Archive for June, 2010

The Break

Days left to CrossFit Games: 16

I was feeling a bit unfocused two weekends ago and decided to spend the early mornings on the patio and in the garden instead of on my laptop writing about my day. My weekend break from blogging quickly turned into 10 days. I feel much better now. I think I can spend a little time in the morning doing both. So much to catch up on…


Today’s workout:

500m row for time
Time: 1:55

Reps  5  5  3  3  1  1  1
1 rep max: 230#

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Another resolution met

Days left to CrossFit Games: 28

upside_down_tomato_planterEvery year since I bought my house in 2002 I have thought about how nice it would be to grow an herb garden and every year I go without  actually doing it. Last year I even bought the herbs and the pot but never bothered to plant them. For my birthday this year my dad and step mom bought me a tomato planter and herb garden in one. This morning I finally woke up really early and finished planting it. It took me a total of about an hour. Soon I will have fresh tomatoes plus basil to make tomato sauce, cilantro to make pico de gallo, and dill which I like to add to a little light sour cream to put on fish. Why in the world would I have put something so simple off for so long?

Today’s workout: None. Taking the day off.

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Olympic lifting

geaDays left to CrossFit Games: 29

Before CrossFit, I thought Olympic lifting was for 400 pound Viking-type lumberjacks who inexplicably felt the need to shove a barbell over their head. Not so. This is Gea Johnson. Would you be able to tell by looking at her that she has won 7 Olympic Weightlifting titles? It is not even really her sport. Her real sports were track and field and bobsledding. In track and field she was ranked 2nd place in the world four years in a row behind Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

olympicliftsWhen you watch someone else it looks like there is not much to it. But it is much more technically difficult than I ever would have imagined. Rosanne pointed out that this is why there are only two Olympic lifts (snatch, clean and jerk) yet some people dedicate their entire careers to them. It also requires a lot more flexibility than I would have guessed. I knew my hamstrings and shoulders were tight but I had no idea how tight until now.

The amazing thing about Olympic lifting is how much it seems to benefit other sports. Doing these lifts require a lot of power so I seem to be getting quicker and I am jumping higher than I was before. And the more the flexibility and strength improves the less shoulder and knee pains I seem to have. Who knew?

Yesterday’s workout:
3 snatch every 2:00 x 8 rounds
Weight used: 80#

80 pounds is pretty close to my 1 rep max. At first I felt unhappy that I cannot do much more than that. It seems to be mostly technical problems that prevent me from doing more. Most of the girls at Regionals could do at least 100# and often more. I figured out, though, that I am happier when I compare me to myself rather than to other girls. I looked back and when we did this workout 3 weeks ago I was only able to do 70#. I made a 10lb jump in 3 weeks!

Today’s workout:
5 x 3 deadlifts at 90%
Weight used: 220#

3 rounds for time of:
10 pull-ups
20 wallballs
30 stick jumps
Time: 8:20

I could not have lifted one more pound in the deadlift for those five sets. I think if someone had set a penny on the barbell I wouldn’t have finished my last rep. That’s what you want out of a workout. Felt great. I wish I could say the same for the 3 round workout. The big bowl of cereal I ate this morning was trying to find its way back out. I stopped twice to tie my shoelaces. I think I need a day off.

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News from the mother of my sponsored kid

Days left to CrossFit Games: 30

I just received a letter from the mother of the kid I sponsor in Honduras. She’s pregnant! That will make four kids! The first thought that involuntarily crossed my mind was why would she sound so excited about having another child when she cannot support the ones she has. The second thought was guilt for being judgmental. For one thing they cannot afford birth control. For the same monthly price they could feed a whole second family anyway. Even if they could afford it they probably would not use it. Families are very Catholic down there. It is likely she believes that when God wants them to stop having children He will make it so.

Now that I got passed all those thoughts I am soooo excited! I really hope they have a healthy baby. I am also keeping my fingers crossed that Alex and his two brothers will finally get a little sister! The minute a trip based in his town is scheduled I am signing up to go back. I really hope it is next year.

