Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What are YOU thankful for?

It seems unreal to me that already it's November, and today is Thanksgiving. It feels like only last week it was January and we were ringing in the New Year. For the past week or so, I have had my kids work on writing a Thanksgiving paragraph telling what they're really thankful for. Some of the paragraphs obviously were a little more material than others (I'm thankful for my Wii!!!!) but for the most part the kids did a great job. So, it got me to thinking. As I sit this holiday season, what am I truly thankful for?

I think back over the course of the last year, and I'm amazed at how much as changed. I'm amazed that I survived my first year with third grade. I'm amazed that I lost 23 pounds. I'm amazed at how much I've learned, how many people have entered (and exited) my life, and I'm amazed at how much I've changed.

When I look back on the year, I am of course thankful for my family and friends. I am of course thankful that I am gainfully employed and can afford to live and support myself. I'm thankful that I am able to take care of myself. I am thankful that I am able to sleep soundly at night because of the sheepdogs that sleep outside my door. But somewhere, pushing very close to the top of this list, I realized, that I am very thankful for Crossfit. I know it sounds a little over the top, but when I think of all these things that I'm thankful for, I realize that CrossFit has played a large role in many of these areas.

Now, obviously, my true flesh and blood family has nothing to do with CrossFit. I will always been thankful for them, and they of course have nothing to do with CrossFit. But, what about my friends and my adoptive family? CrossFit has allowed me to find my adoptive parents (Lt. Col. Dan and Susan) who are amazingly supportive. I have been in some rough spots lately and they have taken the time to support me in the best way they can. Without CrossFit, I never would have had the opportunity to have them in my life. And what about my friends? The only friends I have in my life are not people I have met at CrossFit, but I'll be frank, the people I have met at CrossFit are some of my best friends. Over the course of the last year, and especially the last few months, I have fallen face down into the mud on several ocassions. When I've thought I couldn't pick myself up and keep going, my friends at CFOT were right there to pull me out of the muck and help me. Always ready with hugs and helping hands, these people have shown their true colors and they are wonderful. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to have in my life. And let's not forget that without CFOT I would never have had the reason to post up this blog and make a whole group of online friends. Sort of cheesey? Perhaps, but I look forward to reading comments and hearing from these people everyday as well. They have been following my life and supporting me the best they can, often from very far away. Talk about powerful! CrossFit has done all of this.

Not to mention, those attitudes that I've learned, and the things about me that have changed over the last year are all the result of CrossFit. Without CrossFit I never would have lost weight. Without CrossFit I would not have grown as strong as I have, both pysically and mentally. Without CrossFit I would not have found the strength in myself to be the person that I am now. This year has been a rough haul. But looking back, I'm glad I went through it. I've learned a lot about myself. What I can do, what I can't do, what I'm willing to deal with, and what I'm not. Because of CrossFit I am watching myself become the person I want to be, and that is a pretty powerful feeling.

I am thankful for my real family. I am thankful for my job, and my house, and all those sorts of things. But above many other things, I am thankful for CrossFit. I am thankful that everyday I have the opportunity to get together with a group of people who are as wonderful as they are. I am thankful to have such an amazing coach who pushes me everyday and is helping me be the best that I can be. Yes, CrossFit is an exercise program. It is a way to stay in shape. But it is so much more than that. CrossFit is a life changing program, and I am thankful that it has changed mine. Because of CrossFit and the people I've met, I've changed and learned things about myself, as well as the world around me. I'm thankful everyday that I've had those experiences. I wouldn't trade CrossFit or Jerry or the crew at CFOT for anything this world has to offer. That is the POWER of this program, and THAT is what I'm thankful for.

But what about you? What are YOU thankful for?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yesterday's ugliness and today's "Onion Skin"...

So I have to admit, after Sunday's max effort, I've not been feeling very frisky. I really felt like that max took a lot out of me. I've never felt that spent after a max before so it's an odd feeling, but I actually DNF'ed on a workout on Monday. That doesn't ever happen. But regardless, I still went, but only got two rounds of yesterday's ugliness. It went like this

3 Rounds for time
21 K2E
21 KB swings
21 Rope pull-ups (sort of like a dead hang on a rope)
21 Push ups
21 Box jumps
21 Good mornings
150 M walking lunges

I only got through 2 rounds in 30 minutes, but I did those 2 rounds as Rx'd. I didn't sub abmats or regular chins so it def took me awhile. Eesh. I had to get to work, so I couldn't stick around for the third round, but truthfully, I was smoked.
The shoulders were fried.

Well, then of course, today was more shoulder work. I still wasn't feeling really frisky, but of course I went in today. Turkey and pie? Oh come on, I gotta CF before eating all that! Anyhoo, today was something we've done before. It looked a little something like this...

