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I’m struggling to get up to 2x per week at CrossFit. I love it once I’m there, and always am glad I went, but GETTING THERE continues to be an issue. I was supposed to go yesterday but when the alarm went off at 4am after a restless night of dreaming about getting a C on my final paper for this class (I haven’t even turned it in yet… oh, dreams), there was no way I was getting up.

I did make it there today, however, and am planning on going tomorrow.  So even though it’s at the end of the week, at least I’m going to get it in twice. I have a lot more motivation to go if I’m going with Bob (like this morning) because I consider it a little bit of time spent with him.

I have been working out on my own over lunch, however, at work. Believe it or not, I’m actually exercising as much as I did before I started class. This week I’ll have hit 5 out of 7 days.  Don’t be too impressed, though, because one of those days was our Barbells for Boobs event at our gym (which was AWESOME).

Photo taken by Barbells for Boobs. And yes, this is my first "real" CrossFit picture. I'm psyched.

Photo taken by Barbells for Boobs. And yes, this is my first “real” CrossFit picture. I’m psyched.

See this picture above? I was clean & jerking 75 pounds. Last year, I clean & jerked 45 pounds. (Let’s ignore the fact that my overhead squats were the same weight at 45 pounds…).  That progress (however slight) is what I don’t want to lose while I’m only making it 2x a week during the next 15 (a month down!!) months.

Which is why I’ve started “New Rules of Lifting for Women” — a book my parents gave me for Christmas and I didn’t need then because I was going to CF so often at the time.

NROLFW

It’s split into 7 stages and is a 6ish month long progression at 3x per week. I’m planning on doing twice a week, so the program will be a few months longer for me. It incorporates heavy lifting and interval training, both things I love about CrossFit. Not going to lie, when I saw that deadlifts, back squats, and thrusters were part of the routine, I knew this would work well. 🙂

The first stage has high reps (2 sets of 15) and works down to heavier weights at lower reps (8) over the course of 16 workouts. I did the first two workouts at 15 reps but am skipping 2 workouts and going down to 12 reps at slightly heavier weights. The first stage is FOREVER (16 workouts vs every other stage which is 8) and I am sure it’s to get people unfamiliar with lifting, familiar with it. I’m going to follow the rest of it as prescribed, however, and just make sure the weights are challenging enough.

The first stage doesn’t have any interval training, but I’m throwing my own in there using CrossFit Endurance workouts posted every week in our CF group. My original plan was to do these CFEs on the opposite days that I lift but this week has been a bit crazy so I’ve just tacked them on at the end of the weight lifting. My lunch gets a little long because of that (ran close to an hour and a half yesterday), but I also spend weekends tweeting and Facebooking and Instagramming for work, so I’m not worried.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m settling into a routine, I’m making exercising a priority, and I’m just taking it one day at  a time as promised.

Furthermore, Bob has been INCREDIBLE as I’ve figured out all of this. He’s doing most of our grocery shopping, he’s been cleaning the kitchen while I’m in class, he’s taking care of other things like installing a hot water heater while I slave away over homework, and he has just been all around wonderful. So I know it’s a little bit of a husband brag, but it needs to be said that he is amazing.

Have you ever followed a weightlifting program? What has worked for you?

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I have always used whatever I’m into to define myself. When I was in high school, I was a color guard captain and yearbook editor. That became who I was.

In college, I became a SIFE-er. (Enactus, now). That was who I was. I let it define me.

Junior year of college. Our SIFE team won 4th place in the nation & I was on the presentation team.

Junior year of college. Our SIFE team won 4th place in the nation & I was on the presentation team.

After college, I let my first job define me. I was an advertiser. A media nerd. An agency geek. A digital marketer.

And then I started to lose weight, and I became “a runner.” and a Weight Watcher.

My first 5k, September 2011.

My first 5k, September 2011.

And in March of 2012, I found CrossFit. And then I became one of those crazy CrossFitters. AND I was a Flower City CrossFitter. My home was FCCF.

At FCCF with Maeve, my back to back box buddy for life. :-)

At FCCF with Maeve, my back to back box buddy for life. 🙂

But now, I’m a grad student. And I’m having a difficult time with my gym decision because I have to reconcile “who I am” at this stage in my life.

Because really, I’m way more than a CrossFitter. or a runner. or a digital marketer. or a reader or a wine-drinker or an ice cream-eater or a wife or a daughter or a best friend or a grad student.

I think this is why I’ve had such a difficult time making a decision on what I’m going to do about working out. It shouldn’t be this hard, right? But it is hard, because I AM A CROSSFITTER AT FLOWER CITY CROSSFIT and if I lose part of that equation, then I lose part of my identity. Because even if I continue CrossFitting, but at a different box, my identity still changes slightly.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this recognition other than reassess where my identity really should live. Because honestly, I shouldn’t be finding my identity in any of those things, anyways. They’re all part of me, but they’re not ALL of me.

