Thursday, June 30, 2011

Renewal

As I write this post, I'm sitting on the deck of our beach house soaking up the rays and listening to the waves roll in. I fucking love Alabama. And yes, I'm rubbing it in haha... The past few days have been unbelieveable for me, sometimes you just don't realize how freakin keyed up and stressed out you are until you take like 5 seconds to chill out. Gulf Shores is my escape from the crazy. You know how it is when you've just juggling too much stuff, eventually you lose your shit.. that's where I was about 4 days ago lol.

Coming down here... it just gives me a new perspective on things, on life, on the people around me, my relationships--everything. I'm not gonna lie though I do miss being home. It isn't the kind of homesick that makes you sad, it's the kind that makes you actually appreciate what you have. And I'm going through some serious Crossfit withdrawals which is NOT fine... seriously can't wait to get back in the gym and have Ash kick my ass all over that place. I might even do some burpees today, we'll see how things play out haha. At any rate, this is my last day here so I'm going to chill out by the ocean and take it all in. See ya'll in a few days! (Yeah, it's fine I've developed a creepy southern accent...)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Making Fran your B*tch

Ok so maybe I didn't make her my bitch, but I did have one of the highest PR's in our CF group for the "Fran-off." For those who don't understand what I'm talking about, Fran is one of the core benchmark workouts for CrossFit. It's a good measure of where you are in your abilities, and in May I did it for the first time along with the rest of my crew. You should know something about Fran--she should be done fast. Real fast, like 3-4 minutes fast. 21 Thrusters with a 65 lb bar, 21 pull-ups, then 15 of each, then 9 of each--and it can be done so don't even shake your head like you don't believe me. At any rate, my modified Fran was a 55# bar and pull-ups using dark blue and red bands because I suck at those, and my time in May was 7:34.

Yesterday I walked into class with a purpose. I had so much nervous energy balled up in my stomach that I could puke, I get that all the time but I'm not sure why.. it's not like I've ever NOT finished a workout or something. Definitely had a few "come to Jesus" moments, but never officially died on the floor there. So instead of freaking the fuck out, I told myself I could do it and that I was fine.. and that not only was I going to PR, but I was going to push myself as hard as I could from the jump.

By the way, you wouldn't believe how many thoughts can go through your head in 6 short minutes; it's pretty amazing when I think about it. When the boss yells "3, 2, 1, GO!" I always have that second of hesitation where my body says "no I can't do this!" to which my brain replies "The hell you can't!" and I fall into a rhythm. I have a tendency to count backwards in my head because getting to 1 seems so much more monumental than randomly counting to 21 one time then 9 the next--ONE is always the end point. And then while I'm counting backwards in my head, I'm talking to myself like "keep pushing," or "one more before you take a break," and then there's "stop breathing so much." Yesterday there was a moment on the pull-up bar where I thought for sure my hand was about to tear or something.. I had it pinched funny and almost decided to stop and readjust. Until I remembered I was on my last 9, and that was clearly just a waste of precious seconds so I just kept going til I got down to 1. (As it turns out my damn hand was fine anyway.)

I had a mild idea about where I was time-wise throughout the whole ordeal, but to be honest I was mostly focused on just going as fast as my F-A could carry me lol.. so I think I surprised myself when I looked at the times on the board and realized I had PR'd by over a minute--6:16 to be exact. No, I didn't do Fran unmodified, and I wasn't the fastest person to finish, but to be able to physically see a difference in where you are as far as your abilities from one month ago--those are real results. Everyone kicked their own ass! That's motivation and inspiration at it's finest!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Today's project post is about the little things..

Five Things that Make you Happy to be Alive:

1) Driving down the road on a nice day with the perfect song on blast. Sunglasses, sunroof, the whole damn deal. You can't tell me that doesn't put you in a great mood just thinking about it!

2) Chillin' and Grillin'! Seems like at least once a week a few of us get together just to hang out, grill up some badass food, and drink a few beers. Life is just better when you have a sense of community and family with people you're closest to. Which is why I'm also really looking forward to the hog roast with the rest of my CF crew in mid-July!

3) Traveling/Road trips! Getting there is half the fun! And of course getting to see new places, enjoying the view when you drive through the mountains, spending that time with a few friends, having ridiculous stories and pictures to share later (that only you can fully appreciate lol).. I'm also stoked about the upcoming trip to drop in on another box while I'm there!

4) Hanging out with my parents, especially now that I'm older. I just like going over there to relax and talk, sometimes Mom makes me and Con up a plate for dinner. Makes me feel like a kid again, takes away the insanely high level of responsibility that I always seem to be shouldering even if only for a little while.

