Archive for November, 2010

Thanksgiving Time

Posted: November 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

It is now Thanksgiving day and some of you may be sleeping, some already baking, and some at their Thanksgiving Chipper WOD. For me today is a rest day, as much as it pains me to skip a holiday WOD I truly do need a break. Kids woke me up early as usual, took my time getting moving, went to get some coffee, and now back at home only minutes away from packing everything up and heading to my mother-in-law’s house for a day of eating, talking, and hopefully napping. Before the chaos is about to ensue I thought I would list out the things that I am thankful for; My wife, my kids, the rest of my family, my friends, my dog Bosco, my job, crossfit, PR’s, massages, bodyweight movements, reality tv, old cars, naps, snuggling, coffee, paleo sloppy joes, smiles, laughing, fist bumps, cheering, MMA, CF t-shirts, date nights, dinners with friends, soccer, the internet, lululemon shorts, coconut water, bunless burgers, Snoqualmie, snowboarding, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakleys, hiking, larabars, cashews, mangos, Trader Joe’s, Anna’s, a good drink, vacation, coming home from work early, my house, my neighbors, police, firefighters, military, hugs, hot soup on a cold day, turkey, sweet potatoes, health insurance, hearing my kids say I Love You Daddy, salmon, bbqing, a very supportive wife, watching my 2 1/2-year-old doing snatchs and yelling Drive, Drive, Drive! while I am doing back squats, hearing my 6-year-old reading when I am not expecting it, good health, Lulu Lemon pants and I am not talking about for guys ;), Rx’ing, my couch, sunny days, hammocks, a good beach, the ocean, shoot I could go on for a while. At the heart of it all I am thankful that my family is awesome, my friends are fantastic, and for good health. Have a firebreathing Thanksgiving 3-2-1 GO!!!


CrossFit Transformation Inspiration

Posted: November 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Today I am posting a letter from a woman who just recently hit her one year anniversary with CrossFit. It is so great to hear these stories and for others to read them and let them know this is possible for them too.

As I approach my 1 year anniversary with SnoRidge CrossFit, I’m overwhelm by the amount of change in my life in a short 12 months. I’m over come with gratitude for all the CrossFit trainers that have help me with this evolution; Moe, Mark, Allen, Erik, Jeremy, and Kim, each one of you has contributed to my success and growth. Thank you to Jana and Jorge for joining CrossFit and peaking my curiosity. Tom and Michelle most of all;  thank you for opening the box, for being the great people and trainers that you are. I’m thankful you had this dream and the desire to pursue it. Most of all thank you for donating a months free membership to the Encompass preschool charity auction. . I remember vividly strolling with my glass of wine through the charity items and I gasped and pointed to the Snoridge squatch. I told Rob “its a sign. I’m getting this auction item”….couple hours later we had a bird bath made by our daughter’s preschool class, something else, I can’t even recall now and my CrossFit one month membership. 🙂 I had no idea how it would change me.

I started my elements classes and it was hard, really hard. Each elements class I had told myself two things; it’s going to get easier, and don’t walk. I stuck with it. My first few months I struggled through the WODs. I was slow, but I always finished and I never ever walked on a running WOD. The thing I never expected, and in retrospect I should have known, it didn’t get easier. No really, it didn’t, I got stronger, more coordinated, developed new skills, I could even run faster and harder but it Never got easier. 🙂 i thought that would be a good thing, but now i realize, that is one of the reasons we go. If it got easy it would get boring. CrossFit is never boring.
In the beginning I had horrible headaches, my body was not used to the strenuous work. After about 3 weeks that stopped. I used my asthma inhaler every workout, then only for running WODs, now I haven’t used it in over 4 months. I had some shin pain that ended up being tight quad and butt muscles, then there were the broken blood vessels in my face after my first few handstand WODs. Not pretty. The countless bruises on many body parts. Most notable was the post Zerker carry WOD upper arm bruise. All of it…worth it.

Outside the box, CrossFit gave me more self-worth and new found self confidence. I now feel pride in what my husband and kids see each day when they look at me, rather then disappointment. I’m not a mom that stays behind or watches from the sidelines when they go play ball, hike or go to the pool. I have energy to run up the big hill each day with Davis when we pick Evan up at school, most days 3 or 4 times. They know I am strong and like it. Davis, my 2 year old actually told one of our newer CF members that his mom was really strong. I’m so thankful she told me he said that cause I don’t think there is a much better way to get confirmation that we as a family are doing the right thing for us. Last Sunday my daughter told us that she and her brother were going to do a WOD. Of course we were like “cool”. Her brother wasn’t following like she wanted when she was running around the couch. So she yells to him “I’m getting healthier then you.” just two small example of how our life changes are reflected in your kids and we are very happy with what we see.
I find my initial response to trying something new is so different now. Before I would think “I can’t do that. it would be cool but no.” Now I think “why not, it’s a little scary but let’s give it a try.” I have done so much this year that I look back and feel proud of. A new lease on life is so over used but describe my situation to a T.

