July 28, 2014

Life Lately

I promise I am still here - it's just been a crazy week and a half.  Last Monday, a certain tiny someone (ahem, Brooke) came down with pink eye. Tuesday morning, daddy had gotten it. Wednesday, I came down with some sort of stomach flu (the jury is still out on whether it was listeria, had blood work done and should find out about that today), then Thursday we headed off to the 4th Annual Brackmann Family Reunion in Gatlinburg, TN for the weekend. Friday, I came down with pink eye (UGH! I thought I avoided it!) and then Saturday or Sunday, I got a sinus infection.  Just CANNOT catch a break!  Hopefully everything clears up very soon and I'll get back to feeling normal.  In the meantime, here are a few fun pictures to hold you over until I can get a Gatlinburg post up, and I've also got some fun stuff to share with you this week!

July 21, 2014

What I say to people who ask me about CrossFit

Everytime someone sees or hears that I do CrossFit, or if it comes up in conversation, I get a variety of questions/comments/looks.  Here are the top 10 questions/comments I get and how I respond to them (you know, as a beginner):

1. "CrossFit is SO intense - I can't do that!" - Yes. Yes you can. You know how I know? Because I am doing it. I'm not a superhero (most days...) and I don't have super-human strength or the stamina of a horse. I come in last a lot. But I don't care, because I'm doing it. I am challenging myself. I may not be able to do every move or Rx (do the workout as it was planned by the coach) every workout (or, um, rarely Rx a workout). But I do them to the best of my ability. Isn't that what people do with any workout? Yes? See. Told you.

like I never thought I'd do a box jump - but guess what? I DID.

2. "CrossFit is too dangerous. Don't people get hurt doing that?" - Um sure they do. But people also get hurt running, biking, swimming...I'm sure someone has gotten hurt on an elliptical or stairmaster too. Injury comes with working out, especially if you are doing something incorrectly.  I have a lot of friends who have injuries related to nearly every type of exercise regimen. It happens.

The key is to KNOW YOUR BODY and know your limits.  Listen to your body and if something doesn't feel right, STOP. Don't push yourself to the point of injury - we all know what that point is for ourselves - this lesson is to be applied for any exercise. Sure, things happen that are unforeseeable, but again, that is part of the risk you take when doing any workout.

3. "It's so expensive!!" - Okay yes. It is expensive. Like, double what I've ever paid for a gym membership. BUT, and I cannot emphasize this enough, I have never been more dedicated to a gym than I am now. I've never used a gym membership 4-5 days per week REGULARLY for 10 MONTHS. Ever. Even if it was free (ahem - college). But I go nearly every day. There are a variety of memberships (6 months, 12 months, 14 months - 1 day/week, 2/week, 3/week, unlimited) and boxes will work with you to choose a schedule that is best for you.  ALSO, most boxes offer discounts to students, military, fire fighters and police. AND a lot of boxes offer free trials - whether it be a trial period, one class, one week, whatever, it never hurts to ask!

4. "You CrossFit people are crazy." This is one of the general statements that is kind of annoying but I can brush it off because I don't think I'm crazy. Do I think there are people in the sport that are 'crazy' (crazy, in this case, meaning 100% dedicated to crossfit ALL the time)? Yes of course. But then that means that there are 'crazy' runners, 'crazy' triathloners, 'crazy' just about every sport-ers.  There are always people who push their sport to the limit. Crazy can't be pinpointed to a certain thing. I work out 4-5 days a week for one hour. I don't think that qualifies me as 'crazy' but if it does, then, well, I'm okay with that.

if I'm crazy, at least I'm not alone! (image courtesy of CrossFitRVA)

5. "I bet you eat Paleo too..." Nope. No I don't. I do, however, think 10x harder about my diet now, because I can feel how food affects me.  I know that if I eat like crap one day, the next day I'm probably going to feel like crap. The two go hand in hand. I don't eat Paleo. A lot of crossfitters do, and that's great, I just don't. I like what I eat now, and I eat about 80% or so 'clean' (unprocessed, whole foods).  I still eat carbs and grains and legumes. I eat them in moderation. Knowing what your body needs and fueling it properly is a key ingredient to any good exercise regimen. I say to just find what you need or what makes you feel like you are running at 100%, and do that.  And then share this cookie with me.

