Posts tagged tony blauer

Stop Fearing Fear and Use It To Your Advantage


I had no idea when I mentioned how my boxing place was closed for a death in their family, that would mean that they would close permanently but I got the notice a week or so ago that indeed they are closing their doors. I’m pretty bummed about it but can you imagine in the course of a few weeks the life shock that family has gone through? My heart breaks for them as they figure out how to adjust to their new life. With that said, I have to figure out another cardio/strength option now that there are no close by boxing places for me to move on to….

Change is good

Boss: ‘Change is good!’ Employees: ‘Who’s getting fired?’

And change must be in the air because it looks like my long term contract that I had is probably coming to an end early December. It’s been a great experience, and my original boss was awesome. She taught me so much, was fun to work with and had perspective about the work we were doing. But, she left this past spring and as usual, with new management and changing of the guard – they want to bring in their own people. So, come end of the Fall, I will be looking for more consulting work. I’m not going to lean into the fear though. I have sent out some emails — and have some meetings already set up. And, I keep repeating to myself —what’s the worst that can happen? to help keep the fear at bay and get perspective.

Don’t Get Stuck in a Fear Loop

In this article about using fear to your advantage, they suggest reminding yourself that most of your fears are irrational, that you will get through the situation that is making you uncomfortable, and most times getting through it will make you stronger.  A while ago, I shared some info about Tony Blauer’s fearloop, and how you need to be aware of how it works so you don’t get stuck in it and become paralyzed by fear.

Read This

Be Inspired

Ordinary People

Tony Blauer: The Cycle of Behavior


Stuck in the Fear Loop

A few weeks ago a co-worker called me to get some advice about a work issue she has been dealing with for a while.  She has been putting up with a certain situation for a long time, enabling it to continue by not speaking up and requesting action. For anyone that knows me — It could be said that I lean a bit too much in the other direction and speak my mind fairly often and freely. It’s something that personally I need to work on — creating the right filters at the right time and being more diplomatic in some of my delivery methods. But this is not about that point!

She asked me how I handle certain situations that resemble what she is going thru and how I would handle the situation at hand.  What was clear from talking to her was that she was scared. Scared to get her boss upset, scared to talk to the head of our department, scared of what would happen to her if she did take the action — she was in what Tony Blauer calls the Fear Loop. She wasn’t only in it, she has been stuck in it for a very long time. Just going around and around the loop. So when talking to her, I automatically went into scenario mode and started asking her some questions –

Why are you doing this:

Are your intentions solid and sound? Are you trying to cause trouble or are you really earnest and believe, based on your experience that speaking up and highlighting the train wreck that may be coming is the right thing to do?

If No:

  • Don’t proceed.

If Yes:

  • What is the worst thing that can happen?  What would that look like? Would that really happen? How would you handle that?
  • What is the best thing that can come from this? What would that look like? Is that likely to happen? How would you handle that?
  • Could any other result happen that you do no expect?  What complications and/or additional actions come from your action?

Alternatives: Could there be alternative ways of handling the situation? What are the different options and scenarios around those?

After discussing all of the info and options– we both realized that the worst thing that could happen is probably not that bad, but even more — probably isn’t even going to happen. And that stepping back from going all the way to the Top Dog boss probably wasn’t the best first step and we came up with a scenario that takes into account her boss’s role and giving them the respect they deserve, while still pushing the issue and creating a situation where her boss has no choice but to either take action or she will go back to her original solution and go to his boss to address the issue.

Either way a decision was made by looking at all the possible scenarios and she can address the problem and take action. Will the outcome match what she was going for?  Its impossible to say because you have to take into account the other people and the unknown. However, those are points out of her control and she did the foundational work and made the best decision based on evaluating all the data and scenarios she had on hand at the time. It’s all you can expect and ask for when making the decision. 

