Friday, October 12, 2012

Yo Quiero Taco Bell

I really, really do.
Hello! I know it has been a couple of months, but I hope you haven't forgotten me entirely. Even if you have, that is cool. I mostly write this for my mom and dad anyway, so there you go. I have been reading a lot about nutrition lately so I can help people figure out what they should eat in order to get the results they want to see. Doing so, you would think that I would have a firm grip on what I eat and what I choose not to eat.

Well if you thought that, you'd be wrong.

It does not matter how many articles or books I read that tell me "Don't worry, once you get over being addicted (insert whatever processed food you're reading about), you'll stop craving it."

Speaking as a human being who has been eating much healthier for the better part of 4 years, I can tell you that is utter bovine scarpoli. I can tell you that the nutrition changes I have made over the last 4 years have stopped the persistent migraines I used to get. I have lost some fat. I have gotten stronger. I also, however, still crave Taco Bell and long John donuts from The Jolly Pirate Donut Shop.

You thought I was joking. I wasn't.
Now before you start to boo me like that old woman from The Princess Bride, stop. Taco Bell and The Jolly Pirate are two things I vividly remember from my childhood. Both crunchy taco supremes and long Johns are comfort foods for me. I know what is in them. I know what they are made out of. I know what they can do to my body. I simply do not care. What I do know is how they played a part in my life. I remember going to Taco Bell with my cousin Damon or my grandma, or my dad as a "treat." I remember going there with my dear high school friends. All of us were broke but could afford a 79 cent Taco Bell taco. I also remember the day when I had a stomach ache from what I thought was eating Taco Bell twice in one day, but turned out to be appendicitis. It is funny now even though it wasn't then. I remember my dad taking my sister and I to The Jolly Pirate Donut Shop on the occasional Saturday to pick out our favorite donuts for breakfast and telling us about when he used to fill long Johns in the bakery he worked at when he was young. Eating better and avoiding junk doesn't stop me remembering these things and, in turn, craving them. And if I am being 100% honest, the only reason I haven't crammed my yammer full of donuts recently is because they simply do not make long Johns properly in Virginia. They ruin them by filling them with BAVARIAN CREAM!!!! Oh the humanity! When I "cheat," I either go big or go home. Fake long Johns are not worth it, so I go home.

I guess you could conclude that it isn't the food I crave, although you should know that I can eat just about anybody under the table when it comes to Taco Bell food (save my sister who kept the entire franchise afloat when she was preggo with Miles). It's the fun times I had with my family and friends while eating this stuff. I want it because I miss Ohio and I miss my family, including the few friends I keep in touch with. Ok, friend I keep in touch with.

You would think that because I am surrounded all the time by people who make healthy decisions and WANT to make healthy decisions that these craving would dissipate, but they don't. They actually intensify when I am particularly missing home. I think that is what a lot of nutrition writers miss when they explain how cravings will disappear and you won't want certain foods that you wanted before, etc. Because as much as we don't want it to be, food has emotional connections. It always will. For example, my mother makes the best potato soup on the face of the planet. It is a simple soup to make and I make at least once a winter but mine never tastes like hers. Why? Because it isn't HERS. When I eat mine, I almost always get a sad sinking feeling that it would be better if I was eating it with my family. But I am also comforted by the familiar taste and smile remembering how mom used to grumble when we asked her to make it because it took some time to make.

I always do try to make the better choice when it comes to food. I have come a long way from where I started and I am trying very hard to help other people make better choices. But I will admit when I am really missing my mom, dad, sister, or grandparents, a nice crunchy taco supreme from Taco Bell does make me feel better. I think what it comes down to is the fact that if you can identify why you crave something, then you can deal with it more readily. And it becomes a habit to acknowledge the craving but then dismiss it and distract yourself by calling your mother. And thanking the Heavens you live in Virginia where they ruin donuts.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hello, My Name is Mustache Montoya...

