Watch out, ladies of the Crossfit Games! I just did my first handstand on my own. And I almost did a handstand push-up!

I'm catching up.



A while back, I wrote a post about Music to Crossfit to (terrible grammar, sorry). This is a subject I think about often because I work out too much and there's usually terrible music playing. Once in a while we play our own music, which can be fun, but when that happens I'm usually thinking about what will play next and if it was the right song to play next. That's just how my mind works.

Full disclosure: I have really bad taste in music. It's steadily been going downhill for the past 5 years or so. Or maybe in my aging, I'm just being more honest in what I listen to. George Michael, Ke$ha ... it's all good. But it wasn't always this way. Back in high school, I had great taste in music and I could make a killer mix tape. I feel now that I'm at Crossfit so often that I should be able to come up with the perfect playlist for a Crossfit workout. But there's a big difference between a playlist and a mix tape.

First, you listen to a mix tape while you make it. You figure out what you want to say with the music, you gather a bunch of CDs or tapes, and you start. You might have a good idea of what should come after "Under the Milky Way", but after you listen to it, you might have other ideas. I guess you could do that with a playlist, but you don't have to. You can just click and drag songs and forget about it until you're listening to the playlist. Then you can change the playlist if you want. You can't do that with a mix tape, not really. A mix tape is forever. I have some in a box in the closet that are 15+ years old...and if I pulled them out I'd probably be brought back to sitting alone in my room in high school, thinking about what to say to that certain someone, which brings me to my next point...

When we're doing a workout in Crossfit, or at least when I'm doing a workout, I'm thinking about how much it sucks and why am I doing this and only 5 more reps or whatever. These are fleeting feelings that will be over soon. The vast majority of my mix tapes were created while thinking about a boy and whether or not he liked me and if I'd ever find out. These are much stronger emotions that create much more powerful music. 

I'll keep trying to come up with some good stuff to listen to during the WODs. But I know where my talent lies. 

Good Artists for a Crossfit Playlist:
En Vogue
Lady Gaga
Guns 'n Roses

Good Songs for the Perfect Mix Tape:
Helpless - Sugar
I Want to Touch You - Catherine Wheel
Under the Milky Way - The Church
Shake the Disease - Depeche Mode


Life & Fear

I was just reading a little book about Art and Fear (specifically called Art & Fear) and came across this thought by Joseph Conrad:
"Fatalism is born of the fear of failure, for we all believe that we carry success in our own hands, and we suspect that our hands are weak."
I actually told someone today about how I can't do a handstand because I'm afraid my arms won't hold me. It's stupid. I have the strength. I just haven't practiced. This is such a simple move and I haven't been able to do it yet. I feel the same way doing an overhead squat. I should be able to lift a lot more weight than I can - I have the strength - I just don't trust myself to do it.

I just watched this show called Party Down (brilliant show, canceled, of course. If you haven't seen it, you should watch it just to see Adam Scott, who's also on Parks & Rec and is awesome and nice to look at). Anyway, Party Down is about a catering company in LA. It's full of actors/comedians/writers trying to make it. But the main character, played by Adam Scott, is a guy who tried acting for 8 years and quit and is now resigning himself to work this menial job in the service industry. And he still gets recognized for a terrible beer commercial. Anyway, much is made about following your dream and not quitting.

Writing is not easy. I don't know why I chose to try it. But I haven't been doing it enough for a while now. I've been out of grad school for 5 years. I have not written anything substantial in 5 years. Some people comment on how impressed they are with my consistency with Crossfit. Sure, I reply. It is such a great distraction from other things in my life. But I need to start dedicating as much time to writing as I do to Crossfit, driving included. No excuses. Art is hard and it sucks. But some of us feel this stupid urge to create something that someone else might appreciate. And it sounds weird but Party Down is the kind of show I would like to be involved with someday. So I need to get to it and not quit.



Last month we started a new Spring Leaning Challenge at the box. I don't win these challenges, but I play along and try my best. This year the challenge was much shorter, and in a lot of ways, much more difficult. 

So on February 15 we did a workout called Angie, which I had done a few times before. It consists of:

100 pull-ups
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
100 squats

And this has  to be done consecutively, so you do 100 pull-ups, then you do 100 push-ups... It's brutal. The push-ups are especially difficult after the pull-ups. Last month when I did it, I finished in 24:26 using a red band for pull-ups and 50 real/50 knee push-ups. It wasn't awesome, but that workout rarely is.