5 rounds of
Max strict press in 2:30
Max chins in 2:30

My first few rounds were crap. Totally. I fell off the bar due to grip issues and just didn't feel good. I used 60lbs for the strict which I think was the heaviest on the day, but I don't really care about that. I just know that today should have felt better and it didn't. I finished with 59 stricts and 60 chins, which is still a lot of work but still, I feel like it def should have been better. But then again that may just be my perfectionist personality talking. :P

I'm going to try to get in tomorrow, but you know what I'm doing right now? Oh that's right... having adult bevies after the INSANEO day that I had today. Big shout out to Cara who put up with the craziness that was traffic in the NOVA area today to get me with 10 minutes to spare to the dealership to pick up my baby. She looks good as new and I can't tell you how glad I am to have her back.

As an aside, if you happen to be in the NOVA area and need to rent a car, I would highly recommend the Enterprise off site, but attached to Reagan. They were great. Cheap rates, open late, and very polite to me. I was in and out in 1:30 flat tonight. It was a good experience. I would however, not recommend wrecking your car.

I'm going to have a few more adult bevies... I can't say I've earned them, my work ethic is lacking this week, but I do need them. Amen!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Clean and jerk X 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

These are the boards that made my day!!!

Ah, yes... another strength day... :) I missed the last two times that we did max clean and jerks and I have been itching to get this workout in. So, when I woke up, I was debating after the few adult bevies that I had last night whether or not I really wanted to go in. Well, when I saw this up on our site, I knew that I had to go. I was STOKED to hit this. Have I mentioned that I REALLY love strength days? No I mean, REALLY? :)

I was determined today to be aggresive with my jumps and be smart and not waste time doing too much warming up, which I think has been a problem for me in past workouts. So today I just went for it. I jumped right in at 65, not really bothering with 35 or 55. The fun today looked like this.

137X1 (F)
137X1 (F)
137X1 (F)
137X1 (F)

I was so frustrated that I couldn't get up 137 but honestly, 135 was a new clean record, although not a new jerk record. I was really pleased with the day today. It really isn't important, but nonetheless it feels kind of cool to know that I now own the clean and jerk record at CFOT. It's nice to be good at something. :) Woot! I heart strength work! :) Until tomorrow... the feast is mine. Yikes and away! :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Metcon of horrors!

So, per Thursday's post, and oh, let's say about 30 other posts of mine, we all know that I'm not a huge fan of running. Well, Thursday was running, and now guess what came up yesterday? Oh yes, a good old fashioned metcon WITH RUNNING. Curses! I so suck at running!!! As I said on Thursday, Jerry has started to follow the main site. Yesterday's workout was actually supposed to be a 5K. *shudder* Yes, ok, I know I finished a half marathon but you know what happened after that? A fat lot of no running, cause I no longer had a reason to really. Well, thankfully, Jerry didn't make us do the 5K. Whew! However, he did make us do this

3 Rounds for time
800 meter run
15 hang squat clean thrusters (1/2 jerk max-70lbs)
15 box jumps
15 burpees

I would like to preface this whole thing by saying, that this workout sucked!!! I felt very very sluggish on the run and as an aside, also was freezing my behind off because it was a whopping 32 degrees outside during the run. I literally felt like my lungs were burning. Then to go right into squat clean thrusters was just brutal. How is it that Jerry is able to come up with such madness? I go back to my post from this summer where I said that Jerry has an evil CrossFit lab in his basement where he figures out new and interesting ways to torture me. :P It's full of toys and smoke and ocassionally maniacal laughter.

But anyhoo, the running, squat clean thrusters, then box jumps were a doozy on the legs, and let's not forget the finisher of the burpees. I had to dump the squat weight a few times because I was loose on the bottom but I was able to get through things pretty well. I wasn't the fastest on the day by any means, but considering how slow I am at running and burpees, I didn't do too badly. :P My overall time was 32:09. Could have been a little faster, but all things considered I'll take it. With the crazy schedule, the bad eating, and my general amount of disfunctionalness these days, I'll take it. :P

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Some runnin' and some chinnin'...

So our workout from today didn't look all that brutal, but it certainly was a good gasser. We all know how much I enjoy running (hahaha) so clearly this wasn't my bread and butter, but still, I felt pretty good about this workout all things considered. The workout of the day looked like this

Run 400 meter
Max chins

Jerry has started to follow the main site more recently so it's interesting what's been coming up in the blue room. I'm not really a fan of running, but eh, I guess I have no choice. :P I haven't had a lot of spare time to spend on other's blogs and the CF main site, which totally bums me out, so I didn't realize that's what he was doing until he told me. I was able to get 5 full rounds of this in, plus one more run. My chins I maintained at 14 across the board, which, again, all things considered really wasn't that bad.

I have been bummed out by my chin numbers lately, but I just haven't felt really good on the bar. I've been worried so much about speed that the form on my chins has sort of gone to pot, and so we're going to have to start all over again. Jerry suggested going back and resetting my PR. Making sure that I'm higher over the bar. That's sort of a sad feeling to lose the PR, but I know he's right. Good form is more important than whether or not I can do 24 sort of reps on a bar. But, as Jerry said to me the other day while I was leaving, I should enjoy this challenge because it's going to take a lot of strength. :P Ah, damnit. He knows my weakness..... :P LOL.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Push jerk-1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1

So, this week, yeah this week. It's a killer of a week with me having commitments every single night this week. Yay for 12 hour days (at least) everyday. Well, this morning I woke up and I was really debating whether or not to go into CF. Well, I got up, got in the rental car (which by the way is a whoooooollle other can of worms altogether) and headed off to CF. When I got there this morning what to my wondering eyes should appear? No, it was not Santa and his reindeer, but instead, max push jerks. I've been saying I really want to figure out how much weight I can get over my head. Haha, well today, I figured it out, well sort of.

