My First 5K!

image

So, as you can tell from the title, I ran my first 5K EVER!

I did the Electric Run in Washington, D.C. at National Harbor at 8PM on September 7th and it was pretty rad!

Basic premise: be a glow worm while running 3.5 miles in whacked out clothing, make up and face paint. Many people showed up in tutus, bright pink wigs, striped socks, neon yellow shorts and more glow sticks than you ever want to see again in your life; let alone at Halloween.

I went there in standard gym fare (top, bottoms, headband), as I pretty much forgot about the event until I got an email reminder. My concession: I wore light blue to match my running sneakers, instead of my standard black-on-black.

The energy surrounding that place though, wow…it was surreal! I had almost a two-hour wait (after an 1.5 hour drive/stuck in traffic scenario!) and the people were so nice! One young lady offered my boxmate and I the use of her neon body paint..we went nuts. Of course I then go with with a purple “predator” mark on one cheek, and a nice blue “rosy” blush on the other, and stripes on one arm a la “Avatar” (geek alert!).

While sitting and waiting for the race to start, an enterprising soul came over to the table and offered to spray paint designs on us for free if we walked around and sent her the business! One young lady got leopard print, which looked crazy dope on her; so we all got them. *wipes off neon rosy cheek*
image

Needless to say, ya girl walked that sucker twice and was well rewarded! I went back and got my arm leopard-ized as well. After all of that we were ready to go!

We lined up and proceeded to wait about 40 minutes for our section to be let loose. The Electric Run staff kept us entertained; interacting with the crowd, throwing glow wands and sticks, playing good music.

The crowd was freaking awesome; a multicultural stew of everything and every body type. Grandparents ran, kids ran (with little angel wings! Lol), people in wheelchairs and kids in baby carriages (a smidge dangerous as there was no designated space for them, but we all made it work); everyone came out to have some nighttime fun while running.

Check these pics:

image

image

image

image

image

The biggest part?
I actually ran…as in I kept up with my boxmate, who ran a half marathon earlier this summer, and didnt slow her down. There was one point where I felt like my left calf was burning in the fires of hell, but we paused long enough to stretch it out and kept going.

I, yes ME, did 3.5 miles in about 30 minutes and didn’t feel the urge to hurl afterwards; I was actually freakishly energized!

I’m so happy I did that run! It shows me that I have definitely been underestimating myself…I can do more than I think. I just have to do it! And I did!
#cuehystericallaughter

Anyone else had this experience? Please feel free to share!

M^2
Posted on run…

Definitely Not Gabby Douglas…

I am definitely NOT Gabby Douglas.

You remember Gabby, right? She won the individual all-around Gymnastics Gold Medal in the 2012 London Olympics. Ring a bell? Gabby the “Flying Squirrel”Douglas, nicknamed such by the great Marta Károlyi, long time coordinator for Team USA and wife of the equally fantastic Béla Károlyi. In a nutshell, she’s the gymnastic wunderkind that earned every accolade the hard way: sacrifice, blood-sweat-tears, extensive practice, innumerable drills and a personal drive that could inspire even the most jaded among us.

Me?  I’m more “Jumping Wolverine” than “Flying Squirrel. I’m short, somewhat uncoordinated, less flexible (way less!) than a pre-teen, cautious about falling on my head and going “boom” and definitely older than 16.

Gabby, by age 8, managed to squeeze in more v-ups, handstands, walking handstands, splits, straddles, bar muscle-ups, etc., (and won a state championship!) than I have in my entire 30+ year life. Such a thing would make most people depressed and feeling as if, at this stage of the game, there is not much that I can do to catch up to, or compete with, that.

It’s a good thing that CrossFitters are not “most people”.  

We are, if nothing, a determined and stubborn folk; both competitive and hard headed enough that when confronted with a new movement, we say “screw it” and give it a try.  At first, we just want to get the movement by any means necessary; muscles bulging, face red (or a lovely smurf-like blue) due to lack of oxygen, but eventually we strive to get it right.  We learn that the effortlessness that athletes exude is the culmination of good coaches, constant practice, a few spills, the steely will to get back up over, and over again, striding to the bar a little bruised, but a lot more resolute.   

