Thursday, February 23, 2012

With a Heavy Heart

Forgive me as I go off topic here for a bit. I live in small town USA. It sounds cliche, but this place really does remind me of Mayberry. Due to the proximity of several military bases, we have a strong military presence in our town, we are full of locally owned small businesses, and everyone knows you, or at least knows someone who knows you.

These traits have their faults. Trust me, if you've ever been the center of small town gossip, you know how suffocatingly small your world can feel. However, small towns like mine also offer security. We feel isolated from the crime and drama of the big cities.

At least we did. In the last little while, our little corner of the world has been plagued with one senseless tragedy after another. Officers were shot at, and ultimately had to kill a man, while serving a warrant. A young man brandished and shot a firearm at a local retail store and was taken down by law enforcement. We discovered we have a possible serial killer, as the police have surmised that two unsolved homicides and one attempted homicide are all connected. Two evenings ago a man shot and killed his friend just 5 minutes from my home. Yesterday a third grader took a gun to school and accidentally shot a classmate in the stomach. All of this in less than two months.

This morning we woke to the news that a State Patrol officer had been gunned down and killed during a routine traffic stop. The innocence of our small town has been shattered. My day will go on as normal today. I will watch my friend's children this morning as planned. My kids will go to their art class, I'll go to the gym, and we'll all meet up back at home to complete our lessons for the day. There are so many families in our community, however, that will never know normal again. I will go through my day with a heavy heart.

Please, if you are a praying person, offer up a few extra prayers for my small town, that we may know peace once again. It is time for this madness to stop. I have never brought politics into this blog, and I do not intend to now. Please do not use this a platform to preach about gun control, corrupt police forces, or any other political issue. Please, just pray.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I have been planning to write a CrossFit review for days now, but first the germs got boy1 and now they seem to have gotten me. I never get sick. Never. And I'm pissed. I missed my first WOD and I'm grumpy about it.....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Neighborly Love

Seattle, like all big cities, has plenty of suburbs. Little neighborhoods scattered from the Puget Sound all of the way out the Cascade Mountain range, but the urban/suburban sprawl here has also created these other little communities like Ballard, Greenlake, the U District, and many others. They aren't quite urban, but they ain't the 'burbs either. They are limbo. My husband grew up in limbo.

I grew up in the suburbs. A small, quaint little town just across the river from Cincinnati. Everyone knew everyone else (and their business), the entire town showed their blue & white pride for our high school sports teams, it has a 4th of July parade and no one leaves. No one ever leaves. Growing up there we all complained about living in this perfect little bubble, but as we grew older we began to appreciate the bubble and the security of being able to raise our own families there. It's not just my small town, the entire Greater Cincinnati area is full of people that grew up in the Greater Cincinnati area.

You've all seen some of those "Sh!t People Say" videos that are going viral right now and there is one about Cincinnati. The one line that made me laugh so hard I almost pee'd myself was "Where'd you go to high school." That's right. I'm almost 40 years old and I can guarantee you if I were out with the girls at a bar in Covington and we started talking to a group of men the question "Where'd you go to high school" would inevitably come up.

Out here on the West Coast, one of the first things I noticed is that no one is from here. I'm a member of a moms group out here with 50+ members and I can count on one hand the number of my friends that actually grew up and went to high school in this area. In the small town where we reside now everyone is friendly, it's easy to make friends, but everyone pretty much keeps to themselves unless you run in the same circles. Our parents didn't grow up together. Our grandparents didn't attend PTA meetings together.

I'm not saying one community is better than the other. They are different. Both have their pros and cons. They are just....different. When we first got married, Jason and I tried living in Kentucky in the very same town where I was raised. We bought a house and our next door neighbors were the parents of a boy I went to high school with. A little further up the street lived the parents of a boy I've known since the fourth grade. Around the corner was my high school guidance counselor (and she remembered me).

On a warm evening the first week we moved in, we were sitting on the porch enjoying a glass of wine and watching the fire flies (or lightening bugs, as they were called when I grew up). Suddenly there were about 15 people on our porch introducing themselves, bringing us a bottle of wine, brining us a cake, asking us for our names/phone number/etc for the neighborhood directory. They were all pleasant, they were all nice. We chit chatted for a while and then we all retreated back to our own living rooms. Jason was freaked out. He said it wasn't normal, people don't just invite themselves onto your porch and start talking. I laughed him off and told him "Welcome to Ft. Thomas", but I never really understood until we moved out here.

We've been in this small town for nine years, this house specifically for over six years. I can say hi to my neighbors if we're both in our driveway at the same time. Our boys will play with their grandson when he's visiting, but I don't know their phone number. I'm not even sure I know their last name. It's just different. The funny thing is, I don't think the people in Ft. Thomas were any more friendly. I don't think they were nicer people. I think the neighbors in the two towns just have different protocols.

