Tuesday, December 30, 2014

His Puzzler is Sore...

December 28, 2014



Its no secret the stress that comes with the holidays for me. This year... certainly no different. In fact, without spilling way too much personal information that I would rather not disclose all over the interwebs, Christmas just wasnt Christmas this year. It was not a day that was filled with packages, lights and trees... but was a day that I held my family tight and was thankful for everything in my life. My little peanut, my mom, my dad, my husband... and my close friends and family, that is ALL I need for Christmas.

The week at the gym was an interesting one. Always is when there is a short week. They were closed on Wednesday and Thursday so it was important to get a good few good workouts in before two days off. I certainly did that and was ok to take those two days off. I am feeling the baby move a lot more now so it dosent really stop even when I am at the gym. Makes for a very interesting morning sometimes... but hey, this is the life and all I care about is making sure that I stay healthy and I am able to provide a safe and healthy boarding house for the next 7 weeks.

We also had "bring a friend" day to the gym on Friday and Saturday which is always an exciting time. The visitors are almost always anxious, but more than likely surprise themselves as how much the like it! I was very excited to actually be one that had a friend with me and even more excited that she was one who surprised herself! She has signed on for the onramp and is excited to start her CrossFit adventure!

I didnt have to shove her in a bag...


Feeling "Prepared"

December 21, 2014

Meet... baby...


She (yes it was a girl), was our baby at our "Prepared Parenting" class that we took this week! We actually had a lot of fun and learned some things so we are more... get this one... PREPARED... for when we come home with the baby! Trust me, we understand 500% that nothing can actually prepare us for this. We also know that every baby is different and that a lot of people "dont bother" taking these classes. We get it.. but we did it and we learned some things that we didnt know going into it so I consider that a win... We were surprised when we had to change her and found out she was a she... is it a sign?! We will find out in February!

I had my 32 week appointment this Friday. Little Monster is progressing on schedule. I was vaccinated for whooping cough... and measuring just a bit behind. My Dr is not concerned at this point. The HR is great and has been pretty consistent for the last few appointments. I did find out that he/she is transverse... meaning head is under my left rib and bum and feet are on the right side... must be why I am getting constant rolls and bumps on both sides. But, now we have to hope it rotates into position. I am not worried and neither are they, as we have 2 months left... holy crap, we only have 8 weeks left! Amazing.

Had another milestone this week... said goodbye to my old friend... I can remember the day I got this, I was 16... 18 years ago... eh, it is what it is.


The week at the gym was great. Again, I am still moving and grooving at this point. Just going with the gym programming and feeling good while doing it. I have kept up with most all of the WODs and will still at this point even do burpees. I am very careful with them, but they are not uncomfortable at all for me so I figure that I am good to go. We did Cheif this week, which is one of my favorites... it was quit a struggle, but I did my best to keep moving and stay consistent with my reps between rounds. I set up a pushup station to assure that my chest hit the ground on every rep (hands on the top two plates and toes on the bottom two) and felt pretty comfortable doing it... anything I can do to keep standard I am doing.



I felt really great on Saturday when I went in for the Oly session... wound up hitting 130 for my snatch which I havent done in months. I also was able to clean 185, but I missed the jerk. I am "blaming" it on the massive burger I had Friday night!

Here I am... 8 whole months!


Luck Be a Lady

December 14, 2014

I am approaching my 4 year "work-a-versary" with my company. In being perfectly honest, when I sent my resume in for this job I had no idea if I was going to be qualified for what they were looking for. I know for a fact that I was not. However, as they tell me... they "liked" me so they took a gamble. I am damn happy that they did. I have come a long way not just professionally in these years but I owe so much of that to the owner of my company. I am a very lucky person and realize that not many people can say that they wake up every morning and head to a job that they love, in the field that they studied, working with people they enjoy and find it all very rewarding. Yes, there are certainly busy and hard days... but thats why it is called "work."

My boss is a great and kind man. he takes a lot of pride in the people he has working for him and really enjoys spending time with us all. He decided to do something special for us this week and rented a bus... he took us on a local tour to see some of the work that our company has built and buildings we have worked on over the last few years. There are quite a few new people within the company so it was great for them to get to spend time with us all and also see those jobs that we talk about often since we do repeat work in many of those buildings. He ordered us lunch and we all had boxed lunches while we drove around.


As if that wasnt enough our tour ended at one of the buildings we did quite a bit of work on. One of the tenants is a restraunt and there happens to be a nail salon and barber shop in the same complex. He went ahead and booked us all mani/pedis and the boys haircuts and shaves! What a great day and a wonderful way to spend some time outside of the office with the ladies!




So, we are in this fantastic cycle at the gym that is to prep us for the Open. Which typically is a bugger for me anyway. There are a lot of metcons with my "favorite" movements. Um... no... can you see the sarcasm dripping off those words? Usually I am able to grind through this cycle and it really helps with the open, this year I am getting hammered! I of course push through it and do what I can. I understand I am 31 weeks pregnant. I am at the gym... thats what matters to me... but holy hell. It was a lot different last year!

The one really awesome thing about this cycle are the Wednesday bar complexes and this Wednesday was a great one. A 20 minute, every minute on the minute complex of 6 deadlifts, 4 hang cleans and 2 jerks. The womens weight was 105lbs. The trick, if you missed a round, you were out. I was pretty confident I would make it though the complex and pretty pleased when that happened. Made it all 20 minutes and felt fantastic after! Looking forward to Wednesdays for the next few weeks!

Squat Now, Push Later

December 7, 2014

If you had asked me last December what I thought I would be doing this December, I am pretty sure I would not have said I would be walking into a daycare to see how much it would be to enroll my CHILD in the fall! Alas, here I am, 30 weeks pregnant and doing just that. My god, its expensive!

Anyway, aside from that the Little Monster is moving away in there. I have been feeling it a lot more often and really look forward to the quiet times when I get home from work that I sit back, relax a bit and I can feel (and sometimes see) all the movement going on. I am sleeping ok and have a feeling when I get to the gym the poor thing is sound asleep in comfortable in there... only to be awoken with burpees or cleans... or toes to bar. I have a feeling payback is going to be a bitch! One of the highlights of this week was after the workout on Wednesday, I was spent and laid on the ground after. I had my hand on my stomach and felt for the first time "real" movement after a workout. KP was there and got to share in not only my excitement, but she also got to feel the little bugger kick her! Super exciting!

As far as the gym is going I am just taking it one workout at a time at this point. I still feel great while I am working out. Still able to squat below 90 with no issues. I am really watching my form with my lifting to assure that I am not going to cause any harm to myself or the baby. This Monday was the first day that I actually modified a movement in workout that I wasn't comfortable with.The workout was an 18 min AMRAP of 50 dubs, 10 handstand pushups, 10 chest to bars and 10 burpees. I thought that was a lot of sudden movements and change of motion with the dubs and handstand pushups... than the kipping and burpees... so I did the dubs and changed out the handstand pushups for push jerks @ 85lbs. Chest to bars dont really happen anymore, with an extra 20lbs... its just hard for me. So, I made those regular pullups. The burpees I continue to do I just walk them to the ground and take it easy assuring I am not landing on my stomach. We had a great rowing workout this week and I was also happy to still be able to do a WOD with toes to bar... still getting them up there... might be one at a time... but its happening!

I saw this on line and though it was great! Totally perfect!


Also... for baby news... had my 30 week appointment on Friday. I passed the glucose test (yippie) and everything is going swimmingly. They are happy with my size and weight gain and keep telling me to continue doing what I am doing! So, I guess I havent messed anything up at this point! Hooray! Final stretch now... just 10 weeks left!

Giving Thanks

November 30, 2014


I feel like a broken record every year at Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving happens to be my favorite holiday. No, its not because it is the "gateway" to Christmas... No, it is not for the sales that happen the next day. No, it is not because of the day off from work, the long weekend or the food... in fact it has nothing to do with all of that. Thanksgiving is a day I can sit back and take a real look at everything I have to be thankful for. It makes me sad that too many people let the day fly by without thinking of what its really about.

