30 Day Challenge Complete!

Mobility is a huge issue for crossfitters.  In our box, we take ample time to warm up and stretch but generally after the WOD people zoom out the door (myself included) and don’t take the time to cool down and stretch following the workout.  

One way that I, rather sporadically, work on my mobility is to attend/do yoga whether through the box (thank you coaches!!), a class downtown at Flex Yoga, or on my own.  Generally I practice yoga erratically instead of consistently but that also fits into my crossfit routine which I well call toddler-influenced because I’m pretty sure 2 years is just a little too long to be considered post-partum.  

Anyway, a personal goal is to become more consistent not only with cross fit but also yoga… Each feeds into the other if you truly think about it!  It just happened that flex yoga Wooster began hosting a 30 day challenge right when I needed them most.  You can check out my daily poses on our Instagram Fred or you can check out everyone’s submissions by searching #30daystoflexy 

Another great resource I hope to get soon is WOD Recovery Yoga an eBook that details what yoga poses are most  beneficial after a WOD depending on what types of movements you were doing!

Anyway, I’m thrilled that I completed the challenge and didn’t miss a single day… Now I’m looking for a new challenge!  Casually eyeing health challenges such as  whole 30.  Any recommendations out there?????

See you on the yoga mat!

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WHYNBTYW

Welcome to hump day!  It’s so good to be back at the gym and feel 100% again.  My motivation this morning was literally “I don’t feel like going but when I couldn’t go all I wanted to do was go so I’ll enjoy that I can go now”.

Since it’s officially Wednesday it’s also whynbtyw!!  My recommendation for today is to go out and buy some mason jars…. Preferably the quart size.  These mothers are the absolute perfect size for a lunch salad!  A simple search on Google or Pinterest yields a plethora of recipes for jar salads.  So far I have tried a taco salad (delicious but cold ground beef is sketchy to me… I would use chicken next time) and a strawberry spinach salad.  The mason jars are great storage for the salad and you put the dressing in the bottom so the rest of the salad doesn’t get soggy.

So, highly recommend seeking out some mason jars. If the salad thing doesn’t work out, a second google search for mason jar crafts should give you some other creative outlets.

Enjoy!

The Struggle

Okay guys…if you’ve been reading this for any length of time (or even if you simply scan our titles), you are aware that we are two crossfit athletes scaling our way through crossfit and have been doing so for close to three years.

For me, here is a recap of all the moves I don’t currently have in my crossfit arsenal: double unders (these were close before my calf injury), toes-to-bar, pull-ups, chest to bar, muscle-ups, rope climbs, box jumps (I HAD these until the box tried to eat me), hand stand pushups, handstand walk, pistols, PROPER GHD situps. Here is a list of moves that I still struggle with and really need to work on mobility/cardio: Olympic lifts, burpees, the blasted Assault bike, running, over head squats, v-ups, wall-climbs. Here is a list of moves that I either really like, or feel at least proficient in doing: dead lift, bench press, back and front squats, push press, strict press, Ski-erg, wall ball and thrusters.

I’m sure there are others that we do semi-regularly that could go on these various lists. The point of this isn’t to highlight all the things I can’t do, but to move into how I end up feeling when the WODs include several moves that I really struggle with.

This week, we had a WOD that was 40 Toes-to Bar, 10 wall climbs, 20 T2B, 8 wall climbs, 10 T2B and 6 wall climbs. This was followed by accessory work (single arm bench press, banded triceps pull downs and flutter kicks). I KNEW going into this workout that it would be rough. I don’t have T2B and wall climbs rank up there as one of my least favorite movements. I feel as if I get far more exhausted than I should get doing them, and my inability to breathe doing them only makes that worse, I’m sure.  But when I saw the workout, I thought to myself, “Well, I will really try and hopefully come close to getting ONE, just ONE.”

