J is for Judy

I met J is for Judy in nursing school. We were classmates. From the very first moment I met Judy she had me in stitches laughing. Judy is just one of those people that you just want to be around. If you could imagine doing a program in nine months that normally takes people two years you may start to understand the stress that nursing school had on us. Always overwhelmed, tired and annoyed at our program there was a lot to talk about. Judy had a way of taking these nuancies of nursing school and making them a laughing matter. Her frank honesty, slight cynicism  and humor made school a whole lot easier to get through.

After nursing school Judy moved to Las Vegas and I stayed in Virginia. Some how we both found CrossFit, Paleo and Blogs. I urge you to check out her blog J is for Judy. You won’t be disappointed. On her website you will find unique, easy and tasty Paleo recipes, adventures in CrossFit and product reviews. She also includes life adventures to include her experiences as a military wife, dog owner, and much more. Lastly, every week you have the mid-week mixer to look forward to. This is where she shows you how to make a completely new mixed drink using fresh ingredients. Um…how can you not check out her blog!! To entice you even more I often my find myself in a fit of silent giggles reading her blog. Her slight inappropriateness and blunt honesty won’t  disappoint. What are you waiting for go check it out for yourself: J is for Judy

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P.S. Her name isn’t really Judy 😉

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Ocean Salt

I love everything about CrossFit. If that is not obvious, then this must be your first time reading this blog and in that case welcome ;). Oh by the way….I love CrossFit. I have never sweated so much working out as I have in CrossFit.  Prior to CrossFit, upon returning from the  gym, my husband used to joke with me  if I had even been working out or if I had just gotten coffee instead because not only would there be no sweat but I would barely have a hair out of place. Now a days I am not only drenched with sweat after a workout but literally dripping. I love it!!! I feel like the sweat is my reward for working so hard.

Here comes the only draw back to CrossFit. Since I sweat so much my skin has been on a rampage ….boo!!! I have not had break-outs on my face since I can remember until I started CrossFit. Not cool….so not cool…..I have already been through those awkward teenage years….no need to re-live them.

Clearly I am not giving up CrossFit so I must find another way to solve this problem. A head-band may be an option but I have not gone there yet. I have though found a wonderful facial scrub. I have only used it twice but it has made such a noticeable difference I wanted to share it with the world. In trying to eat non-processed, natural foods it only made sense to try and use natural soaps and lotions. So far, I have experimented with products from the bath and body shop called LUSH. They make soaps, shampoos, lotions…you name it from fresh ingredients. All products are in a recycled bottle and all products have an expiration date (because they use fresh ingredients). I haven’t bought a product that I didn’t like. The items can be a bit pricey but everything lasts for a good amount of time. My only complaint is that some times that staff is a little too helpful. Sometimes I just like to browse in peace.

Anyways, I went to the store last week in hopes of finding a natural miracle to help with my skin…and I think I did. It is called Ocean Salt. It is a face and body scrub that is absolutely divine. It is not an every day wash maybe like twice a week but it has already made a remarkable change in my skin. You can feel the sea salt exfoliating the instant you put it on. My skin is silky smooth afterwards. Plus it smells like the ocean air and I love the beach!!!

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Double Under Flailing

I am terrible at double unders!! (double unders are where the rope passes under your feet twice during a single jump) Every time I see them on the workout I cringe a little. I try to take a positive approach and see it as an opportunity to practice and become better but in my hearts of hearts I am always wishing that they weren’t part of the work out.

I find double unders incredibly frustrating. Unlike everything else in CrossFit…the “try harder” attitude gets you no-where.  To be successful at double unders you have to be relaxed and kind of go with the flow.  You have to find a rhythm.  Of course I want to continue to get better at CrossFit which means that I must get better at double unders.

About a month ago my mom who also does CrossFit offered me the opportunity to go to a double under workshop at her gym. Of course I jumped on this opportunity. The closer it got to the workshop the more excited I became. Over the course of the weeks leading up to the class I had come to the conclusion that the reason I had not mastered double unders is because I was missing some “special cue or step.”

I was sure that I would learn the secret to double unders at the workshop. The cost of the class also came with a jump rope. This also further convinced me that my lack of double under proficiency was not my fault but rather I lacked the proper equipment. (mind you I had already spent money to get a customized speed rope) I  was convinced that this workshop was going to be a magical experience and that by the end I would be a double under master.

When arriving at the workshop we were handed a pink plastic jump rope. Although the jump rope was pretty it looked like I could have bought it at the dollar store. My optimism for the class was not swayed. At this point I was convinced that I was a double under flail because of some special step that I was missing. To my grave disappointment there was no special step, hint or cue. Over the course of two hours we went through a series of drills, techniques and skills to be practiced in order to get better a double unders.

Through out the class my frustration and the frustrations of others (they must have had the same thoughts about magically obtaining double under mastery in less the two hours) increased. At the end of the two hours I was no closer to obtaining double under mastery then before the class.

This class unfortunately or fortunately confirmed what I inherently knew.  The only way I am going to get better at double unders is by practicing double unders. This is really the secret of life. If you really want to excel at anything you have to be willing to put in the work. I think in society now-a-days we are too quick to think that there is somehow a quick fix to everything, be it weight loss, business success or what not. The truth is success only comes to those who not only work hard but work smart.

So until the double under fairy blesses me with magical double under skills I am left with taking some extra time at the end of each class to practice. After all practice makes perfect.

