Time To Pause

I’m struggling…

In my personal life, in the gym, on the blog.

I am working on my personal life issues and have taken steps in order to make things better. Don’t worry, I’m not in jeopardy, but it hasn’t been easy since Christmas. That’s all I’m gonna say about it on here. Some things need to remain private and I’m drawing the line here.

I have forced myself to get into the gym for the past 3 weeks or more. I still go 2-4 x/week, but it’s a struggle to get the motivation to go. I go, I lift/sweat, I still PR and I even started going back to Oly lifting class. It’s been a while since I’ve felt the happiness of the endorphins, but I still force myself to go, because I know it’s good for me. If, for nothing else, it has had its magical therapeutic effect on me. I’m just tired of crying with almost every single workout. The physical exertion opens up the emotional floodgate and the rubber mat is on the receiving end of all I’m trying to keep bottled up. I am fully aware of that and, like I said, I’m dealing with the emotional side, no worries.

We are well into February and this is my 6th post since the beginning of the year. Whereas I normally blog 2-3x/week. Motivation has been lacking for the blog as well and it has become a rushed chore more than anything else. Blogging has been a wonderful outlet for me since I became pregnant with Rina. I have found support and comfort in your kind comments when I was struggling as a new mom but lately, I find it’s taken my focus away from my kids and I just want to live in the “now” instead of recording every little workout or PR. I want to not feel the pressure to write, the possible judgement that comes with blogging on a regular basis and instead, I want to focus on the things that matter to me the most: my health, my children and my family.

With this said, I am taking a break from the blog. Will it be definite? Only time will tell.  I wanted to thank you for reading throughout the year and for understanding. I will keep reading some of my favourite blogs, but I may not contribute as much on here as you’ve been used to, or at all, for that matter, but I’ll still here. I’m still strong. I’m still going on, one day at a time, one rep at a time, one breath at a time. It’s just time for me to take care of me for once.

So for now, I’ll say: See you around! It’s been a pleasure to write and maybe I’ll be back one day!

 

Motherhood Success

Some days, I feel like I have control over absolutely NOTHING in my life and I’m pretty amazed that I make it through yet another day. Take today for example. I wasn’t really happy with the way I performed at Crossfit this morning and it kind of tainted my usual “endorphin rush”.

I came back home, planned my food for the week and made a grocery list. I decided to go to the local grocery store, so I could walk there with the girls, instead of taking the car and going to my “usual” grocery store. Everybody got dressed and we all took off.

The girls are old enough now that I can let them run their little hearts out on the sidewalk and they know to stop at the corner. I still shout at them to “Wait for Maman at the corner!”, but they know the drill. We hold hands to cross the street and once we’re safely on the other side, they take off again, on the sidewalk. It’s a fine balance to give them their freedom while keeping them safe, all without turning into a “helicopter mom”.

We get to the grocery store and the girls like to push/pull one of those small basket on wheels. I grab one and they help put the groceries into the basket (“It’s MY turn Mom!”) and I cross things out on my list. We then make our way to the register and the girls help out, once again, by putting the produce on the moving belt. Rina then asks if she can return the basket and Béatrice wants to go with her. I tell them to walk and they are off. While I pay for the groceries, I keep an eye on them, making sure they aren’t turning the grocery store into a tornado disaster zone and they come back to me. Rina tells me she was able to put the basket back into the pile (which meant she had to pick it up and lift in into the 3′ pile) and I say:

“I know, buddy, I saw you! You did a good job! I’m proud of you!”

She then saunters off to the ATM and starts punching buttons on the machine. I ask her to “leave the buttons alone, please.” and make a pretend “mad face” at her. She giggles and steps back from the ATM. I thank her and go to grab my bags.

The cashier turns to me and says: “I love how you talk to your children!”

I blush lightly and say “Thank you!” as I gather the girls and walk out with my groceries.

I wasn’t expecting that at all! In this day and age, people are quick to get upset about other people’s business and we are quick to pass judgement. The past month has been a bit of a struggle personally and as I wasn’t particularly feeling good about my morning, that little encounter and comment from the teller brought a smile to my face and filled my heart with pride.

