Friday, December 28, 2012

back to it

okie dokie...

For the last two days I have managed to oust sugar again, YIPPIE...I already feel better..except for the fact that I now have a cold. I have felt it coming for awhile, but had chosen to ignore it. Just worked out through it.

Wednesday...dead lifts. it is still 10% deload week.

3x5 135
3x3 180

yes, that looks is, but i was standing on the sled, banded. again, in the way he does, Will was obviously spying on me. I know I wrote last week about the small corrections he gave me, well, he gave me a little more tweeking...he did say it might not change my deadlift number so much, but it may change my clean...because it did his...and all of the corrections over the last two weeks...the lift felt different...even banded. Crazy that just lifting something off the floor can be so specific.

Then there was something else in back extensions maybe?


25 double unders (sub 50 singles)
20 Mountain climbers.
5 rounds
I thought when I looked at the board, "that doesn't look too bad." As soon as I think that, I know I am in trouble...UGH took me a little over 7 minutes.

Thursday...I went in at 6:30...AM..HA. On a little side note...I saw Phil...he is visiting from Undisputed for the week, so he can get his early morning crossfit on...It was a fun reminder of how I started. I still remember and appreciate the early months that I spent at Undisputed with Phil, he was instrumental in planting the seeds for a new voice in my head, "yes you can do this Mona...Just keep moving Mona..." the time he would spend sitting on the floor near me while I did burpees (sometimes crying).

Front Squats

3x5 165
3x3 175

oh, these felt good, light, low...not fast, cause with the kettle bells hanging off, I fall over if I go fast.

bench press

3x5 80
3x3 90

Yes banded.

Then 8 minute AMRAP

10 overhead squats
10 dumb bell push press
at 50% of your body weight....crap. there is that thing again...gotta own my big, right? Well, I couldn't...100 pound overhead squat? 10 reps? sigh. I did 75. I still struggled...a lot. I may have been affected by the pain I am having...or maybe I am just lazy.

I only did 2 full rounds. :)

Tried to get to the rowing clinic...but for multiple reasons it didn't happen. I also missed a lifting clinic with Jeremy Rutledge on Wednesday. Bummer.

Clean & jerks tonight...if this cold doesn't own me.

The biggest news...BJ is gonna change my training on Monday...I am both excited and a little scared. I am lucky to have such a smart...and slightly crazy trainer. Almost time for me to double down...I have a little more than 4 months to train. Gonna figure out when to add throwing to my day.

As for the medical news...the tests go back to my doc first..but the tech did tell me something I know she wasn't supposed masses. I thought it was funny...cause from my point of view, on my back ~on the table, I could see the sign over her shoulder, "Ultrasound tech cannot give you results." Perhaps she told me because we struck up a conversation about fitness...she is thinking of running a half marathon because she lost about 70 pounds over the last 3 years. I was telling her she should...even though running isn't for she is snapping internal photos of me, we talked about how individual both fitness and diet are for all of us...maybe that why she told me.

It's a load off, but I know it also means there isn't a clear reason for what's going on. Whatever...I am gonna throw on Sunday and I hope I'll feel better when I spin a hammer around my body...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Racing brain

Ha...I have lots of thoughts going on in my brain, but I don't seem to be able to get them down. I know that I always feel better when I write, but......oh well.

All I can think about this morning is my stupid doctor's appointment. I am worried that she will both find something...and that she won't find anything.

Again...oh well.

My eating has gone to hell over the last couple of weeks...lame. Tis is the first holiday season that I have eaten all sorts of stuff I don't eat any more. sugar please and long as there is no slicing and dicing of body parts is DEADLIFT DAY....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

staying calm

I wondered if I should write about this at all, and then I remembered...oh right, this is my is about me...a middle aged Celtic athlete and my struggles with my body, my art, my relationship to being a mom....riiiight......

I know I have mentioned on here before about how I can sometimes panic about the cancer thing for no reason other than I am approaching the age at which my Father died.  Well, both of my older sisters have had lots of struggles with tumors....both uterine and ovarian.  I have been, thus far, blessedly free. 

Well...had been.

I have FINALLY made an appointment with the doc for next week....cause ladies....things are weird and dare I say, wrong.  Something is up and I suppose that just like the working out thing...when it is time to finally take must take action.

The weirdest thing?  I am calm about this.  I sorta know it is no big deal...there are a variety of things that it could turn out to be as well as a variety of ways to be treated.

The funny thing? As I was imagining certain roads this may take me down....I got super cranky at the thought that if surgery ends up being on the table...that I could miss the games in May that I have been working so hard to train for...."if that ends up happening, I wonder if I could put it off 'til June." Really?  That is what you are worried about? It's not...oh no don't worry, it won't be surgery, you are blowing this out of, it is ...I might miss a game.

That's funny.

I guess we all have our ways of looking at things sideways, right?

As for training?

Dangly Front Squats and Banded Bend Press today...oh, maybe all the bands will make my lady parts fall out....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Am I wishing or doing?

  "Intention is not like wishful thinking, which is abstract, vague, passive, and diffused. Intention is like an arrow flying toward a target. Intention lays claim to your creative expression and establishes the foundation of your dreams."

A little repost for today...but it is actually a big repost for me.  I need to reread this and reread this over the next few months. 

I have some big goals in mind for myself and for whatever reason I am feeling a little paralyzed by either the goals themselves, the work involved, or perhaps my own fears....

not sure.

As for the workout last night...I wanna send a little shout out to Will. He gave me a little correction that made a huge difference in my lift.  The *way* he does these things though...I love his style.

"Mona, do you always use such a wide grip."

"yeah, my stupid legs are so long, I have a hard time getting them out of the way of the bar."

"Well, its a shorter distance to lift if your arms are not so is what I do." (he shows me) "Try it, if you want, it might feel weird though."

So interesting...never a "you are doing that wrong" a "why are you doing that."  Just a simple, this is what I see, this is something I works for me...try it. 

The rest of the workout...holy jesus...why?  150 push ups.  I suck at push ups. I think....I think I am actually afraid of push ups. I will get a little better at them~then I inevitable get worse and super sucky.  At this point...I think it is in my head.

stupid brain.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

little night

Hit the gym after multiple cancellations yesterday....the piece that Rod and I built, will not be happening.  The organizers of BINGO needed a break.  I also needed to cancel a party I was going to....I just needed to be home.   I did meet with two of my actors for Buried Child yesterday and I am meeting with two more today. 

I really wanted to do BINGO, but I must say I am not sad about having my nights back.  I really hope we can do this has been a very cool process.

Last Night:
Back squat
3x3  190
3X1 210


Push press

3X3  107.5
3X1  117.5

Then Farmer carry up and back the legnth of the gym 3 times
         30 Double unders

5 rounds

I subbed double single unders...I also decided to use 55 pound dumb bells....then thought, oh hell, just use the 60.  I hands cramped up good!!  But I am glad I pushed myself~ I really didn't want to be there, but I felt better that I had gone.  Both BJ and Pam were checking up on me...they seemed to be extra gentle with everyone in their gym last night.  I really appreciated that.

Had a great night when I went home....had everyone home around the dinner table.  We ended up mostly on the floor last night, pillow fights, tickling fights, watching the Jets implode, drinking hot chocolate~

As for today:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bands and expectations.

Oh my, the whole week has been super spicy. I am super sore. After tonight's fingers on my left hand did not feel like pinky? Um. Could not feel it. BUT, BUT, BUT....that passed really fast. The work out was super fun...loved working with my friend Sarah.


Front Squats

3x5 175.....banded...these were good. Really really hard. I would pull the bar off the rack, the kettle bells would sway, but I was able to take a really deep breath...and somehow....regain stability quickly. I also was really really happy with the depth of my squats. I don't know why, but the crazy bands make me even more aware of the quality of my squats.

3x3 190

The biggest struggle on these? Doing the math....haha! Kidding...I got back to that place of wondering if I was gonna have a stroke on the final set.

Bench Press

Banded.....these are so very weird.

3x5 85
3x3 100

These are really starting to pose a challenge now....just getting the weight into place with the bands is hard. When I complete the reps? The noise the bar makes is scary....the bands snap the bar down....yikes! I sorta forced Sarah to try these....something about needing her to know how they feel..makes me feel less...weird? Odd? Maybe?

10 minute AMRAP

5 hang cleans with a push press
5 knees to elbows

I still don't quite get the knees to elbows thing....I kinda made a shaky choice about this...I bet I can do them...but I thought that if I really did them all.....I would have done 2 I didn't really push myself on these...lame....but .....I don't know....choices are choices and I wanted to keep lots of cleans.....

I did 9 rounds....finished the cleans and got 1 knees to elbows....

Hands...and forearms....HELLO!

The next week is crazy....I have managed to quadruple book myself on nearly every day....but all of the work involved is thrilling really.

My boy came home today too....the first two times he has come home, it has been challenging....not numb hands challenging....but, yeah. I am hoping for a smoother visit....I know that lots of this is tied to expectations. expectations for the expectations for how my body should behave or expectations for....oh hell.....all sorts of things. I guess it's time for me to look at what these let them go....again...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

not just me....

Here is a blog I follow...and no, it isn't just me....

Pretty Strong

Lat night's workout was great.  Awesome.  Fantastic. 

