My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Archive for the tag “crossfit”

My last day of On Ramp

I recently completed the On Ramp course at West London CrossFit. After a half-year break from CrossFit, I needed a way to ease back into training and I’m very glad I chose this way! I really feel ready to get back to regular classes. My skills are back up to par and I even corrected some mistakes I’d been making previously without even knowing it.

Everyone graduates from On Ramp by running the same WOD (workout of the day) that they completed day one. The trainers recorded both times so we could see how much we’d improved in On Ramp. I wasn’t sure if my time would drop because I had done this workout a number of times before this round of On Ramp. I was pleasantly surprised to see a drop of a little more than a minute.

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On Ramp was designed to introduce people to all the essential movements and skills of CrossFit. However, it was also a great refresher for me. If you’ve taken a break too, don’t be afraid to come back. Don’t quit just because it’s easier. Talk to your coach about refresher options if you need a little help getting back to your best habits.

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Ramping Up

So I’ve now completed half of the On-Ramp program at West London Crossfit. I’m really glad I arranged to retake this class as a way to return to Crossfit training. I’m trying to get back to my best habits and I know it’s better if I do it in small steps like the ones provided by On-Ramp. I’m getting a refresher in all the basics, (warm up, lifting, mobility, etc.) and now my form will be much better when I join the regular classes again. I’m sore from class but I feel good. I’m slowly starting to feel stronger and more confident.

I’ve gotten a pretty universal reaction from the coaches and Crossfit regulars. They look at me quizzically for a minute and then say something like, “You still train here?” I smile and tell them that I took a break but that I’m back now. Everyone is welcoming. Two more weeks of On-Ramp to go and then I’ll be back to CrossFit training. I’m looking forward to it.

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On Ramp

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I’ve been a member of West London Cross Fit since it opened several years ago. However, I stopped going last December. I had a bad bout of anxiety and I needed the time off to work on that before I could worry about building muscle.

Now that I’m feeling more stable, I’ve decided to go back. Today I attended my first On Ramp class. On Ramp is a program that West London Cross Fit runs to get people ready to start Cross Fit. During three classes a week for four weeks, On Rampers learn all the movements used in Cross Fit from stretches, to burpees, to proper bar bell lifts. Even though the classes are targeted for beginners, I asked the coaches if I could re-take the class to properly ease me back into my full workout routine.

My first class was really good. I like taking the time to review the basics and improve my overall form. I worked hard and I sweated. Beginner class or not, Cross Fit is a great burn. I’m looking forward to my second class already. This just goes to show that I am strong enough to go back to my best habits, even when I’ve taken a break.

Back to the Gym

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My gym bag has been taken over by kitty!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been taking it a bit easy in terms of my workout routine. My anxiety makes me more prone to injuries and my depression exhausts me. Now that I’m back in treatment and starting to heal, I need to practice healthier habits. Right now I’m mostly just going for walks with Nick, doing yoga and occasionally hitting the elliptical and bike at the gym, so I’m not totally inactive. However, when I think back to the times in my life when I’ve felt the happiest and the most stable, I’ve been working out more often and with more intensity. My workouts release positive chemicals in my body and make me feel I’ve accomplished something. So now it’s time to set some proper goals.

At my best times, I workout five to six times per week for an hour. My workouts consist of CrossFit, cardio at the gym, swimming, biking, hiking, and yoga, (it sounds like a lot, but if I don’t change it up, I get bored and stop working out.) So from now until my summer break starts, I’ve got four weeks to achieve five one hour workouts per week. I’m going to start with lower impact workouts and work my way up to a full variety of exercises.

Week one :

Monday – Yoga.

Tuesday – Cardio at the gym.

Wednesday – Yoga.

Thursday – Cardio at the gym.

Friday – Day off.

Saturday – Hike.

Sunday – Day off.

Week two:

Monday – Cardio at the gym.

Tuesday – Yoga.

Wednesday – Swim.

Thursday – Yoga.

Friday – Cardio at the gym.

Saturday – Hike.

Sunday – Day off.

Week three:

Monday – Bike ride.

Tuesday – Yoga.

Wednesday – Swim.

Thursday – Yoga.

Friday – Cardio at the gym.

Saturday – Hike.

Sunday – Day off.

Week four:

Monday – Cardio at the gym.

Tuesday – Crossfit.

Wednesday – Swim.

Thursday – Yoga.

Friday – Bike ride.

Saturday – Hike.

Sunday – Day off.

I think this is a reasonable plan and I feel confident I can accomplish it. I’ll update you as I work away at this. #dowahtworks

The Changing Nature of Workouts

I am a very active person. I like to swim, bike, hike, do yoga and do CrossFit. There are some people at my gym who do just CrossFit and they’re in great shape. Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t work so well for me. I like to do a lot of different things because it keeps me from being bored.

That being said, I’ve noticed a shift in my workout routine recently. I have been doing less hardcore cardio and muscle work and more stretching and low-impact workouts. Maybe it’s because I’m getting a bit older and more creaky, maybe I just need a bit of a break. I have a suspicion that some of the home and work stress I’ve been experiencing has made me a bit more protective of my body and a bit less able to deal with the strained muscles and achiness that comes from weight lifting. I talked it over with Dr. B and he agrees that in times of stress or depression, it is better to exercise a bit more gently than I usually do. I’m trying to listen to what my body needs and right now it is crying out for more restorative exercises.

