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Grace Is A Mean One

by Meghann on December 12, 2012

You know it’s a good day at CrossFit, when you end the workout covered in dirt.

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That’s what a few rounds of burpees in the parking lot will get ya. As my coach promptly said, “If you’re not covered in dirt by the end, then you ain’t doing it right.” True enough.

I really enjoyed today’s workout. It was short, but tough.

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I was introduced to my first sets of clean and jerks in the skill focus. Two months into my CrossFit adventure, and I’m still learning new moves in every class.

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(source)

Since I was a newbie to this, I started light. When attempting any move that requires a heavy bar going over my head – the pc pipe is my friend. I did a few of those to get my form, then graduated to the 30lb bar and eventually ended with a 50lb total for the WOD.

That WOD? Her name was Grace and she’s a bit of a bitch. 30 – yep, 30!! – clean and jerks for time. What did I just get myself into?!

The whistle blew and everyone took off. Moments before our coach had given us a big speech how she wanted to see our best effort, she wanted us breathing hard at the end and giving it all we had. That was motivating for the first 5, but man I could feel it for the next. I dropped the bar and rested a few seconds, then heard the guy next to me call time. Not only did he RX, but he set a new record – I wasn’t even halfway done!

I picked up my bar and started going again. I realized early on that I couldn’t get speed and keep my form, so I opted to keep my form not wanting to risk hurting my back. Another guy called time, then I heard a female call her time. I had 10 more to go.

I was on my own for the last 5 and I had to really push to get the bar over my head. The good thing about being last is everyone kind of rallies around you and encourages you through your last set. I fed off of their energy and finished in 3:18. I didn’t break any records, but I finished and I was damn proud of that.

We took a 10 minute break and moved some boxes outside for the “Hail Mary” portion of the WOD.

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This is where things got dirty.

  • 5 box jumps
  • 10 burpees
  • 80 meter sprint
  • every minute on the minute for 10 minutes

A Hail Mary is a longshot, so we were told from the beginning that we probably wouldn’t hit every minute and, here’s the kicker, we were only allowed to count the rounds that we completed within the minute time frame. So if we were halfway through our 80m run when time was called then we couldn’t count that round and would have to sit out through the next minute. In the class before ours, only two people were able to do a complete round within the minute… my goal was to beat that.

The first minute was my warm-up. I was halfway through the run when time was called. Darn. The second minute I rested and the third I tried again. I knew I was fast at the box jumps so I used that to my advantage and got the burpees as fast as I could. I was ready for my sprint with 30 seconds left and crossed the line with time to spare. That was one.

When I finished the coach told me she had never seen me breathing so hard at class. I told her after missing the first two, I was determined to get one in. That determination held over for the fifth minute, when I barely crossed the finish line in time. That was two.

I rested for the next minute, thinking I could have a repeat performance for the seventh minute. I didn’t, I flopped during the burpees and didn’t try for the run. After watching another guy rest two minutes, I decided to follow suit so I would have enough energy for the final round. I sat out for the eighth and ninth minute, then went all out for the tenth.

Boom! I got my third!

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It was after I finished that I looked at my legs for the first time.

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I picked a bad day to wear a white shirt.

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A little dirt never hurt anybody. ;)

My introductory BOGO CrossFit deal ended on the 10th. That means I’ve been officially doing CrossFit for just over two months now. It doesn’t feel like that much time has passed at all! I’m still learning with every class and have some goals for myself that I’m not even on the cusp of realizing (I WILL get that unassisted chin up!).

I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I would continue CrossFit after my introductory trial was over. For a while I wasn’t sure. My plan was to take advantage of the deal just to see what CrossFit was all about. I’ve struggled so much with strength training regularly in the past and wanted something that would keep me motivated to shape-up before my wedding next month. I decided to take CrossFit on a day-by-day basis and see how it went.

I’m not sure I’ve drank the CrossFit “Kool-Aid” just yet (I’m not switching to paleo anytime soon and I’m an endurance junkie to the very end), but I’m also not ready to end my CrossFit journey. I love my gym and the people who come with it. They are an amazing group of regular folks who are not intimidating in the very least, instead they inspire me to push myself beyond my limits.

So I handed my credit card over. The membership is on a month-to-month basis and I can drop out at anytime (as long as I give at least 48-hr notice before the 10th of the month). I’m also suspending my regular gym membership. I haven’t been to my gym since September and that just isn’t right. I try to justify to myself that I should keep the gym for the pool or the treadmill access, but I haven’t used that pool since I started swimming with XP Multisport last May. There are public pools we swim at around the city for dirt cheap that are actually a lot nicer than the one at my gym. And I can brave the extreme cold, heat, or rain for my runs – training in that is good for me anyway.

There you have it. I’m sticking with CrossFit for now. Will I still be there in a year? Who knows. But I know I’ll be there this week and definitely the week after. :)

Breakfast:

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  • red pear
  • Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal
  • ricotta cheese
  • fig preserves
  • blackberries
  • flax seed

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Don’t forget to make a wish today at 12:12:12 on 12-12-12! I think it’s a good day for wishes. ;)

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TorontoRunner December 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

Everyone seems to be cross-fitting – not a bad way to start the day! Although, burpees in the parking lot just soooounds rough.

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2 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer December 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

Those crossfit “girls” are all bitches. 30 doesn’t sound like too much until you start. Then you’re all like can i just die now? One time my coach had us do “Spinning Grace” where we had to do a C&J and then rotate 180 degrees with the bar overhead. Holy crap. Great job on the hail mary! You’re a speedster!

