Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Healthcare (my one and only election-related post)

My shoulder is fucked up, and it makes me mad. Injury is one of the scariest and most frustrating experiences I've ever had as a Crossfitter. I went through a bout of severe bursitis in this same shoulder back in May and allowed it to become a tool of derailment in my health. Tool of derailment leads to excuses leads to eating like an asshole leads to feeling like an asshole leads to acting like an asshole (generally in that order). But not this time. Yesterday I had a major personal victory during my visit to the doctor--I stepped on the scale and realized that I am at the lowest weight I can ever remember being in my adult life. Scale avoidance is generally how I roll, my health is gauged by how I feel (mentally and physically) and how I'm performing at the gym. But the still-scale-obsessed side of me secretly loves seeing that diminishing number. So back to the injury issue. Like I said, pissed. The doctor gave me a cortisone shot and took me off work for a little while, I'm bored as shit and all I want to do is go on a candy bender (which I did yesterday). Fortunately I felt like a total pile of ass afterward and woke up this morning with a regained sense of positivity. After I dropped off the boys I went for a run and worked on double-unders, strung together about 10 of them so that's something else to be pumped about. Then I jump on facebook and I see tons of bitching about the election, which leads me to the actual point of this post. My guy lost, shocker, people seem to be choosing handouts over jobs so I should have expected as much. Pardon my french but when the fuck did this nation become so lazy? And in what parallel universe does ANYONE truly believe that Obamacare is a good idea that's actually going to work? Why do people think it's fucking free healthcare? Have we learned nothing from the epic failure that is Medicare.. the government can not, should not be in charge of these things. I've avoided the political rant scene through this entire election season so I'm not going to jump on board now, but this whole scenario begs a much bigger issue--can we at least for a nanosecond entertain the idea that we are going about this whole healthcare thing the wrong way? Why do we waste so much time, effort, and resource to treat the symptoms rather than the disease. My shoulder is jacked up. I'm not slamming pain relievers and hoping that makes it all better, I'm stretching and talking to trainers about mobility work and trying to drum up different ways to strengthen it so this doesn't happen to me again. Meanwhile an alarming number of Americans (young and old) are living with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and a whole host of other health problems that they want to treat with a pill cocktail when the real solution is a hell of a lot simpler--get off your ass. Stop eating shit food. I'll be the first to admit that I am a junk food junkie. All my life I used shitty food like a security blanket, and have still been known to drop the hammer on my ugly days. It is because I've struggled with these things that I feel compelled and warranted in calling it like it is. There is NO quick fix--treat the disease, not the symptoms.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another Lesson from Connor

Every night before bed I read a book to Connor. Sometimes he grabs a new one for us, but other times he cons me into reading the same book 37 nights in a row. (If I have to read Stephanie's mothereffin Ponytail one more time I'm going to shave MY head...) A few nights ago I was tired so I told him maybe he should read a book to me instead.

Connor practicing his Handstands

I love listening to him read. Hard to believe this is the same kid who, at age 2, still hadn't really started talking at all. We started to worry the older he got... not that we thought anything was seriously wrong, the kid was a sponge. I'll never forget his 2nd birthday when he got his first set of puzzles, he dumped them all out and put all three back together like he had done it a million times. But to not speak, not really even try, it just didn't seem right. His doctor agreed and a few months later he started an early childhood speech program once a week. They tested his cognitive skills when he began there and his scores were through the roof for a child his age. He just. didn't. talk. Didn't want to, didn't need to, didn't care to.

Fast forward to present time and it's hard to believe this is the same kid who didn't have a word to say a few years ago... today we have a hard time shutting him up. I can see the pride on his face after he figures out a tough word. Sometimes I'll tell him what it is when he's really struggling and he'll say "Thanks but um, let me try to figure it out."

