Life, workouts

Black Ops Murph 2015

I know It’s super late to be posting about Memorial Day… but better late than never, right? This was such a cool experience I had to share it! I’m also working on a recap from our Mexico Vacation, and update on my hormones, and a 1 year post op update from my abdominoplasty! So much awesomeness coming your way… I hope you’re ready!

Each Memorial Day for the past several years we have hosted a workout to honor the fallen. The workout we do is a Hero WOD called Murph. CrossFit has several bench mark workouts, some called “The Girls” and then there are Hero WODs which are made to honor fallen soldiers and first responders. Murph is a workout that was named after Lieutenant Michael Murphy. You may remember him from the movie/book “Lone Survivor” – He was the one who climbed out into the open to try to call for help for his team as they were being attacked. He, along with the rest of his team besides Marcus Luttrell, were killed on that mission. When doing a hero workout my goal is always to give my all, as I think back on all those who gave their all so I have the freedom I do today. Murph is no different. It is a tough workout, but if they can give their life certainly I can do one more squat or run another mile.

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This year instead of doing the typical Memorial Day Morning Murph we decided to have “Black Ops Murph” on Sunday evening. We hired a DJ, brought in black lights and robotic lights, and also got body paint and glow sticks. As everyone began to arrive the box was buzzing with excitement. Everyone was ready to get a great workout

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We gathered together the first heat and got ready to head out the door for the first 1 Mile Run.

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We started the countdown… 3..2…1… GO!

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We were very grateful for the Wentzville Police Department coming out to help us cross the road safely!

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Throughout the entire workout we were reminded of why we do workouts like this… to honor those who have given literally everything for us to have our freedom. Most hero WODs are pretty tough, but really when you think about the things the soldiers and first responders had to go through complaining about or quitting a workout because it’s hard isn’t an option.

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Once we got back inside (a little wet from the mix of sweat, humidity, and rain) we set out to complete 100 Pull Ups 200 Push Ups and 300 Squats. I’ve always done this workout with a partner and we have taken turns breaking down the workout into 20 sets of 5 Pull Ups- 10 Push Ups – and 15 Squats. This year I did it with a partner but we decided to go straight through the reps without breaking it up. So we finished the 100 Pull Ups before going to the 200 Push Ups and the Push Ups before finishing with the 300 Squats. Holy Moly, that is a whole different animal. For me the real game changer was the push ups. Doing sets of 10 even when alternating with a partner had my arms smoked! It was a super cool experience to workout under the black lights with the DJ Music Pumping though!

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Vest from HumanX Gear – Use the Code DREAMER20 for 20% off!

 

I tried my best to get some good pictures, but apparently your camera freaks out if it is both dark and the subjects you are trying to photographing are moving at break neck speeds… The best shot I got? A Selfie, of course!

We ended up running 2 heats and having well over 40+ people show up. It is crazy to see how much our community has grown over the last several years… The top picture is the first year we did Murph just a month or so after opening CrossFit 70. The bottom picture was last year after being open just over a year.

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This year was our 3rd year doing Murph on Memorial day and our biggest turn out yet!

 

I’m so proud of everyone who came out to support our community and to honor and remember those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. I feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such great people not just on awesome special events like this but day in and day out at our box. Also a big thanks to Fabletics for providing some awesome swag for the attendees and to HumanX Gear for the best weight vest I’ve ever used!

 

Have you ever done Murph? Or a Black light WOD? 

Life, workouts

Total Tabata with HumanX Gear

In the last couple years there has been an increased interest in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in the fitness world. One of the most popular types of HIIT has been Tabata training. Named after it’s creator, Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata, the Tabata style workout is 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, for a total of 4 minutes. I love Tabata because the built in rest lets me go hard for those 20 seconds, knowing I have a short rest period coming. For this workout we are going to do 4 complete Tabata rounds with 4 different movements!

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The First Movement is: Jump Rope!

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I love the HumanX Gear X4 Speed Rope for jump roping. You can pick your poison on this tabata, either single jump ropes or if you are efficient at Double Unders go ahead and give those a whirl. Remember we are working for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds.