Take the situation above and follow along to Tony Blauer’s model – The Cycle of Behavior and you can see she worked through the fear loop and got herself out of it and took action – in theory.  In real life dangerous situations, you have no choice but to take action. Day to day, you actually have to act on it or you end up stuck in fear — going over the different options, scenarios over and over again — resenting whats going on more and more day after day.

So many of us stay in the fear loop because we are scared. Ironic right? Scared of leaving the fear loop.   My co-worker has been trying to operate while constantly being in this loop. Can you imagine how unhealthy and unproductive and inefficient that is?- operating from a place of fear when you are making decisions and managing people.

The model above is a great resource to use when trying to figure out which way to go — follow it step by step and you will find your way out of the ole fear loop!

In order to change, you must change – or you can’t expect to see a different result than what you have been getting.  

Tony Blauer’s Tactical Combative Camp: Five Important Themes For Women


Tony Blauer’s Tactical Combative Camp: Five Important Themes For Women

I recently attended the annual two day Tony Blauer “Tactical Combative Camp” at CrossFit Rubicon in Tysons Corner, VA. At first glance, any normal. suburban woman would walk into that gym and see the crowd gathered for the camp, and walk right out.

Picture it: A dark, window-less rectangular shaped gym. Walls painted with slogans of strength and toughness. 130 men gathered – many from military/law enforcement backgrounds, filling the room. I can see how it could be intimidating and too testosterone rich of an environment for your average, everyday girl. In fact, there were maybe 20 women in attendance total, with only a handful of them outside of the MMA or Military world.

Tony Blauer Camp 2012

After two days of learning and practicing drills, it became very clear to me that the themes discussed over the weekend have practical applications that extend way beyond any sort of combat or personal defense scenario. They are not masculine themes that only apply to a small percentage of women. They are important themes for everyone about living your best life…

“Failure Expected Action Required”

1. You Have Permission to Do Something!
How many times in our lives do we miss out on an opportunity because we don’t give ourselves permission to take action? Or to delve even further, we don’t believe we can go after that job opportunity, or pursue a romantic interest or that we are capable of fighting off an attack because as woman, we are programmed to be full of self-doubt and lack confidence in what we are capable of doing. You know what I am talking about –it’s that un-filtered inner voice that reminds us of our short comings and second guesses our skills, talents and decisions.

What if you said Screw the Rules? You make the decision to accept the fear that comes with doing something new and unchartered and go for it. You give yourself permission to go after that job, ask that guy out, or prepare to kick the shit out of any ‘bad guy’ that tries to cause you harm? What’s the worst that can happen? Generally speaking, the worst thing that can happen isn’t usually the worst thing that can happen ever in your life. That’s not to say that some pretty bad things do happen even when you do fight back. But if you are aware of what you are capable of doing and give yourself the permission to fight back, you can certainly lessen the chances of that coming to fruition.

Tony Blauer Drills

“You’re not going to wake up tomorrow as Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you don’t need to be.”

2. You Are Who You Are

We all have that list of things we wish we could change about ourselves. I wish I was taller, my stomach was flatter, and my boobs were bigger…my list is really long. And yes, I can change some of the things with surgery, diet and exercise. But the point is– you have to accept the hand you were dealt. I will never be 5’11, model thin. It’s not physically possible. I can whine about it all I want, but the reality is I will not wake up tomorrow looking like Claudia Schiffer. Not going to happen – and the sooner I accept that reality and figure out how to work with it, the better off I will be.

If I ever get attacked, chances are the bad guy will be taller than my 5’3 frame. At face value, it’s easy to assume that I will be overpowered and taken down during said attack. So what should I do – accept it and just pray that I won’t ever be attacked?

At my age I won’t be growing any taller, so I need to figure out how to use what I can to fight off a guy of any size. Is there a guarantee of success? No, but if I don’t prepare for it, it’s like asking for a 100% guarantee of failure.

Outside of an attack scenario, there are so many ways to apply this theme to everyday living and the choices we make. You have to make the most out of what you are given and figure out how to use it to your advantage. And, don’t let your hang-ups define who you are.

