Monday, July 28, 2014

The one about how CrossFit saved my life

Again for the second time in too short of a time, this was not the post I had planned for today. 

This weekend, I visited with friends in Austin, Texas for a birthday bash for my best friend's birthday. A great time was had by all of us and we spent a ton of time laughing, hanging out at the pool and visiting a ton of great bars.

Me, Brittany, Marly. We've been friends for 15 years. 
Got a selfie before the heat/humidity ruined all my pretty. Ha.

I left Sunday afternoon around 2 to head back to my mama and daddy's house in Houston. For some reason, I had a bad feeling about the trip. So bad, in fact, I called Brittany and her boyfriend as I left. I was worried something was wrong with my car. She and her boyfriend were heading into Austin to grab some bar-b-que before they left.

I told her not to worry about it. I had been having some trouble with a slow leak in my back tire and I was sure that it just needed air. I'd be fine. 

I stopped for gas and put air in my tire, which was in fact low, and I got on my way.

I made it all the way through Highway 71 without incident and merged onto I-10 east, which meant I was only about an hour from home. Things were moving along swimmingly until, suddenly, everything in front of me just stopped. 

A complete stop.
And I couldn't. 

I was on my breaks and doing everything I could to stop my car (including trying to surface some kind of unexpressed X-Men power), but it was to no avail. 

I hit the car in front of me at about 55 mph. 
The airbag deployed, burning my right arm and ripping my left. 
The seatbelt burned my neck.

Right arm burn before it formed.
I was able to make it to the shoulder and ask the other car if they were okay. They were.
I was not.

I was able to call my mama and make it halfway through a call to my insurance company before I started panicking. My left arm was bleeding kind of a lot and when Logan from Geico asked me, "do you have any serious injuries?" I lost it. 
Total hysterics.
I was pretty convinced I was going to die. 

The other couple came from their car and reached in my windows (I couldn't get out of my car) to comfort me. 
I couldn't believe their kindness.

The EMTs showed up to examine me in the ambulance even though I kept saying I wanted to go home. 
Vital signs: normal.
Burns and lascerations: check.
Bone injury: possible fractured left hand. 
The EMTs were shocked that I didn't have any other injuries. No head and neck pain, no back pain. That kind of thing is pretty standard when you hit something that fast. The female lead EMT noticed my CrossFit shirt and said "oh, she does that CrossFit stuff. No wonder she's okay," before treating my left arm.  

They treated me as best they could and, since I refused to go to the hospital, left me in the capable hands of Brittany and Tim, who had been just a few miles behind me, saw the accident and pulled over (thank God for guardian angels). 

Brittany and Tim waited with me until Mama Nancy showed up (she dropped everything and got in the car to my rescue--my hero, seriously). 
She showed up with a bag of ice (for my hand), 3 diet cokes, and 3 water bottles and, as she put it: "You see my supplies? I'm ready to take over the world with this stuff. Let's get home and get you taken care of."

The entire way home, I was determined to convince her that I didn't need to go to the emergency room clinic. 
"I'M FINE," I said, "I don't NEED no stinkin' ER."
Nancy was not having any of my shit. 

We got back to Katy and had me checked out. Again, the nurses and doctor were pretty shocked that I didn't have any head, neck, or backpain. The tech noticed my shirt and echoed the EMT: "good thing you do that CrossFit stuff, a crash with high speed like that can really kill you. Kills regular people all the time."
Thanks, CrossFit.

We got my burns and cuts taken care of (after I threw a tantrum about it and didn't want to be touched) and my hand x-rayed. 
Thankfully, no breaks. Just a really bad sprain. Which is great, because a hand cast probably would have looked really terrible in my graduation robes. 

All in all, thankful to be alive, thankful no one else was injured, and thankful for guardian angels in the form of parents and friends.

If you're one of the people who saw my posts about the wreck and took a second to say a prayer or wish me well, thank you. Never fear, your girl is just as stubborn as before the accident and my sense of humor is still in tact, even if my car is not. 

Cut up and cut up (look'a them biceps)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hips Don't Lie

I get a lot of questions about mobility. Mainly from CrossFitters and Olympic Lifters who are wondering. We talk a LOT about being mobile and shit.

At any given time, you can probably walk into some CrossFit box where there will be someone using a foam roller and looking like they're being tortured/loving every second. The foam roller can be flirtatious.

But like training, if you don't have a plan and a goal for your mobility, you're on the fast track to nowhere.
Whether you're a crossfitter, an oly lifter, a runner, a swimmer, whatever,
you can lay on that foam roller all day and put a lacrosse ball in all the achy muscles you want, but if you're not working toward a goal, you're doing this shit wrong.

