Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Whole Birds

The weather cooled off a bit (quite a bit, boo hoo) and so I put a couple of chickens in the oven to roast, Mark has been devouring the chicken salad I've been making so there is no use only cooking one chicken!

Whole Foods prices chicken $1 a pound less if you buy two at a time.  $2.99 instead of $3.99, which turn a $16 bird into a more affordable $12 bird....still 2-3x more than good ole Foster Farms when you can find it on sale (and you can always find it on sale!).  I prefer to always buy whole birds, in fact I can barely bring myself to buy pieces, and never boneless!  The thought of wasting some of the best parts of the chicken practically kills me!  I want those bones, among other parts too!

When I first started cooking I forced myself bone my own whole chickens.  Like cutting an onion, knowing how to bone a chicken is such an important skill to learn in order to cook for yourself and family.  The know where to cut and the actual practice of doing of it. Don't let yourself be intimidated by it if you don't know how. You'll never know how if you never try!  When you can take apart a chicken, you can transition into other meats much easier, and that can automatically makes shopping easier (not being a slave to the availability of boneless cuts) and saves you money.

It saves you money in many ways.  You pay less per pound, and you get lots of other goodies, not just the meat.  The most obvious "goodie" are the bones, the back and necks to make chicken stock/broth.  I've been making my own chicken stock for so many years, it's easy and effortless, except for the last part, straining!  That requires lifting a heavy pot, and the mess of cleaning up the scraps and strainer.  If you were to buy necks backs and bones, yes it would be less expensive than $2.99 a pound, but add in the cost of store bought stock and I think you would find it costing more in the long run, way more. Every time I make stock I yield at least 4 quarts, and it's made from the quality of chicken, and meats, that I choose.  Not to mention the nutritional value of homemade stocks and broths.  You just can't buy that kind of nutrition (for cheap at least!).

Another way you save is the livers! Am I the only one that eats chicken liver regularly?  You are missing out, especially if, in all honesty, you have decided you don't like it without ever trying it!  Personally I make chicken liver pate, so it's flavored with onion, anchovy, garlic and butter (coconut oil), what's not to love?  More times than not I get two or more livers included with each bird!  But I also get shorted the hearts?  What's up with that?  Lately I cook the hearts with the liver ad I haven't found it making any kind of difference.  Liver costs about $3.99 pound, so I save money there too.

Breast only is the most expensive, easily twice the price of a whole bird.  Which is just pure laziness.  It takes two seconds to bone a breast, but I will not be judgey about it because there have been times when I just plain old don't feel like taking that 2 seconds myself!

But getting back to the bones.  Bones add so much more flavor when you cook the meat along with the bone.  And even if you cook the meat with the bone, once you eat the meat there is still plenty left in the bones for making stock!  And that stock will be richer than stock made from uncooked ("raw") bones and parts.  Think about it.  Grilled bones, roasted bones will have more those bones!

So there you have it!  The reasons why I always buy whole birds!  Mostly I cook them whole, rarely boning and dividing the parts.  What about you?

Picture left: the innards from the two chickens I bought.  Two necks, one heart, one gizzard, and looks like about 4 livers?  One time I bought a chicken that came with two necks!  It totally creeped me out because I was naive to think what came with the inside package was that particular birds actual neck and insides! It never occurred to me that they "swapped" body parts!  Really, it creeped me out for a long time.  Now I'm over it and I'm happy to get extra goodies! Give me more necks, give me more liver!  I'm good with that!  BUT I confess....what the heck do you do with the gizzards?

Picture above:  There are so many online sources to learn how to bone a chicken, here one that I found easily.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

16kg 10 minute set, multiple hand switches 223 reps, PR (personal record)

This is going to be a quick post.  I realized a few things are lacking in my GS training.  To compete in Kettlebell Sport, the goal, the requirement, is to see how many reps you an complete, in the chosen event, (snatches, jerks, dbl jeks, etc.) in a 10 minute time allotment, while only limiting yourself the option of switching R to L (Or L to R) one time.  Done, period, end of hand switch!  This is traditionally divided at the 5 minute mark (1/2 way), but strategy plays a role also as you are building that 5 min/5 min foundation.  The forearms and grip can only endure so much.

Okay, so maybe this is not going to be a quick post.....

I better get used to snatching the 16kg for 10 minutes straight, no mater how many times I have to switch hands, #2, I have to practice and train the technique that will save/build the strength in my grip/hands to endure only one hand switch, R to L, for 5 minutes at a time.  Argh. that way!  #3 I need to get used to the extra mass of the size of the competition bells.  The larger size means that it takes more force to move it fast.  I pretty confident that had I used a smaller, cast iron bell for this set I could have completed a few more reps....but then I'll never know....but then I don't really care!

What is easy for me is, to snatch the 16kg for a continuous 10 minute set and work out the hand switches as I go along.  So, first things first.....the USSST (ultimate secret service snatch test).  If your main kettlebell training is about "hardstyle" technique, then a continuous 10 minute set, with a challenging weight is, well...a challenge!  For GS sport, it should be a walk in the park.  At least that's how I'm feeling, and what I'm seeing in my fellow GS teammates...they kick some serious ass!

So, screw it.  10 minutes continuous, switch hands whenever you want?  Bring it.  No fear, no problem.  It's just ten minutes of my life.

I need to start training "10-12 minute blocks" of ballistics in order to adapt my heart rate and conditioning to succeed.  Competition not need mean purely exhausting yourself, it should mean pushing, challenging, and rising above "normal', or regular training/workouts....or am I wrong?  I might be?  I'm still trying to figure it all out.

Here's what I know.  If I cannot, regularly, snatch the 16kg and heavier, for 10 minutes with as many changes of hand, how could I ever expect to complete a 10 minute set with only one chance/opportunity to switch hands?

So, without fear and "matter of factly" I walked into the gym this morning and did a 10 minute 16kg snatch set, with a competition bell, for as many reps as I could push myself to do.

I knew it had been years since I last tested a continuous ten minute 16kg snatch!  In "hardstyle" terms, a "test" has been measured in 5 minutes, a completely different story from 10 minutes.  If you have never tested it, then trust me, it's a completely different animal!  Which is why I hadn't done it recently! But I hadn't realized it has been 3 1/2 years?  Really?  Wow!

Long story short.  My strategy was 11 reps per 30 sec (22rpm) for 10 min, with a sprint to the finish in the last minute, hopefully gaining a couple/few more reps.  "It's all easy 'til it gets heavy!" is a quote I've heard a couple of times....(Mark Reifkind!)

