Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In Comparison...

January 30, 2013

So, yesterday I happened to stumble back onto the “Run for the Diamonds” facebook page. I “liked” it when I had signed up for it looking to see if there were any tips for running oodles and oodles of miles… or perhaps what the course might be like. However, I found it to be a pretty stagnant page that occasionally someone posted something on (having nothing to do with the run).  As it got closer there were some posts about counting down the days and how excited people were. Finally race day, people were posting how inspiration it was to see all the runners, people posted pictures of people they knew and tagged the page so they appeared there… Other than that, it hasn’t moved much. I noticed that there was a post (because FB likes to tell me these things without my asking) that said “the finish line photos are up.” Oh boy.

I never did write a post about the run. I was sort of in a blogging slump back in November/December. Things were going really well for me at the gym and life was getting a little overwhelming, so I took a little hiatus from posting every day. I think it was good for me, it also gave me some time to re-charge and get back into blogging with some useful and good information… and of course my random rambling and mind dump.

I think now is a perfect time to re-cap this little experience, as I came across those photos. Basically, I had already decided that I was going to do the Slattery’s Turkey Trot (5 mile) race for the second time… after the “wonderful” time I had doing it the first time in 2011. I new if I could get through it the first time, I would be able to get through it again… plus I wanted to see how far I had come in the year. Well, my cousin announced her engagement early in the year and she and her husband-to-be had decided to get married the weekend of Thanksgiving.  She is from a small town balled Berwick PA, her dad and my mom are cousins… which makes us 2nd, I think… but that’s beside the point. Alas, Hubs and I decided that we were of course going to go to their wedding, however that would mean traveling over Thanksgiving… and being away for the Turkey Trot (though I later learned that the Turkey Trot was the weekend BEFORE I left for PA and could have avoided this all together, but I digress).   

In the small town of Berwick PA, they have pretty much ONE large event. That would be the annual “Run for the Diamonds” which takes place on Thanksgiving morning and has been for the last 102 years. This race started with 13 participants and has grown to having 1,614 people cross the finish line this year. When it began it was called the “Berwick Marathon” however somewhere in the 70’s the marathon association told them that they couldn’t be a “marathon” because its not a long enough race (only 9 miles), that’s when they changed their  name. Also, the winners receive diamonds… so, it’s a pretty literal name. So, my cousin and her family live right along the route and for years have watched the race on Thanksgiving morning… from the comfort of the front yard, with a beer in hand (as she got older). It became tradition. When I mentioned to her this summer that I was going to miss the Turkey Trot… somehow we came up with the bright idea to actually register for and attempt to run this thing… we are still blaming this one on each other… maybe we should blame her Hubby. Yes, S, This is ALL your fault!!

They live in NC, and I live in MA… so we were on our own for “training” for this race. Before we knew it, we were standing at the start line… all three of us saying “what the hell were we thinking.” Hell, I was revved up for myself, but the two of them, they were also getting married two days later! What a crazy feeling that must have been. My plan was to keep a steady pace. I knew I could complete a 5K, I knew I could complete 5 miles, it was mind over matter at this point. I did not drive, walk or even listen to what anyone had to say about the course. All I knew is that it had a “very challenging hill” and that’s all I really needed to know. That was enough. My cousins house was about 2.2 miles into the race and Hubs, my parents and some of my family would be there waiting to cheer us on.

When the gun went off and the massive herd of people started to progress down the historic Market Street in Berwick. I had driven this road a million times and in the Summer of 2010 I actually tried to run down it a bit while we were there for our July holiday… that was a joke, I walked most of it… and it was only about a mile. My headphones were in and before the race started I had written “unbroken” on my hand, as I had done for the Turkey Trot almost exactly a year earlier, just as a quick reminder of my goal. I didn’t care when I finished, but I was not going to give up. I was not going to walk… I was going to do this.

I couldn’t believe it when I turned a corner, saw Hubs and realized I was already past the 2 mile mark! My family cheered (once they realized it was me) and I forged ahead… to the WORST part of the whole damn thing. “The Hill.” This was literally over a mile of a real life uphill battle. Seriously… I had no idea how long the road was, when it would end… anything. I had to just keep pushing, keep moving and never stop moving my feet! I can remember this woman standing at what she claimed was “the top” of the hill. She was yelling “almost there… you got this” to every runner. I can also remember thinking “almost where lady… I still have 6 miles left!”

Somewhere after the Hill of Hell (as I like to call it) I passed the 5K mark. Looked at my watch and saw that I was right on target to reach my goal. From there on in I kept that perfect (for me) pace. It was a beautiful course running down some streets through the fields, than down along a stream… there were some bunny hills and a few more “challenging” hills, but nothing like the hell of the 3rd mile. I was pleased that I had my breathing under control, I could almost sing along with my music. I was kinda at peace and ALMOST (almost) could see how people like to do this for a hobby. The 5 mile mark was another big milestone. Again I looked at my watch and was VERY happy with my time. As far as I was concerned, after 5 miles it was “all downhill” from there.

If you are still with me, this is where it gets good. I passed the 8 mile mark and was about to turn down Market Street and I saw my parents… tears… yep… tears came to the corner of my eyes. I looked to the other side of the street and there was Hubs. Cheering and videoing me as I felt the tears roll down (thank god for sunglasses). I was so un-freaking believably proud of myself. It just totally took over me at that point. The crowd was all over the place on Market Street (there were tons of cheering people all along the route, but this was craziness). I pulled out one ear bud so I could hear the people. It was amazing. I stayed strong all the way through the finish line and crossed over at 1:36:36. I effing did it…

… and I enjoyed the heck out of my first Thanksgiving with my family in PA as well as M and S’s kick ass wedding!!

