Monday, February 20, 2012

Enter the Zone, Stay in the Zone...

Enter the Zone, stay in the Zone, LOVE UR LIFE!

Here's some examples of meals that I have created or eaten that keep you in the elusive "zone".

This lifestyle may infact change your life...
This week has been relatively better as far as eating goes, and let me tell you, when I eat right, I feel good. Things seem to happen accordingly, I feel less emotional when something goes wrong and overall I feel more energetic, confident, positive and overall a sense of happiness and peace. Eating right does wonders!

Yesterday ESPN aired the Crossfit Open Games.
What is so cool about the sport of crossfit is not only that it has become a universal form of exercise but the crossfit world is close-knit, like that of the gymnastics world. As I watched it with a couple of crossfit friends, we were thrilled to see people we had met in person on the T.V. screen. It was like knowing we had met celebrities.
Unlike the sport of gymnastics, my time is not limited in the years of training I am given, I am potentially able to get there because I am still young enough...And likewise, I still have years to continue to improve and gain skills, increase my fitness and dietary habits.
Crossfit has done something for me which gymnastics could never do.
It's changed my entire life for the better.
I don't crave foods anymore. I feel much more healthy and energetic because of this lifestyle change. I rarely eat gluten. I have gone back to eating white meats yet I am 10 lbs lighter than I was a year ago and with out any real effort. I've learned to eat more protein, fat and less carbs. I feel better, stronger, leaner and more energetic. It's incredible! I've never felt this good in my life.
To see the results of training is something that keeps me coming in day after day. Not only physical changes, my muscle definition and lowered body fat, but also my ability to increase time in running, amount in pull ups and increased weight lifting.

I can easily run an 8 minute mile.
I can pull out 25 butterfly and/or kipping pull ups-5 dead hang.
I began my deadlift at a mere 65lbs-I am now deadlifting 155lbs-And I plan to keep increasing it everytime I do them!

As soon as I changed my diet habits I also noticed something else. I was flying through work outs faster than almost everyone, man or woman. I am one of the times that people strive to beat on a daily basis in the gym. This has fired my competitive spirit to keep training harder, faster, better and stronger. It motivates me on a daily basis. Most importantly, this sport has given me purpose. The same purpose I once felt as a gymnast. A purpose that religion, spouse or any other sport could never provide. Crossfit has become my reason to live and reason to keep striving.

It's funny how all of my posts end up veering in that direction.
I originally planned to blog about teaching my spin class today.
Infact that was the purpose of my blog title.

I have found that I am able to gain more confidence when teaching spin class if I prepare for it the same way I used to prepare for a gymnastics meet. Instead of psyching myself out, I am now psyching myself up using positive affirmations: My favorite two are, "stay in the present moment" and "stay in the zone." These two things calm me down when I start to feel the jittery sensation of nerves. Likewise, I've found that having light, humorous conversation with other people in the class prior to teaching has helped calm me down immensly. That was definitely another technique I had used as a gymnast. I remember doing that a lot with fellow teammate Kelcy Jay. When all else fails, I take a deep breath and go deep within my body, reminding myself that I am here for a reason that God has led me down this path and that this is exactly where I am meant to be.

I love my life! I love my job! And now know that this is the career path I hope to head down.
Time to head to crossfit and then to teach another spin class and a later crossfit class.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crossfit Update

Since the leg injury I have been eating crappy...again.

Plus the work outs had been way laid back-didn't work out Friday and only did 2 of my own WODS in Boise, Id.

Came back feeling rather irritated but determined.

I taught my first spin class this afternoon. It went alright. I think I did a good job of getting everyone a good work out, I hope at least. And since it was my first time without an instructor in the class, I think it'll get better from here!

Chilled with Dani most of the day-learning RIPPED routines and watching spin videos. Actually I think we mostly did a lot of talking...

Zumba'd for 45 or so minutes.
Did some muscle ups. Brooke finally got hers! And after she did her first one, she did like 5 more!!!
Then crossfit time...
I honestly didn't feel good prior to the work out and I anticipated that the work out would suck. It did...

150 pull ups later this was the end result...

We did the WOD in sets of 10, up to 50.

100 m row, 10 pull ups, 10 air squats

200m, 20, 20--->up to 50.