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3 Liz December 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

Hey it is good you wore the white shirt. It really makes you look like you were tearing it up out there. You go girl. :)

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4 Emily N December 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

Great work on that workout!

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5 lisa fine December 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

Wow – rough workout! I always worry that I’d have a hard time taking classes like CrossFit. I’m not very competitive, so I don’t know that their atmosphere would work for me.

I’m curious down the road to see how CF helps your IronMan training, if you think it improves your overall fitness (and I’m sure it does).

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6 Meghann December 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

That’s the part I’m still not sure about. I’ve read about other IronMan competitors who swore CrossFit helped them become a better athlete, while others had to drop it because it didn’t fit in their schedule. I’ll only know whether it will help or hurt when I start training. If I think it’s too much, I’ll drop CrossFit immediately.

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7 Becky @ Olives n Wine December 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

Way to go on the CrossFit workout! That sounds super intense. I am in my 2nd month of CrossFit and am loving it. I will never be able to give up long-distance running (or carbs!) but I really like the strength training aspect and am hoping to continue to up my weight in the months ahead :)

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8 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin December 12, 2012 at 11:10 am

Good for you!! I still haven’t tried Crossfit, but I also cancelled my gym membership after not using it for a month. I either run outside or go to my yoga studio, so it was once in a blue moon I went to the gym. Hopefully I can test out Crossfit soon too.

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9 Dori December 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

I am insanely impressed you picked up clean and jerks in such a short amount of time and understood them well enough to do 30. We learned and practiced extensively for an entire class and I still struggled with what to do. Sometime during the week it clicked, and in the next class when we practiced again and saw more demos I was able to do them. But we didn’t go for a while workout!

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10 Meghann December 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

I had the lightest weight on my bar by a good 20 lbs and a coach patient enough to walk me through it a few times one-on-one. I think that helped! :)

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11 NYC Fit GIrl December 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

Glad you are sticking too it.. I am part of the cult too :-)

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12 Katie @ A Full Plate December 12, 2012 at 11:49 am

I’ve been doing CrossFit since October and I LOVE it. I find it very motivating. I think everyone has to do what they feel is right for them. Although I love the workouts, I don’t ever plan on doing paleo. I just don’t agree with it from a nutrition stand point. But I think I have drinken the “kool aid” since I am actually excited for the WODs and can’t wait to see which one we’ll be doing for the day.

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13 Jennyh December 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Do you see any changes in your body size, gains or losses from crossfit? I belong to a bootcamp fitness center and have had some strength and endurance gains and some inches lost but I’m thinkin trying crossfit with the new year. What are your thoughts on your last 2 months?

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14 Meghann December 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I’m definitely starting to see more definition in my arms and back (which is what I was going after!), but weight is pretty much the same and clothes fit the same. I went into this looking to tone up more than to lose weight, so from that regard I’m happy with the results.

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15 Megan December 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Damnittttt I forgot to make a wish at 12:12!!

I loveee Grace for some reason! I like C&J’s! everytime we do it I try to up my weight and beat my time.. not an easy task!

You look like you need some CF socks! I’d be scared of doing box jumps outside with out socks.. I’ve fallen one too many times off a box :(

I’m a fan of these socks for crossfit.. tiedye, pink.. and comfy!
http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13092052&kw=tie+dye+socks&origkw=tie+dye+socks

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16 Lindsay@A Healthy State of Mind December 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Yowza, Cross Fit sounds like it was intense today! I still haven’t tried it, but it’s been on my bucket list for a while. It’s nice to know you don’t feel intimidated– I think that would be my biggest fear.

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17 Beth December 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Thanks for the honest review of Crossfit. I’ve been on the fence about it for a while because, like you, I’m an endurance junkie. You look so hard core with all that dirt. God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt. Lol!

P.S. Can you just come make me breakfast everyday? Yours always looks so good.

P.P.S. Have you been to Jet City Espresso? I finally went with Steph and it was delish! Let’s make a date!

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18 Meghann December 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I want to go so bad! Tell me when and where and I’ll be there!

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19 Jenn December 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Congrats on Grace, that’s an awesome time! And that Hail Mary thing? Glad my box hasn’t done it yet :) Sounds brutal!

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20 Annette @FitnessPerks December 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Yay for doing a tough workout–that always feels awesome. :)

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21 Rebecca December 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

There is extreme cold in Florida?? I kid, I kid!! ;-)

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22 Meghann December 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

haha… well, extreme to us. We refer to that weather as “Disney Marathon Weather” when it was 20 degrees at the start the year I ran it. Coldest marathon of my life!

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23 Rebecca December 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm

You should try Winterman here in Ottawa :-) The year I ran it, it was 5 degrees F with a windchill. Soooo cold!

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24 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Eat clean, sweat dirty, right? ;)

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25 Margaret December 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Grace is a bad one! Wait till you meet Isabel, she’s 30 snatches for time. Then there is the hero WOD “Randy”, 75 snatches for time. That just about killed me, but that is what Hero WOD’s are for!

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26 Ashley December 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I haven’t tried cross fit, but it seems like something that would kick my patootie. Unfortunately I don’t have the funds to join a box. I have tried doing the WOD on my own, but I can’t imagine doing it with a coach yelling at me.

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27 jennifer December 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I did six intro classes (groupon) and now considering signing on for longer, but it’s a minimum 3 month commitment to start. Bleh.

It is an awesome love/hate thing, isn’t it? lol

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28 Steph @321delish December 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm

You go girl! Your experience at cross fit is making me very interested…do they have a bring a friend day? ;-)

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29 Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper December 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Wow, your breakfast sounds so interesting! I would never think to throw ricotta cheese on there.

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