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Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

The Unofficial Stages of Burpee Delirium

In General, Training, WOD on November 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I’ve now completed 100 burpees in a row three times in my life. Those of you who’ve heard me wax poetic about burpees might be surprised by this. But, as much as I delight in one of the most notorious (entirely skill-less) moves of CrossFit, even I’m not masochistic enough to regularly attempt full-out, long burpee sprints. The first two times I did 100 burpees was during the Open. For those of you who might not know, the first WOD of the 2012 CrossFit Open was 7 minutes of burpees– as many rounds as possible. Being the burpee freak that I was in those 98-lb-bodyweight-days, I may or may not have giggled in delight when I saw the workout released. Since then, I’ve had many questions about the wisdom of starting with a burpee AMRAP and then following with a “snatch ladder” (12.2). The two events created a sort of bottleneck effect where one rep could separate literally hundreds of competitors– so many people can do burpees that the difference between 100 reps and 101 was hundreds of competitors, and snatches (on the opposite end of the spectrum) require such precision that a wealth of athletes could plateau at 95 lbs, putting hundreds of athletes at the same score. I think it might have made for an uneven start to the scoring system, possibly preventing perfectly skilled athletes from regionals. But I’m not an expert, so don’t go around saying the Jomad is railing against CrossFit HQ ;). Besides, as a non-serious competitor, I did delight in the 7 minutes of burpees in a terrible, terrible way.

The Open WOD had pretty exacting standards. At the top of the jump, the athlete had to touch a target 6 inches above his/her max reach. Because there was no stationary target in the gym six inches above my reach, I (and many of the women) had to use a ring that had been adjusted to the correct height. Of course, the huge disadvantage of the ring is that is swings each time you strike it… and some number of burpees in, your ability to coordinate your jump with a spinning, swaying, dangling wooden circle really deteriorates. So my first attempt at 12.1 was 98 reps, but I had two missed “no-reps.” Two days later, I repeated the WOD out of anger and managed 100 official reps. It’s a deceptively taxing WOD. For me, my respiratory system took the brunt of the beating. For days afterwards, I felt like I’d been breathing sandpaper. Though my shoulders and neck also suffered.

Today, the box’s WOD was the following:

For time:

100 Burpees

2 Minutes rest

100 Double-Unders

Actually, it was significantly easier than 12.1– but only because we didn’t use a 6-inch target. I finished the burpees in 5:12, and the clock read 9:42 when I dropped by jump rope (my double-unders need smoothing out). I would like to be able to do the “burpee challenge” (100 burpees) in under 5 minutes soon. However, the fact that I was so much faster without a 6 inch target makes me wonder how much I’m cheating my jumps and if I have muted hips at the top of each burpee. ANYWAY, having experienced 100 burpees 3 different times now, I feel confident in providing you with the unofficial “Stages of Burpee Delirium” (and yes, I experienced this all three times)

The Jomad’s Unofficial Stages of Burpee Delirium

Reps 1-20: “This is quite fun. I like burpees. What a delightful WOD”

Reps 20-30: “Okay, I could see this getting tiring soon… I hope I’m not slowing down.”

Reps 30-40: “How has it only been a minute something? At least I’m moving quickly…”

Rep 41: “Almost halfway there!”

Rep 42: “God, how am I not halfway there?”

Rep 43: “This is the longest anyone has burpeed. Ever.”

Rep 44: “WHERE IS 50?!”

Rep 45: “Must. Keep. Burpeeing.”

Reps 45-55: “God this was stupid.”

Reps 56-60: “Why did I do this? I could be… not burpeeing right now.”

Rep 61: “Really, I could just stop jumping and stand here.”

Rep 62: “No, it appears I’m stupid enough to finish this thing.”


Rep 64: “Who programmed this shit?”

Rep 65: “Why do they hate me???”

Reps 66-70: “I HATE THE UNIVERSE.”

Reps 71-73: “THIS IS HOW I DIE.”

Reps: 74-75: “I should have told everyone I loved them… I LOVE EVERYONE”

Burpee Nirvana

Reps 75-95: “Wow… look at that poor girl doing burpees. How lovely it is to be a floating head who feels nothing. The world is such a beautiful place. How wonderful it is to be alive– even better not to be that girl who’s–”

Rep 96: “Oh shit that’s me.”

