January 23, 2015

I celebrate 1 year post-pregnancy with CrossFit!!! Weakness can become Strength.

It haven't written much lately but, I have always been a sporadic blogger anyways.  As of January 14th I celebrated a milestone, 1 year since I started CrossFit!

One year ago, I walked into CrossFit Hale in Richmond, CA and signed up.  I have always been an athlete of some sort, however on this occasion, I signed up as a completely different  person both mentally and physically.

For reference, I had delivered my baby-doll Jules two months prior. I didn't have a horrible pregnancy.  I would consider it a fairly normal one, complete with all the ups and downs and physical stresses related to pregnancy. However, hitting the 41 week mark definitely messed with my psyche and the long duration of my labor was akin to being "hit by a car," as my Chiropractor lovingly put it.  In all honesty, when I walked into the CrossFit gym, I completely believed I would NEVER be as strong as I once was, pre-pregnancy.  I had consigned myself to the fact that I would NEVER be the same again.  

To further expound this statement: I hate the pressure placed on women (by themselves and others) to lose their "baby-weight" and become "skinny again" after having a baby (particularly so quickly - this is a whole different topic.. we could discuss forever).  Although I had a desire to "lose baby weight," what I truly struggled with internally was the absolute belief that I would not be STRONG again (i.e. physically able to run a 1/2 marathon again etc...).  Even though I have soooo many examples of women/friends who had. I lacked the internal belief that I could.  

So you may ask, Why did you start CrossFit?  Well, it was many factors: convenience/location of the gym, I could bring Jules with me, I like challenges, I liked the people, Jake had started too...  and in the far recesses of my mind I wondered IF I could be strong again... although I usually shut that down with the phrase - "IMPOSSIBLE."  (I would like to think many women can relate to this mindset after pregnancy and those that don't... you are sooo lucky).

Nevertheless, I started CrossFit on Jan 14, 2014.  Upon starting, something like a push-up seemed like a foreign-language and even someone mentioning that I could do it, left me laughing inside.  I began with pushups on my knees with my arms up on the bench.  I had a hard time running 200 meters (which is such a mental blow, considering I had once ran 13 miles).  My squats consisted of 15 lb dumbbells and nothing more.  I looked at the world of pull-ups with complete disbelief.

Interestingly, I have ALWAYS been athletic/active.  Pre-pregancy, I had rarely allowed myself to say physical things are "impossible." But, over the last year as I lived my CrossFit journey,  I realized that I HAD LIMITED MYSELF LOOOOONG BEFORE I DELIVERED MY BABY. You may ask Why? Good question; I had subliminally believed true athleticism was a thing of the past; push-ups and good mile-times belonged to the high-school years and would permanently be gone forever.  Differently stated  I NEVER HAD THE COURAGE TO TRAIN MY WEAKNESSES. 

During the first few months of CrossFit, I didn't write anything down, because I thought it was pointless. However, approximately 5 months in, my coach Jay told me to do a 100 push-up workout, told me to do it on my toes (because I had the strength) and that he had no doubts I could finish it.  I trusted and believed him and surprised myself when I finished it. This was the turning point. This lead to a pull-up within the same month as well. Over the last year I lost 19 lbs, a total of 14 inches of my waist and hips and > 4% BF.  More importantly, I have done over 100 pushups in one setting and 50 pull-ups in one workout, I can back-squat my body weight and deadlift over 200 lbs.  I ran my best 1/2 marathon time and many other great things that I am so proud of.  

The reason I share these stats, is contrastingly over the weekend, I was at a CrossFit Coach Training Seminar in Milan, Italy. Part of course requires a ring dip break-out-session.  I AVOID ring-dips (any dips really) like the plague. As part of the seminar I was obligated to practice them (along with only 5 other women and 26 men (who obviously have the upper hand when it comes to ring-dips). Unexpectedly, I became very overwhelmed with the dips and their extreme difficulty.  At that moment the familiar self-doubt returned (after a short absence of a few months) and I questioned "why on earth am I doing this? Submitting myself to such failure in front of so many, with tasks that seem so meaningless." The answer came from the trainer later in the seminar, she said "THERE IS MORE BENEFIT PURSUING YOUR WEAKNESS, THEN TRAINING YOUR STRENGTHS." 
Doesn't that sound familiar?  I have always loved the following scripture: Ether 12: 27 - 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

This is why CrossFit is so meaningful to me (and the reason I shared this LONG story), because it has forced me to attack some of my physical weakness head-on, experiencing the tender and uncomfortable feelings of humility and insecurity, consequently I had to rely on the strength and advice of others (coaches and friends in this case).  This opportunity to be humbled, has uncovered some of my greatest strengths.  Although, I am only an intermediate cross-fitter today, I am addicted and plan to make more of my weaknesses strong (maybe a ring dip is in my future).

