Archive for February, 2013

Become a More Optimistic You



Becoming More Optimistic

How great is this image and message. It really is all about how you choose to see things. During the CrossFit Teens class I was coaching, the teens did some ladder speed work. Some of the movements were complicated and really made you think.

At the end, Coach Patrick suggested to the kiddos that before they go to bed, visualize doing some of the drills in their head and they should see some improvement the next time they do it. Seeing yourself doing the drill helps create those neurological connections to help build muscle memory.  And how you see the things in life works the same way…

You can become a more optimistic person but you have to work at it –visualize yourself differently and constantly work at it.

A more classical definition from the Mayo Clinic: “Optimism is the belief that good things will happen to you and that negative events are temporary setbacks to be overcome.”

But many of us live our lives being the opposite of that — Pessimists!  Imagine if we all worked on becoming more positive people who are prepared to take on whatever life has in store – I really do believe we would all be happier people.

Here are some stuff to help you figure out ways to start becoming that more optimistic person you have always wanted to be:

400m jog

rope climbs

3 reps x 7 Rounds

Hang Squat Cleans

I kept the weight constant so I could work on form.

Seasonal Affective Disorder


I have been trying out something new to see if it can help me break free of the winter doldrums that I seem to be suffering from.  All I want to do is sleep and over eat. I lack the enthusiasm that I normally have for things that I love. I don’t want to go out and be social. I am craving food I don’t normally eat – in larger quantities. And hard to admit, but I have gained some weight. Last week, I went and saw my general doctor and mentioned it to him and was surprised when he told me that I said the same thing last February. He also said that he sees a lot of patients with the same issue during this time in February — It’s dark outside, lack of sunshine. Winter in Northern Virginia.

Sunshine_81424585I decided to try some light box therapy. Lightphoria Sad Light Therapy helps alleviate symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), jetlag, shift work fatigue, insomnia, seasonal change and more.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that generally occurs each year during fall and winter. A light therapy box is a proven seasonal affective disorder treatment. Light box therapy may be effective on its own. Or, light therapy may be most effective when it’s combined with another seasonal affective disorder treatment such as an antidepressant medication or psychological counseling (psychotherapy). Light therapy boxes for seasonal affective disorder treatment are also known as light boxes, bright light therapy boxes and phototherapy boxes.

Even the NYT has written about light boxes: A Portable Glow to Help Melt Those Winter Blues

It’s only been a few days, so hard to tell if it’s working well but I will keep you all posted with my progress.  Anyone else out there trying Light Therapy out or have had experience? Would love to hear about it…

800m jog

wall balls

4 Rounds

  • 5 Deadlifts 125#
  • 10 KTE
  • rest 1 min

6 Rounds

  • 10 Deadlifts
  • 10 Wall Balls 14#

time: 13:20

Dynamic Effort Squatting


So today we worked on back box squats and every time we do it, someone asks me all about what benefit these have because it doesn’t feel like a strength day. Well technically it’s not but it has some major benefit to strength training:

Dynamic effort squatting utilizes a lighter load so that you can generate maximal speed and power when driving out of the hole.

You want to squat down onto a box that allows your hips to drop as low as, if not lower than, your knees. You are not sitting on the box for any length of time. Squat down, touch, and go! The concentric motion should be an explosive hip drive ofback squatsf the box back to the standing position.

jump rope
wall balls

dynamic back box squats


  • 12×2 Dynamic Back Box Squats (95,115,125,145….)
  • Tabata Sit ups 14,13×6, 12

Busy day today at work with a live workshop on Internet Photography tools to present and also a fun lunch where I am taste testing some meals from Power Supply. I do consulting for them in social media and marketing so part of the benefit of that is getting to be one of their ‘tasters’. How lucky am I?

Blame it on the CrossFit


I had the busiest, best weekend – Saturday, the staff at CrossFit Impavidus held a Teen CrossFit Competition. A first of its kind in the area. We hosted 30 teens from around the area to take part in a three WOD competition. It was such a great success. It was run well, the kids were awesome and it just reaffirmed what I do each and every day is worth it.

MomI was thinking about how there are times when I am just so over committed and have too much going on.  I worry that I don’t do enough with my kiddos and husband, don’t take care of my house enough, don’t have enough down time and that — are you ready for this?–am turning into my Mom.  Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love my mom (isn’t she gorgeous?) – but she is ALWAYs over committed and short on time. When I was growing up, I didn’t get it and now that I am busy, I do.  Being busy doing stuff we love makes us happy on a personal level.

