fitness and nutrition, friendship

Odd Couple to Awed Couple

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You know the phrase “The Odd Couple.” People who just don’t seem to fit together. On paper, they make no sense.

If you had to match pairs of friends, predicting who might get along, you might think of people with similar personalities, political views, walks of life. One of the great things about CrossFit is it brings wildly different people together into communities. Each box has it’s own culture, but ultimately we are all united by a commitment to our fitness, our health, our crazy workouts, and even the health, wellness, and happiness of our crazy CrossFit friends.

That being said, we do have some odd pairings in our box. Some would say the 2 Chicks make an unlikely pairing. We are opposites in many ways. But, many of those opposites are why we work. Puzzle pieces that fit together somehow. Another “Odd Couple” is Caitlyn and Milagros. Just two very different people united by a mutual affection, support of, and giggles with one another.

Fitness can bring us together to meet people we might never have befriended otherwise. We can all feel connected after enduring a marathon workout like Murph, after encouraging each other’s best efforts. It’s a funny thing how that suffering and triumph (or even missed attempts) can break down the apparent differences that keep us apart from each other. In CrossFit, we are all basically the same once we set aside our scrubs or heels or suits, and get into our tank tops and metcons for the day’s sweat-and-suffer-fest.

As Chick 1 mentioned in her recap, Milagros and I ended up as partners through a series of unlikely suggestions. It won’t surprise those of you who know Chick 1 personally to hear that it was her idea for Milagros and I to partner up. Chick 1 has a knack for connecting people and figuring out who needs who. She’s just gifted in that. I hardly knew Milagros at all before this matchup happened. We don’t workout at the same time for the most part, and our paths hardly ever crossed. I only really knew of Milagros because she was taking the photos for the CrossFit Open, so I met her on the Sunday of WOD 19.1. I knew she had an amazing gift for artistic and evocative photos from her instagram, but that was about it.

It may have been that very Sunday we met when this partnership was first set in motion. Next thing you know we were registered, a couple of weeks later we had our team name, our shirts, and even scheduled short strategy sessions. (I am not very competitive outwardly, but inside I am a perfectionist and do want to win. I hide it because I hate losing!)

In some ways Milagros and I are opposites, an odd couple. Milagros favors long, incredible socks. Mine are short and white. Milagros goes hard hard hard into a workout from the start. I will start at a pace that ensures I always have energy in the tank at the end. (Sometimes this means I am slower at the beginning than I should be. My latter rounds are usually faster than the first.) Milagros is so positive about the workouts leading up to the competition. She was so confident we would finish and dominate. Me, not so much. I manage expectations and approach things analytically. As I told her, I don’t expect we will finish, but I’ll be darned if I won’t fight as hard as I can.

We had a loose plan. We had practiced to some extent. But we had decided to just communicate through all of it and trust each other to be there when the other was faltering. Over time, we learned that we were both afraid of letting each other down. We both wanted to give our best efforts for each other. And that’s the way we walked in Saturday morning, shirts on, ready to lay it all out for each other.

The first WOD would be simple enough. 30 snatches, 30 clean and jerks. Split it up. We had decided I was more comfortable with snatches and Milagros was better on the clean and jerks, so we split it up by 10s. I took Coach Stefan’s advice and talked to the judge before hand to be sure I knew what he would be looking for, etc. And even though I was shaking scared, as soon as the countdown started it was a lot like Coach Alex said, everything just kind of fell away and we just did it. In the zone. Go go go. Didn’t take much longer than 2:30. Took turns, cheering each other on, it was all good. And just like that, WOD 1 was over.

And in that moment, we turned from an odd couple to the awed couple. We were just both like, heck yeah, we just did that! In awe of each other and probably ourselves. And we hugged for like 30 seconds and laughed and it was just a great feeling to have done that thing with someone who wanted to do their best for me as much as I wanted to do my best for them. Pretty profound moment, really. Who knew?

