Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain

I am breaking Peanut Butter Kait’s blog silence to address several high-profile celebrity deaths that occurred this week, including Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Although I do not consider myself a notable fan of either person, I want to use my blog to draw attention to the importance of mental health and getting help when there is a need. 

If you are struggling, you don’t have to do it alone. In Alberta, call Canadian Mental Health Association, Suicide Services: 1-403-297-1744. In the US, call 1-800-273-8255.

Since I was a young girl, even slightly before puberty, I remember feeling emotions very intensely. I also had thoughts of suicide and self-harm then too.  I’ve talked before on my blog about my depression.

When I was in high school, around age 13, or 14, or 15, the waves of depression started crashing on me with unbearable strength. Fortunately my parents were very proactive and took me to see my family doctor, and I started seeing a therapist as well.

I clearly remember going to the doctor and telling him about all the sadness and overwhelming feelings I had been experiencing, and he prescribed an antidepressant. At the time, I was also cutting.  I had appointments as often as I needed them with my therapist.  Reflecting back on this time in my life, I feel an emotion too big for words for how much stress this must have caused my parents.

Depression is a really hard enormous THING to express. I’ve described it to family and friends as swimming in a fast-moving river where I can barely keep my head above water to breath.  Physically it feels like my stomach is full of cold rocks and I can’t get enough oxygen.  I can be very smiley on the outside, even when I feel terrible on the inside, so depression isn’t always obvious.  One of my favorite blogs, Cup of Jo, posted a really solid article about depression and suicide yesterday. Here’s the link for a read: https://cupofjo.com/2018/06/suicide-isnt-selfish/.

When I was 15, in the winter, the sadness was getting worse. Despite being on an antidepressant, getting therapy, and having loving friends and family, I was struggling.  A few nights my mom slept with me to keep me safe.  When I was feeling suicidal, she took me to emergency to try and get me help.  They couldn’t admit me because they didn’t have beds so she had to take me home.

On February 27th, 2005, I did my usual bedtime routine and hugged my parents goodnight.  I am sure this blog post is already upsetting to some of my family members and friends who read Peanut Butter Kait, so I won’t go into the specifics, but I wrote a note before bed to my parents and climbed into bed, preparing to not wake up the next day.

I’m so thankful my attempt was not successful. I woke up the next day – quite surprised, maybe a little disappointed, and very drugged – and quietly did my usual morning routine and caught the bus to school.  I didn’t tell my parents.  But fortunately when I got to school and confided in a friend, she encouraged me to talk to an adult and I opened up to my favorite teacher.  The rest of the day was a blur of lying on the sick room bed holding my best friend’s hand, then going to emergency and getting admitted to the hospital.  I ended up staying there for almost a week.

My doctor took me off the antidepressant after that. He thought we could try something different: he encouraged me to get out for a run – 3 times a week for 30 minutes – and report back.  That advice has been my life preserver for the past 13 years.  (I also highly recommend counselling!)

My whole life I’ve basically chalked my depression up to hormones and genetics. It is NOTHING to be ashamed of.  The important thing is to be open about what you are experiencing and ask for support when you need it.  Depression comes and goes for me.  As I write this blog post today, I deeply empathize with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, but I’m not personally feeling down at the moment.


Another piece of my depression puzzle has come to light this spring. I was recently diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which is a genetic condition that apparently ~10% of women suffer from.  It manifests itself in different ways, but for me, means that I have polycystic ovaries, hormonal imbalances, depression, and acne.  Although I understand PCOS to be a fairly common issue, I am still heartbroken to know that although it is not impossible to get pregnant with PCOS, it is certainly challenging.


What I want you to know is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU ARE LOVED.  If you are suffering from depression, please reach out to me, a family member or friend, a therapist, or call one of the phone numbers listed at the top of my post.

With love,

Kait

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18.5 Accomplished

Photo cred: my friend, fellow Sunaltan, and amazing photographer Ross Dance (seriously, check out his work!)

And somehow… the fastest Open ever has flown by. On Thursday night last week, I tuned into the Facebook Open announcement and voted for the 7 minute thruster/pull-up option.  Although none of the workouts looked great, I didn’t like the format of the other two workout options as the 4 minute window to do all the work usually leads to a 4 minute workout for me.  Not really getting my money’s worth out of that one!  So I was really glad to hear the thruster/pull-up option got voted in.

Workout 18.5 = 12.5 = 11.6

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
3 thrusters
3 chest-to-bar pull-ups
6 thrusters
6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
9 thrusters
9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
12 thrusters
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups
15 thrusters
15 chest-to-bar pull-ups
18 thrusters
18 chest-to-bar pull-ups

This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 18, go on to 21. If you complete 21, go on to 24, etc.

Women use 65 lb.

I started getting stuffed up early last week and by Friday I felt like I was under water and could only hear out of one ear. But as this Open I have been determined to view the workouts as just that – just exercising – I booked my slot for Friday Night Lights and headed to CrossFit Sunalta after work.

With my assorted injuries since December, I’ve avoided doing thrusters as frankly I couldn’t do them, so I wasn’t expecting too much there. And I can do chest-to-bar pull-ups but not strung together, only singles.  So my expectations were pretty low going into the workout, which was actually great because I wasn’t stressed.

[I feel like I’m playing the world’s tiniest violin right now writing this recap.]

