Why I Watch the Crossfit Regionals

How many of us are on our second binge of the Crossfit Regional’s? I have my hand raised as high as it can go.  I have been binge watching all of the events and competitors from around the world.  For those of you who don’t know, the Regional’s are the competition that immediately follows the Crossfit Open. It takes only the best of the best from each region to narrow down the playing field even more to find those who will be competing in Carson for the Crossfit Games.  It’s an exciting time because it gives us viewers a chance to see some of the new standards that are being raised prior to the new batch of “gamers” take the field in July.  But for me, I watch it for something completely different.

That one time I did "Randy" for fun. #firebreather

That one time I did “Randy” for fun. #firebreather

For those that read my blog a lot, you know that I am pretty loud about how I feel about women being judged for having muscles or being ridiculed for looking to masculine… well, watching these men and women compete at these events makes me little heart happy.  These competitions are a place for these men and women (especially women) get to showcase their hard work and their powerful bodies.  This is a place that not only accepts these body types but glorifies them and promotes them.  This is what excites me.  I loved seeing Kara Webb kill Tommy V and Randy and then get a killer weight on her 1RM snatch, but I am most excited to see her because she has this amazing body that only exemplifies power and strength.  If I ever met her I would tell her to “Give me her muscles” because she is a serious crossfit beast. Or you get to see people like Lauren Fisher who is a young athlete, who is still rehabbing am injury, and kill workouts even against all the odds. I get inspired to work harder and to be stronger.

Crossfit has brought a lot of things into my life.  I like to think that it took me from being this “small” person who was afraid to break the barrier of societal norms to this person who literally doesn’t care if someone isn’t pleased with how my body is looking.  It made me want to promote a healthy lifestyle and strength and weight training and for women to love the body their in even they were blessed with thunder thighs or thighs that touch…

So while you are all watching the Regional’s look at these athletes and appreciate and thank them for their journey.  Many of them have had the same struggles that we are dealing with.  They have had haters and supporters, but ultimately they have embraced the community that has allowed them to be comfortable to be in their own skin and proud of their bodies and hard work.

What have been your favorite part of Regional’s so far?

Crossfit Separation Anxiety

Last week I went on a 10 day crossfit binge.  I knew I was going to start class today and would ultimately have to sacrifice crossfit for 11 days… not in a row, but in total.  Tonight in class we discussed what opportunity costs… and for my example I wrote hesitantly, the opportunity cost of showing up to class was greater than that of going to the gym.  This is how much of the kool-aid I have had to drink! Even when the I struggle mentally to push myself, this is the place I want to be.

Tonight was the first day.  I have 3 more days until I will be back in the gym.  Until I am back in my therapy session and my happy place.  When I think about this, I think I am silly.  Like come one Danae you were at the gym for 10 days straight, but this place is more than a gym to me. If any of you know Maslow’s hierarchy of needs then you might be able to understand this.  I have found ways to fulfill most of the layers of the pyramid. I have always felt I struggled with the social/love layer… that is what crossfit is to me.  It allows me a place to have friends, to be open, and to love people who enjoy the same things as I do… I don’t have to be working out to feel this way, yes, there is some science behind the whole endorphin thing, but for the most part this place makes me feel good with out the physical release of a natural drug.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Photo Courtesy of simplypsychology.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Photo Courtesy of simplypsychology.

Yep, this is what happens after one day away from the place. I freak out and get all gushy.

As I head into my second day away from my gym… keep me in your thoughts.  I will mentally be preparing myself to fight any urges I have of falling into the fetal position.

What was the longest that you didn’t go to the gym? Why? Comment with your stories!

Scaling Up

Recently,  I have been on a mission to work out as hard as possible for as many days as possible.  You are probably thinking.. What?! This girl is crazy… Part of it probably has to do with the fact that next week I am taking a summer school class that will require me to be at school Monday thru Thursday from 5:30-9:45… so my thought process behind it is if I can work out as much as possible on the days that I don’t have class then I will be fine when I am only able to work out three times a week. I definitely haven’t followed the Invictus recommendation… going on 9 days in a row.. EEK.

