Food is your Fuel in and out of the Crossfit box.

After taking a week off from Crossfit for some summer vacation time with my sweet 4yr old Mekenzie and our family, I hit my first WOD post vacation today. YIKES is an understatement!  Today reminded me how much fueling your body for the activities we choose are so important.  Whether you are fueling for the sport of Crossfit or for the sport of your daily routine,we still need to think about what we are using as fuel.  I see plenty of folks dragging around mid day and too tired to do much at the end of the day.  This is not a fun or comfortable place to be.  I have been in that place and I can attest to feeling much better when I fuel my body the best way possible.  Eating clean and Paleo friendly helps my workout performance, my Mommy energy stay up to run with my 4yr old and just FEEL BETTER! So today after a week of eating on vacation…aka NOT PALEO, my workout HURT! Every minute of the WOD I thought about the lack of discipline I had while away. Yes, we do need to have those “off” times to enjoy a few treats but it sure does hurt when you try to dial it back in if you do it too much. 

It’s Monday… that’s like a weekly New Year’s Eve resolution time for most of us…. “I’ll start on Monday eating better – working out – taking care of myself”. WE NEED TO MAKE A CHOICE EVERYDAY to take care of ourself! Here are a few recipes of what my meal plan this week looks like. I will give all the credit to the wonderful websites I snagged the ideas from, check them out below.

 Wake up: Advocare Spark and Rehydrate, Catalyst www.advocare.com/10066205

Breakfast: Advocare Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake

Advocare Chocolate Shake – always a great start to the day!

WOD “Jackie” 1000m Row, 50 Thruster (45#), 30 pullups.

Post Workout: Advocare Post Workout Recovery shake *helps decrease soreness!!

 Lunch: Baked Tilapia seasoned with oregano, fresh lime juice and diced garlic.  Arugula salad with organic tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.

 snack: 1/2 a Lara barAdvocare Spark and Rehydrate/ Catalyst

Dinner: This is where the experts come in! Everyday Paleo to the rescue.  I used two different post to combine the recipes for dinner.

Skillet Rosemary Chicken. Loved this easy recipe!http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/07/14/easy-skillet-rosemary-chicken-pecan-basil-parsley-pesto-and-more/

Basil – Parsley Pesto http://everydaypaleo.com/2010/06/29/grilled-chicken-with-walnut-pesto-sauce-and-warm-arugula-salad/  I used pecans instead of walnuts and didn’t have as much fresh basil as I needed so I added some cilantro and dried basil. It turned out super good!!! 

Arugula salad (see recipe link above).  Warm nitrate free bacon over fresh arugula and a drizzle of olive oil with a side tomato topped it off well.

Meal prep for the week was also a great addition to this.  I have four more chicken breast ready in the frig and cooked up the rest of the bacon for meals the next few days.

Bedtime: Trying to get in 8 hrs of sleep to control cortisol levels and stress. Advocare Catalyst and Nighttime Recovery will send me off to dreamland.

~~Tires~~SANDBAGS~~SLeDge HaMMeRs~~ OH MY… just another day in the life of a Crossfitter

Women of CrossFit came out on May 7, 2011 to raise money and show support for a fellow Crossfitter from Woodward CrossFit who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Every moment was filled with the community of Crossfit. CF boxes from around the Austin area came in teams of two to THROWDOWN for a cause.  Leander CrossFitter Chris Brull captured a video of the event and the heart all the ladies put into the day.

The ladies of Crossfit Leander had three teams tackling the two WODs this day. Loaded up with tires, water bottles, sandbags and a “mystery” bag that we still wonder if it was dog food or mulch… regardless… IT WAS HEAVY!  This was a WOD showcasing the “functional fitness” of Crossfit. Carrying a tire, with a full tank of water sloshing around in one hand and trying to figure out how to balance the sandbag and sledge hammer with the other hand so that you can make it the 100 yards down the road. A few hours later it seemed very familiar when I had my squirmy 4yr old in one arm with her backpack filled with games and toys, and a few bags of groceries on the other arm – all while trying to unlock the front door. Sure it’s easy to say “set the child down and unlock the door”… sometimes you just can’t (pick your battle). Just like that morning when it would have been easier to set down the tire so it no longer pinched your shoulder and the water bottles filled with sand didn’t cut into each finger you held them with. Today the battle was CANCER, if we just quit and set the equipment down why were we even here? It was a THROWDOWN…. nothing today would be as hard as what Tara Knighton was going through.

