Some days, I feel super motivated to keep going in my journey towards being healthy. I’ve managed to keep on track with the Whole30 for the past week (my second round at it) and having 8 days off from work means I can get my workouts in easily. Not having to deal with sciatic pain is a lovely added bonus and still a welcome novelty to me.

Some days weeks, however, it is harder to find the motivation. I get stuck in a funk at times and I wonder why I put myself through all of this. What is the benefit of all this torture fitness known as Crossfit. Why did I keep waking up at 0500 for 2 whole years, paying good, hard-earned money to subject myself to workouts that are so demanding, I sometimes end up crying on the mat at the end. Nowadays, the 0500 wake-up call have been replaced by rushing through the morning routine for school for the girls, WOD at 0930, then rushing to get ready to pick up Béa from preschool, or groceries or cooking. Some days, I sit down for the first time at 5pm and I’m exhausted. Why do I suck up all of the precious energy I have and go “waste” it all on a workout? Why, you say? I’ll tell you why.

I’m tired. ALL.THE.TIME. It doesn’t matter that I get to sleep in one day a month or not. I’m the wife of a husband who travels a lot for work which means I’m “single-married” (married, but alone at home with the kids for extended periods of time) a lot.

I’m a NICU nurse and I work shift-work and have been doing so for the past 10 years. 10 years of switching between nights and days on a dime. It takes its toll on a body. More recently, I have gone into a Charge Nurse position. I love the challenges it has brought upon me, but it can be added stress at times. That also doesn’t help making me feel less tired.

I’m a mom to 2 lovely, cuddly, active little girls. They like to be on the go and we try to accommodate that as much as possible. Some days, I crave 5 mins to myself. Even if we don’t do something big, they constantly want us to be involved in their little play, which means I can’t focus on anything I’d like to be doing for myself. That’s ok though, if I have a little bit of energy left in the evening after they’ve gone to bed is when I usually try to focus on myself. If the energy is AWOL, I usually just sit and watch TV and find some other time to do MY things.

When you put all those realities of my life together, it’s only normal that I need an outlet to REALLY focus on myself: my physical, emotional and mental well-being. THAT’S why I do Crossfit. When I am there, it’s usually 1hr of my life where I only need to make minimal decisions: Will I use 55lbs or 65lbs for the WOD? Do I need my wrist wraps or not?, etc. Nobody’s life hangs in my hands and I can let out of all the emotions that have been bottled up inside my short little body. Am I exhausted at the end of a WOD? For sure! Then again, I’m always exhausted and at least, I’ve done something for myself to get in better health!

Lately, I have struggled to find the motivation to get going. Whether it’s because the PRs don’t come as easily as they used to or because I have struggled with my sciatica, I’m not sure. I was talking to Kathleen about that a few weeks ago and I was debating taking a break. It is a scary thought. I feel like I would probably get lost if I didn’t do Crossfit. Either that, or I’m afraid I would never go back and all the hard work (and money) invested in myself for the past 2 years would be a total waste. Because of those fears, I have kept going, pushed through the struggles and injury and keep telling myself things will look brighter again soon (hopefully). When I really struggle with my motivation, I like to “check-in” with myself. I did one of those “check-in” 2 days ago and it has lit up a small fire of determination to keep going:

Top is on my 1st day of Crossfit, bottom is a few days ago. 28 months in between pictures

Top is on my 1st day of Crossfit, bottom is a few days ago. 28 months in between pictures

Sure the progress could be a lot better, but like I said, I’m a wife, a mom and a nurse. My diet isn’t always the best and I workout 1-3x/week at best. Progress is progress and seeing it helps re-focus my drive.

This morning was my first day back at the Box for Oly lifting in over a month. I was debating going at all as I feel like I have to re-learn everything about my snatch and C&J as well. I decided to go in anyway with the philosophy that everyone has to start somewhere. I don’t want to make the coaches feel like they are wasting their time with me, but I also would like to move past my injury and finally get proficient at those Olympic lifts. Coach Caleb wasn’t there this morning and we had the lovely Coach Val to guide us through our session. Karen and I struggle with dropping into the squat in the snatch and Coach Val has given us some pointers to fire up our hips and drop quickly.

I was trying with an empty 35#-bar this morning and Coach Val suggested I get a training bar (10#) and put some plates on it so that I would get the proper feel of the bar. That meant I started my snatch work at a very low weight, but I was at peace with that. I got my Dynamax ball for my butt depth into the squat and got working on things.

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Snatch 6×2 E2M: Here were my reps for this one:


I stayed at 50# for my last 2 rounds and had to drop the bar in-between all my reps in order to reset my form, but I managed to get it done and somewhat drop into the squat. I was happy with that. Not quite at the 90% target of my 1RM (50# was 77% of my “fake 1RM of 65# and 83% of my real 1RM of 60#), but not too bad considering I’m re-learning to move safely for my sciatic. I was glad I managed to get up that high as I was expecting to stay at 45# and just work on form.

