WOD What You Hate…

I hate running. 

Like sincerely, I HATE running.  I don’t see a huge purpose to running around a block, multiple times for the sake of shin splits, blisters, sweating like a wildebeast and puffing like a broke down steam train attempting to get air into lungs that are working so hard that my tongue feels like cotton and my my throat the Sahara.

I hate it so much, that I do my best to never skip a WOD that incorporates it.

I can hear some of you now: “Why the hell do you purposely go to WODs that you hate?”

Answer (a la Plato..or was that Socrates?): How the hell do I expect to get better at my weakest event if I always skip it?

I won’t. So I go. Mostly because I know it will lead to more improvements.

See, I’m a lifter:
Stats (PRs):
Backsquat is 215#
Snatch 95#
Deadlift 215#
Shoulder Press 105#
Clean and Jerk 105#

Prior to CF, I didn’t know what those lifts were…I only knew the basics, i.e. my bench press, maybe my hack squat or lying leg press. Itema that primarily required assistance.

Since joining my box, my loads have increased steadily and I have laserlike focus when it comes to listening to my coaches and processing th information for my individual needs. I know lifting is for me; hell I know it so much that I just spent over $200 bucks (of money I know damn well that I do NOT have) on some new Nike Romaleos 2 that finally got restocked in my size! I spent the money because I’m investing in the tools I know I’ll need to improve.

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Photo from Nike Weightlifting Facebook page. Credit: Justin L. http://www.AthletePS.com/

Sidebar: I’m so a Nike girl till the day I die…I can’t even consider Adidas or Reeboks without getting green around the gills…really it’s just my opinion.

I read about Olympic Weighlifting, I watch videos of Elizabeth Akinwale and Camille Leblanc Bazinet and track instagrams of (OMG) Diane Fu (@dianefu)and her clients (#fubarbell), I practice movements/mechanics in a fluffy towel in my bathroom, post shower, while talking to myself about what I did right and what I did wrong during strength training. #noshame

If I had a choice between lifting or running or doing a WOD, I’d lift.

However with all that said, I will never get better at Olys, if I ignore the other side of strength: endurance.

My endurance, in a word, sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than it was when I started CF six months ago (a few times I came close to having a pukie moment), but that’s primarily because I force myself to do those 25 or 30 min conditioning metcons..rows, interval runs, even freaking tabatas (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, for four minutes equals 8 rounds of hellfire!).

I’ll never do marathons (mostly because they don’t interest me, but also because I’m a lifter, not a runner!) Those conditioning met-cons all contributed to my current ability to run two full blocks without stopping [at all], row 500 meters in 2.5 minutes and sign up for my first ever 5K and not think that I’m going to die in the first mile.

My coach Splinter, who laughs in my face everytime he sees me at a conditioning WOD, because he knows I hate running (might be the upset/crunk look on my face causing him to crack up lol), said I’m doing good…going after the things that I hate vs. relying on my strengths. I’m becoming a better all-around athelete, which then contributes to getting better at my lifts.

I’m happy to say that I WOD what I hate…and I’m proud of myself for facing my fears, my hangups about running and just going after it as much as I can; setting goals and attaining them.

If I can do it in CrossFit, I can do it in my job, my career aspirations, my relationships, my entire life.

I think that’s pretty dope. 🙂

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Seriously…

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Photo courtesy of Better Believe Fit.

That moment when you thought the WOD looked easy last night, and then figured out that you should known better: it came close to crushing you.

However, close so does not count.

Hahaha!
#stillalive

CrossFit Open 13.4: In Da Bag! (a lil late! Sorry!)

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Somehow i swore I posted this last week! Alas, I did not! My bad y’all! 47 reps is pretty damn good considering the fact that I was freaked about my Toes to Bar (only done em like twice!) and getting the dreaded “no rep” for not doing a true Clean and Jerk (I tend to push press more), so I said a quick prayer, left it in God’s hands and went for it….and proceeded to shock the heck out of myself.

Wow, I was the first on the bar for the first three rounds of TTB…that’s how hard I was going. I didn’t even feel the weight until my set of 12.

CrossFit continues to push amd drag me out of thr limits that I put on myself by showing me that I am more than capable; it’s showing me that I’m good at this. Real good.  With additional, more focused training I could be better. This CF Open is simply showing me what I have to do to improve.

