I’m Right Where I’m Supposed To Be

Last April before my summer hiatus, I wrote about where I expected my life to be by the time my 31st birthday rolled around.  I was pretty upset back then that nothing I had planned had come to fruition.  A few friends texted me afterwards to say, “Maybe my life isn’t where I thought it would be, but I wouldn’t change where my life is.”  In other words, I’m right where I’m supposed to be and my life is pretty darn good.

img_5114

Old City of Jerusalem at 5:30 am on Friday, August 5, 2016.  The Western Wall (Kotel) at sunrise was one of the highlights of the trip.

Continue reading

It’s Been A While

It has been waaaaaay too long since I last posted here.  If you stopped by at some point in the past few months, I greatly appreciate it.  If this is your first time here, then welcome.  I hope you enjoy your stay.  Thank you, Fitters, for allowing me to come back with open arms.

I figured I’d start with where I’ve been since it hasn’t been here, hanging out with all of you.  Even though the week is Sunday to Saturday, to me the week begins on Monday.  Monday is the start of the workweek after all.  So, Mondays.  And Tuesdays.  And Wednesdays.  And Thursdays.  And Fridays.  I sit here for five straight days from roughly 9 in the morning until 5:30-6 in the evening, sometimes later; in other words, I spend more time here than I do in my bed:

office

Continue reading

Cheating: Is It Ever Okay?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about cheating since the New England Patriots have been in the news all week.  First, there were the allegations about cheating and then there was the confirmation that they cheated.  (If you live under a rock, you can catch up here: Essentially, the Patriots were accused of using under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts last weekend.)  This isn’t the first time they cheated: Back in 2007, Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 for spying on the New York Jets to learn their defensive signals.  If the punishment history repeats itself, the NFL will fine the team and/or take away draft picks.  To guarantee you’ll make it to the Super Bowl and your only punishment for cheating is a lost draft pick and a fine that doesn’t make a dent in your overall operating expenses, would you cheat?

Let’s brainstorm – when/how/why do people cheat?

Continue reading

Goals: A Check-In

Last week, I wrote about my goals for this year.  I’ve been doing some reflection on them and realized that the Health category doesn’t have to refer just to doctors and annual check-ups, as it does for M.  Health, for me, refers to anything that keeps me healthy, including working out and eating right.  That said, here is my addendum:

Health

  • WOD 3 times per week – With the holidays (aka Christmas and New Year’s Day) falling on Thursdays and the Eves falling on Wednesdays, my CrossFit WOD schedule got completely messed up.  Combine that with getting sick the first full week of January, and I realize my last WOD was the Monday before New Year’s Day.  This is a big problem for me.  So, my CrossFit WOD goal for this year is to get back on track and get my tush into the box 3 days every week.  This can be some combination like Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Monday/Tuesday/Thursday.  Whatever it is, 3 days.  Saturdays are always reserved for Trainer J and Sundays have always been and will always be my rest days.

Now, for the Goals 2015 Check In:

  • Nails – I haven’t done them yet.  I removed last week’s nail polish yesterday.  I was going to attempt to do them today, but Boyfriend D and I spent the afternoon and evening in NYC.  For Chanukah, he got me tickets to see If/Then with Idina Menzel and we enjoyed our matinee.  (Go see If/Then before it closes March 22.  The show was fantastic and Idina Menzel is amazing.  Have you heard her sing Defying Gravity from Wicked?  The woman has pipes.)  We went to dinner at Quality Meats afterward (So.  Much.  Delicious.  Food.).  Maybe tomorrow night after the WOD?
  • Sleep – Yes!  I’ve been setting my alarm clock based on what time I crawl into bed and I have been getting my sleep!  Woo-hoo!
  • Time in the morning/dressing better for work – Sort of.  Having whatever this was (bad cold?  mild flu?) was miserable.  I did the best I could feeling so under the weather.
  • Finn – Another resounding yes!  I’ve been making time on Saturday mornings before my session with Trainer J.  I had her at the dog park in the bitter cold for an hour yesterday where she ran around with 2 huskies.  I wish I had gotten video of her keeping up with the bigger dogs, every muscle in her body rippling.
  • Organized house – I’m working on it.  This will always be a work in progress.
  • Work – Both of these are also works in progress, especially as I was ailing all week.
  • Social – I have dinner in NYC with B on Thursday.
  • Must To Do’s – Nothing yet.

