Hero WOD Murph – 43:30

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CrossFit has a set of workouts called “Hero WODs” which are designed to test your physical limits to commemorate and pay respects to certain people who have earned the title of”Hero”. This morning myself and two of my friends decided to do the Hero WOD Murph – in honor of Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy who died in Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings in 2005 after sacrificing himself to get to higher ground, and expose himself, so he could get a signal to call for help in an attempt to save the rest of his group. No matter your view on war, you have to commend a man who is selfless enough to choose to sacrifice his life to get his brothers to safety.

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The idea came about to do this WOD after I saw the movie Lone Survivor, which tells the story of operation Red Wings. My friend’s husband who I visited in Hawaii is a helicopter pilot in the Army and my boyfriend is ex Air Force and current AF Guard. After watching the movie, my friend and I were both discussing how we had heard both of them talk about the level of brotherhood and the amount of mental toughness they had built during their times in service, but we hadn’t been able to comprehend it until we saw it played out in front of us in that movie. When my CF Friend Emily told me there was a Hero WOD after Murph, I jumped on the idea of doing it in his honor and in honor of the 18 other people who died during that operation.

The Workout Is:

1 Mile Run

100 Pullups

200 Pushups

300 Squats

1 Mile Run

We decided to break it up into 10 Pull ups, 20 Push ups, 30 Squats for ten rounds. The Pull ups and Push ups were assisted with bands/from the knees, as that’s a lot of pull ups and pushups to do strict. Several times during it one of us would comment that we were getting tired and the other one (mostly me, bc I’m a dramatic sap) would respond with “At the end of this, we will still be alive and we still be fine. If this is the worst we have to deal with, I think we’re pretty good”. Total time was around 43:30 minutes. Great way to pay respect and appreciate life on a sunday.

Death by Gymnastics and Clean 30 Day 2 – Kalua Pulled Pork, Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli.

I find gymnastics torturous. I was never one of the little kids on the playground swinging from rings or doing handstands and cartwheels. I liked the swings. Nice and simple and completed while sitting on my butt. Starting today, every wednesday’s strength class will be devoted to work on CrossFit Gymnastics movements. These include handstand walks, pull ups, muscle ups, dips, rope climbs and L-Sits. I was dreading going in today because I find those movements so incredibly hard. They require a lot of upper body strength and perfect movement patterns. I also have a ridiculously strong fear of kicking up into a handstand. So much so today that when it came to that part of the workout today I nearly burst into tears when my coach told me I had to do it. We worked slowly with him grabbing one of my feet and holding it in the handstand position for 15 seconds. After about 10 minutes I was able to kick up into one on my own. But the excitement from this was short lived, as we next started to work on “skin the cat“.

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This awkward movement requires a lot of core and shoulder strength as you start hanging from rings, bringing your legs up until you are straight up and down with your feet in the air and head towards the ground, then continue to bring your legs around so that your shoulders are twisted behind you… and then you flip back around. I had to do them with a little jump off the ground to get me going and I found it very difficult, once I had made it around once, to come back around again. Add it to the endless list of things to work on.

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Next it was on to muscle ups, which was kinda a joke as I can’t even do kipping pull ups yet. I practiced my kip glide as I watched the guys (I was the only girl today) land muscle up after muscle up. A part of me couldn’t help but feel really lame just sitting there swinging back and forth like an idiot. But, nothing comes without some practice so I just keep swinging along and practicing my kips.

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This evening I went back for the regular WOD, since it had the second benchmark workout for the Clean 30 Challenge. It was 3  * 2 min AMRAPs of Pull ups, Push ups and Sit ups back to back. Can’t wait to see how much I profess over the next 30 days!

For my Clean30 dinner today I made Kalua Pulled Pork, sweet potatoes with bacon and broccoli.  I cooked the sweet potatos by skinning them, cutting them into strips, placing some bacon on them and cooking them in the oven. It makes them have a hint of bacon deliciousness.

