Saturday, October 1, 2011

Four years in the making

I've been away from the blog for awhile, but here is a very POWERFUL update on how things are going.  It's been four years and we're still going strong.  Yay for CrossFit! A very special thanks to my dear friend Michael Koslap for creating this video.  He does amazing work!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Knee bands, sport beans, and another long run...

Coming soon!

Whitten...aka, "That totally sucked!"

As CrossFitters, we all know that hero wod's are intended to be longer, harder, and full of even more suck than our usual wods.  But after doing this with the 0800 class, and then staying around to hang out for the 0900 class, I have to say, I heard this phrase come out of the mouth of everyone who finished this wod....."That totally sucked!"

Whitten is for all intensive purposes, one of the worst wods I have ever done.  I have never come so close to completely DNF'ing a hero wod in my life.  By a round and a half in, I had convinced myself that at three rounds, I was stopping.  I was not going to go any further than that.  I had worked a double the day before, had eaten at the wrong times, and had slept fitfully.  I was not really in any place to get in a hero wod, but I needed another wod this week and honestly, it's a hero.  I can't back down from that.  If you've never done "Whitten" it looks like this:

22 KB swings 53lbs
22 box jumps 24"
400M run
22 burpees
22 wall ball 14lbs

Total time: 64:24

By the time I was at round 2, I wanted to just write it off and call it a day.  Honestly, there is only one thing that made me finish this wod.  I shut the clock off and said that if the guys at the MATC don't quit then I can't either.  For those of you who have never been on Walter Reed's campus, the MATC is where wounded warriors learn to walk, run, row, bike, climb, and do all sorts of other things with their new arms and legs.  Those guys have a lot more to complain about than I do, and for all intensive purposes, I could not in good faith quit that wod. I wanted to, lord did I ever, but I didn't.  I dug in as far as I could, took it one rep at a time, and finished the wod. 

I wasn't pleased with the time, but I knew that the effort I gave was all I had on that day.  Now, had I done this on another day, I may have had more to give, but I didn't, so, it is what it is.  It's a hero wod.  It kicked my ass significantly.  Rest in peace soldier.  Your brothers in arms will take it from here.

"It's only 4 minutes!"

Ah, but yes.  Who knew 4 minutes could suck so badly? On Thursday we hit a team wod that they had done at the SuperFit competition a few weekends ago.  The wod looked like this:

4 minutes
Max thrusters (rotate as needed)
4 minutes
Max C2B pull-ups
4 minutes
Max lateral burpees

For this wod, there were a few caveats. The clock never stopped, so there was no time to allow for rest or rotation.  Your rest was when your partner was moving.  The other caveat was the burpees.  Under normal circumstances you must open your hips at the top before moving laterally over the bar for a lateral burpee.  In the case of the SuperFit competition, you had to release your hands at the bottom of the burpee as in a hand release push-up but you did not have to open your hips completely at the top before you moved laterally.  Both feet did need to take off at the same time though as to avoid sloppy jumping on the burpees. 

Honestly, I have to say, for the second time this week I felt like a rockstar, well almost.  I felt great on the thrusters, and also on the burpees.  Normally burpees train wreck me, but I felt like I was flying without having to stand all the way up.  The C2B pull-ups definitely slowed me down a bit.  I was doing sets of 4 but felt like I should have been doing more. Since this was a partner wod, we totaled our reps at the end of the 12 minutes and Anne Marie did awesome.  Together we totaled 179 reps.  That was a pretty good score on the day. 

Afterwards, we got to take our kettlebells for a walk.  We did an 800M waiter's walk.  Similar to doing farmer's walks, but all done overhead.  Women's prescribed weight was 35 so Anne Marie and I went for it.  It was challenging to walk 800M with a kettlebell, but with the trade off's Anne Marie and I did this in under 12 minutes.  It was a good finisher.  It was a pretty day outside, not too hot, and all the people who were headed to lunch were staring at us like we had lost our ever-loving minds.  I like it when people think I'm crazy! :) It makes things more fun! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If you can squat it, FLAUNT IT!

So, today was heavy backsquats X 5.  We had 15 minutes to work up to a heavy set of 5 backsquats.  I have to say that backsquats are not my favorite lift.  I am very quad dominate, and to be honest, I don't do anything that involves hammies well.  Having said that, that's precisely why I SHOULD do more deadlifts, backsquats, etc, but nonetheless, they are still not my fave. 

I did feel sort of like a rockstar on my sets today though because of the sets I did, none of them really just gassed me.  Normally with backsquats my last set always just leaves me feeling like, ugh.  I'm dead and done.  Today I really didn't feel that way when I finished.  I think this may be because due to our time limit, I took larger jumps, and I did not work up bit by bit by bit.  I normally only make 10 pound jumps, and I think that over the course of time, this wears me out.  I think by making larger jumps, I was able to maintain and not fall apart as I finished up.  My sets were as follows:

85 X 5
115 X 5
135 X 5
155 X 5
175 X 5
200 X 5

I think doing these weights as opposed to what I would normally do, which is get to about 125 and then jump by 10, really helped me hit 200 X 5.  I feel like I definitely could have done more, and when we do this again, I'll probably jump to 155 from 115 and then try to go higher.  The sets felt good though so that was definitely a positive thing. 

After the backsquats, we had a conditioning wod.  I did pretty well despite having just taxed my legs.
It looked like this:

15 DB thrusters 25lbs
12 KB swings 45 lbs
200 M run

Time for this was 12:45.  The inside stuff felt great.   The humidity outside for the run sucked the life out of me.  I feel like this would have been faster had the day been a bit cooler, but then, isn't that always the case? Either way, it was a good day to WOD. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just 2:30 more...

For the past few weeks, I have been putting off my long runs because it has been so freakin' hot in DC that I had no desire to be anywhere that did not involve air conditioning.  But yesterday, yesterday I decided it was high time I got off my butt and got a long run in.  This week was the first week in a few that I've managed to get in 5 days at the box, plus a run.  I have to say, I think I may have overdone things just a smidgen.  I hit the box on Monday and Tuesday but had to take a rest day Wednesday so that I could be here in the house when the professional cleaners came to clean our downstairs bathroom.  My former roommate decided to move out of our house and oh by the way, not clean anything.... including her shower and toilet which looked like they hadn't been cleaned in months, as evidenced by the mold.  For serious.  I can't make that up.  Anyway, I needed to make sure that got nice and clean before our new tenant moved in, so I missed the box on Wednesday. 

Thursday we hit a partner hero wod which was Coe.  Each person did 5 rounds of 10 thrusters and 10 ring push-ups, and runs were added before and after, just for some extra added fun.  On Friday, it was First Friday, and we got to choose our hero, girl, or benchmark wod.  I chose to do Annie because I wasn't really feeling in the mood to throw any heavy weight around.... there's a reason for that which I'll get to later, but yes, that is very out of character for me.... I have not yet "mastered" double unders per say, but I have been noticing some improvement in them, so I thought this would be a good time to get some work in.  For example, I am now able to string together 15 double unders as opposed to 2.  I call that improvement....

Saturdays, in preparation for Fight Gone Bad, we have been doing hero wods.  This week's wod was Badger, which despite feeling like utter and complete crap, I managed to PR on.  Now granted, that may also be because I haven't done Badger in over a year, but I came in on Badger in 37:30.  I think that I can actually do this faster, but my runs were VERY slow.  The humidity on Saturday morning was AWFUL.  I really felt like I couldn't breathe outside at all.... but regardless, a PR it was.....

