Monday, December 20, 2010

Pretty Strong

I highly recommend checking out the Pretty Strong blog!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Recap of the All Cities Open

Top three life lessons from ACO:
1. Other than the nerves, plus building enough courage and confidence, the hardest part about competing is figuring out when and what to eat. True story, I was on the verge of vomiting the whole time.
2. I pee a lot. A lot. Maybe I had too much Spark, maybe it was the nerves, but I felt like at every opportunity I had to run off to find the loo.
3. CrossFit athletes GLOW. On the phone with Mom I said, "I look like such a creeper because I'm staring at everyone. But seriously, everyone glows. It's like Greek mythology out here."

Here's the breakdown:

Wod #1: 1 rep max back squat
I was thrown off guard when I was asked at check in what my 1rm back squat was. I meekly said, "Umm, 180?" Sounded good in my head even though I had only done 150#, or 153 (to be exact) the other day with Sally. I always feel decapitated when I do heavy back squats and it's one of my least favorite lifts. Turns out I uttered the right number though (even if it was a lie) because I got paired up with Karen and Katie Russel who I met at the OlyAthlete meet for the first event.
I managed to crank out 160# with some great pointers from Jon, who was my honorary coach for the day.

Wod #2: 4 rounds- 20 sec max wattage row, 40 sec rest, 20 sec chest to bar pull ups, 40 sec rest
Umm, so who's done chest to bar pull ups?! Not me. I ran over to Jon, "Soo I've never done chest to bar before... What's the secret?" This was another event where, with great advice from Jon, I managed, but I am adding row with the damper at 10 and CTB on my list of things to work on. It was a cool wod with the rest programmed in there, of course the 40 sec went by quickly but it was enough to breathe a bit before the next set.

Wod #3: 10 min- Every minute on the minute, squat clean 45% of your 1rm back squat. For the rest of the minute, do double unders.
Turns out that it was great that my back squat was so light because it was used for the clean weight! For this workout, the squat cleans weren't that bad (my weight was 75#) but it was such a leg burner. Going into the competition I would say that I had double unders but coming out, I definitely need to practice them when I'm fatigued. It's one thing to have doubles when you're fresh, but it's a completely different story when you're in round six of a wod.

Wod #4: On about a mile course, run to an 80# sandbag, 15 ground to shoulders, run, 15 70# Russian kettlebell swings, run.
Wheeee doggies was that bag a bia! When they demoed the movement it looked so easy to clean it to your shoulder but when I got to the bag it was almost impossible for me, until I heard two things- 1, Carey said "Bear hug it!" and 2- Jon said "Drop under it!" and then I figured it out! It still wasn't easy and it took me all of 10 minutes just to get through those ten reps but I did it and was able to finish through the rest of the course, though it wasn't in the allotted time cap. I was so impressed watching the later heats master the sand bag, especially Alex!

It was a great event and I liked how the programming had everyone finish at the same time. Thank you Jon for all of your coaching! Thank you Chard for telling me to go and for being a great friend and mentor throughout the event! Thanks Karen for being a great wod partner and battling through the sandbags with me! Lastly, big thanks to Team LLcoolJ, my Jess and Linds, for their everlasting encouragement!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Backyard Barbell

My parents got the Girls Gone Fit Haus a barbell plus metal plates while they were in town. Thank you Mom and Dad! The barbell + Myriam's 12kg kettlebell + Tribe sandbags + 50# kettlebell + random PVC pipe = Lory's Backyard Barbell.

Tonight I broke all of that equipment in and did:

3 rounds
10 burpees
50 double unders

push press
power clean
All using 65#, not setting the bar down until in between rounds.

3 rounds
15 Russian swings (50#)
10/10 L/R KB snatch (12 kg)
1 dead hang pull up

Whew! That felt great! Just in time for tomorrow's Mustache Throwdown with the guys at Atomic Athlete and Westlake Crossfit. Come join at Zilker park at 9 am! I think the girls are going to try to paint on dirty 'staches, it'll be a sight to see!

Monday, November 15, 2010

And then it was Fall.

It seems like one day I was complaining to Annie about how hot it was and then the next day I was pulling out my heated blanket. Hello fifty degree weather! Fall (winter?) seems especially fun this year in my awesome snatchlife sweater thanks to the beautiful Erika! I'm loving Saturday mornings at the Girls Gone Fit Haus as we run outside to see how cold it is (crops today or shorts?) and squeal back inside to grab more layers.

Tonight at Defiant we did:
1 full snatch from the hip, 1 from the ground, as it got heavier, just from the ground.
Turns out I don't know where my pubic bone is. Keith told me my hand should be bit wider and the 85# snatch felt like it just flew up. I remember when 75# snatches were a struggle and it's great to see the progress with oly lifting.

1 full clean from ground, 1 split jerk

3 rep back squat with the Sall-meister aka my Dream Team member
I haven't back squatted in a long time. I've been working a lot on front squats to improve getting out of the hole of the clean. I'll have to do crossfit Totals again soon to see where my numbers are.

What's coming up? I've got goals to hit 3 non-kipping HSPUs by January, 130# OHS, and I still want to learn how to do butterfly pull ups. Thankfully, I work out with the marvelous Jess K who has been giving me lessons. I can visual myself doing them but when I jump on the bar, my bod wants to kip normally. Circles, Lor, circles.

Guess who is excited to see the new Harry Potter movie??

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bad Day

I had a bad day today. I'm dealing with some stressful things at work, I had a tearful phone conversation with my Mom, I haven't seen my parents that I'm close with in seven months, I'm questioning my goals and I'm questioning the future which all piles on top of me. I don't have these days or even this attitude often but it's still there.

I haven't been to class at Sicfit Austin in three weeks due to schedule conflicts and I debated not even going today. As I walked down Burnet Road to the gym I debated why I do this. Why can't I be like any other "normal" athlete and run Town Lake for my workout? Why can't I just live and not think about goals or the ever elusive muscle up (muscle up handstand push up?!) or paleo/zone or competing or affording Lululemon? I didn't have an answer.

But then I got to class. And for that hour I felt alive. I PR'ed my power clean, did one armed thrusters, one armed floor presses and prowler pushes, all which I had never done before. I got to cheer on teammates as we went through a twelve minute wod, heaving snatch balances and power cleans. I got positive feedback from a great coach about what to work on in the future.

And that future that I was stressing about all day long? It's still there, elusive as ever. But I got to leave the gym with a lighter heart, which is my answer to why I do this. I can throw all the numbers out the window because they don't matter. I'll be doing this for as long as it makes me feel better about myself.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happiness is decided ahead of time

Here's an email chain from Mom:

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, shaved perfectly and with his hair fashionably combed, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.

'I love it,' he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

'Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.'

'That doesn't have anything to do with it,' he replied...

'Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. 'It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can; spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life.

Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.

So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!

Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank.

I am still depositing.'

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Bank

Lately, I've been loving the metaphor that life is bank. Just like a monetary bank with it's deposits and withdrawls, life's bank has experiences that cash in on savings. I can apply this to anything- relationships, family, career, nutrition, workouts, all of them become banks. For example, when I go out to events by myself, I bank on the credit of my independence. Or, when I cupcake (Aaron's term from Aaron's Agoge) on workouts, I'm making a cash withdrawal from my account.

Having that bank helps me put life into perspective. I'm not going to have 365 days in a year of perfect workouts. No one is. Yet all of us have an account to stock pile good days and bad, or credits and debits.

Sunday Tribe did:
21 OHS (65#)
42 pull ups
15 OHS
30 pull ups
18 pull ups
My time: 12:47

I'm going to feel that one in my lats tomorrow.

We also pulled the workouts we're going to do for our endurance October workout. It's "6 in 6"- 6 benchmark workouts in 6 hours! In teams of 2 we'll do:

I'm excited!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I just want to play!

Fight Gone Bad was an awesome event! It was so cool to feel a part of a movement bigger than just one box- but the whole crossfit community! To know that crossfitters worldwide were all doing the same workout on the same day for great causes was an awesome feeling. The day after FGB, a bunch of Defiant athletes and I used our muscles to help two elderly ladies move out of their home. Coach Delanie described Sunday perfectly as, "In a few months you'll probably forget your FGB score from yesterday but Donna will remember this day forever!" It was a great weekend!

Going forward from FGB, I've just been playing and it's fun! The Tribe got together and made sandbags out of inner tubes with sand and pea gravel. I've been learning how to swing mine and it's in a great oval shape to rest around my neck. Now it just needs some flair, I'm thinking of breaking out some spray paint and glitter! :) All of us have really gotten strong this summer battling through the Texas heat so adding 30 lb sandbags to our workouts isn't hard at all. But I'm definitely happy to not be in the heat any longer.