So what's the moral of the story here? Draw whatever conclusions you like about persistence and hard work, but above all I think it screams the point that sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut. I'm convinced that the reason he was so smart is because he spent most of his time in quiet observation of others. When we always feel the need to spead our own knowledge, and for lack of a better term, flap our gums, we have a real hard time paying attention to what's going on around us. What wealth of information or new technique have we missed out on because we were too damn busy telling the world what we already know? I know I'm guilty of the same. We could all take a lesson from Connor on this one--shut your piehole and see what happens.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Excuse me while I vom

This is the conversation Connor and I had tonight:

Him- Mom what's wrong with you?
Me- (sweating and writhing around while clutching my stomach) ughhh, I ate some bad food Connor and now I have a belly ache.
Him- When people make food that's bad for you, you shouldn't eat it.

Thank you, dietary advice at its simplest from my 6 year old. I should probably listen to him more, then I wouldn't be feeling like complete garbage right now... The holiday wrap up wasn't so bad, I only had one day of major debauchery in celebration of crushing my goal of a sub-27 minute 5k. It was so freakin awesome to see so many people from our group placing and PR'ing at the Bunny Run Saturday! When I first began my journey a little over a year and a half ago I never dreamed I'd be here.. my first ever 5k was 36:30 in Sept of 2010, and Saturday I finished in 24:51!

Time to set some new goals.. God knows this girl NEEDS to stay busy and focused in order to stay sane. The final leg of my 3 month blind experiment is upon me, and since I feel like total hell today from all the shit food I ate, it's motivated me to try and go cheat-free for the next 25 days (til the end date--Kayla's wedding). Also, I feel like it's already time to start priming up if I'm going to take a stab at Memorial Day Murph. Off topic, but I'm also thinking about buying a legit bike in the next couple weeks as well.. I went out riding for about an hour last Sunday, covered 13 miles and really kind of enjoyed the scenery and relaxation. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Easter and enjoyed the extra day(s) off. Holiday time is nice but I gotta be honest, I'm totally ready to get back to the ol' grind tomorrow!

Friday, March 30, 2012


How you see me (yeah I know Bec's in the pic too... apparently I'm not a big self-portraiter so bear with me here... plus let's be honest she makes it so much prettier lol)

How I "see" me about 95% of the time...

Or, occasionally...

What a nightmare, train-wreck, disaster.. I saved these pictures on my desktop as file names "hot mess" and "sick" respectively because that's exactly what they are. I know that isn't REALLY what I look like now, but at the same time it's hard to get past that mental image of who you were. Everyone who comes along in life writes on the slate of who we are and who we will become. But it is ultimately up to us to pick and choose who we will allow such an important role in our lives--that is the hard part. Even after you realize you deserve/desperately neeeeeeed better people and become more selective, it's still a hell of a process getting rid of the negative things that seem to be permanently etched into our psyche.

The gym has been one of the most consistently bright spots in my life next to my son, because you can rack up positive experiences and accomplishments daily--tangible and intangible. More reps, higher weights, being able to master a movement you couldn't do last week. Friends who will cheer you on every day, who send you a message saying "where the hell are you" if you don't show up for class, and who tell it like it is on the days when you need someone to give you a swift kick in the ass. I talk about this stuff a lot because it's all so damn true. I see it and live it every single freakin day. We've found strength--physical, mental, emotional--in getting through these WOD's together day after day, and by leaning on each other outside those walls.

As one of my fellow strugglers recently said, "at Crossfit is where I'm most comfortable because I am in control there. How good I am is determined by how hard I push myself and not by how anyone else treats me or what they have to say." Isn't that how it should be in every aspect of life? Probably. But at the gym there's nobody else in the background jeering or treating you like garbage no matter how hard you try. Nobody says what you're doing isn't good enough unless it's true, and that just means they expect more from you because they know you're capable of better. That's where we all need to live.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Leaning out

I've spent a lot of time the past couple months trying to get my shit in line, and I haven't tried to hide it. I figure I spent enough time hiding in the dark, better to shed some light on the situation to keep things on the legit side now. It's been a long road to say the very least, but thankfully I've had a lot of great people in my corner and that has made all the difference in the world.

