Clutching at Straws

Hey ya’ll.  Soooo, yeah.  I’m feeling some kind of way today.

It’s pretty rare for me to get on my soapbox and go in on something or someone, but this morning I did…with aplomb.

Long and short of it, I woke up to a FB request for “thoughts” from a recent CrossFit convert (sipping the Kool-aid!).  He read an online article about African-American women and CrossFit: “Black Girls Run, Black Girls Bike, but do Black Girls CrossFit?”.

Needless to say, I read the article and reviewed all of the comments associated with it (now closed), took a few minutes to gather my thoughts and then went in on the article.  Here is what I said, with a few parts fleshed out for the blog world.

I’m very interested in all of your thoughts as well, so do me a favor and leave a comment.

About 7ish on a Sunday morn I typed in response to an inquiry as to my thoughts on the aforementioned article:

Clutching at Straws

The posting is inaccurate and does its best to reinforce stereotypes that do disservice to the reader.

I mean, really?

She [the author] doesn’t CrossFit and admits, blatantly, that she saw someone throwing up a few years ago at a box in in DC.

I’m going to bypass the fact that this article was posted on September 13th 2013, but she mentions something that she saw as she walked by “a few years summers ago”.  Actually, I’m not going to bypass that.  Point being: a few summers ago, I saw Serena Williams lose her cool and react poorly to a call from a US Open tennis umpire.

It didn’t cause me to wash my hands of her.  She recognized what she did, took a break and came back stronger than ever.  But maybe this is a poor example, because she was an established tennis star (through years of hard work, practice, injury and dare I say, probably a little vomit at some point).  But I digress, so let me get back to the main response.

By a show of hands, who here has never come close to vomiting at some point in a regular gym? At track practice?  Football two-a-days? 

There are many causes to vomiting, but for me personally a majority of the time it’s due to the type of food that was eaten and at what time (within an hour of working out) I ate it, combined with physical movements that jar the belly into discomfort.   It is extremely rare for me to get nauseous during a WOD and when/if I do, guess what: I slow down or I stop doing what I was doing.  As an side: I’ve almost thrown up at the smell of an overused, non-washed gym shirt that a grown maman felt the urge to wear while running next to me on treadmill at a global gym though, so #boom, any thing is possible.

Black Girls Run, Black Girls Bike, and yes, Black Chicks WOD

On top of that, I love her big up to Black Girls Run and Black Women Bike, two very awesome groups that are a huge part of pushing, pulling and encouraging women of African descent to get out there and run or bike together; but had she Googled “Black” and “CrossFit” lately she might have gotten a few hits to show that indeed, African-American Women do CrossFit.  They go by “girls”, “chicks”, “African-Americans”, “Blacks”, etc.  Heck, just hit Instagram one day, do a search under CrossFit and watch these hard-working women pop up.

That’s not to say that there isn’t some level of truth to the overall question (Do Black Women CrossFit?)  that was stated in the Clutch posting.  It is, however, to say that the evidence presented was limited in scope and didn’t do justice to the subject. To minimize and/or marginalize their existence to such a limited view is unwarranted and simply reinforces archetypes that are regurgitated without true consideration.  It accepts the view that because African-American women are not in your immediate view or surroundings that they are not doing something that might be dominated by Caucasians: Tennis. Swimming. Olympic Weight Lifting.  Science.  Mathematics. All have been historically dominated by people that do not look like me.  Heck in some areas we’re still in a hole when compared to other races.  #sotheeffwhat. There was a time when a plethora of sports didn’t have people of color leading the charge; basketball, football, baseball, soccer, etc. That changed over time.  CrossFit, being pretty darn young, will take time too.

Case in point, here’s another article that asks a similar question, but took the time to speak with folks that do actually CrossFit: “Who’s Really Left Out of the CrossFit Circle?”.

The, “I don’t see them [black women] when I pass my local CrossFit box in D.C. [which even though its ‘chocolatecity’, it’s really not that concentrated anymore]” is misguiding and therefore just as easily accepts that black women don’t hike, hate the rain, abhor the outdoors, or just plain lack athleticism outside of track and basketball.

I mean seriously, what typical gym do you go to where you see a truckload of black women in a given hour? That doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  As a matter of fact people of color; women of color are going hard at many different “sports”.  Zumba. Pilates. Yoga. Marathons. Swimming.  As long as you are moving, having fun, being healthy and doing you, what does it bloody well matter?  Is it now imperative to have a “Do Black Women Zumba? Pilates? Yoga?”? #IJS #domoreresearch

Could there be more of a concerted effort to get Black women into CrossFit?  Clearly that’s a “yes”, as um, yeah the title of this blog is “BlackChicksWOD”.

