And so it begins

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The first workout of the CrossFit open was announced last night. 10 minutes as many rounds as possible of 30 double unders (having a jump rope pass twice under you with one jump) and 15 muscle snatches. The snatches will be fine but I can’t do double unders, but that wasn’t even my first thought when I saw this workout. My first thought was ‘this workout was made for Heather!’ Heather is a friend at my box who busts her ass daily trying to get better. She rocks double unders, as in 75 unbroken, and has been working hard on her snatches recently.

When I told her this workout was made for her she said that 5 other people had told her that. I say it all the time, but I love the supportive CrossFit community that gets excited about other people’s success.

As for me, I decided to compete at 11:30 on Sunday. That means I have two days to learn how to string some double unders together. Fingers crossed!

And Finally, a Pull Up and breaking 200lbs.

First, someone found my blog today by googling “CrossFit has taught me to love my body”. I LOVE that that google search brought them to my blog, because I 100% agree with that sentiment and love that I’m attached to it.

In other news, I’ve been struggling to find motivation to keep working hard the past two weeks or so. I’ve totally fallen into the February slump that seems to have been making it’s way around. I think it’s because the christmas lights I love so much have been taken down, but it’s still dark too early and that’s totally depressing.

It’s not the best time to get in a slump considering the CrossFit Open (the beginning of a competition that leads to “The Games”, like the Olympics of CrossFit) starts this Thursday! I did not even hesitate to sign up, even though I can’t do some of the movement standards, because really… what do I have to lose? It’ll motivate me to bust my ass harder every Friday for the next 5 weeks when the Open competition work outs take place. AND, I get a nifty little profile on the CrossFit website!

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There have been a couple highlights from the past couple weeks of not feeling quite right during work outs. Valentines weekend the boy and I went in to the box one night solely with the goal of getting me to hit a 200lb dead lift (we’re romantic like that). I had tried about a month ago and couldn’t get past 195lbs without my back rounding. With the help of him changing my pre-stance so that my hamstrings were fully engaged and yelling at me as I lifted, I not only got to 200 but knocked out 205lbs. I was pretty dang stoked on that.

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Tonight we had a gymnastics clinic to work on all types of gymnastics movements but mainly pull ups, toes to bar, and pistols. I have been wanting pull ups FOREVER. I can do a strict pull-up, but just could not get the movement pattern needed to get a kipping pull up. The reason you want to learn kipping compared to strict is because it makes it way easier to bust out multiple pull ups without expending too much energy.  Tonight we spent over an hour straight practicing different techniques to build the foundation to do a kipping pull up. During this I ripped my hand, taped it, bled through that tape, then ripped it in another spot. (Scroll down quickly if you get grossed out easily…)

Those two calluses in the middle ? Hanging off.

Those two calluses in the middle ? Hanging off.

BUT IT WAS WORTH IT. Because I could finally do couple kipping pull-ups! Not linked together (yet) but I am SO happy I finally got one. Now I am actually motivated to practice them every day so that I can link them together! At least I know if there are pull-ups in the open workout I can slowly get some done.

Have you signed up for the Open? What are you most worried about?

Have you felt sluggish during February or is it just me?

Becoming OK with Weight Gain and the Scale

I have gained twenty pounds since I moved to Colorado three years ago. 2-0. The weight of a small child has slathered itself across my body. I’d like to say it’s all muscle, but it’s not. When I moved here I was partying too much, eating too little, all while running a ton of mileage while training for half marathons.

How I got my exercise before CrossFit

How I got my exercise before CrossFit

When I got my mind right and healthy eating on track, my body put on more than just muscle to reach it’s happy place. Unfortunately, it took some time for me to be okay with that happy place. When there is no mirror in front of me and I’m doing something I’d proud of, like CrossFit, I feel like I’m the baddest thing to walk this earth. Most days I can look in the mirror and be more than happy with what I see. But some times that urge to step on the scale overpowers me and, when I do, it shatters that confident image of myself

I was talking to some girls at my box a couple weeks ago about how crazy it is how those little numbers on a screen can make or break you day. No matter how much I preach, and usually tend to believe, that you should value performance over looks, it’s hard not to have a little part of you that still wants to be at that magical number that you have in your head that is your “thin/sexy/hot/goal” weight. I went out to dinner a couple weeks ago with my non CrossFit friend and she was telling me about her struggles to loose weight. She told me that no matter what, her body just stays at her current weight. I told her it had probably just reached a healthy homeostasis and she said “Yeah, probably…. I just wish my natural weight were 5 pounds lighter”. What is it about NUMBERS that can drive us crazy? She is absolutely gorgeous, but somehow 5 lbs that no one else would notice is the difference between a good body and a “bad” body.

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I was talking (well, annoyingly whining) to my boyfriend about how I felt big the other day and he told me I need to delete all my instagram “fitness” accounts because they are giving me unrealistic expectations of what girls should look like. I know this, I wrote a blog post about this, but I still tried to justify it with “No, it doesn’t, it motivates me to work out”. He responded “No, it makes you feel bad and guilty about yourself, so you go to work out”. He then proceeded to give me a long talk about valuing performance over looks, that society has constructed the idea that women shouldn’t have muscle but there is nothing sexier than a girl busting her ass to give it her all (He’s pretty great, huh?::sigh::). He then made me read the article “I became awesome, not skinny“, which every female athlete should read.

