Sunday, December 30, 2012

In the Spirit of New Year's...

So, I don't want to disclose ALL of my goals for 2013, but here are some exerpts of the letter I sent my coach...hope you enjoy it.

Goals for 2013

December 30, 2012
Dear Coach J,

What better time to sit down and write down goals, then for New Year’s! 

So let’s start out fresh!  Besides wanting to look like this…see below.
Exerpt 1

Truth be told, they’re hot!  And they look insane!  And I really do love it…all of it.

Okay, this is going to be a little A.D.D.  But why have it any other way.

Exerpt 2

Truth be told I want Camille’s shoulders.

I am kind of a weekend warrior.  I have played organized sports since I was five years old.  I grew up playing soccer, softball, dance…these were my main activities, I also did volleyball, basketball, cross country, track, skied, snowboarded, gymnastics, swimming, Oral Interpretation, cheer, pep, ballet and even tap.  All over the place!  I know!  But that’s how I was!  And that’s how I still am!  A.D.D.!  I was so excited anytime flyers came home from school!  I was like, “Mom!  Sign me up!”  I finally started doing 5ks for fun and triathlons.  Eventually, I got into yoga and Tai Bo…okay, what’s the point…I really enjoy a diversity of activities because it makes me HAPPY.  (Well, I could do without the Tai Bo.)

So this time around, I want to focus on my training and still sprinkle in the fun because without it…I kind of get depressed.

Exerpt 3

·         I like grunt work

·         I need to practice double-unders.  I would like to do 100 unbroken.

·         I like keeping up on my conditioning because I am such a weekend warrior, BUT I do know how important the strength is now J
      So when I’m thinking conditioning…don’t worry.  I am thinking more like the guy on the right, then the left.
Exerpt 4
(If you're still reading this I'm astonished.  No, not my coach...YOU!)
I finally get how important the strength is, and how it has to be a priority.  And it is interesting how the strength transfers over into other lifts and skills as well, even if you are not working on them…for example, I did “Lynne” on Friday…I used #125 for my Bench Press, and my reps were: 7,6,4,3,3…last three in my last set were assisted, but I blame Greg for spotting me like a crazy man with his hands near the barbell the whole time, which totally broke my mental game.  Anywho…
(This was significant because I hadn't benched pressed in forever.)
Love, peace, and hair grease!  Happy New Year's, and Happy 2013!
P.S.  If you want to ring in the New Year with a solid strength program, I will highly recommend my coach, Jocelyn Forest, and former coach, Kyle Haynes.

My Athletic Inspiration

Annie, Elyse, Jenny
NorCal Regionals 2011
I first fell in love with Jenny LaBaw at the NorCal Regionals in 2011.  Here was this non-affiliated, dark horse, total stud, who had only been CrossFitting for a matter of months leading up to her qualifying for The CrossFit Games that year by finishing in the top three at regionals.  Of course she had a stellar repertoire of athletics in her back pocket.

Jenny and Annie
The Games 2011
Beach WOD
She is such an inspiration to me because I can relate to this athlete on so many levels.  (I also had the very fortunate opportunity to work with her as my nutrition coach.)  Her very recent blog post sums it up nicely.  To read her complete post, click here:  Jenny LaBaw "Winter Wonderland Reflection" 

I have attached part of her post from "COLORADO WINTER WONDERLAND REFLECTION" below.  (I tried to do it right, by giving her post a beginning quote mark and end.  Don't even know if that's right, but E for effort, right?)

"As a lot of people know, I came into CrossFit almost two years ago exactly from a background of "playing". I was a soccer player, a mountain biker, a runner, a skier (snow and water). I would paddleboard, slackline and boulder for fun. I have spent my entire life hiking, fishing, hunting, camping and just being in the mountains. I was raised to enjoy, appreciate and respect nature. None of that has changed for me…however I've not taken advantage of it for a couple of years. Once I started training for the CrossFit Games two years ago, I went by what seemed to be the norm for training protocol. I spent hours upon hours in the gym working on my lifts, hitting metcons and trying to improve my skills. I've been so lucky to work with some of the best coaches in the sport and have grown immensely as a CrossFitter. I have no regrets with any of the choices I have made in the last 2 years of training…but I have learned a lot about myself as an athlete and as a person that I am just now putting together to discover what works for me.

