Monday, October 20, 2014

But First, Coffee...

When I tell people that I coach CrossFit at 5:30 in the morning, I get a whole range of appalled faces staring back at me - generally followed by the 'how do you do that?!' question.  Coffee, people.  So. Much. Coffee.

But lately, when I've been waking up (at 4:30am) - I've been noticing that there are several distinct stages to the wake up process.  

Stage 1)  Denial.  

Is that my alarm clock?!  There is absolutely no way that it is already 4:30.  I just barely fell asleep.  

Stage 2)  Snooze.  

9 minutes more sleep will make my life better.  Just 9 more minutes.  

Stage 1)  Denial.  Round 2.  

Is that my alarm clock?!?!  No way it's been 9 minutes.  

Stage 2)  Snooze.  Round 2.  

9 more minutes.  I just need 9. More. Minutes. 

Stage 3)  Acceptance.  

Okay.  No more snoozing.  Must get up.  But at least there's coffee. 

Stage 4)  Hope.  

Wait.  Maybe class is cancelled.  I should check my email.  Maybe no one is signed up for our most popular class of the day.

Stage 5)  Resignation.  Round 2.  

Of course class isn't cancelled.  Okay.  Time to get up.  Must get coffee.

Stage 6)  Annoyance.

Dog crawls into warm spot in the bed.  I feed you AND pick up your poop - you should at least be up when I am up.

Stage 7)  Anger.  

Where is my sports bra?!  Why do I only have one sock?! Why didn't I get organized last night?! It's so much easier when I'm organized.  It's like I'm new.

Stage 8)  First sip of coffee.  

I officially feel sorry for people who don't drink coffee. This is amazing.

Stage 9)  Ready to roll.  

10 minutes, one cup of coffee, a giant to-go cup and some mascara.  Let's do this.

Stage 10)  Caffeinated enough to annoy the crap out of my athletes.  


That, my friends, is how you get a functional CrossFit coach at 5:30 in the morning.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Throwback Weekend

This weekend, I went back to Spokane for a quick trip down memory lane.  And by memory lane - I actually mean Cheney/EWU - my alma mater.  Okay, college was probably some of the best four years of my life.  And that doesn't mean that all the awesome stuff that has happened since or before doesn't matter - but I wouldn't trade my years at EWU for anything.  This weekend was so much fun - great time with great friends.  So glad I went.

That being said, this weekend made it grossly apparent that I am now officially an adult and not a 20 year old kid.  This is why:

#1) My appreciation of clean bathrooms.  


Let's actually make this more general.  My appreciation of clean spaces period.  I was in a sorority. Hands down - joining Gamma Phi Beta was one of the best decisions of my life.  But I'll be the first to admit that sorority and fraternity houses aren't always the cleanest places.  This weekend, I definitely had a moment of 'wait... were frat houses always this gross? is this a new thing?'.

Yeah... I'm pretty sure they were always that gross.  I was just impervious to the grime.  And I probably drank enough vodka that I was immune to the germs anyways (shh... don't tell).

#2)  The bar at 11:50pm.  

Okay - lies.

The bar at 9:45pm.

I know that I lost my cool factor like 5 years ago (maybe I never had it? Unsure), but seriously, I'm too old to show up at a bar later than 9:45.  At 9:45 - I'm pretty sure that if I'm not already out, I am probably in my sweat pants.  Old?  Yup.

#3) I actually go to the football game and care about who wins (us, obviously).  

When we were in college, I'm pretty sure that I went to approximately 50% of the games that I tailgated at.  EWU was only mediocre when I was living in Cheney and so, unfortunately, no one really cared.  We were way more concerned with how much beer we could drink (again... shhhh... don't tell!).

EWU games are a totally different beast than they were when I was there.  The tailgate situation is awesome.  The team is AMAZING. It's just so much more fun.

#4)  Day drinking is fun.  Until it's not.  

As an adult, there is a wall that I hit during day drinking. That wall is directly proportionate to the  amount of sleep I get the night before and the amount of food that I have eaten that day.  And for every hour that goes by - you should probably make sure that I have food - I'm like one of those guys in the Snickers commercials.

I officially hit a wall after the game.  And was tired.  And hangry.  And thirsty.  And a little bit car sick.  And therefore SUPER grumpy.

And THAT never happened in college.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

CrossFit Girls Guide to... The Rules for Dating.

Lately, I’ve had several conversations with friends about dating and what we are ‘supposed’ to do.  We live in these constraints of when to call, when to text, when to wait, what to say, what not to say.  But do these rules really matter?  Seriously.  Do they? 

I’m not sure that they do. 

Maybe I’m the wrong person to be questioning these rules, as I’m still very much the most single person alive. So I guess there’s a good chance that I’m doing everything wrong.  

I have to wonder – would things be different if we stopped living under this crazy cloak of fear that we are going to mess things up?  If we didn’t play these games of ‘I don’t want to seem too eager so I’m going to make them wait for a response’ or if we didn’t feel weird about asking for what we want – would that change things in our favor? 

I would love for someone to say what they mean and do what they say.  And if this just happens to be a hot dude who drinks whiskey and does CrossFit – even more the better. 

