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Strive for success

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Something I have learned over the last few months as an athlete that I hope inspires others. In January, my gym was doing a fitness challenge. At the beginning of the challenge we were asked to find our max lifts for about 3 lifts, row for time, how many double unders in 2 minutes, number of pull ups unbroken, sit and reach and then time ourselves on a couple of wods. I was almost not going to do this challenge simply in fear of stepping on the scale. I just didn’t want to step on that scale after the holidays. I firmly believe that as an athlete the scale should not drive my health plans, but for some it is good motivation and it also can keep people in check. I also know that muscle weighs more than fat and if my clothes are fitting and I am feeling good then I am golden…well, after the holidays that was not the case. We must understand that 140 pound women who doesn’t work out and eats junk food looks and feels much different than 140 pound women who works out and eats clean and feels great. Even though the only reason why I didn’t want to sign up for that challenge simply because I didn’t want to step on the scale I realized that I was being ridiculous. Because I know that I am competitive and that this challenge would get me back on track if I signed up.  Stepping on the scale was just a fear in my imagination that needed to be shot down. When I got home I just took a deep breath stepped on the scale and guess what… I am still alive. I went into the challenge with goals in mind and to only compete with myself.

This challenge also had a homework sheet in hopes that you would do it to improve. Of course being a teacher, I knew that homework would only benefit me and make me stronger. The homework consisted of increasing pull-ups each week, rowing more each week, working on double unders and making sure to get the lifting in. The lifting was easy to get in because it was scheduled in the work out for the day. But, the others were extra. Every Thursday is open gym. I have been wanting to get my bar muscle ups back since my injury. I have been using Thursdays to work on just that. Because I knew that I wanted to focus on BMU on Thursdays, I had to stay after a little to work on the other homework such as pull-ups and double unders. I figured I could do my rowing in between my BMU work. It actually worked out pretty handy:) I got pretty frustrated with BMU’s. As the 7 weeks went on, I ended up getting 2 in the 60 minute open gym time. So that gives you an idea of how much I struggle with them. But, I was happy because I got them back:) They weren’t ( and still aren’t) pretty, but I am working on that. BMU btw was not on the homework list. I simply have a drive to make them better because I really want a ring muscle up and feel these would be a stepping stone. Progressions to ring muscle ups was something I decided to take a break from over the 7 week course.

After working hard with the challenge, up comes The Crossfit Open. This is a competition that anyone can complete. You simply must be judged and then enter your scores on -line. Thousands of people do this. The top leaders compete in The Crossfit Games to compete for the Fittest in the World title. Why do I compete in this you ask? Well because I will be the Fittest in the World of course! LOL JUST KIDDING! I compete in this for me. This is the 3rd year I have competed in The Open. Each year I see how much I have improved as an athlete. The first year, was a great experience for me. I didn’t really have anything to compare my scores to, but I had goals in mind of what I wanted to accomplish. Simply signing up was a HUGE deal for me. Like… I was so scared… just putting myself out there to the world to see how much of an athlete I am really not compared to so many other amazing athletes. However, at the same time I realized that I was a better athlete than a lot of people in this world. I couldn’t do a lot of the wods rx’d which was frustrating to me. But, at the same time it gave me a lot to focus on and work towards for the next year.

Three years later…I am so thankful that I no-repp’ed myself on my chest to bar (CTB) pull-ups in every single wod. Getting so frustrated with them in WODs because I was ALWAYS the last one done if there were CTB in a work out. Even holding back tears of frustrating during the wod because I was struggling so much with them. But, guess what…the first open wod (16.1) had CTB pull-ups and I was pretty excited that I could RX the first open wod! I was happy with my scores. 16.2…..Toes to Bar, double unders and squat cleans at 85 pounds. Again, I was thankful that I could do TTB fluently. Double unders…well I either have them or I don’t and thankfully that day I had them…well…let’s say it could have been worse…the squat cleans were a heavy weight for me. But, I got in way more reps than I thought. So I was happy with my score. 16.3….get this…10 snatches at 55 pounds and wait for it….wait for it…bar muscle ups baby! I was so thrilled to know that I could also rx this wod too! I was so thankful that I took the time at open gym to get these babies back! The wod was 10 snatches and 3 bmu and continue that pattern for 7 minutes I believe. I was really nervous that I would not get one in. Remember, it took me 60 minutes to get in 2 bmu and I only had 7 minutes. Well…my friends… I ended up not only getting 1 but 4 bar muscle up! Pretty awesome I thought! 16.4…is 55 deadlifts, 55 wall balls, 55 calorie row, and 55 hspu in 13 minutes. I get to tackle this wod tonight. Let’s just say…there is nothing I am looking forward to with this one except not to die. I would look forward to hspu, but if I get that far I will be impressed with myself…

