18.1 Accomplished

Hi everyone!

I’m taking a different approach to the 2018 CrossFit Open as my box is doing the workouts on Friday nights, instead of Sunday afternoons like last year. While I’m definitely glad to do the workouts earlier in the weekend so I don’t have time to nervously dwell on them, writing a Tips & Tricks blog post like past years on Thursday night seems redundant.

Perhaps because I’ve been slowly recovering from two different injuries (a strained low back and tricep) since December, my enthusiasm for the Open is slightly lower than normal. I actually didn’t pay my dues for the Open until the announcement of 18.1 because I wanted to be sure my body was up to the challenge.  Although last year I did all the Open workouts RX, I am open to doing the scaled workouts this year if needed because – let’s face it – I’m not going to the CrossFit Games one way or another, and I’d like my body to stay healthy and well for a long time.

First impressions on 18.1? To be honest, I got distracted after work and tuned into the announcement as the athletes were already chipping away.  So I didn’t even know what the workout was!  18.1 was:

20 min AMRAP

8 toes-to-bar (T2B)

10 dumbbell (DB) hang clean & jerks (35/50#) [5 reps/side]

12/14 calorie row

I really like that the quantity of reps for the movements was relatively low. I can usually string together 8 T2B consistently, and 5 DB clean & jerks didn’t sound too bad (although I had never done the movement in a workout before).  And only 12 calories for ladies?  That’s nothing!  (Classic CrossFit – if you find yourself thinking something is * only * anything… you’re screwed.)

Coach JP briefed us all about movement standards and then I judged a couple heats before I warmed up myself. The clean and jerks felt a little awkward, and with my left tricep blown up the past two months, I wasn’t sure about the jerk/push press portion of the movement.  I grabbed the ladies’ scaled weight, as well as the RX, when I set up my station for the workout – just in case I needed to change mid-workout to the scaled version.

18.1 surprised me. In past years, the hardest element would have been the T2B for sure!  This year, I think the T2B were the easiest movement for me.  The row was deceptively gassy, and to my surprise, the clean and jerks were definitely the toughest part of the workout.  I found myself resting the dumbbell on my chest after the first five reps so I could finish the other side’s five reps unbroken.

I had hoped to finish somewhere between 8 and 10 rounds, and happily finished the 8th row in time for a few T2B for a finishing score of 242 RX.  The best part of all is that my tricep felt fine throughout the workout and I didn’t need to use the lighter dumbbell.  All that physio has paid off!

I definitely slept well that night, but didn’t feel too horribly sore on the weekend. In fact, I decided to go for a light run on Saturday and ended up doing 8 kms because it felt good and the sun was shining.  All in all, I didn’t mind 18.1 and am looking forward to the weeks of the Open to come.

Any guesses for 18.2? How did 18.1 go for you?


Hike: Picklejar Lakes

Thanks for the pics Rozie, Dana, and Megs 📸

Two Sundays ago, we got out with a few of our friends to hike up to the Picklejar Lakes in Kananaskis. It was supposed to be a 30 degree day but didn’t amount to that heat thankfully.

According to the Alberta Parks website, Picklejar is 8.2 km return/450 m elevation gain. Somehow the hill climb seemed spicier to all of us!  The trail, although not maintained, is well-trafficked and in good condition and we passed lots of people on our journey upward.

People had kids and tiny toy dogs with them so that gives you an idea of what kind of trail to expect.  Also lots of folks with fishing rods (or axes as Rozie thought initially… haha).

We made it up to the second lake before a bit of a storm started blowing in. Somehow none of us had packed a raincoat, so continuing on to the third and fourth lakes seemed unnecessary.  Rozie had packed a plastic bag but there was no way five of us were going to fit in it if the heavens decided to open up.

It was quite smoky that day and my lungs were feeling it by the time we were heading back down. The views were pretty, but I wish we could have seen them without the haze hanging on the mountain peaks.

