Archive for Finish what you start

Day 5: The Juice and The Lazy River

THE JUICE: One theory is that my gut pains are caused by excess bacteria so I did what you with a tract infection. I drank a full bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice. Yuck! Straight acid water. Hard to believe they package it and sell it as food.

But it works, at least for UTIs. Drinking that stuff will kill everything including your will to live. That first shot in the morning right after you brush your teeth is a special kind of suffering.

I do feel different today though. Better? I’m not sure but definitely different. We’ll stay on this allergy diet track and see what happens.

THE LAZY RIVER: The original plan was to go for a run but instead I made Todd do his 20 minute walk in the lazy river at the rec. It is bad enough to sit at home with an injured back while you’re wife is outside running around. It would be another level of depressing to walk in circles for 20 minutes with screaming kids and their great grandparents by yourself. But together we have a nice walk and a chat and it seems to help the back pain.

I can already hear him saying that there is nothing to prove it help anything. True statement. No proof. Only evidence. Same for the diet. Same for the cranberry juice. We don’t KNOW anything. We are guessing.

That is a perfect reason to test things out. We can either speculate about what will or will not make us healthier but do nothing. OR we can investigate every avenue. Try stuff. Gather evidence. Decide for yourself. It may never be conclusive but we can’t be so worried about wasting time on the wrong thing that we do nothing. The one thing I learned from watching crime shows on TV. Get out there and follow the evidence.

Starting weight: 148
Weight: 144
Competition weight: 138

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Day 4: The Hike and The Diet

THE HIKE: Day 4 was a foggy fun-filled hike up to Royal Arch with my buddies. The fog was spooky. Janet said she felt like we were walking through Twilight. The werewolves are out here somewhere…

Janet and Tiffany helped mark the trail with the other dozen cairns. You don’t want to get lost in vampire territory.


Tiffany reached the top. Bite-free.


Check out those amazing views behind us!


After we took that picture we fell backward off the cliff and disappeared into the fog. (Or maybe we just walked down but the first way sounds a lot cooler).

What a great start way to a great day! Spent the rest of the day shopping and preparing meals. Finished it off with Todd by making a healthy dinner for our long lost buddies Mike and Beth. Taco and chicken fajita salad bar. Delicious!

THE DIET: Pretty much the same as any diet. Don’t eat anything you want. Nitpick about every detail.

For figuring out my alleged food allergy out Phase I started with no sugars, sweeteners, or substitutes, no grains, and no dairy. After that I am to reintroduce one thing at a time for 1-2 weeks until I notice a reaction. I’m pretty sure I am going to start by re-introducing chocolate and cocktails on Halloween although I’m not sure that is supposed to be part of the plan.

One thing making it far less miserable is that Todd decided to join me! He is going to see if he survive 10 days. Only one thing really threatens to stand in his way. Our friends engagement party this weekend has a dessert table. Will we survive? We shall see.

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Day 3: The Doc and The Advice at the Rec

THE DOC: Among the reasons for this 30 days without CrossFit are a few minor health issues, before undergoing smas facelift .I have had weird feelings in my right side for over a year. It was making me kinda nauseous before and after training. And right around the same time I started getting rashes. Elbows. Knees. Inside my ears. This summer it got worse. I woke up in the middle of the night a few times feeling like someone had stabbed me. This past week the rashes started to spread. Yikes. So I wrote down every idea anyone came up with about it and got checked for everything. Nobody can find anything wrong.

According to the doc, the prevailing theory now is that I have developed a food allergy. The Bet didn’t keep me away from junk food but the prospect of not being in pain, nauseous, and itchy all over should keep me on track. Lame. I’m finally not training for a competition my diet is stricter than ever. But one way or the other we are going to figure this out.

THE ADVICE AT THE REC: Funny story. Luckily CrossFit didn’t invent weight lifting so Day 3 was lifting at the rec center. I was doing front squats when a gentleman approached me looking very concerned. Warning. If you tell me not to squat below parallel I am I’m going to throw my barbell at you. He told me I was twisting on the way up.

