5 Apr

I remember watching an Oprah episode about 12 years ago when Kody (my oldest) was a baby. It was about women who had changed their lives through exercise and proper nutrition. I SPECIFICALLY remember a girl who had lost about 80  pounds. She was running, pushing her son (who was the same age as Kody at the time) in a jogging stroller. I kept a paper and pen journal at that time. I made a journal entry about that mom. I could visualize myself being her. Jogging, pushing my sweet little baby boy along with me, and reaping the rewards of physical fitness.

The jogging stroller was already in my garage. I had NO excuses. I worked 3 days a week. I would take Kody on walks, that made me feel good. But those little walks weren’t getting me where I knew I needed to be. For some reason I just couldn’t being myself to break down and at least jog. In my head there was a strong voice that said over and over again that running wasn’t possible for me. Hell, I never even finished “the mile run” without walking in junior high.

Fast forward to a year ago. I’m in the throes of CrossFit, in love with what it is doing for me. Yet on days that the WOD had the word ‘run’ in it I wanted to ditch out. I could barely make it 400m without walking. My legs hurt, I was wheezing, I felt so slow and pathetic. Then I got an email about a PCF endurance class. It was 8 or so weeks of instruction to improve your running abilities. I thought, what the heck?” So, I gave it a whirl. I did learn lots and I think overall it helped push me out of some of my comfort zones. I still wasnt the most proficient runner on earth, but I did notice that my endurance was greater. I was running 800 m and not dying.

At the end of last summer it happened. “Murph” was up on the board. My first thought was, I’m going to modify the heck outta that WOD, and there ain’t no way I’m running a mile in bookend fashion around this WOD. Well, it seems that I give into peer pressure. I came in on a Sunday to do Murph with a few people who missed it during the week. I was planning my strategy for the meat of the WOD and I said to one of my friends, “what should I do about the run?” Her response was, “uh, run the whole thing”. I love her bluntness. I instantly became nervous. But to make a long story short, I did it!  It took a really long time, but I ran two miles that day! I was on cloud nine for a LONG time after that.

In the back of my mind I have had a secret goal for some time to run a 5k. I have seen myself run it in my head so many times. So, it happened…and the craziest thing is that even 15 minutes prior to the race I was still insistent upon walking as soon as the going got tough. I knew that I likely had the physical endurance to pull it off, just not the mental discipline. A couple of things happened.

1. I had a pep talk from my boyfriend the whole week prior to the race. He told me, I think you are selling yourself short if you don’t think you can run the whole thing. You’ve got this.

2. I had two little boys with me (Ryan’s boys) that wanted to run it with me…I couldn’t let them down. (FYI, they smoked me :))

3. My good friend and gym buddy Debbie decided to run with me. I talked her into doing it. I know she loathes running as much as I do. But stride by stride she was right there beside me.

Our initial goal was to make it to the turnaround which was the halfway mark…we got to that point and both felt pretty good. SO, we just kept at it. About 1/4 of the way from the finish line we said, I can’t believe we did this, we are still running! We can’t stop now, this is pretty awesome!

Fifty two minutes after we started, we crossed that finish line. Yes, that is a loooooong a@@ time! But, I couldn’t be more satisfied with every minute of that 5k. Debbie texted me an hour or so later and said…”I can’t stop smiling”. I texted back, “me either”.

So, maybe I was never that mom running with my sweet baby boy in the jogging stroller…but, achieving a goal that was 12 years in the making was pretty darn amazing!


The Open is now Closed

28 Mar

It is hard to believe that the CrossFit Open 2012 is over already. These last five weeks have been fierce to say the least. For someone who a year ago was “Sideline Sally”, watching friends, my sister and brother-in-law, and many acquaintances compete to being the competitor this year. Whoa! Pretty.Darn.Amazing.

WODs 12.1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 have given me lots to ponder about. And because I’m a list maker at heart, I would love share my many random thoughts about the last 5 weeks of competition:

  • Burpees will ALWAYS suck
  • They suck worse when you are jumping to a target 6 inches above your head
  • My snatch form is probably all “muscled” but it still felt pretty good
  • The next time the 100# Snatch and I meet, it WILL go past my nose, damnit!
  • The 20″ box and I still aren’t friends, we have never played well together, I never knew that a piece of wood could intimidate me so much
  • Wall balls and I are tight, real tight! 12.4 was my secret victory. My knees didn’t fail me
  • Proper mobility prior to 12.4 made a GINORMOUS difference in my performance
  • This is a big secret, I am a Fran virgin. Her and I have never met. So, 12.5 gave me a glimpse of the sheer exhaustion and victory that people seem to experience with Fran
  • For me it was actually possible to get pull-up coaching during 12.5 from my judge and fellow CrossFitter, and I’m thankful for that
  • This coaching led me into obsessive thinking about pull-up technique and watching videos for a good 2 hours that night and the next day, maybe instead of watching I should actually practice more
  • Being modified was totally okay during the Open, I actually didn’t have to modify as much as I thought I would… and I still felt like a champ

I do have two highlights of this competition overall.

