Visiting CrossFit Cayman

I love visiting new CrossFit boxes. I especially love re-visiting really good CrossFit boxes and this month saw me head back to CrossFit Cayman for a second time.

A return visit to CrossFit Cayman – but this time I succeeded in dragging my husband along too…

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Every time the haters rear their heads with ‘CrossFit is bad’; ‘CrossFit promotes really awful form’; ‘CrossFit gives you injuries’ I wish I could pack them on a plane and sign them up to a WOD hosted by Matthew and Tarasa Barnett of CrossFit Cayman.

The CrossFit Cayman box is no frills functional. There’s plenty of equipment to go round, more than adequate changing facilities and WODs will leave you seriously sweaty and gasping for more / no more.

But what sets this box apart from any other is Matthew and Tarasa. On the wall as you enter the box is a certificate awarded for CrossFit coaching excellence. Even within a nanosecond of the work out beginning you’ll realise this piece of paper is deserved a thousand times over.

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Results of the Dragon CrossFit Clean Living Challenge

Becoming part of Team DC and signing up to the Clean Living Challenge was a brilliant way to kick start 2014. It’s given me new training focus, new ambition, helped me appreciate my strengths and allowed me to understand more about the weaknesses that have held me back and how I can go about improving them.

For the statisticians amongst you the very end of this post carries the specific numbers. But, in summary, after 48 days of three CrossFit sessions a week, zero alcohol, zero refined carbs, no dairy and 30 days strict Paleo to kick start my fat loss efforts, here’s what happened:

  • I shifted some serious pounds that were accumulated during the annual festive splurge
  • I lost just shy of 10 inches total from various sites across my body
  • The biggest improvements / losses came from round my thighs and middle
  • I actually felt like the Incredible Hulk during the final testing when my 1RM back squat increased from 70 to 90kg *proud face*

Sweaty, post testing face!

Post testing pic

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Coming up for air

Goodness gracious me it’s been some time since I checked in here.

As a blogger, there’s nothing quite as annoying as life taking over and weeks whizzing by without a moment to post.

For too long, this has been my view:

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Affixed to that spot, it’s been one great big freelance work and course assignment juggling act. But now, thankfully, I’m coming up for air!

So what’s been happening?

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Dragon CrossFit (DC)

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If you mention Dragon in CrossFitting circles in South Wales (or at least the ones I’ve moved in) you’ll be met with:

“Yeh, they’re really hard core.”

“All a bit full on.”

“They take it sooooooo seriously.”

Talk to a Dragon CrossFit (DC) member and it’s an entirely different story.

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Don’t, whatever you do, go on a diet

“I’m starting Monday”.

Three fatal words uttered by so many vowing to commit to a New Year regime. But here’s the thing, how ever your first month of 2014 pans out, don’t, whatever you do, go on a diet in January – or any other month for that matter.

Stop now, before you start it.

Some key points to consider:

  • The diet industry is worth millions. Trillions, probably. Have you ever thought about why?
  • If marketing $£€ has to be thrown at a campaign to convince you something is healthy or good for you, chances are it isn’t
  • Nearly everyone knows someone that’s lost a significant amount of weight in their life following a <<insert name of commercial diet plan here>>, right? How many of those people have actually kept the weight off?

Don’t be a slave to the dieting scales. Opt for awesome instead


But what if weight loss, better health and an all round feeling of awesomeness became a bi-product of committing not to 28 day plans or 12 week regimes but from vowing to eat real, whole foods all of the time?

Nothing more, nothing less. Continue reading

Let Her Eat Clean’s year in review

The clock struck 9pm. “Happy New Year” we bellowed. There was no way Fi was making it to midnight. There was no way she was missing the last toast of her life. We adapted to accommodate her wishes. We shared a thimbleful of champagne.

2013 – it was the worst of times; it was the best of times

Year in review Collage

January notoriously sucks, doesn’t it? Losing a parent in January double sucks, believe me. But here’s the thing, you can wallow in that kind of suckiness or you can go on to do great things, you can live the life that person would have wanted you to. You can make every effort, every day to do something that person would have been so proud of.

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Don’t work out when you’re sick

It really is that simple. There is nothing complicated or scientific about this. You feel unwell? Exercise definitely isn’t going to make you any better.

It’s actually taken me years to realise this. Years. And years. And years. I understand how hard it can often be to rest up. Exercise is addictive. Exercise makes you feel awesome. Exercise is about the community of people you work out with. Sometimes it’s the only chance you get to see them. So when you’re already feeling down on your uppers, why on earth would you want to stay away from the gym when usually it’s the one thing to pick you right back up again?

It’s as good as a given that your recovery is going to be a lot slower if you’re attempting a work out when you’re plagued with a fever. You’re also going to bust out a totally rubbish session – sorry. Also, you owe it to your fellow gym buddies not to infect them / leave your snotty Kleenex about the place.

Don’t work out when you’re sick it’ll do more harm than good

Annie equipment

If you don’t believe me, here’s some facts and figures: this year I ran a marathon having missed six consecutive weeks of training due to a hip flexor injury; yesterday was my first CrossFit session back after nine missed work outs owing to the dreaded lurgy. At tonight’s session I hit a new 3 RM Deadlift PR at 92.5kg. Go figure…

So train when you’re at your best. If you’re not, take a rest. Don’t work out when you’re sick. Simples.

This post was inspired by friend, mentor and epic coach, StreTch Rayner who has been fundamental (during our many years of working together) in helping me finally see the “rest is quite often best” light – I also hope he’ll be proud of my new 3 RM DL PR 🙂