StandingWorkstation

11 Apr

Really think about it.  You wake up, during your morning routine you…. probably SIT to eat breakfast, SIT in the car on the way to work, SIT at work, SIT when you eat lunch, go to Spin class – SIT, drive home- SIT, Eat dinner while sitting, catch up on a tv show or two while sitting. Way too much sitting. Why not change what you can- and try to stand at work.

I have a job that in the ‘Working Conditions’ section of my employee description, it states, “While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit [and] computer aided drafting and other tasks may require sitting at a computer for several hours.” This is a very true statement, because for four years, I would do all of the above activities while sitting, but because I was so active with lunch-time workouts and CrossFit, I didn’t consider myself unhealthy or out of shape. Then I read an article on Runner’s World and learned that I am what you would call an “active couch potato.” What! No way! Lies…. Well maybe they were right.

I starting thinking about how often I sat, and I was sitting for about 10-12 hours a day! This is crazy to think about. So I changed the one thing I knew I could— I contacted my HR department and requested a meeting with an ergonomics person and got measured for a standing desk. And ta-daaaaa I am now sitting for maybe 5 hours a day and loving it. I do have a high-rise chair so that I can sit if I need to or want to, but try to only use the chair for a few hours a day to at least give my feet a break. I absolutely love it and people are catching on. Desks are being lifted almost every week at my workplace and people are realizing that sitting for such long periods of time, no matter how active you are, is unhealthy.

If you have an office job like me, try to see if raising your desk is an option. Your hip-flexors, core, and posture will improve, and you will thank me.

 

A quick excerpt from Runner’s World that struck a chord with me:

“A 2013 survey of nearly 30,000 women found that those who sat nine or more hours a day were more likely to be depressed than those who sat fewer than six hours a day because prolonged sitting reduces circulation, causing fewer feel-good hormones to reach your brain.”

 Desk

Link

Your Life Extraordinary – Find Your Flow

4 Apr

Your Life Extraordinary – Find Your Flow

Every Friday YLE’s owners: Tom & Annah are going to write about finding your flow and today – April 4 – I was featured on their blog. Go check it out, and click around their site while you’re at it. :)

Thanks for the post Tom, it really touched my heart.

14.5Recap

1 Apr

Oh Thrusters… you have probably heard me call them very bad names and have never associated them with anything good or happy. Well 14.5 was announced on Thursday March 27 and for the first time in CrossFit Games Open history- this workout was ‘for time’ meaning that everyone would complete the entire workout and the time you finish would be how you were ranked. The workout consisted of: 84 Thrusters and 84 Burpees in a format of:

21 Thrusters – 21 Burpees

18 Thrusters – 18 Burpees

15 Thrusters – 15 Burpees

12 Thrusters – 12 Burpees

9 Thrusters – 9 Burpees

6 Thrusters – 6 Burpees

3 Thrusters – 3 Burpees

Top athletes finished this workout under 10 minutes. My goal was 20 minutes. I finished in 19:29 with no more gas in the tank. When I finished my last burpee I rolled over onto my back, closed my eyes for a really long time, kicked off my shoes, and just laid there for a few minutes. Catching my breath, gathering my thoughts, and realizing that was the last workout of the 2014 CrossFit Games Open, when I got up,  I walked over to Dan and hugged him – and this is when the emotions started to roll down my cheeks. I compare this workout to my last final exam in college. I worked really hard to get to where I am today and after putting in all of this hard work and dedication, it paid off. I may not be going Regionals, but I did the best I could and I improved from last year.

 

2013 CrossFit Games Open:

Southwest Region Placed: 1722/1989 (top 86%)

World-Wide Placed: 23235/27819 (top 83%)

 

2014 CrossFit Games Open:

SW Region Placed: 1134/3301 (top 34%)

World-Wide Placed: 15357/52543 (top 29%)

 

There are a few people I want to thank and mention, so here it goes:

 

