PRs, goal setting and how my life has changed!!!!

Today we went for a new Deadlift PR! It was awesome! There was some major smashing of old PRs in my classes!

Mark Martinez uped his old PR by 10lbs – new PR = 335

Phil Madrid uped his old PR by 10lbs. New PR = 325

Jennifer Marshall smashed her old PR by 40. New PR = 185lbs.

Damian Herrera decimated his old PR by a whopping 50lbs. New PR= 235lbs

And Mona Malec beat her long standing PR of 305Lbs by 10lbs. New PR= 315.


Kim(almost 50) in a beautiful Deadlift setup!

OKAY PEOPLE!!! It is finally a new season and with this I think that it is time to start asking more of ourselves. A PR(personal record) day is a great time to start thinking about and discussing setting goals. Whether it is uping your schedule from 2times a week to 4times a week, getting your unassisted pullups or push ups, setting a new deadlift PR, beating your 1 mile time, getting up for the 6am class, working on your form for your overhead squat, etc …the idea is to raise your bar and then meet it. I talk about it in the intros that I do with people that are considering joining our gym. When we decide what is intense for us and then get up close and personal with that line over and over again, what was intense for us is no longer enough. We sail past our previously imposed parameters and we grow, as athletes and as humans. Striving to be better is one thing, but putting it into words is another. Declaring something is a very powerful thing to do. You shift your consciousness and perhaps the universe even hears you.

I can not even tell you how much my life has changed in the past year. A year ago, I was bartending at the Cowgirl, booking the music there and managing the bar. I worked at the bar three nights a week.  This included staying up until 3AM or 4AM pretty much every night of the week, as it is difficult to stay up that late 3 nights a week and have a normal schedule for the rest of the week. Drinking became less of a choice and more of a coping mechanism(drunk people are way easier to tolerate when you have had a drink yourself) and I needed a whole day to recover from the mental, psychic and physical drain that working a busy shift at the Cowgirl was on me.  The money was great but eventually it was like golden hand cuffs. I could pay my mortgage working only 3 nights a week, but what was I giving up. My boyfriend had broken up with me a year and a half before because he could not stand to see me short change myself(he believed in me way more than I believed in myself) and he could not abide by the all encompassing lifestyle that was the Cowgirl. He wanted to do things during the day and sleep at night and I was simply not available. On the day that I won SF Reporter’s “Best of” poll for best bartender, I decided that it was time to make a change. I gave my bosses three months notice and gave myself three months to figure out what the hell I was going to do next.

I had been doing Crossfit for about 6 months. I decided that I had to treat it like a job and show up at noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, otherwise I would never be consistent enough to get over that awful hurdle that we all encounter when new to Crossfit. So that was it, that was my schedule and I was rigorous about it. I couldn’t drink the night before I did Crossfit, so already I had made a positive change in my routine. I would experience major anxiety the night before Crossfit and it would be the first scary thought upon opening my eyes. But, I had made a deal with myself and I am a stubborn bitch. So, as much as I wanted to reneg on my own agreement with myself the INTEGRITY of my word had become important to me( and it was not negotiable. I had to talk myself all the way to the gym on those days. As if there was a tiny devil and a tiny angel on each shoulder. One telling me: I could just sleep in and get up later, you are tired, you worked hard, what difference is one class going to make, you probably can’t do that workout anyway… the other telling me: 8 hours is enough sleep, you made a commitment to yourself, it’ll make you stronger, you can do this, you just have to show up and the rest is easy. I would literally get all the way in the gym, and still in the back of my head, I was reserving the right to run out the door after I read the WOD. I would read it and my first thought would be ” you can’t do that!” I would then have a quiet little panic attack and then 3,2,1, GO!!! I would question myself until I got to the halfway mark, at which point I would start to believe that maybe I could possibly do what I had just done again(half) and maybe I could actually do it! As this scenario repeated itself over and over again, I started to realized that the gym is not the only place that I tell myself that I can’t when maybe the uncomfortable truth is that I can. Uncomfortable because it takes effort and courage. One must give up the ease of complacency.  I realized that in the years and years that I had wanted to stop bartending and have a career that fulfilled me I had developed a litany of “I can’ts” to keep me from believing in possibility. For example: I will never make enough money to pay my mortgage, I could never work this little and make so much, I am under educated and spent the last ten years perfecting a career that does not lead anywhere, I can’t go back to school, no one would hire me to do anything but what I am best at, I could never be as good at anything as i am at bartending, I will never find a job as flexible as a bartending job…I could go on all day and it makes me sad. After 6 months of Crossfit, I started to approach challenging situations differently. Instead of immediately blurting out “I can’t!!!”, I started to approach things from the perspective that I’m not sure if I can or not but I will do my best! Well, the good news is that my best is good enough and it beats the f*** out of never trying in the first place.

