Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I'm sitting in bed beside my sleeping daughter knowing I should probably get myself to sleep too.  This past week has been filled with many tired yawns (sidebar - can yawns be anything other than tired yawns?)   I blame these yawns on PGF.  Post Games Fatigue.
But my mind is still spinning as it did all Games week when I layed in bed awake.  It's so much to process -  nerves, excitement, adrenaline, fear, strategy, self talk..... the list goes on and on for the many reasons why I couldn't fall asleep then and why I sit awake now. 

2012 Games was AMAZING!  (Sing that in a high falsetto).  Words kinda fail to express all that it was.  Its a roller coaster of highs and lows.  Energy and fatigue.  Smiles and tears.  Carefree laughter and fear induced arm grabs.  Sometimes I shake my head and wonder why I don't take up knitting or kite flying.  Tai bo in the park perhaps.  But I know why.  To experience the Games is a once in a lifetime thing.  I've been lucky enough to go twice now.  And really, I know what makes it so darn desirable for me to want to go back.  It's the people that make it SO great!  All the people.  The volunteers, the handlers, the organizers, the spectators and of course, the other athletes.  Such great people!  So many laughs and shared moments together.  To get to the Games is a battle itself.  Once at the Games, it feels more like a battle of us vs the wods.  Surviving the Games.  Especially that first wod thrown at us.  11km in a mountain?  Survival!!!

I placed 16th this year and I have mixed feelings about it.  Super proud but always wanting more!  Last year I surprised myself with a 10th place finish.  I knew this year was going to be a serious battle for top 40!  Everyone going was amazing.  Well rounded.  Strong as all heck-a-doo.  Fast!  (And really good broad jumpers as it turns out!)  16th.  Not quite as catchy as "Top Ten".  But I knew that with this amazing crew of women, I could land anywhere.  I tried to "warn" friends and supporters back home that coming tenth or better this year was a long shot.

A friend of ours asked my husband at a party, "What happened to Angie this year?"  He doesn't follow Crossfit very closely and so for me to come 10th last year and then 16th this year - clearly something went wrong.  I think about that line a lot.  What happened to Angie?  What happened to me? What happened?  How can I summarize what happened without an hour discussion dissecting wod by wod and most likely losing interest after a few minutes?  Nothing happened and everything happened.
I went to the Games wanting to do my best.  And my best is what I did.  That's all we can ever really ask of ourselves in any situation, isn't it?  Do your best and see where the cards play out.

Once again, I learned about myself as a Crossfitter.  I see where my weaknesses are and where strengths are.  I can work with my Coach and set up a plan of attack for the year ahead trying as always to get stronger, faster, more skilled, better at the unknown.  However, the biggest obstacle I need to work on is my mind set.  There is this sense that I don't belong there with all these elite athletes.  I felt it last year which I attributed to being a rookie.  But if anything, that feeling was even stronger this year.  I see what these women are capable of and it blows my mind.  I feel like I somehow keep getting lucky despite fairly consistent finishes in the Open, Regionals and now Games two years in a row.

My goal for this year was to do the best I could do and from a physical stand point, I know I gave it 100%.  Mentally though, I feel like I let myself down a bit doubting that I belonged.
So here comes the tricky part in training for this year.  It's "easy" to program for strength and endurance and work on my Carl Paoli style burpees to get some skill into my life (really trying, Carl!!)   But training the mental side is where my challenge is.  Feeling like I do belong and letting go of that doubt.  So I'm going to work my butt off on this because there is one thing I do not doubt.... and that is that I want the chance to giggle with Jenny LaBaw about that one time on a mountain I cheered her on passing me.  I want the chance to talk about juggling Crossfit and mamahood again with Elizabeth on a bus.  I want to laugh with Kelly every chance we get.  I want to give hugs to Heather for swimming the most terrifying swim in her life.  Ooooeeee, just typing out a few of the bazillion memories from the Games gives me goosebumps.  Perhaps this is where my mental training begins.... I want......

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ode to Sleep

So here's the thing - I like to write Ode's.  I've been doing them since early high school.  Mostly, I remember I would write Ode's to my sister when she moved away for University to add a little jazz to the typical letters from home.
Sample topics might include: Why our parents sucked (especially so on a Friday nite when I was at HOME while all my friends were out at a party); What WAS the point of social study classes;  Moving with Oprah (*sidebar - we will discuss Moving with Oprah again someday.  Guaranteed).

Point being,  I like to write Ode's.  Today I feel the need to write an Ode to Sleep.

