Pain is temporary – Work today – Push today – Fight today – Rest another day!

What do you do after you have spent an entire day in the 100+ degree Texas heat in a parking lot filled with 200+ athletes who bleed CrossFit? After you laid it all out on the line and pushed yourself to the limits you hoped you always could? Lots of sweat, deep breaths and a hell of a lot of FIGHT….. you come back and do it again the next day!

Day 2 – WOD #3

For time:
100 Double Unders
3 Rounds of:
10 Deadlifts(185lbs)
1 Sandbag run(50lbs)
Then row 1K  

Everyone has a WOD that they would rather do over others… Some like the long and torturous MURPH, why why why??? Others like the fast and furious FRAN, some like one lift over the other. The strange part is that it isn’t always what is easy, I know I enjoy EVA — again why why why???? It is gut wrenching. I just LOVE the way I feel after I have set my focus on the task at hand and dig in and WORK! This 3rd WOD was one of those workouts.  I enjoy lifting heavy stuff, taking it a distance and fast (or try to do it fast).  I was certain that the nerves I had before CINDY were the worst I had ever had… NOPE.  I could not get it together before this one.  Every single time I do FRAN in the box I stand shins to the bar and feel like I could puke  just from butterflies in my stomach.  The performance I expect out of myself and the ability I want to have during the WOD is the hardest part for me. 

Warm up time…. I had the chance to watch a few heats and see how the girls carried the 50# sandbag and tried to create my game plan.  I was confident about the 185# deadlifts, that is usually the working weight we use in the box for our training.  I was NOT looking forward the 1k row at the end of the 3 rounds.  Starting off, I had to nail 100 double unders, usually this is not a problem at all. The last few weeks I just have not had the speed thru these that I normally do.


  3-2-1- GO and yeap, my feet and hands were not working together. I just had to get them done. I was much slower on these than I wanted.  1st round of DL’s, 7 unbroken, damn… I hear the team yelling at me to get on the bar… finish and move on.  I grab the 50# sandbag, toss it over my shoulder and try to run the 100 meters as fast as I can…………WHOAAAAA it’s a little rough on the legs after the other elements. 

I was NOT going to walk, I was NOT going to stop on this one.  THIS was the WOD I was looking forward to all weekend.  2nd round of DL’s… ALL 10 unbroken! HELL YEAH.   The sandbag run is what it is. I just took off thinking about running a race and I used each new face I passed as a new motivation.  It’s amazing how you can tap into the energy of others.

 3rd round of DL’s ALL 10 unbroken… this final run was rough.  I knew I had to come around that last curve and jump right onto the  C2 Rower and pull a 1k.  Come on legs and lungs don’t fail me now.  I hop in and take off, I had a GREAT view of the sun! I think at least 500 meters I had my eyes closed.  I had a chance to sit with a C2 instructor and dissect my rowing technique earlier in the day.  WOW I’ve been doing something right.  She actually didn’t have any corrections for me, so as I sat there in 106* with the sun blaring down in my face I tapped into my technique and pulled.  Rob had a mantra all weekend that it was “YOU AGAINST YOU” and I knew that even though I didn’t end with the fasted time of the day, I left everything on that playing field.


Day 2 – WOD#4 

Individual event 4 – Final Event
For time:
10 Muscle Ups
15 Handstand Push Ups
20 Squat Cleans
Run the Block

 There are many things in life that we accomplish that we never knew we could.  Most of those things we didn’t wake up knowing we would be successful, we may have hoped but we didn’t KNOW.  This last WOD was a “freebie” for me.  I have been intermittently working on my gymnastics skills specifically on my muscle up skill.  Going into this workout most female competitors either had their muscle up or they simply didn’t.  I have been so close but haven’t nailed it yet. 

The hours before the heats began I decided to pull away from the crowds and go absorb.  I headed to the small space tucked away in the huge GSX space designated for athletes to warm up.  I walked in to see Whitney Welsch  helping some of the girls with technique tips.  I know first hand how amazing Whitney is as and athlete and every time I run into her at an event she is always friendly and a great help.  The weekend of my Level 1 Cert in San Antonio back in 2009 Whitney and I were paired up in the final WOD of the weekend. That girl smoked us all weekend and she still is blowing past the rest with a smile.  So I sat and took in every bit of what she said.  A few of us jumped up on the rings and worked through transitions then it became obvious we all just needed to be still and rest.As the heats were running behind more athletes filtered into the cool a/c of the warmup area.  


Time to head into the heat again. This time I was relaxed, I was going to go spend the next 15 min giving it ALL I had! The challenge was to get my very first Muscle Up.  You would think that standing in front of a hundred or so people about to try something you have never been successful at before I would have been a ball of nerves.

 So I asked myself.


My answer was stand under those rings for the entire 15 min and NEVER quit.  In training, I had not been able to maintain my false grip once my feet left the ground for the kip.  Today I had prepared and watched the girl who successfully performed the element.  I heard 3-2-1- GO. No rush I said. You have plenty of time, just set it up.  And off we go. Holy cow I kept my false grip… wooowhoooo! That was step one for me.  Turn out of the hands- kip and swing- and pull. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH so close. I was getting one hand right where it needed to be but I just couldn’t put all the pieces together.  I had so much support from the crowd in front of me and from my Crossfit Texas teammates.  One voice came from directly behind me…  Candice Ruiz.  We first met in Dallas at the CrossFit FXTX Unleashed Games.  Candice took 1st that day as I pulled in 4th after a 4WOD day.  Ever since she has been a great support and encouraging me along the way.  So this day was no different.  She was right there with the rest giving me tips on my technique.  One of the top athletes (ultimately she took the weekend and placed 1st and is headed to California for The Games) was showing me the true spirit of Crossfit. 


