one day it'll all make sense.

Archive for October, 2013

Quick recap


b4b  004I make dumb faces when I concentrate…  hmm.  At least I don’t stick my tongue out when lifting like I do at hockey I guess.  Today Crossfit Division held their Barbells 4 Boobs 🙂  It was a lot of fun.  Great time spent with great people and we brought together more than $1100 for Grand River Cancer Centre.  I’ve seen people I care about put up a fight against this disease, some are still fighting, some were taken far too soon…  The 30 clean & jerks we did today were nothing compared to what anyone dealing with cancer goes through and it always feels good getting involved in helping out a great cause.  I had moments during my 4:13 workout of thinking “hey hot-shot!!  You had to go for the extra 20lbs?” but I survived :p


This morning was the start of our final de-load week for the “build a stronger shell” (bigger can if you’re a dude and the name appeals) phase.  Tomorrow I’ll be heading out of Waterloo for a GM conference and won’t be back to the box until Friday 😦  sigh…  Today’s workout had many parts to it:


row for 20 calories, then 2 minutes

20 reps, not for time: push-up, 20″ box step-up & over


Back Squat: 10-10-10-10-10 @ 40%-50%      #65
Push Press: 10-10-10-10-10 @ 40%-50%      #55
Pull-ups: 15 reps    black band (WOOT)

20 reps, not for time: dumbbell push-up, 20″ box step-up & over   #22.5

8 rounds: 40 sec conditioning ropes, 20 sec plank hold

Nice way to work up a nice little sweat right at the end there 😉  This was enjoyable.  After the DB box step-overs, my forearms were absolutely ON FIRE!  LOVE.  😀

In one of Dave’s sermons last week he brought up how he doesn’t want up to specialize in one specific element of fitness, but rather to become good across the board.  Growing up, my life was about specializing in whatever I found an interest in… Oops!  I’ll get into that later though.  Looking for pics to back this up, and off to my dreaded manager’s conference today. Why dreaded? Cause I’ve got visions of one of the gossip hot topics being “wow! Kate’s put on weight!”  My head is not in a good place about that right now… I may spare you the crying, or that might come later as well.  Sorry, you were warned.

test drive of a new mindset

Last night, I made a decision.  No more mister nice guy… with MYSELF.  No more “easing off” a bit when things get tough.  And no more crying.  :p


I watched an interview of Camile Leblanc-Bazinet where she talks about going hard from the start and fighting to maintain intensity no matter what.  Made me think about the times I’ve backed off a bit when things got really tough.  Or scalled more than I had to.  Or started the WOD with a moderate intensity figuring I’d get tired and need to keep some fuel in the tank for later.  But that’s not the point.  The name of the game is give it all you’ve got.  Leave all the hesitation and self-doubt behind.  And try to never leave the box thinking “I could have gone harder.”  So, that’s my new game plan.  We’ll see how it works out 🙂  It also helped me get my butt out the door for my 7:30 WOD this morning when I was considering maybe skipping that for the evening class.  But that’s not how I roll.  Morning is my thing…  although I did sleep until my 6:00 alarm this morning.  Weird.  Maybe I somehow knew it was snowing out.  Thumbs down to that.  I was almost late getting to crossfit cause I don’t know where my snow brush is and had to break up the ice on my windshield with a plastic spoon.  Fail.

By the way… Camille and I are obviously soul mates.  Look:

camilleShe has my shoes!  (Along with every other person at my box, but whatever.)  And yes she’s married, but she just hasn’t met me yet.  😉  I’m not creepy, I swear.  She’s inspiring none the less.

Anyways, today was a perfect day to test my new game plan.  The WOD was intense!  Like, round 5 I thought I may vomit, but if crying is not acceptable, hurling certainly isn’t either.  Don’t worry, didn’t happen.

