Mind Your Own (Body) Business

I’m 5’0″ and currently I weigh 154 lbs.

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PC: Zachau Photography

I’ve always carried more weight on my frame than the BMI calculations for my height would recommend. The only time in my life I was in the “green zone” on the BMI calculation was when I was in college, racing bicycles competitively and barely got down to 128 lbs from riding 20-25 hours a week and restricting calories. Oh, and I was bulimic. And severely depressed. But obviously I was healthy, because I was fitting into size 6 jeans for the first time in my life, right?

Today, I am the heaviest I’ve been, aside from my pregnancies. And I couldn’t be happier about my body. Because now it’s not about what I look like; it’s what I can do with what I got that I find fulfilling and puts me in awe on the regular. It’s taken decades of hating myself because I didn’t look like what others told me I should look like. It’s taken months of self-care, soul searching, and paying attention to myself. It’s taken getting my depression under control and accepting that I am a good and worthy person who deserves health and is healthy. It’s taken owning my choices, and making those choices based on what I believe to be good for me and what I want, and not what others or the media tells me what I should be doing. I’m rocking my own road and living my own life, just like what my blog byline says. I am not perfect, but I make progress, and I am happy to do so.

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And doing yoga on the beach in a swimsuit and giving zero effs about it

My only wish is that others can be happy and comfortable with their bodies, doing what they love and loving what they do.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that still struggles with the concept of “beauty at any size.” The “right,” socially-acceptable body structure is so closely tied with morality that we have a culture that supports, or at least turns a blind eye to, body-shaming. We look at people that are “too fat” or “too thin” (because that is totally an objective measurement, right?) and immediately judge them. It’s okay to leave a mean comment about what I think they look like. Clearly, they don’t realize how they’re being perceived. They must not care about themselves. How stupid/sick they must be, to not know what they need to do to look “normal”? Just put down the fork/eat a sandwich/stop lifting because you look too bulky. Because I am offended and concerned about how I perceive the way you look, and now I make it your problem.

I must confess, I am a former fat-shamer. I would see overweight people and think, “how could they not care about their health?” Because clearly that was the only logical conclusion. And of course, their health is totally my business (sarcasm level at an 11 right there). Never mind the decades of terrible diet advice the public has been fed. Or the fact I know nothing about this person or their life, how they might be working a full-time job and caring for an aging parent at home, or how a bad knee or lack of accessible physical activities that are varied and enjoyable might make fitness extremely difficult. What, you mean not everyone wants to slog it out on the elliptical 30 minutes a day, five days a week?!? Shoot me. (And if you love the elliptical, that is awesome and you keep doing you!)

And especially with females, body-shaming women just promotes the objectification of women. Because society dictates that as a woman, it’s my duty to look a certain way so I am attractive and pleasing to the eye. If I’m too fat, or too muscular, or too tall, or too thin, or not whatever is considered “right” to look today, it’s uncomfortable for others to look at me, and I’m not holding up my end of the bargain on being a woman. This type of thinking puts me in so much rage I’m just going to end this thought here with a big load of baloney. Because this is such baloney.

 

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RAGE!!

 

Finally, there’s the “health” argument. The argument that if you’re over- or underweight (especially overweight), then you are unhealthy, and that’s wrong because your lifestyle will cause others pain down the road as your body gives out and others have to take care of you, either financially or with caregiving. To which I have one comment:

MY HEALTH IS NONE OF YOUR G*DD*** BUSINESS. AND YOUR HEALTH IS NONE OF MY G*DD*** BUSINESS.

Bob Harper, most notably known from his work as a personal trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, recently suffered a heart attack. He’s an extremely fit person, and he almost died from a heart attack that nobody, least of all him, saw coming. Meanwhile, a Dutch study came out that people that are considered “overweight” on the BMI scale actually live longer lives than “normal” weight people. I cannot possibly know a person’s health history from their pants size. Fit-looking people might have cancer, and overweight people could go on a 12-mile hike and hike circles around me. I don’t know, and what’s more, IT’S NONE OF MY G*DD*** BUSINESS ANYWAY. Neither is it yours.

