Friday, December 4, 2009

CrossFit Level 1

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I flew out to sunny San Diego, only to enjoy San Diego's one and only rainy day! I went to the University of San Diego to get my Level 1 Certification. It was a really good weekend in all, I met some awesome trainers and other athletes - mostly from the West Coast, but a few who also travelled X-country.

The cert was held at the University of San Diego's awesome facility, and by their head S&C coach Stephane Rochet. There was a pretty awesome coaching staff there from CrossFit as well, which included a... response... from Dave Castro to the recent firing of Robb Wolf from CrossFit HQ.

I learned a lot, although I think the training I've had at BWI and SB has put me ahead of most in the early Level 1 world.

Since I'd already been to the CrossFit Football Certification, I knew a little about what to expect, although I think I enjoyed the atmosphere of the football cert more. There was more 1v1 attention, and it was geared to sports athletes, and not 'CrossFit athletes' per say. I'd also met some guys who just recently opened a box in Philadelphia - East Falls to be exact, and have a few teammates who've signed up! Congrats Jay and Micah at CrossFit 215!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tracking Me

I was invited to publicly track my goals with the boys, so wanted to share it with you all. If you look on the right, you'll see 'Jenn's Workout Log' which will have my progress and what not. Its a fun blog - the guys have been at it for about 4 weeks and are all doing well as they move into the harder loads. Point is to start at about 70% 5RM load and build up to your goals.

We're following Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength" programming... they're all getting bigger - ie eating a crap-ton of food. I don't need extra size, so I'm keeping my diet the same, if not improving it.

Words of encouragement are always appreciated!! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

End of the Season - New Goals

Sunday (November 8th) was the last of the matches for the first year of the Women's Premiership League, and crowned a new national champion. NY beat out Berkeley 20-10 in what was one of the fastest paced women's games I've ever seen! You can see all of the final results on the WPL blog.

Keystone also defended our 5th place title to win the bowl championship for the 3rd year in a row, beating DC Furies on Friday 26-5, and the MN Amazons on Sunday 36-10.

The end of the season always brings the time of retirement announcements, and players leaving clubs for whatever reasons they might have, ie work, family commitments, bodies falling apart, etc. Committing to a competitive team is not easy. Personally this season has tested my commitment, and my drive - so next year is all up in the air. I've decided that Spring season will be a fun season for me.

**Pass about a week and a half**

I went into the gym last night to talk to TV and PS from SBCF - as they're both on Starting Strength along with SM. My goals over the winter are going to be to get stronger. I haven't set weight goals yet, but I am going to join these guys in their programming and hopefully be as successful. However... I am not going to do the bulking up part, as I've already got some reserves that can become muscle. :) Click on 'Starting Strength' above to see what the heck they've been eating!!!

I will post more on this as I actually set my goals - I can use this as accountability!

Anyone have experience with starting strength programming?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What would I do if I stopped playing rugby?

This question was asked of each WPL player by YSC for a player bio previous to the season. The only thing I could come up with at the time was 'have a lot more free time.' This is an understatement. However, I've come up with a few more things I'd do:

Travel again - I'd have the money to do it! *Note - travel for non-rugby trips*
Prep for the GMAT.
Spend more time with friends/family instead of being 'too tired.'
Learn other sports.
Do more outdoor sports (kayak, whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, snowboard, etc).
Coach rugby?
Sleep in on Sundays.
Sleep in on Saturdays.
Put my first born into a homemade hot air balloon so I could get more publicity.
Volunteer for more things.
Go to those Saturday wine tasting events that are out in the middle of nowhere.

Who am I kidding, I'm sure I'd still fill my days with rugby in some fashion or another! Damn sport is addicting.
Hmmm... how to make money doing things listed above.....

Go Phillies!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

National Grouch Day??

Is today, October 15th! Wahoooooo - a whole day dedicated to me! :) haha sike. I'm a wanna be grouch.

The Baltimore Examiner has published an article that spells out some ways to celebrate NGD (National Grouch Day). How many of these have you guys done?

Ways to Celebrate National Grouch Day

1. Complain that absolutely everything is a bad idea. (Me? Never!)

2. Buy a box of donuts and whistle as you bring them into the office, get everyone excited and then drop them, upside down or throw them at a wall. Look up at everyone and laugh. (I may try this)

3. Ask your bus driver or cab driver why it is taking so long to get to work, even if you are running early. (I've only done this while drinking.. and in college)

4. In fact, look for fault in everything and everybody you come into contact with. A true grouch can only see faults. (Only while in good company of MR, SR, VV)

5. If on Muni, sit behind someone who is having a conversation and loudly correct their grammer as they mis-use it. (What is a Muni? My Mom would do this)

6. If someone gives you a, "What's new?", give them the answer they are looking for: "New York, New Hampshire, new clothes, New Jack City, Paul Newman, "new to the city". We all hate that guy. (I hate this guy too)

7. Loudly complain about something good that happened to you, "God, I cant believe I have to fly to Venice again for another wedding, I am so sick of Venice." (Um.... no...)