I’m pretty sure that I spend way more time that I should being concerned over what someone meant when they responded ‘Cool.’ to a text message.  I dwell.  I wish I could say that I didn’t – but I do.  And honestly, many of my friends do (dudes included).  And if we do, it means a lot of people do.

I have to think that some level of dwelling is natural.  I have spent the last year dwelling over something that I screwed up with someone who was actually pretty great.  See… I don’t just dwell over what other people do and say – I also dwell over the stupid stuff that I do.  We all do it – I think it’s just rare that we’ll admit it. 

I’m trying to be slightly less obsessive over the crazy unspoken (or spoken in hushed voices) rules that seem to rule the dating world today.  And I’d like to exchange these unofficial rules for a couple of official ones. 
  1. Don’t say ‘Drinks definitely’ if you don’t mean ‘Drinks?! Definitely!’
  2. Never use the words ‘I have quite a lot of board games’.
  3. The word ‘cool’ and the 'thumbs up' emoji, don’t actually mean anything.  Use your words. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Next 30 Years

Today is the last day of my 20s.  Holy crap.  Some things just sneak up on you - and 30 was one of those things.  

There were many things that I thought I'd have figured out by 30.  I thought I'd be married, I thought I'd be well on my way to kids, I thought I'd be well established in my career.  But it's like they say 'Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans'.  Seriously.  Nothing in my life is as I thought it would be on the eve of turning 30.  Even though I'm not where I thought I'd be, it doesn't mean I'm in a bad place.  My 20s included some of the best and worst times of my life, both which will be hard to duplicate in my next 30 years.  Let's recap my 20s, shall we? 
  • I graduated from college with some of the best friends and sorority sisters that I could ask for.  I literally couldn't have asked for a more awesome 4 years at Eastern.  It was incredible.  The friends that I made there are my sisters, my best friends, my soul mates - I could not ask for more from them.  The experiences that we had together were/are unforgettable (even the ones that we don't remember).  
  • I moved to Seattle.  This was supposed to be a 3-5 year venture.  It's now going on year eight and I can pretty much say that I've made this wet, rainy place my home.  I have made wonderful friends here (Fab 5 + Lisa!) and seriously couldn't imagine a world without them for happy hour, brunch, lunch, cocktails, cocktails, cocktails, and gossip.  
  • I fell madly in love.  At 24, I met the love of my young life.  Even though it was touch and go for years (y'all who were around then know exactly what I'm talking about), we pulled through and had the most incredible relationship I could have asked for.  Even though it didn't work out how we all hoped - it doesn't change the fact that Will was the one for me in my 20s.  
  • I got engaged.  IN PARIS.  That just doesn't get to happen to everyone.  I'll consider myself lucky for the rest of my life that I got to have that experience.  
  • I dealt with earth shattering loss.  And I survived.  Sometimes I don't know how.  But I did.  I kept seeing the quote: 'You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have'.  I don't even know if I can appropriately call me getting through that being strong - I just did what I had to do to survive.  And if I can make it through the loss of my person - I know that I can make it through pretty much anything. 
  • I found a new passion in CrossFit.  The loss of Will was soul crushing and CrossFit gave me something to be excited about again.  And now as I coach - I try to share that enthusiasm with our athletes (or annoy the crap out of people who just want me to shut up and let them workout.  It's 50/50 really.).  
  • I left my job and ultimately decided to start my own business.  If you can't do this at 29 - when can you do it?  Biggest professional risk I've ever taken.  But I'm happy again.  And I was miserable at my old job.  There is definitely something to be said for being happy and terrified. I'll take it over miserable any day.  
There were a lot of really exciting things about my last decade but I'm excited (albeit terrified) about the next 30 years.  I'm a different person that I was a few years ago - I'm older, stronger, and hopefully wiser   So let's see what's next... 

2014 CrossFit Open: A Recap

Let's talk about the 2014 CrossFit Open.  Now that it's over, I feel like I am much more able to look back at it objectively (as opposed to looking on it with sweltering amounts of hatred).  Let's take a look at each of the individual workouts and how they stacked up: 

14.1 - 10 min AMRAP: 30 Double Unders, 15 Snatches (55lbs)

I did this workout twice officially and once unofficially.  That may have been overkill.  But the first 'unofficial' time was really just to practice and I did it light (at 35lbs).  My first official attempt was terrible.  I probably spent 8 minutes doing double under attempts and I left the gym super irritated by the whole thing.  My third (and final!) attempt was significantly better - a 50 rep improvement and included a new PR of 30 unbroken double unders for me.  Yahoo!  This workout felt like an awesome start to the Open, it was a manageable weight, the movements were tough but doable and it did nothing but raise my level of optimism at this year's Open. (I should have known it would go downhill really fast.)

14.2 - A Terrible Concoction of OH Squats and Chest-to-Bar Pullups

It made me feel better that all but two people competing in the Open at Sound got scores of 10 because chest-to-bars were just not happening.  This workout was awful.  I can't get chest-to-bars and there wasn't really anyone who could even coach me through it.  I'm getting close enough to the bar - I just literally can't touch it.  Which is aggravating... and soul crushing.  This workout was a disappointment because I'm actually really good at overhead squats and I love doing them.  I wish they would have been paired with something else because I think I could have killed it.

