CrossFit Diaries, Part Four – Lets get competitive

Before I talk about the last month I just want to say a big thank you to all the other members at the box, I posted my last post in our members only Facebook group and the response I got was amazing & very touching with many people sharing their struggles with getting to grips with CrossFit, some of the people I hadn’t even met so the CrossFit Witham community spirit definitely showed.

This was also demonstrated to me one Saturday when I went to box fairly early. Another member was setting up for the WOD and said asked if I was doing the WOD too and he offered to wait for me to do the warm up and we could do it together!! So we got started the WOD involved doing some lifting exercise then 400m run, another lifting exercise, 400m and so on, after 2 of the runs I was puffed out and still had to do burpees, I was struggling and this member shouted “Keep going Rachel” and I actually thought, how does he know my name as I didn’t think I’d met him before!! Then my next thought was I don’t know his name, ARGH!! I know i’m no shrinking violet, but also didn’t think that many people knew me seeing as I felt like I was still a relatively new member & I tend to go to the WODs early in the morning where I see the same people most weeks, I now know his name is Richard Breed (I asked him at the end of the WOD) so thank you Richard for your encouragement.

So November started really well, I had got myself into a good routine and getting to the box 4 or 5 times a week consistently which meant that I was started to see some good results, but then I had to rest for a week, I’ll explain the reason why later…

So the scores on the doors are: Managed 10 CrossFit workouts and 1 run (6.65km)

  • Weight: 13 Stone, 5lb – 2lb gain (no change)
  • BMI: 31.1 – (no change)
  • Chest: 41 inches – 1.5 inch gain (1 inch gain in total)
  • Waist: 35.5 inches – 1.5 inch gain (0.5 inch loss in total)
  • Hips: 48 inches – No change
  • Thigh (R): 26.5 inches – .5 inch loss (1 inch loss in total)
  • Thigh (L): 26.5 inches – no change (1 inch loss in total)
  • Bicep (R): 14.5 inches – 0.5 inch loss (1 inch gain in total)
  • Bicep (L): 14.5 inches – 0.5 inch loss (0.5 inch gain in total)

As well as the measurements above I’m also now going to record my progress with certain exercises we do during WODs, as ultimately, it doesn’t matter about the above as my goal is about getting fit and now that I know most of the exercises I can start to see if I’m making gains in these too. An example of this are deadlifts, when I first started back in July I know my 1 rep max was about 70kg, this month I manged to do 90kg, so over the coming months I’ll keep you posted on some of my personal bests & 1 rep max to see the progress I’m making. This was a suggestion from another member Craig, so thanks Craig for the idea :0).

So this month theme is competitions, When I first started at the box I didn’t know about competitions & don’t really know much now as I’ve not been exposed to them but what I do know is that if you wanted to you could take part in a CrossFit competition most weeks if you wanted to. From what I’ve seen these range from individual, pairs or team competition. Some you go into a ballet to get drawn or you have to take part in qualifiers before hand to gain your place. These are done at you box, videoed and submitted online. The Reebok CrossFit Games is massive in the states, getting national TV coverage!!

My first experience of competition was to take part in the in-house qualifiers leading up to the in-house competition!! I was a little nervous about putting myself forward seeing as I still felt fairly new to CrossFit and didn’t want to let the team I was picked with down as we were randomly selected but I needn’t have worried as the team I was picked with were extremely supportive I was with Suzanne, Andrew & Liam and they made me feel great about what I could achieve & really part of the team. Each week a new qualifier was published and we had to week to complete it below are a couple of examples:

IMG_1705 IMG_1816

In the end we finished 4th out of 10 teams!!

In the final week before the in-house competition I unfortunately injured my knee while taking part in the qualifiers :0( , don’t know what I’d to cause the injury but knew it meant that I was unlikely to take part in the main in-house competition and I was gutted!! But knew I had to be sensible to allow my knee to repair itself so I don’t do more damage.

I decided I’d still go to the competition to cheer everyone on, and I have to say it was an awesome day, the atmosphere at the box was electric with everyone really pushing themselves to the max and the team spirit/camaraderie was clearly evident, I did however feel a little out of it, no other reason that I so wanted to be the one doing the WODS not watching from the sidelines but know that hopefully next time I’ll be fit and well and can take part another time.

IMG_2002      IMG_2050

IMG_2037    IMG_2007

IMG_1994      IMG_2065

The competition was fab and now I can see why competitions are so popular, the sense of achievement was palpable, it also renewed my determination to keep going to CrossFit to achieve my fitness goals, so am looking forward to coming months to continue my progress, just have to hope that my knee gets better and doesn’t cause me any more issues, as I write this I’ve had another week off as it still doesn’t feel write but am hoping to get into the box very soon, the main reasons for this is A: I’m missing it and B: I’m right mardy when I don’t exercise as I feel rubbish!!

Next time i’m going to focus on the equipment (or as some might see lack of…) we use doing a WOD.

I’d love to hear your experiences of competitions.

You can’t be on your own at Christmas…

tumblr_static_decorated-christmas-tree

This is the usual response when I tell people that I’ll be spending Christmas day on my own and then it’s often followed with an offer for me to spend it with that person’s family, which I politely decline, I am always grateful for their generosity in opening up their home to me at this special time.

Now don’t get me wrong I actually love Christmas & everything that goes with it, however for me I feel that the reasons behind Christmas have been totally lost in this mad world we live in.

Having grown up the family run food business, Christmas proper didn’t really start until late on Christmas eve as my parents were busy up until this point with the business, we would put up the decorations as a family early evening on Christmas eve before one of my parents & older sisters would head out to midnight mass so for me seeing Christmas starting sometime in November if not before really does make me feel sad. Having Christmas for just a couple of weeks is what made is so special.

We did enjoy the run up to Christmas with advent calendars/candles but these were traditional ones with no chocolate in sight!! And I really enjoyed making the orange offering for the Christingle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christingle) service and carol singing & concerts.

Cristingle

The focus was always about helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves not on how much we can spend on presents & how much food & drink we could consume in just one day!!

I have to admit I do love all the Christmas adverts that are now a sort of tradition to mark the start of Christmas, however by the time Christmas day actually arrive the idealist “perfect family Christmas” does start to wear a bit thin!!

So why you might ask do I often spend Christmas on my own, well there are many reasons:

All my family live miles away from me here in Lincolnshire and yes I could go & stay with them however I do like my own company and to do my own thing, so find it hard when I have to fit in around others!! I know this sounds very selfish but luckily I do have the choice, some people don’t have this choice & i’m acutely aware of this.

I love my family dearly but we are all very different people with totally different outlooks on life so spending time with them is great but can be a little strained at times when our views clash, this I find stressful & want my Christmas to be as chilled & calm as possible.

As I run my own business I don’t get many days off (again my own choosing) so I use Christmas as an opportunity to have some proper days off where I don’t feel obliged to check emails or tick things off my to-do list.

So my day is usually pretty quiet, I cook myself some really nice food & enjoy a relaxing day watching TV or reading a book. I may be on my own but I know that I’m very much loved by my friends & family. You don’t need to be with people to know that you are loved!!

In the spirit of Christmas past I’ve decided to do something a bit different this year, instead of sending out cards I’m going to give £3 to a different charity everyday up until Christmas eve, these charities will be ones who help people who are less fortunate than myself a bit like an advert calendar but giving something away instead of receiving.

What are your family’s traditions? Would love to hear what you do to make this time of year special & memorable.