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First crossfit class: check!

19 Sep

I’m able to type this because my fingers are about the only parts of me that aren’t aching like mad.

I had signed up for my very first Beginners class at the 020 box in Amsterdam. Not feeling 100% because of a stuffy nose I asked for advice from a friend who’s a CF fanatic. Nahhhh you’ll be fine. Ehhhh why didn’t she tell me to cancel? I was terrified.

So yesterday the day came. On my way to Amsterdam, I sat on the train and was very nervous. Why? No idea. Not because I was going to go to a “fit people” place. Suprisingly enough that didn’t bother me one bit. What was it then?

I think it had to do with stepping out of my comfort zone. I like it when things are safe. I don’t like change. And this… was change. Because I knew that after this, I had broken through a mental wall. And that scared me. I think that’s why I never managed to lose weight. Because I was just too scared to succeed and to have to pull through. And here I was, going to get my ass kicked physically and mentally like never before. Yikes!

My class was at 1pm and I arrived about 10 minutes before that. When I entered the box, 3 coaches were already at the desk. Erwin (also the owner and a finalist in the Crossfit Games 2013), Mark and Jay. They were all so friendly and reassuring, I felt less nervous already. Got changed, met a girl who’s 2nd time this was and just watched the rest of the group come in.

There were 8 of us in the beginners class and about 3 who did the advanced class.

I had already checked out what the WOD was, so I was somewhat prepared (as if).

Right, time to begin. Erwin explained today’s class. Jump rope and clean & jerk or deadlifts for the beginners.

Warming up: 5 minutes of jump rope. My God, I haven’t done this since I was 12! And I weigh about 250 lbs! Mark coached our beginners class and told that if I thought this was too hard, I could also just step up and down a box. Great individual coaching. But I told him I was going for the jumps. And I did! It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I did and I was alright doing it. No problems at all.

After that, we all grabbed a pvc pipe and did some mobility excercises before doing the clean & jerk step by step.

When we got that down, it was time for some real action. We took a barbell, added some light weights and practised deadlifting. And yes, I admit that I did feel great when I got compliments on getting the technique and form right, where others were struggling.

Phew, jumped rope, lifted, sweat breaking out, face a lovely shade of red, panting like an old horse. And that was just the warm up…. I felt awesome though. I felt strong, dedicated, powerful. And then, WOD time!

The WOD for us newbies was a scaled version of the real WOD.
13 minute ladder of:
30 single unders
1 deadlift
60 single unders
2 deadlifts
90 single unders
3 deadlifts
etc etc.

Mark came up to me and told me to just take it slow, listen to my body. The music started pumping, 3,2,1 goooooo!
And off I went! I took my time to catch my breathe when needed, Mark came to check up on me during and I was proud to have finished with 75 single unders after my 3 deadlifts. That’s 255 jumps! Never thought I could do that.

After that we all cleared our station and did a circle cool down, big applause for everyone and done! My first crossfit class was a fact!
Grabbed my stuff and went home after talking some more there. They said I did a great job and that I can make incredible progress if I keep this up. That was just what I needed to hear.

On my way home I already felt my legs. So I knew I was going to be in pain today. And yes, I am! My upperlegs, hammies, glutes, upper arms, shoulders, abs, back. It all feels like I’ve been under a bus. But it feels so good, because I worked hard for it. Dreading tomorrow though, as day 2 tends to be worse! I’m going on holiday tomorrow, hopefully it well get better soon.

I do understand why crossfit is addictive. Already I want to go back for more. Can’t wait to go back after my holiday.

I’m so happy I took this step. Both physically and mentally. Something tells me this crossfit thing might be a life changer for me. And I can’t wait.

Vacaction time! Or is it?

16 Sep

After 3 months of working like mad, my vacation time finally arrived. Last Friday was my last workday. So time to relax and get ready for my trip to sunny Cyprus end of this week. Or so I thought!

On Saturday I woke up with the cold from hell. It was like 3 months of stress just hit back in one night. Ugh!

