Category Archives: Leave Your Ego at the Door

The Struggle

Monday afternoon:

Tonight is a WOD I’ve been dreading for a while and, when I logged onto Instagram this morning to see Coach had posted the movements, I nearly threw my phone to the other side of the room.

Brenton:
Five rounds for time of:
Bear crawl 100 feet
Standing broad-jump, 100 feet

Do three Burpees after every five broad-jumps. If you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.

I did this WOD over a year ago and it broke me. I’ve never felt so defeated after a WOD than I did while performing Brenton. I broke out in hives after the WOD due to hay fever and the grass. I was a full two rounds behind everyone else. I modified it to seven broad-jumps with the burpees because of how short my stride is. I cried when I was 100 feet away from everyone else who had finished long ago.

I don’t like to admit that I’m total and utter crap at physical fitness. I like to think I’m good at some things and I know I’m good at some things. I joke about how crappy I’ll be at this WOD and how I’m always the last person to finish a WOD; this doesn’t usually bother me because I’m usually always able to finish the WOD. This was a totally different kind of workout, though.

It just…broke me. 

I felt like a failure. A total and utter failure. I was the fat kid that never got picked in class to join anyone’s team. I couldn’t manage the bear crawl, my form on the burpees was crap at best. My broad jumps were maybe three feet.  Coach came over while I stood at the other end of the field sobbing saying nonsensicals like “I don’t know why I can’t do it!” and he kept trying to tell me ‘you do this for Brenton’ and ‘You’re doing great!’ Other people came to do the burpees with me (which made me feel like even more of an invalid, though they meant well) so when I finally finished, I didn’t speak to anyone. I just found my water bottle and walked away; not wanting people to see me at my lowest point. People came up behind me in the group of us walking back to the gym and gave me praise, but tears just silently fell the entire walk back to the gym and especially in my car. Just writing about it now makes me misty.

I signed up for class tonight but I really don’t want to fail or find out that I’m not better than I was two years ago. I don’t want to go to this WOD only to end up in tears again because I can’t finish more than three rounds before it gets dark.

I’m going to do my best and know that I am a better CrossFitter than I was two years ago. My back is twitchy, but I know that I can manage this WOD just like I do all the other WODs. I will be the last person finished, but I sincerely hope to finish more than I did two years ago.

 

Monday Night:

I walked into the gym and my nerves were on overdrive. I warmed up quickly, comiserated with people and expressed my nervousness to the people around me. One girl was there the last time I did it and remembered my reaction to the WOD. She was confident I could finish though, so that helped.

We jumped into the strength portion and I did fine with the Wendler Cycle: I did back squats at a little less than I should have, and my press was minimal at best; I wasn’t worries. I just wanted to get this WOD over.

We walked to the field down the street and coach counted us down. I couldn’t find a good cadence for the bear crawls so my hips hurt more than anything else. The broad jumps were fine, but I did 7 to make up the difference of my little legs. The burpees were the easiest part, though my hands were already breaking out and my lungs were burning from the grass. I made it through the first round is pretty decent time and the second round wasn’t too bad, but the third was where I fell apart a bit; my bear crawl was crappy, I had to stop a lot. I was still able to make it through the jumps in three sets, only having to do 6 burpees total.

I wasn’t the last one on the field when I finished the third round, though people were finishing already. I started on my fourth bear crawl with a massive burning in my lungs. I wasn’t fatigued, I just couldn’t breathe well. I started on the jumps, heard Sarah tell me ‘little jumps are still jumps!’ and, halfway through the fourth round, when almost everyone else was done, I talked to coach ‘Is there a time cap?’ he shook his head. “I mean I’d say end it at 4 if you want to stop, but I won’t make you stop.” “Good,” I said. “I’m going to finish.” and I finished off the fourth round.

I wasn’t alone for the fifth round, which eased my mind a bit. I finally got the cadence for the bear crawl and finished in three good tries. I then powered through the jumps and barely made it to the end through the third set of jumps.

18:44. I had finished. I collapsed to the ground and started crying just out of happiness. I walked back to the gym and gave my time. “You did a great job out there today.” said coach.

I believed him.

I went back to my car and texted Boyfriend. I then cried a couple tears of joy and posted on Instagram.

I beat the WOD. I won.

I finished. 

Field Training Officer Timothy Quinn Brenton, 39, of the Seattle Police Department, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting while on duty on October 31, 2009. He is survived by his wife Lisa, his son Quinn, and daughter Kayliegh.

Thank you, Brenton. Thanks to you, I understand what it is to be strong; to persevere; to overcome. Thank you.

Facebook Bugs Me

I don’t usually care about people posting ‘CrossFit Sucks’ kinds of comments and articles to their feeds– everyone is allowed their opinions.

