bad ass women whom i respect, part 1

trista.

architect. coach. mom.

trista was one of the first people who really engaged in conversation with me when i started at crossfit shoreside. that’s not to imply that people were unkind or unwelcoming it was just that trista made it a point to ask me about myself, introduce me to her daughters, and make me feel a part of the community. 

trista is quiet and in some respects unassuming (until  you see her workout…she is beastly when it comes to wodding). she embodies the idea of still waters run deep. 

recently we were discussing what led her to begin crossfit and her response was really stuck with me. so much so that it was the inspiration for this post. 

she told me that the reason she began crossfit was to ensure that she would see her youngest into her forties. trista is in her mid forties and her youngest is eight.

selfish self preservation, y’all.

one of the things i appreciate most about trista is that she comes to class and does the work. not only does she do the work, she demolishes the work. trista is one of the top performing athletes at our gym. in fact, she’s qualified for regionals. 

trista has been following a training program that crossfit provides for people who qualified for regionals to help them prepare. something in the past few weeks has happened where all of the other top performers in the gym have changed their schedules to come in and support her in her training. they willingly give up their lunch hours and do the workouts with her. she inspires and motivates the people around her. it is perhaps one of the finest examples of crossfit camaraderie i’ve seen,

often in crossfit we hear tales of communities gathering together over tragedy: cancer, loss of life, acts of nature. the rallying of peoples to overcome bad is one of my favorite parts of crossfit.

but, it is truly lovely to see people rally around a person. a person who is kind and devoted.

love yourself.
love each other.
love, love.   

poor unfortunate souls.

my mother once told me that the reason we weren’t allowed to watch disney when i was a child was because she didn’t want me to grow up to be a princess, she wanted me to grow to be a queen. 

all of the queens disney depicted in their early films were evil. mirror, mirror evil. 

the one and only plus sized woman of substance ::wakka, wakka, wakka:: was also evil. in the case of ursula she was a queen of many sorts. the original drawings were based on the famous drag queen, divine. a beautiful, edgy, plus sized muse for john waters. so, not only was ursula a fat queen. she also was interesting. she was an artist. 

ursula was outside of the box. 

i yearn for the day when someone like gregory maguire writes a wicked-esque book about our favorite sea witch…i mean, really, the story could write itself. what did ariel’s mother do to ursula that caused her to kill her.  

perhaps it’s in this light, that makes the systematic slimming of usula so disheartening. not only did they cut her down to size when turning her into plastic but they also did it when they converted the movie into a stage show. 

there are so few roles for plus sized women in musical theater to begin with…and then you take a role that should have been plus sized and make her into a svelte couture caricature of the villain we’d come to know and love and body identify with. 

what do you think it is about the marketing…obviously little girls can’t play with plus sized dolls. what would that do to their self esteem? what would it do to how they treat their fellow students who are plus sized? i mean, what would happen if we taught little girls that ALL BODIES are beautiful. 

i vacillate between being frustrated that the one plus sized woman in disney is evil vs. being proud that at least one plus sized character was good enough to be folded into the disney flock.  |

but, in case this message wasn’t clear:
my body isn’t evil.
being a strong woman doesn’t make me evil.
hopefully, i am the queen my mother intended.

 

selfish self preservation

so, midway through last quarter i decided to try something new. i decided that wednesday mornings were mine. 

as a teacher and performer there’s a lot of time and energy given to things, people, art, and activities outside of yourself. while the endeavors i undertake are wildly fulfilling often i realize how little time i give to myself. 

so, last term i decided to shift my schedule and teach at the college i work on m, t. th. i would take my lessons on fridays/occasionally teach lessons on friday. i would primarily teach out of my house wednesday afternoons and sunday afternoons. i would rehearse/do a myriad of things that have to get done on saturdays. i left wednesday mornings alone. that would be my time. that would be a carved out chunk of time for me. 

what i have chosen to do with it fairly consistently is take a ten a.m. olympic lifting class, at eleven i usually go to a local coffee shop and get an almond milk latte, and then do the wod at noon.

now, while this may seem antithetical to, ‘me’ time…it’s a conscious way for me to take care of myself. right now there are more days than not that have me leaving my house by 7:15 am and not returning at around 11-11:30 pm. 

finding time to work out is difficult. i am trying to do no less than three times a week. so, it’s nice to have a morning where essentially i say, ‘this is something that brings me joy (and pain) and i want to be conscious that i carve out time for it’.

ah, blissful self preservation. when did we decide that things people do for preservation seem selfish? there is a difference between preserving and selfishness.

