Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011...

December 31, 2011

Ahh, finally.... the end to 2011. It seems as if every year at this time (with the exception of a few years here and there) I sit and think, 19-- or  20-- HAS to be better than this. What I am not sure of, is how I measure what a "good" year, vs what a "bad" year is. Inevitably, there are going to be good and bad things that happen over many years for the rest of my life. I cant live thinking that each year has to stack up with the last/next, or set myself up for the coming year to be better than the last. My brother Joshua lived every one of his 21 years like it was the last year of his life, and when it came down to it, he lived an awesome (albeit short) life. . Somewhere, I think in 2011 I decided that it was time to live for today, not for tomorrow... life is to effing short.

The problem I think, is that I... we... people in general... get "comfortable" with life. We sort of lodge ourselves in a spot where every day life can just happen and we sit back watch. There are highlights of course, the birth of a beautiful baby, the wedding of your best friend, a great vacation... but in the long run, after the "newness" or "chaos" is over, we sit back into our favorite chair, with our favorite blanket in the comfort of our own home and watch time go by. Its certainly comforting to know that you always have your "regular" life to fall back on.

So, whats so wrong with that? For starters, its boring. What is life without spontaneity, challenge and change? Why coast through it with nothing new and fun... why live every day the same? Eventually the year, month, day is over and we wind up "wishing" that we did the things we didnt do that we wanted to do... than we are left on NYE thinking "next year is the year for XYZ." You have to set goals for yourself, you have to work towards them and you have to continue to set new goals when one is accomplished.

I remember as a child, my parents were very supportive and encouraging but at the same time very critical and strict. My brother and I always strived to be the best that we could be at everything. They taught us that even if we were not the "BEST" at that particular thing, at least we gave it 100%. We put our hearts into the things we wanted most and usually if we went for something, with hard work, we got it. When I was in dancing school every year after the recital my dad would tell me which steps he saw me miss during the performance... at first thought, one might say "wow... thats not cool, she is only a kid." To me... it was different. It meant that my dad paid so much attention to me and what I was doing, that he knew what I was doing wrong, or when I messed up. I mean, how may dads know what the "time step" looks like... or how to "shuffle off to buffalo"... mine does. He is so proud of me for doing everything that I do, and he knows when I mess up, that I can do better. That is not just with dancing, its with everything in my life; school, work, personal things, lifting... as I said before we as a family are "go big or go home" people. I may look like my mom, but my Dad and I... we are a lot alike.

I am not expected to be perfect, but I certainly AM expected to squeeze every ounce of "life" out of my life that I can. That right there, is what will make my mom and dad proud of me. It will allow them to sit back (in their own hypothetical favorite chair with their favorite blanket) and know that they did the right things raising me, that I am the woman that they can proudly say is their daughter. That they know I will do my best to raise my future children... and I can only hope that I am just a teeny tiny ounce of the parent to my children that they are to me. However, I am realizing now, that its not just for them, its not about making them proud... its about ME making myself proud, doing it for myself (which I am sure was their goal). There are changes that have to happen in my life (some that have already started and some that need a lot of work). Those changes that already started, I am proud of myself for sticking with and pushing through the proverbial SUCK... those that need to start, there is NO better time than the present...

Where is this all coming from. Well, its New Years resolution time of course. The time of year when everyone says "in 20-- I will... fill in the blank here." I could give the obligatory "loose weight, get in shape, budget my money better and stop eating crap..." (that 99 out of 100 people would typically say on NYE) BUT I can happily say... those things, they dont apply to me this year. I made that choice somewhere in the middle of 2011. If those are the things that I want in my life, why wait till New Years Day to start?! Why coast through life and say "at the beginning of next week I will stop eating like crap?" If you can make that type of statement, why not do it BEFORE you stuff your face with a steak and cheese or skip a workout?  Why use the "winter weight" or "I cant start trying to lose weight around the holidays, there are too many temptations" excuse... its an excuse... if you WANT it... do it.


Here we go. Its New Years Eve (day) and here are my New Years Resolutions.
4 - Continue to kick ass at the gym, continue to set goals, push and challenge myself to new heights, and accomplish those goals I have set for myself. In turn I want to compete in as many competitions as I can to better myself and challenge myself even more.
3 - Continue to work on my attitude, continue to stop sitting on the sidelines of my life and embrace the drivers seat. I am the only one that can make the changes that I want to see happen. Dont take life for granted, it can change in an instant. Stop using "I'm tired" and laziness as an excuse. There is a lot of life left to live.
2 - Take a lesson from my own book and suck it up, get back into studying and kick some major ass taking the Architectural Registration Exams.
1 - Most important of all... make it a point to create new goals daily/weekly/monthly... when one is fulfilled, make another. Be sure on NYE 2012 that there is no need for resolutions, just goals for the next year. Never look back, never be "satisfied," life can ALWAYS get better.

And some 2012 Goals (both short and long term)
1 - Take and pass at least 5 of the 7 Architectural Registration Exams by December of 2012.
2 - Become the best employee I can possibly be at my job and take on new roles and responsibilities.
3 - Credit card debt free by June 2012 (this has been a work in progress therefor NOT a resolution, just a goal)
4 - Be the best wife, friend, sister, auntie, cousin... that I can be (I realize this is not measurable)
5 - Some gym goals...
          Master the Double Under - 50 consecutive by June, 100 by end of 2012
          Deadlift - Goal 300lbs
          Pullups - Kipping Pullup by January 9th (first day of Paleo Challenge)
          Pushup - 20 Strict Chest to Floor by February 22
          HSPU - Unassisted Hand Stand Pushups
          Ring Dips - Unassisted
          2 Minutes off my "DT" time by June, 3 minutes by end of 2012
          Compete in at least one individual CrossFit Competition as an Rx Athlete
          Improve my "mile" time and beat last years "Turkey Trot" time (yes, now I have to do it again)
          Continue my Paleo Life with a SMILE!
         
With that... SEE YA 2011... dont let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!! Take control of your life!!


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Row 250m
- 10 Grasshopper
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 10 Leg Swings (each leg)
2 X 9 Fundamentals

WOD: "Juicy"
3 Rounds for Time
- 20 Double Unders (oops... gave up and switched to 40 singles)
- 15 HR Pushups
- 10 Body Weight Deadlifts (170lbs)
(My time 5:50)

SKILL/STRENGTH
Push Press 5-5-5-5
95lbs, 95lbs, 105lbs, 105lbs

Worked on my kip... so close!!
Did 5 sets of 5 toes through rings, kipping
4 Dead Hang Pullups
Kipping on bar for a few sets... I want this so bad!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Embrace the SUCK!

December 30, 2011

As it says in the title of my blog, a quote from Jim Ryan... "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." This would be my response to everyone when they think that I am NUTS at the fact that I took today off from work (and have also done this in the past) and still get out of bed at 4:45am and go to CrossFit. Why mess with a good thing, why change what has become routine, if it works... there is no reason to stop!

For me, there is not much better than starting my day with a workout. Yeah there are some days where sleeping in is good... but thats saved for the 2 days a week that I take off from my workout. When I dont go, I am missing something. When I dont go, I feel pretty tired much longer in the morning, no matter how much I sleep or coffee that I drink. I dont like to sleep my day away, so even on a day off its nice to get home from the gym at 7:00am and have the rest of the day to do what I want!

I will not lie. In the beginning it was tough... it took about two weeks to get used to going in the morning that early. BUT, now its routine, it works, it works for me... I can get out of work and go home and do the things I need to do. I know its not for everyone. Heres my point. Yes, at the beginning it will suck, yes the first 2 weeks of pretty much anything is the period were you have to get used to what it is you are doing... BUT, if you want to go to the gym (CrossFit or not) its dedication, routine and hard work that will give you results. Find out what works for you, get through the weeks of "the suck" and get past it. You will not be sorry!