I hadn't realized I completed 12 reps right in the first 30 sec, so I thought I was behind pace. slightly throughout the entire time.  At 9 minutes, I tried to haul ass.  The most interesting part of the whole experiment is that although I tried to use a combination of Hardstyle and GS throughout, I automatically went 100% HS in the last minute, relying on my legs and my lungs!  You may notice more "full squatting:" power at the end.  Everything else went out the window,  My goal, for this set was total reps.  223, a personal record.

Okay, done with that.  Do you think that picking out and maintaining a slower more particular pace for a 10 minutes set is easier?  Well, I know that it's not!  I will start to incorporate more 10 min 16kg snatch sets, BUT training pace, NOT reps.  My next set, I already know, will be slower, 20 rpm.  I'm guessing it just may be a bit more fun (aka, harder!).

PS, I tore my hands up pretty good today in the last two minutes. I've gotta keep practicing the magic "grip skip" if I don't want to rip my palms off.  AND, sorry fot chopping my head off in the video!  I wasn't trying to make a production out of it, I was just wanting to verify rep count!

PPS  I hadn't realized that it had been 3 1/2 years since the last time I tested this!  Oh sure, I've done some hard ass stuff in between, but it was a different kind of hard!  As I approach my 50th birthday I'm stronger and more fit than ever....Okay, I admit I take a daily afternoon nap (like a baby), but I still show up and train!  lol!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Really? Get over yourself! Just do your sets!

Here was my workout....that was scheduled for today....but almost didn't happen....but glad it did...cause I'm crazy like that! I'm posting the video to all 4 sets of my GS training today, regardless of how proud I am...not.  In my last blog post I pretty much chronicled how my morning went, but without the real emotional crap of why I let myself fall victim to procrastination.

Not too bad actually.  
First set, 14kg jerk (32/32), I started left, I just have to get used to it!

Second set, 16kg (12/12) only 1 min/1 min.  Nothing to be afraid of...right?  right!  But still I should have done better. I let my fear get me in the last few reps and when I panic ever so slightly, that's it.  Totally forgot to breath right. Argh.

Good God, the 12kg feels like heaven!  I'm going to bed tonight visualizing this set feeling the same with the 16kg.  God please, help me see this in my mind.

16kg swing/ snatch, 30/30.  Better than last week.  Getting easier. In fact the best part of this set was how I got the bell to "float" during the ascend, skipping my grip on my L side....a bit more challenging on my R side.  but "floaty" none the less!

I tend to be dramatic, overly so, and I'm not really a fan of that kind of expression, unless it's fun!  And sometimes drama can be fun.  But when it is just plain being a weenie, with no real basis of fact,  then it's simply boring.  Ho hum.  Really?  Get over yourself already.  Puh-lease.

I'm loving my GS training.  Why?  Because it's a mystery that I HAVE to solve.  My GS training is a challenge, in a good way.  Not just the physical part, but the mental part, that requires an investment of time and respect....good God, is that dramatic or what?  lol

*Reminder:  Don't take yourself so seriously!

Here's the thing.  I'm pissed.  My left side, my "strong" side, seems so far behind my right side, my "stronger" side. How could such a discrepancy exist? I must be imagining it.  I soooo love my right side!  I love it so much that I have refused to change it as my "starting side" for years and years now!  I love my right side!

Newsflash.  You are weak as a kitten on you left side!  Get over it.  Change it, or be crushed.

Noooo!  Yeeeessss!  Okay.  Damn it.

I'm posting all of my sets today knowing I'm still a long way away from putting it all together.  I know the corrections, I just haven't had enough practice to put them all together at the same time.  BUT I will add that after looking at the video I'm not nearly as embarrassed as I thought I would be.

Lots of things, bits and pieces of proper technique, that fly out the window at the start!  "Breathing" is the very first thing, and for the life of me I can't figure out why I don't remember better breathing technique until half way through.  I know it, but I don't implement it. (?)

Relaxation.  How to use more of my total body for more efficiency.  I know it, but I forget.  I either go into survival (which won't take me far), or I it's just Hardstyle habits.  Loosen the grip already, DUH! (you can see me try and implement loosening my grip in the second half of my snatch set as I start to wiggle my fingers around rep 7)

Once I pulled my head out and got down to completing my sets, the only "goal" I had this morning was to "jump under" the bell, and hear my heels pound on the floor, under each jerk.  (thanks to Rebecca Riggs @ Juno...I was watching you!).  I was lucky enough to get a bit of coaching from Jason Dolby last week about locking out the jerk before standing up with it, and it was my main focus this morning.  Also a main focus was my breathing....which is easy to abandon when it's easy, and then again, it's easy to abandon when things start to get rough!  Argh!

Grip too tight,
Get the breathing right.
Do not compromise technique.
Too much "extra" movement in descend.
Get over fear of 16kg.  Just admit that it exists, and it's really not a valid fear.
Find the "sweet spot".  (I think I found it on my R in the last jerk set, so I'm anxious for the next workout to  try it our on my L)
So much to remember with the snatch.  But also remember you have been training this new technique for less that 4 months.  Get over yourself!

I've got to confess that I've been letting the 16kg play mind games with me.  Some of it has to do with old "tapes" playing in my head and some of it has to do with not training properly to build the foundation I need to.  And that's the focus of my next approach.  Paying attention to detail, when I can (breath), and starting to build a different base, a different foundation to go the distance.

August 17th, next competition.  Be there, or be square.

I Love My Life...but man, I make it so hard sometimes! Monday GS...the workout that almost didn't happen...because of a free orchid!

3:49am....Mark says, "Okay, its time."

I look at the clock.  What?  It's not even close to 4:00am.  Argh.  (I say to myself, "quit have the day off, he has to go to work!")

3:55am I get coffee for the two of us, even though I could go back to sleep, because I've got nothing to do, no one expecting me.  But I decide to quit being an ungrateful baby and get up at the same time I expect my man to start his day.

5:15am  Mark leaves for work.  No paid holidays in this business.  Me?  Oh...I check facebook, check my blog, check email.  I've got a GS workout scheduled for Mondays and Bikram yoga.  The usual household stuff.  Dishes, laundry, no cooking, but I could always spend some time putting things in cleaning off our desk/dining room table!

