Share The Gift & CrossFit

Last Christmas my #ShareTheGift goal was to not roll my eyes at my CrossFit Coach. It took me  about three months to really be pretty good at not rolling my eyes before settling into a groove. There were occasions when an eye roll would slip out but more often than not I kept it in check. Until last Thursday, when a huge eye roll started and almost ended up full circle. Thankfully, I caught it and apologized to my coach right a way. 

With Christmas being few days away it weighed heavy on my mind to not have come up with a commitment for this Christmas season. Discussing it with one of my coaches on Friday, I mentioned something about smiling more during the workout, perhaps at the end of every round. That led to a discussion on finding joy and satisfaction with each WoD. 

He spoke of being satisfied with doing one’s best in a WoD. Too often it is easy to compare one’s performance to someone we perceive is running faster, lifting heavier weights, doing more reps, and the list of training methods goes on as do the physical changes that each one goes through. He brought up something that had been on my mind about being satisfied with what one does in each WoD, no matter where one is in the fitness process and about not being so hard on oneself during the workout. In other words, simply finding joy in the WoD process. Just work the coaching plan.

Pondering over our discussion, I went to do some research at ProvidentLiving.org, which led me to these three articles: 

2015-16 SHARE THE GIFT .jpgSo after reading the articles and watching the talk, I choose for my one thing to work on, especially at 26.2 CrossFit, is to be a Gracious Receiver.

When my coach praises me, accept it. When someone tells me good job, accept it. When a coach corrects my form, appreciate it with joy, do not feel disabled by it. Accept the good and not so great WoD experience as a Gracious Receiver.  It is the effectual struggle by way of experience, a learning curve if you will, that makes it possible to recognize and enjoy any real, long-lasting fitness success. Being a Gracious Receiver is part of the weight bearing exercise process that is necessary and sufficient to ultimately reach any fitness goal. And that will  translate into other aspects of my life as well. 

Shock & Awe: A Whine Free WoD

 

Exercise is not my thing. It is my daily mental battle. Running is so not my thing. It is so very, very, very not my thing. Running for exercise is my fiercest mental battle. To not only decide to do CrossFit but to choose 26.2 CrossFit with a bunch of Marathon Running Fool Coaches was a mental battle nightmare. IF, a big fat IF, I could get to the Box three times a week, the first line was crossed. Could I draw a new line and hold it?

Here I am 20 months later. No, I have not run a marathon. No, I am not planning to run a marathon. To date, running like a Turtle on Valium, it would take me 13 hours (at best) to complete a marathon. That would be on flat ground, no hills, no sand, just blacktop. However, I have run the Jingle Bell 2 Miler (last December), the Color Run 5k and the Zebra Zoom 3k this year, each race with my angry, miserable face and thoughts. This year, with angry face and whining, unhappy thoughts, I signed up to do the Flavor Run 5k in January 2016.

But that is not the point of this entry today.

After taking several months off running to deal with an Achilles tendon problem, I took to rowing for a spell. In August, there was a WoD with 50 meter sprints. Something in my head said, “Try.” So I did my shuffle run and have kept it up in my classes ever since.

 

The WoD on December 11 was a MetCon consisting of a 1k run, 50 toes to bar, 100 Kettlebell Swings with a final 1k run and were my first  runs over 800 m since my 5k in January. That meant to get through my mega-mental running battle I had to wear my Forged: The Legend shirt, in red. (It is my superhero shirt. It is my subliminal reminder to not whine, grimace, roll my eyes or have an angry face while running.

My Super Hero Shirt Motivator

I ran the first 1k. And it happened. All of a sudden, I realized, without one I-hate-running thought or mental-misery commentary I was simply running. Then shockingly, before I knew it, there I went running the second 1k without a mental fight or complaint or miserable thought. Plus, I lengthened my stride and quickened my pace the last 100 meters! (Well, I felt like I was moving faster in my head.) That was a first for me! I even went pretty fast for me on the first hundred. Shocked and awed myself! Truly. I was amazing in my head.

But wait! There is more!

