Small Victories

Of all the things people want in their crossfit journey, mine seems simple.  An unassisted pull-up (strict, dead hang).  I wrote it up on the white board at Craic as one of my goals almost a year ago.  I think it’s been up there so long that it’s seeped into the white board permanently.  With all the shoulder issues and trying to meet my weight loss goals, it’s seemed impossible.  I wish that the introduction of this post ended with…and today was finally the day.  However, it isn’t 🙂  But I had what some people consider a small step – for me it was a small victory.

When I started Crossfit, I had to use the thickest band to do pull-ups.  The black band.  I finally graduated to being able to do a couple of pull-ups on the green band but then my shoulders went to shit.  I’ve been doing the personal programming with John for the last couple of weeks and I’ve been doing green banded pull-ups. I must admit, it’s been nice to be back on the bar.  Well, the green bands have seemed easy-ish.  I was able to do 5 sets of 5 unbroken, even taking time to come to a full pause at the bottom per Jarrod’s instruction.  So, I thought – what the heck, I’ll try it with the blue band and see how far I have to go.  I’ve tried the blue band before and not been able to get up to anywhere close to the bar.  Well, I’m happy to say that I got two full pull ups with the blue band (full pause in between and all).  I’m going to continue to work on my progressions and bi-cep work and hopefully before the opens, I’ll have a couple of unassisted pull-ups under my belt!  It’s a small victory on my pull-up journey – but I’m really excited!

pullsup2 victory

 

 

Kittens and Deadlifts

Couple of things.  Tweaked my back a bit after all the dead lifts.  Not sure what I did, but it hurt to even walk for a couple of days.  Did workout two (back squats, step-ups, pull-ups, bi-ceps) and it felt good.  Talked to John before doing workout one again and he suggested I go pretty light on the dead lifts but focus on good form and breathing.  Kind of sucks because I feel like it’s taking away progress, but I got over it and that’s what I’ll do.  To John’s point, you can’t really get stronger until you get better.  My bench press felt a little smoother, a little better.  It’s going to take work, but I’m ready.

On that note, you can check out my workout weights HERE.

My pal, Amber, posted this earlier today and I feel like if my cats could text, this is what it would look like.

Also, if you just want to watch a feel good video that will make your day which may or may not include a kitten being brought back to life by a big burly firefighter…and quite possibly the best use of a GoPro that I’ve seen to date…

Looking forward to the weekend!

 

Habits of Happiness and How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps

The lovely Sara McEvoy is not only the co-owner of Craic and a great athlete, she is also a great writer and keeps a pretty nifty blog, which you can find HERE.  Part of her blog has a section that is called Habits of Happiness – and I love this part of her blog.  Definitely filled with a lot that makes you think about your life and how your building it. If you have some time, I’d suggest you go visit her blog…it’s worth the read.

I thought of Sara and her habits of happiness because today, on my adventures on the internet, I came across this – which I initially thought was an advertisement – but it’s actually a great piece on the Huffington post by Kate Bartolotta which starts with this:

The covers of most men’s and women’s magazines have similar headlines: “Get Great Abs” and “Have Amazing Sex.”

From the looks of it, these two issues have been recycled over and over (with some other stereotypically gender-relevant articles thrown in) on every Men’s Health, Maxim,Cosmopolitan and Glamour cover since the dawn of time. In fact, I’d bet that if we could get a better translation of cave drawings, they would read something like “Grok get flat belly. Make girl Grok moan with joy.”

And we keep buying them. We keep buying this lie that these things will make us happy. I’ve had washboard abs (past tense) and I’ve had some pretty phenomenal sex. Neither one made me a better person. Neither one completed me or made my life more fulfilling.

We chase this idea of “I will be happy when… “

I will be happy when I have a new car. I will be happy when I get married. I will be happy when I get a better job. I will be happy when I lose five pounds. What if instead we choose to be happy — right now?

If you can read this, your life is pretty awesome.

Setting aside our first-world problems and pettiness, if you are online reading this, you have both electricity and WiFi or access to them. Odds are you are in a shelter of some sort, or on a smart phone (and then kudos to you for reading this on the go). Life might bump and bruise us, it may not always go the way we plan and I know I get frustrated with mine, but here’s the thing: You are alive.

Because you are alive, everything is possible. So about those eight tips…

Click here to read the entire article.  They are simple and stuff we already know – but sometimes we just need to be reminded of them.

 

 

 

150 Deadlifts and Trying a Power Pose!

Finished up the first week of four of John’s programming.    Did workout 1 yesterday at Open Gym at Craic.  It took me way longer than it should have because I get too distracted at Open Gym socializing and catching up with people that I don’t normally see during the week.  Also, people come up and chat and are interested in what workout you’re doing – so they come up and chat with me.  I tried to face away from people, but then I felt like I was being immensely anti-social and felt guilty about it and got in my head about it. It’s just something I have to get used to.