On Monday at Defiant we did overhead squats, push presses and clean and jerks. We worked up to a 3 rep max of OHS and push press. The week before, I had PR'ed doing a 1 rep max 100# OHS and Monday I was able to do 3 reps of that! I was definitely feeding off the energy of our awesome class, plus I love overhead squats. After class, we played around on the rings and pull up bars. I got great advice from Jonathan about muscle ups and Jess K was helping me with butterfly pull ups. Then all of us started talking about rope climbs and found that no one had done one before so Heather pulled down the rope and taught us! Super cool, and again, just fun to play around on things I don't normally do.

Tonight the sledge hammer was a part of our workout at Sicfit and I had never used one of those either! Zach reviewed the movement and Alexis and I had trouble being really aggressive with it. Maybe if I was dressed in boots and a flannel shirt I could have done it better. I was trying to visualize being in the woods and cutting down trees butttt I was on Burnet Road with cars zooming by probably wondering why in the world I was hitting a hammer against a tire. Then we worked up to a 1 rep max snatch. Felt good, I've been doing the mobility wods because my hips have felt super tight from sitting all day at work and I think I've worked out some of the kinks in them. Great stuff!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Prepping for FGB

The Tribe has been preparing for FGB by doing "Thrash" (a variation of movements in FGB structure), doing FGB but subbing rowing for burpees last Sunday, and this Saturday heading up to Defiant Crossfit's free workout which is... you guessed it, FGB! All this prep will pay off, especially since Bonita and I got crossfit drunk on Sunday and used a 65# bar for everything when women's RX is 55#. Whoopsie.

Tonight I jumped back into Zach's Oly Lifting class at Sicfit Austin and we did:

KB warm up

Met con:
3 rounds:
10/10 KB OHS
20 Games standard push ups
30 box jumps
Zach said sub 15 min, I finished in 13 something, Taylor finished just under 10. This smoked me! I had trouble with all three movements- getting the right depth/flexibility on the overhead squat, holding a strong plank for the push ups, and bouncing lightly on the box! Gah, hard stuff.

3-3-2-2-1-1 Overhead squat
Woot! I'm in the triple digits for OHS! Next up, body weight! ha ha
3x3 Split Jerk
Stayed with 65#, worked technique- need to get my back leg further back and keep weight disbursed evenly, too much weight in front.

Felt good overall. Check out these links:
Lauren Plumey's "Before" picture
Pull ups and Paleo - cool pictures
Deadlifts and Dresses

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weightlifting and a WOD

These are some excerps from the blog I just posted on the Tribe site so if you're following both you can skip this! But I know my Mom reads "Lory's Adventures" so this is more for her. :)

Never in a million years did I think that when I was 24 years old I would compete in a weightlifting competition.

Nevertheless, when I saw the announcement come up on Crossfit Austin's home page that OlyAthlete was hosting a competition in Austin, the idea of entering bounced around in my head for awhile. I've been working on the snatch and clean and jerk for about three months now and have seen huge gains. During the I AM CROSSFIT challenge, everyone winced when I did 65# hang cleans because the weight would come crashing down on my collarbone and I had no idea what the technique was behind a clean. Now, hang cleans are one of my favorite movements to do!

But I didn't have the confidence to sign up until I jumped into a class at Defiant Crossfit with Heather Hodges and Keith Minikus. Heather has this infectious personality that makes you smile just being around her. I've never had a coach believe in me the way that she did right off the bat. After class she immediately said to me, "You're competing in Sectionals next year, right?" I was like, Yes... I love you? Then Keith's knowledge just resonates as he walks among the lifting platforms, correcting forms as he goes. I found out today that he is among the top 20 in the country and will be competing in Nationals to go on to the Olympic Trials and hopefully the Olympics. When I heard that the coaches of Defiant were entering as a team and Heather continued to urge me to sign up the next morning, I figured, why not? I've spent this whole summer with the Tribe trying out new things so I might as well try this event out.

Big thanks to Annie, Jess K and Linds who listened to me over email all day on Friday freaking out- random questions such as, why in the world did I just do this to myself, and does anyone know how to convert pounds to kilos?? and what do I even wear?? were among the chain flying back and forth. Then I got a great pep up talk from Bonita and the Tribe at Happy Hour which definitely helped put my mind to rest.

When I arrived at CrossFit Austin today, I recognized Dutch Lowy among a group of guys and was like, I have to lift in front of Dutch?! Jon had told me that he and Bonita were on their way over and I hurriedly sent them a frenzied text, "I am the only girl here and I am FREAKING OUT." ha, It's great to have the friends that I do because they put up with all of my crazy rants and outbursts. After sitting around not knowing anyone, they proceeded to do the weigh in and we were told we would be starting in 20 minutes. Some people left to eat (how did they not throw up??) while I proceeded to warm up doing the standard 10 air squats, 10 push ups, 10 rotations along with a run and some lifts. Someone came up to me half way through and was like, "You're Lory, right? You're first to lift." Holy moly... Thank goodness that was when Bonita and Jon arrived and they talked me through my nerves. Bonita is pretty much the most awesome person I know. I'm calling dibs on being her protegy because she was able to just look at me and be like, "Lory, you can do this. It's all for experience, you're just going to do what you know how to and learn as much as you can. Keep breathing and everything will be fine." Words of wisdom, right there.

Then it began. They lined us up in order of what weight we were about to lift and introduced us. I still had no idea what was going on and turned to the guy next to me and said, "So when they call my name do I have to do a bio?" I fully expected having to say where I was from, age, favorite food, best PR, favorite color, ha ha you know, the usual. But you just give a little wave, for all those out there who are interested in competing next time- don't do a bow. It's not necessary. :)

65 pounds is 30 kilos and that's what I started with for the snatch but I scratched on my first attempt. Nerves. Seriously, they had like four rows of chairs and all these people just staring at you and who knows what they're thinking? I looked at the floor, or at my little cheer section. Jess's cheer of "Go Lory!" helped SO much before my second lift because it helped ease the tension a little bit. I made the second lift at 65# and tried for 75# on my third attempt but even though I got it up, it didn't count because I pressed it out. Keith was last to go on snatch and I got goosebumps watching his lift because it was SO cool and looked so effortless. Light weight, baby! (It was probably 200+ pounds)

There were more supporters that showed before my clean and jerk round- seriously guys, thank you SO much for being there! Myriam, Sally, Cindy, and Linda all showed up and we discussed how different this event was compared to any crossfit competition that we've seen. I knew more what to expect with the second round, and I had Keith in front of me as a judge and just felt more comfortable overall. I had to fight to get my first attempt of 95# up but made it and hit 105# as well. But I scratched on the third attempt of 115# which had to do with getting under the bar faster and faster elbows as well. Here's a tidbit for the newbies- you don't have to do a full squat for snatch or clean and jerk! I had no idea! If you get it up, it's up, no full squat necessary. I also learned some breathing techniques from the athletes that were competing, as in holding your breath during a lift to tighten your whole body. It's just amazing to watch how fast some of these people drop, definitely something I aspire to do.

After the clean and jerk round was a 10 min amrap of 5 95# thrusters, 10 burpees, and 20 double unders. I knew that 95# thrusters was going to be pretty heavy for me- I'm more used to 65#. I could only laugh at that point, knowing that this whole thing has just been for fun and to learn more, so when I was struggling to get the bar up, it wasn't that big of a deal. I was looking forward to the burpees!

All in all, a HUGE thank you to all that came out and helped me! I would have been lost without you :) Overall, I'm super happy I tried it out and if you ask me how it went I'll probably just laugh and say I have a lot to work on.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


About a month ago a bunch of articles came out in the CrossFit blog-o-sphere about scaling and the correct way to do it. CrossFit Austin wrote a great post that Mel highlighted in her blog (and because she did I'm sure all of you already read it). I've always been in the mindset to always go heavier in a workout, regardless of what you think you can do. But Coach Crystal has called me out on this a number of times, trying to make me understand that range of motion is more important that what weight you're using. But I'm stubborn and think that as long as I'm not hurting myself, or anywhere near injuring myself, it's always better to reach for those heavy dumbbells or weighted bar.

If I were a trainer, Jon over at Barbells and Bacon would probably describe me as a horrible coach. He recently posted an example of how to coach people:
“Today we are doing Helen. 3 Rounds of run 400 21 KB swings 12 pull ups. Goal time is between 8 and 12 minutes. If this workout takes you more than 15 minutes, you did not scale correctly. The weight of the KB and the type of pullup should be based on you doing the first round almost unbroken. We do not want to see sets of 1 and 2 in the first round”.

