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!

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

Yes, I Meal Prepped. Who Am I?

Well hello, happy people! Long time no chat!

I have so much to update on, I’m not even sure where to start.

First of all, I finished my #JanuaryWhole30. Yay! I even went over a couple of days, because I just wasn’t super interested in reintroducing anything just yet. Then one day, a cookie happened. I called it my cookie reintroduction. It was magical, and for the first time in I think my whole life, I was good with just one cookie. I enjoyed a cookie deliberately and intentionally, and after I got done licking the crumbs off my fingers, I found myself satisfied and went on with my day. Score. Since then, I’ve been slow-rolling the reintroduction by eating mostly Whole30 in my daily life but trying out foods here and there to see how they work with me. So far I’m still not a fan of sugar or gluten, and I’m still on the fence with dairy. It’s been really nice to just eat and notice and move on, instead of eat and berate and get angry with myself and binge.

I don’t always make the right food choices, but I’m using my mistakes as learning experiences rather than excuses to go off the rails, or beat myself up. The other night, a friend brought homemade bread pudding to our gathering. I had missed dinner and the bread pudding smelled soooooo good, so I had some. It was good, but not pay-for-the-effects-of-gluten good. I felt lousy afterword, and I’m still feeling bloated today. But now I know to evaluate better, and maybe bring have a snack on hand for those evenings I know I might miss a meal. No big deal.

Okay, what else? Oh, that’s right, the CrossFit Open is coming up! Yayyy! Here is a nifty poster from the CrossFit website that has all of the info:

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I’m signed up and will be doing the scaled division again this year. I’m still not Rx’ing the workouts consistently, so I probably need another year to get stronger. But I have my double-unders pretty consistently now, so there’s that. Woot. You should go sign up too, it’s only $20. I’ll wait here. Peer pressure. Everyone is doing it.

Finally, with my crazy hectic schedule lately (gratitude moment: I am so grateful to be busy because it’s better than being bored!) I decided to finally get on the bandwagon with weekly meal prep. I know, who am I? I do not meal prep. I hate it. But I also hate blasting out of the house in the morning with the stark realization that I have had black coffee for breakfast (fail), I have no idea where/what I’m eating for lunch (more fail), and I am probably not going to be home for dinner (fail-lines flight number crapsticks, ready for departure). But since I hate weekly meal prep, I decided to start small, by planning out my meals for just three days.

This ended up to be key. It was way less overwhelming to think about, and since I always over-plan my food requirements anyway, it’s turning out that I made enough food for 4-5 days anyway. Win. I think this will be a thing from now on.

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

A Day in the Life

I’ve seen these posts from other blogs, and I love them. I can’t remember if I’ve done one of these “day in the life” posts before, so here you go! Edit: yes, I did a Day in the Life post a couple years ago. Time flies!

5:00 – alarm goes off. I scroll through social media for a good 20 minutes until I feel like I’m ready to get out of bed.

5:20 – shower and dress for work

5:45 – head downstairs to meditate and write an entry in my gratitude journal. Because I totally do this every day. And by “every day” I mean once in a while when I remember that I want to meditate and journal every day. And today I nailed it.

6:10 – start breakfast. Squish wakes up and keeps me company. We eat breakfast together

6:30 – I clean up breakfast and do the dishes from last night. We play Lego trucks for a bit.

6:45 – pack my stuff for work

7:00 – time to commute to Silicon Valley!

7:20 – Starbucks stop

8:10 – pull into the parking lot, and there’s an open charging station, yay!

8:45 – coffee #2

10:00 – unplug my fully-charged car and park closer to the building

11:00 – meetings meetings meetings

12:00 – more meetings, but they catered in Greek food for lunch! I ate this x2


2:30 – la Croix break!


4:00 – heading into my last meeting of the day. I won’t make it home in time to pick up Squish from preschool, so I text Hulk to save me.

4:40 – fly out of the office to try and get home in time for CrossFit

6:00 – get home, change, slam down food, jump back in the car and head to the gym

6:30 – CROSSFIT YAY!