WARMUP:
- 10 Double Unders
- 5 Ring Rows
- 10 Double Unders
- 5 GHD
- 10 Double Unders
- 5 Back Extensions
- 10 Double Unders
- 5 Wall Squats
- 10 Double Unders
- 5 Push Ups
- 10 Double Unders
- 10 Walking Lunges

WOD: "Sucka Punch"
10 Minute AMRAP
- 200m Run
- 10 Box Jumps (20")
(5 rounds + 150m)

SKILL/STRENGTH: "Unbroken"
21-15-10
- GHD
- Hollow Rocks
- Toes Through Rings (YES!! I did all real Toes through Rings!!)

Watch Me

December 29, 2011

Meeeeeeee!

December 28, 2011

Wow, when I looked at todays WOD last night and got excited! It was titled "Yooouuuuu" and seriously, couldnt have been more "me!" K, T were there with me and I think we were all pretty excited to get the WOD started. These are the kinds of WOD's that really suit me, a good mix of strength and cardio, but certainly still a challenge.

When we got going I just kept pushing forward. I had my back to the clock (it was a 15 minute AMRAP) so I couldnt see how much time was left. My goal was to keep moving, dig right into the clean and jerks as soon as I got to the bar and have no rest at all. My mission was accomplished. I finished the 15 minutes with 5 rounds and 21 reps. It felt awesome.

After the WOD I decided to skip the skill and work in my biggest "goat." Yesterday I did two dead hang pullups, now I have to get the kip. M helped me to work on it and I started to get it!! I still dont have the kip into the pullup, but I am so close! I will keep working and keep pushing!! I can do this!! 

I face every day at CrossFit with the same attitude. The same positive "I can do it" attitude. Some days I "luck out" and get one of these WODs that feel like it was programmed for me... and some days I am faced with something that really pushes me so far out of my comfort zone. BUT, each day is a challenge, each day I work as hard as I can. Thats how it should be. If its something I am comfortable with I push myself to be better than I thought. If it includes something that is a "goat" of mine, I have to push myself to get through it, and work on that goat! Today was no exception.


WARMUP:
Jump Rope Circuit X 2 (10 each)
- Single
- Left Leg
- Right Leg
- Skiier
- Bell
- Cross
- Double Unders
2 Rounds
- 5 Wall Balls
- 5 Med Ball Cleans
- 10 Walking Lunges
- 5 Back Extensions

WOD: "Yooouuuuu"
15 Minute AMRAP
- 20 Ambat Situps
- 10 Clean and Jerks (95lbs)
(5 Rounds + 21)

SKILL:
Work on Kipping

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Good Day

December 27, 2011


You know, you wake up in the morning some days... and before you even get out of bed you think "oh god, I dont even want to get out of bed." Before you know it you are up, you stub your toe on the way into the bathroom, you drop the shampoo on your foot in the shower, you cant find anything to wear, and you spill your coffee on your shirt on the way into the office... we have ALL been there.

Some days, things all seem to fall into place. The alarm goes off, you wake up with energy, your hair falls just the right way when you blow dry it, the blemishes on your face dont seems so bad, coffee is made perfectly, there is no traffic on the way to work... and you just feel "good." Again... we have all had these days too (we just wish there were more of them).

Most days, are like groundhog day... personally. I wake up, put my lenses in, start my truck, get dressed (yes I really do that in that order), grab my bag for the gym, grab my lunch/shake, gym, shower, work, home, dinner, whatever needs to get done at the house, bed... rinse and repeat. When I lay in bed I try to clear my mind, which is pretty much impossible... and I think "tomorrow HAS to be better." I hate going to bed knowing that there are things in my life that need changing, that I can control, that I just deal with. Sure I have those "good" and "bad" days mixed in with the mundane, but life seems to be flying by so fast... why live it unsatisfied?

This weekend was a nightmare... I am going to spare all the "hoopla" and just say... all the reasons why I dislike the holidays we all wrapped up tightly in a bow and under the (hypothetical) Christmas tree with a tag that said "TO: SARAH, FROM: SANTA". Everything I try to avoid I managed to face head on this weekend... and I have decided that I need to just stop having any type of expectations for Christmas. It is what it is... in fact, that seems to be the slogan for 2011... "it is what it is." So, until next year Christmas... see ya! Dont let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

So what to do, what to do... why lying in bed at night trying my hardest to fall asleep?! Well... pick out the positives in every day of course! My mom always told me to be "optimistic." If you know me in real life, you may or may not know me well enough to know that aside from my mother being the most optimistic person on the planet... I dont have one ounce of optimism in my body. So picking out the positives isnt really an easy thing for me at all. I have had a little bit of an "easier" time with this since starting CF and having the ability to literally list my goals and see them right in front of my face... however, somehow sometimes I still manage to turn that into "I could have done better..." which I dont want to do. Every goal is a goal... I need to keep that in my mind.

The key to all of this is CONTROL. I am the only one that can control how my day goes. No, I cant control how things will unfold, no I cant control what other people will do/say and no, I cant control the simple things in life... what I CAN do is control how I react to them. Yes, this is WAY WAY WAY easier said than done... and I realize this, but maybe this is my first step towards being able to do that. At least I can recognize that I have an issue in this category.

We have a pretty popular saying in our family "Go Big or Go Home." We have been using it a lot lately with some things that have been going on. Heres the deal. Step up to the plate. You want something, go get it. You have a problem, you tell the person or you deal with the problem. You want to graduate from college, work your ass off. You want to walk when people tell you its not going to happen for weeks and weeks... you DO IT... you work, you sweat and you cry, it sucks more than you can stand it... but you do it.

Today, my brother Eric went home from Spaulding Rehab... he was hit by a truck on December 5th. He defied all odds... he is a miracle... he came away from the accident alive and from that day has basically told himself every day, "go big or go home." He has pushed beyond what has been expected of him and literally has made me start looking at my life in a whole new way.  TODAY... I know what I can be thankful for... TODAY, I know what makes it good... and its about time I start finding that good in every day.

TODAY is a good day... Eric came home... and I pushed beyond the limits of my own mind and did TWO unassisted dead hang pull ups... he is my inspiration!

I am in control of my own life and of my own happiness...

WARMUP:
25 Double Unders
2 Rounds
- 5 Pull Ups
- 10 GHD
- 10 Spiderman
- 5 Inchworms
2 X 9 Fundamentals

WOD: "Goldilocks and the Three Bear Crawls"
3 Rounds for Time
- 500m Row
- Gym Bear Crawl (down and back)
- 1 Min Rest
(My Time 9:06)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Front Squats 5-5-5-5
115, 145, 150, 150

12 Days of Crossfit!

December 26, 2011

THIS was a kick ass WOD... and a great way to start off a day off for the holiday!! What a great family we have at CFW and no better place to be!! Great support, great friends, great coaches... need I go on?


WARMUP:
Row 1K
3 Rounds
- 5 Pushups
- 10 Ring Rows
- 15 Squats

WOD: "The 12 Days of Crossfit"
Just like the song... for time...
1 - 2, 1 - 3, 2, 1 - 4, 3, 2, 1 - and so on...
1 - HSPU
2 - Thrusters (65lbs)
3 - Box Jumps (20" Box)
4 - Pistols
5 - Toes to Bar (and I did ALL toes to bar, no K2E)
6 - Burpees
7 - KB Swings (35lbs)
8 - HR Pushups
9 - Abmat Situps
10 - Double Unders
11 - SDHP (65lbs)
12 - Walking Lunges
(My Time 28:28)

So this is Christmas...

December 25, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What is Christmas?

December 24, 2011

Well, here we are again, Christmas Eve. Inevitably it comes every year... December 24th. I know is coming (not that its easy to miss) and there is no way around it...

I have been asked 100,000 times... "Why do you hate Christmas?" When the truth is, I do not "hate" Christmas. I should probably explain myself. There are a few really "obvious" and easy to understand reasons, but there are a few reasons that run pretty deep.

First... lets talk commercialism. I am not sure when it happened, but all of a sudden "Christmas" started happening before Thanksgiving. Personally, Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year and my favorite holiday. The day I get to spend with my family, there is no stress, there is no pressure, and it seems (except for the people who are actually preparing the meal) that people dont even think about Thanksgiving until the day of, I am not one of them. Its a day of reflection and a day to give thanks for all that we have in life. For those who we are blessed to be with and for those who have lost. We sit around the table and see where we come from, build our own traditions and keep our past traditions alive. It makes me feel warm.

