Thursday, July 31, 2014


Some days are just....

I came across this article today and I thought I would share:

Can you accept your body on its terms?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a vow to myself to quit regimes that involved trying to change or decrease the size of my body.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to hide my vessel because I thought she was fat, ugly or just not good enough.
I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent time traveling — to a place in the past when she was acceptable or to a moment in the distant future when she’ll be perfect.
I realized, just years ago, that I didn’t want to take this way of thinking to my grave. I did not want to be eighty years old looking back on my life regretting that I could not accept and fall in love with the mysterious, magical, wisdom and beauty infested organism that carried me through this life.
No fucking way.
I sat next to a sixty-some-year-old Shaman on a plane once. We were flying from Dublin to Copenhagen where he’d then take a train north to his home in the countryside of Sweden. At the end of our time together, as we walked towards customs, he pulled a photo out of his wallet. He looked at the photo before he showed it to me and said, “I never knew how beautiful I was back then.”
His words cast a stone right into my center and it rippled out into every part of my body.
Not in a way that it made me feel I had wasted any of my beauty on making un-nourishing choices in the past. But in a way that encouraged me to cease the moment. Could I realize how beautiful I was right now — right now — no matter the preconceived notions of what I thought beauty was, and no matter what has been pounded into me by the media or superficial boyfriends (and girlfriends)? More importantly, no matter my size or shape…right now?

This stone, a gentle seed, was the most sincere invitation to love, to become witness to my own beauty, in its present-state. And within this state of love and self-acceptance would I never again have to go on any ruthless, body-diminishing conquest to find, attain or achieve it. Through self-love, I’d just be it — beauty, in all its intuitive, freeing forms.

Right now — not as you were ten years ago, not even as you were yesterday, but as you are right now…
Beauty is an energy and it emanates from within. It’s key ingredient is acceptance. This acceptance is a healing elixir. It removes sheaths of nonsense, disbelief and falsities. More than anything, it sets us free.
We are all beautiful, but if you can’t see your own beauty, how can anyone else?
So let’s get started. Take off all of your clothes and start to re-discover what’s been carrying you every single day of your existence. What’s been whispering your name. What’s been the vehicle to serve your purpose. What’s been the source of your every breath….your body.
Here are 7 naked body truths I’ve learned so far.
#1 The touch of my own palms, pressing into any part of my naked body…is healing. My soft belly, my chest, arms, breasts — my hands, our hands, extensions of our hearts, have the energy to heal not only others, but our selves.

#2 When I look at my body, it looks back, whole-heartedly. And where attention flows, love grows. When I soften the tension around my eyes and my mouth, and when I relax everything around my brain and then look at my so-called imperfections, they all soften. All I see then, all I connect with, is my body — and my body responds with unconditional affection.

#3 Despite my accumulated messiness, shame and worthlessness, she’s still holds me. She’s always done the best with what she is and has despite the dimming of my own light due to low self-worth and not being able to see myself as I am — as we are.

#4 There’s no need to apologize. Never again do I need to apologize for taking up space in this world with my body. I have a right to be here. We all do.

#5 There’s unlimited and untapped bravery held within — and felt throughout. The nakedness of my body is liberating — and courageous. Not when it’s purposefully tantalizing or contrived due to identity confusion, but when it’s natural, authentic and unafraid of the experiencing life.

#6 There’s no need to force or control the changes that have and are taking place. I’m good enough. I am enough and I’ve never, even been more perfect or more beautiful. My body carries the story of my life’s experience in its tissue and when I allow myself to see this beauty, I embrace life.

#7 Vulnerability is strength. My naked body and all its vulnerability was and always has been thee catalyst for my most significant shifts of consciousness — always moving from a place of constriction to expansion, from fear to trust and resilience.

Progress is accepting and loving ourselves as we are. It’s truly stepping into our flesh and embracing every nook of it. The more we embrace our vessels, the less of a battle life becomes and authenticity thrives. And all we need are baby steps. Start with not being so hard on yourself when you look into the mirror, while you are in the shower and while making love. You are lovable. You are love.
The only real campaign that will truly work, shape or influence the world resides in the magnitude of your own self-love.

