Thursday, December 31, 2009

Party time!

Today Jerry let us basically have free reign in the box. All benchmark wods and barbell movements were fair game today, sort of like a first Friday but with all the wods, and not just heroes and girls. I have to say, my first thought was that elusive 200lb jerk I'm after and so I headed off to the box to go for it this am. But, unfortunately, back was still sore, form was a bit off, and I just wasn't feeling super strong. So, after dropping 175 on my head, I decided to cool off for a bit. I went and got some coffee and came back to cheer on other friends headin' for PR land on this fun day.

The longer I sat though, the antsier I got. You cannot and I repeat CANNOT leave me unattended in a box full of bars and bumper plates. I get crazy ideas. So I decided that a good idea would be to go work on my snatches. So I started loading the bar, and the snatches actually felt pretty good. Back was still tight and I was feeling weak, but I was able to move the bar with speed and that's what counts. I was able to POUND 105, and I mean, that thing went up sweet as can be. But then came decision time. 110 was my current PR, but I wanted 115. Do 110 to feel good? Or go straight for the new PR?

My answer? New PR. I was bummed about not getting one on the jerks, so I was aiming for one with the snatches. My first attempt was overhead and not locked. As was my second. My third attempt was overhead, but I rushed out of the bottom position. I was a little wobbly but held on to get my 115. That felt good. It feels like my snatch form is finally starting to come around. I was pretty stoked. I tried 120, but I was getting smoked. I had it overhead 3 times but just couldn't lock it. Same thing that happened last time with 115. So, I have no doubt that I'll get there. Just gotta wait for things to click. But, regardless, it was a nice present to ring in the new year. :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Double the wod, double the pain...

Now that the weather has turned a mite bit cooler these days, we are seeing fewer of those pesky wods that involve running. Jerry is however finding new and delightful ways to torture us by throwing rowing wods at us. Today though, a super painful row wod just wasn't enough. Jerry decided to double the wods (make that 2 on the day) which made this day doubly painful. I'm not sure what has happened, but it seems that the last week or so at the box has been wicked brutal.

Yesterday's wod's were the first two wods of the regional. For those of you not hip to the regional wods they are as follows.

Wod numero uno
2 K row

Wod numero dos
10 deadlifts
50 double unders

It's been a pretty hot minute since I last did a 2K row, so I was actually kind of curious to see how I would do with this. I'd only ever actually done a 2K row 2 or maybe 3 times, and I was interested to see how much I'd improved since those few attempts. One of our members is actually a rowing coach, and she gave some pointers in a rowing class over the summer. I found them very helpful and have been working on getting my stroke right. So, I went to the box, and what did I find? Jerry had already BUMPED my 2K row time from the top 5! Without even giving me a chance to defend myself! Yar! So I had to row out a PR just to get back ONTO the board. Yar! But that actually wound up ok as I dropped 10 seconds from my old PR and rowed an 8:06. That put me squarely in 5th place on the board, just a mere 1 second behind Melissa. I have to admit though that I'm not sure I can go much faster. I hit a hard cement wall around 1200M in, and the last 800 was sheer suck. I mean, think about the "sucko meter" I was talking about the other day. This one ranks probably at like an 8.5. It's wicked brutal.

WOD 2 though got my goat. I was so gassed from WOD 1 that I couldn't keep core tension and had to drop the rx'd weight. I was also so frustrated that I wasn't able to get my double unders going. It was a very frustrating second WOD. I'm stubborn enough that I will finish any WOD you tell me to do, but I was really really angry that I had to sub stuff out. REALLY. It turned me into a complete head case the second I couldn't do what I wanted to do. Yar! But, the good news is that I still got a row PR. Perspective. Keep it in perspective. :P

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

WOD of death

All CF'ers have workouts that they absolutely despise, but regardless, will do if they come up on a whiteboard. That said, we all also have a list of workouts that we will NEVER do again, regardless of whether or not it's on the whiteboard, or how much you pay us. Right now my list contains three such wods. One of them is Hansen. One of them is Jonesworthy, and the last one is the wod that Jerry made us do yesterday. It flat out blew in all the ways you can think of something blowing. It was interval, it was max reps, it was metcon, it was burpee metcon, it was thrusters, it was HEAVY thrusters. OI Vey. This wod made me seriously want to tap out. No I mean it. At about halfway through, I really wanted to quit.

To start the class, Jerry had us work on snatches again. We spent 10 minutes working the bar path and going through a progression of a muscle snatch, an OHS, a snatch balance, and a full snatch. My snatches are getting better, but I still have to watch because sometimes I get on my toes. I'm working on the turnover speed of my bar, and dropping without getting my feet up too high. Jerry described it as my donkey kick, and I suspect that for lighter weights this does not pose much of a problem, but especially as I get close to my true max, the donkey kick will continue to hamper me and prevent me from throwing anything heavier over my head.

After the 10 minutes on snatches, we went to the workout of the day. It was

Every minute on the minute for 15 minutes
5 burpees
Max thrusters

I'm sorry, but does this really even need an explanation of the "suck factor"? On the suck factor scale of 1-10, this is an 11. No seriously. There's no way to actually breathe in this wod. It just all sucks. Normally in a metcon wod there is a spot where you can sort of regain control of your breathing. I lost it after the first set, and it never returned! So, therefore this receives a suck factor of 11. The weight that I chose was 85 because that was the elite weight and when it comes time to pick weights for things, that's usually what I choose. This was a mistake. I did 4 reps the first round, 3 the second, 3 the third, then dropped to 2 until round 12, at which point, I was so gassed that I dropped to 1 until round 15 when I managed to eek out 2. I was so gassed this whole time that I couldn't keep the bar on my shoulders and I was having to use a lot of extra energy just to get the bar up because it was so far down on my chest. Seriously, this blew very much badly. Other girls were busting out a total of like 60-70 reps. Not me. I got 31. Wow. Total and utter suckage!

CrossFit Central PA style

Back in Julyish, an old family friend of mine friended me on FB. I got a message from her a few days later telling me she had done her first CF wod and LOVED it. I was super stoked then to hear that she was home from Bahrain and wanted to hit a workout or two while I was in town. Awesome!!! Working out with a buddy, in in my opinion, is waaaaaayyyy better than working out alone. So I thought it was awesome that while in Central PA there would be more than 1 CF'er! :) CF has found it's way into southern PA around the Harrisburg area, and into Philly and Pittsburgh, but not so much into the central part of the state yet. I have a feeling it may take a long time to get there. Cows don't really seem like good CF candidates and there are more of them than people in central PA.... :P

Anyhoo, Jen is a big time runner and metcon girl, and I was happy to let her thrash me after all the eating I did. I completely made up for NOT eating a Thanksgiving dinner this year by eating my face off over Christmas. Ok, I didn't really eat my face, that's still there, but you know what I mean. It was like four days of non-stop grazing. Cookies and snacks and meals and oh dear! Lots of coffee with Bailey's. Oh my. Yeah, so I am trying to get back in a groove. I think I seriously gained 5 pounds in 4 days. No, really. I had done such a good job of staying away from holiday sweets and cookies, and that 4 day stint at home just shot me in the foot totally. The good news is, I stayed away from soda pretty well. The bad news is that I ate my face off anyway. Oh well.

Back to the thrashing. So I felt like a giant slug the day after Christmas, but was hell bent and determined to get back to the wod's because god knows I really needed it. So Jen and I headed to a little globo gym they have built into one of our area hospitals and got with the wod. The gym suited us pretty well because there were boxes for jumping, and the trainer working that day was VERY excited to have us. He even told me that there were KB's behind the desk if we wanted them, wink wink. It felt for a minute like I was part of some uber secret society. Someone posted the other day a link all about how CF is a cult because it follows the definition of something that is a cult. Secret language etc etc etc. For a minute, it kind of felt that way. We were privy to the KB's but everyone else wasn't. It was kinda funny. One down side to this experience though, the boxes for the box jumps... metal. Oh yeah. Not kidding. If I missed, I knew it was going to hurt like hell.

But Jen put together a seriously kick ass wod that looked like this.

20 Box jumps
30 Push presses
40 Air squats
50 Abmats
800 M row

This was simply brutal. I couldn't drop the weight for the push presses so everything was controlled. My quads were STILL fried from the Jonesworthy wod on Wednesday, and I was just sluggish and fat. This wod kicked my patootie. I should have done this in until 30. As it stood, it took me 33:13. The row totally gassed me. I could barely breathe going into the box jumps. There was no place for resting here. All in all, it really sucked and kicked my ass, but it was one of those where you KNOW that's what you needed. So I was happy to get it done.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A rant on being "in the biz"...