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So I deleted all the instagram fitness accounts I followed, but I still couldn’t get out of my funk. That is, until this past weekend at the Tuff Luv CrossFit Competition. I was suddenly surrounded by some bad ass women, in all shapes and sizes, with no make up, hair in messy ponytails with enough confidence to fill a football stadium. I was overwhelmed with love for the human body and what it can do. I was reminded, once again, of my goals, which don’t involve dieting back down to a size 2. If my body is making gains and lifting heavier weight at this size, then this is the size that I need to be. Because, in the end, being able to clean and jerk 195lb like the woman did this weekend is gonna make me a hell of a lot more ecstatic and memorable than fitting in to my old jeans.

 

Can the scale still make or break your day?

How do you plan on getting over that? Or how did you?

Inspired by Competition – Tuff Love

This weekend my box hosted a competition called Tuff Love. 90+ people from boxes all over Colorado, as well as a couple from New Mexico and I think one from Wyoming, showed up to compete at a pretty elite level. The competition was a boy/girl team event, so there were about 45 teams total. We had 9 teams from my box compete, a couple of whom had never competed before but kicked some major ass! The competition had three events, “First Date”, “Second Base”, and “Walk of Shame”.

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“First Base” was a crazy 10 min AMRAP mix of rowing, hand stand push ups, toes to bar and burpee box jump overs that required a killer engine.

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“Second Base” was a clean and jerk ladder complex, with 1 power clean, 1 hang clean, 1 squat clean and 1 jerk, all done without putting the bar down. There was one woman who kicked complete ass and got up to 195. 195. I was so impressed. A couple of our girls PR’d, including one girl who double PR’d, which is incredible after having already tired herself out going up the ladder and with having to do three cleans! She had a whole bunch of people from our box cheering her on and she said it helped push her through.

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I love CrossFit competitions for so many reasons, but one reason in particular is the support that everyone gives all of the athletes. This especially showed on this ladder.  As athletes got higher and higher in weight everyone came forward to cheer them on, not just their own teammate. When the woman who got 195lbs attempted 205, the whole box erupted to cheer her on and help her shake it off when she didn’t make it.  When one of the guys went for 265 and got it, everyone cheered, even his competition. I love that.

I also love CrossFit Comps because I find them so incredibly inspiring. Seeing people push past that “dark place” where they feel they can’t go on anymore, to keep going and truly dig deep to give it their all. All those months of hard work paying off. The look on their face when they finish and are proud of what they accomplished. I find it truly moving. The couple that ended up winning it were recent additions to my box, after having moved from a different box in Boulder. The female qualified for the games last year, but couldn’t go because of her work (she’s a marine). Watching her do butterfly pull ups was truly beautiful. She moved so gracefully and so fast, we all just watched her with our jaws dropped to the floor. It was also great to see just how proud of her her boyfriend was (who is also ridiculously good at CrossFit). I love seeing couples that are that supportive and proud of each other.

Two girls from my box asked me this weekend if I wanted to do two different competitions with them in may. My response was that I don’t have pull-ups, doubleunders or hand stand push ups solid enough to compete. But, I’m gonna try hard as hell to get them up to par by April (at least enough to qualify to compete) and I would let them know. By Apri 1st my goal is to have 10 pull ups, 20 double unders strung together and at least 2 hand stand push ups. I am not quite sure if it’s possible, but this weekend really made me want to get out there and give it all so I’m gonna do all I can to get there.

What motivates you to compete?

What sport/type of competition do you like watching best?

Handstands, Powder, and Green Chicken

Although I’m not the biggest football fan, it’s hard to walk around today seeing the sad faces of all the Broncos fans whose dreams were shattered by yesterday’s game. Like a lot of people, I watch the game just so I have something to talk about with coworkers and for the commercials. I thought last nights commercials were pretty decent, minus the random Maserati one and the annoying bud light one. My favorite was the Budweiser puppy/horse one because I’m a sucker for emotional animals. Remember that happy elephant video that literally made me cry? Yah, it was around that level.

Prior to the game, I went to a WOD and stayed after to conquer my fear of doing handstands. Two weeks ago they made my stomach drop and tears come to my eyes, but this weekend I made some major progress.

Hand Stand Push Ups here I come! Just kidding, that might take a bit while to accomplish but being able to do a handstand is the first step! Just gotta work on keeping my feet together.

On Saturday I went up to the mountains with my boyfriend and our friend from CF because there was some ridiculous storm that dumped over 24 inches of snow, which is about waist level. I know this because I tried to walk on what I thought was solid ground in an attempt to sneak into the words to, um, relieve myself and fell in past my waist. Snow down my pants, not so fun.

ImageI had never snowboarded in real powder and it was a lot of fun. We went to the side of the mountain that isn’t groomed, so there were lots of bumps which was a bit rough for someone with not so much experience like me. At least when I fell it was like falling on a cold, damp cloud.

On Thursday my coworker had brought in some Green Chicken that she had made from a NomNomPaleo recipe. It was so good that I decided I had to recreate it myself Friday night. It’s supposed to be grilled, but (a) it was snowing and (b) I guess more importantly, I don’t own a grill. So I baked it. It was still delicious. I added some cabbage and beets that I had cooked in water/apple cider vinegar mixture (also courtesy of my coworker). I love cabbage cooked this way and thought it was also amazing.

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Did you watch the Superbowl? Were you rooting for either of the teams? Which commercial was your favorite?

What’s your favorite winter time activity?