Death by Power Cleans: It was my 1st time doing this one and since I don’t even have a 1RM at 92.5# for my C&J, I was definitely going to scale down for this one. After discussing with Coach Val, I decided on 65# and warmed up to that. Coach Val told us to aim for 10 rounds and I felt like I would probably bail out before then, but I went it anyway. I managed to go unbroken for rounds 1-7 and then things started to slow down a little after that. I had to drop the bar a few times during my round of 8, then started introducing singles into the round of 9. I was pretty pumped to complete the round of 10 and still have 15s to catch my breath before diving into the round of 11! 😉  I had to do them all as singles and there were a few reps that I caught really high in my neck, but I pushed through and squeezed in my last rep with 1s left in the round. Technically, I could have started right away on the round of 12, but I had nothing left in the tank. My for was getting wonky, my neck was catching the bar more and more and my left wrist was getting slow in the catch so I chose to stop there.

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What do you get at a 5am lifting class? Bruised neck and dark circles, that’s what you get!

I came back home and jumped right back into the realities of motherhood. Béa had tried to go pee by herself. She managed to get her pants off, hoist herself onto the toilet and couldn’t figure out the toilet paper, so she called out for help. I’m just thankful she didn’t put that pile of paper in the bowl as that would have been a nice plug! 😉

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See? Finding balance and purpose is what keeps me motivated! 😉


*Sorry gents, this one will discuss women problems/issues. You’re more than welcome to read through, but I doubt you’ll be able to relate much*

So, I haven’t blogged in a little while and there’s a few good reasons for it.

  1. Sometimes, I just need a break from the blogging world. I try to cram so much in a day and instead of giving you crappy posts, I just take a time out and focus on me instead
  2. I have been having pretty painful sciatic pain for 8 days now and I’ve been trying to deal with that, hence the title of my post. I did my first WOD since last Wednesday yesterday and will talk about it more below

I have breached this topic before, but let me dive in today. I have had pretty consistent sciatic pain since my pregnancy with Rina, 5 years ago. I have done chiropractic treatments before that have given some positive outcomes, but it always ends up coming back. It has seemed that over the years, it gets aggravated, no matter what I do. It was painful when I was an inactive mom, it is painful whether I work out or not, so before you go thinking that it’s all because of Crossfit, let me tell you right now, it isn’t. It does flare up when I squat or deadlift heavy (over 100lbs), but this last flare-up started after a WOD where there wasn’t any heavy lifting involved.

I just happened to mention to fellow Crossfitters that I’d been dealing with this for a while now and what I’d been doing in order to try to get better, when Michelle mentioned she was a PT and I should go see her. I was able to get an appointment with her the same day and I’m hoping to be able to solve some issues.

After 2 visits with her, here’s what we have discovered.

  1. My sciatic pain might not be related to my sciatic at all.
  2. I may be too flexible for my own good.
  3. I may benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy.

I have breached the topic lightly before on the blog, but as a Crossfit woman, it’s no surprise that I suffer from “leakage” when lifting heavy or doing box jumps or attempting DUs or even sneezing, if I’m not careful. Apparently, this could all be improved with some pelvic floor PT.

You see, apparently childbirth can be traumatic and damaging to a body (no sh** Sherlock!) I’m diving deep right now so if you’re squeamish, STOP READING NOW!

When I delivered Rina, I tore my perineum (the area between your anus and your vagina. Not sorry about the TMI right now because I’m sure I’m not the only ) to the 3rd degree and required 15 stitches in my nether region. Also, I attempted to push her out for 3 1/2 hrs. That may (or may not) have injured my coccyx. Add to that a second pregnancy with a second tear (only 7 stitches this time around!) and some baby carrying on the same hip (I am right-handed and have a tendency to carry my girls nicely propped on my left hip in order to have my right hand free for other stuff) and I have a slight shift (about an inch or so) between my hips. My left hip sits higher than my right one, resulting in an imbalance on EVERYTHING I do when I move.

Because I am so limber, I haven’t really felt the imbalance before, but after a few years of having to do extra work, my left hip, pelvis and sciatic have finally said: “Enough!” and I’m listening. It turns out that the Pelvic Floor Physio could help with what my PT thinks is mostly a coccyx injury that needs decompression. She is, unfortunately not allowed to do such a thing, but a pelvic floor PT is. I have an appointment next week and I will keep you posted when I go. As for now, I have also been told to stop stretching (just until we figure out the origin of my sciatic pain), which means I haven’t done any ROMWOD since last week. 😦 I have to say, I kind of miss it, but I’ll listen to the expert’s advice until further notice.

