Friday, November 16, 2012

Why do you hang out with Crossfitters all the time?

There are a million reasons, but here are a few:

1. Crossfitters are strong and passionate about life.  I like that!  They are passionate and opinionated about different things, and often, in opposing ways, but they CARE.  They aren't content to live life on auto-pilot.

2. (and this is huge).  Non Crossfitters make me feel gigantic and bulky.  At my box, I'm a bit on the weak side with skinny arms.  At the elementary school luncheon?  I'm huge.  As in hulking.  My shoulders are twice the width and my booty sticks out farther. Men stare at my traps in horror/jealousy. Women get a blank look when they notice the blisters on my hands and the bruises on my collarbone.   I love my body, but standing next to a size 2 blond in skinny jeans?  I feel like a moose.  My Crossfit peeps are powerful.

3. Crossfitters can laugh at themselves.  Hell, we've all humiliated ourselves in front of each other at least once (or 20x).  We have nothing to prove to each other.  We can laugh at our weaknesses.

4. Crossfitters are funny as hell.  I don't care what the subject is.  Food, muscles, hot guys, religion...the conversation is generally going to be laced with innuendo, f-bombs, and mocking.

5. Crossfitters GET what it means to be balls-to-the-wall about stuff.  They respect it.  I'm balls-to-the-wall about my volunteer work.  Some girls are balls-to-the-wall about competition.  Others (most) are balls-to-the-wall about clean eating.  No judgement - find your sweet spot and 3..2..1..go.

6. It's easy to party with paleo eaters.  You don't have to say "Paleo" bbq potluck.  If you have a potluck, it will be paleo.  Period.  I don't have to explain myself, apologize, or bring my own dish that only I like.

7.  Crossfitters have work ethic.  Every day is about not being satisfied with "good enough."  Lift heavier.  Run faster.  Take fewer breaks.  There is always room for improvement, and Crossfitters embrace that.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nut up.

I am scared a lot. Burpees scare me. Power snatches freak me out. Anything above 65lbs overhead makes me want to cry. Any WOD that includes a number with 3 digits turns me into a baby. But I go for it. I "nut up", as my trainer so gently puts it. In some ways, it's easy to nut up when it's a barbell staring at me. Either I will be able to lift it, or I won't. I'll be able to complete the work, or I won't. I can run the sprints, or I can't. It's a black and white affair, and God knows, humans love dealing in the black and white.

 Where things get sketchy is when gray appears on the horizon. What if I don't know what the outcome will be? Usually, this is the case when we are dealing with other people. What if I say hi to someone and they snub me? What if I compliment someone and they take it the wrong way? What if I give a suggestion out of love and the person takes it as criticism? There is no guarantee of an outcome when dealing with people. Is this an excuse to bow out? Or is this the critical time to nut up?

 Real men and women nut up. It's the definition of cowboy to take a chance when you're not guaranteed an outcome. Humans are sketchy, irritable, joyful, unpredictable, and full of surprises (both good and bad). Sometimes you'll take a chance and it will blow up in your face. Cowboy up, anyway. Sometimes, love will get thrown back at you with a sneer. Balls to the wall, anyway. The biggest breakthroughs in life come through taking chances. I'm going to get out there and nut up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Made me smile...needed that!

An exercise in futility.

Every day in Crossfit is an exercise in physical discipline. But more than that, it's an exercise in mental discipline; of how much you are willing to turn your heart, mind and body over to pain. The focus and concentration it takes to put your body on the line is much, much harder than the physical focus. It takes toughness to walk through the door knowing you're gonna get hit with a sledgehammer and to cowboy up and take it, balls to the wall.

It wasn't there for me today. Minutes into the wod, I feel like I gave up on myself and I went through the motions. I don't know why...stress at home? sick kids? pissy attitude? Don't know. But I walked out disappointed. No one knows from looking from the outside how much of myself I'm putting on the line. But I knew. And it wasn't enough. It wasn't everything. I did the wod, I did not focus my mind. I may have achieved some calorie burning and muscle development, but I did not strengthen my mind and spirit.