14.3 - The Posterior Chain Torture Device of Heavy Deadlifts and Box Jumps

In what may be the most controversial Open announcement EVER - Dave Castro brought us an ascending ladder of deadlifts, where not only did the weight increase, but so did the reps.  CrossFit affiliates were outraged, even going to so far as to publicly announce that they would not be participating in such a terrible workout for their athletes (ironically, some of these gyms also have Regionals level athletes who had to complete the workouts in order to qualify - so I'm not sure how they worked around that.).  I, for one, was PSYCHED about this workout.  I LOVE heavy deadlifts.  I KILL at heavy deadlifts.  BRING ME MY TROPHY!!!!!!!!!!!  Okay... so that may have been a little bit overzealous of me.  I ignored everyone for days who kept telling me how bad it was for me and how much danger I was putting myself in.  Didn't care.  I LOVE DEADLIFTS.  

And then the day came to actually do the workout.  And holy crap - deadlift set #2 at 135lbs suddenly felt way heavier than it should.  And then 20 at 155lbs felt like approximately 1000lbs.  25 at 185lbs?  Barely made it through.  But I did.  And then I could barely walk for three days.  Okay... maybe these arguments denouncing this workout were justified.  

14.4 - The Chipper From Hell

This workout was just as labeled.  The Chipper From HELL.  Okay... it wasn't actually that bad if you like/are good at toes to bar.  Which I'm not.  Let me simply explain the physics of this to you - you have to touch your toes to the bar - above your head.  So when I'm standing - I can grab the bar when my arms are fully extended - that's what?  9 feet??  And I have to get my feet up there?  AT THE SAME TIME!?!?  No.  

This wasn't my proudest workout moment.  It also didn't help that I had gotten home from California two hours before, I was tired, I was hungry, I was cranky and my heart was just a little bit smooshed from everything going on. 

This workout was literally soul-crushing.  

14.5 - Never Ending Burpees and Thrusters

Because who doesn't like doing 20+ minutes of strenuous work under heavy load with no rest time?  Fuck you, Dave Castro.  Seriously.  A descending ladder from 21 of thrusters and bar-facing-burpees?   No.  This workout left good athletes sucking wind and wanting to die.  The great athletes finished like it was a warm up - but the rest of us struggled.  

Okay.  Here is my thought on this.  It seems to me that while Rich Froning and Sam Briggs were done in 8 minutes - the rest of us mortals were still in our sets of 18, 15 or if you were exceptionally lucky, 12, at the 8 minute mark.  But no one, except super star athletes were finished in sub 10.  How exactly is this a test of your fitness?  I seemed more to me to be a test of who doesn't puke.

To Recap: 
I actually really liked the first workout.  It was tough, it was  heavy, it was an overall physical challenge - but it didn't make you want to die at the end.  People could get through it (well... I guess if you had double unders - if not, you were spending 10 very frustrating minutes jump roping).  But the rest of the Open was pretty much awful.

The 2014 Open was soul crushing, body crushing and a killer.  Personally, I don't feel like a whole lot of these workouts were a test of overall fitness - but instead a way to definitely divide the super CrossFit athletes from the normal folks.  I have been lucky enough to have amazing athletes as friends - and they struggled through these workouts.  There was a clear dividing line between the athletes that would be moving forward to regionals and those of us who won't.  

Could I have trained more and done better?  Absolutely.  I'll be the first to admit that.  Honestly, this year's Open couldn't have come at a worse time.  Trying to get Brand M off the ground, dealing with my Grandfather's passing, and all of that - it was just a terrible time for me to try to focus on anything.  

Oh well.  Onto the next.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Toes in the Sand

This last weekend, I got to spend a much needed weekend in the sun in California.  I've needed a vacation for a while - but more than anything, I've needed some time in the sun.  This winter has been especially rainy and dark and as much as I love Seattle - there is a time when it starts to wear on you.  

I left on Thursday - it couldn't have been more horrible timing with my Grandpa going into the hospital.  I spent a lot of time on the phone with my family trying to decide if I was going to go to Idaho to be with him or keep my vacation plans.  These are, of course, the worst kinds of decisions to have to make as there really is no right choice.  After a conference call with my dad - we decided that I should still go to California.  Although there will some people who would argue that I made the wrong choice - I know that it was the right thing to do for me.  That being said - I probably wasn't the best version of myself on this trip.  

California is where my oldest and longest friend lives.  I have been friends with Diana for as long as I can remember - I literally can't remember a time when we weren't friends.  Her family has been my extended family and I'm glad I got to spend this weekend with them.  They don't care if I'm off my game or a little less social and smiley than normal.  

I headed to California with certain hopes for this trip.  And although I had a blast - it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for.  But... sometimes that's how the chips fall and I'm trying to be okay with it.  While I'm bummed about certain things - I'm thrilled that I got to spend time with Diana and her family, especially while I was going through everything with my own family.  Sometimes, when you can't be with your own family - you get lucky enough to have the next best thing.  

Santa Monica Pier 

At the Getty Villa

Huntington Beach
Because wine in the sun is better than wine in the rain.
#letmetakeanotherselfie (but this time I'm wearing a hat) 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The World Is Just A Little Bit Smaller

This weekend, the world lost someone who I was pretty sure was going to live forever, probably out of pure stubbornness and refusal to die.  My Grandpa passed away early on Friday morning.  He was the last of my grandparents still around - and that is inexplicably sad to me.  While I know he'll never get to see some of the awesome things left to come in my life - he was around for some of the cooler things that have happened in the last (almost!) 30 years.  