But then a friend posted this article: “Why I Don’t Do CrossFit” and I kind of went off the rails; so here is my response to this article. It’s sad that there are those of us who think it’s needed to respond, but I really don’t appreciate a naysayer who had one bad experience ruin it for the rest of us.

Go ahead and give this guy a read. He attempts some good points. However, his thoughts don’t really carry much weight for those of us who have had a lot of success at CrossFit.

This guy obviously had a bad experience at a box and that affiliate obviously thought they were doing OK even though they were injuring their athletes. Most boxes have coaches that care about their athletes and members. If you cannot do the movement with great form, you are told to lower the weights and/or modify the movement. Too many people were getting injured by kipping their pull ups at my gym, so it was enforced that you must do strict first before learning the kip. Not once have I ever been yelled at by a coach. This guy was in the Navy– he should be used to be yelled at…but that’s a stereotypical thing to say… isn’t it?

The response of “Oly lifts shouldn’t be used in the way CrossFit uses it” isn’t really all that accurate anyway– with good form, one can rep out 30 Clean and Jerks and not feel like they’re dying the following day. Normal muscle fatigue is -wait for it- normal in the lats, the traps, the shoulders, the abs and the mid-back because those are the muscle groups you’re focusing on when doing those two movements.

I’d also like to add that Olympic Weightlifter and medalist Kendrick Farris can do Isabel (30 Snatches) with a very respectable time and he didn’t wait a ton of time before his next reps. And his form was perfect on every single one.

Repeatedly distressing your muscles is exactly what it means to be exercising, so CrossFit is perfect for that.

“Very few of them [coaches] have any real knowledge of proper form” clearly this isn’t true, because in that weekend of L1 testing, they go through WODs, they are tested individually, they learn the most minute details of a movement. I’ve been following a girl on Instagram who spent MONTHS studying for her L1.

CrossFit does not set you up for injury to begin with. People who do not do the movements properly are set up to injure themselves. People who are idiots and think they can rock out that deadlift with a rounded back and poor form are setting themselves up for injury.

He sums CrossFitters up to being part of a herd mentality with no more motivation than belonging to a gym to feel like they’re part of an elitist group who think it’s OK to be injured while working out.

So now here’s my rebuttal: In 2 years of CrossFit and eating Paleo, I dropped 50 pounds, gained about 15 pounds of muscle, lost at least 20% body fat, have lost two pant sizes, three dress sizes, and at one point was down 2-3 shirt sizes (broad shoulders brought me back up a size!). I have only been injured due to 2 early discs, both pre-existing from 8 years prior from improperly lifting a massive box of books, which herniated after a deadlift (a movement I rarely do because of the risk), and tripping over my own two feet jogging to the rower and spraining my ankle. My knees click which is nothing to be worried about and squatting makes them feel better.

I sleep like a fricking baby at night and I have never felt so good about GOING to the gym than I do when I go to Badger CrossFit. I have tried doing the whole ‘globo gym’ thing and it was awful. I didn’t last a month.

Finally, he blockquotes a simple sentence from “Science of Running” stating, “We get stale, we stop improving our our body breaks down.”

I’ve been consistently going to BCF for two years, three-to-four times a week. When I first started, my Power clean was 60 pounds. My snatch was 35 pounds. My deadlift was 125. I had no double unders for over a year and my mile row was almost 8 minutes.

As of April, I can hang-power-clean 125 pounds. I can snatch 80 pounds. I almost have a bodyweight deadlift. I can string 32 double unders together and I have a 4:30 mile row.

The coaches are phenomenal. All are so supportive and know so much about CrossFit and kinesiology and the best way to get the most out of every workout.

I’ve been to gyms where it’s a meathead mentality and I obviously didn’t go again. I got lucky when I showed up at BCF for my first intro class. Boyfriend has been to another gym, more local to me, where they cared more about working you to puking than getting a value out of the WOD. I can proudly say that the only time I puked after a WOD was when I had stomach flu.

He closes with a question: “Do you want a broken body?…[Or] do you want to train smart?”

Yes. That’s why I CrossFit. My body was broken two years ago. Now it’s not. Now my thighs are strong, my form is great, my lungs and heart are healthier than ever and I am eating clean, training dirty- just as it should be.

 

DNF is better than DNS

I’m really frustrated with the jump rope.

Not just in a way of ‘ugh I’m so frustrated I don’t have Double Unders’ but more like “F@#$ WHY DO I SUCK SO F&#@(*% HARD AT DOUBLE UNDERS! I USED TO BE SO GOOD AT THIS!”

Basically I totally DNFed at the WOD on Wednesday because I got so pissed off with my lack of prowess with double unders that I literally threw the damn rope on the ground halfway through the round.