I am gonna put the numbers on the page, but they probably won't accurately reflect the magnitude of the workout.

Back Squats

3X5 185
3X3 205

Yes these were the dangly kettle bell style back squats.  I discovered last night that I cannot do these quickly, the weight from the swaying bells nearly tipped me over.  oops!  I did get super low though...been focusing on that...


3x5  67.5
3X3 77.5

5 rounds of:
2 front squats at 90% of 1 rep max  (I did 185~dangly style)
as many "dynamic" push ups as possible

The Front squats were not quite 90%..but I was using the Kettle Bells...and that is about my max.  The push ups made me have T~Rex arms.

I only got 47 push ups...from my yeah....still, I ended a ball....on the floor.....

The cool thing that I have noticed recently is that it takes me much less time to recover. I don't feel completely wasted today....I am "looking forward" to the banded deadlifts today.  I know that  a year ago, after a competition, I used to take a couple of days off..I don't do that any more....I had a lifting competition on Sunday...but I was itchy to get to the gym yesterday.  I'm giving credit to BJ's programing...

I realized about a week before the lifting competition, that it had been a year ago that I had my first real conversation with BJ and Will.  It was at a lifting competition at Inner Strength.  I was there watching my friend Patty lift and I saw BJ and Will and a very pregnant LeAnn....I remember this so well, because even though I was not part of their gym...BJ had remembered me from Boxtober Fest and had actually remember that I was a Scottish Athlete.  He even emailed me some information he had on the sport. 

I certainly didn't imagine that I would be switching gyms at that point....but looking back it sort of makes sense doesn't it? 

I really appreciate all of the time and attention you guys have given me since I came to Zia...and thanks for putting up with my giggling and my self doubts.  You really have made me feel welcome and part of the Zia family.

Friday, December 7, 2012

what is it that you see?

So, yesterday I posted a photo of myself on Facebook...lifting.  I do this every once in a while even though it generally makes me uncomfortable. There are a couple of reasons I don't like to see pictures of me lifting.  Not the least of which, I usually look terrible. Not just the  body, but I usually have a dumb ass look on my face.  I have gotten over this one more than my body issues, 'cause really, who looks good lifting? I am trying to let photos get posted and post photos of myself in part, because I am really working at changing my way of thinking.

I really do believe that strength is beautiful...well, as long as it is someone else.  So~if I post a photo of me working hard...throwing, lifting, sweating, whatever....I am trying to see myself the same way...even though I often scrutinize the photo for all of my perceived flaws.

This is the one I posted yesterday:
Ok, what do you see?

What I frequently get in comments when I post something like this is one of the following:

"Oh man I don't wanna get you angry!"

"Yikes, I don't wanna get in your way!"

"grrr! Hulk!"

Same sorts of things I tend to say on others photos....but....yesterday...I found myself defensive about these kinds of comments.....

Why is lifting weights or strength equated with anger?  I realized that lifting and throwing has helped me control my temper, my anger.  A while ago I had posted this photo:

I actually look peaceful....meditative....and...well....perhaps beautiful.

There are all these lifting sites that have t~shirts that proclaim that strong is the new pretty...or some such thing...but I don't think it is true at all. 

I am really working on seeing my strength as an asset, as beautiful, through the eyes of those that also see strength as beautiful.  Hell, I am not mad at the person who is "scared" of me because of that photo...I think it is, in a weird way a compliment.  But for me, a woman who had never seen her beauty, to be called frightening for the one thing that makes me come close to seeing my beauty was...hmmm..challenging.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

short note

Dear Noon,

I love being with you, I really do.  So honestly, this isn't about you, this is about I have failed you.  As they say, "It's me, not you..."  But this time it is true....I am just too slow to finish what I need to do when I am with you.

I am struggling with leaving you.  I love how you provide me with an escape from my daily routine. How you keep me from getting too lost in my head during the day. I love the evenings at home....since you have already left me satisfied.  But....ah that dreaded word....but...I really thought I could do this new programing while I was with you.  I can't.

I am afraid I have to say good bye....back to the night classes for me...

I hope you will take me back, in February.


Monday, December 3, 2012

4 projects at a time.

Super cool week for me this week.  Most of you know I have multiple projects happening in 2013, but the super cool thing about this week...the next 7 days....I am working on every single one of them.


I have meetings, rehearsals, first read throughs....very cool..

So here they are:

Rod and I are rehearsing a short piece for the next Meow/Wolf Bingo...a shout out to BJ for supporting this piece and letting us rehearse in the gym. This actually happens this month...not 2013. SOON!

I have some rehearsals and a first reading(and costume measurements) for this~

Squeeeee......Nice ad huh?  Lisa P rocks....(why is my name so huge?)

I have a meeting for Independence....that will be happening in June....we have a space and rights and some energy to get it up...yippie!

Then the last piece...I am gonna be acting in, but we don't have rights or a I am not gonna say what it is...just that I will be working with Rod and Vanessa to find a place and get cracking...

And I did throw this weekend...It had been a month...yikes....and I shall be putting all the destabilizing things on my weights this week. Oh and a competition too...and Vivi?

She is being urged to join the track and field team at school..She is actually willing to try it (just to throw)..and is gonna go back to acting class...hmmm.

Should be an interesting week.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Program

Ok..I am three days into the new programming and I feel like crying.  Mainly because I promised myself I would work at being less whiny and wimpy.. and I feel anything but...grrr.  I am also coming out of an extended period of craptacular eating, so...yea...that may have something to do with it.

My scheme is a little different that the programing...all lifts this week will be 5 5 5 3 3 3. In addition, anything that can be "banded" will be. 

Back Squats 

I know they seem light...BUT about 70pounds of the weight were Kettle Bells that were banded to the ends of the bar.  I go no end of pleasure from the sensation this caused (get your mind outta the gutter).  I haven't laughed this hard in a while.  I was also taxed in a way that was completely new.  My inner and outer thighs were screaming the next were my ABS!  I know there is method to BJ's madness on this...I have stability issues when I throw...he is fixing that.

Shoulder press

3X5 65
3X3 75

Um NO Bands.

THEN we did a farmer carry/sprint workout.

Dead Lifts.
Um...these are also a weird sled thing that I stand on when I lift.  Holy get full extension...the amount of power it takes at the end of the lift is blogging my tiny little mind. laughing at these really was hard,

3x5 135
3x3 195

Then 3X15
Toes to bar (um not really for me...more like knees to elbows)
Back extensions

And then there was a WOD
3 Power Cleans
3 pull ups
6 push ups
9 jump touch things

9 minute AMRAP

I got 4 rounds...HA!

Yesterday was a rest day...well, recovery workout day:
3x5 Pullups (weighted~but not for me) I seem to be struggling YET AGAIN on the freaking red band. sigh...
3X15 RDL
3x15 Roll outs...I hate these, they always hurt my lower back so I freaking cheated...I only did 10 per set.

Then I did grip work and Hammer winds...The hammer winds freaked some people to be nicer to the lovely folks at Zia...I'll do them outside next time.

I am feeling really taxed by this already and I don't know why....I think I am feeling overwhelmed by the goals I have set for myself; which by the way are still vague since I haven't written them down....and very doubtful of my ability to follow through with the training.  I guess the only thing I can do at this point is to show up and hope this feeling goes away...gets washed away by sweat...rather than tears. I feel like I need a "good angel" to sit on my shoulder to remind me to go to the gym, to eat better, to stop being so mean to myself.

I am just feeling chubby and cranky and it leaves me unmotivated.  I still haven't looked at goals for next year...I can't seem to bear to look at the numbers and the accompanying work it will take to get there.

Oh well...

Today will be more dangling squats and banded bench I am guessing I will at least be laughing over the lunch hour!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Run heavy athlete, run....

I am guessing that most people who read this little blog of mine connect to me through you already know about my Thanksgiving Day athletic silliness....but yes I ran a 5k.  Well, saying I ran a 5k is actually misleading...I jogged, walked, jogged, walked. 

Not sure which I did more, but I did it. 

When the race started, Ben stuck with me for a while, until he just couldn't go that slow any more... It was sweet really, he doesn't like to run either and was also bemoaning having signed up..I was nervous after we started because my knee...the one I injured in September...was 'clicking' with every step. After a bit, one of the ladies from Zia found me...Erin...she was jogging near me for a bit and I joked with her that I might jog one song length then walk one song length...of course hoping Stairway to Heaven would come on during one of the walking sections.  I actually "ran" for 3 songs, plus half of another before I said to her...thanks for running with me, but I need to walk now.  Erin stuck with me for the walking...and the next running song...and the next...

She actually stuck with me the entire course.

I told her not to, but she told me that her first race, someone stayed with her....and she wanted to. We chatted about why people run, why she started to run, we talked about the habit of being so nice that we disappear and forget who we are, we also talked about finding strength and power....and we laughed a bit too. 

I also told her why I decided to do this race and what my goals were for that day. I have this joke about myself...this piece of knowledge that I pick up somewhere around middle school that, "I can't run." Now some of this turned out to be from undiagnosed asthma, the rest; became a badge. I told Erin, "I don't want to run with 'that face' today, you know the misery face."  I am tired of telling the same old story about myself....I will run what I can and just try to enjoy moving.

