Archive for June, 2012

Peach and Raspberry Fruit Trifle


Here’s the recipe…I’m off to a BBQ

Cancer – Go the F Away!


Something about reading about Andy Whitfield and his battle with cancer again brought up some serious emotions yesterday. I feel so much empathy towards his wife and having to go on day after day having lost the love of her life at such a young age. Although Scott is thriving, I had to grasp the reality of it and the possibility of losing him and what that would be like for me and my kids.  I still think about it to some extent regularly.

We are too young to have to come to grips with that reality — we aren’t supposed to think about that sort of stuff. Our kids are still young, learning, needing their parents to guide them.   And for the most part, we are living our lives beyond cancer but it creeps up in the littlest things sometimes. A story about someone’s battle, a death, a family struggling with their treatment — it’s hard to predict what triggers it for me but when it gets ignited, my heart gets heavy and sobbing is inevitable. I was up past midnight last night, sobbing. I am sure it’s part of the post trauma stress that I hear about. I don’t think I have ever really sat down, alone in my thoughts and felt the heaviness of what we went through.

Scott and I are go getters — we just head into the storm and deal. It’s not like we had any sort of choice anyways. We have kids, we have a life, we are young and the world is our oyster! I was thinking about when we got the diagnosis, there was not really more than a moment that we doubted that he was going to beat it. It just was the answer — and I am sure that every family dealing with it adopts that fighting spirit.   And I am thankful every day that he has beaten it — next year (summer 2013) will be 5 years cancer free and we can breathe a sigh of relief because they call that cured from the colon cancer. Of course all the other after effects aren’t going away but those are minor compared to having my Scotty here and healthy.

Anyway, just wanted to get that off my chest. Having to even think about losing someone you love is heavy and it is not something that leaves you. But when you actually lose that someone — man, heavy doesn’t even begin to describe it. I feel for all of those people – and know a few in my own circle of friends and I make sure to  mention it from time to time to let them know I don’t forget.

My workout today was just what I needed to work out some of what was going on in my headspace —

800m run

Pull Ups


  • 8 box jumps
  • 6 push ups
  • 8 push ups


Is Your Daughter’s Wish To Be Thinner?


What Do You Do When Your 10-Year-Old Girl Says She’s Fat?

According to MissRepresentation, 80% of 10-year-old girls say they have been on a diet, and “the number one magic wish for girls 11-17 is to be thinner.” Now, personally, I’m pretty sure I didn’t figure out that I was fat and unlovable until I was around 15. And then I didn’t figure out that all of that was complete bullshit until I was 25. That was ten years of disappointment, dieting, crushing loneliness, and the gloomy certainty that I’d be alone forever (to be fair, it was also fun times, travel, hilarious friends, a great education, gin & tonics, and unfettered focus on making my life awesome). But today’s girls get 15 years of that shit, to my ten—presuming they clamber out of the pit by 25, if they manage to do it at all. NO THANKS. This is clearly an emergency.

I know one of these girls. She lives in my house. My 10-year-old stepdaughter (her dad and I aren’t married, but you know what I mean, Archbishop of Pedantrybury) recently announced that the entire family would be required to “work out” together every morning. She made little workout checklists for herself and her 8-year-old sister, with a specificity that would be hilarious if it wasn’t so troubling (“do 36 push-ups,” “jog for 17 minutes”). I notice her grasping for little excuses not to eat. She casually mentions that certain relatives and classmates have called her fat. She claims she just “likes” turkey bacon better than regular bacon (BLATANT LIE). Even kids (especially kids, maybe) know that the best way to insult a woman is to call her fat. They know that thin > fat, even if they don’t really understand what that means. So her stupid 14-year-old cousin knows that the best way to needle my 10-year-old beanpole stepkid is to call her fat. And he does. Stupid cousin.

Now, this could all be coming from a totally healthy impulse—she’s also terrifically athletic and currently obsessed with martial arts and acquiring a machete (her “Weapons to Get” list is twice as long as the workout list)—but it sure doesn’t feel like that.

Run Faster to Get Better


My friend Lidia is headed to the CF Games again — I did a write up on her to highlight how amazing she is for

Today’s workout was brutal. Sprints and Dead Lifts together?