Even without the distractions at open gym, I was finding that the workouts were taking about an hour, and not giving me time to warm up or cool down at the end.  If I’m crunched for time, John advised me to remove the 5×20 dead lifts (light and fast) from workout one and the sit-ups from workout two.  Since I didn’t have a huge time crunch on Sunday, I did the 5×20 dead lifts.  That means I did 150 dead lifts in total yesterday.  150 of my least favorite movement.  I guess he’s going to force feed me this stuff until I like them?

Also,I came across this this great video of a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy about how your body language shapes who you are.  It’s a long one, but definitely worth the watch.  I’ll be working on my power pose daily 🙂  Click HERE to watch it.

New Programming (and a long-a** post)

So I wrote a long email to John McEvoy, the head coach / owner of Crossfit Craic.  I’ve been working with him on some nutrition stuffs and when I took the 3.5 weeks off because of business travel, I used it to really focus on what my goals are.  Here is an abbreviated version of the email that I sent him:

*****

After not seeing him for a long time, I remember asking Jay about a month ago if he’s still at Craic.  He said he was taking a month off and would be back soon.  I remember thinking that a month seemed like a long time off – but understood the need for a break.  As I sit on this plane, having not worked out since August 14th, I now understand.  I missed working out, but I’ve been so busy with work and traveling that I haven’t had the chance or desire to.  On the rare days during my travels where I’ve had time, I’ve opted not to because my body is so tired from lack of sleep, lack of nutrients, standing /walking all day, chasing people, talking, meetings…Even with those excuses, I found that over time –  I was making the conscious choice not to go to the gym.  I also (some in my control, some not) did not eat as well as I should have during these last couple of the weeks.  A little too many meals with potatoes, and snacks that included candy and chips… But not enough to actually gain wait (I’ve actually lost weight – including muscle) over the last couple of weeks.

But as weird as this sounds, I believe that I needed this time out to get my bearings, set goals, and simply reset.  I have definitely seen tangential benefits from the work that I’ve done over the last 1.5 years of Crossfit and the last couple months of nutrition work over these last couple of weeks.  I had so much more stamina to stand, run around, survive these last three weeks. This would have never happened without Crossfit.  In addition, while there were times where I indulged in foods that I shouldn’t have (some by choice, some because I had no other choice) I didn’t go full bore into eating shit – which historically would have been the case with me.

To look back, I’ve spend much of the last year being injured, recovering from injury, and bouncing back and forth from feeling unmotivated to motivated.   Sometimes I would feel completely left out of workouts because I would have to modify the crap out of stuff.  But the thing that I didn’t do, and I now know I needed it – I didn’t really take the time to hit the pause button and take stock of where I really am right now and really where I want to be.   That’s what I ultimately have used this last three weeks for.  Let’s call it active mental recovery.  So, where does that bring me now and how do I get there?

Taking stock:

  • The effects of the cortisone shot that I got a couple of months ago has worn off.  My bi-cep and rotator are causing me pain in everyday life again.
  • My muscles have atrophied over the last few weeks because of lack of nutrition and not working out.
  • I am not happy with where I am with my personal body weight / body image.
  • I have not worked out in three weeks.
  • My body doesn’t feel awesome after the lack of good food / food quantity that I’ve done over the last couple of weeks.
  •  I’ve discovered that I have a gluten intolerance.
  •  I took advantage of these three weeks “off” and am renewed and dedicated to improvement.

Where I want to be:

  • At my goal weight (which, readers, isn’t a number I want to share, because ultimately it’s about body comp, not weight) 
  • Shoulder rehabbed to a manageable state
  • Stronger, better, faster
  • Be able to do all the 2014 Games Open workouts Rx (and contribute to that Craic team score)
  • A dead hang pull-up by the time the Open comes around

Resources

  • Physical therapy
  • You (John) with a solid plan and understanding of the challenges I face
  • Myself

*****

The reason why I listed resources in my email is that in the long ago, Jarrod Dizzle Davis told me that most people don’t use the resources around them to make sure that they’re successful.  I wanted to take stock of the relevant resources around me to help ensure my success.  Jarrod (whether he likes it or not) is also a resource that I will use a lot to provide advice, insight, or just a good ol’ kick in the ass.  I’ll also use the people around me (like my awesome husband and pals) too.

