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

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 Nowadays, the 0500 wake-up call have been replaced by rushing through the morning routine for school for the girls, WOD at 0930, then rushing to get ready to pick up Béa from preschool, or groceries or cooking.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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Winning All Around

But really, I’ve also been losing all around. Proof in number and in pictures below:

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In 31 days, I’ve lost 3.4lbs and lost 4.5″ overall. I’ve also lost some cellulite, some bloating and some sluggishness.

In 31 days, I’ve gained 2 guns (I’ve been waiting 2 years to see my biceps bulge and today, they’re very visible and I couldn’t be happier!), there’s a faint sighting of abs beginning to show, my back fat has decreased a lot, my shoulders are more defined and my butt has also lifted (soon, it’ll be right by my neck!)

Whole30 has done some wonderful things for me: I sleep better, I don’t crave processed foods (most days), I’ve dropped under 2:00/500m on the erg (huge for me) and I’ve created bonds with Kathleen, Telsey and Tracey who have joined and supported me through this crazy idea of doing the Whole30. Other than the 1st week, it’s been awesome and I plan on keeping it strict until July 15. That was our little group’s official end date (I started early) and I will stick by my girls through the end. Afterwards, I plan on maybe adding 1-2 cheat meals/week, but no more than that. It will be hard as I’ll be vacationing in Cuba, but I’ll try to make healthy and smart decisions about my food choices.

For the first time in years (we’re talking almost a decade here) I feel comfortable in my body. I know some parts are sagging and not as toned as they could be, but I’ve also had 2 humans take over my body for 18.5 months and I’m pretty stoked with how I look today. I have this newfound confidence and I feel like nothing can stop me. It’s onwards and upwards from here!

Kathleen was gracious enough to invite me to her garage gym (aka Jim’s Gym) for a WOD in order to get extra fitness in. I was nice to be able to have the girls play alongside us while we were working out in the sun. Here’s what we did:

Here's what Kath had planned for us!

Here’s what Kath had planned for us!


This WOD was hard for me and I used a 25# plate for it. I now know another weakness of mine is lunges with added weight. My quads and glutes were burning after this one! I finished in 9:12 and Kath was done way before me!

Following the WOD, we took some rest (I needed it!) and then did some work on the erg. Gotta work on those weaknesses!

We did 3x200m on the erg with rest of 1:30 in-between. It was closer to 2:30 rest since we were alternating between the two of us on the erg. You can see I kept my splits all below 2:00/500m for all 3 attempts, so yesterday wasn’t just a fluke! Apparently, I really have improved my fitness! Kathleen destroyed this, just like she did the WOD before. That woman is seriously fit and an inspiration, I tell you! Once we were done, Rina hopped on the erg and was trying to row so hard. She had pretty decent technique for a 4-year-old. She was complaining that she “wasn’t making any wind”. Already has a competitive side to her… I wonder where she gets this from?!?

Mandatory selfie and Kathleen and I with Jim's Gym sign in the background!

Mandatory post-WOD’s sweaty selfie of Kathleen and I with Jim’s Gym sign in the background!

So happy to have made new friends with whom I can share a passion with and the friendships are not drama-related! Tomorrow, Telsey and I have planned to get together so the kiddos can have a play-date while we mamas can hang out! Very thankful for having all those new people in my life! Couldn’t ask for a better day to have it, really!

Progress Update!

As promised earlier this week, here’s another progress update in all its gore and glory!

First of, my stats:

Numbers speak for themselves!

Numbers speak for themselves!

The “Difference” column only reflects the changes since December (just before I started the FMD) and I’m pretty happy with the results! A total loss of 7.25″ of fat all over my body in just a little over 2 months, I’ll take it! If you want the numbers since I first started my Crossfit journey, here they are: a total weight loss of  11.6 lbs and 14.75″ loss overall! I am pretty happy with those!

