Stop Finding Yourself

Have you ever said I need to find myself? Or do you ever feel lost? Like you don’t know who you are or what you’re supposed to do with your life? You’re not alone. A lot of people go through this phase. However, the word “find” is ambiguous. We say we’re going to find ourselves, but what comes next? A few mumbled things about meditation, taking a walk, or having self-care when in reality, you don’t have any idea where to start.


Then, what does finding oneself mean? This is a question that many people have asked; some say it’s when you find your passion in life, while others believe it is when you discover who you truly are. We throw these phrases around because it’s begun to become socially acceptable. However,instead, you must assess yourself. If you’re finding yourself, is it usually said with intention and direction? Or is it usually a canned response to some unpleasant experience in your life? The truth is, you’re not lost; you never were. So instead of using the word finding yourself, try to replace it with creating yourself. Once you replace the word find with the word create, you regain control and clarity by taking actionable steps toward who you want to be instead of waiting for something outside of yourself to permit you or make things better. 


Every day we wake up, we’re slightly different than the day before. We’re a blank slate, and we can start creating the person we want to become. Although most of us feel that the events from our past have impacted who we are today, that’s correct. We subconsciously weave the events from our past into stories that form our identity. But our goal isn’t to find the stories. We need to understand how the stories impact us today and rewrite them to help us feel empowered rather than diminished. If you’re feeling held back by your past, it’s time to rewrite your story. You are not your mistakes, and you are not the bad things that have happened to you. You are the sum of your experiences, both good and bad. So start telling yourself a new story—a story in which you are capable of anything and everything. The past does not define us; we define our past.  Hence, we all search for something that will make us happy and fill the emptiness. Some people believe that thing is finding themselves. Self-discovery is essential, but it’s only part of the equation. 


In our search for ourselves, we can often become quite lost. We look to others for validation and spend countless hours finding that one thing that makes us complete. However, keep in mind that comparison is a thief of joy. So what comes after self-discovery? Creating yourself. You’re never going to find yourself if you don’t begin creating yourself; so it’s time to stop looking and start living. When you take control and carve out your own path with a purpose, you will continue to learn and evolve as the person you want to become. 


Discomforts Lead to Change

Often, the discomforts in our lives lead to the change we need. This can be true for both small and large changes. Change can be scary, but it’s also exciting, and embracing discomfort is one of the best ways to remind ourselves why we’re striving for something better. Discomforts can lead us down new paths and help us find out what we’re capable of. 

Lori McCain also had a similar experience. She used to be a runner, but she eventually stopped and didn’t continue. Lori had a roommate that was a CrossFitter, and it was the first time that she had heard about it. However, as most people think when they hear CrossFit, there’s a stigma that it is super intense, that one should be really in good shape and that it is intimidating. Hence, it took Lori three years before she finally decided to join CrossFit. Lori joined to become physically fit, but the biggest catalyst that pushed her, even more, to check out CrossFit was her mental health. 

Being part of CrossFit Southpaw greatly impacted Lori’s life as it was merely different from when she was running. As Lori’s a people person, running felt boring on her part. The community of CrossFit has been a huge aspect of keeping her motivated and inspired to keep going. She also likes the variety of programs and workouts in CrossFit, as Lori got bored quickly with exercises in general. She likes how there’s always something new and exciting to do in the next workout or how to push herself differently. Hence, she decided to get involved in powerlifting and Olympic lifting.

Lori learned and realized some life lessons through CrossFit Southpaw. Learning not to be too hard on herself is a particularly challenging phase for her. She needs to remind herself that what’s happening in her life is a huge learning curve, and she should give it time and not overdo things. Another thing that she learned is not to put her story on to other people’s stories; having the modifications in weights, she realized that she needs to work her way up until she can do heavier weights and do more reps. Reminding herself that it is still progress and celebrating the small wins was a huge thing that has kept her going.

Overall, working out has become a healthy stress release for Lori as it clears her head, and being part of the CrossFit Southpaw community really improves her mindset. She developed more connections and relationships with others, learned how to have her “me time,” reflect after the day, and learned to assess what’s in her control. 

We all go through rough patches in life—times when everything feels like it’s stacked against us and we can’t catch a break. When faced with these difficulties, it’s natural to feel discomfort. While these discomforts may be challenging to deal with, they’re also what can motivate us to make a change. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of courage to explore what lies ahead.

