Soon to be old friends.

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

I am officially on vacation. Tomorrow I hop a plane and go off to visit some very dear friends in a warm environment. We will fish, we will cook really good food, and share really good wine, we will sleep in late and when we finally wake up, sit on the couch and drink coffee in our pajamas. Most importantly, we will share, and we will laugh. We will hug, and we will look each other in the eye and smile, with that knowing that says, it is so good to see you old friend. And even though we live far a part, it is just as if you’ve been beside me all along.

It feels funny knowing I won’t be into ACF for a few days. My initial reaction is, what momentum will I lose, what ground gained, lost? But mostly, I will miss my family. True story.

ACF and I, we are soon to be old friends.

You walk through the door and its high fives and knuckle bumps and hugs.  It’s sharing stories about your day, and your plans for your wedding, and how you might have had a hard day at work and you were not sure you would but you’re glad you made it to the WOD.

For me, it’s my happy place.

A happy place where I work my ass off with other people. It’s like it’s the year 1842, and we’re settlers on the prairie, all working together, as a team, to get a job done, our livelihoods depending on each other. Sounds silly, I know, but I would never work this hard if it were not for the people around me, doing the same. The community that surrounds.

WOD:

I. AMRAP in 15 minutes:

15 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)

15 Burpees

Completed: 5 rounds plus 2. Kettle Bells at 45 lbs.

For those of you that are counting, that’s 77 Burpees. This WOD was hard. No other way around it. It was a BEAST. Burpees, you kick my ass. Thought to myself at one point, Go on, scale the burpees, this is too hard for you, no one will know. Just do 10 instead of 15 per round. But, I didn’t. I stuck to it, and completed each and every rep, as prescribed.

II. For Quality:

100 Hollow Rocks

100 Superman Rocks

Onto Strongman!

What a way to go on vacation. WOD then Strongman. As Carmen coined it so eloquently this evening, two hours of lovely torture.

Keg Press and Tire Flip relay. Post WOD was weak and couldn’t get the 57 lbs. keg overhead. Whoa. So converted to 30 lbs. and upped the reps to 10, Snatch style. First round at 1:54. 2nd at 1:44. And now, vacation may forthcometh.

Defiant

Meet my nemesis. The 100lbs. log.

Notice how it defiantly stares back at you? Indifferent to your existence. ‘Either you can lift me, or you can’t. Meh. Either way.’

It’s not just talking to me is it?

Notice it’s close friend and cohort, the chalk. Opened and waiting for you. You have no excuse now. Chalk-up. Ready when you are.

You can’t see the 70lbs. log. It’s not in the picture. That’s where you’ll find me. For now.

Strongman Sunday. A bunch of Coaches showed up on this beautiful Fall Sunday to strut their stuff and compete with the peeps. Two Team Rounds, relay carry, log press (70lbs), sled pull (125lbs.), tire flips (275lbs.).

Inspiration

What’s better than bacon for Sunday Breakfast? Scrambled eggs and spinach cooked in the bacon grease. 

Less than two months ago I visited my BFF in MN. She’s always been an active person, and expressed a lot of interest in learning more about Crossfit. Not really sure she had much of a choice since it’s all I seem to talk about. I do try and curb this habit, but am not always successful. She’s a patient and dutiful listener. Since I just earned my Level 1, she agreed to learn the basics. Did I mentioned she’s a BFF? She’s all mine. You can’t have her. 

She also used to run. But it had been a while. We decided to park the car 1.5 miles from her gym run as far as we could, walk the rest to the gym, where would then work out, practice some CF basics, and run as much as possible back to the car. She stated her goal very clearly; I want to run a 5K. 

On the way in, we ran a mile and walked the rest. On the way out, we ran a mile and walk the rest back to the car. 

This weekend she ran her first official 5K! That’s less than two months. It’s not even as if since visiting she has talked (text) much about her progress, her running, her trips to the gym. She just went about working towards her goal, quietly. Determined. She is my inspiration. 

I need a new goal. CF is going well, and I love our community. But, I’ve fallen off the healthy diet wagon the last week or so, and feeling the need to focus on something tangible, something measureable, something grand, that will get my eye back on the prize, and drag the rest of me along with it towards the finish. 

