Post 17.1 Thoughts

While my WOD-Sista elected not to participate in The Open (a decision I fully support and respect, despite the questions that often come), against my better judgement, I signed up. My shoulder is about 95% healed, but my right calf and shin has become my newest nemesis and source of so much agony. 

But I figured that I’m certainly not a games athlete and I’m not about to get sponsored by some company to enable me to quit my job to train to become a games athlete, so what is the worst that happens in signing up? Slow times? Low rep counts? I have to stop in the middle because of pain or fear of a more severe injury? Hey, all those things either have or will happen and I survived. My ego has been bartered by crossfit time and again, so what would a few more times hurt?! So I signed up. 

If you are just discovering crossfit or have been hiding under a crossfit rock, Open 17.1 is a chipper with increasing dumbbell snatches interspersed with 15 burpee box jumps. When it was first announced, my thoughts were elated at the snatches, and then my heart was crushed at the thought of all those burpees combined with box jumps. I mean, I can do them, but not well, not gracefully and certainly not quickly. But no matter! I could Rx the first Open workout of the season! Go me!! 

My class time is 5am and this week I wasn’t going to be able to do the workout on Sat with most of the rest of the gym. So there was no time to mentally prepare. When I watched the athletes at the announcement, I saw four of the fittest people on the planet collapse in the classic “crossfit recovery position” barely capable of signing their names on the forms, so I knew I was in for a doozy. 

The first set of burpee box jumps had me limping. Burpees are seriously one of the worst moves for shin splints (who knew?) and by the end of set two, I was more than ready to quit. But my judge was so encouraging, and my other gym-mates were cheering so I kept on, moving slower and slower each round. 

I had in my mind that I wanted to get through the 30 round, including the burpees. I got through 40 snatches and then 3 box jumps before preforming what out head programmer, coach and gym owner called “the greatest no-rep ever” when I hit the corner of the box and face-planted on the floor. At least time was up at that point. 

Beyond the Whiteboard always posts statistics about the workouts and my score of 148 places me solidly in the bottom 20th percentile. Well below average even. If I’m being honest with myself (and if I can’t be honest here, where can I), that score was a bit upsetting when viewed as a percentile. However, since I KNEW it was going to be painful; and, I KNEW it didn’t really play to my strengths, I wasn’t overly concerned with it. I did it; I got further than I hoped. In the end, that is all that matters. 

Or, at least I hope so, because I’m still not waking right. ūüėČ

Oh and the workout took a piece of my soul with it. It is refusing to give it back. I hope I don’t need it for this week…

The Open is for (almost) Everyone

So the CrossFit Games Open is upon us (#theopenisuponus) and it seems like everyone is posting new profile pictures with Open frames and the ever popular hash tag #intheopen. ¬†So, here’s my confession and catharsis: I am not in the open. ¬†In fact, I have never been in the Open and I’ve been doing crossfit for three years.

So, why not. ¬†Well, I guess the simple answer is that I’m just not into it. ¬†I don’t feel the need to pay the fee. ¬†I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to post my shitty score on the internet. ¬†I don’t want to feel like i need to spend the next 5 Saturdays in the gym. ¬†The Open is just not my thing.

There are some aspects of the season that I do like: ¬†I enjoy waiting for the workouts to be posted. ¬†I like reading the strategies and the interpretations. ¬†One of the coolest things I saw today was an Open Workout ¬†specific recommended targeted warmup from Squat University on Instagram. ¬†I loved watching my friends and fellow athletes kill 17.1. ¬†I loved cheering them on from my rower where i was doing intervals (and tearing up my heels but that’s a separate issue). ¬†Also, I love watching the CrossFit games. ¬†I’m a fan, but to me the Open and the Games are best left as spectator sports.

So here’s my message to you: it’s totally okay to get excited and pumped about the open; to dedicate time and effort to compete against all of CrossFitdom – I tip my hat to your commitment and your enthusiasm. ¬†It’s also okay not to do the Open. ¬†It makes you no less dedicated to your fitness, nutrition, CrossFit, your box, etc, etc.

Maybe next year.

WHYNBTYW

Another addition to Why Have You Not Bought This Yet Wednesday, coming to you courtesy of Thursday!

