RSVPChronicals

20 Apr

We did it. We sent out our wedding announcements!  122 envelopes later which included 15 to Germany, 74 to Colorado, 16 to Michigan, 4 to Florida, 3 to Texas, 3 to California, 2 to South Dakota, 1 to New York, 1 to New Jersey, 1 to Tennessee, 1 to Virginia, and 1 to Kentucky the RSVPs are now trickling in and it’s interesting to see how people fill out those funny little cards.

On our RSVP cards I put our address on it, added the stamp and told you the RSVP date. All you had to fill out was your name, your return address, and let me know if you’re coming. Seems simple right?

I may have confused some people, because on our RSVP cards at the bottom, I put “We have reserved ___ seats in your honor” and on each one I would put number depending on the family. We are only allowing family children to the wedding, so this made it easy to explain to a friend, for example, Matt and Cassie Jones who have two kids and a third on the way that if it says, “We have reserved 2 seats in your honor, this meant that children were not invited.

But other than that it has been fun and entertaining seeing what people do and don’t do on their RSVP cards.

We have got back two RSVP cards that had the return address filled out, the names filled in properly but they forgot to check the “accepts with pleasure” box or the “declines with regret” box, so I had to ask…

One RSVP card came back without the names filled out, but luckily the return address was on it, so I knew who it came from.

Another one came back looking like her dog got hold of it, chewed it up, spit it back out and then sent it.

I have also unfortunately realized that the “__ seats in your honor” does not automatically register to people that children are not invited. I have had two people respond with their name and their kid instead of husband/wife. This part is the hardest. I had secretly hoped that no one would be confused by this, but it has come up and I admit- I don’t have kids so I probably seem stuck up to not have friend’s kids attend the wedding, but after a lot of discussion with family and our caterer we came to the decision to allow family children, but not friend’s children. I have been to one too many weddings where a kid gets out of hand and  unfortunately that is something I remember. Although I have wanted to change the rules for some people to make sure they are able to attend, I have also realized that if I change the rule for one, I have to change the rule for everyone. And in the long run I hope everyone understands.

Some good things that people have done if you take my sister for example. On her card I put a 2 in the spot of seats, and although she isn’t dating anyone she did put on the card, “guest unknown,” so to me I will still include a plus 1 in our catering numbers. Thank you.

Another awesome thing someone did was her husband is unable to attend, but she can make it, so she took it upon herself, crossed out the 2 and put a 1 and only put her name on the line of who is attending. Thank you.

We have just under a month to get back the RSVPs, but from talking to other brides I know this is one of the most stressful parts because people forget to RSVP, wait until last minute, or worst case scenario they never even received the announcement. But luckily in todays modern world I don’t mind calling or texting the people I don’t hear back from come May 15th asking if they by chance sent in their RSVP card and get an answer that way. But if you are my friend or family member who we have invited- don’t be that person. Send me your RSVP. Please.

 

I may be adding to this post as I receive the RSVP cards in the mail. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16.5

1 Apr

The 2016 CrossFit Games Open has come to an end, and this year may have been my favorite Open just slightly after 2013.

2013 holds a very special place in my heart because it was my first Open, and I did it with my best friend, Kelli. I was also secretly hoping for a repeat of 13.1 with Snatches and Burpees this year not because it was my favorite workout, but it is one of my most memorable due to the fact that I had to do it twice that year because the first time I did it, it was invalid due to my miscalculation of weight on the bar.

I have written about 16.1,2, and 3 and 16.4 in my opinion was my least favorite workout because I dislike deadlifts for time, so I am just going to skip over that week. Sorry for you people who wanted a recap of that one- just not going to happen.

16.5 was a repeat. A repeat workout from 2014 (14.5) which included Thursters and Burpees over the bar. When this workout was announced I threw up in my mouth a little bit. Burpees.. again? Wtf. But I had a baseline of what I needed to get and for the first time this year I went into the workout with a strategic game plan. In 2014 I completed this workout of 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 Thurster/Burpee combo in 19:29 with a leaderboard placement of 1,563rd place. On New Years of this year this workout was the WOD and I completed the exact same workout in 17:26 after a night of drinking That is 2:03 faster than two years prior and so for 16.5 I had a goal of getting 17 minutes or faster in order to PR. I had a game plan of splitting up my thrusters in 11/10, 10/8, 6/5/4, 6/6, 9, 6, 3. I stuck to the game plan almost 100% but on my set of 12 I did 7/5 instead. I have never in my life actually stuck to a thruster game plan. Mental improvement for sure. And then… after 15 minutes at 16 seconds I completed my last burpee over the bar taking 2:10 off of my New Years’ time. That is a 4:13 PR since 2014! And a 870th place on the leaderboard. So happy. Seriously couldn’t be happier with that performance. But honestly- that PR came with a lot of hard work and also day-of pushing from these few people—

