Womanhood

*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

0600:

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:

90#-95#-100#-105#

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!

 

When Your Cheat Meals Cheat You!

Artsy shot I took of the sunrise on our condensation-filled bedroom window this morning

Artsy shot I took of the sunrise on our condensation-filled bedroom window this morning

Alright everyone, enough with the artistic distractions. It’s confession time:

My eating hasn’t been on point for the past two weeks and I can definitely feel it in my performance / energy level. I have had pasta, bread and dairy, increasingly more over the past week and it showed up today.

I walked into the Box and felt like I hadn’t been there for 2 weeks. That’s how low my energy level was. Again, I didn’t have high expectations about the skills or the WOD for that matter because I already felt so drained…

I had Béatrice with me and I was a little worried about being able to focus on my stuff with her there, but the Coach AJ parted the skies and brought out the big box of giant Legos! Combined with her snacks, I had a happy, content kid and I was able to really focus on the work to do! Yay for Coach AJ! 🙂

While I was warming up, I managed a very good TTB, followed closely by an almost successful 2nd rep. Rob Black, I’m definitely coming for you! (Rob and I have a friendly competition going: 1st one to manage 10 TTB consecutively. He’s been cheating lots by doing lots of Team comps, so I don’t feel bad at all at practicing my TTB!)

Skill: Back Squat 3×10 E2M

I had gone up to 100# last time on these and managed to get a little higher today with a last set at 105#. My reps were: 95#-100#-105#. The last set was hard, but I tried to keep my chest up as best I could and really keep my knees out as well on the up. I think I managed ok.

WOD: Flash

It was all women except for Mike today and I felt bad for him because we all started talking about bladder leakage and well, he couldn’t really relate, could he? To keep with the topic, I received this email yesterday. My heart always sinks when I get this email from my period-tacking app. Maybe I should just remove the app, but then, how would I track my cycle?

Worst email ever...

Worst email ever…

Ok, back to Crossfit

This looked like it was going to be easy on paper, but man, it did me in. My quads were pretty beat up from the squats and I had nothing in me. I have been trying to up my weights during the WODs to 65# (I used to do 55# all the time) and I’m not sure if it’s because I was using that weight or because of my less-than-desired nutrition, but I did not do very well on this one, at all! Here were my times for each rounds:

1:41 – 2:00 – 2:11 – 2:11

After my second round, Coach AJ told me to start again at the 5min mark so I could get some rest. It was a blow on the ego for sure, but I had a cutie who kept smiling at me and kept cheering me on with her enthusiastic “Go Maman!, Go maman! so I really didn’t have any other choices than to smile back and pick up the darn barbell back up. Ugh! Kids! Can’t fail in front of them and certainly cannot give up either, because what would I be teaching them then?!?

That’s exactly what I did, I picked up the barbell and managed through my 3rd round. Thank God Coach AJ was there to tell me to pick it back up. I’m honestly not sure I would have otherwise. That was such a hard WOD for me. 3 round wasn’t better so I took until 8mins to rest and then picked it back up for the last round. It was ugly, but I finished it and added my best and worst rounds for a total of 3:52. Before the WOD started, we were joking that I could easily bring this WOD to 10-mins, even though there was a time cap of 8min. See Coach AJ, I told you I would do this one in 10 mins! Lol! Who’s part of the special Crossfit class now?!? I am!

I cleaned up after Béatrice and came back home, ready for a shower.

Sweaty and tired, but yet, I still have to entertain this little munchkin!

Sweaty and tired, but yet, I still have to entertain this little munchkin!

Once I was done with the shower, it was time to go get Rina new running shoes as well as a mattress cover for Béatrice’s new mattress. She has now graduated to a big girl bed and we have new furniture for her room as well. I’ve been cleaning bed sheets, etc and my legs still haven’t fully recovered from the skill/WOD. I am very much looking forward to sitting on the couch and not doing anything after the girls have gone to bed. Until then, I mother on and plan on cleaning up that diet of mine (aka working on paleo)! Lol!

 

The Duelling Realities Of Motherhood

I come home much later than usual. People got stuck in traffic coming in to work and I had to stay behind to give my report. I was also caught in heavier traffic coming home, thanks to back-to-school, I guess, hence the lateness of my arrival home.

When I come in, Rina has already gone on the bus for school and Ben is getting ready to leave and drive Béatrice to pre-school. He has decided he will do some computer work at a café before getting the girls back home (Rina is only doing half-days this week, full days begin next week).

There is a certain relief in knowing that I will be able to fall asleep after a night shift, to an absolutely quiet, empty house. At the same time, I am unnerved: I didn’t get to see Rina before going to school and I barely saw Béa before she left. That constant pulling and tugging at the mama’s heart. The everlasting dichotomy between enjoying this time for myself and missing my children. My heart is raw at this new, yet very familiar struggle.

The girls are 2 and 4. I’ve felt this emotional tug-of-war from the moment Rina has taken her very long-awaited first breath in the delivery room and it is something I still struggle with on an almost daily basis. I have a feeling this is something I will have to battle my entire life. The constant struggle between being an individual and being a mother, between being a mother and being a wife, between being a mother and being a Crossfitter, between being a mother and being a nurse.

There’s no point to this post, I just wanted to share how I feel. Time to go to bed… in my very quiet house.

Out Like A Belly Button

I swear, the kids are adorable and all, but I sure wish they would sleep through the night. Béa was up multiple times last night which means I’m not getting the rest I need to recover from all the intensity I’ve been putting my body through lately.

