Monday, January 25, 2010

120kg

*Photo courtesy of www.Cathletics.com

For Leah: Here's you in 4 months:) 120kg Squat= Paleo+Linear Progression+Good Coaching+Shear Bad Ass Ness

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Leah Joins The "Talk Smack to Jocelyn" Club

Not without good reason, however. Her confidence is growing rapidly. Afterall, with less than a year of weightlifting under her belt she just Back Squated 218lbs. Not bad... for an amateur:)

Now it seems Cliff's smack talking shenanagins has rubbed off on her. Today Leah mouths off to me that we need to have "one last hoo-rah" before she squashes my back squat record. The worst part? I was speechless. If anyone could do it, it would actually be her. Of course, by the time she gets there (264lbs) my Back Squat will be 300lbs so it doesn't really matter all that much.

Leah, darling, I don't mind being your rabbit. You just made Back Squating a whole lot more fun;)

300, here I come.

*Note: I actually have complete confidence that Leah will add 50lbs to her back squat in 4 months. Get it girl!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dearest Golden

With a little nudge from our fellow blogger, CrossFitter, and friend I have decided to post my response to your rant here:) SEE GOLDEN'S RANT by clicking Bizzlefit on the right.

Jeez, it took me a couple of days to wrap my head around this to even respond. If you’re actually ready to listen to a coach, here is my prescription. But really, what do I know?

1.Come early to every workout or class. Properly warm up.
2.Start with rowing, shuffling, light jogging.
3.Move to high knees, butt kicks, double unders, high skips, frankensteins- wake up your nervous system.
4.Once you begin to warm up (this means you are sweating and breathing hard and feel like you need to take off your sweats and sweatshirt) begin to stretch dynamically. Don’t take off your sweats or sweatshirt.
5.Start with bigger muscles- do lunges, lateral lunges, squats, quad/ham single leg rdls. Static stretch hip flexors only with a Samson stretch or the like.
6.Warm up shoulders with arm circles, bear hugs, scapular push ups, dislocates, supinated kipping pull up hangs with a sway, etc. Gentle and easy, do “skin the cats” type stretches on the rings, further mobilizing your shoulder joints.
7.Begin to do slightly more explosive dynamic stretching moving your entire body through larger ranges of motion like ninja get ups, light Burpees, high jump knee tucks.
8.Do wrist circles and wrist stretches.
9.Stretch your calves against the wall. Do this with a straight knee as well as a bent knee.
10.Foam roll your quads, hamstrings, IT band. In a supine position, foam roll your upper thoracic region to prepare for over head positioning since you’ve got incredible tight shoulders. Foam roll or use a lacrosse ball to perform any self-myo-fascial release needed on “hot spots.”
11.Once you are breathing hard and sweating, take off your sweats.

This is the first 20 minutes. This should properly prepare you for just about anything that will come up in class or any workout for that matter. This will protect you from getting injured.

Avoiding injury- planning:

1.Have a plan. Don’t do random strength training. It doesn’t work.
2.If you randomly do heavy back squats “just because” you set yourself up for over training injuries, for example, if the next day hold heavy front squats and you just lifted heavy back squats the day before, you aren’t properly warmed up, and aren’t properly prepared, you could get injured.
3.Ask to see the strength training regimen for the month. After all, you have a key. Don’t you think we’d be so nice as to let you know what lifts are coming up? This way, if you are forced to work out on your own since your schedule, I presume, won’t allow you to come to class you can shape your workout accordingly. Better yet, have a trainer program those workouts for you. Even better yet, come to class. We’ve got that stuff all mapped out.

Avoiding injury-Post workout:

1.Static or PNF Stretch hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, calves, with a partner or a strap. This will help increase your flexibility- the thing that it inhibiting you from getting into proper positions and increasing your chance for injury.
2.Static stretch shoulders and lats and triceps with a dowel. Do this from as many different angles as your imagination allows. This will help increase shoulder flexibility, the thing that is inhibiting you to get in proper overhead, front squat, etc., positions thus increasing your change for injury.
3.Foam roll.
4.Ice your wrist- it’s been hurt forever. Be proactive. Ice any other “hot spots” you feel after your workout. We have ice cups right there in the freezer.


