Catching Up/Getting Farther Behind

Eh. Worst blogger ever. I never feel like blogging and by the time I do, there’s so much I have to write about– I put it off some more.

Lots of stuff happened.

Thanks to my late Uncle Larry, I was able to pay off my credit card debt– I’m still poor, but at least I’m free! That’s probably the biggest thing.

I’m going to miss that guy. There’s not a day that has gone by where I’m not thinking about him, missing him. I wish I could tell you more clearly what kind of shining light he was, but I can’t.

In other news, completely fell of the paleo wagon in probably my most flagrant style yet. I’m just… not on it.

Today is the first day in weeks where I’m really even contemplating getting back on.

The CrossFit Open started and the workouts have had their ups and downs. As I’ve only been CrossFitting since June, I’m still a n00b. I’m often frustrated by what I can’t do. Trying to overcome that frustration. Also gave up on the No Girly Push-Up challenge due to my uncle’s passing and general exhaustion. Still trying to figure out if I have an adrenal fatigue problem. I probably do.

I also have run two 5Ks, both PRs, in the last month. I did the Corktown 5K (saw Jennifer of Wine to Weightlifting fame) and the Run du Nain Rouge 5K. I ran the Corktown 5K in 28:40-something and I ran the Nain Rouge in 26:31! It was only in the last year that I’ve been able to run a sub-10 avg min/mile, so I’m super-impressed. I had just told one of my CF coaches that my next goal was to run a sub-9 min/mile and BLAMMO, there it is.

On Friday, March 22– I did the DEA’s Maltz Challenge at Ford Field. That was pretty cool as even though I work across the street from the stadium, I had never been inside. I did the 1/2 Maltz as I’ve been beating my body up pretty good.

Back to CrossFit tonight after a few days off. W00t!

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Pre-Run du Nain Rouge 5K

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Pre-Maltz Challenge at Ford Field with some of my CFT homies.

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Pre-Corktown 5K with a creepy Keebler-Elf-looking guy.

Uncle Larry

I think of my Uncle Larry and the first thing that comes to mind is a quote from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road,

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

He was one of the mad ones. He was a small person with a gargantuan personality and an even larger voice. I remember telling a friend, before entering a family function, “You’ll hear my Uncle Larry before you see him.” And it was true. I’ll never forget jokingly explaining to a boyfriend before a family reunion, “My Uncle Larry will probably be standing on a picnic table with a bullhorn.” NO JOKE, the man was standing on a picnic table WITH A BULLHORN hustling ice cream for raffle tickets. And he took that job very seriously.

It’s hard to imagine Larry gone. Where does all that energy go? The man was a bonafide force of nature, and the only time he wasn’t talking was when he was at a play. Which is the thing I’ll cherish most about him. On November 22, 1989, Uncle Larry took me to my first major musical and theater experience– Les Miserables– and anyone who knows me know that that was no small event. It changed my life. Uncle Larry may be the only person on the planet who has seen Les Mis more times than I have and who loved it as much. He loved all theater and all those old golden-age movies, but we shared a special connection with that one.  A few years ago, he called me– so excited– because he had

found this old, French film adaptation of Les Miserables from 1934. It was about 100-hours long, but we watched it over a few sittings. And we both cried. And it was wonderful.

I think about this wonderful, energetic, LOUD person and, again, I can’t imagine him gone. He was the type of person you can’t imagine NOT being there. He always did the “opening ceremonies,” he broke the ice, he gave the eulogies, made the introductions, and so forth. I honestly thought that Larry would outlive all of us. He may have been 80, but he was one of those truly rare people for whom age really was just a number.

I’m ashamed to say I must’ve taken him for granted. For as generous and amazing as he was– my goodness– could he be irritating. The day before he died, he called me at work– at the busiest part of the day– to ask me could I please look up some information about a play he had just auditioned for called, “The Drowsy Chaperone.” I looked up some trivia and rushed him off the phone, he said he’d call me later. He didn’t. And now I wish he had.

