Saturday, September 26, 2009

You are What You Eat???

I just want to talk a little about diet. As CrossFitters we are all consumed with how we can become faster, stronger, fitter athletes. Not only are we training hard in the gym, and striving for those PR's - but what we do outside of the gym becomes even more important for us. I'm talking about what food we put in our mouths. Instead of reaching for whatever tastes good, we become obsessed with journaling every morsel consumed and carry our trusty food scales with us everywhere- "just in case". Preparing for the fitness competition opened my eyes to the fact that I am completely obsessed with my diet. Some would say that this is a good thing, others would label it a eating disorder. I suppose its a mixture of the both in some ways. I started journaling what I eat on a daily basis around 4 years ago when I found CrossFit- I still have every journal and will not get rid of them. I literally can look back to October of 05 and see what I ate on that day and the times I ate and how I felt after eating it. I know - silly and strange and a little crazy. I started asking myself why do I do this?Is it healthy? Surly after eating Zone and Paleo for over 4 years I have it down by now and have eliminated the need to journal it. I figured out that it goes way deeper than just wanting to know if Im getting the right nutrition. It's because I LOVE structure! If I don't write down what I eat I seriously feel a little off. I get a sense of satisfaction when I look at my journal at the end of the day and see a perfectly balanced, healthy day all laid out before me. If I slip up I write that down too- then when I review I see that black spot and I do not like the way it makes me feel. It makes me feel defeated in some way and I HATE that feeling. Don't you? I have made a ton of strength breakthroughs since I tweeked my diet a couple months ago so of course I will continue to journal my meals and the PR's keep coming.

I want to challenge you to start writing down your food, if you don't already, and see what happens to your fitness in the gym. Write down how you feel at the end of the day as well - promise you will start feeling better. I'm giving a Zone/Paleo lecture today to around 20+ athletes and I am excited to get them excited about their nutrition. I see a lot of weight being shed, as well as alot of strength being gained in the next few weeks.

So----what is YOUR excuse? I know---the kids, work, the house....blah blah blah. We are a high revved society and we are busier than we have ever been and over scheduled to say the least. I believe that the phrase "Im too busy" has become more of a badge of honor than a reality. By saying "Im so busy" it shows we have things to do and an excuse why we haven't done the things we SAY we're going to do - like eat well or exercise. Am I hitting a chord yet?? It takes 15 minutes to measure and pack your meals for the next day. Thats less time than it takes to drive to fast food market, or wait in line at a grocery store deli. DO THE WORK and watch what goals you can reach. You will NEVER know where you COULD be, if you don't start moving in that direction. Better yet - think about where you CAN be (physically) two weeks from now - if you only took the steps to start today??? Throw out the shit food from your pantry - your kids don't need the HoHo's either and fill it with good Zone Paleo foods that will nourish your body and fuel your workouts. Make a change. Life happens real fast, and if we don't take charge of ours, it will fall apart. We will age quicker, gain those extra pounds and become lazy people who sit on the sidelines of life and watch OTHER people live it. Jump in - take charge - life the life YOU create.......with gusto and with passion.

I believe in you :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun day

A picture from a totally fun day with Mark.....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Everybody Needs A Best Friend

Mine is Chris. There has been so many ways that this man has changed my life its hard to break it all down. I met Chris around a year ago - he found me on the CrossFit site as he was looking for a coach. He called me, we set up a time to meet and discuss training. When I first saw Chris my thought was "wow...this guy looks like a serious runner." He was 27 pounds lighter than he is today, and his disposition was a little nervous and unsure of himself. We chatted for an hour and I convinced him that he would be in good hands with me - I knew he would need some hand holding as he stated he didn't even have a pullup. In fact, I remember some of his goals were to be able to take his shirt off on the beach and not feel embarrassed, to backsquat without feeling weak, and to do pullups. These were great goals! I was going through my own personal hell as Brendan had just left me and I was trying to sort everything out. Looking back now - a higher power definitely led Chris to me....because my life got better after he came into it.

Over the next few months I took control of his endurance diet and switched him over to Zone - he would only eat maybe once a day before meeting me - he quickly saw the results in strength and his speed on the track got faster. After a month of being friends he told me who he actually was. Chris was a very accomplished athlete indeed - winning the Ironman Brasil, competing all over the world as a famous runner. Wow - my respect for the man rose to new heights! He was so humble and even though he trained with the best coaches all over the country - here he was listening to me. Trusting me. He got his pullups around the second month and he was hooked! We would met every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I would program mostly strength workouts with him. The man had speed already - a 5:23 minute mile - but as he got stronger and gained weight he also broke records in his speed - he now has a 4:57 minute mile.....and can hold 5:13's for mile repeats!!! Chris has come a long way and we have built a wonderful friendship. We spend time together outside of the gym, and every conversation we have teaches me something new about myself and life. He shows me that there is good in me, and although I have made some pretty huge mistakes in my past - I have learned from them and have grown as a person. Every once in a while if your lucky there comes a long a person into your life who changes you for the better. Chris is that person for me. In a lot of ways our lives are parallel. He has gone through some tough situations in his life as well as I, but I see the other side through his eyes.....and it has opened my heart.

Anyway, enough about how wonderful Chris is. I was prompted to write this note by a text message sent to me from Mary Cranover, a client at CrossFit SCCentral. In it she stated how lucky I am to have such a wonderful man as a friend in my life.....and I thought "Yea! I am lucky!"

