Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crossfit Games Open

"Why on earth did I think it would be fun to compete for this?"  was my immediate reaction to the first sectionals open WOD. 

Reasons to do it:
1) It's been on the radar since August.  Marc at CFNC put a bug in my ear that I should compete for the sectionals.  I was flattered at the time, and I've been mulling it over for so long, I may as well just do it, right?

2) I was invited.  I love to be invited, don't you?  It makes me feel special.  Crossfit 760 invited me to submit my times for their team qualifier.  I don't know exactly how that works but all I heard was "team" and I felt the warm fuzzies of being welcomed.  Crossfit for me has always been in the biggest way about the comraderie, so yes!  If there's a team option, let's do that! Then it's not just about me.

3) My pride.  I'm a feisty competitive little bit of a person so I have been curious where I stand in the masses of crossfit women. But this is my downfall.  This pressure I put on myself at times to be super human, wanting to be the best is seriously hazardous to my health and relationships.  Allow me to exhibit for you....

WOD 1: 
10 min. AMRAP 30 double unders
+ 15 Barbell Power Snatches @ 55#

Oh my gosh I'm nervous just writing it down here, and I've already done it!
Setting: Allow me to clarify, that I am going to be doing these workouts at an affiliate that is not my regular stomping ground, with a trainer who has only met me a handful of times, to compete for a place on a team of people that I don't know.   I felt like I was having an asthma attack of anxiety just driving to the box.

Begin WOD:  1st set of double unders - nailed them!  1st set of snatches moving right along, but then I hear the promptings of  Casey, my new adopted coach, "faster", and I lost whatever mental game there was right then and there.  In my head I followed that word with a paragraph of "not good enough's".  As my entire life of feeling not good enough crashes down on me, my breathing constricts, my focus is gone. It took me 30-40 seconds to get a rythym on my second set of double unders, and for the rest of the WOD all I wanted to do was quit.  
It was not pretty, friends.  I battled for life out there.  I swore at Casey to get out of my f#@$%^g head.  I shot him death glares. I even moved to strangle him at one point.   I'm not proud of this, but he's a champion and has faced much worse I'm sure of it.

Time!  4 rounds and 9 snatches 

I hung my head in agony, feeling like a failure.  I apologized to Casey, shrugged off his words of encouragement that it was a good result, went to my car, and cried. and cried. and cried. 

I didn't even get five rounds.  The top competitors got NINE!  It took me several days and a few hours of therapy to realize that compared to the world of average jane crossfitters (as if any crossfitter is an average jane. ha!) I did respectably well.
(There's that word though, "compared"!  Why the hell am I comparing myself to anyone? I need to be doing this for me, and because I have something to contribute to the team effort.)
As I've talked to others who did it over the week, I felt better.  I felt better to hear in their voices how hard it was for them too.  I felt better that I wasn't the only one that didn't do as well as I'd hoped. 
I told one of the girls, "It was an eye opener to how not competition ready I am". 
She responded, "I think that's what we're all finding."
I'm not alone! and that makes the world seem like a better place.

So here we go... Take 2: I faced the WOD again.

Setting:  Still not my main stomping ground, but Casey and I have an understanding now.  He knows I need to be encouraged by making me feel I'm doing well and what I'm doing is ok and worthwhile.  And I rolled in with my own possy!  I brought two crossfit girls that just wanted to be there to support me.  It was hard for me to accept this, but I'm so glad I did. They were willing to work out with me, so I wasn't alone, and so all eyes weren't JUST on me.  (I can't stand that! really I don't like being the center of attention. Once upon a time I thrived on that but that's another story, for many years it's been my goal to disappear, rather than stand out.... )  AND I solicited the prayers of my super prayer warrior team - not that I would be the best or anything, just that I wouldn't freak out.  That I would live my glory in this, not my brokenness... Let me tell you, those ladies have some powerful prayers. THANK YOU!

Begin WOD:  I went at my own pace.  I took deep breaths and breaks when I needed to, to calm myself down.  I had my girls and Casey to cheer me on.  When I choked on double unders I quickly recovered. It was manageable.  I had one moment of frustration at some comment meant to be encouraging, but fortunately it was near the end and I still finished.  Not entirely healed yet, but doing better.

End Scene:   5 rounds and 7 double unders!

I passed my goal!  holla! But more importantly I kept my peace.
What started as a train wreck has met a different ending... for week ONE of SIX (or more if we make the cut!) Holy Crap. You guys, pray the miracles keep coming.  I would like to see the victory in this where competition does not send me into a Mr. Hyde personality split.  That would be a good thing for all, yeah?  I want to believe in transformation, and live it through this journey.