As people we are all different. As athletes we are all different. I know that in 2011 when I was a newbie to this sport, had no expectations, had no pressure on me, and this was all a novelty…I had so much fun! I was progressing quickly and I was feeling strong. After placing 6th at The Games, I came into my 2012 season excited, energized and hungry to see what else I could get my body to do. I got on a set program and my numbers were going up. But, I started to feel heavy and feel like I had no gas to push through metcons. This was hard for me since my lungs were always my strong point. I listened to the experts though and this was a phase of training where I was trying to get stronger, not get my engine back. Between The Open and Regionals it was go time to get my lungs up to speed with my strength. It was miserable for me…something I wasn't used to. My brain started to shut off a bit. My passion for training was dwindling. My love for moving was being replaced with some negative emotions. I think this is normal at the elite level. After all, training is our job. But instead of listening to my body, my brain and my boyfriend, I continued to push through. I continued to hit the gym everyday. I wanted so badly to go out and just go for a trail run, or bike ride or even just take the day off…but it wasn't on my "program" so I felt like if I were to miss a day of scheduled workouts I would be behind. Not to mention, I was fighting a neck injury. I had been modifying my training for months and my brain couldn't wrap around that either. I could move more weight, I had a broader skill base and I was performing better than I had the year before, but for some reason I felt more un-athletic than I had in years…but KNEW it was all for a reason. Taking first at regionals to earn myself another spot at The Games proved this.

Since The Games however, I've been able to reflect on what I want for me as an athlete. Do I want to be in the gym day in and day out? No! The last 2 years I feel were critical for me to take that time…I was playing catch up to the rest of the fleet of elite CrossFit Games women. Don't get me wrong, I will still be putting in my dues in the gym. However, I am confident that with a bit more balance between my passion for moving in nature, doing some endurance training and dedicated time in the gym…I will love training again.

My approach isn't for everyone…just like the approach I've been taking the last two years isn't 100% for me. To be and feel complete, you have to have balance. You have to be happy mentally, grounded emotionally as well as successful and healthy physically. My goal this season is to work with my coach to combine my background with my current protocol and find the symmetry between the two. Don't be surprised to see posts of me climbing up mountains on my skis on what is supposed to be a heavy Clean & Jerk day…and any of you are welcome to join me!
Sunlight Mountain skin/ski session with Marcus
Sunlight Sesh

This post isn't just for me to share with you my approach toward training, but it's to encourage you to reflect on your training. Are you dragging your butt to the gym everyday or are you excited every time you go in for a workout? If you're not excited, then find something that excites you. Find your Winter Wonderland…. Here's a little video clip I want to share with you that Marcus and I put together over our vacation. This defines what I consider balance in my training away from the gym."

This was my comment to her:

Brittany B

Posted Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 5:47:28 PM

Jenny, you are really spot on in your post for me and where I am at in my training life. The diversity in your athletic background, your sense of outdoor adventure and athleticism, and your "new" approach are exactly why I fell in love with you as an athlete. Thank you for this great post. I am going to link it up on my blog as well.


It has been my own personal philosophy to be a person who shows character and abilities by actions, not by words. This is because I do believe in being a person of my word as well.   If my actions don't match my word...word and character are all we have.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Yep, "Murph" happened.
1 mi run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 airsquats, 1 mi run

This is one of those workouts, you "get by with a little help from your friends"...The Beatles started playing in my head.  Okay, the orginal plan was to meet Megan at 11am at CrossFit Amundon.  We were going to do our own workout...we were going to program something fun for ourselves...maybe a parter workout....power cleans, overhead squats, handstand push-ups, and double unders were a few movements we had selected.  Before I knew it...I was swayed...kind of easily swayed actually, into doing "Murph". 

Why?  There is no way, I ever imagined doing this workout, well obviously until they say "where the body goes, the mind has gone before".  When I had heard of people doing it, I thought that they were completely insane, over achievers...and clearly...why would you do that to yourself?  Well, Megan had done it before.  She's insane!  She's a total beast!  I knew I could do it if Megan did it with me.  I told her, "I can do it, if we do it together." 

Megan was such a rad training partner.  She stayed with me on the initial run, and on about round seven into the workout...we did it partitioned like "Cindy"....I told her we should start keeping our own count because at this point Megan was about to lap me.  That left me not wanting to get more than one round behind her.  This was the case...until the end...she lapped me again!  She is such a ROCK STAR!  But this kept me motivated and moving.  So needless to say, I couldn't have done it without her! 

During the final run, actually during the workout, Greg said, "Pick one of the affirmations."  In the gym, there are affirmations that make up the perimeter of the gym; words like courage, resilience, strength, confidence, virtuosity, perseverance, and faith.  During that final run, I was barely trucking along, but I repeated to myself, "Perseverance, Courage, Resilience, Strength."  And I began to tell myself, "I am as light as a feather".  Believe it or not, it actually helped.  I was initially running very heavy and slow.  This helped to lighten my stride; I really felt lighter!  I thought of a good friend, Keeta Duke, and how she would have said, "Lengthen your stride."  Not that I lengthened it that much, but it helped.  And I kept repeating those affirmations to myself.  Towards the last 200 meters, Greg was down the street to cheer us on, as we were completing the final round, and of course, he offered some words of encouragement. 

