A WOD to Remember

I remember exactly where I was on September 11, 2001. I remember what I was wearing. I remember exactly what I was doing. The memory forever ingrained in my mind.

Last year when my family traveled to New York City for our appearance on the Today Show we went to the World Trade Center Memorial and I was taken over by emotion. It was so surreal to see the thousands of names etched in to the marble and the water just dropping over in to an endless pit.

Today, on the 12th year since the attacks on New York, and Washington D.C.  I will always remember where I was. Who I was with. What I was doing.

Today I spent the morning remembering the victims of 9-11 by participating in a 9-11 Tribute WOD.

In a CrossFit Hero/Tribute WOD, the numbers signify something. Today's numbers signified a lot!

40 tire flips (to represent the 40 people killed on flight 93)
60 Box jump overs (to represent law enforcement killed)
110 Stair Climbs (to represent the number of flights of stairs in the WTC)
184 Wall Balls (number of people killed in the Pentagon attack)
343 Double Unders (number of Firefighters killed)
2,819 meter row (number of people killed in the WTC)
2,996 meter run (total number of people who died)

I cried quite a few times. Not full out bawling my eyes out, but I cried. Especially on the stair climbs. I was so hot, and sweating profusely, and my legs hurt since this was the last of the circuit for me to complete. My calf muscles started to cramp up a little bit, and then I remembered something that my CrossFit Coach (Pete) said right before the WOD.

"on 9-11 firefighters were going up, and civilians were going down.

There was no chaos. Everyone was polite.

There was no pushing. So take your time on the stairs.

Be nice. No pushing around people.

This isn't a race."

This isn't a race. What great words. Simple words. I often think that we forget about just being nice. We're all so caught up in "the race" that we forget about the time that we spend with people who make up our race team. More than just our family and friends, but those people that let us out in front of them in traffic, honk their horn as we're running down US41 (yes, I appreciate the horn honkers), the stranger who compliments you on your dress or hair.

Faced with the uncertainty of what awaited them at the top or bottom of the stairs, the heroes and victims of 9-11 were polite to each other.

And that is what is making this a WOD to remember. I'll remember how nice everyone was at my box today (and everyday) but when you have dozens of people; stinky, sweaty, some moving slower than others all in formation, moving up and down steps, with no one saying a word, that leaves an impression.Visions of men and women in my box carrying babies, and punching bags, and sand bags, and kettle bells. Up and down, up and down. Again and again. And when you look at this video and you see the man carrying the big bag, know that that is my Coach. He's a firefighter. He risks his life every time he reports for duty. He will risk his life to save a stranger. And that's what 343 New York firefighters did on 9-11.

That is what I'll remember.

What did you do today to remember the victims of 9-11??

Women Who Lift: Meet Sara

Welcome to Women Who Lift! If you are interested in being featured for this series please email me at jennifer@metamorfit.org I would love to feature you. You don't have to have a blog to be spotlighted, you just have to be a woman who lifts!

Today I'm spotlighting Sara! She is a fellow CrossFit En Fuego member! Sara was one of the first members of the competition team that extended an olive branch to me. She continues to offer me advice, helps me with weight selection and gives me gentle nudges to perhaps try a competition workout one day. 
Meet Sara

 Name: Sara F.
Age:  28
Occupation: Sales and Service Supervisor at HSN 
Location: Trinity, FL
Favorite WOD: Blake
Favorite Lift:  Cleans!  
Deadlift Max: 285#
Back squat Max: 215#
Overhead Max: Which lift? 165# (split jerk)
Favorite Girl?  Diane
Got Muscle-ups? This is a year-end goal! 
1 mile run: 7:40

How long have you been CrossFitting?  Two and a half years


What keeps you coming back/motivated? I started CrossFit for its competitive nature and the daily challenge of the workouts, but it's the community that has me hooked.


How did you find CrossFit? About three years ago, while working as a personal trainer at LA Fitness, I was fascinated by these crazy workouts one of our members did.  Intrigued, I befriended him and took his advice to check out CrossFit.com.  I spent HOURS watching videos of strong women lifting a ton of weight and decided to try one of the mainsite WODs on my own.  Needless to say, I was humbled by how sore it left me (for the week that followed).


What is your athletic background?  I grew up riding horses (I rode for my college's equestrian team) and also played ice hockey and soccer in middle/high school.


