Sunday, December 29, 2013

It's Almost January........2014 BHAG's part one!

Holy Cow has 2013 already flown by?!?! Yes, there's only 3 more days left in 2013! I don't quite know at what point life speeds up but it does. When I was a kid a year felt like a decade, now a year feels like a most. Nobody warns you about that while you're growing up, or maybe they did but let's face, we don't listen. I'm going to be 30 next year! What? Last time I checked I was like 23 or something. But this post isn't really about how fast life is flying by, well it kind of is, it's about goals and what this next year holds, but the fact that time is flying is definitely a driving factor in this post because with limited time, goals become more important. Or I guess it's more like we don't have forever to accomplish the things we want to accomplish and with time speeding up, if we really want to get there (wherever there is) we better knock out a rough path at least or we'll be in the same spot next year that we are this year. Make sense? I'm pretty sure I've written a post like this before. We all have figuratively even if we've never written it down. So in an effort to feel like I actually DID go somewhere last year, I'm taking the first part of this post and dedicating it to the goals that I DID accomplish, then we'll get into the nitty gritty of what I want to accomplish next year!

My Amazing List of Good Things from 2013!

I qualified as an individual for the 2013 South Central Regionals
-It is getting harder and harder to qualify for regionals as an individual with the explosion of CrossFit around the world. It is always a goal of mine to qualify as an individual for Regionals even if I intend to go team. There's just something satisfying about knowing that I am still among the top of the female athletes in my Region and it's something I strive to do every year.

CrossFit Katy Affiliate Team got 5th at Regionals 2013
-This one was pretty cool! So like I said, I qualified as an individual for Regionals but decided to go Team again in an effort to make it to the CrossFit Games. We had the most amazing performance we've ever have. We got first on Team Jackie (that was me and Adam!), we got 2nd on the Team Lift and we were only 2 spots from qualifying for the Games. Best finish we've ever had!
Our 2nd Place Finish on the Lift!

Neal and I got to go on vacation to Cali to watch the 2013 CrossFit Games
-I don't think many people would look at this and think of it as an accomplished goal but it is for me. Vacations are always some of my biggest goals. Vacations take time and money and we were fortunate enough this year to have enough of both to do this! It was a great trip and one of my favorite times to spend with my husband and speaking of husband...

-Duh! Huge goal accomplished. Our wedding was beautiful at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas and we had an amazing reception at the House of Blues in Houston the weekend after to celebrate with our friends! I am so happy I now get to call Neal my husband! He's my perfect match and I feel very lucky to have him.
Outside the Wynn

We had an amazing honeymoon in Hawaii
-Another vacation, YES! Hawaii was beautiful and we spent a week on the beaches of Oahu learning to surf, drinking mai thai's and loving life and the beach. We are both beach people and this trip I think did more to solidify that and make us realize some important things we want to accomplish in our future. All in all, an amazing trip!

I accomplished two of my strength goals for the year
-At the beginning of each year, I write down some strength and CrossFit related goals and this year I accomplished two of them! I got a 200lb Clean and Jerk and I've reached a 330# deadlift! Sweet! This year, I plan on writing out a few more goals than I did last year but i'm hopeful that with a solid plan, I can accomplish them all!

I became a sponsored athlete....again!
-What?! Yep, I am lucky enough to have been chosen to represent RokFit for the next year! So awesome!! These guys are the shit and make some of the sweetest CrossFit gear around! Now I get to wear new RokFit gear and talk about how cool it is....yeah I'm pretty good at that ;) If you haven't gotten yourself any RokFit gear yet, what are you waiting for?? Go do it now!