it’s a necessity. it really is. 

i’ve already made decisions about some other changes in my life/schedule that will be implemented next year. 

health and wellness aren’t just how you workout, what you nourish your body with, how much sleep you get, etc. it’s how much time you spend loving yourself. 

penny for your thoughts.

truths:

i have snatched two pair of pants off of me in the last week. needless to say i bought new pants. they are both a size large…when i started crossfit the first pair of old navy workout pants i bought were 4x.

i did my first crossfit cardio class today. i did not hate it. this actually surprised me. i think my coach was kind, knew i was coming to class so he programmed to my strengths. that’s how you know you’re at a good gym.

speaking of good gyms, the coach from the affiliate i went to in denver sent the other jess and i an introductory email to a new girl at the gym. i love that i am in a network of strong, beautiful, plus sized women doing crossfit and that the owner of that gym makes sure we are networked together to be voices of love and support. 

my eating has been terrible lately. well, not terrible just mildly bad. but, consistent in its mild badness. i just love goat cheese…a lot. 

i’ve decided i’m going to buy a bicycle and take tennis lessons. 

also, this might be the one and only competition someone could convince me to take place in…it’s for a cause i believe greatly in.
http://www.crossfitdefined.com/events/working-out-april-26th-2014/

speaking of things i believe greatly in: this weekend i am prepared to burn all of my calories dancing at the barrel of monkeys big prom, space horses in space. dancing is my favorite form of cardio. if you’re in chicago you should come. no, really, you should. 
http://www.barrelofmonkeys.org/bigprom

you won’t be disappointed. 
plus, it’s for the children. 

50 things every woman should realize about misogyny.

have you seen this:
http://wallstreetinsanity.com/50-things-every-woman-should-realize-about-men/

…it’s ludicrous and disgusting.

things from the article will be in italics and block quoted…(read responsively in the bold: church psalm jokes, anyone?)

1. You Gotta Stay Away From His Internet Search History

You can’t handle it. It’s more or less the same for every guy, so don’t think he’s a perv or anything. But if you go browsing where he’s been, you’ll regret it. There are some things you can’t unsee.

you can’t handle it. mainly because it’s on a wide array of nerdy topics like 20th century opera, crossfit, and showtunes. you can’t unsee the things i’ve seen about sondheim. also, what is it with bro-ish douches thinking that it’s uncouth for a woman to watch or dare i even suggest liking porn but it’s somehow in their genetic wiring to watch it. i don’t think women have issues with porn. i do think they have issues with the way porn portrays them as objects.

2. You Can’t Change Him

I know that you know this intellectually, but on some level, you may still think you can pull it off. You can’t. And if you do manage to get it done, he’ll figure it out and resent you for it. Love him the way he is or not at all.

this may come as a shock to you but, when i’m with someone i see myself as their equal, their partner, not their parent. hopefully change will be congruent but i don’t have time or energy to change someone. shockingly, i have enough shit going on in my own life, thank you.

3. You Shouldn’t Take It Personally When He Checks Out Other Women

Unless he’s leering and drooling, just let it slide. It’s a reflex and he can’t help it. Just let it slide.

but, i’m weak and i just can’t help but be overcome with jealousy. because i’m a lowly woman who doesn’t have eyes and can’t see benedict cumberbatch. 

4. He Will Choose His Friends Over You

They’ve been with him for way longer than you have, and no matter how much he loves the regular sex, he’ll sacrifice it if you’re trying to 86 his buddies from his life.

but, how will i change him if i don’t isolate him from his friends?

5. Never Criticize His Mother

If he wants to do it, and you commiserate with him, that’s fine. But if you’re the one who brings it up, watch the fuck out. Odds are, there are qualities she has that he sees in you, so try to figure out what those are and relate to her on that level.

oh, i’m sorry, your grade a, psychological fried bullshit isn’t really my issue. if your mom is mean to me, we’ll have an issue. if she’s nice, we’ll get along swimmingly. 

6. You Have To Let Shit Go

You’ll have a lot of fights over the course of the relationship, but when they’re over, they really need to be over. Throwing old arguments back in his face will lead to loss of trust and ultimately change how he feels about you.

this is a human issue…not something unique to vaginas. 

7. Don’t Ask Questions You Don’t Want To Know The Answers To

Hey, he’s got a history and so do you. If you love him for who he is now, don’t worry so much about the steps he took to get there.

i mean, what about asking questions i do want answers to…is that okay? or am i not allowed to speak out of turn?

