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!

 

Motherhood Success

Some days, I feel like I have control over absolutely NOTHING in my life and I’m pretty amazed that I make it through yet another day. Take today for example. I wasn’t really happy with the way I performed at Crossfit this morning and it kind of tainted my usual “endorphin rush”.

I came back home, planned my food for the week and made a grocery list. I decided to go to the local grocery store, so I could walk there with the girls, instead of taking the car and going to my “usual” grocery store. Everybody got dressed and we all took off.

The girls are old enough now that I can let them run their little hearts out on the sidewalk and they know to stop at the corner. I still shout at them to “Wait for Maman at the corner!”, but they know the drill. We hold hands to cross the street and once we’re safely on the other side, they take off again, on the sidewalk. It’s a fine balance to give them their freedom while keeping them safe, all without turning into a “helicopter mom”.

We get to the grocery store and the girls like to push/pull one of those small basket on wheels. I grab one and they help put the groceries into the basket (“It’s MY turn Mom!”) and I cross things out on my list. We then make our way to the register and the girls help out, once again, by putting the produce on the moving belt. Rina then asks if she can return the basket and Béatrice wants to go with her. I tell them to walk and they are off. While I pay for the groceries, I keep an eye on them, making sure they aren’t turning the grocery store into a tornado disaster zone and they come back to me. Rina tells me she was able to put the basket back into the pile (which meant she had to pick it up and lift in into the 3′ pile) and I say:

“I know, buddy, I saw you! You did a good job! I’m proud of you!”

She then saunters off to the ATM and starts punching buttons on the machine. I ask her to “leave the buttons alone, please.” and make a pretend “mad face” at her. She giggles and steps back from the ATM. I thank her and go to grab my bags.

The cashier turns to me and says: “I love how you talk to your children!”

I blush lightly and say “Thank you!” as I gather the girls and walk out with my groceries.

I wasn’t expecting that at all! In this day and age, people are quick to get upset about other people’s business and we are quick to pass judgement. The past month has been a bit of a struggle personally and as I wasn’t particularly feeling good about my morning, that little encounter and comment from the teller brought a smile to my face and filled my heart with pride.

It just goes to show that even if you feel like you’re failing in certain aspects of your life, people are watching and taking note of your good shots as well.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Focus on the positive, let go of the negative.

One day at a time…

I may fail in certain areas of my life, but I will always strive for success for these two little hams!

I may fail in certain areas of my life, but I will always strive for success for these two little hams!

“Me” Day

I’ve been spending some quality time with the girls over the past few days and I think Rina has appreciated spending a bit more one-on-one time with her Mommy and Daddy. Last night, she came to me with this sweet love note:

Rina <3<3<3<3<3 maman

Rina <3<3<3<3 maman

Last night, I was getting ready to not be able to sleep before my night shift tonight, but the husband had arranged for the girls to spend most of the day with his parents so that I could get some alone time and do whatever I wanted with my day, including nap before night shift! #hesawesome ! I quickly changed gears and planned my day accordingly! On my to-do list:

  • cook a healthy meal for night shift. During the holidays, I see a crazy amount of treats in (and out) of our break room and if I don’t plan my meals accordingly, it’s easier to fall off the wagon. Although my Whole30 is officially over since last Saturday, I have yet to have a “cheat meal”. It’s going to happen tonight with this recipe from Inspiralized
Image credit to inspiralized.com

Image taken from  inspiralized.com

  • Do a little laundry
  • Tidy up the house
  • Wrap-up Christmas presents
  • knit, if I have time left-over!

While I was slowly enjoying a late breakfast, the doorbell rang. I went to open the door and it was a flower delivery!

