Get Healthy

Whole Life Challenge | 07.17.2017

I might as well dive right in, so let’s do this. Hi, by the way.

The past eight weeks have flown by so fast. At my gym, Crossfit Valley of the Moon, around twenty of us participated in the Whole Life Challenge. I don’t want to go into some long informational tangent as to what the Whole Life Challenge fully entails and requires, but I will quickly break it down. We had 7 Daily Habits to improve upon or to spend extra time on that maybe we normally wouldn’t have. The 7 daily habits are exercise, mobility, sleep, hydration, nutrition, lifestyle practices & reflection. Essentially you have to work out everyday for at least thirty minutes, spend ten minutes on your mobility and stretching, drink your suggested ounces of water each day and eat REAL food. Those are the five major habits. The last two consisted of weekly lifestyle practices to challenge you and get you out of comfort zone and reflecting each day about your progress. So when you look at it, the name of the challenge is incredibly literal.

I eat fairly clean, to an extent, so having the opportunity to hone in on my food and cut sugar and bread out was really cool for me. I’m a total nutritional nerd and love all that shit. Seeing how my body reacts to food and how much better I feel over all once I cut something out is so cool. Now, some of the foods we were allowed to eat or not consume I was already practicing in my everyday diet. I don’t consume mass amounts of dairy and rarely eat it. In social situations I’ll make the exception, but at home I don’t mess with it. I primarily eat a lot of protein, vegetables and some fruit. Toss in the occasional flour tortilla, slice of pizza or bun on a burger and that’s my gluten intake. Once I cut food I find that my body rarely craves it anymore. I was pretty in tune with my body before but the challenge allowed me to become incredibly understanding of what my body wants and actually needs. I know when my body is lacking specific nutrients and what it needs to get me through the day. If I eat something I don’t normally eat I know immediately, and it is immediate, how it’ll react or how I will feel the next day. Our bodies are amazing, that is all I will say.

My sleeping improved vastly, this is the most sleep I have gotten consistently in a very long time. I usually sleep from anywhere between 5 and 7 hours, so adjusting to 8 was refreshing. I try to exercise consistently at my gym. Some weeks I am really on it and will be there 5 times a week, other weeks I’m lucky if I get to go three times. On days I wasn’t able to be in a physical gym I had to really be on it to get outside and go for a walk or a run. At home I have really been nudging for Aurora to get active as well. Not like we watch a lot of tv, she mostly plays games and with her dolls, inside. My siblings and I were outside any chance we had so I want her to be better about that. So we went on a lot of walks where she brought a long her scooter or bike. The mobility aspect was a really interesting part of the challenge. I am at the top of the list when it comes to people who are the worst at stretching after a workout or before, absolutely the worst. Setting aside time in the first few weeks was crucial, otherwise I’d just say fuck it and just not do it. But, I noticed a difference when I was consistently stretching each day and I realized how much I miss yoga.

My favorite part of the challenge though was the weekly practices which forced a lot of people out of their comfort zones. The practices were…

Week 1:  Write in a journal for 10 minutes

Week 2: Support Your Teammates

Week 3: The Big 4 (No Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram)

Week 4: Intentional Acts of Kindness

Week 5: Brain Toss (Write down things that come to mind)

Week 6: Do Something You Love

Week 7: Get Rid of It (Stuff you don’t need)

Week 8: People Who Matter (Pick a person each day and write why they matter to you. Keep that little piece of paper to yourself or share it with the person that you appreciate)

These were either really easy or incredibly challenging, especially week 3. You never realize how often you reach for your phone to check social media until you’re told not to. So that one I failed, we were giving the opportunity to check once a day. Old habits are hard to break, lets just say that. Since then I have made a conscious effort to not be on my phone as much, as far as social media goes. I still check those apps multiple times a day, don’t get me wrong, but I try not to. But some days are easier than others.

I know it’s hard to believe, but I am a wee bit shy and am still pretty shy at my gym. So reaching out and supporting my teammates through our feed on the app and physically in the gym was something that for sure pushed me out of my comfort zone. But it knocked down walls and barriers that I had. I interact with more people at the gym because of it and don’t feel uncomfortable starting up a conversation.

My favorite practices were the ones where we really had to think. The journaling I loved for obvious reasons. The intentional acts of kindness throughout our group were really neat. People were doing things I didn’t think to do, simple things such as picking up garbage when you see it on the ground or buying coffee for the person behind you. We always hear about paying it forward, but how often do any of us actually do that? The last practice is where I really poured my heart and soul the most. I have so many people I am appreciative of and never exactly get to tell. I wrote quite lengthy letters, address to seven specific people. Will some of those beautiful souls see those letters? Yes. Others I think we’re just very therapeutic and those are the ones I’m not sure about handing off letters to. I can’t show all my cards, where’s the fun in that?

