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Archive for July, 2014

Just believe

The condo buying experience has provided me with a great opportunity to work on shifting my though process into a territory that doesn’t come naturally.  I’m 110% the kind of person who will not get into something without my own belief that I have the means to make it happen.  I bought a place that came with monthly mortgage payments which I could afford.  When it came to determining my downpayment, I went with a value that I knew I had.  What I didn’t expect or fully appreciate was that there can be times where although the money is YOURS, you can find you actually aren’t allowed to have it.  Totally foreign concept to me!  I have been on this ridiculous roller coaster ride for the past 3 weeks of things are good, nope bad news, all good, wait… more bad news…  All the way through, Coach Sharon kept telling me I just had to believe.  “Things will all work out.  Just stop expecting a problem and there won’t be one” she said.  That’s not me.  My mind is centred around facts, not wishes.  Last Monday I received my last chunk of bad news and I was completely convinced that there was NO way things could possibly work out unless a big chunk of money just fell from the sky.  Tuesday morning I drifted back to sleep after waking at 3:30am and had a totally shitty dream that I had no money for my down payment.  Tuesday afternoon, the ENTIRE chunk of $$ was in my account!  WHAT?!?  Miracles DO happen!  My dad came through with the portion from my Grandmother (finally!) and the Henry’s nightmare resolved itself too.  I will likely never doubt the wisdom of Coach Sharon again.


Mon. July 21   7:30am

Lessons learned.  Sunday’s lesson – hockey is soooo much better when I don’t crossfit in the morning, work all day, then try to run for a good chunk of an hour chasing that little orange ball.  Feels like I have cement blocks tied around my ankles.  I learned another lesson this morning that I cannot go to my 7:30 time slot when I have to work in Cambridge at 9.  It was a friend’s birthday, so I thought I’d give it a shot to lift with her.  FAIL.  Only got through 1 round of the row-burpee-thruster hell before I had to jump in the shower super-quick and go!  Sigh… apparently I even missed a dose of Coach Dave’s “treats”

Front Squats: 5-5-5   #90-#95-#95
*Pause at the bottom of each squat for 3 seconds*

3 rounds of:
300m Row/Run
10- Burpees
10 -Thrusters (#75/#55)

The front squats felt fantastic today 😀  The 3 rounder was pure awful and I only did 1 round!  Worst burpees ever!  Should have switched back from lifting shoes to nanos, but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have really made that much of a difference!  My legs are still angry from Saturday’s crazy WOD triple-header.  They complained last night at hockey and were completely disgusted with me today.  Haha love it.

Tues. July 22  6:00am

WTF?!? Not sure why this post was still hanging out in the draft stage?  Well, now it’s just going to grow a little before publication.  Ugh it was hard to drag myself out of bed when the alarm went off this morning.  If you are a snooze-button-smasher, try the trick of putting your alarm in another room.  By the time I get annoyed enough to get out of bed to go silence the damn thing, I’m up.  Once the morning got rolling I was glad I got to the box for 6, but I will take a little note to self that cramming in that one more episode of Game of Thrones before bedtime maybe had something to do with the brief alarm hatred.  I’m at a good part.  I couldn’t help it.  Here’s the wicked-awesome that started my day:

1 Round for time:
800m Run
30- Power Snatches (#115, #80)  #55
800m Run

Time – 11:31   😀

I can’t believe I’m going to type this, but I’m EXCITED!!  I think after a year of complete frustration with this movement, Coach Dave may have actually provided me with the cue I needed to put aside my ninja ways!  Yup, Coach Dave fixed my Snatch.  I’m sure that will kick back some very odd “top search results”.  For 12 months I’ve heard 1,000 times – “OPEN your HIPS McDowell!!” but for whatever reason my brain just couldn’t figure that out.  Today was a different thought process of – Step 1: Deadlift, Step 2: Throw your shoulders back… AH-HA!!!!  Money!!  Throw your shoulders back without opening your hips!  I dare you.  I went from being so frustrated I was fighting back tears in the warm-up, to getting through the 30 reps in the WOD in pretty decent form.  Breakthrough.  #bestcoachesever

Last note… It’s here!  Closing day today 🙂  I finally am a home owner!!  Woot!!

catching up

This post should have been published when drafted last night but I realized there was a huge and important topic I had yet to touch upon.  I guess it’s of enough relevance in my little world that I could easily have filled its own post, so here’s the crossfit portion.

