Was The Open Worth It?

You bet your barbell it was worth it!!!!!!

I can’t describe the feeling that I have this morning after completing 14.5…other than I don’t really have any feeling in my arms and blow drying my hair was quite comical.   (Picture me laying on the floor in the bathroom with the blow dryer pointed in my general vicinity…not my best hair day ever.)

The CrossFit Open 14.5 workout is the 5th and final workout for The Open, and it was a doozy.

14.5I literally dreamed (okay, nightmares really) all night last night after watching the beasts of CrossFit perform this workout.  They made it look easy, but I knew otherwise.  Easy, it would not be for me.

Oddly enough, as scared as I was, I was kind of looking forward to it.  This was the one workout that I knew I could complete.  So I got to the gym, warmed up, and got in the first heat for the workout.  The clock started and off we went.  I don’t know how else to describe this workout other than brutal.  B-R-U-T-A-L  Squatting down and then hoisting 65lbs. over my head 84 times and then doing 84 burpees in between wasn’t exactly a walk in the park but 22 minutes and 27 seconds later I was done, I DID IT!  I was a hot, sweaty, lump of tissue laying on the floor, but I felt amazing!!  I was ecstatic with my time and even more happy it was over!

Making Time pic2So will  I do The Open next year?  100% YES!!!  It was one of the most trying, but exhilarating experiences I’ve had in my nine year journey of getting (and staying) healthy.  There are also several things I learned along the way:

1. My mind is my limit when it comes to my physical activities.  More often than not my mind gives up long before my body does.  I need to learn to push through that and keep going.

2.  Community is a powerful thing. Never before have I seen an environment where people support and encourage each other to push their limits and achieve new goals.  Never before have I had complete strangers standing 3 feet from me cheering me on to complete the workout.  My triathlon friends are some of the most supportive people I know, but generally at a race they are the only ones cheering for me.  I love that support but there is something about having another athlete finish a grueling workout and then come over to encourage you, even before she has recovered from the workout herself.  (FYI, I still love Triathlons and will be doing a couple this summer!)

3.  Everyone has their own story or goal.  People start CrossFit for many different reasons, and each of those reasons is valid.  Whatever gets you to the gym is a valid reason.  There is a guy at our gym, I’ll call him JB, that has been coming for several months and is making AMAZING progress.  He is lifting heavier, losing weight, and definitely getting stronger.  But more importantly I have seen an internal change.  I didn’t know him before I started CrossFit, but in the several months that we have both been going the amount of confidence and inner strength he has gained is completely inspiring!  He is always excited to be there, he does extra work, and he is always supportive of others.  He has a crazy work schedule but somehow he always makes it happen.  Kudos to you JB!!

Whatever your goals are take steps every day to make it happen!  You may not be a CrossFit person, and that’s completely fine, but find what makes you happy and DO IT!  Don’t wait until Monday, or until Spring, or until the timing is right because those things never get here.  You are worth it RIGHT NOW!  Right this very moment make a conscious decision to take a step toward your goal. It might take a while and that’s okay.  Enjoy the journey, keep taking steps forward, and definitely have a BEDAZZLED DAY!!

The Three Stages of Workout Grief

Yes, there can be grief from a workout.  How do I know this?  I just experienced it last weekend.  I wasn’t overly excited about 14.4 but I didn’t hate it either.  I could do the first 4 movements…albeit the clean was right above my 1 rep max.  Wall balls, not excited but I could get a few at least.  No chance I could get a muscle up so that wasn’t even on the radar.  And then I did the workout…

14.4I don’t think I’ve ever been that angry after a workout.  Pissed is more the word I should use.

I did the 60 calorie row in what was a really good time for me, so hopping off the rower I was feeling pretty good.  Next up was 50 toes to bar, which I’ve done in Filthy 50 within the past couple month.  It took me a while then, but I did it.  Well apparently Saturday my body had other ideas.

I finished the row at about 4:00 so that gave me 10 minutes to get the rest of the workout done.  I thought I would get through the T2B and have a couple minutes to attempt the wall balls.  What actually happened was that I hung on the bar for 10 minutes flailing my legs trying to get my toes to the bar 50 times.  It took me 10 minutes to do 38 T2B.  What the heck, are you serious?!

I get that I’m not going to have a PR every day and that each workout isn’t going to be my best ever, but COME ON!  I felt like a complete failure after that 14 minutes was up.  Poor Coach J…he was the one judging this ridiculousness of a workout.  He was trying EVERYTHING to get me through those retched T2B.  “Do one, then wait 10 sec”…no rep (my feet didn’t touch the bar).  “Do one then step off the box and come back”…got that one but then my shoulder got angry.  And so it went for 10 minutes.  I feel bad for the amount of glares I probably threw at Coach J for that 10 minutes…it felt like that 10 minutes was never going to end!! Would somebody please turn off that glaring red clock???!!!

After that 14 minutes came my three phases of workout grief…

1.  Anger – Yes, I was pissed!  I’ve done 50 T2B before so why would my body not cooperate during that workout?  It’s a good thing no one tried to talk to me the first 5 minutes after that show was over.  I probably would have ripped out their tongues with my pinky finger.