  1. Dan: You are an amazing athlete and I love you so much. Every workout you did, you amazed me and so many other people at the gym. Thank you for judging me on most of the workouts, keeping me calm and getting me through them. My most memorable moment of you judging me was during the 14.4 ladder, where during the Cleans you said, “Do you want to be a top girl athlete? Prove it.” This made me push harder and pick up that bar 16 times before the clock expired. Thanks for always pushing me and being such a motivator. I think your two top sayings to me are, “Mental Toughness” and “Don’t Stop.” I am not ready to stop and this year and am working on that mental toughness all because of you. You are 2015 Regionals bound. xxoo
  2. Kelli: This was our second Open together and the first year- you had to talk me into it and this year I couldn’t wait to sign up. You have been a great partner to workout with and right before 14.5 started, when you came over and gave me a hug it was the first smile I had on my face all day. I was so nervous for it to start, but I was so happy to be doing it side-by-side with you. You kept me going and make every workout we do together fun.
  3. Jim: Thank you for judging me on 14.1.1. I put a .1 after this because it was my first attempt at 14.1 and as Dan Bailey would say, “This workout was my jam.” I was excited to have you judge me, and you really kept me calm and pushed me.
  4. Hallie: 14.1.2.3. I do this, because I knew in my head that I could do 14.1 with unbroken double unders, and when the clock went 3.2.1 I got 6 double unders, fucked up, got 10 more, messed up and looked at you and said we are redoing this. 14.1.3 started, and how about that- unbroken double unders and a better score. Yes!!! I also want to thank you for sponsoring me for 14.4 and doing my hair. I love the cut and your new salon (Starling Salon). You do amazing work!  One more thing- you are my idol at the gym. I look up to you and everything you do to prepare for the Open. Hopefully next year I can be at the top with you in at least one of the workouts. Training starts now. Like Dan… you are 2015 Regionals bound, and I want to help you get there.
  5. Emily: Holy shit. I knew you were a great athlete, but you really stood out to me this Open. As Katie would say- you have a motor and your lungs are amazing. Yes you are strong- but for the Open, you need lung support and need to be able to turn the brain off – both of which you are great at doing. Good job and congrats on being in the top three at the gym for four of the workouts.
  6. Veronica. Veronica. Veronica. Even with slamming your finger in the car door you still managed to get the best time on 14.5 on the women’s side. Holy crap woman. I know I pushed you to do the Open this year and I am about 100% sure you are not going to do it next year, but you should really be happy with yourself. You are an amazing athlete and a true inspiration.
  7. Shelby: I judged you on 14.2 – chest to bar pull ups and overhead squats and although at the 3 minute mark you didn’t move on, you pushed yourself for that entire time. 3 minutes feels like an eternity when you are trying to just get one rep. On 14.5 you surprised the heck out of me because I know that 65lb Thrusters are heavy for you. Finishing in just over 20 minutes was amazing to judge. You are on your way to do great things in the following year. And you can cross off your goal of ‘competing’ on the Goals white board. Because you are definitely a competitor now.

 

I am sure there are many more people I could give shout outs too, but I want you all do know that I am very proud of the people who stuck to it and completed all five workouts during this year’s Open. It is over and we all got better. Let’s prepare for 2015!!

DysfunctionalFitness

26 Mar

The Turkish Get Up is probably the most dysfunctional CrossFit movement I have ever done. You are holding a weight above your head, propping your body up to a standing position and then going back down the same way you got up. So weird to me. But last night, after taking 20 seconds off of my CrossFit Baseline (5:20 personal record) we took 15 minutes to establish our 1 rep max of a Turkish Get Up on both sides. My previous Turkish Get Up heaviest posted weight was 20kg (44lb). So let me walk you through my attempts last night. We were using Kettlebells (KB) and for my first, second, and third attempt I used as warm up weight of 25lb, 30lb, and 35lb. Just because I was successful with the 20kg KB six months ago, does not necessarily mean I was going to get it again. So, on my fourth try I took the 20kg KB and with a little help from my breathing, I was successful on both sides. So now what? Well- try the 24kg (53lb). Whoa- can a 9lb increase feel heavy or what?!? Right side- done and done. Left side- you stupid bitch. I am right handed- so yes it is my dominate hand, and I slowly, but surely got through the Turkish Get Up, and then knew what needed to be done. The left side was next. I held the KB took a few deep breaths, and started my way up. Step-by-step (“day by day” —Sorry this is a reference I hope some of you get from TGIF tv back in the day) I made my way up on my left side and then when I was descending, the KB twisted off my arm and fell onto the mat. Without hesitation, I told myself I had to try it again since I was SO close. Is the anticipation building yet? I hope so. Holding that KB with my left hand has never been so hard. Shaky. Forgetting when to inhale, and then to exhale. I got to the standing position again with all of the other athletes cheering me on. I started my descent; knee on the ground – right hand on the ground – swiping my leg out from under me – and LAYED BACK DOWN!! Success. My new 1RM for the Turkish Get Up is 24kg (53lb) – Hell to the ya.

So this got me excited about the Turkish Get Up, and come to find out, according to CrossFit BelAir (too many 90’s references right now), the Turkish Get Up, “ is a functional movement, training a wrestler/grappler to escape from the bottom position and get back on their feet in a fight. This is easier said than done, especially when the guy on top is driving his shoulders into your chest and jaw and you are gassed. The guy on bottom first needs to create space between him and the guy on top.  He needs to get his shoulders and hips both off the ground and away from the guy on top. The guy on bottom’s second movement is to use his arms and or legs to maintain space and thereby keeping the guy on top from pressing the advantage. The guy on bottom’s third move is to pop up into the standing position. All three movements may involve the guy on bottom using a stiff arm to keep the heavy/fast/angry guy on top at bay.” So, if I am the guy on the bottom – hopefully the guy on top only weighs 53lb and I’ll be alright.

 

14.4Recap

25 Mar

The night before 14.4 was released, Dave Castro- CrossFit’s “Game Master” released a hint on Instagram that the workout would be some sort of Chipper. For those of you who are not sure what a Chipper is– it is a workout whereby a series of 5 – 10 movements are linked together one after another. A Chipper is designed to push the metabolic condition of an athlete, and typically has a time cap that tests, and pushes the limits. At 6pm – Mountain Time – on Thursday March 20th, 14.4 was released, and yes- Castro didn’t lie- it was a Chipper. And it was a chipper with Muscle Ups as a finisher.

