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.

perspective

Are you Broken?

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On any given day we are all a little broken. It could be a simple hangnail type of broken, a big breakup type of broken or anything in between.

Some days we break a little, like a small crack in your cell phone. Some days we seem to be broken in a million and one pieces like the shattering of a mirror. Fortunately for us, there are bandaids for little boo boos, bandages and Advil for bigger cuts and bruises and then there is always the gym, counselors and good friends to help you when the heavy kind of broken happens. Loss of a loved one, divorce, mental breakdown, financial losses can all leave one broken which is just part of life but we all need to find coping mechanisms to deal with brokenness.

Remember, everyone can break. It’s not a sign of weakness. One can break at 2 years old resulting in a tantrum. One can break in their teens when social struggles hit hard. One can break as an adult for many reasons and the elderly can even break. Caring for an aging family member takes a big toll on people but many don’t talk openly about it. Being broken offers an opportunity to realize change is needed.

I’m sure we all wish we could sprinkle pixie dust on our brokenness and it all just goes away.  In reality, it’s not that simple. It takes strength, wisdom, encouragement, time and perseverance to realign with what’s important and needed to move ahead when brokenness hits us.

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(photo by @ahborson)

One may find hope with Jesus and the church. Another may exit a bad relationship and find peace in forging ahead alone. Another may readjust financially to a setback with counseling or help from a friend. In each scenario options are visible. Taking a step may be hard but if a step is never taken one will never move forward and may be burdened with sadness and sorrow from the brokenness.

I describe brokenness to my kids as we all have an emptiness inside of us.  And some of that comes from the broken places that we all seem to collect throughout life…  Seeing that things aren’t perfect. Accidents happen with awful consequences.  Humans are messy and flawed. People let us down or fail us. We lose someone we care about, for whatever reason. Each of these leaves us cracked, spilling, a little emptier.

It’s up to each of us what we fill those broken spots with.  Will it be productive or destructive? Some will fill that emptiness with substances, addiction.  Some will fill it with meditation, yoga, religion. Some will fill it with giving.  Some with an empty kind of busy-ness. Some with hopelessness or detachment. Some may write their way through grief to a deeper understanding of themselves. Some will fill their lives with new or deeper relationships, reflection, and a true attempt to find joy in the brokenness.  We each choose how we fill those cracks, whether we choose carefully or consciously or now.  We choose how we mend ourselves and even others.

I read about the Japanese art of Kintsugi. It’s the centuries-old practice of repairing broken ceramic pieces with gold…in this tradition, the cracked and repaired spots are not blemishes, but make the piece more beautiful and unique.  It’s a powerful metaphor for our broken human life. Our cracks don’t mean we are useless. Instead, they are part of what make us precious and ultimately more valuable.

I am broken. I have repaired cracks in my life journey and I have many stage one cracks in my life now. I am content with my brokenness. Life is not perfect and neither am I. I grow through my life lessons. I wander. I encourage. I challenge. I test fate and when I do I risk it all. The risk could be emotional. The risk could be financial. The risk could be unknown.

If I lived in a bubble could I still break? Yes, of course. I can however control my attitude when I start each day. I can manage my emotions when times are tough and I can fuel my body with health and fitness regimens that help me stay the course. It’s all in the mindset.

It may be hard to share, but I find that when I am brave enough to share my broken, I often also get the chance to be closer to people.  So often, others are suffering in ways we don’t know or can’t see, even refuse to see.  If we take a risk, make ourselves vulnerable, show our tender spots to a trusted friend, we will often learn we are much less alone in our broken. Many are fighting battles we can’t imagine, and often they feel they are fighting them alone. The cracks are opportunities to shine a light on others and share a light in what can be a very dark time. Be the light and share your broken.  Be the gold that fills another and reflects their unique beauty.

Be the gold that fills the cracks. Your gold may melt different than mine but it doesn’t decline in value. Gold is precious just like you and me.

If you thought this post was meaningful, please share it. Share the words that speak to you. I know there are some keys phrases in this post that make me smile and work towards being a better person. I am always filling my cracks with gold and trying to help others find their gold to fill their cracks as well.

