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The Petite Athleat
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Holy moly, guys! I made it.


I survived all 5 weeks of the CrossFit Open and all 5 awesome workouts.

I was sitting in 15th place in the Asia region as an Individual Female Competitor, when I got the email from HQ asking for my video of 14.4 to review.

After 12 hours of GRUESOMELY slow internet in Kuwait, my video uploaded and I submitted it, terrified somehow my attention to detail wasn't on-point, that my Judge had missed something, that each rep couldn't be perfectly seen, that my video wasn't perfectly in-focus, did my judge stay in the frame the entire time?!

I got the email it was approved!


Phew, I slept great that night.

A few days later, the Leaderboard was shuffled.


Wow, I wasn't in fact 15th, I had finished 11th!

Then, the sweetest email EVER arrived in my inbox ...


I'm going to Seoul! This is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was not training for the Open, let alone Regionals - but here I am.

And I need your help. Big time.

The fees for a competition of this caliber are piling up really fast, and I'm starting to freak out.

$200 registration fee 
$1300 flight to Korea
$300 remote coaching
$400 hotel

Food, taxes, incidentals, taxi fares from hotel and back, etc.

I was planning on taking leave to the States, but there's no WAY I can afford getting myself to Regionals and taking time off to see my family. And it's breaking my heart.

It's a shame that people work this hard to get to this level, and then BOOM, have to figure out how to make it happen. We're talking thousands of dollars. YIKES.

Which is why I need you. If every one of my followers donated $2, I would have enough to fund my trip! Two bucks!

A fundraising page has been set up through GoFundMe.

Any contribution you could make would really help ease some stress. Thank you!

.


I am tired today. Everything on my body hurts. Not sure if it was 14.5 on Friday, running around hosting a CrossFit competition on Sunday, or Saturday's training. Due to a mental math error, I threw way more weight on the bar for all 4 of the workouts I had programmed, and now I'm in a slight vegetative state. #DOMS #dummy

The sandstorms the last few days have NOT been helping anything, either. Who needs microderm abrasion when you live in Kuwait?


It's a good thing I was busy running around yesterday, I think it helped keep everything lubricated so the soreness wasn't quite so acute. I totally forgot I was sore until I came crashing into my bed 16 hours later ...



Part of my position here in Kuwait working for MWR is hosting events for our soldiers. You know, keeping that morale high and putting what I'm teaching them in class to good use. So for the last few months I've been planning the Gruesome Twosome, a co-ed partner competition. 


It was 3 events in total. I'm pretty proud of them, not going to lie. :) Winners were computed by calculating aggregate scores. Other categories included Best Team Name and Best Team Costumes.

Super Tigers!


Cooling down after Event 1


My favorite and final event for the day was a max weight unbroken sled push for 50ft. Each team member had their own sled and 10 minutes to work up to a weight. Some of the combined totals were INSANE!

I heard a lot of good things afterwards, so I'm glowing! Can't bask in the glory for long though, I have another competition planned at the end of April. Have to get cracking! 





I'm off to coach. Happy Monday!
(Photo Credit to Dave DeGroot)



It's the last week of the Open! Speaking of, I'm coaching our classes through it this evening at CrossFit Arifjan, and I can't WAIT.


14.5 to me is just classic CrossFit. Burpees and mofo thrusters. It's been my favorite event this year. I did give it a test run last night, definitelyhad more in the tank, and finished feeling pretty good. That means I SHOULD do it again and move a little faster, but if it doesn't move me around too much on the leader board, that'll be a one and done for me.

 If you're looking for an awesome warm up, I totally suggest the video that Athlete Cell put out!

I found a few people to suffer through it with me. Misery loves company!

Have you been competing in the Open?
What's your favorite workout so far?


Happy Hump Day!


I have a treat for you guys!


Yep, another paleo recipe. But first ... an update.

I'm still getting over this sinus infection I came down with after 14.3. Not being able to breathe out of my mouth has made training slightly spicy, to say the least. I kind of miss being able to taste food, too.

Well, maybe I can taste a little, because I've been devouring this jar of Nikki's Coconut Butter.


Holy goodness, like whoa. You all know I have ZERO self control when it comes to nut butters. I fear that I won't be able to keep this in the house either. This jar arrived TWO days ago, and it's 3/4 gone. 

