Friday, July 31, 2009

remembering Cory

Today was I was treating my sister to a belated birthday lunch at a local Filipino restaurant where she sat down and said, "Did you hear? Cory Aquino died today."

I was stunned.

I knew the former president of the Philippines was suffering from cancer because it was headline news while I was living there last year. However, I didn't realize that she would leave us so soon.

I'm not big on idolatry. As a scholar, it's important to maintain a critical eye. I do not write this to over-romaticize her presidency. She had a lot on her plate. She didn't have the experience to restore democracy and clean up a corrupt government after the Marcos dictatorship. She also came from a wealthy land-owning family that would have zero interest in supporting land reform. Like all of us, she was not perfect.

However, she still remains an important historical figure in my life. The People Power Revolution in 1986 still burns in my memory. I recall night after night being glued to the television set with my father as we watched the footage of the election and the overthrow. Images of people donning their yellow t-shirts and raising their "laban" signs, nuns praying on the streets, and Arcadia's "Election Day" blared from the television screen. I remember watching the masses put their faith in Corazon Aquino - their symbol of justice and their memory of her late husband Ninoy Aquino.

I also remember when she became the president of the Philippines. It was then that my father told me that Filipino women can do anything. To this day, I believe what my father told me.

As an adult and scholar, I am still fascinated by the Marcos dictatorship, the People Power movement, and of course, Cory Aquino's presidency. Today, I am saddened by her passing. Though I will always maintain a critical eye, I do want to pay my proper respects to Time Magazine's 1986 Woman of the Year (note: she was the second female to earn this title; the first was Queen Elizabeth in 1952), and the person who inspired what my sociology professor described as, "a bloodless revolution."

My sincerest condolences go to the family and friends of Corazon Aquino.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

dance dance dance!

Rest days are great days to have a red velvet cupcake from Love at First Bite. I can't decide what I like better - the taste of the cupcake or the name of the bakery. No. I didn't have a cupcake today. But I would have liked to!

Today's Workout
One hour of belly dance

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Today was an official rest day. This cycle ripped me to shreds, so I opted out of going to the box today. Instead, I headed over to Siliman and took a belly dance class. I'm a little out of my dance element. It also didn't help that I'm as stiff as a board. The movements just weren't that easy tonight. Oh well. It was a good break from CrossFit.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

more to fat...

In today's One World post, Freddy talked about a USA Today article titled, Obesity a key link to soaring health tab as costs double. I looked up the article and found a second related article here. As you can see, the discussion has inspired a slew of reactions from the peanut gallery. (Note: I stole this photo from the One World site.)

For all intensive purposes, I agree that obesity is a major problem in the U.S. and it's striking kids at an alarming rate. This needs to be handled - at home through the family, by the government, by the education system, and with the food industry as a whole. No arguments there.

Truth is, I'm overweight. In fact, I'm FAT. But I'm healthy. No. This is not an oxymoron. In fact, if you look at this study, half of the overweight people in this study were actually healthy, while a quarter of people who were in "normal weight ranges" were at risk of having heart problems. So there you have it. Even skinny people have heath issues too.

I handle my health as best as I can. In January 2004 I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. The doctor said I probably had it since I was 18 and didn't see the signs. The diabetes news rocked me. I went home and told my family and as it turns out, diabetes runs in my mother's family. She never mentioned this (and the fact she herself had diabetes since 1987 - the same year my father passed away) because it seemed to be a source of shame for her and the rest of the family. From then on, I made diabetes a family issue. My brother was checked and he found out he has diabetes as well. A few weeks ago my sister found out she is pre-diabetic. Yes, diabetes is linked to obesity. It is also linked to genetics. My point here is families need to talk about health issues - especially if you come from a culture of silence and if particular diseases run in your family. I can't change my family's health and eating choices. But at family gatherings, I do make it a point to incorporate dishes with veggies and fresh produce that stay true to our cultural sensibilities, all of which they enjoy. I ran a marathon, I exercise regularly, I'll support anyone's positive health choices, and I do this blog. My family can choose to log on and read. This is how I make health a family and community issue.

Also, diabetes doesn't just happen to fat people. I remember having to take a diabetes class and most of the people there were actually in normal weight ranges. The frustrating thing about the class was seeing all these "normal" people bitch and moan about having diabetes. One women even declared, "I don't understand why I'm here. Diabetes is for fat people and I'm not fat." I wanted to throw my shoe at her. But sometimes you gotta let stupid just speak for herself.

Yes. One can be fit and fat. To me, "overweight" is relative. While in college I joined a globo gym where they did body fat assessments and such. I don't do this stuff because it's usually an open invitation for some meathead to tell you you're fat and that you need to buy over-priced personal training sessions from him or you'll DIE! But I liked this trainer and he seemed to know his stuff. When he weighed me, his immediate reaction was, "Whoa. I wasn't expecting you to be that heavy!" To which I responded, "Fuck you!" When he caught himself he said that we needed to have a serious talk about my weight. We sat down and he pulled the BMI chart and showed me what weight range I needed to be in. fathlete confession: I'm nowhere NEAR this range. In fact, I don't think I've been within my BMI weight range since I was a fetus swimming in my mama's stomach.

Ray (the trainer) sat me down and said, "Joanne, you cannot follow the BMI chart. If you were in this weight range, you'd be starving. You don't have the body type that suits the BMI chart because your build is so dense. I need you to add 30 pounds to the BMI range. That's what I want you to aim for." I knew this guy rocked! The idea of starving my body shocked me and I've taken that lesson with me ever since. Also if you check out the previously mentioned study, it will explain that according to the BMI bullshit, half of the NBA would be obese. You got that? BMI=bullshit.

I'm all about feeding my body (my mind and my soul). I don't pay attention to weight. I pay attention to what I can do. Period. This, for me, is a better way to measure my health.

I remember a while back, I was watching an episode of the Tyra Banks Show (this was before I cancelled my cable). The episode addressed the fat, thin, and/or fit question. In one of the segments, they had a thin woman who was about 130# and considered "normal." Next to her was a thicker woman, 200# and considered obese (according to the BMI charts). Tyra had them do a little physical fitness course. Before they ran the course (it was something like 2 minute run; 10 push-ups; 10 sit-ups, 10 of some other exercise), the audience was supposed to vote on who would finish first. Naturally, they chose the skinny girl. The not-so-skinny girl declared, "Oooh! You guys are gonna regret that!" They ran the course and the 200# girl smoked the skinny girl. Lesson learned... never underestimate the power of a fat girl!

In closing, health is about doing, being active, aware, and communicating. Indulge in that for you, your families, and your respective communities. Hopefully, everything else will follow.

Run 800 meters
TWO rounds of:
20 GHD sit-ups
20 presses (with dowel)
20 squats
10 burpees

Extra panting and wiping massive amounts of sweat because I'm just a sweaty girl.

Prep for WOD.

Resisting the urge to laugh when Jerry L. fell down. (Sorry dude. I had to mention it!)

