Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Crossfit Experience

I stumbled upon Crossfit on Twitter. I saw a tweet from Joaquin Valdez (of Breakfast fame) about almost "puking" doing this mysterious thing called "Crossfit". Then another tweet from Gabe Mercado (of the "Okay ka ba, yan?" fame) about feeling, in his words, " rape ng dalawampung elepante na drug adik. Ganyan ang pakiramdam ko pagkatapos mag cross fit workout".

A few google searches after, I found the CrossfitMnl website offering free trials. I gave it a shot, and luckily they emailed back saying they'd love to see me for a trial workout. It was a Monday night.

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I went in through their quirky, huge, red door. Exchanged pleasantries with Ferdie and off we went to the what he calls, "Intro workout". He said 15 minutes and I was all, "15 minutes, really. Just 15 mnutes" in my head. I thought, "Dude, I do 3-hour marathon workouts with weights and crazy cardio, and you're giving me just 15 minutes?! Sana nag-yoga na lang ako." Buti na lang I did't say it aloud!

Shet, I was dead meat by the end of 15 minutes. LONGEST 15 MINUTES OF MY LIFE. Dude, I've never been THAT tired in my life. My knees were wobbly, I was sweating like a pig, I was tired as hell and I couldn't decide whether I wanted to puke or cry.

For the unitiated, here's a rundown of what that infamous 15 minutes consisted. Probably looks like chicken feed from the photos but I tell you, SHET, ANG HIRAP. 

There's a W.O.D. (Workout of the Day), which for the trial version, you have to do in circuits. It's 15 full minutes of non-stop circuit of 7 wall balls, 7 pull ups, 7 box jumps and 7 burpees. 

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Wall Balls
For the wall balls, you stand across a wall and start with a squat squarely on your knees. You rise and throw a weighted ball (mine was 5kg, lighter than the recommended 7kg for females; 9kg for males) aimed at a line on the wall, and then catch it back down. Then back to squat again. One set is seven wall balls.

This was fairly doable. The squats were manageable since we do a good number of weighted squats in Pump. But right around the fourth circuit, I really felt my form deteriorate from confident stance to "Sheeeet, are we there yet?"

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Pull Ups
You then run to the poles to do pull ups. You hang by your hands on the monkey bars and pull yourself up so your chin touches the bar. As luck (or my weight) would have it, doing unassisted pull ups was impossible for me. Crossfit anticipated this and installed rubber bands to assist in the pull ups. You slip one foot into the loop and the elastic recoil helps hoist you up to the bar. Again 7 reps for this bitch.

(I think this killed it for my shoulders. It's been 3 days since the Crossfit trial and my shoulders are still burning. I wonder how this'll turn out during stretches for my yoga class. Hmm.)

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Box Jumps
Next up is the box jumps. I just wish with all my heart I looked as nimble as this graceful girl with the washboard abs as I did my box jumps reps. For shame, with all the jiggle I felt as I jumped atop the box, I knew I was waaay far from this

You stand squarely at the bottom of a box, jump to the top of the box (I did the 12"-box, lower than the recommended 16") and then jump back to the floor. Again seven times over. (Buti na lang hindi ako nagmaganda at pumili nung 16" box. Death.)

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To complete the circuit, you have the burpee. In a nutshell, it's a push up and jumping jack rolled into one bitch of a movement. You start with a plank position (I did mine on my knees) do one push up, jump  to your feet, do a jumping jack and then jump back on the floor. This was tiring as hell.

While the others are fairly easy at the beginning, this baby is DIFFICULT since set 1. My first 3 circuits were fairly fluid, but come circuit 4, I was literally crawling. This officially took away any semblance of poise I thought I had.

I was told I did pretty impressively, with 6 rounds of the circuit in 15 minutes. Apparently, the standing average was 5 rounds for boys and girls. So, "Yay, self!" Hahaha. And to cap the (very tiring) night off, I get to write my name on the board and put "6" beside it! What up!

I seriously wasn't exaggerating when I said I wanted to cry AND throw up. i was surprised at the shock it gave my body considering I do pretty intensive cardio. Crossfit IS something. I'm giving it thought.

I'd just like to give a shout out to the he very nice, Coach Ferdi. I trained with the very nice Coach Ferdi on Monday night, who I found out from searching for Crossfit MNL on the internet, is a seriously badass elite athlete. I'm thankful that he was very nice in guiding me through the workout, pushing to a strong finish and answering ALL (and I asked a LOT!) my questions after the workout.

So, if by any chance he stumbles upon this, thank you very much Coach Ferdi for my very nice experience at Crossfit MNL.

Now the big question is... to Crossfit or not to Crossfit. Hmmm.

Friday, January 14, 2011

To Claire, From Sonny

This is a film made by 17-year old Josh Beattie. I randomly popped into Tumblr and stumbled upon this video through Naked Words. I have no words for how wonderfully written this piece is. It awakens the teenager in you and makes you all warm and squishy inside. It's beautiful :)

Dear Claire,

Okay, well um. Where to start? You’ll probably never read this. In fact, chances are it won’t even reach you. I’m probably just writing this for myself, you know. For therapeutic reasons. I guess I should just say all this stuff. Especially by now, but it helps to write things down or else I stutter and forget, and generally make an idiot of myself.