I woke up this Thanksgiving morning with a warm heart. It happened to land on the same day that my Grampa passed away just a few years ago. I decided to take that emotion positively to make me smile. Yes, I miss my Gramp, he was an amazing man... but I thought of all the memories, the life he lived and was so thankful that I had all those years with him in my life. I will never ever forget dancing with him to String of Pearls at my wedding... his face was priceless! This one came from a JAZSF tournament years ago... but one of my favorites!


I started to think about this Little Monster and how much my life already has and is going to change. Just with this little life already fluttering (ok punching and kicking) away. At just 29 weeks, he/she is the most important person on the planet. The most perfect little being... "perfect" to anyone but me I dont care... but perfect to me. How thankful I am that my little one will have whatever life I am able to provide it with and more. That he/she has so many wonderful people who are already thinking of them, loving on them and not so patiently awaiting its arrival. It has no idea! Thankful that I have had so many people in my life that support me, love me and care for me. Words and thanks can not even come close to how I feel. I would not be the woman I am today without each and every thing I have gone through in my life. Good, bad, happy, sad... I am who I am because of it. I am thankful for the support and the life I have been blessed to live. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

The Dreaded Glucose Test

November 23, 2014

Well, we have completed week 28. The week was capped off with the "dreaded" 1 hour glucose test. I had been given the mystery orange drink at my appointment two weeks ago. I was told all the horror stories of how bad it tasted and what to do to get it down... and to be sure not to throw it up. WHAT?! Geeze talk about expecting the worst. If you dont know what the test is, here is the gist... with the 1 hour test you are told to eat and drink normal leading up to the test. You drink this drink one hour (get it) before you have a blood draw. They draw and send to the labs to check your sugar levels. If you pass wonderful, if you dont you have to take the 3 hour... which I understand is where you have to sit in the lab for 3 hours and you have to fast leading up to it. You do the drink, than they take your blood every 3 hours to see how your body responds to the sugar. If you fail that one, it is determined that you have gestational diabeties and they talk about treatment. Some need to take insulin and some can manage GD with diet alone. Here's hoping its good news!

I had a vacation day to burn so I took the day off to spend with my Mama, AKA very excited Grammy. I went to the gym and headed home to drink "the drink." Kinda funny that Hubs looked at the drink the before and sort of laughed and said "this would make a pretty decent post workout drink." Basically its dextrose. Which ironically we have a bag of on our fridge that he sometimes adds to his post workout. Anyway... I cracked open the bottle and took a sip. Um... I liked it. I downed it in like 30 seconds and really could have had more. When I lived in my townhouse at college I basically lived off of orange kool-aid, the kind of packets you add your own sugar. Well I made it with half a cup of sugar rather than a cup of sugar because I like the tartness of it. Havent had it in years. I swear this stuff tasted just like it. Down the hatch!



I chose not to listen to the "advice" that people share. Somehow people think if they dont eat anything or change their diet before they do the test it that they have a better chance of passing. Um... last I checked I didnt want to "cheat" a test that could somehow affect my child. So... my suggest is just to do what the Dr says and eat normal... but thats just me.

Anyway. Ma came along with me and got to hear the Little Monsters perfect little heart beat at my appointment that I had set to immediately follow the glucose test. One stop shopping! We went out to eat, did some shopping and headed back to my house to address, stamp and mail my shower invitations... HOLY CRAP this is happening soon!

The week at the gym was pretty good. We had some great benchmark workouts, Dianne and Helen. Dianne went ok. I am still doing handstand pushups, but it certainly was not close to my best time. Same with Helen. The pullups are becoming a bear since I dont have very good pullup form anyway, the extra weight sucks. On Monday I modified the dips in the workout to use a band... just because I wanted to get a workout in. Too much time on the dips and I just feel like I am missing the rest of the workout. Double unders are still good as well as kettle bell swings and all of my oly lifting. I am feeling great and really happy I am able to keep up.

I can not believe that I am 28 weeks... SEVEN MONTHS! Time is flying by!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

If You Cant Play... Why Not Judge!

November 16, 2014

I am sitting here recovering from the most massive brunch on the planet... oh what a week its been! Week 27, was filled with an "emergency" dental procedure, a bunch of meetings, my birthday, lots of torturous workouts and my first competition on the other side of the barbell... at least I was greeted at work on Friday with this georgous bouquet of flowers from my parents for my Birthday. I cant wait to enjoy them all next week!



The emergency wasnt too bad, I just somehow managed to break a crown (even stumped the dentist as to how I did what I did... I am talented I guess) and had to spend some time in "the chair" on Monday to get it taken care of. Well, half way... if you have ever had a crown you know they do it in two sittings. At least the hard part is over. I got the "all clear" from my Dr to go ahead and have the procedure done. I was a little concerned about novocaine and any possible x-rays, but we avoided those. I am on my way to a brand new crown, yippie.

The week at the gym was pretty good. Again, I am still not really modifying any weights in the workouts but more-so just taking my time where needed and trusting my instincts. I take a sip of water if needed and like I have said before, if I dont make the time cap, so be it. If I am the last one to finish, so be it.

Heavy Grace was a fun one for me. Typically one I enjoy and when we did it this week it was no different. Well, it was slower... but I still enjoyed it! The workout on Wednesday just seemed like never ending tourture... even though it had a time cap. A 21-15-9 of deadlifts and handstand pushups... doesnt sound too bad but add in 5 burpees on the minute every minute and it makes it WAY worse... if that isnt bad enough, lets throw in 100 dubs at the end of every round! What what?! I thought I was reading it wrong when written! I didnt make it very far into the 15 HSPUs and I did 125 burpees through the 25 minutes... so, I dont feel as if I didnt finish anything! Again, the HSPUs were a struggle and I took my time on the burpees. I think that was the issue. I didnt have much time left after 5 burpees before the next set. BUT, I did it. I worked hard and I got it done.

Saturday was a long and fun day for me. The box located in the next town over from CFW was hosting a competition. I knew a lot of CFWers were going to be competing. I was pretty bummed that this was the 2nd comp that they have had there and I have been PG for both of them. The first, no one even  knew I was pregnant... but either way, I couldnt do it. So. I figured, this time, if I couldnt compete, why not judge?! I contacted the guys over there and volunteered! It was so different being on that side of the barbell, really odd but actually kind of great. Not that I am going to get used to it, but I was glad that I could participate and be involved in such a way. It wound up being a very successful event for CFW too!! Congrats guys!!


5K Row

November 9, 2014

What a week. This has been a super busy week for me, lots going on at work and lots going on on the weekends. I am like a crazy woman. Today however, got to be a nice relaxing day with the Hubby as we are celebrating his Birthday! Got to go out for breakfast this morning to our favorite place and have just taken it easy.



Last weekend we got to go to the Pats Game... Little Monsters 2nd game... with my Brother and his girlfriend. It was FREAKING FREEZING! Seriously, nothing like choosing the first game in November only to have it snow for the first time of the season and have a crazy wind chill in the singe digits. The plus side, I cant drink... so the hot chocolate in the stadium costs a lot less than the beer in the stadium, and its actually not too bad!


Finally,  yesterday our friends had our 4th annual "Friends Thanksgiving" which is one of my favorite days of the year its so exciting to me that its a great day that we all get together, have dinner and get to spend some time really talking and sharing whats been going on in our lives. We dont get to see one another nearly as much as we did back in the day and with every year a friend gets married or another has a baby and the group grows and expands. So exciting to think that next year we will be the ones with the little one! A little on that will be almost a year old! Wow, that is the strangest thing in the world to think about! Lets make it to February and have this baby before we start thinking about it being almost a year old... brain overload!