At some point in our lives, we might find ourselves wasting too much time and effort on garbage--asshole people, bad habits, and terrible vices were all my chosen distractions. It started around November for me, and progressively got worse as the year came to a close. By January I knew it was time for a change, but I really wasn't ready to do what was necessary.. because real change isn't easy. Choosing to lean out your life and pare down to only what is necessary means giving up and getting rid of a lot of things that are keeping you from having to deal with the real issues.

Leaning out is fucking tough--in your body, in your environment, and in your life. It's easier to eat shitty fast food and mow through a pan of brownies without a care in the world than it is to pay attention to what you're putting in your body. Surrounding yourself with like-minded idiots (however assonine they may be) is much easier than facing the ones who are gonna tell you when your acting like a selfish jackass. And of course choosing vices over positive habits is simpler too because once again, there's zero accountability. It was easier for me a few months ago to hole up in my basement with a bottle of wine and a pack of smokes and pretend my life wasn't going to hell in a handbasket. All I needed was a few enablers to tell me what I was doing was just fine and we're on our way! True story.. sick, pathetic, unbelievable story.. looking back on that now makes me wonder who the fuck I had become in those moments.

Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but I still have a hard time believing that just a few months ago I was such a freakin trainwreck. I tend to be pretty hard on myself, I beat myself up over things long after everyone else has forgiven and let it go. I often wonder where I would be if it hadn't been for some of the better influences in my life that have come along thanks to Crossfit. Those are the people who never gave up on me. So many I can't even name them all. But one in particular said something to me recently that really stuck and made me think... she said something to the effect of, "Stop beating yourself up. You don't deserve it no matter what you've done in your life. Maybe you made some mistakes, but you shouldn't have to pay for them forever. I don't give a fuck what you've done in your past because I know you now--you're a neat person with a lot to offer, and that's what matters today."

We're hard-wired as humans to go for the instant gratification--everyone wants a quick fix. Putting in the man hours and paying attention is scary because we see the truth only once we force ourselves to read between the lines.. and sometimes it requires a hell of a lot of work to reclaim life from the trenches. On one hand I wish I could go back to where this all began and bring it all to a screeching halt, but then I realize maybe I needed to go through all that to get the reality check necessary to end up where I am today. I've leaned out my life, and I'm damn proud of it. Wasn't easy or painless, but just as with all other difficult changes I'm much better and stronger for it... and from what I understand, strong people are much harder to kill!

Monday, March 19, 2012

When you're at the end of your rope....

Tie a knot and hold on! Eventually you'll get strong enough to climb back up that biotch--literally and figuratively!! While I'm still working on doing that in my life outside the gym, I'm feeling quite victorious about my 6, count em, 6 rope climbs tonight (as you can clearly tell haha).. At any rate, a great way to start the week, yippie!!!!

What I felt like


What I probably looked like... hahaha...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

You Know You're a Craver When.......

This weekend was totally badass, really had a great time celebrating Dylan's birthday with some friends and people from the box. Literally cannot think of the last time I had that much fun! And it was an incident free evening, hahaha.. always a plus! So of course today I was thinking about some of the crazy shit we CFer's do that other people might find a little... ummm... unsettling, and I've compiled the short list! Enjoy!

You know you're a Craver when:

*You do handstands. Everyfuckingwhere. And then take a pic of it to send to Ashley.

(Of course I'm at the far left struggling for life... booze + new to handstands = Fail)

*You have so many bruises people either think you're a battered wife or training to become a cage fighter

*A newbie at the gym asks what you do for fun and you say "This..."

*Nobody understands half the shit you post on your FB status because it's always in Crossfit lingo (and they bitch about it... haters gon' hate, haha)

*You've seen the glorious Open 'stache

*Your chosen mode of getting from one place to the next is never walking--instead you high-skip/karaoke/do some other random movement that pretty much scares anyone who doesn't understand what's going on

*You legitimately know someone with the nickname "Steel Panther"

*Everything you do is for time and begins with "3...2...1...Go!" even if it's only in your head

*When life hands you lemons, you do a lemon drop!

