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Five rounds for time of:
205 pound Power clean, 3 reps
10 Burpee pull-ups

Maura flew all the way from California for the last Thursday Night Throwdown workout and she chipped in on judging!  Thanks a bunch lady!

Maura flew all the way from California for the last Thursday Night Throwdown workout and she chipped in on judging! Thanks a bunch lady!


Today is the first day of the 2013 Spring Zone Challenge.  Over the past two weeks athletes have prepped for this challenge and learned the ins and outs of the Zone weighed and measured approach to kick them off in a great direction.

I remember the first time I did a Zone challenge.  Back in 2007 I learned about the Zone through CrossFit and wanted nothing more than to better my performance.  Eric sent me the CrossFit Journal article that gave individuals all the basic info needed to get started and pointed me to the Nicole Carroll article titled Off the Crack (this is one of the most notable CrossFit Journal articles and all CrossFitters should read it!).  For three weeks, I lived perfectly in the Zone (someone had told me to do it for 3 weeks, you guys are upping the anti with 4!).

The first few days were tough.  I was used to eating whenever I wanted and my meals usually consisted of oatmeal and honey, an Odwalla bar (or two), a sandwich, and some heavy carb dinner.  Protein was limited and I was afraid of fat.  This was a change!  Around day five I was dragging.  My energy was swamped and I questioned what the hell I was doing.  It must be the quantity of food I’m consuming, I must need more food!  But my stubborness got the better of me and I stuck with it.

On day 13, something magical happened – it clicked.  The entire system clicked.  I felt super all the freakin’ time.  I PR’ed my deadlift that afternoon by 15 pounds and the rest of the week in training I felt like my engine had no limits.  I could keep pushing harder – and not just physically but mentally too, it was as if all the little workout demons that say “this is hard”, “slow down”, and “this hurts” had been squashed by insulin and glucagon.  And I’ll admit it, those abs I’d always run 60 miles a week hoping to get – they appeared out of nowhere, apparently they were hidden under a thin layer of pre-Type-II diabetes pudge.

The challenge is 30 days in length.  I know when I have done challenges in the past it’s easy for me to focus on what I can’t eat but it’s important to remember why we do any type of challenge in the first place – because the potential for success far outweighs the fear of failure.

When you put things into perspective – a thirty day challenge for a person who lives to be 85, accounts for .096% of their life!

I encourage you to LIVE in the Zone for 30 days.  Own it.  Be proud of it.  Obsess about it just a little bit as this will keep it in the forefront of your mind.

The payoff is waiting for you 30 days down the road…


3 Responses

  1. Lindsey Lettvin

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, Nicole. I keep reading the timeline you sent us last week on how you felt as you progressed through the challenge…and it is keeping me sane as I embark on this new challenge. It is good to know it is ‘normal’ to go through ups and downs, feeling bonky at times and invincible at other times.
    Cheers to 30 days of work and forward progress!
    Lindsey Lettvin

  2. Katie

    Ditto, I think I will be reading this article daily, firstly to know things are going to feel better at some point and secondly to remind myself of the positive things that lie ahead if we stick with the challenge. I’ve been on the zone since the day after the dunk tank and I don’t believe I have ever gone this long without processed food or white sugar, EVER! Thanks for the challenge and the support. Now may my abs emerge, please?!?!