athlete

Firefighter Fail – Lesson in Detachment

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My intention was to become a firefighter.  Come March I’d walk with my academy mates to shake the hand of the fire chief moving from firefighter recruit to full fledged firefighter.  Alas…that’s not what will happen.  Firefighter will not be part of my resume.

CrossFit, strongman and weightlifting prepared me physically for the academy.  Upon entering the academy I felt physically strong and ready to put my body through the demands of training to become a firefighter.  The physical aspect of the academy was definitely a challenge and my body took a beating to say the least.  However, feeling like I was doing something physically was quite rewarding at the end of the day.  Looking back at what was accomplished in such a short amount of time – running 2.5miles as a warm-up (who does that?!), for example, was a win in my book.

Yoga prepared me for the mental challenge of the academy, sort of.  I have never been in the military, nor do I ever want to be.  Imagine my surprise when faced with the militaristic style of the academy!  To say I hated it would be an understatement.  It was a complete shock to the system to also find out how intensely phobic I  initially was of the SCBA.  This all boils down to some fairly deep rooted patterns within me, namely the fear of loosing control or letting go.  My very basic breath practice helped to get me through most of this, while the awareness of this pattern has pushed me to work with it so that I can hopefully one day move beyond the fear.  Interestingly enough, I learned the power of meditation during this time as well.  I used to be of the “this is too woo-woo” camp and was resistant to the idea.  When faced with the challenges I encountered the week+ I was in the academy, meditation became a necessity to maintain presence.

The combination of all the above gave me the confidence to quit the academy.  Crawling through the maze in full turnout gear on day 6 of the academy I realized that had that been an actual burning building I would’ve wanted no part in that whatsoever.  When I exited the structure I pulled of my mask and told my instructor and Lieutenant that I was done and would not be continuing.  That was the last moment I would be a firefighter.

  

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Day 20 – The Sugars…..

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Ok, so sugar has received a bad rap.  Let me fill you in on my relationship with sugar – refined sugars to be exact.  Since this challenge started I went without the refined sugars for almost 19 days.  Last night I had a little bit of sorbet after dinner.  It was the first time that condensed sugars of that nature had been consumed – we’ve of course been eating sugar, just in the form of fruits and vegetables.  Those sugars tend to metabolize quite differently than the intravenous drip of key lime sorbet that I had last night.  Once it’s removed from the normal daily diet, it’s very noticeable when it’s reintroduced.

Prior to this challenge and in years past I’ve experienced multiple bouts of heart palpitations.  So much so that I’ve seen the doctor – more than once.  I’ve worn a Holter Monitor, an Event Monitor, had multiple EKG’s (or ECG’s), and have had a stress test. Literally nothing was wrong with my heart, blood work showed that all was fine, and other than the possibility that it was anxiety the docs told me to cut back on caffeine.  I was in college when this started…that meant that I was drinking the shit out of mountain dew (I used to LOVE that shit) and sleeping when ever I could.  The palpitations went away for a while after college and came back a few years later.  This time it was attributed to stress and anxiety and I cut caffeine out entirely.  They’ve laid dormant for the most part – popping up here and there.  Usually when I wasn’t sleeping as much (zombie nightshift) or for some other reason I wasn’t aware of.

Here’s the interesting part.  Right after eating the sorbet, within an hour or less, I felt a surge (likely the sugar streaming through) and the palpitations!  CRAZY!  I’ve had caffeine a few times throughout the past 20 days – but have not had this big a dose of sugar in such a condensed way.  And I haven’t felt the palpitations this entire challenge until now.  I think we now know the culprit!  My body metabolizes sugar in such a way that causes me to have heart palpitations.  Or at least I assume that’s the case since nothing else has changed….I’m not stressed, I’m much less anxious than ever (thank you yoga), I eat fairly well, blah blah blah.  This has to be it!

This is what my EKG looks like some of the time

This is what my EKG looks like some of the time

What does it mean?  Well – I’ll definitely be more diligent in my consumption of refined condensed powerful doses of sugar from now on.  It only took 36 years to figure that one out.  Thanks challenge master (AKA Beth) for bringing this to light!