Here’s how it went:

3 rounds
50 Double Unders
21 lateral burpees (Over the bar)
7 Power Snatches

I seriously thought the Burpees would be the worst of it all.

First round: 25 double unders strung together. It was a PR. I was stoked. I got another round of 10 and another of 5 and made it through the first round of DUs no problem. The burpees took forever so other people have gotten to the second set of burpees by the time I was onto the snatches, which I did at a super low weight.

Round two: 2s and 3s on the double unders. Halfway through I made it up to 5, had to seriously do tuck jumps in order to get the rope around my body twice. I huffed a few times and finally finished while people were onto their third round. During the burpess people were finishing.

Round three: I made it through a set of 5, a set of 3 and could barely make it through ones and twos. By the time I made it to 20ish reps, I said “F$@* IT,” threw the rope on the ground and made it through the burpees faster than I’ve ever done burpees before in my life. I made it through 15, realized I had lost count but coach said “6 more!” and I made it through, repped the snatches like they were nothing (because they were nothing) and I was so pissed off with myself when I hit the floor.

It’s been two days and I’m still really upset about that. It’s been over a year since I started CrossFit and I’ve only ever DNFed when my back had two herniated disks blown so it hurt too much to move. DNFing sucks. It hurts. It bruises the ego and, even though people tell you you’ve done a great job, when deep in your soul, you know you could have done better.

Basically, DNF sucks hard.

But then I posted it on Facebook and Coach responded “Better to DNF than DNS; Did Not Start. Keep on keepin’ on.

And, even though I still felt crappy about that DNF, he has a point. I got into the box. I PRed my 3-position clean. I kept going even though I stopped with the DUs. I got a good sweat on. I showed up and I technically finished. It’s better than nothing.

A Herd of Turtles

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I left for the Games. It feels like it was only a couple weeks ago that we were on the plane coming home with a bunch of the Rogue equipment guys and 2010 champ, GRAHAM HOLMBERG. Boyfriend saw him, I didn’t. Though we did our best to stalk him.

I wish I could say that I’ve been wodding a lot, but ever since I got back from California and even before then, I’ve had way too many things go wrong that have prevented me from entering the box.

July 19: I hurt my back moving apartments. It took three weeks for my back to stop being so angry. RockSauce, RockTape, regular ice and chiropractor visits and rest made me go stir crazy but my back got better, so I was OK with it.

August 19: I got a cyst on my left ovary while rowing a 5K. This definitely was a monkey wrench thrown into the mix. I felt pain during the Monday WOD that week but thought it was general female issues until Friday night when my toes were curling in pain and we were headed to the ER. A prescription for Percocet later and we were on our way. I was tender for a good week. The cyst is also messing with my weight. I’m way heavier than I have been in months and I have to assume it’s because of the cyst. I just want it to go away and stop messing with my body.

Now that I’m feeling better, it’s time to get back to my regularly schedule WOD life. Monday was a doozy for one who hasn’t wodded regularly in weeks. It was also about 95 degrees outside, 110 in the box (I swear that thermostat is broken. It always says its 90 degrees in the box. NOT TRUE).

Anyway: Monday.

4 rounds:
15 wall balls

10 Burpees
15 tuck jumps

3 rounds:
150 m run
10 hang power snatch

2 rounds:
10 Power Cleans
10 hand-release push ups

1 round:
60 wall jumps (vertical jump)
60 mountain climbers (2 for 1)

Dying. Just dying.

The burpees were so hard and the snatches killed my already aching shoulders and forearms. I pussed out on the wall balls (6 pounds) and only did 45 pounds for the snatches and cleans (my clean is 95 pounds. I muscled those suckers up). The mountain climbers are so awkward for me. I jiggled a lot. I knew there would be a lot of hardship during this WOD so I did everything I could to make it a little more bearable. I was still dripping in sweat when I finished.

I ran during that WOD. I figured 150m was the best time to do it because it would be short and couldn’t possibly aggravate my achilles enough. I took it extremely slow, to the point where I could actually breathe and carry on a joking conversation with the coach while I ran back in. He was proud, to say the least.

The rest of the classes had a 25 minute time cap. I was in the 6:30 class so we didn’t have a cap and I couldn’t (read: Wouldn’t) not finish and/or stop at 25 minutes. Robb told me to do so but I told him ‘that’s not how I operate’ and he continued to cheer me on through the whole thing. 25 minutes came and went and I was working on the snatches. I finished in 36:46 and collapsed on the mat for an unknown amount of time. I couldn’t properly grip things.

I know you’re supposed to leave your ego at the door but I don’t feel like I’ve done enough unless I actually finish the workout. I can’t DNF. It’s simply not in my nature to not finish.

I stood up when Robb was kicking us out at the end of the night and he gave me a congratulatory hug because he knew I hadn’t wodded in two weeks and I haven’t run in 7 months.

