Saturday, May 28, 2011


Troie is this crazy dude who I see about once a week in the gym, because he generally comes in at the 615am WOD on weekdays.  He likes to parade around shirtless and be-Vibramed, and it's very, very rare to see him when he's not either totally beasting a WOD or air drumming (sometimes both at once).  My nickname for his is Little Jacked Drummer Boy, or Clark Kent when he's in his work clothes.  And he's now 27!  So we did the following:

4 rounds for time of
  • 27 jumping air squats
  • 27 plyometric push-ups
  • 27 bodyweight (hah) deadlifts
  • 27 ab mat sit-ups
  • 27-second hold at the top of a pull-up
 I freaking ROCK at jumping air squats.  It seems like they go by a lot faster than regular squats.  I don't know if that's actually the case, but I just like jumping, so that makes it awesome.

So, plyometric push-ups, right?  They're rather akin to the jumping air squats, in that you go through the regular movement, but instead of letting gravity stop you at the top of the move, you just ignore that bitch and keep going.  So, regular push-up, but you push up extra hard and leave the ground slightly at the top.  When I saw this move on the board, I kind of chuckled to myself and then waved Coach Ryan (who doesn't have a nickname yet) over to discuss scaling.  He said I could either go to my knees or do them off of an elevated surface, so I planned on the knees.  And then the WOD started and I got to them...and...I didn't need to scale.  I can do plyo push-ups, and not just a couple at a time, either!  (I eventually went to my knees for 5 at a time in-between regular ones later, but only when I was close to failure).  So yeah.  I am a rockstar.

DLs ended up being 135lbs for the first round and 95 for the rest.  I could have gone higher than 95 but that's a hell of a lot of  reps, and I'm already slow.  And I went up to 200lbs for 4 reps the other day.  Still a rockstar.

The pull-up holds were meh...they're really, really hard, and apparently I ripped my hands up, so that kind of hurt.  I subbed as close as I could get to the same position on the rings, using a false grip with my feet on the ground, after the first or second round.

Truth be told, I only did 3 rounds of this.  I am currently experiencing hormone poisoning, which helps with the rage and adrenaline, but also makes me all woozy if I go too hard.  I got really dizzy partway through the third round, so decided to call it after that.  Still took me 31:34.  So...not too much a rockstar, after all.  I want to try this one again when I'm not indisposed.

And then we did mobility!  I hadn't seen Coach Too-Cute-To-Hate in seriously a month, so it was awesome to see him, even though he laughed at me pretty much as soon as he saw me.  It's ok, though.  I told him the really funny thing was that my hair was shorter than his and his voice was higher than mine.

On a last note, we were all stretching by one of the walls and Dave decided to saunter on over and touch up a patch low on the wall right beside ME - nowhere else that wasn't 8 feet in the air! - so that I put my hand right in the wet paint.  Next time I will high-five your FACE, Dave.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

And then I ate it all

You know what the only thing better than finishing up your strictly acetic cleanse-y type dealio and being able to eat chocolate again is?
Finishing it up just in time for the monthly hormone poisoning.  Holy gods.  The stomachache and sugar coma are SO worth it.

So I finished Bonesetter Stew's cleanse thing!  Yay me! I don't have new pictures yet but here are the numeric stats:

Weight: Stew ran the numbers with 155. This was higher than what I actually weighed in at (159).  He's running the numbers again because I'm anal like that, but here are the ones gleaned with 155.

BMI: 24.28, a drop of about 3/4% to put me just under the cut-off for "overweight."  Did I mention that I upped my max deadlift to 220? Damn skippy :)

Body Fat Percentage: 24.9%, a drop of 1.4%.  Not too shabby!  With the weight of 155, this means I've got 38.6 lbs of fat and 116.4 lbs of lean mass.  Boo on the slight loss of muscle but yay on the greater loss of fat!  Now, more lifting!

Stew & I postulated that a decent overall goal might be 20-21% body fat, so this is a really good first step.  Note that I'm definitely not tying myself to that number.  If I keep cutting it down and start to really lose my boobs, you can bet your ass I'm reevaluating my goals.  Having really nicely-cut abs would be cool, but not at the expense of Ralphie and Louie.

Total Body Water:  A solid 45L/64%, up from 43L/59.7% last time.  Yay hydration!

Basal Metabolic Rate:  1518 kCal, down from 1540 before.  Merh.  I wqs hoping for a move in the opposite direction, but I guess that goes along with the slight drop in muscle.  Bring on the steaks and heavy weights!