In the meantime, I dream of a day when I wouldn’t need to sit on the couch with my hot water bottle up my butt/lower back in order to obtain some relief. That and no leakage would be awesome too! 😉

After Kath canceled our Kitty and Cougar WOD yesterday (turns out she had too much on her plate and couldn’t fit this in her schedule), I decided to do the Box WOD at home, since it didn’t give me much time to get my stuff together for the 0930 class. Kath felt super guilty about backing out of the competition, but to me, it was just an excuse to get together with her and WOD together, we can do that anytime and don’t need the extra stress of the competition in order to do that!

Here’s what I did yesterday:

We only had a 25# KB at home so I went out and decided to get myself a little treat: a brand new 35# KB! I had both girls with me (Rina had stayed home from school with a cold and Béa was on a day off from preschool) and Rina didn’t want to be left in the dust, so she convinced me to get her a cute little 5# KB.

A family that lifts together... gets strong together! Lol!

A family that lifts together… gets strong together! Lol!

I packed the girls in their double stroller and set off for my run. I had a choice between running a 720m or 920m in my neighbourhood, so I aimed high and went for the 920m loop. Because I have the memory of a fly, I couldn’t remember that I had to do taters and did AKBS.  Pushing the stroller up the hills was interesting, seeing as the girls and the stroller combined added close to 80# of lump I had to get up 3 little hills. 1 was short, 1 was medium and long and the third was short but at a steep incline which had me walking. The fun part was that I also had to go a steady downhill on my way back home. I had to pause my timer, get the girls out of the stroller and get Béatrice set up with something to occupy her while Rina and I got to work on the AKBS. Rina was more interested in chalking up her little hands than actually lifting the KB, but she did about 20 reps with me. I broke mine up in sets of 10 and only started to lose my grip on rep #47. I finished my 3 reps and looked at my timer: 9:52. Not too bad considering I had last done this one RX (without having to push a heavy stroller up a hill) so I’m guessing I probably could have done a similar time as well!

So there you go, I should be back for more Crossfit tales tomorrow, if I feel like blogging about it! 😉

Long Day

0400: Snoring and emergency vehicle alarms going on. The snoring I can deal with by nudging the culprit, the alarms go on for an unnatural long time.

0500: Feels like I just fell back asleep. Time to wake up and get ready for the WOD. Looking forward to this one, even though I can barely walk my quads are still so stiff from the squats and GTO from Wednesday. Pre workout fuel-up of cashews and turkey. Out the door at 0530


Skill: Trap Bar or Axle Bar DL 4×6 E2M

Last time, I had done the trap bar DL, so today was time to switch it up and use the axle bar one. I wasn’t sure where to start weight-wise on the bar so here’s what I did:


I felt good still at 105# and I think my grip could have taken more. Good to know for next time! ;


WOD: Three Fifteen

I teamed up with Telsey and Jenny for this one and it was nice to be able to workout with Telsey again. It was my first time meeting Jenny and she was such  sweet woman! I was really wanting to try this WOD FG at 65#, but I was also very happy to scale it down for my team. I remember too well being the newbie in the class and being terrified of holding people back. I didn’t mind lowering the weight on the bar today, it allows me to really focus on form and being explosive at the hips on the thrusters. I had devised a plan of attack for the WOD and we all agreed on it:

  • switch the thrusters every 5 reps
  • switch the BJ every 10 reps
  • switch the DUs every 30s.

I started us off on the thrusters and was a bit slow on the account that I was cleaning EVERY REP! Coach Caleb came by and corrected my mistake! I’m such a keener! The rest of the rounds were uneventful and we moved through the 6 mins quickly.

Onto the BJ, I managed to jump up all my reps and I was super stoked with that. I also managed not to mangle my shins, so bonus there as well! 😉

The DUs is where we slowed down considerably. I was the only one on our team who could get some reps at DUs, but even at that, all my reps were single ones. I couldn’t string them at all today. Oh well, it is what it is! Honestly, I was just happy to be moving today. My body is so freakin’ sore from Wednesday. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s been a while since a skill/WOD combo destroyed my body this much!

We finished with a total of 214 and my personal stats were:

  • 25 thrusters
  • 50 BJ
  • 14 DUs

If you do the math (or if I do it for you), you’ll see that I was responsible for 41.6% of my team’s score. I’m not doing the stats to brag. I remember doing partner WODs over a year ago and wanting to pull my fair share of the work, yet somehow not managing to accomplish that goal. If it was a 3-person team, I would always hover around the 27-29% mark. If it was a 2-person team, I would hover around the 40-43% mark. The fact that I managed to hit almost 42% of our score today lets me know that I am doing something right.

0700: Rush home, say goodbye to Rina before she leaves for school, shower, breakfast and get ready to head out with BeZU to the pumpkin patch at Galey Farms with her pre-school.

0915: Leave 1/2 of untouched coffee behind (still morning this one) to go pick up other preschool mom and son who live 1 street away from us.

