If I vomit can I stop? – CF Open 14.5

This workout was brutal. It is hard to even describe how my body felt while doing it. There is a high possibility that if I had closed my eyes during it I would have fallen asleep or passed out from pure exhaustion and lack of energy. I just felt off, sluggish, and completely nauseated.

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14.5 was a total of 84 thrusters and 84 burpees over the bar, broken into a rep scheme of 21-18-15-12-9-6-3, alternating thrusters and burpees. Thrusters are where you go down into a front squat, below parallel, then stand up and push the bar over your head.  For the burpees you had to jump, with both feet, over the bar in between each burpee. The female weight was 65 pounds.

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Mid way through the 18 thrusters I looked at my boyfriend, who was my judge, and I told him that I was done, that I couldn’t do it today and I would try again on Sunday. That’s how off I was feeling. I didn’t feel in pain, my breathing wasn’t out of control, I just felt exhausted. He convinced me to keep going, very slowly throwing my body on the ground and picking it up to jump over the bar. During most of the workout I felt like I was going to vomit, and actually wished that I would at one point because then it would give me an excuse to stop.

ImageFor the first time in my CrossFit experience I was the last person to finish the workout. Everyone who had been doing the workout (some doing it for the open, others with reduced weights/reps) gathered around me to cheer me on. At first I wanted to tell them it would be a while and they could go home, but then it turned in to me needing their support and feeling I had to finish for them. I had broken the thrusters into sets of three and each three I finished they would cheer. When I finally finished and collapsed on the floor multiple people came over to high five me. It wasn’t embarrassing at all, as I had always thought it might be, but instead was incredibly supportive and heartwarming to have people care enough to stick around after their workout to watch me trudge along.

It took me a full 35 minutes, which is almost 15 minutes more than I had thought it would. But, as my boyfriend told me as I lay on the ground trying not to pass out, it’s better to be Dead Fucking Last than Did Not Finish than Did Not Start.  And now, my first CrossFit Open is done.

CF Open – 14.4 and Spring Break Starts Now!

Workout numero cuatro is done! This was the first one that I watched the live broadcast of and my stomach kept dropping as Castro kept listing all the things we had to complete in 14 minutes. 60 cals on the rower (about 1000 meters), 50 toes to bar, 40 wall balls, 30 cleans and 20 muscle ups. They call these workouts  “chippers” because you just have to keep chipping away at the vast number of reps.  Toes to bar is another movement I’m not so great at. Unlike these ladies:

ImageIn order for the rep to count you have to have both feet hit the bar at the same time. I finished rowing  under 4 minutes, and spent the remaining 10+ minutes on that damn bar (again…sounds like 14.2). I probably attempted abut 70 times, often time with one foot hitting first or, towards the end, getting about an inch away. I was not happy. So after the 14 minutes was done, I decided I was going to finish the rest of it anyway. 40 wall balls and 30 95lb cleans felt like a breeze after the toes to bar. Then came the muscle ups, which I can’t do either. So I decided to do 20 strict ring pull ups in their place.

In other news, it’s spring break!! The boyfriend and I are going on a mini road/camping trip down to southern colorado and Canyonlands, Utah. Can’t wait to spend some carefree days in this beautiful land. See you in a  week 🙂

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Becoming Comfortable with the Uncomfortable – CF Open

That phrase is used a lot in CrossFit. “Becoming Comfortable with the Uncomfortable”. So far, the Open has been hard. I expected it to be hard physically, to push me past my limits into pure exhaustion and into the uncomfortable. But I didn’t expect it to be as mentally uncomfortable as it has been. It is uncomfortable to hear the clock tick down 3-2-1 signaling you to start a movement that 48 hours ago you couldn’t even do and now you have to do at least 30reps  to move on.

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It is uncomfortable to dangle for 2 minutes from a bar kicking your feet and pulling with all your might to try to pull yourself up until your chest gets above the damned bar. It is uncomfortable to have people watching you in what any outsider could consider a failure as you trip on a jump rope over and over, or fail to heave your body up in the air.  But part of becoming comfortable is realizing that no matter how you rank against others, those things, while uncomfortable, are not failures.  You linked together three double unders when before you could only do one? That’s a success. You got all overhead squats without putting the bar down, even if your score was 10? That’s a success. You managed to get the ugliest, wiggling chest to bar ever seen and it took you a full minute? That’s a success.

