Crossfit-iversary

Helloooooo eaters!

It’s Thursday night, I had a full (and fun!) day of work, and I’ve had a beer. So things are going pretty well for me right now.

I’m choosing to ignore the fact that my bad back/twisted pelvis is flaring up again and that I had to completely scale the workout today at Crossfit. I’m also choosing not to think about how many dishes I have to do (and dirty laundry I have to pack) before Leon, Charlie, and I leave tomorrow for a weekend in Georgia (A.K.A. The Dirty Dirty). I’m also choosing not to think about how much my back is going to hurt tomorrow.

Instead I’m thinking about how delicious tonight’s leftovers will be for dinner tomorrow, how much I saved at the grocery store thanks to my coupon folder, and…the biggest “and” of them all…that today was marked my first full year of doing Crossfit!

Can you believe that a year ago I went in for my intro session? Heck, can you believe how much has happened in a year?

I sure as hell can’t!

But, anyway, I made a little vlog about my thoughts on Crossfit a year in.

Enjoy.

For those of you that can’t listen because you’re at work/kids are sleeping or you just got tired of my rambling voice, here’s the gist of it:

I’ve got ah-maze-ing muscles. Muscles I didn’t know I could have. Muscles that are firm and sculpted and just plain beautiful.

I’ve dropped a couple of pant sizes without really trying.

I’ve got more body confidence than I know what to do with and spend a lot of time checking myself out in the mirror.

Knowing that there’s no quitting in Crossfit — there’s plenty of almost quitting and occasionally some crying, but there’s no quitting — has made me an immensely stronger person, both mentally and physically.

I’m neither fully paleo nor fully Zone, but food is more fuel than anything else now.

My goals for the next year: 110 lbs front squat, 110 lbs floor press, all rope climbs (no scaling) in workouts, 100 lbs clean and jerk, better at toes-thru-rings, consecutive double-unders, and handstand pushups.

Talk about a lot of goals, right?

I’m confident that I can reach them all sooner rather than later. I mean, I’ve accomplished far more in this year.

So…here’s to next year! (Imagine me holding up a glass. I would have done it in my video, but I shot that at 10am, which is a bit too early to start drinking.)

Your turn, eaters:

What are you proud of from the last year?

What do you hope to accomplish by this time next year?

Later eaters!

Queen of the Stubborn Masses

Alright eaters,

Real talk time.

I’m a stubborn ass. And you’re probably a stubborn ass, too.

Here’s why:

We’re fighting our bodies and we freaking need to stop.

We all get injured. We pull a muscle. We push too hard. We rip calluses. We twist ankles and knock things out of whack and do a number of other things to hurt our bodies.

And that’s fine. When you work hard on your fitness that’s kinda the name of the game.

BUT there’s a big rule in that game that says that if you get injured you need to slow down, take it easy, even go as far as to take a couple of full rest days.

Unfortunately, no one does that like they should. I know I’m guilty of trying to fight through an injury and even thinking that working out will heal the injury. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that. Ahem ahem.

This is us fighting our bodies. And it’s stupid.

You workout to better your body.

Sure, the endorphins and body confidence you get are pretty damn nice. But the root of it all is that we workout to better our bodies.

So if your body is injured in any way, shape, or form and needs rest, but you don’t give it that much needed rest, you’re negating the whole point of the workout.rest day

Are you picking up what I’m putting down, eaters?

Let’s take it up another notch: professional athletes.

If you follow sports at all (or watch The League, which might be my favorite show ever, though it’s pretty vulgar, fyi) you know that athletes are constantly missing games or taking days off from practice for sprained fingers and pulled muscles and turf toe.

Of course we’re not getting paid millions of dollars for our workouts, but we can still take a lesson from professional athletes, because (aside from all the concussions) they take amazing care of their bodies because their bodies make the money. (And without our healthy bodies we couldn’t make the money or take care of our families or do just about anything, so…)

Take rest days! Baby your body! Don’t injure your finger while throwing out your gum!

And before you think I’m standing on a soapbox preaching to the stubborn masses, this spiel was spurred by my own stupidity.

My bad back and hip have been acting up something nasty because I was hobbling around (and putting all my weight on my bad side) for days after getting another chunk cut out of my leg (which I also didn’t rest enough after).

So yeah, just call me Queen of the Stubborn Masses.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you fight through an injury?

What do you do on your rest days?

Later eaters!

FRS FTW

G’day eaters!