7:00am approaches....geez, I've got to get it together if I expect to jerk and snatch the 16kg this morning!  Maybe I need another day off?  Hmm...which schedule do I want to follow?  Do I want to do a "bit" of GS and still get to a 90 minute Bikram practice....considering I, kinda, overindulged on Saturday and I'm still paying the price I wanted to do neither!  God I DO NOT want to go to yoga...maybe I'll just go for a walk and do my GS sets and call it a day.  But then when is the next opportunity for stretching out?  Not until Wed., if I'm realistic.

7:45am  I know if I'm going to try and make the 9:15am yoga I need to get my GS practice done at least 30 minutes beforehand, otherwise I will not be able to lift my arms up in some of the postures...I take off for a "warm up" walk round my neighborhood.  Just 15-20 minutes and I'll come back and hit it!

15 minutes of walking and I notice a "garage sale" sign for today, Monday, one block over from me....oh, why not?  I hadn't 100% made up my mind to train my GS sets today or tomorrow anyway.

8:00am garage sale.  Browsing.  Found something I might want for $2 (a box of 12 brand new drinking glasses)...and then I find out this is an estate sale and they are selling all of the potted plants and really, anything in the yard....super cheap.  In fact they are giving it away!  But I'm on a time schedule.

A tall potted plant with a pedestal.  Free.  AND they will deliver it to my house 1 blk away in about 15 minutes!  Okay....maybe I can still make yoga, but do my GS sets tomorrow, on a regular kettlebell day.

I'll take it!

8:15am I get home and realize that nope, no GS, but I'll have time to do it big, except I kind of let myself down.  I had talked myself into thinking I needed one more day of recovery and justified it as such.  Okay, I suck, onto a free plant and yoga.

8:30-8:40am delivered by my neighbor....what a talky kind of guy....clock is ticking....I've got to leave by 8:45am to make 9:15 yoga.

8:45am I quickly check the yoga schedule and forgot that my studio is offering free classes this Memorial Day and suggests everybody pre register.  What?  Argh!  No time, I'll have to take my chances.....fill up my water bottle, jump in my car...

9:10am  I arrive at the yoga studio....completely full and they are turning people away!  No room.  Oh well, what could I expect?  I had messed up everything from the start!  Since I was already there I reserved a spot for 12noon.

9:20am  I did some shopping at Trader Joe's (same shopping center), went home to put groceries away.

9:55am, almost 10:00am.  Should I do my GS sets? Why not?  Man up, shut up, and do this "sh!#"!  You procrastinated all morning, quit being a baby.  You picked it, you play it.  Shut up and train.  Shake it off and do what you know you need to do.  It's only a few jerks and snatches!  Quit being so dramatic about it!

10:10am  Warm up.  A few GS swings, progressing in bell size...but not too much.  Set clock (I love my clock!)  Counting down now!

14kg jerk 32/32 (4 min, 1 hand switch, 4 min rest)
16kg jerk 12/12 (2 min, 1 hand switch, 4 min  rest)
12kg jerk 40.40 (4 min, rest as needed before snatch set)

16kg swing/snatch, 30/30

Bleepin' heck!  Done!  What was the big stinkin deal about?  Now get your ass to yoga!

12 noon that wasn't so bad, was it?

Moral of the story?  A couple actually!  But the biggest one?  Quit making life so hard!  Do what you say you are going to do!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Saturday Learn, Practice, Train

Pretty uneventful these days, just putting in the reps!  Saturday is turning out to be a mix of GS and HS (hardstyle) workouts for me.  Learning this new technique of the movement is only half of the training, I also am learning how to program my GS practice so I can train it!

First things first, I get my GS sets done since they require me to be at my freshest and strongest., AND I have to get used to starting with my L side instead of always starting R!  I give my two training partners options to train along, either with a GS flavor, or just regular HS technique.

For instance, I was scheduled to do a 3 minute 16kg snatch set paced at 20rpm, one hand switch (30/30).  I gave the option of any bell size, any number of hand switches, the only option they didn't have is that it was a 3 minute long set, period.  Do it any way you want!

I also had some jerk/ holds (5x5's), that I suggested they practice also because I think this exercise has great value in building strength.  "5x5" is when you hold the jerk overhead for 5 seconds, then rack and hold for 5 sec, repeat. This equals out to 6 reps per minute.  Our set was 4 minutes yesterday (one hand switch for me 16kg).

Onto our latest cycle of Max vo2.  This time around I'm using the 14kg.  Yesterday we completed 46 sets, on our way to 80.  I've got to look at a calendar to see how quickly I want to get this done. The timing needs to be right for my next meet.  I'm finding that using the 14kg is not nearly as irritating as the first time I used this weight for this style of training.  In fact I can see using it for some "Beyond Max" at some point.

46 set of 8 reps = 368 snatches (23 minutes)

High volume swings are next.  I'm scheduled to shoot my next video in a couple of weeks, so I'm working out some ideas with my partners.  Give and Take is my most popular workout dvd so I tried out some new options using the same format.  I think I came up with some good stuff!  For my own training I only used the 16kg and I did all two hand swings (although there will be one hand swing options on the next dvd)  We trained another 35 min and until I journal the exact workouts I'm confident we did at least 800 swing reps.

not bad.

My Intermediate class has at least two women that want to compete the 5 minute HS snatch test at my August GS meet, so we all started out with snatch practice.  Both of them passed the 5 minute test with the 8kg (20 rpm) and I had another pass it with the 10kg for the first time!  The rest of us used the 5 minute set broken into five 30/30 (work to rest) sets at the same pace 10 snatches per 30 sec.

Needless to say that everybody was pooped the second half of class!  But still we managed another 25 minutes if Give and Take practice (my students are always my Guinea pigs!  And I mean that in the nicest of ways!  So, another 500 swing reps, "give or take" a few (pun intended!)

Next?  Well, I was done and only had privates the rest of the morning.  And I had another snatch test to give!  And I'm happy to report that another student crushed her 5 min 12kg test so she can move onto the 14kg, and then fingers crossed....the 16kg by August!  No time for the weary!

How was you Saturday?  Did you learn something today?  Did you practice something today?  Did you exercise/train?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Stuck between "Facebook and a Rock"

Personally I visit a handful of my favorite blogs on a regular basis and it NEVER ever surprises me when someone quits posting regularly, or doesn't post in weeks and weeks, then comes back to apologize for being "lazy", or "preoccupied" with real life!  It's actually kind of funny to me because I completely understand!  Blogging, if you do not get paid to do it, via sponsorship, is a ton of work, and commitment to your ego!  I'm a big fan of my ego, but at the end of the day, even my ego gets tired!

