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July 29, 2009

You know what’s really silly about getting some muscle? I’m so happy to see some broader shoulders. I’ve always had sloping shoulders and shoulder pads were made for me. Now? Now I am no longer pear shaped. My shoulders balance my hips.

I have been so thrilled with broader shoulders that I updated my avatar in Second Life to have broader shoulders too! Yep, I’m silly.


Last Workout – Achievement Day!

July 27, 2009

I can’t believe I waited so long to post this. Last Friday night gave me quite the achievement day at CrossFit.I did some firsts, plus some personal records. I got to love that!

First, the warm-up. One of the warm-up exercises was something new. I had to jump over a 4-ft stone fence out by the parking lot to do the “Figure 8 run.” This is about a 400 meter run, but you have to jump over the fence a couple of times in the run. Now anyone who knows me, will understand that I’m not the type who easily jumps over the fence. In fact, I’m the kind of girl who looks for the gate. In this case, I went for it. No, I didn’t jump, but I did scramble up the fence and use my upper body to hang from the fence while pulling my legs over. It was not a thing of beauty. It probably was worth a laugh watching me gamely do this. But hey, I did it. Achievement 1.

Next was the first workout: 25 box jumps. Box jumps scare the bejeebus out of me. Throwing myself into space and hoping to land on a box is crazy. I’ve been doing step-ups instead of box jumps, but Friday? I did them. I bravely threw myself up on a a 12-inch box and had no problem Don’t laugh at me. Those 12 inches took some doing. So, I was set, wasn’t I? I’d do the 25 jumps onto this measly 12-inch box. Wait a minute there. Why look! There’s an 18-inch box nearby, right next to the big tractor tires. The 12-inches seemed too simple once I went for it. Could I go higher? With Lauren and Jamie’s encouragement (two great gals at CrossFit-Flagstaff), I gave it a try. I think I figured that those tires would stop my fall. I didn’t fall. I made it with no problems. I then did the 25 box jumps on the 18-inch box. I began to tire so did a few step-ups or a pony jump (one foot hitting the box before the other) near the end, but I did at least half of them correctly. Achievment 2.

The main workout was working on our deadlifts. One rep seven times, getting heavier and heavier. My last time I did this I got up to 69k. This time? 72k. A new record for me. Even better was that I beat both Jamie and Lauren’s weight. Now I’m not super competitive, but it is disheartening sometimes how bad I am at all of this and how good everyone else is. Jamie and Lauren both do this with gusto and can do a lot of movements at a higher weight and in less time. Beating their weight felt mighty good. I wasn’t the suckiest! Achievement 3.

We then pulled the 70-75% max of our deadlift for 20 reps. I used 51k (112 lbs) and did it in one minute flat. Not bad for an “old” lady. Achievement 4.

Here’s the link to the workout. Here’s the picture of the board. Look for my name: Erin. I’m not the best, but not the worst. Quite an achievement:


Needing to Move

July 22, 2009

No workout today. Though I planned to go to CrossFit tonight, my stomach had other ideas, so I’m home on the couch watching A League of Their Own. Hey, it’s got a sports theme, does that count towards physical activity?

Last night I did do some knee exercises, practiced push-ups, and tried to do some push-ups without jumping too much. Getting better on my doorway pull-up bar, but not quite there yet.

Tomorrow night I do want to make it to CrossFit. It’s been since Saturday and this is too long to go without doing something with intensity.

Walking the Dog

July 19, 2009

My workouts currently consist of three things: CrossFit classes, body exercises at home, and taking my dog Spencer for hikes. Spencer enjoys this last workout the best.

Spencer loves any version of a walk. Even if I just take him down to the end of the dirt road and throw a tennis ball he’s happy. Hiking through the woods takes longer and he can discover all kinds of great smells. Today he discovered something fascinating at the bottom of a tree. I don’t know what it was, but he dug around the area excited at something. The other day on our hike, Spencer chased a squirrel up a tree. Now when we go by that area he’s sniffing around again.

Yep, he definitely loves the hikes we take. I also find them a nice way to move my body.

Saturday Workout – Annie Are You OK?

July 18, 2009

This morning’s workout at CrossFit Flagstaff left me drained. After Thursday night’s 200 squats the last thing I wanted to do was cleans with a squat and wallballs, but that’s what we had today. For this monthly free and open to the public class, a lot of new folks showed up. They may show up again…maybe. It was a hard workout.

“Annie Are You OK?” was the WOD.

21-15-9 reps of:

  • Row (aim for calories to match the rep numbers)
  • Dumbbell cleans (25 lbs prescribed) – I did 10 lbs just so I could go fast and do good form.
  • Box jumps (yeah, I did step ups – I got to get over my fear of jumping on a box)
  • Kettlebell swings – I did the 26 lb kb.
  • Burpees – still not doing full push-ups with these
  • Wallballs – 10 lb ball and not much height

With so many people we were set up in teams. Courtney and Renee, both newcomers were in my team. For newcomers they hit it hard, and proved faster and better than me at these moves.