So I will meditate on this and figure out what the hell went wrong. I would rather perform like shit with a fully focused spirit than perform decently with a heart that has given up.

To do...

50,000 things on my to do list, but I'm going to Crossfit today. It's the only thing keeping me from stabbing someone in the neck.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gifts from paleo lovahs


Hard Times

It's been a hard couple of weeks. I'm finally coming out of the fog of the first few months of Crossfit. I know the lingo, I'm seeing WODs repeat, I'm finally getting my sea legs. So, when the dust cleared, I realized to my dismay that I suck. As in, last. Pretty much every day. During the first couple of months, I didn't expect to compete - I was too focused on not dying or developing exercise induced asthma. Now, it would just be kinda nice to come in somewhere in the middle sometime...even lower...just not last.

So where is the line between comparing myself to gauge where I should be and using that info to beat myself up? Don't know. Every day is going to have to figure itself out. Sam said to keep working hard; "keep focusing on the little shit and the materialistic shit will take care of itself" (ie where I'm at on the whiteboard).

So here's a few little things that I've seen improve:
1. I'm running every run - haven't walked during a running wod this season.
2. My strength gains in squats are huge - PRing every time.
3. I stay in the suck longer every day.
4. My transition times between exercises are shorter.
5. I take fewer and shorter breaks.
6. My flexibility is a heck of a lot better.
7. I'm an encourager. I give and try not to always take.
8. I'm RXing workouts here and there
9. Using the 35lb kb and the 26 feels light.
10. I am more focused.

Even though it is so tempting to wallow in self-pity when I look at the board and see myself last or close to it every workout, that is not helping me improve. I will keep walking through the door and putting myself in the hands of the wod. I'll give my damndest every day. I'll do work and let the materialistic shit take care of itself.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Leading By Example

Our daughter, A, has struggled with her weight all of her life. When we adopted her at 13, 3 years ago, we were focused on bonding. I didn't make a big deal out of food. Over the last 4 months, she has watched me eat Paleo and became very interested. She loves meat, veggies, fruit and nuts, so decided to give it a try.

She has met with a tremendous amount of push-back from friends at school. They're constantly pushing food at her and trying to get her to eat candy, granola bars, etc. She has stood firm and politely refused. At one point, a kid said, "C'mon. Teenagers are supposed to eat crap and lay around and watch TV! Why do you want to eat so healthy?"

She responded, "Um, have you seen my mom?"

Day made. a good way.

While tucking the kids into bed, they said I smelled like Crossfit, rubber and bacon. Epic. Win. At least I don't smell like too much alcohol...or depression... or refined carbs like the old days. Some day, they will walk into a smelly gym and think, "Aw...Mom!"

To go or not to go?

I was debating with myself whether or not to go to xf today. My body feels beat to hell. Literally, every muscle is aching (Have a been a good girl and rolled out? nope. so my bad.). I had pretty much decided to take a break today when the wod posted. It's the 7 min AMRAP burpee wod for the open. After I apologized to my cats for scaring them with the loud string of profanities, I decided I HAD to go. During my first week of xf, I made the decision to never cherry-pick wods. I would go every day barring emergency or being out of town. So, that's biting me in the ass today...ah well, I'll be a better (albeit bruised) person when I'm done. And, I'll be drowning my sorrows in my ***snazzy*** new Innov8s! awwww yeeeuh! 3..2..1..GO!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Muscle happiness

Lying in bed spooning with my handsome husband, he says, "Did you just flex your pec?!?!" Why yes. Yes I did.

And that is how we roll.

A convo with my younger cuz in FL - how could I have so much in common with a 17 year old boy?