These 15 minutes meant different things to each athlete. Candice and Whitney battled for the finish and 1st place.  I was in it for a “first” but a personal first.  Lauren, one of our athletes from Crossfit Texas had her moment and nailed her first muscle up and followed it up with a few more.  Ashley gutted it out and had a special someone in mind for this first ( a not so quiet Ninja that she trains along side in life).  Some would walk away disappointed that they never left the first element of a WOD. I wasn’t that person,not today. I had my PR in a bigger way.  I was at a Crossfit competition and doing more than I did last year.  That right there was my little PR! I look back and see that I was standing amongst so many amazing athletes and I earned that spot that day to be there.  I knew I could return home and my biggest fan Mekenzie would be proud of me whether or not I got a muscle up or had the fastest time or that I PR’d a lift.  The example that I was building for her was that no matter how low things bring you, it’s YOU AGAINST YOU and you have the choice to make it AMAZING!


Crossfit Texas Affiliate Team

Six athletes battled for two days for a chance to take it to California.  I know first hand how challenging and rewarding the affiliate race is.  Last year I was part of the first team from Crossfit Texas to compete at the 2009 Crossfit Games in Aromas.  This year Brannon, Howard, Rob C, Becca, Terilyn and Heidi rocked some wicked WODs and pushed harder than I have ever seen before.  They were awesome! I had a chance to stand in and be a part of this experience.  The final Team WOD was in 106 degrees that Sunday.  4 Athletes each had 2 minutes to row a max distance. Total team time was 24 minutes.  Just before the WOD started,Brannon asked me to stand in as Team Coach.  HELL YEAH I accepted.  I’m not sure that anything I was yelling and the fact that I wouldn’t get out of their faces for the entire 2minutes helped…. but I was proud to be a part of that group.

Thanks to all the gang from Crossfit Texas – it was an amazing weekend and you all had a part in it! Thank you to all my friends and family that understand why I get crazy when I miss my workouts and encourage me to keep going. 

Thanks to CrossFit GP for the Old School garage gym WODs.   For pushing me to work my weakness in more than just the gym and reminding me to ‘HAVE FUN”!



“This aint no 8 second ride”


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.  


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.  


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. 


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.

UnBreakable (part 2).. Sectionals Day 2



Today was all about NOT STOPPING!  The final WOD of the competition.  Of course I didn’t get much sleep last night and was running later than I wanted.  Mommy duty was my first priority of the day and getting Mekenzie to her grandparents.  I arrived to find out that the heats had changed and also the rankings had changed.  The heats had been reorganized to put all the top 30 in the final heats together…. I looked at it as HELL YEAH I gotta push with these gals in my heat! But then WHAM…. I had a ohhhh no moment and realized I was going head to head with the top 30 gals of the weekend.   

My mind now had to shift from running the WOD at 9am to the new time of almost 1pm.  I really don’t like going in the first heat, I like to watch others and use it to fuel my fire.  I have to make sure though that I take time to focus and not just be Coach and Cheerleader for others.  The first few heats made me realized OH SH*T this WOD is gonna HURT!   

My mind took an immediate ease when Pete showed up, one of the best CF Coaches I’ve had.  I lached on to his presence and fed into everything he had for me.  He is one of the best mental guys out there… oops that sounds bad.  No, he can get me into a mind-set that others can’t.  He knows my weaknesses with just a quick glance.  He also knows how far I can push better than I do.  (He would sit and deny all of the above b/c that’s how cool he is! haha)  We talked strategy a little then all I had to do was wait.  I got another lil message from across town…. “Have fun and don’t over think it!”.  Mark is always able to settle me and get my head straight and today was no different.  


15 Thrusters 65#  

100ft run  

50 – 35# single arm kettlebell snatches  

100ft run  

100 double unders ( IN THE FREAKIN’ GRASS)  

100ft run  

50- 35# kettlebell swings   

100ft farmers walk with 35# kettlebell  

15 barbell squat snatches (65#)  

This was the most nervous I had been all weekend.  I was FIGHTING to stay in the top 30…. the top 21 spots were secured due to WOD 2 yesterday, so I was against the field for only 9 spots.  As they called us to the field I summoned Pete to my sideline.  I knew I was gonna need to look at him for some “calm down” moments in this one.  The top 25 ladies all lined up as we filed out onto the field to meet our judge.  Justin was in spot 24.  We walked the course and talked standards and he asked… “what’s your rep scheme?” My answer was, “BALLS TO THE WALLS.. Don’t stop”. He laughs and I said, seriously I just can’t stop!!!!!!   

3-2-1…GO.  15 thrusters at 65# fresh I knew I was gonna do these unbroken.  I had the majority of the other athletes in my sight and when I saw a barbell hit the ground for a rest it just made me push harder and not stop.  The ground was a little challenging, being in one of the last heats of the day after many bars and bumpers and chewed up the ground was a new challenge on core strength!  15 unbroken and done….   