Ok, July “challenge” still stands – 10 consecutive kipping pull-ups by month end.  Although if you saw my hands you might understand why I’ve backed off a little with practicing.  So I’ve added a new twist, but since I just came up with the idea this week, I can’t really call it a challenge for the month.  Every day I go to the box, I’m going to hang out upside-down at least 3 times.  I’m hoping to become less of a big chicken with handstands, and be able to hold one for longer.  I still stagger like a drunk when I get myself right-side-up again, but I’ll get over that too I hope.  One day I’ll get a handstand push-up.  One day…  


Sat. July 19  10:00am

Warrior Dash day – Christmas present FAIL.  My youngest sister went out to B.C. for the summer to work on our cousins organic veggie farm, and the middle McDowell daughter hurt her shoulder a few days ago.  Waking up this morning my choice was A: make the 2 1/2 hour drive to run the Warrior Dash all by myself OR B: stay home, actually make it to a Saturday WOD for once and maybe even get some more packing in.  Friday was also supposed to be a packing day, but there was a pool party/BBQ thing in the afternoon.  I did pack in the morning before the party so I wouldn’t feel too guilty.  😀  Ok, it was only one box…  Needless to say, the Saturday WOD option won:

In Teams of 2 complete:
0:00- 10:00 Minutes
10- Back Squats #185/#125  #105

At 15:00minutes- 25:00minutes
42-30-18 Reps of:
Hang Cleans #135/#95   #65
Burpees over the bar

At 25:00minutes complete:
10 Rounds of:
5- Deadlifts #315/#225   #105
20- Wallballs #30/#20   #14

Time – 9:35

Part 1 was an AMRAP, but both my partner and I totally lost count of how many rounds we got through.  It was a lot, or at least it felt that way.  Part 2 – Dammmmnn!  I didn’t see the HEAVY part for the kettlebell swings!?  Bummer, those could have been heavier.  For Part 3 we had literally 15 seconds to come up with some sort of plan for breaking up the reps.  Our plan sucked :p  You did 10 wallballs, “rested” while partner did 5 reads, then 10 more wallballs.  I use the term “rested” lightly, cause it was like 15 seconds to try to slow the old heart rate down enough and steady the legs for another 10 reps of hell.  Also, found out later that we could have taken the time to gather more weights to load up the bar more for the deadlifts.  Would heavier deads have been better?  Ah well, this was a super-fast moving WOD that really didn’t offer a ton of time to think.  Total friggin sweat-fest!  The burpees included sweat-splatter on the floor (but were possibly one of my favourite parts!) and by the time we got to the wallballs, the thing looked like it had been dunked in a pool.  Still, I LOVE partner WODs 😀 the energy we each send and receive steps up the intensity for SURE.

Fri. July 18  7:30am

Part 1.  For time:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Power Cleans   #75
200m Run after every set of Power Clean.

cPart 2.  Gymnastics- Pick 1 or 2 movements and aim for quality not for time
A.  50- Strict HSPU  ok, strict handstand holds
B.  50- Strict C2B
C.  10- Strict Muscle ups
D.  50- Strict TTB   OMG I can do these!  but not 50 yet 😮