7:30 – peel myself off the ground and head home

7:50 – arrive at home. Hulk made the kids popcorn and they’re watching a movie. I join them for a bit; it’s the first time I’ve seen Buttercup today

8:15 – I jump in the shower while Hulk wrangles the kids to bed

8:30 – doing some housework crosses my mind, but I’m too tired to peel myself off the couch. Dishes can wait, I suppose. Hulk and I catch up on our days.

9:00: I’m done. Good night!
Go make it a great day!

But First, Coffee

Just so you know, I now offer a free service. 


According to my sister, I have a superhuman ability to find a quality Starbucks or coffee shop anywhere. I don’t care where you are; I will find coffee for you. It’s my gift to humanity.
Saturday we took the kids to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park to meet up Amanda and her husband for a day of gettin’ our learn on. Squish was super interested in the exhibits (especially the Earthquake interactive display) until he discovered that there were interactive iPads with games on them at every turn. Then he just played games instead of, like, looking at the exhibits. At least I think he’s learning.


Buttercup was a lot more interested than I thought she would be. We made it in time to see them feed the Penguins, and she sat still in my lap through the entire presentation, watching them gobble fish from the biologist (Squish was long gone into iPad Land at that point). Then we checked out the huge aquarium and she was just mesmerized with the giant reef exhibit.


Then Sunday I went to CrossFit. Yay! At our gym Sundays are for hero WODs, so the suck factor is always at full-throttle.

“Donny”

For time, sets of 21-15-9-9-15-21 reps:

  • Deadlift (men=100kg, women=70kg)
  • Burpees

I scaled the weight on the deadlifts down to 50kg (110 lbs) because I recall 70 is my 10-rep max, and this workout requires, like, 90 reps. So, nope.

I started out trying to pace at sets of 5 deadlifts, which worked out okay for approximately 2 minutes. I hit the “pain cave” hard and fast, and it was one of those workouts where I about started crying because when I go that hard I get super emotional (It’s no wonder that they call it “barbell therapy”!), but I didn’t cry, my hands didn’t rip, and I was done in 17:11.

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

Reading About It Is the Same as Doing It, Right?

Hello, and Happy Friday!

It’s been a week since I visited the gym, and I’m starting to have those weird, jumpy energy bursts that indicate it’s really time to blow some steam off at the gym. I didn’t intend on skipping so many days, and I took Olive on a hike Tuesday morning, but I’m starting to feel that pent-up-energy feeling when it’s been too long since I’ve really worked out. I’ve been trying to catch up on sleep so I’ve been skipping the morning classes, and we’ve had a lot of last-minute plans in the evenings so I haven’t been hitting up the evening classes. I miss my CrossFit! But I’ve slept in for two mornings in a row now, and we have no plans the next few nights (fingers crossed!) so I think I’ll be able to pick up our regularly scheduled body-pummeling soon.

In the meantime, reading about fitness is the same as doing it, right?

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I’ve had this book on my Amazon book wish list for a while, and just found out the library has a copy! I’m only about three chapters into it, and my mind is already exploding with the awesomeness. I’ll probably end up buying a copy when I have to return this one to the library, I want to make so many notes in it. Tons of great info about what the body does when it’s exercising, what types of exercise inflict certain system responses, and how your body fuels itself for efforts. Brain. Full.

And even if I’m chilling out this week, my Jawbone app gave me this notification the other day:

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I’ve taken 5 million steps with my Jawbone this year. That sounds like a lot.

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

This Week’s Workouts and Hold My Calls

I almost missed posting today. For a good reason.

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It’s here! My “Food Freedom Forever” book arrived yesterday, and I’ve been curled up with a mug of tea devouring – nay, savoring – it the moment I had all of the Life Responsibility stuff tucked away. Which means I blasted home from work, threw pizza at the kids, told Hulk to pretend I’m not home, and locked myself in my room. Obviously.

Last week I was feeling run down, so I took it easy, sleeping in a little and going a little lighter on workouts. I had anticipated to hit it hard this week, but what is it with me and taking a week off where I have the hardest time firing up the motivation engine again? I know I love to go to CrossFit, I feel fabulous when I’m there, but getting the shoes on and getting out the door. I’d rather stay home and read in bed. So this week has seen more general lifting and hiking and less CrossFit.