100ft run, HOLY crap this already didn’t feel good and I had only just started.  50 KB single arm snatches.  I had gamed this a little knowing that my left shoulder was still tweeked from training.  I figured I’d do as many on the right as I could then use the left as my active rest all while chipping away at the reps.  I don’t even have a clue how many I did before switching but by looking at the pictures people took…. it must have hurt.  I do remember my Judge Justin with his constant calm voice… ” keep going, just get to the next station…”  Right – left -Right and then all of a sudden the left took over and my shoulder stop hurting (probably b/c my right was screaming!)….  100ft run (walking the green mile is more like it…) into 100 double unders….. IN GRASS.  I am confident in my du’s, as I can usually knock out 40 or so in a row.  So when I only got 5 then failed… uh-oh. My shoulders where on FIRE, my legs wouldn’t jump and my mind….. creeping in was DOUBT.  I could hear other athletes counts and I was way under their’s.  I look up and there was Pete.  He just gave me that “calm down” look and I tried.  What my mind was actually doing was thinking about how I was trying to motivate Chanel earlier in the day to push through these and yelling for her to “DONT STOP”…. talk about having a moment of guilt.  haha.  I just wanted to tell her “Sorry Chanel, these SUCK ! Now I know”.   I had to just get comfortable with the 2-3 I could link together.  This element is one I thought I would breeze through…… wrong. 100ft run ( this was slooooow) to 50- 35# KB swings.  

 Again, I thought this would be a catch up moment and as we all know in CF, when you think it’s gonna be easy it will actually kick your butt.  The standard for the KB head was “bell up” so you had to swing the bell overhead, show your ears and have the bell straight up.  I just stood there and swung the hell out of it.  In these moments I think rep scheme but the truth is it comes down to grit.  Push till you wanna puke then do another one.  

 100 ft kettlebell farmers walk into the barbell area.  I was soooo ready for the last element.  15- 65# barbell squat snatches. I love this lift.  I had thought about the elements of the ground being unstable, and how  tired I was. I figured in order to have NO WASTED REPS I had better play if safe.  I would power snatch then overhead squat it.  I am totally comfortable in the bottom of the squat with weight overhead.  So I hit the bar with the HELL YEAH I’m gonna nail this….. errrrrkkkk. Damn I couldn’t breath.  I ended up doing them one at a time for about the first half. Then I heard 

the little voice in my head say…  

WHAT ARE YOU DOING>>> STOP WASTING TIME.  Shins to the bar… and squat snatch the hell out of it….. DONE and it felt great! I finally had gotten in a groove.  One at a time with my rest only being following the bar to the ground.  One failed rep… uhg. Back on it. I was in PAIN, my lungs burning, my legs screaming to stop but my mind was COMFORTABLE IN THE UNCOMFORTABLE! TIME = 17:04.   


All I could think about in that moment of being done was how bad it hurt and how much I wanted to lay down. I also remembered Mikko Salo the 2009 CrossFit Games Mens Champion, saying that he didn’t lay down after a wod because he refused to lay down in defeat. So there was NO way I was gonna lay down after this one.  Now, curled up in a little ball – sure 


Again, I was disappointed in my time and knew that it may not have been fast enough  to hold on to a top 30 qualifying spot.  Pete was there and we had a great debriefing on getting my mental game in check with the physical game of my wods.  Now it was the waiting period.  


All the athletes gathered around as Jeremy Thiel started preparing for the final announcement of the top 30 Men and top 30 Women who qualified to move on to Regionals in May.  I had no idea if I had been fast enough to hold my spot so I just convinced myself I had not made it.  ……….HOLY CRAP… they just said my name! I had snagged 29th place. I’ll take it!  In that moment I finally realized that all that time I doubted that I could hang with the 20 year olds who lived and breathed CF…. I really could!  I was so proud that I was able to stay true to who I was. #1 a MOM and a balanced role model for my daughter.   

After many ranking changes due to the scoring in WOD 2 and the Handstand pushups… I was moved up to 26th and 4 other athletes from CrossFit Texas made it through to Regionals.  Congrats to all the athletes that competed and left blood-sweat and tears on the playing field! We had an awesome group represent!  


Top 30 women Qualifiers: Terilyn, Lauren, Shannon, Ashley

Top 30 Men Qualifiers : Rob

 Now all the hard work, training, dialed in nutrition, supplements…….was NOT what we were thinking! It was CELEBRATION TIME!!!!! Hula Hut on the Lake or BUST! I hadn’t had a margarita in ….. I have NO idea how long much less Mexican food.  I wasn’t sure if this celebration meal was gonna make me regret it later… haha.  


On to the Next One! 


UnBreakable ….Sectionals Day 1

CrossFit CST Sectional Camp Mabry

This past weekend amongst 200 other Firebreathers I dripped blood-sweat and tears to try to find my place.  What is a firebreather you ask…. To some it’s the “balls to the walls” Crossfitter, to some it could be defined as one who “eats-sleeps-walks-talks” Crossfit.  I see a “CrossFit FireBreather” as ANYONE willing to lay it all on the line and JUST TRY and NOT QUIT.  That’s the spirit of CrossFit that I feel.  Yes, I define myself as competitive and always up for a challenge.  If you say I can’t…. BACK UP BUSTA’  because I’ll try!  What was the “place” I was trying to find? It was MY place at the Central Southern Texas Sectionals , the qualifier for the next competition Regionals in Dallas this May.  They were taking the top 30 men & top 30 women to the next level.   