Speaking from the standpoint of someone who is slowly converting my friends one-by-one (I got 3 so far; two Black women and one Black guy), the reality is that people will not do anything until they feel comfortable or see the value in investing the money in it.  I can’t force anyone; I can only encourage, answer questions, write postings such as this, and highlight why I like this stuff so much that I go almost 5 days a week.

I got here because two other Black Women spoke to me consistently about CrossFit; one is in Cali. The other about 2 hours away from me.  I’m one of two Black Women in my afternoon class.  I’ve seen African-American women try the free class or do an intro month.  Some make it and some don’t.  That is their decision.  CrossFit, like many other forms of fitness/exercise, is not for everyone, however neither is it exclusionary.

Finally: a lot of coaches, trainers, workout enthusiasts, etc., SUCK at what they do.  One certification, does not make an awesome teacher.  Just like it doesn’t make you a great engineer, or a rockin’ gymnast.  It simply makes you minimally qualified and there are a lot of minimally qualified people at your local gym, your coffee shop, your nail salon, and your local fast food joint.  Like any person that you pay to work on your car, your house, your teeth or hair, you have the choice to stay, or go.  You decide if you want to pay or pass.

The reality though, is that it is your job, hell it’s your frickin DUTY to know when to say “no”.  Injuries are real, and I’m too old to get injured at this point as it would take me out of the gym for months and no, I really do not have time for that.

If it hurts, stop. If you need to do less, do less; drop the weight or do 5 push ups instead of 20.  Communicate old injuries to your trainer/coach, so he is aware. Listen to what your body is saying to you and, oh yeah, don’t equate the size of your “balls” or “(wo) manhood with how much weight you think you have to push.  Be smart.  Go slow.  Start low and increase over time. Learn proper form, over time.  Get better over time.  Take small wins and stack them, over time.

That’s it ya’ll.  I’m tired, it’s my bed time, I got 2 workouts on deck tomorrow and I’m already in the sleep negative.  All this work requires rest.  I hope to hear from folks.  Keep it clean, please! 

Follow me on IG: @blackchickswod.  If you like us and WOD, use the #BCWOD with your pics and be counted!!!

Toodles!

CrossFit Luv!

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Got a great gift from a coworker from a another box! I cheered (yelled and berated? Lol) her on during 13.2 last week at her box.

She was dope enough to help me during 13.1 by coming to my box and coaching me through snatch progressions and then stayed to watch me complete my first CrossFit Open!

This gift is the bestest! I love getting different CrossFit shirts! It was totally unexpected, but I truly appreciate it.

This epitomizes the “fam” feel of CrossFit. We all encourage, support and surprise each other every day.

#loveit

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.

Paleo date:12813 – D22 – Scared of Donuts

Paleo Trek: The Next Generation

Real Food: The Final Frontier

These are the musings of the CrossFitter M^2 and her 30 Day Paleo Challenge: to explore strange new recipes that do not include wheat, legumes, dairy, sugars and/or processed foods. To seek out new opportunities to learn about her body, eat clean/train dirty, understand a food processor, and boldly go where she has never gone before: her very own kitchen.

CrossFitter’s log, Paleo date:021213 – D22

Today, I smelled, nay; INHALED the sugar associated with decadent, evil, glazed and jelly filled donuts.  Once again, the supervisor, b/c he loves us, brought in treats.  DunkinDonutslogoAnd it was 2 dozen varied donuts…and lord knows that I wanted one. Literally my nose, was on the box, as I breathed deeply…from my diaphragm…multiple times.

Homer Donuts

It smelled soooooooooo good.  I could practically taste the sugar through my lymph nodes.  I could have had one…I mean seriously, who could blame me?  I’ve been doing Paleo pretty well…I deserve a treat don’t I?  It’s just a flipping doe-nut!

Except…for one little, teeny, tiny problem: I’ve been eating clean for so long, no bread, no dairy, no cheese, hardly any sugar beyond the natural stuff, that I am actually scared of eating a donut. I’m scared of the bubble guts that are sure to start up…the cramps that will strike within 2 minutes of inhaling the wheat/sugar combination…the sweat that will surely appear on my upper lip when….er, I’ll leave that last part off.  You get the point; don’t you?