The gym this week was great. I was pretty happy with my performance on every workout. Albeit, its not my "best" in any of the movements... but if I had to classify it, I felt my "best" in some movements than I have in a while. We did handstand pushups and pistols on Monday, even the HSPU's felt better than last week for some reason. Of course, pistols were a little harder than usual, but I was doing them when I was at my current weight before, so... I can still do them. Tuesday, we had 5 rounds of 95lb thrusters and a 400m run. I was a little concerned about the run from the way I was feeling after running in the weeks past, lots of pressure... but not this time. I felt pretty good... even as slow as I was!

Saturday was the highlight. One of my strengths was a heavy single front squat... I was super happy to finally hit 215 again! Still 15lbs off from my 1RM, but I havent been able to front squat more than 205 in weeks. I think I am a little more confident in what I am able to do and how my body is responding. To top of the day, we had a 5K row to complete as the metcon. I love rowing, I would choose to row over run on any day of the week... for any distance. I was very happy with my time of 21:44 for a 5K. Felt great and really strong through the whole distance.

Week 26 is in the books!

Happy Halloween

November 1, 2014

I cant not even believe that it is November! Time is just flying by faster than I know what to do with. Each week I am so surprised when my phone alerts me that I am yet another week along in this 10 month (see that, I said 10 month) "adventure" in my life. This week... at 25 weeks, I am told that my baby is the size of a zucchini... which is kind of a funny comparison in my opinion. The Little Monster should be about 13.5 inches and 1.5 lbs. Holy crapola, there is a tiny human in there!

I know people think Crossfitters are strange enough as it is... but we add to it on Halloween. Yes, we all get dressed up and go to the gym in costume. Weird, I know... but honestly, watching some people work out in their costumes is enough to make you pee yourself laughing. Some people really get into it and others just do something to make it through the class. Others... they just dont play along. This year, I thought it was appropriate, after the suggestion of a friend, to create my own costume. The Little Monster trying to escape my belly and participate in the workout... yes, those are little dumbells I made out of table sliders.



I had another scheduled Dr apt this week. Everything seems to be going great. The heart beat is easier to find each time and though I still get that nervous rush every time they get the doppler out, its getting better. I am also feeling movement a little more than I have been which is easing my mind during the day. Other than a little weight gain, which is of course to be expected, I am feeling pretty great. Nothing to complain about. A few times my back has sort of  "spasamed" if I am standing in the same spot with my back hyper extended (think blowdrying my hair) and than suddenly moving... but I plan to ask my chiro about that one. Pretty sure its just the shifting of everything in there. No cravings, no swelling, no sickness or headaches... I cant complain.

This week at the gym seemed to be the week of burpees... I felt like every day we were doing hundreds of burpees! I am still doing them, both bar facing and regular. I walk them down to the ground, lay flat, than walk it back up. Takes longer of course, per rep... but it is what it is.

Handstand pushups are a giant pain in the ass. Again, I am still doing them. Just really really slow. I cant seem to get a rhythm with them to connect them and with a few extra pounds, its just not that "easy" anymore. I just keep moving and if I run out of time, it is what it is. The number one priority right now has to be the safety of this tiny human and not so much the time on the clock or a new personal record in a workout...

I will be back, I will get it all back...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Where has the Time Gone?

October 26, 2014

SIX MONTHS!! Where has the time gone?! I also have a bone to pick with whoever started the rumor that pregnancy was only 9 months long. If it was and I was 6 months, I would have only 3 left. Im due February 13... that would be 4 months from now. Ahhh right, 40 weeks is not 9 months, its 10!! All a bunch of liars!! Actually... I shouldnt complain, I CANT complain. The last 24 weeks have been better than I could have ever expected my first pregnancy to be. I feel great, I have had no sickness, swelling, aches, pains or anything to complain about really. My workouts have not suffered, I have been sleeping just as well as I was before pregnancy. All is good and its a wonderful feeling.

Here I am, 6 months pregnant after a full work day, embracing the bump in my sweater for the first time. Still in non maternity clothes but finally feeling like I am looking pregnant. I know, give it a few more weeks, kiddo is growing fast and furious for the next few weeks!! Grow Little Monster...grow! Mama wants you to be big and strong (just not too big!)


This week was great again... man I feel like a broken record. I am happy about that though because I dont want to be a pinball of emotion! Feeling great keeps me going and one things for sure, if I slow down I am going to have trouble speeding back up... not to mention, life is not going to slow down any time soon!

It was a de-load week, so the percentages were lighter for all my lifting and most of the workouts were fairly light. Sometimes I feel worse during a de-load, where I just feel sluggish, not sure why that happens. This week was not like that. I have had the ability to slow down most of my oly lifts and really focus on form. This is working wonders for my snatch form... and my clean pull from the floor. Both have had vast improvements and while it will be a few months, I cant wait to get back at it after I have the baby!

We had a 2K row on Monday. I really love rowing and honestly, while I didnt come close to my PR, I was very happy with my row. I feel really good while rowing and I am able to keep a strong pace, with strong pulls and control my breathing. Not hitting my pre-pregnancy numbers and times has gotten easier over time... not to say I am "ok" with it... but I have to be. I have something far more important to worry about right now, my back squat PR can come after the Little Monsters arrival!

Movements are all still as prescribed. I havent modified anything, even burpees are still to the floor, I just dont drop it like its hot, I walk it to the floor. I do lie flat with my chest on the floor and I can feel the little bugger in there more and more... but I get it done. Toes to bar are getting a little harder, just because of the kip, I cant seem to connect more than 2 anymore. My core is suffering (clearly). I still havent modified any weights from what has been prescribed to me in workouts... but I dont feel like they have been too much of a struggle to get through... so I just keep going. Again, I will talk to my Dr next week at my apointment, but since I am still completing the task at hand, I dont see it as a problem. I am keeping hydrated and making sure I am comfortable with everything. All is good!

The holidays are quickly approaching... hold on to your socks... here comes the hoopla! 

Refreshed and Ready to Go!

October 19, 2014

What an amazing weekend! Hubs and I had a fantastic time in Lenox, MA to celebrate our anniversary! This was all him... planning and everything and I coudnt have been happier with the outcome! We had a beautiful room in a little hotel with a hot tub and fire place! What isnt there to love about a weekend filled with alpacas, dessert for lunch, the Pats game from the hot tub, Mass MOCA, the best steak ever, ice cream while walking around downtown and takeout night to just be together alone. The BEST highlight of the weekend was Hubs feeling the baby move... perfect cap to a perfect weekend!





  

Sad to come home... 

The week at the gym was short for me, but I came back refreshed and really well rested. Yesterday at the oly session I was able to hit 125 for my heavy single snatch and 175 for my heavy single clean and jerk. I also hit all my percentages for each of those lifts. I must have really needed that break. Back squat and push jerk were also on par with my pre-pregnancy 1 rep maxes... so, all in all it was a great day!

Our first day back we did Elizabeth. I usually struggle with the dips (the workout is 21-15-9 of ring dips and 95lb cleans). I decided that I wanted to be sure I was getting full movement out of the dips and since I feel like I dont do that with a band on the rings, I used the GHD handles and did my dips strict with no band between two of those. Worked out really well... and boy am I paying for it on a soreness level! I love it! Havent felt that one in a while!

So far, this week was the first time I "passed" on something because of being pregnant. Friday had a max height box jump programmed and I thought maybe for the safety of myself and the Little Monster that it wouldnt be a great idea at 23 weeks to do that. I trust myself and I know I wouldnt do anything that would hurt either of us... but why risk missing the box or slipping off. I just know it would have been in my head the whole time. So, I spent the time doing a little extra  mobility and got ready for the workout.

Next week... 6 months!! WHAT?!

Manual Labor

October 11, 2014

Lots of great things happening this week. First and foremost, Hubs and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary... who would have thought these two crazy kids would end up married with a baby on the way 12 years after this picture was taken...