Enter: Heavy for the Holidays. A Strongman Competition.

Really had no designs on Strongman when starting Crossfit. Really had no idea what it was, other than the occasional late night cable viewing of men in kilts throwing and carrying large awkward things. That would be the Scottish Games, but it’s all the same. Except for the kilt part, which I will gladly wear to either. Kilts are quite comfortable.

In reading through the weights and loads for women, I am out of my league. And the Goal has been set. I want to compete. I want to be able to compete. I want to be strong enough to load 400lbs. of steel on my shoulders and carry it 80’ for time. I do. I actually do.

And so, there is work to be done. 

My BFF has shown me all you need is a goal, and the determination to reach it.  

Event Details below:

  1. Rising Yoke: 80’ runs each, no drops, all three times combined will determine placing, separate runs each: Overhead – 120lbs, Zercher – 300lbs, Back – 400lbs
  2. Grip Event, 1min to load odd shaped objects to platform using only one hand at a time, 10 objects total, hubs/blobs/anvils/metal skulls
  3. Stone to Shoulder, 90secs, max reps – W 140lbs
  4. Farmers, 50’ each way, for time W 120/130lbs
  5. MAX AXLE, rising bar in 10lb increments, each athlete gets 3 attempts each at overhead and deadlift, both lifts added together will determine total, at 200lbs bar will go to tires at 15”.

Run. Strongman. Run.

Run 1.5 miles to ACF.

Strongman for two hours, including sledgehammer to tire, farmers carry (110lbs. x 2) and keg carry (75lbs.).

Run 1.5 miles home.

Avg. pace 9:15 min mile. Felt good today. Very, very good.

Behold. Paleo Pad Thai.

Behold the strength of a food processor! Who the heck knew! I suggest, upon newly purchasing a food processor, and it being your first, practice with veggies you’re not necessarily feeling too attached to, or.. err.. hungry for.

Behold pepper, cucumber, celery puree! Bletch. Need to google some recipes for this. It’ll keep for a few days.

Second attempt, not so much of a fail. Used the slicer blade. Ohhh.. ahhh… But damn it’s quick. And when you’re slicing for one person, its more like, oh, and… well, that’s it. When you’re used to slicing by hand, and then suddenly utilizing your brand new shiny stainless steel Cuisinart 9 Cup food processor, well, let’s just say, the shi*t gets done. Quickly.

The real point of this story, is to highlight probably one of the best damn Paleo dishes I have ever, ever, had the pleasure of preparing, and then… wait for it…

Eating.

Paleo Pad Thai. Taken from the front runner of best Paleo cook books to date, Well Fed. OMGG. Better than the non-paleo version. True Story. Total, complete, pure joy.

Sometimes I’m just too tired at the end of the day to cook. Not going to lie here, eating healthy takes work. Lots of prepping and chopping and more prepping, and small food containers of left overs and unused singular ingredients.

I like sauces. There’s only so many times a person can use olive oil and Frank’s Hot Sauce. Whilst this is an excellent combination, particularly as salad dressing, it can get old. In an effort to add more variety to my current Whole30 food plan, I’ve been experimenting with pre-preparing sauces to have on hand so less time spent chopping and mixing when the time comes that I’m just really hungry and don’t have the patience to food prep. This happens quite often. You know the feeling. You get home after a long day of work, and ideally a WOD, and there’s still a ton of shi*t to do. And you’re freaking hungry. Lately, when I get hungry, lately as in… the healthier I get, and harder I work/the stronger I get, when I get hungry it feels as if I need to eat IMMEDIATELY. This is the worst, if you don’t have anything on your food plan available.

Today after work I came home and put the spaghetti squash in the oven and pre-mixed the Sunshine Sauce for the Pad Thai. Turned off the oven just before the squash was cooked, and headed out to WOD and Strongman. Nicely, when I got home tonight, there was still some to do, but not quite as much, and the task and time to prep something good to eat did not seem too arduous. Being able to prep pre-WOD is not a luxury I usually enjoy, but when I can, it’s a nice indulgence.

