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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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

MuscleUps

8 Dec

In the 2015 CrossFit Games Open, there was this workout that included muscle ups and for those four days after the announcement, everyone and their mother was trying to get their first muscle up so that they could continue being ranked on the Rx Leader board. I was one of those people. I got a lesson from one of our coaches about what I needed to do, because frankly I thought I was the perfect candidate to get one. I could do strict pull ups. I could do strict ring dips. What was I not getting right?  I had four days to get it,and damn it, I was determined. When the day came, I still was unable to do a muscle up, so I put my ego aside and did the scaled version of the workout. It was something like 150 wall balls, jumping rope and maybe something else. Right after I completed my work, I decided to play on the rings again, all with a judge watching- just in case. And holy crap- as the second wave of competitors were going, I got a muscle up, and then continued to get two more in the time cap. I was able to take a total score of 3 as Rx which was a better score than any number in the scaled division. Awesome.

Well… Nine months pass and I lost it. I couldn’t get another muscle up to save my life. I would take tips and tricks from people, try them out and then just head back over to the rings with a band and work on technique. False Grip. Arms in close. Drive through the hips. Squeeze your butt. Flare out more. Flare out less. Hips to rings. Any of these- we have all heard it. Yesterday (12/7/2015) I went into the gym a little tired, but continued with my training. For the past few months I have been following Invictus Competitors training with some other supplemental things on the side. One of those consistent supplements is a 12-minute alternating EMOM of strict pull ups, handstand push-ups, ring dips, and push-ups every Monday the past three weeks in a row.  Last night consisted of a lot of shoulders and upper body movements, but at the end of the workout I decided to jump on the rings and give ‘em a swing. First try- nope. Not happening. Second try- still nothing. Then two girls from the gym give me two great tips. One that I had heard before and a new one. Angela; who is an awesome coach and is married to Joe reminded me of what he has told us before, “pretend you are wiping paint off your forearms – keep them close,” and Monique, an awesome athlete at our gym told me to stop flaring out so much. With those two things, and VERY warm shoulders I hit my first muscle up since The Open. And then continued to do four more!

I am writing this post to remind myself to keep practicing or else they will be gone again. I am also reminding all of you crossfitters to keep trying, never give up, and look at me- even after three years of crossfit, there are always things to work on.

HighSchoolReunion

31 Jul

“Who is planning our 10-year high school reunion?”

I asked this back in December of 2014 because I knew that come summertime we would hit our 10 year mark of when we graduated high school and I was curious if anyone had started planning. When I talked about this with my girlfriends at dinner, I specifically said, “I will not do it.”

Well that changed quickly.

My good friend Tiffany said something along the lines of, “If I do it, will you do it.” So that is how it sort of got started. We posted something on Facebook making sure no one had started planning and away we went. This post is going to talk about the planning process of our first ever high school reunion and what went right and also, what went wrong. For those of you looking for advice on how to plan your reunion, take it or leave it, but his may help you out.

First step. We have it easy these days with Facebook. My mom was and still is on her high school reunion committee and thinking about having to call people and find addresses to send invites seems like such a hassle. Facebook helped us tremendously with finding people. I mean, that is what Facebook is for- finding people. Tiffany created an open group for Legacy High School Class of 2005 10-year reunion and shared it with everyone through her status update. People slowly started to join in. Then we posted an update saying, “If you are interested in being part of the committee to plan the reunion, please meet at this place, at this time to get started.” We had eight people show up. And really that was a perfect amount of people. And this group of people were not necessarily close friends back in high school or even today. TIP: Your committee should have men and women and not be your close group of friends. Branch out. This allows for more people to know about the event from all around your graduating class.

Second step. Pick a date. A lot goes into this. Yes, most reunions are scheduled either around the day you graduated, or the high school’s homecoming, but it isn’t all that easy. By the time we got together, homecoming had already come and passed and June 1 would have been exactly 10 years. We decided as a committee that July is a good month because typically the weather is nice, if you are teacher- you’ll have time off, and honestly when we met, June seemed too close, but July seemed just right. So we settled on July 25, 2015.

During our first meeting we also decided that we would meet monthly every fourth Monday of the month. This is key. Don’t do everything online or over email. So much more got done when we would meet at talk face to face. Our meetings lasted about an hour every time and we would bring our notepads, and discuss what needed to be done. We also decided to pick somewhere central. Denver. We had some people up north and others down south- so to make it fair we picked somewhere sort of in the middle and not at someone’s house to make them feel like they always had to host people. A restaurant worked for us so we could all huddle in, discuss our plans and get the most done while eating and drinking.