~ Tanya Lee Markul

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


numbers and lessons

A reminder:


BR                 24'1"
Open              28'4"
HWD             33'6"
LWD             63'7"
LH                 80'1"
Sheaf             18'
WOB             15'

This year?

 BR                 24' 6.5"
Open              30'6"
 HWD             46' .5"  (21)
 LWD             58'11"
 LH                 79'4"
 Sheaf             16'
 WOB             18'  (21)

2 12:00 on caber

Some up some down....COMPLETELY Bombed sheaf....Cannot remember the last time I didn't clear 18 feet...sad.

LWD and Hammer were also disappointing....But stone...not like they are big numbers...but something clicked again and the biggest thing is it didn't hurt.  Linear drive, yeah.

Happy with my caber...but something funny happened to my wrist on the last collapsed...popped...something...was swollen the rest of the day.  Still sore today.  Took attempts at 19'3" on WOB...I froze...I let the pressure of throwing harder mess up my throws.  Got to chat with Andy Vincent about it again.  Was surprised he remembered me from over a year ago...said he snuck a peak at me at the 19 foot throws and I wasn't dropping.  He's a really nice guy...

I made some goals~missed others...but the thing I was happiest about was when I did bomb out...I shook it off and started each event over. To be frank, I am not really good at these "high pressure" games...they get to me for all sorts of reasons.  Imagined pressure, fear of failing other people, thinking I need to meet some sort of expectation to be seen as valid~I am beginning to move through some of that finally and even at this high pressure game surrounded by all these amazing woman, I let all that crap go.  I knew something had shifted for me on the first event...Heavy Weight...I have struggled with that for a long while. On Sunday, I just threw it.  The first 2 throws were good, clean foot work and right down the center.  Tried to put more speed on the last one and guess what? Feet got tangled....ha!  I walked away laughing.

 Win or not, I got to throw with Michelle & Michele & Kim & Juli....Collectively, I think the strongest women I know. Michele & Kim were talking back squats and my jaw was on the ground...Juli has just kicked ass with training over the last year.  Michele has come so far in a year it is amazing...and the other Michelle? My queen of the caber...what can you really say about her?  Tenacious, powerful, still getting better, and funny as hell....

And the ladies I got to watch throw....yeah....

It's a cool game,  great crew of folks watching and volunteering, and and "off hand" whiffle ball contest.  I got to see some of Seattle this year year, I hope to get into the Portland games and Enumclaw and spend the week between exploring a little.

And yes,  I hit the gym today...I was in pain when I got there...but back squats and good mornings seem to have corrected my back pain.

2 more games before Scotland.....

And I am settling into the knowledge that I am in a place of gratitude...I want to throw my best and I feel like I am on track to do that...but winning is getting to travel.  To experience Scotland....and this "highlands family" of mine.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Something odd came to my attention about my behavior in the gym today.  I seem to have this habit of acting like I am trying to do the least amount of work possible.  I make fun of myself fat (which I am) and slow (only with certain things) and old (46 isn't really old) and lazy.

I realized today as I was flipping a tire that if I were a coach...I wouldn't want me for a client.

I do work hard.

I know I can't reach for the goals I have if I were REALLY trying to skip workouts, or pieces of workouts, or if I always went easy.  Maybe I do this to give myself and "out" if I fail.  Like failing isn't inevitable! I know that.  In reality...I do push myself.  Today was a really good example of that.   I worked my ass off.

This reminds me a little of the blog  wrote about using the phrase, "not bad, for a..." every time I talked about an accomplishment. 

I have worked that phrase out...perhaps it is time to stop acting like I don't work hard. 

Maybe BJ and Will put up with me because they see that I work hard regardless of the crap that comes out of my pie hole.

So...I am sorry coachy coaches if I come off like I don't want to work, or if my undercutting myself undercuts you....that's what bothers me about this the most.  I feel like I have disrespected you by disrespecting the work you put into my health and success as a thrower.  I do love to be you, by me; I do love the workouts.

