A Magical Drop-In at CrossFit MouseTrap

Good morning from sunny Florida!  Today is my final day at the Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium and I’ll be flying back to New York later this afternoon.  The conference sessions have been awesome, but the food and hotel situation here has been less than ideal so I’m pretty excited to get home and back into my routine.  Still, I don’t have too much to complain about as I sit here eating breakfast on my hotel balcony! 😉  Plus, I squeezed in a CrossFit drop-in while I was here in Orlando, which y’all know I love to do when traveling.  IMG_3267

CrossFit MouseTrap is a 3,000 sq ft. gym in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  As the closest CrossFit gym to Walt Disney World, you can bet they get their fair share of visitors, so they have the drop-in thing down to a science.  Seriously.  You can check out their schedule and WOD, fill out a waiver, register for a class and pay right on their website.  Oh, and if you want, you can coordinate to have a photographer capture your drop-in workout too!  I didn’t do that, but it’s certainly a fun option, especially if you’re on vacay and WODing with friends or family.

CrossFit MouseTrap

I took a quick Uber ride from my hotel and when I arrived, Joe, the owner, enthusiastically welcomed me in.  I immediately noticed how clean and organized the gym was.  Given that I was already sweating and I hadn’t even started stretching (hello, Florida humidity!), you can imagine the amount of sweat that place must endure.  But the floors, the equipment, everything was clean.  Joe informed me that I was the only person registered for that class, so I would basically get a personal training session with Coach Steve.  As the earlier class was finishing up, I chatted with Joe about the gym and his CrossFit journey.  He is really passionate about coaching, the CrossFit MouseTrap members and of course, the gym in general.  I complimented him on the super smooth drop-in process and asked what their regular members thought about the huge number of visitors that come through.  By the way, he told me they’ve had almost 12,000 drop-ins since opening their doors about 4 years ago!  Imagine?!  Surprisingly, he said members love it!  It provides a little bit of a monotony breaker and allows members to learn and grow from CrossFitters all around the world–pretty cool!

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Now onto the workout.  CrossFit MouseTrap offers two workout options daily: power and speed.  Both involved running, which I was dreading in the Florida heat, but I opted for the power workout.  We started with an 8 min EMOM (every minute on the minute) of 4 back squats, building up to about 80% of a 1-rep maximum.  It felt good to squat and I actually kept the weight slightly under 80%.  After the EMOM, I had 4 minutes of rest (aka time to clean up my barbell) before jumping into a 13-minute AMRAP (as many rounds/reps as possible) of 20 wall balls, 10 toes-to-bar and 100m run carrying the medicine ball.  
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More like “pick up that ball”.  Wall balls are a definite mental struggle for me, but the workout was a good one! I was thankful for the two gigantic floor fans they turned on, but the circulating air couldn’t stop the sweat from pouring off of me.  #florida.  My already terrible grip was worsened by my sweaty hands on the bar, but I managed to do the entire workout of toes-to-bar as Rx!  The hardest part of the WOD was trying to catch my breath.  I think the heat and humidity were a big factor and I just could not breathe normally.  Plus, awkwardly running while trying to carry my slippery sweat-covered ball was lots of fun.  I finished 3 full rounds plus 20 wall balls and 4 toes-to-bar and was happy with that.  Until Coach Steve said we were THEN going to do some sled pushes.  I think he took pity on me and only made me do three 100m sled pushes with 50 pounds on the sled.  I was huffing and puffing like crazy and completely smoked by the end of them.

Needless to say I spent the rest of the day at the conference chugging water!  I definitely got a good reminder of what’s to come with summer workouts while here in Florida.  And I’m excited to have found a gym that is so incredibly warm and welcoming for visitors, considering I come down to see the Mouse every now and again.  I’ll definitely be back, CrossFit MouseTrap…probably in December when our whole family does Disney! 

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16.5: The One Where Mindset Mattered

And just like that, the 2016 CrossFit Open is over.  The announcement revealed that 16.5 would indeed be a repeat and ultimately a repeat of one of the ugliest workouts the Open has seen, 14.5.  I started CrossFit just after the 2014 CrossFit Open season, so I never did 14.5 myself, but I had long been a groupie and followed many bloggers who had written about their horrible experiences with it.  

CrossFit Open 16.5 (14.5)-3The workout is a descending ladder of thrusters and bar-facing burpees with NO time cap, meaning you have to finish all of the reps in order to get a score.  Gross.  To prepare, I re-read all of the 14.5 recaps I could find and strategized about how I would breakdown the movements.  Also, I spent most of Friday texting boyfriend funny 14.5/16.5 memes.

16.5 meme

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I decided to do the Rx version of this one, despite having never done 65 pound thrusters in a workout before.  I knew I would have to break the thrusters up into small and manageable chunks right from the get-go and I also knew how essential it would be to have a positive mindset to get through the pain-cave middle rounds.  I find the study of positive psychology SO interesting and having utilized mental strength for many long runs (and the marathon), I know it works.  Before the WOD, I even wrote 26.2 on my hand to remind myself of my biggest physical accomplishment to date.  Those little numbers on my hand served as a reminder that I can do hard things.  

Boyfriend and I completed the workout in separate heats, because I knew I would need him to coach me through the agony. Unfortunately, that meant he went first and I got to watch his suffer-fest before doing it myself.  
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He did awesome, but it’s still a grueling workout to watch someone else do, especially when you’re trying not to psych yourself out.  When the clock started for me, I broke those thrusters into sets of 3 right from the beginning as planned and tried to remember to breathe.  

Thruster

The rounds of 21 and 18 seemed to take for-ev-er, but I tried to just keep moving.  The thrusters felt heavy quickly and my arms were tiring from pushing up on the burpees.  More than once when I flopped to the floor, for a burpee I was tempted to just stay down and take a nap.  I can’t tell you how many times Boyfriend shouted “Kim get up! Get over that bar now!” at me.  Told you I needed him to push me on this one…

It was a huge struggle to maintain my positive mindset for this workout.  At some point someone next to me muttered “this sucks!” and I had to fight off that message from setting up shop in my own brain.  I mean, the workout did suck, but I had prepped myself to accept the suck and know I would get through it.  I have done hard things and I am capable of doing hard things.  In fact, I’m lucky to GET to do hard things like this.  I asked for it.  I paid money for it!  When people started finishing around me and I was only starting my round of 12, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t discouraged, but I fought through it and kept moving.  The movement was ugly and painful and slow, but it was progress.  I finished my last burpee at 19:14 and flopped onto the floor in complete exhaustion.  

16.5 after

16.5 (14.5) was easily the hardest workout I’ve done in my life.  But I didn’t die. 😉  The 2016 Open certainly ended with a bang and the thruster-burpee combo completely lived up to its scary reputation, physically and mentally.  In the end, I’m super proud that I finished and didn’t get lost in the pain cave.  Mindset matters, y’all.  Now go do hard things!  Except this workout…promise me you won’t do this workout!?

What’s your go-to mantra when things get hard?  How was 16.5 for you? Tell me about it in the comments! 

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