Oh. Well that is true. It is what I came here to work on. Good-eye, mister whoever-you-are. You helped. So thanks. But then without knowing me or asking anything about me the advice started pouring out. I didn’t know anything about him and he didn’t know anything about me yet here he was recommending physical therapy, exercises, stretches. It was awkward.  Especially the part where he said he’d spot me next time and tap on my hip when it gets out of line. Eeeh. On a front squat? No thank you, sir. Only my husband gets to tap on these hips.

What I wouldn’t have given in that moment to have my coaches walk through the door. Allow me to introduce you, sir. This is Coach Aaron.


This is my coach and one of my favorite workout buddies (and also a CrossFit phenomenon) Dan.

And this is my Olympic Lifting coach Jason who just got Best Lifter for snatching 290 and clean and jerking 350 in a competition.

So what was your advice again?

Okay now I feel bad. It was actually very helpful to point out that I was still torquing my hips. I plan to work on it. For all I know he is a champion weight lifting coach. But he’s not my coach. Thank you, Sir. But unless you want to dedicate time to hearing what I have been up to for the past 5 years - just pointing out mistakes is enough for now. If I can’t correct it I’ll work on it with my coaches.

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Day 2: The Change of Plans and The Martian

A few years back I regularly woke up at ridiculous hours 2-3 days per week and hiked the Royal Arch trail before work. When I heard reports of mountain lions roaming the area I switched over to the Sanitas trail. More people. More dogs. The ten car parking lot would be full by 6:30am and cars would start lining the street. During the Olympics a guy hiked every Friday dressed up as a different athlete – 70s shorts and a basketball, swim goggles and a beach ball… Every week me and the other hikers couldn’t wait to see what he’d come up with next.

Yesterday morning I arrived in the dark right at 6:00am. Not a single car in the lot or the street. Five years ago I wouldn’t have though twice about heading straight up that hill. But nobody? No dogs? I’m a little more cautious now. I waited. And waited. By 6:30, still no one. Hmmm. Pretty active year for bears so I Googled bear sightings. Sure enough a mama and her cubs had been wandering the area right near the trail. I really don’t want to start my journey by surprising a mama bear with her cubs in the dark.

So today’s CrossFit-less workout was 10 short hill sprints at Chautauqua. It wasn’t much but at least I went to ‘the bad place’ a bit. Look at the importance of good warm up though. I don’t know how far the sprints were but notice at the difference between my first and last times there. The first 3 hurt so bad I wasn’t sure I would survive and the last few I actually felt okay until the last step or two.

Last night we saw The Martian with our neighbor buddies. I wrote a bunch of thoughts about it but at the last minute I’ve decided to keep them private until other people have actually seen it. They’re coming though.

Starting weight: 148
Weight: 145
Competition weight: 138

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Day 1 CrossFit-less. Jane and the shooting.

Last night Todd’s sister randomly offered us tickets to see Jane Goodall give a talk at CU. Not gonna lie. It took me a moment (and Google) to remember who Jane Goodall is. Oh yeah, she’s the chimpanzee one. The gorilla one was Sigourney Weaver. Oops! I mean Dian Fossey. Well I love animals so why not? Watching thousands of people fill the stadium I couldn’t think of anything I would talk about that would draw a crowd like that. She’s so popular they had to move her presentation from Macky Auditorium which seats 2,052 to the Coors Event Center stadium which seats 11,064. I don’t usually have the attention span to watch someone talk for an hour before I start wondering how fun it would be to run the stadium stairs. But I am glad I didn’t miss this.

As a little girl I had a book of nursery rhymes with a drawing of Mother Goose on the front cover. Jane Goodall would make an amazing Mother Goose. Gentle and soft spoken with that proper British accent. She whispered her way through the tale of her 55 year study of the social behaviors of wild chimpanzees like a grandmother reading Peter Pan. By the end I realized I will soon need to include her in my Most Inspiring People posts. Save the chimpanzees! Unbelievable what she was able to accomplish not only as a woman in a field of science during the sixties but as a white British woman in Africa. Talk about breaking down walls!