A couple years ago, Noelle Tarr from Coconuts and Kettlebells wrote a post that broke the internet in the paleo/health-sphere when it was featured on the Whole9 blog, called “Why I Don’t Want Six-Pack Abs.” She received an alarming amount of criticism from this post, from people who argued that if you don’t have a six-pack, you must not be working hard enough, and if you don’t want to work hard for your physique then what are you doing? SMH. This just illustrates my point that our culture is way too looks-obsessed, totally ignoring the person underneath the abs. Obviously with the personal measurements I gave in my opening sentence, you can be assured that I do not have a six pack. I have no desire for the work it takes to get one. Because those are my priorities, and this is what makes me happy. If you prioritize the diet and training it takes for your abs and are happy with it, again, that’s awesome and you keep doing you! But it is so not me, and the work it would take would make me miserable. That doesn’t make me lazy or unworthy or weak. It makes me different. Which is totally okay.

We are all on our own journey. Sometimes that journey takes us to a health-focus, sometimes it doesn’t. That is no reason to shame or hate on others. You are not bad because you don’t do what I do or think how I think, and the same goes for me. Be kind to yourself. Then be kind to others. That is how the world is supposed to work, I think.

Go make it a great day.

Shoutout to Steph Gaudreau’s article on Stupid Easy PaleoMind Your Own Body: An Open Letter to Body Shamers” for inspiring me to finally get these thoughts out that I had been keeping silent for way too long. And if this content speaks to you, check out a free pass to Steph’s Women’s Strength Summit May 15-21!

 

Loading the Bar

Happy Monday, and what is up all of you lovely people? I have been out lately on new adventures, and am happy to be back in the groove to share the little pieces of my life on the internets.

I went to Costa Rica. It was amazing. The end.

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  So many monkeys. And you can’t make those sunsets up. Magical.

Yeah, Costa Rica deserves its own post. Someday; it’s on the to-do list.

Then I took the kids up to my parents’ new place in Oregon to celebrate Easter. And consume way too many jelly beans and chocolate bunnies.

I’ve been hitting the CrossFit hard the past two weeks. It helps coming off of a CrossFit retreat, but I’m sad that my workouts are now at the gym instead of the beach and after the WOD I don’t get to jump straight into the ocean. But you know, I’m managing all right. Plus, at the gym there are barbells!

When I was in Oregon I dropped in on CrossFit GP for a super awesome workout called “Death” (it was) that ended with a 1RM ground-to-overhead. To which I accomplished a jelly bean-fueled PR of 115 lbs. I’m still doing a happy dance over that. Then last Wednesday at CFSL we did a 1RM complex of power clean, squat clean, and push jerk which I got up to 53kg (116 lbs). I  tried for 54kg but that last little kilo is the heaviest, I swear. Also, my double-unders have been magically on point for me lately, meaning I was able to Rx the last two workouts. I am usually unable to Rx since the workout will call for either a skill I don’t have yet (pull-ups) or a weight I just can’t lift for a workout. But I’m getting stronger, I’m getting more confident in pushing outside of my comfort zone, I’m seeing a PT for my hamstring (as it turns out, it’s really a lower back thing) issue, and I’m just riding this motivation train as long as it still has gas in the tank. I even worked out in the garage last week. Alone. With no workout planned. I just took the dog for a walk then worked up to my 1RM deadlift (only 175lbs since my smallest plate is a 5lb), but it was good to finally use the equipment that I’ve invested in and stop making excuses when EVERYTHING I NEED IS RIGHT THERE.

I’m also cleaning up my diet. I had to detox a bit from “Jelly Bean Utopia of 2017” (aka Easter) and am choosing more veggies with my meals. I might be doing a Whole30 soon but I haven’t made a firm decision yet. But right now I’m seeing satisfactory results from less sugar and more veggies, so I’ll roll with that for a while. It’s certainly less stressful.

A huge source of my health motivation lately? For once, I could care less about the scale or what I look like in the mirror. I just want to get stronger. The end. I want to see the numbers on the barbell increase. I want to lift my body weight (whatever that is) over my head. I want to pull myself up and over a bar. I want to feel stronger. And the only way to really do that is to eat to perform, then go and perform. No stress. No shame. No beating myself up for eating a cookie and “blowing it” or fretting over minor details like my dress size. That stuff doesn’t matter when all I want to do is increase the size of the plates I load on my bar. Because I know once I start doing the right things for the right reasons, the results don’t really matter. The changes speak for themselves.

Go make it a great day!

CrossFit Christmas is Over: 17.5 Recap

The 2017 CrossFit Open is now over, and I am sort of sad. I really enjoyed being a part of the larger community, the anticipation of the workout announcements, and seeing all of the #openmagic moments on social media.