After we get you feeling nice and warmed up with the jump rope we are going to move on to our next tabata: Kettlebell Single Arm Press.

IMG_7537Start by hoisting the Kettlebell up to your shoulder as pictured. You can use the HumanX Gear Kettlebell Arm Guards to protect your forearms from the Kettlebell. From here you are going to tighten your core and press the Kettlebell up to a locked out position.

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Since a full tabata is 8 rounds we are going to alternate arms each round. So you will end up doing 4 rounds on each arm

The third movement we are going to do is a seated row using the HumanX Gear PowerAmp Resistance Band.

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Sitting down and positioning the band on the middle of your foot start with arms parallel to the deck and back nice and straight.

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Keeping that back straight, core tight pull those bands back, focusing on activating those back muscles.

Do this for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for a total of 8 rounds.

To finish off our Total Body Tabata we are going to plank it out! If you have a yoga mat, or the Eco-Fit Mat, you can use that. You can also use an AbX to cushion your arms on the floor. For this one you want to make sure you keep your core tight and back flat. You don’t want a saggy plank! You also don’t want your butt high up in the air.

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You’re going to hold the plank for 20 seconds and then rest for 10, again for 8 total rounds.

And there you have a Total Body Tabata!

Have you ever done a tabata? Love it or hate it?

 

Life, workouts

Fitness Outside The Box and Other Ramblings

Sometimes when I stay quiet on the blog for too long it is because I don’t feel like I have anything deep or profound to say. Just because I don’t currently have something deep, profound, or emotional to say doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say at all. So today I feel like rambling on about random things….

Did I ever tell you about the time I won the USSF Missouri State Weightlifting Championship?

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Last summer right before my surgery I spent a good 6 weeks on a dedicated Weightlifting Programing Cycle. We heard about a local meet going down and decided to sign up. There was like 8 of us all together. 3 girls. It was rather informal and not a USAW Sanctioned meet or anything. We competed in 3 events: Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and Clean & Press. I was pretty reserved with my attempts. My shoulder was having issues so I stuck with a pretty nasty 95 on the Snatch. I got a no rep called on one of my jerks because I pressed it out, but ended up hitting 125. I hit a not so impressive 90 on my Clean and Press. HOWEVER. one of the other girls competing started out too heavy on her clean and press and couldn’t make any of her 3 attempts at the lift, leaving her with a 0. She totally smashed my other 2 lifts but because I came out conservative on my clean and press and hit all 3 lifts and she had a 0, I ended up winning. So technically I am the USSF Missouri State Weightlifting Champ.

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I won my $50 entry fee back and I was invited to “nationals” with them, which are next month in Kansas City. I don’t think I’m going, but getting the message about signing up reminded me I never told this story on here. and it’s a good one! ha.

One of the things I’ve been trying to do lately is think about ways I can use my fitness outside the box. I love love love CrossFit. But now that I’m in the best shape of my life I want to branch out and try things I was always intimidated to try. Last month we put together a fun event with another local fitness business, Pink Lemon Studio. We had a handful of our members break out of the box and try a Pole Fitness Class. What a blast!

Pole Fitness at Pink Lemon Studio in Wentzville

 

It was seriously one of the toughest workouts I’ve had in awhile. It was such a fun experience. It was also sponsored by my friends at Fabletics, who provided some sweet swag for all the attendees! I enjoyed it so much that I’m actually trying out another class there on Sunday – It is called Buti Hoop and incorporates parts of Buti Yoga, Plyometrics, and Hula Hooping (which I can’t do to save my life). So that should be interesting!

Oh, and about Fabletics… They released another set of outfits this month that are totally on point.

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This is the Voyageurs out fit which came with this awesome headband, the Valhalla Tee, and the Salar Space Dye Capri. I paired it with one of the many Oula Tanks I already had. I love the longer length of this tee and the adorable open back…

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I have these space dye capris in pink as well and they are probably the most comfortable capris I have right now. So Soft. You basically need them in your life. Use my referral link and get 50% off your first outfit!