I love sleeping. I am not good at sleeping through the night, but I can nap like a champ. I don't like being disturbed from my slumber. If there was a napping event at the Olympics, I would win the gold every time. Unless my dad was also competing, then I would take silver.

DTM can tell you that I do not like being woken up early. He will let you know that just because he can wake up the instant his feet touch the floor, I cannot. I wake up slowly and need a little time before I can really hold a conversation.

I know what you are thinking. Why are you telling us this? What does this have to do with CrossFit? What is going on?

I'll tell you what is going on. This morning, DTM found a way to get me out of bed and awake more quickly than ever. Here is how it went down:

DTM: turns on the light at 5:45am.
Me: "Zzzzzzzzz....grumble, grumble....::insert whiny voice:: DTM! Whhhhhyyy is the light ON?" 
DTM: "Hold on."
Me: ::now sleepy snarling:: "What is....happening?"
DTM: "There is a mustache bug in here and I am trying to kill it."
Me: ::jumping out of bed ninja style born from my CrossFit training while simultaneously putting on my glasses and grabbing my machete:: "WHAT? WHERE? IN OUR BED? OH MY GOSH!!!!!"
DTM: "It was right here."
Me: ::swinging the machete:: "WHAT DO YOU MEAN 'WAS'?!!?!"
DTM: "It got away."

2 things:

1) Yes, I own a machete. You can never be too prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse.
2) Other than spiders, my worst bug fear is mustache bugs.

What are those? They are really called house centipedes. I was going to post an image but I just couldn't look at the google search results. If you want to see what they look like go here. I have goose bumps. Ick.

Thank goodness my speed and agility got me out of the mustache bug situation. I have no one to thank but CrossFit. And DTM for trying to dispose of the wretched creature without alarming me. I am pretty sure the conversation between the MB and DTM would have gone like this:

MB, decked out with a machine gun and his own machete: "Hello, my name is Mustache Montoya. You killed my father and several other members of my family. Prepare to die."
DTM: "Right." Smashes MB with some toilet paper.

The MB's weapons are powerless against DTM's strength. Duh.

The real Inigo would not be bested by anyone but the Man in Black. 

As for my strength, I have not gotten to lift recently, which is sad. But, I did find out in the past couple of weeks that I can power clean 145#, thruster #135, and push press #135. So you know, cool.

Ick, I still have goose bumps. And the shivers. I hate bugs.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

A New Gym, now with More Ridonkulousness!

I am thoroughly enjoying life right now. We opened up a new gym, CrossFit Metro Center, which is a gorgeous space on 14th and New York Ave right by the White House. I wanted name it CrossFit POTUS, but it was shot down. Now I think about it, that probably isn't the best turn of phrase... Anyway, it has been fun helping getting it going. A ton of hard work, sweat, and tears have been put into it and I am proud to be a part of something so cool. Here is the entrance:


I totally squealed like a little girl when I saw it.
via CrossFit Metro Center
I will share more pictures in the weeks to come!

I also must comment on how hilarious my life has been recently, even with the horrible weather and power outages. In all honesty, it could be worse. No one died. We didn't lose anything but some meat (including bacon, which it pains me to say). However, to ease the pain from bacon loss, the following things have been said either to me or by me over the past week or so. Names have been omitted to protect the not so innocent.

1) "I packed you a coconut water. Don't die from heat stroke if you work out today!"

2) "Do people know you drink wine?"

3) "Wow! You look like a girl!"

4) "Is this a bra or a swimsuit top? I don't care, I am wearing it."

5) "I may or may not be sitting in front of an open screen door, with ice in my bra, eating watermelon."

6) "Are you guys planning on coming over early? If so, I should probably put some pants on."

7) "I am basically a functioning alcoholic."

8) "I just wished a British guy a Happy 4th of July."

9) "You will absolutely not go on a 10 mile run. It is 100 degrees out."

10) "All the Avengers are on screen. Things are totally getting avenged."

I hope you had a splendiferous 4th of July! I leave you now with this hilarious picture:

Things are about to get crazy.