Well, I enjoyed my time with Erin, I can say that for certain..and I liked that final nasty hill...but I won't ever 'be a runner,' I don't really like it.  As for the runner's high I hear about...I get that when I lift heavy things off the floor.  Really....I bet it is the same thing.  I get a bit of running in my CrossFit workout, and that is good enough for me.

The question, post race, became, "would I do this again?" hmmmm, maybe, only if I was not training for something else and only to see if I could actually jog the entire time or even perhaps if there is mud and obstacles (and beer) involved. Is there some new burning desire to run? No...but can I see a way that I can stop saying "I hate running," sure. 

The funniest thing to me are runners themselves.  I cannot tell you how many people I encountered post race that were so happy I was running, so excited because this was obviously the first race of a lifetime of races, so happy, it seemed to me...that I had finally'real' exercise.


While I have no desire to "be a runner" I respect those who choose that path... I am amazed by the stamina and the beauty of some runners. I just wish they respected that, just like many many things in life, there are many paths....I am healthy...I am athletic...even though I am not a runner. is possible!

It kinda reminded me of a freshly sober drinker...

Oh well, we all love what we love and want to share it with people we care about.

And for the record, I finished in just over 45 minutes...with a smile on my face.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A repost for Friday

I had something else to yammer on about, but I have not been able to get this article out of my head. 

Not surprising, this is hard for me to read.  I cried.

Love to my little girl....

I am Beautiful

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

updated goo

Best news from the teaching front?  Wendy, the "real" teacher told me there were no complaints from either students or parents!  Yippie! 

Have had 2 Crossfit workouts this week and I am having trouble both lifting my arms and getting up from a chair.  Tuesdays workout made me class..."who does this...I hate crossfit."  I don't really mean it....I just felt it right there in that moment.


Complete 5 rounds:

11 One DB Snatch 35
12 One DB Thruster 35
11 Pull Ups w/ the DB 35...No weights for me on this....The pull ups were the hardest part of the workout.  I love Dumb bell Snatches....they make me happy happy, and I bet they are good for throwing.


Clean & Jerk @ 70-80% of 1RM
Every 30 sec for 15 minutes

Then 3X15 Romanian Dead lifts
         3X15 Weighted Sit ups

I used 115...Now I have done this sort of workout with one lift at the top of each minute...but NOT every 30 seconds. about 6 minutes, I told Sarah...I was DONE...there was no way in hell I could finish this.  At about 9:30...I thought...OK, finish it.

Honestly...I was a HUGE baby about the workout. Oh well. 

I also spoke with BJ about what comes next.....ZIA is offering a strength training program starting after Thanksgiving.  Similar, but not exact to the program I recently finished.  It will have a "power WOD" it isn't just lifting.  BJ said that the goals for this particular program are Strength...Power...Speed, just what I need for throwing. But I wasn't sure about it for me.. he and I had a great conversation...I am beginning to understand the process of long term training~piece by piece thanks to BJ.  I will do this 12 week program as well....with some significant changes to it to prepare me for the games in May. 

I am excited for the other folks in the gym who are willing to give it a try...Happy too that I won't be lifting alone! 

I am hoping to stay more positive this time...less whining...more lifting....less ego...more flexibility...
This programming takes us to mid February...Just in time for me to kick up the throwing...BJ also suggested that, at that point...we shift to Olympic lifts....speed....speed...speed.

I have an updated list of games I am looking at...with dates!  I still owe myself that crazy list of goals for next year.  Thinking I need to examine how far I came this year before I set goals for next...maybe not...maybe I just put those crazy numbers out there as a matter what I  did last year...I already know my main goal and it has absolutely nothing to do with numbers....consistency...I don't mind having a bad day, but I do mind when my form completely falls apart for no reason.  I realize that much of this will come with time...simply putting in the number of throws, the hours at the trig, the time in the boots! I am still a novice...gotta put in the time to get consistent.

Monday, November 12, 2012

fearful, saying yes anyway

Craptacular weekend....many many reasons.

ALL of them first world problems....but annoying  anyway.

We are living out of coolers...stupid fridge finally crapped was always a 6 years we had to have it serviced twice.  6 years?  dammit....they are supposed to last 20 years right? HA~

My neck had a terrific flare up on Saturday.

I cannot seem to eat anything decent.

~good stuff~

I plan on wrecking myself at the gym today after a week of rest....Yeah Zia!

I said yes to something... I am gonna do another weightlifting competition.

Yeah....quit your laughing...

It is a sanctioned meet, but since I am a novice...I won't have to wear the special sexy singlet.

I am not sure why I said yes...especially since my Olympic lifts have gone to crap...but I did.  When I hear that voice~often tiny~that says, "come on try," I know I need to listen....even if I did try to silence the voice with cupcakes this weekend.

It it very soon, which is great....that way I won't have time to obsess.

Last good thing?  look at this....

Zia Page

How cool is that?  geez these guys treat me better than I deserve....thanks.

Friday, November 9, 2012

gym withdrawal.

Hot damn....aside from the times that I have been sick, this is the longest stretch of time that I have not been in the gym.  Well, excluding the 42 years that I never really worked out.

Yesterday, I found myself feeling better...I even packed my workout back...threw everything in the car and almost drove to the gym.  I needed to keep my word with my body though...I just feel kinda lazy.

Pierre said I should just go some mobility. 

Maybe....maybe not.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


The second most amazing thing that happened in Tuscon?

They originally had a full pro class, but given the fact that it is the end of the season, I guess some guys pulled out (quit the giggling) SO....they put the pros...with the OLD WOMEN!!!

Now, when there are pros, I always try to catch a glimpse as they throw...but it isn't always easy.  I was going to throw with them...lucky lucky me.

I think it really helped my first two events...Breamer & Open a good pr in open.(32 + feet)..there was this arching move that most of these guys get that I had never really noticed before.  But standing right there on the field with them...I could see I can work on it.

WFD...they both sucked...not sure side was sore, but not horrible. I just felt like all the work I had done on getting low and looking up just flew away.  

Hammer... worked with the blades....threw about 10 feet short on the heavy...then my back started to spasm....or whatever it was freaking hurt.  My friend Sara told me to stop, but I had SAS...Stubborn Athlete Syndrome.  I threw one light...about 75 feet. Tried a second...and I had to stop...I passed on my last throw.  I was....mad.....mad at the "bar fight" that brought the chair into my back, mad at my body, mad at having come into these games with any sort of expectations, mad I wasn't throwing in any sort of consistent way....mad.

I went and hid by my stuff, with an ice pack on my back and I lost it.

I know, there is no crying in the Highland games.

Chuck came over...he gave me a pep talk and then one of the other throwers who is a body worker...worked my back. The last three events were height events and spinning....I was gonna at least try. We were starting sheaf and the judge, being a decent human...came over to  the massage area to see where I was gonna come in.  I cried on the table too.  Big Dummy. For sheaf, they had removed us from the pros....but I was so happy to have been with them for the other events. I was able to come in and clear hurt...but I thought I would try one more throw to beat my score from last year...20 feet...didn't get it...I had the height...ha!

Then we moved to caber...I had a feeling that this might be ok.  I actually threw a 12 on the first turn.  Second turn, I popped the caber a bit too hard and almost lost it, but I gained control and to my shock got a 12 again....the judge said he never does that so I gave him a big old kiss on the cheek...he was really really playing the crowd at this point which was hysterical.  My last throw...he gave me a 12:01...I bust out laughing.  Michelle came up for her final throw and he is letting her know that the "door is open"...the door is open...she throws, turns it...the crowd is silent, waiting for the 12 sign and he says...12:02....  We lost it! 

I go get more ice...and head to WOB.  Throwing WOB last is hard.  I come in at 14...clear it...but I am worried about jumping 4 feet so we go to 17...I clear it.  I feel like I am finally getting the patience thing with the weight.  So, now pr is 18'6" someone suggests 18'7"...and I say, I have maybe 1 or 2 throws in me I am fried, my back is telling me to quit.  Up to 19 we go....I miss the first 2 throws...grrrr.. one of them was high...just not OVER the freakin' bar. Summer, a fabulous thrower who just happened to come hang out for the final few events, told me I just needed to follow through.  A good pull...I made it.

19 feet.  I really did not think that was possible. Especially as the final event, especially with my back hurting...

My back still hurts and there are other thoughts that I am struggling with about throwing...why I to to to be serious without being an asshole....I know it is all for fun...but there is more to it than that.  A couple of times, people said to me, "Well, you are still winning, right?"  It is hard to explain...but I don't really care... (too much~it does feel good) about the "winning."  I want to I want consistency...I want when I am not getting these, I am not enjoying myself.

It is similar to how I look at my acting life...what makes it "fun" is the quality of the work I am doing...the joy~the ecstasy, come from leaving it all on the stage, giving everything to the work.  Same thing for throwing....I am just figuring this out. I may have to leave the "shenanigans" out on the field. 

I am not "sore" but I am tired...worn out. I think I need the rest of the week off.  I need to avoid the SAS...and rest.  Pierre thinks my cells are tired...funny man.