He certainly knows the way to my heart and is 100% there for me even when the going gets rough. I am not always the easiest person to get along with, live with... love. He surprised me Wednesday (our actual anniversary) with some beautiful roses and we are super excited for our get-a-way! We leave when he gets home from work today and I have no idea where we are going! He took the reins on this one and has planned 4 days of fun to celebrate and relax! 

My mom came up this morning and we painted the room that is going to be the baby room... I didnt have time to get through my entire workout and all the oly lifting, BUT my lifting session was much better than it has been the last few weeks. I think passing the 20 week hump, now into my 22 week, has been a transition. I am starting to show a little more, but I am feeling stronger again! I hit 115 for my snatch heavy single and 165 for my clean and jerk. Not even close to my personal bests of 140 for snatch and 195 for clean and jerk... but I havent been consistently hitting 125 or 185 in a while and those are the numbers I have been working off of for my percentage work... so thats where I want to get again. Today I was close and I am going to get back up there! Either way, this crazy lady and I got some work done today! We had a blast!



The week as I said was great. I feel amazing and am getting more used to the twinges and "feelings" that I am having while I am working out. I know that I should listen to my body and anything that doesnt feel right I should stop doing. So far, so good. I havent had to make any modifications yet aside from adjusting my 1 rep maxes for the front squat and clean.

I am feeling the baby moving lot more. Its certainly an interesting feeling. It comes and goes at this point. I was told I wont be feeling consistent movement till 28 or so weeks, so I am just enjoying it when I do and not really worrying when I dont. Seems as if the little bugger likes to get moving when I slow down... but than again, I dont feel much when I am moving because I cant concentrate on it. Sometimes after a WOD when I am laying on my back I feel a flip in there... kinda neat. Also... kinda freaky!

The highlight of the week at the gym was the mile run on Tuesday. Remember when they used to make you do that in gym class and everyone would go out to the start line and complain about how bad it was going to be... thats how I felt... but I was actually surprised. I do run more often than I ever did over the years so its not so bad... but lately, I have been having more issues with my breathing while running over the last few weeks. Anyway, I really didnt have a "goal" except to push hard and finish the damn thing in under 9 minutes, keeping in mind my best mile is only 7 minutes or so. I hit my goal... and so did the rest of the 5:30am class! It was pretty awsome that everyone was under 9 minutes!

Other movements this week... rowing, which still feels great. Overhead squats, also still right on track with no adjustments. Push presses, box jumps and snatches... all completed with no modifications. I am planning to talk to my Dr again at my next appointment just to clarify if I should be making any weight modifications... but until than, I am just going with my instincts which seems to be working out pretty well so far!

100% Indescribable

October 3, 2014

Let me tell you... I never ever in 10,000 years thought that I could be in love with something so much that I have never set my eyes on. On Monday, Hubs and I met at the hospital so I could have my ultrasound. The feeling that came over me when the technician placed the thing on my stomach and that tiny little silhouette appeared on the screen is absolutely 100% indescribable. Impossible to put into words, yet so hard not to try. I felt like I was having this crazy out of body experience... but no, it was actually ME and MY baby... holy shit. A perfect little face, arms, legs, spine, bladder, heart, kidney... everything. Perfect.

I am going to be a mom.

WOAH...

This week has been killer... and not in a really great way. Aside from Monday being probably the best day of my life I have been running on empty for the rest of it. Totally strapped at work, stretched to the max... and my tolerance for "annoyance" was at an all time low. I just put my head down (and headphones on at work) and pushed through to the end of the week. Finally, its come to an end and I am more than excited for my get-a-way coming up with Hubs to celebrate our anniversary.

At the gym the week was just as rough to be honest. I was there every day, but just not feeling strong. I didnt feel like I could catch up on sleep so the mornings suffered. We did Fran on Monday morning (before the ultrasound). It was another one of those times I had to suck up my "pride" and not pay attention to the clock. My time... not great at all. However, knowing I was about to see my Little Monster in just a few hours was enough to kick that mood right out the door!

The rest of the week had a 1K row followed by 50 burpees, in which I could feel my belly as I walked down each burpee to the ground. I just kept the pace and kept on moving.. made it through with a pretty good time. Next up was "DT on Roids." DT is my favorite WOD of all time. Its 5 round of 12 dead lifts, 9 hang cleans and 6 push jerks. Typically this is done at 105lbs for women, this week we did it at 155. I was a little "worried" at how well the hang cleans would go, and of course knowing my usual DT time.. but I just pushed the clock watching to the back burner and decided to just set my goal at finishing under the 15:00 time cap. I did. So that made me happy.

People at the gym are starting to comment that they can "see" the belly. Its still not really too obvious and certainly not to people I work with or my clients. I have been dressing to pretty much hide what looks like I just ate too much from people in my professional life. Soon enough I will get into the "embrace the belly" mode... but for now. I just look pudgy I think.

Id say week 21 was a success. Closer to being a mother than I am to never being pregnant... yikes!

Twenty weeks... Twenty Pound Wall Balls

September 26, 2014

Holy moses... I have made it to the 20 week milestone, half way. I cant really believe how fast time is going by. Seems like I just found out I was pregnant. Amazing how things have changed with my body and mind in this short amount of time.

This morning was a lot of fun at the gym. I found it kind of ironic that the WOD called for 20lb wall balls to be used in the metcon... 90 of them actually! I was pretty happy with that, and my performance. I am still not having any trouble with my movements though my cardio still seems to suffer. I have a hard time catching my breath and since I am trying to control it a little more I have no choice but to slow down a bit. I am not really too focused on the "dont get your HR above 140" that people like to say. I have talked to my Drs and they tell me that as long as I feel good and am not doing anything I wasnt normally doing before pregnancy, I am ok. So thats what I am doing. I feel good and I push a little more. If I start to lag behind a little, thats ok too.

It was a deload week for my weight training, so I was able to get my mind back into the right place by not failing reps without adjusting my 1 rep maxes. I really needed it. I am getting myself back on track and next week will be more successful with a little bit of a break.

Tuesdays workout was great! It was a 10 minute EMOTM (every minute on the minute) workout with 3 dead lifts, 3 hang cleans and 3 push jerks all at 125lbs. This is a workout I would have embraced 100% prior to pregnancy but for some reason that day I was timid to do it. Almost afraid I wasnt going to be able to complete all 10 rounds without a break. I surprised myself and made it through all 10 with time to spare on each. That certainly put a smile on my face. I dont know why I was worried honestly.

The most insteresting to do so far at the gym has been burpees. Its actually kind of funny. Since I am not showing really yet, its still not obvious that something is in my belly... but when I do burpees and I am flat on my stomach I can actually feel almost like a bowling ball in there. Such a strange feeling to know that there is a tiny human in there! Also wondering how the Little Monstr is going to pay me back for waking it up doing burpees at 5:30am! I am sure it will be grand!

Anyway, here is a glorious pic from this morning after the workout. Twenty weeks... Twenty Pound Wall Balls!

  

The other awesomeness (yes, thats a word) from this week was the Little Monsters first Patriots Game! I was fortunate enough to go to the home opener vs the Raiders with Hub and some of the best friends around! Gillette is definitely one of my favorite places on earth!!  Who says you cant have a good time if you cant drink! 






Kick Your Feet Up

September 20, 2014

I have said it before, but I will say it again. Not many people can wake up every morning and love what they do and who they work for... I am one of the lucky ones. We, as a company, spent the last two days on the Cape in Brewster MA at my bosses house. It was relaxing, fun and a really great trip for all of us at my office.

Here we are at our morning meeting...
 

This was my view for my lunch...
 

A little play time after lunch...

Why not have a massive clam bake for dinner...

And it was all topped off with a gorgeous morning run on the beach Friday morning...

I have to admit, it was a nice few days to relax and have fun with some of my work peeps. We had a great time and were able to cover a lot of really interesting topics and forecasting for our office for the next 6 months.