Now, what is this all about? Well. I am not really one for a “before and after” of myself. In fact I have yet to post one. I do have them. I have taken them for myself in the same bathing suit to see my progress. I have shown some people… but not sure if I am even ready to post that on the interwebs.

However, when I saw that picture of me crossing the finish line I couldn’t help but remember crossing the finish line of the Turkey Trot. So, a little comparison. My oh my… one year makes a HUGE difference. I owe it all to my dedication to CrossFit and Paleo. I gave myself the tools to become the person I want to be, they prepare me for every and anything I want to do. I took control over my life. I stopped waiting for tomorrow… I stopped saying “just one more xyz,” I stopped thinking that I wasn’t good enough, fast enough or strong enough. I feel incredible... and hell... I ran 9 miles!


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 10 Walking Lunges
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Around the World
- 10 Scorpions

STRENGTH/SKILL:
Banded Deadlift
2 Deadlifts every 30 Sec for 5 minutes
55% of 1RM and Resistance Band
(150lbs with Green Band wrapped 2X)

WOD: Stutter Step
 21-15-9
- Clean (95)
- Toes to Bar
(6:41 Rx)

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Do you dog it?

January 29, 2013

Do you dog it?

Are there days that you just don’t want to work hard? Are there days that you just go through the motions to get through the day? To be successful, to reach a goal, to get to the point of ultimate satisfaction… you just cant do it. Hard work, dedication, drive… no excuses… that’s what it takes to elevate yourself beyond your goals.

This holds true with anything in life. When I was a kid, I can remember going to softball practice for the in-town youth team. When I started out I was  this skinny lanky kid with glasses and a glove that the ball barely fit into that I couldn’t even squeeze. I had no business being on the field, but I really wanted to learn how to play and be as good as my brother was at baseball. I can remember picking daisies in the outfield (because when you are 8 years old the ball rarely reaches the outfield unless it goes through the infielders legs) and being really sad that I didn’t get to be the catcher like was on his team. After the games I would ask my dad if he would play catch with me in the yard, because I wanted to learn how to be a catcher like Josh. He told me “you have to learn to play every position, you are most valuable when you are more versatile,” and to the back yard we went.  If he wasn’t able to play, Josh played… almost every night. They taught me how to throw, and throw hard; how to swing the bat and make contact with the ball; how to catch a pop fly and a line drive; how to use my strength, size and speed as an advantage; how to be ready for EVERYTHING and most importantly, how to not be afraid of the ball.

The next season, I went back to the same team a totally different kid. I could hit, throw, catch, pitch and slide. The coach had no idea what happened. They could literally pop me into any position on the field and I was going to be able to play. I knew where to throw the ball if I caught it and where to hit the ball if I saw a hole in the outfield. Unlucky for me… the coach had a kid on the team, with lots of friends… so I wasn’t really a “favorite” but I know deep down that she knew I was a good player and I was there for the team regardless if these kids liked me or not. I didn’t care. I just wanted to play., I loved to play and I wanted to be the best I could be. I found myself behind the plate catching almost every game that season… and many seasons after that. I would occasionally cover first base or pitcher, but I enjoyed the view from behind the plate so much (and never complained about the heat) so I was picked a lot. I was the happiest kid in 90 degree heat with full gear on.

Why? How? Because I had a goal. I believed in myself. I had the support and encouragement from my brother, Dad and Mom (regardless if the coach liked me).  I didn’t just go to softball and stand in the outfield and wait for the coach to throw me into second base hoping I knew what to do when I got there. I wasn’t satisfied swinging at thin air closing my eyes hoping one of these times I will make contact with the damn ball. I had to push myself to learn outside of what I could be taught in the hour that I was at practice. I had to invest my own time, as for help, practice my ass off to become better at what I wanted to do. When I was at a game, it didn’t matter if it was 90 degrees, I wanted to put that gear on and be one of the players that made the team function like clockwork. No excuses. It wasn’t enough to just exist as a member of the team, I had to BE there. I had to want it.

Pretty deep for in-town youth softball I know… but it’s a true story. I played in town from the age of 8 until I was 16, I wound up not trying out for the high school team, not sure why. I chose to do spring track instead. I was ready for a new adventure and new goals. I was never even close to being as good of a track athlete as I was a softball player, BUT I did bring myself, my mind, body and fight, to every single practice. You will never get better if you don’t try.


Anywho… moral of the story. Don’t dog it. Set goals, work hard… it will pay off. No excuses.

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Bear Crawl Length of Gym
- 5 Pushups
- 10 Wall Balls
- 10 Grasshopper
- 5 Duckwalk w/PVC
2 Minute Pigeon Stretch ea Leg

WOD: "Stacked"
12 Minute AMRAP
- 10 Front Squat (95)
- 20 Double Unders
*Rest 4 Minutes*
5 Min Row for Distance
(9 + 25 Rx, 1257m)

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Behhhh...

January 28, 2013

... is that what a goat sounds like? Because I know what one looks like...