Tell me, dear Fitters, what are your goals for 2015 and how are you doing at keeping them?

The End

Dear Fitters,

Thank you for putting up with my delay.  Since yesterday marked the end of the 2014 2014 Lurong Living Paleo Challenge, let’s talk about that.

The good:

  • I have made progress like never before.  I was hitting PRs left and right throughout the month of October: 13 double-unders in a row; first unassisted pull-up WOD; 125-lb 1 rep max hang clean.
  • My body measurements have changed in a ways I didn’t think they would: lost 1 ¼ inches in both my waist and chest, gained 1 inch in my hips, lost ¼ inch in one thigh and ½ an inch in the other (they’re even now), and lost ½ an inch in both arms.  Trainer J attributed the loss of arm size to burning off whatever fat is (was) left.  And my abs?  I took a selfie (that you won’t be seeing).
  • Keeping paleo is EASY!  You need to be creative and willing to experiment in the kitchen and constantly mix up what you’re eating.  The way CrossFit is defined as constantly varied functional movement, what we eat should be constantly varied as well.

The bad:

  • Will I continue PRing or will I plateau?

The ugly:

  • I want to keep paleo pretty strictly now that the challenge has ended.  What is the easiest way of doing this without falling down the steep slippery vertical slope that is a cheat or non-paleo dish?

This year’s challenge was by far easier than last year’s challenge.  I set a schedule of cooking on Sunday evenings so I would have a refrigerator full of meals for lunch and snacks.  I kept bags of pre-torn kale (you can find it at Trader Joe’s) on hand to make kale chips for snack every morning. 

I enjoyed this year’s WODs a lot more than last year’s.  This year’s WODs just made sense.  They didn’t try to do too much but were just enough.  My favorite was the infinity ladder of squat cleans and pull-ups.  This was the very first time I did a WOD with unassisted pull-ups.  Trainer J gave me a goal of 5 rounds…I got 6.

During the challenge, I had no problems keeping strictly paleo.  My one craving, randomly, was for cheese.  I made a spaghetti squash baked ziti to satisfy that craving.  The addition of small amounts of cheese is probably the only thing I will add back to my diet.

Did you take part in the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge?  What did you think of it?  Did you see enormous results?  How will you be keeping paleo now that the challenge is over?

Vacation Time: Aruba

Enough with the vacation prep already, right?  How about the vacation itself?

Boyfriend D, his parents, his sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and I spent a week in Aruba.  Island time is real and it is glorious.  We were finally able to relax and take a break from the stressful hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.  We had family time shared with everyone.  He had guy time and I had girl-time.  And we had our alone time.

Day 1 – Saturday

Boyfriend D and I were on the same flight as his parents.  We arrived in Aruba Saturday afternoon and went straight to our hotel.  We ate lunch at the hotel, went grocery shopping, and spent the afternoon relaxing.  Boyfriend D and I ate dinner on the beach then took the first of what we became our nightly strolls on the beach.

Day 2 – Sunday

Boyfriend D had a golf outing in the morning with the men.  The women stayed in while the baby napped.  We ate lunch together on the beach then lounged in the pool.  We ate dinner with his parents and went for our nighttime walk on the beach.  We discovered it was easier to walk in the shallow water than on the dry sand.

Day 3 – Monday

Boyfriend D and I began our day with a WOD at CrossFit A297, the only box on the island.  When we first walked in, we saw this on the door:

Once we walked inside, we saw:

The WOD was on a computer screen, but first, this:

I just love all of the positivity, don’t you?  Anyway, the WOD:

The running was outside in the sun.  We completed the WOD using much lighter kettlebells for the box overs.  CrossFit is all about “beating the clock” where the goal is to finish before the clock runs out.  In Aruba, it’s all about beating the heat as the running outdoors in the sun was brutal and there was no AC inside the box.