Monday, November 5, 2012

veiled jokes

Rough games for me this weekend...I knew there was gonna be trouble when I got hurt in the Albuquerque Airport before our flight even left. I was attacked in the Airport bar by a wayward chair....nailed me in that tender spot between my ribs and my hip...let's just say, spinning and twisting were not my friends. Perhaps, I had expectations that were way to lofty and it was a way to remind me that there are just some things I cannot control.

I am not up to writing about the games right now...but there was a moment, hanging out with some of the athletes, when I made a joke, that I was fragile...of course there was great laughter at that one...and for just a moment I enjoyed the joke...

But, I meant it.

I had no business bringing it up in that moment in time, or with the athletes. In that way that we some times can, I suppose I made a joke of it just so that I could hear the laughter, the dismissal of the idea...the nagging doubts and pain that have crept back in. I hate that I did that...feel like, I don't know, I used people to try and feel better in that moment...


But right now...I do feel skin feels tissue paper thin, my bones brittle, and my heart filled with glass.

Yeah...sorry...what a happy little post games blog huh?

I'll get over myself soon enough...I'll probably go squat some heavy weight and feel better...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

weekend Goals

Final games of the season....

hmmm....goals?  I always try to go in with some goals....

1. Eat sushi

2. Stay cool (it's supposed to be in the eighties!)

3. Keep the knee healthy.

4. Don't make an ass of myself.

5. Get in a hot tub.

6. Have a birthday party.

7. Try not to fall down to much.

8. Come home safely.

9. Don't make an ass of myself.

10.  Oh right....Throwing!!  I am not too sure how my body will feel by Saturday...I am tired and kinda maxed out. I am hoping that the lifting will transfer into my throwing, but I am kinda thinking it won't since I have not really been doing any throwing drills.

I am gonna throw my blades back on for the hammer.  I have not been using them in games...too many dust based fields! I really do want to learn how to use them.

Ok..I don't have stone goals...the stones are too random in weight...I would say...I wanna be consistent and not fall down.  Same for caber...Be nice not to break a collar bone.
Sheaf                  20-23
Heavy Hammer  60+
Light Hammer    70+
HWD                  44~46
LWD                   60+
WOB                   19(21) or 16'6" (28)

11. Laugh

12. Dance

13. Enjoy my physical self.

14. Be grateful for this entire season of throwing. (HA! I have a 'season')

15 Don't make an ass of myself....oh never mind...gonna make an ass of myself, no one I will with this weekend even cares if I make an ass of myself....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

65's and 30

I looked at the Zia Crossfit web site yesterday...and even though I knew it was coming...there it was....slapping me in the face.... ONE REP MAX DAY.

Front Squat
Bench Press
Dead Lifts

I am not really sure how to approach this day.  I am also feeling great pressure to "perform"  as lots of folks have supported me through the lifting program and some have even said..I can't wait to see your numbers.  Tired from the previous week, sore from practice on Sunday...not sure what to think.  I know the numbers are just numbers and that the only pressure should be inner...I also hear the words I have said to others,

"Some days, you just can't pr and that's ok!"

Then a number pops in my head. 


Go for 65 Mona.

I hit the Front Squat....I feel kinda lonely lifting....the boys who are lifting are putting up bigger numbers than I and the ladies...well they are shorter than I, by a lot, so I lift alone.

I get the bar to 235..Good clean lift..  Ok 30 from the goal...I load it it up, get the bar on my chest. I can't hold it.  Dang.  I try it again, this time I get down, but I don't get back up.  I leave it alone.

It is still a pr by 30 pounds...(in 12 weeks)...and it isn't a lift that I worked all.

Bench Press.

3 lifts, then I load to 165.  I get it, but I ask BJ (already knowing the answer) I wasn't low enough, was I?  I think he hated to say it...but he  I do it again...and I do it.  I think for a minute...add 10, add have deads still.


Get it to what I think is 355...holy hell I fought for it...BJ comes over and said you got your goal on two of the lifts huh? 10 short.  No...its at 365. and my bad lifting math.  I did get it.
I load the bar to was a number that Will had thrown out to me months ago...thought it would be fun to try but, As BJ says sometimes..."someone turned on the magnet"  The bar did not budge. 

So...I shot for 65.  I got it in two.  Made a 30 pound jump in 2 of the lifts...lifts that I have not been working on very much.  In the last week, I have tested 5 maxes!

Back squat    225 to 305
Push Press    125 to 155
Front squat   205 to 235
Bench Press 115 to 165
Dead lift       335 to 365

I think I may  just take the rest of the week off.... 

Monday, October 29, 2012

final plans

Ok, so as the final games of my season comes near....(this Saturday)  I am wondering where to go next year...

here are my initial thoughts...they are scattered as please add suggestions!


Las Vegas

Lehi, UT


Elizabeth, CO

Pleasanton, CA

Santa Fe

Would like to go to the Northwest...but I'll see...what games did I forget?

Friday, October 26, 2012


There is a play I have wanted to do for a while, which is kinda unusual for me.  I just do whatever people put me in...I show up, do the work....The play was given to me in an acting class and I felt like I did really good work on it. Frankly, the play scares the crap out of me.  Which is, I suppose the best reason to do it. I started working on it with a talented actor who pulled out of the project...I think the play got scary for him. 

Well, fast forward more than a year....hmmm, maybe almost two,  I am getting to the point when I am running out of time to do the play...I shall soon be too old to play this role. I decided to give it to an actor who I would trust with anything....I kinda thought he would not like it...but he decided to give it a read anyway...

So that's what I did last night...

The play is scary, it is only two people and they are stripped bare emotionally... an issue that we talked about, was whether or not a play like this is self indulgent.  I thought about another 2 person show I was involved in, 'night Mother....also a play that can be all gooey emotional garbage.  I think it is my job as an actor and the director's job to make sure it doesn't go there...I think nearly any play can become "self indulgent."

Any whoooo..I came away from the reading more scared of it than I was before....feeling like there is no way I should touch this thing...feeling like either one of the women who heard it last night would be a much stronger match for the actor.

I am seriously out of my league on this one.

I mean it is not like there are any spaces in town clamoring for us to do a piece for them, it would take some serious work to get a place to do it....but now I don't know why I am so afraid.  Is it just insecurity again?  Or am I simply overwhelmed by the talent of the other actor, and then by the conversation of the 3 people who were listening, or am I afraid to go to the places that this play requires.

I don't know....

On top of this, my freaking body hurts....I am wondering if I need a week off, but then I am headed for a games too....

I feel like I am broken down, both as an athlete and as an actor.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

post programing musings

First things first....a couple of "thank you's"

My family, for putting up with the extra long workouts!

BJ!!!!  thanks for coming up with this programming for this old lady.

Will & BJ for the constant encouragement and coaching on my form.

The entire Zia gym for putting up with the grunting coming from the corner and the running outside to puke behavior.

There were a lot of lifts in this program, but some were only in the programing once every two weeks...others were performed twice a week, every week...  so gains are clearly dictated by how often lifts were performed.  One of the biggest lessons I learned was that to have any gains, I just needed to no the number of lifts...the weight that was assumed was not as important as the reps.  Sometimes that was a blow to my ego.  Anyone who has been reading this blog knows my struggles with the shoulder press...ahhhh, but by the end of the program, I was doing the right number of lifts at a much lighter weight AND was happy about that.

Ok....where to start.

Pullups: Started on the second thickest band, moved down 2 bands.

Grip work: Started using S & T...I can now close the .5 grip thingy.

Back Extensions: Started the program unweighted, ended with a 45 pound plate.

Romanian Deads: (with dumbells) Started at 25lbs ended at 65lbs.

Good Mornings: Started at 45lbs ended at 75lbs.

Less frequent lifts:

Deadlifts: Started with working sets at 300lbs ended at 325.  These were only once every other week.

Cleans:  Started with 130 ended at 140, again, once every two weeks.  I had trouble with form half way through the programming and struggled with both this and the snatches in terrible terrible ways!  I know it will get fixed, I just sorta fell apart on the Olympic lifts.  Hip stuff....

Push Press:  Started at 120 ended at 137.5.  These were tough, but they were one of the only lifts that I ended using the prescribed weight in the programing.

More frequent lifts:

Snatch:  Started at 105 ended at 113.75.. such a form issue...geeeez....hips hips hips.

Shoulder Press:  Wait for it,  wait for it..... Started at 90 ended at 95...really?  But, in the middle, I did get one set at 110, and one set at 115, but they were 1 set of 2, which is why I scaled back to get the 3x5 I was supposed to be doing.

Bench Press:  Started at 110 ended at 152.5....I am super duper happy with this one...especially since this was a new lift for me.  When I hit 150, I did the 3x5...I was thrilled.  Will really helped me on this one.

Back Squat:  This lift was really the cornerstone of the program. Started at 200 ended at 285.

Those are the numbers....the effects are yet to be seen, but I do know the lifting is already benefiting my throwing...which was the point after all!

Looks like we are testing one rep maxes the next couple weeks.  My body is kinda tired and I have my last games the first weekend of November, so I don't know if I will even get new maxes...but I'd be ok with that.  I have learned a bunch about my body...some just doesn't wanna lift as much as other days.

Did my first CrossFit class in a long time last night too! that "are you kidding me" CrossFit way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I finished my 12 week linear strength building program on Friday.  Finished weak on Shoulder Presses (big shock) Finished stronger on Back squats (sets at 285 thank you) what?

