Did you know that humans, orcas, and short-finned pilot whales are the only animals that experience menopause? All the other poor animals have to give birth until their dying year. Nature cruelly presses the expire button when they are no longer productive. Nature cruelly lets the three of us go through menopause without an instruction manual.

I just learned the above fact two weeks ago even though I’m in the thick of perimenopause. I’ve also learned recently that there is very little cohesive, experiential information out there about menopause. Google it and you get a litany of symptoms and what one mightexpect. The list is long, y’all. It looks like the possible side effects in a pharmaceutical drug commercial.

(Are the men still reading? I hope so. I mean if you have absolutely no women in your life, then by all means, don’t steal a look into what we go through if just to sharpen your empathy. If the men aren’t still reading, good: a meeting regarding the revolution is at my house at midnight, ladies.)

I just admitted I was premenopausal. Did you catch that? Saying it feels – ug – like receiving an admission ticket to elderliness. Like I’ll be carted into a corner where everything I now do will be met with a “Aw, good for her.” And “#grandmagoals.” Yet, I said it: I can’t have any more kids for y’all. I am now like the great old, lady orcas who help care for the next generations. This is what I’m talking about though: We hear so little about menopause that it feels like tricky, shameful territory to even talk about it. As a society, we’ve at least gotten better about saying our age. But I think that’s because we hunt down age-defying tactics so vigorously that we actually want to boast about our age just so people will respond: “Wow, you don’t look (fill in your age here).” It’s what I’m going for at least.

Lately I’ve been whispering about menopause to my friends. Those of us who have not gone through it completely are like, WTF is happening and why aren’t we talking about it more. And the ones who have gone through it are like, yea, it was a mysterious wild ride, and I’m not sure what to tell ya.  My friends who are in the pre-stages are in their 40’s and 50’s. Those who have crossed over were anywhere between 42 and 57 when they did. My mother had a hysterectomy at 35 so I have zero clues from her. Some women have told me they never felt better after menopause. As you can see, I have nothing solid with which to build a road map.

Because of luck, generous genetic coding, and a healthy lifestyle, I’ve only gotten two symptoms that I can think of. Over a year ago, I experienced heart palpitations, which scared the living shit out of me. I gave up coffee immediately cold turkey and they went away. Then I found out that heart palpitations are just one of those fun possible symptoms of perimenopause. Drinking coffee certainly didn’t help, and I still don’t drink it.

The other symptom is a slight, extra layer of fat that has wrapped itself around my midsection despite eating healthily and exercising very regularly. About a year ago, I squeezed my belly with both hands and thought, “Whoever left this on me better come get it.” It’s like a neoprene waist trainer that does the opposite of a neoprene waist trainer. It’s like someone frosted just my midsection. And it’s not a smooth, pretty lil layer. No, the texture is odd; not quite cellulite, but more like a wind-swept sand dune. It’s not terrible. It’s more like when I notice it I think, “What the hell is on my stomach?”

Excited about this process yet? I don’t even have the other more common symptoms like hot flashes, which I hear are a joy. One of my friends told me she fights consistently with her husband over AC/blanket issues. He doesn’t understand her arctic insistence. And she believes SOMEBODY HAS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE FREQUENT INTERNAL COMBUSTION.

Do I have any answers for you? Absolutely not. I just wanted to bring up the subject so it can feel less like some big, embarrassing secret even though it literally happens to every single woman. We don’t want your sympathy. But if you’re a little gentler with us when we ask you to crank up the gd AC, that’d be cool. And don’t ask us why we’re sweating so much. Maybe don’t make a big deal when we buy a bunch of one-piece bathing suits. They’re in style, ok? LEAVE MY SAND-DUNE MIDDRIFT ALONE.

And if the next time you see me and you look at me with some doe-eyed-aw-Diz-is-getting-old-glances – a look that feels like a farewell as I sail off in the twilight years — I will body slam you as hard as a grandma orca could still do.


Friday’s Workout
Practice

A) Back Squat
5 x 5

B) QAMRAP 16:
400m Run
10 Windmills (5R/5L)
2 Rope Climbs

Saturday’s Workout

Da Beach!
Partner things in the sand
Meet at Palisades Park (Ocean & Montana)

Sunday’s Workout

More Beach Tings!
Meet at Ocean & Montana

Monday’s Workout
Test Week – Cycle 20!

