PR During Rehab

*More about women’s health and pelvic floor stuff in this post. Dudes might want to skip this one too*

Let’s be honest here. I’ve been in a funk. I fairly certain that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and the gloomy/rainy weather isn’t helping a ton. I was also having a little pity party regarding my sciatic pain and I was secretly afraid this would mean the end of me squatting, deadlifting, thruster-ing, clean & jerk-ing and snatching. It made me really sad that I was thinking about giving up, but the butt pain was annoying to no end. Ok, maybe I wasn’t really sad about never having to snatch ever again, but that’s a different story. I have a tendency to keep quiet when I feel this way because my Mom always said to keep your mouth shut if you have nothing nice to say…

So yeah, annoying funk. When I get in a funk, I eat. Not always good food choices. My new jeans are feeling snug and so are my scrub tops again. In order to snap myself out of the funk and emotional eating, I reached out to Kathleen and Courtney and we have embarked on a (second for me) Whole30 together. If one of us falls off the wagon, we ALL have to do 15 burpees… per cheat snack. We started last Thursday and so far, everyone has been on plan! Way to go ladies!

I have also had my 1st appointment with the pelvic floor physic. It was interesting and mildly uncomfortable at times. I mean, where else do you get little stickers (electrodes) put next to your bum hole and vagina, hooked up to an ultrasound and get to see the strength of your inner abdominal muscles and rectal muscles as well. Add to that the presence of an almost 3-year-old who was peeking under my gown and asked A LOT of questions and you have a pretty good picture of my appointment.

The findings were interesting though:

  • I have weak rectus abdominis (front abs)
  • My abdominal muscles remain contracted too tight, even at rest.
  • I can’t hold a deep abdominal contraction for 10s during kegels
  • I get better control of those contractions if I think more about contracting my anus than if I focus on my abdomen.
  • My internal obliques and transversus abdominis are working overtime in order to compensate

In terms of regular physic, here’s what’s wrong with me as well:

  • I have too much mobility and squat too low, curving my spine at the bottom of the squat, resulting in my obliques taking over and adding a toll onto my lower back
  • Too much mobility on the erg as well, resulting in the same outcome as in the squat

What I’m doing to fix this:

  • Lots of kegels (we’re talking 60 reps of 10s contractions with holding and 10s rest)
  • a weird contraction of the deep abs while lying on the floor and opening my legs sideways, then extending the leg out straight.
  • firing the small deep posterior chain before doing any squatting or any heavy lifting
  • contracting my pelvic floor muscles when lifting heavy, or even lifting the girls
  • one-legged step-ups in the stairs and focusing on not tilting my pelvis
  • Squatting down to a med ball to limit my squat depth and ensuring I don’t squat too low (still below parallel, but not ass-to-the-grass

It doesn’t sound like much and when I do my keels and pelvic floor exercises I pretty much look like I’m just standing or lying down and staring into nothing-ness, but it’s a lot of hard work. I also started these on last Thursday.

What I have noticed so far:

  • I haven’t had a flare up in my sciatic pain since Thursday.
  • The numbing I felt in my lower back has decreased tremendously. So much so that I recently sat down and was amazed to notice what it felt like to sit down and not have that low numbing pain in my back
  • I did thrusters today, PR’d my 1RM and there was no leakage
  • I sneezed twice today without crossing my legs and also without experiencing any leakage
  • I’m not feeling any discomfort in my sciatic or lower back at all after doing the thrusters today
  • The pelvic floor PT gave me the green light to start doing my ROMWOD again, now I just have to clear it with the regular PT!

This is huge people! After 5 + years of lower back pain/ butt pain/ sciatic pain, I’m walking almost pain-free and it feels awesome. It has brought back a little of positiveness in my life and it makes the world of a difference in my day-to-day life.

