Stress and Depression Are Dumb. So Are Injuries.

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(My limited ROM in my knee doesn’t allow it to bend like I want it to causing me to squat incorrectly. Oh, and that whole only having 4 lumbar vertebrae – as opposed to 5 – also doesn’t help the situation.)

[TL;DR since I didn’t expect to write this much: overwhelming stress from work and my knee injury caused me to get chubby and depressed creating a vicious cycle.  Didn’t realize how chubby I got until I saw a picture of myself taken yesterday.  Knee surgery on Friday, June 20 to fix torn meniscus.]

So, tomorrow is the big day – surgery day!  This is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time, but wasn’t sure if it was something that I should do.  I’ve had pain in my right knee since my ACL reconstructive surgery back in 1998, but I just learned to deal with the pain.  I would say about 5 years ago, prior to my starting CrossFit the pain started getting worse, which is why I decided to start exercising again.  I figured my being inactive for about 10 years was causing all of my knee and back pain.

I started CrossFit in January of 2010, and at first I couldn’t run.  It hurt and my endurance sucked balls.  After a few months of CrossFit and getting my body moving again, my knee pain slowly went away and I actually didn’t mind running.  I’ve had a couple of injuries (strained right Achilles, Bankart tear in my left shoulder) during my time with CrossFit, but they were caused by me doing stupid things while playing adult co-ed softball (I have since retired in case you were wondering).  As with any injury or life-changing situation, I felt a bit depressed due to the immediate change in what I was and wasn’t able to do.  The depression slowly went away as I found ways to workout around my injuries – I got really good at pull-ups during my Achilles injury and my legs got really strong during my shoulder injury.  So, you’d think that this current injury would be no prob.  Nope, completely the opposite.

Rewind to late 2013/early 2014 – I was finally starting to feel good again, normal even, and not feeling any pain.  I also felt like I was finally getting my eating habits under control.  As such, I started to increase my training and pushing myself that much harder.  No excuses.  My first full week of training after my shoulder injury was the first week of the 2013 CrossFit Open, so when the 2014 Open came around, I wanted to be ready and injury free. I started deadlifting more, my front and back squat weights were increasing.  I was stoked.  I did well in the Open – I ended up in the top 27% in the world and 29% in the region – and was proud of what I accomplished (I also placed 36th in the SoCal region for 36 year old women! Haha, if only CrossFit were categorized by age…).

Unfortunately, due to the increase in my training and my limited abilities and range of motion in my right knee due to my previous ACL injury and surgery, my knee started acting up again.  I hit a point with my squats where I couldn’t increase the weight anymore.  I was cautious with my training and slowed down when it hurt and forged on when it felt good.  As a precaution, I decided to get an MRI to make sure that I didn’t re-injure my ACL.

My friend Black Widow (BW) and I are pretty similar in abilities and height, and well, when I had long hair people would get us confused, so, we’re a pretty good match for partner competitions.  We signed up for the Dynamic Duel partner competition this past April 26, the weekend after my MRI.  That was my last full-on workout. Sad face.

The Dynamic Duel consisted of lots of heavy squats and my knee did not enjoy them.  I had practiced the 95lb squat cleans the Monday prior to the competition and felt pretty good about them, and felt ready for the comp.  Unfortunately, the overwhelming stress at work didn’t do my body good.

My supervisor went on maternity leave a couple weeks early leaving me with the added stress to figure out some of the tasks that I was to take over while she was out.  The week prior to the competition was her program’s HUGE annual review week-long meeting that I had to take over with the planning and organizing on top of my regular job.  I didn’t sleep much, my meal schedule was off, and I was working tons of overtime.  I was T.I.R.E.D.  Regardless, I was looking forward to competing with BW.

The first WOD of the competition was difficult but we managed to get through most of it.  My body was tired, but nothing felt off.  The last WOD of the day was squat heavy and it messed me up.

The WOD was:
Every minute on the minute for 10 min:
1st partner starts with 7 goblet squats with a 35lb kettlebell, then does 5 kettlebell swings.
2nd partner then does 95lb squat cleans for the remaining time in the minute.
At the top of the minute, the partners switch.

10169191_10152330702245700_648059738262056476_n(This was me waiting for my turn at squat cleans looking at BW while she was doing her goblet squats like, “I don’t want to do this anymore”.)

photo (4)(At home after the comp. I felt super old and broken.)