Reasons to do it:
4) I want to come through this a better person for having tried.
5) Community.  I want to share this journey with people, share in one another's sufferings and triumphs, and. choke. gasp. to be vulnerable and realize it's ok and good to let others care and help me. whew.  that is tough.  but I want that.  I need to be reminded I'm not alone.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ever have days like this?

warning: explicit language. Do not play in the presence of children or holy people.

I find myself singing the chorus of this song in my head more often than is healthy I'm sure.  Pretty much always when I'm sitting at my desk, not getting work done, and wondering what am I doing with my life. Then I think but there's nothing I want to do with my life any more. I inevitably fail at everything.
Dramatic much?

This is when instead of rolling over and dying (because that never fixes anything).  I want to fight.  I want just let all my anger and frustration and disappointment out.  There have been a lot of days I've taken that to the gym. I shut out the world and hammered through the WOD with all the passion of my pent up emotions... it helps sometimes, but it's not enough.

So I still sing with Adam some days, and then if I really start thinking about Death. Judgement. Heaven. Hell.
It makes those moments of desperation seem pretty pale.  Death is no escape from reality. 
All the brokenness that I can't face will be faced.

There are times in life that are just not fun. The 'real' not fun times, like losing a loved one, or a relationship, or a job.  Those tangible things that no one can deny, but there are also those not fun times that are just having to live in my own skin...  and honestly for me those times come quite frequently the less I pray.

It's amazing.  It's like I forgot I have peace and freedom and joy always before me - I just have to take  a moment to turn my presence to it. It's amazing, that I can be freaking out with this song in my head, sick at life, then just take a walk with my rosary, and it all melts away.
My faith has been such a familiar face for a long time.  I forget how good a friend it is.

I kind of wonder if it's like being married. Years and years ago, it was all consuming.  It was fresh and new; I immersed myself in it.  Every healing Mass I could go to, everyone that would pray over me, every opportunity for retreat, service, growth... I took it.  I even committed Friday and Saturday nights to a holy hour in adoration for a whole semester.  Over the years, I've never questioned my faith and my commitment to Christ,  but I'm sure I have taken it for granted.
The journey has become familiar, and I've probably hardened my heart from some disappointments.  I haven't left Him, but I don't rely on Him to surprise me, to save me every single day, the way I used to.  I don't work on the relationship as if my life depends on it, I too rarely let Him romance me.... and I'm the one that's suffering for that. God doesn't need my prayers, I do. desperately.

Of all the relationships I have ever and will ever have this one is what matters most.  If I lose friends, dates, buddies, or the esteem of others,  if it means I'm on the outside of conversations, or am uninvited, or don't fit in, that's sad to me, but I can't pretend that my life makes any sense without God.  To do so is to lose my very self, and then I'll be singing with Adam Sandler, "Somebody kill me please"... because my life has lost its meaning.

What is all of this? Just the babble from my desk and my heart.
I'll end with motorcycles.
One time, I saw a train of more motorcycles than I have ever seen.  It was crazy!  There were at least 100 of them in procession.  Then I realized it was a funeral procession.
Whoever's funeral it was I imagined must have died in a motorcycle related accident, and these were all his motorcycle friends.  I was remembering this sight recently, and it struck me that if someone I loved was killed by something, there would be a part of me that would want to hate that thing forever.  I imagined if he were my loved one and I was part of his possy, my fear and pain at his loss might drive me away from ever touching a motorcycle again.  But then there is a part of the heart that feels the call to rise above fear and pain and stand strong, defiant!  I think that's the part that had all those people on their bikes, and I think that's the part in me clings to knowing there is more for me in this life than I see most days.  Yes, I've been disappointed and I've been hurt, but I can't just quit...
I don't have the answers, but I know where to find them.
how does all this connect?  I'm not sure really.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Missing the Zone

For a 'long time' before I decided to take a paleo challenge I was using the zone diet, as a guideline for my nutrition.  And honestly, I can't really say I eat paleo now.  But I do feel my diet has needed a makeover.

 So I'm making my own way for a while... the Kathy plan.  I want to stick with the good things I've learned  so far.  That means:

1)  Eat mostly real food:  Veggies, lean meats, eggs, fruits and some nuts
2)  Eat at set times, don't graze freely all day as a rule
3)  Eat meals in moderate portions - try to use Zone blocks as a guideline, but don't bother counting carb that come from green veggies, just try to keep the protein and fat in balance and not eat too much fruit.
4)  Drink LOTS of water
5)  Take fish oil daily
6)  go for the post workout protein drink  (this is on test run).

Other than that, just be moderate. (That is the hard part!!)

here's some of the day's good eats, practicing balancing...
eggs and whites, apple, and a few nuts., with Peppermint tea and almond milk
Very Blue protein shake with a Very Green pesto & spinach salad
Crock pot pork loin with tomato veggies and steamed young broccoli
Thank you Vista Farmer's Market


This is in no way original, but it was a nice diversion from the norm!  
I got it from Rob Wolf's Paleo Solution.  He calls them pancakes but they do taste a little eggy.

