With the first Open WOD of 2013 in the books, it is time to look at the data. Let the Leaderboarding begin! Last year there were 60 Individual Men that were invited to the North West Regionals and 58 signed up to compete, this year only 48 will be invited to participate. This means much heavier competition making it to the Regionals event. Out of the top men that were invited to Regionals, 43 of them competed individually, and 15 competed with their team. The breakdown looked like this:

Individual   Went Team
Alex Riley Jesse Disch Ryan Andrews Adam Beardsley
Apollo Lewis Joey Sanchez Ryan Smith Adam Neiffer
Austin Stack Jordan Holland Ryan Swobody Andrew Gray
Bill Pappas Joseph Byers Ryne Reeves Bejan Rejaian
Brenden Loyer Joshua Rempel Sam Lee Ben Stoneberg
Bryan Miller Kaylor Hasbargen Skylar Pond Dan Staton
Chris Exarhos Kevin Simons Stephen Hitt Darren Carrido
Connor Nelson Kyle Flanders Sun Chang Jason Uberuaga
Dave Powell Lucas Whitehall Thomas Liston Jered Souder
DJ Neyens Mark Buskas Wes Jendricks Kenton Clairmont
Doug Germano Matt Martin Will Brindza Kyle Jacobson
Eric Showman Mike Wild Yurii Hanson Nathan Loren
Jake Fields Noah Pester Zach Filer Nick Martindale
Jeffrey Duncan Paul Zavaglia Ryan Calkins
Jeremiah Ingersoll Robert Allaire Tyler Whitcomb

With the completion of 13.1 the current standings for the North West Region show that 23 out of the top 48 competitors competed at Regionals last year. That leaves 25 newcomers that are off to a great start. In fact 6 out of the top 10 athletes are newcomers, including the top two, Nicholas Rocco with a score of 190 and Martin Lehman with a score of 190. In places 3 – 6 you have veterans, Kevin Simons (190), Ben Stoneberg (187), Ryan Calkins (180), and Apollo Lewis (180). Last year the North West Region sent Yurii Hanson, Kevin Simons, and Austin Stack to the Games, so where are Yurii and Austin? Yurii placed 12th with 177 and Austin Stack placed 17th with 176. You also have former Games competitors Jesse Disch (176) and Noah Pester (176) right in the hunt looking for a comeback. Some people might say that 13.1 is a much better predictor of fitness than 12.1’s 7 minutes of burpees (like me), so if that is the case our top 3 from last year and looking strong. The question will be, over the next 4 weeks what newcomers will be able to hold on and get an invitation and which veterans won’t.

Here are your current top 48 Individual Men in the North West Region 2013 CrossFit Open:

1 (1) Nicholas Rocco 190 25 (25) Mike Wild 174
2 (2) Martin Lehman 190 26 (26) Jered Souder 174
3 (3) Kevin Simons 190 27 (27) Chris Ostrom 174
4 (4) Ben Stoneberg 187 28 (28) jeramie york 174
5 (5) Ryan Calkins 180 29 (29) Matthew Coffelt 174
6 (6) Apollo Lewis 180 30 (30) Nick Martindale 173
7 (7) Tyler Strong 179 31 (31) Blake Sewell 173
8 (8) Ben Morgan 178 32 (32) David Schroeder 173
9 (9) Jerome Perryman 178 33 (33) John Lewis 173
10 (10) Chris Benesch 177 34 (34) Daniel Spray 173
11 (11) Ryan Smith 177 35 (35) Dan Johnson 173
12 (12) Yurii Hanson 177 36 (36) Brooks Lindquist 173
13 (13) Jesse Disch 176 37 (37) Adam Neiffer 172
14 (14) Sam Lee 176 38 (38) Stephen Hitt 172
15 (15) Ryan Swobody 176 39 (39) Mike Waer 172
16 (16) Brenden Loyer 176 40 (40) Dave Powell 172
17 (17) Austin Stack 176 41 (41) Eric Showman 172
18 (18) Noah Pester 176 42 (42) Adam Beardsley 172
19 (19) Doug Hildreth 176 43 (43) Connor Nelson 172
20 (20) John Petroff 175 44 (44) Austin Shawver 172
21 (21) Robert Allaire 175 45 (45) DJ Neyens 171
22 (22) Zach Filer 175 46 (46) Keith Chrisman 171
23 (23) Travis Mead 174 46 (46) Ryan Staten 171
24 (24) Kevin Longmeier 174 48 (48) Spencer Hunsinger 171

There is still a long way to go and the unknown and unknowable will continue to haunt everyone until the CrossFit Open is complete. Don’t forget, the North West Regionals will be held at the ShoWare Center in Kent on May 31st, June 1st, and 2nd. I can’t wait to see who ends up with a ticket to the Games and what they are going to have to do to get there. Good Luck!


