featured, fitness and nutrition

Squad Goals

It’s Saturday, the week before the competition. One week until the big day. I already worked out at 8:00 am but I am back at the box for a Squad Games team practice at 3:30 pm. Practice makes perfect (or it is needed) so that we can work together as a team since this is, in fact, a team event. But let’s just say my legs are screaming at me (due to soreness).

What is so great about this squad? It is made up of some amazing people and folks that I am happy to call friends. Our team name is “All Jacked Up” which you can read into  for multiple meanings but for me we are each jacked up in our own way. Different backgrounds, different careers, different lifestyles, but one common passion: CrossFit. We are not set to win per se but we set out to compete to win. Is there a difference? Yes. All-male teams can dominate some workouts and coed teams can compete but most likely can’t put up the numbers needed on the top of of the leaderboard. All-female teams would likely struggle a bit more in this area as well but they show up and compete for their own personal best performances as did we.

I was going to introduce each squad member in detail here with how much each person means to me but instead I am opting for the condensed version. Drumroll for Chris our fearless leader, but on completion day he is a little under the weather, fighting off a cold. He is still going to give it his all because I know he doesn’t give anything less than 100%. He should get props for still competing!

Then we have Lisa, who threw out her shoulder doing split jerks the other day and the doctor didn’t release her to compete. This means I have an IOU on the table to compete with her sometime in 2019. What a let down for her but we found a fill-in at the last hour.  Enter Nick who already had a 5k to run at 8:00 am across town, but don’t worry he will just jump in when he gets there. Yup: 10:30am arrival after his 5k and ready to put in work.

Then we have Sarah and David who are both long standing buds in the 6:30 am time slot I workout in. Both are nervous in their own way but they will crush their movements and be great teammates.

It appears we are all jacked up in our own way as we enter the competition. The name we chose a while back couldn’t be more fitting. As I mentally prepare for the games at the wee hour of 4:00 am I am jotting down these notes so this is as raw as it gets.

T-shirts are in for the Squad. Carpool is all lined up. Everyone is nursing their pre-comp jitters or sore muscles. Snack prep is happening for some. Let the countdown begin…

12/8/18 Squad Games

It began with the packing of the bag and a good night’s sleep with an alarm set to meet for carpool.

The weather was cold and rainy in the early hours of the day and I woke to darkness outside. My nerves were at bay but my energy spark hasn’t hit yet. Time to rev that engine and get those muscles ready to go go go.

A long hour drive happens. Sign in and then off to another table to get the floater WOD assignment. Workouts are firm for 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 2:40 pm. Lots of waiting and time to mentally prepare and bond with the team and meet lots of new faces from around the area. Did I mention lots of potty breaks, too?

WOD 1 has a Part A and Part B back-to-back. First flub-up on this was my weights. Somebody put the wrong weight on one side of my bar when we were climbing. I was lopsided overhead with about 105 lbs on one side and 95 lbs on the other. Definitely not a good moment overhead, but a teammate picked up my share while we fixed the issue. We finished a notable 5th in both these rounds which was pretty good.

Next WOD was the floater WOD and the judge gave us the wrong weights so we had to shift our game plan on the fly to adjust to the higher weight. David’s shoe fell off during the sprints and we fumbled a little on double unders. We came in about 9th this round I think despite the flub-ups. I guess the point I am sharing is nothing goes as planned and you need to adjust on the fly and work it out as best you can. This is one of those aha moments that you realize this can easily crossover into life…you don’t need to be perfect all the time, just try your best all the time and results will follow.