After the end of that WOD, my knee did not feel right.  I could barely walk and it hurt so bad.  I took a week off from working out to give my body a rest.  After two weeks, I still felt off.  This is when I received the results of the MRI.  Verdict: a small medial, posterior horn meniscal tear.  So this is the pain that I’ve been feeling for YEARS!  After receiving the results, I decided to give my body a break.  I’ve been definitely feeling physically older, and I attribute a lot of that to the stress that I’ve been feeling at work.  I had planned on doing upper body workouts and still exercising regularly.  Nope, that didn’t happen.  Stress got the best of me.

I stopped working out.  I started eating horribly.  I still wasn’t sleeping well.  I started to become depressed, which led to not wanting to workout, eating crap, and no sleep.  It’s such an effing vicious cycle.  Oh, and guess what?  Work got even MORE stressful.  So not only was I doing two positions, my student assistant quit and I, therefore, had to take on her work.  Oh, I was also voluntold to assist with planning four retirement parties all in the month of June.  Sure, I’ll do three positions and plan huge parties at the university on top of my coaching and operations duties at the gym.  Sure, no problem at all.  So you can imagine how vicious the above-mentioned cycle got recently.  I need to learn to not be so nice and to say no.

Yesterday, I had BW take pictures of me doing various squats from all different angles, so I could compare the differences in my body mechanics before and after surgery.  I knew I was getting a bit soft in the middle but I was not expecting to see what I saw in my squat pictures – my big ol’ gut chillin’ right in front of the camera (see below – enjoy!).  It’s gross and embarrassing and I’m upset that I’ve let myself get to this point.  This is what stress and depression has done to me.  Ugh.

photo (3)(Chubby little Ninja with giant spider bite on her leg that you can see bulging out!)

I am very much looking forward to having surgery and getting back in the gym and using my entire body.  My doctor said that I will pretty much be ready to start working out again after two weeks.  I sure hope so!  I also recently (as of yesterday!) hired a new student assistant to work for me over the summer and can start June 30, and I also found out that my supervisor will be coming back part-time July 1.  So, things are looking up!  As much as stress and depression are dumb, I do learn a lot from what I experience during those rough times.  Although there were days where I wanted to crawl into the fetal position and cry for days, or stab a beeotch in the ear, I forced myself to keep my head up no matter how difficult it was.

No matter how exhausted or pissed off I was from work, I found solace at the gym and from my members.  It’s amazing how much better I felt once I got there and saw my CrossFit family even after working 8-10 hours and being at the gym for another 3, and getting home around 9pm. So big THANKS and giant internet hug to my CFSB family. Y’all are pretty neat, and I look forward to working out with you again soon!  I’ll get through this, I always do.

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CrossFit Open WOD 14.1: Do More. Suck Less.

Do More. Suck Less

The 2014 CrossFit Open began last Thursday. This is a huge time in the CrossFit world. It is a time where we get to see what we’re made of, and to compete with CrossFitters from all over the World. If you have no idea what The Open is, click HERE.

I had planned on doing each of the WODs only one time, no re-dos. I like to treat the Open WODs as a regular competition where you only get one chance to give it your all. Wellllll, my performance last night is an exception. The odds were not in my favor – I was tired all day, most likely because I didn’t eat much and decided to lay down and woke up only 20 minutes before I was to perform the WOD, aaaaand my monthly friend was being a bitch. Whah whah. I was also doing the WOD at another gym in town, and while I was not in my element, I think the big factor there was that I didn’t have my CFSB family there for support. They’re pretty awesome. I’m not making excuses, just giving a glimpse into the state of mind I was in. I tried to shake it off and do work. Unfortunately, my body had other plans.

14.1 is as follows:
AMRAP (as many reps as possible): 10 minutes
30 Double unders
15 Power snatches @ 55lbs

Both of these skills are fairly easy for me. However, there are days where I just can’t seem to do double unders, and you guessed it, last night was one of those nights. I kept tripping on my rope and couldn’t get a consistent rhythm with my jumping. I think my nerves got me rushing and I just lost control. It got so bad to the point where I stopped a few times to laugh because it was so ridiculous and embarrassing. I was also so close to quitting since I knew that I was going to do it again. However, I couldn’t quit. I couldn’t show my athletes that I was a quitter. I managed to finish the WOD with 4 rounds + 27 reps. I was hoping to get close to 6 rounds (270). I was so disappointed, that I had to do it again.