So you guys (and girls! I know that the majority of you are of the lady persuasion and I am trying to be more conscious of my rhetoric) know that I’m a #Fitfluential ambassador, right?

Well, besides Fitfluential and all the other ambassadors being a constant source of inspiration to put down the Mike & Ikes (btw, what’s up with the riff between Mike and Ike? Is that some weird marketing ploy?) and do something not lazy, they also show me a constant stream of products designed to make my life easier, healthier, and all around better.

And the latest products designed to make me perkier, stronger, and sexy-slim (as opposed to weird, extra bony slim) are FRS drinks!

There are four types of drinks — Healthy Energy, Healthy Slim, Healthy Defense, and Healthy Protein — plus Healthy Energy drink powder, and Healthy Energy soft chews and hard candies.

Quite the product line, right?

After having tried them I can say, hands down, that my favorites were the protein drinks!

The protein drinks come in two flavors — Orange Cream and Blueberry Acai — and o’m’gah, they are tasty.

The Orange Cream tastes exactly like a melted creamsicle with only the slightest tiny bit of that weird medicinal orange-y taste (though, disclaimer, I am HYPER sensitive to that medicinal orange taste from a childhood of eating giant chewable vitamin C tablets). Seriously, I contemplated freezing them in the whimsical ice cube trays I got for Christmas to make Titanic-shaped protein popsicles.

And speaking of doing weird things with protein drinks…

I kinda think the Blueberry Acai flavor could be good with some vodka. Is that weird?

Probably, but I was drinking one after a particularly intense Crossfit WOD last week and totally thought that it could use a splash of vodka. Ya know, to balance out the carbs of alcohol. That could have been the handstand push-ups talking, though.

But even without vodka, the Blueberry Acai drink is tangy and a little sweet and a very welcome departure from the usual vanilla/chocolate protein drink.

Which brings me to my next point: these protein drinks pack a ton of protein.

I have a strict minimum of 20g of protein for a workout and since these drinks each have 25g they are perfect (especially for those times when I’m too lazy to wash my blender bottle or forgot to wash it for a day or two and it smells really bad).

So while I did like all the other drinks, especially the cherry limeade energy drink, which definitely tasted like those Sonic drinks, they were a bit high in sugar for me (with the Healthy Energy drinks clocking in at 20g sugar). The Healthy Slim drinks are significantly better on the sugar front, but the protein drinks were still my absolute favorite.

And now for the answer you’ve all been waiting for: Would I spend my own money on them?

Yup. I wouldn’t necessarily do it too often, because ~$3 a bottle is a bit pricey, but I would buy them. And then I’d add vodka to most of them, because in my world most fruity drinks are just screaming for vodka.

Don’t judge me. I could be a visionary.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s the most you would pay for a drink, including fancy Starbucks drinks?

What’s something weird you do/want to do with your food?

Later eaters!

Disclaimer — I was provided these products in exchange for my review, but the opinions here are honest…ly my own. 

A Christmas Chipper

Hiya eaters!

It’s Christmas eve. I’ve got tons of fun family time planned, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. And sweaty.

So here’s a little Christmas eve or Christmas morning workout for all of you.

It’s what we call a “chipper” in Crossfit, meaning that you chip away at the reps and the exercises as you go. And it’s the workout that I’m going to be doing tomorrow between opening presents over breakfast and going to hang out with my family tomorrow afternoon.

I hope you have as much fun as I’m sure I will.

Think of it as a Christmas present for your body.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you workout on holidays?

When do you open your Christmas presents?

G’night eaters!

Omega Man Workout

G’evening eaters!

Today I was wonderfully successful at trying to apologize to my body for all the crap I did to it and put in it this weekend by doing healthy things.

I went to an early morning Crossfit session before work.

I ate fruits and vegetables.

And I didn’t eat too too much of this frosting-flavored pb.

Hooray health!

And because I love health and Photoshop (did I mention that I love Photoshop and that I really want Santa to bring it to me because I’ve been so good this year and eaten lots of broccoli?) I thought I’d give you a pretty AND pretty damn tough WOD (Workout Of the Day) for tonight’s entertainment.

Yup, it’s Omega Man time!

You may remember this guy from my house tour.

Well, he’s awesome. And he rhymes. And I see him everyday and he never ceases to make me smile.

So next time you’re without a gym but in serious need of a workout, I suggest you bust this bad boy out.

It may not be pretty. It definitely won’t be easy. But it’s never easy standing tall for excellence. Or being an inspiration to the crowd. Or making the brother/sisterhood proud.

