“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways–either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

A good friend emailed me today and said she’d been checking my blog and asked why there had been no posts recently? What had I been up to? How is CrossFit and Oliver and the training and diet and overall general well-being in my part of the world. This good friend lives in Alaska.


It was an incredibly nice and inspirational email to wake up to, particularly because:

  1. She actually reads my blog; and
  2. She noticed I had not been updating my blog which means she missed me and it and ideally, my stories.

I don’t write on this blog because I think anyone is reading it. I write here because it makes me happy. As difficult as it is sometimes to sit down and do it. Why do we avoid the things we know will make us happy?

For the most part I’m certain no one is reading this blog. For the most part. Until I get an email like the one from my friend above that makes me happy and feel loved and inspired all at the same time. Such lovely feelings, love and inspiration. Especially when mixed together – how wonderfully love and inspiration combine to form happiness.

Supplement update: it’s been about a month since my last post about feeling overwhelmingly tired and fatigued, propping myself up at my desk at work and wanting to just go home and crawl into bed. I’m happy to report that the two supplements I opted to take, the Multivitamin and the Maca Root, have performed wonders. The two combined have stabilized my energy levels and helped to clear my head. My training is back on track and finally, now, I can say that I am no longer feeling the extreme fatigue and profound lack of stamina that I was encountering in those first weeks/months post surgery.

Since completing the Tough Mudder I also completed a 13 hour 30 mile obstacle course/race ‘Go Ruck’ style in and throughout Albany as part of a team of 10 –  Zombie Ninja Attack Force.  ZNAL won this overnight competition. We came in first place. I cracked a beer at 8:30am after crossing the finish line, submerged my worn and blistered body in an ice bath, ate a plate of bacon and scrambled eggs and then went home and slept for 8 hours.

The following weekend I joined a team of 4 and competed at a CrossFit competition in Hartford, CT. Our team, 2L2Q, came in 14. Mostly due to the fact that I struggle with jumping pull-ups and was the last athlete to finish during the first event, stuck out on the floor with over 4 minutes to go and the entire arena yelling and cheering me on through each and every failed rep until the clock ran out. It was awful. But my team rallied and told me how inspired they felt watching me not. give. up. We ended that round in dead last but then proceeded to kick ass in the events that followed and finished 14th overall.

I guess the vitamins are working.

Mostly I wish I had written in greater detail about these recent adventures, but I’ve simply been distracted. Lost the writing bug. But hopefully with the email nudge from my Alaskan friend and my dutifully posting another entry here and now, I’ll have found my writing bug again. For writing is what I do. It is who I am. It gives me hope and peace, another combination for happiness.

There’s another CrossFit Competition, a Strongman Competition, on the horizon. Aug. 10 in Massachusetts. I’ve been training with Dean the past six weeks for this. Today we worked on dead-lifts and the push press.

‘Where’s your CF Journal?’ Dean asked. ‘Don’t you write down what we do here???’ he asked.

‘I used to,’ I said. ‘For some reason, since surgery, I just stopped tracking everything, I stopped writing things down. I kind of stopped writing,’ I continued.

‘Girl!’ Dean said, ‘this is no good. You need to start up again. Where’s your book?’ he demanded. ‘Go get it, I’ll get you a pen.’

‘Ok’ I said. And did.

It is only just now I realize it was another nudge from the universe to get at it again, get recording, get jotting. Get writing.

Training with Dean:

  • 2 pin deadlifts, from mid-shin, max lift at 260lbs. Then 9 sets of 3 every 40 seconds at 205lbs.
  • Push Press rounds – 2 every minute on the minute for 10 minutes. First at 75lbs, then 80lbs., 85lbs., 90lbs., then 95lbs.

I simply love Dean. He is such a good person. He loves his wife, refers to her as his best friend. He doesn’t cuss, has a dry sense of humor and genuinely wants people to do well. He works hard at being a good coach. He studies coaching and I am all the more thankful for it and him.

The additional challenge in the months ahead: work. My job. I’m on the cusp of having my position, the job I’ve known for the better part of the last 7 years, ‘sunsetted.’ What does that mean? TBD.

Barbells and bumpers

The thing about training, specifically strength training; it teaches you who you are.

There are no excuses, no slacking off, no snow days. If you have not been doing the work, the reps, the math, the training, you will be met with like in/kind. There are no Cliff Notes in barbells and bumpers.

Rather, if you do not do the work, what you will be met with, the only thing that waits for you at the end of that finish line, is more you; The one that says, I Can’t.

The barbell wins, every time. It leaves you exactly where you left it.

You can’t rationalize or good intention or Bad Day it away. You still have to face where you left off. And if you have not put in the work, further back, it may leave you still.