The last WOD was running behind so our muscles where starting to get fatigued and this workout was a doozie. It had compounding burpees each set. 5-10-15-30-25-30 and of course I am thinking “I am going to die” as burpees are my worst movement by far and these are synchronized burpees so my whole team has to wait on me. Holy cow! And that didn’t even count the 12 grueling calories on the death bike, or the 10-15 overhead lunges assigned to me that took place each round either. Holy leg burner at the end of a long day. 5 burpees was easy enough. 10 was a short chipper. 15 was taxing. 20 was a lot of self talk one by one. 20 was: damn we really have another round! 25 wasn’t so bad when I started but but about 18 it was all mental. Another round in and the team was wearing down and splitting movements to get it done. We entered the round of 30 but only made it to 13 burpees. I was not sad about that timing because I’m not sure I would have made it so thank god for the clock! And believe it or not we finished third in this round even with me slowing us down in the burpee area.

We nailed a 6th place finish overall and the point difference was ever so close in the top section of the ranks. Out of 14 teams we didn’t do too bad. There were three other teams from our box competing in a different division, one taking home first place. It was amazing to watch that team and know you are a part of their community and they are all down to earth.

Loved working out with my crew. We had a couple of friends cheer us on including the amazing Lisa who was unable to compete and the fabulous Beth aka chick 2. Beth was also the one who ran around to take pictures and videos so that we have all of our blood, sweat, and tears captured. So thankful for her dedication to get all of us documented as it is no small task. Even those who hate taking pics love to go back and review photos and videos to see how they can improve under pressure.

Well, I am pooped to say the least. Up at 4:00 am, on the couch showered by 8:00 pm. What an adventure. But at almost 47 I can say I definitely kicked ass today and did it amongst those in their 20s on up to their 40s…and maybe older but that is just my guess.  #girlswholift #girlswhocompete

Competition is a whole different level. Mental toughness, physical strength, team unity, stamina to go the distance and sheer willpower to push through all that is thrown at you. I love to compete in life at every level.

Hope you liked my blog this week. I ended on a high note and I am definitely sore but it’s all good. Until next time get off the couch and get moving. #beyourowninspiration

dare to be different, fitness and nutrition

It’s A Wrap

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Change is in the air for me, Chick 1. As most are looking at wrapping up holiday gifts, I am looking at unwrapping new opportunities just in time for the new year. Meticulous planning, strategically aligning resources and of course, the fostering of key relationships are all part of the process of building a solid foundation as my dreams become reality.

This process is not new to me. I have been chipping away at my plan while working full time, managing my busy family, and investing in me, each of which can be daunting in itself. Part of my dream includes writing and sharing stories with the world. They may not always be my stories, but as a storyteller I thought it was important to share a piece of me with my blooming audience. I initially set a goal and I worked towards that goal on my own terms and I reworked and adjusted my goals on a frequent basis to align with variables that pop up here and there, basically bending and flexing with what we all call life. This process repeats many times.

As I contemplated when to make the next chess move in my life, environmental challenges gave me an opportunity. This opportunity led me to make a career change at the end of September 2018 that some may say is a mistake or emotional decision. A mistake for some is an opportunity for others and frankly others have opinions and such opinions don’t drive my actions.

For me, my change is 100% about me, my short-term and long-term goals, and objectives. The road I chose is not an easy one and I am well aware of that.  I will have struggles along the way but that won’t dull my shine; rather it will fuel my fire.

Tackling a new challenge at work, at home, or in the gym is something I embrace and commit 100% to all day everyday. I almost love it when somebody says you can’t, you shouldn’t or don’t! In most instances my inner badass will trigger itself and say hmmm…WATCH ME! I write my own stories. I chart my own path. I define my own successes as well as my failures. I don’t wait for a boss to define or quantify my value. I set my own value. Perception vs. reality maybe, but I decide. Each day I look to inspire others along the way in any way I can and I always stay humble. I look to see value in others and share that openly.

This week, I heard my daughter make a statement that will inspire me for years to come. “You are high maintenance,” said one family member to my daughter at Thanksgiving dinner. Her response was not only timely but definitive: “You must be mistaken. I am not high maintenance, I am high quality!” Oh, how I love that girl and her wit. Her ability to respond positively on the spot to comments that could be construed as negative was amazing. Her brilliant mind at work. My prodigy.