Moderation? What's moderation? Now I know why they make stretchy pants.

Aside from my coconut butter coma's, I have a new bottle of ZMA's to thank for an incredible nights sleep these days. I've added ZMA's to my routine for the last 3 nights, and I have to tell you, I sleep SOUNDLY. I have a lot on my mind these days, but these things knock me out. 


Hallelujah!

Okay, back to these cookies.

I woke up on Monday morning in the mood to bake. While my chai tea was seeping, I just started throwing random things in a bowl, hoping they turned out.

 I took them into work for the athletes we have on the Paleo Challenge, and judging by the rate in which they disappeared, I'm thinking they were pretty good.

Paleo Protein Chunky Cookies
Makes 18 large cookies

100 calories each
5g fat
4g protein
10g carbs
2g fiber


Ingredients
3 medium size, ripe bananas
2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut 
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 large scoop protein powder (I used Syntha-6 in Vanilla Ice Cream)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 whole eggs
Dash of salt

Directions
1. Mash bananas with a fork. Mix in eggs until just incorporated. 
2. Mix all dry ingredients together. 
3. Mix wet and dry together until just incorporated (want to keep these chewy and dense). 
4. Bake at 325 on the middle rack for about 15 minutes, until tops are just slightly browned.

Enjoy!



Inspired by a recipe from Jamie Eason ... 


Paleo Protein Bars 
Makes 8 bars or muffins

Ingredients
1/4 cup blanched almond flour 
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour
Whites from 3 eggs + 1 whole egg 
2 scoops protein powder 
2 dropperfuls of liquid Stevia
1/4 tsp Baking Powder 
Dash Salt 
2 tbsp chia seeds 
1/2 cup frozen fruit 
Splash of milk (coconut, almond, etc). 


 Instructions

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients except chia and fruit.
2. Microwave to thaw your frozen fruit for 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring often. This will take about 90 seconds.
3. Add chia seeds and set aside for 5 minutes to form a chia gel.
4. Now, mix fold in with other wet ingredients.
5. Slowly sift in the dry ingredients, until just moistened, ensuring you do not over mix.
6. Spray a small 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray or grease with a little oil of your choice. Or, use a muffin dish, and grease 8 muffin holes and divide batter evenly amongst. (Pour a little water into the other muffin holes to keep the pan from warping.)
7. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, ensuring they're cooked through when toothpick inserted comes out clean.


The first time I made these, I used vanilla protein powder and strawberries. The second time, I used chocolate protein powder and raspberries. So good!



Topping options are endless. For a frosting, try mixing one scoop of protein powder with just enough water to form a gel, slather over your bars or muffins as soon as they're cool.

Nutrition Facts
Calories: 90
Fat: 3g

Carbs: 5g
Protein: 10g
Sugar: 1g
Fiber: 3g


I've made it through Week 3 of the Open! On Sunday morning, after coaching a huge 3-hour long Orientation, a few of the coaches and I tackled it ...


I have to say, 14.3 has been my favorite workout to date. But because I feared it would be pretty taxing on the CNS, I chose to only do it once. Sure, I could have squeezed out a few more reps had I re-done it and timed things differently, but oh well. I had FUN doing this workout, and to me, that's what it's about.

On my video (for submission), I'm even caught dancing at the end (I guess triples at 205 are exhilarating?), right before I throw myself into this crazy contraption ...


Decompressing the spine ... I tried this Saturday night, and moments after. I find that it almost acts as a poor man's inversion table. I'm excited to use it any time I go overhead as well (heavy jerks) when I feel super compressed throughout my entire spine afterwards. Give it a whirl, let me know what you think. (Goofy pictures are always appreciated).


Afterwards, I came home and splurged ... with s'mores!


And now? I'm sick as a dog. My body feels pretty good recovery-wise, but whatever this cold is that I have ... that's another story. Sore throat, nasty cough, ear aches, ugh.

How are you feeling after 14.3? Anyone break down with a cold?


It's been a little surreal over here in my corner of Kuwait since the Open began ...


HQ contacted me, asked me for a quote on how I'm going to tackle Open Workout 14.3 ... Well,  hopefully not die?



When I took this position last summer, I had zero thought on doing well enough to be at the top of the leaderboard in the Open.

