Road Tripping!

I like taking road trips.  I like driving and seeing what’s between here and there.  There, in this case, was northern Indiana.  A lot of cornfields are going on there!

Indiana-6-2016 008I have to admit, though, that driving 14 hours straight on my way home was a bit tough on the tushy, and I was really happy to see my house.

And I was really happy to see my sweet Sunny.  I had to board him while I was away this time.  He’s only been boarded once before as a kitten for just a weekend, so I was a little concerned how he would do for nearly a week.  He was a bit stressed and sometimes agitated, I was told, but basically did fine.  Whew.  He was pretty cuddly for a while once we got home.025But taking a road trip can be challenging for a healthy lifestyle, in terms of eating, at least.  So I thought today I’d give you my tips for eating healthy while road tripping.

  1.  Take food with you.  I took an ice chest and brought along things like apples and cherries and bottles of water.  For lunches on my way to Indiana, I made salads with romaine lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, celery, baked chicken breast, and feta cheese.  I put each salad in a plastic baggie and brought along paper plates and plastic forks.  I also stuck in a jar of peanut butter because no day is complete without peanut butter.  For snacks, I brought along some raw almonds, raisins, and Lara bars.  I would stop at a park and enjoy my surroundings and a lovely healthy lunch.  One day I ate lunch on Abraham Lincoln’s family farm!116
  2. Find healthy fast food.  Well, I don’t know if there is such a thing, but at least, choose the healthiest from what’s available.  I generally avoid fast food, but facing a 14 hour drive, sometimes a girl just has to buy food.  I didn’t want to eat food I had made 5 or 6 days earlier.  And I didn’t want to stop for very long since I had such a long way to go, so I looked for places that I knew had quick and mostly healthy options.   These are my go to places when I’m in a pinch or in a hurry:
    • Subway–Choose whole wheat bread, grilled chicken, load up the veggies, skip the dressing and cheese, and you’ve got a meal for under 400 calories.  Well, that’s for my 6 inch sub!
    • Chik-Fil-A–I recently discovered that instead of just fried chicken, they now serve grilled chicken.  And you can choose fruit or kale salad instead of fries for a side.  Not a bad option.
    • Panera–I like the cup of soup and half a sandwich option.  I choose a non-cream based soup to save calories.  Then, choose whole wheat bread, turkey and veggies for the sandwich, skipping the cheese and dressing.  And of course, choose the apple over the chips!

So you may not have these restaurants where you live, but what choosing a fast food place comes down to for me, really, is finding a place that gives me as much control as possible over what I eat.  I like being able to construct my meals instead of just ordering an entrée that has who knows what in it.

3.  Assess your hunger.  If you’re like me, I get bored and tired sometimes when I’m driving so I find myself wanting to snack to keep myself busy and awake.  It’s a challenge, but I have to constantly be in tune with how I’m feeling.  Is it true hunger that’s making me want to reach for a snack?  Or do I just need to take a break for a quick walk, find some new music, or begin the alphabet game (you know, find the alphabet in order on the road signs)?  And if it’s true hunger, reach for those healthy snacks you brought with you instead of facing the temptation of gas station snacks of chips and candy.

Here’s to safe and healthy road trips!

 

Where did you go on your last road trip?

What tips for eating healthy on the run do you have?

 

Being Okay with Uncomfortable

I had a conversation with a friend a while back when the seed of doing a Spartan race was planted in my mind.  A Spartan race is a super serious obstacle course, not like the inflatable obstacles I did last week. I don’t know if I’ll ever do a Spartan race.  I have a lot to overcome in the fear category before I tackle that course, but I’m challenged by the thought of doing a real obstacle race.

As I was reading and learning about Spartans, I heard someone say that those that have gone before us were comfortable with being uncomfortable and that Spartans, too, have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  It makes sense.  The obstacles have racers doing things like crawling in mud, swinging from a rope high above the ground, running in the heat, carrying heavy things.  Just being downright uncomfortable.

So I’ve been thinking about being okay with being uncomfortable on my trip to northern Indiana to visit family this week.  On the way I passed through the state of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln country.  Did you know that Abraham Lincoln served in the state house of representatives when he was 27 years old?  Here is a wax figure of what he probably looked like at that young age:

106Then, I visited a replica of the log cabin where he grew up on the actual Lincoln farm.  Talk about being uncomfortable!  Can you imagine 9 people living in this 2 room house with no indoor plumbing, electric, heat or air?

