Tag Archive | exercise

Workout Conversations

I had the day off today.  My plan was to be outside in the predicted warm weather as much as possible, rain or shine.  Well, it turned out to be a shine day and the storms held off until 9PM at night.

Today was beautiful.  It was warm and sunshiny and a wee bit humid…ok a LOT humid.  I heard number of upwards of 90 degrees.  In case you forgot, I am a Michigan girl and 90 degree heat is kind of unheard of for the beginning of May around here.  No matter, I was going to work out at least twice today and not ONCE would I be in a gym!

Well, I am also a bit lazy on my days off and although I INTENDED to be up and running no later than 9 AM, my feet actually hit the pavement at about NOON!

It was a tough run day friends.  Tough indeed.  The heat, that I am not used to was a bit much.  Being unaccustomed to such heat I didn’t plan well for my planned 4 mile run.  I did not bring water with me and I wore all black.  Dumb moves #1 and #2.

But I was committed. I started my run and before 1/4 of a mile was done, I was already whining about how hot it was and how my legs were like jello.  ( A little perspective, I ran the previous 2 days HARD.  7.5 miles between the 2 days of fast intervals.)  Maybe I could walk?  Or maybe I could skip running and go do something else instead.  Better yet, maybe I need food in me?  No, AM cardio is to be done on an empty stomach, you know this.  It is your fault you waited so long to get moving.

I can do a half mile for sure.  My instructions were never to go all out at high intensity for every workout.  Instead my instructions for AM cardio is actually medium intensity.  SO why do I feel like I am not working if I don’t go all out?  Oh yeah, I am a wee bit competitive, even with myself.  If I did 5 miles yesterday, I should be able to do 6 today…right?  Wrong.  That is not how the body works.   Not mine anyway.

So then, as I continued talking myself through my run, I decided that if I got through 1 mile I could walk for a minute.

Then I remembered this woman. (go read her story)  Lori has been working with Leif for about 16 months and has lost over 200 lbs and is now at 18% body fat, the body % of many competitive athletes.  As I thought about walking and calling it at 1 mile and about cutting a loop off that in my early days of running would have been a legit mistake of not realizing it was part of the 1 mile loop…I thought about this woman.  She started out at about my size.  Did she get to 18% body fat by cutting workouts short?  I don’t think so.  Did she get to goal by quitting when it was hard?  Doubt it.  Did she lose 200 lbs by giving less than her best in any given workout.  Absolutely not.

Do I think she is human and possibly WANTED to at various points?  Likely so.  Do I think she had to talk herself through workouts like I was doing?  For sure.  Do I want to look like her when I get done?  Hell Yes!

Wouldn’t you want to look like her when you are in your 40’s? Shoot, I want to look like her in my 30’s!!!

So I ran…and I ran…for about 45 minutes…then I began to realize I was pretty dehydrated and overly hot and I began to get dizzy.

Then… I decided my run was done. I did not quit when it was hard, I stopped when it got potentially dangerous.  Sure I wanted 4 miles, but that was just because I am trying to beat someone to 100 miles run…but ultimately, I did what was required.  45 minutes of medium intensity cardio on an empty stomach.

I left the park and went and got some water…

Note to self, with rising temps, plan better to stay hydrated and don’t wear long pants and all black in 90 degree heat!

I later went and put together a boot camp style workout in the park with a friend…had to end that one early too because of the heat.  Actually thought I was going to throw up for a bit there and got dizzy again.

and Lori….thanks for getting me through that workout…couldn’t have done it without you my new friend!


Raising The Bar

**Sidenote:  I know, I still have to write about the Warrior Dash**

It has been fascinating to me the last 2 weeks as I have slowly watched my expectations for myself get dashed and slashed. In a good way.

