Well I have a few friends that have posted the video from Always about Throw like a girl (in case you haven’t seen it you can find it here). I find this interesting as I was raised by a herd of women and they did not depend on anyone but themselves. I was brought up to believe in myself since you are the only one that matters. Throw like a girl or run like a girl was never an insult to me. I was taught to throw a baseball (yes not a softball) since my step dad taught baseball to boys. I threw so hard in junior high that a girl tried to catch my pass without a glove and seriously hurt her hand (that was a note “home” that was never delivered). I was not allowed to play anymore which was fine with me because I was horrible at hitting and I didn’t really like baseball. It was Texas after all. So instead I ran laps on the track. When it came time to do the fitness test I ran faster than some of the boys. Up until I was 23 I was able to out run men (not all of them but a lot of them). Once again, running like a girl was not an insult. Now I am surrounded by strong ladies. They are a great support group and the amazing thing is they are not only physically strong but mentally strong. Always remember that it is not about what others think of you but what you think of yourself. You are the only one that matters. If you find yourself surrounded by people who are negative or do not support you on your journey through life or insult you, you should find better friends.
Now on to the workouts… We did Fran at the beginning of this week. Yeah that was drop dead serious and by the last round there was no breaking it up it was just get it done. I think that was the best plan of attack as I just wanted to be done. My foot is getting better but I was restricted to no jumping or running. I have been modifying most of my workouts with things like ring assisted mountain climbers instead of burpees, bike or rowing instead of running, and one leg hops for anything that is jumping related. I have another week before I go back to the doctor but my foot is getting better. I am also looking forward to watching the Games online. I have not been going every day since I want to give my foot a break so I try to go 3 times a week with walking on the days that I am not at the box. I also sit at my desk and do foot exercises and stretching to keep the foot moving. Cheers and happy lifting!
Well I had my follow up appointment and I got super lucky in that my doctor has mentioned that I should be able to use my foot more. I was cleared to go and use a stationary bike but absolutely no spinning. I was also not cleared to jump, run, or hike just yet. These past few weeks have been horrible for my mental state. I am happiest when I am running, biking, hiking, lifting, and pulling. In other words, I am not happy if I am not at the gym doing physical activity. I only went to the box once in my 3 week rest period and just that hour was the best hour of my week. The tear is healing but I am now required to use my foot more but I still have to be careful as it is still healing. Here are a few things that I learned while I was required to rest. First, if you don’t like what you see in the mirror, don’t beat yourself down, get a new mirror. Your reflection should not be a source of self hate. Sometimes you see yourself reflected in others and the negativity they have makes you feel bad about yourself. This is an opportunity for you to find a new friend. This person is not your friend if they make you feel bad about yourself. There is a difference between finding a weakness and feeling bad about you. Do not confuse these two ideas. It is ok to not be perfect. Second, you are where you are. This was never more apparent until now with my injury. I must accept the fact that I will not bounce back as that is not how the human body functions. Lastly, all bad things that happen do not have to make you stop reaching your goals. In other words, when you are in juried take the opportunity to make the other area strong. This is not the time to stop reaching for your goals just change direction. As always I am grateful for my friends and family that have helped me though this difficult time.
Tomorrow is a new day and my first day back after a solid week off. I will be doing a modified workout and really look forward to working with the ladies who I have missed (Nurse Jackie, Joanna, The Heather’s, Ariel, and of course Keidy). My birthday was awesome and I even got some CrossFit gear such as shoes (my favorite aunt), socks, and a Reebok gift card. I got my Polar watch battery changed and started packing my Polar heart rate monitor. Watch out because now I am going to be awesome! Have you ever had an injury that took you out of your daily routine? How did you deal with it? I think that I might be able to get back to my routine but I hope that it will all return to normal soon.
Here are some of the images I took at the regional competition. These athletes were amazing to watch. First let’s start with the ladies doing a strict handstand pushup. So you start in a handstand and drop down to touch your head (believe it or not this is not the hard part) and then push yourself back up. Here you see the ladies all in the starting position.
One of the things the athletes had to do is a handstand walk (sounds like a lot of handstand work but it was just 2 events that had handstands and there were 6 events). Here you see the men trying to get ready for the handstand walk. Sounds simple enough but it is not.
This is the first part of the event which was 3 tries at finding your max weight of a hang squat snatch. Yes it is a funny word but a lot of weightlifting words are funny. Here you see the gentleman preparing his bar to lift.
Next is a picture of my coach about to start the workout that called for a legless rope climb. This is you have to climb a rope without using your legs. It is more about using your hips in a similar manner as a kettlebell swing. She did great at this event! How can she not with arms like that.
This is the women trying to push-up from the handstand push-ups. You can see the muscles working trying to get the body back up. Not easy to do and not easy to watch.