So if you're clocking, that's 2 heros and a girl wod before deciding in the heat and humidity that it would be a GREAT idea to go for a run.  Initially I was thinking 45 minutes.  Laugh if you want, but for me, that is a long run.  For as much as I hate running, 45 minutes seems like eternity.  You may be wondering why then, if I hate running so much I signed up for a half marathon. Well, two months later I'm still trying to figure that out as well.....

Anyhoo, I went with the intention of running about 45 minutes.  Since I run for time and not distance, I am always keeping a keen eye on my watch.   Well, when I got to 20 minutes out, I told myself just to run for 2 1/2 more minutes.  Well, when I looked down and 22:30 had gone by, I said, eh what the heck.  I may as well just run for 25:00 out and then that will be a 50 minute run.  Well, then I got to 25:00 minutes out and said, eh, just run for 2 1/2 more minutes.  When I got to 27:30, I said, well I've come this far, I may as well just run the 30 minutes out.  Well, I ran 30 minutes out, and thought, well if I run 32:30 then that will be my longest run to date, so what the heck.  What's 2 1/2 more minutes? At 32:30, I decided, well heck, I may as well just run 35 minutes out and turn around, which is precisely what I wound up doing. 

There were a few, um, FLAWS, however, with this series of events.  1) I was only planning on being out for 40-45 mintues, so I took no water.  It was 80 degrees with 90%+ humidity when I started.  Oops... 2) For the half, I want to start experimenting with sport beans and see if they help me maintain my energy.  Since I was only planning on being out for 40-45 minutes, I didn't take any with me.  3) Again, since I was only planning on being out for 40-45 minutes, I didn't take anything in case of knee pain.  My knees gave me some serious throb right around 1.05:00 in. 

Now, despite the stupidity of this run (yes it was dumb because of the lack of water factor) I am proud of myself.  An hour and ten minute run is nothing to sneeze at.  I challenge you to do anything for an hour and ten minutes without stopping and see how great you feel.  Despite the heat and the humidity, I got it in and got it done.  Now, it was not super fast, but there is still time for fast.  Fast I can build up to for the next two months.  Right now, maintaining a pace and keeping my body from falling apart is key before the Baltimore half.  So, that just 2 1/2 minute more mentality really paid off.  Just next time you find yourself questioning whether or not you can finish a wod/keep running/or in general just keep going, just think of me and tell yourself to do it for 2 1/2 minutes.  It's only 2 1/2 more minutes. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Turning heartbreak into motivation...

If you were following along with the Fight Gone Bad voting, you may have noticed at the close of the voting that Operation Ward 57 was in first place.  You may have also noticed however, I did not write a huge celebratory blog.  I'm sure you also noticed that that's because we did not win.  When they closed the voting, we were stoked! We were excited, and we were ready to celebrate and figure out what exactly we could do with such a huge donation.  The website had said that the winner would be announced on Monday.  I realized that after nominating us, I had never given them any contact information for the organization.  I emailed SportsGrants and gave them the information I assumed they would need.  Then Monday came. 

No announcement was made.  We sat on pins and needles.  Then around 3pm EST, I got the email that nearly crushed my soul.  Sportsgrants had made the decision to disqualify us from the nomination.  The explanation we received was that, essentially, people had double voted.  Due to a loophole in the system they set up, it was possible to a) use your Facebook to vote, then go register and use an email, and also b) register multiple emails.  They had indicated to us that on our behalf, multiple users had voted multiple times giving us an unfair advantage.  At no point did the organization itself encourage the double voting, but nonetheless things did not go well for us. 

Needless to say, I was heartbroken.  Our organization has lost online voting contests so many times because someone has set up a bot to continue voting, or do something that simply decimates us in the final stages.  We really felt good about this contest.  To find out the decision of Sportsgrants in the final hours was devestating.  I was so excited about possibly having our organization be the nominated one that I didn't stop to consider how I would feel if we didn't win.  I felt like I was a balloon that someone had let all of the air out of.  My initial reaction was screw Fight Gone Bad.  I don't want to do it.  I don't want to do anything that is associated with Sportsgrants or the people that did win. 

However, after the tragedy that took place today, I realize that regardless of my feelings towards Sportsgrants and the group that did get what I will always view as "our" money, there are now 31 families that are in need of our support.  Not only does Fight Gone Bad support the nominated charity, but it's also going towards The Special Operators Foundation which supports the families of fallen special operators.  In light of the tragedy that took place this morning, I'm putting aside my temper tantrum regarding the voting, and officially beginning my fundraising for Fight Gone Bad.  In addition to the Special Operators Foundation, Fight Gone Bad will also support CrossFit Kids, specifically with regards to water safety.  It will also go to support Camp Patriot, which is a small non-profit based in Montana that has a mission to support wounded veterans through outdoor recreation. 

This has not been an easy pill to swallow, and I'm not sure it ever will be.  I feel like Sportsgrants blamed us for the fact that a loophole existed. I don't quite get that.  Regardless though, life goes on.  I'm not going to stop doing what I do just because Sportsgrants doesn't want to support it.  I have been told more times in the past 3 weeks than I can count, how awesome it is that Operation Ward 57 does what it does.  We have continued to touch people and change lives, and we have continued to be changed by the people we meet.  Someone recently wrote on my Facebook wall that I'm an angel for doing what I'm doing.  I don't think that at all.  I think I'm just a normal person, but even normal people can do good things. 

Although we may not have won Fight Gone Bad, our organization is a winner in a lot of people's books.  Recently, Dominion Power based in VA donated $1,000 to support our work.  UNFI from Washington also donated $3,000 to our organization so that we can continue to do what we do.  Speakeasy, a great t-shirt company, has agreed to donate 15% of every M16 T-shirt purchase to Operation Ward 57.  Rock the Dock Pub and Grill has worked very closely with Brittney Hamilton, our Executive Director, to organize and host "Rock and Rally for the Troops" in Tacoma, Washington.  Countless new likes and supporters have come to our Facebook page, and when it comes to selflessness, there is no greater example than that of Charles Trentelmen.  A dear friend of one of our patients, Charles is a columnist for the Standard-Examiner in Utah.  In a recent article, Charles encouraged readers to donate directly to Operation Ward 57 so that we can continue to support our wounded soldiers.  His article at last update had raised over $5,000 for our organization.  It may not rival the funds from Fight Gone Bad, but the support we have been shown over the past few weeks has been phoenomenal.  This support is support that will not exist for just a one time event either.  These organizations and people have continued to help make others aware of our organization and the work that we do.  These people have been angels in themselves. 

Although it won't be going to Operation Ward 57, please follow my link below and help contribute to my Fight Gone Bad 6 Fundraising page.  It will mean so much to the families and soldiers who will receive these funds. 

Fight Gone Bad 6- Give to those who gave their all. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

What does Fight Gone Bad REALLY mean?

Four years ago, whenever I told someone I was a CrossFitter they would look at me as if I had sprouted a third head and wonder what in the crap I was talking about.  Back then, CrossFit was still an underground movement.  Now, when I tell people that I'm a CrossFitter they STILL look at me like I've sprouted a third head, but that's just because they can't believe that I do what I do.  CrossFit is a functional fitness program.  It is not a Gold's Gym, it is not your Washington Sports Club.  It is an organization that believes that fitness should be functional and varied.  It believes in the idea of muscle confusion to keep your body in great shape.  There is Olympic lifting, there is strength training, there are metcons, there are gymnastics.  To me, it's a whole bunch of fun.  But even better than all the fun of the workouts is the community which is created by CrossFit. 