2.  Why…Why Me? – Yes, then came the “feel sorry for me” phase…which I despised the most.  I don’t deal well with people that wine and complain about everything, but that’s exactly what I did.  Wah, wah, wah, let’s have a pitty party for Liz.

3.  Acceptance – yes, it stunk, now I’m ready to move on.  It didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but rarely in life does that happen anyway, so what can I take away from this disaster of 14 minutes? (I didn’t get to this phase until Sunday)

The Open exposes every athlete’s weaknesses.  Very few people can go through The Open and not see what their glaring athletic inadequacies are.  Except Rich Froning.  For some it may be to work on technique to get a certain move more efficient, and for others it may be to actually learn a new skill completely.  Whatever it might be, doing The Open has taught me A LOT about myself and what I’m willing to do, or not do, and what I actually CAN do.

This workout was by far my least favorite, but only because I let it get into my head.  I let it dominate and take over my mind with my failure on the bar.  So what am I going to do moving forward?  Yes, I’ll need to improve my T2B, but more importantly I need to work on my mental state during a tough workout consisting of moves I’m not strong at.  I definitely don’t have the mind of a hardcore athlete, but slowly I can start to build up how much tolerance I have for pain during a workout and push through the “I want to quit because I’m tired” mentality.

On a brighter note, I PR’d my Clean and Jerk the next day and hit my June goal!  Now THAT was a bedazzled day!!  🙂

14.2….Grrrrr – UPDATED

 

I GOT 10!!!!!!!!!!

 

Original Post:

CrossFit obviously has it’s own language (WOD, EMOM, Rx, etc), but never was it more evident than today.  I walked into the box this morning (didn’t say a word) gave a thumbs-down gesture and made a farting sound, and Coach J knew exactly what I was talking about.  CrossFit Open 14.2 was released last night…

Crossfit Open 14.2

Overhead squats at 65lbs and Chest-to-Bar pull ups…two things I’m horrible at doing!  The heaviest weight I’ve ever done for an overhead squat was 50lbs and I can’t even do a regular pull up with my chin to the bar, let alone get my boobs all the way up there.  What the heck was I going to do??!!

I had two ways to approach this: 1) I could give up and not try it at all  OR 2) I could attempt to do an overhead squat with the prescribed weight of 65lbs and see if I could get at least one.  The beauty of the Open is that even if I can’t complete the workout I can still post a score of zero and hope that next week’s workout is a little more suitable to my strengths.  As a refresher, I’m not doing this because I have hopes of going to Regionals, I’m doing this to push myself out of my comfort zone and see if I can make progress.  Cheering for, and hanging out with my CrossFit Tiffin fam is pretty fun too!

I’m won’t lie, when I walked in there this morning I had every intention of saying “screw it” and just putting a zero in for my score.  I stretched a little, whined a LOT (I think I gave my 5 year old a run for his money at an academy award for whining) and stretched some more…all to basically avoid doing the workout because I was scared of it.  I spent an hour avoiding any sort of heavy weight on the bar.  I cheered for others while they are doing the modified workout and I was ready to head home.  Then came the peer pressure…Son Of A Nutcracker!!  Coach J, Coach J, and Wonder Woman (she doesn’t know I call her that, but I think she’s that awesome!) all basically shamed me into at least TRYING the WOD.  Come on people! I already had my shoes off, coat on, and my bag was packed to leave.  FINE…shoes back on, coat off and back to the bar I went.  I put the dreaded 65lbs. on the bar.  I knew it would be a challenge just to get one but hey, one is better than nothing.  And the worst that would happen is I would get one and post a PR for the day.

May The WODs be With YouYeah, not so much this week.

I have to have an “official” judge watch me while I’m doing the workouts to verify that I’m doing them correctly so I called over Coach J and let the brutality begin.  I grunted the bar up over my head and proceeded to squat down (with the bar still pressed over head…see picture at the top) and then stand back up.  ONE!  GOLD STAR!!  More grunting and cursing and I eventually got 6 total reps.  Holy cow I just crushed it and got a new PR!!!!  I literally jumped around squealing like a little girl!

Then the wheels in my head started spinning…what if, just what if, I could get to 10?  What if I could at least get through the overhead squats and ATTEMPT to do a Chest to Bar pullup?  I have until Monday at 5pm to submit my final score so I can repeat the workout as many times as I like as long as a judge is there to verify it.  So here’s what I’m thinking…go back to the box on Saturday, get through the 10 overhead squats, and attempt to do a Chest to Bar pullup.  Even if I can’t to the pullup I will have at least tried.  The whole point of doing the Open was to push myself, so there is no time like the present! Now that’s going to be a bedazzled weekend!!

The Open…I LOVE It!!

March 1, 2014…the first day of my CrossFit open life! I was a ball of nerves, as I normally am before a competition, mainly because I’m well aware of the pain that is about to be inflicted. I choose this pain willingly and whole-heartedly and I can’t wait for it! So without further ado, here is the first workout: (and in case you are wondering that’s not me in the photo, but I’ll take her legs any day of the week!)