I hit the re-start button on my Rodan + Fields Business
-For about a year, I have been an independent consultant for Rodan + Fields Dermatology. This skincare is amazing and we have products for all your needs....seriously! I have some sweet before and afters if you're curious. Things got so busy with the gym and life that I had pretty much taken a break from this business but I have a renewed attitude now and am ready to hit the pavement with this! This opportunity has proven to be life-changing for many girls on my team allowing them to pay mortgages, car notes, grocery bills, even replacing entire salaries from their previous careers AND I can do it in my spare time....from anywhere! Anyway, if you haven't had a chance to check it out, here's my website. Leah's Awesome R+F Skincare Site!  Check me out and see if this is the kind of opportunity that speaks to you (or somebody you know, I love references!) or if you've had some stubborn skin issues that you haven't resolved yet, I bet I can help!
Seriously, NOW is the time!

There were many more little accomplishments throughout this year I am sure. The main focus of this year really was our wedding and that didn't leave as much time for other goals. I think now that we've found a really comfortable place for our lives, 2014 is going to be a year of great things, huge goals, and a beautiful life....and since you're all probably tired of reading, I will wait to post my 2014 goals for another post! I hope you take the time to reflect on your past year and acknowledge all the good things that you have accomplished as well!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

These are a Few of My Favorite Things...

I haven't done a post like this in a while...maybe ever. I'm not a great sales person and I sometimes feel awkward pushing people into purchasing things unless I KNOW that the product I'm peddling is the best! So here goes, my first edition of Leah's Favorite CrossFit Things (insert drumroll and dramatic music!)

1) Atlas Power Wraps
Me and My Custom Atlas Power Wraps at the 2013 Regionals

I pretty much can't say enough about this product or this company. I was approached by the founder of Atlas Power Wraps, Nicko Kazadzis, a few years ago and was asked if I would be interested in being an Atlas Power Wrap Sponsored Athlete. I was, of course, flattered but wanted to know more about the company and its products before saying yes. Nicko was great and immediately shipped me a trial pair of Atlas Wraps to test out in my WOD's and I haven't used any other type of wrist wrap since! Atlas Power Wraps had humble beginnings. Nicko started CrossFitting in early 2011 and was dissatisfied with the standard wrist supports he'd found at his local sporting goods store and decided that if he couldn't find a wrist wrap to meet his needs, he would just create one himself. He started making wraps out of his garage and after receiving rave reviews from his fellow box members, Atlas Power Wraps was born! We at CrossFit Katy love them so much that we have since started carrying custom CrossFit Katy Atlas Power Wraps in our gym. If you don't have a pair yet and have any kind of wrist joint issues, you NEED to get some. We have custom CrossFit Katy wraps available at the box or if you'd like to check out his other colors and prints (yes there are even mustache printed wraps!) you can go to the website and use the Promo Code LEAHCFKATY to get $3 off your purchase!!

2) RokFit Clothing 
My sweet RokFit Hoodie and the Team CF Katy Shirts that RokFit designed for us for 2013 Regionals!

So this isn't really a single thing, more like a bunch of things, but RokFit clothing is hands-down one of the coolest CrossFit clothing companies around! Honestly, I can't take credit for finding RokFit. One of our trainers starting wearing RokFit gear shortly after the formation of the company, but it didn't take long for me to catch on...I'm a fast learner :) RokFit was founded by Jason Greenwood out of Oklahoma City kind of on a whim. The new CrossFitter started designing shirts, logos and website for local Crossfit boxes in the area out of his newfound love of the sport. Jason had so much fun designing shirts that he decided to launch his own brand in 2010 and RokFit was officially born. It was a labor of love for a few years but things are going well for the company. Now officially co-owned by Jason Greenwood and Jason Boag......"The Jason's" as we like to call them are wrapping up a good year in 2013 and are looking forward to 2014. Personally, CrossFit Katy has been using RokFit for our logo and t-shirt designs for almost 3 years. I always look forward to checking out The Jason's new designs and products. My current favorites are the new black and blue RokFit Compression Shorts with the RF log on the side and my Black/Blue/Orange Striped trucker hat that I picked up at the CrossFit Games. Side-note, The Jason's are also probably the coolest crew to hang out with between WOD's and after competitions in the Vendor Village. So if you see the RokFit tent posted up at the next competition you go to, be sure and stop by to say hi to the guys and grab some of their badass gear! If you're not going to a competition anytime soon, then check out the RokFit Website!