Overall, I loved this challenge and would totally do it again in a heart beat. I’m looking forward to the weeks following the challenge and how I can intertwine all 7 habits into my daily life and continue on this path. To be more open about my love and appreciation to everyone in my life. To really take care of my body and listen to it. And to just be appreciative of life overall.

xoxo

 

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Gardening

May 18th | Adventures in Gardening

Crazy weather aside, Spring is here and Summer is coming. Aurora and I have been working hard in our little garden. Every week we are adding more to it and having so much fun working on it together. Last year I didn’t have my expectations incredibly high which left us both pleasantly surprised by how successful some of our plants were. Our Spaghetti Squash gave us the biggest yield followed by our Butternut Squash and Grape Tomatoes. We had purchased six strawberry plants and got very little fruit, but that was to be expected as the plants were small. From doing my research as well, strawberries will have a higher yield each year as they grow. Our watermelon and eggplant seeds didn’t catch nor did the fruit grow very large. Again, no disappointment on our end because we didn’t expect much. Last year we also completed, with the help of Auntie Jenn, building a fire pit in the backyard. So, it was a good trial run for us as we work on our garden and fixing up the yard in whole.

This year though, we have big, big plans and have been slowly chipping away at them. We both have more confidence and are feeling a little more in tuned with the soil and what we needed to do to improve it and the surrounding area. Our strawberry plants lasted through the winter, which was incredible because I did not pay any attention to them other than pulling old leaves out whenever I noticed. So far, we’ve picked 16 strawberries this week over the course of two days as they become ripe. I let Aurora snack on all of them and she said they were sweet, so I will take her word for it. In our huge planters in the front and back yard we’ve planted

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Watermelon
  • Pumpkins
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Carrots
  • Green Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes: Grape, Roma, Heirloom Brandywine
  • Basil
  • Mint

Seems like a lot, but we have the space for everything. Some of the smaller plants are in table top planter’s since they require such little space. Most of the items are trial runs to see how they do. The squash group I know does well in our soil and have been growing at a pretty good rate, same with the tomatoes, basil and mint. Which by the way basil, mint and tomatoes are so easy and you can trim stems off the plant, toss it in a cup of water and they will sprout roots and you have a new plant to place in the garden. How cool is that? I’ve done this for my mint and basil and I have so many healthy plants that were free. Thanks to Pinterest I found out you could do the same process with tomatoes and am trying it out with the Roma’s, so fingers crossed that works out. Everything from the Cauliflower down to Eggplant is all new pretty much and it’s exciting to see how well some of them are doing while others are just taking their sweet time and really testing my patience. Thanks to the birds we also have random blackberry bushes all around the property and I personally can’t wait for those to be ripe so I can make so jam. It’s the simple things guys, I’m telling you it doesn’t take much to make me feel content and happy.

At the beginning of spring I added some bags of compost and manure to our soil, mixed it in and let it sit for a couple of weeks before adding any plants. Aurora and I also dry out egg shells and blend them up to toss around our plants to get extra nutrients as well as used coffee grounds. Most of the tricks are a huge part to Pinterest and the rest of the credit goes to my Uncles Joe & Johnny. Which, they learned everything they know from my Grandparents, who had gardens for as long as I could remember. My Uncle Johnny owns a nursery in Fort Bragg and is incredibly talented. His nursery and home garden are both so magical and he is amazing at what he does. Same goes for my Uncle Joey, all my memories of Joey growing up will always include him sitting, drinking a bud light and playing guitar and gardening. He builds all his own arbors and I am so envious. His garden this year is insane and I am very thankfully for his patience while I ask a million questions. He also inspired me to cut down some branches that were beginning to cover Aurora and I’s garden. Joey had purchased this rope chain and he let me borrow it. You’re definitely not supposed to do it alone because you need a good angle on either wide to get a clean cut. Ha, yeah no, I did it alone and took down 6 branches so far. It was AWESOME and we got some firewood out of it. Win-win situation.