6. "I don't have time for all of that." - I can understand this. Everyone has things going on that make finding an extra hour (or hour and a half, counting drive time) difficult. But I've found that if it is important to you, you'll figure it out. A lot of people think that CrossFit means spending hours upon hours in a gym. If you want to compete*, then yes, this is the case. If you are like me and see it as a workout, then it is one hour a day, as many times a week as you want.  It's a work out. An AWESOME, never boring, always fun workout.  I enjoy and look forward to the challenges, so I make time for it.  I squeeze it into my schedule however I can. There are some weeks (last week) that I can go every day. There are some weeks (this week) that I can only make it 3 days, sometimes only 2. I do what I can and I am okay with that.

*Many, many crossfitters compete without training more than an hour a day. But most competitors, I would imagine, do better if they can spend more time in the gym than the usual day-to-day attendee.  This is a personal opinion. Just making it clear that hours upon hours aren't necessary to see results!

7. "It's too competitive for me." Who are you competing with?  Others? Yourself?  I am always challenging myself. Rope climbs. Box jumps. Double unders. Pull ups (ugh not yet). I'm always competing with myself - one more box jump, try this pull up AGAIN, 10 double unders in a row.  I don't compete with the people in my box because 1. nearly all of them will beat me (it's a fact, yo) and 2. I'm too busy cheering them on (or hearing them cheer me on) to compete with them.  CrossFit is the most supportive sport I've ever been associated with. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed. Even in the competitions, the competitors cheer each other on. It's amazing and awesome. The most you should compete in CrossFit is with yourself. That's the only way you'll get better.

and I bet you meet a lot of awesome friends at the box!

8. "I would suck at that stuff." Newsflash - Yeah. You will. At least you will at first. But then something amazing happens - YOU GET BETTER! It's crazy that when you keep at something, you get better at it.  The great thing about it is, unless you're a lifter and have been doing stuff similar to this for a while, chances you suck (i.e. your form, your weights, your abilities) are high. But it will all get so much better!  I still 'suck' at some stuff, but I am 50 times better now than I was 10 months ago. So guess how much less sucky I'll be in 10 more months?! Yep. A lot.  Embrace the suck and make your goal to not be so sucky. (this could ultimately be a life lesson....)

you will suck less in an amazing amount of time. If you try. TRUST ME.  

9. "CrossFit is a cult." - Okay I've never actually had someone say this to me, but I know others have.  My response, in this case, is that if membership to an establishment that makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mom, and more fit means that I'm in a cult, then whatever.  I don't think I'm brainwashed. I am still me. I still do me stuff. I just like to lift heavy things and get my heart rate up and do a variety of exercises that get my heart pumping. So I personally do not think this is a cult, however I've never been a part of a cult.  Maybe they just haven't gotten to me yet ;)

10.  "Oh really? That's awesome! I've thought about trying that a couple of times!"  DO IT!!  Find a friend and go with them. Go by yourself. Go with a family member. Just TRY IT!! What is the worst thing that will happen? You hate it? Okay, then. You tried it, but it's not for you, that's okay!!  I tried running (a lot) and it just isn't my thing, and that's OKAY.  We don't all have to love something, but don't knock it until you try it.  Just remember to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  And if you still aren't sure, read 1-9 again.

So basically, if you want to try it, TRY IT. If you're on the fence about it, TRY IT.  If you don't want to try it, don't try it.  Do you. Do your thing. Whatever it is that makes you happy. Just get moving. Run, walk, bike, swim, crossfit, lift, aerobics, body pump, other group classes, pilates, yoga, WHATEVER - just find what you love and do it.  We are all different - we don't have to love the same things (that would be weird if we did, right?) - but do me a favor and don't knock something if you don't know about it.  And if you do know about it and still want to knock it, well I guess that is okay :) As long as you are doing something else!

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