Get Healthy, Health and Fitness, Thoughts

Let’s just pretend like I have my shit together | September 28th, 2017

Well, hello. It’s been a while, eh? Typical Brooke fashion, for sure, like for-sursies (there’s my college education going to work right there). My plate is full, my cup is constantly runneth-ing over, and life is good. The bad is never actually that bad and is typically things I can easily brush off or just sweep under the rug and leave them to be dealt with later, if I remember. I mean, between raising a human being, both of us being in school and starting a new job I don’t have time for anything that is not serving my life in a positive way. And guys, I’ve gotten so much better about not giving a shit, it’s amazing. I’m letting go of things and situations and just not allowing them to take up like 80% of my life anymore. I have always been and will most likely continue to put other people’s needs and happiness before my own. It’s one of my charming qualities. I will always look for the best in people and want them to be happy no matter what the situation is. And, honestly when you get to a point where you realize that maybe this person or a situation doesn’t even know what will make them happy or what road to take to be happy (without them saying it outright of course), you just have to back off and let someone else take the steering wheel. So here I am getting my Carrie Underwood on and letting Jesus take the wheel. Let’s be honest, I’m a mom and always have that part of my brain on. I want the people I care about to be happy and to live the best life they possibly can and to see all the potential they have. And for everyone to just be fucking nice to one another. I just have a lot of feelings, okay?

So I am now in my third semester back at school and it is going swimmingly. Like the kind of swimming where you’re good, then get a cramp and have that quick flash of where you think you’re drowning. There have been a lot of long and sleepless nights. But, I love all of my classes and my teachers. I have all female teachers and they are all amazing in their own ways. It sounds terrible, but I have yet to find a male teacher that is not a complete asshole or narcissistic douche and made me want to actually stay in their class. My female teachers have all been so badass and motivating, the keep me going. My psych teacher was the worst last year, so bad that I actually dropped the class. I think going forward my goal will be to have my all of my teachers and professors be female for the rest of my academic career. I mean, unless someone knows a guy, then I will take a friendly suggestion. Little miss is also in school and has started Kindergarten. Which, how crazy is that? I have a child in Kindergarten. I never once imagined that I would be in school at the same time as one of own. Aurora is loving it, of course. If you know my child, she is so the opposite of me and actually loves school and looks forward to it. I am definitely going to keep that train going for as long as I can. But, she is also feeling the repercussions of being in school five days a week, for seven hours a day. I am pretty sure this is the most exhausted I have seen my girl. But, again, she is so happy. My favorite part of my days when I have school is when I’m done for the day and I go pick her up and we go do our homework together. My heart is so content and it motivates me so much more to have her by my side. I mean talk about a constant reminder of why I am doing what I am doing. She’s the best and it’s almost gross how much I love her and am obsessed with her, as a mother should be with her child. Talk about being domesticated, in some form, I’ll be cooking dinner and Aurora is at the table doing homework and asking me questions and I fucking love it. Every stress I have goes away in those moments because we have a great life and we are so blessed that we even get to do that. I love us, our life, everything.

Our time together has just become that much more important because, for one, half of the week she is with her dad and secondly I did start a new job that is time consuming in all of the best ways. My mornings start very early, in regards to waking up and then dropping of Ro at school. I tend to get home 12-13 hours which is what is making things difficult but we are starting to get into a rhythm and have a better sense of our schedule and how things will work out. Which, thank god. I have not worked out or been to Crossfit in two months. My priorities have had to shift and unfortunately that took the brunt of it. A lot of my priorities have had to change due to life and all the changes that have occurred. Some of those changes were to my education and the path I am on. Which, for those of you who don’t know I am making my way towards being a nurse. I had to make the hardest decision when it came to school and what made the most sense for my life and where it is right now. I am still 100% in love with fashion and all things product development and FIDM. But, it is currently going on the back burner until I can fully devote myself to it. It was such a heartbreaking decision to make too. My counselor looked at me and dead in the eye and told me I had to make up my mind, in the nicest of ways of course. And I had to do some deep soul searching, as I having been doing a lot of the last two-three months. What it all came down to was that my passion is helping people and I love children. So, for now, that is my focus and I have a long road ahead. I still question if I am making the right decision, but for now it feels like the right decision for me.

So here I am, slowly getting my life back together.

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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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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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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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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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Get Healthy, Thoughts

New love.