8. Most definitely, under no circumstances offer your bus seat to a pregnant woman or child. (Thank God I don't ride the bus)

9. Make sure you get at least one chance today to say, "I told you so". (I have an older brother, this one - no problem)

10. Tell everyone but your friend that you know her boyfriend is cheating on her. Making sure to discuss how dumb she is and how many times you might have told her or him that their mate was indeed a succubus. (Yikes)

11. Put someone on hold, then transfer them around the office while you go out to lunch. (HA - I like this one)

12. Flush the toliet as your neighbor is showering. Ten extra points if you do it to your husband/wife, twenty points if you do it to your child, thirty points if your child is under the age of 7. (It doesn't affect anyone in my house if I do that)

13. Drive solo in the car pool lane and then cut everyone right before the toll, flipping the bird to the nice woman who let you in, instead of a wave. (Haha - starting to think I'm less of a grouch)

14. Tell everyone you see today that you think Where the Wild Things Are is going to suck. (Already done.)


16. Bait people all day by asking their opinions and then reacting the opposite grouch answers and lash out. (MY BOSS ALREADY HAS THIS ONE COVERED)

17. Tell uncomfortable and ridiculous lies about yourself. (I'M A SIZE 4 AND HAVE GOTTEN LIPOSUCTION 4x THIS YEAR)

18. "Why?" someone all day. (FLASHBACKS TO MY CHILDHOOD)

19. If you are the boss - fire everyone at least once today. (DONE. I'VE SEEN THAT OFFICE EPISODE)

20. Instead of kissing your wife when you get home, tell her how much you hate your life. (I DONT HAVE A WIFE)

21. Be creative and Happy National Grouch Day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

MARFU North vs South U-20

I was asked by my friend SS who is the coach of Shippensburg University's woman's rugby team to come out and help out with the U-20 MARFU North team yesterday. They were playing the MARFU South team - basically in a showcase for the overall MARFU U-20 team to play at ITT's in Florida in November.

I almost didn't go, because this weekend was full of driving all over MD/PA (a total of 535 miles, I just google mapped it) and I thought it would be too much - but I couldn't turn down the opportunity to help SS out - and meet some of the younger players in the area.

What a good time! These girls were so impressive, I must say that warming up and going through some defensive drills was a little slow, but they picked things up quickly. The scrummaging work looked better and better.
When the South decided to show up and the scrimmages were underway, I was really impressed with some of the girls who were there, they played some great rugby. One of the girls was 15!!! Talk about feeling OLD.

The best part was after the scrimmages were over, I was talking to a few of the girls (of course with my Keystone shirt on;) and they were so impressed with our club. They asked if I was going to be famous on the national team, which made me chuckle.... I should have said yes... but I think they were just as impressed that I have teammates who play for the US team. Then I told them that some of my teammates might be Olympians in the next 6 years... when one of them said 'I'll be too old by then - 25!' I almost smacked her... but refrained, as I would get arrested for beating a child! :)

Point being - its funny that I remember myself being in that position. Where I would look at an older player and think they were sooo good and that I'd never be able to play with them, and now they are my current teammates. Its weird to think that you're in a place for younger players to look up to.

Rugby in 2016

Yay! Finally, 7's rugby will be in the Olympics in Rio!

Its already making Keystoner - Jen Sinkler famous!

Congrats to everyone that was at the 7's camp in Florida this weekend, especially Jeanna Breard from Severn River, Ida Bernstein and Allison Worman from Keystone!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jon Gilson - For Woman: You Are Beautiful!

I follow the posts of Katie's Midless Ramblings and think she is pretty entertaining, and probably spells out the same successes and fears that most women have. She recently re-posted a link by Jon Gilson from Again Faster who wrote about the popular media version of a beautiful woman - and what his thoughts were about them. Opening paragraph:

"If I were feeling a little more lawless, I’d gather all the copies of Cosmo and Seventeen, douse them in kerosene, and strike a match. I’d throw in reams of print ads from Calvin Klein and watch with delight as Kate Moss’ stick-thin image was reduced to carbon."

