Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Powerlifter Turned CrossFitter

Before my competition days, there was CrossFit - one of my first loves. I've heard CrossFit described as "not focused on technique", "makes people pass out", or "too hard to try"... at least by those who haven't tried it.

My former mentor and friend Brandon was a definite skeptic. Coming from a competitive power lifting background, Brandon was not sure that CrossFit was for him. As part of his training for Tough Mudder, Brandon decided that CF would help his endurance for the race but he would to lose some strength. But he was wrong. A few WOD's in he has a bruised ego and is addicted :)

{yeah, only a CF'er would demonstrate handstand push -ups anywhere anytime}

This past week was his first full week of CrossFit. Brandon's first ego bruising happened when a guy 80lbs lighter than him outlifted him by 50# in the front squat. After he got over his defeat, he realized he had to check his ego and focus on fixing his weaknesses. As with any successful fitness program, goals or milestones need to be set. Brandon's goal is to be able to do King Kong by Christmas... talk about hardcore.

{weighted push-ups make for good party tricks.}

I admit, if I was a first time gym goer, CrossFit would be slightly intimidating, especially from the press its been receiving. In my experience, the exercises are modified to an individual's strength and ability. Although you are encouraged to keep pushing and not to immediately give up at the first sign of potential failure, you are encouraged to listen to your body. The natural camaraderie of the community creates a fun and supportive environment that keep you doing your best.

The recent CrossFit banter with Brandon has been a friendly reminder for me to get myself back on track with training. I am itchin' to work on my kip now :)

Anyone CF or thinking of trying it?

Happy training,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happiness = Work/Life/Training Balance

Three weeks ago, I hit my tipping point and tipped. I took a much needed, although unplanned, break from training to get my affairs in order and clear my head.

Like most you, I juggle work and training. Generally I find training to be my outlet for stress, especially for work –related stress. When work-stress becomes overwhelming I find it difficult to stay focused on training and prep.

{in La Jolla, California a week after I was suppose to compete}

My tipping point came when I tried on my suit two weeks before the San Jose Show. After months of getting myself mentally ready and going through prep, I still wasn’t able to lean out enough. I felt so disappointed in myself seeing how I looked in the suit. Competing is a big mental game. I wasn’t happy with my results in the gym or at work. Both were becoming demotivating. My trainer said if I compete that I need to do it right and that the shows will still be there. I took her advice.

When stress becomes too much, I tend to shut out everything and focus on fixing whatever the problem seems to be. In the end, this all leads up to a big decision, after five years with my employer, I resigned. Tough decision to make, but I joined a thriving organization and am now surrounded by others who love what they do and feel valued.

During my time off from training, I decided to enjoy my free time. I am definitely going to prep and compete for a show in 2011, so I know this freedom wouldn’t last long. I enjoyed warm weather outdoors and sunsets – something that I don’t get to see often when I’m in the gym.

{warm weather and beautiful beaches in La Jolla}

{sunset at Natural Bridges Park in Santa Cruz, Ca}

{sunset over the natural bridges}

This is my first week at my new job. Next week, I am back in the gym and will be ready to prep. Happiness really is priceless as cheesy as it sounds :)

{enjoying 106 degree heat walking through Joshua Tree National Park}

It's only my second season in the NPC and it's okay that I'm still finding my groove in balancing my goals and my life in and outside the gym. I think it's okay because I want to do everything well and because its fun. Feeling rejuvenated and ready to go already!

Happy training,