Unless you are actually trying to win the games, the goal should not be to be the best. You can’t control how anyone else performs. The goal is to be better than you were yesterday. To have pushed yourself outside of that comfort zone physically and mentally. To not give up when you hear the workout is something you can’t do, but to go in and try your damnedest to at least get 1 rep down, without embarrassment  or apology.

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I cannot go to my box now without seeing someone in the corner whipping their shins as they practice double unders over and over, determined to not let them sneak up on them in a work out again. Countless people may have gotten a 10 on 14.2, but they learned that their working overhead squat weight should be 65#, not 55#, since they were physically capable of doing it, even if it was a little bit shaky.  That is learning to take a weakness and turn it into motivation. Instead of pushing what you can’t do from your mind, you are forced to meet it straight on, to acknowledge it and to conquer it while people watch. That is becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. And to me, that’s what the Open is all about.

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Have you been able to do all the moves in the workouts? If not, how have you felt about it?

What would your ideal open work out be?

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?

First day on the slopes!

Today someone found my blog by Googling “fattie meatloaf”. To that person – I applaud you.. Hope my Bacon Meatloaf helped make your day that much better.

Sunday was my first day up on the slopes this year! When I moved to CO I had wanted to get really good at snowboarding. I went twice my first year and three-four times my second. Turns out, you have to actually practice something regularly to get good at it. Fancy that. A month ago I went to this ski/snowboard movie with some friends and was totally inspired. Not that I ever have any plans of jumping out of helicopters to fly down a mountain, but being able to get off the easy greens would be nice. So, I decided to get my ass in gear and get up on that mountain early in the season so I can really make some progress this year.

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My amazing friend has come with me the past couple times I went to help teach me, since she rocks the mountain and makes it look easy. She is super patient and encouraging, yelling out “Yah Fiona, you go it!” super loud and drawing attention so that people zooming by me began to comment “you got i!” and “making progress”.  I’m getting better at connecting my turns and not making it so I have to go super wide, but I still am petrified every time I start picking up speed and throw on the brakes. I’ve been told it’s like riding a bike and it’s actually easier once you have some speed, but I still just picture myself rolling down the mountain and breaking my face every time I get going. Anyone have any tips for getting over that?

We were there for about 4 hours, but then it started to get dark, icy and cold, so we decided to call it a day. I love driving through the mountains at night, nice and warm in the car staring at the dark snow covered trees. It was the perfect way to close out the weekend and, hopefully, just the start of many days up in the mountains this winter.

Olympic Lifting Competition – Review

I did it. I competed in my first ever Olympic Lifting Competition. I waited a couple days before writing about it so I had time to reflect on the experience. I know that I have a habit of being very hard on myself, especially if I don’t live up to my high expectations. To cut to the chase, I didn’t PR at the comp, nor did I hit weights I had previously hit. I was surprised by how incredibly nervous I was, how much I got in my head and just how much it affected my abilities. I was pretty upset at myself at first, but after spending some time thinking about how far I had come in the past couple months I decide beating myself up wasn’t productive and it was better to be proud I had taken the risk and just focus that energy on further gains instead of negative thoughts.

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I got to the box that the competition was being held at at 8:30 for registration check in and weigh in. We lined up as they weighed us, confirmed our starting lifts and wrote it all down on a card. Maybe it’s just because I have a history of distorted body image, but I loved the fact that all of the women weighed in and had their weights said out-loud without batting an eyelid. I remember a time where stepping on the scale could make or break not only the day, but the whole week. To be surrounded by women who didn’t care what the number was and finding myself to be one of them was empowering. 

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Next I hung around with the two girls from my box who were also competing. They were definitely in a class above me, really strong girls and very inspiring. We did a typical Oly stretching warm up followed by individualized barbell warm ups our Oly coach had written for us depending on our starting lifts. They consisted of: good mornings, front squats, press, overhead squat, jerk, rdl and cleans (all with just the barbell). Then we slowly added weight doing 1-3 reps until we reached 5 lbs below our starting weight. 