I had no idea I could be competitive in the Asia region. My plan? I'm training for the Masters. Meaning, I have never been in a hurry to rush my training or to force progress or PR's. I take a lot of unscheduled rest days, I don't have a coach with specialized training, and some days I don't even follow particular programming, I do what I want to do and listen to my body.

Training isn't always fun. Training can be draining, exhausting and sometimes even boring, and you just have to grind it out ... I'll be the first one to tell you, there's been plenty of days where I've tossed my training to jump in with a class ... I still need to have my fun!

Yet here I am, 4th in Asia, top 1,500 in the world out of 60,000 women. You bet your ass now I'm wishing I'd rested a little less and trained a little more ...

All that exercising aside, the best part of it? How much it means to my athletes here. I'm amazed at all of the positive encouragement I've gotten because of it. When I hear, "Because of you, I'm going to try harder," it's all worth it, and you bet your buns I'm going to give it all I've got now ...

I try to keep it pretty cheese-free around here, but I can't help it, this is cheesy: it's awesome to know I'm inspiring some people.

I have A LOT of bad days here ... Contracting is not easy. Working in a military environment is not easy. Living in the middle of the desert away from family, friends, my dog, has been the most challenging experience of my adult life. This culture is something else ... On top of trying to get back on my feet after my divorce last year, there's been more nights of crying myself to sleep than slumbering away peacefully, that's for sure.


But guess what, every day is a new day. So as bad as the days can be, I make it through 'em. That's a 100% success rate so far. And that's not too shabby.

You, my readers, my athletes at the box, even friends and family back home who don't know what CrossFit is ... thanks for your encouragement and support (& thanks for the care packages! I can't tell you how uplifting mail can be out here ... )


So even if I bomb these next 3 workouts (I might die after all of these deadlifts), it's been really fun doing this well for the first few weeks! I've surprised myself, that's for damn sure.



Who's ready for the Open?!

I'm registered for the first time this year, and I can't wait! I'm pretty healthy, I'm pretty happy, and I'm going to be around some amazing athletes. The community here among deployed soldiers is awesome. With everyone's family so far away from home, we have become each others family ... We're all here to cheer each other on, fight the fight, and get a little bit stronger every day. 


For many of our athletes, it's there first Open. Honestly, it's their first year, month, and for some, their first few weeks!


For us, it's about community. It's about brotherhood. It's about not sucking at life. So that we can have a BETTER quality of life. CrossFit is directly applicable to our soldiers: which makes it so rewarding. It keeps them safer and more prepared down range, on top of and crushing their PT tests, and keeps them busy, giving them goals and motivation while they're away from their loved ones.

I can't wait to see how everyone does this year. Myself included! I've made a lot of progress this year, but who know's how we'll do in the Open arena? This is what keeps us motivated. The fun, the unknown, the unknowable. CrossFit is that mystery woman in the little red dress, just slipping out of our peripheral vision. Just when you think you have her, they throw something crazy out there. Triple unders at the Games this year? That's a red dress in hooker heels right there.


What is my idea of greatness? It's an athlete making a commitment to the gym. It's an athlete crushing a goal, whether it be 2 double unders in a row or 20. It's cleaning up their diet because they want better performance. It's cutting out cigarettes because they finally want to treat their body with some respect, once they finally see what it is capable of.


I want to wish you all a happy Open season! May the force be with you!




Food. So motivated by FOOD.


... and The Tasty.


Paleo Protein Pancakes?

In a past life I was actually Paula Dean. 


Peanut butter on ALL the things.


Chia oats and plantains 


SoDelicious, the best brand ever!


Meal prep, so easy. 3.5 ounces of meat + 2 cups of veggies. Repeat for each meal. Add 1 tbsp of avocado or nut butter for a Zone meal. 



And ice cream. Because there's always a time and a place for some Caramel Crunch and Triple Chocolate Chunk. 



Days that start by waking up sleepily, smiling, well-rested, in a quiet room, with the sound of the ocean floating through your open window ...

are the best days. 

Thanks to my awesome work schedule, I get to wake up like this every morning! Certain mornings, I get to sleep in even later because it's my day off! (For those of you with two days off a week, and that only work 8 hour work days, please realize how blessed you are.)

Morning routine:
Wake up naturally screw you, alarm!
Open curtains
Turn on music
Jump on the bed
Throw on slippers, because walking on marble floors with bare feet is creepy
Turn on the kettle in the kitchen
Make bed (every day since I've been in high school)
Pour a cup of coffee
Lay out yoga mat ...

