Operation: Finish Line

One line at a time.

Marking the Milestones

There are several defining moments in a girl’s life.  The majority of my recent ones relate to the fitness industry:

  • the decision to get healthy;
  • my first sub-30 5K race;
  • my first hellacious triathlon and the subsequent awesome second one;
  • my first 10K;
  • my first half marathon;
  •  the day I passed my BodyVive assessment;
  • and the day I decided to make a life-altering career change.   

Well, Friday’s milestone is a major follow-up to that last one.  I may have posted some time ago about how I would listen implicitly to my trainer, Sara.  She would say: “lift this weight” and I would say: “okay.”  She would say: “jump over this cone” and I would say “how high?”  She would say: “do two more sets” and I would say “how about three?”  (I don’t complain about my workouts.  Ever.  I’m there for a reason, and I see no need to try to get out of it.)  Then, one day, she said to me: “Kristina, you have really nice form.  Have you ever thought about becoming a trainer?”  and I said: “No.”  Because I truly hadn’t–and that was probably one of the few times I ever told Sara “no.”

At that point, I was contemplating going to culinary school because I enjoyed cooking and being creative, but Sara got me thinking–if I ever wanted to truly be healthy and fit, there was no way I could go to culinary school.  The kind of food I love to cook is the kind that made me unhealthy in the first place.  Sara told me about the small, professional school here in town that she went to for her certification.  I did my research, talked to my parents, and decided to enroll.  Classes started last October, and I’ve been going twice a week in the evenings, and the occasional weekend to learn everything I can about personal training, exercise science, nutrition, health, and fitness. And it’s way better than culinary school would ever have been 🙂

A couple of weeks ago our instructor told us that once we completed our Program Design course, we would be eligible to take our Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam.  So, yet again, the cogs in my brain started churning, and I decided to take my exam as soon as possible so that I would be forced to study–and, so I could start taking on new roles and responsibility at work as soon as possible.

I took my exam this past Friday. 

I passed 🙂

And now I am a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  This is a major milestone for me primarily because it signifies finally leaving the past behind and letting go of everything I worked towards in past years, and that is a very good thing for me.  And also, because it signals the next phase in my life–the phase where I get to help people be the best possible version of themselves while continuing to strive to be my own best self, and nothing makes me happier than that at this very moment.


On another, more light-hearted note, I sure am glad I passed my exam, or the 250 business cards I ordered with “NASM Certified Personal Trainer” on them would have been wasted!


Who had a 225# max deadlift today?

That’s right.  This girl  🙂



Yowza.  I think I can feel every single muscle in my lower body.  Even the teeny-tiny little ones.  My shoulders are singing a little bit too.

The reason for my soreness?  I went back to CrossFit Lawrence today to use one of my punches that I bought.  Who knew that a simple, 15 minute workout could be SO effective in making me hyper-aware of my body?  Today’s WOD was a good one: as many round as possible (AMRAP) in 15 min of 3 overhead presses (any kind) 65#, 6 full pushups, and 9 jumping lunges (each leg).

See–super simple.  Three exercises.  Killer, yet educational.  I learned about the regular overhead press, the push press, and a jerk press.  The best parts though are the stretching and mobility work before and after.  That’s by far my favorite bit.

I must say, I haven’t been this aware of my ass in quite a while.  And that is so awesome!

Question of the evening: when was the last time you were really aware of your muscles?  Soreness, or otherwise?


One of my best friends always says that I’m the ideal consumer.  If you sell it well, I will buy it.  Well, CrossFit Lawrence, you got me.  Like ice to an Eskimo.

My PT class went to our local (and only) CrossFit “box” tonight for class, and I went in rather indifferent.  One of my classmates does CrossFit out of his garage and is always telling us about the W.O.Ds (workout of the day, and pronounced as a word, not an acronym), and I haven’t found it particularly interesting.  Olympic-style lifting hasn’t really been my style, so I never really gave CrossFit a second thought.  So when our instructor announced last week that the next class would be at the CrossFit studio, I wasn’t thrilled, but I wasn’t upset either.  Again, indifferent.  And still indifferent after getting there, hanging out for a bit and watching the regulars do their W.O.D.  I was looking forward to getting in a workout, but that was about it.

