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.

 

Saturday 8/4 WOD at CFC

Apparently yesterday’s 12pm workout was cancelled via Crossfit Carteret’s email list, and I’m not on it, so I didn’t know! So we had to wait until today, but it was well worth the wait because today consisted of Fight Gone Bad Tabata Training, and Fight Gone Bad Championship. Talk about a complete ass-kicking WOD! My shoulder felt great the entire time, and I’m super pleased with my score, especially since I almost Rd’x the entire workout!!

Strength:

  • Partner Tabata Boxing a.k.a “The only time you’ll be able to throw punches at your significant other without going to jail.” Tyler and I had so much fun with this! 20 seconds of boxing as hard and fast as possible, while your partner holds up the pads, followed by 10 seconds of rest. 4 rounds of this, and then switch boxer/boxee. I think his punches compressed my biceps by at least an inch, and made my forearms throb with exhaustion, and it was awesome. This was considered “Fight Gone Bad Championship Training,” to get us pumped up for the WOD.

WOD for Reps: 413

Fight Gone Bad Championship: “In this workout, you move from each of five stations after a minute. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. This event calls for 3 5 rounds,” since this is the Championship version, like in UCF Championship fights. (Note the video is the regular FIght Gone Bad, which only consists of 3 rounds!) “The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of ‘rotate,’ the athletes must move to next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point. The stations are:”

  • Wallballs- 14lbs to 8ft target Rx’d
  • Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls- 55lbs Rx’d
  • Box Jumps- 12″ Rx’d
  • Push Press- 45lbs-Rx’d was 55lbs, but I was worried about the strain on my shoulder. Easily could have done them at 55. Oh well, next time!
  • Row for Calories
  • Rest 1 Minute

My rounds were 9187837478. I’m damn happy with that score, especially having almost completely Rx’d it. I know in the regular Fight Gone Bad the females and males both do 20″ box jumps, but in this version Crossfit Carteret had the females doing 12″ and that easily boosted my score and provided to be an active rest section. I averaged between 40 and 45 box jumps each round, which was awesome. I shot for 15 wallballs, 10-15 SDHPs, 10 PPs, and 8-10 calories on the row, for each round. My wallballs dropped to between 12 and 14 after the first round of 21, because wallballs are so godawful. I’m pretty proud, and wish that I could have Rx’d it with full confidence that I wouldn’t have hurt my shoulder. You better believe that next time I do a version of Fight Gone Bad I will be doing the Rx version!

Also, Tyler did his first 5 unassisted pull-ups today, and Rx’d the WOD like an absolute beast. So proud of my man and everything he has been accomplishing on his own as well!! Rx for men was 20lb wallball to 10ft target, 75lb SDHPs and PPs, and 20″ box jumps. I love working out with him!

In other news, the beach is amazing, the weather is wonderful, I love working out at Crossfit Carteret, and I’m having a blast. Happiest lady ever! Hey everyone! Come and see how good I look!…In case you don’t get the reference. Oh progress, you lovely beast, you.

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.

Thursday 7/26 WOD at PCF and Yoga!

Strength:

  • Clean and Jerk 2-2-2-1-1-1: 80-80-80-85-85-90. YES. 90lb CLEAN AND JERK! Holy crap I will be so excited when I have another lift above 100lbs! I can’t even believe this line up, after only getting 85 up once last week and then failing! Progress is so great. I am so thrilled with my lifting performance today, and I didn’t even smash the bar on my sternum bone. My form and technique are improving, and it feels amazing. This shit works.

WOD: 11:54

3 Rounds for Time of:

  • Run 400m
  • 15 Thrusters35lbs.
  • Rest 1 Minute

WODs with programmed rest always sneak up and kick my butt. I think “oh, it won’t be too bad, I have a whole minute to rest between rounds!” Well, that minute goes by in a heartbeat, and all of a sudden it’s time to get going again, just as hard as before. I actually think I’m more beat up after workouts with programmed rest, because I push way harder right after the rest is finished, pretending that I’ve fully recovered from the previous round, when I’m really still just as exhausted. This WOD actually ended up being really disappointing for me. I was all high on my horse feeling amazing from the c&js, and then this crushed me. I sprinted the first 400m, and then couldn’t even do 5 unbroken thrusters at 42lbs, which was the Level 1 weight. My legs were complete jello. Oh, in case you aren’t in the Northern Virginia area, it was 102 degrees outside today. I have a hard time running in general, but in the heat it’s just plain sad. I had to drop down to the 35lb bar, which still absolutely destroyed me. I was one of the last few to finish, but I finished strong. This WOD sucked and definitely reminded me how much further I have to go in my fitness journey.

Finisher:

  • Yoga with Tyler!

