Every year around February the CrossFit Open starts. It is 5 weeks of competing against any and every CrossFitter in the world who wants to compete. The reason they do it is to find the best athletes to go to the CrossFit Games that you see on TV where they compete for the title of “Fittest on Earth.” I do it just to see how I do compared to the year before, gauge my personal progress and to see how I stack up against my friends at my box (gym). I cannot believe that this year is my 5th CF Open competition. When I first did it I had no idea what it even was but my coach said I should do it, and he believed in me so I did too.
This past Friday was the second week of 5 workouts, and it was a TOUGH one. I thought the week before was bad because I had to snatch a 35-lbs. dumbbell over my head with 1 arm but this past week I had to do lunges with two 35-lbs. dumbbells and that was just the beginning. Here is a picture of the workout:
CrossFit Open 17.2 workout
Sure the lunges were enough to make me want to throw up a little in my mouth but I felt quite confident that I could use pure will and determination to get through them. I even thought that I might be able to do them quickly so I wouldn’t have to hold the dumbbells on my shoulders as long. I had visions of giving my brothers piggy back rides up the stairs and knew my short legs could take it. Next exercise… toes-to-bar… I could do that too. If I needed to break it up into smaller sets to preserve my grip strength then that is how I would approach them. Cleans with the dumbbells, ok, I can do those. Don’t get me wrong they sucked. My strategy here was to get all 8 as soon as possible and jot down my time for the tie breaker. MORE lunges next, fine! Toes-to-bar and cleans – check!
Now this is where I knew I was going to be in trouble both mentally and physically. To go into a workout where I am pretty confident I can do everything is great but when I go into a workout facing a movement that I did for 1 rep a year ago in the CF Open and haven’t even attempted since is a whole other ball game. Let me restate that… going into a workout when I know deep down in my soul that I am not going to get a bar muscle up this year. Not even one, not even close. That can mess with your head and crush you before the clock even starts.
So what did I do? I had 2 choices. I could stop trying and proceed to cheer on my friends in the same heat, basically quit OR I could keep on going to see what happened. This is the point in the workout where my plan fell into place. You see, I knew on this night that it wasn’t going to happen for me. Not only was I NOT going to finish but I was going to get to the point where I couldn’t continue because I couldn’t do the movement. It sucks to be all pumped up with adrenaline, the crowd cheering and to look at the clock with 6 more minutes and 22 seconds left and know all you have left in you is failed attempts.
Remember that plan I mentioned? Since I knew this would happen I pushed as hard as I could and went as fast as I could on the first part of the workout without draining my tank down to empty just in case. I didn’t put the weights down on rep 6 or 7 to rest like suggested so I wouldn’t have to do an extra rep when I picked them back up. I sucked it up and did all 8 reps in a row because I knew the only thing that would save me in this workout was that tie breaker time. In the event two or more athletes tie with the same number of reps completed they would look at who got to this part of the workout the fastest and that person would get more points. I kept going for the rest of the workout, and I got some chest-to-bar pull-ups while trying to get a bar muscle up. When I got done I was happy with my performance. For me this was about not losing it half way through the workout or feeling bad about myself. I was healthy, I did my best and worked my butt off. My plan worked for this week. Let’s see what next week brings.
Here is the video of my first round of lunges with the 35-lbs dumbbells and the toes-to-bar.
Many of you have been following my blog and have seen my results. I am proud of where I am today. However, I have yet to share what I was like when I started doing CrossFit so you can see how far I have come. Part of this is because I don’t like seeing my old self, and I’ve been too chicken to post it but I think it is important to share this with you. This wasn’t the beginning of my journey because I had already lost 25 lbs. of baby weight on my own. I was still breastfeeding and was very sleep deprived. The week before this video I started a new job and had to go back into an office environment again.
Much to my embarrassment, I have a video that shows me about 1 month after I started CrossFit. Not quite the beginning but close enough to show you that I actually am human and very similar to you. When you watch the video you will see me in the black shorts and teal sports bra. My hair is shorter because I had just donated my hair to Locks of Love.
