Time To Pause

I’m struggling…

In my personal life, in the gym, on the blog.

I am working on my personal life issues and have taken steps in order to make things better. Don’t worry, I’m not in jeopardy, but it hasn’t been easy since Christmas. That’s all I’m gonna say about it on here. Some things need to remain private and I’m drawing the line here.

I have forced myself to get into the gym for the past 3 weeks or more. I still go 2-4 x/week, but it’s a struggle to get the motivation to go. I go, I lift/sweat, I still PR and I even started going back to Oly lifting class. It’s been a while since I’ve felt the happiness of the endorphins, but I still force myself to go, because I know it’s good for me. If, for nothing else, it has had its magical therapeutic effect on me. I’m just tired of crying with almost every single workout. The physical exertion opens up the emotional floodgate and the rubber mat is on the receiving end of all I’m trying to keep bottled up. I am fully aware of that and, like I said, I’m dealing with the emotional side, no worries.

We are well into February and this is my 6th post since the beginning of the year. Whereas I normally blog 2-3x/week. Motivation has been lacking for the blog as well and it has become a rushed chore more than anything else. Blogging has been a wonderful outlet for me since I became pregnant with Rina. I have found support and comfort in your kind comments when I was struggling as a new mom but lately, I find it’s taken my focus away from my kids and I just want to live in the “now” instead of recording every little workout or PR. I want to not feel the pressure to write, the possible judgement that comes with blogging on a regular basis and instead, I want to focus on the things that matter to me the most: my health, my children and my family.

With this said, I am taking a break from the blog. Will it be definite? Only time will tell.  I wanted to thank you for reading throughout the year and for understanding. I will keep reading some of my favourite blogs, but I may not contribute as much on here as you’ve been used to, or at all, for that matter, but I’ll still here. I’m still strong. I’m still going on, one day at a time, one rep at a time, one breath at a time. It’s just time for me to take care of me for once.

So for now, I’ll say: See you around! It’s been a pleasure to write and maybe I’ll be back one day!

 

Motherhood Success

Some days, I feel like I have control over absolutely NOTHING in my life and I’m pretty amazed that I make it through yet another day. Take today for example. I wasn’t really happy with the way I performed at Crossfit this morning and it kind of tainted my usual “endorphin rush”.

I came back home, planned my food for the week and made a grocery list. I decided to go to the local grocery store, so I could walk there with the girls, instead of taking the car and going to my “usual” grocery store. Everybody got dressed and we all took off.

The girls are old enough now that I can let them run their little hearts out on the sidewalk and they know to stop at the corner. I still shout at them to “Wait for Maman at the corner!”, but they know the drill. We hold hands to cross the street and once we’re safely on the other side, they take off again, on the sidewalk. It’s a fine balance to give them their freedom while keeping them safe, all without turning into a “helicopter mom”.

We get to the grocery store and the girls like to push/pull one of those small basket on wheels. I grab one and they help put the groceries into the basket (“It’s MY turn Mom!”) and I cross things out on my list. We then make our way to the register and the girls help out, once again, by putting the produce on the moving belt. Rina then asks if she can return the basket and Béatrice wants to go with her. I tell them to walk and they are off. While I pay for the groceries, I keep an eye on them, making sure they aren’t turning the grocery store into a tornado disaster zone and they come back to me. Rina tells me she was able to put the basket back into the pile (which meant she had to pick it up and lift in into the 3′ pile) and I say:

“I know, buddy, I saw you! You did a good job! I’m proud of you!”

She then saunters off to the ATM and starts punching buttons on the machine. I ask her to “leave the buttons alone, please.” and make a pretend “mad face” at her. She giggles and steps back from the ATM. I thank her and go to grab my bags.

The cashier turns to me and says: “I love how you talk to your children!”

I blush lightly and say “Thank you!” as I gather the girls and walk out with my groceries.

I wasn’t expecting that at all! In this day and age, people are quick to get upset about other people’s business and we are quick to pass judgement. The past month has been a bit of a struggle personally and as I wasn’t particularly feeling good about my morning, that little encounter and comment from the teller brought a smile to my face and filled my heart with pride.

It just goes to show that even if you feel like you’re failing in certain aspects of your life, people are watching and taking note of your good shots as well.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Focus on the positive, let go of the negative.