Best part of the night: when a boxmate that competes offered to work with me one on one to improve my technical skills and get more aligned with what I want.  Some people would be offended by the offer…

Good thing I’m not “some people”.  It’s a compliment when somone decides to sacrifice their personal time to get you to a higher level. It means they see potential in you that you might not see yourself.

Say “thank you”, set a training date and call it the day.

#CrossFit

Some pics:

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Hell nah I’m not doing it twice!

So, lets talk frankly for a second here:
I’m in the CrossFit Open, after doing CrossFit for less than 5 months. I am in my 30’s (inching closer and closer to my pseudo-midlife crisis of single, sexy and no prospects lol), have never been injured and continue to surprise myself with what I have been able to achieve with my CrossFit program.

However, after all of that, the main reason I decided to do the Open, was because I wanted to see where the “holes” are concerning my abilities with strength, cardio, etc. I figure, hell, it’s $20 bucks…the point is to learn all I can from those around me, my coaches, and my competition. That is exactly what I’m doing. Each Open WOD showed me EXACTLY what I need to focus on: 13.1 Snatches/Olys/Form, 13.2 Box Jumps/Cardio/Endurance,13.3 sheeeeeeeeeet. Something lol!

So when my box mates were like, “Hey, are you doing it again?”, (“it” being a repeat of 13.2 to potential improve my total reps) I was like “Hell nah!”, because really, I have to make it through the rest of this Open competition and, believe it or not, I’m flipping tired lol.

A lot of these folks are early/mid 20’s, grad students or early career folks; I’m slighly past that stage. Although, real talk, a Master’s (45+) chick beat my reps too (but only by a bit…and she’s a freaking competitor in the summer league!! I totally aspire to be like her!!). On St. Patricks Day, I sat home and drank tea, ate paleo pumpkin muffins and watched “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (awesome!). That is my idea of a good time. No really, that’s my good time.
That and sleep. Lots of good, deep, soul-calming sleep lol.

With that said: I will continue documenting my “holes”, to determine how I should adjust my program to get better, so that next year I don’t feel like I’m going to pass out because of a few box jumps or throw my back out because my deadlifts turn into “Good Mornings”.

Once is more than enough this time around!
#Toodles

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CrossFit Open: 13.2 in the bag!

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13.2….
This WOD highlighted some strengths and weakness for me. I got 210 reps…7 rounds completed.  That is freaking respectable for a chick that’s been doing this for less than 5 months!  But…ehhhhh.

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13.2 sounded stupid simple, which is why I knew it would be super hard!  Anything that sounds “easy”, typically is not.  It’s simplicity is where it gets difficult because you HAVE to maintain form and endurance.

13.2, if anything, told me that my endurance levels need work.  My.push press was smoking fast…rack position, push press, done.  My deadlifts were crazy good for like 5 rounds; shoulders back, hips down.  But my box jumps…whew.  Those only lasted about two rounds before I switched to stepping up/down. 

My legs burned like you wouldn’t believe…I’m gonna be making love to my foam roller every, freaking night, I swear!!!!!

My ability to maintain my speed, to “sprint” through this WOD was severly hampered by my inability to simply endure and keep going.  I stopped too often to catch my breath…and that just burns my biscuits!

I am STEAMED that my rounds were blown because I refuse to run or implement some kind of endurance model in my training…which is totally on me, bc I hate running! (HATE running y’all, like fervently).

See there’s a big misconception that just CrossFit, i.e. three times a week makes you super strong and sexy, but the reality is that you have to incorporate additional training (running, swimming, biking, whatever) so that you can breathe/endure these tough WODs and truly capitalize on the CrossFit training you receive.

This WOD taught me that I have to train 360°, not 180°…so now I’m looking to add swimming (less stress on the body) to my regimine.

What else do you do outside of CrossFit? Barre Pilates? Marathons?  What are some resources you use to build your endurance levels?

Please note that (a) the linked/provided content belongs to CrossFit; (b) such content is not my own; and (c) the originating website (blackchickswod.com) makes no claim of owning, being related to or owned or controlled by, being under common control with, or sanctioned by, approved by, or endorsed by, CrossFit.

CrossFit Open 13.1: Virgin no more!

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Score: 137 Reps and 16:17 for time!

Came in 6th out of all the chicks that competed! I did better than a good number of men!

*stunned*

No longer a CrossFit Competition virgin, last night in heat 2, I did my best to not pass out, cough up phlegm (caught a cold 2 days ago) or embarrass my box, my friends that came out, or myself. 

I mean seriously, if you’re going to wear “Wonder Woman” wrist wraps, you damn well best not come in last, ya dig?