Ok, enough about my lady bits and let’s now focus on the WOD today:

1RM Thruster: I warmed up to 65# before the timer went off and I planned on doing those E2M with 5# increases on each rep. I was hoping to hit 90# on my last rep, which would have been a 5# PR. Here’s what I ended up doing

65#-70#-75# with the assist of a med ball behind me in order to know when to stop dropping. I almost tripped on it when I did 80#, so I decided to try without any assist on the last 2 reps. 85# went well and Coach AJ told me I had good speed. I failed 90#. I managed to squat it and get up with it, but I couldn’t press it overhead. I was slightly disappointed. I humm-ed and aww-ed for a little bit and then decided to try for a 2#-PR anyway and go for 87#. I went to get the fractional plates and added them onto my bar. I had about 20 seconds left before the 12 minutes were up and i took a deep breath and went for it! I was so happy to get it up and above my head! I didn’t have much expectations that I would PR while rehab-ing my sciatic, but this was a nice welcomed surprise! 🙂

Double Tabata Row: A Tabata is an interval workout. You do 8 rounds of 20s work / 10s rest. Because it was so intense for my sciatic, I chose to go for the Assault bike instead of the erg. I probably could have done a regular Tabata, but not a double one. I set myself up next to Marika (who was on the Airdyne) and off we went. For the 1st Tabata, I managed to keep my intervals at 4 cals for all but the 7th interval! I was disappointed, but kept going and managed to get 4 cals for the 8th round. As soon as we entered the second part of the Tabata, I was just trying my best to keep each interval at 3 cals. I surprised myself by getting 4 cals for a few rounds, but I mostly stayed at 3. I was glad when It was over and my quads were throbbing nicely and seizing up slowly. I got off the Assault bike, got on all fours and then slumped onto my belly on the floor. I caught my breath and went to write my score on the board. I was shocked when I saw that Marika’s lowest score was 6 cals! Holy crap! I thought I’d worked hard for all my rounds, but my score was a measly 3! Coach AJ told us that they don’t count calories the same way and after doing some research online, I found in some forums that people mentioned the Assault bike was scoring about 1/2 the cals and distance when compared to the Airdyne. Good to know I wasn’t so far behind then!

I’m just happy with how today’s session went. I know you can’t always have great workout days, but it sure start the day the right way when you do well on the Skill and WOD!

Swole And Flexy

I have recently discovered ROMWOD, through a friend on Facebook and it has been one of those very nice little discoveries. Pat (my FB friend: we have never met. We both have a friend in common and we all do Crossfit. We became friends on FB during the Open and have been cheering each other on ever since! Crossfit is such a great community, even with strangers who become friends!) had posted about it on IG and I was curious so I asked him about it. After looking into it more myself, I registered and am I ever glad I did! Below is my review of the site:

ROMWOD stands for Range Of Motion Workout Of the Day. Long name for something that could be called yoga for Crossfitters or any other athlete, really. When you register, you need to give them your credit card number, but they give you access to the site for 7 days for free before they start charging you $13.95/month. What it gives you is the following: access to a daily online yoga session ranging from 10-45 mins in length, targeted at increasing your flexibility and range of motion, which then, helps out in your mobility and lifts when you do Crossfit or weightlifting. They have “warrior” sessions on Thursdays that are  longer (45mins) and I have enjoyed all the sessions tremendously.

Each video session is lead in a different Crossfit affiliate and while some are lend by very bendy people, some are also led by your average flexible Joe and makes it easy to see what modifications you could do for each poses. They also have a detailed instruction for each pose on the website as well as how to modify each poses according to flexibility.

Here’s what I have enjoyed so far since I started, a week ago:

  • The narrator isn’t annoying at all and doesn’t talk through the entire session
  • You mostly stay in the poses for longer periods of time (2-4 mins/pose) and deepen your stretching over this length of time, with deep breathing. I really enjoy this because while you’re not imposing the stretch on your body, you can work into it.
  • The sessions are short enough that I can do them everyday, even after a long day at work.
  • Some of the poses are easier for me. I was a dancer in my younger days, so I’m fairly flexible, but I’ve lost a lot of my flexibility over the last 10-15 years because I haven’t worked on it very much. I see fast progress on the seated folds and I think I could probably get back into a straddle split and maybe even a front split before the end of the year if I keep at it. The butterfly is also easy and I believe I will be able to complete i with a full fold soon too.
Front Split. Still need to go much lower with my upper body, but it's a good start!

Front Split. Still need to go much lower with my upper body, but it’s a good start!


Butterfly pose. Look at how low my knees are already!

Butterfly pose. Look at how low my knees are already!

  • While some of the poses are easy, others are quite challenging and I have to use the modifications for them: the Saddle, particularly is challenging for me. I really feel it in the knees and the Standing Straddle is usually challenging for me to hold for long periods of time. But I’m making progress in them and that’s all that matters to me!
  • Although I wouldn’t recommend doing these everyday with the kiddos, it is doable! I have done one with the girls before their bed time. It was a little challenging and I couldn’t really relax as well into the poses, but I still managed to get my stretch in and the girls had fun getting on the floor with me!
Family Standing Straddle!