THE LADIES OF CROSSFIT LEANDER!

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Where are you going… Where have you been?

Out of  8/10/06“>

 We are not our past. Our past reflects varied experiences good and bad that give us wisdom, abilities and feelings. While those experiences shaped our journey and some could be hurtful, they do not define who we are, what we can be or limit where we can go in the future. When we release the hold of the past over us, we free ourselves to embrace the wonder of all we can be and do.                                ~Life is a fork in the road.

Recently I read  this post from Life is a Fork in the road  and I felt like I was just given permission to move forward and not stay in the swirling waters I knew so well. I seem to be constantly in a place of seeking ‘The Answer”… to many things.  One of my constants that I could always go to and dial in a little “me time” was a CrossFit WOD. Four weeks ago I decided to make a huge change in my constant. Now THAT will almost certainly rock your boat when you change courses and you didn’t even know which way you were going in the first place.  The book I’m currently reading is The Noticer by Andy Andrews.  It is about having perspective and realizing that the small stuff actually does matter.  Hard to go into too much since I’m not finished with it, but it’s already setting my new course. 

Moving into week four of the CrossFit Games Open Sectional  it’s been hard for me to be off course.  I am not a full time CrossFitter (and that is REALLY ok) but I expect more from myself at the same time.  Then I look into what all is going on… get a little perspective. Full time nurse, Full time Mommy to a beautiful 4yr old and advanced “treading water” participant in life. Would I change that just so I could have a higher ranking on the leaderboard? NOPE! The days when Mekenzie wants to play a little longer on the living room floor or wants to bake cupcakes, SHE wins and so do I!  I know I should go to the box and work on skills or get another WOD in, but then I look at why I actually do crossfit.  One reason yes is because it makes me feel healthy, strong and well who doesn’t want that.  The biggest reason is that at 35 yrs old, I can run around as long as MK wants to and not get tired.  I was given what I took as a compliment the other day at the box by another member who I had just met.  We finished the wod, all gasping for air and she walked over saying “How old are you? How long have you been doing this?” Kinda off guard for a minute, I answered “35, and since December of 2008”. She replied, “I hope I can do it like you when I’m 35 and a Mom” What she didn’t know was, I was not happy with my own performance…. PERSPECTIVE…. ding ding ding LISTEN SHANNON… It didn’t really sink in until I got home and started putting MK to bed.  WOW, I actually am doing what I set out to do. Be a good example for my daughter in a way of healthy and fit living.  I will keep doing CF so that I can run longer and faster as MK gets older and faster. And if I can help another woman see that we can ALL do it, then bonus!   When Mekenzie showed me how her Barbies were doing handstand pushups for time I knew that I was doing something right.  Yes, she is still a Diva and loves to be pretty, but she also knows that exercise and moving is part of your everyday.  Makes a Momma happy!

CrossFit is not the only course I fumble thru.  Think about this. How many times do you stub your toe on a piece of furniture before you actually move it? How many times do you drop something before you realize your hands are too full and you need to set something down? I seem to stub my toe over, and over, and over again and think that I will get wise and remember to walk around the furniture next time. Then…. BAM… I hit it harder than ever before and instead of getting upset at myself for knowing better from past stumbles, I take it out on the furniture.  Does this look a lot like the definition of insanity? Repeating the same behavior with the expectation of a different result. A good dear friend shared this

We don’t always know that our streets will have potholes. New and old alike all have small chips that when not tended to grow beneath the surface. You just have to keep your eyes open. Gain perspective and mind the small stuff in order to see the big picture.  Open your mind, Open your heart and love BIG!  Where you have been doesn’t mean that is where you are going!

 

A CrossFit Mom and her Village

CrossFit Texas community!