I remember the days of yelling (okay, not yelling...) at Jess K for grabbing a rubber band when she could crank out one kipping pull up. Even though she didn't know yet how to string them together, I thought she should be off the band for good. But Jon says no. I understand the different energy cycles a great programmed wod should hit depending on how long effort is exerted but sometimes I wonder, to really get stronger, shouldn't I go heavy all the time? Regardless of how long it takes? It's definitely a conflict that is largely discussed on the crossfit message boards as well.

I have no qualms with scaling either. If I can't do the weight or if I'm feeling tired and not able to bust out 100% effort, then by all means, I'm going to scale. Scaling is good - it builds strength in the beginner athlete and especially builds confidence at the early stages of crossfit. I loved looking forward to the next step of doing "Angie" as prescribed, first going up to all 100 reps, then push ups on toes, then kipping pull ups.

Plus, once you get to a certain level of craziness, it's always fun to scale up!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


For the longest time I crossfitted in running sneakers. You know the kind, with the big foamy heel that's supposed to protect me from shin splits. They were comfortable and I never had any problems with them. I think my uncle recommended the Brooks brand so that's what I bought and I never really thought about it. I mean, I gushed over Crystal M and Annie's awesome kicks but I thought that represented more their Sic Style rather than something to work out in.

Then I went to a free CrossFit endurance workout and Eric had me run barefoot. And it was crazy, different, painful, awesome, scary, super cool! I was really sore the next day after that endurance wod and started reading articles about barefoot running. I found out that the Brooks sneakers that I thought were so comfortable and useful were actually hindering my leg muscles from getting stronger. I'm never (I shouldn't say never) going to go out and buy Vibrams because I think they look funny but I definitely have switched up my shoewear ever since that track workout. The only time I have pulled out the Brooks since then was when we did the "Filthy Fifteen" because I thought I would be running 15 miles... only to do 4, ha ha :)

I started wearing my Pumas that I used to wear in high school. I'm not sure what style they are but they're flat and let my foot take it's natural shape without any padding. In the beginning I worried about running in them. Yet slowly my leg muscles adapted to the different shoe and running has been fine. I even wore them to lift in when I was taking classes at Sicfit.

I saw Crystal Nelson's post about many of her clients wearing Converses to class. Web talks about his love for all-black Chucks too and I've seen a ton of people wearing them at the gym. Before I left for my England trip, I bought a pair on sale at the Nordstrom Rack. I know most people go through their stages with Chucks in high school or just throughout their life but I had never owned a pair! I did my first workout in my (hot pink) Chucks last night and I thought they worked pretty well. Bonita had posted a wod that was "Grace" plus 45 burpees after you finish 30 reps so I figured those were two movements that would test out the shoewear. I wanted a wod with lifts so I could test out the sturdiness of having a flat base, which was what the Pumas were lacking. The Pumas are flat but they're more like a sock, super flexible, rather than a solid sole to keep my foot flat.

Zach will tell me that I still need a pair of Oly Lifting shoes but I thought the Chucks worked well! I don't know if they'd be comfortable for overall crossfitting because running in them might be a little hard but I definitely liked them for the clean and jerks last night. I might just need to break mine in a little more before I can run in them!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Slowly getting back into the swing of things...

Great workout this morning with the Tribe! I started from the bottom of the wod and worked my way up to make it this:
100 double unders
400 m run
25 pull ups
800 m run
15 SDLHP (65#)
25 burpees
800 m run
Time: 24:27ish

The pull ups, SDLHPs, and burpees felt good (as good as burpees can feel...), but the runs did not. I'm ready for a cool breeze during those runs and the Texas heat is not working with me. That's okay.

I read a great article about nutrition and sent it off to my Mom (The Mountain Dog Diet). I'm always looking for good posts detailing the foods I (try to) eat because it's hard for me to explain why I follow this particular lifestyle. In my head the nutrition things I've learned makes sense but when I talk about it to others that haven't heard of paleo, I stumble for the answers for "Why no dairy?" or "But aren't whole grains good?".

Mom wrote back with a neat email from her friend that follows a similar diet but with less protein intake (eggs only a couple times a week, meat maybe three times a week but still no grains, no dairy). It sounded like she learned about the benefits of high quality protein sources, yet the primary foods she eats are fruits and vegetables. However, I loved that she knew that dietary fat sources don't make you fat! I think this is something that has been lacking in every day knowledge. She said, "Cholesterol is brain food and if we don't get enough in our diets, our body manufactures it. It's the unhealthy fats that cause the cholesterol to become "chunky" and problematic, not the cholesterol itself." The rest of the email talked about the relationship of foods and an acid/base diet which I haven't researched too much on. I always thought I needed to get dialed into a comfortable paleo/zone diet first before I started playing around with the acid/base relationship but it could be something for me to research now. We'll see!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Endurance wod

I consider myself extremely lucky to have the opportunity to work out with someone like Bonita. She consistently has great advice for me, always unpacks her truck full of equipment for the Tribe and is just an overall hero! And it was a "hero" that I kept calling her today.

Months ago Bonita told me that she had found several endurance workouts online. There is a guy named Shane in New York that is training to be a Navy Seal and apparently he keeps a workout log of everything that he is doing. Bonita found his blog and has put into her programming some of the workouts that he does. You can view his blog here. I told B that I would love to try out one of these endurance workouts whenever we wanted to add one in.

Bonita, Melissa, Karen, Jess E and I attempted the "Filthy Fifteen" this morning:
60 rounds
400m run
10 burpees
3 pull ups
3 dips

I went into this workout without an idea of how many rounds I would want to shoot for. I just thought I would want to continue until it wasn't fun anymore, or until I felt something hurt. I even wasn't planning on doing the pull ups or the dips until all the girls did them so I figured, why not? In the end, I ended up starting at 8am and going until about 9:15, completing 16 rounds. At 10 am, I did two more rounds to keep Bonita company. This workout looks awful but I actually had a lot of fun! It was great to be outside with awesome people to keep me company and I can officially say that I don't dislike burpees anymore! They got to be kind of fun, in the crazy kind of fun us crossfitters enjoy. The only thing about today was the heat. It was so uncomfortably hot without any inch of shade on the track. I'd love to try this workout again on a 60 degree fall/winter day- it would make all the difference!

Other than this workout and having my sister in town, I've tried to catch as much as I could of the live feed of The Games! I'm so proud of all the Central athletes, everyone kicked butt and did awesome! Can't wait to see more of the videos and pictures that come out of this event!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm back!

I had a fabulous two week vacation in England but am happy to be back in Austin!

One of the ways to jumpstart my motivation to get back in the gym is to participate in Bonita's crossfit endurance workout this weekend. On Sunday, starting at 7 am at Austin High School, The Tribe and I will be taking on:

60 rounds
400m run
10 burpees

This endurance workout won't be about time, and it won't even be about finishing. For me, it's about trying. All are welcome to participate with us!

BIG "Good Luck" to all CrossFit Central athletes competing in the 2010 Games! I wish I could be out there cheering everyone on!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Filthy Fifty"

"Filthy Fifty"
For Time:
50 box jumps - (jumps on a single tire)
50 jumping pull ups - (25 kips, 25 jumping)
50 KB swings - (16kg)
50 walking lunges
50 knees to elbows
50 push press 45lbs - (mix of 35# and 45#)
50 back extensions - (sit ups)
50 wall ball - (12#)
50 burpees - (DEATH)
50 double unders
My Time: 33:49

This workout was a lesson. I took Bonita's advice and started slow to pace myself and everything was going well until I hit a wall with the burpees. I actually enjoyed doing the pull ups and push presses. In the time it took me to do 50 burpees (one damn burpee at a time...) Bonita talked me through with reminders about character building, perseverance, and mental strength. The double unders felt like heaven after finishing those awful burpees. It's been a week full of mental challenges and I am very happy for a rest day today!

Someday I will

Learning to focus

"Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves. It has nothing to do with how many times you win or lose. It has no relation to where you finish in a race or whether you break world records. But it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goals." -Kieren Perkins

Last night sucked.

Shoulder press 5x5 55/65/70/70/75 (scratch on 5th rep, re-racked, then did the last rep)
Push jerk 1RM 75/85/95/115 (scratch)

I was distracted. I didn't leave the outside world where it should be- outside. I brought it with me to the gym and rather than use it to fire me up, it distracted me. And it showed.