 

Max (Kelli’s friend from VA): Thank you so much for judging me during the workout. At first I was hesitant to ask you, considering I had just met you I wasn’t sure if you’d feel comfortable pushing me during the workout. Was I wrong. You were an awesome judge and really helped me stay on track to PR and to keep me on track with my thruster plan. It was great to meet you and it’s sorta bittersweet that 2016 comes to an end with my best friend’s buddy judging me. Hmmm.. full circle(ish).

Chelsea- Although we don’t work out together anymore, us texting every week really got me pumped to text you right away to talk about what worked and what didn’t. I know this year’s workouts were not in your favor for the most part, but for 16.5 talking about strategy really got me to that time I got. Love & miss ya!

Bonnie- CONGRATS ON FINISHING YOUR FIRST OPEN! I am so happy I peer-pressured you to sign up. Every week you pushed yourself so hard and on Friday night after 16.5 I was SO proud of you for competing and it really lit a match under my butt to perform.

Hallie- You will always be that athlete that I strive to beat. You are an amazing athlete and I enjoyed hearing from you after you’d do the Open workout in the 10am class and take all of your tips & tricks. Seriously girl- you should be proud of what you have accomplished in your years of CrossFit. Plenty of us still remember your 24th place finish in 13.3 in the entire region. #BallerStatus.

My chicks- You know who you are. There are a million words to describe our friendship and how it has grown over just a short period of time. You have all made me stronger and truly made CrossFit exciting again. Thank you for cheering me on every week, celebrating with me when I got a top 3 team finish on 16.3, but most importantly thanks for enjoying donuts, coffee, and working out as much as I do.

The 2016 CrossFit Games Open has come to an end, and there is one more person that has been there for me every week. Dan. You are amazing, and this year was special in the fact that instead of you watching me first and then you doing the workout it was the other way around for the first four weeks. I was able to watch you, cheer you on, and then took that excitement and plug it into my workouts. Thank you for being the best fiancé ever and for being an awesome competitors coach as well. It has only taken me three years to be able to allow you to coach me. Love u.

 

-Kyla

16.3

15 Mar

For the first time in the CrossFit Game Open, Bar Muscle Ups were introduced. Luckily for me, those came a lot easier than ring muscle ups.

Before I get into detail, I need to give Invictus Competition training some kudos. Their training is pretty spot on with how the open will work. We have done many workouts with bar muscle ups, overhead walking lunges, snatches for time, power cleans while fatigued, and this year I have felt more prepared than ever, really- thanks to them.

On Friday March 11th during our Friday Night Lights throwdown there was a lot of stuff going on around me, but just like every week, certain things stuck out. First the bad, then the good. We had a few people rip their hands during practice and during the workout which is never fun, and I also witnessed a lot of people trying really hard to get their first every Bar Muscle Up, but personally didn’t get to see anyone actually get one. To all of you who couldn’t get one – This is what the open is for. To expose weaknesses. A year ago I definitely did not have a bar muscle up, now luckily I do, but that is only because I have been practicing them for about that long. If you put in the time and practice, they will come. As for the good, let me repeat- I witnessed a lot of people trying really hard to get their first Bar Muscle up.

Kassi- You totally have one. If you hadn’t started to blister during your warm up, I know with a little bit of practice, the bar MU is yours. Your pull ups and chest to bars are awesome, you have the momentum to get your body up there we just gotta get the fundamentals down for you to get up and over that bar. Maybe next time drink your beer before the workout. Just kidding.

Angela- I know today you have more than one bruise, but I hope that you are determined to get that first bar MU soon. Like we kept saying, you are damn close- you just need the confidence and the pull to get it. When the open is over, we are going to get that upper body just as mobile and strong as your lower body. Even though you didn’t get one, I am still proud of you for trying and trying and trying.

