Something New to Blog About

Well hello blog!  It seems you’ve been neglected. In the past year I’ve been really into my workouts and handling life at home that I’ve rarely blogged anything.  Plus, Allan was constantly blogging about our Crossfit workouts, I wanted to wait until there was something new to blog about.

Now there is.

I have recently announced to the public (via facebook of course) that I’m pregnant.  And three months pregnant at that.  What I didn’t realize prior to getting pregnant was that you’re supposed to be quiet about it until you’re over the first trimester, so I had to restrain myself from announcing it prematurely.  Now that I have, I think I’m free to blog! Be warned though, I’m not enjoying my first trimester + few days so far, so I might end up whining more often.  What, you ask, can someone who is happily pregnant and blooming and carrying another life insider her complain about???? EVERY pregnant woman is happily expecting.

Well, I’m still waiting for that to kick in.

See, what no one told me, was that being pregnant was difficult.  Everyone is aware that giving birth is painful (thanks in part to “One Born Every Minute”) and every parent acknowledges that raising kids, from the first day to the last, is the most difficult (and rewarding) experience ever.   What I didn’t hear, was that pregnancy is not easy.  Sure, we hear about morning sickness aka all-day sickness.  But that’s it.  After that, its all blushing mum-to-be’s, pretty pregnancy clothes, baby bump photos and everyone ooh-ing and aaah-ing over bellies.

Not so much in my case.  And it’s not because of all-day sickness nor is it because of the no-caffeine rule.  The reason is simple….I don’t feel like myself.

Under normal circumstances, any headache or minor illlness I can easily ignore and continue on with what I need to do.  Now however, I can’t shrug off the general unwell feeling, no matter how hard I try.  At work its almost easy, because something else HAS to be done and therefore I have no choice.  The minute I stop work though, I start feeling queasy, light headed, tired, hungry yet not in the mood to eat anything…in short, like someone who is completely unlike me.

I hate to sound ungrateful for the gift of the little one.  I am looking forward to meeting my baby, I really am.  Scared, yes, but generally open to having my own child to take care of after taking care of nephews and nieces.  I also want to point out that I am not completely sick.  In fact, I am lucky to be able to perform almost normally at work  and I haven’t spent time bent over the toilet bowl.  In fact, I’ve not thrown up yet.  I think I’m really just not used to being in control of my body.

So, to try and liven this up a little, the good news is I am pregnant and I have been having a relatively easy time without any complications so far. The fact that I’m struggling is just my spoiled rotten self rearing it’s ugly head at not being in control.  My first trimester scan shows a beautiful baby with a good heartbeat, and my husband is in the same project as I am, which means he travels with me and is there to comfort me when I feel horrible.  And, if it counts as good news, we will also most likely be updating this blog more often with pregnancy, baby and parenting posts.

A new adventure waits for the Vistans, also, a third blog author is busily developing in my ever expanding womb

the little growing Vistan

the little growing Vistan

I Must Be Doing Something Right.

When people ask how long I’ve been doing Crossfit, I always answer with a bit of hesitation, “on and off for two years”.  I always say “on and off” as I don’t want to give Crossfit (and Crossfit London UK, Crossfit SE11 and Ronin Crossfit) a bad name.  After all, it has been two years and I still don’t have a proper strict pull up,kipping pull up, 2x body weight deadlift,and so on… Truth be told, the two main reasons why I don’t have those is because of my inconsistent gym attendance and my consistent bad diet.  Yes, like everyone says, I only have myself to blame. In the past month, I’ve taken full advantage of being based in London and made the most of the classes at Crossfit London.  I’ve even signed up for the extra classes they have on offer, specifically the Ropes and Rings class in Bethnal Green and the Absolute Beginners Gymnastics class in Vauxhall.  Both of which I’ve been eye-ing for months, but have always been too intimidated to attend.  Instead of relying on Allan’s schedule, I’ve started my own schedule, particularly since Allan’s not in London on weekdays. Once I did all of that, a funny thing happened…I started getting all sorts of PBs (Personal Best).

 Personal Best # 1

What ended up as an attempt to see how many abmats I needed in order to do handstand push-ups (I need one abmat to be able to do a handstand push up) ended up with me performing a WOD WITH Handstand Push Ups, scaled to have two abmats!  I’ve never done HSPU in a workout before; the closest I came to it was a kick up to handstand.

 Personal Best #2

It was one of those moves that I’ve always scaled down (I’ve quite a list of them) but I’ve been seeing a bit of progress in the past months.  For Sleven’s celebratory workout, they incorporated Knees To Elbows.  They always were “Knees as high as I can get them”, but lo and behold, I managed to get Knees To Elbows!  Not only that, I managed to string 7 in a row on my first round for the workout!

Personal Best #3

Sometime in May (I think), Kat introduced me (well, the class I was in) to headstand progressions.  Essentially, one of the first steps was to get your knees on your elbows (while your head and arms were on the floor).  That was the extent of what I could do, while the others moved on to raising the legs up and then maybe straightening them.  When I first attended the Absolute Beginner’s Gymnastics class, it was also as far as I could go.  One week later, I come back to Amelia’s class and found myself not only getting those knees off the elbows, I even managed to raise my legs higher!