Rep 97: “Fall. Stand. Hop.”

Rep 98: “Fall. Stand. Hobble.”

Rep 99: “Fall… crawl…. roll… stumble… hop.”

Rep 100: “…”


“… wait, really, that’s it? Where’s my fucking parade?”

… and there you have it. For any of you who would like to try this at home, now you know what to expect. All homicidal/revelatory manic-depressiveness is perfectly normal.

That’s all for today. I’m still mired in essays, so I’ve been spending actually very little time in the gym… and very little time outside of my chair, not drinking coffee.

Keep calm and burpee on.

Holiday Musings

In General, Training on November 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I need to thank those of you who’ve asked me about the blog lately. It’s nice being reminded that actual human beings read this, and surprisingly wonder about it when I’m negligent. Actually, screw “nice.” It’s not nice. It’s phenomenal. It’s humbling and absolutely staggering to me that there are individuals– real, three-dimensional friends and all you imaginary folk via the interwebs– that care enough about what I have to say to slog through my half-brained ramblings. Thank you. Thank you for caring enough to give me a few minutes of your day. Thank you for the act of acceptance you make in continuing to read– in sticking with me on my bizarre little bumblings through life.

To be entirely honest, I haven’t posted lately for two reasons. Firstly, it’s that awful time of semester when deadlines loom on the horizon and I spend my pitiful days in my cubicle until roughly 9:00pm, whereupon I return to my basement to continue working. I’m not sure if I’m doing it wrong because there are no other grad students there at these hours, but I’m assuming most of them are home for the Thanksgiving holiday. I guess that brings me to reason number two that I’ve been a neglectful Jo. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday in concept. In reality, it’s never really panned out for me. I love the idea of a holiday not centered around a single person, or a religious tradition (not that those aren’t enjoyable either), but one whose purpose is food, family, and reflection– a moment out of our arduous years to pause and think about the many ways in which we’re so fortunate.

A lot of the people I care about are scattered about the country (or the world) now, and the chances of being able to see all of them in the same year are pretty slim, let alone the same month. Some others who’ve played significant roles in my life have dropped out– due to life circumstances, due to poor communication on our parts, or due to shitty interpersonal drama that I wish could be reconciled but apparently can’t, at least not right now. I’m the only member of my family born and raised in the US, so “family” for me has always indicated more than blood relatives. While my relatives are all wonderful people–most of whom I’m just starting to get to know– I’ve met them maybe a dozen times in my life. Tickets to Taiwan cost $1,000 apiece and for a lot of my life, my parents and I couldn’t afford the trip. As for me and my parents, we had more than our share of conflicts as I was growing up and we’re starting to finally get along, but… now I live 1,800 miles away and can’t afford the $800 plane ticket just to get from Pennsylvania to Arizona. Regardless, my parents are the opposite of sentimental (and in many ways, the opposite of me, hence all the childhood issues) and have never felt any affinity for holidays. We’ve passed many Thanksgivings and Christmases and Birthdays unnoticed. And, in a way, I see their pragmatism… holidays are, like my dad says “just another day.” But the romantic in me also likes the fact that sometimes we can choose to elevate something above “just another day” — that this day can be about community and love and showing each other how much you just fucking matter, regardless of all the trivial crap that trouble your lives.

Anyway, I guess that’s been weighing on me for the past few days and made me generally difficult to interact with. Sometimes my head gets wrapped up in these fogs of overthinking– and really, overfeeling (my parents also told/tell me often I’m oversensitive, which is true… if I had a remedy for it, I’d take it in a heartbeat). But the fact that I’m writing/blogging about it now must mean that I’m emerging from my self-imposed malaise.

That said, let’s get to the CrossFit stuff. I’m still on my Westside-based template, and it’s going well. I know a lot of you (you imaginary interwebs people who stumble unknowingly into my site) get here because Google sends wandering souls to my blog when they ask about CrossFit and strength programs). For me, Westside-Conjugate seems like the best approach for integrating strength training and metcons. It’s not the most efficient if you’re looking to maximize beginner gains (try any brute linear progression for that), but for anyone who would like to take their strength training seriously while also working on their metcon ability, I think this works well, and the CrossFit community seems to agree. I know the Chans (CrossFit Verve) use a Westside-based template for their advanced athletes, Outlaw CrossFit is based off a Westside template, and Katie Hogan also shared that she uses a Westside framework.