Warm-up – 3 minute row


2x squat hang clean (I think that’s what it’s called)  15 min to establish MAX load – #85

5 Rounds of:

1 Minute: KB Swings 24kg/16kg   first round and a half Rx, then switched to “green tape”  don’t know weight on that one

1 Minute: Rowing- Max meters   Rx  <- check it :p

1 Minute: 40m Shuttle Run   Rx

See that?  Almost an Rx WOD 🙂 Somehow forgot to take a pic of my rowing distance 😦 but I did manage to keep the shuttle run consistent each round and completed a total of 161 KB swings.  Boo-ya!  When I was pretty gassed after the WOD and sweating like crazy, Coach Dave looked at me and said “how’d you like that one?  I’m turning things UP!”  Yes, this is true… But I turned things up today too!  It felt AWESOME 🙂

Finished this sh*t, put in my 5+ minutes of double unders practice (aka whipped the heck out of my forearms) and left the box with the biggest of smiles.  😀

Stay tuned…  work Dave and I are practicing double unders on the sales floor when there’s a shortage of customers.  Video to follow…

crossfit-bird_thumbHang clean?

Can’t stop, won’t stop

Today has been quite a busy day at work…  My district manager came in to catch up and to interview my assistant for a manager position at another store.  We also devised a plan of action to make my work station even more ergonomic for stand up (vs. seated) operation.  I’ve been standing at my desk for more than a year cause of the stupid leg pain I drag around, and the make-shift set up I created is making my posture horrible :p  I slouch something wicked when typing and the box vet (massage therapist) tells me it could be the root of my upper body stiffness.  Funny that… a solution for one issue, creates a whole net set of issues.  :p

anyways, my DM stuck around for what felt like forever…


With all the chaos of a busy day, my post will be brief.  This morning’s WOD:

Strength – muscle-up progression work

On the minute for 20 Minutes:

Odd Minutes: 15- Burpees    10×4, 11×3, 12×2, 15×1

Even Minutes: 15- Wallballs 20lbs/14lbs   10×4, 11×3, 12×2, 16×1 – #10

This was awful.  Not going to sugar-coat it one bit.  I maybe hated the wall balls less than the burpees, but with such a slim margin I’m not even entirely sure this is the case.  Pretty sure I was dizzy for most of the 20 minutes.  By round 8, the room just kept spinning faster and faster when I’d try to gain control.  Then, when I thought I was losing the battle, came the line that stuck in my head till the bitter end :p

“GET UP MCDOWELL!!” Coach Dave.

YES SIR!!  😮 After that it felt like my head was somewhat back on track again.  I think I cried.  But I made it to the end anyway.  p.s…  Today I got 2 double unders.  Possibly 3 but Dave couldn’t be sure 😉


nothing but net

CFdivision  009

Ok, this is just my opinion and you are free to either agree or disagree.  I’ve learned, and continue to do so, over my years of managing people that there is no right or wrong answer.  When dealing with a group of individuals, albeit ones who share similar interests, there is no black and white but more a wide range of shades of grey.  My role as a manager is, yes, to unlock the magic sequence to help each associate discover their potential, but while sharing camera knowledge and experiences is cool, it’s the psychology side of things that I really find intriguing.

CFdivision  010

Where am I going? Lol. The original intention of my rant was to talk about achieving goals at the box, and off I jogged on a related, but different path…  What can I say?  I’m tired today :p we lifted heavy this morning and now maybe I could use a nap.  But noooo… I’m sitting in a coffee shop, typing away on my iPad, waiting for my mom’s flight to arrive from Florida and trying to not be a brat who is slightly annoyed that I was asked to take the day off work to drive more than an hour to the airport to pick her up when her house is a 15 minute cab ride from the runway… I should have just coughed up the $$ for the cab.  But I’d be disowned for sure.  Sigh…

CFdivision  006

Ok, I’m over it!  And really going to focus now (hopefully).  First off, this chick got her first for-real, legit, Double Under this morning 😀 Coach Dave can vouch for me, he witnessed it  😀  That’s right!!  WOOOT!!  I even got a shout out on the Crossfit Division Facebook page haha.  Along with the comment:

Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.

