CrossFit in 3D

Imagine doing Fran, burpees or pushing heavy loads over this joker.

Wow!  Just beautiful…and completely inspiring.

Posted on [interval] run…

Definitely Not Gabby Douglas…

I am definitely NOT Gabby Douglas.

You remember Gabby, right? She won the individual all-around Gymnastics Gold Medal in the 2012 London Olympics. Ring a bell? Gabby the “Flying Squirrel”Douglas, nicknamed such by the great Marta Károlyi, long time coordinator for Team USA and wife of the equally fantastic Béla Károlyi. In a nutshell, she’s the gymnastic wunderkind that earned every accolade the hard way: sacrifice, blood-sweat-tears, extensive practice, innumerable drills and a personal drive that could inspire even the most jaded among us.

Me?  I’m more “Jumping Wolverine” than “Flying Squirrel. I’m short, somewhat uncoordinated, less flexible (way less!) than a pre-teen, cautious about falling on my head and going “boom” and definitely older than 16.

Gabby, by age 8, managed to squeeze in more v-ups, handstands, walking handstands, splits, straddles, bar muscle-ups, etc., (and won a state championship!) than I have in my entire 30+ year life. Such a thing would make most people depressed and feeling as if, at this stage of the game, there is not much that I can do to catch up to, or compete with, that.

It’s a good thing that CrossFitters are not “most people”.  

We are, if nothing, a determined and stubborn folk; both competitive and hard headed enough that when confronted with a new movement, we say “screw it” and give it a try.  At first, we just want to get the movement by any means necessary; muscles bulging, face red (or a lovely smurf-like blue) due to lack of oxygen, but eventually we strive to get it right.  We learn that the effortlessness that athletes exude is the culmination of good coaches, constant practice, a few spills, the steely will to get back up over, and over again, striding to the bar a little bruised, but a lot more resolute.   

As hard charging as we are, every so often (typically after an hit to the ego…) we recognize that we need more help.  We realize that we have to practice outside of the WOD structure to improve in the more technical, skill-heavy aspects of Gymnastics, Weightlifting, etc. I personally learned, the hard way, as a 2013 CrossFit Open competitor, that gymnastics and the coordination and skill inherent to it, will always rear it’s ugly head (CrossFit Open 13.3 and 13.5!!!).

Enter my extra Gymnastics classes. I take my perfectly clear and easy going Sunday afternoons and choose to work with a certified gymnastics coach to get better at my chosen sport. The class is small and focused. I work on my individual weaknesses with a coach that critiques my form, fixing my head placement and explaining the gravitational dynamics of a kipping pull-up in such a way that even an 8-year old would get it.  My coach’s knowledge, experience and simple joy in teaching, gives the confidence necessary to try something that you never thought you would or could do…at least not beyond second grade.  What’s more is that it’s included in my normal fee (#winning).

Occasionally we end with a WOD, but the point of the class is to to focus, identify, dissect, adjust and implement…and laugh.  A lot.

I make it a point to hit that class and as a result, I’m improving.  I’m using less “muscle” and becoming more proficient.  By the end of summer (August 2013) I will have my Muscle-up, my Hand-Stand and my Kipping Pull-up.  This is me, putting it out there, loud and clear. That class is a huge reason why I know that I’m going to hit my goals.  

So, here’s the thing: Gabby did it as a teen-ager.  I’m doing it when  puberty is CLEARLY not on my side (that boat has long since passed!).  And really quick: a wolverine is one of the most ferocious creatures on earth, often taking down prey much larger than it. Once it has it’s teeth in you, you can’t shake it loose because a wolverinIe just doesn’t quit; it doesn’t back away slowly or give in to self-doubt. It. Just. Fights.  The Wolverine is “the best there is at what he does…” (#nerdgirl). Can you see the “Jumping Wolverine” appeal now (beyond the obviously hairy, carrion-eating aspect of it all)?

I am definitely not Gabby Douglas and really, so what?  I have my own training team: my coaches are my Béla/Marta, and my box mates are my gang, crew, and competitive menagerie: my very own CrossFitting fantastic five.

I think I’m set.

Bring your butt to Gymnastics if you have the opportunity.


CrossFit Open 13.4: In Da Bag! (a lil late! Sorry!)


Somehow i swore I posted this last week! Alas, I did not! My bad y’all! 47 reps is pretty damn good considering the fact that I was freaked about my Toes to Bar (only done em like twice!) and getting the dreaded “no rep” for not doing a true Clean and Jerk (I tend to push press more), so I said a quick prayer, left it in God’s hands and went for it….and proceeded to shock the heck out of myself.

Wow, I was the first on the bar for the first three rounds of TTB…that’s how hard I was going. I didn’t even feel the weight until my set of 12.

CrossFit continues to push amd drag me out of thr limits that I put on myself by showing me that I am more than capable; it’s showing me that I’m good at this. Real good.  With additional, more focused training I could be better. This CF Open is simply showing me what I have to do to improve.

