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Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Skeletons and Personal Demons (Happy Halloween?)

In Rhetoric, Training on October 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Remember my post about George’s struggle with bulimia? Well, he took it upon himself to tell his story in his own words, on his own blog: here. The post is beautifully written and refreshingly honest. I told him, and I will tell you all now, that I admire him so much for his courage and his candor. I aspire to approach the world as he does– to be as honest with myself and with others as he is. It crushes me to know that someone with so much heart can suffer from such self-doubt and self-deprecation. But I find hope in knowing that he overcame it all, and is now encouraging others to make peace with themselves.

I’m always surprised to find the skeletons locked in others’ closets– not because I think less of them for it, but because I (and I assume others) often have that feeling that… everyone has it all together and here I am struggling with the pieces of myself, everything crumbling apart like dessicated clay. But that’s not the case at all… people put on brave faces for the world because they feel as if they must– because they’re afraid of who they might burden with their troubles, or because they’re afraid even of even acknowledging for themselves the demons that lurk in their shadows. The fact that someone who seems as “together” as George– an active duty Marine with a flourishing caveman/paleo-expert alter-ego, a successful CrossFit competitor and talented photographer, a chef extraordinaire, etc– can still feel self-doubt reminds me that we’re all… strangely human. You don’t know what the firebreather athlete at your box thinks when he finishes the WOD five minutes ahead of everyone else… Sometimes he’s second-guessing his own pace, wondering why he didn’t push harder through the second round, or questioning his conditioning routine. That straight-A student in the desk beside you may agonize over each of her assignments, may crumble when she realizes she picked the wrong argument or chose the wrong tack. What I’m discovering more and more is just that… the world is so much more beautiful, more complex, more worth living in when viewed with an open mind– just a willingness to understand all the many ways in which people feel and think and live differently than you do. At the end of the day, no one’s really out to get you (or rarely, anyway)… everyone’s just wrapped up in their own neuroses. Perhaps instead of looking inward with self-criticism, we should try looking outward, with acceptance… 🙂

 

——

 

On a much lighter note, it is my absolute pleasure to follow up on my pull-ups post with a few fantastic responses from the CrossFit universe. Particularly, this video made my morning:

I’m pretty in love with the girl who starts off with a strict muscle up. The weighted pull-up was also a lovely touch.

And, though this video existed long before Weir’s silly article about how women can’t do pull-ups, I’d like to share Annie Sakamoto’s “pregnant pull-ups”:

 

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Hug someone today– and do a pull-up! 😉

Raise the Bar

In Rhetoric, Training on October 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I know this has been floating around the blogosphere for a couple of days now, but I still must respond to it–even if I’m late on the bandwagon. I must reply to this post that appeared on Yahoo. Primarily, it was a reaction to a study published in the New York Times about why “women can’t do pull-ups.” A group of exercise researchers selected 17 “normal weight” women who couldn’t perform a pull-up, trained them (bi’s and lats, it seems) for three months, and found that at the end of those three months, only four could do a pull up. An exercise physiologist then chimes in about how it’s biologically more difficult for a woman to do a pull up. I’m not too bothered by any of this– it is significantly more difficult for a woman to do a pull up, and I was just remarking to Jefe the other day how it’s fascinating that we have female members who join in peak physical condition, unable to perform a pull-up, and men who’ve been out of shape for years who can still hoist themselves up to the bar. There’s a significant gender divide in terms of upper-body strength– it’s how we’re biologically built. What bothers me, is that Susan B. Weir from Yahoo! took this as an opportunity to tell women to “lower the bar.” In her short article, she explains that we’re at a biological disadvantage when it comes to pull-ups, so perhaps we can just accept that this is something we can’t achieve.

Bull. Shit.

I’m pretty sure it took me more than three months to get my first pull-up. In fact, if we start from before my CrossFit days, way back when I was fumbling along to P90x dvds, it probably took me years to achieve my first pull-up. But it’s not impossible. If this formerly overweight, out-of-shape, wheezy nerdkid could work her way up to 10 dead hangs (got my first set of 10 strict perhaps two weeks ago), than I’m pretty sure Susan B. Weir has no excuse– if she wants a pull-up. It’s fine if she doesn’t, but she also shouldn’t be out there telling women “well you’re naturally disinclined, so don’t bother trying!” What drives me even crazier is the comments at the bottom of this post. One girl even wrote:

“Men you can test your strenght while we women go shopping.” (yes, she misspelled strength all on her own there)

Really?

