The Day I Knew I Was Good at CrossFit…

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Lately, I’ve been near the top of the leader board in my box pretty consistently.  I’ve gotten my bar muscle up.  I’m perfected my butterfly pull-ups.  I’m doing my own strength program so I’m getting stronger and the heavier weights in WOD’s don’t affect me as much and I can move much more more easily.

Today was the day I realized though that I am really good.  REALLY.

We had an Open Test WOD of:

50 wallballs

50 double unders

40 box jumps

40 toes to bar

30 chest to bar pull ups

30 burpees

20 squat cleans (100 lbs for women)

20 jerks (100 lbs)
10 muscle ups

I did the wall balls and the double unders unbroken in record time.  I was the first to all the movements.  I had the highest score (even amongst the boys).  What slowed me down were the TTB and the C2B (2 moves I’m gonna work once I’m done with my muscle-up course).

I’ve really grown as an athlete since the Open.  It gave me the impetus to get better, to improve my moves (and get new ones), and to give it my all.

There’s something about CrossFit that’s hard to explain to non-CrossFiters.  But I work very hard at it and the passion builds.  I get frustrated just like everyone else.  But in the end I push harder and the work gets done.  And I win.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

 

 

Tough Mudder

Why did I think this was a good idea?

I asked myself this same question half-way up the Manitou Incline and I asked myself this same question half-way through the Tough Mudder.

The Tough Mudder (for those few who don’t know what it is) is a 10 mile race on rough terrain through an obstacle course.  And the obstacles are not for the faint of heart.

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I purposely did not look at the obstacles again before I left because I didn’t want to know.

Let’s examine some now.

The Arctic Enema.  Jumping into a tank full of ice water, dunking under water, and swimming to the other side.  Why not?

This isn’t even the sadistic part.

The sadistic part is before this you had to carry a 35 lb of ice 100 yards and then dump it in the tank.

“So we’re carrying our own torture devices?”

“That’s right.”

Images of crucifixion come to mind.

This was horrible.  This was so bad.  It lasted maybe 30 seconds but once you get out you can’t feel any part of your body.  You just carry on, mute, hoping you are following the right path.

Everest.

Infamous amongst Tough Mudders.

You’ve seen the pictures.  People forming human chains to get up it.  Helping each other.  The ultimate picture of camaraderie.

Well, now picture facing Everest ALONE.

I’m not kidding here.

Unbeknownst to me, I had signed up for the TOUGHEST MUDDER, for seasoned Mudders who travel all over the country doing these crazy courses most weekends.

All I knew was I was signing up to be timed.  That’s it.

Well, since I signed up for this, we started first on the course.  So there was hardly anyone in front of me.  Now, you all know I’m a runner and this course was a lot of running so I was by myself a lot of the time.  Something you don’t want to be at the obstacles.

So here I am, facing this huge wall of white.  Well, I just run at it.  Thanks to CrossFit, the rope climb was no problem.  But I get stuck at the top.  The rope hangs over a lip and you have to throw  your foot up over the side (which would have been great information to have had when I had momentum).

Here I am, clinging to the side of the wall, stuck.  And I clung there for probably about 2 minutes, waiting for the 2 volunteers to help me up.  They grabbed my foot and I got up.  Barely.

Augustus Gloop.  Another obstacle with water.  Not again!  You go under water, climb up a ladder all while running water is dripping on top of you.  I can’t see a thing cause this is no drip-drop.  It’s sheer running water.  It sucks.

The Funky Monkey Revolution.  All I know is there are monkey bars and water below.  I tell myself, “I am NOT falling into that water.”  That’s the last thing I want–is to get wet again.  So, thanks to CrossFit, I cross this obstacle all the way–slowly, very slowly–and ungracefully.  Apparently, I’m the first woman to do so all day they tell me.  Water was the motivator here.

Overall, I had a great time except for the being wet the entire time part.  At the beginning of the day, it was cold.  I was shivering before we even started.  We got wet right away and I was miserable.  The sun didn’t come out until 1 hour into the course.  It sucked.

Then right when I dried off, Arctic Enema.  Then 2 more waters in a row.  I was done.  I was sopping wet and it all sucked.

If I’m going to torture my body, I think I’d rather enjoy it.

Take aways from the Mudder:

  1. Never again am I purposely submerging myself in 20 degree cold water.
  2. The bruises hurt more as the days pass.
  3. Don’t forget sunglasses again!
  4. Snacks and gloves are useless when wet.
  5. The key is to never stop for more than a minute break.  Just keep moving.
  6. Comfort yourself with Starbucks.  It never fails.
  7. The end is the best part:  See.  I’m even smiling!

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Beating the Boys

Imagine:  2k row, 150 double unders, and 10 rounds of Cindy (5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 air squats).

Imagine you’re the last one off the rower–and you still beat everyone in the gym.

This was me today.

I’m a horrible rower.  Just terrible.  I’ve gotten better, but it’s definitely not one of my strengths.

I was the last one off the rower.  Some guys were a good 3-4 minutes ahead of me.

I messed up the double unders maybe 4 times.