It was in my last round that I knew I was going to rip. I actually figured I would after the set of 40 because I know how my hands feel prior to ripping. I had no idea it would be such a big, bloody mess though. I was only on about 24 of my set of 50 when I felt it rip. And the last 25 were the worst pull ups I'd ever had to endure. I didn't think I was going to be able to make it. The hand wasn't burning as much as I just couldn't hang on without slipping, as well as my forearms were unbelievably limp by that time. I somehow got through and was the first one of our group done, but I was still irritated at my performance. If only I had been eating right. I know that's the key to improvement for me at this point in the sport but I am always eating out it seems and food is literally my drug. Making a permenant change is the struggle I will overcome.

After the work out, I literally thought I was going to pass out as well as I was unbelievably shaky. My evening meal was much better-
~A protein shake
~2 eggs
~1tblsp of avocado
~2 cups of spinach
My ideal meal-and thus far one of the few meals I know how to measure accurately.

I will be teaching crossfit tomorrow night-subbing!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Recovery Tips

Since last weeks WOD, my body has seriously not recovered. Infact, the strained/pulled/whatever injury to my quad today really irritated me because I can't seem to go at my maximum trainign ability. Thus decided to google the topic on recovery and this is what I came across:

Nutrition: Immediately after a workout, you have a maximum of about one hour to eat something. If you do not eat, you will not have enough carbohydrate energy for your next workout, you will not have enough protein to repair muscles, and you will not have enough fat for hormones and joints. Try a bowl of quinoa or brown rice with chicken, a protein smoothie with whey protein powder and a piece of fruit, or even a slice of last night’s pizza.
Hydrate: When it comes to recovery, dehydration is one of your biggest enemies, so try to drink one 20-24oz bottle of water for each hour of exercise. Within a couple hours after a workout, your urine should be light yellow or clear. If it is dark yellow, then you are inadequately hydrated. If it is any other color of the rainbow for that matter, you either need to get glasses, or see your physician.
Compression: Performing a brief cool-down after a workout helps contracting muscles milk out excess soreness-generating fluids. In the same way, techniques such as massage and a foam roller can not only help to move inflammatory fluids out of the muscle, but also can remove adhesions and sore or tight spots from the worked muscles. If possible, perform these exercises with a foam roller once a week or even after every strenuous workout, and schedule a massage once a month.
Blood flow: Circulation of blood in and out of a stressed body part improves speed of recovery. Techniques that can improve blood flow include cooling down after your workout with a walk or easy bike ride, performing light stretching during or after each workout, alternating every 30-60 seconds between hot and cold running water in your post-workout shower, taking an ice bath after a very strenuous weight training workout or long run, and performing a light walk, swim, or easy exercise routine the day after a hard workout.
Topical ointments: There are several compounds that you can rub on a muscle to eliminate soreness and improve recovery. Most of these compounds work by creating a pain-relieving and cooling sensation, increasing blood flow, or displacing elevated levels of calcium. Popular remedies that have worked for me and my clients include Arnica rub, Traumeel, Ben-Gay, Tiger Balm, and Magnesium Oil. On my personal blog, I have a fascinating interview with a physician about topical magnesium oil and how it works. You can listen to it here. All of these ointments can be rubbed into the muscle immediately after and up to several days after a workout, until soreness subsides.
There is no need for getting fit to be a suffer-fest, so if you find yourself constantly sore, or at a fitness plateau, then use the techniques in this article to recovery properly and get fit more quickly!

I need to get back in the game asap... :/ Ugh. Subbing my first spin class starting next Monday.
Probably overdid it on the protein intake tonight but maybe it'll help.
Sleep time!


I did something to my quad.
Hurt it during crossfit...
Ugh, was not happy-especially since I wasn't even 1/2 way into the work out when my quad seized up.
I am excited to announce, however that I learned how to do snatches this morning with Danni, and was up to 35lbs. Yay! Gotta start somewhere right! Plus the WOD was pretty awful.
Attempted to do a spin class right after and failed miserably.
Couldn't add any resistence without feeling severe pain in my quad.
My theory is that due to my increased amount of spin training over the past 8 months, my quad have become the power-house muscle in my leg, thus even when I am doing squats-my quads are the muscles taking the most toll.

