Day 10. Cauliflower Pork Fried Rice

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” ― Sigmund Freud

Pork Fried Rice for dinner. Except with grass fed ground beef from Trader Joe’s, cauliflower rice, diced butter nut squash and broccoli. Sautéed in coconut oil and because I like it spicy, red curry paste. Yum.


This whole clean eating thing teaches you to read labels, scrutinize them. Did you know it’s next to impossible to buy bacon without added sugar? Try it. Step into a grocery store and read the ingredients. I scrutinized every package at Trader Joe’s. Every. Package. They all contain added sugar.


I have been able to buy meat from a local farm including what is probably the best bacon I have ever had, ever. I’ll have to check with the farmer on the next trip to see if he adds any sugar to his bacon before freezing.

I’m struggling with my stamina. My ability to work out. It sucks. Let’s say I’m struggling with my lack of stamina. I have none. Tonight I strained to push the weighted prowler from one end of the parking lot to the next during Strongman. Pretty sure I left my heart and CO2 supply some where out there on the asphalt. 57lbs. keg overhead felt like 105lbs. A newer Strongman peep hoisted the 75lbs. keg overhead like she was swatting away a fly. Then she sprinted from one end of the parking lot to the other with the prowler.

It’s a terrible mistake to compare yourself to others in life. A very dark alley. Do yourself a favor and just don’t do it. I try to remember to not fall into the trap. Tonight I failed at this. Disappointed with my ability to simply do, I found myself comparing myself to others in class that could do and more. They could do what I once could do. From the depths of this disappointment comes the desire to give up. The journey back seems too long. It seems out of reach. This is a poor attitude, I know, but it helps to say it out loud, to recognize the negative pattern and simply let it go.

I simply will not give up on working my way back. I will not give up on getting stronger. I simply will not give up.

Better person for it.

“A friend of mine once defined love as finding someone you can talk to late into the night” ― James Patterson
barbell and hands

This weekend was a CrossFit weekend. This was not intentional, like, ‘Hey, let’s fill the entire weekend with all things CrossFit.’ No, it more just kind of happened: Friday night Strongman specialty class, followed by the entire class meeting up in downtown Albany to help our coach move some items into his new shop, followed by an opportunity on Saturday to stop by the shop again and help him unpack. Then there was Sunday Strongman class, followed by Rogue WOD (Filthy Fifty), followed by charity bowl to support a fellow athlete’s family as they battle mounting medical costs for their 4 year old son.

Most of March is unfolding this way. One CrossFit engagement after another. I’m very okay with this. When I look to my life ahead one notion is becoming vitally clear, CrossFit will be a big part of my life. It is helping to pave my future. The choice to incorporate CrossFit into such a large portion of my life has a lot to do with the workouts but it has mostly to do with the mentality of CrossFit; what it means to be a part of such an engaging community. Here is a sampling of the things that CrossFit quietly and consistently asks of its members; patience, persistence, resilience, hope, confidence, strength, compassion, empathy, courage.

It’s not as if you walk in the door and are immediately asked, ‘Do you feel courageous today?’ Although this does happen.

No, it’s more, these traits which exist within you are given an opportunity to come out. These traits are drawn out by virtue of your hard work, by virtue of your interaction with the coaches, with the fellow athletes. Ultimately these traits are drawn out by virtue of your interaction with yourself. That deep dark place you go in the middle of a WOD when it’s burpee no. 28 and you have 52 more to go. It’s that sweet spot of thinking you absolutely can’t but then somehow do so anyway… and when you’re done you encourage the person next to you caught in that same dark place. That’s the place I love to visit. It teaches me so much.

Sunday Strongman Ladder:

5-4-3-2-1 of the following (5 reps of each, then 4, then 3, and so on…):

  • 75lbs. axle bar clean and jerk
  • 200lbs. deadlift

Completed: in 3:23

Today was also Rogue WOD Sunday. Whereby a group of ACF peeps decided to meet and WOD, usually some benchmark and classic killer, and usually on a Sunday. The last time we met for a Rogue WOD was in 2012.

Filthy 50:

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

As Strongman class ended and the four ACF peeps and I started to set up for this I asked a couple lingering athletes if they had any interest in joining in the fun. The general feeling was, No thanks.

I was close to copping out but of course the beauty of making a promise to a group is they don’t let you cop-out. Copping out is not an option. So as we grunted through set up and collectively sighed the obligatory, this is gonna suck, soon enough it was 3. 2. 1 … Go!  So, Go, we did.