Best part of the night: when a boxmate that competes offered to work with me one on one to improve my technical skills and get more aligned with what I want.  Some people would be offended by the offer…

Good thing I’m not “some people”.  It’s a compliment when somone decides to sacrifice their personal time to get you to a higher level. It means they see potential in you that you might not see yourself.

Say “thank you”, set a training date and call it the day.


Some pics:




Box Luv…

Do you have the same feelings about your gym [membership], that I have about my CrossFit box?

Clearly this is a somewhat rhetorical question, as it’s not like I know you personally, but I really want you to consider what your [past??] gym membership has been like.

A new CF member asked me today, what I did before CrossFit.  My response: Mon/Wed/Fri – Weight lifting, Tuesday/Thursday – Cardio, Saturday/Sunday – Off.  Literally about 1 – 2 hours per day each time.  I was consistent, had perfected the art of “waving and walking” to the somewhat aggressive patrons that are closely associated with gym chains (read: meat market), avoided the requisite $6 a pop “healthy” juice bar, and my body looked good…but I was anything but “good”.  

My trainer, that I was paying big bucks for a 30-minute session once a week, refused to tell me why he had me do a certain combination/supersets/workouts, etc; he insisted that was what he was there for and that I only needed to concern myself with the results.  0_o. lol.

My 2 hours a day had inched up to almost 3 hours (cardio, weights, more cardio), making me feel like a bad 80’s workout movie.  I was never home and my friends, whew, they thought they might have to stage an intervention!

I guess my point is this: I don’t feel like that at all in my CrossFit Box.   I actually, feel like I have a little second/third family that understands the healthy, fitness, workout part of my life that I invest so much time, effort and money in to.  They don’t ask “why” I’m doing slow cardio before each WOD, they ask “what are the results that you get” and “what types of slow cardio do you do”?  They are both insane and insanely supportive when I feel myself flagging during a workout or let my thoughts interfere with getting a new PR (personal record) with my back squat.

Each and everyone of them have unique personalities that somehow gel almost freakishly well with mine.  Using terms similar to my favorite 80’s movie, The Breakfast Club, we have: geeks, nerds, jocks, princesses, pretty boys, weirdos, queens, know-it-alls, sarcastic mofo’s, and sensitives.  They’re gay, straight, bi, black, white, mixed, latino, american indian, middle eastern, haitian, asian, jewish, catholic, baptist, and every-freaking-thing else you could possibly imagine.

We compete against each other like the Kennedy’s at Hyanis Port (but with way less money!), we exchange tips on our mechanics/form, we celebrate birthdays and discover little bits of information that make us truly unique (clearly I like comic books).  We trust and have faith in each other…simply from joining a CrossFit “gym” and sweating out sucky, body/mind numbing WODs together.  And really, we do it because we like it…those WODs make us forget about obligations, work, parents, children, siblings, etc., for an hour; because if we can handle that shit, we can handle anything that life throws at us.

This in no way happened overnight; it took time, consistently showing up at class, shutting up, lifting smart, carrying my own weight during WODs, and encouraging others.  Like any relationship, you have to invest in it before you see the fruits/benefits, so don’t go showing up at a box with an expectation that you’ll be hit with that feeling of “fam” in 2.5 seconds….it won’t happen. Put in the work, be open to change and smile a lot.  It helps…trust me.

The picture in this post of “Marvel Characters” as kids, completely epitomizes the elation I feel when I get to class and see my boxmates.  We play together (really, all of us doing pull ups at the same time looks almost EXACTLY like that fan art!! lol); help each other become better athletes and recognize that in our own way we’re all super hero’s, with special abilities that allow us to meld together as a team/fam.  If I’m better at heavy loads, I have a box mate that I can team up with who has insane skills in gymnastics, i.e. walking hand stands (so not there yet!!!). 

Even though the Work Out of the Day is likely going to make a person feel like they want to quit (possibly hurl; at the minimum lay down flat on the floor), they won’t because their CF family is there to swoop in, spot you, prod you to up your weight or just generally get you to achieve more that you thought you ever could.

All of THAT, is most definitely worth the money, time and effort that I put into CrossFit…although  the #badass body doesn’t hurt either.

I sort of rambled in this one, and it’s a bit long, but I think you get my point.


CrossFit Open: 13.3 I Survived!


226 total reps (150 wall balls and 76 double unders)…
Photo courtesy of @amusinglyquirky who came out to yell at me to earn my upcoming “bday cake” lol…check my homie out y’all

Yes, yes i could have made it to 90 DUs, but the freaking cramp in my stomach prevented it. What caused the cramp? Probably the lack of oxygen brought on by the wall balls and the sinus infection that laid me up on Tuesday. Lol…#thisismylife

So with that said, I’m still happy with my performance.

Who else survived 13.3?

Which part did you hate the most…the WBs, DUs, MUs or the “no reps” you got (bc i know I sure as hell got em!)