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New Insulin Pump Tomorrow

Enough said.   I got my new pump and CGM in the mail last week and am meeting with the diabetes educator to learn how to use it tomorrow.   I’m both excited and nervous cause I know there will be a learning period that goes along with CGM.   It will be worth it in the long run, but it is still going to take some time getting used to.  Not to mention my stomach will probablly look like frankenstien with a pump resivor sticking out of one end and a CGM resivor sticking out of the other.

Getting a New Pump and GCM

I just ordered a new pump (mine was 5 years old) and for the first time ever, found out my insurance covers Continuous Glucose Monitoring.    The good side, even better control of my sugars.  The bad: i swear, my stomach will look like Frankenstien with all the stuff sticking out of it now.   Oh well..if it means keeping all 10 toes for the rest of my life, I’m down!



Back After the Hiatus

So a few things…

  1. I’m back and my foot is fully healed.  I haven’t yet started running (I was told to wait until at least Mid-March) but I can pretty much do everything else CrossFit related.
  2. I found a new box.   Prior to the injury I tried several in the Chicago area but nothing seemed to really match the close knit experience I had at New Species in Detroit.   Right around the time 2013 rolled around, I found a brand new box that had just opened, CrossFit Sono in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago.   It’s a small box but has all the necessary equipment that is needed to do CrossFit.   The owner keeps class size to a minimum so it’s close and tight knit.
  3. Since I found a new box, I have been back at it for about a month, but man did I ever lose a lot of gains during that time off.  From my DL 1 round max to my Fran time, I am definitely slower and weaker.   Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do to get where I want to be.

So without further delay…lets get to this mornings workout.

Pre-workout  5 :30 AM – 143    0 Carbs/1.0 Humalog

Pump off 6:20AM – 6:45 AM

Post workout 8:45 AM:  375

Notes:  Had coffee with a splash of whole milk prior to working out.

WTF happened with my diabetes?   Not really sure.  Pump was off for only 25 minutes.   Granted I am just trying morning workouts again and I think I expected some sort of higher sugar in the morning but not this bad.   I wonder what it would have been like had I tested right after working out.   I also waited until 9 to eat breakfast (2 scrambled eggs with bacon and tomato) which I know isn’t the best for diabetes.


1m AMRAP/station

5 rounds total/station

1. Rope climbs

2. Alt. overhead lunges(25/45)

3. Sit ups(supported)

4. Elevated burpees

*Rest 1m after completing all 4 stations

Sort of like Fight Gone Bad but different stations.   I finished with 54, 52, 51, 50, 56.  Overall I felt pretty drained this morning.  I can’t tell if its from me still trying to build conditioning back up or lack of food in my belly.

Broken Foot Update

So…I was with cast for two weeks and just got it removed in favor of a walking boot.   It makes life a little easier.   It is easier to move around, however, I still need to keep in mind that I need to not put weight on my foot as much as possible.   Hopefully in another 2 weeks I can get rid of the crutches.

I was pretty inactive for the first 2 weeks, but at the end of the day, I think I actually managed to lose weight.   I spent the first week working from home at my sisters house.   It was nice working in my PJs, but I got a bit stir crazy after awhile.  After deciding that my new employer wouldn’t take kindly to me not coming in for more than a week, I suited up and started taking the train into work again (with a little help from my sister).  Getting around on crutches for any distance is definitely not easy.  For instance, walking down the stairs of the train station and across the street to my office is a very short distance (lets say a little more than a block), but trying to do it in the middle of rush hour with people pushing and bumping into you right and left made it much more of a challenge.  In the past I have had a nasty Starbucks habit that occurred each morning (and at times the afternoon as well).   Well being on crutches makes it virtually impossible to carry a coffee back to my desk unless I want to risk 3rd degree burns.  Save for the few times my fellow employees have offered to get me coffee, I have really cut back my consumption (and yes I realize this is a good thing).

