crossfit girls

Family Bonds are Important

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Yesterday during our 200m shuttle run test – something happened around lap 7 and my ankle gave out. I knew something had happened but wasnt sure what and I kept going, finishing out the final 3 laps. When I got in the shower yesterday –  I had a black and blue mark around my ankle and around my big toe. I definitely rolled my ankle but the odd thing is that it doesn’t really hurt. Just feels like I have a bruise but it looks bad. I modified one of the movements today to accommodate it this morning.

We are doing a four week program at Highbar CrossFit that focuses on core skills, rather than lifting which is different for me. There are maintenance lifts but we are focused on body weight – push ups, pull ups, and some agility/speed work. I like the mix up because it’s no secret that I need to work on speed/agility/endurance work.

On a more somber note – my Dad called me this past weekend to let me know that his sister, my aunt – Barbara is being moved to a hospice care this week. She has had heart problems and I guess after this past weekend, there isn’t anything else that can be done to prolong her life. I’m not sure how to feel because I have only met my aunt maybe two times during the course of my life.  I feel sad for my Dad and of course, her kids. She was estranged from my Dad for many, many years so she wasn’t a part of my growing up. She has two kids, that are a bit younger than me, that I hardly know.  I was thinking about her though in the context of family.  I am glad my Dad and her were able to patch things up a few years ago and resume their relationship. I know my Dad would be full of guilt if something happened and he was still estranged from her.  It’s another reminder about how life is too short to hold grudges and not reconnect with family. I am always reminding my kids about how here isn’t anyone on this Earth closer than them – so they have to stick together and always have each other’s backs. They probably don’t understand it yet, at their age, but my hope is that when it counts, they will.

FamilyBoth my mom and dad were/are estranged from their sisters -which I find sad. I am making sure that things change with my generation. I speak to my brothers and sisters regularly and would be there for them in hot second if they needed me. I am closer to some than others -but we are in each other’s lives for better or worse. And it’s extremely important for me to bring my kids up with conflict management skills, so they don’t shun people in their lives and are able to confront issues and feelings head on.

I am of the thought that kids need conflict in their lives, but we, as parents, need to help them learn to manage and resolve it. Here’s some good info on how to help your kiddos learn to manage conflict:

Read This!

Watch This!

This is how role models should behave. A real Olympic hero:

Get Inspired!

Focus on the New, Not the Old

Workout

  • Mobility
  • Deadlifts
  • 90min Rounds
  • Slam ball complex
  • Wall Sits

50 reasons to Exercise

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Strength
5×5 Weighted Pull Ups 5#

WOD

3Rounds
10 ring dips
12 Front Rack Lunges (6/side)
1 min rest –
3Rounds
10 Thrusters
12 Hand Release Push-ups
time: 10:23

I make sure I deliberately do each thruster properly because of my nagging shoulder/back muscle issue. It’s not worth me rushing through the movement to get a better time.

Have a great weekend and decide to start exercising after reading these 50 reasons to Exercise! You can’t argue with them —

50 Reasons to Exercise

Be Kind: It Can Make All the Difference

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AmazingIt’s Friday and it’s going to be an amazing day. The weather is perfect, my workout is done and I have a busy weekend planned with the family. All good things which makes me really happy.

I was listening to the radio this morning on the way to workout and they were talking about the normal bar — what do most people feel and think about things based on a study that was recently done. I don’t put much stock into stuff like that but I did find one point interesting –that most people who took this survey are generally happy with their lives. Life is not all excitement and thrills — there are ups and downs — and based on Happy, that documentary I mentioned the other day, I think it has nothing to do with money, status or location.