One day at a time…

I may fail in certain areas of my life, but I will always strive for success for these two little hams!

I may fail in certain areas of my life, but I will always strive for success for these two little hams!

Lighten Up!

I got off night shift yesterday morning and only slept for 3hrs before giving up on sleeping. The house was noisy, but I knew it would be so I made peace with it and got up for the day at 1pm. Needless to say I passed out on the couch at 2130! I had planned to get up at 0500 for the 0600 class this morning (the girls don’t have school today) and I was regretting that decision when my alarm went off! I got up anyway and made my way to the Box for this:

Warm-Up: Cindy x 3 rounds (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats)

I couldn’t get my pull-ups with just the blue band so I added up the purple band and was n’t impressed with how I was doing, but at least, I was warming up.

Skills: Handstand push-ups: 4-5 x 6-10 reps

I’ve been struggling to find the ideal “tripod” position between my hands and head and I only managed one successful round of 5  strict reps from a yoga block + 3×5# plates. I’ve done better in the past, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. I did try a kipping rep and it is SO MUCH EASIER!!! I guess I should master a strict without any scaling before I start thinking about kipping my reps though, right?!?😉

 

WOD: Lift Up Step Down

Coach Caleb said we should aim at 75-80% for our DL. That meant I should have gone with 120#-125# for my reps, but as I was warming up, 105# felt challenging enough as it was and I stuck with that for the WOD. My DUs are still elusive and I can only manage one-at-a-time interspersed with single skips in-between. I aimed at the FG for 8 DUs + 16 SUs for each rounds.

We got going and I managed the 1st round doing all the BJ Rx. I did, however, scale it back to step-ups for the rest of the rounds as I felt my form was suffering and I didn’t want to make my sciatic angry. I know DL usually make it angry, so I wasn’t gonna push it too much with the BJ.

Here were my times for each rounds:

1:55 – 1:40 – 1:37 – 1:32 – 1:37

fastest + slowest = 3:27

Was I happy about my performance today? Nope, but at least I went and did the work. Sometimes, you have to cut yourself some slack and not allow a crappy workout to turn your day into crap. Funny enough, the Box blog post was all about scaling and how there’s no shame in scaling movements or weights once in a while!

I realize I haven’t blogged at all last week. I made a conscious decision to deal with more important family affairs and that meant the blog took the back burner. Our nanny is moving at the end of February, so I’m trying to find a suitable replacement. It feels like my days off are spent working out, cleaning, cooking and having nanny interviews. Not my idea of a fun day off and since the girls have a pro-D day today, I’m cutting this post short so I can make the most of our day together!

In other news, Béatrice drew this this morning. It’s her 1st “character” drawing where you can actually recognize the features. Apparently, I’m the one on the right because I’m “the angriest!” Lol!

Budding artist makes me so proud!

Budding artist makes me so proud!

 

The one at the top reminds me of Barbapapa!

Anybody else used to watch this show as a kid?

Anybody else used to watch this show as a kid?

Moving Forward

2015 ended on a high note in my fitness life (finally reached a huge goal of mine to back squat my body weight), but it was very sour and looking bleak on a more personal level. I am taking the appropriate steps to change and that and I’m remaining positive that this year will be better than the last and I’m looking forward to acquiring new tools to make this year better. Always growing and always learning makes you a better person. I’m a firm believer that we should always strive to better our personality and if it’s not a priority of yours, I strongly believe we wouldn’t have much in common.

As such, I made it a priority to get a workout in today and, after discussing it with my other half, I was cleared to make it to the 0600 class this morning. Yesterday was stressful at work and I felt like I was putting out fires all day, but it all comes with the territory of being a charge nurse. I did my best and came home feeling accomplished. Exhausted, but accomplished! I think it is slowly becoming apparent that my fitness is important to me as my co-workers are blurting out comments to me. I had 3 that made me laugh a lot because they were as random and out-of-the-blue as they come.  When I told a co-worker I was going on break, she asked: “Will you be back squatting your bodyweight in the break room?” Then, another (female) co-worker blurted out that “Your ass is tight!” clarifying shortly afterwards that I looked lean and fit and a third co-worked noted how I “Eat healthy all the time”. Preach by example, don’t impose your beliefs on people and answer questions is my way to make people understand that it’s all about hard work and dedication, but the rewards make it worth it by the ten-folds! I came home bone tired, my sciatic was acting up and I was ready for a long night of uninterrupted sleep.