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I will spare you the details of Milagros rocking the heck out of jump ropes and thrusters and me managing to throw the wall ball not just to but *above* the target height over and over (huge surprise!) I won’t give you the blow-by-blow of how we worked together to endure a workout featuring a long grueling row and seemingly endless thrusters and burpees. All you need to know is that, even though I didn’t think we would finish, we finished all the workouts well under the time limit. And we used most of the rest of the time to just hug it out and laugh and have our awed couple moments right there on the gym mats.

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Thinking back I am pretty sure no one else was hugging it out the way our team did. Most people either fist bumped or fell on the floor or just walked away. Not us. We were freaking ecstatic for each other after every. single. workout. We may not have won or even made the podium, but we did some pretty special stuff for two women who have overcome a lot and plan to keep on doing that for a long time.

It was also incredible to be surrounded by a community that supports you. Our box friends came and watched, cheered, and encouraged us through each event. To hear your coach’s voice pushing you harder, faster, lights a fire when you’re just about to flame out. Then to watch them compete, push themselves, work a plan, it’s all pretty amazing for a first-time competitor like me.

When’s the next competition? We are already on the lookout. How can I resist the chance to get better alongside these athletes?

Milagros will always be my first CrossFit competition partner. Pretty cool title if you ask me.

Thinking of our team name, WOD we get into? Yeah, I’m pretty sure neither of us knew what we were getting into with all of this. And I don’t know about her, but I do know what I got out of it: Confidence, an amazingly accomplished I-didn’t-even-know-I-had-muscles-there soreness, giggles, and a heartfelt awe for my very special partner, Milagros.

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fitness and nutrition, friendship

We Battled the Mountain!

What do you after the CrossFit open ends when you are a diehard CrossFitter? You battle a flipping mountain!

And so the story begins with a sign up for a CrossFit competition. Competing makes sure you continue to train hard, push limits and compete with like-minded nut jobs like yourself.

Oh what fun! My partner this competition is Tasha, or Tashi to me. My sweet, sassy, saucy little amazing Asian friend. She might weigh like 105 pounds soaking wet but she is a beast in the box.  This is my first competition with her and I have been super excited to compete with her as a dynamic duo. And we added a plus one. Caitlyn, our fabulous professional cheerleader. She is the cherry on top (literally) for this competition. Caitlyn is preggo so she isn’t competing, but she is being the best friend to all of us and cheering us on all day which is just amazing in itself.

Our team name is Katashi which is just a fusion of our names but we are seriously a hot mess in more ways than one. Both are competitive. Both speak our minds freely. Both don’t take shit from anyone. All of which can lead to craziness in the heat of any battle or competition.

We have been practicing for a couple weeks here and there when our schedules align. Nothing major, just timing on transitions and focusing on strengths vs. weaknesses because let’s face it, we have them, and I may have just a few more weaknesses than her?!?!

To make it even more fun, there are about 5-6 other teams from our box competing making it a competition to remember. And I almost forgot, there is a cash prize so who really doesn’t want to work hard to maybe win some cashola.

Up before 6am to hit the road to get ready for the competition. About an hour drive and it’s a bit chilly and overcast making it hard to wake up fully. First WOD starts before you know it. We worked hard and beat our practice time which was good. A few challenges, but our time should be one of the top 5, we think.

3rd place after round one. Seconds separating the pack. No time to analyze what we missed rather it’s time to strategize on round 2.  We start with a game plan in mind and we finish strong with a few mishaps in the mix. Tasha hits her lip with a dumbbell and I got hit with a moving steel rope in the face. Ouch on both occasions. Breaks in rhythm and concentration can mess you up but we pushed through. 1st place after round two. Small celebration, then for me it was fear of oh no! we have pressure to win now. There was no pressure before. Ughhhhhh!

On a side note, we dressed the part for our competition. Sparkling #Katashi shirts in round 1. Cheetah shorts in round 2 that were pretty revealing and then off for a quick change to lemon booty shorts for round three.

We worked so hard for nearly 15 minutes as a unit. Sometime one partner carried more of the load than the other, but we did it together and came out on top. First place after round 3. We won. We friggin won. Wait, we went back and forth like three times to be sure to the scoreboard was right. Tasha even took a picture of it. We were so excited. Our hard worked paid off.