I warmed up with some jerks just on the bar, then started jumping. Here's what my fun looked like.

145X1 (JBF)

What just JBF? It means just barely failed. I really feel that I can get 145 up but I was pretty tired and just BARELY missed. I am bummed that I missed 145 cause I really think I can do it, but I'll take 140. I think that's pretty sweet. I had to have people help me get 135 and 140 to my shoulders, but I cleaned up through 130. Woot! :)

Ah, yes. Now the rental car story...... well with my car being out of commission temporarily, I had to rent a car. Well when I called they said that they couldn't "schedule" a pick up. I had to call the day of the rental and tell them I needed a ride. So I had to call at 730 yesterday morning. I figured they would be there in plenty of time, seeing as how they are only 5 minutes away. Guess not, they didn't show up until 805 then I had paperwork to fill out etc after I got the car. So guess who was late to work yesterday!?!?! Oh, that's right. It's me. Nothing like walking into your own classroom late. Ugh... I'm not a fan..... not a fan at all..... ick. Coaching tonight after school, and work at the restaurant... we'll see if I can muster myself out of bed to get to CF tomorrow morning... :P

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday's killer and max front squats...

Sooooo.... working on Sunday nights is fun. Have I mentioned recently how much I heart working on Sunday nights? No? I haven't? Oh well... Let me rectify that STAT! Ok, I've worked in the restaurant business in some capacity since I was 19. I like the restaurant business, otherwise I wouldn't keep doing it. But sometimes, it can get very frustrating. Like last night... things were slow, and I was in the process of cleaning up, when 7 people came in about 45 minutes from closing. They were served quickly, but then proceeded to sit. And sit, and sit and chat and sit and chat. Now, I understand they were having a good time, but seriously? It was 1/2 hour past close, I had to sweep still, and they were camped. So eventually, I paid our busboy $5 to sweep for me when they left. So, I rolled home around 11.

Now, my roommate was nice enough to let me use her car while she's out of town so getting to from work was not a problem, thankfully. But, getting home at 11 didn't help my getting out of bed for CF. But, I did. Barely... mostly because I knew that people would be all over my butt if I skipped today. So I went. And today we hit... *dunh dunh dunh daaaaahhhh* Max front squats. Oh yeah. 5 rep max front squats. Now, I'm not great at squats, but I was game. Although the second I cleaned the bar, I knew that yesterday's killer was going to hurt me. Oh, that's right, I forgot to mention that fun little tidbit. Here's what I did yesterday

25 chins
50 clean and jerk (65lbs)
50 burpees
50 wall ball sit ups (15lbs)
50 box jumps
50 push-ups
25 chins
Time 29:05

Not too shabby, but man, I cleaned that bar today and wwwwoooooooo buddy were my shoulders aflame! But, I'm not one to shy away from max stuff. I like it! I like it a lot! :) :P So, away I went. Here's what my reps looked like.

35 X 5
65 X 5
85 X 5
105X 5
115X 5
125X 5
135X 5
140X 3 (darn!)

To be frank, 140 felt better than 135 but I was gassed and couldn't get the 4th rep out of the hole. On the last rep of 135 I don't have the foggiest idea how I got it up. Jerry said I started to lean back, and man I just gritted my teeth on that one and pushed with everything I had. Somehow I got out of it and got up with that last rep, but man oh day it wasn't pretty I know. Even without a camera, I know. I would have tried 140 again, but I was pretty fried. That was a lot of front squats to do before attempting 140. But overall the last two days, I've been pretty pleased. Work still is frustrating me, as is the car situation, but other things are turning around and going ok, so I'm feeling a little bit better. Hopefully things will keep going well. I've got stuff to look forward to this weekend and am just hoping that work stress doesn't overwhelm me and stays at bay. But, we'll see.... it's going to be another crazy week... I may be like Homer and go crazy... I really hope everyone enjoyed that Youtube... that's one of my faves! Well, until next time...

The feast is mine! Yikes... and away! :P

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Time for a change...

If you have been reading my blog, you know that my intent with continuing to publish on this blog is to share my experiences with CrossFit. CrossFit is a wonderful program that has helped me to accomplish many things. However, from time to time, there are things that I feel strongly about, so strongly in fact that I feel the need to publish a post about them. Today is one of those days. I will forewarn you that this post will more than likely be very long. There is a chance that it may anger you, or force you to ask many questions that I have no answers to. But, if you have an interest in the educational world, read on.