Aurora loves going to Friedman’s and I think we spend at least an hour there every Sunday browsing around, as we are looking to plant more flowers to attract some bees to assist with some of our vegetables and fruits. I love hydrangeas and would love to have a huge garden full of them and dahlias and bougainvillea. Oh, and lots of roses! So that’s also why we go so frequently so we can start pricing things out and then mapping it all out at home. And, of course, we always end up with a new little garden toy. They sell these really pretty decorative garden stakes, we have four now I believe. The fourth one came from a trip to Dollar Tree though, it is shaped like a flower, spins and is pink, so how could Aurora not want it? We also purchased a wind chime at Friedman’s which Aurora has become completely obsessed with! I have to keep our bedroom window open when we are home so she can hear it any time the wind blows. And the same should be said about our hummingbird feeder, we haven’t been able to spot one yet but I hope we get to soon. It’s really sweet how involved she wants to be and how much she loves our time spent outside.

I’ve posted links below to the stepping stone kit Aurora and I were given and I also provided a link to the ones I found at Michaels. The one Aurora and I made is very simple, you just need a bucket to mix it in and some water. Again, I did purchase additional glass gems, but you don’t need to if you don’t want.

xoxo

Kid’s Stepping Stone Kit

Michael’s Mosaic Stepping Stone Kit

 

IMG_0697IMG_0770IMG_0833IMG_1193IMG_1194IMG_1293

 

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Thoughts

May 15th, 2017 | Mother’s Day Reflections

One of the reasons I am a momma and get to celebrate and in a sense, be celebrated on Mother’s Day is because of Aurora. I am thankful to my first-born, first of her name, blood of my blood, breaker of chains, mother of…sorry (but not really).

Where do I begin really? I don’t think that it is any surprise how much I love my daughter and how appreciative I am that she is mine. She has brought so much joy and happiness to my life. I am thankful for Aurora, simply for herself and for choosing me as her mom. We were meant to be and it is as clear as day that our souls and hearts are VERY connected. We feel each other’s emotions and feed off of them. She changed my life even before she was in my arms. She changed my life the day that little screen showed two lines. It changed the day that I was told I was carrying a little girl. Without even knowing it she mended a piece of my heart that had been broken for so long. I feel complete when she is near. Aurora makes me laugh, cry, frustrated, laugh, smile, scared, did I mention she makes me laugh? I enjoy our adventures at Crossfit and going to Dutch Brothers and discussing her…admiration…of her boyfriend’s when we get back in the car. I love our time spent in our garden, even when I end up doing all the work because little girl wants to ride her scooter. Her enthusiasm to learn is contagious, whether its cooking, practicing spelling, or attempting to tie her shoes. I adore the fact that she is all about school and will take it upon herself to grab her workbooks and do her “homework”. She will go sit at her table and work at her numbers and alphabets and it makes my heart so happy. I hope she never loses that love, because I certainly did not love homework in any way when I was younger. All the mundane every day nonsense is so much more magical because she makes it that way. Driving in the car would be and is so much more boring without her singing and asking a million questions. I wish I slow down time so she didn’t have to grow up so fast. Now, Aurora is not perfect and I will always be the first to admit that. She definitely has her moments, but even in those moments I love her just the same. I know she’s not always going to listen to me, but as long as the lesson is learned and there’s no blood spilt or trips to the ER, again, we’re all good. I love that girl to infinity and beyond, she’s the Rory to my Loralei, the Moana to my Tefiti and the Tinkerbell to my Peter Pan. Off to Neverland we shall go sweet girl.

Being Aurora’s mom is a gift and she is a gift that I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for my first love, her father. I wouldn’t be a mother without him. Now, I don’t ever write about Aurora’s dad and this will probably be the only time that I do. It is simply too hard for me and too emotional, and who likes feelings? Just kidding, of course everyone likes having feelings. There have never been the right words or enough words to describe the love I have for that man. Even through our hard times that pushed me to take a step back from us, I loved him with all my heart. He has been there for me and supported me in ways no one else did. No one loved me like he did and no one fought past my wall more than him. That’s my heart and soul right there (too bad it took me three years to have the strength to say that). Yesterday would have been our six-year wedding anniversary. (Oh, the rush of emotions that just came over). If it wasn’t for our love for one another Aurora would not be here. The world we live in would be a little less bright, I can’t even begin to imagine a world where she does exist. She was made from a love and friendship that we shared for one another. Kenny was my rock, my shoulder to cry on, my best friend and husband. I called him practically every day that we were apart, even when it had nothing to do with Aurora. For the past three year’s I would go see him at work and kept him in my life, because I also couldn’t imagine a world where he wasn’t in my life everyday. We would go do family outings and go to Disneyland, the one place I haven’t been able to go to just yet. That was our first trip together and a special place for us that we then shared with Aurora. When I think of Disneyland, I think of him. My heart was ready for us, but there was always that wall in the back of my mind. That stupid fucking wall (hate that wall). The trust wall, I was so afraid of getting hurt again but, there came the turning point where I didn’t care and I knew I’d take the bad days and fight through it, because he was always going to be worth walking on fire and through the storm for and he always will be. Where we are in life doesn’t change those feelings for me. I will always love him, there’s a place in my heart that is his, always. To say any different would be complete lie, and I’ve learned I have embrace that and not shy away frm that truth. He got me out of my dark places and gifted me with his love and with Aurora. There will no bigger mistake or greater lesson learned than to never wait or hold back. We shared so many beautiful years together and made one beautiful little girl. I will forever be grateful to him and admire his strength and love for our daughter. He gave me the greatest gift anyone could give me.