Building Structure and Accountability

Andrew Huber, 30yrs old, works as a route transportation salesperson. Before embarking on the CrossFit journey, Andrew was inspired by a friend who works out; it was through him that he decided to break his unhealthy habits and began doing some online activities at home. Realizing that he lacked the accountability and structure required, he decided to dive right in and start doing some home workout stuff and changing his diet.


Andrew’s journey has not been easy. There were times in his life when where everything was grey and monotonous. But his thought was – if others could make a change, why couldn’t he? He could not allow lame excuses to hinder his goal to fitness. He simply needed to manage his time more effectively. It’s moments and thoughts like these that became breakthroughs. He has become more determined in life as a result of those previous setbacks. It has become his life’s great teacher, helped build his confidence, and enabled him to get the most out of life.


When he joined SouthPaw, working out took him to a new level, both physically and mentally. It has shifted his mindset, making him more mindful and giving 100% in everything he does. It may have been intimidating because it was entirely new for him, but it positively influenced his life! 


Andrew feels better almost every day, most especially outside of the gym. He cultivated a positive mindset, which aided him in his journey to make a lifestyle change. He believes that working out allows him to do things that he cannot normally do. He just needs to sustain what he is doing right now, a healthy living habit- meeting his needs without jeopardizing his future. Hence, structure and accountability are important for making lasting changes in our lives. Creating a routine provides us with the stability needed to stay on track by creating a routine. And by having someone or something else to answer to, we increase the chances that we will follow through with our goals. These two principles can be applied to our personal lives and our professional ones. 


We may be having difficulty motivating ourselves to get up every day and do better. Most of the time, we even doubt ourselves. However, doing things that help us improve, such as joining CrossFit, is a start. We simply need to be determined and persistent to achieve our specific goals. It will be exciting to see how our lives will change dramatically if we can keep doing what we are doing to achieve our goals. So keep going and don’t let anything get in your way.

Continuing To Make Progress

After you have been working out for a while (for many of us, years), it can be tough to continue make progress. This often leads to feelings of discouragement and can bring our training to a halt. Plateaus, burnout, and disillusionment. Veteran Southpaw member, Rim, has been there. She has also persevered through. 


Rim has been active and working out since her mid-20s, which continued until she gave birth to her son. As her son got older, Rim lost her motivation to workout. 


Shortly afterwards, she began having anxiety: her eyes started twitching and she was experiencing heart palpitations. Since she didn’t want to take medications, her doctor suggested that start an exercise program to help combat the anxiety. 


That’s when she found CrossFit. At first Rim was hesitant because, like many others, she thought that CrossFit was scary. However, since Rim had done bootcamps before, she decided to try it out.


She fell in love with CrossFit right away because it was different from anything she had tried before. It was a humbling experience – there was always a challenge. However, she realized that no matter what your fitness level was, there was always a way to push yourself – to continue to grow. This allowed her to set different types of goals for herself. Setting goals is one of the keys to success as it helps you stay focused along the way. 


Rim recalls that her experience with bootcamps was quite different from her experience with CrossFit. She went to the same bootcamp class for four years and had the same instructor, yet her instructor didn’t even know her name; at CrossFit the coach and other members knew her name after day one. Rim also liked that CrossFit offered the opportunity to build on your strengths and attack your weaknesses. 


Rim didn’t consider herself a morning person but she quickly began working out in the morning because of the close friends she made at the CrossFit gym. This is one of the many reasons it’s important to have a good workout community a supportive group of people who will encourage you and help keep you accountable. 


Although she liked the workout at boot camps, Rim found that they began to be repetitive and she didn’t push herself the way that she did at CrossFit. She also likes the workout tracking software (like this one that we use at Southpaw) because it allows her to measure progress.


Rim insists that having a good coach will set you up for success. She would encourage you to find someone who helps you build awareness of your body and who encourages you to balance work and rest so that you don’t overtrain.


Rim also realized that being a perfectionist is a double-edged sword. However, if you can learn to harness perfectionism correctly it can become your superpower. 


To continue making progress in your fitness journey, you need to figure out what type of support network & workout methodologies help you thrive. For some, that may be running alone with headphones in. For many, however, it’s an encouraging community, professional coaches, and exciting workout routines.