Yesterday’s workout:

5 x 3 Jerks @ 80% of 1 rep max

5:00 of kettle bell snatches with 35lbs
Reps result: 121

I didn’t bother with 80% of my known max on the jerks. The most I had even attempted until yesterday was 120# but we had to do that 45 times during one of our workouts. For me it was 1 painful rep at a time. So to do sets of three I started with 110#. By the last two sets I was at 125#, technically 105% of my previously known max. Even though I failed the last rep I didn’t feel bad. I worked as hard as I possibly could have and that is what makes a successful workout.

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Rough day at work

roughdayatofficeHaving a little bit too much work to do is not something I should complain about. It could be so much worse. It wasn’t nearly as rough as this guy’s day at work was, for example. (He lived, BTW. The bull just got him in the shoulder and probably ended up having a worse day than his injured opponent.) Still, there is a lot to do in not very much time. And right in the middle of discussing it in a conference call the power went out in my area. Luckily it came back on or I would have missed my first deadline at 3:00. My next one is Friday. I have so much to cover by then it is a little stressful but since I probably won’t be able to sleep very well I should be able to meet that one too. Sigh.

Since I couldn’t go to CrossFit in the morning I had to make a tough call and skip volleyball to go in the evening. Because of the upcoming competition I promised myself for at least the next 5 weeks that CrossFit would take the priority. It worked out better for work too because I was home by 6:30 and got a bunch more done in the evening. I miss volleyball already but it will still be there later in the summer. The progress I have made in my workouts went up dramatically after I stopped playing volleyball five times a week so its worth it.

The workout:

30 push presses at 65# (95# for boys)
30 burpees
30 toes to bar
30 wall balls at 10’ target at 14# (20# for boys)
30 calories on the rower

Time: 9:17

I do have feelings of wishing I could do every workout over again. In this case I wasn’t happy with my push presses. I went as fast as I possibly could but sometimes don’t get my arms all the way straight and my head out in front. I should have slowed it down just a few seconds and made sure I was doing them right. I still need to work on depth on the wall balls too. It isn’t good to reinforce bad form. But no need to dwell on it. Just something for me to think about next time around I guess.

Days left to CrossFit Games: 31

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Countdown to the CrossFit Games

2face1Days left to CrossFit Games: 32

Last night I had a dream that I was at CrossFit warming up and our trainer showed up with half his face tattooed like Two Face from The Dark Knight.

I think I am getting stressed. One of our girls hurt her back and cannot make it so at the moment there are only two of us. If we don’t get a third girl signed up Rosanne and I will have to do all the workouts ourselves, no matter what is in them. That could be bad. There are so many things I cannot do very well yet. I don’t feel ready at all.

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The Wedding

DSCN3034 My cousin Mark’s wedding was last night at Mount Vernon Country Club. Great wedding. A lot of personal touches. The bridesmaids made the centerpieces. The homemade peach cookies were a huge hit (especially when people kept pointing out they look just as much like tiny rear ends covered by fig leafs as they do peaches). The cake was delicious. (Don’t tell my CrossFit team). Both Mark and his new wife Jesse are very musically talented so the bride did her own musical arrangements for the ceremony. Mark’s younger brother David wrote and performed a song especially for the wedding. They had an incredible nine piece band that kept the dance floor full all night. If you needed a break from the dancing you could go to the photo booth and put on a feather boa and ridiculous hat for the wedding album. The toasts were hilarious. And the mother of the bride walked around placing strobe light filled tulips down the fronts of ladies’ dresses. What a great time we had! I can’t believe my little cousin is married! Time goes by so fast, doesn’t it?

DSCN3036 Mark and Jesse

DSCN3033 The peach cookies


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Dinner and a show at grandma’s house

The Canadians are in town! My grandma is hilarious but when she gets together with her sisters they are a complete riot. They tease each other incessantly with one story after the next. Two of the three of them flew in from Canada for a wedding today.

IMGP6601Left to right: Aunt Therese, Aunt Mary, Grandma Rose, and Aunt Grace.

A few tales from dinner last night for your enjoyment…

1. Auntie Grace heard her cell phone ringing. While frantically searching through her purse she could not find the phone and wondered out loud if she had left it at home.

A story from the town of Bocchigliero, where they were born, portraying the stubbornness of the proud Italian woman:

2. A woman let the grass in her yard grow tall while her husband was away. When he returned he asked how she had been cutting the grass. ‘With scissors,’ she said.