Did you just read that though?  Last year around this time I was working out like zero times a week and now I am sad that I can only work out three days a week rather than the normal 5 or 6? This is what crossfit has done to me… I think if crossfit were a person, it would sing Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed” song to me.. because that’s what I am obsessed.

Anyways, so recently I have been trying to do all the workouts RX’d or RX’d+.  Scaling up (there is a discussion on this topic, check the link!) has been a real challenge mentally for me.  Just thinking about the additional weight or the taller box jumps gets to you. A couple of days ago we did a 20 minute partner AMRAP: 5 Burpees, 7 Box jump overs, 9 goblet squats (53/35) with each person alternating rounds.  Well, I teamed up with my coach because I need that extra push sometimes. I grabbed the 45# kettlebell for the goblet squats…

Goblet squats are the devil. Especially after maxing out your back squat the same day.

So we started the workout.  I started with the 20″ box jumps because I had already scaled up the goblet squats… until my coach changed the box… being someone who can’t handle being challenged and folding to peer pressure, I started doing 24″ box jumps… and not to long after that I found myself with this…

Ouch.

Ouch.

I didn’t stop when this happened because you have to keep going, you have to get over that fear of the box again.  I kept pushing. And the workout finished.  Thankfully.

Sometimes I need these reminders to tell me that I have improvement to make.  That I have to focus on the things that I am doing in the gym because when I get careless, I get hurt.  It also shows me that I can keep pushing myself.  Actually, it helps me eliminate the excuses I have for days I don’t put max effort in.

Does anyone else try and scale up just to fight their mental demons rather than their physical demons?

The Road to the 2016 Open Begins Now

Everyone who has already started training for the 2016 open say “Aye”… “Aye”… yep we have a long road ahead of us, but how awesome is it to have a light at the end of the tunnel to show us how much we have changed and developed over the year? I think that this is great.  And honestly, it’s fun being back to the weight and strength training in addition to the metcons!

Funny story, I recently had a conversation with a fellow crossfitter and he had mentioned that metcons are like crack to crossfitters… which is completely true because we like the short workouts that give us the same results as the long heavy workouts.  So for the remainder of this article I will be referring to metcons as “methcons”. (Get it— meth is a drug and metcons are drugs for crossfitters, it’s funny).

IMG_6245

Doing a Methcon Saturday.

Anyways, I personally have had a successful few weeks of PR’s for both benchmark workouts and barbell PR’s.  Does anyone else feel like crying when they hit a weight or beat a time they had mentally given themselves? It’s freaking exciting. Recently, I did “Diane” this benchmark contains 21-15-9 Deadlifts @ 155# and Hand Stand Push Ups.  During the open I struggled really really badly on 15.4—which contained HSPU’s.  This is one of my goats and I have actively been working on getting better at handstand walks, holds, and push-ups and last night I had given myself a time of 10 minutes to beat, because I had never done this workout before and because both deadlifts and HSPU are weaknesses.  I completed the workout in 8 minutes and 4 seconds.  I about started crying, I already feel the progression after only a month… and that is freaking exciting! I officially love that methcon!– “Randy” however… not my favorite… if you want to feel like you ran a marathon… grrr.

So as we continue to work and train for the next open let us make a pact that even on the days of failure and frustration  we will celebrate the moments of progression.  Let us take each workout for what it is, let us celebrate that our bodies are able to train and to perform.  Let us celebrate that we are mentally strong and willing to come back each workout and fight to be better than we were. Let us watch the regional’s and the games in awe of the athletes who have made it!

The road to 2016 is long and arduous.  Let’s make it memorable and lets be happy!

10 Thoughts for 10 months of Crossfit.

I have been doing crossfit for a little over 10 months now. June 17th, 2014 ( I just checked!) was my first ever crossfit class.  I was 30 pounds heavier, I was struggling to find happiness in myself, and I had no idea what I was getting into.  But throughout these past 10 months I have discovered so many things and I changed a lot and I have grown.

