19 Mar

Happiness is eating Coconut Bliss Mint Galactica Ice Cream

…and watching this video!

Letting go

15 Mar

Ah yes, Fran you were just what this girl needed.

I’ve been in my head WAY too much over the last month. I’d begin each WOD with a feeling of dread. Fear that I wouldn’t do my best, fear that I’d let my coaches down, fear that I’m not reaching some sky-high standards that I’ve (very unrealistically) set for myself. Ask me what those standards were and I couldn’t even tell ya. It was just a given that whatever I was doing was not good enough.

After my workout, I was disappointed in my performance. I should have gone unbroken, should have run faster, SHOULD have picked the weight up sooner, SHOULDA WOULDA COULDA. Constant disappointment. Hello, my name is Brooke and I’m a type-A perfectionist.

Everything came to an emotional head yesterday and I had a bit of a come-to-jesus talk with my coach Stephanie. She asked me whether my expectations were unreasonable. Why, yes… yes they are! Funny, that thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Once she said it, it was a sense of relief. It’s possible to do my best and be happy with the outcome. I don’t have to PR on every single WOD. I can accept my performance and be satisfied with it, while still aiming for a better workout next time. Constant disappointment is to my workouts as gluten is to my belly: absolute destruction.

Fast forward to this afternoon. Fran. I got to the gym later than normal and walked in as the first group was finishing. It looked awful. Coach Al has a gimp shoulder and had an entirely different WOD in mind for himself. I made the swift decision: No Fran for me today. I needed to run fast, do some high box jumps and attack the GHD with fervor. I needed a pounding workout, so I jumped in with Al.

4 rnds:

10 box jumps (26″) with a step down rather than jump
400 m Run
25 GHD situps

14:16 as RX’d

It felt amazing. I ran my heart out like I haven’t in so long. I flew through the GHDs, thinking about how far I’ve come since I started on that monstrous contraption. The box jumps felt fantastic. My quads were burning and I loved it. I just kept MOVING. After I finished, I felt like I was glowing. I can’t remember the last time I had that feeling of happiness after a WOD. I enjoyed pushing myself and digging deep without that negative voice in the back of my mind.

I helped with the class and counted my friend Josh’s reps for Fran. I watched as Stephanie set a new PR and a new crop of athletes completed Fran for the first time. It started to creep up on me… nope, not the negative voice. It was the inspiration you get from watching other people push their limits and finish a tough WOD. It’s contagious.

Fuck it. I had nothing to lose. I’d already worked out, so I was going to let go of setting any PR. I was just going to throw myself into Fran and give it my best, NO EXPECTATIONS. Josh stepped up to count my reps and coached me through it. It was probably the best I’ve ever felt during Fran… faster and stronger than any other previous attempt. I dropped the weight a few times, especially during the round of 15. But I Just Kept MOVING.


My PR in January was 5:42. Disbelief.

I guess that’s what happens when you let go of expectations and just work. If it’s just another WOD, then it’s just another opportunity to push yourself.

My beats

14 Mar

I can’t workout without music. But it’s rare that I’m actually conscious of specific songs that are playing. It’s more like loud blaring noises that sometimes distract me from the burn in my quads and the fire in my chest. Occasionally, a beat will pair perfectly with the rhythm of my box jumps. These are such beats…

Suggestions welcome!

Here I am

6 Mar

Oh haiiii, I’ve been a little busy over here, you know, writing for the ACF blog and coaching on Thursdays. I also have a new title: Special Projects Manager. When I’m not at the gym, I’m slangin’ stretchy pants at the coolest store in the world. Life is pretty good, but I do have something to confess. In the midst of accomplishing some big goals (hello, I am now a paid blogger and HELLO I AM A COACH), my training has become lackluster.

Ask any gym owner or coach and they’ll tell you that at some point, their training went to shit while they got everyone else’s butts in gear. I’m no gym owner, but helping in the gym can sometimes take away from my own training. It’s sneaky, really. You barely know it’s happening. Back in the day, when I just focused on my own training, I felt so fulfilled. I enjoyed being at the gym and talking Crossfit with my gym friends. These days, I’m probably talking about it even more than I was last year. I’m devoting more time in the box and it’s incredibly fulfilling… even when I skip a WOD. Which is a problem.

There’s more to it though. Something is definitely missing in my workouts these days. I wrote about being a negative nancy in my last post, and it feels like it’s lasting the entire WOD, as if it’s this battle between my ears JUST TO KEEP MYSELF GOING. Even though I love working out. Weird.

One of my good friends who’s new to Crossfit but was a college athlete told me point blank, “Brooke you’re in a slump. You’ll get through it. When you do, it’ll hit you out of the blue and you’ll be right back into it.” God I hope she’s right.