Grandpa and I have gotten pretty close in the last few years.  We talked every couple of weeks - sometimes longer, sometimes less - but nothing was better than this year when the Seahawks swept the Superbowl.  Grandpa (a lifelong Cowboys fan - even if 'that quarterback ain't worth nothing!') acquiesced that he could go for the Seahawks and even found the perfect hat: 
I didn't even send it to him.  I swear.  
Even though he was totally wrong about the score (31-17 Broncos) - I think we talked four times that week to debate the game and what we thought was going to happen.  

Grandpa had been there for almost every significant moment of my life.  High school graduation, high school sports (he even stood in the stands and yelled 'Run Forrest Run' at me when I did track - because that wasn't horrifying or anything), college graduation.  He made a trip over from Idaho to meet Will when we had our meet the family/engagement dinner.  He instantly liked Will and let me know that it would be acceptable for me to marry him and have him be part of our family.  When Will passed away four months later - Grandpa came to his memorial in MT.  I don't think that he really knew what to say - he just hugged me and then tried to get me to eat.  And eat.  And eat.  I think that's the way that he was able to show me he cared - by feeding me.  After, he called me a couple of times a week, just to check in and make sure I was okay.  I was obviously not okay - but having him call meant a lot.  Probably because I don't think he'd ever called me directly before - ever.  I was actually surprised that he had my number.  We had always talked when I called there - one of those 'check in with your elders' kind of things.  

Dad and I took a quick trip there this summer - I really wanted a chance to see him at home and have always thought that it's important to make the time to see family.  Life can get so hectic and so busy, but as his death has reminded me yet again, you never know when someone isn't going to be there.  I'm really grateful that Dad and I took that trip - not only did we get like 13 hours of daddy/daughter time time in the car (where he realized that I'm slightly less patient in the car than I was at 10 years old and that I will tell him to drive faster) but Grandpa got to show me around the house, show me his shop, and just generally show his granddaughter off to his friends.  All things that I think are more important to grandparents than they would ever admit out loud.  

It had never crossed my mind that my Grandpa wouldn't be there to see me walk down the aisle, or to have kids of my own.  He's been a constant fixture in my life forever - and he taught me how to fish (AKA letting me cast into the branches over and over and over again until he just started giving me the crappy lures because he knew I was just going to lose them anyways), and taught me to shoot (and discovering that although I'm right handed - my left eye is dominant which makes for a complicated aiming situation).  

Thank you Grandpa for the life lessons - especially: 'don't drive drunk', 'Run Forrest Run', and 'Romo sucks'.  You will be missed and loved every day.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A St. Patty's Day to Remember

Okay... in all fairness.... today isn't actually St. Patrick's Day.  But it was the St. Pattys Day Dash and that's practically the same thing.  We signed up for the 5K a couple of weeks ago and it was finally time to actually do it.  In the pouring rain.  And the cold.  Ugh.  Nothing screams 'Yay! I'm going to run a 5K' like rain and wet.  

Big bow ties?  Winning.  
So... confession time - we didn't actually run.  Except for the last 10 feet over the finish line.  We walked (but at a pretty quick clip!), drank our coffee, chit chatted, and gawked at costumes.  There were a lot of people in tutus.  And let me tell you... tutus droop in the rain.  

Best costume I saw?  Guy in a rainbow tutu and suspenders.  And that's it.  

Biggest perk of the race?  The beer garden.  I mean... do people even run 5Ks for any other reason??  

When there is drinking and revelry - there is also lots of left over plastic keg cups.  Therefore, there is also drunken artistic shenanigans.  

And I shall leave you with this.  Happy St. Patricks Day.  Wear your green tomorrow or I shall pinch you.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Truth About Shelter Dogs

We all know that for the last six months, I have been having a bit of a love affair with my dog.  Like the 'who needs a boyfriend when you have a dog' kind of love affair.  I have taken hundreds of pictures of her just being adorable and spent countless hours having doggie play dates, snuggling on the couch and just being ridiculous.  But what most people don't know is that my dog, Grace, is a rescue pit bull.  She's a mix of something else (probably lab) and I could have her DNA tested to see exactly what she is - but for the most part, she's a pit bull.  If you look at picture of an American Staffordshire Terrier - it's my dog.

Look how cute (and how pissed) she is. Go Seahawks!  We all wear jerseys in this house.
I've had a couple of friends lately who are looking to get dogs and I highly recommend for them to get a shelter dog.  I don't have any problem with purebred dogs that you get as puppies - my parents have always had labs and they are amazing, amazing dogs. But for me personally, I'll all about the shelter dogs.

