Friday, December 19, 2014

Learn To Love The Struggle

Learn to love the struggle and you'll learn to love everyday.

This thought occurred to me tonight as I reflected on my training over dinner. It was a rough night of training. I didn't want to go to the gym. I wasn't motivated to do TnG (touch 'n go) power cleans & let me tell you TnG power cleans are my favorite! I was hopeful that the warm up would shift my mood, but that didn't end up being the case.

I wasn't a total mess. There were no tears. I didn't throw any hissy fits. I just didn't have that excitement running through me to be in the gym training.

This has been the case more frequently than I'd like to admit in recent months. I still have goals. While the past two years my goals were to give a run at the podium at Regionals- this year it's going to be about the battle to get to Regionals.

I've qualified to Regionals every year since its inception in 2009 when I went up to Ohio to be one of about 39 women that decided to show up at Rogue and throw down in what was then the MidWest Region. I finished 9th that year and while only 9 of us were able to complete the workouts in under the time caps to make it into the final- my 9th place finish in the final was last by several minutes. Folks stood there & enthusiastically cheered me on to complete each of my 30 75lb snatches to fiish out the workout when at the time my max was 82lbs.  In my previous life as a runner I never experienced such support for the last place finisher.

I had never been happy to finish last before, but on that day I was proud to be able to finish. This may have been the first time I allowed myself to love the struggle even when the struggle didn't result in anything victorious.

Tonight the struggle was a lack of desire that stemmed from a fear around the truth. I was given a tester tonight. Some of you may be familiar: 3 RFT: 25 KBS, 25 Burpees. It's a tester that I've done before & I know it's a burner. I have a big opportunity in learning to embrace & love these burners, as they challenge me out of my comfort zone. It's work that I can do unbroken and it comes down to deciding how fast the unbroken reps are going to be. How hard will I decide to hurt & push to resist my urge to pace? Well, tonight I didn't want to do it and in the end I didn't. Certainly not an easy thing for me to admit on a public blog, yet it's the truth.

It's when I make these decisions like I did tonight to not do one of the workouts written for me- that's when I simply have to acknowledge that training in not presently my top value, as it has been for many of my recent years. I feel as though I need to have some big explanation around the shift and while I could probably list off a few legitimate life changes- the bottom line is that it is what it is.

Yes, it will be my goal to try and qualify for my 7th consecutive CrossFit Regionals.  Yes, I'm a realist that I know I'm not putting in the work like I did in the past. And yes, I'm going to be relying on the base of work I have put in over the past going on 9 years of "CrossFit" training and the 12 years of endurance & body building like training I did prior to that more so than the past 9 months leading into the 2015 Open. Bottom line is that at this point in time I feel as though I'll have a better chance to be excited to push again by the time the Open rolls around by presently not over-forcing anything now. Each day I'm learning to trust my gut on this & stand strong in my decisions.

The coach in me knows that I'll do even better the more I detach from the results of training day in & day out.  When I fully learn to simply do the work with no attachment to the outcome.  This involves the emotional maturity of removing the expectation that each tester should be a PR (personal record). I'm better than I used to be, but by no means a master yet.

It's almost funny how easy it is to attach to the outcome even though the end result doesn't have much bearing on my overall existence. I'm not going to suddenly hang up my training if I'm improving or not. It's my lifestyle. I love the process of training. However, it's when I attach my self worth to the outcome that the detachment becomes painful.

Who will I be if I don't improve? What does that say about the hours I've spent in the gym over the past X years? What will others think if I don't qualify for Regionals?

It's so easy to overestimate our existence. Because yes maybe others will notice the standings it doesn't rank folks based upon their worth as people and in the end we all have worth.

Life will always provide us with struggle in many different shapes and forms. The more we learn to love, accept & adapt to the struggles of our every day the more we can learn to love each day regardless of what it entails. As we learn to love & appreciate the overcast & rainy days as well as the sunny days it opens us up to find more & more opportunities for gratitude.

The next time you're having a "bad day" look to be understanding with yourself and be curious to the learning & growth that can come from your experiences on what may have first felt like a "bad day".

Monday, November 10, 2014

Start By Showing Up

Sometimes there is so much change in life I get lost for words to sum it all up.  When that happens I go months & months still not knowing what to do with the drafts for this blog.  Eventually I just accept that it's alright to just let the drafts be & start fresh.

For a quick summary I've spent more of my time in Scottsdale than Asheville since August as I had the opportunity to train as a reserve athlete for the Phoenix Rise in the first year of the professional Grid League.  It was a very surreal yet challenging time in my life as I trained with some incredible athletes & worked under some awesome coaches at the OPEX facility in Scottsdale. The future for Grid & more so my potential involvement in the sport is all up in the air at this point.

