Tales of the Amazing Human Body

Hi there! I’ve missed you… I’ve missed blogging…. so many things (bad, good, and great!) over the last several weeks. 

(Bad – I have only got 1 more muscle up. Great – I got accepted to a professional development program by my employer)

 

I’m not entirely sure where the entire month of June went… other than lots of work, pool time, and puppy snuggles.

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Tonight, I am feeling sentimental … so I wanted to write about it. Of course, it’s about a workout..

The prescribed WOD was a two-parter.  The first part was CrossFit Endurance.  1 Mile for Time.  All day I stressed about this workout. Running has never been my forte – especially since my knee surgery.  I wanted to cherry-pick the WOD (aka: skip!) but I didn’t. I figured it was time to face my fear.

I will just jump right to it, because as it turns out, I set a 1 mile PR tonight!  I ran it in 8:30.

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Prior 1 mile would be 9 mins + some change.  

I know I’ve never been a fast runner.  And 8:30 is not “impressively fast” and it is far from the “gold standard” of 7-min mile set by my CF Coaches.  But it was a spectacular feeling for me tonight.

Realizing that 1-year ago, I literally cried in Physical Therapy as I did toe raises (i.e.: stand flat footed – raise to toes – and lower). My stitches had only been out for 3 days and I was still taking pain meds every six hours. 

 

Flashback Photo:

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What felt like torture at the time … and felt like I would never be “me” again…. time passed. Eventually (about 6 months ago), I got a full medical release.  I put in a lot of hard work. And I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me!

 

 

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Six-Month-Long Gymnastics Program

Shortly after I tore my ACL (actually, it was after the diagnosis and surgery determination) I found an article in the CrossFit Journal that delivered just the message that I needed to hear. This message has stuck with me throughout my pre-hab, my surgery, recovery, and rehab.

The article is from the Archives (originally published in May 2005) and it’s called “Working Wounded”. You can find a copy online here.

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I strongly encourage you to read the entire article. Even if you’re not injured. It will help you understand my perspective, if nothing else. But, if your time is too precious and you can only read my blog post… here are a few of the best excerpts. [editor’s note: “Mac” is the hypothetical patient that Glassman is writing about. “Mac” had disabled right leg]

Injury, like illness, is an ineluctable fact of life.
In sport, elite performers are more marked
by the attitude and manner with which they
deal with injury
than by their elected course
of treatment or by the severity or frequency of
their injuries.
 

We will start with a checklist of some goals for upper
body performance. [example case] Mac currently has 20 pull-ups; he’s
going to have 40 in six months. Similarly, his handstand
push-ups will increase from 10 to 25, and consecutive
muscle-ups from 3 to 15. We might set ten or so goals
for Mac in this way. These goals should be past what Mac
has thought he would ever be capable of. He will achieve
these goals because fate has dealt him the specialist’s
hand and he will reap the specialist’s rewards.
  

Whatever potential development Mac missed by having
to forego the full range of workouts following his injury
is going to be replaced with skills that he was not likely
to have developed otherwise.
The exact nature of the
tradeoff is necessarily blurred, as an unknown loss in
potential is exchanged for a measurable, valuable, and
potent adaptation attributable directly to the injury’s
effect on his training. Now that is rehab.

 

All that being said, I made a few goals for my “six-month-long intensive gymnastics program”. That included Skin the Cat. It was a few months before I could even work on them…but now, over the past month, I have excelled in ways I never thought possible.

Here’s a video of me having some fun at Open Gym on Sunday.

 

Not only can I skin the cat pretty damn good… I can also, 

 

I miss the barbell. I miss weight lifting. But all that will come… in due time. For now… it’s just me and the rings….

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Post-Surgery: Five Weeks

Welp, it’s been five weeks (plus a few days) since my ACL reconstruction, meniscus repair.  I go back to the doctor at the six week mark… so we’ll see what he says at that time. I hope it’s a better visit than the one I had at two weeks post-op.

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Swelling is significantly reduced (no more bruises)

According to my therapist, I’m doing well and progressing right on track. We’ve been adding new exercises each week. I’m actually a little sad that my PT visits now drop down to once a week… just as we started adding exercises that I can’t do at home.

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Almost flat!

Last week we added some treadmill work, in order to work on my gait. Plus some other exercises like standing toe raises and single leg stands.

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Scar is healing up!

This week we really kicked it up a notch by adding weighted leg press, ab/aducter (standing), step ups, and wobble board.

Tuesday night’s PT session was almost two hours long. Immediately following I had a little endorphin rush. An hour later I was exhausted. And the next day… so, so, so very swollen!

On Sunday, I went to CrossFit Open Gym. I played around on the rower. Did a few pull ups, push ups, sit ups, ring dips. And capped it off with my PT work while Gregg finished his workout. It feels so good to have more energy in my day. I tried to get PT approval prior to rowing… she didn’t quite understand so we took this quick video. Pretty clever if you ask me!

I also went to the pool on Sunday! Did some water walking. It was strangely chilly (for late July) but I didn’t care. The sun felt so good.