Here are some things you can expect when you bring home a shelter dog: 
    • They'll jump all over you when you come home - even if you were only gone for 15 minutes.  Dogs have no sense of time, no way to read a clock and they are just so excited that you came back.  Shelter dogs have a reason to be excited - they were most likely left somewhere and their people never came back.  
    • They'll follow you everywhere and be unhappy when left alone.  Probably because they were left alone in their past life most of the time.  
    • They won't take treats in a polite fashion - most likely because no one has ever given them treats before.  If they were especially unlucky - they didn't know when their next meal was coming and it will take a while for them to realize that you'll always feed them.
    • It may take them a little bit of time to trust you - you don't know what their lives were like before.  Be patient.  It will happen.  
    • They will be amazing dogs. Even the 'aggressive' breeds are amazing.  Any dog can be taught to be aggressive but all the pits that I've met are more likely to roll over so you can rub their belly then to growl at you. 
    • They'll take over your life.  And your couch.  And your bed.  And you will probably step on one of their bones when you get up at 4:15am.  
    • They will love you more than anything else in the world.  Not only are you their person, but they know that you rescued them.  And if you are lucky, they will rescue you too.  
And for the people who didn't want my sweet dog or thought that she wasn't good enough or well-behaved enough or whatever.... thank you. She's a pain in the ass.  She eats my shoes.  She's peed and pooped and thrown up on the carpet.  My cats refuse to come out from under the bed when she's around.  But she also sits at my feet when I work.  She sleeps with her head in my lap.  She licks my face when she wants to get up in the morning.  She knows all my deepest, darkest secrets and I know she won't tell.   

Seriously.  Shelter dogs.  They will love you unconditionally because you are their person. And I am by no means saying that other dogs won't - not at all.  But I just look at the animals in the shelter or in rescues and it breaks my heart.  (And yes... there is a good chance that I've been sitting at home all day feeling crappy and watching a marathon on NatGeoWild that included at least one ASPCA commercial every 30 minutes.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What's Brand M?

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about what I've been up to since leaving the WBA - have I found a job, am I still looking for a job, am I freaking out?  Yes, yes and yes.  All of the above... yes.  BUT... I'm finally ready to announce what else I've been working on: 

I am starting up my own consulting company - Brand M Consulting LLC.  

Logo design by Bill Reilly Design. Yay!  Thanks Bill.

Holy shit balls.  I'm starting my own company.  Actually, I've already started my own company.  It's a real thing.  I own a company.  Or better... I am a company.  I'm the whole kit and caboodle.  And I have clients.  Clients.  Real clients who are paying me for my expertise.  WHAT?!

This is the most exciting and terrifying thing that I've ever done and therefore I'm simultaneously panicking and celebrating.  

So... what does Brand M do exactly?  At this stage - we are simply meeting our customers marketing needs and helping to create marketing plans and implementation strategies.  Specifically, we focus on social media, website content and marketing collateral.  There are obviously more specific details - but for the purpose of not boring you to death, I'll spare you the full descriptions.  

Even though I'm terrified, this is something that feels right.  I saw a quote (on a Lululemon bag of all things) that said 'If you wake up uninspired more than two days in a row - change your life'.  Doing this stuff - it inspires me.  I get to be creative, I get to work with amazing small business and start ups and help them achieve their dreams.  It's awesome.  My clients are small businesses with staff of 1-12 people - the kind of businesses that don't have huge budgets for marketing and need to make the most out of what they have.  I love coming up with creative ideas, writing blog posts and getting them involved with their communities - always a must-do for small business.  

I'm totally freaked out... but I'm happy.  I know that one client will lead to another as long as I continue to work my ass off and prove that I deserve it.  I have an awesome mentor who gives me great advice and I've had an awesome group of people supporting me from the get-go.  

It's awesome and I'm psyched.  So... go Brand M!!!  Hope that this explains a little bit more about my long hiatus from blogging and just about the crazy amount of work I've been doing lately.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Things I Learned This Weekend (Or Why My Neighbors Think I'm a Hot Mess)

This weekend was the wedding of one of my favorite couples.  You know those couples that you just knew were perfect for each other from the first time you saw them together?  This wedding was for that couple.  There was never any doubt in any of our minds that Julie and Danny were perfect for each other and their wedding was absolutely beautiful.  However, with every wedding that you attend, comes much anticipation and preparation.  I'm so jealous of men... suits on, run a hand through the hair and done.  We spend HOURS on preparation - not to mention the amount of time it takes to just physically get into the dress (which is never just as easy as putting on a pair of pants).  Being a girl sucks sometimes.  

Anyways... this is what I learned this weekend:
  1. Just because your adorable hair dresser can McGyver her broken high heels, doesn't mean that you can too.  Anything that involves super glue, pliers, and heavy books is probably not a plan that you are going to be able to do well in a time crunch.  At least not well enough to be able to put it on your feet and wear successfully for the evening.  
  2. Even if you think you are badass enough to McGyver your shoes - get a back up pair just in case your plan fails (as it almost inevitably will).  This will save you from having to make not one, not two, but three trips to Nordstrom in the course of the day with the last being in a panic 45 minutes before you are scheduled to be picked up.  
  3. Even though you've made it home, in one piece, and alone - it will still look like you are doing the walk of shame out of your own house in the morning.  Last night's pretty bouncy hair plastered to your face and mascara/eyeliner smudges all over.  It is times like this that you will inevitably run right into your neighbors and apparently the weekend guests that they had staying with them.  Awesome. 
  4. After you mumble something about having a wedding last night to try to explain your disheveled appearance, you'll get your dog in the car and go for lunch.  And by go for lunch, I obviously mean go to Wendy's (seriously, a Wendy's delivery service would make bank) - as nothing cures a slight hangover like a spicy chicken sandwich and a frosty.  
  5. It's also inevitable that you will return home from your adventure for lunch to find your neighbors still standing outside by your parking spot.  Shame is having to walk past them again - this time, with a giant bag of Wendy's goodness.  Especially because Wendy's is literally one block away - and you quite obviously drove there.
Awesome.  It's been an awesome day.  
My date and I practicing our sorority girl pose.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Coaches Corner: Snatches & Burpees

Hey yo!  It’s one week closer to the start of the 2014 CrossFit Open.  Who is with me?  
This week I’ll be going over burpee and snatch standards.  Who doesn’t love this wicked combination of movements?!