I work out alongside a whole host of women who can do pull-ups. I’ve watched almost all of them earn that first pull-up with months of assisted pull-ups and negatives and jumping pull-ups. I know a delightful lady in her 50s who, four times a week, dutifully puts a step stool next to the pull-up rig, loops her legs into a resistance band, and works on her daily reps while chattering about how she looks forward to getting her first unassisted pull-up someday.

Overcoming genetic difference isn’t just a matter for women, either. One of our gym’s most gifted athletes (often referenced here as “Zebrapants”) stands at about 5’3″. For him, wall-balls, box jumps, and rowing understandably suck. The first time he did Karen (150 wall-balls), he barely finished within the time cap. A month later, he finished in under 6 minutes. Just to reach the pull-up bar, he has to do a vertical leap, but that hasn’t kept him from a two-minute Fran.

Yeah… there are inequities in life that sometimes makes things harder– but that’s never a reason to lie down and accept your condition if you’re unhappy with it. Weir’s message is one of defeat; if it’s hard, it’s okay to stop trying. I refuse to accept that, and I find it offensive that she thinks women would prefer that– would want the easy way out. Yeah… sometimes life sucks. Don’t lower the bar. Raise it– and pull yourself up.

Dear World,

In Rhetoric, Training on October 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

This post spawns from many recent tidbits of my life , so I may meander a bit… but if you trust in me, I promise I won’t lead you too far astray. We will eventually return to CrossFit– there’s metaphorical cheese at the heart of this labyrinth, or perhaps a paleo-friendly, irresistibly delicious, pumpkin butter cup.

This semester, I’m enrolled in a cross-disciplinary seminar about social justice. We just read James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. I can’t call this book a novel, or a work of journalism… it cannot be contained by the term “art,” nor is it a study of truth. Our professor described it as “an experiment,” but I like to think of it as more of a response. In the 1930s, the privileged-born, well-to-do reporter James Agee spent 8 weeks living among white tenant farmers in the deep South. From it, he produced this haunting book that accounts, in loving detail, the many intricacies of these families’ lives. Agee agonizes over the human condition, over the painful impossibility of ever truly understanding another person, but also the unrelenting will to try. He reminded me so much of why we write– how sometimes the awfulness of everyday life feels so unbearable that it must effuse onto the page– or how, amid all that terribleness, you can find these surreal, wondrous miracles, and how you want to eulogize them, screaming, with every breath in your body.

I’ve been told often that I think too much–and it’s true. I can have a perfectly mundane, otherwise harmless day, and be suddenly struck and broken down by the tiny ways in which we wound one another. Sometimes I feel irreparable with the epiphany of how often and easily we break and how unrecoverable it all seems (yes, that seems hyperbolic and hopeless… I promise I’m not actually moping around all the time, but sometimes, I’m struck by these things). But I found it oddly uplifting to know that Agee has felt this way too– has felt that the world was too much, that it needed to be sung about, even if that singing does nothing but echo life’s miracles and miseries.

Now here’s where you’ll have to stick with me. I’ve told you about my little podcast addiction, and my fondness for George Bryant. He made a recent appearance on an episosde of Live. Love. Eat. in which he gives just this beautifully candid interview. I won’t go too in-depth into George’s history since he tells it much better himself (on his website and in the podcast), but he’s an active-duty Marine who’s been everywhere between 150lbs-250lbs, who spent a year in a wheelchair and the subsequent years relearning his body. In the podcast, he discusses– I think, for the first time– his history with body issues and with accepting himself. As a bit of a sidenote, I’ve always been a bit irked by the gender bias in terms of body image. Yes, women get crapped on in terms of societal constructions of body and physical “beauty,” but men do too and there’s so much less out there supporting self-acceptance in men because we’ve stigmatized the need for reassurance as “weakness.” But I suppose that’s a topic for a different day. Anyway, George had issues (as we all do). George, like a real man, dealt with his issues. He said something in this podcast that really resonated with me– how he’s had a hard time forgiving himself for giving anything less than “everything.” And how he needed to address that to find peace.

