Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Email from Mom

Dear Coffee Bean,
This is a great analysis. Is it original? Either way, it should go on your blog and remain in your heart!

From: "You"
To: "Mom"
Sent: Thu, December 17, 2009 10:08:32 AM
Subject: The carrot, the egg adn the coffee bean

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," the young woman replied. The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened! The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" the mother asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?" Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong but, with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship, does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.
If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Endings and new beginnings

As of November 15, the major challenges that I had been working on are over. I finished John's 30 Day Challenge and I completed San Antonio's Rock n Roll marathon! It's time to set some new goals and new challenges to face.

I am absolutely happy that all of the training runs for the half are done. Running and I have a love/hate relationship. Since I have gotten used to 15 minute crossfit workouts to go out and do a two hour training run seems like an eternity to me. I really want to learn more about the crossfit endurance program because anything that will cut down training time is a plus. Going into the half I was excited/nervous about the race but also thinking about if I wanted to do a full marathon one day. Now, after finshing the race and seeing the marathoners cross the finish line I think it would be absolutely insane to do a full. :) There was a tshirt at the expo center that said "Running is a mental sport and we're all insane!" Very funny! But there were just a few marathoners that had to be carried across the finish line and it looked so painful! Plus, I'm just in awe that some people were finishing the full by the time I was finishing the half! I love my medal and I love that it's over so I'll just keep thinking about if I would want to do a full. My knees are yelling "no way!" right now but they'll recover! They've got to get me through this wod today:
20 med ball clean (any weight), 5 burpee X 4

A new challenge is the bet Andrew and I made two Sundays ago. Since I continually try to beat him at running, we're racing each other at the Turkey Trot. I'm hoping for an advantage since it's 5 miles rather than a 5k because he's not as used to the long distances as I am. But, I swear, he has iron lungs or something because he never gets winded and he doesn't do nearly as much physical activity as I do and he can still run faster! One day I'll beat him!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The WOD Shop

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"I am going to rip it up"

This is absolutely hilarious!

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Annie, are you ok?"

21-15-9 reps
(there's supposed to be a row but we didn't do it)
med ball cleans 20#
wall ball 14#
DB thrusters 25#

I did elite weight on everything but I didn't finish. Whoever Annie is, I'd love to ask her if she was ok at the end of this WOD because I definitely wasn't! The burpees were ROUGH. I need to put a lot of work into them because I feel like a flopping, dying fish when I do them. You'd think because I've been training so much lately for the half that my cardio threshold would help out with burpees but I haven't seen that much of a difference.

The good news is that the 25# DB thrusters felt awesome! Jen did come over to me once and had to remind me to stay in control of the weight or else I would need to go get the 20 pounders but I concentrated more and was able to gain control. I guess I get into the mood of just flying around with dumbbells and instead of keeping my core and entire body tight during the reps, I get distracted. Whoops!

The bad news is that the bottom part of my right leg is super tight and I'm really worried about it. Rogue has a 14 mile run tomorrow and I think I'm injured???!!! It's been hurting since Wednesday when first I thought I was just sore but now it's nagging. Since I still haven't bought a foam roller, I looked up and down the apartment for something to roll out on last night and found a plastic cup. Resourceful! Last night while watching Grey's (it was AWESOME!) I rolled out on that for at least 30 minutes. Pretty painful stuff. It made me realize I should really vaccuum this weekend. :) But once I get home from work I'll probably jump on that cup again. I've heard you can roll out on anything round - rolling pin, tennis ball, etc.

I almost hugged a woman in the 6:00 class who told me that she can see how John's challenge is working on me! It was definitely great motivation to get through these next 2 weeks!

I have a new goal that I want to accomplish my the end of the challenge. I'd love if I could have the fastest time for one of the women's WODs so my name will be on the CFW twitter page! It's kind of vain and not the best goal because it's based on how other people do too but it'd be another CF accomplishment!


Thursday, October 22, 2009


Thirty minutes ago the One American Center had a fire drill. In the past, our floor warden has always warned me a couple of days in advance to bring a change of shoes because she knows I like to wear heels to work and walking down 19 floors during a fire drill in heels can be awkward. This week, I didn't have any notice and was definitely wearing my highest black heels. When I first heard the alarms going off I thought it was real deal because I hadn't heard that there would be a drill. But when I asked Christy (floor warden) if she knew, she was like "What do you think?"

Turns out that she had warned everyone else about the drill except for Aaron and I. Those that knew, went downstairs early with the elevator and did not have to walk down the 19 flights of stairs.