This is a great image for shoes. I have a shoe issue and I loved all the bright colors that these men are rocking. Could be an ad for Reebok!
Here is my coach Keidy again just happy to be competing. So many of the athletes were just happy to be at the regionals. I was excited just being there to take pictures. These athletes really made my job easy.
Lastly, this was one of my favorite parts of the whole competition, these athletes would finish a workout and get up and go support and coach the other athletes. Yes, that is right, they got up and helped their competition complete. This simple act costs them nothing and makes them a better athlete. It also makes the athlete who is still working know that everyone is supporting him. Being in this position myself a few times it is really hard and you just want to quit but sometimes you have to push through and just finish.
I was lucky enough to go to the regional games this past weekend. This was truly inspirational on many levels. First, it made me feel weak and strong at the same time. I felt like the weight these athletes lifted was amazingly heavy and some of them made it look like nothing. It made me want to push myself to get better. The workouts were tough (some of them were designed to not be completed) but the ladies and gentlemen pushed through it. One lady even set an event record and didn’t even look exhausted. It made me feel strong because every single person that was in the regional competition had a moment of weakness. Even the strongest among us has a point of weakness. Second point of inspiration is that these ladies all started where I am right now. The road to success is not always easy so don’t ever give up. Give it your best and some day you will be the best. Lastly I got to take pictures of the athletes in the North East. The beauty of these people is in the work and effort they put in day after day after day. I really feel like capturing the moments of these athletes is what I am supposed to do. I see images of athletes and for whatever reason the photographers smooth out the skin and muscles. This removes everything that person has spent years working on. Sara Hill Mass and Rachel Goldenberg are just some of the amazing ladies that have a muscle definition that is without words. I hope that maybe I can get a chance to take some photos of them and of course eventually be able to take photos for Reebok. I want to thank my friend Heather for driving me to the regional competition. Of course, many thanks to my friend, my coach, Keidy for always being a great coach, a spectacular athlete, and allowing me to take photos. It is not always easy to be the focus of my lens and I appreciate the time you have allowed me to spend with you while working out. This is your personal time and to allow me in is invaluable to me.
The goals for last week was to get all my gear ready for the regional competition so I was a bit of a slacker and only worked out 4 days. I didn’t even go to my gym to work on my pull-ups. This week I have to get focused on getting to the box and eating clean. I need more time taking photos of athletes and I need to get that scheduled. This summer I am going to use the weekends to get out and see some of the areas around me and build out my athlete portfolio at the same time. I have to get back to my routine and work on building a better version of myself. I have to let my inner athlete come out. Here’s to another week of greatness…
In order to successful you have to fail. There are starts and stops for anyone who is successful. It’s a drive. Sadly, I missed last week because I was working on becoming a stronger photographer and advancing that part of my life. I did not take a week off from the box I just focused on something else for a little bit. One of the great things about CrossFit is it gives you time with your thoughts. Yeah CrossFit allows you to stop and think about what you want to do and who you want to be. It allows you to see that sometimes you make choices and sometimes those choices make you. Sometimes the path you take is not the path taken but it is your path. I have seen that I cannot just feed one part of myself I have to feed and nurture the whole self. That includes my artistic side. That side with the creations, images, and greatness. So in short, a thousand apologies for missing a week. Here is what happened last week and this week. I have decided to focus on my photography in my time away from work. It has to be a priority as it is a huge part of who I am. I spent a good part of last weekend taking photos and I will post some as soon as I can. I also want to take more photos of athletes.
One of the things that made me realize I have to focus on myself is last week we had a few really hard workouts. I remember laying on the floor next to my friend Jackie. I was so exhausted that I just lay down and threw my arms over my head. Something amazing happened; half of my arm touched the floor. This is huge as when I started this adventure only my fingertips would touch the mat. The next day we had a set of overhead squat which was one of the biggest weaknesses I found in the CrossFit Open. I could not do overhead squats because of my shoulder mobility due to sitting at a desk all day since I was 22. Who would have thought that sitting at a desk can really hurt your back and shoulders? I have been working on trying to get it better but this was not an easy task as scar tissue had to be broken up in my shoulders and I had to stretch the muscles every day. I got to overhead squat day and the trainer said “Let’s warm up and get set up to the WOD”. I happened to have a 15 lb bar out and I took all the weight off and I just thought, let’s do this. I pushed the bar up and squatted down (my arms are strong enough to hold a 15 lb bar even if it shoots way out in front). I got my shoulders locked out and squat I did. The trainer looked over at me and said “When did that happen?” to which I just replied “Just now”. I decided not to push it too hard so I just stayed with the empty bar. This made me think, what else have I been telling myself that I can’t do that but in reality I just need to stretch and work on it every day. What have you been telling yourself that you cannot do? Is that really something you can’t do or is it just your mind saying you are too weak?