There are a few things in life that I can say I believe with absolute and unwavering certainty. 1.) Crossfit is the best workout I've ever had. B.) I love chocolate. 10.) Although he doesn't yet know it, Michael Buble WILL in fact one day marry me. Aside from that there is one other thing that I really feel pretty strongly about. I really feel that at some point, everyone should do a stint in a restaurant so that they have an understanding of what it is like. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience what it is like to have to bow to everyone's whim and do what everyone else would like WITHOUT ever being able to say a word. Maybe then everyone would have a better appreciation for servers and workers in restaurants. But, since everyone won't have that opportunity, I'll allow you to live vicariously through me. Let me tell you a story about my night at work on Wednesday...

When I got to work on Wednesday, the server who was working with me informed me that there was going to be a party of twelve people arriving at 8:00. Since I was the closer, it made more sense for me to arrange to take the party than it did for her to. Had she taken it, she would have been there past close, and that just didn't make any sense, since I was the closer. Before I go any further though, I should probably explain one thing. Since my restaurant is in Old Town, it has a little bit of a different set up than you might expect from a traditional restaurant. Our restaurant operates on three floors because we are in a renovated town house basically. The bottom floor houses the bar and kitchen, while the second and third floor have the seating for our restaurant. Normally during the week we are not very busy. The amount of business we do can usually be confined to the second floor, and we don't actually staff the third floor. The third floor gets used only if we can't actually seat a party (usually larger than six) on the second floor. When there are only two servers, using the third floor is a pain because it means you have to split floors. Having tables on both the second and third floor to watch and take care of is a little bit tricky, and also a bit of a pain. It involves a lot of stair running, and isn't exactly enjoyable. But regardless, when we have to, we do it.

It wasn't busy on Wednesday evening and the party of twelve could have easily been sat on the second floor, but they requested the third floor. So I set up their party on the third floor and didn't give it a whole lot more thought. The first few people in the party arrived at about 7:40. The other server who was working that night sat them and let me know that they were here. We are not a restaurant that subscribes to the "Your entire party must be present before we seat you" idea, so I headed upstairs to go check on the first four people. When I got upstairs I asked how everyone was doing and was met with silence. Then I asked if they wanted to start with any drinks or appetizers while they were waiting on the rest of their table. They pointed at the empty seats at the table and told me they were waiting on other people and that no they didn't want anything since they were waiting. I thought that that was odd, but regardless walked away and let them sit.

About 10-15 minutes later, I went back upstairs and checked on them again since no other members of their party had arrived yet. One gentleman took me up on my offer of a drink and ordered a water and told me he was ready to order. But the friends poo pooed him and told him it would be rude to eat in front of everyone else, and so he relented and they continued to wait. About 10-15 minutes after that I checked on them AGAIN. By this point it was after 8:00 and no one else from their party had arrived. This time when I went up and asked about drinks, the gentlemen were a little more recpetive. I told them about our half price bottle of wine special that we do every Wednesday, and they began to look over the list. At this point they began asking me which wine was the best and what I would recommend. Now, honestly, wine can be good when paired with certain foods, but when I don't know what they're going to order, it's hard for me to make suggestions. And to be honest, our wine is what you would expect. We have some reds and some whites, but nothing super great or really extravagent, and it is what you would expect for $10/bottle on half price wine night.

After getting some more information out of them, I finally made a suggestion, and as I was trying to finalize their order, two more of their friends joined them. As the friends came in the one gentleman told me that his friend knew about wine and so he'd ask him. Then they proceeded to ignore me and greet each other, so I began to walk away. As I started to walk away since clearly I wasn't needed, they called me back by yelling "hey" at me a few times, and I came back to the table so they could tell me what they wanted. They finally ordered a bottle of wine, and I placed the order in the computer as a few more of their friends arrived. They told me to add another wine glass to the order so that their friend could drink. A bottle of wine typically has four glasses when not overpoured, so I informed the gentlemen of that, and they asked me to add another bottle to their order. So I did, and then began to go downstairs to get their wine. Now please remember, the bar is on the first floor. So to go pick up their things, I'm legging it down two flights of stairs.

Before I go any further, I do need to tell some back story here. Our restaurant is not always the best at staying on top of thiings. We were running incredibly low on wine glasses and actually had to borrow some from a neighboring restaurant so that we would have wine glasses for the night. On half price wine night, that's sort of important. Now, the wine glasses we borrowed were not the same size as the ones we carry. They are much larger, and quite nice. We had borrowed six of them from our friends hoping it would get us through the night. At this point, when I went downstairs, five of those six really nice glasses were loaded onto a tray with a bottle of wine. The second bottle was in my hand as I began to climb back to the third floor. As I was in the middle of the second flight of stairs, with my hands full, the gentleman who had wanted to order his food earlier, was coming down the stairs. He told me he was ready to order and right there in the middle of the stairs while I stood with my hands full he told me his order and then walked away.

I finished climbing up the stairs and began to unload the wine glasses and uncork the bottles of wine for the table. By this point, a few more friends had arrived and so I asked if they would like things to drink. There was a couple who ordered another bottle, and a group of three girls at the end who ordered one as well. So, I went to put these into the computer and headed back downstairs. I hope you're math is good so that you can remember that only 1 of those nice glasses is left. This becomes important in a minute. So I went down to the bar and collected my wine glasses and two bottles of wine. I had the one remaining large glass, and then four of our glasses which as I said before, are not nearly as large or as nice. When I got back to the table, I decided to give the large glass to the girl who was in the couple. I did this for two reasons, one, she was the female in the couple, and two, she was the girl in charge. I gave the gentleman a wine glass from our restaurant and he immediately threw a fit. He made his girlfriend change glasses with him. She asked if we had anymore large ones and when I told her we didn't, she wasn't pleased but was fine with it.

At this point I have to ask. What is the big deal? I know it looks tacky to have two different sized glasses, but they paid by the BOTTLE, not by the GLASS. So honestly, does the size of your wine glass matter? Regardless, I went to drop off the wine with the group of three girls. I put their wine glasses in front of them and began to open their bottle. As I was opening the bottle of pinot grigio they ordered, they stopped me and told me that they didn't know that they had ordered a bottle of white wine. Now, I know that if you're not a big wine fan it is easy to be confused or not be very well versed in wine, so I gave the girls a pass on the mix up as they were also very nice when they asked to switch to pinot noir. As I was on my way to the computer to place their wine order, a different gentleman stopped me and told me he was ready to order his meal. Please keep in mind that at this point, not everyone even has a drink in front of them and he wanted to order, while I was in the middle of doing something else. I asked him to wait one minute while I took care of the drinks. He wasn't happy with me, but did as I asked.

So I went back down to the bar and switched the wine and came back up to give it to the girls. As I was opening the bottle of wine, they asked for wine glasses. Remember I already gave them to them? I told them that they were in front of them, but that we were just out of the larger glasses. They were ok with it, but were a little bit bothered by the fact that they didn't have the large ones. As I was taking care of the wine, the food that the first gentleman had ordered arrived. The friends all thought that he had ordered an appetizer and they were slightly peeved when they realized that he had his meal already. When I asked if they wanted to order appetizers or if they were ready to order the girl who was in charge immediately said they were ready to order and she would go first.

I walked to her end of the table and when I got there she told me that we had changed our menu since she had been in. I told her that we had changed our menu, but that it had been about two years ago, but we did take a few things off. I also told her that there were still somethings that we could make even though they weren't on the menu. There are some things we can't make because we no longer carry the ingredients, but some things that we can make because we still carry the ingredients in house. She told me that we used to have a burrito that was filled with things and topped with some salsa that we took off the menu. I told her we had never had that but that we had a quesadilla that came with a black bean salsa. She told me I was wrong that we did have a burrito and that now she didn't know what to get.

Two things, one, I hate it when people tell me that I don't know my menu. I've worked in that restauarant for over three years and believe me, I KNOW my shit. Two, I don't like it when people tell me that I'm wrong. Again, I've worked there for over three years. I know my shit. Moving on though, then she asked me what I would recommend. I asked her what she was in the mood for because we do have a pretty big menu. After a lot of himming and hawing she finally said she liked spicy things and I began listing things on the menu she might like. This whole interaction had taken roughly five minutes and she told me to come back because she wasn't ready. She who had told me to start with her wasn't ready. So I moved to the gentleman beside her and got his order and as I was in the middle of the gentleman beside him, she started to try to flag me down and tell me she was ready. Again, while I was in the middle of taking the gentlemen's order. I went back to her and got her order after that and continued on with the rest of the order.

