July 2018

I thought I scaled it correctly. I’m not sure about what the expected outcomes were, but the WOD was a literal pain in the ass. In fact, my butt still hurts.

Monday’s WOD

300 double unders
200 weighted lunges 45/25
100 toes to bar
30:00 time cap

I did single unders and my lunges were without extra weight. I did supine toes to bar or basically on my back and kicking the wall over my head. I also cut the reps and did just 75% of them which was 225 single unders, 150 lunges, and 75 toes to bar sub. I finished just under 27 minutes.

I knew the lunges were going to kick my butt, I just didn’t really realize how much kicking it was doing. I did them ten at a time. I wanted to quit at 50. I watched each pitiful hash mark appear, slowly and with box breathing in between each round. I was so excited at 70 since I was nearly half done and by 80 I was on the downhill side. By 100, I was disgusted with myself. Laura would have given my just 50% to do but I always feel too weenie after doing only half. But I would have been done and I still had 50 more to do. It was taking forever.

The hash marks continued to eke out their existence, beautifully appearing on the floor aligned to perfection and growing in number. Just not fast enough. Why did I pick such a big number? What was I thinking? Did I really have to do that many? YES!

I work with as much integrity as I can muster. I said I would do 150 of these things and I was committed, even as I bargained with myself. By 130 I was ready to puke. My legs and ass were already hurting, I was going to be a mess by tomorrow. Maybe I didn’t have to finish. What the hell? Of course you have to finish. You aren’t a quitter. My penultimate mark hit the ground, I did my box breathing, I staggered back up feeling nauseous, and I could only manage five. So I sat for just a few seconds and promised myself I would not puke, then I finished the lunges.

The supine toes to bar thing is really easy for me. While I only have buns of aluminum or possibly tin, but I have abs of steel. Even though it took me over 15 minutes to do the lunges, I finished my scaled version of the WOD. Go me!

Then on Tuesday, the WOD was:

5 x 2 clean and jerks with the goal of 90% of a 1 RM. I could barely walk. I was working with a kid whose mother is awesome at this stuff. She had a much heavier bar than we did. We got to what he thought was his heaviest weight. I thought he had more, so in spite of my very sore butt and feeling ouchy all over, I did the higher weight and as I surmised, he had to do it, too. He beamed when he got the extra weight overhead. It was really worth the price of admission.

The conditioning part of the WOD was:

calorie row
thruster 75/55

This is a lighter than normal weight and my Open weight is just 35 pounds, but that is the light bar without weights. There is some kid set of weights thing over there in the corner and I was able to make a 28 pound bar for the thrusters.

I may have mentioned this already, but my butt was really sore. Even if I had wimped out to the 20 pound bar which can’t have added weight, I didn’t even want to think about 60 squats. I didn’t want to think about any squats. I wanted my butt to stop hurting. It was so bad, I barely felt my screaming quads over the pain in my ass.

But there it was. I cut my row calories like I do my runs and do half. Then I did 70% of the thrusters which is you like math is 42 instead of 60. Even with the lighter bar, I could only do seven at a time and then would have a heart rate over my limit. It took me forever and I was the last one done, which should surprise no one.

I managed to get home. I could barely move for the rest of the day. I was looking forward to everything hurting today, but amazingly my shoulders and arms are fine. My butt and legs are recovering and I’m moving much better. I wouldn’t want to do anything too strenuous today and it is my day off from the gym, for which I’m grateful.

Even though I kept telling myself I couldn’t do the things I promised myself I would do, I managed to do them. I still haven’t decided if it was wise or not. However, the muscle soreness will go away – probably by tomorrow. I get to keep the notion that I did the things, just like I said I would. No matter how much of a pain in the ass it turned out to be.



Why did I feel so bad today? I’m not sure, but I think it was because I was hoping against hope that I had somehow finally broken through the challenge of my limiting heart rate. I’m so tired of having to stop, not because I’m fatigued, but because I’m not supposed to die at the gym.

CrossFit wasn’t around when I was 35, but I sure wish it had been. Well, maybe I should be careful what I wish for. Perhaps, even if I were thirty years younger, I would still suck. I assume I would be able to do the things much better if I were much younger, but what if that is just as stupid as believing in Santa Claus? It’s still a dream.

I was a decent racquetball player and won a fair share of my games, even if playing men. I was pretty accurate with my shots and could run around the court forever or pausing only for a second or two before each serve. I was pretty good by most measures. That was back when I was, in fact, 35.

So maybe I could have been adequate at this nonsense if I were much younger. Then I didn’t have a cardiologist and I didn’t have to watch my heart rate soar. Back then, I didn’t have to sit down and box breathe. Maybe, just maybe, it would have worked better.

