Crossfit, Paleo, and all things Army

Posts Tagged ‘crossfit

Single leg burpees and PT tests

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You guys want to know what the most awkward exercise known to the Crossfit world is? The single leg burpee. Also known as- “How I discovered that I have a definite strength and balance inequality between my right and left legs.” It is EXACTLY what it sounds like. And it brought back some VIVID flashbacks of when I was a hefty middle schooler and on the dance team. (There are no cuts in middle school sports. HAH! Sadly, I did not make the team after my freshman year of high school. Some of us were not destined to become ballerinas. Sniff.) Anyway, while the other girls were did their perfect pirouettes and kicked high and straight, I clunked through the songs like an elephant.. well, like an elephant attempting to do pirouettes and high kicks.

Just kidding. Seriously though, no one has ever described me as “graceful.” So today’s WOD was particularly awful, since the whole thing called for coordination. After some bench presses (which I rocked, b-t-dubs) it was 10,8,6,4, and 2 reps for time of single arm DB jerk and single leg burpees. It was one of those workouts where you just feel like you spend lots of time/effort concentrating on your form, and so the whole workout feels awkward and just.. off. I won’t say that I didn’t get a good workout, because I did leave sweaty and breathless, but it wasn’t like yesterday’s workout that utterly destroyed me. (It was a chipper which included an obscene amount of overhead squats, pull ups, and KB swings). It’s alright though, not every workout is going to feel great, and hopefully the time spent concentrating on my form will pay off later.

Let’s take a minute to talk about fitness. That was out of nowhere, but I couldn’t think of a good way to transition, so deal with it. So as you can see from previous posts on this blog, I used to be heavily into running. Like- that was all I did, that and push ups and crunches so I could pass my PT test. I’ll get into running v crossfit on a later post, but I want to talk about my fitness history. I have a PT test Thursday morning, so I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. For most of my Army career, I’ve scored a 290 or above on my PT test (the highest score being 300). This test consists of a 2 mile run, 2 minutes of push ups, and 2 minutes of situps. In spring 2012, or right before I discovered crossfit, I scored a 300. I thought I was AMAZING shape. I was by Army standards anyway. And then the guy I was seeing at the time dragged me to my first ever crossfit workout. And it DESTROYED me. As in, I was sore for days. And I sat there thinking, I’m in shape, right? The Army says I’m in shape. I run all the time! (Although to be completely honest, I had begun to fall out of love with running by then, due to numerous injuries, overtraining, and really just plain boredom). So if I’m in such great shape, why did some pull ups, air squats, and push ups render me unable to lift myself off of the couch for an entire week? (For the record, my first ever crossfit workout was Murph. If you don’t know what that is, you should look it up and do it. It’ll be fun, I promise).
And that’s what prompted the startling revelation. I’m not really in shape. In the last year and some change, I’ve become more fit than I’ve ever been, but my PT scores have failed to hit 300, or even 290. I used to define myself as a Soldier by how well I scored on my PT test. I used to get so nervous before PT tests that I wouldn’t sleep the week before one was scheduled. When I did sleep I’d have nightmares about failing it. One test (that I scored a 290 on), I was so nervous that I had diarrhea, between all 3 events. Ridiculous, right?
Maybe it was because I started doing crossfit and fitness took on a whole new meaning for me, or maybe it was just because six years of psyching myself out before a minimum twice-yearly PT was exhausting, but I just stopped caring how well I did. That’s not to say that I would be ok with scoring 180 (the absolute minimum), but I no longer feel the same pressure to max every event. I know I’m fit, although I might not be able to crank out 80 sit ups in 2 minutes anymore. But in light of the fact that I can squat with 80 pounds over my head, and I can clean 85 pounds, this seems unimportant. Because when I started doing crossfit over a year ago, I couldn’t even do a proper air squat, let alone an over head one. So we’ll see how I do on this PT test on Thursday, but I’m not stressing. It’s just another workout.

Hope the rest of your week is smooth and fast!