I had to do the 17.5 workout right after it was announced, as I was traveling that weekend and I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it to a gym to make it up before the Monday score submittal cutoff. So I showed up at the gym 45 minutes after the workout was announced (and of course watching Katrin and Sara compete at the open announcement!):

Open 17.5 for Women’s Scaled:

10 rounds for time of:
9 thrusters, 45 lb.
35 single-unders

That’s it. I was sort of relieved it was super simple. To be honest, I had serious consideration to attempt it Rx, which would have been 65 lb thrusters and double-unders. My double under game has been really keeping me happy lately, and I wanted to test myself out. But thrusters … meh, I have a rough time just managing the bar. Since the spirit of the workout is to be a lung-burner and not to feel super heavy, I stuck with Scaled.

When I was warming up, I was practicing double-unders. Because. Then when we got ready to start, I thought, “I should probably do a few singles to make sure I can just jump rope.” I botched every single jump. But I was already there, so might as well see what happens!

I smoked it! No issues at all with the jump rope, I was able to do all 10 sets of single-unders unbroken, and I had to start pausing with thrusters around round 6, giving myself breaks after 3-4 reps without putting the bar down. The limiting factor was my lower back – clearly I have some core imbalance, mostly because I have no core strength and I never work on it. My coach was judging me, and she kept cuing me to keep my core tight and to protect my back. The last couple of sets were a struggle bus with the thrusters, but I was able to crank the whole thing out in 9:16! I was super stoked with my result.

I had so much fun this Open with getting into the workout announcements, enjoying the camaraderie and friendly competition at the Friday Night Lights at my gym, but most of all seeing the improvement from the last year. I’m super pumped to light it up for the rest of 2017 and see what the 2018 Open brings!

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Oh, and I’m leaving right now for Costa Rica for the Girls Gone WOD CrossFit retreat. WHAT!?! I know. Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

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Not me, sadly. But soon to be me! PC: Juli Bauer of PaleOMG

Go make it a great day!

The Same 24 Hours

I am a bit crazy. I know this. Most people that know me personally know this. And the past week of crazy has been no exception.

So, my whole family has been out of town for two weeks, leaving me all alone at home and left to my own devices. Okay, I still have Olive and the fish to care for. But basically I just have to worry about me. For two whole glorious weeks!

At first I came up with huge lists of all the things I was going to accomplish. Clean the whole house and actually keep it clean! CrossFit every day! Hang out with all the friends! Read all the books! Maybe even watch that new Netflix series everyone is talking about!

You know what happened? None of the above. Because I still have the same 24 hours in a day as I did before, just with less distraction and small human chasing.

I did take Olive on a lot of walks, and I started trail running a bit (OMG the first time I started running on the trail with Olive, she looked at me like I just invented Christmas: “what, we’re going to run?!? For real?!? Sign me up, let’s go BEST DAY EVER!!!”), and I have some big projects coming up that I got started on, but the normal daily routine really didn’t deviate too much. Which leaves me with the big realization that when it comes to time management, I am my own worst enemy.

My schedule, they way I structure my day, and my life choices in general is 100% in my control. Sure, stuff might come up, but overall I get to choose what I put in my day, and how I react when things go off-plan. Without having my family around to distract me, I had to face the music that I’m not running late because of packing school lunches and cleaning mashed sweet potatoes off of various surfaces. I’m running late because I am still trying to cram too many activities into an already richly-scheduled day.

This brings me back to some advice my boss and mentor gave me when I started my first “real” job out of college: there will always be more work to do. No matter how late you stay or how many to-do list items you scratch off, there will always be more waiting for attention. The sooner I can accept the fact that I will never be “done,” the sooner I can stop making myself crazy for all of the unfinished business I have yet to attend to and enjoy the other things in life.

 

I think the next stepping stone on the path to happiness for me is really accepting and embracing the fact that I will not be able to do all the things, and that’s perfectly all right. For now I can do the one thing that needs to be done, do it the best I can, and move on. Maybe that’s something for me. Or it could be something for someone else. There is no law that says everything has to be done every day or else certain doom will result. That’s just the one I make up in my own head. Let good enough be good enough, and take time out to enjoy the journey.

Go make it a great day!

