Every Day, Begin Again

Sometimes it’s exhausting to think about—having to start over every single day. Like, can’t I just keep building on the momentum I created today and carry it over into tomorrow and the day after tomorrow?

Sometimes we’re grateful for the reboot, not every day is good and we look forward to another start. Sometimes, for me, it’s the starting again, again, and again, that I get a little overwhelmed by, especially when it comes to health and some level of personal fitness. Even just maintaining in the ballpark can be too much, like I just want to chuck it and go on vacation from trying.

Despite knowing how this all works, that every day we begin anew, some part of me keeps looking for a finish line; a place where we reach our destination and we’re done, no more hard work and sacrifice. One could say that finish line is the ultimate finish line, when you’re dead, but I’m talking more about some hypothetical place of ultimate fitness and health where you can stop working so hard and sacrificing so much, and you get to sit inside your accomplishment with a margarita pizza and relish your new home without worrying about sliding back to the place you once were, the day, week, or year before.

You can’t go back in time, but your body and your mind can certainly regress to places you’ve spent a lifetime of meditating, abstaining, and scratching your way out of. It’s the hamster wheel that can wear one down. At least it can beat me up pretty damn good. Same shit, different day. But that’s a crappy way of looking at things and it gets no one anywhere which is probably why, we begin again.

After talking and thinking and pondering and planning and saying I will begin again tomorrow, okay maybe the day after tomorrow, I finally did it: I WODed. Right in my own garage. I’ve only spent the better part of the last 8 months collecting bits of equipment, like my lovely bella bar and a 44lbs. kettlebell and a pvc pipe (which you’d think would be the obvious simple first purchase, but it took me forever to remember the benefits of warming up with pvc, and then it took me another month or so to get up the nerve to ask the guy at Home Depot to cut it in half for me). Then there was the gift of a Concept 2. The box appeared in the garage one day after work. Somehow I knew what it was, I could just feel it. I was beyond excited. What a fkcn awesome gift.

That gift, the Concept, took my little garage gym/box to the next level. Suddenly, I felt legitimate. I still wasn’t WODing, but I could WOD. At. Any. Moment. To be fair, I did row quite a bit when the Concept first arrived; I was getting into a routine of 2K per day. But then I woke up one morning on a new day and I stopped. And as the rower collected dust, I slid backward into some sort of funk. It’s easy to simply do nothing, it’s difficult to keep starting over and over.

Then, tonight, after a couple months of cleaning and dusting and reorganizing the garage with the hopes that one day would be the day that I would feel the spark, I did it: I WODed. Yes, on the first Sunday of June in the year 2018 at approximately 6:39 pm, I set Pandora to shuffle and I hit the start button on the timer, and it was 3, 2, 1, Go.

Bloody unbelievable.

As posted on CFHQ:

3 rounds for time of:
25 deadlifts
Bike 1,000 meters

Men: 185 lb.
Women: 125 lb.

Beginner Option (that’s me!)
3 rounds for time of:
20 deadlifts
Bike 500 meters

Men: 95 lb.
Women: 65 lb.

Completed in 12:28.

I substituted 500 meter row for the bike. Yes, it was the beginner version. Yes, the deadlifts felt heavy. But I was doing it. I was bloody doing it and it felt fan-fckn-tastic.

Perhaps beginning again day after day is a form of hope.

1st Inaugural WOD complete.

F*ck It.

This is my newest and most favorite t-shirt. Pretty much says everything that needs to be said. I love it.

pretty much says it all

I also love GoodReads.com. Especially searching quotes on GoodReads.

In line with my mood for today I entered the following text, ‘F*ck It’ and hit ‘Search.’ Below are some of my favorite resulting quotes:

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.” ― Tupac Shakur

 “Ok. You fuck me, then snub me. You love me, you hate me. You show me a sensitive side, then you turn into a total asshole. Is this a pretty accurate description of our relationship.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

 “You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

“Operation Self-Esteem–Day Fucking One.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

 “Nobody dies a virgin… Life fucks us all.” ― Kurt Cobain

 “Half of life is fucking up, the other half is dealing with it.” ― Henry Rollins

 “You’re fucked. You thought you were going to be someone, but now it’s obvious you’re nobody. You haven’t got as much talent as you thought you had, and there was no Plan B, and you got no skills and no education, and now you’re looking at forty or fifty years of nothing. Less than nothing, probably. That’s pretty heavy. That’s worse than having the brain thing, because what you got now will take a lot longer to kill you. You’ve got the choice of a slow, painful death, or a quick, merciful one.” ― Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down

 “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn” ― Orson Welles

“By the way, when Oprah Winfrey is suggesting you may have overextended yourself, you need to examine your fucking life.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants

 “I learned that the world doesn’t want to be saved, and it will fucking punch you in the face if you try.” ― Gerard Way

 “Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.” ― Robert Downey Jr.