Thanks to everyone today, I SURVIVED "Murph"!  The Beatles are playing again in my head, "I get by with a little help from my friends!"

Friday, December 21, 2012

I Need Your Advice! 3rd Pull Experts Give Me a Shout Out

C2B Pull-Ups
40 Total
Today, I was stringing together 2s and 3s for a total of 40 C2B pull-ups!  Woot!  Loving the strength I was feeling! :)

Now if someone can for the life of me, HELP ME with that 3rd pull!  Today I did halting clean deadlift + hang power cleans and heavy pulls off of the blocks in triples, working up to a heavy set of three.  I am working on learning how to feel the positions, pulling the knees back, and driving through the heels.  I LOVE heavy pulls off of the blocks, however totally dislike heavy pulls from the ground!  They are rough...leave me winded every time!  That probably means I should do more. 

I challenge YOU to help ME get that 3rd pull!  Any advice please post to comments.

Halting Clean Deadlift + Hang Power Clean

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas and Holiday Gift Ideas

I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and make Christmas and holiday gift suggestions as well!

  1. Progenex Peppermint Bark Recovery Protein (Limited Holiday Flavor)
Peppermint Bark Recovery Limited Edition

2.  Strength Wraps
Strength Wraps
3.  Fashletics Jewelry

Picture of Kettlebell (medium pewter) YOU VS YOU

4. Rehband Knee Sleeves
Rehband 7751 Knee Support

5.  It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
 6.  HOLIDAY PUNCH CARD. 10-Classes for $75.00
      Our friends at CrossFit Ready are offering 10 Class punch cards for only $75!  Half off! 
      Normally a $150 dollar value!

7.  Six Pack Meal Planning Cooler

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stronger Everyday

Make everyday your best day!  Everyday is an opportunity to tap into your creative side, live passionately, to pick yourself up when you fall, and to continue to work towards achieving your goals! 

Take time to reevaluate your short term and long term goals, write them down, share them with someone who believes in you, but most importantly, believe in yourself!

Train hard, lift something heavy, and do it with heart!  And if you're lucky it with those you love, those you look up to, and those who are stronger than you!

Brittany Birchall, Kelly Urbani, Keeta Duke
Training at OCCF
The Week Before The CrossFit Games
Summer 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Musings

One of my personal favorites and inspirational USA Weightlifters, who also happens to be ranked nationally in the top three, is a great friend, and my coach is back at updating her blog.  After her experience competing at Americans, her very recent blog posts are incredibly inspiring and worth the read.  Follow Jocelyn Forest @

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh Muscle Ups How I Falter to Love Thee

Muscle Up Frames, CrossFit Britt
Santa Cruz Strength
So Close, Yet so Far Away

This week there was yet, another great blog post on Orange Coast CrossFit by Berkleigh of Golden State CrossFit on her Muscle Up Journey.  Check it out below!  Worth the read!
Wouldn’t it be so rad if I told you that I just hopped on those rings and got a muscle up my first try? It would probably really impress you and you’d think, “wow, what a natural.”
Well, my journey was a long one. It all started when I moved from Brick Crossfit in West Hollywood to Golden State Crossfit in April 2012. It was at Golden State that my coach, Nick Phillips told me my first week that I needed to learn how to do a muscle up. I was like sweet, show me. Before that moment, I thought the advanced and elite athletes do muscle ups and they were so cool to watch.
Nick showed me how to kip and some progressions I could do like using the box under the rings and jumping into the catch position. I would work on them every week. I actually had fun trying and failing. The weeks progressed on and I practiced the progressions but no muscle up. By June I was really starting to get frustrated. I would watch members at my gym effortlessly get up on the rings and I still couldn’t get it. I was confused as to why it was so hard for me. I would ask questions of people that had already gotten them. “How do you know when to transition?” “How high do your hips have to be?” “What’s the best progression for the transition?” My members saw me in there almost everyday working on my muscle up and they would ask with anticipation in their voice, “did you get your muscle up yet?” I’d say dude, if I got my muscle up you’d see me running around her like a naked maniac.” We would laugh, but inside it was really getting to me that I couldn’t get over the rings and I was practicing.