My night was uninterrupted, but didn’t feel long enough with a 0500 alarm! I was happy to be back with my OG crew (the 0600!) and to be surrounded with people who share a passion for hard work. Here are the shenanigans we got up to today:

 

Skill: Deadlift 4-8-12-16 E2:30

I’ve been having a hard time concentrating lately. I read the WOD at night, elaborate a game plan and then, somehow, in the morning, I forget about my plan or can’t focus enough and can’t count plates properly. I was meaning to start the DL at 135# and take off 10# with each set, but instead, here’s what I did:

145#x4

125#x8

105#x12

85#x16

Meh! Can’t win them all. I was also wondering why I was struggling so hard to hang onto the bar on my 1st set and then realized I wasn’t using my mixed grip, like I normally am when DL heavy! See what I mean?!? Can’t focus to save my life!

Not my legs, in case you were wondering! Lol!

Mixed grip demo. Not my legs, in case you were wondering! Lol!

I did manage to hang on to the bar for all my rounds without having to drop it, so I was pretty happy with that!

WOD: Bingo Bango

I could have scaled this the same way I normally do, with banded pull-ups, but I decided to go a little harder. I had talked to Coach Caleb last week about my pull-ups and he suggested doing some building up with this little gem:

It’s more of a strict pull-up drill, but it really recruits the appropriate muscles needed for a pull-up and I was ready to put in the work today. I set-up my bar on the rig and we put a 70#KB in front of my feet so that I wouldn’t slide forward as the reps increased and I was set to go.  I wrote my rep scheme on a small whiteboard and I had written up to 10 pull-ups, thinking I would probably make it to the round of 7. Much to my surprise, I completed the 9th round for an AMRAP of 135. I was really conscious of my BJ and made a strong effort to not become sloppy for my reps. I was pretty happy with the work I put in today and came home to were proudly my new muscle shirt, gifted by the Nanny. She gets me so well and had given me this shirt that says: “Muscles and Mascara” on it.

My muscle shirt! <3 it!

My muscle shirt!

 

BeZU, flexing like a beast with Mama!

BeZU, flexing like a beast with Mama!

Having people who think like you, support and encourage you in your crazy adventures make the world of a difference and I was happy I got to see reconnect with my bunch of fit people this morning. These people are a source of inspiration on a daily basis and I consider myself lucky to have like-minded people in my life who provide friendship, love and support when it is needed! I am lucky to have a bunch of them in my life!

 

What’s In A Name?

I had a hard time going to bed last night and that meant I was still awake at 2330. With a 0600 wake-up call to get Rina for school, that meant I was slightly sleep-deprived and waking up was hard this morning. Turns out Rina stayed home from school again today as she is still sick (fever yesterday and sore throat today), so I tried to get back to bed, but my dreams have been filled with Ryan Gosling, so that was a bit disturbing. I guess that’s what you get when you google “Ryan Gosling Crossfit Memes” before bedtime! Lol!🙂 Speaking of weird dreams, it seems I have crossfit on my mind a lot lately. Earlier this week, I dreamt that I managed my 1st bar MU and then, manage a couple more. I was kind of sad when I woke up, but at the same time, it leaves me hungry for the Open coming up!

Here’s what we did this morning:

Skill: Tempo Back Squat (4-2-1) 6×2 E90s

Coach Caleb was coaching the 0930 today and he said to go lighter than what we had done last time we did the tempo (3-2-1). I didn’t bother to check and I thought if I finished at 120#, that would be close enough. The reps were hard and I was struggling at the bottom, but managed to do all 6 sets with the following weights:

95#-100#-105#-110#-115#-120#

When I came back home, I looked back on my log and realized I had actually gone HEAVIER on the tempo than the last time. 15# heavier to be exact. No wonder I was struggling! I must have been on the Gainz Train or something! Maybe I was thinking of my recent PR (145#) and thought I’d be ok at 120# today! Oh well, more fitness in for me today!

Yes, Ryan! Whatever you want!

Yes, Ryan! Whatever you want!