The first being my brother, Joel. Joel has been CrossFitting since October 2011. I have always said Joel is the male version of me. We look-alike, sound alike, find the same really dumb shit funny, like to indulge more than we should and unfortunately, we are our own worst enemies. The latter is a work in progress. We are both admittedly capable of way more than I’m sure we even realize. Watching Joel compete with ALL our fellow athletes during 12.3 was awesome. Our PCF family is unmatched.

Secondly, watching my friend Monica getting so close to getting a Muscle Up in 12.4 was so emotional. I know everyone in that gym wanted it as bad (if not more) than she did. Monica is a fierce competitor with the personality of a gentle lamb. Watching her progress over the past year or so has been awesome, I want to be like Monica when I grow up 🙂 Again though, it was the spirit of the whole community in that moment that made it so much more special. I have said a million times that if your feet haven’t crossed into the PCF gym then you can’t understand the awesomeness that lies within. People who are all so different are all so unified. I love the acceptance and encouragement of one another regardless of where they are on their journey.

My biggest take aways?

I am competitive, even when I know I’ll probably be in last place

I am an athlete, even though I haven’t always seen myself in that way

I am always glad I conquered a fear,  even if that fear was 5 weeks of nervousness and anticipation

I am part of the coolest family in Troy, Ohio even though I wasn’t born into it

Eff Free Cookie Wednesday!

16 Mar

So, this post might end up being a little random…but hey, that’s me. Simply complex and random more times than not.
Anyway…I have not been in the paleo zone as much as I have in the past and certainly not how I should be lately. It’s like something has taken over my brain at times and said things like, “go find something BAD for you”, “you deserve it, work is crazy”, “I shouldn’t tell so and so no, I should just eat it”. Which brings me to Free Cookie Wednesday. I am out eating this past week with Ryan and the kids at a local restaurant. I ordered smart and at the conclusion of the meal the sweet waitress says, “It’s Free Cookie Wednesday, would you like those for here or in a box to-go?” Ryan says, “to-go” and I’m thinking…oh boy those sound good, but I really shouldn’t eat those. So the chocolate chunk cookies come out in this attractive box that is warm to the touch and smells delicious. It’s real heavy and I think, “nah, I really don’t need  those”. We proceed to the car. Ryan being the nice guy that he is passes out the cookies one by one to the kids and then comes to me and I take the first bite without even thinking. Yes it was delicious…but that first bite is poison. It’s poison to my body and poison to my mind. Admittedly it was soothing to the palate but that’s where it all stops. Did the instant gratification last…nope.

Q:  What has a cookie ever done for me?

A:  Not a damn thing!

I am really sick of the food battle I seem to have in my head. Some days I’m on my game, other days I forget there is a game. I love food, but I have to come to a place and stay there that food is fuel. But why in the world does food taste so good. And who made Free Cookie Wednesday? They should be in BIG trouble!!!

These are probably related to the devil...

I know what these cookies are really in reference to, but I think that all cookies around me should sport messages like this.

Tonight, tonight!

24 Feb

So, I havent’ posted anything on here for a month…geezy. My life has been straight up crazy. My school, kids school, work, gym, Ryan, life, life, life…

I need to write this today for me, it’s my therapy. Tonight begins the CrossFit Open 2012. Open WOD 12.1, 7 minute AMRAP of burpees…effing burpees! These are one of the slowest things for me, but it’s only 7 minutes right? As one of my workout buddies has been telling me for a month now, it’s only a WOD. And in all reality, she’s totally right. I have certainly done harder workout than burpees for 7 minutes. I have surprised myself so many time with things that i did not think were possible, I do them and then think…”why do I get so psychotically obsessed with mentally preparing for this?”

That’s the name of the game though, mental preparation. I know I do it too much, but that is totally hardwired in me and I can’t change that. So, I will make the best of it. I will make it through this, it will be satisfying, and I will have one more feather in my “I can’t believe I did that” cap. Positive thoughts are all I am going to channel right now…It’s less than two hours til game time. I got this!

