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All I need to know I learned from CrossFit

I don’t make that statement lightly. Let’s look back three years. I was 80lbs heavier, just starting a job and trying to figure out “what am I going to when I grow up?”. Throughout my first year of crossfit I lost those 80lbs,could do a pullup and there were no more ‘girl’ pushups for me. I felt great about myself and my confidence showed. I was given more responsibility at work, and was accomplishing tasks in an efficient manor. I was more willing to take risks, and it was paying off. I had learned that fear is ok, and only way to conquer your fears was to take them head on, much like training your weaknesses.

My second year of CrossFit I took the initiative and got certified, I wanted to learn more and be able to share my passion with others. There we did a group wod, Fran. It was my first time meeting Fran, I pulled a 5:47 and fastest time of the females that day. That’s when I got bit by the competition bug. Shortly after my cert I began training for the 2009 games. I was more dedicated to CF than ever before. Perfect diet, no booze, 3 on 1 off, training my weaknesses. A strange thing happened. My focus in the gym focused me outside the gym. I was more mentally focused on accomplishing tasks and accomplishing them well. I took pride in everything I did, not that I didn’t care before, but it was a new found sense of ownership. I had the ability to and determination to make my career goals come true. Much like in CF, in work, if you don’t sacrifice, focus and bust your ass, you’ll never see results. Somehow I had always had a disconnect. I wasn’t just employee x at company z, I was Kate ‘klller’ Rawlings and my work was going to reflect that.

While my regionals outcome was not what I wanted, I gained more in those 2 days than I had in a LONG time. I had set out to do something difficult and I saw it through to the end. I realized at that moment that if I wanted something bad enough I would/could make it happen, and the only person that could hold me back was myself. I had made my body harder and tougher than it had ever been, now it was time to make myself mentally tougher. I then made the decision to start my MBA program (of which I just finished my first semester) and it was the best decision I could have made.

All I need to know I learned from Crossfit
-I learned that if you want something you have to be focused, determined and willing to sacrifice for the greater good

-I learned that when you want to quit, you have to step back, get your brain and heart to slow down, and begin again

-I learned that focusing on one task at a time makes the bigger picture less blurry and abstract

-And more importantly I learned just how psychically and mentally tough I was and how much I had underestimated myself

30 C&J for time (95lb)

1 mile run


Prepping for "Fran" is like prepping for a baccalaureate party

Saturday I had the brill ant idea to take on “Fran” WHY!?!?!?! many of you are screaming, because I’m sick, that’s why. ha! It had been 4 months since our last meeting, and it was that time again. Preparing for Fran is much like preparing for a baccalaureate party. You know the night’s going to be filled with shots, chaos, fury and you’ll wake up with a killer hangover, but yet you get excited to participate.

I try to get myself into a mental state of “embrace the suck” for what I know is coming at me. 3…2….1…GO! I slam through the first 21 unbroken on to pullups….12…then 9 and I’m back on the bar. 9 unbroken, my legs are screaming, 3 more…drop the bar….last 3 and it’s back to pullups. 6…my forearms are cramping…3….5….1…back to the bar. 4….I’m on the verge of crying or puking, I can’t decide so I just drop the bar. Pick it back up 3…drop the bar…I’m so close…2…on to the last set of pullups. 4…3..1..1..TIME! 4:45 I fall to the floor, forearms cramping, stomach in my throat. I had survived, not a PR, but I had survived.

No matter how many times I square off with “Fran” she wins. You know what you’re getting yourself into and yet you continue. The Fran hangover is nasty and leaves you saying “I’ll never do that again” …until you do.

Thrusters (65lb)



Yesterday at CrossFit Cleveland was “Cindy” day. Oh how I loath Cindy. Any workout that is rounds for 20 minutes mess me up. I’m not so good with the pacing, but I was ready this time. 3 months ago I pushed through 18 rounds, and last night I wanted to break the 20 mark. I was ready.

I counted out my 20 cards and strategically color coded them. Blue cards, 10th card red=half way mark. Cards 19&20 red=the new goal. I chalked my hand and it was go time. My game plan, pullups & squats had to be unbroken and steady to make up for the pushups, where I struggle.

