Something New

Remember last week when I said to you all that Rachel Siemens might start a weightlifting class at CFVC? Well, she did and her first class was today. I signed up for 3 classes, to see how it would feel like to be coached by a different coach on my Oly lifting. Some different things:

  • the class today was at 1230, therefore, I am a little more awake than my 0600 class, but it also means I have to manage my meals accordingly.
  • I have to “check with the husband” before I go. If we’re both off on weekends, it’s unspoken knowledge that we normally have “family-time” for most of the weekend. I just wanted to make sure he was ok with me going to lift heavy things for 1hr on a Sunday when we’re both home.
  • Coach Rachel isn’t Coach Caleb. Duh. No kidding. They both have a different approach at Oly lifting and it’s nice to have a different perspective, or cues on my lifts. Some of the things are very similar, but some are very different.

Overall, I had fun (that is, until Rachel brought out the whip because I was being a smart a**. That got me to shut up quickly! 😉 )! The class was very fast-paced, yet it felt like we really worked on plenty of things. Here’s what I ended up doing for reps and weights:

150614-001

Pause OHS: Rachel wanted us all to start light for these and she went according to our 1RM Snatch, so I had to start with the training bar with 2×5#. That felt light. Pausing at the bottom of the squat for 3secs was easy.

Hang Power Snatch: Again, I started with an empty bar and worked my way up to 50#. I think I could have gone up to 55# easily, but we ran out of time. Rachel gave me a good tip to start on my toes and curl my wrists towards my legs, elbows slightly facing forward on my last rep. That felt weird, but she said she was pleased with the results. She also said I would be able to do 65# Squat Snatch in no time. What she doesn’t know is my hesitation to drop into the squat has been my major issue all along and she didn’t get to see that in the power snatch. We’ll see! 😉

Hang Power Clean: Those felt good. Again, I just need to remind myself of keeping contact on my legs with the bar on the pull. Still struggling with this as the weight goes up.

Snatch Grip DL: Those were hard, but I did manage to go up to 65# which is technically 100% of my snatch weight (although I have never successfully managed a squat snatch at that weight). You could really feel your posterior chain working hard and I had to drop my butt much lower on my set-up. It felt weird at the beginning, but then I kind of got used to it. Something to keep working on.

 

In other news:

doing-the-w30-fb-cover

I officially start the Whole30 tomorrow! Yay! Although, it will probably end up being a Whole60 or maybe even a Whole100 (with some modifications when we go to Cuba for a week). I’m really hoping this will be a new way of living for me and not just a fad. I know I already feel better and I sleep so much more soundly at night (that is, when BeZU isn’t puking in her bed at 0400… Which happened last night, ugh!) and, already, I feel like I have more energy.

But why doing the Whole30 and why now you might ask? Here are my reasons:

So long, trustee crutch!

So long, trustee crutch!

I have been popping one of these bad boys pretty much on a daily basis ever since I got pregnant with Rina, 4 1/2 years ago. Heartburn is something I’ve come to consider normal for me. THEY AREN’T! I have been doing the Whole30 unofficially since last Sunday and haven’t had the need to take a Zantac since Tuesday. It may not be much for you all, but that’s a whole 5 days without me resorting to medication to relieve my upset stomach. WIN!

I already have talked about it previously, but energy levels are a big thing for me. I’m usually up at or around 0500. Every day. Whether I have to be or not. I also do Crossfit and have  2 daughters who like to be on the move (as should they, at 2 and 4)! Sometimes, I admit that keeping up with them is a struggle. However, since starting my Whole30, I’m usually in bed at 2130 (on a good night when I stay up late), which means I get close to my 8hrs of Zzzz. It also means that I have the energy to, let’s say, take them to the playground, go for an Oly lifting class (by myself) and then take them to the pool before putting them to bed. (Exactly what we did today). All that, on top of laundry and only having coffee this morning (no caffeine after noon, except on night shift duty). So yes, higher energy levels will always be welcome for me!

The third one is particular to me. Don’t be afraid by the picture below, but I’m trying something here. Here’s a picture of me, no make-up.