I heard some sad news yesterday that goes to show you — that someone can look amazing to everyone but underneath the looks, they can be a troubled, fragile person. Someone at a different local CrossFit gym committed suicide this week. My husband asked me if I knew the person and at first, I said No. He sent me her picture and it dawned on me –I did meet her. She was in the Oly Trainer’s course I attend last spring –and the reason I remember her so well was because I remember thinking about how amazing she looked — strong, tall, blonde, had a toned CrossFit shape and was pretty. I said to myself, I wish I looked like that. I distinctly remember saying that stuff about her. And then I hear that news – it’s so very sad to know that someone was hurting that much that they felt dying was the only way out of their pain.

I have had very low points in my own life and know the pain I was in, so I can only imagine the magnitude of pain she was in. It really reminds you how fragile we all are. The quote “Be Kind for Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle” is so true. The outward appearance can’t be trusted. No one is perfect and we all have crap going on in our lives that will challenge us to our core, so keep that in mind, the next time you see someone that seems rattled.

Technology is becoming as normal to us all as brushing our teeth and it’s causing some of us to become de-sensitized to people’s feelings. I am finding people are just being meaner online – it’s like an open invitation to disregard common respect. It’s not a good thing, keeping your humanity and sense of compassion for other’s plights is what keeps us all functioning and progressing. We lose that – we lose everything.

My thoughts are with her family and friends as they make sense of it all. Very very sad.

Strength
5×5 Shoulder Press 68#

WOD
‘Helen’
400m run
21 KB Swings
12 Pull Ups
Time: 5:51

Not my greatest performance this morning. I couldn’t catch my breath, started wheezing and took a few too many breaks. It’s frustrating to me — because the last few weeks, I am finishing last! I know it’s not a competition, but I don’t like to finish last. I ordered a Breathing Exerciser. I have read about it and it is supposed to help boost my respiratory performance if I use it regularly. I had one a while back but lost it and found it did work — so time to tackle this obstacle.

Here’s a few things I read last night:

Some good simple tips about eating Paleo. It’s really not that complicated!

CrossFit incorporates a lot of Plyometric work — jumping on boxes, quick drills.. all of it goes into the making of a fit, strong person.

be kind

How Clean Is Your Gym?

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I am taking full advantage of having this week off and going to the later HighBar CrossFit classes. Today we did a benchmark workout, Jackie. We didn’t do a lot of benchmarks that required rowing at the other gym but I am finding that rowing is super challenging to me and I like it.

  • 1000m row
  • 50 Thrusters (45#)
  • 30 Pull Ups

Time: 16:32

I took the thrusters and pull ups 5 at a time and just got through them. I was a soaking wet mess at the end. To add misery to the day, we also did 3×12 of this Ab torture movement. I can’t recall the name of it, but you lie on a bench with your butt off the bench. Bring your knees to your chin, straighten then out and slowly lower them to parallel -hold them a sec, do it again. Want to feel your abs working? Do that, trust me. I like some of the isometric work we do — my abs will be sore tomorrow for sure!

I have mentioned before how I have been fighting a mycobacterial infection for over a year now. I don’t think I will ever get rid of it — I have been talking to the owners of HighBar who have experience as athletes as well as coaches. They are very aware and sensitive about the cleanliness of their gym and I am constantly seeing them sweep and mop with antifungal/anti-bacterial cleaning stuff.  When you are looking at joining a CrossFit box, look around – -is the gym clean? What do the bathrooms look like? Ask them about their cleaning schedule. Do you see the coaches and staff doing their part in helping keep the place clean, safe and disinfected?  It’s really easy to have an open cut and have it turn into something more when there are tons of bacteria and other shit around. Learn from my mistake!

I just registered for CrossFit for Hope in DC on July 6th. It should be a good time for a great cause and I think Scotty will be able to join me so he can take some bad-ass pictures. I’m excited!

Lastly, do you often have lower back pain? Whenever someone mentions that to me I tell them, it’s probably the hamstrings! Here’s some exercises you can do to help alleviate your lower back pain:

 

Low Back Pain

And of course, do hamstring stretches to loosen them up so you can move better and also help alleviate the strain on your back. It has changed people’s lives! I swear….

