Tag Archives: crossfit

A Shout-out to All the Bus Stop Parents

It’s the first day of school here. On this big important day of the year, it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge the people who work tirelessly through the morning hours to get our mini-people ready and on their way to educational progress…. Otherwise known as… The Bus Stop Parents.

The Bus Stop Parents come in all shapes and sizes. These are just some of my favorites:

This one of my very favorites because the wardrobe of choice – who am I kidding, it wasn’t a “choice” at all… it was whatever happened to be within arms reach – is always spectacular and usually needs an explanation. “Yes, it’s August and yes I’m wearing my winter coat. You should thank me.” “Can you believe I can walk in my husband’s rain boots without falling over?! They’re actually comfortable.” “Who knew my third-grader’s flip flops fit me?!” “Yes, I am actually wearing a bed sheet.” And all these comments are said with a profound sense of victory because… hey! Your kid got on the bus and that’s a victory!Bus Stop 3


I’ve been this one many times. There’s always a far off stare happening. It’s the running dialogue if The Gym is actually going to be the destination of choice…. Maybe a trip to Target instead? Or perhaps a quick breakfast with a few other Bus Stop Parents? Or maybe just back to the couch to catch up on some shows? Sometimes it really is the gym and sometimes it’s not. Either way, your kid got on the bus and that’s a victory!Bus Stop 7


Whether your kid is in Kindergarten or third grade…. There are a lot of things to keep track of! The little ones can’t keep track of it all because, well, they are little, and the older ones can’t keep track of it all because, well, because that’s just how it works. So you have to keep track of it all. All of it. Heaven help you if you have more than one kid! Every now and again, it’s possible to over-think and second-guess yourself. Try not to do that too often because in the end, your kid got on the bus and that’s a victory!Bus Stop


It happens to all of us. When you are busy keeping track of all that stuff (aforementioned parent)… you may just happen to forget to brush your teeth. The “hide behind the coffee mug” technique seems to be quite effective. You could also just stand on the outside of the group of parents or at least down-wind. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone loves the smell of a fresh brewed coffee, so think of that mug in front of your face as a gift to everyone else. Plus, your kid got on the bus and that’s a victory!Bus Stop 2


We mostly had moms at our bus stop; it’s probably fairly common, especially in military communities. However, we were often joined by dads that didn’t need to go into work super early. Most of the time, the dads congregated close to each other. The moms could talk non-stop the entire time we waited for the bus and then for approximately 40 minutes after the kids drove off. The dads are always friendly and social of course, but just not quite as much as the ladies. And for some reason the kids always like to dump their backpacks by the dads’ feet. Talkative or not, it doesn’t really matter because those dads got their kid on the bus (occasionally without a backpack) and that’s a victory!Bus Stop 1


Pretty much every day that our working moms or the ones who actually got dressed in “for public viewing” clothes, the rest of the parents would “oooh” and “aaah” over them. Almost like it was a fashion show… the dress pants! The buttoned shirt! The ballet flats! The make-up! You would think we had never seen each other before in anything other than near-pajamas. It’s very good for one’s soul to step out in skinny jeans, boots, and a sweater and be welcomed as if you are on the red carpet. Plus, you got your kid on the bus and that’s a victory!Bus Stop 5THE “CROSSFITTING PRIOR TO SUNRISE” PARENT

Some of us just rolled out of bed. Some of us have already run 8,000 meters, completed 3,789 burpees, 15,000 box jumps, and 694 pull-ups. It’s cool. To each their own. Even if those parents aren’t sporting their Crossfit t-shirts and chalk on their hands, you can probably still pick them out among the bunch; they are all gitty with post-work-out pheromones! You worked out already and got your kid on the bus, that’s a victory for sure!Bus Stop 4

I’m sure there are so many more ways to categorize the different kinds of Bus Stop Parents out there, but those are just some of the ones I relate to the most. I’m thankful for all my friends who have waited with me on steamy-humid days, through blizzards, and in downpours. The camaraderie of the bus stop certainly sends our favorite little people out into the world with a sense of security and welcomes them home with the knowledge that no matter what, today was a victory!Bus Stop 6


7 Reasons Why Crossfit is Great for New Moms*

This was taken the day our box held "Barbells for Boobs" - a fundraising event for breast cancer research.  I was nervous about participating but it was AWESOME.

This was taken the day our box held “Barbells for Boobs” – a fundraising event for breast cancer research. I was nervous about participating but it was AWESOME.