Three tries in, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. My hands (even chalked and wrapped) were slipping off the bar, I stopped trusting myself to even hold myself up there. I tried knees to elbow. Nope. So knee raises it was. I tried doing several in a row and lacked the ability to even control my legs and ended up basically feeling as if I was just swinging my legs wildly, slipping off the bar. The sets of 20 and 10 were worse because I was fatigued. But I was SO FRUSTRATED with my inability even to control knee raises! This frustration grew worse and worse and worse. So much so that 10 minutes in, I was ready to walk out of the gym. This feeling of wanting to quit hadn’t happened in nearly 2 years and was contributing even more to my frustrations. I didn’t walk out. I finished (badly) the workout, slower than everyone else, but I finished.

This frustration led me to questioning the accessory work. I KNOW the bench press is a strength of mine, but I lowered the weights anyhow. I didn’t push myself. That only added to what I was feeling; crossfit is supposed to be about pushing yourself. I mean, I understand that some days you just aren’t on point and other days you are on fire. This isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m taking about the conscious decision to not do a harder weight, not because of injury, not because of working on form (I did that today with the snatches so I could concentrate on trying to keep good form and my breathing), but because I was angry, frustrated with myself and riding the mental struggle bus.

Later, I posted that I really wanted to walk out of the gym on Facebook. Another member posted that I worked through it and folks look up to me as an athlete. What I WANTED to say was “you all should look up to someone who can actually DO crossfit”. I didn’t because the coaches would see and I would get burpess for having a negative attitude. But it was very hard to me to see why someone, anyone, would look up to me, especially at that very moment in time.

I’ve spoken about this to one of the coaches. Apparently I embody the spirit of crossfit: keeping coming back, going in even if I know the WOD will stuck, going in even if I know I can’t do the moves, if I have to scale everything. Going in even with injuries, cheering, encouraging and  embracing the community that has developed in the gym. I know we are supposed to be practicing having more positive attitude (PMA), but I simply cannot be all PMA 24-7. I know that little things will get in the way; they always have; this is just me. I bet all of us get frustrated at things from time to time. It’s part of being human. For me, it’s definitely part of the struggle of lack of confidence.

I might have upset a coach or two for thinking of walking out. I might have upset an athlete or two for it as well. I probably upset a few for voicing the thoughts. But here’s the thing about me, you can knock me down; I can knock myself down, but I showed up the next day and actually felt good about the workout (even with injury modifications). So I might have WANTED to quit, but I didn’t. I overcame the mental issues.

Conclusion? Push through. Show up the next day and the next. Do what you can do, when you can do it. One bad workout can’t define you.

Facing Your Fears Combined with WHYNBTYW

My son turned 18 this past Saturday and we wanted to do something different and fun for his birthday. We tossed around several ideas, fishing, hiking, Cedar Point and Zip-lining. We’ve all been fishing and hiking many times and we weren’t sure the weather would hold, so we decided we could do that another time. Cedar Point opened the weekend of his birthday and we thought that standing in line for hours might not be great there. So zip-lining it was!

Disclosure…we wanted to go last year for Father’s Day, but my husband broke his knee and was in a knee brace, so we felt waiting until he was fully recovered would be best, so it’s not like this idea just came out of nowhere.

The website showed all these pictures of these really happy and smiling people. It talked about overcoming fears and many of the testimonials started with folks who were afraid to do it, but ended up having a lot of fun in the end. So I thought, “why not”? I know I’m a little skeeved out by heights, but I walked the edge of the Grand Canyon and looked down; I LOVE roller coasters and the Millennium Force is 310′ in the air and goes a LOT faster than the fastest stated speed for the zip-lines and most of them weren’t even that fast.

I was quite nervous at first, but things seemed to go well for the practice line and it didn’t seem all that hard. They showed you how to sit, how to break and what to do if you got stopped before the end. They were very reassuring about the strength of the equipment and how much fun we were going to have. There were 8 people and 3 guides for my tour, and we were told it would take approximately 2 1/2 hours to complete the course because you have to set everyone up safely and get them across and then 10 other people have to do the same thing. For each area, the guides told a little story about the line and the forest around the lines.

