My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

What About Glenn?

So, I survived yesterday’s Thurster WOD at the gym. And I didn’t even cry!  As a reminder, here is the special hell that was Saturday’s WOD. 

I had decided before I got there, that my strategy was to pick a spot in the back corner and just cry my way through this WOD where no one would see me. That was my plan…but that’s not how it worked out. 

I picked my spot and did the strength part of the workout (5-5-3-3-2-2 thrusters) as planned. In the corner, not loving any of it, and trying to figure out what weights I would use for the WOD. I sort of had it all figured out and then Alli, one of the girls who is in class with me a couple of times a week, came over, told me I wasn’t staying here in the corner, picked up my bar and moved me over to the main area right beside her.  She knew I was dreading this workout and she said there was no way I was staying in the corner. 

I figured out the weights I was going to use for the 6 rounds:  60-55-50-45-35-25 and when it was 3-2-1…Go, I picked up the bar and just tried to keep moving. The first round was okay since it was only 5. The second wasn’t that fun but it wasn’t too bad.  The round of 15 at 50# was tough, but I broke it up into sets of 5. It felt good to take weight off each round and I think that’s the only reason I was able to get through it. Each time the number of thrusters went uo, the weight went down. Thank god!  

Throughout the WOD, every once in a while Alli would give me an encouraging word, telling me “you got this” or “keep moving”. It was just what I needed, and it worked. I wasn’t that fast and I hated every thruster, but I kept going. And every time I took weight off the bar my thrusters got better. It still sucked but once I got down to 45# I knew I could do it. 

As the WOD went on my bar ended up moving a bit when I dropped it and eventually I was facing away from Alli. So, for her last round she picked up her bar and brought it over in front of me so she could see me and I could see her. She finished ahead of me and sat there and counted me down for my last round of 30. 

I survived that hellish WOD and finished in 17:48 I think. Definitely not the fastest.  I may have actually been the last one in class to finish, but I don’t care!   I survived 105 thrusters!  

I thanked Alli for getting me through it, but I feel like I may owe her more than a thanks. She had more faith in me than I did. She is one of the best parts of CrossFit. The encouragement. The shared suffering. The community.  I only hope that one day I will get to repay her and be there when she needs a bit of encouragement in class. 

I’m feeling all those thrusters today, but I’m looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow.  There are some good WODs coming up. No thrusters and a few of them have double unders and I rock the double unders!  

Now I’m off to watch tonight’s Walking Dead on PVR.   I’m hoping we get to find out what happened to Glenn. Here’s hoping this pic I saw earlier on Instagram comes true. 


Fingers crossed!

Here’s to a good week ahead!  


Tomorrow Is Going To SUCK!  

I hit the 4:30 CrossFit class today.  It was a good class. Power cleans for strength and then a nice MetCon of 12-9-7 Cals on the rower, power cleans (used 75#), and 24″ box jumps. Finished in 9:26.  Left the gym happy and feeling like I’d had a good workout. 

I’m back to the gym tomorrow morning for the 9:30 class and it is going to suck HUGE!  

SO MANY THRUSTERS!!!  I can’t even do a 110# thruster, let alone 5 of them, so this should be interesting. 

I spent a bit of time today trying to figure out how to scale this bitch of a WOD.  I need to pick a manageable starting weight and then work my way down to an empty bar of some sort. First I need to decide if I’m going 35# bar or the 15# training bar…I’m leaning towards the 15#. 

Thrusters have been know to make me cry in the past 😂, and I’ve also chipped a tooth twice doing this stupid movement, so I need to be realistic. My goal tomorrow is to finish in one piece, with all of my teeth still intact, and not break down weeping during the WOD. 

I am going to try to think positive thoughts between now and 9:30 tomorrow morning,  and then just hope for the best. 🙏🏻

Wish me luck!  

Happy weekend!!!


Motivational Monday

Another Monday!  The weekends just never seem long enough, but I’m actually excited that today is Monday, because that means I get to go to CrossFit tonight….and I can try out my new shoes!  The UPS man came by my office again today and look what he dropped off…
Aren’t they pretty!  I can’t wait to put these bad boys to the test.  Tonight’s WOD has a boatload of thrusters in it…both in the strength portion and in the MetCon when we will do Jackie (1000m row, 50 thrusters, 30 pull-ups).  I hate thrusters with a passion.  Not sure new shoes are enough to change that, but I’m willing to give it a try!

Everyone at the gym keeps telling me that these shoes will change my life.  I sure hope so!
new shoesDo you have lifters…are they as good as everyone says they are?

