WHYNBTYW (Preview Edition 2)

This week’s edition of Why Have You Not Bought This Yet Wed is also a preview edition.

Two weeks ago, I purchased the Crossover Symmetry system. This system advertises itself as something for folks who need to improve shoulder mobility, strength, posture and even rehab injury. They even discuss someone who had a rotator cuff injury where surgery was recommended who used this system and was able to build strength without surgery. We have one of these systems in our box and I’ve used it a couple of times. It seemed promising.

The system arrived this past Monday and when I opened the box, their instructions said to head to their website, enter the code they gave me and watch the videos for further instruction. For me, personally, I’d rather read than watch videos so this was a minor annoyance. Not something worth returning the product, however. Two days later, I sat at my computer, entered the code and was taken to the training zone. I clicked on the first video (there are a LOT of them) and …. it didn’t work. I tried another browser. Nothing. I tried my phone, and still nothing. So I sent an email to their technical support and very quickly was sent a reply that they were aware of the problem and were working on it. They also provided a link to a cloud site where some of the videos were stored. So I was able to start watching.

Twenty-four hours later, their site was up and running and I was able to work my way through a good chunk of the videos. The first set deal with how to do the installation and basics. They move into the various movements and fantastically, go over common errors and how to correct those errors. This is fantastic, since you use the system in your own home; thus, you are doing the movements without the help of a coach watching.

Today, I finally managed to get the system installed. I ordered the door attachements, which are promised to work on all standard doors. I failed to consider that my house is 100 years old and thus my doors are perhaps, not standard compared to modern doors. However, my husband and I were able to get the system installed and hopefully it is at least toerable, since our doors are apparently far more narrow than modern doors. (Side note: were people that much smaller 100 years ago?!)

So I’m pleased to note that the system was reasonably easy to install. They were highly responsive to my email about the issues I was having. Their videos are very helpful.

I have yet to use the system, so I cannot report that you NEED it just at the moment. But I fully intend to start using it every day (as soon as I move the furniture in the room out of the way) and after a month or so of use, I will provide a full report on the challenges, issues and hopefully, benefits of the system.

So stay tuned!

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Not Paleo (but no added gluten)

I want to share my favorite cookie recipe with the world.  Basically because they are delicious and they also make the perfect amount – 5 cookies.  Recipe courtesy of Plated.

No Added Gluten Peanut Butter Cookies

1/4c peanut butter (I use natural jif)

1/4c granulated sugar (once I tried stevia, it was a disaster, do not recommend)

1/4tsp baking soda

2tbsp chocolate chips

1/2 beaten egg (yeah, sorry about that but if you want to use the whole egg… Double everything else and you’ve got 10 cookies!)

Mix all ingredients.  Roll out 5 cookies on a nonstick pan (or use butter to to grease).  Bake 10-12 minutes at 350.

Enjoy!

The Open, RX’d

Another Open has come and gone! Quite unexpectedly, I decided to RX every workout. This decision was, in itself, my major 2017 Open victory. I did not have any PRs or remarkable scores, but I did take on some movements that I couldn’t do last year (chest-to-bar pull-ups, handstand push-ups). I also identified several movements that need additional work (double-unders, snatches) and, of course, I’m still on a quest for that first muscle-up. But the Open has reinforced some of the most salient lessons I’ve learned from Crossfit:

  1. Be humble. I was very enthusiastic about 17.1. I felt super prepared because last year a shoulder injury resulted in a great deal of single-arm snatching. I was confident that I would crush that workout right up until the fourth round of snatches when my vision began to narrow and I started gasping for air. My cockiness melted onto the floor in rivers of sweat as I fought for every rep and realized that I had a long way to go both in the WOD and in my Crossfit journey.
  2. Laugh at yourself. I laughed during the 17.2 announcement because I knew it was going to create an uproar among both scaled athletes who were still working toward pull-ups and RX athletes desperate for a muscle-up. I love a good uproar. Following 17.1, I was feeling quite philosophical and decided that I would RX the workout (why waste those toes-to-bar I’ve tried to master all year?), but not worry about the muscle-ups and have fun. After all, I’ve lived 31 years of my life without a muscle-up, so what was one more day? I relished those first 78 reps and then did my best swinging, kicking, and flailing to try and get up and over that bar. My husband stood nearby, vacillating between chuckling and offering encouragement. Eventually, my coach came over and gave me a helpful boost so I could hang out in a muscle-up for awhile and feel happy to be part of such a fun group of people.
  3. Try hard things, fail, and try again. I’m not good at snatches. My 2016 goal was to get all of my lifts at or over 100lbs, and I succeeded with everything except snatches. Indeed, I entered 2016 with a 1-rep max snatch of 75lbs and concluded the year with a 1 rep max of 80lbs. So I suspected 17.3 was going to be brief if I RX’d, but I had worked very hard last summer on chest-to-bar pull-ups so I was certainly not going to give up my chance to show them off in the Open! I mustered my way through the round of 65lbs with only a couple of no-repped snatches. I reached the 95lb snatch with just over 30 seconds to spare and failed twice before reaching the time cap. So I took ten pounds off the bar and got a few reps at 85lbs– a small but real PR!
  4. Trust the process. 17.4 repeated my favorite 2016 Open workout, and I was super excited! Last year I scaled this workout and got a few deadlifts into the second round. This year, I RX’d and pushed through as fast as possible so I could try a few of my newly-acquired handstand push-ups. My reps were significantly lower this year, but 17.4 showed me that my overall fitness has definitely improved. This workout was a great reminder to trust my coaches and the programming they have planned, even when it’s painful. I’m very excited to work hard for another year and then try this workout again!
  5. Surround yourself with positivity. In a painful workout with both double-unders and thrusters, the positive community at my gym really shined. I loved watching my friends take on 17.5 with gusto and celebrate each other’s successes. I am grateful that this atmosphere is not exclusive to the Open; the joyful energy that radiates around the box buoys the athletes every day. It accompanies us in our jobs and homes and gives us courage to face life challenges beyond thrusters. I feel a great comfort in knowing that I get to visit such an uplifting space and such inspiring people daily.