Me: I have to go back to CrossFit? I don't wanna....

me: why?

Me:  I'm scared.

me: Huh? you've done crossfit before dummy.

Me: not for months and months!

me: so?

Me: It's gonna be hard.  I will be terrible at it...

me: Maybe so....but it should come back quickly, after all, you were working out.

Me: but...I am good at lifting, I have never been "good" at crossfit.

me:  I think you are letting your ego into are not supposed to care how 'good' you are, just how good you feel after you workout.

Me: but...

me: I know, it feels good to be the one grunting under the weights in the corner, doesn't it...but that is not why you work is NOT about only doing what you like...which is funny, 'cause you hated some of the lifting.

Me: (whispered) but who am I if I am not off squatting in the corner?

me: Just stop it, will you?  Go back to class, sweat it out, enjoy the speed and enjoy coming in last all the grateful you can move.  Remember?  Grateful you can move.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stealing someone's thoughts

There are those who train and those who workout. Training is infused with passion, and a love for the journey of becoming greater than you are. Working out is what most of the population does with no purpose, commitment, drive, or passion. The easiest way to love training is to love the end result you are seeking for. ~ James Bullock

Holy crap...I am training...not working out.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

art and rewards.

Hot damn I had and interesting day yesterday and most of it had absolutely NOTHING to do with working out....but I am gonna start with the numbers first:

Back Squats
2x5  45
1x5  120
1x3  180  This felt heavy, with no rest day I was skeptical about going much higher.
1x2  240 This felt easier than the 180,  please explain this to me?

The working sets...I am still removing 10% They are supposed to be 2x5 at 305

2x3 275...yes I am proud of that number...don't care if it came up short in reps...I won't move up in weight the next time I squat.

Final set...I only got 1...I felt my spinal cord ripping from my spine...then I went outside and nearly puked.  It's a lot for me...

Bench Press

2x5  45
1x5  75
1x3  120 
1x2  135....oh baby.

2x5  150...I had pulled the 10% off my bench, but I decided to see if I could do it...I got 4 on the first set 5 on the second...shocked myself.  Will was spotting and really good at reminding me of all the little stuff I need to do as I lift.  The final set?  I bailed...but Will said it was something he did to get the weight up that messed me up...not sure I believe that...but I rested, set up, and did another 5.

Crush work and Good Mornings too..

I have precisely 3 days left of this lifting program..I don't think it is time to look at what worked for me yet...but I have started thinking about a reward for sticking with this thing that has made me want to cry, puke, scream, and wonder how to pop my eyeball back into my face.

Beer?  Whiskey?  Bacon?

No...I just scheduled a massage with my favorite body worker...sigh....although my trainers at Zia may need a bottle of whiskey for putting up with me. 

Now, in the morning, before all of this lifting, I had an amazing work session for a short piece I am working on for god, I left my partner in crime so excited.  This idea of having to be either athlete or actor...hee hee hee....the piece is both, is gonna be so fun to work on...we have text pinned loosely down, so we will really start to play the next time we rehearse. 

Very excited..can you tell?

Then in the afternoon, I taught two acting classes!  The first class, the kids were super sleepy and I never really pulled them out of it, but the second class was really fun.   Working with them on the idea of subtext.  I made them take it really far~outragious subtext~then bring it in.

Also very exciting.

This weekend?  I get to see my will be short...and I am sure it will go by too fast and I will probably not even see him much!

Ah..I can't wait for that massage.....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

old broken pieces of beauty

Last night I got an email from a dear friend that contained images of some art work, sculptures of horses made of drift wood.

As I scrolled through the images of the work, I teared up and it was not until this morning that I got a better handle on why.  As a little girl, like most little girls, I loved horses.....wanted anything that had anything to do with horses.  Growing up in a 'burb outside Chicago, I never really got to spend anytime around these animals, but hell; I would have if I could. I would have BEEN a horse if I could have....I think lots of little girls are drawn to not only the grace, but the power....

Anyway....this morning I realized that the sculptures, made from discarded materials moved me so much because that is me..over the last few year, I have been gathering the discarded pieces of who I was, or who I could have been and re-imagining my sense of, not only beauty, but my power as well.

I don't think the sender of the images knew how much this would mean to me, but then again, perhaps he does....he is wise that way.

As for working out?  I am dying during these last two weeks of this lifting program...jeez. I feel weaker than ever, even though I know I am not.

Last night was Push Press, Dead Lifts, Shoulder Presses, and weighted back extensions...the back extensions left my arms bruised.  A 45 pound plate cradled to my chest...ugh. And the lifts?  I swear every time I finished a set, I had to tell myself..go back to the bar, it will be worth it later.

Monday was  Snatches, Back Squats, Bench Press, Good Mornings and Grip work....

The gym is closed as I type this I am trying to figure out if I have enough in me to jump back to the gym and skip my rest day.

I think I need another cup of coffee.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The three most important things I learned in Aztec, New Mexico.

1. In some circles, the smell of Ben Gay is enticing.

2. Having a group of hard core athletes referred to as "Mona's People" all day is...quite amusing.

3. If I were to use the 56 pound vagina would simply fall out. (according to Patty Williams)

Yes...these are some of the lessons....but the biggest lesson I learned was how much laughter moves me from dark places. I laughed more than I thought possible since I wrote the last blog and, it turns out, I threw pretty well.  The night before I wrote down my goals as I usually do...cutting them down to the low end of what I usually throw.  Partially due to my emotional state, partially due to my growing nerves about having "Mona's People"  watching.

We started on Sheaf....really? Sheaf.....As per usual, I threw sheaf for distance, but something clicked and holy crap, if I didn't end on a PR.  22' 6"

HWF~ first throw felt good...and I had to ask the judge twice what he said when he called out the measurement...46'  HUH?  Really?  BJ was thrilled for me, so was I...that is a 5 foot pr.

LWD ~ um...I finally cracked the 60 foot mark, 63'4"

Crazy to me that the first 3 events were PRs.

I threw well the rest of the day too...Low 70's for light hammer, low 60's for heavy...I have some speed work to do, if I am to reach my goal numbers for next year.  My WOB was a little disappointing....went from 16 to 19 feet...and I hit the dang bar...A couple folks thought it went, but it slid under...I want 19...the standard just stayed at 19...mocking me for most of the afternoon.  No really, I am fine with it...I know it was a good throw.  If they have the 21 in Tucson, I'll try again. If they have the 28..I am gonna start chasing the 16'6".

It was something else to have all the Zia folks there...watching and throwing.  I kept trying to explain to them how much it meant to have them there, but I ended up just sort of babbling.  It's ok...I think they know.

When I went to the gym last night~they had put up a new poster....Shannon Harnett throwing WOB.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

kinda fried

Well, here I am prepping for Aztec....mainly still rehabbing my knee, when I get some funky news that sort of throws me off balance.

My mother has moved to Santa Fe.

This was not a complete surprise as I had seen a post on Facebook a while back about my mother trying to sell her house...I just didn't know she had made the move.  Pathetic~is probably what you are thinking....I have heard it is family.  Blood is thicker than water.  No matter what you have your family.

Well, yes.  I sort of agree.  My mother and I had a huge  falling out and I haven't spoken to her in probably 3 years. The reasons why don't really matter to anyone but me and I would like to make it clear that I don't blame her~for anything that I have done in my adult life.  I know with all of my heart, that she only ever did her best.  I refuse to believe that anything that had transpired was done with any sort of evil intent. But..there came a time I needed to sever that relationship. what does this have to do with lifting or throwing or working out?

I don't know exactly.  I do know that after I severed contact, I was able to start this journey...there was something about no longer allowing myself to be drained that allowed me to create the space to find all of these new people in my life who inspire me, who lift me up, all of you who remind me every day that yes, I am worth my time.  I know that I still struggle with the idea of being invisible, of being enough, hating my body....but these are mine to work through. For some beautiful reason; a heavy bar, a hammer, a rope climb all seem to guide me to that place of being "enough" and shut off the voices of self hatred.

I will go to Aztec, sadly alone...plans change and the film business is a fickle mistress. I may not throw well, but I will bathe in the inspiration of all my highland family, I will be lit by all the folks at Zia coming out to throw for the first time, and I will know that I am enough to be there.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Early in the week

So, as I was driving down one of the busier streets in Santa Fe, I was asked a series of questions by my little girl. Well, once you hear the questions, she won't seem so little anymore.

1. Mom, how do you define religion?

2. Why do people have religions?

3. How do you define god?

The conversation ended with Vivi saying to me, "I am glad I came with you today."

All of this while trying to make left hand turns into oncoming traffic.

I also went to the doc yesterday.  She checked out the knee, since it is still super cranky.  She made that joint move in all sorts of funny ways...pushing~pressing~twisting.....She said that the ligaments are not torn, but there is a strain.   Given how much she manipulated the joint....I am confident she knows what the hell she is doing.  So...more ice...since it is still swelling and some goofy exercise to strengthen the inner quad.  I personally think that the 3 sets of 5 rep 260 pound back squats I did yesterday should be enough, but I'll do the goofy thing too.

Games coming up this weekend in Aztec~ goal...not to get hurt.