I think one of the biggest benefit of this 30 Day Paleo Challenge, is that I actually don’t want to eat the bad stuff.  I don’t want to deal with the pain or the bloats or the icky feeling that always strikes at some point within eating the *good* stuff.

Another benefit?  I HAVE NEVER COOKED OR BAKED SO MUCH IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!  I, me the chick that would freeze her mom’s home cooking piece by piece so I could stretch it until her next visit, brought a food processor!  A FOOD PROCESSOR!

Say hellurrr to my little friend: BUFFY!

Food Processor

7-cups & powerful blades. Perfect for the single, apartment living cavewoman!

She slices, dices, shreds and purees and damn she’s beautiful.  She is cutting my prep time almost completely in half.  I’m experimenting with more and more recipes.  I have “Go-To” websites that have absolutely delicious, hearty and varied recipes with hilarious, sarcastic chefs.  Really, could you ask for anything more?

These people started out just like you and me…wanting to eat well, reduce waste and WOD like BillyBadAsses.  They are here to help; you just have to take the kale leaf that’s being offered; and pass on the the french fries that are going to cause “burgles”.

My faves so far:

22 days down, and 8 to go for this challenge.  But this right here is so my new lifestyle.  I’ve invested myself in to it.  I’m losing inches that loved me for years, and it’s only been 22 days.  Let me say that again: 22 days = lost inches.  Ya’ll betta get right and get on it.

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!

Paleo date:12813 – D8 “Paleo Flu”

Paleo Trek: The Next Generation

Real Food: The Final Frontier

These are the musings of the CrossFitter M^2 and her 30 Day Paleo Challenge: to explore strange new recipes that do not include wheat, legumes, dairy, sugars and/or processed foods. To seek out new opportunities to learn about her body, eat clean/train dirty, understand a food processor, and boldly go where she has never gone before: her very own kitchen.

CrossFitter’s log, Paleo date:12813 – D8

So I think I mentioned a few posts ago, that I got sick and that was my “Paleo Flu” when Wod’ability goes down, fatigue sets inquicker and Im irritable.  Well, i think that I just had a cold before; this might really be the “paleo flu” now.

I just finished a pretty wicked WOD [see WOD, courtesy of CrossFit Balance]

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No matter what you think, that sucker was a 23 min burner.  I got dizzy, I was last to complete each of the 25 cal rows (which pissed me off), and I couldn’t find my wall ball rhythm.  I didn’t even make it to the double unders (which really ticked me off)!  Then I started listening to what my body was saying:

Hey!  Yeah, you!  Where are my carbs and sugar?  I’m not used to this fat…I want cake!

Basically, although I’m more comfy with the idea of Pale, the food and the cooking…this is clearly the point where my body has finished working out the old and is taking in the new.  I’m feeling the difference in the fit of my clothes and the fact that my [sweets] cravings have subsided significantly.  I’m even drinking more water (wow!) without the feeling of it’s my last resort.

I actually want to drink it.

Hopefully this “flu” won’t affect my WODs for too long…general lore says about a week.

I’ll let you know.  Anybody else experience “Paleo Flu”?  What were your “symptoms”?

Paleo date:12413 – D4

Paleo Trek: The Next Generation

Real Food: The Final Frontier
These are the musings of the CrossFitter M^2 and her 30 Day Paleo Challenge: to explore strange new recipes that do not include wheat, legumes, dairy, sugars and/or processed foods.

To seek out new opportunities to learn about her body, eat clean/train dirty, understand a food processor, and boldly go where she has never gone before: her very own kitchen

CrossFitter’s log, Paleo date:12413 – D4

I smell the donuts that they brought in this morning.  Dunkin’ Donuts.  The Walgreens of the sugar set, i.e. one on every corner.  They brought them for a work meet and greet, and they smell DIVINE.  Knowing that donuts (Glazed!! Pumpkin!! Chocolate Glazed!!!) was the meal of choice this morning, I pre-emptively ate my sweet potato hash browns and red bell pepper, sausage and bacon egg frittata; with a side of tea (no sugar, no honey, just lemon).

It worked!  I smelled it, but was not tempted to eat it.  After only four days on Paleo, I already see and feel a difference in my body and clothes.  My belly fat, though not excessive, seems less; abs are making an appearance.  My waist, already small, seems to be getting smaller; at least judging by my belt and pants. 

I’ve been in this situation before; on the precipice of the body that I know that I can have and I’ve frittered it away on pepperoni pizza and chocolate cake.  II want to ride this train to the end, but I have a baby shower to go to this weekend.

Will I be able to resist frosted cakes and pizza?