Filthy 50 completed: in 33.24. Box at 20″, knees to hips, kettle bells at 35lbs., push press at 35lbs., ab mat sit-ups so as not to aggrevate my Xiphoidalgia (unreal, yes, this exists), wall balls at 14lbs., 100 single-unders. Finished 1.5 minutes over the last time.

The only difference between now and the last time I did Filthy 50; this time I went heavier with the 14lbs. wall ball.  Hands down the hardest part of this workout is the burpees. They sucked. Right around burpee 6 or 7 I just thought there was no way in hell I would finish the full 50. Just, no, way.

Scale, my brain said.

No, my brain replied.

Keep moving, my brain screamed.

Somehow I finished, as you so often do. And I’m such a better person for it.

Strong People. Light Hearts.

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

My Sundays get swept away. Lately after Strongman we will go out to eat. A big burly bunch of meat heats out for a late lunch. Not really. Just a group of average people going out to get something to eat after working out together. Kind of. I love every minute of it. Getting to know these people, seeing them as my friends and laughing at their sharp wit and swimming in the shared lightheartedness. Strong people, light hearts. Probably because we spend the first two hours together lifting beastly things made of rubber and steel and cement and cheering one another on to each of our personal individual bests, getting gritty and sweaty and grunting and seeing stars.

Lunch anyone?

Today for me was a double header. First, Fight Gone Bad for the 10:30 WOD. Then Strongman at noon. Followed by a rogue Fight Gone Bad by some fellow athletes who missed the 10:30. I stayed to run the clock and cheer and count down the final seconds for each round.

I love the sound of barbells hitting the floor. It lifts my heart. It is the sound of people going deep and turning themselves inside out. It is the sound of victory.

First, the Kettle Bell Warmup deserves a burly shout-out as it felt like a WOD in itself:

For girls, 35lbs. Kettle Bell –

20 Russian Swings

10 Sumo Deadlift HighPulls

20 Russian Swings


20 RS


Etc. counting down till your reach 1 SDHP.

If you do the math, that’s 200 Russian Kettle bell swings. For a warmup. Holy good golly this was tough.

Then onto….

“Fight Gone Bad”

3 Rounds for Total Reps:

1 Minute Max Wallballs (14lbs.) – Completed per round: 25, 20, 20

1 Minute Max Sumo-Deadlift High-Pulls (55lbs.) – 12, 10, 10

1 Minute Max Box Jumps (20″) – 10, 10, 10

1 Minute Max Push Presses (55lbs.) – 15, 12, 12

1 Minute Max Calories on Rower – 12, 12, 12

*Rest 1 Minute Between Rounds

Completed: 202 total score. not great but not a total suck either. My strategy, pick a number of reps per movement and stick to it for each round. Love this workout.


On Saturday, December 8, 2012 from 10 – 3pm a group of athletes, peers and friends came together to compete, cheer, coach, volunteer and encourage one another for the ACF 2nd annual Strongman Competition.

I placed third overall in my weight class. Upon hearing my name I sprinted to the corner of the triple-wide, lept up over the kegs and claimed my place on the podium.

top 2

The day’s first event was the max axle deadlift. The axle bar is a Strongman staple. I had a personal PR of 280lbs. on my deadlift today with the axle bar. There’s something that happens when it’s your turn to compete and you step up onto the mat, nod to the judge, and its 3, 2, 1… Go! I know recently I’ve been having some second thoughts about competing. But there was something in the air on Saturday, maybe it’s simply the mood of Strongman, relaxed, controlled, comfortable, encouraging, steady. This translated into the events themselves. I didn’t feel the usual nausea associated with competing. I simply felt like, I got this. Even on my lesser feats, like only 3 reps on the overhead log press at 90lbs. It was all simply okay. Perhaps the only true way to know if competing is for me is to compete in an actual Crossfit Competition, which has yet to happen.

Much more was gained throughout the day alongside personal bests and Doing when you think you simply cannot. When you’re not on the floor competing, there’s a lot of cheering, sharing stashes of beef jerky, and catching up with fellow athletes.

New and old friendships are made and strengthened.

