Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Here is what I learned today: Fran is an ogress*.

*I am using the word ogress in place of a less-kind word for a mean lady -- gotta keep it kid-friendly, folks. 

No I haven't stooped to bad-mouthing my frenemies online; the Fran I'm referring to was today's WOD in CrossFit.

After a grueling warm-up (seriously, whoever invented Burpees is not my friend <although I think they would have been easier if my pants wouldn't have kept trying to fall down>), and some lessons on form and technique; we jumped into Fran.

My CrossFit sisters and I speculated that the workouts are named after people who died doing CrossFit.  Seems logical.  We learned, however, that there is a set of classic CrossFit workouts that are all named after women and are referred to as 'The Nasty Girls'.  This is a fun fact that I found to be incredibly amusing - and I laughed an inappropriate amount.

Anyway, back to Fran... Fran is a 21:15:9 format and is performed for time.  The workout consists of 21 Thrusters (I used 25 lbs), 21 Pull-ups, 15 Thrusters, 15 Pull-ups, 9 Thrusters, 9 Pull-ups.  My time was 3:41, which I am proud of, but I don't want to disillusion you.  I do not yet have the forearm strength to complete a standard pull-up (I performed jumping pull-ups, with the bar only 6 inches above my head) and the front-squat portion of my Thrusters is not nearly low enough.
Even though I know I am not where I want to be with my workouts, I can feel myself improving each time, not only in strength, but in endurance.  This is only my second week into CrossFit and I can tell a huge difference in body, the way I feel (I'm sore in places I didn't even know existed), and in the quality of my workouts.  I am addicted and I think I am becoming an adrenaline junkie.  When I leave the group training session, I am so pumped up about what I have completed that I find myself looking forward to next time.  Also, I ran -- yes ran -- following CrossFit both days this week.  My running didn't last very long, but this is a huge deal for me. My body is becoming stronger each day.  Even my Yoga form is improving.  And, I'm proud to announce that I am no longer plateaued at 183, today I weighed in* at 181 (this means I am one pound away from getting my Vibrams).

*I am not putting too much emphasis on weight, I am just really excited about seeing continual progress, and doubly excited about getting to reward my progress with new shoes.

Drenched in sweat following a WOD.
I know I mentioned this in my last post, but I so love the company of the girls who are on this journey with me.  Each time I go to class, I worry that I won't be able to do the WOD or that I might look silly (or worse -- fat).  I know that without those ladies (and our fantastic trainer, Chad) cheering me on, I would have already quit this program one hundred times over.  I would have deemed it too hard, said my body wasn't ready for it, called it for fitness fanatics.  And, you know what?  It is hard (Last Friday's WOD was probably physically the hardest thing I've ever done, aside from childbirth), my body screams at me during the workouts, and maybe it is a bit fanatical.  But it's fun.  So fun.  And I'm not going to let negative thoughts stop me from continuing.  I know that each person in class is learning something new about herself (endurance, perseverance, will-power, strength, coordination, etc.).  I am so excited to keep going on this journey, to keep learning, and to watch my CrossFit sisters grow along side me.

Our CrossFit class (minus Lisa): Me, Kerri, Olivia, Mary Kay, Shelly, Robin, Heather, and Chad (our trainer)
Be healthy.  Go do something that makes you sweat.  And thank you for keeping me... In Good Company.

--- Because I didn't mention it, and just in case you are curious, here is Monday's WOD.  You can view stats and times in the comments section on each individual post.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CrossFit Day #1

I am not nearly as strong - physically - as I thought I was.  I have still been hitting the gym 5 days a week and loving the results of a more tone physique (although I know I still have a long way to go before I am able to call this body a 'physique').  Lately, however, I have felt like my workout routine is getting a little stale. I've been feeling like my body knows what to expect and that I'm not challenging myself like I should be. It's hard to want to stay at the gym when you are feeling bored with your workout.  I have also been feeling a bit discouraged due to a nasty weight plateau (I'm currently at 183 and holding -- time to start back up with my food journal) and, as always, the body dismorphia*.