Friday, June 22, 2012

Lucky

I am a lucky girl.

I am lucky to have come from a loving, happy home with supportive, sometimes quirky (in a good way) school teacher parents and a much cooler than me younger sister.

I am lucky to have been taught how to work hard and do your best.

I am lucky to have been shown that it is ok to be yourself, now matter what other people think of you.

I am lucky to be married to my best friend and that he loves me for who I am, even when I am bat-crap crazy.

I am lucky that he has supported every decision I have ever made regarding my career, which I now finally have after having just "jobs" for so long.

I am lucky that I have found the career of my dreams and can make a living doing it.

I am lucky I have coworkers who are friends in an environment that encourages it.

I am lucky I am encouraged to be a part of something bigger than myself by these friends.

I am lucky that I have the privilege of working with and for the strongest, toughest people I know.

I am lucky to have made friends with these incredible people.

I am a lucky girl.

via CrossFit Bethesda

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Load of Guff

It has been awhile, my friends, and I know it. I have an axe to grind. Speaking as a coach, we take a lot of guff from people. I understand the guff. I even say it myself:

"This is hard."

"I hate running."

"Thrusters? AGAIN?"

"Double unders make my pants fall down."

"Wall balls make me nauseous."

Oh, wait. That last one might just be me. I can take the guff. I can. It is my job. It is also my job to get you to shut the heck up and do hard work. It is hard for a reason and you showed up. So do it. I know I am doing my job and you are doing your job if you hate me just a little (or a lot) when you are working out. I look like I hate every human being on the face of the planet when I am working out. Why? Because it IS hard. And if you aren't working hard enough, I have the benefit of using "The Motivator" on you. You would be shocked at how fast that thing fixes form and attitude. What is it? A pointy-ended PVC pipe. No, we didn't sharpen it like that. It cracked one day and we just never fixed it.

This R2 unit has a bad motivator!!!
The guff I have a problem with comes from the excuse-makers. To be honest, excuse-makers don't last long, if at all. We all know one (or more), and they aren't just at the gym. They are everywhere. At work, on the Metro, at school, EVERYWHERE. However, because most of my time is spent at the gym (best job ever, by the way. For reals.), I routinely hear things like this:

"I wish I could do that, but I just don't have time in my schedule! I am so busy!" (Meanwhile, you see them check in on Facebook at Starbucks and the movies and the mall and every restaurant in the area and....you get the idea.)

Translation: I have priorities. My well-being isn't one of them.

"I am not motivated to workout." 

Translation: I am too lazy to try.

Have you EVER been to a CrossFit gym? If it isn't motivating, you are at a terrible box. Yeah, you may walk into it and see people muttering to themselves in the corner, grunting, yelling, and/or swearing. But you know what? As soon as they catch their breath, they are cheering on those who aren't yet finished.

"I really don't care about gaining strength, so I am going to use a lighter weight." 

Translation: Heavy weights are hard and I don't like it.

Stop sandbagging and pick up a heavier weight.

"I want to get fit but I have no idea where to start."


Translation: To be honest, this might be exactly what it sounds like. But even that is an excuse to NOT get started.

Good news! We're here to help. You can start anywhere! Let's go!

Don't be an excuse maker. Your guff will not fly with me. You can tell me you hate burpees (I die a little inside every time someone says that), you hate box jumps (I am with you there), you hate running (again, yes), you hate rowing, you hate me...but get it out of your system and start moving. 3...2...1...GO!

One of my all time favorite quotes.





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm Lazy and I Know It

I have a confession to make. It may surprise exactly none of you that I may be the laziest human being on the face of the planet. There is probably a reason one of my favorite animals (other than ponies. OMG, ponies....) is the Sloth.

Seriously. How adorable are they?
I am obsessed with them. Like, Kristen Bell obsessed.



