Friday, June 28, 2013

Life is Like a WOD (Wait. What?!?)

Let me get just a little bit pragmatic on you here...

I know that we've all heard the famous words of Forrest Gump "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get."  Okay... well that is definitely true, but let's face one fact: you are still eating chocolate.  And that, even at it's worst, is not THAT bad.  I've decided that life is really more like a WOD (for those of you who are unfamiliar with that - workout of the day).  Life is hard, and occasionally, we get dealt a really crappy hand - like seven rounds of running and burpees.  For each person it's different - we are all good at different things and cringe when we see others.  The thing is about the WOD - you never know what it's going to be until you walk into the gym.  You can plan on certain movements and work your butt off to improve them - but you can still be completely caught unaware when a workout calls for heavy weight and you are doing it in 95 degree weather.  Little things can totally throw off your game - and it's the same thing with life - just when you think you've got a handle on things, you get a total curveball. 

Somehow for me, dating has turned into one of the most complicated and dreaded WODs of them all.  Just when I think I have it totally in the bag - I get something like seven minutes of burpees.  Hellacious. L ife is killing me with burpees when really all I want is that elusive muscle up.  You know, the one that everyone else seems to have but you can't quite seem to figure out so you are left on the ground doing some wacky combination of dips and pull ups?!?  That's me right now.  Seriously.  Just one muscle up.  That's all I'm asking for. 

WODs are hard - they are meant to be. We do it because it's hard.  We do it because it kicks our ass and leaves us staring at the ceiling sucking wind.  We do it because of how we feel afterwards - relieved, exhilarated, accomplished, bad ass, the works. We excel at certain movements and revel in our ability to kick that WOD's ass while others leave us flat on our backs begging for it to be over.  How is that not life?!  There are highs and there are lows and if you are really lucky (and is my wish for everyone!) - the highs significantly outnumber the lows.

One of the biggest perks of CrossFit is knowing that there is an end in sight - workouts aren't that long and you really can do anything for a short amount of time - no matter how bad it is (even burpees... blah).  Keeping a positive "I can do this" attitude - even while you are getting your ass handed to you (by the WOD or life in general) - can save your life (and the sanity of those around you).   Be positive - you've got this.  

True story. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tough Mudder Whistler (or... Where the *%@! is the Finish Line?)

Well... it happened.  We've been talking about the Tough Mudder for six months and it finally happened.  Phew.  Let's just summarize, shall we?  

First off... Tough Mudder is hard.  I knew it was going to be hard.  But it was harder than I expected.  Mostly because I didn't take into account that the Whistler mudder was at higher elevation and ON A SKI HILL.  Duh, Danielle.  Duh.  At one point we walked straight up the mountain... well... normal people walked.  I was practically crawling at that point.

I was pretty much a nervous wreck pre-race.  I've never done anything even close to this... starting with a Warrior Dash or Spartan Race may have been a good course of action - but since when have we ever done things the easy way?  Oh yeah... pretty much never.  We didn't rename ourselves Team Bad Decisions for nothing.  I had pretty much every nervous tic possible during our bus ride to the race - finger twitching, nail biting, the works - go me. 
Look at how nice and clean we are. (Please note that this was also the last time for the next four hours that we were warm and dry.)  Notice the matching socks/headbands.  We also had wristbands.  I decided that matching outfits were totally necessary and was vetoed on t-shirts.  Next time... next time...
Some things I learned during the race?

1) I am not an endurance athlete.  Never have been and odds are good that I probably never will be. My lack of running prowess made me the weakest link on my team (sorry guys!).  Being the weakest link is never a good feeling - I actually feel really terrible about it.  I really did my best - but the hills kicked my ass.  Running up a hill covered in 10lbs of mud was not my favorite thing.  

2) You really can do anything with an awesome group of people.  I would not have wanted to do this race with anyone else and honestly, I don't know if I could have.  I just really can't say enough about doing something that terrifies you with people who are super supportive - especially when you are practically peeing yourself with fear while contemplating jumping off a 20' ledge.  Also, having someone to hold your hand or literally push your ass up a hill is extremely helpful when you are exhausted. 

3) 65 degrees is NOT WARM.  Especially when you are soaking wet and climbing up the mountain.  

4) Even your teammates will tackle you into the mud right before the finish line.  True story.  