In life there are great days and there are horrible days, times of joy and times of sadness, but in either case it is nice to be surrounded by friends and family. On a great day you want to share your excitement and when life strikes you with a low blow, you want to be surrounded by support. The community of CrossFit is absolutely unmatched. Just like the theme song to the old TV show Cheers, “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same.”

Day in and day out, one thing I look forward to is going to the box. These are my people and they are AWESOME. They are there to help me celebrate victories and to help pick me up after suffering a loss. When I don’t make it to the box, I miss it. My body might feel beat up from 5 days of WODs in a row, but on that much deserved rest day I find myself still wanting to head on in, even if it is just to hang out. There is something special about being surrounded by people that have very similar goals and values, especially when they are so positive. CrossFitters live life big, they don’t watch it pass on by. The spirit and passion for this unique sport spills out of the box and into the other facets of your life. It creates confidence and opens the door to possibility. When you are able to meet goal, after goal, after goal, at CrossFit and do all of these things that you never thought you would ever be able to do, it changes you mindset. It enables a better you. It shows you that things you thought were impossible are possible and if you can do it at the box, why can’t you do it at home or at work. Being surrounded by a group of people that all get this, understand it, and support you, is amazing.

Get Mad at the Bar

Posted: June 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

It is strength day, you are poised to get a PR, you have your lifting shoes, and your lucky shorts on. You are stoked to get into this lift and get that new record so you warm up really well and spend some extra attention on the critical parts of your anatomy for this movement. Then you finally get to that bar and start warming up the movement and get into your first couple of sets. This is easy; you know you have these weights, just building up to the big dog. Then it is time, time to go for the PR. At that moment, the moment you step up to the bar and are ready to set that new record, what is going through your head? I have heard a lot of people say to get angry or get mad at the bar, is that what you do? If it is and it works, then good on you. Keep it up and stick with that strategy. For me that does not work, I need to find clarity, I have a lot of noise going on, people all around doing their thing, going through the movement in my head, maybe a little self-doubt, butterflies in my stomach, feeling a little anxious, and then I find it. I find that spot where it gets quiet and the only thing on my mind is getting that bar to where it needs to be. I rely on my instincts and muscle memory to make my body move as efficiently as possible to make this lift. It is not my intention to tell you this is the best way to get that PR, simply a reminder that if one thing doesn’t work, try something else. I have tried getting angry and for whatever reason that does not work for me and then one day I noticed a pattern after getting a PR on an overhead squat. It took me a while to find it, but I did, so if one suggestion from someone doesn’t feel like it works for you, don’t sweat it, try something else.

Keep Your Box Clean

Posted: June 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

You might think I am talking to the Box owners, but I’m not. In my experience the vast majority of Box owners take very good care of their gyms. I am talking to the members. Treat the box like your home, or even better, like someone else’s home that you’re visiting. Keep it clean, if you take something out put it away. When you put stuff away, put it in the back in the correct spot and put it there neatly. We may be throwing around big heavy metal things that seem unbreakable, but they are not. Don’t throw down an empty barbell, don’t drop kettlebells, these things are not only expensive, but I might want to use them and if you break them I can’t. Also, in all boxes there is somewhere to put your junk (bag, jacket, water bottle, ect…), so don’t use stacks of weights or box jump boxes for a shelf. I get tired of moving your stuff so that I can WOD, and others do too. Take pride in your box, when you leave at the end of the WOD it should look as good as or better than when you came. Nobody wants to come into a dirty, unorganized box, I am sure you would rather spend your time hanging with your friends and getting your WOD on rather than searching for a barbell that isn’t broken or digging through a random pile of weights. We are all gassed after a WOD, but catch your breath and get your gear away nicely and clean up after your kids if yah got em. I am not thrilled to help clean up a bunch of toys all the time either, but I make sure my kids either get their stuff or I help them out. Everybody loves a clean box.

10. Going to a school function and having the other parents think you are a lot younger than you are.

9. Being at a Girl Scouts picnic and having your wife help move a large table and when some guy says, “Oh no she shouldn’t do that, let me help” and then you get to say, “She can deadlift well over 200lbs, I think she’s got it.”