During all of this madness…we did do our final testing for the fitness competition. I am happy to say that I lifted more on all but one lift, did 8 more pull ups, was quicker on my rowing, reached farther on the ol’ sit and reach, go t more double unders in, and did way better on both wods. The best part….remember at the beginning I was scared to get on the scale? Well, I only lost 1 pound….but look at how much stronger and faster I am now:)

Moral of the story…fear is only a figment of your imagination…don’t let it drive your life…you drive it to success!

Until next time…drive fear to success!

Keep After it!

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It is now the 15th day of the new year! How are your goals going? Are you getting exhausted by changing up your schedule because you are hitting the gym more and doing a little bit more cooking? You are not alone! This is normal but don’t give up! Remember why you started this new journey. You want to look and feel good. Like I mentioned before, this is NOT going to be an easy task. It WILL be a challenge. Everything that is worth it in the end is ALWAYS a challenge. If it was easy, you would not feel a sense of accomplishment in the end. You would not learn anything through the process. 

 

Here are a few helpful tips that I use to help things go more smoothly:

  1. BE PREPARED! I cook all my meals for the week on Sunday. I make my meal plan out and make my list of what I need to buy on Saturday. Then I hit the grocery store on Sunday and begin cooking.  You choose what day works for you.  Yes, it takes time. But, I only have one mess and one clean up for the entire week. When I get home, boom! I have meals for the week. 
  2. I also make sure that I have all my veggies cut up for the week and place them in good sealed containers.
  3. Healthy snacks such as a variety of nuts, fruit, and boiled eggs available.
  4. I use my crockpot A LOT! 
  5. I pack my lunch for the entire week and take it to work with my on Monday. I use a big ol’ thirty-one cooler.
  6. My work out bag is packed each night. As soon as I come home from the gym I unpack my workout bag from the clothes I wore for work (I change at work to go to the gym) and then I pack for the next day. 
  7. You will always see a bottle of water with me. 
  8. Call me crazy, but I also have a small section in my closet for what I am going to wear for the week. It takes time and effort to think of an outfit.  I am not a morning person, and if this is already thought of and laid out for me in the morning…well my friends, that just saved me about 10 minutes! 
  9. My workout bag contains everything I would need at the gym. Again I have a thirty-one bag that has pockets on the outside of it. My jump rope, lacrosse balls, wrist wraps, water bottle, deodorant, weightlifting belt, shoes, an extra pair of socks, weightlifting shoes, workout book, and whatever else I need. This way I don’t have to worry about what I need it is all in my bag. 
  10. A set schedule for the gym. My friends and family know when I work out. I schedule all appointments around my gym time. If you do not have the same work schedule every day then each week sit down and make your work out schedule. Tell your family what it is so that they know to schedule things around it. We are all busy, but if you schedule in a work out just like you do with everything else, then it will more likely happen. If you don’t schedule it now, you will be forced to schedule doctor appointments later.  

These are just a few ways that help me to make life go easier. The biggest thing is to BE PREPARED! I can not stress enough how important that is. Our lives are just too hectic during the work week to have to deal with food and all the extras. Be ready for the week on Sunday night. 

Until next time…keep at it you are worth it!

Always count your blessings

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Have you ever heard the saying, “Good things come out of bad things” or “It’s not always as bad as you think it is” how about “This too shall pass” and my favorite “Always think positive thoughts”.  All of these sayings, and many more actually, crossed my mined a lot during this road block of my Achilles tendon tear injury. 