Why am I telling you this? For a couple of reasons. Mostly because it makes me charming and endearing. The other reason is that I have been massively struggling with being cheerful and awake recently. Mostly awake. We all know I am not cheerful. Crochety and curmudgeonly? Yes. If I had my way, I would never set an alarm and wake up whenever I wanted. Funnily enough, when I can do that, I wake up earlier and more refreshed. I would also revert back to my old childhood breakfast of peanut butter and jelly toast and a cup of tea. We don't have peanut butter, jelly, or bread in the house. For some reason, if I know I HAVE to do something, I don't want to do it and it takes all my willpower TO do it. Thus, I become the surliest and laziest person on Earth. Sidenote: I am not sure if sloths are surly.

 For example, I have wanted to go lay on the beach somewhere warm for a long time. I love the beach. I love laying on it for hours wearing my 1000SPF that I have to apply every 15 minutes or else I will burn to a crisp. I love trying to surf whenever I want. However, if you told me that I had to go to the beach and have fun, I would be like "I DO WHAT I WANT!" and go pout in the corner until you made me pack. What? There has to be some psychological term for this. You know, other than "crazy." I make no sense.

CrossFit seems to be the exception to this rule. Sure, I may grumble about what we have to do that day, but I will do it willingly. The most recent example of this is the training our team has been doing for the Civilian Military Combine. I don't mind the extra training. In fact, I like it. I like working with other people to reach a common goal. Except for the fact that it includes running. I hate running. I never choose running. I run for darn few people. But I will do it because I know the practice is going to make us better. I am looking forward to this race. It is going to be fun!

Even though I run at a sloth's pace.

It will be brought. Slowly.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Open

So the CrossFit Games Open is finally closed, which is a little happy and sad for me. Sad because I really enjoyed working out with other members of the CrossFit Extreme Fitness team and cheering each other on. I miss being part of a team, but CrossFit is good at filling that void. Happy because now I can stop worrying about what hell is coming our way every Thursday.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are not alone. Don't worry about it. It's just the yearly competition that CrossFit holds, sort of like the World Series, but for exercising. Anyone can sign up to compete in the Open portion and then the best of them go to the next level, and so on and so forth until one man and one woman are crowned King and Queen Exercisers. I am fairly certain those are not their real titles. I  know "badass" fits in there somewhere. Which, the winners of the Games are badass. If you watch any of the standards videos for the workouts, you will be awed by their abilities. Nothing is so humbling as going to submit your score and seeing that Annie Thorrisdottir did exactly twice the amount that you did, chump. That's right. She's the DAUGHTER OF THOR. She probably has his hammer somewhere. Jealous.

I have the same color hair. I can be like her, right? RIGHT? Wrong.
This was the first Open I participated in and I will do it again next year. To be clear, I never was under the impression I was going to miraculously be awesome at CrossFit. I know I am a mediocre athlete that tries really hard. I also know that CrossFit is not all I do. I am good at things. I am bad at things. But I wanted to push myself to see what I could do. Here is how that all went.

12.1: 
7 minutes of Burpees with a 6" jump for reps. 

What the what? I did 99. 

::rapping:: I got 99 problems, a burpee every one. ::end rapping:: That's right Jay-Z,  I just improved your terrible song.


12.2: 
10 minutes of Snatches:
30 at 45#
30 at 75#
30 at 100#
As many reps as possible in the time remaining at 120#

I was not 100% certain I could do any snatches at 100#. I got through the 45# and 75# ok and managed to do 7 at 100#, which was a giant surprise to everyone involved. Total reps? 67.

12.3:
AMRAP in 18 minutes of:
15 Box Jumps 20"
12 Push Press 75#
9 Toes to Bar

Because of how the Box Jumps were judged, I could get through them slightly easier than normal. The Push Press were not the issue I though they would be, and the Toes to Bar were hard, but once I got the kip, they were better. Total reps: 275, meaning I did 7 full rounds, 15 Box Jumps and 8 Push Press.