I dreamt about double unders all night. I woke up with sore trapezius muscles, or what we at CFSB like to call “shrug pieces,” because of all the shrugging in the snatches from my first attempt. I also wore my “Do More Suck Less” shirt as motivation.

14.1 Pace Chart

Tall Guy mapped out pace times for every outcome of rounds. He’s such a nerd; I love it! It’s all about strategery! It definitely helped to give us an idea of where we were in the middle of the WOD. I was doing pretty well and was on a good pace to complete 6 rounds. However, around the 3rd or 4th round it got tough and I lost time, but I hung on. I was able to do all of my double unders unbroken for 3 of the 5 rounds because I forced myself to slow down and find a consistent rhythm. My snatches weren’t too bad, but I could’ve used my legs and hips more. The last set of double unders were pretty funny. I felt like I was on the verge of complete body failure. My arms didn’t want to move, I felt like vomiting, I felt my head spinning, and the cramps. Holy cramps! Why do I do CrossFit again?! Well, I survived, and I am pleased to say that I got 5 rounds + 17 reps for a total of 242 reps.

Now, many of my new athletes have asked why they should sign up for The Open. There are so many reasons why people should do it, but I will list my top 3 reasons, which all feed off one another.

1. Accountability. In my opinion, on average we all don’t push ourselves as hard as we should during regular workout days. It’s either after work or school, we’re tired and hungry, and we just want to get the workout in and go home and go to bed. There are also days where we just don’t want to go and instead go straight home. I know what my athletes (and myself) are capable of, and I’m not always seeing max effort. Signing up for The Open holds us accountable in that we are required to submit a score by Monday at 5pm. We have 4 days to complete the WOD after it is announced and therefore have to put the effort in and make time to do it.

2. Focus. Participation in The Open really challenges our focus. Last night my focus was shit, and therefore I had to force myself to really focus during my second attempt. For those 10 minutes of hell, you cannot let any self-doubt, any negativity enter your mind or it will take you over. Case in point, my performance last night. Calmness, focus, and drive are all that can be there. However, when we allow ourselves to really zone in, it is amazing what we can accomplish. I have two athletes who were planning on not doing 14.1 because they had never done double unders. After much coercion and pep talking, they did it. Athlete 1 ended up doing 2 full rounds (for a total of 60 double unders!) and Athlete 2 practiced them this afternoon and got 20. I’m so excited to see what athlete 2 will do tomorrow when she attempts 14.1.

3. Mental fortitude. Anyone that does CrossFit has to have some level of mental fortitude. It is not possible to do these workouts without it. However, The Open presents another level to which you can see what you are made of. I think my absolute favorite part of The Open is seeing how far people push themselves regardless of how much blood, sweat, and tears are pouring out of their bodies. The Open is a test of fitness – not only fitness of your body, but fitness of your mind. How far can and will you go?

I am very excited to see what my athletes are going to accomplish over these next 5 weeks. It brings me so much joy to see them overcome their self-doubt and kick ass. I coach some of the greatest people I have ever met, and as such, they make me want to work harder and be better. CFSB rules!

Being Content with Mediocrity in a Community of Overachievers

Ninja-Goon

Team Ninja & the Goon

One thing I find interesting about CrossFit and the Olympics is that you are constantly reminded of your age. The majority of the commentators I’ve heard while watching the Olympics have mentioned that one’s athletic career is pretty much over once the athlete has reached their 30s. Hell, if you’re an Olympic-level gymnast, you’re done by 18 (21, if you’re lucky). With regards to CrossFit, you are constantly reminded of your age when your body just doesn’t want to move like it used to – you feel your knees and back ache often and that’s just during the warm-up! Actually, I’m pretty sure the constant reminder is when you see these damn youngins walking around with their perfect bodies not realizing (or caring) what’s coming for them in about 5-10 years. Ha! Yeah, go ahead and continue to think you can eat like that… just you wait! (Insert evil laugh here.)