In the spring of of 2002, I took a large risk. After having a year and a half of my college education under my belt, I decided to change my major. After three semesters of putting together power points, and trying to prove that I'd be excellent in the field of communications, I was tired. I wasn't enjoying the field nearly as much as I had thought I would. I wanted, no, NEEDED, a career where I was not shoved into a cubical, where I was free to make my own decisions, and where I could allow my creative outlets to work. I had been a lifeguard, a swim coach, and a swimming lessons instructor all before. There was something about passing knowledge to others that I really enjoyed and so I decided to take the "leap of faith" change my major, and pray I didn't wind up with additional years in college at the whopping cost of $30K per year.

I was someone who really looked forward to doing all the practicums and going out into the field. I loved writing lessons and seeing how creative I could be. I loved doing what I did. I felt a great connection with the students in those classes, in particular the 3rd grade slot I did during junior year. I managed to complete all my requirements with just one additional class after graduation (a history course of all things) and I was free to enter the real world. There was a delay of a year thanks to that last class, but I finally got my first real teaching job in the fall of 2005. I packed my bags and moved to VA and entered the "real world." I went into teaching carrying my love of literature, and my hope that I could inspire kids to see in books and writing what I did. I also carried my fear of math, but my hopes that I could help kids overcome what I was never able to.

But regardless, I went into the teaching world with bright eyes and a big smile. My first year was stressful, as any first year would be, but my eyes were being opened to a good many truths about the educational world. As the years have progressed, I've become more and more appalled by things I see occurring in our schools. I have begun to realize, especially after these first few months of this year, that the education system in this country is in serious trouble.

The Washington Post and the local news stations have all done reports on the budget crunches being faced by the local districts. But what they're not reporting on is what was happening in those schools BEFORE the budget crunches, and how the continued budget constraints are affecting pre-existing situations.

As I walk around my building, as I dialogue with other teachers who are friends of mine in other states and other schools, I am being painted a very grim picture. I am being painted a picture of teachers who are overworked. Teachers who feel that there are not enough hours in the day. Teachers who feel ineffective. Teachers who feel as if no matter what they do, it will never be enough.

As I have entered into the teaching realm, I realize that there were things I was never taught or told about in college. Information that could have possibly helped me to prepare for the onslaught that was about to come.

Teachers are asked everyday to complete at least 7 hours of core instruction. This means that in that seven hours they are to teach math, science, social studies, reading, writing, spelling, and in some cases health. There are requirements for how long some of those blocks should be. For example, language arts should be longer than any of the other subjects, and math should be the second longest and should be about an hour each day in most schools.

Please stop for one second to think about the immense amount of work that it must take just to plan out one day. Let alone a week, a month, a quarter, or a year. Remember that the materials that the teachers need are not ready and waiting in a room somewhere for them. Copies must be made, things cut out, posters laminated, bulletin boards made to correspond, games created, and any additional supplies must be purchased. Now, the additional supplies that are being purchased, are NOT being paid for by districts or schools. The money that is needed for these things comes out of teachers pockets. For example, I once taught a lesson on ratio and proportion. A great way to do this was to create trail mix. For ever seven Chex, there are 2 m&m's. But the recipe required 70 Chex, so how many M&M's do we need? The lesson worked and the kids understood the difference between the ratio and the proportion. But who bought all the ingredients for the trail mix?

To create lessons like that is costly. Affective and enjoyable, but costly. Please also bear in mind, that teachers make less than many professions out there that require a bachelors's degree. But yet, teachers are asked to take from their earnings, and supplement the instruction in their own classrooms. How is that fair? How is that possible? When your pay is barely a living wage if at all, how is it fair to ask someone to put more of those funds back into a classroom?

Something else to keep in mind has to do with that planning you just read about. Teachers don't just sit at their desks all day and plan lessons. Teachers are instructing during the day. They are given a minimal amount of planning time which is very often spent doing things besides planning. Our planning time on average is no longer than 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. In this time frame, we're to plan lessons for all those disciplines? That's next to impossible. Not to mention, we're also supposed to be doing all that copying, all the game making, all the bulletin board creation, and all the other things that I listed above. In 45 minutes? Not even Superman could accomplish that. It is a Herculean task. And let's not forget that in that same 45 minutes, teachers are required to answer any parent emails, calls, or do any other tasks that need to be taken care of for other teachers. How is one to do this, let alone find time to grab a cup of coffee or even go to the bathroom?

To add into this, teachers are also required to do things such as analyze standardized testing data, meet with other teachers to try to plan together, sit in meetings on the latest data or methods, and they are even pulled from their class to sit on IEP meetings as well as other sorts of meetings.

So, as a result of this, teachers wind up spending large quantities of their OWN time, grading papers, creating lessons, creating materials, answering emails and notes, talking to other teachers, and in general, doing the requirements of their job, that are IMPOSSIBLE to actually complete in the 7.5 hour workday that they are paid for. According to a recent book I read, people who were asked about the teaching profession likened it to the clergy. In their opinions, you should expect, as a teacher, not to make any money, and to spend your days serving the needs of others at expense to yourself.