I finally got everyone's order and got it into the computer. By this point, it was almost 9:00. As I was prepping everything and setting out things for their meals they began to play games. As I was setting out things and trying to make sure that they had everything for when their meals arrived, the girl in charge asked me to take a picture of everyone. I'm used to this since during the summer we're such a huge tourist attraction, but regardless, to stop what I'm doing and take photos is sort of annoying. They were sitting in a weird way, so getting them all in was hard, but I took the picture and sort of moved on.

A few minutes later the food began to arrive and I began to deliver it. As I was dropping off all the food, the girls on the end asked what time we closed. I told them that we closed at 10:00. The girls on the end were very polite and said thanks, but the girl who was in charge interrupted me. She told me, again, that I was wrong and said that the kitchen closed at 10:00 but that we stay open until later. I then, while grinding my teeth, let her know that the restaurant closes at 10:00, but that the bar stays open until later. She huffed and puffed and clearly was not happy with my answer. I asked if there was anything else I could grab for anyone and as I was getting the few things they needed, the gentleman who had ordered our Memphis King Burger told me that his sandwich was missing a top. Now, our menu clearly states that that burger is an open faced sandwich, and I let him know that. Instead of saying ok and diving in, he demanded that I go get him a top.

So, down all the stairs I went again to get a top for him. When I brought it back and checked again to make sure everything was ok, I got a few "we're fine" until one girl piped up. She told me that the girl on the end wasn't happy with her food. So, I went to the end of the table to the girl she pointed out and asked her if she wanted something else or wanted to see a menu. She wanted to see a menu and since I didn't have one upstairs, went back down to get one for her. As I came back up and handed her the menu, she told me she had tried the food of the girl in charge and that she wanted what she was having. So, I put the food in and told the kitchen to fly it. A few minutes later, the food arrived. By this time, the table had begun to play games again, and the girl was upset because I was interrupting her game. There was nowhere to set her food because of the cameras, purses etc on the table and she was upset with me because she had to move something to allow me to set it down.

After a few minutes I began to clear the plates while they played their game. A few people asked for boxes and I was more than happy to do that for them. As I was clearing I remembered that they had a cake that they had brought with them as well. I went downstairs and got a knife from the kitchen and also grabbed the cake and plates and brought it up. I let it set there and continued to clear plates. The girl in charge saw it and came over and handed me a taper. She asked me to put it in the cake before cutting it. Now, mind you, a taper is not a birthday candle. It's the thing you see on tables during romantic dinners. She the also asked me to bring it to the table so that the gentleman who arrived first could cut the cake. Typically in a restaurant if you're going to cut the cake, then you're going to serve it. So, I trekked back to the first floor again to find matches and then lit the candle. I placed the cake, the plates, and the knife in front of the gentleman and began to clear a few more plates. As they were cutting the cake, the gentleman with the topless sandwich handed me his plate. He didn't say anything just passed it to me and turned back around.

I threw the remainder of the sandwich out, and started to head downstairs. The girl stopped me and told me I could should serve the cake now. WTF? So I took all the plates, the knife and the cake back. As I was walking away she told me that the cake was messy and said good luck getting it into pieces. Again, WTF? If you knew that it was going to be incredibly hard to cut, why did you order it? Or better yet, why did you ask someone else to cut it? Regardless, I took it, cut it as best I could since the gentleman who "cut" the cake wasn't exactly dead on with it, and served it. I continued to clear as much as I could, but with their games going on, that was challenging. So, I walked away.

Now, mind you, by this point, it was after 10:00. I had a restaurant to close and responsibilities to each floor that I was responsible for. I was not pleased about this. So I did what I could do downstairs, and then went back upstairs to handle the party. As I came back up to clear plates again, the girl in charge asked for the check. So I printed it out and placed it on the table. She looked at me and said, "Is is separated?". I grabbed the check, almost rudely, off the table and walked away before I said anything. I was angry by this point. They had never mentioned separate checks. They had been sharing bottles of wine etc, and now I had to separate all the checks. What a freakin' pain that was going to be. It took me nearly twenty minutes to separate all their things and make sure they were correct.

Now, because of how they had acted towards me all night, I had added the gratuity permitted by our menu, which clearly states 18% is added to parties of six or more. That's totally at our discretion, and this time, I used it. So, I started to pass out all the checks. I wasn't even done handing them all out when people started waving cards in my face. Again, they were asking me to do something while I was still in the middle of doing something else. This party was really good at that. As I handed the check to the gentleman with the burger, he asked where his leftover food was. I apologized but told him I had thrown it out because he hadn't asked me to put it in a box. He got angry and asked why I would do that since he barely ate it, and then the gentleman who was part of the couple, you know the guy with the problem with the size of his wine glass, began commenting on how stupid I was to throw that away. Portion size in our restaurant is HUGE, and it's not uncommon for people to throw away food that looks barely touched. I suppose, I could have double checked to make sure he didn't want a box, and for that I will take my share of the responsibility, but he didn't ask me to box it. So I got my manager, and by now it was pushing 11:00. The kitchen was clean and the cooks long gone, so there was no chance to make another one.

The gentleman then told my manager to take the burger off his check since he barely ate it. He accepted no part of his responsibility to ask me to do something for him. Regardless though, we did it, and they began to pay. Now, at this point, the two gentleman also began to talk about me in another language, which I certainly didn't appreciate. I'm not smart enough to figure out what they were saying, but I'm smart enough to know that it wasn't polite. After taking the cards and getting change for the cash, I was finally finished with the table. As I was cleaning up wrapping paper, the girl in charge came over again and again asked me to take photos of their group. The gentleman who had just finished insulting me with his friend, thrust his camera across the table and said, "Mine too" and turned and walked away. As he walked away he shot over his shoulder, "Please". I took the photos and then grabbed a few more things, incredibly frustrated by the party, before heading downstairs to finish cleaning up.

To be fair in this story, the three girls on the end who had earlier had the wine snafu were very polite. They even added extra gratuity to, I suspect, make up for their friends. They also stayed after everyone finally left to put glasses etc together and begin to clean up the table a bit. All in all, the table finally left around 11:20, only an hour and twenty minutes after closing.

Here ends my tale of the evening. I finally left work that night close to midnight, which is almost two hours later than I'm supposed to leave. I tell this story, not for sympathy, but so people can learn from it. I think it is far easier to see misbehavior in others than it is to see it in ourselves. If you read this story and saw things that you thought perhaps were not appropriate, I'm glad. Hopefully you'll keep that in mind the next time you are out in a restaurant. If you happen to catch your friends doing these things, please let them know as well. However, if you read this and saw nothing wrong with anything that happened, please read the tips below. Here are some of things my party of twelve should have considered.....

Helpful Tips from Your Friendly Neighborhood Server

1.) Unless you're ordering appetizers, wait until everyone has a drink before you order. It's rude to try to order food while others still don't have a drink.

2.) Order together as one table. It's rude to eat in front of other people who don't have food, unless it's an appetizer. It's also much easier on the kitchen if a large order comes down on one ticket. Then they can see everything that your table needs in one swoop. They don't have to look at six or eight different tickets. Also, having eight separate tickets for your table clogs the window with tickets unnecessarily and is not efficient for the kitchen. So please, wait for your friends and order together.

3.) Ask me! If you have questions about the menu, shoot! Any decent server should be able to answer any typical questions you have about their menu. If you have a more specific question and they don't know they answer, they should be able to find the answer for you. We want you to have a great dining experience and we certainly don't want you to be surprised or disappointed when your food comes. If you have a question, ask. We'd love to help you out. If you have a question and you don't ask, you have no right to be disappointed about your food when it comes.

4.) Know what you're ordering. This ties into the tip above. If you aren't sure what it is you're ordering, and you don't ask your server to clarify, you have no right to be upset later when you're food arrives.

5.) Speak up! If your food comes and something isn't right, tell us! As servers, we've gotten really good at reading basic facial expressions/body movements, but we can't always tell what you're thinking. Sometimes our crystal balls do fail. So if something isn't right, or you're not pleased with what we brought, please tell us. We're more than happy to fix it, but we can't fix something if we don't know that it's wrong. We want your return business, and we're not going to get it if you leave unhappy with our food. Please use common sense though as there are limitations to this. We have no problem remaking something once, or even twice, but three or four times, come on. We're going to recommend that you try something else. Or, if you decide after eating 3/4 of your meal that you don't like it, we're probably going to look at you a little funny and give you the old, REALLY?

