Friday, July 19, 2013

here i am...

I have been found.
I realize who I am and what I am capable of.
and this might sound totally crazy to those who aren't a part of it, but thanks to Jesus and crossfit I've found myself.

to those who think that crossfit is extreme, torture, cultish and unsafe..  well... that's true and untrue.
crossfit is the extreme sport of fitness.
it challenges your mind more often than it challenges your body, but believe me... it challenges your body.
you can often find members talking about it all the time, thinking about it all the time, spending hours on youtube watching Kelly Starrett video on how to do every move better, at least five people at any given box probably own Becoming a Supple Leopard.

sure there is injury.
I, myself, just got through a slightly debilitating hip issue that one of our coaches helped me with and along with Todd, they have hammered into my head how incredibly important mobility (serious stretching) is to my body. before and after a workout.
I often grow impatient with mobility and warm ups. my mind goes immediately to the barbell and wanting to lift heavy weight.
I understand now how stupid and unsafe that is. it's something I have to be intentional with and take my time with.

but back to finding myself....

I read my post about my first day of crossfit and saw how far I've come.
this next August, it'll be a year that I've been crossfitting.
I remember last year, looking at my body - post baby - and not liking, nor wanting to accept, what I was seeing.
I had an image of what I expected my body to look like in a year.
I imagined slim arms and legs.
basically, slim everything.

I didn't really care for muscle even though I knew it might happen. I just wanted to be skinny. I wanted to be about 125# and a size 4.
I wanted to look at women in fashion magazines and feel like I finally looked like them.

looking back now, I am glad I don't look like the woman I imagined.

I have traps.
I have quads.
I have calves.
I have biceps.
I have back muscles that I can see
and I have abs that I can feel (and am still working on!)

I am 155# and a size 8.
I am healthy and I am proud of myself.

this year has been a defining year in my life.
I understand at a deep level what is good for my body and what isn't.
I get that when I take a day of rest I don't need to beat my brain with guilt. my body needs rest.

my work is not done and even when I've met my goals, I'll make new goals.

call me a zealot, that's fine.
but I believe that God has given me the option of crossfit to change myself.
He showed me that strength is beautiful and that my body is not meant to be waif-like.
my arms are not meant to be stick thin. they are meant to hold my (heavy) child, load the stroller into the car with no problems, pick up my 55# dog, and lift. heavy. weight.
my legs aren't meant to be stick thin. they are meant to be able to run fast, to squat down and play with my baby, to jump up over 24", to help my arms lift. heavy. weight.

if you had shown me a picture a year ago of what my body would look like now, i'm not sure I would have been happy with it.
I wouldn't have seen that I shed all the baby weight and then some (about 45#).
I'm sure I would have picked that picture apart and pointed out all the things I still needed to "fix". I wouldn't have appreciated the strength.

my thoughts have been changed, which to me, is the biggest transformation.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


today has been the most bittersweet day for me.
it is the last day before my baby turns one.
I know that it will just be another day for her tomorrow, but for me it will be the anniversary of the most important thing I've ever done.
it's the anniversary of 27 hours of hard, tiresome, unsatisfying labor.
it's the anniversary of the biggest surgery and resulting scar on my body.
it's the anniversary of 10 months of patience and drinking 3 liters of water each day.
it's the anniversary of hearing Todd say "oh my goodness".
it's the anniversary of hearing my girl take her first breath and scream for all of us to hear and cheer.
it's the anniversary of my heart existing outside of my body.
it's the anniversary of meeting part of me and part of my Todd.
it's the day my sweet Gemma Shae was born.
today we played with all her new toys she received this past weekend.
she ate hot dogs and strawberries and was as happy as could be.
after bath time I rubbed calming lavender lotion on her hoping that it would help her transition into becoming a one year old over night more... calm.
I gave her a tiny foot rub, mostly because foot rubs make me feel special and I wanted her to feel special too.
I picked her up after she patted Singer night-night and carried her to her room.
I positioned her blankey on my shoulder and she rested her head there too.
I sang her "mama's little girl" a couple times as her body started to go a little limp and loose.
and after I finished singing her that, I turned on my most favorite, most loved song I have on my iTunes and rocked her to sleep.
I played this song for her almost everyday when she was new.
whenever she'd get fussy or cry I'd turn this song on and
she would become quite and still and just listen.
often times she'd fall asleep while we listened together,
but most of the time she'd just look at me.
I understand that most every child
grows up,
has birthdays,
gets bigger,
I understand that,
but it doesn't mean it's easy.
she will always be my First.
the one who made me a Mother.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

crossfit for life

this past friday i competed in my first crossfit competition.
it was a partner comp. and my friend and workout buddy, Steph and i did it together.
it was, by far, one of the quickest, most fun things i've ever done.
three WOD's in an hour.