CrossFit One World WOD
Hang squat clean 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Joanne's Final weight - 73/83/88/88(f)/88(f)/88/88/88/93(f)/93(f)

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
Jason K. says that you should never end class with a failed lift. Personally, I don't care as long as I do my best. I've been out of the oly lifting mode, so I knew I had to take extra care today. Plus, my body is completely wrecked! My max on a clean from the floor is 93# and that's a struggle for me. Today I was hoping to hit 93#, but I didn't. It's no big deal, though. I'm wrecked and not 100%. Also, according to Eric, your clean from the floor is supposed to be stronger than your hanging clean. With that, my weight was fine.

I will say that there's something about 93# being by weak point. I really need to work on that. Today I decided to stick with 88# because in the past, I jumped the gun and failed miserably. My last 88# attempt was beautiful (according to the audience). It felt good. Today that's all I was aiming for.

Again, I'm wrecked. I'm taking advantage of tomorrow's rest day by taking a belly dancing class. Shut up. Laugh all you want. You wish you could shimmy like this!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

more birthday news...

I just wanted to send a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my big sister Tina (Cristina to all of you). She's pictured here with her sons Brendan (on the left) and Theo (on the right). I took this photo when we were on vacation in Banff. The rocky mountains are amazing! I'd tell you how old she is, but she'd kill me. I will say that we're 9.5 years apart, so you do the math. My sister is the nicest person you'll ever meet and in my opinion, is really mellow considering she's a fire sign (wa-hoo leos!). When most people meet us, they can tell right away that we're sisters. I guess it's 'cuz we have that sisterly vibe. People also assume that she's the younger one (yes, this totally bruises my ego). I tell myself that people assume she's younger than me because I have that bitchy/protective/assertiveness that only an older sister can possess. ha ha! Happy Birthday sis! I hope you have an amazing bday!

In other birthday news, I would like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend John W. He turns the big 3-5 today. That he shares the same birthday as my sister is probably the only reason why I could even remember his birthday. ha ha! Okay. I'll be nice. This photo was taken last week at his bday "almost-didn't-happen" shindig last week. (Note: I stole this photo from Alison.) Happy Birthday John! I hope you're having a great time back home in Tennessee. I'm sure your mom still loves you:)

Finally, my sister likes to remind me that the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is also a July 28th baby. Yes, lots of cool people were born today. Happy Birthday!

Stretching Clinic

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete five rounds for time of:
Row 500m
Run 400m

Joanne's Final Time -26:27

Notes (to myself) about this workout: My best time on this was 28:31 as posted here. That means I beat my PR by over two minutes. Yup. I'm doing a little victory dance as we speak. As usual, this WOD sucked. I will say that while doing the WOD, I felt good about it. For rounds 1 and 2 I tried to keep the row below 2:15. For the rest of the rounds, I tried to keep in in the 2:20s, with some slippage into 2:30. When strategizing for this, the row (for me) is the only thing I have actual control over. Today I felt my transitions were better. I'm notorious for taking a break after each round to have water and just take a breath. Not that these things are bad. But I was more conscious about going from the row straight to the run. I also learned (per Jamie P.'s advice) that it's best to relax instead of tensing up during the WOD. It makes the process much more manageable.

Finally, I wore my skins socks today. I really liked them because my legs feel good. I actually wished I could afford the tights because my thighs feel a little sore. My calves feel awesome, though. I don't think they had anything to do with hitting a new PR, but I do feel good.

Finally, am I the only person who finds this new show remotely interesting?! As a CrossFitter, I completely understand that being anti-fat kind of comes with the territory. However, you're talking to a self-proclaimed fathlete here. I own every ounce of fat on my body. (More on this another day.) I will say that I find this show intriguing because for the first time, I get to see normal sized women. In case you didn't get the memo, the average woman in the U.S. is a size 14/16. Yes, roughly my size. I think health and beauty come in every size, shape, and color. With that, I'm curious to see how this show handles itself.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Bday Bradass!

I just wanted to wish a very happy birthday to our very own Bradass. It doesn't take a genius to know how awesome he is. I swear, when I'm in the 50+ club, I'd be lucky to be half as fit as Brad. I hope you had an amazing day (even though you got suck teaching all night).

I befriended CrossFit Unlimited on Facebook and they posted this article on the cost of poor nutrition. Now this is something that I can agree with and relate to. I like the article because it focuses less on the organic/free-range debate and basically states that eating out costs money in the long run. If you just take a little time to prep your meals, you're health and wallet are better off. (Also, eating well will lead to less money spent on prescription meds. Wa-hoo!)

As a grad student on a budget, I'm all about eating in. It helps me refine my cooking skills and gives me a better understanding of what I can actually eat, what I can pack, and what I enjoy. It also makes it easier to entice friends to come over and eat because each week I create a meal plan. Part of the plan is to always share food. In addition, I have an old blue lunch bag that I use to pack food and I find that ice packs are handy when I have cold things like salad and fruit to store. I'm a big fan of ziploc containers. Recently, I discovered these bad boys. Feel free to give any of these things a try and let me know how you like them. Also, enjoy the article!

30 GHD sit-ups (slow)
30 GHD back extensions (slow)
hanging on the pull-up bars

Run 400 meters
Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete as many rounds as you can in fifteen minutes of:
10 Thrusters 53#
10 Barbell walking lunge steps 53#

Joanne's Final Tally - 6 rounds + 10 thrusters
(To put these numbers in perspective, I did 70 thrusters and 60 walking lunge steps total, using a 53# weight. That's a lot for my gluteus maximus to take.)

Notes (to myself) about this workout: This WOD was every bit of EVIL as I thought it would be. Again, karma will be paying a lovely visit to Chong soon. Believe me, Chong. She's a bitch!

When I saw this WOD posted, I aimed for four rounds, five rounds being a gift. I also knew that I had to scale down the weight. Not a lot of women did the rx'd 65#. I thought 53# was perfect for me. To end with six rounds and ten thrusters was pure joy.

All I can really say about this WOD is it's one of those that creeps up on you. Round one was fine. Round two was tougher. Round three had me dividing the thrusters in a 6/4 format. I did that for the duration of the WOD. The biggest challenge was the lunge steps because we've just never done a weighted lunge step like that before. Right now I'm feeling the WOD in my shoulders. Damn thrusters.

I hope to hell that you can bounce a quarter off my ass after tonight's WOD!

Mr. White T-shirt

Dear Mr. White T-shirt,

For the record, when I am out and about in San Francisco with my near and dear girlfriends, you are the last thing on my mind. I don't care that you played football at the University of Spoiled Children. I don't care that you now spend your days and nights fighting fires and saving lives. So what if you've just been drafted to play professional football? Such accomplishments are hardly impressive in my book.

Seriously, Mr. White T-shirt. I barely noticed how tall, tan, athletically inclined, and incredibly good-looking you are.


I'll have you know that a woman of my caliber has far better things to do than to stare at the way your muscles enhance your strategically placed tribal tattoos. I yawn at the idea of bouncing quarters off of your perfectly rounded behind. Finally, when your friend, Mr. Black T-shirt, mentioned several times that you are single, I hardly batted an eyelash.

Puh-lease Mr. White T-shirt. When I am out and about in San Francisco with my near and dear girlfriends, you are the last thing on my mind.