Now, to see all this progress in pictures:

The day before I started FMD

The day before I started FMD

From Day 1 to 2.5 months into FMD

From Day 1 to 2.5 months into FMD

I am so happy with who I have become in the past 2 years. It hasn’t always been easy or pleasant and I probably could have done better at times, but overall, I’m very happy with my journey so far. I’m in a much better place mentally and physically and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me. Will I ever be a top Crossfit athlete? Nope. But you can bet your little heart out that it won’t be for lack of giving it my all!

I had to take a picture of where I stand after 15.2.

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That puts me at 60% worldwide. It will probably be my best standing ever and I want to celebrate it! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a P2 breakfast of champion to go wolf down!

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On Cloud 9!

This morning was really important for me. It was my attempt at 14.1.

Before I get into my attempts, let me try to explain what the whole process of the Crossfit Games is.

1st and foremost, you have the Open. The Open is, well, open for every single human being to enter. It is a tool to test your fitness and it is fun for the everyday man and woman to enter. Bonus, you only have to fork out $20US and you’re in, no discrimination, no pre-requisite needed. In order to be able to enter your score, you need to do the workout Rx (as prescribed), meaning you can’t scale down. If you do scale down, you cannot count that weight, calorie count or number of repetitions towards your score. The top qualifiers in the Open will then go on to the Regionals, where, over the course of three days, athletes will perform brutal combinations of workouts to test the range and depth of their capabilities. Making it to the Regionals itself is an awesome achievement! From there, only about the top 100 men and top 100 women move on to The Games where the Fittest man and Fittest woman on earth will get crowned and earn a decent chunk of money.

Going back to the Open. You see, I have no aspiration of ever making it to the Regionals, but just knowing that I can attempt to earn a worldwide Crossfit ranking and score gets my heart pumping faster. To know that I just accomplished that feat earlier this morning is all it took to get me flying high!

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A friend sent me this picture this morning and although she was nice enough to note that she didn’t call me psycho, I thought it was fitting. Let’s be honest here, we all need to be a little psycho to enjoy Crossfit as much as we do! 🙂


So, 14.1. If you want to know what it entails, watch the video below:

I have never gotten anything above 45# over my head, so I was a bit skeptic about doing a 55# snatch. I tried a few attempts during warm-up and my form was HORRIBLE. I had to somehow get that bar from ground to overhead in a different way. I decided to go for a Power Clean (bring the bar up to my chest) Push Press (bring the bar up from my chest to overhead). That worked for me.


Those Double Unders (DUs) were no joke. It took me over 5 mins to get the 1st 30 done. I kept tripping in my rope, but I keep trying. Until last Saturday, I had never done more than 4 in a workout and only managed to do 14 in one minute last Saturday. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I didn’t expect it to be that hard. I managed to get the 1st 30 done and moved on to my Power Clean Push Press. I broke them down in fives. First set felt strong. Second set felt harder. Had to break the 3rd set in 3+2. Back to the DUs. I only managed to get 13 before TIME was called out!

One of the many whip marks on my back. I have a nice collection on my right butt cheek and my right shin as well!

One of the many whip marks on my back. I have a nice collection on my right butt cheek and my right shin as well!

At first, when Bonnie, my judge, (thanks for the encouragements Bonnie!) told me the amount of reps I had done, I thought: “Well, that was pathetic!”  That’s when Bonnie said something that really resonated with me. She said: “It’s 58 Rx!” I VERY RARELY Rx anything and I have never Rx’d anything that included bringing the bar overhead. So yeah, I Rx’d this 14.1 and I’m proud as punch! I actually did a Crossfit Open WOD Rx and even though my number of reps were not high, I am ecstatic about it all. Little old me, who couldn’t lift an empty bar overhead 7 months ago managed to lift 55# fifteen times today! Little old me who couldn’t do DUs until last Saturday managed to do 43 of them today! It might be a very low score to you, but it means the world to me. I am getting stronger and fitter everyday for myself, for my husband, for my family, for life. I will probably never go to the Regionals other than as a spectator, but today, I felt just as accomplished as Camille Leblanc-Bazinet. Today, I was not just a wife, a mom or a nurse. Today, I felt like an accomplished athlete. Many of my friends have been extra supportive in my Crossfit journey and some have even confessed to being inspired by my small accomplishments. It is humbling to know that my journey of discovery of self through Crossfit is inspiring to others. I can only go onward and upward from here! I hope you stick along for the ride! 🙂




Progress Update And Giving It Your All!