We met Boyfriend D’s family for lunch in town and walked around the shopping area.  I napped when we returned to the hotel.  That night was our night to stay in and baby-sit.

Day 4 – Tuesday

The men played golf in the morning while the women stayed in and the baby slept.  We ate lunch as a group when the men came back then lounged by the pool.  That night, we ate dinner at Simply Fish as a family on the beach and watched the beautiful sunset.

Day 5 – Wednesday

Finally!  Boyfriend D and I had the day to ourselves.  We went off-roading in UTVs in the morning, ate lunch with the family, and went to Screaming Eagle for dinner.

Crab:

They gave us the bandanas to cover our noses and mouths because the trail became very dusty:

Church:

California Lighthouse:

Boyfriend D pointing out the golf course from the lighthouse:

Day 6 – Thursday

Yet again, the men went off to play golf.  This time, we women were pampered with facials and deep tissue massages.  Like the other family days, we ate lunch together, lounged by the pool, then went out to dinner as a family.

Day 7 – Friday

Boyfriend D and I had the whole day to ourselves.  We spent the morning off-roading on the jeep tour, ate lunch just us, frolicked in the sea, and went to the Flying Fishbone for dinner (a MUST if you go to Aruba – make sure your reservation time is early enough to watch the sunset).

Our first stop was the Natural Pool:

Natural Pool itself:

Next stop:

The original Natural Bridge aka “Mother Bridge” (it collapsed after Hurricane Katrina’s winds passed):

The Natural Bridge still remaining aka “Baby Bridge”:

Goofing off wearing Boyfriend D’s backpack:

Yes, I know I’m white.  My goal was not to burn.  As a consequence, I didn’t tan either.

Moving on…The blow hole:

Day 8 – Saturday

We came home to snuggle with Finn (because you know there has to be the obligatory picture of Finn):

Have you ever been to Aruba?  What did we miss that we must go to next time?  Where should we go next?

Another Paleo Challenge?

Two posts ago I spoke about my frustrations with food and all the garbage I had been eating as a way to rebel.  Well, my CrossFit coaches have decided they want to do a 30-day paleo challenge to introduce new members to the lifestyle and to help get existing members back on track.  For the month leading up to the seminar, I had no idea if I wanted to participate.  Whenever someone would ask me if I was going to do the paleo challenge, I said I don’t know.  Boyfriend D was gung-ho about it.  Having never gone strictly paleo before, he wanted to see what being paleo was all about.  He also wanted to eat strictly paleo so I wouldn’t have to do it alone, if I chose to do the challenge.

The challenge began Monday, June 9.  The Saturday before, Trainer J had a 90-minute seminar for anyone interested in participating.  Using a PowerPoint, he went over the could-eats and the could-not-eats and the why’s.  He went over the scoring– a perfect day has 5 points: 2 points for WOD-ing, 1 point for a clean diet, 1 point for hydration (drinking half your body weight in ounces), and 1 point for at least 7 hours of sleep.  You can lose an infinite number of points: -2 points for each serving of non-paleo food, -1 point for each unwanted beverage, and -1 point for not eating breakfast including not having a cup of water in the morning.  By attending the seminar, you were committing to the challenge.  At this point, I had no outs.

The benchmarks this time:

  • 1 mile run
  • Max wall balls, CrossFit Games standards
  • Max push-ups (chest to ab-mat)
  • Max strict pull-ups

For those of you who don’t know, this is what an ab-mat looks like:

I ran the mile in 10:10.  I had to stop twice to tie my laces.  I hit 8 wall balls using the 14-lb ball because I missed the catch after the 8th rep.  I completed 23 push-ups (GASP!).  I did 1 strict pull-up.

Even after committing to the challenge, I had my doubts.  Boyfriend D and I went grocery shopping on Sunday to make sure we were stocked on meat and produce.  We agreed to share recipes and cook together, motivating each other every step of the way.  Now that I’m in, I’m in all the way.  As I am a perfectionist, my worst days will be +3 (no WOD).  Here’s hoping Finn lets me get that 7 hours of sleep each night.

