3. Compete in a Crossfit event

Yesterday I teamed up with Brian Stark and Ali LeBlanc as Team BAM! and we took on 25 other teams at CFNE in the In-House Throwdown. While we weren’t one of the top 3 teams at the end of the day, we had a total blast and were definitely the best-dressed team there!

There were 3 events that we competed in.

Event 1: Get It Done

2000 meter row
7 x 200 meter KB carry (single KB: 53, 35)
75 burpee box jumps, 20″
100 pullups

All team members will work at the same time to finish the above tasks.  Each team can split the movements and reps up as they see fit.

This was the event that I enjoyed the most. Our team strategized a ton beforehand, since we each wanted to work on the things we were best at. In the end, I ended up doing 15 pullups, 35 burpee box jumps, rowed 1500m, and did 1 KB carry.

CFNE Internal Team Throwdown - Team BAM!

I liked the row the most; one of the 6pm gals coached another 6pm-er and me. With her pushing, I was able to keep a decent pace the entire time. The KB carry was awful, and I was so happy that Ali and Brian ended up doing the other 6 of them. We ended up coming in close to last on this one, mostly because we had some technical difficulties with counting on the pullups. Ali took the brunt of the extra pullups on that – sorry girl!

CFNE Internal Team Throwdown - Team BAM!

Event 2: Barbell Ladder Up

10 minute up ladder of:
Athlete 1:  deadift
Athlete 2:  power clean
Athete 3:  ground to overhead

Each team will have one 75# barbell.  Athlete one will complete 1 DL, Athlete two will complete 1 PC and athlete three will complete 1 GTO.  The team will then repeat the same order, but will do 2 reps each, then 3 reps, and continue as high as possible in 10 minutes.  Once the team starts the bar is not allowed to rest on the ground till the wod is over (all reps are touch and go and you must pass the bar from athlete to athlete when transitioning).  If the bar rests on the ground there is a 2 burpee penalty for all team members.

Ali did our deadlifts, I did the power cleans, and Brian did the ground to overheads. As a team, we ended up getting up to 12 reps – Brian finished his 12th rep right at 10 minutes!

CFNE Internal Team Throwdown - Team BAM!

Ali and Brian were both so strong on this one; I really struggled with my grip, but never did set the bar down (it did rest in my lap several times…) In the end, we each did 78 reps of our movements. CRAZY!

Event 3: Relay Race

9 x 200 meter run

The start of the “Relay Race” is the end of the “Barbell Up Ladder” event (when the 10 minute mark of event 2 sounds, that is the “GO” for this wod).  One team member will run 200 meters and then tag the next team member.  Continue relay-style until all team members have run three 200 meter sprints.

Ouch. This one hurt. My first run was dreadful, and then the second and third got a little better. It’s funny though – on the second and third runs it was like 25-year-old muscle memory kicked in and I blew through the first 100m of the run, accelerating the entire way. And then I had to turn around, and just like 25 years ago, I decelerated on the second 100m… Once a sprinter who doesn’t like corners, always a sprinter who doesn’t like corners. Both Ali and Brian did a great job on these as well. All of us got faster each time. And all of us have the tight hamstrings today to prove it!

What a fun day!

Crossfit 5/10-5/17

May 10

  • 3 sets of 5 deadlifts @ 165#
  • Christine was 3 rounds of 500m row, 12 bodyweight deadlifts, 21 box jumps. Finished in 14:15 with #135 deadlifts. Compare to March 15 (15:48 using 120#).
  • Ended the day with 39 birthday burpees (so only 14 more than I have been doing all month after WODs).

May 15

  • Big JT Runs was 5 rounds for time of 9 HSPU, 200m run, 15 ring dips, 200m run, 21 pushups, 200m run. Finished in 48:53.
  • Scaled HSPU 3 rounds to 25# plate, 1 round to 25# + 10# plate, 1 round to 25# plate + abmat. Scaled dips to GHD dips.
  • Ended the day with 25 post-WOD burpees because I hate them and they make me angry.

May 17

  • 3 sets of 5 back squats @ 130#
  • 5 rounds for time of 10 chest-to-bar pullups and 10 front squats (95# Rx). Finished in 11:17 with kipping pullups and 75# front squats.
  • Ended the day with 25 post-WOD burpees because I hate them and they make me angry.

