Not Resting

I had intentions of taking a rest day tomorrow. Coach posted last night that we were going to do death by pull-ups today but don't rip your hands because we're doing a good pull-up WOD later this week. Fine. I'm thinking Fran on Friday. So after my death by pull-ups (10 rounds +8 pull-ups = 63 pull-ups (I think)), I ask coach if we're doing a good pull-up WOD on Friday. Nope. Tomorrow. Helen.

Oh Helen.

I posted my thoughts on Helen about a year ago. I figure these same thoughts will be going through my head tomorrow. Helen doesn't sound bad, but it is. 

3 rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
21 kb Swings
12 pull-ups

I rock the kb swings. I don't rock everything else.

But I had it in my head that I would take a rest day tomorrow. I was even thinking about getting my hair cut (if I take some of this weight out of my hair, will it help me with pull-ups?) I don't really like rest days, but I do recognize that they help once in a while (or a couple times a week). I can't take a rest day when we have a lady WOD that I can finally RX. That's what we train for - RXing stuff!  (and functional movements?)

I saw a Crossfit friend say something on facebook recently - one of his friends commented on how much he works out, and he said that he doesn't see it that way. It's just like having fun and hanging out with friends. That's how I see it, too. If you're reading this and I see you at the box, I like working out with you. I may not always look like I'm having fun, but I am. I also understand that there is life outside of Crossfit (baseball!), but until I find something else to do with my time, you're totally stuck with me.

Edited to add that I got 11:43 for my first RX Helen. It took a lot out of me. All kb swings unbroken. Still not sure when I'll take a rest day.



I love this picture.

This is Becca Voigt. She won the Southern California Regionals this weekend. She's pretty awesome. I love that she looks exhausted and beautiful and determined. And she works at a bank during the day, Crossfits at night.

So many superheroes in this world.



I came back from Regionals pretty inspired. I saw some seriously amazing athletic performances and attitude last weekend. So I decided to hit it hard this week and try to get in top shape so I can make it on the team next year.

Here's what I didn't do this week:
  • I didn't eat the cake sitting out all week at work. On Monday, it was a huge sheet cake. Then it sat in the fridge, decreasing as the week progressed. I did not have any cake.
  • I didn't have any chocolate-covered espresso bean/almonds/whatever they were at a theatre meeting on Tuesday. I was working out right after, and although they looked delicious, I did not snack on them.
  • I did not eat the $3 lunch I asked about at the espresso stand near work. She said that she'd have biscuits & gravy and baked potatoes. Even though it was cold out and it sounded warm and comforting and cheap, I did not buy the $3 lunch.
  • I did not work out 5 days in a row, even though I wanted to.
  • I did not take an ice bath after that awful lunge workout, although I probably should have.
  • I did not go to the new frozen yogurt place over by Crossfit .... because it's not open yet.
Here's what I did do this week:
  • I tried my hardest on Monday. Not many women can get ring dips, but I'm close. I also really worked at getting all the toes to bar.
  • I started the 100 day GHD sit-up challenge and push-up challenge. I'm pretty confident about the push-up challenge. I don't know how far I'll make it with the GHDs. I don't really want to mess around with those. I'll be lucky if I make it to day 30.
  • But I did do 81 AbMat sit-ups in 2 minutes.
  • I rounded my back on my 185lb. and 195lb. deadlifts. I know I need to work on these.
  • I kicked butt on this short AMRAP with a sprint and increasing squats and double unders.
  • I did 4 hard days of working out (I'm including tomorrow's because I always show up). It hurts to sit and stand today and I think tomorrow will be really, really difficult.
  • I bought a sandwich for lunch today. I'm sorry. I like bread sometimes. I'm not perfect!
All around not bad, but not Games athlete material. I'm working on it.

  • Work on lifting form. I'm strong enough to lift more weight. I'm just scared.
  • Keep an eating log for a week. I don't like being that honest when it comes to food. I eat a lot - and it's not all good. I'd like to weigh in the 120s and I'm close. Real close. I need to be more mindful of my eating.
  • Recovery - take it seriously! This hurts!