I’ve been back from vacation for over a week now and I eased back into gym life after three weeks off. I scaled and cut back reps and did many amazing things without getting my heart rate too high. And then there was today.

Today’s WOD:

box jumps 30/24
kettlebell swings 53/35

Since the box jump was higher, I didn’t do my 18” height and did step ups on 20 inches and my heart rate likes to reach for the stars as I climb up and down from the box. I used a 26 pound kettlebell (and I honestly don’t know why it isn’t 25, but it isn’t and the 20 pound one is only 18 pounds and I don’t know why that is either) and did full American kettlebell swings as was the standard for the day.

I also gave myself permission to be old, mostly because I’m old, and did the Masters Garage Games version of 18-12-6 or 36 reps instead of 45.

I had to pause after each movement and part way through the first set of kettlebell swings because my heart rate was too high. It is simply demoralizing. I wasn’t fatigued. My arms would have kept going, but my heart rate was too high. I didn’t have any chest pain, but I think that’s as much to be avoided as is the actual heart attack. My heart rate was 170 (and climbed a bit higher) before I could get it back down. I’m supposed to stop at mid-160s, but … I can’t really see what my heart rate is until I stop and look. I didn’t feel that bad.

Well, that is until I looked and felt defeated and overwhelmed by the betrayal of an old body. Mirrors give me the same reaction now. I’m walking around and feeling rather perky and not at all like a Medicare patient with my own cardiologist and my own retinologist as well. And then reality kicks in and I’m confronted with the ago old problem of aging.

All things considered, I’m in pretty good shape for my age. I mean, I did the damn workout. I was snatching  55 pounds over and over this week. I’ve done more than 100 burpees in the week I’ve been back. I got a higher weight on my Turkish get up this week. I’ve done some pretty amazing things for an old fart.

But I don’t want to be an old fart. I want to be the fitness level I was thirty years ago and have the opportunity to do CrossFit as a young person (even though 35 is considered old and a Masters athlete). We played a game this past weekend about what we wanted. I want the impossible. And it makes me sad when I can’t have it.


This is NOT a picture of me. 

Yesterday was a travel day. This is usually an omen of badness, but it went remarkably smoothly. Aunt Babe had a doctor appointment at the same time I needed to arrive at the airport, so Pam took her to the doctor and Jen took me to the airport. I left them with Quinn blowing me kisses through the window.

I got to the place where I needed to give them my luggage (for a fee) so it, too, could fly across the country. There were several work stations available. In Charleston, we had two agents there collecting baggage. Charleston airport has eight gates. Phoenix airport has many, many more gates. There were two agents there collecting baggage. One agent was dealing with a family of about 47 and all their luggage which included musical instruments and/or golf clubs. I don’t remember what the big things were, but the family was there for damn ever.

The line was long. We waited and tried to be patient. It is not easy for me to be patient in these types of situations. Most of us checked in online and for those who didn’t there were kiosks, so we did the work done by employees in times past. This one area still needs to be staffed by the airline/airport people and they were certainly remiss in their hiring ratios. Eventually two more people arrived and it made the wait there last only twenty minutes.

After getting my luggage a ticket to fly with me, I approached the TSA area. The line there snaked back and forth through the little maze thing. That was going to be a very long line to wait in. I did not have a precheck TSA flag going to Phoenix but did notice one for my trip home. Waiting in the not very long line in Charleston didn’t hurt much. This line would have been painful. But I had the precheck thing on my ticket, so I walked up to the guy who had no people there, could hand him my crap, put things back into my bag and went through security in under a minute.

I got to my gate with time to spare and food to eat. I played some games on my tablet while waiting. We were soon called to board. One of the last people on the plane was a young woman, possibly still a teenager. They all look so young. She was waiting for her mother. I have no idea why the separated. I overheard something about luggage, but I’m not sure what the problem was. The mother was not at the gate. They were shutting the door. Did the girl want off? She vacillated long enough, hoping they would hold the plane for her mother.

Instead, they locked the door. She was on the phone with her mom the whole time and she was crying. They wouldn’t let the mother on and they wouldn’t let the daughter off. I have no idea how the rest of their day went. There were later flights to Atlanta, but I don’t know if the mother could get on one or what the kid would do in that huge airport without her. What a mess. Get to the gate on time.

I sat next to a fidgety kid. I asked where he was going. He had joined the US Army in September and now that he had finally graduated from high school, he was on his way to boot camp. He wasn’t nervous. I know this because he told me several times how he wasn’t nervous. He just acted a little nervous but it was all okay and he was excited and this was his first time this far from the west coast and he had never been this far from his family and he was fine. Really. He was all good.

We got to Atlanta and I got to my gate. I called Pam to see how Aunt Babe had done and her appointment went well – after they finally found the damn place.

