Get Your Charity On

There are a lot of things I love about CrossFit. The main one being the community. My husband and I have moved quite a few times over the last few years and no matter where we have been, our new CrossFit gym has felt like home. People are willing to help you when you need it and make you feel like one of the gang instantly.

Last weekend I witnessed a great act of community and charity. A huge group gathered at CrossFit 405 in downtown OKC for “Burpess for Boobs Presents Helen Meets Grace”. Yes, a partner workout that involved both Helen and Grace…two CrossFit goodies with a twist. Here was the WOD:

50 Burpees, then Helen, then Grace, then 50 Burpees. Awesome. We were in teams of two. Partners could split up reps however they wanted, but both had to run all three 400 m runs during Helen. Lots-O-Fun.

The event was put on by Burpees for Boobs. It is a phenomenal charity raising money for Mammograms in Action. The event raised over $5,000 in six short hours. It is simply amazing to me what our community can do when we all come together. 

This is our CrossFit OKC team post Helen Meets Grace. A sight of beauty!

This coming weekend, Labor Day weekend, more CrossFit’s all over the country are coming together to honor those that were killed on August 6th in Afghanistan. 31 Heroes. This is very near and dear to my heart as I have many family members currently serving in the military and have known Navy SEALS. The money raised will benefit the Navy SEALS Foundation which helps families of fallen heroes.

Lastly this month we have Fight Gone Bad 6! Fight Gone Bad is one of my favorite CrossFit WODs. Some people tell me that makes me sick, but oh well. On September 17th CrossFitters will gather to go through seventeen minutes of pain. We all have fundraising pages and have made a fundraising goal. Again, the proceeds are going to worthy causes that support our military, their families and children. You can donate to my Fight Gone Bad team here.

I will gladly give up a few hours on my Saturday to give thanks to those who have given their life for me and my family. I’m so thankful for those who dedicate their life to service. They are special people. It is easy to get lost in daily life. Work, family, friends, finances, training, etc. Remember how lucky you are to be able to have the freedom to workout when you want and wear whatever you please. Remember how lucky you are to be able to move and walk on two legs. When you feel the urge to stop in a workout, remember how many people would give anything to be able to do a fraction of what you can do. Stay strong!

These are always fun events, but don’t forget why you are there and the people it is benefiting. Find a box. Participate. Have fun. Take time to think about those who have lost their lives. Keep training hard.

Everyday Can’t be a PR Day!

As much as I hate to agree with the title of this post, it is true. Not everyday can be a PR day. That doesn’t mean you can’t try your hardest everyday, but you might not always get the result you want or hope for everyday.

This summer has been hot. I mean smoking. Almost unbearable to a point here in the great state of Oklahoma. We have hit 52 days of 100+ degree weather. I grew up in Oklahoma so the summer heat is something I am used to. It doesn’t meant I like it, but I expect it and I have to deal with it. When I was in college I would go run at noon in the summer because I thought I got a better workout if I was about to keel over and die from the heat at the end. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

That was stupid. Pushing yourself to a point of sickness and heat exhaustion is not something to be proud of and brag about. Just like tearing your hands! You have to take care of yourself, people!

I, of course, am not always the best follower of what I preach. Yesterday is proof of that. I have been killing myself the past few weeks in the gym. Lifting heaving in the morning, sometimes doing one or two WODs during the day and getting in some much-needed skill work all in this awful heat.  At the end of the day when I sit back and look at everything I did I feel accomplished, but also surprised at what I was able to fit it all in and survive. When did I recover? Did I eat enough? Am I letting my body heal and hydrate in the crazy heat?

Last night my body had enough. It was ticked off at me. I knew it before my WOD started. Filthy Fifty. A beast of workout. Ten movements, fifty reps of each. A marathon chipper at it’s finest! I felt off. Very off. Moving from movement to movement everything felt OK, but I didn’t feel like me. I couldn’t push myself. I would try to tell myself to keep moving and my body would say, “No thank you”. Boo. Then 35 burpees into my 50 I “got sick”, the kind that had me going outside and bending over grass every five burpess just in case. Awful.

I finished. Probably still dumb. I sat for 45 minutes post WOD before I felt OK to drive home. Out of it doesn’t really begin to explain how I felt. I don’t ever want to feel like that again.

So, why am I writing this marathon of a post just to tell you I got sick last night during a WOD? Listen to your body! Last night I should have said, thanks, but not thanks. I didn’t. You might have great plans for the week. You might think you are doing yourself a disservice if you skip out on a WOD or lift because you feel off.  Sometimes it is best to just go with how you feel. If you can’t push 100%, don’t! You don’t have to PR everyday. Don’t be prideful. It is hot. It is humid. Take care of yourself and don’t worry about keeping up with everyone else if you know it isn’t in your best interest. Sometimes it isn’t that is A-OK.

