Benchmark Week and other things…

Hey everyone!
Hope you are all enjoying the last few days of Summer…How did it get to be Labor day all ready?? While I’m not happy to see the summer go, I am happy for cooler fall air! I feel like people are nicer in the fall too…I don’t know why, maybe I’m just wacky….haha.

Okay, to the important things…BENCHMARK WEEK(S)!!!!!! Every few months RCFBC does a couple of weeks of all benchmark WODS- mostly girls, and 1RM stuff. It’s awesome because you can actually see all of the progress you’ve made by just getting your daily workout in! We have a PR (personal record) board at our box, where everyone can write down their accomplishments! Usually it’s just one little corner of the board. This benchmark week it had tripled in size!! How cool is that? People getting strong and doing things they never thought they would! While I didn’t PR on every wod or 1RM max we did, I did have a bunch! Here they are:

CrossFit Total (1RM back-squat/strict press/deadlift):  470lbs. Previous was 430lbs!
Grace: 5:23 @ 75lbs. Previous was 5:10 @ 70lbs
Isabel: 2:55 @ 60lbs. Previous was 3:10 @ 55lbs
Fran: 10:48 @ 65lbs & ring rows. Previous was 11:40!
Diane: 7:57 @ 115lb dead-lift & 25lb dumb-bell strict press. Previous was 8:08 @ 95lbs!
Fight Gone Bad: 149 Reps- Less reps, but I used the 20in box for step-ups instead of a 16in!!! ūüôā
1RM Thruster: 90lbs
1RM Strict press: 90lbs. Previous was 85lbs
1RM Snatch: 85lbs. Previous was 80lbs
1RM Front Squat: 145lbs. Previous was 110lbs!!!!
1RM Back Squat: 155lbs. Previous was 150lbs
1RM Deadlift: 225lbs. Previous was 195lbs!

I have to admit, seeing them all listed like this is pretty cool. Seeing the PR board tripled in size is pretty cool. Everyone at the box getting better and being amazing is pretty cool. I can’t wait to see how we all do in the coming months. Benchmark week has also taught me a lot. For example, Fran SUCKS. No matter how you scale it. It’s going to be terrible. I get way too nervous doing back squats, so I need to practice dumping the weight more often. I would much rather do a front squat any day. Sometimes I freak my own self out during wods. I need to have more confidence in my abilities. And lastly, I need to give myself a little more credit. I’m doing things now that I would’ve never dreamed of doing last year. My body is capable of some amazing stuff, and I should celebrate that, instead of put myself down for things I can’t do (yet). Now we are doing a month of WODs just from CrossFit mainsite. These are really awesome. So far, I’ve learned that I can’t do high rep snatches with good form…or high rep ab mat situps without being sore for two days after! Doing mainsite WODs is cool, because that’s how CrossFit started. I’m reading a book now called “Learning to Breathe Fire” by J.C. Herz. I highly suggest you pick it up & give it a read. I’m about half way through, and already I’ve learned so much about the roots of CrossFit and some of the original CF starters. If you go to RCFBC, I’m almost done & I’ll leave it at the box if anyone wants to borrow it (Elena has first dibs! ūüôā ).

In addition to these really amazing PRs, I’ve been working on doing more clean eating. It’s been tough, because I love ice cream (hello, who doesn’t?) but I figure, if I can get my diet under control, then I will be able to way more, faster. I’m going to be starting a really cool meal plan next week, called EverThin. I know it sounds something that’s going to be a fad, but I promise you, it’s not. There will be more on this product later- once I give it a shot and see how it goes….muhuhahahaha. I don’t know why I put an evil laugh there….that was weird…haha.

Other fun things going on- I’m in the process of making a website! How cool is that? I never thought it would happen, but with my new found stardom (just kidding…bahahah) I figured, the time was right. I’ll be sharing my blog on there, as well as my favorite products, reviews, recipes, & some giveaways! I’ll let ya’ll know when it’s ready to be published completely. I hope you all will stay with me on that, when it all comes together. I’m not as tech savvy as I thought I was, so it may take some time!
And I got to see the Boston Iron, Boston’s home NPGL team! It was a great day with even better people. Look up the Grid League- it’s pretty cool what they are doing! I can’t wait for the next home match (obviously, because I’ll get a chance to see my main squeeze, Spencer Hendel!!!!!!!!!!) haha.

Lastly, I want to share with you something that’s been on my mind for a while. If you’ve been following me/know me in real life, you know I’ve been all about trying to find a mate & online dating. Spoiler alert: online dating is the worst, and I’ve only encountered actual creeps (not guys that I only think are creeps- I’ve run them by indifferent parties, and they’ve agreed). I’ve never been on a date, which is weird, considering I’m going to be 28….but whatever. I realized the other day that I’m a pretty rad person (stealing that from you Rach!!) I have a good heart, come from a good family, and I’m pretty hilarious (at least I like to think so!). So when the time is right, I’ll find someone who will see all of my amazing qualities & be like “hey, she’s pretty awesome!” But until then, I’m going to learn more about myself, and make sure that I’m the best person I can be. I’m going to enjoy time with my friends and family & just do me. I may never find “the one” but it won’t matter because I’ll be wholeheartedly happy.

