RopeClimbs

8 Aug

Oh hi Rope Climbs. Nice to meet you.

Sure- I have climbed a rope before in CrossFit, but this came from a lot of practice and a lot of confidence. As a kid, I could never climb the rope in gym class unless it had knots in it; I was always too scared to try the un-knotted rope, and thought I would fall off at the top. One day, maybe a year or so ago, I had Dan teach me how to climb a rope after watching some girls fail on them at a competition. I didn’t want to fail at them when I had to do them. I am sure I looked like a crazy person using most of my upper body to get up the rope and from then on, I knew I needed to get more proficient at rope climbs- using my legs, not just my arms.

Yesterday, after doing CrossFit for 20 months I did my first WOD with rope climbs. They have been programmed in the past, but I couldn’t get over my fear of coming down the rope when there is a “rounds for time” workout. I always thought I would freak out, trying to get the best time, and not know what to do when it came time to climb, or worse- fall from however many feet high. This fear is real guys. I am not making this up.

Anyways, back to yesterday. The workout was 10 rounds: 1 rope climb, 2 deadlifts at 205#, and a 100m run with a 20 minute time cap. I thought this was a generous cap. I was seeing times of 14 minutes, all the way up to 18 minutes. So in my head I thought I had this in the bag to finish before the time cap. Well, I was wrong. Yes.. I have practiced rope climbs one at a time on days that I am fresh. I have never felt or realized how hard it is to climb a rope when your grip is shot, you’re all sweaty, and after about 3 climbs, your inner thighs hurt like hell, but you know you still have a few more to go. I got through 8 rounds plus one rope climb and one dead lift (so nine rope climbs total in 20 minutes). For me, I did not like my final score, but still wrote it up on the white board, sat there for a minute and then smiled- because I pushed through a fear I have had my whole life. This is the part where I really just had to leave my ego at the door and realize that damn… I just did that workout Rx, it kicked my ass, but I was proud of myself for trying something new, and pushing through a fear.

I still need work on my descent. I still need work on using my legs, and which clamping style works best. I know that there will always be things to work on. But today- I feel like just getting up and down a rope nine times is an accomplishment and I will take that as a mental PR for sure.

CrossfitSouthDenver

25 Jul

It is this time, more than ever, that I have a reason to write about my gym, because in one week, my Network Affiliate: CrossFit Denver will close its doors for good.

 

CrossFit Denver (XFD) and CrossFit South Denver (XFSD) have been Network Affiliates for 2 years and just this week members found out that come August 1, XFD will be closing their doors, but memberships will be honored at XFSD. If you trained at XFD, this may be a time when you start to question if you want to continue crossfit, or if it is worth it to make the four mile drive south to XFSD. Let me be the first to tell you that as someone who has trained at both gyms- you will not be disappointed and should really give it a shot. Here is why—

 

For me, it all started at XFD. XFD was a small gym that wasn’t intimidating, the price was right for memberships, and Steve- the owner had been around for a while, and taught me the elements of CrossFit. I liked my small community. Then one day, after a few months of CrossFitting, I couldn’t make it to XFD and decided to try out XFSD since my membership allowed me to train at both gyms. I was intimidated, couldn’t believe how much bigger the space was, and there were some people in the front room making some big lifts to the point that I am sure my eyes got big, my mouth dropped open, and I wanted to avoid it like the plague. Although this all may sound like a bad experience- this was the best thing for me to take my training to the next level. I got comfortable at XFD— I may have even started to slack a little bit. At XFSD, there was some steep competition, and I knew who I wanted to catch, and that lit a fire under my ass. There were girls doing pull ups without bands, swinging 45lb kettlebells like that was the Rx weight, and at that time, could run circles around me. At XFSD, I got my first unassisted pull up, completed my first Rx WOD, and this was the first gym I was affiliated with as a CrossFit Games Open competitor- where although I didn’t contribute to the team score in 2013, the team was only a few spots away from being invited to Regionals.

 

If you were an avid XFD member, I am hoping you give XFSD a try because CrossFit isn’t CrossFit without the community you have surrounded yourself with. There are many of you that I hope to see at XFSD, because as Tom Borak said last night to me, “[The other gym] would have worked, but my family wasn’t there. My home is here [at CrossFit South Denver].” Home is where your family is and for me, my family is now joining in one home- CrossFit South Denver.

LeapsAndBounds

5 Jun

I feel like tooting my own horn today. I mean- when you’ve got something to gloat about, even though we have been taught not to flaunt it, or to be polite and not make others jealous, sometimes you just need some pick me ups and decided to gloat, talk about yourself, and really just boost your own self esteem. Try it sometime. But…. not all the time, people may get annoyed with you.

Anyways. What all started this is that a girl who was new to CrossFit recently asked me how long it takes to see results. My response to her was that you will see some pretty dramatic results right away, but looking back, over time I have seen the biggest results. I explained to her that before CrossFit I couldn’t do 1 pull up, and now I can say I have completed “Murph” which has 100 pull ups in the workout, or do 17 unbroken kipping pull ups, or 9 strict pull ups in a row. Pretty cool right?

Along those lines, I just pulled up a sheet I had created to track my progress from when I first started CrossFit and my lifts have gotten so much better and I have gotten SO much stronger. Check these numbers out:

 

1 Rep Maxes Then & Now

Back Squat:

Feb. 2013: 135LBS

June 2014: 175LBS

 

Clean & Jerk:

June 2013: 100LBS

June 2014: 135LBS

 

Deadlift:

January 2013: 130LBS

May 2014: 245LBS

 

Front Squat:

May 2013: 125LBS

May 2014: 160LBS

 

Overhead Squat:

August 2013: 105LBS

April 2014: 130LBS

 

Push Press:

April 2013: 75LBS

May 2014: 135LBS

 

Snatch:

January 2013: 75LBS

May 2014: 105LBS

 

 

BooYah.

