What I Hoped Would Not Happen…Happened

Well, of course… what does the first workout of the Crossfit Open start with?  Double unders.  And what have I yet to do more than one time – total – since I started Crossfit?  You guessed it – double unders.


What I want to do is run directly to Atlanta right this second and smack the games director.  Like right this second…

But what I also want to do is at least one more double under.  I just don’t want to opt out of this WOD – I want to go down fighting.  A zero is fine as long as I earn it fighting.  A one would be better. 

So about two minutes after I got home from the announcement gathering that we had, I started jumping around to see if I could kick my feet out a little more to the front and maybe be able to get that jump rope under there twice. 

And today, I will be headed to the box as soon as school is out to practice.  Maybe I can figure this out.  I’m not going down without a fight. 

I’d rather go down fighting. 


Opening Day

Let the Games Begin!

Today the first WOD will be released for the CrossFit Open. 

I am pretty excited and anxious about it. 

Anxious because I fear that one of the WODs will start out with one of those things that I am still working on doing.  But, by gummy, I am going to stay there and work until my time is up. 

Excited because this gives me the opportunity to see how far I have come in the past year.  Real push ups and 65 pound thrusters are now part of my reality instead of my “one day I will” list.  They are not pretty, but they don’t really have to be.  They just have to be there.  My goal is to focus on these things, instead of what I cannot do yet.  I am also excited to be a part of the awesome CrossFit community. 

So, this is the day…


Truth Telling

Truth.  Tell the truth.  It seems to be such a simple concept; just be truthful. 

Lately, that has been a struggle in my life.  People seem to think that it is permissible to lie to me.  My students, other adults, the media, the world – what the heck is up with this?

This is not okay.  It sends the clear message that I am not worth the truth, or that I am so stupid that I will not figure out that someone is lying to me. 

I am worth the truth, and I am smart enough to figure out when someone is not being truthful. 

So don’t tell me that it is someone’s M.O. to lie.

Don’t tell me that you are impulsive and it just jumped out of your mouth.

Don’t tell me you lied to protect me.

Don’t tell me you lied to make me better. 

Don’t tell me that you are not going to lie about just lying to me. 

This is not okay. 

Just tell me the truth. 

I should be worth that to you.

Get Out of the Nest!

For the past thirteen years, I have been teaching students at transitional points in their education.  Either I have been getting them ready for high school, or transitioning them into high school.  It is a very funny age because the students are wanting their independence, but also wanting to cling to me for answers, reassurance, and support…much like I am Google with encouragement and the ability to quickly check their work. 

Which leads to a number of questions that I don’t answer:

Can you look at this essay and tell me what grade I will make?  Is this okay?  Is this what you want? Is this right?  Is this the answer?  Can you read this over and tell me all of the stuff I need to fix?  Is this good?  I need to make an A on this paper.  Is this an A paper?” 

I don’t answer these questions because I am mean, although my students will tell me that I am; I don’t answer them because these questions do not make the students independent thinkers.  In fact, these questions don’t really require them to do much thinking at all.  They just want me to serve as their “Google it” feature so that they get immediate feedback and can be done.  It becomes nothing more than something to check off their list. 

I want them to think it through, reason it out, and take their answers to their logical end.  And to answer their knee-jerk need reassurance that I am right although I have no idea how I arrived at that answer questions simply invalidates the need to think.  That has led to my talk with my students in the last few weeks:

“This Mommy Bird is shoving you out of the nest.  It is not that Mommy Bird does not love you, but it is time for you to do this on your own and fly.  There is no reason that you cannot do this.  If you are in real trouble – like you are on fire or being eaten by a bear – then Mommy Bird will come rescue you.  But your not being able to put things from the novel in your own words after three seconds of thought is not real trouble, and I am not coming to rescue you.  Now get out of my nest and fly.”

The students thought that was a good analogy, and it lasted about three minutes.  Then, they were back. 

“But I can’t…”

Yes, you can.  Now go try. 

“You have to help me…”

I am.  I am making you think.  You will thank me later.

“Help!  Mommy Bird!”

Fire?  Bear?  If the answer to those is no, you don’t need me.

“You are being mean.”

Nope.  Now get out of my nest.  I’m redecorating your room. 


And despite all of the protests to the contrary, my little flock of seemingly helpless birds will come to class the next day with beautifully reasoned out arguments for their beliefs, which they have to rush into my room as soon as the first bell rings to share with me.  They are flying.  It is not perfect flight, but they do figure out that they are more capable than what they thought they were.  They also figure out that there is sometimes not a right or wrong answer, for the world is not always asking objective questions, but ones that must be answered from inside them. 

Sometimes the best thing a Mommy Bird can do is shove the baby birds out of the nest and let them figure some things out for themselves.  I know that I have taught them to the best of my abilities, and they simply need to use what they have been taught so that they can fly.  It is a natural transition. 

And it makes this Mommy Bird very proud. 

Cabbage, Onion, and Apple Skillet

Cabbage, Onion, and Apple

Quick, easy, and inexpensive – this side dish is great just out of the pan, and even better the day after. 

You will need:

Small head of cabbage

About half an onion

An apple        

Fat of choice

Using the shredder blade on your food processor, shred the apple and the onion separately.  Set aside.  Cut the cabbage into thin strips. 

Add the fat of your choice to the skillet (I like my iron skillet for this).   Then, stir in the onion and let it begin to cook for a minute or two.  Begin adding the cabbage a handful or two at a time, letting it wilt a bit between handfuls.  Finally add the apple to the skillet.  Sauté until the cabbage begins to brown slightly. 

Serve with protein of your choice.  Enjoy!   

Countdown to Crossfit Open

I just checked the Crossfit games website to make sure of a few little odds and ends, and ticking away furiously on the right side of the page is the countdown timer.  A little over five days remain until the first WOD is released. 


I am going in to this knowing that I will not be advancing, and that if a WOD involves double unders or pull-ups early, I am in big trouble.


I am also going in to this much different than I was at this time last year.  First off, I did not enter and never thought I would.  I never thought I would be good enough to do it.  This year I know that I have made so much progress and can do parts of the WODs, which is a whole heck of a ton better than not showing up at all.  And even though they are not pretty and they hurt, I can do 65lb thrusters.  I can string together burpees.  I can do regular push-ups. I can clean at least 85 lbs, and I can get it over my head.  My squats are getting better and I can Rx wall balls – not pretty, but I can.  Sit ups? Pssshhh – got that one down, and I am getting faster.  Run 200m – less than a minute now.  Deadlifts?  My fave!!  And I can jump on the short box (not quite Rx) every stinking time. 

I could do none of that last year.  None.  Zero.  Zilch. 

This year, I can. 

My coaches are amazing, my workout buddy is awesome, and my friends at the box are incredibly supportive. 

And even though I know I am not going to win it and go on to regionals, I have already won in more ways imaginable. 

Five days and counting until 3…2…1…GO!