The podium call came. We ended up in second place. What? Well, there was a tie when the final tally came in. They had to go back to the tie breaker of round 1 and we lost by two seconds. Would have, could have, should have. Those two seconds won’t be the death of us. It will be motivation to push hard next time. A little disappointing at first but back to celebrating that we really did win our own game and we had an amazing cheering squad.

Mentally strong. Physically strong. Committed to competing. All the feels for us.

And then there was our extended team/family. The heart and hustle crew: Sarah and Courtney. They hit the podium in third place in their division. They killed it and had so much fun doing it.

The newbies, Beth and Milagros: First time competing and just celebrating doing the competition together. Each round they finished. Each round they hugged in celebration. It was amazing to watch.

The big boys: Damion and Alex. True competitors in the elite division nailing second place. They did everything as planned and they helped the newer teams plan for each workout. True inspirations.

The coach plus one: Erica and Lauren. 2 strong and fierce women in the elite division. Both injured to a point. A sore back. A sore shoulder. Did anyone notice? Nope! They were so fun to watch and awesome to hear cheering us all on.

My buddies: David and Chris. A shy pair added on at the last minute but two good guys. I didn’t get to watch them as we were in the same heat but they both said they had an amazing time. Love hearing success stories like this.

The 5am crew, Mindy and Heather: a whimsical entry late to the competition due to schedule changes. They challenged themselves to compete in the intermediate group. A stretch for some movements but they dug their heels in and fought like tigers to compete.

There were many firsts, many smiles and even some I should have done this or that different. No matter the outcome, we were competitors and we did more than many on a Saturday before noon which is a big success. And for me, I did it in style with booty short changes for each WOD.

I just adore all of my extended friends and family I have met through CrossFit. Whether it’s the local box, a box I visit on vacation or a competition, everyone I meet is amazing. My love for booty shorts is shared across women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and so on. Conversations at the bathroom include what brand you are wearing? and how they ride or don’t ride your crotch.

Where else can you meet perfect strangers and have the best conversations about snatches, cleaning, jerks, booties, sweat and more? Certainly not at the office water cooler.

CrossFit has many benefits. It starts with a physical transformation and shifts into a mental transformation and somehow in between spurs community and long lasting bonds and relationships.

CrossFit is more than an expensive monthly membership. It’s a lifestyle and an elite club that many are scared to join because of the unknown or fear. Those are the very reasons I love CrossFit.

The constantly varied workouts. The not knowing what’s around the corner. The grit that is required to get to the next level. The crazy people I meet. The boundless opportunities to get better. The drive you witness in people daily.

Now it’s time to let my body recover. Hot tub, swim and a massage coming my way for the day after then back to the grind on Monday. Get after your fitness this week people.

friendship

I Survived the _________!

-grueling week of travel.
-ups/downs life tossed my way.
-changes in daily schedules, vehicles and life.
-19.5 OPEN WOD, just barely.
-pollen.

When I reflect on what I pushed through this past week, I celebrate! I celebrate life and all its adventures that I get to enjoy and all the wonderful people I get to meet along the way. I even celebrate the sad times and the failures as each give opportunity to grow. I embrace it all.

This all hit me smack in the face on Friday. I was tired from a long week. I was unsettled in many areas of life this week. Too many distractions and complications. As usual I put my head down and muddled along.

Then it happened. My spirit broke in a work out. That never happens but it did this fine Friday. I wore my defeat on my face and in my mind thanks to 19.5 OPEN WOD. It happens to the best of us.

I pouted a bit. Mostly to myself but I pouted and it impacted my day to an extent. I needed a reset button. What would that be? How can I reset my mind when I keep recycling my missed opportunity?

For me, it was Friday Night Lights at my box. I sat on a box (literally on a box) and I watched a workout. It wasn’t the best athlete at the box doing the WOD, just a Wonder Woman of sorts getting her groove on. She did her thang. She didn’t give up. She persevered. It was real. In that moment I shifted my mind and celebrated others versus focusing on my defeat. I found the sunshine in my day. It might have taken until 6pm but I saw the light shining the window and my mind.

