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Archive for December, 2014

Naturally awkward :)

I’m the kind of person who sees no shame in laughing at myself.  I mean, I’ve never been the type to intentionally do something stupid just to make others laugh, but I can be completely uncoordinated at times which can provide some funny situations.  “Naturally awkward” is a phrase my old boss (and good friend) has used to describe me many times.  Anyways… this week I have put a good chunk of effort into working to improve my Power Snatch, Squat Snatch, Hang Snatch, etc.  And… I’ve ended up on my butt probably every day at least once.  This morning, post-WOD I was working on the full squat snatch (cause I’ve somewhat got the hang of the hang version 😉 )  Used my HIPS (I know, there’s a first for everything.) and tossed the bar up over my head with so much power that the bar soared behind me and next thing I knew I was sitting on the ground.  Wolverine gave me a questioning look as I sat for a minute and laughed to myself.  “If I fail a lift, I always seem to end up laughing” I commented.  He lectured me a bit about “there are no failed lifts… bla, bla…” but I’ll stick with a combination of suggestions Coach Dave and Coach Sharon made forever ago.  Don’t be afraid to fail.  Failing means you’re pushing beyond what you know you can do.  It’s the only way you’ll improvement!  When you fail, don’t beat yourself up over it.  Laugh it off, and move on.  I’ve been laughing a lot this week.  Hopefully that means I’m on the path to improving!

I had sort of decided in my mind that instead of pouring out the giant laundry list of WODs I’ve missed blogging about, I would just go through and highlight the best ones.  But when it came down to it, I just couldn’t bring myself to chose which ones should be cut.  Once the work was done, they were all awesome.  Maybe next time I should make the “to post, or not to post” decision before the WOD.  Cause some were pretty terrifying until the 3, 2, 1 – GO!

Utterly exhausted. That pretty much sums up the last few days. My sisters came to Waterloo Saturday so we could spend some time together. As we’ve all grown up, and continue to do so, we’ve become busy in our own little lives and haven’t gotten the chance to hang out much. After lots of good conversation, starting a jigsaw puzzle that proved to be quite challenging, hitting the grocery store to grab some stuff for Sunday’s “Christmas” meal and some food for my non-Paleo siblings, we decided on Home Alone as a good movie idea.  I was falling asleep on the couch by 8:30.

My body would probably really appreciate if I would lay off the crossfit until I manage to get some energy back, but since my routine involves hitting the early WODs, I have enough gas in the tank to get through the longer grinder-style workouts that have been drafted up the last while. Plus, my mind needs the release. Boxing week is pure hell in the retail world. And I LOVE a good 20 minute+ kind thing.

Wed. Dec. 31:

“Open Gym” – Happy New Years’ Eve!

OTM, 10 Minutes:
3 – Burpees
5 – Hang Squat Clean Thrusters  #55
Goat Work:  Squat Snatch #65 & Handstand Holds

Tues. Dec. 30:

Part 1. AMRAP in 5 Minutes:
10- Bar- Facing Burpees
20- Chest-Bar Pullups  ring pulls
Part 2. At the 5:00 Minutes: Establish a 1- Rep MAX Hang Squat Snatch   #70 (#75 hang power snatch.  After landing on my BUTT trying to squat it)
Part 3. At the 10:00 Minutes:
25- Overhead Squats  #55
75- Double Unders  several
25- Calorie Row
75- Double Unders  several
25- Overhead Squats  #55

Oh look!  Another odd ball PR!  My Power Snatch became #75 on Dec. 24, and my Hang Power Snatch became #75 on Dec. 30.  If I could have landed the Hang Squat Snatch at #75 I’d have the triple crown.

Mon. Dec. 29:

Part 1. Deadlift: Build up to a heavy set of 5 Reps   #205 (PR?  is 5RM a “thing”?)
Part 2. AMRAP in 3 Minutes
10- Wallballs 20lbs/14lbs
20- Double Unders
REST 1 Minute
AMRAP in 3 Minutes
MAX Burpees
REST 1 Minute
AMRAP in 3 Minutes
10- Wallballs 20lbs/14lbs
20- Double Unders

Sun. Dec. 28:

5 Rounds of:

3- Power Snatch (155/105)   #65

2- Rounds of Cindy (1 Round = 3 5 Pull-ups/6 10 Push-ups/9 15 Air Squats)

1- Rope Climb

Time – Fast!  But I scaled Cindy :-S One day I’ll “man up”  Mid WOD Coach Sharon headed my way as I stepped to the bar.  “Don’t panic!  Just take a deep breath and lift the bar!”  and I did.  I’m not giving up.  Ok, I like rope climbs, and this one only had 1 rep per round, but sweet jeezuz!  By round 4 my arms were TOAST!  I know, I know… rope climb should be all legs… but tell my arms that!!