I really enjoyed this post, and while I don't know Jon at all, I've since read a few of his other articles and enjoy his posts.

Anyway - this is a great article. Read it!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pet Peeve Posts... #1

Most people that know me, know that I have several pet peeves. I am going to start a pet peeve post series.

Number 1 is: CHEWING WITH YOUR MOUTH OPEN! For goodness sake people, GROW UP! If you are over the age of 8, you should know how to chew. I do not want to hear or see what you've been eating.

What brought this on: I am sitting in a cafe, eating breakfast, playing on my computer... and I can hear the guy at the table behind me.

Good things about this cafe: there is a dog outside that is cute as hell looking at me. I think I'm going to take him home. The food is awesome. There is a cute little girl sitting at the table in front of me... I also want to take home. (big brother, that is a joke)

Anyone else hate open mouth chewers?

Friday, October 2, 2009

For ME, not YOU!

Last weekend we were supposed to bring food for the post match social with Beantown. I put down something chickeny. So I saw in a store some chicken mixture with red peppers, spinach, and some other things and thought I would mimic that. I bought all of the ingredients, went home and made it.

Mistake number 1: I made this on an empty stomach
Mistake number 2: at dinner time
Mistake number 3: I never told anyone exactly what I was bringing -so nobody expected anything good
Mistake number 4: Look at that picture:

You can't tell me that you wouldn't have eaten it too? It is chicken, red pepper, asparagus, bok choy, squash, with garlic and safflower oil.
I finished cooking it and debated probably for about 10 minutes, before I got in my car and drove to Safeway where I bought 2 deli chicken/turkey things to share with the team. RH said they were pretty good though - so I think it was successful. Before I dug in, I did take a picture, it was so pretty!

I am making it up to everyone by having a team dinner on Saturday before our Furies match where I will make some similar things. I think that's a good replacement. This time, we won't have to share it with the other team. ;)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Upset? Says who?

Final result of week 3 in the new WPL: Keystone 15 - Beantown 13!!

I've been telling people that we 'upset' the 2nd ranked team from Boston all morning - and a little last night. But then thinking about the word 'upset' in terms of sports, I begin to think that maybe we should put the emphasis on the team that wins, not the team that was upset. Why? Because I am not upset, I am quite happy and proud of Keystone. We've put up good fights against Beantown since I've started playing, but were never able to walk away with a 'W' even after matches where we knew we could/should have.

We were down 10-0 at half time! So, yes it is a true UPSET... but maybe it should be that 'Beantown DELIGHTED Keystone?!' Thoughts??

***I am wrong, we were down 13-10 at half time!*** (bad memory)

I guess the only problem with that is it gives away too much credit... when we say that Keystone upset Beantown, that shows where the effort lies and who did the work. OK - I've re-changed my mind. Yes - we UPSET Beantown.

This picture is hard to see - its our pitch after our picnic with a rainbow over it. Someone else was happy we won too!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WPL Kicks off!

The first weekend of the new Women's Premiership League (WPL) kicked off this past Sunday throughout the country. As a new structure in the divisions for Women's rugby throughout the US, details have yet to be ironed out, but all in all, it seemed to be a success.

Cool features such as the USA Rugby Live Scoreboard will now show scores from each match within minutes of its' completion! Match reports will be submitted to Your Scrumhalf Connection's blog by Monday COB, so you'll be able to read about your favorite teams... ahem... Keystone. We are also assigned national panel referees, which is another huge bonus to this WPL league. Each match will be filmed - and videos of the matches will be posted for each team to see.

This is a huge step in giving rugby, especially women's rugby a more professional feel in this country. Something we don't get very often... ie- we're not a bunch of fatty drunk woman running around the place, I promise. It will start to promote competitive play, and hopefully bring the level of our national team up to England, or New Zealand level.

I'm going to keep this post brief, but if you'd like to read more on Keystone's WIN this weekend (38-8) you can read it on the Your Scrumhalf Connection blog link above.

Onto NY this weekend...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Injury set back

One of the biggest issues I have at work is trying to convey how important rugby is to me, and how its not just a social sport where people play solely for the social afterwords (as my 'post' on the Baltimore Sun may state otherwise). Trying to pull rugby out of that negative standpoint is tough in this country.

You put in all of this time training, both at practice and outside of practice. You drive/fly with your teammates all weekend to play a teams in Boston, DC, Philly, NY to bond with them, to play with them and to win or lose with them. Its something real, that even though we're not paid, or we're not on TV, or we're women, or Joe Shmoe at the office has no idea what 'rugby' is (there are no sticks), its a sport, one that people train hard for, sacrifice for... and love!

