Drink the Kool Aid

For a few years now I have heard of this phenomenon called “CrossFit”. I was first introduced to the concept when the Black Rose Rollers (in … their second season perhaps?) struck a sponsorship deal with their local gym and begin training.

I’ll admit – I was instantly jealous.


That just LOOKS amazing.
That just LOOKS amazing.

I would see photos of my friends dead lifting and squat pressing alongside a guide and I wanted in. I didn’t care how. There was a piece of me that knew then that I needed to be a part of the movement.

But I wasn’t. I continued on doing my own thing. Slowly, more and more of my friends and derby-colleagues began partaking in CrossFit. People became obsessed with it; outsiders called them crazy. I understood the obsession – I have been skating for 4 years for a reason. From the outside I look crazed and obsessed. From the inside: how could you not be a part of this world?

Then, with any popular craze, the haters came in.

“It’s dangerous.” “You’ll ruin your body.” “They’re all about speed, not about form.”

And there was a part of me that believed them. I knew that there were competitions for CrossFit, and I heard so many negative comments about speed vs form, that I just started to believe them. It didn’t dull my desire to do CrossFit, but it just made me leery.

Then my team mate, the undeniably strong Russian Bayou, began her sessions. I asked her about it a lot (hopefully not too much); I was just so curious to know what it was about. How was it with her knee? Do they work with you? Is it all speed?

((There are times where I wonder if Bayou just wants me to stop talking to her because I get super excited (like a small yappy dog) and just ask questions.)) Through Bayou, and other league mate’s interest in her training and advancement, Dutchland was able to land a sponsorship with our local CrossFit: CrossFit Collective.


My meniscus is pinched.


Ok, fast forward. This week I went to my first two sessions of CrossFit. Friends across the country were stoked that I was finally going to “drink the kool aid”. I was finally going to see why they love it.

Yea. I totally get it.

"Portrait of the day after CrossFit"
“Portrait of the day after CrossFit”

This isn’t a gym where you walk in and are left to your own devices to sweat or not sweat as you please. This is a place to advance. To push past every boundary your mind has ever set for itself. It is a place to make the weak, strong; and to make the strong, invincible.

The speed aspect? Some of the workouts have time limits. So in my first session, we had a superset of 1) Farmer’s Carries 2) 6 burpies and then 3) 6 wall balls from the side, both sides. So you would do 1, 2, 3 in succession. The goals was to do 5 rounds of them OR you stop when 10 minutes hits. With 80 pounds for my farmer’s carries and a 10 pound medicine ball, I was able to do the 5 sets in just under 9 minutes.

Not bad for my first day.

We used the bar and we got to experience the cardio/plyo/weight training of my dreams.

Now today … we did dead lifts. Ok, I got that. Jesse Blames taught me awesome form. (THANK YOU, JESSE BLAMES!!! ALL THE KNOWLEDGE FROM YOUR SESSIONS HAS BEEN INVALUABLE!!) Then we went outside.

Sled pushes. Tire flips. Teams.

Me and Jocie, Incollision and Tot Annie were pairs on the same team. As we flipped, they pushed. Each pair had to push the sled to the end of the lot and back 4 times; as they pushed the sled, we were to flip the tire. There was grunting, groaning, dirt, swearing, crying and a nearly dehydrated team member. We completed the 8 laps in 21:20. Our group did a total of 154. Jocie and I did about 110 on our own. My fingers haven’t hurt like this since my climbing days. My biceps have NEVER hurt like this before.


Congrats to all the ladies that finished!! Two (Nelly Hurtado and White Winged Shove) are even skating tonight in bouts!!

So there you have it. CrossFit. Do it. It’s a mental game. It’s great to do it with people for the encouragement. Jocie definitely helped me push through and overcome the mental game.

I’m so sore.

When can I go back?

A Bit of the Spring and the Roll

So I just realized that it’s been 20 days since I posted. INCONCIEVABLE! So here I am. My brain is at a point where it feels like it should be doing work, but it’s been DOING work all day and has run out of what it can do with real precision and effectiveness.

I have blogs to write and articles about Spring Roll that I have wanted to put up, and now the Northeast Derby Convention. They will come in a fuller form tomorrow or Friday however. I’m still waiting for more pictures… Nothing worse than a blog with no pictures.


So here is the brief rundown of what’s been going on in life, the universe and everything: both a lot and not much at all.

Roller derby, Herbalife and my future have been taking up all of my brain space. I am working on moving out of the place I am in now to a spot in Lititz (closer to Lancaster than I am now). The move is a new chapter in life: The closing of doors and the opening of others. I have been both extremely confused as well as supremely invigorated in the past few weeks.

Spring Roll was a hell of an experience.

I played a few of the hardest games of my life within a 48 hour period. Not only that, but I had a few revelations about how much pressure I put on myself in derby… how many assumptions I had made about my teammates that weren’t true. They didn’t NEED me to be anything. They just need me to play and to work hard. What happens from there, happens. A lot of tears and insecurities came out after my bout against the Chicago Outfit (who were awesome, btw).

CONFIDENCE ON SUNDAY. Copyright 2013 by Bob Dunnell. Please do not remove watermarks from this photo. To purchase prints of this photo, please visit the following link: http://store.mrmcwheely.com/p41986587/e60cd2f99
Copyright 2013 by Bob Dunnell. Please do not remove watermarks from this photo.
To purchase prints of this photo, please visit the following link:


By Sunday morning, my entire outlook was changed around. Confidence in my feet, my team and MYSELF really came out. I not only was able to accept, but also understand that no matter how much you may want something – sometimes relationship issues cannot be resolved. Sometimes, you can’t just say you’re walking away. You have to.

Not only did I play two games (better than I thought against two teams that were tougher than I imagined), but Sunday was where the friendships took shape. I had scouted out a bunch of the juniors and men’s teams on Friday and Saturday, but it was Sunday that I can say that I bonded with people. Doing push-ups with the Carolina Wreckingballs in my sports bra and Skinz for the Mass Maelstrom was one of the highlights. I’m hoping no one got a picture of it though – I was drenched after my game against Arch Rival and my abs are not exactly photo ready yet!

BOOM. Photo by Kimmy Kempf
Photo by Kimmy Kempf
Magic City v Harm! Photo by Mr McWheely
Magic City v Harm!
Photo by Mr McWheely


Getting to follow up those friendships the next weekend at Northeast DerbyCon was fantastic. Dutchland wasn’t able to stay for any of the crazy Spring Roll after-parties so it was nice to share a few pints with folks in Providence and relax a bit.

I will do a separate blog about the COMPLETE AMOUNT OF AWESOME at the convention tomorrow.

For now, I prepare for bed. I have upped my training. I have refocused my nutrition. Yes, again. Tomorrow I’ll try CrossFit for the first time. I’ve got deliveries of Herbalife goodies and I have to stop by 717 Tattoo to talk to a piercer about getting on a plan.

I do love what I do. I do love the life that I’m carving out for myself. Things can be rough sometimes, and I can be unsure of what is coming next, but I know that the next three months will be some of the most important of my life.

So let’s do this.

Next goal: Destroy ECDX and become sexy along the way!
Next goal: Destroy ECDX and become sexy along the way!