We did this workout called MURPH as a team of 4 people. We each took turns doing our reps until it was the next person’s turn. If you watch closely you will see that I am pacing as I wait for it to be my turn. I am fidgeting with my water bottle. On the inside I am freaking out because I don’t know if I will be able to do my part and contribute to my team. I am really worried about being able to keep up. I still feel this way when I work out as part of a team. I would rather go solo and know that I am the only one affected by my performance. I don’t like to let my teammate down and am still working on this.
Here is the video. Please watch it and then continue reading.
It took a deep determination for me to commit to doing 1 to 3 CrossFit workouts a week. If I didn’t get all 3 workouts in I accepted it and moved on with a new focus for the next week. As I improved and saw the benefits of working out it was much easier to get them all in and I looked forward to going and learning new skills.
On Memorial Day 5/30/16 I redid this same workout. However, this time I did the workout by myself. I no longer needed to divide it up among 4 people because I could do it all on my own. Was it easy? No, it was very hard but I finished in 59 mins and 39 seconds.
This is MURPH:
Run 1 Mile
Run 1 mile
I hope that sharing this video and story shows you that you can do this too. I am no different than you. Let me know where you are in your fitness and how I can help.
I am probably going to catch some flack for this post OR you might learn something and thank me later. I hope for the second option! I have been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling on my own starting when I was 16 years old. I have been to about 46 amazing countries. Travel in itself, if you do it right, requires some flexibility, creativity and rolling with the flow.
Maybe being in distant lands is where I have learned this not-so-common knowledge that I am about to teach you. Maybe it’s because I had to share the bathroom with 3 brothers. I’m not really sure at what point I made a very simple realization. It is the following:
YOU CAN GO A LOT MORE FUN PLACES IF YOU GET READY IN 5 MINUTES.
What?!! That’s impossible you say… Really? Ladies, I am talking to you. Let me break it down for you. You are grown WOMEN. You are beautiful and confident and don’t care what people think. Ok, maybe you do but this isn’t PROM. There is no need to make him wait in the hopes of possibly getting something spectacular later. You don’t need to build the anticipation, make him pay his dues and suffer through your Father and brothers as they test him and try to break him before you make it down the stairs. There are no games to play. If you’re married don’t take so long getting ready that your husband is asleep on the couch and doesn’t feel like going by the time you appear.
You can get ready in 5 minutes and walk out the door destined for FUN & ADVENTURE.
OR you can waste time primping. Here’s a test. Have you ever told your super fun, bigger than life girlfriend who you admire because she lives by the seat of her pants that “No, you can’t go to the art festival now because you just got up and need to get ready?.” Well, guess what? She is off having fun and you are still curling your eyelashes.
Don’t get me wrong. I can spend a good 20 minutes in the shower and trust me I do because sometimes it is the only alone time that I get. I can exfoliate with the best of them and emerge from a steamy bathroom feeling softer than a baby’s bottom with fabulously shiny hair.
You know when I have the most fun? Those days where I am given an opportunity to do something amazing and I go for it. I can get ready in 5 minutes and you can too. Throw your hair in a bun, brush your teeth, shower so fast you barely got wet but smell good. Toss on something comfortable, put on a little eyeliner and mascara. Always save the lip gloss application for the car because your date thinks it’s hot. Then get on with your FUN. CARRY ON! – please… repeat after me. There is no more saying, “Oh, I wish I could …”
I have a somewhat funny story to share about this photo. The title reads, “Is this really me?!”
Let me explain…I had been doing CrossFit about 8 months when I participated in my first CrossFit Open Competition. Keep in mind I quit gymnastics when I was 11 because I didn’t want to compete. Ha! That sounds funny to me now. Anyway, every time they posted the workout for the week I would sweat in anticipation and excitement just praying that I would be able to do at least 1 rep of the first movement so I wasn’t disqualified. I had finally made it to week 4 and then passed week 5. I got lucky in that they didn’t start any of the workouts with double unders.
