becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.


doing the thing.

sometimes relationships get rocky. even when you really love the person and they truly love you, and you both believe in one another and your abilities to make each other happy…shit still happens. and right now i’m with somebody who i really care about and with whom i’m willing to work through the shit.

the last month has been difficult for both of us. i went for about a week only sleeping 2-3 hours a night; i dropped nearly an entire weight class in ten days. we’re still fumbling; we’re nowhere near the couple we were. but we’re working and working it out.

and last night we spent an hour together doing what we do best: goofing around. we did a metcon (which i will discuss no further because i detest conditioning workouts!) and then hijacked a vacant wallyball court to do some acro and other yoga fun.

(if you’re just tuning in, the brick-shaped one on the left is yours truly. the very cute one in the orange is my yoga partner/thai food cohort/snuggle buddy/girlfriend.)

i wish i had the time and patience and general electronics knowledge to splice and cobble together all of my favorite snippets. we took about 20 minutes of video, and my favorite parts are where one of us bites the dust and we end up in a laughing heap of silliness.

but i did capture this image, because we both love being upside down:




things are far from perfect. we’re hanging on because we believe it’s right. because even though everything seems mixed up and sad right now, when we see each other it all feels okay. and last night was good. i’m lucky to be in a relationship where the “good” is so good it makes you want to work through the not-so-good.


happy hump day, everyone.



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12 weeks out – meet prep life.

i’ve decided to compete in another full power meet, on April 18th. even more exciting is that for the first time, i have a training partner! she’s also a grad student here, and we’ve been lifting together for about two months now on and off. she decided she wants to compete, so we’re running this meet prep cycle together. our pulls are almost exactly the same; i have a bigger squat but hers is way prettier than mine; and she never really benched regularly so while mine is bigger, hers will shoot up in the next few weeks.

this prep cycle is way lower volume than i’m used to – only four days of lifting per week, and big lifts on only two of those days. i wondered if having three “off” days would make me anxious or antsy, but so far i love it – the training days tax me so much i’m more then ready to take an entire day to recover before the next one!

mobility is a huge priority for me right now. it helps that i’m teaching yoga 5-6 days a week. plus i force my sorry butt to get up and do some spinal and hip work every morning before i go to the office. my back unlocked over break; now we’re just trying to keep it there!

my squat continues to plague me; my bench is growing slowly but steadily. we pull heavy on friday for the first time in ages, and that will determine openers. i’m shooting for 231/126/281. i hit 120 for twelve really fast singles on bench today so that bodes well. 126 was my second attempt last meet so it would be nice to open there or even 132 if i get some good training reps in these next few months.

i had lost my appetite – and a good deal of body weight – due to some crazy stress and anxiety earlier this month. everything is slowly getting back to normal, and my metabolic furnace is back to its usual spastic and speedy self.

and in other, less gym-y news, if you don’t follow me on instagram (@jenncanliftyou) already, go do that so you can watch videos of my girlfriend and i playing the ukulele and singing. it’s so cute i swear you’ll fall in love with us.

and i’m going to el paso next month for a conference. so there’s that too.

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All But Done!

as of this past monday, i am officially ABD. (which really stands for All But Dissertation, but All But Done works just as well…) passing my qualifying exams was the goal of this semester. i put training on the back burner; for the first time in my teaching career i wrote lesson plans the day of instead of the day or weekend before; i took advantage of the fact that we have no “official” dress code and my students have thus now seen me in jeans.

but it was all worth it because i passed and am one step closer to my PhD.

and now that it’s november and i can breathe a little, i can also sit back and reflect on what has gone down the past few months.

first off, i started dating this lovely lady (see below) in july. one of our favorite things to do together is acro yoga. i started out as our base but we were getting nowhere; one day we randomly switched and in five minutes i was up and in bow.


this was day 2 of us messing around with me flying.