When I mention “age” I am also referring to what got you to where you are at a particular age. At ages 14-16 years, I was in my prime in gymnastics – flexible, nimble, beautiful six-pack abs; at age 18, I was still pretty good and still had some of my six-pack abs; at age 19 I moved to California and basically didn’t work out until I started CrossFit at the age of 32. I also had a terrible diet. Imagine what sort of shape I would be in had I had CrossFit as soon as I finished my gymnastics career. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

Well, here I am at the ripe old age of 36, and after 4 years of CrossFit, mixed in with two major injuries (from softball), I am feeling the strongest I’ve ever been, all the while feeling my body getting older.

This past weekend, Tall Guy and I competed in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre down in Ventura hosted by West Coast Strength and Conditioning. It was a co-ed partner competition with RXd, Modified, and Masters divisions. We still have a few years before we are considered masters competitors; however, we are at the upper end of the regular divisions, which is one thing that I love and hate about CrossFit. I love that I get to compete against people much much younger than me (and it feels pretty good to beat them, too), yet at the same time it’s no wonder when they do beat me (and at times I feel like they should beat me). Some of these “kids” are just out of college having competed at D1 schools, other competitors took part in past Regionals competitions, and many are also contenders to make it to Regionals this year.

What I also love and hate about CrossFit is that there are no weight divisions. So little 130-pound me often competes with women that have easily 20+ pounds on me. Me having to push jerk 95lbs 40 times is not the same as someone that is 155lbs. I think it’s pretty cool that I can lift as much weight as women that are bigger than me, but at the same time it sucks because they have a distinct advantage.

Many of the competitors this past Saturday looked like they were in their early to mid-20s with some that looked around my age. Many of the women in my division had beautifully muscular and toned bodies to the point where I would find myself staring at them. They sure are fascinating specimens of the female body! Dayam.

During the competition, while I was out of breath, trying not to vomit, and my body hurting, I looked around and saw these young competitors just plowing through the WODs and all I could think was, “This isn’t fair, I got like 10 years on these bitches! This isn’t fair, I’m lifting half of my body weight here and they’re not!” Yeah, I know I need to work on my mental game; however, this perceived “unfairness” pushed me to work harder, to not give up, and to also appreciate my effort and placing in the competition. Not only was I one of the smallest competitors in my division, I had the tallest partner – one I had to carry twice for the distance of 60 feet each time in the middle of a WOD. So, yes, I’m gonna say that I had to work a little bit harder than others. I’m not writing this to complain, but to merely breakdown how interesting, shitty, fair and unfair CrossFit is and that’s why I love it.

Tall Guy and I had 3 goals going into this competition: 1) Don’t get injured; 2) Don’t get divorced; 3) Don’t get last place. I am pleased to say that we succeeded in all 3 goals. We ended up placing 31st out of 46 teams, he didn’t crush me during the partner carries, and we are still married. Not bad for some old farts.

The competition WODs for the RXd division were:

WOD #1
10 min time cap:
21-15-9
Deadlift (245#/155#)
Box jump (30”/24”)

Our time: 9:16 (20th place)

WOD#2
22 min cap (partners split the reps)
200 Double unders
Partner Carry 60 ft (girl carry guy)
120 Sandbag Shouldered Squats (80#/60#)
Partner Carry 60 ft (guy carry girl)
80 Shoulder to overhead (135#/95#)
Partner Carry 60 ft (girl carry guy)
40 DB Snatches alternating hands (55#/30#)
Partner Carry 60 ft. (guy carry girl)
200 Double unders

Our time: 21:51 (34th place)

Floater:
For calories: 3 min Airdyne + 3 min rower (switch during 1min transition)

Our score: 198 (32nd place)

Peace Out, 2013, and a Big Sexy Hello to 2014!

My favorite part of a new year is the overall feeling of hope and positiveness (that was for you, Meadows) from the majority of the population. Goals are being set, people let go of the past, and are determined to bring happiness into their lives. We reflect on our lives and the events that occurred over the past year, and we try our best to learn from mistakes and move on.

Well, 2013 was full of ups and downs for this little ninja. It was a such a great year for so many of my friends, but for me it was extremely challenging. I am definitely pleased that 2013 is a thing of the past, and am very much looking forward to what 2014 has to offer.