No answers today, just reflections.

How do you grapple with your identity as _____________ (fill in the blank here)? 

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Okay friends, I am in a full-on exercise dilemma. (#FirstWorldProblems)

Here’s the issue:

I’ve only made it to CrossFit 1x per week the last two weeks. That is sad news and also a complete waste of money.  (I did, however, manage to fit in a run and a WOD during lunch last week).

Here are my options:

  • Quit CrossFit altogether. Join the local globo-gym that’s 5 minutes from my house and take classes like body pump and yoga.
  • Switch CrossFit boxes to one that’s closer. There’s one 2 minutes from our house, but I’ve heard mixed things. I visited it & am uneasy. Pros: It’s close. Small class sizes. Expanding soon into a bigger space.  I’ll probably make it there a few more times a week because it’s so convenient. They have a super cute puppy gym dog. Cons: It’s not Flower City CrossFit. I have to make new friends. And leave my current friends. They’re new and have a small space and lack of equipment until the space is expanded. And I’ve heard people who have had issues with getting along with the owner.  And I’ve heard the programming isn’t awesome.
  • Drop down to 2x per week at FCCF and go once during the week and once on the weekend. And supplement with running/WODs on my own. Because as much as I’d LIKE to be able to make it out to Henrietta more than once a week, I know it’s just not going to happen.
  • Drop down to 3x per week at FCCF and make CrossFitting more of a priority than sleep or homework.
  • Stop exercising. Eat pizza and drink wine. Gain back 30 pounds. (I do have to consider ALL options here!)

I like the last option, personally, but I’m pretty sure I’d be miserable.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to switch CrossFit gyms. The cons list is way longer than the pros.  I WANT it to be awesome AND close, but that doesn’t mean it will be.

And I don’t think realistically I’m going to give up sleep or homework to make it in more often.

So that leaves me with dropping down to 2x per week or quitting altogether and spending way less money on classes that are not nearly as challenging or fun.

I’m not sure I want to quit CrossFit altogether. I mean, what else would I talk about on Facebook? And I would never feel sore anymore. And I would never be able to complain/brag about how sore my shoulders are from doing 100 push ups and how my pants are too tight in the butt because I’ve squatted too much. But 2x per week seems like so little.

If you were me, what would you do? 

Also, here’s our meal plan this week. Super simple.

Monday: Baked chicken breast with cauliflower rice and roasted broccoli. (Also baking chicken for salad night)

Tuesday: Salad night!

Wednesday:  Simple Paleo stuffed peppers.

Thursday: Venison steak with roasted vegetable medley of squash, onion, and brussels sprouts.

Friday: “Spaghetti” (spaghetti squash) and Paleo meatballs in red sauce. I’ve been craving spaghetti and meatballs.

Are these meal plans helpful for you? I feel like since we’re cooking very simply lately, there’s not much that’s exciting about our food. I might stop posting these unless they’re being used?

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So we’ve been total slackers the last week on our blog. I’ve been getting into a routine for grad school (hello, LOTS of READING) and Bob’s been getting into a routine of never rarely seeing me. Also, I attended an awesome conference last week (High Ed Web) so I wasn’t able to blog for a few days anyways.

Excuses, excuses. At least I’ve been getting my exercise in, although not much of it is CrossFit. I finally went back Thursday (hooray!) and was so happy to be back. I missed my CF friends. Unfortunately I was up too late Thursday so Friday morning didn’t happen.

However, Friday was so beautiful that I ended up taking a half day and spent an hour trail running at Durand Eastman Park. It was gorgeous. It took me a little under an hour to run 4 miles because I nearly killed myself on a root at the beginning… so I decided that walking/running was a better way to go. My wrist just started feeling better — I wasn’t about to sprain an ankle.

Gorgeous views on my run on Friday

Gorgeous views on my run on Friday

Sunday was a day full of reading and paper writing. Because I can’t read textbooks for three hours straight without wanting to fall asleep, I decided that at the end of every chapter I’d do 20 jumping jacks, 10 squats, and 10 push ups. That worked pretty well until I hit the beginning of chapter 9 and was going stir crazy.

Really thrilling content.

Really thrilling content.

Despite the fact that I had enjoyed a delicious pumpkin ale while I was reading, I headed out for a run with the pupster. Pro tip: don’t run after drinking a beer. Pro tip #2: if you DO run after drinking a beer, just accept the fact that you’ll be slow because your legs will be heavy and tired. 3 slow miles later, I was ready to go back to reading.

Stanley joined me after our run while I finished up some reading in our office.

Stanley joined me after our run while I finished up some reading in our office.