12.4:
AMRAP in 12 minutes of:
150 Wall Balls 14#, 9 ft target
90 Double Unders
30 Muscle Ups

Not going to lie, when I saw this one posted, I pretty much laughed and stopped worrying about it. Really CrossFit? REALLY? When a former winner of the Games can't get through a whole round, I am going to be lucky to even get through the Double Unders. I got 182 reps, meaning I made it through the Wall Balls and into 32 Double Unders. 

15.5:
AMRAP in 7 minutes of:
3 Thrusters 65#
3 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
6 Thrusters
6 CTB Pull Ups, etc...

When I saw this, I was happy because I can do Thrusters all the live long day. I also can do Chest to Bar Pull Ups (not all the live long day, though). I got up to and through the 15 Thrusters but could only do 12 CTB Pull Ups. My total score was 87. RATS! I wanted to get all the way through the 15s.

Here is was I learned: 
  • Even if I didn't get to every movement, I had done them all in my life at least once (I'm looking at you Muscle Ups). 
  • The goals I set were not too ambitious but just enough to push me hard. 
  • Apparently, I swear a lot during these workouts but I don't remember it at all. This brings great joy to some people.
  • No matter your view on the Games, participating in the Open is a great way to build camaraderie and community in your gym.
  • And, the one I already knew but was reminded of it: you don't have to be better than anyone but yourself. Just show up and try hard and good things happen. Just like everything else in life. 

A big thanks to Judd, Susan, Lieven, and Nick who were my counters and had to endure my torrential swearing/profuse apologies, even though I know they secretly enjoyed it. Also, congrats to my fellow teammates! You guys rock and I can't wait to do it again next year! 



Thursday, March 22, 2012

DNF

I should have known what was coming. I should have. I mean, Facebook was littered with comments saying things like this:

True, but it still doesn't make me feel any better.
I didn't think anything about it. I mean, most of my interests on Facebook lie in fitness and well-being and those inspirational quotes show up everywhere. Most the time I ignore them. not that they aren't without merit, but I know what I have to do to make myself better and that I am strong, etc., etc., etc. But yesterday, I should have heeded the signs.

This week was my re-entry back into doing serious workouts. I was ill last week and did only one workout to the best of my ability (which, ps, was not that great) and slept a lot. I did Monday's WOD and felt good. It was encouraging. Yesterday, we had a good workout planned and it included thrusters, double unders, KB swings, sit ups, and running. It has been unseasonably warm around these parts the last few weeks. Not complaining. It just is stickier than usual for this time of the year.

We started the workout and I had a good pace going. Until all of a sudden I didn't. I can't even explain how it happened, but I just stopped, unable to breathe and hotter than I can ever remember being. I made my way to the bathroom and kneeled with my head in the shower, dry heaving for the next 20 minutes. I mean, that is EXACTLY what you want to see when you come to the gym: one of your trainers, bright red, wheezing,  heaving into the shower with sweat, tears, and snot running down her face. So attractive.

And thus I earned a DNF. Did. Not. Finish. Fantastic. In fact, with the humidity making my hair all fuzzy and how I felt, I did a pretty good impersonation of this:

Color his face red and that would be me.
There needs to be an inspirational quote that says something to the effect of:

"You didn't die today. Great job on not dying!"

or

"Way to make it to the restroom before you totally lost it!"

Sometimes that is all you really need to hear. 

In other news, this near brush with heat stroke means only one thing: SUMMER IS HERE!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Adult Content

It's true, as you can see by my Star Wars figurine collection.


With my birthday looming over me, I have started to think about what it means to be an adult. Why, you ask? I don't feel like one. Admittedly, I am not sure what being an adult is supposed to feel like. What constitutes being an adult? Buying a house? Having kids? Waking up before 7am on Saturdays? Because if so, I am SO not an adult. 

What about paying bills? Getting to work on time (mostly)? Doing the best at my job? CLEANING ALL THE THINGS?!?!?!?!

