April 2014

Yesterday at work was busy with paperwork, not my favorite stuff which makes being an administrator sorta a bad career choice. But then again, no one bled on my shoes or puked on me, so there is that in its favor. I have no idea why I was so tired after this strenuous working on spreadsheets sort of day, but I was.

I looked at the WOD, figured I could manage parts of it and scale the rest and all would be fine. I went to bed too early but I couldn’t stay awake any longer. I knew it was a bad choice, but it happened. I was awake from 1.55 AM until around 4 AM. When the alarm went off, it would have been really easy to ignore it, but it was time to get up and have fun and so that’s what I did.

Warm-up seemed exceptionally long today. We did this and that and more this and more that and then some other stuff and just when we thought we were warm, we did that thing and those things and more things. Ricky and I were talking about the amazing fact that both of us could still walk today and figured that we would be unable to walk the day after the day after instead.

Today’s WOD as written:
Yates Row – Spend 25-30 minutes learning the Yates Row. Find a good working weight and try a few sets of 5. No more than 5 sets.
AMRAP in 10 minutes:
1 Parking lot sprint
9 Clean
Heavy Rx – Sprint w/ slam ball(40/25) – Clean (185/125) – KBS (70/53)
Fast Rx – Clean (95/65) – KBS (53/35)

The Yates row is another way to isolate and work on the lats and I should have really strong lats but I don’t and I’m still pitiful. I worked up to 52# and did five sets of five at that weight.

I opted to scale my parking lot stroll and not go as far and spend about the same amount of time in the parking lot as the sprinters. I learned that as tempting as it is to actually run the first time when I’m all rested, it is stupid. And I don’t have to be a stupid jock. I can be a smart jock if I choose to be. The competitive nature of sports doesn’t mean I have to lose my mind. So I strolled while everyone else ran past me. It is actually quite hard to do that.

I used 42# for the cleans and can’t do a toes to bar. Doing a knees to elbows thing is how I fell off the bar and hurt myself during the Open. I didn’t want to do that again. What a weenie. Everything scares me. I was getting close to real knees to elbows again today but never did more than my arms felt comfortable with. The first time I did four and three and then I did three, two, and two and for the last round I just did whatever I could manage. The last two were one at a time because it felt safer than falling on my ass again. I used the 25# kettlebell and did real, actual kettlebell swings and nearly scared myself. I almost lost my grip on one but the thought of beaning myself with that much weight made me grab tighter and I managed to hold on and not get hurt – again.

There was less beeping than I thought would happen. I managed to get through the cleans each time without pause. I got through the whole first round with just enough pause to actually pant for a few seconds. By the second round, I had to let my heart rate come back down before the knees to elbows stuff and before the kettlebell swings. On the third round, I had to pause a bit in the middle of the knees to elbows. There was less than a minute left when I headed for the parking lot and I strolled as Kim counted down. I was going to have to sprint to make the door before time ran out and so I hit it and managed to get to the doorway just as time was called. I had a score of 3+1.

My one RM for a clean is 67# and I just recently managed to get a 25# KB up over my head in a nice swing. My weights were not even at the fast RX, but they were heavy for me. I wish I knew what I was doing and if it was worth all this work. I believe it is. I know I’m stronger than I used to be, but it is disheartening to not be better.

Ricky was complaining about Jeremiah’s youth and ability to rush through things. Ricky was chagrined to have to say he was twice the age and it was tough. I looked at the young man who is younger than my baby and who is slightly more than half my age and said, “Really?” Kids, today! But I figure if Ricky can already be worrying about the decline of old age and he is 33, I should be happy with what I can get done at the box.



We had a lovely weekend getaway. We went to St. Augustine and became quintessential tourists. We met Barb and Bill there and stayed a lovely Inn. We walked around, took the trolley, walked some more, ate more food than we needed, walked some more, and learned many things and ate great food and walked. Lots of walking. Lots of eating. We visited the Fountain of Youth and the St. Augustine Fort as well as many beautiful churches and historic sites. The city will be 450 years old next year and the King and Queen of Spain are visiting and the Pope might also show up. It will be a zoo and I’m glad we visited this year instead.