…to infinity and beyond, always.

Also, I wouldn’t even be on this earth if it wasn’t for my own mother, always fighting and being strong. To that I should thank her as well. My mom’s unconditional love is appreciated much more than I tell her. Which, I should probably work on that. She went through so much to have my siblings and I. Her emotional strength is unmatched and her love for is so strong. She is goals in so many ways and I hope to as good as mom to Aurora as she has been to us.

 

xoxo

 

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Get Healthy, Health and Fitness

March 30th | 17.4 & 17.5

It has been one week since the final workout was announced for The Open. The five weeks went by so fast, I can’t believe it. Each week was more and more exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I learned new strengths about myself and to just say fuck it and do whatever is handed to me. At times I definitely hated it, but loved it just as much. Of course, at the end of the day I am proud of myself and what I accomplished. I did two of five workouts rx’d and scaled the remaining. My deficiencies were apparent and I know what I need to work on. But that’s all apart of this journey. I am really looking forward to next year and to seeing how I improve over the year.

17.4 has so far been my favorite workout of The Open. Of the four movements it included three that I love, deadlifts, wall balls & rowing. Yes, I love rowing, no I am not crazy. Yes, I may learn to hate it, but right now I love it and would rather row than run. Straight Up. I don’t even wish that I was lying to you about that. 17.4 was a repeat workout and a lot of people seemed to be pretty excited, which I totally get. It was a second chance for people to try the workout and see how far they have come from last year. The prescribed weight for the women was 155 pounds, ten pounds shy of my PR weight of 165 pounds. Which by the way I maybe did three or times, and not like separate times, I legitimately mean four times in my life, haha. But, I wasn’t going to do the workout scaled, scaled would have been 95 pounds. Which, if I did scaled I probably would have finished the workout. Scaled for 17.4 was the 95 pound deadlifts, 10 pound wall balls and instead of handstand push-ups, push-ups with a hand release. Oh, and that was my subtle way of saying that I did not complete the workout. But, let’s be honest I wasn’t going to. Let’s start with the time cap, 13 minutes. So in 13 minutes I would have had to complete 55 deadlifts, 55 wall balls, 55 calories on the row and 55 HSPU’s. I got through the deadlifts, wall balls and about 75% through the row. Deadlifts I started out okay, I did 7 and then it slowly trickled down to 1 at a time, but I fought through it. During wall balls I could definitely start feeling everything in my knees, they were not happy. By the time I got to the row I had maybe a minute and a half and I jammed through that shit. I was rowing like nobody’s business. At first my pace was 10 calories per thirty seconds, so I knew and accepted that I would not get 55 calories before the 13 minutes was up. But I knew thirty was at least doable. Oh, I forgot to mention a kind of important detail, I was the only one working out in my heat. I like to go last, watch everyone else workout and then get to it. Well, I ended up being alone. So all eyes were on me, and Aurora. Thankfully baby girl worked out and had her own version of 17.4, I posted a video on my Instagram last week because I was so proud of her. She, of course, finished way before I did. So there I was kind of alone, all eyes on me for the next thirteen minutes. Everyone was cheering and keeping me going, which was awesome because it was a battle. My judge/coach, Tommy, helped me get through it too. When I got to the row, holy shit. I just felt the presence of men haha. I think I had four people yelling at me to not quit and to just finish strong. Two of my girls came to support me which was awesome too. It was nice to know they were there to cheer me on and support me along this little journey of mine. When I finished the row I thought I was going to pass out, my legs were shot. I ended up with 145 reps completed out of 220. Like I have said before I just have to keep reminding myself that I am on my fifth month of doing Crossfit.