CrossFit Texas Women Competitors

Last May after only 5 months of doing CrossFit I headed up to GSX CrossFit in Dallas for the Southwest Regional Qualifier.  That was walking into the complete unknown.  Over the past year and 3 months I have used that competition more and more to prepare me for each and every WOD I do.  Being able to have gone through the “experience” was just a taste of what is needed to try and figure out what you need to do to prepare.  Competing in Dallas at the CrossFit FXTX Unleashed Games this past February was a great precursor to this weekend. That one cold Saturday I had to put my mind and body through 4 BRUTAL CrossFit WODs.  I knew where I gassed, where I could have done more and where my strength, endurance and grit levels where.  Placing 4th was good, but not good enough.   

Now onto the Grrrrrr moments for me.  I have been struggling with feeling “broken” and torn on my training and the competing side of this “Games Season” in the CrossFit world.  I knew that the field of women that was coming to compete was going to be FIERCE! My goat is my mind.  My confidence can be easily exposed to show the constant “IN MY KITCHEN” mindset I carry with me.  I am a single Mom to a wonderful 3yr old little Red headed doodlebug, I am a full-time RN, and I Coach CrossFit 5 days a week. So when I thought about the chances I had to actually hold my own against the 20-something yr old Full Time CrossFitter with a totally different game than me….self doubt flooded my kitchen.  I choose to spend time outside the CF box and try to find balance with all these roles.  Thankfully I have a wonderful support system  that allows me to follow my passions.   

Friday night approached and the nerves started with the sporadic moments of butterflies.  Then Mark just told me “HAVE FUN”.  Wow. It worked! I decided that I had done all I could do to up to this point and I had to control what I could and let go of the rest.  (How about I tatoo that on my forehead…. maybe I won’t forget it).   

Saturday started out nice and cool then the heat came before the sun was even over the horizon.  I was in Heat 2 for the 1st WOD.  


Dead Man's Row

2kilometer Row for time, you then had 10 sec to walk to your barbell and complete as many 185# Deadlifts as possible before the 12min time cap elapsed.  I had never rowed a 2k for time before, I was gaming this WOD off how I feel after a 5oom.  I was confident in my Deadlifts and just wanted a competitive row time so that I would be high enough in the standings moving into the 2nd WOD of the day.  I planned to stay in the 2min/500m pace window then pick it up around 1ooom.  The problem was I had no idea how I feel at 1000m straight, I can’t remember the last time I did a long row.  1st 500 I was on pace… moving into the 2nd 500 I was feeling good and every once in a while I wanted to pull and sprint.  My judge was great at reminding me that I had found a “happy place”.  This was probably the most comfortable I have been in an uncomfortable situation.  1000m done – half way now baby.  I hit that half way mark and realized I was still OK!  The last 500 I wasn’t sure how soon to sprint and when to be in the active rest mode to get my legs ready for the deadlifts.  2k DONE… I hear my judge starting the 10sec countdown.  It was chalked up & was just waiting on ME!  


3-2-1… LIFT….hmmm not bad.  A short rest at the top (no rest allowed at the bottom) and off I go.  My grip was solid, my back was in check and my legs felt good.  I was shooting for 10 lifts and when I actually hit them I wanted 15… in my 13th lift my grip failed before my hips opened.  Row=8:40 and I pulled 12 Dead’s.  THEN I realized I couldn’t breath.  Thanks to Scott w/McTeer Fitness Training, he caught my suck factor on film.. haha.  Kinda strange to watch yourself and not even remember rolling around the ground trying to catch your breath.  With the 12 DL’s I had shaved 1min off my row time.  I was now standing in 18th place out of 65 women.  


The next 4 hrs I had to stay focused and make sure my nutrition and hydration stayed on track.  Our CrossFit Texas Team was huddled under a tent and making sure everyone was Trigger pointing, taking their Advocare Rehydrate  (*big Thanks to Joel Holcomb for your help with supplement timing) and refueling (Mary thanks for your nutrition guidance) for the 2nd WOD of the day.  My support system grew and showed me how blessed I am.  My mom brought Mekenzie to the event and she was one of my biggest fans.  Mekenzie is around CrossFit almost everyday and she is a true lil follower… only a CrossFit kid breaks out into burpees during her ballet class.  As Mekenzie stood with Mark and the gang during WOD 2, she was repeating all the yells from around her.  My 3yr old lil girl started shouting “GO MOMMY, push your head through”…guess I need to work on my head thru on my handstand pushups – haha.  