Each team member took a station. I started on the cleans, smartly thinking that finishing up with a row would be better than trying to knock out those wallballs, burpees, or cleans as my last move. I was usually the last one finishing up one of the stations, so the other women had a chance to rest while I finished. We’d rotate to the next move when all team members finished at their station.

What a miserable workout, but also fun. Whether it was the team environment, which usually puts me in a tizzy worrying about my teammates having to wait for me, or the moments of rest on the few occasions I waited for others to wrap up their move, this workout was fun.

I’m feeling it too. My quad muscles know that I’ve done too many squat movements in the last few days and are complaining about it.

Here’s the workout as posted and pictures.

Rowing and Squatting – Yikes!

July 17, 2009

Last night’s CrossFit workout made me miserable. It seemed so simple: four rounds of 400m runs then 50 air squats. Two different things to do and no barbells required. Well, it may have been simple, but it was one sucky workout for me.

As the last few WODs at CrossFit involved running, and my knees get “tweaked” by the runs, I asked if I could substitute rowing for the 400 meter runs. Lisa, a wonderful woman and coach, said “Sure – make it 500 meters for the rows.” She even gave me the option of not going below parallel with the squats. Did I take her up on that? No! Though let’s just say that some of my squats in the later rounds may have not been at depth.

I did all 200 squats, but never managed to get them done quickly. Three squats here, one squat there, until I got the 50 completed for the round. By the third round for me, most of the other CrossFitters were done. That meant the well-meaning cheering me on…

I hate well-meaning cheering on. Especially when I’m agonizing over how to chip out the squats one at a time. Sometimes the cheers are fine, but last night? I waved the folks off and closed my eyes — anything not to look at the cheering supporters and yell, “Fuck off!” Yeah, I was definitely in pissy mode. I was feeling those squats.

I got through the workout with a not so stellar time of 27:58. Almost everyone else finished up within the 15 to 20 minute range. Did I mention that I’m slow?

Worrying whether the squats funked up my knees, I came home and iced the suckers several times last night. So far, so good. The pain quotient did not increase — it’s maintaining it’s normal level of just letting me know that my knees aren’t perfect.

Here’s the workout on the CrossFit Flagstaff site. Lisa took a picture of me at the bottom of my squat and I’m definitely at parallel or below. I’m just not too upright. I’m leaning into that baby way too much:

It ain't pretty, but it's a squat

It ain't pretty, but it's a squat

Today’s a day off from work and CrossFit, so I’ll do something easy today and then head back for the free, Open class tomorrow. A co-worker may join me, and I’m just praying that it won’t be squat intensive. I’d like to look like I know what I’m doing!

Give Me Strength – Loving My Muscles

July 15, 2009

My fingers are crossed that the weather is not going to cause me to swelter in a pool of sweat., as cloud cover is cooling things off. May it stay cool tonight. The heat does mess with my motivation. I’ve not wanted to cook while it’s hot. Working out has also been a little inconsistent too. I do love me my CrossFit workouts, but only do them a few days each week and when it’s hot, I forgo any workout that I can do at home.

So, on the positive side, as someone who is going to CrossFit, I loved Mark Sisson’s post today about women and muscles, Primal Strength Training for Women: Not So Different After All. I’m aiming to build some muscle. I like the look of the CrossFit women that he uses as an example. He also shows some examples of muscles gone horrendously wrong. Yikes!

Every morning when I look at myself in the mirror I admire the muscles I’m seeing in my arms. I do that silly muscle-man pose and curl my arms up, tightening the muscles so they stand out. They may not yet be as distinct and cut as I’d like, but they may just get there. I don’t know if I’ll ever get rid of the under arm flab that really highlights my age, but I’ll be fine if it stays. For years I had to have my sleeves come down at least close to my elbows just to hide the flopping flab. Now? I’m willing to wear cap sleeves, especially if my deltoids and biceps display nicely.

My legs are also more muscular, but aren’t as defined as the arms. I can feel hard muscle in my upper thighs, which feels great.

I know that many women want a sleek and willowy look. Some want just a little definition with a thin look. Maybe because I’m older I just want strength, and muscles get me that way. The idea of using barbells and lifting heavier weights to get that strength appeals to me — no more tiny dumbbells!

It’s so hard to believe that a little over a year ago I couldn’t lift a 10-pound dumbbell without struggling. Of course, I only had fat to feel and see in both my arms and legs. Muscles were weak, strength was lacking. That was the past. Now, it’s all about building those muscles, female style.

Crossposted at