Thursday, June 21, 2012

CrossFit for Hope

June 9, 2012

Today I was thrilled and honored to participate in a world wide CrossFit even called CrossFit for Hope. This is one of the perfect examples of why I love being a part of such a wonderful community. Anyone who wanted to participate could, all skill levels. The event continues through the whole month of June however June 9th is the “official” CrossFit for Hope day. K and M planned to run two heats at the gym and we all arrived to participate!

The workout was three rounds:
Burpees
75 pound Power snatch
Box jump, 24" box
75 pound Thruster
Chest to bar Pull-ups
1 min of rest
(one minute at each station keeping consecutive count of reps at each, final score is total reps for all three rounds)

I had sent out a sponsor page two days ago and was THRILLED with the responses and generosity of the donations! Anyone who wanted to donate could link right to my page and donate a flat rate or per rep! I had set a pretty high goal for myself at 200 reps. Not sure if I would even come close to it! All of the money raised goes directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which according to the CF For Hope website opened in 1962 and was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. Its mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other deadly diseases through research and treatment.

When we arrived we saw that 5 of our fellow CFWers had completed their heat already. I got a little intimidated and started to question my goal of 200 reps as I talked to them all. I had based my number (per the suggestion of the CF for Hope Website) off of my Fight Gone Bad. They said it would be “less” but didn’t say how much! My FGB is 256 so I just guessed and went with 200. Eventually I started to calm myself and figured all I could do was my best and that was enough. I just had to push through, work hard and if I didn’t hit 200 than that’s ok too.

It was HARD, not going to lie! I did feel really good during the first round. I powered through the burpees and power snatches and when I got to the box jumps I realized that my goal of 200 was do-able if I kept the pace I was at. I did everything I could to control my breathing and not get overwhelmed while still pushing as hard as I could. By the time the first 1 minute rest came around I was feeling fantastic… and by that I mean I was panting and wondering how I just did what I did and trying to strategize how I would do it again! I called out my number to P who was taking them all down and before we knew it, back working on the burpees.

The next two rounds seemed to both fly by and take forever at the same time. I really stayed focused and just concentrated on keeping a good pace. Sometimes I get worked up and speed up than lose steam for the next portion of the WOD. I know what my strengths are so I used them to get more reps. Once I knew I passed the 200 mark in the third round I was so excited! The last set of chest to bars were just “extra” reps… and that was ok with me!

I finished with a total of 219 reps and raised a total of $366 for St Jude!  Thank you everyone who supported me and either donated or wished me well with the workout! I really appropriate it more than you know! 



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fisher Price

June 8, 2012

Ever do something so many times it feels like you can do it in your sleep? You get so use to doing something the same way that if someone/something was to throw a wrench into it and it feels like its completely thrown off? I remember when I learned to roller-skate at a young age. I went from those little plastic fisher price skates that you clipped over your shoes… to the perfect white skates with a little strip of color over the toes that my Papa bought me (of course that was after he bought me a pair of red and white ones that I had to return because they were both the same foot… oh what a memory). I was pretty good, skated a lot with my friends in the neighborhood, my cousins and friends at roller kingdom (which is actually still there and still looks exactly the same). Finally there came a day when I decided that I was going to transition to roller blades. It was the “cool” thing to do and since my brother had a pair I had to get them so I could be just like him, nothing new. Well years went by I became this person that I am today… my days of roller skating/blading were in the past… so I thought… but I still owned my blades. Until one day, a few years ago, my niece decided to have her birthday party at roller kingdom. It was time to dust them off… after all, I can do this! To my surprise, after all those years of not using them I was still pretty good! A friend of mine who was there coaxed me into renting a pair of actual roller skates… just to see what would happen. HOLY CRAP… nope, cant roller skate anymore!

 
So whats my point? Well, when you get used to doing something some way and have been for so many years, its really hard to just change it. Of course this can go for pretty much anything in life. It feels “weird” when you switch to something new, or its just hard to continue to do it differently than you ever knew. The same goes for doing something incorrectly. Once you start a habbit, its very hard to break. It dosent matter how many times someone tells you, corrects you and re-corrects you… repetition is key to succeeding in changing it. Practice practice practice and repetition repetition repetition!

I have been deadlifting for a long time. Ever sinced I learned what a deadlift was years ago I was hooked. I love how it makes me feel, I loved that I could lift a lot of weight with it. It quickly became one of my favorite lifts. Back in my “globo gym” days I would hammer away at sets of 12 with maybe 135-155lbs. I felt amazing and would get so excited the days that I had them in my program. I never felt like I had a problem with my form, in fact I was told by a few people at the gym that I had really good form. I attribute my form and dedication for all my lifts and movements to dancing. I feel like having that kind of background really helped understand how the base of the movement was most important… after all you will fall on your face if you don’t spot on turns and you cant do complex tap steps without knowing the basics. So why would you be able to do a clean or a snatch if you cant understand the movement broken down into shrug, dip shrug, muscle snatch, OH squat, trap door, muscle snatch with trap door, high hang, hang…. You get the idea. The problem is mastering all these steps THAN linking it all together to complete the movement.