What is the coach crazy? It was hard……….and I ended up doing 5 rounds with 135# deadlifts. Yeah — I am so not a fan of running. Exactly why I need to run more. The things that are the most challenging are the things we need to put effort and focus on.  So, as much as I dislike it – I will make it a goal to run more. Run, Forest, Run!

Scott has a dr appointment tomorrow with his GI dr. It’s a routine colonoscopy dr appointment before his actual one but it still makes me nervous. I will be beyond happy when we hit year 5 and can really feel free enough to breathe normally. Year 5 is a mere year away and we can say Scott is completely cured from colon cancer.

Remember, I am talking about the actual cancer, not the mental and physical changes that it and the treatment to get rid of it caused.  But, the alternative was not an option!

‘Spartacus’ star Andy Whitfield’s battle with cancer captured in new documentary


Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer Aug 4-5 at CrossFit Rubicon


I don’t know if you remember when I shared info about the Tony Blauer Be Your Own BodyGuard Workshop I attended. It really taught me a lot about the mental aspect of being in danger and made me much more aware of my own internal voice and how I react to it during certain situations. I also got to meet one of my favorite CrossFitters – Jeremy Kinnick so it was a good workshop for a few reasons. One of the things I wished however after the it was over — was that it went longer than just 1 day.

Well — I am signed up* and ready to go to a 2 day summer camp of sorts called Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer held at CrossFit Rubicon, Vienna, Virginia. Saturday Aug 4 – Sunday Aug 5 10A-5P each day.

I am sure we will be learning a bunch of new stuff but I know that we will indeed go more in depth learning the fundamentals of S.P.E.A.R. System –

The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEM™ (Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response) is a scientifically researched & medically reviewed personal defense measure that exploits the body’s natural responses to violence and danger.

I’m told there will be a few special guests including Rodney King, the founder of Crazy Monkey Defense, and Zach Even-Esh, Underground Strength Coach.

You may be saying –isn’t this a camp for mostly guys!??  No way — the principles that Tony will teach can be applied to so much more than just combat. Just yesterday, I shared one of his blogs: The 10 Commandments of Street Survival as a perfect example of how your mind can defeat you or help you win in LIFE — not just a violent situation.

Your mind can be your ally or your most formidable opponent. Your thoughts can motivate you or they can create the inertia State of psycho-physical paralysis.

Psychological fear leads to doubt and hesitation. Unchecked it can devolve into anxiety and panic. Unsolicited, a ‘Victim’s vocabulary’ starts: What if I lose? What if it hurts? What if I fail? Thoughts like these must be eliminated from your vocabulary for you to perform at your peak. Your ‘self talk’ or ‘internal dialogue’ must be positive, assertive and motivating. Your inner coach must empower you to greater heights, to surpass preconceived limitations, to boldly go where… you get the picture. That is what it means to not defeat yourself.

I am telling you — women should definitely go to a workshop like this. It can give us the advantage we need to be in the game mentally and physically.  And you feel like a bad-ass knowing you can protect yourself if you had to. There is nothing more empowering and powerful than that!

So, Ladies/Guys —go Register!


*Disclaimer: I will be sharing information about and a review of Tony Blauer’s Combative camp in exchange for free registration.  My thoughts & opinions will be unbiased & honest as always. 

Profiled as a Global Hero In Disrupting Education


I am beyond honored to be profiled today by Anthony Salcito @Microsoft VP Worldwide #Education as a Global Hero in Education

Stop the CrossFit Elitism


I have recently become aware of something that I think needs some attention.

Many of my fellow CrossFit athletes have been working out for quite some time. We get it, we get the reasons why we are doing it. We get the movements. We get the work required to make the progress we want. We get how it works: some days it will suck and embrace the suck. We get it so much that sometimes we forget how hard it is for others out there to get started.

This weekend a friend of mine from years ago tried CrossFit for the first time. She came to the Saturday class, which is free, to give it a try. She did email me a day or two beforehand asking me if I really thought she could handle it. It scared the shit out of her and she just wasn’t sure she would be able to handle it. I, of course, told her she would be fine. That all the videos you see promoted are not the real story of CrossFit. The ‘real’ story are the people who are just like you and me.  Not people who are striving to go be a Reebok Elite CrossFit Athlete.  The majority of those discovering CrossFit are looking for a fun, effective way to stay in shape. If they happen to show promise and are good enough to compete –wow, bonus!