event 1.
in 7 minutes complete as many as possible:
wall balls 6# - 9' target
row for calories

our stratagey was that Steph was going to do as many wall balls as she could while i rowed until she couldnt do anymore and then we would switch.
when we practiced this WOD at our box we did 20 calorie row and then switched.
i am HORRIBLE at wall balls.
plus i hate them.
Steph is really good at them and since the weight was only 6#, she was SUPER good at them.

so when the time came to do this event i got on the rower and she picked up the wall ball.
girlfriend did wall balls FOR SIX MINUTES STRAIGHT!
every time she stopped to catch her breath i'd slow down a little on the rower thinking we were about to switch, but them she'd squat and throw the ball up again and i'd have to pick up the pace rowing.
all in all we got 166 wall balls and 91 calories.
i really owe that event to Steph. she was on fire and totally ROCKED it.

event 2:
in 5 minutes get as many double unders as possible.

we were in the "fun" division so we opted to do single jump ropes instead since neither of us are super comfortable with DUs. for that score they would take our total amount of singles and divide it by 3.

i took more of the singles because Steph's legs were noodle-y from all those wall balls.
our total : 571 singles.

event 3: (MY FAVORITE!)

5 rounds (i did three, Steph did two)

10 toes to bar
5 shoulder to overhead @ 65#
5 lateral burpees
5 overhead squats @ 65#
10 toes to bar

15 minute time cap

because we were in the "fun" division we were able to choose if we wanted to do t2b or knee ups. again, neither of us were confident we could string 10 toes to bar in a row for each round and make it under the time cap so we chose knee ups.

we definitely got it under the time cap :)

time: 7:42

Steph was such an amazing partner to do my first competition with. she was there anytime i needed to text her the days leading up and tell her i was nervous or having nightmares i wouldn't be able do any of the movements.
she also did the one thing i asked... she yelled at me during the WODs. i dont know why, but when people yell and tell me to "hurry up!" or "pick up the effing bar!" or "c'mon! one more rep!" it fires me up. it makes me WANT to push harder. 

because i am raising a daughter, i want her to grow up with a healthy mindset of what she is capable of. i want her to know the physical strength of a woman and i want her to see what health bodies and healthy goals look like. i want to celebrate victories with her and i want her to be proud to call me her mom.

the whole reason i started crossfit was because of Gemma.
i wanted to be able to chase her around and have all the energy she would need from me to be a mom who interacted with her instead of sitting back, tired and just watching her run around.
and amzingly, along the way i found out just what i'm capable of.
i found out that i can
deadlift - 235#
back squat - 200#
front squat - 145#
overhead squat - 105#
snatch - 90#
shoulder press - 90#
bench press - 120#
power clean - 130#
clean & jerk - 130#

and to be honest i'm not satisfied that my snatch and my shoulder press are under 100#. i'm working on it, though.
always working on it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

due date

a year ago today was my due date.
obviously gemma came many days later, but it's nearly impossble for me to wrap my mind around the fact that an entire year has gone by.
i had my littlebig gemma in my bigbig belly.
she lived and grew in there.
she made herself cozy and comfortable up in my ribs all the way down to my pelvis.
she came on her timing. sort of.

in a nutshell, being pregnant was the greatest thing i've ever been able to do.
hopefully i can do it, at least, 32 more times.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

stunt double

the other night Todd brought up a metal shelving unit he found down by the trash that he thought would fit in our laundry closet.
(we're thrifty like that)
unfortunately it's too big and my organized laundry closet is still in my dreams, but he's had early mornings and late nights at work so it's just been sitting out, slightly at an angle, waiting to be taken back to the trash.
i tried to put it up against a wall to see if by any chance we could use it in our house and Todd quickly put the kibosh on that.
i think he's leaving it at an angle like this just to make it feel not part of this house.
regardless, gemma now has been using it to build her climbing skillz which has in-turn given me the ability to grow eyes on the back of my head like any good mother.
but today's climbing skillz had me laughing until i cried.

after being on the phone with my insurance for almost an hour i turned around in my chair to see her on the bottom shelf.
i knew from an earlier incident that happened this morning that she would eventually try to get down and land on her head. (i was about a half a second too slow from actually stopping her from falling, but this kid is fast.)
but i also knew i wouldn't really be able to keep her from climbing it since it's right out in the open (and it's too heavy for me to carry out of the house.... actually.. that's not true. i could carry it out, but i'd have to leave gem in the house by herself and singer isn't a responsible babysitter.) and every kid learns to climb up and down things.
so i quick ran to grab a bunch of blankets out of her room to lay around the bottom to break her fall in case i missed again, but i spotted her changing pad on her changing table and i grabbed that instead.
not 5 seconds after i laid it down she tumbled out of the shelf, did a nice soft somersault on the pad and landed in the sitting position.

at first i watched this all happen in slow motion, slightly paralyzed.
and then once she turned around and looked at me she had the biggest smile on her face and started talking really loud and really fast.
almost as if she was retelling me her awesome story of how she survived getting off the shelf and her epic somersault.
i started laughing really hard after that.
the fact that i was laughing so hard made her come over and sit next to me on the ground and laugh with me.

a lot of this "learning" stuff sometimes drives me crazy.
but sometimes watching her figure out certain things is kind of the best thing ever.