5) Walking out of class for the night after a really kick ass WOD. C'mon, you knew it was coming sooner or later lol.. I just love the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. I could choose to sit at home and be a lazy ass, sometimes I think I'd prefer it, but like I said before I have never regret showing up!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

No Regrets

I've come to realize that I need my sleep. Summer and the new house (and all the work it entails) has thrown me for a loop as far as my schedule goes, especially my go to bed/wake up times. I've been hitting a good mix of am and afternoon CF classes, and have noticed that on the days I go at 6 am, I'm a royal effing hag by about 10 am, and my attitude pretty much sucks for the rest of the day. My apologies to anyone whose head I've ripped off on those days, I now know that if o don't go to bed by 10 or 11 I will absolutely be going to afternoon class the next day lol.. just thought I'd throw that out there.

Yesterday after class I was beat up, it was a 'burpees til you die' kind of workout, but I couldn't help but be satisfied with myself for going. See sometimes with the afternoon class I find myself trying to make excuses to skip, like I'm painting or I'm tired or whatever other bs comes into my head. I ultimately decide to get my shit together and go, and I realized last night after that killer workout that I NEVER regret showing up. Not once. Sure, it's tough, and I'm probably going to add a new bruise to my collection or leave with even more callouses on my hands... but I never regret doing the WOD.

It made me think about how that expands into the rest of my life, my outlook and attitude have really evolved over the past year, even just the past few months since starting CF. My confidence soars every time I see myself improve in time or do a really hard WOD.. wait, what am I saying, they're all a b*tch. I consider myself realllly lucky-- for making the life changes I've made, improving my life and my health, for finding Crossfit and Ash and the barbells and the burpees and the fucking awesome people. It's all led to a major paradigm shift in how I approach life and challenge. I'm living for each moment instead of waiting for better things to come, and realizing that I'm strong and capable enough to deal with anything that comes my way.

Monday, June 13, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

I had a rough weekend. Again. It was probably my own fault, I've been feeling pretty cocky about how easy things have been lately, how I haven't been craving anything bad or overdoing it on anything good, and how I haven't felt compelled to buy almond butter in a few wks. Enter the brag monster.... we won't even go into detail about what I ate this wknd. Just know that it took me down a notch or two and that I felt freakin disgusting. Always a big 'told ya so' reminder as to why I choose to only eat real foods. They don't make my poor guts grumble or mess w my digestion. I mentally pressed the reset button on life yesterday morning, so it's best now to own up to the bad and move on! And what a great way to start the week I might add--

Five Things I'm Grateful For:

1) My new home, and my parents for helping me find/buy/fix it. We could've easily lived and thrived in this apartment for the next few yrs while I finished law school, it has been a great place for me, Connor and Brutus for the past two yrs. But having a home gives such a greater feeling of permanence, it's hard to describe. And it's ours. And there aren't a bunch of crazyyyy ass people living in every effing direction. Amen!!!!!!

2) My job, not that I love it or anything because God only knows some of the things that go through my head.. but it's been steady for 3 yrs now and I always make enough to pay my bills. I like most of the ppl I work with, which helps get through the crappy days, and they've always been pretty flexible with my schedule and letting me do what I need to do.

3) I'm grateful for the amazing opportunity to go to law school at minimal cost to myself. I know that's something I essentially earned for myself through a lot of hard work at Wright State and time spent studying for the LSAT, but ultimately if it weren't for the academic scholarship I wouldn't be going to ONU next year bc there's no way I could financially burden myself on that level without having some kind of mental breakdown.

4) I'm grateful for a functioning body, one that has the ability to rebound from yrs of bad food and inactivity, or just a weekend of it for that matter. I'm grateful that I can run, jump, play with Connor. Ride bike instead of driving, do some half ass pullups and (finally) get vertical enough to do unmodified box jumps.

5) There just aren't words to describe how grateful I am to have such an awesome network of people in my life--parents, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, fellow crossfitters, Facebook friends. I've been rallied and encouraged by so many people in the past year that it defies logic. It still surprises me on some level, especially when it comes from the most unlikely sources. But I take it all in stride and remember those golden moments when the going gets tough or I'm having a bad couple of days. Thank God for good people!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Learning to love yourself

On to day 2 of my project, this is definitely one of the tougher ones for me because I'm always so Damn critical of my own body. Now I have to write about 5 things it can do!? Does 'storing an unacceptable amount of fat' count? Okay, I kid I kid, things have gotten much better and it's not necessarily my body's fault per se that I abused it so badly. But the truth is, I've never been 100% comfortable in my own skin. That's one gift I've received already from doing crossfit--I can finally feel that starting to subside. I love my arms, the dents that are starting to develop in my triceps, the muscle I can feel starting to develop in my ab wall, the smoothness of my calves. I'm finding good things, and trying to move past the bad. It's a start, right?