Ode to Sleep

Once upon a time long, long ago
I used to sleep for at least 10 hours a nite
It was glorious, uninterrupted, solid sleep
And it made everything feel SOOO right.

Then I entered into pregnancy world
And discovered I was waking a bit more
Whether it be for my fifth trip to the bathroom
Or to roll over without falling on the floor.

Sleep was "better" when my baby arrived
Because my body was back to being my own
However, the sleep was brief and sporadic
As zombie land Breastfeeding became my new sleep zone.

Pregnancy number two came shortly after
Even before my toddler slept in her own bed
"Survival" was the theme during this time
Going to bed was kinda filled with dread!

Fast forward to where I'm at today
My kids are now six and four
Old enough to sleep all by themselves
Yet by eleven, they're sneaking through our door.

Some nites I'll stay in our king size bed
And try to weather out the "storm"
Sandwiched between kids, dogs and my snoring hubbie
Thinking this just can't be the norm!

Most nites I end up in my daughters room
After she comes and "gently" pokes me to wake
While there is more space with only us two
Her kicking legs never seem to take a break!

I try to explain to my kids that mommy needs her sleep
That it's essential for recovery from my WOD's
But as their eyes glaze over while I plead
I think they hear the usual mama blah blah blah....

One day I know I'll get to sleep again
And these years will seem long long ago
But every once in a while - to sleep sweet interrupted sleep
Would be freaking nice, you know?  (yeah, you know!!!  )

Sleep, precious sleep, be with y'all!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Hockey Arena Lobby Crossfitting Sistah

Hockey Arena (aka - my sisters Crossfit Box)

My sister does not have a Crossfit affiliate in her town.  What she does have is a small, crowded garage with a few pieces of crossfit equipment wedged in between lacrosse bags, hockey nets, and a variety of boogie boards for all seasons.  She also has the lobby of the local hockey rink.  

She has sons and they play hockey. As any parents of aspiring NHL’ers know, the time slots for minor hockey practices can be a bit early.  Combine crazy practice times with working full time, three kidlets schedules to juggle and her own Crossfit WODs to fit in, her life gets a bit crazy. 

This is where the lobby at the hockey arena fits in.  She frequently emails me with descriptions of some of her experiences at the rink. I enjoy the stories so much that I decided I should interview her for this blog. 

Check out her responses.....

AP: What are some WOD's you have done in the hockey arena?

C: My WODs depend on what arena I'm going to.  For example: one of the arenas that I go to has a very small lobby with really tiny benches and I’m not sure if they're fully secured into ground.  If I decide to do box jumps in this lobby the wobbly benches can make things very interesting!  For this reason I will choose to do box jumps at the OTHER arena lobby that I WOD in.  The benches at this arena are secured and much easier to jump on.

However, compared to doing box jumps at my house, either of these arena’s lobby benches are okay.  My box jump equipment at home is a shoe storage bench and it is set up in such fashion that my head almost smashes on our gutters every time I jump. 

I do wall balls at the rink but the target is not very high because hockey arena lobby ceilings are not very high.  I did Karen there once and got a killer time! 

 (AP: Shocking considering the lower ceilings!) 

I'll do a few HSPU and then modify with pike ones off the benches. 
I usually bring my kettlebell to swing around between the boxes.  
Before my skipping rope broke, I would often skip (*she is talking about a real skipping rope as opposed to the Princess skipping rope she borrowed from her 5 year old daughter when she first began Crossfitting).

AP: Do you have any fun memories of doing your arena WODs?

C: Yes!  I have a couple of fun memories! One time I did 400m repeats in a very sketchy industrial area…in the dark.

Christy’s Husband:  "Uh yeah, sketchy!  There are people under the bridges there and you're running by in the dark.  Makes me mental!!!"

C: Well, needless to say, I had an incredible pace.  

I have another fun memory where I was doing burpees with my 5-year-old daughter and another little girl came and joined in.  I was pretty much done my workout; thankfully, because they had enough air left in their lungs to yell, "Watch Me! Watch Me!!"

Here’s a fun one! I brought a soccer ball inside the arena one day and showed my daughter how to do a wall ball (I always keep soccer balls in my van). When it was her turn, she threw the ball straight at the wall and it rebounded off the cinder blocks and hit her right square in the face!  Yeah, that was fun.  (Total sarcasm)

AP: What time do you usually do your hockey arena WOD's?

C: I've been known do several times:
7am on Sunday. 6am on the occasional weekday if I'm heading to work late and
of course, my personal favorites, the 5:45pm WODs that are at the arena that has a pub.  