In other news, I registered for the NLI today. Perhaps this’ll give me the swift kick to the glutes that I desperately need. YIKES!

The Negative Nancy within me

15 Feb

I’ve been doing crossfit for over a year now. I know the movements, I continue to see PRs and I am completely addicted, for better or worse. But I have a confession.

I still get nervous before every WOD. Hmm… let me rephrase that. I panic for about 5 minutes before the clock beeps 3, 2, 1 go. That little voice of doubt chimes in and questions whether the weight is too heavy or if I can even complete the workout, let alone in a decent time.

I don’t like admitting it, and I don’t think many people can see when it’s happening. But it’s there and often consumes me for those few minutes. I get inside my head. If people try to talk to me or ask a question, I can’t focus on what they’re saying. If you’ve ever worked out with me, you might have found me to be oddly abrasive just before the WOD starts… now you know why.

I think that if it were just nerves, it would be fine. There’s nothing like nerves to get the blood flowing and your body moving for the WOD. But there’s a negative voice questioning my strength, and I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s holding me back.

Does this happen to you? How do you deal?

This is NOT crossfit

25 Jan

Crossfit: It’s all about the tomato cans and pukie. Read THIS. Then watch the video below. Still trying to wrap my brain around the tomato cans and flailing arms…

RIP Jack

24 Jan

LaLanne at 71

This dude once completed 1000 pushups in under 20 minutes! LaLanne was a pioneer in the fitness world and I can only hope to be like this guy when I grow old.

2011 is the year.

20 Jan

Only 20 days into January, and 2011 is already light years ahead of 2010 with its awesomeness.

Some background: After college, I jumped right into my first “big-girl” job. It wasn’t long before I couldn’t stand the work I was doing. It was pretty much the same story with the next two jobs. I wanted to feel passion for my work and tackle each day with gusto. Meanwhile, I had voices in my ear telling me that I wouldn’t always like my job and that basically, I needed to suck it up. This was absolutely heartbreaking for me.

Then there was 2010. It was like a bad country song: My dog died, I got dumped, a family friend passed away, I started a new job that turned out to be a nightmare… it wasn’t pretty. One of the few good things to come from 2010 was finding crossfit, which quickly became my passion. In November and December, things began to turn around and set the stage for January to be a superb month.

I now work at Lululemon, which I love. There’s nothing better than looking forward to going to work, trust. The company, the people, the clothes… I’m digging it.

I found a gym where I have an opportunity to grow as both an athlete and a coach. The support is unreal and these people are my family. Without a doubt, I’m exactly where I need to be (even if that means driving past 10 other Crossfit gyms to get to mine :) )

I’m planning and implementing our gym’s Paleo Challenge, beginning next month. It started as a selfish thing (I need to get my nutritional butt in gear!) and has morphed into total excitement to see each participant succeed and (I can only hope) change their lives.

My love for blogging and social media is finally becoming something I get paid to do! I’m putting together a weekly email at work that gets sent to nearly 2,000 people. At the gym, I’m writing the blog!

My stubbornness and refusal to settle made for a bumpy ride at times, but things are finally coming together. It also helps that my family is rad and have supported me no matter what!

2011, you rock! This is my ode to you. I am grateful and I’ll never take any of this for granted.

Sweet potato fries

18 Jan

They’re my achilles heel. I can’t resist them, even when I’m at a restaurant, knowing full well that orange goodness has been fried in canola oil. I just try not to think about it too much…. except now. I’m totally grossed out. Anyways…

I try to avoid eating sweet potatoes too often because they’re so carbolicious, but I never deny ’em when I have a real craving. I mean, it’s not like I’m cracking out on a piece of chocolate motherlode cake from Claim Jumper.

The devil

Right. On to the point of this post.

I cut up half a sweet potato today for lunch, into fry-size pieces. I loaded them all onto a pan that I’d ALREADY season. I cannot tell you how much I blew my own mind by doing this. Perhaps it’s the blond hair, but I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me to do this before now. Start with a little oil, add Salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder on the pan then throw down the fries. Then season the top. Wow. It was a genius moment for me… The seasoning is on TWO SIDES of the fries you guys! Not just one any more!

Keep the oven at 425, higher for crisper fries. Heat ’em for 20 minutes, shuffling those suckers around mid-way. The end. YUMMO.



10 Jan

This week, I’m doing something I haven’t done in a long time: taking time off. I’m forcing myself not to workout (only a crossfitter has this problem).

3 weeks ago, I bailed out of a backsquat and landed on my right knee. Then I got all wobbly in D.T. and screwed up my back. Wods have been painful and I haven’t looked forward to working out like I usually do.

I even went into the gym this evening to coach and only demonstrated toes-to-bar and a kipping pullup… pretty sure this is like


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