Right now my four-week plan looks like this:

Jo’s Bumbling Conjugate Adventure 3.0

  ME Lower Body ME Upper Body DE Lower Body DE Upper Body
Week 1 3RM Squat 3RM Bench 10 x 2 Pause Squats (50%, 55%, 60%)

8 x 1 Deadlift (try 75%)

3 x 8 Bench with chains
Week 2 3RM Deadlift 3RM Press 10 x 2 Pause Squats

8 x 1 Deadlift

3 x 8 Bench with chains
Week 3 3RM Safety Bar Squat or Front Squat 3RM Floor Press 10 x 2 Pause Squats

8 x 1 Deadlift

3 x 8 Bench with chains
Week 4 3RM Deficit Deadlift 3RM Push Press 10 x 2 Pause Squats

8 x 1 Deadlift

3 x 8 Bench with chains


Accessory Work:

Lower Body Days:

3 x 10 Good Mornings

3 x 10 Stiff-legged deadlifts

3 x 10 Bulgarian Split Squats


Upper Body Days:

3 x 10 Kettlebell bench press

3 x 10 Barbell Row

3 x 10 Kettlebell Press

I’m using 3rm instead of 1rm because, as a still relatively new lifter I feel I can benefit more from spending more time under tension. I’ve eliminated the chains on my squat because I’ve read a lot about them being less popular/beneficial for raw lifters. Also, I have enough things I need to work on for my squat that I don’t think adding the extra factor will help me right now. I’ve just switched to a low bar back squat and PR’d my 3RM by seven and a half pounds last week. I’ve also PR’d my deficit deadlift, and my upper body lifts have seen small gains as well. So thus far, no major complaints.

I’ve also realized that now is a good time to think about my goals and to articulate them. I will make a better, more thoughtful post on this later… but it occurred to me. I’m not training to be a competitive CrossFitter– I’ll never be at that level, nor am I competitive enough to be a Games-hopeful. But I would like to be a CrossFit coach. What do I want out of my state of fitness? Really… I want what CrossFit advertises itself to be a proponent of– I want to be a solid, all-around athlete. I want to be competent enough in all the movements, and at doing things RX’d that people will trust in me as a coach. But also, for myself, personally… I want to be in such shape that I can do things like long mud-runs/obstacle courses for fun. I want to be like Jefe who can sign up for a 10k on a whim the day after a powerlifting meet and feel okay (though admittedly it’s still not the smartest thing to do). Yeah, I kind of want to be in exceptional shape just so I can have fun with my body and what it’s capable of. That seems kind of ambiguous… but I will find a way to derive concrete training goals from this in the near future.

Until then, though, I have to get back to that work I was talking about.

Thank you for reading. Happy Thanksgiving… I hope your holiday is so full of love and comfort and warmth… I hope you spend it with people who care about you, who embrace you regardless of what shit you’re worried about at work, what small ways you feel like you’ve failed this week or next. I hope there’s turkey and bacon and a distinct lack of burpees. This year, I am thankful for you all.

Wrong, Again

In Rhetoric, Training on November 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm

So now that I had my fluffy, happy, post-competition reflection, I need to follow up with perhaps a little less fluffy Jo-rant. I intend to continue training with a Westside-based template; I enjoy the variation it gives me, and how I can theoretically customize according to my weaknesses– assuming I can correctly diagnose those weaknesses, and wisely configure the correct matrix of exercises to remedy those weaknesses (that’s a lot of assumptions, I realize…). Saturday night, I drafted a new regimen, and Sunday morning, I went into the gym chomping at the bit. In my defense, I wasn’t planning a on a max-effort day– mostly assistance work and testing out the accessory exercises that I wanted to implement on my lower body days, but I did still know that most people would advise against lifting the day after a powerlifting meet. Zebrapants arrived at the gym and confirmed my suspicions and told me I shouldn’t be lifting at all. So I unracked my bar and rowed a very bitter, slow, 20ish minutes.

