Link Up: Thinking Out Loud

I am trying to hit the ground running, and while my forever home is currently under construction, I’ve followed some tips, bought a domain, and am trying to create good content. I also got the tip to do some link ups, so here is my first one! Running with Spoons, Thinking Out Loud.

1. I don’t want to get bulky; I’ve heard it time and time again from women who are interested in starting to lift weights, but are afraid they will bulk up. I am tired of family and friends worrying I’m going to bulk up. This what I think about that.


2. This is what inspired my new name, Mrs.Barbelle. I always wanted to be Beauty. But mostly for the sweet library.

3. My hubby is out of town for the week, and therefore I have had all this free time. So I have decided to dive into the blogging world. Mainly because I haven’t had to cook massive amounts of food or do a crap ton of laundry. I miss him a ton, however I don’t miss those things.

4. In line with number 3, while the hubby’s away the cats have truly come out to play. They are acting out and being super wild. Here is their debut for the blog. I anticipate them making it into many more posts. I also am trying to make Mr. Barbelle’s fish narcoleptic because I keep forgetting to feed them in the day. I just realized I forgot to feed them again this morning #fail.

Double- what?

When I first starting visiting CrossFit Local, I was content just hanging out in the corner with Poster Chad and doing back squats and front squats.When I decided to stop running (read as my body completely revolted after doing 14 races in 2014) I decided to investigate the oth

er movements that CrossFit included. I will save how Mr. Barbelle perfected my technique for the Oly lifts for another post, and jump to one move I woke up one day and was determined to master:


I was in the Jump Rope club in elementary school, and you know what I remember from that? Running laps. And the ridiculous beaded jump-ropes.

Why they were beaded and multi-colored, I will never know.

So I walked into the gym one morning and after the lifts and a met-con (read, I was ridiculously sweaty and tired), I grabbed a jump rope from the wall and was all set to do my first double under. I did nothing but whip myself for a full 3 minutes. And then I threw that thing and stalked away, disgusted with the rope.

Brandon and The Banditos kept telling me practice would make perfect, so I decided to spend 5 minutes practicing double unders 2-3 times a week. And it was awful. And I heard every piece of advice that wasn’t even solicited:

Jump higher” <You don’t think I’m trying that?>

Jump faster” but then came “Jump Slower”

You look crazy when you jump” was probably one of my favorites, and likely came from my wonderful husband.

Someone even stopped me mid-work out and told me to “jump softer“, what do I look like a freaken bunny rabbit?

Fast forward about a month and Brandon and I were visiting a box, CrossFit Indian Trail. The owner handed me a baby blue rope and I quietly went to the furthest corner of the gym so my husband could keep his dignity as he was friends with these people.

And then I jumped. And did it. I did 6 in a row. I did 10 in a row. What was this mystical magical blue rope I had stumbled upon?

JumpNrope changed my double under game forever. It could also be that I immediately order a hot pink one, and we all know how much I love colored accessories (this is the gal who has her own purple lacrosse balls), but I digress.

I started with the 2.0 rope, and have now moved up to the 1.5.

Do NOT mistake this success story for one that is complete. There are still work outs that I can string 40 double under together, and then get back to the rope and can’t get 2. Ask my husband to show you his fancy rope from JumpNrope, it’s metal and I’m scared of it because I think if I whipped myself with it, I would sever a limb. However, Brandon will also be happy to talk to you about the science behind these ropes. Science is his specialty.

But really the moral of this story is to just keep practicing. And maybe get a really sweet jump rope that will motivate you to practice through the whip lash. And ignore the dude who tries to coach you mid-work out. He deserves to get hit with a rope.


I married a Crossfit Coach

I wrote this piece a while ago for my local box, Crossfit Local.

I’m the other B. Santiago (you often see it on the clipboard for a Kill Cliff- I sneakily have it drafted from Bran’s paycheck) , and I’ve been married to Coach Brandon for almost 2 years.