I work with a lot of people that are not active. There are constant swoops of baked goods, sodas, and candy throughout the office. I'm not upset today because I had to walk down stairs (well, maybe a little). I'm upset because these people don't make conscious efforts to make themselves healthier. They take the elevator during a fire drill. They critique me when I don't eat a slice of cake with them. Someone (who didn't partake in the fire drill) even had the audacity to make fun of a girl wearing a short dress today. Don't complain about the way you look if you're not going to do anything about it!

It's frustrating because I know CrossFit works. I know that Paleo/Zone works. When I talk about it though I always get responses like "That's too hard" or "I can't do that". It is hard. And it takes time. But I've made the choice to do it and it's working. How do I get through to them??

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halfway Through!

Today marks the halfway point through John's 30 Day Challenge. The past two and a half weeks have been filled with sore muscles, comments about what I've been eating, ZERO alcohol, lots of "I can't do this" thoughts and a bunch of "I did it!"s

Tuesday's WOD was 4 minutes on, 1 minute off of:
3 DB squat cleans (30#)
5 r/l DB snatches (30#)
7 calorie row

I couldn't even do a single snatch before the workout. But on 3, 2, 1 GO I either had to struggle through or figure out a way to make it work. I don't think I had ever done dumbbell snatches before, nevertheless with 30 pounds! In the beginning I couldn't extend my arm at the top and was using my free arm to push up the weight. It must have looked (and felt!) horrible and I was letting the weight twirl me around without much control. John finally said, "Make it feel like you're throwing the DB in the sky" before I finally got it. Looking back, I'm really happy that he made me stick with the 30 pounders even though I couldn't do it in the beginning. I would have felt like a failure if I had to lower the weight.

My pants are definitely looser but probably haven't dropped an entire size yet. I still have about two weeks to go until the Challenge is over. We're supposed to turn in our scales to John but I feel weird bringing it into the gym. Oh well, no one is really there at 5:30 am. Nutrition has been going okay. The comments I get from co-workers about what I'm bringing for lunches tend to annoy me but I'm trying to ignore them. I wish I could just live in a CrossFit Central bubble surrounded by everyone who has the same lifestyle as me! There are too many other distractions out there - pumpkin pie, McDonald's Frostys, chips and salsa, Shiner! Ugh, ok I'm stopping.

Crystal's class is definitely my happy place after T/Th mornings. I love the girls and everyone does such a good job motivating each other. It's fun! Jess, Linds and I battle through the WODs on T/Th but I wouldn't quite call it fun... Jess just called us her "pillars of strength" which I definitely agree with. I wouldn't be able to survive without their support!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bruises and rips, oh my!

I am Week 2, Day 1 into John's 30 Day Challenge. My body feels similar to how it did when I first started CrossFit back in January. Sore!! But this time around my muscles have a baseline so it's now more of my body taking a beating. Last Monday we did a WOD of AMRAP that included rotations of 15 pullups, among other things. I've slowly decreased the width of my rubber band so now I fluctuate between the smallest one and the second smallest width sizes. I really really really want to do a kipping pull up on my own! Monday I forced myself to do the skinniest band because I thought reps of 15 wouldn't be too bad. Little did I know how much damage pullups can do to your hands! I should have taken a picture of them at their worst to post an infamous ripped hands pic but I forgot to. Now, I have John wanting us to work on our kipping pullups and I can still hardly grip the bar, a week and a half later.

The WOD this morning:
10-> 1
DB thrusters 30#
100ish M sprint

I've never used 30# for thrusters before. When I first tempted to start doing elite weight in workouts I think I was switching between 20s and 25s but I should have known 30s would be in my future (and they should have been 35s this morning!). John says that the point of his workout for us isn't to "mess us up" but to learn "to endure the hard work and suffering." Gah, it's still SO hard to get to the next level once you're comfortable with a certain weight. But CrossFit is all about being uncomfortable! That's for sure...

My parents left today! They set me up in the apartment with a whole bunch of furniture and kitchen supplies. Paleo party at my place soon!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A post of a first!

I did my first double under this morning! And not only did I do one, but I did nine in a row during one round! The WOD looked like this:

Double unders
Ab mat sit ups

We weren't allowed to replace the double unders for singles. In the past we've always doubled the numbers and done them as singles but Jen said this morning that we couldn't! At first this was a huge problem because I don't think any of us had actually accomplished a real double under but attempts counted for this workout. My ankles are all whipped up as a result of my attempts! In an effort to get 50 in that first round I was bound to do at least one and by the end I kind of got the hang of them. I'll get my jump rope out later and test to see how many more I can do in a row!