Harper One Publishing helped me set up my Facebook fanpage, The Swing, to which I post almost daily.  Of course I want to promote sales of my book, The Swing, but what I like about Facebook is that has helped me "edit".  I often describe myself as a "long story teller", which is something I really would like to change about my writing style.  Facebook, kinda, allowed me to, in fact requires me to, implement this more streamlined approach to getting down to the "meat" of an issue/idea/point.  And for that it's fun.  But I haven't found the motivation to try and keep up with the "long stories" here on this blog in trade for the instant gratification I get from posting on Facebook.

I'm at a point in my life that I only have so much.  I'm not trying to hold back, or be stingy at all.  In fact I will gladly give you free workouts, give you recipes, give you crazy pie in sky thoughts, as well as confessions of a salted pistachio nut binge! (or a 31 Flavor Ice Cream binge!)

The truth of my life is that I am coming into my 50th year.  I'm old....and I mean that in the nicest of ways!  I'm not afraid.  In fact I could care less, EXCEPT for the fact that I have so much more I want to do in my life, and the reality that it is halfway over, kind of, sucks....kind of.

Anyway, enough about that!  Recently on Facebook I posted my love for lemon and limes.  I posted a sweaty picture of myself.  I posted the latest of my new found love of GS sport, and training at Juno Fitness. Facebook is about what is on the surface....

What I will never post on Facebook is my adventures in menopause, injury, figuring out "life".  My old habits of thought that keep me reacting to feeling like the "fat kid", binge eating, weight loss and weight gain.  These are personal.  And you might find me writing about these things here, on my blog, but not anywhere else.  These kind of subjects can be scary if you can't see them for what they are.  These kinds of feelings are just that..."feelings"  "Feelings" are NOT "facts".  I remind myself of this often.

I've reposted this "before and after" photo to share something very personal with anybody reading this blog.  Here I present two photos of myself, side by side, and in one photo I remember feeling "cute" that day.  In the other I remember feeling horribly "fat and bloated", "flat and tired".  Can you guess which is which?

This is really a crazy, crazy, human, messed up way of judging ourselves and a extreme example of perfectionism.  In the "before" image, taken at a family reunion in 2004, I distinctly remember wearing my new, "cute", pink and white striped top and black cropped pants....feeling as cute as I could, given the fact that I weighed closer to 260lbs than ever that day.  In my "after" picture I weighed, oh, about 135lbs, feeling bloated, tired, fat, and "less than" my potential.  (slightly in my defense, I had trained for over 3 hours that morning and was exhausted). The irony is that I actually felt better about myself in the "before" image than the day the "after" image photo was taken.  How messed up is that?

Posting these words (and pictures) are a big risk I'm taking about what I have to "sell" about this idea of finding the answer to the magic of losing weight, training for fitness, and creating a body that reflects a healthy lifestyle.

All I know is that I have to show up.  I have to show up, do the work, and the body will follow.  I have to know how to trust.  Facebook, my blog, my book, is nothing compared to how I live my everyday life.  At the end of the day it's just me.

No Facebook.  No book.  No blog.  No rock.  No Tim Ferriss.  No Harper One.  No lemons, no limes.      

If there was anything better than The Swing, then I would be doing it....just sayin.  If it's not for you, then so be it.  I hope you do find what it is for you....and that's honestly how I feel.  For me, I need look no further.

For the everyday joy, and maybe a bit of entertainment you can find me on Facebook.  For the joys, and the grinds, you will find me here.  It may take a few days, but no holds barred.  I really can't care anymore.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday Training and some Big Girl (or Big Boy) Advanced HV Swings (high volume)

After my GS jerk and snatch set (16kg, *see below) we did our second Max Vo2 snatch workout in a new cycle I started last weekend.  Last weekend we did 30 sets total (15 R, 15 L).  I think I did the first 10 sets with a 12kg competition bell and finished off the last 20 sets with the 14kg. Today we did 36 sets total.

The rest of this cycle (to 80 sets) will be done with the 14kg (I may use the 14kg comp bell for some of this, I haven't yet decided).  I'm pretty sure I never completed an entire 80 set Max cycle w/14kg, but I'm pretty sure I made it to 75 sets.  Now that I know a bit more about snatch technique the 14 feels light. In fact so light I may just do the next cycle of Max with the 16kg. (which I have done partially already, but years ago)

Oh, but one more thing.  I trained the first 10 sets alternating R to L every other rep, but sets 10-30 I alternated every 5 sets. So sets 10-14 R, 15-19 L, 20-24 R, 25-29 L, ending with alternating R and L until the last set #36.  My first 2 sets were 7 reps each, the remaining 34 set were 8 reps = 286 snatches.

Saturday is my super duper high volume swing day.  "Super duper" could be (and has been) 10 minute continuous sets, (200 reps), but at least sets of 100-120 (2.5-3 min).  No other day of the week do I do this kind of volume.  Sure, on my other two training days I may swing 1000 reps or more but not within a very short period of time, about 45 minutes.

Last week I swung the 16 and 18kg for all of my one hand HV swings, and I probably could have used the 16 for the second "round", and it wasn't that I was feeling weak, it's just that I wanted to back off  slightly, so  Today I used the 14kg for all of my swings.  I know from experience that constant hammering myself into the ground is not working smart, and is actually counter productive.  In the second round I did decide to alternate the one hand swing sets with two hand swings, (journaled in parenthesis) because it's been a really long time since I have done more than 40 continuous 2 hd swings.  This morning I did a set of 90, 70, 50 and 30, in addition to some usual sets of 10, 20, 40 and 50 in the following Intermediate class (another 600+ swing reps).

Big Girl and Big Boy One hand swing ladders

10 R/ 10 L x 10 = 100 reps (2.5/1 min)
9 R/ 9 L x 10 = 90 reps  (2.25/1 min) (2nd rotation 2 hd swings)
8 R/ 8 L x 10 = 80 reps (2.0/.75)
7 R/ 7 L x 10 = 70 reps (1.75/.75) (2nd rotation 2 hd sw)
6 R/ 6 L x 10 = 60 reps (1.5/.5)
5 R/ 5 L x 10 = 50 reps (1.25/.5) (2nd rotation 2 hd sw)
4 R/ 4 L x 10 = 40 reps (1.0/.25)
3 R/ 3 L x 10 = 30 reps (.75/.25) (2nd rotation 2 hd sw)
2 R/ 2 L x 10 = 20 reps (.5/rest as long as you need to repeat starting with 100 reps, we rested 1 minute and repeated)

540 swing reps per rotation, 20 minutes
1080 reps, 40 minutes

Basically we started with one 100 rep set of swings, which takes 2.5 minutes, taking a 1 minute rest period.  Every two sets I decreased the rest period by 15 seconds.  (I've journaled the work to rest ratios in parenthesis).  It worked out perfectly, always making sure we were completing our work sets at a more that 2 to one ratio.