Thanks again for putting up with me, your fat, sometimes slow, middle aged, strong, sometimes quick, loves to sweat, and will try anything new, client.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Missing the groove

Well the title says it all....  my mojo is off, my groove is gone.  I tried to throw on Sunday..WFD and Hammer...I had to quit.

My head is messing with me...stress is pulling me off balance, which is tricky when you are already off balance from having an iron ball at the end of a chain or PVC.

Thinking about hitting the Whole 30 again after this weekend's competition in Enumclaw....I keep "trying" to get back on track and it usually lasts, oh, until lunch.  Funny thing that I can *tell* myself what I want and really want it, but obviously not enough to *do* what needs to be done. does ease some of the crap...I can get very happy eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Ok Workouts....

Friday was SWEET!

DB Snatch 8x2  (45lbs)
Tire flips  1 min on 2 min rest  x4
Sledge Hammer  (12 lb)  30 sec on 30 sec off x3
Hungarian core blaster  3x8
Tricep extension 3x8

I have no idea how big the tire was, but the first pull on this f#%ker was a shock to me... I managed to get 4 flips each minute, almost 5 on the last one.  I got pretty scraped and bruised from this one... I have to say too that I love the DB snatches...they feel like they are super connected to throwing. There were just too many of them and they were too heavy...No~not really.

Yesterday was another high volume day.

Back Squats 10x3  (185)
Push Press    5x3   (105)
Good Mornings  3x5   (65)
Pull ups.   SIGH.....

Went 40 pounds heavier on the squats than last week...2 less sets and I felt like I could have gone heavier.  I think I was still coming up fast which is what BJ is shooting I think it was a good weight.  I was much more smoked after this one.

Push Press, I know it's not a lot...but I had loaded that same as last time 95 and I just wondered if I could go up and still do them fast...Will thought I was making a "pain" face....he encouraged me to put 10 more on.  I think that within the sets I was still quick, but it took longer to recover between sets. Or maybe I am just lazy...that is a possibility.

I am headed to Enumclaw this weekend....I am looking forward to the competition and to watching some of these throwers.  I am hoping I can settle my head and at least have a shot at throwing close to what I threw last year....

BR                 24'1"
Open              28'4"
HWD             33'6"
LWD             63'7"
LH                 80'1"
Sheaf             18'
WOB             15'

I think HWD and WOB will be with the 21 this year so those numbers won't match up.  I am feeling a bit of pressure since last year at these games I set some field records...but that pressure is mine and silly at best.  Frankly...this is a really good field...and hopefully between the 6 of us we set all new records.

I mean..look:

 ~ MASTER WOMEN - Sunday ~
JULl PETERSON* Wauwatosa, Wl 
KlM DENNlS, Kelowna, BC

Wanna see who I get to watch throw?

KATHRYN BURTON, Silverdale, WA    
KRlSTY SCOTT, Ellensburg, WA    
BETH BURTON, Chico, CA    

LYMAN ASAY* Pocatello, lD
OLlVlA TYLER, New Braunfels, TX 

I am one lucky bitch, aren't I??

Thursday, July 17, 2014


So I said I would post about the one rep max stuff after I tried and well...I didn't. 

Excuses are plenty but who cares. 

To say the last week has been rough would be, well, an excuse.  To say that I have not known how to react to the things placed in my path would be more accurate. 

One of those," there is no try or try not; there is only do" things, well then I didn't.

OK   enough of the vague blogging....

numbers are easy right?


Back Squat.

45  (yes I warm up with the bar....sue me)
205  still feels kind light :)
275  hmmm ok still
315  I was nervous when I loaded this.  There were people in the gym..BJ and Sheila were close by, but I could not bring myself to ask them to watch the lifts...I am harboring some sort of guilt or shame or something and could not bear failing or something stupid.  BJ was RIGHT there so he was sneakily watching anyway is my guess. I got this which beat the PR from a few months ago by 10 pounds...I struggled with whether or not to load more...that prior 335 has been in place a long while.  so..

