20 Questions with Mel Bell

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So I figured it was only fair if I answered 20 questions myself before imposing this on anyone else. I’m going to include some questions from a friend and then use some from other sources and a few of my own that I always like to know from other people.

It’s worth noting that I much much prefer to be the asker than the answerer, yet I have a tendency to often feel “unheard” or not listened to. (What a 6.. full of contradictions.) But whatever. Here we are anyway. Here goes…

  1. What do you get out of these questions?

    I love to ask people questions. I always have. When I was 12 I would sneak out of my house and go down the street to hang with people too old for me to be hanging with and we would play this.

    When I was 16 I kept a small journal listing every person I encountered and my initial thoughts about them. Pretty sure I still have it.

    I really like to learn about people I find interesting and recently I’ve met a lot of those. I also like to learn about people who are friends. It’s interesting to me WHY they’re friends. Sometimes you can see it and it’s just like ..oh of course y’all would get along well!

    In middle school I read a lot of biographies and I feel like that was even kind of an extension of this now.

  2. How do you imagine death?

    I hadn’t thought of this until recently, I was reconsidering an old dream I had and it made me think… I imagine death as all your loved ones and ancestors coming back for you. Maybe all at once, maybe one by one I don’t know. I feel like each one would lend some kind of wisdom to help you pass over in to the next phase. Maybe something about giving closure on a certain relationship, maybe something to know about the next phase. And then I think one stays with you for the transition. My mom swears my Mema came to take my Papa in the 10 minutes my mom wasn’t there and I totally believe that.

  3. What’s an achievement you’re most proud of?

    Probably my family. I’m very proud of becoming a mother. Maybe that sounds silly, because sometimes we don’t get a choice in that and I certainly didn’t decide to become pregnant and have my daughters consciously. Maybe I did on some subconscious level. And I’m not one of those people who are like “thank you for making me a mom!”.. that sentence is actually really makes me roll my eyes as far back as possible. BUT I just recognize that growing and birthing my babies were major show stopping moments in my life and I’m just really thankful for that.

    I’m proud of what Luke and I have built together.

  4. What are your top 5 pet peeves?

    -negative gossip/my name being mentioned in any context when I’m not present

    -lack of BOUNDARIES

    -lack of LOYALTY

    -People who don’t say what they mean/mean what they say… otherwise known as lying!

    -not RSVPing properly. I know that one sounds dumb, but people these days won’t commit to an event to save their lives.

  5. If there are two kinds of people; what are they? which are you?

    Dog people and cat people. Do not trust cat people hahaha just kidding.. kind of

  6. Snatch or C&J?

    ugh Snatch and I have such a love hate relationship. I enjoy performing a snatch soooo much more BUT I just get so nervous snatching so getting new PRs and really going for bigger weights is reallllllly hard.

    Just recently.. like the last 3 weeks, I may have switched back to clean and jerk because I’ve been having some wins there and my legs have been showing up for me, and I finally feel like I'm learning more aggression in my hips. So right now, clean and jerk.

  7. How do you feel best supported by those around you?

    For me it’s definitely being shown up for. My love language is absolutely quality time and when someone says they’ll physically be there to support an important moment and they actually do, well that just feels really big for me. I just feel like words are words, they don’t really matter until you put some action behind it.

    Conversely, if there’s a big (to me) day and I don’t see the people who matter to me or they don’t even call, or they’re late or leave early, etc. I’m like ok, peace, you’re cut out. … At my wedding I remember feeling so let down because some of the people I loved the most were leaving before it was all over and I just felt like, this is supposed to be the biggest day of my life and you don’t even care. So I see where we stand, noted, I’ll act accordingly going forward. ……..Well, I say that, but I did recently make an exception to that rule so maybe I’m growing!

  8. If you are the sum of the people you keep closest to you; who do you think has the largest influence on you? who do you hope will have the biggest impact on you? Why?

    Gah..Luke and Luke..  He’s absolutely changed my life. It’s crazy. When we met I was still living the wild life. I was still really unsure of my values and beliefs and who I wanted to be let alone how to get there. I would spend months not talking to my family. I think being around someone so driven has forced me to grow up, identify my personal “mission” and encouraged me to execute that. He just goes after whatever he wants to do. Literally crushing everything in his path (in a good way) and all the while building up all of those around him who are willing. It’s quite frankly amazing. Being in Mexico with all his work people was surreal because people kept coming up and being like “your husband is so great this and awesome that!” Legit like he was a celebrity. I knew he was great but it was so cool to see it in his world. 

