Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Thank You Blog

What a year!

First of all, I want to thank you, my fans, for following my Quest for 2013. I am excited that this year, I can conclude this with a happy ending, as it sure was a pisser writing the conclusion to the Quest for 2012.

I grew a lot in 2013. I stayed the same height but I am pretty sure I was a beefcake by CrossFit Games time. Ha! Back to being serious… As an athlete, I became aware of what it means to compete and to give full effort in my endeavors. I learned to control what I can control and, for the most part, let go of what I cannot. It is still a work-in-progress but this clarity was undoubtedly embedded into my psyche by CJ. And that has made all the difference. (Yes, that’s Frost.)

As I alluded to in a previous post, my success isn’t mine alone. It is the product of my entire support system, dubbed the Kinney Pit Crew (KPC). Each individual deserves to be recognized for his/her contributions to my Quest for 2013. Unfortunately, this cannot be an exhaustive list. It’s like the acceptance speech where you forget to thank someone who was pivotal in your journey. To them, I offer my sincerest apologies in advance.

Well, here it goes any way…

Thank you for being my biggest fan. You’re like the biggest fan of all. Even though others claim they’re my biggest fans, I’m pretty sure that you take that prize. Thank you for thinking that I am the best CrossFitter to ever walk the Earth. Thank you for always getting mad at me for “working out too much.” Thank you for getting mad at CJ for making me “workout too much.” Thank you for being genuinely pissed that I trained immediately before all my Open events. Thank you for believing that every rep I ever completed was a good one and that the judge was clearly blind or not paying close enough attention. Thank you for the Friday lunches to break from my time at the gym. Thank you for all the Sunday dinners with ample supplies of great food, beer, cheesy poofs, and desserts. (I hesitate to reveal that nutritional secret of mine; but you guys deserve it if you’ve made it this far with me.)

Thank you for instilling in me such a strong work ethic. I constantly try to be the best I can be and never settle for any level of achievement regardless of my successes. “It’s only pain,” after all. Thank you for not coming to Regionals. You are bad luck there.

Thank you for dealing with my “crazy” and always being supportive of me regardless of how ridiculous I was acting. You got to see it when it got ugly, really ugly. You got to ride the volatile roller coaster of Games training with me and I know it wasn’t always enjoyable. Perhaps, you found humor in my behavior. Thank you for picking up food or coffee or whatever I felt that I desperately needed at the time and bringing it to the gym. I am incredibly fortunate to have you there for me. Thank you for believing in me.

Thank you for supporting my dreams, my dreams of owning an affiliate and competing at the CrossFit Games. CrossFit Chickasaw has been life changing to say the very least. I’m more thankful for that conversation at Republic than you could ever know. Thank you for all the breakfast and coffee dates. My coffee consumption habits feel normal around you. Thank you for being a coach to me as well.

Thank you for being the voice on my shoulder that never let me give up. Thank you for pushing me to compete and thrive. Thank you for all the positive and inspirational texts, emails, pictures, and conversations. Sending me to Summer Crush was such a decisive and significant event that turned me around. You believed in me more than I did which made a huge impact on my Quest, if not allowing for the formation of it.

Dude… thank you! Thank you for taking a chance with me as your athlete. I am honored to have you as my coach and lucky to have you as a friend. Thank you for every minute you spent programming for me. Thank you for flying to Columbus, OH to coach me at Regionals. I’m not sure that you understand how much it meant to me to have you there. I have learned so much about myself and about true victory under your wings. This, too, has been life changing. Thank you for showing me what it means to be part of the Invictus family. You and the Sea of Green are an extraordinarily supportive group who were not only crucial in my qualifying for the Games but also my success at the Games. Lastly, thank you for the celebratory hug in the athlete warm-up area once the final Games’ standings were announced. I will never forget that moment!