340  I know it's a big jump.  But except for the last, what felt like 4 inches, it felt easier than the 315.

New pr 

I have to start setting up my camera, so I can look at my form.  I did ask BJ if he saw it after I was done, he was watching...and he confirmed it was good.  10 pounds from that oddball goal of 350.  I know in reality, given how much I weigh, it really isn't that big of a lift, but I am proud of the amount of time it has taken me to get here.  I am not sure if that makes sense or not.  I am ticking away at 5 & 10 pound increases and when I don't get them, I don't give up. That's....good.  At 46 I don't know how long I have to keep pushing numbers up, but I love having the weight on my back so I hope that even if I never lift more than this 340 that I will keep squatting whatever I can.

Bench?  a 10 pound pr from two months ago 135,  Almost got the 155, but the shoulder is showing no love right now....10 pounds in two months?  Sweet.

Started the next 5 weeks of the program....speed seems to be the deal.

BackSquats  12x3  HUH?  I had to ask BJ if it was a typo.
Did them at 145....a little too light, but he also wanted speed and more speed, not to wreck myself coming dunno.  I was still feeling it at the end...
5x3  95


Clean & jerk  (you are)
5x2  I went light, I know, I know  95
Push Press 
5x3  95  These were kinda heavy...after the jerks I guess.  Trying to find the balance with the speed thing.

Need to throw today....threw Sunday...WOB and Sheaf....trying to tweak my sheaf form a bit before I get my ass kicked in Enumclaw. Seriously.

Last night...I worked on a warm up sequence to try before I throw...I've done this before, but I wanted to add some of this new weird shit BJ is forcing me to do....totally against my will I may add....I was joking with Will & BJ that 6 weeks into this programming and I haven't skipped the running I may just have to see if I can get through the whole thing and never skip the running... Just so I can say I did it.  To be fair...I am still working up to the full amount he wants me to do...but I am still out there "running"...gliding effortlessly over the pavement like a gazelle (for 50 meters).

Friday, July 11, 2014

shoulders and programing notes and blurghhhhhh


Wednesday was dead lift day.  I am usually excited for deads....but at the games last weekend I sorta tweeked my.....ass.

I am still sore and my booty feels weird still.  Still does today.  poops.

Deads  5X1

Yeah it isn't a set of 5 it is 5 heavy singles.  Did these at 305.  They felt HEAVY HEAVY...well, it is sorta heavy...but not heavy enough.

Push press 5x3

Did these at 75.  So light.  But the shoulder is always a little tired, but it seems more tired this week.

Then one leg box jumps...I really struggled with these at first, but I sorta like them now AND I feel like I am a little smoother with them....not real athlete smooth, but clumsy Mona smooth.

And Dumb bell curls.  HAHAHAHA....I do these in front of a mirror, while kissing my biceps on each rep.  At 25 pounds...damn I am soooooo strong and ripped.

Yesterday was mobility~warm up~RDL~bent over rows~throwing.

LeAnn met me at the park....It was great to throw in the cool wind and to have our little gopher visitor as we threw.  I wasn't throwing super hard.  I have been a little off since getting sick from some food in Idaho. Silly tummy.  Stress and sadness has taken hold again as well.

I looked at what I have to do today and I am not happy....nope...  He is having me test my one rep on the bench and the back squat.  My shoulder feels crappy and my tummy is icky.I have to say though, I love love love what he is having me do.  I feel like my shoulders and upper back are getting stronger and more flexible.  Even though I refuse to look in the mirror, I think that there is actually a shift in "definition."  I use that term in quotes because I am not someone who gets defined....HA! good Polish Farm woman genes.

I'll let you know if I get a new max today...Yeah...right.

yeah....more like...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

unconfirmed and non-existent

Let's see....

Yesterday....oh 45 minutes or so of mobility and warm ups....yes warm ups BJ...I did them all.....I even ran.  Slow and sweaty and appreciating that I can move the whole time, I swear. 

The Monday post games is tricky.  I need to get back to it, but I am generally sore and feel like a "recovery" workout is in order.