 

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(photo by @svklimkin)
fitness and nutrition

3 am Nachos

I sure do love nachos. Well they are not my favorite food but if I have a craving for nachos I definitely want to devour them.

I prefer nachos piled high. Lots of gooey cheese. Some onions. Maybe some peppers. For meat I favor fajita chicken but I wouldn’t say no to beef as in taco meat or some nice fresh shrimp. Diced tomatoes sprinkled on top. A sprinkle of shredded lettuce. Topped with avocado for a bonus. Black beans are a bonus too. I can tolerate a small amount of jalapeños but I would probably just go without. I’m sure I’m missing some topping but if I write any more of a description here it might just make me crazy.

I think I just described a mountain high pile of my dream nachos that should have my name on it. You see I was going to eat those nachos as a celebratory meal after my 5 kickass weeks in the CrossFit OPEN.

As fate would have it, the Mexican restaurant I went to was full. No bueno for me. No nachos. No oooey gooey cheese. Talk about a major let down. I moved on for sure, I lived another day or so.

Then Monday hit and I realized I’m back on my macro counting food plan. The macros that are limited to keep me on track with my health and fitness goals. So you wonder what that has to do with nachos, right? EVERYTHING!

Nachos are not your friend. Chips are not your friend. Beans are full of carbs. Cheese is okay but the oooey, goooey kind and quantity I refer to is just off limits. Nachos do not fit in my macros and I can’t have a cheat day on the first day of macro counting. Grrrrrr……

3am hits and I awake from a damn dream. A nacho dream. That’s it folks a dream about nachos and how I missed my chance at nachos last Friday. Then the dream became a nightmare when I realized I have some plans coming up that entail visits to my local Mexican eateries. Ugh, this is a real world issue.

Does anyone else have a nacho issue? I guess I am going to have to find a healthier version of nachos to fuel my desires for now and exercise my restraint and discipline. I will be digging deep to my core on this one.

Can you believe I woke at 3am because of nachos and actually wrote a blog about it? I sure did because it helped me defer and deflect my desire to eat those nachos. It may be a temporary win but it’s a win nonetheless.

Nachos are not a friend of this Chick. And I’m pretty sure my nachos are my counterpart’s tacos. Hehehehe, maybe she will write about her taco dreams one day. And for this girl, it will be a protein shake for breakfast possibly. No pancakes. No nachos. No surprise here.

I hope that I made you hungry for some yummy Mexican food. Remember there are some options that can be macro friendly when you eat out at Mexican but tacos, nachos, chips and margaritas are probably not on the list. And of course all of those are on my list of faves.

I am going to go back to bed now and hope for a dream of rainbows and unicorns or anything non-food related so I don’t wake up again hangry. Or I can celebrate my shoe addiction and the fact that I’ll be lacing up my brand new shiny pink, white and black Nike Metcon 4xds in a just a few short hours. Defer, defer, deflect those nachos. Moving on to my shoe addiction which I will have to save for another post.

I bet you never thought or expected my post-OPEN post to be about nachos. Since I am not your typical chick, nachos it is. My content is real. My content relates to my experiences, my relationships, my opinions, my adventures and of course my challenges and celebrations.

Enjoy my ride. Some days will be full of sunshine while others may be darker in nature. That’s why it’s called life. And what is life without temptation. Today’s temptation came in the form of nachos. I overcame this temptation and a few other speed bumps in the past 24 hours. 

Nighty, night or rise and grind peeps. Its technically Taco Tuesday and I may have just inadvertently annoyed my writing partner with this food post or maybe even you. Be sure to tag a friend today in honor of Temptation Tuesday. Instead of spreading joy today, I’m spreading nacho/taco dreams!

What could be a better way to start your Tuesday?

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!

awareness

Hope Over Heartache

Hope and heartache go together like ketchup and mustard, tacos and tequila, or chocolate and peanut butter.

Hope and heartache follow one through most, if not all stages of life. For me in the past year, I have seen far more heartaches than I should have but somehow found hope in the midst of the chaos.