And then, out of the corner of my eye I see another sparkle. A little girl emulating her mom and dad on the bar. Some toes to bars, some pulls ups and smiles ear to ear. A “watch me, mom and dad!” moment that said “look, I can do what you do.” Talk about modeling. Wow, it was amazing. At this point my week of woes was all in the rear view. In the past. And we can’t change the past so focus on what’s ahead is what it’s all about.

A big sigh. A pregnant mom-to-be was on the other side of that little girl. I saw another sparkle or shine. It was the maternal glow of a mom-to-be. A wonderful moment of sorts. What was in her mind as she smiled in the distance. Will her little bundle of joy be an energetic monkey too? My cup was pouring over at this point and my mind had nothing but carefree thoughts.

Some giggles, some shenanigans and time with friends celebrating community and the past five weeks in the OPEN was the cherry on top. We all celebrated our own accomplishments together. Some competed at a level they didn’t think they were capable of. Others figured out new moves. Some put more weight on their bar to level up. And then a speech by two key people at the box. They were thankful for the community and the experiences shared over the past few weeks. Kicking back in a social setting surrounded by people who work hard but play hard too. It was a good time.

Find your tribe. Find your reset button. Let the worries of the world sit in the rear view. Embrace the new beginnings ahead of you.

Try new things. Meet new people. Focus on sunshine when clouds want to dampen your day.

This week I took a new class. I did some kicks and punches to change things up. What a blast I had. I almost got my toes-to-bar at a practice session too. Just a little more work and I’ll get there. No time line, just putting in the work.

Wonder what my next blog post will be about since the OPEN is now in my rear view? Guess you will have to wait and see what sparks my fancy. Or better yet send me your thoughts on topics and I’ll see if I can accommodate  your request(s). Don’t be shy, I love interacting with our readers! It makes me appreciate the power of my writings and inspires me to reach more and more folks virtually and in person.

Happy Spring, peeps!

friendship

A Pic is Worth a Thousand Words (or is it Clicks?)

 

This pic says so much about the stories and adventures of Chick 1 and Chick 2, aka KT and Beth. Is it worth a click?

A pic is like a piece of chocolate in today’s internet-crazy world – tempting. One picture can make or break person’s image online. One picture can lure someone to to the darkside. One picture can get a click, a like or go viral. Just one click. Just one pic.

Enter the above picture. Grainy at best. Boring to some. Intriguing to others. A Thelma and Louise duo of sorts. Two trailblazers setting out to tackle whatever life throws at them. Today it may be a road trip but tomorrow it could be a covert operation.

Is that an exaggeration? Maybe, but that is what #1095Days is all about. The ups, the downs and everything in between that these two muddle their way through on the daily. Endless opportunities right there in the front seat. The pictures captured are part of the stories.

Fulltime jobs, Mom duties, business partners, athletes, mentors, the list goes on as do the adventures and challenges on the ride. Buckle up, you are virtually engaged in this project. Keep following the hashtag online to see more tidbits as they are released. #1095Days

No two days are the same. This pic will be a story told in our upcoming project. A sleuth adventure that neither planned. An adventure that could have left them both in tears but instead it was met with smiles and a “we got this” attitude.

No outfits were planned but when they connected both were in dark clothing dressed for a caper. What a surreal experience unfolding in the blink of an eye. KT grabs the camera to capture the crazy. Beth in her firm tone says “don’t you dare! Don’t you dare!” (Of course, she dared.)

Look again at the pic. KT has a devilish smile as she snaps. Beth has a look of horror as she focuses on road ahead.

Enter the hoodies, a dark night and a zest for life, the duo took on the adventure ahead including sleuthing. True badassery if I do say so myself.

Of course, they found time to stop at Starbucks and fuel their adventure before the suburbanites hit the road. Sorry to leave you with a cliff hanger but that is how the #1095Days project was designed.

