by Coach Leslie
Today I'm traveling to Nashville with Meg, Heather R. and Anne A. for GORUCK's Badass Babes weekend. It's my 50th birthday and I wanted to do something really fucking hard to celebrate. I wanted a birthday misogi, and I'm pretty sure I'll find it. I'm super excited to celebrate and suffer with badass TSCF babes and a whole bunch of other badass babes from around the country.
Starting tomorrow night at 9pm we are doing a GORUCK Tough.
We will be rucking (walking with weight) for an unknown distance, but at least between 15-20 miles, we will be doing an unknown number of workouts, it will take at least 10 hours and probably closer to 12. All the while under the close supervision of former special forces operators.
I expect to be wet, sandy, and at times very, very uncomfortable. I also expect that we will accomplish hard physical things, support each other mentally, and cohere as a team of badass babes.
We will finish our Tough on Saturday morning and have just a few hours to rest, refuel and prepare for our Basic that starts Saturday at 2pm.
As with the Tough, the details of the Basic will not be provided until the event starts. Even then we will likely not know our final rucking distance until we've achieved it. We can certainly expect more miles, more workouts and more team building opportunities.
Why are we doing this? Well, we do earn a some very cool patches.
While patches are nice, they're not the sole motivation for taking on such an event. In our CrossFit bubble we don't think twice about women in their 50s doing hard shit. We run, jump, lift, throw and do all manner of hard physical things. Outside of our CrossFit bubble the notion of 50 year old women doing hard physical shit is uncommon.
I am inspired to do this event because it stretches my comfort zone. Endurance has never been my strength and I am not at all interested in developing it through running. When I caught the rucking bug in January I was so happy to find an endurance sport that got me outside with friends and was not such an impacting grind on my body. I am strong and carrying heavy weight over long distances is something I can do.
Carry heavy weight over long UNKNOWN distances is the aspect of this weekend that appeals to my birthday misogi. I like to be in control. I like to know how many rounds, how many minutes, how many reps are expected of me. This weekend I will be expected to just. keep. going. no matter how much I've already done.
I think this is a great metaphor for life, really. My goal in life is to just keep going. To keep moving forward. Because it doesn't matter how much work I've already done to get to this place. What matters is the work I have before me.
If you want to join our own Bozeman Badass Babes Basic this Saturday you can! Talk with Sarah, Kerri or Elisa about joining them on their "anti-virtual" Badass Babes Basic. Or, gather your own group of Badass Babes and do your own Basic. Click on the image below to sign up.
Mental Toughness - The Importance of Scaling
by Coach Leslie
It is necessary and expected that most of the time, nearly all of us will scale a workout. We don't really give a second thought to scaling or modifying a movement we are not yet able to do. Yet, it surprises the coaches when we hear folks fret over the prescribed weight of a workout (the load). We prescribe load based on the strongest 10% in the gym. Therefore, on any given day we expect at least 90% of you are going to scale the load. If you don't scale the load and it takes you twice as long to finish the workout, then something was lost in translation.
When you go through our Foundations program we talk quite a bit about the CrossFit progression of Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity. It is most important when you're first learning how to do CrossFit that you move well and you move well consistently before you add intensity. Intensity is sexy and once you get a taste of it it's hard to resist. But, seeking intensity at the cost of mechanics and consistency will certainly impeded your progress.
However, there is a path to intensity that is smart and will ensure you make progress and have fun in class. It's outlined in this CrossFit Journal article from 2005 (Yes, CrossFit has been around that long!)
The author outlines 4 rules that can help everyone have an effective and fun CrossFit journey:
The OODA Loop
When I was an aircraft firefighter and rescue specialist in the Marines, I had to make decisions quickly. When I was driving the firetruck, I had to decide at which angle to approach a burning plane. When I was operating the roof turret, I have to decide where to lay down a path of fire suppressing foam to allow the rescue team to get into the burning plane. When I was on the rescue team, I had to decide how to get into the burning plane and rescue pilots and crew. I had a lot of life or death decisions to make and I had to make them correctly and quickly.
A valuable decision making tool I learned is the OODA Loop. OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. I continue to use the OODA Loop even though my decisions don't need to made as quickly and the consequences of my actions aren't as deadly.
You can even use the OODA Loop in your CrossFit workouts. Once you master it in "easy" situations you'll be more confident making decisions in more serious situations.
OBSERVE - The first step might be the hardest to master. It requires self awareness in addition to situational awareness. How are you feeling and what's going on around you? Are you scared, angry or feeling threatened? Is there chaos all around you? These are things you want to observe. They will impact your decisions. Take a moment to observe what's going on around you AND observe how you feel in response to what's going on around you.
