Friday, January 11, 2019

New Year...Same Me...

...and that's OK.

Same me but with a little more clarity and determination, maybe its the years of life and experience? This year I will be 40....can you believe it? I can't. I mean I can....but I can't! I don't feel a day over 30. Except sometimes I'm sore and achey and I can't keep up with the 25 year olds in the gym, shoot I can't even keep up with the 30 year olds any more....but I am still there. Still going! Still doing my best!

And that is what this is about. Doing MY best. I am only competing with myself to do my best and I just don't care to compare myself to everyone else. I don't have the energy. And I sure don't have the time. Last tine I tried to keep up with the young'uns at the gym I ended up hurting myself and taking nearly 8 weeks off! My 39th birthday I came back to the gym after 4 weeks off (ribs popped out of place, displacing my scapula that lead to a shoulder separation...OUCH). Anyway I tried to come back too soon and reinjured myself and ended up being out even longer. I am not doing that any more.

I remember when I used to write about Running Your Own Race. I meant it. I lived it! I believed it! Somehow when I started crossfit I forgot about that. My competitive side got ignited and I started trying to compete with those around me. In many ways that is AWESOME! I had fun! I got stronger and faster. Then I got hurt. 

These days I have shifted my focus and try to reel it back in when my competitive side rears it's head. Some competition is healthy and fun and I enjoy it. But I have to be smart and remind myself of my goals. I'd rather be able to stay active and fit and be able to come to the gym than hurt myself and be out for months....

Which I am reminded that I will soon be out for at least 8 weeks. Ugh.....But that is another story for another post.

I am almost to 4 years doing crossfit. FOUR years! And I do miss running but I realized that I have taken some of what pushed me and excited me about running and implemented it into crossfit.  Each time I ran a race I was chasing a PR. I wanted to beat MYSELF! Do better than I did in THAT race or THAT distance than I did the time before. I didn't always beat myself. But I ALWAYS tried. And that is what I do with crossfit. And numbers don't lie. 

At my gym (or what most call a box) we have a bell hanging on the wall and each time you pick up something heavy, heavier than you have ever picked up and put back down, when you enter your score into the computer you get a GOLD STAR. And if you get a gold start you get to ring that bell. and THAT is what I try to do. I don't get a PR start every workout. Sometimes I feel so strong and surprise myself. Sometimes that 35 pound bar feels so heavy I don't even think I can get it in to the rack. But I always try to do better than I did the time before.

I didn't really start tracking and paying attention to how may PR Stars I got until 2016. That year I got 65. 65 times I did better than MYSELF....I got stronger 65 times.

In 2017 I got 62 PR Stars. Not quite 65 but 62 is awesome and I will take it!

This past year, 2018 I did better than MYSELF 83 times. EIGHTY THREE. You guys....83 times I beat myself. 83 times I got to ring the bell....83 times I got proof that what I am doing, the effort I am putting in every day, the hard work....is worth it.

I .LOVE .THAT. 

The two dudes who beat me are amazing! They are also coaches! Jeremi logged in to I think 365 classes last year or something crazy like that! And see? Here I go comparing and being competitive....I can't shake it entirely! But I am so happy with my numbers and we will see what happens in 2019!

PR Leaderboard!!

The thing with weight lifting is that eventually getting stronger gets more and more difficult because, well, its HARD and form is important and many of these lifts are technical and require such meticulous form that it's hard to improve and add weight if you don't use proper technique...so we shall see if I can keep improving! It's a challenge and I accept.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

I Got Punched in the Face and Lived to Tell You About it...

....ok, so it wasn’t an actual Fist-To-Face punch but let me be honest, that probably would have hurt less. And for sure been a MUCH better story to tell.

Danny Rand AKA Iron Fist. Any other fans out there??

So about a month ago I was contacted by Lyn about a cool opportunity to get a DEXA Scan. So this post is sponsored and the scan was paid for by them. But the review I’m about to give is an honest one of my experience and thoughts on the process, the information obtained, and the scan itself. And to be clear, the scan itself was NOT painful at all...it was simple, easy, and quick...the information blow about my body fat percentage? Well...THAT hurt.

