Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cape Cod Mini Vacation

Normally when I travel I get giddy and excited about trying out a new Crossfit box (See the listing on the right side of the Blog) and when I visit new boxes, I add another T-Shirt to my collection.

Every year, some girlfriends and I take a mini vacation to our other friend, who's parents have a vacation house on Cape Cod (ironically in the town of Dennis, MA).

I believe last year I tried to visit a box there located in Hyannis, but the owners were on vacation and the box was closed for the time that I visited, no big deal, I just did a couple at home WODs on the beach and looked like a weirdo.

This time there was actually a closer box, Crossfit Phase II fitness that I looked up and noted the class times, and of course planned to go to.  Things didn't quite work out as I had planned, but I wasn't a complete lazy bum!

The second day of vacation we took a ferry to Nantucket and decided to rent bikes.  We got a decent bike ride in and the trails were not flat.  I was really shocked to see how out of shape I was but thinking about it now, I really haven't been doing much of anything for a while. 

After about 10 minutes of riding, I was good to go, just had to get over that initial "hump."  We guessed our round trip biking adventure was about 12 miles, but do to some app malfunction, we will never know.  After we biked we indulged in some local food and drink:

The next day I was pretty sore from the bike ride, so I took it easy on the beach (which by the way, walking on sand with multiple things to carry isn't the easiest task).  But we took decent walks on the beach and on our last beach day we took a long walk onto the jetty which took some good balance and a little bit of courage. 

Over all it was a low key mini vacation and I didn't make it to a new crossfit box, but, I have to listen to my body (and baby's body too) and TRUST me I am eagerly waiting for January so I can really get back into things.

I hope while I'm on my Crossfit Sabbatical everybody else is killing it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Since I'm going through something completely new to me physically and emotionally (pregnancy) I didn't know what to expect. 

And the timing probably couldn't have been worse.  (No offense future baby!).

In the grand scheme of things, I was just getting my feet wet with Crossfit, morphing from a beginner to a slightly more experienced fitter, and with my running goal so close in sight, and not to mention my body finally 90% beach ready, it all came to a halt. 

Pregnancy is brutal!

Overall, it hasn't been horrible, it's just a completely different animal and part of me is scared of what I'm becoming during it.

Instead of getting up at 5:30 in the morning to either WOD or run, I'm snoozing as late as possible before having to get up to work and instead of rushing out of work to get to the 5pm WOD, I'm rushing home so I can get to bed.

Instead of making sure my meals are paleo friendly, I'm eating pretty healthy, but not feeling guilty if I don't. 

Each day hoping to see my weight go down, I'm getting bigger and feeling more and more gross about how I look.  It's mentally devastating. 

Yes I could still be hard core dieting or working out, but it was challenging enough when I was not pregnant, and growing a baby adds a whole new level to it. 

So with only a few months left, I'm really hoping that after baby is here, I make it a priority to get right back to it and pick off not right where I left off, but to start off slow and make my way back.  I'm hoping for a January start.  Crossfit and Running. 

Curious as to when I started my running training, I went to my Digital Mustard facebook page and read through all my posts.  And I almost lost it.  Was that really me?  I was obsessed and more importantly, I was working so hard! 

Immediately I felt so happy that I, even though I didn't know I was doing it, was documenting how I felt about doing great on a WOD, terrible on a WOD, running, eating, and balancing my life with these new things.

I saw some posts about keeping things honest about not doing something as well as I should, or not being able to make it to a WOD.  I guess as the manager of the page I didn't really look back on what I posted, but today I did, and I have to really pat myself on the back.

All those times that I thought I wasn't doing good enough or felt like what I was doing wasn't enough I wish I looked back at my posts about all the accomplishments I was proud enough to post about.

It helped me realize how far I had come from where I started and even though I'm down and out right now, I know that with a lot of work, I can get back to where I was (even with a little baby!).

So to Karen past, thank you for being who you were and all the posts and blogs you wrote, it was fun going back to the beginning and reliving all those moments, good and bad. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


1984 isn't the year I was born (it's actually 1983) but it does happen to be a book that I was forced to read back in High School.  What does this have to do with anything?  Well, 1984 had a list of quotes and one of them always seemed to stick with me.

Give up on which one it is?

If you guessed quote #2, you would be correct.  Freedom is slavery.  Bare with me for a bit so I can explain my point.

Pre Crossfit610 closing and my getting knocked up (no worries it was on purpose) I had a very regimented schedule.  It typically was like this:

Wake up, get to work by 8am.  Leave work at 5pm (or a little before).
Catch the 5pm, 6pm, or 7pm WOD.

If I has social plans after work, I'd either have to go to a 6am WOD or manage my rest days vs. WOD days accordingly. 

My job, my workouts, and my social life pretty much set my day up for me and there was not much wiggle room at all.  For pretty much over a year (more so when I started my running) I was making it to all of my WODs, achieving goals, and kicking butt with my running, because my schedule was so tight and I was compliant to it and let it lead to me to success.  To some that may sound like slavery, in a sense.  But to me, I was free.

What was I free from?

I was free from having to manage my own schedule.  I was at the mercy of my work scheduling and the WOD scheduling and my running requirements.  The plan was simple.  Do this that day or fail.  No brain work needed.   

I must have heard the phrase "If I didn't come today at 6am, I wouldn't be able to get in a work out at all" 100 times.  There was no choice.  You either went at 6am or you didn't.  End of story. 

Still not buying it?

When my husband got laid off back in April, after being sad and scared for him and us (losing your job is NOT a fun thing to go through esp just finding out you are having a baby in 9 months), I was actually jealous of him.  He had what most 9 to 5er's want, freedom.  Freedom to do what you want, when you want.  But lets take a closer look as to what really happened.

