I Moved Dot Coms

6 Sep

I’m very sorry to do this to my readers and subscribers but I’ve recently moved domains. (I’m actually not THAT sorry because the new URL is new and improved! Sorry I’m not sorry.) My new Girl Walks Into A Bar(bell) blog is over HERE at it’s own dot com!

I’ve made sure to include a subscription option at the new dot com so, if it’s not too much trouble, follow me over. I’m in the process of converting the garage into a gym!


Reebok CrossFit Games 2011

12 Aug

The move to Colorado was delayed a week in order to attend the annual CrossFit Games… actually, it’s called the Reebok|CrosssFit Games now. Formality aside, I know it as the convention of fit hard-bodies. Everywhere you looked it was traps! deltoids! six-pack abs! and solid bums! made for oly lifting, sprinting, weighted pullups, and sled-pushing.

The energy was INFECTIOUS. It’s kind of pointless to write about it because it’s just one of those events you just have to experience. Not only could you watch these insanely fit athletes compete in an arena (yes, kind of like Spartacus but no one literally dies), but there was also bull-riding, stand-up paddling, coaching from Rob Orlando (yes, please,) workout gear shopping, jump-rope fitting, and CrossFit web-celebs to be met. In fact, it was at the CrossFit Games that I got to reunite with Joe Petrusky from CrossFit Love and hilarious and witty blogger, Fitbomb. For anyone that didn’t know, Fitbomb’s wife is the culinary genius behind NomNom Paleo (sometimes when I’m hungry, I go to her blog and drool at the pictures.)

Ryan "@deckerra" Decker, Joe Petrusky (owner of CrossFit Love), and me.

Henry "@fitbomb" and me!

Anyway, here is a very, very, very small collection of images. I got a little shutter happy (I’ve seen 6-pack abs before just not THAT many all in one location.)

House Of Air

20 Jul

Screw Chuck-E-Cheeses (cheese is so not Paleo, anyway.) House of Air is where a kid (and everyone else) can be a kid.

About a year or two back, I came across gymnast and CrossFit coach Carl Paoli‘s video submission for American Ninja Warrior on CrossFit’s mainsite. Completely intrigued by flips (and “stuff”) and being the Google extraordinaire that I am *cough*, I later came across this video of Carl jumping at an indoor trampoline park on Brian McKenzie‘s, creator of CrossFit Endurance, blog . Wow, I just made myself sound like a total internet stalker. Awesome.

Living in frigid Philadelphia at the time, I figured House of Air would be a perfect excuse to visit sunny California and San Francisco. And so I went with Ryan last week. We got some ultra chic wrestling slash jumping shoes:

And we rented a board because, hey, why not practice some snowboard jumps, flips, and grabs while we were at it?

And then we got right to it:

I found that KStar‘s hip mobility WODs come in quite handy when it comes to board grabs. Sorry for the in-your-face ook picture (I’m gonna get an earful from Mom later this week) but I’m merely demonstrating the importance of hip mobility here. My personal favorite is his 10-minute Paleo chair squat test. I sit in this position in the living room regularly. I like to think it helps with board grabs.

My only complaint about House of Air is that it caters more to young children during open jump times, which is fine, it’s fun. It would’ve been nice to have an older kid/adult area to practice some stuff without hearing, “Sir, no flips over the blue mat,” “Hey, you guys, you have to land on both feet before flipping,” “Are you hurt??” I mean, I get, I do; the workers were just doing their job and safety is important. I’m just saying we’re adults and we signed a waiver – it would be cool if we could practice some techniques away from 7 year olds. Nevertheless, we both had a blast. I worked on air awareness and grabs while Ryan nailed some flips. I think I’m putting a trampoline on the wishlist.

Box-Crash: StoneWay CrossFit

8 Jul

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You will not find community like that of CrossFit. While passing through Seattle, WA, on this whirlwind cross-country tour, I was invited by Stoneway CrossFit box owner, Scott Rodriguez and fellow tweeps Katie and Heather to drop in for a WOD with coach Jess Fleming.

I took them up on the offer (and the opportunity to meet some tweeps in person!) and scheduled my touristy day of Pike Place Market, Space Needle, and Puget Sound around their 5 o’clock WOD. We started off with stretches and dynamic warmup which included wall walks (which, by the way, are harder than they appear!!) Then we worked in some 3×3 sets (at prescribed percentages of our 1RM) of either squats, deadlifts, or press.

Thanks to Katie Chasey for snapping this pic!