I’ll check in soon to let you know how it’s going.

Question? Answer.

First, let me begin with my apologies for being MIA.  Time has gotten away from me and I do not know how to get it back.  I will use this post to answer two of your most common questions, the first of which will explain my lack of posting.

My last post about my grandmother has led some people to tears, myself included.  Several people have asked me, “What happened last week Tuesday?”  Well, last week Tuesday is no longer last week Tuesday, but Tuesday, February 25.  The gentleman I had been seeing for two months asked me to be his girlfriend.  Without a second thought, I said yes.  Remember this post about the CrossFit Competition?  The “amazing friend” and “CrossFitter D” are one and the same and I am proud to be able to call him my boyfriend.  We may have traveled along a bumpy road that brought us to where we are now; but, the foundation to our relationship is built on friendship and trust because of it.

How exactly does this explain my lack of posting?  First, I work from 9 am to 5 pm, roughly.  Some days begin as early as 8 am and others end as late as 8 pm.  Three days a week I WOD after work.  One day a week I tutor after work.  I spend my working hours staring at three computer screens.  When I get home, the last thing I want to do is look at another computer screen.  Second, I have been spending a lot of time with CrossFitter D.  We WOD together then spend some time together afterwards.  After we part ways for the night, I take Finn for one last walk before crawling into bed.  (I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for putting some of the blame on him.)

The second question is, “Where did the name HonkyTonk Fit come from?”  My friend M. came up with it.  We were eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant in NYC last summer brainstorming ideas on the back of a postcard advertisement for the restaurant.  We wanted the name to have the word “fitness” involved somehow, because of my passion for working out, staying in shape, and encouraging others to do the same.  Fitness was shortened to fit as it sounded better.  HonkyTonk came from my love of country music and similarity to the classic All-American Girl/Girl Next Door.  My love of country is so well known, in March one of the vendors for the company I work for got me suite standing room only tickets to see Keith Urban at Madison Square Garden.  Dustin Lynch and Little Big Town opened for him.  If you only go to one country concert, go see Keith Urban.

Until next time, Fitters!

A CrossFit Competition

After last week’s excitement of getting e-mail and Twitter up and running, I have been MIA.  For a good reason, though: I was preparing for my first CrossFit competition that took place this past weekend.  My normal workout routine is WOD Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings and work out with Trainer J one-on-one on Saturdays.  Leading up to the competition I did the WODs on Monday (lighter weight, more reps) and Wednesday (don’t go heavy, no need to PR a 1 RM).  I went for a 90-minute massage Thursday night and dragged an amazing friend to dinner Friday night to make sure I ate something.

The competition itself was a disaster (space too small for the number of people, so-called “organizers” who did not know a thing about organization, no stretching/warm-up area, etc.); but, I learned a lot in the process:

  • There’s no such thing as being over-prepared.  Bring the extra water bottle.  Bring too much food.  And make sure you bring your own roll of toilet paper.
  • Rest days?  A MUST.  As are massages more frequent than once every six months.
  • Shorts with a 2-inch inseam are not made for burpees; yet, they will help you PR your power clean (115 lbs.  Yeah baby!).
  • You can do things you once thought you would never do.  (Me?  Lift a barbell??  Are you crazy????)
  • Your parents may surprise you by coming out and supporting you without a negative word when they you used to tell you that your muscles and heavy lifting were the reason you were single.
  • You learn who your true friends are when you injure yourself: Trainer J. for letting me cry on his stomach in pain; my fellow CrossFitter J for running to me as soon as he saw me go down and helping me return to our group; and my fellow CrossFitter D for taking care of me while I was icing my nose and for insisting on then following me home.
  • The CrossFit community is truly inspiring.  We applaud and scream louder for the last person to finish than for the first.  We go silent when a competitor falls flat on her face and fist bump her after she finishes.  We root for every competitor even though they are competing against us and us against them.

Thank you for your patience as my swollen and slightly black and blue nose heals.  I will post the next recipe tomorrow.