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.

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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? 

 

 

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!

“This aint no 8 second ride”

 WELCOME TO HELL’S HALF ACRE! YOU’D BETTER HOLD ON!

Two weeks ago at this time I was standing in the Texas heat amongst some of the best CrossFit athletes at the  South Central Regional Qualifier at GSX Athletics in Fort Worth.  60 men and 60 women from Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arizona fought their way to earn a spot at their sectional competition  to compete here.  I am proud to be one of four women from Crossfit Texas who qualified at the South Central Sectional held here in Austin and earn a chance to compete in Fort Worth.  This was my second year to compete at GSX at Regionals but it held a completely different weight than in 2009.  Last year I had only been doing CrossFit for 5 months when I headed into my first competition.  It was all about gaining experience and trying to improve.  This year the competition had qualifying events so the level of competition was loaded with  top athletes.  

I can still remember how amazing it felt at Sectionals when I heard my name called that I had made it into the top 30 and was able to move to the next level.  This was already a WIN for me! The fact that I am not able to train “full-time” like so many of the athletes can do has always weighed on my mental game.  My full-time jobs are MOM and Nurse.  I get to train other CF athletes at CrossFit Texas as much as I can and  I usually sneak in a WOD on my days off or crash the good ol’ garage gym across town as often as I can.  So making it to Regionals was a feather in my hat! 

I left for Regionals with something missing in me.  I had a rough time finding my HELL YA..GO GET ‘EM attitude the days leading up to the competition.  I was preparing to leave my daughter for a solid 3 days… and the only thing about that is that it SUCKS not being with her! I had a really hard time understanding and actually believing that this weekend was about me.  Yeap. ME.  I was going to compete in a sport that I love, one that I think I’m pretty good at, and with a great group of people who I train with everyday. SO WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?  Well, I decided to not worry about outside junk and put some blinders on.  Again, Mark told me the same advice he told me before Sectionals… “Have Fun”, it worked that weekend so I bought into it again.  

ROAD TRIP—– GSX or BUST! 

The gang from CrossFit Texas loaded up and headed North to GSX.  Robert, Ashley, Lauren and I were all competing individually and the CF Texas Team of Brannon, Rob C, Howard, Terilyn, Becca and Heidi were geared to compete against 27 other teams for one of 8 spots going to THE GAMES in California.  

CrossFit Texas Crew...ROAD TRIP

The buzz started the minute we checked into the hotel. Strange how a hotel lobby full of crossfitters just makes you feel like a badass. HaHa. No one was puffed up, no one was cutting eyes across the room at the competition (ok well, maybe we were all checking each other out, but in good spirits).  Now it was off to GSX for packet pick up and standards, gotta know what they want!!! It was 6pm and Crossfitters from all around packed in under the red tarp to hear what  Tucker and Matt had to say.  Details of exactly how we needed to perform each rep of each movement in order to be scored and continue.  Thankfully the WODs had been announced two days prior and  I had a chance to let them soak in.  

It’s Like CHRISTMAS EVE 

How did you spend your Friday night? I searched the hotel for an ice machine that had not been emptied out yet.  Going into competition with injuries is not ideal.  I have gone thru hours of Pin & Move work from Susan at Therapy Central of Round Rock , sat in ice baths to decrease the inflammation and trained around them to the best I could. (Training around an injury meant I did a lot of deadlifts… the thought of the 10rnds of 10 DL’s at 155# and 10 pushups is still PAINFUL. But you snapped me into place didn’t you! ;->) Tonight was no different.  In a few hours I had to do some of the exact movements that targeted those injuries dead on.  Sitting in a quiet hotel room alone the night before competition was not what I needed.  It let all the junk sneak in.  I talked before about how the smallest cracks in your mental game can open up like the Grand Canyon…. and it did.  All  I could do was just block it out the best I could and find some distraction… oh maybe I should SLEEP!!!  

Ice bath – check   ADVOCARE supplements – check, bags packed : lifting shoes, running shoes, the good ol’ “go to shoes”, yeah a girls gotta have choices!!! – check, NERVES – double-check.  GOOD NIGHT. 

