it’s time to start tracking WODs again.


Establish a Max Weight in the Following Complex:

1 Clean

1 High-Hang Clean

1 Jerk

* Rest 3 Minutes Between Attempts

* 20 Minute Time Cap

Completed: ended the round at 105lbs.


Tabata: Max Repetitions in 24 Rounds

20 Seconds: Double Unders

Rest 10 Seconds

20 Seconds: Ring Dips

Rest 10 Seconds

20 Seconds: Chest To Bar Pull-Ups

Rest 10 Seconds

* Continue This Sequence For 12 Minutes

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.

would it…

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
— Helen Keller

Fresh off of a CrossFit filled weekend, I hobbled into the triple-wide to get my due at the Monday 8:30pm WOD. The 8:30 on Monday is becoming a lovely new tradition. Taught by Andrew, it is a small gathering of folks at the end of what is usually a very long day. Insert standard Monday cliches here. But cliches have grown to who they are because they are true. The weekend was full. Almost too full. Friday Night Fights (a group/team WOD that usually lasts about two hours), followed by a Paleo Food Fest for which countless athletes cooked and shared their dishes with other countless athletes. I cooked paleo curry chicken salad, with paleo mayo. It was delish but time consuming to make and left my kitchen in a shambles as cooking from scratch a new dish for the first time for a large number of people tends to do. Then home and to bed late Friday night.

Back to ACF Saturday morning to judge fellow athletes for 13.2 WOW (Workout of the Week) of the CrossFit Open, then I hit the 13.2 Open WOW myself (227 score), then home to throw the ball for Oliver, then back to ACF for a jump rope clinic to try and learn double-unders from 2:30-4:00pm, then back home to shower and get ready for a Birthday/St. Patty’s Day celebration at a CF friend’s house. Sunday, Strongman, followed by more Open judging, then home again whereby I was so wound up, so stimulated from the packed weekend of socializing, that I ended up back out again to meet a fellow Strong Person for appetizers and a weekend recap. Lots of busy time. No time to write. No time to regroup. Monday’s WOD, while difficult to motivate to get there after getting home from work and just wanting to lie down and sleep off the weekend, was a destination I was committed to reaching. I said I would be there and I was going to make it. My performance, less then stellar, weak really. Could barely get the 100lbs. overhead. Was unable to do so with the standard Power Clean grip, so channeled KeHo’s teaching and widened my grip to the Snatch grip and up the bar went to the shoulders. Split Jerk overhead.

Sometimes when I write this stuff I wonder if anyone is actually reading it. Does it even make any sense, a Snatch, a Clean and Jerk? I remember the first time the terms started to make sense, about 8 months into CrossFit when it finally clicked and I thought, I know what the F* a Clean and Jerk means! That was a good day. So many anachronisms, so many terms.

More importantly let’s focus on how sleep deprivation and a weekend of cheats can affect your performance. They have a profound affect on your body. Remember that. I try to whenever the fun of socializing over beer and nachos seems so much more important than swollen joints and arms going soft on an Olympic lift. It all comes down to choices and acceptance of the outcomes of the choices.

I. Barbell Strength:

Establish a 1RM Clean and Jerk

Completed: working up from 65lbs. to 100lbs. with the Snatch grip. Wouldn’t it be something if I could get my weight down and my strength up and thereby meet in the middle someday where I can lift my body weight overhead?

II. Conditioning:

CrossFit Open 2011 WOW 3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 5 minutes of:

Squat Clean (165/110)

Jerk (165/110)

*Each Squat Clean counts as 1 Rep, a Jerk must be completed before moving on to the following round

Completed: at 85lbs. 18 reps total.

Some birds…appear when you need them most.

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” — Stephen King, Shawshank Redemption

I. Strength:

5 x 2 Power Clean (3 Second Pause Below The Knees) + 1 Push Jerk

* Rest 60 Seconds

** As Heavy As Possible While Maintaining Perfect Technique.

*** The Push Jerk Is Only Performed After The Second Power Clean.

Completed: 65lbs., 75lbs., 85lbs., 95lbs., 100lbs.