2 eggs
1/4c cashew butter
1/4c applesauce
1/4tsp vanilla

cook in a pan with some coconut oil... top with your choice of yummies.  I went for warmed blueberries with applesauce. 

To be honest, besides being a little high on the fat side, this is a pretty balanced meal :)

simple abundance


The trees outside are teeming with them.  
It's nice to take advantage of what comes.

So far I've found oranges are awesome as a salad dressing base, and I've used it in marinades.
Oranges are great for salad dressings, marinades, and juice.

Hmm... what else?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Belly Saga

Ok. I can't resist it.  I am just fascinated with bellies. I know it's immodest, and no one really wants to see it, but I just love the pancitas and I love tanning, and hanging out playing beach volleyball as often as possible.
And NO. I am no where nearer a six pack than when I posed the question to the blogging universe, "will paleo give me a six pack?"  Then again I have not been consistently faithful, have I?  Actually I have never been as strict as I was at the baseline pic - that one was taken after one full month of strict whole 30.  I've been a bit rebellious ever since: one month & three months.  My! how time flies when I am periodically being a cheater.

However, Today, I am celebrating me and a moment of self esteem, "being perfect just the way I am" (ah ha. ha. ha. sigh.)
Kidding not perfect, but I'm fine with the lack of pack. I still have the 'womb' lower belly (empty) bump that I am dubbing decidedly feminine. AND meanwhile I am mesmerized by these little GI Joe hip lumps.
Check it out.

For anyone feeling bad about being curvy ever.  Here's a cool article celebrating them!

AND.  If you are inclined to give me your constructive criticism - or outsiders' observation -  or your take on the wonderful world of loving the body you've got -I would love it!

Food Explorations of Late

Frazier Farms sells a knock off vegan 'cheese'.
I gave into curiosity and decided to try it.
We are not surprised.
It's vegan, and it calls itself cheese,
how could it possibly be anything good?

What you see here friends is an interesting exploration in something like pizza... oh and a delicious salad.
Why don't I eat more salad??

So the "pizza" crust was made from eggs and cashew butter mostly, and it was okay.  A little weird but I ate the whole thing (no surprises there!)

I topped it with a marinara sauce and lots of delicious veggies:
peppers, mushrooms, spinach, onions.
And that weird excuse for cheese.
Mea culpa, Mea culpa.

Next up:  Greens and Beets and Curry, oh my!

I've never cooked collard greens, but know it would benefit me to eat more leafy greens... always.
Simultaneously, I made an adventurous purchase of beets.

So what to do?

Saute them up with mushrooms, onions, and top with Trader Joe's Panang Curry Tuna??

Ok. so that's what we did. (Notice we, means me, but you get it now).

Not bad, really.  It was colorful, and curry makes everything delicious.

So a few things I can definitely recommend from the last month:

1) Trader Joes' stir fry veggies and their curry tuna!  So good for a fast meal.
2) Cold leftover roasted veggies and chicken for breakfast.... Don't Judge me. It's been surprisingly delish
3) Kale Salads - so so good you guys.  The trick is to mix it up with a citrus/oil dressing and let it marinade for a hour or more before eating.  Absolutely can not go wrong with raisins, fresh squeezed orange and, Evvo.  yummy.
4) Home made granola!  I used this as a guideline.  Seriously can not make it again for a while.  I have pushed past common sense on the amounts of food I have been eating, and this maddening thrill for my munchies doesn't help me keep my intake to reasonable levels.
5)  Apple Cinnamon muffins and cake, oh my!!  This was my go by-ish.

Tomorrow begins lent, and my body is SOOOO ready to get back to being fed real food and in moderation.
Mardi Gras has been my excuse for treats that made my heart happy while my head ached and my body has been on break down.  I really couldn't take another day of the junk - but getting off the crack is not going to come easily.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Who's your fictional character?

Now that I've given you the LOTR reference, and an insight to my inner jerk, maybe you will see more clearly that my character in that movie is...
Yes! This guy. It's true. We are the same.  Gollum! Not that I killed my cousin for the precious, but you never know, I might and then I'd let myself be driven crazy with the desire for it.
Can you really be surprised why I am so concerned with being balanced?? He's not even really one person is he? But I have that gollum like dialogue going on with myself sometimes. 

Let's consider the words of Gandalf, Gollum "hates and loves the ring, as he hates and loves himself." That pretty much sums up my character comparison.  I am in one shot the most vain and selfish person (case in point Spartan Race: Get out of my way people!  I have to do what I have to do!!) but also the most severe critic and enemy of myself - Dragging myself away from freedom and life, stealing the joy from my victories, keeping myself feeling worthless and captive.

