Why Have you Not Bought This Yet Wednesday?!

The Power of the Mighty Muffin! This is a miracle product that came in a WodBom box a couple of months ago (seriously check out WodBom – my wodding sister had a great post about it last week).

Mighty Muffin

A seemingly regular cup of powder + 1/4 cup of water + 1 minute in the microwave and POOF! Magic yumminess is achieved! I seriously have no idea what is in these things (there are several different flavors, but the peanut butter and the chocolate are my favorite) and it sure seems like some type of sorcery is involved, but if you need a quick snack on the go, this is it!

They have 20g of protein and are only 240 calories making them a great snack for that time when you might otherwise reach for your wallet/purse and head off to the vending machine.

FlapJacked has several protein packed products for folks looking to add a bit of punch to foods that are otherwise typically comfort foods. Pancake/waffle mixes, their mighty muffin all in a variety of flavors. I know there are times when I really am torn between wanting to eat “clean” and really feeling a need for a sweet snack or comfort food like pancakes. This is a fantastic in-between alternative.

Am I saying you should eat these every day? No. But I keep on in my desk at work because sometimes I forget to pack enough food, and sometimes I’m really really really tempted to hit the vending machine and I find this better than most of the alternatives.

Give them a shot. They are relatively inexpensive and often on sale!

Again, I’m not sponsored by them (I wish…I would wear all their gear in a heartbeat!), but have really enjoyed eating their Might Muffins on a semi-regular basis.

Coordination and Grace

No. Not the WOD Grace, but the descriptive word. Dictionary.com defines ‘grace’ as “elegance or beauty of form or movement”. It is my belief that my LACK of grace and coordination is at least partially responsible for my lack of forward progress with so many different moves.

Some moves require nothing but brute strength. Bench pressing, squatting, deadlifting, push-presses, etc.  These moves are all about you vs. the weight on the bar and strength will get you there. The stronger you are, the more weight you can put on the bar. The more you work on these moves, the stronger your muscles get. Of course, you must have good form, which is why we all started with the PVC or the 15 pound bar. But once the form is down, brute strength gets you the rest of the way.

Other moves are all about cardio. The rower, the Assault bike, running, even wall balls are generally all about cardio. It doesn’t take a lot of brute strength to toss a 14 pound wall ball into the air. And while I admit there is a bit of coordination in the timing, what it really takes is cardio strength to continue to move that small weight a large number of times. If you want to get better at running, you do more running. But it doesn’t require brute strength to run; anyone can do it. (For those of you arguing about coordination require to run, I would point out that humans are bipeds and designed to run, and that coordination, barring injury or cognitive dysfunction, is basically built in).

Many of Crossfit’s moves require a small amount of coordination combined with some strength and some cardio. Thrusters, box jumps, bear crawls, sled pushes are all good examples here. The stronger you are, the more weight you can move, but when the WOD calls for large numbers of thrusters (we had to do 75 the other day), you need good cardio as well. Like wall balls, these moves also require a certain amount of coordination to get the timing down and to save the athlete that little speck of efficiency in order to move without becoming overly tired.

And THEN we have the Olympic lifts and the gymnastics moves: clean and jerk, snatch, pull-ups, toes to bar, muscle ups and I’m even going to put double unders here because they require more coordination than other moves. Yes, there is certainly some strength involved in the Olympic lifts, pull-ups etc and yes, there is a lot of cardio required to do many consecutive double unders. But these moves are also about coordination and grace and getting your body to do certain things at certain times.

And what I’ve discovered, is that I seem to lack grace and coordination. I’m pretty dang strong. My cardio isn’t great, but it’s slowly improving. And yet, I have a sneaking suspicion that what is preventing me from not just mastering but being able to simply do them at all, isn’t strength. It’s coordination. It’s lack of grace. I watch videos, read, and practice and yet….I still cannot do these moves. My coaches will say, move “this way” do “this” with your body and yet, I don’t seem to be able to tell my body to do these things. And when I do (box jumps anyone?), I feel like I am a clumsy sort, flopping around, flailing about.

