I Can Do That Which Seems Overwhelming…

Yesterday, I decided to take on a hero CrossFit workout by myself (hero workouts are named after members of our armed services who have died fighting for our freedoms).

I took on RJ, named after Veteran LAPD officer and United States Marine Corps Reservist Sergeant Major Robert J Cottle, 45, who was killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. RJ joined the Marines at age 18, and the LAPD in 1990. His various LAPD assignments included Hollywood Vice, Southeast Area, LAPD Dive Team and, most recently, SWAT.

RJ is:  5 Rounds for time of:  800 m run, 5 rope climbs, and 50 push ups.

For me, the limiting factor was the rope climbs.  Last time I climbed rope a month ago, I did 18–slowly–and got a scab on my right leg despite all my protective coverings that took 2 weeks to heal and will probably scar at my age.

This workout seemed daunting.

I told myself, Well, let’s aim for 3 rounds and see how I feel.

Well, once you finish 3 rounds you’re over half-way done so you might as well finish it out.  The push-ups were hard as well especially coming off of the rope climbs which burn your forearms.

But I did it!  My time was 55:06, an average of 11 min a round, which was good.  It took me about 5 minutes to run the 800 meters each time and then 6 to do the rest of the work.

When I started, I felt overwhelmed.  I felt I wouldn’t finish.  However, my rope climbs were much stronger than they were even a month ago and my push ups were pretty good as well.

My take away (besides the elation of having finished in one piece):  I AM getting stronger although it doesn’t seem like it most days.  Most of the time the daily training is just grinding through it.

Occasionally (like yesterday) you come to a workout, which validates all your work.  You have to cherish these days, grab onto it, and use it to motivate you to keep going, keep pushing, keep fighting till the end.

That’s what Sergeant Major Cottle did.  What better way to honor these often-unsung heros than with our determination to live better?

My Own Programming…

I used to think Rich Froning worked out by himself because he didn’t want others knowing what he was doing to become the Fittest Man in the World 4 years in a row.

I think this may be part of it, but I think it’s for a different reason: Rich does his own programming because only he knows what he needs to work on.

The same goes for me.Image result for empty crossfit box

Since last July, I’ve been doing most of my own strength work.  Most of my own accessory work.  Taking Olympic weightlifting classes.

We are all at different points in our journeys and have different goals.  Whether it’s fitness related, career related, personal, relational, spiritual–we all have different needs in all areas.

The key is to recognize it and do what you need to do to reach your individual goals.

The past 2 weeks I’ve found myself changing the programming regularly, incorporating moves I need to work on:  butterfly pull-ups, handstand push ups, overhead squats, dumbbell work, etc. or even working out on my own.  I’ve found my butterfly pull-ups improving, my handstands, my kip for the muscle up, my strength.

It’s okay to go against the grain.  It’s okay to follow your own path.  To do your own thing.  To walk on the wild side.  To be different, unique, and eccentric.

It’s not only okay.  It’s wonderful, rewarding, fulfilling, and downright fun!  Try it!  Take the path less trodden and see how it feels.  I challenge you!

Running at 3:30 AM…

I didn’t realize how much I miss running very early in the morning until I did so today.

When I was in college, I’d run every day from 3-4 am.  Every day.  Rain.  Snow.  Sun.  Wind.  It didn’t matter.

I hurt my knee after my marathon and gave up running for almost a decade until I started CrossFit and picked it up again.

Now, I love to run 5k’s and jog.  I just don’t do it every day!Image result for running in the dark

Today I decided to exercise early.  By myself.

It was snowing out but not sticking since the ground is too warm here in CO at this time of year for that.

It was euphoria…

There’s this “dead zone” as I like to call it where 95% of the population is sleeping and it’s between 2:30-4:30 am.  This is my favorite time of the day.  To be alone.  Me.  My thoughts.  God.  To do my thing.  To think.  To plan my day.  To read.  To write.  To exercise.  To breathe.  To be.

I also love the dark.  I love winter because it’s dark the majority of the time.

You combine all these elements–darkness, silence, and the sense of being alone on this planet–and you touch magic.

I wanna touch magic more often now.  Don’t you?

I Am So Beat Up…

Image result for image pushing self to limits

I killed myself on Saturday.

I didn’t mean to.

It just happened.

I maxed back squat and front squat.