This was a tough week. I am still gluten free and will be decreasing my dairy intake. I have set a challenge for myself, 6 weeks on an altered Paleo diet. I feel better without gluten in my diet and I am hoping that it will make me stronger. I have found that last week I really enjoyed spending time and taking pictures with Coach Keidy and I think I can get better at it but I feel like I am at a good starting point. Here are a few words of encouragement that I hear over and over in my head this week. Surround yourself with great people because they will push you to be great. This was clear when we were running this past week and I see these fighters that I call friends being stronger than me and pushing me to be greater than I think I can be. I see greatness in all my ladies and they push me to be better than I was yesterday. Sometimes I get to return the favor and push them to see the greatness in themselves (you must find your inner Wonder Woman). The second set of words of encouragement is this; if you cannot grow then you cannot become your best and if you are not your best then how can you really be happy. It will be a tough journey to grow, it hurts and it is hard work but if it was easy then everyone would do it. Life is about being uncomfortable with where you are. If you get comfortable you stop growing and you have stopped pushing yourself. Life is about failing. If you are scared of failing you will not become the best you can be. Failing means you pushed yourself to the edge. You become a fighter when you fail and you get up. Fail and then fail again and then again and again. It happens to the best of us. The strongest person I know failed. She failed over and over again but the reason she is so strong is because she got up every time she failed. Think of your Wonder Woman. Guess what, they were where you are right now. They all started. They all failed. I don’t know who they are but I know they failed. When you get up from that failure you learn about yourself. You see what you can do and where you can go, maybe not today but work. Do your assignment. Do your work. In that moment when you no longer fail, that’s the greatest feeling of them all. That’s what success feels like.
Now the work. Ugh, this was a tough week. I tried to give up a few times but I pushed through it and I feel awesome that I finished. I got shin splints which I get at the beginning of any running program but I iced my legs and I got lucky that the workout on Thursday really stretched my legs with the wall balls. I blazed through them because it felt amazing to stretch my legs. I see that I am getting stronger and it feels great. I am so close to a kipping pull-up that it angers me (like Marvin the Martian kind of anger). I will be working on these this weekend again at the regular gym. I am hoping to enter the battle of the sexes at the box to see who is stronger. The workouts this week also included so many burpees with different jumps (burpee star jumps or burpee pull-ups) that it was horrible. I am pretty sure burpees are a torture movement that they use to make prisoners talk. I mean I was willing to tell coach anything she wanted to know.
Until next week, keep up the good work and may the WOD’s be in your favor…
Yeah I made it through Easter without eating tons of candy (managed my jellybean intake to 10 – 15 beans)! Anyone who knows me how hard it is for me to turn down chocolate, cake, ice cream, and of course jellybeans. I have been known to eat so many jellybeans I get sick (I wonder why I gained weight). It was tough of course but today marks day 3 without bread or wheat. This morning on my journey in I just thought donuts are delicious, breakfast burrito would be perfect on this brisk morning (it was 20ish degrees), or how about a muffin? Amber waves of grain but none for me! The first few days are horrible so I just have to make it through this week. I have organic yogurt and gluten free granola to help me through. More on the adventure in no grain land later this week.
Keidy was an awesome subject on Saturday and I even got a few pictures of Chris. Here are some photos I got. I would love any feedback you have…
Well this was the last workout of the CrossFit Open. It involved thrusters, burpees, and plenty of swearing and sparkling (I follow the “I don’t sweat I sparkle” mentality). I will admit there was swearing towards the end of the workout. I wanted to quit at one point but there is no quitting in CrossFit only pausing the awesomeness. I was not the only one in my group that wanted to quit (I have a group of awesome ladies that did the open together) but we pushed through it. I am glad I did as now I am currently 18th in my age in my state. I have to say thanks to everyone that suffered through watching me as I was the last one to finish in my heat at the box. I lay on the floor for a bit afterwards but hey I think it is pretty great to finish something that is supposed to find the fittest on earth. One of the ladies in my group who also happens to be our coach made it to the regional games. Yeah we are all super excited for her. She was a great cheerleader, coach, and friend. It was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to find their weakness and strength. Now that I know where I am weak I can work on it.
On to my progress for my goal of getting healthy: I weighed myself and it seems I have lost almost 10 pounds. This month I am going to work on getting stronger with the toes to bar. These were included in 14.4 and “apparently” toe to bar does not count (damn you Dave Castro!). It was a personal record or PR for me but still was a no rep. I found a place by my house that has an old outdoor gym set with a free standing bar. Finding an old gym is critical for a few reasons for starters you do not have to fight with 10 year olds over the bar and secondly you are not the weird lady who jumps on the bar and tries to get her toes to bar and lastly there is the gentle sobbing that will happen when you get it down. I also want to be able to do 1 chest to bar (see 14.2 workout) by June. This means I have to plan ahead and hit the different milestones such as mastering a kip up. This will help with a few other weak points I have such as pull-ups, muscle ups, and shoulder mobility. I will work on building the upper body at the regular gym. I have also given up on getting gluten out of my diet until I get a better handle on my schedule. Breakfast seems to be tough as I do enjoy a breakfast burrito. So my goal for this coming week is to get to the actual gym on Saturday and Sunday to work on the upper body. Let’s see how that goes!