I’ve decided I’m going to refuse to feel guilty for taking it a bit easier in times of stress. I’m going to be proud that I still work out and do good things for myself every day. Plus, being self-aware like this allows me to set new fitness goals. For example, from now until the end of school (June) I’m going to try to swim once a week. I like swimming because it’s low-impact for my joints and being under the water gives me time to focus without distractions; just swirling water to look at and splashing to listen to. Also, I’m going to go to CrossFit once a week in April and twice a week in May. After that, I’ll reassess my goals and see how they need to be adjusted.

I guess I just wanted to post this to let people know it’s OK to change up your routine. There’s no reason you can’t take a break from something and then come back to it later on. Just keep moving and doing something active.

Am I finally turning the corner? 

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So I have been suffering through the process of coming off my antidepressants for almost a month. It has been much more difficult than I thought. Well actually, coming off the meds was fine. It was the two weeks after I stopped talking the pills that kicked my butt. In my last post, I mentioned a list of withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing, including brain zaps.

The good news: the brain zaps have pretty much stopped.

The bad news: my other withdrawal symptoms got really awful.

I started to have irrational anger. When it comes to anger, I may have a short fuse but it’s a quick explosion too. I get angry for may five or six minutes tops unless it’s something really serious. Lately though, everything seems to be making me mad. For example, I caught myself getting angry at one drive for running a red light, (how dare you endanger us all?) and cursing another for not running a red, (get out of my way, you slow-poke!) Poor Nick has born the brunt of my craziness with relative good humour, although when he laughs it just makes me angrier. The upside is that I generally recognize these bursts of emotion as irrational and can at least wait them out if I can’t get rid of them.

I have also been suffering horrible headaches and body aches almost every day. I get cramps in my legs and sharp pains in my back whether I sit, stand or lie down. I am still exercising but it takes all of my willpower to drag myself to the gym.

Finally, I had a few days where I’ve had some very negative thoughts I can’t seem to dismiss. Mostly, I feel sad and worthless. Again, I know these emotions and thoughts are just part of the withdrawal and not real. That doesn’t make it less exhausting to put up with.

Today was totally different. I felt almost normal. I didn’t wake up in pain or with nausea. I actually wanted to get out of bed and start the day. I was able to eat breakfast without gagging. In my Crossfit class I felt stronger than I had in days and I wasn’t totally exhausted by the end, (although I got a good sweat!)

Better than all of that, I enjoyed my day! I wasn’t just waiting for the day to end so I could crawl into bed. I hope this day wasn’t a fluke. Perhaps my withdrawal is finally winding down. I love feeling like myself again.

Winter Classic

This Valentines Day we held the Winter Classic at West London CrossFit. It’s basically a team challenge WOD followed by a potluck. It’s family friendly and the workout can be scaled for all ability levels.

Everyone loves the Winter Classic!

Everyone loves the Winter Classic!

It’s a great excuse to hang out with my gym family and show some love for my body at the same time.

Joel was our MC for the day.

Joel was our MC for the day.

Here was our WOD menu.

Here was our WOD menu.

And our potluck menu.

And our potluck menu.

 

Mini cupcakes!

Mini cupcakes!

Yum!

Yum!

Have you ever wondered what your lifting face looks like? Scroll through the gallery below and you may just find out. I tried to get pictures of most people lifting. If I missed you I apologize. I was probably lifting at the same time as you.

There were prizes for all teams. I think my team came in tied for fourth or fifth. We don’t really take the results all that seriously as this event is more about a healthy activity than a perfect score. Plus we don’t want our new members to feel intimidated. This event is for everyone!

Here are our top three teams.

Here are our top three teams.

This was a very successful event. I hope you’ll come to our next event. Stay tuned and I’ll make sure to post when events are coming to West London CrossFit.

The Winter Classic is Coming!

Mark Sat. Feb 14th on your calendars! The date is set for our annual SC Winter Classic Team Challenge and Pot Luck. There will be fun, prizes, food and even vendors! Sign-up sheets are in the gym so sign up today. I’m on the list, are you?

Superb Socks

There’s a trend at West London Crossfit and I am a big fan. Wacky socks have become standard apparel for our members and they’ve never looked better!

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I dug out my own rainbow socks so I can fit it too! Thank you to all my sexy sock models. Come on out to CrossFit and rock your wacky socks or leg warmers!

 

Testing Weeks

West London CrossFit recently held two weeks of testing so everyone could find and record their one rep maxes. I attended the testing days and if you follow me on Twitter (@JenMcAwesome) you may have noticed me tweeting my new 1RMs. I found I had made more gains than I predicted and that made me feel proud. For example, on my overhead press I went from 22lbs to 42lbs!

Knowing your 1RM is an important part of weight lifting as it lets each individual know how much they can handle for each lift. This makes scaling lifts and reps much easier and exact. If you have a chance to attend testing weeks, make it a point to do so. If you need help working up to, setting or retesting a 1RM, see a CrossFit trainer. They are your best resource for getting stronger.

 

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