Ok, as if the posted WOD wasn’t enough, Dave left a spicy little warm-up for us – 3x100m sled sprints.  We’re not talking a toboggan.  No, no…  I’ve raised the debate over how much the actual sled itself weighs (I say 10lbs+) but there’s no room for debate on the fact that the two fat plates stacked on that bad boy totalled 90lbs.  Anyways, I stepped up to the line as the clock counted us in without taking into consideration that the other two girls lined up with me were Wonder Woman and Zena.  3, 2, 1 GO!!  We all took off with the sleds, but about half way down the stretch I was DEAD!  The stretch is only 50m.  Still had to make it to the end, turn around and sprint back.  Not happening.  I made it to the end, turned around, put in a brief little trot, then walked with a constantly decreasing pace until I finally all but crawled the beast over the line.  Felt like I might die for a few minutes.  My quads felt like they were full of concrete and I considered where might be a discrete place to hurl.  It was awful!  Thankfully I wasn’t alone with my dislike in the warm-up selection cause we all b*tched so much that Coach Sharon reduced it from 3 rounds to 2.  Even Wonder Woman whined.


Thurs. July 17  6:00am 

AMRAP 15 Minutes:
10- Toes to Bar
15- Box Jump (24, 20″)
20- Wallballs (#20, 14#)

Result – 5 rounds + 1 t2b 

Part 2.  Gymnastics- Pick 1 or 2 movements and aim for quality not for time
A.  50- Strict HSPU  ok, strict handstand holds
B.  50- Strict C2B
C.  10- Strict Muscle ups  muscle up transitions
D.  50- Strict TTB  

I thought this could be really shitty, but actually liked it!  Got through the first 4 rounds of toes to bar totally unbroken, dropped off the bar once in round 5, and if I hadn’t gotten all excited and messed up my kip to start the 6th round I would have gotten more reps in.

Tues. July 15  6:00am

I don’t know what happened today that was different from any other day, but today I just felt awesome.  At 6:00am!  And throwing weight up over my head!  Say what?  I know!  Every time I see overhead squats posted I get the crossfit newbie mixture of excitement and fear.  Usually I end up on my butt.  Several times.  Not today kids!  Ok, the weight is just peanuts for some, but before today the heaviest I had ever gone for OHS was #65.  Today things just came together and for once I didn’t feel all wobbly with every squat kinda like this :


Overhead Squat: 3-3-3-3-3-3-3  #85  PR BABY!!

Cashout: Bulletproof Shoulders

PR bacon

purely WODing

Next time I disappear for a while, I’ll at least try to stay on top of WOD logging… Lots of catching up to do!

Mon. July 14 7:30am

I GOT SOME DOUBLE UNDERS!!!  😀   YA-BUDDY!!!  Ok, only 4, but it’s a start and I’ll take it!  My deadlifts could have been heavier, but I was not feeling well at all before the 3-2-1 countdown began and switched me into beast mode, so I opted to take things in stride.

100- Double Unders -then-   60 sec DU attempts
3 rounds of:
15- Deadlifts #225/#155   #105
35- Abmat Sit-ups -then-
100- Double Unders    3 min DU attempts

Sun. July 13 10:00am

All said and done, possible one of the best WODs ever 😀 and probably the sweatiest!!  Like, I think I left a puddle on the rower, and I know the burpees resulted in a snail-trail of sweat cause I kept having to move my hands back each couple of reps to prevent slipping!

 0:00 – 5:00 mins: 50-Wallballs   #14  4:11
5:00 -10:00 mins : 30- Box Jump Overs   3:45
10:00 – 15:00 mins : 800m Run   3:52
15:00 – 20:00 mins: 1000m Row   4:50
20:00 – 25:00 mins: 50- Burpees   4:20
25:00 mins-: 30- Strict Pull-ups   ring pulls 2:44
Post times from all 6 stations

Fri. July 11 7:30am

Wow!  I generally know better than to underestimate a hero WOD!  I also know that anytime Coach Sharon thinks something sounds awesome it will probably be hell. This was one of those times. Just reading the WOD, I expected it to be pretty taxing on the ‘ole legs, but what I didn’t consider was just how much upper body was involved!!  The push-ups were BRUTAL. Then wallballs?! Yup.  Caught a few of those with my face.  Then the KBS brought the Popeye style swollen forearms that made the deadlifts way more challenging than I had imagined!  Like, #65 deads and by the end all I could manage was maybe 5 in a row!

