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Category Archives: Crossfit clothing

Open Gym Wodding

WP_000033Today’s tiny sweat-angel! I did yesterday’s WOD in today’s open gym which seems to be a good system while I’m injured.

Today’s warm up was 200 metres jog, 10 lunges and 5 burpees x 3. Lunges are off my menu, so I substituted sit-ups which were not fun, but the sun was shining so at least the jogging was pleasant.

After that, core work. Boring, painful, but hopefully ultimately delivering stronger psoas muscles which is one of the things on my wish-list! Leg raises, and L sits were the order of the day. Bleah …

Yesterday’s WOD was a ladder with a ten minute time cap. Starting with 5 double-unders and 2 burpees, 10 double-unders and 4 burpees etc. As I was doing treble skips rather than double-unders my scaling was 15 skips to 2 burpees and so on.

WP_000035It was very very gassy! I’d been forewarned by OH doing it yesterday and saying it was spicy, so I wore this tiny new top that I bought for crossfitting and haven’t had a chance to wear yet because the weather’s been so horrible. I got to 105 skips and 9 burpees which made me happy. Very happy. And the sweat angel has a interesting shape!


8 August WOD

8 aug 13 2Still no more double unders. Everybody I speak to tells me that it’s like this: you get a couple of double unders one day and then no more for a while. I’m unconvinced – I think I fluked it once and may never get another (pessimist, moi?)

The focus today was pull ups and ring dips – both strict. I had to use a red band for the ring dips and a purple one for the pull ups which was a disappointment to me as I am on a red band for non-strict pull ups, but with a hint of tendonitis and a desire for perfect form I pushed my ego down and did the focus as stated – for form.

Today’s WOD was deceptively simple:

• 1 kilometre row
• 1 kilometre run
• 100 double unders

Gold plus
Weight vest

50 double unders

• 500 metre row
• 400 metre run
• 200 skips

Without double unders and with a calf strain I’m still nursing (is there any part of me that isn’t injured?) I was clearly a candidate for bronze and that’s what I did. Barney cracked a joke about me being able to do that level twice and I laughed.

Time = 5 minutes 51 seconds.

Then Sol decided he was going again – he did gold the first time around. Dan kept him company and there was a rower free, so with Coach Barney’s encouragement I jumped on and did the WOD again.

Time = 6 minutes 30 seconds.

I was chuffed with my performance. The extra time in the second round was definitely down to the skipping, my ankles were fried after several hundred skips and quite a few attempts at double unders before we started the WOD, but I was happy to have the mental toughness to tackle the workout twice, even if my times dropped massively.

SolSol, being superhuman repeated the gold WOD even faster than the first time, then launched into a burpee penalty (my bad, I dropped him in it by mentioning it, I really was brain dead at that point) and swapping the burpees halfway through for an insanely fiendish press up game that Coach Barney challenged him to. Like I say, superhuman.

The really big news is that our box is about to double! Not in size so much as in location – Unit 9, where we currently train, is about to be half of Crossfit Connect Hove – the other half will be in Unit 6 (which is not contiguous but you can’t have everything, can you?) and yes, everybody has remarked on the interesting way those numbers stack up. We’re going to have ropes to climb and everything!

The little news is that my new brand new Shock Absorber crop top held up magnificently to the double WOD – I wasn’t confident that it would take the strain but it really was what they claim ‘dry and cool comfort’ – excellent stuff. I might even have to buy another!

Bruises – nope
Wishlist – more of those crop tops!
PB – only in terms of developing a functional fitness mentality.

Still waiting to hear how Jon and Abi are getting on … hoping for good news from them soon!

It’s been a year

courageAnd what a year. I fell in love with you the moment I saw you, before I was even through the door. Door? What am I saying? Shutter. Before I was even through the shutter.

I saw nine or ten sweat-soaked, red-faced, gasping folk picking up a weight from the floor, standing up, sitting down, laying down, rolling up, touching the weight to the floor in front of their feet, standing up, sitting down … It looked like a torture scene from a documentary about Extraordinary Rendition and my first thought was ‘I can’t do that’.

Forty minutes later I was doing it.