Elevator Pitch

I love Melissa and Dallas over at Whole9. Such smart stuff. I need to remember these two things the next time someone asks me, “What is Crossfit and why are you eating the way you do?”

The Crossfit elevator pitch:

“CrossFit is a fitness program designed around the things you do in the real world. Every day, you bend down and pick things up, you put things over your head, you squat down, you stand up, you run after your kids or jump over a puddle. CrossFit prepares you for all that and then some by performing those exact movements in our workouts. We borrow exercises from things like weightlifting, gymnastics, and track and field, and we mix it up a lot, so your body is always adapting, getting stronger, faster, better conditioned. And the key to the whole program is that you work really, really hard… so you get fit really, really fast.”

and from the comments, add this: “we try to get everyone from the level they’re at to the next higher level. If that means a grandmother regaining her confidence in picking up her grandchild, awesome. If it means a strong athlete becoming an elite athlete, fantastic. This is for everyone.”

The Paleo elevator pitch:

“I eat “real” food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit.  I choose foods that are nutrient dense, with lots of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition.  And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat comes from, and buy produce locally and organically as often as possible.

It’s not a low calorie “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy and a healthy weight.  In fact, my diet is probably much higher in fat than you’d imagine.  Fat isn’t the enemy – it’s a great energy source when it comes from high quality foods like avocado, coconut and nuts. And I’m not trying to do a “low carb” thing, but since I’m eating vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal and pasta, it just happens to work out that way.

Eating like this is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and reducing inflammation within the body.  It’s been doing great things for my energy levels, body composition and performance in the gym.  It also helps to minimize my risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack and stroke.”

Brilliant, and so easy to remember. There’s a whole lot more in both of those posts, so you should definitely go read both of them. Thanks Melissa and Dallas!

Adventures in Eating Well

My CrossFit affiliate, the awesome CrossFit New England, began a summer shape-up challenge on March 1. From March 1 till July 1, participants keep a food journal, eat well, sleep well, take their fish oil, stretch daily, and, of course, workout at CFNE. Winners get stuff – I don’t really care what the “winners” get, since I’m not in it to win it for that purpose. Nope, I’m in it to try to see what eating even more healthy will do for me, my body, and my mental well-being. Now this isn’t something I could have easily done if Amy weren’t on-board. Why? Well, she’s the main (exclusive?) cook in our household, to the point where I wonder how I fed myself between ages 22-32! But Amy IS on-board, and even joined CFNE last week, so off we go on a grand adventure!

The “eating well” in this case involves eating the following foods:

  • lean meats
  • fish
  • eggs
  • almost all vegetables
  • fruits
  • nuts and seeds
  • good oils and fats

It does not involve eating these:

  • grains
  • legumes (peanuts and soy) and starchy veggies (potato: I’m looking at you)
  • dairy
  • processed crap
  • beer (sigh) and most other alcohol

Fortunately for me, I had a doctor’s appointment right before this began and I had (among other things) my cholesterol level checked, so I’ll go back and get it checked in July to see if eating differently makes any difference. I know when people propose cutting grains out of their diet the initial comeback is “BUT YOUR CHOLESTEROL!” So. My cholesterol will be checked again at the end of these 4 months, and then and only then will I listen to that particular concern (if it’s even necessary).

As a start to our adventure, last weekend Amy and I a.) binged on all the processed crap we weren’t going to eat come March 1 and b.) cleaned out and re-arranged our kitchen cupboards. The binge probably wasn’t a great idea, but it did clear some space in the freezer (oh Trader Joe’s frozen pizzas, you are a thing of my past…) The cleaning out and re-arranging was incredibly helpful, though. Now when we open our main food cupboard, we see a variety of nuts and seeds (pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas, pine nuts), almond butter, shredded unsweetened coconut, tuna, artichoke hearts, some prepared Trader Joe’s “Indian Fare” that adheres to the eating-well principles, Larabars, and a few cans of no-salt-added/no grains/all veggie soups. Gone are: crackers, chips, cereal, mac&cheese, pasta, rice, cookies, and other sweets. The fridge didn’t take much cleaning out or re-arranging – with the exception of eating down the cheese drawer and finishing off the last of the milk and cream. We have always been pretty big on keeping mostly fresh stuff in there.