I got certified July 1st and Khalipa taught my cert. We got to the part with muscle ups and I was like, “I’m gonna get my first one here and Khalipa is totally gonna be the one that teaches me!” Well, we worked progressions and I pulled him aside and said, can you please work with me for a few minutes. I really want to get my muscle up. We worked for a few minutes and he said, you have to keep practicing but you will get it. I was a little sad I didn’t get it that day, but it only pushed me to keep practicing.
I started coaching the month of July and it motivated me work even harder. It was also time for regionals in July. I saw the competitors flying through their muscle ups and my muscle up just seemed worlds away. Pause-this was the moment when I got in the way. I stopped believing it could be me up there and I honestly didn’t even see myself up on those rings. After the games, I made a commitment that I would get on the rings everyday. Before I would go to bed I’d watch you tube videos of Carl Paoli and the countless progressions and I’d watch them over and over. It sounds funny and crazy that it took me this long, but I really think that a major part of not getting my muscle up was mental. I over complicated the movement and didn’t always see myself up there over the rings.
For the month of August, I continued to practice but got frustrated I had to modify Wods because I couldn’t do a muscle up yet. I hated that it was the one thing I couldn’t do. I would work the progressions with the band going into the situp postion, do C2B pull-ups, then ring dips and I just was getting discouraged. I began to get embarrassed that I didn’t have it yet, and then the worst part was watching everyone else get his or her first one. ERGH!!!! It wasn’t that I couldn’t be happy for them, I just wanted it for myself. The middle of September I went down to OCCF to train and I told Jimmy Gonzales I wanted to work on my muscle up. He worked with me on hollow rock and my kip, then he had Kenny work with me on the transition on the rings. Then I got into the trainer and that day I didn’t get a muscle up but something switched in me. I saw myself up on those rings and I got hungry again for it.
By the beginning of October I started speaking life into getting my first muscle up! I talked to Joe Garcia and told him I was coming down to OCCF to get my first muscle up. I declared it and posted a photo on instagram saying October 4th would be the day I would get my first muscle up and it happened to fall on the same day I started crossfit the year before so it was perfect timing!
That day I worked with Joe, Kenny, Jimmy and Dave Driskell. They all knew I was there to get it and even members that didn’t know me stuck by my side coaching me through. It was so cool. I tried about 30 times that night and just when I was about to give up, Ryan Fischer stepped in and said,” are you just going to lick the glass like a jolly rancher or are you going to break the glass.” I was like, “I’m going to break the glass!” So I got up on the rings, did 2 kips and sent my head through that glass fast. I screamed with joy and surprise because it was the first time I had ever gotten over those rings. I fought to lock it out for like a good 10 seconds, cause my little body was wiped from practicing. Everyone was shouting and I was blown away. I came down from the rings and started crying. The guys were like, “is that a good cry or a bad cry?” The battle was over and I won.
Jenny Labaw at the 2012 CrossFit Games Struggled with Bar Muscle Ups
For the rest of the month, I didn’t really get on the rings. Fear had me, I was afraid to fail or that I couldn’t get it again. By the beginning of November I was over that mentality and my closest friends at my box were getting on my case. I got my first muscle up and it was time to practice and that’s exactly what I did. I sometimes would cry when I got one….it’s just that I was so grateful. Then the OC Throwdown got under way and I committed to doing all the wods. When the 3rd one was released I was stoked. I get to do this, 20 minute amrap of 3 muscle ups, 6 ohs, 9 t2b. I spent the whole week before I did the wod practicing. I even came into my box on Thanksgiving and drilled my muscle up, studying what I needed to do so I got it every time. I did the qualifier wod Black Friday and my goal was 3 rounds and to give myself adequate rest to do all my muscle ups without failing and do my ohs and toes to bar unbroken. I ended up doing 4 rounds and only broke up my last set of t2b. I felt like a rock star and my confidence sky-rocketed. My goal now is to do 5 muscle ups a day, and I actually keep a running tally of all the muscle ups I’ve done. It motivates me and I love doing wods with muscle ups! They are sooooo fun!!!!!!

My encouragement to anyone that doesn’t have a muscle up is you have to be HUNGRY for it. The desire for it has to be bigger than your fear of failure. Fear is your enemy and you must eliminate it. Practice everyday and pick a date that you’re committed to getting it on. The majority of the battle is mental, so you need to speak life into getting your first muscle up. Write it down, say it out loud, tell friends and coaches to keep you accountable. Stay Positive and Ask questions, try different progressions and get on the RINGS daily, even if it’s just kipping. The only thing standing in the way of you not getting a muscle up is YOU. Everyone else believes in YOU and wants you to get it, now you have to want it! If I can do it as someone without a gymnastics background and only doing crossfit for a year, then you can do it! Now go get on those rings TODAY and stop putting it off!