I don't expect to PR every day. But I do expect to have a mental fortitude to keep me focused. It's easy to stay focused during a met con when you're counting reps and flying through movements. It's not as easy when it's you and the barbell, in a quiet gym with only one rep to do. That's when you have the choice of letting your mind go blank, or following the stream of consciousness of: "Did I turn my computer off at work? Damn, ________ really annoyed me today. What should I wear tomorrow? Butt down, chest up. My feet hurt. I have to finish that project this week. Deep breath. Hold it. Go!"

I have excuses as to why I couldn't make the 115# lift yesterday. But they don't matter. They sound lame anyway.

Of course, CrossFit Watertown posted a very timely piece that I needed to read today. Kill That Voice.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

John Berardi

Today I've been reading articles by John Berardi. My favorite so far is: Words of Wisdom

"This game is not only about looking good naked and straining under a big plate-loaded bar. It's about experimentation, longevity, peace of mind, confidence, and enjoyment."

Another great article is by Dan John. Learn the Olympic Lifts

"Olympic Lifting demands discipline in choosing weights within your abilities. But, the payoff is worth it. The feeling of hoisting bodyweight from floor to overhead for the first time remains a treasured memory years later."

I am no where near to lifting my body weight from the floor to overhead but my body tingles at the thought of being able to accomplish that!

Last night the Tribe got together for a crazy rep scheme of box jumps and kettlebell swings. Bonita and I stacked two tires on top of each other for one "box" and we figured it was about 32" high. Wheeeee you should have seen B fly on top of that one! I jumped through 3 rounds on that monster but then switched down to one tire. We got some stares from the track runners which I thought was funny because we did look a little silly jumping on this mountain of tires. On Thursday we're doing "Filthy Fifty" which I've heard about but never done and am looking forward to it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Front squats and cleans

There's a video of Crystal Nelson PR'ing with a 150# clean out there somewhere but I can't find it right now. Crystal is awesome and I love her calm demeanor. She's someone I look up to as an athlete because of everything that she's accomplished! One day I'll be able to do cleans like her and last night was a baby step in that direction! A 110# clean!

I also can't find a video of Zach doing a clean. I'm a video #fail today. But here's Zach:

Zach had Alexis and I work on front squats and cleans last night at Sicfit Austin. I said that my 1RM of FS was 135# but looking through my book it was actually 130# which helps explain why I kept failing on my third rep. We did 5 x 3 at 105/115/125/125/125 and I continually scratched on the 3rd rep of 125#, might be a mental thing but my darn elbows need to pull me up out of the bottom!

Then we went on to cleans and I did 1 rep at 85/95/105 all which felt good. I really wanted that 115# rep but after 3 failed attempts I unracked to 110#. And got it! This is a step forward towards my goal of doing "Elizabeth" as prescribed by September 1. Big thanks to Zach for his superb coaching! He's great at letting me explore what weights to use- whether I want to grab a heavier kettlebell or rack on more weight. Sometimes it fails, like when I suckered Karen and Alexis into doing 65# the other day when Zach advised us to only use the bar but sometimes it works!

Now going forward with this PR I want to put the clean and jerk together at 110#. Last time I was able to do it at 95# so we'll see!

Look at all the beautiful Oly lifters from Saturday's workshop!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bunch of random thoughts

"Perhaps the best way to resist the donuts at work is to donate your change in the morning to a worthy cause"
The above is a link to a really cool article about how moral acts may increase physical endurance. Wow! I want to research more about studies done on this topic. We could even test this out by doing "Fran" one day then another day volunteering at a nursing home and doing "Fran" after and comparing times! I'm calling it "CrossFit Volunteers- Getting stronger through community service". Could be on to something there...

Love this image from Kantan Design's Etsy Store.

Are we eating junk food because it’s cheap? Or is it cheap because we demand it so much that there is more competition and economies of scale?

I want to make Outer Space Paleo Pancakes. So cool!

Oldtime Strongman

The Oldtime Strongman blog entertained me today! I enjoyed looking through the old pictures of weightlifters. Check it out!

Day 9, DUs, and Totals

It's Day 9 of the Whole30 and I feel great! I have boundless energy, my pants are looser and I'm having less sugar cravings. Although, I reeeeally wanted chocolate on Sunday, I was able to muscle through the craving with a large cup of water and distracted myself by doing something else. Sometimes you just have to trick that feisty brain. I've been doing food windows, I heard about it through Crystal Nelson's talk, where I eat between 9-11 am then post workout around 8 pm. It's not hard and I don't do it every day and it seems like it works for me. I'm a little concerned I'm eating too much fat. Next week I might try zoning things a little bit to see how many blocks I'm consuming. I have an idea but am not precise with it. Big congrats to Kellie for dropping 5 lbs in a week, even though she's already super lean!

I've been working on double unders consistently in June. Last night, I did them in a wod:
5 rounds
40 double unders
30 box jumps/jumping squats
20 kb swings

I got to AHS early and was able to work on them, stringing 22 together before the workout started. But during the workout I could only get 10. On the 5th round I couldn't even do 3. I got frustrated, which of course didn't make them any easier! It's only June 9th though, hopefully by the end of June I'll be able to do them back to back easily.

Congrats to everyone with their Totals PRs! I'm a little jealous of everyone that got to do Totals this month. I'm sure I could go to Gold's and find out my numbers but it's not as much fun doing it on my own rather than in C-Rock's 7:00 class. It's all good, I get to throw around heavy weight twice a week anyway! Join me on Saturday at Sicfit's Weightlifting Seminar!

This summer, all of us are going to work hard to stay hydrated. Pickle juice may be the answer? Bonita swears by this stuff. The NY Times just wrote an article about it's benefits. Yuck? It can't be any worse than the Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar shots I've been taking.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"How far can you go?"

I have a picture on my desk that says, "How far can you go?" I like it because my mind wanders when I look at it to African safaris, the CrossFit Games, or any other random image I have floating through my head. But sometimes I have to think, "How far have you come?"

I'm talking specifically in the last eight weeks. When I signed up for Zach's Oly Lifting in April, I did it to fix my cleans. I really struggled with the hang clean during the I Am CrossFit benchmark workout and wanted to fix it. Now eight weeks later, I wouldn't say that I am perfect with the movement but I have a basic foundation for barbell work that I didn't before. Working on Oly lifting has given me increased body awareness where I can feel what went wrong with a lift and how to fix it the next time. Zach still has to come over to me and break things down step by step but overall I've seen a vast improvement.

I've learned the importance of a workout log. Just as we turn our bodies into science experiments for food/nutrition we have to do this for workouts too. I have pages of notes of things Zach and Crystal or other trainers have said to me that made things click. Statements like "fast elbows", "butt down, chest up", or "concentrate" are repeatedly heard at the gym. Writing down during which lift you should hold your breath or what weight you used in a wod makes the workout science experiment even more precise.

What I like so much about Sicfit Austin is that the workouts aren't programmed for going all out, every single time. The programming leads up to strong lifts by preparing you each class for them. For example, last night we did heavy snatch deadlifts. Are snatch deadlifts ever going to show up in a competition? Probably not, but by doing them and challenging myself with the weight used, helps in the long run towards the technique of the first two pulls of the snatch. It's all about the big picture.

On a different subject, here's great summary of a food workshop from the blog world: Cosmo Primal Girl

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Post Secret

One of the first blogs that I started reading was PostSecret. Frank Warren uploads postcards anonymous people have written secrets on every Sunday. In college it used to be my routine to wake up every Sunday morning and pull up my bookmarked PostSecret page to read the postcards. Some are sad, some are funny and all give insight to human nature. I no longer have the Sunday morning routine I did in college but I still find the secrets fascinating.

This Sunday my favorite postcard is this:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Quick link for deadlifts

Deadlifts can save your soul. Click!

Wod logging and Day 2

The Tribe is up to great things this summer! Bonita has found a bunch of tough Navy Seal wods for us to get through that will prepare us for an endurance workout we're going to shoot for at the end of July. I've been enjoying working out in the open air with a great group of folks.

On Monday we did:
50 sit ups
50 double unders
50 sit ups
50 walking lunges
50 sit ups
50 box jumps
50 sit ups
Time: 11:47

I was excited to practice my double unders in a workout. My June DU Club with James has me working on them for the next 30 days or so. Last Tuesday I was able to string 17 in a row but in Monday's workout I got in sets of 10ish. They're hard but once you get the rope swinging it's easier to string them together. It's just the beginning that's rough!

Then Tuesday we did:
10 rounds:
15 deadlifts (135/95#)
15 push ups
Time: 21:07

Whewieee! Whenever I see 10 rounds for a workout I'm like how long is that going to take?? The deadlifts felt pretty good, I was able to do almost all the sets unbroken until round 8 where I did 10 reps then 5. The push ups were rough.. I was able to stay on my toes and do them in sets of 5 until about round 7 when I went to my knees. Ouch! I'm feeling it in my arms today.

