Week 3: Good | Better | Best

18.3: with a 14 minute time cap:
2 rounds
100 double unders
20 overhead squats (80#)
100 double unders
12 ring muscle ups
100 double unders
20 dumbbell snatches (35#)
100 double unders
12 bar muscle ups

(second attempt on 3/12: debrief below)


  • Approached with less nerves than the first time, which helped muscles to relax in first and second set of double unders
  • Knew first attempt’s time benchmarks, and paced ring muscle ups appropriately in quantity and speed to manage both shoulder fatigue and pace
  • Stuck to one method of dumbbell snatches (except for when taking short break) – helped control breathing going into 4th set of double unders
  • Didn’t count my own double-unders, left the job to the judge… tried to zone out as much as possible and go into “auto pilot” with these, even when tripping in rounds 1-3.
  • Did not take 30 seconds to put on hand grips for bar muscle ups.
  • Placed plates directly under rings and bar to decrease jump height for muscle up attempts
  • Worked until the very last second of the workout with a strong finish
  • Improved overall score by 47 reps — got into 43 double unders in round 2


  • Utilize proper and practiced technique on bar muscle ups for efficiency: push down on bar with straight arms as toes come forward for the kip.  DEEP “chest to bar” + turnover did not maximize efficiency and increased grip and tricep fatigue.  Also landed on my upper abdomen on a few reps, which affected good breathing…. and then made me feel like I was going to puke or have my heart pop out of my abdomen afterwards for 5 minutes straight!…
  • Utilize the kipping rip dip more effectively.  A few muscle up reps landed in a “dead” hang at the bottom of the dip, which caused extra tension, again, in triceps and shoulders… no looking like a dead fish–look like a gymnast!!!


  • Improve SINGLE jump roping technique in order to…
  • Improve high volume double-unders at any time
  • Improve double-under movement pattern to focus on relaxing shoulders and using wrists to rotate rope, rather than forearms
  • Continuously mobilize ankles and calves (which get the least amount of mobilization currently, especially in the winter!)
  • COMMIT to strengthening high-skill gymnastics skills in accessory work sessions throughout the week (3hrs/week * 52 weeks = 156 extra hours of practice for maximum achievement output) – need to re-prioritize this!

Good. Better. Best.

I didn’t realize today how many more stressors have impacted me within the past two weeks since the start of the CrossFit Open. especially since I’ve taken many measures in my life to reduce stressors and practice good self-care and recovery…

but I’m human.

and I’m not invincible.

Today I’m going to start a practice that helps me evaluate my key performances as an attempt to do so–void of emotion.

It’s going to be difficult, but it’ll help me.

I’ve always been a person naturally driven by emotion, but I’m learning more and more that there are times where this is applicable (e.g., working with people, showing compassion/empathy, growing relationships, pursuing a passion) and times where I need to remove myself from these emotions (e.g., evaluating a performance, analyzing data, making major decisions).

The method is called “Good, Better, Best” – I read about this practice in the book called The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive.  It’s an objective way to debrief your work:  “1) What did I do that was good?  2) What can I do better?  3) How can I change so I can perform at my best?”  It’s not a new-age practice–we’ve probably done this many times in our lives.  My challenge is keeping it objective.

With that, here’s a personal debrief of my most recent Open workout: 18.2 & 18.2a (second attempt, after self-reflection and analysis of first performance)

18.2: On a 12 minute clock, For time:
1-10 of each movement:
Dumbbell Squats (35# each hand)
Bar-facing burpees


  • Saved time on transitions by not hesitating to pick up dumbbells after each round of burpees
  • Paced the beginning of the workout better; did not start too fast & burn out in round 7
  • Took RISK to reach “red line” level, despite the pain building up
  • Improved overall time by 35 seconds


  • Improve “snappiness” of burpees off the ground for efficiency
  • Improve burpee jump when tired–make every rep the same–no questionable reps


  • Continue to surround self with positive energy and people–start with self.
  • FINISH every rep of every workout strong, and not sloppy.  This could be the difference in several seconds.  This needs to change in training.

18.2a: In remainder of 12 minutes, find 1 rep max clean


  • Utilized squat clean from the start, rather than switching mid-way through attempts (from power to squat)
  • Executed 90% of 1 rep max after sprint workout WITHOUT dead stopping at the bottom of the squat


  • Be more conservative with lift jumps in the future, over 90%
  • Be prepared to ADAPT to the failed lifts and continue to attempt, at more conservative jumps
  • FINISH hip extension in clean, and get out of the bottom of the squat quickly on every clean; utilize “bounce” if needed


  • Come up with a game plan that is a back up to the game plan when things don’t go according to planned
  • Place focus on building squat strength in the off-season
  • Choose 1 technical aspect of the lift to focus on in each training session–overloading focal points may rush the process and prolong technical improvements


Looking forward to 18.3 and hoping for some gymnastics for us featherweight athletes!  You can expect a post regarding my good-better-best from this next one too.