So what exactly IS a DEXA Scan? I’m glad you asked!  A DEXA scan is a way to precisely measure body composition; muscle, fat, bone.... it is a great way to see exactly where you are right now and measure progress in the future, or no progress if that’s the case.  The scan can show you cool stuff like muscle asymmetry, which can lead to injuries, and visceral fat which is the dangerous fat around the organs. You can also check your bone's health to prevent any bone related diseases like osteoporosis.  So essentially it’s a cool way to take a look at what’s underneath our skin and what is inside our bodies.

The DEXA scan gives you the most precise information about your body fat, muscle, and bone composition, and it lets you track changes in your body composition over a period of time. Fitness enthusiasts, athletes, normal people who want to see what the inside of their body is doing, can use this scan to get a baseline of where they are now and to objectively measured progress. Four instance finding out that you have 112 pounds of lean muscle and a skeleton that weighs 7.7 pounds is super cool information! And to toot my own horn for a second the lady who did my scan said that my bones were "amazing" and my bone health was at the top of the charts, being excellent for a woman of my age (21 years old.....for the 19th time). She also said my lean muscle of 112 pounds was "really, really good." So my lean muscle mass and bone density where the two positive things about my scan.

The results show you your overall body fat, lean tissue, or muscle, bone weight and percentages, and gives you a breakdown for the right and left side of your body. This shows you if your arms and/or legs differ in comparison.  The scan can show you where your body fat and muscle is distributed, and the gross reality of visceral fat, the dangerous fat around your organs. The primary advantage of a DEXA scan over using a fat estimated device like bio impedance scales, calipers, tape measure or the displacement estimate device (like the hydrostatic dunk tank or the Bod Pod that I reviewed a few years ago-the red word Bod Pod is a link to that post) is that the DEXA scan is actually measuring your body fat and giving you precise measurements showing you WHERE on your body that fat is located.  The bod pod that I did just gave me an overall idea, it didn’t show me how much fat and muscle was in each arm, each leg, my trunk, my big toe, or my hands... it just gave me the overall breakdown of fat, muscle, bones and organs.

I was surprised to see that my arms and even my legs were symmetrical in muscle and fat distribution. The DEXA scan gives you a precise measurement of the fat and muscle distributed
around your body. This allows you to see asymmetry that can actually lead to injury if you don’t correct it. So if one arm is stronger than the other, or you feel like you might be stronger in one arm than the other, this can actually tell you for sure if you have more lean muscle in your right arm than your left arm, thus telling you you’re not crazy and you do know your body. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. 

When I arrived to the Lamkin Clinic the actual scan was so quick and easy! I filled out a small questionnaire and was shown to the room with the scan. I didn't have to change clothes or anything, I even left on my Ugg boots....but had to remove all jewelry. I just laid down on the table, she strapped my feet together so  I could relax a bit, I held my arms close to my body, and she began the scan. It didn't take long at all, maybe 7 minutes, if that. It went the length of my body, slowly, making some kind of futuristic scanning sound that made me think I was either getting cloned or turned into a super hero (ok ok...too many DC and Marvel movies).


When the scan was complete I was given a three page report with the scan broken down for me. It was easy to read and interpret and detailed my results. The lady went over the numbers with me and we discussed any concerns and questions I had.


And this three page report is where I got punched in the face....not by the lady, she was great, but by the numbers....we already discussed the lean muscle and the bones...but the overall number of pounds of my body (which, blog to come about that mess soon....) and the percentage of body fat. Ugh...OUCH.

But now I know.  I know the truth, I know where I stand. I know what is happening with my body...and I know I have a ton of muscle, a strong healthy skeleton, and too much body fat that puts me in an overweight category.


So on one hand this information was hurtful and brutally honest. But on the other it was also valuable and necessary. It provided me with a wake-up call that I needed. I am working my tail off 4-6 days a week doing crossfit. I am strong! But my performance is lacking due to the excess of body fat and I now have a realistic idea of how many pounds, or I actually prefer a realistic body fat percentage, that I can shoot for losing. I don't want to lose muscle or strength. I want to lose fat. And knowledge is power....

So if you are interested in getting a DEXA scan check out this website for a location near you:  DEXAscan.com 

Have you ever had a DEXA Scan or a done the Bod Pod or any other test to give you this kind of insight? Thoughts about it?

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