ImageI might need to get a new pan….

Do you like gymnastics?

What is your favorite gymnastics move?

Clean30 Day 1 – Mustard Chicken Thighs RECIPE, Sautéed Spinach, Cooked Carrots and Mashed Cauliflower

Clean30 Starts….. NOW. Well, technically this morning but you get the point. In case you missed my post about the Clean 30, my box is doing round 3 of 30 days of strict paleo. It’s meant to show you how good eating clean can make you feel, look,  and how much it can improve your fitness… also…the most important part… it’s a competition. You get points for different achievements (attending CF WOD is 2 points, working out outside CF 1 point, totally clean meal 2 points, a day with no no alcohol 1 point, 7+ hours of sleep 1 point so on and so on) and you keep track of them on a nifty little scorecard they give you.

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You also do three benchmarks WODS on day one and then again on day 30 to see how much you progressed. You get points for your progression as well.  You are placed on a team, with a coach who sends you encouraging emails and helps you throughout the process.  In the end there is an individual winner and a team winner. But really, in the end,  aren’t we all winners?… awww……

ANYWAY, today’s dinner: Mustard Chicken Thighs, cooked spinach, cooked carrots and mashed cauliflower. The entire dinner for 2 and leftovers took me all of 15 minutes to prep and a total cook time of less than 30 min. So easy.

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Mustard Chicken Thighs

2lbs chicken thighs

1/4 cup melted butter/ghee

2 tablespoons mustard

pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in microwave, takes about 10 seconds.

2. Mix butter and dijon mustard and pepper.

3. Spread on chicken thighs

4. Cook in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until done.

5. Go spend the rest of your night relaxing because dinner took no time at all to make.

For the spinach – I placed raw spinach leaves in a saucepan with a bit of water, garlic powder, butter and salt. Cooked on medium for about 10 minutes.

Cauliflower – Steamed in a pot until soft, mixed in nutribullet with butter and salt.

Carrots – steamed for about 20 minutes and squeezed orange juice on top.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE COOKING and still want delicious gourmet paleo meals for $12.40 a meal – check out my last post on Caveman Cafeteria’s meal delivery. They are offering $50 off a month of delicious and nutritious meals if you use the promo code “BeAboutIt” after clicking here. 

Caveman Cafeteria Meal Delivery – 50$ Off PROMO CODE

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Imagine every city in the US having a vertical farm, so that all produce can be grown locally and organically, with a kitchen at the bottom to produce natural, wholesome food. That’s the vision that Caveman Cafeteria: Where the Hunters Gather, a Denver based gourmet Paleo company is aiming to achieve. They are hoping to become a household name over the next 25 years, creating delicious meals that can be delivered to your door for a simplified, healthy lifestyle.

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I had the pleasure of first discovering Caveman Cafeteria in May last year. I liked them so much that I wrote about them here, on the blog. Last Friday they were one of the vendors that came to the Chris Kresser talk that I attended. I chatted with the owner about their paleo meal delivery, which delivers 40 meals per month to people living in the Denver Metro Area. Some of their meals include: Curried Chicken Salad, Pepper Crusted Beef Steak with roasted red peppers and asparagus with garlic aioli,  Irish Lamb Stew, Slow Roasted Wild Boar and so much more.  The menu changes regularly, so you won’t get bored eating the same things over and over again.

The owner offered me a $50 off promo code, which reduces the cost of the meals to $12.40 per meal. No excuse to not eat healthy, wholesome foods if you can have it delivered to your door! Click here if you are interested and enter the promo code “BeAboutIt”. It’s time to start treating your body right so you can finally see just what you are capable of.