This experience is starting to make me look at people with permanent disabilities in a different light.   I take for granted that I have the ability to function fully with my arms and legs.  The frustration I have gotten over this injury, however, is somewhat tempered as I know it is only temporary.   I could not imagine permanently losing the ability to walk.   This broken foot has really made me take a step back and see how lucky I am to have good health right now.   In addition, it also reinforces the need for me to maintain even stricter control over my blood sugar levels so I can avoid these complications in the future.

It is still going to be a few more weeks before I can get rid of the crutches and start putting weight on the foot.   I am not sure how much CrossFit I will be able to do at that point (obviously running and box jumps are out), but I am hoping the box will work with me so I can start WODing again.

Just when I thought I was good to go

After choosing CFD as my newChicagobox, I had an awesome WOD on my first day.   50-40-30-20-10 of KB swings (American) and situps.  My time was ok…in fact most of the group finished before me.   I was just so happy I found an amazing box to WOD at and a new group with which I could make friends.   I was so happy I must have been skipping or not paying attention as I was on my way back to the train.   At some point (and I don’t remember which corner to be exact), I tripped on the sidewalk and fell.  As I feel, I heard a loud snap in my foot/ankle area.   After getting up and managing my way to the ER (with a big thanks to my sister), I found out that the cuboid bone in my foot is broken.  Best case scenario…cast for 3 weeks and walking boot there after.


I am not going to go into how pissed I am right now.   Life deals you lemons so you make lemonade right?   Well I don’t see how lemonade can be made from this, but at the very least, I can rest it and make sure I get back in the crossfit game sooner.   It will also be a big challenge managing my diabetes while being inactive as well.  I need to look into any sort of liberties I may have taken  with regard to eating snacks and make sure I stay tight with my monitoring.



And the winner is…

CrossFit Defined!

I should mention that I went to a few other boxes as well…one trainer made me make an appointment then didn’t show up and I was still told I couldn’t participate in a WOD with the rest of the athletes and the other seemed just very bland and didn’t have much of a personality.

CFD was awesome and I absolutely loved the vibe.  It won’t be the most convenient place to get to, but it won’t be too far out of the way either (5 block walk from the train at the most during the winter).   The coaches seem very cool and I am excited to be a part of this box.

River North CrossFit

Monday night was my second visit to a Chicago box.   I went to a session at River North CrossFit (RNCF).  

  1. Programming Philosophy – Seemed to be about as straightforward as you can get.   Everyone warms up in a group with your standard exercises (butt kicks, high knees, etc), followed by a technique lecture, a max effort based on the technique and then a WOD (there was also a bonus set of sit-ups at the end).  I am used to this programming, because it was the same at my old box. 
  2. Ease of Access – Very easy from work.   I just took the Brown line down two stops and walked two blocks south.   Apparently there is a bus I can take from my building at work right to the stop by the front door…or so I have heard.   Getting back to my apartment in the Gold Coast is less simple though.   There is no direct rail access so I would have to walk 12 blocks (possibly taking a bus for 7 blocks if I wanted (Annoying in the winter).   I found out that they are planning on opening a Gold Coast location in 2013, which would be much more convenient.
  3. Vibe/Attitude of the Box – Very hardcore, maybe even too hardcore for me.   A lot of these guys looked like they could have competed in the games.  There was one guy in front of me that I swear has played in the NFL before.   When you walk in, there is a giant board with all the box records for benchmark WODs.   These peeps don’t mess around and as a result you can see their hard work pays off.   The one drawback I noticed was lack of camaraderie.  I got the feeling this was more of a place you come to work hard then go home.   Maybe it was just the one class that I attended, but it didn’t seem like the coaches built much of a relationship with the athletes.   It is understandable, given the fact that they have 20 athletes working out 12+ times a day.  Still…coming from a box where the coaches knew you the minute you came in to try out a WOD, it seemed much less personal.  I guess that is one of the disadvantages to going with a larger, better known place.  

3        Nutritional support – Plenty.  They do nutritional consulting and have organized team paleo challenges (winner gets 6 months of training).   Worrying about nutritional motivation would not be a concern here.  