How’d you do?

It’s Open Season!: What’s different this year..

No, I don’t hunt.  The CrossFit Open is summed up with this infographic:


Basically the reason why I “do” CrossFit all year long is for the sole purpose of competing in the 5-week “Open” competition season.

It wasn’t always like this; I used to just do the Open for fun, and for the mere fact that everyone else in my box did it too; it was just a norm.  After the first year, I got a feel for my competitive side again, and I started to take it more seriously… almost TOO seriously.  I placed lots of pressure on myself–really confident about what I was good at, really scared of what I wasn’t… and it was a pretty immature mindset towards CrossFit as a sport.

Though I’m not veteran, I’d have to say this year is much different than others.  I’ve evolved both physically, and simultaneously, I’ve invested lots of time and practice in also developing my mental and emotional intelligence regarding training and competition.

I know where I stand in terms of my strengths and weaknesses; I’m far from the “outcome” goal I’d love to achieve one day a few years from now… however, I’ve never felt more prepared.  So like… if I were thrown into the Hunger Games tomorrow, would I win?  Eh… but at least I’d be more fit than ever to do the damn best I can to make sure I thrive for as long as my body and mind allow me to!

Here are a few highlights of what’s different for me going in to the Open this year:

  • General Physical Preparedness is… mostly prepared!
  • Nutrition has been dialed in with over 90% compliance for months now
  • Not “afraid” of certain movements or lifts
  • Not “cautious” to “overeat” (eating so much that it’s literally a job! #payher)
  • More positive, self-affirmations – yes, sometimes even OUT LOUD (when no one’s around)
  • Reading a lot of mindset/ achievement literature lately
  • Sleep has been a consistent 8 hours 90+% of the time and my body is noticing its effect (lower body fat retention, better recovery, sharper mind & focus)
  • I’m actually excited and not as nervous (I say this now, and tomorrow the butterflies will be sure to show up) for an Open season and all its got to challenge me with
  • I won’t be having a beer after my workout — too many other nutrient-dense calories I’ll have to have
  • I will likely be re-doing the workouts on Mondays. *cue the positive self-affirmations*
  • This year’s placing will tell me a lot about the next 1-2 years

Hopping off now because I’m so wired and need to disconnect, chill out and sleep goood.  After eating some more, though.

Keep you all posted…

on my way

I’ve been a constantly on-the-go kind of person.
Constantly on my way to the next destination.

When I was a toddler–it was bouncing between grandparents’ homes in the city since my parents worked long hours throughout the week.

In grade school–it was balancing being the honor roll student and figuring out what other things I enjoyed aside from scoring grades that would appease my parents.

Enter in my undergrad–it became the most jumbled time of all: moving out, making friends, switching majors, socializing and studying (probably one more than the other)… putting in hours, learning how to be a teacher by day, and serving long islands at night to help with U of I’s crazy tuition fees.  Somehow, I also seemed to fall in love with Filipino cultural dancing,  playing football with some badass girls, reversing the “freshman fifteen” on a budget, and a new love interest.

May 2013–FINALLY–I made it to the graduation stage on time, despite the whirlwind of busyness of undergrad.  I just felt like I had worked so hard, spent so many hours awake, too many hours worrying, but I finally made it.  That summer, I am fortunate enough to land my first job as a middle school language arts teacher.  6th grade.  Of course I needed to be doing more than just my day job, so let’s try this CrossFit thing.  Expensive?  It’s fine, it’ll make me go.. stay off the freshman fifteen of real, adult life and it’ll keep me less stressed.  More on this story in my About section (to come).

Fast-forward to 2017.. I’m 26 years old, and realize life is passing by incredibly fast.  It’s going by so fast that I find a hard time being able to slow down, appreciate it, or even give people close to me the time of day to listen to them.  It was like I was running on auto-pilot–wake, work, workout, worry, work, sleep. repeat.  Again, many hours awake, and too many hours worrying–that for whatever reason, whatever I was doing was just not my best–not enough.

Through months of self-talk, internal wars, pros and cons lists and numerous prayers… I came to the realization that it was time to slow things down.  Focus in on less in order to be able to do more–for myself and so therefore, for others.

That July, I decided I was going to set off on my way…
down “the road less traveled by… and it has made all the difference.”

I have left my occupation as a public school educator, and I have committed to this new journey as a full-time CrossFit and Nutrition Coach, as well as what I like to call a “casually competitive” athlete at CrossFit Des Plaines.  I say it nonchalantly/matter-of-fact-ly, but this was a crazy ride in itself!

Now, I’m on my way…
to the next destination