Overall, my favorite highlights of the year are the new friends I’ve made, the friends that I’ve gotten closer to, the new personal records (PRs) I’ve achieved at the gym, and the greater community that now exists at CrossFit Santa Barbara. However, I think my favorite part are the gains that all of the athletes at the gym have made. It delights me to see the boost in confidence of the athletes that I coach, how excited they are to come to the gym, how they overcome the challenges that are set before them, and how grateful they are. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people. I am also extremely grateful to Coach T for allowing me to be a part of his gym and to be one of his coaches.

In addition, being a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program has been life changing. I think most people that go into volunteer work do it to change the lives of others, not expecting anything in return. However, I have learned so much about myself while mentoring my Little, Jimena. It brings so much joy to me to hear her say things like, “You’re the best big sister ever!,” “You’re all mine?!,” “See, I always have fun and am so happy when I’m with you.” It also kills me when she looks at me and says, “You aren’t going anywhere, right?” Things like that shows me just how important my job is as a mentor; how important it is for children to have a strong role model, which pushes me to be a better person, not just for her, but for me and everyone around me.

Even though last year was a bit challenging, looking at my list of highlights reminds me it wasn’t all so bad. Other highlights from 2013 include:

January:
*Gaining the mobility back in my shoulder and being able to raise my arm over my head.
*Avoiding shoulder surgery.
*One full month of being soda free!
*Start of better eating and food prepping.

Related blog posts:
How Ninja Got Her ROM Back
Food Preppin’, Soda-Free Ninja
“You just may come out of this smelling like roses.”

ROM Frontx3-5Jan2013

February:
*Not killing Tall Guy (hey, that’s a highlight, right?)

March:
*Competing in the CF Open and doing way better than I thought.

Related blog post:
If at first you don’t succeed…

Ninja 13.2 Press(Photo credit: Rose Joost)

April:
*Completing the CrossFit Open without injury or pain!
*Competing in my first USPA powerlifting competition and obtaining CA state and American records in the sub-master division/132lb weight class (my American record has since been beat).
*Seeing Jurassic Park in 3D with Tall Guy.
*Returning to softball and not getting injured!

Related blog posts:
Better Than Expected: My 2013 CrossFit Open Experience
Lifting Heavy Things and Putting Them Back Down

Ninja Deadlift State Record

May:
*Cindy & KB’s wedding and gettin’ cray cray with the Josh & Cortney
*Mother’s Day at Chalk Hill with the Foleys and Grammy Eunice (this was the last time we saw Eunice, so it was extra special).

Related blog post:
Learning to Find Hope through Death

Grammy on Moms Day

June:
*Competing in my first local CrossFit competition at CrossFit Ventura
*Mini-moon #2 to Palm Desert
*Marie & Robert’s wedding
*Becoming a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters and meeting Jimena. She would forever change my life.

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July:
*Spending the 4th with friends on a boat!
*Movies at the Courthouse
*Seeing Chanel the “corpse flower” bloom at UCSB and smelling her nasty scent.
*Attending my first figure competition to cheer on Karena. Go Team K-Bunny!
*Mandy and Josh’s visit

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August:
* Partying it up at Fiesta with the MasterBatters, where the term “Getting Fiesta drunk” was born.
*Saying goodbye to George, my trusty Honda Civic, and saying hello to my new Honda CR-V, Blurpie.
*Mini-moon #3 to Disneyland.
*My bestie Mandy’s engagement.

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September:
*Susan & Mike’s wedding and Tall Guy officiating it.
*Corralling a huge group of CFSB’ers to participate in the CALM fundraiser competition at CrossFit Pacific Coast and placing 5th.

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October:
*Birthday party at Sky High Sports trampoline park!
*Cindy’s baby shower.

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November:
*Marko surprising me at work with a visit. Totes made me cry I was so happy to see him!
*Delicious Thanksgiving dinner with friends.
*Birth of Chloe, the daughter of my other bestie, Clara.

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December:
*My friend Kari aka “Viva” surprising me at work with a cute note.
*Birth of Jesse Keenan aka “Baby Thor,” Cindy and KB’s little man.
*First CrossFit partner competition with Janyce at CrossFit FAST and placing 4th. Stupid wall balls.
*CrossFit Santa Barbara Christmas party
*Christmas with the family and seeing my nephew
*One year of being soda free!
*Jimena’s Christmas card

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card from Jimena

I look forward to another year with this guy!