CrossFit began as a functional fitness program that was delivered by a few west coast affiliates, but predominantly through the Internet.  Everything, programming and nutritional info included, was free if you followed the main site.  This idea began to link together like minded fitness folks across the globe.  As more and more affiliates have opened, this community has grown.  There is something about enduring these wods together that forges bonds between athletes.  The community has had its growing pains of course, as CF has gotten bigger, but it has always been just that; a community. 

Each year, this community shows just how strong it is when it bands together to put on the Fight Gone Bad Fundraiser.  Six years ago, this began as just a small fundraiser raising a few thousand dollars.  In the past three years however, this fundraiser has grown to cross the million dollar mark.  With the advent of the online donation system and social media, CrossFitters participating in the fundraiser have been able to share their cause with family, friends, and businesses. 

But what does it all really MEAN? It means that once the Fight Gone Bad registration opens, affiliates can sign up to participate in the event.  From that moment on, their goal is to raise money for the charities specified for the year's events.  Perhaps because of the LARGE number of law enforcement and military members in the CrossFit community, Wounded Warrior Project was a designated beneficiary for many year.  Livestrong and also the CrossFit Foundation were also recipients last year.  For whatever reason, CrossFit decided this year to drop WWP as a beneficiary and instead nominate the Special Operators Foundation, CrossFit Kids (which focuses on teaching kids to be healthy and fit at a young age) and also a wild card. 

For the first time, CrossFit is allowing the community (and obviously their friends) to decide who the third recipient of the funds will be.  Last year's event raised over $1.5 million for the three charities.  I can think of nothing I would like more than to see Operation Ward 57 receive a portion of those funds.  We are an incredibly small organization.  We consist of our executive officer, our board of directors (who are mostly former nurses/staff of Ward 57) and the few volunteers who visit patients each week.  We are not paid.  We are strictly volunteer.  So where an organization like WWP has to give some of their money for salaries etc, we do not. 

But what is Fight Gone Bad you ask?  Well, the fundraising continues up until the day of the Fight Gone Bad (a Saturday in September each year 9/17 this year).  Fight Gone Bad itself is actually a workout.  For the affiliates who have signed up, they will all complete the same workout on that day regardless of their own programming.  Every CrossFitter across the globe (including Iraq and Afghanistan) who has signed on the dotted line for this event, will take to their respective boxes and suffer 17 minutes of lung burning torture for the causes.  It is inspiring, it is motivating, and it's effective.  The sense of comraderie and community in those boxes on that day is AMAZING.  There is nothing like it in the world.  The 17 minutes of lung searing pain are worth it to know that somewhere our money and our pain is helping someone else.  The workout itself looks like this:

3 rounds of

1 minute armap (as many reps as possible) box jumps
1 minute amrap sumo deadlift high pulls
1 minute amrap wall balls
1 minute amrap push press
1 minute amrap (calories) row

Rest 1 minute before rounds 2 and 3

If Operation Ward 57 can get this third spot, it would be amazing.  I've loaded two videos below to show just what Fight Gone Bad looks like.  One is from my respective affiliate.  The other is done by Sportsgrants, which is the organization that handles the fundraising efforts for this event.  I've also attached our voting link.  Please keep us in the fight because for the wounded, the fight never ends!

CrossFit Oldtown - 2010 Fight Gone Bad from Mike Koslap on Vimeo.

Operation Ward 57: Nominate!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fight Gone Bad Votes!!!!

Every year, CrossFit does a fundraiser called Fight Gone Bad.  If you are an avid CrossFitter, you know what this is.  If you are new to CrossFit, or not a CrossFitter at all, allow me to explain.  It is 15 minute of pure suck.  The end.  So why do we do it then? We do it because it's a fundraiser and we use it to raise money for different organizations.  For the past few years, the main recipient of these funds has been Wounded Warrior Project.  They're a great organization, but this year CrossFit has decided to mix it up a bit.  This year they are supporting the Special Operators Foundation.  They are also supporting CrossFit Kids.  The third donor spot however is a big question mark.  Right now, they are allowing people to nominate a worthy cause.  Then folks can vote for the cause that they want to receive the third slot.  I nominated Operation Ward 57 as one of the possible organizations for this third slot.  I know it is a long shot because let's face it, our organization is very, very small, but I had to give it a try.  So, I'm putting up this post and hoping that perhaps some of my loyal followers will go to the link and vote for Operation Ward 57. It would be nice to see the money go to an organization where you KNOW it is going directly to people.  Our organization is very small, and is strictly volunteer.  We're not a WWP who has full time staff with salaries, etc.  We put everything back into the patients on 57.  When the BRAC closure occurs, we will be moving WITH the patients over to Bethesda so that we can continue to do the work we have been doing.  So, if you have 3 minutes, click this link.  Then click where it shows the number of votes.  It will ask you to login with your Facebook ID.  Then reclick that same little box and the vote number should go up by 1.  That's it.  That's all it takes.  Please support me and this great cause.  You can only vote 1 time.  Voting closes on July 22.  Nominations for new organizations close on the 15th.  Let's at least give Leukemia/Lymphoma Society a run for their money!

Fight Gone Bad: Operation Ward 57

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A week in review and Southwestern style eggs

As I get back into CrossFit, I'm trying to decide what direction I'd like to take with my blog.  This blog has always (mostly) been about my adventures with CrossFit.  But as I'm getting back into CrossFit, my life is also going in a lot of other directions.  So, I'm not sure if I'll be making daily workout posts, but at the very least, I'll be doing weekly recaps.  So that way, if you'd like to steal any of the workouts I'd done and punish yourself or others with them, you can feel free.  :)


WOD #1
Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes
3 challenging handstand push-ups

WOD #2
Amrap in 15 minutes
15 KB swings
15 Hand release push-ups
15 GHD
200 Meter run


WOD #1
AMRAP in 1 minute
Back squats 60% of 1 RM (145)

WOD #2
Ladder Up/Down Unbroken DU's
5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40
You must stop after each set


Rest because the back squats destroyed my legs and I could not walk correctly....


Active recovery run (see above).  Should have had my run sponsored by Crock Pot.  It was low and slow....


WOD #1
Sumo Deadlift
Every minute do 3 sumo deadlifts with a comfortable but challenging weight (180)

WOD #2
Amrap in 15 minutes
15 KB swings
15 Hand release push-ups
15 GHD
200 Meter run

Partner WOD
80 Pull-ups
100 Hand-release push-ups
600 Meter farmers walk (53lb in each hand)
1200 Meter run
600 Meter farmers walk (53 in each hand)
100 Hand-release push-ups
80 Pull-ups


Attempted to go for a run. After 8 minutes had to call it for the day. Low back was incredibly tight after the Sumo deadlifts and heavy KB swings on Friday.

Now, for my southwest style eggs.... this has become my favorite breakfast to date, so eat and enjoy!