Food Journal of today:
Breakfast: 1/2 banana, strawberries, satsuma orange and almond butter
Lunch: Southwest Chicken Salad from Bob's-Burgers and Brew (ate about 1/2)
Snuck a few of Brookie's Jojos... Yuuummm :p
Mid-day snack: A few bites of salad ^
1/2 banana, strawberries and almond butter

Enjoyed a massage this afternoon, now heading to the gym to hang out before my writing class tonight.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Some more life and crossfit

These are examples of crossfitters who have the physique I am totally working for. By the way, I have found that there is not a huge pool of female crossfit pictures I am able to find online. Maybe if I knew more names of the top crossfitters in the world, then I could find more pictures... Well I thought I'd at least share these pics. Chisled much?
Dang! The only way to attain this body of coarse is not only training xfit, but simultaneously eating like a crossfitter.

I had this breakfast-I believe it is a 2 block meal. If I am reading and understanding correctly.

-Protein-2 blocks-2 eggs
-Carb-1 block-2 cups of spinach, + I had strawberries which are not pictured here.

-Fat-2 blocks-2 tbls avocado (approx.)

I am excited to say I will be joining a fellow crossfitter for a road trip to Boise, Id. this weekend where she will get certified as a level 1 trainer! I am so excited to get out of this town, even though I will mostly be busy studying, while she goes to the 2 day cert.

Also, on another exciting note, I will be teaching spin classes sooner than I thought! Within the next couple of weeks I will probably be teaching noon classes on Mondays! Woot Woot!
I will also be teaching tonight's crossfit class and plan on doing crossfit sometime today as well. My legs are still not recovered from Friday's WOD-Chelsea. And likely they got a little bit burned out from teaching the first 1/2 hr of spin yesterday and showing how to do a CTP (clean, thruster, push up) during crossfit, multiple times...

(A few hours later)

Completed today's WOD a couple of hours ago-pulled the most rounds out of everyone at the gym. Completed 16 rounds of death by...burpees. All real burpees, I might add. No cheater ones.

I also helped teach my second spin class, in which, Dani told me it would hopefully be the last one I'm trained in. Likewise, I did my second full crossfit class by myself. Twas dandy.

Food-wise for the rest of the day was eh...

Fell back into my coffee addiction. I have to get out...

Didn't eat much the rest of the day.

Vanilla luna bar for lunch- Lots of carbs-26 grams, 10 grams protein and 6 grams of fat. So pretty much a 2 block meal right there! Danngg. 3 blocks for carbs, 1 1/4ish blocks of protein and 2 blocks of fat!

Added in a handful of almonds-unsalted (technically more fat...)
A little salad before my first work out.

Did the 2 workouts (45 min of spin, Death by Burpees) + taught crossfit class.

Protein shake-don't know the exact portions. I think protein was like 17 grams? Alootta!

Then rest of my salad from earlier, plus little peice of salmon with lemon flavored cod liver oil-nummy... + bbq sauce.

Strawberries for dessert!

Well I have lots of things to do so going to end this blog entry.

Have a fantastic day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blessed Life

I have been bad about the diet-again. I can't help that I ended up going out on Saturday! And under peer pressure I gave in to the American diet. Agghhh! Pizza, chips and pie! Yikesss.

I was back on task today-at least more so.

For the first time ever I taught crossfit and part of a spin class! I am so excited to be provided these opportunities. I am really living a dream-come-true. This is exactly where I want to be right now. Ironic that I am thinking that because yesterday I interviewed a gymnast whom used to look up to me. Her skill level has surpassed me due to some coaching changes and it saddens me that I, who wanted it so bad, was not provided the same opportunities. In fact, the coaches I've had to deal with have really effected me mentally and I've found that looking back into the darkness of my past is agonizing and always leaves me feeling cursed. Thoughts of my past flitted through my head today and weakened my spirit until I got to teach my exercise classes.

I was nervous for both but during the time I taught I became considerably more comfortable from start to finish. Likewise, I was given an incredible amount of good feedback that left me feeling so blessed to be in this position. If I had continued on in the sport of gymnastics-I would likely still be competing at a college now but I honestly think this is better. I am much more content in my life now than I have ever been.

I am so blessed.

Ok, here's the food download for today:

Bkfast- 1/2 almond butter and jam sandwich, with banana's and strawberries and a little honey drizzled in between the slices of whole wheat bread.

Lunch- Salad, bread sticks and minestrone soup from Olive Garden
-2 bread sticks
-1 bowl soup
-Salad? No idea the amount...A lot. Haha!