Not smiling because when I do, you can't see my dark circles...

Not smiling because when I do, you can’t see my dark circles…

Notice the dark circles under my eyes? They have lived there pretty much since my early 20’s and I’m just curious to find out if doing the Whole30 will help lose those. Maybe it won’t, but I’ll check back in 30 days. 😉

Another reason is purely about gainz. I want to see if I’ll be able to PR on certain lifts or WODs at Crossfit. I’ll also keep you posted on these as we go along!

Finally, let’s face it: losing some weight or some pudge would be awesome! I’ve always said that I will be wearing a bikini on the beaches of Cuba (I am very comfortable with who I am thanks to Crossfit and self-confidence), but if I could really rock that bikini, that would be gravy on top, right?!?

So there. Those are my reasons for doing the Whole30 now. My “pre-Whole30” pictures and measurements are done. I will keep them to myself until I do the comparison in 31 days! I hope you stick around for the joyride! 🙂

One Of Those Weeks

This week has been one of those weeks. You know the ones: Your workouts couldn’t have gone any better, you train hard, eat clean-ish, get some rest, spend quality time with the kiddos and make the most of it. Today is my last day off before going back to work tomorrow and I have yet another lovely day planned. Coffee with a friend all while letting the girls running in the water fountain at Uptown. Then, getting some groceries and stuff at Walmart, finishing up laundry and preparing for work tomorrow.

Already, I feel accomplished. This morning was Oly lifting class and I was mentally prepared for Clean & Jerk testing week. We kept the same pattern as we did for the Snatch last week and I was struggling a bit more with the rep scheme, but it went really well in the end. Here’s what we had to do:

  • 3x@75%
  • 3x@80%
  • 2x@85%
  • 2x@90%
  • 1x@95%
  • 1x@100%

Since my 1RM for the C&J is 80#, below are the weights I worked with:

Photo 2015-05-21, 6 16 15 AM

I had to modify some of the weights (either rounding up or down), but it worked well. The numbers on the right are just time cues for me to start my reps at. On my 1st set at 70#, Coach Caleb came by and told me I was doing a weird jerking motion from the ground up. I needed to slow my pull from the shin to the knee in order to work that kink out. I did and managed to do all my rounds, up to 80#.

Coach Caleb told me to switch and put 25# plates on my bar, but I knew that would psych me out, so I kept the 15# and added 2×10# on each side for my test. We had 3 attempts for a 1RM and I went for 85# on my 1st attempt and nailed it. I was so excited that I dropped the bar before bringing my feet back under my shoulders. Oops! I asked Coach Caleb if he wanted me to repeat it and he said to just increase my weight on the bar.

I obliged him and went up to 90#. I was starting to fatigue and coming out of the squat was hard. I managed to do it, I jerked it (and didn’t forget about my feet) and dropped that bar to the floor! Yes! 10# PR! Apparently, I do a little nod before I throw the bar down. I guess that’s my way of acknowledging that I destroyed this weight, now I will drop it like a fly! BAM!

I then tried to go for 95#.

1st attempt: Tracey recorded my attempts. When I reviewed the video, I saw that I could totally pull it high enough, but I wasn’t committing to dropping under the bar. Sounds familiar since I struggle with the same issue on my Snatch.

2nd attempt: Same thing happened here. Pulled high enough, didn’t drop. I had a chat with myself, trying to convince me that the worst I could do would be drop on my bum, so, just commit to it already!

3rd attempt: After reviewing the video, Coach Caleb noticed I hesitated a fraction of a second on the pull before dropping into the squat. I did drop though, but I fell down, since I wasn’t fast enough. Still! I was super happy I had committed to dropping since that’s a big issue for me.

Failed 95#, but I'm gunning for triple digits!

Failed 95#, but I’m gunning for triple digits!

Like I said, I may have failed at 95#, but I’m hoping to get into the triple digits this year! The perfect end to a perfect week of training. I love how supportive my Crossfit peeps are and how encouraging they are. I may not be at my ideal fitness / weight / appearance, but I feel strong as heck and I’m proud of my achievements this week. Not too shabby for someone who can only attend class 2x/week on a normal basis!

