35# Kind of Day


Just a little heavier than what Rina weighs at the moment.

That’s what I used all day today at the box.

Warm-up:  I was already sweating profusely after the 4 rounds. What is it they say?



Skill: Hang Squat Snatch.

I missed the past 2 week of the progression for this move so I wasn’t feeling confident at all. I started warming up with a wooden dowel, then moved onto the 15# bar and eventually settled on an empty 35# bar for my sets. I stayed at that weight for all the sets as I still felt my shoulders being way too mobile during the snatch and I had a hard time synchronizing the squat part with moving under the bar. I think I was close towards my 4th set, but I chose to practice some more at 35#.

WOD: Verocity

Friday = Run Day! Yay! (Well, not really. That was sarcasm!)

We all lined up outside and everybody took off like it was a stampede. Little old turtle me was left behind in no time, but I kept trotting along. I only took about 10 steps of walking around 400m in (uphill), but I picked up the speed on the last 400m (downhill). I ran back inside in just under 5 mins (4:53 to be exact. I know it’s slow, but at least, I did it!) where I had set up with 2 KBs: one 26# and one 35#. I wanted to try the 35#, but had the security of the 26# nearby if the 35# became too much. I broke down all my sets in sets of 5 except for my last set, when I did 10. I finished way after everybody else, but I did it Rx with minimal running break! That, to me, is a total win!

Now, we are on our way to drop off Rina at preschool, do the Costco run (Costco, I <3 you!) pick up Rina from preschool, finish off some address changes, enrol the girls in gymnastics class for the year and finish up laundry before I head back in to work tomorrow. Just another day in this BabyMama’s life!

Scary + 14 month Progress Update

I had set up my alarm to go to the 0600 class yesterday morning, but I was still getting over my cold and coughing a lot more than I wanted to so I rolled over and slept until 0640, which was heaven to me!

Both of our smoke alarms (upstairs and downstairs) went off at 0430 this morning and I got up to do a quick survey of the house. Nothing was out of place, nothing was smoking. I even checked outside and nothing. Ben barely woke up and the girls never even budged. That’s is a bit scary to me. What if it had been a real fire? I went back to bed, feeling uneasy and managed to sleep a bit before my alarm went off. I was not feeling it, but I drug myself out of bed and made my way to the box. It had been exactly 7 days since my last WOD and I realized how easy it would be to just stop going altogether, making excuses and falling out of the rhythm. Scary! I’m glad I went and got to do this for a workout:

Skill: I managed a free handstand off the wall for about 3-4secs, unassisted, but I couldn’t repeat that get by doing it off the wall with my spotters. Also, I practiced my DUs during my warm-up and can now do 3-4 with only 1 jump in-between. Almost there! :)

WOD: Ariane

We all know how short I am and how much of a struggle it is for me to row. I was paired with Kirsten (who used to row) and Adrian. Kirsten and me rowed at the same time and Adrian was our “partner 2″. He kept all his splits very strong around 1:40 – 1:45. I don’t know what my splits were because I had programmed my rower in a funky way and it added up the rest time as well as Adrian’s time to my splits. I only know my first one was 2:12 which was 7secs faster than my 1st split last time I did this WOD. We finished in 20:12 whereas I had done it in 22:02 last time. I know I have to attribute most of this to Adrian’s fast splits, but I’m sure I must have done better too!

Another scary news:

1st Competition!

1st Competition!

It’s official! I have registered for the Women Novice category for the Vic City Games! Please, come out and cheer us on on October 5th! You am also raising funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and you can donate here.

Alright! Last, but not least, another progress update in numbers and pictures. I have gained weight and inches since my 12 months progress, but strangely, I think I look and feel better in my clothes. Here’s hoping it’s because of muscle gain and not fat!

Progress in numbers

Progress in numbers

Slowly starting to see definition in my abs and my back and shoulders are so much stronger!

Slowly starting to see definition in my abs and my back and shoulders are so much stronger!

Getting There


My sister-in-law posted this picture of our family taken last weekend.

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 8.08.19 PM

We were just out for a short stroll around the block so the girls could ride their bikes (or in Béatrice’s case, be pulled by Daddy).