Tony Blauer Camp

“The pursuit of technique and/or perfection can get in the way of action”

3. You Don’t Have To Be Perfect.
Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in making everything perfect you miss out on the very thing you wanted to enjoy? Was it a dinner party, a vacation, or perhaps a workout?
During the camp, we practiced a lot of drills. I found myself getting flustered and putting myself down when I wasn’t getting some of the attack strategies. One of the coaches pulled me aside and said, “Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect – you just need to hit the target and you did that. You got it done and that’s what counts. “

I needed to hear that. The truth is if I am attacked and need to fight back, the only thing that will matter is that I DO fight back and get out of there. It won’t matter if it looks like Elaine’s dancing from Seinfeld if it works!

There is a time when being perfect counts, but there are many more times when getting it done is all that matters.

Headlock Drill with Tony Blauer

“You never know how much you can do, until you try to do more than you can.”

4. You Need To Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
The concept of being comfortable with being uncomfortable was discussed throughout the weekend. It reminded me of a recent blog post one of my coaches/friends wrote about this very topic:

“Human beings normally choose the path most traveled; the one that’s easiest. Our decisions play a huge role in whether we resist or embrace life when it is uncomfortable. Do we view them as a chance to tackle and conquer, trusting that we will become better people in the process, or do we see them as something to avoid?”

Can you see how always seeking out your comfort zone can prevent you from being prepared to take on whatever comes your way? Tony and his staff stressed that putting ourselves in situations that throw you off balance is key. The ability to take action and get tactical when you are not comfortable will put you in a vantage point no matter the situation. It’s a skill the majority of people out there do not possess.

Tony Blauer Drills

“DO more, KNOW more, THINK more, HAVE more and WANT more than your opponent.”

5. You Feel Like A Bad-Ass
I’m not a fighter. I have never seen a MMA fight in person or watched any sort of UFC match. And before this workshop, I would never have believed that I would enjoy practicing defense drills. I loved it. Practicing head lock escapes, using SPEAR techniques, throwing elbows and administering knee strikes gave me a sense of strength and empowerment that I have not felt before. I may not have looked like one, but I certainly felt like a bad-ass! Now I feel like starting a pseudo fight club – where we practice fighting drills, not actually fight!

trojan horse

“Live life like You are a Trojan horse — with a warrior inside.”

6. Bonus Theme
Remember how I mentioned that there were 130 men at the camp? I’m not going to lie and say being able to hang with and in some cases, wrestle some strong, fit handsome men wasn’t fun, including a few elite world-class athletes. There is definitely something to be said about learning from a group of men who define the word masculine. What exactly there is to be said – I will leave to your imagination.
I promise you that if you really focus on mastering these themes, you can live your life like as if you are a Trojan Horse, with an empowered, strong warrior inside prepared to take on any adversary.
I wish more women would seek out and attend workshops like these. There was so much more discussed than what I have shared here. And all of it can be applied to so many aspects of life. Tony’s teachings are definitely not for men only. Start being comfortable with being uncomfortable by signing up for one of his Personal Defense Readiness courses as soon as you can!

Me and Tony Blauer

Get more information about Tony’s Personal Defense Readiness program and find a program in your area by visiting his website: or visiting his PDR Facebook group.

*Disclaimer: I received free registration for Tony Blauer’s Combative camp so that I could share my thoughts and perspective on his program. My thoughts & opinions are unbiased & honest as always. 

Spear Method: Demand More of Yourself


Tony Blauer Combative camp

Don’t Be A Slave to the Scale


Another picture to illuminate how the scale does not tell the entire story! Stop being a slave to the scale and live healthy and fit, oh and sore of course!!

Here’s another blog entry from yet another female athlete that talks about it, just like I have before!


I took a rest day today. EVA, Nancy, Annie – those ladies are tough and my body needed to rest even though I would have liked to take on Grace! Tomorrow is a good one –although I am not going to share it until tomorrow but it’s one of the Ladies of CrossFit as well — ending a full week of the Nasty Girls.