II. Conditioning:

7 minute AMRAP of:

8 Push Jerks (155/105)
10 Toes 2 Bar
40 Double-Unders

– Then (No Rest)

1 Minute AMRAP of:

Unbroken Hang Power Cleans (155/105)

* If You Drop The Bar Your 1 Minute AMRAP Is Finished.

Completed: lost count on the 7 Minute AMRAP. Finished somewhere around 10 reps on the 1 Minute AMRAP HPC at 85lbs.

After yesterday’s WOD and then Strongman, one after the other in the same evening, my shoulders were toast. Of course I didn’t realize this until it was 3, 2, 1 … Go! and I reached Push Jerk no. 5 in only the first go round of the AMRAP and I knew it was not going to end well. I just didn’t have it in me. The spaghetti arms appeared and I floundered and lost my footing, side to side, front and back, trying to steady myself under the weight overhead. I simply pooped out. The arms pooped out.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Along with making my Valentine some scrambled eggs, I bought him a few gifts to commemorate; a squeaky toy and some milk bones. Oliver loves scrambled eggs. On Sunday he’ll get some bacon. We both will.

I’d like to think I’m above or removed or indifferent to the Valentine buzz that seems to permeate throughout today. The flowers being delivered to the office, little Valentine forget-me-nots left on chairs and in the keyboards of fellow coworkers. It reminds me of third grade and the tiny colorful valentine cards handed out during class.

In reality, I’m really not so removed from the Valentine Day hum. In truth I wish I could dive into what I like to believe it is really all about; connecting with that one person that is the most important in the world to you. That one person with which you share a trust and knowing that you accept and love one another for exactly as each of you are. And you laugh a shit-ton together too.

For a moment it is fun to imagine I have a secret admirer. Someone who has seen me from across the triple-wide and thinks, look at that pretty tall girl. She works so hard. She doesn’t even sweat, she glistens! And her smile, I don’t know why but it warms my heart unlike any other. I should go up and talk to her.

I would love it if that person did just that. Come up to me and say hello. What if they left a note on my windshield; Hello Pretty Girl, seeing you makes me happy. It’s as simple as that. Yeah, I’m definitely longing for that type of mystery, that kind of true spark, fueled by genuine kindness, warmth and tenderness. Seems like there’s so much abrasion recently, so much he said she said too cool for school let me tag you on Facebook. It all feels so removed, so indifferent, impersonal, lacking complete trust and true intimacy.

But tomorrow is another day. And thankfully we have friends, really great friends. Like my BFF Carmen, who tonight after Part I of the WOD and my last Clean and Jerk at 100lbs. said to me; Mary, remember when all you wanted was to get 100lbs. over head? It was your goal for the longest time. Now it seems like nothing to you!

I had completely forgotten. And in that moment she reminded me of all my hard work, and how it had paid off with little or no notice up until that moment when a great friend pointed it out to me.

Thank you, Carmen. Thank you for that. Happy Valentine’s Day my dear friend.

Clean and Jerk.


I come from a large family and grew up watching the Olympics on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. You remember the show opener…. I know you do.. ‘… the agony of defeat…’

I was the youngest of seven. My older brothers and father were avid fans of the winter Olympics, particularly skiing. But we watched it all. Winter and Summer Olympics. Which isn’t that much considering at the time both were on only once every four years. So it was a big deal when it was time for the Olympics again.

I did enjoy the skating and gymnastics and skiing but I also remember intently watching the Olympic weight lifters. I had no idea what I was actually looking at. But it was all so interesting. The massive looking people in tiny outfits speaking foreign languages heaving huge weights so eloquently overhead. What I didn’t know then and only understand now is what I was probably watching was the Snatch or Clean and Jerk by this guy:


It is only in the last year that I have become familiar with some of the Olympic lifting terms and only now slightly understand the origins in Kilograms and Eastern Europe, particularly Russia. Think about the old Russian unit of measurement, Pood.

Contrary to how it sounds, pood is not what you feel at the end of a WOD. A pood is actually a unit of measurement abolished long ago equal to 16.38 kilograms, or 36.11 pounds.

There was a point not too long ago in my CF career when I struggled to get 100lbs. (2.279 pood) overhead. It had been my primary goal and I floundered under the frustration that I was unable to do it. Barbells are unforgiving. There are no excuses and no negotiation. Either you can or you can’t and they are indifferent to your reasons for either.