Happy Monday.  Let’s hope the week flies by 🙂



Motivational Monday–FRAN!

Happy Monday, peeps!

I had a great weekend with birthday celebrations for my son, great dinner out with hubby and my sister, and watching my kids play hockey.  Now it’s back to work and the chaos that is my weekday life! 

I’m back to CrossFit tonight at 8:30, where I will get to tackle Fran.

For those not familiar, aside from being a 4 letter word, Fran is a benchmark CrossFit workout of Thrusters and Pull-ups with a 21-15-9 rep scheme.  So 21 thrusters, 21 pull-ups, 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups, 9 thrusters, 9 pull-ups.  You are supposed to do it as fast as you can.  RX weight for girls is 65#. 

I’ve done with WOD a few times before:

    • Feb 26, 2013 – very early in my CrossFit life, used an empty training bar (15#) and a super thick blue band for the pull-ups.  It took me 7:01.
    • July 29, 2013 – moved up to 35# and used a purple (thinner) band for pull-ups.  Time 9:50
    • Oct 4, 2013 – this was CFNC’s 3rd anniversary and we did Double Fran.  so 21-15-9-21-15-9.  It was HELL!  I used 35# and the purple band again and it was a brutal 25:18!

We did Fran this past May too, but it I didn’t go to class that day, so I don’t have a very recent Fran time to go by.  One of my CrossFit goals for 2014 was to do Fran RX.  I’m not sure I’m quite ready for that yet.  65# thrusters are super hard for me and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t finish the WOD in the 10 minute time cap if I tried that weight tonight.  I did the same rep scheme of deadlifts and pull-ups a few weeks ago and managed to do all the pull-ups RX, but since them my pull-ups haven’t been so good.  Hopefully tonight will be a good pull-up night for me.

Regardless, I need to remember this…fran2

I’ll show up, do the work, and hope for the best!  Whatever happens, I’m sure I will leave sweaty, exhausted, and ready for bed!

What’s your Fran time?

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I’m A Machine?

So, a while back I celebrated my first year of CrossFit.  My coaches sent me an email to commemorate the occasion:

“Congratulations, Cathy, you have officially completed one year of training at CrossFit Newmarket Central!

Your very first day with us was January 30, 2013.  Did you imagine on that day that you would be where you are today?  Every year on your anniversary, we suggest you take a moment to look over your training journal to see where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished — you might just surprise yourself!  In any event, the year mark is significant — congratulations on your persistence and consistency.  Keep up the great work and we look forward to seeing you in many more classes to come!
Good work and happy anniversary!

Ryan, Michelle & all the staff at CrossFit Newmarket Central”

I thought it was funny that they suggested I go back through my WOD book and see how far I had come during this first year of CrossFit, since I had done exactly that just a couple of weeks before when I had finished my first WOD journal.  I wanted to let Ryan and Michelle know how much I enjoyed my year, and share a few of my highlights, so I replied back to their email.  They liked my reply so much, they asked if they could share it with the other members of CFNC.  I said sure, and didn’t think much about it.  Ryan took a pic of me before class one night so he could include it with my reply.

Well, last week (on March 26) he posted my reply to the CrossFit Newmarket Central Facebook page and I was floored by the response!  Here’s the post from the CFNC Facebook page. I’ve added in links to my original posts where I talk about each one of these highlights.

Cathy is a machine!!

“Thanks Ryan and Michelle.
This has been the best year! I am so much fitter, stronger, happier, and healthier than I was last year at this time…and a HUGE part of that is thanks to CrossFit and the amazing coaches.

I absolutely LOVE everything about CrossFit! CrossFit class is truly one of the best parts of my day. The WODs are tough, challenging, at times killer, but they work…the changes I see in my body prove it! I leave (almost) every class with a smile on my face and the satisfaction of knowing I am doing good things for my body and my life. The classes that I don’t leave smiling – take Nov 18 Barbara WOD as an example here…58 minutes and 26 seconds of pure, fucking hell – I leave knowing I survived and even though things may be tough, they are making me stronger.

I just finished my first WOD book a couple of weeks ago and I did go back and look at everything I have accomplished this past year. I may not be the strongest, or the fastest, or the leanest person at CFNC, but I am certainly stronger, faster and leaner than I was last year at this time. A few of the highlights for me this year:

1. May 3: Finishing the WOD – 200m walking lunges with 5 thrusters every 10 lunges. This WOD made me want to cry. It was so hard. I remember being so far behind the group and thinking I am not going to be able to finish. I wanted to stop and cry, and then Ryan came around the corner and started talking me through the last 50 metres or so. I honestly believe that if he hadn’t come around that corner and started to encourage me, I may still be standing there holding those fucking dumbbells – since I didn’t realize I could put them down along the way! I remember telling Ryan I wanted to cry. He told me I could cry when I crossed the finish line (and I think I did). I remember turning the final corner and heading towards the garage door at the old gym. I was so slow that my whole class had finished and the next class already outside finishing their warm up. That just meant there were 20+ people there cheering me on. I was on the verge of tears…from the pain, but also from seeing everyone there encouraging me to keep going. That was the day I truly understood the “family” that is CrossFit.