We went and did a yoga class at Tyler’s gym directly after I got home from Crossfit. I had just enough time to jump in a freezing cold shower to rinse off and cool down, and then we were out the door. I swear, during the first 10 minutes I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it the whole time. My shoulders and quads were screaming at me, and at one point I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get out of a stretch without hurting myself. It was so so so great to get back into a yoga class though, even though I felt like crap from having just been beaten at Crossfit. I hope that once the weather gets a little cooler I can get back into doing more hot yoga again. But holy crow am I sore already from this day.

Wednesday 7/25 WOD at PCF

Today has been crazy! I went to class, came home just long enough to take my Ladydog for a walk, and literally sprinted to get my hair brightened up. Sprinted back, straight to my car at 4:15 and went right to Crossfit with my hair still semi-wet because we didn’t have time for a full blow-dry without making me late. Then, when I got there, our initial warmup was a 400m run. A 400m run usually leaves me breathing kind of heavily and my legs semi-fatigued. Needless to say, I am not a runner. For the first time ever today I ran the whole thing paying attention to proper barefoot-running technique, and wasn’t winded even in the slightest. I know that sounds silly because it’s only 400m, but it really was a super great mini-moment for me. Today was full of those.

Strength:

  • Strict Press 3-3-3-3-3 (add 2.5-5lbs from last week): 55-55-55-55(f)-52.5-52.5. I reallllly thought I’d be able to push up 5lbs from last week, with all of the shoulder work we’ve been doing. But I could only successfully get 3 rounds of 3 reps at 55. But I’m super happy I did it that much, considering last week I couldn’t even get it overhead. Progress is awesome! Mini-moment number two.

WOD: 131 reps or 7round + 5reps

3 Rounds for Reps of:

AMRAP 3 minutes:

So much sweat.

Aw yeah, all Level 2 today. So proud again! Mini-moment number 3! I’m able to do more at Level 2 as the weeks progress, fighting upwards towards that Rx line that just seems so incredibly out of reach. But I’m getting there. I’m getting more confident with my olympic lifts, and trying to go heavier in the WODs. I know I can easily do 125lb deadlifts 5+ times, so that was an easy choice; I did 25lb DB ground-to-overheads a few days ago, so I knew it was possible but would probably suck; and I like box jumps, so that was no issue. The push presses were by far the limiting factor (limfac, for future references) and slowed me down so much. Probably would have been able to do an extra round each 3 minute AMRAP if I had dropped down to 20s, but the 25lbs felt nice and difficult, and are going to leave me pleasantly sore tomorrow. Speaking of running and tomorrow, tomorrow’s WOD is running and thrusters, and I’m already mentally preparing myself for how much death that’s going to inflict on me. Woo, Crossfit.

I promise one of these weeks I’ll get around to getting some new full-body pictures up. I feel like my body composition has drastically changed over the last month, let alone the past 6 months. Tough Mudder is only 6 weeks out, and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m actually prepared to make that obstacle course my bitch.

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.

You Guessed It, Friday the 13th WOD at WSC

This morning I checked Patriot Crossfit’s WOD, and it was one I REALLY wanted to do. The whole day I was thinking about it, and on the way home I decided that I would haul ass to Patriot to do it at 7:30. When I got home (at 7pm), changed, and went to sign up online, I realized that Patriot’s 7:30pm WODs are only Monday-Thursday!! Tyler was planning on heading to his gym tonight anyway, so I signed up for a trial at his gym just so I could do this WOD. That’s dedication!!

Strength:

  • Row 500m for time: 2:05. Used this as a warm-up, kept getting distracted. I’m hoping to get down to an even 2 minutes at some point.
  • Clean and Jerk 2-2-1-1-1-1: I misread this on the website and thought it was 3-2-1-1-1. Oops! 55-65-70-75-80, which is a whole 20lbs heavier that I c&j’d while in North Carolina. Felt strong and steady the entire time, and felt like I could have done another single at 85lbs if I had been at a proper box and able to drop the weight from the top.

WOD:

12-Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible): 10+10 (10rounds+10reps, so 10 full rounds+5 deadlifts+5push-ups

This was between Level I and Level II. It felt freaking GREAT to be able to do the Toes-to-Bar! And almost every round they were unbroken. I still need to get my kipping down better for them, but I did them still!!! Usually I do a variation of knees-to-elbows or knees-to-armpits (which are exactly how they sound in relation to the TTB movement), but since Level II was just taking down the volume of reps, I decided to try it, since I knew I could do a few in a row. The deadlifts were cake (probably should have gone 15-20lbs heavier), the push-ups got old REALLY fast, and the TTBs were invigorating. I also did a “Finisher” (a workout after a workout)
Okay guys, now I’m actually going to take two whole rest days to study, go up to Baltimore, and catch up on streaming the Crossfit Games. But I can say that something woke up inside of me this week. I’ve been committed to my health and fitness for a really long time now, but for some reason this week something just clicked. I am strong enough to do Crossfit freaking FOUR days in a row. I can push myself beyond my previous limits to find new ones. I do have the discipline to work out five days in a row, Mon-Fri. I feel like I kind of always knew I was capable of this, but it just took actually sucking it up and doing it in order to truly convince myself that it is possible to be as active and dedicated as I have always wished I could be. Can I get a hell yes? Hell. Yes.