8. You Can’t Bombard Him The Second He Walks In The Door

He knows you want to talk about what that bitch said to you at work today or your plans to redecorate the bedroom, but for god’s sake, let him have a beer and stare at the TV for at least half an hour first.

trust me, this isn’t an issue. 

9. Withholding Sex Is A Dangerous Game

I don’t care how mad you are at him, if you cut him off for an extended period of time, what happens next is on you.

also, not an issue but i’m glad you’ve boiled my power in the relationship down to my vagina.  

10. He’s Jealous Of All Your Straight Guy Friends

Bitch about him to the girls all you want, but if you’re confiding things to other men and he finds out about it, he’s going to get jealous. Sorry to break it to you, but he wants to be the only man in your life.

oh, the harry burns principle. naturally, your jealousy prevents me from having friendships. also, number four is applicable here, is it not?

11. He Wants To Try Anal

He might never ask for it, but he wants it. And odds are, most, if not all of his former girlfriends wouldn’t let him. Let him have it at least once, maybe on his birthday. It’ll be a bonding experience.

sexual acts shouldn’t be a reward. life isn’t an r. kelly video. 

12. He Wants To Bang Your Friends

I’m not saying he’ll do it, but he wants to. Don’t take it personally—he’s wanted to bang 90% of all the women he’s ever met. It’s really not that big a deal. Let him know you know and watch how red he gets.

i hate this so much i just don’t even want to respond to it. 

13. You Should Learn To Play Pool

There’s nothing hotter than a chick who can beat you in pool.

what about chess?

14. He Wants You To Seduce Him

Yes, he probably likes sex more than you do, but you want him to be happy, right? Don’t wait for him to instigate every time. Surprise him every once in a while.

most women really like sex. if they’re not initiating it might be because you’re not attentive to their needs…

15. He Notices When You Don’t Wear The Jewelry He Bought You

If you don’t like it, for Christ’s sake, say so and let him try again. It seems ungrateful when you wear it once and then he never sees it again.

cubic zirconia isn’t for everyone. 

16. He Wants You To Need Him

Sure, you’re an independent lady and he likes that. But he also wants to feel useful. So let him change a light bulb and open pickle jars for you. It boosts his self-esteem.

…should i also let him do these things while i’m barefoot, pregnant, wearing an apron, and vacuuming?

17. You’ve Got To Watch Your Weight

Oh shit, did I really say that? Well, it’s true. Just because you landed him doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and stop going to the gym (and to be fair, neither can he).

oh shit, did you really say that? look, fucktwat…i actually give no fucks about my weight from an aesthetic point of view. you should care about my health and whether or not i’m taking care of myself not about pounds. 

18. If You’ve Been Living Together For Longer Than Three Years, He’s Not Going To Marry You

At that point, he already considers himself married, and the idea of a wedding is more of a hassle than the special day it is to you. You can try to force him into it if you want, but…

…are you assuming that all women want to be married?

19. Ultimatums Do NOT Work

Any time you try to force a guy to do anything, he WILL resent you for it. Try an honest talk about how you feel and what you want out of the relationship before you give him an “either/or.”

this might be the only sound thing said in this article…moreover, i do hate the implication that ultimatums are a female game. it’s a child’s game…which, is not the same thing. 

20. He Wants Kids

It’s hardwired into his DNA. No matter what he says when he’s in his twenties, when he gets a little older, he’s going to want a legacy to leave behind. But please make sure he’s ready before you stop taking your birth control.

oh, does he also want to really and truly co-parent that child…does he also know that i won’t be the sole person to sacrifice my personal and professional goals to have children?

21. He Knows When You’re Lying To Him

He might not even be sure what you’re lying about, but he knows when you’re not being honest. Better come clean, or his head will fill up with worst-case scenarios.

ditto. also, i’m the world’s worst liar…so, i just don’t do it. again, there’s a difference between being a child and an adult. 

22. He Wants You To Like What He Likes

Whether it’s movies, sports or hobbies, he wants you to enjoy those things with him. Even if it’s not your thing, try to have fun with the fact that it makes him happy.

and i want him to enjoy opera, theater, art, and hate this article. 

23. He Thought You Looked Good In That First Outfit

The more you change clothes before you go out, the more impatient he gets. After the second one, he doesn’t care anymore. Just pick one and let’s go!

i will take the time i see fit to look the way i see fit…that being said, i rarely try on more than two things. not all women are the indecisive clothes horses you imagine them to be. 