Since starting CF back in August (eekk, almost a year) I have come a LONG way with my deadlift. My current 1RM is 270lbs. It is still one of my favorite lifts, though I have too many favorites now to categorize it as such! Still it makes me feel powerful and strong… so I look forward to those days. Lately though I have been having some trouble with my form. M and K started to notice it with my cleans and snatches as well, the deadlift portion of the move. Took a little while for “us” to figure out what it is that I am doing wrong and K finally hit the nail on the head. I am not really loading my hamstrings correctly. I am dipping down to a lower squat before starting the pull. Its causing the movement to be broken where it shouldn’t be and I am straightening my legs and pulling too soon. I am really glad that she discovered this, as it will certainly improve all of my oly lifts, but it also means practice, practice, practice. I have to re-teach my mind how to do the move correctly and really concentrate on something I was so used to doing “wrong.” Hopefully with time, and lots of practice and direction from my coaches I will be able to up my weights and kill all of the lifts! 

WARMUP:
Row 500m
3 Rounds
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Wall Balls
- 10 Inchworms
Group: Burgener Warmup

WOD: "Natch"
10 Min AMRAP
- 3 Hang Cleans (105lbs)
- 6 Box Jumps (20" Box)
- 9 Squats
(11 Rounds + 2 Rx)

SKILL/STRENGTH
Deadlift 5-5-5
(65%, 75%, 85% of 1 RM)
135 (w), 160 (5), 185 (5), 210 (5)

CASHOUT
50 Abmat Situps

Friday, June 8, 2012

Active Recovery

June 7, 2012

Ahhhh, Thursdays… I get a little extra sleep in the morning and usually wind up running like a mad woman out of the house because I am out of my typical routine!! Wednesday nights are my “late nights” so if I make plans with friends, have an appointment for something or want to stay up late to watch tv or read, that’s the night that I do it! Its nice to have one day that’s a little different from the rest. I try to keep my food intake as “normal” as possible and since I cant kick my healthy crossfit addiction, I make my daily trip to CFW for some good old fashioned “active recovery” work.

What, you ask, is “active recovery?” Its pretty important in any training regimen and athletes of all kinds should have some days like this in their training schedule, they are almost as important as total rest days and working days! There have been plenty of studies done on this and some different findings… but over all here is what I have learned. Active recovery is either done right after you have a major competition (similar to a cool down) or it is performed the days following the competition, or it can be worked into the normal weekly training routine as an “off” day from intense training.  According to one thing I read by Bryan Chung who is a MD and PhD researcher and methodologist in musculo-skeletal health, “Active recovery can be loosely defined as a low-intensity activity (such as submaximal cycling or low-intensity weight training) used to enhance the recovery process between training sessions or competitions. The theory is that by increasing blood flow (your heart rate increases, therefore your blood is making more 'rounds' as it were), lactate and other 'waste products' are cleared faster, thereby minimizing their detrimental effects in tissues. This should translate practically to a faster recovery than if your blood were moving at its normal velocity. This would mean that you could train more frequently at sustained or higher intensity levels without exposing yourself to the risks of inadequate recovery. Sounds like a great idea, eh?” Phew… does that make sense… it does to me! 

Be smart, if your an addict (like me) dont over train and listen to and trust your coaches... they know what they are doing! 


WARMUP:
Row 500m
Foam Roll and LAX Shoulder Mobility

ACTIVE RECOVERY:
4 X 500m Row ( @ 80% with 2min rest between sets)
5 X 3 Kipping Pullups
Double Under Practice (strung together 35, they are coming along great!)

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Working on it...

June 6, 2012

A few weeks ago I started really honing in on resting during a WOD. When I had my talk with M I realized a few things. Lets start with the negative (because its always fun to end on a positive note). My biggest problem is  mental block that I have, I have had it my whole life and once I get inside my own head I have a really hard time getting out of it. This goes for all things in life, not just WODing… but I will obviously apply it to WODing here. So I get started and I am off like a rocket, I work hard and push  myself as hard as I can, but once I sense myself hitting a wall specifically when it comes to exercises that I seem to struggle with most (usually more on the gymnastics side, pushups, dips, pullups) my confidence lowers and I let myself take a break. In my head I know I can go on, but my mind seems to block it.

Thinking about it now, it seems like whenever I have to do something that I can not do “unbroken” that’s when the breaks start to come longer and longer and more frequent. Clearly, if you are doing things unbroken your are technically resting, but what I mean by it is, the rest is longer than readjusting, or fixing my grip, or something like that, than once one break happens it goes downhill from there. Example… a few weeks ago “Bradshaw;” we had to do 12 pullups in each of the 10 rounds. The pullups were book ended by 6 deadlifts and 24 double unders. I got inside my own head and every time I approached the bar to do pullups I let myself rest too much, my time and performance would have been much better if I had just pushed through, did I need all the rest I took, no… but since I cant link 12 pullups together I would drop down and rest a little than jump back up… each rest seemed to get a little longer and as the rounds went on they became more frequent. Fast forward to last Monday and Murph, I powered through 20 rounds of 5 pullups (10 pushups and 15 squats) and was able to jump right back up between any of the sets that I couldn’t connect all 5 reps. There was a lot less resting time and a lot more working time… I wouldn’t let my mind overtake the fact that my arms weren’t really “that” tired… just jump up and do it! Its all in my head… I have to focus and push to get it done. I wont always have my coach screaming “get back up on that bar” to motivate me… but that helps a lot!

