fitness and nutrition

A few recent (small) victories for Chick 2

As I’ve probably mentioned in one way or another, my gym progress may look different than many CrossFit athletes.  I started CrossFit about 16 months ago as an uncoordinated, imbalanced stranger to my body.  I am not far from that start in some ways, but I continue to push forward.  Here are a few little proud moments from the past few weeks.

I jumped up on three 45-pound plates. This is maybe 8 inches off the ground. Previously, I had only jumped about 5 inches so this feels like a big deal.  My Achilles has given me problems on and off which has derailed jumping for a while but I am back to working on it.  Losing weight is also a huge help in getting higher off the ground. Soon I’ll be jumping on a 12-inch box.

This week, I did a kipping swinging knee raise as a start at transitioning from hanging knee raises to toes to bar. Awkward and tests my grip, but a good challenge.

I used thirty pound dumbbells in to do alternating dumbbell snatches in a WOD.  My previous gym didn’t have all the increments so I now feel like I might get to the Rx 35#s sometime!

Not every attempt is successful, of course.

I attempted a double under and have the slap mark on my ankle to show for it.  Not pretty, but failure is a start.

Today I did backwards lunges with dumbbells off a 6-inch platform.  This was a total fail since lunges are a challenging movement for me on flat ground with no weights.  I eventually did backward lunges with dumbbells on flat ground in the daily WOD.

I may not be doing movements as prescribed.  But, I’m still inching along toward them.  My path is long, but I am moving in a good direction.

New coaches have helped me see where I have become complacent in my progress.  They are encouraging me to push forward and, because I’m accepting new challenges, I am not pushing back.  Instead, I am giving it a shot and going after it.

fitness and nutrition

Water Weight?

I started a little competition at my box in the month of December. Eating clean for 25 of the 31 days of the month.

Pretty easy for me since I already count macros but this challenge has some interesting accountability points that I thought would give me another layer of accountability this month. Here I am with the challenge to combat This holiday month that is full of many temptations. #Decembergoals

Enter water: drink a full glass with every meal on day one!
Drink 6 glasses of water today. Ha, this was easy as it was the same day as my competition.
Drink 8 glasses of water.
Drink 1 glass of water for every alcoholic drink…on New Year’s Eve #evil

But I decided to set out a glass each day and fill it up at meals and make it a priority to drink my water. I then made it a point to bring water to the gym which I normally don’t do but I can now chug said water after the workout. Then I changed out my Sparkling Ice drinks for regular water. This is major for me!

Before starting the macro movement I struggled with water. Ice drinks got me through the first six months, no joke. And right about now I was getting sick of the Ice drinks or favorite flavors so now I am making the move to just plain old water. This is a miracle in my mind of some sort, but a lesson learned. You can overcome anything you set your mind to. Seriously, start small and test the theory. You can and you should!

And now that I am embracing water I have to deal with water at restaurants. I have a hard time drinking nasty tap water and sometimes that’s what you get. Sigh! Anyone have any suggestions? Send me a message or post. I’d love to hear about some trick to get over this small hurdle.

Scale report: I think the first week the water intake increased my scale but it could just be a coincidence. However I did feel like I went to the bathroom every minute on the minute. #realworldissues

Before I wrap up this blog I wanted to share a mid-week update. I have been in a YASSO mood. As in YASSO desserts. They have an amazing array of flavors but then they taunt us with their holiday treats just like Starbucks does! This time I fancied the sugar cookie flavor and it didn’t disappoint. If you are looking for a little pick me up snack, give the YASSO bars a try.

I can. I will. I am. Those are my action lines for 2019. No more I can’t. I won’t. I shouldn’t. Out with the negative in with the positive. All this stems from a silly water challenge. Funny how life flows. Glad to share my life views with you all over the 🌍.

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

fitness and nutrition

Behavior

Oddly enough, I said at the end of my 12 weeks of posting on fitness and nutrition that I would take a break from posting weekly. Shocker, here I am again!

It almost seemed like I needed to take a break mentally but then I realized I was in a routine. I modified my behavior to include writing/blogging into my week for 12 weeks. What an irony? But then again it’s no different than establishing a fitness or nutrition routine.

You have to commit to your goals, set a plan of action and then follow through. When you do all that you are essentially creating a routine, a habit, and ultimately your behavior is modified.

So here I am blogging again and it’s just Monday. The start of the week. I have a hefty to-do list today but thankfully I started my day at 6:30am surrounded by people who make me feel strong and confident. I start most days this way at the gym, my box or home away from home.

I also get to exchange communications with my nutrition coach on Mondays which is always amazing in itself. It’s a positive and reflective interaction that provides an outside look at my eating habits from the previous week. It lets me realign and adjust where needed for the upcoming week. The lessons I learn here can be applied to other areas of my life making this coaching experience extremely valuable. For this encouragement I will give a shout out to my coach, the wonderful Jodi Bainbridge of Stronger U. #sherocks

If you think about what I wrote above about feeling strong at the gym, I mirror that by being strong in nutrition and it’s almost comical that the company I chose to work with on nutrition is called Stronger U. Odd but interesting little tidbit. If you have been looking for change I would encourage anyone to check out this program. It is pretty unique and I don’t get paid for any endorsements, This is honest. Stronger U is life changing for many and I don’t have to inflate that, I can see it through testimonials. #strongeru

What I think I rediscovered over the Thanksgiving break is that progress isn’t immediate. It happens over time. It’s a moving target. Whether you are focusing on weight changes, nutrition changes, or business changes they happen over time.

