Archive for July, 2012

CrossFit: Because there are better reasons than looking good in a bikini at stake…

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So about a year ago, I did Nancy and went really light. Today, we did Nancy and just felt off again –so went 55# instead of 65#.  Running is not one of the best joys of my life and Nancy has 5 rounds of 400m. I have been working on my new breathing technique and I have to say, it has it been working. I have to get used to it and the rhythm of the breath, but once I do — I am not as exasperated as I used to be.

warmup
400m jog
10 OHS
10 Pass Thrus
10 Squats

skill
OHS

WOD

Nancy
Five rounds for time of:
400 meter run
55lb Overhead squat, 15 reps
time: 17:32 

I am happy with my time overall. Under 20m is a good benchmark for anything with 5 rounds and running for me. I also mentally was dreading this WOD. I’m not sure if it’s the summer weather or just a mental issue, but my running seems to be getting harder and slower and more un-enjoyable.  I need to figure out how to snap out of it!! SNAP OUT OF IT!

Read this blog post about how CrossFit and being strong and healthy can save your life —  I just don’t know what to say after reading this about Miranda Oldroyd.  Because she was in shape, fit and strong already, her ability to prevent a more serious outcome was tenfold. This is the reason why being FIT really matters.  Protection against serious injury and illness.

So — hopefully that will give you all something to think about as you keep considering starting a fitness program. There are bigger reasons than looking good in a bikini at stake…

Rethinking Cancer: What it means for healthcare

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Rethinking cancer

New studies show that aggressive measures aren’t always best. What does this mean for healthcare?

This year, several more such studies have been released. In the spring, the preventive services task force was back with a recommendation that a common test for prostate cancer be abandoned because the chances that men would be harmed by unnecessary treatment far outweighed the chance that their lives would be saved. And nine medical specialty panels came out with a sweeping recommendation for doctors to order 45 common tests, medications and procedures less often for cancer and a wide range of other illnesses, saying they were often unnecessary and potentially harmful. Those include antibiotics for uncomplicated common sinus infections and routine EKGs for patients who have no symptoms of heart trouble.

Most recently, a study published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine found that men whose early-stage prostate cancer is carefully monitored but not treated right away appear to live as long as men whose cancer is immediately operated on, and that they also avoid the troubling side effects of urinary problems and erectile dysfunction. The study isn’t definitive, and its findings might not apply to all forms of prostate cancer or to younger men.

The public, though, seems a little doubtful about pronouncements that Americans are over-tested and over-treated, and it’s easy to see why. Our very nature tells us that if there’s a bad thing in us like cancer, we want it out. Also, insurance companies and the government have been warning that runaway increases in medical costs are unsustainable. This makes patients worry that important medical tests and treatments will be withheld for financial rather than health considerations. What many people fail to realize is that some unnecessary tests and treatments are currently being ordered for a different financial reason: in order to earn doctors money. Many procedures are profit centers for medical providers; in other cases, they are ordered to shield practitioners against possible malpractice suits, rather than because they are medically necessary and appropriate.

The sensitive new technologies that enable doctors to find and diagnose more medical problems have also led them to find, explore and treat things that never would have caused problems, according to Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. “We now recognize that we all harbor abnormalities,” Welch said in a Times story last year.

That’s not to say that the nation should instantly start following all of these findings and recommendations all of the time. In some cases, more research is needed. And in any specific patient’s case, physicians should make decisions based on the individual’s needs and situation; the task force, for example, never meant to say that a 45-year-old woman with a strong family history of breast cancer should avoid mammograms. But increasingly, the nation’s medical establishment is coming to recognize that aggressive treatment can sometimes be as much a problem as certain diseases.

This will be an easier pill for patients to swallow if researchers and policymakers do their best to clarify which issues are financial and which are medical. The studies on palliative care and on surgery for early-stage prostate cancer, for example, clearly fall into the latter category. They didn’t even consider the cost factor of surgery or of efforts to extend life in the late stages of terminal lung cancer. Rather, they were designed to determine what brought about the best results for patients.

CrossFit Chicks: Gretchen Kittelberger

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I love this pic.  Gretchen is a strong, amazing athlete and I have talked about her before. I am so inspired by her regularly. How amazing does she look in this picture — strong, determined, focused, bad ass.  Here is a link to her CrossFit bio as well.