Then I ran off to Crystal's house for "Be Selfish" Night with the CrossFit Women. It was relaxing to be able to sit with a beautiful group of women and just breathe. I hope that Lauren will continue these nights in the future- I think a bunch of us benefited from the opportunity to get together, share, encourage, and enjoy each other's company.

Other than that, I'm back to Day 2 of the Whole30. After some indulgences this past weekend watching Regionals in Dallas (Go CFC! Congrats Athletes!), I'm pumped to celebrate the next 28 days of clean eating. I still have never gone a full 30 days without a cheat and really want to check this one off of my "To Do" list. Rather than enter it with a "challenge" mindset, I'm focusing on listening to my body as I nourish it with healthy foods. Any one is more than welcome to check in with me to hold me accountable and I'll let you know how I'm doing!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who'dda thunk?

Alrighty folks, bear with me. I have half written posts about my Level 1 cert, the Whole9 nutrition workshop, Sicfit Austin, and overall food ideas but right now I want to talk about weaknesses.

A few months ago I was a met con lover. I was a happy camper with body weight resistance exercises, box jumps, or short sprints. But when heavy wods showed up on the whiteboard I almost wanted to skip class or would do a workout with a "let's just get this over with" attitude. Then, CrossFit Central changed their programming to add strength sets at the beginning of class. My favorite 20 minute chippers, frolicking around inside and outside of the gym were no longer part of the programming and I had to deal with it. The reason why I didn't like the heavy workout days was because I was bad at them. Seriously, who wants to do something that they're terrible at?

So I didn't have any other choice but to work on it. CrossFit teaches us to work our weaknesses and exposes us to what they are. Tony Budding wrote:

"The goal of CrossFit is increased work capacity across BROAD time and modal domains. Our methods are constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity. Best results are found with a slight bias toward chasing weaknesses, not avoiding them.

This means that we should all train heavy some of the time. We should also train light some of the time. We don't see top performing CrossFit athletes training narrow bandwidths for extended periods: It simply doesn't give the best overall results."

But you know what's funny about training your weaknesses? They become your strengths. The movements that you absolutely can't stand, when practiced over and over again become those that you enjoy and look forward to. You just have to do it.

Guess what I did yesterday? I got to train my weaknesses with Zach at SicFit Austin and I loved every moment of it! Sure, it was hot and sometimes I feel like I'm going to die but I got to throw heavy weight around and try new things. For the first time, I put a clean and jerk together and it was hard but empowering and just gave me an overall sense of accomplishment. Day by day things are getting done at that gym that are going to ripple into all parts of life.

I don't always like the workout whether it be on my own, at CFC, or Sicfit, but you know what? I don't always like broccoli either and I know it's good for me!

Train your weaknesses. You never know what you're going to end up liking!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Bad Romance"

Disclaimer: I did not come up with this. But I wish I had!

Bad Technique

Sing this to the tune of Lady Ga Ga's Bad Romance. I want to see Sage rap this and Carey Kepler + CFW as back up dancers!

Oh oh oh ohhhh oh oh oh

Caught with bad technique

Oh oh oh ohhhh oh oh oh

Caught with bad technique

Rah Rah ah ah ah

Roma Ro ma ma ah

Ga Ga oh la la

Fix your bad technique

Rah Rah ah ah ah

Roma Ro ma ma ah

Ga Ga oh la la

Fix your bad technique

Your lifts are ugly

Got Crossfit disease

I’ll fix your everything

But it won’t be free

I’ll fix your lifts

Lifts lifts lifts

Your ugly lifts

No time for drama

No hero workouts

It’s back to basics

Work it from the top down

I’ll fix your lifts

Lifts lifts lifts

Your ugly lifts

You know that you want to

And you know that you need to

To fix that bad, bad technique

I’ll fix your lifts and I’ll get some revenge

For the bastards teaching bad technique

You want to clean and you want to snatch

But it takes a little more than that

Oh oh oh ohhhh oh oh oh

Caught with bad technique

Oh oh oh ohhhh oh oh oh

Caught with bad technique

Rah Rah ah ah ah

Roma Ro ma ma ah

Ga Ga oh la la

Fix that bad technique

It’s such a horror

Oh there’s no design

It’s almost criminal

You need to refine

Your ugly lifts

Lifts lifts lifts

Those ugly lifts

Your movement’s psycho

With PVC stick

Then with a barbell

It gets really sick

Let’s fix your lifts

Lifts lifts lifts

Your ugly lifts

You know that you want to

And you know that you need to

(Cuz those are freak lifts baby)

To fix that bad, bad technique

I’ll fix your lifts and I’ll get some revenge

For the bastards teaching bad technique

You want to clean and you want to snatch

But it takes a little more than that

Oh oh oh ohhhh oh oh oh

Caught with bad technique

Oh oh oh ohhhh oh oh oh

Caught with bad technique

Rah Rah ah ah ah

Roma Ro ma ma ah

Ga Ga oh la la

Fix your bad technique

Rah Rah ah ah ah

Roma Ro ma ma ah

Ga Ga oh la la

Fix your bad technique

High block, low block baby

Work it, work position, baby

Pockets, mid-thigh baby

Work it to below knee, baby

High block, low block baby

Work it

Work position, baby

Pockets, mid-thigh baby

Work it to below knee, baby

I’ll fix your lifts

And I’ll get some revenge

I’ll fix your lifts

Make the barbell your friend

(Just sing the French here)

Make the barbell your friend

Make the barbell your friend

(Caught with bad technique)

Make the barbell your friend

(Caught with bad technique)

Fix your bad technique

I’ll fix your technique!

I’ll fix your lifts and I’ll get some revenge

For the bastards teaching bad technique

You want to clean and then you want to snatch

But it takes a little more than that

Fix your bad technique

Caught with bad technique

Fix your bad technique

Fix your bad technique

Caught with bad technique

Rah Rah ah ah ah

Roma Ro ma ma ah

Ga Ga oh la la

Fix your bad technique

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hang snatches and "Elizabeth"

This week's workouts have been hard. They're always hard but this week threw me off a little bit. I'm being drilled with technique progressions 2x/week at SicFit which is great and Tuesday and Thursday I got to put the technique to the test in CrossFit wods.

On Tuesday, I got a little ahead of myself. The workout written on the whiteboard was:
hang snatch (65#)
I loaded up 65#, didn't test the weight, and 3, 2, 1, Go! Rep 1 got to about my nose, shook it out, rep 2 got to my eyebrow height (oh shoot!), and rep 3 had Zach coming over to me saying the weight was too heavy. I finished the rest of the workout at 45#. I need to start finding the time to test the weight before time has started because I continuously load up too heavy of weight and can't do it. After the workout I was frustrated because I really thought I should (What does "should" even mean in this case?) have been able to do the prescribed weight. I sent emails off to Karen (My oly lifting partner in crime) and Zach and then a very timely post was written on CrossFit Watertown's blog.

"Some days, we will be better. Some days, we will suck. That’s life. Just work hard and get the **** over it."

At work, I printed out this post and put it on my bulletin board. It's a great daily reminder to shake things off and go forward. Tuesday's workout is done- I tried, I failed, and I did the best that I could do at the time.

Then on to Thursday's workout:
squat cleans (95#)
ring dips

There's nothing quite like the feeling of being one of Crystal's 6:45 girls. We're all close friends, the best supporters and we're there to hit that workout hard. Sure, it's a women's class and we giggle and gossip but once our bars are loaded up, the sweat starts dripping and that workout gets DONE. I've watched these girls struggle and succeed, crush and disappoint and in the end, always come out on top. Chris goes hard and heavy EVERY time, she's stronger than people think and I love it when she outlifts me on Totals. Annie is small in size but one hell of a CrossFitter, she's going to make it to the top. Myriam, I've been working out with since the beginning and is the fastest person I know. That's my CrossFit love of the day.

Back to the workout- oh, squat cleans, what am I to do with you? Similar to Tuesday, I loaded up the prescribed 95#, did 3 reps and failed (I need a new word for failure). But this time, I wasn't disappointed in myself. It was more of a curious, "Hm, what's going on here?" moment rather than an "Oh shit, I suck" kind of deal. I learned from Tuesday's wod to put things into perspective. I had great coaches all around, my favorite girls for support, I was trying my best and it was FUN.