5)  Apparently - I bruise like a peach.  I look like a victim of domestic abuse and will not be wearing sleeveless apparel for a while.  Look:

Ouch.  Oh... and I am SUPER pretty today.
But look... we finished!!!  YAY!!!
I'm not 100% sure why I look all grimacy.  Maybe it's because I'm freezing.  Maybe it's because I'm still reeling from the fact that Jess tackled me.  Pretty sure I'm probably just freezing. This is my 'I'm cold and trying to smile' face.

Here are miscellaneous other event pictures for your viewing pleasure: 

We were obviously taking our photo session less seriously than the guys did.
At this point - we are at the 'get us out of here and into a hot shower' stage.
Overall - Tough Mudder Whister was AMAZING.  Hard, painful, torturous - but amazing.  I am so glad that I did it - and I am so proud of us all.  

Hmmm... other tidbits from a weekend in Whistler?  

Canada is gorgeous.  See?

We saw a bear.  True story.  Maybe 50 yards away (but I really think it was closer). 
That black spot in the distance?  It's a bear.  Apparently you are supposed to speak firmly to the bear while staring them down.  We chose the back away/stand and stare option. 
I went on the Whistler Blackcomb Peak-to-Peak gondola and didn't throw up OR have to hold someone's hand.  Total victory.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kitchen Disaster. Part 1

I name this post Kitchen Disaster Part 1 in anticipation of there being many more to come.  I don't actually have anything to follow this up with - so don't hold your breath for Part 2 quite yet.  

Let me just start by saying that I am actually a really decent cook - even borderline good on some dishes.  Lately however, this has not been evident.  Earlier this week, it was the disaster with the pulled pork (but I can't actually tell if it's bad or if I just don't like it).  Today, it's salmon.  Oh salmon.  

Okay... turns out, I've never actually cooked salmon.  Ever.  Other people have cooked it for me.  I've watched them, I've helped prep things - but actually cooking it?  Not so much.  I bought a delicious looking piece of salmon in the hopes of making salmon burgers that I could eat over salad or with avocado.  Well.  I suck in the kitchen.  Let me tell you why: 

Salmon has skin.  I know, WHAT?!?!  And in all the episodes of Top Chef that I have watched (and it has been A LOT) - it always looks SO easy to skin a fish filet.  Well.  That's a big fat lie.  It is HARD.  And messy.  And you actually have to touch the fish.  Ew.  (Sidenote: My grandpa would be so proud of me - pretty sure he used to get super annoyed when we would go fishing and I'd reel in the fish and then let it hang there until he or my dad got it off the hook for me.  I wasn't going to touch it.  Fish are slimy.)  Well... that hasn't changed.  Fish are still slimy.  But apparently if I want to eat them, I have to put my big girl panties on and suck it up.  But still.  Ew.  It's a good thing I decided to make burgers and not try to have a pretty fish fillet - because I MUTILATED the damn thing.  It was like a mini fish massacre in my kitchen.  Ew.  So many ews.  (Another sidenote: here is a helpful website on how to filet a fish.)

This is not remotely what my fish looked like when I was done.  Not even a little bit.  I thought about taking a picture of it... but frankly, it was horrifying.  Total fail.
The recipe that I found for salmon burgers seemed relatively easy:  salmon, capers, coarse ground mustard, almond meal, s&p.  Easy right?  First up - a trip to Fred Meyer to find capers as it's one of the things I forgot on my shopping list.  Helpful hint for the day: capers live with the pickles at the grocery store.  That will save you 20 minutes of wandering around.  

So I run my salmon through the food processor a little bit until it's ground, stir in the other ingredients and fry them up in a little bit of coconut oil.  Sounds easy.  Well.  Let me educate you on coconut oil.  Coconut oil is not a high temperature oil and begins to smoke incredibly quickly.  Do you see where I am going with this?  Let's just say my entire house smells like burnt coconut.  I have no idea how my smoke alarm didn't go off - maybe it's tired after getting it's exercise with my crispy bacon this morning (oh yes... that happened.  AGAIN.).  I also seriously overcooked the burgers and must come up with some sort of sauce for them. Sauce seems to be the answer to all of life's questions right now.  Damnit.  

Anyways... off to coach. Whoever said an overcooked salmon burger and a banana don't qualify as dinner is wrong.