Sidenote: I think the reason I dislike long, slow cardio is that it gives me too much time inside my own head, and it’s a scary place in there. Spurts of intense activity– sprints, short metcons, bursts of heavy lifting– are all so demanding that they, for a few seconds, can obliterate the mind chatter. Long WODS, the beautiful hero WODs that become slogs through bodyweight and barbell activities feel entirely meditative to me. I reach a state where I can clear my mind, where I just move and the burn is cleansing. But I can’t find that rhythm in cardio; I know plenty of people do, but at least the first ten minutes of slow cardio are miserable for me– and I mean that in an emotional rather than a physical sense. I descend somewhere angry and unhappy and bitter and and just loathe the world for a good while. After that, I actually begin to enjoy runs or rows… somewhat, but there’s a weirdly dark passage that I have to traverse to get there. I realize this is symptomatic of something entirely unrelated to physical activity and much to do with my own insanity… and is probably something I should address, and is probably inappropriate for this blog, so we shall move on. Anyway!

Anyway… today I went back to the gym, assuming (apparently wrongly) that it was an appropriate day to start lifting heavy again. And I did. I hit a 235lb deadlift– a 10lb PR and 15lbs more than my final attempt at the meet on Saturday. I was psyched, of course. I finished with the new accessory lifts (which I like so far, we’ll see… I’ll post an updated schedule when it’s finalized), and then a few 250m rowing sprints and prepared to call it a day, feeling perhaps a little too proud of myself.

I’ve screwed up enough times, and have enough self-destructive impulses that I’m intimately familiar with Jefe’s “You’re -doing-something-wrong” look. When I naively announced to him my PR, I got that look x 5. In retrospect, with all the reading I’ve done on exercise theory, I really should have known that anyone would balk at a max effort day two days after a powerlifting meet. But… here’s what’s been troubling me all weekend and today:

On Saturday, I lifted 85% of my max squat (poorly) three times. I benched, poorly, less than 85% of my max– albeit with a pause, once, and then screwed up the next two attempts. I deadlifted, yeah, three times within a max-effort range. But on the Westside template, “max-effort” days involve lifting above 90% of your max for seven reps– which is more volume than my entire day put together (or at least damn close). Prior to my day of competitive half-assery, I rested for a full week. I did not lift anything above 85% of my max. I reduced my dynamic work, and limited myself to only assistance exercises. I did absolutely no metcons, and any conditioning was under 15 minutes and at probably 50% effort. And I still… relatively… sucked. Then, today, when my system is supposed to be “taxed,” when I’m supposed to (apparently) be “resting,” I feel fantastic and hit a 10lb PR.

I guess the root of my frustration is that I want/expect this science to be a science. I want my body to respond as the literature says it should. I want to PR (or at least lift well) when I’ve deloaded. I want things to make sense. The first time I squatted 142.5, it was a 7.5lb jump from my last sticking point, and it was literally two days after I’d last tested my squat. Any time I abandon a lift for more than a week, my numbers drop substantially. Everyone else raves about the restorative effects of proper rest, but for some reason it feels like my body forgets that it can lift these weights.

I worry it must be a mental thing– that I just shed all confidence that I’m capable of these things if I don’t remind myself every so often. But I’ve also been shocked by these drops in lifts… After not squatting for two weeks, only two weeks, my max decreased by 15lbs and I was stunned by the gravity of the bar on my back. So if it is a mental thing, it’s buried deeper in my subconscious than anything I can easily access.

I also wonder if all these principles of rest and restoration apply better to people that truly lift heavy. Yeah…  squatting 400lbs even once probably does a hell of a number on your system, but I’m so damn small that I feel like the sheer mass of what I’m moving can’t compare to those of the test subjects in these tried and true methods. That’s probably me rationalizing irrationally though. The final point is just that… because it’s me, because I’m the only one for whom everything just seems backwards and wrong, it makes me feel like I’m fucking up somewhere. It taps into all those insecurities that there’s just something wrong with me or that I’m stupidly bumbling around in my ignorance… but if I am, I can’t pinpoint the source of my wrongness.

I’m just whining now. I will feel better tomorrow. I feel better after writing this… and I will update you with my new gameplan for my training. But for now, thanks for your patience, and for fielding my frustrations 🙂

Happy Monday…

Picking Things Up: A Beginner’s Perspective on Her First Powerlifting Meet

In General, Training on November 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Despite my depreciating grad student sleep habits, I tried to go to bed at 10:00pm last night, knowing I had to rise early for my powerlifting meet weigh-in. I couldn’t sleep for a small enternity, woke every hour on the hour, and finally just stayed out of bed at 5:30am. As I fried my eggs and bacon, I wondered at the tightness of my throat. Why was I nervous? All I had to do today was pick things up and put them down. The worst thing that could happen today would be me… not picking something up. This I told myself again and again as I stretched a profoundly unflattering skintight singlet over my body, as I padded myself in sweats and stumbled into the pre-dawn darkness to make my way to the competition site.