My favorite part of the night was exclaiming to boyfriend that I had run. He had proud.

I then drove to pick n save and picked up a rack of already-cooked ribs, some potato salad and some fresh fruit. I ate dinner at 9 and it was amazing, if not paleo.

I woke up the next morning feeling pretty good but DOMS hit pretty quickly by the afternoon. It hurt to sit, to fully extend my arms and to bend at the waist. It even hurt to walk and laugh.

Sweet potatoes were my savior this week. I had some fries last night as a snack because I’d had dinner at 5 and it was this teeny tiny little salad with nothing on it so I was famished. I’m feeling better, though I didn’t think I’d be able to make it through Wednesday. Better start slowly, in my opinion. I’ll be at Friday night, though!

Next post is going to be recipe-rich, I think. I make chili every week and I’m going to be making some awesome cookies on Labor day. I hope you all have a great and long weekend. I’ll be knitting, baking and enjoying every second of my day off! There will likely be a WOD in there, too.

Life as RX: It’s About Time!

Thank you, everyone, for enduring with me while I go a month without writing. Life has been a little nutty… and awful… and I hate my current situation but I’m still working on it. If things work better in my favor soon, I’ll have a job in a week or two. Cross your fingers!

Anyway!

I started Paleo and CrossFit a little less than a year ago. I’m so glad all of you are here and reading.

I almost thought I was going to skip the WOD on Wednesday but I decided to do it, since I wouldn’t get another WOD in until next Monday. Two this week wasn’t really enough.

I made sure I drank enough water and showed up early to the box with the intent of working on my Double Unders. I had been really happy with them lately after finally breaking the 2-string and got to 4. I was determined to get to 10, which I did 10 minutes and multiple red welts forming on my arms and shins later.

I didn’t look at the whiteboard, as I usually don’t nowadays, until much later; like when everyone at the 4:30 class was all but done. I knew that they were doing Double Unders and Burpees, I just hadn’t bothered to look at the combinations.

I briefly considered doing this WOD RXed, but figured I’d lose my cool and never be able to get the DUs done. I said this to Brie and she said “Which way would give you a better workout?”

The answer was simple: RX, though it’ll take twice as long.

“Then don’t stop when you’re doing the burpees so you can take your time with the DUs.” which made a lot of sense. I usually take FOREVER with my burpees so I knew I’d have to finish the burpees pretty quickly so I can take my time missing some of the Double Unders and still finish with a good time.

A little bit about Wednesday: The temp peaked at 86 and it felt like it in the box. You were sweating before the class even began. My legs were sticking together and I could feel sweat dripping down my back during the Deadlift strength portion.

So, the WOD:
40 Burpees
50 Double Unders
30 Burpees
50 Double Unders
20 Burpees
50 Double Unders
10 Burpees
50 Double Unders

In order to RX it, you had to do chest-to-deck, stand up with a clap for the burpees and, obviously, you had to do the Double Unders, rather than the 150 singles each round.

I was nervous. My hands were sweating. My brain was in overdrive. 3, 2, 1… GO!

I didn’t look at the clock more than once in the entire WOD. I don’t know how long the burpees all took but I know I sucked on the Double Unders. After swearing a few times, noticing that people were onto their 50 double unders AFTER the 30 burpees and I still had 12 to finish on my first set of DUs, started getting to me. I blocked it out, strung a few sets of 3s and 5s together and managed to get to the burpees again.

I don’t think I’ve quite explained to you all how much I hate burpees. My back hurts every time I do burpees. My knees get gross from the mats, my wrists hurt from being forced to carry my upper half and, if dehydrated for the WOD, I get dizzy when getting up. I left wet handprints on the mat as my sweaty palms hit the rubber again and again.

I was onto the 20 burpees while others were done and many were just finishing up. When I had finished the 20 and moved to my rope, I was sure I was the last person on the floor. Brie, Dan and others hung around, cheering me on and counting for me.

What’s weird about this WOD is that I got exponentially better at Double Unders as the WOD went on… In the first two rounds I was stringing two or five together, but by the 3rd and 4th, I was stringing 10 together each time I started. Every now and then I’d trip up and pace a circle before taking a deep breath and starting again, only to stop after 10, sucking air like my lungs didn’t exist.

10 more burpees and 50 double unders stood in my way. I don’t remember doing the burpees. I blocked them out. It was too hard to get off the floor that I decided my brain didn’t need to remember that moment.

50 Double Unders, broken into sets of 10s and nines and my last two after tripping on the rope a few times, and I was done. I collapsed to my knees, gave the high fives offered to me and asked for my water.

IMG_0453

Robb came over after a few minutes and gave me a high five while I was still on the floor. “24:32. RX” I yelled at him, “Make sure you write RX on that board!”