107Yeah, I was dying in my T-shirt and shorts, sweat trickling down my back, as I considered cutting my visit short so I could get back into my nicely air conditioned car.  I’m pathetic.

Then, I arrived in Goshen, Indiana where a large community of Amish people live.  The Amish, if you’re not familiar with the religion, live without electricity, indoor plumbing, or cars.  They make their own clothing (the women only wear long dresses), plow their fields with horse drawn plows, and drive horse drawn buggies for transportation. Indiana-6-2016 003 My mom was raised in an Amish family (yes, I kid you not), so seeing people in 2016 driving horses and buggies was not new to me.  But as I watched the horses and buggies go by, it reminded me of these thoughts I’ve been thinking about being okay with being uncomfortable.  Here, in this day and age, is a group of people who choose not to use modern amenities that would make their lives so much more comfortable.  They are okay with being uncomfortable, at least by my standards.

So what’s the point of being okay with uncomfortable?  As I’ve mulled it over, I’ve realized that all the growth that’s happened in my life came because I was willing to get uncomfortable.  Change is uncomfortable.  It makes us do things we don’t like or don’t want to do.  It makes us choose between sometimes impossible options.  It makes us hurt, sometimes physically or emotionally.  Let’s be honest.  Sometimes change just sucks.

But I’ve only become a runner because I was willing to get uncomfortable.  I had to push past my level of physical comfort to be able to run farther and faster.  And the muscle soreness that follows a CrossFit workout is NOT fun, but lifting heavier weights is tons of fun!

And weight loss happened because I was willing to get uncomfortable.  I had to live through weeks and months of making choices that were hard to get to the point of being able to choose healthy without a battle.  Trust me.  I know how hard, how uncomfortable, it is to stare a donut in the face and choose to eat an apple instead.  I understand the uncomfortable feeling of being exhausted from a day’s work but choosing to be active in some way instead of vegging on the couch.

I have a lot of work to do before I get to okay with being uncomfortable.  I definitely like my creature comforts, being clean, staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  I don’t like being hurt, emotionally or physically.  I don’t like standing in line; just standing there makes my back hurt.  I know; I’m a weenie.

But I do like what’s happened because I’ve faced those discomforts.  I like being able to say that I’ve run a marathon.  I like that the blisters on my hands have turned to callouses from handling barbells and hanging from the pull up bar at the gym.  I like that I can choose apples over donuts without a battle of the wills.  I like that I can even consider the idea of doing an obstacle course.  I like the changes in me that have been born from discomfort.

But, I know that I need to get a lot more okay with being a lot more uncomfortable to reach all of my goals.  If I’m ever going to go parasailing, I’m going to have to get real uncomfortable.  Oh, boy.

What fun historical sites have your visited?

What’s the most uncomfortable thing you’ve ever done?

 

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Putting Life in Order

I’m taking a road trip this week, a looong road trip.  I’m driving to my birthplace of Goshen, Indiana.  That’s somewhere around 800 miles or about a 12 hour drive, alone in my car.  Just me and my thoughts for miles on end.

I passed this strange truck like thing.  It reminded me of some kind of alien.  Can anyone tell me what this creature is?

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I like taking road trips alone.  I get to stop as often as I want, for as long as I want.  I get to choose the route, listen to the radio stations of my choice, and play the music as loud as I want.  But what I like best about taking road trips alone is the solitude.  With nothing to do but drive, I find myself doing a lot of thinking…and a lot of praying.

My faith is important to me.  Jesus is not just my savior.  He’s my friend.  He’s my LIFE.  I am who I am because of Jesus Christ.

And yet, as I’m driving along today, something that’s been preying on my mind for quite a while surfaced again.  And this time, I had nothing but time to think about it.  And what I thought about made me tear up.

It’s no news flash that I’m a runner.  If you’ve spent any time here On the Other Side with me, you know that about me!  You also know that I love CrossFit.  I spend a lot of time training my body.  I enjoy CrossFit for CrossFit’s sake, but mostly it’s an avenue to build strength so that I can become a better runner.  I run to train my body for races.  I do speed intervals to run faster.  I run hills to become stronger.  I run long distances to prepare my body for long races.  I spend a lot of time preparing for running events.  I even plan my schedule around my training schedule.

