Preparing to Kick Ass

Usually, we find out about our workouts the night before we do them. I've known about tomorrow's for more than a week, and I'm really excited about it.

The Games WOD for this week is an evil version of Fran, an AMRAP of 7 minutes with...

65 pound Thruster, 3 reps
3 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 6 reps
6 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 9 reps
9 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 12 reps
12 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 15 reps
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 18 reps
18 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 21 reps
21 Chest to bar Pull-ups…

This will go one of two ways for me. Either I'll do my 3 thrusters and spend 6:30 trying to get a chest-to-bar pull-up. Or I will get way more rounds than I expected. Last week, I set my expectations pretty low and after the fact, wish I had set them higher because I could have done better. This week, I'm setting my goal to get through the round of 9. That would be a pretty big accomplishment for me.

If it was just regular pull-ups, then the thrusters would be the problem. But these aren't regular pull-ups. You actually have to hit the bar with your chest. As I found out yesterday, I can get the height, but I can't seem to get close enough to the bar. It's that stupid fear of hitting my head on something, or bruising, or maybe I just can't figure out the logistics. I don't know. But I will give this one an all out effort tomorrow. I will be so excited when 4:30 rolls around. I don't know why - thrusters + pull-ups = pain. But I want to do it.

That bar won't know what hit it! 



I'm going to preface this by saying that I'm sure I would have a good time doing Zumba. I used to take those kinds of classes. Heck, I might even get a good workout!

But this post is not about Zumba. It's about gender roles and assumptions.

I try not to talk about work online. I know it's not a good idea. But something stopped me in my tracks today and I had to address it. In short, some students put together a brochure for fitness activities here on campus. They divided it into two categories: male-centered and female-centered. Guess where weight training went? Guess where Zumba was listed? After their presentation, I asked if these categories were determined by their group or the college and they said they did it. They're young guys. Is this what we're teaching them?

I never went to Curves or any other female-centered gym. Yes, there is something to be said for Girl Power, but if we're all about feminism, shouldn't we work out and do the same things as men? Sure, I felt intimidated when I first started Crossfit and I would be the only girl there on a heavy lifting day. You know what I did? I got stronger! 

I love Crossfit because women are generally treated equally as men (despite some remarks here and there). It doesn't seem like it's that way in the overall fitness world. What do you think?

I almost told that group of guys that I was sure I could do more pull-ups than the three of them put together. We'll see.


Other Thoughts

I've decided to resurrect (ha! on Easter) my other blog. I looked through it and didn't find anything too incriminating and really didn't want to post about the end of the world on my Crossfit blog. My other blog shouldn't be interesting to anyone, but it is what it is. I read through and realized I certainly was worried about turning 30. That's not really the case anymore.



About 6 weeks ago, I set a PR for my clean - 100 lbs. That was a good milestone for me.

Today, I cleaned that weight 25 times.

Crossfit HQ has been releasing a WOD a week for the Open, in which they're determining who will make it to the Regionals, and then the Games. Most of us signed up knowing that we really wouldn't make it to Regionals, and when I signed up I was questioning why I even wasted the $10. But I love it.

The first week, the WOD was double unders and snatches (or ground-to-overhead) 55 lbs. When I saw that, I thought, "I can do that." And that's the point. I got a few rounds - the bar was pretty heavy after that intense cardio. But the really great part of that WOD was seeing all these athletes at my box getting their first double under. 

The second WOD involved push-ups, a big barrier for so many women. Their standards were pretty strict too - keep your body straight, hands off the ground at the bottom. That was by far my best WOD.  But more importantly, so many people did more push-ups than they usually do. Good stuff.

The following week was tough - 110 lb. squat clean and jerk. I've mentioned this before. It was awesome that I finally got that squat clean, even if I only posted 1 rep for that WOD. I'm still in it!

Last week was just irritating - 60 odd burpees, 30 90lb. Overhead Squats, 10 muscle ups. Now they're starting to weed out the weak ones. I did my burpees. My Overhead Squats are terrible and I didn't even attempt it. But I'm still in it!