Cooking for One? Not A Chance.

I try not to spend a lot of time ranting about the joys of singledom, but let me just take a minute to share my most recent complaint: 

I am ALWAYS cooking for two even though I am just one.  And I refuse to buy a 'Cooking for One' cookbook.  That's just sad.  One may say "Bonus!  You always have leftovers!".  Well... this is only good in a couple of scenarios: 1) it would taste decent the next day (hot or cold), and 2) what I made was actually edible in the first place (questionable at best).  As almost everyone in the Facebook universe has recently learned - this week I made 3 lbs of pulled pork.  Well... 3lbs turns out to be A LOT.  And although I got some really good ideas from people on how to prepare and eat it for the rest of my life - there is one really big stipulation that I forgot to mention - I don't actually like pulled pork.  (Yeah... I kinda forgot that before I made it too.)  I REALLY like pulled pork sandwiches that are drenched in BBQ sauce - but that's is because I REALLY like BBQ sauce.  Moral of the story?  BBQ sauce is not allowed on my current diet because of the ridiculously high sugar content (which is probably why I like it in the first place).  So I have approximately 2 1/2 lbs of meat in my fridge that I don't even like.  Shit. 

So there's that. 

I'm attempting to plan out my meals a week in advance so I only have to go to the grocery store once.  This is great... assuming that you remember a pen to cross off your items and don't end up missing at least half a dozen because they all blend together on your list of uncrossed out items.  Total fail.  The end result of meal planning?  TONS of food.  Not enough Tupperware (who wants to go to Costco this weekend?!). Desperate cravings for things that I didn't include in my week of meals resulting in even more trips to the grocery store.  Huge appreciation for my mom being able to do this while I was growing up - I can barely successfully feed myself - the idea of feeding an entire family every day makes me feel like hyperventilating.  

Anyways... enough about food.

Other miscellaneous life items for your enjoyment: 
  • I do not need to date someone who is CrossFit obsessed but for the love of all things holy, if I meet one more guy who says 'You do CrossFit? Does that mean you can beat me up?', I'm going to run him over with my car. 
  • Coaching is going spectacularly well (or at least I like to think it is).  I'm not 100% sure that the athletes in my classes think I'm as funny as I think I am... but that's a whole different story.  People are learning, people are lifting and no one has gotten hurt on my watch.  Winning!!
  • Whatever moron makes women's dresses with the zipper in the back was obviously in a relationship.  Now that it is summer/dress season - I have had way too many days where I have to come to work half-dressed and have a coworker zip me up.  And yes... I'm aware that they make hooky things for zippers so I can take care of it myself.  Just put those is in the same category as cookbooks for single people. 
  • Tough Mudder is next weekend.  Am I prepared?  Not so much.  I've run three times in the last month.  Does that count as training?  No?  Shit.  However, I am super psyched to go to Whistler, hang out with some of my favorite peeps, and get a little dirty.
  • I had a date last night that didn't suck.  YAY!  Either my dating expectations have been significantly lowered or this guy was actually really fun.  (I'm leaning towards the latter.)  This is a huge improvement off of last week's terrible date that resulted in a 'I'm going to be 30 and single FOREVER' bout of grumpiness that everyone who talked to me at the gym on Saturday morning was lucky enough to experience. Whoops.  Sorry guys.     
  • I need new workout shoes.  I am going through shoes like crazy and it's been months since I got new ones (and my oly lifters don't count).  Any suggestions?  I'm thinking about Nanos... but I really love my Nike Frees.  Life dilemma. 
Darn right.
Umm... I think that's it.  Adios peeps.  (Yes... I know that this post was more of a 'life update' than actually being useful to anyone.  My bad.  I will work more on useful information.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hot Yoga is Hard, Part II (And... Why I Need To Workout More)