As the new day appeared the duo met up at their local gym for an action shot as a fellow gym goer took a pic of the two authors side by side. Normally the Chicks work out at different times but there is one day a week that their schedules collide. It’s a Saturday and both had separate workouts but put in an extra cardio session together. Once again solidifying the adventures of the dynamic author duo. Bound together like book bindings. True adventurers. Another in our #1095Days.

fitness and nutrition, friendship

Every Peach Has A Story…

My Peach(tree) story began in Atlanta, GA in 1997. I wasn’t a runner but a friend asked me to run the Peachtree. What was the Peachtree? Well it is only the biggest 10k Road Race on the planet. So I did it. No training, just did it. The internet wasn’t so big back then so I don’t even know how long it took me to complete the race. All I know is I conquered the challenge and moved on. I was a one run wonder.

1998 was a new year with new adventures and the Peachtree hype faded in a blink of an eye. I wasn’t a runner, I didn’t grow up in Atlanta and I just didn’t have a fit circle of friends who ran the Peachtree each year. Over the next 20 years, I climbed the corporate ladder, I had a few kids, I raised a child with health issues, and I worked hard at being a mommy and a wife yet something was missing. What was missing? ME time. I learned to prioritize and put everyone around me first, before me! I see this happens to many women (not men) but women. I had tried to lose weight in those years, I tried to live an active lifestyle, I tried and tried but I never made me a priority so failure was always around the corner. How could I be the best version of me and show my kids how to be fearless?

I had to reinvent myself. Some would judge me, some would defriend me, and others would support me. I guess this is where you really find out who your true friends are.  As I make changes in my life, I find myself seeking out new adventures. And with new adventures come new friends. I would meet new friends with similar interest and goals. I had always told my kids and employees that you become what you surround yourself with. And it’s true: spend all your time around negative people, you will be negative. Spend all your time around lazy people, you will be lazy. Spend all your working hours with those comfortable in dead end jobs, you will find yourself right there with them. This isn’t what I wanted in my future. So I changed my scenery. Slowly but surely. Out with the old, in with the new.

Fast forward to December 2015. I found a gal pal who was willing to work out with me consistently at 5:30am at a gym in between our homes. Why so early? We had to go before the kids had to get on the bus so we didn’t take any time away from our husband (hmmm) and then before we had to work (yes we had full-time jobs in addition to being full-time mommies). We pushed each other, we relied on each for accountability and we got in 1-2 hours of gym time 3-5 days a week. This was huge for us. But we were both moms just relying on the internet or friends for workout advice. We met people at the gym that marveled at our consistency and progress but we eventually hit a plateau. We considered kick boxing, a personal trainer, a boot camp but nothing jumped out at us or gave us a spark to change. We finally saw a Facebook ad for Crossfit at a local box for women only in a trial boot camp. We said let’s give it a shot. It was whimsical. We were not in the worst shape when we got there but we certainly were not near the cream of the crop either! And we said holy cow what if we never worked out before we came here? We would have died! Seriously.