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Here’s to a kickass 2014!!!

Better Than Expected: My 2013 CrossFit Open Experience

I didn’t realize that it’s been a month since my last post. I think I’ve been pondering my recap of the CrossFit Open since it ended that I thought I had posted it. Silly brain.

Well, the Open ended on April 7th and I did WAY better than I thought I would. If you’re new to my blog, I tore the labrum (cartilage) in my left shoulder diving for a base while playing co-ed softball back in August. The first week of the Open, which began March 6th, was my first full (as in full body) week back at the gym. I had been working out while in rehab but with only 1 arm, so I was a bit paranoid to have my first week back the first week of the Open.

For those unfamiliar with CrossFit, the CrossFit Open is a competition where CrossFitters from all over the world compete against each other. It lasts 5 weeks with 1 WOD (“Workout of the Day”) announced every Wednesday evening. You have until Sunday evening to complete the workout and post your results online. The workout must be completed at an affiliate or you have to upload a video to the Games site to be judged. The top 48 athletes in each region then advance to Regionals, and from there the top 3 move on to the CrossFit Games. The Games is the Olympics of CrossFit. Yes, it’s an exercise competition and it’s silly, but it’s AWESOME. These athletes are amazing and inspirational and effing phenomenal.

After attending the final day of the Games last year, I told myself that I would bust my ass and prepare myself for the Open the next year. I was on the right track, until that fateful day in August where I thought it would be a good idea to dive for a base. Even though I only had one good arm/shoulder, I continued to work out doing many of the movements modified, and it paid off. The transition into full body workouts, especially the Open workouts, was of course difficult, but manageable. Below is a brief (well, as brief as I can get – haha!) recap of each of the workouts and what I learned…

WOD 13.1
AMRAP (as many reps as possible): 17 minutes
40 Burpees
30 Snatches @ 45lbs
30 Burpees
30 Snatches @ 75lbs
20 Burpees
30 Snatches @ 100lbs
10 Burpees
Max Snatches @ 120lbs
My Score: 123

My initial goal was to get all the way through the 20 burpees (for a score of 150) and a few attempts at the 100lb snatch. Prior to my injury my max was 95lbs, and I was also much more fluid with the movement. The snatches were awkward since I hadn’t done the movement in so long, but damn, it felt so good to lift weights again. The burpees were surprisingly not as horrible as I thought they would be and I was able to find a nice pace. I was definitely pleased with my score of 123.

Here is a clip of me during my first set of burpees – so exciting, I know!

 

Here is what I looked like prior to my injury doing a full snatch (first video). Much more fluid than the power snatches in 13.1 (second video)

 

WOD 13.2
AMRAP: 10 minutes
5 Shoulder to Overhead @ 75lbs
10 Deadlifts @ 75lbs
15 Box jumps (or step ups) – 20″ box
Score: 264 (8.8 rounds)

I was STOKED for this WOD. I was hoping for something short and quick, and what made it better was that my favorite movement, the deadlift, was on the menu. My goal this workout was to keep a consistent pace and to not stop. DO. NOT. STOP. That is what was going through my head. Well, more like, DON’T FUCKING STOP, DO NOT DROP THAT BAR, was what was really going through my head. Oh, and BREATHE. I was also hoping for 10 full rounds, but I am totes cool with 8.8 rounds. There was a lot of debate going around the CrossFit community about box jumps vs. step ups. Many people thought step ups were cheating, and in a way I felt like that. However, I opted to do step ups to save my Achilles. I’m not about to hurt myself AGAIN. Step ups were permitted, so I’m going with that. I enjoyed this WOD.

 

WOD 13.3
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes:
150 Wall Balls @ 14lbs
90 Double Unders
30 Muscle-ups
Score: 162

I HATE WALL BALLS. I can’t lie. I really do. First of all, I suck at breathing. Second of all, being short sucks when doing this movement. I attempted this WOD twice. My last blog post was about this WOD and I prefer to not relive it. You can read about my experience here: https://ninjanomers.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/if-at-first-you-dont-succeed/. In the meantime, enjoy Julie Foucher’s performance of 13.3 (I heart her).