So, I gave my notice at the bar. I got Crossfit certified and the rest is history. I wake up everyday thoroughly excited to go to work. I am blessed to be surrounded by a community of people that are out to better themselves and to make a difference. Transformation occurs on a daily basis all around(and within) me. I get to affect positive change in people’s lives for a living. I look and feel about ten years younger and I have a whole new lease on life. I get to build and nurture and develop something that I truly believe in with coworkers that I love and respect. I have a new found thirst and desire for knowledge(both pertaining to Crossfit and beyond). I am healthier and more vital than ever. I am touched, moved and inspired by all of you each and everyday!!!!!! I am truly blessed.

Wow- that was quite a tangent. It just poured out of me. So, there you go. Set goals for yourself. Tell your coaches. Tell your fellow athletes. We would love to work with you to help you meet and surpass them. Make a declaration. I will write more about effective ways to create language around goals and ways to set a time line in my next blog.

My goal is to have my unassisted pullups by July 1st. I want to have 15 in a row by July 21st(scary!!!). I  am telling you this so that you will help me be accountable to that goal. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS???? WRITE THEM HERE IN THE COMMENTS OR GRAB A COACH!!!! OR BOTH!!!!

Heather McKearnan

Doing Isabel on my 41st Bday!!!!

Tomorrow WOD:

4 deads  @65%of max
8 2 pood goblet squat
12 kb swings 2 pood
16 30″ box jump


I am inspired by reading this. After a couple years of feeling sorry for myself, I am ready to stop eating for comfort. My goal is to change my eating habits and start exercising. When I can afford this gym, I will totally go and it shouldn’t be too long before I can. I wish all of you the very best and especially you Heather. I know you and know that you do feel and look better. Way to GO!!

Comment by Felecia Ford — June 7, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

That’s so awesome. I’m reading the blog and LOVE IT!!

Comment by Jennifer Marshall — June 8, 2011 @ 12:48 am

GOAL – Run a sub-7min mile and not be completely worn out afterward – end of the summer.

Comment by Joey Apodaca — June 8, 2011 @ 1:28 am

Great work guys! Till tomorrow.

Comment by Phil Madrid — June 8, 2011 @ 1:45 am

My goal is 120lb O/H squat by July 15th.

Comment by Phil Madrid — June 8, 2011 @ 1:47 am

Nice entry Coach Heather! It is awesome to see you becoming your authentic self. Thank you for being so open about your process as unglamorous as it usually is to make deep changes. Keep it up!!!
A few of my goals related to my fitness is to take fish oil everyday, to get a muscle up this year and to get a deadlift PR of 250. I am at 215 right now and apparently have a mental block with that number. Outside of the gym I have a lot of prep work to do in order to move out of the country in the future, so I am trying to set some weekly goals with myself around a list I have made.

Comment by Crow — June 8, 2011 @ 2:17 am

LOVE IT HEATHER! I know what a big step it is to just lay yourself out there…to be honest for (literally) the whole world to see. But, really, it’s not about being honest to others. Rather, it’s about being honest with yourself. I nice side effect is that telling your story (no matter how difficult it may be) can inspire others. KUDOS!

I was really caught by the fact that so many of the thoughts you have had on this journey are similar to the ones I have had. It’s eye opening to know that someone as awesome/talented/fit/knowledgeable as you has had the same self-doubt.

I have already taken the next step and set the goal for myself to go 4-5 times a week, getting to the 7am class as much as I can. So far so good! The 330 Challenge was a great help in me working towards my goal of improved endurance. There are so many moves I need to improve on, but I think my next goals will be to do a true box jump and to improve flexibility.