“Fourth Quarter”
A)
For Time (2-Minute Cap):
15 Burpee Jumps To Target*
20/15 Cal AB

Rest 5 Minutes

B)
For Time (2-Minute Cap):
20/15 Cal AB
15 Burpee Jumps To Target*

*9′, 8′, 7′ Targets

Like a lot of women – and I assume many men – my moods were once tethered to a number that appeared on the scale. In high school, I remember abiding by an imaginary rule that a girl did not mention her weight unless it was 120lbs or less, no matter the girl’s height or muscle mass. Hell, we didn’t even know we had muscle mass back then and still we were taught to be embarrassed if we “tipped” the scales at 130 and beyond. I was an athlete my entire growing up yet I only remember one’s weight being the top indicator of health. It didn’t matter that the unfounded standard for women was impossibly general and low, or that it was skewed by industries completely unrelated to sports or real fitness. So, we learned to lie, and the cycle of shame about our weight continued as passed down from our grandmothers.

I know now to flip off mainstream ideals when it comes to women’s shapes and sizes. More importantly, I stopped letting the scale dictate my self worth and for a very long time that meant not stepping on it at all. For the last couple years, I’ve come to realize that tools to measure my fitness progress can in fact useful but only to mark where I am at a particular time.

That all said, just because the scale no longer has a hold of me doesn’t mean I should swap out the scale number for any other number that also does not shape my worth. I am not my deadlift number. I am not my box squat or how many pull ups I can do. What I am is consistency. I am my willingness to give it a go another day whether the previous results seemed “good” or “bad.” I am my excitement to train. I am how great I feel. I am my ability to help others improve their own strength and overall health even if they then pass me with better numbers. This is how I measure my fitness. These things define me more honestly than any graph or charted data. 

Scale number, body fat tests, improved workouts, and weights lifted are simply markers. I celebrate any noted progress forward, but these numbers only mark where I am for now and nothing more. Regardless of any number, I feel fantastic, better than I ever have. It’s hard to find empirical data to track feelings, but for me everything else comes in a distant second.


Friday’s Workout
Fun Week

Ha-Vault-a Course (O-Course!)

Saturday’s Workout

EMOM 20:
Odds: Perform a movement with a Practice context
     i.e., slower, controlled, prioritize movement capacity

Evens: Perform a movement with a Competition context
     i.e., prioritize work capacity and task completion

Sunday’s Workout

For Quality:

10*9*8*7*6*5*4*3*2*1*

Push-ups (Hand-release)

Pull-ups (Strict)

* 10 RKBS (28/20) after each round

 

 

 

Do you ever retest a workout at the end of a cycle and expect completely difference results than what you get?

There are have been cycles where I swore I was gonna get a monster PR, and I ended up getting very, very far from a big PR. Literally, in Cycle 18, for the long Wednesday workout, I got the same exact score to the second. I bobbed into class that day like a hyped boxer pre-fight, like I was about to whoop that workout’s ass – with all my superior nasal breathing and positive self talk — and nope. I tied my score To. The. Second. I was like what the hell.

But this cycle, I came into the box-squat retest shrugging with a whatevs attitude. Then I started lifting and realized I felt pretty good. And then I PR’ed the squat by 13lbs. So, you never know. Sometimes your attitude matches how well your body is adapting, and sometimes it doesn’t. If you’re showing up consistently, you are adapting — believe that, know that — but depending on all the other factors in your life, you may not always PR. Just keep showing up, and ABA, y’all.

We’re starting to cook up the test workouts for Cycle 20, which starts in 2 weeks! So until then, enjoy Fun Weeks.


Friday’s Workout
Retest Week

5 Rounds for Fewest Breaks:
4 Toes-to-Bar
3 Pull-ups
2 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
1 Bar Muscle-up

Saturday’s Workout

TBA

But remember …Coach Hackleman will coach a self-defense, MMA style class at 10am. Come through!

Monday’s Workout
Mental Toughness – Fun Week!