Garlic, onions, green (or red) peppers, corn, eggs, salsa, guacamole

*Dice garlic, onions, and green peppers. Sautee them in a pan until cooked.
*While tasty ingredients are cooking, scramble two (or three) eggs.
*After the tasty ingredients look ready, throw in a little corn. (Don't worry, sauteed corn is actually good)
*Mix ingredients together. Then throw in the eggs... well don't really throw them... place them in the pan.
*Mix everything together until eggs are cooked.
*Remove from heat and plate.
*Top eggs with salsa and guacomole
*Enjoy!!!! :) (They're tasty! I promises! :) )

Friday, June 24, 2011

My baby steps: Staying positive and Katie's Stuffed Green Peppers

After going through this incredibly topsy turvy insane year, I finally have some time to sit and be a normal human for a bit.  I've decided that since I now have more time, that I'm going to begin to get back to healthy eating.  I like the idea of the Zone vs. Paleo for a few reasons.  One, I CANNOT be that strict with my eating.  I enjoy cooking, I enjoy food, and for me, Paleo is just too much.  I don't think this makes me a weak person, and I don't think it means there is anything wrong with me.  I think it's just not for me.  I don't have anything against it, I'm sure it is the healthiest option, but again, not my cup of tea.  Two, I like the structure of the Zone.  Yes it is weighing and measuring, but after you do it long enough, you can pretty much eyeball things and hit it on the nose.  So for me right now I'm just aiming to eat a balance of fats, carbs, and proteins with each meal. 

As I go through this obvious lifestyle change, I'm trying to keep perspective on what's prompting me to do this.  I want to feel better, I want to LOOK better, and more importantly, I just want to be healthy.  If my meals are not 100% spot on, I'm not going to ridicule myself and beat myself down.  I'm just going to make a conscious decision to try harder for the next meal.  I'm taking steps to eliminate as much pre-processed crap as possible, and honestly, I think I'm doing really well.  The end goal is to be healthier.... it's not to wind up at a shrink because I've given myself food anxiety.  In the past, I've gotten so caught up on, "Am I doing this right?" that I freak about food and forget that the idea is just to make better choices.  For me right now, I really just need to get there first.  There is always room for tweaking after the fact, but getting to the place where I make better choices is where i need to be.  I've stopped drinking my Starbucks lattes in the mornings and haven't had a regular soda in almost a week.  I've had some minor chocolate slips due to emotional eating, but aside from that, I think I've made a good start.  I've started brewing coffee at home and have saved myself a buttload of money doing that, and have found that some of the flavored creamers are a great substitute for my lattes.  Now, I know some of you will say that the creamer throws of my block count for breakfast and still has sugar... yes, yes it does.  But do the math, 56g carbs from sugar in a latte, or the 12 from the cream? Yeah, see, I call that a win. 

Anyway, this post wasn't originally supposed to be to rant about my eating... I actually was really excited about something I concocted the other night and wanted to share it.  I don't think that as a block count it is 100% on point, but it's a great meal (in my opinion anyway).  :)

To avoid the boredom that very often comes with a lifestyle change, I was trying to come up with new recipes that I could create that would taste good, but still be good for me.  I thought about stuffed green peppers because I used to LOVE these as a kid, but originally nixed it because of the rice.  Then I remembered a little substitute that I read about in Mark Sisson's book of Primal eating.  Cauliflower rice! Ingenius! So I took the rice out of the recipe and subbed in the cauliflower rice for a totally healthy alternative.  I'm still tweaking the seasoning in this recipe because the ground beef tasted a little bland to me, but other than that it was great! :)

Katie's Stuffed Green Peppers


6 large green Bell peppers
1 lb lean ground beef (Trader Jose makes a 96/4)
1 onion
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomotoes
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Garlic specified for your taste (I used 7 cloves... what?!?! I like, scratch that, LOVE garlic!)
1/3 head of cauliflower (enough to make roughly 1-1 1/2 cups cauliflower rice)
Cheddar or Mozarella cheese (optional)

1.  Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and place in food processor.  Chop until only small rice looking pieces of cauliflower remain.  (This only takes about 1 minute in a food processor) Set aside.

2.  Dice onion and garlic and place in sautee pan. Lightly sautee onions and garlic.  Then add ground beef. 

3.  Slightly brown ground beef with onions and garlic.  Then add tomatoes and roughly 1/2-3/4 cup spaghetti sauce.  (add more sauce if you prefer)

4.  Heat whole mixture on stove for about 1 minute.  Allow flavors to combine then add reserved cauliflower. 

5.  Lightly fold all ingredients together.    Remove from heat. 

6.  Cut tops off of green peppers and remove all membranes.  Place peppers upright in glass baking dish. 

7.  Preheat oven to 350.

8.  While oven is heating, use a spoon to stuff mixture into each green pepper.  If you would like, place additional spaghetti sauce in bottom of pepper prior to stuffing.  This may help keep the ground beef from drying out during baking. 

9.  Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes or until peppers become tender.  ***Optional- At 15 minutes remaining in the cooking time, spinkle cheddar or mozzarella cheese on top of each pepper. 

10.  Remove and serve hot.  ***Optional- When serving, spoon additional sauce on top of peppers. 

I thought that the ground beef was good, but lacked that UMPF! I might recommend playing with this recipe and adding some oregano or perhaps basil to give it a little extra added something.... I'm going to try this again and may make some modifications since this was only the first test run! Hope you enjoy! :)

If you make these, please let me know if they were good, and let me know if you make any modifications that I can try! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Passion of the.... Katie?

Over the course of the past year, I've had a lot of time to think and reflect on what is important to me.  Stepping away from teaching at the end of last year was perhaps one of the best things I ever did for myself because it's given me time to evaluate what's important.  It's given me time to decide what I really want, what I really need, and who I really am.  What do I care about? What motivates me? What moves me? What am I truly passionate about?  Don't get me wrong... the circumstances that surrounded my resignation last year sucked (IE the whole prejudice for leaving after June 1 thing).  But the circumstances that unfolded as a result of stepping away, although difficult, are the best things to have ever happened to me.  While in the midst of everything, I was not able to see how those things were shaping me, molding me, CHANGING me.  But now, sitting a year removed from my decision, and a few days removed from my temporary position, I can honestly say that this decision was amazing. I can see how that one choice set in motion a chain of events that have pushed me to become a better person.  A more honest and genuine person.  This decision made me push myself as an educator.  It forced me to leave my comfort zone and go beyond what I had done before.  It made me evaluate who I was, what I wanted, and what truly motivated me.  It made me realize what I was passionate about. 

The story of the last year of my life is much like a Telenovella.  For those of you who no hablo espanol (el nino is Spanish for... the nino! <---- Chris Farley, google it!) a telenovella is a Spanish soap opera.  And let me tell you, those things are full of drama.  If you think you've got baby mama/daddy drama, think again.  Those things will put you to shame.  Anyway... my life has basically been like a telenovella.  But if there is one piece of advice I can offer, one thing I would love readers of my blog to take away... it's to step back. If you're not certain of your path in life, stop and figure it out.  Don't keep taking turn after turn because before you know it, you'll be hopelessly lost with no chance of finding your way back.  Take time away from things and figure out what makes you tick but do the things that you are PASSIONATE about. 

Last year, I stepped away from teaching because the passion had died.  The same thing started to happen to CrossFit.  But I took time away.  I evaluated, I played with things, I came, I went.  I reflected.  I figured out what made me tick, and what motived me to be who I was.  And at the end of the day, you know what I discovered?  I am truly passionate about only a handful of things.  And that handful of things are the only things I've continued to do. Don't be afraid to step back and evaluate you or your life.  If you're doubting your passion or desire to do something, then a break may be just what you need to sort it all out. 