Dennis used to work about an hour away from our house, so getting home in time for the 5pm and the 6pm classes were near impossible, and sometimes there wasn't always a 7pm class so again, he had to figure out which classes he was able to attend to either before or after work.  Simple, he knew he had to make it work.  No real brain work there. 

He did this successfully for just over a year.  Until he lost his job.   

All of a sudden, he didn't have to wake up early, didn't really have much to do during the day besides job hunt and the nice little "honey to do list" I would give him.  So he had to make his own schedule, which to some is harder than be given one. 

With that, and the gym closing after a few months later.....I don't think Dennis has been to a WOD in weeks, dare I say even a month?  There are plenty of options for him, Ronin Fitness has a great following, multiple alternate Crossfit locations, but for some reason, having MORE free time on Dennis' hands, has actually decreased his gym attendance. 

I've always had more success with things when I either find or create a training program to be accountable to rather than just making things up as I go.  (And for those that know me, we all know that FINISHING those programs and being afraid of success are my major issues). 

Which way works best for you?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

ANGRY Blog!!

Since Crossfit has become more and more popular (just check out the difference in numbers from the 2011 games and the 2012 games) it's not a HUGE surprise that with the gaining of the followers, there is a huge group of people that are against Crossfit. 

Articles have been written about why Crossfit isn't good or why Crossfit isn't the best way to train, etc.  But let's face it, with everything in the world, there are going to be multiple opinions. 

Point #1. It is group exercise.

Counter Point:  Group exercise has benefits.  How many times have you worked out alone and towards the end you've said, ehhhh I'm going to skip the last set because I'm tired/lazy?  Chances are, you've done that.  With group exercise, that is simply not an option and until you have reached your Rounds for time, or the clock reaches zero on a 20 minute AMRAP, people will be cheering you on and in your face. 

Who cares if you are WODing next to somebody?  Even if the person next to you is a beast and using 3x's the weight you are, there is SOME motivation to eventually be like that dude, and being able to gage your performance by other box mates is a competitive aspect that Crossfit provides. 

Point #2. It is generalist.  Do you want to be a power lifter? Don't do Crossfit.  Do you want to be a distance runner? Don't do Crossfit. Do you want to simply add muscle bulk at all costs? Don't do Crossfit. Are you training for a specific sport which requires you to sharpen very specific physical skills? Don't do Crossfit

Counter Point: This "point" infuriates me.  I started Crossfit not to be a runner, not to be muscly, and not training for a specific sport.  I joined Crossfit to lose weight and become more athletically versatile. 

When I decided I wanted to do long distance running, I added running to my Crossfit training.  Crossfit alone will NOT make you a marathon runner, but practicing running in combination with Crossfit helped me PR on all the running distances I did in 2011.  If you want to be a good swimmer, do Crossfit AND Swimming.  See my earlier blog Swimming for Time.  Crossfit didn't make me an instant swimmer, but the strength and other skills I've gained via Crossfit has certainly improved my performance.  Hell, I give credit to Crossfit when I move furniture without effort, bring all my groceries into the house in one trip, and have great stamina during...well you know.  

On the other hand, one of my Crossfit friends did NOTHING but Crossfit and won Overall Category for bench press and deadlift.  No power lifting training at all.  HMMMMMMMMM.....

So as for Point #2 I say, no shit Sherlock!!

Point #3. It is too expensive

Counter Point:  Yes it is MORE expensive than a 10 dollar a month membership but it is WAY cheaper than having a personal trainer.  BOOM!

Point #4. Their pull ups suck

Counter Point: Yes Crossfit uses kipping pull ups instead of strict.  What's your point?  Crossfit is big on doing movements quickly and efficiently and it just so happens that a kipping pull up is quicker and more efficient than strict.  BFD.  He then goes on to talk about how Crossfit promotes doing heavier weights with bad form quicker rather than lighter weights with perfect form slower.  Dude, we are all trying to work on form, speed, and weights.  I have not met one Trainer of Crossfit that would be like, awesome job on that heavy, fast, terrible form snatch.  Any good trainer would be, drop the weights down until your form is good, and then lets work up to a heavier weight. 


Point #5. You will get injured

Counter Point:  You COULD get injured, sure.  But you could also get injured running, driving, doing zumba, or basically doing anything that requires you to move. 

IF you have a good trainer, injuries will be kept at a minimum and yes I agree that if you are trying to quickly do box jumps you may miss the box and bust your shin.  IT HAPPENS.  Jimmy Rollins pulled a hamstring while running down the crowd giving fans high fives.  Does that mean that baseball is a horrifically dangerous sport?  Seriously dude, you're pissing me off!! 

Point #6. The whole "cult" thing

Counter Point:  If by "cult" you mean super nice people who want to better improve their physical and mental shape by working out/spending time with other super healthy people then yeah...that really sucks! 

Yes it takes a certain type of person to do Crossfit, but the community aspect is one of the coolest parts of Crossfit.  I've done WODs with people that I wouldn't normally meet (Hell one of our members was a finalist on American Idol) but during the WODs we are all there to accomplish one thing, to be our best. 

I agree that some cults are scary, but we don't do scary things.  We work out and sometimes we have bbq's or do competitions or even things that help the community.  God, that's just TERRIBLE!!

Point #7. You can't trademark working out, you fuckers

Counter Point:  So would calling Zumba Dancing be the same thing?  Because they have seemed to trademark "dancing."  I could list other examples but I'm still confused as to why this is an issue?

In conclusion, I appreciate people having opinions and it seems that you can take ANYTHING in this world and put a negative spin on it.  So do me a favor and do your homework and remember that there are two sides to every story.