‘You can’t cut the grass with scissors,’ he said. ‘You have to use a scythe. So now tell me how you will cut the grass?’  She answered, ‘With scissors.’

Frustrated, he took her down to the river and threatened to put her in the icy water. Again he asked, ‘How do you cut the grass?’ She again replied, ‘With scissors.’

Getting a bit angry, he moved her part way into the river and asked a third time, ‘Now, how do you cut the grass?’  ‘With scissors,’ she replied defiantly.

To teach her a lesson he put her all the way in the river and held her head under the water. ‘I ask you again woman! How do you cut the grass?!’ She reached her two fingers out of the water and showed him. Snip snip!

Just the other day…

3. Our family decided to make tiny cookies that look like peaches for today’s wedding. Each time the subject came up my grandma complained, ‘Those peach cookies are far too small. The ones I had before were much larger.’

In the car on the way to Grand Junction the subject came up again and once again my grandma said from the front seat, ‘I tell you, I have had those cookies before and they were bigger, the size of real peaches.’ From the back seat Aunt Therese reached her two fingers above her head. Snip snip!

The stories themselves are not the fun part. The real fun is watching them tell the stories. Each has their own part in the silliness. They call each other old bags while always complaining that the other one is telling it wrong. And of course most stories include some sort of criticism of each other’s cooking. (They are all amazing cooks). Next time I really need to bring a video camera to do it any justice at all.

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What type of music do you listen to?

music What is the most embarrassing song you have on your iPod? For me that answer varies depending on who is asking. My grandma probably thinks it is great that I listen to Andrea Bocelli but would be less thrilled that I know the the words to 99 problems. (Now THAT is embarrassing). The concert yesterday got me thinking about the question people always ask, ‘What type of music do you listen to’? The stock answer is ‘I listen to everything’. But I am not sure what else I could say. I cannot think of any types of music I stay away from. My current playlists include everything from Pink Floyd to Dr Dre, from Kings of Leon to the Beatles, from Stevie Ray Vaughn and Joe Satriani to Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.

I have U2, Radiohead, Muse, Keane, Green Day, Dave Matthews Band…
I have Beastie Boys, Snoop, Eminem, 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, Onyx, Cypress Hill…
I have kinda girly stuff like Enya, Evanescence, Jem, and Sarah McLaughlin…
I also have Marilyn Manson, System of a Down, Nine Inch Nails, Prodigy, Ministry…
I like songs by country artists from Tim McGraw to Johnny Cash…
I have super old stuff like Bill Withers and even older like Louis Armstrong…

I could go on and on. And that is just the stuff I am willing to admit I have. You should see what else is on here… I love all of it even though I rarely admitted owning it to anyone. So what type of music would YOU say I listen to? (‘Stuff that is mostly lame’? Hahaha).

Most of this stuff ranges from old, to before my time, to before my parents time, but that is just what I HAVE. I listen to a lot of new stuff too. I just usually allow music to age a decade or so before I am willing to obtain a collection of it. I always wonder what freshly released music I will still want to listen to years from now. So I guess I only consider myself a ‘fan’ of music that has stood the test of time. I think that is probably why I was so excited to see an artist whose career started before I was born. Sting won his first Grammy when I was 2 years old and 3 decades later he is still at the top of his game. That is pretty impressive.

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Sting at Red Rocks

Last night we saw Sting at Red Rocks performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Just Sting or just the orchestra would have been amazing but together, at Red Rocks, spectacular. When I saw Sting with my aunt as an 11 year old I remember a guy leaning over as he walked by and saying ‘Aren’t you a little young for this?’ The funny thing is that 20 years later I was still among the youngest in the audience. The whole crowd grew up. Todd took this picture from our seats in row 26. Unbelievable.


For some reason I was never a big fan of the original version of Roxanne but his newer versions definitely grew on me. Epic.

He has performed many versions of ‘Fragil’e including one in 2001 that was dedicated to the victims of 9/11. He lived in New York awhile and lost a close friend in the tragedy. He also did a famous version that appeared in an Imax film about the depletion of the ocean. I was surprised last night that he never mentioned the oil spills but I am sure it was on people’s minds.

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