Patrick- I am not sure I have ever seen you push yourself as hard as you did this past Friday. I could see that by 6:30 you had entered that dark place and really listened to us to not drop the damn bar. Seeing you in the fetal position for longer than the workout lasted was pretty awesome and you should be proud of yourself to getting to that spot that many of us try to get to but never really do.

Bradley- Thanks for pushing me just a little bit harder on Monday when we both decided to redo the workout. I knew you had it in you to do better and you really helped set a pace for me in order to get one more rep. You and I together have come a long way over the years, and it was a lot of fun going head-to-head.

As for my performance, I can officially say that this is the first time that I have ever submitted a top 3 team score. In my 4th year doing the open, I have never been a top girl at the gym. Ever. For this workout I completed 5 rounds, plus 9 snatches submitting a score of 74 reps with a 6:28 tie break time. I stuck to my game plan both times I did the workout and did the snatches unbroken, and singles on the Bar MUs. I do not know how to link them yet, so I wasn’t going to attempt it now in a competition setting. Afterward, my forearms and grip was shot and my shoulders were also on fire. No matter the pain, the feeling of being on top for once felt pretty great.

Gosh.. What is left for movements? Box jumps. Wall balls. Deadlifts. Kettlebell swings. Ring Muscle Ups. Handstand Push Ups. Heaven forbid they do pistols.. That’ll be when I am in the same boat as some of you were in this week.

16.2

9 Mar

16.2 displayed a lot of awesome qualities in people that I have not seen before at the gym. I see these people work out daily, but yet those exact same people blew my mind during our Friday Night Lights event. On Thursday night when the workout was announced, I liked it. I liked it even though I wasn’t sure I would make it past the first round. The workout included Toes-To-Bar (T2B), Double Unders (DU), and Squat Cleans. If you know me, you know that DUs are in my wheelhouse while anything squat related is sometimes a struggle. I enjoy squat cleans, but sometimes my ankles and hips say the opposite.

Friday came and first I was surprised with an awesome gift from my friend Angela. It was a tank top that says, “Live Your Life,” and it is sort of an inside joke between us and our significant others, but it made me so happy and I wore it during the workout. I warmed up a little bit but when I started to watch the first few people do the workout, this is what got me excited.

Jesse – While I was warming up Angela came into the front room and yelled, “Jess is on round three- she is the only one in Rx who has made it this far!” I dropped my bar and came to watch. First clean at 145lbs, awesome. Second clean at 145lbs, bad ass. Third clean and holy shit she lost grip. You’re so awesome, you said, “I’m okay,” and kept going. I was so proud of you for hitting 5 cleans, but what I am more amazed by is your ability to get to the third round doing mostly single t2b. wow.

Shawn L- In the exact same heat as Jesse, you were flying through your rounds. Dan told me that you mentioned you had never cleaned “that much weight” before and then hit it twice. The Open does this to people. People PR like crazy, and I think you deserve it. After learning about everything you have gone through over the past year and talking to you more on Saturday, you are seriously so inspirational and I cannot wait to share your story in April with our gym via our monthly newsletter.

Jane – That amazing mom strength. 429 in the masters division. That is remarkable. What I thought was the coolest thing though was when you and your daughter cheered on Samantha right before hand, the entire time not letting her quit when she probably wanted to. From a mom to a mother-to-be it was really sweet to watch that bond between you two.

Kyle S- From someone who didn’t get past the first round due to DUs, to someone who got into the second round on Monday goes to show that practice helps. Practice does not necessarily get you to be perfect, but it gets you somewhere. DUs do not come easy to some people and to watch you practice for a good hour on Saturday morning and for you to take my 5,000 tips I am proud of you and hope you continue to practice them, because in the few months you have been at CFSD you have grown to be such an amazing athlete with an incredible drive to ‘figure shit out.’

Oh, and if you came to read my story about my performance on 16.2 I completed the workout twice and both times I made it to the second round with the exact same amount of reps. 170. As I tackled the workout two different ways, I learned that 170 was the best score I could get and I am happy with it. Of course I would have loved to get to the third round, but hell, everyone always wants to do better.

 

16.1

1 Mar

20 minute AMRAP of 25ft Overhead Walking (OHW) lunges with 65lbs, 8 Burpees over the Bar, 25ft OHW lunges, 8 Chest-to-bar (C2B) pull ups.

This was the first workout of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open. This year is my fourth year doing the CrossFit Games Open and when it was first announced I was pretty excited about it. I could do all of the movements, I knew 20 minutes would feel like an eternity, but realized I just had to pace myself and not go too quickly out of the gates.

