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?