Sincerely yours,
The Fierce Runner

Friday, July 24, 2009

ladies of One World

Every now and again, some of the folks at One World will go out and about and do whatever. Last Saturday a handful of us helped John W. celebrate the big 3-5. Pictured here are the ladies of the night. (Note: I stole this photo from Anna.) In the back row we have: Alison, Anna, Lauren, and Jen. In the front row are Lisette, me, and Rita. fathlete confession: Sometimes when I hang out with the ladies of One World, I feel like that dorky nerd girl in high school with no friends, who was just invited to go and party with the cool kids. Chillin' with the cool kids makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Shhh... Don't tell anyone I said this - especially Alex C. He'll get mad. ha ha!

Today's Workout
One hour of belly dance.

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I can't remember the last time I did belly dance. It's been a L-O-N-G time! I forgot how much I like to do it. I'm rusty, but I guess it's like riding a bike. I can catch on pretty quickly. (Well, at least I think I can.) Now I need to figure out how to get more dancing in.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This is Maria. She has a twin sister named Mary (who isn't in the photo, but looks just like her. ha ha!). Maria (and her twin) are badass. Seriously. They put me to shame. But I love them nonetheless. 'Cuz that's just how you're supposed to treat a badass. In the event I decide to grow up, I'd like to be a badass just like Maria (and her twin). Rumor has it that aside from being a badass, Maria likes Pixar films. That's why I love her even more.

Run 800 meters
TWO rounds of:
Samson Stretch
10 shoulder rolls
10 overhead squats
10 GHD push-ups
10 GHD back extensions
10 jumping pull-ups

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete 21/18/15/12/9/6/3 reps of:
Deadlift 110#
Burpees (I modified and did sprawls)

Joanne's Final Time - 24:34

Notes (to myself) about this workout: It's official. I hate Chong. I don't mind that he does the programming. I mind that I didn't see his name on the board as proof that he actually did this WOD. After I post this, I will consult the burpee gods. They're coming after you, Chong!

It took me a while to finish. When I saw the board, a bunch of people totally killed the WOD. Under nine minutes Will B.? Really?! You disgust me! ha ha! Anyway... I just knew that this WOD would be my achilles heel. Last week Jason K. freaked me out when he told me that my deadlift sucked. I swear I thought I had a good deadlift. That combined with burpees made me freak out with this WOD. I knew I could correct the deadlift by going a little lighter on the weight. I also knew that the burpees would kill me. Eric suggested I do sprawls instead (burpees sans the push-up; when you're tired, you end up doing sprawls anyway). Compared to everyone else, my time really sucked. But here's my take on this WOD and maybe CrossFit in general.

I've taken a personal pledge to not beat myself over the head regarding times, doing the WOD rx'd, and such. I'm focusing on my level of improvement - even if it means my improvement puts me in dead last at the box. If I did this WOD a year ago, it would have taken me a good forty minutes. Seriously. To finish under a half hour was a gift in my book.

Having made that point, I felt good about this WOD. Again, I was having some anxieties about the deadlift because there are 84 lifts and burpees in this WOD. Eric did mention that when I fatigue, my form slips, and this is probably what Jason K. was pointing out. To strategize, I dropped the weight and went 16# below the rx'd weight. I thought this was a fair compromise. I also went slow on the deadlift. Here's how I conquered my form issues:

(1) I went a little slow because I wanted to handle the deadlift with care.
(2) I broke them up in sets.
(3) When I felt myself fatigue, I made sure that before each rep, I rolled back on my heels first before lifting. This helped me initiate a good lumbar curve.

I'm proud that I was cautious. Granted, it still sucked and I died. But each deadlift was 100% legit and I'm sure that I won't have any back problems tomorrow morning. In fact, I'm not feeling anything tonight, so yea! Also, it took me over 18 minutes to do 100 burpees the last time we did that WOD, so 24+ minutes to do 84 119# deadlifts and sprawls was actually not bad. (I shall now pat myself on the back.)

Everyday I feel like each WOD kicks my ass and that I always come in last place at the box. I know you're supposed to learn to crawl before you walk. Each day I feel like I'm just crawling. It's frustrating feeling this way. I care about my progress. Right now, I'm just leaning on the hope that I am making progress. Slowly and surely. I'm getting there. Again, I'm not going to waste time beating myself over the head about tonight's time. I hit my form and that's what I wanted to do.

On a lighter note, I wanted to give BIG KUDOS to Healther and Jamie for getting their first muscle ups. Dang! That money is so up for grabs. Also, BIG KUDOS to Jerry L. for nailing his first muscle up! I know there's no money in it for the guys, but I was proud to watch him get up there. Wa-hoo!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I just wanted to give a warm welcome to the newest member of the obscene 7:15 clan, Jerry L. Here he is sporting his volunteering best at this year's CrossFit Games. If some of you are wondering what it looks like to drink a healthy dose of the CrossFit kool-aid, Jerry is the perfect example. He pushes his limit in every class and it's great to share the floor with him. Welcome Jerry! (And I hope your butt is recovering nicely from Jason K.'s abuse last night.... Yeah. You figure it out!)

Useless banter.

CrossFit One World WOD
Run 5K

Joanne's Final Time - 30 some odd minutes, maybe close to 40 some odd minutes? I wasn't paying attention.

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Today was a rest day. I needed to blow off some steam. The run helped. I'm leaving it at that because right now, I have nothing nice to say.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

you're kidding, right?

The woman pictured here is actress Sharon Leal. I like this actress. It's partly because she's one of few visible Filipina actresses in popular media today. That's right. I blew her cover. She's part Filipina and grew up in a Filipino household. My friend Margaret sent me this article from Allure magazine. The basis of this article is was to photograph six female entertainers and talk to them about their bodies, self esteem, and having to pose in the nude. fathlete bitch rant: I understand what the people at Allure are trying to do. But seriously. Conventionally beautiful nude women who are airbrushed?! My dearest Allure Magazine, if you wanted to have a relatable story about these women having the same body issues as everyone else, then do me this favor.... Show these women with stretch marks, cellulite, and actual pubic hair. Send your readers the message that such things are perfectly normal. Do that, and I may have to subscribe. Thank you.

Run 800 meters
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete two rounds of the following for time:
30 left arm kettle bell swings 25#
30 lunge steps with a plate held overhead 25#
30 right arm kettle bell swings
30 lunge steps with a plate held overhead

Joanne's Final Time - 18:32

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I rx'd this WOD today. Wa-hoo! The one handed KB swings were tough, but I made it through. I did most of the WOD in sets of 10. Bleh.

Oh yes. By the way. Kudos! Jason K. made Jerry L.'s butt hurt. You figure that one out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

on food...

This silly photo was taken last year at a cupcake bakery in the Philippines. I forget the name of the bakery. Though it looks delicious, the cupcake was a total shame to the goodness of red velvet. fathlete confession: I have a penchant for red velvet cupcakes. Also, the fleur de sel from Kara's Cupcakes makes me weak in the knees. Actually, I just have that general reaction to all things caramel. Yeah. Now you know.

Anyway... in today's CrossFit peanut gallery, Annie asked about the film Food Inc. I chimed in and mentioned I'd give my thoughts on the film. So here it is. I'll say that this has more to do with issues of food than the actual film.