8. Having your child pick up a PVC and bust out a pretty darn good Snatch.

7. Being able to keep up with your kids and having fun playing with them instead of just watching.

6. Getting to make the most of birthday parties that are at Gymnastics facilities, pools, bouncy houses, trampoline gyms, ect… So much more fun than just sitting around chatting.

5. Getting the opportunity to teach other parents about CrossFit when they ask you how the heck you stay so fit.

4. Being able to show your kids how to do things, rather than just trying to explain it.

3. Knowing you are setting a great example by keeping fit and eating real food. It is fun to hear someone ask you if you want some cake and your kid says, “He is not going to want that, my dad eats paleo.” That doesn’t mean I never take the cake though 😉

2. Feeling secure about being able to protect your family in an emergency. Whether it is being able to run 5 miles to your kid’s school, carry one for an extended period of time, or putting the smack down on some idiot that tries to harm your family in any way.

1. Knowing that you are doing the best you can to stay healthy so you can have a long, active life to provide the best life you can for your kids.

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Working Through an Injury

Posted: June 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Getting injured can be one of the most demotivating things that can happen in CrossFit. Unfortunately a lot of people try and take care of their injured body part by not coming into the box. Instead of resting just that one injured area, they are resting their entire body. Then by the time they do come back to the box, they have lost so much of their fitness they get discouraged and sometimes even end up quitting.

Don’t get me wrong, being injured sucks, but don’t let that detour you from staying fit. Recently I have been dealing with an injured shoulder and it was preventing me from doing anything overhead and anything with a big pull off the ground, like power cleans. So I experimented to find out what I could still do; I could use a kettlebell, do pull ups, toes to bar, knees to elbow, and a couple of other things. I started going to my physical therapist and I followed my normal workout schedule. What I ended up doing is just substituting any movement I couldn’t do with something I could do. For me, this was hard because I have a bit of a competitive side and I hated not being able to stack up what I was doing with what everyone else was doing. But, never the less I was at the box my usual 5 to 6 days a week and a little over 2 months later I am already starting to be able to ease back into some overhead movements.

The key to getting back into the game as quickly as possible is recognizing you have an injury early and taking care of it.  For me this meant getting that first PT appointment scheduled. Then once you have gone to your healing professional, make sure you actually follow the plan they set out for you. This is easy for me to say because my PT gets CrossFit and is an active person himself, often times they do not get CrossFit and basically just tell you to stop doing what you are doing. If you run into this problem, ask around your box where other people go. I will stop there because this could be an entire post in itself. Next, figure out what movements you can and can’t do and work with your coach to adjust the WOD to suite your needs until you are back to good. As you go through this process, slowly start testing out the movements that were bothering you before. First try it with no weight, then low weight, and then slowly build up to where you were before you got injured. For example, if pull-ups hurt your shoulder you could just do the pull-up movement without hanging on the bar, then move up to using a thick band, then try and just hang in an active position, then start doing low reps, you get the idea.

Being injured takes a lot of patients and is both mentally and physically hard to work through. I didn’t even talk about different extents of injuries. If you tweak your shoulder a bit, you could be back to good in a couple of weeks, but if you break your leg you are going to take a lot longer to get back into your regular routine. Either way it is the same process, just the length of each of the phases of healing are different. The main thing to take away here is not to quit, it is much easier to stay in your basic workout rhythm than it is to take a break and come back. Don’t sacrifice your health because of one injury, tough it out and get your butt into the box, you will be much happier in the long run.

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Deep down in the belly of CrossFit there are thousands of professional exercisers on the hunt for the best and coolest CrossFit gear. Late at night long after the WOD is over, these pro exercisers scour the deepest, darkest corners of the internets to find out when a special edition shoe is going to release, what new t-shirt line has the coolest phrases, and where you can score a great deal. In other sports there are clothing and equipment that are required, like soccer cleats, shin guards, baseball gloves, etc…. In CrossFit things aren’t necessarily mandatory, but having good gear sure can help you through a tough WOD. Is some of this more of a placebo effect? Probably, but either way it helps, and the true CrossFitter understands that. I know some of my most prized possessions are the shirts that represent my box. I think this is for two reasons, first I am proud to be part of my box and these people are my family. Second, CrossFit may have gotten a lot bigger, but it is still not main stream, so when someone sees your Buck Furpees t-shirt and asks you what box you go to, it is like finding out you had a long lost sibling.
What is your favorite piece or CrossFit apparel and why? Or if it is tough to narrow down, list a couple.