When you get a new job you are not the best employee on day one you have potential, and if you work hard and master your role you become an asset to your organization. If you start your own business venture you don’t become an overnight hit, it takes time. If you go to school to get a degree, you graduate in time. Why because it’s a process and not everyone have the same timeline or the same path. That is what makes us all special.

Today’s post is for those who watch the clock or desire instant gratification in every aspect of life. Take a breath, enjoy the ride to whatever destination you are heading to. You may meet cool people, learn new things, and grow as a person along the way. Trust the process. Enjoy the journey. The journey is unique to you and it’s one that others can’t take away from you.

Another fun fact about me: I used a countdown clock to reach a specific goal recently. It was a countdown clock that was started over 1.5 years ago. This clock told me if I hustled and worked hard and chipped away for the duration I would accomplish big things. I set benchmarks along the way to give me celebration points. Mini-milestones that I shook my head at each time saying “I did it, I really did.” This clock was a gift from a dear friend but provided lots of encouragement as I plugged away at my goal(s). The hashtag #rearview symbolized letting go of the old and embracing the new. As I near the end of the countdown I figured I would share this tool with you in case it influences others to try this method.

As for me, once it runs out I will reset the clock. Most likely for three years this time while I catalog and chart a new path for myself. I will just need a new hashtag for the new duration. #namemyhashtagpeople Drop me a note and you can be part of my next story!

As I recap the rear view (not my butt, people) of my fitness journey, I am approaching the three-year mark of committing to a regular fitness regimen. I didn’t start at CrossFit on day one but I found a passion in CrossFit about 8 months into my journey when I embraced change. Along the way I hit milestones and created new goals to attain. My body is being sculpted over time as is my mind and my can do attitude. I’m embracing new tools along the way that are new parts of my personal maintenance plan. Remember the past or rear view doesn’t dictate your journey or your happiness, rather it’s part of your story. The memories, the lessons learned, the pictures taken, the people you meet along the way all play an pivotal role in your journey. Embrace YOUR path.

Until next time. And when will next time be? I am not sure as I am not watching the clock right now. I’m looking ahead to see what is on the horizon for me as 2019 approaches…

fitness and nutrition, perspective

Going the Extra Mile

It’s a phrase we hear often…someone who “goes the extra mile.”  But what does it really mean?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase for the past few days.  I went to the gym on the day after Thanksgiving.  There wasn’t a workout at the times I could make it.  So, I took advantage of the open gym and walked in between classes. My goal was 10,000 meters.  My legs were screaming sore after a long Thanksgiving Day workout so I started by hopping on the bike erg and did a pretty quick 5,000 meters.

Then, moved over to the rower for a somewhat slower 3,000 meters.

Finally, I faced down the dreaded ski erg and did 2,000 meters, split in half.  (Ski is much more challenging for me!) I had stretched in between, so I was feeling pretty good and sweaty by this point.  I had a few minutes left before I had reached my hour-at-the-gym benchmark, but I had already met my 10,000 meter goal.  What to do?

Enter the Assault bike.

And on that, I just decided to do skip meters and do a mile. And as I rode, I got to thinking about the extra mile…which is what brings me to this post.

To go the extra mile is to go beyond what is required.  What is expected.  The minimum.  As my kids say (or used to say, since once I understand this kind of thing it is definitely past its moment) you can be basic or you can be extra…regular or over the top, I guess.

There are areas of life where I want to work harder to go the extra mile.  Friendship. Family. Fitness / Nutrition.  Those are probably the big three for me right now. Ones I want to work on.

How can I go the extra mile?

-Send a note or out-of-the-blue text to a friend who may need a pick-me-up (and couldn’t we all?)

-Remember to get all the things my family needs as I shop / do errands, etc.

-Check in with family and friends more often

-Make time for meaningful conversations and traditions as the holidays arrive

-Commit to both staying consistent and challenging myself as I workout

-Get serious about nutrition; buckle down (instead of backing down) in the face of challenges

-Give in unexpected ways: time, care, gifts, resources

I am not going to lie.  There are many areas of life where I am struggling to meet basic expectations.  But, at the same time, I feel a deep level of fulfillment when I exceed what I and others expect of me.  Over the next day or two I’ll be planning and making moves to get these things in motion.  Even just this list with a daily checkoff can be a step toward accountability and progress.

So, readers, how are YOU going to go the extra mile in the next month or two? How can you extend kindness, comfort, or even badassness to make your life and the lives of those around you a little more over-the-top-amazing? Tell us in the comments.

Here’s a glimpse of the sunrise that surprised me mid workout that morning, a brief break in a week of dreary rain. Be the unexpected, the surprising light for others and yourself.

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

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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