3) Blonyx HMB+Creatine

I just started using this supplement about 4 months ago and the PR's haven't stopped! The first month that I was on the product, I got 7 count them 7 PR's!! Creatine is one of the most highly researched supplements out there. It helps supply fast-twitch, high glycolytic muscle fibers with immediate energy which means it is ideal for high intensity workouts like CrossFit. HMB is a metabolite of leucine and can actually help prevent muscle protein breakdown and signals the cells to preserve existing muscle. Ideally I take 1 scoop of Blonyx HMB+Creatine in the morning (I like to mix mine with my morning coffee) and one post-workout or at night. I must admit that I have not been as diligent with this as I should be meaning I have not been taking it every single day, twice a day and I have STILL been hitting huge PR's. I plan on taking my training to an even higher level starting in October and will be more diligent about my Blonyx Supplementation. I can't wait to see what happens this fall! To try Blonyx for yourself check out their website.

4) Goat Tape

I honestly don't know a lot about this company. The first time I used it was at my USAW cert when I needed something to protect my fingers from all the repetitive snatches and cleans. This was the first time I'd ever taped my fingers and hadn't had it roll up and get all funky. In fact, it was still stuck firmly in place after two hours of lifting! Solid!! It's now the only tape that I use when I lift. If you want to buy it individually, you can get some through but if you're super lucky like me, you get to use the Custom Weightlifting Wise Goat Tape (Thanks Ursula). I know you're jealous that I get such cool tape but I promise that the regular Goat Tape is almost as good ;)

No real reason for this pic except I love CrossFit....Happy WOD-ing!

That's all I got for now. If you have some favorite CrossFit things that you can't WOD without, leave a comment and let me know. I'm always up for checking out new gear, clothes and companies.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oly Lifting.... I think I caught the bug!

Usually when I think about Olympic Lifting, I think about it in the context of CrossFit. How many snatches are in that WOD we're supposed to do? 30 clean and jerks for time? sweat. I've been doing CrossFit for about 4 1/2 years now and I've definitely done my fair share of Oly Lifting so when I saw an opportunity to compete in my first ever Olympic Lifting meet, I secretly thought to myself, "This is going to be that hard. We do this stuff in the gym a lot." Boy was I wrong!

Let's just get a few things straight though so you all don't think I'm just a cocky a-hole. I went into this event fully knowing that I knew NOTHING about how an Oly meet runs. In fact, the only reason I went was because I had a friend who was going to be there coaching his team and competing himself who offered to let me jump in with his team, warm me up accordingly and basically supervise everything I was doing. This would ensure that at least I wouldn't look like a complete dumbass! But I also went into this event knowing that if I hit 5lbs under my current one-rep maxes for Snatch and Clean and Jerk, I would qualify for the American Open in Dallas in December. That in and of itself was enough fuel to make me suck it up, forget about not really knowing what I'm doing, and just go for it, something I think more people should do! Just go for it!