I attribute a lot of this to the people at my gym, my coaches, my crossfit friends and the lifestyle that it embraces..

So here are my 10 thoughts from the past 10 months.

June 2014. The first step is literally the hardest.

I was terrified the first day.  I messaged my friend/ box owner about crossfit and I told him that I wanted to try it because I had seen all of his posts on Facebook and I was at a standstill with my current fitness program. He reassured me that I would be fine and that I would have fun.  So, even though I was scared and worried about what people might think of me, or going into this unknown place alone, I took the plunge and went for it.  That day is the most important day because it potentially saved my life.

July 2014. Holy Moly. This is intense.

Yep, this whole crossfit thing is no joke.  This is when I found out I had a long way to go.  I was scaling everything A LOT! I was making slow progress, but it was progress none the less and I that was exciting!

August 2014. These people are pretty cool

I was traveling a lot but each time I got back into the gym more and more regulars at the gym were asking where I had been.  They were asking me about my life and we were becoming friends….

September 2014. Finally Making Progress.

It didn’t take me very long to do kipping pull-ups, this was the month I had my coaches teach me how to do butterfly pull-ups.  They were ugly and super choppy, but they were something.  For some reason, being able to do a pull-up was the one thing I wanted to do because it meant that I could fully support my body weight. PR’ing in things I never thought I could do. Amazing feeling I have to say.

October 2014. Wow. These are my people and they are awesome.

I’m pretty sure this is when I had my first ever vent session about life.  And no one even judged me for being the actual me!

November 2014. I don’t like holiday themed workouts.

For Thanksgiving we had a festive workout that used a 14# medicine ball as a turkey… it was not fun.

Happy Thanksgiving?!?

Happy Thanksgiving?!?

December 2014. Sometimes making goals is upsetting.

My goal for the end of the year was to get one muscle up… this did not happen. Sadface.

January 2015.  Peer Pressure is real.

I got peer pressured into being paleo/zone.  I was eating more than I was used to and I was eating a billion times cleaner all because my coach questioned how committed I was…

February 2015. Crossfit is a community.

No matter where you go you can drop into a gym. Crossfit is like math, it is the same in every language. (Engineering nerd… remember?)

March 2015. Mental strength is more important than physical strength.

On days that you feel down or weak you have to keep pushing and you have to force yourself to find motivation.  When we get stuck in these ruts we have to fight to keep caring and to keep working. This is the fight.

April 2015. If I have to leave these people or my box they will always be my gym and my people.

I have been doing some deep thinking about where I want to go with my life or where my career will head– it may be away from Reno, but no matter what these people are the real deal, forever in your life.

These people in the box have helped me change my mindset and my life.  They have cheered me on, they have cheered me up, and they have created a new person who is comfortable within my body.  After 10 months of crossfit I have made some amazing friends and have met so many smart and beautiful people.  I have spent the last 10 months averaging at least 5 days there and to be honest it just isn’t enough.  The time I am in the gym is the most valuable time because I get to be around these positive people. To my Regulus Family this is truly for you. You have been amazing and I am glad that I have met every single one of you.  Here is to the next 10 months– may they be filled with fitaids, foamrollers, and friends.

Now, tell me about your crossfit thoughts. Tell me about the people you have there for.  Tell me about all of the things that you have thought throughout crossfit!

When the Struggle is Too Real

Have you ever had those weeks where you find yourself extremely stressed out, maybe a little burnt out? Those weeks where you are trying to figure out if you should workout or commit your time to the things you are stressing over… well that was my week this past week.  One of the few weeks you are just trying to survive until the weekend before you can just sit down and do as much nothing as you can…

Therapy Session Saturday Night

Therapy Session Saturday Night

This week I chose crossfit even in the midst of all the things I needed to do because this was the only time I really felt like I allowed for myself.  It was an hour of complete disconnection to the outside stresses be them job or school or even social engagements.  It takes me away from my phones–yep, I’m one of those people who is constantly connected to my personal phone and my work phone.  It takes me away from the problems that were addressed throughout the day.  It takes me away from all of the things that can really weigh down on your sanity.

