Less, is more?

The body is sore a lot these days. Actually, if I really think about it. The body is sore every day. It feels good. It means there’s some serious effort going on around here, determination, focus, accomplishment, milestones.

One hurt that’s not so good, the left-shoulder. Or is it? Met with the Doc today and finally heard the result of the MRI. The good news: nothing is torn or broken or fallen out of its socket-thingy. The bad: need to tone it down. The shoulder is being over worked, and if its kept up, something will break or tear or fall out of the socket-thingy. So, here we are: Feeling more committed than ever to hitting WOD’s and the 90DC, and the agility and strength and the way my body feels, getting better every day, realizing some new cool feat almost daily, like the first ever tripod today. And now I have to tone it down? Not sure how I feel about that.

The conversation with the Doc went in circles. Me: ‘So I have to stop?’ Doc: ‘No, you don’t have to stop, but you can’t keep doing what you’re doing.’ Me: ‘I can’t keep doing what I’m doing?’ Doc: ‘Not if you want to get better.’ Me: ‘So, what can I do?’ Doc: ‘You can do some, but not all. You have to do less.’ Me: ‘Less?’ Doc: ‘Less.’ Me: ‘Okay, Okay. I think I can do less.’ What’s really needed is time to process.

So I hit tonight’s WOD:


Russian Gymnastics Warm-Up – Day 1


I. AMRAP in 7 Minutes:

15 Kettlebell Swings (53/35)

15 Box Jumps (24/20)

II. AMRAP in 15 Minutes:

Overhead Squats (95/65)

The kettle bells and box jumps were not a problem. Finished 4 rounds. Kettle Bell @ 26lbs. The Overhead squats. I went light, @ 45lbs. Dunno. How do you do less and still not let all the progress go down the drain?

Coincidentally, a friend forwarded a very interesting article on some recent controversy surrounding Yoga, and whether it can actually wreck your body, of all things. Yes, Yoga.

Here’s the thing, like the article says, being active, pushing yourself, CF, keeps me motivated, connected and inspired. But perhaps the real question should be; Am I pushing my body too hard to feed my ego? Yes it feels good to PR. Damnit. Yes, its awesome to feel stronger and more able than recent memory. But if you don’t listen to your body, if you push too much, you will only have yourself to blame. Well, and your ego to blame. And some serious injury and the inability to exercise, as the consolation prize.

Determined to find the median in here somewhere.


“I apologize in advance if my eyes roll back while you are talking to me.” – Jason, ACF

Today was one of those days. Where everything was right, and good. And I’m pretty sure Someone was smiling down upon me, because the bright rays from some very good people shone brightly upon my day in a succession of wonderful gifts, random kindnesses, and thoughtful words throughout the day.

The first gift: Delivered to me today by someone I had only barely known before, but had the chance to get to know yesterday during a group dinner I wasn’t even that intent on attending. Over the course of the evening what began as casual conversation slowly grew to talking about books, family, dating, and then finally, to discovering that this person and I had very similar unique experiences growing up. Experiences I do not talk about. It was one of those conversations that catches you off guard, that you never think you will have except with your absolute and total best friend. And they probably already know the story, having heard it long ago. So, its something you never, I never, talk about. Alas, the dinner ended. We hugged, and thanked one another for being so open, and sharing and talking.

And then today, out of nowhere, she stopped by my office to deliver a book we talked about, and a card, in an envelope, with my name handwritten across the front. I couldn’t believe it. This act of thoughtfulness, of openness, of kindness. It wasn’t until later that I realized she had written an inscription in the book:

“No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope and fear;
But grateful take the good I find,
The best of now and here.”
– John Greenleaf Whittier

Later in the day, I received an email from a friend, who recently, apprehensively, I was certain had been growing distant. Granted, they are in the middle of a war zone. But there’s a difference between physical and emotional distance. We all know this too well. There are so many Worry Fueled Jumping Off Points in this scenario. Sometimes I really struggle to rein them all in. Add missing this person and wanting to be near them as much as I do to the mix, and you just have heaviness even a Deadlift can’t fix. Today, this person acknowledged my sadness, and took the time to patiently write to me explaining in more detail their day to day, asking me not to worry so much, that they were okay, and not going anywhere.

Sometimes you just need to hear these things, from the people you love. It was a gift.

Now, for the last gift of the day. This gift was from… wait for it… you know what I’m going to say: Oh, Crossfit, you big softy. You give me gifts every day. But during today’s WOD, as I struggled with the last rounds during those damn hand release pushups, Instructor Kim actually got down on the triple wide floor next to me and joined in the reps, shouting encouragement all the way. Pure awesomeness.