So the real bitch of Olympic Lifting has nothing to do with the actual lifting part. Olympic Lifting has weight classes. What? I haven't really cared about my weight in years! Yes I said years. Because of CrossFit, I stopped caring about how much I weighed and more about how much the bar I was lifting weighed. I have never had a weight problem or body image issues growing up, sometimes I swear I'm the only female in the world who doesn't have some kind of complex regarding their body, but that's besides the point. For the first time in who knows how long, I was legitimately concerned with my weight! Why? Because I comfortably sit at about 70.5 kilos (155lbs for those that don't speak kilo) and my weight class ends at 69 kilos....which means I needed to lose 1.5 kilos (or 3.3lbs) in order to get into my weight class and 3.3lbs for a person that doesn't have a lot of extra body fat is a lot to lose in a short period of time in my mind! Mostly because I love to eat. To tackle this problem, I decided I was going to eat really clean and really light starting the monday before the meet. That would give me about 5 days to drop almost 4lbs. Easy right?.....By Tuesday night, my body was so fed up with the caloric restriction that I ended up eating a half a pizza from Grimaldi's. Good job me. So scratch that idea. Instead I decided in order to hit my competition weight, I would just fast for most of Friday and Saturday morning and then eat after weigh in. That seemed easier because it was only 24 hours of caloric restriction and not multiple days. And surprisingly, it worked perfectly. I woke up Friday morning and just had a small cup of coffee, then I had a dry cappuccino on my way to work. For lunch I had one can of tuna, half a small apple and a small cup of cottage cheese. For dinner I had 7 pieces of sashimi and some salad. The weirdest thing about the whole day was that I felt fantastic! I had more energy that day than I have had in the past two weeks. I didn't need a nap. I was super productive. It was really strange. Almost makes me want to fast once a month just to see how it goes. Ok so the morning of the meet, I weighed in at 67.9 kilos (149.4 lbs) That's the first time I've been under 150lbs since high school....I still think the scale was a little light. Ok so first concern, making weight, out of the way. On to the actual meet.

So like I said, one of the only reasons I even signed up for this event was because I had a friend who was going to be there coaching and competing alongside his weightlifting team. I do most of my Olympic training either on my own or with the Advanced Class at CrossFit Katy but I am extremely lucky in that I also periodically get to work with Ursula Garza Papandrea. If you don't know who she is, get to learning. She's the only woman to ever attain a Level 5 from USAW and is the only Level 5 coach in all of Texas.....let's just say, she's kind of a big deal. Now unfortunately Ursula wasn't able to come to the meet but lucky for me some of her athletes were there and one of them, Stephen Galvan from 210 CrossFit, offered to take me under his wing and show me the ropes.

Oh side note, if you want to lift in a sanctioned USAW meet, you have to wear a singlet. That's like a spandex not hott :) Well I guess on some people it is a good look but not me! Warm ups were very calculated. When I warm up, I usually just start at about 45-50% of my max and incrementally move up depending on how I feel. For this meet though, Stephen had a list of his whole team, what their starting weights were, where they wanted to end up and what order we were going to lift in and that made warm ups very very calculated. Obviously you don't want to warm up too far away from your actual lifts.

So my max lift in the Snatch is the world of Oly Lifting, they don't use pounds so I had to convert everything to Kilos on my phone...haha! So 145lb is about 66 kilos and my max Clean and Jerk is 200lbs which is about 91 kilos. Now in order to qualify for the American Open (which is like a big deal in Oly Lifting) I had to total 152 kilos. Meaning if you add my Snatch and Clean and Jerk together it has to be 152 kilos or more. So my goal for the meet was to get a 62 kilo Snatch and a 90 kilo Clean and Jerk.....both of which were under my current PR's. Well, you can start out with the best intentions BUT...that's not exactly how it played out.

My opening lift for Snatch was 57 kilos and I got it pretty easily. Then I jumped to 61 kilos. Failed that one because I was expecting it to be light again and I didn't pull aggressively enough. But since I wanted to hit 62 kilos, I decided to go for it on my third and final lift (oh did I mention that you only get 3 chances for Snatch and 3 for Clean and Jerk at an Oly meet?) Unfortunately I failed 62 kilos out in front and there went my chance to qualify for the American Open. I still had Clean and Jerk so I collected myself and warmed up for it but I wasn't really into it anymore since I knew I would have to PR my Clean and Jerk by 12lbs in order to qualify...not likely to happen. I opened with 80 kilos and failed but I got it on my second lift. Then I jumped to 85 kilos and failed that one out front again. And that was it! My total was 137 which to my surprise at the end of the meet was good enough for a 3rd place finish! But I definitely wasn't satisfied since I was about 20lbs under my snatch max and 15lbs under my clean and jerk max but you live and learn. Overall I am really glad that I did the meet and I definitely encourage all CrossFit Athletes to give it a try. I for sure am going to be putting more work into my Olympic Lifting and I WILL qualify for the American Open next year!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hello? Anybody still listening?

