Thursday, September 2, 2010

From 1RM to 1L


Hello all! Again, I know I suck at blogging, but whatever, just deal with it. So, I am about to finish my 2nd week of law school. I am officially a 1L at Villanova and it is pretty awesome. This is the first time since, well, ever, that I wake up and know I have tons of reading, studying, and class ahead of me, but it's cool because I actually like it. No more droning Econ professors to spoil my day, although I'm sure I'll get my fair share of boring professors, but for now, I am as happy as a clam. (Why are clams so happy? Please if you know, let me know.) The commute hasn't been too bad. I get to school wicked early, but it's cool because it gives me time to read, um...., or Facebook stalk or blog! So that is good news for you! I am starting to get into a groove which is good so I can start fitting in workouts.

I tried out a CrossFit gym in my town. It didn't work out so well. Just didn't fit with my personality, so I tried a new CF gym, CrossFit Delaware Valley, and I'm a fan! Everyone was super welcoming and genuinely interested in getting to know the new chick at the gym which was cool. I have been working out there for the week and so far, so good. This might be my new CF home.

The other day we did "Diane." What an ego check! My Handstand Pushups were a bit rough to say the least. I burst my capillaries again, so I'm sure everyone at school thought I got beat at home or something. Oh well, they'll figure it out. :)

So one month ago, I was finding my 1RM (1 Rep Max) and now I am a budding 1L ready to become the next butt of your lawyer jokes. My situation has definitely changed, but I am still the same chica you know and love :)

P.S. Now that I have a Mac I can post video. Hooray! Long over due Muscle Up video from a year ago....I no longer have to do 5 kips to do them any more. I will take a new video as proof soon. :)

video

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

California Dreamin'

Well, it's been awhile. I apologize to my few fans. This is what I've been up to.

1.Training for the CrossFit Games as part of Team CrossFit Southside
2. Competing at the CFG
3. Recovering from the CFG
4. Preparing for my new chapter in life

So from the top...
After falling short of qualifying individually for the CFG, my roommate offered me her spot on Team Southside. It was not an easy choice for me. Although I was greatly appreciative and honored that she would give up her spot to me, I was so focused on my individual goal and journey to make it to the CFG that I didn't know if I had it in me to switch my focus towards a team goal. After a serious conversation with JB, I decided that it would be a privilege and an honor to represent the gym that gave me so much. And from then on the training began again.

We did a few two a days, some track workouts, and some workouts in 100 degree heat. We did a few tests to see where our strengths would be best for the team. I hit a OHS pr of 140# which was pretty baller, and days before the games started I dropped 4 seconds off my 500 M Row PR. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty ready.

Then came 105# Thrusters...
At the Games the first event out of the blocks was:
2 Round for Time of, 70 105/155# Thrusters, 50 C2B Pullups, and roughly 100 m partner carry all split between a four man team of Me, Michelle, Doos, and Ben. The event had a 12 minute time cap.

The first round took us exactly 6 minutes, and it took us another 6 minutes to complete 63 thrusters. We DNF'd. That was a tough pill to swallow. We definitely weren't prepared for the event. For both me and Michelle that was the heaviest Thruster we had ever done, so we set a PR, but now we know what we need to work on for next time.

The second event involved all six team members. It was a rotation of three work stations ending with a 1 RM shoulder to overhead. The work stations were max rep deadlifts in one minute, rest, max rep pistols in one minute, rest, max rep calories on the rower, 1 RM Jerk. I personally jerked 140# and as a team we placed the highest in the 1 RM event. Our performance although better than the first event was not enough to move us on to day 2. We placed 51st our of 70ish teams. We need to be in the top 48 to move onto day 2. Although we fell short of our goal, it was a huge accomplishment for our gym to make it to the games and compete at that level. I am very proud of each one of my team members. Great Job Southside!

As a spectator of the CFG, I was completely enthralled all weekend. Watching the individual competition only made me what to compete as an individual even more. CrossFit competitions are definitely a thing I want to keep doing. I think it is one of the coolest ways to test your fitness and your progression as an athlete, and I would love to do it on the world stage sometime.