If you would like to learn more and set up a time to chat with one of our coaches, visit to schedule your Free Consultation today!

Get Your Edge Back With Group Fitness Classes

As any parent knows, one of the best ways to get your child to move fast is to challenge them to a race. At the count of “3, 2, 1, go!” they bolt into action and spring to life with a speed that seemingly comes out of nowhere.

When challenged to a race or contest, we are biologically programmed to push ourselves harder than we otherwise might. The added competition motivates us to move a bit faster to win. The same mindset applies in group fitness class.

Research suggests this could have to do with the KöhlerEffect – the idea that in a group setting, no one wants to be the weakest link. This study found that when participants did a plank beside a more-fit partner, the participants increased their plank times by 24 percent. This suggests that we push ourselves harder when working out with others.

Whether you’re still a beginner or the most fit in the class, group fitness classes offer many benefits. According to a study published in The Journal of American Osteopathic Association, working out in a group lowered perceived stress by 26 percent and significantly improved quality of life. Those who exercised individually also saw a boost in quality of life, but no significant changes to their stress levels.

Everyone has reasons why they enjoy a particular style of workouts. Maybe you are looking for an extra push of motivation or something that is just more fun. Here are some reasons to consider trying a group fitness class:

  • Motivation: Pumped up music and enthusiastic instructors rev up your energy and may push you harder than you would push yourself.
  • Accountability: Meeting your friend at the gym holds you accountable when you otherwise might not go. Some classes even have you sign up for the class beforehand to reserve a spot – so there’s more pressure to follow through.
  • Variety: Instructors, music, and exercises vary. The change is good to keep things exciting and to work different parts of your body.
  • Structure: After a long day at work, the thought of thinking about what exercises to do can feel overwhelming and make you avoid the gym completely. But group fitness classes guide you through your workout from beginning to end – no additional planning required.
  • Fun: And of course, group fitness classes are meant to be fun. Whether it’s joking around with your friends or hearing that one throwback song you used to love, coaches at CrossFit Southpaw plan their classes to be enjoyable, social and fun.

If you find yourself in a rut or not wanting to workout anymore – consider trying a group fitness class. At CrossFit Southpaw, we have found that our members experience the incredible benefits listed above and more. Schedule your Free Consultation with one of our coaches today by visiting What do you have to lose?

How Developing Consistency Builds Resiliency with Paul Darda

We all know that person who always seems to succeed no matter what life throws their way. They’re the ones that seem to have an answer for everything, and they never let anything get them down. You might think that they were born luckier than everyone else, but the truth is, they’re just really good at developing consistency. Consistency allows them to build resiliency, which is the ability to bounce back from any adverse experience. So how can you build consistency in your own life? Read on to find out!


Paul Darda, a founding member at CrossFit Southpaw, experienced the same thing. Paul is a history teacher, father, husband, athlete, and CrossFit quarterfinalist. He’s been athletic his entire life. He wrestled in college, participated in sprint triathlons, and then dabbled in various weight training and general fitness programs. 


However, Paul realized that he missed the camaraderie he found in athletic communities despite working out with some of his teacher crew. He wasn’t being productive, he wasn’t sticking to a schedule, and things were becoming sporadic and boring. He realized he needed a structured program. CrossFit piqued his interest, and he decided to participate in the CrossFit Open in 2015, where his CrossFit journey began.


Paul Darda believes that to be successful, you need to change your perspective. To shift your mindset away from needing to “win” everything. He believes that it is not about the number of reps you can do in a workout or the number of pounds you can lift. 


“It is not about the number. It’s about consistency.” 


It doesn’t have to be the best hour of his day; he just wants to be the best version of himself and not compare with anybody else. It’s not even about acquiring that mindset; it’s the pursuit of that mindset that builds resiliency. 


Developing a mindset that can withstand stress and turmoil is what life is and how we respond to it to move forward. Just like when a pandemic broke out, everyone was coping and adapting to the changes: physically, emotionally, and mentally.


Developing and having a growth mindset is essential to developing resiliency. Someone with a growth mindset believes that they can expand and still change if they work hard. A person with a fixed mindset believes that their capabilities are set in stone and cannot be changed. 


