Pride and Tuesday 8/28 WOD at PCF

I need to take a minute to reflect on how proud I am of myself. I have accomplished so much over this summer, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt this positive about the direction I’m going in my life, mentally, physically, literally, and figuratively. Every single week I’m able to lift a little heavier, run a little faster, or go harder at the end of the workout than I was able to the previous week. It’s fucking amazing. Literally. I never in my life thought I’d be doing what I’m doing now. Crossfit is all about being uncomfortable, and hitting the DIS/GFB (drenched in sweat/gasping for breath) point. Many people don’t like being uncomfortable, and don’t like the idea of working out to that point. This is most likely due to the fact that they’ve never hit that point before, because it’s the most addictive, satisfying, gratifying, and glorious feeling in the world…once you can breathe and think straight again.

I started out as an athlete and a gymnast as a kid, and I thrived on DIS/GFB. And then one day I decided I was sick of it, it was too hard, and I didn’t like being told what to do (queue rebellious teenage years). From then on, I shunned most “exercise,” and I was definitely one of those people who disliked being uncomfortable, for a long time. After a handful of years of stagnation (and my freshman 40), I finally realized that I couldn’t reach my goals sticking to “sprinting” circuits on a treadmill, lighter dumbbell work at higher reps, and weight machines. And all of a sudden Crossfit happened and I had friends and my boyfriend to WOD duel with and I started seeing results and I got hooked on DIS/GFB again. I now thrive on being uncomfortable, pushing myself to the absolute limit, and watching my results skyrocket. With only an hour a day, 3-5 times per week, I have become stronger than I’ve ever been, and only going up from here. I’m sorry if this sounds all “tooting my own horn” but I’m so fucking proud of myself I’m in tears right now writing this. I am so happy with myself and I love who I’ve become, as my physical strength translates into emotional and mental strength as well.

 

Strength:

EMOTM for 10 Minutes of:

This is exactly what I’m talking about in the first paragraph. Last week I threw up 50lbs in the beginning, but backed down to 45lbs because there was no way I was going to be able to go 20 reps at 50lbs. This week? 50lbs. Solid. Each rep felt good and strong and explosive and great. As I got tired towards the end I consciously started dropping lower to catch the bar, knowing that I wasn’t getting the bar as high as in the beginning. Noticing little things like that are what really make me realize I’m getting it. Strict pull-ups are awful, and I am so far away from even having one, but I’m hoping to be able to do two strict by December 31st of this year.

WOD for Time: 17:43

3 Rounds of:

  • Run 600m: Rx. Ran the entire 600m without stopping each time.
  • 30 Push-UpsKnees. Rx was 30 strict, Level II was 20 strict, and Level I was 20 knees. So Somewhere between LI and LII.
  • 1 15′ Rope Climb: Level II. I love rope climbs. Rx was 3, but my shoulders were so effed from the push-ups I was worried I wouldn’t be able to let myself down. Probably should have at least tried for two.

This WOD was AWESOME. The whole workout was awesome. Pretty much a huge mash-up of everything I hate/need to work on (except for the rope climbs). I focused really hard on my form for the running, reminding myself to use my ankles and explode off my toes and kick my legs up “like a gazelle.” Repeating that to myself because my mantra while running today, and I have no idea where it came from. I kept saying “like a gazelle, Katie, come on, like a gazelle” in my head. Ha!! Somehow though, that made everything click and the running actually wasn’t bad. I’m definitely going to be keeping that in mind during the Tough Mudder!! I’m not convinced that I could keep push-up form for anywhere near 90 reps, so knees I went. Mayyybe should have done 10 strict per round, but I really wanted the high volume, and doing that many put me around the finishing time with most of the big guns in the box. And rope climbs ahhh I love you. I couldn’t get the J technique today, so I went back to my good ol’ wrap and stomp. Kicking myself for not doing two per round, but they still felt awesome and challenging and fun. I’ll be nursing a teeny patch of rope burn on the back of my thigh, but it comes with the territory. I’m so into Patriot Crossfit’s programming lately. I’m so glad we found them and that I can call that box my home.

 

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Another Setback and Strength at WSC.