And since we are now talking about things we just needed to have in our life, I may have accidentally purchased my very first Kate Spade purse. The other day I was just planning on stopping in at the outlets to get Payton some shoes and I somehow ended up in the Kate Spade store… which just so happened to be having 50% off the entire store…. I walked out, I swear. But then I felt like I’d regret not buying the purse I have been eyeing forever when it was 50% off. So I walked back in and bought it. And I love it.

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It’s so pink and pretty and perfect! It was my early birthday present to myself! My birthday is just over 2 weeks away so it is totally justifiable, right? Right.

Not only did I buy myself a pretty awesome birthday present, I happen to have a pretty amazing husband who bought me my very own barbell!! It is an Again Faster Team Barbell, which has a mixture of needle bearings and ball bearings. I can’t wait to get my hands on it! It’s on the way now… Cue the delivery man stalking!

Alright that’s enough rambling for today. I’ll be back soon with an awesome Total Tabata workout for you!

Tell me, what is on your mind? Have you ever won a competition? Or bought yourself an awesome birthday present? 

 

Dreams, workouts

Wanting It Is Not Enough

Another week has come and gone, far too fast if you ask me. Lately I feel like my life is a never ending version of Groundhog Day

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Wake Up. Coach. Work. Coach. Cook. Clean. Sleep. Repeat. I get overwhelmed far too easy and let myself get sucked into the routine of the day to day, trying to survive… when this is the year I wanted to thrive. I spend a lot of time running on auto pilot and checking off to do list boxes on the “Must Do’s” of daily life, still. Mostly right now I struggle with having these goals I want to achieve and not making the time to invest in them. I say I want it, but wanting it is not enough.

Wanting it is Not Enough. You must take action to see results.

Those moments of motivation come in waves. We are absolutely driven to achieve our goals in that very moment. We want it so bad we can taste it… In that moment. But that desire to be better, stronger, faster, lighter… it fades away. Life goes on and unless you consciously decide to do something to achieve your goal it won’t happen.

Using my @passionplanner to stay focused on my big goals while being able to juggle the day to day #passionplanner

A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

 

 I recently order a Passion Planner and so far it has helped remind me every day that I have a bigger goal than just making it through the day. My big goal? Finish my Nutrition Cert. My smaller every day goals? Make good nutrition decisions, spend quality time with my family, and take some time to refresh myself every day, even if its 5 minutes of silence or playing a stupid game on the iPad… Just some time to try not to think about what I have to do.

You can apply this idea to any goal you have. You may want to lose 5 pounds. Get Pull Ups. Learn a new language. Teach yourself to crochet. Wanting it is nice and it sounds great on paper. But you have to put in the work. I was reminded of that again today as I attempted The CrossFit Open workout 15.2, which included pull ups. Last summer before my surgery I was close. I was doing a pull up progression program 3 days a week and got so much closer to doing a strict pull up. I even got to the top of the rope a few times! After my surgery I stopped all hanging/pulling movements for a good 3 months. I couldn’t hang from the pull up bar without pain until probably December. Since then I just didn’t focus on pull ups at all. I barely fit in regular programming and didn’t make time to do any extra work on my major weakness. If you struggle with pull ups, hitting them every now and again in regular programming isn’t going to make them better. You have to make a dedicated effort to improving your strength. I knew that. So I’ll take my score of 10 on 15.2 and use it as a reminder that my weaknesses will stay my weakness until I decide to something about it. Reminds me of this guy:

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When I made this I was terrified of box jumps. I conquered that fear.

Now I’ll attack the biggest hole in my CrossFit arsenal… gymnastics. This year I will get pull ups and rope climbs back! You are my witnesses, now keep me accountable!

What is something that you are wanting and need to take action to make it happen?
Let’s crush our weaknesses together! 

