19 Sep

It’s all about the PR today

It’s been three months since my last post.


That means it’s now been three months that I’ve been doing CrossFit!

It hasn’t come without some moments where all I wanted to do was go home at 5 or 6 pm instead of getting home at 8 or 9, but I swear it has been worth it. And it’s not like I’m working out daily or anything, but I try to get in 3-4 WODs a week.

I am drinking the Koolaid, ya’ll.

First, the coaches are awesome.  I like to think that they really like me and Adam and I believe they do because we aren’t whiney or negative.  We come in, work out, follow instruction, and keep smiling even when it sucks. (Burpees, I’m looking at you.)  I think that the coaches appreciate that we don’t bring drama to the box.

Second, we’ve gotten to know other members of the box after several months of seeing them regularly and working toward new personal records together.  It’s positive reinforcement to have so many cheerleaders and we have been around long enough that we are starting to cheer on newcomers.

Third, I’ve discovered that I like weightlifting.  Before CrossFit I had never lifted a barbell in any way, not even a basic bench press.  Now I’m doing deadlifts, cleans, jerks, and presses, and I’m getting stronger every time.  We just spent a week finding our 1 Rep Max for Deadlifts, Back Squats, and Front Squats and I had a new personal record in every single movement.  A 1 Rep Max is finding the maximum amount of weight you can lift one time.  You keep adding weight until you fail.  The last lift you didn’t fail is your 1 Rep Max.

I can now back squat 155 pounds – the barbell is held across the shoulders behind the neck while completing a squat.  I can also deadlift 165 pounds.  It seems simple to lift a bar from the floor to your waist but if you don’t do it right, you’ll be in a lot of back pain and the bar will still be on the floor.  I can front squat 125 pounds.  This movement is similar to the Back Squat but the bar is held across the shoulders in front and kind of chokes you if you’re doing it right!  These numbers seemed unattainable to me a mere three months ago.

Want to know what is embarrassing?  Trying to back squat 160 pounds, getting stuck at the bottom of the squat and then losing control of your bladder as your muscles release – right there in front of your coach and several witnesses.  I was so surprised I barely remember what happened but when I stood up I went straight to the bathroom to get paper towel so I could clean up the small puddle on the floor.  Fortunately, the witnesses were all female and I’m pretty sure the male coach has seen far worse.  Everyone was very supportive and made it not too terrible.  Adam was on the other side of the room, so didn’t see it.  I told him about it afterward but it was mostly just part of the story of how I got 155 pounds on my back squat.

22 Jun

Join the cult

Due to some recent spam activity in my comments (148!), I was reminded that I have a website for which I pay domain and hosting fees but never update.  I decided to post something to justify the expense.

With all the hours of work we’ve put in over the past 18 months, Adam and I have been eating mostly on the fly, including lots of Taco Bell and Domino’s which means lots of weight gain for me.  I have been trying to find a way to lose weight without doing the things I hate:  counting calories, denying myself of food I love (I love food), working out by myself.

Last fall, we decided to try the Paleo diet because it is less a diet and more a healthy lifestyle change.  I read up on it and found that many of the tenets make sense.  We were fairly strict for the first few months and then because eating this way requires time for planning, shopping, and prepping, and time being a commodity in short supply, we reverted to our habits of eating out, but this time it was more expensive because we were trying not to eat fast food.

In March, we hired a personal chef (not as fancy or expensive as it sounds) and she makes Paleo friendly meals for us.  This means that we eat fairly well most of the time, but I’m not losing any weight because the rest of the time we are cheating on the diet.

I have been trying to find an exercise program that I can live with and one that I will stick to, but I’ve tried so many over the years and I am prone to give up with any disruption in my routine.  P90X was one such program.  I turned 40 around day 45 and the partying that accompanied the landmark made a good excuse to take a break and then let it go completely.  Spinning fizzled out because the instructor’s back trouble forced her to stop teaching.  That and we stopped being friends.  I ran a half-marathon and then completely stopped running as soon as it was over.

One of the things I have heard a lot about since first looking into Paleo, is the CrossFit phenomenon.  Adam used to date a girl who was addicted to CrossFit and he always referred to it as a cult because people who do it tend to be a bit preachy about it.  But recently a CrossFit gym opened up near our workplace and the members run through our lot most days.  One night there were two very overweight girls running through our parking lot as I was loading up to go home.  It got me thinking that I should check it out since it’s so close to work that I would have fewer excuses not to go.  If those girls could do it, so could I.

I mentioned it to Adam and he agreed I should check it out.  I looked at their website and then thought about it for another week or two.  I am good at ruminating on this type of thing.  No point in rushing into something.  I chewed on it, mentioned it to a few friends. Some said, “I’ve heard it’s pretty hard, but it’s probably a great workout.”  Others said,”That stuff is crazy and so are the people who do it.”  Adam joked about getting me a t-shirt when I became part of the cult that says “I can’t.  I have CrossFit.”