I realized after dinner last night that I didn’t have lettuce for my salad and so Dick and I walked up to Harris Teeter to get some. Then I started worrying that they might close the salad bar before I got there and so we walked fast. It was still open when we got there so I got my baby spinach and spring mix mixed and we walked home trying to get there before dark, so we walked fast.

I was up bright and early to get back into the routine of my regular life and made it to the box with enough time to do some negative pull-ups before class started. The 5 AM people were still going at it at 6 and so we warmed up in the parking lot so as not to get in their way. Cindy doesn’t like Mondays and she apparently talked Todd into staying home as well. But Ed was there. He will be here for a week.

We did enough stuff to be declared warm and then began today’s WOD.

Today’s WOD as written:
Timed Mile Run
5 rounds for time:
200m sprint
20 walking lunges (45/25)
20 wall balls (20/10)
20 abmat sit ups

When I looked at this last night I just laughed. I had just gotten back from a 3.5 mile walk and I knew my mile time with that and it wasn’t looking that good. Rolf, a visitor, was there today and I was still the oldest person, but not by very much (I assume). He wanted to do the whole mile. I did not. I ran/walked a half mile. I bet Ricky he couldn’t do a mile and get back thirty seconds before me. Jeremiah beat me by more than 30 seconds, but Ricky did not. I got back in 6.24 and Ricky was only 20 seconds ahead of me. What a powerhouse I’m becoming.

I ran about 300 meters and walked real fast on the other 500 meters and once I started beeping, I didn’t stop again until I was inside and resting. I actually RAN instead of jogged the last 100 meters because Ricky had already passed me and I needed to get back to the box quickly. Running like the wind was tough on this old bird.

After we were all back, we rested for about four to five minutes and then we were ready for the workout.

Parking lot stroll
15 walking lunges (first round with 5#, just walking after)
15 wallballs with 10# ball
15 sit-ups

The whole day was just one mass of beeping. I got the wallballs done all at once on the first round and couldn’t manage them together again. The other two moves were done without stopping. I would just beep through the sit-ups because they aren’t that heart intensive. Then I would go on my stroll through the parking lot and finally get my heart rate back down in time to come back in and start the next round. I finished in 21.51.

The website said to compare to January 30, 2012. Well, I didn’t start this nonsense that soon and so there was nothing to actually compare it to. Except, I know I did better because in 2012 I couldn’t have done 75 lunges without a cane (probably not with a cane, either) nor 75 wallballs – even with the 4# ball. I don’t know if I could have done 75 sit-ups, I might have been able to pull that off. I could walk back then.

It felt good to get back to the box and burn up some of the jitters from not moving enough. Walking is great and we did a lot of it, but it isn’t anything at all like the hour I spend at the box. I’ve come to like this dreadful start to my days.


Yesterday was my day off CrossFit and my last day of the week to work. Wednesdays are my favorite! They just seem so luxurious. No getting up early. Weekend starts. And to top it off, I had a 90 minute massage last evening after work. I need to plan this a little better because I didn’t want to chug a cup of coffee and then be on a table for 90 minutes so I waited for my “afternoon” coffee and had it at 7 PM which is really no longer afternoon although it is after noon, technically speaking.

I managed to fall asleep before ten in spite of the whole coffee thing and was only up once in the middle of the night so it worked out okay, but I should probably have taken real coffee to work and made myself a cup around 3.30 and been in my normal coffee mode. Next time.

I looked at the WOD last night and just knew something was amiss. This couldn’t be right. But no matter what it is, I go on Thursday and so I went. I had to go early because I am busy later in the day. So I was up early and off to the box. I wish I knew the coach’s name, but I don’t. She knew my name because I’m famous and all.

I left for a run before it was even quite 6 AM because I am so slow. Everybody else was rowing when I got back, but I ran the entire 400 m today. I think what happens when I’m out there with other people is that they are all going so much faster than me that I up my pace in a pitiful effort to keep up and then I use all my heart beats and can’t even slowly jog. Anyway, by myself, I can run the distance albeit very slow.