Couldn’t make it to CrossFit this morning because it was rainy and dark and I had some stomach issues (probably from running after beer-drinking), but I packed a bag and plan on doing the WOD over lunch at work, subbing out pull-ups for push-ups.

I was worried about fitting in exercise — and I still am worried about fitting in CrossFit (I think I’m going to drop down to 2x a week) — but running may just be my saving grace throughout grad school.  And the cardio room at work over lunch.

Because Bob & I were visiting his family this weekend, we made our meal plan on the back of a coupon for Dunkin’ Donuts. Hey, you do what you have to.

mealplan

In case you can’t read my chicken scratch, here’s our (very simple) meal plan for the week:

Sunday: we ate leftovers Bob’s parents so graciously sent home with us. Butternut squash & sweet potato soup, sausage & onion & mushroom soup, turkey, and sauteed vegetables. Delicious.

Monday: Leftovers for lunch, and roasted vegetable medley of butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and delicata squash with baked chicken for dinner. (I’ll post a recipe soon for the vegetables. SO GOOD.)

Tuesday: Leftovers for lunch. Salad for Dinner. We’ve decided that Tuesday nights will be salad night because it’s something easy for me to pack to eat during class, and easy for Bob to eat while I’m not there.

Wednesday: Salad for lunch, Paleo Pad Thai for dinner. I’ll do the prep work for this tonight — roasting the spaghetti squash & making the sunshine sauce – because I have a happy hour Wednesday I’m going to so Bob is going to have to cook!

Thursday: Leftovers for lunch.  Hooray, we’re home together for dinner!! We’re making Paleo Nachos which are my FAVORITE easy meal. I’ll prep the chicken the night before — I use this recipe for the pulled chicken. Then I cut up bell peppers & top them with traditional nacho toppings (minus cheese, sour cream, etc.) using this recipe as inspiration. And of course, using homemade guac (recipe soon!) These are great for lunch the next day, too. YUM.

Friday: Baked fish, sauteed cabbage, cauliflower rice. (I always try to make fish on Fridays because I don’t like leftover fish for lunch the next day).

Saturday: Paleo potluck maybe? Or else we’ll figure something out.

What are you eating this week? How was your weekend?

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Low Motivation

While Meg is missing CrossFit, I am having an opposite feeling.

I just don’t want to exercise.

I don’t. I feel kind of guilty, but I have just no motivation to make it to the gym. I did a lot last week, but so far this week today will be my third “rest day” in a row if I don’t get off my butt and get to the gym.

I don’t know what my problem is. My alarm was set yesterday and today, and I just consciously ignored it and decided not to go in the morning. My gym bag was packed yesterday, but I just didn’t feel like going after work. My gym bag was also packed today, but I just didn’t make it from Point A to Point B.

I’m not sleeping terrible, but I’m waking up kind of tired. My energy has been pretty low in general though. I was thinking that maybe it had to do with my paleo diet (like this article suggests) – maybe I’m not getting enough nutrients or something. But I’m eating like I usually eat for the most part, and I haven’t been this low energy before. And I definitely think I’m eating enough too.

It might be my stress level. I have recently started a new job – I got a big promotion at work and it has been awesome! But, the flipside has been it has involved long hours, and lots of stress. So, I feel more drained when I come home from work, and I’m having a hard time getting the energy or motivation to go to the gym. Which is a double edged sword, because exercising often gives me more energy and is a stress reliever.

So, here I am, stuck in a Catch-22 of having low motivation to exercise, when in all likelihood, exercise might give me more energy.

This is how I feel

This is how I feel

It doesn’t help that I’m also still sore from Saturday’s workout. The workout was a partner workout, so that means that the two of you work together or split up the work in some way. It was designed by our trainer who has the nickname “McNinja”, and I think it was pure evil:

1 Person working as 1 Person “Rests”
**If the resting partner breaks, the “active” partner must stop.

For time:
Run 800m Together
100 Burpee Wall Balls (20#) while “resting” person holds a plank
100 Pull Ups while “resting” person holds a 45# plate overhead
100 Kb Swings (53#) while “resting” person holds a hand stand
100 Push Press (95#) while “resting” person holds a squat position
200 Double Unders (split up – “resting” person actually can rest!)

It took my partner and I 43:17 to finish, and it was a loooong 43 minutes! I scaled the pull ups with a blue and red band, and I scaled the push press to 75#. The burpee wall balls/plank phase was by far the hardest part. “What is a burpee wall ball?” you might ask. It is a burpee. . .followed by a wall ball. And yes, it is just as terrible as you might think. But that wasn’t the worst part – the worst part was trying to hold a plank while your partner did that movement which took super long (imagine doing 100 burpees and 100 wall balls and how long that would take).

Anyway, my shoulders/arms are still sore, as you can see most of those movements involved some type of overhead movement.