*The body dismorphia does seem to be getting a little better, but I am still having a hard time not seeing myself as the fattest woman in every room.  I hope that, in time, I will be able to see the thinner person in the mirror instead of the 'Ginormica' who lives in my brain.  I want to be able to focus on how far I've come, instead of how far I still have to go.*

The gym I attend has recently adopted the CrossFit program. I have always wanted to try CrossFit (and have seen so many of my Yoga ladies have great success with it), but have been terrified and intimidated by the intensity of the workouts. Terrified. I don't like looking clumsy or weak, and I have been so afraid that joining would make me appear to be both. In confiding this to a CrossFit participant, she said, "I am terrified every day when I go, but you get addicted to the terror."  November CrossFit group classes are being offered at a special introductory rate, so I figured what the heck and signed up.  I asked the instructor if the classes would be very cardio intensive.  He said it depends on the day.  I told him that he should make sure to brush up on his CPR skills.  I'm not certain that he appreciated my humor.

This morning was CrossFit workout day #1.  I was so afraid when I arrived, mostly because I had no idea what to expect.  We began with some fun, yet crazy, warm-ups (which included: the inch-worm, the prisoner walk, the alligator, the crazy lunge side angle pose thing, skipping, another type of skipping which closely resembled The Running Man, sit-ups, full range push-ups, ring rows, and a few other types of high-knee marching -- I'm certain I'm forgetting something).  We followed up with some 'Squat Therapy' (which isn't at all like retail therapy... false advertising?  I think so).  Squat Therapy is likely what they used to torture prisoners at Alcatraz when they got out of line.  Probably.

I thought we were getting close to being done.  I thought wrong.  We heavily practiced proper form and technique (which, as a Yoga instructor, I highly appreciate) for Dead Lifts and Shoulder Presses.  This is all new to me.  Yes I lift weights 5 days a week, but I use weight machines, which is totally different from free-weights.  The form and technique practice was followed by the Workout of the Day (or WOD).  Today's WOD was a timed practice of our new skills, which entailed 21 Dead Lifts (45 lbs), 21 Shoulder Presses (20 lbs), 15 Dead Lifts, 15 Shoulder Presses, 9 Dead Lifts, 9 Shoulder Presses.  I completed this in 3 minutes 59 seconds.  I think the fastest time in our 8-person class was right around 3 minutes.

After class I had my body fat percentage measured for maybe the first time ever.  I knew that it wasn't something I wanted to know, but it was something I needed to know.  Body composition is so much more important than weight and BMI.  My BF% is currently 30.3 (I so wish I would have measured it at my heaviest).  I know I have a lot of work to do still, but I feel like I am on a great path to living healthy.

Shoulder Press
My favorite part of the whole CrossFit experience today, was the camaraderie between all of the ladies.  I've never been on a real sports team, but today I felt like I was part of something amazing.  Encouragement and clapping and you-can-do-its abound.  Even though my body aches, my legs are screaming at me, and my arms are twitching; I can't wait to go back on Friday, and then again on Monday.  I think my friend was right, the terror is addicting.  And so is the feeling of accomplishment, and knowing that my body can and will get stronger.

Be healthy.  Pump some iron.  And thank you for keeping me... In Good Company.

Click here to follow McPherson Family YMCA CrossFit on Blogspot.

Shopping Adventures

I've been MIA from Blogspot lately.  Sorry about that.  But don't worry, I'm not totally AWOL, I've been in proper attendance for all of my important Facebook and Pinterest meetings.  I've also been crafting up a storm lately (just in case you are curious about what I do when I'm not being mommy, pumping iron, or staring at my computer).

A while back, I told you about how miserable it is to shop as a fat girl.  I don't know what has changed (besides shedding 74 lbs, of course), but recently I had a really great shopping experience.  The first in years.  My husband suggested that I go buy a few shirts for myself, since my wardrobe is down to almost nothing besides my workout wife-beaters (which, while comfortable, don't seem to impress people at formal events).  *Question... do people still call them 'wife-beaters', or is that no longer considered PC?*  Upon entering the store, I wasn't sure whether or not to go to the 'plus-sized' department.  I decided against it and made my way to the fitting room, armed with loads of shirts sized XL.

None of them fit.  But not in the way I'm used to.  They were too big!  Holy crap.  I waved down a sales girl and requested size Large replacements.  She obliged and told me to let her know if I needed to go down to Mediums (nice try, princess).  The Larges fit great and I actually felt good in the clothes I was trying on!  I wound up with more loot than my husband probably intended (but I did shop the clearance racks), but I now at feel like I have appropriate clothes to wear on non-gym occasions.  Hooray.
Look Mom, they aren't all grey!

Treat your body well.  Who knows, you may get a new wardrobe out of the deal.  Thanks for keeping me In Good Company.