One afternoon, after having an off morning, I grabbed some coffee with a friend. Not a planned event, just an opportunity that came about. A little coffee, some giggles and then a blog post. That’s right a blog post was like a shot of caramel in my coffee.

Sometimes I get the itch to write or type at inopportune times, but I flex to get it done. My inspiration is normally whimsical to an extent but my content is normally heartfelt and full of hope at the root or the end of the story.  A signature of sorts for this Chick. And with that I decided to blog about hope and heartache. Mainly because some like to read the good stuff. The juicy gossip. The tall tales or even the sweat stories I write.

Today’s post is a little different. It’s somewhat about life’s turbulent times. Life lessons. Speed bumps. Hurdles. We all have different versions of life’s blah moments.

It’s a choice for me. I choose to find hope instead of dwelling on the heartache of negative situations. It works for me. I like to reframe and bend and flex with life’s ups and downs.

The past few months, my life has definitely had some curve balls and some struggles. Through the days I followed my heart, I settled my mind, and I focused on the hope of a new day or a new beginning.

A restart button of sorts. Only time could allow this to happen and no specified time was known. For me that is like tackling the impossible. Not knowing the end game. Not knowing what’s next. Not knowing how long or how much.

Another person close to me was in the same situation. Not knowing what’s next. We can call them growing pains. Not knowing how to hit the restart button. They needed time to sort through the weeds to find the wisdom. The path. The path less traveled because it’s not an easy path.

As the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, hope faded. Hope didn’t disappear, it faded. It took strength to endure the unknown in one area but that same fading allowed for sunshine to illuminate a path not visible to others. You see, sometimes giving up control to gain control is what is most needed in challenging life situations.

We can’t control or anticipate everything but we can control our emotions. How we react to uncomfortable situations, challenging people, and negativity. We choose each day to be happy and see hope or dwell on heartache and anger. What do you choose daily?

Trust me, some days are harder than others. Some days I need a friend to take my volume down a notch and other days I need to practice my patience muscles. Part of my mind balance is to stay fit. Keeping my body and mind stimulated is a must in my weekly routine.

With my mind balance, I choose daily to be around people and environments that  not only challenge me but inspire me. I reduce the negatives and walk away from individuals who wear anger and heartache on their chest daily.  I seek out those who need a pick-me-up. I seek the isolated individual who may have faded hope. I aim to help them see hope through their eyes.

As I write this post today it is my hope that somebody reading this can feel hopeful in whatever circumstance may be challenging them at the moment. Everyone has a battle of some sort in front of them. Most won’t see it daily.

Until next time, choose happy. Offer hope. Make a difference.

hustle

Round 2 it is…

 

 

Well, I made it 1/2 way through the OPEN! I am still breathing, but I definitely feel some aches this week!

Week three I got to hit the RX button again. How exciting that is for me. A step up of sorts or maybe more like 50 box step-ups weighted with 35 pounds after a grueling 200 feet of single arm weighted overhead lunges. Can you feel the burn in your buttocks as you read this? Could you imagine dropping a 35-pound dumbbell on your head at 6:30am? I almost did that when my weaker left arm said one more rep was one too many!

It was a cold Friday morning when I made my first attempt at the 19.3 workout. I had a goal to make it to the third movement noted as the wall for strict handstand push-ups. I fell 3 reps short and didn’t make the wall. Do I do it again?

Of course! Round 2 it is for this girl. The OPEN is about pushing yourself. Testing your limits. If I didn’t make a second attempt I would just be settling. It may only be 3 extra reps but that’s 3 extra moves to my finish line. My finish line matters to me. Now there is a bit of an irony with the wall. I have never completed a strict handstand push-up therefore I may never get one rep on I the wall but I have to try.

I want to make it to the wall for handstand push-ups. I don’t want to hit a virtual wall in my mind. The only way to avoid the virtual wall is to saddle up and get after round 2.

Fast forward to Sunday. The box vibe is different. My muscles are still achy to an extent. My mind is pre-occupied with parenting things but sometimes a hard workout is just the thing for me to balance my life’s craziness. Off I go….