Russian Gymnastics Warm-Up – Day 2


I. Squat Cleans

3 – 3 – 3 – 3

Completed: the first two rounds @ 65lbs. The last two rounds @ 75lbs.

II. 10 Rounds for Time:

15 Deadlifts (135/95)

15 Hand-Release Pushups

Completed: In just under the 20 minute mark, 18:55. Deadlifts @ 75lbs. Hand release pushups scaled to hand release knee pushups.

Cartwheels and Mokey Bars, damn you

As a kid, I could never master the cartwheel. Or the monkey bars. Like, ever.  And cartwheels are a big deal to little girls. My friends were twirling and monkey-barring all around me, at least that’s how I remember it, as I just kind of awkwardly stood there and watched. I hated it. My attempts to cartwheel were futile and clumsy. My feet barely leaving the ground, my body barely reaching an arch as it struggled against the air.

Recently at ACF we’ve been practicing the Russian Gymnastics warm up before hitting the WOD. Part of this gymnastic warmup is the Handstand.  It has taken me weeks but I have finally built up the confidence and ability to kick up to a handstand against the wall, with my head on the ground. Think, tri-pod. There’s a definite fear there of being inverted. But now I’ve been able to hold this position for upwards of 30 seconds at a time. It is starting to feel very comfortable. Eventually, I’d like to be able to kick up to a handstand with my head off the ground, my arms outstreched and elbows locked, supporting my body weight. Think, bi-pod. I’m even envisioning the day I can do a handstand pushup. I know. Dare to dream.

Right now, the current goal is to be able to kick up into a handstand with my head off the ground. If you’re not a CF’er, have you ever tried doing this? Kicking up into a full handstand, head off the ground, elbows fully locked? Try it sometime, it’s unexpectedly unnerving. Yesterday, in trying to accomplish this, Theresa suggested that I start in the pushup position, with my feet to the wall, and then slowly walk backwards towards the wall, on my hands, feet working their way upwards, getting more and more vertical as I go.

In the past when I’ve tried this I could maybe get a ¼ of the way vertical. Just completely lacking the upper body strength to go further. Yesterday, I WAS ALMOST VERTICAL. Like, two more very small steps away from being totally vertical. Unreal. I felt like a little kid, wanted to yelp out, look at me! Look at me! I can do a handstand! Next step. Handstand pushup. After that, cartwheels and monkey bars. The sky is the limit.

Thank you CF!


Russian Gymnastics Warm-Up – Day 1


I. Muscle Snatch

2 – 2 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1

II. For Max Reps:

AMRAP in 2 Minutes – Power Clean (135/95)

Rest 2 Minutes

AMRAP in 2 Minutes – Front Squat (135/95)

Rest 2 Minutes

AMRAP in 2 Minutes – Push Jerk (135/95)

Rest 2 Minutes

AMRAP in 2 Minutes – Burpees

Completed: Thanks Regina, again, for being an awesome partner. We both dutifully acknowledged that we lost count of eachother’s reps. It happens. But neither of us seemed to care. We were just happy to be there and be working hard. My reps sorta kinda might have added up to something around the following: Power Clean @ 55lbs, 35 reps. Front squats @ 55lbs., 20 reps. Push Jerks @ 35lbs., 35 reps, maybe. Scaled down the weight on these till I meet with the shoulder doc tomorrow to get a final determination on the issue. Burpees, Regina said upwards of 30! But, you and I both know better. Burpees are my suck, I’m guessing around 20.

Domenica Mattina

Today is the first day I have ever made a frittata. Not sure where the elusive frittata has been all my life, but I’m happy to post the results. Voila! C’est fantastique! And so simple. If you do not have a cast iron skillet, which I did not, you can find one HERE. Honestly, I thought something so natural and good, and made in the USA, would be more expensive. I opted for the smaller 8″ size, which works perfectly.

Turns out, Frittata is actually Italian. Questo è fantastic! Those crazy Italians. “The Italian word frittata derives from fritto, the past participle of “to fry” (friggere),[1] and was originally a general term for cooking eggs in askillet, anywhere on the spectrum from fried egg, through conventional omelette, to an Italian version of the Spanish tortilla de patatas, made with pasta instead of fried potato. Outside Italy, frittata was seen as equivalent to “omelette” until at least the mid-1950s.”

