The Uniform

The bad ass Crossfit women's uniform - sports bra, short shorts, and knee highs
This picture was taken from today's main site post. This is the ideal for many of us Crossfit ladies. 

  1. She's confident enough to wear that
  2. She looks amazing
  3. She's doing pull-ups, which make her look even more amazing!
The women in our box don't wear this kind of outfit. It's mostly old t-shirts, yoga pants, nike capris, or whatever didn't smell really bad. I would like to change this. I would like to make Eugene Crossfit more bad ass. BUT I'm not confident enough to wear something like this - YET. 

First, you have to own it. Not just own the clothes themselves, as in buy them and put them in your dresser, but feel good wearing them. I like wearing costumes and I often go all out. But if I'm going to wear something like this, I can't feel like it's a costume. It's just what I threw on to go work the hell out.

Second, and most important, is that I don't want to show up looking like this:

Nobody wants to see this
I love Britney, but this was kind of a train wreck. I know, I know, most of us would look worse than this in this outfit. But we're not up there onstage at the VMAs, are we?

Why is this coming up now? I have a gift certificate from Lululemon coming in the mail. I could get more capris. Or I could get something ...new. And maybe if I start dressing the part, I'll start acting the part. Could I RX more workouts in short shorts? Is this really a mental thing?

Britney could do some Crossfit. She'd show up in the right outfit. Me, I'm getting there.



I admit it: I watch The Biggest Loser. It's a terrible show. At its heart, it means well. Actually, the more I think about it, it doesn't. Its goal is for really obese people to lose weight. Good! This needs to happen in epic proportions here in the US. Unfortunately it's like every other reality show in that it kicks someone off every week, even before they're ready to do it on their own. Not great. 

But we really know what the show is, right? (shh....it's a 2 hour commercial disguised as an inspirational weight loss program) I didn't watch the first few seasons, but I'd like to imagine a time when trainers recommended whole foods and a healthy lifestyle with less stress. Not anymore. This show is full of product placement. I hope the contestants get paid for all the advertising they do. If they don't, they should start a union.

A few weeks back, I realized that The Biggest Loser could never hire a Crossfit coach to whip their contestants into shape. A Crossfit coach would never say, "Wow, you've had a tough workout! You should replenish those calories with this yogurt whose second ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup" or "That was a tough workout! Why don't you chew this gum so you don't feel so hungry!"

I've seen a couple articles today about healthy eating and fitness, one in which addressed Bob Harper personally. My favorite quote comes from Rob Wolff, who speaks the Paleo gospel.
"Does anyone remember the product for which Wilford Brimley was the spokesperson years ago? Right, Quaker Oats. Does anyone know what Wilford Brimley now promotes? Diabetes testing supplies."
The Biggest Loser is all about promoting products: water filters, storage supplies, processed foods, their own fitness line. They really have an empire now! I just tried searching for nutritional information on their own food line, but got incredibly frustrated and I have things to do today. In other words - I have no idea what goes into their products. But they are making a lot of money. My hope is that they're not pumping their consumers full of more sugar, which leads to more sugar, which leads to...

I came across another blog post today that talks about the C word - Cardio. I used to do a lot of Cardio too. Now I can't say the word without laughing. Women's magazines are terribly misleading in regards to weight loss. Do more cardio - lose more weight! Do "strength" training twice a week! (with what, 8 pound weights?) This blog post isn't perfect, but it does address a lot of the misconceptions women have, i.e., more cardio will help you lose weight. You need to lift weights to lose weight! It's that simple! It's scary but it has to be done! 

I know I've become a snob since joining Crossfit. I know I try to push it on people. Why? It works! I see it every day. I've seen it in myself and everyone around me. I used to be that person reading a magazine on an elliptical machine, just an endless cycle of magazines and ellipticals and wearing the same pants size for years. It doesn't have to be that way. 



I don't own a scale. I don't measure my happiness by a number on the scale. BUT sometimes it's nice to be reminded of how much progress I've made, and numbers are a good way to measure that.

When I started Crossfit, I weighed 153 pounds. This was 153 soft pounds. Not a lot of muscle. When I started Crossfit, and changed my eating habits, I lost 7 pounds in the first 2 weeks. Not bad! But that's indicative of any major fitness program. If you truly change how you move and what you eat, of course you'll lose weight! I lost more weight slowly, but it wasn't my motivator. I needed smaller jeans, smaller shirts, and something I never thought would happen, a smaller bra. 

My first few weigh ins actually took place at a doctor's office, for various reasons, but then some time passed when I didn't weigh myself. When I wanted a reminder of my weight, I'd go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and step on a few of their scales to see where I landed. I've been in about the same range for over a year ...138-141. That's fine. My goal weight has always been 135. That's what I think I should weigh considering my body type. I could lose a little more weight around my midsection, but other than that, I'm pretty happy with how I look now.

So then we start a new challenge at Crossfit - Spring Leaning II. This involves some pictures, a brutal workout (Angie), and a weigh in. I went to the 5:30pm workout last night - after teaching all day and snacking on the drive home. I wasn't expecting anything - just the normal high 30s, low 40s. Then I looked down - 136.4! What? Where did that come from? I nearly high-fived my coach! 