I am feeling great still physically. Mentally, I am still working on this whole "your going to be responsible for a tiny human soon" thing... I am still not showing, so anyone who doesn't know I am pregnant wouldn't. I am not really uncomfortable in my clothes or doing anything out of the normal for lifestyle. Just sort of going with the flow so to speak and hoping things continue to go in this direction.

The challenge for me this week at the gym was Isabell. The workout on Monday. I have a pretty good history with this workout and my best time to date is 2:59 for the 30 snatches at 95lbs. That day I had to face Isabel with a much different approach than ever before. I couldnt look at the clock. I had to focus on my form, making sure to correctly snatch each rep and control my breathing through the whole workout. Not an easy task when my "typical" mindset is to go at this benchmark WOD balls to the wall and beat my best time.I ended with a whopping 3:43.

First response... "well that was shitty." Second response "ok, not too bad for 18 weeks pregnant. Third... "I am here. I am working hard... I am doing everything I can to stay healthy and in shape through this pregnancy." So, I thanked my lucky stars that I felt well enough at 19 weeks to keep moving forward and faced the rest of the week with a smile.

Here I am now, just turned 19 weeks yesterday. I am feeling great. I had a great few days with my company and I cant wait to see what the next few weeks bring. A far as weights I am feeling a little weaker with my front squat.. couldnt hit 205 this week so I am going to work on that. Pretty sure thats mostly psychological at this point, but it "could" have something to do with my expanding abdomen and lack of core strength. I keep collapsing forward. I will keep trying. Ill get it!

Other than that, this week included the snatches on Monday, handstand pushups, running, rowing, overhead squats (hit 165 for 3), dead lifts (in a workout at 105), double unders and pullups... these have all been business as usual.

Looking forward to that half way point next week!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mama's New Shoes

September 12, 2014
Here I am, one more week into this new adventure. Hard to believe that I am 18 weeks today.

Things have been going pretty well so I haven’t had much to post about. This week I have really noticed my cardio endurance slipping. I get winded much easier than normal… even before pregnancy my endurance wasn’t very good… so this is getting tough. I am doing my best to keep my eyes off the clock and just keep pushing forward through he workouts. I do have to admit that it is much easier said than done. I am still really enjoying all the lifting. We are in an Oly cycle at CFW right now so I am hoping to come out of this with some improved lifts.

As far as adjustments I haven’t made many. When we are working on back squats through this cycle we are focusing on high bar back squat so my weight is much less than my 1RM to begin with. I have been sticking with that lower number to use for my percentages, still squatting below 90. For my snatch and clean and jerk I am doing the same. I have stuck with a number that I was consistently hitting through the first trimester rather than my true 1RM to base my percentages off of. I want to keep getting better with my form and technique, but strength is not necessarily something I am focused on right now. Achieving a new 1RM can wait. Hopefully my strength numbers will not change much once I get back into training when the little monster has arrived.

All week I felt great. The workouts included wall walks, toes to bar, chest to bar, dubs, deadlifts, pistols, burpees, thrusters, running… am I missing anything? I have made no modifications made to any of my movements thus far. However, even though I know that the baby has plenty of cushion in there, I walked down my burpees because for some reason I am not ok with slamming to the ground for each one. This sucks because it certainly makes me use my arms more tired on every burpee, so going from burpees to wall walks… not too much fun. But, I made it. I have noticed  all the pulling of my body weight movements are a little more challenging with less core strength and a little more wight on my body. Again, I am just pushing (or pulling) through. No real complaints aside from being out of breath after a 400m run during the warmup!

For me, my mindset has played a huge roll in this pregnancy thus far, I think. I mean, I know I have been pretty lucky to not have had any sickness that lots of women endure through the start (or all) of their pregnancies. My life feels like it is where it should be. Hubs and I have been super positive and we are trying to keep the momentum moving forward with all walks of our lives, from work to the gym and at home. We are smiling a lot, laughing a lot and just enjoying each other and our lives. Yes, there are suck ass moments, but that’s a part of life.

I think its important to feel good about myself and try to keep a positive attitude. Right now changes in my body are the toughest part of this whole thing. Admittedly, it is hard to grasp the fact that some of my clothes don’t fit or not being able to wear my favorite “go-to” top… but not actually “look pregnant” yet. So, if that means I have to buy a new pair of shoes to feel great in an outfit for a wedding… or get my nails and toes done… than that’s what I am going to do.  My goals are to keep my body and mind as healthy as possible through all the changes it is facing. I think I am doing an ok job of it so far! The health and growth of my child are number one to me right now…  and well… for the rest of my life.

Mama's New Shoes & Fancy Pedi!


Friday, September 5, 2014

The Questions

September 5, 2014

Here we go!

I reached week 17 in my pregnancy today. Holy crap... where is the time going?! I had an appointment this morning and was basically told that the Little Monster not only has a strong heart beat but is also doing backflips and burpees in there left and right... she could tell that by wooshing noise the doppler made every time it moved. She used the words "very active" and asked if I had felt any movement as of yet... and what do you know, I have! Amazing to say the very least! The sound of my baby's heart beat is just a sound that will never get old. There is just no way to describe my emotions.

Everyone has known about my pregnancy now for almost two weeks.The happiness and excitement that everyone has for Hubs and I and our families when they hear or when they see us for the first time is just so awesome! We continue to get more and more excited with each "congratulations" and hug or handshake! Honestly, I still cant even believe that this is all real... that I am going to be a Mama... Its still crazy to me that this tiny life is forming and its my responsibility to give it everything it needs for the next 5 months (and than the rest of its life). I still cant wrap my head around it.

Anyway, having talked to pretty much everyone I know in the last two weeks it has become pretty clear to me that there are some standard questions that come out as soon as someone announces they are pregnant.

1. How do you feel?
2. When are you due?
3. Are you going to find out what your having?

... and if you are "obsessed" with CrossFit the infamous

4. Are you going to have to stop CrossFit? Cut back? Well you have to stop lifting... no?

I know I have asked them (except the CrossFit one) to my friends hundreds of times and I'm not going to lie, it feels a little strange having the questions asked to me! I wanted to take my first post answer these... and yeah I will elaborate on some more than others.

1. I feel absolutely amazing. When I first learned that I was pregnant I was scared that I was going to go through some horrible morning sickness or be exhausted or have any food aversions and headaches. I was pleasantly surprised to not have any of the above. In the first few days after we found out I had this super sonic smell thing going on... but that went away pretty quickly. Other than that, its been business as usual. I/We think it might have something to do with the lifestyle that I live. I have not stopped getting up when my alarm goes off for my 5:30am CF Class. I have not gone crazy bizerco on eating anything and everything just because I am pregnant. I have continued to take my Pure Pharma vitamin pack and protein powders (both after workouts and my night time formula) and I have really just pushed through any tiredness I might have felt just like I normally did before I was pregnant. I am knocking on wood as we speak here... but really, its been pretty great!

2. I am due February 13, 2015... so mark your calendars folks, there will be a guaranteed snowstorm that day!

3. Hubs and I have decided we do not want to find out what we are having. Yes, I am serious. Yes, I am ok with yellow and green.

4. Stop CrossFit?! Blasphemy! This is a CF blog... so you know I will be talking about that through the majority of the posts. You also, if you read this, know that I would not be stopping any time soon. I informed M right away to be sure that someone at the gym knew when I was there. It is certainly important to tell your coach. We talked about the next steps and really, the fact that that early on in my pregnancy... I didnt have any restrictions. I just made sure that I stayed hydrated and went right back out to the gym floor to continue my training. At that time I was 6 weeks.

When I called to make my initial appointment I asked abut the gym and my HR and getting high and my body temperature getting way up there... and the nurse assured me that I was ok and just keep going. She reassured my initial thoughts that at that point I had no weight restrictions and my HR and body temp were fine with what I was doing. I took the "keep doing what your doing" literally and continued. Same results came from my intake exam. They "approved" all my vitamins and proteins so... that was that.