“Jacinto Storm 2014″

For Time:
75- Double Unders   150 singles
75- Air Squats
75- Pushups
75- Wallballs 20lbs/14lbs   Rx
75- Kettlebell Swings 24kg/16kg    Rx
75- Deadlifts #95/#65   Rx
75- Double Unders    150 singles

Time – 23:12   #AWFUL

Thurs. July 10 6:00am

My dearest deadlifts, feels like a while since seen each other…  Such a lie.  I see you all the time.  But every day that our paths do not cross I miss you…  Love always, Kate.

Deadlifts: 3-3-3   #175-#175-#19

Core Cashout:
100- Abmat Sit-ups
On the Minute – 5 Calorie Row

When it comes to Abmat sit-ups, there is NONE of the love that I feel for deads.  I can deal with the calluses that form from the pull-up bar/barbell.  I have learned to accept the lovely collarbone bruises that can result from a good clean session.  I can even deal with the lovely shade of purple my shins have seen from box bites.  ALL of these situations are justified.  The wounds that result from a heavy dose of Abmat sit-ups are completely uncalled for.

Wed. July 9 5:15pm

Wednesday is just not my style, but the wicked rain on Sunday night flooded the box and resulted in all Monday classes being cancelled.  So there was not much chance I was going to let myself talk myself out of going Wednesday 😀  It was not the kind of WOD I would look at and think “oooo!  This looks FUN!”  but it wasn’t the kind that made me want to find a dark corner to hide in either.  I did pretty alright 🙂

AMRAP 20 Minutes:
7- Power Clean #135/#95    #75
7- Burpees
200m Run

Result – 8 rounds + 2 cleans

Tues. July 8 6:00am

This one was fun!  I didn’t expect to come back to the wallballs after completing the farmers carry as out of breath as I did, but it was awesome.  Coach Dave set a challenge to see if any teams could reach 300 reps and we nailed it!  Although I do have my partner to thank for being awesome, cause as hard as I pushed I  got 145 reps in.

AMRAP 15 Minutes:
Teams of 2 SMASH out:
Max Reps: Wallballs #20/#14   Rx
60m Farmers Carry HEAVY KBS or HEAVY Sandbags   24kg KBs
Partner 1 starts with Wallballs Partner 2 starts with 60m Farmers Carry Switch when Partner 2 returns.
Score is total Wallballs completed.

Result – 302 wallballs 😀


clearly speaking

This right here is why I tend to favour the early morning crossfit sessions.  Sunday’s WOD is at 10am.  It’s now 8:30 and already my mind is all over the place trying to set the plan in order for the rest of my day.  When I go to the box for 7:30, or even better 6:00, I don’t have the time to get mentally distracted or worse – talk myself out of wanting to go!  The talk myself out part only comes into consideration when after work is my only option.  Those ones are the hardest.

Yesterday was supposed to be a day off, but I went in to work in the morning partly to cover for DK who is still off with the whole new baby thing, and also to prevent myself from going to CFD and setting myself up for the “are you over-training again” watchful eye.  When I left work, headed to the coffee shop up the street to borrow their free wifi and soak up a little sunshine on the patio.  For the first time EVER in my adult years, this happened:

imageMe?!?!  In shorts that don’t come to my knees?!?!  What is happening?  That’s right, I rocked them.  And not just in the privacy of my own apartment either.  On the patio, in the coffee shop, even in the grocery store.  I decided yesterday that I want to try the Whole30 again, but with a different focus this time.  I mean, I was successful in my purpose the first time through, but while I don’t think my efforts were flawed, it was the objective that could use re-direction.  My whole goal had been to get rid of sugar from my diet, which I did.  BUT… I just replaced the sugar with nuts.  What my goal should have been was to get rid of the “treat/snack” mentality.  Plus, nuts have been suggested as a cause of inflammation that isn’t beneficial to autoimmune disease.  And I need a new challenge.