This week, the WOD is 
5 Power Cleans (100 lbs.)
10 Toes to Bar
15 Wall Balls (14 lbs.)
When I saw that, I made myself worry about the Toes to Bar and Wall Balls. I didn't let myself think about the cleans. I figured my hands would get all torn up from the Toes to Bar. But when I tried them yesterday, oddly enough, I was fine. I could totally do them. I know I couldn't do them 6 months ago, but I could now. I practiced cleaning a lighter weight. Keep it close to the thighs. Explode with the hips. OK.

Cleans are a weird move. I've heard the explanation a hundred times. I've practiced so many times. But I blank out during heavy WODs. I have the strength, I know this, I just have to get under the bar.

And I did. My first 5 came pretty easily. I set pretty low goals for myself on this one and now I wish I hadn't. On my first set of wall balls, one of them came down right on my left thumb, bending it back. That still hurts. But I could have gone faster. I could have done more. *

But I made it through 4 full rounds, and 5 cleans and 1 toes to bar. I missed some reps. The Games require standards, which I completely appreciate. All of my wall balls didn't make it. They didn't count. I wasted time. I missed a couple toes to bar (I think everyone heard it when I missed). But those shouldn't count. We should have standards. We need to get it right.

What I love about the Games is that if this WOD came up in a normal day, I would never do it RX. 100 lb. cleans? No way! But I had to today in order to get a score for the Games, so I did it.

Even with my sore thumb and my bruised collarbones, I'm considering doing this again on Saturday. I shouldn't. Oh, I know I shouldn't. Why do I do this?

That's why. Yes, I won the Crossfit March Madness. This was taken right after (OK, if Sam and I were really arm wrestling, honestly, I know). But you know what's great about this? All those people in the background who - after a really intense WOD - volunteered to do this one with us. They didn't have to, but they did it. And there was a big group of people cheering all of us on. That is awesome. And that's why I'll be at Crossfit on Saturday, definitely cheering, and if I don't come to my senses, competing.

*There's a common misconception that I don't like people cheering for me. This is false. I don't like the disappointment in people's voices when I can't get a rep. Also, I know my limitations. I can only get so many pull-ups at a time. Cheer on!



(AMRAP 108 minutes)
Sprint (distance will change depending on what's  chasing you. You may rest if you find a place to hide for a couple minutes)
Rope Climb (to  escape the polar bears)
Sled Drag (to move your shelter. must do this if the Others find you)
Get to the top of a large hill as fast as you can, but it's OK to wander down when you don't get reception
Sledgehammer Swings (RX is shirtless, because that's how Sawyer does it)
Row (Try to do 1K, but you might not make it that far)

Don't look at the clock. It might move forward or backwards at any given time.



A slideshow of pictures ran through my computer this morning, and I saw one that changed everything. It's a picture of me and my nephew Ben that was taken a few years ago.

Ugh. OK. I may take that down by the end of the day. I hate this picture. I hate it because I wanted a really great picture of me and Ben (he's an awesome kid. We roll on the same wavelength). But that's not me? Right? Is that how I really looked? I know I wasn't big but it just looked ... unlike me. Unlike what I thought of myself. And I know I didn't always look like that because I had just taken a picture with my niece

And I look moderately fine there. But that picture of me and Ben, that was when I felt like I had to do something. I was unhappy with all of the pictures of me. I didn't find Crossfit until a year later, but this was taken after a year of Crossfit 

That's more like it. Nate's almost as tall as me. Ben has the crazy tooth that fell out about 15 minutes later, and I'm happy. If you're unhappy with how you look or how you live, change it.

Yep. I totally miss my family.

As an aside, doesn't Crater Lake look completely unreal? That place is like another world. (It's rainy and grey today and I'm dreaming of other places)


The Mental Games

Every Tuesday, Crossfit releases a new WOD for the Crossfit Games. This Tuesday was week 3, and when I saw the WOD my heart sunk a little. So far I've been able to RX the game WODs and put up pretty average scores. This week, they went heavy. For ladies, this meant cleaning 110 pounds, squatting, then getting it overhead (and getting as many reps as you can in 5 minutes, but this didn't really matter in my case). I can squat that weight, but my max clean to that point was 100 pounds, and I think I've gotten 95 overhead before. My goal was to get one round, which would be a PR.

