Wednesday, February 27, 2013


My very first WOD was just 4 months ago. I remember that it had an insane number of lunges in it...I probably did about 150-200 m of lunges that day. I could barely move for a week.

Today's WOD:
400 m walking lunges

I completed it. It took me a long time, but I finished. It helped to listen to my audiobook while I gutted it out along the way. I cried when I crossed the line at the end of the WOD.

It's a few hours later, and I can still walk. I can sit down and stand up. My knees are a little sore, but not nearly what I thought they would be.

I guess I've made some progress.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Still More Weightlifting

Today: 10 rep max dead lifts

Maxed out at 150#
This is a PR for every dead lift rep combo that I have done so far.

I think I am beginning to understand what "heavy" means. By the end of my 10 reps I was using everything I had to get that 150# off the floor, but I did it.

Then Lloyd said, "let's play a little game." Uh oh. He dealt out cards and for every suit of cards there was a different exercise and we had to do the number of reps on the card multiplied by whatever number he put up, such as 7 sit-ups x5. They were all core work exercises and as always, very effective.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Weightlifting Again

It seems that for a while we had not been doing much weightlifting, but I really do enjoy it. This week I was lucky enough to have two weightlifting WODs. I have noticed that the lifting workouts leave me extremely tired and longing for an early bedtime. Metcon workouts tend to leave me exhausted in the moment, but then very energized for the rest of the day. Funny the contrast.

Today's WOD was 5 rep max strict press. I got 5 presses at 60#. Not too shabby, I think. My shoulders and arms will probably be feeling it tomorrow, but so far, I'm okay.

Downton Abbey is now over and my life has returned to normal, whatever that means. Hopefully I'll have an occasional thought worth blogging now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Two for the Price of One!

Downton Abbey is still prevailing upon my blogging time. I am trying to catch up with the rest of the world who has already seen the season finale of season 3, while I am only on episode 5. I try to keep it to one episode a day, but sometimes I don't succeed.

Now that you know why I am behind, I will blog yesterday's and today's WODs, both of which were good. 

AMRAP in 15 minutes
200 m run
12 KBS
6 pistol squats (used ring for support)
4 handstand pushups (HSPU) (I did inclined pushups)

2-2-2-2-2 squat cleans
PR'ed both my 1 rep max and my 2 rep max 
1 RM @ 90#
2 RM @ 75#

Tomorrow is a much needed rest and recovery day. I will fill in details about Whole Life Challenge soon, but I really have to find out who dies at the end of this season of Downton Abbey. See you in a few days!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Milestones, Baselines, and Whole Life Challenge

So Friday I decided I was NOT going to WOD. I had been twice already, was feeling very low on energy due to the fact that I was watching way too much Downton Abbey too late into the night. Here is the text I sent to my friend who was sure to harass me for not showing up. 

Note the times...and the excuses. 8:26 a.m. I'm not going. 2:54 p.m. I realize I have no GOOD excuse so decide to go to the 3:30 class. In my rush to get out the door, I also sent her this:

Anyway, this day was a milestone for me. It was a huge revelation to realize that I really did not have a valid excuse for missing my WOD, and also that I would not be able to live with the guilt I would heap upon myself for getting my priorities out of whack. Glen pronounced that this is proof that I am, indeed, addicted to CrossFit. So be it.

She asked me today how the WOD was, and I could tell her honestly that I was SO GLAD I went!

Friday's WOD
hang power cleans (@60#)
muscle ups (hahahaha! Nick scaled me to negatives. I wonder if I will ever get a muscle up!)

After my WOD I worked on assisted ring dips and holds. I was even paid the compliment that "my cleans looked really good." That's good. Cleaning is what I do best.

In other news, Whole Life Challenge started yesterday with a bit of a flop. I caved and had a glass of wine after an exhausting day out, which means I also did neither my 10 minutes of mobility nor 10 minutes of stretching. boo. Points down on the first day, but never mind. I can make them up by writing "reflections" every day.

This morning we went to the box for a baseline WOD:

AMRAP in 9
50 m run
7 KB swings
7 burpees

I completed 4 rounds with a total score of 70.

The temperature was about 29 degrees and windy. They opened the doors of the box so we could run. It was like being in hell without the fire. I'm so glad that is done! I will do the WOD again in 8 weeks to determine if I improved or not.

Now, back to Downton Abbey...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beware the "Easy" WOD

Actually, today's post could have several titles...

"Things not Tolerated at the Box"
"How to Get the Stink-eye from Dan"
"How to Look Like a Total Novice in 3 Easy Steps"
"How to Administer the Evil Eye and Not Flip the Bird"
"Kick 'em When They're Down..."
"How to Torture a Stay at Home Mom"

I don't need to go into all the embarrassing details of why these are potential titles, but suffice it to say, I've earned all of them.

Today's WOD was "easy"--What that means is I didn't have to learn a new movement, but I will say that the skill coaching on double-unders was very helpful (thanks, Nick!) and added a few more to my bag. I still need to do singles in a WOD, but I will keep practicing and eventually will be doing doubles with the best of them.