GAME TIME 

Click here for a Video of  the Womens Competition at SC Regionals   

 

Day 1 -WOD #1 

10 bars 

Starting at 75# -Ending at 135# 

Each athlete has 45 secs to complete 

1 Power snatch and 3 Overhead squats or 1 Squat snatch and 2 Overhead squats 

First WOD of the weekend.  10th athlete to hit the ladder of bars.  I knew I could snatch 105# and I was hoping that with the hype of competition would PR on this lift.  A little rushed start on the first bar, but I knew it was only 75# so I just whipped it up and took the remaining 30 secs to rest.  85# again no problem. 95# for some odd reason, nerves maybe it didn’t sail up as it did in the warmup area.  At least it went up and I didn’t have any wasted reps.  Next bar was 105, I knew I could snatch it I just needed to stick it and get the OH squats done.  1st attempt fail.. DAMN.  I had run through this same lift in the garage with Mark to see how long I would have if I  failed my 1st attempt.  So I didn’t let it get me down that I missed this one.  Step back, shake it off and shins on the bar.  2nd attempt I went to what I know works and split it.  Split snatch and then 3 overhead squats. DONE!  The next bar went up by only 5# but damn it was not dialed in.  I again went to the split but I was not dropping under it enough.  I could feel the bar float to my shoulders but it didn’t turn over.  I was not about to give up! Every attempt I rapidly ran thru technique cues just as I hit the bar.  I actually go it over head in a split then got stuck… Another day maybe. Happy to at least get my max and I ended the day tied for 19th. 

 

Day 1-WOD #2 

Weighted Half “Cindy” 

As Many Rounds As Possible in 10 minutes 

wearing a 10# weight vest 

5 Pullups (chin past vertical plane of bar) 

10 Push Ups (full plank at top) 

15 Squats (hip crease below knee) 

This was the WOD I was dreading the most.  “Cindy” is not my favorite, and I knew I was gonna have to push through every ounce of pain to get as many rounds as I could to stay close to the top 20 girls.  The challenge today was that in our pullup we had to have our chin pass the vertical plane of the bar.  Basically without it officially being a chest to bar pullup…. it was a chest to bar.  I knew I could do chest to bar, but I wasn’t sure how it would feel with 10 extra pounds strapped to my chest.  The big square of metal outside GSX was lined with men and women weighted and ready to tackle the second WOD of the day.  I realized that I was in the exact spot I had been in during the 2nd WOD of the 2009 Regionals. That was a beast! 50 Chest to bar pullups THEN 50 burpees… I had not been training my pullups C2B last year so when fatigue set in I had more “no counts” than one would ever want….ohhh and it was raining. So this year I was not worried, heck, give me the 50/50 and I’d be fine!  My goat on this WOD was the pushups, always is.  So after I gutted out chest to deck I popped up for my squats. I see Rob H. right across from me and I focus in on his face.  It was a familar feeling of seeing one of my training buddies, my Coach, my friend in the same place I was.  I could hear his motivating “goofy” cues he usually tells me when I’m sucking in a WOD… Rob- Thank you!  I only pulled off 7 full rounds then 5 more pullups and 5 pushups before the time cap.  TOTAL = 7.5 rounds.  The best part was actually the pullups.  I felt strong and determined. EVERY rep I made sure was chest to bar and EVERY rep counted. 7.5 rounds and all solid reps… no wasted reps!  Now, try to breathe after that and be cinched up in a weight vest… I couldn’t even reach the straps to get out and had to have my judge unhook me.  Didn’t finish as well as I’d hoped but I knew I had left it all out there.  WHEWWWW 

 

DAY 1 is a WRAP! 

CrossFit Texas Crew at the end of Day 1!

Ashley, Me and Lauren before WOD 1

Lauren, Me, Ashley and Rob. End of Day 1 Individual Competition.

Day 1 is done and the 90 degree Texas heat has drained every bit of  ummpphh. What else would Paleo eatin’, CrossFittin’ fools do but go get a steak dinner….. the crew heads out for some grub.  As we all return to our rooms, we each carry our bags of ice for that oh so necessary ice bath and of course some night-time recovery.  

Day 2 … On to the next one.