And then it was WOD time:
200m sprint
100 situps
75 pushups
100 air squats
200m sprint

Let me just come out with it and make it known: 2 months of nearly non-stopping roadtripping, less-than-ideal Paleo nutrition, and no WODs make for a very out-of-shape girl. But, coach Jess kept the encouragement coming and everyone there was SO upbeat and encouraging.

And here is the part where I say it yet again: You’re not going to find community like THIS anywhere else.

HUGE thanks to the StoneWay crew for letting Ryan and me box-crash! It was much-needed for me and very much enjoyed.

My Epic Intermission

15 Jun

My life has been nothing short of a whirlwind of the epic variety for the past month. For starters, Ryan and I have moved from Philadelphia to Colorado! (Actually, we are STILL in the process of relocating. We can’t move in to the home we’re renting until August. Oh, poop. I guess we’ll just have to travel to kill time. Didn’t expect this entirely but… me complain? Never!)

So here is a snapshot of what I’ve been up to since May 8th and a preview of what I’ll be doing up until August 1st.

Obviously, my CrossFit 5x/week schedule is, well, a little off-schedule. I can tell I’m weaker and slower but I keep reminding myself that in addition to being an end in itself, CrossFit is also a means to an end. I CrossFit so I can mountain bike, trail run, snowboard, hike. And I’m currently doing most of that right now so I’m content. But, oh, I do miss my CrossFit sessions. Can’t wait to get back under a bar.


1 May

I’m blaming my lack of recent blog posts on my ultra chaotic major life changes. And when I write “major” I mean “this is (more) mayjah” than David Beckham hanging on the beach sipping on Pepsi. But more about my life in due time.

I’m dropping in to jot down my recent PR’s established during “PR Week” at CrossFit Love. I’ve been consistently working on my four major lifts for only less than a year so, as Craig “The Z” Zielinski pointed out, these are probably not my true 1RM’s just yet. But, it’s good starting point and I won’t lie, I like that I’ve graduated into Rippetoe’s Strength Standards “Advanced” category.

Bodyweight: 108-110#
Squat: 155#
Deadlift: 205#
Press: 85#
Bench: 105# 110#

I was most disappointed in my squat but most pleased with my bench press. Such is life. Sometimes I can’t have it all (all at once.)

This vid, filmed by Ryan and me and compiled by Joe, has been posted elsewhere on the interwebs but here are my CF Love teammates (including Tweeps @deckerra, @polobear716, @laurenancona @JeanineDESQ, and @klhorn22) setting some PR’s:

I sat down with Joe and jotted down some goals to eventually accomplish. I’m not going to work on all of these at the same, that may be detrimental. For now, I’d like to focus on my developing just my strength. Call me naive but I think the stronger I am, the faster I’ll be able to move weight around. It takes a lot longer to develop strength than cardio, metcons, and technical skills like double unders, so it makes sense to focus in on strength now.

On The Prowl(er)

4 Mar

I’m feeling the urge to blog today because I might die tonight. No, really. Joe just posted our scheduled workout for tonight and I have Prowler sprints at 6:00 pm. “What are you doing tonight, Jess?” Oh, you know, pushing The Prowler and trying not to puke.  (Gone are the days when I looked forward to Fridays.)  My lack of excitement is warranted: The last time I did Prowler sprints, I almost didn’t make it home.

The Prowler is a deceiving little torture device.
p-(roll the ‘r’)-OWW-le-(roll the ‘r’)

Don’t do what I did and get it mixed up with the similarly scary-looking but sometimes FUN Cougar.

Unlike a cougar, there is nothing fun about the Prowler.  You’re going along, doing fine, just pushing the Prowler and BAM! It’s like hitting a brick wall. All of a sudden the leg muscles go on strike. My calves cramped up so bad, I thought I had rigor mortis. It’s like an arena death scene out of Spartacus with bodies hunched up or lying all over the place, but without the blood and boobs.

This pic is the exact opposite of how I feel after pushing the Prowler but I had to show you what my face looked like on the body of Crixus.

I survived my first Prowler experience but after struggling back to my apartment with a THROBBING headache, I had to lie with my head on the cold kitchen counter for nearly 20 minutes to fight off the nausea.  I’ve never before been so glad I had an empty stomach. In fact, nausea is guaranteed. Ask my fellow CrossFit Love member Chris. So, I know it’s not just me.