 

When A PR Disappoints

We had a busy weekend, spent family-style and running around. Saturday, we got up early and did our errands. We had intended to go to the Quadra Village Community Celebrations, but we had so much running around to do that we ended up missing the festivities. That’s ok, we ended up planting our herb garden and I was reminded that gardening, sometimes, feel like a workout:

Photo 2015-05-09, 1 11 04 PM

Burpee… Why you gotta haunt me so?

 

However, after Friday’s WOD, my sciatic was brutally letting me know that it was angry with me and things didn’t improve much over the weekend. 😦

We went out for breakfast for Mother’s Day. Who am I kidding, we went out for breakfast because it was Sunday! LoL! Afterwards, we decided to bike downtown and Ben hooked up the stroller to his bike. The girls traveled in style with the Jambox speaker in the stroller with them and music playing while poor Ben had to pull them through town. We parked the bikes and stroller while we strolled around. Rina got a blister on her toe from her plastic sandals and took them off. Béatrice didn’t want to be left behind so she copied her big sister. Their feet were filthy when we came back home! I thought the bike ride would help with the sciatic pain, but it didn’t. It didn’t make it worst either. It was just a constant throbbing, burning pain in my left buttock. We came back home to a late lunch and I took the girls to bed with me. Nobody slept, but it was nice to get some cuddles and relaxing time together. Ben also made me a stand for my iPad Mini and, although it wasn’t the costliest of Mother’s Day presents, I was really thankful for it. He had made one for himself a few months ago and I kept hogging borrowing it when he wasn’t using it. Now, I have my very own and don’t have to steal his! 😉

I was excited to see the WOD last night. Funny enough, I had been thinking about Baseline lately because it was my 1st WOD ever and I was curious to see where I stood compared to my humble beginnings. Well, here it goes:

Skill: Back squat 5×5 with HSPU 5-7reps E60s

Since I could feel EVERY butt giggle (not in a fun way, but in a “my sciatic is painful” way) on the warm-up run, I decided to avoid the squats today. Coach Caleb suggested I try some deadlifts instead. I chose a low weight to not irritate my sciatic even more, but even at the low 85#, I had to stop on the 3rd round. It was burning and pulling and hurting, so Coach Caleb said to just rest during the squats and keep working on the HSPU. I managed those with 1 yoga block and 3×5# plates. I did them strict and they were hard. During the back squats, I stretched and tried to do some active release in my glutes and hip flexors.

WOD: Baseline

I was ready for this one. Tracey and I paired up in order to score one another. I had a strategy and was ready to tackle it. I really wanted to get the most of my row and I extended back and reached forward as much as I could which resulted in me keeping my average stroke per 500m around the 2:10. Unheard of for me. I went above that towards the end as I fatigued, but I was able to bring it back for the last 50 metres. So far so good.

For the air squats, I wasn’t overly fast, but I only stopped twice if I remember properly and for only a few short seconds.

Then, it was onto the sit-ups. Again, I wasn’t overly fast, but I only took 2 short breaks before completing the 30 reps.I also no-repped myself for a rep because my hands didn’t touch the ground behind me on one rep. I was honest and corrected Tracey on her count! Accountability, people, accountability! If you cheat on a rep, you only cheat yourself! 😉

The push-ups were hard. I had a hard time stringing them along at the beginning, but managed to do 5 in-a-row towards the end. I did them all RX though and didn’t need to drop to my knees. Onto the pull-ups we go!

I had set-up with the red band and only managed a max of 2 in-a-row. They were mostly done singles and I think that’s where I lost most of my time. I never looked at the clock during the WOD (and waste precious seconds turning my head around?!? No siree!, Not me!) and I was expecting to finish around the 8:00 mark. I was incredibly disappointed when Tracey called out 8:37. Yep, even though it was a PR, I was angry. Yes, I had done the push-ups RX and my band for the pull-ups was the smallest I’d ever used for Baseline, but I was still mad that I wasn’t closer to my goal. Below is my progression for my multiple attempts at this WOD (The most recent on top):

Baseline progress

Baseline progress

I tried to shake it off, came back home showered and did my hair. I was still upset:

Not a happy camper

Not a happy camper

Then I thought: You have your lovely cozy yellow hoodie on and your freckles make you look good and you’re wearing funky leggings that show off your hamstrings and quads. Turn that frown upside-down and celebrate the fact that you can pull off wearing a banana-yellow hoodie and rock the rest of your day, even if it’s grey and chilly outside!