Today’s WoD was JERRY. (God Bless those he left behind.) So donning The Legend, in red, I was prepared to get through the 1 mile x2 runs. And guess what? Not one miserable-in-my-head moment running. Not one! Not one eye roll, not one mental whine or complaint, not one feeling of hatefulness about running. Not the first or the second mile.

How could this be? Who cares? I got through it and had no miserable thoughts. Be thankful!

And then it came to me. I feel happiness for God’s tender mercies in answering my prayers through my effectual struggle to exercise consistently. Running up to one mile, without anger, is my Christmas Miracle. It is a wonderful gift for which I am truly grateful.

#ShareTheGift.

 

CrossFit, Cruz, and Consistency with Change

IMG_2223 (1)
This is my friend’s #CruzMobile. We are #CruzBrevard. We recognize and profusely thank #Sabo of UnsavoryAgents.com for making this possible.

Yesterday. It was a rough Friday morning. Knowing what was in store for the day, the excitement of getting to volunteer at an event for Ted Cruz in Orlando made it difficult to fall to sleep Thursday night. Having attended four difficult 26.2 CrossFit classes during the week it was a mental struggle to choose to get up to make the 5:30 a.m. class. Not being firm in my decision to go to class made it difficult to stay asleep and I needed restful sleep in order to get through my Friday let alone a fifth WoD.

What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? … A patriotism that puts country ahead of self; a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. ~ Adlai Stevenson, speech given in New York City, 27 August 1952, quoted in John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1955, p. 986.

Bob and Cheryl
Bob Touchston and Cheryl Lankes of #CruzBrevard manning the tables at the Ted Cruz – Orlando Rally.

One thing that has made CrossFit “easy” for me are the Hero WoDs. Being the oldest in my classes, the most out of shape in my class, the one who ALWAYS has to modify the WoD is not an easy burden to bear but when I think of the many men and women who have given all for the sake of our nation then I am happy to do my very best, even if I am the very last at finishing the very modified WoD. Who am I to not fight through a measly workout with some sense of consistent and persistent performance?

It is because of my consistent and persistent dedication that a year and a half later I am able to do five WoDs a week. It is due to my commitment to the principles of CrossFit that my body is changing. Consistency in workout form, persistently correcting my form, and then repetition of correct form in the WoD is helping me improve each week. As my body changes I must accommodate consistency in changing how I approach my WoDs.Bob Touchston Cheryl Lankes

And I can apply that same measure to Ted Cruz. His consistency to Constitutional principles is what makes me support him in his run for President of the United States.

Ted Cruz is flexible enough to modify a course of action while being consistent in exercising Conservative principles. He persistently works to apply those well founded, well-grounded principles to each challenge  that arises. He consitently works for the benefit of the people he serves. Being that persistent Conservative, acting line upon line and precept upon precept is why the opposition fear him. He knows well how to #FrameTheDebate and #StayTheConservativeCourse and with each political workout the opposition throws his way, they realize he is steadfast in foundational form.

Cruz Crew Goup Shot
Gwen Fox, Team Leader of #CruzCrew Orlando Rally Volunteers.

Listening to Ted Cruz speak yesterday was fantastic. What you see on the television is what you get. He is genuine. He is sincere. He speaks with a conviction. He is not a grandstander. He is not puffed up. He is a humble guy who really is depending upon the grassroots for support in his campaign. He truly believes that he will only make it through with grassroots support. He believes in We, the People.

To know the man, who he is and what he stands for, just think of him as a Political CrossFit Coach. He has prepared a lifetime for this moment in history. He is in the fight to win it for the sake of the American People. Therefore, We, The People, must go to the original source, Ted Cruz, to help ourselves become Constitutionally Healthy and Fit.

  1. Know what Ted says not what “they” say he says. Go read his PROVEN RECORD.
  2. Watch and Listen to Ted on his YOUTUBE Channel.
  3. REMEMBER: You will hear “them” explain what “they” think Ted Cruz stands for but do not be deceived by mainstream media sophistry. Go to the ORIGINAL SOURCE at TedCruz.org, that’s TedCruz.org and hear it from his lips, not “theirs”. 