In a CrossFit workout it might be that desperate feeling of not being able to breathe or feeling like your heart is now in your eyeballs.
ORIENT - Redirect your focus on what you need to achieve. What is your mission or objective or goal? In a CrossFit workout it might be a specific time or score. Perhaps you want to get so many rounds in an AMRAP or finish the workout under a specific time.
DECIDE - Based on what you've observed and what you need to accomplish, make a decision that moves you toward your objective. Perhaps you've loaded the barbell a bit too heavy to make the time cap. So you decide to reduce the weight. Maybe you're not able to to sustain a 2:10 pace for the 6K so you row at a 2:15.
Whatever you need to do to make your goal, make a decision to adjust your course of action so you can achieve it.
ACT - Put your decision into action. You've decided to reduce the weigh of your barbell, now do it. The action can always be altered.
In fact the OODA loop is just that, a LOOP. If your action did not move you toward your objective, decide on a new action based on the new situation.
Life is fluid and it is in our best interest to adjust to new situations. How many of us have had to change, alter, modify or completely abandon the course we were on a year ago? Yep, life is unpredictable, and you can develop a systematic way of making decisions that allows you to keep moving toward your objective even when the world is a chaotic mess around you.
Good luck and share with me your OODA Loop experiences.
Sunday morning at 0300 a small group of weary Coaches and athletes departed our gym. We were tired and immensely proud. We had just completed Coach Nick's Femme-Fatale-a-Thon during which we completed 21 CrossFit workouts and raised over $1000 for three important local non-profits.
The "fun" started at 8am on Saturday with a spirited group of about a dozen folks all ready and eager to take on their favorite femmes. Coach Nick had a plan that we could all follow, or we could do which ever workouts we wanted. Most everyone knocked out Fran and Annie in that first hour.
Most everyone who joined us in the morning had intended to only complete one workout, but these workouts are alluring and irresitible and most got seduced into doing more. Check out what some of our incredible athletes accomplished on Saturday and early Sunday morning.
Coach Micah was the first to finish all 21 workouts at 11:45pm Saturday night. He completed some of the bigger Femmes, Eva, Kelly earlier in the day when he was fresher. He suffered some ripped calluses and smartly switched to modified pull-ups to protect his hands. He did not take a break much longer than 30 mins and changed his shoes and socks frequently to protect his feet from blisters. He is grateful to Debbie who joined him on Chelsea, a 30 min EMOM of pull-ups, push-ups and squats.
Coach Leslie was the next to finish all 21 Femme at 12:45 AM Sunday morning. She, too, completed the bigger Femmes in the morning and afternoon when she was fresher. She also rucked with 30# all of the running workouts and substituted ruck step-ups for all of the box jumps. She modified all of the pull-ups, over 1000, to a combination of ring rows, jumping and banded pull-ups. Her highlight was doing Grace with Coach Mattias at the men's weight of 135# and she is grateful to Char who joined her for Chelsea.
Anne, Kerri and Faith all brought their A games and surprised themselves with just how strong they really are! Of course, we Coaches know what badasses these babes are, and it was our absolute pleasure to watch them absolutely crush it.
Anne completed 13 workouts and stayed with us until the bitter end. We are also grateful to Elisa who joined us at 0230 Sunday morning to cheer everyone on.
Kerri completed 12 workouts and did an outstanding job of photo documenting the day. You can see her album on Facebook here.
Faith intended to do "just a few" Femmes and completed 9! She also supported us by supplying a Thera Gun and taping us up when we needed it. Here are a few photos of these and more badass babes and some badass men and one fabulous comfort dog:)
Coaches Nick and Mattias completed the final workouts together at 0255 Sunday morning. They made excellent workout partners and really supported each other throughout the night. They finished with Eva, which is arguably one of the hardest Femmes. Because it was dark they opted to row all 2.5 miles instead of run, did sandbag rows instead of pull-ups and scaled the kettlebell weight. Coach Nick's highlight was doing Kelly Rx'd at 11 PM and finishing in under 40 mins, which is an accomplishment when she's the only workout of the day! Coach Mattias's highlight is doing all 21 workouts. He did not intend do them all and he found his stride as Coach Nick's wingman. It was a joy to watch these men lean into hard work together. The proved the truth of the African saying, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
You can still donate to our Femme-Fatale-a-Thon! You can donate directly to the different nonprofits of your choosing via their website. All 3 of them are:
Please mention the event in the message with your donation and email Coach Nick a confirmation that you donated only for the purpose of me tracking the total money we raised. Doing this method will allow you to get the receipt for tax deduction.
You can also send the money via Venmo to an account Coach Nick made. The username is @Femme-fatale-a-thon. In the comments with your donation please specify how you would like the money split, if nothing is specified it will split it evenly between all 3.
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