17.4 – 13 minute AMRAP

  • 55 Deadlifts
    • 155 pounds
  • 55 Wall Balls
    • 14 pound ball
  • 55 Calorie Row
  • 55 Handstand Push-ups

The live announcement for 17.5 was really exciting to watch. They had Katrin Davidsdottir and Sara Sigmundsdottir, two beautiful and badass girls from Iceland go head to head. These girls finished the workout in less than 7 minutes, we were given a 40 minute time cap. Insane. They are so strong and it was incredible to watch. The workout itself was 10 rounds, 9 thrusters and 35 double-unders. I cannot do double unders quite yet. There was one time last month where I was able to link 10, which was miracle in my mind. But 350, I knew would not be able to do just yet so I chose to do the workout scaled, which was just your basic run of the mill single unders,also 35 times. The weight from the thrusters was 45 instead of the rx’d 65 pounds. I finished in 13 minutes and 6 seconds and I am good with that. I don’t really know what else to say. This workout was simple and to the point as far as movements go. As soon as they say “go”, you go and you don’t stop and you just power through.

17.5 – 40 minute time cap

  • 9 Thrusters RX’d: 65 pounds
    • Scaled: 45 pounds
  • 35 Double Unders
    • Scaled: 35 Singles

 

Thank you to everyone who supported me the past five weeks and continues to support me on this journey of mine. It means a lot to know I have all of you behind me and cheering me on. Thank you to my three awesome coaches who push me and motivate me to do my best. Thank you to my judges for all of the Open workouts, for keeping me calm and helping me get through movements I didn’t think I could. Thank you to the CFVOM community, I enjoyed cheering you all on and watching you all kick ass.

 

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Get Healthy

March 16th 2017 | 17.2&17.3 Recap

Here we go, another week (or two) have gone by. More workouts, more school, and not enough coffee to keep me awake for it all. School has been fine, math is math. Incase anyone cares, which I’m sure you don’t but I’m telling you anyways, I’m in a lower level math class. I’m in a college skills math and all I have to say is THANK THE LORD. There was so much information that I did not retain from high school, it’s pretty embarrassing. I’m passing my class because thankfully it’s all coming back and I’m picking up on everything. But, damn, adding fractions, positive and negative numbers? None of that suck with me, but also I barely went to class so, haha, that’s also on me. Let’s say high school was not my cup of tea and I did not want to be there more than half of the time. College has been so much more enjoyable, especially at my age I appreciate it that much more. Just gotta get it done with.

Now, onto my FAVORITE thing to talk about here, CrossFit. Ain’t no shame in my game MF’s. I have completed 17.2 and 17.3 and now I get to sit anxiously waiting for 17.4, which is insane to think we are onto our fourth week of The Open. Every week gets harder, for me, mentally and emotionally. I’ve stopped comparing myself to everyone, which has helped me exponentially. That is a huge mountain to overcome for me to shut that part of my brain off. Instead, I’m looking at it in a much more positive light. I look once a week to see where I rank in the Northern California region and in the world and I’m right about in the middle, which to me is fucking awesome. I’m half as good as other people who are ridiculously strong and been doing this for much longer, I’ll take it and run with it. SEEE YAAA HATEEERRSSS ( just kidding, I don’t think I have “haters” just a lot of people who don’t give a shit)

17.2 was really fun for me, though I did it scaled. It included lunges, which I love. We used the dumbbells for the second week in a row and I wasn’t necessarily mad about it either. Dumbbells were something I used a lot at the beginning of my fitness journey so it’s nice to be using them again. We used them for power cleans and had to hold them on our shoulders for the walking lunges. The third movement for the workout was toe to bars and muscle ups. I am almost there with my toes to bars, but nowhere near a muscle up. So for 17.2 I did the scaled version which was knees to chest and a pull-up. I did a kipping swing pull-up and actually got a few, 24 to be exact but who’s counting? :). Each week I keep proving to myself that I CAN do these things and to not be afraid. I tore the crap out of my right hand though. Aurora’s dad was my right hand man for the workout. He was judging me and I am so glad he chose to be my judge and I his. He knows me a lot better than most people and he helped keep me going during those pull-ups. At one point I felt my hand getting sticky, like I would close it in a fist and then I would relax my hand it just stuck a little. Yeah, well I had two HUGE tears on my hand and both had opened up and the skin was just chilling, it’s healed now mostly and it looks pretty cool. I don’t even know how my left hand left the battle unscathed. So, anyways, he saw me look down and he knew immediately that I would want to mess with them and he was just like, no. He told me not to worry about it and to keep going. And if it was anyone else, I probably would have messed with them and then jumped back up on the bar. I hate scabs and blisters and want them gone ASAP. Which, I know you are not supposed to mess with them, but I do (gross, I know).