To that end, I’m going to continue on the nutrition path with John and he’s also created a 4-week training program to get me to fitness goals that I want.  His programming is:

Workout One

  • 5 x 10 dead lifts (heavy, increase weight if I can)
  • 5 x 10 bench press (heavy, increasing weight when possible)
  • 5 x 20 dead lifts (light and fast)
  • 5 x 12-15 tricep extensions

Workout Two

  • 5 x 10 back squats (heavy, increase weight if I can)
  • 3 -5 partner assisted pull-ups x 5 (if not partner, use a band)
  • 3 x 20 dumb bell step-ups
  • 4 x 12-15 bicep curls
  • 5 x 15 sit-ups (different variations) with 30 seconds rest in between

I’ll be doing these workouts three days per week.  Week one will be One – Two – One, Week Two will be Two – One – Two and so forth for four weeks.  Recording these workouts on this blog will become repetitive, so I will be tracking my weights / notes on this Google Doc.  I’ll still be posting about how much I hate dead lifts (I mean, seriously…it’s like he knew how much I hate them and programmed the crap out of them) and other thoughts about the workouts – but you can find the weights and progress on the Google Doc.

So here goes.  I’m already two workouts in and looking forward to seeing progress over the next four weeks!

Animals Can Be Jerks

Today was a 30 minute on the minute workout.  Every 1st minute: 2 squat cleans; Every 2nd minute: ring rows (3-4 steps in); Every 3rd minute: double under practice.  I did 95# for squat cleans and Jarrod told me to be a ninja with my jumps and practice 3-4 light jumping double unders and don’t go to failure (and failure for me is jumping up and down really hard and stomping my feet on the ground).  Some of the DU’s were really frustrating, but overall, it was a slow burn workout and I kind of liked it.  My cleans felt decent, so that made me happy 🙂  I managed to get a few jumps in lightly…trying to channel my inner ninja.

ninja

Things on the Interweb

Today’s workout was tailor made for me not actually doing it.  Not cherry picking, but just too shoulder intensive and I didn’t want to go in and modify EVERYTHING. 

Instead, I have discovered amazing things on the interwebs.  And followers of this blog (and those who personally know me) will be surprised to find that the below has nothing to do with cats!  But because I am the Crazy CatFitter, I will post this one picture of an adorable kitten and then let you see the interweb stuff that I have been enjoying lately.

kittensink

 

First, if you haven’t seen the video of the #twerkingfail

And then here’s the true story behind it. #awesome

And then, for all you bros and gals that don’t know what to do with those old shorts that rip or don’t fit you anymore….Recycle them into a fancy dress.

http://www.dailydot.com/lol/gym-shorts-dresses-dudes-reddit/

dressshorts

And lastly, I went onto Facebook.  Trying to remember the brand of bikes that I have been eyeing around town…and my Facebook peeps didn’t fail me!  Here was my post:

“Cryptic description, but hoping FB peeps can help. Does anyone know the brand of bicycles that are super colorful and for casual riding about town? They are bicycles that look like hipsters might ride them around…only way cooler. Can’t remember the brand…”

I got answers from Hotwheels to Huffy…but a few finally gave me the answer I was looking for – Republic Bikes.  This is next on my list to save up for.  Now I have to figure out the color scheme (which is the hardest part!)

republic

 

 

 

#InspirationalQuote

True Inspiration

True Inspiration

With all the inspirational quote internet memes going around, I saw this one and thought that it summed up my life the best right now.  After a hiatus, and a chance to reset while I was traveling for work…I’m back at it at Craic.  Felt good to be back. Even got to wear the majority of my gear 🙂  We did 20 minutes of snatch skill work (well, the class did…) I did 20 minutes of clean work at 65# and it felt HEAVY.  Being away for almost a month hurts!  Then we did 21-15-9 of front squats (the class did OHS) @ 65# and ring rows (as Rx was pull-ups).  I managed to do all of it unbroken and just tried to maintain a slow and steady pace.  Final time was 3:54.  Then I went to PT for my shoulder.  It’s bugging me a ton after being on the road for three weeks.  Izzy was there hanging out, as usual!

Back at it with knee sleeves and lifting shoes!

Back at it with knee sleeves and lifting shoes!

Izzy waiting for her treatment at PT

Izzy waiting for her treatment at PT

Here are a few pics from my adventures while I was traveling.  Lots of fun and now it’s back to reality.

Gracie Bella, my friend's cat. I cuddled her a little too much because I was missing my kitties at home.  She is not impressed.

Gracie Bella, my friend’s cat. I cuddled her a little too much because I was missing my kitties at home. She is not impressed.

View of Mount Hood on the road from Bend to Portland, OR.

View of Mount Hood on the road from Bend to Portland, OR.

Niko, me, and Niko's dad.  He just finished his race at the National Cycling Championships (Masters 65-69).  COLD DAY!

Niko, me, and Niko’s dad. He just finished his race at the National Cycling Championships (Masters 65-69). COLD DAY!

Avocado, mango, cilantro, apple smoothie.  Was a little like liquid guacamole.

Avocado, mango, cilantro, apple smoothie. Was a little like liquid guacamole.

Montage of me at PAX Prime in Seattle, WA  My catwoman shoes are on the right.

Montage of me at PAX Prime in Seattle, WA My catwoman shoes are on the right.