Loyalty

 

Gearing up for the Big Race

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i canThis is the week of my American Odyssey Race– I just reviewed my legs of the race and seems do-able. I ran 6 miles total on Saturday with some rests in between but I know I can do it with less rest –I may not be the fastest runner but I can push on!

  • 11 which is entitled; Across the Mason/Dixon line 5.6 miles
  • 23 which is through a residential hood  3.4 miles
  • 35 which is entitled Phyllis’s Favorite and is the 2nd to last leg 4.7 miles

I’m nervous and excited and totally up for it. This is so far beyond my comfort zone but the guys I am hanging with are like my family and I know they won’t let me fail.

Forbes just did a story about Relay Races.

American Odyssey Relay Run Adventure
This picturesque race is one for history buffs. The American Odyssey Relay starts in the shadow of Gettysburg, Penn.’s Civil War battlefields (they’re about an hour north of Baltimore), and makes the trek down to Washington, D.C., passing some of the most famous landmarks in American history. Each of the 36 legs ranges from easy to very hard and is between 3.2 and 8.7 miles. After crossing the Mason-Dixon Line, teams can refuel (and shower) at the “Odyssey Oasis” during legs 16 through 18. The route continues through other historical sites, including Antietam National Battlefield and Harpers Ferry, W.Va. In the home stretch, the final runner crosses the Francis Scott Key Bridge in D.C. and 14th Street Bridge to join your team at the finish line at the Southwest Waterfront. April 26-27.

Today’s workout was RUNNING! It was one of the fine ladies of CrossFit: Nancy.

Warmup
DROM
400m run
Mobility

Skill
OHS

WOD

Helen
5 RFT 

  • 400m run
  • 15 OHS  (55#)

My shoulders were super tight even though I did some mobility work before hand. It took until the second to last round for the to loosen which slowed me down.  I also made sure to focus on my POSE running so I was a bit slower in my run but it felt so much better!! It’s not as torturous to run — I had to be reminded to lean in a few times but overall I was running noticeably smoother. Progress!!

Today is Earth Day. I wrote a blog for the corporate blog I work for: Earth Day 2013 sharing some ideas about lessons you can do with your kids to learn about the planet. Also –simply get outside, clean up some garbage, plant some flowers. We only have one home, let’s take care of it.

Another Day, Another …

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2012_08_it-s-nice-to-be-important-2c-but-it-s-more-important-to-be-nice-408952-475-553_thumbSo, day three of my nutrition reset and I am not sure I am feeling any different – yet. We have over 70 athletes doing the reset and what is amazing is how many are trying to find loopholes.  Can I have Paleo Cookies? What about using Stevia? You mean Gum is not allowed?  Something about the act of looking for loopholes bothers me – Are you committed? Do you want to see results? If Yes- Loopholes aren’t going to cut it.  Own that fact and move on.

That’s not to say we all – myself included – don’t make wrong decisions or use the loopholes, but you have to be honest about it and move on.  OWN IT PEOPLE – is that too hard to ask for?

I don’t know if I mentioned but almost a year ago, I started to have a rash on the back of my legs. I showed my General Dr and he gave me some antibiotic solution but it didn’ take care of it, so he put me on some antibiotics. Fast forward to about a month ago, I finally went to the dermatologist because it hasn’t gotten any better and in fact, it’s worse. The back of my legs look like I have chickenpox – all over them!  Turns out I have a myco bacterial infection and have to be on antibiotics for at least two months before I will see any improvement. And that’s just an improvement.   Mycobacteria are a type of germ — and can have no symptoms or have a ton.  One of the symptoms is loss of energy.

Gross I know — but it’s a good lesson in making sure you treat any odd rashes, open wounds etc pronto. I have seen a bunch of people at the gym ignore stuff and then see an infection develop.  Also, now I am on antibiotics for a lot longer than I care to be and it’s affecting my physical health in other ways.