17.2 | 12 Minute AMRAP Rx’d 35 pounds | Scaled 20 pounds

  • 2 rounds
    • 50-ft Weighted Walking Lunges
    • 16 Toes to Bars | Knees to chest
    • 8 Power Cleans
  • 2 rounds
    • 50-ft Weighted Walking Lunges
    • 16 Muscle Ups | Pull-ups
    • 8 Power Cleans

 

17.3 was a different story. It ended up being a snatch ladder with pull ups in between. I did scaled again, so I couldn’t even tell you the rx’d women’s or the men’s but it was a crazy amount of weight, in my opinion. Just to break it down really quick, a ladder is basically when the weight increases for each set, like you are going up a ladder. The first set was 6 pull-ups and 6 snatches at the first weight, for three rounds. The next set of the ladder was 7 pull-ups and 5 snatches at the next weight for three rounds. And so on and so forth. The scaled weight started at 35 pounds and the next weight was 55 pounds, which is pretty much all I got to. I was not expecting to do well, but I was hoping to do a little bit more. But, it is what is. Well, not really because I thought it would be a really good idea to try it again. Mind you the first time I got a decent amount of reps, which I should have just accepted. But I am me and I’m stubborn and in my mind I thought I could do a little better. More so because I was one second away from hitting my last rep to get to the next round of the ladder. So annoying. I gave myself two days to rest, two days. Looking back, I didn’t even think of that. So dumb, 17.1 wrecked me and I needed almost a week to recover, why I thought two days was chill is so silly. Stubborn AF. I got through less reps the second time around, I believe, I think that’s what I heard Spenser tell me. The only plus side to re-doing my workout was that my mom got to watch me. So cute, I felt like garbage about how I did and she just gives me a hug and says “Oh my god, you did so good. I’m so proud of you.” Love little Diane.

17.3 | Ascending AMRAP

Rx’d weight: 65lbs, 95lbs, 135lbs, 155lbs, 175lbs, 185 lbs

Scaled weight: 35lbs, 55lbs, 65lbs, 75lbs, 95lbs, 105lbs

  • 8 Minutes to complete
    • 3 Rounds
      • 6 Pull Ups
      • 6 Squat Snatches @ First Weight
    • 3 Rounds
      • 7 Pull Ups
      • 5 Squat Snatches @ Second Weight

If you complete before the 8 minutes, you get 4 minutes added to your time, then you must complete..

  • 3 Rounds
    • 8 Pull Ups
    • 4 Squat Snatches @ Third Weight

If you complete that then you add another four minutes and do the fourth round and then if you finish that you get another four minutes and do the fifth round and then another four minutes and the last round.

Today, we’ll find out what 17.4 is. Everyone seems to think we are getting close to thrusters with dumbbells and handstand push-ups so we worked on that yesterday. We did two separate AMRAPS that included both and my shoulders are done. Halfway through hand stands they, as in my shoulders, hit a point where they were like, “eff you Brooke, I hate you” and just gave out. I would honestly love to see a video of myself in a handstand and then falling over because I am sure it is hysterical to watch my legs flailing trying to catch myself.

 

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Get Healthy

March 2nd, 2017 | 17.1

I hope some of you out there watch Game of Thrones, if you don’t do yourself a favor and watch it before the new season to starts up again. I have decided to rewatch them all and the plan is to be ending season six right as season seven picks back up in the summer. It is so awesome to go back and watch the episodes and see ALL of the foreshadowing that occurs, it makes you realize how many small details you miss or bits and pieces of certain conversations that you skipped over because at the time it didn’t necessarily matter or make sense. It’s so good! I’m obviously watching Game of Thrones as I type this. I like having it as bakground noise, that and Lord of the Rings. When I’m doing homework or studying its much less distracting and I can actually get stuff done. While I at school, in lab, I listen to the Game of Thrones pandor station or the Lord of the Rings station. Very rarely do I listen to anything else, I lose focus.