Our CF Katy 5th Place Regionals Team 2013

I'm not even going to apologize for the amount of time it's taken me to actually write another post on this blog. Let's just sum it all up. Life doesn't slow down, so you can either roll with it or let it roll over you. A lot has happened in the last 8 months but the real focus of my life right now is CrossFit. Surprise I know, but if I stop to take a look back since my last post, there really isn't much else that I've put much energy into. I suppose I should elaborate on that because I am not just talking about doing CrossFit. That would be cool though but I don't think there's even any big-time CrossFit stars that just get to train. There's always a million other things to do that revolve around CrossFit. For me it's all about running the gym with Neal and coaching a ton of classes including my summer KidFit classes, running a fledging nutrition business with my partner Sheila that does seminars at local boxes, and then of course training. 
Kid Fit Class Learning to Squat

Back up a few months and you'll see that the CrossFit Katy Regionals Team did something amazing this year, we finished 5th at the 2013 South Central Regionals...just two spots away from that coveted Games qualification spot! I think we surprised ourselves a little bit this year. Though we have been working out together for the past 3 years, we haven't really put in much Team specific training in those years and we still managed to give an amazing showing. Because of this, my training has taken a little bit more of a priority than it has in the past. This has manifested itself in a few different ways, most notably in my decision to cut back my hours at my other job. This has given me more time to train and also more time to coach. You see CrossFit Katy has continued to grow, we are in fact almost bursting at the seams and, because of this, have decided to expand our endeavors to include a whole array of new fitness programs and classes to keep up with the demand and to give our members more variety! Exciting I know but more on that in a later post!
Some of My Girls!

I have been focusing this off-season mostly on strength and skills related to Olympic lifting because this is an area that I think I struggle in compared to my overall strength. Also, it is impossible to ignore the fact that everyone is getting stronger! The final WOD at the CrossFit Games this year had 265lb deadlifts in it! I have been using a program from my good friends and coaches over at GrassIron Gym in Austin, Tx for my Olympic Specific programming and then leaving my CrossFit programming in the capable hands of my fiance and coach, Neal. This is sometimes a good thing and a bad thing :) I have been extremely lax lately with my nutrition clocking in probably more non-paleo meals than paleo meals but for whatever reason am weighing in less than I have in two years. Go figure! I am thinking it's about time to tighten things up though. Recently I have entertained the idea of doing another Whole 30 in August but am unsure if I want to commit to it yet. It would be good leading up to CrossFit season but we'll see. My supplementation regiment is on point again at least! I am a huge proponent of supplementation for athletes but I truly believe the best way to find your regiment is to get tested. Spectracell Labs in Houston has a test called the Micronutrient Test that uses your white blood cells to determine your exact need for specific vitamins and minerals. I've had this test done at Specialty Healthcare and Wellness and was shocked to learn that even with a good paleo diet (When I took the test I was eating great!) I still needed B vitamins and Antioxidants! If you're interested in this kind of testing check it out here! My supplementation regiment consists of a sports specific multi with lots of B's, Omega 3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Antioxidants, and N-Acetyl Cysteine. I have recently also been experimenting with some new Pre and Post Workouts. More on that in another post!

Me and My Coach :)

So with a good nutrition plan, perfect supplementation, great programming and little push, I am ready for this year's CrossFit season which will hopefully conclude with a trip to the 2014 CrossFit Games in Carson, California! Just for a little extra motivation, I'm leaving you all with a pic from this year's CrossFit Games that Neal and I just got back from! Next year, I will not be just a spectator!