Avoiding injury- What to avoid:

1.Showing up without knowing what you “feel like doing.” Stand around, asking for suggestions, cherry picking the things you’d be willing to do, and then diving into it without proper warm up.
2.Not having clear, concrete goals. Are you trying to get stronger? Bigger? Better at metcon? Are you trying to get lean? Are you trying to qualify for regionals? Be clear about these goals. Have a trainer help create a strategy to get there.
3.Not having a coach. You can’t get very far without a coach. No matter how much you try to vary your metcon training, keep tabs on your strength training, you will ALWAYS subconsciously (or even consciously) coddle yourself.

I realize these details are less exciting, and lets face it, a pain in the ass but if you want your body to hold up and if it's any interest to you to stop wasting energy on rants and instead expend it trying to keep your squat from being beat by Kyle then it's probably a good idea to get serious about it.

Again, that's just me.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Memoirs

Today I got to thinking about what it is exactly that makes you who you are. Kyle and I were having a conversation about sectionals, regionals, the games, etc., which led to a discussion about competition. I thrive on competition. Not in the sense that I need to win at everything (although I hate losing) but in the sense that it's fun to be challenged, particularly by a talented opponent. There's no fun in squashing an opponent who is clearly less advantaged or prepared. It's way more fun when you go head to head with another gifted athlete, bringing everything you've worked hard for to the table, sometimes respectfully winning, sometime respectfully losing. I work hard in training, striving to get stronger, faster, better. I push myself and reach as far inside of myself as I can while training alone or with athletes who are less competitive, but it's nothing compared to the the switch that goes on once it's game time.

Competition, on the other hand, is not appealing to Kyle at all. For him, CrossFit is very personal. Intimate. It's something he does for himself; to be his own personal best. He doesn't see the need to try and prove anything to an opponent, to his peers; not to anyone. "What's the purpose?" He asks. "I don't feel the need to try and prove to anyone that I'm better than everyone else. It's not what drives me." He likes to be part of a team because it's fun (hence he's on our affiliate team) but doesn't see the need to put pressure on himself or lose sleep over personal competition.

We are all so different when it comes to the things that drive us. Sometimes, when I get to thinking about my own personality I sit and try to think as far back in my life as I can remember to make sense of my own experiences and how they shaped who I am today. I don't ever really end at any sure conclusions but it's still fun to try and put some pieces together.

On to the point of this post. I've periodically been working on an autobiography/memoir over the last two years and I was reading through some of the stories. The following short story marked the beginning of my softball career (which lead to my college career- which lead to my strength and conditioning career- which lead to my professional athletic career- to college coaching- and on to CrossFit). I don't want to give the whole thing away because I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with it yet, but I've decided to post a few of the stories here. The following is the first in a short series from the book that I plan on posting here.

Chap 3: ADMIRATION

From time to time I reminisce in my head about my childhood and it usually dawns on me that I was fairly odd. One of my favorite things to do was play with large cardboard boxes; the kind of boxes that large appliances or packages come in. (Two of the best boxes I ever came across were a refrigerator box and a water heater box. Talk about “a find” to get your hands on one of those). For some reason I thought that if I climbed inside and closed up all the flaps that no one would notice that I was there. They would simply think I was just a package sitting around in the living room. As far as I knew it was as good as being invisible.

As do most little sisters I absolutely adored my older sister who was 4 years my elder. She was just so cool. In middle school, she started to wear the coolest clothes; black ripped up tights with a jean skirt and a white leather jacket with tassels on the sleeves. She even bleached her hair, wore dark eyeliner and red lipstick, and listened to The Cure. When she would have friends over after school, Mom and Dad still at work, I would take my box, which I had so carefully cut a thin eye hole slit into the side, and plop down in the middle of the living room so I could hang out with the cool kids…invisible of course. It turns out I was not so invisible.

“Jocelyn, get out of here!” Erika would yell, mortified. Her middle school friends would laugh.

“You are such a brat! I’m serious, get out!”