Personal Best #4

Once I found out that I could get Knees To Elbow, the next question was, could I get my Toes to the bar?  Next WOD with Toes to Bar proved that I could!  I still need more practice, but I can definitely get them up there.

Personal Best # 5

If it’s something I’ve never done before, then it’s automatically a PB, right?  I don’t make a habit of hanging upside down from ropes, but when I do for Rachel’s class, I usually get a litte bit (or a lot) of help to get myself in the right position.  Until one Sunday, when, after several attempts and a very useful “just allow yourself to be upside down” tip, I managed to fight my way into a straddle.   Now if only I can hang a rope from my flat’s ceiling, then I can practice at home!

 Personal Best #6

I love getting strength PBs and finding out how much I can really lift. Lifting significant weight is after all, was what got me hooked into Crossfit.  I never imagined I could put on that much weight on a bar and lift it, that is until Allan started making me do push presses, deadlifts and back squats.  I remember back squatting 50kgs in a hotel gym years ago and having one of the men in the weights section say how he’s never seen any female do that before, I was grinning ear to ear and to this day, that is my favorite back squat memory (isn’t it obvious).  Anyway, back to the PB, I managed to Front squat 60kgs twice!  My previous record was one rep for 55 kgs.

Personal Best #7

At the beginning of the month, several of the coaches started forming “teams” of people who would work on a particular weakness.  Allan signed up to Team Double Unders with Colin, whereas I went on to join Carolyn’s Ring Dip team.  I could lower myself into a dip, but could never quite lift myself up again…until two days ago!  Apparently, I can even string 3 in a row!

So 7 PBs, and more to come I hope.  I know that my proper pull up is out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered….

Kitchen Time

A conversation last weekend has led me to believe that the husband has been telling my family that I “still” don’t know how to cook. Well, I will not claim to be the best when it comes to culinary talents, but I have had my fair share of kitchen time at home. Enough to warrant a more confident “Yeah a little” when asked if I can cook.

In fact tonight, inspired by the chicken soup recipe from “My Little Paris Kitchen” (it’s called something fancier but my crappy Internet connection means I don’t want to google) and the fried chicken recipe from “Paleo Comfort Foods”, I blitzed some chicken breasts with an egg and some almond flour and rolled into the spice mix from the Paleo recipe and Voila! Homemade chicken nuggets — and they’re Paleo too! Not bad for someone who can’t cook :p


Rambling About in Barcelona

It has been weeks since our weekend in Barcelona and I have yet to post photos of the trip.  We only had a few days, so we had to prioritize.  We knew we had to see Sagrada Familia and whatever else we could squeeze in, we did.

Now I know very little about architecture and have little patience for all the intricacies of how Gaudi finally decided on his designs for Sagrada Familia, yet I was drawn to all of it.  There is no need to an expert in order to appreciate the complexity, enormity and the dedication that has been poured into designing and building the church.  You can see it on the end result and hints of it in what is being built …and you can definitely hear it in the local guide we had during our walking tour.  Allan’s parents were in Barcelona about 10 years ago, and they were amazed by it even without stepping inside.  We were fortunate enough to arrive  now that it is open to visitors.  Maybe it was the solemn music playing, or the ethereal feel of the interiors or  everything that we have heard about it leading up to that moment…but when we stepped inside, we couldn’t help but be overwhelmed.

We didn’t get to see much of the rest of Barcelona, but we did manage to walk around Barri Gotic.  I found the small streets and alleys charming — as I usually do.  I am very partial to narrow streets packed with lots of little shops.  I do hope we will manage to go back…there is plenty more to discover in Barcelona.

Ouch! But I’ll live.

Another session at Crossfit London today, and for those who think that scaled workouts are a walk in the park, here’s what I brought home with me today after doing scaled pull-ups (i.e. less reps than originally prescribed and assisted by a blue band):


Well, that’s one way to remove callus…

Skill of the week:  Handstands and Handstand Push ups; Progression: “Nose to Toes” and Handstand Push Ups with feet on the box
Skill: Double Unders
Strength: establish 1RM Snatch
5 Rounds —
3 Hang Power Snatch (30 kgs)
6 Pull Ups (blue band)

My “nose to toes” are still not as close to the wall as they should be, but maybe if I practice my forward roll and learn how to bail out of it properly then it can improve.

On my snatch, I have finally lifted that 35 kgs again!  Having only done it once before, I have been doubting myself and even wondered if it really happened.  But today Kat had added the weight in without letting me see it — the idea that I should “just lift” and not think too much of the weight.  Result:  35 kg snatch!  She did add in a few more (37.5 kgs) but that didn’t quite happen.  A new snatch goal has been set!

The workout originally required 12 pull ups.  On my first round I was kipping the reps even with the band and I got called out for that.  So on my next reps, I could only string them into 2s and then just singles.  Even then it was a struggle to do them strict and with the proper height.  Hopefully my persistence tonight — and some continuous training —  I can add to my 1 pull up and improve on any next WODs with strict pull ups.  Finished 5 rounds at around 11:30 with blood on my hands, literally (see photo above).

Hobbled home after that,  and I was seriously walking funny and very slowly.  Did I mention that I still have a bad case of DOMs from Tuesday’s squats?