0930-1130: Snacks, train ride, hay ride, pumpkin picking in the field and finish it off with a quick trip to The Root Cellar to pick up ingredients I’m missing for my food prep before work tomorrow.

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1200: Getting lunch ready for Béa and making this Paleo fried rice (I subbed the soy sauce for coconut aminos) 

I also wanted to make this, but by the time I was finished the fried rice, it was time to get Béatrice ready and out the door to pick up Rina at the bus stop.

1545: All the family is back home and I now have to figure out dinner. I am done with cooking at this point, so take-out it is for the girls and I have some of the fried rice for myself (needless to say the kids won’t eat it if it’s not orange). Cleaning up the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, clearing the table, picking up the toys all over the house, another quick shower for myself before I bathe the girls and then a surprise pop-by visit by my sweet SIL who dropped off this little beauty:

She knows me well!

She knows me well!

I packed my food for tomorrow’s work day, put the girls in bed, did my ROMWOD (Thank you sweet baby Jezus it was only 9mins-long) and am now cuddling with the hot water bottle. I have been awake for almost 15hrs, have been going non-stop all day and I’m ready for bed. A few technicalities to take care of (finish this post, floss, brush teeth, set alarm, triple check that I’ve set alarm to AM mode, not PM, read 1 line of my book on my iPad) before I finally fall asleep for what I’m hoping will be a restful night.

There were a few times when I wanted to call it quit today, but I applied my tried and true strategy that I use in Crossfit: it’s just one more rep hour, you can do this. Just finish your meal prep, then you can rest. Just unload the dishwasher, then you can rest. Just get the girls to bed, then you can rest.

Now I rest for a bit. I’m out y’all!


Cuba Sì

As promised, here’s a review of our week-long vacation in Cuba.

We were traveling from Victoria to Montreal, in order to meet up with everybody else on our trip at the Montreal airport. We made our way the day before our Cuban departure, sleep in a hotel by the airport that had a shuttle service and had no issue with that at all. We repeated the same experience on the way back with the same service. I had to call for the shuttle bus to come and get us and it was there within 20 minutes. From Montreal, our flight to Santa Clara was close to 4hrs-long, followed by a bus ride of about 90 mins to the resort. I was ready to go sit and relax when we finally got to the resort. The girls traveled beautifully, sleeping on my lap at times, playing, eating, iPad-ing, and signing songs. Béatrice was being potty-trained and we put her in pull-ups for the flights, but she was good about asking to use the washroom and mostly ended up with a dry diaper after the flights.

Currency: If you love in Canada, don’t bother changing your money for some US funds before your departure as you get penalized once in Cuba. Their currency for tourists is the CUC (a tourist cuban peso) and isn’t worth anything outside of Cuba. Bring your Canadian currency and change it once in Cuba (either at the airport or at some local currency office (we had one on the resort with the rate exchange similar to the US $ ($1 CAN = $0.70 CUC). Make sure you get rid of all your CUC before exiting the country as you won’t be able to do so once back in Canada.

Medical Clinic: Yep, I even got to try this one out! I had started an eye infection on the flight from Edmonton to Montreal and despite using Polysporin eyedrops for 48hrs, it wasn’t improving and I ended up with a huge black eye from the infection, so I hired a cab (1927 Ford!) and made my way to the closest medical clinic on Tuesday. I walked in at 1330, saw the MD at 1332 and walked back out with my bill and prescriptions at 1345. It took a little longer because I had been told by the customer service rep at our resort that I could pay my meds with a credit card. Turned out I couldn’t and had to take a cab to the closest ATM to get some money. My cab driver was nice and waited for me while I sorted all of this and even waited for me while I was being seen at the clinic! I was given steroids, antibiotic drops and anti-inflammatory ointment, all for 50 CUC, including the medical consult. Total cost: 60 CUC including the cab rides. Not too bad!

Cuban Accommodations: We went along on this trip with my parents, my brother and my niece and my brother’s girlfriend (one of my friends 🙂 ) and her kids too. All in all, there were 6 adults and 6 children on this trip. Our resorts was Cayo Playa Santa Maria, located in Santa Maria (north or Cayo Coco). The resort itself was nice enough, but not super luxurious. I seem to remember we had chosen this one because they had a “Kids’ Club”, to which we didn’t end up taking advantage of. Live and learn! The rooms were clean. We had issued with the tub and shower draining properly, and although we had someone look into it for us, it never got resolved. The rooms were done on a daily basis, although sometimes, late in the afternoon when we were trying to get the kids to rest a bit. The fridge was filled with beer, pop and water everyday as well. One thing I was missing when we were there were facecloths. Apparently, they are nowhere to be found in Cuba, so I’d bring a couple if you really can’t do without them. I ended up using a bath mat / towel when I needed one. I think the only drawback was for checking-in. Long line-up, with only 2 clerks at the desk to do 2 buses worth of check-ins: fail! The staff we had to deal with were all very friendly and attentive, on the other hand. AC was available in both the adjoining rooms we had (King bed and 2 twin beds for the girls) as well as a ceiling fan.We never had our patio door open (other than to go hang laundry out on the chairs) as it was too hot to do so with temperatures between 32-35ºC everyday. E only had one day of partly cloudy skies, no rain over the 7 days we were there and saw plenty of heat lightning.