My family makes me happy of course but on a different level of course. The thing though that gets me is my kiddos are growing up so fast. Hannah is going into middle school next year – how can that be? Am I going to regret doing all the other stuff later?  My kids are so comfortable at the gym now because we are there a lot.  I just have to deal with it — and I am doing the best I can.  I am sure there will be a ton of stuff they blame on me when they get older and I will just blame it on the CrossFit.

Here’s some great info I found about CrossFit, for all you newbies:

And a great Paleo Banana Bread recipe for you all to try!


  • man makers with lunges
  • mobility


  • Pistols


  • 5 HSPU
  • 10 Pistols
  • 15 Pull Ups

total rounds: 9

And although last time I did Mary I did 10 rounds –this time I did it with one less Abmat and my pistols were definitely better than they have been ever. I love starting a week off seeing progress in my fitness! It makes all the difference, yo!


Parents: Fun Murderers


Yesterday I came across a post out there about how everyone loves to give kids junk food.  Why Is Everyone Always Giving My Kids Junk Food?  It really resonated with me and a ton of other parents out there. Think about it – snacks at meetings, get-togethers, sports events, outings – it’s common for it to be processed, sugary crap. I really noticed this big time when we switched Nate to gluten free. Holy cow you would have thought I asked everyone to climb Mt. Everest with me when they found out they couldn’t give him the same snacks as everyone else. In fact, some people now go out of their way to buy sugary gluten free crap to give him. It’s pervasive — treats are correlated to fun and joy nowadays, not hunger.

 parenting-13302And how do you teach your kids that a treat is not something for every day when it’s all around them and the last thing they want to be is different. You don’t want to create OCD kiddos who are all crazy about what they put in their mouth, but you also want them to be conscious of what they are putting in their mouth, so they don’t pay for it later in poor health and obesity.

Parenting is hard – we just have to do the best we can, but without a doubt act as their advocate. They do not know what’s best for them at their young age and it’s our job to decide that -so limiting the crap food they eat is what is best for them even if they wont realize it until they are old enough to know better.  Being a fun murderer is no fun at all.

Double Unders

Goblet Squats


  • 10 Toes to Bar
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 30 Goblet Squats
  • 40 Sit Ups
  • 50 Double Unders

rounds: 3>12 P/Ups



Grabbing for Stomach Share


napsI came across a few really interesting things on the web yesterday:

Interesting information about companies and the quest for“stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.

Today, one in three adults is considered clinically obese, along with one in five kids, and 24 million Americans are afflicted by type 2 diabetes, often caused by poor diet, with another 79 million people having pre-diabetes. Even gout, a painful form of arthritis once known as “the rich man’s disease” for its associations with gluttony, now afflicts eight million Americans.

What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.

Never forget that it’s a business folks! They are making products that make them money, not looking out for your best health interests!

I am always amazed when I see a teenager with bad acne and their doctors prescribe meds instead of first having them try to modify their diet! I know when I start eating junk, my face breaks out. Plain and simple –it’s not rocket science.

3 Rounds

  • 3 wall walks
  • 3 burpees
  • 6 mountain climbers
  • DROM

split jerk


  • Split Jerk

made it to 130#  but it wasn’t pretty.

Face Reading: What Your Face Tells About You


face-and-organs-240x300The other day I was flipping through channels and came across a show that was highlighting Chinese Face Reading and how it can help diagnose health problems. I don’t know about you, but I had never heard about it but it makes total sense. Think about it — we all have heard that acne is a sign of inflammation, smokers can be picked out by the wearing look of their face, stress can attribute to looking older… Face reading goes deeper than that though:

First, each face represents one of the 5 basic elemental types recognized by traditional Chinese medicine: wood, fire, air, water, and metal. Most people aren’t a pure type but instead a mix of two types, with one more pronounced than the other. Each elemental type has specific physical attributes, personality traits, and health strengths and weaknesses.

Facial coloring can also reveal what’s happening in the body, especially mineral deficiencies. Likewise, facial lines give clues to various health conditions — as do marks, discolorations, spots, creases, and indentations.

The location of various marks on your face is also important. Location can help predict the age at which certain problems will appear. Similarly, the size and darkness of a mark can signify how serious a problem will be. Bigger and darker marks indicate more serious conditions.

