Aruba Reloaded + The Real MVP of March Madness 🌴👑🏀

March 27, 2024

Hey Friend,

I’m back in your inbox after taking a week off in Aruba. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since we’ve been back to the island where we got married. It seriously felt exactly the same.

If you want to take a sneak peek at our trip, I did a little highlight thingamabob on the gram. ​Click here to swipe​.

Welcome back to the Joy Code. This week is all about meeting yourself where you are. Take what’s useful and discard what isn’t. Stay open. Stay curious. Let’s jump in 😎

Here’s what you can expect in today’s email…

➡️ The most powerful story (behind the story) in this year’s March Madness

➡️ The potential of the yogi mindset to rest and empower

➡️ Some hot takes on setting up your world for success

➡️ The Player Coach reframe on how you can win with the body you have now

Click if you prefer to read it on the blog?

This single post now has over 142k views

Ok, let me back it up.

I have been locked in to the Women’s NCAA Basketball tournament all week and one story has captured my full attention.

Audi Crooks.

Post Player from Iowa State.

Known for her scoring, her touch around the basket, and her ability to pin down defenders for the easy 2.

Her shot putter build has struck a chord with fans and ushered in a litany of horrendous commentary about women’s sports and what an athlete should look like. And I say “shot putter build,” because (spoiler alert) she also does … shot put!

You can watch my take ​here​.

Her story reminded me of YOU. And how this journey of playing in college is way more than what happens on the court/the field/the track.

This is about you building the kind of resilience to embrace the body you have, while you still work to get better.

Hot Take: Your perceived imperfections are actually your superpower. Take a look at what others have labeled as less than “ideal” and tell me how it makes you a better athlete, bc chances are, it does.

Reflecting on Crooks’ experience, her team’s nail-biting loss against Stanford was more than just basketball—it was a lesson in resilience and dealing with scrutiny. Especially with the spotlight on athletes’ appearances, it’s crucial we address not just how you move, but how you see yourself and deal with external pressures.

Yoga Beyond the Mat: Strategies for Inner Peace

The way you look at yourself impacts your performance and mental health. Without addressing the microscope you’re under, you risk being trapped in a cycle of negativity, comparison, and dissatisfaction, which (duh!) can crush your growth, performance, and, most importantly, your joy.

To navigate this with balance, consider integrating these yoga and personal development tools into your routine:

  • Start With Breathwork: Begin your day or training session with a few minutes of focused breathing. Techniques like Ujjayi breath can calm the nervous system and center your mind, preparing you for the day ahead. It’s the same nose breathing we do in yoga class – “Full breath in, full breath out.”

  • Incorporate Mindfulness Meditation: Dedicate time each week to mindfulness practices. Even 10 minutes of meditation can enhance your ability to stay present, reduce stress, and improve reaction times on and off the field. Have you checked out ​AP Meditations​ yet? If not, get on that!

  • Adopt a Yoga Routine: Tailor a yoga sequence that addresses both your physical needs and mental state. Include poses that foster strength, flexibility, and balance but also allow moments of stillness and introspection. If you’re looking for a class, I got you. Every Saturday at 8am you can join me in person (or virtual) at Yogaview. ​Click here to grab your spot​.

  • Journal for Clarity: Keep a journal to reflect on your daily experiences, challenges, and victories. Writing can give you perspective and help you to process emotions and set intentions.

  • Set Purposeful Goals: Beyond physical benchmarks, set goals that align with personal growth and joy. Whether it’s learning a new skill, engaging in community service, or exploring a creative hobby, these objectives contribute to a well-rounded sense of self.

  • Seek Inspirational Content: Regularly engage with books, podcasts, ​posts​ and talks that inspire and challenge you. Surrounding yourself with positive influences can fuel your motivation and broaden your perspective on success.

I know this list is long. Pick ONE and implement it into your weekly routine.

Which one you got?

The Problem with Playing Small

So why does this matter?

It matters, bc if you keep sidelining your own story in pursuit of a version of success that doesn’t resonate with who you are, you risk more than just falling short of external expectations. You risk losing the joy in what you do, the essence of your passion for the sport, and the unique spark that makes you, well, you.

It’s like wearing shoes that don’t fit; no matter how far you walk, the journey will always feel uncomfortable.

The Solution?

And here’s what I’ve been shouting from the rooftops. Your game changes when you integrate YOGA. And not just the asanas, but the life-altering mindset principles of the Yamas and the Niyamas—into your training.

This isn’t about mastering the perfect pose; it’s about embracing a mindset that unlocks authenticity, resilience, and personal growth.

  • Learn from Asteya (non-stealing) to cherish your time and energy, investing them in ways that reflect your true aspirations, not someone else’s benchmarks.
  • Embrace Santosha (contentment) to find satisfaction in your current journey, recognizing the beauty in your own path, separate from comparisons and competitions.
  • Tap into Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender) to release the burden of control, trusting in the process and your own capabilities, freeing yourself from the weight of expectations.

Yoga: The Missing Link

in Embracing Your True Self

There’s a saying that yoga is the journey of the self back to the self. These principles act as a compass, guiding you back to your core values, helping you navigate challenges with integrity and grace.

This is how you hold onto yourself no matter what!

This yogic approach redefines what it means to train and compete, shifting the focus from external validation to internal fulfillment. It’s about owning your story, with all its quirks and qualities, and letting that authenticity fuel your performance.

Your New Cheat Code

Think of the Yamas and Niyamas not just as principles, but as your personal playbook for mental resilience and authenticity.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of integrating these into your daily routine, why not start with something simple, visual, and impactful?

I’ve got a Yama and Niyama poster that’s all yours for the taking. It’s not just a poster; it’s a daily nudge towards owning your unique path and finding freedom in your sport. ​You can grab it here!​

Embracing these values can subtly shift how you view success, training, and competition. It’s about lining up your actions with what feels true to you, making every step forward more meaningful.

Cheers to crafting a journey that’s all yours, in every way that counts.

You know I’m out here rooting for you BIG.

Until the next time,


And if this resonated with you in any way, please share with someone else who might benefit.

The Weekly

See you next week!

Good athletes train the BODY Great athletes train the MIND Exceptional athletes train BOTH

Psst. Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways we can work together:

  1. Meditation Bundles: The pressure of being a D1 athlete is real. And how you train your mind will make all the difference in terms of your performance and your overall well-being. All meditation is not created equal. Tap into ones specifically designed for you and the challenges you will face in search of your highest potential. Click here to check out our bundles

  2. AP Performance (formerly AP Foundations): Applications for my signature, high-touch 12-week 1:1 mentorship meets peak performance bootcamp will be back on this summer. This is about facing your anxieties, building systems to take care of YOU – mind (meditation), body (yoga classes), and performance (podcasts, mindset coaching, and life design building). If you’re ready for next season to be like no other, then make sure to join the waitlist coming soon.

  3. 1:1 Coaching: – hit me up and let’s hop on a complementary zoom call and see if we’re a good fit! I’m in!

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Hi, I'm Annette

a self-proclaimed excellence junkie, yogi, part-time college professor, and mom of three. And maybe, just maybe, your next mentor...