good byes.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne

It’s a funny thing, saying good bye. As much as you try you can never quite prepare for it. At parties I like to be the person that hugs and says hello at the beginning and then quietly leaves without notice at the end.

With the most important and intimate of relationships though, the one on one stuff, as difficult as a face to face good bye can be I do believe they are necessary. Taking a moment to say good bye to one another in person provides a formal moment within which to say whatever might be necessary, a moment to pause and recognize what is happening before you turn and go. How ever you may react to the moment there is a beauty in the exchange, in the acknowledgement of what transpires.

A connection is created adding strength across the distance that is about to grow between you.

I’m going to have to say good bye to my beloved ACF community for several weeks. Much past attempting 13.4 and getting my final 1RM Back Squat and Dead Lift this Saturday, I’m going to be out for six weeks. I’m having minor surgery and unfortunately the recovery requires lifting nothing heavier than 5lbs. For six weeks! I’ve asked the doctor and the nurses in every which way possible if there’s anything I can do other than to NOT LIFT and the resounding answer has consistently come back to me, ‘No.’

You may not lift anything heavier than 5lbs for six weeks.

‘But…I CrossFit!’ I said.

‘Especially no CrossFit,’ was the response.

‘Do you know what this means to me?’ I asked.

‘Do you want to get better?’ They responded.

‘Fine,’ I said, feeling uncertain and defeated.

So here I am forced to sit on the sidelines. What an incredibly uncomfortable feeling. All I can think about is the gains that will be lost. All my hard work sidelined and left to atrophy. What will happen to my strength? Will I gain weight? This explains why I’ve been OD’ing on CF this past month, signing up for every seminar, volunteer opportunity and WOD as far as the eye can see. Just trying to get my fill. The goal being to step off into this next chapter from the healthiest possible plateau.

People come and go from the ACF community every day. It is a large group of diverse individuals checking their personal shit at the door for an hour or two and jumping in to get stripped to the core so that they can rebuild. An incredibly frightening and uncomfortable process but absolutely integral when building strength and character. Then they go home or back to work or to the grocery store or maybe buy a new pair of kicks.

So as much as I believe in the face to face good bye in the most important of your relationships, in this instance I’m simply going to slip out the back for a while. My hiatus in the scheme of it all is NBD. People walk in and out every day. Some return, some do not.

Of course it’s all no big deal except to me.

ACF has become such an integral part of my life and of who I am. The go to for all things good and bad. Bad day at work, hit a WOD to clear your head. Good day at work, hit a WOD to celebrate. Feeling tired, hit a WOD to get some energy. Feeling anxious, hit a WOD to calm your mood. CrossFit has become a part of who I am.

CrossFit is my sounding board.

So now how to fill those non-CrossFitting hours? Well, for starters being accepted to the New York State Writer’s Institute will help. Classes start this week and go for 9 weeks. Delete CrossFit, insert Writing. It will be good to have another passion to dial into. Then in six weeks if all goes well just as I’m coming out of recovery and able to start training again so the class will draw to a close and my window to WOD will once again open.

I wonder what I will learn during this shift in focus. I wonder where it will lead.

Benchmark Update

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien


4 of the 5 Benchmark workouts are complete. While we have until April 5 to submit results I’m on a strict timeline and must have all benchmarks completed by Sunday. The only thing left to do as of this morning, 1RM Back Squat as well as attempt a 300lbs. Deadlift since that too has been a long time goal.

Last night I tackled the 10K Row after Strongman and beat my last time by about a minute. PR! Amazing the things you can do when you have no time to waste.

4 of 5 Results as follows:

Benchmark WOD 1/1/13 3/31/13
1. “Fran” – RX at 65lbs. 5:24 5:19
2. 1RM Snatch 85 lbs. 105 lbs.
3. 7 Minute AMRAP: Max Burpees to 6” target 64 total 69 total
4. 10K Row 44:40 43:53
5. 1RM Back Squat 165 lbs. 185 lbs.
6. 1RM Dead Lift 260lbs. TBD


“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu
Why is it some WODs haunt us more than others…?
Scene, Starbucks, 7:30am this morning:
Me: Could I have a Venti Coffee, please?
Barista: Room for cream?
Me: I have to do 7 minutes of burpees tonight.
Barista: – ** –
Me: Yes, room for cream. Thank you.
I. Strength:

Establish a 1RM Snatch

* 20 Minute Time Cap

Completed: at 85lbs. not a PR. But given Sunday’s John North Seminar and PRing at 105lbs. I’ll take it. I’ve been on a non-stop WOD train since last week and I’m getting tired. The goal is to finish all the Benchmark WODs, plus WOW 13.4, concluding with a final Strongman, by Sunday.

