Archive for the ‘Crossfit Lifestyle’ Category

Welcome back to Season Two of It Ain’t Over: A middle-aged mom’s attempt to make it to the CrossFit Games!

We ended Season One in 72nd place – exactly 52 slots away from Carson City. That’s a few slots less than my age, 55. This year I’m changing things up. My training partner, Lynn – a 45-year-old badass firefighter/physical therapist/single-mom – moved back to Australia, her homeland, leaving me wondering what the hell I was going to do to train for the games.Lynn&I

So, this year I decided to put together a team of experts to help me train. I have a coach and a chiropractor. I’m also seeing a PT and a massage therapist.

First, let me introduce you to my coach: Zach Caswell. Zach is my Olympic lifting coach. Why am I focusing on Oly lifting? Oly lifting is exclusively about the snatch and clean and jerk but if you can do these two lifts well, your overhead squats and thrusters will rock and you will vastly improve your balance and strength.

Zach is a former professional rugby player, which explains his total indifference to inflicting pain. He also played college football. He’s this huge bearded mass of muscle and I’m easily old enough to be his mother. But he didn’t laugh when I asked him to train me’ Turns out he’s one of those teddy bear kind of guys. He actually feeds his cats ice cream with a spoon.

MeZachEvery Sunday morning Zach holds an Oly lifting class at CrossFit CityPlace. I attend religiously. It’s like church but with cussing and sweating. After a few classes I concluded that Zach knows his shit and he’s passionate about making athletes who can lift efficiently. In my world, it’s all about efficiency. I may not get a lot stronger at this age but efficient movement will allow me to perform longer and avoid injury. So, Zach’s my man. (more…)

As of today, I have been on the planet for exactly 20,089 days, which makes today my 55th birthday!

A lot of women probably don’t want to turn 55 but I have been longing for 55. Two reasons: 1. My employer provides lifetime medical benefits to employees 55+ who have worked at the company for at least 20 years. 2. Weights and movements are scaled for 55+ Masters in the CrossFit Open.

KeepCalmIn other words, I don’t have to lift as much weight or throw as heavy a damn wall ball as you do! Na-na-na-na-boo-boo. 

The lifetime medical benefits are great. However, the odds of me ever retiring are pretty slim so I may never get a chance to use them. Still, I earned them and that’s all that matters.

As for the scaled weights and movement, I intend to take ruthless advantage of that advantage. Ruthless.

For example, here was the Week 1 WOD that I did last year:

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old

Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:

  • 45 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 30 Burpees
  • 75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 20 Burpees
  • 100 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 10 burpees
  • 120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

And here’s the 55+ ladies’ WOD

MASTERS WOMEN – includes Masters Women 55+

Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:

  • Jackson40 Burpees
  • 35 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 30 Burpees
  • 55 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 20 Burpees
  • 75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 10 burpees
  • 90 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

See where I’m going here? There’s a big difference between a 55# snatch and a 75# snatch. Like a 20 pound difference. It gets better, I now get to use a 10# wall ball – which I didn’t even know we had – instead of the 14# wall ball. Four pounds makes a big difference.

I now get to do jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups instead of regular chest-to-bar pull-ups. I don’t know what a jumping chest-to-bar pull-up is but it can’t be harder than a regular C2B, can it?

It kind of feels like I’m getting a AARP discount on my lifts and movements and by-golly, I deserve it. So, to honor this special day I’m going to work on my 35# snatches and see what a 10# wall ball feels like. Ah, the privileges of age: wrinkles, gray hair and jumping C2Bs – whatever they are.

Maybe some non-paleo cake, too.

It just so happens that I am a fan of Epic Meal Time – the YouTube internet cooking show devoted to  putting as much fat and calories as humanly possible into meat-based entrees.

It’s a pretty simple premise, kind of like Cheesecake Factory Gone Wild set to The Terminator soundtrack.

All I want for Christmas...