Daily Energy Expenditure: 2278 kCal, up from 2002.  Joanne, you told me what this meant before.  Does the increase just mean that I'm doing more during the day?  If so, how can they tell that?  It seems an awfully complicated and variable thing to measure so precisely.

I forgot to measure my waist and hips.  And now my waist is like ba-FWOOOM! from the aforementioned hormone poisoning so I'm not really inclined to want to whip out the ol' tape measure.

So, overall, decentish results, at least from my perspective.  Honestly, though, I kind of hated it while it was going on.  My self-esteem and mood dropped pretty low, and my trichotillomania started acting up again...a lot.  As in, I had a dream about shaving my head two nights ago and now I really want to act on it.  I also had these batshit insane cravings for stuff like skim milk (I can't stand the taste anymore, but wanted it like crazy) and butter (not on anything, just by itself).  And when I roasted my weekly chicken, I saved the fat as normal for use in future cooking.  But I got this incredibly strong urge to get a spoon and just drink the liquid fat right there.  I was simultaneously nauseated and absolutely drooling for it.  Mindfuck.

All said and done, I don't know if I would do this again.  Like I said, the results are decent, and I don't know how much of the weird thought processes were because of other things and just coincided, but the coincidence is enough to give me pause.  I don't like cringing when I look in the mirror.  I don't like ripping at my hair and skin enough so that I'm sore and bleeding.  And I really don't have any desire to drink straight fat.  Just ew.

Has anyone else done this dealio?  Ashley, I'm looking at you.  Are my experiences just a fluke?  I'd really like to hear that they are.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Return of the Caveman Ninja

Alternate title that was too long to use: "I'm covered in bruises and too sore to move.  GIVE ME MORE!"

Yep, you guessed it!  Colin's back!  I'm signed up for his Fundamentals of Parkour series of classes, but since I wasn't able to make the first session last Sunday (because I was watching The Man strut his bad self across the stage while wearing a funny hat and a dress), we met up this afternoon at the Forest Theater in Chapel Hill.
If you live in the Triangle or ever visit this area, try and stop by there - it's just lovely!  However, it's also entirely made of stone and hard-packed sand - not so easy on the ol' bod.  It's amazing how much the awareness of pain disappears, or at least significantly lessens, when you're having an absolute blast.  Yeah, it hurts when I launch myself headlong into the abyss, only to crack my shins on the edge of a solid stone step.  But feeling pain is a lot less interesting than trying the leap again, so it gets pushed aside.

We started (and eventually ended) with jumping.  Well, landing first, and then jumping.  You might think that you can't land before you jump, but apparently if you just kinda shove yourself over the edge of something and then land, it just counts as falling, not jumping.  The way you land is on your toes, slightly bent over, in what's called the cannonball position.  If you need to, you can also continue the momentum forward and put your hands down, but never your knees.  The worst thing to do when falling, apparently, is to land on your toes and then let your knees fall forward.  Then they go crunch.  Ow.

So once my landings were looking decent-ish, we moved on to the actual jumping and then landing part.  It's crazy technical, and absolutely maddening how completely naturally it seems to come to Colin.  You have to fling your arms forward at the same time as you extend your hips and take off at a 45-degree angle to the ground and pick your feet up and not overshoot and also land on your toes.  Yeah.

This is where we jumped.  Ending point is the step where the red X is.  I started from the gravel ditch just a couple feet away, then tried backing up until I went from the step with the green X, which is at the same height as the other one, maybe 5 feet away?  I'm not sure.  Colin kindly helped out by letting me know that the floor was now a pit of lava filled with spikes and I would die a horrible, fiery, impaled death if I didn't make the jump.  Thanks, Colin.  You're a real card.  For everyone else: the primary rule of doing anything at all with this guy is that the floor is ALWAYS lava.  And when it is not, CRAWL!

So after I hove myself over certain peril enough times to satisfy, he had me step up.  Just one step.  Not even a foot back or 6 inches up, just to where the blue X is.  But damn if the vapors from the lava didn't make me absolutely sick.  I have this thing about falling...and just that little tiny difference made me freeze up completely.  Sooo we moved on.