Thursday 7/12 WOD at PCF

Today was SO AWESOME. This is my third day in a row of Crossfit, and fourth day in a row of exercise with dance class on Monday. I feel AMAZING! Let me preface this WOD post with some background info. The Crossfit box in Arlington that I normally go to, Patriot Crossfit, presents their WODs in a unique way. They have the Rx version, which are the weights/reps that the elite-elite use; presumably the very experienced CFer, who shows up 5 days a week at least, and are complete beasts. Then there are two scaled levels, Level II and Level I. Level II is for those who can’t quite do the Rx weights or reps, but who are making their way up the fitness ladder; I’d say probably after 6-10 months of showing up at least 3 times a week consistently you’d be able to do the Level IIs, depending on the starting level. And then there’s Level I, for the newer CFers or those who aren’t quite as strong. If you click on the link above you can check out what I mean.

I’ve found myself doing Level I more often than not…until this week!!!! On Tuesday I did a pretty even mishmash of Level I/II; Wednesday, I only used the Level I weight for the push presses, Level II reps, Level II weight/KB swing height (35lbs and American swing); lo and behold, today I did my first workout COMPLETELY in Level II, even with this being my 3rd day in a row and being pretty sore/worn out!!! I am so damn proud of this accomplishment. I’m sure next week there will be something that crushes me back down into the land of Level I, but I am so happy that I was able to round out this week with such an accomplishment. And guess what? On top of all of that, I did unassisted pull-ups in the WOD. UNASSISTED. PULL-UPS. Bold, italicized, and yelling. Happiest in the world.

Strength:

  • Snatch 3-2-1-1-1: 35-37-42-47-47. Ughghgh the snatch. I started with squat snatches and quickly moved to power snatches. I’m not confident enough dropping low under the bar and catching it overhead yet. I picked up some good tips from a new friend, and we watched each other and pointed out form issues. It really helped, and gave me the proper time to recover between lift attempts. I started with the 35lb bar but backed down in order to get some more work on form, and then went up from there, thus the weird numbers. I did 10lbs more on my hang power snatch about a month ago, but I’m not sure which you’re supposed to be able to do more weight with. I have a hard time when the pull is from the ground. I really need to work on that, and also stop thinking so much while trying to lift!

WOD:

7-Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible): 5+0 (meaning I completed exactly 5 rounds. Had I done 5 rounds and 2 wall balls of the 6th round, it would be 5+2)

  • 7 10ft WallBalls8lb ball
  • 4 Pull-ups: Unassisted!!! Emphasizing again haha.
  • 7 Burpees: notice, chest makes contact with floor every rep.

Rx was a 14lb ball to 10ft, and 7 reps for pull-ups instead of 4. So happy with my performance. I completley forgot to switch my grip up as I got tired, so I need to try to remember that to save time next time there’s pull-ups! Some of my wallballs barely made the 10ft mark, and a few pull-ups my chin just barely made it to bar level, but damnit, I still did it and was honest in my reps and repeated those that needed it!

My “Before” Pictures and the Progression

This is honestly going to be one of the hardest posts that I will ever make. Forget confessing to cheat days, skipping WODs, taking a month off to be a lazyass; all of those pale in comparison to posting “before” pictures. I spent most of last night combing my laptop and the internet for pictures of myself in my previous states. The problem with this is I’ve never kept photos of myself where I look unhealthy or unfit. For the longest time I’ve twisted my torso, angled my head, scooped my tailbone, and used many other tactics to make myself look good in photos. I knew exactly how to position myself for the best possible result. Back at my peak I was definitely guilty of a little photoshop here and there as well.

I look back at old photos and think to myself “I didn’t look thaaaat bad back then!” but then I find a picture of me from a drinking night or a sleepy day, where I didn’t care enough to make myself look good, and it reminds me that there really is a reason why I’m making this change.

Really quickly, I want to emphasize that I’m trying to point out the difference in fitness from previous points of my life. I know that I was not obese. But I couldn’t scale a flight of stairs without getting winded, I couldn’t do a single pushup, I struggled pouring drinks in gallon containers because I couldn’t lift it with one arm. Being a little soft around the middle was all part of this, but my main concern was how completely out of shape I was. Please don’t comment saying that I “wasn’t fat” or that I “looked fine before,” because that’s not what this is about!

I’m putting all photos behind the break, because holy crap. Yikes.

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