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Yes…yes I am…when it actually happens.

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Um definitely….

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The goal!!

Tape it up!

I knew that I loved CrossFit the day that we did the Hero WOD “Murph“. Hero WODs (Work out of the day) are normally brutal workouts that commemorate someone that gave their life for our country. I love the Hero WODs because I think that they optimize what is CrossFit. They are about community. They are about pushing yourself to the limits both physically and mentally.

CrossFt is definitely a physically intense sport but it is also a mentally intense sport. Anyone can push themselves to do more when it is easy. They question is will you keep moving when your lungs and legs are burning and all you want to do is quit but you have only finished half the workout. How about then?? What will you be saying to yourself to get yourself through the workout? It is in these workouts that not only the physically tough but mentally tough excel!

The first time I completed the “Murph” WOD will have a special place in my heart because it is the first time in over five years that my hands “ripped”. There was a time where my hands were rough and calloused from hours and hours of gymnastics practice on the bars. Up until December when I started CrossFit my hands were baby-soft. The day I did “Murph”, I got a rip in the middle of the workout. I remember I was tired, sweaty, sore and loving every minute of it. I love the challenge of pushing my mind to finish the workout and getting my body to follow.

Since this workout we have done many workouts that involve an excessive amount of pull-ups. With pull-ups my addiction to chalk becomes obvious. This is an addiction  that evolved in my gymnastics days. I LOVE CHALK. I like the way that it helps me grip the bar better as well as helps me focus. I use the time to get chalk as a moment to re-focus on what I am doing and take a small breather. Unfortunately, excessive chalk use leads to excessive rips….woops. So I thought I would teach everyone how to make tap grips. Tape grips are a cheap easy way to protect your hands. Tape grips can be reusable….not forever but at least for a couple workouts. I see lots of people with both leather and dowel grips. At this point I don’t see a need for them. I very particular about my grips and how they fit and feel. I think if I had them I would waste more time putting them on and adjusting them then anything. Also, I feel that the more CrossFit I do the tougher my hands will get on their own and the less rips I will see. Plus…the more pull-ups I do in a row means less chalk…and less rips.

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My hands after the Hero WOD “Loredo” which involved a total of 144 pull-ups!!!

HOW TO MAKE TAPE GRIPS

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Choose sports tape that you can buy at pretty much any store or CVS. You want the tape to be 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches wide

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You want to tear off two pieces that are about twice the length of your hand. Take one piece and fold the sticky portions towards each other so that the tape is now half the original width and  that the sticky portions of the tape are on the inside.

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Now take the thin piece of tape and fold them so they lay next to each other like above. This should create a little hole near the top that will be for your finger. I test the hole that I create by placing it on my hand to make sure that I am leaving myself a big enough hole for my finger.

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Now take the second piece of tape that you measured off at the beginning and line it up with the back of the folded tape piece that you just made. Make sure to leave room for your finger and then fold the tape over the front up to the finger hole.

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It should look like this when you are done.

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I wear the tape grip over the middle finger. This is the portion of the tape grip that is re-usable.

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Next tape around your wrist and you are ready to go!!

Austin!! Keeping it Weird…..

So the theme for this blog is fun, fitness, food and figuring it all out. I thought it was about time that I posted some “fun.” Right now I am writing to you from Austin, Tx…Yeah!! Mini-vacation!! I have always had a strong love for mexican food and margaritas so I feel right at home in Austin. I am here with my friend Rina and my new found friend Lauren. We have had a lot of fun exploring the city, food and talking with the locals. Below are some of the pictures from my adventure thus far!!

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Yeah Austin!! Some of the scenery from around town….

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Lauren and I with the bat expert. Every night hundreds of bats fly out from under one of the bridges in Austin. It is quite a sight and honestly a little terrifying.

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Little did we know that this was going to become an animal discovery adventure!!

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Hanging out with some amazing people 🙂

For me visiting a new place is as much about the food as it is exploring. Visiting Austin, Tx is no different except that this is the first time that I have gone on vacation Paleostyle. Ironically, the day before I left I got my copy of Paleo Magazine and in it was the article “Road Trip: Sticking to Paleo on the Go.” The article was well written and informative but I think it was geared to those who want to be strict Paleo on their adventures. To be strict Paleo, especially when away from home base, requires a lot of preparation and planning. For me, vacation is supposed to be fun and consuming my vacation with stringent requirements of where and what I am going to eat takes a lot of the fun out of going away. One thing that the article stressed, and I wholly agree with, is that Paleo is a lifestyle not a diet. What this means to me is that if I were on a “diet,” vacation would be the time to throw caution to the wind and eat whatever hits your plate. A “lifestyle” means that you don’t venture too far from what your norm is. Although, I know I feel and function better on a stricter Paleo I refuse to spend my whole vacation just eating salad at every meal….BORING….. At the same time I know that letting too loose will leave me tired and probably doubled over in pain for most of my entire vacation which isn’t fun either. The only rule that I will not break even for vacation is no bread…otherwise I try to listen to my body and how I feel. I try to make as Paleo conscious choices as possible but I don’t stress out about it if it is not 100% paleo. If my belly is feeling a little unsettled I make sure that I make better choices at the next meal. Luckily, for me, Austin is a very health conscious city which really made it delicious and easy to make positive choices.   While Austin has been fun I am looking forward to getting back to making my own very delicious and healthful food.

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One of the yummy Paleo friendly meals that I had while on my trip…..