But as I was driving along today, these thoughts that have been swirling around, pricking my conscience, finally got my full attention.  Over the last several months, in more than one environment, I’ve encountered this message of prioritization, especially when it comes to training our physical bodies.  Are you focusing more on training your physical body than you are your soul?  Faith is a muscle too; the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes.  And in the end, my physical body will cease to exist, but my soul will go on forever.

I have to admit that somehow my priorities have been turned upside down lately.  I find myself choosing a run over choosing time spent with scripture.  Or choosing a run over time spent with friends.  How is it that I’ve put more worth on training for a physical race, which has no everlasting benefits, than on training for the spiritual race that has at the end a crown of life?  How is it that I can tell someone who died for me out of love that I value training my physical body more than spending time with Him?

That’s what brought me to tears.  I’ve made health and fitness not just a top priority but THE priority.

Don’t get me wrong.  Running and training for athletic events is NOT wrong in itself.  In fact, staying fit and healthy is one way we can be prepared to do whatever it is that God calls us to do.  And He does have a job for you!  But I cannot let running become more important to me than the One who gave me the ability to run.

So I’m thinking about how to reorder my life so that God is first and that I can still train for my next marathon.  (Yes, another one’s in the works.  More about that another day.)  I’ve been thinking about some suggestions that other runner friends have passed on:

  1.  Listen to scripture during the run
  2.  Pray for someone different during each mile of the run
  3.  Meditate on a certain verse or passage of scripture during the run

But more than doing things, I think there’s the matter of getting my heart in the right place.  Doing things, good things, still doesn’t mean I have the right attitude, and that’s really what prioritization is all about–doing what you do with a right and good attitude.  Run, not just for the bling, but for the glory of God and his amazing creation.  Run, not just to win, but to encourage others to just do it.  Lift heavy weights, not just for the accolades of your peers, but to be able to go about your life’s work when you’re old and gray.

Maybe I’m the only one who lets things that are important to me get out of order…

How do  you keep things that are important in life in perspective and in the right place?

 

What I Learned from Inflatables

This weekend I did the Insane Inflatable 5K with my nephew who just turned 12.  It’s not a race.  It’s not timed, but finishers get a medal and a T-shirt.  It’s basically a 3 mile course with 10-11 inflatable obstacles participants climb up, slide down, or run through in some way.  It’s a great family event.  There were people from little girls to silver-haired ladies, athletic looking guys to not so athletic looking people participating.

I have to admit, I felt a bit nervous as our wave was about to start.  I mean, inflatables or not, some of those obstacles were pretty tall for a girl who’s not crazy about heights.  The starting obstacle was a climb to this big slide onto the course.  Trust me.  It was higher than it looks!

Insane Inflatable 5K, 6-18-16 002We walked from obstacle to obstacle since it was super hot already, and it wasn’t a race.  We talked about everything from the shape of Epcot Center to telling riddles.  Caleb had some good ones:

“If a butcher is 5’8″ tall and wears a size 14 shoe,  what does he weigh?”

(I’ll keep you in suspense.  Leave a comment if you think you know the answer!) 

I had a lot of fun just spending some time with my nephew.  He totally blew through those obstacles.  I’d come through to find him standing there just waiting for me.  He told me he thought about going ahead, but then he realized I’d just run and catch up to him so he decided to wait!

But besides loving hanging out with my nephew, I learned a few things while I was playing on inflatables.

  1.  Trying new things is fun!  This was an EASY obstacle course.  Anyone of any fitness level could do it.  The obstacles weren’t really challenging in terms of fitness level, but climbing, sliding, dodging, ducking under and going over things was new to me.  The height of some of the obstacles was a bit intimidating to me, but the inflatables had high sides so I couldn’t see how high up I was which helped squash my fear.  The finish line obstacle was the highest at something like 74 feet.  That’s me in the orange shorts.  Insane Inflatable 5K, 6-18-16 023But when I got to the bottom of this massive slide, I realized how much fun I had! I especially liked the climbing parts.  Hmmmm, maybe I should think about doing a real obstacle course.
  2. I CAN conquer fear!  Well, at least minor fears.  Looking at the height of the slides made me quake just a bit, but when I got to the top, I didn’t really feel scared at all.  What did make my heart race just a bit was an obstacle that required us to climb up a ramp, through some crisscrossing posts and onto a platform.  To complete the obstacle, we jumped from the platform onto a series of balls.  To me, the platform seemed kind of high and then there was this gap between the platform and the ball…Insane Inflatable 5K, 6-18-16 020I’ll admit it.  My heart was beating a bit faster.  Yes, that’s how much of a fraidy cat I am, BUT I took the leap without too much of a pep talk, landed not at all gracefully on the ball, but made it without falling to the end of the obstacle…where Caleb was waiting for and laughing at me!  But I’ll take these tiny victories against fear.
  3. I need to work on balance and agility.  Keeping my balance was probably the toughest part of the obstacles.  The air in the inflatable created a very unsteady surface, so just staying upright was a bit tricky at times.  While recovering from a sprained ankle a while back, I did an exercise that was  great for both balance and strengthening my ankle.  I stood on one leg on a pillow for 30 seconds, alternating legs.  I need to add that in to my exercise regimen a little more regularly.  For agility, one suggestion I read about was to map out letters like A, B, C and run the shape of those letters.  So my neighbors might think I’m nuts running in all directions in the backyard, but that’s okay if it increases my quickness.