I grew up with the Ft. Thomas protocol, Jason grew up with the Seattle area protocol. I took the boys to the CrossFit gym yesterday to observe a CF Kids class. A WOD class had just ended and there were still some people hanging out and having coffee, there were the parents of the kids in the class that hadn't worked out, but were hanging out during class....the box* was full. The boys and I were standing in a corner just watching. I happened to catch one woman's eye and she walked over and introduced herself to me. She knelt down to get on my boys' level and spoke to them, asking about the class, their interests. A few minutes later another woman made her way over and said "Hi, I don't think I've seen you here before, my name is ........" After these two woman moved on to other conversations another woman came over. In all about four different people walked over and introduced themselves to me.

Everyone was friendly, everyone was nice and everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there. I've never been to a globo gym and seen people just hanging out having coffee after their workout. The positive energy in the place was unparalleled to anything I'd ever experienced.

I left there feeling inspired. I was grateful to the women that came and welcomed me. It's hard being the new kid and I was immediately reminded of that night on our front porch almost 10 years ago. Jason is going to freak. the. f*ck. out.

*I hate the term "box" and I feel like a total tool using it. Thankfully our local box refers to itself as a "gym"

Saturday, February 11, 2012

To Be Continued.......

Anyone have one of these in their back yard? We're still waiting to harvest ours.

CrossFit is expensive. We knew this going on. My hubs makes a very comfortable living and we're basically frugal people. A CrossFit membership will not bankrupt our family, but it'll still hurt in the pocketbook. OUCH

Our local box has several membership options, but we really want our kids to be able to take advantage of the CrossFit Kids program and the box has only one option for an entire family ~ $350 for unlimited access for the entire family. That's per month. For reference, we're currently paying $115/month for our family YMCA membership. Yes, that's a 3x increase. GULP!

My husband is out of town about 15 days a month, he doesn't need an unlimited membership. The box owner is willing to work with us on price because of his schedule. He called last night and told us his offer for a 3x per week membership for Jason and me and kid's classes for the boys. It was more than we were expecting.

Our gut reaction was "No way!" We just couldn't justify that expense. Not when we already have a gym membership. We talked it over and decided, at the very least, Jason would get a membership. He hates the Y. I can't even remember the last time he was there. Maybe for our son's birthday party? The last time he worked out there? No clue. So.....keeping his Y membership is really just a waste of money. If we take him out of the Y equation, we save about $43/month. He could buy a 20 visit punch card at CrossFit and that would last him about 2 months. Overall, with this scenario our gym fees would increase just over $50/month.

We continued talking and while I don't hate the Y, it's simply not working for me. Jason asked me what my ultimate goals were ~ performance goals, appearance goals, physical goals....anything ~ I had to sit and think about it. I didn't want to just spout off "to lose weight" Honestly, I think that goal is a cop out. Think. Soul Search. Figure. It. Out. What are my goals? To decrease my BF% . I have one of those digital, step on it and it'll tell you everything you never wanted to know about yourself, kind of scales. I know as far as BF% they aren't very accurate, but for now it's all I've got and to be honest, I don't think it's really that far off......according to my scale my BF% is over 50%. That scares the hell out of me. I'm metabolically healthy, but I know my body can turn on me at any moment. Next goal: do a pull up, do a push up. Next: get stronger & leaner. Next: be able to buy clothes in a regular store.......

Before I knew it, I was a mess of tears and goals were just spilling out of me without any thought. Can I reach these goals without a CrossFit membership? Yes, of course. I'm just not sure I know how. I know how to do the basic lifting moves: dead lift, back squats, bench press, thrusters, etc.....It's the power moves that scare the hell out of me. Cleans, jerks,'s the intensity that I'm lacking, and it's the intensity that I will not include in my own workouts (not without instruction)

Option #2: Both of us join CrossFit individually and not have the boys participate. This seems the most unfair to me. We'd be taking away their YMCA classes and not offering them anything else. I refuse to let my kids become inactive because we aren't willing to pay the fees.

Option #3: We suck it up and just pay the fee and we're all happy. We can put our YMCA membership on hold for up to three months without having to repay the registration fee. So, there's an out if for some reason CrossFit just doesn't work.

Here's the thing: I really really really want Option #3, but I'm afraid to ask for it. My husband is amazing. AH~mAZing. He sacrifices so much to provide for our family. He gives me nearly everything I want. He rarely spends money on himself, but doesn't hesitate to surprise me with gifts of appreciation for any random occasion. I know if I tell him that I really really want this CrossFit membership he'll say Ok without hesitation. I don't want to let him down. This will be the third gym we've joined in two years and so far I weigh pretty much the same (and have the same body) as I did when we had no memberships. I can not justify asking him to spend this money on me and then continue on with my same pattern.