I have talked about crossfit goats before and I thought today would be a perfect day to do it again! First, lets take a look at what the definition of "goat" is (according to the free online dictionary):
1. Any sure-footed agile bovid mammal of the genus, naturally inhabiting rough stony ground in Europe, Asia, and N Africa, typically having a brown-grey coloring and a beard. Domesticated varieties are reared for milk, meat, and wool.
2. Informal a lecherous man.
3. A bad or inferior member of any group.
4. Short for scapegoat (a person that is punished for the errors of others)
5. Slang to cause annoyance
6. A victim of ridicule or pranks

Now... the definition of a CrossFit Goat:
1. A “Goat” is a movement you hate doing, suck at or both. Very simply put, it’s the movement that makes you grimace every time you see it because you can’t do it or you suck at it. (disclaimer I googled this because I wanted to see if crossfit.com had a "real definition and I saw this on crossfittracy.com and had to steal it. The wording is perfect)
So how did the word "Goat" get translated into its crossfit definition? I am guessing its stems from the "bad or inferior" definition....with a side of "to cause annoyance."

Today was a tough one. I knew going into it that it was going to be, but I tried to just block it out of my head and go in strong. HSPUs are killer for me, and I have been working on perfecting the "Rx" HSPU since my first one back before Garage Games. I have been doing much better, but they are still a goat.

Throw in chest to bar pullups and I have an entire goat workout on my hands! I dont think I have to cover my struggle with pullups, but again... after working week after week on them, I have been getting much better. I still have to work on my kip, but even with that, the fact that I have been resting less and less every workout makes a huge difference.

I was determined to go for it this workout, I knew it was going to take a while and I knew I was going to struggle, but I was going to do it. I did the first 8 HSPUs Rx, than jumped onto the band so I could keep going. Struggled through the rest of the 21 and knew I was "in trouble" when I gladly headed to the pullup bar. For me... when chest to bars are the "easy" part... look out!

Anyway, as I knew I would I completed the workout (no doubt I wouldnt)... and at the end I still had that feeling of satisfaction that I look for after a workout. It was hard, it felt like it took forever, but I didnt give up... even though I was the last one working, even though I was so frustrated, even though my shoulders were shot... I did not give up.

Days like this are great for me. They force me to work on the things that I struggle with. They challenge me to look at my training in another manner... they remind me how bad I want it. They make me keep going.

Today was a good day.

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Jumprope Series
- 5 Inchworms
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 5 Burpees
- 10 Air Squats
- 5 Ring Row
Group: Snatch Warmup

OLY:
6 Min to work up to 80% Snatch (105lbs)
6 Min, 1 Snatch every 30 Sec alternating Power and Squat

WOD: "Tune Up"
21-15-9
- HSPU
- Chest to Bar
(13:59)

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Keep Aiming

January 27, 2013


Be Badass Everyday

January 26, 2013

Today was an amazing day. I feel like I have been saying that a lot lately... which I cant imagine is a BAD thing... ever. For the last few months Saturdays at the gym have become a Oly session for me. I have been working on my clean and jerk and snatch as much as possible than using the rest of the time I am at the gym for other skills that I need to work on; toes to bar, butterfly pullups, handstand pushups, dips... and the list goes on... but really my Oly technique has been on the top of my list. Thursday nights and Saturdays have been dedicated to slow first pull, back on my heels, good bar path, quick elbows, dropping quick below the bar, keeping my core tight... I was told (promised almost) that it would be a very frustrating process, but it would be worth it in the end. Having been told that, I knew I would get annoyed, have struggles and get really pissed, but I also knew that that is how I "roll" that I would push through and work hard and get where I wanted to be...

I am still not there, but I am getting there. Realizing that hard work... practice... determination... THAT is what is going to get me where I want to be. Where I am capable of being.

I am not afraid.

CFW has become a busy place now a days... Saturday morning is no exception. M and K decided that they needed to hold more structured classes due to the amount of people that come in, open gym just wasnt working out anymore. Today, this proved to be a fantastic idea, as they held two skill sessions followed by a WOD and an oly lifting class. The oly session is going to be perfect for structured instruction on improving form and perfecting technique with both of them watching and critiquing every lift. I know I have said it before, but having two people as dedicated as they are as coaches is more of an advantage than I could ask for. They are skilled, talented and knowledgeable... both have very different styles of coaching, both know exactly how to coach their athletes and both believe that if we set goals for ourselves they can help us get there. To be sucessful you need to have people behind you that believe in you.

Today was what I need to boost myself into the "open season." All these weeks of frustration pays off when I have a session like today. By any means, I am not done. I know there is a lot more work that has to go into my technique. I will put in that work, I will endure more frustrating workouts, I will not stop trying... but it feels good when I have that glimpse into the payoff.



WARMUP:
Snatch Warmup as a Group

SKILL/STRENGTH:
- Snatch First Pull Skills
- 15 Min 1RM Snatch
(65, 75, 85, 95, 105, 115 (F))
- Clean and Jerk Skills
- 15 Min 1 RM Clean and Jerk
(145, 155, 165, 175, 180 <----PR, 185 clean, failed to jerk)
- HSPU Skill
- Ring Dip Skill






Bear Complex

January 25, 2013


WARMUP:
Fish Game
2 Rounds
- 5 Ring Rows
- 10 Good Morning
- 5 Inchworms
2 X 9 Fundamentals (1 with PVC, 1 with Bar)

WOD: Bear Complex
On the min, every min for 15 min
- 1 Clean
- 1 Front Squat
- 1 Jerk
- 1 Back Squat
- 1 Jerk
( 5@85lb, 5@105lbs, 5@115lbs)
*4 Min Rest*
4 Min AMRAP of Lateral Burpees
(55 Rx)

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Support Group

January 24, 3013

It is no surprise that I do a lot of reading on CF stuff. I am subscribed to many FB pages with inspirational and motivational things to keep my mind moving forward. Every day I seem to come across another blog or page geared towards the same dreams and hopes I have for myself and that I write about in my own blog. Whats great is when I read what is written in other places about CrossFit I find myself nodding my head in agreement with everything they are saying... which is great! At least I know I am doing something right! I do realize that my blog isnt very "original" in the grand scheme of things... however everything I write comes from my mind even if it was inspired by something I have seen or read.