We had 5 minutes left to our 90 minute training session so why not end with an additional 100 reps  "equal work to equal rest",. 1 set each of 40, 30, 20, 10. (2 hd sw) = 5 min

1180 swings, 45 min.

There you go!  Enjoy!

PS  I would have video taped it all for you but that is some serious boredom going on, listening to me count to 100 and down!  But then again, if you are at this level of work then you're a big girl or boy, and it shouldn't be a problem for you to get your ass in the gym and just do it!  Lol  Oh, and I done this exact rotation with snatches before too!  Hmmm....good idea....

PPS Photo above is my left side 16kg jerk that I was supposed to finish 3 minutes before switching to my right....bottom photo?  Me switching to my right after only 2 minutes!  Darn!  Oh well, that's the practice!

*16kg jerk, 5 x 5 18 reps L/R, 6 minute set (3/3min).  I started L, and had to switch to my right after only 2 min.  Completed 3 minutes L, and went back to L, completing the remaining minute.  Not exactly, not even close to the same effect.  But at this point I just need the opportunity to practice technique.
  16kg snatch 30/30 reps, 3 min (90 sec R and L), no prob.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mini Sin, the last peak to climb.

Whew!  Yesterday we finished the last super heavy workout of this past 6 week cycle that included the 32kg.  Last week was actually the hardest with only a slight back off, but only in terms of how the swing sets were done, NOT in weight moved.

We did the same exact Sinister ladder, only backwards.  So still 50 reps per round, four bells, (all heavy!), one round each laddering down from most heavy to least heavy (notice I didn't write "heavy to light"!).

20 reps (30 sec break)
15 reps (7 sec break)
10 reps (15 sec break)
5 reps (22 sec break)


3 rounds w/each bell
30 min, 600 swings

2 more rounds laddering reps and laddering weight for one and ending the last round entirely using only the least heavy bell.

20 rep w/20kg
15 rep s/24kg
10 reps w/28kg
5 reps w/32kg

last round w/20kg (50 reps)

40 minutes total workout, 800 swings, 17,800 lbs moved.  Last week 15, was the last two additional rounds that I added at the end of this workout that increased total workload.

Now we will back off for a few days and test our snatch numbers next week.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pie in the Friggin' Sky.....

Here's the thing....  Is my life great? Is my life cush?  Absolutely, without a doubt, which is why I resist complaining about a darn thing.  Especially publicly.  And here's the other thing....  For the most part, a big, huge "most part" I live a positive life with positive thoughts and positive outcomes. Rarely do I engage in negativity, putting others down, wishing ill or bad luck to anybody else, jealousy, or envy.  No one else has anything I think I can't have for myself, if I was honest about being willing to do the work and sacrifices it takes for anything my little heart desires (or for the joy of it, if you look at it that way).  And it is this philosophy I most want to feel and have thoughts about in every single second of the day.

Which is why it confuses me when I have the complete opposite feelings and thoughts!  This confusion is why I don't write about it.  I really don't know how to write about these sort of things, the thoughts and feelings I don't want to have, without perpetuating the exact things I do not want  ...whoops, see!  If I say these things out loud (which is the same as writing down in black and white, publicly) then I am in fact perpetuating thoughts, habits, and fears I don't want, and risk creating them in my life.

I do not believe in owning,


I do however find myself having old fashioned thoughts and feelings of these things.  I think I like that description!  "Old fashioned"!

Yes, I do have thoughts that are opposite of what I believe.  No, I do not dwell on them, or even believe them, but they occasionally come into my brain.  Sometimes they stay in my brain way longer than feels comfortable and I ask myself why.  Why am I having these thoughts when I don't believe them?

Example...and it's a big one!  Ready?  Don't be shocked!  It's just a thought.

"Everything that is wrong in my life is because I am fat." Yep, it's true.  I actually have these thoughts.  (but less and less all the time, and one day, maybe today I will never have these thoughts ever again because these thoughts are not true. These thoughts are just old fashioned habits of thought I used to have, for God only knows what reason.)

"People don't like me because I'm fat.  I'm not good at anything because I'm fat.  I could be so much more if I weren't fat.  Being fat is the cause of any and all of my grief."

Am I fat?  Um, no.  So why do I have these thoughts and feelings?  I really am tired of it all.  Aren't I too old for this?  I think I am.

I've decided to write about this now because I don't know what else to do about it.  On one hand I don't want to be boring and I certainly do not want commiseration or sympathy....yuck.  Feelings are not facts.  I've had some weird things happen in the past couple of months and I plan on blogging about these experiences.  I'm choosing to look at them as "weird" because it's the only way I can not attach too much negative emotion about them.

As much as I have resisted writing about things in my life that others could interpret as "problems" or "struggles" I also have resisted and pulled back on writing and sounding "pie in the sky", as if my life is perfect.  I have been choosing to write about training and recipes mostly because at least it's a positive force in my life.  There is pie in the sky, and I can enjoy the choice of eating it, or I can just appreciate it's beauty and art.  I can interpret it as a symbol of something else, something less literal.  Although pie is pretty cool!  Pie is just a representation of abundance, wealth (which rhymes with health btw!), goodness, magic and luck.  And the sky?  Well, the sky is the limit!

Can I have my pie and eat it too?  Why not?  Bring it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

You Are What You Eat Eats!

"You are what you eat"?  Or "you are what your food eats"?  Buying meat that is from grass fed and pasture raised animals is number one priority for a lot of people these days, but where is that pasture?  What kind of grass is in that pasture?  What kind of bugs are in that grass?  This is especially true with eggs!  Do your own taste test with different sources of  "pastured eggs", I did after having this conversation with a foodie student of mine (Julie's the best ever!)  When I mentioned that I was doubting the quality of the pastured eggs I was buying at the Farmers' Markets ($7dz) Julie shared the results of a side by side taste test she did on her own with 4 separate egg sources, all "pasture raised and fed", including her own chicken's eggs!