Funneling all possible Scenarios

I’m an event planner. I plan large events. I have spent the better part of the last eight months planning a large gala-type event that will be taking place on Monday. It’s been a lot of late nights and weekends recently. It gets to the point, as the event gets closer, that I start to take things very personally. As if the event becomes and expression of me. My personal choices and preferences, a part of me, hung out there for all 250 + guests to experience, touch, taste, smell and eat from the plate of eight months of hard work.

It’s ridiculously silly that I would take this personally, but I still do.

Right down to the color of the trim on the auction sheets. Taking such things to heart like this only leads to one thing; exhaustion. For it is impossible, to control another person’s experience. With anything. And just because you might think you have selected and presented the absolute best in all possible available scenarios, the fact of the matter is, it simply may or may not be to another person’s taste or liking.

Royal blue trim. Oh, I would never use Royal blue trim in an instance such as this. Never. Tsk. Tsk.

Really? Is this really so important? See, and I there go. Getting all wrapped around the axil again. Because in my mind, the trim, and the flowers, and the font, and the seating, and the napkins and temperature of the Champaign, together, all add up to one very giant picture, a picture that I spent months painting and repainting. And in the end, what if someone simply doesn’t LIKE it?


And this is why no matter how busy I am, somehow I magically still make it to ACF. Got to. Because it funnels all the chatter and possible scenarios of what might or might not happen, what I ended picking up and taking with me to the finish line vs. all the other items left along the way, the quality of the food, the guests in attendance, it makes it all simply that; what it is. It is what it is. And another day will have passed, and Tuesday will come, and the event will be over, and the clean up will begin, and it will all be a memory. Ideally a good one, but a memory nonetheless.

Started training with Dean. Using the chains in the double-wide with a back squat. Pretty sure I got up to 1RM. 155lbs. Tried for 165lbs. and bailed. He’s asked me to start recording everything I eat. Oh druthers. If I start writing it all down then I have to be honest with what’s really going on in my diet, with Dean, and worse, with myself.

Wednesday – WOD, followed by Strongman (2.5 hours total at ACF)… glorious

I. 3 Rounds:

10 Right Hand Kettlebell Snatches

Rest 30 Seconds

10 Left Hand Kettlebell Snatches

Rest 1 Minute

II. Handstand Walk Practice – 15 Minutes

III. 6 Rounds:

As Many Repetitions As Possible in 25 Seconds:

Double Unders

Rest 35 Seconds

ZuZu says…

I was discussing the 90 day challenge with a coworker today and we got on the discussion of water, and the copious amounts it is deemed to be healthy a person should drink per day.

Me: Crossfit says, you should drink half your body weight, in oz.

Co-worker: You say that a lot lately, ‘Crossfit says..’

Me: Kinda like ZuZu, in It’s a Wonderful Life, ‘Teacher says…’

I’ll admit, its been a rough week, getting back into my routine after having been blessed to have a majority of the Holidays off. I was reading some of my fellow 90 Day Blogger posts, and it helps to see that they too have been struggling, particularly with lack of sleep. I’m loving the blogs, by the way, makes me feel even more connected to the community and the goal.

Viv says she found she was sleeping upside down! I cant fall asleep either. My OCD… OCD… kicks in and I can’t seem to find the switch to turn my brain, OFF. Also, I’ve been getting headaches at work. I keep trying to tell myself that this is all the sugary Holiday cheer draining out of my system, as I make my way back to healthy and whole. I hope this is the case.

Overall, eating healthy has never really been an issue for me. Luckily, I am drawn to do so. At work I’m known as one of those annoying coworkers, who forgoes the doughnuts and trips to McDonalds, and generally brings her own salad. Or ‘little rabbit foods’ as one such co-worker describes it. It’s the cheat days that I have an issue with. Weekends in particular. I love wine. Red wine. Joseph Carr Cabernet if you’re in the neighborhood and feeling whimsical. Accompany it with a really nice long drawn out dinner with friends. Hmmm…

I adore potato chips. Last night a friend and I were reveling via text in the idea of crispy greasy golden salty fries, dipped in a chocolate shake.

Can I get fired for this?

Nevertheless. Here’s what’s really been cooking in my kitchen. (See pic above.) It’s been a wonderful go to on these colder nights, for right when I get home from work. Surprisingly, making butternut squash soup from scratch is pretty simple. And once you make a batch, it lasts for days.

Cooking more, cooking real whole healthy foods from scratch, taking the time to do so and learning about alternates and ingredients, that is one particular joy that I am gleaning since finding Crossfit.

I found the recipe here: Butternut Squash Soup