Earlier in the year I agreed to split half a cow with one of the other box members. I’ve never done this before, mostly because the initial cost seemed insurmountable, although I fully understood that the per-pound cost was less. Plus, growing up in the city, you just bought your meat at the store, like everyone else. I didn’t know any farmers, nor any meat processors.

But when I was asked to do this, I thought, “Why not?” ¬†The farmer was yet another member of the box. When I spoke to him about it, his big point was knowing where your meat comes from. In all honesty, I’m not all about that. I know my meat comes from a cow. I know that cow must be slaughtered. I get that it’s messy and there are probably people working these slaughterhouses that should get paid more…blah blah blah…all the political stuff. I know that the store meat is often dyed to get the color that people expect, that deep red color. But I really never cared all that much about it. I don’t go for organic crops any more than conventional crops and I refuse to engage in a genetically engineered debate on this blog.

Price, however, now THAT is something I do care about. And my job ‘forgot’ to pay my supplemental pay for the past 4 months and made up for it by dumping that sum onto my last paycheck (yeah!). So that gave us the money to spend up front!

I still don’t know any processors, but the person I was splitting the meat with did.

We got the meat in the freezer this past Sat, and Tuesday evening, I went ahead and put steak and potatoes on the menu! Now, my husband regularly overcooks my steak. He’s been generally overcooking my steak for the past 25 years, but I don’t complain (much) since I’m not the one cooking it! (He cooks; I clean.) ¬†This was was pretty close, only slightly overcooked.

It looked like a normal steak. It smelled like a normal steak. I stuck my knife into it and it basically melted! It was the easiest steak I’ve ever cut in my life. Then I put this morsel into my mouth and was immediately transported to steak heaven!! This was the best steak I’ve ever eaten in my life. My son concurred, adding “It’s basically disintegrating in my mouth”. We all agreed it was the best steak we’ve ever eaten, ever. Did you read that? EVER.

End result? I will never purchase steak from a store ever again. We will be starting to save to do this again in a few months for several reasons.

  1. It cost us about $3.50 per pound. That is less than the cheapest cuts at the store
  2. It was simply the best steak ever.
  3. The ground beef was also just as good.
  4. Our freezer is half full and we don’t have to think about beef for a while
  5. See #2

So, if you have the means and the opportunity, I would highly recommend getting your beef from a local farmer/processor. It will be the best beef you’ve had.

Mu Shu Pork Pancakes

One of the most delicious, protein rich meals around. If you need more carbs, wrap the entire thing in a tortilla! You can sub almond milk if desired! There are two challenging parts to this: 1. getting the thickness on the egg ‘pancake’ and 2. rolling the egg ‘pancake’ around all the stuff!

I generally just cut mine all apart and chow down.

32g of Protein, 13g carbs and 8g fat

1 pound boneless pork chops

1 c egg whites (egg substitute)

¬ľ cup milk

¬ľ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

3 C broccoli slaw

¬ľ C plum sauce

2 tsp bragg aminos

 

Trim fat from pork and cut into ¬ľ‚ÄĚ strips. Mix egg whites, milk, salt and pepper.

Spray skillet with non-stick spray; heat over medium heat. For each pancake, pour 2-3 Tbsp egg mixture into skillet and quickly rotate to cover bottom to form a thin layer. Cook about 2 minutes until pancake is light golden brown around edge and center is almost set. Run wide spatula around edge to loosen, turn and cook on other side until center is set. Repeat until egg mixture is done (should make 4 pancakes). Stack between layers of wax paper to prevent sticking; keep warm.

Spray 12‚ÄĚ skillet with non-stick spray; heat over medium-high heat. Cook port in skillet 2-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until no longer pink in center. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until slaw is tender. Spoon ¬ľ of pork mixture down center of pancake and roll up.

The Feelz…

Last week we had a 40 min EMOM. Min 1 was 1-length bear crawl. Min 2 was 20 pushups; min 3 was a shuttle run, min 4 was 30s of ME toes to bar and min 5 was 15 box jumps to a 20″ box.

Looking at this WOD on Wodify, I knew it was going to be a tough one. I’m still nursing a calf injury and toes to bar is more like me flailing my legs wildly getting them nowhere near to touching the bar all the while making my hands very sore. Box jumps are no better when the calf muscles are not happy, and running…well…it’s one of my least favorite things to do and injuries are simply not helping there, but I showed up and thought that I would at least do what I could. I do like bear crawl, so at least 8 of the rounds would be okay!