So I am calling last week my cheat week. I am even late on getting this posted. I ate dairy and more dairy with a side of dairy. It was a good effort on cutting out the gluten which lasted all of 1 day. It was good food though but my stomach is paying for it (I ate cake, fried foods, rich soups, and noodles). I think the boy had a good time even though he didn’t go to the box with me. My partner also got ill (he never gets sick and now he is sick on his birthday) which caused me to clean way more of the house than expected. Now I will start this week saying “Let’s try to remove gluten from my diet this week”. So far I am starting off good with packing not just my lunch but G’s as well. Side note, we went to Boston and I got to use my gift certificate at Williams Sonoma (I love Williams). I got a spiralizer and now I have been spiral cutting all my food. I have ribbon cut zucchini on my salad and I made spiral zucchini that gives you the same bite texture of pasta. I did wide spirals of potatoes and made homemade curly fries in the oven.
The work at the box, well that was just 2 days last week (I felt like a lazy lima bean). I would go early in the morning but once G got sick I didn’t want to possibly pass that illness to anyone at the box (especially in the middle of the open). Now 14.4, all I have to say is Dave is evil. Yeah I said it. Once again he put in something that I could not do toes to bar. I got toe to bar but according to Mr. Castro that is a no rep. I am pretty sure this means that I will not make it to regionals. I can’t be too mad at Dave as he did give us deadlifts last week and I knocked those out of the park. I had a plan, I practiced loading the bar at home, and even worked out the most effective way to lift and load (Photo to come soon). Well I hope that Thursday’s announcement will be something awesome! I do have to say the ladies I workout with did an awesome job on 14.4 with some making it to the wall ball. You ladies are my inspiration. Every week I get stronger and stronger and that is because of you guys pushing me by being stronger or just plain pushing me by saying “You can do that”. I am really hoping spring comes soon so we can get outside and pull sleds. All time favorite is sled pull.
So I have been going to the box 5 days a week (except for those weeks were mother nature decided to block me). Overall I would say that the people at the box that I go to are super nice. They want to help you and most important they talk to you. I know novel idea. I will remind everyone that I am from Texas where you go to the market and people talk to you like you are long lost friends. I am not used to the North East mentality of “I don’t need to know you”. I remember having issues with the 20 inch box and the girl next to me actually taking time out of her WOD to say “Are you OK”. Sure it didn’t cost her 20 seconds but it was the simple act of being nice that makes it important. I know that if something happened that the people at the box would help out. I think this is critical as you could hurt yourself (whack yourself in the chin for example). I know regular gyms say someone will help you but I really doubt it. Sure CrossFit costs more than regular gyms but consider this, how much would you have to pay for a membership and then a trainer to develop a program and push you. You have to add up the cost of the membership and 5 days of training. I say I come out a little cheaper than a regular gym membership. In some cases there are only 3 or 4 of us in a class. I had one class where it was just me and the trainer.
I liked the gym I used to go to and I have to say the instructors were awesome (I have mentioned to the ones I worked with if they ever need reference I would be more than happy). It was the people at the gym; from stares from men as I run on the treadmill to glares from people when I tried to join a new class with one girl even saying “You do not belong here. You will not make it through the workout”. I just thought challenge accepted! Guess what, I did make it through. The box that I go to (the only one I have been to) I have people saying “You can do that” or “You got this”. I have to say it is sometimes the support of the other members that make a difference.
So thanks to the men and women who have supported not just me but others at the box. Thanks for giving pointers on how you do it without judgment or arrogance. Thanks to the trainers for pushing me beyond what I think I can do. It’s the job of the trainer to help you; however it is not their job to care. That is the key piece of success here. Caring what you do, how it affects you, and if that is the best solution for you. I want to go to the box every work day because of this.
This week was tough. It was a week of finding your one rep max for different movements. This was the week when that support from others really pushes you to add 2.5 lbs and try it. You fail, that’s ok. Get the weight back up and try again. Once again, failing is an act where failure is a mental state. I felt bad that I could not do more weight but I remember what one of my first trainers told me “We start where we start and now we can improve on it”. I just have to remember that as I am going through the CrossFit Open. Every day is an opportunity to get stronger and YOU choose if you want to take that opportunity.
Good luck to all of you and Godspeed on the Open…