Short but great, true stuff always is the funniest! I love my box, I love our trainers, and I love these crazy ass people--my life has truly been enriched by everyone I've met there. Here's to the gym that has become a second home, and to friends who have become more like family! (I'd drink to that but I'm pretty sure I couldn't even look at a beer after last night)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blockin' bullshit!

"You know what you need to do? Just cut all this extra bullshit out of your life right now. You got too much shit goin on. Focus on you, Connor, and the gym and just say fuck everything else!"

"Focus on the positive. If there is anyone in your life who makes you feel the least bit unwanted, self conscious, or just not good let them go. You have to value yourself more than anyone else to get the respect and love you deserve."

Two of the best pieces of advice I've probably ever been given in my life, both received from fellow CF'ers in the past couple weeks. I share a little bit of my struggle because I want other people to know they aren't alone. That even if your plans get effed up a million times, life has a way of balancing back out once you steady the sails again. There comes a time when you have to start making the hard decisions whether you like it or not. Sometimes that means leaving people behind whether you want to or not. Sometimes it's a whole group of people that become nothing but deadweight to your dreams and progress. Time to crawl out of the rut with the help of those who have a positive effect on your life. I figure something/someone is either building you up or breaking you down... and if you aren't sure which one it is, you should probably drop em like the bad habit they are. Often times we know the answer but we try to find a way to get around it when the truth is staring us in the face.

Ironically enough as I'm writing this tonight I get a ridiculous text from one of my former "friends," and I remember exactly why I decided to take TC's advice and cut the fucking bullshit out of my life once and for all. And Ash K's, for that matter, to finally stand up for my damn self. Life is too short to get caught up in other people and their drama; the truth is when people try to tear you down it's only because they want to bring you to their level. I'm rising above that today. For the first time in my life I'm putting on the effin gloves to fight for my own happiness. The things that make my happy are simple--my close family and real friends, Connor, Crossfit/the people there, and work. Fuck all the rest. It's time to block bullshit.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Drink the Kool-Aid

Do you ever think back as to why you began Crossfit in the first place? It's been almost a year since I started my love affair with the box. Granted I strayed a few months here and there, but only because I let what was most important to me take a backseat to a lot of unnecessary bullshit. So I was thinking about what brought me to Crave in the first place.. I had actually emailed Ashley a few months prior just to see what it was all about, but at the time I was in really poor shape and just beginning to reclaim my health. Several months later I was talking to my zumba instructor (Josie :) who said that she had just started taking classes and I jumped at the chance to go too--in fact, I showed up the next morning for the 6 am class! I'd made my way into every workout known to man by this point--running, kickboxing, zumba, triathalon style training... working out at least twice a day... but nothing had prepared me for Crossfit. The first two weeks were GRUELING, I napped every morning for like 3 hours after class! But eventually it became second nature and the aches weren't so unbearable.
I think I was pretty much hooked from the beginning, but I can't pinpoint exactly what it was that brought me back every day begging for more. These days I do the occasional zumba class or go for a run, but in the workout realm of my life Crossfit is second to nothing. So why do we do it? What makes the WOD such an irresistable b*tch? This is my personal (Pinterest) compilation of reasons why I Crossfit:

>To change my life, one rep at a time
>To be able to sell more tickets to the gun show!
>Because I want to be a BEAST!
>Because it takes ALL I've got, yet somehow gives back more
>Cause I love when I'm randomly walking around looking at big stuff secretly sizing it up and thinking "I could totally lift that..."
>To be able to endure ANYTHING
>Because the stronger you are, the better you feel
>To (one day) not be ashamed of my body
>Because I'm making myself a fighter
>To feel like I'm on top of the world after every damn WOD
>Because every day is one step closer to who I want to be
>To shock everyone, including myself, with what I can accomplish

Crossfit is about so many things--strength, endurance, speed, lifting heavy shit... but the reach is far beyond that. It's about friends and family, a sense of pride and community that no one can truly understand until they become an indoctrinated member of the club. All the CF-haters call it a cult, and maybe they're right...