Saturday afternoon after I returned home from Delaware (which was awesome, thanks for asking!), I was lounging on the couch with Tyler and literally out of complete nowhere I get this intense pinching pain in my left shoulder. For the rest of Saturday it was a constant dull ache. I was careful with it all day Sunday, and woke up yesterday with it more sore than ever. I made an appointment for Wednesday to see an orthopedic surgeon, and decided that skipping dance would probably be the best idea. It calmed down throughout the day, so I went to the gym with Tyler in the evening and just did some basic strength work. It seemed like everything that I attempted other than squats, deadlifts, and rowing caused irritation, so I just stuck to those and did about 25 minutes of mobility and stretching. It was so difficult to pull back, because it’s not like the exercises caused pain, per se, I was just aware that it was putting strain on the joint. But I had a really freaking good day. Look at these PRs!

Strength:

  • Row 1000m: 4:21.7. Seriously!? I cut 7 seconds off of my 1000m row from the beginning of July! What the eff! That was at the higher resistance setting, so I’m assuming that had something to do with it. Wow. So proud! PR!
  • Deadlift 5-5-5-5: 130-130-135-140(f). I just couldn’t get the last set unbroken. My grip kept failing, since the bars at the gym are just slightly larger in diameter than the ones at Crossfit, and I couldn’t get a solid hook-grip.
  • Squat 3-3-3-3-3: 85-90-95-100-100. CHECK THAT OUT. PR by a whole 15lbs!! So excited!!!! I wasn’t even completely gassed from them, either. I remember back when doing 3reps of 85 felt like how those two sets of 100lbs felt. Man, so great. 100lbs. I can’t wait until I can squat my bodyweight!!!! So close! 

…Is this real life?!

I snapped this photo in the locker room afterwards, and I am seriously having a hard time believing it’s me. I see the front of my body all the time, but never really spend time trying to see the back. My shoulders and back have become very defined over the last month, and it’s blowing my mind! That can’t be me! Actually screw that, yes it can because I’ve been working my ass off and I deserve every little bit of that definition!!

Today I hardly have any pain, but my shoulder does feel a little weak. Today’s WOD at Crossfit is “Helen,” a staple workout that I’ve been dying to try, comprised of running, kettlebell swings, and pull-ups, all of which I could do Rx’d. Plus, the warm-up is squat snatches and handstand pushups, so pretty much all shoulder blasters. I decided to sit this one out, which is so awful in my mind, because again, it’s not extremely painful, so I should HTFU and push through it, right?!!?!? Most likely not, and I’m trying to avoid furthering this injury. I will see the doctor tomorrow morning and see what he has to say about it, and hopefully he won’t just send me on my way with a prescription for rest, because I’ll surely go mad.

While I have absolutely no idea what directly caused this injury, since the pain began all of a sudden while lounging on the couch, I do know why I personally am more susceptible to injury. I am extremely flexible. Like, to the point where I get made fun of at my box because of my gumby-like physique. Because of this, I tend to have more wiggle room at times where I should be completely rock solid, and find my flexibility winning over my muscles’ stability. A trainer at my box once told me that it will be great to be so flexible about 90% of the time, but the other 10% of the time it’s going to be an issue, until I can get enough strength built up to stabilize the flexibility. Truer words have never been spoken. I have a final on Thursday, so I suppose I will get to studying, while icing my new injury. Bah.

Slow, Sleepy Day.

Today was so lame! I am completely exhausted from my workout yesterday evening, and still so sore. This is probably the most sore that I’ve felt in the past few months, and I have no clue why. It seems like everyone was super exhausted in dance today, so at least I wasn’t the only sluggish one. I’m hoping I’ll feel better tomorrow, because it is a hell of a WOD. It’ll be a fun one (it’s a 21-15-9 and I love any form of those) but not if I’m as exhausted as I am right now.

Here’s some stills I captured from the videos I took last week. Descending Angel with different leg placement, and Bow. Nothing too fancy, but I’ll eventually get a video pieced together with these in it. They’re way more impressive in motion! Time for sleep!

Friday 7/20 WOD at PCF

Patriot is going to start doing rope climbs in every warmup on Fridays now! Best news! I love rope climbs!! So excited about this. I’m still using the wrap-and-stomp technique, but I think I’m getting ballsy enough to try some other ways. Climbing up the pole over and over again at dance class really gives me a leg up with these.

