking what my problem is?

I am nervous. This nervousness is not about the virus or the spreading of said virus. And I am not saying that is something to take lightly. I am CAUTIOUS but not CONCERNED (about myself).

I am nervous about the “freedom” my clients will have that I can basically do nothing about. I have some ways to maintain keeping track, but they are minimal.

And yes, these people are adults. If they want to use this time to fuck up and chance it, that is their problem. But it will still give me guilt. Even though I am here, in my office, answering questions, fielding the unknown, I feel like I have promised my clients my support and then basically ran off.

This is stuff I am going to have to deal with. Things I should have worked out so I wouldn’t have this while in this situation. But still.

So, I am sitting still yet running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and I have all this to do, but no way to do it. And then the day is over and I go home……and it is all still there in my head. If we have to close and I have to stay home for whatever reason, it will all carry over there (I can remotely check email and have a work cell phone) and be what will feel like 10 times worse.


Stay healthy!


A Test of Strength in Various Forms

Literally, spiritually, and physically. That is what this is regarding the dreaded COVID-19 situation which we are all experiencing. For many of us, the fact that we can basically go no where is frustrating and seems socially detrimental. However, the fact that we need to do this for the safety of the public and those around us is, well, necessary.

However, there is another population of people that may be concerned about the lack of connection and contact. I am getting non-stop calls and emails about what to do about support group meetings. Some people will be okay with the required limiting of these connections and these meetings. Some may get together at their homes and have their own meetings. But there are those that rely, sometimes multiple times a day, on having those meetings to maintain their connection to their sobriety.

I try to work with my clients to make sure that they have multiple “tools” in their “toolbox” in case their “go-to” does not work/is not available, etc. But I do not have all of the people who rely on support group meetings as clients. I generally do not approve only online meetings for my clients. They need to be out. They need actual connections. The MUST NOT hermit themselves in order to work on their sobriety. However, given the state of things, online meetings are better than none. I can only ask them to do they best that they can. Asking for more than they can do is only setting them up to fail.

Situations like this go for us all. You have a health plan, like an exercise routine, get a secondary one in place. I am BEYOND fortunate that my CrossFit gym is providing online workouts for its members to complete at home. They know we do not all have the CrossFit equipment, so the fact that they are taking the time to incorporate the proper workouts for its members to stay on track is amazing.

Is the overall action of the state and country regarding the COVID-19 outbreak annoying? Yes. It is frustrating as hell. It is amazing how much we are afraid of not having our routine connections. Afterall, most of the connections we will not have for a period of time are ones we LOVE to have. However, we also love those people enough to maintain the proper safety for each and every one of us.

I can do my exercise basics at home, walk the pooches (NOTE: IF ANYONE DOES NOT HAVE A POOCH TO WALK AND WANTS TO COME UTILIZE MINE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, LEMME KNOW 😊 ), ride my bike on the trainer, clean out some of the crap I have collected over the years. There are a lot of options. WE DO NOT HAVE TO HERMIT OURSELVES! But we do need to still be safe. This situation is a necessary evil. Because it is not just about one or two of us, but all of us. But we need to make sure that we also stay connected with the world around us and what is happening locally.

So, utilize your resources. Get creative. If you need that connection to stay healthy, happy, and sober….reach out. That is better than nothing, and then risking everything 😊




Weather, food, sleep and GOALS!


Yo. Is it winter? Is it sprinter? Let me tell you, coming from someone who is a-okay with the cold weather, this shit right out here is a no fun zone for sure. My body needs to get used to frigid temps to be okay with frigid temps. But this up-down-all-around temp shit is ridonkulous!

Anywho, all this to say, weather really does have an effect on our mood.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know that, Andrea”.

Ok, yeah, seasonal affective, winter blues, I have written about it before. But, generally, I stay pretty on track with the fitness schedule. Gym in the AM, others after work, yada, yada, yada….. But this winter… has been a full on bust!

