This, right here, brings up multiple subjects inherent to sports, women and children, as it relates to race.
– A Child’s Identity
– Racial Depictions (past & present) “Lone Ranger”
– Limited Representation in Media
Akinwale does not shy away from hard realities (truths?) that affect her family, her sport or her business.
Read, marinate and then leave some thoughts.
“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”- Audre Lorde
I’m not sure whether this post is complete to my satisfaction, but if I don’t post it now it’s going to be relegated to the pile of never seen posts. I’ve chosen to discuss matters here that I feel are difficult to address and I’ve failed in attempting it in the past. By a few coincidences, I’ve had race on my mind this week. It started with a conversation early in the week with my son while riding in the car. A lot of parents can probably relate to the car ride heart to hearts with their kids. For the most part it wasn’t a remarkable conversation, mostly about the national origins of our family…
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Is it any freaking wonder that I’m so in to this healthy, good food, CrossFit thing? Im surrounded by awesome coaches and great recipes all day long!
Check some of em out here and follow em on instagram:
@devinmaier – Devin is my bootcamp coach, CrossFit journey champion and all around good guy!
@ultragrassfed – Bobby’s story is awesome, his service to kids spectacular (search “Cupid Undie Run”and his advocacy of Paleo is why I eat beautifully every day.
@rxdyoga – Sima made yoga interesting, funny and challening for me. Screw the tinkling water and bells…she plays Adele and makes you laigh. My ability to do handstands is in large part due to her!
@paleoparents – if they can figure out healthy food that kids will eat, its sorta a no-brainer for us adults. Really. No. Brainer.
ON A FREAKING CUPCAKE!
WITH NO PEANUT BUTTER!
This ain’t 100% Paleo (pretty damn close though!) and it sure as sh*t ain’t the healthiest snack ever, but sometimes, once in a blue moon, you just gotta say #effit and go hard! This is the moment!
The next time you’re in NYC, make it a point to drop by Big Booty Bakery Company. This right here is good food, a great small business with a cheeky way of getting the tastebuds going.
Chocolate chip cookies the size of your hand (warm, fresh out the oven! #sigh), cupcakes that fill you up without bloating you out, and sandwiches made-to-order.
Really? It MIGHT be a good thing that I’m over 500 miles away.
Posted on [interval] run…
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.
I have been eating these puppies (as muffins) like they are going out of style. Get on it yall!
Hey guys! Happy Wednesday!
Today I have a fun paleo recipe to share with you! I saw the original recipe for Sweet Potato Banana Bites on Lindsay’s blog, and knew I had to make them! With just a couple minor tweaks, I was able to create a paleo-friendly version. Instead of making mine into muffins, I made them into mini donuts!
So here you have it, Sweet Potato Banana Paleo Donuts!
Sweet Potato Banana Paleo Donuts
1 cup cooked sweet potato, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup almond butter
cinnamon to taste
Optional add ins: Dark chocolate chips, chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375.
Mash sweet potato and bananas together in a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth.
Pour batter into greased mini donut/mini muffin pan. (You could also use regular muffin/donut pans, you would just get a smaller yield).
Bake for 18-20 minutes…
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Often I see some boxmates (typically guys, but chicks too) loading a lot of weight up. They want to show, others, that they can move weight during the strength training. Everybody wants a chance to show off, including myself…but at this stage of the game (and age), I would rather take my time and build up, over time, to heavy weights, than rush it.
I spotted a boxmate today that was squatting heavy..which is fine. What wasn’t fine was how poor her form was…she could have got the bar up if she followed the.mechanics. She didn’t have it down, she didnt know how to drop the bar safely, the bar fell and it dinged my forearm. I have a slight bruise that will go away with some ice..no biggie. But it could have been.
The weights, bars, bad form…they can hurt you or someone else (ME!) so please be careful. Don’t be in such a hurry to look good, but not be good.
Remember the Tortoise and the Hare (yeah, yeah, I know, old school, but on point)…that half-shell might have gone slow, but he still won.
Btw: New PR Today 200# Back Squats
I started this past October having to swallow my ego at being told I was doing them incorrectly; facing the bar/rack the wrong way and not engaging my lats, abs or butt. #slow&steady
Thanks for having me here! I’m happy to provide additional insight on BlackChicksWod.com from a newbie perspective. This is my first post, so it’s a smidge longer, but worth it! Future posts will be shorter, believe me!
My journey began with a longing for change. Something more than another New Year’s “certain-to-fail-by-day-two” Resolution. I wanted to modify my lifestyle drastically, to exact a permanent shift in my spiritual, physical and mental health. I decided to focus on a handful of objectives:
- Attend Church Regularly
- Grow out my Natural Hair
- Learn a New language
- Improve my overall Health
As easy as these goals sound, and although I had already been making progress on the first two items (church/hair), my attempts at learning a new language and improving my health were completely shot!
