Tag Archives: training

The Rough Road to a Dream

28 Jan
Right Patella

The back of the patella should be smooth not look like a jelly fish, picture taken before surgery.

Three weeks after Nationals in July I was just starting a new cycle and on my third set of squats I felt something in my knee go. On September 13th I had knee surgery to repair the cartilage on my patella. My doctor said no one my age should have a knee like that. The cartilage on my knee was damaged from years of wear and tear. 10 years of riding horses, 15+ years of riding motorcycles and 10+ years of running and riding bicycles then a few years of lifting finally did it in. Surgery was the easy part. I was walking the next day and back to work on Monday. I was very optimistic and knew I would be back to lifting in time to compete at the Nov state meet. Ya……not so much.

It’s been 4 months since surgery and I am just now able to squat 2 plates where normally I would be squatting 250+ lbs a couple times a week. The last 4 months have been very tough mentally. Normally I never miss a workout, I always do all my lifts on my cycle and never leave the gym because I just wasn’t feeling good. The last 4 months I have missed several lifts, skipped workouts because I just didn’t have anything to give, and cried because I thought I would probably never be able to compete again. A lot of powerlifters have written articles and have talked about dealing with injury but you never really know until you face it yourself. It puts things into perspective for me. I watched Lindsay Vonn on TV this morning who is the top downhill skier and was predicted to get gold in Sochi. I had tears for her just thinking how hard it must be to go through what she is going through with a knee injury and not going to the Olympics. But she will compete again and so will I.

I take one day at a time. Last week was a bad week, but this week has been great so far so I focus on the good. I tell myself every day in the gym, “Give it your best, thats all I can do. Tomorrow is a new day.” I thank God every day that he has given me another day to do things that I love and I promise him to take care of myself. Which means I listen to my body and I push when I can and rest when I can’t. I have learned how important recovery can be and use it more now than I ever have with much reward.

In December I received an invitation to compete on the USAPL Masters World Team at the 2014 Classic Worlds in South Africa. A dream come true! Since I started powerlifting my ultimate goal was to have the opportunity to compete at the World Level and here I am. Its really so amazing to me to be in the company of so many amazing lifters. I know this will be the toughest meet I have ever trained for and after just coming off my injury I will really need to dig deep for the strength to finish each training day. I will continue to take one day at a time and enjoy the journey.

I will leave you with this little inspiration. My biggest inspiration always has and continues to be everyone who steps on the platform, novice or veteran. The last state meet I was a ref at some people took a ton of pictures capturing me in the background judging the lifts. And in EVERY picture I have this crazy face. The reason my facial expressions were so funny is because when I watch a lifter I actually feel what they are feeling and I make the appropriate face. When they struggle, I make the painful struggle face. When they get the lift or I know they are going to get it I make the giddy happy face. When I see people do there crazy rituals on the platform that non-lifters would commit us for; I smile big knowing that I have my crazy rituals too and without those the bar would be twice as heavy! Every person that goes out there I share their passion and I love to feel what they feel, every lesson learned, every achievement, and every moment of passion. They inspire me every day.

And if for one second you are too old to do something or have some sort of excuse, Diana Nyad said, “You can chase your dreams at any age!”

Bro-Mances, heavy weight, lots of coffee, and wings

30 May

I don’t think I know anyone who drinks as much coffee as Mark Bell and Jesse Burdick. I was thinking that maybe because of their size they required more caffeine  to keep them awake because if I drank that much I think my head would spin right off my shoulders. BUT regardless of how much coffee they drink they sure can lift a crap load of weight and they put on a really good Powerlifting Certification Class!

The class was filled with lots of information starting with learning the box squat, then the deadlift, and the next day the bench press. Each movement was gone over in detail and then everyone had the opportunity to perform it and be given feedback from the guys. The days were also filled with talk of additional movements that compliment these lifts and lots of talk of and about the sport of powerlifting. The majority of the last day Mark and Jesse talked about programming and how strength training can be applied to the CrossFit gym. The class was broken up into groups and they had a chance to set up their own training schedule and again the guys provided feedback. The group also got a special treat when Max Mormont (my coach) talked about additional movements and how they build strength. It was an amazing weekend learning all these things.