The longer I’ve been at CrossFit Local, and the more couples I’ve met who do CrossFit, the more I’m convinced that there are a few stages of being with a CrossFitter.(I don’t think that’s even a word)

Stage 1: The Beginning- This typically is the first six month of your significant other doing CrossFit. You smile politely and nod as they start speaking another language that includes a vocabulary that sounds both strange and absurd (burpees, snatch, double unders, etc.). For Brandon and I, this stage started in 2009 when he started doing CrossFit in Charlotte. I had zero interest but pretended I understood for sake of trying to get him to stop talking about CrossFit. Rule 1. Always talk about CrossFit.

Stage 2: The Honeymoon is OVER- Brandon, stop talking about CrossFit. I’m tired of acting concerned about the bruises on your shins, and the weird gross blisters on your hands. You keep jumping on boxes and hanging from bars, you are bringing this pain onto yourself. And I, I want absolutely nothing to do with that form of torture. I just want to run mindlessly on a treadmill and see no weight loss or muscle gain.

Stage 3: The “don’t get rhabdo” stage- After your significant other has been doing CrossFit for longer than a year, those who know you both, begin to associate you with CrossFit. They also begin to make blanket statements like “oh you don’t eat carbs” and the infamous “be careful, I know someone who got injured doing CrossFit”. As someone who is with a CrossFitter but not doing Crossfit, this is an awkward stage because you want to defend the sport, but you know very little about it. Instead you try to smile and change the conversation topic. Never-mind that carbs are in almost everything anyone eats, and rhabdo typically only occurs for people who don’t have any idea what they are doing, or how to program.

Stage 4: The Drive By- Fine, I’ll come to your gym but I’m wearing regular street clothes and you can’t make me do anything in that place but stand in the corner and quietly cheer for you. I make eye contact with no one, especially Chad who keeps trying to let his dogs eat me. The first time I stepped foot into Local was during a competition Brandon was competing in, and it was scary as hell. But there were people doing CrossFit that looked like me, and this is when the wheels started turning that perhaps I too could maybe think about trying this weird place out.

Stage 5: Don’t look at me- Okay, you got me to come to this place. Now no one look at me as I fumble around trying to look cool. I can’t add but hopefully no one will notice that my barbell is loaded incorrectly. I slowly learned where things are and there’s was always someone to whisper to and ask, “wait, what’s a cluster?” I initially wanted to run away and never come back when someone  gave me tips in front of everyone else, but then you start to realize that everyone is just trying to help. Unless of course it’s Brandon publicly giving me a pointer, and then it’s all death stares. And that one time he made me cry.

Stage 6: Wait, muscles and curves are a pro at this place? At this point I’d been at CrossFit Local for a few months and I starting to notice that your pants fit funny, loose around the waist and pretty tight around the quads. You’ve also noticed there is way more to talk about CrossFit (read Rich Froning as he’s Brandon’s idol) around the dinner table and the people who I’m choosing to surround myself with live similar lifestyles.

Stage 7: Photo Card Stage- Yup, folks that how I knew I’d been fully and completely converted. We took our Holiday card photos at Local, and I loved being able to hear the range of comments from family and friends including “oh wow, you do that too?” and “ isn’t that weight heavy?” (mind you I only have 55#s over my head in one photo)

So that my friends is how I found CrossFit Local. And once I started, I couldn’t get enough!

If It Sparkles I Need It

Sports typically only attract me for long enough if there are accessorize to go with them. As I mentioned previously, I just finished up six months with Team WAG, who’s programming comes from Travis Mash. Travis Mash is an Olympic lifter and well, yeah he likes Olympic lifts. I’m not going to try and describe those three lifts to you, but if you want to learn more google Snatch, Clean and Jerk.

About a month ago, about half way through Mash’s progrmaming for the second time, my wrists started bothering me. Insert accessories. Brandon has some Rogue black and red wrist wraps, but I needed my own. I quickly jumped on Etsy and found a wonderful seller who was willing to work with my demanding self to create me the most unique set of wrist wraps I’ve ever seen. Becca at Darling Deuce was so fabulous and I’m now ready for more sparkly lifts.

Bring on the lifts, flips, and maybe even some Mermaid dancing. (That’s a Pitch Perfect reference and if you don’t get it, please watch that movie!)