 

WOD 13.4
AMRAP: 7 minutes
3 Clean & Jerks (C&J) @ 95lbs
3 Toes to bar (T2B)
6 C&J
6 T2B
9 C&J
9 T2B
Etc…
Score: 63

This was another favorite of mine, but I was a bit nervous about my shoulder on the T2Bs. As you will see in the video below, there is some shoulder hyperextension during the kip portion, so since my shoulder was a bit tight it made it a bit difficult. I was hoping to get in the 70s, but I am good with a score of 63.

 

WOD 13.5
AMRAP: 4 minutes +
15 Thrusters @ 65lbs
15 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
*If you reach 90 reps in the first 4 minutes, you get a bonus 4 minutes. If you reach 180 in 8 minutes, another 4 minutes is added; etc.
Score: 54

Not gonna lie, I was happy that we were finally on the last workout. I was over the stress and anxiety of completing the WODs. I know it’s so silly. You’re probably thinking, “Ninja, it’s just a workout. You’re just exercising.” I get it. But CrossFit is so much more than that. It has changed my life, mentally and physically. CrossFit is accomplishment. CrossFit is pushing through the suck and refusing to give up. CrossFit is realizing my potential. CrossFit makes me better. But I digress.

We all knew some form of “Fran” was coming, but didn’t know how. Well, they surprised us with the craziness listed above. Thrusters are a essentially the same movement as the wall balls, so you can imagine how excited I was to do this WOD. I love pull-ups, so I wasn’t too worried about that. My goal was to get in the upper 60s, but ended up with 54. My thrusters sucked as usual and the pull-ups were difficult because of my shoulder. However, I’m still proud of myself for making it this far.

Overall, I did better than expected. My two main goals were to do my best and to not get hurt. Success! My two bonus goals were to beat my sister-in-law Tiffany and my friend Heather in at least one workout. Success! I beat Tiffany in 13.2 and tied on 13.4, and I beat Heather on 13.5. They both kicked my ass in all the other workouts. Tiffany lives in WA, so it was fun heckling each other over Facebook. Thanks ladies for the push!

What I’ve learned during this year’s Open is that what I eat drastically affects my performance. I also learned that I was further along in my rehab than I thought. However, I think the biggest thing I learned was that I am mentally stronger and am able to push myself harder than I thought.

Below are the scorecards for CrossFit Santa Barbara’s standings as a gym, and then our standings in the world and region.

CFSB 2013 Open Final Scoreboard

CFSB 2013 Open WW-Regional Rankings

Next year, this shit is on…

If at first you don’t succeed…

… keep trying until you don’t suck anymore. Ha!

 

13.3. Oh, 13.3. I had such high hopes and you just crushed them to smithereens. THANKS.

I’ve been debating whether or not I wanted to write about the atrocity that was my performance of 13.3. It was embarrassing. The video of Hercules above expresses how I felt during and after the WOD. I surprisingly had a lot of people ask me about how the workout went and what my final score was (in person, via text, via FB messages). It’s such a nice feeling knowing that so many people cared and had such high hopes for me. However, it bummed me out to see their sad faces when I told them my score. It felt like I let them down. I wanted to keep this to myself, but if you know me, I can’t keep anything to myself (hence my blog. Duh).

If you read my most recent blog post, you will know that I’ve been on a downer as of late, which contributed to my “wonderful” performance of 13.3. What also contributed to my performance was lack of sleep. My neighbors decided to have the most annoying girls in the world over for two nights this past weekend. So, let’s think about this for a moment. Think about the most annoying person/voice you have ever heard and times it by 1000, then add a horrendous valley girl accent on top. YEP. That is what I got to deal with for two nights straight. “OH MY GAAAAAWWWWWWWIDDDDDDDDD!!! LIKE, YEEEEEEAHHHH.” Then some high-pitched squeals, then more OH MY GAAAAAAAAAWWWWWIDDDDDs came. Oy. Someone shoot me now. They were so loud that I slept in the living room. Tall Guy and I were so exhausted that we couldn’t even put clothes on to go next door to tell them to shut the eff up. However, no doubt about it, I will go next time and they will get an earful. Oh, yes they will. Moving on because them beeotches already consumed enough of my energy…

What I believe to be the main factor of my lackluster performance is the fact that this is only week 3 after coming back from shoulder rehab. Ninja, read that: WEEK 3. You ain’t Annie Thorisdottir. Slow yer roll. I had done better than I ever thought I would on 13.1 and 13.2 that it gave me hope that I could make it through the 150 walls balls, 90 double unders and have a few attempts at some muscle ups. Um yeah, maybe last year when you didn’t have a bum shoulder. I lost track of where I was because I was just so excited to be working out again. In addition to my body reminding me, I had a couple of friends remind me that this was indeed, only my 3rd week back. Sigh. Thanks guys. I really mean that. Thank you for reminding me that I need to continue to be patient with myself and that I will get there again.

