Thank you, Morning Chalk Up

3 months ago, I was stepping GINGERLY into the shower with my husband and I looked him in the eye and said “I’m never going to PR my squat again and I’m okay with it.”

The last time I was able to max was Fall of 2017. And my joint health has just been such a problem. But I didn’t ever give up. And I never stopped working.

In 2016, I had my first trip to the knee surgeon. The surgeon gave me 5 diagnoses on my left knee and assumed the right knee was in a similar status because I have a congenital defect. To simplify it – I was born with my knee caps in the wrong place and dislocate very easily. The surgeon told me that there was little to nothing that he could do. To quote him as closely as possible, what he said was “one day you’re going to not be able to bear the pain anymore and you’re going to say “it’s time” (to get a total knee replacement). The reason that he said “one day” is that if I went for a TKR, it would be a long and slow rehab and it would probably remove me from competitive CrossFit and Olympic lifting.

I’ve done the work that the knee surgeon recommended – I tape my knees (McConnell taping technique), wear braces, ice, compress and done so much PT.

Fast forward. May. I can pinpoint it. It was the Thursday before we were to do Murph. I had just done a shitton of double unders. I mean. SO MANY. Because my assignment was to get 10 sets of 30 unbroken and to keep going until I could do that. So. I did. And it took me about 45 minutes and 23,000 attempts. I was moving onto Snatches and had set up on the OLY platform. Next to the platform was a stack of weights that butted up to the weight shelf. I put my water bottle there, but being clumsy, I dropped it. I walked around to the front of the shelf to retrieve it, but I couldn’t reach. So, I stooped down and leaned forward, reaching for the water bottle. My knee gave a loud pop. But that was it. I got my water bottle and went back to practicing snatches.

Middle of the night, I got up to go to the bathroom, and I could not bear ANY weight on my knee.

After a day, we went to urgent care. Got x-rays. Got sent home with a big metal hinge brace and prescription for 400mg Ibuprofen. Doctor’s appointment and then surgeon appointment and then MRI and another surgeon’s appointment resulted in one course of oral prednisone (and a weight gain of about 8 lbs which is BOOOO HISSS) and then a cortisone shot in my knee … because … I tore my medial meniscus this time. I started PT at Rokke Therapy and had to lay off squatting.

But then. Slowly, strength in my legs started to come back. Jake programmed SO MANY exercises besides the PT (which I still do EVERY MORNING) … following the PT’s recommendations of lots of single leg work. Lots of slow, steady movement. SO MANY BOX SQUATS. BORING WORK. But work that I was willing to do.

So when there was a front squat ladder at last weekend’s competition that went from 65 to 175#, I was aiming to HOPEFULLY make the 155 bar. That one went down and up easy … so I decided to hit the 165# bar. And figured why not try on the 175. It was money.

I’m always learning.

I now know that I just can’t ever say something is not going to happen.

And I also know that the world is watching, or at least Mama Danger is ❤️ and she writes for the Morning Chalkup and they celebrate all of the wins.

Really quick shameless plug for the seasonal RX bars

If you have not tried the seasonal RX bars yet …. you MUST.

We eat RX bars because our nutritionist asked us to switch to them (I used to eat quest bars and Mike ate whatever was on sale at the grocery store).

Critics say that these bars are too high in carbs … so true, they are a bit higher in carbs than we used to eat, however, they are very simple, limited ingredients, and when we typically eat them, it’s in the afternoon on the way to the gym. The ingredients in the RX bars are readily available to us by the time we WOD … super clean.

  • RXBARs are whole food protein bars with just 6 to 8 whole food ingredients
  • No added sugar, no gluten, no soy, no dairy, no GMO, no B.S.
  • 12g of egg white protein, 4g of fiber, 200 calories. Paleo-Friendly and Whole30 Compliant

Try them:

I needed a push … and a free trip to Wodapalooza was dangled, so I joined a different transformation challenge

My “why”:

I am already a transformer and so proud of my journey. But I joined this challenge because I need the next push. The story from the beginning of my transformation is on my website, 

One thing that is really important to know is that at this moment, the why behind my transformation is not so much because my kids are watching. My why is more about my overall health and strength goals at CrossFit. #goalweightstrongAF

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Diagnosis = I was born with my knee cap shifted to the wrong place and should have had a lateral release surgery years ago; now have ground down the cartilage and need to keep my knee McConnell taped when I train and will knee a TKR at some point.  Also. Arthritis. Also. Torn meniscus.  

In the fall of 2016, I was having a lot of physical pain in my knee. I sought the help of my doctor, who sent me for an MRI and subsequently to a good sports-knee surgeon. They discovered that I was born with my knee-cap in the wrong spot, and unfortunately, while I was losing weight and complaining about pain, the nurse practitioner I went to simply told me I was heavy and pain was to be expected due to my obesity and sent me on my way to continue to lose weight vs. seeking a proper diagnosis/reason for the pain. In following her instructions, I ground down the cartilage beneath my knee cap. After PT and multiple visits, the knee surgeon and I decided on conservative treatment (he said I will need a total knee replacement by the time I’m 60) which includes doctor’s orders to lose weight.