Even though I work as an individual in CrossFit and it is solely up to me to do my best and work hard each session, I am stronger because I have a Coach who helps me guide me through my WoD and my fellow CrossFitters as teammates to encourage me to keep giving it my all.

So it is with Ted. He is our Coach in a world class competition. We are now his teammates and we must cheer him on to victory by making our voices heard within our spheres of influence.

Service Dog for Cruz  Cruz Is In The House       A glimpse - Out the Door

Ted Cruz Stuck w Press

My Favorite Person

CrossFit Friend: Darc Dyer meets Tina Scheer

Darc Dyer is one of my teammates from 26.2 CrossFit. She is so adorable and has the best smile. Her workout ethic is amazing. She is awe inspiring. She became my friend and then left Florida for her home state of Maine. It was sad to see her go, yet with social media, she is just a posting away from being back in my neighborhood.

Tina Scheer is my Twitter friend from Maine. We “met” through social media thanks to Ultimate Survival Alaska courtesy the National Geographic Channel. Watching her on Season 3 was fascinating. It would be amazing if she has a second shot at #SurvivalAlaska to see how far she could go with another team. (Rest in Peace Jimmy.)

When Darc got back to Maine and started posting photos of things she was doing, I sent her the link to Tina’s site, suggesting she go check it out some time. Suggesting she”Tell Tina I sent her,”  Darc posted back that she passes “that place.” She says she will stop in at some future time.

True to her word, I get a note from Darc saying she stopped in to check things out but Tina was not there.

Bummer because Darc is such a great athlete that I can totally picture her doing the LumberJill thing.

Well guess what happened yesterday?

Tina and Darc

I get a note on my Facebook to check my text messages. So I do, squealing with delight to see this photo! Darc tells me she is driving down down the road, well, her sister is driving and Darc sees Tina. She tells her sister to STOP because Darc want to get a photo for me.

Thanks Darc and Tina! And a thank you shout out to Darc’s sister for stopping for the shot! You are amazing women doing amazing things! So pleased to know you. So pleased you got to meet each other.

Tools for Consistent Training: A PWR Bag

In 2012 NBC debuted STARS EARN STRIPES. It was from that series that I first “got to know” Tom Stroup. He was gracious enough to follow me back on Twitter. It has been has been fun to follow him and watch his business and life flow these past couple of years.

About 17 years ago I bought a treadmill. I used it somewhat but it really was not my thing, so after a couple of years I sold it. Then I had some other aerobic contraption but after a couple of years ended up giving it away to a friend because I did not enjoy using it that much either.

When I got my first Rebounder I cannot recall, but rebounding is so enjoyable that having worn out two of them (the second one thanks to help from my 80 lb. Labrador using it like her bed), I recently bought my third one. Obviously, Rebounding is something I have been fairly consistent in doing. Rebounding is one of my consistent things.

A second time purchase item that I love is an 8-inch step-box. In fact, when my husband gets home on leave, I am going to have him build me a higher step because I love the step-box as another one of my consistent things.

This brings me to watching Tom’s workout routines. Mesmerizing to watch, he makes the workouts look so simple while showing the versatility of his PWR bag. The ease in transforming the bag for a variety of weight bearing exercises enticed me to put it on my wish list, especially after pricing a few light weight strength training items I thought I might use for light, active recovery at home. (I belong 26.2 CrossFit and do the Endurance program as a consistent thing.)

So I order the bag and it arrived! It was really exciting to see it, touch it, and then go purchase some Publix brand unscented cat litter with which to fill the three sleeves. I used a container and my food scale to carefully weigh out six pounds of litter for each sleeve. Then once everything was loaded properly in the bag I tried a few curls, overheads, and push presses.

I psyched myself out. Eighteen pounds was too heavy. So I stopped. (Yes, I am weak.)