Check out my back… There used to be no definition whatsoever on that back, only back fat! There is still back fat, but you can definitely see muscles as well and that was not even after a workout! :)

Slowly, but surely, making progress. Can’t wait to see my next set of Progress Update pictures! ;)

Standing Together


Here’s a little secret…

I will enter my first ever Crossfit competition (outside of the 2014 Crossfit Games) in the Novice category on Sunday October 5. It just so happens that the day of the competition falls on the same day as my local Run for the Cure (in awareness of breast cancer). As some of you might know, Mamie is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments for a second time. I haven’t blogged about it before, but she gave me the “ok” to talk about it now since I will be raising funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Her breast cancer has come back and it has spread around. She is showing positive response to the chemotherapy so far and I want to dedicate my first competition to her strength, courage and determination. She has been an example of positivism and has kept moving forward during these trying times and I try to imitate her as best I can when the going gets tough i life and during the WODs. So, if, by any chance, you’re not busy on October 5th and you want to come see me sweat buckets cheer me on, please do so. If you want to make a small donation to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to show your support, you can do so by clicking right here. If you don’t want to make a donation, please just come by and see what I’ve been talking about for the past year, it’ll be a fun display of strength and determination! :)

Archive from the Crossfit Games 2014, I will be standing up to cancer and standing up for Mamie on October 5.

Archive from the Crossfit Games 2014, I will be standing up to cancer and standing up for Mamie on October 5.

Skill: Handstand practice 5×20 sec E2M

Yay! Handstand practice! I partnered up with Tracey and Marika and we even managed a few attempts off the wall completely. We would kick up and the “spotters” would help us control our legs and balance while letting us figuring out our middle ground. It was fun and I was glad I managed to find my balance on a few attempts. :)

WOD: J.O.B. (Jumping over box)

That was a short one and since there were so many of us today, I did my “box jumps” on 6×45# plates stacked up together to equal a 20″ box. I actually liked that a lot better as the platform was smaller and I even managed a few jumps off the plates on my last set. I finished last in 6:24, but I wasn’t too far behind everybody else, so that made me happy. 

I was sore front he WOD on Monday and my DU practice. My calves are all seized up and my hip flexors were screaming at me during the plate jumps, but I got through it and I’m getting better everyday. Yesterday was the first day I stuck to my macros AND my caloric allotment for the day on a day that I don’t work out! I’m slowly getting the hang of this Eat to Perform and although I haven’t lost any weight, I feel stronger at the box and more focused! Win-win! 

Couldn't be closer to my macros!

Couldn’t be closer to my macros!

As I was making my way back to my belongings after the WOD, I ran into Michelle, a member of the On-Ramp class. We started talking and she admitted to being overweight and needing something to change for her to get in better shape. I told her a little bit about myself, about how I stumbled upon the sign on the side of the road one day last year and how I registered for the On-Ramp as well and here I was, a little over a year later and still going strong, still loving every second. She told me she puked on her first class and this was her second class today. I told her she might feel like puking a few more times along the way, but at least, she was here now and that’s all that mattered, really. One day at a time, one rep at a time. We all have to begin somewhere. I hope to see her around more. ;)

Oh My Squats!


I felt good when I woke up 5 mins before my alarm this morning. I had gotten to bed early and didn’t wake up until morning, so I thought: “Finally, a good night of sleep!” Turns out, I would need more than sleep to get through today’s WOD.

Warm-up: I was glad to be trying the jumping ring rows. Turns out I could easily string 10 in a row without too much struggle. It’s nice to see progress on moves we haven’t done in a while and I’m glad I can now do these a little better and faster.

