Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

In case you were wondering about the title of today’s blog, you probably realized it’s from “The Sound of Music” song “My Favorite Things,” which is what today’s post is about. I complain a lot — endless, actually — about the exercises I hate in certain WODs, but there are some movements I really do love.

They are, in no particular order:

  • Deadlifts — They make me feel like some massive Olympic weightlifter. I’ve no idea why I’d want to feel like a massive Olympic weightlifter, but still. Deadlifts are fun.
  • Push ups — Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned pull up?
  • Pull up — Some day, I will learn how to do a kipping pull up. Just as an aside, the YouTube video for pull ups makes me giggle.
  • Sit ups — Core work can be fun! Kinda!
  • Kettlebell swings — Something deeply satisfying about swinging a weight over my head that could crush my skull if I dropped it.
  • Burpees — I realize this will gain me no fans because even though Justin always says “God loves a burpee,” apparently no one else does. I actually don’t mind burpees; they can be kinda fun. What I don’t like is doing about 8 gazillion (actual number from a recent WOD) during any given workout.

Fat Girl explainer

I had a couple of comments recently about the “Fat Girl” name. If you haven’t already done so — and you have like an hour to kill because I went on and on for way too long — you can go here to read my story. No, technically, I’m not overweight, at least not any more. But once you’re a fat kid, you’re always a fat kid. Which really, isn’t as bad as it sounds.

Also, I’m posting a picture of myself so you’ll know what I’m talking about and so you can say “hi” to me if you see me around. It was taken in November of last year. And hell yes it’s the best picture I have of myself. Did you really think I’d post a pic of me in sweaty gym clothes? Please. I have my vanity. And if you think I’m going to post a picture of myself as a fat kid, you are sadly and utterly mistaken. … Although, for the right price, I might be convinced to do a “before and after.” The right price being in the millions of dollars range.

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Balancing the scales

diet scaleI’ve thought a lot recently about Justin’s recent post “Stay off the Scale.” In theory, I would love to agree with everything he said (editor’s note to Justin: I’m going to only partially throw you under the bus here. Please don’t raise my membership fee. Or make me do extra burpees.). Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to wholeheartedly endorse everyone throwing their scales in the trash can.

The problem is I know that if I myself did that, my weight’d shoot up 20 pounds by the end of the month. That’s not an exaggeration. And not only would I balloon up, I’d be really miserable, too.

I am aware that I am more than the sum of my weight and the inches around my waist. I know that there are many other indicators — other than weight — that comprise my overall health. The thing is, I kind of enjoy weighing myself — and not because I ever like or agree with the number that the scale displays. But I do like concrete, tangible information. I like knowing exactly how much I weigh and how many inches around my waist is. Why? No idea. I’m kinda broken, if you haven’t already figured that out. But for me, how tight or loose my pants are or how I feel physically at any given moment is not concrete enough information to keep my mind from freaking out.

Obviously and thankfully, not everyone is like me. What’s important is for you to figure out what’s right for you. If you could not care less about your weight and want to feel good and look good, then please, do throw your scale in the trash, post haste. If you like numbers and don’t develop a stress or eating disorder while carefully monitoring your weight, then keep your scale.

Find what makes you — not necessarily happy because that’s a moving target — but at least content.

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Workout Of the Day

Monday April 19 2010

For Time:

500 m Run,  300 Squats, 200, Push-ups, 100 Pull-ups.  500 m Run

As many set as need: ex (30-20-10 x 10 r)


Workout Of the Day

Wednesday April 14 2010

For Time:

100 – Jump ropes, 80 Jumping Jacks, 60 Sit-ups, 40 Push-ups, 20 Burpee___2 Rounds

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Workout Of the Day

Tuesday April 13 2010

For Time:

10 –  95 lbs Power Cleans, 10 – Pull-ups, 10 – Box Jumps __6 Rounds

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Workout Of the Day

Monday April 12 2010

For Time:

21-18-15-12-9-6-3,  65 lbs Overhead Squats, KB swings, Push-ups, 1 lap between each round

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Stay off the Scale

This article may get me hot water with the female clients. Oh well here goes. One of the things I have never understood is people’s obsession with their weight. People get this idea that they have to be a certain weight in order to be healthy.  CrossFit has never been about how much you weigh.  If you got on the main Crossfit website you would have a hard time finding an article about losing weight. CrossFit is about performance and your ability to handle the challenges in daily life. Ask yourself this you have gained 5 pounds, but picking up your child is easier because you have gotten stronger.  Your pants seem a little snugger in the legs or does the shirt fit tighter in the shoulder/ arm area because you have gained muscle.