I just wanted to give a shout out to a fellow bad ass CrossFit chick this AM.

Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer

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This coming weekend I will be attending the Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer Aug 4-5 at CrossFit Rubicon. I’m really excited to learn and meet all the amazing, inspiring people that are coming and not just the ‘special’ guests. The CrossFit community is comprised of amazing, experienced athletes from all walks of life. Going to a workshop or seminar with them is one of the best experiences and you come away with new friends and new skills.  I’m really excited…

I want to encourage the women out there to not shy away from workshops like this. Yes, they market mostly to guys but the skills learned during them is invaluable whether you are male or female. You really learn how to leverage mental skills with physical approaches to protecting yourself that can be used professionally and personally. Don’t be deterred by predominantly male tone to the marketing. Trust me –  you will come away from the weekend with a lot more knowledge and a sense of empowerment and feeling like a bad ass. Who doesn’t want to feel like a bad ass?

I had trouble sleeping last night. I don’t know if it’s the dark chocolate covered banana I had before bed or what. I am going to go treat free in the evenings for a few days to see if my sleep improves. What I am eating usually is the reason I am having issues so I am going right to the source.

And I woke up to face ANNIE – one of the nasty girls of CrossFit.

Warmup
800m run

Skill
double under practice

WOD
Annie
50-40-30-20-10

  • Double Unders
  • Sit Ups

time: 11:27 (improved my overall time from last attempt: Annie

Hanging with Some Wimpy Kids

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The family with Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Today we went and saw the new Wimpy Kid Movie before it’s released in the theaters thanks to a connection through CrossFit. The people I get to meet and become friends with spans far and wide! It was such a cute movie. It reminded me of my parents and me parenting. The perfect combo. It’s such a cute story. Go see it when it comes out. You won’t regret it!!

Afterwards I caught on the laundry that has been multiplying in my house and most of it is mine. Life has been so busy there has been no time to do laundry. I know it’s a dire situation when I have no more clean workout pants left. I have A LOT of workout pants!!!

I read a few interesting articles out there that I wanted to share today:

Leadership and Communication

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I have been thinking about team work and how to manage people in general. I’m not talking about being a boss and having to direct and mentor people. It’s the day to day, working with people, sharing experiences with people, creating something with others that seems to be challenging for me and many others out there from time to time.

Most people in the world have the best of intentions. They want to do right by people, they are good people who want to sincerely help make the world a better place. But, we all come different childhoods, backgrounds and our filters are as different as night and day. We all have different things going on at home – good and bad. How do you figure out a way to work together AND take that all into account. I find it hard to say the least.

First off, I am an emotional person. Whenever you mix feelings and facts, you are bound to have some issues. Sometimes I envy people who are able to take all the emotion out of a situation and decide which way to go based solely on the information. There are times when I dont envy them and I sure as shit have issues relating to them. Those type of people frustrate the crap out of me because once again, I often act out of an emotional place.

I pride myself on having a strong personality and happy to step up as a leader whenever it makes sense to me. As a leader, no matter what the situation is, I have to take responsibility for when things go well and when they don’t. This goes for relationships too. Professionally and socially. I have been reading and learning about ways to operate that will help me be more successful. Not being able to communicate effectively and lead properly can and has held me back in the past. I’m frustrated with my lack of progress –and I am going to do better if it kills me.

Good communication is so hard…. <insert whining here>!

Today’s workout:

4RFT

  • 8 hand release burpees
  • 12 Ground to OH
  • 400m run
  • 20 sit-ups
  • Cash out: 50 Squats

time: 21:39 

 

London 2012: Lose Yourself In The Moment

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In honor of the Olympics —

 

one shot, one opportunity, one moment — Lose Yourself in the Moment

When Life is Stressful: EXERCISE

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I headed to CrossFit last night to coach the CF Kids classes we offer. We have classes for the younger set of kids and the tween/teens. I love working with kids of all ages,but I really love working with the teens.  They are really into learning and are open to trying things without a lot of hangups.  But it turns out that someone was already on point to help with the teens class last nite with Coach Lori, so I decided to jump into the 630p class. Yes, I know it was a rest day but I am beyond excited that I can string together Double Unders together so any opportunity for me to get in some more practice!

