Demons Slayed, Achievements Made

Happy Chipper Monday!

Modified 09 Chipper for time: Clean and Jerk, Toes to Bar, Dips, Thrusters, Pullups, Burpees, Jump Rope, Box Jump Overs

The Demon: cleans. I manage them fine on strict lift days, but start a clock on a WOD and I freeze. NO MORE! This Warrior Girl has slayed another demon! And better yet, the next time I am told the WOD and hear “cleans” I won’t begin to panic.

The Achievement: Toes to Bar!! I just mentioned that one of these days I was going to do them, Joel approved or not. But of course he knew I was ready. I love having accomplishments on my solo days as they feel “all mine” but it’s so much better to have someone to share them with. The someone who knows how hard I work, how badly I want this, who wrote the program to get me to this point, who I owe so much to. The someone who always reminds me to be proud of my accomplishments but never responds to me when I take that moment. When he is there I can look him in the eyes and say “Suck it! I knew I could do them, could have done them weeks ago”.

I may not be the easiest person to train…

Part way through cleans I was covered in sweat (adding a nice grip challenge to the day) and by thrusters my body had that nice tremor I love so much (five hours later I am still twitching a little). Such a great day!

During my cool down I checked in on Joel going through a less modified version…covered in sweat, the tremor action. It’s reassuring to know my trainer works as hard as I do.

And, seeing him work that hard, I realized that in just over a month we have another head-to-head. Warrior Girl better step up her training!

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Demons Slayed, Achievements Made

Happy Chipper Monday!

Modified 09 Chipper for time: Clean and Jerk, Toes to Bar, Dips, Thrusters, Pullups, Burpees, Jump Rope, Box Jump Overs

The Demon: cleans. I manage them fine on strict lift days, but start a clock on a WOD and I freeze. NO MORE! This Warrior Girl has slayed another demon! And better yet, the next time I am told the WOD and hear “cleans” I won’t begin to panic.

The Achievement: Toes to Bar!! I just mentioned that one of these days I was going to do them, Joel approved or not. But of course he knew I was ready. I love having accomplishments on my solo days as they feel “all mine” but it’s so much better to have someone to share them with. The someone who knows how hard I work, how badly I want this, who wrote the program to get me to this point, who I owe so much to. The someone who always reminds me to be proud of my accomplishments but never responds to me when I take that moment. When he is there I can look him in the eyes and say “Suck it! I knew I could do them, could have done them weeks ago”.

I may not be the easiest person to train…

Part way through cleans I was covered in sweat (adding a nice grip challenge to the day) and by thrusters my body had that nice tremor I love so much (five hours later I am still twitching a little). Such a great day!

During my cool down I checked in on Joel going through a less modified version…covered in sweat, the tremor action. It’s reassuring to know my trainer works as hard as I do.

And, seeing him work that hard, I realized that in just over a month we have another head-to-head. Warrior Girl better step up her training!

Unwanted Rest & Welcome Review

Today I rest. I have mixed feelings about rest days. By Sunday my body feels demolished, I know the importance of recovery, on a beautiful spring day it is nice to not be cooped up in a gym. But I also feel like I am slacking – there is so much yet to learn and improve on. How can I go for a bike ride or play tennis? It forces me to stop just as I found my rhythm. I am trying to accept that days off are also part of my work.

Review of Friday and Saturday:

Friday began with more snatch work: 20 minutes working three positions. The remainder of time was spent on 400 meter sprints with varying rest periods between. I was a runner until my trainers took it away due to my strength programming. It’s good to have it back, even if only in short distances. After so much time away from it, running has become a challenge again and thankfully Joel ran some with me. Part way through the last sprint I doubled over, sick to my stomach, and I might have stayed there but when I looked up and saw Joel still going my Warrior Girl kicked in. I will never allow someone to beat me simply because I gave up! If you are going to win, I will make you earn it.

Typing this makes me wonder “would a 3 mile run be considered active rest? would Joel even have to know?”

Saturday was lifting: this micro has my Saturday set up for dumbbell bench press, front squats, deadlifts, deadlift pulls, overhead squats, push-ups, push-ups, push-ups, and some of my favorite core movements. My overhead squats were not low enough but it was the last item of the week – a week in which I worked my hips to near death each day. It was a miracle they were firing at all.