Modeling for my daughter is one of my biggest challenges and joys. My risk- taking and leadership style shows her how to be confident and inspiring in her own special way. My strength and perseverance show her how to work hard for what she wants. My individuality teaches her how to be comfortable in her own skin. Watching her grow as a student, an athlete, and friend also fuels my passion to live my journey to success and show others there is no required path that one needs to take to be successful.

As as I have been adjusting to my new normal work/life balance, I have been growing as a person. When one part of your life is going well normally other parts of your life will be influenced and reflect positively. Same goes for surrounding yourself with those who make you work harder and aim higher. As I always say, success breeds success and surrounding yourself with a positive tribe/community is paramount in many ways.

Remember, most won’t accept the challenge of changing their surroundings because of the fear of the unknown. Embracing change takes courage, confidence, and a positive attitude. I know many in my inner circle who struggle with change. I seem to be the exact opposite. I would rather try something new and find I don’t like it rather than not try at all and wonder could I, should I, would I? At some point in one’s life everyone has the opportunity to wake up and smell the roses. But most may miss that opportunity, not me!

The next nail biter took place this week. I changed my gym/box environment. I loved my box, my community, and had great success physically while committing several years to the program. I decided I was ready for a new challenge, a new environment, and a new set of goals. Boom! I moved, just like that. I did a free trial with the intent of moving in January but then it happened. I knew after the first workout this was my new place to grow physically, mentally and potentially emotionally. Without hesitation I made the move. Why put off to January what I could do today? Why wait? If I knew I would progress why delay my start?

In my first few days, I had the courage to conquer new moves that I may have bypassed while in my old gym/comfort zone. How telling is that? I completed not only my first devil press in a WOD, but I did every one of the 80 in that workout. Another day I stretched my ability to complete pistols, multiple times. Finally, I completed a 40-minute grueling workout that tested my ability to push myself and maintain consistency and breath control. Just these few moments solidified my choice to move on. Not to mention I met several new friendly faces, all from different backgrounds and occupations but all living a fit and pure life through CrossFit.

This change also confirmed that the best is yet to come in so many areas of my life. Areas I may not have seen if I didn’t leave my comfortable box. And the box I am referring to is the boundary we set for ourself, not my CrossFit box. We all have a box or set of boundaries of some sort. Some hover at the edge of the box, others find peace dead smack in the middle of the box. Those are not your risk takers.

As I write this blog, I am one week into my new fitness routine and eight weeks into my work/career transition. No day is easy and I am actually juggling more during my transition than I will be come 1/1/19 but I am enjoying the ride I am on. My mind is stimulated and my body is ready for the physical challenge thanks to my daily fitness routine. #ktisonthemove

Stay tuned as I update my change progress in the new year. 2019 is a blank slate for me. What story will I write? What adventures will I tackle? What new friends will I make? #kt2019

Feeling thankful, grateful and positive as I wrap up this Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

Thank you for following my blog. I am grateful for all who take the time to comment, like, or message words of encouragement. You are part of my online journey. You are part of my tribe/community. Virtual maybe, but connected nonetheless. When I see my stories reach other countries I just grin ear to ear.

Hugs to all my virtual connections.

fitness and nutrition

Another digit down

A while ago, I posted about a personal milestone…one that probably no one else has and, until that post, no one else knew about.  (Aren’t you all lucky?!)

This week I reached another milestone, one that is more widely shared among those who are watching their weight…this week I reached “one-derland.”  I dipped below 200 pounds for the first time in about 15 years.  I was newly married the last time there was a 1 at the beginning of my weight. Wow.

This is just another leg of a long long journey.  I’m still trying to figure out my health, my body, and how to get everything working at optimal levels.

Some would say that health is an everyday decision.  Ironically, one thing that has worked for me is trying to minimize the number of daily decisions I have to make.  How does that work, you ask?