Skill: Back squat 8,8,6,6 E2M

I wasn’t sure how to go about these in terms of weight. I paired up with Marika and started these as follows (she went a lot heavier than me, but I was ok with it!):

  • 8×85#
  • 8×95#
  • 6×100#
  • 6×105#

On my last set at 105#, I was ready to call it a day after the 3rd rep and wanted to drop that bar like there was no tomorrow, but Coach Caleb and Marika talked me through the last 3 reps and I stuck with it. It was tough though. Looking back at my PR page, I just realized I PR’d my back squat by doing so. My 5 rep max was 100# back in January. 5# is not a big PR, but it’s a PR nonetheless and I will take every inch I can when it comes to Crossfit! :)

WOD: Cindy Rows Fast

That was a mix of rowing and Cindy. We had to go through 3 rounds of the following:

  • Row for 30 cals
  • 3 rounds of Cindy: -5 kipping pull-ups (red and blue bands for me)

-10 hand release push-ups (I switched to knee push ups on the 2nd round)

-15 air squats

Once again, Marika teamed up with me and I absolutely struggled through this one. Originally, Coach Caleb had written out 4 rounds of the above, only to realize his mistake and tell us it was only 3 rounds. Right into the 1st round, I started having heavy abdominal cramping and could barely push through to finish the round. I had to stop and breathe deeply in order to keep going. It wasn’t monthly lady time cramping, it wasn’t oxygen deprivation cramping, it was silly ovulation cramping. I’ve had ovulation cramps before, but nothing like this. It made life miserable and the WOD was not fun at all (they never are, but this one was something else).

Just as I got off the Erg on the 3rd round, Coach Caleb announced it was only 3 rounds, not 4. That made me a little happier. The cramps had subsided a bit and I was able to finish. Our time was 24:24. Marika was a great partner for this one. Just the right amount of cheering and getting me to push further. I also heard Tracey, cheering me on while she was warming up for the 0700 class. I don’t think I’ve ever considered quitting a WOD before today, but I was close with this one. I just couldn’t get any sort of rhythm going. I’m not sure if it’s because my nutrition was crap yesterday or if it’s the 2 small glasses of wine I had for dinner last night, but I felt rubbish and wanted to stop so bad. I was just glad it was only 3 rounds as I’m sure I would still be at it, trying to finish the 4th round!

I came home and had to go upstairs to shower. I declared we needed an elevator. Ben asked if a carrying mule would do. I said anything would, as long as I didn’t have to get up there on my own. Once on the top landing, I sprawled on the floor. I swear, I almost fell asleep right then and there. I had a really rough time peeling myself off the floor, but eventually, ended up in the shower.

I’m on days off from work and only have to go back Friday, so I plan on doing absolutely nothing during my days off. Actually, not nothing. I just refuse to do any cleaning and I will space laundry throughout the week. This morning, I bought a separate countertop compost bin for the meat we’ll be putting away in the city compost bin. Ben has gone through the other compost bin that was left behind on our property when we bought the house, sifted through plastic bags and other trash and discovered some nice composted soil at the bottom. We will keep adding to it and use it for the garden. I also went to buy some terracotta pots for re-potting the aloes that keep growing like weeds in their little pots. I will also repot our Hibiscus so it has more room to grow in the spring, before we bring it inside for the winter. As for our red banana plant tree, I will wait a few more weeks before I repot it and bring it indoors for the winter. Hopefully, it won’t die on me and we will be able to transplant it outside next summer! Look at me, I’m becoming quite the gardener! Such a homeowner! ;)

Another Sunday – Fun Day

Today was yet another Sunday – Fun day bike ride into town. This time, we decided to head over to the petting farm at Beacon Hill park. I would have loved to stroll through the park, but no such luck with the toddlers and Ben isn’t such a big fan of the park, for some reason.

Rina fell in love with the goats

Rina fell in love with the goats

She loved grooming them!

She loved grooming them!

BeZU aka Minnie Mouse wasn't convinced at the beginning

BeZU aka Minnie Mouse wasn’t convinced at the beginning

Getting closer to the goats

Getting closer to the goats

They both loved watching the ducks swim around. Ben is also thrilled!

They both loved watching the ducks swim around. Ben is also thrilled!

Loved the colours on those Gouldian finches

Loved the colours on those Gouldian finches

After we were done at the petting farm, we headed on over into town to pick up a lock for the Chariot and then we were back on our way home. I love how close to downtown we are and how easy it is to bike into town using the bike routes and bike lanes. Béatrice fell asleep in the Chariot on the way home and again, sitting at the table for lunch. After lunch, everybody was relaxing before nap time.

Béa is sooooo tired!

Béa is sooooo tired!