Why? When the education of future generations is SO vitally important to a strong economy and a strong country, WHY? Why is it that people are not looking for the most highly qualified and best trained teachers to teach, but they are looking for people who are willing to accept instead a life of saccrifice? Why should educating future generations be a saccrifice? Why is it not upheld as vital to keeping and creating a society and country that are strong?

Many people feel that well, teachers get the summers off and that they get paid for a full year's worth of work when they don't work the full year, and so the salary is fine. Let me let you in on a secret. Teaching is ranked as one of the most stressful fields to be a part of. In 9 months, we cram in MORE work than a standard 12 month job, PLUS we put in overtime that we will NEVER receive compensation for. And because of our salaries, 85% of teachers work second jobs. For many teachers, the reality of that "summer off" is either a second job or classes and more work to maintain their certification, or increase it as deemed by counties and states. Which mind you, again, they many times have to do either entirely out of their own pocket, or with minimal compensation from their districts.

Now, these things, plus others that I have not mentioned in this post, were all part of the education world long before the economy recessed and budgets became crunched. What does a budget crunch mean to you? Budget crunch to the education world means that now, the few aids who were in buildings to help support teachers, are dwindling even farther. Resources teachers designed to help teachers find materials they need to support students are dwindling. Classroom sizes have increased and will continue to do so. Now, I want you to explain to me how any of this is protecting the future of this country. We're not even talking about the politics of administrators, or of changing grades and parents who seem to feel that the education system is there to be their doormat. I'm not even touching on that part of teaching because that in itself is a whole other topic. But how is any of this helping students to receive a good education?

By continuing to sit back and not effect change on the education system of this country, we are failing the future and failing ourselves. We are creating a society of children who are not set up for success. Success for a student means that they carry knowledge and know how to use it, that is correct. But it also means knowing how to fail and how to deal with that. Our education system wants everyone to have the knowledge and pass the tests. They want the students not to be "left behind". But the reality is that not all of those students will be able to pass the test. And what then? What happens when little Bobby doesn't pass the test? Little Bobby isn't held back because he's not ready. He's pushed through the system being told it's not his fault he didn't succeed. He's told that the teacher must not have done a good enough job teaching that particular concept, and he is sent through the system. Little Bobby failed, but was told it was ok. It didn't really matter. It wasn't his fault, it was the teacher's fault. What are you doing to Little Bobby?

Little Bobby now has no idea how to deal with failure. He's being taught that when you fail, you should blame someone else. He has no idea how to look at that failure and use it to make him better. He has no idea how to say, this means I need to try harder. He instead blames someone else and moves on. Is that the moral fiber we want our future generations to have? On the flip side, what are you also doing to the teacher? You are holding the teacher responsible for things beyond their control. Maybe Bobby never did any of his homework. Maybe Bobby had 3 hours of sleep before the test. This is now the teacher's fault and is a direct reflection on them? Does that make sense to you? As budgets crunch on a system that was already flawed, what is going to happen?

Is it any wonder then, why teachers are beginning to flee the system? In districts around the country, one of the largest expenses is training new teachers coming into the district and on recruitment to try to attract new teachers. In fact, it is quite possibly the single biggest expense for many counties. Studies have shown the in the first three years of teaching 35% of teachers leave the profession. Increase to five years and that percentage becomes a staggering 50%. Is it any wonder why? New teachers come in with high hopes, much as I did, only to have the reality of the system crash down on them, forcing them to then soon leave the profession and causing the cycle to continue. Why is more not being down to retain the teachers who have the five years experience? Why is more not being done to keep experienced teachers in the classrooms?

I have watched good teachers cry in frustration over what they are being asked to do, knowing that the time and the resources do not exist for them to be able to accomplish what others tell them they need to get done. I have watched good teachers bow their heads and with resignation admit that they cannot do this anymore. The stress existed long before the budget crunches. The increases in classroom sizes and the decrease of support for teachers have only created a more disastrous situation. A situation where more stress and more work are being placed on teachers who were already overworked and underpaid.

So what will it take? What will it take for something to change? It is time for a change. It is needed and needed NOW. Administrations are asking teachers to do more work, but telling them they will no longer recieve a COLA or a step increase. How is that fair? They will never earn that step back. How can you justify that? The teachers are in the trenches everyday, taking heat from all sides, and doing the work that others continually throw at them. How is that fair? How many companies do that? When you are given more responsibility and more work is placed on your plate, you are most often times rewarded for your extra time and energy. Teachers are not being rewarded. They are being slaughtered. Torn down by parents, and soceity, existing in a world created by governments and administrations that don't understand them, or the job they do, and certainly don't allow them the time, support, and resources they need to actually teach and provide children with the eduation they deserve.

In the movie Newsies, an old favorite of mine starring a much younger Christian Bale, there was a quote. "Sometimes, all it takes is a voice. That becomes ten, and then a hundred, and then a thousand. Unless it is silenced." I am one voice. My voice is lost in the shuffle of my county. But there are other voices out there that need to be heard. It needs to be understood that this is not acceptable. If you have students, if you have young children, get involved. This system is failing and it needs you. Your children and the future need you desperately.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Out for a few days...