But maybe that is a good thing! My ass just does not want to get up and go to CrossFit, or kickboxing, or the gym at 530am in this weather! Yes, I still make it to 6AM personal training, because Mike gets up that early to meet me for that. But guess what, the gym, the kickboxing, even the CrossFit classes, still roll along without me there. So I just sleep.

Yep, you read that right, people. I SLEEP! It is AMAYZINGLOUSLY PHENOMENAL! Going from about 1 hour of deep, restorative REM sleep a night (but with 3 hours overall of light/deep/REM sleep), to, according to my expensive, data driven, statistically capable smartwatch, 3 hours of deep, restorative REM sleep (with about 5-6 hours of overall sleep) is simply life changing. It is not like weekend naps.

So what has changed?

Well, I think there is a combination of things that culminated together at the time of stupid sprinter…..(or winting? wtf is this weather pattern?)


My psychiatrist would say it is themed change to something more long-term stable. I think the nutrition has a little to do with it, too.


On average, along with the ridiculous sleep (or lack thereof) I would burn anywhere from 500-1000 calories with my workouts per day. My body (according to the high tech “in-body” thingamajig at the CrossFit box) says I need about 1650 calories just to function enough to sit on the couch all day. Then I would only consume, at MAX, 1200 calories per day. Yep, math. There it is: basically consuming -450 calories to function, then, burning 500 calories (at minimum) with a workout.

The result……………a not properly functioning Andrea.

So, we (my coach and I) re-evaluated. Planned. Decided. 2300. calories. That is a lot for me. My stomach is not all that big. But, we shall try. Why did it need to change? Um, hello plateau! Working out hard and lifting heavy five times per week was resulting in not a lot of positive movement. In fact, I was concerned about my muscle loss….

And eating MORE seemed so counter productive since bariatric surgery. But no one gets anywhere they want to go without being a little uncomfortable. So it needed to be tried.

Is it easy? FUCK THAT! NO! Even as I am typing this I was late on my “snack” time and have yet over the course of 3 weeks to meet 2300 calories consumed on a workout day. But, it takes time. But I have no patience.

“But, you deal with criminals and people that require your patience”……yeah, they take all of the little bit I have (I kid).

It is slow. But slow and steady wins the race, right? That is what I am working towards.

So, that being said, sleep is better. Nutrition is getting there. Goal planning is still consistent. Triathlon season is coming up. I have set a goal of a 15 minute PR from last years’ GR Triathlon. About a month ago I PR’d my deadlift (and 2 other lifts) at 276# at a competition at my CrossFit box. I have a goal to be able to hit 300# by the next competition at my CrossFit box in July (I was able to PR the deadlift 5 days after that 276# PR to 280#).

I tend to set goals that are too high because I like to self-sabotage (which I have written about before and I am also still working on). I also like to set too many goals that some of them get overshadowed (back to that self-sabotage). So those two, along with dialing in my nutrition and taking 2 days off of work per month for MYSELF, are my 2020 goals. That’s it. Will other micro goals come up? Sure. Those can be something as simple as daily stuff. Take meds everyday. Take vitamins everyday. Meal prep for the next day every night. Those little goals are always there. But they need to be in order to make the larger occur.

So, re-evaluate yourself and your stuff. Clean out the closet, donate those books you no longer read, try a new recipe, wake up early, stick to your personal promises. Those 2020 changes will come along just fine.


Much love!




I AM……..

I think we all struggle with trying to figure out who exactly we are as a person. I waiver on this quite a bit. I can be strong and determined in who I am one day and question every fiber of my being another. And it is frustrating. Fact is, we are all multiple things and multiple people depending on who needs us for what. And there are times when I hate what I need to be, or what I gravitate toward being depending on my situation. And while the people and things that we are define us, we try not to make it so. At least for some of it. But it is difficult. Sometimes I do not even realize I am what I am for a while. Sometimes I carry over into another situation where I need to be different. A constant struggle for sure.



If You’re Happy and You Know It….OVERTHINK!