For the last week I've started my day with this energizing yoga routine ... because even Tin Man happens to be more supple than I am when I wake up in the morning. I throw in some couch stretch and a little ankle mobility to help my squat, and carry on with my day feeling 100% better.


This week I had to bid farewell to one of our volunteer coaches at CFAJ. More than just a coach though, he was an amazing friend and a huge inspiration to a lot of our athletes.


His first-ever CrossFit workout was Zeus. He wanted that to be his going-away WOD. 


Murph on Sunday and that on Wednesday? Two Hero's in one week, ouch. But I finished, in 34 minutes and some change, as prescribed. I think the stickiest movement for me was the SDHP. Such an awkward movement.

Can I tell you what I was thinking about for the majority of that workout? Well, besides how brutal it was? About finishing as fast as possible, because I had this treat waiting for me.


I am SO motivated by FOOD. VitaCoco and Recovery Progenex. #heaveninmymouth

Speaking of food ... look what I made this afternoon.


They even have chocolate in them! And they happen to be roughly 1 Zone block each :) Perfect for this little miss snack face.

Each 1 Block muffin contains:
80 calories
3g fat
7g carb
7g protein
4g sugar (from fruit)


Paleo Protein Banana Muffins
Makes 12

Ingredients
6 oz ripe banana (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
2 scoops whey protein*
whites from 2 eggs
1 whole egg
3 tbsp coconut flour
1 ounce crushed walnuts
1 tbsp chia seeds
3 dark chocolate Hershey kisses, chopped*
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
Stevia drops to sweeten, if needed.

Directions
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. With a fork, mash banana well
3. Stir together all wet ingredients. 
4. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients
5. Mix the two together, careful not to over-mix.
6. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow chia seeds to absorb.
7. Pour into greased muffin tins. Don't use paper liners.
8. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 30-35 minutes.

* I used Jay Robb's Egg White protein powder in vanilla to keep it paleo.
** Chocolate is optional, though included in the nutrition information. :)


Who's playing in the Open this year?! Less than a week to go, so excited!


Holy moly, guys! I made it.


I survived all 5 weeks of the CrossFit Open and all 5 awesome workouts.

I was sitting in 15th place in the Asia region as an Individual Female Competitor, when I got the email from HQ asking for my video of 14.4 to review.

After 12 hours of GRUESOMELY slow internet in Kuwait, my video uploaded and I submitted it, terrified somehow my attention to detail wasn't on-point, that my Judge had missed something, that each rep couldn't be perfectly seen, that my video wasn't perfectly in-focus, did my judge stay in the frame the entire time?!

I got the email it was approved!


Phew, I slept great that night.

A few days later, the Leaderboard was shuffled.


Wow, I wasn't in fact 15th, I had finished 11th!

Then, the sweetest email EVER arrived in my inbox ...


I'm going to Seoul! This is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was not training for the Open, let alone Regionals - but here I am.

And I need your help. Big time.

The fees for a competition of this caliber are piling up really fast, and I'm starting to freak out.

$200 registration fee 
$1300 flight to Korea
$300 remote coaching
$400 hotel

Food, taxes, incidentals, taxi fares from hotel and back, etc.

I was planning on taking leave to the States, but there's no WAY I can afford getting myself to Regionals and taking time off to see my family. And it's breaking my heart.

It's a shame that people work this hard to get to this level, and then BOOM, have to figure out how to make it happen. We're talking thousands of dollars. YIKES.

Which is why I need you. If every one of my followers donated $2, I would have enough to fund my trip! Two bucks!

A fundraising page has been set up through GoFundMe.

Any contribution you could make would really help ease some stress. Thank you!

.


I am tired today. Everything on my body hurts. Not sure if it was 14.5 on Friday, running around hosting a CrossFit competition on Sunday, or Saturday's training. Due to a mental math error, I threw way more weight on the bar for all 4 of the workouts I had programmed, and now I'm in a slight vegetative state. #DOMS #dummy

The sandstorms the last few days have NOT been helping anything, either. Who needs microderm abrasion when you live in Kuwait?


It's a good thing I was busy running around yesterday, I think it helped keep everything lubricated so the soreness wasn't quite so acute. I totally forgot I was sore until I came crashing into my bed 16 hours later ...