So a few people go for the first ‘real’ line, which we were told was 145′ long and though we would feel like we were going fast, it was really 5-8 MPH. I got all hooked up, and had to walk to the edge of the platform. The guide was on the other side doing the signals that told us when to break.  I have a death grip on the handles and when told to break I couldn’t even think about what I was supposed to do. I tried to put my palm on the cord, but instinctively grabbed it and yanked my shoulder out, but I made it to the other side. Once I was unhooked, I hugged the tree, which was swaying all over the place (at least in my opinion). I was petrified and shaking. I was promised it would get better.

I get hooked up for the next one, a little faster 10-15 MPH and longer (approximately 325′). Here I braked so hard that I missed the platform. Now I’m in full-on panic mode, slowly sliding back toward the center of the line. I can hear the guide calmly yelling (so I can hear) telling me what to do, but I cannot process his words. I cannot think; I cannot understand language. All I know is I don’t seem to be able to stop my moving in the wrong direction. Finally, I put my finger into the pulley which stopped me, though was super painful. Now I had to try to listen to the guide tell me how to turn around, and start pulling myself hand over hand to the end. I’m sure it wasn’t very long, perhaps 10-12′, but it seemed forever in my panic-stricken brain. Finally, the guide grabbed me, unhooked me and I hugged the next tree, shaking even harder than the last time. The guide told me that I’d just done the hardest thing, a ‘self-rescue’, but I was unconvinced.

Two more, each getting longer and faster. I had zero small motor control at this point; I barely had large motor skills at this point. I’d also decided that braking was something I would never get the hang of doing and simply crashing into the trees was preferable. I was promised it would get easier; it never did. I was more and more petrified each time, crying, shaking uncontrollably, incoherent, and completely not comprehending how the others were laughing, learning how to brake and apparently really having a wonderful time.

At this point, we all found ourselves 60′ in the air and having to rappel down from the tree so we could hike to the next location. The guide started by showing us how to wrap the rope around our legs and where to place our hands. I immediately recognized this as the Spanish wrap technique from rope climbs in crossfit. I also just as immediately recognized that I didn’t have that ability, since I don’t have rope-climbs in my crossfit arsenal. I thought I was panicked before this….  Finally the guide showed us how we were going to be clipped into the rope and where to put our hands and the pulley system that would take about 80% of our weight, so we could slowly lower to the ground. I’m not recovered from the Spanish wrap ‘joke’ and found myself hooked to the contraption, saying out loud that I’m not strong enough. I heard my son say ‘bullshit’, you are probably the strongest person here. And before I knew it, I was dangling in mid-air a death-grip on the rope, going no where. Eventually, I managed to lower myself to the ground. At this point my muscles were starting to cramp from the shaking, the nerves, the sheer terror that I was still feeling. But I was on the ground and ready to hike. Hiking? THAT I can do.

We were told the next line had this spectacular view. I have no clue; I was too scared to look around. My death grip on the handles hadn’t stopped, nor had my sheer terror. To get to the last, and longest, line, we had to cross a 150′ rope bridge. We were still clipped in, but the wobbling didn’t help. I admit it wasn’t as scary as the zip-lines, but it was still scary.

Now we have two things left to do. An 1100′ zip-line and a drop from the last tree to the ground. The guide says he has a surprise for us at the end. He also said that this line was the fastest on the course; we could get up to 50 MPH. He wasn’t helping. But I stepped up and did it. Not looking around, not enjoying the view, not happy going that fast. All I wanted to do was close my eyes. I couldn’t even take my hand off the handles to even attempt to brake. The guide was forced to use this special braking system and catch me. I watched the others; they were obviously exhilarated by the experience.