Life, workouts

What The CrossFit Open Means to Me

If you are a part of the CrossFit community, or you know someone who is, you are probably aware that this week marks the beginning of the CrossFit Open. The CrossFit Open is a 5 week competition where they release one workout a week for 5 weeks and if you register you can submit your score to be ranked among athletes in your region and worldwide. The top tier of athletes from each region will compete at the regionals, and the top tier of athletes from the regional competition get to go on to compete in the annual CrossFit Games in Carson, California over the summer. For many of the elite athletes the open is the start of their competition season and it is a way for them to earn their way to play with the “big dogs” at regionals and the games. That is like 1% of the people who sign up for the open. But what about the rest of us? Us every day moms, dads, business owners, average athletes… What does the open mean to us? I’ll tell you what it means to me…

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For me it is not just about a workout or a score. It isn’t how good or bad you are. For me as an athlete the open is about getting to participate in a  world wide sport. As a girl who spent most of her life overweight, this is something I never thought I’d be able to do. And even if I could, there is no way the “fat girl” would want to compete in a workout… right?

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I used to avoid any excess activity because I was so overweight. Walking up and down a flight of stairs was exhausting, how could I ever imagine signing myself up to compete in a physical fitness type of competition?! While I may not be close to winning, I’m light years away from where I was a few years ago. For 95% of my life I couldn’t dream of doing the things I can do today, and because of that I’m proud of every rep I get to put down on that little score sheet. I used to look for ways to get around doing anything physical because I hated the feeling. Now I look for any opportunity, like the CrossFit Open, to challenge myself to do hard things… because I can.

The CrossFit Open is about giving your all, because you can.

And that feeling when time is called and you collapse to the floor because you gave it all… I love it.

It also allows me to see my progress from year to year. Maybe one year I am in the bottom 30% but the next year I am closer to being at the top 60% – Or maybe one year I get a handful of broken double unders and the next year I’m able to string together 10 at a time. Progress is Progress no matter how small! The Open is good for using as a bench mark each year to see that progress.

For me as a coach the open is about more than just a workout. It is about seeing the people I’ve coached from couch potato to every day athlete achieve things they never thought possible. It is about watching the community that I have put my blood, sweat, & tears into building come together on it’s own, with people who used to be strangers now more like family cheering each other on. Those cheers are just as loud for those who hit a 5lb PR as they are for those who hit a 50lb PR. They are often louder for those finishing last than they are for those finishing first.

Everyone is there to do their best and they expect you to do the same.

 

The open is about watching the girl who used to be afraid of heavy weights throw around a heavy barbell without a second thought. It’s about watching those who struggled with finishing their baseline WOD push themselves to get that one more rep before time is called.

Everyone is there to do their best and they expect you to do the same. So you do. And you surprise yourself. In that workout where you get your first toes to bar or double under when you never thought you could… you learn to believe in yourself. That you can. And that is life changing, not just for your fitness… but for life outside the box.

[Tweet “Everyone is there to do their best and they expect you to do the same. “]

For me as a crossfitter the open is about knowing we are participating in something bigger than just our box. It is about knowing that somewhere down the street or on the other side of the world everyday athletes and elite athletes alike are prepping to throw down the same WOD you just did. Everyone remembers how they felt on that last round of 14.5, as you wished with every thruster and burpee that it was an AMRAP so the clock could save you from having to pick up that bar again. When we find ourselves talking to fellow Crossfitters in the airport, at work, or at some local competition we exchange what become our war stories about the open. It binds us together as one big crazy, sweaty family.

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And so as we go throughout these next 5 weeks of workouts remember that it isn’t just about where you place. It’s about appreciating the fact that you have the ability to do the workout and that you have a community of people, both in your box and around the world, who are just crazy enough to do it with you.

Good Luck, and have fun!

Are you doing the open? What does it mean to you?

 

 

Life, Weight Loss, workouts

And Then What?

I’m just over a month away from turning 28. Is that too early to feel like I’m going through some serious self-reflection/mid life crisis stuff? Maybe because 28 is so much closer to 30… and for some reason my whole life I thought I would have it all figured out by the time I turned 30. The decade of the 20’s is the one for figuring it all out and the 30’s is when you get to enjoy it all, right? Isn’t that how it works?