I got hurt in Aztec last year.  Tore muscles in the middle of my back....lots of that was due to poor training practices and the stresses I was under at the time. Thankfully, all sorts of things in my life have changed since then.

I think after Tucson...I may write up some outrageous throwing goals for next year....see if I can hit any of them.

OH~ I start teaching this week too!  Just as a sub for 6 weeks...but I get to teach acting to kids....wish me luck.  I am hoping this puts me on a new road..I know it is a lot to ask from a subbing job...but each change starts with one step, right?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Conversation of the week.

Me:  Why won't you look at me this morning?

Vivi: You are disgusting.

Me:  Oh, really? Sorry.

Vivi: (Turns away because she is laughing.)

Me: What?

Vivi:  You are gross.

Me: Ok. (I burp)

Vivi:  Really?  (laughs uncontrollably)

Sometimes, I love my mornings.

I lifted some stuff last night too.

Press  (UGH)

2x5 45
1x5 70
1x3 90
1x2 110 Nope, didn't get this up. way...not happening.
3x5  95 Slow painful, supposed to be 135..ha ha ha.

Dead Lifts

2x5 125
1x3 190
1x2 270
1x3 320  Supposed to be 5...but as BJ said...he turned the magnets in the floor back on so I couldn't get it off the floor.

Push Press

2x5 45
1x5 70 
1x3 90
1x2 110
2x3 135  I actually got these working sets!  The last time I worked this lift, I was unable to do sets of 2....I could not lower the bar to my chest.  Last night I did! I was kinda happy about that. Even though I absolutely did not want to go back to the bar after the first set.  I did, so there it is.

Finished the night with 35 pound back extensions.....  over all a good night.  I am tired, but it felt like a good working evening.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Saturday, at the end of the competition....when I finished open stone....I was coming around the athletes area when an older gentleman I have never seen waved me over.  He had a big fancy camera and said that he had taken some shots of me that he thought I should see. 

uh I in trouble?  what the hell did he catch on film?

He had taken a series of high speed photos of my final open stone first I wasn't sure it was me.  I mean really, why would this guy take photos....It is not one of my best events.  I struggle to stay low until I throw...struggle as usual with my hip...blah blah blah.  What I saw surprised me...I stayed low...I popped that could really see it in these photos...and the throw he caught on film was over 28 feet...with that nearly 12 pound stone.  I have never thrown that particular stone that far..and there it was ...on film....

Kinda cool to see.  Cooler still was that this man took the time to show it too me.  It was really touching.  Then he sent me over the edge.

He said,  "It is great so see athletes work...."  he was talking

So last night..I went back at it. The weights I mean.  I wanted to test my knee.

Back Squat
2x5 45  these feel GOOD!
1x5 110
1x3 165
1x2  220  I was scared when I put this on the bar....the new TK knee band things are really great though...make me more aware of my form.

2x5 250  I am still working on the 10% reduction thing so this was supposed to be 280.  These were...ok...well for my knee.  I did think my heart might pop out of my ribs...

Final set was only 3.  I felt great though....knee is so much better...still crabby~not stabby.

Bench Press

2x5 45
1x5 70
1x3 95
1x2 125  ooof
2x5 140  I started the first set strong, but dropped the bar too quickly to recover it.  Did 4 in the final set..and again...I think my left eye popped out of my head.

Looks like I might be dropping the 10% on the bench press too. 

Another game in 2 weeks....and some of the folks from Zia are coming up to is gonna be a rowdy good time!

Monday, September 24, 2012

love songs

So, driving somewhere recently, I heard a song on the la la...I would die for la la...

I thought to myself, "I have heard that before in songs...over and over and over in fact."

When did dying for someone become the test of the depth of your love for a person?  Was it Shakespeare?  Can I blame him?  Probably older than that.....

I think I can come up with at least 10 or 15 circumstances in which I might give my life for someone that I don't even know...I mean really...can't you? 

Things I would NOT do for a stranger:

1. Get up at 5AM to make sure they have clean clothes for work.

2. Start their coffee, even though you don't drink coffee.

3. Iron a canvas Kilt

4. Suffer though yet another hot sweaty Celtic festival.

5. Gently remind them to eat better.

6. Know when they have had a shitty week and even though it isn't healthy, make a cake and hand them a glass of whiskey.

7. Start a pillow fight.

8. Heat up a bath towel in the dryer on the first really cold day of Fall.

9. Know that they are awesome, even when they don't know it themselves.....

I guess no one wants to hear love songs about coffee in the morning though.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

supple or not....

Dammit....somebody buy me this book....


Never mind...I think I may buy a case and pass them out.  (dreamland folks~dream land.)

So, knee was feeling quite sore, but not stabby and I knew I needed a day off from my attempts at lifting with the crabby knee.  I spent about an hour and a half going through videos on Mobility WOD at the suggestion of Will..yeah, well, yes I was at work, but the boss wasn't in's ok?  right?

I wrote down a list of I think about 10 or 12 mobility things about the knee....which just so you know, cause I didn't, really means a crap ton of mobility work on the ankle and the hip...not really the knee itself.  I really like the info they have...mainly because it requires you to be the responsible one.  You need to be thoughtful about your own body.

I was kinda proud of myself, (ugh I know how that sounds) for digging into this info for myself....for coming up with my own plan.  I did not depend on someone else to come up with this piece for me...I hurt my damned self...I need to fix it.  Now...I was pointed in the right direction by my coaches... :)


I spent a full hour doing mobility...nothing else.

First thing I learned...this shit takes patience!  2 minute holds on each of these moves is a whole lot longer than it sounds...

Second thing....this shit works.

The knee feels better...not great...but I can squat again.  I also made my own "voodoo bands" when I got home....Bike tubes!

I did lift on Tuesday; Bench Press and Cleans.  The cleans were power cleans cause squatting hurts and I only went to 115. The Bench Press is coming along for me...3x5 at one rep max when I started was yea.....

I will lift light today and do the throwing drills that BJ gave me....Friday is rest and eating sushi in preparation for the games on Saturday.

mmmm sushi...and mobility...mmmm

In case you have some free time on Sat...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

good news and bad....

The best news of the day....drum roll please...

Vivi got her mid~quarter grades..... 5 As and 2 (very high) Bs....These are her first grades in Middle Vivi!  Now we wait to see what the "Kid in College" pulls off for his midterms.

Sunday, Pierre and I went down to ABQ for practice...I really needed to go down because we were working WFD and Caber.  Pierre threw cute)....I worked for a long bit on WFD.....a long time. Trying to clean up feet...which I started to look at....trying to remember I have hips.....trying to clean up where to look as I throw.....trying to clean up the little issue I have with bending forward....I ended up getting a couple of good throws in, not far...I was too tired at that point to have much power left. But perhaps, in hindsight....I worked too legs felt tired~my knee was tired...but I felt fine.  Caber was good...Chuck giving me more specific corrections...I almost turned "red" but I got a lovely caber kiss instead.  I shall turn that caber soon!

Next morning...actually, at about 3 AM I awoke with a nasty sharp pain behind my knee cap. Cracking weirdness when I straightened my leg....hurt to drive.....can't get off a chair.

Great job Mona....great timing....

First thing I think, "See, I told you, you are too old to have tried this crap....I knew you would hurt yourself."

Really? I immediately go there?  I stopped dead in my kitchen and said, out loud..."shut up." Which for me, is progress!

I am used to a certain amount of pain...but stabby sharp pain in my knee? um, yuck.

I decide to go to the gym....I know how that sounds....but I am so close to finishing this lifting program...AND...I know these guys are super knowledgeable about mobility...I mainly work mobility.  I look at the squats for me!  So, I just do shoulder presses. MY FAVORITE.

2X5 45
1x5  70  I have to shake out my leg...even at this weight....even though I am not "using" it.
1x3  90
1x2  110...I looked at this and laughed...I have yet to crack the 2 reps at 110 looks just stupid...and I am tired and annoyed at my knee.  I load up the bar anyway...and wouldn't you know..I get the damn 110...both reps.

 3x5  (supposed to be 130!) I unloaded the bar to 90.  I did all of the sets.

Then I did good mornings....

4x10  62.5 

At this point I kinda felt like crying....everyone around me is working 75 power snatches...getting measurements....they are signing up for a 9 week challenge.  I decided not to do it because of the I can't lift and I just felt....stupid.

As I was leaving...BJ kinda followed me toward the door....He asked me how I felt about the games this weekend....if I was nervous.  I was kinda short with him I think, I didn't mean to be, but I was hurting at that point and feeling LAME.....I said no,  but then I thought about it...I always get nervous.  I think that is part of the charge of competing, isn't it?  I don't care if the games are "small" or "low key." I even said to BJ...I always chase after PR's. 

I feel pressure too because these are my "home" games and I am hoping that some folks will come see me for the first time. I feel pressure to keep working on form so that I can reach my longer term goals.  I feel pressure because some folks who have never seen what I do, may come to see these games~BJ being one of them....I suddenly had this fear that he will come watch this thing I do....that he has invested a bunch of his time in and think...geeez, that's stupid.

BUT...I know that comes from my prior experience with a trainer......I know he is not like that at all..... he respects what the athletes in his gym do, even if he doesn't do it himself.  That's part of what makes him such a good trainer. 