I am so excited to go to a Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer this weekend. Jeremy Kinnick, Greg Glassman, Tony Blauer and a bunch of other amazing, inspiring athletes will be there. I love training sessions like this — so unlike what the old me would have done and I learn so much and have an amazing time in the process. I am so friggin lucky! Oh and I can kick your ass afterwards.

Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer


This coming weekend I will be attending the Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer Aug 4-5 at CrossFit Rubicon. I’m really excited to learn and meet all the amazing, inspiring people that are coming and not just the ‘special’ guests. The CrossFit community is comprised of amazing, experienced athletes from all walks of life. Going to a workshop or seminar with them is one of the best experiences and you come away with new friends and new skills.  I’m really excited…

I want to encourage the women out there to not shy away from workshops like this. Yes, they market mostly to guys but the skills learned during them is invaluable whether you are male or female. You really learn how to leverage mental skills with physical approaches to protecting yourself that can be used professionally and personally. Don’t be deterred by predominantly male tone to the marketing. Trust me –  you will come away from the weekend with a lot more knowledge and a sense of empowerment and feeling like a bad ass. Who doesn’t want to feel like a bad ass?

I had trouble sleeping last night. I don’t know if it’s the dark chocolate covered banana I had before bed or what. I am going to go treat free in the evenings for a few days to see if my sleep improves. What I am eating usually is the reason I am having issues so I am going right to the source.

And I woke up to face ANNIE – one of the nasty girls of CrossFit.

800m run

double under practice


  • Double Unders
  • Sit Ups

time: 11:27 (improved my overall time from last attempt: Annie

Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer Aug 4-5 at CrossFit Rubicon


I don’t know if you remember when I shared info about the Tony Blauer Be Your Own BodyGuard Workshop I attended. It really taught me a lot about the mental aspect of being in danger and made me much more aware of my own internal voice and how I react to it during certain situations. I also got to meet one of my favorite CrossFitters – Jeremy Kinnick so it was a good workshop for a few reasons. One of the things I wished however after the it was over — was that it went longer than just 1 day.

Well — I am signed up* and ready to go to a 2 day summer camp of sorts called Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer held at CrossFit Rubicon, Vienna, Virginia. Saturday Aug 4 – Sunday Aug 5 10A-5P each day.

I am sure we will be learning a bunch of new stuff but I know that we will indeed go more in depth learning the fundamentals of S.P.E.A.R. System –

The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEM™ (Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response) is a scientifically researched & medically reviewed personal defense measure that exploits the body’s natural responses to violence and danger.

I’m told there will be a few special guests including Rodney King, the founder of Crazy Monkey Defense, and Zach Even-Esh, Underground Strength Coach.

You may be saying –isn’t this a camp for mostly guys!??  No way — the principles that Tony will teach can be applied to so much more than just combat. Just yesterday, I shared one of his blogs: The 10 Commandments of Street Survival as a perfect example of how your mind can defeat you or help you win in LIFE — not just a violent situation.

Your mind can be your ally or your most formidable opponent. Your thoughts can motivate you or they can create the inertia State of psycho-physical paralysis.

Psychological fear leads to doubt and hesitation. Unchecked it can devolve into anxiety and panic. Unsolicited, a ‘Victim’s vocabulary’ starts: What if I lose? What if it hurts? What if I fail? Thoughts like these must be eliminated from your vocabulary for you to perform at your peak. Your ‘self talk’ or ‘internal dialogue’ must be positive, assertive and motivating. Your inner coach must empower you to greater heights, to surpass preconceived limitations, to boldly go where… you get the picture. That is what it means to not defeat yourself.

I am telling you — women should definitely go to a workshop like this. It can give us the advantage we need to be in the game mentally and physically.  And you feel like a bad-ass knowing you can protect yourself if you had to. There is nothing more empowering and powerful than that!