What really really burns my ass is the fact that in a lot of peoples eyes... Thanksgiving is not about all that. Its about having the time off from work and the gateway to Christmas. Black Friday has become this huge phenomenon that I just cant understand and before my Turkey is even digested people are counting down the days till Santa comes. You can tell me that I dont have to listen to any of those people, and you can tell me that I dont have to "practice" those beliefs... but its nearly impossible to avoid hearing about it and seeing the commercialism of Christmas broad casted from Black Friday on. Thus beginning my dislike for the "holidays."

So here is some more... did you know that "St Nicholas" did not start at "Santa Clause?" Did you know that "St Nicholas Day" is actually December 6th and some countries still celebrate on that day? Did you know that the only reason St Nicholas became Santa Clause is because the "people" needed someone to "deliver gifts" on Christmas, and because of the stories of St Nicholas they made it up...

Here is one of the stories of how St Nicholas became the "gift giver" but no one knows if its true...

"There was a poor man who had three daughters. He was so poor, he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn't get married. (A dowry is a sum of money paid to the bridegroom by the brides parents on the wedding day. This still happens in some countries, even today.) One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house (This meant that the oldest daughter was then able to be married.). The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the father secretly hid by the fire every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping in a bag of gold. Nicholas begged the man to not tell anyone what he had done, because he did not want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas."

He was named a Saint at that point. He died on December 6th... and to this day some countries still celebrate on that day.

If you are Christian (and usually those who arent) you know the story of the birth of Christ, and the actual reason for Christmas being December 25th. You probably know that Jesus was brought three gifts... thus the modern tradition of "gift giving" on Christmas. What you might not know is that St Nicholas (later becoming Santa Clause) was a tale that was made up because of the stories of St Nicholas... he took off from there...

What started as "Father Christmas" and other names... who delivered gifts to children on Christmas has developed into a commercial nightmare for most because of commercialism and media. What started as three gifts being delivered to Jesus has developed into getting the best new gadget or the most popular toy. In a lot of peoples eyes the actual meaning behind those gifts is lost. Santa has stepped in and taken over the actual real meaning behind giving gifts.

Wow... that was a pretty high soap box.. I think I am getting a bloody nose.

On a more personal note. Christmas wasnt always as horrible for me. My Papa was the BEST Santa Clause on the planet. He would dress up and visit and light up the room. He was "Father Christmas" and lived his life giving to others. Putting a smile on peoples faces made him keep going for as long as he did. As a matter of fact, his Santa Suit is in my parents attic.. and I truly think there is magic in that box. His voice filled the church on Christmas Eve belting out Christmas Carols like he was the only on in the church...

For me growing up, Christmas was all about being with my family. Yes, we got presents under the tree... but the best gift of all was not the physical gift... it was the time I got to spend with the most important people in my life. The games we played, the laughs we shared, just the physical moments... I can never get those back but they will forever be in my heart.

Thats the night I love Christmas. The dim lights, the soft sounds of Silent Night... my Dad and Mom standing by my side as we sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing with tears in our eyes remember every Christmas with my Brother Joshua and my Papa... Thinking of the true meaning of Christmas and what its all about....

Its not about the gifts...  and as Dr Seuss said it best...

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone... and please... take a minute to remember what Christmas is all about...

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Mystery WOD

December 23, 2011

I have to share this... my "Secret Santa" from the office is the BOMB!! This was attached to my gift...

Kettle bell, kettle bell, kettle bell rock
Kettle bells swing and kettle bells ring
Rowing and jumping and boxes of fun
Now the clean and jerks have begun

Kettle bell, kettle bell, kettle bell rock
Kettle bell press in the quickest time
Squatting and kipping for the WOD of the day
In the sweaty air

What a bright time, its the right time
To sweat the night away
Kettle bell time, its a swell time
To go sprinting at a CrossFit Game
Step-it-up Sarah C, pick up your feet
Swinging around the clock

Mix and a mingle in the kettle bell beat
Thats the kettle bell
Thats the kettle bell
Thats the kettle bell rock!



In the gift? A fantastic CrossFit poster that I cant wait to frame and hang up, and a TJ's gift card... that every Paleo Eater could use!! It was a fantastic gift and totally made me feel awesome that my Secret Santa knows me so well!!

Todays WOD and warmup were totally kick ass... it was a great 5:30am group today! I think it was a record... there were 5 of us. Of course I was the only one that had to come in to work today... but I am sooo  happy that they all came anyway!! The energy was awesome and for such a tough WOD we all really needed it!

My right shoulder and elbow took a beating through the warmup rope climbs, but I am not letting that stop me, all 6 climbs were completed! The WOD was great... grueling, but great! We all worked hard and M was very vocal pushing us all along. Like most workouts you eventually feel like you have to hop over a figurative 30 foot high wall to continue on... with someone pushing you and cheering you on, it makes that wall only feel like its 5 feet high, and well, since we are all CF Athletes, a 5 foot high wall is NOTHING!! Hell, we walk on walls in our gym!!


Looking forward to our CFW Christmas shin dig tonight!!

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 5 Burpees
- 5 Box Jumps
- 2 Rope Climbs
2 Rounds
- 10 Abmat Situps
- 10 Back Extensions
- 10 Air Squats

WOD: "Mystery WOD"
20 Minute AMRAP
- 5 Power Cleans (100lbs)
- 10 T2B (last three rounds K2E)
- 15 Wall Balls (14lbs)
(6 Rounds + 24) 

Day of "Rest"

December 22, 2011

As if there is actually a "day of rest" this time of year. We all know that dosent happen. I am lucky if I actually get a day of rest other times of the year since once I know I dont have a gym day that morning, I know I can do something else that night... or the night before... the calendar fills up with the blink of an eye. This is actually something that I am planning on working on for the new year, but I plan to keep all the commitments that I have made of course!

I touched upon the downfalls of the holidays and what it can do to your routine in other posts. Today was a big test for that. Of course with a job in an office comes an office party... and leading up to the party is two weeks of what seems like an unending supply of chocolates, cookies and various goodies delivered to share amongst everyone. They are left looming in the kitchen where I walk through 100 times a day... to get my coffee, to get something off the large printer, to go to the ladies room... there they are...

Yesterday a giant box of chocolate covered pretzels was delivered. If there is one thing in this world that I love... its salt and chocolate together! I saw them in the kitchen and was so unbelievably thankful that I had one of my fantastic salty/sweet home made protein bars  with me! I hurried back to my desk and nibbled on that right away. It totally killed the craving and it was actually time for me to have my morning snack anyway. So BONUS!!

This afternoon we all gathered in the kitchen for our annual office party. In comes the wine, beer, sandwiches, shrimp, calzone, scallops and bacon... cookies... Hmmm, whats a paleo girl to do? Well, I have already come to the conclusion that its going to be "difficult" this weekend with my food. So I just have to decide where its "ok" to make sacrifices. This, was not one of them. I had already eaten my lunch and there was no need to indulge in more food. So I just stepped aside. Likewise I poured myself one glass of red wine and sipped that as I mingled. When it was gone, a good old fashioned WATER...

Aside from the few "are you sticking to your diet" comments that I got... everything was ok. No one was offended and I was able to do what I wanted to do for myself. Thats how I plan to approach the rest of the weekend. Cautious to not fall off the wagon completely... but whats Christmas morning without waffles and strawberries!?! My family tradition I have had for my whole life...

You bet your butt I will be taking part in those!!


Its all about moderation. I will make it through, and I will enjoy myself. If there is one thing (amongst the million things) I have learned these last 5 months... I dont need food to have a good time!!

Growing Family

December 21, 2011

I know I have talked before about our Crossfit Wachusett Family... but I am so excited to see that 2012 brings to us all. We are changing, we are learning, we are building friendships and we are growing!! Its so exciting and it brings a smile to my face. It really makes me happy to know that M and K have such a great thing going with CFW and the fact that we are all succeeding is a tribute to them and their programming, their support and their coaching!