Do I think CrossFit will be different? Honestly, yes I do. But I also said that about both of the other gyms. The one time I was consistently using the gym and, coincidently, consistently losing weight was when I had a specific class I was going to three times a week. I showed up, I was told what to do, I went home. That's CrossFit. That's why I think this time it'll work. But I'm still hesitant.

To Be Continued...........

Thursday, February 9, 2012


In a word, my impression of CrossFit is "It RAWKS!" (ok, that's two words. Whatev.). In another word: "It SUCKS!" (two words again....yes, ladies and gentlemen, I DO homeschool my children, why do you ask?)

Let me back up a bit and I'll walk you through my entire, though quite limited, CrossFit experience. We started here, on Tuesday, with me having some anxiety over leaving the security of a traditional gym, getting over it and feeling good about it, only to come home and find my husband basically in the fetal position and trying to hold down his protein shake.


Ultimately, though he did decide that CrossFit was the way to go for him and as we talked about it throughout the evening, I was getting more and more excited for my Intro the next day. I was careful with my diet that evening, we went to bed early, I visualized myself rocking out the workout.....I did everything right. Apparently Boy 2 didn't get the memo. He was awake from 3:15 until 4:40. Our alarm was set for 6am. At about 5am, hubby and I made the decision to turn off the alarm and let the whole family get the sleep it needed ~ homeschool schedule be damned! Then Boy 2 wandered into our room around 6:30 and said "can I get up, now?" Fuuuuddggggeeee!!!

I let my husband sleep in, after all he was the one that had already DONE the workout ~ oh and he was leaving for a trip that night and probably wouldn't get to sleep in a bed for about 36 hours or so. I'm generous like that.

So, I got up and drank some coffee and decided on a breakfast burrito with pastured eggs, some refried beans, avocado, cheese, salsa & greek yogurt on a fresh made tortilla ~ except I wasn't hungry. The nervous tummy was already settling in. Ok, so it's only 6:45 ~ I don't need to eat yet. I have plenty of time. I had a green smoothie instead.

The hubs finally woke up, we got started on our lessons and I still wasn't hungry. Finally, I decided I *needed* to eat, so I made the burrito. Oh SHIT!!! I'd lost track of time and I had to leave in an HOUR!!! And I have this burrito sitting in my tummy. *FAIL* :/

It sat there like a leaden rock. I could feel it getting heavier and heavier. I should note, too, that when I'm nervous it wrecks havoc on my digestive system. I started to psych myself out. Playing mind games with myself. How am I going to get through this f*cking workout??? How am I going to make my body row 500m, do 40 BW squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups & 10 pull ups? What. The. Fuck have I gotten myself into????

So, the next hour was spent pacing around the house, willing my brain to just shut the hell up, curled in a ball crying (yes, I cried BEFORE the workout), and freaking my kids out.

It was fun.

Finally, Jason (the hubs) looked at me and said "Do you think maybe it has to do with the fact that you are just being pushed outside your comfort zone?" WTH?!? Of course that's the issue!! "Have you stopped to think that your comfort zone hasn't done anything for you in the last 37 years of your life?" Eff You. (No, I didn't say that to my husband ~ he was, after all, being the only voice of reason at the time).

I finally managed to stand up straight enough to wiggle myself into my workout clothes and I headed out the door. I got a strange sense of calm, I cranked the radio (apparently no one got the memo as there was nothing but commercials for my entire 7 minute drive to the "box" ~ assholes).

I sat in my van, took a couple of deep breaths and walked through the door. Immediately all of my anxiety was gone. Poof! It just disappeared. The owner and I talked for about 45 minutes. We discussed any previous injuries I've had, we discussed my fitness history, my expectations, my goals (do a push up on my toes & do a pull up. I really don't ask for much...). He set my mind at ease. It's his job, but I was so completely grateful at the time. I wanted to hug him and cry and pretend I was at my therapist's office, but I held it together.

Then he said it was time to get started on the "Baseline" workout. And then I wanted to puke. I told him that I can't do a push up and I can't do a pull up. He said "We'll get you squared away. I don't care if you cry, I don't care if you puke, I just ask that you don't stop." Oh great....see, the way I'd managed to talk myself into going out the door was telling myself "There is no rule that says I *have* to finish. If I want I can just say 'I'm done'" and NOW he's throwing this "just don't stop" crap in my face?!?!

He threw some bands over the bar ~ I've never worked with these bands before, they're a trip, you basically have your body in this huge rubber band and helps lift you up for your pull ups ~ and had me practice some pull ups. Ok, we got the right bands. They're still challenging, but I can do them. Phew.....bullet #1 dodged. I asked if I got to do push ups on a box (or the wall). He said, "Let's see what you can do first." He asked me to show him one on my knees first. So I did one, then two. Then three. He said "Oh, those are fine. You don't need a box." Oh hell, why did I show him that I really can do those?!?!