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CrossFit Goals:
I was lucky enough to be at WZA in January of 2018, the whole time I was watching, I thought about what it would be like to be on the stage competing and I wanted to participate. The reason I want to participate is partially the festival atmosphere that can only be WZA. I met SO MANY people there who have inspired my journey:
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· Ashley Horner actually shouted my name out while I was walking past her in the grandstands
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· I got a selfie with Bill Grundler
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· Hugged the founder and owner of The Chestee and got featured on their IG story.
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· Checked in with Spencer from Xendurance and met the whole crew at Rebellia
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· Alyssa Christian gave me advice.

This drive to participate in this transformation challenge is also simply due to the competitor in me. I want to know if I can do it. Am I capable (I know not of some of the movements, but overall??)? Do I have the capacity, the strength and the endurance?

I paid attention to the athletes and talked to some of them about what it takes to get to WZA and to be competitive. One masters woman didn’t have rope climbs … and I watched so many people struggle with the swim.

I am _this close_ to getting a strict pull-up (I still have to kick at the very last part). I am working towards dips. And while I was able to get my first handstand pushups in the open, I have only been able to get one since them.

I want to crush this 10 week challenge. I am going to use it to jumpstart myself back towards weight loss and in order to be STRONGER. I know that I have it in me.

Nutritionally, I can dial it in.

Physically, we are in strength cycle at CrossFit and I am currently learning how to swim so that I can be successful if I qualify for WZA2019.

I need to do better at running because I did just qualify for the CanWest games at the end of July and that competition begins with a 4.5 mile run and this challenge will drive me to put in the hard work necessary to be successful.

I have the support of my husband, daughters and friends and have stated, if I win, it will be very similar to the Ashley Horner Challenge, when I was able to purchase a rower and a Rogue Rack with the winnings, I want to purchase either an Air Runner or a Ski Erg .

I am looking forward to the competition of the others in the challenge, to making new friends and to learning from RP and the other sponsors.

All the Best,
Corinne Cook – IG: pdxdressagemom

Body Fat Testing / Getting Some Numbers

This morning is our recovery morning (@crossfitreflexion #restday). Had a date with this bad boy this morning so I can get some starting numbers for the #wzatransformationchallenge and middle numbers for the #ashleyhornertransformyouchallenge || #wzatc #bealoser #10weeksto5k#fatloss #goaldigger #goalweightstrongaf @nutrishophillsboro @thewodapalooza @transformyouchallenge @rpstrength @rebuildadvancearise @ Nutrishop Hillsboro


Note: these InBody scanners are not 100% accurate. But if you google, you can find ways to make sure that each of your scans are comparing apples to apples and the way that I look at this is that I am getting data, on a regular basis, using the same type of metrics, so that I can compare it and use it for myself.

Practice Patience and Trust the Process

Edited post from an online forum I’m a member of:  “I’m seriously losing all faith. I am more confused than I ever been about this “process” so someone please clear this up for me! I was just told I’m getting “bigger”. This is coming from another gym rat who is on Keto and super fit. I confided in another friend who does CrossFit. He said I shouldn’t be lifting if I want to be thin.  I’ve been to a fitness trainer who categorized me as a Mesomorph… I had to Google that because I had no clue as to what the F that was…… he said I shouldn’t be doing anything less than 15 reps and I shouldn’t be adding weight… High rep, low weight. I’m so tired of my brain flipping around and so many directions. I keep switching up my Ashley programs because I’m either getting discouraged or intimidated. On a good note, I’ve been consistent for the first time in my life by getting up at 4am to hit the gym since this challenge started. Please tell me all the secrets to push forward.” 

Girl. I HEAR YOU. 

You gotta stick with something all the way through for YOU and follow it for a while before you know that it’s working or it’s not working.

The whole “trust the process” thing involves a LOT of patience and persistence. And … sometimes you do get bulky before you lean. It’s physiology.

I’m a previous Ashley Horner Transform You winner but not a coach or professional … and still “in the process” … so secrets from me may not be perfect, however, they are tried and true:

The more you ask people for advice, the more you will become confused.

The more you listen to these people … especially the “instacoaches” and the people from cross platforms who just wanna give you a tid-bit of advice, the more information overload you will experience (bodybuilders eat and train differently than strongman competitors who eat and train differently than triathletes who eat and train differently than CrossFitters).

The more information overload you experience, the more apt you are to jump from program to program without ever giving yourself an opportunity to “OWN” something so that you have a chance to see a true transformation.

The more you compare yourself to others, one of two things will happen –

  • the more you will (hopefully not) either set yourself up for failure because you will either become one of those people who can’ understand the struggles of others or you will not be able to keep up with others and feel in-superior …
  • or (hopefully) the more you will figure out how different we all are.

This is because of factors like blood-type. Metabolic resistance. Genetic predispositions. Body type. Previous injuries and weaknesses. You JUST CANNOT COMPARE one person’s results to another person’s results because it’s NEVER going to be the same, even when they are doing the same program.

I’m not being negative or critical of you. This is from my personal experience.

When you choose a program, choose one you can picture yourself doing from cover to cover. Then just go. You may not LOVE it. But. You can FINISH it. And then figure out if it helped you or set you back and then you can plot the next course to goals.

Throughout the program, keep data.  Take measurements as well as logging your weight. Also keep track of your lifts (reps/weights) and time/effort/calorie expenditure so that you can also track progress in the gym.

And … you have to teach yourself to respond to the people who are “trying to help you” by telling them “Thank you so much for your help.  But, I’ve got this.