We had a six minute obstacle course thing to run. Bear crawl the mat, five med ball thrusters, leaping and jumping over and onto things for the mat length, high knee run up, five more med ball thrusters, some sidewinder thing and sprint (I never sprint) back and then broad jump the mat and then start over. I made it through almost two full rounds. We weren’t supposed to stop but because it was the warm-up and all, but I was already beeping and didn’t feel like killing myself. I’m not supposed to work to capacity on the warm-up. I don’t know what they are supposed to do with me, but I keep showing up anyway.

We did a few more stretches and then we were ready for the WOD.

Today’s WOD as written:
For time:
Row 500m
15 Kettlebell Swings
10 Box Jumps
15 Slam Balls (40/25)

Heavy – 10 on Rower / 70/53 KBS / 30/24 BJ
Fast – 5 on rower / 53/35 KBS / 24/20 BJ

What I have learned yet again from the Master’s stuff is that old farts do not have to do as many reps as those young whippersnappers working right next to them. Cole was born in 1994 (we learned today). Craig was in college by then. I’m 41 to 42 years older than this kid, so he probably should be doing more stuff than me. Just in theory, right?

I knocked this all back and did something really stupid. I didn’t even realize it until I copied and pasted this here. I thought they were doing 20 box jumps and so I did 15 thinking it was less and here I was doing more. What an idiot. I’m going to have to learn from Cindy who when she “cheats,” does fewer not more reps.

Row 350m
10 Kettlebell Swings 25#
15 Box Jumps 16″
10 Slam Balls 25#

Anyway, I did real kettlebell swings with a real kettlebell and it was tough but I managed. I did have a 20# dumbbell handy just in case. I did step-ups because my heart rate was way too high and apparently I was doing way too many. I had to pause after them to get my heart rate down and do the ten slam balls all together. Then we were to take a walk through the parking lot and cool down.

We came back in and had to write our time down and add ten seconds. The coach had stopped the time when I left or shortly thereafter. I hadn’t looked at my time because I was just disgusted. Everyone else was long gone and here I was doing fewer reps (I thought) and was just so slow. But she had stopped the clock at 4.55 and so I was done around there. She thought maybe 4.45 so we would do another round and attempt to beat our score plus 10 seconds.

I wasn’t all that thrilled. I had attempted the higher weight real kettlebell swings knowing there was only ten and now there were twenty. But what else could I do. I did the stuff and even with the extra box not jumps, I got finished at 4.52 and so I know I beat whatever time I should have had since the clock was stopped before that.

If you went over your time on the second round, you had to do one burpee for every second over. Thank goodness I powered through.


Strong is the new skinny.

This is a sports meme and someone took offense to it lately and I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it. I apparently read it differently than the person who was complaining because they were somehow offended and I am not.

I read it with the logic going from what was perceived as desirable then was “skinny” regardless of health consequences. What is desirable now is “strong” and the packaging isn’t important. I don’t remember where the outrage came from in the post I read, but it was there and I find nothing outrageous in the line.

I’ve been working toward “strong” for a while now. I’ve leaned out and actually recaptured some muscle definition. I’m not looking like I did when I was in my thirties and playing racquetball for ten hours a week. I’m not working out ten hours a week. And I’m thirty years older now. But where I once had flab, I’m getting actual muscles.

I want to be able to lift heavier. I want to be able to run farther, too, but there are times when I think my heart rate is just going to be too problematic to allow that to happen. I’m getting stronger in such tiny increments that it is often impossible to see from a day to day perspective. I have to think back to when this started and remember what it was like then compare that state to what I’m doing now.

When I began, I was overweight or at least weighing more than I wanted to weigh and it was one of the prime motivators. What I was doing wasn’t working and I wanted my clothes to fit better. Well, they certainly don’t fit better now. They are all way too big. I worked hard to accomplish the things listed in each WOD and as I grew, I shrank. I also learned I wasn’t eating as clean as I imagined and that much of my diet wasn’t really all that good for me. It wasn’t helping me build muscle and I needed more muscle to lift heavier. The size became unimportant eventually and I’m now worrying about getting too small as I continue to improve.

Yesterday I did 50 pull-ups (half with even less band assist than I have been used to using) and did so in just a few minutes. When I began this nonsense, I could manage a few ring rows at a time and it would have taken me far longer (if it was even possible) to do those than it took me to do 50 actual (band assisted) pull-ups yesterday. And I would have been totally spent and done for the day.