I saw Food Inc. on my "me" day ('cuz I'm a nerd and that's what nerds do on "me" days). Granted, I could have rounded up a crew to watch it. But I wanted to see it by myself and not run into some heated debates with people I love. It's not that I don't like debates. It's that debate brings out the worst in me. I don't like to loose and I don't hesitate to go below the belt. I love people too much to do this. (If you've ever seen that episode of Speak Out with me in it, you'll know what I'm talking about. Yes. I've been on TV several times. I get called in when people need a smart ass bitch's perspective. It's kinda' embarrassing.)

Anyway, the film covers important things that are near and dear to my heart such as the relationship between food and chronic diseases such as diabetes. It also talks about healthy eating as a class issue, how meat is processed, the concern for profit over health, etc. I won't talk about all of these things.

I do want to focus on food and class. The film shows a lower income Latino family where the father is diabetic and the mother and one of the daughters is overweight. The family expresses that they're concerned about their health, but their finances don't allow them to eat as healthy as they want. A great example the mother mentions is that you can buy a hamburger from McDonald's for a dollar, but to buy two fresh pears costs more than that. It's not that people don't want to eat healthy, it's that to do so costs money. I'd love to eat free range meat. But it costs twice as much to have it. Of course, there's also the issue of organic and free range products actually being what it says it is... but that's another story.

A while back, I was interviewed for a documentary about food and class and this was my major issue - healthy food and access to lower income communities. It's no accident that those who are plagued with chronic diseases are people of color and poor people (because race and class are intricately woven). If you drive through any given ghetto, you're more likely to find a good number of fast food restaurants than one single grocery store. I'm sure these grocery stores aren't selling organic and free range. With that, I think the film could do a better job at showing this. I also think that the government needs to care about health education and food access for lower income people.

Along the same lines, to eat free range meat and/or organic produce is a privilege that many do not have. Seriously. To be a tempeh-toting food snob is an actual privilege. As someone who lived in Santa Barbara for almost six years and goes to school in Berkeley, I've met more than my fair share of overly judgmental, tempeh-toting, anti-meat cynics. To each her own. Your food choices don't have to be mine. What I cannot stand is when I meet a tempeh-toting food snob who feels that common food just isn't good enough for her/him. fathlete confession: this is my schtick, not yours. Granted, I respect people who can eat well all the time. What I will not tolerate is being judged for the things I eat. You do you and I do me. Agreed? Good.

I lived in the Philippines last year and concepts like free range and organic are still quite new. In a third world country, you can't be the Berkeley-Santa Barbara snobby foodie because people are just happy to have something to eat. When you're dealing with struggling families, there is no time to think free. range. organic.

During my trip overseas, I was amazed at how abundant fresh produce was. I loved the grocery stores (and street vendors) because you could buy your produce and they'd cut and prep it for you right there. Fish was fresh and actually looked like fish. Chickens were a reasonable size, juicy, and tender. Talk all the shit you want about balut, but it's a protein source, it's fresh, and I'm sure it's paleo approved. Also, the portion sizes were infinitely smaller than it is here, making healthy eating easy. However, to visit someone's home and tell them you can't eat something because you don't eat meat or you only eat organic is considered rude. Though I completely respect one's food choices, there are certain cultural lines that are hard to negotiate. When I did meet people who were vegetarian or vegan or had access to organic and free range products, they were always high elite. To eat "well" is a privilege.

With respect to the film, I loved how it showed that food and feed are relational. Early in the film, they show the inhumane ways in which animals are treated in order for everyday people to have meat available. It's pretty gross - especially when you watch them spraying chemicals on the meat to prevent e. coli. A great point the film makes is that instead of creating chemicals and technologies to make the meat bacteria free, they just need to go back and feed the animals grass instead of corn. It's easy enough. But legislation doesn't mandate this. WTF?!

They then show a farmer raising cows, chickens, and pigs. I loved that farmer guy and I forget his name. You see him and his team raising the animals, killing the animals, and then later on eating with their families. It reminded me of growing up on Guam. Our neighbor, an elderly lady who I called Lola Rocing raised chickens. I remember how I'd come over and pet a chicken, and then find that we were having that same chicken for dinner. It's not inhumane per say. That farmer and Lola Rocing just understand that food and feed are relational. So treating the animals in a humane way is part of that relationship. It's a very indigenous way of thinking and the world needs that these days, you know?

I was glad I saw the film and left with an awareness. But it did not scare the shit out of me and make me want to boycott meat all together. (I remember when I saw Super Size Me. It took me a year to look at a fast food place!) For example, Eric Schlosser, who wrote Fast Food Nation, is in the film. Eating a burger. Not a shmancy organic burger, but a plain old diner burger. For me, this was a way to tell the audience that you can eat healthy. The food industry is a huge monster that needs fixing. But on the daily, you can make small important changes in your life to sustain healthy living.

Like Mr. Schlosser, I'm not ready to get rid of my burger. I'm not rich enough to buy free range and organic ALL THE TIME. Though food is political for some, I still hold on to the cultural value of food. But I am willing to do things that will ensure healthier living such as shop at a local farmer's market, sign necessary petitions for legislation, vote, try to cut out as much processed foods as I can, and just have an overall awareness of what's out there. I'll engage in conversations. But I won't wave my snob flag when I don't agree with other people's food choices.

Row 700 meters
Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Power Snatch 53# 63#

Notes (to myself) about this workout:I hate snatches. Today I just worked on form. I could nail the 53# consistently, but 63# was my achilles heel. Bleh. After the WOD, I practiced swinging. It still sucks and makes my hands hurt. Along with Lori, we're trying to figure out a good way to tape our hands. Will keep you posted!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

lessons from a "me" day

On today's One World posting, Freddy incorporated a discussion about CrossFit and women's concerns about getting too bulky. Naturally, this turned into a small discussion about CrossFit and beauty. If you know me, you know that beauty is my job, my research, and sadly, a major portion of my life. But I won't dwell tonight. Instead, I welcome you to read my thoughts on the matter here. With respect to CrossFit, women, and getting bulky, here is the story that Freddy posted. I share my fathlete take on that same issue here. In case you read the comments on the One World post, you can find the hooker heels reference and all the other crazy gym characters here.

Whew. Okay. That was a lot of linking.

Reading Freddy's post and the comments prompted me to share this thing that I wrote a few weeks ago. The photo above was taken at the marketplace in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. I was literally writing this piece in the photo! A little background: This "thing" came about when some silly girl referred to me as "old." Though I wanted to throw my shoe at her, I couldn't understand why I couldn't find the intentional insult insulting. Also, a part of me is reeling from quote and a recent Olive Garden conversation. I love that people can amaze me in good ways. Enjoy...

Lessons From a "Me" Day

Growing up, I thought that life began at the age of twenty-four. By the age of twenty-four, I envisioned myself married, settled down, and delving in to whatever career I chose to be in.

When these things didn’t happen, I spent a number of years in the self-loathing, “what is WRONG with me? why am I not good enough?” state-of-mind. Behind the laughter, the witty sense of humor, and the ass-kicking facade, was an extremely insecure and unsatisfied person.