How the Face Reveals Clues to the State of Your Health

  • • Slightly green facial hue: decreased liver function
  • • Overly red facial hue: heart disease or high blood pressure
  • • Yellowish facial hue: low function of spleen and stomach
  • • Darkened facial hue: low kidney function
  • • Whitened face: low lung function
  • • “Folding” between eyebrows: low-functioning lymph, weakened immune system
  • • Red spots or pox around the eyebrows: increased likelihood of flu, or sign of flu in recent past
  • • Reddened eyebrows: overactive nervous system, lack of quality sleep
  • • Reddened eye sockets: inflammation in the kidneys or back pain
  • • Reddened nose: bladder inflammation or back pain
  • • Swelling veins on the nose: deteriorating function of kidneys and bladder
  • Red lips: overactive stomach
  • Dark lips: low function of spleen and kidney
  • Pox spots or cold sores near lips: stomach ulcer
  • Red cheeks: active liver
  • Black eyes or black/ brown spots: low kidney function
  • Dark skin around eyes: deteriorating kidney function, likelihood of kidney “stones”
  • Black moles between nose lips: high levels of acid and toxins in the body
  • Darkening of black moles between nose and lips: possible sign of risk of cancer
  • Region between chin and ear has depressed scars, pox marks, or other anomalies: poorly functioning intestine (if this region becomes red, possible sign of impending diarrhea)

Really interesting stuff and to see an experienced face reader at work is quite impressive. I do believe your body definitely tells you what’s going on and you have to sometimes be ‘quiet’ to hear it. 

600m jog (in the freakin’ cold)

KB Swings


  • 35# KB SDHP
  • 35# KB Swing
  • Hand Release Push ups

time: 6:38 – not my best time for this sort of WOD. With the heat on, the air is so dry that I could not catch my breath. A few of the other athletes also mentioned the challenge the had with it as well. It was a tough one!

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark Meat


I took an unplanned rest day this morning. I had two very tough workouts on Sunday and Monday (Both previous CrossFit Open workouts) and my shoulders/traps hurt, which makes for the perfect time for me to hurt myself –so I took a rest. I am considering going in for a later workout and seeing how the evening people roll.

565476_10151311775118741_1266530139_nYesterday I went to the store to pick up something to make for dinner. I thought I had picked boneless, skinless thighs but by accident I grabbed some chicken breasts. I haven’t really eating breast meat since I went Paleo, so I was like ok, let’s give it a shot. You know what?  Blech — they were not nearly as good, or satiating.

If you normally eat chicken breast, try making the switch.  Don’t be afraid of chicken thighs!!

Live the Thigh Life: 10 Paleo Recipes To Make You Love Chicken Thighs

Capital Affiliate League Championship Tournament at CrossFit Impavidus


CrossFit Impavidus

Capital Affiliate League Championship Tournament

This weekend was a busy & action packed. Saturday was the Capital Affiliate League’s Championship Tournament and CrossFit Impavidus hosted the event.  I love watching athletes compete — it just gets me itching to work out even more.  I went in on Sunday and did a workout just because I was fired up and wanted to just hit one hard —

Here are links to my galleries from Saturday’s events:

9 Dead lifts 115#
12 push ups
15 box jumps
rounds: 7 rounds + 9 Deadlifts + 6 Push-ups | Rx’d

Then lo and behold today, we had a very similar WOD on the schedule:


push press
box jumps

15 box jumps
12 Push Press 75#
9 Toes to Bar
rx: 4 rounds + 15 Box Jumps + 2 Push Press | Rx’d

I actually did this same WOD last year during the Open and did 3 rounds + — progress is happening!

And of course in true CFI fashion, a flash mob was done – Enjoy the

Harlem Shake

Your Life is Your Message. Make Sure It Inspires


Change-Quotes-05Life is so funny sometimes — when you decide to resign to being unable to change a situation while you are in the midst of it and look to get out –surprises happen that give you some renewed energy and motivation. And let me tell you — I needed it. I have been so down and out about career stuff the past few months and it has been affecting lots of other things in my life.

I am not the type of person who likes to maintain the status quo. I want to be challenged, mentored, make progress and see and feel that I do make a difference. I think that’s what I like about CrossFit – it’s a challenge to me every day (physically and mentally) and I can learn from others and am constantly seeing progress in myself and those around me. How can you not love and be inspired by that type of environment.

I want my day job to encompass all of that too — and it should. There is no reason it shouldn’t and I no longer will accept working at stuff for hours at end that doesnt have those sorts of payoffs for me. And just when I thought things were hopeless, something happened that gave me renewed hope and energy that what I am doing may just be worth it. I am holding careful optimism about it — because you can’t plan life.

600m jog


8 Push Press
8 Pull Ups

8 Pistols

9+14 reps –but I scaled the weight and did only two rounds of pull ups and ring rowed the rest. My neck/shoulder tweak is better but not 100%, so didn’t want to push it. You know what I love though –the 6A athletes made sure to check in on me and remind me to take it easy. That’s what a close community does!


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