While that is improving, there is also a positive side to my “mental drive.” This is super apparent in both recent WOD’s and older WOD’s. When I am faced with a workout that I am 100% comfortable and confident with every movement in the WOD, I will plow through that bad boy (or girl) like nothing can stop me. I can be out of breath, my legs can be burning, my shoulders could be totally shot… but I know I will work till the end of the AMRAP time or the last rep, without any breaks. Its almost like I make up my mind before I start and say “I am not going to rest at all” and I just do it. What I have to do, is take that mentality and use it with ALL the WOD’s. The power of the mind is amazing.

I have really been working on this and today was no exception… the WOD consisted of hand stand pushups (which have gotten much better as I am dropping some more weight), alternating leg pistols (which I now do unassisted, from the help of M’s encouragement) and the dreaded pullup. I knew I could do the HSPU unbroken as well as the pistols so my only battle would be with the pullup bar, shocker. So, I put on my “no rest” attitude and went to town. I may not have linked each of the pullups together, but I made it a point to get myself back up on that bar as soon as I could between each rep I had to drop. There were a few seconds of rest here and there on them, but far less than usual. I have to overcome the mindset of associating not being able to link them with needing a break, I cant use pullups as an “excuse” to rest. Work work work… and practice practice practice… I was proud of myself and I know I am going in the right direction.


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 10 Burpees
- 10 Ring Rows
- 10 Walking Lunges
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
Pigeon Stretch 2 Min Each Leg
Group: Burgener

WOD: "Mary"
20 Minute AMRAP
- 5 HSPU (kipping with 2 abmats)
- 10 Alternating Pistols
- 15 Pullups
(7 + 11)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
3 Position Clean
5 X 3 High Hang, Hang and Floor (85lbs)

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What do you see?

June 5, 2012

As a toddler and small child I was certainly a “pot belly” kid. I stood with my gut out and have many many pictures to prove it! As time went on I became a lanky skinny 10 year old… and that carried me through my early teens. There wasn’t much that I couldn’t eat and never saw a change in my body. I constantly ate cookies and cake for breakfast and couldn’t get enough of any type of sour sugary candy.  Somewhere in my early teens I woke up in the morning and looked at my body and thought… where the hell did those hips come from? All of a sudden not only was I taller than most of my friends (and I am only 5’-8” I just hang out with a bunch of shorties… haha) but I was also much larger than most of them too. I was never considered the “cute little thing” and started feeling pretty out of place. That’s when I started to be self-conscious about my body. Though high school I was pretty thin still, I was happy with my legs, but the hips and ass were dominant for a teenager. I was lucky enough to find a boyfriend who wasn’t interested in the “cute” little thing and really helped me to embrace my more “adult” figure (that so often made me want to hide)… and made me feel like it was perfect just the way it was.

Is funny because when the talk about “weight” comes up most women hide. I never really had a problem with it (until I got close to rock bottom and was embarrassed) and its mostly because I looked like I weighed a lot less than I did. The first thing people would say when I would say how much I weighed was “yeah, but you are tall…” which really… just made me laugh. People automatically thought, no matter what weight I told them, that I was “upset” where I was. The Dr office was pretty humorous when I would get on the sale and the nurse would start the sliding weights at least 40lbs less than I actually weighed and then say “really” when I told her “ummmm, you are WAY off.” I never thought to much of it and as long as I liked the way I looked I didn’t really care what the scale said. Eventually, that mentality caught up to me. I started looking in the mirror thinking “is that really me on the other side.” I hated getting dressed, I hated going shopping… and just the thought of creeping closer and closer to my “rock bottom” freaked me out. I had done what I promised myself I would never let happen… I let myself go. I got comfortable and I stopped treating my body with respect.

I totally understanding that it is much easier said than done, but seeing as how I have been on both sides of the literal (and mental) scale… I have come to so many realizations about my body and other body types. First off… I have learned to trust my body. I have learned that I can in fact be the “size” that I want to be and with work, dedication and a little sacrifice I am on my way to that, I have CONTROL of that. I threw away the scale for the most part and have focused on what I see in the reflection and in my weights and times at CFW. I have learned to embrace my figure without someone having to constantly reassure me that it is in fact “perfect just the way it is” (however I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to hear that every now and again). Listening to someone tell me that curves are beautiful sunk into my head (took a little while, but better late than never)… and well, its ok to not be “cute.”  It helps that I can look in the mirror and see that my hard work is paying off and I can be proud of my accomplishments. It certainly did not come overnight… but with small changes here and there, things started to show on the outside. I am fighting a battle and I am winning! I know that I am by no means “perfect,” I realize that I still have work to do and there are still changes to come… I understand it takes time… but with every smile I see on my own face in the reflection in the mirror it makes me that much more proud of my accomplishments and pushes me to keep going. That is more important than anything else, being comfortable in your own skin. That it dosent matter what people think of you, its how you see yourself that charges the engines!