For about 6-8 weeks we did core work, we ran, we crawled, we walked, we sweated and we lost our pride over and over and over again. We even learned a new vocabulary. A snatch, an immature squat, a Russian baby maker, and so many more. What started as 30 women got to less than 10 by the end of the time commitment. We were still lifting weights (not really) with a PVC pipe. Is that even a thing? Oh now what to do now? Well we could spend a good amount of discretionary income for the monthly membership and see how we fair. Let’s check in to see what the others are going to do as we liked some of the friends we made. 4 of us opted to stay and give it a go. We were nervous entering the regular class with the “big boys” who all seemed to be friends but we sucked it up and went 3 days a week. We got stronger. At the end of month 1, one of the girls dropped off so we were down to 3 but a new boot camp started and we met the ONLY girl in that boot camp, Sarah. She was just like us before. She really was just like us so we took her under our wings and the new foursome became the best of buds. We again sweat, ran, crumbled but we never quit. We never QUIT. We chipped away at each workout and we cheered for each other along the way. We all had good days and we all had our share of bad days. We scaled the workouts to our abilities and in time we earned our spot in the morning class. Shoutout to my WOD Goddesses below. These friends left the box for the beach this past fall to celebrate life. I remember one guy saying we (the guys) don’t acknowledge you (the girls) until you have been here 6 months. That’s when we know you are committed and are going to stick around. Did he seriously say that? How offensive! I guess when I look back, he did me a favor. He pissed me off so bad that I had to show him that was like flies on shit and I was sticking around and I would make sure the other girls stuck around too just to prove a point. HA to that one guy, SUCK IT! I/we are still here 2 years later at the same box and we are crushing it in our own way every time we come into that box. PR-PR-PR, some might say PR as in personal record but I say PRRRRR as in lady ROAR. Slay all day after you get your WOD in at 630am with the PURE DIVAS. Here we are with our friend #burchie who motivates us each and every week at the box and here at the race.As I reflect, we not only stayed but we conquered our fears and we slimmed down in the process while gaining confidence, friendships, and offering inspirations to others who thought they couldn’t do it. NO matter your shape, your size or your athletic ability, YOU can tackle anything YOU put your mind to. Weight loss, professional aspirations, workout goals, family goals, etc. The playing field may be different but the process is still the same. Commitment, goal setting, and achievement are all common denominators.  Check out the pre-race fun we had in 2017. So what does this all have to do with my PEACH story? EVERYTHING! My Peach story was revived in 2017 when a group from my Crossfit box started talking about running the Peachtree. I did the math and 2017 would be 20 years from the last time I completed the race. HOLY COW! I have to do it. I was feeling pretty good after being at Crossfit for a year and had dropped a good amount of weight, so why not? I got a few of my gal pals to jump in and do it together. There were about five of us who took part in it together. Each of us conquering our own set of challenges to get there and get it done. It was great. We planned for 2018 to keep the momentum going.2017-2018. One year of fitness. Can you see the difference? I can feel the difference. In my energy, in my clothes and in my mind.Now here we are in July of 2018. Life has been full of ups, downs, adventures and memories but through it all our gal pals at the gym have been together pulling for each other. This year there were almost 10 of us attempting to connect for the race and many “others” we knew who would be there racing as well. As I reflect on 2018, I see where I hit the 20 year milestone that has now started the annual event log for my fitness journey. This will be an event that I can continue to attend as long as my body will allow. I will strive to conquer the race and improve my race time each year. From mile 1 to 6.Because age is just a number and I am like a fine wine, aging to perfection. At almost 50 years old, I am now focusing on me. ME! I am committed to eating healthy, working out, and plan to enjoy all that goes along with living a healthy lifestyle. While others turn into couch potatoes at 50, I am working towards FAB at FIFTY. I am proud of my accomplishments thus far and I am excited for what is on the road ahead. I am sure there will be bumps along the way but hopefully this blog post will be one way to hold myself accountable and possibly inspire others who can’t see the finish line in their journey at the current moment. DO YOU, FOR YOU. It’s not to let late to start writing your amazing story!Go find your Peach story and live it. I am a Georgia Peach and live life to the fullest each day. I keep the negators away and find ways to smile each day even if it is at my own expense. Be thankful. Inspire others. Improve communities. #MiniMadness=doublefun#KTV #2CHX #Crossfit #Fitventures #PeachtreeRoadRace #GetMoving #AuthorsBlogToo

friendship

First Watch – a First Glimpse

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We have an amazing circle of friends at our Crossfit Box, Crossfit Pure. We had a silly, sweaty, giggly breakfast recently to celebrate one of the girls’ birthdays.

In this picture, you see four different women, from four different backgrounds.  Our work on fitness has united us, building friendships that will last for years to come.  You see different shapes, different sizes, different occupations.  We all sweat the same.  We all do the same work out. We are in it together.

This picture says so much about strong women. Anybody can get their start in fitness.  You just have to get off the couch and work it for you. Nobody else. But hopefully you’ll have a group that celebrates and sweats along side you.

The 2 chicks give a shout out to other two girls in the pic, Sarah and Maddy, and the many other strong women who inspire us daily.

#2CHX