Category Archives: Uncategorized


Former Fat Kid

2 1/2 years ago I was pushing 185lbs and on the verge of buying a size 14pant. I knew I needed a change. My whole life I played soccer at a competitive level. That meant playing for 2 and sometimes 3 teams at a time, practicing every night of the week and eating like a horse and never gaining an ounce. This all changed when I walked away from my soccer scholarship after my freshman year of college.

I became a “normal” human being for the first time in my life. No practice, no expectations, just being. I continued to work out on my own, but a HUGE downgrade from Division 1 soccer training. There wasn’t team around you, a strength coach pushing you and a trainer rehabbing you. I quickly fell into a 60min of cardio 30min of lifting routine. It was what you read in all the fitness magazines so it had to be the best approach.

Then I went shopping 2 1/2 years ago and could barely zip the size 12 pants and I thought to myself…”when did I get fat?” I had a coming to Jesus moment and realized that I couldn’t fight this battle alone so I googled “fitness groups, Cleveland” and number one on the list, something called CrossFit on They met every Saturday under a bridge at the local metroparks. I vacillated and then decided I’d go and try it and if I hated it I would never have to go back.

So on a Saturday morning in early June of 2007 I strapped on my shoes, filled a water bottle and headed out the door. It was nerve racking at first. Where they going to judge me? Would they laugh at me? All the normal in securities. But the exact opposite happened, I was welcomed and encouraged, and more importantly…I WAS HOOKED.

2 1/2 years later I waiver between 130-135lb and wear a size 4 pant.

2007: 185lb

2007: 0 pullups
Today: 23

2007: 0 pushups
Today: 16 (still a weakness)

2007: 145lb deadlift
Today: 230lb x 3

2007: 115lb back squat
Today: 195lb

2007: 500m row-2:06
Today: 1:46.6



Hi ho…Hi’s off to CFEnergy we go…

A HUGE THANK YOU to Kyle and the whole CrossFit Energy crew for welcoming us into their box yesterday. Minus being put under the gun. Let me explain.

So Troy Bratz and I ventured out of our CFCleveland box to play with the CFEnergy crew in Bath, OH. We show up, get the quick tour and we begin warming up. As we’re warming up Kyle casually begins talking about rowing and asks me “what is your 500m row pr?” I think about it, I know it’s under 150, I say 142 (after reviewing my log when I got home I confirmed it was actually 148)…this will be important later. He asks Troy the same question. We continue warming up, not thinking anything of it. The cfenergy crew starts arriving, there are introductions, and then the hammer is dropped on us.

Kyle asks everyone look at the board…
15 overhead squats
10 burpee box jumps
400m run
3 rounds
Not too bad….. then Kyle drops the “Kate and Troy are going to row for new 500m row PR and if they don’t reach it I’ll be doubling what’s on the board.”
I quickly begin back peddling…I’m sure my pr is really 1:58 or higher. CRAP…!!! I just went from welcome guest to the possibly being the most hated person in the gym.

Ok…I can’t back down in front of my 10 new friends. Troy and I strap in and off we go. Stroke….stroke….stroke…..I’m holding a steady 1:41 pace the first 250. My legs begin burning…1:43 200m to go. Oh no…I’ve got to pick it up. If I don’t PR everyone’s going to suffer. Then the head game starts. 1:46 I’m losing my steam and the chain has never felt heavier. 1:50 150m to go. Everyone starts cheering, and I’m trying to give it my all, but I’m just exhausted. I came out of the gates too fast and I’m running on fumes 1:52 100m to go. I grunt it out and finish strong 1:46.6 (not my pr, or so I thought) and in my head all I can think is I didn’t PR now everyone’s going to have to do 2 times the wod.

Then the jester, Kyle, says “you guys did awesome, but we’re not doubling the wod. I never was going to, I just had to put you on the spot.Now let’s go wod. ”

A HUGE relief comes over me, I didn’t let anyone down. The the reality of having to wod after leaving your guts on the floor hits me. Holy hell that wod felt hard after that row, but I survived and got a t-shrit for my collection.

After the ride back home I checked my log and my real 500m row pr was a 148….I DID PR! Awesome! Thanks for a GREAT day Kyle…I’ll definitely be down to play again.