Daniel
FT
50 Pull Ups
400m Run
21 Thrusters (95/65)
800m Run
21 Thrusters
400m Run
50 Pull Ups

 

Get ready next week to retest!


Friday’s Workout
Competition

4 RFT:
Run 400m
12 Deadlifts (225/155)
15 Hand-release Push-ups

Sunday’s Workout

10 Rounds for time
10 Wall Balls (20/14)
1 Power Clean (75% of 1RM)
Then
1 Mile Run

Monday’s Workout
RETEST WEEK!

For time:
21-15-9
Ski Erg (cals)
Power Snatch (65/45)
(5-minute cap)

 

 


Friday’s Workout
Practice

A) Box Squats
10 x 2 @ 70% + 30lbs

B) 50 40 30 10
Double Unders
Chair Sit Hold
-12min Cap-

Sunday’s Workout

5×5 Bench Press

4×10 One Arm Bench Supported Row
4×10 Z Press

3×10 Incline Dumbbell Press/Flys
3×10 Incline Curls/Tricep Ext

Monday’s Workout
Practice

A)
Row 60cal (Gear 3) (4 min cap)
4 min mob intermission
Row 60 cal (Gear 4) (4 min cap)
4 min snatch prep
Row 60 cal (Gear 5) (4 min cap)
4 min prep for B

B)
10 min QAMRAP
-Exploration Snatch Complex
High Hang Squat Snatch
Hang Squat Snatch
Low Hang Squat Snatch
Below the Knee Squat Snatch
Squat Snatch

-Max Strict pullups/Chinups

You guys, next time you come to the gym, grab a can of something or that extra tub of peanut butter you bought at Trader Joe’s (unopened for god’s sake), and bring it in for our Westside Food Bank Drive. I know! I keep forgetting, too. But let’s fill up those bins in the Tall Room. There are only four measly cans in there as I type.

Westside Food Bank has been serving the local communities since 1981. About 90% of their food is distributed to individuals and families via food pantries that provide free bags of groceries. The rest is provided at shelters, transitional living sites, community kitchens and after school and preschool programs. During 2017 their food reached approximately 105,000 people, nearly half of whom are children.

Here are a list of what to bring from the Westside Food Bank website:

“The following are the types of food we like to receive:  (no glass please, except for baby food.)

Please make sure that all food donated has not been opened if it is not individually wrapped, and that the inner packaging is still intact. Please, no expired food.

Cans of:

  • Tuna, Vegetables, and Soup
  • Fruits and Fruit Juices
  • Pork & Beans
  • Stews & Other Meats

Packaged Foods:

  • Pasta, Lentils, Pinto and other beans.
  • Macaroni & Cheese & Packaged Dinners
  • Instant Soups
  • Hot and Cold Cereals
  • Peanut Butter & other Nut Butters
  • Nutritional Bars: protein, granola, energy or breakfast bars

Baby foods are also urgently needed. Sadly, two thousand babies and toddlers are without adequate nutrition each day right here on the Westside of Los Angeles.  We want to help them receive the nutrition they need to grow and develop into strong and healthy children.  We now have a special section at our warehouse devoted exclusively to infant and toddler nutrition so that our member agencies have easy access to the foods that are so vital to the health and well-being of the children in our community.

Please consider collecting the following items:

  • Infant formula
  • Jar foods – all flavors and stages
  • Crackers, teething biscuits, and cookies
  • Raisins & fruit snacks
  • Juices: jars, cans, pouches and boxes
  • Infant and children’s cereals

Friday’s Workout
Competition

Franklin Hill
“Up Over Around and Up”
2 Rounds on the 15:00

Saturday’s Workout

 

Monday’s Workout
Practice

A) 3 RFQ:
7 Tempo Back Squats 3131
7 Hang Power Snatches
Max effort high knees on breath hold
Rest coach’s interval

B) EMOM 10:
Odds: 8 Hang Power Snatches
Even: 5 Bar Muscle-ups

C) Box Squats

How intriguing is fasting, amirite? I mean, the thought of fasting really interests me, but the actual fasting part maybe not so much. But if warriors, philosophers, scientists, and highly revered religious leaders  have recommended fasting and have reaped many benefits from it since the dawn of time, I’d say that’s a solid, long-ass study on why it might be a good idea for a middle-aged, mediocre yet enthusiastic athlete to give it a try. I didn’t even mention animals! Animals innately fast when they’re sick or need healing.

