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

Cycle 20 begins on Monday. You can preview the Test Week here. Use the Test Week to set the stage for the things you want to work on during the summer.  A conversation with your primary coach would be an excellent catalyst for deciding how best to approach test week and the cycle in general.

_______________________

THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) ISO Dips

     4 x 6-8 (3 second hold in bottom)

B) Weighted Pushups

     4 x 6-8

C) QAMRAP 12:

     6 Inverted Barbell Rows

     12 Air Squats

     6 Single Arm Floor Press

     12 Jumping Squats (1 second hold in bottom)

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Back Squat 5 x 5

B) QAMRAP 16:

     400m Run

     10 Windmills (5R/5L)

     2 Rope Climbs 

WEDNESDAY – COMPETITION

“Mina”
FT:
3 Hand stand push ups
6 Power Cleans (135/95)
9 Pull Ups

6 Hand stand push ups
9 Power Cleans (135/95)
12 Pull Ups

9 Hand stand push ups
12 Power Cleans (135/95)
15 Pull Ups

12 Hand stand push ups
15 Power Cleans (135/95)
18 Pull Ups

**KEEP Intensity high…


Context: Practice–Murph PREP

A) ISO Dips
4x 6-8 (3 second hold in bottom)

B) Weighted Pushups
4x 6-8

 

C) QAMRAP 12:

6 Inverted Barbell Rows
12 Air Squats
6 Single Arm Floor Press
12 Jumping Squats (1 second hold in bottom)

 

I want to give a big thank you to all of you that attended yesterday and/or last monday’s 5-530pm mobility class. As a coach, it does my heart good to see such a full and enthusiastic class of individuals anxious to take advantage of recovery/prehab type training to maximize the amount of growth they can then achieve during the GPP (general physical preparedness) group class. 

Heads up: Those of you planning to attend next week, make sure you are up to date on Game of Thrones, so we can mobilize while debriefing the insane battle at Winterfell that is about to go down this coming Sunday 😉 


Tuesday
Practice
A) :15-:30-:45-:30-:15 Hollow Body Hold Arch Hold
B) Find a Heavy Front Squat (20 Min)
C) 3 RFQ: 400m Run 15 Front Squats (Unbroken)

Wednesday
Competition
“Mina”
FT:
3 Hand stand push ups
6 Power Cleans (135/95)
9 Pull Ups 6 Hand stand push ups
9 Power Cleans (135/95)
12 Pull Ups
9 Hand stand push ups
12 Power Cleans (135/95)
15 Pull Ups
12 Hand stand push ups
15 Power Cleans (135/95)
18 Pull Ups
**KEEP Intensity high…

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Monday’s Workout
Competition

“The Burn” 
3 Rounds FT:
400m run
Then, 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of:
Deadlifts (155/105)
Burpees over the bar

Tuesday’s Workout
Practice
A) :15-:30-:45-:30-:15
Hollow Body Hold
Arch Hold

B) Find a Heavy Front Squat (20 Min)

C) 3 RFQ:
400m Run
15 Front Squats (Unbroken)

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

 

 

 

On Saturday, Steve Carcano and I went to Topanga for a 12-hour holotropic breathwork experience. It was wild, to say the least. Holotropic breathwork is a tool for personal growth and exploration.  It is intense and some people have likened their experiences with the breathwork as similar to their experiences with psychedelics. I haven’t had any psychedelic experiences, so I don’t have that frame of references. However, I found the whole event to be very cool. Each of us did a single breathing session that was 3 hours long, while the other person held space for and tended to the person breathing. Yep, three hours of intense breathwork non-stop. Weirdly, the time seemed to speed by and also drag on forever and also simultaneously not exist.

 

I drew some pictures afterward, in an attempt to catalog my experience. Nothing I drew made sense. I made some notes, too, but those are pretty jumbled.  It has been 4 days and I am still journaling and processing the thoughts and feeling I experienced on Saturday. I wish I could explain more, but it really is one of those things that needs to be experienced to be understood.

 

If you’re interested, you can learn more at: https://www.holotropicbreathworkla.com/

 

______________

THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

3 RFT:

Row 1,000m

20 Squat Cleans (135/95)

 

FRIDAY’S FUN WORKOUT

A) Ground Movement

B) Hanging & Vaulting

C) Ha-Vault-a Course

 

***NOTE: There is a FREE 30-minute breathing session at 12:00pm on Friday***

 

Because you are here

And it matters

That you take care of yourself

That you show up 

How you show up

The energy you bring

What time you arrive

How you participate

All of these things matter


Wednesday’s Workout
Practice

AMRAP 12:
300m Run
30 Strict Pull Ups
30 Strict HSPU
30ft Walking DB Lunges (50/35)

Thursday’s Workout
Competition

3 RFT:
Row 1,000m
20 Squat Cleans (135/95)

 

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