On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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Today: My fairy WODmother. {and a Reebok #getafterit giveaway}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]The downside to being an adult is that when something breaks, you sort of need to fix it (or in many cases, have it fixed… because you don’t always know how to repair machines).  Our water heater peaced it on Monday night, making for several cold showers, one very hot shower taken at my parents’ house, an excessive use of deodorant (I am convinced cold showers do nothing other than lower one’s core temperature), and some general crankiness this week.  On Thursday night, we came home to a freshly replaced water heater… aaaand a freshly broken kitchen sink.  The plummer giveth, and the plummer taketh away.  And he leaveth dirty footprints and greasy paper towels all over thine condo.

I don’t really understand how any of this happened.  I just know that it annoyed me.  And that I got a headache.  I fought the temptation to wallow and I checked the mail instead.  Of my many quirks, an obsessive need to check the mail is right up there with my obsessive need to check the weather.  Incidentally, I don’t think it was supposed to rain on Friday.  But it did.  With just twenty-one days until we get married, I live for the sight of a response card (or twelve) tucked in among the bills and magazines.  Thursday night’s mail was slim on responses, but included a package from Reebok.   I like to think of the brand as my Fairy WODmother.  I opened the box to find two new CrossFit Tri Blend tops, one with short sleeves and the other with long sleeves.  This was just the kick in the pants short shorts I needed to get out of the faucet-less condo, and into the box.

Both tops fit perfectly.  I tend to wear tank tops to class, but knowing that the garage door at our box would be open, the temperature is dropping, and I was still recovering from my last cold shower– I opted for the grey long sleeve.  It’s lightweight but still warm, it stayed dry throughout a tough workout, didn’t itch at all, and was really comfortable.  I had my first attempt at rope climbs last night, and I think wearing long sleeves definitely helped protect my arms.  I added a whole 25lbs. to my high bar box squat PR (since my first attempt two months ago), cranked through 100 kettle bell swings and 50 ring dips (with a blue band).  As I’ve said before, the clothes don’t make the athlete, hard work does… but wearing perfectly fitting, high performing fabrics definitely helps.  Need proof?  Ask me about the time I ran a 10k with a wedgie.  Needless to say, I can’t wait to break out the short sleeve top this weekend.

Because my Fairy WODmother is extra generous, I have a little something to share.  If you were at Healthy Living Summit 2012, Fit Bloggin or other events, you may have seen the Reebok team outfitted in eye-catching  #getafterit shirts.  These shirts are now available for men and women online, and I have one women’s top (size M)  to giveaway.  To enter, please let a comment below.  I will select a random winner at the end of the day on Tuesday.

UPDATE:  This giveaway is now closed.   Congratulations, Caroline!  And many thanks to everyone who entered.

 

Caroline: I saw so many #getafterit’s at the Tufts 10k…even tried keeping pace with one (literally got after it)! I would love to sport my own…thanks!

[For the record: I received these Reebok products at no cost.  I was not compensated for my review of these items, and my opinions are entirely my own.  I write about brands I respect and enjoy, and Reebok fits this criteria.]

Also On Tap for Today:

How are you planning to get after it this week?


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Today: Rise and lift.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Sometimes the best motivation for getting to the box, or the gym, or the track, or the pool (well… maybe not so much the pool) is a fresh pair of kicks.  Or the perfect pair of shorts.  Or perhaps a new headband.  There are mornings, especially ones that follow a late night watching political conventions at the office, though, when all I want to do is hit snooze.  Six times.  It’s a lot harder to bail when these guys are waiting beside the door, though.

The lovely team at Reebok recently sent me a pair of Reebok CrossFit Flex Nano shoes and apparel designed specifically for CrossFit-ing (is that a word?).  I was just two months or so into my membership at CrossFit Southie, and that package could not have arrived at a better time.  I couldn’t wait for the next day’s workout to try everything out.  It was just the motivation I needed.