I felt really honored to help put at the cert and really enjoyed meeting all the people who came from all over to attend. On top of all that CrossFit Bea was a really cool gym and the owners Erik and Darlene are good people!

Mark and Jesse are a couple of the funniest guys I have met. From day one Mark has been picking on me like I was the little sister he never wanted. I try to dish it back but he always has the upper hand. I think I will spend the rest of my life trying to think of a way to “one up” him. On top of that he and Jesse are having some sort of bro-mance with my coach. It made me pretty jealous all weekend and they all just flaunted it in my face and enjoyed it. I kept picturing all of them in matching singlets and tall socks doing chest bumps and butt slaps. It is very disturbing. But I was able to separate them for a short time and learned more about who Mark Bell really is. Mark has contributed a lot to the sport of powerlifting and I am sure he will do it forever. He is very passionate and his positive attitude is infectious. Of course I had all kinds of questions for him and after talking his ear off I asked him if he ever got sick of talking about powerlifting and he said “No I don’t, I just want to help people”. It’s not too often you meet someone who is very influential who is genuinely out there to make things better and help people. I think what Mark and Jesse have put together is really great for the CrossFit community and I can’t wait to help out at the next one.

I also asked both Mark and Jesse -“Would you rather wear a pink singlet with pink socks while lifting for the rest of your life OR never eat wings again, which would it be?” Both their responses, “Wear the Pink!”       And there you have it…….

Punky Power!

18 Apr

I just ended my 10th week of Powerlifting training and I have 12 weeks left until my first competition. This last week was a really good week. Up until this point there has been a lot of tweeking of my form (with lots more tweeking in the future) but because of the change in my form it set my back squat back a bit in weight. I also hit a wall right away in my dead lift so I have been coming back up on that. I had very little experience in bench so that was just a matter of getting weight on. So this week I finally hit 207lbs on my back squat for 3 sets of 5 which puts me up to where I was working before. I feel like now I am really making some progress. I am sure it’s going to be hard moving forward now because I am in some heavy weight but I am ready for the challenge. This week I also lifted my heaviest work set of dead lift at 251lbs for a set of 5. Last time I did a work set of 240lbs I did a 1 rep max of 285lbs so I am hoping that I can pull 300lbs now. When it comes to bench the heaviest I have ever lifted was 125lbs and that was probably more than 9 months ago and this week I benched almost that for 3 sets of 5.

****so on a side story when I think about benching this might seem a little silly but I think…..since I could probably bench at least 135lbs a couple of times, I secretly think about going into a 24 Hour Fitness (I used to work out there religiously) and slapping 2 45lb plates on each side of a bar and getting under it and gettin out a couple reps and watching all the guys drop their jaws. But on the other hand only at 24 hour would that happen cause most women powerlifters can left a LOT more than me. (humble moment)

So lifting is great, the diet is another thing. Well actually the diet is awesome because I have never felt better at the gym. I feel ready for my lifts everyday when I follow the diet. I feel healthy, and I don’t really get light headed as much as I used to when lifting. BUT I am putting on weight and not fitting in my clothes as well and that is a little taxing on my self-esteem. I know what I want and that is to win, so the weight isn’t too upsetting but after losing 40lbs its tough. I am trying to eat clean so I don’t add a lot of fat and stay as lean as I can but it’s not easy at all. So I think this is a work in progress.

The other thing is I am so grateful to have some amazing coaches who actually care about my success and constantly do what they can to make me a winner. I have so much respect for Max and appreciate everything he has done for me. He is always educating himself and learning more about my sport to provide the best training for us. I trust him and have total confidence in his training. I feel so lucky!! 

There is my update. Until next time, GET SOME!

15 weeks and counting……….

22 Mar


It’s official, well at least as official as it can be when you list your name on this board at the gym. So far these are the peeps that are going to the CA Games. And Punky will wep we sent!

I’m really excited to have something to look forward to in July. I’m trying to be really patient since powerlifting is a long-term goal for me but since I am not usually a patient person I am just wanting to get out there. So we are taking some people to the CA State Games for Oly lifting and a few for Powerlifting. I am hoping there is some sort of thing before that considering I’ve never done this before and it’s not uncommon for me to do something totally embarrassing the first go around (I know what you are going to say Gladden).

