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alla Romana: Working Out and Eating in Rome

After our trip to Barcelona, we took one week to visit one of my favorite cities in the entire world: Rome. In fact, I love it so much, I almost moved there about two years ago. (I even had the tickets bought and everything, but that’s a whole different story.) This trip was my first time back since then, so it was significant for me to be able to spend time soaking in the Eternal City.  Continue reading alla Romana: Working Out and Eating in Rome

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Crossfit in Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain - Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia. Gaudí. The illustrious “ham cone.”

Barcelona is beautiful. It’s streets are linked together like lattice-work and its art nouveau architecture is unique in the world. I’ve had the opportunity to visit twice now and on this second trip, I was introduced to its Crossfit community. Continue reading Crossfit in Barcelona

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Crossfiteira: Training as a Foreign Athlete

Crossfit Sant Martí

As a frequent traveler and a Crossfit athlete, I often find myself in Crossfit boxes where I’m training in my non-native language. In fact, I’ve done most of my Crossfit training in Brazil, so hearing instructions in Portuguese is essentially my default. That also means I’ve developed quite a few skills for learning how to deal with training in a language where I may not be 100% fluent. Or, worse yet, where my fluency goes down the more my central nervous system is taxed. (Don’t talk to me in Portuguese after heavy deadlifts – it just won’t work!)  Continue reading Crossfiteira: Training as a Foreign Athlete

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Mental Blocks: Breaking Through the Wall

“You had that!” is probably one of the most common things I hear when I’m training. As a lifter who struggles with confidence, I often bail our of pure fear. All the technical elements are there, but my brain isn’t.

It’s something I’ve been struggling with for almost a year now. Last October, I started working with my first coach who’s training style was very different from mine. While I saw a lot of technical improvement with him, I also developed a lot of self-doubt. With the Olympic lifts in particular, I ran into a very hard, solid, and dense mental wall. Repeatedly. Continue reading Mental Blocks: Breaking Through the Wall

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It’s My WOD and I’ll Cry if I Want To

“Why don’t you just stop for now?” Gustavo was practically pleading with me this morning.

“No,” I sniffled and growled. “I’m not going to not finish.” (For some reason, when emotional, I default to double-negatives.)

I rubbed my palms against my eyes to remove the tears, took a deep breath, and stepped under the bar.  Continue reading It’s My WOD and I’ll Cry if I Want To

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Survive Challenge: Staying Focused

The past weekend, Gustavo and I competed in our last competition in a while: the Survive Challenge. Rather than going alone this time, we paired up as a team. It’s rare for competitions to offer mixed-gender teams in CrossFit, so when we have the opportunity, we usually jump on it. Continue reading Survive Challenge: Staying Focused

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How to Prioritize Rest and Recovery

About a week ago, I was offered the opportunity to start doing 1-1 coaching with the head coach at my box. He has a fantastic style that I appreciate — he’s extremely observant, honest but not judgmental, and perceptive to a tee.

In the first few weeks of training with him, he started giving me some extra workouts to prepare for WODSunset. Each time I looked at his prescribed workouts, I just started laughing. It was like staring at a long list of every one of my weaknesses. How did he know?  Continue reading How to Prioritize Rest and Recovery

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Top 5 Flexibility Wins

(Thanks Cesar for the idea!) 

Between working in technology and spending the rest of my time doing Crossfit, I see a lot of mobility issues on a daily basis. Mobility isn’t a one-time thing, but an ongoing practice. Even now, almost twenty years down the line, I still have to remind myself that I can’t do a split like I did when I was taking gymnastics classes. At least, not without a proper warm-up like my little ten-year-old self could do. Continue reading Top 5 Flexibility Wins

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WODSunset

After a few long, long months of hard training, work, sweat, and tears, WODSunset came last week. It’s rare for there to be an individual category in which I can compete in most Crossfit competitions, so when this one came up, I jumped on it. In our first competition, Gustavo and I were able to compete as a team, but neither of us had the opportunity to test our skills and rankings as individuals. Until last weekend, that is.

Continue reading WODSunset

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WTF Happened to Your Legs, a.k.a. Recovery is Important

Almost every day, at some point, Gustavo pokes my leg and announces, “There’s a stone in there!” Over the past few years, and months especially, I’ve noticed that my muscles have a tendency towards tightness, even despite all of the stretching and (what I thought was) recovery work. In particular, my arms were in brutal shape just after I learned how to hook grip. Presumably, all of those muscles in my forearms were scrambling to figure out why they were being called upon all of a sudden – and so much, too. Continue reading WTF Happened to Your Legs, a.k.a. Recovery is Important

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How I Plan a Yoga Flow

Planning out my classes was always my favorite part of teaching yoga. Over the weekend, I’d write out what my goals were for the class and how to get them there. The experience was a lot like planning a choreography. Which movements will bring us closer to our goal and how can we get there gracefully? Continue reading How I Plan a Yoga Flow

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Morning Tea

I am on my final sips of a lukewarm mug of tea that I started almost an hour ago. During an interview once, the woman I was meeting with looked down at her takeaway cup of coffee and announced “Ah, these are just props anyway.” Each time I reach for my mug, I remember I’m just using a stand-in for what I really want: strong, hot, caffeine-laden coffee. Continue reading Morning Tea