Yes, I am still in a cast over a month later. However, some people are in a wheel chair the rest of their lives. I am projected to get my cast off in 2 days! I am very blessed to have had it on for only 4 weeks!!! I tried really hard not to complain during the duration of having crutches. Yes, it was and is a pain in my you know what. HOWEVER, I have looked at life a little bit differently while on crutches. I noticed a gentlemen in a wheel chair with a prosthetic leg.  I counted my blessings that I have a leg. A young boy with spina bifida and his mom helping him walk. I counted my blessings. Spoke to a gentlemen that had to have surgery on his foot and has been in a cast all summer. I counted my blessings.  The little girl, maybe 6, was in a leg cast who didn’t get to enjoy her summer much at all.  I counted my blessing. All the people who are in a wheel chair that I saw through out my duration of my journey… some because they can’t walk do to health issues…while others due to accidents. I counted my blessings. 

Instead of dwelling on the bad, why not make the most of it? What I have done so far during my journey:

  1. My nieces came to visit me. My injury actually happened as they were driving to see me, BUT I still wanted them with me and wanted to enjoy their company. They were a lot of help and we had a ton of fun.
  2. Went to a conference for my business for a weekend. Why not? We do a lot of sitting and I soaked up a lot of awesome information. Sitting…perfect! 
  3. Went to Okoboji, Iowa for 5 days with my boyfriend’s family. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t water ski, but I made the best of it. I got a great tan and just enjoyed my time with friends!
  4. Went kayaking
  5. Watched movies
  6. Baked
  7. Read a lot of books that are helping me become a better person.
  8. Listened to a lot of CD’s from heros of mine that are helping me become a better person.
  9. Brainstormed some great ideas for my business.
  10. Created goals that I will achieve for my business and personal life.
  11. Painted
  12. Continued education classes for school ( I am a 6th grade teacher).
  13. Continued education classes for my business (way fun!!!).
  14. Went to a wedding and even did some dancing…that was interesting…haha
  15. Went out to lunch with friends… a lot! 
  16. Organized cupboards
  17. Had an entire movie day with my boyfriend. We ordered pizza and just chilled. I loved every minute of it.

If you ever get so lucky to have crutches the following tips may help you:

  1. First and for most…count your blessings…it really could be worse.
  2. Always be positive. Being negative is only going to hurt you mentally and everyone else around you as well. NO ONE is going to want to be around you!
  3. Make sure your crutches are set to where you are comfortable. I had to set mine differently than what the doctor set them at. It just worked better for me. The goal is to keep my cast off the ground and put no pressure on it. So get your crutches set so it makes you as comfortable as possible. They are going to be your companion for awhile:)
  4. Use a back pack to carry things. Even from one room of your house to the next. 
  5. Gals, change your purse to a back pack purse.
  6. Use an electric wheel chair at a department store. Don’t be embarrassed it’s kind of fun:P 
  7. If you live alone, ask for help! I live alone and the only thing I can’t do by myself is carry groceries up to my apartment. Yes, I did say UP to my apartment. I live on the second floor. Nope, no elevator. But, I am a master at the stairs now!!! 
  8. Plastic bags are great for carry things because they have a handle for you! I put boxes or anything that I need to carry to the trash in a plastic bag.
  9. I didn’t do this, but if I had one I would have. Use a small stool in your bathroom to sit on to get ready for the day. That way you are not leaning on one foot for a long period of time.
  10. You can buy a sealed bag to put over your cast so that you can take a shower. I found mine, well actually my boyfriend’s aunt found one for me, at a garage sale!! It was 50 cents and the best gift I have ever received! 
  11. If your skin itches under you cast, I hear that a blow drier on cool setting blown into your cast will stop the itch. 
  12. If you are suppose to rest your injury, DO IT!! This will only make your recovery go quicker.
  13. Eat healthy and take your vitamins. This again is only going to make your recover go quicker.
  14. Take this time to reflect on life and your goals for when you do get back to normal. 
  15. Make sure to ask for help when you need it. People love helping, it makes them feel important too:)

One thing I do question of whether or not I should have done during my injury is working out. As most of you know, I go to Crossfit. NO…my injury was NOT done at Crossfit. I actually don’t know why I tore my Achilles Tendon. It didn’t hurt at all before it happened, it just happened. It couldn’t possibly be because I was a gymnasts and a dancer for 10 + years, or because I ran track in high school or because I am a very active person my entire life….nah it couldn’t be any of those reasons.