Before you start doing everyone’s favorite movement – we’ll need to set up a target.  The target must be at least six inches above the athlete’s fingertips when they are standing and reaching as high as possible.  Athletes must touch their chests to the ground at the bottom of the burpee and hit the target with both hands at the top.  Easy peasy, right? 

Snatches are a little bit more complicated.  And by a little bit more, I mean a lot.  Each rep counts once you have control of the barbell overhead.  Pressing out the arms at the top to complete the movement is allowed as long as the barbell does not touch the shoulders or head. Also, sorry to tell you – but you are responsible for loading your own weight on the bar.  If the workout includes a ladder – I’d recommend having all the weights that you need lined up and ready to go.  Doing math when you are hopped up on adrenaline is not something that anyone wants to do. Snatches must start from the ground and return to the ground at every rep.  

You can definitely expect to see these movements in the 2014 Open.  They will be brutal and you’ll want to quit.  Don’t!  You’ve got this.

Past Examples of Burpee/Snatch Workouts 
In 17 minutes
40 burpees
30 snatches (75/45)
30 burpees
30 snatches (135/75)
20 burpees
30 snatches (165/100)
10 burpees
AMRAP snatches (210/120)

AMRAP 10 minutes
30 snatches 45/75
30 snatches 75/135
30 snatches 100/165
As many reps as possible, 120/210

AMRAP 7 minutes

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Things Often Left Unsaid

It's that time of year.  The time where I need to take some time to recognize the most important person to ever come into my life.  Two years ago, I lost my fiance, Will, in a skiing accident.  I don't talk about him a lot but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him. I always hesitate to post about him - it's so unbelievably private and hard to share - but here goes.  

Tomorrow (Jan 22) is the actual date that he died but today is almost just as hard.  It's the last totally normal day that we had - filled with hair cuts, trips to the Post Office for wedding stamps, homemade dinner, and a bad made-for-tv movie.  Today is the day that I really miss him - tomorrow is a day I remember to be totally filled with chaos and shock.  Nothing about this week is easy - I don't think that it ever will be.  But I stay busy and smile and go about my regular life - all the things that he would want me to do.  Even when I'm older and hopefully have a family of my own - he will never cease to be a crucial part of my life and his death was one of the defining moments that made me who I am now.    

Will was my other half. He was that person who made my life complete and the last two years have been harder that I ever like to admit.  It's hard to explain, but you move forward knowing that someone can't come back - but yet you are still holding out hope that it could somehow happen.  

I remember him every single day and I know that I will for the rest of my life.  I'm a different person now than I was when I was with Will - neither is better, neither is worse - I'm just different.  It's impossible to go thru something like that and not come out differently. 

In November, Will was honored by the military by having a room at the European Command Center in Stuttgart, Germany dedicated to him.  During Will's time in Germany - he helped design and implement a communications suite.  It was a huge project and one that he was incredibly proud to be a part of.  I remember him talking about it almost daily during our long-distance phone calls and chat sessions.  He worked his tail off on that room and the military honored him by naming it after him.  

Will would be incredibly humbled and honored to have his name on a room that he worked so hard for.  It sounds so silly.  After all - it's just a room right?  No.  It's not just a room.  One of Will's best friends (who happens to be married to one of my best friends and is the reason that Will and I were together in the first place) sent me an email explaining to me just how big of a deal this is (and I hope he doesn't kill me for including it here): 
There are currently 10 Combatant Commands.  Each with a 4 Star General or Admiral in charge.  These commanders along with the service chiefs (top ranking officer of each service) run the DOD.  It doesn't get any higher than a Combatant Command unless you are at the Pentagon.   Will having a bronze plaque, dedication and room named after him is monumental.  To put things in perspective: I have served in the Navy for 18 years and have never known anyone to receive this honor and I have been fortunate to serve with a lot of great Americans that people refer to as Heroes.  There have been roughly 6,500 Service members who have lost their lives serving their country in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  I would guess less than a 100 have a bronze plaque with a room named after them.  Even less at a Combatant Command.  Think about this, 50 years from now meetings will be held in the William J. Barnette room.
I've always been proud of Will.  Ever since I met him over six years ago.  Everything he's done has made me proud to call him my boyfriend, my ex-boyfriend, my boyfriend, my ex-boyfriend (and so on and so forth for a solid two and a half years), and finally, my fiance.  We were together for just over four years at the time of his accident and no matter how mad at him I was - I was always proud of his dedication to his service to this country.  Because of this, we did most of our relationship apart - deployments, being stationed abroad - we did it all.  But because he loved this country so much and was so proud to be part of the military - I was proud of him.  And it was okay to be apart, because he was making a difference. 