6.) Express your displeasure in an adult manner. We know that sometimes things happen and get mixed up. We're human and we do make mistakes. We want you to tell us if something is wrong, however, you need to express your unhappiness in an adult way. Calling your server, the management, or the kitchen staff names is NOT an adult way of dealing with things.

7.) Be polite and respectful. Servers get called a variety of things, some of them not always so pleasant. Using their name and saying please and thank you can go a long way. If your server forgot to tell you their name, ask. If you can't remember, miss or ma'am usually gets our attention, but snapping, waving, or yelling "hey" or "you" are NOT respectful and NOT appropriate.

8.) Tip appropriately. Let's sort this out right now, tips are not "extra". Servers' income depends solely on their tips. Servers in VA get paid $2.18 an hour. The tips we earn are the money we take home. We don't get paychecks. When you are tipping please consider the following. Standard tipping is 15-20% However, here's my general suggestion. If your server is just ok, tip 15%. If your server has clearly gone beyond just being "average" or "ok", tip the 18-20%. An average server would be someone who gets the job done, but doesn't bring any extra enthusiasm to the job. Someone who clearly deserves the extra is someone who smiles, talks to you, asks you questions, makes sure everything is ok, brings things ahead of time or anticipates your needs, or if you're a regular, has memorized your order/drink. If you have a server who is truly terrible, please feel free to leave them less than 15%. However, consider this. A truly horrible server is one who messes up your food but does not correct it, fogets to bring you things despite repeated reminders, doesn't smile, doesn't check on you, or doesn't refill drinks. Forgetting your butter one time is not a quality of a bad server. Be reasonable.

9.) Servers prefer one check. It is far easier on us to have one check open for a table than twelve. We can take multiple forms of payment on one check, and that for us is much easier than wading through twelve checks. We are also far more likely to make a mistake when we are trying to deal with twelve checks as opposed to one. So please consider this, and unless it is necessary, please do not ask for separate checks. If it is necessary, for work purposes etc., let your server know IN ADVANCE that you need separate checks. In my story, it took me nearly twenty minutes to sort out their checks because not only was I separating the checks, but they had shared items (the wine) that had to be separated into four parts and then placed on the individual checks. Sound confusing? It is. So please let your server know in advance so that they can separate things in a timely manner. It's also helpful when alcohol is involved to know up front. This lets us know to keep track of an individual tally as opposed to simply a group tally. Please be considerate and keep this in mind.

10.) Wait until your server does not have full hands or is not already occupied before you ask them to do something else. If we are already in the middle of something or have full hands as we walk by and you ask us to do something, we are far more likely to forget what it is you asked us to do than if you had simply asked us when we were not already busy. So please, try to wait until an opportune moment. There is an exception to this rule however. If your food is cold or incorrect, or you need to leave immediately, by all means, stop us in a polite manner. But if it can wait, then WAIT. We'll take care of you as soon as we can.

All of these tips are given with the assumption that you have a server who is generally capable at their job. If you have a server who is not, please either ask to see a manager or email the restaurant at another time. We honestly want you to have a great time and we want your return business. If something isn't right, you need to let us know. Please don't treat tipping as a way of giving us appropriate feedback on how our servers are doing. There are some people out there who receive excellent service but don't tip accordingly either because they're cheap, or because they don't understand the concept. Tips are not an accurate reflection of what is going on in a restaurant or with a server. So please take these tips to heart, but also please do your part in giving feedback when necessary. I hope your next restaurant visit is great!


If you've never done this WOD, I actually don't recommend it. There are few wod's that I look at and actually say, "Never Again" about. Most WOD's, if they come up, I will do them because Jerry said so, and I may grumble and gripe, but I will do it. This is one of those WOD's though, where if Jerry actually posts it, I say "Hellz to the No" and take a rest day. Same thing I'd do if the "Hansen" wod every came up again. Seriously, I'd be like, peace out!

I understand that sometimes workouts make you sore. I get that, believe me. I can't actually walk normally right now though, and that's a problem. Especially when you're supposed to be dressed up and looking nice for church, or when you have Christmas shopping you need to finish. Yeah, about that. Not so much. The soreness in my legs, actually just woke me up. That's why I'm typing this at 0415. So, seriously, heed my warnings and just say no to this. I've been awake for an hour. I've watched some really horrible tv, and some interesting tv. Army vs. Navy college rugby was intriguing. Anyway, Jonesworthy looks like this...

Squats - 80, 64, 48, 32, 24, 12 = 260
KB Swings - 40, 32, 24, 16, 12, 6 = 130
Pullups – 20, 16, 12, 8, 6, 3 = 65

I started off with a 45 lb KB and had to drop to 35. In addition to causing severe pain in my legs, this wod really messed up my lower back. I noticed during the Hopper that my back tightened up on the KB swings, but I was able to push through. During this wod though, I actually stopped quite a bit because my back was really bothering me. All in all, I just call this wod a bad idea, and chalk it up.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Get back to your roots girl..

Every now and again I watch this just to remind myself of where I've been. This was my one year anniversary. If CF can do this for me in just 1 year, where will I be at 3? 4? 5? I've already passed 2 years now and I feel great. The diet needs adjusted but I've still come a long way baby. For those of you who keep telling me you'll never be able to do what I do... I call bullshit. 2 years ago, neither could I.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Do you like my snatch?

*snicker* Oh it's too funny, it's too funny! I can't NOT make snatch jokes. Apparently I also can't use correct grammar either. Thank you double negative. Anyway, so today, dare I say, I liked our workout? I'm serious, this is like, MAJOR. Because, yes we did do snatches today, but then we followed it with interval training. I HATE metcons, and I especially hate push-ups. We did both today, and I LIKED it. I think like the world has shifted out of allignment. No, really. After missing the Hopper Saturday, and being off Friday in preparation for the ass kicking that was coming, I was really needing a wod today.

So we started out with snatches. Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes do 3 heavy snatches. I used 90 for this part of the wod and it felt good. I mean, I was tired, and I probably could've gotten away with going higher, but 90 was good for me. It really allowed me to work my speed under the bar and work on turning things over faster. It was really good for me to work that. I got on my toes a few times but for the most part, my snatches looked and felt good. After the 10 minute wod, we did some interval training, which is where things all go out of whack.

I mean, let's face it. I heart me some barbell work, but give me a metcon and I'm worse than Sally Sour Puss. I hate it. But today for some reason, the intervals felt good. They looked like this:

3-5 rounds
Rest 60 seconds if below 3:00
Rest 90 seconds if above 3:00
If over 4:00 scale

350 M Row
25 Push-ups
15 Pull-ups

This was pretty brutal on me, but, BUT even with my slow as crap push-ups, I still managed to get all of these in under 4:00. I decided to do 4 rounds, and was contemplating 5 when I decided that my legs were shakey enough, and that 4 was plenty on the day. My times were 3:32, 3:47, 3:52, 3:57. Not too shabby at all for a girl who hates metcon stuff.

To be honest, it's very strange. It's taken me almost 2 years, but I'm starting to get to that point where I'm pushing through now on metcons. It's happened a few times in the last few weeks where I really just felt like I was going through a barrier and it's made my metcon work sort of on par with other people's. I feel good about that. It's weird. I know. I feel like the planet has shifted or something....

Oh, and as for that really funny picture of me that's up there. See, I didn't have to run out the door today, so we were talking apparel since CF is slated to get some new stuff soon. I confessed that I was wearing cheerleading shorts, and so Jerry snagged this hilarious photo of me in my shiny shoes, "Bad Ass" socks, and my cheerleading shorts. How freakin' funny is this? I should have kept going and done a full photo shoot, but one was funny enough. Honestly though, I just wanted some plain color shorts (without a separate color trim) that didn't cost an arm and a leg, and that I could wear my new socks with. Really, I'm sorry, I'm getting to be all about the socks now. I heart them and found a bunch online I want to buy. Seriously. But I can't wear socks with pants and I want to make cute outfits, so I bought the cheerleader shorts cause they were cheap and what I wanted. But regardless, I just thought the whole thing was very funny. Look for more cute outfits with new socks coming soon! :P

Weekend WOD: shovel for time

So, I hit the box Thursday night to blow through a NASTY metcon WOD, but laid off the box Friday, A)because Jerry made us, and B)because the second part of our Hopper Challenge was scheduled to go on this Saturday. Well, guess what. Mother Nature had a few ideas about that. In fact, she had about 20-22 ideas about that.