Burpee... Why you gotta haunt me so?

Mindset is everything! Focus on the positive, let go of the negative!

I took my own thought to heart and decided that even though I wasn’t close to my goal, my score is still progress and I can only achieve progress with some failures thrown into the mix. Failure is growth and growth is progress!

Photo 2014-12-23, 7 57 19 PM

Now, if I could just get rid of my sciatic pain, life would be just peachy, cuddling on the couch with my little Béa! 🙂

Shin Guard Musings

Lately, I have been using my shin guards a little more, whether it’s for box jumps or simply for deadlifts (I have shin splints and even just brushing the bar along my shins is painful) and although I have perused the sayings on them, I really paid attention to them yesterday, when I took them out of the wash. Here’s the ones I have and I will elaborate on the motivational quotes that are on them:

 

Here are the quotes on them:

  • The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender
  • Life doesn’t have a dress rehearsal, make it count
  • A goal is a dream with a deadline
  • Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet
  • The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire
  • Work will win when wishing won’t
  • Discipline is remembering what you want
  • When it’s all over, it’s not who you were. It’s whether you made a difference
  • Pain is weakness leaving your body
  • It’s not the will to win but the will to prepare that makes a difference
  • Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm*
  • Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit

I was wearing them again for the WOD this morning (deadlifts) and I felt so at peace. I don’t know if it’s because I was inspired by the quotes or whatnot, but I’m feeling a ton better than I was last week, both physically and mentally and I like where I am right now!

Since we didn’t have any skill work today, we had a longer warm-up and the WOD was pretty much all skills.

 

 

Deadlift 5×3 EMOM: When I had looked at it at home this morning, I was thinking 135# for the DL, but I settled for 105#. I didn’t have time to warm-up for a higher weight and although they felt easy, I was happy with my technique.

Hang power clean + push press 5×3 EMOM: For this one, I chose 60# and I think it was a good weight for me. I wanted to pay more attention to having quick elbows and pushing the elbows out on the hang power clean and the press felt good, yet somewhat challenging towards the end. Maybe I should have gone to 65#…

Hang power snatch + OHS 5×3 EMOM: For this one, I chose 55# and really wanted to take the opportunity to work on my snatch. At 55#, the snatch is challenging and so were the OHS. I really needed to remember to brace my core and block my breath on the squat. The snatch was a bit only for the first 2 sets, but I think it improved on the last 3.

I like barbell work. I like feeling the control needed in order to get the bar to move the way you want it too. I like that it is much more than just lifting the bar, it engages your core, glutes, quads, shoulders, traps, etc. It is so much more intricate than just “lifting the bar overhead” and although I still very much struggle for most lifts, I like the challenge it offers.

A few days ago, the sun was shining bright and I wanted to put my favourite shorts on. To my surprise, they were way too big and I couldn’t locate the only belt I own (which is also too big now):

Photo 2015-04-20, 11 13 56 AM

That only meant one thing: Shopping!

I ended up going to Old Navy with the girls and managed to find a few tank tops and 4 pairs of shorts (shorts that have nothing to do with Crossfit, that is ;)!) To my dismay, I went from a size 12 / large last summer (in the green shorts above) to a size 8 / medium. As for the tops, I went from a medium to a small. I was so happy with the progress! I also realize that my favourite Lululemon shorts and crop leggings are getting too big. I need to cinch the drawstrings to the max and I still have to pull them up all the time. Oh well, I will replace those gradually as they are quite costly $$$!

Last, but not least, Béatrice asked for pig tails this morning and she is just too darn cute for me not to share a few pics with you all (as you can see, I am making the best of my week off with my girls!):

Dancing in the wind

Dancing in the wind

Cuteness overload!

Cuteness overload!