Photo 2015-12-22, 9 09 41 AM

The husband surprised me with a nice floral arrangement “just because” this morning! <3! More brownie points for him! I cleaned up breakfast, helped getting the girls ready and packed for the day and Ben drove them to my in-laws. I got going on the laundry and just finished cooking the Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl with Pomegranate and Maple-Sesame Vinaigrette (long title, delicious meal!) hence, where I will be breaking my Whole30 (maple syrup isn’t compliant to the Whole30). I did add some cooked chicken to the recipe for my night snack in order to bump up the protein content of the meal. I cleaned up my dishes and am now about to wrap up some presents all while attending to the laundry, and it’s not even noon yet! #score

I begged Ben to bring the girls back home for dinner as I will otherwise be away from them for close to 24hrs and I can’t remember when I’ve been apart from them for so long. At the same time, it makes me realize that maybe I SHOULD make it a point to take more time for myself once-in-a-while… Food for thought!

Enough blogging, I have a full day ahead and I plan on making the most of it!

 

 

Christmas Cold

I haven’t posted in a bit. My last night shift, Rina got sick with a fever and a sore ear and Ben brought her to the ER to get checked out. It turns out she is fine and we have been managing her symptoms with Tylenol and Advil, but I finished my night with a sore throat and when I woke up from my nap, I had a full blown cold. So, to recap, Rina is sick, Béa is sick and I’m now sick as well. To top it all off, Ben has finally caught it as well and we are a couching/sniffling/sneezing mess of a family.

A little head cold didn’t stop me from making my way to the Box on Saturday and this morning as well. I probably could have gone lifting on Thursday morning, but Ben was able to come home early and we spent the evening together, just chatting about life and things. It was nice and by the time he reminded me about lifting in the morning, I had missed my bedtime by about 2 hrs in order to get up at 0500, so I chose not to go.

This morning though, the girls didn’t have school so I took the opportunity to go back to the 0600 class and that meant waking up at 0500. It was nice to see the old crew again! Here’s what we did:

Skill: Back Squat 5×3 (Tempo 3-2-1) E2M

I had done these 2 weeks ago and had finished at 100#, with a 10# PR. I remembered I was struggling with these and I wanted to try 105# for a new PR. I paired up with Gail and we got working. Here were my sets:

85#-90#-95#-100#-105#

I was pretty pumped about this new PR!

WOD: Thriller

We had tackled this one last June and I had done FG1 @55# on the 20″ box. Today, I was really wanting to try 65#, but with my cold and being back on the 20″ box for the first time since my rehab, I chose to stick to 55#. Good thing I did too because I kept gripping the bar unbalanced and that screwed up some of my reps. I had to re-adjust my grip at the top of the thruster and it made for some lost time.

The first round went well and I was really focusing on trying to be explosive from the hips on the BJ instead of just pulling my feet up onto the box. It was hard since I also had to focus on bracing my inner abs while stepping down from the box in order not to jut my butt to the side (which aggravates my sciatic pain). Sometimes when I think too much about a movement, it’s almost like it’s too much for my little head and then my body is all wonky. That’s what happened today.

My third round was horrible for my grip on the thrusters and I had to put the bar down after 6 reps. I was also really cramping out at the bottom of the squat on the BJ and Coach Caleb came by to remind me to use my hips. I was tired and not sure I could do just that, but I made a mental note to try it on the next round.

My 4th round was better. I didn’t have to put the bar down, I just rested at the top of the thrusters and kept going and was trying to be more explosive on the BJ. I’m not sure I managed, but Coach Caleb told me he could tell I was at least trying. I guess, that’s “A” for effort! Lol! 😉

Here were my reps today vs. back in June:

  • 1:29 today  vs. 1:29 in June
  • 1:34 today vs. 1:35 in June
  • 2:03 today vs. 1:36 in June
  • 1:41 today vs 1:48 in June

Had it not been for me dropping the bar on my 3rd set, I think I could have PR’d this WOD, but I didn’t do so bad considering I’m stuffed up and coughing a bit. My time for today was 3:32 vs. 3:17 back in June, which is only 15s slower. I’m not too upset about that one and so far, no sciatic pain from the BJ step down! I’ll take it!