I wanted to yell shut up again like I had in my kitchen, but I think that might have been hard to explain to BJ that I was saying that to me...not him.


As for the knee?  I had two people tell me, " It is your ACL" Blah...who knows.  The swelling is greatly reduced today~better than that...I got out of bed this morning without stabby pain. It feels...sore...but not terrible like yesterday.  I feel tentative...cautious.

Nothing really to do about that.....especially for Saturday.  I think I will have to avoid squats all week and be gentle with my knee and with myself.

Throwing tentatively is still better than the years I spent sitting on the damn couch watching my life go by instead of participating in it...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

thursday numbers and winter clothing

So...lifting last night...

Shoulder Press (ugh)
Push press
Weighted Back Extensions (25lbs)

2x5 45
1x5 65
1x3 85  I am keeping good form on these...using the belt too....working my breath. Thinking...tonight will be the night..I will finally push through that 105 barrier.
1x2 105
Working sets..

They are, at this point supposed to be at 127.5.  I have yet to crack past 105...I don't freakin' know why.... so I load the bar to 115...nope....drop it to 100.  sigh.

3x3 at 100


I have had trouble with these...have not been able to get a working set off the ground...

2x5 125  Speedy!
1x3 185
1x2 265  not so speedy many as I can(the goal being 5)  315...ooooga.  I got 2.

Push Press

2x5 45
1x5 75
1x3 90 This feels HEAVY...I feel like I am running out of steam.
1x2 115
3x2  132.5  well well.  I got this, but I could not re~rack.  It feels too scary coming back down on my chest. I did 5 of these...with the final lift being the quickest, cleanest lift. 

I have 5 weeks left (I know it seems longer than 12 weeks cause I had breaks built in) and I feel like I have started to do something wrong.  The weights get heavier and heavier, but I am not doing the numbers of reps or sets I am supposed to be doing.  I think at this point, I need to pull back the 10% if I can't do a full working set. That is written into the programming for a reason.  I need to get a certain volume of lifts....sheer get stronger.  I need to talk to BJ about it, but I am wondering if it is less beneficial to do say 3x3 of back squats at 260 vs. doing 3x5 at 235.

I am worried, I already struggle doing math while I am lifting heavy...sigh.

Having an interesting thing happen with clothing.  As it gets cold...I drag out things I have not worn in a while.  Y'all know I do NOT weigh myself any more. So, pulling pants out...they fit in the waist...kinda but they don't fit anymore...over my freaking thighs.  My thighs....ok then...I guess I'll wear skirts all winter?  Not sure that I will actually find clothing that fits a "Mona started heavy lifting" body.  I already have a giant my thighs.  They don't really look any different to me, but they sure do to my clothing.

I also noticed something about the photos getting posted from the last games.  I can look at them without cringing.  I can see that objectively, I don't look any different..I am not any thinner or more fit...but I think something is finally shifting in my tiny tiny brain about how I perceive myself....

I didn't really want to say that out loud, since the Santa Fe games are coming up...and I may hate all of those pictures, but I was thinking that perhaps if I could say it out loud..."that is a good photo" that perhaps it will be easier to say the next time....easier to see the strong woman in the photo....the more confident woman...that....happy person....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

neck, doctors, and arthritis oh my.....

I have been actively seeking relief for my neck issues for almost two years...had a third treatment with this new doc yesterday.  She is working not just on the neck, but on the SI joint and the tail bone.  She has explained it to me twice, but I never remember the names of things...short hand is that there is some sort of connection between the top of the spine and...well, I guess the bottom of the spine. So she treats both to relieve neck pain. 

Something let go big time yesterday...a huge release in a nasty spot on the right side~right at the top of the spine.  I could feel it letting go...cause my right foot got hot...yeah, I know that's weird...but my foot got hot...then my hands...both of them....started to tingle. 

She reminded me to drink lots of water...I asked if I could workout...Yup...

Then I asked the question.... "So, what are your thoughts on my neck at this point?"

"The arthritis is really will never go away,  but you can keep it from flaring up.  You have structural anomalies in your neck as well...possibly from trauma and the damage from the arthritis.  If you don't feel much better from this last treatment....this may be about as good as it ever gets for you."

Not what you really want to hear your doc say...but what are ya gonna do?

I am guessing she saw my face fall a little....

She then added..."I have your old records, You have taken control of your health, really gone after it. Most people don't do that." is better than it was two years ago.  Maybe this is as good as it gets and maybe that is ok. I am still loose today...mostly pain free.  It is, thankfully, hard to remember how much pain I used to be in...So I will keep seeing her...and I will keep seeing Paul....and I will keep seeing Dan.  I know if I could, I would see them more often, but I will do what I can.

I am having a tough time with the whole feeling healthy thing...I realized that I keep having these moments where I am convinced I am having a stroke, or I joke that the pain must be cancer...I realized that I saw my sister go through the same thing as she hit her mid 40's.  By this time in his life, my Father was already very ill...

When I was young, I was told it was lung wasn't. It was some odd ball spinal cord cancer that had spread throughout his whole body...
I think this is in the back of my head...this fear that the weird ass cancer he had will just show up. Truth be could...or any other such weird thing.  Life is unpredictable. My sister...she went through a period leading up to age 49 (when my Dad died) that she had every test you could ever imagine..I think that is why I panic so much when the numbness shows up....when my neck hurts...even though I know it is arthritis.

So...I guess I will just keep throwing...lifting....moving...and getting treatment. He was so young when he first became ill...I really don't remember much about him, except his cancer. I do think of my Father sometimes when I am on the field and imagine he would get a kick out of me throwing heavy crap around. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

pass the butter....take 3.

Crab conversation~

They:  So, what happens now?

Me: Huh?

They:  Since you took first at those games, what happens now?

Me: *confused look on my face* um, hopefully I will get some invitations to some other games.

They:  Is that it?

Me:  ummm

They: I thought it would be something better than that....

Me:  ummm....I don't know. 

They:  Doesn't really seem worth it then.

Me:  Oh...Well...I love it.(then I walked away)

Made me laugh the rest of the day.

Sooooo,  Friday.....

Had my first beer wod post workout...I only had one rep though, since I had to drive.  I had not yet brought beer to the Friday night workout....I definitely wanted to bring it as a thank you for all the support.

Friday night was Shoulder Press, Squats, Good mornings, Crush work...

Started with Shoulder presses.  I thought...attack this fresh...Still cannot break 105.  I did 2 sets of 2 at 105....but really, I slapped on 115...could not budge it.  110....nope.  I got a little pissy...but oh well...

Loaded for back squats...have not gone heavy in 2 weeks so I looked at the working sets and just sort of figured I would have to drop the weight.  As I started to work...everyone around me was doing weighted pull inspiring to much weight swinging around the gym.

2x5 45
1x5 100
1x3 150  this felt heavy...which made me laugh at myself...cause I knew it was gonna be a rough one...Matt S looked at me and Mona...I didn't even realize I wasn't.

1x2 200  not heavy...can someone please explain that to me???

working sets...

Load it up, get under it....I can hold it at least....down up....3 times.

second set....down up...down...ugh...dumped it.

Third set...a couple folks are watching me now...I manage 3 again..shocked the shit outta me...

2 sets of 3 at 255.... with a bonus 1 rep thrown in there..

I get the good mornings done, the grip work...then I move to some pull ups. How could I not after watching all these people do weighted ones?  There are 4 levels of bands at the gym...white, green, red, then the thinnest purple.  They take off a certain amount of your body weight to help you do pull ups.  I have been on the green...for a looooong time.  I did my first 2 sets on the green and I realized I was doing chest to bar pull ups...


Time to try...time to push.  So I wrap that red band around my foot for my last set....and I get them all done.  I have a feeling I have found my next target.....get off of those bands completely for my birthday.

On Saturday...I am TOAST.  Hot damn...but~it was my butt that hurt...back was fine and dandy.  So even though I know I broke form a bit on that last set of squats...I know I was still lifting properly....

Threw on Sunday too......then lots and lots of was a pretty nice weekend!

Back to the doctor today....more work on my neck....

Friday, September 7, 2012


Yeah yeah...any one who reads this already knows that I climbed a rope on Wednesday.  I had thought I *might* get this accomplished by my birthday next year...but there I was after working on cleaning up my~clean, when I looked at the rope and knew I had to get back on it...just practice the foot hold again.  As I head up the rope...I hear both Will and Pam are almost there...I had a twinge of fear...and Will said...take a bigger bite....I think I did...I finished the climb.  Then BJ was trying to get me down the damn thing...that was scary.

It is weird to think that I learned this physical skill that I was told when I was young that I would never do...that when I started Crossfit, I told myself I would never be able to do.  Seems like there is a bunch of that in my life right now. I feel like perhaps I should sit down and write out a bunch of goal numbers for the lifts I am working on. I seem to do better when I have a number in mind....I have done that for my throwing goals....I also seem to do better when people are watching me.  Pushing me...the self directed thing doesn't seem to work as well in the physical area for me....I must be an attention whore or something....sigh.  It's is one of the reasons that Crossfit works for me.  Going to the gym alone or trying to work out on my own...not so much.  I need a community.