Back to yesterday.  With just over 2 weeks till my closing date, what my list of priorities should have been on my day off – packing.  What they turned into – work, tan, grocery shop, cook, pack 2 boxes then decide that I need better, smaller boxes for books and give up entirely rather than moving on and finding something else to pack.  Fail.  But the Tex-Mex casserole I made is pretty awesome.  Not pretty, but awesome.


Ever wake up one morning and just feel like suddenly everything is clear?  I don’t know why or how it happened, but Friday morning felt like I had emerged from a dense fog and everything was fresh and new.  Weird.  Driving to the box for the 7:30 coffee WOD I just felt awesome for the first time in days.  This was all by my own agenda too.  When I chatted later with Coach Sharon about how crappy I’d felt for the last few days and how much my WODs had sucked too, she made a comment about how when your body and mind are under stress already, it’s sometimes not the best idea to add to that.  Aka 5 rounds of 400m run/row & 15 overhead squats.  Love you “Nancy”, but this week you kicked me when I was down.

Fri. July 4:

Any-who… haha that expression still makes me think of my Grandma… Friday morning I felt awesome, which was probably a good thing cause this WOD was a good one!

Back Squats: 5*5*5*5*5*   #105

*= 1- Legless Rope Climb+ 4 Alternating Pistol Squats+ 6 “L” Shape Pullups

Squat Mobility – Accumulate 5 minutes in an Air Squat

I was a little hesitant to go too heavy with the back squats since my hip is still sketchy, but 105 actually felt pretty light.  Except when I tried to bounce out of the bottom on my 5th rep and sort of screeched to a halt when the momentum ran out!  I didn’t bail, but the rest of the standing up part seemed to take forever.  Legless rope climb?  Hahahaha you funny!  I watched in awe as some of the girls made it look easy, then wrapped my feet in and climbed business as usual.  Another sketchy hip issue – pistol squats.  I’m going to have the most un-uniform BUTT if the hip doesn’t get happy again soon.  4 right leg pistols was my option, and worked on the ‘ole kipping pull-ups for the last part.  10 unbroken by July 31 is the goal.

duh, duh, DUH… favourite part of todays WOD?  The cashout!  Yes, I’m twisted.  My mind didn’t really process the “accumulate” part until afterwards, cause I did that sucker unbroken.  When the timer hit 5 minutes, my option was either sit down or stand up out of it.  Went for the stand option, obviously.  My legs were NOT impressed.  My mind LOVED it.


the title somewhat sums up what my life has felt like lately.  I’m trying to figure out the new grove with the 2 stores and it’s not falling into place as smoothly as I had hoped.  Plus the move is stressing me out :p  In the past, moving meant packing shit.  Moving shit.  And addressing cheques to a different landlord.  That’s about it.  Buying a place is a whole new game.  I’m so ready for completion.

Thurs. July 3:

Ok.  I gave myself a bit of a “pass” on my shitty performance last night.  It had been a BRUTAL day.  My stomach had been in knots since the morning, I hadn’t eaten much, certainly wasn’t as well hydrated as usual and I was mentally exhausted.  Figured this morning’s WOD would be my redemption song.

OTM for 30 Minutes:
Odd Minutes: Burpees  5 rounds 10 reps / 10 rounds 10 reps
Even Minutes: Row for Calories  11-12 cal per round

The first 2 minutes each athlete will work for :40 totaling as many burpees and calories as possible.
For the remaining 28 minutes you will try to match those numbers you established during the first 2 minutes.