I know that you're doing it wrong because I was doing it wrong. I foam roll almost everyday and stretch, but I had no direct goals for my mobility. I was just like, "stretching will help me not hurt as bad", right?


Mobility has a purpose. Mobility helps prepare the body for movement and helps the body follow the correct path for movement, avoiding injury and imbalances. 
I know, I know. You're all, "Ace, I totally know what I'm doing because I focus on mobility twice a week and I don't have any injuries"

First, bravo that you don't have any injuries. 
Second, if you don't get mobile, you won't be injury-free for long. 
Third, mobility should be a part of your life every single day--just 10-15 MAX minutes is really all it takes.  
Fourth, is it really worth missing out on your next PR because you didn't want to stretch appropriately? (hint: it's not)

And then Matt Vincent and Shakira entered my life.

Matt is a badass Highland Games athlete where he throws extremely heavy shit extremely far distances. He trains at Red Stick CrossFit when he gets time and is possibly one of the nicest, if not one of the most intimidating, people. 

MattyV recently wrote up a programming specifically for mobility of the hips. Why the hips? Because that's where everything comes from: our strength, our power...and if your hips ain't right, nothing is right. 

So everybody, I'd like to propose a challenge. A MOBILITY CHALLENGE.

Here it goes:
Head over to Matt's shop by clicking HERE and purchase the Shakira Mobility Programming. It's $5--that's it. For 5 weeks of programming. 

Take a front, side, and back photo of you sitting at the bottom of your squat for before photos.

Follow the programming.

At then end of 5 weeks, take some front, back, and side photos for your afters and send them to me!

We will choose the most improved mobility and the winner will receive a $50 VISA gift card AND goodies that I'll reveal one at a time over the course of our 5 week programming!

Who's in? Let's get mobile!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Did you take your vitamins today?"

My mama and daddy are preoccupied with whether or not I took my vitamins.
My daddy especially.

Every time I call him, he always takes a second to ask, "and your vitamins? Are you taking them?"
I wasn't always the best vitamin taker. In fact, I don't think I took any until I noticed my mama taking them around 3 years ago. I mostly just blew off the question like, "yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm takin' 'em."

But 3 years ago, my mama was told by her doctor that she needed to start supplementing her diet with calcium and other micronutrients because she was starting to suffer from bone loss. There is nothing scarier than having someone you love tell you that their bones are literally becoming weaker and may not be able to support them anymore.

Bone loss, known as osteoporosis, is a widely occurring problem in both women and men and can lead to additional health problems.

Before, I had never even thought about bone loss. I'm strong right? I exercise, I lift weights, I run. But this is something that happens and can be prevented. 

Mama Nancy's fighting it. She's been having her regular checkups and has experienced no further bone loss (!!!!) which is great news. 

As for me, I'm taking my vitamins--especially my calcium--so that I can keep lifting, running, and having adventures well into my future. 

If you'd like further information about osteoporosis and how it can affect health, please click here

Make sure you're all taking your vitamins and promoting your bone health so that we can all be doing incredible things into our 80's!
Better be taking your vitamins!

Monday, July 14, 2014

"You should just say 'thank you'"

Growing up, I was taught to say "thank you". When is it appropriate to say "thank you"? 
When someone does something that you appreciate.

I find myself saying "thank you" a lot. 

"Thank you for holding the door."
"Thank you for posting that today, I needed it."
"Thank you for inviting me to lunch."

The other day, I was talking with a male friend about how much I hate going to the gas station. I hate it. Not because I hate getting gas (even though it puts a huge dent in my wallet) or because I hate going inside to grab whatever. 

I hate it because I almost always get unwanted attention. 

Recounting my last gas station experience, some man felt like it was appropriate to make some kind of suggestive comment about how I look/how my body looks/how he'd love to take me home. And then he looked me up and down like I was a steak.
That happens a lot of times to a lot of women.
It makes me cringe. 

I am not a thing. I'm not some item that he can just buy and take home with him because he purchased it. It is not okay to just say whatever the hell he--or anyone else--wants to me.
And then, when I reject him via ignoring him, he gets mad. 
"You don't have to be a bitch about it. I was just saying I like how you look."

To this story, my male friend said, "You should just say 'thank you', he just wanted you to know you're attractive."