Written by blusunshinesarah

June 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Posted in Working Out

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So here I am, already getting behind on my posts. In my defense, the last couple of weeks of basic training are almost as bad as the first, hours-wise. Week 8 is FTX (field training exercise) all week long, so you’re either out in the field with the privates overnight, or you’re getting home really late. Week 9 is Period 4 and graduation. Let me tell you about a few days of absolute awesomeness that is Period 4. The privates arrive from their FTX and 16k ruckmarch sweaty, dirty, and disgusting. Their gear is dirty, their weapons are dirty, their wall lockers are a mess.. And so the fun begins. They (and by extension, you) have 3 days (sometimes less, if someone important has some meeting that cannot be moved) to get EVERYTHING cleaned, dress uniform put together, wall lockers and bunks laid out perfectly.. It’s rough. And they don’t really care. You do, because if their uniforms, weapons, and gear look like shit, it’s not really on them, it’s on you. Just like everything else in the Army, when a subordinate messes up, it’s because the leader messed up somewhere as well. So if they look bad, you look REALLY bad. So you have all these privates, that don’t really grasp the importance of Period 4 inspections (I feel like I neglected to mention that these activities culminate in an inspection by your Battalion Sergeant Major, your Battalion Commander, and various First Sergeants. I did? Well, they’re inspections. By important people.), and you’re running your ass off trying to make sure all the bunks look the same, all the weapons are clean, and all of their shirts and shorts are rolled tightly to the length of a dollar bill. If if by chance the bays look different? What if the half the wash clothes are folded so the crease faces to the left and half are folded so the crease faces to the right? Well- you best believe that you’re going to get reinspected. Yes, you. Not the privates, although that’s what you tell them. YOU. Trust me. It happened to me the cycle before last. All the privates went to a whining session with the Sergeant Major (CSM), and all the Drill Sergeants stood by their bunks and got reinspected. So. To recap: I’ve been busy, Period 4 inspections suck, and now I’m free. Oh yea, I forgot about that last part. The only good thing about Period 4 inspections is that you know it’s the last weekend before all the privates graduate.. so it’s the last weekend before freedom.

And speaking of freedom: ROCKLAHOMA BABY!! Immediately following graduation on Friday the boyfriend and I drove up to Pryor, OK to go to this huge rockfest.. and I mean huge. Thousands of people were there, along with some amazing bands: Bush, Alice in Chains, Halestorm, Korn, Skillet, and Guns n Roses to name a few. It was a great time- we drank, we ate a bunch of deliciously bad (and totally non paleo) food,we partied hard. Well- they partied hard. I just partied. I like to drink, but I’m not much of a drink-til-you-puke-then-rally-er. I drink until I hit my limit, then I stop. I know, I’m lame. But I’ve also never puked or passed out from drinking, so I still feel like a winner.

Image A random picture of our campsite for you. Yes, that IS a Vietnam-era Army tent.

But all that partying this weekend did not translate to doing any form of exercise (unless you count walking from our camp site to the main stage and some fist pumping), or eating anything even kind of paleo. (Case in point: I ate pizza 2 days in a row, and nachos, and ice cream, and.. well, you get the picture. I was bad). And to top it off, because as I pointed out before, weeks 8 and 9 are crazy busy, the only working out I did over about 2 weeks was “running” with the privates. But when you mess up, all you can do is climb back on the wagon and try to clean up.

I actually did pretty good once I got back this week. I cooked paleo every night (except Friday, since the whole battery went to Meers-home of amazing, and huge, longhorn beef burgers), I went running twice and did crossfit twice. I did crossfit today as well, but since it was an open gym, I just picked a workout that I missed last week and did it.. but clearly I cannot be trusted to push myself to my limits on my own, since it was two 10 minute AMRAPS.. and I cut the second one to five minutes. (In my defense, it was pistols.. after the first 10 minutes of hang squat cleans and jerks.. and it hurt my poor, unexercised quads). Anyways, the boyfriend, who picked up a new cycle of privates and is back to working insane hours, is home, so I’m off to enjoy the little time we have together. Have a good weekend!!

Written by blusunshinesarah

June 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Staff duty and other rambles

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Sometimes I feel like I spend a good portion of my time in the Army counting down time. When I’m in  training for something, like at all four of my AIT times (I spent a year and a half in Monterey, CA learning Korean, a year total at Goodfellow Afb, and 5 weeks at Ft Huachuca), or when I’m counting down months until I move, or even when I’m counting hours or minutes that I have to stay awake. Oh man- Tuesday night was ROUGH. My battery is out in the field this week doing an exercise, and I stayed out there with them Tuesday night. The Drill Sergeants broke up the night into 3 shifts of 2.5 hours. Because I’m a dumbass, I forgot to bring something to keep me entertained for my 2.5 hours of babysitting, and my phone died. Time has never crawled by more slowly. Anyways, getting back to the original point of my post: For those of you who are unfamiliar with Army terms, if you’re on “Staff Duty” or “CQ” (Charge of Quarters), it basically means that you sit at a desk for 24+ hours, answer the phone, and try to prevent and/or handle any emergency as it happens. As a Drill Sergeant, yout get stuck on staff duty (or CQ, if you’re a male DS), A LOT. Since all the females are gone from my battery (at schools or on leave), I’ve had staff duty every six days for what seems like forever. (That’s not an arbitrary number; there are six batteries in my battalion, and duty rotates by battery every day).

