Sunday, April 14, 2013

Here's to another year of training!


So the Open is over. I apologize for the delayed post, but it took some time to get my bearings back.

I had 2 goals going into the open-
1. Place in the top 3 girls every week
I won't lie, I didn't have high expectations for my first goal. I workout with some amazing ladies, some of which have been doing CrossFit for years. With just over a year of CF (only 7 months of actual training), I tried to remain objective (read: not get my hopes up). Also, this would be my first competition experience so I had no idea how I'd react under pressure.

2. Make a muscle-up during an Open WOD
I made my first muscle-up a month before the open started. It was awesome and crazy and I had no freaking clue how it happened. I then spent the next month trying to figure out how on earth I did it. I could make the occasional MU, but they were no where close to consistent.


To make an extremely long story short, I somehow made top 3 every week (one week there was a tie, so not sure how that works). And I managed 1 muscle-up during one of the most hellish workouts I've ever done (Karen on crack), whilst being sick.

I'm definitely not trying to toot my own horn, AT ALL. In fact, I'm sure there were times I dropped the bar, or took a break when I should've kept going. I know that there is no way I could have done even a fraction of what I did without my coaches or friends supporting me. I tried to stay grounded and humble throughout the entire 5 weeks. Making my team's success priority over my personal victories definitely made that easier.
Overall, I'm glad I have a starting place and a something to compare for next year.

















My Capstone Team ended up placing 50th in our region, which is in the top 22%. That being said, we didn't qualify for regionals this time. However, I know with another year of training under our belts, next year will be a different story!



My favorite thing I've taken away from the Open wasn't a new PR, or the feeling  of people cheering, or anything personal at all. The Open solidified our motley crew of athletes into an actual team. WODs and training has a new feel these days. Walking into the gym and knowing that it's not just about me, or my personal gains (#gainz) is an amazing feeling. I'm excited to see where this year take us!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

13.1 Revisited


So 13.1 has came and went, and I lived to tell about it!




My first thought when they announced the WOD on Wednesday was "Crap. I can hardly land a 100 lb. snatch when I'm fresh, on a good day... when the wind is blowing in just the right direction". Needless to say they were 'iffy' at best and I knew that the reps at 100 lb. would be determining factors. I tried to play it cool, but I definitely left the gym knocked down a few pegs. I felt as if I all the hard work I've put in wasn't good enough. I was defeated.

Later that night my coach sent this in a group message (he may be a mind reader):


"If you go into anything scared or thinking you're gonna lose, you've already lost. You gotta go in with the attitude that you're going to win, and be successful."
- Scott Panchik, minutes before winning Open Workout 13.1


Wow. I was a bit embarrassed by my crappy attitude. I decided that, if nothing else, this would be a learning experience. I had to be real with myself. I am competing in the CrossFit Open with just over at year of CrossFit under my belt. I'm not 'Games' material. I'm not an elite athlete, but I had put in a lot of time and effort to be ready for this competition, and selling myself short wasn't going to get me anywhere.  I wasn't going to go into it defeated.

I spent the next couple of days working on my snatch form and attempting to perfect my 1 rep max of 100 lb. And also watching countless videos with tips and strategies for 13.1. My goal was to get through the 150 reps and at least touch the 100 lb. bar. I wanted to get a rep at 100, but I really didn't think I could do it, honestly.

By the time Saturday morning rolled around I was a nervous wreck.
I was in one of the last heats so I got to watch most of my fellow athletes compete first. I was super proud of each of them, but I could tell this WOD was more challenging than most of us planned.

I won't narrate my entire WOD, don't worry.
I tried to pace my burpees as best I could, without feeling like a turtle. Surprisingly, the 45 lb. bar wasn't terrible and I did sets of 10 semi-easily. I originally planned on doing singles for the 75 lb. bar, but I was able to sets of 2 for all 30 of those. I knew the moment was coming. I tried to plan in my head while doing my last set of (and probably the hardest set I've ever done) of 20 burpees. I remember telling myself "Just touch that 100 lb. bar. Just get to it and attempt 1." Well the moment came and my body was definitely not working with me. I attempted 3 and failed each of them. After my 3rd rep I saw my coach over to the side, he yelled at me to "throw it behind you". I thought "okay, let's be real. You want this. Touching the bar was never the plan. You want a rep at 100 lbs." and I did want that. I wanted it bad.