4 Rounds
40 double-unders (or 120 singles)
15 burpees
time: 12:06

THEN...(this is where I had to administer the evil eye) I had barely caught my breath (meanwhile the buff-bods had been done for like, hours and they were fresh and ready for another three wods) and Nick says "Grab a medicine ball..." Uh-oh. That meant ab work.

Remember the torture of passing the ball down the line in a v-hold? Well, it wasn't that, but it was like it in torture-value. It was more like a TABATA--we did 45 seconds of something, then 15 seconds of moving the ball back and forth, touching the floor each time, and then resting for about 3 milliseconds 10 or 15 seconds. I was in agony! Core work is absolutely, completely my weakest area, and after the WOD I was ready to go home. There is this part of me that hates ab work with a passion, but this other part that knows I need it so I want more of it. Oh, and the way you get the stink-eye from Dan is to moan too loudly about the pain and frustration you're feeling. He doesn't like that. I'm sure I don't like it either. I'll try to complain silently next time.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Some WODs are Harder than Others...

...As in they leave you literally gasping for breath almost as soon as you start. Today was that WOD.

3 Rounds
30 hang power snatches (Rx was 55#, I did 35#)
30 wall balls

First let me say that snatches are not my favorite move. Second I will say that I have been struggling with getting a 10-lb. ball up to ten feet and still getting a full squat each rep, so I went down in weight today. Forget about doing the Rx--I'm nowhere near that yet!

I scaled a lot today--I scaled the rounds back to 20 reps each, and did as much weight as I could and still do the movement completely, which wasn't that much. The lightest ball I could find was 6 lb. and even with that I was completely gasping for air. At least I know I reached the right level of intensity.

The good thing about WODs like this is that you get to do better on the next one.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Benchmark #4: Courage

There was one day I wrote about reaching a point where I was no longer afraid of CF. That WOD (Laredo) involved one of my fears (that would be of running) and yet I went and stared it down and finished. Friday, however, was not one of those days. It was the Filthy Fifty WOD and for some reason I felt completely freaked out. I was afraid. At the time I was not entirely sure why, but if I break it down I can probably figure it out.

1. I was afraid of the pain.
2. I was afraid that I would not be able to finish.
3. I was afraid that the coaches would be disappointed with my performance.
4. I was afraid to admit that I would need to scale some, afraid to admit to weakness.
5. Ultimately, I was afraid of what others would think of me if I couldn't do it...

When it was over I felt silly for having been so afraid, and had to ask myself, "Really? You were AFRAID of those things?" Well, yes...yes, I was.

I haven't spoken a lot about my faith in this blog, but this issue of fear and courage is one that is inextricably linked to my spiritual journey. While I don't think that CrossFit is a religious experience (though for many I'm sure it is), it is challenging my faith in ways I never realized it needed to be challenged, and being a soul contained in a physical body, I cannot consider my faith and fitness to be mutually exclusive. CF has certainly caused me to confront some fears that I have held for a long time and I don't just mean a fear of running! Rather, they are issues that go down to the very core of my character, and it takes courage to even admit that these things need to be addressed. When I am challenged in my faith, I have to return to scripture to sort things out, and in so doing I have been pondering this truth:
(II Timothy 1:7) God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control
To put this in context, it should be noted that the Apostle Paul is writing this to his son in the faith--a young man who has seen the church ravaged by those who wanted to snuff out the Gospel of Christ and his followers. Paul is writing from prison, and this letter contains his last instructions to Timothy before he (Paul) is executed. Paul is not afraid. He is not ashamed. In spite of the real and present danger to his own life, he has chosen not to fear, because fear is not from God. Conversely, Paul has chosen to trust God with his life, knowing that it was only beginning and eternity awaited him on the other side. His identity came not from what he had done or what his accusers said about him, but what from what God had called him to do and to be, and he needed only to answer to Him. He fully embraced that spirit of power, love and self-control, using them to make the choice to defy fear and trust God entirely. His actions and choices changed the course of history. I doubt that mine are so significant, but Paul's God is my God and he loves me no less.

So, if fear is not from a loving God, then where / who does it come from? I'll let you answer that one yourself...If I am not trusting God, then I am choosing to embrace a lie that originates with the father of lies, and by embracing anything other than the truth of my God, I am in error, or if you can handle the word--sin.

As I look at my list of fears, they all boil down to "fear of man," and for you inclusive language folks, that means fear of people, not men.
(Proverbs 29:25) The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts the Lord is safe.
What?! The fear of man lays a trap for me. It is not man that lays the trap but fear! What trap? Whatever my mind and the lies have conjured up for me to imagine is there. If I fear that there are traps laid for me without any proof of their existence, then I will resist travelling a given path, regardless of what the truth about it actually is. By fearing, I miss God's will for my life--his best for me. Fear is absolutely, positively, a choice. Self-control must prevail in order not to fear.