Love you Chris!! Cant wait to build pain ball grenades with you tomorrow and have more meaningful conversations :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Grand Canyon Run/Hike

Just a couple weeks ago my client turned best friend, Chris, sent me a text asking if I would be into hiking the Grand Canyon with him. I answered an excited "yes!" and he quickly made all the arrangements - probably before I realized what I had said yes to! Our plan was to start at the South Rim and hike the width of the canyon to the North Rim- stay the night there, then hike back. Apparently this is not done too often and I have never been there, so when he said 42 miles total it didn't seem THAT bad to me. Okay, 6 miles down to the bottom of the canyon, around 12 miles across, then 6 miles out. I've run 32 miles in a race before, how hard can WALKING 24 be anyway? Well, it was a good thing I went into it like that because it was pretty difficult!

We left on a Friday, flew into Vegas (kept blinders on so we didn't just stay there and play all weekend), got into the rental car and drove 4 hours to the Grand Canyon. We stopped briefly at Hoover Dam. It was incredible! I have never been there and to see how huge it was made me feel pretty small......we slept from midnight to 4am and we got ready as fast as we could. When we stepped out the hotel doors we saw that it was RAINING!! But, being the freaks we are we just laughed and put on our rain coats. :) We drove to the South Rim and found the shuttle bus that would drive us to the South Rim trail head. This is where we would start and spend 10 hours on. The descent down wasn't bad at all - lots of steps, but it was early and fairly cold so we motored along fast. This was about 6 miles until we hit the bottom---it took about 4 hours. We crossed many bridges, crazy switchbacks, a tunnel and eventually the Colorado River at the very bottom. This is where Phantom Ranch was and we filled our water, got some coffee and other provisions and then after a quick stop continued on our way. By now the sun was beating down and it was about 100 or so degrees. We walked and walked without any problems and we talked about EVERYTHING! We laughed often and when we would take a break from staring at the ground in front of us to look up, we would be in awe of what we were seeing. It is the most beautiful place and it truly feels magical. What we were setting out to accomplish was huge. Especially this being my first ever hike.....we crossed little stream and it came in the right time to soak our bandanas around our necks, splash water on our shirts, and wet our sun hats. It was getting hotter. The meals we ate along the way were everything BUT Zone or Paleo!! hahah protein bar after protein bar ended up making us feel a little shitty and we decided to get better provisions at the North Rim to go back with. Okay, the hairball section out of the canyon - I can try to tell you how scary it was but unless you were actually ON the trail you have no idea what it ws really like. When we started climbing out of the canyon we were going up to 6000 feet elevation (maybe 8000 on that rim I forget) the trail was about 3-4 feet wide and the cliffs were 2000 foot drpps. ZERO to hold onto. So imagine this----17 pound packs on your backs, been walking for 5 or more hours in 100 + degree heat, now your cimbing up up up and in front of you in a sheer rock formation that you are supposed to hike up. There is no trail that you can see and you have no idea where you are going because of that. I sat on the trail and had a little minor melt down at that point. Chris was awesome and just told me that we were brave and lets keep going.....I hugged the left side of the cliff as best as I could and didn't look to the right - just at Chris's heels in front of me. As I was freaking out I told Chris to remind me when I get back to Santa Cruz Central to punch Rob Miller in the stomach because I believe he is a freak of nature! (Rob is a big rock mountain climber and is quite comfortable sleeping in a tent suspended off a cliff).So I thought maybe the hard part was over after we made it past that point....but NO! Now we were going to ascend as if we were on a stair master for 4 elevation......!! I had to laugh because I couldn't believe how people do it without CrossFit! We finally got out just before sunset and tired, beat, blistered feet and all but we were estatic!

We had to walk a bit to the North Rim Lodge but when we got there a warm restaurant and delicious food was waiting as was a cabin, warm shower, and comfortable beds. We feasted on steak, wine, and vegetables, then went to the store to load up on food for the hike back. This time we got roast beef sammies, turkey sammies, nuts, pizza, yogurt and fruit and some other little thing.

We went to sleep with full tummies knowing we had to walk back in the morning. Just thinking about it now makes me so excited becuase I have never been on an adventure like this before - EVER! I adore Chris and we were the perfect travel companions - not one fight, we worked as a team, and everything went to smooth.

5am and we are getting ready as fast as we can so we make the shuttle that will drive us to the trail head. We make it and sip our coffee on the bus talking with other passengers about what they are doing. When they asked us what we were doing and we answered with "completing our rim to rim to rim" none of them left it at that. It was "wait--your camping at the bottom right?" or "Not all in one day" _ weknew we were badass, but that just made it even that more sweet. Other than the blisters we werent too sore - thanks Xfit!!

We enjoyed the sunrise over the canyon while eating pizza....and readied ourselves for the hairball section. It was much easier this way today than I remembered the evening before. Maybe because I was fresh and not at the end of a long day? Either way, we got the job done and were feeling great! When we reached the bottom of the canyon Chris asked if I wanted to run....I said "YES!!!"" Crazy, I know.....we strapped our packs, that weighed 17-20 pounds full, tight and started running. together we did about 4 miles in a section called "the box" and it was 115 degrees this day. It felt so amazing to run!! I mean c'mon---we RAN the Grand Canyon!! Fucking amazing!! Chris would turn to look at me, shoot me a look and a nod, and I would instinctively know what he meant and I would start to run. I will forever remember that feeling, the sights, and how proud I was of Chris and myself. We learned a lot about the sort of people we are - We are "Strong too" and we are survivors---we make it through whatever comes our way and we push forward. Amazing :)

The climb out of the canyon on the South side was completely BRUTAL to say the least! Just look at the pictures and you will see. I stopped counting the stairs after i reached 2000.....some of the steps were as tall as my knees :)