On Monday I took it to the box to give my Coach Shane a go at it. He looks pretty good on this demo, especially for having just finished a workout and two classes:

 

And then Wednesday, I pulled the bag out of the backseat of my truck to show it to Coach Allie, but he has poison oak from his road trip so he cannot touch it. He has to wait until it is cleared up since he is “unclean.” Haha.

Then came Thursday. I decided to stop being afraid of my PWR Bag. Using it as my back pack, I did some step ups with it a few times throughout the day after sitting at the computer. I did a few overheads, curls, and Sumo deadlifts (love SDL btw). Magically, I got past my mind issues with the mere 18 pounds in the bag. Besides, it is possible to remove one or two sleeves to lighten the load. (Yes, I am wimpy-weak.)

So Friday morning, a Scaled Murph (SMurph) was the WoD scheduled at my CrossFit Endurance class. I was so excited because the last time I did The SMurph I was about 30 pounds heavier. And then I started getting more excited thinking how much better I would be and how my time would improve!

And then, just after the class warm up, I started thinking about the 20 lb. vest… I have never use “the vest.” And then I started thinking about wearing my PWR Bag backpack  even though I only have 18 lbs. in it.

Before I knew it, I was looking at Coach Allie saying, “I was wondering if you think I should run with the PWR Bag? Do you think I should try to…..”

Coach Allie’s eyes lit up and his head started bobbing up and down in a “Yes” before I finished my thought to talk myself out of it.

So I dashed off, put my PWR Bag on and then ready, set, go! Here is my SMurph WoD results:

  • 400m Run w 18# PWR Bag
  •  25 Pull-ups MODIFIED to Ring Rows ~ ….but I did 5 with the PWR Bag! 
  • 50 Push-ups MODIFIED to Baby-Girl Push-ups.
  • 100 Squats MODIFIED ~ I use a bench due to limited range of motion.
  • 400m Run w 18# PWR Bag

I was thrilled the extra weight only added 20 seconds to my last sans-the-bag running time. I was even more thrilled to see that I finished the entire WoD in less time than the last attempt.

The PWR Bag is fantastic. I love it! It is exactly what I need to bump up my regimen. The bag is definitely everything Tom claims it to be. It is a tool that I feel I will consistently use to improve my fitness level at a reasonable pace until, like at my last WoD, I do better than I think I am capable of doing.

Now time to break away from the computer and bust a PWR bag move!

My Concept2 Rowing Challenge: Row FROM Cuba

About three weeks ago my CrossFit Endurance Coach Shane talked to me about an event 26.2 CrossFit held, a year or so ago, called Row To Cuba. The competition was to see who could row the 90 miles from Miami to Cuba on the Concept2 Rower the quickest, within a month’s time. He thought maybe that would be a good challenge for me since I decided I am not really a runner and have taken such a strong liking to the rower.

So I talked to my other Coach, Jamiethe Marine, because he won the men’s division for the competition and he is my inspiration when it comes to the rower. After getting tips from him I decided to row for 30 minutes, just to see how far I could go. I discovered I could row quite well for thirty minutes and I covered enough distance to feel good about what I will need to daily row to get the job down.

603867_10153199023642464_146286588119160559_nTaking that 90 mile rowing challenge, my name for it is Row FROM Cuba –  Part One Challenge. It is so named to thank Rafael Cruz for coming to America, living a Patriot’s dream and to bring awareness to and support for TedCruz.org, TedCruz.org. (Yes, I wrote that twice on purpose.)

And if I survive the rigorous rowing schedule I have set up for myself then I will talk about it and post a Part Two Challenge for myself.

A week off and a #FightGoneBad

A couple of weeks ago I planned to take a week off from working out to just give my body time to recuperate. Doing CrossFit three times a week and then adding in two or three rowing sessions for the last two months on top of volunteering as a server at the local VFW Friday night dinners was taking a bit of a toll on me. Plus, I had several things happen that required repairs around the house so needed to be home and ready to deal with service calls.

Monday we did Michael (Time), in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael McGreevy, 30, of Portville, NY, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28 2005.