My great uncle always tells us about Picklejar Lakes when we see him, and now I’ve got big respect for his hiking skills because the climb up there is a lung and leg burner! I’ll be taking his trail recommendations with a grain of salt now.  🙂

Happy International Day of Yoga!

As you might be aware, I’ve been living and breathing attending a 200 hour yoga teacher training program here in Calgary at the Alberta Yoga College since March 30th (my 27th bday by coincidence!).

I started the program for a number of reasons that I talked about in this post, such as:

  • With (previously) all-crossfit-all-the-time, I wanted to work on my mobility and core strength to prevent future injuries, so yoga seemed like a perfect yin to the yang.
  • Mental health – learn more about how to be mindful and present in my life, and let stress be something that rolls off my shoulders.
  • Make friends!
  • I kept thinking about that manifesto slogan on the old Lululemon shopping bag – something about “have you woken up two days in a row uninspired? change your life!” I’ve always daydreamed about owning my own business/moonlighting, so taking training to expand on something that greatly interests me made sense.

When I started the program, I was of the opinion that yoga was 99% about the postures (asanas), and about 1% other components. I was so wrong!

Yoga, especially with the Alberta Yoga College’s Iyengar focus, is about alignment, spirituality, and mindfulness. We learned yoga postures – and the many finer points for sure – but SO MANY other lessons as well!

  • Anatomy
  • Restorative yoga (props for life!!!)
  • Yoga for Better Backs
  • Sanskrit
  • Philosophy
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Children’s yoga
  • Pranayama (breathing!)
  • Meditation
  • Ashtanga/vinyasa yoga
  • Ayurveda
  • Teaching/assisting/observing
  • And the list goes on!

Photo credit: @albertayogacollege


Over the past three months, for sure, I missed attending crossfit with more regularity. I missed the crazy endorphins, I missed the strength, I missed my friends there, and the list goes on.  But as my time doing yoga went on, I also realized that a large part of the injury component for me at crossfit was heavily related to ego.

When I come to yoga, I happily grab whatever props I need to achieve the desired benefits of the postures. I don’t care what anyone else needs to do their yoga, because my yoga is about me and my body.  I can let my ego go and just focus on me and my mat.

Although crossfit shouldn’t be about competition, I know that I used to always show up and eyeball what the other gals were doing. “You doing it RX?” we would ask each other, and I would grab the RX weights even if they weren’t appropriate for my workout.

What was I achieving by doing it RX?  Did I get the stimulus Coach designed the programming for?  Did I honour how my body was feeling that particular day?  Was it worth it for the red RX beside my name and score at the end of the workout?

Ego. I’ve learned a few things about ego.

But lately it’s been easier for me to show up to crossfit, and only think about what I need, that day, from the workout. I’ve just been grateful to be there. Who cares what everyone else is doing?

So what else have I gained from my yoga teacher training over the past three months?

  • Gratitude – for my body and all that it is capable of, for the opportunity to attend training, for all that I have in my life
  • Compassion – for others: everyone is on their own journey
  • The realization that I can do hard things
  • Respect for my body’s limits and abilities
  • A sense of calm and mindfulness
  • A toolbox of yoga postures that I can use to help others feel better in their bodies and minds
  • A new appreciation for slow, gentle, relaxing restorative yoga ❤
  • A huge appreciation for yoga class sequencing
  • New friends! I have met so many incredible people doing my certification!

The big question: am I going to teach?

The short answer: Yes! I would like to start small and teach mobile restorative yoga classes.  If you live in Calgary and are interested in restorative yoga, reach out to me!

I am graduating from my program this Saturday and I feel a mix of sadness and happiness. Sad, because I have loved being a student again, meeting new people, and regularly practicing yoga.  I will especially miss the feeling of community we shared as a class.  Happy, because with the free time I will have back, I can spend lots of time with Dana and my friends, go on weekend hikes, and continue down the road on my yoga teacher journey.

Happy International Day of Yoga!