Roar!

Roar!

 

* Having failed A LOT, this is probably my favourite one!

Seeing Stars

I really didn’t want to go to Crossfit last night when I went to bed and even though I really wasn’t in the mood, I took my clothes out and put them at the ready in the bathroom for this morning. I’ve had a cold all week and had a crappy sleep last night with my night ending at 0400. I was more than ready to come out of bed at 0500.

Here’s what I was anticipating:

Source

Source

Skill: Back Squats 5×5 E90S

I was actually looking forward to these last night and I kept it with a minimal PR goal of 5#. My previous attempt at theses ended up at 100# and I was planning to end at 105#. I secretly wished I could have done 110#, but my energy level was too low today. On the 4th rep of the last round (my round at 100#), when I came out of the squat, I was seeing stars and black spots in front of my eyes and said so outloud. Coach Caleb came by and spotted me on the last rep and I really had to fight for it, but I managed to do it without being rescued out of it. Yeah, glad I stuck to 105# today!

WOD: Blower

We had to have 3 heats for this one since there were so many of us and only 6 ergs. I was lucky enough to be in the first heat. I knew I would struggle through this one with my lungs not being 100% from my cold, but at the same time, my goal was just to get moving today. I finished with a score of 695 (3 full rounds + 65m rowed into the 4th round) and even though it’s a low score, I’m glad I managed to even get that much! I was happy and out of breath when it was all said and done and I went on to cheer my peers in the other heats.

I came back home, walked the dog up to the reservoir and tried to jog back down with him on his leash. I’m slowly trying to teach him to run on his leash as all he wants to do when we’re jogging is jump and bite my hands. It’s a slow process and the entire thing probably lasted less than 10 minutes (don’t worry, I know I’m not supposed to be running a puppy, I’m just trying to slowly bring him to good manners on his leash) and we managed to shave about 5 minutes to our walk time. Next time, maybe I’ll try to “run” up the reservoir as well (he’ll do just fine walking next to me as I slowly and painfully huff and puff my way uphill 😉 ).

I came back home, made a delicious breakfast of gluten-free toast layered with hummus, salsa and a sunny-side-up egg, a side of sausages and cherry tomatoes and a nice coffee. Don’t diss the toast until you try it, it is absolutely delicious and my favourite breakfast at home! Ben took both girls with him when he drove Rina to school and extended his outing by getting a haircut, which meant I had an empty house to myself to clean. I can stay focused on the task way better when the girls are not calling out for me every 5 minutes and that meant that I had dusted, vacuumed, mopped the upstairs, cleaned the downstairs bathroom and finished off 3 loads of laundry (folded and put away too!) by 1115! I had a few minutes to play with Béa before heading out to pick up Rina at preschool. We came back home, had lunch, they watched a bit of TV and they are now down for nap/quiet time while I finish this post and will then relax with some knitting. Nanny will show up later so I can also nap before my night at work. The glamorous life of a full-time working mom/RN!

Easter Saturday

I started my weekend with an unexpected night off from work and that made it the best night ever because it meant I could tag along with Ben and the girls for the Easter Egg Hunt he had registered them for!

I woke up early this morning and walked up to the reservoir with my trusted Duke to watch the sun rise above the clouds:

Photo 2015-04-04, 6 54 28 AM

It seemed like the park had put on its Easter colour scheme to celebrate for tomorrow:

Nature does it best! Purple and yellow flowers for Easter

Nature does it best! Purple and yellow flowers for Easter

I came back home, cleaned up and made breakfast before we headed on out for the girl Easter Egg Hunt organized by the Rec Centre. Béa called the bunny “the Monster Bunny” so I’m not sure she was impressed with the whole thing, but I think they had fun chasing the few eggs left around:

IMGP7774

IMGP7776

We then went around to get some dog food and had lunch. When we came back home, it was time for the girls to nap and while Ben was taking care of the lawn and the compost, I finally came around to doing the Burpees and Double Unders workout from StayFitMom. I had to take a few breaks for the rounds of 25 and 20 burpees and I have to admit that the rounds of 50 and 40 DUs took me quite a long time with A LOT of single reps mixed in with even more whipping of the legs/butt/arms/shins in-between. I did, however, manage to string 8 DUs in a row (once) and a few 7 and 6 in a row as well, which is a new PR for me! 🙂

My cheat sheet hanging outside so I wouldn't lose track of where I was in the WOD.