To the normal person, walls are annoying.  They're always getting in the way!  Not for the caveman ninja, though!  He just runs at them headlong and hopes for the best bounces right on up there, catching/pushing with his arms but doing most of the work with his legs.  If the wall's higher than about nose-height (the one we practised on was about a foot over my head), the trick is to take a final step on the wall itself, propelling yourself even higher and pulling yourself forward with your arms so you don't just fall backwards.  From there it's just a quick twist to get your foot (NOT your knee; that hurts like a bitch and I am bruised) on top of the wall and then stand up.  Piece of (paleo) cake!  This was probably my favorite section because I could actually do it without too much pain or terror.

So when the wall is too tall for you to scale that way, the aim is to jump as high as possible in the way just mentioned (by pushing off, or "tacking," with your foot) and try and grab the top of the wall so you can pull yourself up.  The fact that you need extra height means you need to start off with more speed.  Which means that you RUN STRAIGHT AT THE (10-foot high, solid stone) WALL.  This is just a little unnerving, not to mention difficult.  You have to push off while you bring the opposite knee up as high as possible, keeping the same hand in front of your face (so you don't kiss stone if you miss) and reaching the opposite hand up to grab...or in my case, just kinda slap at the wall.  I got up to the very edge of the top but couldn't actually transition to grabbing it.  Next time...

Then we picked up and dragged around some big huge fallen trees for a while.  Fun and useful but not particularly noteworthy.

And was back to the jumping spot.  Colin really wanted me to at least attempt a jump from the farther starting point.  I did too, but I also didn't want to trip and break my head open on the stairs and die in a pool of mashed brains.  So I jumped down to the (molten) gravel a few times first, burning my feet off in the process.  Then I jumped from the lower step to the opposite one without doing any serious damage.  Then I shut my brain off and leapt...

...and I made the hell out of it.  Had to catch myself on my hands but I stuck it.  And then I did it once more (or twice, if you ask Colin, who is too nice) before my brain woke up again and I started freaking out.  So that was it for the day.

Next session is on Sunday and I CANNOT wait.  Stay tuned for more tales of the Caveman Ninja!  What's a good sidekick/student/minor character name for me?  Let me know in the comments!


PS: Two direct quotes from Colin today: "Oh, excuse me, Mr. Ant!" (as he stepped sideways to avoid crushing the insect in question) and "Oops!  Sorry, Plant!" (as he accidentally dropped a log onto a shrubbery).  Need any more proof that he is not only a trip and a half but awesome as all get out?  I didn't think so.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Smoothie, deconstructed (plus CF update!)

Isn't this lovely?

I know I've blathered about this before, but seriously though.  Good food is just so nice to look at.

Frozen strawberries and peaches, nuked for a minute or two, plus one perfectly ripe avocado.  I've found that just a pinch of sea salt added when I blend the thing up with protein powder makes it even more spectacular.

I'm going to save you the picture of the finished product because it looked like vomit.  But it was still delicious :)

So breakfast today marked the last meal of the first week of this cleanse dealio I'm doing.  Honestly, it has kind of sucked monkey balls so far.  Up until yesterday, I was dealing with these nagging headaches and enormous stomach bloat that made me feel about as sexy as a maggot-filled drowned rat, as well as all kinds of physical and mental "meh."  But I stuck with the damn thing because Bonesetter Stew said it would get better.  And hey presto, it actually did!  I'm feeling much more human, and I notice my skin (which wasn't too bad to start with) is actually noticeably better.  Cool!  No updates on stats yet, as that won't come till I finish the whole thing.  I feel pretty damn good, though.  And that's mostly what matters.  Plus, I GET TO EAT CHICKEN TODAY!  It's a little ridiculous how excited I am.

CrossFit Update!

I think Sunday was my first honest-to-god rest day since...damn, I don't even know.  That's probably a bad thing.  But usually, if I do have to take a day off from lifting, I like to spend it hopping around on the rocks at the Eno River.  Here's some highlights from the last week (you can take a look at all the programming if you want, I just didn't want to put it all here):

May 2: PAINSTORM.  Max unbroken reps ground-to-overhead to start, then 15 rounds (3 handstand push-ups, 6 American kettlebell swings, 9 air squats) followed by the same number of GTOs.
So THAT'S what a painstorm is.  This was kind of a bitch, as if you couldn't guess.  I used 75lbs and clean&jerks for the GTOs (15 reps), then scaled to kneeling on a box for the HSPUs but went Rx with 35lbs for the KB swings.  I wasn't last!  But I wasn't first either.  But I had fun.

