Written by Coach Shenelle


Thich Nhat Hanh

This quote has stuck with me after reading the book “Essentialism”, by Greg McKeown.   How often do you find yourself focusing or thinking about the end result, outcome or reliving past mistakes over and over in your head.  I know that I have definitely struggled with this in many areas of my life and when I look back; this stems all the way back to classes, social groups, and sports I played in high school.  This is an area I am dedicated to working on this year as a person, mother, wife, therapist, and athlete. I think we all would like to work on being more present with loved ones, at work, and when we are pushing ourselves to be our best (trying to achieve a goal).  The question is How? How do I become more present, focus on the now, stop wasting energy on things you cannot control, thinking about past mistakes, or mentally preparing for the next thing rather than being fully present now in your current state. The following are some ways I am going to focus on “What’s important now” in 2018.

Focus on what you can control.  Sounds so simple, but it can be so darn hard especially in our professional  life, as a parent, and an athlete. As an athlete I can control my recovery, nutrition, training, mindset and sleep.  Everything else is out of my control so I have made a decision to not waste brain power or energy on anything else. I will rest my body once per week,  I will hit my macros, I will train and work on my weaknesses, I will dial in mindset and find focus in each present moment, not the outcome. I will get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  I can’t control the Open WODs, the weather, if I get sick, if my kids get sick, if I didn’t perform well in a recent workout, how another athlete performs next to me, or if some one has more time than me to train.  I must focus on what I can control and when I find myself comparing myself to other or thinking about what may happen, I am committed to coming back to a place of focusing on what I can control and owning the moment.  Focusing on the task at hand.


  • There is only now.  Tune into the present, focus on the things that are truly important-not yesterday, or tomorrow, but right now.  Each day how do you focus on what you can do today to come closer to your goals. I have recently started writing in a gratitude journal which I have been wanting to do for over a year.. Yes finally I’m doing it.  because one morning I was like, well “I can focus on the now or wait another year..” Sitting down each morning for 5-10 minutes has really been a way for me to dial in my day, because it’s your dedication everyday that matters.  I focus on and write about what I’m thankful for, my intentions for the day, things that will happen no matter what (non-negotiables), and I remind myself “I get to!” I don’t “have to…”
  • Go Big and don’t be afraid to!-  there are two points I want to draw out from this statement.  First, finding focus on what is important to you and realizing to be your best at something, you have to let other things go. My priorities are being a mom, wife, having strong deep relationships, my professional career, and being an athlete.  This year I have sat down and focused on decluttering our lives and making sure that my/our core values and priorities are a daily focus. As a mother I want to spend quality time with my kids, take them to school, pick them up and have a family dinner every night.  So I do not train at night; I am committed to being home every night with Shawn and the kids. I have set myself up to train (which is very high on my priority list as you know..) while they are at school/work and at the butt crack of dawn…4:00 a.m.on the days I work 10 hours.  Another example is recently taking a step back from coaching (very hard decision). I love to coach and I am truly thankful I get to coach on Saturdays at Iron Industry! But when I started coaching at Iron I was doing it Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. which was right in the middle of a training time for me.  I did it for a month and realized after talking with Shawn, it was not lining up with my priorities right now. It was really hard to tell Josh because I felt guilty and I truly wanted to coach. Coaching is a huge passion of mine. But after talking with Josh (of course he was extremely understanding), a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I was able to line my week back up  with my priorities for the present time.


The second point I want to make is not being afraid to go big on something!  I think sometimes we are afraid to go big on something and we spread ourselves so thin, that we are “Ok” at multiple things.  I think for me I have the fear of failure and also the emotion of guilt tied to going big. I am a type “A” go getter person with a lot of grit and perseverance and I don’t like failure.  I would find myself not going “Big” on something because I might fail. But this last year I have learned that failure is like fertilizer. It helps us grow. Success is not tied to an outcome, but success is effort and effort is a choice!  Don’t let fear stand in your way of putting your full effort into something! Believe in yourself. Your confidence comes from how you respond to a situation, not the outcome. Lastly, don’t let guilt play a role in holding you back! As a mother I have struggled with a lot of guilt surrounding training, but have learned to release it and realize I am teaching my girls to be better people by setting an example.  I have made them my priority and had to say “no” to recent social invitations because I want to spend time with them and be able to train. And for now thats “ok” with me. I have learned to release the guilt and focus on what I need to focus on right NOW …MY PRESENT MOMENT!

Coach Shenelle Higbee M.S., RECP, EP