I was just looking at a web site full of pictures of bears (that's what I do). I came across this one and, boy do I know what this bear feels like. We did wall climbs earlier this week, and this is how I imagine I looked:

Brutal, man.


Reflections on Crossfit After Year Two

Two years ago today, I showed up at a warehouse in West Eugene and held a sandbag over my head and flipped some tires (not at the same time). I came back again, and soon, I was showing up all the time (like they couldn't get rid of me). Today, I RXed Fran. Most people don't know what that means. My faithful readers do.

I've made no secret of who I was before Crossfit. I was lazy. I never liked gym class. I never joined a gym until I was about 27. Usually I'd zone out on the elliptical. Except this one class I took that I really liked - Body Combat. It was an hour but we'd do different moves every few minutes or so. Anyway, when I moved to Eugene I continued the zoning out and the occasional step class, where my friend and I would laugh at each other because we couldn't keep up. I also seemed to steadily gained some weight through my 20s, and ended up like this:
Who likes wine? Ugh. Not awful, but not great.

OK. Here's the one I don't like. I never thought those would go away.
Not bad, but I knew I could do better. I started like a lot of women - green band for pull-ups, knee push-ups, slow-ish running, starting light with the weights. I learned that I'm good with a jump rope! I learned that the coach is there to help, but I also need to take initiative if I want to improve. I need to practice my weaknesses.I need to listen to my body (if my eyes feel like they're going to pop out after a workout and then I end up with broken blood vessels around my eyes like I did today, then I might have to scale it back a little). I will have bad days. I'll have great days. And every once in a while, I'll get to RX a benchmark workout and surprise myself (9:07. Not great, but RX).

I saw an Oprah once where she talked about happiness and how to find it and have it in your life. I've also been pretty forward about my depression here. Anything helps. But one things she said you can do is at least once a month (or week?), go to a  place outside of home or work where people expect you to show up - a club, a group, a common interest. Some people have church. Some people have potlucks. Some people have knitting circles. I moved out to Eugene 4 years ago. I'm not the most outgoing person in the world. It's hard to make friends as an adult. And I don't have family here. So what I appreciate most about Crossfit is the awesome people I work out with every day. I was going to single out a few, but then I thought of a few more, so you know who you are ;) I love my Crossfit friends!

Crossfit has also helped me gain confidence. I left a job last year where I was seriously unhappy. While that was difficult, I started going to Crossfit more and more and appreciated the consistency. My life has changed a lot in the past two years. Hell, it's changed a lot in the past 2 weeks, but we won't go into that here! I'm stronger than I thought I was. I look better than I thought I'd look. I lost 20 pounds, which isn't much, but my face really thinned out this past year, which is awesome. I feel like I'm the awesome strong, fun aunt to my niece and nephews. I hate taking rest days (although I know I have to take one tomorrow). It's just fun to see everyone. And I'm grateful. And I'm looking forward to physically competing in competitions I know I won't win. Competitions that don't involve trivia - seriously! 

I'm not sure where I'll be in the next two years (or the next two months, really). But I am grateful to have Crossfit.

And in looking for another picture to post, I found one I haven't posted. I just wanted to give everyone a good laugh. This kid probably thinks I can't stand him. It's not him. It's all 16 year old boys.

I will restrain from making a cougar reference here.
(or post your own caption, since Jeremy never chose this one for the contest)


Talent and Strength

I read parts of the book The Talent Code this weekend. It's a book about how some people excel at skills because of how they learn and how they practice. Basically (and this is a very basic recounting of this theory), most people practice by doing something over and over and over again. But that's not the most efficient way of learning. People can learn and excel much faster if they make mistakes and correct them as they practice. Seems simple, right? But people hate making mistakes, which is why so many people can't get better.

This researcher studied these pools of talent - places where a high number of people achieve a certain skill - Baseball players from the Dominican Republic (some of them are Tigers!), a school in Russia where top tennis players in the world train. They don't just practice throwing and hitting balls. Their ways of learning are completely different than regular schools. I wonder how the top athletes in the Crossfit Games learn their skills.

We practice skills a lot in Crossfit. Sometimes I roll my eyes and think, "Come on. I know how to do a push press." But I'm just impatient. I know I can lift heavier weights, I just don't have the skill (especially for overhead squats). I know some of my friends can do pull-ups, they just can't get the kipping motion. We practice in a group to go over technique. Every box is different. I know some don't spend as much time on skills as we do, but the coaches correct the athletes as we build up in weights. I wonder what might be most effective. The athlete needs direction from the coach, but to build real skill, the athlete also needs to correct themselves when doing a lift. They're split second corrections that we might not even realize, but they increase learning and in doing so, increase skill.

I wonder if anyone wants to do this study with Crossfitters.

Also, I did not read the whole book and I skimmed over the scientific stuff. I'm horrible at learning.



“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, 

and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. ”

Christopher Robin to Pooh

A.A. Milne