Have you ever read Hyperbole and a Half? If not, you should. Allie is amazing and hilarious. 
Ok, I don't clean all the things. Just some of the things. And not all the time. I am, however, really good at laundry when I remember to do it. 

In an effort to become more adult like, I made a huge decision. I decided to...wait for it...stop biting my nails.  WHAT?!?!?!?!?! I know! I have been biting them pretty much since I could get my fingers consciously to my mouth. My mother has tried FOR YEARS to get me to stop. At one point we even painted my nails with some bitter tasting nail polish to get me to stop. It didn't work. I chewed through that like I was a hamster on crack. I tried gum, sitting on my hands, chewing only one nail, etc. Nothing worked. So I gave up.

Until about two weeks ago when I bought a manicure kit and decided it was time I started to have pretty nails like a gosh darn adult! I am pretty sure I am not using the nail kit correctly and I know I look like a kindergartner trying to write her name when I try to paint my right hand (and, ok, my left hand too.) I hate the way the nail polish feels on my nails but it reminds me to keep my fingers out of my mouth. My goal is to have them grown out enough to get an actual manicure. You know, if I can talk myself into letting someone else touch me. Good thing there is a salon with in walking distance. As an adult, I can have an adult beverage before I go. It's a rule. For adults.

So I guess we can all agree that being an adult means you can drink so you can get a manicure. 

I wonder how fast CrossFit will ruin a manicure. Adults probably know that.

Speaking of CrossFit, I did Grace recently: 

30 Clean and Jerks for time (135/95)--3:18

It was pretty rad. 

I am also trying to get better at handstand pushups. I can do maybe three correctly. Better than zero!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Franemies

I hear your name and my stomach drops.
Those little butterflies of insecurity flutter.
I remember you.

The last time we met, you kicked me to the ground,
Heaving and gasping for air.
I vowed to never care about you again.
But I do.

And when I waited for you today, I told myself it was alright.
I wasn't going to let your overbearing sense of superiority get me.
And it didn't.
And I killed you.

Take that, Fran.

- Alison, January 30, 2012.

So I will be the first to admit that I surely deserve some sort of poetry award for that tome of awesomeness above. I mean, seriously.

For those of you who are about to report me for killing someone named Fran, fret not. She is just the evil mother of all workouts in CrossFit. Here she is in her entirety:

"Fran"
21-15-9
Thrusters (95/65)
Pull Ups

No one likes her. She is hard. She is fast. She is purely wicked. And today I finished her in 4:46 as prescribed. Previous best you ask? 5:53. Boo to the ya. I am so excited I just had to share. I know, I need to get a life. No one knows this more than I.

I also pr-ed on my one rep max for deadlift today. 255. Last year at this time, I couldn't even pickup an EMPTY laundry basket because I had hurt my back so badly. Improvement? I think so.

Three years of CrossFit have been good to me. I leave you with this because it made me laugh hysterically:

I need a wine glass like that STAT!
FRANTASTIC!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What the What?

This past week has been slightly unusual for me and I don't like the trend it set. You see, CrossFit is hard. For everyone. It doesn't matter if it is your first day at the gym or your 600th WOD, it is hard. You get better, but as you get better, you get stronger, you move more weight, faster, better. It never gets easy and that is one of the reasons why it works so well. I have come a long way from my very first WOD (Fran but with a 30# bar and ring rows---it took me well over 10 minutes) but it is still hard.

Your body gets tired. You get sore. Your old injuries sometimes rear their ugly head. You wake up wondering how you are going to manage to get through the day using only your t-rex arms. But your body repairs itself and as long as you listen to it, your body will recover. Sometimes that recovery takes longer than you think.

Sweatbands do nothing to make you less tired, unfortunately.
I guess you could say I am used to the cycle of working hard and recovering. I started doing mobility everyday in the morning to help my body recover better. I have started taking more rest days to try and let my shoulder heal. But this past week...it was tough. Several things happened that made me think those immortal words of Roger Murtaugh from those wonderful Lethal Weapon movies:

I really am.
I know, I know. Those of you that read this who are older than me are just going to tell me to suck it up. I don't care. The list of the following happened to me this week:

1) When I got out of bed on Monday morning, every single joint from my shoulders down popped.