A lot of people, myself included, struggle between choosing to do something for yourself and choosing to do things that you need to do.  This week I decided that even though there were things I should be doing for most of the waking hours of the day, crossfit was something I needed to do for me.  Like I have said in a couple of my blogs, crossfit is my therapy and this happy place.  It represents much more than as a place where I go to get stronger, or better at handstands, it’s a place where I get to be and act differently, I get to embrace the fact that I am only listening and following what my coaches are telling me to do.  I am clearing my mind and working on only things that I need to do for these workouts.

So when the struggle is too real for you find a place that makes you and forces you to disconnect.  Pick a place or something that is something you want to do, or be at.  Something that takes a small portion of your day that you can dedicate to yourself. This place will quickly become your therapy.  Just like crossfit has for me.

Crossfit Pet Peeves Part 1

I am sure that this is going to be the first installment of  pet peeves I have acquired since starting crossfit.  Some of them take place inside the gym and some are just conversations I have had with people outside of crossfit… those people who believe they are entitled to giving you their opinion regardless of whether you want it, care about it, or asked for it.

I originally got this idea from one of my favorite vloggers, Jenna Marbles.  Thanks for the inspiration.

1. People who say butterfly or kipping pull-ups aren’t real pull-ups…

Uh… ummm… really? Like for reals? Have you ever done either of these? Not only do these movements require strength, but they require technique and a ton of practice… I would really like to see the people who say this try to do 100 kipping or butterfly pull-ups and after look me in the face and tell me they aren’t pull-ups.  I am pretty sure their arms, back, and core will be screaming.  So please continue to tell me that these pull-ups aren’t actual pull-ups and while you’re doing that I will be onto the next part of my workout… oh and please show me all the strict chest to bar pull-ups you can do. (-_-)

2. People who don’t put their stuff away.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have accidentally left the gym without putting away all of things I got out for the workout, but sometimes I think people do it on purpose.  We do crossfit people, we aren’t lazy.  Please please please, for the love of insert your divine being just put your stuff away.  I think that this particularly frustrates me because I love the owners and the coaches at the gym and they spend almost every waking hour of the day there and on top of it they have to baby sit the adults who come in and forget to put their stuff away.  If you get something out, put it away like and adult.

3. People who ask if I am “still paleo”

Ding ding ding.  Yes, I am still paleo. I was the last time you asked me. I am now.  I have been for the last 11 months.  I probably will still be the next time you ask too.  I think this affects whether or not people can ask me to go to dinner with them.  I suppose none of the restaurants have anything I could possibly eat… Cause people who eat paleo don’t go out to eat EVER… (-_-)   I mean after the first few months it’s understandable because I could have hopped off the hamster wheel and gone back to how I used to eat, but I am pushing a year.  I think I have made it well past the required time frame for this to be acceptable.

A lovely picture of my cult after a Saturday seance.

A lovely picture of my cult after a Saturday seance.

4. When people continually make fun of the fact that I do crossfit and love it.

Early into my crossfit addiction people would make fun of me and tell me “All you do is crossfit now” which at the time wasn’t true– Now, it is a lot more true.  But they would make fun of me for doing it.  “Danae, did you do your crossfit kipping pull-ups today? Isn’t that what your cult does?”` (Check out this hyperlink to find out why crossfit might actually be a cult.) People actually said this to me… all of the time. Excuse me, but when was the last time I made fun of your cult spinning class or zumba class? People told me it was because crossfit was new, but that isn’t true either crossfit is definitely a growing and more visible sport now, but in 2014 it was definitely not new.  This one makes me the most mad because I think that anyone who is able to stick with a fitness program is freaking awesome! Working out consistently is really hard and if you find something that you like to do, then why is that a bad thing?  Who are you people?!

Anyways, thought I would share with you some of my own personal pet peeves. Like I mentioned before, this is the first installment into Danae’s Saga of Pet Peeves.  It seems like each day I am faced with different situations and little things that make it onto my pet peeve list.  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, share with me some of your own pet peeves!!