This is wrong. 
I should not have to be subjected to inappropriate comments and then say "thank you" like it's okay. Like I appreciate being talked to like that. Because I don't.
There's a difference in being complimentary and being disrespectful.
"You are lovely" does not equal "aye, girl, I like that ass".

Gender roles suck.
As a woman, I'm expected to just say thank you because women are demure and genteel. Where if a man were receiving unwanted attention, it would be perfectly fine for him to aggressively reject that attention. 
If I reject that attention, I'm labeled a bitch.

I will not say "thank you".
I will not let anyone think it's okay to touch my body without my permission or talk to me in a way that is derogatory or demeaning.

I am not a thing. I am a person who is deserving of being treated like a person. 

I will not say "thank you" because I don't appreciate what you're doing.
I will not say "thank you" because I strongly suspect that people would change their behavior if they realized that #YesAllWomen deal with this treatment. Even your sisters, daughters, mothers, aunts and friends.

I will not say "thank you" because I don't owe a thank you, much less any of myself to you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's not you. It's me.

Dear Reebok,

I hate to do this to you. Really. I swear it hurts me more than it hurts you and I'm doing this for your own good. But we have to break up.

I want you to know that I worked really hard at this relationship. I did. But things just aren't working out. I was dedicated to you. I was all, "oh, I LOVE reebok! They're the official apparel for CrossFit!" so I made literally every effort to support you.

But you don't support ME, Reebok! And I can't take it anymore.
Let me explain. 

It started at last year's regionals. I bought your black, skinny strapped sports bra. You know the one with the little CrossFit triangle on the back and the "Reebok CrossFit" written in the neckline. So cute. I took out those weird little soft mold cups (wtf are those, anyway?) and I wore it really proudly to the 5 am workout and everything was good.

Until it wasn't.

Our workout consisted of something involving box jumps and toes to bar. There could have been other movements, but honestly, I don't remember what they were and I don't care. What I do remember? Those eeny-meeny straps letting my boobs MANHANDLE that bra until the damn thing was at  my waist. Have you ever tried to do box jumps with your sports bra hanging out like a belt?! 
I was having to stop every 3 seconds to pull it up. I seriously considered chucking the damn thing and just winging (jiggling?) it.

I decided it was time for a break in our relationship. I was so mad at you.
So I took my nice, new, $60 bra and let it sit at the bottom of my sports bra drawer (Ace, you have a sports bra drawer? Yeah, I do).
For the rest of the year. 

This is the bra I'm talking about. Y U NO STAY ON ME, BRA?!
Fast forward to this year's regionals.
I worked the event again so Reebok was really generous and gave us discounted apparel. And I was like, "AW REEBOK! YOU DO LOVE ME!" so I decided to welcome you back into my loving arms. I bought a cute regionals tank and some cute shorts...and then I saw them. NEW BRA DESIGNS. 

Gone were the days of skinny strapped bras! These new sports bras had thick straps. Some had double straps. I rejoiced! But not one to get beside myself, I approached with caution. I tried one on and, at the suggestion of my friend Kat, I came out of the dressing room and did a burpee. AND IT STAYED PUT. 

Had my double D prayers been answered? It appeared so, Reebok.

I wore my bras all through regionals. I was jogging up stairs, running around like a chicken with my head cut off on the floor, doing all the things! And I was impressed with the bras.

But we both know this was a temporary fix to a much larger problem in our relationship (see what I did there?)
I got home and wore my brand new purchases to the box. 6:30 class. And sure enough. There I was adjusting. Pulling and pushing. Desperately trying to keep my dang boobs in my bra. And then there was the running--the SPRINTING. I almost flashed approximately 4 people and a dog on a 400m. run. 

It just wasn't working out. And I knew that this was going to be another purchase that sits at the bottom of my sports bra drawer. 

I can't do this anymore. The frustration. The power struggle. Who will win today? Will it be you or my bust line? Who even knows anymore? We can't keep score like this! 

I'm exhausted, Reebok. I can't support you and me by myself. It's time I moved on and found something with a more restricting lycra blend. 
I hope you understand. 

And if, one day, you ever develop a more mature fabric that knows what it's goals are and meets them. Give me a call.

Until then, this is not a farewell, just a "see you later".

All my love,

Monday, July 7, 2014


About a week and a half ago, I got an email from a college friend asking questions about blogging.

One of his questions really made me think.
"What are the wins and losses you've experienced in blogging?"

