Wednesday – GraceDay

Beginner Option:
30 clean and jerks for time
30 snatches for time

Men: 75 lb.
Women: 55 lb.

CFHQ says, if you’re aiming to do it right: complete Grace in under 5 minutes. My squat is still for shit, but I can Clean, and so I did: Grace at 55lbs. in 4:38.

If it was a WOD with squat cleans, I’d still be on the PVC and typing to you tomorrow afternoon about what happened tonight.

Afterwards I did 10 front squats and 10 back squats with the 35lbs. bar, all to a med ball, just to get used to the motion of a forced full squat. While I did not put the bar down between reps, the squats were not unbroken. As I’m moving through the reps I think things like: I’m too old for this, just give up, what’s the point, I can’t squat anymore, I’m too old for this, I’m going to hurt myself. The “too old for this” mantra kept repeating over and over in my head. But I pushed through nonetheless. F it. Gotta do something.

The Bear Complex is one of my all-time-favorite-WODs. At some point will revist. DT is my all-time-favorite-hardest-WOD, not sure when I’ll be revisiting that. Perhaps that should be a goal. Even during my fittest CF days, I was never able to complete DT at the women’s RX weight. I’ve also never had a pull up. We will see. That’s it for today.


For the Team.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”C.S. Lewis

On Saturday we gathered for a Chairty WOD at Crossfit Beyond. Why is it always so hard to get up on a Saturday morning? Many reasons. Except for this Saturday… It was not difficult to get out of bed. In fact, thanks to my focus on healthy diet and the 90DC I was asleep on Friday night by 10pm and awake Saturday morning by 6:30am; busily baking protein brownies and FB’ing my cohorts asking if they were AWAKE yet.

I just want to do better in all areas of my life. Plain and simple.

There were two WOD’s scheduled for Saturday’s Charity Event; 1) Fight Gone Bad, and then 2) a Team WOD.

Fight Gone Bad:

You move from each of the five stations after a minute. 3 Rounds for total reps of the following:

  1. Wall Balls 14lbs.
  2. Sumo Deadlift High-pull 55lbs.
  3. Box Jump 20″
  4. Push Press – 55lbs.
  5. Row for Calories

My total score: 219.

Fight Gone Bad

Then onto the Team WOD:

As a team, complete each station for two minutes:

  1. Sandbag squats at 45lbs. (while one person squats the other team members hold a 45lbs. plate over head)
  2. Max burpees, one team member moving at all times
  3. Kettle bell swings, at 45lbs.
  4. Team lunges, two team members at a time in sync
  5. Pushups, two team members at a time in sync
  6. Team sit up with 1/2 of a telephone pole (no joke… as a team with the telephone pole in your lap, sit ups for 2 minutes.)

Of the two WOD’s the second, Team WOD, was my favorite. Especially the last station, telephone pole sit-ups. There’s something about working in sync as a group. Everyone working at max effort and trying not to let eachother down. Only but the fewest and most necessary of words exchanged.

telephone pole

We were Team Bas-Ass and scored a total of 325 points. That’s 325 reps of the above movements split up between our Bad-Ass team of four. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

Which brings me to the final day in the weekend, Sunday. Strongman Sunday. One of our long time Strongman Peeps is moving, has moved, to Texas. We gathered as a group for our last WOD together, what our creative coach named in his honor: The Goldfuss Complex. It was a modified Bear Complex

Goldfuss Complex:

One Rep of the following, Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM) for 30 minutes. 30 Reps total. 1 Rep Equals full completion of the following:

The Bear Complex:

1. Power Clean

2. Front Squat

3. Push-Press

4. Back Squat

5. Push-Press

Completed: at 85lbs.

I love the sound of mass barbells hitting the floor in sync.

Let the barbells hit the floor… Let the barbells hit the floor… Let the barbells hit the floor…

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.

a tree grows

“There’s a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. It grows in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. It grows up out of cellar gratings. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It grows lushly . . . survives without sun, water, and seemingly without earth.” ― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


I. “Bear Complex

5 Sets for Max Weight:

7 Reps (1 cycle of the following progression = 1 Rep)

Power Clean

Front Squat

Shoulder to Overhead

Back Squat

Shoulder to Overhead 

Completed: Round 1 @ 55lbs. Round 2 @ 60lbs. Then 65, 70, and finally, Round 5 @ 75lbs. If it wasn’t for my awesome partner, Laura, I would not have pushed to, and completed the Bear at a new 75lbs. PR weight. She is one of those people that pushes me when we have a chance to WOD together, and I’m grateful for the nudge. I would have hung out at 55lbs. all day. But, thankfully, not today.

I should rename this Blog, Grateful. Because that is how I’ve been feeling a whole bunch lately. Just freaking grateful. Below is a list of reasons why:

  1. First, was able to meet some amazing people on Friday while volunteering to help set up for a Wounded Warrior weekend. While I couldn’t stay and volunteer the entire three days, just spending that one day with the initial group was eye opening. Literally changed my perspective on individuals with disabilities in a matter of minutes. If anything, my previous ideas of what a person with disabilities can do, whether limited physically or from brain injury, were ignorant at best. I simply had no idea. The strength, the stamina, the desire, the will, the hope. We are all the same.
  2. Level 1 CF Certification in Brooklyn. Getting to train with the fittest on earth. Maybe even the cutest, errrr… I mean, nicest. Getting to meet other folks from other gyms around the country. Getting to put to the test everything I’ve learned to date from ACF and coming to know with true confidence that my home gym is one of the best. It is doing its members right. I felt confident in representing, knowing I was well prepared, my bag of increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains, well packed. Plus, my nail polish matched my purple Inovs. Bases were being covered.
  3. MoM. Somehow I was named Member of the Month at ACF. I dunno, you tell me. I hugged and thanked Caleb tonight, pre-WOD. Feeling the love. In a beastly Crossfit kind of way of course. What I really felt was, well, grateful. The second I walked into the triple wide I was greeted with hugs and knuckle bumps and kudos and smiles and happiness and daisies and unicorns. I’m telling you, there’s some crazy kind of pixy dust being sprinkled in that place. Or maybe it’s just the people. But the sincere happiness in my accomplishments being expressed by my fellow CF’ers is what inspires me. These are good people.
  4. Trader Joe’s opening in Albany. Finally made it there tonight for some grocery shopping. Didn’t even have to wait in line. I’m grateful they have $4.99 Almond Butter, and Coconut Oil. I’m not so grateful that there is now about 3 different groceries stores in a 5 mile radius that will require grocery shopping. Because each one has only a few of the items on my weekly list, at the best price. No one store has everything at the best price. So grocery shopping now moves into the strategic category, as I will have to plan trips based on need and item and my current location and time schedule and which store has what. And this will drastically cut into my FB time. My paramour will not be happy. Have you ever noticed there is no term for a male mistress?  Here’s wikipedia’s 2 cents on the topic: “There is no specific word in English for a “male mistress”, a man in the same relationship to a woman as a mistress is to a man. Linguist Julia Penelope located 220 English words meaning “promiscuous woman,” but found only 20 for “promiscuous man.”[17] For male mistress, the more general term “lover” can be used, but does not carry the same implications. “Paramour” is sometimes used, but this term can apply to either partner in an illicit relationship, so it is not exclusively male.”
  5. Signing up to compete. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. First, Strongman in Perth, and then the Garage Games over Labor Day. I’m feeling committed to push more. The diet has gone clean again. Could not have picked a worse month, it being August, the toe headed child of Summer, with all its BBQ’s and final celebratory finales, and the track season in Saratoga. But, I’m a week in and already pushed to a new PR with the Bear. And I just feel good. Am sleeping epic-ly well. If you have not already, take a look at It Starts with Food. This speaks to me the most at the moment. It’s strict. But strict is good. No room for rationalization. Just tell me what to do, wind me up, and point me in the direction. I can karate chop my way through the rest.
  6. When you are on the right path the universe rises up to meet you. Oprah said it, not me. And it just feels as if my true path is both before and behind me. Because I’m standing right smack dab in the middle of it. I’ve embarked upon it. That, my friends, is the true definition for happiness. And for this, I am truly, most Grateful. Indeed.

Bear Complex

I love Team WOD’s. When it was over our team headed back inside and went for an additional 3 rounds of 7 Bear Complex @ 55lbs. Why? I have no freaking idea. Freihofer’s 5K tomorrow. Somebody send for reinforcements.

Warm up:

Group Dynamic


I.  With a partner, complete As Many Reps As Possible in 25 Minutes of:

1st 5 minutes:

Hang Power Snatches (95/65)

2nd 5 minutes:

Overhead Squats

3rd 5 minutes:

Hang Power Cleans

4th 5 minutes:

Front Squats

Last 5 minutes:

Push Jerks

*Every time the bar touches the ground, 15 Burpee penalty for each partner

Completed: @ 55lbs. with 3 of us sharing the load. Not sure how many total reps each, or as a team. Lost count. The good news; the bar never hit the ground. It’s amazing what the threat of burpees can do.

II. Stretch and Foam Roll

here and now

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” ― Toni Morrison

It happened again today. While getting ready for the WOD and watching the demos, processing the movements and reps. I turned to Rich and said, ‘I can’t do this. Especially with weight on the bar. There’s no way.’ And there it was, that word; Can’t. Brought to life before the WOD even had a chance to begin. And I believed it too. This is my first time trying the Bear Complex WOD, and at first glance it just looked plain scary.


I. “Bear Complex”

5 Sets:

7 Reps of (1 rep is 1 complete sequence of the following movements):

Power Clean

Front Squat

Push Press

Back Squat

Push Press

Completed: 5 sets at 55lbs.

II. Tabata Mountain Climbers

I was certain I couldn’t add weight and complete this WOD. But this was one of those days when looking around the triple wide and seeing what fellow ACF’ers were up to, served to push me beyond what I was certain I could not do. People were adding bumpers to their bars. And so, not to be totally lame, I grabbed two 10lbs bumpers and loaded up my 35lbs. bar for 55lbs. total, not really thinking I’d be able to actually pull it off. But, what the heck, I thought. I’ll start and see where it leads. Just that little extra push of seeing what if.

Sure enough, I pushed through the Can’t all the way till the end, completing the WOD, bumpers and all.

This has to be one of my most profound takeaways from CF. The ability, the wherewithal to see past the thought that I just can’t do something. Sometimes the idea that I Can’t is so strong, it becomes a belief. An absolute. A truth. And I don’t even try because of it. But in many of these WOD’s, in small silent barely noticeable moments, the clock starts, and with it my body starts moving too, my doubts disappear, and all there is the strength of my grip, the force of my effort, and my mind focused in on the here and now of that exact moment, not two movements ahead, or what’s for dinner, or what I need to do tomorrow.

I suppose its when truly focused on the absolute task in hand, that I forget that I can’t, and just do. And that is a perfect moment.