I got to the next gate and waited some more. I finally found a plug for my electronics (even while wearing my “Unplug” shirt). Another waiting person noted the irony in that. But I could get my tablet topped off for the rest of the way home.

This time I sat next to another very young “adult” probably still a teenager. She had been in Minnesota working on a dude ranch. She told me about seeing a bear and building fences. She “hurt her back” and had to come home because of the injury even though she was supposed to stay until November. She was glad to be home for the holiday and missed her dog. I’m not sure there was any back injury involved in all this.

Dick was waiting for me at the airport and as soon as my luggage appeared, so did he. We headed home. My own home. The one where my bed lives. The one with all my clothes to choose from. The one where the other half of my bathing suit was waiting in the drawer, right where I left it.

I was thinking I would get home around 10.30. Instead, that was the time I left Atlanta. I need to read more carefully. I got home to my own house, a little after midnight. I was too wired to sleep right away, so I unpacked my suitcase. I got all my new clothes hung up. They fit in my closet, so I guess I’m still okay.

It was after one when I finally went to bed, still a little too awake to actually sleep, but getting close. I made the executive decision to let things just happen. If I woke up in time, I would go to the gym. No alarm clocks were set. My body is here but my bodily systems are still in a different time zone.

I woke up too late to get to the gym, so I didn’t go. Instead, I’m here typing. Starting my mornings just like I have been for the last couple weeks.

I have loved my Sistercation. I loved getting to see Aunt Babe. I loved playing with the kids. I love the stories we made. I am also very glad to be home. I see my recliner, calling to me. Seducing me into sitting down with my newly purchased coloring books and pencils and plopping there to waste some time.


All the unused luggage check stations with the guy who stood there like that the whole time. He was working on that computer and doing nothing for my entire time in line. 

Things are winding down but that doesn’t mean a quiet day. There were still many things to do. First, Pam walked while I typed. Then she came back to get me and we walked together. I’m not sure how far I went, but she went over her limit right away in the morning and there were still plenty of steps of in our future.

We walked the canal and then went back home by completing a circle rather than going back along the same path. It was a beautiful morning and while we were warm when we returned home, we weren’t melting. We got ourselves cleaned up and then ate some food and played some games and then breathed the same air some more.

We did two loads of laundry so that I would travel home with clean clothes and not have to do drudge work as soon as I got back home. It was a good thing, too, because I was out of clean underwear.

At the appointed hour, we picked up Aunt Babe and went on our day’s excursion. First stop was Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. Pam, of course, had a coupon, making it all even more affordable than it already is. We each had a variety of food and then went to the ice cream bar.

We left there and went to Dollar Tree so Aunt Babe could pick up some of her list items. We went from there to Walmart so we could pick up a few more items and we went from there to Kohl’s to use Pam’s bonus bucks. I bought nothing at the first two stores, but the third one got me. Since we went from here to there and there and there, we were in a different starting point before leaving for Kohl’s and so Pam used Google maps to get there. We were driving down that road and were in strange country and then BAM, we were in (for Pam, at least) familiar territory. Nothing here is familiar territory for me.

We dropped Aunt Babe off at her house and then came home and played various things. Pam bounced back and forth all day between craft projects and computer games. She finished the penultimate blanket which was her goal for the day. She started on the last blanket, too.

In a fit of adult responsibility, I had cheesecake for dinner while Pam finished off the rest of her Monte Cristo sandwich. I wasn’t going to be able to eat both and felt it a better choice to leave half a sandwich behind rather than half a slice of cheesecake.

I love Sistercation. I have missed Cheri every minute of this one, but rejoiced in Steve’s progress via phone conversations. Even if he had been able to convince her to come, she needed to be in Ohio at this time. We have had a Sistercation with only two sisters before and while it wasn’t ideal by any means, it was possible. Future Sistercastions remain in our future.

I am ready to get home. I miss Dick. I miss my routine. I miss the gym. I have not only shopped here, but had things delivered to the house while I was here and my new stuff awaits me upon my arrival. Jen found mechanical colored pencils and so I had to find some, too. They arrived yesterday. My everyday, routine, non-sister inhabited life awaits me and I miss it. So it is good to go home. I don’t want to leave. I miss my sister and haven’t even left yet.

I know I will get to see Cheri soon when we go up to see Joe. We are stopping along the way so I can kiss the baby of the family. I know the next time I will be seeing Pam. I know we are a phone call away and I know that two of the three of us are really adept at getting conference calls up and running. It isn’t the same, but we live in three very different parts of the country and it is the best we can do for most of the year.

Next year, we will all meet at my house. We are out of order because we decided to change it. I am so glad I got to see Aunt Babe again. She is fun and has funny stories. We are all Irish so that story stuff is innate.