Dogs Failing at Being Dogs

Now it’s possible that my feeling about how I look and how I actually look are two different things, though when I see videos, I basically see a manatee attempting to jump rope. I lie…a manatee can probably jump better than I can, but I’m sure you get the point. Looking back over my athletic career in high school and college, I was probably really not any different. I had a lot of strength and gravitated to those positions/sports. I was a keeper in soccer, catcher in softball and threw the shotput on the track team. All things that require more strength and less grace, where launching yourself into the air and landing hard were expected, where brute strength was applauded.

I have no idea how one acquires grace, balance and coordination except through years of careful practice and more work. Something I’m more than willing to give!

Scaling Due to Injury

Earlier in the week, we were bench pressing. Now I have to tell you bench pressing is my all time favorite move. Seriously, I would do only that, if that did anything for health. I would rather bench than anything else in the box. (I will say that squats and deadlifts are not far behind).

bench pressing fav

Back to the story. On my second to last set, I heard my left shoulder go “pop, pop, pop” and then the bar basically collapsed on that side, leaving me in this rather awkward position of one side all the way up, and the other side completely collapsed and incapable of movement. My spotter immediately got the bar off and I rolled of the bench, trying to wipe aware tears of pain, my left arm dangling rather uselessly by my side. Needless to say, I was done for the day as far as working out went.

But I got up and 4:30am the next day and went in, because I KNEW, that no matter the injury, the coaches would find something for me to do so I could get a good workout in. Push Presses were on the menu, and that would be a total no-go. So she had me to 3 rounds of weighted lunges and banded glute bridges while everyone else did their sets of push presses. Guess what? We finished around the same time and I didn’t need to use my shoulder. The WOD was 50 calories on the Assault bike (that evil Devil’s chariot) followed by 75 thrusters at 35 pounds. Thrusters were obviously a no-go. So we tried front squats, but I couldn’t hold the bar in the front rack position. Then it was a heavy goblet squat and when she saw me struggling even with that, she helped me raise that dang 55 pound kettlebell to my good shoulder, and I did front squats that way and ended up a dripping pile of sweaty mess after. Was it the same workout everyone else did? No. Did I get the same benefit as doing thrusters? Probably not. BUT it was still an excellent workout and I felt good leaving the box.

What if all I could do was the bike? What if I couldn’t even use my arms for the bike? I can guarantee my coach would have made a great workout based on what I COULD do that day.

Don’t get me wrong, some injuries will simply require you to take a day, or two (or even more if need be) off. You need to listen to your body, especially as you get older and recovery takes longer (dear brain – please learn this lesson). But if your injury is relatively minor, I can almost guarantee that your coach has the ability to modify the workout to what you can do. I’ve seen it all the time with folks at our box. One of the athletes recently had carpel tunnel surgery and once the surgeon told her she could start to exercise again, she showed back up. That particular day was push-ups and even push-ups on her knees was starting to hurt. I saw her doing push-ups off the wall instead. Would that be the same as from the floor? No. BUT it allowed her to keep moving, and slowly build strength back into her wrist. She did all the other movements!

If coaches have the skill to scale for new athletes, teens, older athletes and for those of us who have yet to acquire one of the skills needed for that day, they can also scale for recovery from injuries, rehabilitation and simply to keep you moving. So, my advice would be that even with a minor injury get to the box and do the best you can, working around your injury.

And finally, as I’m not a medical doctor, this isn’t medical advice. See your doctor if you are seriously injured and follow their directions. Once cleared to exercise, listen to the doctor and/or physical therapists on what you are allowed to do so you can build your strength back. But I would also bet that your coaches are more than willing to work within those guidelines to make sure you heal and are back to full strength once again!

Why Have You Not Bought This Yet Wednesdays

So, I thought we should try to have a little feature on Wednesdays.  It’s no Throwback Thursday but it’ll have to do.  I think “Why Have You Not Bought This Yet Wednesday” will highlight products that either one of us have tried, enjoyed, and really thought “Why have I not bought this yet”.  Don’t get us wrong, we don’t have fancy corporate sponsors telling us to plug their items…these are just things we have legit tried and legit love and are happy that we did take the plunge and bought them….whatever they happen to be.

