The Inevitable Bruise

Ode to a Bruise:

Bruise, I don’t like you.12742130_1049748051754645_2873222328592298988_n-1

Yet, I do.

It means I worked hard.

Maybe too hard.

Today you hit me good.

Swollen and black and blue.

Yet I PR’ed my Snatch.

What else could I do?

A bruise is a badge of honor.

I tell myself this when I accidentally bump you.

You deserve to exist.

Like I deserve to grow strong.

A bruise, a bruise, a bruise.

I love you.

Today I got a nasty bruise (also known as battle scars) in the pocket while power snatching.  It hurts.  But at least I know my form was good.  And it was worth it:  I PR’ed!

If you’re like me, you constantly have bruises from CrossFit.  Some causes are known.  The majority for me are unknown.  On my legs.  Thighs.  Shins.  Foot.  Arms.  Fingers.  Collarbone.  Knees.

Annoying.  Yes.  But it means I worked hard.  And long.  And progressed.  Visible signs that sometimes I need when progress in areas is so small that you don’t see it.

So, yes, bruises–constant bruises–are a part of CrossFit.  Almost as much as community and competition, camaraderie and strength.

So to you bruise:  Go ahead!  Come!  I accept your challenge.  Because in the end it makes me stronger.

Low Back Squats…

51qninunshl-_sy346_I finished up my car book and am in-between books.  So I spotted a book my husband had bought entitled Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training by Mark Rippetoe and became fascinated by the Low Back Squat.  I immediately googled videos and spent 2 hours on YouTube watching and learning.  I am fascinated!

So Low Back Squats moves the bar further down your back and you squat more in a vertical line.  It totally makes sense to me.  I googled CrossFit and all the athletes are doing the “normal” high back squats.  But I want to try this and am interested in your feedback.  What’s your experience with the different squats?  Have you tried the Low Back Squats?

I’m wondering if a combination of doing both (high back squats and low back squats) would be the most effective in building muscle.  Would love your ideas!!

My Faith Has Been Renewed…

For the last few days, I’ve been terribly bummed about CrossFit.  I got beat up last week with all the WODS (lots of heavy weight), and I’m stuck on my jerk weight which is incredibly frustrating.  Once it gets heavy I lose it–quick.

However, today was a different day.  I dominated.  I was able to do many more HSPU’s in a row than I usually am able to do.  I was able to power clean 105 lbs repeatedly in a WOD; whereas, before in my mind it would have been way too heavy.  I’ve been steadily increasing my weights in all the Olympic lifts since the Open and it’s beginning to show in the WOD’s.

My Toes-to-Bar is coming along as well.  I’ve always stricted them but finally right before the Open I learned to string them together by kipping.  However, this still needs work.

But it’s progress.  And that’s what I live for.

My butterfly pull-ups are coming along.  Still practicing bar muscle up moves.  Soon it will all come together.  One step at a time.

And that’s what we all need to keep in mind:  the end game.  Every day we work.  Every day we toil.  And as long as we’re moving towards our goals, it’s all worth it.

The discouragement days have their place as well.  It reminds us we are all human.  We have our good days and our bad.  And that’s life.  It’s what makes the highs worth living for.

So don’t despair.  It’s all working.  As long as you keep working…

Running a 5k…

Yesterday, I ran my first 5k of the season.  I beat my time from last year by a whopping….wait for it….8 seconds!

I just can’t seem to beat my time.  And I know why:  cause I don’t train it.

I used to be a runner.  I ran a marathon in college, but then I hurt my knee shortly thereafter and gave it up.  Now, with running showing up in a ton of CrossFit WOD’s, I’ve taken it up again.timing-your-run-580

I want to improve my 5k time.  However, injuries plague me still.  I’ve had a calf muscle injury that waxes and wanes so I now do not run as often.  I’m trying to listen to my body and be smart about it.

My solution to improving my time:  run more 5k’s.

I know myself.  I won’t push myself unless there are others to beat.  It’s why I do CrossFit.  It’s the beating everyone in my box (which does occasionally happen when it plays to my strengths) that I live for.  Otherwise, why run hard?

I’m planning to run a 7k next in 6 weeks.  I’ve never run more than 3.65 miles before so this should be interesting.  I’m excited about it!  However, I’m gonna practice in the meantime and see how it goes.  And I’m sure CrossFit will help.  And Murph.

As long as you’re moving, you’re improving!

Skill Work HAS to be at the Forefront…

Ugh!

I have all these lofty goals after the Open and I feel like I’m slacking.

I’ve pretty much got my butterfly pull-ups dialed in.  I’m working on kipping chest-to-bar and am frustrated because my kip sucks so I can’t quite reach the bar.  I really just want to butterfly them so am undecided on how to concentrate my energy.

Bar muscle-ups.  My nemesis.  I’ve quit for about a month now but now it’s time to up my game on them.  I’m so close.  So very, very close!  I can’t give up.  I can’t get frustrated.  Because I have them.  I just have to string together all the elements.

Practicing my double understanding about 3 times a week so that’s good.

I matched my PR on my squat snatch today 3 times.  I have to get over that mental block.

Jerks are still inhibiting me.  Once it gets over 85 pounds I struggle with multiple reps.  My new plan:  is add a little weight at a time.  Add 2 pounds.  Then 4.  Then 7, etc.  Going from 85 to 95 is killing me and frustrating me.  It’s so bad!

Throw in that I’m unsure what to do with the rest of my life as well and well, I can be pretty depressed to be around as well.  Writing.  Finance.  Who knows?  But right now I’m focusing on getting better at CrossFit.  Cause when CrossFit is going good, then I’m going good.

I’m Stronger Than I Think…

Today I maxed my power clean 10 pounds from 2 weeks ago.  I probably could have done more but didn’t have the time.

Yesterday we did 5 x 5 back squats at 80%.  I was dreading this, thinking it would be tough and unsure I would be able to do the whole set.  I ended up ADDING weight because I felt it too light!

I maxed my power snatch earlier this week as well.

Every time we do percentages on the olympic lifts, I always go higher because I rarely max and so am unsure what my true max weight is.

I know this is a mental game for me.  I always think “it’s too heavy.”  Or “I can’t do this.”  And overcoming that is a challenge for me.

I have to tell myself to “trust the process” and “I can do this” every time I approach my max weight in a WOD.

Still, knowing all of this doesn’t make any of it any easier.  So little by little, I increase my maxes so when something does show up I think, “I can do this because I’ve done it once before.”

I’m stronger than I think.  That’s my mantra.

Murph: Vest or No Vest?

michael-murphyMemorial Day is right around the corner and with Memorial Day for most CrossFitters comes Murph.  Murph is a hero workout named after Michael Murphy who was a Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan protecting our freedom.

It is:  1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats, 1 mile run.

RX includes a 20 lb vest for the men and a 14 pound vest for the ladies.  It was performed in the CrossFit Games 2015.

I’ve done a full Murph 3 times now and a half Murph 3 times.  Last time I did a full Murph, I felt it was too easy for me.  And I had run a 5k directly before it.  This morning I did a half Murph (but kept the 2 mile run) and it was REALLY easy.  Hence, I’m thinking of doing Murph on Memorial Day with the vest.

What do you all think?  Have you done Murph with a vest?