 Crossfit — it’s “YOU AGAINST YOU”…. even when there are 10 others with shins to the bar ready to tackle the same work you are. At “3-2-1 Go” it is about the work YOU are going to do.  Even though we know the work is ours to do, we are all still a team.  This is best seen at the end of a WOD -one person finishes but they aren’t done… you see them at the foot of another who is still working and they stay right there encouraging them every step of the way.  I see this day after day in our gym and it defines the CrossFit Community that I love so much. 

As a Coach I can walk in the box and if I’m in a bad mood or had a bad day… you leave it at the door.  I see our members and I immediately forget my worries and thrive on seeing THEM improve, get stronger, faster or do something they NEVER thought they would able to do. 

 As an athlete myself, I have those same “just not into it” kind of days.  These last few weeks I have been blessed with receiving some of the CrossFit Community love myself. 

Every Saturday a group of us gather to train in preparation for the CrossFit competitions. An intense 2 hours of skill sets or heavy work and then a WOD to follow.  One of my favorite things about our little community is that all the kiddos are welcome.  I know my little Mekenzie has a blast!  They all tumble around the gym until we are ready to work… then off to the playroom they go ~ only a few “they aren’t sharing” moments happen -haha- but one of the many parents work the room and we are off.  My little Mekenzie has been in a CrossFit gym since she was about 2 yrs old so she knows the drill…and fits right in – usually with her own WOD right next to Mommy.

My norm is usually a few seconds during each WOD for Mommy moments between minutes of work. This Saturday, I had a little angel helping me as Mekenzie was really wanting me to stop and come play during my WOD. I have mastered the ability to talk to her when I can’t even breath because I’m mid burpee or kettlebell swing.  After a few quick stops to open a juice box or tie a shoe, my good friend Ashley just saw a Mommy moment. She saw a need and stepped in. The need for Mekenzie to have a playmate and the need for me to finish a workout. Both things provided what each needed. CrossFit is one of the sanity moments I need… after completing a WOD it gives me more than a fit and healthy body… It also provides a fit and healthy mind. These both carry over into my fit and healthy Mommy role

Saturday rolled around again.. I had to miss the first half of training and walked in as the group was about to start the WOD. I helped Coach the team and then had planned on doing it after class alone.  As I finished up working the heavy skill set I just LOST IT! I had no passion, no desire, no GRRRRR to do the WOD. I honestly just did not care in that moment. I wanted to pack up and go.  This is where my teammates stepped in and became my coaches and my motivation.  Crossfitters all know how it feels to have an “off” day, and this day they helped me through mine. 

These are the days I am remember how blessed I am to have a family in my Crossfit community. Thank you to all the “get up girl…get it done!” moments you share with me!

Strong is outside… Strength is inside… Combine the forces.

 “Strength is not about being Strong”

So how do you prepare? Can you prepare for what it takes to be “Strong”?  How do you know what will test your strength? You can practice, train and mentally dial into every aspect of what you think will be asked of you, but will it be enough? Will it be like last time? Will I be able to handle it if I’ve never experienced it before? 

*************3 months later************************

I guess this question had me stumped…. it has been three months since I started this post.  I’m not sure that even with that amount of time I have been able to come up with a solid answer.  It seems most people take a look ahead and start a plan… then they implement the plan…. assess the plan in action and then evaluate and change what didn’t work.  LIFE DOESN’T WORK THIS SLOW and PREDICTABLE… ever heard of Plan B?  That is because so many times Plan A is kicked to the curb in the evaluation process. Many times the plan seems solid and we don’t even consider needing a Plan B, then when we evaluate Plan A we are scrambling to regroup for this “What the heck do I do now” phase.  Again, life isn’t a science fair project displayed for you to just sit and look at.  You really do need some kind of backup plan if the volcano doesn’t erupt when you combine the ingredients while all the judges are watching. 

So I ask the question again… Can you prepare for what it takes to be “Strong” — Can you prepare for what it takes to have “Strength“?