I guess I've never thought about it like that.
Wins and losses.
If I looked at my blogging "season", would it be a winning one?
How do I define "winning"?
Is it getting more page views than other people?
More fans on Facebook?
Friends on Google Friend Connect? (just kidding, I actually have no clue what GFC does anymore)

I sat down, prepared to make a really detailed list of the things I could put in my loss column and the things I could put in my win column.

But I struggled to come up with things for my loss column. And I was brimming with things to put in my wins.

Of course, I'm not going to pretend that the blog life is always sunshine and daises. It's not. 

There are things that come attached to blogging that kind of suck sometimes: people don't always agree with you, sometimes people are mean, sharing a lot of your life and your decisions on the internet can sometimes lead to really unwelcome/unsolicited/awful advice.

But really, my wins are so much greater than that.

Through this blog, I have become close to people I never imagined I'd be close to. I have a support system that reaches far beyond my blog. Telling my story has helped me reconnect with people I haven't talked to in years and connect with people I've never even met but that I'm convinced that I'm super soul mates with. Hell, blogging helped me reach out beyond my comfort zone and actually use my super nerdy hobby of studying social media strategy to make it, like, something I actually get paid to do.

But most of all, telling my story has helped a ton of people reach out to me and say, "HEY! That's my story, too!" or, "I was there once, it gets better" or "I never thought about that that way and you gave me some perspective" or whatever. It's encouraged other people to want to start their own blogs and tell their stories. I posted the other day that I am greater when I know that the people who read this blog are great and it's true. Somehow, you guys have blessed me with the opportunity to be privy to your group: where people lift people up and celebrate them through their wins and their losses. And for me, that's the biggest win ever.

So thanks for sharing your stories and celebrations with me. Thanks for being badasses everyday and lifting each other (and me!) up.

Thanks for giving me a winning season.

Friday, July 4, 2014

July StitchFix

Got my July StitchFix! I always get it delivered to my office and it's always an event when it gets there. My co-worker Jill is the best and lets me harass her to take photos of my fixes to show y'all.

This month's fix was literally perfect. I loved EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. 

Steffani picked my fix again this month and I think she got it exactly right. I should say this: when I get my fixes, I take a lot of time to write my stylists notes and identify what I loved and the things I didn't like so much/didn't care for the way they fit. I write a ton so that, hopefully, it'll help my stylists pick out stuff that I'll really love.

And I hope it helps because this month was awesome!

Dress: Sanctuary Milan Printed Fitted Dress
I loved this dress. I know you can't tell, but the fabric is so heavy and luxurious. It feels like a fabulous quality dress. I can definitely see myself pairing this with a bright blazer for work and leaving the blazer at home to go out with friends. The ikat print is perfect (I love geometric prints) and it hugs and covers in the right places.

Top: 19 Cooper Cathleen Leopard Print Tulip-Sleeve Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
Top: 19 Cooper Cathleen Leopard Print Tulip-Sleeve Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
THESE PANTS ARE THE BEST. They are the same brand of pants I got in last month's fix (Margaret M) but they're more of a denim feel. They're BRIGHT PINK and I love them. They fit perfectly with no back gap. Love. 

I also love the Leopard top. I'm usually really hesitant to buy animal prints because I never know what looks cute and what looks tacky...but this is perfect. I can wear it with a black suit or with these bright pink pants. 

Top: 41 Hawthorn Meryl Tulip Print Sleeveless Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
Y'all may recognize this print from my first fix back in May. I loved the print, but the actual shape of that blouse stretched too tight across my back (because my lats are AWESOME) and I noted that when I sent my review back. Steffani managed to find me a blouse that has the same print (so cute) but doesn't have sleeves, so completely fits comfortably at my back and bust. I love! I can't wait to pair this one with a khaki skirt and cute statement necklace. 

Top: 41Hawthorn Filbert Polka Dot 3/4 Sleeve Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
Top: 41Hawthorn Filbert Polka Dot 3/4 Sleeve Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
I raved about this top when I got it in my June fix. My June fix was a black one and I've worn it approximately 20 times because it's so cute and flattering. So Steffani sent me another one! It's navy blue with polka dots which is so adorable. I have a plan to pair it with some cute red shorts and sandals for today's 4th of July festivities! 

StitchFix is really getting things right for me. I love bold colors and prints and I just want to find stuff to accommodate my muscles. I am increasingly more impressed with what they're finding. I can't wait until my August fix!

If you're interested in StitchFix as a personal styling service, please feel free to visit their website HERE to check out what they have to offer and how they can find you clothes that you'll love. 

If you have questions about Stitchfix or my personal experiences with StitchFix, please feel free to email me at eatpraywod[at]gmail[dot]com!