The fact that he could be irritating was probably also one of the most endearing things about him. We’d be at a restaurant and he’d say, in a voice that perhaps on some martian planet was a whisper, “DO YOU SEE THE WART ON THAT WAITRESS’ FACE? WHY DON’T YOU THINK SHE HAS GOTTEN IT REMOVED? YOU’D THINK SHE’D HAVE HAD IT REMOVED BY NOW… ‘Oh, hello darling! We were just talking about your lovely face. I bet you have a thousand boyfriends. I’ll have the…”

And everyone at the table would release a sigh of relief, thinking, “That was a close one!” and somehow he would’ve segged seamlessly into his order, completely bowling the waitress over with his natural charm. He was a hoot.

Again, I can’t imagine him gone. He’s going to bound in here and finish this speech for me. He’s going to come up here and save me with something off the cuff that will have everyone slightly embarrassed and also laughing away their tears.

Speaking of tears, I know my Uncle Larry wants you to cry. I’m not going to tell you not to cry because he would want us all to move forward and celebrate his life. I’m pretty sure he would want us to celebrate his life, but he sure as heck wants us to cry! Can you imagine how offended he would be if we didn’t cry for him? So cry! But not for too long.

Spend the rest of your mourning telling all the hilarious stories about him, honor him by being a patron of the arts, particularly community theater. Every time you watch one of those old, black-and-white movies where the ladies have penciled-in eyebrows– think of him.

I will close by using the last few lines from Les Miserables, which is the translation of the words on Jean Valjean’s tombstone:

He sleeps. Although his fate was very strange, he lived. He died when he had no longer his angel. The thing came to pass simply, of itself, as the night comes when day is gone.

Wherever Larry is, I like to imagine my Aunt Gloria, Uncle Jimmy, and Grandma Marco are all hollering at him to hurry up so they can play cards already. And wherever Uncle Larry is, I’d like to think somebody gave him a bullhorn. Not that he would need it.

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Progress?

OK, so– did Level 1, Week 2, Day 1 of my 100 Push-ups/NO GIRLY PUSH-UPS Challenge yesterday.

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It was wretched and terrible, but I did all 24 push-ups. Even if the last few were ugly.

Incidentally, we had a total of 100 hand-release push-ups in our WOD last night– and I did them prescribed (not on my knees) for the first time in class ever. I was slow, but I knocked them all out.

Speaking of which, I feel really good about all of my CrossFit workouts lately.

I feel that I’m making strength gains and really getting close to doing a pull-up. SO CLOSE.

SOON…

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In other news, one mistake I made yesterday that I hope I will not be making again is allowing the barbell to roll down my back (after I failed trying to come out of the hole).

It felt amazing.

If by amazing, you mean burning fire and pain.

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If only all workouts were made up of air squats. I would win all the prizes.

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PS: I need a haircut serious major. I am two seconds away from chopping it all off and probably losing a boyfriend over it.

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That is all for now. Hurrah for coffee and my 10,000,000,000 calorie a day diet. It seems to be working out OK.

 

 

Getting Old.

I do all this fitness-y stuff, I’m active as hell– but I still can’t get out of the car without feeling like a creaky old lady. Not joking. I hate getting out of the car. It doesn’t hurt– but it’s awkward and slow. I don’t know what my problem is.

Speaking of problems, let’s talk about push-ups. I hate them. I’ve been CrossFitting since last June and I still can’t seem to string 10 good-form push-ups together. It’s brutal.

So that’s why a bunch of us (@winetoweights, for one) are doing the 100 push-ups challenge with the hashtag #nogirlypushups. I’m only on Level 1, Week 1, Day 3– and I think I have to re-do the day because it was such a hot mess when I completed it. My last few were hand-release push-ups. Not intentionally, I just collapsed onto the floor.

I really want to get these good-form push-ups mastered because I think it is important for all-around fitness and also for CrossFit workouts. I’d hate to not be able to Rx a workout for sake of a lousy push-up.

To be fair, I can hammer out a lot of them on my knees– chest to ground– but even those aren’t easy. Suffice to say, I simply have to get better at push-ups. I have to make an active effort to improve. It’s obviously not going to happen on its own just as a side-effect of me getting stronger generally. Same with a dumb-ass pull-up, which is another story.

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Another thing I have gotten back into is yoga. I can’t quite swing the cost of re-joining my favorite yoga studio (Serendipity Yoga in Royal Oak) at the moment, so I’m joining a small group of people doing yoga on Wednesday nights at a friend’s house– with a bonafide yoga instructor. The cost is very low and the instruction very specific and geared toward newbies– which is very helpful. I am pre-arthritic and have flexibility for shit.