This week has started out good. Max gave me some guidelines for eating and I was on that today. Made my back squat and felt good. Missed my press but I am not surprised on that. I’ve been moving up pretty steady on that and I am real close to the wall I can feel it. But I will get it next week. Max and G showed me some hip thing tonight and I need more practice on it. Its kinda like dancing with a bar over your head and no partner and I’m just not good at that. I will be happy in a week or so when I start squatting in the 200lbs area. I have felt a little inadequate since I was doing sets of 215lbs a few months ago.

Let the countdown begin! WOOT WOOT!

This That and what not

19 Mar

Its been hard to find something to blog about this last month since I am in this “new” stage. I have been just taking in all my new surroundings and happenings instead of talking about everything. Now that I have had a chance to settle in and experience some new stuff I am reflecting on the past month.

Im about 7 weeks into my new training program. I really like my new gym and all my coaches. My teammates are also really great and everyone at the gym has been really nice and doing a great job of welcoming me in. So lets start with my training program. Its nothing major, basically Max put me on a progressive training program. I’m familiar with that since I have done it before. We started out with some light weight so he could work on my form in all my lifts. Starting with my squat. Based on all the changes that were made I think my form was pretty bad. We brought my feet out and turned my heels in. We took my chest and brought it up a lot! Which in turn brought my back up and more straight and that brought the bar up higher on my shoulders. After doing this it was hard to get used to heavy weight because I couldn’t feel the support of my feet right under me. But now I am using more of my butt muscles and progressively I am feeling better. And the weight is going up.

My bench changed with some movement of my hand position and also rolling my shoulders under me more helped get the bar up.

Deadlift didn’t change too much, higher butt wider stance.

Then came the weight belt. I ordered a powerlifting belt from Best Belts and when I got it thought I had ordered a towing strap! There was no way it was going to work for me. It was huge and think and huge! It hurt me. But when I got to the gym Coach said yeah thats nice. AAHHH! but it was a bit too long so I did order a new one. The couple that own Best Belts are super nice and found me a special strip of soft leather and also softened it a bit before they stitched it. When I got it it was pretty great and now I love it.

Things have been great. I do miss CrossFit and that VO2 Max but I love lifting heavy weight more. I have been eating pretty bad lately so I have added some weight back on. Its hard to manage eating enough to lift good and keeping the fat off but I am hoping to get on a more structured diet soon. I still have ups and downs like I did with CF. Last week I rolled almost 200lbs over the top of my head. (not so fun) Then I cleaned my boobs. Meaning I ripped the bar off the ground and slammed it into my boobs only to get a nice green bruise under both. And my olympic lifting still sucks so now that I can get heavy weight in the air I can’t figure out how to catch it without it crashing on me. I have some nice bruises across my chest and on my shoulders.

This week we added some fun extra training after I lift and that makes me really happy. I enjoy working out hard and love it when I have extra to do.

So there you have it. I am hoping to keep up a little better so you all have more to read.

I will leave you with a parting shot of the hottest weightlifters in the world!!

Got Muscles?

5 Feb

Lately I have been doing my Olympic Lifting Training up at Sean Waxman’s place Pure Strength since Ashley my coach is going to school up there. I contacted Sean some time back about getting on a power lifting team and since I didn’t want to drive to LA every day it kinda fizzled out for me. But I am stoked to be hanging at his gym a little and learning more about him. He is a former national level competitive olympic weightlifter and just watching him yesterday snatching some crazy weight made the hair on my neck stand straight up! He is also a really nice guy with a “hey yoos gauyz” Brooklyn accent. I started reading his blog and come to find out he is pretty smart too. I have been following his series of posts “30 things you can do right now to get stronger in a month”.

So I highly recommend you check Sean’s site out and if you ever need some strength training definitely give him a call.

I will leave you with a parting shot of me at Sean’s place. I am getting yelled (well she doesn’t really yell but she does get this really disappointed face that makes me feel like a Oly ra-tard) at by Ashley. She is telling me to keep my back tight, back tight, back tight, back tight!

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