They organized us from lightest start weight to heaviest. For the snatch I was 4th from the top, for clean I was 8th from the top. For each lift you stand on a stage, in front of a room of people in dead silence. There are three judges in front of you who determine whether the lifts counts or doesn’t by flashing a red or white card. You get three total chances at both the clean and jerk and the snatch. I missed the first attempt (what should have been very light) at both the clean and jerk and the snatch because I was so incredibly nervous. Both of them I missed because I didn’t lock out my arms at the top, but instead got the weight up with a bend in my elbows and finished by pushing it overhead until my arms were straight.  I got stuck at 70lb snatch and 110lb clean and jerk, neither of which were what my current PRs are. That was frustrating, but once again I just have to keep reminding myself it was my first competition and, hopefully, the next one will mean less nerves and more PRs. 

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A lot of people came to watch, both from my box and my coworker and the girl I used to workout with prior to joining crossfit. It was really nice to have all that support and people to distract me in between lifts. It also felt really great that they could have been anywhere on a nice saturday morning and chose to come cheer us on. Gotta love the CF community.

Originally they said that I had gotten 8th place (out of 18), but they later sent out an email correcting themselves and bumping me down to 11th. Another little bummer moment, but moving on from that. Now it’s time to focus on new goals. I want to get my “engine” in better shape. I went trail running the other day and died and I’m determined to go back and run the same loop in a couple months and have it not be a problem. As of now there are no competitions on the horizon (running or lifting) for the first time in like 7 months. I’m sure that won’t last too long though. I love having those goals to push me in my training.

How was your weekend?

Do you like competitions?

What motivates you to work harder?

The Shoes Make the Woman – Reebok Lifters

My Oly shoes came just in time for my last practice! I ended up going with the pink simply because it turns out the black and white didn’t come in my size. I think they are pretty snazzy though.

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I spent the first half hour after I got them using them around my apartment, overhead squatting my dog and such. They make SUCH a huge difference. The have a good sized heel in them, so if you have tight calves/hammies like I do they make it easier to get into a deep squat when you are actually a bit elevated on your toes. Cheating? Maybe a little, but I’m hoping they help me get used to being in that position so I eventually won’t need them as much.

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This morning I was able to use them for my final Oly Training before the competition Saturday Morning. We did some light snatches, jerks, clean pulls and snatch deadliest.  They definitely helped and it made me wish I had gotten them a long time ago. SO, if you are considering getting some – DO IT. They are amazing. I can’t wait to train in them for my next Oly Comp, whenever that may be.

I am off to be productive in the less fun part of my life, aka school and work. But check back tonight for a delicious Bacon Meatloaf recipe. Layers of beef and bacon, what could be better?

Five Days Till Olympic Lifting Comp

Five Days. 5. That’s all I have until my Oly Comp. I can’t believe it’s finally this close. I am incredibly nervous and get knots in my stomach just thinking about it. Two and a half months ago when I decided that I wanted to make this a goal, I had snatched an empty bar twice, had never jerked and was cleaning 80lbs. I know I have come a long way, but it’s hard to focus on that instead of how much further I have to go. I’m hoping this competition just sparks more of an interest and isn’t discouraging.

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I have to submit my starting and attempt weights by Wednesday evening. You get three chances at each lift and I’m still not 100% sure what I want to go for. I was talking to my Oly Lifting Coach today, trying to figure out where to start/what to attempt. He’s gonna come up with a warm-up plan for me Saturday and he wants me to not go heavier than 60% of my max weight during practices this week. It’s really hard to stick to that weight, I’ve gotten slightly addicted to trying to go heavier and heavier. But I know it’s best to let my muscles rest a bit, and I’ll probably focus more on running/hill sprints to get my energy out while going light.

One thing I’ve gotten used to while prepping for this Oly Comp is being constantly bruised. If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen the pic of my bruised and tattered legs. Every time after I jerk and I bring the bar down, I catch it slightly with my legs to absorb the weight. This means lots of little bruises above my knees from receiving the weight. Also, bruised pelvic/hip bones from thrusting during snatches.

Bruises on my collar bones/shoulders have also become the norm from receiving the weight during cleans. I’ve been promised these bruises will stop happening as much once the scar tissue forms and I have to admit I am looking forward to that day so I don’t look like I am getting beat up on the daily.

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The rest of this week I just need to focus on mobilizing, improving form with light weight and visualizing getting a new PR. And not vomittng from nerves when I step on the platform, thought that’s really out of my hands.

Do you like to compete?

How do you deal with the nerves?