The thing is: I’ve never been a “good” faster. I don’t play nice when the comfort of food is taken away even if I did make the choice to do the damn thing. During the few attempts I’ve made to do traditional fasts, I experienced so many internal (and some outward) tantrums that I ended up soothing my frustration by shoving a loaf of bread down my gullet. Not quite healing, emotionally or nutritionally. 

I’m also not a big fan of talking about fasts — unless it’s within a spiritual or scientific context. The toxicity of Diet Culture permeates so deeply that I’m always utterly bummed to hear how many women (I know men fall into these traps, too) use fasts and cleanses to self-validate the thought that something is wrong with them; that their weight isn’t good enough, that they have to “reset,” that their “failures” in nutrition somehow require the punishment of severe calorie restriction and that this failure ultimately defines them as people despite having amazing characters, despite all the good they do in their lives, despite looking good though so many are convinced they do not. Typically, I won’t talk about fasts or diet fads of any kind. I reject the general sweep of “wrongness” and the shame we can’t seem to shake as a culture about our bodies and food. 

So, this post is a razor’s edge for me. I am wildly interested in the science of longevity and healing by way of holistic sources, and ya can’t get around that without talking about topics like food and experimenting with nutrition — and in this case: the restriction of food. If this is too triggering of a subject for you, honestly don’t read further. Know that you are perfect whatever you ate over the weekend and how you look in a bathing suit and how you performed or didn’t perform in the Open. 

If the topic is not triggering, you are perfect, too, and read on.

I’m coming off the fifth and final day of a “Longevity Fast.” It was really “fast mimicking” as it was not no-calorie or juice based. I’d been researching the science behind longevity including cell rejuvenation and proactive disease prevention and came across Dr. Valter Longo, a professor of longevity at USC. Dr. Longo has capitalized on his research by assertively selling ProLon, a five-day “fast mimicking” kit for the high price of $250.  

Though the price and the marketing of ProLon are a bit off-putting to me, I am completely compelled by the science behind fast mimicking. The idea is to eat between 800-1,000 calories a day for five days. The food is highly nutrient-dense with a specific macro content. A ProLon pack includes freeze-dried soups and bars parceled out exactly as needed each day. In Ted Talks and his books, Dr. Longo dives deeply into the science in great detail; an ability I’m not exactly qualified to relay — unless it’s pure regurgitation — but, what I do understand is that many studies of fast mimicking show lower disease markers, better cognitive function, and impressive cellular repair from periodic calorie restriction without having to be too extreme like with a water fast. What I intuitively know is that the body, when given a good opportunity, has an ability to heal itself and regenerate in many ways, which in turn, hopefully, retains a high quality of life for a long time.

The older I get and as I witness relatively young family members suffer serious health issues, healing and regenerating have moved up the latter of my well-being priorities. 

I did not order ProLon. I mimicked the fast mimicking. I mainly wanted to save money. And though the ProLon food is made with whole foods, I wanted fresh food — and less packaging. In the mornings, I made a super-food green shake. Lunch and dinner were highlighted by a vegan mineral broth made with magical mushrooms and seaweed. Snack was another super shake made with fresh young coconut, cacao, and maca. I also had a cup of quinoa with the broth for dinner and I usually had half an apple after that. Not super hard, not super easy. Not full meals, not quite a full-on fast. Five days of this seemed doable for the coveted benefits of cell rejuvenation, possibly lower disease markers, and a vitality boost. Would the wheels come off as I still had to work full time at an energetically demanding job? Could I keep it together for the two workouts I planned to do while filling the other days with yoga? Would a loaf of bread be my pacifier mid-way through?

The wheels did not come off though it took FOCUS. There was juuuust enough food to ward off tantrums, and when I started to feel a rise of anger because of the emotional attachment I unapologetically have to food, I simply said to myself, “I am honored and privileged to do this fast.” Every time I said this — and I said it a lot — I calmed down because honestly, it is an honor to be able to experiment with my optimal well being when family members are lost in a minutiae of information, or they use the “shoulds” surrounding nutrition and beauty standards as ammunition again themselves. I feel privileged to be able to have intuition about my health without feeling that my looks and weight are the end all, be all.  Lastly, I have the honor and privilege of optimal food choices when so many do not have access to enough fresh, nutritious food.