Redemption: a CrossFit Open 17.4 Story

Can we take a moment to acknowledge that the open is just one week, and one workout away from being over? CrossFit Christmas is almost over, you guys! I must admit, I’m a little sad. I’ve really gotten into the anticipation and pageantry of the Open announcements this year. It’s been super fun to race to my computer at 5:00 on Thursdays and watch Dave Castro announce the workout, then text all my CF buddies to talk about it. After this week, what will there be to talk about? I’ll have to resort back to cute kid pictures (which I’m sure Auntie ‘Manda won’t be too disappointed about).

Of course for this week’s workout we needed a repeater:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts, 95 lb.
55 wall-ball shots, 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
55-calorie row
55 hand-release push-ups

So, 17.4 is a repeat of 16.4 from last year. And 16.4 last year completely demoralized me. I didn’t even log my score for 16.4. Forgetting to log my score wasn’t intentional, I am pretty sure I just spaced it, but the fact that I wasn’t super jazzed to jump online and get it logged leads me to believe that I was sort of disappointed in my performance. I can’t recall my score exactly, but I know I never made it off of the rower. I think the time ended when I was at 35 calories. We’ll just go with that score. So last year I scored a 145.

This year was sweet, sweet redemption. 204! I made it off the rower and completed 39 push-ups before the 13 minutes was up. Woot! All I can say is what a difference a year makes!

Last year my big challenge was the wall balls. I just didn’t have enough power to keep them going, and I was no-repped a ton.

This year, the deadlifts and wall balls felt … easy. My strength has improved, so the deadlifts didn’t feel super heavy. And for the wall balls I have been choosing the 14lb ball for workouts, so using a 10lb ball was a delightful surprise. Going into the workout I knew I needed to save some power for the calorie row, so I took it easy on the deadlifts and wall balls, going in manageable sets of 5-7 reps and giving myself a couple of breaths between sets to save my legs. On the rower I just floored it, and by the time I got to the push-ups I didn’t care, I just kept moving as fast as possible (which wasn’t very fast) until time was called. I don’t think I could have put more into this one than I did, which is what it’s all about!

This workout totally lit my internal fire to step up my CrossFit game. If this is the improvement I can see in a year from my sort of tepid interest in 2-3 classes a week “when I find the time,” what can I do if I actually committed to my training? This could be a thing, and I find it really exciting!

Any-hoo, we’re on a sleigh ride to 17.5! Any guesses on what it’s going to be? I’m hoping double-unders since I’ve been doing so well on them lately, and have my fingers crossed “not thrusters, not thrusters,” so I’m pretty sure it’s going to involve thrusters 😉

Go make it a great day!

Five Natural Stress-Relieving Activities

Is anyone else getting overly excited for today’s open announcement for 17.4? I think I was pretty over it at this time last year, but this year I’m still giddy with anticipation. It’s like Christmas every Thursday. CrossFit Christmas. Which is only confirming that I love presents and surprises.

But if the open announcement is causing you a bit more stress than excitement, I have compiled my go-to list of stress busting activities. Mostly for my own benefit, because I like lists that I can easily reference later because as a working mom I generally operate on like seven brain cells and I do not have any more space to remember things. So the next time you (and/or I) are stressed, take note:

1. Exercise

There are studies abound that show how beneficial exercise is to the body and brain. When you move your body, the brain releases stress-busting endorphins to help you relax and feel good. That’s what that whole “runner’s high” thing is all about. So when your calendar is piling up, one of the best things you can do is make another appointment to move your body.

Now, before you throw your popcorn at me and declare, “Emily you nut job, I’m already too busy to go to the gym! Plus, I hate the gym,” let me clarify a few things. Not every workout needs to be a balls-to-the-wall marathon. High intensity exercise also increases levels of cortisol, and if you’re burning the candle from both ends this will cause your body even more stress, which is not what you need. Good alternatives are walking, some light stretching or yoga, or even running around the playground with your kids (bonus – it tires them out for bedtime!)

So experiment with activities, intensities, and also with what time of the day works for you to find the right exercise cocktail recipe that works for your hormones, brain, and schedule. Some people are morning people that can fall out of bed and into a group fitness class at 5:30 am with no issue. Others like to work out after work when they can really benefit from the stress relief. You can also squeeze in time over your lunch break (I’m a huge fan of my #lunchwalks on Instagram) to take a yoga class by your office or go for a quick hike around the neighborhood. The most important thing is to find something that works for you and to stick with it.