Friday – rest day, I think. I can’t remember

Saturday – Saturday WOD:

  • Partner WOD for time,
    • Complete 300 double-unders,
    • THEN:
  • Complete the following in sets of 21 – 15 – 9 -15 – 21:
    • Pull-ups (I did ring rows)
    • Dumbbell Squat Cleans (I used 20# dumbbells)

Hulk and I took the kids to the gym together, so we partnered up for the WOD, which was great for me because I love double under practice and he’s really been nailing the kipping pull-ups lately. We cranked through the full workout in about 20 minutes, but I was getting a bit … “wifey” with Hulk. I was trying to be all focused and super serious, while he was just there to get a sweat on and have a good time. He would be, “what rep are we on?” and I would scold him back, “We’re on 8 of 15! You need to keep track on this!” What didn’t help is Buttercup’s cries from the kids’ area, where I could only see from my vantage point that she wasn’t wearing pants. I couldn’t tell if the diaper was off as well or not, so my only focus was to get the workout done so I could run over there and check to make sure she didn’t discard a poopy diaper in the play area (as she sometimes does if we don’t catch a dirty diaper fast enough for her comfort). Note to self: next time, put Buttercup in a dress. There are no pants to take off when you’re wearing a dress.

Sunday – home gym workout:

  • “Death by weight” back squats at 5 reps per set:
    • Start with the bar and increase 10 lbs per set

I made it to 125 lbs and only squeaked out 3 reps, so that was 10 sets total. And now the garage is clean enough to work out in again!

Monday – Strength class:

  • Anderson back squats, 5×3 at 60-70% max (I used 35kg)
  • Russian kettlebell swings, 5×8 (I used 53 lbs kettlebells)
  • Weighted belt squats, 4×15 (I used 53 lbs kettlebells)
  • Farmers’ carry, 5×200 yd resting every 1 min between sets (I used 53 lb kettlebells)

I’ve been wanting to try some of the strength and oly lifting classes at the gym, and Monday was a good opportunity for me to finally get to one. Hulk wanted to do the WOD at the same time, so we packed up the kiddos, he did the CrossFit class and I took the strength class. Mostly I wanted to check out the class format so I can do more stuff at home.

The Anderson back squats were a trip. They’re designed to help you work out of “the hole”, so you rack the bar at the bottom of your squat, using arms or other props. Then you get under the bar, position yourself in your squat, then stand up and bring it back down, sort of the reverse of a standing squat where you go down and come back up. I thought they were really fun, and can’t wait to try this at home.

The weighted belts were fun too, I’ve never used one before. It’s a weightlifting belt with a long chain in the front so you can clip weights (we used kettlebells) to it to add bodyweight. We then stood on boxes to provide clearance for the weight when we squatted, and cranked them out. It’s supposed to work your core and stability, because as you move the kettlebell starts to swing and you have to keep yourself tight to not fall over. I’m filing this one in “stupid human tricks.”

Tuesday – hike with Olive

Olive and I set out on the ridge trail at like 5:30 in the morning, so it was dark the whole time. I forgot my headlamp, but the trail is on an open ridge, and there was plenty ambient city lights to see. Olive loved it.

Wednesday – hike with Squish

I started to get ready to go to CrossFit when I went to pick up Squish from preschool, but on my way there I felt like I’d rather be out in nature with trees instead of the gym. So I asked Squish if he would prefer going to the gym with me or going on the ridge trail for a hike. He choose hike, and I was glad. When we got there, they had a huge herd of goats grazing the dry grass.

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I’d seen them from afar working on the other hills, but this time they were right over the trail. I delighted in being so close to them, watching them munch the grass and casually saunter away from us. Squish wanted to pet them (of course) but I told them that the goats were working and couldn’t be disturbed. So he settled on talking to them. It was a delightful walk to remember. Oh, and he also found a stick.

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It’s his “special stick”. I’m sure Olive will find it special to chew on at some point.

That’s all from me for now. How did you move this week?

Go make it a great day!

October 2016 Goals

Better late than never, right? Now that we’re a few days into the month, it’s the perfect time to start pondering what all shiny, exciting accomplishments we might have a scarce chance of achieving before we crack out on Halloween candy and celebrate my birth-month of November. My birthday’s on November 1st, but it sneaks up on you, so I find it’s best to stick in some extra celebratiousness just in case it blows by too fast, you know?