Dinner- 1/2 almond butter and jam sandwich ^^^
-1 hardboiled egg
-4 tbls cottage cheese

Late Night Snack-
-2 egg omelet: sprinkled parmesean, pesto, cooked onions, guac, avocado, salsa
-Small handfull of corn chips

Dessert-1/2 banana
-5 raspberries
-Small handful almonds

Not bad overall-except for the bread thrown in through out the day...
It's a work in process. :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Zone Fueling-Day1

I've decided, to keep myself in check with my nutrition and portions. I'm going to write out my daily meals.

WARNING: I eat a lottt! And I also eat weird things...

Breakfast: Protein-1 egg
Fat-1/2 slice swiss cheese with mustard...
Carbs,protein and fat:12 oz smoothie-
Carbohydrates Include: 1/2 banana, spinach, various fruits including: frozen raspberries, marion-berries, strawberries, peaches, 1/2 apple, 1/2 orange
Protein: 1.5 tbls protein powder, almond milk
Fat-1 tbls almond butter
(Didn't drink all of that in one serving. It made about 28oz by guesstimate.)
Other(s)- "spark"-(my caffeine fix), water, mustard.

After WOD snack: 8oz smoothie (see above)-contains fat, protein and carbs
Other carbs: 1/2 banana
1 orange slice

Lunch: Protein-4oz chicken
Carbs-1.5 cups spinach
Fat-shredded parmesean cheese
Other-1.5 tbls french dressing...yea, yea that's kinda a lot... Idfc

Pre-Workout snack: Carbs-1 apple
Fat-1 tbls almond butter

Time for zumba party! Will post dinner later!
I plan to stick to this zone type diet for the next 30 days. Holla! :)

Cheryl Brost

Made this for the 7th fittest woman, in the world, of 2011!

Rock on Cheryl Brost! You're such a beast!


Today's Horoscope-Gemini
May 22 - June 21
"Your physical and mental condition is in pleasant equilibrium. You will experience little interference from any outside influences. Instead those around you are making your situation extremely pleasant by proving to be so helpful and approachable. With surplus energy you're able to do anything your heart desires. But be sure to consider where you would like to be in the future when things may not be as easy as they are now."

I had to share that before I go into my spiel.

Today's crossfit WOD was a benchmark. Danielle chose "Chelsea" as the work out. I had been really bad about getting to crossfit work outs lately. The last one I had done was last Monday and it had not gone remarkably well. Plus my eating habits have just been shitty lately-to be quite blatant. Lots of bad carbs, sugar and I discovered last Wednesday that I am officially addicted to caffeine. I experience nasty withdrawals which included cravings for my "drink" as well as an awful, pounding headache. Wednesday was not a pleasant day...
I don't recall if I had posted that I am officially certified as a level 1 crossfit trainer. I went to the Portland, Or. training a couple of weeks ago and it had been such an exhilarating experience that had motivated me to increase my training to the next level. I began pushing myself harder than I had ever done in my life and found that I began beating other people's times and efforts by a huge amount. However, I had been eating out with friend's quite a bit and found my diet was lacking in the right foods, thus this week my work outs had been limited and I'd found my energy level to be insufficient.

Last night I continued reading from where I'd left off in the book, "Enter The Zone," By: Barry Sears-The recommended diet for crossfitters. A few things I read hit me hard and made me realize if I really want to reach my potential as a crossfitter, I have to change my dietary habits.
"If you're eating too much carbohydrate, you can expect the following, even if you're on a judicious program of aerobic exercise: constant hunger, decreased mental alertness, difficulty in losing body fat (if not outright fat gain), decreased oxygen transfer to the muscle cells and decreased endurance." 64
All of those symptoms were exactly what I experienced this week. On top of that, I noticed that after Monday's WOD, my arm pits/pecs were super sore-not a good sore either. It felt like I had torn something. I found another answer to my increased soreness in the book:
There is a growth hormone released during intense anaerobic exercise that increases muscle mass, however, that same hormone is also released during sleep and is ultimately the hormone used to repair muscles. Eating a high-carb meal will decrease the release of the hormone, thus, not allowing muscles to repair for the next day.
Bingo! That was my answer. Reading this book really has given me a wake up call, especially as an athlete.
This morning I began the change.

I made myself a smoothie which included multiple types of fruit-including the bad carb: 1/2 banana.

It was also packed with all sorts of other low glycemic carbs including: spinach, apple, orange, frozen raspberries, peaches, marion-berries, blueberries, etc.