But it’s always worth it.

Am I right?!

Ya gosh darn right I’m right!

Oh, and this is an awesome workout to do with friends, if you’re feeling a little competitive.

And if you’re new to air squats, they’re just low depth squats you do without adding extra weight. Here’s a good demo, but I would ignore when she tells you to put your hands behind your back. Every single person I know puts their hands out in front of them at about head height because that helps you keep your chest up.

What do you think, eaters:

Are you going to give this workout a try?

Does Omega Man inspire you to push harder?

G’night eaters!

PS — I’m not a certified personal trainer, Crossfit coach, or anything else that requires certification. This is my suggested workout, but I don’t know your life so PLEASE don’t do this if it will cause pain or injury.

Almost Paleo Apple Almond Muffins

‘Ello eaters!

I’m smack dab in the middle of a pretty glorious day.

Well glorious except for the angry yellow jacket that has taken over my kitchen. I lost site of it for a few minutes and then found it when I threw something in the recycling bin and it came storming out super angrily.

Fun fact: I’ve never been stung by anything and am absolutely terrified that I’ll be deathly allergic and thus am now ridiculously afraid of all stinging insects.

But enough about the angry bee. Let’s talk about me. (Yes, I did intend that to rhyme.)

I’m trying to save money. Who isn’t, right?

And I’m really busy. Who isn’t, right?

AND I’m trying to eat clean and healthy (which for me means somewhere along the lines of the Zone). Who isn’t, right?

Ya gosh darn right you are!

And ya know what, eaters, trying to have and do it all like that is hard. Really hard. Ridiculously hard. But it’s also ridiculously doable.

Now I’m no expert on having and doing it all. Heck, I’m no expert on anything.

Really, I’m not an expert. Please don’t think of me as one.

But since chances are you’re not an expert on having or doing it all either, we can share notes.

So here are my notes.

Almond Apple Muffins

2 ½ c almond meal/flour

¾ t baking soda

½ T chia seeds

2 eggs

3 T agave syrup

½ T vanilla extract

3 T peanut butter*

¼ c coconut oil, divided

1 apple, chopped

~1/4 t cinnamon

*The pb can definitely be subbed for any other kind of nut butter to make it paleo. (That is, if everything else in this recipe is paleo. I really don’t know much about the rules of paleo.)

Heat 1 T coconut oil in a pan over low-medium heat. Add the apples and cinnamon, toss to coat, and stir occasionally until thoroughly soft and fragrant.

I would have had an even dozen muffins, but I ate too much batter.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl, fold in the apples, and scoop the batter equally into a dozen lined muffin tins.

Bake at 325F for 23-27 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

These muffins may not be the answer to you having and doing it all, but they do help.

They’re pretty well (Zone) balanced at just over 1 block of carbs and 1 block of protein, so they qualify as eating clean and healthy.

Since they are a balanced snack in a single wrapper they’re as easy to grab and go as all those bars I love so much, but for significantly cheaper. So they help me save a few pennies and save some time that I would spend on packing a balanced snack.

Oh, and homemade muffins definitely make you at least seem like you have it all. Because if you don’t actually have it all, at least you have muffins. And muffins are pretty amazing, right?

Ya gosh darn right they are!

What goes better with a nut flour muffin full of nut butter? A schmear of nut butter, of course.

What do you think, eaters:

If you could add an extra hour to the day to do one thing, what would it be?

What’s your favorite muffin mix-in?

G’night eaters!

Now I Can…

Hi eaters.

It’s been a pretty shitty day.

From the moment I woke up — late because my phone turned off during the night AGAIN — to Crossfit — where I struggled and flailed ridiculously doing toes-through-rings — to when I left for work after having done almost nothing from my To Do list, everything has just kinda sucked today.

But nothing good comes from dwelling on shitty shit, right?

So instead I want to focus on my progress and successes, specifically my Crossfit successes. Because I realized today, while I was trying to make myself feel less shitty for only completing 7 rounds of an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) when everyone else was getting 13-15, that I have in fact accomplished a lot.

Picture from today.

Now I can climb the rope twice in a row, whereas before I could barely hang on the rope.

Now I can do kipping pull ups, whereas before I could barely do jump-assist pull ups on the lowest bar.

Now I can RUN an 8:22 minute mile, whereas before I could barely run half a mile.

Now I can kick up into a handstand AND do a negative split handstand push up (where you lower to a handstand push up and then kick down off the wall instead of pushing back up), whereas before I couldn’t even come close to kicking up to a handstand.