WOD: Gripper Ripper

I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle this one. I have been struggling with my American KBS at 35# lately and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m rebalancing my sciatic or what, but I keep losing my grip and the bell keeps flipping backwards. I also wanted to try the pull-ups with the blue band only (instead of blue and purple) so I discussed my issues with Coach Caleb and after he told me to slightly cock my wrists forward in the hold of the KB (while maintaining my arms straight), I decided to set-up with a 35# KB and a 26# one as a back up, in case I couldn’t manage the 35# for all 4 rounds. It was just me and 2 newer male members (that sounds wrong for some reason…)

3-2-1-Go!

I managed the first round of AKBS without any breaks and moved onto the rig for the pull-ups. The boys passed me very quickly as I was doing 2-3 at-a-time. It was slow and painful, but I got my 1st round done.

I went onto my 2nd round of AKBS and managed 4 before the bell flipped backwards on the 5th rep. I no-repped myself for that one, chalked up some more and made it for 5 more reps before I took another break. Once I regulated my breath, I picked up the KB and managed the remaining 8 swings left. Onto the rig again for the pull-ups. I think the boys were onto their 3rd and 4th rounds while I was in the middle of my 2nd. Still, I kept going with mostly 2 pull-ups before coming off the rig for a breather.

I chalked up well before starting my 3rd round and managed my goal of doing the KBS into splits of 9-8. I quickly (for me) moved onto the rig for the pull-ups and was trying to keep my sets of 2 alive, but I couldn’t keep it up. I had to break them into singles and that also when I realized I was well into my 1st hand tear into my “Crossfitter career”. That WOD was aptly named! I had a huge bubbling white blister in my right hand and I knew it wasn’t going to hold on for much longer. I kept going with my single reps and chalked up for the last round.

I’m pretty sure the boys were done by then and I was working solo. Again, I managed to do my AKBS into splits of 9-8 and I was super happy I had managed all 4 rounds with the 35#, with only 1 no-rep! I went onto the rig for my last set of pull-ups and did them all single. I was able to catch my breath faster in-between and Coach Caleb and Phil’s cheering helped me to finish them all. I got it done in 12:45. Much slower than everyone else, but I had kept up with the increased difficulty (for me, anyways) of the heavier KB and smaller bands for the pull-ups. All 3 of us got tears today, so I don’t feel too bad about it!

Once I was done, I put my equipment aways, wiped my KB and my spot on the rig of the blood and torn up skin I may have let behind, I then cut up the flap of skin that was hanging off my palm and (painfully) washed my hands. The skin is tender and it’s a decent rip, but with a little bit of Polysporin, it should heal in no time. I covered it after my shower, and although it feels fine at the moment, I will keep it covered for a bit in order to promote healing (as per this article in Tabata Times

It doesn't look too bad, right?

It doesn’t look too bad, right?

I’m fairly confident I ripped up just the dead skin layer of my calluses and it will heal up quickly. Keeping my fingers crossed it does as I’m back to work Monday and I have a feeling that the antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer will zing furiously if it’s not completely healed by then! Oh well, we all go through it and it’s a rite of passage as a Crossfitter! Another first I can now tick off my list!

Progress Update and Goals

Since it’s my 1st post in the new year, I thought I’d share yet another progress update report as well as some goal for the upcoming year. I don’t do resolutions because I don’t believe in them, but goals, I can do!

What has the past 2 1/2 years of my life have looked like? Well, in numbers, it has looked like this:

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 2.15.16 PM

 

Not much change in size and weight since my 1st Whole30, but the fact that I have maintained the progress for the past 6 months is something new for me. I have felt myself slip up from my healthy eating habits and have reeled myself back into them by doing a second round of Whole30 back in November-December and it has paid off.

In terms of what I look like now vs then, well, here it is:

2016-01-04

My biceps have finally made an appearance and I can see a faint shadow of upper abs starting to shoe as well. The most dramatic changes remain my back and my butt and I have to say, I love all the ripples created by new muscles on my back. I may have lost “only” 11 lbs, but I know I’ve lost more fat that I have replaced with muscles and I’m very happy with where I’m at today!