Monday, June 17, 2013

father's day and sleep

 my favorite picture of them. her birth day. she wasn't even an hour old here.
yesterday we celebrated TA's first father's day.
his gift is pre-ordered so i showed him online what i got him and he was really excited about it.
i think what makes Todd so special (among other things) as a father is that he wants to be there for everything.
he hates missing bedtime, but since he ends up coming home late most days he is more than happy to get up with her in the morning.

ask him if he wanted kids this soon into our marriage and he'll say no, but then he'll also tell you that he's so glad that she came when she did. he'll tell you that he can't imagine life without her. he'll tell you that it wasn't until he met her in the flesh that he realized how much he wanted her, how much she had already changed him.

he's also the only person (besides singer) who she can associate a name with a person. ("gemma? where's dada?" she whips her head around to find him. and when she spots him.. she smiles.)

she's the luckiest little girl.


we spent the afternoon also celebrating a couple of our friends birthdays.
i took gemma in the pool and followed her around while she stucked on ice cubes.
by the time we left she was barely able to keep her eyes open, but she was fighting sleep so bad.
once we buckled her into her carseat she was out.
we didn't even make it out of the neighborhood before she was asleep.
when we got home (it was about 5:45pm) i carried her up and put her to bed, all the while i was wondering if i should wake up her since her bedtime was in 2 hours.
i figured i'd be a long, tiresome night if she went to bed that early.
well, TA went straight to take a nap and i decided on some good one-on-one time with singer.
around 8:30 i checked on G and she was still out cold.
so i left her.
girlfriend didn't wake up until 6:30am THIS MORNING.
i wish i knew that was going to happen because i slept horribly light thinking she was going to wake up and stay up.
i need to take her in the pool, like, everyday this summer so she sleeps like a log.

i just snapped this picture of her a couple minutes ago.
you know what's funny?
i had so many people give me their opinions about crib bumpers and how horrible they are..
and gemma has gotten her legs and arms stuck so bad in the slats because i took it off.
one time i went to check on her during a nap time and her whole thigh was literally lodged between the slats.
she was totally asleep, but there was no way i was going to leave her leg like that.
i ended up waking her up while i was trying to get it out and she started screaming.
i mean, it was really, really stuck.
she ended up getting her legs stuck almost everytime she was in there so i decided to put it back on.
it's definitely helped.
but then i walked in to find her like this. haha.
i swear, she is such a crazy sleeper.
she flips and flails and her limbs go all over the place.
good thing i wasn't ever into the co-sleeping thing.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

blown away : it feels good to be back

*sits down, blows dust off keyboard, starts typing*

well, that was a fun break.

i stopped blogging in April because it wasn't fun anymore.
the only thing i was consistently writing about was gemma's month growth and i was even bored with that.

tonight i stumbled across a blog that not only had me crying at the first post i happened to read, but it had me clicking through other posts and feeling completely BLOWN AWAY by her ability to blow me away.

not only did this blogger seem to be able to ignite a small flame of enjoyment back in me for blogging, she also opened my eyes and gave me so many things to chew on as a mother.
i sat on the couch as TA watched Iron Man for the 64th time and occasionally i'd ask him to mute the tv while i read him beautiful and profound words off her posts. and he'd sit there... completely stunned.

he said to me after i read him a post about where she got her son's name from, "since gemma has gotten bigger and developed more of her own personality, i've worried and wondered who she will grow up to be. will she be defiant (he explained a small interchange they had in the kitchen earlier tonight where she wasn't listening when he told her not to touch something) or is this all just the stage she's currently in? but after you read that to me... i feel relieved."


gemma is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

i remember on her birth day feeling a deep understanding that i just did something historical. not like having her was historical, but having her was.

she is someone i could have never dreamed up.
she is patient and impatient.
she is pliant and stubborn.
she is me and she is Todd.
she is the epitome of untouched beauty.
the equivalent on earth of God's grace.
she is what i was created to bring into this world.
she is the sweetest gift i'll ever receive, yet she is a gift i'm forced to share.


Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet: On Children


Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and he bends you with his might
that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
so he loves also the bow that is stable.