Long weekend and recommitting to Paleo

Ahh, I love long weekends.  I think life would be so much better if we only had 4 day work weeks. Long weekends used to mean another day to party, dance, be hungover, eat more pizza and all that loveliness.  Now it just means more workouts and more time to spend outside. Oh, and I guess study in there somewhere too. The boy sprained his hand and hasn’t been able to lift for a couple days, so we tried to get out and about as much as possible to keep him from going stir crazy. Friday night I attended a talk by Chris Kresser, a leading specialist in Paleo/Clean Eating, that my box hosted. There were over 200 people there, complete with different Paleo restaurants/vendors giving out free samples before the talk (more to come on this later). Chris is on a nationwide book tour and only made two stops in Colorado, so it was pretty special that one of them was my box.

Saturday I went to the morning WOD, followed by some 135lb sled pulls. After a quick bite,  the boy and I drove about an hour south to go hike in Castle Rock. It was about 55 degrees in Boulder and I got a bit over excited by the warmth and decided to wear shorts.

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There was no snow anywhere along the drive until we got to the trail head. Then, what do you know, the entire hike still somehow had snow on the ground. I got some strange looks as people passed wearing winter coats. Afterwards we stopped to hang with his mom and sister and some amazing gluten free pizza that made up for the ice cold legs.

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Sunday I went to the morning WOD again and stayed after during open gym to do some front squats to try to work on that devilish form.   I didn’t stay too long, though, because (a) I got really frustrated and grumpy and I tend to quarantine myself when I get like that so that I will still have friends later and (b) it was a gorgeous day and even though the rest of Colorado was watching the Broncos game, the boy and I aren’t really sports fans so we headed out to go climb a mountain.  Obviously our lack of attendance was good luck, as the Broncos won. You’re welcome, Colorado.

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It was lovely to not have to get up and go to school today. I celebrated by… you guessed it…  more CrossFit and more hiking. So lame, I know. I have trouble sitting still sometimes.

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I went to Costco too. watch out world, i’m getting crazy on you! I had a lot of meal prepping to do for this week. My box is having a Clean 30 Challenge, similar to Whole 30 but less restrictive. You are assigned to a team and during the 30 days you eat pretty much full Paleo while attending WODs and working as hard as you can. There are benchmark WODS on the first day and the last day. Some people also have their body fat taken (I will not be one of them) and you are scored based on the improvement in the benchmark WOD and the loss of body fat.  I’ve witnessed two other Clean 30’s that my box has done and seen the amazing improvement in skill and health on other people. I decided this time I’d jump on board, as I’ve been a bit too lenient with my meals lately. My sweet tooth is starting to get the best of me and I always do better if something is a competition, so this is coming at the perfect time.

I’ll be posting most of my meals/recipes if anyone wants to jump on board the Clean 30 train and see just how good your body can feel when you feed it properly. Unlike Whole 30, I won’t be restricting sugar entirely, just cutting out grains/legumes/anything processed.

How did you spend your three day weekend?

Do you like spending time outdoors?

Did you watch any football this weekend?

CrossFit Frustrations

Patience can be hard.  As I’ve mentioned before, I have a nasty little habit of giving up on something if I don’t get it right away. I’m trying to kick that habit by continuing to get better at snowboarding, but  recently I’m noticing those familiar frustrations are sneaking into my CrossFit workouts. And they’ve brought their  nasty little friend jealousy.

Image I can’t squat.  I have a distinct memory of a conversation I had in high school with my friend Cameron trying to figure out why she could just hang out in a low squat so easily and when I tried I would just role backwards. At the time, we came to the conclusion it was because I had wide hips that made me unsteady compared to her narrows ones. Now I’ve learned that’s not the case, that it has to do with hip flexor mobility, strong glutes and hamstrings etc etc. But some days, I still feel like just chalking it up to my wide hips and throwing in the towel would be way easier than to carry on trying.

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I’ve made some good progress, but with each step I take forward my coaches ask more of me and it’s another step backwards. Sometimes the nature of always being able to improve on a skill can be exhausting.