It just goes to show that even if you feel like you’re failing in certain aspects of your life, people are watching and taking note of your good shots as well.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Focus on the positive, let go of the negative.

One day at a time…

I may fail in certain areas of my life, but I will always strive for success for these two little hams!

I may fail in certain areas of my life, but I will always strive for success for these two little hams!

Lighten Up!

I got off night shift yesterday morning and only slept for 3hrs before giving up on sleeping. The house was noisy, but I knew it would be so I made peace with it and got up for the day at 1pm. Needless to say I passed out on the couch at 2130! I had planned to get up at 0500 for the 0600 class this morning (the girls don’t have school today) and I was regretting that decision when my alarm went off! I got up anyway and made my way to the Box for this:

Warm-Up: Cindy x 3 rounds (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats)

I couldn’t get my pull-ups with just the blue band so I added up the purple band and was n’t impressed with how I was doing, but at least, I was warming up.

Skills: Handstand push-ups: 4-5 x 6-10 reps

I’ve been struggling to find the ideal “tripod” position between my hands and head and I only managed one successful round of 5  strict reps from a yoga block + 3×5# plates. I’ve done better in the past, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. I did try a kipping rep and it is SO MUCH EASIER!!! I guess I should master a strict without any scaling before I start thinking about kipping my reps though, right?!? 😉

 

WOD: Lift Up Step Down

Coach Caleb said we should aim at 75-80% for our DL. That meant I should have gone with 120#-125# for my reps, but as I was warming up, 105# felt challenging enough as it was and I stuck with that for the WOD. My DUs are still elusive and I can only manage one-at-a-time interspersed with single skips in-between. I aimed at the FG for 8 DUs + 16 SUs for each rounds.

We got going and I managed the 1st round doing all the BJ Rx. I did, however, scale it back to step-ups for the rest of the rounds as I felt my form was suffering and I didn’t want to make my sciatic angry. I know DL usually make it angry, so I wasn’t gonna push it too much with the BJ.

Here were my times for each rounds:

1:55 – 1:40 – 1:37 – 1:32 – 1:37

fastest + slowest = 3:27

Was I happy about my performance today? Nope, but at least I went and did the work. Sometimes, you have to cut yourself some slack and not allow a crappy workout to turn your day into crap. Funny enough, the Box blog post was all about scaling and how there’s no shame in scaling movements or weights once in a while!

I realize I haven’t blogged at all last week. I made a conscious decision to deal with more important family affairs and that meant the blog took the back burner. Our nanny is moving at the end of February, so I’m trying to find a suitable replacement. It feels like my days off are spent working out, cleaning, cooking and having nanny interviews. Not my idea of a fun day off and since the girls have a pro-D day today, I’m cutting this post short so I can make the most of our day together!

In other news, Béatrice drew this this morning. It’s her 1st “character” drawing where you can actually recognize the features. Apparently, I’m the one on the right because I’m “the angriest!” Lol!

Budding artist makes me so proud!

Budding artist makes me so proud!

 

The one at the top reminds me of Barbapapa!

Anybody else used to watch this show as a kid?

Anybody else used to watch this show as a kid?

Moving Forward

2015 ended on a high note in my fitness life (finally reached a huge goal of mine to back squat my body weight), but it was very sour and looking bleak on a more personal level. I am taking the appropriate steps to change and that and I’m remaining positive that this year will be better than the last and I’m looking forward to acquiring new tools to make this year better. Always growing and always learning makes you a better person. I’m a firm believer that we should always strive to better our personality and if it’s not a priority of yours, I strongly believe we wouldn’t have much in common.