“I’ll put it up in giant block writing.” he joked.

IMG_0454

And then he really did.

I hung around the box for a good half hour after I was done and got my bearings. I almost puked. I held it down. I made it home in one piece and proudly announced on Facebook that I had RXed my first WOD in 10 months. I was so proud of myself.

I later realized that I had just done 200 double unders when my previous PR was 10.

Thursday morning I was getting ready for an interview when I noticed a band of bruises on my right forearm. And a welt between my first two knuckles on my left hand. And some red marks on my shins. I love this sport. Doesn’t even matter if I’m bruised and beaten up; I absolutely adore CrossFit. I felt so strong. And still do. Every day.

Whitten

So it’s been a while since I last wrote because I’ve not been in the right state of mind to write. I’ve been in a bit of a funk and I know I should be writing if I’m in a funk because I’ve been WODding but my funk has been affecting my workouts but… you know…

Tonight kicked my butt. After signing up for 4 WODs this week, I saw this post from Coach:

Be sure you are hydrated, well fed (before you come), and rested for tomorrow’s workout… That is all.

I almost thought about canceling my reservation but Boyfriend assured me it would be fun (he says that all the time, and then he does a WOD and says it sucks) and I would do great.

I spent the entire day today nervous, terrified even, especially when someone posted that the WOD was Whitten, a Hero WOD meant to break someone effectively.

“Whitten”

5 rounds for time
22 kettle bell swings
22 box jumps
400m run (500m row)
22 burpees
22 wall balls

I drank copious amounts of water, ate a good lunch, snacked on an apple around 4 and tried to not think about how it’s going to be insane and how the hell am I going to be able to do this WOD in the prescribed time?

I warmed up quickly after getting changed. I saw people with pained expressions, panting, shaking their heads and I knew what my fate was about to be. I was not looking forward to this.

We started right away. I grabbed a 25 pound Kettle Bell and a 10 pound medicine ball and the rower since my ankles are still messed up. Squats felt good so I figured I could get through the wall balls pretty well. My back was a little tweaky but I was going to ignore it as much as possible.

3, 2, 1…GO and the bell felt light for the first 21. I kept pace but slowed down during the box jumps as I do step-ups (Still scared of the stupid box…) Then the row took its toll since it’s 100 meters longer than the other people’s run and rowing takes a lot more work than running in my opinion. Burpees were burpees and the wall balls were strung in 6s and 7s so I was happy.

The wall balls became my rest period. I pussed out and switched to the 20 pound kettlebell and it was super easy but I was able to get through them quickly enough to move onto the step-ups. The row was hell every single time and the burpees tweaked my back a little further with every pike.

Technically, the class had a time-cap of 47 minutes but I told Coach Robb I was going to keep going even if he said ‘time!’ I was in the middle of the last set of my step ups when time was called and I’ll be damned if I get stuck on the time cap and have to settle for a DNF like I’ve done before.

My medicine ball was picked up and I barked at someone (unintentionally) to grab me a new one and then thanked her dearly when she brought it over. I hid behind a set of boxes and finished my burpees while everyone cooled down and did my wall balls with crazy timing.

55:10 and I hit the floor almost as fast as the ball falling to the floor. I laid on the floor for a good few minutes before finally getting up and hobbling to the whiteboard to write down my time (with an exclamation mark, thank you very much!) all ready to come back tomorrow.

My back cramped up pretty hardcore on the way home but I am now full of meatloaf (tomorrow’s post) at one with my couch and will be for a good amount of time.

So in conclusion, thank you for your service and sacrifice, Whitten. Your family was blessed to be a part of your life and I’m glad we could continue your legacy by commemorating you today.

 

Tabata is a Cruel, Cruel Mistress

The Whole30 paleo challenge is going well enough. I’m down another 3 pounds since last Tuesday so I’m happily only 2o pounds away from my next, technically final, goal weight. I’m probably going to continue to lose more weight as it needs to come off, but I’m going to be so happy to be at 170. Then at least my drivers license will not be lying for the first time in my life.

I write this as I crunch down on some carrots that taste funky. (checking for expiration) Oops… they expired in the beginning of December. (stomach just grumbled) And into the garbage they go!

I’m meeting with the gals I used to work with at Kohl’s tonight for dinner at a sushi restaurant. I made sure the restaurant will have non-sushi things so I can actually enjoy my meal tonight and not have to cheat. I love the way I look today: This dress makes me look so slender and I feel great when I wear it. I’m also in so much muscle pain today from last night’s WOD that I needed to look awesome otherwise today would have just been a total disaster. I’m sure you ladies know what I’m talking about.

So onto last night:

I was really dreading this WOD when I walked into the box last night. I hate Tabata. With a passion. The starting and stopping is the worst part of this 20 minutes of hell.