If I could visit my twenty-four year-old self now, I’d kick the living shit out of her.

I decided that today, of all days, I’d give myself a “me” day. Unfortunately, I don’t get to give myself a lot of these. I spent the day in the city where I treated myself to a movie – popcorn, water, and all. I then headed over to a nearby restaurant where I proudly ate what I wanted, as much as I wanted, and didn’t think twice about taking the rest home for later. From there, I headed to a coffee shop to get some writing done.

Right now, I’m here at the Embarcadero.
Sitting on a table that I’m not supposed to sit at.
Jotting my thoughts on the day.

This city, this life, is incredible if you listen well enough, look closely enough, and feel deeply enough.

As I indulge in my “me” day, I’m reminded that I love the state in which I am at right now – regardless of my saggy boobs, increasing number of wrinkles, stiff joints, grey hair, and all. I indulge in my self-growth and relish the fact that though my twenty-four year-old self would NEVER go to a movie alone, eat in a restaurant without the safety net of a book, or just sit here in the middle of San Francisco’s marketplace staring at the water with no specific agenda, my thirty-something self would do all these things in a heartbeat and without batting an eyelash.

There are a number of people I could call, things I could do to look occupied, places I could go to where my alone-ness is less obvious. But my thirty-something self just won’t have it.

In my older age, I care less about the clothes I’m wearing, the make-up I’m buying, and the material goods I want but know I can’t afford. Instead, I care deeply about the contours of the people around me and am slowly but assertively letting go of the toxic personalities that choose to plague my life.

In the meantime, I’m learning that someone else’s bullshit doesn’t have to be mine. Those who matter know the difference between your good intentions and someone else’s stupidity.

I could care less about eating at a fancy restaurant and would much rather spend a few less dollars and a little bit more time cooking in my own kitchen for the sake of having friends over “just because.”

I spend way less time obsessing over intricate details of the body parts I wish would just go away, and I celebrate any time I can shave seven minutes off “Mr. Joshua.”

In my older age, I’m learning to take a compliment much better. I’m trying to be less of a cynic. And with the help of the priceless friendships that continue to bless my world, I’m working on restoring my faith in things I didn’t have faith in before (including myself).

At this point in my life, I'm turing my back on "where is he?" and leaning on the hope that whomever he is, will show up when the time is right.

My younger self was obsessed with being the pretty girl. I am okay with the fact that I am not and was never meant to be the pretty girl. Instead, I aspire to be a beautiful soul because I know she'll endure well after the pretty girl realizes she has nothing left.

I’ve let go of the idea of perfection and have surrendered to the fact that I’m a constant work-in-progress. At this moment, I am by no means 100% perfect. But I’m old enough to know that there are instances where 100% is complete bullshit.

I laugh more. I cry more. I apologize a lot less.

I’m learning that snap judgment and unwarranted gossip are a complete waste of my precious time.

I fully understand that no matter how I’m feeling, the world will still revolve on its axis, and that axis isn't made of just me.

Sigh. I’m not sure if kicking the living shit out of my twenty-four year-old self would have gotten me to this place any faster. But no matter what it took to get here, I’m glad that I continue to arrive.

- joanne l. rondilla
july 3, 2009

Row 500 meters
Eric's crazy warm-up that I declared was just WRONG! I forget what we did, but it included a shitload of walking lunges while carrying a dowel or 15# bar overhead, thrusters, overhead squats... Seriously. That was the warm-up!

CrossFit One World WOD: Grace
For time:
Complete 30 clean and jerks 68#

Joanne's Final Time - 5:28

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I should have sacrificed a few minutes and pushed the weight. Now I know that for the future, I need to go 75# or 80#. After the WOD I did some pull-up work. More appropriately, I tried hanging on the bar. My hands just hurt so I didn't get to do too much of this. But at least I can hang - even if it's just a little bit.

I'm trying to be less of a whiney bitch. Some days are better than others. Just be patient with me, people:)

On the bright side... I loved Lori's hot pink tank top. It made my day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

flashback photo

I can't believe it's been over a year since I lived overseas. Last year I lived in the Philippines for three months to conduct research for my dissertation. Currently, I'm putting all that research to work as I continue to write write write. This photo was taken during my eight day break to Guam. While there, I decided to walk a 5K race in the island's capital. With me are my cousin's wife Sol (who ran the race), my cousin Dodie (who walked it with me) and their daughter Mari-Dee. It was a great way to get some exercise and explore. I wasn't exactly in the greatest shape of my life (the sweltering Philippine heat just made the idea of working out pointless) and prior to leaving the country, I was a more off-than-on CrossFitter. Though I've been at the box since it opened, I will say that my interest in CrossFit was renewed when I got back last year. Admittedly, I owe many thanks to Eric G. (yes, even for all the shit I give him) because he really pushed me to show up and get my shit together. Though I've been around, there's a lot about CrossFit that still feels new to me. Maybe I've been feeling nostalgic these days. It's just that again, I keep wondering what was going on in my head when I took this photo and why wasn't I taking care of my health? What does it take for someone to stick to a bona fide exercise program? Oh well. I guess we all falter. That's okay. We just have to learn to get back up again.

Run 1.1 miles
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete seven rounds for time of:
7 jumping pull-ups
7 knees to elbows
200m run

Joanne's Final Time - 17:05

Notes (to myself) about this workout: When I saw this posted I was a little nervous because I'm horrific on anything that has to do with a pull-up bar. While facebooking, Chris L. kindly reminded me that there are 98 hanging movements in this WOD, which means that your hands are going to be totally f--ked up at the end. Yeah. Thanks Chris L.!

Luckily, I think I'm getting better at this stuff. Chris L. and Alison advised that I try to focus on gripping with my fingers as opposed to using my entire hand. That way, I won't get those awful CrossFit hands that people usually get. Granted, tears are inevitable. But if you can find ways to lessen them, then great! (Ooh! I also discovered that chalking the bar, not your hands works better at helping me keep the grip.)

I was happy with how I did on this WOD because I felt my jumping pull-ups were much stronger than usual. At the end of a WOD like this, I usually panty out and don't pay attention to getting my chin over the bar - even with the jumping modification. Today I finally realized what a legit jumping pull-up needs. There's a little tug that I need to remember (for lack of a better way to describe it). What surprised me was being able to hang with a modified knees-to-elbows. Just a month ago I couldn't hang on the bar to lift my legs, let alone attempt a feeble knee-to-elbow. I still have a ways to go with respect to getting my knees to touch my elbows. But to actually hang there and get some kind of lift was a small victory for me. In fact, I can actually hang on to the bar and do a little kipping swing. With a little more practice, I think I'll be on my way to my first pull-up. Wa-hoo!

Small victories are important because they remind you of your progress. Again, last month, I remember just slipping from the bar seconds after trying to grip it. Yea. Though my hands aren't that pretty, I had a great day at the box.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ice bath

When I was marathon training a few years ago, I would have given anything to (1) discover the wonder of skins and (2) have a regular ice bath like this after our LONG runs. As I mentioned before, Chong totally cramped up during the last heat of the affiliate challenge. I tell you, watching that made me cringe. So here he is. Post WOD. Chillin' in the ice bath. All your suspicions about the ice bath are true. It's cold. It's uncomfortable. But when you're sore, it's amazing. (Yeah Fritz. This photo's for you!)