Julie started raising her own chickens this year and when she decided to put her own eggs up against 3 other brands of pastured eggs she was shocked at the results!  Two of the sources are sold at our local FM's and one that is sold at a high end grocery in Palo Alto.  Her eggs came in 3rd out of 4!  So she did a little research and realized she needed to feed her chickens better!  It was what the chickens were eating!

I believe Julie fried the 4 eggs and not only tasted a difference but could see a difference in the size and color of the yolks.  For my test I only had two different $9 dz pastured eggs, and I asked the location of the pasture (one north of me toward SF, the other Austin TX!).  One source was the FM (Vital Farms) and the other the PA market Julie told me about (Wattle and Comb), those eggs came in first in her test by the way, so I high tailed it over there for a couple dozen!

I chose to soft boil them, because that's how I like them!  One was easier to peel, and that was not surprising as the W&C eggs I've had for about 1 week now, and the VF ones I just purchased on Sunday.  Fresher eggs are harder to peel, and that was true in my experience.  But fresher or not, the taste and look paled in comparison.  The W& C eggs were the clear winners.  Creamier and deeper in flavor as well as the yolks were more gold and larger compared to the white.  The VF eggs were fine, but more bland, dryer and the yolks less yellow and smaller compared to the white. I tasted both with no salt at all and then just a lite sprinkle.

So, moral of the story?  Don't just assume a product is the best you can spend your hard earned money on because it's labeled organic, pastured, natural, air chilled, grass fed. In fact I'm already suspecting the Vital Farms eggs to not be pasture fed, instead I believe they have access to a pasture and therefore can be labeled as "pastured".  Or for that matter maybe the foods you grow and raise aren't getting what they need to produce the best quality and flavor either!  Nothing beats taking the time to make comparisons, side by side, if it's that important to you.  If I'm going to pay $9 for a dozen eggs then gosh darn I want the best!

Picture at top: Vital Farms on the left (, Wattle & Comb on the right. ( Picture bottom R: W&C left and VF right.

Friday, May 10, 2013

original sin Thursday 5/9

No playing around this morning.  Straight to the heavy bell after a 10 minute warm up of mostly 40 2 hd sw sets

original sin

5, 10, 15, 20 uphill rep ladder

32kg, 28kg, 24kg, 20 kg x 3 rotations

I reintroduced the 20kg and completely took away the 16kg.  One round each, starting with the 32kg. 150 reps each, 600 swings total, 30 min.

15,600lb moved.

This was pretty much the top of cycle in terms of difficulty, not load.  Next week is our last week, in which we will use both uphill and downhill Sinister ladder (Original and Mini Sin).  Step back from the really heavy stuff for about 7-10 days, and then test our snatch.

Next cycle will be back to dbl 16kg's.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Brick House

On my way to yoga this morning I had the radio on......why is it that there can be so many channels and nothing good to listen to?  Anyway, it seemed as if every station was playing an advertisement so I went looking to some of the channels I don't normally go to first and landed on the R & B oldie station 98.1 KISS radio.  Now, I'm totally old school R & B, I grew up with this kind of music so I'm down!  (omg, did I just write that?)  What comes on?  The Commodores, "Brick House"!  Who does not like "Brick House"?

Who doesn't like the song "Brick House"? These days some people that consider themselves "PC" I would guess!  I mean the lyrics are outrageous if you think about it!

She's a brick----house
Mighty mighty, just lettin' it all hang out
She's a brick----house
The lady's stacked and that's a fact, 
ain't holding nothing back. 

She knows she got everything
a woman needs to get a man, yeah. 
How can she use, the things she use
36-24-36, what a winning hand! 

I mean really!  If a man were to say these things about a woman today he would be, oh I don't know, lets just say it's a bit objective.  (of course I know modern music, especially rap music is crazy nasty, but let me finish)  Music gets away with so much doesn't it?

So, I'm listening to this song, feeling the beat, remembering the "day", but kind of laughing at the lyrics.  Then I started thinking about this woman, this "brick house" of a woman.  Who is she?

She is not so much objectified in her opinion as she is in charge of her life.  In this song, this woman, this "brick house", uses her feminine shape and sexuality as an advantage, and it seemed obvious by the description, in a modern taste, what she might look like.  But is it her actual measurements or her energy, her confidence that makes her attractive?  I started to look closer and see more meaning behind "brick house".

I started imagining the confidence, the power, the strength of a brick house.  The solidness of a structure that was unshakable.  For women I think some of that can in fact come with the feeling that we look good, nice, pretty, beautiful,, clever, witty and sophisticated...strong.  But all of these feelings are subjective.  We can feel like we are all these things no matter what anybody else thinks of our looks, or how we act!  That is the definition of confidence.

Moving on to more of a literal translation.  "Brick house".  Solid.  Strong.  Quality.  Unmovable.  Lasting.  Engineered.  Structured.  Serious and ready for whatever life, the weather, the elements will bring.

I visualized myself as a "brick house" in every meaning of the term.  As a woman confident in her presence. As a woman that knows who she is and does not apologize for wanting more in life, to be more, to be my best.  To be that structure that does not compromise.

As a woman competing in a sport that requires strength I could see my "brick house", my physical body snatching a heavy kettlebell overhead and locking out with the strongest of foundations that I prepared and built, brick by brick, practice by practice.  I could see my body as a brick house under that bell, unafraid and almost daring it to take me down....knowing I was stronger, smarter, and I would be the winner.

I grabbed my phone and wrote myself a note..."brick house".  This is the image I will see if and when feel doubt.  This is the image to which I will build a stronger confidence. This is the image I will concentrate on as I fall asleep at night.  I will put it all together, one by one, day by day, I will show up and do the work, cuz I'm a brick house!  I'm mighty mighty!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

My GS Adventure Continues with Saturday Training

I'm not supposed to be back to my GS training yet "officially", but I thought I'd play around this morning with the 16kg snatch.  I ended up doing five 2 min sets with one hand switch (1 min R/ 1 min L), resting for 2 minutes in between sets.

One minute R and one minute L is hardly training for GS, but to be honest I think the very first time I had ever snatched for an entire minute long on one hand with the 16kg was just this past year!  Funny how it doesn't even scare me anymore at all.  More than 1 minute with a 16kg? Well, it starts to get really scary after 2  minutes.  At that point, considering where I am right now, I bow to the GS Gods!