January is the ultimate time of self-evaluation. Resolutions to change, improve, do that ONE thing you have always said you would do are in just about every other conversation. So….. DID YOU MAKE A PLAN? What parts of your life are you giving priority to? After spending some time with a dear friend and mentor lately, we discussed setting my goals.  Similar to resolutions, I realized that if I made a list of 10 goals for myself I would certainly not be able to give 100% to all 10 things equally.  This means even more reflection and prioritizing those goals.  Am I willing to change what I have at the top of my list or can I just put it in a holding pattern? I decided to make two list. One has big, long-term goals with supportive measure to achieve those bigger goals. The second is the do now and “make it happen” list.

I am coming out of an autopilot mode and forcing myself to take control again.  We never know what will test our strength. I believe that you can’t put away all your tools just because the work seems to be done.  Autopilot is nice! It is comfortable, it is usually not a bumpy ride and you are anticipating a smooth landing.  What happens when you are given the controls before you are ready? Regardless, it’s time to step up.  You can’t worry about what was supposed to happen but must now form that Plan B and get it done.  In CrossFit it’s all about training for the unknowable.  Last year when I got injured, I didn’t have time to pout about it (ok so I may have pouted a few times.. but then I got my ass handed to me in a particular Deadlift/pushup WOD-twice).  Injury required a Plan B.

ADAPT and OVERCOME. 

The last 6 months has been hard on my inner strength due to that injury.  I could not get past the fact that doing a simple push up hurt, so advancing skills and lifts was out of the question.  How can I train to be STRONG when my STRENGTH is tied up in a knot.  I had to transition into maintenance mode…. good luck getting a Crossfitter to agree to that.  Once I believed in my Plan B, it actually started working. Sometimes you just need that little voice that has been telling you the entire time to slow down to say it one more time.   Just a few weeks ago I jumped back in a WOD and instead of having to manipulate my ROM to not hurt, I was done and IT DIDN’T HURT. The true test was to test again.  FINALLY! Things are mending and I’m getting Stronger – now I need to work on  mending my Strength.

 I still am working everyday on both being STRONG and having STRENGTH.  I know that it takes a lot of effort, sacrifice, persistence and determination to build something amazing ——– and that is exactly what I want!

What are you asking of yourself in 2011? 

 

 

HOMEWORK… it never goes away!

Homework has a “four letter word” feeling to it most of the time.  It’s always been there and it seems to never go away and sometimes I just wish I could get a free pass on turning in my homework.  I have been thinking lately about how life is full of homework assignments, and we tend to choose which ones we want an “A” in.  In school we usually didn’t have to do homework in the subjects we are good at, things just went smooth and we finished before it added up to have to take home.  Then we all had those subjects that we just could not figure out in the alloted time we had at school under maximum instruction and guidance.  Graduation of any kind sure doesn’t mean the end of the work. 

As I separate parts of my life into which assignments I have left in my bag to the “I’ll get back to it” pile and the ones I make sure are taken care of right away, I have found that there is not one most important one.  Letting any assignment get ignored will lead you to some kind of detention.  In my role as Mother, if I even ignore one simple assignment in parenting my daughter, not only am I affecting her outcomes, but I make the work harder on myself for the next test.  Parenting is a constant challenge and luckily we do start to get better at some of the subjects that are included in the job.  I am in this class for the rest of my life and it’s my favorite one by far!

I am a list maker, this doesn’t mean that I get all the things on the list checked off in a timely manner.  Maybe it’s a comfort thing, if I make a list it means I’m aware I need to do it.  Well, list get lost and stuck in the same “do it later” pile.  Having a constant awareness is exhausting but necessary!  Ensuring that all areas in my life are equally visited in my daily homework session has become more difficult that any class I have taken.  It’s easy to want to bail and go do the fun stuff, then you realize that even that has it’s work. I could run off to get a Crossfit WOD in any day and it would satisfy my “want to” but then after you get through the workout you realize…. sheees I haven’t been doing my homework.  If you think that you can PR on a lift or snag the fastest time without putting in the time to dial in your technique and skill, you are going to do poorly on any of those test.  Not saying that we need to ACE every test, but it sure feels nice every once in a while.  So back to class on areas to improve my Olympic lifting, making myself do my daily Mobility WOD and preparing my body for the test I expect it to pass.  