As a current UN Messenger of Peace she also talked a lot about the world and where it is going. Sobering discussion just hours after the Oregon Community College shooting, the fourth of its kind since August and the 74th! since Sandy Hook. After speaking with children from many different countries Goodall said a recurring theme had emerged. Younger generations believe we have destroyed our planet and promoted war and violence past the point of recovery. Pretty bleak outlook from a bunch of 10 year olds. That we’ve ruined the world and nothing will save it? Where do you suppose they get that idea from? [Sad face]. What will the 10 year olds of the world turn out to be like without hope? But she challenged them. What if there is still a window and what if that window is right now? What if it is not too late? What if the fate of the world is still in our hands?

I have to admit. I don’t like to follow the news. It isn’t because I am not interested in what is going on. It is because it is disturbing, depressing, and scary. I am much happier in my CrossFit bubble where my biggest concern is whether or not I will make it through the next workout with my body and pride in tact. But I also realize that burying my head in the sand is as good as contributing to the problems of the world. Somebody told me once: If a train is coming toward you but you don’t choose to go one way or the other (or worse if you don’t even notice) the train wins.

Everyone needs to figure out what their role is in the overall mess and how to be even just a small part of some greater solution.


Message to the students, friends, and families at Umpqua Community College: I am so sorry for what you have been through and what you are going through. I don’t understand how such a thing as walking into a school and shooting the future of our world has become an epidemic. I will be thinking of you and your families during this difficult time.


Day 1 of being CrossFit-less:
Workout: P90x Cardio. I found the yoga warm-up to be harder than the workout and missed having people around. Not a very satisfying start.
Weight: 146 (Tuesday it was 148. Competition weight is: 138)


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The Bet and The Mission

Some people make new resolutions every year. I seem to make them every month. They are almost always health and fitness related. More specifically diet and CrossFit related. But since May I have been off and on and all over the place. Eat healthy!… No, eat whatever you want! Its fun!….. Go after to your CrossFit goals and train for masters!… No just train for fun and take a break from competing!

I can’t stay focused. I tried to force myself to focus last month by making a bet with Todd that I could go 30 days without a full scale diet meltdown. My punishment for not surviving would be 30 days without CrossFit. That should set me straight, right? But then again I didn’t want to be too serious about it so I negotiated 1 cheat meal per week. That quickly turned into cheat weekends. Then I forgot about it altogether and blew that bet clean out of the water.

It is October 1st. I lost The Bet. (Sigh). It is time to face the music. Pay the piper. And find out what I would do with myself without CrossFit for the next 30 days. By the end of the month one of two things will happen. Either I will get the ‘crazy’ back and throw myself back into training. (To be honest that is the one I am hoping for). Or I will find out that CrossFit had turned into a wall I didn’t know was there. (See yesterday’s post for an explanation of that one).

The Mission: Don’t get me wrong. I don’t plan on taking a break from being active. On the contrary. I thought back to the times I wondered about all the fun things I might do if I didn’t spend so many hours training for competitions. This is my chance to do those things. So The Mission is to do something different every day for the next 30 days! Day 1…

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The Wall

Amazing timing. When I wrote yesterday’s post I wasn’t planning on making these public. I was going to post privately. But after encouragement from a friend who started her own hilarious blog, I proceeded to spend more than two hours being convinced by Pink Floyd to ‘tear down the wall’. So here they are.

Profound and fascinating. Last night for one night only theaters around the country played Roger Waters live concert ‘The Wall’ intermixed with clips of his visit to the grave sites of his father and grandfather - both killed in action before their sons had a chance to know them. The film starts in a military graveyard showing a stone wall. Etched in it is a list of the names of men and women who have died. The live concert begins and there seems to be a sobering message: No matter who you are or where you come from we will all eventually become just another brick in the wall. ‘Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend, we were all equal in the end.’

As the concert goes on a crew dressed in black slowly builds a gigantic wall across the stage brick by brick until it is 35 feet high and more than 200 feet wide and completely blocks the stage from the audience. You quickly realize the message is not just about war between nations but war between people and battles we face in our own daily lives.