Our workout started with a dynamic warm-up of lunges, twists, high-knees, and butt-kicks.  Then, we went through several movement series to prepare us for the Intro W.O.D.  We practiced for kettlebell swings, box jumps, and sit-ups.  Then, it was time to work it out (or get “rowdy” as the CrossFit coaches kept saying).  We did a 15-12-9 set with medicine ball runs at the beginning and end.  That means that we grabbed a medicine ball (I took a 14 lb one), and ran a short course holding the ball, and as soon as we got back we went into our sets.  15 reps of kettlebell swings, box jumps, and sit-ups, 12 reps of the same, and finally 9 reps of the same, followed by a final medicine ball run.  We did the workout for time, and I finished third (first of the girls) with a time of 7:40 (not too shabby, considering that I had the tallest box for box jumps of the girls).

The workout wasn’t too different from what I normally do, but what got me was the competitive nature of the workout.  I am very competitive when provoked.  Also the guys who run the “box” were what got me.  No, not the fact that they are cute and ripped, but rather it was their brains.  They know so much about the way the body moves and functions and how to improve it.  I’d love to learn from them, and I really think that I need a new challenge to conquer.  So, I bought a 10 session punch card and I’m going to my first session on Monday morning.

I’m actually really glad that we went.  I’m not too good at trying new things on my own, so having this little push to step outside my comfort zone was welcome!  At the very least, I think this kind of training will help with my triathlon training.  Half-marathon training as well.

Now, it’s off to bed, because I’ve got a health fair to go to tomorrow morning!

Read food, real workout

I’m pretty good about paying attention to the work through which I put my body, but I’m not always so good about paying attention to what I put in it. Thus, one of my new year goals is to eat more REAL food. Real, as in not refined, not fat-free, not processed. The fat-free, low-fat craze is misleading–those buzz words don’t in any way mean less calories, and I’m starting to realize that buying low-fat or fat-free options isn’t making me feel good inside. So, I am going to try to eat more whole foods–real foods, and make sure to limit my intake of fuller fat and rich foods. Really, it’s all about calories in, calories out.

Everything in moderation 🙂

But, I’m not going to track my food, though. I KNOW that it’s one of the ways to be most successful when it comes to weight loss, but I JUST DON’T DO IT. I’ll do it for a few days, but it always seems like such a chore. Any suggestions from my few readers about how to make food journaling easier are very welcome!


Today’s workout was a doozy, though! My calves are screaming for some foam rolling. Today was the second day of half-marathon training, so Darrah and I did cardio and strength intervals today, starting with an intense Tabata set on the treadmill.

Tread Tabata

2 min walk 4.0

3 min jog 5.0

20s on, 10s off 4x each of the following:

sprint 7.0

sprint 7.5

sprint 8.0

sprint 8.5

sprint 9.0

sprint 8.5

sprint 8.0

2 min jog 5.0

1 min walk 4.0

Works out to be about a 20 minute workout and Darrah and I were dripping by the end! But boy, the minutes have never gone by so fast! You have to be careful, though, when you do sprints on the treadmill at such fast speeds. Make sure you have a sure grip on the arms of the treadmill before you jump off. D had a bit of a scare this morning with the hopping off part! Seriously, not fun. She was fine, though and finished the workout!

Darrah put together our strength portion and it was a simple but challenging set:

Upper Body Intervals

1 min of each, 20 seconds rest/transition (2x through)

1. tricep dips on bench

2. bicep curls

3. pushups

4. lateral raise combo (front / side / pinkie*)

5. squats

6. overhead press

*pinkie raises are side raises where your pinkie finger leads and your knuckles are facing forward, so you’re working more of your triceps than your deltoids*

Abdominal Intervals

1 min of each, 20 sec rest/transition (1x through*)

1. russian twists with 4# medicine ball

2. bicycle crunches

3. tuck-ins on stability ball

4. side plank raises

5. plank on elbows

*we had intended to do two sets of the abs, but we ran out of time. Not sure we would have made it through a second round, though! It was tough after all that tabata and strength circuit!*

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