So a few weeks ago I started doing some graphic design/marketing work for a friend of mine from Kenpo in exchange for a membership at the CrossFit gym he works at.
At first I was pretty skeptical about CrossFit since I’d never heard of it before and figured it was just another hardcore exercise fad in different colored spandex workout clothes.
Though my assumptions were right, I had no idea how much I would Love it. On my first day of CrossFit, my friend talked about the fairly routine exercises they do during an average CrossFit workout…Handstand push-ups, muscle ups, ring dips, Olympic weight lifting, wall balls, etc. all jammed packed into the most intense 5-15 minutes of your life. If you don’t know what any of those things are then you 1. are fat or 2. have never done CrossFit before. I understand.
Either way, after a few weeks of CrossFit training, I fell in love and I’m now determined to CrossFit my ass off until I am slim, toned and/or ripped like the three ridiculously in-shape trainers at my CrossFit gym.
My biggest achievement to date was during last Thursday’s workout. The workout consisted of 10 separate exercises, two of which I’d never done before and had to be taught to me minutes before I did them in our timed, trainer-judged work out and 6 more exercises than I had been used to doing at one-time.
I previously mentioned to my trainer/friend that one of the best compliments I had received while trying a new sport was “I love how enthusiastic you are about failing! You are so motived to get out there and try even if it ends horribly!” Gee, thanks.
Either way, I wasn’t about to let my reputation down by not being enthusiastic about failing. Unfortunately, during the first round of the work out I boasted The Worst time of Anyone. Mostly because I was doing the exercises wrong or Really badly and they weren’t counting so I couldn’t move on. I even did worse than this army woman who just had two babies and hasn’t worked out for over a year…Awesome.
Even my highly motivational trainer decided to point out how bad my time was by saying “Oh wow, my time is pretty bad. I mean, I was doing a lot more weight than everyone else but I still got beat by everyone. Oh…except for you, May.”
During my 3 minute rest break before the second round I decided to refocus, go through the exercises in my head carefully and…just not suck so bad next time.
Fortunately, for me, my competitive nature kicked in and I BEASTED the second round, finishing at least 30+ seconds before the two CrossFit guys who had started 30+ seconds ahead of me AND finished with THE fastest time of anyone.
So yeah…it was a good workout and I managed to leave the gym with my reputation intact.
Looking forward to my future ass-kicking workouts at CrossFit Norwalk and if you are in the area, I HIGHLY recommend you join. It is really the best workout I’ve ever had.
Check them out if you’re interested: www.CrossFitNorwalk.com
Recently, my stepmom went to see a nutritionist and that nutritionist mentioned (and by mentioned I mean raved) about the wonders and health benefits of Ezekiel Bread.
Ezekiel bread is a bread made from four grains and four beans and NO flour. Yes, that’s right. This magical bread is ridiculously good for you.
“According to the thebostonphoenix.com site, this biblically based recipe was intended to help survive famine during an upcoming war, not because it tastes good or that it’s especially healthy (which it is). Barley and millet, throughout history, has been considered a poor man’s food. Barley is a hardy grain that survives drought and frosts. It also grows in alkali soils. It is usually fed to livestock, but people can eat it too if they can stomach the flavor alone. Millet is a bland tasting grass used mainly in disadvantaged counties to feed the poor (and the seeds are given to birds). However, it is said to be a complete meal that satisfies all nutritional requirements. The combination of grains makes for the proper balance of amino acids to provide a complete protein. That’s probably how Ezekiel was able to survive 390 days while lying on his side and eating only this bread. “
- Dee Boston, Yahoo! Contributer Network.
And yes, I can attest to the fact that this bread IS tasty. I know, I was skeptical at first too…”How can a bread made without flour Not taste like a$$?” I pondered.
But now…after basically living off this bread for lunch every day for the past month or so, I’m addicted. Last week, we ran out of Ezekiel bread and I was forced to eat regular…white…Wonder Bread and it was HORRIBLE! My body craved the delicious and healthful Ezekiel bread and shed a tear for every lunch I went without it…Those were the dark times…
Anyway, I highly recommend this bread to anyone who’s interested in healthier meal options to help lose weight or for better nutrition or even to people who are interested in a change of pace from their regular, boring old white or whole wheat bread.
So I’ve started taking American Kenpo Karate again after an eight-year hiatus to focus on fencing. Kenpo karate was my first martial arts love and it was hard to let it go…but then the allure of stabbing people with giant metal swords was just too great.
Thus despite the fact that the last belt I acquired was a second degree brown belt, it’s been such a long time that my (awesome) instructor suggested I retake the belt tests through all the levels up to where I am.
I’m totally cool with that and I am proud to say that today I passed my yellow/orange belt test and now I am (re)officially a proud Orange Belt Kenpo Master! That’s right. Congratulations to me.
The rekindling of my love for Kenpo was due to a couple key factors. The first being that after eight years of fencing, four of which were intensive Division I NCAA Varsity fencing, I was quite god damn tired of it and all the random heartbreak and bizarre politics that came with it. Don’t get me wrong, I still Love the sport of fencing…It was just mostly the people that got me down in the end. Very tragic. Anyway, the other major factor was that last year, while I was a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, a friend of mine discovered a Krav Maga class in Raleigh, NC, that she wanted to try out.
So we veni, vidi, vici-ed the heck out of the class and Loved it. I highly recommend Krav Maga for all you adrenaline jocks and exercise hounds out there (like me, obviously…????) But I also recommend it for regular peeps who would like to learn some self-defense while getting a terrific work out.
(Shout-out to Ken Richstad, the owner and head instructor of Krav Maga Raleigh. If you are in the Raleigh area and want to learn how to not get killed in a ‘kill or be killed’ situation…then Ken is your man. If you stick around long enough you might see Ken dye his hair. Maybe blue for an upcoming Warrior Run or pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He was very aware of breasts that month.)
Anyway…when I returned home to New York, I struggled to find another good Krav Maga school and always regretted never getting my black belt in Kenpo. Since my old Kenpo school fell apart, I sort of figured that was that and my coveted black belt would never materialize. Until one day I was surfin’ the web like a pro and stumbled upon a website for a Kenpo school in Greenwich.
And voila! The rest is history. Now I am very much on my way to getting the ass kicking black belt of my DREAMS! And when that day comes…it WILL be glorious and I may look like a tiny half asian girl on the outside…but on the inside I will be a furious ninja assassin expertly trained in (at least) three really excellent ways to kill you. Booya!