You might be wondering how it’s going, now that we’re one week in. I have to say: for me so far, great! (I’ll let Amy chime in for herself in the comments.) I apparently don’t mind drinking my coffee black, which surprised me more than you can imagine. I’m loving trying out new ways of cooking eggs and new things to have with it in the mornings. So far my favorite was the big 87-veggie-scramble from Saturday morning, although a hard-boiled egg, a sliced apple, and a glob of almond butter works too. I found a use for all the frozen nearly-rotten bananas in the freezer too: smoothies! Frozen banana, various other fruit, dollop of almond butter or unsweetened coconut, blend, and enjoy…  I’m looking forward to trying to make almond-flour pancakes next weekend. My lunches haven’t changed dramatically – no longer do I bring string cheese, but that’s about the main change. Today’s lunch was what I think will be typical: romaine lettuce with 2 varieties of tomatoes and pecans covered in a homemade dressing of olive oil, lime juice, and red pepper flakes, a hard-boiled egg, and a blueberry/mango/grape salad.

Where this has been really fun so far, though, is with dinner.  Amy really does our menu planning and the bulk of the cooking, based on recipes I find in magazines and online. Last weekend she went through the pile of recipes and pulled out all the ones that fit the eating-well guidelines or could easily be adapted to fit them. And then we talked some and I compromised on some things (yes, I’ll eat more fish even though I piss and moan about it and claim not to like fish that isn’t served raw and on a piece of rice with soy sauce and wasabi next to it; yes, I’ll participate more in the kitchen endeavors) and we set off. Here are some of the things we’ve had so far:

  • grilled steak salad with hearts of palm, orange sections, and a mustard dressing
  • sauteed chicken with raw fennel and tangerines on a bed of spinach, avocado slices on the side
  • steamed tilapia on a bed of lettuce smothered in diced mangoes and a honey-lime dressing
  • hearty winter vegetable soup with diced chicken (adapted by substituting cauliflower for potatoes and chicken for chickpeas)

My first eating-out experiment went well too. I ordered a burger (okay, not super-lean, but as close as I could get at a pub to lean) with sauteed mushrooms on it. There was actually an option to get it sans bun, avec salad, so I ordered that. It came with a gigantic mixed green salad and a three-bean salad on the side. The beans are legumes, but I elected to eat them instead of fries and feel like it was a much better choice overall. I admit, cutting out beer will be next to impossible. I just like it too much. And yes, I had one when we went out this weekend. However, I will limit when I drink it – likely either after soccer on Fridays or some one time on the weekend. No more dinnertime beers for me, alas… whatever shall we do with the beer fridge in our basement?

So we’ll see how this all goes and I’ll report back periodically. And when July rolls around I’ll see if my doctor will recheck my cholesterol and I’ll report of that as well. My hope is that in July I’ll feel better physically and mentally, and I’ll lose a little weight and get faster and stronger in the gym and at hockey. Wish me/us luck!

Where are the lesbian CrossFitters?

lgbtcfApparently tribes don’t have sub-tribes.

Here’s the thing: lesbians tend to befriend other lesbians. There are in-jokes and there’s culture and obviously there needs to be a manual for those who are newly out so they aren’t quite so clueless when hanging out with lesbians who’ve been out longer than them.

Here’s the other thing: CrossFitters tend to befriend other CrossFitters. There are in-jokes and there’s culture and obviously there needs to be a manual for those who are new CrossFitters so they aren’t quite so clueless when hanging out with folks who’ve been CrossFitting longer than them.

You’d think there would be a subculture within either group that would encompass the other, wouldn’t you? Well, I can’t find it. And I’m frankly baffled.

Case in point in terms of not being able to find anything: the two threads on gay Crossfitters over on the Crossfit forums were closed, apparently because people kept fighting and arguing (mostly it was trolls who don’t “approve of” the “gay lifestyle” who came in and picked fights, and the LGBT folks and allies engaged.). Now sexuality – well, specifically non-heterosexuality – is lumped with religion and politics as verboten topics over there. Just lovely. I sooooo enjoy being a banned topic. Googling turned up very little, other than the fact that most Crossfit gyms don’t update their blog software enough (holy disgusting link spam in the comments…) and that the term “gay” is still used as a very common insult. Sigh.

So I put this out there: are they any other LGBT CrossFitters out there, other than the 3 I know at my affiliate?