I reset on  the bar, took a big breath, and somehow got under it. After I stood it up, I saw so many people around cheering for me. It was definitely one of my proudest moments. I still had some time left on the clock, and although I was completely happy with my results, I wasn't about to stop there. I failed a couple more, and with about 10 seconds left on the clock I set up for my last attempt. I set up, pulled under the bar, and stood it up!  When I let the bar drop  I broke down. I was that happy and relieved. I did what I didn't think (and told myself) I probably could not do.



All that to say, I didn't have the top score (or even top 5) in my gym. I didn't write this to toot my own horn, in anyway. But hopefully, someone might read this and feel inspired. I hope they might feel inspired to try something they thought they had no business attempting. 



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fab Ab February!


It's already March (read Spring Break... and the OPEN eeeek!) and I cannot believe it! February went by in a flash, but the good news is that now I can do my Fab Ab Feb post! Patience isn't my strong suit, so waiting a month for something is a big deal for me. And I'm rambling.

I asked a couple of friends/fellow CrossFitters if I could track their Fab Ab Feb progress, and thankfully they agreed.

-disclaimer- We each used FAF as platform to focus more on  our core. That being said, we did not follow the original FAF Calendar

Kate's results:
1) What is your prior athletic history?
 I have been an athlete my entire life. I played multiple sports in high school, club volleyball during my undergrad, competed in triathlons during my masters degree, then finally began Crossfit in 2010. During both my undergrad and masters degrees, I taught group fitness courses. 

2)What type of diet did you use? Was it close to you typical diet or did you switch it up for FAF?
 I am typically paleo 80% of the time. I cleaned things up a bit and eliminated all wine (the only form of alcohol I drink) and soda (I love diet coke) from my diet. 

3) What type of diet did you use? Was it close to you typical diet or did you switch it up for FAF?
I continued to do Crossfit. I did add some extra cardio (running and rowing) and core work (GHD sit-ups and back extensions daily) to the mix. 




Christina's Results:
1. What is your prior athletic history? 
When I was in high school I did a lot of different sports, lacrosse, swimming, cheer, soccer. In college ad after I mainly did my own thing and took the occasional yoga and Pilates class. Then I had to have knee and foot surgery so that set me back and after I finally recovered I decided to start Crossfit about 9 months ago.
2. What type of diet did you use? Was it close to you typical diet or did you switch it up for FAF?
I just paid more attention to eating clean. I usually do 80/20 paleo but for FAF I was actually more 70/30 mainly because I discovered balance bars and couldn't not eat them. But other than that just high protein and high veggies.
3. What type of workout regimine did you use? 
I started doing extra work outside of just one WOD a day so it would either be 2 WODs or 1 WOD and about 30-45 minutes of extra work. I also run 1-2 times a week.

My results:
1. What is your prior athletic history? 
I was a competitive cheerleader throughout high school. In college I thought sitting on my rear and eating everything in sight sounded like a great idea. I start CrossFit just over a year ago.
2. What type of diet did you use? Was it close to you typical diet or did you switch it up for FAF?
I eat 80/20 paleo pretty consistently. I'll have 1 cheat meal a week and I cut out alcohol completely. Honestly, I didn't change my diet hardly at all. 
3. What type of workout regimine did you use?
I stuck to my typical workout schedule. I workout 6 days a week with 3 days of extra pull-up & muscle-up work and 2 days of extra olympic lifting work. I also try to do a light run on my rest day. 
So proud of each of my ladies and all the hard work they put in! Next week is the first week of the CrossFit Open. I'm going to try to blog throughout the competition and include some videos, so check back!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Goals update!


We're now a month into 2013 and I'm still holding strong to my goals.

As far as paleo goes, I'd say I'm at 90/10 right now. I feel good about this ratio, because quite frankly, I won't give up peanut butter. Nope, not going to happen. A legume? Really? It's got 'nut' in its name! Nonsense.
Anyway, I need to shout out to my fantastic husband for being so talented in the kitchen. Confession, your girl can't cook. CANNOT. Another confession, my husbands delicious food probably aided in our former fatness. However, he's a trooper (and I'm a food nazi) and has stuck with me on the paleo/clean eating train. 
Our favorite paleo website is Paleo Omg, and my lovely friend Christina has a paleo blog you should check out!

My muscle-up hasn't made an appearance... yet. Thanks to my amazing coaches at Capstone I really feel like I'm progressing to it. I'm working on muscle-up and pull-up skills at least 3 times a week with my coach Ally's PUMP program. Anything to do with a pull-up rig is a definite weakness of mine. I blame my tiny hands. However, I am seeing some progress! I know if I keep putting in the work, it'll happen eventually. Muscle-up you will be mine.