In terms of goals, I have a few that I have rolled over from year to year, but the list is getting smaller now and I will focus on these 2 for a bit:

  • Consistently managing at least 20 DUs in a row
  • 10 TTB without getting off the rig

The Open is coming fast upon us and it’s made me realize that 2 1/2 year into my crazy fitness adventure, I shouldn’t be struggling with my DUs anymore. So I’m working on them and doing drills to prepare for the open. TTB are a consistent part of my warm-ups and my max so far is 3. Much better than 0 last year for the Open, if I do say so myself!😉

This morning was back to school for the little ones and back to work for Ben, which meant back to the crazy morning rush of getting everybody ready and out the door in time, cleaning up the house and getting myself to Class for 0930. I was pretty excited because I saw this on the WOD website last night:

image

I sure love me some deadlifts! Lol! I don’t know if I like deadlifting or squatting more, but those are definitely my favourite top two lifts! It shows too! I have added 80# to my back squat (from 65# to 145# last week) and 75# to my deadlift (from 85# to 160#) and 70# to my front squat (from 45# to 115#). This BabyMama’s got booty and apparently, I know how to use it!

Here’s what I did today:

Skill: Deadlift 5×5 E90s

I started at 120 and increased by 5# for every round, finishing up at 140#. Not too bad considering my 1RM deadlift is 160# (back in August 2014). I’d be curious to re-test this as I have a feeling I could maybe get heavier. 5 x 140# felt good today and it felt like I could have gone heavier on those as well.

WOD: Gritty

I was excited to see it was mostly bodyweight stuff for today, but I knew it would be a lot of work. I managed to do RX, but some people who were doing the Comp Prep still managed to beat my time. It’s all good though as I was cautious on the BJ and I managed to do all of them RX! I didn’t do any step ups. I also managed to do most of the burpees RX as well, with maybe 5-6 granny-style to catch my breath. I finished in 7:50 and I was pretty happy with that, even though that still puts me way after everyone else. After those heavy DL, my legs got sore fast and my plan of attack went out the window very quickly once I started the WOD. I really wanted to do all exercises with only a break in the middle point, but I had to take way more breaks than anticipated. It’s ok though, I’m ok with that.

I then talked to Coach Caileigh about the Open and what to do about registration. I know for a fact that I will have to miss one of the WODs because we have a planned vacation in a remote area for March break and I’m just not willing to drive for 3.5hrs in order to kill myself compete and drive back afterwards. So unless an affiliate miraculously opens up in that neck of the woods between now and February, I will score a big fat “0” for 16.4 and that is ok with me. It’s not like I’m going anywhere fast, but it’s always nice to keep track of progress!

In The Nick Of Time

Let’s be honest here. Why do we put ourselves through Crossfit if it’s not to improve our fitness?

For me, it has never been about me against others (ok, maybe a little bit of secret competition between me and others, but they don’t need to know!😉 ), but mainly, a quest at getting stronger, both mentally and physically.

From the get-go, I have set goals for myself. One of them was to back squat my body weight. In the past few weeks, I have been so close to achieving this goal, but I was still 5lbs short. I knew I wanted to go in for the WOD this morning because our skill was back squats and it would be my last attempt for this goal for the year (my current deadline for this goal). I have set many goals throughout the year and just roll them over to the next year when they are not achieved. I stepped on the scale this morning just because I wanted to know which weight I needed to hit in order to make it happen. The scale read 144.8lbs. Alright! 145# would have to happen somehow today in order for me to make my goal happen.

Skill: Back Squat 6×2 E90s

Coach Adrianna was coaching us today and I was super happy to get to see her before she leaves us for Seattle. Those Seattle people are so lucky to have her and they don’t even know it. I will miss her terribly and I was gonna take advantage of today to make the most of it. She told me to try to hit 140# on my 5th set and if I missed, I could always lower the weight on my bar for the 6th round. If I succeeded, then I was golden to try at 145# on the 6th round. Ben and the girls also came to cheer me on so that was good too! Marika was there and we were doing stupid shit throughout our warm-up, doing the Hullk pose similar to this:

425.the.incredible.hulk.033108

 

all while grunting and saying stupid things like “Bro sesh!”