5 pullups
10 pushups (chest to deck)
15 squats

20 rounds plus 4 pushups. PR!

I hit 20 rounds at 19 minutes flat, and mentally crashed because I had hit my goal. I yelled 20 and paused for a second to celebrate reaching my goal. After that I couldn’t restart. If I would have stayed focused I think I could have squeaked out another round. I guess there’s always next time…..


You Are Not Forgotten….

Being the daughter of an Army drill Sargent I grew up with a strong sense of pride for those that serve. We are constantly hearing about troops losing their lives in the line of duty, but nothing is more saddening than losing your life to a senseless shooting.

Many in the CrossFit community were affected by the tragic shootings at Fort Hood, but none as directly as one of our affiliates, Lumberjack Crossfit . Four members of that affiliate were killed.

With the help of the CrossFit community, we assisted the men and women at Ft. Hood and Lumberjack CrossFit raise money for the families of the fallen, and the future needs of the approximately 30 wounded.

In less than a week CrossFit Cleveland pulled 15 people together and raised over $400. I’m so proud of everyone and the amazing efforts they put in.

20 deadlifts (185lb)
400m run
20 kbswings (55lb)
400m run
20 ohs (85lb)
400m run
20 burpees
400m run
20 pullups (chest to bar)
400m run
20 box jumps (18″)
400m run
20 db squat cleans (25 each)
400m run

Finished 30:00 flat as rx’d….I’ll take it.


Im on FIRE….

I have certainly been slacking on my blog posting, but I have been far from slacking on my wods.

Last week I did two wods with 1rpm’s, shoulder press and push press and deadlifts.

I took on shoulder press first, maxing out at 100lb, over taking my old pr of 90lbs PR 1 for the week. I then transitioned into the shoulder press, 105 went up easy, 115..nothing. 125, now that felt HEAVY, but it went up. onto 135, bodyweight. 1st attempt didnt get much higher than my shoulders, second attempt made it to about eye height. I took a good break, and focused. DIP DRIVE! 135 push pressed overhead! PR2 of the week. I had every intention of moving that into push jerk, but I had nothing left in the tank, so I took my 2 pr’s and walked away.

I came back to the box the next day with deadlifts on the brain. My goal was 260, the elusive 2x bodyweight. I started at 135, 5 reps, 165-5 reps, 185-3 reps, 205-3 reps, then I kept climing by 10lbs each lift at 1 rep. I passed my current PR of 230 pulling a 235….then 245….then 265….I had done it, and it had felt good, so I kept going. 275lbs on the bar, I set, I pull, its slow to move off the ground and it took a good fight, but I got my shoulders back and hips opened. PR #3 for the week! I think it was my new CF Fire socks that gave me a little extra fire! Thanks Jen.

Last week was a rareity, 3 prs in one week. It’s great to know that putting in the hardwork is paying off. Now I’ve just got to keep this pace.


This community ROCKS!

On Saturday I was lucky enough to have gotten into the CF 101 hosted at CFLegacy. I went in not knowing what to expect other than it was going to be led by coach and it was a chance to get together with 75 other crazy crossfitters.

The experience was everything I thought it could be and more. Coach had an open Q&A session for almost 4 hours. He was blunt and honest about any and all questions that were thrown his way from “What happened with Rob” to “where did the girls come from?” and everything in between.

Capping off the whole experience was a team wod. This is what the community is all about….this is what bonds us all. Going into the trenches and coming out alive.

Team wod: Teams of 4, two people can work at a time.
400 squats
300 pushups
200 burpees
100 pullups

Our team was comprised of me, Jackie from CFCLE and Josh and Joel from New SpiciesCF. 13:14

If you have a chance to attend a 101….DO IT!


‘Helen’ truly is a whore…..

So I had the brill ant idea of taking on ‘Helen’ last night. Thought process being…it’s still nice enough to run, I should do a wod that has running in it….’Helen’

I have been chasing the sub 10 Helen, and today was going to be my day! 3…2…1… GO! First run felt good, slam through the kbswings and pull ups unbroken. 3:00min flat, off on the 2nd run. I’m thinking I’ve got to keep this pace to get my sub 10min. Start into the 2nd round of kb swings, again unbroken, wish I could say the same for the pull ups. I got through 9, dropped and got back on the bar to finish off the last 3. Out the door I go, last run. My lower back is screaming at me, but I’m working on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable so I push through.