Gittin’ Up in my Bidness


“It is a combination of Myofascial Release, Ischemic Pressure and Deep Tissue Massage with movement through targeted ranges of motion of the area(s) being treated. This lengthens contracted/unbalanced muscle and fascial tissue which helps realign the body structurally. When all of the components of the imbalance caused by traumatic injuries, repetitive stress injuries or postural deficits are corrected, pain is eliminated.” Therapy Central of Round Rock

Yes it hurts and YES it WORKS! I am a true believer that injury is not because I trained “too much”, but because I did not do the extra work. I am pretty good at making sure I get a balanced warm up and get prepared for the workout. What I have to admit to is that I have gotten away from static stretching AFTER my WOD. I was proud when I brought more stretching into our classes and saw the clients staying to stretch after class. I am usually sneaking a WOD in where I can so that I can get Mekenzie home and I can do Mommy things with her, that I rush out of the gym. BAD TRAINER, BAD ATHLETE, BAD example….

Injured List:
I have been nursing a bum shoulder for about a year… I know. I am a nurse, I should know better and go see a doctor. I DID… finally I had some sense knocked into me and I saw an Sport Medicine orthopedic Surgeon. Luckily nothing needing surgery. Then there is this nagging pull in my hip flexor… kinda important to be able to sit, squat, lift your knee, run and jump when you are training and doing CrossFit. The worst part is that it was hurting to do the fun things with my daughter. Again, it appeared to be a strain and in need of some rehab. …..THINK THINK THINK.

PLAN B:
Brannon reminded me of his friend Susan, a massage therapist (and now is where you insert the evil laugh). I have heard of a few places that are working in the myofascial release area and knew she was doing similar work with other athletes. I called to make an appointment and the receptionist asked what I needed… I paused….. “I’m not really sure”, I answered. I was hurting and 3 weeks of rest was not doing the trick. She reassured me that she would figure it out once I got there based on my complaints. So plan in action and appointment made.

The UNKNOWN:
Sure I train for the unknown, but not for this. My first appt. with Susan was all about what hurt and trying to figure out why. Now hopefully you read the first paragraph I posted from her website explaining what the therapy is all about…. because you need to replay that in your head when you have an elbow in your hip. hahahah. I will say this over and over… YES IT HURTS, but IT WORKS! I spent the next hour remembering how to breathe through childbirth. The Pin and Move therapy that Susan was doing was trying to release all that “junk” that was making other “junk” hurt.  After gritting my teeth and I think a few curse words, I hoped off the table and did a squat with a significant decrease in pain.  I hadn’t been able to do that in 3 weeks! Woooooooooowoooo!

I head back for a few more sessions and each time Susan was able to find another crazy spot on my that was super keyed up and referring pain elsewhere.  My 3rd visit was last week and we made significant headway in finding the source.  If I hadn’t been a ball of knots it would have released sooner.  My inner thigh/hamstring was so tight I found out what childbirth without the epidural I had would have been like.  Again, YES IT HURTS, but it works. 

Training:

Lately I have been training around my injury and trying to just keep moving. I’m blessed to have a source of motivation that keeps my head on straight and he knows when to tweak my mind the right way.  Today was the first WOD with squats in over a month.  New gym, back to the roots of the garage gym – no music to drown out the grunts, the moans or the fact that you can officially hear yourself loosing your breath.  No fancy air conditioner, unless the breeze shifted your direction.  No excuses! It was GO *Hard or GO HOME!  CINDY called our name today.  She’s a beast but it was a good battle! 

Slowly coming off the injured list is a good thing.  Once again I’m reminded that slowing down is good… unless you are doing CINDY.

*Special Thanks to CrossFit GP

Beauty in Strength

In the CrossFit Box it’s all about you.  Go faster, harder, stronger and all quicker than you did it last time.  It might sound vain to claim that when I walk up to a WOD, I am in a FIGHT against myself.  I recently talked about how I found out how much you learn when you slow down and how obvious things become in those quiet moments.  Some days you can cruz on those quiet moments and other times the light starts finding the itsy bitsy cracks in that foundation and turns them into the Grand Canyon. Part of what I found in CrossFit was how far I could push myself.  I read in the  CrossFit Journal article linked below, the question asking if it takes a certain type of women to do CrossFit or does CrossFit make you into that person.  I believe it’s both. Just as I learn how insightful slowing down is, I also have learned a halt to a dead stand still isn’t comfortable either. Back to finding balance.