Life can get complicated. Sometimes the level of decisions can be dizzying.  That’s why I make the same thing for all of my lunches and all of my breakfasts (see the pic for this week’s example). I make it all on Sunday, bring it to work Monday, and it’s done. Boring?  Maybe for some. But it just keeps it simple.  For me, these days, sometimes it is helpful not to have to think about every little decision. (And, then there’s fewer opportunities for me to make bad decisions, too!)

Should I go to the gym or not? Those decisions are also made on Sunday, when I map out my week.  If the answer can be yes, it will always be yes.  This one isn’t quite as easy to carry out anymore, though. My old routine of every day at 5:30 am was shifted this year.  It is a struggle to get to the gym in the afternoons after work.  There is interruption after change after unexpected wrinkle.  It is a fight.  I have to make it a priority, which means saying no to other things. But, I get there at least 5 days a week, if not six.  If I can possibly go,  I go. Even if I hate the workout.  Even if I don’t know if anyone else will be there.  I go.

Even with many of my decisions made, there are a lot of things that can still come up. I’ve had to learn how to deal with weekends, and how to try to plan for the unexpected.  I’ve had mixed success.  Bowls of tortilla chips are hard for me to resist.  So, I try to avoid Mexican restaurants completely if possible (sadly, since tacos are my favorite).  But, this past weekend I didn’t see the deliciously fresh fried pickles coming and let’s just say I didn’t deal with that decision well.  I am still learning.

So, I’ll celebrate this milestone then keep moving on to the next. I’ll keep figuring out how to make all this work, and try to make the most of the decisions I make, both in advance and in the moment.  Every good decision gets me closer to my goals.

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 11: Protein Power

Yes, I get it. OMG I really do get it!

Protein is power. Protein helps rebuild your muscles after a hard workout and protein is needed to lose weight. Duh! My coach has been telling me this all along with the protein factor she has put in my weekly numbers.  But, for whatever reason, I found some excuse not to hit my protein numbers time and time again. It only took me like six months to register this. This doesn’t actually surprise me since it took me almost nine months to buy in to macro counting after a friend shared her successes.

It seems so simple but yet it is really a hard task to consume a mountain of protein when you really want everything carb-related. What an irony, but your body actually feels better and not so sluggish when you have the right balance. I guess this is why I have a nutrition coach. Her job is to remind me what I already know and motivate me when I find a reason to not follow directions. In reflection, it’s the same reason I go to CrossFit to have a coach. One who pushes me outside my comfort zone. I think some forget those benefits when they face healthy living alone.

This week’s post is dedicated to protein and its power to fuel and rebuild my my body and muscles.

Chicken: eat more chicken! Chick-fil-A got it right and guess what? Their chicken nuggets fit nicely in my macros so I am a huge fan of chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A. I even get the fried ones since that fat evens out my numbers on the protein side. This chicken is just as much of a treat as a candy bar to me.

Shrimp: I like mine spicy. Not too spicy, just spicy enough and I can’t have it too much during the week or I will burn out so balance is key.

Tuna: I’m a pouch kind of tuna girl. Albacore white in water. But yeah, nothing great to say about this. It’s TUNA. And if you can stand the smell (or your breath after you eat it) then it’s helpful to your macros, but once every other week is enough for this chick.

Chicken: I’m back to chicken because you can eat it a million different ways and it’s different each time. But for this week I’ll talk about kabobs. Peppers, onions, zucchini and lots of chicken marinated in Italian dressing. Big yummo to me!

Hello, chicken again: rotisserie chicken flavored Boar’s Head deli meat. Yup, I said it. Sandwich meat. Not the processed nasty stuff that comes prepackaged. I’m talking about the freshly sliced deli meat, sliced thin so you can feel like you are eating more. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a good protein to eat. See my scale pic for this yummo. And I can add this to the end a day to top off my protein numbers.

Cheese: I eat a cheese stick almost daily. It hits my fat and my protein so it’s a double whammy. Warning: don’t eat too much cheese or you can get backed up. Yes backed up on the backend. Hope that gives you a giggle.