She's got gorgeous brown eyes! I just wish she'd keep them closed through the night! ;)

She’s got gorgeous brown eyes! I just wish she’d keep them closed through the night! 😉

 

Yesterday Kathleen cancelled our mesh on Sunday and I wasn’t too sad she did so. She’s been bombarded with visitors and hasn’t had time to unpack into her new house, so she will make time for that this weekend. I, on the other hand, will use this opportunity to do nothing (workout-wise) and just enjoy the long weekend with Ben and the girls, before I head back into work on Monday.

I woke up startled by my alarm at 0500 and somehow managed to get up and ready for my last workout this week:

I saw this on Facebook as I was feeling up before the workout and thought: Yep!

I saw this on Facebook as I was fuelling up before the workout and thought: Yep!

 

 

 

I teamed up with Tracey for the warm-up and literally was biting my arm during the wallsits! The plank holds weren’t as bad and I felt like I could have held a little longer on them, but those wallsits were pretty horrible, considering I had just finished those air squats at a good speed (for me!)

Skill: Kipping pull-ups 4×6 E2M

I focused on my strict for these and used the red and blue, but maybe I should have used the red and purple instead. It somewhat easy to do the 6 reps, but I my hands felt like they were on the verge of ripping.

WOD: Snatch & Grab

I had never done this one before and since it involved the ever elusive snatch, I had to resort to TG for today. I felt like a wimp using such a low weight, but then again, seeing as my 1RM is 60# made it easier to swallow. Here’s how I scaled it:

4 rounds of

  • 6 Hang power snatch @ 45#
  • 8 burpee bar hops
  • 10 front squats @45#

I really thought the front squats would be a piece of cake at that weight, but man, was I wrong! I had to break them into 3 sets for every round! I tried my best to keep all the burpee bar hops Rx, but had to drop to granny-style for a few reps each rounds. Jess walked in and smiled at me after one of my rounds. She was dancing and the best I could do was to give my Bitchy Resting Face. Sorry Jess! I was trying to save every calorie of energy for the WOD and smiling was impeding on that! 😉

bitchface

I have BRF and I own it!

 

Oh well, not my best WOD at all. To be honest, I didn’t really care. I just wanted to be done. Done with the WOD, but also done with the intense week I’d just put my body through. Here were my times for the rounds:

1:35 – 1:45 – 1:45 – 1:34

Which gives me 3:19 for this WOD.

I can’t wait to go for my massage this morning! That’ll start recovery painfully well! I don’t go for fluffy massages. I prefer the deep tissue kind and my RMT is also a Crossfitter, so she knows which muscles we work and what needs to be worked on. She’s awesome in a dominatrix kind of way! Teehee! I find myself breathing through the pain when she works on certain areas, but I know I always feel better after!

In the meantime, don’t expect a lot of posts until next week, because I’ll be out like a belly-button for some well-deserved rest & recovery!

 

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:

4RFT:

  • 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!

Mentally Gone

I had a long weird day at work yesterday and I was hoping a good night’s sleep would set my head straight, but it didn’t. Maybe I am still jet lagged or maybe I’m still just on vacation mode. Who knows?

What I do know is that I woke up bracing to face Fran.

You know you are struggling in the warm-up when you try jumping pull-ups from a 35# plate and Coach AJ come by and adds a 45# plate under your feet. I’m vertically challenged and the struggle for pull-ups is real! #truestory

Skill: Power clean 6×3 E90s

Originally, I was gonna aim for 85# on my 6th set. Even though I was a bit tired, I figured, maybe I could go for 90#? I managed my first 2 reps beautifully with maybe a slight early elbow bend in the pull (according to Coach AJ) and I was getting tired. I didn’t dip low enough to catch the bar in the proper position and I landed it on my boobs, instead of on my collar bone. Needless to say it knocked the wind out of me and I dropped the bar then and there. I was working on catching my breath and stopping the dizziness that had begun when Coach AJ came to check up on me. I didn’t try again and got my stuff ready for Fran. I also realized that 90# used to be my 1RM and I had done 2 successfully before failing my 3rd rep… Food for thought.

WOD: Fran

I was tempted to try my pull-ups with the red band only, but then thought better and added the purple one as well. I also toyed with the idea (for a very brief time) of trying the thrusters at 65#, but then revised that down to 55#. I was already tired and dropped one bar today. No need to try to repeat that a second time around.

I’m not quite sure what happened to me, but I clocked out mentally during the WOD. I don’t go into negative self-talk, I don’t repeat my mantra (“one more rep, just one more rep”), I just zone out. I don’t care about where I’m at and how long I’m taking. I’m just not in the moment. It’s a weird place to be and I’ve felt that way on Wednesday as well. I was talking to Tracey and she said it was because of my vacation and I just need some time to get back into the rhythm of things. I was in the first heat and I was so slow, that people from the second heat were finishing their 21 thrusters before I was done with my round of 9. Oh well! I got to the pull-up bar and finished my 9 reps painfully. My time was 12:21. I had done it back in December 2014 with the same modifications, but using the box to get onto the pull-up bar and finished in 12:03. I was hoping to beat that time today, but it didn’t happen. Still, Bo thought it was pretty good to do Fran so close to my PR time not even a week after coming back from vacation.

I felt just Meh! about it all and made my way home. I showered and could feel a nice little egg on my chest where I landed the bar and it had started to bruise up nicely. Whoops! I’ll have to camouflage those bruises tonight as we are going to a birthday party for a little while before putting the girls to bed.

Bruising up nicely!

Bruising up nicely!

We went to play mini-golf with the girls this morning before going to look at patio furniture in town, but the sales are crap and we didn’t find the “perfect bench” for our front porch. Next year, maybe.

We came back home after lunch and I cleaned up our entire bedroom (ceilings, walls, mouldings, etc) as well as go through my clothes and got rid of a ton of stuff. I plan on going through every room in the house for the remainder of my vacations. I’ll go slow and hopefully, will have time to get it all done! For now, I’m very much looking forward to a weekend of rest!