Moves to work on (and consistently work on them a couple times a week):
Ring dips
Handstand push-ups
24" box jumps
GHD sit-ups

Yep, the Rocky theme is playing in my head right now. Too bad it hurts to move.


Beyond the Competition

  • The crowd for the Crossfit Regionals was the fittest crowd I've ever seen. And they came prepared! Yes, the fairgrounds had some food for sale, but they probably didn't need to. The crowd brought coolers full of meat, veggies, fruit, jerky.... No popcorn. No candy. I saw some burgers and corndogs (I may have even eaten a cheeseburger), but this was a healthy crowd. I heard from one woman that the previous weekend in NorCal, the catering company had grilled veggies and turkey burgers ... seems like a great opportunity for some locals to sell their great food!
  • Speaking of fairgrounds, the organizers missed some serious funtime opportunities... I know that the athletes had to do all the workouts that everyone else did, but there were so   many rides just sitting there! And a giant slide! Giant Slide! They could have at least opened it up for spectators ... maybe during the breaks?
  • There weren't a lot of female individual competitors. I guess that many who qualified competed with a team because they figured they'd have a better chance of making it. But there were plenty of male competitors. Hmmm...I wonder if this has anything to do with mindset and proving something to yourself instead of doing it for a team and not getting all the glory. I may be overthinking this.
  • The music was terrible! I expected the typical 'daddy-didn't-love-me' death metal'. They actually played Miley Cyrus "Party in the USA" during the last women's WOD. Seriously. Who decides that?
  • I wonder if a totally average woman who never even went to a gym regularly until she was 27 could actually make it to the Regionals/Games. If she like, trained really hard for a year and didn't eat cake. Or minimal cake. So many of the athletes have a competitive background ... could someone fairly normal handle the pressure? Hmmm...
  • A whole weekend of sitting ... not awesome. But I did manage to do some double unders.
Only 42 in a row - a bad showing. But I was in jeans!
*As an aside, there was lots of Reebok there. Interesting. Josh Everett posted this free article this weekend on the Crossfit Journal about the partnership with Reebok. I may have more thoughts on this soon.


Games Recap

Eugene Crossfit had a most awesome weekend. Started a little uncertain, but ended with big excitement and big time winners.

I got there very, very early. I was super excited and ready for some action. I was also supposed to volunteer, but after waiting around and repeatedly asking if there was anything I could do, some other volunteers and I decided to watch the Games. I hadn't really thought about the workouts in terms of action and spectators, but now I know better.

Before the storm

WOD 1 - Rowing/HSPU/Running
The only thing more boring than rowing is watching other people row. I hadn't really thought about this. For the teams, each member had to row 750 m, then they had to do a total of 50 hand stand push ups, then row again. Sound exciting? Not really, especially when you in the stands have no idea how far they've rowed or how they're doing against the other teams. Our team did good. Here's Sam. He's awesome!

Sisu - remember?
The individual competitors started with a 1000m run, then 30 HSPU, then row 1000m. Kendall and Cheryl did good. The best Crossfit athletes are good at everything, not necessarily experts in one thing. Remember that.

WOD 2 - Thruster Ladder
Uy. Thrusters are the worst. They're even worse than normal when rules are attached to them and if you slip up just once, you're out. Yeah. They're also kind of boring to watch the way it was set up. Friday afternoon was not good for our team. But I feel like I know what we'll be working on soon (keep those feet in place!). Cheryl was called out early on a technicality, which was very disappointing. She finished the day 21st. Boo! But we knew her strengths were ahead and we were looking forward.
Lindsey's tiny and she can lift that weight - I have to work on that (picture stolen from Gabe)
WOD 3 - Deadlifts/Box Jumps
This is a 21/15/9 workout where the guy does deadlifts & box jumps (275lbs/30'' box) and then the lady has to take the weights off and flip over the box and do the same thing (185lbs, 24"). I did this workout at a much lighter weight and lower box a couple weeks ago and it knocked me out. Our team did great. Steve did awesome for his part. Then Lindsey stepped up and she's just so small but she can lift so much and jump so high. Truly awesome.

