“When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be.” ― Leo Tolstoy


I. “Barbara”

5 Rounds for Time:

20 Pullups

30 Pushups

40 AbMat Situps

50 Air Squats

*Rest 3 Minutes Between Rounds

Completed: in 42:73. With special thanks to the gentleman next to me named Rob who was cheering the class the entire way. Rep after endless rep. The hardest part for me, the pushups, which were scaled to using a box so to focus on form and core. When you go to failure on a pushup, it’s some sort of dead zone and there’s no going back. After the initial strong set of 5 or 8 or even 10, once you fail, that’s it. And all you’re left with is 2 or sometimes 1 at a time, till the end.

to the brim.

Couple of things: Had my first strict pushup tonight. Hand release no less. WTF. Just kind of happened. No more pushups from the knees for this CF’er.

Second, I am running my first ever 10K exactly 30 days from today. The Troy Turkey Trot. Thanksgiving morning, 8am. What better day to run a first 10K then on a day when a copious cornucopia awaits you at the finish line: The beautiful feast of Thanksgiving. One of my all time favorite Holidays. No pressure to buy useless crap. Just cook something warm and hearty, fill your heart with love equal in bounty, and share it all with those you hold dear.

Unable to spend time with loved ones for the Holiday? Open your heart and share your warmth and kindness with a stranger. Better yet, with a stranger in need. Sit next to them and offer a gentle ear, a warm smile, and a hearty meal. There are so many ways to share. And sharing fills the heart, and the hearts of those around us, with love to the brim.

See what happens when you get your first push-up?


CrossFit Warm-Up

3 x 10


I. AMRAP in 15 minutes:

1 Paralette Handstand Pushup (10″ deficit)

Power Snatch (155/100)

2 Paralette Handstand Pushups

2 Power Snatches

3 Paralette Handstand Pushups

3 Power Snatches

and so on….

*Continue this progression until the 15 minutes has elapsed

Completed: Snatch at 65lbs. Hand release Pushups! PR! Made it to round 10, completed 10 pushups and 3 snatches. Truth, Kim confessed the clock was set at 17 minutes, not 15. 17 minute AMRAP felt pretty damn good.

II. 4 Sets:

20 Toes-to-Bar

Strength in who you are.

I’ve been out of commission since Friday. Nothing tragic. Just a minor setback. The Dr. suggested keeping clear of the squat until Thursday. Okay. Okay. I said.


The forced semi-retirement has been good. You know you’ve heard the term, overtraining, and you think, that’s impossible. Overtraining takes a lot of motivation. But, I was pushing so hard with the overhead stuff, wanting it so badly, getting frustrated by the relentless plateau, that this respite might be well timed. Perhaps I was over-obsessing. Is that even possible? Seems accurate enough. Either way, I’m welcoming the break.

I did get in to train with Dean on Monday. Upper body only. ($%#!*#%!@)

It was a great session, and sadly my last with him. Even so he continued to teach. Revelations like how I am not that far from an actual pull-up. That I can go deeper and closer to parallel on the ring push up. He even pushed me to the heaviest kettle bell yet, 88 lbs. Was I just talking about a plateau? Yes, in the overhead. That’s right. We’re taking a few rest days from that.

In my last WOD with Dean, it was 5 Rounds. 10 ring push ups, with heels to the wall, 8 jumping pull-ups, first standing from the 25lbs. bumper, then 10lbs. then the floor. And 10 kettle bell swings, first with the 75lbs., then the 88lbs.

Oh the joy in asking your body to be capable, and it more than surpasses your expectations.

I was sad that it was the last of our training sessions. He taught me much: Resistance training with chains and bands, corrected my deadlift form to where I pushed through that plateau and PR’d twice in the following two weeks, rounding out at 245lbs. Did I mention the PR box jump at 27″? That was a surprise.

At the end of class I asked him for a hug. A big hug. It was a lot to ask. I was sweaty. He stood on the giant Strongman tire and reached down and hugged me tight. You’re a good person, he said.

So are you, I said.

In the end, past the technical stuff, Dean taught me that I am strong. Stronger than I know. He also taught me to have confidence in my strength.

I think for a very long time I was embarrassed by my strength. Tried to hide it. I’m pretty tall. Especially tall for a girl. Strength in a girl is not generally celebrated. People say they like tall women, but I have plenty of awkward teen and college years to prove otherwise. The 20’s are a whole other train wreck. In summation, there have been more than a few very difficult moments. And it would always make me feel better when people would say, You’re a big girl. …. ***….

Never call a girl big. Just don’t do it.

I was embarrassed by my size. I was certain those around me were embarrassed for me too. What I really wanted to do was just disappear. And often tried.

This is not just another accolade to Crossfit. But rather an opening in the way I see things. A softening in how I see myself. A gentle confidence growing. This is a song to something I see as a result of showing up, and getting used to being uncomfortable. This is a welcomed change in how I see myself in the world, something I like. Crossfit, in all its complexity (and there is a lot under that umbrella), has brought this out in me.