2. Aug 16: Getting unassisted kipping pull-ups. Seriously, this made me ridiculously happy and the fact that Ryan captured it on video was awesome. I still go back and watch the video every once in a while and can’t help but smile.

3. Nov 11: Finishing the Filthy Fifty in 37:33. The first time I did it (May 13) I only made it through 6.5 stations in the 35 minute time cap, so finishing the whole thing in only a couple minutes more proved to me that I was getting better. (There was a 30 min time cap that I didn’t finish under, but I just kept going because I was determined to finish the WOD)

4. Nov 25: Clean & Jerk 100lbs. I finally got 100lbs over my head! I didn’t make a big deal about it when it happened. Just had a huge smile and gave myself a little round of applause, but inside I was so proud of myself.

There are plenty more highlights from my first year of CrossFit, but these are 4 that really stand out for me. They show me that I can do so much more than I thought possible. I still have a mini panic attack every once in a while before class as I watch the class before me finish the WOD. But once I get out there on the gym floor the panic goes away and I know I will get through it.

Thank you to you and all the other amazing coaches for all your help this year. I’ve come a long way this past year and I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish in the next year.
See you in the gym!”

— with Ryan Abush and 8 others at CrossFit Newmarket Central.


crossfit pic with post

The comments that people made on the post just further went to show me why I love CrossFit and the members of CFNC.  They are so supportive and encouraging.  If you want to see what I mean, just click on the link to the CFNC Facebook page and read the original post…the comments are below it.

I”m not sure I would call myself a machine, but I don’t think I’m a broken down wreck at the side of the road anymore!

I can’t wait to see what my second year of CrossFit has in store!

Lift happy, my friends!
peace love and crossfit


14.5 Recap

This post is a bit late…but I had a busy weekend and I ran out of time yesterday too.  Anyways, better late than never…here is my recap of 14.5.

So, I was dreading this bad boy pretty much from the second it was announced.  Not that it was a great surprise. Everyone knew it would be Thrusters and Burpees…Even Dave Castro teased us pre-14.5 with a little video on the CrossFit Games Instagram feed (click image to be taken to the video):
castro 14.5

“Everybody know what we’re gonna be feeding them tonight…but nobody has a clue to how we’re gonna serve it.”

I was playing hockey when 14.5 was announced and actually forgot to check the announcement for a while after I got home.  I was not too impressed to see this: 
14.5 wod

You can read about my pre-WOD nervousness here, but what I wrote on Friday afternoon, was nothing compared to the nerves I had when I got to the Box. 

I signed up on the run sheet and picked lucky #13. This seemed like a good spot for me to choose. It’s my hockey jersey number and it just seemed to be the place for me on the run sheet.  I wasn’t in the first group to start, but would be replacing one of the first people finished their WOD, taking their station on the gym floor.

I started my warm up with a 500m row, did some work with the foam roller and lacrosse ball, and then the usual stretches and warm ups we do. I did some work with the PVC pipe to get my shoulders warm, did some squats, and then a few empty bar thrusters and a couple at 65#.  In regular WODs with thrusters I use 45#, so jumping to 65# was pretty scary.  Those 65# thrusters were tough and once again I started to doubt if I could do 84 of them.

Watching the first group do the WOD didn’t do much for my confidence either.  People looked like they were suffering even on the first round. I started to get even more nervous and really doubted if I would be able to do this WOD. 

When Coach Ryan called my name and told me I was up, I was a giant bundle of nerves.  I really didn’t know if I could do it.  I even got a little teary as I got to my station.  The thought of 84 65# thrusters just got to be too much. A couple of the coaches, Savannah and Katrina, both came over and gave me a hug and told me I could do it.  My judge, Simon – who I had as my judge for 14.4 too, gave me a little pep talk as well.  Then he started the 3-2-1 countdown, I wiped my tears away, and picked up the bar for the first time.  I cleaned it up and then got my focus and did the squat part of the thruster – that’s not the hard part for me…the tough part is the press part, since I couldn’t stop and push press it up…it had to be one fluid movement.  Well, I did the first one and thought how the hell am I going to do 20 more for this first round, let alone 83 more for the whole WOD.  I think I may have done 4 or 5 thrusters and then had to put the bar down.  Simon was great at encouraging me and I picked the bar up and did 3 more thrusters before I had to put it down again.  Then Simon said something like “those three looked good..nice and strong…just keep doing that…3 at a time”.  And that’s exactly what I did…the rest of them were done in sets of 3 for the entire rest of the WOD. 