I added protein powder and almond milk

And for some fat-about a tablespoon of almond butter-I am allergic to PB.
Mind you, I didn't drink all of this! I had about 12 oz of the smoothie.

Then I had one egg over a 1/2 slice of Swiss cheese with mustard.

It looks like a healthful meal, but the 1/2 slice of Swiss, almond milk and banana are types of foods I want to start avoiding. At this point, I just want to try to get myself as close to the zone diet as possible without exact measurements.

I also provided myself with "spark" to prevent my caffeine withdrawals again.

Fortunately, Danielle had already warned me yesterday the WOD would probably be Chelsea for today. However, I am never prepared to die during a work out because I always expect that I'll back off when it gets hard.

Do I ever back off when Danielle teaches? Nope...
So why would I think that I might? Probably to get myself to actually go to work out...
To make matters worse, the warm up was: 800 m run + 30 Med ball throws (10lbs) + 800 m row
Intense, leg warm up. I hate anything that involves legs because they are relatively weaker than my arms.
I got my game face on and we started "Chelsea".

"Chelsea" is: 30 minutes of

-5 pull ups

-10 push ups

-15 squats

Ideally, you get those exercises done per minute. Danielle wanted us to keep track of how many minutes we managed to stay on with the gymnastics styled exercises before we went over the minute limit. The last time I'd completed this WOD, I remember only making it to about 8 minutes before I started going over the minute, I remember this wod also being horrendous so I didn't plan on making a whole lot more than that. Danielle's goal for us was to make 30 rounds in 30 minutes. I knew there was no effing way that'd be possible for me... I shouldn't doubt myself.

The first few rounds, I just remember it hurt but I was easily getting 15 to 20 seconds of rest.

By round 10, I was surprised to find I was still getting about 15 seconds of rest before going into the next minute.

At 15 minutes or so, there were only 2 of us who were staying on the minute. I figured that at any moment I would burn out.

20 minutes later and I was still getting time for rest.

Danielle also made note that my squats looked better than they ever had. Drew, Gonzo and a few others came in at around the 20 minute mark. Suddenly I had cheering to keep me going. Talk about motivation, but honestly, the most motivating factor was Danielle. I want her as my coach because she's the only one who is able to push me beyond my limit. It's the way she just doesn't let me stop. Nearing the end she started bragging to Drew that I was going to make the 30 rounds. I kept shaking my head, I could hear my voice crying out when I leapt to the ground from my pull ups or back up into my squats. My legs had never hurt like this during a WOD. They were burning!

"You're gonna make it!" She told me.

"No, I'm not." I argued.

"Yes, you are." She stated without a hint of doubt in her voice.

23 minutes in. I really wanted to stop. My rest time was down to about 10 seconds.

I kept stopping on push ups for mere moments, in which, Danielle was down in my face, yelling at me to go, to keep pushing, to not stop.
25 minutes down. Those last few minutes were the worst. I kept thinking I wasn't going to make the last 30 minutes.

I stumbled moving back to the bar, Danielle saw and asked me if I was ok.

Ha! Was I ok?!

I answered, "Am I ok? Do I look ok?"

She smiled.

And then I was back on the bar.

My hands began to hurt.
At 28 minutes, I felt the wetness of a blister breaking open. I looked down at my hand and saw blood. Excellent.

2 more rounds and I was still at the 1 minute mark. OMG!

The last 2 sets of pull ups hurt and another blood blister formed. Unfortunately it did not pop.
The squats were agonizing as well.

The push ups over all, were my resting period.

Last set I knew I was going to make it and couldn't believe it.

As I finished my last set, I think there was applause from people but I was so far in my own zone and in pain that all I could do was sit down and then lay down on the floor.

High fives and handshakes were given to me, reminding me that we are all in this together. The camaraderie is something I really, really appreciate about this sport. It's what I loved about gymnastics as well.

Danielle posted my time, bubbled it and decorated it

Afterward, I tried to walk and literally, my legs gave out and started cramping up. I've never experienced that. At least, not right after a work out.

I immediately went home, finished up my spark, ate the other 1/2 of the banana, a slice of orange and 2x4oz of the protein smoothie.

As I sat, I thought about the work out. There is nothing in comparison to crossfit. Pushing yourself to the max and doing what you couldn't believe to be possible has to be the sweetest feeling imaginable.