As of now the focus is back to making decisions around where I want to be in life. What I want to do. How I want to structure my days & who I want to surround myself around. I'm very grateful for not only the freedom I have in my life, but for the support of those close to me as I navigate through the decisions.

Most recently I was back in Scottsdale to compete in a head to head functional fitness event called Rush Club.  I won the lightweight undercard match & I am invited back to compete for the lightweight title belt in February.  The full event can be viewed here. 

Rush Club happened Saturday night & Sunday morning I was back at OPEX for an athlete camp that wrapped up the OPTathlon weekend at OPEX. Honestly I contemplated not attending.  I had all these excuses related to Rush Club Saturday night, but mostly I was afraid to attend.  I was attached to fear around how I would perform & if my training as of late has been adequate for me to do well.  With some of my life transitions has brought some financial changes & I am not presently receiving the same coaching guidance I have been under for the past three years.  When I don't have coaching I trust my doubt of myself & my preparedness for physical events grows even deeper.  However, while I do hope to work with the OPEX coaching staff again in the future I am presently learning to trust in myself more & more day by day.

Below are the female results from the weekend & what I had to say about the experience on my IG post from this morning.

To some it is simply numbers on a board. To me these numbers symbolize purpose, truth & a few of the moments in time along my journey. It's been & continues to be a year of many life transitions & significant change. These are the times I find myself most questioning my own purpose & what I want to seek to achieve fulfillment. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by uncertainty & lost on this journey. Then I have days like yesterday where I set aside any excuses & pull myself out of bed in the morning to show up & have my name included on the white board. It was that decision to show up & accept the truth vs let the fear & ego of where I think I should be get in the way of loving myself for exactly where I am...that was the moment that lead me back to having more clarity towards what I love...None of us can change our past. As my mentors have reminded me many times "it is what it is". However every moment we have the gift of a new decision in the now. We have the power to make a new decision for ourselves. We have the freedom to allow these decisions to direct us in the direction of happiness & fulfillment in however that is packaged for each of us. Bottom line to find fulfillment we must make the decisions that bring happiness for us & let go of getting lost in the exhaustion that can come from forgetting our own desires in attempt to please others.

Monday, July 7, 2014

7/7 Training Snatches, Back Squats & Muscle-ups!

Good sleep. Woke up 1 min before alarm.  Coached 9 & 10a CF then trained at 11:30. Feeling a bit tired going into session, but energy picked up when I got going. 

A. Hang snatch EMOM for 8 min building
105-110-115-120-125-130F-130-130 solid. Videos of last 4 minutes. 

B. Back squat @30X1; 6.6.6x3; rest 20 sec/rest 4 min
Right inferior knee cap feeling a bit off so I lost the lifting shoes for these sets. Sometimes shoes throw me just slightly forward & changes how it feels on my knees. Already feeling better after the session. 
165-170 (rest 6 min...ran to bathroom & started talking to folks), 175. Baseline recovered within 4 minutes each time. Low back fatigue is what I felt most in between sets. Video of 175lbs. 

C. 8 ub muscle-ups; 4 sets; rest 2-3 min
Did one set of 3 for warm-up & started.  Rested 3 minutes b/w each set. Kip is still not ideal on dip. Thinking about bringing knees to chest but obviously more kicking my butt.  didn't feel close to a max set until set 4.  

D. strict supinated wtd CTB chin ups @20X1; 3-4x4; rest 2 min

4x35lbs, 40lbs, 3x45lbs, 2x50lbs & chest not solid to bar..more delts grazing bar.  Grip & arms feeling the swell from MUs. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

7/6 Sunday Rest day with Yoga Rocks the Park

A great low key day here in Asheville.  Started the morning with my favorite yoga instructor, Joe Taft, at a Yoga Rocks the Park event in downtown.  This is happening every Sunday through the month of July.  If you're in Asheville, check it out! 

Then some outdoor time with my dogs at one of the local creeks for about an hour.  Body feels pretty good today. Back to it tomorrow!



More stiff & sore today than yesterday.  Reminding my body what it feels like to train again. 

For time:
12 OH wtd pistols per leg 35# (video)

8 OH wtd pistols per leg 45# (video) Couldn't get my legs to fire enough to stand it up. Frustrating. 

4 OH wtd pistols per leg 55#
Only made it through 5 or so of the 16 to do at 45lbs when I called it.  Calves were getting really tight going into the pistol & I failed on the one side 2 or 3 times.  First time doing these since off a box in 2010.  It will get better. 

For time:
4 sets 80' shuttle sprint
10 deadlifts 225# 55s. UB DLs (video)

rest 45 sec
20 box jumps 30" ~45s. not much pop today. 
rest 15 sec
6 bar muscle-ups yes, ub. Felt good. 
For time:
100m HS walk

9:50. oh the HS walk.  

