Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Facebook FAQs - Open Floor

It's always fun to open the floor on my Facebook page to friends, family and various group members and see what they'd like to see answered.

I gotta admit, they didn't disappoint! They came up with some amazing ones that really made me think.  It's probably a good indicator of why we're friends right there.

So -  here goes!

What would you have liked to have known before you started lifting?  

There are 4 things that stand out.

1 - There are more to weights than bicep curls and machines. MUCH MORE. One of the best things I've learned is that you get more 'value' for your workout time by using WHOLE BODY movements, rather than the more familiar, isolation work outs. Isolation has it's place, but I wasn't even really aware the stuff I love (and coach) now even really existed. There are some lifts that are more challenging for different body types - which makes them all the more badass when pulled off correctly.

2 - Lifting gloves, even the 'expensive' ones, are a complete waste of money when you're serious about the sport. I thought the "go raw or go home" was a muscle-headed-male mentality. Truth be told, there is a good reason behind it. For me, cushioned gloves actually made my grip WORSE. The padding caused my fingers and forearms to work harder than necessary to achieve less that satisfactory results. Grip still slipped. Hands just ached a little less. So I ditched the gloves quickly and now, a year later, my hands rarely hurt. My calluses are my best friend. The only time I found gloves helpful were for the Strongman Competition. It was held outdoors in the summer, so it had more to do with the fact that the equipment was HOT than anything else. Generally, a waste of money - at least for me.

3 -  Coconut water is a secret weapon. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is my saving grace from soreness that, at times, seems nearly crippling. Drink about 16 oz or more after working out (the straight stuff, not flavored, and not from concentrate). Sure, the taste takes some growing on you (young coconut juice is similar and sweeter...). Seriously... Round about Strongman 2013 time, I'd been weight training fairly heavily 2-3 times per week for months. As a result of intensive training and regularly popping ibuprofen, I had bruises that took FOREVER to heal. Things that thin your blood make bruises take longer to heal. Now I just tough it out, drink coconut water and eat some similarly helpful, nutrient rich foods (bananas, avocados, other coconut products...) and I've gone from a slow healer to a quick healer.
4- It's not what you think. Okay, so I wouldn't have believed you if you told me before I got involved in this culture. I was one of 'those people' who thought the weight room junkies were all steroid raging knuckleheads looking for dates. Honestly - those aren't the norm. Most are actually REALLY NICE people who started somewhere too - and are more than willing and happy to help spot, share knowledge, or encourage you through 'one more rep'.   

What do you always carry with you in your gym bag?
Weight Lifting Shoes (Innov8 Fast Lifts) or Gym Shoes (Innov8 F-Lite 182's) (whichever I'm not wearing)
My Book of Badassery (aka my workout record)
A chalk sock
Knee and elbow sleeves
My new weight lifting belt
A pair of wrist wraps
A spare set of headphones/ear buds
For those considering it, trying to steal my bag is a very bad idea... since it's usually attached to My Weapon of Choice - my women's Olympic Lifting bar (which would be in my bag if it would fit)....Hard to get around unnoticed with her on your back.

 When you go to Starbucks what do you usually get to drink since being Paleo?
Black coffee (blond or dark roast). Unsweetened teas (hot or iced) are also viable options, but I can make those at home for less...which means (insert drum roll here) I can get out of Starbucks for less than $5 (if I don't add dried fruit... nuts... or the delicious pineapple coconut water to the mix).

What is the most awkward thing (in the gym or out of it) about being a woman who lifts?
Oh, this is getting its own post... There is NO way I could narrow this down to 1 single thing.  But this one is always a winner... when it comes to things that have happened in the gym. I've actually managed to blow a lift because I was bringing the bar up from the floor and didn't get my shoulders back fast enough.. which means I literally bounced the bar back to the platform due to a 'biomechanical issue'... called boobs.

Outside of the weight room - there are 2 big issues that I plan to tackle in an upcoming blog. Stay tuned.

Along with the most missed food question, how do you keep yourself from falling to cravings?Usually, keeping my body well fueled has curbed most of the cravings. If I'm eating well and balanced, I don't really have that problem too much. That said, I am very active. So I'm hungry almost all the time.  Days like Sunday (where I have an Olympic Lifting Class, Get Up Get Dirty cross training, and indoor soccer) I have a regular haunt where I get some added, well earned calories in (namely, sweet potato fries, cider or a black velvet, and a cobb salad).  I do eat chocolate just about every day (over 70% dark chocolate) and coconut milk ice cream is pretty darn fantastic, so there are no shortage of sweet treats when I need one. I don't really feel 'deprived' so the 'cravings' aren't really a problem.  As long as I'm eating my regular breakfast (bacon, eggs, and fruit), making sure I pack in the veggies during other meals, and work in a recovery (and occasionally a
pre-workout) drink, I'm solid.

What is your most missed food having to change your diet to Paleo?