            CrossFit Chickasaw Tribe,
Thank you for your unending support throughout my Quest. Even at the beginning of the Open when you were new to the concept of the CrossFit competitive season, you were still there in full force to cheer for me. As the Open weeks passed, it humored me to have fewer and fewer people participate in the Open workouts with me and more and more fans that just wanted to watch me. That was a cool little phenomenon to see unfold. Thank you for the incredible and surprising send-off to Regionals and Games. Your actions were very moving, as you may have noticed. Thank you to Amy, Robby, Josh, Amanda, Christine, Sarah, Carley, Maria, and Chris who all made the trip to Carson, CA to watch me compete at the Games. Thank you for the Games after-party at Local where I couldn’t keep a beer or shot out of my hands. I paid dearly for that night, but it was well worth it. Thank you to the coaching staff (Chris, Alan, Hunter, Gavin, and Josh) that helped cover classes for me so that I could train and focus all my energy on my Quest.

I could not have done this alone. Period. These are the people with whom I share my 8th place 2013 CrossFit Games finish. Not only did I achieve my Quest for 2013, I represented my crew, the KPC, to the best of my ability. I hope that I made you proud. Love you guys.

Taking it all in after Cinco 1 & 2

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pre-Games Post

I don’t think that it has quite hit me yet. I leave for Los Angeles in about 9 hours and my clothes are still in the washing machine. I travel just enough to not get stressed out about packing and flying and whatnot, so I’m not worried about the fact that I’m not ready yet. I think I’ll go get some breakfast.

I am ready.

I may not be packed, but I am ready- mentally, physically ready. As I approach my third CrossFit Games, I do so with an outlook unique to my other visits to the Home Depot/Stub Hub Center.

This will be fun.

My first year, I was nervous and star-struck, surrounded by the incredible women that I had done my best to emulate. My second year, I had high expectations, maybe too high. I thought I was better than I was and my glaring weaknesses were put under a microscope. It was a sophomore mistake and I have learned so much from it. This third year is going to be fun, in that sick, kick-you-in-the-ass kind of way. I am honest when I say that I am excited to see what events they throw at us.


My Quest for 2013 has surely been a team effort, as there is simply no way that I could have done this without the Kinney Pit Crew (KPC). This support group not only includes my training partners at CrossFit Chickasaw, but also my family, friends, sponsors, and coach, CJ. Keep in mind that individual competition is hardly that. I am not alone when I step on floor of the Stub Hub Center.  Rest assured that I will give my best efforts and enjoy every moment.  The KPC and I have worked too hard for me to do any differently.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Countdown to the Games

I have still yet to write my "Thank You" blog; however, I assure you that it is coming. Let's just say that my free time, that is, outside of the hellacious Games training, is spent recovering from the hellacious training. This is good entertainment in the meantime. I discuss a few of my thoughts on Regionals and the Games. I am one happy girl!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Best Nutrition Plan...EVER

Not really. Well, maybe. I'll let you know.

In this week's post, I discuss my nutrition as I approach regionals and my mental game in training and competition. I also threw in some training clips.

Thanks for watching.

Follow me @Michelle_Kinney

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Movements Involving the Front Rack Position

After heavy front squats, I did heavy cleans.
After heavy cleans, I did heavy power cleans+2 front squats+jerk.
After power cleans+2 front squats+jerk, I did a conditioning set.

Can you tell that my front squats and cleans are some things that I am determined on improving? Ha!

I have been tweaking and hammering the above movements and can definitely feel the difference. Here is some footage of today. Progress.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cuss Like a Sailor

It is all fun and nice posting my PRs and other feats of CrossFit. Today, my performance did not allow for that. Rather than keep my crappy day to myself and pretend that every day is awesome, I decided to share reality with you. Like I said via Twitter (@Michelle_Kinney), I purposefully muted the workout. I cussed like a sailor in disgust and frustration. Enjoy... because I sure as heck didn't.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Invictus Athlete Camp

Well, I've been home for over a week and just now got the chance to sit down and write about my awesome experience at the Invictus Athlete Camp. After all, it wasn't until this past weekend that I caught up with all of my CrossFit Chickasaw stuff.

The weekend was amazing! Anytime that I am around CJ and the Invictus crew, I make new friends and learn a tremendous amount from them. The weekend started on Friday afternoon with a team workout on a track that overlooked the Pacific Ocean.

