A PMS-Powered PR?!

Oh! Being a girl is so… interesting.

Seriously. Trying to understand my brain and my body is like a daily science experiment. Especially when it’s hormone poisoning time.


Sometimes, hormone poisoning comes on like a firestorm. Doors are slammed. Harsh words are spoken. Nasty thoughts are considered. And all the while – as plates make aggressive contact with countertops and expletives fly past my lips – I’m thinking to myself, What is wrong with me today?!

Other times, hormone poisoning ominously rolls in like a dark raincloud. Tears are close at hand. Feelings are easily bruised. Chocolate, a blankie, and the remote control beckon. And at those times, I think to myself, Why am I crying? I don’t think I’m really sad.


This week, I’ve been stuck in the gray of the raincloud…. low energy and feeling kinda blue and craving comfort food, comfort movies, comfort clothes…

This morning, what did I get instead? Front squats, sprints, step-ups… and a new PR. Sometimes the stuff we really don’t want is just what we need.

400m run
over-unders with barbell
high knees, butt kicks, lunges, punter kicks

take 15 minutes to find a 1 rep max in the front squat (new PR = 115#)
rest 10 minutes – work hip mobility
AMRAP @ 85% of new 1 RM (5 @ 95#)

7 rounds:
sprint across the parking lot and back
5 step-ups R & L, hands behind head (like a prisoner)
My time: 5:48

So… my new PR on my front squat was 115# – but Tristy says I need to get lower. I was low enough for her to give me the go-ahead to count it (yay!), but I need to get down there in that scary spot next time. I’m totally takin’ this as a PR because it will give me confidence going into the next time. And I will get low enough then. Promise. At 85%, I eked out five reps that were definitely not low enough. Whatever. I have cramps.

The WOD was super fun. Really! It was.

Step-ups with hands behind the head are, like, a whole different thing. No arm swing to help the legs that are Jell-O from the sprints. It was sweaty and challenging and over, for me, in 5:48.

I have a few more hours at the corporate overlords’, then I’m heading straight home to comfort: A/C, Smudge, blankie, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. I will resume the pursuit of superhero-dom on the morrow; tonight, I’m just a girl… with hormone poisoning.

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  • stephanie Vincent says:

    ahhh pms….I so understand!! I know there is value in it…but its so hard to see. i feel my cloud rolling in today actually! just checked my iphone app…i am correct period day one in seven day. ahh one special week each month!

  • Mrs.O says:

    It is so fantastic to know I am not the only one with wicked thoughts and a sharp tongue when given my monthly gift. I really enjoy reading your blog, thanks for posting.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Stephanie, show me the value in PMS and I'll send you a Sunbutter gift pack. I don't buy it 😉

    Mrs. O., you wouldn't believe the evil stuff in my noggin and out my mouth on those special days. At least it's only 5 days a month… yeesh. Glad you like my blog — and thanks for letting me know. How lovely!

  • Steph H says:

    I am also a victim of hormone poisoning – its the most frustrating thing — flying off the handle, yelling, then crying and not sure if you get this but the feeling that I am fatter than fat.. oh the joys — and I also do not buy that there is value in it..no way no how… in my mind one week a month I go 2 steps back..

    steph h

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Steph, I had a friend in college who actually said things like, "I feel so womanly when I have my period. I love it! I'm so powerful."

    Whatever, women's studies major.

  • Stephanie Vincent says:

    ok so i may need to do a blog post on this. Ekhart tolle says that PMS is us responding to the collective female pain body. Just like as individuals our past wounds effect us, there are collective wounds for groups; like races, countries and in this case women. There are alot of open wounds when it comes to women kind. According to tolle freedom from pain body starts with presence. Simply noticing its happening, and instead of resist it, go with it, accept it, say yes to it. The theory is that it will then lose its power.

    Now maybe your thinking its all mumbo jumbo, but i personally think there is some truth. considering i feel like i could cry right now, hormone induced…i'm gonna give it a whirl 🙂

  • shayne says:

    gold star for coining 'hormone poisoning'! i have shamelessly co-opted it into my vocab, thank you for such an evocative phrase!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Glad to be of service, Shayne! It's really the ONLY way to describe the horror of feeling as if one's body has been taken over by an evil entity.

  • Penty says:

    What's an "over-under with a barbell"?

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Penty, our gym has four weight lifting platforms set up with racks, so the coach set up the bars at alternating stations: one at hip-height and one at shoulder-height. The idea was to "walk" laterally over the hip-height bar, then to squat and side lunge under the shoulder-height bar… over the bar, under the bar, over the bar, under the bar… repeat on the opposite side. It's to work hip mobility and wake up the core and all kinds of good stuff. It was intimidating at first, but then it was fun.