After the 50 pull-ups was 100 wallballs. And I did them. All. Using the RX weight for an old fart. When I started, I was using the kid 4# ball and couldn’t have managed to eke out 100 even with that. My legs would have given up the ghost and I would have simply been in a puddle on the floor disgusted with myself. And that would have been without anything else on the menu.

I want to be strong. I want to be stronger. The only way to get from where I am now to the land of stronger is to keep moving, keep trying, keep being disappointed and yet coming back for more, keep growing. I think it is an admirable goal.

If we held out “strong” as a goal for teenagers rather than “skinny” would it help with body image? Some of the strongest women at my box are not svelte, lean, muscle machines. They have rounder bodies which accomplish many wonderful things that I can only dream of.

We probably should hold out no goal for anybody else. Goals should be internally driven and match the person’s own mindset. But society is good at imposing ideals. Photoshopping is ubiquitous and so to help with this nonsense, “everyone is beautiful” is a meme even though it is patently untrue and you would have to be a moron to buy into it. Besides, beautiful is a superlative and if everyone were beautiful, it would be the average and you have just negated the definition of the word.

It is my belief that goals work better if they are internal things rather than external things. The appearance of the package isn’t nearly as important as what one finds inside. The goal of strong or smart or kind or moral or helpful … any of these seems preferable to skinny or beautiful which is shallow and unimportant.

And so, strong is one of the things I’m striving toward. I want to be better at it than I am now. I may have waited too long and may never be able to recover from the inertia. However, if there are younger people out there who need to choose a goal, let me propose you choose strong. It gives much more satisfaction than skinny. AND it is far more useful. You can open your own jars when you are strong.


Yesterday was somewhat chaotic. I pack my lunch every day for work. I worked, so I packed my lunch. But it was too early and so I put it in the refrigerator. I grabbed the two bags of stuff I had bought for work over the weekend and added to it with some of my stuff. I remembered to stop at the post office and get stamps. I got most of the way to work before I thought of my lunch still sitting in the fridge. I figured I would just get something from Single Smile Café and then Lester mentioned they were closed on Mondays. There is a new restaurant across the street. He wanted to try it and offered to buy us all lunch from there.

We couldn’t find them online because we weren’t sure of their name. We couldn’t actually see their sign from our windows so I went on a field trip and looked at their sign. I was tempted to just keep walking over there and getting a menu, but opted to go back and get it online. The name was Italy which made searching for it difficult. We found a phone number, but they didn’t have a website, even though they thought they did – which should have been a clue. I went on another field trip and got a menu. We all ordered (I got fettuccine Alfredo, my favorite). Then I went and picked it up and used Lester’s credit card to pay for it. Mine was horrible. So was Mandi’s and I didn’t ask the bosses what they thought.

I looked at the WOD last night and it was another one of the Master’s things and there was only one version printed. I knew there would be more and so I looked it up and felt better about it. Up early and to the box.

I left before everyone else for our 400 m run and still couldn’t manage running all the way back in. I’m not sure what was wrong but I ran out of steam. We did other stuff and then more stuff and then we were declared warm.

Today’s WOD as written:
Pistol practice – Spend 20 minutes working on your skills/mobility/etc. for the pistol squat. Make an attempt at an unbroken alternating set of pistols if you’ve mastered this skill.
Master Qualifier Event 4
(with an optional twist)
For time:
100 pull ups
100 wall balls
see workout sheet for age scaling
Choose a target number (x) for the pull ups and wall balls for your one minute. Then complete your repetitions as follows:
1 minute to reach target of x pull ups
1 minute to reach target of x wall balls
1 minute of rest
You may complete more than the target number of pull ups or wall balls within their respective minute but, if you fail to reach either of your targets in a round, you are penalized 25 burpees to be performed after the WOD. Post your “X”, your time of completion AND your penalty.

We worked on several different mobility stretches and then worked on pistols. I managed ten alternating to a 20″ box with sitting in the middle – so pathetic. But I did it twice so I don’t know if that makes it doubly pathetic or only half pathetic. I don’t really know which part I don’t have but I assume it is the balance and the strength and probably the agility and power, too. These are tough.