Using only a 12kg comp bell I warmed up with:

20 tr sw x 2 sets (30/30)
1 sw/1tr x 10 x 2 sets (30/30)
1 sw, 1 sn, 1 tr x 12 x 2 sets (1 min/1 min)
1 sw/1 sn R for 30 sec + 1 sw/1 sn L for 30 sec x 2 sets (one set w/16kg)

Work sets

set one
21 R/22 L
set two
21 R/18 L
set three
19 R/ 19 L
set four
19 R/17 L
set 5
18 R/15 L

98 R/91 L

Now, when I can get these numbers without stopping or switching!  lol...yeah I'll do it!  (I get to train with at least one woman that has and believe you me, I'm taking notes!)

Somewhere along the line I remembered how to breath!  But honestly, there were so many elements to technique I was trying to think about.  Mostly how to "skip" my hand from one grip over my palm into a different grip in order to save my hands. The heavier the bell the more brutal it gets on the hands/grip.

Onto swing practice....

I am having so much fun designing the Intermediate Top 40 workouts!  So Meg and I did some serious "1 minute plus" swing combinations.  I like to practice new stuff with a variety of rest intervals looking for that "sweet spot".  Not too hard, but not too easy either!  We ended up completing, probably just around 1000 swings in about 40 minutes. I say about because I did not have a Gymboss to count intervals and after journaling what I think we did.  (I know, I know!  Those that know me should be shocked that I didn't keel over and pass out without my Gymboss!)  Anyway, I seem to have come up a minute or so short of swings, but I'm not 100%.  Let me tell you, it felt like 1000 reps!  (14kg for me)

8:30-9:30 Intermediate class.  600 swings, multiple sw/snatches. Goblet squats and Halo's

10:00-11:00 privates

shopping, home, food, wine, was your day?

Friday, May 3, 2013

"Min Sin", Sinister Ladder Training....sometimes you gotta step back to step forwards!

Still ramping up and moving some big weights for a couple of more weeks before taking a back off week.  This whole Sinister training cycle is turning out to be an interesting one.

As I've wrote about before there are a couple of different angles Sinister puts to work even though the rep count averages out to an "equal work to rest" ratio.  The grip of course.  Done originally with all two hand swings the last two sets challenge the grip with a total of 35 reps done in a minutes time. You would think that that's not too big of a deal since you could technically do 40 continuous reps in that same minute, 5 more reps = more work, right? Well, there is something about "starting and stopping" that takes a different kind of work!  Although 35 is less than 40, that one extra time you have to put the bell down and pick it back up again (think power swing) with a 7 sec rest produces a challenge.

I did in fact journal last weeks Sinister Ladder training that I will edit into this post over the weekend, but I wanted to get yesterdays training journaled before I forget.  I also designed a brand new "Mini Sinister" that I posted the video demonstration of on facebook while at the airport last Thursday, but since I was headed out of town and had a competition to think about I did not have time to explain it, other than to describe it as I lead you through the demo.

Mini Sinister ("Min Sin")

Don't let it fool you!  It's just as Sinister!  Min Sin ladders down, starting at 20 reps, 15, 10, ending with 5 reps.  You have to complete the longest set first and this gets your heart rate up quickly.  You do have 30 seconds to recover before the next set of 15, but then you only get 7 seconds to pick the bell up again to complete the next 10 reps.  This is where the grip still gets challenged, but not as intensely as original Sinister.  You then get the rest of the 30 sec interval (15 sec remain) before ending the round with only 5 do not get a full 30 seconds before starting again with 20 reps!  Oh sure, it's still a generous rest of about 22 seconds, that's why it's Mini Sin!  A bit easier designed to ease into the original, or to use with the original protocol as we did yesterday!  And I have to say, it was brilliant!

Last week I removed the 20kg from our weight ladder, leaving the 32, 28, and 24kg.  Still the 16kg remained as our alternating bell size.  This week instead of using all of the bells within a Sinister round we used the same bell for all 4 sets, 1 set backwards (Min Sin) and one round forwards (original Sin...that's funny actually, lol)

Set your timer for 30 second intervals.  First set of 20 reps starts at the beginning of the first interval.  Rest the next interval.  Start 15 reps on the 3rd interval, leaving about 7 seconds rest. Start 10 reps on the 4th interval, leaving 15 sec rest.  Start the last set of 5 reps on the 5th and last interval.  Repeat.  Both versions of Sinister are five 30 second intervals = 2.5 minutes, 50 swing reps each round.

20 (30 sec)
30 sec rest
15 (23/7 sec work to rest)
10 (15/15)
5 (7/23)

We warmed up with one 16kg round of Sinister 5-20.  Next I decided to start the 32kg rounds with Min Sin, 20-5 before a round of 5-20 original Sin.

16kg 5-20
32kg 20-5/5-20 (100 reps)
28kg 20-5/5-20 (100 reps)
24kg 20-5/5-20 (100 reps)

Here is where I get a bit creative.  I wasn't finished with the heavy bells yet wanting to do at least half of the reps alternating with a lighter bell. We did sets 1 and 4, 20 reps and 5 reps with our heavy bells and the two sets in between 15 and 10 reps with the lighter bell.  That equalled 25 reps heavy, 25 reps light.

20 w/32kg
15 w/16kg
10 w/16kg
5 w/32kg

repeat replacing the 28 and 24kg for the 32kg.

last round all with the 16kg

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Argh, the gory details of my 10 minute (technically), I mean 9 minute 12kg jerk set

I'm spoiled.  I was spoiled.  I was quickly spanked.

It's been 5 days since my weekend competition and I'm a completely different person today than I was, oh about 4 days and 10 hours ago.  Something so unpredictable happened to me in my first set of the morning that left me blindsided.  Of course it's never happened to me before because I've never been a competitive athlete before! Long story short...okay, long story long....

First set, 3rd flight, 10:30am, 10 minute jerk, 12kg.  No problem.  I wasn't at all afraid of lasting the ten minutes like I was the first time, I've put in enough practice, and with my all of the training I've done and handling of the bell for the past 7 years the 12kg is entry level.  But, like everybody else I had to complete Level 1 in order to advance to a heavier bell.  As my coach John Wild Buckley says it, I had to "put the 12kg to bed."  I had a certain number in my head of 130 reps (my first ever total was 90 reps almost 3 months ago) just under and based on Galina Denzels total, a friend I had competed alongside to in February.  I had practiced a 24 RPM pace enough to know that in competition, with added benefit of adrenaline, the outcome could be even better!