The burpees were actually my recovery time.  I had watched a video earlier in the afternoon that had someone doing a burpee with jumping out and back and someone stepping out and back beside each other.  The step burpee was a little slower, but not all that much. It’s not like I would be posting one of the top times, so, I decided on step burpees for each round.  I stepped out and back and was able to go unbroken in each set, never needing to stop and rest during the burpees.

The round of 15 was the worst round for me.  I had already done so many thrusters by then and still had so many to go.  But, I had a great cheering section and my thruster strategy and I just kept plugging away 3 at a time. 

Finally, I got to the last round of 3 thrusters…thank God!  They were tough, but I managed. Only 3 burpees and I would be done.  I actually jumped them out and back and they were probably the fastest three burpees I’ve ever done.  I just wanted it to be over.  When I finally hopped over the bar that last time, I let out the biggest yell!  I did it!  Kat and Sav were both there to give me the biggest celebratory hug, and my friend Nikki, who was already finished, gave me a big high five, and I think I may have even hugged Simon!  I was so happy! 

My time was not the fastest posted in our Box that day, nor was it the slowest, and even if it was I’m not sure I would have cared. I finished!  I did 84 65# thrusters!!! 14.5 score 
After I finished, I stayed to cheer on fellow athletes and then watched the coaches do the WOD.  It was so amazing to see them kill this WOD.

As a reward for 14.5, hubby and I were planning to go out for beer and chicken wings. Turns out a few others were planning on doing that too. We met them at the bar and we had a fun night chatting about life and CrossFit and I stuffed myself with chicken wings and enjoyed a few nice, cold Coronas!  I was one happy CrossFitter!

14.5 was one of the hardest things I have done at CrossFit..maybe even the hardest so far.  It took me outside my comfort zone, but also showed me that I need to have more confidence in my abilities.  It wasn’t easy, but I finished…and for that, I am proud!

Did you do 14.5?
How did it go?


Psyching Myself Up For 14.5

I have pretty much been freaking out about tonight’s 14.5 WOD since it was announced last night.
14.5 wod

Thankfully I was able to distract myself with work for a good part of the day, but since I got home from work around 3:30, I have been getting more and more anxious about this killer WOD.

It’s just Thrusters and Burpees…but it’s lots of them, and the thrusters are at a weight that I’ve only done a few sets at 55# before.  I have been watching a few videos for tips on how to make the thrusters easier.  Hopefully some of them will have sunk in and I can put them into action when it’s my turn for the workout.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the burpees will be the best part of this workout!  and that is INSANE!

I have no expectation about my finish time.  I will be happy if I can actually make it to the end of the WOD.  I just have to remember…
I can do hard things

I’ll update later and let you know how it goes!

Wish me luck!



14.5 was announced tonight.  No great shocker it is thrusters and burpees…and lots of them.

No time limit!  I may be spending the whole night at CFNC trying to finish this bad boy.

I need to go to bed and pray to the CrossFit Gods that by 6:30 tomorrow night I can suddenly do a 65# thruster.

I’M FREAKING OUT!!!  I wish I was 55 years old…I might have half a chance.



Sorry I have been MIA for the weekend. I had some family things to take care of that pushed blogging right out of my mind.

I still don’t really feeling like writing, but figured I should at least do a quick post. So here we go…

Today I was back at the box and the WOD was Fran. This was my first “benchmark” workout, and in true CrossFit fashion, I was nervous and terrified as I walked into class.

In case you are like me and have no idea what all these workouts are, Fran is a workout of only thrusters and pull-ups done for three sets with reps of 21-15-9. Looking at it on the screen it seems so harmless…but trust me, it is pure hell!

This was my first time doing thrusters, so once again I was told to focus more on form than weight. I felt like a complete weakling though, using only the training bar (without any weight) and a thick blue band for my pull-ups.

It took me 7 minutes and 1 second to complete the workout. For my first time, the time isn’t too bad. I’m just disappointed I can’t lift more yet or do pull-ups without the band. Oh well…I will continue to work hard and hopefully the next time we do Fran I will be lifting more and using a thinner band for my pull-ups. Fingers crossed!

Have you done Fran?
What’s your time?


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