“Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.”
― Jane Austen

Tough Mudder badge

I completed the Whole30 and a Tough Mudder this week. The Whole30 teaches you to read your food labels. Did you know it’s next to impossible to find bacon that does not have added sugar? I ended up purchasing bacon from a local farm but by the time I got home forgot to ask the farmer if there was any added sugar in the bacon. At $8.00 for the pack of thickly sliced bacon I resolved to eat it anyway. So glad I did as it was unbelievably DELICIOUS. Probably the best bacon I have ever had, like ever.

The Tough Mudder tested my stamina. The course was a beast. 4.5 hours running and hiking over and up and down and under and through Gunstock mountain in New Hampshire. I’m beaten down. Elbows and knees and arms and legs scraped and scared.

TM Boston

Now I’m just plain exhausted. Energy level less than ZERO. When my eyes open at 5am without the assistance of an alarm clock, I lie there and ponder what time it might be, what I have to do for the day, is Oliver still sleeping – if I say his name out loud would I hear the thump of his tail? Or was he up on the futon? Sprawled out and delightfully still in doggy slumber.

Last night I dreamt that I signed up for another Tough Mudder with another team and Oliver was handling all the online registrations. We were required to send our registration emails to his attention and he would write back in curt concise sentences confirming receipt.

‘Man, Oliver runs a tight ship..’ I remember one team-mate muttering, displeased with Oliver’s tight ship and lack of letting anyone get away with anything funny during the registration process.

Of course it was all a dream and I barely remember any of it. Except at one point waking up and thinking I should tell Linda, our Boston Mudder Team Captain, that I registered for another Tough Mudder … through Oliver.

Linda would appreciate the possibility.

This constant fatigue might be a bi-product of the surgery. I fell asleep in the chair at the hairdresser yesterday. I just simply can’t keep my eyes open. It’s exhausting just trying to get into the car to drive the short distance to work. It’s exhausting making dinner, let alone going to the grocery store. My exhaustion leads to being constantly hungry. Like, famished. Which is not good for the figure or the CF diet to perform, so while I just want to CHOW on a giant pizza, I’m trying to be good. This has led to a bunch of research on the internet for possible remedies. The best suggestion says to up my iron and B-Vitamins, even taking Maca root might help. I’ve since found a decent looking multivitamin and Maca root supplement which I’ll start today taking daily. Something… SOMETHING… has got to help.

I’m in sort of bubble, all the world is muted and it’s everything I can do to poke through the fog and concentrate, let alone get from A to B. As I type this now I just want to go home and go to sleep.

Finding the Why. Part II.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzsche


I love stories of people leaving their jobs and pursuing their dreams. Love these people and their Exit Letters. Whether it is due to an unexpected and potentially devastating departure like being laid off, or just having had enough and pulling the evacuation chute;  the key is in seeing it all as one giant opportunity – like this gentleman, Richard Tseng, who compared himself to a tough old Eskimo broad.

Perhaps you just finally decide to go it on your own and start your own business, like Mr. Cake in the UK.

mr cake

These stories unite and inspire. They teach that there is indeed more life out there. Potentially the life of your dreams if you haven’t already found it. If you think about it the opportunities really are *fnn endless. You just have to jump.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t found the sweet spot yet. While I do enjoy my job and the community within which I work, there’s a deeper burning that won’t quit. It’s buried deep and it’s always there. It reminds me that the Why for my being –  my own personal elusive quan – is still out there and I just haven’t locked that sucker down yet. Not quite. Therefore I am merely existing. What is that elusive Why? What does it look like? If I had to make a list of Why Characteristics it would look like this:

  1. Connecting
  2. Creating hope
  3. Building something tangible, something good, and making a living at it
  4. The ray of light at the end of dark tunnels
  5. Being my own boss
  6. Building my dream home
  7. Living with humor

I want the knowing of that old Eskimo broad, confident and smart enough to slay the polar bear and feed the entire clan.


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.


steel and stone.

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Last night during Strongman we practiced reps and movements for our upcoming competition. If you have never seen what a posting for a Strongman competition looks like, take a look below. It’s like trying to decipher Morse Code. But, if you take the time to study it like a person who is registered to compete and wanted to know just exactly what it is you’re going to hoisting up off of the ground in feats of pure strength power and determination, well it all eventually begins to make sense. Let me know what you think:

Date: 12/08/12

Time: Rules 9:30am, 10am Start
Entry Fee: $30
Weight Classes: MEN <150, <175, <200, 201+ WOMEN <140, <165, 166+
Weigh-ins: Dec 7th 6pm – 8pm, Dec 8th 8:30am


1) 9-6-3 Stone 2 Shoulder/Tire Flip – 7 min time cap Stone/Tire Size: (115lbs/M<150, 130lbs/M<175, 130lbs/L<200, 150lbs/L 201+/ 60lbs/S<140, 75lbs/S<165, 90lbs/S 166+)

2) Max Axle DL – 3 Attempts (60 seconds to complete each rep) 20 pound jumps for all classes. Bar starts at: (280lbs<150, 300lbs<175, 320lbs<200, 340lbs 201+/ 120lbs<140, 140lbs<165, 160lbs 166+)

3) Log Clean and Jerk – Max reps in 90 Seconds (110lbs<150, 130lbs<175, 150lbs<200, 170lbs 201+/ 70lbs<140, 80lbs<165, 90lbs 166+)

4) Keg/Yoke/ Farmer Medley – 90 sec time cap (140keg<150, 140keg<175, 190keg<200, 190keg 201+/ 105keg<140, 105keg<165, 140keg 166+) Farmer Medley – Weights are per hand: (110lbs<150, 130lbs<175, 150lbs<200, 170lbs 201+/ 70lbs <140, 90lbs <165, 110lbs 166+) Yoke (330lbs<150, 380lbs<175, 420lbs<200, 470lbs 201+/ 190lbs <140, 240lbs <165, 290lbs 166+)

5) Keg over Bar – Max reps in 90 Seconds (105keg<150, 140keg<175, 190keg<200, 190keg 201+/ 75keg<140, 75keg<165, 105keg 166+)

RULES: No Tacky, No Suits, No Straps, No Sumo. Belt, Chalk, Sleeves OK. Control the apparatus or it’s a No Rep. More details day of.

After Strongman we move onto Ladies Night. These are my Wednesday nights now, right up until the I get home and its time for bed. Strongman then Ladies Night. In that order. CF bliss.

I PR’d on my axil deadlift at 251lbs. tonight at Ladies Night. The axil bar is much thicker than the Olympic bar. Very difficult to maintain a grip. It’s been some time since doing deadlifts. If I was able to inch up to 251 on the axil, I wonder where I am with a regular Olympic bar deadlift.

There’s a rumor our competition may be canceled. Not enough people signed up. Fingers of steel and stone crossed.

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.


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”.

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…


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.


Run 400m

30 Spiderman Lunges

20 Inchworms

Then… “Barbell Smash” On Calves


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.