I don't think I'm alone in this really.  After all if pop culture is any indication of the broken human person... it's all over the place.
Gaga "Baby I was born this way"
Natasha Beddingfield "So strip me, strip it all away... I'm only one voice in a million, but you ain't taking that from me."
Cristina Aguilera "I am beautiful, no matter what they say. Words can't bring me down..."
and my latest favorite Pink, "Don't you ever ever feel like you are less than perfect."
Do you have some more to add for us?

I love that stuff. I jam out in my car.  But LBH (uh hello, let's be honest), friends,  it seems a little like we are over compensating for our shame with the defense of our goodness.  You are Perfect? really?

I'm tired of destroying myself.  Really I am, but I'm also tired of being her...

Long before I realized I am Gollum... I recognized myself in Scarlett O Hara... and immediately started praying for mercy.  Dear God save me from myself.
She leaves a trail of admirers in her wake.  She never loves and appreciates what she has. She stays fixated on what she wants.  Her life is a journey in tragedy, mostly of her own making, and probably because she thought she was 'perfect'.

Gollum and Scarlett,  they are such tragic characters.
I suppose the beauty in this connection I am making with them is recognizing the truth and letting it be what it is...  This solution, this beauty, this grace, is not nearly so dramatic or epic - and I definitely connect to life in epic terms - but I do believe it's part of the path to freedom.
I'm talking about humility.  Humility is who we are before God - nothing more and nothing less.

Instead I build myself up as more or tear myself down as less.  Why is it so hard to be stripped?

To just be what we are, no excuses, no hiding the greatness in us, no belittling our gifts, but no pumping them up either.
No sugar coating our sins and weaknesses so we don't feel as bad about them, but staring them straight on.  Man (or Woman) enough to say yes, I did that. I'm sorry. Repent and move on without beating ourselves up or  thinking our actions control our worth.
And on the flip side, facing our sins and weaknesses for what they are... admitting it rather than covering it over and pretending it's really okay, "I am perfect just the way I am, mistakes I made them, and that's all okay, I'll keep doing what I want to do" so let me persist in my pride to my tragic end and never admit that I did it to myself...

Is it so hard just being who we are, good and bad, and recognizing we are loved immensely... and letting that love transform our lives?
Hard or not I think it's worth the challenge.  And the cool part is everyday is a choice.  Everyday we can change what we think.  As much as I can see in myself the tragedy of Gollum and Scarlett, I can also see the courage, strength and determination of Eowyn - a warrior princess.

She didn't conform to the role she was given; she was faithful to the desires of her heart.
Maybe she didn't get what she thought she wanted in the end, but she did find love, and she was the only one who could have done what she did.  None of those men could have killed the Nazgul.

That's who I'd like to be - chopping the heads off evil monsters, yeah!! :)
What about you?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Skinny Girl, Strong Girl - cheats and triumphs

Have you guys seen this?  Skinnygirl Margaritas.
1g of carbs/oz.

Rob Wolf gives a recipe for the "norcal margarita" in his book the Paleo Solution.  He offers it as a decent alcohol choice for the modern caveman or woman for those happy hour kind of days.
I ordered it by halves one time and it was pretty good, but I am not confident in the distinction between carbonated water and club soda or tonic water that have all sorts of sugars in them.

I came across this Skinnygirl option in the liquor store and decided to give it a go for a party...I mean it says on the label SKINNYGIRL after all, and don't we all want to be skinny girls if we are not?  (and strong girls if we are skinny... and short if we are tall, or tall if we are short, etc, etc...)

I admit this beverage became a gateway for many more glasses of alcohol in my life the last two weeks - leaving me not at all a skinny girl.

While it was tasty, I can't truly recommend it.  Next time, I may just splurge on the bottle of Patron Silver. But that next time will be a long way away.

So. yes, I went ahead and called my latest "Paleo Challenge" a wash... I gained weight (daily eating more nuts than a squirrel could dream of or my stomach chould really handle). But Really, I have bigger things in life to worry about right now than 5 lbs and how my non-existent six pack is not coming along.  So, I hope you won't mind, but I don't expect to have fun updates on that front for another while.
In the meantime, I will share with you my STRONG GIRL feats for the last month...

3 mile run = sub 20 min. 
PR Snatch = 95 lbs
PR Clean & Jerk = 130 lbs
PR 3 rep Dead lift = 195 lbs
PR "Annie" 50-40-30-20-10 double unders and situps = 5:34
AND I can now serve overhand in Volleyball :)

SO, I may not be a skinny girl, but I am getting stronger, faster, and more coordinated... apparently!
This is me sticking it to my jeans, my scale, body fat tests, and media in general.  F-off!