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!

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!

 

Progress Update and Goals

Since it’s my 1st post in the new year, I thought I’d share yet another progress update report as well as some goal for the upcoming year. I don’t do resolutions because I don’t believe in them, but goals, I can do!

What has the past 2 1/2 years of my life have looked like? Well, in numbers, it has looked like this:

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 2.15.16 PM

 

Not much change in size and weight since my 1st Whole30, but the fact that I have maintained the progress for the past 6 months is something new for me. I have felt myself slip up from my healthy eating habits and have reeled myself back into them by doing a second round of Whole30 back in November-December and it has paid off.

In terms of what I look like now vs then, well, here it is:

2016-01-04

My biceps have finally made an appearance and I can see a faint shadow of upper abs starting to shoe as well. The most dramatic changes remain my back and my butt and I have to say, I love all the ripples created by new muscles on my back. I may have lost “only” 11 lbs, but I know I’ve lost more fat that I have replaced with muscles and I’m very happy with where I’m at today!

In terms of goals, I have a few that I have rolled over from year to year, but the list is getting smaller now and I will focus on these 2 for a bit:

  • Consistently managing at least 20 DUs in a row
  • 10 TTB without getting off the rig

The Open is coming fast upon us and it’s made me realize that 2 1/2 year into my crazy fitness adventure, I shouldn’t be struggling with my DUs anymore. So I’m working on them and doing drills to prepare for the open. TTB are a consistent part of my warm-ups and my max so far is 3. Much better than 0 last year for the Open, if I do say so myself! 😉

This morning was back to school for the little ones and back to work for Ben, which meant back to the crazy morning rush of getting everybody ready and out the door in time, cleaning up the house and getting myself to Class for 0930. I was pretty excited because I saw this on the WOD website last night:

image

I sure love me some deadlifts! Lol! I don’t know if I like deadlifting or squatting more, but those are definitely my favourite top two lifts! It shows too! I have added 80# to my back squat (from 65# to 145# last week) and 75# to my deadlift (from 85# to 160#) and 70# to my front squat (from 45# to 115#). This BabyMama’s got booty and apparently, I know how to use it!

Here’s what I did today:

Skill: Deadlift 5×5 E90s

I started at 120 and increased by 5# for every round, finishing up at 140#. Not too bad considering my 1RM deadlift is 160# (back in August 2014). I’d be curious to re-test this as I have a feeling I could maybe get heavier. 5 x 140# felt good today and it felt like I could have gone heavier on those as well.

WOD: Gritty

I was excited to see it was mostly bodyweight stuff for today, but I knew it would be a lot of work. I managed to do RX, but some people who were doing the Comp Prep still managed to beat my time. It’s all good though as I was cautious on the BJ and I managed to do all of them RX! I didn’t do any step ups. I also managed to do most of the burpees RX as well, with maybe 5-6 granny-style to catch my breath. I finished in 7:50 and I was pretty happy with that, even though that still puts me way after everyone else. After those heavy DL, my legs got sore fast and my plan of attack went out the window very quickly once I started the WOD. I really wanted to do all exercises with only a break in the middle point, but I had to take way more breaks than anticipated. It’s ok though, I’m ok with that.

I then talked to Coach Caileigh about the Open and what to do about registration. I know for a fact that I will have to miss one of the WODs because we have a planned vacation in a remote area for March break and I’m just not willing to drive for 3.5hrs in order to kill myself compete and drive back afterwards. So unless an affiliate miraculously opens up in that neck of the woods between now and February, I will score a big fat “0” for 16.4 and that is ok with me. It’s not like I’m going anywhere fast, but it’s always nice to keep track of progress!

“Me” Day

I’ve been spending some quality time with the girls over the past few days and I think Rina has appreciated spending a bit more one-on-one time with her Mommy and Daddy. Last night, she came to me with this sweet love note:

Rina <3<3<3<3<3 maman

Rina <3<3<3<3 maman

Last night, I was getting ready to not be able to sleep before my night shift tonight, but the husband had arranged for the girls to spend most of the day with his parents so that I could get some alone time and do whatever I wanted with my day, including nap before night shift! #hesawesome ! I quickly changed gears and planned my day accordingly! On my to-do list:

  • cook a healthy meal for night shift. During the holidays, I see a crazy amount of treats in (and out) of our break room and if I don’t plan my meals accordingly, it’s easier to fall off the wagon. Although my Whole30 is officially over since last Saturday, I have yet to have a “cheat meal”. It’s going to happen tonight with this recipe from Inspiralized
Image credit to inspiralized.com

Image taken from  inspiralized.com

  • Do a little laundry
  • Tidy up the house
  • Wrap-up Christmas presents
  • knit, if I have time left-over!