At 13 weeks I had my first Dr appointment. I was super nervous and a little excited at the same time. Didnt really "feel" like anything was going on... since I had no sickness or any of the "normal" pregnancy symptoms. I again asked her questions about gym safety and she said that my body will tell me when its time to slow down. I am perfectly safe seeing as how I have been doing this for three years. That day, Hubs and I were completely overwhelmed by the sound of our baby's heartbeat. My heart totally stolen forever!

From the point of my first appointment until now, I feel like I may have slowed down a bit during my workouts (though I did PR Diane by two whole minutes!). I havent scaled any weights from what has been prescribed, I am still squatting below 90, I am still on the ground after a workout with everyone else... but I do feel like its not as easy to push through as it used to be. I am just trying to trust my body and let go of the clock. I have lots of skills to work on so I am focused on that and I think now is a good time to really focus on my form. I will keep myself and the lil' one safe by doing so. Overall I feel really really great and I am super happy that I am able to continue to be strong and healthy through this experience.

I am going to make a few adjustments to my food... I have minor cravings that I am trying to keep at bay. Nothing too crazy, but for some reason mayonnaise is on that list! I am going to keep tracking on MFP to make sure I am feeding us both... (weird) enough food to supplement my workouts. I have also continued to see my chiropractor, which I love. He is great and has worked with many many women who have been pregnant so he is super excited for us!

So, I think that just about covers the first chapter of the new book... I wanted to update and let y'all know I am feeling great!!


If anyone is reading this and has any questions please dont hesitate to ask... please please please again... as I said in my first post, if you are pregnant or just found out... consult with your coaches and more importantly your doctors before doing anything!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Forget Chapter... We are Starting a New Book

September 1, 2014

Saturday June 21st Hubs and I found out our lives will be forever changed. We are going to be parents! A tiny life has begun... I have had a lot of "feelings" in my life, but the one I had that morning when the second pink line appeared on the test... that is a feeling I can not even begin to describe and certainly one I will never forget. A tiny life, a tiny human, my child... growing and changing by the day, inside me...  A love more powerful than I ever thought imaginable fills my heart. So completely overwhelming and scary, yet completely awesome at the same time!

We waited quite some time to announce to our family and friends and once we felt the time is right, we announced at the gym and than on the book of faces. Today I am letting the blogging world know, sorry your the last to be informed. Today, I am 16 weeks and 3 days. Already well into the second trimester.

Its been quite some time since I have blogged last. I started to feel like my posts were sounding forced and I was stressed about keeping up and keeping any interest for anyone out there who actually reads this. I never wanted this to be a place where I "had" to post, but where I wanted to... a place to mind dump. A place to share my thoughts, struggles and triumphs of a CrossFit woman. Hopefully, a place that other people could come to see that the thoughts and struggles that they might be feeling are normal, that someone else has been right in the same shoes that they are wearing. That it can and will get better.

Having said all that, I decided that it was time to get back into blogging to share the rest of my pregnancy... the greats, the goods, the bads and the uglies... I have looked over the interwebz and there are certainly plenty of CrossFit Mamas out there that blog and/or have websites. I am certainly NOT saying that my way is the "right way" or what I am doing is the right thing for anyone but myself... I am simply putting my story out there for others to see. I am by no means a Doctor, nor do I claim to be so please please please dont do anything without consulting a Doctor or Nurse. This is my disclaimer and will probably appear on every post!

So here goes nothing.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

More than Just a Gym

May 29, 2014

I have sat down to write this blog 4 times over the last week... I have started, deleted, started again, re-worded and deleted yet again. Not quite sure why the words in my head have not been able to make their way out to the screen...

Yesterday I heard of the passing of one of the most remarkable, inspirational, talented women in history, Dr. Maya Angelou. Her inspirational words from her books, poetry and movies are shared widely and used by many to get through tough times and hardship. I have read quite of bit of her work and of course have seen many of her inspirational quotes. One in particular came to mind so when I sat down to try blog and yet again... I was inspired.



I honestly had no idea 2 years and 9 months ago (August 6, 2011) when Hubs and I walked up to the garage, the former home of CrossFit Wachusett, that my life was going to change forever. I thought I was going to start a new fitness regimen, maybe change my eating habits, perhaps loose a few pounds... I did that, but with that came so much more.

Some people in my life might say that I let CrossFit "take over" my life. I have to disagree. I have 100% control over my life. I made a choice. I made the choice to invest some serious time and effort into becoming the best CrossFit athlete I can be. This is not something I have to do, this is something I want to do. This is not something that every CrossFit athlete does, and its certainly not something that makes one better than anyone else. I personally, got a taste of a competition back at the start and threw myself in with all my heart. Go big or go home. With that comes highs and lows... but when its all said and done I am a better person because of it.

Due to my investment in CrossFit, something as “simple” a going to the gym on a daily basis began to mold my thoughts from being constantly negative to always trying to find the positive (ok so maybe not “always” but more often than before). It brought back the rush that use to stream through my veins when I was faced with a physical challenge. It has in some cases forced me to push myself to a mental place that I didnt even know existed. I have developed friendships and a support system that will last a lifetime. It brought out the athlete… the competitor… that had been hibernating for years. Yes, the food I eat, the decision to not stay out all night and get wasted, the motivation to not miss a workout... those decisions might make one think that CrossFit has "taken over" my life, but no, I am in complete control. I make those choices with a clear mind. I love the way I feel on the inside, I love the affect that my choices have had on my mind. I am stronger not only on the outside, but on the inside as well.

The 2014 competition season has been a whirl wind for me. It has been exciting, challenging and totally motivational. The community at CrossFit Wachusett has been amazing and inspiring. Who wouldnt want to surround themselves with that on a daily basis?!

The Open came to a close with CrossFit Wachusett sitting in 13th place in the North East Region. After the individual athletes confirmed or declined their invitation, the dust settled and Team CFW found our spot as #10 in the North East. Pretty amazing. We, as a whole, every person whether they competed in the Open or not, all played a roll in securing the spot to compete at the 2014 North East Regional in their own way. I was selected as one of the 4 women from CFW to forge on, side by side with the 4 men, to "team train" for following 6 weeks for the "big show." The intensity was amped up and we were all ready to go and fight for our spot to represent CFW strong and proud at the Reebok World Headquarters in Canton MA.

As the workouts for individuals were announced one by one, that feeling of "holy shit" sank in. At the end of that week, the team workouts were released. These movements were/are no joke, it was time to step up, dig even deeper and get er done. The dreaded feelings of fear and failure began to creep in. I pushed each one of them to the back of my head and continued to do everything I could to work on refining skills I already have, develop new skills, and learn to walk on my damn hands! I had some extreme moments of weakness as I sat in front of the wall completely spent from trying to "master" a strict handstand pushup, tears welling in my eyes. All the while, I had not only my coaches and the 5 other members of the "team" encouraging me on... but my family at CFW as well. It was enough to get back up, flip up against that wall and give it another go.

When it was all said and done, 5 weeks of training were complete, all the workouts had been tested with the 8 members on the team, it became clear to me that I was not the best fit to compete at the Regional this year. The decision had to be made, as only 3 men and 3 women from each team compete on the field on Game Day... I fought until the very end and with a heavy heart (and quite a few tears) I accepted the fact that no matter how bad I wanted it, it was not in the cards for me this year. I completely and 100% agree with the choice that M, K and the rest of the Team had to make and have zero hard feelings for anyone. Each and every one of us put our lives on hold pretty much, took the bull by the horns and went HAM all day every day. Wouldn't expect anything less.