About the third or fourth time I mentioned it to Adam, I finally asked if it was something he would consider doing with me.  He has bad knees and can’t run, and I wasn’t sure he’d be able to do CrossFit but surprisingly once I suggested it he seemed excited at the prospect of doing it together.  I was thrilled because I need motivation and if we do it together, I figure we can provide each other the necessary push.  So I made an appointment to meet with the owner to find out more.

We met the owners and were really impressed with their friendliness.  By the next Monday we were waist deep in the lingo.  The gym itself is called a “box”. We heard talk of WODs (workout of the day), AMRAP (as many reps as possible), Oly lifting, and clean and jerks.  We did air squats, wall balls, and pushups.  By Tuesday, we couldn’t walk down the stairs at home without tears and everytime I stood up from my desk and winced, it got a laugh from whomever was in the room.

We received individual training from the owners and it was like having our own personal trainers.  We went back for more punishment on Wednesday and Thursday.  By then the quads had mostly recovered from day one. We were still going easy on them by working on lifts but everything in CrossFit works as much of the body as possible, so the quads were still getting their share of the work.  When we returned on Saturday and did our first official WOD with everyone else, we knew we were hooked.

We have downloaded a special app to track our progress and have talked non-stop all weekend about the friendly people we’ve met, how encouraging everyone is in our box, how hard or painful this exercise vs. that exercise, how great we felt after our first WOD.  We are looking forward to our buff bodsand being part of this community.

I even bought a special pair of CrossFit shoes online last night, but decided to wait a little longer to get the t-shirt.


10 Feb

My funny Valentine

I’m spending Valentine’s Day in a relationship.

I haven’t had much time or inclination to post anything here when the relationship was in its early stages, but now I am prepared to share a bit about Adam.

He’s really smart and inquisitive.  He reads non-fiction and searches the internet for information about things that pique his interest.  I am smart and curious, but mostly too lazy to actively learn.  I read strictly fiction and only learn things by accident when facts and history happen to be part of a novel.

He used to work in a militaristic setting and has practiced martial arts for many years.  He’s into guns and Call of Duty and is probably more Republican than Democrat but despises both parties and wishes Ron Paul had been elected.  Needless to say, he’s more interested in politics than I am.

These are all things I never thought would be attractive to me in a mate.  I have never shot a gun, if you don’t count that time we played paintball.  I suck at video games (Rock Band doesn’t count!), and I am more Democrat than Republican but mostly prefer to ignore political debate and discussion.

How did we ever end up together?  We used to do spin class together and were friends for a few years before we started dating but we never really talked about any of those things.  I just knew he was funny and extremely entertaining during spin class, and outside of class we mostly hung out with lots of other people and got drunk, so I suppose we never had serious conversations.

He’s tall, dark, and handsome, but what I find really attractive is his respect for my intelligence and opinions, and that he’s not just goofy and silly, which he can be, but he’s quick with the funny.

This morning we were laying in bed as we are wont to do on a Sunday morning, and he said, as he does every weekend, “I want some tea.  I wish someone would bring tea and coffee so we could stay in bed.”

I usually yawn, and agree, but this morning I was partly distracted looking at Twitter, and for no fathomable reason, I said, “Why don’t you call our Leprechaun slave to get it for us?”

Without missing a beat, he called out, “LIAM!”

Adam’s business partner’s Fiance/Ex-Wife/”Baby Mama”/Boss/Cuntress recently started school to become a Physician Assistant.  She used to help out with the business but when she had a baby a few months ago, and because she was already admitted to the PA program, I took over helping the guys with customer service and bookkeeping.  To say she had a difficult time letting go would be an understatement and in one of their misguided attempts to satisfy her desire to part of the business yet not have to rely on commitment of time which Adam knew would be extremely limited, the guys asked her to help put together some marketing materials.

After having her designs either reworked or outright rejected several times, she quit the company in a lengthy resignation email in which she told them she had asked for not their creative input, but merely the copy they wanted to appear on the fliers.  I mean, how dare they have an opinion about the materials that would represent their company.  She then pointed out that they should have relied on her excellent sense of design because of her years of scrapbooking experience.  Since we all know that scrapbooking experience is the same as having a Marketing degree, you can imagine the hours of fun we have had with this statement.

While visiting Shelly, who is an actual a PA, I mentioned that The Cuntress was in a PA program but that she has never really held a job.  Shelly asked how she had managed to get into a PA program with no medical experience since it is typically required.  I texted Adam for an answer and he responded, “She used to be a Pharmacy Tech.  I’m pretty sure that is to medical school what scrapbooking is to art design.”

See?  Funny.

Recently on Pickled Pages

Previously on Pickled Pages

Looking for a specific topic?