When I went in on Thursday, we practiced the movements for a while. Then we started adding weight. I practiced with 35, 65, 85, 105 pounds. By the time we got to 105, I was pretty discouraged. This was so much weight. And that was the point. They're looking for strong people. My partner went first and she did awesome. She was able to squat clean it and she eventually got it overhead, then squat cleaned it again. By the time my turn came around, my head was out of it completely. I tried and tried for 5 minutes to lift that weight, and I just couldn't get myself under it. I had told myself I couldn't do it, and guess what, I couldn't. I wasn't even that frustrated because I knew that was really heavy for me. I was pretty ambivalent about trying again today.

But I did. I came in, stretched, kept to myself. I started adding weight to a bar. I was able to clean 105 warming up, which was a new PR for me. My goal was to get something on the board. I didn't want to show up and not get it again. When the clock started, I picked it up a few times and came real close. Then another woman ran over, said she had the same trouble the other day, and told me to explode coming up. So I did this. We talk about our hips a lot in Crossfit, so instead of just standing and trying to lift a lot of weight, I exploded. And it worked! I cleaned 110 pounds, then squatted. I got my one rep! And so many people cheered when I got it! I tried going overhead, but it was not in the cards. But now I have something on the board. I'm still in it!

My coach said he'd never seen somebody so determined. I disagree with that. I see it all the time, almost every day.

I've dealt with some pretty debilitating depression my whole life. Currently, it comes and goes. I actually went off my medication at the beginning of the year. I know it's a chemical imbalance, but sometimes I just want to see myself for who I am and try to deal with it. A few weeks ago, it got pretty bad. Most people love free time - I don't. I'm not good on my own and left with so many choices, I can become paralyzed. I feel guilty for not writing. I feel guilty for not doing a lot of things I know I should be doing. Anyway, some people had noticed that I was hanging around Crossfit a lot, after my class was over. But where else am I going to see awesome people do amazing things every day? Seriously. 

Crossfit doesn't cure depression. But I'd hate to think of where I'd be without it. 



I'm a competitive person by nature, but not when it comes to Crossfit. I know better. I may be one of the biggest baseball fans currently living in the northwest, and I will talk about how awesome the Tigers are to anyone who will listen, but I am not joining the softball team this year. Newsflash: I'm not athletically-inclined. I hate playing team sports. I feel bad for the other members of my team. Crossfit tends to bring out the competitiveness with some people, but not me. I'll look at a few other people's scores sometimes and see if I can beat them, but I'm really trying to beat myself. 

But now I find myself in the midst of 2 crossfit competitions - The Crossfit Games and our own March Madness. The Games are kind of a big deal. They're trying to find the fittest people in the world. They usually hold sectionals, then regionals, then the games, but Crossfit is getting SO big that they're doing the Open this year. They release a workout each week for 6 weeks and if you want to compete, you can do the workout and submit your score and see how you rank. Top 60 men and women in each region go to regionals. So why am I competing? I don't know.

I've done OK with both the workouts so far. I made the mistake of doing the second one again today. I did it on Thursday and I did fine. I don't know what I was thinking doing it again. 15 box jumps per round X 7 rounds on Thursday and 6 rounds today = some pretty sore calves. And I'm just doing this for fun!

The real competition is on Monday. We've been doing this same workout for the past 6 weeks:
5 burpees
10 pull-ups
15 squats
Short sprint
 As many rounds in this weird time structure. When we started, I was really focused on getting my pull-ups for real. I knew I'd get less rounds than other people, but I also knew we'd be doing this every week and I could really work on them. The first week, my competitor didn't show. I got through the next week easily (solid improvement). Last week, I was sick. I was just really run down and feeling awful. To make it worse, we had to do heavy kettlebell swings before the workout. I got 10 less reps than the week before.  I was banking on my competitor not showing up. He did, but he was also sick and got 23 less reps. I'm in the Final Four! I do have a tough competitor this week - someone who's been making a lot of gains the past month or so, but I will do my best. I'm in it to win it!

I really wish we'd have a Crossfit Trivia contest. That is something I could win easily. EASILY!!!!
You won't see #8 in Right Field this year.