I know I struggle with that as well. I’ve said that I’m not competitive, and I’m not in the sense that I don’t compete against other people… but I’m a basketcase when it comes to self-comparison. For example, I have this powerlifting meet coming up in a week and a half. Last night, the PSU powerlifting coach briefed me and the two other members of my box who will be participating (Jefe and Zebrapants) on what we should expect from the meet. Basically, we shouldn’t expect overall PRs. We’ve never lifted under these conditions– technically, what we’ve done in our box isn’t comparable to what we’ll do next Saturday, and we have no real powerlifting-meet-standards PRs, no extant records to which to compare ourselves. We should just go and do our best and those will be our numbers. Of course, I’d been hoping for at least a deadlift PR– to beat my previous 225… but I’ll be lifting with foreign equipment, after a full day of competition, in a strange environment, adhering to new standards and technicalities, etc. I know myself, and I know that… if all the other women in my weight class go out there and lift a gazillion pounds (technical measurement), and I hit 230, I’d walk away pretty happy with myself. But if all of them eeked out 150, and I failed at 200, I’d be beating myself up all evening for missing a lift I know I’ve made before.

When I allowed myself to take CrossFit seriously– to investigate and implement my own programming, to give a damn about how I fuel and recover, etc… I told myself that I’m doing this for self-improvement. I’m doing this because I enjoy it. I’m doing this because it’s good for my health– physically, emotionally, mentally, and I will only continue doing it so long as I keep that in mind. I will not let my own neuroses get the better of me. I will not let a bad day or a failed lift or a bad time eat away at me because I “could have done better.” And I need to remember that again– next weekend, and all the many weekends that come afterwards with all the many other things I try. If I don’t… if I continue beating myself down about these minutiae, I not only rob myself of the experience, but I get so trapped in this absolute meaningless bullshit that I don’t have the mental or emotional space that I want to devote to the ones I care about in my life.

What I loved so much about George’s interview is that, like Agee, he reminded me that… I’m not alone. We live in a world that’s afraid to talk about “feelings”– that’s embarrassed by them. Adults suck it up and get shit done. But you know what? Here’s my declaration: you’re not fucking alone. Sometimes the world sucks… sometimes it pounds on you. Sometimes, life thrusts upon you something truly monumental and seemingly insurmountable, or sometimes it’s just the little things that you know you should get over and can’t. But no matter the case, your suffering doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t make you lesser… If you reach out and speak about it, you’d be surprised who’s willing to listen. And you’d be surprised what catharsis you find in the process– and by who you might help or touch along the way (thank you George and James).

George ended his interview with a touching portrait of CrossFit– and one with which I agree. I’ve mentioned a lot how this sport attracts a certain type. I refuse to believe I’m the only relentless perfectionist in the gym– we’ve all got a dose of masochism in us somewhere to return to these WODs day after day. But what’s so wonderful about the CrossFit gym (at least in my experience) is that members are never really competing against each other— they’re striving to improve themselves. The firebreather next to you doesn’t give a damn if you’re lifting two tons or a training bar– s/he’ll congratulate you regardless when you finally drop the weight and slouch, huffing, against the wall.

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men reminded me how terrible it all is– the quiet ways in which we suffer, but also… that there’s hope in there too– that we, as human beings, are capable of reaching out and sympathizing– perhaps never truly understanding– but connecting, sharing the indescribable burden it is just to breathe in this bizarre little universe.

So… in summary:

Dear World,

You’re not alone.

Love,

Jo

BIGGER

In Food, Training, WOD on October 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

There’s a four-letter word in CrossFit more forceful than any of the offhand expletives screamed against the backbeat of dropped barbells and box jumps: F-R-A-N. Only the Cyborg would be cruel enough to program both Nancy and Fran in the same week (which he did), though at least he gave us warning before Fran. When the announcement came on our box’s facebook page, I realized that I have managed to avoid Fran for all my sixteen months as a CrossFitter. The first time our box programmed it, it was a partner WOD. The next time, I could not yet clean 50lbs, and I spent all 20 minutes cursing at a barbell as I dropped it again and again. The third time, it was my rest day, and I “conveniently” prescribed my own replacement WOD after my lifts the next day. A prescribed Fran has been on my horizon ever since I managed 65 lb cleans… but for a while, I knew the weight would still be too heavy and I would all but slog through the workout. And since then, well… I’ve just been dreading it. It’s silly. I think a lot of the stigma that surrounds Fran is just a product of the way CrossFit has talked about it and put this girl on its own pedestal. Inherently, there’s nothing about it that makes it more demanding than many of the other girls– but because it’s THE benchmark workout, athletes push harder and dread it more, using their Fran time as the indicator of their ability.

