Week 24 – Tomorrow is Another Day

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.

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Week 23 – What happens when you sit

So during this time when I am forced to sit and think some odd things have come up in my mind. Addiction, love, passion are all things that come from the same space. We all have these things and some of us express them in destructive ways but others focus that same passion and energy into healthy things. I have an addiction to fitness. I always have. There is something in the competition of whatever that drives me. When I got sick a few years back it put me into a depression and I gained weight. I have had a lot of time to look over my life. When I was in high school I was happy on the track. When I lived in Austin I would go out every single day and ride my bike. It was a type of meditation and calm. Rain, shine, wind, Saturday, it didn’t matter to me what day it was or what the weather was. In the cold I put on long pants and in the heat I put on shorts and packed extra water. I have been doing CrossFit for 6 months now and it is my meditation. It is my peace in a world of chaos. This injury has slowed me down but I am not out. I do push-ups at home and I do one legged squats at my desk. I was down for a full week and the horror of stopping was so over whelming that it is unexplainable. My trainer said she would get a program together for me so that I didn’t use my foot. It is so great when you find others who understand your need to move and push yourself. The probability that I will be out for most of the summer is very high but I am going to fight it. In talking with the doctor he said take it easy for 3 weeks and he will check in with me. Next week I go back for him to see my foot. I have done everything and more than what he said. Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate and repeat. My swelling has gone down on my foot and I am hopeful that he will take the original estimate of 8 week and reduce it.

I did go to the box this week and I think it was the first time I was sad to not do burpees. Yes that is the first time and the last time you will ever see that. I am hoping to go on Friday as well with my ladies. So here is to a new week, a new lease on life, and the ability to do more today than I did yesterday. Cheers and happy lifting!

Week 22 – On Pause

So there was an interesting thing that happened on Sunday. There was a wild ninja that broke into my house and I attacked him before he got to the baby kittens. No that’s not true. There was a circus in town and their bear had escaped and was terrorizing my neighborhood and as the wanna-be-superhero I sprung into action before the trash was bear handled. That’s not true either. I really wish it was something as exciting as a ninja bear or I was attending the open call for America’s Next Top Superhero but in actuality I caught the edge of the step and fell the rest of the way down the stairs. All in all I have a “spring” in my step. Yes that is right, I sprung my foot and am currently out of commission when it comes to CrossFit but I am just too stubborn to really stop exercising. I am currently working on an upper body workout that allows me to not use my foot but still workout. I was told that I might be out of commission for 6 to 8 weeks but as the all famous Tony Hawk once said “You are going to have to fight me”. I cannot just sit still anymore.

The big goal for this week and next is to focus on the healthy eating and build the upper body strengthen. This will allow me to get strong without putting the stress on the ligaments in my foot. I will continue to post and keep you updated on my progress including pictures and stats. Also, I am working on trying my heart rate monitor (HRM) from polar again to track my progress.

Regional Photos

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.
ladies lineup

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.
line up men

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.
mens lifting

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.
keidy

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.
women handstands

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!
crossfit shoes

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.
athlete start

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.
crossfit support

Week 21 – Sometimes the strongest person is the one that lifts the spirits of others

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…

Week 19 and 20 – How Do You Become Successful?

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?

Week 18 – What Is the Cost of Sitting on Your Ass?

So I have been very upset that I have only lost 10 lbs over the past few months. There was the argument that I had with the bathroom scale, the steamy discussions with the bar of soap in the shower (what the hell is that? Oh right I have one on the other side so it must be ok as no one has twin tumors), and the odd winded talks with the dog in the backyard asking him if I look fat (FYI, he is a true gay man and just tilts his head as if to say “I love you no matter what size you are”). One of the ladies in my class has lost 20 lbs in a few months time. I love that she was able to lose weight and super proud. I had to stop myself today while doing plyo ski jumps and think I could not do some of these things in the prior month. My recovery time from cardio is much smaller (usually I can get it together in about 3 to 6 deep breathes). I do still get annoyed when I have not lost a lot weight but then again I didn’t gain this weight in 4 months. I am just a little down today but I will go home, have a nice healthy dinner, go to bed, and wake up to start over. It is a day by day effort and some days I am up and feel great but other days I am down but those down days pass. I just have to look at the price tag on being healthy. That price tag is work, dedication, and commitment to a goal. I have put my goals in place to push myself and they started small but they are getting bigger. There is more time before I get to the goal and I think that is part of my frustration. I have to keep going and remember that the path to greatness is paved in failure. Sometimes you have to fake being great until you just become great. So I stand in a Wonder Woman stance and hope that one day I can be as strong as Wonder Woman.