The workout for 14.4 was:

14 minute AMRAP:
60-calorie row
50 toes-to-bars
40 wall-ball shots, 20 / 14 lb.
30 cleans, 135 / 95 lb.
20 muscle-ups

And – if the athlete got through the muscle ups, they would get back on the rower and go through the rounds again until the clock hit 14 minutes.

 

Now– onto my experience. As always, I had planned on doing this workout on Saturday and then again on Monday just to test my body and see if I could do any better the second time. I realize I am not going to Regionals, but for myself I need to know that I got the best score I could and there are no questions about it. Saturday’s attempt at 14.4 was great and I got through 16 cleans at 95lbs giving me a score of 166. I was surprised to even make it to the cleans, so when I picked up that bar with a few minutes to spare I felt great. And as the weight felt heavier I had Dan yelling in my ear telling me to pick up the bar one more time. For me.. out of all of all of those movements, the row was the hardest part. I had never rowed for calories before. Only meters. So it was hard for me to judge how long it should take me and a total mind-fuck when people were getting off the rower before me. For my second attempt I wanted to wear my Olympic lifting shoes, and to do it alone to just zone in to my workout and not have anyone else’s great rowing ability get into my head. Well- Sunday night I was rolling out with a lacrosse ball and had this weird pain shoot up my back to my neck to the point where I couldn’t lift my own head off the ground. I have never had a pinched nerve, but if I had to guess on what it feels like- this would be it. Every time I tried to lift my head, I got this tingling-hard to breathe-pain so I stayed on the ground of a little bit, took a deep breath in, rolled on to my stomach and got up. I iced it for 20 minutes and after a few good stares from Dan and him telling me I should probably not workout on Monday, I took his advice after many eye rolls, and stayed home on Monday. (update: I feel much better)

So, in conclusion— I did not redo 14.4. This is the first Open workout I did not complete twice. Although I am not really certain I would do any better, this is okay because I would much rather be able to walk to today, then maybe get one or two more reps. I have also come to the conclusion that I am horrible at giving my body a rest. I typically do two workouts a day, five days a week and on my rest days, I don’t really stretch out, or give my body what it needs to recover. I need to work on this, and full-heartily plan to do so.

 

As many of you know from reading my blog and keeping up with my Instagram, each week I have had different sponsors and this week was dedicated to Hallie Lee, who’s blog I enjoy reading (when she updates it!!), is a fellow CrossFit South Denver BEAR Competitor, and who is also an Aveda hairstylist at Starling Salon located off Broadway & Louisiana. She gave me are a really cute hair cut and really cleaned up my shaggy mess. I already had short hair, but she gave me a new style in the back with a hard, curved neck line and short sides, with just the right amount of hair on top to style it the way I like. I love love love Aveda products so for just this I would go see Hallie, but the space she is in is remarkable. So many big windows, a newly renovated salon, and great people who work there. The salon does take walk ins, and if you in the neighborhood for a new, cutting edge hair style- book your appointment now with Hallie. You will not regret it.

 

One more week and the CrossFit Games Open will come to an end. Crazy how fast 5 weeks can fly by. And after my last submitted score- I will be putting my body through a 6-week catalyst program trying to get stronger, and the updates will be flowing on here as well.

 

Links!

Hallie Lee’s blog: Barbell Native

Aveda: Official Site

What I am using: Light Elements & Smooth Infusion

 

Photos!

hair

hair2

hair3

Quote

I think people …

21 Mar

I think people are going to be surprised at how hard 50 Toes 2 Bar are.

OilPulling

19 Mar

My not so optimistic take on oil pulling….

Maybe I am impatient, oh wait- I know that I am. But either way, I have oil pulled six, maybe seven times and I do not have whiter teeth, do not feel like toxins are being taken away from my body (not that I believed this in the first place, but still…), feel like 20 minutes is a long time to swish oil around in my mouth when there is a perfectly good toothbrush and years of science put into toothpaste that can be used for a mere two to three minutes, and lastly after oil pulling I still am brushing my teeth, using mouth wash, and do not believe all of those people who claim to have not brushed their teeth for over a year due to oil pulling.

I have had one person positively talk to me (face to face) about oil pulling, telling me that when he does it he sees a difference and stands behind it because he gets tarter build up between the two bottom teeth, and he has actually seen the chunk removed after oil pulling. Whoa. Okay, so it works. For some people. Not everyone. I don’t want to call myself a quitter, but as much as I wished oil pulling was for me, I just don’t think it is. And it is okay. It is like my weird obsession with adding butter to my coffee and having everyone at Starbucks stare at me when I 1. ask for a tab of Kerrygold butter and 2. when I add it to the delicious Americano I just paid for. Sure- adding fat to your diet isn’t for everyone either, but I sure as hell love it.

If you are oil pulling, good luck and more power to ya – let me know how it is working out for you.

Articles I read when I first heard about Oil Pulling:

WTF is Oil Pulling + Why am I hooked?

Good ol’ Wikipedia

Design Mom – Oil Pulling

Why I add butter to my coffee:

Bulletproof Coffee

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