Strength comes in many different shapes and sizes… its on the inside and the outside… its physical and mental… but most of all, its about how you see yourself.


WARMUP:
10-20-30-40 Double Unders
Between each set
- 5 Rung Dips
- 10 Inchworms
- 15 Squats
Group: 9 FUNdamentals

WOD: "Stained"
5 Rounds for Time
- Run 200m
- 20 GHD Situps
- 20 HR Pushups
(17:34 Rx)

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Possible

June 4, 2012

Today was my first day back in the “swing of things” at the gym. I had a conversation with M about my training on last Monday after we did Murph and he recommended that I took a week of rest and recovery. Of course I was in panic mode at the thought of not WODing for a week. Like I was all of a sudden going to lose my steam if I took some time to rest. I just haven’t given my body that much time off in so long I wasn’t sure how I was going to react and first instinct is panic. I know of course that I wasn’t going to actually lose any strength or anything and honestly deep down inside I am happy he told me to do it. Sometimes you need that direction to feel like its “ok.” It also gave me reason to take a step back and look at my training and get ready for the next step.

The week off was hard in some ways and really nice in others. As I said I went to the gym at my normal time and warmed up with everyone. I did wind up doing the snatch skill session during the week, because I couldn’t resist… but other than that I did a lot of mobility and by the end of the week I was really feeling great. I also thought a lot about what I was eating through the week and realized that there are a few adjustments that I have to make to my zone blocks for the weeks that I do have a heavy lifting load. If I hadn’t taken that break I wouldn’t have picked up on that and might have been stalled out for a lot longer in my weight loss than I already was. Now I feel like I am back on track and ready to go! I couldn’t wait to get to the gym and get my WOD on today!

In addition to talking to me about taking some time off, M and I had a little goal setting session. It was really great to sit down and write out my strengths and weaknesses… see them on paper in front of me and listen to what he thought my strengths and weaknesses are as well. We started a list of my 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year goals and I put them in my notebook to reference often. This is such an important aspect of training. I have said it 1000 times, if you don’t have a goal than you aren’t really sure what it is you are shooting to accomplish. With goal setting you can shoot for the goal and if you hit it before expected you can always readjust your longer term goals to reflect the change. Now its all about working towards the long term goals and hitting the milestones in the middle along the way!

I am so excited to see what the next year brings. Last year at this time I had yet to start my CrossFit “journey” and I cant even imagine my life without it now! I was miserable with a lot of aspects of my life and definitely unhappy with my body and my training, I felt like there was no way out of it. Here I am on the other side and never looking back!


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Row 250m
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Pushups
- 15 Abmat Situps
Group: Junkyard Dog

WOD: Paranormal
3 Rounds for Time
- 10 Burpees
- 15 Wall Balls (14lbs)
- 20 Knees to Elbows
(10:23 Rx)

SKILL/STRENGTH
Snatches
3 Snatches on the Min for 10 Min
80 (2), 85 (3), 90 (5)

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

No More Bacon

June 3, 2012

Okay last one...


Make it Happen


June 2, 2012

 
To make it happen, you have to want it to happen… there is no way around that. If you have a goal and you are focused you will succeed.

The problem is that there are so many people that want things to happen for them… or wish there was an easier way, a way to cut corners or a “magical” twitch of the nose that will make the goal that they want to achieve complete. It takes time to do things, it takes time to learn things and you have to suffer, struggle and fail in order to succeed. It is not logical to think that just because you want something so bad it is going to happen quickly, but it you want it bad enough and are willing to make sacrifices to get to your goal than you will make it happen.

It is so common to hear the words “oh, I could never do that” when I talk to someone about how I have changed my lifestyle. Like the thought of never eating pasta again is just totally foreign to them. I also think they feel like I have put myself in a bubble and never enjoy the things in life that I have previously enjoyed. I can shake my head at them and think that they are closed minded but in reality, I was there. I was the person that thought “I don’t want to give this up” or “I cant go to a party and not have a drink.” That was before I decided to commit myself to the lifestyle I have chosen, before I hit rock bottom and committed to my body and decided that getting myself in shape was more important than a beer… or a piece of pizza.