AP: Sorry, did you say Pub?  Can people in the Pub see you wodding?  

C: Oh yes!  The only area to WOD in that arena is in right by the main entrance where everyone walks in. Most people come in and go sit in the Pub to watch hockey and lucky for them, they can also watch me WOD. 

AP: What's the best comment you've gotten wodding at the arena?

Most people say, "What a great use of time!" as they sip their Tim Horton’s double doubles.  

I've been asked if I'm training for something to which I say “no, just trying to get my workout in.”
"It looks pretty intense" is a common comment.  

AP: What do you like best about doing hockey arena WOD's? 

C: I really enjoy how impressed my husband is when I get home at 8:30am on a Sunday and I have already wodded.  He is definitely more impressed by that, than he is when I go for runs in dark, sketchy areas of town!

I also enjoy that the bathrooms are very close by, as I always have to use them; especially when I incorporate skipping!

Christy and her 2 boys at Regionals 2011
* * *

A big thanks to my sister for sharing her time and for providing me with daily giggles.  She constantly provides me with a huge sense of pride because she works so hard to fit Crossfit into her very hectic life.   Sister, you are inspiring as all heck-a-doo!  
As Rich Froning Jr. recently said whilst wodding on top of the Empire State Building, "You can do Crossfit anywhere, anytime." 
Maybe he happened to be hanging out at my sister’s local arena Pub and witnessed her work ethic one night as well.   

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Do Something That Scares You

Do something every day that scares you".  Every day?  Really?  Every day.  Hmmmm.... Do I try to find massive spiders in my kid’s rooms every day?  Spiders that I have to gently pick up and put outside so that I appear to be a good role model to my boy and girl? (Even though everything inside of me is screaming in sheer, primal terror to just squash it)  I think I've only seen one spider in the last year so scaring myself every day with spiders is probably going to be a bit tough. (Phew because I really get wigged out from spiders).

Crossfit wods make me nervous every day but do they scare me?  Sometimes.  I do take rest days so being afraid of WODs every day is out.  This is a problem.  How do I do something every day that scares me?  Solution: do something that REALLY scares me and consider it a reprieve from finding spiders for at least a couple of weeks.  

I know!  I’ll enter an Olympic Weightlifting Competition. Eeeeeek!!!

Last year Crossfit Pure Athletics put on a great Olympic Weightlifting Competition for Crossfitters.  I was signed up to go but a shoulder tear a couple of weeks prior to the event left me out of it.  I went over to watch and I remember seeing a sign that read, "Athletes Only". It tore at my heart to see that sign because it made me feel like I didn’t belong.  I hated that feeling.  Fast forward a year - my shoulder is healed - Olympic Weightlifting Competition is on and I am soooo excited to partake....ummm, yes, sooooo excited..... super pumped..... okay, okay, I'm SCARED to pieces to enter.  

Photo by Caragh Camera
Talking about it prior with peeps who had done it before only had positive things to say.  

"It's so fun! Its a total rush, you'll love it!” they said. 

My coach and I talked about it and he felt like it would be a good experience to practice lifting under pressure.  Ahhh!  Pressure!!  And before I know it - I'm in the warm up pit with a bunch of other girls - some old pro's and some brand new faces; all of us a little bit scared.  

What a huge difference it is to be in an Oly Comp compared to a Crossfit comp.  For starters there is no music and anyone that has ever seen me warm up/wod knows that I am a music ADDICT!  Another major difference is that all eyes are on me: not 8 or so other peeps wodding along side me?  Nope, just a platform, the bar and me.  Not to mention the really intense man sitting RIGHT in front of me.  Judging me.  Literally.  Judging me.  I think I might throw up.  

The intensity of the first snatch and the adrenaline flowing through my body after the first snatch was crazy.  Instead of being able to “wod it out”, (like I normally would do with that much energy) I had to just sit there and keep all that craziness and adrenaline in and then double it with my next lift.  Then again with the last lift.  Woooooeeeee - that's a rush all right!  I still think I might throw up.  

Warming up for the Clean and Jerk was way more fun.  Maybe because the snatch plays with my mind - so fickle - or maybe just the confidence of now having experienced that platform, the silence and that intense man judging me.  Whatever it was, I was able to really start enjoying myself and understand why peeps put themselves through this.   My last c&j I think I was finally able to utilize all that adrenaline and nervousness because man, that bar felt light!   

My first Olympic Weightlifting Competition - done.  Doing something that scares me every day?  Done.  
So spiders - don't even bother coming around.  I'm good for a few months.