Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Keeping the Conversation Going

Yesterday I found myself in the middle of a pretty interesting discussion regarding CrossFit HQ and the purpose or intent of the CrossFit Games 2011. If you're not in the know...check out the letter that prompted it all and the response by My Ignition.

I guess the big question that's being tackled is "Is CrossFit for everyone?"

Now before you get all up in arms about this, let me clarify. Everybody who's been around CrossFit knows that anybody can do it. As Glassman puts it, CrossFit is scalable to all levels of fitness and that's what makes it a great program for everyone. So I am not asking if using CrossFit as a training method is for everybody.....we all agree that it is. I'm asking if CrossFit competitions, the Open Sectionals, Regionals, the CrossFit Games is for everyone. So in that respect I have to disagree with My Ignition and say that YES the CrossFit Open, in fact all CrossFit competitions are for everyone (even your grandma!) who has that fire in their belly and wants to push themselves to new levels. I think many of the CrossFit Community members who fancy themselves as Firebreathers forget that most of us have no real aspirations of winning! But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be allowed to play the game. One example I have is from my own gym CrossFit Katy. One of our team members is doing the Open for two reasons....She wants to support her daughter (who is also doing the Open) and she loves CrossFit and pushing herself. She wants to see how she measures up AND have fun doing it. She's 53 years old and has absolutely no aspirations of making it to Regionals, even in the Masters division. She is just using this opportunity to challenge herself and, as The False Start puts it, shatter those false limitations that we all put on ourselves. When the first WOD was announced, she had never completed a double under in a workout in her life, but you know what...on competition day, she completed 47 double unders!!! That's what it's all about. Did she give a crap that she still had the lowest score in the gym...HELL NO! She was damn proud of herself as she should be. That's what it's all about. Why should breakthrough moments like that be limited to daily WOD's at your local affiliate? Most people need that little something extra, like the Open, to push themselves to shatter those obstacles.
Now, this doesn't mean that I think it's HQ's job to make sure that everyone, even your grandma, competes in the Open. As My Ignition puts it, it's not HQ's job to market the Games to make it seem like a picnic, because he's right, it's no picnic! And I really don't think that HQ shouldn't have the spotlight on the Elite Athletes. It is the purpose of the Games to find the fittest man and fittest woman on Earth. I think that's where we come in as trainers, affiliates and a community. It's OUR job to encourage our athletes to compete. To push themselves to new levels. The online format of the Open this year means that the Games is more accessible then it's ever been before and we should be taking advantage of it by promoting it within our own gyms and communities. We have to let people know that there is more to the Games then simply winning and losing. The spirit of CrossFit runs much deeper than that. I know I will continue to encourage and push all of my clients, Firebreather or not, to compete whether it be in the Open or in the next local competition. CrossFit is a sport and we should all be allowed to play!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Open Sectionals.....Now It Begins!

Well it's finally here! The Open Sectionals is upon us. Now, I'm not going to lie. I'm still not as excited about these online sectionals as I was for the Sectionals Weekend last year in Austin. There's just nothing that can compare to the atmosphere at a big CrossFit Competition. I can't explain it if you've never been to one, but let's just say the energy is palpable and the camaraderie can't be beat. People accomplish things that they never thought possible and old and new CrossFit friends unite. It's part of what makes this sport so much fun. But enough about that. I think it's safe to say that the initial phases of this Open Sectionals have been disappointing from a technical standpoint. The first WOD was posted about 7 hours late making it impossible for anybody to complete the WOD on Tuesday night as had been previously planned. The Website has had problems ranging from people not being able to register to people not being able to submit scores and the leaderboards are frequently all screwed up. Does this frustrate me? A little bit. I mean, I haven't had any problems BUT it's irritating that HQ has known that they were going to try and pull this off for a LONG time and yet, they still underestimated how much work it was going to be. But I think the thing that really bugs me about this whole thing is that HQ claims to be going big-time. Reebok is sponsoring. Glassman and Crew can't stop talking about how Elite the CrossFit Athletes and the CrossFit Program is, that it's just as legit as any other professional sport BUT when things get they are with the Open Website....they hide behind the fact that they're just a small group of people trying to do big things! Be straight with us HQ. Either you're Pro sport status or you're not. You can't be both and when you screw something up....just apologize! I think that's what we're all looking for. Just say "hey look we screwed up. It's much bigger than we thought and we didn't plan enough ahead for it, but we're working our asses off to make it right." That's all I want, an acknowledgement that they still have things to learn and ways to improve. We're not all sheep.

Sorry, I am done with my rant. Back to the Workouts themselves. The first Sectionals WOD this year was:
AMRAP in 10 minutes of
30 Double Unders
15 Power Snatches @55lbs

I admit when this WOD was announced, I was not that psyched about it. It's light....meaning it's gonna be all cardio! Anything that is high rep/light weight means cardio and that is exactly what I SUCK at! So far, I have surprised myself. The first time I tried this WOD was Wednesday afternoon with Neal, Brittani, Kim and Adriana. I told myself before it started that the key to this WOD was going to be my double unders. I can rock out some double unders but I have to be relaxed when I do them or I screw up...big time! I didn't go into the WOD with any expectations of doing that well because, like I said, cardio is my weakness. I started out steady and got a great rhythm with my double unders that carried through for most of the WOD. I didn't even keep track of my rounds because all I could think about was "stay relaxed and get those double unders". When the clock hit 10 minutes, I'd gotten 6 rounds, 30 double unders and 1 snatch! That was the best time in the gym and you know what, I was pretty stoked about it! I rocked a cardio WOD! How did that happen?? When I uploaded my score, it put me in first place in the Region....which was VERY short lived! :) I ended up getting knocked down to 11th and decided to hit the WOD again today to try and get back in the top ten. My goal was 7 rounds. This time, the WOD did NOT feel as good as it did on Wednesday, but I did get an extra 6 reps bringing my new total to 6 rounds plus 37. It was enough to put me back into the top ten at #7....BUT I have once again, dropped to 11th. HQ has given us an extension of one week to get this WOD done...I just might have to try again. Maybe this time I'll get my 7 rounds!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Big Things Coming!