In conclusion,  I CAN HONESTLY SAY I AM STRONGER AFTER HAVING A BABY -100%, BUT I AM NOT THE SAME. I am different, and honestly, I am OK with that. I am happy that I am NOT the same both emotionally AND physically. I believe that we came to this Earth seeking a physical experience through our bodies, AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK AFTER STRENGTH THROUGH MY BODY (vs. only sex appeal...etc. - which dominates female society) IS ONE OF MY GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS IN MY LIFE.  It is my firm belief ALL women should experience physical strength in some form (However, I am biased toward CrossFit) and constantly physically challenge themselves.  

Please, I encourage you to do things that are hard for you, because they will reveal your true potential, otherwise you may never know what your potential really is. I definitely didn't.

Much love, Kim

November 5, 2014


Last week Juliet and I met Jake in Berlin (he was there on business).

I found the history of Berlin to be quite painful and dark. It was nearly overwhelming to fathom and learn about the difficulties and sore trials of this country including WW1 and the deep subsequent economic depression that followed; the rise of Hitler and his  Nazi regime with the belief in superior races which led to the horrific Ethnic cleansing in the form of Jewish concentration camps (among other things); then the Soviet Union literally divided the city with a Wall (Berlin Wall) and ruled with an iron socialistic grasp, all of which prevailed as recent as 1989!!!

Initially as I toured this city I was filled with anger/sorrow/confusion and seemed to feel a palpable heavy weight in the air. However, as I walked and toured more of the city I those negative feelings began to disappear and I began to feel hope.  Everywhere I looked I saw new construction and buildings, laughter and joy, great restaurants and beautiful memorials.  I was truly amazed and touched that a city with such difficulty could change, grow and overcome.  It was through this observation that I feel I have gained a deep belief in the possibility of change.  If an entire country can rebuild, grow, change, love, overcome,  despite their "difficult/horrific upbringing/history" can we not do the same?

I left Berlin a changed and uplifted person, with a lot more hope for our world :)

October 21, 2014

Chocolate Brownies

I have to say that moving here has been no small task for various reasons.  

One in particular, I will illustrate.  The other day I bought a brownie mix (yes because I am one of those lazy-bones who prefers to cook at light-speed as I value efficiency over deliciousness and goodness) and I realized it was all in German.  Once again my efficiency personality kicked in and I decided that because it included little pictures, all I had to do was follow the pictures on the box to know what to put in the mix.  When I finished making my brownies, they were like a delicious chocolate pile of dirt, obviously I had missed an ingredient because they were soooo dry.  With the help of my friend Hollee, I realized I had missed the water (which was not pictured - but stated in German, Italian and French - duhhhh).  After adding the water and an extra egg for good measure, I cooked those brownies and they turned out lovely. 

The point here, is I never thought I would be struggling to do such basic life tasks such as reading a recipe (for babies basically) and being unable to do it.  I cannot read the dials on the washing machines/ovens etc... therefore I have accidentally dyed all Juliets' bibs with a nice "blue jean" hue (which I hate).  

I have been served a huge dose of humble pie, trying to maintain a positive disposition about it, versus throwing a tantrum about every little thing has truly become a balancing act ;)  I think the phrase "fake it till you make it" comes in really handy here (one of my favorite mantras BTW).

Suffice to say, the challenges are innumerable with a move like this, but many of them are so basic, I would have never guessed this prior to moving over-seas.  Be sure to have compassion on your "foreign" friends, because we really are "puppies" enjoying the sun and chasing our tails :)

October 8, 2014

Lucerne - Likes/dislikes

So I have now been in Switzerland almost a month (minus a week for Italy) and I have made a list thus far of likes and dislikes

1. the green hills with sprawling farms and electric green grass
2. the crisp air
3. the crystal clear lakes
4. General courteousness and friendliness
5. The Chocolate (however I prefer dark over milk and I don't like hazelnuts ... that is a Swear-word in Switzerland I think)
6. the quality of the food (I have never tasted such good chicken) - actually I think it's the butter - I It is pure liquid gold.
7. The windows - I am so fascinated at how high-tech they are opening from the top or the side
8. They keep tarps on the sand boxes to avoid "kitty-droppings"
9. I hear classical music on the streets - instead of drums and boom-boxes there are students playing in fabulous modern/classical quartets... I would have to spend sooo much money normally
10. THE SWANS!!! never get tired of swans (unless they bite me)
11. THE SWISS LOVE JULIET soooo much, especially when I put her little pig-tails in her hair (It's a good ice-breaker")
12. the trail-system here for runners/bikers/even rollerbladers (yes there are roller blading signs with estimated times on them) are fabulous and so well-kept.