Five Things my Body Can Do:

1) My body can sustain life--not just for myself, but it can grow another human! I think we take the whole process for granted, but if you really sit down and think about it that is a freakin amazing ability. Not only that, but I was able to provide him with the nourishment he needed for the first 9 months he was on earth. A lot of people balk at the idea of nursing their children, and gone are the days when it would be acceptable to whip out a boobie and go to town, but it was one of the proudest decisions I ever made as a young mom because it was selfless.

2) Coupled with number 1 above, my body can give birth sans pain medication. Tell me that doesn't make me a badass!!

3) My body is incredibly self-sustaining, something I've noticed now that I pay more attention to its cues rather than blindly adhering to some kind of schedule. I've realized that I am rarely as hungry as I used to be, and that a lot of those hunger pangs were just based on the fact that my body was used to getting a meal at X time. I eat when I'm hungry, some days more often than others but solely based on necessity and not 'cuz it's time.' I sleep when I'm tired, rest when I'm overly sore, and don't pop a pill every time I feel the slightest ache.

4) My body has the ability to endure a lot. The other day I went out for only my 3rd run since March. I used to be the cardio queen, so I wasn't expecting to be able to do nearly as much as I used to let alone my speed. I ran to the ball park to watch some Sunday softball, then went back home to drive my route and was shocked to see that I had run 4.5 miles with very little difficulty! Crossfit has improved my strength and endurance in a huge way, there's no doubting it!

5) My body can forgive... it has done an amazing job of bouncing back in the past 10 months from YEARS of abuse with overeating and underexercising. For this, I am most thankful.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A New Project

I ganked this from another blog because I thought it was a cool idea, it's always good to find things you're happy/positive/thankful for. Those who know me well can tell you I'm infamous for being a bit on the self-loathing side and overly critical of myself, so maybe seeing it in black and white will make me more introspective about what GOOD I have to offer. Then again maybe it's just bullshit lol, hell I don't know. At any rate, and without further adieu--A 5 posting project in which I think about the following:

Five things you love about yourself.
Five things your body can do.
Five things you're grateful for.
Five things that make you happy you're alive.
Five people who you love.

Five things I love about myself? Hmmmmm...

1) My sense of humor. A trait I undoubtedly got from my mom (and aunt Kate), and thank God because if I took any aspect of my life seriously I would've had to be admitted several times over. My sense of humor got me through the toughest times of my bad breakup with the ex and the ugliness that followed. My comedic 'nothing is ever serious' take on life has won me a lot of friends, and a reputation among them for being able to find humor in even the most critical of situations. I just like being funny, making people laugh fills me up and gives me a sense of purpose, it's just what I do. And being the fat girl for several years there, well, I had to find some way to compensate! If people are laughing with you, finding you interesting and maybe just a bit charming, there's a good chance they won't be laughing AT you.

2) My relationship with my son. I don't claim to be mother of the year material, I haven't always done everything right, and I know there are plenty of mistakes to be made in the future. But he and I have a great relationship and I can honestly say that having him made me into the responsible adult that I am today. I shudder to think what my life would be like if Connor hadn't come along--a happy little accident that changed my life and literally made me do a 180... I love him more than anything.

3) The OCD person in me, that bitch refuses to let me half ass anything. The days I wanna skip crossfit out of sheer laziness, the nights I'm dead on my feet but I do the dishes before bed anyway, the project I finished for my very last class at wright state even though I had considered totally blowing it off bc I would have still passed (which I aced incidentally), pushing myself to step up my weights and push through a tough workout when it's so hot I can't tell whether I'm crying or my effn eyeballs are sweating... all thanks to the obsessive nature that lies deep within me. I love her because she makes me better, even when I would rather settle for mediocrity!