Everyone Needs Their Own Cindy

21 Jan

So, today I’m on Facebook, shocking, right? And I read a one word line from the CrossFit Central East Region. It says, “Who is your training partner for the open?” I immediately wanted to type in the comments Cindy Young. Then I realized that maybe that is more of a personal thing between Cindy and I :). And really thought that question was probably posed for the more seasoned CFer.

You see….Cindy is my game changer! I met Cindy not even a year ago. I actually think our first encounter was a partner exercise  during a CrossFit endurance class. I knew who she was before that, but had never really talked to her. I was contemplating really changing my diet to compliment my workout. It just didn’t make sense that I was working my tail off and not getting all the results I wanted. And this was right about the time that the Don’t Cheat on Cindy Challenge was born! Wow – that was a truly life changing 47 days! Below is something I had journaled this past summer.

I felt an internal nudge to clean up my eating. I knew about paleo, I had actually had success with it two years prior, but hadn’t made a real dedicated effort towards it in some time. It’s like I was waiting for the paleo gods to come and prepare my food and blind my eyes to all things that were not paleotastic.THIS IS WHERE EVERYTHING CHANGED!!!I was doing some stretching after a 5 am class with Teri Gulker and some other ladies. She says, “will you eat clean with me for 47 days?” I very quickly said, “Yes, did you say 47 minutes, yes, if I’m sleeping. Even 47 hours, I can do 47 hours. But 47 days?!?! I don’t know”. In that moment I had a little reality check with myself. THE SWITCH CAME ON! I got in my car and thought to myself, “I’m doing this, I’m never really going to know what I am capable of until I give it all the effort I have”. So, I began talking to my sister and making plans to cook meals with her that Sunday to prepare my week for success.

Then came Saturday, May 14th, two days before the clean eating plan was to begin; I check Facebook to find the most awesome logo-postery thing in hot pink, fun colors and kissy lips that reads, “Don’t Cheat on Cindy” May 16-July 1. I instantly became so much more excited about this challenge. Keep in mind, I really just met “The Cindy Young”  the week prior at PCF at an endurance class. For me, Cindy is that person who you know when you meet them that they are going to have a significant impact on your life, forever. I had NO IDEA how big of an impact this girl was going to make.

Monday, May16th was what I would consider one of the most significant days of my life. It was the first time EVER in my life I stayed true to what I set out to do. In this case, that was staying paleo for 47 days. But first, I knew I had to make it through day one! And you know what…..I actually did. I didn’t cheat on Cindy, I didn’t even want to. I didn’t feel deprived, or grumpy, or like I was missing something. I felt in control, strong, and “living in the power” as Cindy would say.

And here I am 8 months later…still eating Paleo. Am I always perfect? Nope! But I will say that it is such a huge part of who I am now and I definitely know that eating bad shit has a direct impact on me physically and mentally feeling like shit. Cindy is that person who holds my feet to the fire. Not in an annoying, get outta’ my face way. In a “I want the best for you because you deserve it” kind of way.
She is so transparent. So genuine. So encouraging. So dedicated. So badass 🙂 I can’t remember a day that has gone by that she hasn’t texted me at some point throughout the day and said, “Hi love, how are you today” followed shortly after by another text, “what time are you wodding?” Cindy has helped me realize SO many things about myself…mostly that I (and anyone else for that matter) am capable of big, big change! We actually competed in a CrossFit competition this past October with two cool fellas from our gym. This is something I wanted to do but didn’t think I was ready. I couldn’t be more happy and proud that I was part of the Mod Squad on October 22, 2011.
I could honestly go on and on about the GINORMOUS impact that Cindy Lou has had in my life. I know this will be the first of many blog posts about Cindy. Just know that everyone needs their own Cindy, I am so thankful that I have mine 🙂

So thankful this moment of our friendship was forever captured!

“I like to make some people feel self conscious…”

18 Jan

I have really great trainers. They push me hard, teach me a lot, work with my shortcomings, and most of all believe in me (way) more than I believe in me. No two trainers are alike, neither are two athletes.

Just tonight my trainer was teaching the class and  right before the WOD says “don’t be “that guy” that has to drop weight in the middle of the WOD, get it right from the beginning” and looks at me. (I think, I didn’t have my glasses on, which means I can’t see or hear, but that’s a story for another blog). I said, “hey, why do you always look at me when you say “don’t be that guy that __________ (fill in the blank here). He said with a smile, “because I like to make some people feel self-conscious“. He is a jokester like that…but that statement got me thinking.