The girls are home with me today and surprisingly enough, I don’t have any cooking, cleaning or laundry to do. I had planned on taking them on a short hike, but it’s raining outside so we are doing collages and playing with Play-Doh. I’m hoping to get to wrap some Christmas presents today and tonight and be done with that before I head back to work tomorrow.

So Close I Can Taste It

I’m tired. I have been on mommy duty by myself since Friday and I’m pooped. The girls are good, but I’m exhausted and trying to get the last-minute purchases done for the girls while I am married-single-parenting is exhausting. Thank goodness I had planned ahead and booked Nanny to the rescue for today. She came in just in time for me to go to Crossfit and since she was curious about the whole thing, we packed everybody in the car and Béa and Nanny came to watch me workout!

I did my usual solo warm-up and then I went onto the rig to try some TTB. I managed the usual 2 and went for an extra one and managed this one as well! I got greedy and tried for a 4th, but no luck. Still, a PR during the warm-up was nice! I teased Rob about it on Facebook (we have a bet as to whom will get to 10 TTB first. Although, now that I think of it, I don’t think we’ve ever established what the winner gets… Rob, if you’re reading, I say bragging rights!) and then moved onto the team warm-up:

I teamed up with Marie who recently graduated from the OnRamp and since we’re about the same height, I figured it would take us similar time to get through the erg.

 

Skill: Back Squat 5×3 E90s

I was trying to PR on this one and go for 140#. It would have been a 5# PR. It didn’t happen, but I was close and considering I was still feeling my new depth at the bottom of the squat, it felt REALLY good. I felt strong, more able to keep my chest up and didn’t feel like I was “butt-stripping” getting out of the squat. Here was my progression:

120#-125#-130#-135#-140# (managed 1 rep and bailed coming out of my 2nd).

I think there was a lot happening for me on these:

  1. I was seeing stars coming up from my 1st rep @ 140# and I didn’t take a long enough pause to breathe and recoup at the top
  2. I was in my head a lot. I knew that if I managed to do this today, I was literally 5# away from my bodyweight back squat and I’ve been chasing this one for close to 2 years now. My heart was pumping fast and I could tell I was in a hyper mode.

I may not have PR’d my 5×3 and I don’t have a 1RM, but I’m confident that 140# was an amazing 1RM for me! The fact that I felt so good and strong during my reps gave me a ton of confidence. Also, being able to bail out of the lift safely made me feel good too. It’s nice to know that I not only have the technique to do my lifts in a safe manner, but I also have the knowledge to get out of them if I can’t complete a rep.

WOD: 4 Hundred

I paired up with Marie again and even though she was doing the FG+, I firmly believe that we both were working equally hard at it. I decided to try this one RX and it did not disappoint! I started us off on the wallballs because, well, in all honesty, I just wanted to get them done and over with! Lol! We broke them up in sets of 10 and I then had to break my sets into 2×5, pretty early in the game. Marie was doing squats while holding the med ball because of shoulder issues, which meant that she was done a lot quicker for her sets and I had less time to recover. She was nice enough to get us started on the push-ups and surprisingly to me, I was really struggling through those. We both did them all RX and Marie was so strong and straight throughout them all, I was super impressed! We split them up into sets of 5.

I took over for the reverse lunges and I was apprehensive about those as any split movement is usually what gives me sciatic pain. I tried my best to brace my deep abdominals and so far, *knocks on wood*, no butt pain! We split those up into 10s and got through them fairly quick.

I started us off for the Plates ground to overhead and it was my 1st time using the 25# plate for those. They felt really strong. It felt like I was really able to keep the plate close to my body and really use my hips to get it overhead. There were two reps towards the end where I struggled to get the plate to actually touched the ground, but even if we finished last, I felt really good about our work today.