So, Ladies/Guys —go Register!


*Disclaimer: I will be sharing information about and a review of Tony Blauer’s Combative camp in exchange for free registration.  My thoughts & opinions will be unbiased & honest as always. 

CrossFit: Go for the Win


Do you ever feel like you are just a hamster on a wheel – doing the same thing day after day and not really seeing progress or results?  Maybe you don’t even have a goal in mind except to get through the day – each day. Sometimes you may not even know you feel like that until something happens or you take a break at breathe?  Well I took a 4 day break a week ago and let my body and mind rest.  I realized that I had not had a major ‘win’ fitness wise or career wise and I needed one.

We are now at Feb 1st – what are you doing to reach your goals that you set at the end of last year? You may call them resolutions but I think that word alone sets you up for failure so I don’t use that word — Let’s call them goals.  And I think that any progress towards that goal is a ‘win’, even if its just a few steps forward.

I posted this quote the other day on facebook:

For all those wanting to start making changes in their life: You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. – Martin Luther King Jr.

And it’s so true — you have to have faith and trust that you will be ok, that you CAN do it.  We all have decisions we have to make that are hard every day — exercising regularly should in theory be one of the easy ones.  The pic to the left is one of the athletes at CrossFit. He’s a big dude — no doubt — and look he did a friggin inverted handstand on the rings today.  Do you think he thought he could do that EVER?  Well now he KNOWS he can do that and how awesome is that? What a Win for him today!

For me, I needed a win — I have felt like I hit a wall the past few months. My eating has been off, my workouts have been off and it’s a viscous cycle if you don’t address it. So on Sunday, during my workout with Kim – when we did pull ups, I started doing the Kipping Motion to help me get through them. Mentally I absolutely took note of it — but didn’t want to jinx it and didn’t want to mention it until I knew it wasn’t a fluke.

This morning’s workout had pull ups – and sure enough the Kipping motion was there. Now I did it with a blue band but I will go without once I am used to the technique. THERE IS MY WIN!  See how things come through when you are least expecting it.  I had a great workout this morning – felt strong and ahead of the curve and got my mojo back.

The moral of the story? Don’t let your rut stop you from progressing towards your goals. If you need a few days off – take it – get your mind right. The key is to not let it STOP you — you can pause and breathe — and get back to it. It’s way harder to stop and start again, mentally and physically.

And to refer back to the Tony Blauer Be Your Own Bodyguard seminar concept of it’s all in your head:

Whether you Think You Can or You Think You Can’t — You’re Right – Henry Ford.

Tony Blauer – Be Your Own Bodyguard Seminar


It’s all in my head I tell myself. If I don’t believe I can do it, then it’s a done deal — I can’t do it. This was one of the takeaways from this weekend’s Tony Blauer Be Your Own Bodyguard self defense training seminar and it can be applied to so many other aspects of life.  The goal of the seminar was to have us all leave saying “I didn’t know that was in me”.

Tony Blauer trains those that protect the rest of us — training special forces, military, FBI, and many government agencies all over the world and has been training for over 30 years. So just hearing his stories is an experience. He can talk – that’s for sure. The first part of the seminar was Tony talking about defending yourself, using the SPEAR method  –

The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEM™ (Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response) is a scientifically researched & medically reviewed personal defense measure that exploits the body’s natural responses to violence and danger.

And what was so interesting was that the point was you don’t need to be in the special forces to use it. You have built in response mechanisms that can react when you are in danger. Your arms, hands, mouth, legs and feet all can be put into action if you are PRESENT in the moment and prepared.  That’s the key — you have to realize that yes, you CAN fight back. The attacker doesn’t think you will fight back and that’s one of your best assets. You have to be ready to react when they make a mistake or misstep and they will. It’s guaranteed.