2. Mediation/deep breathing

More and more research is showing up on the benefits of meditation for stress levels and the brain. But for most people, meditation sucks. It’s boring. I can’t turn my thoughts off. And who has time to sit for 20 minutes?

But studies show that even just 5 minutes of sitting and breathing can do noticeable good for the brain. The next time you’re overwhelmed at work, try this exercise. Just take just five minutes in an empty conference room or bathroom stall, set a five minute timer on your phone, \ and focus on your breath, breathing in and out slowly for a count of 4-8. (Hopefully that bathroom stall isn’t too stinky for the deep breathing.) Then go back to that email or meeting with a slightly more clear head and lower blood pressure.

It’s also great to meditate first thing in the morning. The biggest tip I can recommend is don’t meditate in bed! When I think I can get away with this, I end up falling back asleep. Instead, go to a couch or your special meditation place (grab a blanket if you’re chilly) and while sitting up straight practice deep breathing for five minutes. You can even play some soothing music (just YouTube or search Apple Music for “meditation music”) if you can’t deal with the silence. Your brain may go all over the place. That’s cool. Just gently remind yourself to focus on your breath. Again. And again. Yeah, this will happen a lot, so be kind to yourself and bring your attention back to your breath. When the timer goes off, roll your shoulders, stretch for a bit, then bounce to the kitchen for that first cup of coffee!

Deep breathing  is also a great exercise when you’re sitting in traffic! Put on some soothing music (but maybe not one of those meditation apps – save those for when you don’t need to concentrate on not hitting the car in front of you) and take deep, slow breaths. Roll your wrists to relieve your death grip on the steering wheel.

3. Aromatherapy

It’s not just for woo anymore! There are many benefits to the relaxing aromas in a quickly-growing research area. Did you know that many of your memories are triggered by scent? I know the smell of a campfire always reminds me of visiting my grandparents’ cabin in Northern Minnesota, and when I get a whiff of Buttercup’s jelly sandals the scented plastic brings me back to my childhood afternoons playing with my Cupcake doll. The right scent can lighten your mood, enhance your focus, or calm you down.

Scented candles are an easy way to make things smelly, and the gentle flame can be soothing. In an office or have rambunctiously small humans around with no self-preservation instinct? Get an oil diffuser (this is the one I have, and I love it) and some essential oils! Lavender, lemon, and peppermint are all good scents to calm you down or perk you up and are on the inexpensive side. Or just take the cap off the oil and take a whiff when the mood strikes you.

4. Hugs

Social contact is hugely important and radically underrated. Physical contact with other humans boosts oxytocin in the brain, the hormone responsible for making us feel safe, loved, and connected. Ever notice that when you’re having an epically bad day and your bestie gives you a big hug you do feel a bit better? Or when you’ve had a fight with your spouse you begrudgingly have to admit to yourself that you feel a bit more connected after you’ve hugged it out? I mean, they’re still wrong, but you feel better, right? That would be the oxytocin talking, letting you know that you still have a tribe to fall back on and you’re not all alone in the unforgiving wilderness of modern society. Touch gives us a comfort that we can’t wholly obtain through social media, texting, or the phone (do people still phone?)

To get the most out of contact with other humans, make it a point to be a hugger. I am not a natural hugger, but I am slowly working on this skill for myself. Live alone or at the office all the time where it would be super awkward to give your boss a hug? Even booking a massage or mani-pedi will give you a quick boost of human-to-human contact that your body will interpret as healing touch (I sometimes do this if I’m travelling and am not around my family and friends for a while) and give you a quick boost of the warm-fuzzies. Let’s make America huggy again!

5. Food

Yes, food can be a stress relief. Here me out, this is one area I’ve been playing around with lately.

When I’m in times of high stress, I tend to eat less healthy and skip meals for the sake of convenience. Which makes my sugar cravings amp up and become unrelenting. It used to be when I felt down or stressed, I would hit up all of the usual culprits – cookies, ice cream, my beloved Safeway sheet cake – and gorge with the opinion that I’m treating myself. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to stress eat. It happens. Is it the healthiest option? Probably not. Am I a bad person for falling into this habit? Nope. It’s a habit, and one that I have chosen to evaluate and change because I want to be healthier and I found that this pattern of stress eating was not helping me be healthy because I am totally letting my cravings run the show.