I’m more tired than usual. I have more fatigue than normal and guess what else, it’s affecting my mood. All things that affect my performance inside and outside of the GYM.  Anyways — I know TMI! The morale of the story — get stuff checked out!

I’m going to see Maroon 5 tonight with Scotty. We bought tickets a long time ago and I can’t believe it’s here already! I’m so excited –whoo hooo.

Yesterday, I did the evening Endurance class where I ran 14 100m sprints. Talk about torture!

warmup
600m jog
Mobility
DROM

skill
Double Unders

WOD
Swingin’ Annie

50,40,30,20,10

  • Double Unders (I did single unders)
  • KB Swings
  • Sit Ups

time: 16:23 

I had a rough time wiht this one — couldn’t breathe but just muddled through.  There’s always tomorrow!

 

Coach Carl Paoli: Learn to Move so you can Move to Learn

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Yesterday, I went to a workshop about movement. “Learning to move so I can move to learn” was the theme of the day, coached by Carl Paoli of Naka Athletics out of San Francisco (one of my favorite cities).

Coach Carl’s Freestyle Connection

I had no real assumptions about what this workshop would be about other than knowing Coach Carl had a gymnastics background and knowing he works closely with Kelly Starrett of Mobility WOD - including mobility as a major component of his approach as well.

Freestyle

Carl began the day with a short overview of the framework he follows which encompasses Position – Movement – Purpose and how we are going to learn, practice and apply movement and skill transfer principles by using gymnastics and body-weight training.

  • Position always has a start, transition and finish
  • Movement is general, functional
  • Purpose: Why is the athlete doing it? When? Who?

He asked us to define Functional. Many of us Lv1 1 Trainers & CrossFitters talk about functional movement everyday but when pressed to really dive deep into its meaning – we are at a loss.

Functional

  • safe
  • an efficient application of force

Do you want to be a Ferrari or a Prius? Depends on what you are trying to do.

LOCAL level-it can mean:

  • strength
  • Capacity to move (shoulder/elbow/wrist) -

Can the athlete stand, sit, touch their toes, raise their shoulders?

A movement can be simple, have few demands and few variables and then can be made more complex as you progress and evolve — as you evolve you increase the demands, increase the variables and make it more complex.  So think about it — you work on push ups as a beginner – you maybe start on your knees (although Coach Carl suggests having the athlete spread the legs out instead of going on their knees),  then you progress to standard push up, and then you progress to one handed push up each arm, and you make it more complex as you progress through the scaling stages. There is always another addition you can make it to keep moving through… Make sense?

  • Demands are high
  • Variables are Low

GLOBAL Level

  • General Shape
  • Mechanics of a Movement is the Skill of the movement

photo (10)
Think about it this way: If basic movements are put into a grid and you as an athlete are looking to improve certain movements, you can look to see what skills to work on to help build up to that movement. You need to understand the concept of skill transfer and that they can be applied to multiple domains.

So if you wanted to improve your HSPU, you can see that the skills beneath it are push ups and ring rows (as an example only) — the skills you are going to work on to improve the HSPU are all underneath that grid. You peel back the layers of the HSPU and start there. How is your push up – does it need work?

photo (11)

I just found this entire workshop fascinating, challenging and fun –the day went by way too fast and Coach Carl is the kind of guy you just want to hang out with forever — laid back, patient, funny and has the ability to make you feel at ease. Which is good because he regularly calls on people or offers to help diagnose issues and it’s very hands on and you are definitely put into some compromising positions.

So Freestyle, defined by Coach Carl is strength + skill and is based on your level of ability. You start on A and you progress through the alphabet depending on the complexity and mechanics involved. So one builds on another.   Fall>Connection (Point of Contact)>Flow

He also went over the Fantastic Four in Gymnastics: the four movements that people struggle with universally:

  • Hand stand push ups
  • Pistols
  • Muscle Ups
  • Burpees

It’s because they are complex movements with millions of connections! We spent the day working on progression techniques to help coach up to these four and the tips and tricks he shared were seriously amazing. A few of the athletes got their first muscle up yesterday after learning how to break it down and practice it.