24. He Has No Interest In Shoes

What is it with women and shoes? You may think that new pair is the cutest thing in the world, but it just mystifies him.

neither do i…unless they’re oly  (olympic lifting) shoes. those are my new, peripheral, i will buy you sometime, obsession. 

25. You Should Always Take His Side

Within reason. But if he’s involved in some kind of debate and you take sides against him in public, he will never forgive you.

…you know, if he likes that a woman is smart and independent his ego shouldn’t be so fragile when it comes to intellectual discussion. 

26. He Wants You To Expose Him To New Things

He wants to feel like you’re bringing something extra into his life, so tell him about your favorite authors, philosophers, whatever. If you help him grow as a person, he’ll always be grateful to you for it.

oh, this might be the ONLY thing i REALLY agree with. 

27. You Need To Tell Him Exactly What You Want

Don’t make him guess, because he’ll pick wrong. And don’t be vague about it either. If you want something, just say it straight out. Odds are, he’ll give it to you.

…especially if it’s anal. 
again, there’s the implication that women are somehow playing a game. i reiterate there is a difference between adults and children. 

28. He Hates That Short Haircut

Very few women can pull off that pixie hairdo (although the ones that can do it beautifully). He likes your hair long, so don’t go chopping it all off without running it by him first. How would you feel if he got a Mohawk or grew a rattail?

i’d feel fine, because it’s his head. if i chop off all of my hair, dye it green, or relax it, all of those things are fine. because it is my head, and my hair. 

29. He Wants You By His Side

If you abandon him at parties and go talk to your friends while he talks to his, you’re not giving him that level of completion he wants in a partner. Sure, you can branch out now and then, but he wants you to work as a duo.

i believe the appropriate word for this is, ‘needy’.

30. You Should Never Flirt With His Friend

I know I said earlier that he wants to bang your friends, so this might seem like a double standard, but it’s true. He’ll think you’re fucking with him—or worse, that you’re actually attracted to one of his buddies. Don’t risk ruining his friendships or there will be bad times ahead.

…he can want to sleep with all of mine though. 

31. He Wants You To Be His Muse

Behind every great man is a great woman. And of course you can have your own hopes and dreams, but he needs you help and inspire him to achieve his.

and of course, you mere plebe, can have a few hopes and dreams of your own. but, really, you’re hear for my anal needs and to inspire me to create. 

32. Whatever It Is  You Want In Bed, He WILL Do It

Don’t be embarrassed to ask for it. Whatever you sickest, most twisted sexual fantasy, it’s PG-13 material compared to the shit that goes on in his head.

because all men secretly want to live in a porn, right?

33. He Needs To Lean On You Sometimes

Most of us are pretty good at shouldering our burdens, but every so often, they get too heavy. But don’t sit him down and make him talk about his feelings—that’s YOUR thing. Just do some little things for him to pick up his slack when he’s overwhelmed.

that’s my thing…yep, because all women feel like daily life should be an episode of OPRAH. 

34. Save The Big Piece Of Chicken For Him

He works hard, he doesn’t complain much. He deserves it (thanks to Chris Rock for that one).

i’ll bat my eyes while i serve it to him, too. 

35. Don’t EVER Emasculate Him

Even if you’re just joking. I promise you, he won’t think it’s funny. And if you do it during a fight, your relationship might never recover.

oh, great. don’t ask me if i’m on my period when i’m mad at you. don’t belittle every thought, feeling, or expression i have into being driven by my lady parts. don’t assume i am passive or less intelligent than you because my thigh gap is a vagina. 

36. He Doesn’t Want To Hear About Your Sexual Past

If you feel the need to give him a number, fine, but don’t get into what you did with whom, no matter how much he asks. I promise you, he doesn’t want to know.

follow your own advice and don’t ask things you don’t want the answers to. 

37. He Wants To Be The Best Lover You’ve Ever Had

And if he’s the love of your life, he probably is. But if he’s not, just lie to him.

…no.

38. If He Cheats On You Once, he’ll Do It Again

Even if he apologizes and honestly regrets it, if you let him get away with it, it WILL happen again.

if he cheats the likelihood is i wouldn’t, ‘let him get away with it’. either we’d be in therapy or no longer together…because i have self respect and while i recognize that erring is human and that it wouldn’t necessarily end the relationship i wouldn’t just roll over and be like, ‘that’s cool, just stomp on my heart like a floor piano.’.

39. You Should Let Him Open Doors For You

It’s great that you’re all liberated and shit, but being a gentleman never goes out of style. Let him do those little things and it will make him love you more.

memo, even those who are liberated and shit like gestures of humanity. i held doors open today for elderly people and a woman who had three children with her.