While I was slowly enjoying a late breakfast, the doorbell rang. I went to open the door and it was a flower delivery!

Photo 2015-12-22, 9 09 41 AM

The husband surprised me with a nice floral arrangement “just because” this morning! <3! More brownie points for him! I cleaned up breakfast, helped getting the girls ready and packed for the day and Ben drove them to my in-laws. I got going on the laundry and just finished cooking the Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl with Pomegranate and Maple-Sesame Vinaigrette (long title, delicious meal!) hence, where I will be breaking my Whole30 (maple syrup isn’t compliant to the Whole30). I did add some cooked chicken to the recipe for my night snack in order to bump up the protein content of the meal. I cleaned up my dishes and am now about to wrap up some presents all while attending to the laundry, and it’s not even noon yet! #score

I begged Ben to bring the girls back home for dinner as I will otherwise be away from them for close to 24hrs and I can’t remember when I’ve been apart from them for so long. At the same time, it makes me realize that maybe I SHOULD make it a point to take more time for myself once-in-a-while… Food for thought!

Enough blogging, I have a full day ahead and I plan on making the most of it!

 

 

Pushing The Envelope

Well, actually, I’ve been pushing weights, more than an envelope, but you get my gist, right?

After a restful night of sleep where NOBODY woke up in the middle of the night (Whoot! Whoot!), I woke up at 0500 again for the Oly class.

I wasn’t sure I was gonna make it there as my gas light turned on, on my way to the Box, but I managed to make it and there’s a gas station across the street so my plan was to fill up after class. Worst comes to worst, I knew I would be able to push my car to the station! 😉 BAM!

Today marked my 8th training session in 14 days. I’ve never trained this much in my life! It’s my last week before my month-long vacation comes to an end and my plan was to squeeze as many workouts as I can before I go back to my usual 2-3 sessions/week. I am definitely starting to feel it though and combined with it being my 1st week back on the Whole30 and all the cloudy/rainy weather we’ve had this week, all I want to do is sleep. Unfortunately, I have 2 cuties that have other plans for me:

Every time I tried to nap on the couch, they would come bother me!

Every time I tried to nap on the couch, they would come bother me!

Who needs sleep, right?

Anyway, back to Oly class, here’s what we did today:

Photo 2015-09-03, 5 46 42 AM

I wonder if those Forehead Jerks made me look as stupid as they made me feel??? Those were weird!

C&J EMOM X10 @85%

That meant 76.5# for me. Coach Caleb told me I had soft elbows on my jerk during my warm-up to that weight, but apparently, I corrected once I reached my target weight. Maybe I just needed more weight in order to really lock my elbows? I was trying not to pause between the clean and the jerk all while keeping the lift smooth and I was tired by rep 7. I started to take a few breaths in the transition and I was glad when we were done.

OHS 6×2 E3M

I teamed up with Linda who saved my hair crisis this morning. You know the drill: you go to put your hair up and your elastic just breaks in your hand and you realize you don’t have a spare one? Well, Linda gave me one of hers and my life was perfect again! So, we teamed up together and we started low (I’m not strong and Linda is recovering from a back injury.

I knew I could do 65# since I had done that weight for 15.2 during the Open. Looking back, I should have aimed for 70# or 75#, but I’m sore everywhere and my wrists have taken a huge hit with all the freakin’ cleaning I’ve been doing lately. Here were my reps:

40#-45#-50#-55#-60#-65#

My wrists were hurting on the last set, but I felt stable in my core and getting out of the bottom of the squat felt relatively easy. Oh well, my previous number for OHS was 6×3 @60# so I think that’s a new PR for me. I’m amazed I can still have PRs this week as I’m feeling so sore everywhere! I can’t wait for my massage Friday!

I came back home and did some laundry with the hubs (OK, he did most of the laundry while I cleaned and vacuumed the upstairs).

Look Mom! I'm hiding!

Look Mom! I’m hiding! (Typical Béa on laundry day)

I also did some food prep for the Whole30 since I had nothing but eggs and avocados left (I had thawed some chicken thighs and ground turkey) and I feel better now that I have healthy options in the house.

I managed to close my eyes for about 10 minutes after lunch and I tried to cuddle to the girls on the couch while they watched Frozen (I may have turned the TV on with hopes of napping next to them. Don’t judge!) but they kept poking me, pulling my hair and staring at me. Major fail, but we still watched the movie! 😉

I just have to make it through tomorrow’s class and possibly a last training session with Kathleen on Sunday and then I can go back to slacking off my regular training/work schedule.