For those of you who don’t know what Tabata is:
20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds. 4 minutes per action.

Before the WOD was the strength section where we found our 5-rep max. I didn’t find it, but I got close with a 75 pound 5RM. I knew my 3RM from a while ago was 80 and my 1RM is 95 I think from about two months ago. My thighs and sternum are slightly bruised but other than that I’m no worse for the wear. I loved hearing Tyler say my clean was good, too, as it’s on of my favorite movements and I know I do them well. It felt so great having that recognition.

Did I fail to mention I also got a Squat Snatch a week ago?! Elated, I tell  ya! It was only with 35 pounds on the bar, but that was something I’ve been struggling with for a while. My squat-clean isn’t much better, but my front squat is lower than my power clean, so I have to work on that transition a lot more.

Anyway. The WOD:

TABATA THIS
Row for calorie
Air squats
Pull ups
Push ups
Sit ups

Your total rep count is the lowest amount of reps you did throughout the entire action. If your lowest calorie count was 6, that’s the rep count for that action.

I started off OK, with a 4 calorie row at the lowest, but killed myself on the rower to keep at 4 calories. My legs were shot before even starting the squats and got a pitiful 7. I knew pull ups would be tough so I got 3 and was OK with it. Push ups were evil as my shoulders hurt like hell from the pull ups so I got 7. Sit ups were just rude: 8. Total of 29.

I texted “wahh” to Boyfriend and he said ‘at least you’re CrossFitting tonight’ (he’s illin, so I hope he doesn’t try to WOD until it’s gone).

My legs were jello as soon as we were done. Actually they were jello after the rowing, but my muscles were twitching as I got up and made my way around, putting stuff away. My arms still twitched as I went to knit night and they finally calmed down when I sat down at the table and knit and finished the cuff to my sock (shh. We’re not talking about them. If I don’t talk about them, they might get done!) until I was hungry and went home to pork tenderloin and sweet potato mash. I went to bed early and slept deeply until my evil alarm went off this morning.

I got out of bed and HOBBLED to the bathroom. Quads hurt, lats hurt, butt hurt, back hurt, abs hurt, sternum where the barbell hit hurt, shoulders and triceps hurt. I felt like an 80 year old man with all the ailments I’m facing. I’ve been trying not to move all that much even though I know I should and when I do get up, I regret sitting back down. I’ve had over 60 oz of water and coffee today and the muscles are probably soaking up every ounce.

In any case, tonight is a skip-day for wodding (like I could wod tonight anyway!) so I’m looking forward to that big juicy steak and veggies. Hope you’re all starting your years off on a great note! Leave me a comment with your crossfit/paleo goals for the new year–  I’d love to hear how everyone else is faring!

Fight Gone Bad

Yeah, it certainly did.

I think it’s pretty clear that I don’t like DNFing but I had no reason to do so until two minutes before FGB was finished that I totally experienced the brain-splitting agony of a DNF.

I saw in the morning that Coach had done and PRed on Fight Gone Bad, so I really hoped that we were doing it. I was stoked, to say the least. I sent Boyfriend a text with a big smiley face and anticipated the end of the day.

During warmups, I grabbed my jump rope and started doing single unders during one of my favorite Dubstep songs: “Zombies ate my neighbors” by Schoolboy. I jumped to the beat and every now and then tried doing a double under. On the fourth or so try, the rope didn’t smack my shins and I looked down to see the rope was still moving. I had just gotten a double under. I immediately burst into a crazy-person laugh before announcing it finally happened! Then I kept going. A few single unders and I’d have the double under. I tried stringing them together but I figured it was about actually doing them, not getting many together.

We warmed up with a skill of Turkish Getups, something I don’t think I’m very good at, but I managed to get 5 done without dropping the little 10 pound bell on my head so I viewed it as a win.

The strength was a bit of a let down to me. It was 7 sets of 2 hang power cleans into a push jerk. I knew my normal power clean was something upwards of 100 pounds, so I figured it’d be OK. I got up to 85 pounds in the fifth set and got one but couldn’t get the bar up before I bailed. This occurred for another two rounds and I could only get one clean out of the high hang position. It pissed me off after the third time. I yelled out and kept trying to shake out my shoulders but the stupid bar just wouldn’t go up. I settled there but it was still on my mind.

We had a few minutes to set up for the WOD and we were told to use a bar for the Sumo-Deadlift Hi-Pulls and a different bar on the other side of the gym for the Push Press. I set them both up at 35 since I don’t know what my SDHP is, and I figured I’d be gassed from everything else and I went along my business.

After about 15 SDHP I couldn’t really feel my shoulders. I did box jumps on five 45 pound plates, Did wall balls with a 10 pound ball and got about 10 calories rowed in each round.

