Lessons Learned from My First CrossFit Competition
This past weekend I had my first ‘real’ CrossFit competition (meaning, one outside of my own gym). While I didn’t place well, I felt good about my overall performance and truly had a wonderful time with my fellow CrossFitters. Along the way I learned a few lessons that I will be applying going forward and will hopefully benefit me during the Granite Games this October.
1) Go big or go home. I am still recovering from my back injury a few months ago, so I signed up for the scaled division. I knew it wouldn’t be as big of a challenge, but I have a big competition in October and didn’t want to reinjure myself. The problem is that it didn’t force me to push myself and I didn’t do as well as I could’ve because of it. If I could go back, I would have signed up for RX and taken a beating knowing that I was putting it all out there.
2) Compare yourself to others. I honestly set out for this competition with the thought that I didn’t want to worry about anyone else, only what I was doing, and I think it ended up hurting me more than helping me in the end. Though it’s good during regular workouts to focus on yourself and not try to compete with others at your box, it does help fuel your fire if you know someone is hot on your heels or blowing you out of the water. Had I paid attention, I would have turned up the gas a lot more than I did.
3) Be prepared, but don’t set goals. Bring the right shoes, remember to hydrate, practice the skills involved in the WODs, but don’t set goals for the actual WODs. I went into each WOD wanting to hit a specific number, so when I hit those numbers I was satisfied and basically patted myself on the back for it. I wonder though - had I not set those goals, could I have done 30 thrusters instead of 20? I’ll never know.
4) CrossFit is still about more than how you do during the WOD. CrossFit is one of the most unique sports in that I’ve never seen competitors treat one another with such true admiration and respect. We are all out there just doing our best, and it’s amazing to cheer others on and to feel that same support when you are in the middle of your workout. I got my ass handed to me this weekend, but the support from my peers was overwhelming, and I never stopped cheering on the same people who were killing me. It’s amazing to know that this sport has much more to do with community than it does actually winning anything.
5) Move on quickly. I stewed over my performance for far too long this weekend. It didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but it didn’t change the outcome no matter how much I analyzed it. Could I have done things differently? Absolutely. But I can’t take back what has already happened, I can only apply it to future outings. All you can do is learn from your actions and move forward. The stewing will only cause frustration and in the end this is supposed to be a fun way to stay in shape, not another thing to get frustrated by.
So, that’s my general wrap-up. If you want to know more about the structure of the competition or the workouts, just let me know!
I read an article a couple of weeks ago about how if vegans stopped fighting against the HSUS the factory farming industry would have a real situation on its hands. This article got me thinking about all of the vegan in-fighting that I’ve seen since I’ve become vegan and it made me much more aware of how much of it is going on around me right now.
All I can say is this: We are on the same team. I know not all vegans are like this, but it seems that many of the people making comments online are very extreme (one way or another) in their veganism. Who cares if you eat oil? Who cares if you eat gluten? I may even eat an Oreo every now and again (gasp!) - who cares? Seriously? As long as you aren’t contributing to the suffering of animals I don’t care how you treat your body because it’s just that - yours.
Forgive me if I’m being too blunt, but seriously, we need to get over ourselves and stop thinking that one vegan diet is superior to another. If you went vegan for your health then of course you aren’t going to be eating tons of processed foods, however, not everyone goes vegan for the same reasons and I think that’s the most important thing we can take from this.
We should celebrate our differences and come together as one force so we can go up against our real enemies. Just as we practice compassion towards animals we should practice it towards each other.
In the last couple of months I’ve read the following:
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Beauty Queens is a YA book about teen beauty queens who get stranded on an island and caught up in government conspiracy. While the book is definitely written towards teens the concept was cool and I ended up enjoying it.
The $100 Startup is a business and self-improvement book that is a must-read for anyone who has ever wanted to start their own business or work for themselves. Lots of practical tips, reality checks, and inspirational stories.
Meditations deserves a post of its own, which I will do in the near future.
It’s been a while since I’ve written an update to the books I’ve been reading so far in 2012 - mostly because I haven’t had much time to read :( Also, I’ve been sort of unmotivated to read a full book, opting for lots of magazines and blog reading. However, I’m back in action, vowing to read a book a week for a while (we’ll see how long that lasts).
I was able to knock another book off the list though, The China Study is done. It was sooooo dense that it took me quite a while to finish it, and it was a bit boring, to be honest. However, I am almost finished with a similar book Healthy Eating, Healthy World by J. Morris Hicks and while it does cite a lot of research by people like Campbell, it is so much more engaging and interesting to read. Glad I picked that one up.
Another book that I finished that wasn’t on the list is A Visit from the Goon Squadby Jennifer Egan. While there was a lot of hype about it, I actually thought it got off to a pretty slow start. But once it picked up I was completely engaged with all of the characters and felt vested in them, which is something that’s rare for me. Definitely recommend it. And while you could argue that Egan simply uses every literary trick in the book (literally) to put this story together, it all works, even if it does seem excessive at times.
I’ve been adding quite a bit to my list since the beginning of the year, but I think Alcetis is next on the docket.