Warm-Up:

Run 400m

30 Spiderman Lunges

20 Inchworms

Then… “Barbell Smash” On Calves

WOD:

I. 3 rounds for time:

30 Double Unders

10 Front Squats (155/100)

10 Burpees

Completed: in 7:09. Front squat at 65lbs. This was a lung burner. Seems like a while since I’ve done one of these. Not sure though. Had a head cold since the weekend and just now coming out of a fog. It’s uncomfortable not feeling 100%, because you just want to go, but sometimes your body just says, no.

Then onto Strongman. Stones over bar @ 90lbs. Keg press and carry at 57lbs. Perth is coming. Perth is coming.

The Grass is Greenest Where it is Watered.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung

Warm-Up:

Snatch Skill Transfer

WOD:

I. Snatch – 5 x 2 – Rest As Needed Between Sets

Completed: focusing mostly on form @ 55lbs.

II. Front Squat 3 x 3 @ 80% 1RM – Rest 2 Minutes Between Sets

Completed: again, focusing on form, working up in weight, 55lbs., 75lbs., 95lbs.

Thanks to Nicole and Richard for being great partners today.  For sharing stories between reps of personal successes, failures, and confusion as to why some people say the darndest things out loud. Rich summed it up pretty well, ‘Some folks just lack a filter.’ Indeed.

III. Chin Ups (Chin Over Vertical Plane) 4 x 15 – Rest 1 Minute Between Sets

Completed: Ring Dips with wrists towards the ceiling, max effort.

Then onto Strongman. A group of us (StrongWoMen, mostly) have signed up for our first Strongman Competition in Perth.  Competitions make me want to vomit urine from fright. Which is all the more reason to do them. This will be my first. Below is the level at which we will be competing:

   Super Yoke Tire Flip Log Press Truck Pull Deadlift Farmers Hold
Women 140+ 310lbs 250lbs Max Weight Ford Ranger 175lbs 110lbs (per handle)

I’ve performed each of these movements at least once. So I got that going for me. Except one, the Truck Pull. But its only a Ford Ranger, so, you know.

The Super Yoke at 310lbs. seems the most intimidating item on the list. We practiced tonight. The Yoke itself weighs 150lbs. We worked our way up from there in 70 lbs. increments; 150 lbs., then 220 lbs., then 290 lbs., then finally 310 lbs. Thank goodness there are no Math WoD’s at ACF, and the fact that Margarite has the ability to calculate the sum total weight of bumpers and steel on the spot. My skill in this department is sorely lacking and I’m okay with that for now.

I’m in a cleansing mood. Been cleansing my diet, 14 days into the Whole30 and going strong. Cleansing my home too, of all clutter. Never was a clutter person to begin with, but now I’m even digging into the little momentos and tokens from the past that have been holed up in the back corners of my closet and shelves. Just feel like getting rid of all of it. Yes, there’s memories there, some cherished, some not so much. Some more like reminders, of a time that indeed helped shape where I am now, but do not write the story of who I am now, or a minute from now, or tomorrow. That story is for me to tell from where I’m standing now. The urge to purge comes from a general feeling of lightness. My mind is light, and clear, and focused. I want my surroundings to be even more so too.

I think sometimes I had the tendency to get weighed down by having too many priorities, too many focus points, too many places I wanted to be. More from a scattered ‘The Grass is Always Greener’ approach, then one overtly movtivated. You can’t split yourself into eight, and take off in hot pursuit into eight different directions with the same fierceness and intensity of applying that force to one united direction. The hot pursuit gets diluted into a luke warm simmer.

Paralyzed by too much opportunity.

Call it mid-life, call it finally settling into what it is that I really want. Call it whatever the F* you want. But, I do know that I like it. And it is all too welcomed. There is a stripping away of non-priorities, and the priorities that remain are few, precise, and crystal clear.

which grows

“…here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”  — E.E. Cummings

WOD:

For Time:

30 Ring Dips

Run 1600m

30 Ring Dips

Run 800m

30 Ring Dips

Run 400 m

Completed: in 23:05. (1600m equals 1 mile.)

Strongman – Wednesday Night:

Two rounds of 5:

115lbs. keg to bar

280lbs. tire flips

Completed: Round 1 @ 1:43. Round 2 @ 1:53.