I saw this on Journal Menu's FB page (which you should go over and "like" right now if you havent already...) and I had to share it. It hits home in so many ways and is EXACTLY how I feel about the crossfit community.

Many of us are trying to make ourselves better, to eat healthier, to workout more, to sleep longer, to drink less, to quit smoking - the list can go on and on.

You are not successful at this alone. You can't do this by yourself.

You do it with your support group. That close group of people who you can trust, the group of people that you can tell them about your newest push to cut dairy out of your diet or to WOD 5 times a week.

The group that you know won't make fun of you if you fail, but instead will call you up, ask you why you missed the workout. They are the people who will slap your hand as you reach for the cupcake, and pass it up as well so they won't tempt you.

Your support group makes it happen, they help you steer clear of temptation, and guide you into hitting the WODs more often, to pushing yourself harder, who tell you to go a bit heavier in the WOD, or to just suck it up and to do the WOD Rx'd with pullups, even though you aren't quite sure if you can finish all of them.

They are the ones cheering you on when you are dead last, the ones that are celebrating your victories and lamenting your losses.

They are your support group, and they are invaluable, they are the ones that help you succeed.
I am so very lucky to have the friends and family that I do in my own CrossFit world and I find it fascinating that we are not alone...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=551313588213947&set=a.196051860406790.52141.193694267309216&type=1&theater
 
WARMUP: 3 Rounds
- Jumprope Series
- 10 Toy Soldiers
- 10 Around the World
- 10 Spiderman
- 10 Back Extension
Pigeon Stretch 2 Min Each Leg
Couch Stretch 2 Minute Each Leg
 
SKILL/STRENGTH
Death By Toes to Bar
- 8 Min Unbroken
Snatch Work for Form
- 35lb Bar
- 55lb 
 
       

Today

January 23, 2013





WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Row 250m
- 5 Pushups
- 10 Ring Rows
- 10 Inchworms
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 10 Grasshopper
Couch Stretch 2 Min Each Leg

WOD: Richie Rich
3 Rounds for Time
- 10 Chest to Bar
- 20 KB Swings (1pd)
- 30 Box Jumps (20")
(10:05 Rx)

SKILL/STRENGTH: Midline
3 Rounds
- 10 Toes to Bar
- 10 GHD
- 10 Hollow Rock

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nervous?

January 22, 2013

Do you get nervous before a workout?  

A common question from noobs… often wondering if that feeling of butterflies in your stomach as K and M get ready to start the clock, than proceed to count down the infamous 3…2…1… GO…. is going to last forever. 

The answer: YES! The feeling is still there for me… every single time! And I hope it never goes away!  
When I first started, the nerves were for different reasons, they stemmed from fear. The “fear of failing” in front of other people passed through my head plenty of times as I stood amongst people of all levels with the unknown in front of me. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself, fall on my face, get 1 round when everyone gets 4 or be the last person still working when everyone is done… but I began to  realize, every person in that room is thinking the same thing about themselves and those who aren’t, they have been there… they have let that fear go, they have other things to be “nervous” about. Those fears quickly diminished as I realized no one was going to judge me, laugh at me or roll their eyes at me if I didn’t do well as I began to understand then that “doing well” is totally relative to my own standards I set for myself.

Of course when I am in a competition, I get that blood burning, tummy churning feeling that I only have ONE shot at this… go big or go home. So its “understood” that I should be nervous. However, when it is all said and done, there is really nothing to be nervous about. I am there, I am qualified to be in the division I am in, I am not out of my league… so what gives? I think in my first few competitions I resorted back to that “fearful” mindset of not wanting to make a fool of myself. I would run through all the scenarios in my head and almost convince myself that I am not ready… but I knew that I was and I just had to prove it to myself. Over time, while gaining experience both at CFW and actually competing, my confidence has boosted and I am no longer afraid. I’ve been there, I’ve been “that” person (still am “that” person sometimes) and seen others be “that” person right before my eyes… the CrossFit community, whether at a competition where everyone is a stranger, or a WOD in the gym… is amazing. The encouragement, the cheers, the push to the last second never ceases to amaze me. There is nothing to be afraid of. Being “that” person is pretty freaking fantastic… lets face it, you finish strong and you finish proud. It dosent matter where you finish as long as you are there to play in the game.

Ok, so, if I am not afraid, why am I so damn nervous?! In the gym, at a throw down, at a competition… right before that 3…2…1…GO… I take each and every workout as a challenge. My nerves stem from accepting the challenge I have set forth for myself. It is no longer about anyone else in the gym… when the clock starts, it is me against myself. I do not fear what people think will think of me, however, I am looking to make my coaches, my teammates and myself proud and do not want to let them (or myself) down. I feel as if I invest my time in them and they invest their time in me, thus they have expectations and goals for me to reach. Understand, that these goals are mutual with my goals, not everyone who CrossFits has the same goals, my coaches know what mine are and will push me to reach them. The butterflies in my stomach are a reminder that I have standards for myself as well that I expect to reach for each workout. I know how I want to feel when I am done. It is good to be nervous, it is good to have that feeling. I don’t ever want it to go away…

You set your own goals, you set your own standards (talk to your coaches about your goals)… if you are nervous before a workout… you are not alone!




WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 10 Lunges
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 5 Pullups
- 5 Jumping Squats
- 10 Spiderman
- 10 Back Extensions
1 Min Squat Hold @ Rack

SKILL/STRENGTH
Front Squat (based off 215lb 1RM)
8 @ 75% - 155lbs
3 @ 80% - 165lbs
3 @ 85% - 180lbs
2 @ 90% - 185lbs
1 @ 95% - 195lbs
1 @ 95% - 200lbs

WOD: TABATA
- Double Unders
- 10m Shuttle Run
- Burpee
(148, 30, 53 Rx)

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Monday, January 21, 2013

I am

January 21, 2013

So here is the deal… you walk into a CrossFit gym and look around and you will see a lot of similarities. They all have a pull up rig, they all have rings, rowers, kettle bells, boxes, stacks of weights, GHD’s, ab-mats and of course bars and PVC, some have med balls piled high, some have a  climbing rope… most have a PR board and each and every one has a WOD board with todays’ WOD displayed for all to see. That’s it folks… those are the “material” things that make up a CrossFit box. More often than not, they are a converted warehouse, a garage or a car dealership…. Wide open, no ceilings with stall matts on the floor to break the fall of the weights on the concrete. There is nothing “fancy” about an orange home depot bucket full of chalk and jump ropes hung on a nail in the wall… we checked “fancy” at the door. Functional space what  we need.

However, those things, those material things. They don’t make the box. They are the things that allow the box to function. It’s the PEOPLE that populate that box every hour, sweating, panting, grunting and dropping weight and loving every second of it, that actually makes the box come alive! The community that develops at each box is something you cant really describe unless you are a part of it to feel it. There is laughter and jokes, serious talks about how far we have come and how much further we have to go, we help each other with form, struggles, accomplishments, high five after workouts and hug and smile and yell when a personal record is hit… you name it, we are there for each other. We stand side by side and cheer each and every person on day after day, workout after workout. First, last, heavy weight, light weight, it dosesnt matter… you are there, you are part of the community… you are a CrossFitter.


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 20 Double Unders
- 5 HS Kickups
- 10 Inchworms
- 15 Squats
Pigeon Stretch 2 Min Ea Leg

OLY:
Snatch work with bar

WOD: Sail
12 Minute AMRAP
- 20 Thrusters (65lbs)
- 20 Cal Row
(4 + 1 Rx)

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50' Closer to a Cure

January 20, 2013

A few weeks ago I was on FB and I friend of mine (that I havent seen since the 8th grade) posted about a charity strongman competition that he was going to be attending. Well, Hubs and I have attended strongman before, and we are always looking for something fun and different to do on the weekends... so we decided to go. As a plus, I was going to get to see two people that I havent seen in a really long time AND it was going to be a charity event so we were going to be able to contribute to a good cause as well.

After committing to the event I was obviously interested in seeing what the charity was all about and who was putting it on. I was so very excited for what I found! I had heard in the news before Christmas about the 9-year-old boy from Salyersville, KY named Dalton with stage 4 Cystic Fibrosis. There was nothing more the doctors could do for him, so they sent him home with a few weeks to live. What you may have heard on the news was his dream to break the Guiness World Record for receiving the most holiday cards. This organization 50' Closer to a Cure and its founder Justin Sulham worked so hard and ran event after event to get as many cards as possible sent to Dalton as well as raise money for him and his family. Through their facebook fan page you can see the connection and impact of Dalton's story on Justin as well as the rest of the strongman community. Justin visited Dalton and made his day by pulling a fire truck right in front of his home. Such passion for a strong little boy and honorary strongman is an amazing thing to see and hear about. Justin spoke of Dalton and his passing last weekend at the event today, and emotion filled all of faces of these strongmen who have been touched by him. It was enough to take your breath away.

I was trying to think of how to talk about 50' for a Cure and I dont really think I have to say much more than I already have to stress what a class act these guys are. Their blog states the following under who we are and what we do:

So, who we are. We are 50' Closer to a Cure (Facebook.com/50feetcloser). I cannot call us a non profit because we are not a registered 501c3 organization. I cannot call us a charity because all we do is support other charities in need. What I will call us, the team at 50' Closer, is I will call us a vehicle. We are a mobile voice of hope, we deliver inspiration to those who need inspiration. We are a vehicle for positivity, light in the darkness. Our core values are set in stone, above all the key core value being community. Bring a community together as one and you have succeeded in making the world a better place for tomorrow.
What we do. We pull trucks, fire trucks, monster trucks, military assault vehicles, even airplanes. We pull them using a rope, a harness, our bare hands and the will and energy we receive from the crowd. We also lift up cars, yes you read correctly we individually lift cars off of the ground. There are other events within our BIG events, such as ripping phone books in half, rolling up frying pans, bending steel. We accomplish feats of strength for the crowds, we give the children stories to tell. We see to it that we are positive role models for the youth, in a world where athletes are being removed from their sports and having titles stripped due to substance abuse it's important for the kids to know there are still athletes who accomplish their goals within their chosen sport without the use of performance enhancement, that we train hard, honestly, with a strong moral fiber. -http://50feetcloser.blogspot.com
 So... having said all that, I was MORE than excited to see these guys in action and contribute to a great organization that I so strongly stand behind. Todays event was held at APECS in Medway, MA and was to benefit Belle, a 3 year old diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukimia just before the holidays in 2012. What was really amazing was Bells mom Melissa was there competing with all the other athletes in honor of her daughter! They teamed up with Medway Nutrition and according to their FB page they raised $2,100, enough for 42 home leukimia treatment copay's!!