Yesterday, I shared a post about being a Paleo Purist or Perfectionist  The same issues can be said about CrossFit. There are some that believe there is no room for anything but.  I argue there is room for both the elites and the folks who aren’t so ‘into’ it – but are there to get a good workout and then go home and get on with their day.  As long as everyone is doing the movements using the right technique, safely then they can work side by side. The level of suck depends on them.  What is their own level of intensity.

My friend who came on Saturday –the workout was a tough partner WOD. It was hot and humid and we had to run 600m together holding a 25# plate, then do 100 alternating box jumps, 100 sit ups passing a 25# plate, 50 pull ups (partner assisted), and then 100 leg throws (partner alternating), then finish it off with a 600m run with that darn plate again. Now –imagine being brand new, just starting a fitness program and you are faced with that? It’s daunting, scary and down right crazy. Well you know what? My friend –she did what she could and did great. I partnered with her — We did a slow jog/walk for the 600m and I held the plate for most of it — then the box jumps: she stepped up as many as she could, taking breaks as she needed. Sit ups –I didn’t pass her the plate and she did as many as she could and she ended up doing 1 pull up that I assisted with her. She was done after that! And that was OK! Her level of suck was there —

Keep in mind she hadn’t worked out in a long time–that Workout was hard for even the folks that have worked out! She was fairly broken and upset at the end thinking she didn’t do well. She did GREAT! I was beyond proud of her. FIrst, to get her ass in here, sight unseen to begin to make changes in her life. That’s great. Then, to try something new fitness wise that, if we are being honest, is a bit intimidating – is even better than great. It’s Awesome!  We all have to start somewhere…

She is coming back this week to do an intro and I asked that she give it 12 weeks. If she doesn’t get it after that –then CrossFit isn’t for her! Plain and Simple!

And this morning, we had someone return that hasn’t been here since September. I have no idea what was going on in her life that kept her away but who cares? She came back and gave it her all this AM. That is Awesome too!

We all have to start somewhere… and I think what happens is that long time CrossFitters lose perspective and patience for newbies. It’s not easy to decide to give it a try, let alone make a lifestyle change. For them to walk into the door takes courage and they deserve attention and recognition for that and even more they deserve a coach’s patience and experience when needed.  Even more so, they deserve fellow athlete’s support and encouragement as they learn the ways of the CrossFit. (Think Yoda here…)  Because, let’s face it, we were all newbies at some point in our athletic journey.

I think I am sensitive to how hard it is because it was only 4 years ago when I arrived at a boot camp and couldn’t do one push up. I remember how hard mentally that was for me and how daunting the work that was going to be required to progress.  It still is daunting, depending on the day, but I know what the work required feels like and have enjoyed the success of meeting some of my milestones.

All I am asking is for the fellow CrossFit community to be aware of how hard it can be for some people to just even walk through that door –so your support and words can really make a difference. It can be just what is needed for them to continue on, fighting for their lifestyle change and getting better.

I am planning on doing some videos of REGULAR people getting their WOD on so others know that people just like them are getting it done too! Watch for those soon!

Now, Get it Done!!

5m Double Unders
Dynamic Range of Motion (DROMs)


Front Squat (1 rm) 5,5,5,3,3,3,2,1,1


Tabata Situps





NPR Talks Paleo Eating


We Evolved To Eat Meat, But How Much Is Too Much?

But modern medicine tells us that too much meat is bad for us, so what’s a consumer to do?

During a workout at a CrossFit gym, a gathering spot for lots of paleo-enthusiasts, Durant told me it’s no longer a challenge for him to avoid the onslaught of bagels and pizza at every street corner. The paleo approach is to eliminate grains and processed food, which are relatively new to the human diet. And, as a result, Durant says, he no longer gets the spikes and dips in his moods, and he feels better.

Now, everyone from the American Cancer Society to theAmerican Heart Association and popular food writers such asMark Bittman tells us to eat less red meat.

Pictures from American Cancer Society Cure by Design event



Here are links to photo galleries from various photographers from the DC Cure BY Design Event

Jason Dixon:


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