3 Rounds for time of:
800m Run
50 Back Extensions
50 Sit-ups

Of course I always modify the workouts due to some physical limitations. Rowing instead of a run, I do Good Mornings using a 15# bar and an Ab-Mat for Sit-ups. Even with modifications, my time was pretty good for me after a week off of eating, sleeping, and being a bum. I finished in 33:27 with enough energy to row an additional 1000m for a cool down.

But then there was today. It was an AccuWeather.com RealFeel of 81F with 95% humidity. My 500m warm-up row felt like it would never end. The stretches and movements to prep for the workout felt like I was moving in a dream. You know, that slo-mo thing in the brain? It was like my body was moving long before my brain caught up to what I was doing. And it was like that the entire morning. Worst FGB since I started CrossFit.

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball Shots (Reps), 20#
Sumo deadlift high-pull (Reps),  75#
Box Jumps, 20″  (Reps)
Push-press (Reps), 75#
Row (Calories)
1-minute rest

Yeah. Mine did not look like video linked above. (Not even close.) Still, I fought my way through it, m-o-d-i-f-i-e-d. That’s my style. I’m the #ModifyTheWodifyGirl. I used a 10# WB and a bench because I still do not have full range of squat motion. My SDLHP and PP were merely 25# even though I can go 35# on a SDLHP. The Box Jumps are not there yet so I do 16 inch step ups. The Row, well, that turned out fairly well in the end as my saving grace.

Truly today was the ugly WoD. It definitely was my #FightGoneBad. But I am glad I stayed the course for it was an effectual struggle.

God is Great. Life is Grand. No struggle is in vain. It’s all good.

Wall Ball WoD with a Concept 2 Rowing Fool

Monday’s 26.2 CrossFit Endurance WoD was rough for me. It was a MetCon 50-40-30-20-10 Wall Ball with a 200 meter run after each round. Modifying the WoD is normal for me and due to my limited range of motion on the squat I use a bench and a 10# ball. Due an Achilles Tendon issue, I row but after an extended period of recovery and the previous Friday’s 100 meter runs, I chose to give the 200 a shot.

Only rolling my eyes twice, it was hot and muggy that morning in the Box, I got through the WoD rather quickly for me. My legs were janky-leg-wobbly by the time I was done. While smiling big on the inside, I cooled down with a 500 meter easy row.

Then came Tuesday morning. How sore was I? Like my first days, weeks, months of CrossFit sore! Barely able to walk, my body tottered like a sickly Penguin. Slowly and gently stretching just trying to get out of the bed I thought about using the Trigger Point Hand Roller but that was out of the question. Using the large foam roller was totally out as I could not even, with light pressure from my hands, touch the trigger points on my legs. (Can you hear me Wah!?)

Wednesday I woke up at 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. At 5:30 I tried to get up and get ready to go to my 6:30 a.m. Endurance class. Instead, I reset my alarm for the 7:30 Personal Training class only to waken and reset the time thinking maybe I could make it to the 9 a.m. CrossFit class. However, finally waking up at 10 a.m. because my Retriever was telling me it was time to get up for real, I thought a little more recover time was need therefore if I a make it to the 5:30 p.m. class……

At 4 p.m. I just gave up on pushing myself to get to the Box after trying to loosen up throughout the day with light jumping on my Rebounder and stretching. There was no getting past an overall sick-to-my-stomach soreness so finally giving myself permission to take the day off was the right thing to do. But I was determined to make it Thursday to, you know, row-baby-row!

2015-080-20 C2 MetersThursday morning. Though somewhat difficult to tryna-wanna get going, I got to the Box, got that rower set up and then the best motivation wave kicked in. Coach Allie saw my lifetime meters pop up on the C2 screen. His face lit up in joyful amazement at how many meters I have rowed since he put me on the tracking card. That surprised look of happiness was enough to push myself into gear with a stretching and rowing warm up. My head was back in the game to 15 Rounds of Rowing for 1:40 minutes at 26 spm with 20 second rests and the damper set at five.