As such, I made it a priority to get a workout in today and, after discussing it with my other half, I was cleared to make it to the 0600 class this morning. Yesterday was stressful at work and I felt like I was putting out fires all day, but it all comes with the territory of being a charge nurse. I did my best and came home feeling accomplished. Exhausted, but accomplished! I think it is slowly becoming apparent that my fitness is important to me as my co-workers are blurting out comments to me. I had 3 that made me laugh a lot because they were as random and out-of-the-blue as they come.  When I told a co-worker I was going on break, she asked: “Will you be back squatting your bodyweight in the break room?” Then, another (female) co-worker blurted out that “Your ass is tight!” clarifying shortly afterwards that I looked lean and fit and a third co-worked noted how I “Eat healthy all the time”. Preach by example, don’t impose your beliefs on people and answer questions is my way to make people understand that it’s all about hard work and dedication, but the rewards make it worth it by the ten-folds! I came home bone tired, my sciatic was acting up and I was ready for a long night of uninterrupted sleep.

My night was uninterrupted, but didn’t feel long enough with a 0500 alarm! I was happy to be back with my OG crew (the 0600!) and to be surrounded with people who share a passion for hard work. Here are the shenanigans we got up to today:

 

Skill: Deadlift 4-8-12-16 E2:30

I’ve been having a hard time concentrating lately. I read the WOD at night, elaborate a game plan and then, somehow, in the morning, I forget about my plan or can’t focus enough and can’t count plates properly. I was meaning to start the DL at 135# and take off 10# with each set, but instead, here’s what I did:

145#x4

125#x8

105#x12

85#x16

Meh! Can’t win them all. I was also wondering why I was struggling so hard to hang onto the bar on my 1st set and then realized I wasn’t using my mixed grip, like I normally am when DL heavy! See what I mean?!? Can’t focus to save my life!

Not my legs, in case you were wondering! Lol!

Mixed grip demo. Not my legs, in case you were wondering! Lol!

I did manage to hang on to the bar for all my rounds without having to drop it, so I was pretty happy with that!

WOD: Bingo Bango

I could have scaled this the same way I normally do, with banded pull-ups, but I decided to go a little harder. I had talked to Coach Caleb last week about my pull-ups and he suggested doing some building up with this little gem:

It’s more of a strict pull-up drill, but it really recruits the appropriate muscles needed for a pull-up and I was ready to put in the work today. I set-up my bar on the rig and we put a 70#KB in front of my feet so that I wouldn’t slide forward as the reps increased and I was set to go.  I wrote my rep scheme on a small whiteboard and I had written up to 10 pull-ups, thinking I would probably make it to the round of 7. Much to my surprise, I completed the 9th round for an AMRAP of 135. I was really conscious of my BJ and made a strong effort to not become sloppy for my reps. I was pretty happy with the work I put in today and came home to were proudly my new muscle shirt, gifted by the Nanny. She gets me so well and had given me this shirt that says: “Muscles and Mascara” on it.

My muscle shirt! <3 it!

My muscle shirt!

 

BeZU, flexing like a beast with Mama!

BeZU, flexing like a beast with Mama!

Having people who think like you, support and encourage you in your crazy adventures make the world of a difference and I was happy I got to see reconnect with my bunch of fit people this morning. These people are a source of inspiration on a daily basis and I consider myself lucky to have like-minded people in my life who provide friendship, love and support when it is needed! I am lucky to have a bunch of them in my life!

 

What’s In A Name?

I had a hard time going to bed last night and that meant I was still awake at 2330. With a 0600 wake-up call to get Rina for school, that meant I was slightly sleep-deprived and waking up was hard this morning. Turns out Rina stayed home from school again today as she is still sick (fever yesterday and sore throat today), so I tried to get back to bed, but my dreams have been filled with Ryan Gosling, so that was a bit disturbing. I guess that’s what you get when you google “Ryan Gosling Crossfit Memes” before bedtime! Lol! 🙂 Speaking of weird dreams, it seems I have crossfit on my mind a lot lately. Earlier this week, I dreamt that I managed my 1st bar MU and then, manage a couple more. I was kind of sad when I woke up, but at the same time, it leaves me hungry for the Open coming up!