The event was really well ran and I am hoping to be able to attend  more events to benefit 50' Closer to a Cure in the future. All of the athletes did a stand up job. Its amazing how similar the CrossFit community and the Strongman community looked to me today.

Check out their facebook page and LIKE them!! You wont be sorry!! www.facebook.com/50feetcloser.



It will NOT consume me...

January 19, 2013


Keep working, keep pushing... no matter what. I am always afraid, I am always on edge... but I will not let it consume me. I will not let it take over.

I can only be who I am. I can only be proud of the person I am.... and I am. I am doing it, regardless of my fears. Go big or go home baby...

WARMUP:
2 Rounds
- Jumprope Circuit
- 10 Spiderman
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 5 Wall Ball
- 5 Toes to Bar
Snatch Warmup 2X (1 PVC, 1 Bar)

SKILL/STRENGTH
Snatch
85, 95, 105, 115, 125 (F 2X)

Clean and Jerk
115, 125, 145, 155, 165, 175 (Clean, failed Jerk)

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Bar Bite Anyone?

January 18, 2013

I cant help but laugh at myself these days when I arrive at CFW. I get out of my car and head into the gym with my duffle filled with clothes and toiletries for my shower and work day, armed with my notebook, protein shaker and water bottle… I drop my bag in the locker room and head to the workout area. This is where it gets funny. I grab my notebook, protein shaker and water bottle… than fumble around with my wrist wraps, lifting shoes, jump rope and belt. Its almost as if I need a second bag to get myself from the locker room to the gym!

One of the things I cant seem to wrap my head around are the knee high socks that a lot of CrossFitters like to wear. I do have a pair… I bought back in October at the Beast of the East. They sat in my drawer for a while when one day JM was at the gym wearing hers… she loves them. I happen to have the same pair as one of the pairs she has. They have been hanging out just waiting for the day that I decided to wear them. So, I did. I was so uncomfortable in them through the whole WOD, but I can see their appeal. They protect your shins from bar bites… ahhh haaaa, I get it now!

I have not warn them since that day, took them home, washed them and they are back on the “maybe I will wear them again someday” waiting area! Today would have been a good day, as I took a nice big chunk out of my chin on the SDHPs… I guess those “Knee-High-Sock-Wearing-CrossFit-Women” know what they are doing! However, I think I will take my chances!!

 The one and only appearance of my WOD killer socks...  

WARMUP:
3 ROunds
- Row 250m
- 10 Pushups
- 10 Toy Soldiers
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 10 Ring Rows

WOD: 40oz
3 Rounds for Time
- 40 Wall Balls (14)
- 40 SDHP (55)
- 40 Abmat Situps
(16:24 Rx)

SKILL/STRENGTH:
Death By Chest to Bar Pullups
(Round 6 + 5)

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3 Rules

January 17, 2013

  

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Row 250m
- 10 Spiderman
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 5 Toes to Bar

SKILL SESSION:
Snatch
3 X 1 X 55lbs
3 X 2 X 65lbs
3 X 2 X 75lbs
3 X 2 X 85lbs
Work 65lbs for form

Clean and Jerk
3 X 65lbs
3 X 85lbs
3 X 105lbs
3 X 115lbs
3 X 120lbs

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Goals

January 16, 2013

Goals. Its so important to set them. Its important that they are reasonable and achievable in the amount of time you have set for them... oh and you should set an amount of time you want to achieve them in... get it?!

The key is there is a difference between "I can do this" and "if I work my ass of, I can do this." There is a difference between setting a goal that is definitely attainable, one that you think there is a small chance you might not reach it in time... and one that is just plain scary. Goals should be all over the map... goals for your immediate future, goals for 6 months, goals for 12 months... 5 years, whatever you need to get the job done.

Its important to set them to keep from being content with consistency. They help to elevate life from just day to day to looking forward to reaching new heights and accomplishing new things. Every day we are on this planet we are evolving. We have to... we learn, we grow and we change. Life changes around us... some try not to change or evolve with that time... sit on the side lines waiting for it to catch up with them. If you set goals, you will keep moving forward, life will not pass without you taking a second glance. You will know that you gave your life its shot at being all you can be.

I personally have issues sometimes setting goals that are too high, that are unreasonable... and I know that about myself. In some cases it comes back to bite me in the ass, and in some cases I have this glorious sense of accomplishment the day I can finally say "Yeah... I did that!" I accept challenge, I challenge myself and I like to keep myself on my toes by never being satisfied. I relish in my accomplishments, am proud of what I have done... and set a new goal. Its a cycle, however it is just as important to celebrate the goals you hit as it is to set a new one.

Keep reaching, keep striving to be all that you want to be and never ever give up.

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Jump Rope Circuit
- 10 Spiderman
- 10 Around the World
- 10 Wall Balls
- 5 Knees to Elbows

OLY: Clean and Jerk
15 min to establish 1RM Clean and Jerk
(125, 135, 145, 155, 165, 170 <---- PR!!)

WOD: OTMEM
1 Clean and Jerk on the min, every min for 8 min
(use 75% of 1RM, 125lbs)
than... add 5lbs and complete 4 minute AMRAP of Clean and Jerk
(130lbs, 15)

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We Know...

January 15, 2013


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 1/2 Gym Bear Crawl
- 10 Air Squats
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Grasshopper
- 10 PVC Good Mornings
Pigeon Stretch 2 Minutes Ea Leg

STRENGTH:
Push Press
1 X 8 @ 115 lbs
2 X 5 @ 125 lbs
1 X 3 @ 135 lbs
1 X 3 @ 140 lbs

WOD: Row
Row 500m X 4
(1:46, 1:49, 1:50, 1:51)

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Having a bad day?