But no work to worry about so time to just relax. Right? Ehhhhh wrong! Because of the reorganization at work, today was assessment time. With a head full of cotton, people talking in the room next door and women walking up and down the hall in heels on wooden floors, it’s hard to concentrate. But I did it, I did alright and I’m done with it. The support I got from my colleagues was fantastic.

So can I let go of work now? No, I can’t! Because now I have to update my CV and send it in to HR. More work related stuff to do. Is it Friday yet?

Did I mention that it’s 30 degrees celsius in Cyprus right now? And that it’s already dark, windy and rainy here in the Netherlands? I want to gooooooo!

And if all this isn’t enough torture, I planned my first beginners class at my crossfit box on Wednesday. Why? I know I probably won’t be able to move until Sunday. Again, why? I must be mad! I’m actually more nervous for this than I was for my assessment. I just want to get this over with, I need to break through that wall.

Again, why am I doing this?

But now, it’s Monday night. Class of red wine, my cat is curled up next to me and a double episode of Grey’s Anatomy is on tv. Time to relax. For now. *sigh*

What a wreck

31 Aug

Why is it, that things can go great for you and still at times you feel like an emotional wreck, for no reason?
As you can guess, I’m feeling like that right now. What triggered it? It’s probably because I’m just really tired.
Work has been madness. With people away on sabbatical, vacation and some being sick for months now, it basically leaves me doing the work of 4 or 5 people, 5 days a week, for 3 months now. I’ve been working with 1 other colleague, who then went on vacation when another one came back. They work less hours than me.

So it’s been madness and I’m done. I’m tired, I’m cranky and I’m low on energy. 2 more weeks until my 2 weeks off and I am counting the days.


I’ve hardly been working out last week and I’ve been struggling with my eating. Nothing too crazy, but not how I want to do it. How I should be doing it. I made a promise to myself and I’m struggling to keep that promise. But I don’t want to be too hard on myself either. I find that hard though. I look at my body and I hate it. I want to change it so bad and I’m working hard for it. That’s why I feel horrible when I sabbotage myself like this by not working out and by eating the wrong stuff.

Add to that some ‘man-issues’ and the package is complete: work, love, looks, health.

I’m was getting emotional by looking at just about anything. Something on tv, a picture. Heck, I was catching up on Glee today and that got me into tears big time.

So, where do I go from here. I’m not going to sit around feeling sorry for myself. That’s not helping. Tomorrow, new day, new chance. Working out, eating properly and looking forward to my Cyprus holiday in a few weeks time.

Time to pick myself up and kick some ass again. Time to motivate myself. I know I can do it!


Heaven in a cup

24 Sep

I know that it’s hard to believe for many people, especially from the US, but here in the Netherlands a Starbucks is hard to find.

3 train stations in the country have a Starbucks and you can grab a latte at Amsterdam Airport, but that’s it.

Until now that is!

Earlier this year it was announced that Starbucks is opening a few stores in Amsterdam. Yippie! And that’s not all. No, it gets better. There was going to be a Starbucks 5 minutes from work. The opening had been delayed many times and everyone was starting to wonder if it was ever going to happen.

But, slowly but surely, it was becoming evident that there was indeed going to be a Starbucks. The lettering on the outside, and a board outside, counting the days until the grand opening.

And last Wednesday, finally, Starbucks opened. And heaven opened and angels sang! Okay, maybe not that dramatic.

Last Friday my colleague and I went to check it out. Nice weather, so a perfect walk during our lunchbreak. They turned it into a lovely place but why did everyone have to be there at that exact same time?

We placed our orders: a tall crème brulee macchiato. Yes, you read it right: a crème brulee macchiato. I was heaving a pretty bad day at work. But that delicious, perfectly sweetened coffee drink just made my day. It was like having your dessert and your coffee at the same time. Heaven in a cup indeed! Oh, don’t you just love how simple life can be at times?

creme brulee macchiato

How did we do it….

24 Oct

I’m having one of those typical Sunday afternoon moments. One of those “things that make you go hmm” moments.