As the hours passed us by I learned the heartbreaking news that a fellow athlete’s mom was just diagnosed with cancer. The athlete dropped out of the competition, but took a break from being at the hospital with her mom to stop in and cheer on her peeps. It was another competitor’s birthday, plans to celebrate post-competition dampened by news that only that very morning he had to give a final good by to his beloved dog of 15 years. The family dog was being driven to the vet that morning by the athlete’s father. Lastly, a dear friend, who had been having a rocky time recently with a relationship received a text msg. from said significant other saying it was time to end the relationship. Reminds me of a certain Sex and City episode, I said. Not sure which is worse, being broken up with by a post-it note, or text msg. Either way, better now then later, we agreed.

It’s been said before and bares repeating, as certain things do because they are so awesome and feel good to remember: Crossfit is a training ground for life.

It’s the hurdles that can knock the shit out of you. But you cannot avoid them.

Just like standing infront of the white board and staring at a WOD that looks so intimidating you wonder if anyone will notice if you sneak out during the warm up. It all may sound too simple. But it takes a great deal of strength of mind to go through some of life’s most difficult and heart breaking moments. It takes strength of mind to say yes to testing your body and your will, to pushing it past any perceive threshold and simply doing when you think you can not. By testing your body, you strengthen your mind. Training your whole You to stand up straight and walk ahead facing whatever lies before you.

Oh, and Crossfit also builds an incredible community around you that says, we got your back.

We are strong People, onto the next event.


The Bear.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 
― Maya Angelou

On Sunday we met for Strongman, to review some movements that will be featured in the upcoming Strongman Competition on December 8th. This will be my second competition. The first in my home box of ACF. I’m a little nervous.

Competing at my personal best in this Strongman Competition on Dec. 8 is my next goal.

The Dec. 8 goal is short-term but something positive to maintain focus as it is only a couple weeks out and the weights are manageable. Manageable enough that I feel I have a solid chance at respectably placing in the rank of competitors.

We practiced Yoke carry, at 280lbs. Competition weight will be 310lbs.

Then, onto the Bear Complex, as a few ladies and I decided a post Thanksgiving WOD, while none was officially scheduled, was the perfect way to end the Holiday week.

1 Rep Equals:

  • Power Clean
  • Front Squat
  • Push-Press
  • Back Squat
  • Push-Press

7 Reps equals 1 Round. 5 Rounds total working up to your max.

You can rest in between rounds. This is a great workout for concentration, determination, and strength. Completed: weight sequence as follows: 55lbs., 65lbs., 70lbs., 75lbs., 80lbs.

Team Effort.

This is a picture of goals. Lots of them. Scrawled on the white board at ACF pre-post-during WOD. Just because. Because we’re all working towards something. It’s a team effort.

Friday Night Strongman

Yoke carry at 320lbs. New PR! Farmer’s Hold at 110lbs. per hand for time. 1:38 total.

Sandy’s wake

With the view from these windows its hard to tell there is a hurricane moving up the East Coast. There’s no rain, intermittent wind. Given all the news reports about what may or may not happen with the storm, its simply a matter of riding it out at this point. For the first time since I’ve been a member our box is closed; along with the schools, some businesses, bridges, roadways, the NY stock exchange.

While there are still WODs on the road available anytime, any place, today I’ve taken a peaceful express ticket to pajama-ville, have been here since 4pm.

Yesterday, Sunday, I spent 2+ glorious hours at ACF. First, Strongman tire flip AMRAP. 250lbs. max tire flips in a minute, followed by 30 seconds of box jumps. Round one: 13 flips. Round two: 14. The most unexpected result from this WOD, the feeling of complete disorientation and ability to complete the box jumps after tire flips, felt weak, unstable, and limp. This caught me completely by surprise.

Then with a bit of a break in between to catch up with some lovely ACF peeps, onto 3 minute box jump AMRAP repeat from my personal epic fail during the last Friday Night Fights. Had to know whether it was fear, or simply a lack of strength which left me finishing way short of what I thought I could do. In an empty double wide with nothing but my own personal running mix playing in the background I decided to try again. No competition angst, no one cheering, no competitors. It was just me and the lonely 20″ box. Turns out it’s my strength and stamina that failed. Right around box jump 15 the legs began to shut down. Weakened and fatigued, the thought of falling and doing some serious injury resulted in a down shift to step ups once again. Insert ‘More work to be done’ statement here.

On to strict push press work. Working up to 1RM at 80lbs. Diet is good, body feels good. Strength is clean as a result. No fog.

Looking forward to getting back to ACF tomorrow. WODs and healthy diet incorporated into a solid routine for me equals healthy body and clean mind.