 

I’m A Crossfitter

Kathleen is in the process of moving to her new mansion house and she has been wanting to inaugurate Jim’s Gym V2.0 so we all got together today for some special workout she had come up with.

I drove up to her new place and couldn’t help from swearing to myself as I pulled up the her new place. IT IS MASSIVE! Massive and gorgeous and she will have a library and I can’t wait to see it when it’s all done and it has an awesome gym space as well. Even bigger than her previous one. I told her I’d like to move in. She laughed. I don’t think she understood I was being serious! 😉

There were 4 of us today and  I got to meet Lisa (Kath’s friend) and Keith (Kath’s brother). Lisa joined us a little late as she had a previous engagement and when I introduced myself to her, she asked if I knew Kath from Crossfit. Keith’s answer was: “Of course she does, she has the same shoulders as Kath. Crossfire shoulders.” I never thought of myself as having a “Crossfitter’s body shape”, but apparently, I have the shoulders of one and I totally took that as a compliment! Before Lisa showed up, Kath, Keith and I warmed up with this:

Warm-up!

Warm-up!

I can’t remember which weight I did for the KB hold, I think it was 26# in each hand. That was brutal enough for me, especially on the last round. I was having a hard time catching my breath from the erg and my arms were shaking while Keith rowed his last round. I managed to keep my rowing around 2:02-2:04 for each rounds and I was happy with that.

Once we were all warmed-up, we got into two teams (Keith and Lisa, Kathleen and myself) and went through the workout and strategized as to how to break it down. Kath and I decided to split the group work into 10 reps each, but we broke away from the original plan a bit as we went along.

Kath's masterplan!

Kath’s masterplan!

We set up outside of the garage and it was nice to workout in the last sun of the summer!

3-2-1-GO! Everybody took off running with Kath and Lisa literally gunning it. Keith was in the middle and I was bringing up the rear. Kath go back in first and because there was only 1 box to do BJ, she got dibs on it and the other team had to start on the KBS (we all did Russians). Kath did 15 BJs, I did 15 BJs, then she did 11 and I followed suit and she finished off the rest before we moved onto RKBS where we broke them off in sets of 15 (I was using 35#).

For the carries, I sandbagged it down to 26# because I couldn’t do the overhead carry with 35#. We each did 3 rounds and competition was kicking in with Keith and myself doing a little trot at some point to try to gain distance on the other team.

Kath and Lisa, doing some carries

Kath and Lisa, doing some carries. Do you see how gorgeous it is to workout in that scenery?

Kath and I finished the carries first and I hopped onto the assault bike first (after we fiddled with the seat height, me being the shorty that I am, had to drop it down to 2, while Kath had to crank it back up to 8)! We each did 0.6 on the assault bike and moved onto the GTO with the plates (I used 25#, maybe next time I’ll try 35#?)

We then set off for the last 400m run and Kath stayed behind, but I told her I had this and wanted to run by myself. Keith and Lisa had the crappy part seeing as there was only 1 assault bike, they had to start with the GTO plates, THEN do the assault bike, THEN go straight into the last run. With Keith being the last one on the bike, I really felt for him as he had no rest at all between the bike and the run. I went back out with him to help him finish up his run and he totally sprinted the last part! Well done!

I think Kath and mine’s time was around 23:51 and Keith and Lisa was 24:32 if I remember properly. It was fun! I got sweaty for the 5th time this week and it felt good.

Keith and I stayed in the garage and discussed the Whole30 for a bit (I’m starting a second round of it on September 1st) and he seemed intrigued! I will share some of my knowledge with him!

I came back home to an empty house, received a text from Ben that they were at the pool and went back out to meet up with them. It was a nice way to relax after a sweat fest and I even enjoyed some of the sprinklers in the kids’ pool on my Crossfitter’s shoulders! 😉

As we normally come home after the pool for dinner and the girls’ bedtime, I had only packed my PJs to wear afterwards (sweat pants and a tank top. This is something we normally do as it’s easier to just get the girls in their PJs at the pool, instead of having to change them back once home). Ben had other plans though and we ended up going out for dinner, me in my sweats and all! Super classy!!! Oh well, I didn’t care (too much)!

We are now back home, relaxing on the couch and the girls are already in bed. I think the pool tuckered them out and I will follow suit soon as I have Crossfit in the morning, followed by our suite inspection (our tenants are moving out) and I’m fairly sure I’ll have some cleaning to do in the suit before our new tenants move in! Yay! More cleaning, said no one ever!