See, the problem isn’t where I am. As I stop and look around I am really super duper happy and blessed to be where I am. The problem is where I thought I should be. the problem is the expectation of what “arriving” or “achieving a goal” would look like.

 

A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

this isn’t just with life in general. it has happened in marriage, parenting, weight loss, nutrition, finances. like we spend so much time and energy chasing a goal and then we get there and then what?

in my head i would get there… achieve this goal… and then what? it would be smooth sailing, of course. I have absolutely no problem clawing my way to a goal. I set my sights on something and then sprint after it. and then all of a sudden I have it. and I want to sit there and bask in the moment. but then what? that goal becomes a moving target and I’m forced to chase it again. it’s like I thought if I hit that goal it would stop being so hard.

but it doesn’t.

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[Tweet “it’s like I thought if I hit that goal it would stop being so hard, but it doesn’t. “]

I lost a good amount of weight, but it doesn’t just stay off because I reached a goal.
I thought because I got to a “comfortable” place with my body I wouldn’t have to think about what I ate, but I do.
We both got laid off of really good paying jobs right when we first bought our house. We clawed our way through some dark financial times and ended up starting our own businesses (yes, multiple. we are crazy). We aren’t doing bad, but finances still require hard work to manage properly, More money doesn’t mean less problems… it means more work.
I thought that finding the right person to marry would be the hard part. that marriage brought pixie dust and butterflies and rainbows. and sometimes it does. but it requires tough conversations, uncomfortable vulnerability, and lots of hard work.
Pregnancy is hard. Labor and Delivery is hard. and yes, the long nights of feedings and diaper changes are hard. but answering tough questions and being responsible for shaping the world view of this little girl… it is hard work every day.

And I’m not really scared of hard work. but somewhere in my naive little mind I thought some day the hard work would end. Like this fairy tale would all come together on its own. that I would reach my goals and get to just be for a little while. I knew I’d make new goals. and I was ok having to work hard for those. I guess what I wasn’t expecting was to have to work so hard to maintain what I thought I’d already achieved.

[Tweet “I guess what I wasn’t expecting was to have to work so hard to maintain what I thought I’d already achieved”]

The catalyst for this post was realizing it has been almost 6 months since my abdominoplasty/skin removal. And yes vacations and holidays and life have happened since then… but I was up 10lbs since surgery day. Since realizing that and reluctantly getting back on a structured meal plan I’ve lost a few pounds and am now just 6lbs heavier.  They removed 8lbs of skin and fat. and I know the scale isn’t the only judge of progress, but I also feel a bit softer in the middle than I’d like. I wasn’t eating stupid or anything, but I was being a bit more lax than I was before. I was happy with my body and loosened the reins a bit. I explored what “maintenance” would be like and ended up gaining. And I kinda sulked about it for awhile. I finally got to a place where I felt good about the body I had worked so hard to achieve, it couldn’t be too hard to keep there… but apparently it was. Do I want to eat chicken and rice and green beans for the rest of my life? No. But do I need to have dessert every night or a “cheat meal” every meal during the weekend? No, I don’t. I had to realize that once you reach a goal doesn’t mean you get a get out of jail free card for that particular goal for the rest of your life. You still have to put in the work.

this isn’t just for weight loss. or fitness. but for relationships… finances… life. i was overwhelmed at having to try so hard. to put in so much effort. but not because i hate hard work, but because somewhere along the way i adopted the mindset that it wasn’t supposed to be this hard. regardless of what it is supposed to be or not supposed to be, this is what it is. hard work. that is the then what. it’s hard work. and now that I realize that, it’s time to do it. live the then what.

Have you ever struggled with the “then what” part of the story?

Life, workouts

On CrossFit, Coaching, and Progress

When I first started CrossFit everything was a new experience. Now 3 years into it and every workout is still a totally new experience.