Identifying the necessary task to obtain a feeling of balance and forward stride means digging your heels in and doing the work.  There are many times we think we are preparing ourselves for the next test in the ideal way and it’s  a sure thing that it will go well.  Then when the time comes to put pen to paper and show what you got…. you realized you were reading the text book from last year when you failed the course.  When we realize that we didn’t take the ideal steps to prepare a reevaluation time is necessary.  I have had to restart many of my paths lately due to realizing what I was doing was indeed not preparing me for where I needed to go.  It was time to realize that just because it went bad before, didn’t mean it had to be that way this time.  I am in an entirely different classroom this time with entirely different people.  When you have people around you with the same goals, it’s easier to do the work. 

One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the last year has been to slow down.  It’s funny how I can teach new nurses the need to slow down so they don’t make mistakes or to allow them to see the big picture, but I have a very hard time making myself do this.  I have seen how it can make things brighter and much more manageable when you accept the tortoise  approach.  When you do the work, you learn a lot about yourself.  You can see the areas that you let go and allow to be pushed aside and the areas that took over when they should have been equally weighed. 

I wish I could finish with the note  HOMEWORK IS DONE, but I don’t think I want to ever think that it is DONE.  If I do that then that means I am not willing to do the necessary, difficult work to make my life the best it can be.  I also know that I can’t figure this assignment out on my own.  If I had all the answers then I’d make the test.  I still seek others to help me learn and grow. I count  on them.  We count on teachers, professors, coaches, mentors, family, partners and friends to help us learn what makes each life lesson what it is for our lives.  Even though we might have to retake the same life lesson test, we don’t always get the same grade.

ONE DAY – 17mins – ONE GOAL

SEPTEMBER 25, 2010

Fight Gone Bad began as a fundraising event in 2006. From those humble beginnings and with the support of the CrossFit community, we’ve proven what a small, totally committed group of people can accomplish. The first four editions of Fight Gone Bad have raised a combined total of more than $2 million.

Why I’m Doing This

I am working to raise funds and awareness to help these three causes. I will participate in a FGB Event where every bit of my blood-sweat-tears will be shed for the Cause! Make it about someone else today! If you or a loved one have ever been affected or you just want to honor those in need. DO IT HERE!

Shannon’s Fund Raising Page!!!

WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT

Wounded Warrior Project believes the greatest casualty is being forgotten. WWP provides unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.


CROSSFIT FOUNDATION

 

CrossFit Foundation provides support and assistance to the CrossFit community, the men and women of the military, law enforcement and first responder communities and their families in times of need.

 

LIVESTRONG – Lance Amrstrong Foundation

Lance Armstrong Foundation identifies and acts on the issues faced by cancer survivors in order to comprehensively improve quality of life for members of the global cancer community.

WHO WE FIGHT FOR

WHY DO I CHOOSE CROSSFIT

WHY wait until Tomorrow?

I ask for your help!

 100% of all donations are sent to Fight Gone Bad and sent to the three Causes. 

WHY WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW?

 CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW!

Try a little Gluten Free

courtesy of Elana's Pantry

 

Sunday morning and I actually have a little girl who does NOT like pancakes! She’ll take French Toast any day of the week, but isn’t Sunday morning “pancake day”. I gave up the heavy flour traditional pancakes a while back and usually do either the Paleo banana pancake from Performance Menu or the Apple cinnamon Paleo pancake from Marks Daily Apple.  

My friend Ashley introduced me to this great cookbook that focuses on Gluten Free/Almond Flour.Elana’s Pantry has some tasty recipes that will bring in a gluten-free diet for the entire family.  I admit I am NOT 100% gluten-free nor am I anywhere near 100% Paleo, but I do try to do as much as possible.  Today I tried her Gluten free Silver Dollar pancakes.  They are sweet enough you don’t need any type of sweetness to put on top.  Mekenzie grabbed it like a cookie and enjoyed every bite! You gotta love when you know what ingredients are in their little tummies.

The Power of Defense

 “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

GET BACK!