Here's one more:
(I John 4:18) There is no fear in love, because perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
The love that is referred to here is God's love--his perfect, cleansing love that promises me eternal life through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. God promises that if I choose to identify with that, then I do not have to face eternal punishment. With that knowledge, do I have any need to fear anything? Anyone? A box jump? A mile of running? A bit of pain that is fleeting, and will only make me stronger in the end? God commanded Joshua the following before he led a nation of people into a land where they were going to essentially invade and overtake a hostile people:
(Joshua 1:9) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
It would seem that Joshua had real reasons to be afraid, but he did not--God was with him. He is with me. That same God that parted the Red Sea and flattened the walls of Jericho is present daily in me by his Spirit. I have nothing to fear--and certainly nothing that CF can hand me.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Filthy Fifty

I went into today's WOD completely freaked out. So much for not showing up afraid anymore. I had heard rumors of the Filthy Fifty, and didn't really think it was going to turn up on one of MY workout days. WRONG. It is every bit as hard as they say.

As I sit here writing this my whole body is drained...I am sore on a cellular level. No, really! My cells are sore. I can tell.

Filthy Fifty
50 box jumps (I did step-ups)
50 jumping pullups (I did 30)
50 KB swings (@20#)
50 walking lunges
50 knees to elbows (I did 20)
50 push press (@30--RX was 35, so close!)
50 back extensions (we did "good mornings" with a barbell over the shoulders)
50 wall balls (I did 30)
50 burpees
50 double unders (I did 150 singles)

This WOD adds up to 500 total reps. I was 70 short of that due to the reps that I scaled. I had decided that I wanted to go through all of the movements, because there was a time cap of 35 minutes. Otherwise we would have been stopped at whatever point we were when time ran out. I finished in 34:20, though I'm not sure if I finished the WOD or it finished me. Either way, stick a fork in me...I'm done!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fast and To the Point

Today's WOD
9 - 7 - 5
9 Floor to shoulder, front rack lunges
7 Shoulder to overhead, front rack lunges
5 Floor to overhead, front rack lunges
Time: 4:16

I like fast WODs. Mind you, I was shaking when it was over, but it was fast, furious and done with. I like that.

Then we did an obscenely difficult "team building" ab-work-torture-treatment that involved sitting in a v-hold for hours and passing a medicine ball down the line. I did not enjoy that part as much. I survived. I wonder if my abs will be too tight to breathe tomorrow...

Monday, February 4, 2013

How Bad can it Be?

It can be bad. It can be, "There's no way I will finish this WOD in time for the start of the next class" bad. It can be, "4 rounds of 21 snatches? You're out of your freakin' mind!" bad. It can be, "You're making me row further than they have to run? You're kidding, right?!" bad. It can be so bad that you tell your coach that "This is not my time of day to work out," and he looks at you and says, "Really? That's a new one!" and you realize just how stupid those excuses sounded coming out of your face. Yeah. It was that bad.

Today's WOD

4 rounds for time:
run 400 m (I subbed rowing because I am trying to give my knees a rest)
21 power snatches
12 KB swings

time: 19:40 with scaling

Worst. WOD. Ever. That is all.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Run Like the Wind...Or Freeze to Death

Today's WOD

4 rounds for time
400 m run
8 deadlifts (105#)
12 TTB (toes to bar--I'm just trying to get my knees up to my chest!)
time: 16:39

Since I have been having problems with my knees I talked to the coach (Nick) about how they were feeling. He encouraged me to listen to my body, scale where needed and to let them heal. I know that running on already sore knees is not a good idea for me, so I did one round of 400 m and rowed the rest. It was SO COLD (wind chill of about 18 degrees) that I didn't think about stopping, but I decided to save my knees and my raspy lungs and row the rest of the rounds. I am so glad I decided to do it that way--I still have to ice my knees and and I will be glad for the next couple of days' rest, and then hopefully next week I can begin to rehabilitate them and work on better squat form.

Herein lies the challenge of CrossFit--it absolutely is a workout that everyone can do. Therefore, the most accomplished athletes are working out side-by-side with beginners. This has been a tremendous motivator for me at times. What I have to remind myself, however, is that many of these top athletes are in their 20s, they do not have children at home who need them to run upstairs immediately because they have soap in their eyes or have run out of toilet paper. I cannot be so exhausted that I cannot fix dinner or give the kids their lessons. I need to be able to function in my daily life. I am still a beginner. There is a level of confidence that I am gaining, but I have to remind myself that I still have much to learn and mistakes can be costly.

Today I talked to a guy who was wearing gloves for the WOD and I asked if those were for the run or the bar work, and he replied, "Both!" He said that they didn't help his grip at all, but his hands were starting to bleed from bar work. He laughed and said, "There's hard-core, and then there's silly!" I think it is possible to be a serious CF athlete and become very fit without ruining the body. I have to remind myself of this--I tend to go a little cray-cray and want to do everything to the max. Right now I'm going to listen to my knees.