But actually, the workout went well and I’m really pretty happy with myself!

Right from the start, I held myself back with my pacing on the thrusters. For the pull-ups, I made sure I kept moving.  Single, single, single…

My poor hands started to rip on the round on 12s. I do have gymnastics grips but of course chose not wear them on Friday as my hands were looking pretty good going into the workout.  Hindsight: 20/20.

Somehow I was suddenly in the round of 15s. I forced myself to take a break on the thrusters, but amazingly they felt pretty dang good and I could have kept going.  I raced to the pull-up bar for a few more reps and got five pull-ups done before the buzzer went.

I’m pretty pleased with my score of 80 given that I haven’t really done thrusters in months and I was pretty stuffed up. My hands will take a week or two to heal, but that’s fine.

The rest of the evening was spent spectating and enjoying the delicious pizza at the wrap-up party. My fourth Open completed!


So what’s up next on my athletic horizons?

Hell is freezing over because I switched my CrossFit Sunalta membership from unlimited to 3 days/week back in February. It’s not that I love crossfit any less, but rather that for the next 6 months, I want to focus more on running!  I’m running the Lululemon SeaWheeze in Vancouver in September which is a half marathon (13.1 miles/21.1 km).  Although I’m not hoping to break any speed records, I would like to put my best effort into training and see what kind of runner I can be!  Although many crossfitters shudder at the thought of running, I definitely enjoy pounding the pavement once in a while.  Especially once the snow (finally!!) melts!

I’m still doing a bit of yoga here and there. I have hopes that with my reduced crossfit schedule, I can tack a bit of yoga onto my run days to help me recover.  I am also still teaching yoga!  Just one class each week, but it is the right amount with my fulltime job too.  My next CrossFit Sunalta yoga-for-crossfitters starts up next Wednesday, April 4th.  If you’d like to sign up, please click though the link.

The hiking recaps will start as soon as Dana and I can actually get out to the mountains hiking again… at this point, there is still so much snow. Don’t worry, Dana has already planned most of our hikes so we will be ready when the season finally gets here.

How was the 2018 Open for you?

18.4 Accomplished

The 2018 Open has been a strange one for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been trying to care less, or because I’m coming back from injuries, or maybe it’s the workouts themselves, but overall I’d say I’m just showing up each Friday with pretty minimal anxiety and doing the work. I’m still having fun though (or I wouldn’t do it)!

After last week’s 6 minute workout (for me at least), I was hoping that 18.4 would be one I could go balls to the walls on.

18.4 seemed promising at first. Despite my low back and tricep injury, being short has its perks and 18.4 is definitely a short (wo)man’s workout. 18.4 is Diane to start, then Diane with a riff.

Workout 18.4

For time:

21 deadlifts, 155 lb.

21 handstand push-ups

15 deadlifts, 155 lb.

15 handstand push-ups

9 deadlifts, 155 lb.

9 handstand push-ups

21 deadlifts, 205 lb.

50-ft. handstand walk

15 deadlifts, 205 lb.

50-ft. handstand walk

9 deadlifts, 205 lb.

50-ft. handstand walk

Time cap: 9 min.

My previously healthy body loved deadlifts and handstand push-ups. I learned to do handstand push-ups strict, and am still working on learning to kip (typical Kait gymnastics skills problem). But I haven’t deadlifted much since December and hurting my back, and the same goes for handstand push-ups as my tricep couldn’t handle the pressure (putting a ponytail on was bad enough).

But my physio Gina fixed my arm up, and my chiro Dr. Brad is working on my back weekly and helping me to get my glutes firing, so I felt well enough to at least attempt 18.4 RX. I told my judge I’d drop to scaled if needed.

I got a good warm-up in, and then measured at the wall for the handstand push-up standard. Right away, I could see the whole “forearm away from the wall” part of the standard being tricky (I’m short! I have short forearms!).

But the buzzer went and with my belt cinched, I started the 21 deadlifts. I tried to use my glutes and hamstrings as much as possible and broke after 10, then 16, then finished the set. :48 was my tiebreak for that round, but I figured my round of 15s would be the score to count.

To the wall I went, figuring I’d kip my way through sets of 5 then skip back to the barbell for more deads.

WRONG.

My lack of recent HSPU practice combined with the limited amount of room between my body and the wall (as per the standard), and I was struggling hard!

At the top of each rep I would press through my handstand with my toes flexed towards my shins and even then it was a struggle for my judge (and good friend!) Anna to count the reps as good ones. I did a lot of strict reps, as the kipping motion was so awkward with the wall so close. I got no-repped, just short of the tape line, too many times. Only 17 reps counted.

In the end it was the strangest Open workout yet. I worked so hard and was physically drained, but wasn’t sweating or breathing hard.

Saturday morning as I write this recap, my body is quite sore – my shoulders, my glutes. I’m extremely happy to say neither my low back or tricep feel blown up.

A friend mentioned she’s going back in on Sunday for a re-do. Although I’m a little frustrated and disappointed by my attempt, in the end it’s just competitive fitness and I’m not going to the Games this year (😉), so I think I’m a-ok with my 38 reps. I fought hard for them and that’s all that matters.

Just one Open workout left in the 2018 season. Traditionally 18.5 is a “see God” workout featuring thrusters and another element you just can’t hide in. Tell no one… but I can’t wait.

18.5 predictions? Did you love or hate 18.4?