Last kb swings…1..2..3….11..OH MY GOD…drop the bell. Troy yes over my shoulder “pick it up” I get the mindset “this bell is not going to beat me” 12..13..16..17…”can i stop? you’re so close..” 18…19…”MAKE IT STOP” 20..21….drop the bell and on to the bar. 6 straight, forearms cramping so I drop off the bar…shake it out, 7..8..9…drop. NO MORE!!! 10, 11, 12 TIME!!!! 9:59

I did it…the elusive sub10 Helen, I had captured it. And oh man did I feel it, my entire mid-section felt like i was wearing a corset that was 10 sizes too small, and my stomach was in my throat. I knew I had pushed myself farther than it had wanted to go, and that’s the goal.

3 rounds
400m run
21 kbswings (36lb)
12 pullups



You’re a sissy…no you’re a sissy….no you’re a sissy…

Sissy: a pejorative for a boy or man to indicate that he fails to behave according to the traditional male gender role. Generally, it implies a lack of the courage and stoicism which are thought important to the male role.

Yesturday’s WOD: “Sissy”
7 rounds
7 split jerks (75lb-cleaned from the ground on the 1st rep of each round)
7 burpees
7 pullups

Finished in 9 min flat, and let me tell you….there was nothing sissy about this wod.


Have you met my new best friend, DOMS?

If you haven’t met DOMS you’re not working hard enough. DOMS(Delayed onset muscle soreness): a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to, and usually hits you 24-48 hours post wod.

When DOMS comes to visit it hurts to sneeze, shower, drive, think…it hurts to pretty much do anything. So what can you do to alleviate the pain? WOD…duh!!!!

Keeping the muscle in motion can provide some relief. When muscle temperature is increased, blood flow increases, bringing fresh oxygen and healing nutrients to the injured site. This increased blood flow also helps to wash away the chemical irritants responsible for pain.


Happy woding….


The Man Behind The Curtain…

The famous quote we hear is “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” I couldn’t disagree more. Over the last two and a half years I have worked hard, I have gotten great results, but I have not done it alone.

Behind all my hard work and results stands the greatest coach I’ve ever trained under, Bill Russell, Owner of CrossFit Cleveland.

When I met Bill I had no idea where he’d take me over this 2 1/2 year journey. Our relationship started purely as a trainer/trainee relationship. As I continued my love affair with CrossFit Bill was right there to encourage it all the way. He never let me slack or cut myself short. I wanted to share my passion with others so in November of 2008 I went to my level 1. Bill and his wife Staci were also in attendance, and our relationship became one of friendship. That’s also where I really got bit by the bug so to speak. It was the first time I had worked out with cf’ers outside of my box and I LOVED the energy I felt.

That’s when the competitive spirit came out in me and I started thinking….”maybe I should compete?” I started dropping hints to Bill, and without hesitation he was on board.
He took time out of his day to program special wods based on my weaknesses.
He was over my shoulder the last few reps of every wod pushing me through.
He encouraged me throughout the training process.

6 months later I was competing at the Midwest Regionals!!! Holy crap, who would have ever thought?!?!?!? Bill had devoted 6 months of his life to makeing me a better cfer, never asking for anything in return. When it was all said and done, he hugged me and said he was proud of me. At that moment bill was no longer just a trainer, a friend, a coach, he became family. I could not have done it with out Bill and his constant encouragement and support.

We spend so much time in the CF community congratulating the elite athletes (and rightfully so), but we never stop to think about the coaches that got them there. Be it you’re training at a box, globo gym or home gym, no CFer does it alone. Take a minute today and thank your coach. They work hard behind that curtain to make us better cfer’s everyday!


Yesturdays wod:”Angie”
100 pullups
100 pushups
100 situps
100 squats
18:14-a new PR by 1:30, and the previous pr included 30 jumping pullups