fitness and nutrition, perspective

Open to Growth

Last week I wrote about making a second attempt at 21.1 in the CrossFit Open. I was tired Monday morning but I told somebody special I would do the workout again with them. We both improved but many lessons were learned.

One lesson was I did better. I improved. I put in the work. I took my time where I needed to. It wasn’t about being the first to finish. It was about endurance for me. The climb on that wall. Over and over. It was a mental and physical challenge.

I needed to do this for me because in other compartments of life there are struggles. Those who take my mental energy without looking beyond themselves. It’s weird how my CrossFit workouts that hit that breaking point lead me to revelations outside in other aspects of life. When you dig deep, you are in a special kind of mindset.

Keeping with this story, my workout bud was struggling with a movement. She opted to halt her own progress by throwing in the towel a little early. She had enough. She wasn’t feeling like she put forth her best effort. She improved. She did amazing given her experience yet the improvement wasn’t enough for her in the moment. Sometimes we are harder on ourselves than we need to be. One can also easily display their frustrations outwardly on others around them which happened with this person. The dirty looks. The sour attitude. The pouty face. The isolation. It was all there. Front and center.

Taking this story to the outside world. Today it’s a door slam. Tomorrow it’s a hole in a wall. The next day it’s hurtful words. It’s always best to learn how to keep emotions in check. One can learn this at any age. The sooner you master your mindset and emotions the better.

Patience. Resilience. Balance. Strength. These words all come to mind when I want to shake someone and say yes you did great. Maybe not your personal best or what you were going for but it’s more than many. Nobody ever gets better if they don’t try. She tried which was a step toward growth. She didn’t see it herself. In moments like this other must help the person see their value when they can’t see it themselves.

We should never compare ourselves to others. We all have our own journey. Take pride in your progress and efforts. They will never be the same as the person to you.

It’s open season. Lots of raw emotions flair up day to day. Sometimes it’s my emotions other days it’s those around me. It’s part of the process. The community. We all support each other in successes and failures.

fitness and nutrition

The Burn

21.1 of the CrossFit Open. Year 5 for me. The unknown workout hits as a news flash Thursday evening. Gyms across the world scramble to prepare their boxes.

I was busy and didn’t really watch the announcement this year. Very different than past years. I watched a glimpse of a Youtube video as I headed to the gym in the dark of the morning. I was tired before arriving. Wasn’t prepared as I should have been.

The setup at my box was new this year as well due to new ownership. Some regulars were not in class that day. Many distractions. The 5 am class noted the difficulty of being upside down under fatigue over and over again.

I was in heat two. Face down on the floor to measure my tape-to-wall distance. Time to start. 15 minutes on the clock. Off I go. Somehow I knocked one wall walk rep out quickly.  At this point I exceeded my expectation. Off to do sloppy double unders. Two at a time. They were not pretty. Knocked those out. 2 minutes into the 15 minutes and I’m back on the wall.

My next rep was wobbly. I took my time and paused. The next rep I was stalled at the wall. I wasted so much energy. I dropped, defeated. Determined I went on the wall about three more times and stalled at the same place. A hair shy of line I need to touch with my left hand. It was awful. To be so close yet so far.

Every muscle from my toe to shoulder seemed engaged to hold my thick self upside down in the nearest straight line I could imagine. This was mentally and physically taxing on my already tired self.

I walked away from the stupid wall. I broke and did some extra double unders just to shift my mind. They didn’t count but I did them anyway to give myself a feeling of accomplishment. Back to the wall. I got another rep. Yes!

Take a little break and try again before the time is up. Failure. Fatigue. Frustration. Try again. Stalled on the wall. The story of the morning. Stalled on the wall. I was close but didn’t get the last one wall rep to move along to the next round. I was frustrated to a point but still happy I beat the wall a couple of times.

I felt good the rest of the day. I figured I would try again before Monday. Until Saturday, when woke to sore shoulders. Tightness in places I haven’t felt ache before. I used my theragun and my shoulders said nope this is beyond normal soreness. Rest day it is for this girl. I did other things but I took a day off from the gym. Not normal for me but I do listen to my body when it needs to recover.

Now the big decision is repeat on Monday or hold firm on my low score? I have more in the tank but do I want to repeat such a grueling shoulder wod? Time will tell.

It seems CrossFitters are a bit crazy so anything is possible. The decision for me is can I prove to myself that I can get better? Whether I choose to make another attempt or not is growth for me. I evaluate the pros and cons. I comb over my initial performance and I see where I have opportunities to grow. 

The wall in the wod can be such a reflection of life. The many times you climb knowing you may fall. The rising again to persevere. You don’t win every time but you sure do try. That’s life. To me CrossFit mirrors life in many ways. That’s why many never try CrossFit. It’s hard. Some avoid doing hard things in life. For now I feel that burn. The burn of my shoulders and all the fibers from head to toe that we’re engaged for 21.1.