So… even with all this wisdom and perspective, when Fran appeared on our whiteboard this week, I knew I’d have to do it Rx’d… an actual measure of myself as a CrossFitter– no excuses about how small I am, no stories about how I’ve never been an athlete. If I can do it RX’d, I can compare my number to that of all other CrossFitters.

How was it? Hellish. Though I still don’t think that Fran is harder than a lot of the other girls, the combination of thrusters and pullups, I think, is strategically cruel. My grip– one of my weaknesses– gives out first, and being unable to hold onto the bar makes both movements impossible. For those of you who don’t know, Fran is actually a relatively short workout. It’s 21, 15, 9 reps of Thrusters and Pull-ups. Today, our time cap was 15 minutes. The best CrossFit athletes can manage it between 2 and 3 minutes. But it takes them another 20 to pry their spent bodies off the floor.

For me, my limiting factor is definitely my shoulders. With my max press somewhere just below 75 lbs, the weight is just a bit much. I’m getting better at using the drive from my legs and hips, but I think my shoulders still bear a disproportionate amount of the “overhead” effort. The pull-ups felt fine. The Cyborg “no-repped” me on a few, but I’m getting a better sense of how high I need to pull for my butterfly kips. It’s just damn thrusters…

I came in at 9 minutes 30 seconds. And… you know what? I’ll take it. It’s fucking long for a Fran time, but it’s a far leap from 20 minutes of failing to clean 50 lbs off the ground.

If you guys haven’t seen this, the e-book Bigger Smaller Bigger has been making a small splash in the fitness world. Writer/Fitness enthusiast Nate Green undertook a (probably reckless) project in which he gained 20 lbs (mostly muscle) in 28 days, lost 20lbs in 5 days, and reconstituted himself in 24 hours. Other than the initial 28 day ramp up, the cutting and reconstitution routine is actually something that MMA fighters practice regularly to “make weight” for their fights, but I haven’t seen anyone document the process in such detail. Now Nate subjected himself to all sorts of unnecessary hell, but at least he did so with the guidance of a couple experts– Dr. John Berardi (of Precision Nutrition) and MMA trainer Martin Rooney (who has worked with am impressive list of legends). The website/ebook documents all of Nate’s diet and workout routines, so I won’t go into detail on that. Of course, he doesn’t advise that anyone try such a hapless undertaking, but he does construct some rather helpful takeaways for those looking to put on weight. Mostly… it’s hard, and it requires eating a lot more than you think you should. That’s something I struggled with a lot when I started getting “bigger.”

As of today, I weigh 118, which means that from the time I started CrossFit, I’ve put on 30lbs– more than 1/3 of my person. A very, very necessary 30lbs, mind you, but I was sort of relieved reading Nate’s blog to realize that I wasn’t just a singularly weird person while doing it. My past year has involved a lot of eating to the point of discomfort.

Wayyyy back when my stomach problems first started, I got used to eating less and less because food caused me pain. By the time I arrived in State College, I’d pretty much forgotten what a normal plate of food looked like because I was  used to scraping by on so little. So when my coaches told me to “eat more,” I was definitely eating more– but even “more” at that point was barely a drop in the bucket. Nate Green– who, I assume, does not have IBS, was not recovering from a stomach infection, and did not have to pop 4 or 5 prescription-strength pills a day– felt uncomfortable and bloated while on his weight gain regimen. My first months of really aggressive “eating” were absolute hell. When I finally got sick of being small and weak, I ramped up the size of my meals until they took me 30-40 minutes to finish. For months, I went to bed unable to sleep because I was full to the point of agony.

But what Nate observed… and what I learned… is that, the body is a weird little survivor– even mine, with its shitty, awful no good digestive system. I went from force-feeding myself spoons of peanut butter, to a pretty spectacular birthday feast at the Brazilian steakhouse– after which our waiter approached the table and told me, “I’ve never seen anything like that before. Thank you.” (seriously). I’ve chilled out a bit on pounding down food– I can go to bed comfortably now, and thankfully my IBS has been recovering a lot since I’ve stopped taxing my system so much. But I’m still gaining and getting stronger… In June, I declared that I wanted to try an Rx’d Fran in under 10 minutes before the New Year, and I’m glad I can check that one off my list. New long-term goal? A “Man Fran” (95lb thrusters) in under 15 minutes by this time next year :). Watch out world, Jo’s getting a little less scrawny day-by-day.