I keep thinking of where I was just a few short months ago... August 8th is the first entry in my journal... The things I have been able to do, the things I never thought I could do and the drive I have to get better has been amazing. It feels like the first day I did crossfit I took an oath that I was going to throw myself into this 100% and nothing was going to get in my way. I now find my time at CFW the best and most rewarding part of my day. As hard as it is to get up some mornings, as tired as I am the night before, there is nothing I look forward to more than the feeling I have at the end of a WOD that I just tore apart.

Todays WOD was a perfect example of pushing and pushing beyond where you think you could ever get. "Normally" if someone was to do this, once they hit a point of being uncomfortable, they quit. Admittedly, if I was to have done something like this at a traditional gym back in September, when my body said STOP, I would have stopped. Now, the tables have turned... my mind wont let my body stop. When doing a WOD like this (or the filthy fifty) you really have to let you mind do the work... push yourself like you never have before and you will totally surprise yourself. Just when you think there is not another air squat in your legs, or GHD Situp in your abs... you will do it. You will achieve your goal and you will feel better that you pushed yourself to beat the previous rounds number...

Put it all on the line. What have you got to lose? You can only get THERE, from HERE...


WARMUP:
200m Jog
3 Rounds
- 10 Jumping Pullups
- 10 Hand Release Pushups
- 10 Spiderman
- 10 Hollow Rocks
10 Shoulder Dislocates
Shoulder Mobility

WOD: "Some Version of Fight Gone Bad"
3 Rounds, 1 Min Each Station AMRAP
- OH Walking Lunges (25lbs)
- SDHP (65lbs)
- GHD Situps
- Air Squats
- Calorie Row
- 1 Min Rest
(Total Reps 305)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Double Under Practice 

Crazy Week

December 20, 2011

Make way for the crazy week ahead. Thankfully I dont buy a whole ton of Christmas gifts. I dont decorate my house (we arent home 99% of the time anyway) and I dont really buy into the whole commercialism of the holiday. Unfortunately, its hard to escape it completely.

I dont "hate" Christmas, and I will explain that in another post eventually I am sure, but I have to address the crazyness that comes along with it all. Parties, traffic... the grocery store... lists... all that stuff. I have to really keep a straight head and forge ahead with life... "normal" life.

This year in addition to the crazyness that normally surrounds the holidays, I am dealing with some additional stresses. Lots of extra driving, and lots of extra emotions. Christmas is hard enough as it is without all that. It is certainly no ones fault, and I know for sure that I am not obligated to do all the things I choose to do... but I will tell you, nothing feels better than making someone smile. Nothing feels better than showing up someplace, walking in the door and seeing the smile spread across a persons face just because they know how much you mean to them and vice versa. That... is Christmas to me. Its not about bringing that person a gift. Its about being with them when they need you most.

Todays WOD was a good one. I am really working on my box jumps. K and I have talked about them before so I am working on starting on top of the box and eliminating the "rock" to my heels at the floor by practicing the "touch and go..." woldnt you know... its WORKING!! I killed them and really picked up a lot of time through that part of the WOD. The cleans were great at 95lbs, no problem with that, but my shoulder and elbow have been bothering me since yesterday. I think its the rope climbs... and the burpees... well, they are still burpees!  I really felt great through the whole WOD!

Love that feeling!


WARMUP:
Jump Rope Circuit (2 Times)
- 10 Regular
- 10 Right Foot
- 10 Left Foot
- 10 Side to Side
- 10 Front to Back
- 10 Double Unders
2 X 9 Fundamentals
Lax Ball Shoulder Mobility

WOD:
3 Rounds for Time
- 20 Box Jumps (20")
- 15 Cleans (95lbs)
- 10 Burpees
(My Time 10:25)

SKILL/STRENGTH
Snatch Press 5-5-5-5
(75lbs, 85lbs, 95lbs, 106lbs)

Monday, December 19, 2011

You Can Do It!

December 19, 2011

This morning was excellent! Of course I checked the website last night and was fully aware to what I was getting myself into on the Monday before Christmas. Of course its the coldest morning yet... so what does that mean?? Ohhhh, that we are going to have to run outside!!


What I was really excited for was the rope climbs in the WOD!! Last time we had them in a WOD I sort of chickened out on the rope climbs because my arms were so sore from previous day. I knew that I could do them but for some reason I was just exhausted that morning. Today, I wasnt going to let that happen.

I will tell you, my hands were killing... it was FREEZING on all the runs... and my wall balls were a bit lack luster because of the rope climbs (and Saturdays Cindy) but I pushed through! In the end I was proud of myself, all 3 rounds were Rx and even the one round that I froze at the top of the rope... I managed to finish! I do have a few war wounds... bruises from the rope, but hey... just another day at CrossFit!

On another note... this morning I had to take a few things out of my closet. For once I am taking things out that dont fit because they are TOO BIG... rather than too small!! Yay!!

WARMUP:
Row 500m
3 Rounds
- 5 Pullups (Strict)
- 10 GHD Situps
- 15 Air Squats
- 10 Inchworms
Row 500m
Hip Mobility (2 Min Each Leg)

WOD: Main Site WOD 12/1
15 Minute AMRAP
- 2 Rope Climbs
- 20 Wall Balls
- 200m Run
(3 Rounds + 1/2 Rope Climb)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
L Sit Hang 4X Max Time
(23, 31, 31, 33)

Wintersong

December 18, 2011

Wintersong
By: Sarah McLachlan

The lake is frozen over
The trees are white with snow
And all around
Reminders of you
Are everywhere I go

It's late and morning's in no hurry
But sleep won't set me free
I lie awake and try to recall
How your body felt beside me
When silence gets too hard to handle
And the night too long

And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
I keep this moment by and by

Oh I miss you now, my love
Merry Christmas, merry Christmas,
Merry Christmas, my love

Sense of joy fills the air
And I daydream and I stare
Up at the tree and I see
Your star up there

And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
I keep this moment by and by



If you want to hear it, its right here!

"Cindy" Lou Who

December 17, 2011

I missed the "Cindy" Lou Who workout on Thursday... so I knew Saturday morning I was in for it... Cindy is one of those WOD's that you love to hate! After being at the gym with KP on Friday morning, I knew my arms were going to be jello at the end of the workout (and the rest of the weekend). But I was really looking forward to it.

What I did have to do today was something that I have been sort of dreading. K mentioned to me last week while I was doing pushups in a previous workout, that when I get tired I tend to lead with my chin into the pushup. Almost like I am trying to fake myself out to feel like I am getting my chest closer to the ground than I really am. Not good... but really, quite true after she mentioned it and I paid attention to it. I am good for the first set usually... or at least 20 of them (not necessarily in a row, but before I get tired and dont get my chest down). We talked that day and she told me I should do a strict pushup to go down and get my chest to the floor, than modify the pushup to get to the starting position. This will help in the long run to really nail that pushup.

Today I sort of swallowed my "I am so happy I can do a pushup" pride after my second round... and starting modifying them like she mentioned. I was a little disappointed in myself but quickly realized that its not a setback, its to help me get better in the long run. If I dont learn and teach my body how to do them correctly I am going to do them wrong forever. I have to do this to get better.

I felt pretty good at the end of the WOD. Slightly down in the dumps (because I hadnt had a chance to think about the modification)... but certainly worked.

Today was a lesson in forcing myself to sacrifice what I "wanted" for what I "needed" to do to get better. Its not always about the amount of reps, or how fast you do the workout... but the QUALITY of the movements that really matters.



WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 5 Burpees
- 10 Ring Rows
- 20 Walking Lunges
2 X Burgerner
10 Shoulder Dislocates
Couch Stretch (2 min each leg)

WOD: "Cindy" Lou Who
20 Minute AMRAP
- 5 Pullups  (small blue band)
- 10 Push Ups
- 15 Air Squats
(14 Rounds + 12)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Double Under Ladder
5-10-15-20-25

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Me" Day

December 16, 2011

Everyone needs a "Me" day every now and again. I decided that with everything going on and my inability to shut my brain off (that I posted about yesterday) that I should take a personal day off from work and use the day in whatever way I wanted. Typically on my days off, even holidays that I am home, I dont sit around. Not only am I a "fixer" but I am also a "do-er." Well... most of the time.