So, the addition of swimming to my schedule has been a little crazier than I thought it would be. Imagine that schedule that I wrote out once before, and now add a commute to Mt. Vernon everyday, except for when I have class on Thursday and therefore commute to Vienna, and then a commute into Old Town right after swimming on Wednesday to work at the restaurant. And you know, add into all that the fact that I'm still trying to do all the things that honest to god NORMAL people do like eat, sleep, shower, hang out with friends, read a book, have a relationship, watch some tv..... Looking at this, I think you would agree with me that I must be out of my ever loving mind. I think this is quite possibly the craziest my schedule has ever been, and to be honest, I just haven't had the gumption to get up out of bed the last two days for CF. It's really been affecting me.

Speaking of class though... I was on my way to class yesterday and when I went to exit and head towards Vienna, I hit the brakes to slow down. Well the road was wet, my brakes locked, and across the exit I went and slammed into the guardrail. I am fine, which as everyone keeps reminding me is the important thing, but nonetheless it's not really helpful to me to be without a car. So needless to say, I'm going to be out of CF for a few days until I can take care of everything. *sigh* What craptastic timing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Go crazy? Don't mind if I do!!!!!!!

No time to myself and no energy for CF make Katie something something...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In honor of our Veteran's...

Today was in honor of our Veteran's.... I'll be sure to update more later about this uber, super, really dooper (not) fun metcon workout... PS It really sucked! But I still heart our Veteran's....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Max power cleans... and Lt. Dan's Birthday...

Seriously, I got a case of the giggles today during CF. I was giving Lt. Dan so much grief and it was his birthday... awwww... oh well. I love my adoptive father! :) Power clean stuff and Dan's innuendo that made me giggle coming later...

So, it's later.... :P LOL. Today was Lt. Col Dan's birthday. While I should have been extra special nice today, I coudln't do that. It just wouldn't be, well, us. So I was giving him all sorts of grief while we were working out, and then all of a sudden as he's watching us power clean and bemoaning our flexibility he just blurts out "Man, I wish I could get it THAT good." I couldn't help it. I really tried. It came out as just a little giggle at first, and then, I just started laughing. I wish Gar would have been there because we all know how he is the best at finding innuendos. It was hilarious.... well at least to me it was. I'm not so sure about anyone else.

Anyway, today was a fun day. It was a max power clean day. I was a little disappointed with the weight I put up. I've been feeling so strong lately I def felt like I should have been able to put up more but my pull from the floor is a weak point for me, and I was only about to power clean 130. I was close with 135 but I feel like I should easily be able to do about 150. Really, if I can hang clean 135-140, I should be able to use the extra momentum from the floor to bang out 150, but eh, always something to work on.

I failed once at 120, and had to try 130 three times. Jerry said the form was good, but I need to work on being more explosive on the first pull from the floor. But, I made it to CF today and that's half the fight sometimes. I really was beat. I didn't get home from work until after 11 and then by the time I got to bed it was late and then I was awake at 4:15. I hate it when I can't even sleep through to my alarm. Yar. That drives me nuts. But on a funny note, Cara told me she wanted photos of the comfy Tarzhay pj's I keep talking about... so I took some! Ha!

Now, try not to be too jealous of the awesomeness... but just know that you can go purchase your own at Tarzhay (for those of you who don't fluenty speak French, that's Target) for less than $20. Behold the pajama awesomeness!!!

Until next time... :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Partner work

Today was a day that I needed CF.... as much as my mind wasn't even there, at least my body was there and getting a good workout in. Today was a team day and I'm glad that Bryn was there. She was an awesome partner today and did her best to keep my head in the game. Today's fun looked like this...

50 burpees
400 M run
75 jumping slamballs
400 M run
100 KB swings
400 M run
400 M med ball toss
400 M walking lunges

This was really a doozy. For the burpees, slamballs, kb swings, toss, and lunges, only one partner could go at a time. Bryn did a much better job today than I did. She really cranked out a lot of reps for our team and did an awesome job. I was just sort of along for the ride today.

I really wish that I could blog more about what's been going on with me, but ever since the incidents a month or so ago with people hopping to my blog and saying all sorts of things about me that were neither nice nor true, I am very leery of putting too much of my personal life on my blog. A lot of what is going on is work related and it's spilling into other things, but still, I'm just leery. The long and the short of it though is that I've just really been down lately, and I'm trying to find a way to get my head screwed back on straight. I know part of the answer is just to keep hitting CFOT hard and get my diet back on track, but it's hard. Hopefully I'll figure this out all soon, and get back to being my usual unusual self. If that makes any sense...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sobbing into my beer...

I can't believe Penn State just lost to Iowa... and now have to share the big ten title with *shudder* Ohio State... oh God I think I just threw up a bit in my mouth... this does not bode well for me...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Attacked by wild rabid badgers...

I was attacked by badgers this morning... or well rather one badger really... curses... I hate it when I get attacked by badgers...