It’s okay to be strong. It’s okay to be who you are.

mix it up

Was fortunate to have today off. Trained with Dean at 1pm, stretched and foam rolled for an hour, then…


I. Establish a 1RM Press

II. “Diane”

For Time:


Deadlifts (225/155)

Handstand Pushups

Dean was coaching this WOD. and he knows my goal is to get strong. While I could have gone RX on the 155 lbs. weight, he suggested I go heavier, with less reps. So, 166 lbs. 15-12-9. With box-pushups. I was working, the entire time. Finished in … hmmm… now I don’t remember! The interesting thing, since competing at Perth Strongman, I now have the comfortable knowing that I can do 22 Deadlifts at 175 lbs. in a minute. There’s a very certain confidence that comes from accomplishing this. Suddenly, I’m not so afraid.

No Pressure.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ― Confucius

I grind my teeth when I sleep. The dentist gave me a mouth guard. It helps, but I don’t always wear it. It’s not very comfortable. I would say I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I’m not really sure how my level of pressure compares. I can’t vouch for the pressure other people put on themselves. I’m not in their head. There’s simply no way to know for certain.

Here’s a sampling of questions I ask myself during the day: What are your Goals? Are you making progress towards them? How do other people succeed? What is your definition of success? If you suddenly had everything you ever dreamt you wanted, would you really be happy? Isn’t struggling kismet to happiness? Nothing has any real value unless it is earned. Haven’t I struggled enough already? Sometimes I wonder how much more I can take. Then I tell myself to get over myself, that I’m not living as a slave, or drinking from a sewer, or lacking shoes for my feet. Enough already. So, really, what I am is lucky. Do I have too many opportunities? Am I paralyzed by indecision? Do you think I’m indecisive?

See. Pressure. It can go on from there. Spinning out of control into a web of what if’s and self-doubts. All mapped out and processed in my brain before my head leaves the pillow. It doesn’t take long. Pick a direction, any direction, and the mind can take you there.

Back to Goals. How precise do you need to be in setting goals? I think you have to be pretty darn precise. No mamby-pambying. No scaling. Your goals should be RX. The more specific, the better. Have you ever just sat down and written a very specific list of exactly what it is you want in life? Want to achieve? Very. Specific. List.

No pressure.


I. 5 Sets:

Push Presses (Heavy)

Max Strict Pullups

Completed: Push Press at 85lbs. Wanted to go heavier. Simply was not able.

*Rest 2 Minutes

II. 7 Minute AMRAP:

10 Jumping Squats

Handstand Pushups

Completed. Scaled to release push-ups.

Sometimes I get really overzealous with the weight. I just want to set it up and LIFT IT. The really HEAVY shi*t. But wanting to, and being able to, are two totally different things. Yeah, Being able to Press 125lbs. would be really cool. 100lbs. even. But simply wanting it will not make it so.

You know what comes next.

I have to set the Goal, the very specific goal of being able to press 100lbs. by (insert specific date here). And then put a plan into place to do it. And then, here comes the most important part: Do It.

Execute the Plan.

What’s the difference between Pressure, putting pressure on yourself, and feeling Vested?

Vested to me means you just wake up and do it. It’s a part of who you are now. Pressure to me says, resistance, resentment, a lack of true desire.


“The love, born of beauty was not mine; I had nothing in common with it: I could not dare to meddle with it, but another love, venturing diffidently into life after long acquaintance, furnace-tried by pain, stamped by constancy, consolidated by affection’s pure and durable alloy, submitted by intellect to intellect’s own tests, and finally wrought up, by his own process, to his own unflawed completeness, this Love that laughed at Passion, his fast frenzies and his hot and hurried extinction, in this Love I had a vested interest; and whatever tended either to its culture or its destruction, I could not view impassibly.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Villette


I. “Tabata Something Else”

Complete 32 intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds following this progression

Intervals 1-8: Pullups

Intervals 9-16: Pushups

Intervals 17-24: AbMat Situps

Intervals 25-32: Air Squats

*There is no rest between exercises.

Completed: Scaled to Ring Dips and knee push-ups. Succession of 8, 5, 9, and 10.

256 total.

Rabbit Hole

I don’t know where my head has been. I’m distracted. Diet is off. Holiday weekend, you name it… whatever it is, chances are I’m off chasing it down some futile rabbit hole.


I. 12 Waveload Sets:

Power Snatches Touch-n’-Go (Moderate Weight)

Rest 30 seconds

Handstand Pushups

Rest 30 seconds

Completed: Snatches at 55lbs., 65lbs., 75lbs. The 75lbs. was a struggle, but doing it in waves builds stamina and confidence. Regular pushups.

II. Tabata Rowing (Max Calories)

Completed: total calories burned 58. For all the work, seems, well, futile. Thought would surely burn way more to equate for lungs burning.