I am planning on putting something else in my sights....not sure what yet.  There are so many *basic* things I keep telling myself I can't do....  :)

All this "doing shit I have never done" crap made me think of a book I started to read last year when my life seemed to be headed down a scary path.  It is called What Happy People Know. 

"Courage, they say, is not the lack of fear, but the ability to take action in spite of it. But where does that ability come from? What power grants the strength to overcome the sick, shaky feeling of fear? 
Only one power is that strong: love.....
Fear impels us to survive, and love enables us to thrive."

Now...I know my climbing a stupid rope has very little to do with real, running into burning buildings, kinds of courage... but I am struck by the choice of love over fear.  I do believe it is a choice...I have seen this in the last 9 months or so in bright~shining ways.  Honestly, I have never felt so much love in my life...and so much of this had to do with letting go of old, cobweb laden fears about not being enough.  Suddenly, my life is filled with the sorts of people who celebrate themselves in an honest way and I am celebrated and lifted up by them. I also see things in old friends that I never knew were there...and love them~in a new way.

I wonder sometimes if we are even really able to *feel* someone loving us or if what I am experiencing is my love for them...perhaps that is why we are always told, you cannot really love someone~until you love yourself.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

back to the gym.

Last night..

People at Zia we so sweet to me last is so great to feel supported.  As I have been looking at photos, I am very pleased that you can see the Zia patch on my kilt....I know there is a measurable impact from the training into my throwing.  Beyond that there is a respect for what I am doing that makes me know~they know how important this is to me...even if it is an unusual persuit.


Back to the program...backed in the last week I lifted.

Bench Press
Romanian Dead Lifts
Crush work

Something is not clicking in my cleans any more....I am dropping a significant amount of weight and I can't seem to get under the bar after I get to about 125...I think maybe tonight I'll just work drills with a PVC or something.  I thought maybe I was just tired...but when I hit the bench I was able to do some heavy (for me) presses...

oh well.

Seems like everything is about form....something is freaking me out about the clean...

I have 3 games left this year...I still can't believe I threw so much this year.

Santa Fe  Sept 22
Aztec NM  Oct 6
Tucson AZ  Nov 3

Busy Fall....Kim may just talk me into the Boxtober competition too....  I know things are about to shift back toward my artistic life....I hope I am able to balance all this work out.  I know I still have my long range goal on my at home.

I guess I can think of that silly poster...what am I going to do today that will get me closer?

cleans...I can work on fixing my clean.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

too many thoughts, lots of work to do.

Happy Tuesday...

I know that if you read this blog, you know I was off this past week in the Bay area at my very first (hopefully not only) invitational games.  To say that the festival in Pleasanton is big is quite an understatement. 

I think of Buddy the Elf...this festival is GINORMOUS.

My intention was to write as I went along, keep a running journal so to speak, I figured I might forget too many things to be able to post it all after the games.  As things happen, I didn't have web access early in the trip and so I sort of unplugged~then once I did have access, I was having too much fun being really connected to folks that I just let it go.  Turns out I was right though...I have too many thoughts in my head...and I know this will probably ramble and jump and not say what I really mean to say.

I got to see Jane and Kerry... two dancers I worked with 8 or 9 years ago...they were both so generous with their time and attention...It was interesting to chat these nearly 10 years on about how much our bodies have changed, what we all do now to try to care for these bodies...theirs worn from the hard work of being dancers, mine nearly lost to neglect and self hatred. 

I got to spend lots of time was nice to feel good about being alone.  Time spent remembering to look up...look out....I saw so many people on the street and on the docks and in restaurants looking down at their phones....I am guilty of that more and more these days....I put it away and looked.  At the sky, at water, fog, sea lions, in peoples eyes.  I spent time just silent...hours...I honestly don't know when the last time is that I did that, but I need more of it. I spent an insane about of money having lunch alone at a window looking out at Alcatraz. I sat there for almost two hours....not feeling lonely, just lucky.

At the end of my little walking adventure in San Fran, I met up with Sara, Michelle, and Michelle's daughter....It was a great cap off to the day...sadly I ended up with a smart Mona, really smart. I got my butt back on the BART to Oakland...It was funny, so many people texted me to "be careful." Now I get it, I see the news...I hear the stories...Oakland has a reputation..but I got off the train and decided to wait for Kerry to pick me up. I sat back and just to to see people, to watch people.  The first thing I see are fruit, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, all sorts of greens too. I see people living their lives. I watch people coming off the train after work...people doing the things we all do...I think about all the weird things that are said about "real" Americans and wonder if some of these people who are so isolated being afraid of "the Other" could have just sat next to me watching these folks in the "scary" city of Oakland...just living life...just as they do...tired after work, nodding hello to familiar faces, smiling at the dog that ambles past them.....

I get out to Pleasanton on Friday night....prep the bag, blah blah blah....

This is a two day event for me...I have never done that before. I am a little nervous about how I am gonna handle the physical side of things.  Hit the field, it is really lovely, overcast, cool....I cannot even work my mind around all the people I met...great people, I felt very welcomed by the women. Lots of gift giving and sharing of food and stories.  The day is different...fewer events with a lot of down time. I feel challenged to stay warmed up...on the up side...I didn't feel so blown out by the end of the day.

I did start strong, a nice PR on light Hammer...75"5.75' whoot!
HWD...not so much...scratched my first throw, only one spin on the second throw, third throw...under what I have been throwing in practice by 5-8 feet.... Looking at photos, my head is in the wrong place....ew...sounds gross.
Braemer...who knows?  Stones are new every place you go, right? This one was heavy 16 + and was shaped like a giant hamburger..made me hungry.  Threw it ok...again, looking at the photos...I am no where near as low to start as I image in my head!

Afternoon? Started with a turkey leg, so...that's good. to see Kerry...she and a friend came out to the the was so great to see someone I know out in the crowd. Did I happen to mention that the afternoon events were on a horse track?  Crazy!  I also took a photo with the Men's Polish team...I'll post it at some point...but um...yeah...I look tiny! 

Caber was first....I have never in a games turned a 12 more than one lucky time...I turned a 12 twice! I actually took second in this event behind the Master of cabers...Michelle. 

WOB was fun.  I started was a knock off bar..It made me nervous.  I did NOT reach my goal of 16 feet...but a couple of the women said that with my last did make it off the bar....yeah..but I did hold in there with some of the A class women for a while...and let me tell you...I LOVED watching some of these women throw...such speed, power, beauty.  I needed to remind myself a couple of times to just enjoy, not was really a gift for me.

At the end of the day I had 3 firsts, 2 seconds, and one PR..the PR being the most important. I also saw my friend Matt from has been over 20 years.  I met his wife and little girls.  I was so thrilled they came out and if I get invited again?  We will plan some dinner!

Day two....didn't sleep well...I was tired....thank god we didn't start with heavy hammer...ugh....started on Open stone...I felt good here too....had 2 good throws (for me) it was heavy..almost 12 pounds.  Again..I am not low enough, but perhaps I can fix that. 

LWD....cannot find form...Heather MacDonald came up to me and told me that I was bent over...that I need to have my head and chest high and she thinks I'll throw better.  I felt really grateful she took the time to watch me...the A class are super focused. I couldn't find the right position these games..but I'll work on it.  Again, I threw short for me...but I ended up in first.  It was at this point, having taken the first 2 events of the day...that I actually walked away from the field, away form the other women, because I started to cry...yeah I know...big dummy.  I just was struck by the hard work of all these women and men who have let me in, who keep helping coach me....and struck by the work that I have done to prove my former doctor stay out of a say F%&*ck off to the life I was headed for....

Heavy hammer....not great, but again...Heather was spying my form and gave me a tip about the timing of my hip....

The challenge events?  Crazy tired by this point...our WOB we used this other weird feeling one that I almost could not get my hand in.   This time...I had three even closer 16 foot throws, but alas....none cleared it.  I need more power...because this time I could walk away from those three misses knowing my form was good....clean....I was outta gas and the throws just grazed the bar each no 16, but I am pretty proud of it.

Caber challenge...yikes...after my second attempt...I started to walk away form the caber and it chest started to tighten.  I couldn't catch my inhaler?  Across the field...silly girl.  Sarah went after it, but I started to of the women told me to bend at the waist....then, I heard this voice, that at first I thought was Pierre...very calm, quiet....reminding me to to breathe....I started to get better breaths when I realized, oh right Pierre isn't here....I look at this guy...Joe Wilson, one of the A throwers husband's...just talking me down from my asthma...he scolds me gently to stop laughing when Sarah hands me what I should have had with me the whole time.  I have to admit, I was super embarrassed...oh one else seemed to think anything of it.  I did gather myself enough to take my final turn at that caber..but I didn't get it...close, but...not quite.

Again...leaving the field, I started to cry...I don't quite know why. Tired, hot, grateful, missed my kids, wanted Pierre there~~ overwhelmed. I tried to find all of the women and thank them, but I know I missed a few...I spoke briefly with Adriane and she was so kind, supportive of this short journey I have been on that I teared up again...geezzz....but getting a compliment from her is pretty inspiring.  Like being told by Michael Jordan that you can shoot well.

Crazy weekend....

And now?  I have to get back to work...back to the gym....back to working on form.....