getting fit and taking gains

Category Archives: Rambling

Among my friends I have a reputation for being the fitness nut, not because I’m the only one who works out but because I’m the only one who takes it so seriously. Overall we’re a group of fit, healthy people but I’m the only one who eats super clean and who makes fitness the foundation for my lifestyle and choices. Sometimes they do ask me for advice and I’ll tell them what I do, with the caveat “you need to do what works best for you.”

Every body is different, which requires a good amount of self-awareness and self-education to not only dial in your fitness but to keep yourself uninjured and healthy. How should you eat? Well, I eat a version of Paleo that verges on ketogenic, but maybe you would do better with more carbs. What does your body tell you? I craved peanut butter for a month and, I kid you not, ate multiple jars of it before I realized my body was telling me I need more salt. Now I salt everything more and am going to go back on electrolytes; amazingly peanut butter also tastes different now, it’s no longer overwhelmingly delicious and leaving me wanting more. Maybe you’re craving carbs because your body isn’t getting enough of them. Listen to your body!

Should you do a particular movement in your workout? Sure, just be mindful of your body. Pain is not weakness leaving the body, it’s a sign that you might be doing something wrong. Know the difference between discomfort and pain. And if you have a known issue, be willing to scale and modify! My arms are a million times better than they were two years ago, but I still need to be mindful when I do arm intensive workouts. If things start to feel really tight at the insertion points of the muscles I know it’s time to stop or modify. Push ups are no longer my Waterloo but I do still keep a firm mental eye on my arms as I do them.

You are your own best advocate, so be smart! Listen to your body and educate yourself before you take someone’s word for it. Even professionals are wrong or narrow-minded sometimes.


Hammer Time (CFJ) — how to swing a sledge hammer; I suspect I’ll be adding a sledge hammer and tractor tire to my garage gym

Ironman in Waterworld (CFJ) — hydration for the athlete, myths and realities

Comfortable Being Uncomfortable (CF Invictus) — how far should you push yourself? And how far is too far? Thoughts on intensity.

How Getting a Six Pack Changes Your Life (And How It Doesn’t) (Lifehacker) — the thing about a six pack is that 99% of the time only you know you have one; it’s not visible to the rest of the world. I’ve worked hard to achieve this goal, and will admit that in the back of my head I thought somehow life would change once I achieved it. Only your confidence in yourself will really change!


Last weekend we went to Washington D.C., my first time ever! It was amazing to see all of the monuments and gorgeous architecture. We went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as well, which was heartbreaking. My great-grandparents and other family members died in WWII concentration camps so it was an emotional visit for me, making what has always seemed so remote a very real and intimate experience. I can’t wait to go back to D.C and spend more time visiting the museums.

In front of the White House!

In front of the White House!

Washington Monument with a couple of my favorite peeps

Washington Monument with a couple of my favorite peeps

Yesterday we went to Cape Charles for a day at the beach. It was glorious and now I’m totally sunburned, crispy like a good potato chip. Luckily I have magical aloe vera, which is taking away some of the burn.

VA is for lovers, yo!

VA is for lovers, yo!

"Wait, an 80's movie jump? What are we doing again???"

“Wait, an 80’s movie jump? What are we doing again???”

Suns out guns out!

Suns out guns out!


I decided to resubscribe to some Crossfit feeds that are article based and not just workout based, and I must have good timing because I found a bunch of great articles!

Chains for Gains: using chains while lifting in order to enhance muscle recruitment. I see myself getting some chains for the home gym this summer.

Got Control?: focusing on control will ultimately make you a better athlete

Reflections of My First Crossfit Open: reading this I saw my own thoughts written down; it’s nice to know I’m in good company when it comes to mental strength!

Why you shouldn’t go Rx: when you could go Rx, and why you probably aren’t ready to yet (and that’s OK)

Paleo Disillusioned: I personally have been in a nutritional rut (eating a jar of peanut butter a week…) and reading this made me re-evaluate. I’m still “paleo” but am making an effort to eat more carbs in the form of fruit and starchy veg, plus adding more salt; I’ve been having a lot fewer cravings!


Check out this post from CF Invictus on easy snatch technique tips — you get to throw elbows at bad guys! I love when people put something complicated into fun, easy to understand terminology.


Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge

Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge

Today we spent a few hours walking 8.5 miles in a perfectly flat, perfectly straight line. Apparently hikes in eastern VA are basically long walks in the woods! I’m used to WA, which involves climbing mountains and navigating switchbacks. It was a gorgeous day though, and we were rewarded with a view of Lake Drummond, a lake with an average depth of 3.5ft. Of course there was a lot of great conversation too — what better way to get to know someone than to walk over 8 miles on what is basically a service road?! :)

Lake Drummond

Lake Drummond


I ordered a bunch of new RokFit gear because I love their stuff and because Jason is awesome. Now I can wander the ‘yard with the cool duds! Here’s my fave old RF shirt :)

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