And today I rest. Am I the only Warrior Girl that thinks “Thank you for Monday!”? Another week to become stronger, faster, more efficient; learn new techniques, adjust old ones; the possibility of accomplishments and new PRs!

Monday I return to the fields of war to slay dragons and demons and I, once again, will become my own hero.

Don’t Mess With a Warrior Girl

“Lifting is no longer your escape. It is the pure brutal focus point of your will” said Warrior Girl’s coach many months ago. It’s been a process…an ongoing battle in which my aim is occasionally off and Joel is the recipient of my fire.

But in the last month my target has been hit consistently. The bar has taken the beating, my body feels the rewards of battles well fought, and my mind has enjoyed the peace that follows taking the negative energy to the gym and using it to achieve greatness.

My target wasn’t off today but my focus was blurred. After yesterday’s success I was expecting today to be a breeze. I was back with my coach, back with people who understand my drive and desire, people who recognize my hard work and dedication, people who see worth in this lifestyle. Why between last night and this morning I let the words of people who have never supported me shake my confidence, question my priorities, instill fear and doubt – fear and doubt on lift days are killer – is beyond my comprehension.

I went in early and did my core work. In case my shoulder sabotage from yesterday was not enough, I did single arm push jerks. Joel came and we started the snatch work. I usually enjoy it…constant form adjustments and critiques included. But today we would adjust the pull and I would lose my hip action…adjust the hip but lose the pocket…adjust the pocket but lose the pull. REST.

I found a corner for solitude and started picking apart every motion. Why, this many weeks in, why now am I having these problems. I have not had a hard day with the snatch. In this moment I hear those words I heard last night “why are you wasting your time with this? Other things in life are more important. What kind of life is this? It’s not like you’re doing anything with it. It’s just so stupid and useless. Who do you think you are? You aren’t special. Women have no place lifting weight. Do you see yourself, how you look?” And the tears start coming…

There is it. The lost hip action, the missing pull, the no-pocket-pop. I open my eyes and there sits Joel on the bench next to my hidden corner watching the process. He knows. I don’t even have to tell him what’s going on. “How do I channel all of this into that bar? How do I grab it all and throw it into my lift? My attitude is good. I want to do this. I want to be here.”

“YOU have to think you are awesome no matter what anyone else says or thinks. If you think you are awesome, you will be able to take all that other crap and put it into the lift. But it all depends on what YOU think, if YOU are worth it. Remember when you walked in not that long ago, that 80 pound girl, and couldn’t even lift the bar? What would she think about you?”

I do believe I am awesome. I am worth this. When I couldn’t lift that bar I became determined that one day I would – and with every plate in the place on it. The person I was would have seen the person I have become and thought “I want to be a Warrior Girl like her”.

Back to the snatch. I made my adjustments. Some reps were a struggle but I stopped over-thinking and started adapting. Other reps felt coordinated and easy.

The cleans weren’t as beautiful as last week, I was looking forward to showing off my progress, but my pocket and hip pop were back in full swing by this point so I will call it a job well done. My jerk practice was again about balance and it has improved. Other action today included hip flexor work, weighted lateral lunges, barbell shrugs and handstand push-ups. I love handstand push-ups! After a long day of shoulders, and shoulder work from yesterday, I couldn’t get my head to the ground but they were strong throughout.

The moral of this war story: 1) Don’t give people the power to rob you of your joy. 2) When you find your passion, whether or not the world finds value in it, it is valuable because you love it. 3) Wrapping your hands around a bar will solve most problems. 4) Don’t mess with a Warrior Girl.

Solo Wednesday Workout

Before I tell the tale of Wednesday’s WOD, I want to acknowledge my lack of posting regarding my lifting specific days. Lifting is still the main passion in my wonderful life of fitness but until my next micro, there isn’t much to report. Cleans and snatches, the newest additions, are coming along nicely (now that I finally figured out my coordination). Squats and deadlifts are still my pride and joy. Everything else is progressing but not a focus as the Olympic lifts are becoming more and more prominent. This micro is 4×6 which, in Warrior Girl language, translates into “I’m working my tush off, having fun, but I WANT MORE WEIGHT ON THE BAR!”

