Big, Scary Goal of 2013

Six months ago, I would have never dreamed I would be HERE: no start line, no race bib, no running shoes. Just me and nearly 400 other “rookies” attempting to battle it out at a local CrossFit Rookie Rumble. Many of us hoping to just place “winner” in our own personal categories of goals.

IMG_5429My journey in CrossFit started out of pure curiosity. In search of something new, I took the dive with a good friend. We entered our local cave for our first on ramp class and were nervous, intimidated by the Google images shone across our computer screens the night before. As we worked our way through the on ramp classes, the puzzles pieces began to fall into place. For the first time in our fitness careers, we were learning proper form, being pushed to our limits, and loving it. Each day brought a new workout, a new challenge, a new success.

I worked my way from two WODs a week to three, eventually working to four or five. Sore became the new normal, bruises proud battle scars, and the numbers on the clock my new ideal v those on a scale. There is nothing more bonding than sharing the mutual suffering of an extraordinary workout. Welcoming smiles, a friendly handshake- the people were becoming just as important as the workouts. Which is how, on a seemingly normal Friday afternoon, I was talked into entering a local Rookie Rumble. The thrill of signing up lasted a few days until the REALITY of the comp started to set in. The truth was, I had never even been to a competition. I had no idea what I had got myself into: my big scary goal of 2013 was set in stone. I was comforted by the fact that there would be no seaweed. Or bike shorts (see last year’s big scary goal).

So, as I walked in to register last weekend on competition morning, I was rendered scared and nervous by the sights and sounds of something completely, utterly DIFFERENT. Used to the comfort of a starting line, race bib, and running shoes, I was surrounded by barbells, kettle bells, and chalk. Unlike running a race, there was nowhere to hide, no pack of runners to fall into if you’re having a bad day.

Only seconds into the first WOD, all the faces quickly disappeared. 21-15-9: squat cleans, kettle bell swings, and lateral jumps stood between me and the end of WOD 1. My only real goal: finish. The funny thing, I wasn’t surrounded by competitors, I was surrounded by a massive mob of support: screaming coming from every angle. The judges coaching me, pushing me, encouraging me…

rr2The nerves never went away. I will likely kick myself for a long time over my misinterpretation of a movement in WOD 3. However, overall, I am in awe of the awesomeness and inspiration I witnessed. So many different life stories, ages, sizes, yet we were all THERE doing the SAME thing. The last finisher receiving a bigger applause than the first, the entire audience willing the individual to finish.

I have never been anywhere with so much love, support and camaraderie. No egos, attitude, or negativity to be found. I am grateful I had four fellow cavers to compete with, to help ease my nerves, and to train with. I am also grateful to all those who came out to support, many of whom woke up early on their Sunday morning to drive out to the competition and many of whom completed the comp WODs with us to help us prepare.

When I toe up to a start line of a race, I am often overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment. The months of training are the hardest part for me. Race day is the prize. I know I’ll finish. I may not get the time I want, but I know I’ll finish. This competition was an entirely different beast. There was no one start, instead, there were three. Each being very different from the one before. The rise and fall of nerves, excitement, and anticipation made for a long day. I have learned a great deal about myself since starting CrossFit. I am stronger than I ever imagined possible, yet have a long way to go. Like running, it will get easier but never easy and there will always be challenging new goals.

For months, I felt like the fish out of water. However, I have never been surrounded by such supportive comrades and friends. Just as I was a reluctant runner, and felt uneasy calling myself one. I feel as though I can reluctantly say, I am a CrossFitter. It has taken me a long time to learn that winning isn’t always about crossing the finish line first. It’s about having heart, determination, and the courage to step out of your comfort zone. THESE are lessons I hope my boys see, live, and learn.

Big, scary goal of 2013: smashed.

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60 Day Closet Challenge

I have been on a de-cluttering and organizing spree around our house. It started with the pantry and kitchen. We moved into this house December of 2006 and I was embarrassed to have found items from 2005 in our pantry, clearly well past their expiration date.

I figured it was time to take on my closet.

Not just a passing purge of obvious unworns and outdated pieces.

A true overhaul. An honest separation of items that are worn and those that are just taking up space. A closer examination of the goods in my closet reveals multiple wardrobes: college remnants in case I lose the equivalent of a small person’s worth of weight, pre-baby work clothes that would also require massive weight loss, pregnancy clothes, post pregnancy clothes, ten lifetime’s worth of yoga pants, and current work wear.