But if you just drink the kool-aid I'm sure you'll understand ;-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Open

I could give you at least a dozen reasons why I didn't plan on signing up for the 2012 Crossfit Open. First of all, it's no secret that my health has been a complete joke the past few months between my sketchy appearances at the box and zero self-control in what I've been putting into my body. Only in the past few weeks have a really begun buckling down and dialing in on that aspect of my life again because I took a good, hard look and realized it was out of fucking control. Reason two stands to follow--I'm not even close to a competitor in comparison to some of the other people involved. It is a complete embarassment the way that I have back-seated the health of my mind and body over the past few months, so why would I want to see just how far from grace I've fallen? Then this morning my shin was OWNED during a box jump... not just a little skin removal, we're talking immediate goose-egg sized lump and full-frontal scalping.

Never have I recieved a "DNF" in a WOD, but it almost came to that today! Soooo there you have it, the short list of reasons why I wasn't signing up for the Games. I had resolved not to even go to the first WOD yesterday, but (thankfully) TC guilted me into it and I went. Was I super pleased with only doing 68 burpees in 7 minutes? Fuck no. Body weight movements and high speed aren't my strong points even in prime shape so I wasn't expecting anything spectacular, but I was glad that I showed up, as I always am.

The rest of the night I kept toying with the idea of signing up for the Open, but I never really got serious about it until I starting thinking about how much it pisses me off to hear people make up excuses why they can't Crossfit. Because as much as we love the exclusivity of our little club, the truth is this: Anyone. Can. Crossfit. I'm too out of shape (this is how you GET IN SHAPE), I'm too old (just saw a picture of a 91 yr old woman deadlifting on an affiliate site), I'm not strong enough (you'll GET stronger), it costs too much (so does shitty health and fast food), I don't have time (Pure Bullshit)... the list goes on. So when I find myself making some weak ass excuses as to why I can't/won't/shouldn't sign up for the Open, how is that any different?? The answer is, it's not. It's no different than the lame excuses other people give me for not taking responsibility for their health and body. So today I decided to man-up and register for the 2012 Crossfit Open along with a handful of people from Crave. Am I winning anything, no, but as one of my fellow CF'ers said today--It's about the ride.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

When you least expect it

I am one of the realest (is that even a word?) people you will ever meet. I don't fudge my personality for anyone, I am who I am, like it or leave it--either you love me or you hate me and I make no apologies for it. You see me at work, the gym, out with friends, scrubbin it up in my sweats at Walmart (okay let's be honest, I look like that pretty much anywhere I go).. I'm putting on the same face and saying the same inappropriate sh*t no matter where I go. I feel like it's part of my charm, or occasionally one of my less than charming attributes... but on the upside you don't have to worry about me being a fake a-hole to you either. I have a gung-ho attitude even though most of the time I jump in head first and find out the water is only eh 3 feet deep or so. That's just how I roll. I give a lot to the people who mean the most in my life and apparently choose a lot of shitty people because my returns have been a lot of fuck overs as of late.

But amidst all the bullshit I've come across, there is one thing I've come to depend on--my family. Not just the family I was born into, but the family I've chosen for myself... my friends, and my Crossfit fam. Admittedly I'm the wayward child in both outfits, always flittering off into the abyss and doing my own thing til I realize I'm off the beaten path screwing things up for myself once again, and somehow every time I come back to welcoming arms. When I least expect it (but most need it) someone always seems to come along and be the hero; it's never the likely source either.