Gentle reminders

I went to bed last night petrified. I had looked up the WOD for this morning and saw that it was Mini Murph. Yikes! I woke up before my alarm and made sure I fuelled up appropriately for it:

  • 1/4 cup ground turkey (Tex Mex seasoned with lime juice)
  • 1/2 oz cashews
  • 1/2 banana (normally, I don’t do the banana, but this morning, I felt I could use the extra carbs. I’m glad I did this!)

I hopped in the car and tried to get my head in the game. My butt was still sore from all the lunges on Monday so my head slowly started to tremble with fear. Just e gentle reminder that my butt still needs working on. I tried to keep a cool attitude though. Fake it until you make it kind of attitude!

Bo showed up and then there were two of us dreading the WOD. He also kindly gave me a 2-month supply of multivitamins for free. His wife had extras and he figured: share the love!

Coach AJ showed up and we warmed up. We discussed the WOD and strategy and I chose a plan of attack: 800m run, 10 x (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats), 800m run. That seemed a little more decent than trying to do everything at once. The warm-up had some running in it and that made me dread the WOD even more. Just a gentle reminder that I am not an efficient runner.

We came back inside and set up our pull-up stations. I tried to do a few with just the red band, but seeing as there were 50 to do, I added the purple band as well. I was already tired and the WOD hadn’t even started. Just a gentle reminder that shift work, no matter the amount of sleep you get, wreaks havoc on your body.

3-2-1-GO!

I let everybody pass me easily and held out at the back. I did my 1st 800m run without stopping. It had rained earlier and although it wasn’t raining anymore, the air was cool and it felt good to run in cooler weather.I came back inside and jump don the rig to tackle my 1st set of pull-ups. I pretty much went with little rest for the 1st 5 rounds. I then allowed myself a sip of water and went back to work. I was determined to do all my push-ups RX and as I rested on my 6th set, I inhaled deeply and could smell the very typical rain smell in the air. It calmed me down and I kept going. Rounds 7, 8, 9 and 10 were a struggle. Not so much for the push-ups as I had anticipated, but the pull-ups were slowly doing my head in. I kept staring at the bar and my head was just telling me “Nope! No more!” Thank goodness, Coach AJ and Tracey were there to tell me to get back onto the bar. I listened to them, instead of my head and keep going.

After round 10, I took another sip of water and headed out for the last 800m run. Mark and Gail came out and ran with me. We did the first 400m and I was trying to potentialize on the downhills as much as I could and tried to pick up the spreed. I was struggling. I took of for the last 400m and Mark stayed with me. I felt like telling him to go back inside, I got this (after all, he had done the WOD with a 20# vest on and had finished way before I did), but I’m glad I didn’t. He was chatting me up while I picked up the speed a little more on the downhills. On the last uphill, Mark told me to give ‘er and not save anything. My head was saying I didn’t have anything left. Once again, I listened to Mark and picked up the pace until I was running full speed and made my way back inside. Just a gentle reminder that your head will want to quit before your body does. I looked at the clock: 31:10! I was exhausted, but so proud! I was expecting this to take me an hour! Just a gentle reminder that I am stronger and fitter than I think. When you doubt yourself, trust in the people who believe and support you.

I came back home on such a high! I showered,  dolled myself up and am now ready to spend a day with my entire family. The rain has picked up now and is a gentle reminder of the fall and winter weather slowly approaching.

Natural high!

All dolled up and on a natural high!

 

Rain on my car and Crossfit on my mind!

Rain on my car and Crossfit on my mind!

I still can’t believe how much my fitness has improved in the last few months. I am stronger, physically and mentally and a tad faster too. I am also more confident in what I can achieve and it is empowering to see how much I can get done. Just a gentle reminder to trust your body more than your head. While your head will screw with you, your body will show you how strong you really are.

In other news, French Nanny (from now on, she will be Nanny) is a delight to work with. She has picked up the slack this week when temporary Nanny got sick and she has raised above and beyond the call of duty. She has cleaned up my floors more than I do myself, has done our laundry, even though it wasn’t asked of her and she plays tirelessly with the girls, so much so that they fall asleep before hitting their pillows at night. To top it all off, she woke me up with coffee in bed yesterday afternoon, after my night shift! I told Ben he had some fierce competition: she makes me coffee AND she cleans! Lol! He said she was Mary Freakin’ Poppin! I will make sure to do everything in my power so she doesn’t fly away from us. Just a gentle reminder that there are still good, loving people out there.