I sent out a recurring meeting request for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am - 10:10am to everyone in the wellness group so that we could get up from our desks for our breaks and take a nice walk around the building.
What started as 2-3 people is growing every week - yesterday we had 7 people join us for our walk. Not bad numbers considering much of our office isn’t even in by 10am. I’m hoping the numbers will continue to grow.
Sitting has been proven to shorten our lives and take a toll on our health - why shouldn’t be try to combat that by walking for a few minutes each day? Also, it’s the first step in showing people that exercise doesn’t have mean putting on running clothes and working out hard for an hour or more. Exercise can simply be taking a leisurely stroll during your 10 minute break at work. Simple steps…
Took some people from the wellness group on a run last week. One of the girls ran her first mile without stopping for the first time in her life! The other ran the entire 2.5 miles without stopping when just 6 months ago he couldn’t go more than .5 without being out of breath and in pain!
So exciting to see progress in the people that are trusting me to guide their journey to better health and wellness. Love seeing where they are at to start with and enjoy in their small victories along the way
Today was the first Wellness Warriors meeting at work. I had a great turnout (20 people in a company of 70) and everyone seemed really excited about it. Today was just informational - I also handed out a survey to see what the needs of the group were. Looking forward to reading through the surveys and planning our first meetings and activities!
I got the green light from my boss today to start my wellness group at work. I’m so excited to start sharing my knowledge with my coworkers - as many of them have been very curious about health and wellness topics lately. I’ve been getting a lot of the same questions so I finally reached out to my boss about starting this group.
After some planning and discussion I got the ok to start getting people signed up and start planning some of the group meetings. Here are a few of the activities I have been brainstorming about doing with the group:
Guided group discussions about health/fitness related topics
Presentations on various related topics (as decided on by the group)
Doing a grocery store tour to show people how to shop/where to find things
Training for the Gorilla run (a work sponsored charity race)
Mini-cooking sessions – showing people how to prepare certain foods/recipes
Creating shopping lists based around planned menus
I’m really pumped for this to get off the ground. It’s something I’ve been thinking about ever since I got my nutrition certification and I’m so glad I took the leap to actually writing up and submitting the proposal!
I finished up another book this weekend: Catching Fire - the 2nd in the Hunger Games trilogy - I also started the 3rd - Mockingjay.
I’m really pleased with my reading progress so far this year. I feel like I might actually read all of the books I wanted to this year, which is great because then I can start adding new titles! Any suggestions?
Hi everyone! Just wanted to let you know that I’ll be posting a lot of my day-to-day experiences involving my Leapyear Project over on Cowbird. It’s a fantastic site and it allows for a beautiful storytelling experience! I hope you’ll take a look and follow my journey throughout this year!
So, yesterday I stumbled upon this movement called The Leap Year Project. If you want to read up on the whole thing, you can check out their site, but basically it boils down to finding something that is a risk for you and taking the LEAP! into it this year (as 2012 is a leap year).
For me, it couldn’t have come at a better time. My rage was set off yesterday by the announcement that Susan G. Komen would pull all of it’s breast cancer screening funding from Planned Parenthood (for obvious, conservative reasons which they claim are untrue). I was not only upset by their blatant political move, but also by the way that this would continue to marginalize the poor. The gap continues to widen between the haves and have-nots and it’s a frustrating thing to watch. Should access to healthcare really be something that politicized and monetized? I have a hard time digesting the fact that in order to live a healthy life you have to have money and support the ‘right’ political parties. In fact, it makes me physically sick to think about.
But I realized my rage was deeper than this one incident.
Over the last year I’ve transformed my life through improving my diet (first going vegetarian, then vegan) and my fitness (I ran my first 5k and 10k last year). I was so profoundly changed by these events, that I decided to help others do the same by getting certified as a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Because of these things, I’ve become so much more aware of the nutrition and health issues around me.
Everyday I see people who are overweight, sedentary, lacking medical insurance, and struggling to live the life they’ve always dreamed of. And it’s this that sets off my rage. My rage is not guided at the individuals who are struggling, but at a system that has done it’s part to fail them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dismissing personal responsibility here, but the system hasn’t helped them at all - it’s probably made things worse.
With the Leapyear Project for support, I’ve decided to take my rage and channel into actually working to improve upon these issues, rather than just sit with my feelings and get more frustrated than I am already.
My risk for 2012 and the Leapyear Project is pretty straightforward: Improve the health and wellness of my community via group discussion, one-on-one consultations, film screenings, and other forms of outreach. The two main things I want to accomplish with this project are 1) Help everyone in my community understand how diet and health are related and how they can take charge of their own health without having to rely on the broken healthcare system and 2) Support local organizations that are already doing their part to better the health and wellness of those in our community (Planned Parenthood included).
This project is a risk for me, because it may subject me to a lot of negative criticism about the validity of a vegan diet, my personal morals, and various other deeply personal values that I hold near to my heart. However, for me, the risk is worth the potential reward: an awakened awareness of how we are in control of our own health and the refusal to politicize a basic human right to living a healthy life.
I will be chronicling most of this journey here, on twitter, and several other media sites. I’m open to your thoughts and suggestions - but I will not support hatred - so please think before you respond.