The catch… once I made that commitment and submerged myself 100% I started to see the results that I was looking for. My lifts got better… my times got faster and hell… I have been told that I look “tiny…” me… so self conscious about my body for the last 5+ years of my life… called “tiny.” This was something totally out of my reach at the beginning of 2011. But I had to do just that, commit. Give up the excuses, cold turkey, focus on my goal and get there. I dealt with the looks and “oh my gods” and “maybe she’s pregnants” from my friends… but in the end I am here, so close to my goal. I am never “too tired” to get out of bed for a workout, I make the right choices for the rest of my schedule in order to keep on my training schedule. I never miss a planned meal because I make sure to plan ahead for things, and I choose not to partake in things that I know will hinder my accomplishments. However,  I also NEVER deny myself things that make me happy. I have just learned that food does not equal happiness.

Yes, I eat on a schedule… and I measure my food, I go to the gym at 5:30am, but that is what works for me. Its what I want. I wanted to get fit, I wanted to be happy with my body and I wanted to be healthy.  No, it dosent work for everyone and I am not saying the whole world has to drop what they are doing, start living a paleo lifestyle and pick up CrossFit, but for crying out loud, if you are unhappy and want to make a change… MAKE IT HAPPEN!      

I had to take the plunge, I had to go 6 weeks completely giving up those things that I felt I could never live without. Now, I am able to have those things in moderation… I want a beer on a Saturday I have one (just not 12)… I want to order a pizza with Hubs, we do (we just split one, and don’t order chicken tenders and french fries with it any more). Things taste better now… I know what my body can handle and I am not ashamed of the lifestyle I have chosen.

Think about it. If you are 50% committed you can only expect to see 50% of the results… respect yourself 100%... only YOU can do it.

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 20 Walking Lunges
- 15 Abmat Situps
- 10 Shoulder Dislocats
- 5 Pushups
2 Min Squat Sit

SKILL/STRENGTH:
- Max Clean and Jerk
(105, 125, 135, 145)
- Worked 145 trying to clean, jerk and OH squat
- Pullups 3 X 10

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Bacon Strips

June 1, 2012

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 1 Min Jump Rope
- 5 Ring Rows
- 10 Burpees
- 15 Squats
Run 400m
Group: Kipping

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Mobility.

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Ahhh

May 31, 2012




No Bacon?

May 30, 2012


WARMUP:
Run 800m
3 Rounds
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Inchworms
- 15 Situps
Run 400m
Group: Burgner

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Snatch
3 Snatches on the minute for 10 minutes (85lbs)

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Dont Go Bacon My Heart

May 29, 2012

I was instructed to take a break from WODing this week... so I deemed it a good week to pay homage to none other than... BACON! Enjoy!!


WARMUP:
500m Row
2 Rounds
- 10 Back Extensions
- 10 Grasshopper
- 10 Toy Soldier
250m Row
Group: Toes to Bar

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Mobility

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Memorial Day Murph


May 28, 2012

In honor of Memorial Day we are off to CrossFit Wachusett to complete Memorial Day "Murph" which is named in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.



This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor". From here on it will be referred to as "Murph" in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is. (Crossfit.com)


I had stopped over at the WOD Love tent while we were in Canton (and will give them a little “love” on my blog here) and bought my “Heros” t-shirt that I have been trying to win every chance I get on their WOD Love Give-a-ways every Wednesday on the book of faces. I wore it with honor and pride to the gym today!

This workout touched me more than I was expecting it to. I feel that it is such an honor that we as CrossFitters get to do workouts named for fallen Soldiers. Typically the Hero WODs are pretty difficult (in comparison to the daily WOD). They seem to “live up to” the name they are given and more often than not the story of the soldier that they are honoring includes the fact that this was “their favorite workout” or it might include the things they enjoyed doing the most. I didn’t realize that “Memorial Day Murph” was such a well-known phenomenon within the CrossFit community until I talked to and heard so many people mention it this weekend at Regionals.

I started to think a lot about who Murph was… and all that his family and friends have gone through since they lost him… taken way to early in life and so quickly. He died honorably and I am sure was an absolute amazing man. I personally don’t know what it is like to lose a soldier in action, but unfortunately I cant say that I don’t know what its like to have someone taken away from me so suddenly. I felt myself thinking of all the emotions that I went through at that time in my life while I did this WOD.

After the first mile we broke the middle section up into 20 sets of 5 pullups, 10 pushups and 15 squats… and all I could think of was “this is temporary,” what Murph gave is forever… the pain that his family, friends and people who knew him personally… is forever. I pushed and pushed myself and really gave it everything I had to make it though all 20 sets. I could almost feel tears coming to my eyes… it hit me so emotionally. That’s what its all about… what an honor it is that his name will live as this Memorial Day tradition for CrossFitters around the world. That his family can hold tight to the memories that they have of him forever… and be happy and flattered that a whole community of people honor his name every Memorial Day be doing this WOD… that right there made the tears turn to a smile. That’s pretty awesome.

Honor and remember your soldiers. They fight for you and they don’t even know you…push yourself to your limits... and never give up.