Now go get strong. It’s sexy. I promise.

 

 

ShortHairDontCare

23 Apr

One day in January you are sitting there with your long, full head of hair and decide, “I am going to grow it out long enough to donate it.”

The patience game begins….

Summer months come and you are measuring your hair every day to see if it is long enough to chop off because it is SO hot, and you can’t stand this long hair anymore. You tell people that you cannot wait to donate it, and come December it should be long enough.

December rolls around and oh… you think it is a good idea to not cut your long hair to keep you warm during the winter months but then set  a firm date in Spring/Summer for the following year.

That date comes and on your calendar it is highlighted and colored in every possible marker you could find that reads “HAIR CUT” and all of your friends, family, coworkers and even your dog knows that by tomorrow, this hair will be gone.

You cut off just enough hair in order for it to pass for donation and you cannot believe you just donated 10” of your hair. It took so much time to grow it out and now poof- you went from #LongHairDontCare to #ShortHairAndLOVINGit.

This is not the last time you will be cutting your hair short. Believe me- it will get shorter. And shorter. And shorter.

I donated my hair in June of 2013 and the minute I cut if off there were so many things I loved about it, I used a quarter of the amount of shampoo and conditioner, it took me about half the time to blow dry it, and it was just long enough I could still put it in a ponytail. Then July rolled round and I decided, eh- let’s go even shorter. You only live once right? So we went so short that my hairstylist had to bring out the men’s shaver to “clean up my neck line” As a woman, you don’t hear those words very often or even hear the sound of the shaver turn on. Something about it got me excited and since then I have gone a little shorter, played with the neck line of having it be a “hard-line” a “soft-whispy-line” and right now I am rocking the “half moon” neck line. As a woman with short hair there are some things you need to know. And here they are:

-It is nerve wrecking coming home to show your boyfriend “how short you went this time.” He will learn to love it, but you never want him to feel he is dating another man.

-Having short hair as a woman is a little empowering. It will give you a lot of confidence. Maybe not at first, but as the months roll on, the confidence will grow.

-You cannot rock the flannel like you used to with long hair. Unless you like other women, then go right ahead.

-Girls will have hair envy of you and many of them will say, “I wish I could pull off that haircut, I am just too nervous to chop it off.”

-You will have hair envy of them and wish you could just put it in a ponytail or sock bun some days.

-Random people will want to touch your hair. Most of the time when they are drunk- but this will inevitably happen.

-After about 10 months of having it short, you get your hair cut and decide that this is the last time you go so short, and tell yourself that you’re going to start growing it back out.

-And then in 6 weeks you make an appointment and realize you love having your short hair and cut it again. And the cycle continues.

 

I am currently enjoying having short hair and encourage any woman to try it out. Hell, it is JUST hair. Some people are bald at your age; some people have gone through chemo and cannot grow hair.. It is just hair. It will grow back. But you will never know what you would look like with short hair unless you give it a shot. Some girls cannot pull it off. Just like some girls cannot pull of the platinum blonde hair, while others can. It is fun, and it’ll be awhile for me before I can put my hair in a sock bun, or even feel it brush my shoulders. And I am okay with that.

 

Hair:

hair1

When I first donated my hair

hair2

When I decided to go shorter. With Dan back in August 2013

hair3

My current hair cut. See I told you- it keeps getting shorter!

112Days

22 Apr

Guess what. 112 days ago millions of you set a New Year’s Resolution, or as I liked to call it – you made firm decisions to change something about what you do day to day and made goals for 2014. Do you even remember what you said you wanted to do? Do you remember what those goals were? Probably not. Lucky for me, I wrote them down in my January 2, 2014 post titled, “Year2014” and want to reflect how the first quarter of 2014 has gone and if I have even followed through with any of them.

 

  1. Do not drink alcohol for 30 days
    1. Did this and on day 31 I rewarded myself with a nice beer. It really was not that difficult and maybe I will try this again at some point this year.
  2. Add more vegetables to my diet
    1. I wouldn’t say I am adding more than I already did, but reading this reminded me to get on it and to replace some fruit with veggies to make it more balanced.
  3. Work on my muscle up progression with 9 strict pull ups and 9 strict ring dips for 8 weeks.
    1. I did this progression and still do not have a muscle up, but after watching The Outlaw Way’s Muscle Up progression video, I am going to start this.
  4. To participate in the 90 day YLE Nutrition Challenge
    1. I just completed this challenge and I did drop in body fat, but only by 0.2% and my weight stayed the same. Still happy with the results and this proved that I am doing everything right if I want to stay in the 20% body fat range.
  5. To participate in the 2014 CrossFit Games Open with CrossFit South Denver
    1. Done & Done. Please read any of my “recap” posts from each workout.
  6. Run a 7 minute mile and have a sub-7 minute Fran time
    1. I have run a mile on the treadmill in 6:58, but outside, the best time I have is 7:08. My best Fran time is 6:58 which I am very happy with and may wait awhile to retest that one.

Maybe look back at the past four months and ask if yourself if this is how you pictured your life to be when you were making new goals to better your life in 2014. If it is- then great! Keep at it. If it isn’t, treat today as DAY 1 and start checking those goals off of a list- you still have 8 months to make 2014 YOUR YEAR.

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 982 other followers