Sitting here with my laptop, iTunes playing, iPhone next to me. And I just can’t imagine not having those things around me. Typewriters, payphones, phonebooks, you name it. Can’t remember having to use those.

I’ve met people through the internet because of our common interest in the music of Il Divo. Thanks to that I’ve made friends for life in various countries. I’ve been to so many places, created the best memories.

Thanks to technology the world because so much bigger but so much smaller at the same time. You want information? Google it. No more trips to the library.

Downside of having everything and everyone available at all times is that people expect you to be available at all times. If you don’t reply to a text within 24 hours, you can count on a “why are you ignoring me” comment. Sometimes I just love to switch off the laptop, put my iPhone away and just read my book.

But after a while I become restless. Has anyone emailed me? Texted me? Whatsapp’ed me? Called me? Sent an interesting Tweet? Put something interesting on Facebook? Once I’ve done a quick round of all my media, I can relax and continue reading my book. Until it’s time for round 2. And so it goes on.

How did we ever do it? I can’t imagine going back to a life without all of these tools and media at my disposal. Do I want to go back? No way! That would mean no more playing Angry Birds on my iPhone!

Confessions of an office supply addict

12 Oct

Hi, my name is Esther and I’m addicted to office supplies.


Don’t frown, I know that I’m not the only one. When I was younger, I loved when the new schoolyear was about to begin. New notebooks, new pens, new everything. Shiny, new paper, sigh. When you find that one pen that you love so much and you write the first words on that notebook. In your finest handwriting. Because it has to stay pretty. Perfection. When I messed it up on the first page, new notebook! Yes, I’ve always been an office supplies fanatic.

At work, I love my pink and blue Post-Its, my pretty pens, my nice paper, my folders. And don’t get me started about notebooks, diaries and organisers. All sizes, materials, prints, etc. Of course I always find some reason to get yet another notebook or pen. Those things are important!

Yesterday, I went shopping in Newcastle (3 day minicruise, had about 5 hours of sleep in 3 days. Too much partying! ) and my friend and I both saw the ultimate wannahave:

A turqoise/blue Filofax organiser, A5 size.


I saw it. I grabbed it. I flicked through it. I touched it. I stroked it. I loved it. I bought it.

Others can be completely happy with new shoes. I’m that happy with my Filofax. With a matching pen. The diary doesn’t start until January 2011 and I so wish that I could use it already. Patience is a virtue. Maybe I should keep it under my pillow until then. Just kidding, I’m not that weird, honest!

I already wrote my personal info in it. I had to do something in it, right? Until I get to actually use it, I’ll just take it out every now and then and pet it. As you do.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to organise my paperclips.

Question of the day: why don’t men text back?

21 Sep

By now we all know that men and women are different. Really? Yes, really!

There’s one area in particular though, where the difference between male and female shows: texting.

I’m a ‘texter’. I prefer texting over making phonecalls. It’s quick, easy, to the point. So I text a lot, my friends, colleagues. Sometimes to set up a meeting, plan a fun day, or just random stuff. Women get that. Women reply. Men don’t.


There’s this guy I like and who I get along with just great. We text. But a lot of the times, I text and there’s silence….. Unless I actually write the text in the form of a question. Then he answers. A man’s brain works completely different than ours. They see the incoming text message as just that: a message. Duly noted. No reply needed. They don’t see that on the other side of that text, someone is checking the phone every 10 minutes to see if there’s a reply. And don’t say it’s just me who does that. Because I know, it’s a fact. Well, it is … right ?

I get it. Men are different. Venus. Mars. Blablabla. But does that make things any less frustrating for me? No, it doesn’t. *sigh*. Maybe I should just write all my texts as questions. Either that will get him to reply more often, or it will just send him straight over the edge because he thinks I’m annoying the hell out of him! Hmmm, something tells me it might be the last option. Can you say: restraining order? Maybe not such a great idea then…

Ah well. At least I know it’s not me. Just Google “why is it men don’t text back” and you’ll be amazed how many hits you get! Conclusion: boys are dumb! (just kidding guys! Or…).