Food: We had a choice of 3 À La Carte restaurants for dinner, but were only able to book 2. All the other time slots had been booked solid after our 2nd day on the resort. My advice would be to go on book those early on in your trip. One of our restaurant was the Asian one and the food was ok, with limited choices for kids. The other one was the Seafood one and only 4 of us ended up going to this one because our reservations was for 7:30pm , after a long day on a Catamaran excursion, on the eve of our departure and the children were too tired to come out to eat. (More on that later).

The buffet was ok in my book. Not terribly bad, not amazingly good. I think, overall, there were only 2 dishes I really didn’t like. Most of the fish I had was absolutely delicious, although, I was the unlucky one with all the bones in the fish. They made a pretty awesome fried rice where you could chose your components, same with omelettes in the morning. You had to be there early though as the lines filled up fast. Not a lot of choices for Whole30-compliant food, but I was on vacation, so I didn’t stress about it. I tried to focus on fruits, meats, vegetables and rice.

Lettuce is almost unheard of there and the only “greens” they had were green bell pepper and cabbage. That got old pretty quick.

I can’t really comment on the booze as I’m not a big drinker. We had wine a few times, I had a Sex On The Beach and a few sips of Mojitos and that’s about it. The drinks were good, from the few I had.

Gym:  I had a quick look at the gym (usual treadmills, stationary bikes, some free weights and benches for presses) and the AC wasn’t supper effective in the little facility so I decided to make my own WOD on the beach:


  • 400m run
  • 25 burpees

I didn’t time myself, but tried to hustle as best as the 33ºC permitted. I would go in the water to rinse off the sand and cool off before the runs. That was my one and only workout while I was there. My bother had brought his TRX and managed a few more workouts than I did. Good for him for not slacking off!

Spa: Ben and I booked ourselves a 1hr-long couple’s massage and it was nice to go relax while my parents watched the girls. The only thing is they had a musical cue on their CD that told them when to move from limb to limb. It was a bit distracting. We were allowed 1hr of relaxation in the jetted pool, but we hadn’t brought our bathing suits. No problem, we were allowed to come back the next day to enjoy the pool.

Beach: This is where we spent most of our time everyday. We would go after breakfast and never had any trouble finding 12 lounge chairs under the shade. We had brought our own tarp and pegs for shade on the beach and never ended up using it.

There were a lot of big rocks/boulders submerged under the sand where the chairs were and you had to be careful about your steps making your way down to the water. The sand was soft and white and, apparently, the beach had suffered some erosion since the previous year (as per previous vacationers).

The water was a ver clear aqua colour and you spot some barracudas often. We only saw 2 small jellyfish on our entire trip. Depending on the wind, some days the water was calm and others, the waves were a bit stronger.

There were free smaller catamarans excursions (max. 4 people) that lasted about 30 mins and free-kayak rental as well.

Animation was on the beach in the morning and moved over to the main pool in the afternoon. We never partook in the activities as we wanted to sit and relax.

Pools: We had a pool very close to our room and although there was music poolside, I think they closed the pools around 6pm daily, which meant you could get a full restful night of sleep. The pools were well maintained, although lots of sand and oil residue from the sunscreen could be found. The water was hot all the time and even hotter in the afternoons. Finding chairs in the shade was a little harder at the pool than it was at the beach, but we were never there very long and usually retreated to our rooms for some shade and nap time when we’d had enough. The little ones enjoyed the pool more and the big kids enjoyed the ocean more. We compromised by doing the beach in the morning and the pool in the afternoon.

The girls and Ben, playing in the pool

The girls and Ben, playing in the pool

Excursions: There were a few tempting excursions I would have liked to do had we been without kids, but we settled on only the one full day Catamaran excursion. There was one where they flew you into La Havana overnight that I would have liked to do (too expensive with the kids), another one where you went to see Buena Vista Social Club perform live (finished around midnight, again, not happening with the kids) and one where you went into Santa Maria to see the Che Guevara Memorial as well as some of the city and churches. I would have love to learn more about that piece of history, but with temperatures being what they were beach-side, I really didn’t want to drag the kids too far from the water.