If you think that spending two hours of a Saturday in a hot warehouse is fun YOU ARE RIGHT!  This past Saturday as part of our CrossFit Texas Women’s program we hosted Bonnie and Rob Claudill for a little Defensive Tactics session.  Both Bonnie and Rob are a part of the CF Texas family, they also have a great history of experience outside of Crossfit.  They both are former Marines (no such thing as an Ex-Marine so don’t even try it !), and both Austin Police Officers and instructors for the APD Academy Defensive Tactics.

“CrossFit women rock!” This sentiment resonates with both men and women. CrossFit women are redrawing the boundaries of performance and having a blast doing it.   Crossfit Journal Jan.01,2008

 Saturday was the first session of our Self Defense classes. 14 women committed to learning something new this day.  We all walked in unknowing of what was to come.  The cages that were usually reserved for the barbells had heavy bags tied up with rope, stacks of black pads cushioned the areas below the pull-up bars and the WOD on the whiteboard today was definitely the UNKNOWABLE!      I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be like any kick boxing class we had ever taken! I’ve personally seen how one’s body is beat up, bruised and battered after a Defensive Tactics course…. well after a Law Enforcement level class…. BUT STILL that’s all I had to go by! YIKES.

Two lines of women (and a few of our little ladies by their Mom’s side) lined up – our wrist and knuckles taped up like we were headed into the boxing ring.  That in itself makes ya’ feel like a badass! The game plan of the day was layed out, now it was time to get back to the basics.  Bonnie lead us through the stance, the fist position, balance & stability for quick moves.  It felt like I was setting up for my WOD and “getting organized”. 

You better not  assume that once these two left the Corps, they forgot how to command a group! HaHa. We were given great detailed instruction and now it was time to put the Combo in action.  Once I finally yelled the right thing at the right time I was up to speed with the group.

 

 

 

I stood in my place in line and every time we pivoted to attack again, I looked around at the amazing women that stood there.  It was hot, it was their day off from work, it was time away from family…. BUT THEY WERE HERE! They were not here for the best time on the whiteboard, or to pull a PR on a Oly lift, they were here to better themselves.  No one was asked “why” they wanted to be here, they just were.  I can not even assume to know the answer to what brought 14 women to a self-defense class.  I know for me, I wanted the experience to learn something new.  I wanted a few hours with my friends, I wanted a tool to tuck away in my “bag of tricks” to know I can take care of myself and my daughter.

When you spend 2 minutes punching a strike pad held up against your friends chest and you are pulling out every bit of power you can, there is a reason why you are here.  HIGH INTENSITY – that’s what we as Crossfitters do everyday. Taking these skills and using it to push through the “can I do this” moment, is another feather in your hat. On top of that, it was just FUN! Two minutes of combo punches standing – down to our knees- down to the ground. WOW that will take you outside of your box.  Then it was 2 against one!  I was paired up with the power houses… Lauren and Ashley H.  Every 10 seconds you were either getting bumped from one or the other… you had to decide was it going to be a combo punch, a palm-heel strike or lay down the HAMMER!! Woooowhooo … crap there is more from behind.  Now we are grabbing their shoulders and driving our knees into them (the pad actually)… until you get blindly bumped again.  All I could think about was… well lets just say we all had our “motivation” that day.

The funny thing was as I was behind one of the pads on the receiving end, I could hear myself yelling at the girls to hit harder or grab here/there.  Talk about supporting each other… haha. I think a few chins were grazed and a few wrist left swollen but it was all in good fun.

The final piece was sparring. SAY WHAT? Yeap, Bonnie and Rob -vs- us! It was one on one with one of them…. seriously they actually know how to hit and HARD.  I was paired to go ’round with Rob.  Ok, I thought about all the technique and moves I had been taught this morning and I had a plan to just try to keep covered and execute what I could.  A few punches into it I realized he really wanted me to hit him… haha. Then I found out what it meant to not cover yourself… tap tap – yeap those are my ribs. The good thing is that Bonnie and Rob are so good that they know how to get you moving without hurting you.  I’ll have to say, it got ME moving!

I can’t wait to attend the next session! Here is a little slide show of the group in action!

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CrossFit Texas Women