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Going to the grocery store this week was another big accomplishment for me. So my fridge is full of delicious fruit, veggies, and what not. Time to turn my eating back around! Clean it up!

By the way, I have this cool app on my phone “Timehop”. It shows me posts from all social media outlets posted “on this day” 1 year, 2 year, 3 years, etc…. Five Years ago, Bella joined out pack. My how time flies! Here she is, the day we brought her home, this past weekend, and a hike last fall.

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Things the CrossFit Open 2013 taught me

1. I am competitive. This first fact is a bit of a surprise to me, honestly. Growing up I was competitive in academics (some day I’ll tell you about the no-holds-barred approach I took to ensuring I was my High School Valedictorian); despite that, I was never super competitive in athletics. Perhaps it didn’t come naturally, or perhaps I just didn’t have enough time to for sports between church, choir, drama, school and part time job.

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2. I am persistant. During the FIRST open WOD, we had to snatch 75lbs. (after lots of burpees and snatches at 45lbs). I had only worked on snatch work a few other times…. and got no where close to that weight (75lbs). When it came time to try the lifts, many of the other girls decided to take the points they got and just keep snatching at the lower weight. For several minutes I fought that bar. Just doing anything I could to get it up. Tim, one of the trainers gave me a suggestion… and next try I got it!  And I proceeded to get three more! Boom.

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3. I can always push myself a little harder. One of the great things about CF is that everything is scalable. And as a novice to the sport, scaling is strongly encouraged. However, there may be times that I scale too much…simply because I have the option to do so. During the Open… there is no scaling. Getting those ever elusive “Rx” behind my name… for Five WODS… I know I should take a run at an Rx in regular classes.

4. I am capable of some pretty awesome shit. Not much more needs to be said about that! 😉 I’m lifting heavy weight, climbing tall ropes, running faster, pushing heavy things…

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5. I have a lot to learn… and I love it! Every WOD presents a different challenge. Whether it’s a move I’ve never done, a weight I should lift heavier, or movements I should complete faster.

6. I’m no longer intimidated to be in the weight room with the guys. When I’m not lifting… I miss it. And when I’m in a class with 4 others (all males) it doesn’t phase me…. Until my coach tells them “don’t let Kristin beat you.”  … Then, all I want to do is BEAT THEM!  RAWR!

 

In the end, I faired pretty well for my first CrossFit Open. Having a few months under my belt… I’m excited to see how I fair next year!

I am the 20,192 fittest woman in the world… and I ranked pretty good in my box too 🙂

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Box Jumper

It is a good thing that I don’t try to blog for a living, because I just can’t seem to stick with it!

Of course, if I did blog for a living then I wouldn’t be working 50+ hours every week with 10+ hours of commuting time. Hmmm… I may be on to something! 

Over the past several days, since I’ve returned home from Texas, there have been some significant ups and downs in terms of my health and diet. Since I’m not one to dwell in the past, I will only highlight a few things.

#1 – Last Friday I left work so late that I missed my normal class at  CrossFit314. The whole drive home I was bumming. I’d been out of the box for nearly two weeks! So when Gregg called and suggested we go to a 6:30 class at a box right by our house, I was stoked. Okay, honestly, I was a little nervous with those new butterfly feelings again…but I wanted to WOD so hard!  That night, I tackled my first WOD with real box jumps (no scaling for me). It was intimidating to do Burpee Box Jumps onto a 20″ box, no doubt. And we’ll all just forget about the time that I psyched myself out mid-jump and just slapped the box with my hands. I could definitely tell I was getting over a cold and hadn’t pushed my body in several days, but whew it felt good!

#2 – Going to CFSC made me realized how spoiled I am at CrossFit314! Starting at a big, nice box may have set some unrealistically high expectations.

#3 – Saturday, I completed a scaled version of the Filthy Fifty — named Dirty Thirty. It was still brutal though I look forward to doing the full thing in the near future! {Also, this WOD had even more box jumps!!}

#4 – I’ve missed more days than I’ve gone this week. And that makes me sad. Seems like every night something (blues game, happy hour, laziness, or snow storm!) crops up and deters me. I’m not making excuses… If it’s important to me, I will find a way.

#5 – Tonight, Friday night Date Night, and the hubs and I have a date at the Bar with a girl named “Lynne” 😉  Wish me Luck!

 

 

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End of Year Resolutions

this is going to be short and sweet… i need to write a longer post, but it’s 9pm and i need to go to bed soon. but i wanted to share my exciting news with you all.

saturday, nov 24 i attended my first official crossfit class at a real box!

the workout was killer. i need to get all the lingo down, so forgive me for not getting it right. i definitely scaled things back as i work on form and learning my body’s limits.

Warm Up (sub ring rows for pull ups, dips with blue band)

Skills – Cartwheels! I’m a lefty when it comes to cartwheels. going with my right hand first was a tragic sight.

WOD – (sort of hard to read): 24 min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) – 50′ Long Jump Burpees, 15 KB Taters (18lb), 100 singles (jump rope)

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and… in true testament of how much i’m ready for this new challenge. i went back tonight! a monday night – after having been off work for 2 weeks. a monday night – after working a stupid busy 10 hour day. a MONDAY night. ‘bough said.

i had a different trainer tonight. and i really appreciate all the hands-on instructions and techniques. the old me might have been intimidated, but something has clicked. and i am SO ready to do this.

here’s tonight’s workout. again, definitely scaled.