Yogurt has plenty of options and the Greek varieties are essential in planning a good day. Protein and a small amount of carbs and little or no fat. I stretched this week and bought some yogurt drinks in case I’m on the road again.

New week, same numbers. If it’s not broke don’t fix it! just need to keep nailing my protein digits. Scale is moving on down!

This week’s crisis came when MyFitnessPal crashed at dinner time. I had to take out pen and paper and do math to calculate my macros before my meal time. This is when preplanning your day comes in handy but for me I always wiggle some until the end of the day. This day was one of those days so yeah, I had a mild panic attack as did many others who couldn’t access their app. Epic tech fail Under Armour! I guess my premium service doesn’t get 100% uptime.

I rolled out of crisis mode one day and moved onto a big scale victory the next day. A milestone of some sort. No need to advertise the magic # but a mini celebration was had internally. Now it’s time to reset and realign. New goals to aim for as original goals are nearing and the bar must rise to stay chasing the the finish line.

In closing, I should not forget to post about this fun Friday fact: I opted to indulge in the Red Cup Friday offer at Starbucks this year. I got a holiday drink but not just any holiday drink. I got the Grande Carmel Brûlée Latte. All 400-plus calories loaded with about 70 carbs, 13 fat and 11 protein. What was the justification? The free red cup that I can use the rest of the season and put another skinny coffee in and imagine I am drinking the calorie and carb-loaded caramel brûlée. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing. But, I suffered the rest of the day to stay within my macros so in the end it wasn’t worth it because I can have a skinny option of another drink to fuel my Starbucks addiction. This drink was to me what ice cream is to others. We all have moments of weakness we just need to find a healthy balance. For me this time around I opted for this holiday treat to reward myself for nothing particular. I sometimes do that to myself. But in reality thank goodness for Alex the macro barista who posts all the healthy ways to order your Starbucks coffee. He is a gem if you don’t follow him.

I guess self-pampering is a thing and as I reflect I think I am pretty good at it. #retailtherapy #hairandnails #shoesfordays #girlproblems #massages #girlstrips

Oh how I laugh out loud typing this! I commit to myself. I am accountable for myself and my progress or my demise. Just me! Don’t wait for someone to push you over the finish line. You have to do it for YOU.

I also did not touch, smell, unwrap or eat even one piece of Halloween candy this year so I won that holiday battle just a few days earlier. This blog captures the ups, the downs and everything in between on my journey to fab at fifty. Hope you embrace the knowledge, laugh at the hidden humor and celebrate with me virtually.

Until next time Turkeys! Happy November to my online peeps.

fitness and nutrition

Baby Steps and Big Jumps for Chick 2

Is there such a thing as a “traditional” or stereotypical CrossFitter? Maybe there’s an image in your head of what a CrossFit athlete looks like.  Muscular, slender, radiant (or rugged), ripped, youthful. (Hobbling, maybe).  You can tell who they are because they are always Talking About CrossFit.

If there is a stereotypical CrossFitter, I am NOT that.  I am heavier, older, basically an uncoordinated mess on most days. I do talk about CrossFit a lot, but that’s where the resemblance to that image stops.

I have a long road. Everyone starts somewhere, but many of the people at my box have some sort of sport or physical activity in their background. Swimming, gymnastics, dance, and so on. Not me. So I’m not getting back on the horse or the bike or whatever, but riding it for the first time. I’ve described CrossFit as finally getting to know my body after living in it for 45 years.

Between my lack of athletic background and various injuries, my workouts look different than most of the people I am in class with. I have been doing CrossFit regularly for 15 months and still do many / most workouts with some kind of scale and / or adaptation.  Thankfully we have great coaches who know me and help me continue to improve.

Here are some recent milestones that might be unimpressive for some, but were big deals for me.