Family Standing Straddle!

  • You can do these in the comfort of your living room (in your pjs even, in my case) without requiring massive props. I sometimes wish I had a yoga block (Béatrice chewed it all up when she was younger and teething), but that’s easy enough to get and for now, I deal with couch pillows!

As for the benefits, I really felt I was able to get deeper into my squat on my C&J this morning. Also, I’m not sure if it has anything to do with helping with my shoulder mobility (thanks to the Puppy Dog), but I’ve been able to successfully do 2 TTB earlier this week (which I have never been able to do before). I’ve also only had one very short episode of sciatic pinch since I’ve started the program, even though I have been lifting heavy at Crossfit. Usually, running, squatting and deadlifts do my sciatic a world of pain and I haven’t felt it as much this week. If anything, it allows me to wind down and de-stress after a long day at work and, to me, that’s very beneficial.

Alright! Enough about my ROMWOD and here’s what we did in our Oly class this morning. Last week was Snatch testing and I missed it because of work. 😦 Although I’m not a fan of snatching (sorry Coach Caleb), I was really curious to see if I could hit my “fake PR” of 65#. Next time! Here’s what we did this morning:

Photo 2015-10-22, 8 50 24 AM

2.5# PR on my C&J!

I PR’d my C&J by 2.5#! It’s not a huge increase, but I was happy with that! I tried at 95# and although I had a good high pull on both attempts, I just didn’t have anything left in me to drop into the squat and catch it there. The jerk was also a challenge at 92.5# and I knew I was pushing it by trying at 95#, but I just had to give it a shot! 😉

Good lifting session in the books for today!


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!




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

Barely Mobilizing

I flip-flopped around going to the Box this morning all night, literally. Rina woke up at 0100 demanding medicine for her mouth. Then it was Douchebag Neighbour’s turn to be having arguments outside at 0230 and again at 0400. At that point, I angrily got dressed and was outside, ready to let him know that some people would like to sleep at night, but he had gone back inside his place… To say I was fuming would be minimizing my feelings…

Since I never fell back asleep and was ticked off to no end, I figured I’d go do the WOD, scale things wayyyyyy down (I still can barely move my legs from the competition last Sunday) and get some of my frustrations out. On the plus side, It also guarantees I get a good nap before heading in to work tonight. I felt a bit less enthusiastic and a little more deflated when I saw this:

Warm-up: I picked up the women’s bar (35#) and I could have sworn it was a men’s bar (45#). I actually had to look at the weight on the side to make sure. The empty bar felt so heavy. That didn’t bode well for the warm-up… Those deadlifts and front squats got a few good grunts out of me. My quads, glutes and hamstrings are all still very angry at my tied 3rd place on Sunday. 😦

Skill: After warming up with 2 mandatory wall-walks, I was ready to go! The wall-walks are still way scarier to me than the actual handstand practice, but I feel a lot better about them, now that I have broken through the barrier of putting my abdomen to the wall when I do them.

I had a few good balance off the wall with my 2 spotters and one that was really good until something pinched in my right wrist and made me lose my focus. There’s always next time!

WOD: This was a long AMRAP and it was vaguely familiar since I had done KB lunges just Sunday. Today, however, I scaled it way down, using an 18# KB and although I went really light, I tried to lunge twice and my quads were just too sore. I asked Coach Caleb what to sub it with and we agreed on 20×18# AKBS.

That was me Sunday... I did more of these today!

That was me Sunday… I did more of these today, at half the weight! (Thanks Jenn for the pic! 😉 )

I finished with a total of 51 (3 full rounds) even though I was actually running my 4th interval when the timer went off, it didn’t count towards my score. I didn’t really mind because I actually managed to “run” all my 600m non-stop. I don’t think I will ever fly down the road when running is involved, but at least, I seem to have been able to keep the walking breaks at bay. Plus, my goal for today was to just get my body moving and mobilizing. I didn’t go in with any expectations of crushing this one, but I was glad I didn’t stop moving for those 25 mins.


In other news, the new windows are almost all installed in the house. There’s only 2 left to do and although they are new and efficient, I’m glad we went along with the same style as the original windows of the house. It keeps the character intact and increases the energy efficiency of the house. I can’t wait for it all to be done and then we’ll be able to turn on the heat in here. It’s been a chill day (only 14°C today and cloudy) and having the windows and doors open has made the house very cool! Thankfully, I have my trusted allies: hot water bottle and Padraig slippers!