This is me, I think right before I dropped the bar for the last time and fell to my knees so that I wouldn’t vomit up my lunch. If anyone tells you that you can’t get a good workout in 10 minutes, please have them do this WOD.

So why do it? Why inflict so much physical pain on myself “just because”? I mean come on, it’s not like I’m actually going to the games (although I’m still holding out hope for when I’m in the Master’s 55+ category…a girl can have dreams!)

Here are the two reasons why I do it and why I LOVE it:

1. Up until I was 27 years old I was overweight. I wasn’t morbidly obese until I graduated from college, but I was always overweight. I liked sports in high school but wasn’t any kind of star, and I absolutely LOVED cheerleading. But let’s face it, being an overweight cheerleader wasn’t always fun. I remember being called names and made fun of by other school’s students and kids snorting at me like a pig. Not so much fun, but I lived for cheerleading so I dealt with it, and ate a ton of food to cover up the hurt. Vicious cycle.

Fast forward almost two decades and now I’m doing CrossFit. I’m about 60lbs lighter than when I graduated college and a lot happier person for many reasons. One of those being the encouragement and support I get from my CrossFit Tiffin family. I may not ever get a sub 3 Fran, but they encourage and support me no matter what. When I said that I signed up for the open there were words of encouragement, not questions of “why”. And when I was doing the 14.1 WOD they were yelling and supporting me the entire excruciating 10 minutes, not because I am making a run for regionals but because they know I’m working to do MY best, for ME. I’m pushing to do 30 double unders because I’ve never done that before, let alone more than 2 times in a workout. I’m hoisting 55lbs from the ground to over my head more than 30 times when I didn’t used to be able to easily get my own butt off the floor. These are huge victories for me and they support me in achieving each and every one!

2. When I finally realized that I wouldn’t be around for very long if I didn’t start to take care of my body, the one and only body that God gave me, I decided to start taking care of it. I get up sometimes at 4:30am to go to the box early and I sometimes go at 7:30pm just to get it in for the day. But each time I go I NEVER regret it. I feel so blessed to have a body that allows me to do the things I ask of it, and that fortune is not lost on me. I hurt, I ache, my palms have blisters, my shins are bruised, and I enjoy all of it. I LOVE all of it because it means I’m moving! I’m alive to be able to feel all those things. I’m able to move to make all those things happen. The two minutes after a brutal workout when I’m laying on the floor gasping for air are the two minutes that I feel the most alive! I did it! My body completed a brutal task that my mind doubted it could finish. Those two minutes of recovery are the best two minutes at the gym every single time because I achieved a goal that not so long ago I could not have physically or mentally achieved, and I’m alive to feel it!!

I absolutely love my bedazzled life!!!

Butter Fingers, Lizified

Yes I live in Ohio and yes it gets cold in the winter and we get snow, but this is just RIDICULOUS!! We just broke the record for the snowiest winter in our area, and I just want to scream “WHO CARES!!” We’re stuck in the house all weekend so other than cleaning and playing Legos what is there to do besides cook and bake?! So far this weekend I have made “Better Butter Fingers”, Chicken Veggie Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, Paleo Apple Crisp, Pesto Scallops with Spaghetti Squash, a large batch of oatmeal for the week, and all of my smoothies cut up and in the freezer ready to go. And of course I had to sample all of it! (FYI, I don’t eat strictly Paleo but there are a TON of recipes that are great!)

One of the yummiest things I made was the “Healthy Butter Fingers” from Chocolate Covered Katie. I see these things on my FB news feed and think “yeah, I would probably eat the whole pan if I made those” but then I make them anyway. I didn’t eat the whole pan but I did do some damage to the poor little guys. They didn’t know what was coming.

Here are the ingredients:

1/4 cup agave

1 Tbsp molasses

3 1/2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar

1 cup organic peanut butter (ingredient list on jar should say PEANUTS and maybe salt)

1 1/2 cup corn flakes

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Combine agave, molasses, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about a minute stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and stir until it becomes a paste.

Add the cornflakes and stir well to coat, crushing them as you stir.

Press into an 8×8 pan (lined with wax paper). Freeze until hardened, about 30 minutes. Take out of freezer and let thaw for a few minutes then cut into 16 pieces. It’s easiest just to lift the fingers out of the pan by using the wax paper.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or the microwave, my method of choice) and then pour over the top of the bars. Put back in the fridge for about 20 minutes to set up. Since they are already cut just break them apart and put on a serving tray, or eat the whole batch and don’t tell anyone you made them, it’s completely up to you!

Sometimes I just love to cook and bake and being stuck in the house because of snow and negative wind chills just brings out my kitchen side. Sure these aren’t exactly kale or spinach but switching out some of the refined sugars and having no preservatives and artificial crap makes these a little easier to justify. Being in the kitchen relaxes me and I love to try out new recipes. Sometimes it’s the little things that completely bedazzle my day!