May 3: 15-min AMRAP* (run 400m, 50 sledgehammer swings)
I think I got about three and a half rounds out of this.  But but BUT!  I did it barefoot.  That's right.  Barefoot sprints on the road (except when I had to leap out of the way of cars onto the sidewalk).  Also, I just love sledgehammer swings.

May 4: 5 rounds (9 clusters,  9 pull-ups)
Clusters are SO MUCH FUN.  They consist of a squat clean into a thruster, two of my favorite moves EVER.  Rx at 65 lbs on the barbell for these babies.  I'm thinking these might play a major role in Quarter-Life Crisis, Partie Deux next year...

May 5: Push-up pyramid! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 push-ups.
Pyramids are like ladders except better.  Everyone did these together on Ashley's count, and in-between we got to watch her rendition of "laughter yoga."   I'm still giggling :)

May 6: 10-min AMRAP (18 KB goblet lunges, 5 push-ups, 3 pull-ups)
This was the community WOD taught by Paul (first one I ever attended with him as coach), to which I dragged Babysis!  And she loved it!  And she's coming back next Saturday!  Success!

That's pretty much it.  I did a bunch more stuff, but those were my favorite things.  Also, it turns out that I missed 1RM** deadlifts on Sunday.  Now I'm sad.  But, on we go anyways!


*as many rounds as possible
**one-rep maximum (weight)

Friday, May 6, 2011

CrossFit will destroy my face

So I've had my share of injuries attained in the box before.  Sprains, strains, stubbed toes, ripped hands, etc etc.  There have even been a few times when I hit myself in the mouth with a barbell (I do not recommend trying that one out at all).  But in the past two days I reached a new level of insanity: I actually managed to bruise my face.  Twice.  Yesterday doing clusters (squat clean the barbell, then push it overhead) I whacked myself a good one in the chin and got a nice little blueish dot there.  And today I managed to conk my cheek with a dumbbell while doing push presses.  Here is the aftermath:
right there below my cheekbone!

It's hard to photograph.  You can see it better in person, I swear.  And it's the beginning of the end.  Before you know it, I'll have missing teeth and cauliflower ears and a nose that goes sideways.  But I'll have abs like yeah whoa.  Will it be worth it?  Only time will tell.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Here goes my dignity...

Alternate title for this post: The One Where Nelly Strips.  Just get it all out there.

First off, the method:  I'm doing this 21-day cleanse-y type dealio, coached through it by Stew, one of the dudes who teaches at CrossFit Durham.  On Monday he measured all the stats I'm about to share and gave me the wherewithal to do the diet.   There's a series of capsules to take along with a couple huge tubs of protein powder to replace what I'm no longer getting from bacon *tear*  It works like an elimination diet - get all the possible bad stuff out all at once, then slowly introduce it back and see how you feel.  Which means for the first week, I'm pretty much vegan.  The shakes* aren't too bad yet, but I honestly think I might murder someone for an omelette by Saturday.  For a steak...I don't even want to speculate.

Now, the stats.

Weight: 160.  Higher than I thought it would be, but not too bad.

BMI: 25.06.  This is classified as overweight.  I can lift over 200 pounds, jump over 30 inches and I did barefoot sprints on the road today.  'Nuff said.

Body Fat Percentage: 26.3.  This means I've got about 42 pounds of fat and 118 pounds of lean mass.  That's definitely a little higher than I'd like, which is one of the reasons I'm doing this.  The tricky part is getting the abs and keeping the T&A.

Total Body Water: 43.3L/59.7%.  Stew says this should be closer to 70%; I guess I'm a little dehydrated.

Basal Metabolic Rate: 1540 kCal/day.  One of the goals is to raise this, which is done by gaining muscle.  Yes please!

Daily Energy Expenditure: 2002 kCal.  I don't know what this one means.  Anyone?

Waist: 30.5 inches

Hips: 41 inches.  So I've got a waist-to-hip ratio of right about 0.75.  Which, biologically speaking, means I'm sexy.  Awesome.

And now the pics.  Warning: although Bea is the most amazing photographer ever, she couldn't disguise my post-WOD sans makeup glory.  View at your own risk.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be patient.

That title is mostly an admonition to myself, as I'm still waiting on Bea to send the boudoir photos she shot of me the other day before I post (she's got internet issues).  I got almost all my other stats done, though.  Any CF Durhamites wanna help me out with measurements tomorrow evening?