But, those are just excuses. I just basically don’t want to go. So it’s a weird dichotomy in the Hartman household: Meg really wants to go to the gym, but can’t. And I don’t want to go to the gym, but can!

Do you ever just really not want to exercise? What do you do to get back into it again?

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So my wrist STILL isn’t healed which means my membership is on hold yet another week. I really miss CrossFit.

It’s still pretty tender and every time I pick something up that weighs more than a piece of paper it hurts. Blech. Also if I bend it. Not cool. So my guess is that lifting weights is a bad idea since I can’t even lift a baking sheet with squash on it at home.

Saturday I took the dog out for a run — we did some random sprinting intervals/running and ended up with about 4 miles. And then when I got back I did 10 rounds of 10 squats & 10 lunges (100 each total) because I wanted to be at the gym with Bob. It was sad, really, doing squats and lunges in my backyard, with no music and no one there to push me. Other than Stanley who barked at me like I was a crazy person before eventually losing interest.  But I felt sore yesterday and what’s even MORE sad is that I missed the feeling of soreness so much so that I was excited.

Gratuitous picture of Stanley after our run. He was wiped out.

Gratuitous picture of Stanley after our run. He was wiped out.

You know you’re addicted to CrossFit when…. you are happy your glutes are sore.

I plan on doing some more interval-type running/CrossFit stuff that doesn’t include use of my wrist this week. One of the CFEs this week is a 20 min AMRAP of run 400 meters/25 sit ups, which I could totally do on our track during lunch. I’m even thinking about tweaking it a little so it’s more like a 25 min amrap with some lunges & squats thrown in too, because, why not?

And when I asked my brother in law (who’s a physical therapist) if I could row with it he looked at me like I was crazy. So my excitement over finding the rower in our cardio room at work has been short-lived.

But! At least I can run. and the weather this week is GORGEOUS so I don’t have an excuse not to be enjoying the outdoors.

weather

How was your weekend? Looking forward to beautiful weather for your area, too?

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In my favorite movie of ALL TIME, “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken,” there’s a part where the heroine of the movie is getting frustrated because she can’t mount the running horse try after try after try.  She keeps falling to the ground after missing the horse and it’s obvious she’s in some pain.  Her “coach,” a crotchety but warm-hearted cowboy, is standing by, watching, and says,

You don’t get anything handed to you in the world. You gotta earn it

And then she looks like she’s going to break down and lose it.

He asks her, multiple times,

You gonna cry? You gonna cry?

She takes a second to compose herself, and then responds,

I never cry

That part of the movie always baffled me, because I ALWAYS cry. At everything. At Hallmark commercials, at Superbowl commercials (The Budweiser one!!!), at sad stories.  Sad movies make me cry for hours after the movie is over, and sad musicals (The Last Five Years) make me tear up just thinking about them.

wild hearts

But today, during a particularly awful WOD, I got it. I understood.

After being no-repped a MILLION times on wall-balls (exaggeration aside, I’m pretty sure it was at least 20), I had it. I was about to give up. I was frustrated, I was leaning against the wall, and I was done. My eyes stung with tears of anger and my body was yelling at me to quit.

And in my mind, I heard, “You have to EARN IT”

and then: “You gonna cry!? You gonna cry??”

I mustered up the little bit of determination and strength left in me and responded (in my mind), “I never cry.”

And then I picked up that (insert curse word here) medicine ball and kept going.  I finished the WOD with 3 seconds to spare before the time cap. With my amazing CrossFit friends and Bob cheering for me to push through.

“I never cry” really means, “I never give up.”

wild hearts finish

Sonora after conquering all odds. That’s what I felt like at the end of the WOD today!

The WOD today was the first Lurong Living Challenge WOD. I completed Level 3, which was:

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 (18 minute time cap)

  • Wall Balls (14#)
  • Deadlifts (75#)
  • Box Jumps (20″)

For the record, some of the people in the class finished WAYYYY before I did.  Like, anywhere between 10 & 14 minutes.  So it’s not like I broke any records with my 17:57 finish.  But I finished when I wanted to quit, so in my mind, that was a success.  I’ll be lucky if I can walk tomorrow after all the work my hamstrings got today!

Also, talking about this movie made me realize I don’t have it in DVD (only VHS which is really pointless). Amazon for the win! (Also, if I can find it to rent, I’m pretty sure I just found my evening plans).

Side note — the more I think about this movie, the more I realize all of the wonderful things it taught me while I watched it over and over and over. That girls can be strong, and brave, and independent.  And that even if you fall in love, you’re still your own person. And that you are in control of your destiny; how you respond to life shapes who you become.  No wonder I loved it then — it preaches the same things that I stand for now!

What gets you through a particularly difficult WOD? Do you have a mantra you use?

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