Deborah Davila Linne
Ok, dude, I'ma tell you a story, but you might need to sit down. Yesterday's wod was 50 burpees, then 21, 15, 9 of sdhp and pulls ups, then 150 DU's. I don't love DU's, but I can string together 5-10 of them, so I'm thinking that it will take me some time, but I'll get through it. WELL. I get through the first part of the wod, running a little behind and start my DU's. Within 5 minutes, everyone was done and I had 40. Not shitting you, 40. Then it went downhill and I would miss, miss, do 1. Miss, do 1. Miss miss miss, do 2. It took me 25 minutes, I kid you not. The entire crew was there cheering me on and I wanted to freaking strangle someone with the jumprope. Sam kept encouraging me and giving me tips. A couple of times I would walk over to him ready to give up and he'd look at me like "don't even **** with me. " and would give me a tip and tell me to try again. I literally did 1 at a time for 20 minutes while the rest of the crew watched (at least 12 people there yesterday). It was humiliating, horrifying, etc., but I just tried to keep my cool. I knew panicking wasn't going to get the job done.

Anyway, when I hit 150 I just sat down on the ground and it was like a dog pile of people. Some of my girls were crying. A few people said they had never seen anything like it with someone refusing to give up. I was in a freaking daze.

So dude, it was seriously ugly, but for some reason with this *** sport, people look more at your heart and your ethic than your output. THEN, Sam made me stay 15 minutes after and practice with him to try and get my timing back! hahaha!

Ahhhh...I fought tears all afternoon thinking "I have no business being there," but everyone's encouragement has me ready to go back today and kick ass.

So there ya go.

February 8Joshua Pena
thats what i love about our sport. even the top athletes, the elite athletes, the athletes at the games, while the games are goin on, even during the wod, they are cheering each other on. Its so competitive at that level, and its the nicest competition i've ever seen. its like no other sport i've ever seen. ever. an thats what sets us apert from everyone else, is the people, our community. Dude, thats awesome that even with all that frustration you pulled through. and didn't quit. haha thats an inspiration to me, to never quit, to never give in, to never stop. i saw that pic an was wonderin what was up ha. dude i'm so happy an proud that you fought through. I bet you mind was startin to get to you, tellin you things like why am i doin this, or why dont i just quit. I love doin wods that are so humbling like that. like, doin somethin that kicks my ass, somethin that proves to me, no matter how good i think am, i still have a lot work i need to do. It is humbling too, like there are a lot of guys at school who have a big head, they got this huge muscular body an think they are all that, an think they are all physically fit, i'd like to see them do a crossfit wod. an then they will find out how much they have to work on ha. especially some of the football players. like some of them i think will do really good at crossfit, but some are pretty big an strong, but too **** lazy to do somethin like crossfit. **** Kudos to you Deb!! you've earned it, and you've done **** awesome, i wish i coulda been there, yelling, cheering you on! Cheering you on as one of my fellow crossfitters. and cheering you as my cousin, as my family. ha good job, dont ever quite doin what you do:D

February 8Deborah Davila Linne
thanks, bro. It was a "come to Jesus" moment fo sho. Yes, I wanted to quit so badly, or switch to SUs. But I kept thinking, will it be more embarrassing to do one DU at a time? Or to quit? Quitting was not an option. I felt trapped and I wanted to scream, but I'm telling you, the character I built in that one single wod was worth more than most people do in a lifetime. What I love about crossfit is that it is such a community of people who love each other that we are willing to expect the absolute BEST and MOST of each other. So many people gave me props today and what I loved most was the people who gave me shit, like the dude who's started calling me the "Queen of the DU." hahahahaha!

Yeah, those muscle heads at your school have no idea! Sam had some elite endurance road bikers come in to train with him last summer and within 4 minutes of the 1st wod, they were crying. This is not for pansies! I love being humbled b/c I know that it leads to growth of mind, body and spirit. It's good shit, this crossfit. You gotta wish you could take those fat lazy football players through Fran just once. hahaha

I'm thinking one day we're gonna have to publish our IMs as something like, "Confessions of Crossfit addicts" or some shit like that! haha!

February 8Joshua Pena
hahaa thats awesome, i never thought about that. That would be funny, i'm sure just about every Xfitter could relate to our IM's ha. an thats the perfect name too ha. yea, you feel so much..... idk, better or confident. your character is bult up so much, and i walk a lot taller with my head held a lot higher then i use to, before crossfit. i mean its not really that much higher, i'm perty short an i'm done growing, i've all ready decided ha;) But our community, is awesome, we love each other. i think its awesome when i find a fellow crossfitter because of his/her shirt an we can talk for hours an we just met. ya know. like you and i. ever since in december we started talkin, and i dont know if we have gone a week without talkin ha;) the community is truly like no other. haha an yeah, to get someone who thinks they are bad ass to do fran would be awesome, they'd realize pretty quick that they need to start gettin their shit together, an start trainin right.