Alright…..2020 is officially upon us, and it has already been kinda rough on my end. Work has me like….pulling out my hair. Meds got me like…..why are you not working. Life has me like…..I THOUGHT WE WAS STARTING OVER, DAMMIT!

But, okay, that being said, let’s get to what we got to get to along the way.

Michigan weather (well, anywhere weather) sucks, and is pulling me down something fierce. My level of want to workout is all but non-existent in comparison to what it was before winter.

Me getting a year older sooner is making me feel, well, older and it is pissing me off.

Food will be the end of me, I know it. I just cannot get a handle on it some days, and my brain gives me the fucks its for the healthy of it all.

This weekend I have a Crossfit competition that I feel in no way prepared for and am simply terrified. The only thing keeping me going is that at least I know the people there won’t judge my horrible form and inability to do what I think I can do, but simply cannot.

My magnetic bike trainer is supposed to be delivered today, so at least I can get more bike ready for triathlon season.

And, by 5pm, it seems like a week has gone by. I feel like I am running out of time.

So here I am. Already almost through January and I feel like it all just started yesterday and I have made it absolutely no where to where I need to be along my like.

I need a vacation. And not one that is work related. I need a day off to recoup. And not one that is work related. But then I know I will just laze around and do nothing that I should actually take the time to complete.

I am in my head WAY too much for someone who really needs to just………..GET. OUT. OF. THE. HEAD!

So, okay…..there is it. A lack of caffeine rant of my life and thoughts of what just occurred in the five minutes it took for me to type this. So, imagine what a whole day inside my head is like!!!

……and 2020 has arrived.

Alright, it is here and in full swing. 2020. Let the usual discussions of resolutions and plans and goals commence. Some people do resolutions. Some don’t. As usual, self-betterment in many forms are the hit makers on the list. And, I will admit I am one of those people.


But exercising and eating better, it is not at the top. If any of the topics below would be, it would be to reduce stress. But jesus christ, how in the hell and I going to manage that? Like I have not been trying for the past 20 years! 

So, let me say this. Anyone out there who says they have their shit 100% together, have 0% stress in their life, or who has no care in the world and is 100% happy with everything……..THEY ARE FULL OF SHIT! For real. Lying. To you, to others, to themselves. A full on front of epic proportions. Because if there were people who were 100% with everything in life……well……what would be next for them? How do they grow?

Now, I AM NOT talking about those that are 100% happy in the moment. Where they sit. At their current time. That is 100% possible, and I do not want to take away from what that provides. That is important and is something to relish in and build on for sure.

Other than stress in my life……next on the list would be to stop comparing myself and my actions to others. I am my toughest critic. We all are our own toughest critics. There are little things in my “goals” however, that I just cannot understand what holds me back. Actually, I do know… is my brain. My brain wants to hold me back because way back here, it is comfortable. The level of discomfort increases when there are people around. When there are things that need to be done in groups. When MY ACTIONS ARE BEING JUDGED!!! 

I can grab my own confidence and climb the tallest tower in the land, but the fact is, just like the facade of all those people who are 100% happy 100% of the time……it is a lie. And yes, I am way good at that lie. Trying to maintain my own confidence around others is hard. I am not confident enough to not compare myself. I am not confident enough to not question my own abilities. I am not confident enough to really think I am making a difference in my own life. But I am confident that I can lie to myself about it, and then allow that lie to float around me on to others. 

So maybe that needs to be my goal. Maybe I need to add that to my goal of de-stress. Maybe I will have a plan developed that will last one week and then….back to comfort. Who knows. 

The point is, whatever your goal or “resolution”, try to not plan out your entire 2020. Maybe your goal should be to only plan out the week of January 6th. Then, on the 12th, plan the week of the 13th. Before you know it, you are in to February and that behavior is building stronger and stronger. 

I need to remember it took me over 40 years to get to the level I am at with my thoughts and behaviors. All of that will not clear in the span of this new year or this new decade, even. But, can I change this new week? 

Much Love and Happy 2020

Much love and Happy 2020!!

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