The best part about this was watching the other teams finish. This is where we saw some true Crossfit spirit. About 8 teams went at the same time and many finished in the same general time frame. Some were taking longer. And it was up to the women to finish up. There were a ton of people cheering on these athletes and they finished. Box jumps can be so hard - mentally. It was so great to see athletes and fans cheering on these women to finish the workout.

An athlete from Crossfit Salem finishes while everyone cheers.
For the individual athletes, the workout was the same except the deadlifts were heavier - 315/205. Cheryl made up some places in the standings with this. She finished second with a 3:37 time and started her ascent.

WOD 4 - 100 pull-ups/KB swings/double unders/overhead squats
Seriously, that's the workout. For teams, they had to do 250 reps of each as a team (with chest to bar pull-ups). It was fun to watch, and super awesome performances by every member of our team. Sam and Daren managed to get all their double unders basically in a row, making up mad time. Those crazy kids.

It got ugly watching the individual competitions. Those overhead squats were getting nasty out there. Some of the guys were dropping the bars and getting into other athletes spaces. One guy kept trying to lift it at the end and he couldn't get it and he would wander away like he was going to pass out. That's a lot of working out. Helmets might not be a bad idea for this one.

Cheryl got another second place finish with 19:10 and ended the day tied for 6th. That was big climb for one day. I know in other Regionals, one or two athletes were ahead for the whole weekend. Even though it was stressful, it was kind of fun to have a real competition on our hands. It really could have been anyone going to the Games at that point.

WOD 5 - Amanda 9/7/5 Muscle-ups, Squat Snatches
Muscle ups are hard. Not many people can do them. You basically have to hang from rings and propel yourself up using your own force and strength until your arms are locked out above the rings. Like this:
Gabe took better pictures with his fancy camera
This was another big ol' inspirational Crossfit day. When I got there, they were in the middle of their second team heat. The guy on the team was supposed to do 9 muscle-ups, then the girl, then the guy does 9 squat snatches, etc. When I got there, many teams were on their round of 7. One team was still on their first round of muscle ups. This guy was trying his hardest. There was a time cap and that in that time we watched this guy do about 3 muscle ups in 15 attempts. It was brutal. But whenever he got one, the crowd cheered so loud. Another team had similar issues with the squat snatch. The woman walked up and tried and fell. And tried. And tried. When she got one, that crowd roared. Yeah, it was pretty rad.

Cheryl placed 4th. Didn't quite finish in the time allowed, but got pretty darn close. Not a lot of female athletes finished this one. Some just tried to do a muscle up in the time allotted. But they kept trying, in true Crossfit spirit.

WOD 6 - The Chipper
Row 20 cal/30 burpees/40 dumbbell ground to overhead/50 toes to bar/overhead lunges/sprint
This looked awful. But watching Cheryl finish the WOD first was so freaking awesome!!!
That's her - alone in first.

We had a huge group cheering her on. She dominated this one. Then, after she finished, she encouraged the other athletes. Total awesomeness.

So she's going to the Games again. Moved from 21st to 3rd. I saw so many amazing athletes and people this weekend. And shirts. Some favorites:

"I came here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. I ran out of bubble gum."
"Wheat is Murder. Go paleo."

And I got to hang out with these people, which isn't a bad weekend at all.

Don't mess with us. We work out.
More thoughts soon. I have some ideas. I might share later :) But I am ready to workout tomorrow! I've been sitting all weekend!!!



I am 25% Finnish. I'm also part Swedish and part Danish. The other half of me is a very long story that will make a good movie someday. A few years ago, someone I didn't know very well called me a Stoic Scandinavian. I like that. I'm very proud of my Scandinavian roots. Herring? Yum! 
Yes, my relatives wave both Finnish and American flags.
Sisu is a word that the Finns use to describe themselves. It stands for determination, perseverance ... a sustainable will. It's a long-term mental toughness. The ability to face adversity ... the ability to always face adversity. I see this in my grandmother.