I am noticing how I compare myself against other women who do Crossfit, or anything for that matter, but in particular, Crossfit.   I tend to think of myself as not as strong as the other women.  Or not as fit as the others.  I tend to allow myself to think that my workouts will always be scaled, in comparison to the other women.  I don’t compare myself at all to the men.  There is nothing to compare against.  Most men, will always be stronger than me…as they should be!

This week, we had a workout that involved doing deadlifts (5 reps) of the maximum weight you can lift.  CJ kept adding weight on and as I tried to calculate exactly how heavy this sucker would be as I added a 4th weight to each end of the bar, CJ stopped me and simply told me to quit trying to figure it out and to pick up the Bleeping Bar.

I tried and tried.  CJ coached me over and over on how to lift the bar and how to get it up.  He pointed out what I was doing wrong and what would make it easier. I still couldn’t life the bar up all the way to a full standing position. Finally he told me to take the last weight off each end (10 lbs off each end) and to lift the bar.  I did.  Twice.  Then three more times.

CJ wrote that weight down as my max rep weight. 155 lbs.  Which means he had me attempting 175 lbs!!  WTF!  He is crazy!  I can’t lift that much!  I am not strong enough!

The next morning, I couldn’t move.  Seriously.  It took me 40 minutes to be able to roll out of bed so I missed my morning Crossfit and wasn’t even sure I would be able to make it to an evening session.  It hurt to breathe!

By the end of day I was good and went anyway.  As I looked at the board, I saw Monday’s workout numbers displayed for all to see.  This is what I noticed.

Few women had a max rep weight of MORE than 155.  Only a few had at LEAST 155.  Many had less than 155.   As I looked at that board, I realized how often I sell myself short, and yet get super pissed when others judge me in the same manner.  I smiled and shook my head as I realized, once again…I am stronger than I think I am…

So CJ’s job is to continuously raise the bar for me.  Often I think he is out of his mind to think that I can do the things he asks, and yet…I always do what he asks.  Perhaps not perfect, but I do give it my all. Daniel thinks I can lift over 200.  He is crazier than CJ!

So there is this other board that has writing all over it in the gym.  It is a board where everyone has written their 6 month goals down.  I have not written anything on this board as of yet.  I have no idea what to expect to be able to do in 6 months…but I am gonna.

The other thing we did this week is pull ups.   I cannot do a single pull up. Right now when the class does these, I jump and pull on the bar, but that is about it.   Well this week, CJ was teaching everyone how to actually walk through the mechanics of a pull up.  He had me walking through it all too, as though I was going to be doing them sooner than I think.

So I am thinking….perhaps in 6 months I will be able to do a pull up. Perhaps that is what I will write on the board.

Raising the bar for myself…as CJ continues to raise it from his end.

Merciful Encouragement

Today’s workout was intense, to say the least.  Halfway through I was not even sure I could finish it and part of me wanted to quit.  The other part of me would not let myself quit, no matter what.

So the next best thing would be if CJ would scale my workout.  Sometimes when he scales things it is either a lower weight than others or it is less reps than others.  Part of me was hoping he would see me struggling and scale my reps back (because he already lowered my weight)

Thank goodness he didn’t because I might have  been mad at him.

Struggle is not always a bad thing.  Pushing through the struggle is what makes us better.  I am sure he and Eric(yet to be introduced) were watching my form to make sure I wasn’t getting too fatigued or too out of wack such that I might have gotten injured. I am really grateful they did NOT scale me on my number of reps, even if during the moment, part of me wished they would.

SO here is what we did for the workout.

  • 50 push jerks (10 lbs on each end of a bar that I think weighs 25 lbs)
  • 25 pull ups (my modified version was jumping and pulling up at the same time since I cannot do a pull up yet)
  • 40 push jerks (CJ lowered my weights to 5 lbs weights on the bar)
  • 20 pull ups
  • 30 push jerks
  • 15 pull ups
  • 20 push jerks
  • 10 pull ups
  • 10 push jerks
  • 5 pull ups


By the time I got to 20 push jerks, pretty much everyone else was done.   This is where I was really wanting CJ to scale it for me, not because I couldn’t push through the struggle, but because my pride was rearing up and I wanted to be done with everyone else.  I hate that I can’t always keep up with the rest.