Another cool thing that happened this week- I signed up for my first outdoor obstacle course race! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I fall walking up stairs, I don’t know what I was thinking signing up to go up a mountain, but I’ll have some pretty amazing people by my side, so it will be so fun! It’s the O2X Summit Challenge on Loon Mountain in NH, in October. It’s definitely going to be an experience to say the least.

Tomorrow is KettleBells for Kids at the box! I can’t wait! It’s a WOD event to help raise money for homeless children in Massachusetts. It’s scary how many kiddos don’t have a place to live. Here’s the link if you want more info, or would like to donate to a great cause!¬†http://kettlebells4kids.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1115108&lis=1&kntae1115108=238899EA3E234B6D833D036701EE29EC&supId=411071848

Enjoy the holiday weekend, and be safe! Love you all!
-AA

Community.

Hi Everyone!!! These last two weeks have been truly incredible. Like, beyond words awesome. I don’t even know how to start to thank each and every one of you. It just wouldn’t be enough. ‚̧
This past week was the start of BenchMark Weeks at my box. We are doing all of the popular benchmark wods & comparing our progress from last time we did them! I’ve had a lot of PR’s this week, including¬†155lb back squat (5lb PR), 90lb strict press (5lb PR),¬†225lb dead-lift (30lb PR)! I also PR’d my “Grace” weight by 5lbs (75lb), but added on 10 seconds- still a win! Tomorrow we are doing “Isabel” 30 snatches for time…not my favorite girl, but I’ll give her my all! Sorry if this blog post is all over the place, I’m trying to make sure I get everything in here!!¬†
I used to complain that I never had any support from my family- and now that doesn’t matter. While I would love for my mom and dad to be interested in what I do in my CF life, it’s no longer something that I crave. Ever since that video of me finishing the final wod at the Battle of the South Shore Boxes, with everyone in the whole place cheering me on, went viral, I’ve been over the moon. There has been over 11,000 shares (including one from CAMILLE LEBLANC BAZINET & CROSSFIT HQ!!), over 1,000 likes, over 500 comments, over 42,000 blog page hits from all over the world! No lie, I got fan mail. And my friend Hutch made me a Facebook fan page. Seriously. Is this real life? These are just a few of the countries that my story has been shared with:¬†United States,¬†Canada,¬†United Kingdom,¬†Germany,¬†Australia,¬†Mexico,¬†France,¬†Costa Rica,¬†Norway,¬†Italy, Chile, & Puerto Rico. So crazy!¬†
What really resonates with me is the messages that I’ve received from complete strangers- telling me that I am the reason that they push harder in a workout; the reason they finally started crossfit; the reason they didn’t give up when they got an injury. I’ve always looked up to other people as my inspiration, so having people look up to me as their inspiration is kind of wacky. I almost feel like I’m not worthy of such praise. I just go to the box day after day, and do what I ¬†need to do. What makes me so special? I talked to my therapist about this, since I’m still having a really hard time accepting this kind of attention (P.S.- he teared up when saw the video too!), and he told me that people look up to me because I have mental fortitude. Most people would have quit when they broke their wrist, and I didn’t. I modified. I kept going. Sometimes I wonder what made me stay during the whole wrist ordeal. I for sure would’ve quit, but something changed in me. I ¬†thank God everyday that I didn’t quit, because who knows where I would be now- probably very unhappy.¬†
While I can’t say that I’m in the best shape of my life, I can say that I have the tools and so many incredible people around me to push me way further than I would ever push myself, and for that I am eternally grateful. Complete strangers told me they are on my side & can’t wait to follow along with my progress. If that doesn’t show how positive the CrossFit community is, then I don’t know what does.¬†
As defined by Google (because I can’t find my paper dictionary/Google knows everything):¬†
com¬∑mu¬∑ni¬∑ty/¬†k…ôňąmyoÕěonitńď/

1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

“Rhode Island’s Japanese community”
synonyms: group, body, set, circle, clique, faction;
2.a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
“the sense of community that organized religion can provide”
Some people call us a “cult.” I am so glad I decided to join this cult, and don’t plan on ever leaving. I don’t think I ever could!¬†
Shameless shout-out: If you want to keep up with my crossfit life, I’ll be posting most of them on my fan page (um, how weird is that? I have a fan page)! here:¬†https://www.facebook.com/RUthatcrossfitgirlAA?ref=hl
You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @ama2414
To see more great pics from the competition, check out Meg Ellery Photography- she caught some great shots of all the hot ¬†guys I couldn’t fully ogle because I was nervous!;) ¬†http://elleryphotography.smugmug.com/Battle-of-the-South-Shore-Boxe/
Thrusters…GROSS.