10405430_10101934463706025_3197186026047467459_nlast week or so? upside down bow. when i’m standing i feel like a very stout brick-human; here somehow i look like a spider monkey.


can’t win ’em all!

besides that…training is going well. we’re continuing to un-yuck my squat technique. on halloween we worked up to a single at 225, did 3×2 at 185, and then closed with a widowmaker at 155. and then i tried to not puke or cry:


my advisor instructed me to take this week off. no worrying about my dissertation, my proposal, next year’s fellowship…just relax. and i have been and it’s been great. i’m teaching 5 yoga classes a week plus i’m in the middle of a four-week workshop i’m running on yoga for athletes. i just booked my flight to see my dad for christmas, and the girl is meeting me in fort lauderdale for new year’s. i’m spending thanksgiving with her and her family.

sometime this week i want to come back and spruce this blog up. change the URL, maybe reorganize the pages, get some training videos up. i’ve got a instagram nowadays – @jenncanliftyou – if you want more photos of my silly faces and flexing and random acro things.

life is good. really good. maybe i didn’t get here quite the way i would have liked, but i’m really really content.


there’s no crying in powerlifting!

i’m currently sitting in the airport, waiting to catch a 7am flight for a speedy day trip. since friday is the day i usually squat with my coach, we moved my session up to last night. which meant skipping wednesday’s rest day and doing thursday’s double instead.

even with my right quad still a little rough around the edges (i’m unbelievably thankful that our boss at the gym bought one of these for the trainers to use/me to sneak when the trainers aren’t using it) Week 3 of STV had me feeling great. my body fat is dropping and im putting on noticeable size in my shoulders and width to my back.

last night i showed up at 8pm to squat. we had been doing sticking point/1.25 squats for the past three weeks. to start Week 4 of STV we were going back to, as my coach calls it, “R.A.S.” – Regular-Ass Squats.

warm-ups felt good and we jumped from open bar to 95# to 135# without a problem. less than a year ago my max squat was 130# – i was waiting for the day when i could squat wheels (the 45s). now that’s my second warm-up after open bar work.

we hit 165# for a triple and it felt super, super solid. i belted up and we hit five triples at 185#. everything felt light and fast, i’m getting much better at driving into the bar and keeping my chest up, and i’m actually (finally!) getting some decent bounce out of the hole.

i looked up and caught myself in the mirror as i was getting under the bar and had to squint for a second. i look so different from the person i’m used to. my shoulders are significant, my quads are the kind you grow when you move heavy weight regularly – aka, feet apart, thighs together! – and my arms don’t hang at my sides any more because of the width of my lats.

never in a million years did i think i could look like this. never in a million years would i have imagined i would be standing in a fancy gym on a thursday evening putting almost 200# on my back and moving it around for easy triples.

and i am so grateful. sometimes i think about this sports and how much it has brought me and i get that little flutter in my chest and hitch in my throat like i’m about to cry out of sheer happiness.

five years ago, yoga saved me from myself when i was grasping at straws to finally get my eating disorder under control and out of my life.

two and a half years ago, running saved me from the avalanche of grief after my mom died.

and now…i don’t know what powerlifting is saving me from, but it’s sure doing something.

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throwin’ it back.

here’s a little throwback thursday for ya! (sorry, i can’t figure out how to embed videos!)

this was nearly exactly a year ago, when my other yogi colleagues and myself made a promo video for campus recreation! here i am in my power yoga teaching glory. : )

i actually had a good chuckle watching this, and it’s crazy to think that was an entire year ago!

  • my hair, thank goodness, has grown out of that horrid awkward phase. (new friends, i donate my hair every couple of years. i was, and still am, growing out this particular chop.)
  • i was just beginning my training cycle for the derby half marathon when this was filmed. running ~3o miles a week; lifting minimally. you can tell the difference in my body – i’ve put on 10-15lbs. since then, my back is broader, my quads are bigger, and i’m slightly fluffier. : )
  • i hate my voice but i guess i’m stuck with it.

a lot can happen in a year! (just ask my hairdresser – she’s always marveling at how quickly my mop grows.)

i have some interesting/fun things on the horizon that i’m getting ready to post about. until then, finishing up these first few days back to the class and teaching grind, and getting ready for some heavy squats tomorrow!