Sat. Dec. 27:

Teams of 4- AMRAP 25 Minutes:

4000m Row

100 Dumbbell Snatches – Heavy #35

40 Thrusters (75/55) #55

40 Thrusters (95/65) #65

40 Thrusters (115/80) #75

40 Thrusters (135/95) #85  — 20 reps (5 each)

40 Thrusters (155/105)

Max Thrusters (185/135) in Time Remaining

Score = Max thrusters.  So… -60??  We only got half way through the 4th group of 40 thrusters :-S  Fun WOD though!  LOVE the dumbbell snatches 😀  Row was nearly barf-worthy.  Not sure I’ve ever done an 85lb thruster either, let alone 5.  Felt good though!  Plus the warm-up involved 200 wallballs and post-WOD was 50 push-ups and 50 pull-ups.  Also could have contributed to my eyelids refusing to stay open before 9pm.

Wed. Dec. 24:

“12 Days of Christmas” Invictus, scaled:

1 SDHP #55

2 Thrusters #55

3 Push Press #55

4 Power Cleans #55

5 Power Snatch #55

6 KBS #35

7 Pull-ups ring pulls

8 Knees to Elbows sit-ups

9 Box Jumps (24″/20″)

10 Double Unders

11 Burpees

12 OH Walking Lunges #25

Time – 25:56

This was a fun one!  I’m not usually a fan of open gym days, cause I’m so out of the habit of having to come up with stuff to do on my own.  But when I arranged with a friend to meet at 6am and we found this little beauty as one of the options on the white board, it was a done deal!  Watched the tail end of the 5am group exceed the 40 minute time cap on this bad boy and I was a little nervous.  Once we got started, rounds 1-4 went really quick… then came the snatch.  First 5 were messy.  Second 5 improved.  By the time we got to rounds 10, 11 & 12, I wasn’t dreading the snatch each time.  Then post-WOD, I put in a bit more practice and PR’d with #75.  Yes, you read right.  My Power Snatch PR is 75lbs.  And my Strict Press PR is 80lbs.  Naturally awkward.  But it’s progress, and I’ll take it.

Soooo my Christmas gifts to myself – a #75 Power Snatch, followed by my first ever handstand push-up!  (and 4 more, just to prove to myself it was no fluke!!)  There are videos, but I can’t post them so you’ll just have to believe me 🙂

simply put

mistakesJust a quick one, with a fellow lifter and blog writer in mind 😉  Although this really can apply to anyone…  How you deal with failure really does say a LOT more about who you are than the actual failure itself.

mash up

It’s been a while, but I’ve been so busy!!  And this post spans 5 days.  I’m over it. 🙂 Happy Holidays! I didn’t feel justified to spend any time rambling online when I still had Christmas shopping to do, but the last two days I was finally successful with some critical bits that had been haunting me.  This little gem was like hunting for a Wii a few years ago! After 8 stores, my luck finally changed!  Operation Olaf – complete!  Had to get the nosy one in the back 😉

imageFunny part of taking this photo below… When Dave told us “ok smile!” You know that even the three facing the wall made sure to do so.  We laughed about it after.  CFD sisterhood 🙂  Best family a girl could wish for!

New swag is in!!  #proudtorepresent

New swag is in!! #proudtorepresent

Coach Sharon gets the front facing spotlight today cause today she almost made me cry.  My blog is no secret, more to the point there are quite often comments from Sharon of “I know I better be careful or McDowell will write about me!”  Today was a different story.  For the first time, my ‘please just walk away before I start crying like a baby!’ face had no effect.  “Not leaving you alone this time! Today you’re going to LIFT!” Came my way more than once.  Along with “put THAT in your blog!!”  Done 😉  Sharon and Dave get on all of us to #bebetter cause they give a damn.  That’s exactly what makes me want to work hard.  Today was a day of Kate vs. the damn snatch again.  And a complete mental train wreck.  I should be able to do this by now!  Some days I can do it, but today wasn’t one of them.  70lbs, over and over… not an issue.  75lbs… Nope. So for part 2 of today’s WOD where we had the option of Grace or Isabel (of which the website left out the OR part.  So naturally I fully expected to have to do both and mumbled a comment along the lines of “ok good! I’m not really that kind of girl” which phew no one seemed to catch :-p ) I went with Grace!  30 Clean and Jerk my brain could handle.


^^^ that’s #75.  Almost looks like I could have completed the lift!  Need to remember to throw my shoulders back though and stop only focusing on “open your damn hips!!” cause that cue still doesn’t seem to translate.

Mon. Dec. 15:

So, I made the decision a few days ago that Monday (like, today) I was going to give up nuts for a month.  Not as some sort of mental challenge, (although that it will definitely be!) not as an effort to cut calories or lose weight, (yup, the calorie cut is a given as well) but the reason I want to give this a try has to do with one of the key factors in why I was attracted to this whole Paleo thing in the FIRST PLACE.  From March 2012, I saw nutrition in a light that suggested I could help manage my disease better without drugs!  One of the key issues with an autoimmune illness is inflammation.  It can cause a whole lot of trouble and could be a large factor in the wicked nerve pain I’ve been dealing with in my leg for years now.  It’s gotten to the point it’s preventing me from sleeping well.  That’s where I draw the line.  I love sleep.  So when a friend sent me an article about how the omega6 fats found in nuts can cause inflammation, my mind was made up.  A  month nut free in hopes of some relief.  December maybe wasn’t the best month to try though.  I’m one day down, 30 to go, and I’ve already wanted to kill someone or something more than once.  Mostly my assistant, but at least he’s used to my crazy by now.  I decided this year I’ll ask Santa to drop him off on the island of misfit toys.  He’d fit right in!