2014 was an interesting year for me. Every year I since I started my health journey I have been able to look back and say I’m stronger… faster… lighter… than the year before. I don’t know that I can do that this year. This year was all about having my excess skin removed, letting my body recover, and trying to learn what this new body is capable of. I am finally getting back to where I am just about as strong and as fast as I was before surgery. I weigh 10 pounds more than I did the day I had my surgery. So I’m not stronger, faster, or lighter than I was last year. In this new year time of reflection and growth it is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I haven’t made any significant progress in those areas I’m used to using for measurement.

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I have been following some CrossFit Open Prep Programming for the upcoming Open season. We have been doing strength cycles for the last few months and now are starting to get more into metcon conditioning in preparation for the Open. I felt like I was finally hitting some old numbers and even PR’d my squat clean after one of the cycles, but as we started repeating old open workouts I’ve battled with frustration that I’m not even hitting some of the old PRs on those WODs and some of my skills have completely slacked off. The rational side of me realizes my body has been through hell and back this year. And I haven’t been able to work my weaknesses as much as I’d like. And that after all I’ve been through I should be glad to be within striking distance of where I used to be. The emotional side of me gets caught between the two extremes of being completely pissed that I’m not better… and wondering why I should care so much at all.

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Then I realize that being frustrated just means that I care. I love having goals and working towards them. And sometimes those goals can’t be measured the same way all the time. I may not be stronger, faster, or lighter than I was last year. But I have learned a lot about myself this past year. I learned that I do care and I want to be the best athlete that I can be. Not just for me, but for my athletes. This year I learned that I love coaching even more than I love competing. I used the think that the best feeling in the world was finishing a workout I wasn’t sure I was capable of finishing… not true. The best feeling in the world is knowing an athlete is capable of something great and finally getting them to realize it.

[Tweet “The best feeling in the world is knowing an athlete is capable of something great and finally getting them to realize it”]

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As a coach I’m always encouraging our athletes that consistency is key. Doing the work day in and day out makes the difference. And while I don’t hesitate to tell our athletes that, I often don’t remember it for myself. It’s like I forget that has been what has gotten me where I am today. When I started CrossFit I struggled to squat just my body weight. Now I can squat with more than weigh on my back. It didn’t happen overnight. So, I’m taking my own advice and remembering doing the work makes the difference. It isn’t always easy, but it will be worth it.

So, I’m going to develop a structured plan to follow to reach my goals. This includes regularly working on my weaknesses like pull ups, toes to bar, double unders, and rope climbs. This is my year. I’m going to take what I’ve learned as a coach and apply it to my goals.

What are your fitness goals for 2015?

Life, workouts

Manifesta Activewear

Happy New Year!! I’m so excited for 2015. I love the feeling of a fresh start that comes with a new year. It may just be another day but the refreshing dose of motivation that comes with it is always welcome.

Around this time motivation for getting healthy is at an all time high. Along with the New Year’s motivation, I often find some motivation in wearing cute workout gear. A few weeks ago while browsing online I came across Manifesta. What attracted me to them was their positive, encouraging posts on Social Media. After digging a little bit deeper into the company I found their manifesta on their website and I fell in love.

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OUR MANIFESTA

We believe that every woman deserves to feel sexy.
We believe that every woman deserves to look amazing.
We believe that every woman deserves the chance to achieve greatness.
We believe that every woman deserves the opportunity to improve herself and her fitness.
We believe that the only valid judge of a woman is herself.

Manifesta is a body positive activewear company. I found out this was a small company founded by a fellow Crossfitter who simply got tired of not being able to find cute well fitting clothing to WOD in. I chatted with the founder, Rachel, for a bit and she offered to send me an outfit to try out. The first thing I noticed when I was looking through their products was the sizing. Manifesta wants women to stop being so caught up in a certain number on a label so they created their own sizing chart naming each size something unique like Lily, Rose, Poppy, & Violet. They also don’t just have conventional sizes, they have sizes that range from 0-24. She sent me the Sore Not Sorry Capri and the All the Right moves tank, both in Orchid.

manifestaactivewear

I put these through the paces during a few WODs and I can say I really appreciate having a cute outfit that is sturdy and stays in place!  The material is thick enough to not show every flaw, but breathable enough to keep you cool during a tough WOD. All their clothing is made with the curvy woman in mind so it fits in the waist, thighs, and butt… typical problem areas for a curvy girl. The material is also sustainably sourced.