Every day I would look at my dusty, unopened Rosetta Stone set for Spanish (not cheap!), and go about my business for the day, it remains unopened. Healthwise, I began making my lunches for work but completely failed by eating Chipotle for dinner. It’s highly likely my language goal will continue to exist as just a goal, but for health/fitness I decided to completely crank up the heat with…CrossFit >:o.
Now, let’s be frank: I don’t consider myself to be inexperienced or a novice at intense exercise. Growing up I was the quintessential tomboy, so I constantly ran up and down the block and beat down the boys. In school, I played basketball, track & field, and soccer…a year-round athlete! However, let’s be frank again: that was HOW many years ago? Like 10 bloody years!
At 29 years old, 5’6″ in height and *cough, cough* 115 lbs in weight, my 60+ hr per week desk job was only aiding in packing on pounds and the sports club/globo-gym model was no longer a motivating, appealing option. I mean seriously, how many times can you jog on the treadmill or deal with the “meatmarket” that is inherent to working out in that type of gym?
So…in hearing all the buzz about CrossFit from friends, people I hate for other reasons than their banging bodies and the internet/social media, I thought it would be interesting to try the ADHD workout…because thats what interval training really is right?? Lots of variations in movements and hitting body targets in a very short time frame. I “pressed the button” and paid my fee (pound of flesh??) to begin this tortuous ride of “constantly varied, functional movement”.
As I got closer and closer to my first CrossFit basics class, panic began to set in and I started to have conversations with myself that would rival the best of them.
What in the heck did I just commit to do?!?!
I’m no longer in my prime 20’s, I can’t run and jump like I’m 12 years old and invincible!! And REALLY, what-is-up with all these monstrous dead-lift weights, kettlebells, and pull-ups? I wanted to get in shape, but not look like jacked-up Barbie.
More importantly, as a Black Chick, I didn’t want to throw up, get man-sized calluses, break an ankle, rupture a kidney or any of that mess! I didn’t want wanna die! (Seriously…this is how I felt and what I consistently texted and emailed my friends all the way up to the start of my first class).
I resolved to whooo-saaaah and cue the crunkest, ratchet-est Southern music on my iPhone to get amped up for my walk through the fire.
Jan 2, 2013 was my first day of CrossFit, albeit the first of 6 fundamental courses. Walking into the Box (one of the first 50 CrossFit Affiliates *wipes sweat from brow*), I got a serious tingle; a slight, light-headed feeling that morphed into a crazy adrenaline rush…it was time to (wo)man up and bring it! I was intrigued by the no-frills set up; the Box was just that, a freaking big “box” with weight lifting equipment in each corner and along the wall, ropes and rings hanging from the ceiling and no mirrors. I could immediately sense that people were there to sweat and not there to be cute while running on the treadmill. I was temporarily overwhelmed by the cacophony of teeth-clenched-breathing grunts and whooshes of a nearby group completing their WOD. And the sweat, oh I smelled and saw a lot of freaking sweat, lol.
My coach, whom I will call Ms. Gunz, led our session and her appearance did very little to calm my nerves. Her arms were huge; biceps popping!
She was kind enough to rally our group of five by briefly sharing her reasons for joining CrossFit; which was nice, but all too soon the talk was over and I found myself getting positioned to do push ups. Ms. Gunz’s intent was to show us how to properly execute pushups, situps, and air squats.
Oh air squats.
For years, I’d been convinced that I knew how to properly squat, but this was something else!! This whole “breaking the plane” thing brings to mind images of Lil Kim, but soooo not that nasty. You’re too busy trying to keep your chest up, heels down and legs moving.
We began our first challenge, my very first “tabata”: 20 secs of work and 10 secs of rest for 16 rounds, alternating between situps and pushups. The goal was to maintain the same number of situps and pushups done in the first round throughout the remaining fifteen cycles. I felt pretty good about the situps, but the pushups were horrible for me and tired me out pretty quickly, but at least the men were dragging by the end as well (he he he).
Next we learned all about executing pull-ups and “kippings”. Needless to say, after killing my arms on pushups I couldn’t do a single pull-up. However, I was fascinated to learn of these nifty elastic bands which support some of your weight, so gradually you progress to assistance-free pull-ups!
I have no shame, I’ll be using the thickest black band for a long time.
Lastly, we rounded off the first day with 2 mins of air squats. On my 70th burning air squat, I had to do an internal check, “Really?!!? You decided to do this ish instead of pilates?!?”.
Ms. Gunz, yelled and cheered us on to finish strong.
I’m sure we were the most miserable, out of shape bunch ever…but thats exactly why we were there…why I was there. I’ve concluded…that yes, I’m probably gonna die…but at least I may learn to do an actual pull-up before doing so :).
MemphizBelle “Southern Diva Extraordinaire”