How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?  Although I can speak endlessly about the physical strength I've gained, the changes in my physique, or how my diet has cleaned up, CrossFit has helped me realize my mental toughness, so to speak.  Having to dig deep and push myself into places I've never ventured during a grueling twenty-minute AMRAP or a hero WOD has shown me what I am really made of.  I've learned that I'm physically and mentally capable of much more than I give myself credit for.  


What is the one thing you have done at CrossFit that you never thought you could do? As simple as it sounds, I was thrilled the first time I was able to do the "RX" barbell weight for a workout.  Three years ago I could barely clean 65#--don't ask for the video because it's not pretty-- so I never thought I'd be doing a workout like Grace, which involves 30 clean and jerks for time at 95#!


What motivates/inspires you?  At my first CrossFit box in New York, I trained with and coached a member who was in her early 70s and attended classes three times a week, first thing in the morning!  I was so impressed by her enthusiasm for pushing her limits and never being afraid to challenge herself (and risk failing). 


What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Taking my level one certification, which gave me the opportunity to share my passion with others.


Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit?  I'd love to be competitive locally or help our box qualify as a team for regionals.


What goals have you achieved in CrossFit?  I've taken my level one and mobility certifications and have had fun in a handful of local competitions.


Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit?  I love the beach, reading and country music.


Do you follow a special diet? Paleo? Whole30?  For health reasons, I have to eat gluten free, and my diet is about 80% paleo.  I still eat pretty clean, but I have a killer sweet tooth and never deprive myself of a treat, whether it be ice cream, cookies or wine.


What is your favorite meal?  I love meat and veggies!  If there's seafood on my plate, then I'm pretty content. 


Any advice for new members?  Enter with an open mind, listen to your body (and coaches) and don't be afraid to scale until the movements are more familiar.  Oh, and my favorite CrossFit mantra: just keep moving!


I love her advice on listening to your body and don't be afraid to scale the movements!! I worked for a long time with just a bar until I felt that I was familiar with the movements! Just like when I first started exercising nearly 5 years ago, I modify until I am confident that my technique is good!

Have you ever competed in a CrossFit competition?  Have you ever competed in ANY sort of fitness competition?


Dogs R Us Hotel-Luxury Boarding for Your Dog

I never realized how much our family went out and about until Matthew joined our family.

Matthew is a service dog, so technically he is allowed everywhere with us, but let's be honest. He doesn't NEED to go everywhere with us, and our vehicle is too small to transport 5 people plus a 100+ dog.

When we took our first extended vacation this past June, I searched high and low for a facility that I thought would treat Matthew like a valued member of their family. And I found it at Dogs R Us Hotel. During Matthew's June visit, I had videos and photos sent to my phone three times per week. It was so nice to see that Matthew was doing well and enjoying his time on his vacation!

Dogs R Us Hotel really wants to make sure that your pet is happy and that you are comfortable leaving your treasured family member in their care. There is a very detailed intake questionnaire that you fill out a few days before your dog is set to arrive. This gives the owner time to make sure that she can accommodate all of your pets needs!

For us, we needed to make sure that Matthew would get human interaction, but would be kept away from other dogs. She was totally able to accommodate our wishes! Matthew had a private single room (with a TV!!) and was taken outside numerous times per day to play fetch, go on walks, and do his business.

Here is a short video showing Matthew having so much fun wiggling, and snorting with the ball! This is pretty typical behavior for Matty in the first few minutes of getting outside with a toy! He's just so excited. And then he settles down and just want to play catch for HOURS!

And of course, any Labrador loves to play catch in the mud!! Matthew is in pure heaven! And check out some of those mid-air catches. My dog has SKILL!

I can tell Matty is super happy because his tail is wagging and he's smiling

And then he sits and waits for the ball to be thrown again! He's in dog paradise!! Dirt on the tongue, tail wagging, happy puppy. Smile


And after he finishes his play time he loves to just come back to a quiet place and chill out!

The only thing you need to bring for your pet is their normal food and any special comfort objects from home, including any treats. Seriously, it's like sleep-away camp. For dogs. Awesome. They provide raised beds, comforters, and blankets. I know sweet Matthew was well taken care of while he was away at doggy camp.

They are convenient to Land O' Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Odessa, Keystone, and New Port Richey. They are located close to the Suncoast Parkway, so not too far from the Spring Hill or Citrus Park areas.

You can check out Dogs R Us on Facebook, or on their webpage! We've already got our next stay reserved! If you do go and check them out, please tell them I sent you over Smile

Where does your pet go when you travel?