See you guys tomorrow.

Today’s Points: 10

Day 17

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Ask the questions you’re afraid to ask – you may be surprised to hear the answers.  Identifying as a gay woman that also happens to CrossFit, play in Strongman, is a Paramedic, used to train dogs, teaches yoga….blah blah blah – has apparently opened me up to some pretty interesting lines of questioning.  Here are the one’s I hear often:

  • Can you help me with my dog? (It’s likely that I can, but it’s not my job any more.)
  • Did you see that crazy WOD? (Yup, I may have even programmed it!)
  • Do you workout? (Yes, I do.  Why do you ask?)
  • I have this rash…what do you think it is?  (Insert any complicated medical question here…remember that I’m not a doctor and I don’t likely know what’s wrong with you.)
  • Can I do yoga if I can’t even touch my toes?  (You can touch your toes, just bend your knees.  And that likely means you should do yoga.)
  • How old were you when you came out?  (How old were you when you told your family you were straight?  I was 14 or 15 when I told my parents.)
  • Have you ever been with a guy?  (Have you?  Why does it matter?  I’m a gold star…are you?)

Don’t hesitate to ask – if someone wants to tell you the answer, they will.  Just ask your question in a respectful way without any attachment to the answer.  I am a curious person and will likely ask you something some day.  The questions that are asked will likely teach you something about yourself – maybe something you didn’t even know before.  listen-karith

Listen to the answers, even if you don’t like them, they’ll still teach you.  Observe your response and reaction.  It all has meaning.  Remain a learner of life.  When you are asked, do the same.  Observer your reaction, response, your answer.  We’re curious animals, we like to know what makes each other tic.  Especially if it’s something we’re unfamiliar with.

I’ve asked some doozies of questions (and will likely again), if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have started dating and then marrying my wife (she actually proposed to me), found my bestie (I ask her a ton of questions that make her blush), learned how awesome the owners of my gym are….the list goes on….

What’s something you’ve always wanted to know but were afraid to ask someone?

Today’s total: 10

Total Points thus far 214 out of a possible 450

Day 13 – How’s your down dog?

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Unicorns and rainbows?  Why not?

Had the pleasure of watching my wife, #bruteyogi, wrangle about 40 dudes at a Bro’s and Brew’s event today at a local brewery.  Not that I’m biased or anything, but she’s pretty fucking awesome when she’s presenting her passion to the masses (in this case a diverse room of all men).  Not many people can teach yoga to a bunch of guys and hold their attention AND make an impact in the way that she does.  Her craft is body mechanics and understanding how to give the room what it needs in a way that they can receive it – it is a kick ass sight to behold.  Need a tune up?  Go follow her on Instagram @yogiweezy, or FaceBook, or Twitter @yogiweezy, or all of the above!  You won’t be disappointed.

We – the wife and I – also had the pleasure of working out and hanging out with our amazing friend, Josh (I’ll have to work on a nickname for him).  Working out with friends is always so much better than working out alone, guess that’s why CrossFit was so appealing in the beginning.  We are such social creatures by nature that the group aspect of CrossFit has really helped to make its mark in the fitness world.  Just like this diet and fitness challenge.  All 18 of us coming from fairly different backgrounds (doctors, lawyers, self employed, coaches, mothers, fathers, single, military, etc) really helps put the diversity of life in to perspective.  While we are all the same animal, breathing the same air, our containers and experiences in this life are vastly different.  It’s also a reminder that what we put our energy towards is what we will ultimately get in return – it’s why we’re so diverse!  It’d be pretty boring if we were all the same, eh?  I’d have nothing to write about every day……….

My favorite quote this week from our private FaceBook group:  “…make sure you bend over in the mirror and do the “see thru” test before you buy.. No one wants to know your down dog is not neutered….”  I may have seriously laughed out loud even copying that in to the blog!  Tomorrow I’ll debut another creative quote from one of the participants…these people are seriously witty with their words.

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Insert Creative Smart Ass Caption Here

Today’s Total: 10

PS.  I’m not proof reading this because I want to go to bed.  There, I admit it…I’m a lazy editor.