I've got a body comp with John on Sunday to kick off my 30 Day Challenge with him. We'll talk more about goals and what I want to accomplish in 30 days and 60 days. So far I've sent him a run down that looks like this:

30 Day Goals:
Run a 5k in under 30 min
1 kipping pull up
10 push ups on toes
Lose 1% body fat

60 Day Goals:
10 kipping pull ups
20 push ups on toes
Lose 2% body fat

I may have lowballed my goal for losing body fat but I don't know how quickly it will go away. Other than losing inches, I haven't lost a percentage since the Spartan Challenge. At least, I don't think so but I'll know more after Sunday.

Lindsay drafted a letter to send out to our friends and family about our crazy month of October. John sounded really strict about nutrition so we don't want to get in trouble with him, or let ourselves down by caving in to all the crack that's out there. We figured that if we tried to let our friends know about what we're doing they'll be less eager to tempt us with alcohol and deserts. I know I'll still get a bunch of questions as to why I'm doing this but I'm ready! Jess is going with the "I'm pregnant" excuse lol

Here's the letter:
Friends and Family!

We 3 have decided to embark on a CrossFit 30 day challenge starting Tuesday, October, 6th and ending on Thursday, November 5th. During these 30 days we will be eating a paleo/zone diet (no processed foods) and completing 4 crossfit work outs a week. We will take our body compositions and complete a bench mark work out on Tuesday 10/6, then do them again on 11/5 to check out our progress.

Why do you care? Because we need your support! We will need you to help us meet these goals by pushing us when we want to quit, and being understanding when we can't take you up on that cocktail or chocolate cake :)

We'll keep you updated with our progress! Thanks and love to all of you!


Lindsay, Jess, and Lory

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh dear, Angie

Here's a secret: I like Angie!

100 pullups
100 pushups
100 situps
100 squats
My time: 18:18

I like Angie because it's straight forward body resistance. The WOD isn't really about the fastest, strongest lifter (at least to me). It's about getting it done. So I can't stare down at a 65# barbell and will it to feel lighter with Angie, I just have to keep my body moving and shake it out every once in awhile. I'm really looking forward to the day that I can do 100 pull ups without the rubber band. Talk about exciting!

Here's another exciting development:
Jess, Linds and I are going to do John's 30 Day Challenge. This is involves food logging, trigger point, heavy lifting and being held responsible for the stupid food choices that I tend to make. By the end of it I really want to be able to do a kipping pull up on my own and a bunch of pushups on my toes, chest to ground. Then I'll go take over the world with my SICFIT bod. Ha!

I'm loving this right now:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Aaron's Encouragement

I was just told my co-worker Aaron about the rut that I feel like I'm in and his response was:

"You know what the best thing about life is? You can start over. Every minute is a new beginning. This next minute could be the start of something brand new."

That made me feel a lot better and I want to remember it when I feel like this again! I don't have to wait for a Monday, or the 1st of a month because I can change what I'm doing from one minute or one second to the next.

That also brings to mind this quote from a Green Day song: "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

I'm wearing the Cranky Pants

Workout Log:

400m Run
50 squats
My time: 15:20

Handstand Push-ups
Deadlifts (Elite weight 155#, I did 115#)
My time: 8:49 (?)

I've been cranky lately because I haven't been eating well. In the past 3 months I've learned that when I don't eat well a lot of negative things spin out from that - getting frustrated during WODs, low energy, poor emotions, lack of motivation, the list goes on and on. So, why don't I eat well all of the time when I know this happens to me when I don't? Because I get sick of all the comments at work about my eating habits, because sometimes I'm hanging out with people that eat "bad" food and I think if they can have it, I can too. I know it doesn't work this way and I know I'm better off without the cake and cookies and bread and junk but sometimes I just don't feel like being strong to resist all of it. Gahhhh! Frustration.

So I'm wearing the cranky pants until I kick my butt into gear and decide that I really want to be the fastest, strongest, and fittest that I can be!

Linds, Katie, Jess and I are looking into doing JDP's 30 Challenge. This would involve extra workouts and mega dialed in nutrition for the month of October. I know we can do it but we're still figuring out the logistics of money and time. This challenge would force me into the consistency that I've been lacking lately! Hopefully we can do it but if not, I should start a challenge of my own. Paleo/zone for 30 days!