Be smart in the gym.

Here are a few tips for working out in the heat:

  1. Drink water ALL day! Not just at the gym. You must hydrate throughout the day!
  2. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Make sure it is breathable.
  3. Get in the gym early in the day if you can.
  4. If you feel dizzy, start cramping up or feel extreme fatigue STOP! Those can all be signs of overheating.

Life as Rx’d

This past Saturday I made the trip to Dallas with a huge group from CrossFit OKC. We took three teams and six individual competitors to compete in the one day Life as Rx’d competition. We were smack dab in the middle of the Europa Fitness Expo. I felt a little out of my element. We were surrounded by body builders and female fitness competitors. It was something I had never seen before and needless to say I felt a bit scrawny…which was A-OK with me!

I am always excited to compete whether it is something I have been specifically training for or not. I didn’t do anything special prior to this day. I rested on Friday, but it had been business as usual all week. We didn’t find out our events until the night before which is always interesting. I ended up finishing fifth overall for the females and felt great about what I was able to do in the competition.

The great thing about competition is that it highlights things that you need to focus on that you might not be aware are issues. Coming out of this competition it was very clear to me that 24 inch box jumps and toes to bar are a few movements I have to nail down. I can do both perfectly fine in short sets, but anything over fifteen and I start to significantly slow down. I don’t bound well out of the bottom of the 24 inch box jump. 20 inch I can go all day, but those four extra inches paralyze me sometimes. Also, my grip really fatigues on toes to bar after about ten reps. Our last WOD had 30 for two different sets. Let’s just say the second set of 30 wasn’t so pretty!

There were some great things that came out Saturday too. I felt really strong in the first WOD which was a six-minute AMRAP 21-15-9 KB swings (55lb) and Thruster (65lb). I made it through the second set of 21 KB swings and felt great. My double unders have become second nature and I PR’ed my snatch by 7 pounds! I did pistols for the first time in competition too! Also, I didn’t feel too fatigued at the end of the day so I know my endurance is staying where it needs to be. I was sore, but my lungs felt great.

Now I can take these things and throw them in my regular training. Competing is just fun no matter what. Especially when you are with friends! Two of my fabulous friends from CrossFit Jenks, Christina and Paige, came down to compete as well. Christina took 2nd in the entire event! Paige rocked the 1RM snatch event hitting 140! They are both stellar athletes and I love being next to them because we all push each other.

Find a local competition and get at it. If you have never competed you need to try it! It doesn’t have to be The CrossFit Games to matter. You will surprise yourself with what you are able to accomplish!

Oly Oly Oxen Free!

I’m on an O-lift kick.  I’ve been working really hard on my olympic lifts since April. I still have a long way to go, but I’m starting to see some good improvement and that makes me really happy!

If I want to really nail down the olympic lifts I know I can’t just work on them periodically as they come up in programming or whenever I feel like it. Wednesday and Saturday have become my O-lift days. One day I’m focusing on the clean and jerk and one day on the snatch.

I love cleans. I could spend a whole day at the gym working on squat cleans and power cleans and be 100% happy. The snatch is not like that at all. It has always frustrated me because it hasn’t been something that I have been able to pick up very quickly. My form was never great. I was strong enough to muscle a decent amount of weight over my head, but never saw much improvement in numbers. I hit a wall fast.

I have been having Cole, who is an amazing olympic lifter, help me out. It is amazing watching an actual olympic lifter and not just a CrossFitter who can olympic lift. Big difference! He is having me work on things that I never would have done on my own like snatch pulls (ugh), snatch drops (even worse) and other “fun” things. Even though these are totally new to me and put me completely out of my comfort zone, I know they are going to do me a lot of good when it comes to my lifting. I already feel a lot more comfortable with the movements. Weights that use to be iffy to me are now a given. I have high expectations about what kind of numbers I’m going to reach in the next few months!

The other thing that has surprised me is how much of a workout olympic lifting really is. That might sound strange because I’m used to getting my butt kicked at th gym. I always get worn out if I’m doing sets up cleans or snatches, but what I’m doing now is completely different kind of worn out. I’m sitting between every set breathing hard and not wanting to move. My quads are on fire the whole time. It is awesome.

Certain things will come easy to people and certain things will not. When you find something that is a struggle for you make a plan to turn that into a strength and attack it with all you’ve got! It may take a while, but when you start to see improvement it is worth it.