While I’m telling myself this is not to suggest a lack of talent on my part, I can definitely agree that I am more than willing to work hard!  Damn hard!  Coaches are there to point you in the direction you need to go to find success, but from there it’s up to the individual to make a choice whether to succeed or fail.  Talent isn’t enough…

Ok, last Monday of our heavy lifting phase:

Back Squats: 9-9-9-9   #115
Push Press: 9-9-9-9    #65
Pull-ups: 9-9-9-9   — 1 set w/green band, then switched to ring pulls

*Based on how you feel, add #15-#20 on all Squats/Deadlifts and #5-#15 on all Presses*

After completing the big 3 – pick two of the following: Do 4 sets of 8-15, based upon load and feel.
Good Mornings
GHD Situps
Reverse Hypers  4 x 12
Weighted reverse bridge hold (30 sec)  1 x 35, 1 x 45, 3 x #60!!  Last round, 60 seconds  (BITCH, PLEASE!! 🙂 )

Ok, so I didn’t jack up the weight for my back squat or push press.  But DUDE!!  I crushed the accessory stuff AND did a double under.  My first for-real-legit-double-under.  AND scored 5 goals at hockey.  Thankfully Murphy and his law waited until the very end of our game to land me a good hard slash right across my shin exactly where the box bit me last Tues.  Much appreciated.  I didn’t pass out, but came pretty friggin’ close, but didn’t.  It’s all mind over matter sometimes…  :p

** SIDE NOTE – as adding a little tagging action to my post, I realized it’s been a long time since I’ve felt justified to slap on the “weight loss” tag.  Anyone else find they actually gained weight since starting crossfit?  It doesn’t upset me as much anymore, but come on?  WTF?

can’t fix crazy

Sleep, work, crossfit, eat.  Repeat.  That just about sums up my life heading into November.  September and October had a bunch of fun pre-planned variety between checking out the Element team challenge, running surviving the 7km obstacle race @ Badass Dash and running the Color Me Rad 5km with my kick-ass kid sister.  However November will ramp up in intensity at work as the month progresses and the Christmas season rolls into action.  Thankfully crossfit gives an element of constantly varied, cause otherwise it’s all pretty much same sh*t, different day until then :p


Today I managed to make it to the box for the first Sunday WOD in quite a while.  I like these ones cause it’s usually a team or partner effort 🙂  I walked in to see Coach Jenna hop off the rower and Coach Sharon strap in to rock and roll.  Judging by the level of “enjoyment” she seemed to be experiencing (not so much!) I was maybe a bit scared of what we were about to have dished our way.  Is that part of the coaching strategy?  A little “Fear THIS kids!  It’s going to suck :p”  You didn’t disappoint Sharon 🙂  This WOD was awesome!!

Warm-up included a bunch of the usual stuff and a “fun” little Tabata sit-ups session.

WOD – In teams of 3 with a running clock & with one person working at a time:

1500m row  *250m each, then switch

1200m run   *400m each

90 box jumps   *we opted for 10 each, then switch for box jumps & burpees

90 burpees

1200m run

1500m row

I was part of a great team 🙂  We pushed and encouraged each other and finished everything in a respectable (or at least I think so) 30:13.  Funny part of the WOD for me today was I found the run possibly the most challenging part.  Me!?  The runner?!  But this wasn’t the casual leisurely trot I have been so accustomed to in the past…  I HOOFED it!  My team was counting on me 🙂


While I would have loved to stick around for the yoga class offered at 11:15, I had to hustle out today to get to work on time, well, almost…  and unfortunately.  Is there a full moon tonight?  Or was it maybe last night?  I’ve had the dumbest jack-a** customers on the planet today.  I don’t have any issue dealing with the dumb, it’s the jerks that I have to fight to keep my cool with.  Working in retail or customer service doesn’t give anyone the right to treat ya like their punching bag to abuse.  I’d rather do burpees…

I guess everyone needs their dose of crazy from time to time.  Now I just need to lift something heavy… or cook something awesome 😀  I came across a recipe for pumpkin spiced sweet potato waffles today that I want to try.  Don’t have a waffle maker though…  Going to give it a try using the George Foreman and see how that goes.  If nothing else, should make for interesting photos!

by request…

One of the awesome Crossfit Division coaches inquired about this recipe, so I figured I could share with you all 🙂  It’s delicious and fairly easy to make.  Enjoy!