Comment by Alexis B — June 8, 2011 @ 3:05 am

Powerful stuff indeed!! Thanks for sharing those amazing changes so lucidly with us, Heather, and good on you for having the courage to follow your convictions! Sometimes jumping out that airplane door without a parachute is the only way to really discover your true path in life; it certainly focuses the mind and brings out the best in your creative side. It’s 100% your responsibility whether you knit yourself a good canopy on the way down or not; whether you land softly, or suffer the abrupt stop. I’ve done both, and tried to learn from it. Both were valuable experiences, if a little painful at times. But bruising heals: never be afraid of falling!! You obviously knitted a good chute during those three months of free-fall! That continual questioning and self-doubt is good too, because that’s the voice you really have to answer to; the truth inside you shining a critical light on your comfort zones, saying: “You’re so much more than this”. Too many people spend their lives doing anything to avoid answering those questions; the ones they really need to address. The fear can be so great that it’s tangible, but it’s a bully; it’ll always back off if you challenge it. And when you do, and you make that a habit, and challenge it on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis, magic occurs. The magic is in the gradual, almost silent realisation that you’re actually doing it; you’re here, making it happen; achieving the previously unachievable; setting new goals and seeing further than ever before. You’ve shifted, almost imperceptibly, from where you were to where you never imagined you could be. The journey there is worthwhile, too. As Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t pay the price, you enjoy the price!”. And just as imperceptibly, that constant fear and questioning gets replaced by a quiet confidence, just as you’ve said here; a knowledge deep inside that you are capable of so much more. It’s a cliche, yes, but “That which doesn’t kill us, will only make us stronger” has truth because of the knowledge it possesses; the experience you gain from growth. And right now; today; you’re so much stronger than you could ever imagine…

Comment by Robin Taggart — June 8, 2011 @ 8:22 am

Thanks for sharing your story so powerfully with us, Heather – you are an inspiration! I completely identify with the pre-Crossfit-workout terror, but every time I go in and come out alive, it does wonders for me morally as well as physically. For several months I have had a phobia about doing box jumps, I would walk up to it and not be able to jump at all. Then one day I watched some folks in the previous workout jumping onto super-high boxes, and thought, well, if they can do that, I can at least try a 20″ jump. And that day I did it, over and over, and since then my phobia is gone, or at least under control. It’s amazing how much a simple thing like that means to me, it permeates the rest of my life outside CrossFit. My goal now is to be able to do pushups from my feet instead of my knees, by the end of the summer.

Comment by Suzanne Sloan — June 8, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

So so so so so so soooooooo proud of you! Totally tearing up!!

Comment by Becca — June 8, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

This is awesome Suzanne! If I can help you with reaching your goal in anyway, let me know!!-Crow

Comment by CrossFit Santa Fe — June 9, 2011 @ 3:29 am

Thanks Robin. I really appreciate your comment and perspective! Great to connect with like minded people. Gald we are new found friends. H

Comment by Heather Eve — June 9, 2011 @ 4:00 am

I think everyone has these thoughts in the beginning(and to this day). The strength comes from pushing them to the side and seeing what you are made of when you don’t give in to the fear and self doubt! I am so proud of you, so proud to know you , and so proud to be a part of this journey with you! H

Comment by Heather Eve — June 9, 2011 @ 4:02 am

Let’s do it!!!

Comment by Heather Eve — June 9, 2011 @ 4:03 am

I believe in you to the utmost!! You can do anything that you set your mind to! H

Comment by Heather Eve — June 9, 2011 @ 4:04 am

So doable!

Comment by Heather Eve — June 9, 2011 @ 4:04 am

Thanks Jen! So glad!!

Comment by Heather Eve — June 9, 2011 @ 4:05 am

I would love to help you in anyway that I can! Let’s talk!!!

Comment by Heather Eve — June 9, 2011 @ 4:06 am

Heather, you are amazing and so inspirational!!!! I don’t work out in cfsf, but hope to this summer for at least one wod! i have a few crossfit goals …one is to be able to do a muscle up by the end of August :) one is to do hand stand push ups without the bands and another is to make it to the 2012 regionals! :) Thanks for this inspiring and wonderful read, Heather!!!

Comment by Steph Harris-Bailey — June 9, 2011 @ 4:26 am

for the rest of your life, you will benefit from the major changes you’ve made this year – in so many ways. i love you and as always, i believe in you.

Comment by lyle — June 9, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

Loved reading this post 1st thing this morning…the gears in my head are turning and I am excited about what is possible– getting my pencil out- going to write down some goals!! Thank you Heather, what a breakthrough!

Comment by betsy — June 10, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

There is something going on that allows you to be the best at bartending, then do an about-face and be a motivating, passionate coach in less than a year. Kudos, I hope others are given hope from hearing how you didn’t wither to fears. I will find inspiration from this.

Comment by Adam B. — June 14, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

Thank you Adam!!!

Comment by CrossFit Santa Fe — June 14, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

Mobility WOD