And then the following WOD appeared:

I. Barbell Gymnastics:

Clean and Jerk – 5 x 1

*Rest 90 seconds between each set

Completed: at 85lbs., then 95lbs., then 105lbs.

Something happened right around the fourth rep at 95lbs, as I was loading up the bar with another 10lbs.; I realized, not only am I actually learning this Olympic movement that people spend their entire lives perfecting as professionals for money and sometimes if they’re good enough earn a spot at the Olympics to compete, but I was getting ready to lift 105lbs. overhead. And like that, I cleaned it from the ground and split jerked it overhead. 105lbs.

That’d be 2.393 pood.

It felt as if I could do it again and again. My heart filled with warmth and as I let the weight hit the floor from overhead I thought, I could have gone heavier.

II. Conditioning:

3 Rounds for Time of:

7 Deadlifts (275/185)

14 Pistols (Alternating)

21 Unbroken Double Unders

Part I felt so good, so engrossing, so in the moment, that Part II is a blur although it is important to mention that it was completed at RX weight for the Deadlift, 185lbs. Unbroken. I am getting so strong. It’s a feeling I’ve never really known before.

Good to know.

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” ― Leo Tolstoy

Technically today should have been my rest day. But, screw that. I was up and at ACF at 8am to cheer on the Westside Powerlifters, many of them fellow Strongpeeps, who were completing the last of their 6 week training course. If you’re like me and had never heard of Westside, take a look, they are legendary. As I was getting ready this morning I harkened back to an earlier time in my life when I would have considered getting up at 8am on Saturday morning by choice, complete and utter insanity.

As additional fellow ACFers started to stream in for the 9:30 WOD I began to consider joining them. Until I read the whiteboard and processed today’s WOD:


1) In 10 minutes:

50 Burpees (as fast as possible)

Establish a 3RM Hang Squat Snatch in remaining time

2) In 10 minutes:

50 Burpees (as fast as possible)

Establish a 3RM Touch and Go Power Clean and Push Jerk in remaining time

3) In 10 minutes:

50 Burpees (as fast as possible)

Establish a 3RM Front Squat in remaining time

If you’re paying attention, that’s 150 Burpees in total. When I text the word ‘Burpees’ on my iPhone, it autocorrects to all caps: ‘BURPEES.’ No idea why. But I’m thinking my iPhone is pretty damn smart. Because the word deserves being written in all caps. Show a little respect people.

A river of thoughts as to why I did not need to do this particular WOD dutifully presented themselves. All valid in one way or another. But I was already there, inspired by the Westside gang, and the other good people who were steadily walking through the door to get the job done. The decision was made: I’m in.

Murph was our coach today. During the warm up he acknowledged the group’s overall general disdain for burpees by having us repeat the following words out loud with each round of extra burpees for warmup: I. Love. Burpees! I can’t hear you, again… I. Love. Burpees. You guys are too quiet, again… And with each down and up: I. Love. Burpees. And the mood was set.

Truth, in talking with Murph and some fellow peeps, I decided to scale the burpees to 40 per round. This would leave me with enough time, and energy, to do the lifts. All told…

Completed: 120 burpees, and the lifts at the following weights: Front Squat: 110lbs., Clean and Jerk at 85lbs., Snatch at 65lbs. Not epic weights. Just happy to have entered the race.

Postscript: You can always, always do more than you actually think you can. Everything is entirely in your head. The thought of doing 50 burpees per round seemed absolutely daunting. But could I have completed the remaining 10 after completing the 40 per round? The simple answer is: Yes.

And this is good to know.

why worry…

Group Dynamic

Barbell Gymnastics:

Clean and Jerk

1X1@75%, 1X1@80%, 1X1@ 85%, 1X1@90%, 1X1@95% – rest 30-60 seconds.

Completed: at 65lbs., 75lbs., 85lbs., 95lbs., 100lbs.!

Soon 105lbs. will no longer by my one rep max.


3 rounds for total working time of:

5 Over-the-Box Jumps 20″
25 KB Swings 32/24kg
5 Over-the-Box Jumps 20″
25 Pullups

Completed: Realized I pulled some sort of muscle in my back, trying to take it easy so I can keep working out without doing further damage. Kettlebell at 35lbs.

Rest 1:1