 

Day 11

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One of my other jobs is teaching yoga at a local studio.  I teach a class on Sundays called Bodhi’s in Motion:Sunday Funday.  As I have found my voice and passion in teaching Hatha Yoga I too have learned (and continue to learn) more about myself and the people that surround me.  One of the things I like to do is create a group intention at the beginning of the 90 minute class.  What that does, or what I ultimately hope it does, is create a sense of unity within the group as they move and breathe together.  It also lets the students in to a more personal side to me as I will generally choose a thought or idea that I am working on in my own practice.

Patience – when ever a teacher has asked the group to set an intention for the practice, patience is a thought that has come to my mind 9 out of 10 times.  Choose an intention for your practice, today.  Something that you would like more of in your life.  That’s often what you’ll hear.  And patience is something that I’d always like more of, and I’m really not an impatient person.  I think that patience is something that is lacking a great deal in our society, in our world.  We’re consumed with immediate gratification and if we’re not willing to wait or work for it then it’s just not worth it.

A coworker of mine asked me how the challenge was going.  This coworker has been aware of the challenge since day one when I handed her the rules and regulations the moment the challenge began.  She’s very supportive, and is a bit of a health nut herself.  I told her in all honesty that it was going really well, but the first few days were VERY rough.  I was hungry all the time.  I wanted fake delicious sugar like my dog, Ren, wants to hoover the dishwasher (she acts like I never feed her).  And it was a little frustrating at times to have to plan out all of my meals – do you want a chunk of cheese with that wine?  Patience has shown its importance again!  It’s the end of day 11 of the 32 day challenge, not even half way, and I actually feel pretty great.  The patience during the bad sugar withdrawals has paid off.  Everyone saids to wait it out, it will go away, and it did.  I may have said that I wanted cake tonight, but that craving was satisfied with some pretty yummy coconut vanilla ice cream.

Today’s Total: 10

Day 10!

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I’m not sure how I feel about their little tag line.  We definitely did hit while at our 30 minute session today….interesting.  Moving on….

Part of the challenge is to try something new, something new like adventure new, and add 10 bonus points to the day’s total.  Have friend join you that’s never done the same adventure, grab up another 10 bonus points!  It was a little bit of a challenge to find something I hadn’t done, fit it in to the schedule, and find someone else that hasn’t done that something.  Magically I was off today and one of the challenge members found a kickboxing studio that they wanted to try out.  So, one of my besties and I went with 2 other challenge members and another gym member (non-challenge participant) to 9 Round for a 30 minute cardio/kickboxing session.

It was a LOT of FUN!  In CrossFit terms it was similar to Fight Gone Bad where we went to 9 different stations for 3 minutes each.  There were two “coaches” helping us as we approached stations and also interacting with us at specific stations.  I didn’t know that punching a bag, kicking a bag, throwing right hooks and all those other fancy fight terms, would be so fun!  We all enjoyed the session noting that it was something different for each of us gym rats.

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Today’s Total: 10 + 20 bonus adventure points.  Oh…and I took a nap….naps are awesome and a completely lost art form.  Take one, it’s worth it.

Naps. Does a body good.

Naps. Does a body good.

Planking Good Time

Just Planking Around

Just Planking Around

June 6, 2013

WOD

500m row
21-15-9
Kettlebell swings
Push ups
500m row

First WOD with RX pushups since surgery!  It was slow going, finishing in 11:14 with a 25# kettlebell – Oh, and did I mention that this was also the first wod completed with an overhead movement?  The row was actually the best row since surgery as well (keeping my 500 meter splits at 2:00); my pull is definitely stronger than my push.  Rumor has it that the pull always comes back faster and I am apparently no different from the masses on this one. 

Am I sore?  Did I feel any pain?  During the wod I purposely went slow, focusing on making each push up strong.  I did not feel any pain during the wod (YES!) and do feel some general soreness a day later – nothing unbearable though.

So, yeah, the picture above is from a fun wod I did with one of the kid crossfitters back in November (I don’t have a current wod shot) – but it’s still appropriate to the matter at hand.  🙂 

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
Benjamin Franklin
Mantra

Mantra