Yes, laundry needed to get done, there were dishes in the sink, both bathrooms needed to be cleaned and the whole house could use a good cleaning, but not today. Today was for me. I got up, went to the gym at my usual time (which most people think I am crazy for doing on days I have off). I got to actually enjoy a cup of tea while watching a show I had on the DVR... than I was off.

Took a ride to my parents house, than to visit my brother. It was nice, no pressure, no schedule, no running around. Had a nice visit than headed out. I had some other errands (but not real crucial ones) to take care of on my way home and did my best not to stress myself out. I really didnt want to wind up exhausted at the end of the day, its going to be a long weekend.

It was nice. Like I said, we all need to take some time for ourselves sometime. Shut your head off, do what you like to do and what you WANT to do... not necessarily what you HAVE to do. Its a good recharge. With everything that goes on during this "joyous" holiday season (not so much)... we all deserve it.


WARMUP:
2 Rounds
- Row 250
- 10 Spiderman
- 10 Back Extensions
- 10 Single Leg Jump Ropes
- 10 Inchworms
2 X 9 Fundamentals
2 Min Pigeon Leg (each)

WOD: "Strength"
Back Squat 3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3
155 (for 2 sets), 165 (for 2 sets), 170 (for 2 sets), 185 (for 2 sets)
Front Squat 3-3-3-3
145 (for 4 sets)

SKILL:
100 Abmat Situps
(UNBROKEN)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Emmerson

December 15, 2011

"We are Fixers"

December 14, 2011

So, I was driving home from Boston tonight talking to my Mom. I expressed to her how poorly I have been sleeping. This is nothing really "new" in my life, there are times I sleep well, and there are times that I cant sleep for more than a few hours without waking up. Usually, more often than not, a restless night stems from to much on my mind. When I am thinking about something, worried about something or even if I dont realize I am... its no sleep for Sarah.

While I was talking to my Mom about this (its not the first time we have talked about it), I was saying how I just cant clear my mind. I have spent the last few weeks worried, tired and stressed... and while the worry outweighs everything else, it causes more stress on other things... the job and being able to concentrate even while worrying, the bills that they get paid on time and I dont forget anything, and how could I forget the wonderful joy of the holiday season (oh joy the holidays), which in turn causes more things to think about... and more sleepless nights. See the cycle?

Hubs has said to me many times... "clear your mind, try not to think about everything at the same time..." if only it was that easy. If only I had the same "off switch" that every male (not just Hubs, so I am not just calling him out) seems to have. When I mentioned that to my mom I followed it up with... "why cant I do that, why do I have all these thoughts going through my head all the time... why cant I take a minute to stop and focus..." Than she said something that I will think about and keep with me forever...

"Sarah, its because we are 'fixers' we want to fix everything."

Thats right... we are fixers. I want to be able to make everything perfect. I put pressure on my self to be the best of the best, the problem solver, the hard worker, the frugal one, a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter... no one expects that of me, I just expect that of myself.

The fact of the matter is, that's just the way I am at this point in my life. Maybe I will change, and thats ok. Maybe I wont... who knows. I am who I am... I take pride in that. Even if it does require that I dont sleep some nights.


WARMUP:
25 Double Unders
2 Rouds
- 10 Spiderman
- 5 Toes to Bar
- 10 Grasshopper
- 5 Shoulder Dislocates
- 10 Wall Squats
2 X 9 Fundamentals
25 Double Unders

WOD: "OH" Holy Night
2 OH Squats on the min for 20 minutes
(105lbs)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Row 2K for Time
(7:57) <--- 12 minutes less than LAST TIME

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Change is good

December 13, 2011

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. - Confucius

Change... I havent met many people in my life that welcome change with open arms. Is it the unkown or unfamiliar that makes change so hard?  Maybe its it our inability to adapt to something that we are not used to... or maybe its that we dont want to adapt to something new and we are just "comfortable" with the way things are. When the level of comfortability shifts it throws everything off and change is inevitable.

It comes in many forms, big and small... what might be significant to one person is totally insignificant to another. When your favorite restaurant changes the menu and takes your favorite dish off it can really put a damper on a dinner out. When your home team trades a player it can throw you for a loop. When you split with a significant other the stars seem to not align anymore for a while. When suddenly a person who is completely independent has to depend on another person, it takes a big gulp of "pride" to ask. When a friend or loved one has passed, life will really never be the same again.

Whats the first thing you ask yourself when you are presented with change... "WHY?" Is it not? Why did this happen, why did he/she/they do that? Why is life the way that it is? Whats the most important part is to be comfortable with the fact that its OK. Change is ok, change is going to happen and change is something you are not alone in dealing with.

Personal change in ourselves and in others is also part of life. If you make a conscious effort to change to be something you want to be, or act a certain way it can turn your life upside down. I spent a lot of my life trying to be something I wasnt just to please other people. There came a point in my life where enough was enough. I didnt want to be something I wasnt. I made the choice to change. I wanted to be a "better" woman. I wanted to be a "stronger" person, and honestly, I didnt want to take anyones crap anymore.

Think about it... on a way less personal "personal" scale... last December 13, I was 27lbs heavier... in a horrible place with my job (that I was in my last two weeks of), eating anything I wanted, not caring about my body (but doing plenty of bitching about how much I hated it), skipping the gym when I didnt feel like going...and just all over ready to make a well needed change. So,  thats exactly what I did. Out of respect for myself, and everyone around me... it was time. It wasnt just physical... I needed a major attitude adjustment, I needed to get off my ass, and I needed to take control and stop talking about the woman I wanted to be... but BE the woman I wanted to be.

I guess what I am trying to say, is in my opinion change shouldn't be as scary is it is. Life is going to change... life has to change. "We" are going to change... we should definitely not change just to make someone else happy... but if that change is going to make us happier as well, consider who is asking for the change... maybe its worth thinking about.

You only get one chance with the life we are all given. Happiness is necessary. You can go back, there are no do-overs or rewinds... LIVE... say the things you need to say to yourself and to others, love and show your love to those who deserve it from you... and be true to yourself.



WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 20 Walking Sampson Stretches (SLOW)
- 10 Inchworms
- 10 Medicine Ball Cleans (14lbs)
- 20 Single Unders (Fast)
- 10 Back Extensions
2 min Shoulder Opener on Wall

WOD: "Ebenezer Scroodge"
10 Min AMRAP
- 5 Thrusters (85lbs)
- 10 KB Swings (1.5 Pood)
- 15 Abmat Situps
(Total 4 Rounds + 23)

SKILL/STRENGTH
Rope Climb 1, 2, 3, 4
(I climbed 4 times with a few min between each one)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Attitude is Everything

December 12, 2011

 "Nothing can stop the man/woman with the right mental attitude from achieving his/her goal; nothing on earth can help the man/woman with the wrong mental attitude." -Thomas Jefferson


A quick post to let you know I am going to attempt to get back into my daily blog posts this week. The last 7 days my life has been a little upside down, its still rocking quite a bit, but a am sailing straight ahead at least. I have been inspired by what has happened to truly understand that physical boundaries are not set in stone. I thought I understood how much your mental toughness had to do with success and strength, but now I can say that I have seen it with my own two eyes.

There are so many things in life that can inspire us for different things. If you like to cook, you might be inspired by a cooking show, if you like to paint, maybe a museum or a book might do the trick... for me, right now, inspiration is coming from what I consider to be a miracle I witnessed on my own. The strength that one person can find within him self, that he can defy odds and push to do things that were unthinkable days before... that he simply survived. Believe what you wish, but I know I have an angel... he does too.

Now, the road to recovery... it is not an easy one, but what is NOT lacking is courage, strength, motivation, determination and drive. You can not teach it.

With all I have been going through I have not missed a workout. I have used the fear, anger and all the other emotions I have been going through as fuel to get me there, work me out and push me to keep going. The power and strength that came out for my deadlift on Saturday was inspired by something as simple as a few steps I witnessed on Friday night. The "pain" I feel when I am working out will ALWAYS dull in comparison, and the strength it took for me to lift that weight... well its not even close to the strength it will take to get through the next few weeks...

Think about it. Remember how easy it is to get up out of your bed... tie your shoes... take a step. Its time to stop complaining.