PS: Watching me do yoga is probably pretty hilarious. Like a bull in a china chop, for sure.

I keep waiting for that one move I’m amazing at, but haven’t found it yet. I’ll let you know when I do.

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I keep meaning to talk about my experience at Syphus Training, but keep getting waylayed.  Got recruited from Twitter to give it a try– along with Jennifer of Wine to Weightlifting fame.

It was kind of like an hour-long CrossFit MetCon…ish. There were some long, complicated patterns– which I didn’t like. But it was all made up of awesome movements and exercises, which I DID like. A lot. You get points and stuff, but I’m not terribly competitive– so I don’t care about that as much. I went back last Monday to get my butt kicked again and I loved it. Only wish it was closer to where I live now. I think I may drop in once or twice a week. We’ll see. I think it could make me a better CrossFitter. I do love the coaches there– good people. Definitely a killer workout, too.

For more about Syphus, check out Jennifer’s blog entry about it– much more thorough than mine!

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Me and Jennifer, post-Syphus workout. Hope she doesn’t mind I ganked this pic without asking!

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So, despite not losing a pound or an inch on our box’ Paleo Challenge because I cheat all the time– I’ve been throwing strength PR’s around every week like it’s my job. So, there’s at least that.

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Rocking the long hair!

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But I did get these at work. Well done, boyfriend!

I CrossFitted on Valentine’s Day, to B’s great relief– we ate Chipotle for dinner and watched Weird Science. It was lovely.

Crap. It’s been a million years again!

Argh! Sorry, sorry!

A lot has happened since the last post. Christmas in Los Angeles, for one. A somewhat botched 50-day Paleo Challenge with my CrossFit box (still going on, btw, until March 2– I may be the only person who ends up gaining weight that isn’t pure muscle or whatever, because I DO WHAT I WANT). My first CrossFit Competition at Joust Strength + Fitness in Ann Arbor on January 26th, which was a wonderful adventure– even if I was a little out of my depth (I competed in a Modified Division, which means I used lighter weights/KB, a band for pull-ups, and single-under jump-roping, as opposed to double-unders).

I’ll post some pics and maybe get into more detail later.

Me with my CFT Coach, Carey.

During the first WOD, which was a 1 mile run, followed by:

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Pull-ups, Deadlifts (I think I did 115#), KB Swings (only a 26# KB, which was nice), and burpees. Despite the scaling, it was still brutal. I had a really hard time with this WOD.

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SO PRETTY!

During the Front Squat ladder, the third workout:

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So glad I had Carey talking me through this. I was on my own for the first two workouts.

The last WOD, was 5-mins straight of jump-roping. If you had to stop or messed up, you had to do 5 burpees. I got some points here, I didn’t mess up much. Maybe because I went at a steady pace for the whole competition and didn’t burn out early. I messed up 3x, I noticed a lot of girls messing up 5x and 6x.

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I was pretty broken after the competition, I think I took 3 days off. I got a wicked massage two days afterward that FELT like a workout. Holy cow.

Other news, I went to Kalamazoo on Feb. 2nd to see Les Mis with my Twitter friend, JoAnne. It was my millionth time seeing the stage show and was just as good as ever. I also got to meet Andrew Varela, my Twitter buddy of, like, the last two years. Varela plays Javert and is pretty freaking awesome. His Twitter handle is @AndrewVarela525, I don’t think he minds if you bug him.

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Me and Javert (Andrew Varela). Note my shit-eating grin. NERD ALERT.

What else?

Did the Hamtramck 5K Paczki Run with my friend Kaitlin, which was pretty awesome. I didn’t eat the paczki, but then we walked to New Palace bakery where I bought a freshly made giant moon pie and ate that, so bygones. Not paleo, btw.

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Kaitlin with her post-race beer and paczki.

I also wiped out on some ice and ripped my favorite compression pants, which SUCKS.

Pre-race, warming up at the Subway.Image

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Yeah! WOO!

Oh, yeah. I did an 8K race in Port Huron in January with my friend, Rachel (who I did the Run Like the Dickens run with back in December). It was really fun and we were fleet.

I have to stop writing now because I have to get ready for work. But soon I will have to tell you about my Syphus Training experience with @winetoweights and stuff.