I could look at this picture a million times, and still tear up and be over the moon happy every time. 

THIS is CrossFit.

Wow. I’m completely overwhelmed with love and support from yesterday! In case you didn’t see the millions of posts, yesterday I competed in my first individual scaled competition at CrossFit781 in Weymouth. I was apprehensive to sign up, because I’m not an athlete- by any stretch of the imagination. I never have been. So I talked to my coach, and he sort of eased my mind, and I signed up. I was fine for a while- there were a lot of people from my box in the competition- so I would be at ease. Then the wods were released. One of them included 25 20″ box step ups. If you’ve followed me before, you know that anything having to do with a box is the bane of my existence. About a year and a half ago, I fell off of a box while doing box jumps and have had a mental struggle with any kind of box ever since. It’s just a stupid box, but it has caused me so much trouble! As soon as the wods were released, I knew I had to start stepping on that box- before class/after class/during wods- I just had to do it. So many people from my box (the box and the box- something I love and hate! HA), gave me tips, and stayed with me, held my hand and helped me get on the box. But I knew I had to do this one myself. This competition was real, and I wouldn’t be in the comforts or familiarity of my own box.
A week before the competition, one of my amazing coaches, Mike M, opened up the box on Sunday and allowed us to come and do a dry run of all of the wods, just so we could get a feel for what was in store next week. It was an understatement to say I was scared. Although the weight was light for the power cleans and thrusters (45lbs), it still took me longer than I expected. The burpees and the wallballs were gross- it’s two movements that I HATE, and that gas me so quickly. It takes me forever to do burpees, but I can do them. But it was the chipper wod that got me. 25 deadlifts, 25 box stepups, 25 abmat situps, 25 cal row, 25 jumping pullups, 25 stepups, & 25 deadlifts. All to be finished in 13 minutes. Yeah, ok- never happening. During practice, I struggled to get 12 stepups…Like really struggled, and I was completely discouraged for the competition. I just didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of all those people. I’m already self-conscious as it is, being the biggest competitor, but not being able to get on that box would crush my self-confidence completely.
Finally, it was competition day. I was nervous and anxious and excited all in one. I saw a bunch of familiar faces from my box, so I got a little more comfortable, but I knew those step ups were coming, so I would never be comfortable until those were over with! Of course they were programmed last! First up was the wall ball/burpee nastiness. Dan was my judge, and I’m so glad he was there. He made me focus on just me and him and the task at hand- just block everyone else out. Dan- you don’t know how much you making me focus helped. I did the burpees at the best pace I’ve ever done before. It was awesome.
After that little number, came a 10min AMRAP of 5 power cleans; 7 thrusters (gross), and 9 KB swings. I thought this would be easier than it was, but it wasn’t. I had our head coach Mike L as my judge (I basically told all of the girls in our heat that I claimed him…hahahah). My sister and her boyfriend along with my best friend and her husband were there, and now I knew I had to bring it. This was my time to prove to my non-crossfit family and friends what we are all about. Mike- your coaching during that wod, was incredible- I’m forever grateful for you. After that wod, I was gassed, but luckily I had a few hours to kill before the final chipper wod was up. More time to kill = more time to think. I started to get into my own head and second guess my decision to sign up again.
Seeing all of these incredibly athletes made me think that there’s no way I should be here as a participant. I’m no where near their level of athleticism and what was I thinking, signing up for a competition at my size? How do I always get myself into these problems? I broke down while waiting and watching the men’s heat (I would normally be completely focused on no shirt wearing men, so that’s when I knew something was wrong)! Michelle- my biggest fan, tried to give me a pep talk, but it wasn’t working, and my heat was coming up. I don’t know who told him to come and find me, but Mike M, my coach, friend, and teammate came over just as my heat was announced. He just looked me in the eye and told me I could do this. I did it last week, and I could do it now. It was everything I needed. Of course I claimed Mike L as my judge again- I needed him a lot during yesterday, but especially during this one. I finished the 25 dead-lifts in no time, and then it was time for the box. I missed the first time I tried to get on there. Mike told me to shake it off and go again. So that’s what I did. I took some advice that Elena had given me a while back- just treat them like stairs-you go up stairs all the time. So I backed up, got some momentum, and got on that box. Then Jason, the head coach from CF781 came up and started cheering me on. Let me tell you about Jason. He’s on my man calendar at work (yes, of course I have a man calendar) I posted a pic of the calendar, and low and behold, one of my friends knows him and tagged him in it. We became facebook friends, and then his box hosted battle of the south shore boxes! He is such a nice guy, and completely welcomed me and my bare cove family to his gym. And yes ladies, he’s just as handsome in real life! hahaha. His fiance, Dani is gorgeous as well, and just as nice! So back to the box….It took all I had to get up there. But every time I did, the whole entire place erupted with cheers. It was so loud, amazing, awesome, incredible, and every other adjective! ¬†Every time my stepped up there, the cheers got louder and louder. People that didn’t even know me- getting excited for me and cheering me on. I’ve never felt love like that before (wait- isn’t that a song? haha). I focused on Chris, Sharon, and Lauren in the back of the room. Their faces were familiar and everything I needed to keep going. Before I knew it, I was on my last step up. I got up there and the place went wild. I started crying, I’m almost certain everyone was crying. It was an amazing feeling. But there was still time before the 13 min time cap was up. I got myself off the box, and busted out my 25 situps, and then hopped on the rower. Was this real life? Did I really have enough time left to be on the rower? It was nuts. I said to Andrea before my heat went up- “my goal is to just get one step up in the time cap. Just one and I’ll be happy.” And then I got 25, followed by 25 situps, followed by 22ish cals on the rower. Yes, I was the last one to finish, but you know what, who cares? I far surpassed my goal and it was awesome. The entire bare cove crew busted through the caution tape and hopped over rowers and we had an amazing group hug and cry. So many people came up to me after the wod and said that I was awesome and I made them cry. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do those step ups! But I’m glad to have inspired people along the way! ¬†A lot of people, including Katherine, caught it on tape and posted it to facebook. There are so many likes and shares, I can’t even begin to count them. Then something really cool happened. Someone posted that video, and Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, aka the fittest woman on earth reposted it. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? And how could I forget this awesome bit- one of my coaches, Chris also works for Reebok, and gave Rich Froning AKA fittest man on earth 4 years in a row, my number and he SENT ME A TEXT MESSAGE congratulating me! I was shaking and freaking out- it was nuts.