Strength:

EMOTM for 10 minutes of:

Ehhhhh maybe went a little too light on the deadlifts. I’d say about half of the rounds felt too light, and half of them felt just right, which means I probably could have thrown another 5-10lbs on. Again, I’m really liking this volume/strength circuit the box is doing lately!! I asked the trainer what he thought about my transitions, and if he thought that I should just work on my strict pullups since I don’t have those unassisted yet. He watched me do one and said it looked awesome and to focus on them. I feel like I really have a good grasp of what the motion of a muscle up is supposed to feel like, but refuse to try until I have strict ring dips on lock without assistance.

WOD: 7:56

5 Rounds for Time of:

  • 5 Thrusters42lbs. Thrusters are awesome. I love to hate them, because they feel sooo bad while doing them, but are such an amazing compound movement.
  • 10 Bastards: My favorite variation of the burpee. It makes a huuuuge difference to not have to open the hips completely up at the top and jump to clap overhead.

I really enjoyed this WOD! I’m not going to lie, I had a 35lb bar on standby in case the 42 was too much. Since I’m smallish, even 7lbs makes a huge difference. But I stuck with 42 the whole time and focused on being explosive through my hips and keeping my elbows up, after the trainer came by in the first round and yelled at me to keep my elbows up and the bar higher on my shoulders. What a difference that made! Again, yet another thing that is a fundamental for the movement, (front squats, in this case) that just needed to be repeated to me in the moment to get my head back on straight!

I actually felt way stronger than I did yesterday, and I totally give that to getting a solid 8.5 hrs of sleep last night. I love not having class on Fridays! I will be off the grid tomorrow as Tyler and I are going mine hunting for rock samples (crazy geologist boyfriend) and then camping for the night somewhere, and on Sunday I’ll be visiting my lovely grandmother for a few hours. I should be back in action Sunday evening! Hopefully I’ll see at least some of you tonight at the So You Think You Can Pole Dance competition I posted about yesterday!

Oh! One last thing! The views and comments and follows and messages I’ve gotten about the blog are completely overwhelming. Thank you all for your amazing support and for reading about my experiences!!! If you guys ever have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to ask!!!

Stereotypes Are The Worst!

Two pictures that my good friend, The Caveman’s Man, took of me for a different type of blog (post is safe for work, overall blog not safe for work/body modification-related/some gross stuff/don’t look at the rest if you’re not into that) have me thinking lately. As someone with more than half of a brain, I view all different kinds of things as body modification: dentistry, cosmetic surgery, tattoos, scarification, piercings, body sculpting, and the list goes on. As a “modified” female, there are lots of stereotypes. Tattooed and pierced women are very overly-sexualized through the media, and that is one of the main reasons why I have been so shy about pole dancing for so many years. My joke is “I don’t get paid to do it, I pay to do it!” which I do, since I pay for my sessions at my pole studio. I have had strangers in the grocery store ask me if I model for certain tattooed/pierced “adult modeling websites,” and that is infinitely far away from how I want to be seen as a woman. On a different spectrum, women who get breast augmentation or face lifts are immediately dubbed “superficial.” People who get lipo are “taking the easy way out.” Sean’s post focuses on how we have both taken the step into a different form of body modification from what some modified individuals would normally consider a typical modification: health, fitness, and some rockin’ strong bodies.

Along with all of these stereotypes, there exists those about women who lift weights or are looking to make a drastic change in their body compositions. Many will discourage women from trying to achieve (the elusive) 6-pack, or from weight lifting in general because they think muscley girls are “gross.” Well, I hate to break it to those people, but it’s not your decision!!! Being strong is amazing. I love being able to piggyback and lift my 6’7″ muscular boyfriend who tops over 200lbs. I love not struggling with a bunch of heavy grocery bags. I love being able to help move heavy furniture. I love being in good shape and being able to run up flights of stairs without getting winded. I’m healthy, fit, strong, motivated, driven, and dedicated. You’re right, all of that is so gross.

There are always going to be certain stereotypes or displeasure from other people when you do anything to better yourself in your own eyes. Be yourself, love yourself, make changes that better yourself, and fuck the rest. People will always question you because of their own insecurities, and it’s sad that this happens. You can’t please everyone, so you might as well just please yourself! It’s been a long road for me to really understand and accept this, and I am so happy I finally have.

 

80lb Clean and Jerk.