I ended up doing all kinds of different weights for "Elizabeth", going from 95 to 85 to 75 to 85 to 65 to 85. Pretty much a mess but I was working on it, trying to find the blend of fast elbows, catching the bar, tight core, and squat depth. A goal is set for September 1 to do this workout as prescribed. Maybe I'll even video it for my viewing pleasure!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Money money money

Last night I was talking to Annie Bug-a-lug and money came up. Sometimes I have to give up certain things in order for budgeting to come out on the plus side. Crossfit + grass fed meat + organic vegetables = the big bucks. I'm not trying to be negative about this; I'm on board with paying the money to be healthy now rather than on antibiotics and medicine when I'm older. But it's true that this is an expensive lifestyle that I have to justify to people who don't eat real food or lead active lifestyles. Some would ask, "Well, why do you need to explain it to them?" When I get into conversations with people I care about about eating paleo or doing CrossFit it's because I'd love for them to join this crazy "cult" of ours too. It's life changing and it worked for me and I always think it could solve so many of their problems too. Like the woman I always hear cough on the bus on the way to work- if I could somehow slip an "Eat Real Food" flyer into her purse, it might be life changing for her too! That's a stretch, or maybe I'm just a fixer upper!

The Whole9 Life wrote a great article about how to summarize eating real food into a "Paleo Pitch". It's basically a short, to the point explanation of why we eat the way we do. I'm looking to come up with a great explanation of why I pay what I do. Because right alongside that conversation of a Paleo Pitch, or a CrossFit Pitch, is the "how much does it cost?" question. It's crazy to think that the money most young adults are putting towards shopping, alcohol and/or going out at night, I budget it to go towards Crossfit classes and food.

I read an article awhile back that said you could know what a person is like by looking at their bank account statements. Mine lists majority of purchases from restaurants, Sprouts/HEB/Whole Foods grocery stores, CrossFit Central, Advocare, among others. What does yours list?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Much needed quote

I love Again Faster!

Awesome from Patrick Cummings on Vimeo.

The men and women that decimate your times are not superhuman. What makes them different is not a gift, but an unreasonable desire to push self imposed suck beyond it's logical limits. What comes out the other side becomes legendary. Do yourself a favor and realize there is no technique in the world that will save you. There are no pills, no secrets, no passwords on the path to greatness. You've got to embrace the pain, push the threshold and feel the suck. And then you've got to muster the courage to go back six times a week.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In a Relationship with: Mr. Snatch

Mr. Snatch and I have a relationship comparable to those of high school sweethearts. When we first met, the bond between us was filled with awkward hand holding, googly eyes, giggles and flirty fun. Life was good and we were naive enough to not know what was coming next.

Then we went off to college together and our relationship changed. Our friends thought we were crazy as we would bicker and lash out at each other. There was more fighting, miscommunication and I may have cheated on him with Mr. Clean and Mr. Deadlift. Instead of all the fun and games we had before, we tried to be more serious with each other despite keggers and late nights. It didn't work though, and we broke up after our 13243th fight over the Hook Grip. Mr. Snatch rubbed my thumbs raw and I couldn't take it anymore.

We went our separate ways for awhile. Mr. Snatch played the field meeting some great people at Oly Lifting meets and I dated Mr. Running, Mr. Pull ups, and Mr. Box Jumps. But we came to realize that although we had our differences, life was better together than apart. Nothing can replace the feeling of the slow pull off the ground and fast drive underneath the bar. Mr. Deadlift might be disappointed but Mr. Snatch gives me butterflies!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back squats and a fun wod!

Last night at SICFIT we worked on back squats. I am starting to love that little garage and everything about it, including the fact that I may have just showered upon entering only to leave covered head to foot in dirt. My neighbors have been asking me what in the world I get myself into on Monday and Wednesday nights because I always come home with dirt streaks, blackened knees and plastered hair. Beautiful. The concrete floor without black mats just adds to the rough around the edges feel of the place. It's great!

I wouldn't describe my back squats as great though, I'm always a little worried I'm going to decapitate myself. I think my dislike of them started with a wod including a run and 95# BS reps and its been growing ever since.
5x5 BS 95, 115, 125, 135, 140 (scratch at rep 3, finished the last two reps at 135).
My BS 1RM is 145# and I only got through that last set with an awesome spotter, Karen! She deserves a huge congrats because she was like a different person last night with a killer snatch and PR on back squats. She made Oly Lifting look easy!

This morning Zach's 5:30 am coed class did this:
1000m row
30 thrusters 65/95#
50 American swings 16kg/1.5 pood

I deleted my Twitter account so I didn't know the wod beforehand. It looked like fun, I'm a fan of thrusters and swings and I've been eyeing that 1.5 pood for awhile so I asked Zach if I could scale the wod up! I chose 75# for the thrusters and a 20kg and both felt like challenging weights for me. Finished in 11:41, not even close to top 3 but I'm really happy with how that wod was programmed and how everything felt! My new goal is to use a heavier KB whenever the 16kg is prescribed for women.

Total change of subject but tomorrow at work we're having a baby shower and I really want to continue my clean eating. What are some good ideas of a paleo dish I could bring that makes a lot of food without taking that much time? Everyone else is signed up for chips, cake, pasta salad type stuff and I need to bring something that will satisfy me (and maybe encourage some co-workers to eat something healthy!). Thanks for your help!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Week 1 at SICFIT Austin

SICFIT Austin is now open! It is a small garage gym a couple blocks south on Burnet from CFC. If you guys go looking for it, look for the Texas Hydroponics sign because there isn't a SICIFT Austin banner up yet. I told Zach I could make something pretty sweet for them - I'm thinking hot pink with some swirls, hearts and stars. Maybe some glitter. He said no.

When I got home from work before my first class I was feeling a little down. I thought I would be missing out on doing FGB with my girls because I love Crystal's 6:45 class a lot! My expectations of SICFIT Austin was that it was going to be a class full of seasoned crossfitters, mainly guys that could deadlift 400#. I didn't know what I was getting myself into!

I popped my Muscle Strength and Catalyst like a good #AdvocareAddict and trotted myself over to the gym only to find out... I am SICFIT Austin's first client! Coaches Zach, Winchester and Big Mike were there trying out the equipment and doing a wod of deadlifts, push presses and muscle ups. There were also 2 crossfitters from Chicago that were jumping in and Bekah, Mike's girlfriend was hanging out. The garage has a great, no-nonsense vibe to it and I can already tell that a lot of progress is going to happen in there!

Class began with Zach putting me through a brand new warm up and Winchester shadowing/videoing with his new flip cam. I can't wait to check out that video! The warm up is completely different from Central's - it didn't have any of the high knees, fast feet agility type stuff but more of getting your shoulders warm, legs loosened up. I don't remember all of it but we did about a 400m sprint to start, then jumping jacks, arm circles, donkey kicks, leg swings, hopscotch, a variety of push ups, and squats. Whew, I was like, "I'm sweating and we haven't even touched a barbell yet."

To be honest, I don't really like Oly lifting. That's why I signed up to do Zach's seminar and that lead into SICFIT Austin because I'm really bad at it. CrossFit teaches us to work on your weaknesses and I'm trying to chip away at mine. What I do appreciate about Oly lifting is that it teaches you such GREAT body awareness. I really try to get in tune with my body placement, how deep my knees are bent, if my core is engaged, where my shoulders are leveraged. The next thing we did in class after the warm up (or it kind of was still in the warm up) was PVC pipe work. The PVC pipe is where all the body awareness begins. I need to feel the hamstring stretch and the locked out position on top and it's great to learn this with a PVC pipe instead of a 45# barbell. There are so many smaller movements in Burgener's Warm Up that I have to be self aware because fixing the slightest body placement could give me that much more power in a lift.

From there, we grabbed a barbell and Zach lead us through progressions with the hang snatch. I've been working with him for more than a month now on Oly lifting and I could really feel my progress with the snatch. I wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as when I started with the weight overhead. It felt good but I still need to work on keeping the bar close to the body and pulling myself under it faster. Sometimes I get frustrated with all of the things to think about before a lift but Mike gave great cues of when I fixed something or when a lift looked a little better. I liked the combination of Zach and Mike as coaches. Zach is great at getting me fired up to be more aggressive and he's so knowledgeable about the breakdown of the movements to improve your technique.

On Wednesday, I was joined by Sally and Karen. I think Sally will be with me once a week and Karen still needs to sign up! I'm still surprised that SICFIT Austin isn't sold out with a bunch of muscle-y guys, who would have guessed that girls would fill the classes first? We went through the same extended warm up while Zach made female jokes, cursed his allergies, and told us to be more aggressive. He's a winner, I'm telling ya.