It was the third round that it all went down: The SDHP went fine, I got 15 that round and moved onto the box jumps where I got another 13, went back to the push press and got up to 45 total reps. At the rotation I headed to the rower. I’m sure it was all very graceful and everything as it happened. I’m making my way to the rower and all of a sudden my foot decided to stop supporting me and it rolled under me and I went down in a mass of flailing arms and ridiculous expressions. I yelled out an “OW!” and banged my fists on the mat (to show that mat-bastard just how angry I was with it) and coach made his way over to me, helped me onto a plyo box and told me to stay there for a few minutes. I cradled my idiot ankle for a good five minutes while the rest of the people there made it through the WOD Without injury and, after removing my shoe, I hobbled over to the front of the box to my stuff.

I told Coach my reps and was sad to say my total was 178, which would have definitely been over 200 had I not killed myself. I massaged the ankle a bit and traced the alphabet before putting my shoe on and hobbled out of the building. I stopped at Walgreens, bought an ACE bandage and some one-time use ice packs and made my way to knit night where I put my foot up on a stool and iced it for an hour or so. I hobbled home around 9:30 and had to face the THREE FLIGHTS OF STAIRS in my apartment to get from my car to my bed. Not cool.

I got into the apartment, got up to bed and started a load of laundry before removing the ace bandage to replace it with the good cloth one in my medicine cabinet. I slept so hard and good thanks to the three advil I popped. I woke up at 6:30, took off the ace bandage and tried to gingerly stand with the foot.

Probably a bad idea. I dragged the foot behind me into the bathroom and narrowly made it into the shower without falling over. Hot water made it feel better and I was feeling a little more dextrous after that. I applied two strips of KT Tape (because it’s all I had) and wrapped the ace bandage around me again. I found a crappy old pair of ballet flats and slid into them even though they don’t match my outfit; they fit my giant foot, so I went with it.

Three flights of stairs taken one step at a time and I was in my car on my way to work. The ice pack was on my desk and my foot was on it. I didn’t care how unprofessional it was; if someone said anything to me, I’d show them the giant club I have for a foot and they’d be able to walk away.

So I guess the fight really did go bad… I called the chiropractor and hope to have an appointment in the next couple days and I’m thinking a modwod is in order for later this week to avoid the ankle, but still give me a good workout.

The three advil I took earlier today have kicked in. Excuse me while I go get the ice pack.

Eva

I’m sure I’ll have to meet her again. And I don’t know that I’ll want to.

She was cruel. She was sadistic. She had a TIME CAP. She was horrible. She took a lot of determination to get through. She required me to scale. And really get in my own head to keep pushing myself.

So now that you’re so looking forward to doing this WOD on your own: here she is:

“EVA”
5 rounds for time:
800m run
30 KB swings (75/55)
30 pull ups

Did you just shit yourself? Yeah I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw it on the whiteboard. We were told on Facebook to be prepared for multi-modal workout. I figured we’d be doing Murph or something. I wasn’t ready for this. I walked by to sign in and Tyler asked me how I felt about it and I told him pretty nervous. He then told me to scale the running to a 400m run as I’d be able to actually finish then. I grabbed the last bell under 35 lbs, which was an 18ish pounder. It would be easy but I knew the rest would be tough.

I wrapped my cowl around me, stuck my ipod in my ears and headed on the run, much slower than everyone else, not that I cared. Motion City Soundtrack, Anberlin, Alkaline Trio and Modest Mouse blared in my ears so I focused on the beat of the music and my breathing and just kept moving. I came back into the gym with a 2:42 run, more than 45 seconds faster than my previously timed 400m run. It was a great way to start.

KB swings over, I approached the bar and my black band. Did I mention I only got banded pull ups a week and a half ago? And the most I had done previously was 26 in a WOD? Yeah… I’m a little nervous, to say the least. I narrowed my grip to use my biceps more and stayed as strict as possible while paying attention to my grip so I wouldn’t fall off the bar– it’s a fear of mine.

The second run was a little harder as I powered through the pull ups. I got a cramp in my side and had to walk for about 50 feet, but quickly started running again, unwilling to puss out and walk a round. It would kill my time otherwise.

I started kipping with the band. It was hard– The free foot kipped while I used my arms a lot more. It killed my grip and my shoulders. I did sets of five… then sets of three… then sets of two. Every time I’d get to five I’d step back on the box and rest for five breaths and pick up where I left off.

At 45 minutes, the time cap set on us, I had five pull ups left. I finished with a time of 45:27. I collapsed on the floor, created a sweat angel and found my fingers were numb. Gripping the steering wheel on the way home was harder than it should have been. Hell, even gripping my phone was tough. Eventually the feeling came back in my fingers and I managed to make it up the stairs to my bed an hour and a half earlier than I usually do.