I mean, come on, those things aren't nice and with the sharp teeth and the claws and the eeek! Ok, Ok, so perhaps I'm stretching the truth JUST a SMIDGEN. Ok, I wasn't really attacked by a badger PER SAY.... but I did get my butt kicked by a Badger! :P ("Ok Brand, Michael Jackson didn't really use the bathroom at my house... but his sister did!" If you know where that comes from points to you!)But anyway, I knew today was Badger because I happened to check my Facebook and saw that Jerry had commented to Adam about it. I nearly didn't go in because of that, and I actually agonized for a bit. But, with everything that's been going on, I just can't keep letting it drag me down. I need to keep in the Blue Room. So, up and at 'em I was at 0445 and away I went.

I warmed up my squat cleans, hit a few chins, and got ready to tackle the Badger. Jerry was talking about going from the floor, and he's been asking me about that a lot lately. I know he's tryng to get me to have good form and increase my range of motion, and so I thought that's what he was telling me this morning. Well, we settled in, and so away I went pulling from the floor. If you're not familiar with Badger, here is the bone up on it:

3 rounds for time
30 squat cleans (w 65lbs m 95lbs)
30 chins
800 meter run

So, as I'm about oh, 24 reps into the first set, Jerry said, "Katie we're going from the hang!" And I said "But you asked about the floor!" We then realized that I was uber confused, which is not all THAT unusual, and I was being stupid. But, since I started from the floor, from the floor I stayed. I did 90 squat cleans from the floor. OW! I didn't realize how much more pulling from the floor gases you. It doesn't seem like much, but holy cow. I was panting and could only do 3 at a time. Maybe 4 a few times. I was gassed. Throw in the 30 chins and the run, and I thought I was going to die. This was not a PR day for me, but last time I didn't pull from the floor. I went from the hang, so naturally it will be somewhat faster, but my time today was over 3 minutes slower than before, which feels utterly depressing, even though I know I did more work. I think my time overall was 46:34. :( I'm not pleased.

BUT, on a wonderful note... I went shopping at Tarzhay last night, and I happened to have one of those sorts of nights where I wander aimlessly through the store. Well, I discovered, that Tarzhay is an awesome place to buy cute pj's! They had all sorts of fleecy and flannel pants for $10 and then shirts that matched for $7. So I bought some polka dotted pants with a green shirt to match some of the polka dots... and then... tee hehehehehe... I bought socks. Tehehehehe... they are cream and blue to match some of the polka dots, and they... tehehehe... they have a hole for each toe. Heheheheheheh. Oh they make me giggle... :) But they are seriously the most comfy pj's I have.... and I predict that by 500 tonight, I'll be wearing them... :) AWESOME!!!!! :)I love lazy weekends!!!!!!!!! :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

No CF again today...

How many times have I used THAT title in the last month? Ugh. I'm just not feeling it right now. I know I'll be back in tomorrow. I need to be, but life is just interferring. Big time. I'm not liking it one bit. Doesn't my life know that CrossFit is paramount? Geez. You'd have thought it got the memo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Weighted chins and max front squats....

Sooooo, you thought I stopped drinking the Kool-aid didn't you? You really thought that I'd chucked it and had fallen off the wagon huh? Well.... :P (sadly I can't make the noises that I was just making as I stuck my tongue out at you, but they were comical) I did not fall off the wagon, I still chug my gallon of Kool-aid a day, but work is big time interfering, not to mention some other stuff I've got going on. I'm just really trying to get my head on straight these days and get things situated, and sometimes, although I may not like it, CrossFit does have to take a back seat. But, today, I was back in the Blue Room and it felt good to be there... well not good, getting my behind kicked never feels GOOD, but eh, you know what I mean! :P

I was running a bit behind this morning and walked in just as we were getting situated and saw the workout for the day. It went a little something like this:

5 rounds of
5 weighted strict chins
Max front squats with w 100lbs m 155lbs

I was pretty pleased with my strength on this worked today since my CF (and my zone) have fallen off big time over the last few weeks, or really about the last two months rather. September is always a hard month with the return of school, but some personal issues (if you're a long time reader or a close friend you know what things I'm referring too) really held me up in October and I had a lot to work through. But things are starting to come back online now and I'm getting back in a grove. So, hopefully, the Zone will kick back in soon and I'll start to progress again. Especially with the Zone. I'm def feeling being out of it. It's been about a month since the Zone fell off, and I really need to kick my own ass and get back to it. But for now, I was pretty pleased with this.

I hit the weighted chins all strict with a 10 lb vest on, and I even hit a set of 3 without getting off the bar. Stricts are very hard for me to do consecutively so I was pretty stoked about that. My 5 sets of max front squats went 13, 15, 17, 14, 15 for a total of 74 squats with 100lbs. Again, not too shabby. I'm sure Adrienne and the likes came in after me today and schooled my backside, but... eh, I can only hope to one day catch up with them. :P I have to work tonight (ugh) so we'll see about hitting the Blue Room tomorrow, but I really want to try to get back to at least getting 5 days of CF every week. I really feel a difference in me when I do.