Today I did the workout again, and along with losing 2 pounds, I took 2 minutes off my time. Not bad for a month.

But the workout was completely different today. When I did it in February, I worked out with a bunch of my Crossfit buddies. It was a decent-sized class that day and we cheered each other on. Today, I couldn't make it into the night classes (work seems to get in the way of Crossfit sometimes), but I still wanted to do the workout. I could have come in at 7:30 am, but didn't we just have a time change and isn't that awfully early to be working out? I could have come to the 8:30am class, but that class is kind of intimidating and really, really good. So what do I do? I arrange to come in and do it alone. Just me and the clock and the Lady Gaga Pandora station. I didn't even have a coach to cheer me on (he was doing an intro). I knew what time I needed to beat, and I did it.

Many of us are creatures of habit. We like schedules and consistency. I don't think I'm that way (especially for work. 9-5=torture). But I do tend to show up for Crossfit at the same time on generally the same days. I could go to other classes, but I never do. Why? I like my workout buddies. I like seeing a lot of the same people every time. Some I've become close to; some I don't know anything about besides how awesome they are at pull-ups. But I like seeing them. I could try to change it up and go to earlier or later classes, but for now, I'm good. And I'm still improving. That's good enough for now.


For Sofia

If you read this blog regularly, I'm going to ask that you do something, just one thing, that would mean so much to me. For the second year in a row, my friend and I are raising money for Greenhill Humane Society, a no-kill shelter that does wonderful work in the Eugene community. Last year our team, Tiger Twins fo' Paws (don't ask), raised over $500 in just over a week. We're starting early this year and hoping to raise at least twice as much. If you can, please donate here. We'll be running in Bark in the Park on May 15. It's a really fun 5k with so many people with their awesome dogs.

This is my beautiful girl, Sofia.

I adopted her nearly 7 years ago from a shelter in Kalamazoo. She was scared and severely underweight. It took some time, but with love and trust, she's become my best buddy. She's been with me through a lot. I know so many others have had richer lives because of the animals they've adopted through shelters.

Please give if you can!



My mind has been occupied with reading and assessing and planning as of late. Of course, I still make it into the workouts - it's the best way to avoid doing what needs to be done!

I'm talking about flash fiction today in my last lit class. If anyone's interested in reading a fantastic little story, read this one. Yes, this proves that I don't just read about box jumps and sports bras and whether or not wine is paleo.


The Only Thing Worth Mentioning

I ran 6 miles yesterday in 56 minutes. This is very, very good for me. It is also the longest distance I've run since September. My knee feels it today.

This sums up my current state of mind. My brain hurts. Enjoy.



From February 14 through February 25, I was paleo. I ate meat and veggies and nuts and dates (a lot of dates. I love dates. Seriously, go get some dates. They're delicious.) In that short time frame, I managed to lose 3 pounds. Bonus! It surprised me because I never lose weight. But this was also a very specific time frame. Why didn't I just do it for a month? A very special friend had a very special birthday on Saturday and the partying was planned well in advance. It's OK to allow ourselves a cheat day once in a while, right?

So last week my very special friend asks about cake, specifically who makes the best cake. We both realize that we like cake made from a box. I can do that! So that's what I did.

This became a problem.
So we go to the wineries for the afternoon. Everyone has a piece of cake; some have two pieces. Great! I'm still left with well over half a cake. I promise to wrap up a piece for the birthday girl and for another special friend who will be joining us later. Done!

So then later comes and I leave the cake in the car. I manage to remember to give our other friend her piece(s), but leave the rest in the car. Oops.

So I find myself Sunday morning with half a cake. I think, I'll just wrap this up and give it to the people at the board meeting I'm going to this afternoon. And I wrap it up. And forget it on the counter.

So then the Oscars come on and my plan is to sit and stare at the TV and my laptop all night. I don't want to cook - I have cake! I ended up throwing out some of the cake because it was too delicious and I couldn't look it over anymore. I ended up being seriously disappointed with the academy (Banksy! Fincher! Come on!) and overloaded with sugar.

I also gained back all of the weight I had lost. This is why I don't own a scale. I'd be on it every day. I know I can lose that weight again, but these setbacks kind of suck. I want to win this challenge and I have to kick it into serious overdrive this week in order to do it.

It doesn't help that I'm going to this Winery Run on Sunday morning, where we run for an hour and we're rewarded with mimosas and waffles. But the waffles are gluten-free. That counts for something, right?