Ingredients in this particular Dimanche Frittata: in a mixing bowl, eggs, diced tomatoes, spinach, splash of heavy cream, crumbled goat cheese. Pour the scramble into the skillet and let it come to a quick boil on the stove top, then into the oven for about 5-6 minutes on 425. Before adding the spinach to the scramble, it was cooked in left over bacon grease from the Domenica Mattina BACONE! Oh la la. Oliver loves Sundays.

like, when did that happen…

“There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.” ― Garth Stein

At some point along my CF path, I went RX. Not in weights, no, not yet. But in reps. Long after first starting this journey I was scaling down the number of reps, thinking there was no way I could do the prescribed. One day, not sure when, I stopped doing that. Completely without noticing. Until today. After completing my 150th air squat in Round 3 of the prescribed WOD, the thought appeared, ‘Holy crap, I stopped scaling reps… When did that happen?’ Pretty cool.


Russian Gymnastics Warm-Up – Day 2


I. “Nasty Girls”

3 Rounds For Time:

50 Air Squats


10 Hang Power Cleans (135/95)

Completed: Just under the 12 minute time cap, at 11:55. Muscle-Ups scaled to ring pull ups, doubled to 14 per round. Hang Power Cleans (I think these are a personal favorite) @ 50lbs. There’s something about the movement of the Power Clean, it feels graceful, controlled, and strong. Not sure how it looks. But, very fun and engaging to do.

II. 3 Attempts:

Max Handstand Hold

*Rest 1 minute between attempts

Another accomplishment on the CF journey. I can do a handstand. Scaled, against the wall, with my head still resting on the ground. Yeah, that’s probably a headstand. Completed 3 at 30 seconds each. Eventually, I will be able to kick up into one, elbows locked, with my head firmly off the ground.

suck. Open WOD 12.1

I did it. Something I try never to do. I went ahead and peaked online at today’s WOD ahead of time. Holy Good Golly. Now why’d you go and do something like that.

It was super interesting to watch the 2012 CrossFit Games Open WOW link on burpees. My Burpees look exactly like that. It’s so true. I know.

See you in the triple-wide!


Russian Gymnastics Warm-Up – Day 1


I. 2012 CrossFit Games Open WOW 1

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:


II. Rounds (With a Partner):

Complete as many reps as possible of each of the following movements:

Kettlebell Swings (53/35)


Wall Balls (20/14)

Jumping Lunges

Row 1 minute (Calories)

*Partner 1 performs max reps at first movement, then rests while Partner 2 works at same movement. Both athletes then go on to the second movement.

End of Day Post Script – Completed: Part I – So, the maximum amount of Burpees possible in 7 minutes? Well, Burpees are my SUCK. I got 46. Most folks around me were over 60, even into the 80’s. My partner, even while grunting through back pain, hit 76. Or was it 74. Either way. Pretty impressive. Of course it took me a minute to find something tall enough in the triple wide that was 6″ over my upwards outstretched hand, that I had to jump and hit. This provided a group laugh at the beginning of the WOD as folks looked at me and wondered where I would end up. In the real world this kind of stuff sometimes bothers me. At CF, not in the slightest. We’re a family there. And they have each earned the right to comment on something so blatantly obvious as my height.

Part II – 26 KettleBell Swings @35lbs. 16 Pullups. 25 Wall Balls at @14lbs. 30 Jumping Lunges. Rowed one minute and burned 19 calories. I can kick karate kung fu ass on the rower. We all have our weaknesses and strengths.

The beginning of Lent

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” ~ Buddha


Russian Gymnastics Warm-Up – Day 2


I. “Annie”

For Time:

50 – 40 – 30 – 20 – 10


AbMat Situps

II. Press

5 – 5 – 5 – 5

III. Accumulate 3 Minutes in an L-Sit

Completed: Annie in 7:52. Scaled to single-unders, as double-unders still elude me. Felt really good. Maybe the time off has been good for me. My press is still stuck at 55lbs. Dean explained that the weights of a Press usually increase in smaller measurements. Typically 2.5 to 5lbs increments. Rather than the usual globs of 10lbs or more of a deadlift or some other. I found this so interesting, and it makes perfect sense.

My diet has been good. But it’s been a few days since hitting a WOD. Two to be exact: Tuesday and Wednesday. Why does it feel like so much longer? Just couldn’t find the energy to make it to CF within a really busy last few days. Either way, felt great to get back to the triple wide today.

Lent is a season of reflection and abstinence. The 40 days leading up to the celebration of Easter. I enjoy the camaraderie of Lent. Like praying within a large group. The power and movement of silent prayer. The time out during Lent is relaxing too. The feeling that my attempts at abstinence are for something greater than my own ego, for something much bigger. It’s a time to reassess, and take personal inventory. There’s about a month left in the 90DC. Hard to believe. I find it fitting that it ends within the Lenten season.