Sunwarrior Protein Powders Review

In Food on October 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Despite a childhood love of things milky and cheesy, my adult life has been plagued by a debilitating, severe lactose intolerance. Now, I know people—these awful pretenders—who claim to have lactose intolerance, who may experience a mild tummyache after a few slices of pizza or a bowl of ice cream. But these silly poseurs have obviously never endured the real thing. For me, what began as a mild discomfort after milk-based products worsened over a matter of months. Soon, I could no longer have anything related to anything that touched the idea of something to do with dairy without hours of a bedridden, fetal-positioned Jo, whimpering and wishing for the apocalypse. And still, I can feel the after-effects of dairy for days.

Due to stubbornness and common wisdom, I’ve tried to keep whey protein in my diet as long as possible since all the research I find seems to suggest it’s the most efficient form of protein post-exercise and for muscle production. But my tolerance has gotten worse and worse in these past years… I’ve tried every available brand of isolates and “lactose-free,” but if it’s milk-derived, I tend to experience some amount of misery. These past two years, I’ve just accepted the fact that I’ll be a little uncomfortable on a daily basis because without the shakes, I had a hard time recovering after workouts, and my strength stalled out too frequently. But it’s finally become so frustrating that I decided I could no longer live like that. So, once more, I gave up the whey again and embarked on a search for a replacement.

I happened to remember a few vegan bloggers I followed (back in the pre-Paleo days) and the fact that they all spoke highly of Sunwarrior. I also remembered that it’s “the first completely hypoallergenic protein” and often recommended to IBS sufferers (such as myself). They offer two types of protein powders: their “classic” protein, which is made from raw, sprouted brown rice, and the new “warrior blend,” which includes raw pea protein, raw cranberry protein, raw hemp protein, Coconut MCTs, Fenugreek, Glucomannan, and Leucine. The absolute simplicity of the “classic” formula appealed to me, but I was curious about the difference between the two so I wrote the company, and their generous, responsive representatives were delightful and sent me samples of every single one of their powders in all available flavors (“classic” and “warrior blend” each come in vanilla, chocolate, and “natural”– which is entirely unflavored and unsweetened). I wanted to try them all before I reviewed, so that I could give you a thorough evaluation.

Taste and Texture: I have to admit that I have a bit of an unusual palate after growing up in an Asian household… Though I was surprised by my first sip (more by the sandy texture than the taste), I do enjoy both the classic and warrior powders. The “classic” formula reminds me a lot of rice milk, which we drink in Taiwan. There’s an “earthy” taste to it, but it’s rich and thick and filling. The “warrior blend” formula is a bit thinner, but reminds me a lot of one of my favorite Chinese desserts (or rather, favorite desserts of all time). The Chinese make sweets of adzuki means and mung beans– if you’ve ever gotten “boba” or “bubble tea,” these shops probably offer a “red bean” and “green bean” flavor (which are adzuki and mung, respectively). To me, these shakes taste like the sweetened mung bean soup my mom used to make when I was a kid. The sweetness of both the classic and warrior blend is milder than that of commercial brands, but I actually really enjoy that and think that it makes the shakes much more appealing after a rough workout. The chocolate, I’ll admit, is not very “chocolately,” rather, just mildly sweet. The vanilla flavor comes through really well on the Warrior Blend version, and is probably my favorite flavor. However, all of them are tasty, and I would even drink the natural flavors straight without any additives.

Usage and Effect: The brown rice protein is the first and only protein powder I’ve tried that officially doesn’t upset my stomach in anyway. It’s actually remarkable. The jury’s still out on the warrior blend. Because I enjoy the taste of the vanilla warrior blend so much, I’m hoping I can still have it, but I did experience a little (tiny, tiny bit) of discomfort after my first serving. But I was fine after the second and third, so I’m hoping that it’s a fluke. Nevertheless, I’ve purchased a tub of the chocolate brown rice and I’ve been fine after weeks of that, so I know at least that one is safe. I’ve read a few reviews complaining about mixability, but I haven’t had any problems. It doesn’t dissolve as quickly as some whey powders, but a few good shakes in a blender bottle have worked well for me. Additionally, I’ve felt better-recovered after my workouts than when I don’t take any post-workout shakes. I noticed that I felt sore after workouts if I didn’t have a whey shake afterwards, but both of Sunwarrior’s protein powders seem equally effective as the top-of-the-line whey-based products in helping my body cope with all that I subject it to. It’s too soon now to make any determinate statements about strength gains, but we’ll see in the coming month.