2) DTM heard me getting out of bed Monday morning, observed my bent over body trying to straighten up, and said "Well, you are turning 30 soon." If I could have reached my cane faster, I would have beaten him with it.

3) Later that week, when trying the new method of teaching kipping pull ups, I had a hard time getting going because I was so stiff. Judd actually asked me what was wrong and if I was broken. Sadly, nothing on me hurt that day, I just couldn't move.

4) My hips crack when I getup from sitting down. Every. Single. Time.

5) This might be the clincher: I started listening to WTOP, the news channel, on the radio because I couldn't stand any of the music being played on any of the other channels. That is when I became truly concerned about my "condition."

I am not sure why all of a sudden I am having a hard time getting moving. I am blaming it on the cold weather. Yep. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

It still doesn't explain WTOP.

Anyway, I managed to drag this decrepit body through a few WODs this week.

Tuesday's was fun:

50 DUs
21 Power Cleans (135/95)
40 DUs
15 Power Cleans
30 DUs
9 Power Cleans

As prescribed, I finished in 7:23. I love Power Cleans.

Friday's was fun too. Mostly because it involved Front Squats.

Front Squats 3-3-3--all at 165. Not too shabby.

Then:

30 G2O (95/65)
30 Jumping Ring Dips
30 Burpees
30 DUs

Finished as prescribe in 5:58. That was rough.

Here's hoping to a more mobile week!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Trendsetter...or Follower

As you all know, I am probably the least fashionable/least knowledgeable about fashion person you know or read about. In fact, I routinely look through my favorite magazine (no, not US Weekly...though it is a close second), Real Simple saying things like:

"Who in the WORLD would pay $70 for a PONYTAIL holder?"

Seriously. It looks like a bug exoskeleton.
Or:

"Why on EARTH would I spend $279 on an end table YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE?!?!?!?!"

I would spill my wine when trying to set it on this because I couldn't see it. We all know that is just alcohol abuse...
So it shouldn't come as any surprise when I wear relatively old gym clothes. Sure I get new ones, but I don't necessarily care what the newest and best apparel is for two reasons:

1) It takes a long time for me to be convinced that something is awesome enough for me to part with any amount of money. (Unless it is tacos. Then you have me at "tacos.")

2) If I can't order it online, that means I have to go shopping at a store, and we all know how I feel about that.

However, sometimes things need to be replaced. My very loved, very used gray Adidas shoes with pink stripes were beginning to get so worn, I looked like a hobo. My pinkie toes were peaking out the sides. No tread existed on the bottom. It was only then when I began to collect information on maybe, possibly getting a  new pair of shoes.

Now, if you talk to CrossFitters, they have no limit to their opinions on pretty much everything, including footwear. The "new" (read: not really that new, I am just slow on the uptake) wave is the minimalist shoe. I already know that I could not wear Vibram 5 Fingers shoes. I have nothing against them, but I am absolutely certain my feet, toes specifically, would hate them. I can't even wear toe socks, so toe shoes were out. I did notice, however, that many people started wearing other types of minimalist shoes. Shoes with barely any sole and minimal cushioning but still had the shape of a traditional shoe. Now, I know that running shoes are just fine for CrossFit and they get the job done. I also know they can affect lifting movements because of the amount of cushion in the heel. I wanted to try the minimalist shoes just to see what the big deal was. However, they were just a little too much for me to just waltz into the nearest Dick's Sporting Goods and purchase them without some extra information.