I like this from Travis's blog:

"On the surface, the deadlift seems simple, right? "Stand up with the weight". But now that we have reviewed all of the lift's underlying complexities, I challenge you to make a comparison between the deadlift and your life. This may be a stretch for some of you to comprehend, but for those of you that live CrossFit like I do, you know what I am getting at. Life is uncertain and, at times, uncomfortable. But the desire to complete the task at hand must outweigh the feelings of doubt and discomfort."

Now I just need to get uncomfortable!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Hour tonight!

I am counting down the minutes to leave work and meet with the CFC ladies for Happy Hour!

Here's another Quick Workout Log:

25 Wall Ball (elite weight 14#, I did 12/14#)
25 Ring Row
My time: 18:36 (?)

Then, squat jumps and squat holds to put the icing on Crystal's torture! :)

I hadn't done Ring Rows since Elements and they were hard! My evil brain kept telling me to take a step back and scale it more but I fought it! My arms are feeling those today...

Day 2 of Paleo buttt Happy Hour is tonight and I'm still debating whether to cheat or not. Yes, I'm only two days in and I'm a weeny for thinking of quitting now but it's pizza and beer, my favorites! I'll let you know if I'm starting over at Day 1 tomorrow.

See ya!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quick Workout Log Post

75 power cleans
My time: 11:05

I did the first 10 at elite weight (65#). Finished the rest at 45#. I tried to do elite but I was doing something funky with my arms and couldn't quite do it right. Crystal said that I should get comfortable with 45# then I can move it up.

2 rounds:
30 Lunges w/ KB pass through
15 Knees to Elbows

Day 1 of Paleo

Starting again, let's see how long I can go without cheating!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

CFC Women's Challenge

Let's see if I can even attempt to describe the Women's Challenge in words...

Unfortunately, I was going into the Challenge after a weekend of partying in Florida. Oops, kind of dropped the ball on that one. I tried to stick to paleo foods while out of town but it was harder than I thought it would be. Oh well, done and over with and now I can look forward to what is to come!

On Friday, the 2 workouts were announced. I thought CFC was going to post them online in the morning so I kept a browser up at work, continually refreshing it throughout the day (not like I don't have it up already :). But the workouts were released in person when we went to pick up our shirts (which I love!). Here's what we found:
8:00 am
2 mile trail run broken up into three obstacles of
1. 150 burpees
2. 200 KB swings
3. 200 med ball passes

10:00 am
The Chipper
75 barbell power snatch (45#)
200 box jumps
175 ab mat sit ups
100 pull ups
125 duo dead lifts @ 95#s
150 jumping ring dips
100 duo shoulder press (55#)
Run 400


Here's how it went down:

I had a crazy nightmare last night about oversleeping and missing the trail run. I popped out of bed at 6 am thinking that it's 10 am and I've let me team down, missed everything. Turns out that I had left my phone on vibrate so it's good I had that nightmare to wake me up and get me going! Maybe my subconscious comes in handy...

The Shoal Creek area was a little tricky to find. Cara wanted Team Guns there at 7:00 to talk strategy but after getting turned around a few times I think I got there around 7:20ish. Austin decided to throw us a fast one this weekend with a torrential downpour that never quite stopped. Rain?!?! The weather was definitely a surprise! But I almost preferred it to the heat we're used to.

Cara and Maria started with the burpees. I effing hate burpees and used the time to psyche myself up. The plan was for each of us to do 50 but I think my teammates did much more than I could. Burpees are on my 'To Work On' List! Then, we were off running to the next station of KB swings. I got there first and started swinging:

Keeping our footing on the trail run was the hardest part but Team Guns was all smiles as we raced for the finish line:

We had about an hour between workouts. Cara went to a laundromat, Maria went home and I went to Andrew's to throw all my wet, stinky clothes in the dryer. I even had time for a quick shower (mainly to warm up) before I headed back to Central. I brought some extra Spark aka Crack for the teammates and before we knew it we were off on The Chipper!

The hardest part of the Chipper were definitely the duo movements because you had to stay in sync with your partner. I think that we could have gone heavier on the deadlift and the push press but it would have been challenging.

I am most proud of the preserverance Cara showed throughout the Challenge. She doesn't like running as much as Maria and I do but for every leg of the race she pushed through! That's Stubborn Determination!

When's the next Challenge??