Once I was done, I clean dup quickly in the bathroom and BeZU, Nanny and I were off to hit the stores. I managed to find one item on the girls’ Santa list and I was happy with that. I hid my purchases in the trunk and Béa was none the wiser.

After lunch, we came back home where I finished laundry and relaxed a bit on the couch. We then went to pick-up Rina at themes stop and we trooped everyone to a smaller mall where I was hoping to get the girls’ picture taken with Santa.  I had scoped the hours ahead of time and I knew the big guy was supposed to be there until 5pm. To my surprise, there was nobody in line when we got there. I forked out the $14 for one 5×7 pic (not without some grumbling) and approached the jolly red dude. Béatrice was scared to death and wanted nothing to do with him. She kept hiding behind my legs and I could feel her little body shaking against my leg. I asked Santa if I could sit next to him to warm her up to him and once he said it was fine, she climbed on my lap. I tried to get her to sit on his lap: No. I tried to get her to sit next to him: No. I tried to get her to stand in front of here sister (who was, by then, telling Santa everything she wanted for Christmas): No. In the end, I decided it was going to be a family picture and I got in there with the girls. After all, I wanted them both to have their picture taken, but I wasn’t gonna hang around there forever!

I turned out much better than I thought and at least both girls are smiling. I look like an exhausted, sweaty mom (because I am), but I couldn't care less!

It turned out much better than I thought and at least both girls are smiling. I look like an exhausted, sweaty mom (because I am), but I couldn’t care less!

Once we were done, I went to get the envelope with the picture and noticed there was another sheet in there. At first I thought it was an order sheet to order extras, but when I took it out, I saw this:

Rina, handing Santa a drawing she had done

Rina, handing Santa a drawing she had done

I was so unaware that the photographer had taken this one and I was really touched that she had included it in the envelope. I thanked her profusely and we all went on our merry way home, where we had dinner, I bathed everyone, made lunches for tomorrow, took my work clothes out and now, I’m about to make myself a cup of broth with my hot water bottle on my back and do my version of #NetflixandChill which is #Netflixandbroth 🙂

 

Rough One

I had planned on going to the morning Crossfit class today. With it being Remembrance Day, there are only 2 classes being held today and I really wanted to go to the morning one. This being said, Ben had scheduled himself a lesson at around the same time and I made the decision to take the girls with me to Crossfit. I told them they had to stay in the play area, that there was going to be a lot of people and that it would be dangerous if they moved. I got them toys and snacks and got to warming up. The girls were total little angels during the long WOD and I was glad I didn’t have to discipline them at all. The WOD was brutal, even with me scaling it the way I did. I probably scaled a little too much seeing as I was in the first few to finish it. You know there’s something wrong when I finish first! Lol! The WOD was one they had done last year (I was probably at work and unable to do it last year)

Here’s what we did and how I modified it.

I managed 2 TTB during my personal warm-up and I was pretty happy with that. I didn’t go for a 3rd, maybe I should have!?!

Warm-up: As per my PT’s recommendations, I modified the KBS to RKBS. We are diligently trying to avoid any strain on my lower back, hence the RKBS instead of the American ones.

WOD: CSOR

After discussing this with my PT (she also does Crossfit with me, so that is very convenient when I need to ask her advice!), we came up with these modifications:

  • 30 hang power clean @55#
  • 800m run
  • 21-15-9 push jerks @55#
    • pull-ups with blue and purple bands
  • 800m run
  • 30 burpee box jumps
  • 800m run

I felt good during the power cleans and was the first one out for the run (!) which, in my head, was a good indicator that maybe I should have gone heavier, but at the same time, I really didn’t want to irritate my sciatic, so I played it on the safer side. I was soon joined by all the others outside and we worked on getting our specific mileages in. I had chosen to do 800m and I managed to do that non-stop.

I came back inside and got to working on the push jerks. I broke my 21 into 11-5-2-3. Onto the rig for the pull-ups. I broke all my pull-up sets into 3s and that worked well for me. The 15 push jerks were done in 8-7 and the last round was done unbroken.