I think for my first post, I’ll highlight the WODBOM box.  I LOVE this monthly CrossFit subscription box.  Honestly, most of the other items I highlight on WHYNBTY Wednesday likely come from a WODBOM box.  You can check out their website at http://wodbom.com/.   One of the best things about this subscription box is that it has Active-Duty Army ownership.  I love supporting the people who support our country!  I have also seen Ohio-based companies supported by WODBOM (Doc Spartan – http://www.docspartan.com/) A few other things that I love about this subscription box is that almost every box comes with a sweet t-shirt, full size samples (!!), and products that I literally would not be able to find in Wooster, Ohio.  A few awesome things that I have gotten in my 5 months of subscription so far include: magic chalk! it’s a liquid….no it’s chalk….it’s liquid chalk!!, rope climb socks from LiveSore, and WOD Dice which we put to good use a few months ago at DCF when each class had a new, different WOD decided by the dice gods.  The ONLY item that I have gotten in this box that I really didn’t like was a protein bar made out of cricket flour.  Yes, crickets.  Now…I had to try it because…….cricket flour.  I will say that it didn’t taste bad but the seeds they put in with it were crunchy and I couldn’t not think about exoskeletons.  Overall, it was tasty but the thought of it put me off.

Subscription to the WODBOM box costs $34/month (if you go with the 3 month subscription – there are 1 month and 6 month options with different prices).  I highly recommend giving it a shot.

Celebrating Community

Readers! My partner in “crime” on this blog, and good friend posted to Facebook that she loved that I celebrate “other people’s victories as much as my own” and I’ve been on a high all day because of this. But perhaps it’s not for the reason you think.

Yes, a good, heartfelt complement really does go a long way to making a person’s day a little brighter, the smile a little bigger. But it really got me thinking about one of the things that always comes up when people talk about CrossFit: community.

I remember my first “real” WOD. Three rounds of 20 slam balls and 30 lunges. I was dead on the first round. This was much harder than anything I’d ever done and much harder than any of the On Ramp workouts of the previous two weeks. I was half way through my second round when most of the rest of the class was finished. Two people came by my side and started doing lunges with me and encouraging me on the slam balls. Now these two people were FIT! The kind of fit I wanted to be. They didn’t make fun of me; they didn’t laugh. They didn’t even finish their workout and walk away. They worked out MORE to encourage me.

During my first CrossFit Open there was a WOD with thrusters and calorie rowing. I took longer than anyone else (there is a theme here, a theme that continues to this day). The ENTIRE GYM was cheering me on, clapping, yelling and making sure I didn’t give up. This was the community I had joined. I didn’t believe it that first night. But by my first Open, I really understood the meaning of the word.

So I take that seriously. I’m rarely the first to finish. I still often finish dead last in my class (this is just fine; I’m way better than I was 2 years ago). But when I do get done before other athletes, I make sure that everyone gets a few encouraging words. I will bust out burpees, pushups, squats whatever, to help that person through those last few if need be. Everyone is there for their own reason, has their own goals and their own CrossFit dreams. I want to make sure that all the athletes feel as welcomed as I did, as I continue to feel. CrossFit: welcome to our family.

Recovery is Important

As you well know, we competed in a two-day CrossFit competition recently. It’s now three days post-competition and I’m STILL tired, achy, sore and (yes, I will admit it) grouchy from the aches and pains. After doing this type of intense exercise for just over two years, you would think that I’m used to being sore, or that I don’t get sore. WRONG. I seem to exist in a fog of sore muscles.

Two years ago, I started my CrossFit journey with three days per week. After about 6 months, I went to four days and after about 8 months, I went to 5 days per week with the occasional summer extra session, or the very occasional Saturday session. So for the past 16 months, I’ve been generally going 5 days per week; I rarely miss a session. Until now. And I’m coming to grips with this because I feel like a failure when I miss my WOD.

But I am also old enough to perhaps admit a few things publicly and not really worry about them.

  1. I’m not 25 and will not recover like a 25 year old. It is okay for me to take a few extra days off (if you ARE 25 and need a few days to recover – TAKE IT).
  2. Recovery plays an important role in future performance.
  3. Perhaps 1 competition per month this year was too much.
  4. It’s entirely possible I’m not quite the athlete I once was (or thought I was)

Some of these are harder to admit than others. But in the end, I have to learn to listen to my body and take the rest I need. And should I need to take a few weeks of 3x per week instead of 5, that’s okay too. I supposedly do CrossFit so I can still move in 20+ years, but if I don’t learn to listen, that might not be the case because my knees will simply break and force me to take time off, and who wants that?!