16.1

Photo By Kyle Smith

Everyone’s experience with any workout is different. For this particular workout the hardest part for me was the burpees. Many people I talked to said that the C2B was their rest, and others mentioned it was the worst part. “The lunges weren’t horrible once you tricked your brain to pick up the bar and put it over head,” but Monique did mention, “but it took me a good five-ten seconds to stare at the bar and to tell myself to do so.”

This year’s open feels different. My training has changed from doing the daily WOD at the gym at random times to now incorporating some Invictus Competition training on Mondays and Tuesdays, and also adding in some other types of workouts to my weekly routine such as Barre, Yoga, Running, and most recently Lagree. It also feels different because of the people.

In 2013 and 2014 I had the best workout partner ever. Kelli. She is my best friend and we did everything together. Pretty much every workout for the Open we did side by side, or at least cheered each other on. We would talk strategy, she would beat me at most of them, and then we partied when it was over. It was fun doing it with her and having that friendly competition. In 2015 it was different. Kelli had moved to Washington DC and I was sort of lost for a few months without her. I still enjoyed myself and loved the competition between me and other people at the gym, but it was definitely different. At that time I had started to get closer with Angela, but it really wasn’t until after the Open when we really started to bond. Now… in 2016 I have a very strong female bond with a few ladies at the gym and couldn’t me more amped about doing it with them. We work out together 2-4 times a week, with some of them I have a 1,000+ group chat going daily between us that mainly consists of us talking about food, but even outside of this group chat the female game is strong at CrossFit South Denver. I remember Hallie blogging about people who stood out in 2013, and I would just like to highlight a few people this week.

Jess– Welp, you proved all of us right and for 16.1 you were the top female athlete. You are an amazing girl and I am happy we have become such great friends. You are an amazing compliment to the gym and your smiley, bubbly attitude pairs very well with your strong badass-ness.

Angela– Love love love you. Although I know C2B are not your favorite, you really pushed yourself and I was so happy to be doing the workout at the same time as you. Although I would have loved to cheer you on, I think we gave each other a little push going in the final heat together. For your sake- I hope HSPU make an appearance this year. Or overhead squats.

Monique– Girrrlllllll. You get the award for most improved athlete. It has been pretty amazing seeing how far you have come in such a short period of time. I am calling it- you will be the first girl I witness to clean & jerk over 200lbs at the gym.

Hallie– Thanks for judging me on both of my attempts in 16.1. You have this amazing sixth sense and really know how to push someone and also keep people true to the standard without pissing anyone off. C2B can be hard to judge sometimes, and you judged me last year when you and I both probably remember I had a few no-reps, so this year when you told me my C2B’s were ‘easy to judge’ I took that as the highest compliment. 16.1 part two was a million times worse than the first attempt, and even though it only got me one more rep, I am happy that you and I are tied in 11th place together at the gym, and 631 in the SW Region.

CFGOpen

11 Feb

The Open….

To preface- The Open is a worldwide competition where ANYONE can sign up and see how they compare. It costs $20 and you have to sign up online via games.crossfit.com and this is also where you log your scores every week. The Open is a 5-week competition where every Thursday, a workout is announced online and then every athlete has until Monday at 5pm to submit their scores online. You can perform this workout in your garage, your crossfit gym, or if you are traveling- you can drop in somewhere and do it there also. So, with that, let me tell you my CrossFit Games Open journey—-

I can’t explain to you what the open means to me until I start from the beginning. In January of 2013 I joined CrossFit and on March 6, 2013 the first workout of the Open was announced. The workouts are coined names such as 13.1 which means the 1st workout of 2013. (13.2 is the 2nd workout of 2013, 14.3 is the 3rd workout in 2014 etc.) 13.1 was a workout that involved burpees and snatches and at that time I had never snatched over 70lbs and for some reason during the workout I decided to split-snatch. Never do this. It’s ugly and awkward.

I did the workouts that were announced and every week I logged my scores. Every week I shocked myself and pushed myself harder than ever before. That is when I realized I was hooked on CrossFit. For me, it wasn’t about where I placed among others, it gave me a baseline to do better in 2014, and then better in 2015 and this year I hope to do even better. You have to have goals to keep pushing and The CrossFit Games Open is my own personal baseline. Better than before.