Mekenzie and Jack cheering on their CrossFitting Mommy's

WOD #2: “MABRY MELODY” – 3 rounds  

2 Handstand Pushups   

(hands within 30in taped area, head to ground, full lockout and heels on wall at full extention)  

6 Ground to Overhead – 95 lbs. (Clean & Jerk)  

10 burpees  

Thankfully we have been working on our HSPU’s in the box (Thanks Rob & Brannon for making sure we did it!)  But I still hadn’t gotten the timing perfect w/my kip.  I met w/a friend on Thursday and I was able to nail it! Nothing like the last-minute.  I was excited about this WOD. A little nervous on how my shoulders would feel in the second round.  I had a great Judge, Carl kept me on the wall and my head in the game.  1st round was great, then…… 2nd rnd HSPU’s ate my lunch. Either I couldn’t get locked out elbows or my dang heels kept popping off the wall.  I could feel how close I was but Grrrrrrrrrrrrr it wouldn’t go.  FINALLY 2nd HSPU done and onto the C&J’s and burpees.  I was able to get one of my 3rd rnd HSPU’s before thee 12 min cap.  I was SERIOUSLY disappointed in my performance here! It exposed a weakness and all I can do is… MORE WORK!  


WOW, day 1 was done and two WODs done.  I was in 25th place at the end of the day and knew that I had to work my a** off on Sunday to stay in the top 30.  I felt like I had left it all “out there” and even though I wasn’t 100% satisfied at my performance I knew I had pushed through every uncomfortable spot as best as I could.  The day couldn’t have ended better.  Now home to put my tired lil girl to bed & put myself through my next prep phase ….. hot shower, Rehydrate, Night Time Recovery and Catalyst – what a nightcap huh.   

On to the Next One 


BE ACTIVE…. GET MOVING…. It’s good for you!


Tanya Wagner of CrossFit Apex- 2009 CF Games Champion

Need a reason to get moving sometimes?  Recently I sure did. I am finally recovered from a full day of 4 WODs Saturday Feb 6th up in Dallas.  One of my CrossFitting goals was to do a competition other than the official CF Games/Sectionals in March.  The first opportunity was at an affiliate in Houston in early December.  I wanted to test myself against other crossfitters outside my box but something held me back from registering.  WHAT?  Self doubt I think.  It had been an emotional few months and I had lost focus of what was important.   I can remember the day I finally signed up.  I had just had a great girl chat with a good friend at our CFTX   Nutrition Seminar and she helped me realize how I needed to take care of myself and find that strength again. I geared up to attend and was ready for the test but Mommy duty took priority and I missed the event.  

I was determined to hit some kind of challenge before March… now the question was WHERE?  I actually contemplated the Garage Games… uhg that involved some major travel which meant being away from my little girl.  That is just not worth it.  AH-HA …. I found it.  Facebook has revealed some interesting things to me this past year and it didn’t let me down with this challenge.  A friend in Dallas/McKinney was being convinced to sign up for her CF box’s competition.  PERFECT! 3 hrs away, one day event and I’ll know someone! YEAH. CrossFit FxTx was hosting their first competition on Feb. 6th.  I again asked around the box, but no takers.  Well I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.  

CrossFit is all about training for the “Unknowable” and true to form they didn’t release the WODs until the night before the competition.  Two days before the host affiliate sent a mass email out…. THERE WILL BE A SWIM, bring your suits. “AHHHHHHHH”  is all I could think about.  The last time I swam was in the Jack’s Generic Tri (my first ever) in August and I thought I was going to drown! Open water swim in mud is NO fun! (Pete, I still need to get you back for telling me the swim was a “no big deal!”   Ok, so I had to not only prepare for 4 WODs in one day, but one of those was going to be a swim.  I was not going to make it to the packet pick up the night before so I was eagerly waiting for Judy to pick up her packet and email me the WODs.  

Friday Feb.5th:  

 FULL day! Teaching a class at the hospital for ICU nurses, rushed home to spend a few hrs with my daughter, dinner, take MK to her daddy’s then off I go.  CROSSFIT FXTX Unleashed Games or BUST! On the road and the blackberry buzzes with a new email.  Judy had sent me the list of WODs and regulations for the day.  SPLIT SNATCH… ??what??  Well, never done that before, guess I have 3 hours in the car to mentally practice that lift.  Snatch 1 RM, no problem. Split – one of my favorites! My texts start flying back to Pflugerville to Mary and Brannon… “need tips”… thanks Richard Komm for forwarding and relaying the info for me!  Then I review the other wods… “40m Kettlebell pull with movement 55lbs”  huh???  Swim – well hopefully I won’t drown. Chipper WOD, cool! 

 I rolled into the McKinney Holiday Inn at midnight, packed my bag for the next day, reviewed the WODs, wakeup call set, Advocare Nighttime Recovery taken and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. 

Saturday Feb 6th

 GAME DAY! 5am wake up call – whew that was a short night! Off to find some groceries for the day.  NEED-FOOD!  Only a grocery store right next to a CF box on “game day” would be out of hard-boiled eggs… grrrr.  My friend and Coach Mary was a huge help in setting me up with my nutrition plan and timing.  I pulled out the list of foods and hit the outskirts of the store.  Today was about quick recovery and that meant grabbing some fruit and easy protein.  Now I just need to synch the nutrition with the supplements and rely on the training I’ve done.  

7am: Registration and weight in.  Now that I know the WODs you would think I would relax. NOPE.  I hadn’t been dialed in on my nutrition these last few weeks and have missed some training.  I wasn’t sure how I would perform. 

8am:  3-2-1- Go. 

WOD #1 SPLIT SNATCH 1-1-1.  RULES: identify starting weight to judges panel.  upon stepping onto the platform you had 30 sec to complete the lift.  Catch the snatch locked-out arms in a split stance. Maintain bar overhead until cleared by judges. May not drop bar from above knees or called a no lift.  