Would you do an obstacle course?

What’s your favorite riddle?

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Running Hot

Good grief.  It is HOT here in Oklahoma.  I got up at 4:00 for a run this morning to try to beat the heat, but it didn’t really work.  It was close to 80 degrees when I hit the pavement and muggy.  Humidity is the worst.  It makes me feel like I’m trying to breathe with a cloth over my head.

Running in the heat does this to me.  (Sorry, I hope I haven’t ruined your appetite with this horrible photo!)

008I seriously leave little puddles of water behind if I stand in one place for too long.  It’s not a pretty sight.

But more than just not being pretty, running in the heat can be dangerous.  You know, dehydration, and stuff like that.  So I thought today, since I’m dripping with sweat and running in the heat is on my mind, I’d give you my survival list for hot weather running.

  1.  Avoid running during the hottest part of the day.  If you’re like me and live somewhere that’s just hot 24/7 during the summer, you can’t avoid running in the heat, so pick the lesser of the evils.  Run when it’s 80 degrees instead of 98.  For me, like today, I get up super early some times.  That may mean running in the dark which is a whole different ball game and a topic for a different post, but it’s also not quite as hot.  Or I’ll run later in the evening, before the sun goes down completely.  And sometimes I run on my treadmill.  I have a treadmill with a fan in the garage.  I open the garage door, strip down to just a sports bra and shorts, turn on the fan and get my miles in.  It’s not much cooler, but it’s an alternative when my schedule only allows for a mid day run.
  2. Wear moisture wicking clothes.  This is my standard for clothing for any fitness activity, but I find it especially helpful when I’m running in the heat.  Have you ever been caught unprepared in a downpour?  You know how your clothes just cling to you when they get wet?  Yeah, I cannot stand that feeling, especially when I’m running and sweating buckets in the summer.  So moisture wicking fabric is a life saver.  It pulls the moisture away from your body so you don’t feel as wet.  You can find shirts and shorts made of wicking fabric.
  3. Wear as few clothes as possible.  I feel like I’m advocating for public nudity by writing that, but what I mean is to dress for the weather.  I see people working out sometimes in sweatpants and hoodies with the hood on, just dripping sweat.  I want to ask them what they think they’re gaining (anyone know?), but don’t dress like that for a run in the heat.  You’ll keel over.  I’d hate to use my CPR license when I’m not at work if I don’t have to.  I live in racerback tank tops.  I feel covered but with less fabric over my back, I don’t feel constrained by my shirt when it starts to collect sweat.  For longer runs, I like to wear compression shorts, but for shorter runs I like to wear loose shorts.
  4. Wear a head band or cap.  When I was younger, I never sweated when I got hot.  My face just turned beet red and scared people to death.  With age and fluctuating hormones, I sweat buckets now when I get hot.  Being new to running, and especially running in the heat, I didn’t realize how much I would sweat until I finished a 5K a couple of years ago and was nearly blinded by sweat running into my eyes.  I was miserable.  My eyes were burning so badly I could hardly open them, and the only thing I had to wipe them with was my sweat laden cotton t-shirt or my sweaty hand.  Not much help from either of them.  Now, I don’t run witho019ut some type of headband or cap.  I love Fit Chic headbands (check them out here).  They’re light weight, moisture wicking, and they stay where you put them.  I also really like my Headsweats cap (visit them here) .  It’s also light weight and has a sweatband inside.
  5. Don’t forget the sunscreen!  Whether you’re super pale like me or not, skin needs to be protected from those harmful UV rays.  I like to use a sport sunscreen with SPF 50 because I’m really pale.  Because sport sunscreen generally has a longer wear time before needing to be reapplied, I can make it through most runs with one application.  And sport sunscreens are usually waterproof so it won’t come off when the sweat pops out.  Don’t forget an SPF lip balm.  Lips are skin too and are just as susceptible to developing skin cancer.
  6. Slow down.  Runner’s World reports that every 5 degrees F above 60 degrees can slow your pace by 20-30 seconds per mile!  No wonder I feel sluggish trying to run fast in the heat.  I’ve learned to just go with it, though.  Not every workout has to be a speed or tempo workout.  Just accept that heat and running your fastest pace don’t mix well and slow down.
  7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Last, but certainly not least, hydrate!  Running in the heat can cause excessive perspiration (aka, sweating like a pig) which equates to losing electrolytes, like sodium.  Your body needs sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium–electrolytes– to make muscles work properly.  And in case you weren’t aware, your heart is a muscle.  After running those however many miles with severe leg cramps during my marathon, I’m still learning how to hydrate to replace electrolytes.  Hydration and replacing electrolytes are huge topics, so I’ll try to spend more time on that later, but if you’re a beginning runner, start with making sure you don’t go into summ021er runs dehydrated.  Drink water throughout the day, every day, to make sure you stay well hydrated.  I like to use the “pee test” to know if I’m getting enough fluid.  If my urine is pale yellow, I know I’m well hydrated (TMI?  Sorry.).  During hot weather, I always take a bottle of water with me and drink when I feel thirsty.  On long runs that last more than an hour, I take a sports drink (I like Nuun) with me for electrolyte replacement.