Once the little ones (and a grown up, ahem, Ben) had a nap, we took everyone to ride their bikes around the block. Rina managed to make it around the block without any help for the first time (there are a few inclines which Rina calls “hills” to go up and down and we usually have to pull her or slow her down using the yoga strap wrapped around her handlebar). She was so proud of herself, she couldn’t stop smiling! My little girl is all grown up! Meanwhile, we had to pull Béatrice all the way because she doesn’t yet reach the pedals on her tricycle, but she’s getting closer! :)

Better, Faster, Stronger

When I saw the WOD posted on Tuesday night, I was both excited and a little defeated. I was excited for the handstand practice because eventually, these will lead to handstand push-ups (HSPU) and they are on my bucket list. I was a little defeated because not only there was running in the WOD, it was stretches of 600m, not 400m…

I was also excited to go on Thursday as that means the earliest class is at 0700 (not 0600) and it also meant I could “sleep in”! :) It was just Jessica and myself this morning and that girl is really funny and she can kick some serious butts too!

Skill: Handstand 5x 20sec.

We warmed up with some wall walks and although I have a hard time getting really close to the wall when I do these, I knew I could do the handstand against the wall, no problem. I kicked up my legs… and didn’t make it to the wall. I kicked off again and, this time, I managed to make it to the wall and got into position. On the 3rd attempt, I tried to get my feet off the wall to go into a real handstand, but I couldn’t figure it out. Coach Caleb came by on my 5th attempt so he could prevent my legs from going too far back  and as much as I tried to, I just couldn’t stabilize off the wall. It was a good first practice and I was happy to get that under my belt.

WOD:  I had no idea how many rounds I would complete, but I knew I wanted to fight for them. We took off for the first 600m and as I neared 200m, I wanted to take a walking break so bad, but instead, I slowed my pace and kept going. First 600m non-stop in the bag. I came back inside to do my burpee box jumps and no-repped myself for one box jump because my hand touched the box. I did all my burpees Rx (no granny-style burped for me today). Then, I moved onto the rig and started doing my knee raises. My hands kept slipping and I couldn’t string more than 3 or 4 together, but I got my 1st round done. Off to the run again. This time, I went out a lot slower and while I was “running” I kept repeating this mantra in my head:

I’m a runner. I’m a runner. I’m a runner…

I had to keep a grasp on my mental and it seemed to work. Second 600m non-stop done. Back inside for the burped box jumps. I was slow, but I kept my rhythm. Onto the rig for the knee raises. I was still slipping and had to no-rep myself for one because I didn’t clear my heels in the back on a rep. Honesty before score!

Third round of 600m run. It was painfully slow and I kept crossing Jessica as she was returning to the gym with a huge smile on her face. Every time she passed me, she encouraged me or gave me a little “high-five”. She reminded me of this guy. The one on the left with the purple shirt. Yeah, that guy. Except, picture a girl with a bob instead, looking like a freakin’ gazelle frolicking in the early morning and you have it down to a T.

Ridiculously good looking marathon guy

Ridiculously good-looking marathon guy

Meanwhile, there’s me, huffing and puffing like a hyperventilating rhino, slower than a turtle, but I’m still running. Ok, not sure running is the appropriate term, but I’m not walking and that’s all that matters to me. Third 600m non-stop done. Back inside for my burpee box jumps and another set of knee raises. 45 seconds left on the clock. As I take off for yet another run, Coach Caleb yells at me:” 200m Val, just 200m this time”. I probably could have kissed him right then and there, but that would have meant having to go back and adding to my running mileage and fat chance in hell of that happening. I did the last 200m non-stop. Jessica said I looked like I had the running part down. She said I looked at ease, with a good pace. Good thing she didn’t see me on my last two runs! ;)

Officially, my score was 63 (21 reps per rounds and I did 3 full rounds).

Unofficially, my score is 63.33 (3 full rounds + 200m run).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go ice my shins before heading to bed for  glorious nap before my night at work! :)

P.S. I think the Eat to Perform plan is slowly showing its benefits. I still can’t control my calories that well on days when I don’t work out, but I hit my macros and eat healthier overall and I’ve noticed I’m slightly doing better in the WODs… Maybe I’m onto something here! ;)