I would just sit there thinking that after a minute or two she would calm down and forget that a box had just walked in and plopped down in the middle of the room. Maybe they would start to think it really was just a box. And maybe they would just carry on about their business and I could sit there and watch the cool kids. Unfortunately for me it never worked out that way. It usually ended with my sister’s boyfriend, Frankie, bribing me with a kiss on the cheek in exchange for me going out to play in the back yard.

I wanted to do everything my sister did. I wanted to wear her eyeliner, and listen to her music even though I had no idea what the words were. I wanted to go hang out with her and her friends in the church parking lot around the corner or at the cemetery up the street while they smoked cigarettes. I definitely wanted to go toilet papering and ding dong ditching with them. And when I saw her practicing pitching in the back yard with my Dad one day, I wanted to play softball too.

I was about 9 years old when I joined my first team. We were called the Orioles and we were bright orange. I, of course, was the sucky kid who got stuck in right field where I was sure to never get a ball. I believe the official name for the position was "Rover," the name given to a fourth outfielder added to the field so more kids could play at one time. The first time I ever got up to bat against a fast windmill pitcher I watched three strikes go by in a row as my knees quivered. I was so scared I literally peed my pants. I remember because my dad yelled at my coach for not allowing me to go to the bathroom when I’d asked before the game.

“Do you see this? Look at her, she peed her fuckin pants!” he scolded her. My dad is one of those rare people that actually gets away with having a potty mouth, and with exception to this case, it's usually pretty funny.

“If she’s gotta go to the bathroom next time you’d better let her go!” I was so embarrassed I wished I’d had a box to crawl under.

My sister’s game was still in the 5th inning on the softball field caddy corner to us when my game was over. She was in the 14 and under division and she played for the Astros. They were forest green and got to wear real stirrups- not like us 10 and under kids who had to wear socks with a built-in stripe on the side. When I came over she was pitching against the Royals and I remember thinking that she had the coolest wind up. She would rock both her hands together passed her right hip and then burst into and underhand windmill. I stood there in my wet softball pants and thought, “That is so awesome. I could totally do that. I want to be a pitcher.”

The next day I asked my dad if we could start pitching in the back yard after school.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Thank You 2009

Kyle and Me and Mary Lou
Sam, Cliff, and Me

CrossFit West April 2009


CrossFit West December 2009

It's funny the way life works. Every move you make, every decision, choice, thought, changes the course of everything and leads you to the present. After leaving Pennsylvania and a well payed prestigious job, against the advice of most of the people close to me ("you're going to quit your job in the middle of a recession?" my Dad was concerned upon which my response was, "I'd rather be a bag lady in Santa Cruz than a well payed professional in PA" I really missed home) I landed myself in Santa Cruz. I had no job, not much opportunity, and just about every last penny to my name spent on getting here.

I was practically just that, a bag lady. But I had my priorities and working out was one of them. I found CrossFit the first day I walked into Gold's gym about 3 days after I got to California. That was when Sam ran CrossFit West Santa Cruz out of the back. And it was instant love.

With a competitive athletic back ground I took to it quickly and began to dominate our record boards (although I had about 10 people to compete with!) Meanwhile, I met Kyle who had been CrossFitting for just 5 months. He had a deep love for CrossFit too and had his sights set on the 2009 Games qualifier. He urged me, along with Sam, to train with him for the qualifier. This marked the beginning of a very special friendship.

My involvement with CrossFit West Santa Cruz grew, I began teaching classes and Sam eventually asked me if I would like to partner with him. He had visions of something bigger and better than a group of 10 people CrossFitting in the back of a Gold's gym. And so did I. I wasn't sure how this would play out, but I wanted in. We needed someone with more business savvy than us to help us on the business end of things. That's when we brought in Cliff, owner of Adventure Out. He had been CrossFitting with us for months and seemed to share the same love of CrossFit. Not to mention, he was already a successful business owner and incredibly bright.