A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

Overall I’m super pleased with the quality and performance of manifesta activewear and I plan on expanding my collection! I’ve got my eye on this Keep Your Head Up Hoodie for my next purchase!

keepyourheadup

If you are looking for quality activewear made for curvy women, you have to try them out! They have been kind enough to offer my readers 25% off! Use the code Dreamer25 to get 25% off your purchase.

What do you look for in activewear?

Health, Weight Loss, workouts

Learning Balance, Finding a Healthy Relationship with Food, and Loving My Body

As you all know, I’m a big dreamer. I love to set big goals. For the longest time my main goals have been either weight loss or body image related. Lose XX number of pounds, fit in a size 12, be “normal” on the BMI Scale. Even though my goals have gone from get skinny to get healthy and from “weight 175” to “be strong” – It still all relates back to my personal body image. Almost everything I have done for the past 4+ years has somehow been related to these goals. Heck, I even turned it from a hobby into a full blow job! I guess what I’ve really been thinking about is where is that line? When do you go HAM on reaching a goal and when do you say ok I’m just going to be ok with where I’m at?

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. I see some of the fittest people I know come into our CrossFit box. People who workout hard 5 days a week, eat strict meal plans most of the time, are the picture of health and fitness… and they still aren’t happy. They want abs like so and so, or a butt like Stacie Tovar (I mean, who doesn’t?! #strengthisbooty after all…) I’m guilty of the same thing from time to time. I am guilty of negating the progress I’ve made by focusing on the things I’d still like to change.

[Tweet “I am guilty of negating the progress I’ve made by focusing on the things I’d still like to change. “]

When I first started out on this journey I was morbidly obese. I needed the structure and discipline of adhering to a strict plan. I was motivated and had a lot of fat to lose. I had specific health related milestones I wanted to reach. I went from one side of the road to the other. I used to eat whatever I wanted, and that’s what got me to 50% body fat! I needed some intervention to turn that train around. And I did (for more about my journey check out my “Before & After” page)

Read how my health journey has helped me learn balance, find a healthy relationship with food, and love my body.

Even before my surgery, I started to realize I was happy with myself. The surgery was just the cherry on top of my body acceptance sundae. It just helped me to be able to see the body I had built underneath all that skin, and that body is beautiful. And when I realized that I was happy with my body, all size 14 and 200 pounds of it, instead of being happy I felt confused and slightly panicked. What am I supposed to do now? Where do I go from here?

After over 4 years, I was suddenly on the other side of the spectrum. I had gone from 50% body fat to 20%,  I went from not being able to do a proper air squat with my own body weight to being able to load up a barbell with my body weight and back squat it. Throughout the last few years I went through strict Paleo, Whole30, and spent the better part of the last year on detailed meal plans through a nutrition coach. It was a lot of restricting. Suddenly foods became “good” or “bad” and meals became either “on plan” or “off plan.”

Food isn't good or bad, it's just food. How I learned balance, found a healthy relationship with food, and started to love my body.

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I had become one of those Diet Martyrs… “Oh, guess I”ll have to skip the Christmas cookies this year” or “Man, I wish I could eat that” or “I can’t believe I ate that!” followed by a big serving of guilt and shame. While I never thought I had a full blown eating disorder, I saw an article about Orthorexia and found myself nodding my head in response to the list of possible symptoms. I had some disordered thinking and unhealthy mindsets when it came to my relationship with food. I was in the mindset of I can’t have it because It’s not on my meal plan. I followed a specific meal plan, eating the same safe foods over and over again. I was afraid to stop counting calories, measuring portions to the ounce, or following a rigid meal plan. Because if I didn’t have a plan it meant I would gain back all the weight I’ve lost and suddenly be fat again *eye roll*

How losing weight became less about the number on the scale and more about how I felt about my body.