As hard charging as we are, every so often (typically after an hit to the ego…) we recognize that we need more help.  We realize that we have to practice outside of the WOD structure to improve in the more technical, skill-heavy aspects of Gymnastics, Weightlifting, etc. I personally learned, the hard way, as a 2013 CrossFit Open competitor, that gymnastics and the coordination and skill inherent to it, will always rear it’s ugly head (CrossFit Open 13.3 and 13.5!!!).

Enter my extra Gymnastics classes. I take my perfectly clear and easy going Sunday afternoons and choose to work with a certified gymnastics coach to get better at my chosen sport. The class is small and focused. I work on my individual weaknesses with a coach that critiques my form, fixing my head placement and explaining the gravitational dynamics of a kipping pull-up in such a way that even an 8-year old would get it.  My coach’s knowledge, experience and simple joy in teaching, gives the confidence necessary to try something that you never thought you would or could do…at least not beyond second grade.  What’s more is that it’s included in my normal fee (#winning).

Occasionally we end with a WOD, but the point of the class is to to focus, identify, dissect, adjust and implement…and laugh.  A lot.

I make it a point to hit that class and as a result, I’m improving.  I’m using less “muscle” and becoming more proficient.  By the end of summer (August 2013) I will have my Muscle-up, my Hand-Stand and my Kipping Pull-up.  This is me, putting it out there, loud and clear. That class is a huge reason why I know that I’m going to hit my goals.  

So, here’s the thing: Gabby did it as a teen-ager.  I’m doing it when  puberty is CLEARLY not on my side (that boat has long since passed!).  And really quick: a wolverine is one of the most ferocious creatures on earth, often taking down prey much larger than it. Once it has it’s teeth in you, you can’t shake it loose because a wolverinIe just doesn’t quit; it doesn’t back away slowly or give in to self-doubt. It. Just. Fights.  The Wolverine is “the best there is at what he does…” (#nerdgirl). Can you see the “Jumping Wolverine” appeal now (beyond the obviously hairy, carrion-eating aspect of it all)?

I am definitely not Gabby Douglas and really, so what?  I have my own training team: my coaches are my Béla/Marta, and my box mates are my gang, crew, and competitive menagerie: my very own CrossFitting fantastic five.

I think I’m set.

Bring your butt to Gymnastics if you have the opportunity.

M^2

InHueMag.com Interviews BCWOD!!!

Soooooo, just got my first interview in the bag!  Check it out!!!

InHueWordPressLogoREAL

 

 

 

The CrossFit phenomena, explained

Was it accurate?  Did they get it just right?  Let me know your thoughts!

My First Affiliate League Competition

Today was an eye-opening experience.

CFWoodbridge gals-edit

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?

BlackChicksWOD: Day 1

Image

June 2012 – Pre-CF and the joy of WODs

So you would probably say that I’m in pretty good shape right?  I got a little 4-pack trying to peek through, flexing my shoulders and biceps to show some definition.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself…and I did.  I SWORE that I was in shape.

The reality is that I LOOKED like I was in shape, which was exactly what I wanted…the “looks”.  I never truly focused on my actual “strength” beyond being able to bench press about 85lbs, or leg press about 225lbs (still not bad, but it didn’t really  mean much either).

“Black Chicks WOD” was created to share my story (and hopefully the stories of other “BCdubs” ) and encourage more Black Chicks to become a part of the CrossFit community.  I want you to know that you are more than capable of taking on the challenge of a challenging WOD and excelling at “The Sport of Fitness”, because as a woman (regardless of color, creed, culture, ethnicity, etc.) you have likely already endured more than most men could even imagine.

Bring it all to a “box”, go hard and sweat it off.

Welcome to BCW.

M^2