I could barely make my car payment or rent. I had no real job but worked part time in retail at a silver store. I was in the process of building a pitching student clientele, but that takes time and I was still new in town. I had even been looking for waitress jobs or hostessing jobs, but no one would even call me back for an interview. I wasn't sure how I was going to do this CrossFit thing, but I could feel it in my bones- this was meant to be, and somehow it would work out.

Then a light went off in my head. I had worked at my previous job for two years before I decided to come back to California. I had an excellent retirement plan that I had never even checked the statement on. I knew that with the economy in such a bad state, and having been there just two years that it wouldn't be much but I decided to check into it anyway. To my surprise I had built up close to 10,000 dollars! I really needed the money, and even though at the time it was theoretically a bad move I decided to cash it out. I lost nearly half of it to taxes but still had about 5 grand in my pocket. This was my chance to buy into the CrossFit business with Sam and Cliff. I was incredibly scared. Broke, and with no real job I was getting ready to buy into a small business using every last penny to my name, during a recession. When I expressed my fear to Cliff he eased my concerns, "Joc, nothing great comes from playing it too safe. Sometimes you have to take big risks to get big rewards." This was all I needed to hear.

Meanwhile, our sights set high, Kyle and I continued to workout together. We met regularly with our coach and my soon to be business partner Sam who put together a training schedule for us to get ready for the qualifiers. Kyle, who we joke about being a walking CrossFit encyclopedia, encouraged me all the time, spouting off other girls' numbers confident that I could make it to the Games. He only wished I'd started CrossFit a few months sooner.

It was nice to have a training partner and friend who was so supportive and excited for me in my training. Most competitive athletes/fitness gurus can relate when I say it is tough to get support from people around you. Most people don't understand the dedication and hard work that goes into something like this and quite frankly think it is strange. It's tough to avoid comments at dinner time when you pass on the bread and pasta and opt for extra meat or when you leave the party early, glass of water in hand, because you don't want to be wiped out for your workout in the morning. But I had finally met my partner in crime and it was something special.

With our new partnership formed, Cliff, Sam, and I began looking for Warehouse space. After seeing a handful of places we finally found the perfect space. But there was just one problem. It was slightly out of our price range. Now here's the part of the story that will be fun to tell my kids one day: I happened to be in the midst of apartment hunting, an escape from an unhealthy living situation. Cliff and Sam made a comment that the loft in the warehouse could be a liveable space- but this "kind of" joke quickly became a serious possibility. If we could make a living space right there at the gym, I could pay my personal rent and thus the gym would now be an affordable place to start our business. That's right, I literally moved in and lived at our new gym.

It's crazy to think about now. Weights smashing at 6AM, classes going until 7:30PM. People in and out all day long, all while being a permanent resident. But this was the start of our amazing CrossFit West.

The rest of 2009 flew by, only bringing more excitement. One month after opening our gym I won the Nor Cal Qualifier and earned a spot to the 2009 CrossFit Games. And whats more exciting? 3 months after that Kyle and I got engaged! (I love my gym but thankfully I've since moved into a house with him:) A true friend, now the love of my life.

After the games (and a bit of overtraining and burnout) I began working out with Aimee Everett (formerly Anaya) and in such a short time saw such huge gains. I was only sorry I hadn't met her sooner (but hey, I know from experience that everything works out the way it is supposed to). Aimee is now officially my coach. She has made training so exciting and has already made me stronger in so many ways. I am so incredibly excited about competing this year because quite frankly, all modesty aside, I'm going to be a freakin beast!

Sigh...

Wow. That's quite a 2009. And that's the condensed version.

Here's some of the numbers I put up this year:


C&J- 191lbs/86.8kg
Snatch- 148lbs/67.2kg- 4lbs over body weight
Split Jerk- 205lbs/93.1kg
Rack Jerk- 223lbs/101.3kg
F.Squat- 235lbs/106.8kg
B.Squat-240lbs/109kg
OH Squat-173lbs/78.6kg
Deadlift- 325lbs/ 147.7kg

Learned to Muscle Up, just in time for the qualifiers:)
Mastered double unders
Man Grace time of 7:14
Among other things

Thank you 2009.

And as my old college strength coach used to say, "it just gets better."

Hello 2010.