WOD
5 RFT

time: 7:48

I was tired for sure this AM but wanted to get in another workout. It’s been a tough week, with a lot of stress and the best way I know to relieve my stress is to workout.  And to get it in with some fun people and lots of laugh makes it that much better, right?

warmup
800m jog
DROM

skill
headstands
kick to headstands

wod
15m AMRAP

  • 100m sprint
  • 12 KB Swings
  • 6 Deadhang Pull ups

total: 7

Some great advice from one of my dear friends today:

Today is a new day. Make it happen.

Learn About Adrenal Failure

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I’m happy it’s a rest day. I am sore from yesterday’s Ouch workout and have been really busy at work — lots of stress makes for a worn out Steph. It seems like things in my life are moving at such a fast pace, and mostly good stuff, that I have no down time! Down time, quiet time –time to just let your mind and body rest is really important. Lack of quiet moments really seem to effect me.  I haven’t been sleeping well the past two days either –which is unusual for me.

Have you heard of Adrenal Fatigue? Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems.  The theory behind adrenal fatigue is that your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal. As a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good. According to Dianne from Balanced BitesSleep is the cornerstone of being able to eat well, train well and to allow the body to re-set stress levels and lose body fat.

We all have stress, especially now a days but when you have stress day after day, multiple factors causing it, over and over again, all day long — your body can’t keep up. Add to that the poor diet habits many have, poor lifestyle choices many make — that’s all gets processed as stress internally too – you can quickly see how it can wreak havoc on you.

The problem of stress might not be such an issue if we weren’t compounding many stressors over the course of days, weeks, months and years without much downtime for our systems. So, while the condition of adrenal fatigue can come on suddenly as triggered by a traumatic or severe life event, most commonly it is experienced after a gradual, cumulative effect of multiple stressors.

What can we all do then?

There are many things we can all do to reduce stress in our lives -Balanced Bites Dianne shares a bunch of ideas including SLEEP, Avoiding draining people and situations, doing restorative exercising like YOGA, adding in play time, adjusting your diet and adding in supplements like FISH OIL –the list goes on and on. The point is, you have to do something or your body will  begin to ‘fail’ you in all sorts of situations!

The Tabata Method

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First off I have to share the story of Tiffany, a CrossFit athlete who came to our gym a non-believer — and has a story like so many people out there.

Success Story: CFI Athlete Tiffany C.

…Always been overweight. For as long as I can remember I was the big-boned best friend, the girl with the “great personality.” 

… I was developing a love of exercise-induced endorphins that would rival Anastasia’s obsession with Mr. Grey. (50 Shades of Grey reference for all you ladies out there!) I began doing doubles at the gym several days a week and lost a few pounds initially. But I got comfortable. I knew exactly how hard to push myself without stepping outside of my comfort zone. I became complacent and eventually plopped my behind on a spin bike that initiated the longest weight-loss plateau in the history of the universe.

So proud of Tiffany and so thankful that I got to be a part of it all– she’s such a fun girl and the transformation she and her hubster have made is inspirational. She weighs less than she has her entire adult life. Let me tell you, she’s a hottie too!  So with that inspiration at my back, I once again get re-inspired to give it my all and re-commit to my wellness.  I am so lucky that I get to see people just like Tiffany regularly changing their lives through CrossFit and its community. It really helps to make it all worth it every single day —

Today was a workout called Tabata Ouch!  You will understand why after I explain what it is.

Warmup
DROM
800m run

Skill
Push Press
SDHP

WOD

“Tabata Ouch”
(completed like tabata something else)

Tabata Push Press 95/65
Tabata SDHP 95/65
Tabata Sit Up
Tabata Bar Facing Burpee

total reps: 222

From wikiTabata method

A popular regimen based on a 1996 study[5] by Izumi Tabata uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). Tabata called this the IE1 protocol.[6] In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state (70% VO2max) training 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end (from 52 to 57 ml/kg/min), but the Tabata group had started lower and gained more overall (from 48 to 55 ml/kg/min). Also, only the Tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits.

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