I did Cindy.  Strict.  Because my left shoulder feels a bit wonky from practicing bar muscle-ups.

And I still won.7ad86c0875a5863e6ce46848764e9b4a-girls-who-workout-crossfit-girls

I couldn’t believe it.

It’s because my strengths are body weight and never stopping till the end.  I did this as soon as I got off the rower.

Today was a good day.

Anytime I beat the boys it’s a good day.

But anytime I come from behind it’s even better.

However, anytime I come from behind AND beat the boys it’s an awesome day indeed.

I’m Tired of Hiding my Muscles…

Job interviews.  A necessary evil.  Always uncomfortable.  Never fun.

Lately, I’ve been seeking another part-time job.  I had an interview last week, and I wore a nice sleeveless dress.  In the past, I would NEVER have done this.
0710170909bWhy?

Because my muscles show.  And I never know what people think of a woman with muscles and I didn’t want to bias any of them.

Last year, I was seeking a job as well, and I purposely wore clothes on every interview to hide my muscles.  I didn’t want to be judged because of them.  Furthermore, if a man was interviewing me, I didn’t think he’d find them all that attractive and may even be jealous.  And I didn’t want that.

This time around I have a different attitude:  I don’t care any more if I’m judged because of my muscles.  I work damn hard at my body and I like showing them off.  I like wearing form-fitting dresses and skirts.  I like being a woman and I shouldn’t be ashamed of that.

And it’s summer.  I can’t exactly wear a sweater or long sleeves.  So a sleeveless dress makes sense.

Besides, my CrossFit certification is on my resume.  I can’t exactly hide it, now can I?  Nor do I want to.  Not anymore.

I’m strong and proud.  As we all should be.  No matter our body types.

 

The Manitou Incline

On Father’s Day two weeks ago, my kids and I hiked the Manitou Incline.

The Manitou Incline is located in Manitou Springs, Colorado, and has become known as one of the toughest climbs in the United States.  It’s one mile straight up, climbing railroad ties.  It was built in 1907 for the purpose of providing access to water tanks at the top of the mountain that would provide gravity-fed water pressure to the cities of Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs.  Originally, the railroad was constructed to access the hydroelectric plant and service the water pipes, but shortly after its construction, the railway was opened as a tourist attraction.

You ascend over 2000 feet and hike 2744 steps to the top.  It affords magnificent views of Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs, and Pikes Peak.

We arrive at 8:30 am after driving for 2 1/2 hours.  After parking and hiking up to the start, it’s 8:50 am when we start.  The trail is already busy.  We start slowly and take breaks.  The morning sun affords pockets of shade on the trail, and we take full advantage of those.  Half way up I look over to my kids and ask, “Why did I want to do this again?”
It was tough but not unmanageable.  Sweat is pouring down, but I just concentrate on taking one step at a time.

We reach the summit in just under 1 hour.  We rest, take in the view, then hike down Barr Trail, a 3-mile switchback to the bottom in another hour and a half.

My son, who is 9, was the youngest one on the trail.  However, there were definitely a fair amount of seniors making the trek.

Despite its reputation, the Manitou Incline is a hike for everyone, barring health/medical reasons and a reasonable amount of fitness.  Families, friends, and individuals dotted the trail.  There is no better bonding adventure than a strenuous task accomplished together.  If needed, there is a bail-out point half-way up that merges with the Barr Trail.  I would encourage anyone seeking a challenge, a great outing as a family, a place in the outdoors, and a check mark on the bucket list to give it a go.  You won’t be sorry once you reach the top!

“Man, You’re Ripped!”

917These are the words one of my CrossFit coaches greeted me with today.  I don’t see her much as she coaches the classes I usually don’t attend, but today I went to a different class.

My mom whom I haven’t seen for a bit either said the exact same thing to me (almost) a few days before.

“Yes, I’ve gotten bigger,” I acknowledge.

I work hard.  And I do get a lot of attention.  There just aren’t that many women walking around who look like me.

It’s a compliment.  And I don’t take compliments all that well.  And it’s a body image thing.  It’s accepting how my body has changed over the past year.  Plus, reconciling how my body looks compared to how society thinks a woman should look is something I don’t think about all that much.

Yes, I know I’m different.  I don’t mind being different.  Still, it has it moments.  However, it’s nice to be acknowledged.  It’s nice to feel beautiful.  Even when beautiful is different.

My First Bar Muscle-Up!!

sara-sigmundsdottir-bar-muscle-upsYesterday, I finally got my first bar muscle up!!

After the Open, I quit practicing them and instead focused on butterfly pull-ups and getting stronger.  I was just so frustrated how I was so close yet so far away.

I signed up for an online bar muscle-up course (info HERE), thinking, “I need someone to motivate me or I’ll never do them again.”  We had to submit a baseline video so I told a gal at CrossFit to video me–and I almost got one just jumping up and not really trying!

So the one I got I had horrible, horrible form with a classic chicken wing, but I got it!

It was such a confidence boost.  I can do one!

Now, with this course and my new confidence, I plan on getting more and more and more!

This is what I love about CrossFit:  accomplishing a goal and getting better and better.  And there’s always something to improve upon.  Always.