Not the kind of WOD I’d ever read and think “YES!  This is going to be FUN!”  but both manageable movements on a regular day.  During the warm-up the barfy feeling returned so I strategically took the lane closest to the doors!  2 minutes in, I had to stop for a minute.  Was ready to quit and we’d just started!  Coach Dave looked at me and asked if my hip was hurting and suggested push-ups instead of burpees.  My hip probably would have manged the burpees all the way through, but I was kinda relieved to switch to a movement that I could maintain without hurling.  I don’t know what my problem is.  I don’t like it!  I’m not the girl who eases the intensity when things get rough.

burpees2hehe… it always makes me laugh when spell check doesn’t recognize “burpees”

Wed. July 2:

Working at MY store today in Waterloo {insert happy dance HERE} which is awesome cause it’s my crew, and cause there are actually things to do! Twice the business level of Cambridge. Day started out all happy and good… until I received some news regarding my down payment $$$ that literally fell like a giant BOMB on my little world. I wanted to run away from my life. Or lift heavy shit. But thankfully –

a: I have an awesome real estate agent/coach Sharon who reminded me to think positive

b: I work for some great people

Cause fingers crossed things are going to come together.  It was a morning of hell.

AND tonight, I’ll get to lift heavy shit.

5 Rounds For Time:
400m Run  1 run / 4 row
15- Overhead Squats, #95/#65   #35

Result – something sloooow

Ok.  Headed to the box with great intention.  Really was looking forward to the chance to burn off some of the frustration of the day.  Then came the warm-up.  Kicked myself up into my first handstand hold no problem, but the second I kicked out of it I felt like I was going to barf :p  that doesn’t happen to be, like ever.  To complicate things further, my hip was still bugging me from the awkward jarring shuffle with my mom on Sunday.  So after gimping through my very first 400m run in Nancy, I switch to the rower.  Not more fun, but less painful.  I got through all 5 rounds of overhead squats unbroken, but with just the bar 😦 I damn well should have!

Tues July 1:

To all my Canadian friends… Happy Canada Day!  😀

Ya know what that means to me?  A whole day of “what the heck do I do with myself?”  Unfortunately the weather is pretty crappy cause lord knows I could really use a little sunshine.  After getting up yesterday at 4:45 for my new 6am Monday WOD routine, it was all I could do to force myself to stay up past 9 last night!  I had every intention of a late night seeing as I actually had the chance to sleep in today.  And I did!  It was after 6 by the time I rolled out of bed.  (lame.  yup.)  Didn’t let the dark clouds stop me from a trip to St. Jacob’s for the farmer’s market.  Got poured on, but it wasn’t a total waste of time.  Came home with a HUGE cauliflower 😀  Wow, how simple the pleasures I enjoy.  After getting home and drying off from my cauli find, I finally made myself suck it up and start packing.  3 weeks till my closing date… about friggin time I know!  Just as I ran out of boxes, got a text from a CFD friend and an invite to a pool party/BBQ.  Hells yes!  It still looked pretty gloomy at my place, but got to St. Clements and it was nothing but sunshine 😀  Like… got a sun burn.  Finally!  My pasty white arms and shoulders were so in need of a little color!  And I’m not talking this kind:

This past weekend my mom and I had the Color Me Rad 5km run.


Yes, we look pretty gross actually :p  The colors just turn into a hot mess once layered on and combined with the stupid-hot/humid weather we ran in.  It was good though.  My mom had wanted to try after I did one of these last year, so I registered the 2 of us for her 60th birthday.  Ok.  I wouldn’t call myself a runner, although I really do enjoy it.  Well, not a marathon runner like my mom.  Growing up, anyone who wasn’t a runner was looked down on by my mom.  I fell into that group.  Add on top of that I’m not a vegetarian, it’s almost amazing she has any respect for me!  Anyways, the run on Sunday was an eye-opener for me.  Kinda like finding out for the first time that Santa isn’t real.  I’m going to sound like a snob here maybe, but when I told my mom to set the pace and I’d keep up, I never expected to be going so SLOW!  It wasn’t a run by any stretch of the imagination.  I’m not sure you could even call it a jog… the awkward shuffle I fought to maintain with her left me sore for a day after.  Like, I broke to a walk a few times and kept up no problem.  Anyways, I’m done bitching.  My tight hips will recover.  But I’ve added another to the list of weekends I’ll be “busy” next year when someone asks me to do something with them.  Lesson learned.



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