Time at the box this week has been awesome. We have been doing a few workouts that are similar to what we did before so you can track how much you have improved. I feel like I have gotten faster and faster at different things. The first thing I noticed that I am getting faster at is my jump ropes. I am consistently doing about 2 for every second which means in a 2 minute window I can do over 150. I even got 2 double unders in a row.

Cheers to all my friends and followers out there and here’s hoping I can fake it until I make it…

Week 17 – Is Today Dodgeball Day?

This past week was tough. I was tired, had a bunch of stuff to try and get through this week at home and on top of everything else, my partner (the stabilizing factor in my life) had to leave on a business trip. The last time he left I was attacked by flour, had a cat escape, and a few other odd things. The cats never go out the front door but Fred just decided “Well the tall chap is no longer here and I can’t take it so I must go out into the world and find him” (yes I believe my cat is British). I am still unclear as to why the flour attacked me but that feud has continued from that point forward. So before he left I was told I could not go into the basement for fear a ceiling tile will fall on my head (would not be the first time), food processer is off limits as is open fire (this has been a long standing agreement between him and my mother), and minimal time in the pantry. Of course because of my job I am always finding loop holes and I had to cook dinner. Seeing as how I am only 5’4, on a good day, cooking in my kitchen involves gymnastics. I had decided to try a Mongolian Beef recipe which called for a crock-pot on the top shelf which required a modified muscle up and a dismount. I managed that task pretty well and nothing weird happened like the fridge falling on me so I thought I was good to try to use a knife. All in all, this week was pretty much injury free, dismounts were AWESOME (sure the Russian judge might have given me a 5.7 but hey), and I got to eat all the foods that my partner hates. I did try to cut out candy with a few false starts early in the week but so far, 4 days without candy. I am also on my third week without wheat. I have started this week pretty well as I have my protein packs that taste like Mounds candy bars. The weather here has been horrible (rain almost every day) and it makes me just want to curl up on my sofa with the dog and sleep.

This week in training, well as stated above I was tired all week long. Even when I went to the box I was tired. Friday was a fun day (I felt like I was in middle school and we got to play dodge ball on Friday). We had a challenge of how fast can you row 500 meters and you have 3 tries. Of course I got my best time on the first effort (2:00 flat) but I got close on the third time with 2:03. I did not go to the gym this weekend as we had a baseball game for the boy (first one I have seen him play since he was in high school and he is now a senior). We also got rain free days on Saturday and Sunday so I wanted to spend some time with dog out in the yard. By Thursday and Friday I felt like I had more energy. Today I was tired again but I did not get to sleep until almost 11pm. Here is hoping that this week will be nicer for weather so I can start building out my vegetable garden outdoors instead of in the greenhouse. I also have a few items for the yard where I can use my newly found muscles (maybe push the stone fence back in place and maybe some clean up of the side yard).

Until next time, happy lifting…

Week 16 – Failing is good…

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…

Food Journal Day 6…

Wheat wheat everywhere and not an ounce for me… It is my 6th day without wheat and I have just now gotten to the point where I do not want a donut/cracker/sandwich/burrito. I have found ways to get food at work without having wheat. I almost slipped up when they had Italian Wedding Soup (one of my favorites because it has tiny meatballs and I pretend I am Godzilla) but then I noticed the pasta. Oh you are tricky Italian Wedding Soup. I have gotten to where I cannot eat as much as I did before since I am eating more nutritionally dense food. My belly bloat has gone down some but that will take a while before it is gone. Here is my goal, I want to be down 15 lbs before I give myself a treat (I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!!) and I want to work out 6 days a week. I have also started a “How Foodie are you” within my circle of friends to see who can make the best food porn pictures. Watch out people because my partner is going out of town for a few days so it will be a wild food party with brussels sprouts and other cruciferous veggies! Here is my dinner from last night (even the little human that is my daughter enjoyed it):
Lime Chicken

There will be more to come tomorrow with the WOD’s for this week. Sneak peek: I worked out with The Hulk on Wednesday!