My hands hurt, my shoulders were burning, my quads were aching…and along came Seth(another Crossfitter who shows up at 6 AM), CJ, Eric, and “the blonde girl with amazing legs”… were all there cheering and shouting in my face for me to keep going.  They were counting down the reps for me.

It is amazing how when you feel most spent, that extra encouragement is enough to help you push through the pain and finish strong.

When you are an observer watching this, as I was a couple weeks ago, it can look like people yelling at you, showing you no mercy.  But when you are the recipient of people yelling in your face, telling you not to quit, to push through, to not drop the bar…it is the most merciful thing ever…and is most energizing.

Today I am grateful for the merciful encouragement of others who believed that I could finish, when I wasn’t so sure.

I Saw Jesus!

I went to Crossfit today.  This is what we did.

5min Jump Rope
2min Air Squat
2min Hand Release Push Ups
5min Jump Rope
2min Air Squat
2min Hand Release Push Ups

400m Run

3min Deadlift (155/100)
1min Burpees
3min Deadlift
1min Burpees

400m Run

2min OH Squat (45)
2min KB Swing (53/35)
2min OH Squat (45)
2min KB Swing (53/35)

400m Run

5min Sit Ups
3min Mountian Climbers
5min Sit Ups
3min Mountain Climbers

The ONLY thing that got scaled on my workout is my run.  Only 200 meter runs, instead of 4.  My deadlifts were 95 lbs, MY OH squats were probably 25-or 35 lbs and my kettle bell swings were 35 lbs.

Oh and I didn’t use a rope to jump rope, cuz if I do, I spend more time untangling it than jumping it. I wish I had the rope today.  That would have provided a little break as I untangled things.

This workout was called the never-ending workout.  I swear it was never going to end.

By the end, I was nauseous (tho I wouldn’t admit it to CJ at the time) and so done.  I would swear I was dying and could almost hear Jesus welcoming me home with a solid “Well done my……”

When suddenly I hear CJ, “Hey Kim, You’re not gonna puke on me are you?”

I shook my head and in doing so shook the vomit back down…..and struggled through the last 90 seconds.

That was 57 minutes of awfulness.

Awful Goodness.


The Crossfit Way

Tonight I went to an evening session of Crossfit. I got there about 30 minutes early and was watching the 5:30 session go to work on what can only be described as a hellish workout.  CJ was in a form I had never seen him in.  He had about 10 women he was coaching and he was yelling like crazy!

Things I heard…

“Let’s GO!  Pick up the bar!”

“DO NOT walk away!”

This is a 20 minute workout, why  are you making it a 30 minute workout?!”

He was in these girls faces as they struggled through the workout.  He would not let them quit, give up or pause too long.

On some faces I saw a desire to smack him.  I also saw a determination to not quit.  I also saw a clear fight to NOT walk away and quit.  There was a battle going on for sure with some of these women.  It was not a cakewalk of a workout!

I was terrified for my time, because I knew I was next!

Towards the end a couple of women were really struggling.  SOme were finished and were catching their breath. Then I saw one girl come over to another and ask her how much she has left to do.  She told her what was left and began doing it with her.  Burpee for burpee.  Lift for lift.  Pull up for pull up.

This 2nd girl didn’t have to do this.  SHe was done.  But it seems this is the way of the Crossfitters.  No one’s really done until they are all done.  As I watched, there were others cheering the last of the girls on.  Men who were getting ready for the next session began cheering and encouraging the women to finish what they started.

CJ picked up a bar and began going lift for lift with a girl.

It was amazing to see the level of committment these Crossfitters have to finish what they start and to help others finish too.  It was reminiscent of Ben…when he runs with me.  Or Aaron and Erin and Leann who got me through Nashville…or Coach the very first time I ran 3 miles in a tri…or any of my other beloveds in GR.