One of the primary lifestyle habits that can affect this is finding the right culture – surrounding yourself with people who also view life through this paradigm. As a culture, we are afraid to fail, or we don’t want to show that we’re not good at an activity. 


To grow, it’s imperative that you find the right culture & environment where your value is based on effort not on capabilities. To find something that you can be consistent with, it must be something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t find consistency. 


To achieve success in any area of life, you need to be consistent. This is especially true for developing habits and behaviors that will help you become more resilient. If you want to bounce back from any challenge or obstacle, you need to have a strong foundation of consistency. By creating daily routines and sticking to them, you’ll train your mind and body to be able to handle anything that comes your way. So don’t give up when things get tough – find other people who support your endeavor and use them to keep you accountable. You’ll be glad you did!


Benefits of Learning & Using the Olympic Lifts in Your Fitness

When we consider weightlifting, it can be frightening because it is a totally new experience. However, if you want to tone your body, increase your stamina, and strengthen your muscles, incorporating strength training, specifically Olympic lifting, into your fitness program is a way to do this quickly and efficiently.

What is Olympic Lifting?

Olympic lifting precludes exerting maximum effort for a few bursts of rapid, precise, and intense force. Olympic weightlifting is categorized into two types of lifts: clean & jerk and snatch. Both are lifts that require a full range of motion and the goal is to use a barbell to lift the most weight at the fastest possible speed.

Clean & Jerk

It consists of two parts: the clean, which involves lifting the barbell from the floor to the shoulders, and the jerk, which involves moving the bar from the shoulders to overhead.


The barbell is lifted from the floor to overhead in a single, continuous and explosive movement. The lifter is allowed to move their feet or squat under the barbell as they lift it before returning to a standing position.

Why Olympic Lifting?

It involves the integration of strength, power, speed, and mobility with highly technical movements performed at a rapid pace. Thus, it is more advanced than the usual powerlifting which fixates only on strength in three main lifts: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Power lifts, while beneficial, do not offer the speed, mobility, and muscle recruitment that olympic lifting does.


Why should you include Olympic lifts in your fitness program? Let’s take a look at the potential benefits

  • Involve the entire range of motion. Olympic lifts are beneficial to more than just your core as they also work your back, arms, shoulders and extremely effective at assisting individuals in utilizing multiple muscle groups simultaneously because involving several large muscle groups in a short timeframe results in the highest caloric expenditure. Therefore, muscle contraction requires the formation and breakdown of ATP on a regular basis.  The energy released from the breakdown of ATP fuels skeletal muscle contraction, increasing the body’s energy requirements and increasing caloric expenditure.
  • Establish Dynamic Stability. According to a study, short-term core stability training improved dynamic balance and trunk muscle endurance in weightlifters learning Olympic lifts. Since the core is the foundation to the strength of the body and Olympic lifting involves a lot of core stability and strength, it helps to keep the body upright and gives a source of balance. 
  • Improves Endurance & Enhance Coordination. These are full-body movements that involve exact coordination, rhythm, and timing. Therefore, incorporating a snatch or a clean and jerk session into your routine will help you improve your high-intensity exercise endurance. You’ll be able to recover faster and complete more hard exercises and intense sessions as time go on. It increases an individual’s longevity by increasing their muscle threshold.
  • Increase Lean Muscle Mass. To build muscle mass, it is required to lift heavy weights with few reps as this helps the person develop the capacity to lift in a short period of time as it is a great way to decrease body fat. 


Olympic lifting has many huge benefits but cannot do so in isolation. Research and anecdotal evidence shows a strong correlation between the introduction of the Olympic Lifts into a fitness regime and decreased body fat and increased lean muscle mass.

At CrossFit Southpaw, our experienced coaches teach you how to perform these lifts safely and incorporate them into a well balanced fitness program that helps working professionals get in the best shape of their lives without needing to spend extra time at the gym!

Want to learn more? Contact one of our coaches today to schedule your Free Consultation and see if CrossFit can help you become your strongest, leanest, and happiest self! Click here to reach out today!

How To Optimize Your Warmup And Cooldown Routines

Warmups and cooldowns are an essential part of training and should be given as much thought and effort as the workout itself. In fact if you’re short on time you might be better off going through a proper warmup, mobilization, and stretching session than to try to get a quick workout in while skipping those other components. Let’s take a look at why these components of training and see why each one is so important and how you can optimize it.