My legs were tight as I stretched for sure. I was super anxious. I had to run to the girls room like three times before I started. Maybe my weight belt was squeezing the nerves out of me!

The countdown begins and the pain starts with the first lift up. My core was a lot more wobbly on my lunges and I had to compensate with my dominant arm for more lunges fatiguing me differently than round one. I made it to the box. And boy did those step-ups suck on round 2. 10-20-25….1/2 way there says Damian. Don’t put that weight down. Keep stepping. Breathe. Push. Am I there yet? I said to myself. Nope!

Those steps seemed like they would never end. I hear Tasha say “10 more Tink Tink” and I literally forced my way through those last few. 9 minutes 18 seconds. On to the wall! I made it to the wall.

I can’t breathe, let alone kick up to a handstand. Okay I get up. And bend my arms to decline but not far enough. I’m gassed. One more attempt. I didn’t get one handstand push-up but I gave a valiant effort. On a positive note, at least I didn’t land on my head.

The picture below shows me hovering at the wall post wod. 19.3 didn’t kill me but my second attempt let me get to the wall. Crossfit definitely feeds my appetite to become stronger physically and mentally.

Until next post people, stay happy and healthy.

fitness and nutrition, hustle

19:51

It’s not military time, it’s the finish time for my completed 19.2 CrossFit OPEN scaled workout.

I finished it.

It may seem simple but I battled to finish. I may have secretly wanted to finish but didn’t say it out loud. I was just hopeful to make it to the last of five rounds and do one rep. Well I ended up doing 82 reps in that round. Talk about exceeding your own expectations! A timed workout that expands as you level up. 4 minutes levels up to 8 minutes then 12 minutes and 16 minutes when you are firing on all cylinders. Then that’s when the SHIT gets real. From minutes 16-20 you have to be all in to finish. I never reached the end before in one of these challenge workouts but today I did. #goalgetter

I had an amazing judge/motivator, Damion from my box. He helped me chip away with manageable rep schemes and then pushed me when I didn’t think I could push anymore. My success did not come alone. I had a guide/lucky charm and his name was Damion.

I didn’t look pretty doing it either. Sweat was dripping. Facial expressions were horrific. There may have been some screams of agony. And I’m pretty sure everyone behind me saw straight through my pants in the rear end when I squatted low. No ripped pants but pretty sure I mooned or shared a little more than my panty lines with people unintentionally.

All that pacing mentioned above helped in the final stretch. I had a few minutes banked for my last squat cleans and I needed every second. My former one rep max was 125 pounds on a squat clean yet today I had to finish 7 of them at 135 while fatigued.

Seemed impossible but when you look up and hear your fellow box mates cheering you on you find a way to push through. 9 seconds left and I did it. I hit one of my most proudest gym moments.

Tired? Yes. Feeling accomplished? Yes. In shock? Yes. Many emotions but thankful for all the ups, downs and in-betweens the past few years as I have been training.

I may not be at the top of the OPEN leaderboard but I am on top of my personal leaderboard. I strive for improvement each day and each week. Today is a celebration of the time investment I have made in myself.

I am a thick girl but a strong girl. My mind is strong, my muscles are visible and my drive is uncompromised. I hope everyone can push themselves at their own level to feel the sense of accomplishment I did today. It’s hard to put into words. It’s a rush.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better I received texts and personal comments and high fives at the end and throughout the day. The feelings of accomplishment flowed continually that day. People noticing your efforts and expressing their praise is a big fat cherry on top for me. I am so thankful for my box and box mates.

This year I also attended Friday Night Lights at my box and what a rush that was. I got to cheer on many athletes as they endured their OPEN WODs and then there was a grand finale. I got to watch the amazing Alex Johnson absolutely smash his OPEN 19.2 Rx workout. It was amazing to watch his methods, his approach and his drive to finish. This guy is one to watch and I am lucky to share the same box as him to train.

Cheers to all who did 19.2 and all those who are stepping off the couch for the first time. It’s your race your way. Just do it.

I’ll be back with more OPEN updates next week as 19.3 is right around the corner.