Run 400 meters

Two rounds of:
10 air squats
10 GHD sit-ups
10 push-ups (on knees)
10 jumping pull-ups
5 burpees

Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
9/6/3 reps of
overhead squat 53#
bar dips

Joanne's Final Time - 4:30

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Today was a rest day. On rest days I like to do skills training - as in take a light day and work on something I suck at. I intended to work on my back squat challenge and then do some practice on the overhead squats. For as much as I love squats, the overhead squat is a completely different monster. Yes, I need some work on those.

Unfortunately, Jason K. wanted to do an actual WOD of some sort. He also made me work on some things that I truly suck at such as the overhead squat and the ring dips. (I know I usually give Jason K. my kudos. As punishment for making me do an actual WOD on a rest day, today will be sans kudos. Bleh. ha ha!) fathlete confession: working on stuff I suck at makes me a whiney bitch. I think it's a genetic condition or something.

I FAILED at the ring dips and actually felt bad about it. I'm having trouble with stabilizing myself, keeping the rings close to my body, and I'm finding that I just don't have the strength to lift my butt off the ground. It was frustrating. After that failed attempt, we moved over to the standard bars and box dips. However, we adjusted it so that it was much harder than what I'm used to. Yes, I admit that I've been sandbagging the move all this time. I'm figuring that when the bars and box dips get easier, I'll transition to the rings.

I'm also terrible at pull-ups and tomorrow's WOD has pull-ups and knees-to-elbows (done on the pull-up bars). This means I'm going to have torn hands tomorrow. Bleh. People (especially the women at the box) are getting really serious about pull-ups and ring dips because Freddy posted a muscle up challenge. Basically, the first woman who gets 30 muscle ups in under 13 minutes gets a cash prize. It looks like the pot is up to $700. I am nowhere near a pull-up let alone a muscle up, so I'm pretty sure I'm not in the running. I know. Jason K. nearly knocked me in the head for saying this too. I'm just a realist, that's all. If I could get ONE muscle up I can die a happy woman. Is that so wrong? Anyway...

I'm still sore from yesterday's WOD. That was freakin' killer. I wish I could take a quick ice bath. I also wish I dated a massage therapist.

Monday, July 13, 2009

cowgirl up!

This is me (the chick sporting the pigtails, cowgirl hat, and sunglasses), Mel (the chick in the middle who also decided to sport the pigtails), and Settie (sans pigtails) right before the affiliate challenge at the CrossFit games this past Friday. We were warned that the day may get a little warm, so I decided to buy a hat. Unfortunately, I have a really big head and this was the only cheap hat I could find that actually fit. Um. I've decided that I'm going to keep the hat and start sporting it a little more. I kinda like the cowgirl look. (p.s. Thanks to John W. for taking this photo.)

Row 500 meters
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete three rounds for time of:
30 squat snatches 33#
30 wall balls 10#

Joanne's Final Time - 29:12

Notes (to myself) about this workout: When I saw this WOD posted, I knew it was one of the WODs from the CrossFit games. It looked deceivingly do-able. But when I got to the gym and saw people crawling on the floor, I knew that there was way more to it than was posted. The rx'd women's weight was 45# on the snatch and 14# on the wall balls, both of which I can do. However, when you realize that you're doing 90 reps total, then we're getting into a little bit of trouble here.

Freddy wanted the wall balls to clear a certain point, so I scaled down to 10#. Even with scaling down, I could not for the life of me clear the green. Bleh. Oh well. I did throw it higher than I normally do, so I was happy with that. In truth, a part of me wished I just stuck with 14# because I wasn't clearing the green anyway.

The tough part of this was the snatch. First off, if you don't know how to do it or are not used to it, the snatch is one bitch of a lift! Here's a lesson for all you CrossFit newbies... there is no reason to RX something that you don't have a handle on. There have been a few newbies that have been RX-ing the stuff, only to find that they have to scale down in the middle of the WOD, and then end up sore as hell or injured the next day. Yes, most of these newbies are usually male. So here's my fathlete schtick: Gentlemen, your penis size will be as small as it always was regardless of whether you RX the WOD or not. Scale your shit down and then work your way up! Got it? Claro? Comprende? Si? Good! Moving on...

The tough thing about the snatch is that it is a total body lift that requires a tight core. Add in the squat, and your legs are FRIED! Though I can do a 45# snatch, to do 90 of them is just pure hell. Plus wall balls? You're just deeper into the pits, you know? If you were smart (or new) you should have scaled down a bit just to get the full feel of the movement. The WOD was deceptively tough, but I got through it in under a half hour. Wa-hoo!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

go team!

For the first time, I went to the CrossFit Games to cheer my peeps on! Above is an ultra-sexy photo of Team One World, who competed for the CrossFit affiliate cup. Left to right they are: Will B., Freddy C., Cheryl T., Jamie P., Chong T., and Brian G. Believe it or not, this was taken after all their WODs were done. Naturally, they had to take a "shirts off" photo. Somewhere in my camera I have a photo of Freddy stripping down to his da-dun-da-duns! If you don't know what that is, you missed out. For a small fee, I'm willing to share!

I wanted to give some major kudos to everyone who competed on Team One World. Will's intensity and athleticism was amazing to watch. Freddy nailing those big overhead squats was breath-taking. Cheryl, Miss "Girl Crush" really pushed through. I know she mentioned that her legs were fried after the first WOD, but as one of two females on the team, she (and Jamie) had to fight through all THREE WODs. I'll never forget the tenacity she demonstrated yesterday. I was in near tears when I saw Jamie pump out thirty 135# deadlifts in a row. Ah, and there was Chong fighting a major leg cramp during the pull-up/overhead squat WOD. I actually saw his calf muscle ball up and tremble. But he stayed in like a trooper. Finally, Brian looked like a gazelle when he conquered that hill. The time he made up was mind-blowing! I was so proud of everyone. Team One World placed 22nd out of the 99 teams who participated. Congrats Team!

In case you're wondering, here are the three team WODs they had to conquer. Each WOD required two men and two women. Hence, this is why Cheryl and Jamie had to do all three WODs.

WOD 1: Stadium Workout
30 Wallballs (20lbs/14lbs)
Row 300m
30 Box jumps (24")
30 KB swings (24kg/16kg)
30 DB Push press / Push jerk (40lbs/25lb)
30 Deadlifts (225lbs/135lbs)

Rules for the Stadium Workout:
1. The wallballs are performed one athlete at a time, starting with the women. When all four athletes have completed the wallballs, they move on together as a team.

2. The middle four drills are then performed together in "Annie R U Ok?" format, meaning all four team members start at different stations at the same time. They rotate in the order listed once all four athletes have completed the rowing and reps. When all four athletes have completed all four drills, they move together to the deadlifts.

3. The barbell will be pre-loaded with 225lbs. Both men will perform 30 deadlifts each, and then the team will be responsible for removing 90lbs. Both women will then perform 30 deadlifts each, and the clock stops.