40. You Need To Be His Moral Compass

He looks to his woman to keep him in check. Make sure he always does the right thing.

i think the bigger issue is finding someone to be with who has their own moral compass…

41. You Should Let Him Win Sometimes

Men hate it when you’re better at them at what they love. He has a fragile ego, and sorry, but you need you to cater to it sometimes. If you throw a game and he gloats, though, all bets are off.

so treat a man like a child, got it. 

42. If You Make Him Watch A Chick Flick, At Least Give Him A Blowjob Afterwards

Seriously, those things are painful. You have no idea how much we hate them. If he made it through the whole thing without complaining, reward him. And if it was one of the SEX & THE CITY movies, you owe him either anal or a threesome. Your choice.

…just like you have no idea how much i hate a lot of other things that i will watch with him because that’s part of being in a partnership. doing something with me because you know i like it doesn’t warrant you getting sexual favors for being you know, a basic boyfriend.  also, most of my female friends watch indulgent chic flicks with their other female friends. 

43. Speaking Of Threesomes… He Will NEVER Stop Trying

It doesn’t mean you’re not enough for him, it’s just that it’s the ultimate male fantasy. I’m not saying you ever have to cave in (it’s probably best if you don’t). But just tolerate his attempts to make it happen. He can’t help himself.

he just can’t help himself…insert every eye roll ever. yes, he can. he most certainly can. i’m not even arguing against threesomes if that’s what you’re into. but, the implication that he just can’t control himself is absurd. 

44. He Needs Quiet Sometimes

You don’t have to fill the silence with pointless chatter and small talk. If you’re comfortable together, you should be able to just shut the fuck up every once in a while.

welcome to being human.  

45. You Should Compliment Him More

Hey, women aren’t the only ones who like compliments. Tell him he looks good, tell him he’s smart, whatever. He needs to hear that shit every once in a while.

…his fragile ego just needs it. you’d think that by the time you’re in a committed relationship with someone this goes without saying. you’d think that, right?

46. You Don’t Always Have To Be Right

Hey, if it’s worth it, then just dig your heels in and fight to your dying breath. But sometimes, he just wants his opinion validated and you don’t have to contradict him just because you see things differently.

and saying you don’t agree doesn’t always have to be a fight…

47. Make Sure You Look Just As Good When You Go Out With Him As When You Go Out With The Girls

We all get lazy after a while when we don’t have to impress anyone anymore. But if you’re all sweats and T-shirts when it’s just the two of you and you’re smoking hot when you’re going out without him, he’s going to wonder who you’re doing that for.

because it’s all about him and whether or not he approves of my aesthetic. 

48. He’s Not Your Dad

For all you princesses out there. Yes, he’s supposed to take care of you, but it’s not in the same way. You’re a grown woman, for Christ’s sake. Learn the difference between a father and a partner.

from number five: Odds are, there are qualities she has that he sees in you, so try to figure out what those are and relate to her on that level.

so you want to marry your mother and for me to differentiate between a dad and a partner. 

i mean, that’s correct. i don’t want to marry my father, nor would i. nor would i confuse those things…i just would like to call your attention to your hypocritical writing. 

49. You’re Not His Mother

If you’re always picking up after him and washing his dishes, he’s got some growing up to do. Don’t play into his Freudian fantasy.

again…NUMBER FUCKING FIVE

50. He’s Not As Complicated As You Are

Don’t go thinking that means you’re deeper than he is, though. Or smarter. He just likes to keep it simple. If you can understand and appreciate that, you might end up complimenting each other very well.

this article clearly shows that you are unquestionably simpler than i am. 

wodding on the road.

inevitably when i go to a new crossfit for the first time they ask, ‘how long have you been doing crossfit?’ it’s a standard question. really, it is. but, i always think they’re shocked at my response of two years. 

the shock is at my shape…and then they see me move and say things like, ‘oh, you’re strong as fuck.’ yes, yes indeed i am. part of what i love about crossfit is that a girl my size and shape can actually excel at certain movements. 

today i did my first of two planned drop in wods at  brooklyn crossfit columbia street while i’m here. 

i almost didn’t go when i checked the website this morning and realized it was a partner wod. BUT, in the spirit of doing things that i assume i’m going to hate i went, braved my social awkwardness, and really loved it. 

i have always worried with partner wods that i’d be the fat girl that no one wanted to be partnered with…aka childhood gym class when i was forced to participate, which was very, very rarely. 