    His relationship with God and the importance he places on family are important too obviously. I had zero idea what I believed before and while the more I learn the more that evolves just like everything else but Luke just sticks to his guns in his spirituality and has such a desire to be better in his relationships... I just feel like not everyone has and maintains that commitment.

  9. In this sport (weightlifting) what do you anticipate will be your holy shit moment? In other words, when you visualize your end game or what you are working towards, is there a single moment where you will blow your own mind that will make it real?

    It was definitely being in the training hall at AO2. I couldn’t believe it. A girl on the platform behind me was someone I had followed for a long time on Instagram and I was very like..how the fuck did I get here? But that was something I had wanted for a while and it was just crazy to see it really happen.

  10. What are the top 3 qualities you value or admire in humans?

    boundaries

    drive/determination

    authenticity

  11. What’s a lesson that took the longest to learn?

    hahaha ahh I feel like I’m still learning it. Probably that I can’t just cut every single person out who I feel like wrongs me. I feel like loyalty is one of my major characteristics but act shady and we’re SO done. Buttt the problem is when this is happening with your best friends or your family, etc. Twice this past year I felt so hurt by two people I loved dearly and in my head, I was like it’s fine, I don’t need them, I’ll just never talk to them again. And then I realized how sad that made me and that I needed to just lean in to what the real issue was and address that so that everyone could grow.

  12. Did you used to be a fat kid?

    Yes… kind of. Well, i don’t know that I was ever officially over weight but I was always bigger than the rest of the kids my age. I developed earlier. And I was aware of it and definitely internalized it. So whether I actually was or not, I felt like I was, so that was my reality.

  13. How do you work through a tough situation?

    That’s changed a lot. I used to just shut down, would turn my phone off and go MIA for periods of time. But now I’m married and accountable to another human and kind of in charge of keeping yet another alive. So I eventually I break down and cry about whatever it is to Luke and he helps me come to some kind of a solution. I’m also better about confronting people when I feel some kind of way.

  14. What’s your weakness?

    I’m basically afraid of everything and trust no one, so that is a huge weakness for me. Everyone is lying all the time. That’s hard to get past. I’m a 6. but I’m working on it.

    ….also chocolate coconut almonds from Trader Joe’s. haha

  15. What’s your why?

    Keeping my kids safe, protecting my family with Luke, showing my daughter what it means to be strong and empowered and how to help. Helping other people to realize they’re in charge of their own life. To make my people proud. To leave a better life for those who come after me.

  16. Do you have a crazy goal that you are afraid to say out loud? What is it?

    I want to change the world (lives) that’s been my goal since I was a small child. That’s why I studied social work, why I started a CF kids, why I LOVE coaching new athletes. A life goal is to write a book one day. I want to start and grow a real business. Over all just be better than average at something, and build something to be proud of. 

  17. Who is your inner circle and why?

    My husband, my two best friends…. before my best friends I’d never really had ones like them. So now I get to tell them everything and ugly cry to them and tell them about all the ways I’m struggling to grow. I trust these people because they’re all smart and driven and authentic and are all trying to learn and be better every day. And they’re exceptionally good at what they do… and as far as I know, have proven over and over again that they’re not being fake af. 

  18. What’s your favorite habit you’ve recently incorporated?

    WALKING. With out a doubt, walking has been my favorite habit from 2018. My nutrition coach recommended working to get my NEAT up a bit and so I started walking in the mornings… it was summer and hot af so I was just trying to knock it out before it was 100 degrees. This ended up serving a couple of purposes for me.

    -we got a a new dog and she needed more exercise than the Bean dog so she went with me

    -it gave me some quiet time to myself to almost meditate, and just be with my thoughts OR listen to a great podcasts

    -and it gave me some extra movement that wasn’t a “work out”

    I’ve honestly loved this habit and it’s a lot harder during the winter because it’s cold and the days are short but I still try to keep it up as much as possible.

  19. What’s a chance everyone should take?

    Betting on yourself and believing in yourself.

  20. What’s something you’re still afraid of or afraid to do?

    I’m terrified of heights. Well actually I’m afraid of being up high, and being so heavy that I break whatever I’m standing on and I fall to my death. I guess that’s kind of specific. haha

    I mentioned before I still get afraid to snatch sometimes. I’m afraid I’ll drop the barbell ON my head or neck and get seriously injured.

    I’m often afraid to be honest and vulnerable… but then again aren’t we all?!

Ok so that’s my 20 questions!! I can’t wait to continue this series and see where it takes us!!

LOVE,

MEL BELL SHEFF