When I come into work limping, with a bruise, and stories of how we played in the downpour, my coworkers say to me shamelessly 'when are you going to realize that you're too old for this?' At the age of 27, I'm hardly one of the oldest females on the team, and I have a good few years left in me. They have their hobbies of cars, or kites, or..... god only knows what else. Its the same, except mine involves physical activity.

I sprained my MCL at the alumni match for Drexel, pretty much not doing anything productive. It was such a stupid injury, which I had to RICE... I got so extremely frustrated. Not only because it set my training back for the pre-season, but I had just signed up to attend a Crossfit Football certification that I knew was going to kick my @$$ if I was unfit for. I didn't stop working out, just adjusted workouts to allow me to work on the ROM and strength with the help of Ryan (head trainer at CF BWI). I credit him with helping me get my knee back to 100% by 5 weeks, I played 7's at 6 weeks and just completed the CF Football cert at 7 weeks - not dying, and actually not feeling anything weak in my knee at all. (Will have a later post on the football cert and what I did feel form it)

Leave it to say, pointless 'fun' matches may be out of my future for a while... as much fun as it is, its not worth it to go into a match like that, knowing I'm not going to give it 100% and get hurt for that reason. I'm also beyond thankful that it was not worse... (knock on wood) and am doing some things to strengthen it to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thanks to Kasper on Tap

Thanks to Kasper on Tap, a beer blogger from the Baltimore Sun for letting me post a small bit on the drink up!

His posts are really interesting! He went on vacation, asked for a guest blog so I sent one in. He must have taken a liking to the rugby + beer aspect as his son plays(ed) and knew a bit about the 'drink-up.'

Next post to come soon....

Monday, May 4, 2009

Did anyone see that Mac truck?

The one that hit me, reversed and ran over me again?
*I meant to post this yesterday, as I was feeling 10 times worse... however work - busy, post - pushed back.

I remember laughing quietly to myself when I would hear some of the more senior members of Keystone talking about how they don't recover like they used to, and how it took a few more days before things felt right again. I will never laugh at them again. Nothing can explain how it feels to play in a tournament all weekend and then have to be at work by 8am Monday morning. I can't imagine what my coworkers thought, when they saw me with my eyes hardly open, my pace slow.... and hopefully none of them saw me try to bend down to plug in my computer under my desk. I didn't think I was going to get up. I wish I could say today was any better. At least my computer was already plugged in. :)

Keystone competed in (and won) the Rites of Spring tournament in Baltimore this weekend. The schedule was a bit ridiculous, having a total of 5 woman's teams. We were scheduled 3 matches on Saturday, then to come in 1st or 2nd in the tournament you were (supposed to) play 3 more on Sunday. So a complete round robin, a semi final and then a final. Badly structured brackets.

In any case, we played a lot of rugby which is never bad, and went 3-0 on Saturday. It was a good day, good matches - enjoyed ourselves. (Barred some crazy person with big eyes)
Its not very often that Keystone gets to go out as a team together after a full day of rugby. So Saturday night, we all went out and had a great time, had a few drinks, was social and mingled with other teams! There are some fun stories we can all take away, but I will spare anyone the embarrassment, and keep them to myself. :)
*I would like to personally thank the Washington Irish guy who stopped by our tent on Sunday to give us a recap of an 'event' of the night before... highlight of the day!

Sunday at an early 9:40, we were scheduled to play the only team that we had not played yet... who went 0-3 on Saturday. We started warm up around 8:30 to find out at about 8:45 they didn't have enough people. Game forfeited. Next game up, scheduled for 12:10 against a team we'd already played on Saturday. They had a 9:40 match as well... lost it. Went home directly after it. Game forfeited. I might state the fact that it was pouring rain all day and probably only about 50 degrees out. This means we were at the pitches from 8:30 until the kickoff of the final match which happened (on the crappiest field they had to offer) at 3:10. 6 hours and 40 minutes. We were cold and miserable, I was sore/tight from Saturday's matches... and possibly the fact that I'd done 2 grueling crossfit workouts on Thursday and Friday before the tournament.

At least when all was said and done, we walked off the pitch after the W looking like mud woman I was lucky enough to only have a 5 minute drive home... someone now has some extra hardware taking up some space in their living room, kitchen, or basement.

Ahhh and yes... the week starts, back to reality. The bruises might fade slightly before this next weekend's match in NYC but if not, I'll add a few more to my collection before the end of the Spring season.