Lucky for me, many of my friends wear them at the gym. Specifically they wear New Balance Vibram minimalist shoes. I shook pretty much all of them down for info. The conversations pretty much went like this:

Me (with absolutely no warning): "Do you like those shoes?"
Unsuspecting member: "Um, hey Alison. Sure, I like them."
Me: "Why? What makes them better than your old shoes?"
UM: "They are really comfortable-"
Me: "Really? Even when you run in them? I hear they make people's calves hurt."
UM: "Well, mine were a little stiff for the first couple but then I got used to them."
Me: "What about lifting? Have you notice a difference?"
UM: "Um, I can stay on my heels more."
Me: "What size do you wear?" (Usually I only asked the girls this, in hopes that they wore my size so I could on their shoes. Yes, I know trying on someone else's gym shoes is gross. No, I don't care.)

And on went such conversations, with me rapid firing questions at the UM's who try to answer my questions while jumping rope for warm up. Those poor people were nice enough to answer my questions, but none of them have my Hobbit-sized feet. So I faced the inevitable. We went to Dick's Sporting Goods.

And I tried some on. Pink and gray of course.
I want a pair in every color.


And they fit.

And were comfortable.

And now I can't wear anything else.

I am like the Cinderella of CrossFit. Except without the mice and magic pumpkin. And Fairy Godmother.

So I have used these shoes for almost a month and I can't say enough about how much I love them. In fact, I credit them for my new 2 max rep PR in Back Squats: 215. That's right. I have magic shoes.

They also helped me in the WOD I did yesterday that was this:

40-30-20-10
Pull Ups
Double Unders
Overhead Squats (65/45)

Because I am sick in the head, I chose to do the men's weight for the OHS, because, you know. They're OHS. I did everything else as Rx-ed and finished in 22:32. Not too shabby. I never dreamed I would ever be able to do 100 Pull Ups. Ever. How cool is that?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Year 3

Today is our 3 year CrossFit-versay. 3 years ago today, DTM and I went to CFTC for our intro classes and got thoroughly destroyed. Like many before us, we got hooked and made it a part of our lives. At the time, I did not realize just how much a part of my life it would become. Totally weird.

Not only has my body changed for the better, so has my health, my stress, and my attitude (well, mostly...) Most days I feel like this:

Lieven took this picture. It is for my bio here.
Some days I feel like I got hit by a truck. Still. I tell people CrossFit never gets easier, it just sucks less, but that is kind of a lie. I tend to recover more quickly but today. Today I am sore and tired. Which I think is kind of ironic since if CrossFit sucks less over time it should be easy by now right? HA! Nope.

Anyway, I looked at my goals from last year and they seem rather pathetic. In fact, I really didn't achieve any of them. Here they are:

- Complete 6 classes in Kinesiology. I finished 5 of them. All A's too.
- Do a muscle up and complete a WOD with them. Did not happen. I am getting good at jumping muscle ups though. In all fairness, I didn't work on them.
- Deadlift 300#. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
- Earn my Level 2 Cert. It isn't an option because HQ is still "Working on it." I did take the Coaches Prep Course. It was awesome.
- Master Ring Dips. I didn't master them but I can do them unassisted now.
- Bench press my body weight. I can do this but it isn't important to me anymore.
- Maintain a Paleo diet. Done.

I decided this year I am not going to set goals based on physical performance. Not that I don't have those goals. Would I like to deadlift 300# some day. I would like to do muscle ups. But you know what? I don't care about when it happens. I would also like to do handstand pushups.

I also noticed that my goals changed throughout the past year as well. I decided I wanted to be a full time trainer and now I am one. I decided that I would give my body a chance to heal and while it isn't always easy, I am trying to do that. I don't care so much about how many classes I complete, because that really doesn't give me the knowledge I need to be a better trainer.

This year I am going to go about things a little differently. I would like to earn some more certifications. I am not just talking about CrossFit stuff too. I would like to get the USAW Olympic Lifting cert. I would like to be more knowledgeable about how to help people suffering from injuries train safely. DTM and I are trying to stick to Paleo better. We do mostly but DTM was on the fence and now he is all in. We even got a food processor.

Also, a muscle up would be super.

Happy CrossFit!!!!