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A post of a First

FIRST EVER WOD completed at Elite weight:

20 95# deadlifts
20 situps
20 jumping pull ups
400M Run
x 3

My time: 14:11

I told Crystal at the beginning of the Women's Challenge (it's coming up - I'm so excited!) that my two main goals were 1, get my body fat percentage down and 2, start doing elite weight in workouts. The first time I attempted elite weight was a WOD consisting of DB push presses and dang, I was looking at those dumb 25 pounders like they were a thing possessed.

Today's WOD was:
400M Run
500M Row
75 Wall Balls (Elite weight 14#)
x 2

Unfortunately (fortunately!!!) there was only one 14# ball for our use. I teamed up with Claire and Jessica switching between 6, 8 and 12 pound med balls. Boy, was I happy when the 6 pounder came to me! I should have worked on pull ups after the workout but my heart was beating out of my chest and I thought I was going to throw up - which, of course, is a normal reaction for me after one of Central's workouts. This Saturday there are a bunch of free events at various locations and I'm looking forward to bringing Aaron and Michelle to the Kettlebell workout at 9am. They're going to love it! Still debating if I should try to fit in Rogue's run beforehand at 7am but I think that depends on my car.

I have come to the conclusion that my car is possessed. For awhile, I gave it the benefit of the doubt, "It's okay, it's a '97" or "My Civic just needs some TLC". But no, it's definitely possessed. This past weekend I took it to the mechanic on N Lamar who is awesome! Salem's = Trustworthy. The Civic had been screeeeeching whenever I pressed on the brakes but when they checked it out they said everything looked great, brand new brake pads, nothing out of the ordinary. Clue #1. Drove out of there and it was driving more smoothly than it had in awhile. Then, this morning, I missed the bus so I walked back to my car and... nothing. No juice. Not even a peep.

Ten hours later, I'm done with work, have finished my workout and go out to fiddle with it in the parking lot. Before I even try anything, I flick the key and it's alive! Possession, I'm telling you. Somewhere underneath that hood is a little elf laughing at me.

Speaking of witchcraft, apparently Austinites have finally perfected the art of the rain dance because It. Is. Raining. Don't faint on me now. There is crazy lightning going on every few minutes and there is a legitimate storm rolling in. I'm enjoying an iced African Sunrise which of course did it's part in rolling in the rain. Africa = Water, right?! Maybe I should run home to get under the covers because this might be my one chance this year to fall asleep listening to the rain. Hmm, that's a good idea.

See ya!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm thinking...

I'm thinking that I should start blogging about my adventures in training with superheroes, cooking/measuring like a mad scientist, and enjoying my life in Austin. The goal of this blog is to record accomplishments while giving my Mom something to read (if she figures out how to use the Internet).

I am currently at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to make use of their free WiFi. I still need to work on buddying up with my neighbors to unlock their internet but for now, I've enjoyed finding new coffee houses in Austin. Thunderbird is the closest to my place and I do enjoy it but something about studying the LSAT among Austin's finest liberals rubs me the wrong way. I feel like the LSAT and Starbucks go hand in hand - the rise of corporate America and all that jazz! But today is all about being an artsy blogger as I sit across the street from Central Market and debate about going shopping after this for some more veggies.

Speaking of food, about an hour ago I prepared ten ziplock bags of paleo two block meals. Next post I'll figure out how to upload pictures and post a picture of my refrigerator. This past month I have been fiddling with the Paleo style of eating and my goal for the next two weeks before my Florida trip is to now zone the paleo meals. I'll let you know how it goes... I can tell you this, my new kitchen scale is pretty cool. I never knew what 2 oz of chicken looked like before this handy Target purchase! So even if I fail miserably at zoning my food, at least I have a fancy shmancy digital device to show for my efforts.

In preparation for Central's Women's Challenge on September 12th, some of the 7:00 pm ladies and I got together this morning at 10 am at the track across the street from the gym. I had found/made up a WOD consisting of:

10 burpees
200M Run
20 pushups
200M Run
30 lunges
200M Run
40 squats
200M Run
50 sit ups
200M Run

Cara, Maria, Alisa and I rocked it! It was already hot at 10 am and Cara had been out the night before to celebrate her birthday but we all showed up, went through the warm up, and had a really good time. Afterwards, we tried to look around for a pull up bar but no such luck. I have this burning desire to do a kipping pull up without any modification! For the last two classes, a bunch of us have stayed after to try but so far only Jess has been able to pull one off. By the Women's Challenge I hope to knock out at least ONE and if I do, a crazy, happy dance will commence!

I'm off to see if I can find some figs...