My cheat sheet hanging outside so I wouldn’t lose track of where I was in the WOD.

When all was said and done, it took me 24:17 to finish it all. Here’s what I looked like after:

Yep! I'm pooped!

Yep! I’m pooped!

Now the girls are up, eating candy (bedtime should be fun… NOT) and I have to go wash up before dinnertime. Hop you all have a fun-filled Happy Easter!

 

 

Work’d To The Bone

I managed to “sleep in” until 0700 this morning and then got ready for a really busy day. First, there was the WOD:

Work’d:

5 rounds of 4 minutes/round divided as follows:

2 minutes to do:

  • 10-8-6-4-2 deadlifts
  • maximum pull-ups without coming off the bar
  • use the remaining time to do maximum DUs (not consecutive)

Use the remaining 2 minutes to rest and load up your bar heavier for the next round of deadlifts.

I did FG2+ with the following modifications:

Deadlifts:

05#x10, 105#x8, 135#x6, 135#x4, 155#x2

Pull-ups with red and purple bands:

7-5-5-4-5 Those were a bit frustrating because there were so many of us on the rig that I kept kicking (and getting kicked) by the person in front of me.

DUs: 7-10-9-4-8

Total score: 64. Very low, but my deadlifts were heavy as sh**! and even though I still don’t master my DUs, they are much better than they were a week ago!

I then rushed to the grocery store, came back home, did 3 loads of laundry, cleaned the upstairs, cooked dinner for tonight and now, I’m finally sitting my butt on my lovely couch! The Nanny has been a good help this morning by keeping the girls out of my legs while I was cleaning

New Traditions

We celebrated Christmas yesterday morning by having breakfast with my in-laws (eggs, sausages and coffee) and then, we all sat in the living room and opened up presents. I have to admit I had so much fun watching the girls opening up their presents. There truly is something magical about re-discovering Christmas though the eyes of a child. I was just as happy as Rina when she opened up the box containing her purple unicorn and to see Béatrice kissing her own pink unicorn was priceless:

Full of love!

Full of love!

After the gift opening, we took everyone for a walk to the closest playground for some fun in the chilly Christmas day:

Her gorgeous brow eyes!

Her gorgeous brow eyes!

Rosy cheeks from the crisp air!

Rosy cheeks from the crisp air!

She kept singing: "Up in the sky!" when I was pushing her on the swing!

She kept singing: “Up in the sky!” when I was pushing her on the swing!

No snow for us, but plenty of dead leaves on the ground for Christmas

No snow for us, but plenty of dead leaves on the ground for Christmas

I would have posted some pics of Rina, but she was making a grumpy face on all the shots I took of her yesterday 😦

We were also able to live some of the Christmas magic as I was able to convince Ben to go walk downtown Victoria to go see the Christmas lights in action at the Parliament. You see, my wonderful husband doesn’t like it when we do non-physical family activities, so I had a bit of convincing to do, but with the help of my in-laws, we all packed up in two cars and headed downtown. It was perfect! Seeing as it was December 25 and around 4-5pm, there was barely anybody in the streets, making it easy to find parking and take wonderful pictures of the deserted streets. Below are some of my favourite shots I took:

The Parliament is on the left, blurry

The Parliament is on the left, blurry on purpose

Some of the Parliament buildings, all lit up.

Some of the Parliament buildings, all lit up.

The Empress Hotel from the Inner Harbour

The Empress Hotel from the Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour

Christmas day sunset on the Inner Harbour

Christmas day sunset on the Inner Harbour

The moon, the Parliament and the Inner Harbour

The moon, the Parliament and the Inner Harbour

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

This morning, I was able to lounge in bed for a bit before I had a hearty breakfast and headed out for the Box for this:

Skills: Back Squat 6×3 E2M

I paired up with Tracey for these. My last PR for these were at 110#. I was going for 115#, but my math being what it is, I ended up my 6th round at 120# and even though my last rep was hard and I struggled to come out from the bottom, I managed to do it! Yay! A 10# PR on a 3-rep isn’t too shabby! The amazing Tracey managed 150#!!! I was in awe! She made it look easy too! Something to aspire to, fo’ sho’!