Here’s what we did this morning:

Skill: Tempo Back Squat (4-2-1) 6×2 E90s

Coach Caleb was coaching the 0930 today and he said to go lighter than what we had done last time we did the tempo (3-2-1). I didn’t bother to check and I thought if I finished at 120#, that would be close enough. The reps were hard and I was struggling at the bottom, but managed to do all 6 sets with the following weights:

95#-100#-105#-110#-115#-120#

When I came back home, I looked back on my log and realized I had actually gone HEAVIER on the tempo than the last time. 15# heavier to be exact. No wonder I was struggling! I must have been on the Gainz Train or something! Maybe I was thinking of my recent PR (145#) and thought I’d be ok at 120# today! Oh well, more fitness in for me today!

Yes, Ryan! Whatever you want!

Yes, Ryan! Whatever you want!

WOD: Gripper Ripper

I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle this one. I have been struggling with my American KBS at 35# lately and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m rebalancing my sciatic or what, but I keep losing my grip and the bell keeps flipping backwards. I also wanted to try the pull-ups with the blue band only (instead of blue and purple) so I discussed my issues with Coach Caleb and after he told me to slightly cock my wrists forward in the hold of the KB (while maintaining my arms straight), I decided to set-up with a 35# KB and a 26# one as a back up, in case I couldn’t manage the 35# for all 4 rounds. It was just me and 2 newer male members (that sounds wrong for some reason…)

3-2-1-Go!

I managed the first round of AKBS without any breaks and moved onto the rig for the pull-ups. The boys passed me very quickly as I was doing 2-3 at-a-time. It was slow and painful, but I got my 1st round done.

I went onto my 2nd round of AKBS and managed 4 before the bell flipped backwards on the 5th rep. I no-repped myself for that one, chalked up some more and made it for 5 more reps before I took another break. Once I regulated my breath, I picked up the KB and managed the remaining 8 swings left. Onto the rig again for the pull-ups. I think the boys were onto their 3rd and 4th rounds while I was in the middle of my 2nd. Still, I kept going with mostly 2 pull-ups before coming off the rig for a breather.

I chalked up well before starting my 3rd round and managed my goal of doing the KBS into splits of 9-8. I quickly (for me) moved onto the rig for the pull-ups and was trying to keep my sets of 2 alive, but I couldn’t keep it up. I had to break them into singles and that also when I realized I was well into my 1st hand tear into my “Crossfitter career”. That WOD was aptly named! I had a huge bubbling white blister in my right hand and I knew it wasn’t going to hold on for much longer. I kept going with my single reps and chalked up for the last round.

I’m pretty sure the boys were done by then and I was working solo. Again, I managed to do my AKBS into splits of 9-8 and I was super happy I had managed all 4 rounds with the 35#, with only 1 no-rep! I went onto the rig for my last set of pull-ups and did them all single. I was able to catch my breath faster in-between and Coach Caleb and Phil’s cheering helped me to finish them all. I got it done in 12:45. Much slower than everyone else, but I had kept up with the increased difficulty (for me, anyways) of the heavier KB and smaller bands for the pull-ups. All 3 of us got tears today, so I don’t feel too bad about it!

Once I was done, I put my equipment aways, wiped my KB and my spot on the rig of the blood and torn up skin I may have let behind, I then cut up the flap of skin that was hanging off my palm and (painfully) washed my hands. The skin is tender and it’s a decent rip, but with a little bit of Polysporin, it should heal in no time. I covered it after my shower, and although it feels fine at the moment, I will keep it covered for a bit in order to promote healing (as per this article in Tabata Times

It doesn't look too bad, right?

It doesn’t look too bad, right?

I’m fairly confident I ripped up just the dead skin layer of my calluses and it will heal up quickly. Keeping my fingers crossed it does as I’m back to work Monday and I have a feeling that the antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer will zing furiously if it’s not completely healed by then! Oh well, we all go through it and it’s a rite of passage as a Crossfitter! Another first I can now tick off my list!

5 And 3! Oh My!

If you’ve been a reader of my Ramblings for a while, you’ll know that my wonderful daughters share a birthday, 2 years apart. If you’re new to this little blog of mine, well, now you’re in the know as well! 😉

Today is the girls’ birthdays. They are turning 5 (Rina) and 3 (Béatrice). I have been busy trying to organize their special day, getting birthday and christmas presents done and finding a good paleo cake recipe.