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Outfit complete with my new wrist wraps, my “5 Weeks, 5 WODs shirt, my Lululemon heqdbqnd and Nike gloves, I probably looked just a little “cray, cray”, but OMG I had so much fun!

My cheering section was out in full force! Through the haze of exhaustion, I could hear them keeping me in check: “Keep your feet together”, “Drop the bar”, “Get on that bar”, “You got 10 more!”, “Gooooooo!”.   I’m so freaking grateful to have had that in my corner…and so completely humbled by it.

Now that it’s over, I can’t help but think: “If this was the first week, what the hell is next weeks going to look like?” 

But in reality, does it even matter? I’m doing it no matter what.  I’m having fun, challenging myself and living to tell the tale.  That works for me!

Pictures are coming y’all…standby.

CrossFit Open Countdown…ahhhh!

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It’s almost here and I am eerily calm and yet nervous…especially bc I’m nursing a sore throat today so I can be at full speed/strength for the CrossFit Open WOD tomorrow…. Anybody else registered? Please note that (a) the linked/provided content belongs to CrossFit; (b) such content is not my own; and (c) the originating website (blackchickswod.com) makes no claim of owning, being related to or owned or controlled by, being under common control with, or sanctioned by, approved by, or endorsed by, CrossFit. 

My First Affiliate League Competition

Today was an eye-opening experience.

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I observed my first Affiliate League Competition at CrossFit Balance in Washington, D.C., and I gotta tell you, it was fun, scary AND exhilarating.  Those are three very different feelings, but at various times I had all three coursing through my body.

Affiliate comp bars and bumper platesCompetitors from four boxes, and family members, were all over the place.  People were amped up, ready to rock and nervous about finishing their WODs.  I saw my role as that of an observer, cheerleader and wannabe; as in “I wanna be” there someday.  Chalk dust floated in the air as competitors chalked their bars and hands. The clock was set, the judges demonstrated the WOD (Snatches, Muscle Ups, Thrusters, etc.) movements, the difference between a “rep” and “no rep” and it was game on!

These Boxes competed in individual and mixed (men and women) partners events, on the Affiliate and Social level.  It was pretty dope seeing so many people, but there were some very unique situations that I HAVE to mention:

  1. This is the friendliest group of people I have ever seen.  Let’s be honest: everyone did not complete their WODs under the time requirement, but everyone and I do mean EVERYONE cheered, box mates and competitors alike, and encouraged competitors to give it their all and that was amazing to see.  I met some funny and sarcastic folks, that were all too ready to introduce themselves and chat for a few.  What global/regional gym do you go to that even remotely comes close to that type of atmosphere?20130105_135623
  2. The competitors come in all shapes, size, colors, types, body weights, and levels of expertise.  No matter where you might excel in one particular event, let’s say box jumps (vertical jump onto a 20 or 30 inch box), there is always another event that will slow you down and “equalize” everyone (definitely “muscle ups”).
  3. By far the most awesome moment was watching a competitor that was a double amputee.  His legs were amputated below the knee; with two metal  prostheses and he went HARD in da paint on everything he did!!!  More, he was funny as hell; cracking jokes that would likely offend a more sensitive person [blush level y’all] and doing it with aplomb.  I barely noticed his lack of “legs”; I really didn’t even see that he was different until he decided to change the internal rubber casing that went over his stumps and help them fit/hold the prosthesis.  I don’t know his story; to be honest, I can’t remember his name, but I sure as hell respect his heart and competitive drive.
  4. These men and women trained for weeks, if not months, for something that took less than 14 minutes in one instance and less than 10 minutes in the other.  It takes a lot to dedicate yourself to something that takes so little time to complete.

Sidebar: I bet yClayDavis picou thought, from the post title, that I was actually competing today, huh? See the pic on the left.  Basically: not yet.)

Q: What the hell do I need to do to mentally and physically prepare myself for a potential?

A: Not sure yet. I’m going to ask my coaches; and focus on my weak spots (Muscle Ups, Kipping (butterfly and pull ups), and cleans.  You have to practice what you’re weak in, so maybe try an active rest day, i.e. work on progressions vs. completely taking the day off.  I’m also considering a Paleo challenge to lean out.

Consider this: How much time, effort and sacrifice you are willing to make to attain something that few people even recognize they are capable of achieving?  Are you willing to be uncomfortable?  Confront change?  Sacrifice your hair?  Study the mechanics of the movements to get results safely?

What?