WOD: Baseline

This one is a basic one for our Box. I had first done it at the beginning of my On-Ramp program and finished in 7:55, using the black (widest) band and doing knee push-ups. The last time I did it was at the end of my On-Ramp program and I had done it in 6:55, using the black band and doing my HRPU from my knees. We had to separate into two heats today and I was part of the second one. I took two short breaks during the air squats (one after 10 reps, just to catch my breath, the other after 25 reps, to stretch my hip flexors a bit) and managed to do all the sit-ups unbroken. I was struggling through the push-ups, but I managed to do them all full HRPU, no knee push-ups for me, no siree! 😉 I then moved onto the pull-ups and they were hard. I broke them into 3-3-2-2. I finished in 7:35. Smack between my 2 previous times, but really, this was a PR for me as well, considering I did all my HRPU Rx and used way smaller bands for my pull-ups! A good day of hard work! 🙂 When the girls wake up from their nap, we will be going out to buy our new sectional for our living room! I’m so thrilled to say that I will finally be rid of our futon! It has served us well over the years, but at 36-years-old, I am ready for a REAL couch in my life! 🙂

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season! Mine just keeps getting better and better!

Rx-ing My Inner Demons And Nemeses

Yesterday was a hard day at work. I received a bit of bad news first thing when I started my shift and then, someone asked me when I was due… As in pregnant due… Yeah, I brushed it off and just let it slide, but I really wanted to rip that person’s head off. It’s not the first time I get asked (last time though, was upon my return from my maternity leave) and I’m sure it will happen again. I have worked my butt off over the past year and I know what my body is capable of. I have a very specific goal for next summer: Our family will all vacation together somewhere tropical and I’d like to be comfortable in a bikini by then. I know it’s a very shallow goal, but it’s my goal and I’d like to make it happen! 🙂

So, after that emotional roller-coaster day at work, I was ready for a mind-numbing WOD. You know the kind: you grunt through every rep, struggle through it all and feel absolutely drained physically when you’re done. Usually, those WODs are an open floodgate for me emotionally as well and that’s when I let the tears flow free. Yeah, it was exactly what I needed to do today.

Skill: Push press 10×2 OTM

I think I probably could have gone for 85% (75#) of my 3RM (90#), but instead, I chose to focus on my form and not throw my butt back on the dip and did all my reps with 65#. I’m really loving my wrist wraps. I love that I could tighten them up so easily after each round and it definitely helped with my wrists.

WOD: Block Rock

This one had been recurring at the box, but I had never done it yet. Coach Caleb said the times were running between 7-12mins and, although I knew I would be much longer than that (I finished in 19:39), I planned on Rx-ing this one. This WOD consists of pretty much my least favourite things in a WOD: running and wallballs. Can you say nemeses?!? Bleh! It doesn’t matter, I was going to chip at it anyway, like I do any other day! 😉

The wallballs were definitely killing me and I could not, for the life of me, do more than one rep at a time. I wish we had a 12# ball, but we only have  10#s or 14#s. 10# would have been sandbagging it and although 14# was Rx, it was a struggle. I finished my 1st round when pretty much everyone were finishing their second one. I ran my 3rd round all by myself and chipped through my wallballs. I kept having to no-rep myself because my ball was either missing the mark on the wall or not touching the wall at all. I had to no-rep myself on my very last rep, I wanted to scream at that silly ball to JUST. TOUCH. THE. WALL. ALREADY!!! I know I had no one else to blame but myself and when I was done, the tears just came flowing freely. Every emotion I had bottled up from my crappy day at work just came out in a snotty blubber. For once, I didn’t try to stop it. I let it all out on the mat. I didn’t care about people being around me. I just sobbed and cried for a few minutes.