The next morning, showering proved to be the most painful experience ever. I couldn’t wash my hair without my hands hurting and my shoulders screaming at me in resistance. I was sore all day. And the next day. I finally felt relief by Saturday.

The big thing I took from Eva is that determination with finishing a WOD. It wasn’t about finishing RXed because there was no way I could do a 55 pound kettlebell swing yet, but it was about knowing I was willing and able to actually finishing near the timecap and be able to do all the running unbroken and all the pull ups banded and having that determination to not give up or walk out of the gym before the WOD even started. It was about not being afraid my hands would rip, or that I couldn’t do the pull ups. It was pure determination that my body has gone through these changes and has become so much stronger and leaner and it’s about time I finally see results.

Wednesday night I did 150 pull ups. And I ran over a mile. And I didn’t give up. I didn’t stop. I showed up. I endured and I am better for it. And that’s what matters.

Gumption

Sometimes it’s hard for me to push myself to be motivated even though it’s so easy for me to motivate and push other people through a workout. I’m great at telling people ‘it’s 90 seconds of your life, pick up the bar and bust out those reps!’ when it’s like lifting the damn Earth to pick up the 55 pound bar.

Today I figured out my pace for running. And it’s snail speed. Seriously. SNAIL.

Admittedly I have a lot to move around, and my body isn’t yet used to the massive amount of sheer bounce, so I run a lot slower than the rest of the group. Like 400 meters behind the rest of the group slow. I honestly don’t care about this, until it starts to affect me in the end of the WOD. Today’s WOD was no exception.

Strength: it was originally some gobbledegook of reps of back squats, but if we didn’t have a 1RM, Tyler told us to find it, so I paired up with Megan and got a bar.

35lbs, no problem. 65lbs, a little harder… not much. 85lbs. It was a little harder, not by much though. Megan did the rep with a spot from Tyler and bowed out. 95lbs. A little harder. 105, harder still. 125. I made it down and got to half-squat level and got stuck and SCREAMED it up. My high-weight reps usually include a growl or yell at the wall but this literally became a scream in order to get out of the half-squat I was stuck in. One of the girls said it was like someone was having a baby. The guy next to me called it badass. It was a 20 pound PR over my 3RM of a backsquat. I was extremely happy with myself.

Right away we had to go into the WOD because it had a 25 minute time cap.

WOD:
3 Rounds for time
800m run
10 Power clean and jerks (55lbs)
10 Knee to Elbows

I hate running because I’m so slow. It doesn’t bother me that everyone else passes me, but it really bothers me when I run up to the time cap and I’m determined to finish and I can’t find the strength to get to the time cap. My first run was unbroken, if slow. There was a group of people coming out for their second run when I was coming in from the first. I made up time on my favorite movement– the Clean and Jerk (“My move” as Tyler called it) and the Knees to Elbow– I made my knees a lot closer to my elbows this time too but my grip needs a lot of work. Before I knew it, I had to go back out for the run. I ran half of it, walked for about 100 meters and then came back for more running.

I was on the third run when the 25 minute time cap lapsed, so the rest of the class cleaned up my bar. I came in from the run and really wanted to finish so a girl grabbed a bar and her phone and I grabbed plates and I cranked out the 10 C&J and KTE in 1:54. Added to the time lapsed after the time cap and I had about a 29.54 time. I, and coach were extremely proud in my gumption to finish. I wasn’t about to finish on a crappy run, after all!

It wasn’t about ego, it was about feeling the need to finish on a high note: I needed to know I was doing something right– not taking forever to get an 800 meter run in. I needed to have a time: not a post-time-cap-time. I came into the box after the run with a scowl because I was out of breath and upset I wasn’t able to finish. Two minutes later I was dropping from the bar with an official time, a bit of skin removed from my hand and a grin on my face.

Segue time:

Can I just blather on about how much I love the Clean and Jerk? It’s seriously a beautiful movement, and not because I feel I do it pretty perfectly all the time and I know it’s one of the Olympic movements that proves and improves my overall strength, because I haven’t broken 100 pounds yet on it (well, I haven’t broken 100 on a lot of things, 50 on many things too now that I think about it), but it’s all about brute force in the hips and snapping the hips and using the legs to get that bar up into the rack, then one dip for momentum and it’s overhead with your feet planted or with a split jerk. The masochistic in me loves the bruises on my thighs the next morning and the soreness on my chest and clavicle where the bar rests. I love that zen moment right before taking a deep breath to fill my chest, dropping then exploding up to put a bar overhead. Let’s not forget the sound of the plates hitting the mat as I drop the bar from overhead. So exhilarating. I love seeing Cleans or C&J on the whiteboard.

Bring. On. Grace.