With the burn comes a feeling of pride. I am physically able to do the same work as younger and fitter athletes. My body endures the same movements despite my body being weathered. Rep count may be different but the body mechanics are the same. I work hard to be able to endure the physically taxing workouts. My burn is filled with pride.

I challenge you to climb that wall in your life knowing you may fall. You will learn from the experience. Just make the climb.

challenges, fitness and nutrition

The Open

This is year #5 for me in The CrossFit Open. Pretty crazy for me to look back and reflect on where I started in the sport I love to where I am today. So many memories. So many relationships built. So many milestones hit. So many adventures. All part of my athlete journey.

A couple months ago the Open didn’t seem like something I would participate this year. It seemed like another disappointment with all the Corona cancellations around my athletic competitions. Then I paused for a minute. I slowed down to appreciate where I’ve been, where to want to get to, and how much I like data. The Open is a data point for me. An accountability pinpoint in time.

Maybe I weigh more this year. Maybe I lift less weight. Maybe I’m not counting my macros right now. Maybe I’m at a different gym. The variables shouldn’t matter. It’s Me vs. Me in the Open. 2021 is a recovery year for me. A rebuild of the foundation that got some cracks in 2020. I’m looking to see how deep the cracks are or how superficial they are. The only way I will know is to push my limits and see how I fare. The Open will help me gauge my comeback results of 2021.

As I look back at some pictures from the 2020 Open, I see some faces have faded in my gym world. As I look back to 2019, I see where some new friendships blossomed and each and every one of them is still intact. A group of strong females between 45-55 years old grinding away. Daily, weekly, monthly we almost in the work. Why not celebrate our commitment, consistency, and courage in the Open? 

2018 and 2017 were a bit of a blur for me as I didn’t do as good of a job documenting all my ups / downs but that’s where the leaderboard comes in. I can see where I stacked up to others worldwide. I can see how far I have come. As I write in this blog I may inspire another to sign up for the open. Or maybe sign up for a gym membership. 

This year I have a job to sign up two newbies to CrossFit to attempt the Open: one in their teens. One in their twenties. Both have journeys in their infancy. I’m looking forward to watching them shine in their own special way. Motivate. Inspire. Repeat. 

I have hope that when I write about my fitness highs, lows and everything in between that I have an audience. The audience may change from year to year and that’s okay by me. I love to inspire all ages. All types of people. The more I impact the more I write. The more I challenge myself to do more year over year.

Thank you for being part of my fitness journey. I’m on the road to fab at 50. You have a front road seat in the journey. You will see my fitness. My friends. My family. My competition. My exhaustion. My will. My pride. My ego. My personality. My triumph. 

Bringing my best: March 2021

Why not join me? The Open is open to all ages and this year you can even compete at home. Options are available to test your fitness.

fitness and nutrition, friendship

3.1 + 13.1 + 20.4+ 20.3 =

A bunch of hard work, a ton of memories and few checks off the to-do list is the sum of the above workouts.

That’s right folks, in seven days calendar days I completed the CrossFit open 20.3 WOD Monday, then went on to complete the 20.4 WOD on Friday just hours before traveling to Savannah, GA to complete my very first half Marathon (13.1 miles), The Rock n’Roll Marathon to be specific. If that wasn’t enough, I took the Remix Challenge and did a 5k as a bonus the following day.

Talk about a wild ride. An adventure to say the least. On my journey I had many of my CrossFit besties competing along side me in the Open but a handful took on the marathon event too. Ten in total hit the road for an adventure.

We traveled as a group and rented a beach house for the weekend. We planned an amazing pj party for the night before the race or that was the original plan. Traffic, dinner, race number pickup and other things seemed to get in the way. Sleep called our names but somehow we didn’t get to bed until close to midnight.

That 4:44am wake up call came entirely too early. “This is a bad idea” crossed my mind several times but I just kept moving with the plan. It was cold. We were tired. It was to be expected, I suppose.

Up way too early to get to the start line. It felt like a marathon before we even started. Driving. Parking. Layering up. Port-o-potties. Hydration. More potty breaks. Anticipation. Warm-up. Giggles. Selfies galore. This went on until we hit the corral At 7:30am and peeled off the layers to literally pound the pavement.

It was .25 miles in the corral, full of excitement with friends and strangers. 13.1 on the road and cobblestone and lots of music to soothe the soul or soles. That 13.1 miles was under three hours but seemed never ending at times. Am I there yet? crossed my mind a few times. Another one down was a level of excitement with each passing mile marker. I can do this!

I’m doing this. I’m almost done. This isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I say that like it wasn’t hard, it was. It just wasn’t impossible. Rather, it was possible and I was the only one who made it possible. This might be the one thing that I learned this weekend about running and myself. I decide. I decide the start and stop. I decide the music. I decide the distance. The duration. The tempo. I am the one that pushes myself over that finish line. My drive. My perseverance. My strength.