The one excursion we settled on was the day-long catamaran excursion. We booked it for our last full day in Cuba, Saturday (so that all the kids could get on for free). Kids are free all the time if they’re 6 and under, and on Saturday, it’s free for kids 12 and under.  We had to be ready to go at 0800 which left us ample time to grab breakfast at the buffet (starts at 0700). We hoped on a bus that took us to the marina (20 mins), where we boarded a super clean catamaran, with a crew of 3 on board. There were 2 bathrooms that were kept immaculate throughout the day. The rest of the boat was wiped off of water often and kept immaculate as well throughout the day. We left using the motor for the first part of the day, making our way to the “reef” where we had 1hr to go snorkelling. All kids had to wear life vests and adults who were strong swimmers didn’t have to. Ben brought his GoPro with him so we were able to capture some pretty cool photos and videos.

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Once we were done with that, they served us a light snack of tuna salad on crackers. It was a hit with everyone and was gone in minutes! We motored around, until they brought us to a the dolphin sanctuary. This would not have been my choice had it not been included in the day. I’m not a fan of dolphins in captivity, but the girls liked the little show they put on:

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Once the show was done, we also had the opportunity to interact with the dolphins. Ben had his gGoPro and took some footage, but it was a bit hard seeing as we had to hold the girls in our arms. We had water up to our chest and the dolphins swam up to us so we could touch them. Our dolphin had one cloudy eye and the other one had plenty of scars on its back… 😦 We had lunch at the sanctuary of lobster tails for the adults and chicken for the kids. After lunch, we got back on board and Rina needed the First Aid kit (she cut her toe and was bleeding) and the staff was quick and attentive.  They teased us with sights of beautiful sandy beaches before dropping us off in a sandbar that was rocky and choppy. Not my favourite part of the day (and I think nobody enjoyed this very much out of our little group).  We quickly came back on board and we set out on the water and finally opened the sails and cut off the motor. That was MY favourite part of the day, fo’ sho’!

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The music was blaring, people were dancing and drinking and we all had a blast! We came back to the marina, back on the bus and everybody was tired. I debated about going for our dinner reservation (at 7:30pm) at all, but Ben offered to take the girls to the buffet and put them to bed so I could enjoy a last dinner with my parents and brother. His girlfriend fed their brood at the buffet as well so it was just our little family of 4 that night. It was nice to reconnect with that part of my life and although the food was ok, we laughed a lot at my mom’s fear f the gecko that was inching closer on the ceiling and just life in general.

We had to check out at 0545 the next morning, back on the bus at 0645 (late as per Cuban time) to make our way to the airport for our flight at 1145. That was a long wait at the airport, but we managed fairly well. Béatrice sang the whole time she was on the plane and it was bittersweet to say goodbye to all my lovely family. It had been almost 2 years since I’d seen them all and with the cost of flights to go back home, who knows when we’ll be able to afford to go back? That’s also why I didn’t really care about our accommodation or the quality of the food. To me, this trip was about spending time with my family, for my daughters to get to know their cousins and for us all to really soak in the sun and relax. I’d say our goal has been surpassed x 100 and to me, that means a very successful trip!

3 Little Steps

Im back!

We had a lovely week in Cuba, filled with fun family times, sun and ocean! I will do a photo recap a little later, but for now, it was back to business as usual this morning for a challenging WOD:

WOD: Six by Five

I was really hoping to do this one Rx and it was close, but my little noodle arms couldn’t do the KB push press at 35#, so I settled for FG with the following modifications:

6 RFT of:

  • 400m run
  • 15 AKBS @ 35#
  • 10 reverse KB lunges @ 35#
  • 5 KB push press @ 26#

I was expecting this to hurt bad after my week of lounging on the beach (I did only 1 WOD I made up while in Cuba, more on this in my Cuba recap post) and I was right. Rounds 1 through 3 went fairly well. I was slow compared to others, but I didn’t let it affect me. I kept up with my inner positive dialogue of “just one more rep, one more step”. It worked until round 4. When I first took off on the run, I stopped and took 3 walking steps. I don’t know why I did that, obviously, 3 steps is nothing and it was only a mental block I had to get through as those 3 little steps really didn’t offer any rest. I picked it up again and managed to not stop for the remainder of the runs. When I came back in from my 4th run, that KB was playing mind tricks on me. I did not want to pick it up again. I took a much longer rest, and finally, I won over my head and got back to work. I typically broke my AKBS in sets of 9-6 0r 10-5, lunges were broken into 5-5 and push press were done without rest.

Round 5 went a little smoother than round 4 and I tried to “recover” on the runs, taking advantage of the downhills and picking up the speed. Round 6 destroyed me. I did NOT want to go back out and run again, let alone, do another round of this. Tracey and David came out to run with me and, although I didn’t want to disappoint them, I also didn’t want to push anymore. I was crying with exhaustion and I’m pretty sure I looked somewhat like Kara Webb during Murph at the Games this year. Although, to Webb’s credit, she probably still looked better than I did! I came back in and picked up the KB right away, I knew that if I hesitated, there was no way I would pick it up later so I just went straight to work with it. I finished my last rep at 34:14 and I was so freakin’ happy with that time.