Caveman vs. Barry Sears

1st, the formalities: last nights wod
12 Deadlift (145lb)
24 Abmat situps
500m run

Now the good stuff….Paleo vs. Zone. The on going debate. I have tried both and here’s my 2 cents.

Zone for idiots: eat protein/fat/carb in equal portions at every meal, eat 5-6 meals a day
Zone Experiment: I started turning my diet around with the zone. I promised myself that I would weigh and measure everything for a month….and boy did I see a difference. I cut fat, had more energy during the day, and crushed wods! I did this through my training for the games last year and never felt better.

Paleo for idiots: if you can’t hunt or gather you can’t eat it, no dairy products or bean, eat as much as you want
Paleo Experiment: This summer I decided to give this whole paleo thing a try. I continued to use the zone principles making sure I got a protein, fat and carb at each meal, it was just all paleo friendly. It took some getting used to no dairy or beans, but I did it. I cut a small percentage of fat, but didn’t’ see a huge increase in energy and my wods weren’t through the roof. I was pretty lean and already eating an almost paleo zone.

The way people have talked about Paleo it’s like a religion. My thoughts….I like a PaleoZoneish diet. It works the best for me. I would say that I eat a 90% paleo diet. I do like my cheese and the occasional serving of oatmeal or a slice of bread. And no, I’m not a worse person for it. ha!

My advice….try them both. Keep notes on your wods, your energy level, your body composition. You’ll see trends and what works the best for you. The key is to realize that what works for Kahalipa, OPT, Gillian, Tonya (a few of the top cfer’s) may not work for you. You have to listen to and learn from your own body.



We truly are a sick group of people. Only CrossFitters get a truly gratifying feeling from ending up on the floor in a pool of our own sweat, muscles cramping and gasping for air.

Today’s torture:
4 rounds
25 box jumps (20″)
25 pushups (chest to deck)
25 kb swings (36lb)
25 pullups
25 wallball (14lb 8′ target)

Finished in 26:06

It took me about 15 min to feel ‘normal’ again, and that made me feel pretty damn good. My goal every wod is to get uncomfortable. The constant that you’ll see from all the top competitors is that they are comfortable with being uncomfortable. I can say I haven’t mastered it yet, but I’m aware of it, and isn’t that always the first step?


Self-doubt….a motivator or wod killer?

One of my great debates… doubt a motivator or a wod killer?

Last nights wod:
500m run
21 power cleans (75lb)
21 box jumps (20″)
3 rounds

As I headed out for my first run I felt pretty good about life and the wod. Finished the first run in just under 2min and headed right into the first set of cleans, 10…11…12…the felt good. Headed into the box jumps getting them 7-8 at a time in rhythm. Time for the second run, my midsection is feeling tight, but it loosens up about 100 meters into it. 1…2…3…4…power cleans, “damn these feel a lot heavier than last round!” Break at 7, couple of deep breaths.

This is where the doubt creeps in. I shouldn’t be tired….I need to keep moving…I can’t do them any faster….shut up brain, you’re fine….keep moving…onto the box jumps. Manage to keep a consistent pace throughout the set and I’m off on my last run. All I can think is I’m tired, I want to stop, but then the flip switches. “Don’t be lazy….you don’t want the slowest time….you don’t want to be a loser….getty up!” I push through the run and head into my final 21 power cleans thinking I can’t slow down or I’ll have the slowest time. Break them into 7’s and on to the box jumps. Hit the first 12 unbroken, then the reality that I’m almost done sets in…5 unbroken…so close now…3 unbroken….last 5 all singles. My head was fighting with my body those last 5.
BODY: You’re tired….stop, please just rest….
BRAIN: Suck it up buttercup, you only have 5 more!

Final time 15:06….quickest time in the box.

Why do I push so hard? I want to be the best Kate I can be, and if I slack in the wods I feel guilty. I know I didn’t give it my all, and then I doubt my strength both physically and mentally. I am constantly battling self-doubt, am i strong enough, fast enough, good enough. Self-doubt can push me through a wod like it did last night or it can also crush your wod by throwing you off your mental game.

What do you think? Doubt: motivator or wod killer?


Indian Summer….

This weekend brought with BEAUTIFUL weather. 65-70 degrees and sunny in Cleveland, OH in November…unheard of!

Us Ohio CrossFitters took full advantage. Saturday 6 of us got together for an outdoor wod that seemed so simple on paper.
200m run w/ 25lb sandbag
15 squat cleans (95lb)
15 burpees
Finished in 14:54 and boy did I fell it.