Today I finally started to feel like I was getting below parallel with heavier weight consistently, when I got told that my feet point out in a duck position too much and I need to make them parallel facing forward. I tried it, and found I was back at square one.  I stood there wanting to ask my coach if it really f*&king matters how my feet point if I was still getting low and getting stronger?

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But I didn’t, because I know better. Of course it matters. There are no shortcuts to success. Proper form is an essential foundation if I want to keep getting stronger, so if that means going back to square one so be it.

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Yesterday I stayed after the WOD to do some more work during open gym. Our  box has a special program for our “competitors” aka the most elite atheletes in the gym. They were going through a WOD while I was doing my own thing and I watched as they moved seamlessly through rope climbs, pull ups, hand stand push ups, pistols… All things that I hope one day to do. Some of the comppetitors only recently joined that WOD, after having made significant improvements in the regular WODs that I attend. I couldn’t help but feel some jealousy at first, mad that I hadn’t been making more progress.

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You can say “I’ve come so far from where I was X months ago”, but sometimes it really doesn’t matter. You aren’t where you want to be and that sucks.  But as I sat there I realized I had two choices. I could sit and be frustrated and jealous and pout that I wasn’t getting better fast enough… or I could keep focused, bust my ass more in work outs and trust that if I give it my all it will come. So, I took a moment to acknowledge my frustration, and then tried to push it out of my mind. More mobilizing, more technique work and more determination. It will come and it will be more rewarding if I know I didn’t take any short cuts to get there.

C is for Community (Kevin Ogar)

Anyone who has every wondered about the nationwide community that is CrossFit need only look at the response to the recent incident involving CrossFit games athlete Kevin Ogar. At the 2014 OC Throwdown, Ogar was performing snatches during the competition and dropped a loaded barbell onto his back, breaking two vertebrae and severing his spinal cord. Reports say that as of now he has no movement below his waist. Ogar is also a coach at CrossFit Unbroken, a box here in the Denver area.  Ogar is uninsured and a fund was set up to pay for his medical bills. Two days later over $107,000 dollars have been donated from over 1,500 people. I can’t imagine what it is like for someone who lives to compete physically to possibly be paralyzed from the waist down. Medical bills should be the last of his worries.

I know plenty of people complain that CrossFitters talk too much about CrossFit or get too obsessed with it. I think moments like this show that this may be be the case because CrossFit is more than just a place to work out, it’s a supportive community of people who are bonded together by the love of a common experience, who feel their lives have been greatly improved through CrossFit and who grow together to form a family. My thoughts are with Kevin at this time.

Hawaii Days 4, 5 &6

Brrrr. I’m back in Colorado and freezing my butt off. We got back yesterday morning after a sleepless, turbulent overnight flight. The memories of this trip will have to tide me over until summer, I suppose.

On the 4th day the boy and I decided to check out the touristey side of the island and headed to Waikiki. We were not impressed, at all. Compared to the north shore beaches we had been too this one was so small, so flat and SO crowded.

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We bronzed for a bit, shopped for a bit and then we were ready to head back north and out of the tourist traps!

Day 5 my friend still had to work, so the boy and I headed south east to Kalua bay for some kayaking! When we got there it was a little windy with some sizeable choppy waves.

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After talking it over we decided to risk it and head about a mile out to a big island you can pull up on.

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We ha borrowed kayaks from my friend and her fiancée and, while very nice kayaks, they were designed to be used with spray skirts (to keep water out) and we didn’t have any.

Very long story short, the paddle there was fine as soon as we figured out a route that avoided the reef. When it was time to push of from the island we realized that it would be difficult because waves were coming around from either side of the island and smashing together right in front of the beach. We would have to time it just right and paddle like hell to get past. We decided my boyfriend would go first so I could push him out since I’m a bit more comfortable in the water and was okay pushing myself off from the shore. He made it out and I went to push myself off with proper timing. I had to wait about 3 minutes after him to go and I made it out past the breakers and looked up just in time to see him get knocked out of his kayak in front of me.