I’ve always avoided sporting competitions because they screw with my head. It’s actually odd because I loved and thrived in competitive speech and debate throughout high school and parts of college. I enjoyed band competitions and piano competitions… and the competitive environment of academia annoys me more often than stresses me out… but something about sporting events—perhaps my own terrible lack of athleticism—has always steered me away from participating in these things. For me, sports have always been opportunities to disappoint myself… if I did well, it just sort of happened. If I did poorly, then I’ve screwed up… it’s a messy psychology.

But I’ve been reminding myself to just enjoy this—to take it for what it is, a foray into foreign territory, an expansion of my horizons. We started with the weigh-in, which required us to descend into an underground locker room where a lone judge asked us to strip and step on the scale. When I asked her how far down I should strip, she told me (essentially), “It depends on how badly you want to win.” Apparently ties are broken by bodyweight differences—the lighter lifter wins. Well, I didn’t think I was competitive enough for my sports bra to separate me and the runner-up, so I stepped on the scale in my undergarments and came in at a surprising 108.2. I know I’ve lost unexpected weight lately… (I blame the grad student schedule and hope to be significantly more diligent about this in the coming months), but that’s still lighter than I anticipated. Anyway, that put me in the 114 weight class, which is a comfortable place for me.

But I quickly realized, this was a whole world away from my long, leisurely lifts in an empty CrossFit gym on Sunday mornings. When we started warming up, girls crowded the racks in clustered teams, where coaches dictated their warm-ups, helped them with their gear, gave them cues. As my coaches were competing and busy warming up on their own (and besides, I’m not their obligation outside the CrossFit gym), I was a lone Jo left to assert my right to the queue before the bar. My warm-up sets were messy and poorly timed… the weights weren’t my usual sets because I was just trying to squeeze in between other girls who seemed to know more of what was going on. The room was freezing and we were in (did I mention unflatteringly skintight?) singlets.

When I stepped onto the platform, I realized how bright the spotlights were, how strange it was to be flanked by three judges, again how different this was from squatting in an empty gym with friends as my spotters. My first squat was a little high—I felt it, and they noted it. The PSU powerlifting coach—a friend whom I shall now dub Squatsalot for the purposes of this blog—was a lifesaver throughout this whole ordeal and told me I should stay at the same weight and attempt again. Round two, I made the lift, but was so excited I beat the rack command (you have to wait until the judge gives a signal), which means the lift didn’t count. So, I bumped my pathetic opening number (a safe, 85% of my tested max) up by five pounds, determined not to stay at a weight I knew I could (and have) squatted for fifteen+ reps, and went out for one more time. It was ugly. I went lower than I’m used to going and had a hard time getting back out of the hole, but I made it, and put up a number and managed to not bomb out of my first meet.

Next, bench press. This lift has three commands. First, you unrack the bar and wait for the “down” command, then you pause with the weight suspended on your chest for an agonizingly long time until the judge calls “press,” then you push up and pray that the mass of steel ascends and once it does, you wait again for the “rack” command. My first bench felt easy—85lbs. Prior to the meet, I never really practiced paused benches, but I did try it once at 85 just to make sure I could do it. But I was overambitious and jumped to 95… which did not happen. I’m a bit disappointed because I’ve hit 102.5 more than once in the gym (without the pause), but… I also recognize that I’m bad at physically adapting to tasks I have not tried, and I’m not sure I could have expected much better.

Finally, deadlift. My favorite fucking lift. I warmed up early this time, foam rolling, mobilizing, etc. I demanded my right to the bar and moved weight on and off to the warm up sets I wanted, and felt… relatively prepared by the time we were gathered, shivering, for the first attempts. 190lbs went up easy. I went to 210. 210 felt rough. I felt my back give and I thought… well, it’s been a rough meet and I should play it safe… 220 would still be over 2x bodyweight, even if it’s not a PR. But… 220 shot off the ground and felt light. And then I wished I had tried 230…

But! Overall, I’ve decided not to beat myself up over this. In fact, I actually think I want to do this again (why not, after all I’ve purchased a flashy, multipurpose singlet). I probably won’t train for it specifically again… I’ll just CrossFit in my perennial pursuit of that fantastical coaching position someday, but if CrossFit works as it should and if I plan and eat and rest as I should, I intend to be stronger by the time the next meet rolls around anyway.