1. If you find Crossfit intimidating, now’s the time to try it: Many people find Crossfit intimidating. That’s normal. The best time to face that intimidation is when you are somewhat starting from scratch. You’ve got nothing to lose! You’re starting out as a new mom… it’s a great time to become a new Crossfit athlete too. Remember, you can always (and you should in the beginning) modify the WOD and skills. There are always ways to make adjustments to meet your needs and your current skill/strength level. If the heavy bar is too heavy, try the lighter one… if that’s too heavy, you can literally use a PVC pipe! Starting light is the best way to establish good form and good muscle memory. Also, remember…. No matter how advanced anyone else is… it’s a difficult workout for them too. We’re all just doing the best we can.

2. You have all the motivation you need: Your new little bundle of joy can be just the motivation you need to get through your WOD. For example:

  • “This deadlift is soooo heavy…. But… if my little baby were stuck under this bar, could I lift it?!” Oh yes you could.
  • “I don’t want to row another 30 calories! But…. if I were in a row boat with my baby and a crocodile were chasing us, I could totally row her to safety – even if it was more than 30 calories!” Go.
  • “Pull-ups? You gotta be kidding me… my chin can’t get above that bar! But…. if baby’s most favorite lovey which ensures a good night’s sleep were up above that bar and it was almost nighttime… you bet your bottom dollar I would be able to pull myself up there!” Heave-Ho!
  • “This is not running… this isn’t even jogging… this is… slowly trudging… but… if my husband came home and said, ‘why don’t you go run out and have a pedicure while I watch the baby?!’ I would sooooo be running a lot faster than this. Baby’s gonna need to eat in three hours!”
  • More of My List of Reasons…

My Crossfit Experience…


I don’t think I’ve told you yet, but I enjoy me some Crossfit. It’s a workout that’s hard and sometimes crazy and something I never thought I would do, much less enjoy.  But here I am, seven months since my first WOD (Workout of the Day in “Crossfit-speak”) and I’m writing about it.  Recently, some friends have been interested in trying it so I have been thinking about how I would describe Crossfit.  Here is a run-down (Betsy-style) of what my workouts look like.

Each day, the class starts with a warm-up and stretch and a moderate amount of complaining about how sore we are from the previous WOD or how much we are dreading today’s WOD.  Then we spend anywhere between 20-30 minutes working on a skill or strength movement, and then we start our WOD.  The Workout of the Day is written by one of the coaches at the gym (locally or from afar) and posted on a giant dry-erase board for all of us to gasp and groan at.  On another wall-size dry-erase board are the scores from everyone else who had already done the WOD today and from the past few days.  This is where you look if you are competitive and where you divert your eyes if you are not (or have shifty eyes when you try not to look competitive but desperately want to find someone you can beat… all in good fun, of course).

There are a whole bunch of skills that show up in the WODs (i.e. burpees, pull-ups, push-ups, handstand push-ups, cleans, power cleans, hang cleans. hang power cleans – that’s more cleaning than I do at my house! Ha. – squats, lunges, running, rowing, etc.). The list goes on and on.  Two super-important things to know are: 1. Everything can be modified so all skill levels can participate; 2. It never gets boring with so much variety.  There are a whole bunch of different styles of workouts too.  Let’s take a look at what to expect from a few of the styles:

1. The AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) in a given time period: Let’s say we have a seven-minute AMRAP of 7 squats, 7 push-ups, 7 sit-ups. You do those exercises in that order as many times as you can in 7 minutes.  My workout goes something like this…

MINUTE 1:  Not so bad. Here we go. I can totally do anything for seven minutes.

MINUTE 2: I’m just focusing on what I’m doing. Seven short little minutes. No need to think about how sore my legs feel already. It ain’t no thang.

MINUTE 3: Well, I would stop thinking about my legs but they are so sore. I can’t help it. At least I only have one more minute left. Wait, what?! Did she just say FOUR minutes left?! NO way. That means I’m not even half way done yet! That’s not okay. My legs! My legs! The clock must be broken. That is the slowest three minutes ever. What is going on – oh my leggggggggs!!! I’m going to die. I’m seriously going to fall over and die. These are the last minutes of my life and I’m spending them working out. Seriously, is this the longest minute of the world?! Does that even make sense?!

MINUTE 5: Hey look at that! I just complained through all of Minute Four. That was fast. Focus, Betsy. Focus.