We worked on the first two pulls for the snatch. Pull number one is off the ground and it's slow and steady. When I watch videos/people of this first pull I'm like, "Why are they going so slow, how in the world are they going to get that overhead??" But it's supposed to be slow until the bar reaches the knee where the second pull of the shrug happens. I think, "Slow, slow, slow, SHRUG!" and I better freaking explode with as much power as possible or else Zach is there to call me out! First we did it with the bar, then 65#, 75# and finally 95#. 95# felt SO heavy and it was really hard for me to be explosive with that weight.

All in all, I'm really excited that I tried something new this month. It's really cool to be a part of the beginning stages of SICFIT Austin and see all the potential of what's to come. The coaches are awesome, the vibe is great for hitting goals and the small garage gym is going to be a huge success!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


In the past few days I have found a few pictures that really stopped my day and made me think. Unfortunately I can't find the first one I wanted to share. It was in the news links on but Web must have already taken it down. The picture showed a pair of hands that had been battered by gymnastics. I complain about rips and blisters all the time but as soon as this picture loaded all I could do was say, "Wow". It represented so much dedication and hardship.

The second is a series of pictures that Mel linked on Twitter. It's a photo journal of a woman's fight against breast cancer.

(Regrave) <--- The whole story can be viewed there.

The third picture is more fun! I have printed this out and it is now in my workout log and on my vision board! I love it!

"The pain ends but the beauty remains" -Renoir

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Weekend Discoveries

Jess K, Linds and I decided to kill our TeamLLcoolJ blog. It had a good run and we'll always be TeamLLcoolJ in spirit, just now not in blog form.

Anywhoo, I was going to post this over there but now I'm back here. I know, it's a tough life. But! I am about to reward my faithful readers (all 2 of you...) with some top secret information that I discovered this weekend!

#1 What do you get when you combine two of the most amazing paleo foods? Bacon + Kale = BACALE! This is my new favorite dish EVER!

Yum yum, here's how I did it:
1. Buy nitrate free bacon pieces and the curliest kale you can find. Curly kale is what makes it!
2. Throw the bacon into the skillet first, it needs more time to cook than kale.
3. As the bacon starts cooking and the fat rendering, tear the kale from it's stalk in bite size pieces and add to skillet.
4. Stir all the bacon fat into the kale. You can add some pepper to taste but it's pretty good as is too. Cook until kale browns a tinge and bacon looks nice and crispy.

#2 My second discovery is not really mine. Carey Kepler gave a great talk about cleansing and it inspired me to go buy a blender which I was somehow living this long without. I didn't want to make a fruit smoothie because I'm laying off the fruit so I made a smoothie out of: spinach, carrots, 1 egg, coconut oil, mint, and lemon. It sounds so gross and I was just throwing random stuff from my refrig in there but it tasted so good! I think it was the lemon that made it. I'm going to call these my Willy Nilly smoothies where anything goes!

Good luck to the Spartan and Trojans this weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Post from Chad Dougherty

Chad Dougherty, CFAI Trainer

It's hard. It's heavy. It's 5 am and the alarm is letting you know the suck fest is about to start all over. The last six months have been a blur. It started with your best friend from college calling about his new fitness program and how you had to get on board. "Remember college, when we could both run a 23 minute 5k? He said, "This stuff will bring you back. Plus, it will make you look like a stud again". So you sign up at your local "CrossFit" gym. It's been a good six months. Your "Fran" time has gone from 13:49 with the bar and jumping pull-ups, to 8:30 as Rx'd. Pretty cool. You can dead lift your bodyweight and look and feel great, but don't realize it. You've started to wonder why you go. What's the point? Your not 21 again, your still carrying around half of your old gut. You work this hard and you're still not ripped? You feel like hitting the snooze button and going back to bed. Stop, and take inventory. You've forgotten about the heartburn, it's gone. Winded at the top of the stairs? No. You're picking the kids up and throwing them around like the "good old days". Your blood pressure has dropped a bit, and you can play basketball with the kids until they want to stop. Health happens when you're not looking. It sneaks up on you because you've already forgotten what it was like before. You felt dull, slow, and weak, with unexplained physical ailments. But now you've become a "CrossFitter". You're already better than college, because now you have a 21 minute 5k, and you can do 20 pull ups. You've discovered it's about more than looks, it's about longevity. It's about the daily tasks that have become easy. It's about your perception of life, it's curiously better. You continue for all the things you want to have happen, but haven't. You've tapped into the unforeseen, or better yet, you understand the possibilities. You are one of the fortunate few. Now it's up to you. You're strong. You're fast. You've already changed your life, and the lives around you. You can continue at the current pace and get a little fitter, stronger, and faster each day. Or you can step it up and realize changes you only hoped for. A little more pain, a little more tolerance to that pain. You change your diet. You get enough rest. You fill the holes in your technique. This is your world. Go get it. Is 60% enough? Maybe. Is 80% better? Yes. Have you given enough? You tell me. Let's light it up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


"There is no such thing as a self-made man. We are made up of thousands of others. Every one who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success."
- George Matthew Adams

Last week's DL set
3 x 3

This week's DL set
3 x 5
175/185 (2 rep-fail)/175

Hmm... looks like some tweaking needs to be done.

One tip I want to remember is from Coach Zach. During the 3x3 set he said I need to lead with my shoulders, and not have the first body part to move be my rear. Shoulders bring the rest of the body up. I hope I have that tip right. I tried to think of that during the 3x5 set.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Angie 3/29

I've been blogging more over at

so you should check out TeamLLcoolJ when "Lory's Adventures" runs really dry. Linds wrote a great post about her Angie experience and I didn't want to double team that hoe (Angie, that is, not Linds) so I'm going to record my benchmark over here just so I can look back as needed.

My previous January Angie:
75 kipping pull ups
40 push ups on toes
60 push ups on knees
100 sit ups
100 squats

This time around I started with sit ups and got through those unbroken. Then, it was 100 squats and I wanted to speed through these because I knew I would need a lot of time for pull ups. Squats weren't unbroken, I think I stopped around 50 and then at 80 to shake it out. Next time I'm shooting for unbroken squats to go along with my sit ups (that'll be a nice pair).

100 pull ups!! I've heard horror stories of the rips we acquire from pull ups with Angie so going into it I was worried about my hands. But I taped up and was strategizing for sets of 5. I ended up with the beginning sets being of 7, then did a bunch at 5, and then pull ups in reps of 2, then 1... The ones at the end were questionable about my chin getting over the bar but all in all they felt pretty good. Ended up with a little blood and 2 blisters but not close to some bad tears I've gotten in the past.

As Barbara mentioned in a recent post, a lot times in CrossFit we experience 2 steps forward, 1 step back. As good as my pull ups felt, I had expired so much energy on them that my push ups were lacking. I reeeeeally wanted to stay on my toes so I could officially say that I did Angie as prescribed but I wasn't getting full range of motion and I was just failing at every push up when I got to around the 50 rep mark. The new coach, Lauren (who is awesome!) talked to me afterwards about core strength and how if I keep everything tight then the power will come from my core and not my arms so plank holds are definitely in order! My arms were just absolutely cashed.

In summary, my March Angie was:
100 kipping pull ups
60 push ups on toes
40 push ups on knees
100 sit ups
100 squats

Monday, March 8, 2010

I've got goals, yo

In April I really want to get into Coach Zach's olympic lifting seminar because I need to really understand the technique for these lifts we're using in crossfit. After learning more about them I should be able to PR more/lift heavy shit. Right now I feel like I have the strength but I don't have the right technique so I'm a big mess at the gym. So we're going to wait until April to set some good numbers for goals in the future.

But until then I am setting out to achieve:
1.) sub-3 min 800 m run
2.) 1 handstand push up
3.) 1 ring dip
4.) double unders back to back

The problem with those 4 goals is that those are movements that I like (well, double unders not so much). I love the gymnastics part of crossfit. I should be working on things that I hate... So if you see me around the gym and I'm not working on handstands you should yell at me to do some burpees! ha ha

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I've been playing around with intermittent fasting. I found this article which I really liked - especially the bottom part about fat loss.

"I have never seen fat disappear as quickly as I did with the following protocol:

While still in a fasted state, do a brief HIIT (High-intensity Interval Training) workout. This can be Sprint-8 (running or rowing), or just 50 burpees in hard sets of 10. Something to spike your heart rate a few times. This will burn through any glycogen you have remaining in your muscles after sleeping, and stimulate your body to release some fat into the bloodstream for energy.