As a NICU nurse, we celebrate successes with our patients and their families and we also share their frustrations. We are there with these families for 12hrs on end. We get to know them on a personal level, get to know their habits, their likes and dislikes. We connect with some of them more than others. Some stay on our unit for a few hours, others, for months on end.  In a day’s work, we can celebrate a tremendous achievement as well as feel incredible frustrations and a deep sense of loss. We are not robots. I don’t care how much we are supposed to put our feelings aside, it’s not always an easy task. We are also not allowed to discuss our cases with anybody outside of our unit for fear of legal reprimands and I get that, confidentiality issues and all. To add to all of this, we have our own personal load of crap that we deal with everyday, whether it’s at home or at work. Which brings me to this point. When I struggled through the WOD this morning, my discomfort was nothing compared to the struggles some of my patients’ families are going through. One more wallball is nothing in the greater scheme of things. So I kept going, kept pushing, kept fighting. And I broke down once I was done. Not because it was such a tremendous physical challenge, but because breaking through that physical pain opened the door to let go of all these bottled up emotions. Some people choose therapy. For me, Crossfit IS my therapy. Now, I’m ready for my last night shift before I get to enjoy my family over the Christmas break. If you can, have a special thought for all the nurses (doctors, RRTs, cops, EMTs and firemen as well) working over the holidays. We sacrifice celebrating with our families so we can look after yours…

Cherish your loved ones, I know I will cherish mine over the holidays!

My Birthday Girls!

Today is a very special day in our household. Why, you may ask? Well, it’s our daughters’ birthdays!

Today, Rina turns 4 and Béatrice turns 2! We had a pretty fun day in store for them and it started out at our favourite breakfast joint, where the were allowed to open their presents from Aunty Sandy:

They were pretty stoked about the colouring books,stickers, crayons and puzzles and we even had to do some puzzles before breakfast arrived. We then went for a stroll downtown to browse at Capital Iron (another favourite of this little family) where we found some outdoor lights and a timer to decorate for the holidays. While we were browsing through the lightroom, the girls thought it was a blast and I have to admit, I kind of just wanted to stay there for a while. It was such a neat idea to display the different lighting options in a dark room and I love the mood it put me in!

We continued shopping and strolling and I finally found my perfect hydration bottle! (Camelbak PODIUM BIG CHILL in steel blue) I had been looking for this specific bottle for a while now and was elated to finally find one! This one contains 25oz so I know that if I drink 2 or more of these a day, I’ll be well hydrated! 🙂

Look in the background: 2 glass ornaments the girls received for their birthday!

Look in the background: 2 glass ornaments the girls received for their birthday!

We came back home for a quick lunch and then Béatrice went on to punch the birthday cake before I could put the candles on it. Thank goodness I had taken a picture of it last night! Now, I will admit, this cake and icing is from a box. I am NOT a baker. I can take good pictures every once in a while and I can decently knit, but a baker, I am certainly not. I did, however, do all the writing on the cake myself. It wasn’t an extravagant cake, but the girls were happy with it and considering they are only interested in the icing anyway, I’m glad I didn’t fret over it too much!

Ta-Daa!

Ta-Daa!

We cleaned up the cake as best we could and put some candles on it. We sang “Happy birthday” to Rina and she got to blow her 4 candles and then we repeated with BeZU and she got to blow her 2 candles. They were pretty stoked about it! Then, they opened up the remainders of their presents and I can honestly say, I think they were pretty spoiled and happy with what they got!

Having fun with their Jello Kitty dolls!

Having fun with their Jello Kitty dolls!

They are currently napping and we are awaiting a potential nanny candidate to show up for an interview. I am very sad to see Nanny leave (at the latest, she wants to be done on February 1st). She has been the best nanny we have had so far and she has even agreed to train our potential new nanny. We were supposed to interview another one at lunchtime, but she cancelled this morning. I don’t know what it is about nannies, but if it were me and I was unemployed, I would do pretty much everything in my power to make sure I show up for an interview… Rant over. Looking for a nanny is stressful, I’ve talked about it before. I can only hope that Nanny’s replacement will be just as good as she’s been to our family. Wish us luck!