MINUTE 6: One more minute! I sure wish I had focused more instead of complaining to myself. My legs don’t even hurt anymore. Granted, I can’t feel my legs anymore.

MINUTE 7: This is so totally painful. If I didn’t die before, I’m definitely dying now. Hey, look… 3….2…1…. TIME!

2. The EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute): Let’s say we have rowing 150 meters EMOM for ten minutes. At the start of the minute you row. Whenever you get 150 meters, you rest until the top of the next minute. Ten times.  My workout goes something like this….

MINUTE 1: Bang. I got this.

MINUTE 2: I’m gong to be honest. This is kind of silly. All this rest does not make for a good workout.

MINUTE 3: Yeah, I just made REALLY good time on that.  I should probably do a little extra after this WOD because it’s really not that hard. Oh shoot… I just missed the top of the minute.

MINUTE 4: Okay, focus. That was harder when I started late.

MINUTES 5-7: Focused. Control your breathing. Try to bring heart rate down during rest times.

MINUTE 8: What?! I only have a few seconds to rest?! Oh shoot. Here we go!

MINUTE 9: This is so hard. Why did I think this would be easy?! It’s never easy! Push, pull, push, pull, push, pull. Ahhhhhhhhh…. I need more rest time! I’m going to die. I seriously might die right now.

MINUTE 10: Just finish this last 150 meters and you can rest for the next million minutes if you want to! Heck, you might be dead… you can rest for all eternity! Gooooooooo!

3. The Tabata: You do an exercise… let’s say burpees… for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 8 times. We usually do three Tabatas as a WOD or maybe just one Tabata at the end of the WOD.  My Tabatas go something like this……

20 SECONDS #1: Uh oh. I KNOW Tabatas are hard.

20 S #2: Don’t puke.

20 S #3: Don’t puke.

20 S #4: Don’t puke.

20 S #5: I might die.

20 S #6: Don’t puke or die.

20 S #7: Don’t puke or die

20 S #8: I seriously might puke and die.

4. The Chipper: This is a gigantically large number of one or a few exercises and you “chip” away at it. Let’s say it’s 150 wall balls.  Here’s how I go about it…

*Okay, 10 sets of 15. I can do this. Go.
*Okay, that was 3 sets. That’s only 45. Why does 15 wall balls seem like so many in a row?!
*Fine. We’ll do five more and that will be 50.
*Now let’s do 10 sets of 10. That will be much more do-able.
*Okay okay okay. That was only 8. Squeeze out 2 more.
*60 done. Good. That’s a lot. No, it can’t be a lot because I have 90 more to go. That’s like 150% of what I just did. Is that right? 60+60+30. Yeah, that’s right. No it’s not. Oh, I don’t even know. What I DO know, is that these wall balls are killing me!
* 75 wall balls done! Bingo. I just did 15 in a row because I was trying to do percentages in my head. Percent times the whole equals the par—– ouch! I just got hit in the face with my wall ball. 14 pounds of vinyl ball to my face!  Am I bleeding?! YES?! No, that’s just sweat.
* 80. Focus Betsy. Squat, throw, catch, squat, throw, catch. Focus. Keep going.
* 120 down. That was a good pace there. Keep it up. Only 30 more.
* My arms are Jell-o. My legs are Jell-o. I am Jell-o!  Mmmmmm… Jell-o!
* Now I am dead Jell-o. One more wall ball may kill me. I am going to die. Right here, I’m going to pass out and then the ball is going to land on top of me!
* 10 more left. I think my arms just fell off of my body. Maybe that’s dramatic.
* 8 more left. OH.
* 6 more left. HOLY.
* 4 more left. COW.
* 2….
* 1!!!!!!!! Holler!!!!!

 So that’s pretty much how my WODs go. Or at least, that’s definitely how they went when I first started. I am now actually getting to the point where I spend more time focused and less time talking in my head. I like to believe that has something to do with mental toughness. I am realizing that despite all those chatty WODs, I never actually died.

If you are interested in trying Crossfit I highly recommend it. Despite all my whining, complaining, and drama in my WOD descriptions, it’s really a most amazing experience.  Having those mental battles with myself not only entertains me through the WOD, it has shown me how much I doubt myself and my strength.  I’m proud to say that nine times out of ten I’ve proved myself wrong. I’ve finished (albeit sometimes with a disappointing score) every WOD I started. Now I’m not only gaining physical and mental strength, but also the self-confidence that I can do things I never would have even tried a few months ago.

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