If you ever have the opportunity to push a Prowler, do not do as Joe recommended and YouTube “Prowler Flu.” Actually, you should totally watch this stuff:

Good Things Come in Sets of 100

23 Feb

I’m starting to notice a trend at CrossFit Love. It appears our S&C coach, Joe, is slightly obsessed with the number 100. We just seem to do ONE HUNDRED of, oh I don’t know, everything. In fact, 100 of (insert exercise here) is our cool down, our “extra credit,” our  lil’ somethin’ somethin’ to remember CrossFit Love by.

In the past 2 weeks, I have easily done atleast 100-200 situps, not to be confused with “ab crunches,” on 6 different occasions.  I’m talking full on “Allll the way up, Jess.  I want your chest to touch your knees. What number are you on?” (75.) “You’re talking too much and not working hard enough.” (The thing is: We do so many situps, it’s hard for me to keep count. So, sometimes I talk outloud about forgetting what rep I’m on.)

I can guarantee you, though, that I certainly DID NOT lose count when Joe had us do “100 Pushups for Time” last week. Because, you know, we’re all expected to eventually be able to do 100 full regulation “I want to f***’n HEAR your chest hit the ground” pushups in sub 5 minutes. And if you’ve seen my chest (or lack thereof) you will understand how big of a deal this is. I’m suddenly regretting getting rid of that water bra. By the way, my time on those 100 pushups ended up being 10:01. I’m looking forward to cutting that time by half (I do mean that…. mostly.)

Last night? Oh, yeah, I was busy doing an “accessory exercise” of 100 standing single-arm band rows… on each arm. No biggie. (Actually, it was a biggie. My biceps and lats were burning something fierce.)

My unsolicited opinion on the matter? I think this “100 of everything” thing is working. I won’t deny that I do feel stronger. So, it appears that good things really do come in sets of 100.  But GREAT things come in sets of 300:

(Don’t tell Joe I said that; the last thing I want is to be greeted with a “300 Burpees for Time” WOD when I walk into class next week.)

1 Week Down (A Lifetime To Go?)

22 Feb

I just wrapped up the first week of my super strict 30-Day Paleo challenge.  WHY the heck would I eat ONLY: delicious meat, eggs, fish, a ton of water, loads of vegetables, some fruits, a little nuts, and NOTHING ELSE for 30 days? The decision was easy when I considered the following:

  1. Though I was arguably one of the strongest chics at my previous globo (personal, and admittedly arrogant, opinion here), I felt like THE slowest and weakest girl at CrossFit Love. I just want to perform better. So, I’m playing catch-up and a good place to start is with the Paleo Challenge seeing as the other members just wrapped up their 30-day Challenge.
  2. I’ve been thinking about trying a strict Paleo Challenge; joining CFLove just catalyzed the decision.
  3. I’m testing my 1RM’s in  5 weeks and I want to set some PR’s. I need food that fuels!

To be honest, I haven’t had trouble “giving up” any “foods.” The real challenge for me has been making sure to eat enough. The intensity and volume of my workouts have increased so I’ve been just PLOWING through food like you would not believe.

So, in case you’re wondering why I’m sipping on some “Dihydrogen Monoxide on the Rocks” when we’re at The Standard Tap or why the heck there is rabbit and duck in my freezer, now you’ll know.  Not gonna lie, it feels good to eat almost as much as a grown man while my Hollister denim mini fits better than ever. Now let’s see what this does for my deadlifts.

I Paleo Hacked Chipotle

15 Feb

Don't fret Paleo friends... there's meat under the salsa.


I recently came across Robb Wolf’s The Road Forager blog posts which have been a life saver when traveling. He pretty much Paleo Hacks all sorts of restaurant foods. I tried the original recommendation of “Burrito Bowl, no rice, no beans, double meat, salsa, and guac” but it was way too much meat for me to finish. How sad. I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller… I wish I could put down meat like a man. Plus, I wish I had more vegetables (good thing “veggie” isn’t a Paleo expletive like it is on Epic Meal Time.)

So, now my order is a (Meat) Salad, hold the rice, hold the beans (insert weird look from Chipotle employee here), two scoops mild salsa, one scoop hot salsa (because mama likes it hot.)  I’m probably going to Paleo Hell for skipping the guac but, listen, the first and last time I got guac at Chipotle I ended up feeling grossly nauseous. Plus, once I unintentionally laid my hand in seagull poop and it looked EXACTLY, I mean ex-act-ly, like guac and sourcream mixed together. So, I think I’ll pass on seagull poop in my food.

If you find yourself passing through Philadelphia, my favorite Chipotle is the one located here.  They have a super friendly staff that aren’t stank with the ingredients and they play swanky music with a W Hotel vibe which makes eating Paleo extra sexy.