I have managed to get the birthdays all done and under control and I still have a few items to pick up for the girls for Christmas. I have made a futile attempt at writing my Christmas cards with high hopes of sending them out later this week and I managed to only write up one so far! Man! I tell you, I feel like I’m somewhat organized in my day-to-day life, then December rolls around and all hell breaks loose! I get nothing done and stress levels go through the roof. Fortunately, the hubster has been pitching in a lot lately and I’m secretly hoping it will be a trend that lasts. 😉

We went to the truck light parade on Saturday evening and I think the girls enjoyed it very much. Rina was squealing like the most high-pitched piglet out there and Béatrice was dancing on my shoulders. Then, yesterday, we celebrated the girls since Rina had school today.

 

I'd say they managed a decent loot!

I’d say they managed a decent loot!

After we were done with lunch and it was time for me to bring out the less than impressive cake I made. I really don’t enjoy baking. To make it worst, I’m not really talented at it either. I’m just not crafty that way! I tried really hard to make them a cute birthday cake and it turned out more like a laughable mommy-fail of the year. I made a paleo cake from PaleOMG’s book and although I was told the cake and icing tasted good, the decorating was similar to Rina’s drawings… Not quite what I was going for. We sang “Happy birthday” twice and the girls blew their candles. BeZU even hugged me while she said: “Thank you for my cake Maman!” Bless her heart, that kid is simply amazing!

Once we were done eating lunch, cake and opening presents, we decided to go to the park atop the reservoir and have a little walk. We split up into two groups and somehow, lost Rina by doing so. I thought she was with the husband’s group and vice versa. A quick run along the trails surrounding the park and I found her sitting at the lookout, just waiting there. She got a quick scolding and I thing she was pretty scared off as she was all teary when she ran back to me. I told her she did good by waiting in one place and we went over other safety things before rejoining the rest of the group.

Before we lost Rina

Before we lost Rina

This morning, I went to Crossfit and even though I wasn’t feeling it at all (still sore from 1/2 Cindy on Friday), I was determined to get the juice flowing again in my sore body. Here’s what we did:

Skill: (1 Hang squat clean + 3 Front squats) x 5 E90s

I was aiming for 95# on my last set, with a realistic goal of 90#. I ended up doing this:

75#-80#-85#-85#-85#

I was stripping my butt out of the squat and I really wanted to focus on NOT doing that in order not to screw up my sciatica even more. Also, I was using the slam ball as a guide as to how low to get to at the bottom and hoping to create muscle memory without going lower than I need to. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting better, I think. It’s so hard to have to re-program all my lifts and not dropping as low as I can go into them, but I know I’m taking a few steps back in order to keep moving forward injury-free.

WOD: Swing And Pop

That was my first attempt at this one and what was written on our white board is different from what’s written on our blog so I’m a little confused, but I ended up doing what was on our white board, FG:

8min AMRAP:

  • 5  DUs + 15 singles
  • 15 AKB @ 26#
  • 5 KB push press / arm @ 26#

I didn’t think I would be strong enough to do all my rounds with the 26# KB for the KB push press and I had the 18# on my mat as a back up, but I managed just fine. It was a lot of hard work and my reps were low compared to everyone else, but I am so skittish of injuring my sciatic again, that I really don’t mind. I’m still working hard and making the best of it all while remaining safe. So far, so good!

I came back home, showered, ate lunch with Béa and then I was off to finally deliver baby Bailey’s blanket. I finished it a while back and finally managed to deliver it today. She’s such a cutie and so friendly! She was singing and cuddling and just adorable! I could have squeezed her all day, but I had to go back to my chores. I made some food for dinner and then it was time to pick up Rina from school and our evening routine. Hopefully, I can get to my christmas cards tomorrow and get those done and over with! Here’s to hoping! 😉

 

 

Asking For Help

I am renowned for rarely asking for help. I am mostly in charge at work and people come to me for help and answers most of the time. Ever since we moved to the west coast 7 years ago, it has been just the hubster and I managing our little family. When the hubby is away, I have been handling the house, finances and kids all by myself, with the occasional help from our Nanny. I tend not to ask too much from Nanny because, well, we need to pay her and I refuse to fork out money if I don’t need to. I have always been somewhat independent and let’s just say that asking for help is not something that comes naturally.