At the end of the workshop, a light bulb went off for me –that all of this movement is connected. A Muscle up is a series of fundamental movements combined and if you work on the separate movements skill wise and build your strength – you will get it.  I just want to learn more and more about the science of all of this –and it really all ties together and makes sense. Body Awareness and learning how to move your body is the foundation of EVERYTHING! Ding, Ding, Ding!!

carlandmeI would recommend this workshop to ANYONE and Everyone that is into fitness, as a coach or athlete. It inspired me, fired me up and opened up quite a few locked doors in my mind that I have been struggling with. It also reminded me that it’s not a race and I shouldnt be in a hurry to rush through the movements just to beat a time on a clock. If i take the time – work on skills and strength in parallel - I will see progress.  That is what I focused on during today’s workout. Taking my time on Pistols and doing them the way we reviewed yesterday. Focus and no shortcuts!

I’m excited to take what I  have learned, share it and apply it to my own training. Should be FUN!

Oh and I can’t forget to mention that Coach Carl is not bad to look at either! I did not complain at all about spending the day with him — It’s one of the awesome benefits of the CrossFit community. Great looking people everywhere you go!

warmup

  • 800m jog
  • Mobility
  • DROM
  • 20 TGUps

Skill

  • Pistols
  • HSPU

WOD
Mary

  • 5 HSPU
  • 10 Pistols
  • 15 Pull Ups

 

Blame it on the CrossFit

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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!

warmup

  • man makers with lunges
  • mobility

skill

  • Pistols

WOD
Mary

  • 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!

 

CrossFit: Elizabeth

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565563_10151262548533741_539466719_nYesterday was such a re-inspiring day for me. Being able to be a part of the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation PSA filming with Scott and the kiddos was amazing and gives us an opportunity to do our part to help more people become aware of the signs and symptoms so they can get checked.

It will be out during March – Colon Cancer Awareness Month and also in time for our Scope It out 5K race!

Today’s workout was one of the famous ladies of CrossFit: Elizabeth

warmup

  • mobility

skill

  • rings
  • power cleans

WOD
Elizabeth

  • 21-15-9
  • power cleans
  • ring dips

I did #75 power cleans and ring dips with no bad. Finished 9:35.

On the Go

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I’m Always On The Go

Crazy weekend filled with lots of fun!

ladies Night

Friday, I hosted the first Ladies Night workout at CF Impavidus. Holy crap it was fun — 80s theme, good people, laughs and food and wine.  Power Supply Paleo meals even helped out and sent over some sample size meals for the athletes to enjoy!

Power supplyI think one of the keys to healthy living is to be around positive people who lift you up and have fun! Seeing all these ladies wear their favorite 80′s outfit was hysterical! We even did Jane Fonda warm-up video moves before they all unleashed their intensity on CrossFit WOD: Cindy! I took pics and cheered them on having done Cindy at 6A that morning!  Go see some pics from this super fun night! 

Saturday, I did a normal 10A community workout and then hung around to cheer our CrossFit Capital Affiliate League teams on and take some pics. I love seeing people push themselves to their limits in a positive way. For some of them – it’s a complete redefinition of who they once were and that makes it even more amazing. Go see my gallery of shots from Saturday: Capital Affiliate League Week 4

Sunday, I coached some great athletes in the AM and spent the rest of the day with the family at home. Sometimes I worry that people who read my blog think that I am always on the GO! Which is true, but I spend a lot of time with my amazing kiddos as well.

warmup

  • DROM
  • Mobility
  • Drills

skill

  • Thruster

WOD
FRAN
21-15-9

  • thrusters (53)
  • pull ups

time: 7:48 

 

 

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