The nitty gritty: All in all, it wasn’t terrible, and I actually feel good! I wasn’t really hungry though I missed food and the celebration that is eating. I didn’t suffer from any headaches, tantrums, or major detox symptoms, but I don’t drink caffeine so I know that eased me into this. Day 1 and 2 were the easiest though I hear for some those are the hardest. Day 3 was the hardest. Day 3 was like when you’re in round 3 of a workout like Eva and you’re so sad that there are 2 more rounds to go. That’s what it felt like, but waaay longer. I ended up doing three workouts instead of two just because I felt up for it, and they weren’t easy workouts. I was worried how I would feel during, but I didn’t feel any worse than I normally would during challenging workouts. My days were busy, filled to the brim with clients and coaching classes and family life, and I really had to manage my crankiness at the end of Day 3. But with breathing and a couple “you’re ok’s” and “don’t take it out on this person” and “I’m f*cking honored and privileged to do this gd fast…” I was good, solid. In fact, no one really knew I was doing this. 

Did my cells rejuvenate? HOW WOULD I KNOW. I hope so as I’m going to trust the science. I do feel less inflammation as I had been feeling sluggish lately on my runs prior to doing this, and now I feel better. My skin looks a bit better,  — but maybe because I’ve been drinking SO MUCH WATER — and I do feel a little sharper mentally. This experiment was also a big reminder of how much better I feel eating mainly nutrient-packed, fresh food. Apparently, I can’t get enough reminders of that. 

Fast Mimicking is not meant to be sustained for long periods; five days total. In fact, a good, nutritious refeed is part of the protocol for the regeneration process. When starting out, it’s advised to do this five days every month for three months straight and then take it down to once a quarter. Honestly, I think I can do that for less fog, less inflammation, a little more clarity, and the rejuvenation that, by faith, I believe is happening somewhere inside of me. 


Friday’s Workout
Practice Day

A) QAMRAP 8:
8 Bulgarian Split Squat (each leg)
8 Single-arm DB Push Press (each arm)

B) Breath Gear Pyramid EMOM
Ski Erg
DB Thrusters

C) “Choo-Cha”
FQT:
15-10-5
Ski Erg cals
DB Thrusters
(5-minute cap)

Also on Friday at 12:00-12:30pm ….

Breath Class with Tanya!

Saturday’s Workout

19.3 CF Open 

For time:
200-ft. dumbbell overhead lunge
50 dumbbell box step-ups
50 strict handstand push-ups
200-ft. handstand walk

50-lb. dumbbell, 24-in. box 
Time cap: 10 minutes

We’ll talk scaling options!

Sunday’s Workout

Partner AMRAP 20
Partner 1:
Run 200m

Partner 2:
6 Knee to Elbow
7 Burpees
8 RKBS (32/24)
9 Squats

And at 11:15am …

Breathe with Tanya!

 

Don’t forget …

The CrossFit Open continues! Every Saturday through March 22nd we are playing in the Open workouts during the 8, 9, and 10am classes. Come have fun!

Don’t forget …

Friday, March 8th, 6:30am – 12pm. The BodyFat Truck is here! This is one of the most accurate ways to measure your body composition. You can see now much lean muscle mass you have and fat. This is a hydrostatic test so bring a bathing suit and a towel! Initial test $49. Rest test $39 SIGN UP HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT.