Post CFG, I let loose...
I'm probably going to gain at least ten pounds if I keep it up. The sundaes, pizza, beer, cookie diet isn't exactly the best "look good" diet out there, but hey...I think I earned it! :) Only 6 days off and I felt like a complete bum. I've been back into the gym doing 3 on 1 off and I feel semi-normal. Not quite normal because I keep eating like a dessert crazed maniac...baby steps, baby steps. I'll get back to fighting weight, don't you worry. ;)

So long Jacksonville, it's been real...
I was accepted to Villanova School of Law for the Class of 2013. Pretty stoked! So I will be leaving Jacksonville August 7th to make the trek back north. I am excited for the new chapter in my life. Law school and the practice of law has always been an interest of mine and I am excited to finally be able to pursue it.

I am not so thrilled about leaving my CrossFit peeps. Southside crew has definitely become my family here in Jax and I am bummed to leave them. They have helped me grow in so many ways as a person and as an athlete I will be forever grateful. Someone once told me that, for anyone who has ever given you confidence you owe them a lot, and Southside has definitely done that for me. I am going to try and find a CrossFit affiliate up north that I think fits with my personality and I can only hope that I find people there half as cool as the folks at Southside. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Keepin' my Dream Alive

This past weekend CrossFit HQ streamed live feed of the Southwest Regional Qualifiers. This was a huge step for the CrossFit community and shows how the ‘sport’ of CrossFit is growing rapidly. They haven’t come out with any official numbers yet of how many people logged on to watch, but I know that me and few other CrossFit fans and athletes tuned in and found it hard to turn it off. At first as I watched the first events on Saturday, it was just cool to see the workouts being performed live. As the weekend progressed, I could not peel myself away from the computer. I was addicted.

I won’t lie. I am a stalker of CrossFit blogs. I like to see what my competition is doing, how they feel about their training, and why they keep doing what they are doing. Are they practicing oly lifts or gymnastics? Did they hit a PR or get injured? Sometimes this becomes a severely bad habit. I start to judge my performances based off another athlete. That is definitely the wrong way to gauge progress. I always have to literally smack myself to remind me that “I am my own measuring stick.” But some days looking at some chicks’ massive back squat or deadlift numbers makes me start to feel inadequate. I question if I have what it takes to keep up with these ladies, and not just keep up with them but beat them. I start to doubt myself and my abilities, which is the worst mental place I could possibly put myself in before a competition.

I could not thank CrossFit HQ enough for putting this live stream up. Not only was it great to watch the workouts live and hear from the athletes, but it gave me the ability to watch other unknown athletes in CrossFit surpass the big names of last year’s games. It is inspiring to see such displays of fitness from all of the competitors, and as an unknown CrossFit athlete myself; I find it truly inspiring to watch other unknown competitors advance past last year’s games qualifiers. Watching the events this weekend gave me the spark back that I needed to train hard through these next few weeks. I know no one expects me to advance to the games. Hell, no one expected me, not even myself, to place so well in the Florida Sectional! But I am going to give it my best damn try that I have. This weekend showed me that you could have the best stats in the region, but if you don’t show up mentally for game day, then you will get beat. There are plenty of anxious competitors ready to take the top spots, and they aren’t going to take it easy or let anyone win just because 2 months ago someone else out back squatted them. Stats are great, but in competition the only stats that matter are the ones you put on the board that day.

My mental game is back, and I’m not going home with out a fight!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oh...Now I get it...

One of my daily rituals is sitting in front of the TV while I recoup and log my last CrossFit workout. The other day I was watching that hideous piece of brain sucking technology when I saw a commercial talking about "Ah-ha" moments. It got me thinking about the first days and weeks that I started CrossFit, and how extremely difficult and challenging certain movements were (and sometimes still are) for me. As I flipped through the pages of my log book I let my mind drift back to some clear memories that stood out in my CrossFit journey. I remembered the first workout when I stopped using a resistance band for pullups, the day I jumped for joy that I got 3, yes that's right, 3 double unders in a row, and the day I got my first legit ring dip. Those days I felt like I won the lottery, that I was suddenly unstoppable.

Now, kipping pullups are just another movement, suddenly the other day I hit 40 double unders, and doing sets of ring dips doesn't phase me. But what did it take to get this far with those movements. For me it was a few ah-ha moments and some rules I told myself I would follow.


