Friday, June 25, 2010

Far from over

So, today is the final day of the Spartan 300 Challenge and I met Coach Crystal to get my body comps done. Here's how it turned out:

After 7 weeks, I've dropped another 2% body fat, lost 4 inches from my waist, hips, and thighs, and added 3 inches to my shoulders and calves. My weight stayed the same, meaning I added lean muscle (yay!), however, I managed to drop another pant size (down to a size 6 now). This is what I'm talkin' about!

As far as strength goes, I'm definitely getting stronger. I've PR'd on pullups, pushups, dead lift, squat, clean, and press. I'm now using the Rx weight in most WODs. The progress feels great!

The benchmark workout is tomorrow morning, and I'm ready. My goal is to finish the WOD this time. I have a feeling I will! Regardless of how it all turns out, I am proud of myself and feel like this is just the beginning.

Like Drake says, "I'm livin' life right now, man... And this what I'ma do 'til its over, 'til its over.. But it's far from over"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spartan 300 Challenge - Goal Update

Back on May 5, I set 7-week goals for the Spartan 300 Challenge at CrossFit Central. Here's how I'm doing with less than 2 weeks to go:

Nutrition: I've managed to stay on track with Paleo, adding in more protein and reducing carbs and fats in general. I'd say probably more 85% than 90%, but it's still great. I have only had a handful of cheat meals and even those were still Zone-friendly. I think I've turned the corner on Paleo - it's no longer a diet, rather it's a lifestyle. I've never felt better! I have enjoyed more than 4 servings of alcohol per week on most weeks, but have kept track of it to keep it under control. Only 2 wilds party nights so far and I paid for them the next day! Overall, I'm sure I've lost body fat judging from the way my clothes are fitting. I have lost at least 2 pant sizes (from a size 10 to a size 6 in jeans!!) and am discovering muscle tone where I typically store fat - hips and legs. I'm exciting for my final body comp in a few days. Should be good news!!
Fitness: I've been running a lot more - at least once per week for a minimum of 3 miles on the Town Lake trail. No treadmill for this girl. If it's raining, or dark out, I've been hitting the rower. I'd say this goal has been met. On to the body-weight strength goals: I've FINALLY figured out how to string kipping pullups together without nearly ripping my arms out of socket. It's all about the hip pop and pushing away from the bar (side note to my coaches: I know you told me that a million times... ) And, I'm getting some more power too - last week I did 18 chest-to-bar pullups (3-4 in a row at a time) and didn't rip my hands. I'd say that's a HUGE accomplishment. Regarding pushups, I'm able to do 7-8 perfect pushups in a row before I max out. Not great, but much better than when I started this challenge. I'm going to really focus during the next 10 days on getting in as many pushups as possible in preparation for the finale workout. Don't want to have to go to my knees or take 10 minutes to do 50! I will finish the finale WOD in 20 minutes. I WILL!!!

Regarding my weekly workouts, I've seen huge improvements in strength with PRs in the past few weeks (Back Squat: 175, Deadlift 215, Squat Clean 125, Thruster 95) and I've managed to Rx many of the WODs. I've also gotten better at doubleunders and kettlebell work.

All and all, good things poppin' up in here. Once the challenge is over, I don't anticipate backing off the 85/15 Paleo nutrition, fitness routine, or supplements. In fact, I expect to be HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER!

Feelin' too good to stop now.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dancin' Through Life

From Rev Run Wisdom:
Some may laugh at you for dancin' through life. You're not crazy, they just can't hear the music you're jammin' to! Keep Laughin'!

Dance and laughter is contagious! Spread LOVE!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What Makes Us Stronger

I came across this post today that I think is worth sharing. It was written for a newsletter by AdvoCare's Ron Reynolds, who is also a US Air Force Veteran, aerospace engineer, and author.

Ron provides insight on how the challenges we face as children and adults actually enable us to grow to become much stronger than if we weren't exposed to it or were too protected from it. Word! 

There's a growing movement underway in our country that seems to have come from those who are inclined to want to protect us from ourselves and who want to pass any imaginable law that will make all of us more equal. The movement I'm referring to actually began several years ago; some parents got together and their cause was to change the grading system in the elementary school systems so that no child would receive a lesser "grade" that might make him or her feel inferior. After all, a child who becomes "damaged" by such life experiences may well carry those scars with them for their entire life, and how fair is that? These are probably the same people who allow their children to run and scream in restaurants and airports and other places, because to discipline them would do harm, and no responsible parent wants to do that.

Now, I understand the love of a parent and how we want to hover over our sons and daughters, and that's as it should be. But to "hover" to the extent that you will go to any length to shield kids from the negatives of life is to do them a disservice that won't become apparent for many years; sooner or later, the protected child will go into the world and become exposed to setbacks, disappointments, failures, threats, intimidation, performance evaluations at work, unfairness and insult, and they will be disarmed and unable to cope with such experiences. Some people will even send your kids "negative" e-mails.

I don't know about you, but as I look back over my years and all of the negativity I encountered - and there was lots of it - each one forced me to grow; they forced my brain to wire itself in such a way that over time, I would learn from those bad experiences and become strengthened by them, not diminished by them. I have a memory of being put on the porch of my grandmother and left there, because my parents decided they weren't ready for the responsibility I represented. As a few years passed, I looked with confusion and emotional trauma why it was that everyone else had a father and mother and I didn't. As more years passed, I came to understand, and it drove me to a level of understanding that it was my duty to make a place for myself. No one protected me; no one went to the school and appealed for me to get extra care and protection.

Later in life, I became a distributor in a direct sales company; within a few weeks, my sponsor quit, and there weren't any distributors between myself and the company, so whatever was to be was up to me. And, I think that if someone had protected me from all the adversities of life when I was much younger, my brain would have continued to "wire itself," but in much more of a dependent way. The officials in my school told me that when I grew up and went into the labor force, that I should not take any position that required writing, because I was the worst writer they had ever seen. Now, you may be one who will agree with that, but even if you do, it doesn't matter. What matters is what I think of me and how I am; what matters is what I choose to do about the bad things that happen - it's not "what happens," it's what those things force us to become that counts.

We all have the choice of our own approach to life, but for me, I'm grateful for the exposure to challenging situations that were part of my experience. God always has a way of fitting the back to the burden, so if you want a stronger back, you have to carry a heavier load. Be careful of those who seek to take care of you, lest your caretaker become your jailer.