WARMUP:
Row 500
3 Rounds
- 5 Pullups
- 10 GHD
- 15 Double Unders
2 X 9 Fundamentals
Row 500

WOD: "JT"
21-15-9 for Time
- HSPU
- Ring Dips
- Push-Ups
(My Time 15:39)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Deadlifts 3(6)
135 (2), 155 (4)
*Deadlifts for speed*

Winners

1RM

December 10, 2011

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 20 Walking Lunges
- 15 Air Squats
- 10 Spiderman
- 5 Jumping Pullups

SKILL/STRENGTH
Deadlift 1RM
185(5), 205(3), 225(1), 236(1), 240(1), 256(1), 260 (fail)

AMRAP

December 9, 2011

WARMUP:
25 Double Unders
3 Rounds
- 10 Abmat Situps
- 10 Back Extensions
- 10 Toes Through Rings
2 X 9 Fundamentals
25 Double Unders
2 Min Shoulder Opener @ Bar

WOD: 5 Min AMRAP
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Airsquats
(7 Rounds + 3)

SKILL/STRENGTH
OH Press 3-3-3
65, 75, 80 (failed), 75

Push Press 3-3-3
80, 90, 105

Push Jerk 3-3-3
105, 115, 125

Thursday, December 8, 2011

MIA

December 8, 2011

If you are a reader and I dont know you in real life, I am sorry that I have been MIA the last few days. I have had a family situation that I have been dealing with...

Hopefully I will be back to posting soon.

Thanks,
Sarah

HSPU SDHP What?!

December 7, 2011

WARMUP:
Row 500m
10 Inchworms
10 Back Extensions
10 Grasshopper
2X9 Fundamentals
2 Min Frog Sit
Row 500m

WOD: "HSPU SDHP What?!"
3 Rounds for Time
- 5 HSPU (Green Bands)
- 10 SDHP (65lbs)
- 15 Toes to Bar
(My Time 8:53)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
10 Min Squat Sit

"Annie"

December 6, 2011

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 10 Burpees
- 10 Spiderman
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 10 Hollow Rocks
- 10 Med Ball Cleans (20lbs)
Lax Mobility

WOD: "Annie"
50-40-30-20-10
Double Unders
Abmat Suitups
(My time 15:46)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Chest to Bar Pull-Ups
3 X Max Reps (Thick Green)

Boat to Rope

December 5, 2011

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
-20 Double Unders
-15 Air Squats
-10 Pushups
-5 Wall Walks
-10 Jumping Pullups
-15 Back Extensions
-20 Walking Lunges

WOD: "Boat to Rope"
4X500 Row to Rope Climb
Partner Rows while You Climb, than you switch for 4 rounds.
(no partner means I climb for my row time)
(16:56/35 Modified Rope Climbs)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Front Squat 5-5-5-5-5
135, 135, 140, 145, 145 (PR)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tis the Season

December 4, 2011

Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play

My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go

Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh

If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time

I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love

Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love

"Elizabeth"

December 3, 2011

Oh Saturday, how do I love the... let me count the ways.

ONE: I get to sleep past 4:45am.
TWO: I get to have a cup of coffee before the gym.
THREE: I get to go to the gym with Hubs
FOUR: I know in advance what my make-up workout is
FIVE: Lots of our CrossFit Family goes to gym at the same time
SIX: We can take our time
SEVEN: We have people cheering each other on during their WOD's
EIGHT: We can enjoy each other's successes and PR's
NINE: We usually get BOTH our coaches that we love!
TEN: Yummy yummy breakfast!!

Is that good enough? Do I need to go on? Nah, you get the point. I love my Saturday morning time at CrossFit Wachusett! Its so nice to be there with everyone. I dont get that often in the AM. Its nice to put faces to some of the new names I have started to see on the board. It is great to cheer on others and have them cheer me on while WODing. Its nice to catch up and see how others have reached goals and milestones and help when others are struggling. Yes, I am still totally hooked, totally obsessed... and totally happy.

I was not feeling well when we got to the gym this morning. I was up off an on all night and my stomach was not happy with me. I think some of it might have been the 150 GHD situps the day before... but I also didnt feel good. I knew it was going to be a struggle, but I was going, and I was going to do my makeup WOD that I missed on Thursday. Hubs was also going to make up the same WOD. We dont get to workout together often, in fact I thik this was one of the first times in a long time.

We faced "Elizabeth" today. It was a tough one, but it felt really good. While I was working I just kept pushing and driving. Hubs was right next to me working just as hard. I used the small blue band for the dips which was a little back track from the last time I did them. After that time K and I talked, I had used the small red band but she noticed that I wasnt getting the full range of motion because I was struggling. So this time I decided to up the band to assure proper form. Not looking at it as a setback at all. It felt better to do it correct than it would be to do it half assed. 

When we were done with the WOD we cheered M on while he did "Hansen." At the same time I worked on my push press, which was strength for the day. I successfully PRed with 105lbs for 5 reps! Its amazing how much energy there is at CFW on a full house Saturday morning!!


WARMUP:
2 Rounds
- Row 500m
- 10 Back Extensions
- 10 GHD
- 10 Spiderman
- 10 Jumping Pullups
2 X 9 Fundamentals

WOD: "Elizabeth"
21-15-9 for Time
- Clean (95lbs)
- Ring Dips (Small Blue Band)
(My Time 9:19)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Push Press 5-5-5-5
75lbs, 85lbs, 95lbs, 105lbs

Back Extensions 10-10-10

Never say Never

December 2, 2011

When I was 9 I thought I was "never" going get to high school. When I was in 13 and looked up to the girls who got picked for kick line at my dance studio I "never" though I would be lucky enough to be chosen. When I was lonely and getting picked on in high school I "never" thought I would bring one of the most popular boys in school to the prom (twice). When I started college I "never" thought I would be in charge of the largest club on campus. When I went out for my 21 birthday I "never" thought I would meet the man I was to marry. When I started my graduate studies I "never" thought I would ever finish and walk across the stage with my Masters of Architecture. When I was miserable in my job I "never" through I would find a fantastic place to work. Six months ago when I looked in the mirror I "never" thought I would be able to look at myself and think... damn I worked hard for this body.




I can proudly say... all of those things... that I "never" thought would happen.... has happened. Big, small, good, bad... many more than just what I noted above, they have happened. Why?

Its funny how its so easy to look at something, a challenge, a goal, something personal, something simple or something really extreme and say... "I could never do that" or "that will never happen." Why is it that we always assume, even before trying that we are going to fail. Why is it that we think we will never be able to get through something that more often than not we have never even tried before. Its so hard to face failure right in the face... but as my mom and dad always taught me... and what helped me to get through all of those above listed things... "you can not fail unless you try... but you also cant succeed unless you try."

With every one of those accompaniments I have become a stronger person. With every failed attempt I have become a stronger person. The year I was old enough to get picked for kickline and all the girls I had been dancing with for 15 year got picked, and I didnt... I was devastated. What did I do wrong, why was I not good enough? I did not quit, I did not walk away, I was persistent, I tried twice as hard the next year and the day I was picked for kickline I knew that my hard work had paid off. I appreciated the success even more that I would have the first year I pushed harder and got better.

So, why do I bring this up? Well along with the "challenge" of crossfit, on a daily basis you are constantly faced with failure, can you make it, can you lift it... how hard can you push? What I take with me every day is that old saying my parents instilled in my head. You will NEVER know unless you try. There have been attempts made at the gym where failure has followed, but its only temporary, as the next time... who knows, I might get it. Dropping a weight isnt going to hurt anything... not trying... well all that will lead to is contentment.

When I looked at the WOD I was scared. How the heck am I am going to do 5 rounds of 30 KB swings with 1.5 pood kettle bell (thats 54lbs)? But I didnt say "I could never do that." Instead I faced it... and instead of using the "never" in a negative way I said  I will "never" give up. I will not lie, it was hard and it was painful, but you know what? I did it. I finished and I felt horribly awesome when I was laying on the floor 47 minutes after I started the WOD.

Never say never...

