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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

The week before I went to Hawaii, I left CrossFit Metropolis, my home since 2010.  I have wanted to collect my thoughts into some more eloquent missive, but they are inchoate, disparate.   So, I list them.

  1. I will always love CFM.  
  2. It was time for me to leave.
  3. When I left, I felt the heady freedom of a kite whose string has been cut.  And it was wonderful.  And then I felt lost.  And now I am calmer and excited to explore the world around me.  But I miss it, and probably always will.  
  4. What I miss most is how it was in the beginning.  It's not that I necessarily believe that "Metropolis 1.0" (with its two squat racks, one of which was busted) was a better gym than Metropolis is today - rather, I think that all of us become nostalgic for our first year or so of CrossFit.  That's when the magic happens.  We start to see things differently, and the way we view our potential changes.
  5. That is why I love working with newbies.  I will do that again someday.
  6. Perhaps in leaving I am chasing my next paradigm shift.
  7. CrossFit changed me.  I may be a lousy athlete, but I am an athlete, and I train.
  8. I am happiest training.
  9. CrossFit changed fitness.  My old globo gym - to which I swore I'd never return - has lifting platforms.  They've ordered a women's olympic lifting bar.  And they like when I lift there.  They're even ok with dropping.
  10. CrossFit changed.  When I first discovered CrossFit, it was exercise.  Now, it is also a sport.  
  11. Sometimes I feel differently, but if I had to choose, right now, I think I'd choose the sport.  
  12. I haven't figured out my next move.  But, for now, I'm CrossFitting, I'm lifting, I'm boxing, I'm yoga-ing.  When the winter vortexes have passed, I'll be running outside again.  
  13. Good things are coming.



Hawaii WODs

I got home last night from a fantastic week in Hawaii.  Below is a recap of my vacation WODs, most of which were devised by my vacation-buddy, Amylynne.  The big take-aways for me were: 1) You really can get a good WOD in anywhere... especially if you don't mind getting funny looks at the hotel gym; 2) I really need to re-learn consistent double-unders.  No excuses.  My best was 40+ in a row.  I at least need that back; 3) I can kip like a mofo on a regular pull-up bar --- but put me on a different bar (i.e. smith machine, assisted pull-up machine) and my grip is non-existent.  Need to step that up; 4) Bring liquid chalk.  

Day 1:

20 min AMRAP of 10 pull-ups, 10 pistols, 10 man-maker push-ups (6+ rounds)


Annie (50-40-30-20-10 reps of double-unders and sit-ups) (18+ --- gotta re-learn double-unders!  The first 25 were perfect...  and then I fell apart.  I have bruises from the whip-marks.)


Quick mini hike and horseback riding!

Day 2:

2 rounds for time of: 800m run, 30 dumbbell cleans (20# each), 30 burpees (21 something)

Day 3:

Dumbbell bench 5x3 @ 35#


5 rounds for time: 15 dumbbell power cleans (20# each), 21 pull-ups (21 something)

Day 4

I took a rest day... with a 4mi volcano hike!

Day 5

10 min AMRAP of 30 double-unders, 30 sit-ups (3+ rounds - uugh - double-unders!)


4x 400m treadmill sprints at 9mph (I crapped out on the last one part way through.  Let's blame the treadmill.)


3 rounds NFT of 20 dumbbell snatches (10 each arm), 5 strict pull-ups

Day 6

4x3 smith machine backsquats at an unknown weight (120 in plates + ??? for the bar)


800m run followed by 20 burpees, 50 walking lunges, 50 hand release push-ups, 50 sit-ups down to 12 burpees, 10 walking lunges, 10 hand release push-ups, 10 sit-ups (34:37)



Aftermath of Angie 

On New Year's Eve, I was convinced to go off program and do Angie (100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats) with a group of friends at the gym.  It wasn't a hard sell.  I like the benchmarks, and particularly Angie because it was one of the first WODs that I could do Rx'ed.  

We toyed with idea of using weight vests.  I'm so glad we didn't.

The pull-ups started off fine, but fell off really fast.  Later, I realized that because of my should injury in the fall and then my squat program, I hadn't really done pull-ups in months.   The good news - I got through them.  The bad news - it was slow, and I don't know that my chin made it over the bar for the last 10 or so.  My right hand ripped at 92.  I forgot how much that hurts. 

The push-ups were a bit slower than usual, but not bad.  I got through the situps unbroken, and the airsquats quickly, but there was no making up for the pull-ups (and the pit stop to wash out the rip mid-WOD).  I finished in a sad 37:13.

And nearly a week later, I am insanely sore.  As in, can't snatch, can't jerk sore.  Ugh!

If I stick with my squat program all the way through, I'll finish up right around the start of the Open.  I've gotten a lot stronger over the past two months, but Angie was a wakeup call.  My gains have come at a cost, and I need to figure out what I want to prioritize for the first part of this year.  

The program is working well for me from a strength standpoint.  I comfortably squat triples at weights that were 1 rep maxes for me just two months ago.  That's huge.  Also, I like being on a program, and I like the idea of seeing it through to the end.

But I know that when the Open rolls around, I'll want to be able to perform at my best.  And I'm supposed to be running the NYC Half Marathon in March, too.  I can just wing it, but if I want a PR, I should train.

I haven't made up my mind - but I'm leaning towards winding down the program towards the end of this month, and re-focusing on what I've been neglecting.

I'll keep you posted.

-Gym Belle-


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