Now I can do three 83-lbs cleans in a row, whereas before I could barely do a 50-lbs clean at all.

Hell, now I can do a clean, a deadlift, a snatch, a jerk, a push press, a front squat, a back squat, an overhead squat, a box jump, a thruster, a wall ball, a double-down wall ball, and a double-under, whereas before I didn’t even know what the heck those were.

Now I can get up early enough for a 6am workout, whereas before I thought I was good for getting up at 7am.

Now I can do so much freaking more than I ever thought I could when I signed up for that one-on-one intro session back in May.

Picture from the day of my first Crossfit session.

So what if I can’t do toes-through-rings YET. I can do so freaking much already that I can’t let one little move keep me down.

Right?

Ya gosh darn right!

Your turn, eaters:

What is something that you can do?

What’s something that you will be able to do soon enough?

G’night eaters!

New Balance Minimus Review

Hello eaters!

#HotDamnHooray, today has been awesome.

First, I absolutely fucking primal-style beasted it at Crossfit today. I guess having to take a few days off for my foot (and eating way too much sugar) gave me the energy to do crazy things.

  • WOD:
  • 10 rounds of
  • 10 back squats (60 lbs)
  • 10 (jump assisted) pull ups
  • 10 strict front presses (33 lbs)
  • Time: 22:52.

Yup, I did things I didn’t even know I could do. And it felt awesome.

So between feeling like a goddamn muscle beast and since I haven’t really done any noteworthy cooking (unless smoothies and pb toast count), we’re going to focus on the fitness side of things tonight. Mainly, my shoes.

As you may remember, I bought my first ever pair of minimal, Crossfit-specific sneakers a couple of weeks ago. My whole active life I’ve been wearing squishy, stabilizing, arch-correcting running-specific shoes, so I was a little wary making the jump to minimal shoes.

But it’s been about three weeks with my New Balance Minimus 3090s and I have to say, I’m in love.

Can you tell from the dirty lining how much I've loved them?

Sure, the first few times I ran in them wasn’t exactly comfortable. I actually felt a bit of pain in my feet and shins. But it wasn’t bad pain. It was a strengthening pain, like my feet were adapting to having to rely on their own muscles. And

Sure, I spent a little extra time on the treadmill just to strengthen my feet in the Minimus, but my feet are now noticeably stronger and I got in a little more active time, which is never a bad thing.  And now, after just three weeks of changing only my shoes, I can tell a difference in my running for the better.

And sure, there’s a chance that had I been wearing my old, thick, squishy running shoes I wouldn’t have jammed my toe as bad. But my complete lack of coordination and grace isn’t the shoes’ fault.

But ya know what didn’t take any time to get used to doing in the shoes — lifting!

Oh boy oh berto, do I ever love these shoes for lifting.

The sole is hard enough and there’s enough of a lack of padding that almost every ounce of momentum that I generate with my full hip extension and hard heel jumps go into sending that barbell soaring.

Proof: For skill work today I was able to snatch 60 lbs multiple times easily. My previous snatch PR was 50 lbs and even that was a struggle.

Of course, I’m not saying these shoes are magic. I can’t suddenly run a marathon. I’m not lifting large men over my head (yet). I’m not leaping over tall buildings or even over tall people.

But, I can definitely tell a difference.

And it’s that little difference in my running and lifting that has allowed me to get past the hang-ups of weak feet and stifled energy and make real progress.

So moral of the story is: shoes really do matter. And the New Balance Minimus 3090s are freaking awesome.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you put much stock in “proper” gear or are you an all around minimalist?

What’s your favorite/most useful piece of exercise gear?

G’night eaters!

Crossfit Shoes!

‘Ello eaters!

Thanks for putting up with my angry/frustrated post last night. Today was a much better day. (Of course it was, I only had one class and no work!)

One thing that made the day pretty darn great was that I finally bought new shoes!

I have wanted to get more Crossfit-specific shoes since I started, but I’m cheap and had perfectly good (running-specific) shoes so I held off. For the last couple of weeks, though, my legs have been feeling more beat up than usual, so I figured it might be time to get new shoes.

I also had a coupon for $15 off a $50 purchase from Dick’s that was about to expire, so it was definitely time to use that.

Before I went a-shopping I did my research, though.

Based on reviews and suggestions from my #Fitfluential peers I had my eyes on New Balance Minimus and Reebok Nanos.

The top middle and the bottom middle.