4) I'm an excellent friend. Yeah, probably sounds a little self absorbed but damnit it's true! I'll do anything for anyone, I'm loyal to a fault, and even though it has ended up biting me in the ass a million times I've never regret being there for people when they needed me. Look out Mother Theresa... haha

5) My forgiving nature--I should qualify this by saying 'as long as the crime is against me and not someone that I care about.' If you make that mistake, well let's just say I feel sorry for you because the crazy bitch in me doesn't put up with that shit. But if someone screws me over I'm likely to forgive and forget because that's just my nature. I figure holding a grudge is a heavier burden for me than for you, and even though I lift a lot of heavy shit, I'd rather not waste my time on that kind of personal baggage. Besides, I figure in the end you have to answer to God and bad Karma for whatever ugly things you do so it isn't up to me to judge.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Before I get down to business

Tuesday morning, much to accomplish starting with today. Normally I'm uber-productive on Monday's but I so totally wasted yesterday.. I think all the crap I did on the wknd caught up with me and made me bitchy and tired. At least I'm self aware enough to admit it lol. I made it to morning CF class, but it was pretty much all down hill from there.. I took a two hr nap, woke up pissy bc it was so God-forsaken hot, and had to work a few hrs in the evening, 0 for 3!! Thankfully things went smooth and the rest of my night was better, aside from subsequently not being able to sleep last night (nap) and deciding I'd have to do evening CF tonight. That's ok though, sometimes it's busier but I really like seeing the other half of the crew that doesn't do mornings. The only downside is that I'll be thinking about it all day and psyching myself out, haha.

One thing I've noticed now that my body has adjusted to not having a constant influx of high carbs crap is that my energy levels are finally evening out (yesterday was apparently an exception). I think some ppl make the mistake of giving up on paleo too quickly bc your body really does take some time to learn how to run on the right kind of fuels. I've also noticed my hunger tapering pretty significantly. Not that I don't feel totally ravaged some days, but I figure those are probably high repair days for my body and so I throw on a little more good fats than usual. My meals are kind of random, I don't force myself into any sort of time slots these days, instead I just eat when I'm truly hungry. That's kind of a big step for me because it means changing the relationship I have with food in a big way--our extended family is full of amazing cooks, and eating has been part of everything for us.. celebrating good times, holidays, hard times. I desperately needed this paradigm shift! It's no longer about living to eat, but rather eating to live.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Funday!!

I feel like shit today. Not that I'm exceptionally hungover or anything (although I'm pretty sure I should be based on last nights epic beer consumption), I just feel blah... I've been avoiding alcohol for the most part lately, and I also ate like half a potato w my steak Friday night when we decided to grill out at 2 am. I kind of just gave myself a free pass to be an asshole this wknd so I'm pretty sure the result was some kind of violent reaction inside my body. Literally can't even think straight today.. God I hate me right now, lol... this is that occasional reminder as to why I avoid grains and booze. Gross.

Obringers party was a hit last night despite the weather, they never fail to deliver an awesome time! At some point in the night when I'm about 8 beers deep we start talking about Crossfit and of course I whip out the pictures and start telling them all about it. Next thing I know I'm arm wrestling grown men. Yep, bitch was hosting the gun show last night. What thee hell. But it was a great time, it gives me something unique to talk about and people are always impressed when you tell them you could probably deadlift them, haha!

So in an effort to feel like less of a lardass after my wknd of debauchery I'm thinkin I'll go out for a run this afternoon. Running is where it all started for me last year; I'll never forget that first month seriously I was like 250 and barely making it from one pole to the next without dying. That must have been an effing sight. I can't even imagine ever being that unhealthy again... I wasn't really living life. It's amazing how much your perspective can change through the practice of new habits. At any rate, I've been a superslacker in the running dept since starting cf'ing, it just feels unnecessary to force myself if I don't really want to do it. But last night we were discussing the warrior dash, since I wasn't able to do the one in Hocking I'm planning on signing up for September so it might be advisable to get my shit together and pound pavement a little more often!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Box Jumps, butt cracks, and other randomness

I think I'll take a few more moments to toot my own horn again today. For one, I followed through with my pledge to cancel the cable; I'm thinking that was a good move toward productivity and maybe getting my ass to bed at a more legit time this summer. They still haven't shut it off, but I've made it priority to leave it off most of the time for the past two days and I've noticed a certain peace that comes from the silent practice of just relaxing without outside distractions. Tonight I just folded some laundry and listened to the sounds of summer outside, it was great. I finished my hellish business plan/final project (begrudgingly) and decided to lay down to blog and read for a bit before bed. Monday marks the beginning of being ass-deep in this new house project, so I should probably enjoy the laziness while I've got it!

On the workout front, I'm stoked to report that I've mastered the box jump and am no longer pissing around on a short box with plates stacked on top. This is no small feat for me--those damn things are tall and I'm no slim little number with an impressive vertical jump lol, it definitely ain't pretty but I've got it down and that's all that matters now. That marks my second unmodified WOD today, another notch in the proverbial crossfit belt!

Oh, and one more quickie before I wrap things up for the night--let me just say that there is nothing fun about doing sit-ups til you rip your butt crack. I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that one...