Fast forward to 2015. This was the first year they announced an Rx version and a Scaled version. This was also the first year that Muscle Ups were at the start of a workout (for Rx). So, if you didn’t have muscle ups, you had to do the scaled version to get a score. Last year I was determined to do all workouts Rx no matter what my score was. 15.3 was announced which started with Muscle Ups, and I had never in my life got a muscle up before. I practiced.. and practiced.. and practiced.. and no luck. Saturday rolled around and I had to not be so stubborn and I did the scaled workout instead. Right after finishing I decided to play around on the rings while the next group of people performed their workout. First attempt. Fail. Second, third, probably fourth attempt- fail. But then. Holy-f*in-shit I got a muscle up. And then two more after that before the time cap went off. What a rush.

Again, every year I surprise myself. In 2013 I PR’d my snatch, in 2014 I went unbroken on all 5 rounds of double unders and was sponsored every week to compete, in 2015 I got my first muscle up. From February 25-March 28 the CFG Open will be going on at our gym and I cannot wait to see everyone sign up and push themselves and to be better than yesterday.

BodyFit-PullUps

28 Jan

Mastering the pull up is still something I am doing even after 3 years of CrossFit. There are so many variations, such as, strict, kipping, butterfly, supinated, pronated, etc. This week in my BodyFit class we are going over the Pull Up and all the different variations, plus what to work on if you don’t have your first pull up quiet yet.

I have explained to the people who have came to my mini-clinic that these variations aren’t necessarily easier or harder, they are just different things to practice to build up their strength or if a workout calls for pull ups, these are alternates that you can use during.

These variations are not the only things out there I would try, but this is what I recommend in order to get your first pull up:

  • Jumping Pull ups: Get a box so that your arms are bent at about a 90 degree angle while holding on to the pull up bar. Jump to get your chin above the bar a few times, rest and repeat.
  • Jump & Hold: When you feel comfortable enough getting your chin above the bar, grab the pull up bar, jump up and hold yourself as long as possible with your chin above the bar. You will start to shake and this is okay. Then slowly decent and repeat.
  • Bands: I would recommend using 1-2 bands, but never more. Most coaches would prefer that if you are using a band to have them be strict pull ups. I think this will obviously build the strength you need to get a pull up, but if kipping is something you also want to practice, I would not discourage you from using a band. Just don’t let the band whip you in the face. I personally have been using a band to help me with my kipping bar muscle up, and in my mind- if this is helping, a band to help you with a kipping pull up is fine by me. If you have to use three bands, I would recommend building your strength up first so that you only need <2 bands.
  • Pronated: This is simply when your hands are wrapped around the bar, palms facing out, away from your body. This is the most popular type of pull up. While on this subject, I would recommend wrapping your thumb around the bar during your pull ups to prevent slipping off the bar. Just think about hook grip in a snatch or clean, if it gets heavy, you should hook grip. With a pull up, you’re lifting 100+ lbs of body weight into the air… wrap your thumbs.
  • Supinated: Or as some people call it, a chin-up. This is the opposite of pronated, when your hands are facing in, towards your body. This is more bicep intensive.
  • Kipping: If you have been doing CrossFit for awhile, you have seen what a kipping pull up looks like and it seems easy and fast… right? Well- yes and no. Hands down it is faster, but a kipping pull up is complex and unless you get the movement down of what your legs need to do I would recommend building your strength working on strict pull ups before attempting a kipping pull up. To break down the kipping pull up, watch this video: Gymnastics WOD (I love Carl Paoli who is the face of Gymnastics WOD and his instructional videos are awesome, so check him out to get more in-depth info about all sorts of things).
  • Strict: This is when you pull your body weight up, get the chin above the bar and then lower down using all upper-body strength with no kipping (or pumping) of the legs.
  • Butterfly: This is what games athletes are doing. Very fast, very efficient, very complex. There are two videos I want you to check out for more info:

 

Are you lost yet. Do you feel discouraged? Don’t be. Practice, practice, practice. You’ve got this and to help you practice here is a small warm up and workout for you to try on your own:

 

Warm Up

3 rounds

100m jog

10 PVC pass through

5 burpees

10 ab-mat sit ups

5 jumping pull ups

******

Workout

12 minute AMRAP

5 Jumping Pull Ups

4 Iron Mikes

3 Push Ups

2 SlamBalls (20lb)

1 Pull Up*

100m jog

*choose any variation of a pull up you want and it is good to switch it up every round

 

 

 

 

 

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