It’s September 3rd today. That means it would have been our two years and 6 months anniversary. You know I always complained that month anniversaries were for twelve year olds but you always kinda liked the idea so happy hypothetical anniversary. I know you’d probably roll your eyes at me, bringing that up and I’m aware that it’s been well over a year since now you, uh, left me. Well one year, three months, and sixteen days. I think right now, I’ve finished the process you know? And I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that you’re not going to come back—ever. And I think I’m out of the phase where I just lie on my floor hoping that you’d just turn up on my doorstep. You know what, I’m doing okay. Getting there, baby steps.

I’ve even um, I’ve even been sorta seeing a girl. Jess, is her name. They’re going to keep telling it’s a, you know, a positive step in getting over you and stuff. And don’t get me wrong, she’s a nice girl but, different. It’s funny. Your muscles have a certain memory about them. That’s why we can tie our shoes or play piano without looking. But then you spend a long enough time with someone and your bodies memorize each other you know? The warmth of your back, the pace of your heartbeat, your tickly eyelashes and the way your fingers would curl in sequence when I used to play with your palm. Another person is like moving to a new country where you don’t know the language. It’s a scary thing. And she voluntarily eats celery. Who does that?

You know people are always on about, “You’ll find someone else! There’s plenty more fish in the sea!” Well you know what, I feel like a friggin’ fish in a bucket. I’ve been reading lots. Non-fiction mostly. Did I ever tell you about the theory of the multi-verse? It says that there’s an infinite amount of hypothetical universes parallel to ours that contain every single possible set of circumstances.Kinda got me thinking you know? Means that somewhere, there might be a world in which on that 15th of February, we never had that argument, and I didn’t say all those things I didn’t mean, and you didn’t walk away without another word. Or maybe there’s another world in which I—chased after you. And we’d still be together and catch the train together, and do couply things and have bubble tea with those god-awful slimy globules of jelly down the bottom which I hate.

Sometimes, on my way, I walk past your house and every time I do, I get this weird urge to knock on the door which is stupid because I know you wouldn’t answer it. Well, in any case, it’s technically your old house now. You’re—nowadays, you’re quite far away with your new life and all. I wonder if you even remember me sometimes. I—I wish you’d talk to me. Give me some vague sign that you do remember. ‘Cause you know what? I’m not doing well, life is actually pretty shit. And look at me. I’ve gone this whole page without using the L-word once so far. But looking at it objectively, realistically I—I’d say that I still love you. And I’m kinda afraid I won’t ever really stop—loving you. I hope they’re treating you well up there because I miss you more than ever.

Love, Sonny.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Holiday Fuzzy Feeling Conundrum

(You can tell I has alotta fun putting up that title! My most recent The Big Bang Theory episode just finished downloading, so if you're wondering where the heck that title came from, there goes your answer.)

I'm not such a fan of the holidays, that much I know about myself. I still haven't gotten to the bottom of it (let me get back to you on that after I discuss it with my shrink -- after I find me a shrink) so no elaborate explanations yet from me.

This year though may be monumental in that it marks the first year that went by without me "feeling the season". I was surprised about not getting that "Warm And Fuzzy *Just Because* It's The Holidays" feeling in the tummy this year, not even once. That's a thing, right?

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Though I am not one to be all jumpy about Christmas, I remember every year since as far as I can remember,  getting that holiday feeling -- from a cold breeze, from seeing all the lights and trimmings, heck, sometimes even from just the Christmassy smell of the air! You know that feeling? It's that moment you have when the sheer happiness of the holidays dawns on you and everything is so rife with cheer that you feel it. The feeling fills you up and you walk with a little bounce on your heels, at least during the height of the season. I'm not the biggest fan of the holidays but I still get a high from "feeling" the holidays.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Don't Hurry.

I've a backlog of GodWhispers from over the holidays that I did not get to see. I opened the emails just now, and as always, they're a pleasant surprise of happy little reminders about thoughts and things we most often forget. I especially loved the email that said to not hurry. Here's the message in its entirety.

"Don't hurry. You leave a lot of meat on the bone. You rob yourself of much joy from each day. You miss out on life-changing lessons from the stories happening to you. Enjoy life.

Take slow walks. Sit on a bench and pray for the people who pass you by. Take breaks. Breathe. Sing. Smell. Feel. Touch. Taste. I designed life to be lived this way."

Oh, joy.

Don't Try To Succeed Alone. It Will Never Work.

Again, inspiring words from the very kind Bo Sanchez through the GodWhispers subscription. This message hits home hard. I try to do it alone because I am embarrassed to ask for help, because I am hardwired to do things on my own, maybe because I am an only child, or sometimes just because there's no one around.

Try as I may to say I'd like to stick to the way I do things, the fact that my way comes with so much frustration probably means there is wisdom to asking for help.

Like my GodWhispers said, "Don't try to succeed alone. It will never work. The climb to success can only be done by team effort. Who is your dream team? Start recruiting. It's so much happier this way."

Monday, January 03, 2011

Dog Names!

I don't want to write this post on dog names yet, cos I haven't written my token "Holidays - 2010 Edition" entry and my other token entry,  "Things I Am Thankful For - 2010 Edition". Add to that, I still am remiss on my "Why I Am Talking About Dogs Recently" entry. Heee.

BUUUT, I need to put down my dog name thoughts somewhere lest I forget them! The dog is yet to come, but if it comes in the next 3 months or 24 months, who's to say, I'd love to be ready with a name!

Aww.  Isn't he a cutie? Oh, and doesn't he look like a Bruno to you? :p

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