Working out during an injury is such a controversial issue. Yes, I do feel that Crossfit has a lot to offer and I could have modified every work out. I personally was a little too nervous about working out in a cast. My body needed to rest and recover and that is what I did. When I get my cast off is when I will slowly work my way back into the gym. It was a personal decision that I made and it actually made me really think about my health in general.  I WILL NOT take working out for granted any more. I miss Crossfit tremendously and the people at my gym! I am very excited to go back and get back at it. I will need to continue to be patient with myself, for I am not going to be able to do everything I use to do before my injury for awhile. But, you mark my word, I will be back to normal in no time! My goal is still to get a ring muscle up. Now I am forced to work only on upper body! Isn’t that funny how my goal for the past year and 1/2 has been to get a ring muscle up, and I have a leg injury that is forcing me to strictly work on upper body. Pretty cool huh! 

So the moral to this blog is…

  1. Always think positive and count your blessings!
  2. Ask for help when need it!
  3. Listen to your own body and what it tells you to do!

Until next time…count your blessings every day!

 

 

 

Don’t you even think about giving up….

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Funny thing happened to me today. Even though this is not my first rodeo of detoxing or getting back on track, I still sometimes forget how that detoxing feels and just want to give up. Well, I looked back at my little cheat sheet to remind myself if my feelings are on track with this cleansing thing. The answer is a big fat yes. My goal during this challenge is to tidy up my nutrition a smidgen, but also I am realistic with myself. For example, today I had a piece of dove chocolate. That’s it, nothing else that had sugar in it:) Most of today, I was tired, exhausted and just wore out. I wanted to go to the gym and after stop at Caribou and get a hazelnut and honey latte and order pizza and sit and watch a movie. I just wanted to throw in the towel! The success of that story is….I did not do any of those things! I came home had my yummy enchiladas that I had already prepared and made myself a cup of coffee with my pumpkin spice creamer. Oh and did I mention that the pants that use to fit me were a little too snug this morning. So …yeah.. I wanted to throw in the towel. BUT…then …low and be hold.. I opened up my “What to expect” document as I was drinking  my coffee.. and whola… my worries all melted away.

Melissa and Dallas Hartwig said it well, “The same processes that ran over you like a truck a few days ago are still working their magic in your body” meaning that’s why my pants were a little too snug this morning. Also, “Fact: you are most likely to quit your Whole30 program on Day 10 or 11.” ( I know that you are not all doing the whole30 program, but I do believe this detox process goes with any detox or any change in a diet). Well isn’t that just something. It’s like they can read my mind! They do a really good job of explaining how “this is the time when the newness has warn off. You have eaten your eggs millions of different ways, every where you go you see what you can’t have, you are still trying to set a new routine, you’re cranky, impatient, and you just want to eat the damn cheese! This is where you really start to experience the psychological hold that your food habits have on you.” As Dallas and Melissa go on to say, ” The key here is to redefine your idea of reward.” Click here to read more about what to expect on days 8-11.

After reading that, it really did make me feel better. This was not THEIR  first rodeo either. They are the ones that have done the research and have learned what the majority go through. Sometimes, it is just nice to know I am not the only one!

So… I look forward to the day I wake up and go… so this again is why I fuel my body the right way! I know it’s coming.. I have been there before… and I will be there again! 

Until next time… you are not alone, do not give up, you are worth it!

This entry was posted on January 15, 2015, in My Challenge.

Manic Monday…where Magic begins…

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Happy Monday and Happy Beginning to the new YOU! Remember yesterday I blogged how Monday’s seem to be the magical day to start something new? Well, today is THE day!! I am giving a shout out to my friend’s at Priority Crossfit that have decided to take THE challenge. My challenge for them was to choose a healthy eating plan that works best for them and stick to it for the next 2 months. They were given the choice of whole30, paleo, primal or whatever else they feel necessary to help them live a healthier life style. I look forward to working with them and blogging about all sorts of motivation tips, recipes, and any other healthy ideas that I can get my fingers on that will help YOU and everyone!  

Until next time…Make this Monday a Manic Monday! (I think that just aged me…:( …) 

 

Healthy decisions= healthier you!