see, i have never really been what one considers athletic. even now, people don’t look at me and see an athlete. but, you know what, i’m changing my perception of athlete. are there things that my body doesn’t do as well as others, absolutely. but, there are things that my body can do that people a third of my size can’t. 

so, no longer will i joke about how unathletic i am because i’m making my definition of athleticism more malleable. 

now, i’ll still make fun of myself for being uncoordinated…because, let’s be real, that’s just truthful. 

p.s. my favorite thing about brooklyn crossfit columbia street is that you have to enter via something vaguely like a hobbit hole door…really, i stood outside for a good four minutes wondering if i should walk through it. 

leaving on a jet plane

so much of my twenties i dreaded flying. 

i LOVE traveling. LOVE.
but, the last few years of my twenties i avoided air travel because i lived in perpetual fear that i would be kicked off of a flight and that it would be the most humiliating experience of my life. 

this lead me driving from denver to chicago roughly nine times in one year…which, is crazy. 

this past summer i flew to denver to go to the crossfit jai wedding. (love to tj and linds). that marked the first time in adulthood that i didn’t need a seat belt extension. 

yesterday i flew from chicago to new york and when i buckled my seat belt i realized i had to tighten it. 

now, this seems like such a passing thing. 

but, i feel like progress is measured not in pounds or sizes, but in my ability to find joy in the things i once wasn’t able to do.  

to the asshole writing to the fatty on the westview track

image

(image from closer)

so this has been making the rounds this week…and it makes me so angry. 

you know what i love with encouragement…a side of fat shaming. your gaze might not have any condescension in them but your words certainly do. 

the person on that track is me. metaphorically of course, but boy do i identify with them.  

i am accustomed to the looks, familiar with the stares of judgement, use to people assuming that i must be making terrible food decisions, and that i need your encouragement. 

i know all to well that people think i don’t look at them because i feel shame. when really, what they don’t know is that often i feel ashamed for them. i feel ashamed that they don’t know decent human practices enough to know that i am not a fucking zoo animal. also, i’m just awkward.  

perhaps the thing the infuriates me most is there is the underlying belief that somehow me taking care of my body is any different then you taking care of yours. oh, your fat, you work out…you aren’t ashamed of being fat…somehow you’re a hero. 

you know, there’s a lot of fat people out there who have heroic stories. people who gained weight because of pain, trauma, abuse, torture, etc. overcoming those experiences…that’s the real achievement. losing weight has been a reclaiming of myself. but, in a way that had nothing to do with the actual weight. i may never be thin. i may always get looked at. i will still keep doing what i’m doing. because, it is for me. 

so next time you see me. look me in the eye with a lack of condescension and i’ll look you in the eye with the glare of a warrior. 

OLY

guys, i don’t know why i waited so long to do OLY classes. 

well, it was in part due to my schedule. but, i’m all in. 

things about it that i really like:

  • it’s work at your own pace
  • it really comes down to just you and the bar
  • it is far more communal-people talk and joke with one another between lifts.
  • it doesn’t make me feel like that fat girl who does crossfit. 
  • the things i’m weak at are things i can actually get better at immediately. 
  • there’s a variety of people at different abilities but no one feels inadequate. 
  • there’s an automatic sense of beastliness.
  • it takes little brain power when doing it correctly. which, for someone who lives in their head is a welcome chance to feel grounded in the body.

plus, it makes me kind of feel like this:

14.1

my crossfit gym is facilitating the open wods on fridays. 

my normal crossfit days are wednesday and friday. so, while i didn’t sign up for the open (i usually shy away from competition) i found myself doing the first wod. 

i also, decided to do it rx. 
amrap (as many rounds/reps as possible for you non crossfit folks) of 30 double unders (where you get the rope under you twice in a single jump) and 15 55 lb. snatches. 

now, i’m not the best double under-er. but, yesterday, yesterday was truly and i mean truly abysmal. i just couldn’t coordinate them for anything. i walked away with lash markings running up and down my arms. 

but, i kept going. honestly, it was the most infuriating workout i’ve done in a good long while. mainly because the 15 snatches i got to do were pounded out like nothing..so, if i could have just coordinated the double unders better i think i would have killed the workout.

i do love to snatch…it’s the easiest of the olympic lifts for me. 

i also love going to a bar with friends and telling them about my snatching and clean and jerk habits. insert twelve year old boy tittering. 

every time i do a workout that has a lot of double unders i end up having cramped calves the next day. does this happen to anyone else? my right calf is screaming at me. 

inkmurder:

Skinny

(Reblogged from inkmurder)

preparing for battle

i would like to preface this post by disclaiming that i’m fairly certain i’ve posted something similar before. but, the point of this blog is to catalog what my experiences are…so, who cares, right?

you guys, i drive a lot. like a lot more than i’d like to. 

in the winter my commute can top out at four hours. a four hour round trip commute paired with sitting in a window-less basement for 8-9 hours can, in the immortal words of company, ‘drive a person crazy’.

now, on days that are that long i usually can’t make it to crossfit so i go to lincoln square athletic club which is one of the clubs in the network of chicago athletic clubs. 

but, can i confess to you? every time i go i feel like i am walking into a battle where spandex is my uniform. 

now, for a long time i consciously wondered if i was somehow projecting and manifesting my own insecurities. which, could be valid. however, i catch people staring at me constantly. to the point where i realized it is absolutely not in my head. 

it is an amazing thing to be utterly aware that people are gawking at you, judging you, and reacting to you.

on occasion i want to walk up to someone and ask, in an absolutely non-confrontational way why they feel the need to stare? what they’re actually looking at? why it seems to be so interesting to them. 

and then, sometimes it is so infuriating that i just want to walk up to them and say:

but instead i just revel in my position as a spandex warrior. 

i grab a barbel, i run on the treadmill, i do a trx suspension class, i row, i jump, i sweat, and i fuck it all. 

ask buttons

i wrote a guest post over at askbuttons.com

posting it here, too. :)

Dear Buttons,

I’M SO CONFUSED! There is so much conflicting information out there on diet and nutrition, that I don’t even know where to start! It seems like everything is bad for you one day and then good for you the next. Eggs raise cholesterol, but are a good source of protein. Sugar is the devil but chocolate has antioxidants (not that ANYONE knows what an antioxidant is anyway)…basically my question is this: Which is worse for you, a bag of delicious potato chips, or a slice of whole wheat bread…or are they both going to kill me and I should just eat nothing but Kale and Acai (whatever that is) for the rest of my life?

Thanks, Paralyzed from the Belly Up

Dear Paralyzed,

Though I do consider myself a food expert (my credentials being the ability to eat all the food all the time), but for this query, I’m going to defer to my good friend and super fly bloggstress/anti-capitalization activist extraordinaire Hot Crossfat Buns for a REAL answer! Take it away Buns!

Cheers,Buttons

my dearest paralyzed from the belly up,i love food. i fucking love the shit out of food. but, you know what, that’s a recent development in my life. for so long i paid no mind to how or what i ate…and i was 400 pounds. now, ironically, i would only eat one meal a day. i didn’t really eat too terribly either. i was 400 pounds because my relationship to food was, in the words of kriss and or kross, ‘wiggidy, wiggidy wack’.

here’s what i like about your query…nowhere did you talk about weight. insert all the high fives. i have found that when individuals focus on nutrition solely for the notion of, ‘weight loss’ it leads them to eat real shitty food. oh, what’s that mystery ingredient in your weight watchers muffin? sawdust…a fancy word for sawdust, but sawdust nonetheless. i suppose fiber is good even if it’s procured at home depot.

two years ago i got introduced to crossfit while i stilled lived in denver. (shout out to my crossfit jai peoples). now, at this point i am just a bit over 250 pounds. working out was a big part of my weight loss journey. but, truth be told attuning my thoughts on food made all the difference. i decided to be zany and try eating real food. actual fucking food. where i could say, ‘oh, hey i can pronounce/know what all those ingredients are’. i started making my own food. i started investing in what i was eating. i started reading about food. yes, egg yolks are high in cholesterol but the the yolk also contains things that are great for your liver. i am gluten intolerant so, you know, eating a piece of whole wheat bread would be like the red wedding from game of thrones but with poop instead of blood.

now, all this being said, it’s always good to remain a sane person. i try and operate on the model of eating like a boss 80-90% of the time and the other 10-20% allowing myself some simple pleasures. moderation is key, y’all.

eat your greens,

hot crossfat buns.

week in review

things that have happened at crossfit this week:

i went to my first OLY class. 

i got my 200 lb back squat. 

i came the closest to puking that i’ve come in a really long time after a workout comprised of jump roping and thrusters.

i hit a sledgehammer against a tire while listing to peter gabriel’s, ‘sledgehammer’.

i am not your fetish.

so, the last blog post i put up sparked some major controversy when i posted it to my facebook page. but, two responses stuck with me and are actually the basis for this post.

my friend claire, who runs a wicked blog: here and an equally wicked podcast about crossfit: here made a comment about how she’s had comments said to her in a pejoratively sexual way about her size and her red hair…and this got me thinking. 