Yesterday, I was looking at some video from the Crossfit Games European Regionals. Some of the strongest and most-respected Crossfit athletes are from the Nordic countries. I noticed one wearing a t-shirt that said Sisu. I also noticed one of my Eugene Crossfit buddies wearing a Sisu shirt today.

It makes sense that this word would catch on in the Crossfit community. Crossfit isn't about the "fitting-gym-into-your-schedule" mindset. It's about making a commitment. It's about lifestyle. And that lifestyle isn't easy. You make choices. You don't eat everything you want to eat. You do the workouts when you're tired. You make it through the workouts when you want to stop (trust me, I wanted to stop many times today). It's perseverance. It's determination.

It seems like lately, I've been able to live up to sisu in regards to Crossfit. I'm also working very, very hard to do this in the rest of my life.That is the real test.

See also: True Grit


Lady Power Playlist

Let's say you have a tough 20 minute workout ahead of you (like a Fight Gone Bad or a Filthy Fifty*). You're also in a class with a bunch of ladies. You're tired of the "Daddy-didn't-love-me" metal the coach has been playing. This will get you through it.

Robyn "Hang With Me" 
This is probably the best song ever. Swedes named Robin are awesome. And Swedes named Robyn who make killer dance music are probably even more awesome. This will put you in a great mood for the impending pain.

3,2,1 Go!
Ke$ha - Blow
Ke$ha's a hot mess, but she can make some pretty great dance music. This video has unicorns and rainbows and James Van der Beek, just like my favorite workout shirt .... almost.

Pink - U + Ur Hand
I used to listen to this when I did Body Combat. If you feel like kicking ass, this will work.

Christina Aguilera - Fighter
If this doesn't make you feel stronger and work harder, you're not listening.

David Guetta with Akon - Sexy Bitch
I want to get a Crossfit shirt that says Damn Girl! on the back.

Jimi Hendrix - Foxy Lady
Just to remind you of one of the reasons you're putting yourself through this.

Rihanna - Only Girl in the World
It's OK to sing along.

Gabriella Cilmi - On a Mission
Total girl power. The video is pure cheese and awesomely bad. But I think I lifted more weight when it played today. And you should be finishing up at this point, so enjoy it.

Cool Down
Britney Spears - Till the World Ends
By now you probably want to go out dancing anyway. Listen to this on the way there.

Now let's destroy this workout, ladies!!!

*OK, it takes me over a half hour to do the Filthy Fifty.


Game On!

What's more exciting than refreshing a web page, waiting for workout scores of athletes you don't know to be uploaded and seeing who makes it to the Crossfit Games this summer? Actually going to the Regionals next weekend (June 10-12. And there's a hot tub in the hotel!). Yep, that's more exciting. (and a great excuse for a Thelma & Louise type road trip. Maybe not exactly like Thelma & Louise. We'll be in a Civic. And we're not that angry. And I don't think we'll run into Brad Pitt.)

I guess I'm finally over my disappointment of not making it to Regionals this year. I'm sure it was the muscle-ups or the overhead squats or the 110 lb. squat cleans or the chest to bar pull-ups or the terrible nutrition or the realization that I'm not really in any league with these people. OK. Anyway, I'm still GOING to Regionals. I think I've even volunteered for some of the time. AND I do know some amazing, awesome athletes who are competing and ......WINNING!

I'll of course be cheering on Cheryl Brost, who's like my workout buddy (not really. We don't workout at the same time, unfortunately.) She did a really good job of taping up my hands last week after I tore them up. Oh, and she was in the Games last year and finished 13. She's pretty super awesome.

I'll also be cheering on Kendall Burnham, who's also super awesome. She's so buff and strong ... and one of the nicest people ever. She's not at our box anymore, but I still have some mad love for her.

And of course, I'll cheer on my team from Eugene Crossfit. I did a lot of the Games WODs with the team that's going and I couldn't work out with more supportive people. How awesome would it be to see them at the Games in Cali?

So Crossfit's not a real sport right? It's not like I'm going to the World Series, right? (The Tigers could still make it, right?) Why would anyone pay to watch someone else work out?