Two months have gone by and a lot has changed, both good and bad. But, I’m just going to focus on the good today.
I love Crossfit. I am madly, deeply in love and slightly obsessed with Crossfit. I really wish it didn’t take me so long to just go and do it. I really had no reason to be intimidated  by the actual workouts or anyone there. I have been going to the gym and working out for, what, four or five years now consistently? That sounds about right. This has been hands down one of the best experiences on my journey. First of all, there is no judgement, everyone is on a different level and its okay. If you’re one of the last people finishing a workout people cheer you on and support you. No ones yelling at you for not working hard enough, they are rooting for you to push through and complete the workout. Just finsish the workout and give it your all, that’s all that is expected. Now don’t get me wrong, I have loved my past gyms for several reasons. My first gym was where I found my love of working out and my badass Zumba instructor, Lauren, who has truly been a blessing to me and great motivation. Though my daughters dad is very much still involved, she has been my everything through learning how to be a single parent. There were days where I felt like I had no time for myself and was very focused on Aurora, as I should be. But, she’s one of the people who let me know its okay to take an hour for myself and that I NEEDED to to stay sane. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am on my fitness journey if it wasn’t for her. My previous gym before I switched to Crossfit is awesome in regards to the classes it offered, I tried Spin and fell in love with yoga there. I am still considering keeping my membership there so I can get my fill of both and I miss the people there as well.  The equipment is beyond amazing, but both gyms didn’t have what I need emotionally from a gym. Which just sounds strange, but its true and the best way for me to put it. The sense of community at a Crossfit box is entirely different than your standard gym atmosphere. I recommend my previous gym to everyone I meet though. You want state of the art equipment and effing amazing classes taught by awesome people, you’ll want to go there. But I needed more from it. I guess I’m not sure how to explain the sense of community at Crossfit in comparison to a gym aside from that everyday you have the same goal, the same workout to finish as everybody else. It’s not a competition against everyone, its you challenging yourself and being surrounded by people going through the same motions as you. Do people like to get better times or PR’s than other people? Duh, but its more so out of fun. I walk in for class and am greeted by people and have started to build relationships with these people. It is something you need to experience first hand, because I am doing a shit job explaining it haha. Anyways….so I love my “box”. There have been aspects of it that are challenging, such as all the different movements. But, I don’t hate any of it. Everyday presents itself with a new workout and new challenges. Double unders, hand stands and anything with the pull-up bar has been anything but easy for me. But, I will say double unders I am getting better at and just had to find the right rhythm and timing. Yes, I am doing 1-1-2-1-1-2 for the time being, but its better then doing a million singles during a workout. Hand-stands I just need to get my feet to the wall before my ass and I’m good. I end up laughing at myself a lot when doing hand stands. But, laughing at yourself is good, right? Now before I go into pull ups, I will throw out there that my upper body strength is not where I want it to be. A lot of my strength is in my legs, so squats and all of that haven’t really ever been an issue. So when it comes to pull-ups it is just sad. I scale down to jumping pull-ups most of the time, which is fine. I finally got down kipping swings, which will be helpful when I can do everything else. At first my brain was not understanding kipping swings at all. When I finally understood how to do it I wanted to kick myself a little because the movement itself is pretty simple. I was standing to the side one day and was watching everyone else do it and then it hit me, I had my ah-ha moment. I was usually facing everyone straight on and didn’t necessarily see the swinging movement and having my upper body forward while my legs are behind me. So I can now swing and get my knees to my chest, so hopefully in a few months I can actually get my toes to the bar. Another awesome thing about Crossfit is my child. Aurora goes with me sometimes to the classes and she loves it. She likes to be around everyone and jump in on the warm ups. Of course she would love to work out too, but she knows she has to be a lot older to do so. Spencer and Alicia, the owners of Crossfit Valley of the Moon, are so patient and accommodating with her. They let her hang out with them and “coach”. She is always so excited to go back and hates when I go without her.
Which, speaking of little, I have a five year old and it trips me out. Aurora has two Broadway Bound Kids productions under her belt and recently took hip-hop. Which was probably the cutest thing ever. She may or may not have had a mini crush on her teacher and I don’t blame her because he was so awesome with all the kids (and duh, he’s totally cute). My family loves music and to dance, so to have her share that same passion is so much fun, especially now when she throws down all of her new moves. Throw in the fact that she practices squats and burpees at home, she melts my heart. She’s way too cute for her own good and unfortunately she knows it. Last week we took our holiday pictures and she was a total ham! The morning was rough, like I said above we are going through some changes and some mornings are harder than others. That morning was just not good, we had a few tears and I was starting to get worried that I was about to waste money. But, thankfully she pulled through, she loved our photographer and we got some amazing shots of not just her but the two of us. Every moms dream right? A few pictures that make us look like we actually have our shit together?! I’m just going to go ahead and answer yes because some days we definitely don’t have it all together. But, I have her by myside to get through this crazy life and sometimes that’s all I need. Well, that and coffee. Aurora, coffee and crossfit.

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