This is one of our new PUMP drills. Its fun and I love it, so here's a video!
video



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

CrossFit Success: JimBob's Story


Not too long ago, a good friend posted his 1 year progress photo on Facebook and I was super shocked at what just a YEAR of CrossFit can do. His before and after pictures, coupled with the dedication I see at the gym are definitely big motivators for me, so I knew I needed to share his story with you guys.




 JimBob's story: 

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
 I've been doing CrossFit since January 16, 2012. That was the day I decided to change my life for the better. When you walk up a flight of stairs and have to catch your breath, something needed to change.
What do you find most challenging about CrossFit? 
 I find everything challenging. There are so many aspects that affect your performance from flexibility, mobility, form all the way to your nutrition. Every day I learn something new about myself when I walk into the box because I am challenged in so many different areas. The area that I find most challenging is the nutrition. I LOVE food and in the past it showed! I was at my heaviest back in college at 240lbs. I didn't workout, I ate everything in sight and I could play some beer pong. Once I started CrossFit, I changed my diet a little bit at a time. I am now working on eating strict paleo for a while then I want to go to a 80/20 diet. 

What’s your favorite CrossFit workout? 
My favorite WOD has been the CFO 12.4:
12:00 AMRAP: 150 Wall Balls, 20 lbs, 10 ft 90 Double Unders 30 Muscle Ups
 The reason I like this one is because I saw my progress from when I did it back in April compared to last month. It definitely showed that hard work and dedication will lead to success. My favorite Girl WOD is... Fran. She is a dirty girl, but I love being left on my back gasping for air and thinking about what I can do better the next time we meet. 
What advice would you give someone who wants to try CrossFit for the first time? 
Don't be intimidated by what you see around you. You will see people at different areas in their CrossFit journey. You will get to that level IN TIME. Don't rush you performance and if you don't see instant results, just wait and it will come with practice and consistency of showing up every damn day! 
How has your body changed since starting to take regular CrossFit classes? 
The picture that is posted will show most of my change. I see it a lot in my face and my stomach. I have noticed that my shoulders, arms, legs, EVERYTHING is much more defined. 

What do you wish you knew when you first started CrossFit?
 I wish I knew how important nutrition is to your performance and progress. I thought you could out work a bad diet. In a way, I did, but I slowed my progress down so much and I wish I had the will power to say no to bad food. I am getting a lot better at saying no to the bad stuff and alcohol.

In your opinion, what are some misconceptions about CrossFit? 
Haha, SNAP CITY!! "If you do CrossFit, you will get hurt." If you do any physical activity, there is a possibility that you will get hurt, not just CrossFit. I feel that if you listen to your coaches about the correct form, the right way to do movements and what NOT to do, you will be alright. You will be sore and joints will ache, but you need to rest your body and listen to it to avoid injury. Also, it is up to the coach to know how not to put you in danger's way. If you have a coach who is dangerous, worried about programming sexy metcons or ridiculous chippers, doesn't care about your form, doesn't scale you back for a good reason or doesn't pay attention; walk away from the box and find a better coach.

What do you think is the best thing about CrossFit? 
The best thing about CrossFit is most definitely the community, hands down! I have been a member at three boxes and I have great friends from all of them. I love how everyone is encouraging and honestly wants you to succeed even if they are competing against you. We have done events outside of the box to celebrate birthdays, holidays or just to get together and tailgate. I have had coaches open up their houses to me when I was going through a rough time in my life. I honestly believe that CrossFit saved my life more than once. It has changed my health not just physically but mentally. I went through a tough period from March to August and I could have chosen a path that would have killed me or made me into a bad individual. The CrossFit community and family is what kept my head up and pointed in the right direction. I love the people around me and consider them my family. 

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A big thanks to JimBob for letting me interview him and post his half-naked pictures on the internet (he's single ladies). I’m truly blessed to get to workout  and hangout with him!

 Also, I would love to make this piece a regular installment on the blog, so if you’d like to share your CrossFit success story email me at kasey.f.nichols@gmail.com!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 goals and Capstone Holiday Party Pics!

I know it's a little late to be speaking about New Years resolutions, but it's still January right? I think I'm safe. Also, I've never done a "new years resolution" before, and honestly it sounds kind of cheesy, so let's stick with "goals" instead.

2013 Goals:

  • SAVE MONEY
  • stick with an at least 90/10 paleo diet
  • get a muscle up!
    This one is a little surprising to me. If you would have asked me this summer if I thought I'd be even remotely close to getting a muscle up, I probably would've laughed. Now I'm not saying I'm  close... but I may be in the ball park. I mean, wanting it is the first step right?

video

This is where I'm at now- jumping muscle ups. They're a little sketchy, I'm aware. I'll update y'all with the progress.