Split Snatch 1st attempt: 95#- good, 2nd attempt: 105 – failed w/a no lock out, 3rd attempt 105# SOLID! 

I was in 1st place after this first WOD. Ranking based on percentage of weight lifted per body weight.  I was 80.8% lifted per my bodyweight! YEAH. I’m happy! 


WOD #2: 4 rounds. 10 OHS (95#men,65# women), 40m kettlebell pull(70#men,55#women) w/movement, 10 manmakers (30#men,20#women).  


Ok, so if you have never done this KB movement I challenge you to do it! HOLY CRAP!  Strict rules to the placement and ooohhh yeah you have to redo the wrong ones.  I don’t train with kettlebells and I definitely haven’t ever done this move before!  I’m tired just thinking about how to describe this…. ok if you really want to know – come see me at CrossFit Texas and I’ll show you!  Manmakers are just rough! After the OHS and the brutal beating from the KB’s the squat cleans and thrusters in the manmakers took you to your knees! This WOD was set to have a 10 min cap per game rules.  I was in the 1st heat, after about 8 min into the WOD Ihear the host yell, “up it to a 18min cap”.  Really? I think to myself.  I had gamed my plan at “go” and now it’s all jacked up….. then at about 15min I hear “new cap at 25min”. WHAT – SERIOUSLY- YOU ARE KIDDING ME! Plus a few not so nice words.  They were realizing that this was taking longer than expected and no one was finishing.  

Judy and I after 2nd WOD

After I realized I hadn’t died and that I still had two more WODs to go I had to shove some kind of protein in to get me through the next two WODs along with my Advocare supplements.   The next 2 hours went fast and then we all headed over to the swim center for the 3rd workout of the day. 

In 3rd place after the 2nd WOD

2pm:  250m SWIM for time!!!   

Thank goodness only competitors and judges were allowed in the pool area.. NO PICTURES!!! HaHaHa.  Well, after the 2nd WOD I was actually not as scared about drowning.  It was 10 laps and it was all about FINISHING! Again, 1st heat so cap-check, goggles-check, nerves- HELL YEAH!  Let’s just say, I finished. Time= 6:25. Yes, you may swim faster and better and I’m REALLY OKAY WITH THAT! 🙂 

4pm FINAL WOD: Chipper 30’s

30 walking lunges w/35# KB overhead (knee to ground), 30 KTE, 30 single arm 35# KB snatch, 30 pullups, 30 box jumps (heels completely on box!), 30 20# DB squat cleans, 30 ring push ups, 30 deadlifts 115#, 30 GHD situps, 30 GHD back extensions

I was ready for this one! I like pushing through these chipper WODs, now lets see how I do after already hitting 3 WODs.  Roger my judge was already firing me up before “GO”.  I sailed through the lunges, headed up to the KTE – didn’t realize I was doing toes to bar until after the WOD when someone pointed it out… Grrrr probably wasted time here.  Snatches – all grit here.  It was all about getting to 30 and moving on.  I just wanted to get to the Deadlifts, I knew I could blow through those and hit the GHD hard.  UHG DB squat cleans slowed me down a bit due to fatigue and I lost a little focus.  I was trying to push through every rest and only take one breath.  FINALLY deadlifts.  115# no problem… I was determined to finish the set of 30 unbroken.  14 reps done …NOOOOOOOOOO…. the bar slide out of my left hand.  Quick reset and 16 reps DONE! Sprint to the GHD and game the hell out of this! It was 30 and 30.  Arms extended straight overhead ….. DIG DEEP – GET it DONE – YOU GOT MORE…. I just kept repeating in my head.  TIME= 25:48

Whewwwwwwww.  Competing in the CF Regional competition and the CF Games affiliate Cup last year were all events that I will never forget.  But this competition was different, I went into it with more experience and a different purpose.  This day was an all out how much can you handle and how fast can you do it.   Could I have trained harder and dialed in my nutrition better to have a better performance, probably. All hind sight 20/20 but at the end of the day I had to stand proud that I did indeed accomplish my goal — I showed up and gave it my all and walked away w/4th place.

 After taking a few days off after that hairy saturday competition I needed a reason to get off the couch.  I literally asked  for one. ” TELL me something really mean” I said, yeah that’s healthy… I know.  After getting a positive response of “it’s a BEAUTIFUL day outside.. go enjoy it”, how could I just sit on my sore a*s?  So after taking much longer than it should have, I threw on the running shoes and off I went.  It was good to get outside, I hadn’t run more than the 400-800m that was programmed in my WODs for a long time.  I headed out with no goal in mind, no distance in mind, no time in mind.  JUST RUN!  The only expectation I had for myself was to POSE run as much as I could.  WOW, I need some more time w/our Endurance Coaches!!! So the run ended up being somewhere between 2-3 miles, just needed to get up and MOVE!  

Running without music allows me to focus on my technique and I can spend that time sorting out all the junk in my head.  I realized that I needed to keep working and harder.  Just because I did “ok” on Saturday doesn’t mean I can let up now.  I can’t just sit on the couch because I’m sore and tired and do nothing and expect the results I want.  Results are products of actions! 

I encourage you to BE ACTIVE… GET MOVING …. because it’s good for you!