For a very long time, CrossFit was one of my passions.  I was focused, I was driven, and wow did I really want to change myself and get to the top of the CF pyramid.  I was hungry.  But as time drug on, that passion started to die.  It was dimmed beneath mounds of other stress and mounds of other things going on.  I lost sight of my original reason for doing CrossFit.  But, after stepping away at the end of last summer, and taking time away during this tumultuous year, I can honestly say, that passion is still there. I still have a hunger.  I still have a desire to be healthy and be fit.  I may not be able to attain the same level that I had previously, or get to a much higher level than where I am now, but I know that by slowly getting back into things at the gym, and slowly regaining my eating patterns, I will be able to continue to do CrossFit because it's my passion. 

Someone told me that other day that they were forced to hide my Facebook feeds because I post too many things about the military.  They said it bothered them that I seemed to always be posting something related to Operation Ward 57 or amputees or wounded soldiers.  My question to that person wasn't why do you find that offensive?  My reaction to that person wasn't, why can't you be supportive?  My question to that person was, do you have something that you feel strongly about and support wholeheartedly?  If you did, then you would understand.  I'm passionate about the work I do with Operation Ward 57, and I STRONGLY feel that the wounded warriors coming back from overseas need our love and support.  It saddened me that my friend couldn't support my organization and the work that we do, but it saddened me even more that my friend didn't feel that passionate enough about anything to understand my motivation.  To understand WHY I make those posts, and why I'm constantly trying to get people involved.  If there is one thing I have learned in the last year, it's that doing what you are passionate about will only improve the quality of your life.  It will only give you a sense of fullfillment.  If you do what you love, and if you do what you are passionate about, the rest will fall into place.  It may take time, but it will. 

So, if you find yourself at a crossroads in your life, pause and reflect.  Take the time to figure out where your passion lies.  You will only be happier in the end.  Your passion may mirror mine, and it may not.  But that's ok because this is the passion of the Katie.  What is your passion?

Monday, June 20, 2011

A seat at the table...

Over the past few weeks, I've been trying really hard to make sure that I get to the box, but that I'm also running as well to train for the half marathon that I'm slated to do in October.  I've been doing runs for time, as opposed to distance, and for the first time yesterday worked up to a 40+ minute run.  I went out way to fast, but aside from that, the run felt pretty fluid, even aside from the humidity.  Let me tell you... scratch that reverse.  I have TWO things to tell you.  One is there is nothing so crappy as running (hence why I'm running a half marathon right?!?!).  Two is, that the only way to make running WORSE is to do it in DC anytime after the temperature creeps above 60 degrees.  It's like DC just KNOWS.  "Oh, oh, wait a sec.  Is it over 60 outside? Ok, well then, let's crank the humidity dial up to 100%! Woooo hoo!" Seriously... I swear some days I can HEAR mother nature laughing as she makes us all miserable and shower thrice daily.  Dear Lord, did I really just use the word thrice in a post? Wow.... I'm impressed with myself... even moreso than usual, cause, well, I am pretty impressive.... ;)

After I made my last post I really thought that things were going to slow down enough for me to be able to get to the box three-four days a week plus get my runs in.  Well, needless to say, like a lot of my masterfull plans, that didn't really happen.  The end of my school year was very hectic, and with all the extra curricular stuff I had going on AFTER school, my plans again were thwarted.  In some ways I'm angry at myself for not forcing it more, but in the same token, I also know that forcing it will put me right back where I was a year ago when I was hating just about everything about CrossFit.  So, now school is officially DONE and now it's really time to get my life back on track and start to TRAIN.  For the first time in what feels like months, I've been able to go through my house and clean and organize it, and in general, be a NORMAL human being and do what NORMAL people do every weekend.  Things like laundry and grocery shopping... seriously, don't ask me when the last time I went grocery shopping was before this weekend because I really and honestly can't tell you. But if I was a betting woman, I would be willing to bet it was at least two months ago.  Seriously, no joke.  So, really, it's feeling good to be human for a bit. 

Amongst all the good feelings though and the happiness to be getting back to the box again, I have to admit to feeling sort of like I just have a seat at the table.  I'm sure you're wondering what that means, but don't fret.  I'm going to explain it.  (How could I possibly be so rude as to not explain?!?)

I'm sure you have someone in your family (because we all do) who you continually invite to family functions and dinners.  sometimes they come, a lot of the time they don't, but regardless, You always set a place for them.  Despite the fact that they haven't rsvp'd, you set one just in case they decide to come.  Sometimes you wish they would because it would be great to see them, and other times you wish they wouldn't because, if they do come, you don't know what you'd talk to them about since you haven't seen them in ages.  But regardless of whichever way you're feeling, you always set the place at the table. 

With as crazy as my life has been these past few months, I feel like I've become that relative.  CFOT has always been like a family to me.  I have laughed, cried, celebrated, planned, sweat, and bled with the members of that family.  But because of my schedule and what I've been going through, I feel like I now have missed a lot.  I feel like because I've missed so much, I have a lot of distance from my family.  I feel like I've always been invited to dinner, but just never been able to come.  And now that I have the time, and I'm able to show up for dinner, people have a hard time interacting with me because they don't really know what to say. 

Being away so much, I feel like I've missed out on a lot, and I feel like if I do come around, I'm sort of like that crazy relative. I may not have 8 cats and wear sweaters all the time, but I think you know what I mean.  I don't think anyone really knows what to talk to me about, besides work, and I've missed so much of THEIR lives, I don't really know what to talk to them about either.  I've watched them all from afar (IE Facebook) get stronger and have amazing successes.  I have wished many a time that I could have been there to see it, or been there to have drinks to celebrate promotions and well wishes as people leave for new adventures, but the bottom line is that I just couldn't do it.  Now that so much time has passed, when I do come to the box, I sort of feel like that relative that you just sort of look at and smile.  I feel deep down that I have something to offer the family, but I'm not quite sure how to get it out.  It may be my very own special brand of love, but that's what's great about a family.  Everyone is unique, and everyone has their own special gifts to offer to others.  I would love to continue to offer up my gifts.  My problem is though that I don't know how to bridge the gap that has developed between my family and I. 

Perhaps the fix is simply showing up for more family dinners, and participating in a few more family outtings.  I don't know.  I don't know if it's possible just to jump back into a family that's so tight knit.  Perhaps it's time to really work on ditching the shy side of me that is to terrified to speak up around people.  (True story believe it or not.  I'm actually one of the most shy people you will ever meet.  People think I'm a bitch all the time, but it's really just that I'm too scared to talk to them.) Again, I don't know.  What I do know is that I enjoy my seat at the table when I have the opportunity to sit down to dinner.  It's always full of fun and usually good wine.  ;) So, in addition to the other things I'm working on about myself right now, it seems like this is just one more.  Learning to grow is never easy, but without growth and change, my chair at the table would still just be an oak tree. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

When life turns you on your head....

.....Learn to do some handstand push-ups! :) I kid, I kid.... but wow! Looking at my blog I can't believe that it's been THIS long since I've put up a post! If you've been a long time follower, then you've probably figured out by now that I'm NOT like most people.  First of all, most people do not have quite the fascination that I do with glitter.  Second of all, most people don't randomly just invent their own words all the time, and lastly most normal people do not work NEARLY the number of jobs/hours that I do. 

After jumping back into teaching in January, I really fell off the grid.  Life really turned me on my head. I am not afraid to admit that I certainly was not prepared for the situation I was in, and it really affected me.  My blog went by the wayside (quickly) and it wasn't long after that CrossFit also fell by the wayside.  There were many weeks where I barely made it to the box, and I really was struggling to keep my head above water. 