The view from the track
You all probably know how excited that made me, because the track and I get a long pretty well. Strangely enough, it may have been something about being surrounded by elite athletes or the beautiful landscape, but I ran a little too fast on my first 400m leg! I WISH I knew what my split was! CJ, did you catch it? It had to have been near a PR. I know how to pace, but sure as hell didn't execute that day. During my second 400m leg, I thought I was going to puke, which rarely happens. I managed to keep my lunch down though. After four rounds, I was smoked. Definitely slept like a baby that night!

Both Saturday and Sunday morning, we started things off right with Coach Burgener. I was teamed up with Tarasa Barnett, April Lowe, and Lauren Fisher. All of which, I soon found out, are stronger than I am. Surprise, surprise. Anyway, I PRed my front squat in an attempt to not appear too much like a wuss, the same term I called Alicia Conners at one point that weekend. Lucky for me, she took it well. (Love you, Alicia!)

My strong lifting partners
Carl Paoli worked with us on our gymnastics skills and taught us that gymnastics is all about positioning. We practiced handstands, handstand walks, handstand pushups, ring handstand pushups. It seemed like we were on our hands more than our feet for his session. I definitely needed the help in this arena. It was good to take home some useful progression drills for those illusive, high skill movements.

The afternoon began with Heidi Fearon and her take on the mental and physical recovery aspect of training. I didn't know it until her presentation, but I needed to make some huge changes with regards to recovery. One specific quote that resonated so deeply with me was that "every moment is perfect." With great enthusiasm, I came home and told some close friends about this message and what it meant to me. It hit close to home, to say the least.

The message of self maintenance was later emphasized by Kelly Starrett. I was not surprised to find that I am hardly the supple leopard. After his session, I realized that I was immobile in places that I didn't know I could be immobile. I learned more effective (and painful) mobility techniques. He preached that the foam roller is for sissies. With that in mind, I haven't used it since.

Each day ended with "a little conditioning." ANY conditioning in a gym full of CrossFit studs is a big deal... to me. I held my own throughout the workouts and didn't get my ass kicked too badly, which gave me a slight boost in confidence.

Once the camp was came to a close on Sunday evening, I was totally smoked and really hungry. All I wanted to do was eat, drink beer, and then crash in bed. Luckily, my roommate and long distance training buddy, Elyse Umeda, felt the same. So, that's what we did.

Early Monday morning, the camp headed to Kwaay Paay for a trail run. I had heard reports throughout the weekend of how tough this run was. I expected the worse but relished in the idea that it was still just running, which is kind of a comfort zone for me. During the "run," it didn't take long for me to find that it wasn't just running. It was walking. Points of the trail were so steep that I discovered walking was faster than running. Perhaps that was my mind justifying my walking. Anyway, I made it up with a pretty decent time of 15:45. My quads were screaming throughout the run, exacerbated by the fact that we squatted A LOT on Saturday and Sunday. A refreshing consummation, the summit of Kwaay Paay offered a picturesque view of downtown San Diego, the Pacific, and the mountain range.

The top of Kwaay Paay
I cannot stress how much I learned throughout the weekend. I got the opportunity to work with some of the best coaches and athletes in the world and for that, I feel very fortunate. Likewise, I am incredibly proud to be a part of such an awesome group of people. They push me to be better each day.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Snatch and Back Squat Progress

Whew, what a January it's been already! CrossFit Chickasaw has been BUSY! Likewise, so have I. Luckily, I haven't had any problems finding time to train. I have actually been incredibly fortunate to have recruited some training partners to join me. Their presence alone makes a huge difference.

Here is some footage of some of my lifts from yesterday.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Cycle

Happy New Year!

Now that the holidays are over, I have sufficiently rested and prepared myself for a new training cycle. I got a little stir-crazy not going to the box! I needed that though. Mentally and physically, I needed to feel the irresistible urge to train.

Here is a clip of my first day back.

Follow me on Twitter for daily rants: @Michelle_Kinney