Everyone during the 6 months of planning really took on their jobs and went one step further. Everyone needs a job. I personally took on the task of managing the social media side of things. Facebook updates. Create a website. Post photos on Instagram. That is my jam anyways, so I was happy to take on this task. But man… people on social media can be.. let’s say.. brutally honest. I just want to give a warning to those people looking at this blog for advice, be prepared for some people to NOT be happy with what you are planning. Be prepared for people to give you opinions on what you should do, although they never came to a committee meeting. We would HAPPILY take any opinions at our meetings and we made it public of when our meeting where, so anyone could come in and ‘join the fun.’ On the flip side, when you see posts of people disliking what is going on, you have two options- reply. Or ignore it. I am going to recommend that you reply, but in a very well-thought out manor. Think before you type. In all honesty- it is a business. You are selling tickets (which I will get to how we decided on that later) to an event where you want to make a profit and you want as many people there as possible. I responded to the questions/concerns publically so that everyone could see what was already asked, and what the answers were. Sort of like a FAQ via Facebook. It is OKAY to ask questions, and it is OKAY to dislike something, and really, it is OKAY to give your opinions because we want it to be the best reunion possible – but if you are on your own committee just be warned, you cannot make everyone happy.

So- my tip after all of that is to create a facebook group and make it private about 3 months before the event and create a website to have more information on and a link to purchase tickets, where I would recommend wordpress.com and keep both of these active even after the reunion.

Next. Ticket sales. First, the price of the tickets will all depend on sponsorships, location, and what will be available at the reunion. We as a committee had a sponsor for the park event, and the evening event so we didn’t have to pay any fees to rent both places out. We also decided that there wouldn’t be food provided for free, but that you could purchase food for an extra cost at the evening event and made the park event a pot luck. Here we go. Let me break it down. Oh… paypal. It is so convenient, but they also have a surcharge. But, we decided that pay pal was more convenient than having checks sent to us and so we set up a business bank account, a business paypal account, and got it going. Tip: make ticket prices low. More people will come and will be able to afford it. Heck, at your 10-year a lot of people are new parents, or just got married and in all honesty, are probably broke. Anything over $50 per person seems a little high. Even if food will be served. We set our ticket prices at $25 per person with the stipulation that the prices would increase July 1. We did this so that we would have a good head count a month before the event. This worked somewhat in our favor. On the last day of June we had 13 people purchase tickets before the price increase. We had a headcount of about 60 people before the price increase so this helped us plan for one or two food trucks at the night event.

A great tip I would add is that the price of the ticket should include something. Whether it be food, or drinks, or something make people feel like they are getting SOMETHING. We decided that if you purchased a ticket, your ticket included two drink tickets. So, for $25 you were getting access to the party, and two drinks. People were very happy with this, and I would highly recommend it.

So, the night before the big party we had a headcount of 75 people, and ticket sales were cut off online. Then we announced via Facebook that you could buy your tickets at the door…  You just have to do this. People procrastinate. People decide last minute that, “Oh hey! I know a lot of people going, I wish I could go.” Well everyone should be able to go. We ended up having over 100 people at the event and everyone was happy.

How do you get everyone their tickets? You have a welcome table with some pretty cool parents that would be fine offering their time. We had two sets of parents working the welcome table and while some people may think it is strange, I wouldn’t want it any other way. In high school my house was the place for a lot of people to come, and a lot of people knew my parents. And my parents loved seeing so many familiar faces. This also allows the committee to enjoy the party and we could let loose and enjoy the hard work that we put in. Ah. Finally- you see your hard work pay off.

I know I have left a lot of stuff out, but I told myself that after the reunion I would write something.. anything. Just to remember a few key points and to hopefully help others out when planning your high school reunion. I want to thank our sponsors, to my good friend Bryce who gave a speech acknowledging the committee’s hard work, our volunteers who helped the day of, and most of all the people who came every month to the meetings, put in their time, and got this shit done. Haha you’re all amazing, and I am so happy we got to work together. Until next time.

Quick Summary:

1. Keep ticket prices low(er).

2. Don’t just email invites and save the dates- call people. Peer pressure works great.

3. Use Facebook groups.

4. Lower the cost of the class reunion by offering an early bird discount.

5. Keep your registration form short and simple.

6. Create a class reunion website that keeps your classmates engaged. Check ours out: Legacy2005.wordpress.com

7. Have a family friendly event along with an adults only event.

8. Tell classmates who is attending.

9. Have a diverse group of committee members organizing the event.

10. Call your high school and let them know when the event is to get the word around to teachers.

11. Have the event be in the same town as your high school.

12. If you have extra money, roll it into an account to have a starting point for the next reunion.