While the past several months of my life have sucked for several reasons, I will admit that I have learned a lot and am FINALLY starting to look at these past few months in a positive light as opposed to a totally negative one.  While I'm not happy that this job basically destroyed my will to CrossFit, I've grown as an educator and I'm proud of myself for not giving up.  Believe me, there were several times when I wanted to throw in the towel, walk out of the room, and throw up some serious dueces.  But, I didn't, and I'm very proud of myself for that. 

As an educator, I've always felt like I did a good job, until this year.  This year I've had to learn a lot.  They always say that children learn differently, but never was that so obvious as this year.  I struggled to find things to keep my kids engaged, and I struggled to maintain momentum and learning in a classroom that had seen 3 teachers by mid-year.  When I first took over, getting my students to sit in a seat and stop arguing with each other was next to impossible.  Silence in the classroom to read or do work? What was that?  And SOL's? Oh Lord... the thought of the standardized tests was enough to send me into a coma.  But you know... here's the thing, I finally realized as a teacher.  While tests are important, there are other lessons that are more so.  Learning things like respect and responsibility are life skills.  Yes, geography of the US is important, and yes, so is understanding light waves.  But at the end of the day, my kids can now sit still and read and do work quietly.  They can (usually) manage to get through a day without screaming at each other.  They can now do a lot of things that 4 months ago they could not.  That's progress.  Now, that type of progress can't be measured by any standardized test.  It will not show up on a report card. But this year, my kids learned lessons that are far more valuable than something they will ever learn in textbooks. 

My only regret from this year is that to get these results from my kids took so much away from my own personal needs.  I was simply too exhausted most days to get to CF.  I was away from home too much to even think about eating well.  But now, now as things are winding down, I've got a new set of goals, and a new outlook on CF.  I've always been a very competitive person, but I've sort of learned to let that go.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still comparing myself to everyone, but I'm keeping things in a much firmer perspective these days, and I have a goal just to stay in the box so that I can be healthy.  If I'm the strongest girl on a given day, great.  If not, meh... ok.  I'm still there doing work.  I've got a goal to keep myself in the box, but to keep those workouts positive and remember the reason I'm there. 

I've also decided that it's time to set some firm goals, and I've decided to tackle one of my biggest weakenesses... RUNNING.  Crazy me has signed up to run the Baltimore Half Marathon again.  To help keep me motivated, I joined a free running group that meets up and runs outside of DC.  It's been a great motivator, as I really do enjoy going and running with other people (even if they are way ahead of me).  Knowing that I'm going to get to meet new people and still get to run keeps me motivated to go.  It's also encouraged me to keep running on my own so that when they do 50 minute runs (we run for time not distance) I'll be able to stay out the full 50 minutes.  Right now, I'm running for 30 minutes continuous.  Roughly 1/5 of my half marathon time....

So, although life seems to have turned me on my head for much of the past sevearl months, things are again turning around.  Summer will be here soon, and there will be time to adjust my eating, hit the box more, and focus a little more on me and not so much on kids.  Not to mention, I'm not coaching this summer, which means I'll be down to only 1 job! :) Woooot! :)

If you're like me and it seems like life is just a really big roller coaster ride, hang in there.  I know it can feel like life has just flipped you on your head, but seriously, learn to do some handstand push-ups.  I don't mean that in a literal way, but more of a metaphorical one.  Handstand push-ups are hard.... but spending all that time upside down trying to learn them only makes you stronger.  When life hands you a ton of crap at one time and says "deal with it"... once you do, you will only come out stronger.  If there is any advice I can give to people going through the things that I've been dealing with in the past year, I would just like to say, hang in there! It seems shitty a lot of the time, but there are lots of lessons to be learned from being in the trenches.  Embrace the suck and let it make you stronger.  In the end, it'll actually be a good thing, because you know what, in the next handstand wod that life throws at you, you will be kicking ass!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Burpee blitz and Baby Barbara...

I was able to get to the box on Monday night and was thinking of just going for a run to get something in quick before I got back to my papers and school work, but Melissa talked me into doing the alt wod for the day instead which was 5 rounds for time of 20 burpees and a 400 m run.  I did it, and boy did it suck.  I pulled it in around 26 minutes which for me, not so bad, but I was hoping for sub 25.  The first 3 rounds moved pretty fast, but boy oh boy did those burpees catch up with me.  See, I don't flop my burpees the way you see a lot of people do (and they're not supposed to).  I catch myself in a push-up position, do my push-up, then get up.  I don't flop to make it easier.  So by burpee 65 my arms were on FIRE.  Good news is though that I got it in and that it was a metcon.

I then somehow managed to completely f my alarm both Tuesday AND Wednesday.  I can't believe it, but I seriously did.  So, I got myself into the box last night before having to be up at 3am this morning for a field trip to Virginia Tech.  So, I decided last night to do Barbara, but do a baby Barbara since it was 645 and I needed to be in bed by 8.  I only did 3 of the 5 rounds, but man were they smokers.  Round 1 was pretty quick for me but after that initial round at 5:00, I then dropped to 6:57 and 7:00.  It would have taken me way too long to get the last 2 rounds in and I never would have made it home to eat, pack, and get in bed by 8 so I cut it short.  I figured it was better to get some work in than none.  So, tomorrow I will hit the box again, and Sunday will have to be a run day to get a 4th day in again.  I'm getting tired of this schedule, but there's not much I can do right now except keep on driving on.

I've been getting a lot of questions about why I didn't do the Open this year, and here's my genuine heartfelt response...

"Open athletes should be those who are training hard and are at a place in their lives where their level of fitness allows them to compete against the best in the section and region.  I am currently not at a place where fitness and clean eating are my top priorities and I would hate to represent my affiliate when I'm not able to demonstrate the level of dedication and drive that Jerry produces in our box.  I do enjoy healthy competition, however, at this time in my life it is not able to be a priority.  Perhaps within the next few months I will get back to working out five days a week and be at a place where I can better represent the dedication of my coach and affiliate, however, that time is simply not now."

Period.  The end. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Saint Patrick's Day?

So, I'm not sure how I managed to do it, but about halfway through my day today, I completely and totally forgot that today was Saint Patrick's Day.  I had some errands to run in Old Town tonight and for the life of me couldn't understand why I couldn't find a single parking space.  Duh, Katie.... seriously, just duh. 

Anyway, let's forget about my total blonde moment for a minute and move on....

This week, workout wise, has actually been a REALLY good week for me.  I've worked on things that were my weaknesses BEFORE the whole taking an unintentional break thing, and despite it all, the weaknesses actually didn't feel all that bad.  Double unders will blow for me no matter what I do, but even push-ups weren't all that attrocious.  I was actually able to do the wods and stay close to the other people who have been working out full-time.  I felt pretty good about that.  Monday I got in for the heavy dose of clean and jerks and then on Tuesday I got in for a pretty craptastic metcon.  Even after being away so much, I STILL don't like metcons...

Tuesday wod

100 du's cash in (4 min time limit)
5 rft
20 pull-ups
20 push-ups
20 air squats
100 du's cash out (4 min time limit)

I have to say, it took me 28 minutes and some change to do this, but mostly because I spent 8 minutes on the freakin' double unders.  Seriously... that is some crazy ridiculous stuff right there... double unders are evil... 'nuff said. 