We tried to drain the kayak using the T technique I learned when I was younger, but this kayak was not designed to get water in it and therefore was not designed to be emptied easily. Watching as the kayak began to take on more water we decided that I would tow the now slowly sinking kayak and my boyfriend back to shore. A long hour and some tired shoulders later we touched onto someone’s private beach front, as it was the closest, to drain the kayak on shore and keep going back to the beach where we had parked.

A tiring adventure, but an adventure none the less. Have you ever hear of the show ‘I shouldn’t be alive’ that reenacts stories where people should have died while stranded in the wild? Well I am notorious for yelling at the TV during the show about how idiotic the people on it are  and their very bad their survival skills. That may have been my motivator to not whine and keep paddling during this experience.

Day 6 my friend had work off so we could hang out! We went to the Dole pineapple plantation in the morning.

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Where I got to see a pineapple mid growth cycle, which was still slightly different than I had thought.

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Next we went to Hale’iwa (because I’m obsessed with the north shore) to get some presents for people back home.

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And we spotted some sea turtles who decided to hang out.

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Then it was time to sadly end the trip and head to the airport. While it was nice to sleep in my own bed last night I miss my friend already and the beautiful green warmth of oahu! I haven’t worked out in over a week and I’m excited, albeit a bit scared ,to head back to my box this weekend?

Wha are your weekend plans?
What’s your favorite place you’ve visited?

Hawaii Day 3 -Hanuama Bay and Pillbox

Are you sick of my Hawaii posts yet? Too bad, I still have three more days 🙂 Today we venture southeast to Hanuama Bay, a state park that is famous for its views and snorkeling.

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Prior to being allowed in everyone has to watch a 9 minute video about how to preserve the reef, complete with lovely little songs called ‘don’t step on me’ and ‘there is plenty under the sea, so please don’t feed me’. When we got down we decided to walk to the very edge away from everyone else to head out into the water. This was a mistake. The water there is SUPER shallow until you get far out and it was very difficult to go over the reef on the edges of the bay. This may have meant some stepping on the reef so as not to scrape our bellies. The don’t step on me song played in my head the whole time. We decided to head back to shore to try a different approach.

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Right when we got back we saw this lovely little SEA SNAKE. Snakes are scary enough on land, but poisonous snakes in the WATER?! I had to wait a minute before I got back in.

Turns out if you go where everyone else was it was deep enough to swim out to some good snorkeling without stepping on anything. Moral of the story: sometimes it’s better to not be a special snowflake and to follow the herd.

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Afterward we grabbed some lunch and some Hawaiin shaved ice (which I had been wanting the past couple days). I got coconut, pineapple and mango flavored. Delicious. Next we went to go on a famous Hawaiin hike called the lanikai pillbox. It’s short but very steep up. Gorgeous views all around.

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It has cool graffitied ‘pill boxes’ which look like old military gun forts but I have no idea.

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Today my friend and her fiancée have to work (sad. Such responsible adults) so the boy and I are going to venture to touristey Waikiki then maybe head east for some kayaking!! Do I really have to go back to negative degree colorado on Wednesday?!?

Hawaii Day 2

This water girl was very happy after today! This morning we hit the north shore in the morning to get some beach time in. We had wanted to do some cliff jumping but the surf was too rough around the cliffs.

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So we played around in the smaller waves and then left to grab some lunch!

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After lunch we decided to rent some paddle boards. The inlet we were paddling around had tons of sea turtles that would swim under your board. No pictures, as I don’t have a water proof case, but it was pretty amazing! They also had a tree that had a rope attached to it. I couldn’t miss out on that, so I jumped off my board and climbed on up on the limb that stuck out over the water. I checked to make sure there were no sea turtles beneath me and swung on out. It was a nice little addition to the ride.

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Afterwards we came back to my friends house and grilled up some dinner and sat around the fire pit. A perfect day!

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