after reading a post i wrote my friend jodi sent me an email about a discussion she was engaged in about her dislike of victoria’s secret because they sexualize everything…someone made a comment that the store, ‘cacique’ did the same thing. (note, this girl didn’t seem to know that cacique is not a store but a brand that is carried by the plus size store lane bryant)

so, here we go…my thoughts and responses to both things. 

first of all, as a woman, objectification is something we all have to live with. it is so ingrained in our culture that every woman is dealing with it whether she knows it or not. it’s shitty, it’s terrible but our society is entrenched in it. not only does this perpetuate the cycle of inequality but the objectification of women leads to the propagation of acts of violence towards women. we have been marginalized. we have been told that we are lesser than. people naively believe that there is gender equality in the united states and it is just blatantly inaccurate. also, i recognize that as an american woman i am afforded so many more equalities than women around the world. but, that’s not good enough. it just isn’t. i should not be treated as subordinate due to what is between my legs.  

it also gets complicated where sex and sexuality is concerned. in the past few decades women have made great strides with the ownership of their bodies. now, yes, we are constantly fighting the uphill battle of male dominated government trying to wiggle their way into our uteri (lookin’ at you, republicans). but, as an american i have access to birth control. i can wear pants or dresses in a manner in which i think expresses my personality without worrying about being stoned. 

but, we still live in a society where women are primarily divided into two camps: the whore or the virgin.

victoria’s secret sustains this idea by televising women walking around in diamond encrusted bras while wearing angel wings…they put catalogs together that are to, ‘sell’ their materials. but, in my opinion those catalogs are comparable to the sports illustrated swimsuit issue. all it really does is give men fodder to hyper sexualize women. cacique also posts photos online of women in their bras and underwear…but, you know, they’re against pale gray backgrounds. no one is on a beach wearing a bra and in a heavily seductive pose. because you know what, for the most part society doesn’t want to see a plus sized woman as a sexual entity…with the exception of fetishists (more on this in a bit). 

we still live in a society where men can schtupp whomever they want, whenever they want and it is a sign of their virility but the moment a woman does the same we, ‘slut shame’ her. we make it seem like there is something wrong for a woman also enjoying sex. we tell her that she has issues in her life that she somehow hasn’t worked out and that is why she is having sex. now, can we legitimately talk about good decisions and bad decisions, yes. but, that is applicable to both sexes. sex is like anything. you can use it to numb your pain, you can use it to escape your problems, you can become addicted to it…but you know what, that’s not unique to gender. 

so, when claire made the comments about that individual prejudice she’s experienced it got me thinking about objectification and how it relates to fetishization. 

now, i want to preface my following comments thusly:
i have nothing against the idea of fetishes in general. 

i do however, take great offense to the fact that the totality of  MY BODY is considered a fetish…or the idea that anyone who likes my body likes it because it’s a fetish.

you’re into toes, great. you like handcuffs, no judgement. 

you reduce my entire personage into my size and objectify me into being about you getting off…and well, FUCK YOU. 

what you have told me…is that there is something intrinsically, ‘other’ about my body and that the only people who could deem it attractive are people who like things outside of what is considered, ‘norm’.

i am so much more than a societal fetish.

i am desirable because i am smart, funny, kind, and a myriad of other reasons. my body shouldn’t be the primary thing you’re attracted to…nor should it be a deterrent to your attraction. i also resent that it took a chunk of my twenties to convince myself that i was worthy of love. because my body was perceived to be broken, i had to tell myself that it was okay that i was fat because i was all of those other things. when, really, all of the other things are what’s important. 

i remember being ten and having the mother of a boy i was in school with tell me, ‘you have such a pretty face, if only you could lose weight’. first of all, at the age of ten what that woman did to me was tell me that i was unworthy of attraction because of my size. but, it also plants the seed that if someone likes your size, but your size alone that you should jump on that opportunity because you are the fringe of society. 

my body is certainly a part of me and in some respects it does define me. but, it defines me because of what it can do not because of what a man thinks about it sexually on either side of the spectrum. 

when i posted this i got a substantial amount of emails from men who said one of two things: you look hot or that’s so brave. isn’t that telling…me posting a photo in something as innocuous as a swimsuit warrants the exact dichotomy of responses that i aforementionedly discussed in previous paragraphs. 

hopefully, one day we will live in a world where we see the totality of someone and not just the physical. 

oh, well, a girl can dream. 

also, special shout out to my friends erin and andrew who graciously helped me with edits.