The run/walk/jog was a combination of beauty, commitment, community and just raw emotions. Savannah is breathtaking in the scenery department without question. I had plenty of time to be in the moment with the beautiful homes, trees, and community.

I vividly remember a cop at mile 2. He was cheering and giving high fives to runners. He voice was strong and encouraging yet firm and distinct. He made you want to keep going. He said the runners motivate him. That was crazy to me. But I thought about that for a bit on my run.

I also remember running through a small community that wasn’t a well off neighborhood but it had a very populated street of cheerleaders. Strangers cheering on others. I even saw a small child in his Spider-Man suit cheering while holding his mom’s hand. This was simply amazing. They were handing out water to keep the runners hydrated. Would I be out of bed at 8:30am on a Saturday to cheer on a stranger? Another thought to ponder on my run.

6 miles was upon me before I knew it. And I was met there by my three amazing friends. Ali caught my eye first, screaming keep going from a pole if I recall. Guess she wanted me to see her. Kim was snapping pics at the corner and Chris was somewhere nearby. I heard his voice. Just what I needed at the mid way point. Some friendly voices saying keep pushing yourself. These three won my heart for being so supportive.

I can’t leave out the virtual reminders/pushes that were pretty cool. All of our running group put each other in the tracker app. This might have been the best thing next to sliced bread. Chirp, chirp, chirp. I would get a ding every time one of my running mates passed a check point. This was virtual motivation. Mindy was ahead. I could see her pace. I could adjust as I needed to based on how she was doing. This worked for me. I could see Nick. My oldest who was running the full 26.2 marathon on a slightly different course.

Nick was inspiring all by himself. Doing his run his way. Me being able to experience with him from a distance. Talk about a proud Mom moment. I watched him hit the same pace for almost 20 miles. Holy cow he was doing amazing. How could I not keep going. I mean I was only doing 1/2 the race he was.

The chase. The chase to the finish line. I did it. I’m sore but I did it. I met my goal injury- free. I earned my medal and my 13.1 sticker!


This weekend was so full of adventure that I must split my posts. You read my PJ party post, and next I will continue with my bonus medal chasing experience. A series is warranted because this weekend was just that amazing and it’s a story worth sharing.

If you have ever wanted to run half marathon, do it. My tidbits above are only a glimpse of the amazing journey. I chronicled some of my training sessions previously as well. The bottom line is you can do whatever you put your mind to. Plan. Prepare. Put in effort. Repeat. You can make your own memories. It all starts with the sign up form!

fitness and nutrition

Open Chronicles: 20.1

Each year I write about my adventures in the CrossFit Open.  The sport I love that lets me see how I stack up to others in my age group locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. #intheopen

I am not competing against others in this competition. I’m competing against myself year over year. Fortunately for me, I’m able to see how others stack up. This may motivate me in some instances and it may deflate me in others. That in itself fuels my life.

You can’t win or be the best at everything, but you can improve. Each Open season I may have a different weight, muscle mass, work schedule, or gym community. How I balance it all and participate is what’s worth documenting to me.

20.1 snuck up on me quickly. I wasn’t really ready because of life. I didn’t get my mind ready to do my best. I just did it and chipped away at it. I didn’t waver. I kept moving slow and steady.

10 rounds of 8 overhead bar moves with 65 pounds on a bar, followed by 10 burpees with a jump over the bar after each burpee. If you do the math, that is a total of 80 overhead movements at 65 pounds followed by 100 burpees. There is also a time limit. You have just 15 minutes to complete this task.

Can it be done? Yes. Will I achieve that? No. On my first attempt, I completed 8 full rounds and began chipping away at round 9. For me it was 67 overhead movements and 80 burpees, for a total of 147 reps. 147 out of 180 possible.

I was about 82% complete. I moved over 6,000 pounds over my head from the ground. Could I have done more? Possibly. Will I try a second attempt? I’m considering it. Am I sore the next day? A little.

Well, I did 20.1 again on Monday. I was a little tired but I wanted to do it again in hopes of improving. I didn’t fare so good.

The first bar movement seemed heavy. My body seemed slower on the burpees. My mind kept asking me: why are you doing hellacious workout again? Somehow I kept moving. My left knee was scraped raw from the friction on the floor. At 9 minutes my lungs were burning. At 11 minutes I said 4 more minutes, you can do it. Thankful for the cheers of my box mates, I made it to 15 minutes again. 141 reps compared to 147 reps on the first attempt.

I attempted to exceed my first attempt but failed. I am happy I put forth the extra effort despite the outcome. Top 19% worldwide in my age group. I’d consider that a success.

20.2 is just a few days away. Wonder what challenges that WOD will bring? #masterathlete #bonnieandclyde