Convos between crossfitting foodies

C'mon, you know you want to.

Uh, not pretty.

Suffice it to say that 25 minutes of double under attempts will get you whip marks and shin splints that last a month. I would not suggest going about a 150du wod the way I did. DU clinic, here I come.


That's all.

The 100.

What is it about that damn number? 100 burpees. 100 pull ups. 100 double unders. It scares the shit out of me. It messes with my head. No amount of self talk or trickery resolves it. The only thing that resolves it is doing. the. damn. work. Over and over.


I hear the birds on top of my house. I see details of the fire crackling, the cat sneaking around the corner, the chalk dust floating off the hands of the lifter. Mesmerizing. I feel emotions of those around me - the hidden meanings. I also feel pain more clearly. My hands as they tear on the pull up cage. My lungs as they gasp for breath on the 3rd round. I feel the 5 extra pounds on the barbell with stunning acuity.

Clarity of mind, body and it's root? Clean eating. How much have I missed? How many details were lost in a cloud of obscurity as my body tried to fend off the poison I was steadily ingesting? Chemicals. Alcohol. Diet products. Grains.

Dare to be spartan in your food and drink choices. Get ready for the opulence life is waiting to provide. Better than drugs.


Why did I start Crossfit? The simple answer is that I wanted to get in the "best shape of my life."

Ahh...another beginning...I have struggled with my weight since I was 20 years old. Yo-yo diets, gains and losses of hundreds of pounds...all left me anchor-less. I had no center. I was full of tips and tricks...knowledge... but felt like I lacked "willpower" or "motivation," or whatever that magic dust is that awesome people have. It culminated in my being 222lbs and severely depressed in January of 2009. In a life or death decision, I put myself in the hands of a weight loss clinic, and lost 72lbs in 7 months. This was through strict caloric restriction and no exercise (you can't exercise when you're eating 800 cal/day).

Long story short, it saved my life, but almost robbed me of my health. My hair was falling out, I had stopped menstruating, and I had a growth on my liver (ew!). I decided I had to find health, not just weight-control. I did a year of boot camp, which was so much fun and gave me an inkling of what it was like to exercise hard and enjoy it. Unfortunately, the training was random and more centered around bringing clients in than keeping them. I had a taste for hard work and was curious about more. I was at the top of my game - the "fittest" of the fit body boot campers. I was also lost at sea with my eating, knowing that caloric restriction was the only thing my body responded to, but that it wasn't healthy. I was eating "healthy" foods like oatmeal and whole grain bread, but restricting fat. That's what you're supposed to do, right?

Enter Sam and NorCo Crossfit. My beast of a volleyball playing daughter had trained with Sam the summer before and left every workout completely toasted. Out of curiosity, I met with Sam to "ask some questions" about Crossfit. I left completely convinced that it was THE way. It was what I was looking for. I was going to start over for the last time.

I entered totally focused on the fitness aspect and quickly realized that fitness of the MIND is where it all starts. When the intro session using nothing more than a piece of PVC pipe left me sweating and unable to turn my head to the left or right, it dawned on me that this place wasn't messing around. There would be no easy path. If I wanted this, I was going to have to have a come-to-Jesus about my heart, my attitude and my work ethic. What I didn't know is that the forging of the spirit of the Crossfitter is by far THE most important part of the journey.

I was a big fish in a small pond at boot camp. I was now a minnow who had been to fitness preschool in a tank of PhD'd sharks. These people were serious about a lot of stuff. Lifting heavy shit. Functional fitness. Clean eating. Women kicking ass. Community. Fun. Forging elite fitness. Encouragement. Not leaving the least of them behind. I was dumped into an ocean of sharks - sharks who only eat those who do not have the heart to endure pain, who were weak in spirit. It was either be eaten, or become a shark. Beginning.