Great question! (I honestly don't think about this stuff anymore.)  Occasionally I miss pancakes and cinnamon rolls. There are Paleo friendly versions of those foods, but they are time and labor intensive (and, let's face it, I deserve to be lazy in some aspects... the kitchen is kinda one of them).
What do you think is the most startling thing you've learned about yourself thus far in your journey?

Honestly - I've learned that I have a streak of vanity that I never anticipated seeing. I've never really had it regarding the 'usual' female attractions (clothes, make up, hand bags, shoes, etc). My vanity applies to my athletic pursuits.
 I only want to do the lifts that look startlingly badass to me. I suspect that's why I'm so attracted to Olympic Lifting (as a personally choice) over Power Lifting, or other styles of lifting.  I have no interest in bicep curling myself into oblivion. I'd rather hit a 100lb Snatch any day of the week and twice on Sunday. (Can you imagine?! TWICE on ANY day?! How freakin' amazing would that be?!)
Outside of the weight room, I'm not content to just hang from a bar (for example) unless I'm luxuriously purposefully stretching. Now, I see hanging from a bar as the opportunity for strong leg raises, pull up work, or toes-to-bar attempts.  Now that I can do handstands, I want complete to-depth handstand push ups and handstand walks. Kettle bell swings? Can I swing a 50+ pounder instead of a 35 pounder?

Why? Well, I could give you some stable-minded argument on how they are fun, measure of progress, self motivation, and great displays of strength, but let's be honest.

They look BADASS

That's why I want to do them.

See? Vanity. ;)

End of sentence.

Considering the changes in your life in the past year, what are your goals for the next year?

I ADORE this question because I've been ITCHING to announce some good stuff! I've been accused of a fair share of inaccurate traits in my time, but lacking ambition and motivation have never been two of them. So here's what the calendar is shaping up to look like,

A few of my educational goals include obtaining 2 other certifications before the year is out.  I'm looking at getting my Crossfit Coaching Certification, and the StrongFirst Kettle Bell Certification. One is available in July, but I'm waiting to see how My Sailor feels about it since it'll take me away for a weekend and certain things (like big purchases and career changes) should be discussed in person whenever possible. (My Sailor has been COMPLETELY SUPPORTIVE of all of this from the beginning, so I plan to include him as much as possible in any business decisions. Hey - he works on Nuclear Missiles... he's a pretty smart guy!) The StrongFirst certification isn't offered on the West Coast until October, and would require travel to San Diego. While it's not as well recognized in the states, it's a world wide certification and Kettle Bells are a hot item that most people can afford and use to build a real quality home-gym workout, even if they are tight on space. (It's not like buying a treadmill.)

That's a bit too far out to plan right now, but it's on the menu as a possibility.

I plan to continue writing for the Tabata Times, and to continue coach and train others as a full time career move within the next year. I'm also considering coordinating a fundraiser group of WODs, but I need to get some more details together before I can announce anything along those lines 'officially'.

 My personal smaller goals are numerous and much 'smaller' scope (not scale).  A few are on the photo above.The lifting goals should (knock on wood) be done by the end of summer, but we'll see. I'm 15-20 lbs away from the 300lb deadlift, 10lbs away from the 100lb Snatch, and 15lbs away from the 150lb Clean and Split Jerk (listed as C&J). This is still my year to continue to compete and earn my 'street cred' as well, so I have a 5k on the books for August and my first Olympic Lifting competition coming up in November.  It wouldn't surprise me if I sneak another local crossfit event in there either, but I'm trying to leave some space in my schedule (knowing that working full time plus will be happening during all of this too). My Sailor has been gone for a LONG time and it doesn't seem fair to schedule myself to the gills without his input. Those 2 events are solid. (If we can swing a trip to Florida, I'm interested in trying out Disney Fit Challenge, but it's expensive and involves significant travel, so that's on the back burner for the moment.)

If all goes according to plan and aspiration, hopefully I'll qualify for the American Olympic Weight Lifting Open in 2015. In order to do so, I need to lift a minimum total of 166 Kilos (365.2) between the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk.  If I hit my summer goals, I should be on track, as that will put me at 250lbs and the better part of a year to add the rest. To take it a step further and into the National Championships, I'll need to lift 170 Kilos (374 lbs), so we'll see if I make it to the Open in 2015 before we set up the next goal.  This would be huge street cred, as far as I'm concerned, since strength training is really where my passion lies.

I'm still biding my time to see where training with the YMCA goes as I await my 2nd interview.  While I have no new announcements on that front, I'm optimistic that it will, at the very least, be a great learning experience. And if that's not exactly where I'm supposed to start, that's okay too. I have other avenues to get into coaching and I'm more than excited to follow any of them. Having a (few) gyms to work out of would be preferable, just for safety purposes and peace of mind for My Sailor. (Not to mention, if we ever get this adoption thing rolling, it would be great to have the YMCA as a resource where I can be close if needed, but any plans to foster/adopt is still at least a year away at BEST.)

I've recently filed some paperwork, taking another step into the future.
No back tracking - just keeping the momentum rolling.

Though I've said it before, it could use repeating - I've never been more excited to work my arse off.

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