For starters, I appreciate the sunny color (blaze yellow with feather blue).  Looking down at that cheery yellow really helps as I drop a barbell in front of me, and contemplate fainting and/or crying.  Like running shoes, these kicks are sport-specific.  They were designed with the essential CrossFit movements in mind.  They feel both light enough for jumping and sprinting, and stable enough for lifting.  At first, the toe box felt a bit wide, but I’ve found that helps me to spread my toes (did anyone else just think, I hate feet?) and ground down when I need balance, and also to sink back into my heels and wiggle my toes to be sure I am distributing my weight properly for squats.  Reebok’s U-Form technology, a feature of these shoes and several other pairs they offer, is a great plus.  After taking a few simple steps (essentially heating up the mid-soles with a hairdryer and forming the shoes to your feet), you’re left with a custom fit.  Without having to become a famous athlete (I think that’s the other way you get a custom fit… but I’m not positive).

I also received Reebok’s CrossFit Chase shorts and CrossFit Lightweight tank.  Both fit perfectly.  Normally one to shy away from the short shorts, I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable and flattering the 2 inch Chase shorts are.  In fact, I’ve practically been living in them (save for the office and church, obviously…).  They passed the ultimate “please don’t give me a wedgie” test during a recent WOD including lots of running with a 25 lb. sandbag.  The tank (featured in this transformation from beast to beauty) lives up to its lightweight name and is modestly cut across the top, perfect for balancing out all that leg I’ve been showing. 😉

This much is true: Clothes do not make the athlete.  Hard work does.  Case in point: the many, many people wearing cotton who have easily passed me during marathons, or the guy at our condo association’s gym who lifts like an animal while wearing khaki shorts and a dress shirt.  Still, anything that gets me out the door faster, keeps me working out longer, encourages me to get after it harder, and allows me to focus on the wod rather than whether or not my shorts are riding up, can only be good.  Thanks for the gear, Reebok!

[Disclosure: I received Reebok shoes and apparel at no cost.  I was not compensated for my review of these items, and my opinions are entirely my own.  I write about brands I respect and enjoy, and Reebok fits this criteria.  For sure.]

Also On Tap for Today:

Where do you find your workout motivation?


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Today: Handstand push ups? Handstand push ups.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Two words I never thought I’d be so excited to see paired: handstands and push-ups.  Like most girls who spent hours and hours perfecting their underwater handstands, turning cartwheels across the beach and performing very amateur gymnastic “shows” as a child, I can still kick up into a handstand with the best of them.  Even though it’s been decades since I demanded that my parents “Watch this!” I can still get upside down with relative ease.  Push-ups don’t come quite as easily, despite my doing battle with the 100 push ups app whenever I have the chance.  Regardless, I’ve been waiting for HSPUs to factor into a wod since joining CrossFit Southie.

Before leaving the condo for class, I tested my outfit to ensure I wouldn’t flash anyone,  something I highly recommend.  And then I snacked on a little extra spicy guacamole, something I highly discourage.  Dangling upside down from a pull up structure is not where you want to be when acid reflux strikes.  Trust me.  The nerves set in long before the urge to heave, though.  By two o’clock, I was fidgeting at my desk.  This was no backyard front handspring contest.  We’re grown-ups now.  I’ve got responsibilities.  Not to mention a higher center of gravity, a mortgage, and a wedding (for which I will need my head very much attached) 72 days away.  Forget how fun this could be, this could be dangerous.  I began wondering how many hundreds (thousands?  millions?) of people crack a skull doing HSPUs each year.  You know what happens once my imagination takes over.  I wavered between wanting to find a YouTube video that would prep me for the skill, and thinking maybe I should fake my own death before class started.  For the record:  I feel this way before every class, whether it’s overhead squats, kettle bell swings, or box jumps.

[Image source]

Does every CrossFit-er get nerves like this?  If the answer is no, please let me down gently.  Despite my terror doing battle with my excitement, I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and just show up.  And I am glad I did.  Our coach encouraged us to break the workout into “bite sized pieces.”  I certainly did that with the front squats.  Teeny, tiny pieces.  Like, two at a time pieces.  I achieved a new PR during the strength portion of the workout, and kept the weight light for the WOD and tried to concentrate on good form, thanks to the coaching cues I’d received earlier in the class.  When it came to the handstand push ups, though, I threw caution fear to the wind, and got after it.  Our coaches helped a few of us use bands, hung from the pull up structure.  This allowed us to be fully upside down, without bearing the full load of our body weight.  Others scaled the workout by doing decline push ups from boxes, or hand release push ups on the ground.  I love that there really is always an option for athletes of all abilities.  Once I had kicked up and was fully upside down, I cranked out 15 push ups in a row for all three sets.  It was such a rush.