I got very upset because I failed at my first attempt at 13.3 last Saturday. Yes, you read that correctly, I attempted this workout TWICE. I actually quit in the middle of a workout after about 50 reps. My head was in the worst place imaginable. I should’ve just waited until Sunday. I have never quit a workout before (except for an injury). There was one time I was doing “Fran” (21-15-9 of thrusters and pull-ups) and I got so frustrated during my set of 15 that I walked out of the gym, down to the stop sign and was ready to walk home. By the time I got to the stop sign I said to myself, “What the f*ck are you doing? Get back in there and finish already!” I didn’t quit and finished that damn workout. I really tried to push through 13.3, I really did, but my body and mind just stopped and said, “NOPE!” I couldn’t go on and that frustrated the crap out of me.

What was happening? How could I have been doing so well and now this? I understand now that it was my body telling me to slow down and be patient and to not get too far ahead of myself. Sigh. Okay, FINE. I will listen, but I won’t like it! Just kidding.

So, in the end, I performed the workout on Sunday and finished with 162 reps (150 wall balls + 12 double unders). I, along with everyone else, expected at least 240 out of me. Quite the difference, eh? The wall balls were more difficult than I have ever experienced, other than my first CrossFit workout ever when I cried and practically hyperventilated after doing them for the first time. It got to the point where I could only do sets of 3, which is uncharacteristic of me. I used to be able to do “Karen” (150 wall balls) in sets of 25 with no problem. Again, I need to remember patience.

13.3. I guess I should say thank you for reminding me to be patient, so thank you. I will visit you again in 3 months, though, and I will OWN you. I made a pact with a friend that we will tackle you again in 3 months and we are going to do it. Oh yes we will!

Thank you, Universe, for reminding me about patience.

patience-everything-happens-for-a-reason

Here we go… The CrossFit Open AND a Powerlifting Competition?

NinjaCindy-CFGames

(Me and the lovely CinDiesel at the 2012 CrossFit Games)

Yep. I’m doing it and I’m ready. Well, mentally ready – physically, almost.

I was bummed last year because I was still recovering from my Achilles injury and unable to compete in the Open and powerlifting competition. I know that I am again recovering from another softball injury (left shoulder labral tear), but I am almost fully recovered and determined to compete. Don’t worry, I’ve learned a lot from my Achilles injury and know my limits and not to overdo it.

I am nervous, but super excited. However, I am not so excited about having to wear one of these for the powerlifting competition…

Rufskin-Daveo-Wrestling-Singlet

Well, if I looked like that in a singlet I would probably wear one all the time. Moving on…

The CrossFit Open begins March 6 and is a 5-week long competition. In order to qualify for The Games, you must compete in the Open, complete all 5 workouts, and finish in the top percentile. Even though I know I won’t make it to the Games, it will be a fun opportunity to compete with other CrossFitters from all over the world and to see where I stand.

You can keep up with my workout scores in the Open by going to the Games site and viewing my Athlete Profile.

Open-Athlete Profile

The 2013 Santa Barbara Powerlifting Championship will be held on Saturday, April 27 – and I can’t wait! I’ve always enjoyed weightlifting and had a blast in my lifting class my senior year of high school. I will most likely only be doing the deadlift portion as I’m horrible at back squats and am a little nervous about doing the bench press because of my shoulder. But we’ll see. I still have 2.5 months until then, so my shoulder should be ready by then. And because of my age, it looks like I’ll be in the “Sub-master” category. Dang, that makes me feel old. Sigh. Oh well, age ain’t nothin’ but a number, right?

220px-Aaliyah-age-aint-94Thanks, Aaliyah. (RIP)

Well, here we go!!! Time to get trainin’!

245DeadliftPR