All I want for Christmas…

Taste seems to be a side issue. It’s calories and fat. And bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips…

I doubt I would have stumbled onto EpicMealTime on my own. No, I needed the knuckleheads at CFCP to turn me on to something this…this…this…profoundly odd.

I probably wouldn’t have noticed the guys watching and Epic Meal Time clip because if they’re not working-out they’re standing around the large computer screen mounted on the wall looking at YouTube videos of:

1. How to do a particular lift and the unfortunate consequences of doing it wrong

2. Reruns of the CrossFit games

3. Random weird stuff

4. Butts – specifically the butts of women who obviously do LOTS of squats


When I was a kid, swimming was my salvation.

Between  the first and second grade we moved from a small town in northwest Wisconsin to a well-to-do city in southwest Michigan. I was clueless. My idea of a country club was the Elks Club, where I had learned to swim.

In Michigan, I was surrounded by kids whose families belonged to real country clubs. Instead of the vending machines we had at the Elks Club, these country clubs had a real snack bars that served real french fries, which kids ordered and then charge to their family’s account. In my little mind they were getting french fries for free. Life wasn’t (43)

Those kids made fun of us when they came to our decrepit pool at the Elks’ Club for a swim meet. They didn’t bring any dimes for our vending machines and couldn’t believe we had starting blocks made by someone’s dad. I inflicted my revenge by kicking their rich little asses.

I was fast.

Things only got worse in high school, where the rich kids wore monogrammed sweaters and went on family ski vacations. We stayed home and went to the community pool, which averaged about 70-degrees in the winter.

We were very good swimmers and by the time my brother graduated from high school, he was the faster high school swimmer in the United States. Every college in the country wanted him.

Swimming was the great leveler: it didn’t matter how much money your family had. If you were fast, you were popular. People wanted you on their team. Take off that monogrammed sweater and put on a Speedo and the only thing that mattered was how fast you could get from one end of the pool to the other.

I couldn’t keep up with them when it came to pedigree, but I could in the water. And that gave me self-esteem and confidence in myself.

What does any of this have to do with CrossFit? (more…)

I wear a lot of hats. Journalist. Homeowner. Dog lover. CrossFitter. Slayer of cockroaches and small rodents. Mistress of Duct Tape Repairs.

But above all, I am a mom and that means I have spent a lot of time – and I mean A LOT OF TIME –  picking up stuff and putting it away and telling others to pick up their stuff and put it away. It’s just what moms

Even though my beloved daughter is an adult, I still pick up stuff and enjoy telling others to pick up their stuff and put it away. So you can imagine how much fun I have at the box, especially after a WOD that involves lots of toys, such as wall balls, boxes, jump ropes and kettle bells.

Actually, most of my fellow athletes at my box are very conscientious. But there are a few – WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS FOR NOW – who do NOT PUT AWAY THEIR TOYS! Take Dom and Tommy and Ryan, for instance. They are strong young men who can lift a lot of weight, which means they go through a smorgasbord of plates: 5lb, 10lb, 15lb, 25lb, 35lb, 45lb… (more…)

Random conversation overheard at the box this week:

“I eat turkey bacon.” 

Turkey Bacon

Turkey Bacon

“Dude, I can’t believe you eat turkey bacon. Turkey bacon is so gay.”

“Turkey bacon is not gay, it’s got a lot of protein and hardly any fat.”

“My dog eats turkey bacon.”

“Then your dog is a beast. Turkey bacon is good for you.”

“Have you ever looked at what’s in turkey bacon? You’re going to glow in the dark when you’re old if you keep eating turkey bacon.”

“Turkey bacon is better than regular bacon. I eat it for breakfast.”

Piggy bacon

Piggy bacon

“Piggy bacon is better. Turkey bacon is un-American. Do you burn the American flag for breakfast, too? You probably drink soy milk.”

“I do not drink soy milk!”

“Soy milk will raise your estrogen levels. You better stop drinking soy milk with your turkey bacon.”

“I drink whole milk!”

“My dog drinks whole milk.”

“Then your dog is a beast!”

“Have you ever seen my dog?”