My big, hairy, scary goal for October is to blog more. In all my free time.

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Mostly because I want to talk about CrossFit more, and my friends and family are afraid for me. Or maybe tired of hearing about it, I can never tell if those are looks of panic or concern. So I’m going to blog more about CrossFit. Which means I should, like, keep going to the gym so I have stuff to talk about. Which is a good transition to my next goal:

CrossFit more. Right now I’m going about 3 times a week, and I think I can squeeze in another class as long as I stay on top of my recovery and sleep and food and life and stuff. Should be do-able, right? Plus, my gym offers specialty classes in Olympic lifting and yoga an other stuff I want to take advantage of. I know Hulk mentioned he wants to go more often, so I think if we blend our collective motivations together we will become the most unstoppable CrossFit bores ever. Sorry not sorry.

I’m also going to keep plugging away at my 2016 CrossFit Goals. I am particularly interested in learning more of what I like to call Stupid Human Tricks, like HSPU and muscle-ups,  of which I am so far, far, far away from doing but it’s going to be so awesome once I can finally land them. But first, pike push-ups and negative pull-ups all. the. time.

Finally, since I will hopefully be ending my September Whole30 on Monday, I’ll start a legit reintroduction protocol and plan out my “Life After” in a sustainable way where I can enjoy the things I missed (beer!) in a way that doesn’t make me dive head first into Safeway sheet cake and go back to feeling the craptasticalness I felt prior to this round.

Sounds easy enough, right? And of course now that I’ve announced all this and planned it out I shall spend the next 27 days not doing anything to get me to any of these goals. Being a “Rebel” is so fun.

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

September 2016 Goals Recap

Well, this is funny. I want to review the goals I accomplished in September, but I realized I never posted at the beginning of the month what my goals were going to be. So we can view this as a bit of a “Did It List”.

Anyway, I wanted to do the September Whole30 with the rest of the Whole30 community in anticipation for the release of the new book “Food Freedom Forever,” which I preordered on Amazon and is due at my doorstep any day now! I also wanted to chip away at my 2016 CrossFit Goals list, and I did hit a couple which was very exciting!

I guess I can’t say that I’ve successfully completed my Whole30 goal since I’m not done yet, but as far as sticking with it for the month of September it was great success. I did have a party six days in where the whole point of the party was to share our home brew, an after pondering it well before embarking on my Whole30  I decided it would be reasonable and worth it to indulge in some beer for the party. I kept the rest of the food compliant (okay, I did have a handful of nuts that I found out had peanut oil later, but that was a whoops), and only drank a couple beers while serving others. It was a very fun party, and I was still motivated to pick up my Whole30 where I left off the next day, which I figured would be the biggest risk. Today would be Day 30, but I’m going to hold out for 6 more days to get in a full 30 days sticking with the program.

Other fun goals accomplished:

  • I ran a mile in 8:56, which is HUGE for me. Back in the day when I ran marathons and stuff, 12:00 was my “happy” pace, and if I pushed it I might have squeaked out a 10:00. Anything under 9 minutes is unheard of for my stumpy little legs. Yay!
  • I pulled off a 50kg (110lb) push press max! I can now lift a slightly emaciated Hollywood starlet over my head if required to do so.
  • I also surprised myself with a 72kg 10-rep-max deadlift. Which is 158 lbs. That would be a standard-sized human. I can pick up and put down a standard-sized human 10 times in a row. Then on further analysis, I realize that I weigh roughly 158 lbs. So really,  I could clone myself, then pick my clone up and set me down 10 times in a row.
  • I’m still working on double-unders as well. So far the record’s 18 unbroken. My goal is to get to 25 unbroken. The consistency of being able to string multiples together is getting better, especially since I got my own rope (ordered this one on Amazon in yellow, and I’ve named her Betty) and I like to do a few before class to warm up. I found out there is really no good place at home to jump rope, since the garage has a really low ceiling and the rope keeps whacking the fluorescent lights, which is bad. And I don’t want to do it outside since the concrete will chew the rope cord up. Ah, suburban homeowner problems. But I’ve been getting some good practice in before and after class, so I’m not too stressed about it.

That’s it for now, I’m excited on what fun stuff October will bring!

Go make it a great day!