So Back Squats  5x5  It was sooooo hot and sweaty in the gym  ugh...  the regular class had them too so I waited a little for a rack, but since I was feeling was ok.  Did my working sets at 165...last recovery Monday I did them at that is...whatever it is.

Press....strict. 5x5  at 65~poops.  I tried to get Sheila to do these for me but nooooo.  My strategy yesterday seemed to include a boat load of self talk.  Reminding myself why BJ gave me a particular exercise to do....Do these Presses Mona. they will prevent injury later...  do these "pull ups" help strengthen your upper back.....Do these good mornings Mona, they will help your hamstrings.....It helps me, even if it is annoying,

Came close to another record this weekend....but it shall remain unconfirmed.  My fault for not alerting the judge that I thought it might be close.  Not sure why I really care all of a sudden.  I do and I don't...It is a point to strive for...not a goal, if that makes sense.  My favorite part of the games was getting to throw with a new thrower, Elizabeth....she spent most of the day doubling her prior throws.  And....turning her very first caber.  As we were all leaning on the trailer~you could almost feel this collective push as she stopped for the pull.  It was beautiful. She jumped in the arms of her friend (husband?) then jumped in the arms of some of the women who had been coaching from the sides.  Thinking of her has nearly brought me to tears this week. 

Laura took a poll....turns out that almost all of us came to the sport after having lost weight....between the 7 of us, it was well over 500 pounds. I did too, but I have gained much of mine back...most from moving heavy weights...some from being a lazy eater.

I have a confession to make about this weight thing...I have been avoiding myself lately....Mirrors~I mean...I have returned to a really nasty place...I can't look in a mirror...not even at my face, and forget about looking at the whole deal. I know I'm chubby...but clothes fit, so I don't know what this is.  I knew it got super bad the day I saw the video that Dan had put up of my 16' throw....I found myself critical of HOW I LOOKED... I wasn't looking at my form, I wasn't looking at what I DID....all I could do was look at myself on video and think about how I terrible I look....


Really...that crap again?  I know that my goals revolve around what I can do...not a number on a scale....not how small I can become....or frankly not even how lean I can get...but what I can do.  Yet...all I saw was not good enough...Ugh, my belly....not thin enough....stupid fat face...not muscular enough....not deserving of the throw itself. 

yeah...I thought that.....

I have forced myself to watch it a couple of look at some of the photos from Idaho and Colorado Springs, so I can look at my a turn, at the hip pop (or not)....get back to the movement instead of the "how do I look? "why aren't there good photos of me" sort of crap.

I posted the video anyway, so that is something I guess.  I hate struggling with this....I really do.  And god knows that last thing in the world I want is to be fishing for a compliment.....gag....I am just sharing this continued struggle....thinking some of you may struggle with this crap too....

Maybe I need a little more mirror time... with Stuart. 

Or something....

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Try, Try again.

Been a while.

I put this tiny little blog on "private" for a while.  Was my choice and frankly I may shut it down again, I hope not, but I thought I'd give it another go.  I miss writing about my workouts...about why I workout....about what it gives me.  I also feel like I owe a little bit of progress report sorts of things to all of the people who pushed me to get my big ole butt to Scotland in the Fall.


Here I am.

I have a new 14 week program from BJ....I'm in week 4.

I really like it.  He sent along a set of instructions. It included 23 separate edicts.  Of which, 11 said...DO THE WARM UPS.

Even after a a couple years of working with him, he gets me a little too well.

But really...these "warm ups'  are so much more. 

I hit a game in CO last week and I am headed back to the Valkyrie games this up coming weekend.
I had a really great WOB throw in Colorado.....I had great women around me too....I always have...pushing me. The funniest thing about the 2 throws, 16' and 16'6", I thought I missed them both because I didn't hear the clang of the weight hitting the bar.

I know...I'm a dork.  But I have been chasing this height for well....almost 2 years...maybe longer...

A huge thanks to the big guy Dan Williams for catching the 16 foot throw.

So....I guess I'll see if I should keep writing or not.  I suppose you will help me decide.

Wanted to share this as well:

My Dear Friend Mike