I will be posting more specific goals and tasks over the next week or so. I look forward to working on this project and hope you will take a LEAP! of your own this year!
Ok, this really rubs me the wrong way. Firstly, SGK has already ‘pinkwashed’ everything possible - thereby profiting from a serious disease which they are supposed to be helping finding a cure for. Now, they’ve decided to pull funding for an organization that uses those monies for breast cancer exams for low-income women. Nice work SGK - just what we need, a bigger gap between the healthcare of the rich and poor.
This is by no means a complete list, but it is a good base for me to start with. Some of these goals I want to accomplish by my birthday (March 1st), others are year-long goals. Again, I will continuously add to this list as I find goals I want to reach.
Do 7 consecutive pull-ups (March 1).
Do 50 consecutive push-ups (March 1).
Do a back walkover unassisted.
Do a handstand push-up.
Do a pistol squat.
Do the splits 2 ways.
Maintain my current weight.
Eat more raw and whole foods, while eating much less processed and refined foods (such as white breads, pre-packaged foods, etc).
Juice fast for 2 days per month.
Run at least 4 races - any length.
Go mountain biking at least 2 times per month in the summer months.
Continuing my post series on year-end wrap-up/new year goals I wanted to revisit some of my fitness achievements from 2011. It was a big year for me as far as fitness and nutrition goes and I hope that 2012 will be even bigger and better. Here are a few things I accomplished this year with regards to my personal health and fitness:
Ran 4 races including: 2 5k, 1 5.2k trail race, and 1 10k. I started running for the first time in my life in March and I finished the 10k in 54:29 - so I’d say it was a success! If I can do it, anyone can - trust me.
Lost 20 lbs since March (majority of which was lost via Wii Fit - no joke). I am now at my goal weight and continue to work on toning and sculpting.
Did 4 pull-ups consecutively - have never been able to do even 1 in my entire life.
Did 30 push-ups consecutively.
Hiked a ‘Very Difficult’ 5 mile trail in Colorado in 3 hours.
Took two steps in a handstand.
Did a yoga headstand for extended length of time.
Became a certified Wellness & Nutrition Consultant.
Went vegetarian at the beginning of the year and went completely vegan in the early Spring.
Began maintaining at 1300 calorie diet.
Focused my food choices on more whole foods including lots of fruits and veggies and less refined sugar.
Got a clean bill of health including low cholesterol.
These are my main health and fitness achievements of 2011, but I have many more that I want to accomplish in 2012. I will post those tomorrow!
What are the health and fitness achievements you are most proud of from 2011?
As promised, here is the list of books I want to read in 2012 (in no particular order):
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
The China Study by Thomas M. Campbell II & T. Colin Campbell
30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Alcestis by Katharine Beutner
Anything by Malinda Lo that comes out in 2012
Re-read some Greek Mythology texts
At least one book on meditation & yoga
This list is a work-in-progress and I will continue to add to it as I remember books I wanted to read or come across new ones.
To read all of these books, I have my iPad, which I find nice for reading at bedtime since I can read in the dark. As much as I love my iPad, I’m a traditional kind of gal when it comes to reading, so I try to read hardcover/paperback books when possible. I will be getting a library card this year too, so that I can continue some of my minimalists practices while still enjoying all of the books I want to read.
Do you prefer to read traditional books or via electronic devices? What books do you plan to read in 2012?
As part of my end-of-year wrap-up/goals setting I will be revisiting the books I read this year and then starting my books-to-read list for 2012. I will be doing a similar wrap-up for other areas of my life each day this week. I find this is a good exercise in remembering where I’ve been, so that I can know where I’m going.
This is what I read in 2011:
Ash by Malinda Lo
The Huntress by Malinda Lo
Just Kids by Patti Smith
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling [Re-read]
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh [Started - may still finish this year]
That’s it. It was a pretty short list this year. I was busy with my nutrition consulting certification course and getting my blog/business off the ground, but I have a pretty ambitious list for 2012 that I’m excited to tackle. I definitely want to make (book) reading more of a priority this year. Though I read a lot last year overall (blogs, newspapers, magazines, etc), I definitely didn’t get through as many books as I normally do or would’ve like to do.
My favorite from this year was definitely Eating Animals, for various reasons. It was very educational and well-written. It’s one of those books that you have to be ready to read though, or else it won’t have the impact that it should. Just Kids was good, but it was somewhat of an exercise in name dropping rather than storytelling. The biggest surprise of this year for me was Ash. Malindo Lo is a YA genius and her stories are accessible yet unique. It was so good that I picked up The Huntress the day it was released, which is a rarity for me in the book world.
I do have to say that I was happy with the eclectic collection of books that I read this year, but it still wasn’t nearly enough reading for me. So, if you are looking for some good reads, be sure to check these out, I wasn’t disappointed with any of them and there’s sure to be something for every taste, even in that short list.
“Murder begets murder. Violence begets violence. Anger begets anger. Therefore we must be compassionate in all facets of life, or be doomed to an unending cycle of murder, violence, and anger.”—Ashley N. Flitter