WARMUP:
2 Minutes Double Unders
3 Rounds
- 5 Inchworms
- 5 Ring Rows
- 10 Abmat Situps
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
Group: Murph Review

WOD: "Murph" for time
1 Mile Run
100 Pullups
200 Pushups
300 Squats
1 Mile Run
(my time 60:39 Rx)

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Humble

May 27, 2012

To wrap up a glorious weekend we again arrived to set up for the snatch ladder. This was a CRAZY event both to set up for and to watch! I personally got a great seat for the ladder, as I was asked to be on the field to be sure that the weights stayed tight on the bars between each of the competitors. I had about a 10 second window during the team WOD and maybe a little more than that for the individuals where I had to dart out into the field and reset and tighten the collar on two sets of weights. Insanity! Also very inspirational!

The women went first, teams than individuals (for ease of resetting the weights for the men) followed by the men. The teams each had 50 seconds to complete the weight that they were stationed at and could make as many attempts as need, than those who could clear the weight had a 10 second transition time to the next weight where they would go again, the team was still in the competition until all 3 team members were eliminated by not clearing the weight. The individuals had a slight difference, they had to complete each weight to move on to the next, however they had to complete 50 double unders before attempting each weight. If they failed at a weight they could choose to either attempt again to finish up the 50 seconds, or they could complete as many double unders as they could to get more points. Each double under was an additional 10th of a pound on their total.

This event was amazing to watch. The amount of talent and the skill that these athletes possess is breathtaking.  The crowd was on the feet through  most of the event for all 4 groups… I just couldn’t believe that I was right in the middle of the whole thing! So exciting. This was also the event that determined who was going to move on to the 4th and final workout. If you want to see a whole crap load of people on their feet… the final events were crazy!! The hairs on my arms were standing on end as the energy rose… we watched the top athletes and teams of the North East kill the final workouts! Man… was it a sight to see!! Totally inspirational.

I think what I got most out of this entire weekend is how happy I am to be a part of just an amazing community of people. There are no “big shots,” there are no attitudes, there is not one person that is “above” the rest… even the ones on the top of the leader board. I was humbled by the talent and honored that I was there. I could totally relate to the athletes that disappointed themselves as well as those who smashed their personal records. Each and every one of those athletes started somewhere. They all put in the work and dedication that qualified them and gave them the privilege of competing against the fittest people on the planet!  We saw athletes come off the field with smiles and high fives, we saw athletes come off with tears and frowns… but fortunately every CrossFitter knows what it is like to be on both sides of that coin. There was never an athlete left behind and when there was disappointment there was always a friend, coach, team member to boost that person back up and tell them how absolutely amazing it is that they are here competing in the freaking Regionals!

The top athletes are all the most humble of them all. They collected their medals and stood on the podiums knowing that each and every one of the athletes that competed put up a fantastic fight… that there was nothing easy about the medal that they won and there is certainly not an “easy” road ahead training for the Games. They stood in front of an audience of probably over 70% CrossFit athletes, of all ages, some who complete their workouts scaled… some who have just done their first kipping pullup… some who cleared a PR that morning at their own box… some who just barely missed qualifying for the regional. They understand that no matter how you do you workouts, as long as you are giving it your 100% than you are working just as hard as they are. Nothing can stand in your way… who knows what next year will bring.

 
As I have said 100 times, I am thrilled Hubs and I had this opportunity. The Reebok Facility was fantastic, the friends we made, the events we saw… just a perfect weekend. We were even able to catch up with my cousin (who crossfits with CrossFit Wicked and #2 Alicia Gomes) after we helped disassemble the rig with Rogue for a few beers… on the house!

What a weekend!! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hunger Pains


May 26, 2012

Day two of the New England Regional did not disappoint! First of all, HUGE HUGE HUGE kudos to all the athletes who competed in the heat. My god was it hot today.  Reebok did a remarkable job making sure that the athletes had water, coconut water and food and they also had fan misters and ice baths for anyone who wanted to partake after their WODs. I have to say, being a “staff” member for this event was a pleasure. They not only understood that you were there to volunteer, but that you probably wanted to watch what was going on in the WOD’s as well. They were more than happy if you wanted to sit out for an event change out as long as you had someone to “cover your job.” They made sure that we were fed and hydrated throughout he day and even provided sunblock for us which was nice! I will say Friday morning was a little chaotic trying to figure out where people were needed and what we would be doing, but Saturday Hubs and I just returned to where we were on Friday and jumped right back into the mix setting things up and getting ready for the WODs.  We were happy to return to work with the people we did on Friday and since it was Saturday now, we had some new help, which was more than welcome when walking around with those platforms!

It was another outstanding day. We were able to meet a lot of really wonderful people and athletes! I talked about the comradery of the athletes on Friday and it just continued through the whole weekend. Its unbelievable to watch it all unfold in front of your eyes. The community that comes together at a CrossFit event just really makes me so proud that I am a part of it.

Today was empowering. When Hubs and I stood back and watched all of the WODs and all of the talent we started to get hungry… hungry for the future, hungry for the competition in June, hungry for the Best of the East in September… and most of all hungry for the chance next year in competing in the Open and the potential to get a team qualified for the games!! When we look at the teams that are competing you can see how well they work together. You can see how when one struggles it makes the others struggle… they are all there for each other standing by cheering, pushing and working like a machine that was built to work together. They share in the moments we witness and partake in every day at the gym… with our coach standing over us screaming at us to keep fighting. They clearly train together… and it shows.