Part of my position here in Kuwait working for MWR is hosting events for our soldiers. You know, keeping that morale high and putting what I'm teaching them in class to good use. So for the last few months I've been planning the Gruesome Twosome, a co-ed partner competition. 


It was 3 events in total. I'm pretty proud of them, not going to lie. :) Winners were computed by calculating aggregate scores. Other categories included Best Team Name and Best Team Costumes.

Super Tigers!


Cooling down after Event 1


My favorite and final event for the day was a max weight unbroken sled push for 50ft. Each team member had their own sled and 10 minutes to work up to a weight. Some of the combined totals were INSANE!

I heard a lot of good things afterwards, so I'm glowing! Can't bask in the glory for long though, I have another competition planned at the end of April. Have to get cracking! 





I'm off to coach. Happy Monday!
(Photo Credit to Dave DeGroot)



It's the last week of the Open! Speaking of, I'm coaching our classes through it this evening at CrossFit Arifjan, and I can't WAIT.


14.5 to me is just classic CrossFit. Burpees and mofo thrusters. It's been my favorite event this year. I did give it a test run last night, definitelyhad more in the tank, and finished feeling pretty good. That means I SHOULD do it again and move a little faster, but if it doesn't move me around too much on the leader board, that'll be a one and done for me.

 If you're looking for an awesome warm up, I totally suggest the video that Athlete Cell put out!

I found a few people to suffer through it with me. Misery loves company!

Have you been competing in the Open?
What's your favorite workout so far?


Happy Hump Day!


I have a treat for you guys!


Yep, another paleo recipe. But first ... an update.

I'm still getting over this sinus infection I came down with after 14.3. Not being able to breathe out of my mouth has made training slightly spicy, to say the least. I kind of miss being able to taste food, too.

Well, maybe I can taste a little, because I've been devouring this jar of Nikki's Coconut Butter.


Holy goodness, like whoa. You all know I have ZERO self control when it comes to nut butters. I fear that I won't be able to keep this in the house either. This jar arrived TWO days ago, and it's 3/4 gone. 

Moderation? What's moderation? Now I know why they make stretchy pants.

Aside from my coconut butter coma's, I have a new bottle of ZMA's to thank for an incredible nights sleep these days. I've added ZMA's to my routine for the last 3 nights, and I have to tell you, I sleep SOUNDLY. I have a lot on my mind these days, but these things knock me out. 


Hallelujah!

Okay, back to these cookies.

I woke up on Monday morning in the mood to bake. While my chai tea was seeping, I just started throwing random things in a bowl, hoping they turned out.

 I took them into work for the athletes we have on the Paleo Challenge, and judging by the rate in which they disappeared, I'm thinking they were pretty good.

Paleo Protein Chunky Cookies
Makes 18 large cookies

100 calories each
5g fat
4g protein
10g carbs
2g fiber


Ingredients
3 medium size, ripe bananas
2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut 
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 large scoop protein powder (I used Syntha-6 in Vanilla Ice Cream)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 whole eggs
Dash of salt

Directions
1. Mash bananas with a fork. Mix in eggs until just incorporated. 
2. Mix all dry ingredients together. 
3. Mix wet and dry together until just incorporated (want to keep these chewy and dense). 
4. Bake at 325 on the middle rack for about 15 minutes, until tops are just slightly browned.

Enjoy!



Inspired by a recipe from Jamie Eason ... 


Paleo Protein Bars 
Makes 8 bars or muffins

Ingredients
1/4 cup blanched almond flour 
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour
Whites from 3 eggs + 1 whole egg 
2 scoops protein powder 
2 dropperfuls of liquid Stevia
1/4 tsp Baking Powder 
Dash Salt 
2 tbsp chia seeds 
1/2 cup frozen fruit 
Splash of milk (coconut, almond, etc). 


 Instructions

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients except chia and fruit.
2. Microwave to thaw your frozen fruit for 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring often. This will take about 90 seconds.
3. Add chia seeds and set aside for 5 minutes to form a chia gel.
4. Now, mix fold in with other wet ingredients.
5. Slowly sift in the dry ingredients, until just moistened, ensuring you do not over mix.
6. Spray a small 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray or grease with a little oil of your choice. Or, use a muffin dish, and grease 8 muffin holes and divide batter evenly amongst. (Pour a little water into the other muffin holes to keep the pan from warping.)
7. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, ensuring they're cooked through when toothpick inserted comes out clean.