Ah-ha Moment Number 1:

One day we were warming up for "Jackie" and I realized that pullups were never going to be easy. Boom! That was it. Now, I could accept that it was going to be a struggle to do 30 pullups in a workout, or I could pretend that doing pullups on a band would eventually make unassisted pullups a breeze. I chose to accept that no matter how long it took me to do 30 Rx pullups I was going to complete the task. 11 minutes later I did! By the end I was knocking out only one at time, but they were getting done. The quote that reminds me of this moment is, "If you want something you've never had, you must do something you've never done."


Ah-Ha Moment Number 2:

Double unders...If you've known me and my CrossFit history, then you know double unders have taken me through hell and back. When I was first starting to attempt consecutive double unders, everyone kept telling me to "relax," "don't force it," "you are trying to hard." Every time someone told me that I wanted to punch them in the face. I would think, "Whatever. What the *#!% do you know? This is me and my body and I can't get this damn rope to pass under my feet with out effort." I would squeeze the handle of the rope so hard my grip would usually be shot, along with my ego, by the time my battle with double unders was over. I would watch countless Journal videos and Buddy Lee tutorials with no hope. For months, I would come home, park my car, get out and do 50 double unders before I would let myself go inside. The first time I did Annie it took me almost 13 minutes. I did single-double combos the whole time. My second battle with Annie I knocked off 4 minutes, better, but still not the improvement I was hoping for. After about 6 months off on again/ off again success, I got 20 DU in a row during a workout! Lately I've been able to consistently hit sets of 20 in a row, part in thanks to a little rule that was created. My double unders don't count at all during a workout unless I can hit a certain number in a row. There have been lots of "wasted" double unders, and I'm sure my times have been slower, but my double unders have improved exponentially quicker with this rule in place. And I think I've also learned how to relax....but I will never fully admit this. :)


Ah-ha Moment Number 3:
This moment doesn't apply to my ring dip experience. I know my organization isn't the greatest, but bear with me. I also don't really know if this a moment or a rule, or a moment that created a rule, but who cares. Whatever this is it made me a better CrossFit athlete. :) I think I figured this out during a match with "Helen" back in November. What I figured out is to never discount my ability or my mental capacity. I use to think okay "Helen," I'll run but keep my breath, break up the kettle bell swings at various numbers, and do X sets of pullups. One workout a little bird put it in my head to never let go of the kettle bell, ever. So I didn't. Bang! Dropped 3 minutes! But it was more than that, I didn't start believing in my abilities until someone else told me. Even when I swam, I had to hear my coach tell me what time I should aim for. I never picked one for myself and if I did, it was a weak attempt at a goal. Just that little moment made me realize that I am my biggest fan or worst enemy, and I'd rather be a fan than an enemy. I don't think about the numbers anymore. I think about the feelings of the movements and how I expect to feel during the workout. For some people this may not work because it may make them feel "pukie" before the workout even starts, but for me, it brings a sense of calm because what ends up happening is exactly what I had imagined. With a new found control over my mental ability, my physical ability has been challenged to a whole new level because I do not "scale" myself mentally.


These are a few of the moments and rules that have shaped my development as a CrossFit Athlete. What have been some standout moments for you in your experience with CrossFit? Have you made adjustments after having your ah-ha moments?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why AP GYM?

I've always been super competitive about everything I do. From cooking to sports, I always find a way to make it a competition. When I swam in college we played different sports for "fun" to help team bonding. It was a running joke that it was never just "fun" for me. It was a serious competition of dodge ball or handball. So, they use to kid me asking if I took AP Gym in high school and if I got full credit for it. (AP classes are classes in high school that you may earn college credit for and are usually slightly more challenging than regular high school classes.)

After awhile I loved the concept of AP Gym. Why not want to win all the time? What's the harm in that? As long as when you don't win, you don't beat yourself up over it; then I say try and be the best every time.

It wasn't until I found CrossFit that this concept truly applied everyday. Everyday in CrossFit is a competition. For most people it is a competition with themselves and their athletic potential. For others, they push themselves by seeking that top time, weight, or rep count on the board. But either way, CrossFit pushes you to your best everyday. CrossFit is AP Gym.