January 14, 2013

Wait what?! Sarah is "having a bad day?!" But... that cant happen. She loves CrossFit, she puts her every ounce of her every being into every workout and always comes out on top of the world in her own eyes... she is never in a bad mood and is always motivational and positive about everything.

Ok... first of all Hubs... stop laughing.

Second... EVERYONE has bad days.  Everyone. I am sure that there are days that Annie Thorisdottir and Rich Froning finish a workout and think, "damn, I could have done better." For me, on a day like today when I finish my workout, everything seems fine, I gave it my all, laid it all on the line... than the analyzing starts. I am in the shower thinking of all the things I should have done faster, or better or the rest I took... than it rolls around in there for hours. I cant get it out because shy of doing the WOD again, there is no way to "fix" what I did wrong...

This is where I am "lucky" that I get up at 4:45 in the morning and workout... typically I get to my office, vent a little bit to Hubs on text or g-chat, but than I get busy and the day starts to pass. By the time I am home, I am already through all the stages of "where did I go wrong" and I am onto "I will not do this again, I cant wait till tomorrows WOD." Now, if I had to come home after a workout, eat, climb into bed and try to sleep... I would wind up on the couch because I would toss and turn all night and Hubs would push me out of the bed...

So, yes. I have bad days. I have days I am unsatisfied with my performance. I do try to attempt every workout with the same mind frame. I do give every ounce of energy I have in my body to achieving my CrossFit goals... BUT... yes, there are days that I fall short of my own expectations. Days I feel like I have let my coaches down because they expect more from me... Days that I feel like I am not doing enough to get better, faster and stronger.

What do I do? I realize, that I will get absolutely NO WHERE with that attitude. That I have been in that spot before and I have overcome it, prevailed and felt amazing all over again. That I dislike feeling that way so much I am going to learn from my mistakes and push harder than before to not feel that way again. That if I hang on to the feeling of not being good enough for myself, my husband, my coaches, my teammate... well, than I wont be. Plain and simple. I have to believe. I do believe.

I am strong and I am capable. I will not give up.


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 10 Lunges
- 10 Inchworms
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 10 Ring Rows
- 5 Med Ball Cleans
Snatch Warmup with 35lb Bar

WOD: Butcher
3 Rounds for Time
- 20 Burpee Box Jump Over (20" Box)
- 10 Snatches (75lbs)
(9:45 Rx)

SKILL/STRENGTH
Ab Circuit
3 Rounds - Not for Time
- Max Effort L Sit Hang
- 20 GHD
- 20 Hollow Rock

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Rest

January 13, 2013


Emotions

January 12, 2013


WARMUP:
30 Double unders
2 Rounds
- 10 Lunges
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 5 Ring Row
- 5 Wall Ball

SKILL/STRENGTH
- Snatch Work, light weight, lots of technique
- Clean Work, light weight, lots of technique
- Double Unders  10 X 30 (all unbroken!)
- 3 X 5 Pullups
- 3 X 5 Toes to Bar (working kip)

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Hard is NOT Impossible

January 11, 2012





WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- 20 Double Unders
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Inchworms
- 15 Air Squats
Pigeon Stretch

STRENGTH/SKILL
Front Squat (Based off 215lb 1RM)
1 X 5 @ 75% - 160
2 X 5 @ 80% - 170
2 X 3 @ 85% - 180
1 X 2 @ 95% - 200

WOD: Chill Stop
4 Rounds for Time
- 15 HSPU (first 10 Rx, remainder with 1 abmat)
- 30 Jumping Squats (45lbs)
- 250m Row
(3 + 5)

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Technique

January 10, 2013

Elizabeth Akinwale... my CrossFit Inspiration...


Form, form, form... technique, technique, technique...

With good technique, comes good form.... with good form comes good technique.. and with both comes a lot of FRUSTRATION!

I am working and working to improve my form and develop as a better crossfitter. I was told, and its no joke, that it is going to be a frustrating time. My weights will go down, my ego will get shattered... but if I learn how to lift correctly I will be a better athlete in the end.

Here.We.Go...

WARMUP:
3 Round
- 10 Lunges
- 10 Around the World
- 10 Ring Row
- 10 Wall Ball
Rolling/LAX Ball

OLY:
Clean from High Hang on Jerk Box
65 X 10 X 2
75 X 5 X 1
85 X 5 X 1
95 X 5 X 2
105 X 3 X 2
115 X 3 X 1

Snatch from High Hang on Jerk Box
55 X 5 X 2
65 X 3 X 1
75 X 3 X 1
85 X 3 X 1
95 X 3 X 1

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Look at your Goals

January 9, 2013

Its so important to visit your goals daily. Look at where you are, where you have been and where you are trying to go. Sometimes taking a look back at where you have come from allows you to push harder towards future goals.

When starting something new its common to set unreasonable goals... you want what you want badly but have no idea how long it will take to accomplish. However, when the time finally comes that the goal is attained, its an incredible feeling. Suddenly, the urge hits to set another goal... something you feel that might be out of reach but "hey, anything is possible." You just want that feeling again. Time will go by and maybe you will set more goals while still reaching for the ultimate, or maybe you will sprint towards that ultimate and hit it again... just in time to set another.

Goals are so important in life, but almost as important is the ability to celebrate your milestones... slow down and take a look back at where you have come from.... smell the roses... but never stop pushing, never stop learning, never stop believing.