A couple of weeks ago we had 1000 jump ropes in a single WOD. Five rounds, 200 in each round. Jump ropes are a struggle for me, both in coordination and breath control.  Lifting 200+ pounds off the ground that many times is a lot of physical and mental lifting. I was already preparing myself for failure, asking my coach what to do if I just couldn’t get the rope to cooperate. I had to complete it in in sets of 30 or 40, sometimes even 20.  But, I made it through it. I’ve never done that many in a single workout before! Celebration!

The second big milestone was burpee jumpovers.  Sometimes the workout calls for jumping over a barbell (with plates) or a box.  I always either step over the box or jump over a bar on the flat ground.  But, this time the WOD had dumbbell jump overs.  I was working out by myself and just went over to the little side area of the gym and gave it a try.  Ok, so it’s only like 6 inches off the ground, but it was still another mental and physical challenge.  So tiring! But I did about 50 of them (without falling) which felt like an amazing accomplishment.  (See pic below. Too tired to smile.)

My steps forward may be smaller than most.  There are movements that may take me many years to attempt, much less achieve.  But, I keep showing up and trying to get better each day.  It has given me new confidence. I’m not even afraid of sled pulls anymore! Or embarrassed by doing them in front of people in the parking lot!

I don’t think there’s such a thing as a stereotypical CrossFitter. It can work for anyone, and it’s big for someone like me to say that.  As time goes on, I’ve come to see myself as an athlete after all.

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featured, fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 9: Competition Time

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, I journal about events, adventures and my fit life chronicles. Boring to some yet entertaining to others.

For those of you who find my entries entertaining, you should note I am super competitive. I am competitive in sports, in business, and just about everything in life. It’s okay for others to win, but I compete to win whatever I set out to do for me. I may play the same game, compete in the same workout, or bid the same job, but I compete for me and that is a differentiator.

My goals may be different than yours. You may win the tennis match but my goal might have been to improve my serve or win a volley. I am still competing and I am still a winner but at my own inner game. I will never tell my goals to most as they are what I battle for internally. The internal game fuels my soul, but others don’t partake in that.

This week I am competing in a partner CrossFit event. In the spotlight of some sort. Seeking attention as some would say. Mid-life crisis to others and those who can’t endure will cast hate. I don’t expect to win my division but I expect to compete and put up my best performance in the assigned movements while being a good partner for my teammate. I will cheer her on when she needs it and I will strategize with her on movements, transitions, and working towards our strengths. I will wipe sweat, fuel my body, and push my limits mentally and physically for the duration of the event.

I will feel the rush of adrenaline. I will smile from ear to ear. I will show others that I can conquer what I set my mind to. I will celebrate my friendship with a friend I met at our box 2 years ago. A friend who is competing with me for the third time. She thinks we are craZy but she will sign up for another soon. I just know it!

And what brings her back for more? It has to be the team name. We are Sparkle and Snatch, the dynamic duo for this event. Last competition, Team Hot Mess. The 40-something chicks with sass and smarts. Full-time day jobs but a hunger to live life full of fitness and fun.

The big obstacle this week for me is physical health. Can I compete? Can I push through mentally and physically? Why the change in tone in my writing? I suffered a random injury this week. A calf pull – not during my tennis match, but after. I celebrated too early or had too much fun and *boom* I pulled my muscle skipping off the court. Who does that? This girl. It was a significant pull. One that left me limping to my car and tapped out for the rest of the tennis tournament.

This injury means rest, ice, recovery, some muscle scraping, taping, and some patience to see if I can bounce back to perform the required movements in the competition. If you think about it, your calf is vital to functions such as walking, running, jumping and so on. And of course the competition calls for those type of movements. #realworldproblems

What a crappy Monday! My coach took away more carbs…sigh. And of course she keeps that protein number up there in the sky where I have difficulty reaching it.

New week new digits:

115 carbs
57 fat
130 protein

Ah, trying new things to get to that dreaded protein number. Bacon? Yes, more bacon please. A side of protein chips compliments of Quest. At least they crunch like a regular chip.