It goes without saying that I went through a period of self disappointment. I was defeated. It hurt. My eyes burned, my chest was heavy and my thoughts were swimming all over the place. I had just spent the last few months spending any moment I could at the gym. My hands, a mess, my "everything" sore, and for crying out loud, I have never spent so much time upside down... how could I let this happen?

The fact is. I didnt just "let it happen." I fought like hell. I gave it my 110%. I worked hard and even though I didnt reach my final goal of walking out onto the floor at the NE Regional to compete, I trained with the team to the very end. I am a part of the team to the very end. I know what my contribution was to CFW's "Road to Regionals." I know that this weekend I will stand on the side lines wearing my black and red and support, cheer, yell and scream for the 6 kick ass athletes that represent all the hard work that went into the last year of training. I know they will kill it. I know I will be proud.   

I'll tell you what. I would do it all again in a second. I love that my hands are a mess and my everything is sore. I love that I was challenged to do things I had not had the skill set to do and would probably never work on unless "forced" to do so. I love that I got my first muscle up. I love that I went to the gym tired and beat up only to push myself to complete a 2nd workout of the day. I love that I became closer with my friends, my team... and even more than anything, I love what I learned from myself. Thats it is ok. That I am ok. That even though I have "encountered a defeat, I am not defeated." So a millions times, YES, even if I knew the outcome was going to be the same... the answer is still yes. I would do it again, and I wouldnt change a thing.

I want to thank everyone for their support and motivation through all of this. Some days were for sure a struggle both before and after I found out I wasn't going. It really means a lot to me that my friends care so much. All of the inspirational words have made my heart swell up. I am super excited to get back into the swing of things and see what is next to come in my CrossFit career and in my life. I am going to take what I learned through this entire process and apply it... use it as fuel both in the gym and out of the gym. I have a few things in my life that need taking care of, that have been on the back burner for too long. It is time to buck up and stop being so scared. I will not be defeated. 

In closing... Matt, you are an amazing coach. I have learned more from you than I thought possible. Thank you for pushing me, yelling at me and making me better. A team isn't a team without a captain we are lucky to have one of the best. Kelsey, thank you for the kick in the ass when I need it. You are a strong competitor with much determination and focus. You know when and how to turn it on. Do it! Choma, you are a machine. So humble and so damn strong. Go get some! Josh, confidence and focus are key, you have what it takes. Push through the pain and dominate. Will, I hope all the donuts paid off. You have completely transformed in the last year and it shows, speed, agility and positive energy. Mike, even with the most crazy personal life of anyone I know, you continue to attack each workout day after day. Thanks for being a dedicated team mate through all the things life throws at you. Sue... seriously, I love you! You inspire me to keep moving forward. You show so much focus, power and drive. I am so ridiculously proud of you. I am so ridiculously proud of all of you.

Crush It!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Open 2014 is in the Books

April 4, 2014

Well, now is as good a time as ever to share my thoughts on the 2014 CrossFit Open. I have been asked about my thoughts, read other peoples articles and listened to other peoples thoughts/complaints through all 5 weeks of the open as well as after the last workout was posted. Now it is time to put my half answers and random thoughts into some sort of order.  

This year was extremely inspirational and at the same time extremely challenging for me. There are so many factors that had my emotions pulling in every direction imaginable. It took a lot of deep thoughts, talking strength and courage into myself and remembering why I do “all of this” on a daily basis to keep my head in the game and my confidence high enough to move forward.

The Open is such a motivational time of year. During a mere 5 weeks, its amazing how many people find something in themselves that they never knew existed. What is even more amazing is to actually witness it happening to them, or actually being the one its happening to! Some people dig deep, they get to a place that they have never pushed themselves to… some people experience their first “competition style” workout… some complete one rep of one movement that they couldn’t do just one day before. There are tears of frustration, anger and pain… but also many many tears of joy. For every disappointment there are 10 smiles and personal goals achieved. Every high five, sweat stained floor, ripped hand and sore muscle contains a piece of someone’s 2014 Open story, a victory, big or small.

I have to be honest, when I saw the hundreds of complaints that flooded the CrossFit Games website after the first workout of The Open was announced, a “simple” couplet of double unders and snatches, I was shocked. I continued to be shocked week after week after each announcement when people would find anything and everything to complain about… the reasons why it was a “bad” workout for The Open, or how so many people CAN’T do something in the workout.

Wait a minute… isn’t “CAN’T” the word that we as CrossFitters are not allowed to have in our vocabulary? Don’t we coach every single person who walks through the door of a CrossFit gym that they are going to be able to do things that they never thought possible and they should never use the word “CAN’T” again.  They should leave the negativity at the door and they should at least try something first before saying that they “CAN’T” do it?! What happened here? Why are “we” all of a sudden a bunch of people who complain about a workout?

At CFW, I can say that I didn’t hear many complaints. I did hear people concerned that they weren’t going to do well… maybe they were insecure that they “don’t have double unders” or “never did a chest to bar before.” These reactions are common, usual and appropriate… first because they did not contain the word “cant” but, mostly because they were followed with encouragement by someone who might have been in their shoes at one point. I know I shared the story of how I got my first chest to bar pullup just a day before I had to do 12.5 during my first Open in 2012. Of course I was terrified when that workout was announced… I barely had a pullup without a band at that point… but my coaches and my friends were encouraging and supportive.  Isnt that what CrossFit is all about?!

I was so excited to see the looks on people’s faces when they did conquer their insecurities, when they let go of their fears of things they could never do before. There were many who got their first double unders, or strung together a few for the first time, some who never put 65lbs over their head before for an OH Squat, some who finally got that first box jump to a 20” box, deadlifted 225,  or just made it through 14.5. Because those workouts were so challenging, so many people were challenged to do that thing we talk about all the time… they were forced to “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” They were able to turn the “Ive never” into their very own story of how they got their first during The Open 2014… how cool is that?!

For me, personally, my comfort zone was stretched in a lot of different directions. I had my moments of fear, anxiety and insecurity… but I also had my moments of pride, confidence and hope. I cried my own frustration tears, I cried my tears of pain… but what I remember most and what I will bring forward in my training are my happy tears. Those moments where I dug deep and did what I knew I could do, where I wouldn’t allow my brain to let my body stop. Those moments where I was inspired by the “firsts” happening around making me remember I had more “firsts” in my future as well. Those moments when I laid on the floor completely spent after the time had expired or when I completed the work to make the clock stop… where I thought to myself, “yes… that is why you do ‘all of this.” That feeling, that emotion… I cannot explain it, I can only feel it.

Keep pushing, don’t give up… you will feel it and you will never want to stop feeling it.

The Open 2014 is in the books.   


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Sarah... Calm Down!"

March 4, 2014

"Sarah... Calm Down!"

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that phrase come out my mom or dads mouth through not only my childhood, but to this very day, I'd be a very rich woman. I have started to write this in so many different ways to make myself not sound too crazy, but in reality... I kinda am, so here goes. You see, I am a pretty passionate person. *INSERT SHOCKED FACE HERE* There is a level of intensity and pressure that I put on myself in pretty much everything do. I have been this way my entire life (hence my parents using the phrase frequently) and will be this way for the rest of my life... its just the way it is. There have been plenty of things in my life that have deserved getting emotional over however, I occasionally find myself getting worked up over things in life that just dont deserve the time or the emotion. In all cases, worthy or not, I have to try to center myself and remember what my Mom and Dad always say "Sarah... if you just calm down, everything will work out."

I'd like to think I hide it well... but I'm not fooling anyone. At least not all the time. In most cases I have learned to curb actual "freak out"... control it somewhat. In other cases, I hide it on the outside than perform the "freak out" behind closed doors (or on the phone with one of my parents). However, in actuality, because I am such an emotional person... I am so very easy to read. The tension, stress, pressure, whatever you want to call it, is clear in my body language, my voice and most certainly all over my face.