Happy end of the 2017 Open, everyone! Onward!

Post Open Thoughts

So…The Open didn’t quite go as planned. I was hoping to Rx more workouts and if a repeat was in the schedule (which has happened for several years now), I was hoping to do better. None of these things happened. And while I feel I have let a lot of people down (mostly myself), in reality this likely isn’t the case.

I am still dealing with this dang, blasted calf injury, and my coach told me he wasn’t letting me do 17.5. Here’s the thing, I was about 98% of the way to this decision on my own, so when he told me, I really wasn’t upset. Correction, I was upset for about 0.15 seconds; but, in reality, I knew it would be the best thing. Seriously, rowing was problematic the week before; one of the other coaches watched me back squat and noticed my body mechanics were off because of the pain. I have no one to blame but myself for this injury and for it lasting so long. Back in December during a workout with the dreaded double unders, I did the first 100 with few issues. But I was struggling with the second 100 and when I got to 150, the cramps moved from pulled muscles into what I could feel was rapidly moving into serious injury and rather than take the blow to my ego and simply stop the workout, I stubbornly (stupidly) kept going and followed that up with thrusters. I literally could not walk for 2 days. The coaches modified workouts for me and the instant I would feel even slightly better, it was ‘balls to the wall’ again, and right back to being injured.

Well…that has gotten me nowhere. I didn’t complete The Open; I didn’t do as well as I’d wanted. And I have only myself to blame. I’m okay with this realization, but now is the time for me to (finally) listen to the coaches, modify workouts for several weeks and go see the deep tissue massage therapist regularly.  I need to get healthy again so that I can start working on those gainz and goalz from the beginning of the year.

One final thought, I have to recognize that I’m not 20; I’m not thirty; I’m not even 40. Thus my age may mean that I need to ramp down the intensity a little bit. That doesn’t mean stopping; that doesn’t mean not going for PR’s and faster times. That means recognizing when I need to take a break; it means recognizing when I need to stop a workout. It might mean scaling something in order to stay healthy. Mentally, I will need to come to grips with this because I still have all those goalz to attain. It just might take me a bit longer to get there since I’m not just fighting a lack of coordination and grace, but time.

Slow progress is still progress, right?

Life, Homesickness, and Random Thoughts

I haven’t been posting a lot recently but I have been thinking a lot about posting recently. So many random thoughts in my head and just so little time to sit down and bang out a post.  So life’s been hectic.  I love love love the time change and I’ve really been enjoying the sun being out when I get home from work.  I signed up for a duathlon and I really need to spend that extra sunshine time out on a bike or a run but that brings me to my next topic of homesickness.

This weekend we were down in Columbus/Dublin.  This area is my home. Where I was born, raised, graduated, and went to college. I miss the people, my family, the infrastructure, the variety, the engagement, the everything.  I came to a realization about three weeks ago that it’s been five years since we moved to Wooster and living in the rural setting has changed me (hopefully for the better).  I was driving around trying to figure out where to have dinner and I found my anxiety creeping up on me. The traffic, one ways, wealth of options was too much at that moment.  I had to pull over and take some breaths.  I realized at that point that even if I did move back to the area it wouldn’t be like it was.  I picture the area as my quintessential place of happiness but those memories were built when I didn’t have to worry about adulting.  So, I have to realize that experiencing the area as an adult will never be like it was when I was a child and a young adult who saw the world through rose-colored glasses.  I miss home but from the adult perspective I’m happy to be a weekend visitor for now.

another thought that has been rumbling through my head is my love of badges.  Remember that Facebook add on where you could put all those fun badges on your wall?  What about girl scouts or boy scouts when you earned badges for achieving milestones or knowledge?  There’s also communities that exist where you can submit works to earn badges.  One such community is Mary Jane’s Farm where users can come together and then work on badges at different levels.  There is also a book out there that is basically the adult version of girl scouts and you can earn badges through good works.

What if something like this existed for cross fit?  What would the badges look like and how would you earn them?  One that I came up with today were badges for each of the open workouts completed maybe with the key components stitched on there.   this has been a fun mental exercise to imagine…. Mull it over and submit your badge ideas to the comments.

17.5 Worries

Oh lovely. Double Unders. My crossfit nemesis. (well…if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you are aware that I have many crossfit nemeses…) But especially since I have a lower leg “thing”, mostly in my shins.

Thrusters? Okay…I might be nuts, but I’m one of the few people who kinda LIKES thrusters. And the weight is totally doable. We’ve been practicing in class doing reps unbroken for a lot of things, so for at least the first couple of rounds, I will shoot for doing them unbroken.

But double unders? Ok…I can do them a few at a time, generally with a lot of singles that won’t count. So do I scale this and just do singles?  That seems a cop out for me, since I am so close. Plus it’s 350 total and that is a large number….I know for a fact that this injury will kill me. ugh…

On top of this, I’m in the recovery phase from a cold, so I have basically one shot, probably on Monday morning. Though that does give me a few more days to rest my leg, since I haven’t been to the gym since Monday. Though that will also probably work against me; I haven’t  been to the gym since Monday!

Oh I am so torn here. But in the end, who needs to walk afterwards?