Even though I finished almost last, I knew I had accomplished so much in those 34 minutes. I used to “run” 3km in 30 minutes before I had kids. Today, I ran 2.4km in 34:14, but I also knocked down some serious work as well, so to me, this is great. It’s a true testament of my fitness and where I’m at right now. I can honestly say, even though I don’t look my fittest (heck, I’ll never have my 18 year-old body with a 6-pack ever again), I’m probably in the best shape of my life and that means everything to me. I was elated when I made that realization and I couldn’t stop the happy tears from flowing. Onwards and Upwards my friends!

I may not have abs, but that smile is everything! Happy and comfortable with myself!

I may not have abs, but that smile is everything! Happy and comfortable with myself!

Where I’m At

Something weird happened this morning:

My alarm woke me up!

My alarm woke me up!

I got dressed, ate my snack and made my way to the Box. As I got there, I realized that in 5 days, I will celebrate my 2 years of doing Crossfit! I will do my recap post below because I have time to do so today, but for now, here’s what we did at the Box:

WOD: Pull Popper

I had done this WOD before, back in March and I knew what to expect. I teamed up with Lara and Telsey and they suggested we use 55#!!! I told them to do a few reps with an empty bar to get the feel of it and I wasn’t going any higher than 45# (I had done 40# back in March). My teammates chose to stay at 35# and it was a smart decision! I started us off on the erg and my 1st two rounds were so strong! I kept my pace anywhere between 1:50-1:59/500m and I even saw 1:49 at one point! It scared me a little because I didn’t want to gas out. The snatches were hard and I had to break them into sets of 5 and even did some 3-2 sets thrown in there. Because we didn’t have the big bumper plates on our bars, we had to do erghop burpees. I did all mine Rx, except for one rep in my third round. That 3rd round almost did me in. I was slower on my 1st row, I wanted to quit on the snatches as well as on the burpees and the last row was slow in comparison (2:06-2:10/500m). I used my rest time to reset my mindset and switch it around. Even though I was slower on the last round, I was giving it my all and once I was done, I stepped outside in the cooler air, dropped to my hands and knees, liked that the concrete felt so cool and decided to just belly flop onto it in order to catch my breath and cool off. I was breathing so heavy, my throat still hurts. It literally took me close to an hour after I was done before the nausea subsided. I came close to Pukie the clown a few times, but managed to keep everything down. We finished in 42:49 and although it took us longer than on my previous attempt, I know that my partners gave it their all! Telsey was so freakin’ strong on the erg and Lara made the snatches look easy and flawless.

I came home, went straight to bed and cuddled next to my husband. the thought of washing my hair made me want to scream (arms over head? I don’t think so) and the calluses in my hands were burning so bad. I still can’t do a hyper-extension of my fingers as it pulls too much on the calluses. I can just walk around with claw hands for today, I’m cool with that!

True story!

True story!

OK! Back to serious business: My 2-year anniversary at Crossfit! I can’t believe I have kept this up for so long! For the first time in my life, I have been consistently physically active. Not only that, I now plan my life around the times I can squeeze in a workout. Working out has become a priority in my life (Who am I? Really???) and it is now second nature to wake up before any other creature does in order to go sweat my little(r) butt out! (Who am I kidding, I don’t have a little butt, I squat for goodness’ sake!)

In order to keep the tradition alive, here’s is my comparison in numbers and pictures:

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 9.04.04 AM

As you can see, I haven’t lost much weight. Really, some people lose that amount of weight just thinking about it (Ahem, my husband!). 11.4lbs is nothing. I know some other people would probably have way more dramatic results, but this is me on MY journey. I have to say, I am so freakin’ proud of where I am today: I work full-time (shift work), have two young daughters, a husband whom I adore and still manage to keep up with this madness that I’ve come to love! Plus, a total of 12.5″ of fat loss isn’t anything to spit at either! Wanna see what those numbers look like in pictures?


Here it is!

I don’t really like to look at my Day 1 pictures. Not because of my physical appearance, but look at my facial expression. You can tell that I really struggled through those pics. I was not in a good place mentally (never mind physically) and I’m pretty sure depression wasn’t too far off my radar. I’m so, so glad I walked into Crossfit VicCity on the day that I did. I may not be at my best physically, but man am I stronger mentally and emotionally. I honestly cannot see the day when I won’t want to wake up at 0500 in order to go shed some blood, sweat and tears with my second family. I’m so happy with where I’m at because even though I’m still pudgy in some areas, I am comfortable in who I am because I know what my pudgy body can accomplish. And for that reason, I will strut my stuff in my bikini in a few weeks on the Cuban beaches!