But what surprised me more than the number was my reaction to it. Do I feel any different at 136? Do I look any different? Why was that number so important? And why do I want to get to 133 now?

I heard that other people liked that scale too, which makes me wonder about its accuracy. Would I be as happy if I stepped on another scale and it said 138? 136 was the lowest number I've seen in .... I'd say 10 years. This number shouldn't matter, but for some reason, it makes me feel better about what I'm doing and gives me incentive to do better. I'm just happy I don't have a scale in my house  so I don't have to look at that number every day.


Finally - A Goal Realized

I don't like running. I think running is a good way to measure how much I've improved fitness-wise. I've been doing a lot of running this past year, just to see what I can do. I finished a half-marathon on my feet. I didn't run a lot of it, but I finished. I've done a lot of 3-5 mile runs. It's not a problem anymore. But I really haven't seen a lot of improvements in my times since I got 29 minutes a year ago in a 5K. But finally, FINALLY, I beat that time this Friday.

I woke up that morning and thought that I needed to do a longer run before my 4 mile race today, and that I needed to finally beat that 29 minutes. I went to Crossfit Friday afternoon, got out of my car, hit start on my watch, and started running. No ipod. No partner. Just me and that clock. A minute improvement would have been fine. But I didn't beat it by a minute. I beat it by TWO!!! 26:50! That's huge!!! That's an 8:36/mile pace! Me! When I started Crossfit, my first 5K time was in the 33 minute range. I'm getting faster!! Woo-hooooo!!!

So today was the Truffle Shuffle, a benefit for Committed Partners for Youth. A lot of people come out for this race; it's a pretty great event. It's a 4 mile run. Last year when I did it, it was the longest I had ever run, and I did it in 39:28. I was pretty happy that I did it in just under a 10 minute mile. Today I ran it in 36:48. That's a 9:01 minute mile (my Garmin said I ran 4.08 miles). I really felt like walking during mile 2 - I had a terrible stitch in my side. But I kept moving. Something about numbers keeps me moving. I want to get a smaller number than the one before. So I keep moving.

Now I'm pretty worn out. I'm not even going into Crossfit tomorrow, and I always go in on Mondays. (OK, maybe I know what's coming on Tuesday). But I will take a much needed rest day, then this weekend I'll try to run a 6K in under an hour. No problem.


Waking Up

Many elements contribute to overall fitness. Diet is just as, if not more important than exercise. Hydration and recovery also factor into overall fitness.My problem lately has been sleep. The problem started in early December. When school ended, my schedule became way too flexible and I started staying up late* and sleeping in later. Generally I can go to bed between 10 and 11 and wake up at 6:30. When I don't have a set schedule, I go to sleep and wake up when I please. Strike one.

Then the sheets came.

My mom got me new sheets for Christmas. I loved my old sheets. I got them on sale at Macy's a long time ago and they're super-soft. Maybe these new ones have codeine sewn into them - I don't know. But they are so soft and warm and comfortable. Just one more minute...just one more then I'll face the cold world....Strike two.

I also recently stopped taking a medication that I took in the morning. This medication had somewhat of an alertness effect. I'm glad I stopped taking it. I feel like I'm more myself, but now I'm just sleepier. Strike three.

I've also been working out 5+ times a week. This definitely has made my body tired, but I'm not sure if that's really a cause to my problem. This morning I set the coffee to be done at 6:30, the alarm on my phone, and the alarm clock by my bed. Guess what time I finally got up? 7. I don't know if my body just wants to hibernate or what, but I don't feel much like getting out into the world these days. Maybe the increasing day light will help. Maybe forcing myself on a schedule will help. All I know is that it's noon right now and I have two more classes to teach and it's hard to get my students motivated when I just want to crawl back into bed...

*I won't place direct blame, but this is about the time I realized that Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage come on at 11 and 11:30 pm respectively. If I'm awake anyway...



Sofia loves it when I roll.
Most normal people stretch after a hard workout and that works for them. That's not enough for a serious Crossfit athlete. After a seriously hardcore workout, like Cindy, we need to get out the foam roller and put ourselves through some minor torture. 

We did Cindy two days ago. This was a major milestone for me because I RXed it for the first time. Awesome, right? Last night, it started to hurt. My quads hurt from the 180 squats. My lats hurt from the 63 (RX!) pull-ups I did. And my pecs started to feel the 120 push-ups. Also, for some unknown reason, my calves felt all knotted up. I got out the foam roller for a few minutes and rolled out my calves.

I should step back. Most people love massages, right? I don't. I feel the need for them every once in a while, but they're generally not all that enjoyable for me. They hurt! I know - my body sucks and can't take it. I don't know when I became so sensitive to everything, but massages are not my friend. When massages hurt, the foam roller is bad, bad news.

It seems like each Crossfit box pitches the same stuff (fish oil, paleo, ab mats). I don't know if they're just not creative or if they get some killer deals or what. But foam rollers are those items that you don't see many places but you will see at Crossfit. They're just as important as the workout and just as painful. I know that the knot in my calf will go away, but it's going to take some cringing.

Anyway, I'm in more pain than usual today and I'll still show up at the box. That's how I roll.