Friday Workout
Practice

A) Box Squats

B) “Annie OakL.A.y”
FT:
50-40-30-20-10
DUs
10-8-6-4-2
Ring Muscle-ups
(10-minute cap)

 

Saturday Workout
CF Open 19.2

Beginning on an 8-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 hanging knee-raises
  50 single-unders
  15 squat cleans, 55 lb.
  25 hanging knee-raises
  50 single-unders
  13 squat cleans, 75 lb.
If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee-raises
  50 single-unders
  11 squat cleans, 95 lb.
If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee-raises
  50 single-unders
  9 squat cleans, 115 lb.
If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee-raises
  50 single-unders
  7 squat cleans, 135 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes

Sunday’s Workout

A) Bench Press

     Work up to a heavy 3-rep

B) 4 Rounds on the 5:00

     400m Run

     Max Reps Bench Press @ 75% of Part A)

     (Work capped at 2:30 each round)

Monday’s Workout
Competition

Cycle 18 Test Workout THROWBACK

Run 1 Mile
50 DB alt Box Step Ups (50/35) (24/20)
Run 1 Mile

 

CrossFit HQ seems to have dialed down the intensity of the CF competitive season — A LOT. Most notably is the absence of the Dave Castro introducing the workouts in his infuriatingly endearing way. No longer are his corny gimmicks, the appropriated hairdos, the idiotic pauses in his speech that made you want to punch a wall. But now that he’s gone, I kinda miss the guy. Like he was that wildly annoying cousin that visited from Albuquerque once a year and your aunt and your mom made you play with him even though he got on your last nerve. But the other kids on your block weren’t allowed to make fun of him because really, he’s harmless and just a cornball and you’re allowed to make fun of him because he’s your cousin …

Kinda like that.

So, Dave’s gone. And the CF Games are trying to make the Open look like this very downplayed, dare I say, humble version of its former, over-the-top Showtime self. And I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I’m not entirely mad about it. I do know that as I was printing the score sheets, I felt a pang of sentimentality for the spectacle; both its current attempt at some retro, grassroots affair that it can never really go back to or the glitzy world rager it was not that long ago. I still love the Open. I suspect that many of you do, too, so I’ll see you Saturday.


Friday’s Workout
Practice

A) Team Ski-Erg Race!

B) 5 Rounds on the 3:00
:60 Max Unbroken Toes-to-Bar
:60 Max D-Ball Chest Hold
:60 Rest

 

Saturday’s Workout -CF OPEN 19.1!

AMRAP 15

Rx:
19 Wall Balls (20lbs to 10’target/14lbs to 9′ target)
19 cals Row

Scaled:
19 Wall Balls (14lbs to 10’target/10lbs to 9′ target)
19 cals Row

And don’t forget … Alyssa’s 30 for 30!

Sunday’s Workout

3 Rounds with a Partner:
30 Back Squats
30 Cals on the Assault Bike
Share work however you like

Monday’s Workout
Practice

CrossFit Open Prep

5 Rounds on the 5:00
Round 1
12/9 Cal Row
15 T2B
15 Squat Cleans (115/75)

Round 2
12/9 Cal Row
15 T2B
13 Squat Cleans (135/95)

Round 3
12/9 Cal Row
15 T2B
11 Squat Cleans (165/115)

Round 4
12/9 Cal Row
15 T2B
9 Squat Cleans (205/145)

Round 5
12/9 Cal Row
15 T2B
7 Squat Cleans (225/155)

BodyFat Truck will be here on Friday, March 8th, 6:30am-12pm!

This is one of the most accurate ways to measure your body composition. You can see now much lean muscle mass you have and fat. If you’ve done the truck in the past, you can see compare your numbers. Linda keep all result on file!

This is a hydrostatic test so bring a bathing suit and a towel!

Initial test $49. Rest test $39 SIGN UP HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT.


Friday’s Workout
Practice

A) Box Squat

B) Open Prep
5 Rounds of:
AMRAP 2:
30 Double Unders
15 Power Snatch (75/55)
Rest 1 minute between rounds

Saturday – DON’T MISS THIS!
John Hackelman Fitness Extravaganza!
MMA Star Chuck Liddell’s coach will coach all classes on Saturday with his special brand of kicking your butt!

Sunday’s Workout

AMRAP 22
:30 Hang anyway
6 Precision jumps
30m Crawl anyway
Balance
300m Run

Monday’s Workout
Practice

A) 5 Rounds on the 2:00
Tempo Front Squats

B) EMOM 8
1 Hang Below Knee Power Snatch + 3 Overhead Squats

C) EMOM 8
Odd: 5-10 Strict Pull Ups
Even: 12-20 Calorie Row