It was time to realize that no matter how far I run, how much weight I lift, how many salads I eat…I will never wear a 7.5 shoe again. Everrrr. Do you lose weight in your feet?

It was also time to realize that I am continually buying things…and never wearing them. Despite the plethora of items in my closet, I am sure I likely wear about a third of them. At best.

SO, about two weeks ago I decided to challenge myself to a “60 Day Closet Challenge“: shop ONLY from my closet for 60 days. No outside clothing purchases. Accessory purchases only if need be. First order of business, donate and purge all items that are multiple sizes too small or haven’t been worn in the last few years. Embarrassingly, there were quite a few things that fell into this category.

The challenge is twofold for me. On one hand, I’ll see what I truly wear and hopefully reach for things I would normally overlook. I will then purge/donate/clear out the items not worn. It will also force me to finally breakdown and bust out of my yoga wearing, unflattering, schlepy mom clothes. Daily photos will be a waaaaaake up call.

CASE IN POINT:

I often purchase cute pieces because I tell myself THIS will be the year I step up my game, take pride in my appearance, yada yada yada…

IMG_4817But the reality is that I fall back into my comfort pieces. Pants I’ve had for years. They are mostly black, misshapen, miserably faded, but ridiculously comfortable. Hat. Comfy sneakers. How incredibly humbling to see this photo staring back at me, but it is the truth and daily reality:

IMG_4787I found myself re-entering the work world this year for the first time in five years after having stayed home with the boys. The last five years sparked what has now become a pretty bountiful collection of yoga gear, t-shirts, drawstring pants, and hats. I have enjoyed shopping for work clothes again and having a “reason” to really get dressed. More so, a reason that “forces” me to get dressed.

I hope to document my journey over the next 60 days honestly, often schlepy, but hopefully the outcome is wardrobe wisdom. Hopefully, I learn about the pieces I really use and those I may need. Hopefully, I learn to balance my work days with the days I stay at home with Jake so it’s not THIS- my work wear the over the last few days:

dress4And then THIS, what I am currently wearing:

IMG_4808But rather a happy, stylish medium. I am not a fashionista, nor do I admit to being one. I am just a mama who wants to be smarter about her clothing purchases, USE what I’ve got, and attempt to wean myself from my yoga pant wearing obsession. Wish me luck…


Theme for 2013 Goals: JOY

* Strive and work towards balance…don’t forget to put the ME in Mommy.

* De-clutter: thoughts, things, trash. Streamline. Keep only the things that bring positive value to the table.

* Strength train- continue with CrossFit. Hoping 2013 is the year I conquer the band-free pull up. I absolutely LOVE everything about CF. I have never worked out in such an amazing atmosphere surrounded by such support and camaraderie. In three short weeks, I am already doing things I never thought possible- turning over a 250 lb. tire 24 times: check!!

* Run TWO half marathons: find a new time/routine to squeeze in the runs and work towards a PR. For now, work towards consistency and rebuild my base. Starting over is always so incredibly HUMBLING. Aim for 500 miles for the year.

* DRINK WATER. Eat cleaner. Continue making fancy coffees at home.

* Read 50 books. Up first: Honolulu by Alan Brennert.

* Do something that scares me.

* Actually USE the meal planning sheets I have printed out…organize recipes.

* Laugh MORE. Love MORE. Lighten up MORE.

* Bake a pie from scratch.

* Project Life 2013: use as the main focus of memory keeping. Mini albums, December Daily…cute, but I never finish. Learn to say no to extra projects and collecting scrappy goodies. Scrap my crap, use what I have.

* Take a family vacation. Take family pictures.

* Summer bucket list.

* Finally attempt to learn how to use my camera without auto focus…

* RE-conquer the fear of the chicken…and maybe a turkey?

* Organize/keepsake the boys’ ART.

Find JOY in the everyday…


TRI Training Check In: Humbling Lessons in Gear Vanity

It wasn’t until recently that I truly realized just how LITTLE you really need to run: good shoes, maybe a hat, maybe some music…and out you go. Swimming: not so much. Biking: not so much.