In other news, Jefe and Zebrapants (our two coaches who also competed) absolutely rocked it. Jefe PR’d his squat and deadlift, and I’d argue his bench as well because he never really practiced a pause bench. I believe Zebrapants also PR’d his deadlift. He’s also enough of a talented athlete that he jumped in on this meet as a last-minute endeavor and came in second place in his weight class. As for Jefe, he’s a strange little phenomenon. Last year, I watched him train for a 50 miler and recover astoundingly fast for someone who’s just dragged his body through the Pennsylvania woods for an entire day. He also dictated his own training for this meet and excelled. Tomorrow, instead of resting like a smart boy, he’s going to run 25k for the hell of it, and will probably recover fine. I wonder if what divides us is discipline, strategy, or natural athleticism… Possibly a little bit of everything.

On a bit of a positive note, when I returned to the competition site to watch the evening session, a few guys recognized me outside the building and congratulated me on my deadlift. Another guy, who was there to watch his son, actually remembered my name and told me how much he admired my technique (someone admires my technique at… anything physical? What?). But… it was a nice ego-booster for a day I felt was a bit of a bust… (but a very worthwhile bust that I’m so grateful I did). I’m glad I’ve ventured outside my comfort zone… and witnessed what happens when I… fail to pick something up. Pretty much nothing except the tiny angry jabberings of my head.

Anyway… many thanks to the friends who came out and supported us today. Despite my morning lecture to myself, I was nervous as hell, and so comforted by familiar, encouraging smiles from people who know how far I’ve come to be able to pick 100lbs off the ground, let alone 220.

I am now… so behind on my work. Grad school and activities outside of grad school do not mix. So… back to work I go. Happy Saturday to you all.

Something Different

In Rhetoric, Writing on November 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I’m always grateful when people show an interest in my work. I’m entirely stunned when people find it worthwhile to publish my work– to see something in it worthwhile enough that they’d like to share it with others. I think I’ll always be overcome by gratitude each time it happens (and god I hope it keeps happening). That said, a recent piece of mine has appeared in the Fall 2012 edition of Kartika Review— a journal I’ve long admired and with which I’ve hoped to collaborate. This is a work of nonfiction. My only work of creative nonfiction, and possibly the most difficult thing I’ve ever written. It has nothing to do with CrossFit and nothing to do with paleo, so if that’s all your here for you can wait until after my Saturday update on my powerlifting meet ;). I actually deliberated for a while whether I would share it on this blog. It’s personal– possibly more about Jo than any of you would want to know, but I’ve also grown tired of silence… I’ve considered that it may be cowardly, or weak, to thrust my stories onto others. But I also admire the act of openness… that fearlessness to be unapologetic about yourself and your shadows. I’m still not sure how I feel about publishing this piece, but for those of you who read it– it may illuminate a bit of the Jo that showed up in State College two and a half years ago, ragged with insufficiency, uncertain of everything. I’ve gotten over a lot of the crap featured in this essay– with many thanks to my patient, loving friends. These days,  I generally feel pretty good about the world (as evidenced by my super-fluffy posts recently), but I don’t think my demons ever totally disappear. Now and then, when I least expect it, they emerge at 3:00 in the morning, when my basement studio seems the last, lonely place on earth. Sometimes they emerge-mid WOD, when I realize I’ve stopped lifting to work out, I’ve stopped lifting for reps, I’m just lifting for annihilation– hoping all that pain will get my brain to finally… stop thinking. But it doesn’t. So I write. And this is what I came up with:

If the automatic viewer thing on the page doesn’t work for you, you can download the pdf via the “Download” tab. I start on page 67. If you’re feeling super generous, I’m sure the lovely folks who work for Kartika would love for you to buy the issue (there’s a tab for that too). I usually love the writers they choose, and they always have a wonderful selection of writing.

As always, thank you for reading.