Follow this up with about thirty minutes of easy cardio - something about 60% your max heart rate, so just light jogging or some biking. Nothing too rough - all you're doing now is burning up the fat your body released.
By now your body will be struggling to keep up with your energy demands. The longer you can wait until you eat, the more you'll burn, but be careful - you can bonk pretty hard.
Do this 2-3 times a week."

Less than 2 weeks left for IAM!

Last night Myriam helped me make delicious stuffed bell peppers! I even have extra for lunch today. Here's what we did:

Cut a red bell pepper in half, set one side aside and dice up the other half. Cut eggplant, onion, and orange bell pepper into small pieces and then saute them up in a pan with coconut oil and spices. While the veggies are cooking down, cook some chicken sausage in another pan and once that looks almost ready (still a little pink) add to the veggies and stir them all up together. Then all you have to do is stuff them back into the other half of the bell pepper and cook it in the oven for another 30 min. Delicious!

I served them with some brussel sprouts. I also attempted to make kale chips but they were an absolute failure. Lots of smoke emitted from the oven and I was left with black, charred pieces. They definitely did not become the good crunchy pieces that Mel highlighted on her blog. Lisa tried to make me feel better about them by tasting them but they were pretty burnt! Whoops!

See Zach, look at all those nutritious vegetables! :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who is with me??!!

Pull-ups (40 individual, 200 team)*
5k run
800 m swim
Push-ups (100 per individual, 500 team)
5k pack run (with 35 lb. pack)**
Sit-ups (200 per individual, 1000 team)
5k run

Monday, February 15, 2010

Workout Log

On Saturday we did this:

10 burpees
20 walking lungees
30 air squats
x 3

12 weighted squats
11 weighted lunges
10 double unders
9 burpee box jumps
8 knees to elbow
7 pull ups
6 sumo deadlift high pulls (75lbs)
5 deadlifts (75lbs)
4 power cleans (75lbs)
3 push press (75lbs)
2 thrusters (75 lbs)
1 run 200 meters

CFAustin UTB
7 min partner wod
At the beginning of every minute 3 burpees
200m run
Annie and I got 160, I think?

I loved the Chipper - it was lots of fun! Except for the burpee tuck jumps...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

4 years ago...

Four years ago if I went out to dinner with friends I would eat half my plate and put the rest in a to-go box. On the way home I would finish my leftovers and call in an order for a pizza. Then, I would circle around town eating until I decided to go home and immediatly pass out.

Combine that with keggers, little sleep, no exercise and you have one serious problem. I remember always thinking, "What's wrong with me?"

Thankfully, all of that is in the past. I don't want to get into how I got from point A to point B right now but I do want to emphasize that I am happy now. Really, really happy. My happiness stems from being able to recognize where I have problems and being able to set goals to fix them. There have been a bunch of articles lately about our relationship with food and yes, I can say that I have food issues, but I am trying to fix them. It's the little things, like never buying a loaf of bread or not keeping junk food in the house, that are inching me towards my goals - I will have ab definition, I will have a 300# deadlift, I will have 30 pull ups in a row.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 1

Day 1 of 100 squats and push ups was yesterday. Done! I need a name for this, "100 squats and push ups" is way too long. I'll think about it.

Jess and I met at the Lamar Track last night and did
800m run
400m run backwards
800m run
400m run backwards

We didn't time it but it was a pretty fun workout. Definitely something different, which I love how crossfit always throws crazy stuff into the mix. I got it off someone's blog but I think it's on the mainsite today. My legs aren't sore today but I might get some twinges tomorrow.

I am really liking the PAC swims lately. I first signed up because I thought it would be fun to do with Aunt Vickie. But they remind me of high school swim practice with an awesome coach! His name is Shawn Bostad and he just cracks me up the whole practice with dances, jokes and 80s songs. I feel bad because I also show up smoked after a crossfit workout and don't really give the practice 100% of my energy. One day I should make it wod #1 and see how fast I can really go. I'm looking into doing a tri now because after all this swimming I want to put it to the test!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

30 Day Challenge

I am committing myself to 30 days of doing 100 push ups and 100 squats every day. I can break them up into sets throughout the day but I have to complete 100 of each every day.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Team LLcoolJ

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Team Zach

Zach is killing us with Sunday workouts. I thought last weeks was bad:
50 wall ball (14#)
50 box jump
400 m run
x 3

This week was just as rough:
50 air squat
25 pull ups
10 power cleans (E 95#, I did 75#)
x 3

Zach said that we should finish in about 15 minutes, ummm I got stuck on pull ups, AGAIN! Just like in the IAC, when I get fatigued to doing 1 pull up at a time, it takes foreverrrr. My hands are not pretty after all of those darn pull ups. I love them because I worked so hard to get off of the band but I hate them at the same time!

I'm not understand cleans these days. I know you're supposed to make the bar feel like it's floating up and then you get under the bar FAST but mine feel like an awkward blow to the chest/back arch. And my elbows aren't fast enough but I don't know how to go faster! Zach said I need to be a lot more aggressive with the weight. In my head, I'm thinking, "Be aggressive. Fast elbows!" But it doesn't always come out that way.

Other than my complaints about not being able to do the movements, I am absolutely loving Team Zach! Everyone is working so hard and we had a bunch of great food ideas this morning. I need to test out spaghetti squash and eat more vegetables! Grabbing protein is too easy for me - I need to make it into a meal. I also may or may not have a half eaten jar of Sunbutter that I need to get rid of! I don't trust myself with those delicious nut butters!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I am CrossFit Benchmark

I am trying to stay positive about today. But it's hard to be upbeat when I couldn't do the pull ups, I couldn't do the hang cleans and I could hardly run. Why? It was cold, it was early, sure there are excuses but that doesn't really explain it.

It's a hard task mentally to come back from not finishing a wod. Since I only got through one and a half rounds of the IAC benchmark, it's even harder to think that I hardly got through HALF of the workout when so many around me finished. Yes, I was doing unassisted pull ups when others had bands but still, I should have been able to get my chin over that bar. And I didn't.

I feel like my head is in the right spot - I signed up for the 95# bar to do Level 1 and really expected my body to be able to do unassisted pull ups and 95# hang cleans. But my fitness is not where my mind wants it to be. I have the bar set high for myself and I'm not quite reaching what I think I can do.

The good news is that I have the rest of my life but specifically the next 8 weeks to change this. If I eat clean and do the recommended workouts for the next 8 weeks I have the opportunity to change my life. So I'm in this. I'm going to put everything I can into this challenge because I know how frustrated I am now with not being able to do what I want to. If this is my low, then it is only up from here!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

IAC Goals

Here are my goals for the I am CrossFit competition:

1. Lose 5% body fat
2. 30 kipping pullups in a row (at 20 now)
3. No cheat challenge! HARD but I can do it.
4. 210 deadlift (at ~185 now)
5. Double unders in a row (now I do 2, 1, 2, 1)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Angie - Jan '10

100 pull ups
100 push ups
100 sit ups
100 squats

Here's my Angie story:

With Central being closed for two weeks prior to our attempt at Angie, I was really worried about the workout. Angie is tough regardless but to go into it with 2 weeks of rest? Lory = freaking out. I did work out on my own throughout the break - Christmas workout with Mom, 3 free CFC wods, Jess's apartment gym but those are different than throwing around barbells at the gym.

Thankfully, veteran Erika was at the gym before our workout and gave us all great workout advice, "Do what you can" along with great nutrition tips and overall positive motivation! Since I'm still kind of new at kipping pull ups I really didn't know how many I should do before going to a band. Before CFC closed I managed 20 kips in a row but now I'm thinking it was a stroke of luck. When I try so hard to get that many in a row the next set that I can do is about 3. Then I'm struggling with holding onto the bar, fighting the negative monster in my head and making sure that my hands don't rip.

Again, thankfully, I have the world's best coach, the amazing Crystal McReynolds, and she was NOT going to put up with me going to a band when I already know how to do kips. In my head, I got to 25 without a band and was like, "Okay, that's good enough, Band Time!" Not quite. Crystal walked up, "What are you doing? Put that away, you're doing this RX'ed". Eff my life. I got to 75 pull ups with about 4 minutes left and could not do a single more. The push ups were ROUGH and I was struggling/shaking to push myself back up at the end while even being on my knees! I finished right under the cap: 24:32

Looking back, a huge thank you goes to Crystal. She always knows when to voice the encouragement to make you believe in yourself again. She really is the best balance to the negative voice in my head, plus she's real and that voice isn't!

In April Angie and I will battle again and next time:
All 100 kipping pull ups
All 100 push ups on toes!

-January Angie:
75 kips
25 push ups on toes, 75 on knees
100 situps unbroken