WARMUP:
20 Walking Lunges
3 Rounds
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Pushups
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 5 Slow Leg Lifts
20 Walking Lunges
2 X Burgerner

WOD: "Hansen"
5 Rounds for Time
- 30 KB Swings (1.5 pood)
- 30 Burpees
- 30 GHD Situps
(My time 47:38)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Mobility

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Welcome to the Holiday Hoopla

December 1, 2011

Well, here we are... December. The month that (typically) everything turns brown and mushy. Where it snows and is pretty for about 30 seconds till I realize... one, that I have to clean out my car... two, that I have to drive to work in it... three, that its going to turn to ice and freeze over... four, that its going to be here till spring... five, ok I can stop... can you tell I love the snow! I have been pretty happy with the fact that it hasnt snowed since our freak Halloween storm this year. I can live with that! Mornings havent been so bad, even when its cold (thank you electric car starter).

With December comes the holidays. The time of year that everyone stuffs their faces, and somehow feel that since its the holidays its forgiven because "everyone cheats on the holidays." When it is a gesture of kindness to send gift baskets of chocolate, cookies and junk food from office to office (including mine), and you are looked at strangely if you dont partake in devouring them as soon as they enter the kitchen. People bring baked goods to share with everyone in the office every other day, and of course there are Christmas parties, gatherings and endless amounts of food up for grabs at what seems like every minute.


Now, I would be a total hypocrite if I didnt admit to being one of those people just last December (hell, even last July). Each year I would get to December and think "I will start next year with my diet" and just go freakin NUTSO with the junk food, chocolate, cookies.... you name it. Hey, why not right... whats another month of eating poorly, I was going to the gym... gee I wonder why it wasnt doing anything.

This year. Things, they are totally different. I have no desire to veer from the Paleo lifestyle I have been leading for the last 3 months just because its "the holidays." In fact, it makes me want to work even harder to be able to enter into 2012 and not be worried about where I am physically, and where I wish I was. I am sure I will take some criticism at various points. I am sure I will hear "what.. are you on a diet or something?" at some point or another. There will be days where it will be harder than others, but I have found myself not really craving sweet foods as much lately anyway. I will continue to allow myself one meal a week where I can indulge a bit (but not go overboard), of course thats not to say I wont enjoy a few cocktails or one of my moms delicious coffee bars (my absolute FAVORITE dessert she only makes at Christmas time) every once in a while. What that means though, is that they will taste even better than ever, and they will last a whole lot longer!

Look... I found a Paleo Christmas Basket...


So, what do I want for Christmas. Hmmmm, well its not anything and anyone can give me. Its what I want for myself. First and foremost, short term. I want to stick with my paleo lifestyle through the holiday hoopla. I know with the help of Hubs and all I have learned through my 4 months of crossfit, I can do this. I know without a doubt that I will not falter at the gym and will continue my regiment as it is through the foreseeable future... and lastly, I want to enter into 2012 happy with the progress I have made with my body and ready to take on the next year of my life as a CrossFit Woman.

Strength, commitment, motivation, dedication... Here I come December, guns loaded.


Hahahahhaahah!! LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

See Ya November...

November 30, 2011

Today was a tough one. One of those "what doesnt kill you makes you stronger" days!! We have learned that when the WOD is posted and its for a certain amount of rounds, if there are 3 its heavier weight (usually) and if its 5, its lighter weight (usually). Today the WOD on paper even looked difficult, as most thrusters are never a good time! But, when that alarm went off I was ready to head to the gym and face the challenge!

I was pleased to have company for this mornings WOD. J and T were both there. We are starting to be the "steady" Wednesday morning crew! We all got right into the warmup and got our bars set for the WOD. I knew I was going to do the thrusters prescribed. So, 80lbs right onto the bar. I also got the Rx kettle bell, 1 pood (36lbs) ready... and my silly green pull up band. There we have it, I was ready.

Talk about insanity. It was hard, I was sweating, I was grunting and I was loving every second of it! The guys working with me were enough to keep pushing me forward. Just keep on moving, just keep on knocking out those thrusters in as many continuous reps as possible. I was able to string all of the KB swigs together all three rounds, I broke the thrusters up into either 4 or 5 reps at a time and the pullups... they were slow, but they got done.

There are times that I am sore, there are times I think... this is going to be hard. But I the thought of "I cant finish," or "I cant do this" hasnt crossed my mind in months. Its a wonderful feeling to know that with all of the struggle and with all of the push and drive.... success and results will follow.


WARMUP:
25 Double Unders
3 Rounds
- 10 Inchworms
- 10 Grasshoppers
- 10 Ring Rows
- 10 Hollow Rocks
25 Double Unders
2 Min Shoulder Opener on Wall

WOD:
3 Rounds for Time
- 20 Kettle Bell Swings (1 pood)
- 15 Thrusters (80lbs)
- 10 Pull ups
(My Time 16:52)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Handstand, Walking Handstands

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Strong is Beautiful!

November 29, 2011


WOD Love had that posted on their FB page today and I love it! I think everyone should print that out, hang it on their mirror and really think about what all of those words mean. I have been working on this for a long time... and its still a work in progress. Its so important that we take our strengths and our weaknesses and embrace them. Be the woman (person) that you are. Its the only thing in life you have complete control over! Imperfections are what make us perfect.

Its such a constant reminder in society how we look, what we say, how we act. Even with our husbands, wives, or parents and our friends... we want to fit our role "perfectly." We want them to always want to be with us, we want to always look great for them, we want to always say the right thing. The reality is... its impossible to be "perfect" for someone. There are always times where you (or at least I) say something stupid... I certainly dont look my best all the time... I might not give the best advice all the time... and there are times that I just cant be where I want to be.

The thing is, those people ARE in our lives and they choose to be in our lives because they accept our imperfections... its about time to start accepting our own....

Todays WOD was right what I needed about now. A strengthy day!! Started off with back squats, which I really wanted to PR on. I do have to build up some more strength but I did accomplish my PR. Previously I had only doe 185lbs for 3 reps, today I did it 5 times! As the weight gets heavier I have a tendency for my knees to come in when I am pushing up from the squat. I have to remember to screw my feet into the ground and really push with my legs. I still dont know what my 1RM is, but I cant wait to find that out!

My arms were still junk from holding 85lbs over my head for 100 OH Squats on Saturday, so my OH Press wasnt as good. I have certainly done better at those. BUT, it was a nice short WOD after both strength exercises. Enough to get the heart rate up and the sweat pouring down my back! I felt great and was ready to start the day.

I can hardly believe its the end of November. Even harder to believe that on December 8th we will have been crossfitting for 4 months...

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 20 Walking Lunges
- 10 Pushups
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Back Extensions
- 15 Med Ball Cleans (20lbs)
Couch Stretch, 2 min each leg
Pigeon Stretch, 2 min each leg

WOD: 21-15-9
- Row for Calories
- GHD Situps
(My time 5:48)

SKILL/STRENGTH
Back Squat 5-5-5-5
145, 155, 175, 185
OH Press 5-5-5-5
75(3), 65, 65, 65

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crossfit will make ya... Jump Jump...

November 28, 2011

This is going to be a quick post today. I had a LONG day even though I took a vacation day from work. I still got up and went to the gym for my usual 5:30am workout, but there was no "relaxing" for me today after that!! I also spent most of my night updating my food blog (HERE) with lots of great recipes that Hubs and I have tried.

The two that I wanted to point out most are the Bacon and Sweet Potato Breakfast and what I am most proud of, Protein Bars. I mean... look at these bars!! They came out FANTASTIC!!


So, why all these "egg-less" recipes. Well, I think I am developing an allergy to eggs. Ok, maybe not an allergy, but certainly a sensitivity to them... due to the fact that I was up to 20 or so eggs a week with my post workout egg muffins as well as eggs some nights for dinner, it was getting to be a little too much. I am cutting them out for two weeks to see if my skin clears up. We shall see... its been one week and things are looking upward!!

Anyway, no real "blog" about the gym today. I have to get to bed... 4:45am comes quick!! Check out the food blog and really... if you like something feel free to comment, as questions and make suggestions!! That goes for both blogs, this one and the food one!! I would love to hear from you!!