While I focus on stepping up my protein game this week I am also focusing on not being in my feelings about my injury. A minor setback, yet a humbling experience. I’m still working out, just scaling some movements. I particularly made friends with the Ski Erg this week. It allowed me to work my upper body without engaging my calf. And I actually liked it. One of my gym buddies pushed me to do some GHDs and of course there was no excuse not to put in core work.

Nutrition this week is preparing my body for the competition that I am hopeful to attend. That’s all folks. Next update is next week. Don’t eat too many bon bons waiting for the next post.

#Sparkle-N-Snatch October 2018. Praying for the ability to compete. This is my goal at this point: to compete. That is my inner challenge that I don’t normally share. Will I overcome my obstacles?

Next competition is set for December 2018. Squad competition: Team is named All Jacked Up. Can’t wait to share that jacked up story with you and hopefully I won’t be injured. #athleteprobs

fitness and nutrition

Chick 2 and the Birthday Burpees

This time last year, I was still pretty new to CrossFit.  So when I stumbled into my box on my birthday for a workout, someone told me it was time to do my birthday burpees.

Now that I think back, there was some snickering around the box that morning about birthday burpees.  But, I am pretty gullible, and I was anxious to be part of the community.  I also don’t like to seem like I am slacking or afraid of hard work.  So, I went over into the beginner’s corner (what I call the side area of the gym where I often retreat when I am doing particularly sloppy / awkward movements), and started at it.  I did them a few at a time, very slowly, spread throughout the workout, probably cursing each one, but I did my 44 burpees.  Maybe halfway through the 44 someone saw what I was doing and told me that it was all a joke.  But, I did them anyway.  Why stop part way through?

Here it is, my birthday week again.  It’s been over a year at CrossFit Pure.  My birthday fell on a Sunday this year so I didn’t have anyone to tell me to do burpees.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am working on health and weight loss.  I also have some challenging injuries that limit my ability to do some of the most dominant CrossFit movements (squats, deadlifts, etc.)  To be sure I am still getting a solid workout, I often add things on my own in addition to scaling and adapting movements.  At times, I challenge myself to do certain moves each day during a week as extras, like 50 sit ups, 50 slam balls, and so on.

During my Monday workout this week, I decided to do some extra burpees. Burpees kick up my heart rate better than nearly any other movement.  Monday was a shorter workout so I was able to do 50 spread throughout my gym time, mostly before and after. I thought I would do 50 each workout day this week. On the way home, I thought to myself that, given it’s my birthday week, maybe I should go a little bigger.

How could I challenge myself?  What could my birthday burpees be this time around?

So, I decided to go a lot bigger, shooting for a goal of 10 times my age in burpees.  So, 450 total for the week.

As I sit here on my birthday, I am happy to say I reached that goal, and even BEFORE my actual birthday.  I learned something each day, too.  Here’s a snippet:

Monday: The first 50 burpees, completed before I set the actual goal.

Lesson: Sometimes you start something without a goal in mind, then the opportunity to create a measurable goal comes to you.  Embrace it, and challenge yourself beyond what you think you can reasonably do.

Tuesday: Another short workout, so managed to add in 100 burpees on this day. I set that 100 burpee goal when I walked in the door that afternoon, given that the workout was brief.  Plus, I decided that if burpees were part of the regular workout, they did not count toward my personal goal, so I had to push myself on the days when they weren’t programmed. (We don’t see the next day’s workout until the night before.) (Total: 150)

Lesson 1: Set intermediate goals that help you along the path.  When you have the chance, take a bigger bite out of the goal than you normally would if you were doing the same amount each day.  You never know what life will throw at you.

Lesson 2: Making up my mind before I started also helped me push through the after workout burpees.  The workout we did pushed my upper body to exhaustion.  So, when I dropped to the ground after it to finish my birthday burpees, I laughed out loud since I couldn’t push my body back up.  But, I had a goal to achieve, so I shook them out, took a few minutes to rest, then got going again.

Wednesday: Did 50 burpees during a crammed schedule kind of workout, then 25 at home. (Total: 225, halfway there!)