Since moving here, now a little over 4 years ago, I have NEVER and I mean, NEVER seen DC just completely shut down. This weekend was AWESOME! Since I live around the corner from a Starbucks and a grocery store, I was totally set. I could walk to get my coffee but huddle up indoors where it was quiet and watch the snowfall and drink hot cider. It was TERRIFIC! Only problem is, we missed the Hopper. Boo. So, now I'm feeling much like a giant slug because I haven't worked out in 4 days, but CFOT is open today. :) So I will go do some snatches and enjoy being back at the box. Oh, BTW, forget to mention that Mother Nature also gave me an early Christmas present. No school all week. ;) Sleeping IN and going to the box for two whole weeks. Ahhhhhh... life just went from good to amazing. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Swimmin' in the bathtub!!!!

I don't know if anyone remembers the 80's or not, but Gremlins 2 was an awesome cheesy 80's flick. Right now would be a great time for me to reference Goat Boy from Saturday Night Live. I think I will then. Pogo!!!!

Anyway, now that you remember the 80's and Gremlins 2, there was a scene in Gremlins where despite their hatred, well, actually I take that back, I don't know that the Gremlins actually HATED water, it just made them reproduce like bunnies on 'roids. Anyway, despite their "unique" relationship with water shall we say, there was a scene when the Gremlins take over the building and there was a Gremlin in a shower cap, and he's "Singin' in the bathtub!!!!". So, for my title today, I used the Gremlins for inspiration, and then tweaked that just a little bit to get "Swimmin' in the bathtub!!!!". I'm so clever.... and yet so completely and totally random it's not even funny! So, yeah, later I'll actually do the write up on the WOD I did, which really wasn't a CF WOD at all. I went swimming.... DUH! :P

So... this whole swimming thing. Yeah, about that. I haven't been in the water in close to a year. Honestly, I think the last time I did a swim workout was last January/February ish. When I used to swim competitively, 4-5 days a week, our practices were usually between 1.5-2 hours long. If you figure that our average practice was between 5-6,000, that averages out to about 3,000 yards/hr. More or less given the intervals given and the types of sets given. Obviously, a kick set will take more time than a sprint set, and a long distance set, while LONG, will take a pretty big chunk of time. My average when doing sets is about 1,000 per 20 minutes, so roughly 3,000/hr. In laymens terms, that's almost 2 miles an hour of swimming. And let me just say, that swimming, is not quite the same as running. In running, you're depending upon some of the strongest muscles in your body, your legs. In swimming, you're relying on all the muscles to work together in conjunction, at the same time, so that you swim instead of sink. This puts HUGE amounts of stress on your shoulders. Even moreso if you are like me and absolutely ABHORE kicking.

This was a stroke flaw that I was never quite able to fix. For some reason, when I swim freestyle, I don't kick. I've always depended on my arms to pull me through, and I guess that's probably 90% of the reason that my shoulders have developed into the monstrosities that they are. But regardless, my absolute hatred of freestyle drove me to become a stroke girl, and I wound up being a decent breaststroker. I was never "great" but I always managed to hang right in the middle of the pack. Even up into college. So, my kick sets, always breaststroke, and what's funny is that my breaststroke kick is faster than most people's freestyle. What can I say? I guess I've always been unique! :P

So getting back in the pool felt in an odd way like coming home, but I still have a hard time enjoying it. I did it for so long, so that when the time came and I walked away, I walked away with few regrets. I do believe they call that BURNOUT. 6-22 plus some masters, that's a loooong time to do just one thing. But regardless, the pool still sort of feels like home. So, since I was already at the pool and didn't really feel like rushing up into Old Town to catch a CF class, I just decided to hop in. Here's how the breakdown went.

200 warm-up
200 stroke
8 X 50 kick @ 1:00
50 easy
8 X 25 underwater :15 seconds rest
8 X 50 free @ 1:00
8 X 50 breast @ 1:15
100 easy
4 x 100 IM's @ 2:15
100 easy

Total yardage: 2,550

In all honesty, the breaststroke stuff felt pretty good and so did the 50's free. By the end though, my shoulders were pretty fried. We did strict presses on Monday, and while I hit a PR I think I did manage to tweak my shoulder a bit. Jerry noticed that I have an extreme inbalance in my arms. I had the right arm almost locked before the left one went up and over. So clearly, there's something to be said for that. I think in doing that, I think I did a little tweaky tweaky that was further aggravated by the constant movement of my rotator cuff while swimming. But, for a spur of the moment wod, this wasn't bad. Heartrate was up for almost an hour and I got some decent yardage in. Maybe I'll swim again sometime soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thoughts on nutrition from a girl who likes to eat...

I know this may come as an utter shock to some of you, but I actually don't have a PHd in nutrition. Heck, I don't even have a masters in nutrition. And *gasp* I'm not a nutritionist at all!!! I merely have a very long history with food, and as I creep ever so slowly toward that magical age of 30, I have learned a few things about me and food along the way. (Side note, I only say 30 is magical because everyone keeps telling me I'll figure everything out by the time I'm 30. If I get it all down by 40, I'll call it a day and put a "W" in THAT column.)

I say that I have a long history with food because food and I have had our ups and downs. A lot of that has to do with who I am, and how I live my life. For a long time, when I felt like I couldn't control the events in my life, controlling the intake of food was a tool to help get me where I wanted. Then, years later, I began to change not the intake of my food, but what I was taking INto my body. I was able to see dramatic changes in my body and energy levels due to this, but as with so many people and weight loss, the good times just didn't last. I was left feeling diappointed in myself, angry that weight is such a struggle for me, and really emotionally beat down. I have realized that I am an emotional/stress eater, and that there is a LOT of that in my life. But learning that about myself didn't help me to solve the issue.

So, where does that leave me? According to some, but never to me I might add, I am someone to be "watched". I'm apparently someone who people look at on the board, try to match, try to beat. Having said that, sometimes I feel sort of like I should be a model CF'er, eating well, pushing hard everyday, and actually BEING a role model. But the bottom line is that, well, I simply can't. This is not to say I don't try hard or push myself, but I mean with regards to the eating. I have tried to eat Primal and Zone, and I mostly enjoy both programs, but the problem is, quite frankly, I don't have the time and energy to be as committed as CF or those programs would like.

To be a committed eater, honestly, takes a lot of time and energy. Two things that in my schedule, I am finally acknowledging, I rarely have. Some people will say I am flaunting this as an excuse. I say, it's reality. Most nights I don't have the energy to sit and take 20-40 minutes to cook something. Most nights, I don't have the energy or time to sit and prep meals for the next day. People say, buy ahead of time, cook on the weekends. Guess what. I CF Saturdays, work Saturday nights, and then have a window on Sunday in which to do anything that I want/need to do before going to work Sunday night. Call me crazy, but I don't want to spend all of my spare time cooking/preparing/buy food. I like to read, I enjoy movies. I WANT to do other things. It's just too much. So, now that I've admitted to being a horrible human being for not focusing on my diet, where does that leave me? Dangling in the wind and eating bon bons and ding dongs? Lord no.

It means I eat out a LOT. I eat a lot of salads. A LOT. It means that yeah, sometimes my meals are crap, but most of the time, I try to do what I can to make good choices. I don't eat McDonalds, but I'll eat Subway. Oh god! Not carbs!!! A sandwich?!!?! How DARE I? This or that folks. Subway and the meat is far better than fries and McNuggets. Are they perfect choices? No. Grilled chicken breast with fresh cooked veggies would be a Primal dream, but guess what. Quick and dirty sometimes is what it has to be. I also eat cereal! Oh God! Not carbs! Again, horrible I know, but fast and easy, and much more nutritious than the things in the vending machine or some take-out possibilities. I like to eat, I really and honestly do. I want to enjoy what I'm eating. So I try to enjoy what I'm eating, but keep it SENSIBLE. Chinese food and pasta everyday are NOT sensible. Eating yogurt, salad, and cereal I don't think will send me prematurely to my grave. And by cereal I mean the likes of things like Special K, although some Lucky Charms would be pretty kick ass right now.