That was it. I drank the Kool-aid before I even knew what it meant. I was hooked.

I don’t know why. I don’t know how. But something in me had been looking for you for a long time, and when I saw you, I knew.

I’ve spent twelve months trying to woo you and you’ve played hard to get. I often feel, and this blog shows, that I’m not good enough and that I use up a place that somebody else could benefit from more. That view, though, is changing, slowly. I still think almost anybody could fit in better, achieve more physically and be a greater contributor than I am, but I doubt anybody could benefit more from Crossfit than I do.

You’ve changed my eating habits, my training habits, my shape, my weight, the time I get up in the morning and what I do before I go to bed at night (all that quality time alone with my foam roller!) You’ve taught me a whole new vocabulary, required me to buy an entire new wardrobe (inov8s, compression wear, wrist straps) and given me ambitions (pull ups, double unders and deadlifting twice my bodyweight).

It’s been a hell of a year Crossfit, but one thing hasn’t changed. I’m still utterly besotted with you.

Women, stereotypes and Crossfit

all there is of youOkay, slightly off the normal programming here but what the heck, I’m a writer, I get to change the rules of the blog!

I was thrilled to read Elizabeth Merritt Abbot’s blog about what can happen as a result of crossfit taking a bit of a back seat. I can’t say it’s happened for me, and this has been a week or two of trying to fit training three times a week into a busy lifestyle. It hasn’t exactly worked out. I have trained regularly but not with the consistency I’d like to have brought to it. I did the new mobility WOD on Tuesday, which was both interesting and swift – the fastest hour that I’ve ever spent in a crossfit box, in fact! But it did mean missing my barbell club (I was not heartbroken about that, when I saw Turkish get ups on the board – happy to have missed those babies!)

This week I missed my Thursday class, which was going to be based on the Crossfit Open 13.1 and instead had to fit in an 09:30 WOD today. It was pure hell.

So what’s the thing about leadership? There was an interesting article in Experimental Social Psychology about leadership stereotypes and how one of the reasons women may not excel is that they aren’t exposed to highly successful female role models. Here’s the abstract of the experiment. ‘In a virtual reality environment, 149 male and female students gave a public speech, while being subtly exposed to either a picture of Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Bill Clinton, or no picture. We recorded the length of speeches as an objective measure of empowered behavior in a stressful leadership task. Perceived speech quality was also coded by independent raters. Women spoke less than men when a Bill Clinton picture or no picture was presented. This gender difference disappeared when a picture of Hillary Clinton or Angela Merkel was presented, with women showing a significant increase when exposed to a female role model compared to a male role model or no role models.’

So my particular soap box here is that one of the great things about my Crossfit box is that not only do I have access to a world class female coach in Holly Gehlcken but I’m surrounded by highly successful female athletes, of all ages, shapes and sizes, who demonstrated personal leadership and teamwork every time we WOD. This was not my experience of franchise gyms, where I tended to find I was (a) alienated from the weights room by the sidelong glances, sudden silences or worse (for them)* snide comments from male lifters and (b) alienated by the yoga bunny women who couldn’t understand why I wanted to do that ‘other stuff’.

If your only role models are superskinny women in jogging bottoms who seem to spend all their time flat on the floor with their chakras in line or drinking detox tea, it can be difficult to find a way to become strong, rather than slim-line. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pilates, am a qualified yoga teacher and I was myself superskinny, so it’s not envy that makes me doubt the value of the average woman’s exposure to ‘fitness’.

No, my doubt is based on the fact that I reached a point where stretching and running failed me, and I didn’t have anywhere else to go – I could so easily have become a depressed middle-aged treadmill walker. But I met a physio who told me Crossfit would be the answer to my proprioception problems, as well as my iliotibial band syndrome. And he was right. I started Crossfit as a medicinal treatment to get me running again, but I’ve stayed because I love it, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and because a minor miracle is happening for me – I can, for the first time in my life, do things that I had always considered impossible for somebody with my condition (okay, not box jumps right now, nor double unders [maybe ever] and Turkish get ups are a bit of an impossibility of your left-hand side doesn’t move independent of your right-hand side) like skipping, and other tasks that require large amounts of coordination and independent right/left movement.  Really, it’s a miracle.**

So how do we get strong women into the public domain? Jessica Ennis is great, but most of us won’t end up training alongside her. Women’s rugby on TV was also great, but it takes the Six Nations to make that happen – so on International Women’s Day, I’m highlighting a woman that not enough people have heard of, the awesome, difficult to love, total athlete that was Beryl Burton – if we all found one strong woman to admire today, I think life could be better for womankind.