So here’s to running in the summer!  Be safe.  And find a route that takes you past a splash pad.  Just have fun!

What are some of your favorite summer activities?

What tips do you have for keeping cool while being active during hot weather?

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Dare Bucket List

Hi!  My name’s Juanita, and I’m afraid of deep water.  Yes, it’s true.  I have this thing about water that’s deeper than I am tall, which is not very deep considering I’m only 5’2″ tall.  I’m not a great swimmer, but I can swim if I know when I put my feet down I can touch the bottom.  When I can’t touch the bottom, I panic and sink like a rock (hanging head in embarrassment).  I’m not scared to go under water, but I can’t get over this fear of deep water.

Hoping to become a better swimmer, I actually took swimming lessons last summer.  After 2 sessions of lessons, I still had to be coaxed off the wall in the deep end of the pool, even while I’m hanging on for dear life to a noodle around my middle with one hand and keeping a death grip on the instructor’s hand with the other.  It was pitiful, folks, and I have no idea how I’m going to get over the fear.  Some fears I don’t mind not getting over, like my paralyzing fear of snakes.  I have no desire to get comfortable with those creepy crawlies.  Shiver.  And if I see one anywhere around my house, I’d probably put my house up for sale that very day.  But my fear of deep water nags at me, and I really, really want to be comfortable in the water.

So I went to the beach with my friends recently with this fear of deep water.  And I promised them that one day before we left I would actually get in the ocean.  This is how I preferred to spend my time at the beach:

St. Pete beach, 5-2016 001But a promise is a promise, so I got in the water.

St. Pete beach, 5-2016 004St. Pete beach, 5-2016 010I finally made it out into water that was chest deep and took a beating from the waves, but I went into the ocean.  If my friends could have persuaded me to go out a bit deeper, the waves wouldn’t have broken right on top of me, pushing me towards the beach, but I couldn’t get past my fear.  Sigh.

Then, there was this discussion of parasailing.  Enter my second nagging fear, the fear of heights.  I don’t like being up high.  Airplanes are fine, but I nearly froze driving up Mount Evans in Colorado when I got above the tree line and saw how high up I was, and there was no guard rail.  And then there was that time I was going to try zip lining.  I climbed up this wooden tower and out onto this ridiculously narrow platform that seemed to be miles above the ground and got hooked into the harness.  I’m shaking from head to toe when the panic hits, and I’m nearly hysterical, telling the zip line attendant to, “GET ME DOWN!  GET ME DOWN!”  You can laugh if you want, but I was in full panic mode looking at how high up I was.  So I hung my head in shame, and climbed down the tower on legs of jello and watched my friends have the funnest 20 seconds of their life flying across the tree tops.

So parasailing.  It would combine two of my biggest fears, deep water and heights, but yet, it looks so fun.  The question my friends were asking me was will you do it?  But the wind saved me.  The day we were going to go parasailing was too windy, and parasailing companies were not operating.  Secretly, I breathed a sigh of relief!