A person’s physical ability is never based on what that person looks like on the outside. I attended the CrossFit Games in March @ Golden Co. I saw people who were in very good physical condition. There were others, who were physically obese. Your first thought is have they ever seen the inside of a gym. There was a man and women who stood out at the competition to me.  They were clearly overweight by at least 50 pounds so I wanted to watch how they did in at the competition. The first workout was a Row/KB swing/Run workout, the gentlemen sat down at the row machine next to a guy who had his shirt off showing his six pack. I was 100% sure the obese guy wasn’t going to even finish the workout.  Not only did he finish, he was in the top 70 out of 120 competitors for the weekend.  I was impressed; this guy’s ability to do “work” was incredible.  The next day I watched the girl doing chest to bar pull-ups.  Hell I can barely do chest to bar pull-ups, but I watched her go through sets of 6 like they were nothing, and then watched her do “muscle-ups”.

Right here in Black Hills CrossFit we have our examples of physical ability. Scott J. is the first example (sorry Scott). When you look at Scott from a physical aspect you wouldn’t expect much. The guy isn’t fat but he isn’t a huge guy with bulging muscles.  But yet he consistently finishes with some of the best times during the WOD for the day. You put him on the course for the Firefighter Combat Challenge he will beat guys that are half his age and in better shape.  Now Tim R. about a year ago was about 60lb overweight. He discovered the Palio Diet and loved it. Tim lost 60 lb or more with the diet and started coming to CrossFit in December 2009. Since he started coming here he has gained back some of the weight however he feels he is in much better shape and more powerful physically and mentally. Tim found that the mental aspect of CrossFit has helped him push through the workouts, as well as his ability to push harder during his bike races.

Instead of gauging yourself on the scale you need to stop and ask yourself “ARE YOU GIVING EVERYTHING YOU CAN DURING THE W.O.D.” Are you pushing hard to get every rep until time is called or do you stop 20 seconds short because you figure the last couple doesn’t matter. No matter what the workout is for the day you need to push yourself hard to the very end. We shouldn’t have to do “finishers” because people want more after the W.O.D this makes me wonder did you not give it everything you had. Just because you may have beat the best time on the board by a few seconds.  Doesn’t mean you gave YOUR FULL POTENTIAL, next time try to GIVE it all you can and you may surprise yourself.  Keep pushing hard, and don’t be afraid to work on your weakness. I absolutely hate box jumps and overhead squats. Those workouts hurt me and I am very slow at them. But I continually work on them so I can get better at my weakness. Until next week  remember “God Loves a Burpee”


Workout Of the Day

Wednesday April 7 2010

pp…Click on this Link to review Push Press.

For Time:

10 Push Press_15 Box Jumps_ 20 Sit ups_ 25 Wall Balls_ 5 Rounds

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Website Update

What would you like to see different on blackhillscrossfit.com. Are there any options you think should be added or changes that would make the site better. Do you have content you are wanting to read here that isn’t listed. Leave a comment on your thoughts and we’ll see what we can do to make this site your one-stop shop for all things Crossfit.

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Paleo update

I’ve been at the paleo diet for a month now, so I thought it was time for an update.

Just as a clarification, I didn’t go strictly paleo. I mixed in a little bit of what Mark Sisson has termed “primal.” So, I ate a little dairy in week three and then found that it may not agree with me, so I dropped it in week four. Other than that, I stuck to eating meat, fat, vegetables, nuts and some fruit.

First to the important stuff: did I lose any weight? Yes, I lost eight pounds and an inch and a quarter off my waist in the first week. And that’s where the weight loss and fat loss stopped. At one point, I’d lost 11 pounds, but that was after fasting, and the three pounds came back, added a friend, then dropped back.

I ended up fasting three times, the longest fast lasting 36 hours. That was bad idea. I felt like crap the next day. So, I’ve found that I need to limit my fasting to 24 hours or just skip meals when I’m not hungry.

As far as hunger goes, that’s probably been the best part. My hunger level went from unmanageable, where I was always hungry, to tolerable, where there were days when I wasn’t hungry at all.

One of the claims of paleo/primal/caveman living is that you’ll have boundless energy. That didn’t really happen for me. I am probably ever so slightly less tired, but I’m still groggy when I wake up in the morning, and there are evenings where I am totally spent. But I also have a mild form of narcolepsy (Don’t laugh. Ask my co-workers how many meetings I actually manage to stay awake during. They can count the total on one hand.), so tiredness is just part of being me.

How’s the food? Great, actually. With the exception of some really lousy almond flour pancakes I tried, everything has been good and filling and tasty. Before this experiment, I hated cooking. Now, I find I actually enjoy it and look forward to it. I ended up “cheating “three times with a couple of adult beverages, some ice cream and some gingersnaps. I didn’t have any horrible reactions, but the ice cream and cookies did make me hungrier later.

My performance at CrossFit also went to crap until recently. I think part of it is the fact that it just takes my body longer to react to changes. I’ve been eating the “Standard American Diet” (you can Goggle the term for more information) for 30 years, so obviously, a month of eating differently isn’t going to undo all that.