WARMUP:
Row 500m
3 Rounds
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 10 Spidermans
- 10 Abmat Situps
2X9Fundamentals
Row 500m

WOD: Jump Shot
15 Minute AMRAP
- 10 Pistols
- 20 Box Jumps (20")
- 30 Double Unders
(4 Rounds + 15)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Clean 3-3-3-3
95lbs (all four rounds, working on form)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thats No "Bull"

November 26, 2011

We knew after Turkey day that the WOD was going to be a tough one... we also knew when we woke up this morning and K and M had no posted any details about the WOD on the website that it was going to be a doozie... and the third give-a-way was when we got to the gym and KP and T met us at the door saying "we wont tell them you are here, turn around and go home... you wont be sad!"

So, what was it... it was "Bull"... this is a hero WOD named for U.S. Marine Corps Captain Brandon "Bull" Barrett, 27, of Marion, Indiana,  who was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He was killed on May 5, 2010, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

 http://www.crossfit.com/mt-archive2/007339.html

He must have been one hell of a guy as this was one of the (if the THE) hardest WOD we were about to face. We chatted for a few as we watched some of our fellow CFers face their fears! Soon it was our turn... I had a tough time trying to figure out if I was going to do the OH squats Rx, which was 95lbs. I loaded up the bar and did a few attempts. I didnt think I could do 50 reps (2 times) with that weight so I dropped it down to 85lbs. I knew it was going to be slow, but I wanted to give it my all. I also reduced my pullup band to the small green band, I set up a box in case I needed it to jump off of since I was using the high bar.

We were all set and ready. The clock counted down and DAMN... there was no turning back. I know what kept me going on this WOD was that "I can" attitude I have been working on. My goal was to use the same approach to this that I used for the 5 mile run. I knew the double unders were going to frustrate the hell out of me if I attempted 200 of them, so I didnt even try. I went ahead and did 400 singles both rounds.

The whole WOD was constant hard work and constant suffering. I did my best to stay focused, take short breaks and really think about every move I was making. I tried to keep good form on all 100 OH squats, I achieved that, at least they all felt pretty good. The pullups were tough. I did use the assist and a few of them I did more jumping than others. I did try to fully extend at the bottom of the pullup. Finally both of the mile runs... wouldnt you know it... it wasnt that bad! Maybe its because of the torturous 5 miles on Sunday!

Needless to say (at least I hope its understood by now) that I finished the WOD. My goal, under an hour... my time 57:07!! Mission accomplished!!





WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 250m Row
- 5 Pullups
- 10 GHD Situps
- 15 Med Ball Cleans (20lbs)

WOD: "Bull"
2 Rounds for Time
- 200 Double Unders (400 Singles)
- 50 OH Squats (85lbs)
- 50 Pullups
- 1 Mile Run
(My time 57:07)

"I can"

November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving

November 24, 2011

24 DAYS OF THANKS
#24 - I am thankful for my family. That we are blessed enough to have had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast today. That my Mom and Dad and I continue to carry on the traditions that we have held for the 31 years of my life (even some of the painful ones that we just smile through when we think of my brother). That Hubs and I have been able to start our own traditions and look forward to future Thanksgivings building more of those. That we have a dedicated time to take away from our "busy" lives and really dedicate time to our families. To think about all that we are thankful for. To think about those we have lost that we were thankful to have had in our lives for the time they were with us. I am a lucky woman for all of those things I have listed over the last 24 days...

Now begins the holiday hoopla... but I am going to let my turkey digest before I step up on my soap box. I am just happy to hear that there are a few people out there that (like me) dont think of Thanksgiving as "the day before black Friday" or "the gateway to the holidays."

I have to go dig out my grinch hat though...

Balls to the Wall

November 23, 2011

24 DAYS OF THANKS
#23 - I am thankful for my Dad. My hero, my protector, my best and worst critic. He taught me honesty, respect, determination and humbleness. He inspires me to give my 110% at everything I do, big or small. There isnt a task I cant accomplish if I put my mind to it. He is a solid rock for my mom and I, and is always there for us when we need him. He has worked hard his whole life to provide for us. He is the strongest man I know, been through more than most in his life, yet always comes out with his head high on the other side. I am proud to be a Zawacki and I am proud to be just like my dad.


When T and I arrived at the gym this morning we were greeted by M. He had posted one heck of a warmup for us!! Everything from burpee pullups to wall walks!! I was really really happy with myself that I was able to do the burpee pullups without an assist band. I am closer than I think to a pullup. I really want to focus on a dead hang pullup before the kipping pullup, and I feel it is right around the corner! Thats exciting!

When we were done the warmup we were both beat! My legs were junk still from the run on Sunday, than the WOD yesterday!! But, as we know at CrossFit, the show must go on!! We got ready with our med balls and M set the clock. We were about to face "Karen" and her 150 balls!!

It was a tough one... the power to just keep going was all I had. My legs were burning, and my lungs were huffing and puffing away. I didnt want to take big breaks so my method was to just let the ball drop when I was getting tired and bed right down, pick it up and keep going. When I hit 50 it was the first milestone. Finally, I hit 100... and at that point it was like I was in the last mile of the 5 mile run... Just keep pushing!

When we were done, we were exhausted!! Even more than we were when we started!! However, there was still a "pre-turkey day" TABATA ab circuit to get to. I felt like I had nothing left to give, but again puled from within and completed the circuit.

Nothing like a "three WOD" day leading into Thanksgiving!!

WARMUP:
Row 1000m
3 Rounds
- 5 Burpee Pullups
- 5 Ring Dips
- 10 Air Squats
- 10 Grasshoppers
- 3 Wall Walks

WOD: "Karen"
150 Wall Balls (14lbs) for Time
(My Time 10:11)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
TABATA Ab Circuit
20 Seconds on @ each station,
10 Seconds test for transition
3 Rounds
- Abmat Situps
- L Sits
- K2E
- Hollow Rocks

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christine

November 22, 2011

24 DAYS OF THANKS
#22 - I am thankful for my Mom. She is the most important admirable person in my life. She has taught me how to be an independent woman, how to stand on my own to feet, how to be compassionate and loving and overall how to be the woman I have become. She is my best friend. The one I argue with most, however the one whos opinion I value the most. I seek her advise, listen to her opinion and talk to her about everything. I am one lucky lady to have her as my mom. I can only hope I am half the mom my mom is when I have children.


Todays WOD was awesome. Again... right up my alley. KP and T were there to WOD with me which is just more determination to kick its ass!! I love dead lifting so todays body weight deadlifts were great!! One thing, is the fact that my BW has gone down, but another because I get such a high over lifting heavy. After the warmup was done I was ready....

Still sore from the run, even more sore than Monday, i was geared up. I was thinking that all it could really do was loosen me up. We all got on the rowers and M set the timer. We were off. My deadlifts were slow, but they were good and consistent. I had good form throughout he whole thing and just kept pushing.

I think the hardest thing were the box jumps. After KP and T pulled ahead of me on the deadlifts they got an even bigger lead on the box jumps. I kept my head high and just kept pushing to get them done. Each of the rows got tougher and tougher... leading into the deadlifts my legs were jello.

All three of us got through the workout and in really good time. I felt good when I was done, as I said, heavy deadlifts really pump me up. I was the last to finish, but KP and T stood by and cheered me on with M to finish strong.

Finally after the WOD we did strength, KP and I worked on out pullup. I started with the small green band, did four sets of three with it. M than challenged me by telling me that my band was too big and I went for another set with the small blue band. To my own surprise I got three in. Maybe those pull ups arent too far ahead...

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Jumrope
  *10 Singles
  *10 Left Leg
  *10 Right Leg
  *10 Side to Side
  *10 Front to Back
  *10 Cross
  *10 Double Under
- 5 Inchworms
- 10 Spidermans
- 10 Walking Lunges
Mobility 2 min Each
- Couch Stretch
- Pigeon Stretch
- Shoulder Mobility

WOD: "Christine"
3 Rounds for Time
- Row 500
- 12 BW Deadlifts (175lbs)
- 21 Box Jumps (20")
(My Time 15:04)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Weighted Pullups 3-3-3-3
4 Rounds Small Green
1 Round Small Blue