The plan for today is a bit chaotic, but not insurmountable. Aunt Babe has a doctor appointment at the same time I need to be arriving at the airport. Pam will take Aunt Babe there and Jen is taking me to the airport. I fly east and land in Atlanta, wait around for hours, and then take the last hop home. It will be late there, but earlier for me from this time zone. I’m sleeping in my own bed tonight. I like that.

Another Sistercation is over. I’m not terribly fond of that, but I love the fact that we can do this each year, changing up where we need to. I love that we want to do this. My sisters are my first family. They have known me the longest. They are the best.

The brothers meet up with their cousin for lunch. Gned, Gneal, and Gnute.

Our plans for the day worked out. Pam began her day with a walk and I began mine with typing and a coffee. She got back in time to get cleaned up so we could go out into the world and have some fun.

First, we dropped off some food for Aunt Babe for her dinner while we were not here at home. I took it in and Aunt Babe was having trouble with her phone. I tried to help, but she has an iPhone and I am pretty much Apple illiterate. I had to run outside to Pam, waiting in the car, I knew what I wanted it to do, but it was faster to get someone who actually knew where to poke, so that’s what we did.

We then took off for the round outlet mall. I am sure it has some other name, but it’s built in the round and so that’s what it is to me. There are no crossover parts and so you start in one direction and then keep going until you get back to where you started.

We continued to look for my plain white not bulky tennis shoes and after several more tries, I just gave up on that idea. Luckily, I found something else to buy instead. There was an embarrassment of riches to select from at Ross’s and so we both did. Pam found this really cute white cover/jacket type thing and it was so cute, I looked for another one in my size. Then I found more things in there that were also so damn cute and in my size, so I bought them too.

The one black and brown shirt I found was perfect for Pam’s new skirt purchases from the other day, but we couldn’t find it in her size. She did find some other perfect things along with a blue skirt. Apparently, blue is not this year’s color. It seems to be hard to find stuff. Aunt Babe has been looking for blue slacks and can’t find them, either.

We kept moving around the circle and while we were able to find stuff at the last Burlington’s we were at, we were not so successful here. Even though Marshall’s is within walking distance of my own house, we went into this one and I found some darling Capri length yoga pants unlike anything I had seen back at home. There was still going to be room in my suitcase, so I got them.

We entered the massive mall between the Aquarium and the Legoland place. There are numbers at each of the other entrances so you can find your way back to the car, but this seems to have been an added entrance so adults can get the kids into the expensive entertainment options without them screaming through the entire mall area.

The octopus picture below is made of Legos. I don’t think even Frankie has this many Legos at her house. It was massive. I know they glue these together so they last, but even getting the arms made seems an impossible feat to me. Someone did it, however, so there is this creation sitting there for a beginning photo op.

We shopped for 2.5 hours and were finally back to Legoland and where we had left the car. We stowed our packages and headed back towards home. On the way back, the hungry shoppers stopped at The Cheesecake Factory. We each got a Monte Carlo sandwich and could have shared it, since we also each brought home half of it. We bought a slice of cheesecake to bring home.

We had enough time to rest up from the morning activities before we piled back into the car and picked up Aunt Babe for church. The less enthusiastic priest was back from his week long absence and had the Mass. We sang some songs I knew including “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful” but I still needed the song book. I only know the first verse of each one of those.

I showed Aunt Babe a shortcut out of the church and she was glad to have that new bit of knowledge. As we left the church, it was still standing and in pristine condition. The heathen didn’t break it but even with three weeks in a row, I didn’t get the new wording right. We dropped her off at her home and were finished with our adventures for the day.

We got back to the house and settled in. We talked about calling Cheri when we got back to check in with her. So we did that. She had just posted a picture to Facebook from her front yard. There was a two foot (ish) long snake in the process of eating a fairly large toad. Cheri is terrified of frogs and toads (and I can take no credit for that although flying monkeys may have something to do with me) but decided she likes snakes even less than toads (but has never seen a living flying monkey).

Steve starts his cardiac rehab soon and we talked about that. We talked and laughed about our adventures out here in Arizona. We talked about school stuff. We talked about art museum stuff. And we talked about nothing. We talked for a long time. Pam tied knots while we talked, I played with my Cross Stitch app, and we were together again if even only tenuously. I love Sistercation.

Cheri is three hours ahead of us and we talked so long, she was getting tired. So we had to hang up the phones and let her go. It didn’t take too much longer before Pam was ready to head off to her room. I managed to stay awake until 10.30 and then also retire for the night. I needed my beauty sleep. Tomorrow was going to be another busy day.

Larger than life octopus made of Lego bricks.