Some people would argue that I'm doing myself a disservice. I should be focusing on my diet because that's the key to health. But you know what, they're not me. And aside from the whole schedule thing that you just read about, there are some other issues going on in my life right now, namely that I'm not happy with my work situation and it's causing a lot of stress. Again, I don't have a PHD and I'm not a nutritionist, but one of the things that I've learned about diet the hard way, is that if you're not ready or willing or able to commit full throttle, you're setting yourself up for failure. Right now, I'm not able to commit fully. I'll admit that. I've tried to do it under these circumstances and I waste a LOT of money on groceries that never get eaten. And for someone who has money issues, that is incredibly FRUSTRATING. Frustration with a diet due to $$ doesn't help you stay on track either, at least in my opinion. It just creates more animosity towards it which hurtles you towards derailment in the end.

I have realized that for ME, I need to calm my schedule down and get happy with some other things first BEFORE I can tackle my diet. It needs commitment, and I'm not able to do that right now. Not the way I should. Wise folks keep telling me to focus on one thing at a time. So, job and financial issues first. Then the diet. But in the meantime, I will continue to do my best and make the best choices I can. I will try to steer clear of the holiday cookies, eat more meat and salads, and steer clear of the pasta aisle. Do I think this makes me a horrible person? No. Not even close. Do I think that it makes me a horrible CF'er? No. I'm still trying to hit the box hard. Do I think I could do better? Yes. But when the time is right, it's going to come back on line for me. My first 9 months or so I never even THOUGHT about my diet, so honestly, it's time to just hit the box, and let the chips fall for a little bit longer. For now though, my yogurt and my cereal are going to have to do all right by me.

But now the question is, what do I think people should take away from this post? F Zone, Primal, and Paleo eating and bring on the yogurt and cereal? No. I want them to take away EXACTLY what they take away from a lot of my other posts.

You are an individual and the only person who can make you happy is YOU. YOU have to do what is right for YOU. If sticking to Paleo and Zone just isn't happening, don't frustrate yourself and waste your money on something you can't do right now. Make the best choices you can. If you eat sandwiches for lunch because you don't have time to block everything out and slaughter your own cow, don't feel bad. Exercise is important. Stick with the box, stick with the plan and when you're ready, board the diet train. Don't worry, it's not going to leave the station without you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Miracle bra: friend or foe?

My good internet friend Justa brought up this interesting point the other day, and I just felt the need to blog about it. Oh what, stop acting surprised. Just because I've been busy you didn't think I stopped having ridiculously random thoughts did you?!?! Hahahahahaha... silly. That's just plain silly. So Justa said the other day that girls have a distinct advantage when doing C2B pull-ups, especially when wearing the miracle bra. I think I'm inclined to disagree but I'll let others weigh in on this CLEARLY important topic.

See, here's the thing. The miracle bra doesn't make them any bigger. The miracle bra just sort of hoists 'em up and puts 'em out there on display for people to oogle at and hopefully try to pry you with free alcohol so that later they can get a more up close and personal look if you know what I mean. (side note, this very rarely works, but it's fun to watch you try) But, in truth, they don't make the SIZE any bigger so I fail to see how the miracle bra would actually help women with C2B pull-ups. It's not like it's pushing them OUT so they are bigger and therefore closer to the bar... it just hoists them up and in. Now, if we were all wearing PADDED bras to CFOT and the like, then I think I could see a distinct advantage. Padding adds to the size, so then MAYBE we'd have like an 8th of an inch advantage but I'm digressing.

Secondly, my other point, is who the F wears a miracle bra to the box? Ok, maybe the girls who wear the skimpy spanky pants that ride up so you see their butt when they squat, but aside from them, WHO? Cause seriously, the rest of us are more worried about strapping them DOWN and getting them out of the way than we are about pushin' em out an eight of an inch to get us closer to the pull-up bar. I mean seriously, if you've ever CLEANED a bar into your chestular area, you KNOW that crap HURTS! I mean seriously, gents, I know you don't have 'em, but they are sensitive believe it or not.

So, I'm going to have to say that I think Justa, that your logic is flawed.... ;) The floor is open for other opinions! :)

Strict Press X 1

Despite my love of putting heavy things over my head, the strict press and I, well we're not BFF's. We sort of have this, well CORDIAL, relationship. We don't really hang out, we don't go get Starbucks. We're cool if we pass each other at the box, we chat now and again, but we're certainly not going to go out of our way for each other. We don't exchange birthday or Christmas gifts... we're just not tight like that.

But, I mean, I'm cool with that because you see, jerk, OHS, snatch and I... we've got a pretty good thing going. We're a pretty tight knit bunch. I really don't NEED anyone else in my life, but strict press and I, we get along a'ight. :P

Part of the reason being that you know, I'm just not feeling strict press. I don't get really excited about it. It's hard to feel excited when you stand and press. Not to knock strict press, shoulder strength IS important, but it's not as fun, not as flashy as my close friends, snatch, jerk, and OHS. They're just a far cooler crowd, so I tend to roll with them and not strict press. But regardless, strict and I see each other from time to time. Today being one of those times. We hit some strict press X 1 and I walked out with a new PR. It wasn't flashy or fancy, but it got the job done. After that, I stuck around a bit to play with my jump rope because I haven't been working my double unders the way I should. *hangs head* Oh... But regardless, strength gains are coming... now if only I could stop eating Chrstmas cookies... YAR!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Run? Howzabout something else?

So yesterday AM, I had a heck of a time getting out of bed. The transition from the late night shifts at work to the early AM wake-up for CF don't always work out quite so well. Sooooooo, I didn't go. I decided to go last night after a HORRIBLE day at work. I don't know if my blood pressure was still raging, but in all the INDOOR movements, I seriously felt like I was bustin' a gut to keep moving. I mean, I was pretty much bookin' it. But, unfortunately, my OUTDOOR stuff kept me from doing really well on this. And by OUTDOOR, I mean running. It was only a cash in cash out scenario, but GD. I think my indoor wod seriously took 8 minutes, and my outdoor 6. WTF mate? That's seriously terrible.

The WOD from yesterday looked like this:
400 m run
Box jumps
C2B pull-ups
400 m run

Total time: 14:27

To be honest, I was not locked out as actively for this WOD as I should have been. Weight was 75lbs, which for me, is relatively light. I say relatively because holding large quantities of weight overtop of your head while you squat with it is never easy. But 75 is pretty light when compared to say oh, the 1RM I did last week with 160. But since I wasn't locked out the way I should, I wasn't as stable as I should have been and I did a little bit of the OHS dance.... you know the one I mean. Where you have the bar over your head and it looks like what you're doing sort of resembles a fox trot? Yeah, that one. I did a few of those. Or maybe it's more like a samba, quick steps forward. :P Regardless, you know what I mean.

I have to say though, that I really was pushin' it and I was hurtin' on the inside stuff. I mean, I didn't drop the bar at all, despite being a little loose, and I was crankin' through the other stuff. I did C2B with the pull-ups mostly. There were a few where I was definitely right there but JUST missed the contact, so I still counted it because literally, it was RIGHT there. I was up and high enough just missed it on the follow through. Some may call me a cheater. I say... :P.

I'm just so angry about the running on this though. I mean, it's not like I don't try and I don't push myself, I mean, I gave myself side cramps last night, but for whatever reason, I am not zippy fast. I wish I was. I felt like poo for not finishing this faster. But, finishing slow is better than DNF, which is better than DNS which is really what I wanted to do yesterday after the situations I had with my administration. Soooooo just gotta keep gettin' to the box, and oh yeah, lay off the Christmas cookies. :P

On giving and taking...

coming soon!

Choose your own pain...

Dude, I so used to love these books as a kid. I googled these, and there are tons of them and Amazon still sells them. Hmmmmmmm.... I also had to laugh because people have also spoofed the covers. I almost choose one called "Choose your own death". Now granted, this wod hurt and I've now got Fran lung/Fran cough, I'm kinda feeling like death, but not really dead. Soooooooo... I choose the other picture.

Today was sort of choose your own pain. Our wod involved interval training between 3-5 rounds. For some people 3 was plenty. For others, 5 or 6 were necessary. Regardless of how many intervals you did though, one thing was for sure. It HURT. I did four rounds this morning and I was SMOKED. I would have done 5 but ran into the 0600 class so I wasn't able to do a final round. I think though honestly, 4 was more than enough.

Here's the problem with the whole "choosing your own pain" thing though. It sucks. Cause you feel like a wuss if you pick 3, but you feel death if you pick 5. I mean really, can you win either way with this? I say no. :P So regardless though, here's what the WOD was.