Alex, me, and Mike! ‚̧
Actual text message from the champ!

Since yesterday’s video, I’ve received so many messages, texts, wall posts, etc from people from all over the country and the world. Complete strangers telling me that I inspired them. Me- the fat chick who crossfits inspired other people. It just doesn’t seem real. I’m so incredibly appreciative for every single person who was at the competition yesterday, as well as everyone who sent me a message or gave me a hug, etc. I am completely overwhelmed with love and happiness. Our community is the reason why our sport is the best. I am forever grateful for yesterday. I can’t even begin to describe everything I’m feeling. Just love!
But, I don’t want to overshadow everyone else from my box who competed yesterday too! Kate- my girl- it was her first comp too! You did so awesome, and I’m so glad you decided to sign up! Nina, Christy, Toni, Carol, Sadie, Katherine, Ali, & Nanette- you ladies are amazing. Such strong women, and incredibly role models. I aspire to be as strong as you some day. Scott G, Scott B, Brian, & Mike M- you guys are some seriously tough dudes. You all performed so well, and I’m glad to call you friends.

How could I forget the amazing bare cove supporters! Michelle- my number one fan- you are amazing and I can’t thank you enough for staying the whole day and cheering for each and every one of us. Chris, Sharon & the kids- You are truly an incredible family. Your kids are two of the most amazing children and I’m so glad you two decided to open up RCFBC. My life is completely changed because of you two. Chris- you don’t know how much you made my day by hooking it up with the Rich text. I’m still smiling! And yes, I promise I won’t text him or stalk him! haha. Elena & the girls, Sarah, Bob, Jami, Dan, Alex, Lauren, Kaylee, JD, Janine, Harrison, Mary Lenore, Phil, Hillary, & Hayden (and anyone else I may have forgotten)- Thank you. Just thank you so much. I can’t even begin to find the words to thank you. My life is infinitely better with all of you in it. Crossfit has completely changed my life, and yesterday’s support is what it’s all about. People helping people and respect. I’m completely overjoyed and bursting at the seems with happiness and love. Just a huge thank you to every one! If you need any more proof that crossfit is a cult- here it is. Yes we are a cult, and a pretty inspiring one at that. Much love to everyone. ‚̧

Thrusters….the struggle is real.

AMAZING. Love this so much.

Bare Cove team!!

Super strong Bare Cove ladies! ‚̧

Our crazy crew! xoxo

Simply the best feeling in the world. 

Here are some links, in case you didn’t see the videos:
https://www.facebook.com/CFStrongWomen/posts/693070317447397?reply_comment_id=693232847431144&total_comments=2

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10153223961881416&set=vb.577871415&type=2&theater

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152205753491956&set=vb.514961955&type=2&theater

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1498873233683142&set=p.1498873233683142&type=2&theater