Like I said, I am stronger mentally and walk taller too. I know I can carry both my kids up the stairs at the same time and that gives me confidence that I am doing the right thing in order to be the best mom and wife I can be. Realizing that, I know I have ticked the biggest goal on my Crossfit Goal list!

What will the next 2 years will have in store for me? Stick around! I know I’m excited to find out!

8 Habits I Wish I Had Known When I Started Crossfit

When I started Crossfit, I was a huge (pun intended) couch potato. I was overweight and out of shape. I had been physically active in my youth, but all the sports I had been involved in were mostly cardio-based: downhill skiing, dance, volleyball. I had done a little bit of weightlifting on my own, but I thought a 80# DL was impressive “for a girl”. Suffice it to say that the day I walked into Crossfit Vic City, I knew nothing about Crossfit. After almost 2 years of being consistent to it, here’s what I now know and wished I knew when I started.

  1. Take care of your hands: Your hands will take a beating when you do Crossfit from all the lifting, the pull-ups (even assisted ones), ring dips, rowing, rope climbs, etc. Invest in a good callus shaver and use it frequently. I often pumice my calluses on Fridays because I now I have at least two days of rest before heading back into the gym. You have to shave them, polish them and then, make sure to moisturize well too. As a nurse, I know all about keeping my hands moisturized and it will help tremendously in keeping your hands healthy for Crossfit too.
  2. You will become that girl: You know the one, she shows up, looks like she knows what she’s doing and doesn’t care about her physical appearance because she’s there to throw down, not to impress anybody else. Yeah, that girl. When I first started, I was very self-conscious about what the other members were thinking of me. It’s only recently that I’ve come to the realization that nobody has time to worry about anybody else, we’re all way too busy breathing and trying to finish the WOD. So go ahead, get comfortable and work hard. Take your shirt off if you need to (I DO need to! 😉 ) and get ‘er done!
  3. If you want to buy something, buy lifting shoes: I was hesitant at buying these and in the end, I found a solution: Get my hubby to give them to me at Christmas! 😉 I have never regretted my decision. I won’t lie, they are expensive, but well worth it to help with reaching depth into your squats, snatches, cleans, presses, etc. Heck, I even wear mine to do now (depending on the rest of the WOD) as I find they help me a tiny bit more (and we all know I need all the help in the world for wallballs!)
  4. Stretch, rest and roll: Those are all part of your workout too. You will get sore. Make that “I don’t want to go pee because that would imply squatting and my quads are burning” sore. Make sure you get the rest (whether it’s a day away from the Box or enough sleeping hours at night) you need.  Recovery is important and begins right after the WOD.
  5. Be mindful of your pie hole: I find that I perform way better when the fuel I put in my body is clean. If I eat crap, I perform like crap. Same goes for hydration. Make sure you hydrate enough, and not just the day of a WOD, but on your rest days too. I try to limit my coffee consumption to 1-2/day and focus on drinking water the rest of the day. I’m still a work in progress for that one, but I try to be mindful.
  6. Keep track of your progress: Whether it’s in the gym or about your body. I have logged every single workout, lift and skill I have worked on since about 3 months into my journey. It’s nice to look back and compare. For example, when I started, all my lifts were done with the empty training bar, whereas now, they are all done with a 35# bar with plates on it. I also couldn’t do a proper box jump and had to do them from plates stacked onto others and now, I can do a few from a 24″ box. Also, I have my measurements and pictures from Day 1 of Crossfit and I do a “compare and contrast” once in a while. I don’t focus on the scale so much these days as I know I have put on muscle, even though I still have fat to lose.
  7. Work on your weaknesses: You know the saying: “You’re only as strong as your weakest member”? Same goes for Crossfit. You are only as strong as your biggest weakness. Work on them until they become more natural. For me, they are running, wallballs and the snatch (for now). I could also add MU, TTB, pull-ups, etc, but I have steadily improved in those whereas the snatch and the wallballs are still a major struggle for me.
  8. Stop the negative self talk: I can’t really chastise anybody on that one as it took me A LONG TIME to stop doing this. I kept telling myself that I sucked, that the WOD sucked and why was I doing this to myself again? Yet, I kept showing up. I took a long hard look as to why I kept coming for more torture and for me, what made this enjoyable was the slow transformation that was happening physically, but also mentally and the community that surrounded me. Even if you’re new and you don’t know it, you can still inspire people around you. I know of a few people who have picked up Crossfit because I told them about it.  Also, people I deem true, genuine badasses athletes, people I look up to as inspiration have told me that I was THEIR inspiration to keep going. You never know who is in need of a role model and that role model might just be you!

Alright peeps, I think that’s enough for now. I hope this post can help the newbies out there and inspire you to pick up, or focus on any of the above new habits you should develop if you’re somewhat serious about Crossfit!