I have never been more proud of him than I am now.  He has been gone for two years - but the things that people still say about him are incredible. He is making a difference, even in his passing - this room will be a crucial role in the military operations at that base from here forward and Will was an integral part in that.  
Will was the best person that I have ever known.  I remember telling someone that I knew I wanted to be with him because he made me want to be a better person. I feel that way even now - there is hardly anything that I do without thinking of him first.  I have lived my life since his death thinking about what would make him proud. He was one of the good ones - kind, compassionate, loving, smart, loyal, funny - everything that you want in a husband and a friend.  If anyone has ever deserved their name to be molded in bronze and installed on a wall at a DoD building - it's Will.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Coaches Corner: CrossFit Open Prep

It's time to start signing up for the annual CrossFit Open and therefore - time to start getting ready to kick ass in the workouts!  I've had a lot of questions about the Open is and how it works - below, you'll find some answers to those questions.  And every week for the next six weeks - I'll select a couple of movements you'll  likely see in the workouts and break them down to CrossFit standards for you, plus give you a couple of helpful competition tips.  If you have specific questions or want more information - shoot me an email or leave me a comment! 

CrossFit Open: What is it?
The 2014 CrossFit Games season begins with the worldwide Open competition. Everyone in the world is invited to compete in five workouts over five weeks, posting their scores online. In 2013, almost 140,000 athletes competed in the Open. Competitors will be ranked both worldwide and by region. The 48 fittest individual athletes and 30 fittest teams from each region will earn invitations to one of 17 Regionals.  The registration fee for the Open is $20 and you can sign up online at

How do I get judged?
Every Open workout needs to be judged to count. Athletes will be able to do the workouts at a specific time weekly at SoundCrossFit.   SCF coaching staff will serve as judges but individual athletes are also encouraged to take the online judging course.  Not only does completing the judging course allow you to serve as a judge for your fellow athletes – but it also helps to even better define what standards are expected of you as a competitor. 

When does it start?
The Open kicks off on February 27 and will run for five weeks.  Every Thursday at 5pm (PST), a new workout and demo will be posted online.  Competitors have until Monday at 5pm to complete the workout and have their scores posted and validated online. 

What should I expect?
The Open workouts are designed to test competitor’s physical strength and endurance.  Each of the five workouts will test different skills and the standards to complete the movements will be clearly laid out.  To see a full list of the 2012/2013 workout, visit the Games website.

What happens if I can’t finish a workout or lift the weights required?
No big deal.  You’ll be scored for as many Rx reps as you finish – and each workout has different requirements.   I want to encourage all of my athletes to try the workouts but I also recognize that some of these movements and weight standards aren’t manageable for all.  As coaches and judges – we will work with you to make sure that you are able to compete what you can without causing injury. If you can't quite complete a movement or make the weights - don't get down - you'll know what you need to work towards for next year! 

Movement Standards
Chest to Bar Pull-Ups
At the top, the chest must clearly come into contact with the bar.  At the bottom, arms must be fully extended.  Kipping and/or butterflying pull-ups are allowed as long as both of these standards are met. 
Make sure that your chest touches the bar below your collarbone to count for a good rep.
This is a standard barbell thruster in which the barbell moves from the bottom of a front squat to full lockout overhead. The bar starts on the ground. Use of the rack is not allowed. The hip crease must pass below the knees. A full squat clean into the thruster is allowed if the bar is on the ground.  To finish the movement, the barbell must come to a full lockout overhead with the hips, knees and arms fully extended, and the bar directly over the body.
Fully extended and locked out at the top.  Don't drop into your next rep until you hear your judge count your rep. 
Athletes competing in the CrossFit Open MUST be doing mobility at home on their own.  It is highly recommended that each athlete has their own foam roller.  Don’t have one yet?  Get one. Here are my Amazon recommendations

  • TriggerPoint Foam Rollers are excellent and run between $30-40 for a 13” roller. 
  • High density rollers are also available for $20.  They are a bit longer (usually 3') and can be harder to store for those in smaller spaces. 

Other great mobility resources? 

  • Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett.  Fantastic book with tons of mobility movements and tips.  $40 on Amazon - worth every penny!
  • Lacrosse balls.  These guys are so easy to carry around or put in your desk at work that there really isn’t an excuse not to have them!
  • CrossFit Coaches.  Ask any one of the coaching staff at your gym – they’ll be able to give you some good guidance.

Drink lots of water.  Water is crucial to recovery from competition.  Make sure you are drinking a lot of it – even on days that you aren’t working out. My tip? Get a 40oz bottle and fill it at least twice during the day. 

Nutrition.  Make sure that you are eating healthy.  Competing takes a lot out of your body – it’s crucial that you are giving it the best food and nutrients that you can.  Also – start taking a fish oil supplement.  It does wonders in helping your recovery.  It reduces inflammation and helps with blood flow – both things that will help after you’ve given a workout 110%.  Questions about fish oil? I found some good information here:  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Will You Compete?

Tomorrow is the day.  The day that registration for the 2014 CrossFit Open begins.  You can register up until the day before the first workout but the majority of us overzealous crazies will register early.  Somebody asked me the other day - 'are you trying to make it to regionals?'  Ummm... no. That isn't even on my radar.