 *even if you are doing a strange rotator cuff row upside down… haha*


The obligation to demonstrate and take responsibility for performance in light of agreed expectations. There is a difference between responsibility and accountability: responsibility is the obligation to act; accountability is the obligation to answer for an action.

For the past few weeks Kerri and I have talked about what it takes to make ourselves accountable in our training for the CrossFit Games Central Southern Texas Sectional competition March 13th.

  CrossFit Games Widget Central Southern Texas Sectionals – March 13th 2010 – Camp Mabry. Click HERE to come watch and support the athletes right here in Austin on March 13th!

We are always talking about our nutrition – the good days and the bad. The gals at CFTX are zoned in on training, lifting heavier, running faster and getting closer and closer to nailing our individual goals! Kerri and I decided we would take before pictures in the start of this new year and continue to press forward hard and fast.  We both laughed at how long it was taking us to get brave enough to actually post them on our blogs.  When she returned from vacation, she told me she had posted them that night…UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH that meant I HAD to! Boooo.

Well I sat on them for a while after sinking a little in my training.  I am still trying to figure out just how to manage it all.  A full-time Single-Mom to Mekenzie my beautiful 3yr old, a full-time RN, and Coaching at CrossFit Texas Mon-Fri.  I love it all and seem to forget about myself sometimes and then I get super beat up by my frustration. 

My last post talked about this blog and all the little nuggets in it are not for anyone else but me.  Does that sound selfish??? I can’t post something and worry that other people are going to knock me for my times, my nutrition mishaps, or that I’m not the fastest or the strongest.  It is what it is and all I can do is WORK HARDER!

I reluctantly sit here in “chick” mode, if that exist… LOL and REALLY don’t want to post these pictures. I know that some will think good and some will think bad of what I have done and where I am.  I am happy of where I am! I CrossFit and damn it don’t complain.  (ok, so I may whine a little).  Here are my before shots taken earlier this month.  We all have struggles, we all hit walls and slumps, but it’s the climb out of those holes that is important.  So everyday I strive to add to my training.  It might be dialing in the nutrition better, getting more than my normal 4-5 hrs of sleep a day, and staying as consistent in my workouts as I can. ACCOUNTABILITY….. It’s takes WORK!!!

In case you are looking for my “accountability pictures” I had to remove them due to my ex husbands new wife inappropriately posting them on her blog as the link to my daughters name.  So I will show you all what is truly important to me. MEKENZIE PAIGE ISBELL.  Thank you Scott for giving me the best part of you!

*click picture for more of my babygirl.

Today’s WOD:

21 -Thrusters (85#) 21- supermans

50 Doubleunders

15 -Thrusters (85#), 15- supermans

50 Doubleunders

9 -Thrusters (85#), 9 -supermans

Running off minimal fuel from working the last 3 nights in the ICU and less than optimal sleep I was counting on my AdvoCare supplements to get me through this WOD.  I loaded with the usual – ThermoPlus, Catalyst, Arginine and of course O2 Gold.  All taken at their respectable times for optimal benefit in this killer of a WOD. 

Lauren and I decided to go heavy with this one. Focus was getting stronger!!!!!  So Brannon loaded us up with 85# each.  The Rx for the WOD was 65# and I know what I feel like after Fran at 65# so the SUCK FACTOR today was gonna be HUGE!  3-2-1-( this is gonna SUCK) GO!

Gaming my wods is what I like to do – Ashley and I decided we’d shoot for at least 15 before dropping in the 21’s – after 2 reps I realized I gripped the bar way to wide! I tried to push a few more out but was loosing power in the press.  DAMN IT dropping the bar was NOT what I wanted to do so early, but I knew I’d be stronger with the correct grip.  So down the bar goes for a quick reset.  All I could think about during the thrusters was “this better not feel heavy Shannon, because you need to lift a heck of a lot more weight at a faster pace !” I finish up the 21 a little slower than I liked, dropped for the supermans and thought I was gonna puke already! Grrrrr. Luckily my double unders are quick so I was just pushing thru as fast as I could. 

2nd set of thrusters…honestly I don’t even remember those. All I could hear was Howard quietly fixing my form one rep at a time. Trying to train my rest periods was crazy hard. All I wanted to do was stand there a little longer and catch my breath.  I made myself grab that bar before I had completely settled so that it becomes the comfort zone!  My eyes scanned the floor to see where the other girls where in the rotation… having such awesome athletes right in front of you is a great motivator to NOT STOP!

set of 9: I knew I wanted to knock these out without dropping the bar. My freaking legs where TOAST but it was only 9 more so GET IT DONE SHANNON!  5 reps – bar down- again I hear Howard quietly say “pick it up” and last 4 done straight for the last set of supermans and TIME: 11:30. Grrrrrr. NOT happy with that! But I worked the heavy so I’ll take it.  Now…. TRIGGER POINT is calling my name.

Who said using a ladder was easier?

 Last day of my 3 days on. This week of WODs has been good to me.  I was looking forward to this one – three different elements and it looked quick! Chest 2 Bar pull-ups HELL YEAH! I’m actually more comfortable with these. lately… not as fast as I would like to be, and this is where my clients hear me say….TRAIN YOUR WEAKNESS, so shall I.

*pic of Dustin’s sweat angel after killing another WOD.


Build to your 1RM Power Clean in no more than 7 min.