Oh happy day! I had completed all 5 workouts without being knocked out. Mission accomplished! You gotta set goals if you want to get anywhere, right? Sometimes that goal needs to be don’t suck completely and if you do just don’t give up. In the meantime, people at the gym kept talking about a photo of me that they really liked. Of course, I wanted to see it and scoured our gym’s Facebook page and website looking for a photo of me. I DIDN’T SEE IT.What were they talking about? Was I crazy?, were they just messing with me?
I’d forget about the picture then someone would mention it again and how great it was. Really??? What was I missing? I searched again and nothing. I had clicked on this picture several times and even clicked that I liked it. I had no idea it was me though. I thought it was an amazing photo of my friend from the gym and thought to myself, “Wow, she is amazing and has come a long way from where she started.” I asked the photographer about the photo and she assured it existed.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think it was ME. What’s my point? Well, I had worked so hard to get where I was that I didn’t recognize myself when I was there. Read that again. Have you ever done that? I didn’t even think the woman in the picture looked remotely like me. Wow, right? So my epiphany for you is:
When you think you could do better but you’re doing your best – YOU ARE!
When you think if only you looked good – YOU DO!
When you think if only you’d do better – YOU DO, YOU ARE AND YOU WILL!
This is when I learned to celebrate both the little and big accomplishments. Some people say that their reward is when they meet their ultimate goal. I say the heck with that because it all counts! You know why? Because I didn’t give up!
It is happening right now my friends. Please don’t ever give up.
P.S. This photo has become one of my favorites. It was taken during the CrossFit Open 12.4 workout by Aludra Photography. I remember that workout well and was so glad that there were only 4 or 5 people in the gym when I did it. It had the dreaded double unders in it but I wasn’t worried about those. I knew my goal was to get through 150 wallballs. I didn’t do it but I came close. I got 148 reps with 12 misses (no reps).
I recently posted this meme that says, “I was a Woman before I became a Mom.”
The men don’t get it and that is why it’s important. They think, duh, don’t you have to be a woman to be a mom?! The ladies know exactly what I’m talking about. I will explain it for the men. When you become a Mom your role and responsibilities change and as a result you can lose yourself in your relationship. This can be different for different women but it may be:
1. You don’t make time for yourself like you used to because you feel guilty.
2. Maybe you don’t feel as sexy or desirable as you did before.
3. You’re tired and don’t think you should have to schedule time for fun.
Guys, this is where you come in! Yay! ?
Help your wife, girlfriend, mother of your children by letting her know how beautiful, amazing, sexy and hot she is. If you think she already knows then you need to step up your game because she probably doesn’t know or maybe she doesn’t fully believe it. TELL her how beautiful she is, buy some new lingerie for her without expectations (when she’s ready she will put it on for you), rub her shoulders, kiss her neck, hug her longer than usual, spend some time just talking or being together. If she used to paint but doesn’t any more go to a wine and painting event together. Slow down and enjoy her. Get to know her all over again. If you won’t let her have breakfast in bed because she might drop some crumbs, get over it and surprise her with breakfast in bed. Basically, pretend you are dating! ? Have FUN and try something new for the woman you love. ❤️❤️❤️
Being of Mother is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Growing a life inside of me and giving it birth is truly a miracle.The first time my kids called me Mom just lit up my heart. I wanted to pour all of my energy into their little lives and nurturing a family. I think most women feel this way. Sometimes though we forget that we still need to be ourselves and the woman that we were before they came along. How else will our children learn how to fully live life? I make taking care of myself a priority through exercise and healthy eating. More recently, I am getting back in the habit of taking time for myself and doing mini-facials, painting my nails and just being with me. I am also enjoying spending time with my husband just the two of us talking about our dreams like we used to do before we got married. It’s not easy balancing it all, and I am far from perfect. I believe it is important to take a deep breath and refocus when I find myself getting overwhelmed. Many of you might feel this way too that is why I am sharing this. You are not alone and I want you to remember this especially when you are doubting yourself, YOU ARE A GREAT MOM AND YOU ARE DOING AN AWESOME JOB!