Back outside for another 800m run. I lost some time on towards the end as I noticed someone in crutches waiting to cross the street. Our box is right across from City Hall and they were having celebrations for Remembrance Day. These people were trying to make their way to City Hall and I asked them if they needed help to cross the street. When they said yes, I slowly made my way into the boulevard and stopped traffic to let them go through. I ran back inside once I was done and got started on the burpee box jumps. I managed all 30, but they were all very slow.

I went back out again for my last 800m run and I was so slow. My left hip flexor was so sore and I finished with a slight limp of my left leg. I couldn’t get over the fact that Mark was doing all this with a weighted vest. He really inspired me to finish strong (at least, as strong as I could). I came back inside and was probably in the first 10 to finish. You know I scaled too much when I finish in the first batch. I’m usually dead last. Like I said, I was just careful and didn’t want to make things worst with my sciatic. I finished in 38:12 and I was just glad I had kept on working with minimal breather breaks pretty much for the whole duration of my time!

After we were done, Michelle (my PT) told me I probably shouldn’t have done the box jumps. I should have done just regular burpees. I didn’t think about it either at the time, but she was right. Since we do step-downs and my dominant leg is my right, I got down on my right a lot which meant a hyper flexion of my left hip and it’s probably why my hip flexor was so bad on the last run.

As soon as I was done, the girls stated to let loose  and started running around and shrieking. Brett and Kim had brought their dog (gorgeous Sherman) inside and both girls and the dog were playing together. I then went to run some errands downtown.

On the way downtown, Béa banged her head on the car door and she then proceeded to fall on the sidewalk while holding my hand, which resulted in me inadvertently stepping on her other hand. She got a good scrape on a few fingers and was inconsolable so I called it a day and brought everybody back home for lunch. Rough day for the little one!

Once lunch was over, I was finally able to go clean myself up. Good thing too because the WOD had left me with some crazy hairdo!

Crazy hair, don't care!

Crazy hair, don’t care!

Now that laundry is folded, I was finally able to finish my morning coffee. Sometimes, I like to drink my coffee in a mug I took from my parents when I moved out. These mugs were purchased at a gas station at some point in the 80’s and it somehow brings me closer to my parents when I stop to think about my mom drinking her coffee from that same mug, a few decades ago! It is pretty ugly, but I love that it says “Mom” in french on it! 🙂

Photo 2015-11-11, 1 20 39 PM

My “mom” mug!

 

Womanhood

*Sorry gents, this one will discuss women problems/issues. You’re more than welcome to read through, but I doubt you’ll be able to relate much*

So, I haven’t blogged in a little while and there’s a few good reasons for it.

  1. Sometimes, I just need a break from the blogging world. I try to cram so much in a day and instead of giving you crappy posts, I just take a time out and focus on me instead
  2. I have been having pretty painful sciatic pain for 8 days now and I’ve been trying to deal with that, hence the title of my post. I did my first WOD since last Wednesday yesterday and will talk about it more below

I have breached this topic before, but let me dive in today. I have had pretty consistent sciatic pain since my pregnancy with Rina, 5 years ago. I have done chiropractic treatments before that have given some positive outcomes, but it always ends up coming back. It has seemed that over the years, it gets aggravated, no matter what I do. It was painful when I was an inactive mom, it is painful whether I work out or not, so before you go thinking that it’s all because of Crossfit, let me tell you right now, it isn’t. It does flare up when I squat or deadlift heavy (over 100lbs), but this last flare-up started after a WOD where there wasn’t any heavy lifting involved.

I just happened to mention to fellow Crossfitters that I’d been dealing with this for a while now and what I’d been doing in order to try to get better, when Michelle mentioned she was a PT and I should go see her. I was able to get an appointment with her the same day and I’m hoping to be able to solve some issues.

After 2 visits with her, here’s what we have discovered.