So if you haven’t guessed, I’m on staff duty again today. And it’s only 0817… Which is approximently 17 minutes into my shift (not that I’m counting or anything). And I’m already tired. You might be saying- “uh, 0800 is pretty late to be getting to work. It sounds like you probably slept til like 0700. You didn’t even have to do PT.” Well smarty pants, I had road guard duty this morning, so I had to get up at 0430 (because apparently privates will die if someone isn’t there to block the road in a truck with ice sheets, a stretcher with all kinds of medical stuff on it, and a cooler of water thats NOT sitting on the truck bed, because then it would be poisoned. Poisoned, you ask? Why yes. The Army believes that even if food or beverages are wrapped in like four different packages, if the outside package touches the ground, it is contaminated, and therefore unsafe to eat. At least here in TRADOC-land. (US Army TRAining and DOCtrine Command). Probably in the rest of the Army no one cares. I know I’ve eaten my share of dirt on deployment. If it sounds like I’m whining, I’m not really. Just familiarizing all of you with some of the less exciting aspects of Army life. Can’t be killing bad guys all the time. Not that I do that anyways. I’m intel. We don’t spend a heck of a lot of time on the front lines.



But anyways- back to your regularly scheduled programming. I haven’t gotten to work out much this week, since Charlie (my battery) has been in the field. Let’s see, today is Tuesday? Let’s back up. Sunday I’m not gonna lie- I was lazy. My boyfriend and I stayed out really late to watch Bart Crow Band play at a bar on Saturday.. He loves Red Dirt since he’s from OK anyways, and I went because I love him. I was a lame girlfriend tho, I had Staff duty on Friday and had only slept a few hours on Saturday, (haha see how that ties in?) so I slept on his shoulder while he watched the band. At a bar. Told you I was lame. So Sunday we just lazed around. I did make paleo pizza and paleo banana bread though- so we’ll call it a win. (I swear at some point I’ll work on posting pictures again). Monday I did manage to do Crossfit- it was a rough one:

3 3 3 3 3 Front Squats (I worked up to 105#.. I know.. I’m still weak).


15, 12, 9 Clean and Jerk BUT- no setting the bar down in the middle (You could rest for as long as you wanted in between the sets, just no setting the bar down in the middle of reps. Could just have the bar overhead, in the rack position, or in your hip crease). I used 70# and it hurt. I was shaking by the end. I felt pretty good tho. Then on Tuesday I didn’t get to do crossfit since I stayed out in the field, but I did run 2 miles-ish in the morning with the privates, and then I ran around and sweated my butt off in the field all day. And then I ate pizza for dinner, cause I’m a fat kid.

.. and then yesterday I totally blew it by eating brownies for breakfast, subway for lunch, and a burger with a ton of greasy appetizers and beer for dinner. And no exercise. I did look at the WOD (workout of the day) posted by my gym this morning though- as long as my boyfriend is a dear and brings me a kettlebell from one of the batteries I can do it tonight. I’ll tell you about it later if I actually do it.

So that’s been my week. How’s yours?

Written by blusunshinesarah

May 16, 2013 at 8:46 am

Posted in Running

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One million years later..

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So I suddenly remembered I started this blog about a million years ago. I thought it was a good way to blog about running and eating healthy, and about my life living in the DC metropolitan area. Fast forward almost two years, two relationships, and a move to Oklahoma later, my life is insanely different than it was when I last posted. My last two years in 150 words or less: Discovered Crossfit, fell out of love with running, fell in love with boyfriend, came down on Drill Sergeant orders, went to school, moved to Oklahoma, broke up with boyfriend, fell in love with new boyfriend, started working about 100 hours a week.

So that’s my story. I’d like to start this blog back up again, maybe to share my life, maybe to try to keep myself motivated to work out while I’m in cycle (Drill Sergeant speak for the 9 week cycles when we train privates). I’m currently in week 7 of a cycle, so the privates will graduate in another 2 weeks, and then time for a 7 week cycle break, during which I hope to do an obscene amount of crossfit and some running, and make LOTS of paleo meals. That’s all for now. We’ll find out if I actually come back and write again.

Written by blusunshinesarah

May 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Posted in Running

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