So I’m thinking of all these things when we meet our friend John and his now wife, Kristy, for breakfast before their wedding.  Somehow the subject of parasailing and my fears comes up, and Kristy says something I can’t forget.  She tells me that the fear is just my brain telling me the activity isn’t safe.  So I have to tell my brain that it IS safe, and just go for it.  Hmmmm…

And then she challenged me to set a dare bucket list.  So I’ve been thinking about that because despite being afraid of deep water and heights, some things that involve both of those look like a lot of fun.  Over the years, I’ve discovered I’ve missed out on a lot of fun because of fear, and I refuse to let fear control my life anymore.  So here is my dare bucket list (does putting this is writing mean I really have to do these things?  Gulp.):

  1. Zip lining
  2. Parasailing
  3. Swim in deep water
  4. Cross the bridge at the Royal Gorge

Maybe I’ll add to the list as time goes on, but these are the things that I’ve wanted to do but am held back by fear.  I’m sweating just looking at the list.  I hope I can find my courage, convince my brain that these activities ARE safe, and just go for it!

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

What’s something you want to do but are scared to try?

Murph

“Ten seconds!” the coach called, starting the timer on the wall.  Five seconds.  We were lined up outside, eagerly awaiting the command to “Go!”  Three seconds.  Two.  One.  Go!  We took off on a one mile run, and Murph was underway.

I finished the run in about 7.5 minutes and headed into the gym to begin the 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 squats.  I broke them into 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats because in the CrossFit world, I’m still a weakling and there’s absolutely no way on this earth I’d be able to do 100 pull-ups in a row.  In fact, I can’t even do one pull-up.  I’m still working on that, so I had to do ring rows.

By my third round and 30 push-ups later, my arms were already threatening divorce from the rest of my body, and I found myself lying on the floor in between push-ups gasping for air like a dying fish.  And I wasn’t even half way to the finish!  Oy!

So I thought about Murph, not the workout, but the guy the workout honors.  CrossFit has different workouts, tough workouts, named after fallen military heroes to honor their sacrifice.  Hero WODs, they’re called.  On Memorial Day, CrossFit gyms, or boxes, around the world do the workout called Murph to honor Navy Lt. Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.  The actual workout is supposed to be done wearing 20 to 40 pounds of body armor and all the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats done unbroken.  And here I am doing my pitiful little ring rows, 5 at a time, and grunting to keep my knees off the floor during a push-up.  With NO body armor…

Thinking about how tired I was just didn’t hold a candle to the sacrifice of Lt. Murphy, so I kept going, round after round, willing myself to just complete one more round.  Finally I reached the 300th squat, and I headed outside to complete another one mile run, the final component of Hero WOD Murph.

My pace was definitely slower than on the first mile.  Squats have a way of turning legs to wood, and I felt like I was moving through mud.  Then, marathon flashback…I started cramping.  This time is was the side of my belly, a super bad side stitch, instead of my legs.  I had half a mile left to go, and my belly was cramping so tightly I could hardly breathe or hold my upright position.  I’m sure my face was doing all kinds of contortions because fellow athletes passed me, calling out encouragement.  My breath was coming out in short audible gasps.  I was so ready to be done, but that last 400 meters seemed like an eternity!

But 50 minutes and 33 seconds after this marathon of CrossFit workouts started, I finished Murph for the second time in my CrossFit life, shaving 5 minutes off my previous time.  And when my cramp eased up and I could breathe again, all was well with the world, and I decided that yeah, Murph wasn’t that bad!  It just left me looking like this.  Sunny curled up beside me to comfort me.

016I did Murph on Monday, Memorial Day.  Today is Friday (I know, this post is really overdue.  Blame it on working 12 hour shifts!), and for the first time this week I can unhook my bra without crying.  It’s nice to have arms that don’t protest with movement!  But it’s got me thinking a lot, again, about why I do CrossFit?  Why do I put myself through such tough workouts, endure days of muscle soreness, and go back willingly for more?

Stay tuned for answers to those questions, but doing Murph helps me remember that there are a lot of people doing a lot of things that are way tougher than I’ll ever do.  And they do them over and over, every day.  It’s good to think about that when I start to whine and complain about how tough life is.

Read more about Lt. Murphy and the workout that bears his name here.

Who are the heroes in your life?

What did you do on Memorial Day?