I’ve learned that there is a different between treating yourself in a quick, pleasurable, yet unsustainable way and treating yourself in a kind, more nourishing way that will carry forward and make other life areas better. Both ways can be good in the right context. Sometimes a random Wednesday night cupcake happens, and it’s okay. But other nights a good steak and my favorite tea is more what I need to feel good and cared for, since it’s not only a treat, but one that’s good for my body and health as well.

This is why I list food as a stress relief, but the right kind of food. Adding sugary treats on top of stress will be a brief distraction, but in the long run only make the stress and cravings worse. However, taking the time to make a wholesome, healthy meal for yourself often is what your brain and body need the most. Sometimes a splurge on something that your normally wouldn’t buy feels like a good treat, like some selections of your favorite olives from the olive bar or prosciutto-wrapped melon. Anything that makes you feel like you’re doing something nice for your brain as well as your body.

And that’s what I have for today. Any other go-to stress relieving activities you enjoy?

Go make it a great day!

CrossFit Open Recap: 17.1 and 17.2

I am never timely with my posts. I’m just not. When I have an idea for a topic, or am inspired by a current event, it just takes me a week or so to let the thoughts gel a bit before I’m ready to write about them. It’s a very good thing I do not have a career in news broadcasting.

Anyway, I wrote this while waiting for the 17.3 announcement last week. And waited until now to publish it. I expect I’ll post my 17.5 recap sometime in late August. Until then, enjoy!

IT’S OPEN SEASON YOU GUYS!!!

So, they’re announcing the 17.3 workout tonight, and I don’t think I’ve mentioned my recap of the first two workouts yet! #fail.

This year, I feel like I’m a bit behind what my fitness was last year, despite having a year of CrossFit under my (weight) belt. I’m having a hard time pushing myself into that “pain cave,” or at least I go spelunking into it a lot sooner that I think I should. Also, weights that didn’t seem like a big deal to me before feel significantly heavier these days. I’m not sure if it’s just shedding my rosy-viewed innocence of my abilities (a 75lb clean and jerk doesn’t seem like that much until you actually do one consistently) or if this past year of Life Stuff has hit my body’s stress coping abilities enough to the point where the intensity floors me more than I realize. Either way, I haven’t been super stoked about my performance this year. But I’m doing the best job I can with what I have to work with, and that’s really what it’s all about: putting yourself out there and just seeing what you can do this year.

17.1: All The Dumbbell Snatches

The Workout (Women’s Scaled)

For time:
10 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
20 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
30 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
40 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
50 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs

Women use 20-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, step-ups OK

Time cap: 20 minutes

My score: Finished in 17:06

I was traveling the weekend of the open, so I did this workout on the following Monday at open gym. I was happy to crunch through it, but I definitely missed the energy of Friday Night Lights to help push me. Still, I was super stoked to finish well under the cutoff time, I wasn’t sure I was going to pull it off!

17.2: Emily Tries In Vain for a Pull-Up

The Workout (Women’s Scaled):

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 hanging knee-raises
8 power cleans
Then, 2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 chin-over-bar pull-ups
8 power cleans
Etc., alternating between hanging knee-raises and chin-over-bar pull-ups every 2 rounds.

Women use 20-lb. dumbbells

My score: completed 2 rounds in 2:54 then spent the next 9 minutes trying to get a pull-up

So the one thing I did that was smart for this one was I warmed up with 25lb dumbbells, which were heavier than what I would be using for the workout. That way once I started the workout it seemed much easier than I remembered!

But I’ll be honest – I really expected to land my first pull-up. Especially since I don’t work on them and always think I can just show up and magically pull something off that I’ve never done or worked for before. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed that I didn’t get one. I was having fun in the attempts, and I had never tried kipping before, just swings but never with a pull-up. Kipping is so fun! But I just couldn’t get my chin up over the bar. I still got a lot of practice in so I’m happy enough with my performance. But it would have been amazing to nail my first pull-up, and all of the Open Glory it would entail! Maybe next year.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

 

 

How Autopilot Works, and How It Can Work For You

The other day I read an article about how the autopilot feature works in an airplane. Knowing next to nothing about modern aviation (or any aviation really) I assumed that you just put in the coordinates of where you’re going, and the autopilot keeps the plane in a relatively straight line to get there.