4. There is a 20min cap on this workout.

WOD 2: Hill Workout
2500m (approximately) Hill run relay

Rules for the Hill Workout:
1. The first athlete will run one lap (approximately 500m) carrying a short piece of PVC.

2. At the completion of the lap, there will be a well marked transition area in which to pass the PVC to the second athlete, who runs one lap with the PVC.

3. This repeats until all four athletes have run one lap with the PVC.

4. The team then runs one final lap together.

5. The clock is stopped when the last athlete crosses the finish line holding the PVC. If the last athlete to cross the line isn't carrying the PVC, the clock stops when that athlete grabs the PVC.

6. There is a 20min cap on this workout.

WOD 3: North Pad Workout
3-rep Overhead Squat plus
Max total pull-ups in 3 attempts

Rules for the North Pad Workout:
1. Each team will have 20min to record the above efforts for all four athletes.

2. Each team will have one pull-up bar, one barbell, one rack, four 45lb bumpers, two 25lb bumpers, two 15lb bumpers, two 10lb bumpers, and four 2.5lb plates.

3. In any order, all four athletes must perform exactly three sets of max pull-ups. Pull-ups are standard ROM, and will be judged by middle of the neck reaching the height of the bar.

4. All four athletes perform the heaviest 3-rep overhead squat possible (as many attempts as they want within the 20min time limit).

5. The greatest successful loads lifted by each athlete are tallied, and added to the total reps for the 12 sets of pull-ups performed to become the team score.

6. The team with the highest score wins.

I take we were totally impressive because the next day, the CrossFit main site posted this photo from the games:
Yup. That's "Girl Crush" finishing off the stadium WOD, where we ranked 8th overall in that event. What a way for the team to open up the competition.

I also wanted to give BIG KUDOS to team CrossFit Unlimited. They were in the same heats as One World, so I didn't get to see too many of their performances. I will say that (1) I loved their uniforms and wished that they sold those cool shirts! and (2) the ladies on their team were AWESOME! In the stadium WOD, it looked like they got stuck in the wall balls, but they really battled it out and finished that WOD in fine style. It's always hard to shake off tough performance, but they really committed. Team Unlimited conquered the hill nicely. Finally, I caught glimpses of their third heat. Again, their ladies really pulled through on that one. I also declare that Austin has the greatest butterfly pull-up ever! Way to go Team Unlimited!

Finally, congrats to all the individual athletes (including our own Queen Jolie) who competed this weekend. You all worked hard. Now get some rest!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Let the CrossFit games begin!

The CrossFit games are happening tomorrow, starting with the affiliate challenge. It's going to be intense! I lifted this photo from the Australia-Asia qualifiers. Can you imagine having to run up that hill in the sand?! Crazy! I'm sending out some big love and good luck to the One World team. You guys are going to do great!

Back Squat Challenge
10 - 45# back squats
5 - 75# back squats
3 - 95# back squats
20 - 105# back squats

Run 800 meters
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete seven rounds for time of:
10 jumping pull-ups
10 kettlebell swings 35#

Joanne's Final Time - 9:16

50 GHD sit-ups

Notes (to myself) about this workout: The back squat challenge is insanely hard. I did 105# and though I went through it, it seems that I'm not keeping my body tight enough. I may need a spotter or something just to check my form from here on out. Yes, it's that tough now.

The WOD wasn't so bad. I do need to push my pull-ups a bit more. I did some pull-up work at the end and I was surprised that I could actually hang on the bar and swing a little bit. It's baby steps, but better than I was before.

Yes, I still love the kettlebell swing!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

you've come a long way, baby!

This photo was taken years ago, sometime around 2002. There are days when I look at photos like this and I wonder what I was thinking. Then again, this was a part of my life where I avoided cameras like the plague. Anyway, I thought you'd all get a kick out of this.

Run 800 meters
Two rounds of:
10 lunge steps
5 burpees
10 pull-ups
10 GHD sit-ups
10 GHD hip extensions

Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD: Diane
Complete 21/15/9 reps for time of:

Deadlift 143#
Handstand push-ups (modified on box)

Joanne's Final Time - 9:58

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Tonight I learned that I don't do deadlifts well. I guess I need to work on that now. Bleh. I also need to work on those HSPUs. I'm terrible at handstands and always need help getting through them. I do them modified on the box, which works for now. But I can't wait to graduate from them.

Right now I'm tired and sore. I'm also dumb enough to go back for more tomorrow. Bleh.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

she's not a machine!

I have bittersweet feelings about the film Rocky IV. It's a slightly tragic story that I don't really want to share for now. On most days, I live and die for the soundtrack. In fact, I have some tracks on my shuffle right now!

My favorite scene is in the video posted above. It's in the final fight when Rocky finally clocks Drago. Rocky's coach points out that Drago can bleed. He is a man, and not a machine. This serves as a turning point in the match.

If you really know me, you'd know that I'm not big on idolatry. Adoration, yes. Idolatry, no. No one is perfect. Everyone has her/his flaws, issues, weaknesses. Everyone bleeds. Everyone's shit stinks. It is a very academic thing to walk through the world thinking yours doesn't.

I'm not this kind of academic. In fact, I'm not this kind of person.

Every now and again I'll meet someone who knows my work and treats me like I'm something special. I'm always flattered, but I always demystify any illusions people have of me by letting them know that I really am nothing special. Like you, my s--t is no bed of roses. I bleed like Ivan Drago.

I bring this up because the CrossFit Games are happening this weekend and like me, everyone is pumped up for the affiliate challenge. I can't wait to see how Cheryl T., Jamie P., Freddy C., Will B., Chong T., and Brian G. are going to do. I have complete faith in knowing that they're going to rock it out! Our Queen Bee, Jolie will also compete in the women's division. The games are nothing like we've ever seen before. The competition is high and it's global. I can't wait!

Anyway.... CrossFit and One World have come a long way in a short time. I remember when Jolie first came to the gym. At the time she was the only female who could do an full-on pull-up. Everyone else had to do jumping pull-ups. Now look at where we're at! Not that I don't respect Jolie, because I do. In CrossFit (and in life), we have to remember that everyone bleeds. Everyone had to learn to crawl before they learned to walk. There are no short cuts and no matter how good you are, someone will always be better than you. It is my firm belief that a true CrossFitter competes with him/herself. Everyone else is just keeping you good company.

With that, I wanted to share this photo with you:
Jolie wasn't always the badass that she is today. In fact, I think that even she will tell you that she has a lot to work on. If she said otherwise, I don't think she'd be a true athlete or CrossFitter. In this photo, she is doing a modified handstand push-up. Today, I'm sure she can crank these things out (non-modified) with her eyes closed, and while eating a burger. My point is, she started somewhere. We all do. Somewhere on the One World site, there's also a photo like this of super-stud Chong T. Believe it our not, he couldn't do the handstand push-up without modification either! Again, everyone starts with the crawl.

So do I.
And so do you.
None of us are machines.