Our whole life is a wall built brick by brick of our experiences stacked one on top of the other and side by side. Do the walls protect us or trap us? Do they keep us safe or keep us isolated? Do they free us from perils the world or do they blind us to them? Do we even know the walls are there?

Just as you are getting sucked deeper into the metaphor the crowd begins to cheer ‘TEAR DOWN THE WALL!… TEAR DOWN THE WALL!’… And suddenly a 100×35 foot section of the wall collapses to the ground and reveals the stage again. It is a challenge. Look at your life and the world around you. Is it possible to transcend the walls?

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Loss of Life

Today I got the news. My teammate and friend just succumbed to cancer. We played volleyball together 2-3 time a week for two or three years. But I had not seen him since my shoulder surgery took me out of the game a few years ago and we had barely kept contact on Facebook.

In the weeks before he died his wife reached out to those who knew him for a few words on where he fit into our lives. At the time it was something we were doing for him, for her, and for their daughter. But now I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to let him know he was important to me while he was still here. It his hard to imagine that huge grin and boisterous laugh not being out there in the world anymore. Alex you will be missed.

I started this site in 2010 when I decided to sign up for the Body For Life Challenge which eventually lead me to compete in CrossFit. During all the time I was writing I never knew the extent to which my teammate Alex King was a major contributor to the system I post with. WordPress is used by almost 25% of the top 10 million websites in the world and my volleyball buddy’s name is apparently all over its code. So what better way to pay a tribute than to start using it again?

From time to time I used to write a page about someone who has inspired me. So Alex King, today that person is you. You have inspired me to pick up where I left off with this thing and see where it takes me.

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Effects_of_sleep_deprivationYes! I slept 9 hours! And I could have kept on sleeping but had a lot to do today. Still had weird dreams but I don’t remember any of them. No terrible nightmares like last night that I can recall. Today was the worst day as far as feeling the effects of not eating sugary foods though. I felt horrible during our workout even during the warm up. We laid on our backs to stretch and I didn’t want to get up. I think I am starting to get over the withdrawal though. I feel a little better tonight.

Right on track with the food. Probably the most interesting and creative food I’ve tried is Cinnamon Sweet Potato Ice Cream made with a sweet potato, coconut milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Not something I would normally make (as I usually require chunks of cookie dough in my ice cream) but it is surprising what starts to taste good during a challenge like this.

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Here we go again…

ProjectJacked_TShirt1-1024x921This weekend kicked off a diet challenge at our gym. This time it wasn’t me wanting to get on a health kick, though. It was Todd! I just signed up to be supportive. I am glad I did though (or will be anyway). I sat around on my butt all winter nursing my shoulder and consoling myself with donuts and candy bars. So happy to be back to CrossFit!

Saturday started with a 7:30am weigh-in, body measurements, before photos, and 20 minutes of torture (rounds of 5 deadlifts, 7 burpee pull-ups, 10 KB swings, 12 box jumps). For the next two weeks we are to follow the Paleo Diet, log our food, water, workouts, sleep, and supplements. Then we are on our own for two weeks. At the end we retake our body measurements and photos and perform the same workout.

Not everybody is in this challenge to lose weight. Some just want to feel better. Some want to see what effect it has on performance in CrossFit or other sports. Some joined with friends or family. Some were just curious about it, And some, like me, for all of the above!

The junk food withdrawal was bad yesterday. I felt exhausted and restless at the same time. I wanted so badly to sleep but was up all night with weird bad dreams. In the worst one I was on an airplane when the pilots came out and told us to grab handles that had fallen from the overhead bins. When we did the airplane took a  quick nosedive. For a few seconds my mind was convinced that I was experiencing my last few moments of life. Terrifying. I was fine once I knew it was a dream but never got back to sleep. It was 2:00am.

As of tonight we are required to get 8 hours of sleep and I could definitely use it. Though exhausted I have still been hyper-productive all day. Hopefully tonight I can stabilize a little and get some rest.

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