Spaghetti Squash Casserole


  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Splash olive oil
  • Spaghetti sauce (amount will depend on taste and size of veggies)
  • Your favorite crumble-able goat cheese


  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds.  Place squash halves, open side down, on foil lined cookie sheet
  • Bake 30-40 minutes or until skin indents when you poke it
  • Place large skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and garlic.  Once garlic becomes fragrant, add pepper, zucchini and carrot.  Saute until veggies are warmed, but still a bit crunchy
  • Once squash is done, combine spaghetti “noodles”, veggie mix, diced tomato and tomato sauce in large casserole dish.  Sprinkle goat cheese on top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is brown to your liking.
  • Let cool and find happiness.

*** If goat cheese isn’t your thing, regular mozzarella works too.  Or no cheese at all!

strong enough

There’s so much bouncing around in my head that I don’t even know how to organize my thoughts to put in to text…  Plus, the new drugs I’ve finally (and still reluctantly) agreed to test drive are making me feel high.  Like, I maybe shouldn’t have driven to work this morning 😮  Great.  Won’t be popping these bad boys before heading into the box anytime soon!

I’m going to complain for a moment.  The nerve pain in my right leg is driving me a little crazy.  And bitchy.  My poor staff 😦  I’m trying not to be, I swear…  Arrived at Sport Chek on thursday for my shift in my Birkenstock clogs.  Not dress code at all.  Walked into the office and told my manager “I can’t wear running shoes.  It’s Birks, or I call in sick.”  haha his face was a little priceless, but was cool with that.  This was after I drove towards the mall with running shoes on while fighting off tears and the urge to barf.  Yup.  No fun at all.


So, I shouldn’t make up my own theories, but sometimes sh*t happens.  My leg pain was better since I moved closer to work (eliminating all the time sitting in a car) and even better when I first began crossfit.  However, the current lifting phase has made things increasingly worse again.  I’ve somewhat resolved in my head to be happy with the load I’ve worked up to, but not try to continue to add weight.  I’m still working hard.  Still getting a great workout.  Still making progress.  Coach Sharon shared some of her infinite wisdom yesterday and her inspiration was exactly what I needed.  I was having a sucky day cause I was disappointed that my back squats were again #115.  Same weight I squatted two weeks ago.  However Sharon reminded me that last week cause I was having problems with my hip, my back squat was #95 and only 5 of 7 rounds.  SO… it counts as a #20 add.  🙂  And I rocked it.  Butt was back.  Knees were out.  And I didn’t get “stuck in the hole” at all.  Only managed to get in the back squats and strict press in the morning before having to head to work, so I came back after work to finish up with my front squats and accessory work.  Thanks to a push from coach Will, quote – stand UP Kate!! when I was struggling through my last few reps of my last two sets.  In the end, rocked #115 for the front squats as well 🙂

Back Squats: 5-5-5-5-5-5-5    #115

Strict Press: 5-5-5-5-5-5-5     #65

Front Squats: 5-5-5-5-5-5-5    #115

*Based on how you feel, add #15-#20 for all Squats/Deadlifts and #5-#15 for all Presses*

The important part… based on how you feel.  My back squats and strict presses were the same load as 2 weeks prior, but I was up #10 on my front squats.  I’ll celebrate that little victory 🙂

After this very long sob story (cause I want you to know I truly understand) the point is its about Mindset!! You can let it defeat you or you can defeat it. You can focus on what you can do or get frustrated by your limitations. I promise you even just do this program and remaining at the same weight you will still get better! That is the key to this…..just to be better than yesterday.     Coach Sharon

Thank you Sharon 🙂  I will aim for “better than yesterday”

Yesterday was one of those eat everything in sight kind of days too.  Like, if it’s not nailed down, it’s fair game.  On the bright side, I can now cook some new exciting stuff 🙂 cause my fridge is pretty much empty!  Roasted a batch of brussels sprouts and butternut squash last night for today’s lunch.  The Brussels sprouts didn’t make it.  About half of the squash did :p  Thankfully it was also a completely exhausted day, so by 9:00 I was doing the head bob and pretty much ready for bed.  Maybe could have forced myself to stay up a bit later and I might have slept past 4:30am, but oh well.  Gave me 4 hours to cook some stuff before coming to work 🙂  Including:

sweet potato brownies

sweet potato brownies

A batch of paleOMG’s sweet potato brownies for my staff at our Saturday meeting 🙂  These pieces of pure awesome lasted about 45 seconds.