Last Thursday, dressed in Givenchy because he’s fancy AF, Dave Castro announced 17.1 for the CrossFit Games Open. You gotta give the guy props, he’s a terrible actor and has a poor way of delivering the work outs. It’s almost like as if the words coming out of his mouth are foreign, even to him. But, he has a great way building everything up. He pauses before each sentence, making you creep closer to the edge of your seat in hopes that you’ll dislike him less, or maybe more. He, quite honestly, may be one of those people who thrive off of others dislike for him. Who knows for certain though. So, what felt like an eternity, he finally said the entire workout…

  • 10 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • 20 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • 30 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • 40 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • 50 Dumbbell Snatches
  • 15 Burpee Box Jump Overs

….20 minute time cap, rx’d weight was 50 pounds for the men and 35 for the women. They had 4 athletes go head to head live and they all completed it within 10-12 minutes. I knew I was never going to be able to accomplish that. First, because when we began work with the dumbbells I was using a 20 pounds and I had never actually done a box jump, I referred to old faithful, step-ups. That night a few of the guys I workout with had me try out the 35 pounds, they obviously had more faith in me than I did myself. I was surprised that I could actually do it and was told to do the prescribed weight. Now my only concern was box jumps, which is more of a mental thing for me than anything else. Friday morning I went about my usual schedule, shower for school, eat breakfast, get coffee and head off to Santa Rosa or Pysch class. It was pretty hard to stay focused, all I could think about was the workout. When I got home, I got all my stuff together, ate and took a nap. At this point my sore throat was only getting worse and when I woke up I felt so groggy. I headed to the gym and got a coffee and pretty much waited until the last class to do the workout. Walking into it I knew I wasn’t going to finish, I had attempted my first two box jumps before I started and could tell those were going to slow me down. I turned to my judge and told them that I would be somewhat satisified finishing three rounds at least. Get to the third set of burpee box jump overs and that will be a feat in itself, now a huge one, but a fairly big one to me.

I got in 188 reps out of a total of 225. I didn’t finish the workout but I got part way through the fifth round. That’s much higher than I expected to finish and that is what I have to remember. Of course, once I could see that I could do these movements it was a bit frustrating that I didn’t finish before the twenty minutes was up. But, there was no way I was going to do that over again. My back was wrecked through out the entire weekend and it didn’t start to feel normal again until yesterday. Tonight we will find out what 17.2 is, which should be interesting as Dave Castro’s clues were a statue of a man and a koi fish.

 

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Adventures 2016, Get Healthy, Health and Fitness, Thoughts

My road to The Open

Going through the motions of trying to decide what to write or which of my many mock posts to choose from can be difficult at times. The Crossfit Open is now a day away, so sharing my thoughts and feelings on how Crossfit has affected me is a pretty obvious choice. But again, my insecurities surrounding my writing and choosing to be so open with people on the inner workings of my mind is kind of tough at times. No joke, I wrote this on Monday night…it is now Wednesday. But, the other night it kind of became clear to me what I wanted to, but not necessarily needed to, write about which is insecurities, more or less. Maybe.

A friend of mine, who I obviously respect or else I wouldn’t be writing about this, posted a status on facebook. Not political, nor was it one of his funny posts, but one that made me think, a lot. Like, a lot a lot. He simply just brought up the point that he doesn’t understand why people hold themselves back and don’t fully commit themselves to their dreams and goals. For most people, they will think nothing of this post and agree. One of his friends brought up a point that hit so close to home for me on a few levels, what about the people who are insecure with themselves? I tossed in my two cents in a very simple way with the least amount of words possible. I brought up that some people have higher hurdles to jump over, whether its emotional or mental. I also said that one bad experience can be a huge mind fuck for people and can be detrimental to future commitments or goals. Then a few more exchanges occurred and I said the light at the end of tunnel is sometimes so far and can seem unattainable and the light seems less bright the further you have to go down this path. His response, which for some people is very valid, was to just then push harder. Oh, my sweet friend, if only it was that easy. My heart sank a little and I didn’t respond, I just wanted to leave it a that. And as you can see, hours (days) later the response still hurts. How do you explain to someone through a computer screen that just about everyone with deep insecurities wishes it was just that easy. To be able to simply push through can seem so effortless to others. And I am speaking from a place of very real experience of having to fight my demons on a daily basis. I am now twenty eight and still have demons to battle with. I accepted a very long time ago that I always will have these struggles. I have been fortunate enough to have certain aspects, like Aurora, be my driving force to get through life. But, not everyone is blessed with things like that. So, how can I make people understand that?

I can’t.

