Where We Left Off

Thursday, Nov. 15th

I was still working on East Coast time for a few days, so on Thursday, I woke up early and did a quick 15-minute yoga workout. I also had some friends I was meeting up with after work, so I needed to forgo my usual trip to the box. I utilize Yoga Journal’s videos most often for home yoga practice. They break things down by level and also by length of video.

I noticed I felt more stable in my poses this time. Tree still gives me a lot of trouble, partially because I can’t quite get the placement of my foot on the opposite thigh. My foot either slips or it’s painful. Tips on what’s going on here? I’m very stable if I drop my foot to knee- or calf-level.

Friday, Nov. 16th
CrossFit HEL – WOD: D.T. (Hero WOD)

CrossFit HEL ran an all-Hero WOD week in honor of Veterans’ Day this week. I have never participated in a Hero WOD (they tend to be even more intense than usual), but seeing that I was out for a week, I bucked up and went anyway.

Every Minute On the Minute for 5 minutes:
2 Power Cleans
1 Jerk
*increase load each minute

I worked this first portion at a starting weight of 45lbs., increasing by 5lbs. until I reached 65lbs. Cleans are the difficult for me in several key spots. I sometimes bring the bar up without fully extending through my hips, and it’s a challenge to get my elbows out to the correct level once the bar’s at my shoulders. However, Monday’s workout helped with my timing, and I think the motion is starting to come more naturally. It’s going to take a visualization of actually jumping straight up to get that motion right, I think.

Okay, so then we did this:

5 rounds “for time” of:
12 Deadlifts
9 Hang Power Cleans
6 shoulder to overhead (basically, any move–I think I chose jerk–to get the bar above your head)

Utilizing a weight of 50lbs., I got through the WOD in 9 minutes and 34 seconds. The prescribed weight is 105lbs. for women, so I’ve got a ways to go. Slowly but surely…

Monday, Nov. 19th
CrossFit HEL – WOD: Grace

Grace was the very first WOD I ever attempted, so tonight was my second chance to compete against myself (the first being the last time Filthy Fifty came around). In my first time through Grace, back in August, I used the 22lb. barbell (yippee!) and finished in 10 minutes and 26 seconds. I also couldn’t walk properly for about three days afterwards.

Monday also happened to be a night where I was the only team member who showed up. Coach and I worked extensively on form for the first part of the night, so I ended up doing more than the 3×3 squat clean and jerk. I started with the 22lb. bar again purely for form reasons, and as things looked better, we tacked on some weight.

Grace goes like this:
30 Squat Clean & Jerks “for time”

Pretty straight forward.

Coach recommended going through Grace at 42lbs. (two 10lb. plates on the 22lb. bar), and considering that was a 20lb. increase from last time, I figured that would be reasonable.We talked about staying consistent through the workout, not getting sloppy with the transition between reps. I was attentive to what my legs and feet were doing, as well as my hands and wrists and elbows.

Turns out, 42lbs. was incredibly light for me this time around. At that weight, I finished the WOD in 6 minutes and 37 seconds. Average times were between 8 and 10 minutes, and considering that my first time through Grace took around 10 and a half minutes, I could definitely up the stakes next time.

Even though the load was light, it feels good to know I’ve made progress. It’s hard to see it day by day, but it’s encouraging nonetheless. I know that I’m coming off some deficiencies and injuries that make this type of training hard, and it’s a challenge not to compare myself to others who are much, much stronger or who progress quicker than myself. The bottom line is that I am competing against myself, challenging myself, making myself reach for goals I never even knew existed. That’s a lesson to apply to life, if I’ve ever seen one.

CrossFit also reminds me to be humble in all that I do. Take the following:

Tuesday, Nov. 20th
CrossFit HEL – WOD: Shrinking Weakness

Shrinking Weakness? More like “remember how you really need more upper-body strength, Ardith?”
Here’s the run-down:
Bench Press:
3 rounds x 3 reps – 75lbs.Every Minute On the Minute for 10:
5 Bench Presses – 60lbs.


5 rounds “For Time” and Reps of:
12 Wall Ball Shots – 10lb. med ball
1 Rope Ascent – rope ladder
Ring Rows – max reps (modified: heels on the ground, kipping motions)

(And for those of you who are totally confused by the terms here… just Google the term and put “CrossFit” after it. Trust me–I have to do it nearly every day.)

Today’s WOD was a killer. The bench presses were great, though! I’ve never benched more than 65lbs. I got up to 75lbs. tonight on my heavy sets, and Coach (who was spotting me tonight) said, “Yeah, even that still looks a bit light.” Breakthrough! Finally. (65lbs. was my max in junior high, so take that, personal record that stood for like 13 years.)

The EMOM portion was fine, as well. 50 reps at 60lbs.? I’ll take that.

The WOD, though. Woof. Here’s what happened in my world.

First of all, wall ball shots suck. I always scale down from the prescribed weight, and I have a hard time hitting the targets. What is it, ten feet up? Usually, about half my shots make it close to the target, and the others just kind of… hit the wall… somewhere. Again, I’m working on form, and I know I’m working on form, but yeesh. I used the 10lb. medicine ball and to be fair, it seemed a higher portion of my shots made it to a decent height. So that’s good.

Then, there was a rope ladder. I’ve only used the rope ladders three times after tonight, but those things are difficult to deal with. I can’t quite get the coordination, and once I start making my way up, I usually sputter about halfway up and have to come back down. HOWEVER, considering that I’ve lived almost 27 years and can only recall one time ever having previously attempted a rope ascent, I think that’s okay. Halfway up is better than not at all. I’m just impatient, but again, I’m competing against myself, and the day I make it all the way up the rope ladder will be a big deal. It just might be awhile.

Ring rows were fine. It was a completely new move to me, and I was inconsistent on how many reps I could muster through each round. My lowest was 5, but my last attempt had me at 12. Overall, I managed just 38 modified reps, but again, 38 is more than zero. So, I’ll take that, too.

My overall time for the workout was 10 minutes and 19 seconds. Not half bad, all things considered. I know where that benchmark is set for the future.

The hardest part about tonight, though, was coming home and trying to pierce several eggplants, then peel garlic cloves, and then stuff those garlic cloves into the eggplant. It is a beast to cook when your arms are shot!

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