I like this place.  I think I will stick around.

Oh and as for my workout.  It was hella hard.  CJ was yelling constantly…but I did it.  Me and two ridiculously fit men.

Warrior In Training

I don’t know if I have written about this race that I have signed up for or not, but it is called the Warrior Dash!

It is a 3.3 mile run with all sorts of obstacles mixed in.  At some point I will have to climb a cargo net, leap over fire, crawl through mud, haul my butt over a wall…and all sorts of other things.

I found it online and apparently, it was I that got a few others to do it with me.  SO good or bad, it is my fault we are doing this run.

So a couple of weekends ago, a few of us were able to get together for a “training” run. Our plan was to go to the park where there is a fitness trail.  We would take pictures of the fitness stations and figure out how we can incorporate them into our runs to simulate some of the obstacles we may encounter during the actual race.

Since none of us REALLY know what to expect, this is mostly for fun.

At some point we made it to the kiddie playground and discovered that they have a cargo net type climbing thing.  We decided to kick the kids off (not really) and climb around.

Here is what I discovered as I climbed.

I am terrified of heights.

I remember my high ropes experience 2 years ago…it was terrifying.


and I waaayyyyy underestimated the physical strength it is going to take to do some of these obstacles.  Demond really and truly may have to be behind my pushing my butt up and over things!  He thinks I am kidding, but I am not!

Regardless, it is going to be fun.  Scary.  But fun.  I will have earned my Warrior Medal and my Warrior Helmet!

Sharon and I climbing, I am smiling, but I have a death grip on that structure!



My favorite training obstacle of the day! I could DO this one...it came at the top of a very big hill...:-)

No matter what though, on July 31st,  I will be with some new friends, making great memories and creating some great blog fodder for that book Coach thinks I am writing one day!



Do you ever have a workout day where you just KNOW you half-assed it?  You know without a shadow of a doubt that you did NOT push yourself half as hard as you could have and you cut everything short?  Just because.

This is how it was for me one day last week.  COach says I am numbers obsessed.  Numbers of all kinds, whether it is scale numbers, calorie burn numbers, or IP addresses (yes, I USED to have a tracker that told me which IP addresses were repeat readers of my blog and I would be so curious as to who these people were that were reading my words).  Anyway, I tend to disagree.  I think the numbers are a good indicator of progress made (IP addresses excluded) and I am anxious of course to see progress.

With that said, I KNOW what is possible for me to burn in a 1 hour workout session if I really push myself. I know what pushing myself feels and looks like and I know when I am not and it shows up in the numbers.  Now that is not to say that all days where my calorie burns are lower are because of not pushing myself, some days it is because I am simply doing less cardio so the burns will be less.

Anyway, I digress.  One day last week, I had a lower calorie burn day and I knew it was because I simply was not pushing myself.  I knew it during the workout and I knew it after the workout. While knowing this, this thought came to mind.

“Kim, you are settling for crumbs, when there is sooo much more to be had!”

Now, I get annoyed sometimes when Coach or Aaron tell me something I know to be true but don’t wanna hear in the moment, but man, I get plain ole pissed off when, in the moment, I recognize what I am doing, and am able to name it…and don’t care enough to change what is going on.

Crumbs are crap.  They are the leftovers.  The little nibbles no one wants to take the time to eat.  I don’t eat crumbs when I am talking food, so why, at times am I willing to settle for crumbs in my workouts.  Why am I willing to settle for 600 mediocre calories burned in an hour, when I KNOW that I can get at least 800 burned or more, depending on what I do and how hard I push myself?

Now, please don’t hear that 600 calories burned is no good.  It IS good!   Except when I know I am settling for less than what is possible.  I settled last week for Good, when Great was on the agenda and was possible.

600 becomes great when I know I gave it my all…like in my workout yesterday with Darrell when at the end of the workout, I am spent.