Row 300 M
25 kb swings (35)
20 wall ball
15 burpees

Rest 2 min
Lather, rinse, repeat

All in all, for as whacked out as I have felt lately at the box, this actually was a pretty good wod for me.

Round 1-5:02
Round 2-4:55
Round 3-5:22
Round 4-6:30

By the time I hit the last round, I really had nothing left in the tank. I was HURT-ING. Yes, I really meant to break that apart into syllables. It's all part of Katiespeak. Say it like I says it. :) Kinda like, TARZHAY.... :) Anyhoo, thought of the day: Intervals pretty much suck. Gimme a barbell. Ze end!

PS- as an afterthought, that picture of that book cover is really creepy. It kinda looks like something a little strange, AKA bad, is going on in that picture....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sophomore slump...

You know, it was bound to happen at some point. My get up and go, well, it sort of went. My endless zeal for CF has sort of run out this week. I'll refer to it as a sophomore slump, just because I like the alliteration. :P (Ah, the teach in me.) But you know, my normal up and at 'em at 0400 has sort of disappeared. Somewhere between the school BS (believe me, there's a lot) and the swimming and waitressing, I'm just beat. I come home nights craving a book and some peace and quiet as well as a good pair of sweats. My eating is so far off track, it's not funny, and really, I just want to veg out. For once, I want to not be ME. For once, I want to be normal and not hit the alarm off button at 0400. I want to be able to wake up at 0600 like regular teachers. But, unless I get in CF in the AM, it just doesn't get done.

So for me, the question remains of how to deal with this. I think we all feel this way from time to time, but the question is how do we tackle it? If we continue to keep pushing, will we burn ourselves out further? Or should we stop, take a break, and then come back when we feel ready? I'm inclined to say the latter, but exercise is vital to staying healthy, and let's be honest, once we stop a routine, some of us (myself included) lack the motivation to regain it once things have calmed down. (see me on Zone eating! :P) So... I guess for me, I'm going to try to keep going 4 days a week and hope that my zeal returns soon. Maybe having some time off around the holidays will help take care of that, maybe not. But, exercise is important, so I'm going to try my best.

Having said that though, I think if you're feeling like me, like life is just one big whirlwind you're working through and not actually LIVING, you need to evaluate YOUR particular situation and do what's best for you. The only person who can take care of you is YOU. So do what you think will be best for your situation and will make you happy AND keep you healthy.

Rest day...

Due to an early morning IEP that was SUPPOSED to start at 800am, I needed to get to school a little earlier than my normal 7:15-7:20, so I didn't hit the box yesterday. Might get back today after school and swim practice, but we'll see how I feel.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Front Squats X 1

Because of my crazy schedule these days, it seems like I've missed all the FS wods lately. So today was my first time doing front squats in a long time. I sort of forgot everything that I figured out about my front squats last year, and ramped up waaaaay too slowly. By the time I got to my max sets, I was going down too slowly, not driving up fast enough, and in general was a little burnt out. Still hit a decent number though, and will hopefully continue to work up from there. It was a sort of uneventful day in the box, so really not much to write up or report. But you know, not everyday can be full of zaniness and insanity! Although, my personal life never seems to lack that! :P

175X1 (FX3)

Definitely spent too long on the ramp up. But there's always next time!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Why I'll gladly suffer...

As Crossfitters, we voluntarily put ourselves through some very painful things. We have calluses gallore, cuts on our legs, bruises from various assorted bars, bells, and implements, and let's not forget, whiplash and rope burn from the ropes. Voluntarily we go through this pain and suffering just to make ourselves better atheletes. But sometimes we wonder if all the pain and suffering is really worth it. Sometimes we wonder if it helps at all. Sometimes we wonder if we should continue to do these things to ourselves. But, on days like today, as CrossFitters, we will gladly suffer. We will suffer because we know that the answer to that question of whether it helps at all, is most definitely YES. Today, our pain and suffering during a workout most definitely made a difference. Maybe not to us, but definitely to other people. I GLADLY suffered today, because I knew I was helping someone else.

Today, CFOT and many affiliates, some not even in the United States, performed the Lumberjack workout to honor the fallen victims of the Fort Hood tragedy, and also to raise money for their families. To me, this exemplifies what CrossFit is all about. There is a sense of community that transcends ages, religions, sexes, occupations, miles, and in some cases even countries. The people in the CF community wanted to help, and they did. I LOVE that I know that despite the fact that it was not THEIR military community that was affected by this tragedy, there were CF affiliates in Canada performing this Wod today. Today, our suffering did make a difference. At CFOT alone, our suffering helped to raise over $1,000 for the families of those who fell on that tragic day. I GLADLY suffered through that wod, and I'd do it again for the same result.

While we are all decorating Christmas trees and lamenting holiday Christmas shopping, there are families whose holiday season will not be as bright. They are suffering the loss of a loved one while we are not. They are battling a pain far worse than anything CrossFit could ever reign down upon us as athletes. But today, today we suffered so that perhaps their holiday will be a little bit better, a little bit brighter, at least maybe their financial burden eased slightly by our own pains. The bottom line here though remains that our pain is temporary, and theirs will take a much longer time to heal. I feel for those families right now, and the immense sense of loss that I'm sure they are experiencing but I'm proud that the CrossFit community stepped to the plate and did what they could to help. I'll gladly suffer to help members of this community who are in need. After all, CrossFit has given so much to me, it's nice to know I can help CrossFit give back to someone else. The spirit of Christmas is giving right? That spirit lives all year long within the CF community, and I'm proud to be a part of it.

The Lumberjack 20
To Honor the Fallen of the Fort Hood Tragedy
20 Deadlifts 175lbs/400 M run
20 KB swings 53lbs/400 M run
20 OHS 95lbs/400 M run
20 Burpees/400 M run
20 Pull-ups Chest 2 Bar/400 M run
20 Box jumps 24"/400 M run
20 squat cleans 95lbs/400 M run

Total time: 50:58

I don't think I really needed to scale the weight up today. I think I would have been just fine with the women's weights... silly me and my brilliant ideas. I guess though that I suffered more, and that was the point after all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Today's laugh...saving the worms!

On my way in the building this morning, I saw a worm on the sidewalk had an attack of an old memory that made me smile despite my foul self. When we were young, my sisters and I noticed that after heavy rains the worms would all be on the sidewalks. As an adult I understand now that that has to do with the saturation of the soil with excess rain water and blah blah blah but back then, we didn't get that. All we knew was that the worms were on the sidewalk and they were supposed to be in the ground. We were always very concerned that people would step on them and kill them so we would always go on a mission after all the heavy rains and "save the worms". We would go up and down the sidewalk removing all the worms from the sidewalk and putting them back in the grass. We remained completely stymied when we had finished and turned around to see worms on the sidewalk back where we had started, but we would diligently go back and put them back in the grass where they belonged. Clearly, we didn't understand but our hearts were in the right place. With all the rain we've had lately and the cool temperatures, the ground has been pretty soggy. While coming in this morning I saw several worms and was inclined to save them, but figured they were better off without my help. Who says we don't learn anything as we get older? :P

No first Friday for me...

Due to a bad day hangover, I chose not to go to CF today. I'm really a head case at the moment and I'm not really in any position to work out or really be around others at the present moment. One of the problems with me being made the way I am, is that I take things very personally. I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. I carry this with me wherever I go, regardless of whether it's here, at the restaurant, at the gym, coaching, life in general. It is what it is. That's all great and well and it pushes me to do good work, but the problem is that then when people attack my work or what I've done, I take it very personally. The problem with that is that as a teacher, I tend to get attacked quite a bit. I don't want to make it sound like an everyday occurance, because it's not always, but it does happen pretty frequently. Parents always want me to do more. I'm always not doing enough to help their child. Regardless of the lessons I do prepare, the materials I do make, the things I do put in place to scaffold for them and try to help them, it's just not enough for them. It's a very frustrating feeling. Most people go home and complain to husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc and then let it go. At this time in my life, I don't have that, and I'm having a hard time letting some of these things go. It's affecting me big time. So I took today off because I also know I have another long day ahead of me with our first swim meet tonight. This of course also means no CF social. When I asked my magic eightball if today was going to be better, it said no. Great.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Funny things make me laugh!

