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!

 

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?

When Crushing Your Goal Is Disappointing

I had my last Pelvic floor physic appointment yesterday and I’m also all done with my regular physio, with only my “homework to work on at home and at the gym. Although rehab from sciatica is far from over, it’s a work in progress and I’m slowly moving forward with it.

I looked at the WOD last night and I set myself some mental goals:

  • do the rowing intervals unbroken.
  • attempt the thrusters @ 65#
  • Finish sub 30′

It was a whole different ball game when I started to warm-up for it. I had talked with Heather before the WOD and she had suggested to drop down to 55# for the thrusters. In my stubborn set-up mind, I told her I would still try at 65#. YEAH. RIGHT! I warmed up and because I’m still figuring out a safe depth for me to drop to in a squat (not as deep as I CAN go, but still below parallel. Goldilocks I tell you!) I quickly figured out that staying at 55# would be safer and smarter for me.

It was my 1st time back on the erg since my sciatica flare-up and I was very apprehensive. My splits were horrible and I only managed my 4th round unbroken. That’s right! I stopped, sometimes more than once, rowing during the row intervals. Talk about wasting time. I even got into the ugly, bawling cry on my last interval. Breathing through that was fun… Not!

So, although I did manage to finish sub 30′ (my time was 18:49) I still wasn’t super impressed with how I did today. Maybe next time, I need to cut myself more slack. Although I was glad I was done, I wasn’t proud of how I managed to get it done, if that makes any sense. I guess, WODs aren’t always all roses and unicorns and sometimes, they are ugly, even when you get through them!

Anyway, I got through it and I survived so I came back home for a well-needed shower.

"Do Crossfit" they said, "it'll be fun!"  I don't know if I had fun, but it sure gave me funny hair! ;)

“Do Crossfit” they said, “it’ll be fun!” I don’t know if I had fun, but it sure gave me funny hair! 😉

Now, I’m back to being a mommy and looking forward to some knitting when Béa goes for her nap/quiet time!

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?!?

Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo 2015-11-26, 6 11 51 AM

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

30#-35#-40#-45#-50#-50#

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

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

Photo 2015-11-26, 8 24 41 AM

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

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

Photo 2015-11-26, 9 20 57 AM

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

Snatch-Limited

Today was another fun one at the Box. I walked in apprehending the work, but other than the last 2 rounds, it was right up my alley. I was reminded once again that I need to work on my snatches, but I feel like I have to start from the beginning. Let me explain:

Warm-up: I was happy I was able to get through this one without any leakage in my pants. Could it be that the days of urinary leakage are finally behind me?

WOD: Metabolic HEAT

This one looked daunting when I peaked at it online last night, but I was determined to give it a go. I was thinking of using 55# for the snatches, but I quickly realized I would struggle enough with 45#. I was also using 4×45# plates as a box in order to really work on not jutting out my hips when I step down.  It feels like I’m starting to control my step-down better, but when it comes to the snatch, I am back to square one. I have to relearn how to squat using my deep abdominals and controlling how low I allow myself to get at the bottom of the squat. In order to do that, I did a few rounds of the WOD using the MedBall as a guide for the depth of my squat. It’s hard to correct something that you have been doing wrong from the beginning and even more so to keep my internal ab muscles contracted when my legs are open at the bottom of the squat. And for all those reasons, I decided to stay at 45# and work on form instead of weight. It made for a fairly easy WOD (we were to use the same bar throughout), but, again, I focused on form and re-learning my snatch, squat and box jumps. I’m still weak in the stepping-down of the BJ, but I met with my physic again today and we’re working on that. It is pretty much a return to the basics for me in all of the lifts, but at least, I’ll do them right this time around.

I got sweaty on round 3 and the last 2 rounds were horrible for the snatches as I just couldn’t drop below my bar fast enough anymore, but I was glad I went and got to work on technique!

On the home front, Ben just got over a bout of food poisoning that kept him in bed, sleeping for 30hrs. Must be nice! When I get sick, I still have to keep up with the house and the kids! Women are the weaker sex my butt! 😉

Our basement is slowly getting dried up from the flood we had 2 weeks ago, then they’ll start the rebuilding and replacing what needs to be replaced. The fans and dehumidifier are going on full blast 24/7 and it’s driving me bananas. I can only imagine the noise level for our tenants who have decided to stay in the chaos for now! They are troopers! I’d be out of there in a heartbeat!