Warm Up (I did not do double unders. Pull ups were assisted with the ‘green’ band

Strength – 53/63/83

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where has this month gone?!

so, october is my favorite month.

it’s the month mother nature shows the red, yellow, gold spectrum of her color palate. when you wake up one morning and suddenly once green trees are bursting in new colors. then soon, those beautiful leaves crunch under foot as we bundle up and stroll our neighborhood & city….

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just outside the city, it’s prime apple & pumpkin picking’ season!…

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third and final wedding of wedding season! (congrats again kait & jake!)

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this is the month i finally got back to really running! i signed up for the Halloween 10k (but unfortunately resorted to downgrading to the 5k for the knee). i struggled with my training. swelling. pain. and fear set me back. but i had a fantastic run (almost 5 mins faster than i expected!) and i have the running bug again…

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this month i went on a behind the scenes tour at the zoo. i got to meet penguins (they are soooo soft!) and receive sealion kisses…

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this is also the month of my wedding anniversary. time to celebrate a love so pure i often wonder what i did to deserve such a perfect companion. <;<; now don't think i'm implying he's perfect. because i know that no one is. but rather, he is my perfect companion. we make each other better. stronger. more committed to the good life…

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this month is my birthday. and for my birthday this year, i’m going someplace i’ve never been. …. i’ll share more on that once that time comes!

* getting back to it *

the race earlier this month has really lit a fire under my rump. i’ve signed up for Best Body Bootcamp. after reading about it on several other blogs, i decided to try it out! i can do anything for 8 weeks right?! i also plan to (finally) cash in my xmas present…. gift card to yoga! and i’ve signed up for the Go! St Louis 5k in April. they don’t offer 10k in april (the focus is really on the half- and full- marathons). i knew i wouldn’t be ready for that yet… so i thought it offered an excellent opportunity to provide a mile marker for improvement! even though i did well this month…. i know i can do better!

i’ll try to do better at blogging… but many days i’m barely getting a work day, home cooked meals, and a workout in. i’m not sure how all you amazing ladies do this blogging thing more regularly, plus kids, and what-nots! time management at it’s finest!

ps – the new apple iOS integrates photo stream to my mac. my iPhone snapshots show up on my mac. seamlessly. be prepared for more photos!

Patience is not my virtue

I’m convinced that doctor’s lie. Doctors always make the healing process seem like it’s much easier than it is. Either that, or I’m the biggest wuss known to man. No, scratch that, I know I’m not because I’ve talked to others who share in my pain!

Today is Tuesday. Exactly one week post surgery. I’m just now feeling slightly brave enough to leave my house and go into the office tomorrow.

Doc said is should be a few days… 

Liar.

 

In the mean time, I’ve only left my house 2x in the past week. Both times involved food. Are you shocked? Don’t be. Being laid up for longer than anticipated, over a weekend, with no grocery shopping to be done,… the food situation in our house was rather bleak. Saturday was dinner out at a local restaurant. We sat outside. In 90 degree temps. It was wonderful. If I was a better blogger, I would have taken a picture.

Last night, was trip #2. I drove to subway. I thought, if I’m going to be making a 25mile commute in a day or two I should warm up with the local subway (few miles away).Success.

Though I haven’t been in the office, I have been working. From Home. Let me tell you… I could NEVER work virtually all the time. Today I booked 10 hours and yesterday was 12 hours!  With hardly a thought. That’s just wrong. Especially considering my mama got me a “prize” (for being brave in the surgery. what… don’t laugh… she takes care of me!). New to me, Wii Game, Monkey Ball Banana Blitz. It’s addicting.

Anyways, like I said, this whole healing process will be slow. And probably not a lot of “workouts” to blog about. Currently, my “exercises” consist of leg lifts (all four directions) and toe raises. 20-40 times. 2-4 times a day. I know. You’re exhausted just reading that.

Soon, I’ll be able to do more. And until then… be impressed with this guy.

Are You Too Busy?

A really great article popped up in my Google Reader today by Cup of Jo. Joanna’s sister forwarded her a WSJ article titled “Are you as busy as you think?” that should be a reality check for many of us.

The article provided tips on how to regain control of our time… using the phrase “time fog” is particularly insightful. While many of us feel that we are “starved for time” … in all reality we probably waste several minutes (or even hours) every day without realizing it.

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Go ahead and read the article for the full effect, but here are some of the tips & tricks I’ve picked up to regain my day back. The first one is particular insightful to me… and much easier to implement than the second!… I plan to see how much time I can get back in my week.

Change your language! Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

Keep a time Log.  This may be a little tricky to do but if I can log my meals, surely I can log my time. Right? I’ve realized while using the “Lose It” app on my phone that I can waste calories away on snacks and condiments… and I’m sure Facebook and Twitter are doing the same thing to my schedule.

Though I love the movie, there’s no way I want to be stuck in the Time Warp!