Yes... it's been a while since I posted.  Let me just tell you - I have been crazy busy on top of being sick and exhausted for the past few weeks.  I feel like since I came back from Dallas - it has just been go, go, go - and I'm beat.  There have been quite a few things going on - so let me just try to quickly summarize:
  1. I have spent more hours at the gym lately than hours I've been home and awake (sleeping hours don't count). The awesome news is... I start coaching on my own on Tuesday!!!  YEAH!  I'll be coaching the 6:30/7:30pm classes on Tuesday for the month of June as well as some other classes thrown in when we need someone to fill in.  I'm psyched about it.  So... if you want to witness my glorious debut in person - 6:30pm on Tuesday.  Can't wait. 
  2. I have been sicker than I'm willing to admit (direct quote from Dr. Tara).  I have been exhausted and just run down and went to the doctor a few weeks back to find out what was wrong.  She tested me for everything under the sun - Vit D deficiency, anemia, epstein barr, a whole bunch of other stuff I didn't understand - AND... turns out I have mono.  MONO!?!  Who gets that who isn't in college or high school? Well... me apparently.  Before the kissing jokes start - I wish I got it that way.  No sir - I am not that lucky.  I simply got it from having a cold, getting run down and having it turn into something ugly.  Awesome.  And I've had it before in college... but then, (Mom/Dad - skip this part!) I definitely got it from too much drunken boy kissing. Whoops.  So... for those of you who say you can't have mono twice - you're wrong.  And no... I probably haven't been taking care of myself like I should be.  I'm still working out - I'm still going to work - I'm still having to act like a normal adult.  I'm just napping a lot.  Sometimes on the floor of my office. 
  3. I'm house hunting.  Which is so stressful.  I hate it.  Trying to find a place I want to live for the unforeseeable future makes me all cringy.  It should be exciting - but I find it overwhelming and nerve wracking. 
  4. I've just in general been an emotional wreck.  Being tired all of the time will do that to you.  I've found myself wanting to retreat into my house and hide from the world - but I'm too busy to do that (which is probably a good thing).  I'm trying really hard to keep it together all of the time and am so grateful that I have some of the most stellar friends who know exactly what to say when I'm feeling all blah-ish. 
  5. The end result of items 1-4?  No time to blog.  Or cook.  Or date.  Or do anything besides sleep, work, or do CrossFit-ty things.  BUT... it's June now.  So I'm making time.  Starting now.  
 Moving on...

Today, I went to hot yoga.  I bought a Groupon a while back for Urban Yoga Spa - it's conveniently located a block from my office so I figured I could go one day a week after work to their 4pm class.  Well... turns out this hot yoga is significantly hotter than the other yoga place I went to back in April.  I spent at least 45 minutes of the 75 minute class laying on my back on the mat trying to figure out how I was going to get to the end of class without dying, or at the very least, passing out.  So hot.  So uncomfortable.  This place uses infrared heat - which should have been a sign that I was going to be massively unhappy about 5 minutes in.  I felt like I was in a slow roaster.  It was awful.  I did approximately 12% of the moves.  Holding a plank in 110 degrees? No thank you.  It's questionable on whether I will be going back to take advantage of the remainder of my pre-paid visits.  Ugh.  

On the positive side - I'm hoping that all the sweat helped release some of the icky sick toxins floating around my body.  So... hot yoga was either a really good idea... or a really bad idea.  Stay tuned.

On another CrossFit-ty note...

This weekend, the coaches at SCF went to watch the NorthWest Regionals and holy god, those athletes are INCREDIBLE.   It was definitely eye opening for me and made me want to go to the gym immediately and start doing more athletic things.  (The irony is that I haven't actually gone to the gym since... but I'm going tonight... I swear.)  Workout #4 for the men/women was 100 wall balls, 100 pull ups, 100 pistols, 100 one-armed DB snatches.  Yowza.  We watched at least 10 heats - so you can do the math on how many that is.  A lot.  Not going to lie... I was ready to see a different movement by the men's second heat.  (Bonus fact for the day: most of the men's heats did it shirtless.  Hello!)

It seriously makes me want to get into the gym more to work on skills - need to figure out when exactly I can squeeze in extra hours of gym time on top of my already packed schedule.  

I am also thrilled with the results of regionals - Rory Zambard was one of my Level 1 Cert trainers and she kicked ass at regionals and is moving on to the Games.  So excited to watch her on TV (and you had better believe there will be some sort of CrossFit Games viewing party somewhere...).  She was the instructor who worked with me on squats - my quads hated her - but my squats have improved a million times over since that course.  Yay!!! Go Rory!
This isn't actually relevant.  I just love the fact that she's carrying him like it's no big thing.  (And also the fact that he looks slightly panicked.)  Partner carries anyone???