I guess what I’m saying is I am finally happy with my body. I feel a sense of peace with where I’m at right now. I’m healthy, I’m fit, and I’m happy. Society still tries to tell me I’m plus sized, so what. This plus sized girl rocked a bikini in Florida last month! I still have stretch marks and squishy areas. I know that if I want to take my body to the next level it would require more restricting and while I know I could do it, I’m not in a place where I’m willing to do what it would take. Could that change next month? Absolutely. For more about the cost of getting lean check out this article from Precision Nutrition.

 I’d like to challenge you to take a look at yourself and your goals. If you are restricting yourself or beating yourself up about your body or how you’re eating, why? What are your goals? If you have a hard deadline goal like doing a bikini competition, by all means eat according to your goals this holiday season. If you have serious health risks that are obesity related or a history of unhealthy binge eating than maybe you need to structure your eating a bit more. Whatever you do, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and in a healthy way. Super restrictive diets aren’t great for your mental health. Food isn’t something to fear. Take time to Learn balance, find a healthy relationship with food, and love your body.

You are worth it.

Do you struggle with Balance or a Healthy Relationship with food?
What are some things you can do today to love your body?

Life, Weight Loss, workouts

Trust The Process

When I think about things to share on my blog I often think about things I want other people to hear. Other times, like today, it’s more of a reminder to myself to practice what I preach. All too often I forget where I was when I first started on this journey. Chronically tired, out of shape, embarrassed, overwhelmed. I’ve come so far in the last 4 1/2 years. But I obviously didn’t start where I am today. It has been a process, a journey.


I started walking. Then walking alternated with running. When I started I could barely run 30 seconds at a time. Then I got the crazy idea to run a marathon. And I did it. I followed a training plan and I trusted the process.

I ended up being able to run far, not fast, but far. I went from an 18-20 minute walking/jogging mile to an average 12-13 minute mile. From barely going 1 mile to over 20 miles.  This took time. It was a process. Then I started CrossFit. And I’m pretty sure I was at a deficet when it came to strength. I couldn’t hold myself up on the pull up bar at all. I could barely navigate the use of the barbell. I still remember the first time I clean and jerked 95lbs as my 1 rep max. Just last month I did that 30 times in under 4 minutes for the workout “Grace”


For months I struggled every single workout. Burpees brought me to tears. My mindset going into every workout was “just keep moving. just survive” – I couldn’t even wrap my head around the idea of doing well. It was more like “don’t die” than trying to kill a workout.

Eventually I started to get stronger, faster, more confident. I just kept doing it day after day and I got better. This year I decided I wanted to train for an Olympic Lifting competition. So I followed a specific Olympic Lifting program. I got stronger in my Snatch and Clean & Jerk. I entered, and won, my first Olympic Lifting Competition.

And now here I am. After having major {elective} surgery with my abdominoplasty/skin removal and finding myself frustrated with my current performance. Not only was my body put through some major trauma with this surgery, but I was also out of the box completely for 6 weeks, and really out of my normal level of intensity for about 10 weeks. I knew I would be weaker coming back, I just didn’t imagine it would bother me as much as it does. The most frustrating part is knowing how hard I worked for the progress I had and watching how easily it slipped away. I mean, I had struggled and struggled for years to get a rope climb. It was just recently this year that I finally got that rope climb. Now I can’t even get in one good pull on the rope. It feels like I’m lightyears away from where I want to/think I should be. I just have to keep reminding myself to trust the process. It took time to get there the first time, It will take time to get there again. And it will take even more time to progress beyond that. I know CrossFit works. I know how to get stronger. I just have to put in the work. Show up, do the work. That is how you see the results. It is a process. Embrace it. You won’t always be where you currently are if you put in the work. I want to be stronger, faster, better. So I will put my nose to the grindstone and do the work I know it takes to get there. Every damn day. Because I’m worth it. My dreams and goals are worth it.

Have you ever had to remind yourself to trust the process?