Jump roping
Run 400 meters

CrossFit One World WOD: R.I.P. Daisy
Complete 3 rounds for time of:

Run 400m with bumper plate 25#
25 Squats with bumper plate
25 Push-ups with bumper plate
25 Walking Lunge Steps with bumper plate
25 Sit-ups with bumper plate

Joanne's Final Time - 30:01

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I wasn't looking forward to this, but I was curious how I could do. Could I do this with the rx'd weight or did I need to modify like I did here and here? Well, Lara lit a fire under my butt and wrote that she would bet that I could kill my last times. I (along with a nudge from Eric) then decided I'd go for broke and use the 25# plate. It was hard work, but it was worth it. I beat my 15# time by less than a minute. Plus, I survived Daisy. There's no better feeling that that.

I'm really happy with tonight. I just wish that my push-ups with the weight was better. I feel like I pantied out because I didn't touch the ground while doing it. I went as far as I could go and that was that. My lunge steps (for the first time) were totally legit with knees touching the floor. Everything else, I thought was great. Again, I'm happy.

I really want to give some BIG KUDOS to tonight's obscene 7:15. Everyone rocked. Everyone pushed their limit. I especially want to give props to Lori and Settie for using the rx'd weights, and to Jerry L. for totally hanging in there. You all really inspired me tonight. It was fantastic!

Monday, July 06, 2009

celebrating 70

*photo courtesy of Norbert Tydingco

This is my auntie Monina (left) and my mom (right) when my siblings and I threw my mom her 70th bday bash. It was a very low-key event that happened at my bro's house. In usual Rondilla-style gatherings (hence why we don't throw too many of these), there was way too much food. Um, if anyone is hungry this week, give me a call and I'd be more than happy to feed you!

Run 800 meters

CrossFit One World WOD
Back Squat Challenge:
10 - 45# back squats
5 - 75# back squats
3 - 95# back squats
20 - 100# back squats

Work on the squat cleans
30 - 53# squat cleans

Joanne's Final Time - N/A

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Okay. I know it's a rest day, but it's no excuse for me to be lazy. Seriously. I just wanted to declare that on a Monday.

As I've said before, the back squat challenge gets harder and harder. I'm panting more and more. It sucks. ha ha! However, I'm glad I made it through the 100# mark. Let's how Thursday treats me.

It was with greatest intention that I was going to do the Badger WOD. But I wimped out. Bleh. I'll make it up. I promise. Instead of the Badger WOD, I decided to work on some squat cleans. It's weird because I can do 53# and it seems easy (until I have to do thirty of them). But get that weight up to 65#? I'm at a minor loss. I can do the 65# (my max on this lift is 93#), but after the third rep I'm winded. If I was in a better mindset, I should have just stuck with practicing the 65#. Better luck next time....

Thursday, July 02, 2009

happy birthday, mom!

Today is my mom's birthday and she turned the big 7-0. It's quite a milestone, despite whatever she may think. In usual fashion, my mom spent her birthday in a very low-key way. Cooking. Spending time with her family. Watching TFC. Admittedly, my mom and I aren't that close, but our relationship makes sense to the both of us. I love her dearly and thank lady fate for every day I have my mother in my life. Happy birthday mom! For all that you are and all that you bring into our lives. Cheers! (Note: This photo was taken when my mom was a teenager growing up in the Philippines. I love old back and whites!)

Yes, I mentioned that my dad's birthday was yesterday. I always thought it was cute that they had back-to-back birthdays. Though he passed away back in 1987, not a day goes by when I don't think about him. It's tough to loose your dad at the age of eleven. The circumstances of his passing were unfortunate and they still haunt me to this day. When you loose a parent that young it's hard because you didn't have a lot of time with them. You didn't get to know them and they didn't get to know you. This is what makes loosing my dad difficult. I didn't get to really know him.

As an adult, all I have are the memories and the stories, all of which make sense in my head, regardless of how obscure others may think they are. I miss my dad's obsession with all things "American." I remember his insane love for McDonald's filet-o-fish (because no one is too good to have some McDonald's filet-o-fish). I also remember the little candies or coins he'd give me just for opening the door when he came back from work. I remember him always packing me pop tarts for lunch when I was in kindergarden. Seriously. I had pop tarts EVERY.DAY. I used to try to hand them off to my uncle Jun, but with very little success. (Note: This is why I have a love/hate relationship with pop tarts.) I miss his thrift and practical sense and often wish he left me with some of it. Most of all, I just miss him and would give anything to know what it would be like to grow up with him - even if it meant we fought everyday. Given both of our stubborn natures, that may very well have been a certainty.

Anyway... a big happy birthday to both of my parents!

Run 1.1 miles

CrossFit One World WOD: Back Squat Challenge
10 - 45# back squats
5 - 75# back squats
5 - 85# back squats
20 - 95# back squats

Cheering on Settie as she does her back squat challenge. Kudos girl!


Notes (to myself) about this workout: Technically, today was a rest day, so I took it light. The back squat challenge, though I'm in week two of eight, is getting really hard now. I don't know how I'm going to tackle to 100# plus mark. Bleh. I'm glad I made it through. Everyone at the gym was really helpful.

In particular, I want to give a special shout out to our newest CrossFitter, Jerry L. I watched him push through some big squat cleans today. Awesome work! Also, it was great to watch Eric guide him through those cleans. Coaching really makes a difference. I say Jerry L. owes Eric some ice cream. ha ha!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Over a year ago I was living in the Philippines. Right before I left, I had the pleasure of experiencing Pahiyas in Lucban, a neighboring town in my father's province. This is me enjoying pancit Lucban, or pancit habhab. To my knowledge, habhab means to eat it with your hands, no utensils. So here I am eating pancit Lucban habhab style (get it?). For the record, Buddy's pancit Lucban is some of the best pancit you can have in the Philippines. I wrote about it here. During the festival's parade, there were vendors who passed out pancit on banana leaves. If you were watching, you just go and grab yourself some grub and eat it on the street. My cousin Calloy was great at getting the pancit, so I left it to him to get me some street grub. When in Rome... or in this case, when in Lucban...

Lately we've been talking a lot about food at the gym. My stance on food is that everyone has her/his food philosophy. For some its cultural, others it's political, etc. I'm on the cultural fence when it comes to food. For me, it's because I feel like I always have to defend the greatness of Filipino and Chamorro food. Most people know Filipino food because of balut, which is often used as a Fear Factor challenge. Judge all you want, but I believe every culture has their "Fear Factor Food." I just don't like that the Philippines has to carry the brunt of it. For the record, I have and will eat balut. It's a cultural thing. Leave it at that.

One of the things I learned while living in the Philippines is that to understand the essence of a place and a people, you have to indulge in their food. I understand the business about street food and such. But to dismiss it because you're afraid of getting sick or something is just plain sad. Some of the best food I had while there came from local street vendors. Besides, if you can have a full meal for under a dollar, wouldn't you want to at least give it a shot?!

Jump rope

CrossFit One World WOD
Row 500m four times. Rest exactly two minutes between efforts.

Joanne's Final Time - 2:10/2:13/2:15/2:17

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
Anytime you have to do a timed row, it just sucks. The actual WOD called for a timed 400 meter run. Settie and I opted to do the row for rehab reasons. It sucked. But it's over now. Yeah.

By the way, today would have been my dad's 83rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Pop!