The ‘surprise’ was something called a ‘quick jump’ rope. It allowed one to jump, free-fall for 6-10′ and then it lowered you the rest of the way. The first person to go made the entire tree swing. I increased my grip on the trunk. When it was my turn and I told the guide that I’d rather die of dehydration and exposure than go on that thing. Everyone laughed; I was serious. I’m crying, telling them I don’t want to. The guide was slowly moving me to the edge and he finally let go of my harness and I fell. And then I passed out. It turns out that one can pass out from sheer terror. I woke in a crumpled heap, safe on the ground, embarrassed, scared, shaking, and wanting nothing more than to crawl behind a large rock and stay there until the shaking and the tears stopped. The guides told me I was the bravest person there. That I didn’t give up that I overcame a fear. That’s not how I felt.

Everyone else was joking, laughing, discussing their favorite part. I just wanted to go home, curl up in bed with at least one dog and be left alone.

I have spent the past three days crying myself to sleep, still shaking. I have zero trouble recalling all the fear I experienced.

I’m not sure I overcame a fear, but at one point they offered me a way off the course. All I could hear was the voice of crossfit saying “don’t give up”, “keep going”. So I did. I’m still not convinced it was the smartest move on my part; I know for a fact that I’m not recovered mentally. I felt traumatized by everything.

Also, if you want to go zip-lining, just do it. Of the 11 people (including guides) on my tour, I was the only one who didn’t enjoy it, so please don’t take my experience as a sign that you shouldn’t do it. Most of the group had a wonderful time and would happily do it again. So if you think you want to try it, I would still recommend it. Buy the package; do the thing; have some fun.

 

Meal Prep Monday/Sunday

My partner in crossfit crime posted her meal plans for the week, and I thought I would share what I do, since we both ride the macro train, but have very different approaches to it, I think.

I vary my carbs and fats throughout the week to try to keep my body guessing. So I have Super, High, Medium and Low days, cycled S-M-L-H-M-M-L. My protein never varies at 155g. Medium carbs are 235g and medium fats are 49g, High days is 255g carbs, same fats. Low days are 145g carbs and 65g fats. Super days are high carb and high fats (those are great days for that ‘cheat’ meal that is not quite as healthy as you would like it to be). My calories will cycle between 1785 – 2081 between super and low days, which is still enough to keep me fueled for crossfit.

For breakfast, I always have a Quest bar. 210 cal, 20c, 9f and 21p

I generally do 1 – 1.5 scoops of protein powder as a mid-morning snack (the difference between them depends on the amount of protein from real food the rest of the day). 30-45g protein, 4f 3c

We plan our lunches and dinners around the various activities for our son and myself and also now based on when my hubby gets home from work (it used to be 3:30 every day, now it varies, but the earliest is 5:30).

This week dinners will become the following day’s lunch. Creamy cauliflower shrimp chowder, sheet pan steak and veggies, zucchini shrimp scampi (Thank you Keri), BBQ chicken and roasted sweet potato and shrimp fried rice.

We also have our son’s 18th birthday on Sat. We will be going zip-lining, which none of us have ever done. But that means that macros will be blown all to hell and back on Sat, which I really don’t care about. 1. I’m not a Games athlete, nor do I want to be. 2. I’m also not going to worry myself over every little detail every day. 3. It’s a birthday for goodness sake!

I haven’t input the recipes into MFP yet. I generally input them the night before and then add more protein drink, or Chex mix or an apple to make up the carbs and protein. I’m rarely over on fats. But when I stick to this plan (and that is always the key), I feel better, perform better and should lose a little bit of weight. Slowly is always the key and I can eat just about anything, as long as it fits into these macros. What I quickly discovered though was if I eat tons of ‘crap’, then I get really hungry since I’m not filling up on the good stuff.

This is my last weekend of sabbatical (boo), so I will be doing the shopping and meal prep tomorrow (we spent today in the garden). Normally we do the shopping/prep on Sunday, but I’ve rather enjoyed spending the time with my family on Sundays these past few weeks. I should probably convince myself to get up earlier on Sundays to do the shopping so we can spend the afternoon together…sigh.

Is it just me, or was life simpler when I wasn’t worried about macros and healthy eating?!  hahaha