4        Website – Excellent…exactly what a box should be. 

5        Overall feeling – I dunno.  This is definitely a top notch CrossFit box and it produces some amazing athletes.  I am just not sure if I would bloom here.   Everyone has their preferences and different personalizes and RNCF might be a little too hardcore for mine.   I compare it to going off to college at a larger university vs a smaller private school.    You are more likely to get lost in the shuffle at a larger university.


One other note, this place is pricy.   They are asking for 275 per month with a 12 month commitment (it goes up for 6 and 3 month commitments).  This is prime real estate so I can see how they can charge those prices, but still…   

Next Up….The Foundry Chicago in printers row

Visit to Crossfit Defined

Here is the first of my series in my visits to the Chicago CrossFit boxes.  I describe them based on my criteria in the previous post.   I thought about handing out letter grades, but given that I am only experiencing one class per box, I don’t that would be very fair.  Thus, I am just going with my initial thoughts based on my one visit.     

Last night I visited the first of four places; CrossFit Defined in Lakeview.   The first thing I noticed about the place was that it was huge (2 levels in fact, though the second level was makeshift…loft like).  

  1. Programming Philosophy – The programming has a lot of similarities compared to what I have become accustomed to.  There was a warm-up, max sumo dead lift set and then a WOD.   My only complaint was that class went over by about 10 minutes (I only complain because I had to catch a train to catch a train back to the burbs) because of the large amount of people in that class.  The owner, Noal, said that this was the biggest class they ever had and it is normally not that crowded.  He invited me to come back again to experience another WOD.   There really wasn’t any group cool down/stretching, but they have a large area upstairs to do that on your own (as well as a massage therapist…though I think she prolly costs extra).   Based on the website, it looks like they offer approx 10+ WODs per day with Oly lifting, boxing, yoga, mobility, kettle bell and endurance classes.   I definitely like the fact that I can get mobility and endurance classes in and the option to do yoga once a week.   Thursdays are open gym where apparently you can make up a WOD if you missed one during the week.
  2. Ease of Access – Not bad but not great.  It is about a 25 min ride up the brown line from work (15 from my apartment) with another 4 block walk once I get off the train (not too bad but when there is 2 feet of snow out I might change my tune).   I like the easy access to the brown, purple and red lines.  The area of town seemed ok.  I am not that familiar with Lakeview (though I think there are nicer parts east of the train line).  I know a lot of young professionals live there, so I really can’t judge on my safety.   All I can say is that I didn’t really feel threatened (the few homeless folks I saw just kept to themselves).       
  3. Vibe/Attitude of the Box – I was pleasantly surprised as I was expecting a bunch of hardcore athletes.  It actually turned out to be a large mix of people.  From hardcore CFers to weekend warriors to people just there to lose weight.  In fact, I would say I was in the upper percentile with regard to CF experience.  One of the owners came right up to me when I walked in and was very welcoming.  I definitely did not feel intimidated at this place. 
  4. Nutritional support – I couldn’t really tell if they had much.  I am sure they offer paleo counseling and whatnot.  It looks like they might have had a paleo challenge at one point, but nothing really formal from what I could see.    
  5. Website – Pretty much everything is completely laid out on the website including schedule, prices, general CF info, blog with the daily WOD (with a place to post results), events and coaching bios.  I’ve seen better but I’ve also seen a lot worse.  It looks like they update it on a daily basis.   
  6. Overall feeling I get -   Overall I liked it.   They don’t make you sign a contract and I believe the monthly fee is around 200 which is in line for most CrossFit boxes (also keeping in mind that this isChicagoso everything costs more here than inDetroit).  There are supportive athletes from all walks and something for everyone interested in CF.  Despite the large number of people last night, the coaches still seemed to know everyone’s name.


This place was cool.  I realize it’s hard to make a solid determination after just one WOD.   I still want to check out a few other places but I definitely could see myself becoming a member here.     