Hello Hello Blogger friends. There's so many exciting things happening on the horizon! First of all of course is the online Sectional Workouts start on Tuesday! I'm still not completely sold on this format. I happen to have love love loved Sectionals last year and this year the atmosphere is obviously not the same. That being said, I'm still excited because I think CrossFit Katy has enough talent to
A) Make every workout competitive
B) Qualify for Regionals!

Ok so maybe I'm jumping the gun, but I think we've got a legitimate shot to make it. We've developed some really awesome athletes in the last year and I'm excited to see how far we can go. One thing's for sure. We're gonna work our asses off trying!

In other news, CrossFit Katy is moving! YEAH! We've signed the lease and started building out at the new space. We're going to have almost twice as much room, 6 showers, and A/C! Ok so maybe that makes us a little less garage, but who cares! We still kick ass and take names! I can't wait to see how much we grow. We've got an awesome community, new nutrition programs in the works, and a handful of upcoming new coaches! The future is bright!

That's all I've got for now. Check back this week for info and updates on Sectionals! Ready to Rock it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Airrosti Day with Dr. Matt!

Ahhh! It hurts so good! Ok so here's the deal. We all need to do more mobility work! In fact, I'd venture to say that 90% of us don't do as much mobility work as we should and I am definitely one of those people. I've been inflexible for as long as I can remember. I remember in 5th and 6th grade when we had to do those Presidential physical fitness tests. One of those tests was the sit and reach where we were supposed to sit with our legs in a V and reach forward as far as we could. We weren't supposed to lunge our upper bodies forward to reach. It was supposed to be a slow and easy reach forward......I was the kid that lunged forward. I couldn't get as far as I was supposed to unless I did it that way. Needless to say, I didn't stretch then and it never really bothered me. I could still play all the sports and I still excelled, so no harm no foul right? Wrong! Enter CrossFit.
I did my fair share of Oly lifting in high school, but we were never really pushed to do overhead movements like jerks or snatches. Now all of a sudden I had to figure out how to put a heavy barbell over my head and keep it there, not an easy task when you can't even put your arms by your ears when you reach up overhead! So for the last 2 years, I have been compensating. I compensate by sticking my head through a kettlebell swing like a turtle instead of bringing the bell all the way over my head. I compensate by severely hyper-extending my back anytime I need to push a weight overhead, I compensate, compensate, compensate and it's finally getting to me. It kind of came to a head last month at the Fittest Games. We had to do fifteen 95lb snatches in the middle of a WOD. They took me forever!! I know, I know.....they were 95lb snatches...that's heavy! But it wasn't the weight. I'm a strong girl. I can clean 175lbs, I can back squat 225lbs, I can front squat 190lbs......95lb snatches shouldn't be that hard for me but my shoulder mobility makes them impossible. I can't drop under the bar quick enough while keeping the bar over my lack of mobility always makes the bar drift out in front of me and when the weight is heavy, I fail. After that competition, I decided enough was enough and it was time to really get this mobility thing worked out....literally.
I'd heard of Airrosti before, I'd even had my psoas released at a Team Competition held by Bayou City CrossFit, but I'd never actually been to a treatment session. I told Dr. Matt Arnold about my shoulder woes and he convinced me to come in for a real session and let me tell you it was amazing. Don't get me wrong, it was painful! I'm sure Dr. Matt was incredibly entertained by all my laughing, moaning, and groaning. And more than once I almost wiggled right off the table....especially when he dug into my biceps tendon! Ouch! But in just one session, I think I gained a good 3-4 inches in flexion in both arms! I could also raise my arms all the way up by my ears while staying in the frontal plane. Crazy!! I can't believe I hadn't gotten this done sooner. Dr. Matt explained that every muscle is covered by a layer of fascia and the more work we do on our muscles, the more we lift, the more shortened our muscles become. Now we can prevent this shortening by diligent stretching and mobility work after and between workouts but, like I said, we all need to do more mobility work! So as our muscles shorten and contract, the fascia that surrounds our muscles contracts and kinks too (like a sausage casing) And once they get to that point, it's almost impossible to get that mobility and stretch back in our muscles without getting the fascia released. Or in other words, I was never going to fix my mobility without Dr. Matt bringing the pain! He also explained that I was going to be able to increase my work capacity just from increasing my mobility. In other words, I'm going to be a better CrossFitter, without actually doing any more CrossFit! So after my session, Dr. Matt showed me a thing or two on the foam roller and I promised to keep at it. As proof, I got Neal to take a few pics of my morning foam rolling session today. Check out the pain face in the second pic! Ok so foam rolling isn't that fun and it hurts but it's going to make me better. And Dr. Matt promised that it gets easier! I have two more appointments with Dr. Matt and I can't wait to see how far we get! This is probably going to benefit me more than anything I have been doing in the gym as far as my training goes. If you're serious about becoming the best athlete that you can be, I'd definitely give Airrosti a chance. You can make an appointment by calling their number 800-404-6050. Call up Dr. Matt and tell him to bring the pain for you!