Karachi In The Yard

There was no way I was going to go to Crossfit yesterday after I worked all night and slept only 5hrs. However, when I looked at the WOD, I realized I had almost everything to do the whole class at home with some modifications. The only thing I was missing was our Kettlebell which my husband was kind enough to go pick up from his work place so I could do the WOD in the yard (he’s a squash pro and works out when he’s not giving lessons, so it’s not weird at all for him to show up with his KB at work! 😉 )

Warm-up: I did this with a few modifications, using my 25# KB. 4 rounds of the following:

  • 6 deadlifts with the KB
  • 3 KB snatch / arm at 25#
  • 6 squats with the KB on a back rack

Mobility: everything Rx since I had all the equipment required! 😉

WOD: Karachi I did this one FG since our KB is 25#. It was short, but intense! The 1 min rest in between rounds got my legs feeling like jelly for the Taters!

First WOD behind our very own (recently repainted by the hubby) white picket fence! Feeling like a proud home owner

First WOD behind our very own (recently repainted by the hubby) white picket fence. Feeling like a proud home owner!

I had a quick shower post WOD and was hoping to get some down time while the girls are supposed to be napping, but I can hear them walking around and playing upstairs. We have just gotten BeZU into her toddler bed and Rina is on her twin mattress on the floor of her room until we get her furniture delivered. Slowly but surely, we are getting things done around the house to make it our own. We are also lucky to have found a tenant and although she has been moved in for a week now, I can only tell she’s home when I hear the dryer going, she’s so quiet! I don’t think life can get any better than this! 🙂


No Burpees Were Done Today!

I looked up the WOD last night and shared it with my husband and his reactions was:

Well, that doesn’t look like much fun!

I was very determined to give it my best shot and after my alarm woke me up (1st time I’m not awake before my alarm in 2 weeks – Score!), I was ready to face this one head on!

Training Monday – Tuesday


Warm-up:  2 rounds – 20 jumping jacks, 10 double crunch


Mobility: 2 min stations

  • Foam roll upper back
  • Lacrosse ball shoulders
  • Samson Stretch 1min/side


Skill:  Ring Row 5 x 8, increasing difficulty each set, E2M


WOD:  Bataan

With a single KB, you will walk 900m (9th pole).  At each pole, you will perform 8 goblet squats with the KB.  If you put the KB down at any point, 10 burpees.

As you walk, rotate through these carries, switching every pole:

  • Offset Rack (both sides)
  • Suitcase Carry (both sides)
  • Front Rack
  • Back Rack

I suggest you go lighter as opposed to heavier with the KB so that you can maintain proper posture and survive the trip without putting the KB down.  Max weight – 35/53

TG:  Scale distance to 400m

FG:  Scale distance to 600m


Mobility: I absolutely love this new mobility module we have started a few weeks back. It teaches me new tools I can definitely use at home to improve on when I have a minute or two! I also worked on my planks doing 45s and 35s.

Skill: I finally managed to bring my feet right under the rings for the ring rows. They were definitely challenging and everybody else managed to either go further ahead than the rings or have their feet on boxes, but it was my 1st time being even with the rings so I was thrilled to be able to get them! 🙂

WOD: This looked easy and simple enough, but we all know that usually means we’re gonna get the bang for our bucks! This WOD was to honour the people who fought and lost their lives in the Bataan Death March. I took a 18# KB and went on my merry way. I managed to do all 900m without dropping the KB once which meant no burpees for me! It was tough. I could definitely feel those 144 KB goblin squats (I actually ended up doing 152 because I did a set of 8 at the end of my last 100m walk which we weren’t supposed to do I guess… Way to go overachiever)! You know it’s been a good WOD when you have a hard time just standing still in the shower upon returning home! 😉

We were then very fortunate to have Tracey come over to help us out with some packing. We managed to pack up most of the kitchen (keeping only things we’ll need for the next 19 days) and same with the bathroom. We only have to pack our clothes next, and sort through the girls’ toys, purge them and pack the rest.

As we are packing up this apartment, I reflect on everything we have been through here. We went from being engaged to married here. This is where we first brought our daughters home to from the hospital. We have grown closer as a couple, we became parents, we have evolved over the past 4 years. Although it hasn’t always been easy, we made it through and managed to save enough for a house.

Some things I will definitely not miss though:

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