Until then, thank you very much to the lovely folks at Sunwarrior for helping me find an effective, gentle fuel source.

CrossFit Center City

In General, Training on October 7, 2012 at 8:47 pm

To the most understanding and ridiculously good-looking readership a Wandering Jomad could ever ask for: It has been far too long since my last update, and I apologize… profusely. I’ve been busy the past few weeks cramming my work together so I could prepare for a brief, three-day vacation in Philadelphia, and  my weekend involved… enjoying that vacation and blithely pretending that graduate school and life and responsibilities did not exist. I was quasi-triumphant—as in, I spent all my days from waking until roughly 9:00pm rejoicing in the fact that I was in a city—with pedestrians and public transportation, and people!—and then from 9:00pm to 1:00am, I sat before my computer screen cursing all of academia and all its anxiety-inducing ways.

Nevertheless, my vacation was delightful (thank you for asking). I discovered the wonders of Reading Terminal Market (omg FOOD), the Mutter Museum (omg CADAVERS), and took my requisite picture with the Rocky statue. I also had the fortune of visiting CrossFit Center City, where one of my friends is now a coach. Perhaps you’ll remember my post, “Life’s Small Lessons” in which I bid farewell to 70’s Bove. Only a year ago, he wandered into our gym unable to define a muscle up or a thruster, and now he has a damn good shot of making regionals this year.

Thus far, I’ve only visited a handful of other boxes outside of my home gym, and the experiences have been wildly varied but always enlightening. CrossFit Center City is definitely a gym to watch out for—I could easily see this place sporting a competitive team for regionals in the upcoming years. Apparently they’ve only recently moved into their new location, but it’s a fantastic space—with designated Olympic lifting platforms, a strongman room, a yoga room (in-progress), and a dedicated space for gymnastics. Their coaches are knowledgeable, talented athletes (who undergo an extensive hiring process), and their members were welcoming and inclusive.

To be honest, I still harbor a slight anxiety about visiting other gyms. There’s no rational justification. I’m just afraid I’ll somehow embarrass my box or myself by screwing up. And I want to do justice to the coaches who’ve trained me and the places that has converted me from a completely stickling spaz to… a slightly less stick-like, slightly less spazzy spaz. But the people at CrossFit Center City made me feel right at home.

I’m always interested in seeing how other gyms undertake their programming. At Center City, they have a longer, involved warm-up (something we’ve gravitated to as well, here at LionHeart). Their workouts are also very strength-centric at the moment. I would say, of the hour I spent there, the first ten minutes were warm-up, the next half-hour involved finding a 3 rep max back squat, and the final ten minutes was the metcon (15-12-9-6 Box Jumps (30”/24”) and Ring Push Ups).

As 70’s Bove informs me, the box is scheduling their programming so that they have a strength program for now, and then they’ll ramp up the metcons as they near the CrossFit Open. As far as I know, that adheres pretty closely with Rich Froning’s own programming. Right now, the Games are so strength-dependent that no competitor can survive without the sheer muscle required by the weights. As we could see by this year’s games, smaller athletes like Chris Spealler and Annie Sakamoto suffered significantly compared to their performances in previous years. At any rate, by orienting their programming around the Games’s schedule, CCC is positioning itself to be a major figure in this region, and I’d definitely watch out for them in coming years.

The CCC WOD was my only workout for the weekend. Since it was a short trip, I decided to take the opportunity to just… rest completely. I walked a lot of Philly, attained bacon-nirvana at Green Eggs Café. Of course, I also took advantage of Chinatown like the former Asian fat kid I am (I’m pretty sure I need to sacrifice about 5 grassfed cows to the Paleo gods for exactly how un-Paleo this weekend was 😉 )

Anyway, I’m now back in State College and back to work. Hope everyone else had a lovely weekend!