Enjoy the ride!  


WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Crabwalk 1/2 the Gym
- 10 Grasshopper
- 10 Back Extensions
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 5 Duck Walk
2 Minutes Each Leg - Couch Stretch

WOD: Hydro Thunder
15 Minute AMRAP
- 10 Box Jumps (20)
- 20 HR Pushups
- 30 Abmat Situps
(5+40 Rx)

SKILL/STRENGTH
Death by Pullups
(Round 11, 6 into 12)

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

No, I didnt lose a fight...

January 8, 2013

Hubs bought me a new rope for Christmas... it is kicking the crap out of me! The rope of course...


I go off and on getting and losing my double unders. I dont know what it is but for some reason I just cant "relax" and jump. I know what I have to do, I know how to do it... and I know I can do it. Its SO.DAMN.FRUSTRATING.

Today could have been disastrous... yesterday during the warmup I couldnt even string together 2 double unders. Thankfully, when we were doing some warmup drills getting loose and practicing double unders I was able to calm myself to get them.

Looks like I have yet another thing to add to the list of "what needs work." I know I can do it, I know I can do them... just like everything else, it takes time and dedication. If you want it, you work at it and you get it. Plain and simple...

... even if I look like I lost a fight with a cat and have whip marks all over my shins and forarms... I will win that fight some day!

WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Row 250m
- 10 Inchworms
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Abmat Situps
- 5 Broad Jumps
- 10 PVC Good Mornings
2 Minute Squat Sit Hold

SKILL/STRENGTH: Backsquat
1 X 8 @ 70% (170 lbs)
2 X 5 @ 80% (185 lbs)
2 X 3 @ 85% (195 lbs)

WOD: Needle
30-20-10
- Double Unders
- Toes to Bar
(5:40 Rx)

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100% All the Time!

January 7, 2013

I think its safe to say that I sleep better at night knowing what the WOD is going to be the next morning when I get up for the gym. See... going to the 5:30am class is perfect for me (yes, Sarah we know it is) but that means that there are nights that I am literally waiting for the WOD to go up on the website before heading to bed.  No, there has never been a day that I bailed on a workout because I didnt want to do it... and yes, there have been nights that I didnt seep as well because I knew it was going to be a challenge the next day... but there are also nights (like last night) that I went to be super excited and slept fantastic because I knew what the next morning was going to bring... my favorite Hero WOD, "DT."

There is something about this WOD that really gets me going. DT are the initials of SSgt Tim Davis, 23d Special Tactics Squadron, US Air Force who was killed in action on February 20, 2009. He was 28 years old supporting operations in OEF when his vehicle was struck by and IED. He was a husband and a father to a one year old son at the time of the accident. I have said before... he must have been one hell of a man, because this is one hell of a workout.

My mind is changing and my passion and focus is growing. I have been working hard on my form during my cleans, jerks and snatches. Really concentrating on M and K's coaching, taking it all in and retaining. I know the last time I did DT it was Rx, and I know I laid it all on the line that time. I also know that I have only gotten better, I have only evolved more and my approach to a long and challenging WOD has also progressed. I have a different approach... I guess it might be harder to see on the outside, but I can feel it.

Today was amazing. I had my head in the game and really thought about my rest time and strategy. When it was all said and done... when the last jerk was complete I had my moment, that moment that I crave, that I strive for every day... I dropped to the ground because I everything burned, I laid my arm over my face, I tried to steady my breathing, the sweat was pouring off me... and I couldn't have been happier.

100% all the time! 


 WARMUP:
3 Rounds
- Jumprope Circuit
- 10 Air Squats
- 10 Pushups
- 10 Spiderman

OLY:
10 Minutes 5X1 Clean and Jerk
105, 125, 135, 135, 145, 155

WOD: "DT"
5 Rounds for Time
- 12 Deadlifts (105 lbs)
- 9 High Hang Clean (105 lbs)
- 6 Push Jerk (105 lbs)
(9:45 Rx <----PR)

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Keep it Simple

January 6, 2013

I saw this today and I loved it... Keep it simple... 


Some people wont like you for it... but you will love yourself for it.

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Dont

January 5, 2013

Its January... its New Years Resolution time. So many people are "back in the saddle" trying to get in shape, loose weight, eat right... all those things that people think of on January 1st for some reason. I was one of them, I have been there. As if there is some magical power that is going to come over you on that day and voilla, you are going to do it. This year will be the year and thats that.

Now, I am not saying that I dont use January 1 as a "start over" moment. What I am saying is that it is as good a time as any. Start today, start yesterday... start on a Wednesday... it  doesnt have to be the first of the month or, a Monday or, after this weekend because you have something planned that you know you will eat cake at... it just has to be the right time. The right time for you. The right time for your mind and body. There is nothing special about the first of the year... but if thats what it takes and that has got you started towards a new goal than thats awesome...

A fair warning... it will not be easy.  


There are going to be crappy days. There will be days that you just cant stand it any more. There will be days that you feel like you fell off the wagon... pick yourself back up, put yourself back on track and move on. If it was easy... everyone would do it!

WARMUP:
2 Rounds
- Row 250
- 10 Spiderman
- 10 Around The World
- 10 Leg Swing - Front to Back
- 10 Leg Swing - Side to Side
- 5 Ring Row

SKILL/STRENGTH
- Snatch Warmup
- Snatch - 65lb (20 Minutes of work on form)
- Clean and Jerk
105, 125, 135, 145, 155
- HSUP - 3X5 Rx

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