While playing it safe certainly has its advantages (fewer bruises and no handstand hair, for starters), there’s a lot to be said for trying things that terrify and excite you.  Next up: rope climbs.  And karaoke!  Maybe I’ll even attempt math without a calculator!

Also On Tap for Today:

How do you overcome a bad case of the nerves?  Done anything exhilarating lately?


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Today: Freshly showered.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I am as grateful as I am lucky, which is to say, very.  All of my lovely bridesmaids were in town this weekend, along with family and friends, to host the most wonderful bridal shower.  In short: I laughed, I cried (only a tiny, tiny bit… and they were happy tears), I got nail caviar.  I am still overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.  I really am so grateful, and so lucky.

Nick and I started the weekend at CrossFit Southie, where I was able to increase my PR by 10lbs for the power snatch.  After a few really helpful coaching cues, I have improved significantly on that Olympic lift.  That’s one of the best things: if you work hard, you’ll continue improve and grow stronger.  After sweating like a beast, I had less than an hour to transform into a beauty.  Thank goodness for mascara.  And antiperspirant.

I traded my new lightweight training tank (a gift from my friends at Reebok) for this cute eyelet sundress (what good is a selfie without a photobomb from a random stuffed French bulldog?).  Side note 1: Stuffed animals totally creep me out.  But this one is a Frenchie.  And the proceeds benefitted a charity I love.  Side note 2: I am a natural frowner.  Those mouth corners seem to go down, even when I’m smiling.  And smizing.

Kristine picked me up just before one o’clock for a manicures, pedicures, Prosecco and lots of catching up at Bliss.  It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon.  It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole seven years since she traded Boston for New Jersey.  I miss living downstairs from her, and being able to see her at the drop of a hat (what a weird expression).  If I thought I could trick everyone into coming back home, I’d get married more often.  Sort of.

After plenty of pampering, we grabbed a bite to eat and did some browsing on Newbury Street before heading to my sister’s apartment.  Andrea, Katie, Meg, Kristine and Colleen had dangerously strong cosmopolitans, snacks, and plenty of Michael Jackson waiting, as well as some fun little surprises.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner and lots of laughs.  Pink prosecco?  Yes, please.  This little lady loves bubbles.

The next morning we headed home for the most lovely shower.  From the centerpieces (straight from my parents’ garden) to delicious food and incomparable company, it was just the perfect day.  I was spoiled rotten.

I’ve said it before, and I know I will say it again.  I am the luckiest.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are your dearest friends nearby, or far away?


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Today: White water… crafting.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Nick spend the weekend with his groomsmen and friends white water rafting.  Clark and I spent the weekend sleeping, eating and, um… crafting.

After finishing up a top secret project (a TSP, if you will) for my lovely bridesmaids, I tackled a few other things I’ve been meaning to accomplish since, like, last August.  From keeping our paint colors organized to finding a way to keep my necklaces untangled, I checked off more than a few (non-top secret) projects over the past few days.

I got my car tuned up (it has officially become a money pit on wheels), had my first wedding dress fitting (I can’t wait to show you pictures, but… I need to wait to show your pictures), cleaned like wild and spent as much time outside as possible.

How cool is that bird’s nest?  Very recycled chic… though I don’t recommend embellishing your home with TP left in a city park.  I spotted the nest while taking Clark on an extra long walk last night.  He was more interested in the mouse running up the sidewalk.

I rounded out the weekend with my first solo WOD.  Lame as it may be, I had never gone to CrossFit alone before this morning.  With Nick two states away, I could have easily skipped the workout and slept in, but I knew I’d be better off (wo)man-ing up and getting after it.  Not surprisingly, I was glad I went.  The workout was really fun, and I love knowing I am getting a little better and stronger each time I show up.

While I may have not needed a helmet or paddle for my weekend, it certainly feels like I got a lot done. (As I write this, though, I just remembered I loaded the washer… but never turned it on… hmmm.  Can’t win ’em all.)

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have projects waiting to be tackled?  

 


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Today: Mary Poppins, Lord Voldemort and Lolo Jones.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I don’t know about you, but I found the London opening ceremonies to be… um… weird.  Mary Poppinses (is that how you pluralize the nanny?) battling he who shall not be named?  Just weird.

[Images]

Fortunately, the actual Olympic Games have yet to disappoint.  I am fully obsessed.  And I love some good ol’ red, white and blue accessories.