Lesson: My schedule was off this day.  Arrived at the gym late, couldn’t do the programmed workout due to injuries so had to pull one up from previous weeks, had a doctor’s appointment just after gym, and so on.  We all have these days where it is hard to fit things in, but we have to do it anyway.

So, I did 10 burpees in the driveway at 6:00 am while I was waiting for my daughter to get in the car. (This stunk on concrete but I was SO much more awake on my drive!) I was at the gym for less than an hour total but still got 40 burpees in.  Then, I did 25 more at home that night.  Those were also awful since I wasn’t in my gym clothes and trying to do them on carpet or tile is just different.  But, I did them. Striving toward goals means doing things that aren’t ideal or just plain stink sometimes.

Thursday: Another 100 burpee day. Did all 100 before the workout. (Total: 325)

Lesson: Most of the week, I did my burpees in sets of 5, EMOM style.  (Every Minute on the Minute, do 5 burpees.)  I didn’t wear out too much this way. I just chipped away at it. Take bite sized pieces from your goal.  This day I did them for 20 straight minutes, since my schedule was off again.  (I don’t usually have this much time before a workout).  One of our CrossFit coaches saw what I was up to and said, “look at her, over there doing burpees like it’s her job.  Like it’s her JOB!”  And this week, it really was my job.  It was my commitment to myself.  It’s also so helpful to have people notice along the way and encourage you!

Friday: 75 burpees. These were the hardest of the week. (Total: 400)

Lesson:  What I dreaded all week happened Friday.  There were burpees in the workout.  So on top of the 36 in the workout, I did the additional 75 that I needed to do for my birthday goal.  I was so tired after a long week, hadn’t eaten as much as I usually do so I felt sluggish, had a busy day at work, and so on.  It was a true mental challenge to get through these, especially since I did all 50 after the workout.  Again, sets of 5 EMOM style.  I nearly cried about 4 times but I just talked myself through it.  It was a slog and a true mental test. I just kept focusing on the next five.  Thankfully, the end was in sight at this point.

Saturday: 50 burpees.  Mostly all after a challenging workout. (Total: 450!)

Lesson: For these, some of our awesome gym ladies jumped in and did them with me.  We all challenge each other at times, so this was a great lift (and an amazing support since burpees aren’t much fun for anyone!)  This also made me push harder, since these ladies are all faster at burpees than I am and were doing them until I was done.  So, my EMOM style meant everyone else was doing more! more! more! I had to do the last 20 without a break so everyone could stop!  This is one small example of how our community makes you push yourself out of solidarity and encouragement.

I was so happy to get over the finish line.  I screamed in relief and joy. I am so thankful for what this body and mind can do.  There were several times this week when, through the pain and “I don’t wannas,” I reminded myself to be grateful for the strength to do this.

Later that day, it was fun to clean up, dress up, and have a tea party, again with some of my amazing friends from my box. Then, family celebrations as well.

The big takeaway:

It was a week of CELEBRATING WHAT MY BODY CAN ACCOMPLISH at age 45.  Getting older doesn’t have to mean getting slower or weaker.  I can set goals, push through, and have people cheering for me and pushing me along the way.  It is a metaphor for life, goal setting, achieving, and setting new ones (which is what I am doing today!)

Maybe next year I’ll do burpees all month.  Maybe by then I’ll be doing my burpees completely correctly. Or maybe it will be something else that seems like the right mountain to climb. Who knows.  I’ll see where I am and set a new challenge.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a tip of my party hat to Chick 1.  If you’ve been reading her blog posts, you know that she is a goal setter and a goal getter.  I didn’t really understand much about making progress toward goals until I watched her in action.  She is a marvel in what she chooses to strive for, how she accomplishes it, and the way she holds herself accountable. I’m still practicing this whole goal thing, but her showing and sharing that process has been a gift to me that will keep unfolding for years to come.

May 45 bring all the growth that 44 did, and more!