I don’t know what I’m doing

And I’m okay with that. I think I’ve created a false sense that I need to create LONG posts, or super knowledgeable posts but neither of those fit into my day or really with who I am.

The new goal is to simply write a few times a week. The assessment nerd in me wants to put a number on that but I’m trying to avoid that because if I fail then, I’ll probably stop again.

I’m coming off week 30 of following Team WAG’s program, “Eat What You Want, Lift What You Want.” I formally followed the program for about 16 weeks, with weekly check ins with the coaches and such and then have been self-tracking macros while doing Coach Mash’s programming a second go-round. And guess what?

I’m tired. My body is pretty beat up, and I started to get frustrated with lifts. But then I was quietly reminded that my body composition has changed in the last 6 months, resulting in me loosing 15 pounds. So maybe that’s why my back squats haven’t felt so great. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been in the gym for approximately 6 months straight without more than 2 days off. And now my back hates me.

So next week brings starting new programming with the Banditos at Crossfit Local. It’ll be a hybrid created by yours truly based off the competition programming from Invictus. In the last 6 months I’ve learned more about what I put in my body, what my body can actually do when properly fueled, and that I can still eat cookies and fro-yo while I do it. So that’s a win in my book.

Until next time, I swear it’ll be soon. (We’ve heard that before).

Welcome to The Bar Bella!

I’ve been toying around with the idea of re-entering the blogging community, and yesterday the cute name Bar Bella came to me while I was driving. I was certain someone would have the name. But ta-da, they don’t and so here I am. I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, I’m married to the love of my life, I’m mildly obsessed with cats, Taylor Swift, matching outfits, and monograms.

Here’s a long story short, I have never identified my as being athletic. I played AYSO soccer for 8 years, but that was mainly because my Dad was the coach. I ran cross country my freshmen year in high school, and my coach I didn’t get along because I always wanted to stop and make sure the other runners were okay during the course. Apparently you are simply suppose to pass them.

Insert, circa 2009. My then boyfriend, now husband started doing CrossFit near Charlotte, NC. However, I did not jump aboard the train until this year. Last year I trained and completed my first half marathon. It was my post wedding activity, as we got married in June of 2013.

My husband would ask once in a while if I was interested in lifting, but I was fairly determined (read stubborn) to make running my “thing” and let him and the other fools have CrossFit. And then in January of this year I decided to start training for a second half marathon. But with that I asked him to create programming for my crosstraining days. This meant lifts, I still had ZERO interest in WODing as they call it.

Once I wasn’t intimated by the barbell sitting in the corner of our apartment gym, I was hooked. There is nothing like the confidence and simply put “bad ass-ness” I feel when I pick up something heavy and put it back down. For the first time in my life the size of my thighs is a plus because guess what it means I have more in the tank!

With setting a 10 minute PR (and a SUPER flat course) for my second half marathon, I decided that my husband could coach me through the remainder of my year’s races. I had previously decided to complete 14 races in 2014, and let me tell you finishing that was a beast! But more on that in a different post.

In July of this year my husband got his certification and was suddenly spending even more time at the gym. There also was an offer for a free membership as his wife. A perk I’ve now come to take for granted. However, there was multiple mornings I had said I would go to his gym and then chickened out. What was I so afraid of? More on that later as well.

Moral of the story (sorry I misled you, this was by no means a long story short), I’m now at the gym 4-5 times a day. And I can at least tell you what most of the once foreign terms mean. But doing CrossFit or my hybrid programming as I like to tease my husband about, has given me alot more than a 150 PR’ back squat. Yup, that happened last week and I’m still riding the high.

I’ve made new gym friends, which I was certain wouldn’t happen. I’ve done ONE WHOLE strict pull up. I think my muscular thighs are the bomb diggiety (some days) and I’ve found women role models who also think that!  And I’ve now become that person who sent a holiday card with us lifting on it together. So there is is ladies and gents, an intro to my new journey into the barbell world. Join me as I bumble my way through life, singing while I lift, prancing for distance (see photo below), and someday hopefully inventing a sparkly barbell.

❤ -The Bar Bella

runningbullsI was clearly meant to be a princess.