I did a FIT workout that involved thrusters and lunges and burpees and more and then stuck around for a CrossFit workout which happened to be Chelsea, which is an EMOM (every minute on the minute) for 30 minutes of:

5 pull ups

10 push ups

15 air squats

Needless to say, I was extremely sore on Sunday.  Hard to squat and bend over.

Now, Monday.  I’m better but not 100% and I hate starting the week this way.

Of course, we maxed power cleans and then did Grace which is 30 clean and jerks at heavy weight this morning.  And I had to teach a fitness class.

I’ve started my own programming as well and this week is shaping up to be killer as well.

I like to think I can do it all, but I can’t.

I’m trying to find that happy medium, but it’s difficult:  where you’re pushing yourself but still getting rest in and recovery.

When I have so many goals and so little time and so impatient at the same time…to be better, to do better, to have every move.

Ah, the challenges I face…

We’re All a Work In Progress…

“Just a warning my rig work is rough.  Pull ups and Toes to Bar.  Barbell I am decent but still only a couple of years in.  Mostly doing comp for fun and friends are doing as well.”

This was a text I got from the guy I’m gonna partner with in an upcoming CrossFit competition in May.  Here’s my response:

“No problem.  We’re all a work in progress.  I don’t have ring muscle ups yet.  They are coming along.  And going heavy is touch and go cause of how lean I am. We’ll hopefully have enough between us to give it a go!!”

Last night, I had ice cream, brownies, Bailey’s and Kahlua.  I indulged big time.  It was so good!

In the morning I felt bloated due to the extra water carbs cause your body to hold.

I told myself, “It’s alright, Jen.  You’re a work in progress.”

This holds true for all aspects of your life.

Parenting.  You’re doing the best you can.

Eating, dieting, nutrition.  You’re doing the best you can.

Exercise and fitness.  You’re doing the best you can.

Work and career.  You’re doing the best you can.

Hobbies, religion, family, obligations, giving, helping others, voting, being a member of society, pets, animals, this planet, life.

You’re doing the best you can.

Give yourself a break.

You’re human.  You have strengths and weaknesses.  You succeed.  You fail.

But there’s always tomorrow.  Or this moment.  To start over.  To begin again.  To do better.  Be better.  Live better.

Here’s to you:  a work in progress.  Not yet complete.  But with each stroke more and more beautiful!

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Why Are Stares Bothering Me NOW?

A few days ago, one of my friends proceeded to tell me that CrossFitters don’t look much different than others.  This was based off the conversation that women don’t want to get big shoulders from doing CrossFit.

Well, I piped in.  “Based off of my experience and comments made to me, I would highly disagree.”

I’m beginning to take more notice of people as well–mainly because I’m getting more stares than usual.

There aren’t that many people walking around who look like me.Image result for animals staring

This has been affirmed lately as I’ve been dressing up more than usual as the weather turns warmer and wearing more clothes that show my muscles.

I was having a different conversation, explaining my routine to two gals I just met, and I  realized something:  not many people lead the life I do or do what I do.  The hours I spend that have given me this body I now inhabit are not how others spend their hours.  The extra time I put in toward my goals.  The work involved.  The sacrifices (I’m thinking of chocolate cake right now…)

And that’s not just CrossFit.

I blog.  A lot.

I work.  A lot.

I read.  A lot.

I’m constantly striving to be a better person, a better wife, a better mother, a better human being despite all my flaws.  I’m constantly searching for what’s out there for me, what I’m supposed to be doing, what path is next.  And I’m constantly learning.  I despise sitting and boredom and monotony.  Contentment is elusive.  Accepting that this is all there is is not an option….

Which begs the question:  What’s next?


Where Do CrossFitters Fit In?

Image result for fitting inThis thought came to mind as I was re-canting a recent job interview.  It was with a very well known national company that embraced the “come as you are” theme.  So I thought, “Perfect!  I’ll fit in great here!”

But as I met the gals in my prospective department it became abundantly clear I would not.  On the tour of the facility, no one else looked like me.  I get it, I do.  Not a lot of people do.  And because of the sport I choose to do, I eat differently, live differently, do things differently.


It begged the question above:  Just where do CrossFitters Fit in?

I don’t have an answer to that (so leave a comment if you do!).  I’m still trying to figure it out myself.

I think that’s why I’m still searching in life.  How am I supposed to spend my time and what am I supposed to be doing with the time I have left?