Random act of crossfit…. I got a HANDSTAND PUSH-UP!!!   woooooo!!  It was kipping, and on a day where I was supposed to be practicing muscle ups, but I did it!  Used an abmat to avoid smacking my head on the floor, but just one.  And nailed the full lock-out at the top.  Then got caught laughing.  “Are you giggling McDowell??” Coach Dave asked from the other side of the wall.

Griswald Christmas lights, “Seriously people?!?  You live on a MAIN street!” Brampton is a disaster this year in terms of tasteful Christmas decor it seems.  Less really is more sometimes.  Expecially when 3-5 totally different light styles are thrown all on the same house.  On their own, probably beautiful.  But all together, “ooo pretty” becomes “ewww tacky”.  Just my opinion.



clean slate

December has thrown me off my blogging groove already, and it’s just begun.  I’m so far behind my WOD logging that I’m just going to use the old pen and paper log book method for everything leading up to yesterday.  Cause yesterday was awesome.  Wait… they’re pretty much all awesome.  Well, once they are over anyways…  anyways, I’m wiping the slate clean a little and moving forward.  I booked the weekend off work cause I mixed my days up and thought the Santa Pursuit 5km run was today.  It’s next Saturday.  Oops!!  At least I was correct in remembering our CFD Toys for Tots event is tomorrow 🙂  Good times in the form of a little Fight Gone Bad.  My only goal this year… No crying!!  Last year I sobbed to my wall ball, but this year the Queen (my mother) has actually promised to come check it out.  Although, the event is still more than 24 hours away.  Lots of time for her to come up with some sort of excuse not to come as has happened every other time.  I don’t even know why I care that she comes.  She really doesn’t like this whole “crossfit thing”.  I keep shrugging her negative comments off and reminding her there are far worse things I could be addicted to. determined So, although December has spiralled out of control a bit in terms of my free time for pretty much anything (including blogging AND food prep!! :o) It’s been all for enjoyable reasons 🙂  and with today off I have some time to catch up on all the things I’ve been pushing aside.  Wed. and Thurs. there was a Rick Vaive Celebrity Hockey Tournament in Kitchener in support of Easter Seals which my store was sponsoring.  Our sponsorship involved event photography which meant two 12 hour work days for this kid between working in my store and shooting the event.  Thankfully it was hockey and I love shooting that stuff 🙂  Cause I was ready to kill my assistant manager a few times.  That’s a whole different story.  Friday I was in the middle of an overhead squat when a school bus full of teenagers pulled up in front of the box.  WTF?  Haha!  Field trip!!  Ok, a little jealous not going to lie.  My high school field trips were pretty lame in comparison.  A local high school brought in 3 groups of kids for a little WOD action.  Best comment of the day – “oh my GOD!!  This is just the warm up?!?”  hahahaha!  Just wait kid :p  They did a 12 minute AMRAP, circuit style with rowing, box jumps, burpees and wallballs.  It was pretty neat 🙂 and Sharon asked if I would take some pics, so I stuck around gladly.  As a kid, my happiest moments were on the back of a horse or with a camera in my hands.  CFD is bringing back a love of photography for me 🙂  It’s a happy thing again. Fri. Dec. 5:

Teams of 2 SMASH  OUT: 40-30-20-10 Power Snatch #95/#65   #55 Box Jump Overs (24/20) Immediately followed by: 40-30-20-10 Overhead Squats #95/#65  #55 Toes to Bar Immediately followed by: 40-30-20-10 Wallballs (20/14)  #12 Burpees

Time – 34:17

OMG!!  When I read this one Thursday night I thought “well, good thing I don’t work till 1:00 cause this is going to be a looooong one!!”  But I loved it 🙂  My usual speedster of a partner is a popular one.  When 2 other people gave her the look:

partner WOD

I turned my attention to another girl who I’ve paired up with before.  A newer crossfitter who I’ve enjoyed watching improve week after week.  I don’t say “newer” like it’s a bad thing!  This chick works hard!  Anyways, we broke each of the movements up in sets of 5 reps and just kept moving!  The snatches were ok.  I started the box jump overs as step ups, but there was too much spinny-twirly action involved so I scraped that and went with the jump option 🙂  The overhead squats were probably my biggest victory today.  Ok, I maybe could have slapped a pair of 5’s on and gone Rx, but the movement felt great mechanically speaking today.  Win.  Switched things up a little for the wallballs and used the post in the center of the box instead of a wall.  I’ve never done that before, but I liked it!  Made the accuracy element much higher with such a narrow target.  And the wall ball wasn’t Rx weight cause for the life of me I couldn’t find a #14 ball!!  My options seemed to be 12, 20, or 30?  12 it is.  So, it didn’t take all day, but it also didn’t fall in to the time domain Coach Dave suggested of 20 minutes.  Whatever.  I LOVE a good chipper 🙂

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