Now for the fun stuff!
In mid December we had our first annual Capstone Holiday Party! I hosted the event at my house and the lovely Christina made lasagna for everyone.  Everyone else brought TONS of food as well. (turns out CrossFitters like to eat).  After food and football, we did a "White Elephant" gift exchange. I don't have the patience to explain it, so if you haven't participated in one, google it. They're hilarious. Okay enough with the party narration.


A small portion of our food









By far, the best gift of the night- "What My Pee is Telling Me"





The pee book found it's forever home.



I've yet to see him do a WOD in this and this saddens me.


wolf pack



My ladies


Gettin his massage on, while simultaneously being violated.


I hope 2013 has many more Capstone gatherings! I think I've already mentioned it, but I'm truly blessed  to have each of these people in my life. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I ain't no Forrest Gump


I've always admired runners. I've always enjoyed the idea of running. I tried all through college to fall in love with running, all to no avail. I had a friend in college who ran an about 7-10 miles a day.  She ran so much her toenails fell off! And I was jealous! I wanted my toenails to fall off. 

However, every time I got out to run it only took me about... 35 seconds for me to realize I would not be going very far. Alas, my toenails have stayed intact.



I was scared of trying CrossFit for a long time because I imagined these elite athlete running miles and miles for fun. Luckily, it wasn't quite that terrible. CrossFit has definitely strengthened my endurance and the CrossFit Endurance class at my gym helped my running form. I've ran a couple of 5k's with little trouble, in fact I find them almost *gasp* enjoyable!

Thanks to my wonderful friend Christina I decided to sign up for my first 5 mile race. The annual Loop the Lake Run was yesterday. I laugh at the term 'race' because I definitely wasn't racing anyone. I will admit I didn't have the most positive attitude going into the race; I wasn't thrilled. Around mile 2 my knees started to hate me and I was pretty much over the whole 'race' thing. However, my  cheerleader/super hero friend wouldn't let me quit and slowly but surely we made it to the finish line. I'm so thankful for that lady! Also, shout out to the 100 year old man that was speed walking the entire thing for being one of the few people I managed to beat. Yes, I went that slow.

All that being said, I'm going to keep working on running... and attempting to enjoy it. However, I'm perfectly okay lifting heavy and doing burpees for the rest of my life, thank you very much :)



Thursday, January 10, 2013

An introduction...

My life before CrossFit

Throughout high school I competed in Cheerleading, not kidding. And then I decided that college would be a great time to sit on my rear and eat everything in sight. Good plan, right? Thanks to that plan (or lack of one) I walked away with not only my diploma, but also 20 extra pounds.

The night of my engagement, January 2011... chub town.

Right before graduating from college I read a book a few months after that changed my life. 
This book pretty much explains everything to do with fitness and nutrition (including a meal plan and workout regimen). Although he's not "CrossFit" I have to give Kris some credit for giving me my fitness foundation.

I did the whole gym, cardio, weight lifting thing for about 4-5 months before I was burnt out and bored. Elliptical, free weights, the whole nine yards... I was over it. And the flab started to creep back.


My CrossFit beginnings...

I tried CrossFit because a facebook friend of mine was absolutely obsessed. After some research, I decided to give it a try.
I stepped into Capstone Crossfit's box in March of 2012 and pretty much never looked back. I started going 3 times a week. Within 3 months I was at the box 5-6 times. It was very much a love/hate relationship (still is, actually). They did things in CrossFit that I'd never heard of. Hang power snatch? Excuse me? I would spend many lunch breaks youtubing lifts and CF lingo.

Why I love Crossfit

I'm coming up on my 1 year mark. That alone is amazing to me, because I don't stick with anything. I get bored, or burnt out and move on. With CrossFit every day is new. Every WOD holds its own challenges and victories. Also, I've grown to love my Capstone family. We spend hours at the gym together, go to church, party, just experience life together. 

Capstone CrossFit Halloween WOD 2012


It's somewhat true that CrossFit is a cult, and I am totally okay with that. ** shoutout to my awesome husband for tolerating me**

August 2012. Hello guns.
Where I am now

I still consider myself a CF 'newb'. I joined the team at Capstone in August of last year. We're less than 2 months away from the CrossFit Open. This will be my first competition... just thinking about it is almost vomit inducing. I'm in the best shape of my life, surrounded by the best people I've ever met, and I can't wait to see where this takes me!