If I had to choose a highlight from today it would certainly be watching CrossFit New England show why they are as phenomenal as they are. Friday was sort of an “off” day it seemed for them… but today, it was no joke. They were there to win and they were there to prove that they were fighting to win their spot back at the Games to defend their title! They certainly had some other teams that had something to say about it and put up a fight… this included CrossFit Rt 1 who I was splitting my time cheering for as the weekend went on! However CFNE prevailed and came out on top with a new World Record in the 3rd Event (by 13 seconds)! It was absolutely amazing to see!!


Damn… I am so hungry!

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Thats what its all about!


May 25, 2012

Today was the first day of the North East Crossfit Regional. A few months ago after competing in the opens and feeling the unbelievable energy within the gym Hubs and I decided we were going to take today off and be sure to witness the entire weekend live. We knew it was something we didn’t want to miss. To top it off K and M both qualified as individuals so we were excited to see our coaches in action! As weeks went by we decided that instead of just attending we wanted to do more, so we signed ourselves up to be volunteers for the weekend! A free ticket into the festivities for the weekend and up close and personal, hands on, in the action FUN! As soon as we got our assignment “athlete relations” for the weekend, we were so excited!!

What a sight. Yes, we took the day off from work  (CrossFit Wachusett was closed) and we got up at 4:30am and drove to Canton MA for 7:00am! When we arrived I got all giddy driving up the driveway! First of all, the Reebok facility is amazing. It was designed by NBBJ Architects in 2002 and… lets just say WOW… its this girl an “architect and an athelete’s ” fantasy play land! I was drawn in right away with the giant 3…2…1.. GO! Across the glazing and the building and grounds just continued to amaze me from there on! This is a quote from O’Connor Constructors who were part of the building team;  “The stunning result is a 520,000 square-foot office complex consisting of four office buildings which include 286,000 square-feet of corporate office space, conference space, seminar rooms and training facilities, biomechanical labs, advertising and design studios, showrooms, executive offices, computer/telecommunications room, security center, a fitness/recreation center complete with aerobics studios, an indoor basketball court, locker rooms, reception areas, lounges and a kitchen and cafeteria. Additional features include a soccer field, running track, and basketball and tennis courts, a softball field and two parking garages to accommodate 1,200 vehicles. The entry area features an expansive curved and angled corridor, a perfect place to exhibit an impressive collection of sports memorabilia.” 


We talked to one of the at the end of the day they had a cookout for the staff and judges. We had an opportunity to talk with one of the women who is “blessed” to work at this kick ass facility. She got all over our case because we were wearing New Balances, of course she was joking but then proceeded to totally sell me on the new Reebok Nano. Anyway, she talked about how great Reebok is to work for (not that we couldn’t already tell) and how excited they were to host the weekend. She than told us about the CrossFit facility that they have on site. Its in a brick building located a little down the road from the actual facility, but that’s no problem because the employees are all encouraged to work out. In fact… if they want to take a break and go to the gym, more power to them. They are paid to workout. WHAT THE HELL!! Total paradise! So of course I did some more research and found that they are working on a mission to get their employees in shape. They have over 1000 employees at the Canton location, and more than 400 of them belong to the CF Box they have on site! It is of course only open to employees of Reebok. In the article I linked above it shows that the 1000 Reebok Employed CrossFitters have lost over 4,000 lbs  collectively in 2011. They are continuing this through 2012 of course!

Now, onto the actual day! I would love to say Hubs and I worked our asses off… but not nearly as hard as the amazing display of talent we saw in the 60 men, 60 women and 30 teams from across the North East that competed. We were assigned to the equipment tent, which was pretty awesome. We were to help with all the equipment set ups for each event, re aligning weights between each heat, switching out weights from mens weight to womens weight… and of course “cleaning” the “DNA” off of the bars and rig. That was a fun job! We were running on weights of all sizes, giant 8X8 wooden platforms, large rubber mats, stall mats, dumbells… again, it was a lot of work!! Totally worth it and totally worth the front row seat to all the action!

K and M did not disappoint! They both killed their workouts and showed how CrossFit Wachusett deserves to be on top! We were also cheering on R, who was competing on the CrossFit Newton team, our friends at CrossFit Route 1, and of course we were cheering on the Mega Phenoms… CrossFit New England!  The energy was awesome, the talent was awesome, the weather was… not so awesome… but overall it was a day I will never forget!

There is a phrase in CF… known all over. Its one of the reasons people do CrossFit. Its one of the reasons people don’t quit CrossFit. Its also the reason that I love CrossFit.

“CrossFit: The only sport where everyone cheers the loudest for whoever is last.”