What I truly appreciated learning about CrossFit this week was a reinforced lesson about how important it is to push through pain at a reasonable pace. Recovery is essential to a healthy workout regimen. And rowing is a fabulous recovery workout for any killer Wall Ball WoD.

Stop 22, 26.2 CrossFit and LAVFW 4534 Rocket Post

Stop 22 Shane and Evan 311kb

August 5, 2015 ~

The Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW District 8 luncheon was hosted by the LAVFW Rocket Post 4534 in Rockledge. The festivities were kicked off by 26.2 CrossFit’s Running Coach, Shane Turner explaining why CrossFit is such a great fit for the Military, Firefighter, Law Enforcement & First Responder Communities. He discussed the psychology behind the workouts and how CrossFit is especially beneficial for Military Veterans struggling with PTSD and depression.

To honor K9’s For Warriors work in bringing attention to the fact that our nation is losing 22 veterans a day, Coach Shane put a Stop22 mini-WoD together. Joined by 26.2 CrossFit teammate, Evan Cawthon, the two men demonstrated a METCON of 2 Rounds For Time: 22 Push-ups, 22 Squats, 22 Sit-ups and 22 Alternating Lunges.

The LAVFW Sisters split into two teams so they could count reps and cheer for either Team Shane or Team Evan. And of course, they were sure to keep a close eye on Evan, watching that his squat form was spot on! But the real Ooo’s and Aww’s came when Evan bumped up the workout with a little friendly competitive twist: the Jumping Lunge.

After the workout and throughout the luncheon, a few ladies commented on how their sons encourage them to get into #CrossFit. Others said they are aware of a Box near their homes. It was a very productive and enlightening event therefore on behalf of my LAVFW President, Bev Wall, thanks to 26.2CrossFit owner, Allie Newell, for supporting the LAVFW Rocket Post 4534‘s Stop22‬K9sForWarriors Awareness Event. A very special thanks goes to Coach Shane and Teammate Evan for making our Stop22 event such a grand learning experience!

Donations raised from this event will go to the K9’s For Warriors & Stop22 project.

The Reluctant CrossFit & Concept 2 Rowing Nerd

I hate working out and exerting myself. I am a lazy bum. And for the zillionth time, No, I do not feel the love for working out like the fitness freaks, body builders, and other top athletes. I do not feel like I miss working out if I do not do something. It just is not like that for me. It is very possible for me to live without it, exercise. Of course, I understand that living on the couch will cause premature death, that I will die but my feeling is: Duh, yeah. I am going to die just like all those who have gone before me and it could happen while I am working out.

And yet, after sixty four weeks at 26.2 CrossFit, I am finally turned into a CrossFit Novice Nerd who has really taken to the Concept 2 Rower, like a freak. I still have to talk myself out of bed every single morning. Usually I am whining in my head until about halfway through the WoD but i am still faithfully showing up to the box consistently. It was at week 61 that I added the 24 Workouts –– a collection of interesting and challenging rowing workouts to my training regiment to bring me into a five day workout week, therefore qualifying me as a CrossFit Nerd.

So that leads me to two exciting bench mark events in the past twenty-four hours. A wonderful thing thing happened yesterday on the rope “climb” and today as I rowed the Day 6 workout. Yesterday as I attempted the 5 “climbs”  I automatically engaged my core in a way I have not done in the past. (Keep in mind, I modify rope “climbs” by laying on the floor to pulling myself up to a standing position because I have NEVER climbed a rope.) Then today, while rowing, a similar thing happened. I realized I was doing this little core crunch thing. It so surprise me that I almost squealed “Yayee for me!” out loud, as I was rowing!

Even though I am only rowing the 24 Workouts program just two days a week and it has only been for the last three weeks, I am pretty amazed at this ability to be cognizant of my exercise form as though it magically happened. By dragging myself to the box to do the work persistently and consistently, my ability to recognize my capabilities correlates to my fitness improvements.

To be clear, my recognition is far behind the fitness improvements but, it is coming along just the same. My motivation for working out is not for the love of how I feel, it is more so in that how I feel makes me remember the suffering is somewhat worth enduring or in other words, an effectual struggle.

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