Make a healthy decision every day that will make you a healthier person∼Camille Leblanc-Bazinet

I saw this quote from my favorite Crossfit gurl evar and it really hit home! I thought it was great advice and wanted to share it with my readers. It goes well with our challenge for the month∼cutting down on our favorite unhealthy food! You may not be completely cutting that particular food out, but simply making a better choice more often is making you a healthier you. My fault is lattes! I enjoy drinking them because they just make me smile. However, I also found that the Pumpkin Spice Latte has also made me smile even more because I know that it is so much better for me than my lattes that I buy at the coffee shop. Always remember that little things add up to a bigger success:) 

Speaking of having little successes lead to a bigger success…as you may have read in another one of my blogs, I make goals for myself each year, month and week.  I post them where I can see them often. One of my year-end goals is to achieve a ring muscle up at Priority Crossfit. To achieve that, I also created mini goals of what I need to do to achieve those lovely things.  One being ring dips.  I have been working on these ring dips or ring muscle up progressions if you will, since January. Most every day I have been at the gym, I have worked on some kind of work to help with the ring dips. Whether it be banded ring dips, handstand push ups, handstand holds, push-ups…whatever. Well, in July I was able to do 10 single ring dips unassisted. However, I don’t think at that time my shoulders completely touched the rings. So I continued working on them. I tried those 10 single ring dips again yesterday and I can honestly say that I can do a ring dip! It took me 9 months to achieve that goal, but the 15 minutes I stayed after became one big success! Now, onto the next mini goal: 10 unassisted ring dips in a row! Then onto the BIG goal…ring muscle ups!

Moral of my story….whether it be food or fitness…little success adds up to bigger success:)

Until next time…keep at your little goals..

Top 3 ways to reach a goal

 #1- Give your body a break

There is something said about given your body a break. Our gym was closed on July 4th and July 5th  and I didn’t go in July 6th; therefore, I took off 3 days. I went back today. After the Work Out of the Day (WOD) I worked on my ring muscle up progressions as usual. Didn’t have a lot of time, but worked on 10 ring dips without bands. I am happy to say that I did 3 ring dips with no assistance!! Way excited. The remaining 7 I attempted the ring dip by kipping. I figured if I can get ring dips with a red band mastered then I just need to take that crutch away and work on a prescribed ring dip. I use to, once upon a time, have a ring dip unassisted. My goal has been to get 10 unassisted ring dips and to do them Rxd (prescribed) in a WOD. I feel that by mastering a ring dip will help accomplish my ultimate goal of a ring muscle up.  Anyway…my point is….give your body a break and you will be amazed at what your muscles can do when they have been refreshed.

#2- Write down what you are doing each day to reach your goal

I have been writing down what I do each day to reach my goal. I began this at the beginning of this ring muscle up journey just to see the areas that I need to improve upon. Looking back through, I have found that on average I work on my skills about 3 times a week.  This actually shocked me. I really thought that I was doing my progressions way more than that.  At the beginning, my intentions were to work on it every day I am at the gym. I usually go to the gym 4-5 times a week. Each time I go to the gym, unless I am completely exhausted, or I am unable to stay later, I have been doing my progressions. So either I haven’t been to the gym as often as I thought or something has come up where I can’t do the progressions.  With this said, 3 times a week is good, but I need to up this to more. This is why I am glad that I am journaling what I do so that I know exactly where I am at.  So my thought is, to take a day once a week and just work on progressions and not do the WOD. I usually take off Thursdays because by then I am so sore and my body just needs a break. But, maybe this would be a good day to work on progressions. Also, make sure to do some kind of progressions even if exhausted. Because most often when you are exhausted that is when you build muscle. If I can do a muscle up when I am exhausted then I for sure can do it in a wod! Lessoned learned here…continue to write down what you do each and every day so that you can reevaluate what you need to do to reach your goals.

#3- Tell others about your goal

I have been keeping my friends up to date on my goals. Not to be “That Person” but to keep me accountable. I have a lot of people ask me how my muscle ups are coming along. I always reply “working on them” or “getting better” and one day I will be able to say “I got it!!”  The only reason why I tell people about my goals is because I know myself. I am the type of person that will not want to let anyone down, and wouldn’t want to say to anyone… “oh, I gave up on that”. Who does that…not this girl.  Also, if ya really think about it…I may be inspiring someone that I don’t even know to continue working on his/her goals. There are so many people in this world that inspire me each and every day. The days when I just want to give up, I think of certain people who never gave up. Some took years to work on certain skills while others took a few months. This shows me that everyone is different. DON’T GIVE UP! One day I will get it and instead of people saying “what is that crazy lady doing?” They will be asking “how did you do that?”

What is your goal? How are you going to achieve it? Who have you told about your goal? Have you written down how you are going to achieve your goal?

Here’s to determination and getting it done!