The set starts.  Feeling great.  Feeling more than great.  The bell felt light.  I had already decided to go over the 5 minute half way mark with my "stronger" starting side (R) because in practice it was always my "strong" L side that petered out in the last 30 seconds, just after the 4 minutes of continuous reps.  Fine, no problem.  Great plan, although I had never tested it that way.

Smokin' pace, in fact over 30 reps per minute!  At the 6 minute mark, where I pre decided I would switch to my L, I had 92 reps!  2 reps more at 6 minutes with only one hand, my right, than my last entire total!  I was unstoppable.  Next to me a seasoned veteran of whom I have the highest respect for, Rebecca Taylor Riggs, same bell size (one weight class under).  At one point I was matching her rep for rep and then the hand switch.....

Of all the things I was worried about going into the competition it was dropping the bell during the transfer from R to L.  But a it was a seamless and smooth transition.  Uh's now firmly and safely in my left hand, but I'm not moving.  I froze. My nervous system shut down and I was paralyzed.  What the heck just happened?  I couldn't move.  I could not make my body move in the way I knew it needed to in order to complete one jerk.  Not one rep.  I kept thinking that all I had to do was to catch my breath....but it wasn't my breath, it wasn't my strength, it was that my body and my brain were completely disconnected.

Mark explains that I probably went over 100% effort on my stronger side, creating a huge load on my nervous system from the opposite side of my body (my right side), and that resulted in my left hip just shutting off.  Panic started to set in.  All I could think about was that with only one hand switch I could not go back to my R side, to the groove I had so effortlessly found just seconds before. In fact, looking back at it I felt as if I could have done the whole ten minutes without ever switching, WHY DID I SWITCH, WHY?   Because I had to, and that was not the problem!  6 minutes with 4 minutes remaining is a long time, and I would have most likely crashed and burned even worse!

Okay, so there I was paralyzed, and I'm not kidding!  It seemed an eternity.....I could only try and focus on the task at hand. In my head I went down the list, repeating the order to the technique as I know it, starting with the very first step, "set up...elbow on hip..."  When you get there, "drop your knees under your hips, load your quads, explode out of the stretch, jump under the bell and lock out..." Nope, I couldn't budge.  I repeated, "Set up, elbow on hip......drop your knees under your hips, load your quads, explode out of the stretch, jump under the bell, lock out..."  Nothing.

Between feeling devastated and trying to pull my head out of my ass somehow I managed to move my body and gut out one rep. It was the "old" hardstyle type of jerk that I knew would take me no where.  I loaded my hips instead of my quads and squatted the bell into the air.  Well, that was ugly! Okay, goes again I can't give up...this is impossible, this can not be happening....  Yes, finally, omg, am I really getting some reps?  It can't be.  I was feeling so out of communication with my movement, but keep going. It's a freakin' miracle once I looked at the video because I truly do not remember one good rep from this point on before I feel it start to fade again.  My body and mind disconnected, it just won't do what I want it to do.

Here's the thing.  I know "Hardstyle" jerks will only get me so far.  Even though I knew how to execute GS jerks I could not move my body through the sequence.  I could hear it in my head, but maybe this is where my amateur brain did not think to visualize it strong enough to relax and trust...and feel.  I had been blindsided, never knowing about this kind of possibile experience.  But I do now!

To be honest I'm not all that excited to post the video and let me warn you the last minute is R rated.

The last minute.  The last MINUTE?  Good God!  As I approached the nine minute mark a couple of my reps were not good, and and I knew it.  The reps were called as such, "No count, push press."  After the last meager attempt just before the 9 minute mark I never gave up hope.  I knew I had kicked some serious ass before the switch, and I never gave up hope of the 130 rep count I had dreamed about.  Just one more, just one more....I'm getting teary now just recounting it.  But still I couldn't move correctly, I just couldn't make it happen.

"ONE MINUTE!" remaining.

Out of the blue Rebecca, kicking and hauling ass of her own during her own set on the platform to the left of me, shouts out, "C'mon Tracy!"

I kept praying, "One more rep, shit, just one?  Please?  Damn, fuck, I can't believe it!  You are so much better than this, just one more.  Please, get it together, you can do it...feel it...nope, damn.  Shit." I hear Mark in the background, "Calm down!"  Whoops...fuck it I don't care, I'm pissed!

I can feel John, my coach, get up from his sitting position behind me.  For some crazy reason I found this comforting.  Of course he couldn't rescue me, but at least he could see that his efforts now just needed to be that of reassurance.  "Don't put the bell down!  C'mon, just a few more seconds, you got it!"

I wasn't planning on putting the bell down ever!  It was not my strength that was gone.  It was not my will that was gone.  It was not the belief in myself that was gone.  As John would say it was not my heart that was gone.  None of it ever left me.  If anything I was embarrassed, and 130 never seemed impossible.

Bottom line, end of story.  I did not complete one more rep for over an entire minute.  I completed 92 rep on my R side before switching to my L.  Somehow I pulled another 30 reps out of my ass in 3  of the 4 minutes remaining on my L side.  Total 122, eight reps under my own secret ambition.

This is only the recount of my jerk set!  So many things lead up to this outcome and so many lessoned learned.  I'm not blaming any other one event prior to this result, but looking back on the entire experience there is a long list of things I will never ever do the same again!

At the end of the day, if I expect to share the platform with extraordinary athletes that live and breath this sport, then I better put my big girl pants on and bring my best.  What is my best?  I promise from this point forward she will be at the next meet and every one afterwards!

More to come! After all I still had a 10 minute 12kg snatch set to do!

Thanks for listening!

PS  The most painful part of this video is after John stands up and twirls the rep counter around his fingers into his hand, almost "wrapping it up" knowing he would not need it to count another rep.  :( sad face!  Personally I've only watched it in it's entirely one time.  I'm trusting any of you that are motivated to sit through the 10 minutes of video to comfort me by telling me that it wasn't that bad!  In the last minute I do my share of cursing and I apologize.  I really couldn't believe what was happening, but I never gave up.

A very deep special thanks to Rebecca who kicked serious ass!  To John, of course.  To Sara Lightfoot, super bad ass 16kg snatcher that I can dream of being like!  (Juno rocks!)  To Tom Corrigan, of whom you might meet in my next blog post about my snatch set, and all the new strong friends that I met during this very special GS adventure!

And of course, my loving and supportive husband to whom none of this could ever possibly have happened.  Who flew in Saturday morning and took a $70 cab ride to get to my see my first set in time!  He's the best, and always there when I need him!