This has been a bit of an expensive experiment. Things like almond butter and almond flour and coconut water and lots of meat and organic food don’t come cheap.

Overall grade: Probably a B+. I would have like to have seen more weight loss and little additional energy, but the food choices and lack of hunger have been pretty terrific. I’m going to stick with this new way of eating for the foreseeable future, so I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Drop me a line or post a comment if you want more info. There are a ton of great resources on the Web and in print.


Road to the Combat Challenge

As many of you are aware I have been competing in the Fire Fighter Combat Challenge for almost ten years.  My first competition was in Oklahoma City in June 2000; my time was a blistering 2:28. I lay on the ground for about 45 minutes after that run. It was about 95 degrees that day, and as I was laying there half unconscious my dad thought it was a good idea to dump ice cold water over my head.  I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest. After that I was finally able to stand and walk around. I was hooked and loved it. 

Over the last few years I’ve had moderate success running the competition. I placed in the top 5 at various events and got invited into the “Lions Den” which is a club for people who have run the competition under 100 seconds.  My best time is 1:35 in which I ran in 2008. I did not run the competition in 2009, because I was busy getting involved in setting up Black hills Crossfit.

Now it is 2010, the gym is growing and the Firefighter combat competition is coming to Rapid City. This will be a regional event that will on July 17th and 18th. As you can imagine this puts the spotlight right on me to step up and run well.  Not only am I going to be running in front of all the firefighters and friends. It was decided to have our family reunion that weekend in Rapid City. No pressure at all.

 Over the last year I admit I have let my training slip. I go to the gym every day to work out but I find myself doing other things at the gym and the next thing it’s time to go home and I didn’t do the W.O.D. Starting  Monday April 5th  my days of excuses are over. I am putting this out there so that Crossfit clients/friends can hold me accountable and push me.  This is the main reason I don’t put up my time on the board during the daily WOD because I am ashamed of my time. Now I have no excuse and want to work in order to achieve the best that I can become as a trainer. So let it be at 3:00 pm or 3:00 am.

One of the reason I love CrossFit so much is because each and every workout is like a small competition in itself.  During the warm-up you look up constantly at the WOD written on the board and thinking “why do I come and put myself through this hell”.  The music gets cranked up and you hear it   3-2-1 GO and all the doubts goes away and you start cranking out reps.  Before you know it, the rounds are done; you are lying in a pool of sweat wondering what happened?  Everybody around you is talking about how the workout sucked but wonder to themselves what will the WOD be tomorrow. This is the same exact feelings, I get when I run in the Firefighter competition.

Every day I go to the gym, I see the athletics at the gym pushing themselves and constantly reaching their goals. This week alone I saw Hillary D go 10 feet up the rope and Christina do a 1 min plank without stopping.  Other things that make me proud is watching Marquis’s son do burpees and watching my 2 year old daughter grap on to a kettlebell and start doing kb swings with perfect from. These are the little things that keep me pushing forward towards my goals.


The turtles are laughing

I am slow.

I’m not talking mentally, though that’s actually up for debate. I am slow at CrossFit W.O.D.s. Still. After three months.

In fact, I’m so slow that I’m almost always the last person to finish the W.O.D. Even when new people start.

Does this bother me?

Hell yes.

Should it bother me? I don’t know.

For years, I convinced myself that I was not a competitive person, that competition was somehow beneath me, something that lesser people did because they had inferiority complexes and the only way they could feel better about themselves was to best someone at something.

I was fine thinking and feeling that way until we did a weight-loss competition at work last fall. After the first week’s weigh in, I was in dead last place. And I was not happy. There was no way I was going to lose at something I’d been battling my whole life, that thing being weight loss.

So, I became a woman obsessed and fought through six weeks of constant work outs and scrutinization of everything I ate. In the end, I won the competition.

But did it matter?

It was fun to win at the time, and the $100-plus bucks shelled out by my co-workers was nice. But these many months later, I can honestly say, if I had not won, it really would not have mattered.

So, why do I care that I’m the last to finish? There isn’t even a competition, really. CrossFit members generally compete against themselves, pushing themselves to be better and faster than they were the day before or the week before or the month before.

I don’t really know why I care. Part of it is probably because I want to know that these three months have been worth it, that I have something to show for it other than sore muscles and the ability to do a handful more pullups than I could before.

Part of it is because of who I used to be. When I was overweight, I felt like I was in last place in most things that mattered in life. I’d rather not repeat that scenario.

Will I ever get faster? Maybe. Probably. There are no guarantees. If I’m forever the slow one in class, I’ll learn to deal. Or I’ll figure out a way to get faster.

Regardless, if you haven’t tried CrossFit, you should. Don’t worry; you won’t be the last one done. The turtles and I will still be in the corner, pumping out burpees.

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Moving day.

Thanks today for all your help moving over to the new suite.  With your help we will continue to grow and improve in all aspects.  thank you for making this possible.  See you on Monday.

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