  • Warmup
  • Mobilization
  • Cooldown
  • Stretching


Your warmup prepares your body and mind for that day’s training. Not every day is the same and your warmup is specific to that. When planning and executing the warmup you need to consider which energy system your body will be utilizing. A max rep back squat requires very different preparation than a conditioning session with double-unders and wall balls. The warmup helps to elevate heart rate, stimulate the nervous system, and optimize the function of the tissues and motor patterns you will be training that day. This will reduce your injury risk and optimize your ability to perform. 

If you are someone who enjoys chatting during the warmup or never quite breaks a sweat then I want to challenge you to dial it up a notch. Give your warmup 100% of your effort next class and see what I mean. If you are giving your best effort in the general and specific warm-up drills you will notice a huge difference in your ability to recruit and activate muscles. This will allow you to move with better form. The efficiency of moving with better form allows to lift more weight and improve your fitness. Isn’t that why we’re all here in the first place…


Human movement patterns can be broken down into a few broad and overarching groups like squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate and walk. When you mobilize before a workout you are addressing 
Sometimes you will accomplish mobilization through a dynamic warm-up. Taking your joints through an increasing range of motion in order to prepare them for the rigors of the workout. Sometimes you will slow down and target specific tissues through foam rolling, flossing, or distraction techniques with a band. 
Let’s say the day’s workout is to build up to a heavy single deadlift. The first step is to consider what movement patterns will be involved. In this case, the deadlift involves a hinge as the primary movement pattern. You want to make sure that your back, hips, glutes, and hamstrings are well oiled and firing before you start touching a barbell. 


The cooldown can and should involve more than making sweat angels on the floor. The goal is to ensure continuous blood flow to remove the toxins and metabolites that have built up during your training session. By continuing to move after a workout you are actually improving your recovery and setting the tone for your next training session. Hopping on a bike or rower for 10:00 minutes and moving at an easy conversational pace can be a total game-changer in the way you feel the next day. This habit can be hard to do at first. Instead of laying on the floor until you crush your protein shake and head out the door you will develop mental toughness by challenging your body to keep moving. There are huge dividends to this and you will notice improvements in your recovery each day and reduced soreness.


After your cooldown incorporating stretching and additional mobilization techniques into your routine is essential to optimize recovery and performance in your next workout. When you perform an exercise your body is in “fight or flight” mode. There is a huge shift that occurs during your stretching and rolling session where your body switches back into a parasympathetic or “rest and digest” state. Stretching muscles has been shown to temporarily improved range of motion and will help you when you go to tie your shoes the next morning. By focusing on breathing and moving your tight and sore muscles you are helping to establish homeostasis and you will feel much better for the rest of the day. This is a great practice to repeat again later in the day before bed, especially if you are someone who has trouble shutting off at night and unwinding.

Today we looked at why it is so important to optimize the warmup, mobilization, cooldown, and stretching. We all love to go hard in the workout, but by focusing on improving in these areas is really how you will start to see results!

How To Increase Accountability

Do you accept accountability for your actions, or do you get defensive and start pointing fingers?

Being accountable isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary and valuable. Accountability fosters teamwork, builds trust, and enables you to DO something about the problem!

“Accountability doesn’t happen just by chance. It has to be implemented.”

What is Accountability?

Accountability is the willingness to accept responsibility and embrace the consequences for one’s actions, decisions, and choices. You take ownership of situations that you’re involved in.

The Accountability Ladder is based on Roger Connors; Tom Smith; and Craig Hickman’s bookThe Oz Principle – Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability“, which is a fantastic tool for learning about being accountable.

This ladder depicts a spectral range of behaviors from the least accountable (level 1) to the most accountable (level 8).

Level 1: Being unaware. This represents someone who is completely unaware that there is a goal to achieve.

Level 2: Blaming others. This represents someone who is informed but refuses to accept accountability for anything and instead blames it on someone else.

Level 3: Rationalize things. This represents someone who will defend himself for not being accountable.

Level 4: Stand by. This represents someone who chooses not to act, hoping that the issue will be resolved by itself.

Level 5: Acceptance. This represents someone who admits that there is a problem and that action must be taken.