Self conscious….I know ALL about that. It was a small part of the reason I stupidly quit CrossFit the first time around. Wait, whaaaaaaaat???? Yes, I did quit CF for about 5 months for multiple dumb reasons. One of them being a video interview of someone else in the box that I just happened to be in the background of and I thought, “who am I kidding, I don’t look like any of these people, why am I doing this?” I had LOTS of negative self talk at that point in my CF journey. I never really pushed myself, I was happy with ANY modifications I was given, and I really just wanted to get through the hour without dying.

Fast forward to now…almost 2 years after the first time I walked into the gym doors. I RARELY feel self-conscious anymore. Have I transformed into this Games level competitor? Nope! What I have transformed into is a strong, self-confident, brave athlete. I don’t say this to brag, I say this because in a lot of ways it’s how my head is in a healthy place and I have finally learned that sweat and a pounding heart are a REALLY REALLY good thing. This is the first time in my life I have centered my day around how to get a workout in instead of finding excuses not to. 

I still have lots of modifications and there are plenty of movements on the board that I am just not ready to do. But I am so thankful that I finally have reached that place mentally that I just don’t care what anybody thinks. Honestly, no one cares….not in a shitty way, but everyone is so focused on their own game that if your butt cheek jiggles or you can’t get your toes all the way to the bar it’s likely that NO ONE is in the corner saying, “wow, that girl sucks”  I have found that they are probably saying, “keep at it, you got this” and cheering you on like a giddy high school cheerleader! 

I decided about a year ago that I am just going to give each WOD everything I have knowing that each one is a step closer to being the fit and healthy woman who has been so eager to make her debut for a very long time. I’m so thankful she didn’t get stage fright!

Mind Games

16 Jan

Mind Games. I play them all the time. Most often with myself, and sometimes very unintentionally. Over time I have come to the realization that out bodies are only as strong and resilient to that point that out minds tell them they are. To reign supreme over these games one must experience a mental victory. Mental victories can multiply your mojo like Gremlins. Mental games that are poorly strategized can fold your psyche like a house of cards. This happens with food, workouts, child-rearing,  relationships and many other random situations that life has to offer.

Food. This is a game I have been playing since probably high school. Some times I am “living in the power” as my friend Cindy would say. On a logical level I know that am in control over the food choices I make. However, I might rationalize a poor food choice after a day stressful work, not being prepared, or celebrating any number of things. When I am “living in the power” it is MUCH harder to distract or derail me. I let what I know as the truth (food is fuel, not comfort) rule on those days. I have always wished that I was the kind of person that would stay with the switch flipped into the “on” position. Unfortunately, I feel like I have to keep myself  talked into eating the right foods and not sabotaging myself. Paleo is what works for me, what makes me feel the best, and honestly, makes the most sense. I’m not saying it’s the easiest, but it is what works.

Workouts. I think the mind games that occur regarding workouts happen way before I EVER even step foot in the gym. Once I look at the WOD the night before I start mentally preparing for how I will approach a given workout…what weigh will I lift, what modifications will I make, sometimes the question is, “can I really even attempt this one without dying?” Over time I have learned that I am capable of so much more than my brain tells me I am. I remember when I started CrossFitting I couldn’t run even 1/2 way around the block without stopping to walk or feeling totally out of breath, fast forward to today…I am running 2 miles at a shot. I’m not the fastest runner in the world, but just doing the work feels oh-so-rewarding!

Child rearing. I think that child rearing boils down to one thing…consistency. The mental games that happen with kids are often attributed to the manipulation that they have on us as parents, and way can fall prey to it far too often. I love my kids more than I ever imagined I would and I want the best for them…every parent does. But, enforcing and sticking to what is right, over what is easy can be  a rough road. I have learned though that taking a stance and being “the enforcer” has big benefits. Catching your kids off guard by holding their feet to the fire can make a lasting impression for far into the future. Any parent knows that enforcing discipline can sometimes be far worse on the us than them.

Relationships. I am so thankful that I finally feel like I am in a place relationship-wise where this really isn’t an issue. However…men are men and women are women. I think that mind games are always a factor, even if you are only playing them with yourself. You can never expect that someone else, even someone that cares very much about you will ever know what you are thinking, feeling, hoping for if you don’t COMMUNICATE with them. It can be easy to get lazy in a relationship and take the other person for granted or assume that you know what they are thinking. But being mindful of what is important to you mixed with what makes your significant other happy can be a recipe for a really great relationship!

What I suppose this all boils down to is being true to you. Facing reality all the time. And most importantly, knowing that in the end the results you get are almost always equal the amount of effort you put into something. I like this quote below (I’m nerdy like that).

It is of practical value to learn to like yourself. Since you must spend so much time with yourself you might as well get some satisfaction out of the relationship.
Norman Vincent Peale