You have to be prepared to mentally pull from where you have passion. You fight back with passion and make it personal. The 3 P’s are Personal, Passion, and Present. You will survive because you have your kids to live for — you have your dog who needs you — whatever it is. Pull from that personal place that gives you passion and use that as the motivation to get the heck out of the situation.  So if that means you scratch his eyes out, bite his arm, elbow him, kick him in the balls, knee his head – whatever it is – you do it with all the force that your passion gives you.

Usually, the bad guys want only three things: Property, Body or Life. They also don’t want to get caught, to get hurt or for the crime to take too long – so anything you can do to interfere with those 3 things – ups your chances for survival and getting away. And realize that everyone has what Blauer calls the FEAR loop of paralysis in the face of danger, but you need to act.

FEAR loop – Failure Expected; Action Required — Get out of the Fear loop with your mind. Draw from the 3 Ps to motivate you and make getting to safety your goal and take action to get there without over-thinking.

Now, a lot of people say what Blauer talks about is common sense. He doesn’t disagree but what he says is it’s uncommon sense — that many people don’t prepare for it and if there comes a time when they need to react, they don’t react like they should.  Being prepared can mean not putting yourself in a sketchy situation, listening to that inner voice that says — whoa, this doesn’t feel right, or counter-attacking. Now I know what you are thinking — Counter Attack? Would you want to know danger is imminent 20ft from you or 2ft from you?

His example of when you think someone is following you, turn around and ‘counter attack’ – Hey are you FOLLOWING ME? You are already starting to break into the realm of what the criminal does not want to be –caught, hurt or for the crime to take too long. Now, there is no guarantee that that will hold him off but it’s one of the first tactics you can use and just may save your life.

There was so much more information to learn at the seminar and I think it would have been so much better if it were more than 1 day long. We were just getting into the real scenarios and it was over. I think you could get some of the info just by watching Tony’s videos but he definitely is a dynamic, funny speaker who knows his stuff. You should check out his site for more info: Tony Blauer.

Tony Blauer The Cycle of Behavior: F E A R Management Skills

I will be writing more soon about the mental aspect — getting out of the Fear Loop in other aspects of your life – so watch for that.

Meeting Jeremy Kinnick and Tony Blauer


Yesterday was so inspiring and fun – but even better than the actual seminar was the opportunity to meet more people in the CrossFit Community. I am planning on writing up a bit of info on the actual Tony Blauer Be Your Own Bodyguard Seminar in a separate post to share my thoughts because I really learned alot about how to think about fighting back when faced with a difficult situation.

I realized that i love going to training sessions that really expose me to different ways to approach situations and of course helps feed my passions. I just eat that stuff up. I took some notes of thoughts I had while Tony was talking because I wanted to make sure to further explore topics that he talked about on my own.

Another great thing that came out of yesterday was getting to meet a CrossFit Athlete that I have been talking to since last year – Jeremy Kinnick. I heard about him via the CrossFit Games last year, and reached out to him to connect and we have talked on and off about CrossFit since then. He was even nice enough to write up a post for the recent nutrition Whole Life Challenge we did for our athletes at CrossFit Impavidus. He’s an all around nice guy who loves what he does and it shows. He gave me some good advice about learning how to push through when I become uncomfortable and want to give up that is now seeded in my mind and will be put to the test this week.  I love that someone like me — who is not looking to go to the games — but is just as passionate about their progress can go up to really great athletes/coaches and they are more than happy to give you their thoughts and coaching without a second thought.

And he’s focused on the 2012 CrossFit Games coming up — I will be rooting for him the loudest!

I did head to the gym this afternoon since I missed my Workout yesterday — Kim and I created a workout that looked good on the board but holy crap — I was near puking at the end. What a great WOD to create for MYSELF! I am a nut.


PVC pipe stretching


Double Unders


15 Box Jumps
12 Pull Ups
9 Hand Release Push ups

total: 6+

Oh here’s a pic of Lori and i with Jeremy Kinnick.  He’s a cutie too — which doesn’t hurt! 🙂

Go to Top