Whether it's a text from Ash E telling me to get my ass to the gym, or a random phone call when I'm at my lowest, she always has my back. Mark has never once been hesitant to call me out on my bullshit when necessary. And based on his incredibly positive attitude and motivation in and out of the gym, I have no doubt Matt is going to make a great coach as well. So many of my fellow CF'ers have become adversaries on my worst days--for that I am thankful. It's those little, unsolicited efforts that matter most when you're at rock-bottom. Sometimes we expect more from people because we know we would do that much for them. I've been having a hard time finding that kind of support outside of the gym lately. It is my center and my solace, a little slice of sanity in this fucked up life. Crossfit is my sanctuary, as I think it might be for many of us. Feels good to be home again.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My own worst enemy

Today I want nothing more than to run away. I wish I could explain exactly why, to put a finger on the root of this unbelievable anxiety in my life, but I can't. I just know that some days all I want to do is run. To create a new life that doesn't include so much of my past, to get away from other people and history and places that remind me of good and bad memories and.... well I guess you get the picture. I feel like I'm wandering this world without a real identity, because every time I think I've defined myself and what's important to me someone inevitably decides to jump on the bandwagon and rip it away like a fucking glory-thief, although I can't even understand what level of satisfaction you could get by stealing thunder from someone who's been waiting their whole damn life for a little rain...

And then there are other times when I just fuck it up all on my own.

Either way it's disheartening to constantly feel like you're starting over. It's hard enough to fight other people, but when you're forever fighting against yourself as well it seems like a lost cause. This feels like a ramble, but the truth is I've got a lot of confusion pent up in me these days because I'm just really tired of not knowing what's best for me, who I am, and where the hell I fit in. I struggle every day. Some days I hide it well behind the wall of wit and sarcasm, it keeps people from seeing the way things really are... I figure if they don't know your reality they can't manipulate it or use it against you. But the raw, glaring truth in my life is that I need everyone else to love me because it fills the void of knowing that for some reason, I don't love myself. And at the end of the day a million laughs wouldn't be enough because I'm still afraid that the people I value most in my life will leave me. I don't know what else to do anymore besides keep getting back up every time I fall, even if it makes me look like a fool to be stepping back in the ring for the 33,596th time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Is it too late for a Resolution?

Back again. My life pretty much went to hell in a handbasket (ironically enough) about a week or two after what I could only describe as a borderline religious experience at Back to the Ranch. IT WAS FREAKIN AWESOME. The high of doing that, seeing all those amazing athletes, and WOD'ing for a great cause really stuck with me for a long time. But I'm a creature of habit--as long as I'm sticking with the plan everything goes smooth, and when I don't do that... well... I tend to "Derail" as my parents so lovingly describe it ;)An unfortunate series of events, illnesses, and excuses later, I was AWOL from the gym and proceeded to hit the holiday eating with full force. I made a few special guest appearances at the box in December, but once again "life derailment" occurred and I spent the entire week before Christmas on the couch in a bundle of pajamas and tears.

It took a lot for my to pick myself up by my bootstraps yet again (you'd think I would be really good at that by now), but I'm finally feeling like myself again. I'm working at a job I love with people I love even more thanks to my Crossfit connections :D, I'm back to eating like a sane person, and I'm refocused on getting my ass in the gym and pounding pavement on days that I can't WOD. But I know myself, and I know that I absolutely need goals to maintain focus--tangible, mark-off-a-list type shit that I can look at and know where it begins and ends.

So yeah, I know it's February, and I've never been a fan of the whole "New Year's Resolution" song and dance because I feel like it sets you up for failure to decide you're going to do something if you really aren't ready to commit to it... but I've been thinking about some things I'd really like to accomplish, and decided on a CF related goal that I can dig into. See I came into this box and immediately wanted to be great, but I didn't place enough importance on developing my fundamental skills. Who cares if I can deadlift 255 if I can't even do a f*cking pullup? Of course it's great to beat my last time on a WOD, but not if I'm still doing triple the number of jump ropes because I haven't taken the time to work on double-unders. Unmodified push ups. Handstand push ups. Dips. Higher box jumps. It's clear that I suck at body weight movements, but instead of ignoring it and just trying to beast out faster times at more weight (still important) I wanna knock these other things out one at a time. Can't build a house without a solid foundation. Incidentally, I did cross one thing off my list today. Handstands. One down!