Man! In my imagination, I’m wearing a dark military jacket with metallic ribbons and brass buttons, and those suckers are flying off my chest left and right.

I had a great Spartan 300 workout this morning. Prepare for bragging. (But no gloating. That would be unladylike.)

Last month, I finished first in my 300 Challenge group with a time of 14:53. I was pleased to have completed the workout (who knew I could muddle my way through 50 jumping pullups? and I’d never done floor wipers before so…) but I kept qualifying my success.

It sounded something like this, much to Dave’s chagrin:

I finished first. BUT… I used a light bar and I had to walk 5 of my box jumps and I did all my pushups on my knees. I mean, I did them really low, but they were still on my knees. I should have tried them on my toes. And everybody said the floor wipers were going to be really hard, but I didn’t think they were that bad so CLEARLY the weight I used was too low. And it was hard, but it wasn’t THAT hard. And the boys all used really heavy weight and that’s why it took them longer to finish.”

I re-told that story often. And each time, when I paused for a breath to re-fuel the diatribe, Dave did one of the following:

  • shook his head in disgust
  • gave me a mini-lecture on how I minimize my accomplishments
  • said, “I’m not having this conversation with you again.”
  • hugged me and said, “Oh, sweetie.” in a resigned voice

To be clear: I was proud of finishing the workout last month, but I knew I could do better.

Today, I had goals.

Put a little more effort in my pullups.
Last month, at the end, my coach suggested I try to stay directly under the bar, rather than pulling back as I did on my first set.

Use heavier weights.
Last month, I used a 45-lb. bar. Today, I wanted to try 55 lbs.

Do 20 pushups on my toes, then the other 30 on my knees, chest to the floor.

Do all 50 box jumps with no walking.

I figured my time would be longer than 14:53, but at least I’d have put forth a more Spartan-like effort.


That was my time.


With better pullups
With a 65-lb. bar (somehow the “I want 55 lbs. this time” translated into 65, so I just went with it.)
With 20 toe pushups and 30 knee pushups
With all 50 box jumps

Also, I lost 1% body fat in the last 4 weeks. That means I gained roughly 1.6 lbs. of muscle. Bye, bye body fat. Hello, lean. Neato! Most of my measurements were down, too. Nice.

This is what my workout looked like:

25 pullups, jumping from a box
50 deadlifts, 65 lbs.
50 pushups: 20 toes, 30 knees
50 box jumps, 12-inch box
50 floor wipers, 65 lbs.
50 kettlebell clean & press: 13-lb. kettlebell, 25 left, 25 right
25 pullups, jumping from box
Time: 13:02

I am Sparta! (and ready for a big ol’ cheeseburger and a nap)

Oh! Full disclosure. The 45-lb. bar with two 10-lb. plates on the ends looked like something out of a Popeye cartoon and scared the bejeezus out of me. I tried to ignore it during the pullups, but it sat on the floor behind me, taunting me. When I stepped up for my first deadlift, the bar felt pretty heavy. But I decided to keep going anyway. Once I’d done 20 deadlifts, it seemed silly to decide it was too heavy. And those floor wipers? They’re not so bad.

Also… I have to acknowledge the amazing people who give me so much support, there’s no way I can fail. Dave is made of the toughest stuff — tougher than titanium or diamonds, and twice as sparkly… my Weight Watchers community that keeps me honest and puts up with my grumbling (and never lets me give up no matter how many times the scale lies), and the CrossFit Central team that makes everyone feel like superheroes. I think it’s important to take this moment to be thankful. I’m a fortunate girl.

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