Today’s post was written by Amanda’s Intrepid BFF Celina. These two sparkplugs are inseparable inside the gym as well as out. They keep each other on track with their Paleo meal planning/cooking and push each other through grueling workouts! Their friendship gives some of the most serious bromances in the gym a run for their money!
Today I have the great opportunity to wish Amanda a very happy birthday. Most of you are familiar with Amanda’s boisterous cheers in the gym (and if not, you are seriously missing out), her great sense of humor and her affinity for Lululemon gear — which I am pretty sure is TOTALLY my fault. Sorry about that one dude…
I met Amanda two years ago, when I first joined the gym. It was at the old location, and my first memory of CFI was Amanda inviting me to lift with her. She was so welcoming and helpful and then instantly gave me crap for attending the “inferior military academy” – The Air Force Academy. Amanda of course went to The Naval Academy and of course is wrong about USAFA being inferior to USNA, but we can let that one go since it is after all, her birthday. We will just let our football teams duke it out here in a few weeks. This inter-service rivalry set the perfect stage for our friendship, because although we are competitive with each other and will relentlessly bust up on each other, when it comes down to it, we are sisters-in-arms and are ultimately on the same team. From that first day, we instantly bonded and ever since have been partner-WODing like it’s our jobs.
Speaking of military stuff, Amanda’s call sign in the Navy was Chester. As Raytheon she still goes by it, but around our family and friends she now goes by “Lali” (pronounced LAH-lee). Like the assignment of a real call sign, she did not choose Lali, as it was chosen for her by my son Aidan when he was about 18 months old. The interesting part is that the way he said “I love you” came out “lalu.” So essentially her name is how he feels about her, which is pretty cool. Unlike an actual call sign, which is supposed to be something that keeps you humble by embarrassing you, Lali has embraced her new call sign as a beloved Aunt. If you want to see her smile ear-to-ear, please refer to her as Lali.
However, one little known fact about Amanda (and by proxy me) is that we totally share a brain, to the point where we routinely ask each other “why do we even talk?!?” Honestly, if a partner WOD is announced, we automatically email each other a Mr. Bean meme (pictured) and don’t even need to talk to match our Lulu team outfit. When people ask us if we matched on purpose, we usually respond (in unison) “nope” because our brains are apparently hard wired to know what the other is thinking. Not. Even. Kidding.
All joking aside, Amanda is probably the most caring, selfless person I have ever met. Amanda routinely gives of herself for the good of those around her. Just to name a few highlights, and by no means is this an exhaustive list, Amanda was the brains and braun behind Operation Meal Baby for Sean and Ruth when Cade was born. She comes to competitions to cheer people on whenever she can, even when she was recovering from serious shoulder surgery. Every time we sit on my couch and watch Game of Thrones, she is crocheting another baby blanket, because is someone she knows is having a baby. She even took care of my neighbor’s cat when he went out of town because I wasn’t able to. She gives up her weekends to the TAPS organization, helping family members of service members who have died and even organized a fundraiser last year at CFI to raise money for TAPS. Even her career helps our warfighters stay safe and do their job better.
The most poignant and personal example of Amanda’s selflessness was made apparent to me when my husband, Patrick, deployed last January. I was finishing my first year of law school, which is no easy task to begin with, and Amanda immediately stepped up recognized how hard Patrick leaving was going to be for me and literally did everything (and more) in her power to get me through the toughest seven months of my life. Amanda cooked meals, helped me with Aidan, and ran errands for me. She provided support, kept me company, and was a shoulder to cry on. I never would have made it through that experience without her.
Lali, on the occasion of your birthday, I just want to thank you for being the sister I never had and the friend I wish I could be. Thanks for putting up with my antics and always looking out for me. I look forward to many more years of drowning our sorrows with Ben and Jerry’s (sorry Marcus), partner WODing, needing only minimal reason to celebrate and eat great steak, and laughing until we almost pee our pants. Baby WHAAALLEEE, WHERE AARRREEE YOU (ask her about that story sometime). Happy Birthday!!!!
3 Rounds for Time:
6 Push Presses (175/113)
30 Double Unders
Rest 1 minute
3 Rounds for Time:
3 Snatches (175/113)