Rest 60 sec.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Ladder  Chest to Bar pull-ups

Rest 60 sec.

DB Burpees (25#)

It was out of my norm to get to a 1RM so fast.  You gotta kinda know where you stand before you get started.  I knew my Clean 1Rm was about 135#, so I knew I wanted to start heavy and move quickly.  Over the last year I have found out by listening to my body and paying attention to my performance, I do better when I’m really warmed up.  So, of course today Brannon, Rob  and I decided to do this wod after we had coached the evening classes, so our warmup was literally moving around the box and lifting all the equipment in cleanup mode. We both raced thru weight additions and just over 7min had to call it and count it.  I mustered up a 115# Power Clean before time ran out.

Rest 60 sec….. which was walk to the bar/chalk up/ and GO!

Chest 2 Bar pullup ladder w/no rest between rounds. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.  The first few were good. Trying to train my weaknesses, I have gone back to a prone grip on both hands, and then on a few rounds tried to get C2B with my butterfly.  Back to good ol’ kipping to finish in 7:07.

REST 60 sec…… walk to the mats, grab a set of 25# dumb bells.

AMRAP in 2 min DB Burpees…. Howard on the clock.

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and we yell at Howard “How long has it been?”  Should have known it was not gonna be good when he answered…”Just keep going.”  Then I see Rob out of the corner of my eye and he hasn’t stopped…. UHHH.  So as I hear the count down I race thru a few more, I had a # already set in my head when I started. TIME… AMRAP=20.

These 3 elements together proved to be a great mix and an awesome WOD with the guys.

Life’s Hurdles

The last few weeks of training has been more mentally challenging than ever before.  The worst part is that when your mental game is all jacked up it inadvertently jacks up your physical game.  December 1st will be my 1 year mark of the start of my CrossFit journey, my very first CF WOD and the two trainers that didn’t see anything but “YES YOU CAN” in me.  I look back and can’t believe all that I have experienced in the last year.  I have had to make myself dig and look back after a small drop in desire. ?WHAT?  Yes, I lost my mojo. My passion for CrossFit still exist, but Life just isn’t equal in what you want to do and what you need to do. 

I have been so focused on pushing forward with training others and trying to be the best I could be on the other side of the barbell that I forgot to train myself. So I head into our “competition” week of “King of the Hill” with a sour taste…. I feel like I push myself, but I know I walk away with a little extra left.  THAT is NOT ME!!!  So I hear from a friend “you have a problem- bring a solution”.  At night I sit and watch my little girl sleep and say “Shannon- you need a solution- teach your daughter how to pull yourself up outta the hole and CONQUER LIFE!”  So I started with making myself a priority again.  Hardest thing is to believe you are not being selfish by doing this. 

The list is started… a problem is stated and a solution is a MUST before I move on to the next problem.  I may not be able to fix it overnight, but a plan is a solution.  If you aren’t ready to think about a solution and a plan then you aren’t ready to accept the work needed. 

BIG GOAL: Training for the 2010 CrossFit Games… OH MY GOSH…..

Monday- nutrition better, Paleo is the goal – STRICT is ideal, but today has already fallen off due to not eating ….. uhg. Coaching/being Mommy/Life outside of the gym….  Training: 8pm and I missed doing the WOD today – gotta manage the day better. But got in my Heavy lift in 2-2-2-2-2 Push Jerk.  Feeling good about this, PR’d a Clean & jerk of my body weight.. HECK yeah. That felt good. (side note- add clean technique to the problem list)

Tuesday- about the same on nutrition. Eating Paleo, but not enough.  Excited that my “diet coke a day” is gone and it doesn’t even taste good anymore. YEAH. Again Coached and in the gym, but missed the WOD. Got in my heavy 2-2-2 Back Squat. Felt strong today – gained 20# back on my 1RM, so ok— I’m starting to get my mojo back a little.

Wednesday – Nutrition dialed in, met w/one of my Trainers and made a new plan on my nutrition w/my specific training goals.  Also had to realize that I need to stop worrying about others and make it about me….again feels selfish/hard pill to swallow.  Awesome day Coaching a new boot camp- got my WOD in YEAHHHHHHHH! missed the heavy work today- uhg.  **Problem: nutrition **Status: ate quality food, just not enough. **Problem: WOD training **Status: it’s a give & take.  I’m not a single gal w/no kids, I have a full time job as a Mom & a Nurse ….IT’S OK THAT I CAN”T DO IT ALL!

Thursday- Here’s the skinny. My am routine was as usual. Gathered w/the ladies of CrossFit Texas for lunch, had a steak and a double portion of broccoli. Water w/lime. Protein – gooood Carbs— goooood. …..Then my daughter got sick and the evening meals went down hill.  No training at all today. Home with a sick baby.

Friday- Yummy Paleo breakfast… then had to run to the ER w/my sick little girl.  Just got home and tucked her into bed.  Today I was right were I needed to be!!!! Sometimes life is not about the black and white plan you set up for yourself. 

So, as I sit and think about “how big is my hurdle”, I realize that it’s different day-to-day.  I also have to realize that I’m pretty darn lucky.  I’m healthy, my daughter is healthy and I AM …on the road to happiness.

I hope that we can all find that place after we get smacked in the face by life’s hurdles and realize that it didn’t hurt as bad as we thought.