The WOD wasn’t out last night when I went to bed and it’s probably a good thing. After yet another sleepless night (I was up from 0100-0300, trying to settle Béa. I swear, this kid needs to sleep through the night soon. I’m tired of being sleep deprived!), I looked at it this morning and it would have been easy to make excuses not to go, but like I said yesterday, I’m trying to change my mind frame so I got dressed and got going.

There were many of us this morning and because of that, I had to pair up with 2 other girls for the skill section. My 90% was 75#. Theirs was 95#. Guess who has a new 90% of 95#! I didn’t want to fiddle with the weights, so I just went along with theirs and managed to do all 7 rounds at 95#! Not too shabby considering my sciatica has been acting up and every now and again, my left leg buckles from the sharp pain through my butt! Fun times, I tell you! 🙂

As for the WOD, I knew it would be a tough one. I tried to do a few push press at 55#, but it was challenging and I knew  I wouldn’t be able to do all 8 rounds, so I dropped it to 45#.


There was a lot of internal negative talk during this WOD, but it wasn’t negative self talk. Let’s just say I was dropping a lot of F-bombs in my head every time I was faced with the bar for the push press.I was not enjoying myself, I could barely breathe (still very stuffed up from my cold) and I was consistent in the fact that every round took me longer to finish, therefore, I had less time to recover. I barely finished the 8th round with seconds to spare and I was ready to puke. I just stood on my box (I didn’t have enough strength or breath to get down from my last box jump) and tried to breathe. Here were my splits:

1:16, 1:20, 1:22, 1:25, 1:29, 1:35, 1:36, 1:56. I got confused on the last round as Coach Caleb suddenly screamed: “Time’s up!”, but we were doing it in 2 heats and the warning was for the 1st heat (I was in the 2nd one), so I lost a few precious seconds trying to register that:

  1. Damn, I didn’t finish the round…
  2. Oh crap! The warning wasn’t for me, must keep going!

So yeah, that was brutal and a little bit awesome all at once. I will admit to being happy to be going back to work tomorrow. I’ll get a few days of rest before my next WOD and I’m very much looking forward to it. Now if I could get 1 week of decent sleep, I would feel a thousand times better. Oh wait, I have two young kids and I work shift work. Fat chance of that happening anytime soon! 😉

In keeping with the fact that I’m back to work tomorrow, I’m doing my Progress Update a few days early, because I won’t want to do it in the middle of my set at work. Here goes the progress in numbers:

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Down 9.5lbs and 11.5″ overall. I am most amazed at my inches lost around my abdomen. I have also gained 1″ around my true waist since last month (Ben says it must be abs, I highly doubt it, but I love him for saying so!), but I’m very happy with the progress I am making.

The red shorts were snug when I first got them. Now, I'll have to buy a size smaller as they are almost falling off my butt!

The red shorts were snug when I first got them. Now, I’ll have to buy a size smaller as they are almost falling off my butt!

Sorry, I know Rina and Béatrice are photobombing the first 3 of my 7 months pictures, I was too lazy to retake them! I am most happy about my back, shoulders and bum. I don’t quite have all the muscle definition I’d like to get in my arms and legs, but I’ll get there. As for my abdomen, I don’t know that I’ll ever have visible abs, but I’m a work in progress and I’ll take any improvement I can get towards my fitness.

Thanks for reading, I know it was a long one! 😉