I tried to channel my inner Lolo Jones for this weekend’s CrossFit Southie workout at the track, though I would surely not be awarded any medals for my performance.

I finished 2 and a half rounds in the allotted time and, days later, I am still sore.  The 100 meters of walking lunges were the toughest.  By the time I reached the stadium stairs, my legs felt like rubber.  And by the time I finished the stairs and jumped back on the track, they felt like lead.  I’m just a month into CrossFit, but I can’t get enough.  I am working harder than I have before, in the best possible way.

When we got home, I decided to go for the gold neon yellow calf sleeves and a healthy dose of pet therapy.  And hours and hours of Olympics.

Also On Tap for Today:

What Olympic event is your favorite?

 

 


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Today: 21 hours.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Monday was a long day.  I was awake (and mostly functioning) for 21 hours straight.  When you’re up and about for that long, you’re bound to see some shi things.

4:00 AM Nick was planning to take an early class at CrossFit Southie, so when I woke up for no reason, just an hour before his alarm would go off, I knew my chances of falling back to sleep were slim.

5:45 AM When my alarm went off as Nick was heading out the door, I wrangled the Frenchie and took him on an extra long walk through the neighborhood.  We saw not one, but two dead pigeons.  That seems to be happening a lot lately.  It’s a bit concerning.

7:40 AM I was off to work in record time, and about to turn the corner to my office, when the biggest rat I have ever seen came sprinting towards me.  It was as big as, like, my dog.  Or Splinter from TMNT.

The last time I was that close to a rat (this is gross, but I am going to tell you any way), it had been run over and flattened next to my car.  It was winter time, and the puddle that the flat rat came to rest in eventually froze over.  It was there for weeks.  I had to find a new parking spot.  When the ice thawed, and my overwhelming fear of that dead rat waned, I went back to my normal parking habits.  Little did I know, the dead rat was still there.  One evening, after I had locked up the office, a strong gust of wind lifted the rat and hurled it straight at me.  I think I blacked out, because I don’t really remember what happened after that.

Anyway, Monday’s rat was very much alive and, fortunately, never made contact with my body.  I couldn’t help, however, but to enter a spiral of irrational fears.  What if the rat came back while I was out grabbing the newspaper (I am an old man) at lunch?  Maybe it would catch me by surprise, and bite my ankle, and then I’d have to miss my soccer game.  And probably, I would get rabies.  Or something.  Once I start worrying, and my imagination takes over, it’s hard to stop.

8:00 AM – 5:30 PM Fortunately, my workday was productive and largely uneventful.  Mostly because I skipped my lunchtime walk and stayed firmly indoors.  Two dead pigeons and giant rat?  I was not taking any chances.

5:45 PM I got home just in time to give Clark’s talons a quick trim, his coat a quick brushing, and his ears a quick cleaning.  The little dude has to look his best when he’s making his therapy dog rounds.

We spend an hour and a half visiting some great kids at a local hospital.  I don’t think either of us wanted to leave when our time was up.  It’s so incredibly moving to see children– up against so much– delight in rubbing Clark’s ears and crouching down on the floor to kiss his wrinkly face.  They were curious about his missing tail (perhaps he is, too), whether or not he could fight a lion (I suspect not), and what he keeps in the pouch on his therapy dog vest (treats, obviously).  Clark was in his glory.  I likely would have only been awake for 20 hours, but I had to stay up an extra hour to tell Nick all about it.  I can’t wait for our next visit.

7:30 PM I contemplated taking a nap before my soccer game, but instead I watched half an episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Why do they wear so much under brow highlighter?  Puzzling.

8:45 PM I was about to head out the door for soccer, when I received a very important FaceTime call.  From my three week old niece.  When an infant calls, you answer.

11:30 PM Though we lost our playoff game, we had a great 11 v. 11 season.  It was nice to play on a big field again.  I won’t miss being out so far past my bedtime, however.  I had to employ my very best “stay alert and awake” tactics for the ride home (Call Me Maybe at full volume, a handful of Haribo gummy bears, and the AC cranked as high as it would go).

When I finally made it back to my warm bed, I felt like I had been awake for 400 hours.  In truth, it had only been 21.  And that was plenty.

Also On Tap for Today:

Which critter are you most afraid of?  Snakes?  Spiders?  Teresa from RHONJ?