 “When she came to her senses again she cut off all contact with him. It had not been easy, but she had steeled herself. The last time she saw him she was standing on a platform in the tunnelbana at Gamla Stan and he was sitting in the train on his way downtown. She had stared at him for a whole minute and decided that she did not have a grain of feeling left, because it would have been the same as bleeding to death. Fuck you.” ― Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire

“You need just the right amount of ‘Fuck the world’ and the right amount of belief in something…and you need the right amount of love.” ― Gerard Way

 “Get there early because hope does not park your mother-fucking car.” ― Jon Stewart

It only seems right that it’s Deadlift Day at ACF. Bring on the long overdue Deadlift PR.

WOD Prep:
* 2 Minutes Per Side
1. Establish a 1RM Deadlift in 25 Minutes.
Completed: 300lbs. deadlift PR!!

At long last – 300lbs. 

This has been a goal since forever. Granted as soon as the bar landed to the ground my head started spinning and the stars came out I would have fallen over had Viv not taken hold of my arm and gently spoke to me, ‘It’s okay, you’re okay… Mary, you’re okay.’ Her muffled words somehow breaking through the pretty molten colors and landing on my brain.

I regained composure and looked around and realized there were quite a few athletes watching and wondering if I was going to topple. The feeling in the triple wide was electric. Perhaps it was the lack of oxygen. There were a lot of PR’s, a lot of athletes working hard and supporting one another. All the things I love best about CrossFit neatly wrapped up in a 300lbs. Deadlift PR. 

10 Minute AMRAP of:
10 Deadlifts (115/75)
15 Box Jumps (24/20)
Completed: 6 rounds + 2. 182 reps total. No where near my open score. But it was a great night and I worked fucking hard. I’ll take it. Woot.

wall ball pr

“I heard a preacher say recently that hope is a revolutionary patience; let me add that so is being a writer. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”
― Anne Lamott

I. Strength:

Establish a 1RM Deadlift

Completed: up to 245lbs.

II. Conditioning:

CrossFit Open 12.4:

AMRAP in 12 minutes:

150 Wall Balls (20/14)

90 Double-Unders

30 Muscle-Ups

Completed: 150 Wallballs at 14lbs. in 8:57! 10 second PR from my last attempt. 280 single-unders.

lowering the bar.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ― C.S. Lewis


I love deadlifts. There’s something so empowering about being able to lift something as organic as steel and rubber and the equivalent in weight to an NFL player, up off of the ground with your bare hands. Sometimes it can lead to seeing stars and hear ringing in your ears. As was the case for me on this last barbel gymnastic.

I had to steady myself on the bumpers after dropping the weight to the floor as my vision went foggy and there was a dense ringing in my ears. Passing out on the floor of the triple-wide was the next step in the progression and I simply didn’t want that to happen. So after each lift I calmly tried to steady myself and breathe deep. Within seconds the blurred vision and ringing ears subsided and I felt whole again and ready for the next attempt.

Someone suggested that instead of letting the bar drop to the ground, following through with your lift all the way to the end by lowering the bar to the ground. I can’t remember if I dropped or lowered the bar each time but this makes sense to me, as during the process it seems you would be restoring the oxygen and equilibrium in your body. Also it is my understanding that during most competitions you are not allowed to simply drop the bar from the top of the deadlift. Your lift is disqualified if you do.

ie. Lowering the bar is good practice.

I. Barbell Gymnastics:

Deadlift 7 x 1 @ 87.2%

* Rest 2 Minutes Between Sets

** 25 Minute Time Cap

Completed: at 245lbs. with stars!

II. Conditioning:

5 rounds for total reps of:

2 minute AMRAP of –

30 Double-Unders
Max Effort Muscle-Ups (7 Repetition Cap)
Max Effort Burpees

* Rest 1 Minute Between Rounds

Completed: with 30 single-unders, 14 ring rows, and an average of 10 burpees per round.

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.


“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.” ― Albert Einstein

Today my coworker and I took a healthy lunch break. Ducking out between the cubes, destination; The Nooner at ACF.

Me: Was the world supposed to end today?

Co-worker: Ummm. No. I think that’s 12-21-12


If we were to know when the world ends, would you change anything?