* I grew up in pubs in tough districts – by and large, men who make snide comments about me in gyms end up leaving the room in a hurry – I have a vocabulary that can strip paint and no qualms whatsoever about making grown men cry.

shoulder development feb 13** Also, I now have lats to die for!

What’s worse than one Girl WOD?

4 mar 13 frannieTwo girl wods! Not so much a case of tasty girl-on-girl action, nor even a mash-up, more like a slow train wreck of female woddity. Fr-Annie was an evil bitch and I don’t exaggerate! There are some crossfit exercises that are horrible and then others that are horribility squared when put next to each other.

So if Fran is 21-15-9 thrusters/pull ups

And Annie is 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 double unders/sit ups

What’s Fr-Annie?

50 double unders/50 sit ups
21 thrusters/40 double unders/40 sit ups/21 pull ups
15 thrusters/30 double unders/30 sit ups/15 pull ups
9 thrusters/20 double unders/20 sit ups/9 pull ups
10 double unders/10 sit ups

I don’t have any double unders and may never get any, as that’s the kind of exercise that you need to have both proprioception and body memory to be good at, so I took the silver option (three skips for each double under) making a massive 450 skips in total. On the downside I only used a 15 kilo bar for the thrusters instead of 20 kilos meaning I opted for the bronze weight (bronze as standard was two skips instead of three) – you know, I think I’m never going to be strong enough to get to an Rx weight for a lifting WOD and that makes me sad. The worst thing was that on the first round of sit ups I discovered my new Nike top has a seam that runs across the middle of the back, and it was going to do that thing of making a nice raw patch on my spine so I had to go and get a mat to stop that happening. It cost me a couple of seconds.

I was okay with my time of 19:02 although I’d hoped to go under 19 but the last ten sit ups just took forever, I kept trying to speed up and my body wouldn’t go any faster! I’m not so okay now I’ve seen the board and seen that I was slowest.

•    Bruises – I think I have a permanent neck mark from the knurling on the 15 kilo bar
•    PB – I put 2.5 kilos on my push press in the lifting, which was pleasing
•    Wishlist – to be quicker, or to be able to try for double unders. Maybe I’ll try and learn them next month …

You know you are a crossfit obsessed woman when:


  1. Your cheat treat meal is everybody else’s healthy eating option
  2. At the cinema, you time the hero as he’s hanging off the edge of the building to compare his grip strength to your own
  3. You always have at least one bruise, rope welt or callus tear
  4. Your Valentine’s gift can be measured in kilo weights rather than kilocalories of energy
  5. You look at your shoulders, not your tummy, whenever you pass a mirror – and if you’re alone, you get the guns out
  6. You drive thirty miles to buy raw milk and then drink it all on the way home
  7. There are no high heels in your wardrobe, but your inov8s coordinate with your workout gear
  8. You do wide squats whilst brushing your teeth
  9. The staff at the builders’ merchants never offer to help you lift your sand, cement or slab any more because you’ve made it clear you prefer to amrap loading heavy objects
  10. You have a text debate with your coach on the way home from the box to try and improve your leaderboard position (that was me today!)



WOD 11 January 2013

11 jan 13First time out with JT

Scaled HSPU to inclined press-ups on a 12″ box

Scaled ring dips to box dips on a 24″ box

Happy with my time of 12:24


  • Bruises – bit of a front squat neck
  • PB – 2 rep max for my squat at 37.5 kilos
  • Wishlist – that the gorgeous, grey with red trim, size small, compression leggings on sale at my box were as small as me so I could buy them – why doesn’t Reebok compression clothing come in smaller sizes?
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~Cruising through my Life~

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