Next up on Friday…River North CrossFit

The Search for a New Home

The past 14 months at New Species CrossFit in Royal Oakhas been some of the best times in my life.  I made new friends, achieved incredible strides in my fitness and became a more confident individual.   Sadly, however, with my recent move to Chicago, I can no longer go to NS on a regular basis.   So I need to find a new place…

With that said, over the next few weeks I plan to visit 3-4 boxes in the area and write about my thoughts, what I liked about them and what turned me off.   CrossFit has played an important part in my life for the past 14 years and I can only hope to find a box and athletes as amazing as that of New Species.   I plan to look at the following when making my decision:


  1. Programming Philosophy – What is the progression of your workouts?  Do you warm up/cool down?  Do you perform a skill then a WOD?   How many class times do you have per day?  How organized is your box (i.e. team WOD or open gym)?, etc etc
  2. Ease of Access – For the first year I plan to live in the Gold Coast area and get rid of my car. Chicagowinters will be awfully miserable if I have to walk a mile to WOD in -3 degree weather.  
  3. Vibe/Attitude of the Box – I am used to working out with an amazing group of athletes and coaches.   It will be difficult to replicate that…if not impossible.   I like to conduct my training seriously, but at the same time, I don’t take myself too seriously.  If the box is full of juiceheads or arrogant d-bags, then it is probably not for me. 
  4. Nutritional support – The paleo diet has benefited me in a number of ways.   Does the new box offer any sort of support or is it strictly workout based?
  5. Website – This doesn’t really define how good a box is, but the more interactive the website (i.e. posting results, advice, profiles), the more likely the organization will be interactive as well.  Just my opinion and something to look for.  
  6. Overall feeling I get -   Basically if I feel like I am at a box that I can identify with and feel supported at, I am more likely to want to be there all the time.  If the place doesn’t have much of a personality and you show up just to get a workout in, then it is probably not my thing.


First up on the docket…CrossFit Defined in Lakeview.

Back Again and on the Road!

Back again and on the road So I fully realize that I have ignored this blog for almost two months, but it is with good reason. In early August I began interviewing for a new job and received an excellent offer with a risk consulting company in Chicago. So needless today, on August 25th, I decided to accept and relocate from the motor city to the windy city. I officially moved on September 14th (living with my sister in the burbs for a month before moving downtown). One thing I learned from this whole process is how stressful moving can be on diabetes. For instance, because it is only a 5 hour drive from Detroit to Chicago, I have been going back and forth on weekends to visit my girlfriend and move more of my things in piecemeal fashion. Having not really realized the perils of the road, I can say I haven’t been prepared for the long drives and meal options that present its self along that trek on I-94. Essentially, if you want to eat healthy diabetic friendly, paleoish food, your choices are extremely limited. Even snacks like trailmix without candy or added sugar are almost impossible to come by. And if you want to grab dinner…Fuh-gedda-boud-dit! At best your can come across a subway and get a salad (their bread is pretty high carb…I suppose you could just eat the meat, but that is pretty wasteful of an already expensive/less than yummy meal. What is the key lesson I have taken away from my travels back and forth now? Preparedness Preparedness Preparedness! During a 5 hour car ride you are going to get hungry and more than likely you will have to eat a meal (unless you can magically arrive between meals but that is really pushing it). Lately, I have started taking a plastic bag of almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds to munch on about half way though (though the sun flower seeds don’t work too well as they tend to fall out of my hand and inbetween the seats), but you get the idea. With a million things on my mind during this relocation, it was very easy for me to slip into old non-diabetic friendly habits. Arriving in Chicago, I did not have any food in the house so what did I do (I know the correct thing should have been to go to whole foods)?…went out to eat of course. Now I try to get something semi-healthy (and I use that term loosely) by ordering a dish like chicken or a wrap and avoiding as much fried crap as possible. For the most part, I avoided breads and pastas and went with purely protein and veggie dishes (meat and coleslaw). And when I did have a meal with bread (such as a burger), my sugar paid for it later. So the moral of the story here, when you are on the road and moving it can be tempting to forget that you are a diabetic and can live like your pancreas hasn’t gone AWOL, but you end up paying for it in the end. I almost want to get a little tattoo on my hand that says “careful what to put in your mouth”.