SWIMMING

Bare necessities: pool (I am assuming that filling my kid’s plastic pool, lying on my belly, and kicking won’t suffice), suit, swim cap, goggles. Finding a pool, not so easy. Braving the pool, not so easy. The swim portion will be the hardest part for me, in that I have had the least amount of practice. It has also pushed me waaaaay out of my comfort zone: parading around in a suit is not my cup of tea, but I am doing it. Reluctantly. Throw in the added bonus of doing so with a swim cap…I die a little each time.

First order of business, finding a lap swim suit. Apparently, they are made for the tall, hipless, booty-less types out there. Every.single.suit cuts into my behind: not flattering. Reason #245, 967 why I love running more: the pants make your booty look FABULOUS. Thighs compressed. No jiggle-age. The walk from the bench to pool in the suit: wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle…

Suit: on. Swim cap: on- I bite it and then pull over my head, almost suffocating. I am guessing there is a better way? Goggles: on.

I hop into the pool. COMPLETELY unsure of any “lap swim etiquette”…there are only two lanes open in this particular pool. Three others, next to the swim team practice. No thanks. Off I go, one lap, two laps…and I quickly learn that I am incapable of counting laps beyond four. I had every intention of keeping track, not so much. The ladies next to me appeared to have some sort of routine: freestyle, kick board, swim hand paddle thingies…I felt like a poser. No extra gear. Just got in and swam…my enthusiasm was obvious, no?

BIKING

Bare necessities: bike, helmet, bike shorts. I am guessing there won’t be many people racing the TRI with a mountain bike. From Target. I took it to have the flat wheels fixed and laughed at the fact that it cost half as much as the entire bike, not a good sign. Also, not a fan of the helmet. It jacks up my ponytail. And I tried wearing hat underneath but that didn’t work out so well.

Determined to train for this TRI, I headed out on my newly fixed tires. Helmet: check. “Fancy” bike: check. New tri shorts: check. Again, I felt immediately lost and missed the familiarity and comfort of running…the shorts fit all janky. The sticky band at the bottom doesn’t agree with my “athletic” thighs and makes more bulges in places where I don’t need any help. And I feel a twinge of anxiety when I have to pass someone, walking, biking or otherwise. I make a beep, beep noise with my mouth, I don’t have a bell, the people look at me like I am crazy. Maybe they are jealous of my awesome bike? I figure next time, I steal Jake’s “Cars” bugle horn and beep away…again, my enthusiasm radiates, no?

So, here I sit about a month out, woefully unprepared but determined to get it done. More worried about the jiggle-age: running from the swim to the bike, in a SUIT than the overall race. And realizing just how vain I really am. Thank you, compression capris for all that you have one for me and my booty and thighs. I have wondered for the last few months why I haven’t met many runners who have turned into triathletes- it seems to be mostly swimmers and bikers. From the ease of just getting up and going, to the butt flattering gear, running feels so much easier. Swimming and biking appear to need more time, commitment, money, and effort to get done…the one perk of biking so far, getting my biggest little man involved in the training:

T-minus two months til game day…


Summer Bucket List: Lake of the Pines


Summer Bucket List 2012

Nearly two weeks into summer vacation and the boys and I are loving our Summer Bucket List goals…six down!!


The Chronicles of a Non-Biker Non-Swimmer Attempting to Try a TRI

I’ve gone and done it now.

Officially registered for my first sprint tri. Nervous. Scared as hell that I’ll drown via seaweed contact on the swim. If anything remotely slimy or sea-weedy touches any part of me, I am done.

A TRI rests on my life long bucket list among the things that sound really cool to say you’ve done, but aren’t actually among the things you think you’ll really do. Right next to it is to finish a full marathon.

While on vacation last week, one of my goals was to make my way to the pool and swim real laps. For the first time in over twenty years. I thought I would dive in and automatically retain my ten year old swim team glory and form. Not so much. You see that lady there on the treadmill, I am certain she got her fill of free live entertainment watching me splash my way across the pool only to realize that was ONE length. I attempted a flip turn, thinking I could manage the way I did when I was ten, again, not so much. I nearly killed myself.

Yet, despite a less than stellar two days in the pool, I am confident I won’t drown. It won’t be pretty. But I am determined to cross this off my bucket list. Will they let me dog paddle?

And after conquering the swim portion, I am gifted with the bike leg.

Not sure what I am thinking…

Any tips for a total TRI newbie??!!