This is my reflection of 14.1:
The pep talk I had with myself on Friday morning at 5:30am while I was getting ready to WOD went something like this... "Sarah, you need to calm the eff down. Get your shit together and do this. You know you can. Don't get frazzeled when you trip, just keep going and for the love of god, you better do every one of those snatches unbroken." I was so friggin tight just thinking about the 30 double unders that I have tripped up 500,000 times over the last 2.5 years of crossfitting I couldnt even see straight. My heart was racing, my BP was up... I was about to do the first workout of the 2014 Open. I have been CrossFitting for 2.5 years and I still have a freaking panic attack when I see double unders in a workout. What the eff.

So, I dont think I need to explain that it wasnt the best attempt. SP was my judge and she was trying her best to keep me calm and moving through the workout. The biggest issue with this whole "tense" thing is that double unders are nearly impossible when you are too tense. You have to be loose and you have to be CALM. Yeah... not so much. At the end of the WOD I was shy of my goal but realized some very important things... the more tired I got, the less tense I was and the more dubs I strung together. What do you know?! The more I released the tension (because I was too damn tired) things got better. "Sarah... if you just calm down, everything will work out."

I thought about that. In fact I probably over thought about that... When I entered the gym Sunday for a repeat 14.1 I was ready. I was much more relaxed, asked SP to judge me again and she even commented that I looked a lot more "ready" to go. I told her I was calm and I was ready. I had thought a lot about what this re-do meant to me. It was for me. It was to prove to myself that if I just calm down, do my best, push the hardest I can... I can do it. My pep talk went a lot different with myself in the seconds before the beep... "Sarah, you've got this. This is for you. Breathe, center yourself, keep calm, work hard and get shit done.You know you can. If you just keep calm, everything will work out."

The result. Well, aside from the fact that I got 41 more reps... when I finished, I finished with a SMILE... FROM LAYING PANTING ON THE GROUND, BUT A SMILE NON THE LESS. I had strung together far more dubs than I did the first attempt and just overall felt amazing. I felt like I gave it everything I had, pushed to the last second and didnt let those damn double unders get the best of me.

I am hopeful that I am going to approach the rest of the Open workouts with a new attitude. I need to let go of the stress and tension (at least some of it... a little stress and pressure is good for competition). I need to keep relaxed and be confident in the skills that I have. Most of all... I need to remember... "Sarah... if you just calm down, everything will work out."



I also have to take a moment to say how ridiculously proud I am of all the athletes out there whether you are a CrossFit Wachusett athlete or not... watching and hearing all the success stories from 14.1 is amazing! Every single person who went into the workout and got their first or 30th double under. Even if you just tried and tried and tried for 10 minutes to just to get closer to getting a double under... you are awesome! You are inspirational and I commend you for not giving up. For not being the person who said "I cant do that" or "what a waste of $20," when the WOD came out... believe in yourself (keep calm) and get in there and get some! There is a lot more left in the 2014 Open!

Onward to 14.2. We shall see what the CrossFit Gods come up with this time! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Open is Upon Us

February 27, 2014

Take a deep breath, relax and wait... wait for 8:00pm EST.

Currently, close to 170,000 CrossFitters world wide area "patiently" awaiting the release of 14.1, the first of the 5 workouts in the 2014 CrossFit Open (in case you are new here I wrote THIS post in 2012, on the first day of my first Open, at the beginning it describes what the Open is). I have been thinking a lot about the Open this year. Where I am. How I feel. What is to come. This year feels... I dont know... different from last.

I guess that is to be expected. Another year has passed. I am a different person than I was 356 days ago. I do not know what the outcome is going to be. I do not know if I am going to perform better or worse than I did last year. I do not know what the first workout is going to be, or how many times I will attempt it. I do not know if at the end of all this there will be a seat at the Northeast Regional for either Me or CrossFit Wachusett... or both.

But, enough about what I dont know... here is what I know...

I KNOW that I have put in the work, training harder, longer and with more volume than last year.
I KNOW that I have worked on my goats and have become more confident with those skills.
I KNOW that I have pushed myself to places I didn't think possible and will continue to do so every day.
I KNOW that I have changed my diet and lifestyle significantly to improve my training and build strength and endurance.
I KNOW that I have a team behind me to support me and CFW in achieving what we are meant to achieve.
I KNOW that I will be inspired by all of the CFW athletes who are competing in the Open this year for the first, second, third time.
I KNOW that I will cheer loud and lose my voice encouraging my friends to push beyond their limits.
I KNOW that this is me against myself and although I am competing against some 85,000 women, it is the me of yesterday that I am essentially competing with.
I KNOW that I will cry.
I KNOW that I will smile.
I KNOW that it will hurt.
I KNOW that I will lay it all on the line.
I KNOW that I will do the best that I can possibly do.
I KNOW that I will have fun.

... most of all
I KNOW I CAN. 

Good luck to everyone competing in the 2014 CrossFit Open. Such an amazing time in the CrossFit community worldwide. We all come together and fill the air with the most amazing energy. There is no better feeling. Remember to have fun, work hard and keep a positive attitude! 


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Today

February 9, 2014

Time. It dosent stand still. With every passing second we get older, we move further in life. We change. We grow. We enter the future. Today, February 9, 2014... is the only February 9, 2014 we will ever have in our lifetime. That is a scary thought. What we do with today? Each and every "today" is so important, so precious and its gone, just like that. Suddenly its time to put our head to the pillow and end "today." If we wish it away, waste it, whats the point?

My biggest fear in life is failure. Failing others expectations of me, yes, but failing myself overtakes my thoughts more often than I want to admit, almost daily. I know when I do it or when I am on the road to doing it, which frustrates the hell out of me. Sometimes I reach a certain point and think, "I could have totally avoided this had I just done it in the first place." The "it" being whatever it is that I have failed myself in doing.

Over the last two years a lot has changed in me. In my mind, in my body and in my soul. I have really searched for the things that make me truly happy in life. I have begun to identify them and strive for them, its about damn time, I am 33 years old for god sakes. It was time to get to a point in life where I was truly happy on the inside, not just for show. I have given up some things that have proven themselves to be toxic in my pursuit of happiness, clutched on to others that make me feel fantastic on the inside and surround myself with the people who brighten my life. I am searching for and finding the things that were either missing completely or missing in plain sight.

I am pushing myself to my limits, however, I am afraid in some cases I may have pushed myself too far. Put pressure on things that dont deserve the pressure, or worse, dont need the pressure to just be what they are. When are things "good enough?" Or, is anything just "good enough?" Can it always be better? Am I creating more failure in my life by thinking that there is always something better to strive for? Should I just be happy with "today" or, when I put my head to the pillow should I hope that tomorrow's "today" is better?

The worst case is when I am forced to fail at one thing to allow myself to succeed with/in something else. When its impossible to have both. Inevitably, I am going to be disappointed. Not in whatever it is that I am "failing" at, but with myself. That I had to let something go. I am going to be pissed at myself because I missed something in life I really wanted to have, just because I was afraid of failing at something else... Where do you find that balance? When is is ok to give up on something you have always wanted? Which of the two do you give up on? When is it ok to fail when you have instilled in yourself that failure, in fact, is not an option?

Today is the only "today" that I have. If I spend too much time thinking about it, I am going to miss it. If I dont spend enough time thinking about it, I may put my head on my pillow wishing it was different, that I know it could have been different, that I had total control over how my day was going to go (to an extent of course) and I did nothing about it.  Its one of the reasons I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I dont like to hold back, I dont like to bite my tongue. I like to address anything that pops into my brain so I dont have to carry it day after day. I like to push towards my goals every single day knowing when I go to sleep at night I did everything I could to make today the best day it could be, to make today a success. To make tomorrow a success. If I dont do these things, I am failing.

Part of me wishes I was the type of person who could just live. Just be happy. Just be thankful for all that I have. Content. The rest of me, the most of me, knows I could never be happy, could never be successful  just being content.

Today is February 9, 2014. Its the only one Ive got.