1.  The doors - they sort of sit on the inner lip - so they constantly look like they are ajar to me
2. the locks all have individual keys (so in order to lock your front door you have to insert the key) - technically you could lock yourself inside the house
3. The fact that you must provide your own lighting - (not lamps people)- actual ceiling lights - our apartment just had wires coming from the ceiling holes and the fact that there were "provided lights in the hall and kitchen" was a big bonus.
4. No closets - they use wardrobes - which needless to say hinders the unpacking process greatly, trying to assemble four large wardrobes doesn't come close to compensating for closets.
5. I still do not understand the "garbage rules" apparently they are very STRICT when it comes to your waste/garbage.
6. you have to pay to use a shopping cart and they seem to be located everywhere I cannot find them.
7. The prices for restaurants are CRAZY - don't expect to pay less than the equivalent of $80 for dinner.
8. you have to pay for water - and it's 5-7 francs (for one bottle) initially when I didn't realize this, Jake and I where getting our water refilled and Juliet had a "small child's water" it was a total of +$20 just for the water (beware).
9. the appliances are so high-tech... I cannot figure out how to turn the oven on correctly (every time I swear it's a new setting... somehow I cook food though).

So far, more likes than dislikes :)

September 28, 2014


Juliet, my SIL Emily and I left Venice and headed to Rome. It is truly a gem, filled with the immense layers of hundreds of years now gone.  I adore architecture and archeological ruins especially the roman ruins intermingled with renaissance and romantic era architecture, therefore, Rome is perfect.  I have to say the pasta is perfection as well as the seafood!!! I also have to admit that I ate gelato 2-3 times a day.

The highlight was definitely a bike ride through the ancient Apian Way, and Juliet kept making "ahhhing sounds" every time we rode on the cobblestones because she loved the sound of her voice jumping up and down. She handled the rain very well, after I put a poncho over the top of her.

Another highlight was definitely the Sistine Chappel, although it was packed with too many people.

 Swiss guards at the Vatican

A hidden little church

 Appian Way

View of the vatican city at sunset

September 23, 2014

Hailing in Venice/Caught in a Thunderstorm

 Juliet, myself and my SIL Emily just went to Venice Italy, for the first time and I am in love!

I was caught in torrential down-pour that became an incredible hail storm and transitioned into a lightening storm.  I was able to photograph quite a few lightening bolts, here are my two favorites.

I am not a photographer, but have always admired photography. Jake gave me a nice camera for Christmas and I have to admit this is my first time using it officially.  I think fancy cameras always intimidated me.  But, mine is very user friendly and I can see the results of a nice camera so much more clearly!

My favorite travel buddy, she spent time on my back and in the stroller and in her sleeping tent :) Traveling with babies is harder than along, however still very possible, just a bit slower pace with some breaks.

Jules with her Aunt Emily!

I cannot express the unique nature of Venice and its winding alley-ways and canals.  Such a beautiful/compact/bustling/claustrophobic/ancient/artistic/ornate/awe-inspiring city.

My internet is very slow, so sadly I will not post more pictures tonight.

September 19, 2014

Running in Switzerland

If you know me well, you know I have ran my whole life.  It seems to be in my blood, at times much more than others.  Every time I have moved to a new place, I have found a trail/path that I begin running.  I have a hard time even straying to other trails/paths, because the one I embark upon time and time again becomes a home to me.  My personality is one that enjoys change and craves it in many ways, but when it comes to running I like to find a home and stick to it.

When I lived in Arizona I ran along the canal trail even in the blazing sun.  In San Francisco I ran a beautiful trail called Lands end that ran along cliffs plunging into the ocean and overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, in the East Bay I ran along a local Hercules path and then ended on the Bay Trail that ran alongside the San Francisco Bay.   When we move into our permanent apartment in Ebikon (just outside of Lucerne) there is a lovely lake called "the Red Lake" that I will run (It was very much a deciding factor in moving to this apartment.

Yesterday I enjoyed running along Lake Lucerne for the second time, and the scenery was quite spectacular.

I am planning to run my third 1/2 marathon right here in Lucern.  Wish me luck!  It's going to be a fast ramp-up from my current 6 miles, but I am excited.  After this training, then a new CrossFit gym will open in Lucern!!! Yay and my cross-fit hiatus will be ended :)  Looking forward to so many new things.

On another note Juliet and I shared italian pizza yesterday that was wonderful!  However, I have to say living in the Bay Area, I was sooo spoiled with the good eats, because all the food here is on par with SF.

I took these two pictures while running (excuse for a break)

Here are a couple pictures of Juliet at the pizzeria (pizza had not yet arrived) and the swans again (you will probably end up seeing many, many swan pictures because they are so regal and beautiful)


Related Posts with Thumbnails