Okey, dokey, time to start!!!! Turned up the volume on the music and READY, SET, GOOOO!!!! And she's off: the row machine as fine, the body squats were good. I only had to take one or two small breaks to catch my breath. A few seconds each, max. Sit ups ~ these weren't crunches ~ these were feet together, in butterfly position, lay all of the way back and sit all of the way up. I struggled through the second half, but I got them done.

Time for push ups ~ oh hell. We'll just say, got through them. I did a few at a time and took a break. I cried. I said FUCK (a lot), I fell on my face (twice) and I got stuck and had to roll over and get back in position. But I did them. All 20 of them. They weren't pretty, but they were done.

I climbed up on that box and stuck my foot in the rubber band and it went BOING!!! I didn't have the leg strength to push the damn thing down!! Ok, let's try again, this time the band grabbed my leg and flung my whole body out to the side. I was getting pissed. At myself, at the band, at everyone who had ever told me I couldn't do it. I stepped in that band and put my entire body weight into it and it went down! Where it was supposed to!! The guy said "Do a few and take a break if you need to." Eff that! I pounded all 10 of them, boom, boom, boom.......I even surprised myself. I'm pretty sure he's going to take one of my bands away since they were that easy for me at the end of the workout :(

And was over. Nine minutes and 52 seconds of hell. Done. I did it. I DID IT!!! I FINISHED!!! And it didn't take me all day!! I was only about 3o seconds behind my husband. Unlike Jason, I knew immediately that this was the gym for me! I can't wait to go back. I was scared, I was freaked out and I thought I wanted to die, but I pushed through. I channeled those emotions and I *used* them to help me. I didn't let them control me.

I understand that by CrossFit standards, that workout was NOTHING, but I can't wait to go back! Bring. It. On.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Drinking the Kool Aid

~*~ This post just seemed to write itself~I don't even know if it makes sense, but I'm going with it ~*~
A few days ago a friend from high school posted that he'd just returned from his first ever CrossFit workout, that he wanted to puke, and that it was the "MOST AWESOMEST THING EVER!"

My husband and I have discussed CrossFit a handful of times over the last year or so, but for some reason, this time it stuck. We decided to stop in and have a chat with one of the coaches. Turns out our local "box" expanded a few months ago and now they have a kids' room. SCORE!! They don't do much in there and it's definitely not as kid friendly as the YMCA, but its CROSSFIT! I've wanted to try this for-EVAH!

We stopped back in later that night to talk to the owner and discuss pricing. Holy Jebus, it's expensive! Especially if we sign the kids up for the CrossFit Kids program. Our monthly gym bill would more than DOUBLE. Eee-gads!

We went ahead and scheduled an intro for each of us (a one on one hour long orientation ~ complimentary, of course). THEN we found out that at the end for the Intro, you do what's called a baseline workout ~ 500m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, & 20 pull ups.

The hubs went in for his Intro today and I headed to the YMCA with the kids for their homeschool PE class. While at the Y I went into a complete panic. What if somedays I just want to do an easy cardio day? What about the indoor track that I so dearly love. I have to give up the Jacob's Ladder?!? I have to do HOW MANY push ups? I can't even DO a pull up!!

As I sat on the recumbent bike, all of these thoughts swirling through my head, I suddenly realized that I've had this state of the art gym at my disposal for the last seven months and I haven't taken advantage of it. AT ALL. It wasn't that I didn't want to, it's that for the most part, I don't know how.

I started thinking back to when I first started this blog and was actually seeing some success at my weight loss efforts. What was different? The number one difference is that I was going to classes at the gym. I wasn't being left to my own devices. I walked into the gym, someone told me what to do for an hour and I walked out.

Yes, I could take classes at the Y, but none of them interest me or, the few that do, aren't available when I'm able to get to the gym.

I got home from the Y today bubbling with all of these new epiphanies that I'd discovered and I found my husband curled up in a ball on our bed. His first thought after his first baseline workout? F^CK THAT! Those were his exact words. But after he caught his breath. After he puked. After he drank his protein shake and got his body back under control, he can't wait to go back.

One 9 minute & 30 second workout and he's hooked. Completely. He told me he's already decided that he's signing up. If I chose to stick with the Y, he's going to cancel his portion of the family membership and use that $$ for a single CrossFit membership. Really??? You were there an hour. You sweated for less than 10 minutes.......

My intro is tomorrow. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. I want to really love it. I'm pretty sure I will. But I want to love it so much that it's not scary leaving the security of a traditional gym. Is that even possible? I don't know, but I could use some prayers around 12:45 PST tomorrow afternoon. Just sayin'.