I have always considered myself a confident, independent woman and will take on any challenge you throw at me.  CrossFit is a perfect match for me.  I may not be the fastest or the strongest, but if you want someone to push till the end I will give you everything I have.  It is all up to YOU on how the WOD goes.  We all know it’s going to suck but the feeling you get when you can yell “TIME” and drop to the floor in sweet exhaustion and joy that you just tackled a beast is what keeps me coming back.  I feel like I’ve been chipping away at earning my “CrossFit Chick” member card over the last year and 4 months.  There have been many highs and lows, times when I questioned my desire, questioned my ability and questioned my place amongst those other athletes.

The CrossFit Journal,  Beyond the Body, defines what a CrossFit girl/chick is. I will tell you that EVERY single woman who steps into a CrossFit box and looks at the whiteboard and says “ok let’s go”, has already found that place beyond the body! Gaining strength over our mental challenges is a much larger gain than any barbell we can lift.

CrossFit Journal-Beyond the Body

CrossFit chicks swim upstream. They battle against all the images of  female physical fitness that have been implanted since birth. They fight the self-limiting mentality put upon their gender community. CrossFit chicks possess a confidence, commitment and sense of accomplishment that puts them at the forefront of their gender. They know the anxiety of stepping up to competition. They savor the taste of victory. They sweat, suck wind and give their all. They are part of a community that snuffs out the mantra of popular culture—the CrossFit community. (www.crossfit.com) required reading!

As I read this journal article it reminded me of how far off my path I had gotten.  This day was NOT a good day in my little CrossFit world.  I DO CROSSFIT! I am not supposed to let my mind cloud with doubt, fear, and frustration.  I went to training this morning with a purpose…. unfortunately injury interfered with my training.  The WOD included running, clapping pushups and a rope climb.  I can run.. I can clap in  midair and do a solid pushup…. I can climb a damn rope….  Not staying true to my stretching and Trigger Point, I fell to injury.   I have been unable to squat below parallel, unable to jump, run or do any other move that involves hip extension.  So after painfully pushing through a wimpy warmup I decided it was best to switch to an active rest WOD.  Like a ton of bricks the mental battle hit me.  I walked out of the gym, sat outside and tried to figure out WHAT THE HELL I was doing!?!?!?!?  I knew exactly who I needed to talk to.  I may be a CrossFit woman, but I felt like I was fading away like Michael J Fox in Back to the Future when his future is being altered before his eyes. (ok that was hopefully the last random example I use..haha). I saw myself a year ago, not only as I walked into the CrossFit box for the first time with a “kick ass” attitude as my Coaches would say, but also mentally TORN down.  So I sat there and tried to figure out how I could have come so far in that mental and emotional whirlwind and still get slapped down over a WOD.  My very own Popeye opened up my can of spinach for me…. as I stewed away at my dissapointment, he said ” So, how’s that working out for you?”  DAMN he was right. 

 

My teammate, my friend and my newest accountability partner Terilyn, stuck around and we  found some quiet time to train.  With the huge garage door rolled up and the sunlight as our only light.  The rings hung down….. time to TRAIN YOUR WEAKNESS.  Working through every variation of transition work, dip work, false grip pullups… we did it, we worked on muscle ups. That was a great perk in my day! Thank you girl for sticking with me!

 

Second attempt at a WOD.  Round 1 Push Press, Back Squat, Overhead Squat… oh yeah, I can’t squat.  I made myself sub out of squats because I just couldn’t mentally handle another failed attempt to train and finish a WOD.  Sometimes outside variables … those situations, people, and events that you can’t control sneak in through those tiny cracks again.  This time I had a witness and I didn’t like how I allowed all of these variables to leave a mark.  Grumble Grumble Grumble… allow yourself to feel bad, to be mad, to GET PISSED OFF.  THEN, LET IT GO! 