We warmed up individually and then we all set off for our sets, just as Mr Lucas Parker walked in. That’s right! He trains at our gym and I get to see him a lot, but I’m still way too intimidated to talk to him, so I go about my business as usual when he’s there.  I started at 120# and made 5# increments with each rounds. When I got to 135#, it started to get heavy. I was nervous about hitting 140# x2 because I had missed my 2nd rep just 17 days ago. I managed to pull through the two reps and got ready to attack 145#. I went down with the bar on my back and started to go up. I got stuck for what felt like an eternity. I was out of the bottom of the squat, but couldn’t straighten my legs anymore. CRAP! I really wanted to hit my goal this year and I didn’t want to let go of the bar! I kept the bar on my back, pulled on it with all my might and, somehow, managed to get out of the squat and get back out.

YYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSS!

I let out a huge victory scream as I had finally achieved the goal I had set for myself 2 weeks after my 1st Crossfit class!

I've never been prouder of a yellow star!

I’ve never been prouder of a yellow star!

I tried to go for a 2nd rep, but I really couldn’t get out of the bottom and bailed out safely. Still though! I was so pumped! I have had this goal for 868 days (2 years, 4 months and 16 days, but who’s counting, really?!?) and I can finally put a check mark next to it, all on the last day of my target date! Nothing was gonna wipe the goofy smile off my face!

Kathleen walked in literally a minute too late to witness my feat, but she was still super pumped for me! As I was getting my stuff ready for the WOD, Lucas commented on my squat and said “That was a good lift!”

Seriously? Could this day get any better? Not only do I reach a massive goal, but Lucas Parker compliments me on it! Hell yeah! I thanked him and got my spot ready for the WOD.

WOD: You Lift Me Up

That was a tough one as you were supposed to go all out at max effort for 2 mins and use the built-in rest after. I was gonna try the FG with my bar at 65# for the thrusters and use the 35# KB. It was my 1st time doing thrusters at 65# outside the Open and I was struggling. I managed 24 reps (2 cycles) on the 1st round and 19 reps on the 2nd cycle. Coach Adrianna came by and switched my KB down for a 26# for the other 2 rounds. On my 3rd round, I managed another 24 reps and I was then able to do the AKBS without breaking them, but I was getting tired. The struggle became real on my last round when I couldn’t push the bar overhead for the thrusters and had to set it down. Most of my thruster reps were muscled overhead and that got exhausting really fast. I only managed 15 reps for that round before I slumped on the floor, tired, giggling with happiness and exhausted!

Sweat angel! I got junk in my trunk, but that butt helped me squat my body weight, so there!

Sweat angel! I got junk in my trunk, but that butt helped me squat my body weight, so there!

I celebrated a little more with Marika, Adrianna, Kathleen, Ben and the girls before I got cleaned up a bit. I then met “new Adam” (a new coach at our Box) and he seems very friendly! We spoke French a bit as well since he’s from Ottawa! I then had to say goodbye to Coach Adrianna. She asked if she could hug me. I wasn’t even going to offer because I was afraid it would tip both of us into a puddle of tears. It felt like I could have hung on to her hug forever. She has been an amazing coach and supporter and her encouragements and tips haven’t gone into deaf ears. I will make sure to remember her advices and hopefully will go to visit her in Seattle sometime in the next 2 years.

We left the Box and got groceries, ran errands downtown, finished laundry at home and made dinner. My legs are shaking when I get on my tippy toes and for some weird reason, my right heel hurts. My traps are also sore from all those muscled thrusters and I can’t wait to sit with my hot water bottle, my blanket and my knitting in front of the TV. I’m not sure I’ll be up to ring in the new year as I can feel my body slowly shutting down from the adrenaline and excitement from today.

In all honesty, it’s been a very rough end of the year for reasons I won’t get into on the blog (what? I’m allowed some privacy, no?!? Lol!) and I certainly wish 2016 will get better for me. In any case, the only resolution I plan on making for the next year is to put myself and my needs at the top of my list, just below my children’s needs. I have proven to myself that I am strong and that when I have something in mind, nothing will get in the way of my determination. I will now apply that in my personal life as well. If people around me thought I was ruthless before, they ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

I'm currently holding on, but will hopefully soon exhale...

I’m currently holding on, but will hopefully soon relax and exhale…

May your celebrations of the end of 2015 be merry and safe. May your 2016 be bold, relentless and strong. I know mine will be because that’s what I want it to be.