Then it was time for the workout and we went to the white board to see how to manage. The twist meant that you alternated a minute of one move; a minute of the other move; a minute rest; repeat until finished never getting fewer than your chosen goal. I had no desire to even risk having to do a burpee. I would rather do all the reps for one move and then all the reps for the other.

And I am the only person in the box who is old enough for this, but they do have options for masters (no one else was even old enough for the 55-59 age bracket). There is just me – the old fart.

50 pull-ups
100 wall-ball shots, 10 lb. to 9-foot target

I tried a 1+3 band and managed 25 that way but had a 4 band available which meant I went from 1.5 inches of band to 2 inches of band assist. I rested when my arms gave out and I was beeping a lot in here but my heart rate would come back down fairly fast. I didn’t look at the time when I finished these but Cheryl was doing the timed thing and she and I were only at the box together to start and once more, so it was under 7 minutes but over 4.

I used the 10# ball and hit the line most of the time. I managed 15 wallballs the first sprint and had hoped for that for the second round, but only got 10 before my heart rate was too high. I got five rounds of ten and started sitting on the ground between them in order to get my heart rate back down more quickly. I have no idea what happened, but I let my heart rate get down to 152 before starting again and could manage 15 again (even though I desperately wanted to stop at 13 – it would have made too much math stuff). I needed 20 more and had to do them in two sets but I finished in 14.03 which was right in line with the young people who were doing their own stuff.

If I get enough credit for my age, I can keep up with the younger people. Well, if it is something I can kinda, sorta manage anyway.


We had a lovely Easter with the family down in Hilton Head. Frankie missed having all the cousins together and it was tough to be the only kid. She was entertaining. She is the child of health conscious parents and doesn’t get a lot of candy. Her Easter baskets were filled with other things like art supplies and fun clothes as well a fishing rod and a kite. Cool stuff. But each basket also had one bit of candy. She had a PEZ dispenser with a bunny head – or as she called it, a “dessert gun” which shows you something right there.

I knitted an entire washcloth in the car during our trip there and back. I’m getting THAT good at it. It might be time to attempt a more complicated pattern.

My sister managed to figure out how to make a conference call and so all three of us got to talk to each other last night. It was so fun to have us all together like that. Both of them were out walking while I sat here with a bag of potato chips. Just terrible.

I looked at the WOD for today and realized that even though it was written for old farts, there was no way I could accomplish it as written. But I got up for the box anyway and there I was still dark out and way too early raring to go.

We warmed up with a 400 m run and I left before everyone else so I didn’t get back much after everyone else. But I did run the whole thing. We did other stuff and were declared warm.

Today’s WOD as written:
1. Pendlay Row – 5 x 5 – Starting week 3 of the cycle. Strict form and only add weight if you’re able to maintain the horizontal back position and no momentum.
2. Ring Dips – find a weight or a proper scale that will allow you to perform a 6 second negative for at least 5 reps. As a team, everyone perform their negatives every 10 seconds until you cannot hold for the entire 6 second negative (no cheating). Once the entire team fails, rest 3 minutes and repeat until everyone completes 3 max effort attempts.

2014 Master’s Regional

3 rounds for time of:

AGE 40-44 and 45-49
50-calorie row
15 handstand push-ups
50 double-unders
AGE 50-54 and 55-59
40-calorie row
15 handstand push-ups with 2-in. riser
40 double-unders
AGE 60+
30-calorie row
15 handstand push-ups with 4-in. riser
30 double-unders

I stuck with 53# but felt more solid in the Pendlay rows. On the negative ring dips, I lost my balance early in the first round using just the #2 band and was the last one done on the last rows. I tried with just the smallest band and managed to have some control and make one full ring dip, but it was really ugly.

For the WOD itself, DeWayne’s time for this was 23 something which should have told the powers that be that people like me would have trouble with this. The 5 AM class had really long times and so Ryan scaled this even more for us chickens.