Wednesday's wod was much more fun for me... oh wait, btw.... did you notice that I said Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday? That's right!!!! I did make it three days in a row!!! I can't tell you honestly the last time that that happened... trust me, it's been a hot minute.  Anyhoo, Wednesday's wod was 1 rep max overhead squats!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy! I love overhead squats.  In fact one might even say, I HEART them... ;)

It's been so long since I've rep maxed anything that I was a little leery about where I'd be.  I was totallly STOKED to realize I was only 10 lbs off my PR! Sweet! My jumps looked as follows.

165X1 (f)

I know this seems like a lot of lifts, but since I haven't done much lifting, I was making rather conservative jumps.  I also honestly felt a little cranky and kinky... not THAT kind of kinky.  I mean the kind where you feel like you just can't loosen up and just be... comfortable? No, not comfortable... normal maybe... Anyway, I took a good fall on that 165X1 the first time.  I went down into my squat too slow and man did I ever bust my ass.  I'm not going to lie... there was no cushioning THAT blow.  But the second time I went down with plenty of speed and felt good coming back up.  I was totally stoked about the day as a whole. 

I took a rest day today to avoid the whole 4 day in a row thing, but I'm planning on getting up early tomorrow to get my 4th day in.  I'm totally stoked about my performances this week, and the fact that I am going to get in 4 days.  Woot! :) This is happy Katie! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The "Leave Behind"... or "How to Ensure You Workout This Week"... or GET TO THE BOX!!!

I had another title for this blog, but after writing it, I actually had to go back and change it... LOL.  For the first time in a REALLY long time, I made it into the box on a Monday.  For the past two months or so it seems like I've been on a double every single Sunday, so getting to the box Mondays has been hard.  But I cut back my hours at the restaurant and so this morning I got in and got a heavy dose of clean and jerks.  I really and truthfully can't complain about my performance, I mean, after all, how often have I been at the box lately?  My weight lifting has been so sporadic, I really can't complain.  Honest! I can still lift a load over my head, so seriously, that's great!

We hit a two wod day today with the first wod being the following.

Every minute on the minute
Hit 1 clean and jerk (go heavy and keep perfect form)
130X10 (roughly 85% of my 1RM)

The jerks on this felt solid and for the first time in a long time, I really enjoyed lifting today.  My cleans were a bit off, but honestly I think it's because I wasn't squat cleaning.  Normally anytime I do clean and jerks, I squat clean everything.  Today I didn't have to and I think it threw me a bit.  Jerry said my feet were off on the cleans.  But like I said, I've been so sporadic, I really can't be unhappy with any of that. 

Wod two today was Grace.  Funny because I JUST did Grace a week and a half ago for first Friday. My time was atrocious that day because Jerry said that the new Grace weight is now 95 lbs.  So all of my previous Grace times with 85 are now null and void.   Well, crap! So today I went 95 again and beat the pants off my time from a week and a half ago.  Shanimal beat me and stole my top Grace spot which doesn't make me very happy, but you know what, again, I can't be unhappy with that performance.  A 3:17 Grace with 95lbs really and truly is not much to sneeze at.  And honestly, I have a feeling I can get under 3:10.  I wasted a good solid 5-10 seconds today because I accidentally clocked myself in the boob on one of my reps and took a few seconds to breathe again after that.  Next time, I'll need to make sure that my boobs are CLEARLY out of the way.  :P

Now, since I made it in today, I had to try to find a creative way to ensure that I get to the box tomorrow.  I have a bad habit of going hard and then not going for two days... oops.... so today I got this master plan.  So, I've now officially devised a way to TRICK yourself into having to go to the gym.  (and before you start laughing, I challenge YOU to find better things to think of at 0600 in the am while you're getting ready for work.)

Ehem, anyway... my masteful plan for ensuring that you get to the box is as follows... leave something of relatively large importance so that you HAVE to go the next day.  A towel or bottle of shampoo... not significant enough.  Shoes, nope.  Shirt, nope.  Those things can all be maneuvered around.  But, aha! I found one thing that you cannot do without... well if you're a girl anyway....


I have relatively longish hair, so I NEED to have it in order to get ready for work, otherwise I look like crap and run around with wet hair.  So I left (intentionally) my hairdryer in my little cubby thing so that I HAVE to get up and get to it in the AM.  Now, I suppose that I COULD just wake up my roommate at 0515 and ask her for HER hairdryer, but I'm thinking that that probably wouldn't go over so well.  So, now I HAVE to go workout tomorrow because I HAVE to have a hairdryer for work.  I'm ensuring that I get to the box at least twice this week.  Now, the only issue with this is that I know, invariably, that on a day that I don't mean to do it, like when I'm planning on taking a rest day the NEXT day, I'm going to leave my hairdryer.  I know it will happen, so I'm going to have to prepare a plan for the invariable days that I f things all up.  But for now, the leave behind should help me get my butt to the... wait a tic, THE LEAVE BEHIND!? Wait, dude, did I REALLY just say that?!!?! It's like CrossFit and I just had sex and I'm looking for an excuse to come back and see him again...  like oh, oops, I left all my clothes at your place... guess I'll have to come back and get them.... hmmmmm... Oh, sorry CrossFit.  I guess I left my hairdryer at your place... guess I'll have to come back and get it and see you again so we can make out... oh heavens... the leave behind... LMAO... Get you a leave behind and GET TO THE BOX (or the choppa!)!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Workoutus Interruptus...

This week I was super determined to get to the box 4 times.  I made it Tuesday and Wednesday and was seriously well on my way to making that happen.  I didn't go Thursday because I didn't get off work Wednesday until almost 1230 and needed to stay late to finish my interims at school. I wasn't super worried though becase I figured I could still go on Friday and Saturday.  A friend of mine was coming in town last night, but I figured I would have time to get to the box before he got here.  WRONG! He was early! I was a block from the box when he called and said he was 20 minutes away.  Crap... so there went that.  I figured I'd still get in today and at least get in 3 days this week.  Not my 4 that I wanted, but still decent.  Woke up at 9:25 with the workout at 9:30.  I SET my alarm, and failed to turn it on!!!! CURSES!!!! So, this week was a severe case or workoutus interruptus.  I'm going to try to get a run in tomorrow so at least I can say I did SOMETHING this weekend, but I'm super perturbed that I was so close to getting in my 4 only to have it f'ed by random things.  Grrrr... there is next week, I know, but still, I'm slipping backwards at the box because I can't get in and I want to go forward..... workoutus interruptus... GRRRRR on you. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Phoenix rising...

As my classroom read aloud, I'm currently reading the first of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Lightening Thief.  If you're a fan of Greek mythology, or if you happen to have a pre-pubescent boy, this series is amazing.  But before I start to get all teacher-y and wax philosophical about the joys of reading and how fun it is to read Greek mythology, I'll attempt to get myself back on track. 

See, Greek mythology in my opinion is some of the best storytelling ever done.  Where else do you see so many unique and seemingly unexplicable things?  I got to thinking today about Greek mythology though.  Or, more specifically, about one aspect of Greek mythology.  In particular, I started to think about the Phoenix in Greek mythology.  According to Greek mythology, the Phoenix lived for roughly 500-1000 years.  When it was certain it was going to die, it would build a nest and then the bird and nest would burst into flame.  As soon as this occurred, a new Phoenix would arise from the ashes of the old.  In some myths, the old ashes were encased in a new egg and taken to a city in the Egyptian civilization, in others, a new Phoenix is simply born.  Regardless though, the idea is still the same... from the ashes, a new being is born. 