Before we started, our coach said that anyone who had toes to bar had to work on stringing them together, try not to do one and drop etc. Those that didn’t, really had to try to get those knees to their chest and those that were close should work toward their first one. This left a LOT of us spending 8 rounds really trying to get one, practicing our swinging and really working on getting our legs up as far as we could. Hey, I can do that! I can swing my legs around in a vain attempt to touch the bar. (Now…I firmly believe that my not-inconsiderable jelly rolls are not really helping this particular move).

I believe we were in our 5th round and one of the other coaches was prepping things for the Boot Camp class and happened to be watching. After trying really hard and not getting anywhere near the bar, she came up to me and said, “Oh you are so close!” This woman doesn’t have an insincere bone in her body and it would never occur to her to say something that wasn’t true. However, I can visually see how far my feet are from the bar and to my mind there is approximately a one foot distance between my toes and the bar, and that is probably being generous. So I shook my head and replied, “I’m really not all that close”, and moved on to the next movement (box jumps – of which I was getting 10 of the 15). I do my jumps and here comes the coach for our class. She stops me and says, “You are allowed to give yourself credit for what you CAN do”. I must have looked very downtrodden at this (or some other emotion that I cannot begin to process), because she put her hand on my shoulder and said, “Seriously. It’s okay.” ¬†I nearly burst into tears, but contained myself and moved on to my bear crawl and completed the workout to the best of my ability.

So this was last Thursday and I’ve been basically incapable of processing this 3 second transaction all weekend. All these people talk about Crossfit giving one confidence and I feel the opposite. It has shown me all the things that I cannot do. I’m not graceful, coordinated, fast, or agile. (I am strong as hell; if there are things I CAN do, it involves power). So it’s really tough for me to feel confident in anything because I’m regularly last in the class, scale a good portion of moves all the time, rarely Rx anything, and struggle with so many things. So how am I supposed to celebrate the things I can do when I cannot do so many things? How do I give myself credit for how far I’ve come, when it feels as if I’m STILL barely out of the starting gate?

To top this off, I spent this past Saturday at a local competition watching and taking pictures of a lot of our members competing, many of whom were competing for the first time. They were so nervous and I spend the day yelling, encouraging, telling them to get out of their heads and reminding them that although we all spend a good portion of our time hanging out with crossfitters, most of the world thinks we are nuts and they were there, putting themselves out there and pushing hard when most people were not doing that. At one point, one of the ladies was getting very frustrated with her movements and turned to her teammate and said, “I will try this” (referring to the weight on the bar for a squat snatch). I yelled to her a Yoda quote, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” And one of the coaches, who was also there as support starting poking me. I turned and she said, “When will you listen to your own advice? You are the most negative, positive person around.”

Needless to say, all of this has me very reflective and I’m still not 100% sure how to process all these things.

I will end by reminding myself that this is MY journey and at least I was able to back squat 260 pounds 3 times today, so there is that!

Diet and Exercise

So, what would a CrossFit blog be without discussing food?  But I promise to be brief because we could all have a week long discussion about food, cross fit, their relationship, our individual relationships to both , etc, etc.

I just finished listening to a great episode of the Girls Gone WOD podcast that focused around the topic of eating disorders and the two hosts had excellent discussions with a dietician and behavioral therapist. ¬†Basically the big breakthrough and topic that I wanted to highlight was that food has no moral value (good nor bad) only nutritional value. ¬†When you eat something, your body has no idea (nor does it care at that moment) if the food is a “good” food or a “bad” food…. It only knows that it’s food!

My personal opinion about diet is that any registered dietician worth their salt is not going to tell you to cut out whole food groups. ¬†It’s important to understand proportions, nutritional values, and personal relationships with your food.

I highly recommend using a good tracker like MyFitnessPal to see what your current intake looks like. ¬†Then, I highly recommend seeking out a registered dietician (not a nutrition consultant… at least for your first consult. ¬†Registered dieticians are licensed professionals… They know their stuff!) to discuss where to go from where you are.

So, I highly recommend listening to the episode of GGW (I think it’s episode 66) and also taking your own steps to further understand your relationship with exercise and food.