Level 6: Recognizing the role. This represents someone who is not only embracing whatever needs to happen, but also willing to accept their part in it.

Level 7: Look for solutions. This represents someone who seeks solutions to problems.

Level 8: Take action.  This represents someone who takes all appropriate measures to accomplish the work.

How To Improve Accountability? 

Here are some pointers to help you build accountability!

  • Establish Realistic Expectations. 

Accountability gaps are created by a lack of clarity and unrealistic expectations. The first step is to understand your role. You’ll need to know what your responsibilities are and what you’re accountable for. The expectations must be clearly defined in order to achieve your goals and objectives.

  • Recognize Mistakes. 

If you make a mistake, admit it, set aside your pride, and demonstrate what you are willing to do to make things right. Most of us must find it difficult to admit being wrong, but it’s a necessary step toward learning, growing, and improving ourselves.

  • Include Someone in the Goal-Setting Process. 

Engaging others in the work is an important part of accountability and contributes to a healthy, positive work environment. It does not imply having someone take on the responsibility, but rather having someone provide feedback on your progress and areas where you can still improve to achieve the goal.

In conclusion

Accountability must be practiced. It begins with awareness and ownership. It begins with you. When there is a clear and consistent strategy for implementation and validation, it will have a significant impact on performance and results.


What To Look For in a Good CrossFit Coach


The great thing about CrossFit is that everyone is encouraged and challenged to improve themselves in a safe environment: achieving more than they thought possible and recognizing their full potential. Having a coach is important because they can allow you to feel challenged, supported, and competent in your ability, and they can assist you in reaching your fitness goals. 

As the saying goes, “Great coaches produce great outcomes”.

So what makes a great CrossFit coach?

1.They break down goals into achievable pieces.

Athletes of varying skill levels are frequently present in the same classes at the same time, so coaches must be able to adapt their coaching to the specific individuals in class. Breaking down your goals into actionable steps is the key to actually achieving them. These steps don’t have to be extremely complicated; in some cases, simplicity is the best approach. A successful goal-setting strategy must include long-term, medium-term, and short-term goals. Breaking down your goals will ensure that you are taking consistent steps toward achieving success.

2. They communicate effectively. 

A person may be extremely gifted athlete, but that won’t necessarily make them a good coach if they are unable to communicate. Great communication begins with connection. Being able to communicate effectively with your coach, and knowing your coach can reciprocate, will increase the liklihood of success and create a more enjoyable experience overall. Relationship skills will enable the coach to manage people and deal with potential problems in a dynamic environment. Coaches who interact and communicate effectively with their athletes can provide positive feedback and constructive criticism in ways that have a significant impact on their athletes’ performance.

3. They emphasize the basics and appropriate progression.

To put learning into action, the coach must be able to apply knowledge in the appropriate manner and at the appropriate time. An emphasis on the foundational principles also indicates that when training athletes, a coach adheres to proper progressions. This includes maintaining proper form at all times, insisting on proper scaling, and focusing on the fundamentals in order to protect everyone’s health and keep them injury-free. Some athletes want to step right into the most complex moves, such as snatches without learning the basic movement patterns first first. So one of the core tasks of a coach is to improve the skill level of their athletes based on their capabilities, which will allow them to ramp up gradually.

4. They coach the person, not the athlete.

The most effective coaches take the time to know the athlete as a person. Getting to know what makes people “tick” improves the coach’s ability to communicate, the athlete’s buy-in, and elevates the overall experience everyone is having.

5. They never stop learning. 

The acquisition of knowledge is the starting point for the coach’s journey. It is the responsibility of the coach to fulfill their athletes’ expectations and to study, experiment, and offer as many solutions as possible in order to see progress in their path. Coaches should be learning from their athletes, from their peers, and from other coaching resources regardless of how many certifications or how many years of experience they have. The pursuit of knowledge is never-ending.

“Coaches are not people who failed at being athletes themselves. They are the ones who have the guts to create many more athletes than just themselves.”

Athletes and coaches who have genuine relationships generate more trust, better communication, and a winning attitude. So finding a great coach will result in an effective and successful Coach-Team Relationship.


If you would like to achieve your fitness goals and have amazing coaches, contact us today to set up a time to talk with one of our awesome coaches!