The first time I made these, I used vanilla protein powder and strawberries. The second time, I used chocolate protein powder and raspberries. So good!



Topping options are endless. For a frosting, try mixing one scoop of protein powder with just enough water to form a gel, slather over your bars or muffins as soon as they're cool.

Nutrition Facts
Calories: 90
Fat: 3g

Carbs: 5g
Protein: 10g
Sugar: 1g
Fiber: 3g


I've made it through Week 3 of the Open! On Sunday morning, after coaching a huge 3-hour long Orientation, a few of the coaches and I tackled it ...


I have to say, 14.3 has been my favorite workout to date. But because I feared it would be pretty taxing on the CNS, I chose to only do it once. Sure, I could have squeezed out a few more reps had I re-done it and timed things differently, but oh well. I had FUN doing this workout, and to me, that's what it's about.

On my video (for submission), I'm even caught dancing at the end (I guess triples at 205 are exhilarating?), right before I throw myself into this crazy contraption ...


Decompressing the spine ... I tried this Saturday night, and moments after. I find that it almost acts as a poor man's inversion table. I'm excited to use it any time I go overhead as well (heavy jerks) when I feel super compressed throughout my entire spine afterwards. Give it a whirl, let me know what you think. (Goofy pictures are always appreciated).


Afterwards, I came home and splurged ... with s'mores!


And now? I'm sick as a dog. My body feels pretty good recovery-wise, but whatever this cold is that I have ... that's another story. Sore throat, nasty cough, ear aches, ugh.

How are you feeling after 14.3? Anyone break down with a cold?


It's been a little surreal over here in my corner of Kuwait since the Open began ...


HQ contacted me, asked me for a quote on how I'm going to tackle Open Workout 14.3 ... Well,  hopefully not die?



When I took this position last summer, I had zero thought on doing well enough to be at the top of the leaderboard in the Open.

I had no idea I could be competitive in the Asia region. My plan? I'm training for the Masters. Meaning, I have never been in a hurry to rush my training or to force progress or PR's. I take a lot of unscheduled rest days, I don't have a coach with specialized training, and some days I don't even follow particular programming, I do what I want to do and listen to my body.

Training isn't always fun. Training can be draining, exhausting and sometimes even boring, and you just have to grind it out ... I'll be the first one to tell you, there's been plenty of days where I've tossed my training to jump in with a class ... I still need to have my fun!

Yet here I am, 4th in Asia, top 1,500 in the world out of 60,000 women. You bet your ass now I'm wishing I'd rested a little less and trained a little more ...

All that exercising aside, the best part of it? How much it means to my athletes here. I'm amazed at all of the positive encouragement I've gotten because of it. When I hear, "Because of you, I'm going to try harder," it's all worth it, and you bet your buns I'm going to give it all I've got now ...

I try to keep it pretty cheese-free around here, but I can't help it, this is cheesy: it's awesome to know I'm inspiring some people.

I have A LOT of bad days here ... Contracting is not easy. Working in a military environment is not easy. Living in the middle of the desert away from family, friends, my dog, has been the most challenging experience of my adult life. This culture is something else ... On top of trying to get back on my feet after my divorce last year, there's been more nights of crying myself to sleep than slumbering away peacefully, that's for sure.


But guess what, every day is a new day. So as bad as the days can be, I make it through 'em. That's a 100% success rate so far. And that's not too shabby.

You, my readers, my athletes at the box, even friends and family back home who don't know what CrossFit is ... thanks for your encouragement and support (& thanks for the care packages! I can't tell you how uplifting mail can be out here ... )


So even if I bomb these next 3 workouts (I might die after all of these deadlifts), it's been really fun doing this well for the first few weeks! I've surprised myself, that's for damn sure.



Who's ready for the Open?!

I'm registered for the first time this year, and I can't wait! I'm pretty healthy, I'm pretty happy, and I'm going to be around some amazing athletes. The community here among deployed soldiers is awesome. With everyone's family so far away from home, we have become each others family ... We're all here to cheer each other on, fight the fight, and get a little bit stronger every day. 


For many of our athletes, it's there first Open. Honestly, it's their first year, month, and for some, their first few weeks!