If you've been following my blog for as long as I've been writing it.... I admire your tenacity. If you're a recent newcomer, then perhaps what I'm about to say will not make much sense at all.  The nice thing about having my life on the internet is that it's literally a living diary.  I can add to it and delete from it at will, and it serves as a reminder of events and things that have happened to me over the course of the past three years.  As I look back, I can see the person I was, the person I grew into, and now the person I'm becoming.  I can see that there was a person who was very happy and go-lucky.  I can see that along the way amidst school stress, competition stress, and the stress of working multiple jobs, that person got lost.  Somewhere in the last year, Katie disappeared. 

As I started back to work two months ago I felt like that was a new beginning for me.  I felt like I was getting a second chance to do what I wanted to do.  A chance to fix things that I couldn't fix a year ago.  But as I got ino that position, I realized I still wasn't happy.  Something still wasn't right.  I had a boyfriend, I was making ok money, things at the side job were going well, but I still wasn't happy.  As things with my boyfriend ended and the stress at school mounted due to upcoming SOL's, I had a sort of realization.  I realized that nothing was going to change unless I forced it to. 

Sort of like the Phoenix realizing that it was time to die, so did I.  Because of work, I've been putting off everything, including living my own life.  People always say that you should do everything in moderation.  For me, that never seemed to be the case and it seemed like with me, everything was always all or nothing.  So, like the Phoenix, I've decided to die.

I've made it a point to leave work no later than 7:30 in the evening.  I refuse to allow myself to stay until 9 or 9:30 anymore.  I've spoken with my managers at my other job and have said that I will not work doubles everyday on the weekends anymore.  I have made myself take breaks, I have made myself slow down.  I've had dinner with a friend this week.  I've read a book this week.  I've bought new I-tunes, done a few loads of laundry, and have even found my way back to my blog this week. The Phoenix is rising. 

I'm not sure if in the Greek myths the Phoenix ever felt like a better version of itself was being born, but I do.  I enjoy being a dedicated teacher, and I enjoy being a good, reliable server.  But you know what else I enjoy? Laughing, listening to music, watching movies, reading books, having dinner, a glass of wine, chocolate, blogging, and tens of other things that I've just not done in the last year or so because work has always come first.  I never imagined that in my 20's I would feel so burnt out.  I never imagined that I would spend 100 hours a week working.  I've come to not just realize this anymore, but finally ACT on it.  I need to slow down, and things need to change for the better.

The old Phoenix has burned and a new, wiser Phoenix is taking it's place.  As with any newborn being there is always much to learn, and I need to be careful not to inadvertantly swing my pendulum too far the other direction.  However, I'm looking forward to slowly regaining things that have been lost.  I'm glad that I took this job, as I've had a lot to learn from it, but I'm even more glad that I've finally started to find peace with things.  Even though I don't enjoy my current position, it's had a purpose, and the purpose was to force me to burn.  To force me to rise again, stronger, more determined, and more focused on putting things in order.  Is this to say that I'll never spend another late night at school ever again? No, I know I will.  But it means that I find enjoyment in life again.  That work is not the end all be all.  It means I start blogging again, and start to find myself back in the box more than 2x a week again.  It means I start living in the true sense of the word.  It's scary... it's hard not to fall back into old routines, but I'm slowly getting there.  I'm slowly starting to spread my wings, and like a new born bird take my first tentative flaps of my wings.  I'll get there... I know I will.  But believe me, I cannot wait to see the view from the sky when I begin to soar....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Once, Twice, Three times a lady...

I think that's how the old song goes... is that how the old song goes? I don't know... in my old age my mind is failing me... You know, I said that jokingly in front of my students the other day... I said that in my old age my hearing was going... one of the kids in the back whispered (haha... that's funny... 11 year olds don't really whisper) that I was obviously close to 40... really??!?!? I mean, I know I look older and I am sure that the gray hairs will start to come soon with all the stress I'm under, but 40? REALLY?

Anyway... 3 seems to be my lucky number these days.  I'm still having a hard time getting into the box with my work schedule, but I'm holding steady at the number three.  I realize that this isn't going to make me a badass at three times a week, but I also realize it will help to maintain a certain level of fitness so that when I am able to get back in 4-5 days a week, I will start to improve again.  I don't feel stellar, in fact, yesterday's wod felt awful, but I am still getting some work in and it helps me feel good about myself.  After all, isn't that the point? 

Yesterday's wod was sheer awfulness, so by all means, I highly encourage it at the HTFU weight if you really feel like punishing yourself.  Ugh. 

30 snatches for time
Every minute on the minute starting at 0:00 do XX number of pull-ups

HTFU- 95lbs and 4 C2B pull-ups
Infidel -75lbs and 4 pull-ups
Bulldog- 55 lbs and ??? pull-ups

I started out ok at HTFU but after 6 rounds I had to go to regular pull-ups.  I have lost some strength by only being in 3 days a week and the extra weight I've gained is seriously impacting my pull-ups.  I kept the weight at 95 lbs and let me tell you, it sucked.  95 was heavy and hard.  But I did push through.... eventually. Mentally that wod almost beat me... it was rough.  But I did it and felt good that I did it.  Tomorrow will be day number 2 this week and hopefully Saturday will be 3.  I'm aiming to keep consistant at 3... and be once, twice, three times a CFOT lady this week! WOOT! :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In flux...

So, you thought I died didn't you? Admit it, you thought that I got hit on the head with a weight and was no longer? Eh... not so much, but a few weeks after writing up my CrossFit Story: Part Tres, my life went into a full on tailspin as things shifted... AGAIN. In September, after being away from teaching for awhile, I decided that I wasn't ready to be done.  I didn't want to leave teaching, but I needed to work on creating a better balance in my life and find a school where I felt supported and not attacked all the time.  I started looking at potential openings and went through a lot in the fall as far as employment, and was just getting ready to start subbing with Alexandria when I got a life changing call. 

I was taking a full time position, not contracted but temporary, with a 5th grade class in a local school.  Of course this happened two days before Christmas and there was no time to talk to my new team or my new principal really before the break came.  I was told that I was to start January 3, so everything went into hurry up mode.  I had to change my schedule at the restaurant, find all my teaching things that had been shoved in corners and attics, and I needed to get ready to completely flip my life again. 

Some of that was easy, other parts of it were not.  I was ready to be back on a schedule, but adjusting was not as easy as I thought it'd be.  I really wanted to start eating better and get back into team 0515 but it's been a challenge.  It's a new district, a new school, a new grade level, and so my focus has really shifted back to work as opposed to working out.  I keep missing meals because I'm working, or I'm eating horribly as I'm trying to cram meals in between school and Dogfish.  I'm sure that things will calm down soon.  It's already been almot a month at this job, and I've learned a lot.  I know how they want things done now, so I'm finally getting used to writing lesson plans and doing things the way they want me to.  So hopefully within the next few weeks, things will get even easier and I will find a way to get into the box more and have more wods to write about.  For the first two-three weeks in there, it was pretty sketchy.  One week I only got in one time.  It was pretty bad...... but last week I was in three days, and I'm hoping to get in 3-4 days this week.  Weather will play a part in that, but hopefully we'll make it through and things will be back to normal in no time.  Let's cross our fingers, cause I definitely feel fat and very out of shape!!!