One day on a max Deadlift effort I stood almost nose to nose to Ashley and told her exactly what I knew she needed to hear to lift that bar. She got a PR that night.  We almost cried in the emotion that was exchanged in that short moment.  This Saturday that I had been beat down, I walked across the gym to hear those exact words casually said to me. WHOA. That stopped me in my tracks.  What was actually said isn’t what’s important.  What is important, is the moment that we all have that makes us realize we are stronger than the itsy bitsy cracks in our committment.

Third attempt: WOD was told to me on that moment.  I immediately felt myself rise above it.  When you feel supported in every way, it’s amazing how your strength comes from within.  

10 Rounds: 15 Deadlifts 155#, 15 pushups. Great strength builder on my 1st pull … 5 rounds down then we decreased the weight to keep the metcon component.  HOLY CRAP…………… I”M BACK! 

 

Finding strength beyond what your body can lift, push, pull is what true beauty is.  That is what I define as a CrossFit Woman.  I will continue to work toward any title that aids me in finding my strength beyond my body.  Thanks to my own Popeye and knowing when to make me eat my spinach.

 

 

 

CrossFit Success Story from Tammy G.

Tammy and I (& Mekenzie) after she finished as the Womens Leader in the CrossFit Total of 610# for a combined weight score from Backsquat, Press and Deadlift.

One of the joys I get to experience as a CrossFit Coach is watching others come into “their moment”.  Tammy Gore is a client at CrossFit Texas and one of the most dedicated women out there! Dedicated to what you ask…. HERSELF, her health, her future!  I have had the pleasure to watch Tammy’s transformation and realization of what she as a STRONG CrossFit women is capable of.  I have seen Tammy come in everyday and every time she heard “3-2-1…GO” she took on the challenge of the day. I asked Tammy to be a guest on my blog to share her story, if you ever wanted to change but didn’t think you could do anything about your current situation…. WRONG. Please read her story and be inspired, I know I am.   

 

I am what you would call an emotional eater. This means I eat when I am sad, eat when I am angry, eat when I am frustrated; even eat when I am bored. I need to eat to live. My problem is that I have always lived to eat.   

I made excuses; convincing myself that I was happy with the way I was. It wasn’t until I visited my doctor in late summer of 2009 that I finally realized how out of control my weight was; I had reached 260 lbs and was being diagnosed with Diabetes. I would have to take medicine every day for the rest of my life. Having watched my grandmother go through a diabetic stroke, I knew it was time to take control of my life. The only question that remained was how.  

I had the honor in putting together a health fair at my work in September. The last week of the fair, the owner of Crossfit Texas, Brannon Muska, along with two of his trainers talked to me about my health. The question that he posed was “what was I” willing to do to change my circumstances. I took that question very seriously. I had so much at stake and here was an opportunity to change my life once and for all.  

He invited me out to watch an event at the Dell Diamond. Let me just say that I was completely intimidated. I had difficulty climbing the stairs without losing my breath. How would I ever be able to do the things I saw them do? He asked me to come to the gym the next week; he didn’t take no for an answer. He invested his time and effort. He showed me that I was capable of doing more than I had ever imagined. He proved that Crossfit does work.   

Understand that along with exercise, you have to change your nutrition. I lost 30 lbs in the first 2 months only to gain back 17 lbs. I could see that exercise alone wouldn’t work. I started the 24 day challenge and on day 18 weighed in. I have lost 12lbs of what I had gained back along with 4 lbs of muscle. The energy I feel is outstanding. I am making better choices with food and learning to deal with life without eating binges. We recently had Crossfit totals and I took top female in back squats (225 lbs), press (100 lbs) and dead lift (285 lbs); this from a girl who only 6 months ago couldn’t walk to her car without breaking a sweat.   

The best thing about Crossfit is not only what you lose, but about what you gain. I have gained a support group; a second family. It means that if I am having a rough day, I can text Shannon or Chanel and they will encourage me to stay strong. It means when I walk in the door of the gym, I am greeted by name with hugs and smiles. It means when I don’t think I can possibly take another step, someone will be there to encourage me and take that step with me. Come be a part of our family; come be a part of Crossfit!  

God bless you, 

Tammy Gore