Training 7/3 & 7/4, Max Patch Hike with Mom

Max Patch with my mom!

A. Snatch - build to a heavy single
140 F x 2 @ 145lbs

B. Back squat @20X1; 8-12x5; rest as needed-
used biofeedback ROM testing since rest was not Rxd in order to determine rest time. 
1. 12x155 no sleeves or belt-felt fairly challenging ~2 minutes to recover
2. 12 x 160lbs only went up 5lbs but then felt remarkably easier & didn't shorten but rested 2:30 anyway &  jumped 10lbs from there. 
3. 12 x 170lbs 7:30 to recover
4. 11 x 180 10 minutes to recover (video)

5. 8 x 190 about 8 minutes to recover (video)

C. 15 ub CTB chin ups EMOM for 4 min

yes, smooth. videos of sets 2 & 4

D. 10 pistols AFAP; 5 sets; rest 30 sec

19s/17s/20s/17s/16-17s video of sets 4 & 5


Went to pool in the afternoon & came back to do this in the PM
AD 25 sec very hard
rest 3:45

Destroyed me. 
1. 20/22 cals
2. 20 cals 98-103 RPMs
3. 18 cals 98-103 RPMs-slower to get going
4. 19 cals 96-102 RPMs
5. 22 cals 96-102 RPMs (video) 
6. 18 cals 92-100 RPMs
Rest was longer over last three-closer to 5-7 minutes.  Felt horrible, really horrible. Perhaps took the very hard too hard?? Walked around for 30 minutes after struggling to recover.  Been a long time since I had this kind of suckfest.  Based upon video it's no wonder my neck was hurting after the second set.  So ridiculous. 

7/4.  Feeling sluggish today.  Sore from squats yesterday.  Not much pop. 
A. Power clean 5 TnG @75-80% every 90 sec for 5 sets
145, 145, 150, 150, 155 (video last two sets) 

B. Push jerk - build to a TnG 10rm

Decided to give 135 a go.  Warmed up to it & then it wasn't as tough as I imagined.  Went for 145 & got 8.  

C. Clean grip deadlift @30X1; 6,5,4,3; rest 2 min

6x225, 5x245, 4x260, 3x270lbs (Videos sets 5-3)

D. amrap flat surface hspu in 30 sec; 6 sets; rest 45 sec

15-16-17-18-15-13-stayed up for 30s on all & got into a better rhythm for the first 4 to sneak an extra rep each set.  By set 6 I was losing control of the eccentric & started to freak me out falling on my head. 

E. 15 ub T2B; 3 sets; rest 1 min

done, video set 3

Went to Max Patch with my mom in the afternoon of the 4th.  It's one of my favorite places on earth & I was thrilled to share this beautiful place with her on a day set aside to celebrate the freedom we experience in our lives.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Training 7/1

1-arm FC work with Coach Lloyd

Sleep has not been great in recent weeks.  Have been opening the gym a lot & have had several people through town staying at my house &/or have been spending time with friends in the afternoons & evenings.  With the summer daylight hours it's easy to not realize how late it is until after 9p.  So sleep has been 4-7 hours on average.  Seeing the end of my opening shifts for the summer as I get ready to head to the CF Games July 19th to spectate with a potential relocation immediately after.  Despite the low sleep energy has been pretty decent throughout the days & I've made point to recharge myself with some rest in the afternoons.  Body & mind has good energy with lower stress in my life overall & significantly lower training volume than what I've adapted to over the past year plus.  

A. Power clean 2 @90% EMOM for 10 min
Best power clean is 185lbs from several months ago.  Rounded up to 170lbs. TnG for all. Minute 1 was a bit hesitant so practiced being more aggressive in my approach & speed into the lift. Fun to practice chilling out immediately after the set for 30-45s & then getting immediately back into before the next minute. Videos of minutes 1, 9 & 10. 

B. Push jerk 5,4,3,5,4,3,5,4,3; rest 2 min
5s x 125, 135, 145
4s x 135, 140, 155 (video) 
3s x 145, 150 (video), 160F on 1st (video), Rest 2 minutes 155. 

C. HS walk max distance; 5 sets; rest as needed
66ft, Rest ~9 minutes, 78ft, Rest ~10 minutes, 65ft, Rest ~7 minutes, 18' -lost balance, Rest ~3 minutes, 81ft -speed felt better.  Able to better pick my hands off the floor.  Also some improvement in body position, but obviously still a lot of work on this skill is needed. 
D. 15 box jumps 30" AFAP; 5 sets; rest 1 min
28s -jumped off into turn to face box on each side - felt like too much time & energy 
27s lateral jumps
26s lateral
26s lateral 
26s lateral.  Not yet able to rebound out into 30s but try to focus on being as fast as possible off the top of the box & immediately getting into next rep. 
This training style is a lot of fun!