In reality, the autopilot routinely calculates the trajectory on where it’s headed vs where it’s supposed to be right now and makes minor adjustments accordingly.  Sort of like driving a car, but on a bigger scale, it’s constantly making tiny corrections back and forth to keep headed in the general direction of the destination. It’s not a consistent straight line, and will veer off course for a time until the recalculations direct it back on track.

I realized that this is a fabulous metaphor to goal setting and life in general. You have an idea of where you want to go, you put in the coordinates (schedule, plans, tasks) to get there. And you cruise. Sometimes you look up and realize you’re off course, so you correct and continue on. The airplane doesn’t beat itself up for going off course, so why should I? The pack of cookies I ate before lunch, the wod I skipped the other day, the chores I blew off so I could lay around and read comic books with my kids, they are deviations from my goals to keep healthy and stay on top of my life stuff. But as long as I course correct back to my target coordinates, they do not distract me for long.

Today, take a few minutes to do an honest evaluation of your goals. Is what I’m doing making sense? Am I making progress? Do I even want to do the work to get to this goal? It’s okay if the answers are no, not really, and can’t even.

  • If you felt like last week was an off week, make a plan to change 1 or 2 things to get motivated again.
  • If you were spot on last week and feel pumped to do it all again, Yay! That’s awesome, and keep up the great work!
  • If you’re starting to feel a little burned out and need a break, be kind to yourself but make a plan for how you want to recharge and how to recommit as soon as you start feeling spunky again. Don’t just blindly throw yourself off of the wagon because you’re facing a case of the can’t-evens (speaking purely from experience here)! Be deliberate about what you need, make a plan, and go forward guilt-free and knowing you’re doing the best job you can for your health and goals.

Now go get ‘em, tiger.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!    

Get After It (In Your Own Special Way)

Monday morning I was scrolling through Instagram while procrastinating on getting out of bed. It was the dawn of the new week, and I was feeling “a case of the Mondays” come on. It would be another week of my richly-packed schedule, catering to the demands of job, small humans, and whatever my body decides to throw at me this time (a resurgence of hamstring tendonitis and mild depression? Sure, why not!). To put it mildly, I was not wholeheartedly looking forward to getting out of bed.

I happened on a post by Katrin Davidsdottir, two-time Crossfit Games champion and Fittest Woman on Earth.

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The caption caught me. “Don’t understand the ‘ugggh’ feel that is generally put on Mondays .. I get such a ‘get after it’ feel”

How great would it be to wake up Monday morning and feel like “heck, yeah! Get after it!”

WHO DOES THIS?

Predictably, some of the comments reiterated my sentiment – “Easy for you to say, you get to work out all day instead of work a 9-5!” “Sure, tell me that when you have several small children to look after!” “Not all of us can be as lucky to travel around and live their dream.”

Wait, what?

First of all, let’s remember that social media is a highlight reel, not real life. Sure, Katrin gets to work out for a living, but she’s probably always sore and something is always hurting. She gets to travel a bunch, but that’s more time away from friends and family. Even the pressure of being the reigning “Fittest Woman on Earth” is probably tough some days, feeling like you have to always perform and live up to others’ expectations.

Despite a grueling training schedule, travel demands, and the stress of being a celebrity CrossFit athlete, she posts that she gets up Monday to “get after it.” This is drive. This is positive attitude. And anyone can do this.

Despite the pressures of my 9-5, feeling like I never have enough time for my family, and the stress of modern life, there is no reason I can’t find the joy in this life I have built for myself and wake up feeling ready to conquer the day. It’s just a mindset shift. And if something isn’t working for me and I’m unhappy, it’s my responsibility to figure out what I can do to make myself happier, whether it’s changing my outward circumstances or changing my inner dialogue on how I view the world around me.

Don’t fall down in the victim mind trap. However it seems like, when it comes down to it you control your life and you control your destiny. Wake up committed each morning to “get after it” even if you overslept and missed your 6am WOD and now you’re running late for your early meeting and your toddler just painted the wall with the contents of her diaper again and you ran out of bread to make your preschooler’s sandwich for lunch again so he’s getting rolled up turkey and a handful of tortilla chips because at least it’s food and dammit we are out of coffee again WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME SO NOT FAIR … but you know that this is just a moment in time and things are actually going pretty good and everyone will get where they’re trying to go eventually. Grab a Starbucks on the way to work, crank up the Kansas oh so very loud, and embrace the fact that you are indeed getting after it in your own special way!

Go make it a great day! xoxo