driver’s seat

Sometimes I could swear iTunes is mood sensing.  Today it needs to ‘eff off.  My day started kick-ass, ok?  Just cause I came across an old pic while downloading some stuff for the blog that made me want to cry doesn’t mean iTunes needs to make things worse.  No more The Frey’s “maybe you had her… maybe you lost her to another…”  Yes, let’s move on please.  I’m taking the wheel now.  And yes Lorde “We’re all driving Cadillacs in our dreams”

Yesterday I checked the WOD online when I got home from work.  First thought – This looks WICKED!!  😀  Second thought – SH*T.  It’s gonna suck for sure.  LOL.  I’ve learned…  it you think “I GOT THIS!”, be prepared to die a little.  First off, I walked in to see these bad boys waiting for action.  Again.  (yes, this has been the case every day this week so far…)

CFdivision  001I should have been a bit more specific in my box-jumped post.  We weren’t doing just the usual thing.  I think Coach Dave called them drop jumps?  See that tall b*tch right at the end?  That’s the one that bites.  So once again we jumped the line-up from one end to the other, and once again all the demons in my head prevented me from conquering that last one.  But I’m not down and out just yet 😉  One day I’ll bite back.  That was just warm-up.  Which was also preceded by hoping on the rowers for 3 rounds of GIVE ‘ER all you’ve got for 300m.  Then came the real work:

Part 1. OTM for 10 Minutes
12- Burpees, after completing the 12 burpees with the remainder of the minute complete:
MAX Double Unders       scaled to 8 burpees per round & singles

Part 2. Tabata Hollow Rock

Part 3. Prowler Push

5 Rounds Each alternating GO HEAVY and GO 50′ down then 50′ back    #75 prowler, round 2&3 added #10s (each side), round 4 2x #10s, round 5 3x #10 — DUDE!!  That’s a body weight push!

Ok, part 1 was harder than I let myself expect it to be.  When I started crossfit, I would rather do ANYTHING than burpees.  I’ve since resolved in my mind that I’m going to see a fairly substantial helping of these weekly, so I might as well get over it.  But what I didn’t count on in this little 10 minute AMRAP was the fact that there is NO rest period.  Like, at all.  Round 2 I was dizzy once I finished the burpees and grabbed the skipping rope but I told myself “no time for this game today!  Keep going!!” and finished the full 10 minutes without scaling the burpees reps any farther 😀  Success.

CFdivision  003

Part 3 was brutal.  The last time I did prowler push it was outdoors, but today was on the rubber box floor.  Like pushing the friggin thing through mud.  Like heavy, sticky, unforgiving sh*t.  Haha  At the end, Dave threw in a course of pylons to weave the thing (thankfully empty!!) around, for time.  I finally managed to crawl the prowler across the finish line in 90 seconds.  And maybe 2 minutes later I was able to stand up again.  :p

AWESOME WOD today 🙂 Rightfully followed up with a heap of scrambled eggs and cumin sweet potato.  Off work today (except Sport Chek later) so there’s a whole bunch of cooking on the game plan…



Today, just to mix things up a bit, I let the box jump ME instead of vice versa.  I don’t recommend this.  My shin was not impressed.

box jumped

Coach Dave said I got off easy cause the blood loss was minimal, but it still hurt like a b*tch.  This was during the warm-up, so Dave suggested I just do 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest for the duration of the WOD so I wouldn’t have to jump around.  I tested my jumping abilities for a second, then decided “No way dude.  I got this!”  (shhh… here’s the secret.  Rowing sucks :p)  And check this awesome sh*t out!  This WOD (once scaled accordingly) was made for me:

Part 1. OTM for 16 Minutes:

Odd: 10- Hang Power Cleans #185/#135 Even: 10- Chest-Bar Pullups

Part 2. Not for time:

75- Pushups 75- Toes to Bar *Break them up in any which way

I love cleans, but I have a really bad habit of pulling early before my hips have opened.  Hang cleans give me no choice but to nail the form properly.  Love ’em 🙂  Love On The Minute WODS too cause… I dunno, just do.  You can do anything for 60 seconds, right?  Even my previously sore hip joined the party with no complaints.  My forearms were screaming by the 4th round of cleans, but it’s all good 🙂  I felt bad-ass for the first time in a few days.  😀

Scaled the chest-bar pull-ups to ring pulls cause Coach wanted to change things up, I’d usually use a band, and it was nice to try something different.

Killed the 75 push-ups, all done properly – not on my knees or with any worming action, and in un-broken set of 15.  Until I got to 60…  then the wheels fell off a little.  The last 15 was more like 7, 5, 3… but whatever.  I got to 75.  😀  The toes-bar was not bad-ass.  I could get 1 pretty solid one, then 1 ok one, then 1 total fail… then I would switch to knees-elbows till I got to a count of 10 reps.  Finishing the 75 took FOREVER.  Like, I was at the box well after the 9:15 class started.  But give me a little credit… Dave and I got talking about nutrition and stuff.  I eat that stuff up :p  And my hands were/are killing me.  Even my calluses got calluses today.  Classy, I know.

Side note… I confessed my trip to GoodLife yesterday while the box was closed 😦  I got a bit of a look but I was responsible.  I did the regular Monday routine, but I didn’t go super heavy cause I didn’t have a spotter and didn’t want any more injuries.  Figured I wasn’t doing myself any good by hiding anything from a coach.  Post today’s morning WOD, I went home to cook some stuff and get my food all prepped and ready to head to work.  Now I’m sitting at my desk with an ice pack on my lovely swollen box-jumped shin.



Woke up this morning (damn early as always) and regretted the words I wrote yesterday, so I deleted that garbage.  I’m hoping that everyone who reads my rants is having such an awesome weekend and haven’t had the time to catch up on any blog world action.  I’m done crying :p  I did learn something today though… when you don’t have a whole bunch of stuff lined up for pre-work, getting up at 5:30 really serves no benefit.  I had thought of maybe getting out on my bike, but while listening to the rain drops against my bedroom window and praying I had closed my sunroof, I realized that likely wasn’t in the cards for today.  Also knew showing up to the box would only result in a kick to the curb, rightfully so, but it was sooooo tempting…

My weekend was great!  Well, really was only Saturday cause today I’m back at work, but such is the retail life and it’s all good.  Thanksgiving/Easter/Christmas are typically holidays my sisters and I somewhat dread cause they mean trekking out to see the family that we otherwise avoid.  One year, my uncle was in charge of buying the turkey, which turned out to be rotten but we thankfully figured this out before sitting down to eat!  The whole house smelled of dog poop when we first walked through the doors, to the point I was checking my shoes…  Anyways, Thanksgiving at my place was a nice change 🙂  We broke away from the traditional dinner and instead enjoyed turkey tomato sauce (with some zip!), spaghetti squash, a big salad, and apple crisp for desert.  My first time cooking a complete Paleo meal for company and the reviews all came back 4 stars.  Phew!  I was a little nervous.  Haven’t cooked for anyone but myself in months, and I’m more than satisfied with some pretty random and odd combinations.

This, by the way, was both easy and AMAZING:

Paleo Apple Crisp

My sisters are amazing young women 🙂  My dad parked it on the couch for a nap before dinner while the 3 girls crammed in my little gally kitchen to cook and chat about life.  Claire is becoming a Paleo genius and Hannah is kicking butt and taking names at crossfit up in Penetang.  Hannah was excited to share some big news…  the other day they worked towards a 1 rep max for back squats.  First time, and the kid hits #150!  Jeezuz!  I was so excited for her 🙂  but I may need to up my game!!  😮  Second bit of interesting news from Hannah… my step-mom is crossfitting with her!  Say, what?!  Both my sisters are still too young to consider anything “mom” does to be cool, but I thought it was pretty bad-ass!  I hope I’m still crossfitting in my 50’s!


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