For us, it's about community. It's about brotherhood. It's about not sucking at life. So that we can have a BETTER quality of life. CrossFit is directly applicable to our soldiers: which makes it so rewarding. It keeps them safer and more prepared down range, on top of and crushing their PT tests, and keeps them busy, giving them goals and motivation while they're away from their loved ones.

I can't wait to see how everyone does this year. Myself included! I've made a lot of progress this year, but who know's how we'll do in the Open arena? This is what keeps us motivated. The fun, the unknown, the unknowable. CrossFit is that mystery woman in the little red dress, just slipping out of our peripheral vision. Just when you think you have her, they throw something crazy out there. Triple unders at the Games this year? That's a red dress in hooker heels right there.


What is my idea of greatness? It's an athlete making a commitment to the gym. It's an athlete crushing a goal, whether it be 2 double unders in a row or 20. It's cleaning up their diet because they want better performance. It's cutting out cigarettes because they finally want to treat their body with some respect, once they finally see what it is capable of.


I want to wish you all a happy Open season! May the force be with you!




Food. So motivated by FOOD.


... and The Tasty.


Paleo Protein Pancakes?

In a past life I was actually Paula Dean. 


Peanut butter on ALL the things.


Chia oats and plantains 


SoDelicious, the best brand ever!


Meal prep, so easy. 3.5 ounces of meat + 2 cups of veggies. Repeat for each meal. Add 1 tbsp of avocado or nut butter for a Zone meal. 



And ice cream. Because there's always a time and a place for some Caramel Crunch and Triple Chocolate Chunk. 



Days that start by waking up sleepily, smiling, well-rested, in a quiet room, with the sound of the ocean floating through your open window ...

are the best days. 

Thanks to my awesome work schedule, I get to wake up like this every morning! Certain mornings, I get to sleep in even later because it's my day off! (For those of you with two days off a week, and that only work 8 hour work days, please realize how blessed you are.)

Morning routine:
Wake up naturally screw you, alarm!
Open curtains
Turn on music
Jump on the bed
Throw on slippers, because walking on marble floors with bare feet is creepy
Turn on the kettle in the kitchen
Make bed (every day since I've been in high school)
Pour a cup of coffee
Lay out yoga mat ...

For the last week I've started my day with this energizing yoga routine ... because even Tin Man happens to be more supple than I am when I wake up in the morning. I throw in some couch stretch and a little ankle mobility to help my squat, and carry on with my day feeling 100% better.


This week I had to bid farewell to one of our volunteer coaches at CFAJ. More than just a coach though, he was an amazing friend and a huge inspiration to a lot of our athletes.


His first-ever CrossFit workout was Zeus. He wanted that to be his going-away WOD. 


Murph on Sunday and that on Wednesday? Two Hero's in one week, ouch. But I finished, in 34 minutes and some change, as prescribed. I think the stickiest movement for me was the SDHP. Such an awkward movement.

Can I tell you what I was thinking about for the majority of that workout? Well, besides how brutal it was? About finishing as fast as possible, because I had this treat waiting for me.


I am SO motivated by FOOD. VitaCoco and Recovery Progenex. #heaveninmymouth

Speaking of food ... look what I made this afternoon.


They even have chocolate in them! And they happen to be roughly 1 Zone block each :) Perfect for this little miss snack face.

Each 1 Block muffin contains:
80 calories
3g fat
7g carb
7g protein
4g sugar (from fruit)


Paleo Protein Banana Muffins
Makes 12

Ingredients
6 oz ripe banana (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
2 scoops whey protein*
whites from 2 eggs
1 whole egg
3 tbsp coconut flour
1 ounce crushed walnuts
1 tbsp chia seeds
3 dark chocolate Hershey kisses, chopped*
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
Stevia drops to sweeten, if needed.

Directions
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. With a fork, mash banana well
3. Stir together all wet ingredients. 
4. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients
5. Mix the two together, careful not to over-mix.
6. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow chia seeds to absorb.
7. Pour into greased muffin tins. Don't use paper liners.
8. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 30-35 minutes.

* I used Jay Robb's Egg White protein powder in vanilla to keep it paleo.
** Chocolate is optional, though included in the nutrition information. :)


Who's playing in the Open this year?! Less than a week to go, so excited!