So remember a few weeks ago when I was saying that you need to find things to make you smile and laugh everyday? So yesterday I totally had a good one. While I was stopped at the Deli to grab some breakfast on my way to school, this car pulled into the parking lot. It was raining a bit, drizzling if you will, and he rolls into the parking lot with his window open totally rocking out. And I kid you not, I mean seriously, I couldn't make this up, old boy was ROCKIN'OUT, and I mean totally ROCKIN' OUT, to the theme song from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I mean, seriously. I nearly about wet myself because I started laughing so hard. I think he saw me laughing at him, but seriously, he was ridin' around, tryin' really hard to be cool, and he was blasting the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I couldn't help it. I had me a serious laugh at that one.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy birthday, now "clean" up this mess!!!

Jerry Hill turned 43 today. We celebrated with an extended version of one of his favorite wods. I'm not going to lie. There's not much to say about this wod, except that it's really freakin' brutal. I wore socks, and cut my legs up through my socks. I had bruises on both shoulders and across my neck and chest. Friggin' brutal.

Happy Birthday to Jerry!

For 43 minutes
every minute on the minute
2 heavy power cleans
85%-90% of your 1 rep max

For 5 rounds I did 115
For 38 rounds I did 120

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What do I REALLY have to be thankful for?

I know that Thanksgiving was last week and that writing a blog about being thankful is not exactly quite as timely as it would have been last week, but oh well. I think the entire holiday season is a time to reflect. Between you and me, I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately. And the bottom line is this, no matter how crappy my work schedule seems, no matter how tight money seems right now, no matter how frustrating my love life may be, no matter how crappy my wod at the box was, and no matter how fat and out of shape I feel, I have a LOT to be thankful for.

Sometimes the day to day can be so overwhelming that it's easy for me to lose sight of the big picture. Everyday there are so many stressures that just pop up in my life that things get overshadowed. Bosses, kids, friends, family, bills, responsibilities. The list really seems endless. With all these things fighting for my time, it can seem like there isn't much going right. It sometimes can feel like it's all going WRONG. But you know what? It's not. It's really not.

I honestly am blessed in many ways. It may not always seem it, but I am. First and foremost, moreso now than ever since moving to VA, I have a terrific group of friends. I know that I now have people in my life that if need be, would answer a phone at 4am for me. They would help me in anyway possible, and more often than not, they do try to help me carry the burdens of my life that I stubbornly carry alone. They are terrific. A million dollars would more than clear the debt I am fighting very hard to fend off, and it would leave me sitting comfortably for a good amount of time. For all that cash and luxury, I wouldn't trade ONE of those people. Regardless of my failures, regardless of my mistakes, these people care about me and enjoy me as a person. They don't judge me, they don't criticize me, and they love me for who I am. They are all worth their weight in gold and I'm thankful that every single one of them is a part of my life.

Many of these friends, although certainly not all, would not have become part of my life were it not for CF. Through the internet and through my box, I have met some of the most terrific people in the world. CrossFit has introduced me to so many new and intersting people, and through them I've had some AMAZING experiences. From working out at the boxes in NYC to hopping a plane to stay with Georgia and meet some other friends in Chicago. And not only has CF brought me into contact with an amazing array of people, CF has given me so much more. Yesterday I was unhappy that I wasn't able to overhead squat 170lbs. Do you realize the ridiculousness of this? I'm complaining because I can't lift more than my bodyweight over my head. That's crazy. Know why? Because there are people in this world who are so sick they can't get out of bed to go do what we do. There are people who are so obese that they can't do what we do. There are also people in this world who are too scared to do what we do. I'm thankful that CF has introduced me to all of these amazing people, but I'm also thankful that CF has allowed me to remain a healthy and active person. Am I at my "perfect and ideal" weight? Heavens no. But I'm certainly a stronger individual, both mentally and physically, than I have been in an extremely long time, if not ever.

And let's be honest, my job sucks right now. The Department of Ed is screaming that right now they need 1 million good teachers because the ones out there aren't doing their jobs. That's not true. I would say that the teachers who are out there, are doing the best they can in a broken system that is under extreme duress. Right now they are pushing teachers harder than ever and demanding more and more without taking anything away. We don't need better teachers, we need teachers who aren't so overburdened that they hate their jobs, not to mention, are actually allowed to do them. This is not the rosiest of outlooks. But regardless, I have a job. The economy in my hometown has been hit very hard. Friends are having parents lose their jobs for the first time in 30 years. That could be me, but it's not. So regardless of how crappy my working situation is between the restaurant, coaching, and school, I need to be thankful that I am at the very least, gainfully employed. It really and truly could be far worse.

When I stop and think about this, the answers seems so clear. But it's like I said in the beginning, the daily life stuff can sometimes get overpowering. It can sometimes overwhelm you. But finding the perspective is really what it's all about. And mark my words, I really am thankful. Are you?

I'm over my head... like that cable car song!!!

Oh I love putting heavy things over my head!!! I love it, I love it! I love, love, love it!!!!!! Seriously, if there was a group on Facebook for this, I'd totally be a fan!!!! This would show up in your news feed:

"Katie is now a fan of 'Putting heavy things over her head'"

Seriously. Maybe I should start the group. Can I do that? I think I might do that... this brings me to blogus interuptus(I think it's the ADHD again, I think I caught it from my kids, I think it's contagious)... if you are blurking (lurking around my blog) and you haven't friended me on FB why the frig not? I am a FB CF friend whore. I will admit it. I love having CF friends on FB. So, go do it!!! Not NOW!!! After you're done reading my blog. Geeeeeez!

So anyway, back to putting things over my head. I enjoy it. Very muy mucho. So yesterday was OHS X 1. My previous max was 150. I hit that in May right around my birthday. My jerk PR has grown leaps and bounds in the last few months, so I was really stoked to go in and hit this wod. I have to say, I was more than a little disappointed. I had a number in my head that I was shooting for and I fell short of that number. I really was hoping for 170. 10lbs shy of my jerk max, I figured that would be doable for an OHS. But, I had a LOT of trouble with the jerk (yes you may laugh at that statement... it is rather funny) and even with the "spot" that Jerry was giving, I just couldn't nail down 165. I was having a hard time stabilizing. I mean, I can't imagine why it would be hard to stabilize 165lbs, but whatevs.... so I had to drop to 160 and without a spot I got the jerk up, stabilized it, and then squatted it. It wasn't pretty but I got it up. You can check it out at this FB link.

I don't know why the jerk was so troublesome. I think honestly part of it was that I didn't know how to split jerk from behind the neck. I was honestly scared to go straight up in a regular jerk, and I was afraid to commit to the split. Regardless though, pretty or not, I got it up there and got it done. *Pat, pat, pat, pat, pat* I did good! :)

I'm going to beat the stuffing out of you!!!

So, since I didn't go home for Thanksgiving this year, I had a relatively calm day. I forget that living in a city, the world doesn't close down for holidays the way it does in Pa. Soooo... that means... STARBUCKS was open! I know as a CF'er I'm supposed to be "healthy" and not talk about the "bad" things I eat, but seriously. I love coffee. Mmmmmmm... so deeeeee-licious. So anyway, I got my coffee, and realized Right Aid was open, so I also got my command hook, my missing extension cord, and my ornament hooks. So operation "Christmas" was on! After approximately 7 hours, 1 cup of coffee, and approximately a half gallon of warm spiced apple cider, we were the first house on the block with a Christmas tree. Game on! Take that suckas! Now, needless to say, I ate no turkey, no pie, no stuffing, no mashed potatoes, and no crankberries or gravy.

I came out ahead in the Thanksgiving game. However, that did not stop Jerry from trying to beat the stuffing out of us on Saturday. Holy bananas. It was so cold and windy, and I was soooooo furious with him for putting a run in the Wod. I love Jerry to death, but I think if I could have beaten the man for the run, I might have. The wod was this.

10 clean and jerks (105)
20 pull-ups
30 jumping lunges
800 M run

Why the 800 M run?!?!? I mean seriously. That's awful. The 800 is a miserable miserable thing. Miserable I tell you!!!! My only consolation is that everyone else was suffering just as much as I was. I was furious though because inside the box, I was totally rocking out everything. I was catching people on the clean and jerks and pull-ups. Even the lunges weren't so god awful bad. But then on the run, people were flying past me like I was moving still. It was completely demoralizing. I HATE running. I actually like PUSH-UPS now more than I like running. THAT'S TERRIBLE! Who likes push-ups more than running? Well I guess now that'd be me! :P Great. Just great. F'ing running. F'ing kangaroos.....