A few weeks ago, I had a nice chat with Kathleen where I kind of lost my composure a bit. We got talking about Crossfit and I became a puddle of tears when I mentioned that I wasn’t getting much feedback from the coaches and it was affecting my motivation to keep going. I don’t mean that I need feedback on every move I make when I’m at the Box, but it just feels very unnatural for me to ask for help on my lifts/form/modifications, etc.

Kathleen, in all her wisdom, suggested I give it a try and maybe I’ll feel differently about it all. Well, today was the day I grabbed the bull by the horns and I actually asked for feedback on my back squats. I’m still in rehab from my sciatica and I want to make sure I am not tucking my tailbone under at the bottom and that I stay engaged when I drop down and not lose momentum. Today, we were doing tempo squats (3 seconds to get down, hold for 2 seconds at the bottom and get back up in 1 explosive second) and it was important to me to make sure I didn’t make things worst for my sciatic. On the fourth set, I gathered my courage and asked Coach Caleb to make sure my technique and form were ok. Having to learn a new depth into the squat is still somewhat challenging. The tricky part when you’re too flexible (Ha! Who knew being too bendy would ever be a disadvantage?) is to know not to stop at your max squat depth, but to still be below parallel. It turns out, I was just at parallel and Coach Caleb advised me to drop further 1″ to make sure I was below parallel. It was hard holding that position. All my abs, gluteus and hamstrings were screaming to get back up, but I managed and I was very happy I had ask for feedback. After all, that’s why I pay to go sweat my little heart out! I’m glad I have good coaches who are knowledgeable at what they do.

Here’s what I did as a progression for the skill:

Skill: Tempo Back Squat (3-2-1) 5×3 E2M

80#-85#-90#-95#-100#

That was a 10# PR for the Tempo Back Squats for me today! Oh yeah!

WOD: Half Cindy

I was debating whether to go for the full or the half and after reading the blog, I figured the half would be challenging enough as it was! I remember the last time I did this one, I had managed 181 reps with the red and purple bands for the pull-ups back in August. Today, I knew I was going to use the blue and purple bands for the pull-ups (smaller than last time) and I was hoping to get at least as many reps in as last time. Coach Caleb told us to have a strategy for the pushups and he was right. I started with 2 rounds of 5-5, but had to resort to 4-3-3 from the 3rd round on. I also managed to do my 5 pull-ups without letting go of the bar for the first 4 rounds, but then had to break them into 3-2. The air squats were where I tried to haul butt and catch my breath at the same time, if that makes any sense. I was happy to finish my 6th round with a little less than 2 mins left on the clock. That meant I would definitely get more reps in this time around than I had last August. I was trying desperately to hang onto the bar for my pull-ups and managed to do 5. The pushups were getting to me, but I managed to stick to my formula of 4-3-3 and quickly moved on to the air squats. I really wanted to finish my 7th round  and with 15s left on the clock, I was 1 rep shy of making my goal. I finished with 6 full rounds + 29 reps.

I was exhausted, but happy! Another PR during rehab always feels nice!

I came back home, showered and did my hair and I was still high from the PRs and felt really proud to rock my CFVicCity t-shirt! 🙂

#greenwithpridenotenvy

#greenwithpridenotenvy

I then had another physic appointment and we have decided that I am done with my regular physio for now. I have all the tools and exercises that I need to keep practicing in order to get better. Only a few appointments of Pelvic Floor physic left as well and then I should be as good as new!

I have also been better at asking for help from my husband lately. With the girls’ birthday celebration approaching on Sunday and Christmas, he’s been really helpful running errands for me and it has decreased my stress level by A LOT! I guess there’s something to say about asking for help! Who would have thunk it?!?