I am not able to, in any capacity, sit here and make someone understand the struggle so many people face. It’s beautiful to know that there are so many people who are able to fight and make their way to their dreams and make them a reality, absolutely beautiful. But, we are all built so differently and need a better understanding of that. Even me describing my daily battle with myself won’t make people understand. It’s hard to understand something when maybe some people haven’t had to deal with it first hand. Not that anyone or everyone is not open minded, but when it comes to depression, social anxiety or insecurities these topics are hard for people to grasp. They can’t understand why people feel this way and just think they are throwing a pity party for themselves, which is the opposite a majority of the time. My depression and insecurities have been about me and only me. I try and do my best to cover those things up because I don’t want people to judge me for it. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

It is no secret how much Crossfit means to me. I have come to a point where I am willing to give up my social life and sanity and dedicate myself to Crossfit and be everything I can be. To eventually be the best and strongest version of myself. Now see how easy that was for me to sit here and type? It’s a nice thought. But holy shit, I am so good at talking myself out of those things and tend to a lot. It’s scary to think that way sometimes, to set a goal like that. Not because of the end goal itself but everything that will go into it and the endless questioning of my ability. Will I be good enough? Am I good enough? Am I wasting my time? Am I wasting my coaches time? Does anyone here actually like me? Did I make the wrong decision? And so on and so forth. I won’t say my weight stops me anymore that is not an insecurity for me at this point. When I began my fitness journey those insecurities slowly went away on their own. My weight doesn’t matter to me as much like it did in the past and it is no longer my main focus. I lost forty pounds and that’s all I needed to begin the process of being comfortable with myself. I don’t weigh myself anymore or necessarily care about those three digits because within four months I have gone from 162 pounds to 175 pounds (I weighed myself so I knew the actual number). Certain clothes are too big on me and things I purchased a size smaller months ago fit just right or are starting to get a little baggy. So what does that tell you right there?

That I am a mythical creature, duh.

No, but really, it just tells you I am still losing inches and possibly fat, but gaining a lot of muscle. My goals fitness wise have changed drastically due to Crossfit. Yes, I still want to lose weight, but I’m not exercising anymore, I am training. That mindset right there has changed so much for me. My goal is to lift more weight, to squat, snatch, and power clean with ease. I want to do a freaking pull-up and hand stands like it is second nature. I want to throw a weighted ball up a wall, catch it in a squat and throw it up again, repeatedly. I want to get to a point where I can do 20 burpees without stopping for a break. I want to be ridiculously strong, mentally, emotionally and physically. Okay, that tangent is over. But, you get the point. My insecurities with weight are gone, but that doesn’t mean I don’t face any others. I just began Crossfit and I have to do everything I can to NOT COMPARE myself to the other athletes I am training with. You know how tough that is? I can barely thrust or even just hold two 35 pound dumbbells over my head, but other girls can do it with ease. I have to constantly remind myself to not look at what they are doing and focus on my own shit. I get so into my own head and that’s when the light at the end of the tunnel starts to dim and seems unattainable. That sprint towards my goal is practically gone, I trip over my own thoughts and struggle to get back up and running. I cried last week during a workout, which was terrible. I think I hid it well, but I don’t know. I’ve had a lot going on in my life and was struggling to do front rack lunges with 75 lbs. I was whipping my arms so incredibly bad with the jump-rope because I could not hit my double unders. I felt like, in that moment, that I wasn’t good enough, like maybe I am making the wrong decision. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing Crossfit, maybe I’m not an athlete. That thought occurs on a daily basis. More-so now with The Open upon us and it sucks. Do I need to get over everything and “push” through it, duh…I don’t really have a choice. I signed up as soon as the registration opened up on purpose. Once I registered and paid, I couldn’t back out. I mean I could, but then I would be out of twenty bucks. So, pushing through is something I have to do, but to be able to be at that point mentally is huge. A few years ago, I would’ve just said fuck it and not done it and let that time and money go to waste. This is something that has been four years in the making. This all didn’t happen over night, it doesn’t quite work that way. It would be awesome if it did. So push through it I shall. I had a great WOD yesterday and was probably one of the only people excited to do it. This year Dave Castro gave the hint that there will be dumbbells used in The Open. We have been using them to better prepare ourselves, which is why I seemed annoyed earlier when I mentioned not being able to use the 35 pound weights. For time we need to do the following

Sit-Ups

50-40-30-20-10

Dumbbell Thrusters

5-10-15-20-25

I got that done in 13:21, I was ecstatic. Yes, I used 20 pound dumbbells, but I got through it bruises and all. (My shoulders are so tender right now, it’s ridiculous). So insecurities aside, I am really excited for Thursday’s announcement. But this is just another step up my emotional ladder and I only hope that everyone else dealing with insecurities can find the same courage to break through those barriers, at their own pace. Do things on your own time, and not what other people think. Make yourself happy, forget everyone else.

 

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