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sunday funday? we’ll just see.

first off – look who has bright shiny new interwebs!!!

it should be noted that: (a) windstream yet again cancelled my installation, which was supposed to be this past friday, without the courtesy to tell me ahead of time; (b) when i called, fuming, i was also told that, due to some technical issue we need to get the technician and the equipment blah blah blah they had ZERO timeline. like…no idea whatsoever when i might, some day, be graced with their service. so (c) i called insight and they came by that night and installed everything i needed. 15$ more a month than windstream, but you know what? customer service says a lot. that’s not to say that the CS reps at windstream weren’t very kind and professional – on the contrary, they were all (and i have talked to about a dozen of them in the past four weeks) extremely nice. however, whatever jackasses they have working in the other departments really need to get it together.

end result: i have interwebs. finally. and the first thing i did was pay all of my bills haha – i wasn’t about to go throwing my credit card and checking account information into the Starbucks wifi bubble.

one thing i also did this morning? buy myself a birfday gift! in reality, i think my actual gift to myself is going to be a new pair of running shoes. both of my saucs have about 250 miles on them, and although they’re holding up really well, i usually kill shoes by the 300-mile mark. i’m tempted to go try on the brooks ravenna 4s, but…i love my guide 6s, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

but anyhoo. ebates (have you heard of ebates? do you use it? because you should!) was having a 14% cash back special on a bunch of stores, including old navy. so i derped around on their website for a while. i refrained from buying any of the pretty wrap dresses and/or sports tops, because generally i need to try things on because of my aggressively large traps and shoulders haha. so instead i stayed with the basics:

ON top

i love long-sleeved crew neck tops. this one is in a dark charcoal color, which is a nice subtle shift from everyday black. i also really like the pants the model’s wearing, but i refrained from scouting out the colored denim. for now.

the top was 9$ on sale, with 15% off for some online-only promo. so it came to 7.65$. and then, since mine are all falling apart (literally, one of them snapped while i was walking), i got myself two pairs of basic ON flip-flops. black (my mom stole my other black ones two summers ago, and after she died i stole them back but just kind of keep them/don’t wear them) and a nice obnoxious salmon color. because i can’t NOT buy at least one obnoxious item!

total damage, once shipping and taxes were factored in? under 21$. my 14% cash back from ebates means it’ll hit me for under twenty bucks. my dad teases me for being so “cheap” (i prefer to call it frugal haha) but…i’m a full-time student who has also managed to amass 11K in savings in the past few years. i must be doing something right. so there.

it’s long run day for me, and i’m subbing a yoga class at two. and then i’m having an interwebs extravanganza when i get home!! downloading new music for cycling and yoga classes, browsing some websites for ideas for gentle yoga flows (i’m teaching gentle classes twice a week for the summer rather than my usual power – it’s terrifying haha), and planning out this week’s lifts and metcons.

and eating ice pops, because i bought those and it’s summer and i can.


is it spring break yet?

it’s about that time. only two and a half more days until spring break, yet i’m barely going to make it. for no other reason than everybody is pissing me off.

my morning class is driving me apeshit. and they’re an awesome group – really smart and some good foundational training, probably the brightest class i’ve ever taught – but i’m at the end of my rope with some of them. (that awkward moment when half of them probably read this stupid thing.)

i just need the week off to re-group and get my patience-o-meter back to full.

it effing snowed last night. and now it’s damn cold. yet it’s apparently supposed to be in the high fifties on saturday for the race. go home, kentucky; you’re drunk.

needless to say, i did my miles on the hamster wheel this morning. my plan called for five; i did three. i’m dropping my mileage big time in prep for this race. still on the fence about what i’m going to do tomorrow – usually i take two days off before a long race. so i may just take tomorrow off and eat all the carbs!

i walked a mile in the freezing cold to teach a yoga class and then walked a mile back. i want to go get coffee but it’s too cold to go back outside.

Photo 72

this is how i feel about that. i haven’t had a speedway coffee in a long time and it makes me the saddest. side note: rockin’ the UK campus recreation tank! go see more of me reppin’ UKCR here!

in summation: i want coffee. i need spring break. and i should probably put a sweatshirt on since it’s freaking cold outside.