The sandbag runs fried my abs. You have to use so much more core stabilization when running with a bag on your back.

Sunday we did an equally as difficult wod.
Run 1 1/2 miles
50 Thrusters (65lb)
50 sandbag get ups
Finished in 26:38
Some broke the 50’s into 5 rounds of 10, I made the mistake of slamming through the thrusters first. My thought process being…”I hate thrusters, so I’ll just get through them and the getups will be easy” That back fired. My hips were f*ing tired by the time I got to the get ups.

That’s all part of the sport. How you attack a wod. Combining different reps into different configurations changes the wod completely. I’m a big believer that crossfit is 50% strength and 50% mental. The instant you doubt your body and your abilities you’re done.


Mental Mind F*cks

Some days you look at a workout an all you can think is….GROSS! That was Thursday’s wod.
60 cal on the rower
60 jumping pullups
50 stepping lunges
50 jumping pullups
40 kb swings-36lb
40 jumping pullups
30 db push press-20lb dbs
30 jumping pullups

Looks simple on the board, but you realize halfway through that jumping pullups are so simple, yet so nasty. I managed to smash through it 12:44.


I think I can….I think I can….I think I can…..

So day two of training for the games was somewhat like pulling teeth. I spent the day catching up on work that I missed being out with the migraine on Tuesday, oh…and it was still lingering just for fun. By the time 5:30 rolled around I felt like I was running on fumes. All I kept telling myself was, “you can do it, you can’t miss day two of training”.

I got in my car and began my short trip to CFCleveland all the way thinking..”I don’t want to go, I don’t want to do this”, but I trekked on.

As I parked my car, walked into the gym and signed in all I could think was “I’m here, just suck it up”, while in the back of my mind I’m thinking “I’m tired, I’m behind on work, I’m hungry, I need to do my homework.”

I began my warmup and slowly started to feel a little pep back in my step..”I THINK I CAN.”

The wod was 5×5 of back squats. My 1 rep max is 200, so I was shooting for 195×5, but I knew I bit off more than I could chew when I did my first set of 135. I was f*cking heavy! I pushed through 145…155…165…all the time gaining momentum. “I THINK I CAN”

I walked up to 175 confident, feeling good, “I THINK I CAN”! 1st rep felt good “I THINK I CAN”, 2nd rep was a little slower “I THINK I CAN”, 3rd rep holy hell “I THINK I CAN”, 4th..”I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN” but i couldn’t I get stuck at the bottom and bailed.

Through out the day I didn’t want to train, I had a mental block, but I pushed through it. I kept the “I THINK I CAN” mentality and had a pretty successful workout. Not where I would have liked, but you have to have the slow days to appreciate the PR’s.


Regaining Traction…..or at least trying to

Ever have those times in your life when you’re ready to hit the ground running and ground has something else in mind?

I can say that pretty much describes my week. After a disappointing finish at the Midwest Regionals in May of 2009 I decided to focus on pretty much everything but CrossFit. I still made it to the wods pretty regularly, but not with much intensity. My diet…if that’s what you would call it…went out the window. I took the eat what I want when i want approach towards food. Fall came and with it brought rumblings of “are you going to compete again this year?” “When are you going to start training?” started floating around the gym.

I had some soul searching to do. I’m still working my 9-5er, trying to help train at the gym when possible and on top of it I started grad school. Where was games training going to fit. I himmed and haaaed and finally said F*CK IT! I’m just going to make my training a non-negotiable part of my day and make it fit. With that came a re-commitment to my diet.

November 2 was the day. I started the day with my paleo friendly zone breakfast, packed my lunch and snack and I was off for day one of games training. I hit the wod hard finishing:
15mt climbers
15 dbcleans (20lbs)
30mt climbers
15 dbcleans
45mt climbers
60mt climbers
15 dbcleans
75mt climbers
15 db cleans
in 10:24 only to be side swiped with a migraine on Tuesday. Really…day two of training….really!!??? For those of you that have never had a migraine, that meant taking drugs and sleeping in a dark quiet room for 12 hours to recover…aka…no training.

One of my favorite quotes comes to mind, “It’s not how many times you fall down, its how many times you get back up that matters.” So today I’m getting back up, dusting off my knees and taking on some heavy back squats.