And now time for Wednesday WOD Fun! Wednesday’s are my solo days but todays program was a team effort: I chose the first workout, Joel chose the second. It is meant to sabotage, just a little, myself for tomorrows lifting (shoulders). Yay, sabotage!

For my opening workout I chose: Open workout 12.3. 18 minute AMRAP  of 15 box jumps, 12 75# push press, 9 toes to bar (which I mod to knees to elbows).  ** side note: Joel hasn’t let me even attempt toes to bar yet but one of these solo days I plan on tackling them myself. Never underestimate a determined Warrior!

Rest 15 minutes…or I was supposed to. I rested 10 minutes.

For the conclusion Joel chose: 6 minute AMRAP 3 handstand push-ups, 9 push-ups, 15 bw squats.

I have to admit that some solo days are hard. I fully expected this first nice day of spring would find my mind wandering to “I would rather be out playing tennis, at the batting cages, taking a bike ride”. Without someone to keep me focussed I worried I would not apply my energy to the task at hand. But once the timer started all I cared about was finding my rhythm…that perfect combination of breathing and speed that would get me the highest score I could today. When time was up and I had that ideal mixture of joy, exhaustion, and nausea, I knew I had accomplished my mission. And it wasn’t (mentally) hard at all.

Bupees, Burpees, Burpees

What a wonderful day at the gym! For the strength portion I had 5-3-1 reps of thrusters. Going into the 1 rep it occurred to me I could get a new PR today…it was not to be. There was no pop out of the bottom of my squat and that doomed me. I guess even a Warrior Girl can’t have a personal best every day and going forward in this cycle my front squat pop will be added to my list of things to conquer.

Now for the fun stuff (I know you are thinking “Warrior Girl, what don’t you find fun at the gym?” It’s true, I love it all). No timer today! It was up to me to push it to my limit without a ticking clock ominously looking on. Oh, I am of the breed that can push their limits all on their own and sometimes more when the stress of that clock is off. Five rounds of pull-ups, dips, and burpees. Every round my pull-up and dip reps decreased but my burpee reps increased. Total burpees: 150!

Let me say this again: 150 burpees.

I have been working on the timing of my burpees lately. Using breath to my advantage has made a significant difference in quantity, quality and quickness. And today I saw it pay off. I wasn’t dying at any point even in the high rep rounds. When I hit burpee 140 the corners of my mouth turned up. By 145 I had a bit of a grin. At burpee 149 I was beaming with joy and pride.

An hour later the oxygen returned but my pride remained.

And I think I may have just glimpsed the burpee mile somewhere in my near future! Just don’t tell my trainer. He’s the type that would make the near future next week and I’ve had enough burpee fun for the month of April.

The Pain of Rewards

Today I hurt. Everywhere. My triceps are twitching as are my quads, glutes and back. When I breathe I can feel my ribs. Every couple of hours I have to stop what I am doing (yes, even if that is sleeping) and take a few minutes to stretch. I love it!

Yesterday began with a run followed by a little nap. Nap? It is a rare luxury and one I try to avoid as I tend to be more tired and mildly cranky after one. Not this day, thank goodness. I had a big “reward” waiting for me at the gym (and apparently a big post-reward hurt).

Handstand walks without a spotter, aka upside down falling, for 25 minutes. Yes, 25 minutes of falling. Four attempts had a few steps but I must admit two of those I was falling already so I just moved my hands. I am still waiting on the ruling if those count. My goal for the day was distance and I was realistic, only hoping for two or three steps per attempt. But I was shocked, slightly disappointed, at all the attempts that went straight into a fall. My falls landed me on my elbows, ribs, spine, knees, rolling sideways, rolling forward, slamming backward. I am thinking these 25 short minutes are the primary cause of the whole body hurt. Excellent.

After a rest I began my Meta. The workout was an EMOM (every minute on the minute) of deadlifts and push-ups. If I complete the prescribed reps within the minute, I “earn” the next minute and the reps are increased. This continues until I cannot finish the reps within the minute. I have four attempts, five minutes rest between, and I keep the highest score (total number of reps). Totals: 91, 88, 84, 67. This explains the twitching triceps, the hurt in my chest when I breathe.

My bedtime prayer tonight will go something like this: I have done deadlifts 4 days straight. I have done handstand push-ups and handstand walks 3 days straight. Please, please, please, do not have either of these in my Monday crossfit. Please.