Ricky and Kim both did the bigger rows, Todd was given a task of 30 calorie row, 45 second handstand hold, 120 single unders. That was supposed to be my WOD and I’m older than Todd by orders of magnitude. I whined. Gosh – that was a first. I was given 3 RFT of

25-calorie row
30 second handstand hold
100 single unders

So, there was only one thing I could do as written – row. Same as when I began this nonsense 1.5 years ago. I still can’t do a handstand, let alone a handstand push-ups. I can manage one double under. There are times when I think this is all for nothing or simply ridiculous. Then I realize that I couldn’t have done as much as I managed today even if the moves are still modified. I vacillate between being happy with what I’ve managed to do and being disgusted by all the things I still can’t manage.

Ricky had to sub out jump ropes since his foot is still not back to normal. Kim can do double unders.

I beeped a bit in here, but the hardest part was the 30 second handstand hold. The last five seconds each time was almost more than I could manage. The first five seconds of each hold lasted for three minutes I’m sure and then I would be half way done and then those last tortuous five seconds had my whimpering like a wounded puppy. It was pitiful, but I managed to hold the 30 seconds unbroken each time. I finished and have no idea what the time was. But I was done and then no one was counting Kim’s seconds for her handstand hold (she did do push-ups the first round, but petered out after that), so I did. And then she had 30 double unders to do and she finished at 17 something. So maybe I was 15.22 but I don’t really remember my time at all. I was just so freaking glad to be done.


I personally know no one named Tillie. I grew up with four aunts. Genevieve and Betty did not actually require the use of the title in front of their names. Aunt Kathy and Aunt Babe always – even to this day – have the title added. As far as I know, all my aunts were good cooks. The two non-Aunt Aunts were farm wives and probably were better known for good, solid food. The farm provided well for these types of meals.

Aunt Kathy and Aunt Babe were not farm wives. And they did entertaining. They probably did Entertaining with the capital E in place. The recipe here is from Aunt Kathy – if I have my story straight. I have no idea since they have been called something different for so many years, it is hard for me to remember exactly.

I do know how the recipe acquired its current name. My baby sister worked at a bank and they had potluck lunches. She brought some of the Aunt’s potatoes. They are good and work well with a potluck. They also go really great with ham, but aren’t quite as good with turkey because they don’t go well with gravy. For the potluck, they were excellent.

The next time there was a lunch, a coworker asked my sister to bring “that dish” and when Cheri didn’t know what dish the woman was talking about, she said, “You know, Aunt Tillie’s Potatoes.” And so they were named Aunt Tillie’s Potatoes and remained so ever since.

Aunt Tillie’s Potatoes

2# frozen hash browns, thawed ½ to 1 hour (I prefer the shredded to the cubed and those without peppers)
1 cup chopped onions
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1 stick margarine
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients in a 9 x 13 pan. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour at 375⁰

That is the recipe as written. Hash browns no longer come in two pound bags and so I just use the 1 pound 10 ounce bag. But if there were more of us eating, I would get two one pound bags. I’ve made this with cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup because I didn’t have the cream of chicken. Chicken is the best and celery is okay. I don’t like the mushroom. I stopped adding the stick of margarine about ten or fifteen years ago. We have never missed it.

Mix everything but the potatoes in the biggest bowl you have and get it all mixed well before adding the potatoes and blend together while still tossing bits and pieces over the sides of the bowl to ensure the countertop is as dirty as possible. This recipe was devised prior to the days of Pam cooking spray, but since it is available today, I always spray the pan because clean up is easier that way.

They can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until it is time to cook them. Just keep them well covered so they don’t dry out.

The grandchildren know these simply as Aunt Tillie potatoes and probably don’t have a clue about their origins or the way they were named. But they do like the taste. So the legacy lives on.

I’ve read that Greek yogurt can be used instead of sour cream. I was too scared to use the whole thing like that, but I used ½ and ½ sour cream and Greek yogurt. I doubt if there will be any noticeable difference, but they will have a little more protein in them. I like the top browned, but I also wonder what they would be like with some fried onions sprinkled over the top before baking. It sounds good, but I’ve never tried it. I don’t know if Tillie, whoever she is, would approve.

Random picture from the internet = but this is what Aunt Tillie's Potatoes look like

Random picture from the internet – but this is what Aunt Tillie’s Potatoes look like

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