So - why do I do it?  Why put myself through five grueling and painful workouts if I know I'm not going to 'win'?  Well. Lots of reasons.  

Here are the top five reasons why I compete (and why you should too):
  1. Because I can.  And really... anyone can.  The first workout in 2012 was 7 minutes of burpees.  ANYONE can do a burpee.  Don't let the weights and times of all the other workouts intimidate you.  Last year, a gal at my gym did almost 150 fourteen pound wall balls to a 10' target.  I don't know if she'd ever picked up a 14lb medicine ball, much less done a workout with it.  And she KILLED it.  That's the point of the open - to crush your limits.
  2. To beat myself.  Last year I came in 19,220th place out of the 27,820 women who completed all five workouts.  Awesome right? Okay... not that awesome.  But this year - I want to beat myself last year.  
  3. To compete with friends.  There aren't very many opportunities that you have to compete against your friends at the gym - trying to beat them while cheering for them to get one more rep.  You work your ass off, give each other sweaty hugs, and then you go have a beer afterwards.  It's the best kind of competition.
  4. To feel awesome.  Last year, I didn't think there was any way that I could do ANY of the workouts for the Open.  I was so intimidated.  The workouts are long.  The workouts are heavy.  But you finish it - and you feel awesome for finishing it.  
  5. Because why not?  Seriously... why not compete?  It costs $20 and you get to see where you rank against all the competing CrossFitters in the world. In. THE. WORLD.  Where else can you see where you rank against a whole world of athletes?  I'm not positive - but I think no where.  (Unless you are an Olympian.  And in that case - having you compete in the CrossFit Open is remarkably unfair and I protest.)  

So... have I convinced you?  Why will you compete?  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Total Case of the Mondays

Okay, I know that one of my 2014 goals was to blog more - and I'm already failing miserably. But here's the deal - I don't have that much exciting going on.  I feel lame just being like 'here's what I did in my workout today' or 'here's what I ate today'.  And unfortunately, there is no dating going on in my life.  Zilch.  

So... I don't have that much to say lately.  But here are few highlights of the last two weeks: 
  • I'm taking an Olympic Lifting class and it's kicking my ass.  However, I'd like to think that my snatch is getting a million times better.  Oh yes... I said it. 
  • While CrossFit will prepare you to 'not suck at life' - it will not prepare you to be an awesome ice skater.  As was proven by my weekend girls trip a couple of weeks ago.  Yowza.  I'm awful.
  • The Seahawks have done it again - cemented one of the reasons why I love living in Seattle.   I LOVE the team spirit in Seattle.  For those of you who live in Seattle (or have spent even a miniscule amount of time here), you know that Seattle is like a tiny town stuck in a big city body.  And the small town is super annoying when you can't go anywhere without running into the top ten people you never want to see but it's AWESOME on game days.  Everyone wears blue, everyone has on a Seahawks logo and the city practically comes to a stop when the game is on.  I love it.  It's hard not to be a Seahawks fan in this city.  Soooo... GO HAWKS!!!!!
  • The inventors of Cards Against Humanity deserve a medal of awesomeness. 
  • I finally got 10 double unders in a row - it may have been a freak accident.  We shall see.  
  • I never thought I'd say this but I'm ready for a new job.  I'm bored with being retired.  One can only look for jobs for so many hours a day.  It's exhausting.  And boring.  Did I mention it's boring???
That's about it for exciting highlights in the last two weeks.  Aren't you glad you're caught up? 

Also... I finally joined the modern blogging world and signed up for Blog Lovin'.  You can make it super easy to follow me here... <a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Thursday, January 2, 2014

And on to 2014!

Do you ever have one of those moments where you look around and think 'Holy Crap!!! It's 2014?!?! When did that happen?!?!?!'.  Ummmm... No?  Hmmm... 

Well.  I did.  Yesterday and today I've been pretty darn shocked that it's 2014 already.  And I'm pretty excited about it.  2014 is going to be my year.  It's totally in the bag.  I saw this yesterday and yes... just yes... 

It's going to be a good year.  I refuse to settle for anything less.  

So... what's up on the priority list for 2014?  I don't really do resolutions - that just seems to set me up for failure.  But I do have priorities for this year... most are private (as they should be!) but here are a few that I'm willing to share: 
  • Call my grandpa more often.  There will come a time when he won't be around to talk to - I want to make sure I take advantage of him while he's just a phone call away.
  • Be more organized and keep my house clean.  It's so easy for me to get cluttery (is that a word?!) - time to be a real adult... with an organization system. 
  • Spend more time in the kitchen.  In 2013, this came in waves - but since I've moved into my house - I really haven't cooked a whole lot.  I'm doing this in 2014!
  • Blog more.  You are welcome. 
Okay... enough about my 2014 goals.  I wish that I had something awesome else to say... but I don't.  It's been a slow couple of weeks. I did do the Polar Bear Plunge yesterday - that was awesome.  Even though I'll be the first to admit that I chickened out and didn't put my head under.  I learned two important lessons of polar bear plunges: 1) Wear shoes, and 2) Don't stop moving when you hit the water.  Next year, I'm going all in.