The highlight of the day today…

This image is from Event 2, Team WODs. Each of the 4 Athletes on the team had to start with a 1K row, followed by 25 alternating leg pistol squats, followed by 135lb or 225lb hang cleans. They had to cycle through so one athlete could not start the next part of the circuit until the one before them had completed theirs. This picture shows the last athlete working in one of the heats. She was surrounded by all of the other athletes that were part of that heat pushing, cheering, yelling with each and every minute.

That… my friends is why I love CrossFit!  

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Its Worth It

May 24, 2012


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Run 200
- 5 Pushups
- 10 Squats
- 15 GHD Situps

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Core Circuit
4 Rounds
- 10 Toes to Bar
- 20 Weighed Twists
- 10 Abmat Situps
(2 min rest between rounds)

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Muscle does not weight more...

May 23, 2012

So here is the deal… a pound is a pound. A pound of feathers weighs exactly the same as a pound of bricks…. There are going to be a hell of a lot more feathers than brick… but a pound is a pound.

I am so tired of hearing the phrase “muscle weighs more than fat.” This is not true… a pound of fat weighs a pound… a pound of muscle… weighs what… say it with me now… a POUND. The difference is, the amount of space that is taken up by a pound of muscle is significantly less than that of a pound of fat (think about the brick and feather analogy here).

What people mean (I think) when they say that “muscle weighs more than fat” is that you can be a smaller person and weigh more, or the same as a larger person because you may be more muscular than them, that just by looking at someone you cant tell how much muscle they have in a lot of cases. What is really funny is that people often say that, but don’t apply it to themselves.They dont look in the mirror and see the changes, they are fixated on the scale... those three little numbers (yes there should be 3 numbers unless you are a child)... GET OVER IT!


My body is changing for sure, honestly I haven’t stood on the scale in weeks. Having made the adjustment and adding the zone measuring system to my already pretty paleo diet things are changing all over the place. I am feeling as if I am leaning out and even if the number on the scale isnt moving that dosent mean that things are getting better on the inside. I feel excellent. I am not tired, I am not sluggish, I have not struggled through any workouts or getting out of bed. I have been sleeping better and I have just changed my overall attitude. The only thing I am still really struggling with is my skin… its horrid. Funny because most of what I read said that when people went paleo their skin cleared up… not me man, its worse than ever!

I am thrilled with the changes that have happened with my body. I can look in the mirror and be proud of my body. That feeling doesn’t come overnight!

P.S. If anyone has an recommendations about ways to clear up my skin I am listening! 

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 20 Walking Lunges
- 15 Hollow Rocks
- 10 Back Extensions
- 5 Ring Rows
2 Min Pigeon Stretch (each leg)
Group: Clean

WOD: Cumulus
5 Rounds for Time (35 Min Cap)
- 30 Calorie Row
- 20 Cleans (75lbs)
- 20 Pullups
(4+61 Rx)

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Challenge Accepted

May 22, 2012



Ever since I was a little kid I have been adventurous. I would do the things my parents told me not to do, not to disobey them… but because I wanted to see why I was told not to do it. What the consequence would be if I did do it. Almost like it was a challenge that I chose to accept at any chance. “Sarah, don’t touch that” turned quickly into my burning my hand, cutting myself or whatever because I had this horrible urge to touch whatever it was that I was told not to touch simply because I was told NOT to. If no one mentioned it, I wouldn’t have ever wanted to touch it in the first place more than likely. Don’t get me wrong, my parents watched me because they knew this about me… but there was a time and a place for me to learn lessons… they would never put me in danger.

I have carried that urge to accept a challenge through my whole life and still, to this day I have a hard time when faced with these types of situations. I have it ingrained in my head that I can do anything I put my mind to doing. When it seems “questionable” as to if I could actually do it I have this powerful urge to prove myself wrong or right… case in point “I don’t like to run, why would I do the 5 mile turkey trot.” This statement followed by going to work, logging into the website and registering for the turkey trot.

This is what makes me such a competitive person. Its really not so much about competing with other people more than it is competing with myself. I have decided to make this change with my body and my lifestyle, accepted that challenge and with it comes all sorts of “mini challenges.” It changes every day and keeps me on my toes… than toss in the thrill and excitement of a “real” competition and I am totally sold. In order to get better at something you have to keep doing it, you have to stretch yourself to your limits and you have to tell yourself that you will never do it if you don’t try.

I had showed interest in doing the “Diva Dash” which is in Boston in September. A few of my girlfriends registered for one of the time slots and told me to add in… well, it was too late, I missed the window for that heat. Well, why would that stop me? Where is the challenge in that? If I can run it with people, I can run it alone… right? So whats a girl to do? Oh I don’t know, maybe register for a race in a heat all by myself! What is wrong with me?!

Another 5K and this time with obstacles! I am looking forward to it!


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Row 300
- 5 Pushups
- 10 Inchworms
- 15 Squats
2 Rounds Burgener
Group: 9 Fundamentals

WOD: "Breach"
18-15-12-9-6-3
- SDHP (55lbs)
- Ring Dips (blue band)
- Pistol Squats (unassisted!)
(9:04)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
OH Press 5-5-5
55, 70, 80, 85

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