II. Conditioning:

7 Minute AMRAP of:


* Burpees are done to a 6″ target.

Completed: 69 total. Woot! Beat my January score by 7. Thanks to Mike I. for standing by and cheering and counting as I lost count somewhere around burpee no. 29. You would think one wouldn’t lose count during reps during a WOD, but you do, oh, you do and more.

Change. It’s inevitable. We usually do not see it coming. It can be unsettling and is altruistically unpredictable. Out past the surprise and joy or heartbreak or blithe indifference in reaction to change there ultimately lies acceptance. While change may be difficult and unsettling I’m of the mind-frame that it is always, always for the best. It is brought to life by the thoughts and actions and karma of hundreds of thousands of millions of souls, including yours, all reaching and moving and colliding an infinite number of times per second in the blink of an eye and you are best served accepting its inevitability and focusing more on how you react to it. It’s how we react that defines us and set us out on our next path.

Change is in the air, there are changes with our beloved coaching staff at ACF, changes in my personal life, changes in my health, changes that suddenly happened by surprise and certain unnknowns to come as a result. My job is to maintain focus and do the best I can with what I’ve got.

Fran. That is all.

“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” ― Leonardo da Vinci 


For Time:


Thrusters (95/65)


*8 minute cap

Completed: RX at 65lbs. with ring rows. Time: 5:17. 7 second PR from January. Thank you to Andrew the strong voice in my ear that walked up and stood next to me during the 15’s and said;

‘I’m going to stand here and count each and every rep Mary, Do NOT put that bar down.’

When someone, when your coach, says things like this to you in the middle of a WOD you do exactly what they say. So I did not put that bar down and each round went unbroken in that I never lowered the bar to the ground until the round was over – even though every fiber of my muscles and joints screamed, please put the bar down.. please.

Fran is cruel and unforgiving and turns the world black. It is also oddly delightful but only when it’s over. It leaves you feeling like a deer in the headlights that was just run over and wondering how it is that you are still on planet earth. In Fran you are racing against yourself and if you let yourself get consumed you will end up pushing harder than ever thought possible only to find yourself on the other end with a faint understanding of that which you are actually capapable.

Too wordy? Fran has this affect too.

Fran gets under your skin and takes root and it’s a place I have no desire to visit any more than maybe twice a year, if that.

Open WOD 13.3

“If you really love something, you never try to keep it the way it is forever. You have to let it be free to change.” ― Cassandra Clare

WOW 13.3:


12 Minute AMRAP of:

150 Wall Balls (20/14)

90 Double Unders

30 Muscle Ups

Completed: So, even after attending a Saturday afternoon jump rope clinic and spending counltess evenings after work practicing in the driveway, I still do not have double unders. Therefor the best score I could hope for in Open WOD 13.3 was a score of 150 total. As in 150 wall balls. That’s it. I do not have double unders and certainly do not have muscle ups.

Imagine my surprise when I scored: 152!! And PR’d on my Karen time (150 Wallballs for time) by 1:10, with a total time of: 8:17. Woot! That’s 150 wall balls and two double-unders. Not sure how it happened other than after completing the first double-under my judge jumped around me and cheered and screamed ‘YES, you did it! Now do it again!’ Pretty cool.

If you work hard in CrossFit the change you will see will be within you.

Barbell Gymnastics.

“These woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
― Robert Frost

I. Barbell Gymnastics:

Every Minute on the Minute for 5 Minutes:

Clean and Jerks @ 75% of 1RM


2 Minute AMRAP

Clean and Jerks @ 75% of 1RM

Completed: at 75lbs. Could have gone heavier. Do not like that feeling and not sure why I do it.

II. Conditioning:

Complete as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:

Presses (75/55)

Sumo-Deadlift High-Pulls (75/55)

12 Front Squats (75/55)

Completed: 4 rounds at 55lbs. The most strenuous portion being the front squats. This was a lung burner.

KB Snatch


I. 3 Rounds For Time of:

20 Goblet Kettlebell Squats (53/35)

Bar Muscle Ups

20 Kettlebell Snatches (53/35)

* 12 Minute Time Cap

 * Rest 6 Minutes

II . 3 Rounds For Time of:

15 Goblet Kettlebell Squats (53/35)

3 Bar Muscle Ups

15 Kettlebell Snatches (53/35)

* 10 Minute Time Cap

Completed: KB at 35lbs. There’s no other way to say it, KB Snatches are very difficult to do!! Finished each Round in just under the time cap.