Would you do something different? For me it’s hard to say. My heart is in a good place. Not to say I do not have my own set of demons to slay and hurdles to leap over but I feel more equipped than ever to get the job done. I know myself better, more comfortable, confident in who I am. My soul is in a good place too. I try to be a good person, I am a good person. I take being a good person, personally. Would I go sky diving or ride a rodeo horse if the world were ending? No to the first, have done the second. In fact, have spent the better part of the first half of my life pursuing dreams. Still pursuing them to this day. Aren’t we all? Knowing the world was going to end in two days wouldn’t get me any closer to the dreams I pursue today. I’d have to take heart in knowing I’m doing my very best.

I would want to be with people though. For the end of the world. The people I care about most. And my dog. Ever notice you have different contingents of people you care about, in separate groups, and they all don’t know each other? So you’d have to choose which ones you would spend those final moments with because chances are they would not all convene in the same room, unless it’s your wedding, or funeral. If it’s your funeral you’re screwed either way; if it is the end of the world or not it’s still your funeral and at that point you wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone.

There are certain things in life I thought I would know, would like to have known, but may never. You never do know. But that’s all part of it too. If you knew everything, experienced everything, then things would feel kind of empty don’t you think? You’d have a ‘been there done that’ kind of outlook and no one would want to hang out with you or invite you anywhere because you’d spend the whole time telling them how it was different for you and how this isn’t like you remember and they certainly don’t make things like they used to.

There’s joy in new experiences. Profound joy. Like the feeling I had when I PR’d on my deadlift during the Strongman Comp on Sunday. I remember staring at the ceiling of the triple wide all the way through the lift. Look Up! Up! And I did. And everything turned to white, and what seemed like a minute was probably only a few seconds, but the second I knew I nailed it and lowered the bar to the floor, warmth surged through my body from my heart down to my hands and feet and out my extremities, and I was transported for a moment to someplace else, somewhere really quite magical where just about anything is possible and you feel nothing but truly utterly and momentously alive.

That’s a pretty amazing feeling. And one hard to capture or replicate. It’s an end result of a lot of hard work and all the stars being aligned and molecules falling into place and state of mind, right down to the splash of cream in my coffee that morning.

A true Perfect Moment.

I like to collect these, Perfect Moments. Throughout a lifetime. You know when you’re in the middle of one. It’s precious. For me it’s akin to a stopping of the clock; all of Father Time coming to a halt for you and in an instant you have no doubt or fear or anxiety or want for anything and you possess a knowing that you are exactly where you are meant to be at that very precise moment.

Yes, a deadlift can do this. So can a shared laugh, or a hug, or writing a letter, or riding a horse at sunset, or rounding third base for home, or looking out an airplane window, or visiting a sick friend.


I. Conditioning:


Deadlift (95/65)

Hang Power Clean

Front Squat

Push Jerk

*25 minute cap

Completed: at 55lbs. in 21:05. Thought about going 65lbs. There was a lot of talk of which weight to choose. Caleb’s advice, if you’re unsure, go lighter than you think. This bar complex is a killer. He was right. I went with 55lbs. This is not one of those days when I think I should have gone heavier.

It’s a scary moment when you’re deep into your first round and already struggling with too many to count reps ahead of you and you’re certain you’re never going to be able to finish. Yet somehow you do finish. Yep, you said it, another Perfect Moment.

yourself. or someone like you.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you think the person who you think you are, changes over time? Or are you the same person all along? I think it changes. As your goals change, so do you, as you readjust, realign in the direction you want to go so too does the person you are.

Last weekend as a close friend was getting ready to run a half-marathon, and I was getting ready to meet another dear friend to run a 5K, the friend running the half sent the following text to me:

‘Look how many people you have inspired this weekend.’

I had forgotten that six months earlier I succeeded in getting her organized and registered for the half because it sells out so quickly. What I was really trying to do was to get her to run the full. I know she could, if she really wanted to. But we settled for the half.

It was probably the best thing anyone could have said to me, ever.

I have never thought of myself as an inspiration to anyone. But if my dedication to Crossfit, to being active, to simply entering the race, is any indication of me being myself, then I am truly happy in arriving at being who I Am.

Whenever I see deadlifts in the WOD, my heart skips a joyful beat. As  I love them so.


I. Deadlift

5 sets, 7 reps

*2 minutes rest between sets

Completed: at 165 lbs.

II. 2 Rounds:

25 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)

25 Pullups

25 Burpees

Completed: Kettle Bell at 45 lbs. Pullups scaled to ring dips. Total time: 9:58. Just under the wire. I’ve decided I’m no longer scaling my burpees, or any other reps for that matter. If it takes me to the very last to finish, then it takes me to the very last. Scaling reps was allowing me to chicken out. And chickening out is no path to success.