  1. My sciatic pain might not be related to my sciatic at all.
  2. I may be too flexible for my own good.
  3. I may benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy.

I have breached the topic lightly before on the blog, but as a Crossfit woman, it’s no surprise that I suffer from “leakage” when lifting heavy or doing box jumps or attempting DUs or even sneezing, if I’m not careful. Apparently, this could all be improved with some pelvic floor PT.

You see, apparently childbirth can be traumatic and damaging to a body (no sh** Sherlock!) I’m diving deep right now so if you’re squeamish, STOP READING NOW!

When I delivered Rina, I tore my perineum (the area between your anus and your vagina. Not sorry about the TMI right now because I’m sure I’m not the only ) to the 3rd degree and required 15 stitches in my nether region. Also, I attempted to push her out for 3 1/2 hrs. That may (or may not) have injured my coccyx. Add to that a second pregnancy with a second tear (only 7 stitches this time around!) and some baby carrying on the same hip (I am right-handed and have a tendency to carry my girls nicely propped on my left hip in order to have my right hand free for other stuff) and I have a slight shift (about an inch or so) between my hips. My left hip sits higher than my right one, resulting in an imbalance on EVERYTHING I do when I move.

Because I am so limber, I haven’t really felt the imbalance before, but after a few years of having to do extra work, my left hip, pelvis and sciatic have finally said: “Enough!” and I’m listening. It turns out that the Pelvic Floor Physio could help with what my PT thinks is mostly a coccyx injury that needs decompression. She is, unfortunately not allowed to do such a thing, but a pelvic floor PT is. I have an appointment next week and I will keep you posted when I go. As for now, I have also been told to stop stretching (just until we figure out the origin of my sciatic pain), which means I haven’t done any ROMWOD since last week. 😦 I have to say, I kind of miss it, but I’ll listen to the expert’s advice until further notice.

In the meantime, I dream of a day when I wouldn’t need to sit on the couch with my hot water bottle up my butt/lower back in order to obtain some relief. That and no leakage would be awesome too! 😉

After Kath canceled our Kitty and Cougar WOD yesterday (turns out she had too much on her plate and couldn’t fit this in her schedule), I decided to do the Box WOD at home, since it didn’t give me much time to get my stuff together for the 0930 class. Kath felt super guilty about backing out of the competition, but to me, it was just an excuse to get together with her and WOD together, we can do that anytime and don’t need the extra stress of the competition in order to do that!

Here’s what I did yesterday:

We only had a 25# KB at home so I went out and decided to get myself a little treat: a brand new 35# KB! I had both girls with me (Rina had stayed home from school with a cold and Béa was on a day off from preschool) and Rina didn’t want to be left in the dust, so she convinced me to get her a cute little 5# KB.

A family that lifts together... gets strong together! Lol!

A family that lifts together… gets strong together! Lol!

I packed the girls in their double stroller and set off for my run. I had a choice between running a 720m or 920m in my neighbourhood, so I aimed high and went for the 920m loop. Because I have the memory of a fly, I couldn’t remember that I had to do taters and did AKBS.  Pushing the stroller up the hills was interesting, seeing as the girls and the stroller combined added close to 80# of lump I had to get up 3 little hills. 1 was short, 1 was medium and long and the third was short but at a steep incline which had me walking. The fun part was that I also had to go a steady downhill on my way back home. I had to pause my timer, get the girls out of the stroller and get Béatrice set up with something to occupy her while Rina and I got to work on the AKBS. Rina was more interested in chalking up her little hands than actually lifting the KB, but she did about 20 reps with me. I broke mine up in sets of 10 and only started to lose my grip on rep #47. I finished my 3 reps and looked at my timer: 9:52. Not too bad considering I had last done this one RX (without having to push a heavy stroller up a hill) so I’m guessing I probably could have done a similar time as well!

So there you go, I should be back for more Crossfit tales tomorrow, if I feel like blogging about it! 😉