*Please keep JP Stratton in your thoughts and prayers, she is a Keystone Alumni who we all miss on the pitch and off the pitch. She'll pull through this illness, but we need to send her some vibes to help her get through it a bit quicker.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Training... From the Desk

One thing that I find the hardest part of being a 'professional' is that you sit alllll day... and stare at your computer allllll day... and then have to find motivation and energy to train and/or go to practice before or after work. Not all professionals sit as much as others, though I think I'm glued to my desk, and am only out of the office on a rare occasion. It reminds me of being in grade school, the excitement of your field trip going to the zoo in Philadelphia, or the Science Center in Harrisburg... you got excited about that for weeks! When I have a networking event, lunch, meeting that is out of the office, I look forward to it for weeks. Pathetic? Yes, absolutely.

When I thought about writing this blog, I wanted to post some information on the health implications of sitting at your desk for too long. There are several conditions that plague office dwellers. RSI (repetitive strain injury) is one that covers a broad range of issues. Check out this NBC/iVillage article "Is Your Office Killing You?" HOLY CRAP, I'm a goner.

I get up fairly often during the day, but after reading the article, I'm not sure if I should or shouldn't. The 10x/day I get up to fill my water bottle &/or use the ladies' room... I have to walk by our laser printer, use a public restroom (though there are only 6 females in my office and the b-rms are cleaned daily), walk by dusty bookshelves... and then back to my desk to type and stare at my computer screen for about 45 minutes before there is an empty water bottle and a full bladder, in which I repeat the process. That right there - without including the commute into work covers 5 of the 8 ways my "office could be killing me." Yikes! (Check out this cool view of my cubicle from my computer's point of view.)

After such a long hard day of sitting, how do I find the motivation to train? The first thing that helps is training/working out is not a chore, its more of a hobby or necessity for me. I treat it as part of my day, like its a meeting I have to go to or I'll be fired (read: fat). There is also the motivation of my 'Team' where I know that if I'm not doing my part to keep fit, I will let others down. These things combined with the fact that Crossfit is not cheap - keep me going.

I've gone through what I estimate to be an average M-F work week for me:
I work for 8-10 hours a day.
Workout which will go anywhere from 20 mins - 1.5 hours, along with the 20 minute commute.
Practice which is about a 5-6hour round trip commute... 1 or 2x/week.
Waking hours at home - 13-15 max.
  • 6 making/eating meals
  • 4 getting ready for work or bed
  • 2 doing regular house hold things... which leaves me with about
  • 1-2 disposable hours b/t M-F in any given in-season week... which are filled with things like softball, the occasional week night out.... orrrrrr sometimes I park my butt on the couch and watch Criminal Minds.
This can be a taxing schedule, which is hard to stick to. I get called crazy pretty often, as does IB (probably for more then just the long commute to practice) and so will Keystone's newest Maryland crew! But I chalk it up to the fact that those people don't understand what it is to be a part of a team that has gone on a roller coaster journey in the past 4 years that I've been a part of the club.

What keeps you motivated?

*Random thought of the day: Why do Maryland drivers REFUSE to use turn signals?*

Monday, March 30, 2009

Everyone else is doing it....

I've finally decided that since everyone else in this world is blogging, I have to stay up with the world and do the same. Who knows if anyone is going to read it, probably just MR... but I'm going to write it anyway! Its going to be a blog on how I attempt to be a professional in the marketing biz, play rugby for Keystone RFC, a competitive 'Premier' team in the US, and explain to the world that just because I'm a woman, and I have a black eye, or bruises on my arms... that I'm not in an abusive relationship.

I'm also probably going to post about random things a
s well, because... how could I not?

I've played with Keystone for about 5 years nowand am currently the Secretary of of the club. I took an 8-month hiatus to Ireland to play with Shannon RFC out of Limerick. I played at Temple University where we won the 2004 DII national championship, and at Drexel U for 2 years before that.

I work for CCG Facilities as their Marketing Coordinator, which is an engineering firm out of Baltimore that specializes in 'mission critical' MEP engineering. Don't know what that means? I'm still learning myself... I'll just say - we do a lot of work for data centers all over the world.

I began CrossFit in the summer of 2008 out in the park with Troy and Karen of South Baltimore CF and have also started CFing at BWI with Ryan. Thanks to them, I've progressed immensely in my fitness, which translates onto the rugby pitch (I hope).

All of this combined with trying to have a social life, meet people in a new(ish) city, and keep in touch with my family is not easy. I'm hardly the best at it... but here is to the attempt.

Stay tuned, I always have something else to say and plan to post often. Comment as much as you'd like, I welcome the conversation.