Channel 4 News Team

This past weekend I competed in the Bangkok Brawl 2.0. I’ve judged several comps and even had a hand in planning a few, but until this weekend I’d never participated as a competitor.  I made it through in much better shape then I thought I would. I’m proud of my efforts and so proud of my team. The boys I competed with really showed what teamwork is about. They carried the bulk of the load through several of the workouts. They encouraged me when I thought I was done and stayed positive and upbeat when the outcome wasn’t what they might have wanted.  5th place out of 20 teams isn’t too shabby.

photo credits to: Mick Soncharoen Photography, the Training Ground, and Khon Pavel


the year i took my life back

AKA – my 40th year.

If – on my 4oth birthday –  you’d asked me what big changes I expected for the coming year I would have answered, “none.”  I had absolutely no intentions towards any big life changes.  I expected to turn 41, but beyond that I had no plans.  Maybe that’s a little sad and I guess it’s fair enough to say I was in a rut, but I’d settled into that rut and thought I was content to stay there.  Then, two months into the year, I figured out that I did want to change something.  I wanted to be strong.  I had no idea how I was going to get strong, but that’s what I wanted.  Then one morning I was having breakfast at the local diner – probably eating a cinnamon roll – and noticed a business card for CrossFit Chiang Mai.  It had the word strength on it and that was enough for me.  (I blogged about my start here.)

Walking into the CrossFit Chiang Mai box I had no idea what I was in for and how much I would love it!  And I certainly had no idea I would go from this…

to this…


Tomorrow I turn 41 and I’m feeling like I should set some goals.  I want to be realistic, you know, things I can actually accomplish.  But at the same time I don’t want to be limiting.  I’m pretty sure I never would have set the goals of lose 70+ pounds, dead lift my body weight, or run a 10k last year and I’ve managed each of them.  I’ve also gotten my CrossFit Level 1 cert.  There’s no way that could have been on my radar this time last year.

I’ve never been much of a goal setter and I’m finding the task challenging.  I’ve identified what I think are some easy goals – run a 1/2 marathon (do I dare set the goal of running a whole??), deadlift 1.5 times my body weight (too much to hope for?) and maintain my current body weight.  I’m going to keep working on my list.  I want to include things that aren’t just physical, like read a certain number of books. maintain this blog, and improve my thai, but I need to come up with quantifiable measurements for these things or I’ll never know if I’ve accomplished them.  I’m also trying to get away from thinking I’ve got to top last year – I’m not at all sure how I would even begin to do that.  40 was a good year, but here’s to turning 41.  Bring it on!

i’ll go with plan a. or maybe plan b.

i’ve been on a get my butt in gear and get fit kick lately. i’ve drunk the crossfit koolaid and i’m addicted.  i’ve taken up running – even managed to enjoy it a time or two. i finished the c25k program a few months ago and have kept on going. and i’ve been working on an overhaul of the foods i put into my body. this week i’m starting a 30 day paleo challenge – i’m pretty sure this isn’t the last you’ll hear about it.

since i took up this venture into fitness i’ve lost more than a few pounds.  53.1 to be exact. i picked up a 24 kilogram kettlebell the other day (which is almost 53lbs) and was shocked at how heavy it was. and that i carried that much extra weight around on my body. it made a pretty good impression on me and, while i would like to lose more weight, it is no longer a focus for me.

which leaves me in need of a new goal. i’ve found what i think is a pretty good challenge.

i’m not thinking full marathon.  i’m leaning way more towards the half – i believe that’s the proper term for a 1/2 marathon. 13.1 miles to be run on christmas morning. a bit of a christmas miracle. and then a whole different opportunity presented itself.

the annapurna 100 this one is to be run/walked/jogged on new year’s day. on the annapurna trail. in nepal.  this race comes in 50k, 70km and 100km versions – version 50k (31 miles) seems a good fit for me.  there are logistics to work out.  money, flights, arrangements at home, etc, but it might fall in the category of opportunity not to be passed up.

it’s not decided which one i’ll do.  i’m planning on training for the half.  since that’s most sensible.  but i’m still considering the annapurna race as a viable option.  official registration doesn’t happen until december 31. of course, plans will need to be in the works well before then.  i do find the idea of new year’s day in nepal very exciting and a not too unattractive way to usher in 41 – which i will have turned 2 days before the race.


i’ve always thought of myself as a strong person – physically strong.  i’ve sort of prided myself on knowing that if furniture needed to be moved i could do it.  i needed no help lugging around luggage or boxes or bags.  help with my groceries?  not necessary, i’ve got it.  but, recently, i’ve discovered that while i still think of myself as strong – i’m not.  i don’t know that i’ve deteriorated to official weakling, but i am certainly fast on my way.  just before i decided to redefine myself as nowhere near as strong as i thought i was, i came across a business card for crossfit chiang mai.

what is crossfit?  it’s “constantly varied high-intensity functional movement”  it’s “fitness for life”.  and it’s really challenging.  really.  i happen to know one of the trainers – i didn’t know he led this secret trainer life, but knowing the trainer certainly made it easier to give it a go.  i went for my initial assessment.  the work out included rowing, pushups, pullups, squats and sit-ups.  nothing too difficult – at least reading it on the board wasn’t difficult.  the brilliant thing about crossfit is it’s completely scalable.  need to do push-ups and can’t do an all out push-up? that’s okay, because you could do a girl lever push-up.  can’t do a lever push-up?  that’s okay, you can do one leaning against a bar.  (i have personal experience with this.  you’d be surprised how hard it is to do a push-up against a bar when you have absolutely no very little upper body strength.)  and pull-ups?  those are scalable, too.  and squats?  yep,  scalable, or relocatable (i don’t think that’s crossfit lingo).  i kept falling forward, the solution to that is to get really, really close to a wall.  facing the wall.  as you go up and down – and your form is not so good and you end up leaning too far forward – you can drag your face along the corrugated metal.

i survived the assessment, i might not have been able to lift a coffee cup the next day, but i’d gotten in the required numbers of each thing.  it’s only been a few weeks and changes are already noticeable.  i can do a squat,  with no help from a wall.  i can do a girl lever push up.  it’s not pretty, but i do get it done.