Luckily, Dick’s had both models in stock so I grabbed a pair of Nanos and two different types of Minimus.

The blue and yellow, but in a different color.

Then I got down to the business of looking like an idiot.

I jumped up and down.

I ran forwards and backwards.

I did box jumps onto the benches. (I’d say it was about a 15” box.)

I did bodyweight cleans.

And then I eliminated the Nanos.

Can you tell how wide the toe box is compared to the rest of the shoe?

Between the extremely large toe box and thick sole, I wasn’t crazy about them.

The large toe box encouraged me to jump more from my toes, which is an issue I already need to correct in my Olympic lifts (where you’re supposed to give a hard jump from the heel). I could see how it would be helpful to encourage more front striking (hitting the ground with your toes/the ball of your feet instead of your heel) in running, but that’s not an issue I have.

And the thick sole felt like it would have the same power-dampening effect in my jumps as my running shoes.

So then it was down to the two Minimus — the 3090 and one that didn’t have a number, but had Vibram soles.

This is where things got tricky.

Both shoes were great, but for different reasons. Both had drawbacks, too.

The 3090s (the green ones) felt snug and secure, but also felt a little squishier than I would have liked. The Vibram Minimus (the pink ones) were very minimal and had a nice hard sole, but the toe box was big and they came up too high on the ankle.

The 3090s felt like a more minimal version of what I’m used to. The Vibram Minimus felt very minimal and more like what I think I should use.

Ya see my dilemma?

Then I realized that all the squishiness of the 3090s was in the insole, which could very easily come out.

I've never had pretty sneakers before.

Sold!

I wore them out of the store and haven’t taken them off since. I am so freaking jazzed for Crossfit tomorrow.

I’ll give you all an update in a couple of weeks to let you know how they’re treating me. But for now, I am very happy with my newest gear purchase.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you like sport-specific gear?

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done to test out shoes?

G’night eaters!

Do The Dang Thing

G’freaking’evening eaters!

I’m absolutely gushing with excitement right now and need to get it out right now.

(Yes, that means the half cake post is getting pushed back to tomorrow).

I went to Crossfit tonight. And I didn’t break!

Why is that a big deal?

#ChallengeBringsChange

Because it’s been a week since I got all stitched up.

Because in that week I haven’t done jack shit.

Because in that entire week I walked the dog for a total of 16 blocks, which is a far cry from the 20 a day I usually walk him. (Don’t worry, Leon was walking him plenty so no dogs suffered in the making of this post.)

Because I honestly didn’t think I would be able to do much of anything and really thought I would end up having to skip out somewhere between the warm-up and the WOD.

But despite all of that negative thinking and self-doubt and worrying about my stitches, I totally fucking rocked Crossfit tonight!

  • Warm up:
  • 4 rounds of 200m run, 5 (as strict as possible) pull-ups, 10 push-ups.
  • Skill:
  • 30 minutes of handstand work.
  • WOD:
  • 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 7 handstand push-ups, 12 L-hang pull-ups.

I did the warm-up as is and felt surprisingly wonderful.

I spent my half hour of handstand work actually nailing, with brilliant consistency, a real handstand. It’s the second day I’ve ever done one!

Then came the WOD.

Per my trainer’s suggestions I modified it to be 7 dumbbell presses (with 15# each), 12 jump-assist pull-ups, 12 sit-ups.

At first, I was half-assing it. I was taking my time and allowing for plenty of rest. I was worried about breaking.

But then, when I saw the 10-minute mark pass I knew I wasn’t going to break. I knew that I could — and needed to! — quit being a wimp and do the damn thing.

So I did.

In the first 10 minutes I finished 4 rounds. In the second 10 minutes I finished 6 rounds.

By the time the buzzer rang I was drenched in sweat, with chalk and torn skin on my hands, a small sweat ‘stache, and absolutely glowing with pride.

It was an awesome experience. An experience that I certainly wouldn’t have had if I was working out on my own. An experience that I absolutely needed after a week of worrying about breaking and sitting on my ass.

Now I’m not saying this is all about Crossfit or that I wouldn’t have been able to do this without Crossfit, but m’gosh, the community (and my awesome coach/trainer/dude) sure as shit did help.

Okay, gushing over.

Your turn, eaters:

What was the last thing you did that surprised you?

G’night eaters!

PS — These images came from Fitfluential’s pinterest.

PPS — My 5 external stitches (because I do have a layer below the skin in each incision) come out next Monday.