It's still amazing to me that I've been doing this just for a little over a year. I remember last fall at this time being unable to clean, jerk, or do a kipping pull-up. Now, I can clean, jerk, snatch, thruster, and do strict chins. What a difference a year can make! For those of you who are reading and who have just started, don't get discouraged. You'll be amazed at what you can do in just a short time. As the Energizer bunny says... or well, rather his voiceover announcer says, just keep going and going and going, and eventually, you'll end up there! :) (Brilliant I know.... :P) Well, until next time. The feast is mine! Yikes, and away! (That still cracks me up, and yes I know that makes me a nerd! :P)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Down and out...

No CF for me today... I'm feeling pretty down and out... this weekend was great to be away, but with conferences and the report card scramble, I'm feeling like I'm in shut down mode. I just can't focus right now. I forgot my bubble sheets here last night so my grades were late and of course I was here at 630am to start working on them. The stupid things took me over 5 hours. Grrrr.... some other stuff is going on too that's got me just... feeling out of sorts. Hopefully I'll be back in the Blue Room tomorrow and feeling better..... we'll see.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Barbell work...

Nothin' like jumpin' into a smokin' barbell circuit first thing on Monday morning. AWESOME! :) I sort of felt like I was going to meet Pukie during this one because it was a pretty tough mix of metcon and strength. The load wasn't too heavy, but when you try to bust through it, that "not too bad load" starts to feel wwwwwwaaaaay worse than you think it will. Kinda like those decisions I make with a large portion of my life... you know... the ones that SOUND like a good idea at the time but rarely are? :P Yeaaaaahhhh... so about that... :P LOL. Anyhoo, here's what today's fun looked like.

Barbell Work
10 Rounds for time or 30 minutes of work
5 Thrusters (Thrust 'er? I don't even KNOW 'er!)
7 Hang power cleans
9 Barbell high pulls

Total time 22:16

I felt like I rested way too much on this one. I was trying to keep the bar up even if it was only for 3 before I had to drop it. But even with doing that, I still felt slow and a little sluggish. Maybe it's cause I've been out of the Blue Room for a few days, but who knows. It felt good to get everything in in under 30 minutes though. I was glad I beat the cut off. I heard through the grapevine that I missed Angie, and another max clean and jerk day. I'm not a happy camper about that, but the rest and relaxation was much needed. When I have some time, I'll try to upload a picture or two of me. Let me just say, I look great on a horse... :P I should have been a cowgirl... I should have learned to rope and ride..... wearin my six shooter ridin' my pony on a cattle drive... Oh I shoulda been a cowgirl***

**** lyrics have been changed to suit my purpose... cause I can... and I'll do what I want! :)

Anyhoo... conferences are in progress... they make me very tired... I feel like I always have to be really peppy with the parents, and it wears me out. But, I'm almost halfway done... woot! :) Just gotta keep keepin' on... :) my afternoon is pretty free and clear, but I have a full hour between 3 and 420, so, I just need to make it through the crunch. I can do it!!!! :) You know, I just looked for that SNL skit where they make fun of Kerry Strug and Bella is yelling, "You can do it!" and I couldn't find it.... sad... but man that would have been perfect! :) Until next time, the feast, is mine! Yikes! And away! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wednesday's intervals plus Randy

So, I'm back in the great state of Virginia... :P Woo! :P So, I have some catching up to dooooooo... here we go...

Wednesday was a metcon GASSER!!! Jerry said if you could go sub four that you should double up and go through twice for time and count that as a round. I did not fall into that category and therefore, I did not go psycho on this one. Here's what we did...

Interval training
Once through for time
Rest 3 minutes
Repeat as many rounds as desired/time for

500 M row
40 Air squats
30 Abmat sit-up
20 Push-ups
10 Chins

I was able to hit 3 intervals. They looked sort of like this (I think)
Round 1- 6:02
Round 2- 6:36
Round 3- 6:47

Even though I was out of town on Friday, I still tried to get a workout in. I hit Randy which is 75 snatches for time and used the rx'd women's weight of 55 lbs. My time wasn't too shabby, but should have been quicker. It was 9:34. I have realized though, as many of you have pointed out, that the extra rock in my hips on my bar work is slowing me down. I need to work on dropping my butt without using my hips and causing that extra swing. Always something isn't there?

Back to the grind tomorrow... oh boy... :(

Out of town...

I know that you've all been worried sick about me, but I just wanted to relieve you all of your worries... I'm not dead... or maimed... nor have I stopped drinking the Kool-aid... I'm just out of town for the weekend... :P I actually *gasp* took a day off and gave myself a three day weekend... with all the stress of grades and conferences etc., it's been VERY nice to get away... :) I actually went horseback riding yesterday which was wicked cool... and I have a picture of me on my horse that I'll post up when I get back... :) However, it's time for breakfast... so off I go! :) I'll be sure to post up more later... I hit Randy on Friday... so I'll be posting up about that too... :)