Some highlights from this year that I don’t want to forget:
First handstand as an adult
First Rope climb
First Banded pull ups
First RX pull up
Judging at CrossFit sectional
Watching our team kick butt at CrossFit sectionals and regionals First Rope climbing WOD Discovering Paleo and Todd Widman’s Paleo class Positive thinking and goal setting class  Greg Amudson Getting RX push ups Going from 12″ box to 24″ box for box jumps, and getting 34″ max box jumps The Warrior dash St Patrick’s day 5k The Danskin sprint triathlon Losing 40 lbs Hiked little Si for the first time Max Deadlift 193lbs

One thing we gain as a family is our SnoRidge family and friends. We sweat together, we PR together. We complain about the WOD, we joke, we cheer, we yell, we get each other though the tough ones. We help each others kids, we confide in each other. We work hard to catch each other in a workout. We inspire one another to try new things, get better at others or finally get that skill that has been eluding us. You all make me better. I want to CrossFit indefinitely. Iam never going to have a perfect bod, But I love my body for what it is and what it does for me. I am so much more then I gave myself credit for. It makes me sad to think, I had given up on ever being healthy, and if I hadn’t found CrossFit I would have realized the me I am today.

Here is to another year of growth, of meeting goals, of inspiring and being inspired. To living, to sharing, to having more to give to my husband, kids, and community…3, 2, 1…GO!

I hope that this letter was inspiring to you and shows you what a little effort and commitment can get you. This one is actually very personal to me, as this is my wife’s letter. Way to go sweatheart, keep kickin butt!!!

Sectionals Philosophy

Posted: November 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

Today I had my first Sectionals meeting at my box. It consisted of the trainers walking us through everything from logistics, to what to expect, to our training schedule. How I got to the meeting today was, at my box there were a few announcements that went out during WODs, on the blog, and on Facebook. The call out was for anyone that wanted to compete, they should let the trainers know so they could start putting together a list. Then from that last they sent out a message setting up the meeting that happened this morning. There was no hand picking or being secretive about it, you simply just had to express some interest. For me this was a no brainer, I have known I wanted to compete since last year’s Sectionals happened. To me it looked like a lot of fun and a great way to really see what I’ve got. Now I know I am not going to be making it to the actual CrossFit Games this year, but that is not my motivation for wanting to go to sectionals. There are different philosophies out there about who should be competing, but it comes down to two groups. One side says, hey if you wanna give it a shot then go for it. The other side says, you shouldn’t even try unless you think you have a chance of winning. The side I am on is the go for it side. For me Sectionals is a chance to compete in the sport of CrossFit and it only comes along once a year at this point. Where else can you get the chance to compete not only in a similar format to the games, but against some of the people who will be going or have gone the games already? You may have some local events that take place, but they are nowhere near the scale of Sectionals. At least not in the Northwest they isn’t. I think this was the way Sectionals was designed anyway or else there would be more rules for who could compete. Plus, I am not super old, but I am old enough to know that you need to carpe diem. I don’t want to look back on my life and think, “Why didn’t I give that a shot.” This is something I have been trying to do more and more in my life and you know what, pretty much nothing I have tried I have been disappointed in or regretted doing. This is why I think you should just go for it. I used to think more like,  “if you don’t think you can win then don’t bother trying” but that never got me anywhere. You can’t always be the best and I don’t believe that only the elite CrossFitters should be the one’s who get to have all the fun. Lastly, CrossFitter is getting bigger by the minute and I bet in 5 years you won’t even be able to do Sectionals unless you meet a certain criteria, so I am going for it now. But I will also through it out there that I will still be able to meet that criteria if and when it is put in place 😉 That’s the Greg Amundson in me talking, think positive and use positive words you will be surprised where it gets you.

Since I just spent some time covering my views on Sectionals and who should compete and the fact that I am going to, I think I will take one post a week to just chronicle my journey. I don’t know exactly how I am going to do it, but I would like to talk about the weaknesses I am going to work on and how they improve, my nutrition, and just overall feeling as the journey goes on. I have been talking about going to sectionals for 6 months and now that the meeting this morning officially kicked off the training for it, I am feeling a little nervous. Even though I am a strong believer in just going for it, I still like to win, and I still get butterflies big time before trying something new. First order of business, get an Rx jump rope from Rogue Fitness and work on the old DU’s.

Paleo Thanksgiving

Posted: November 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

Thanksgiving is coming up quick and it is time to start planning and shopping for good ol Thanksgiving dinner. This is one of my favorite days and  meals of the year. Usually Thanksgiving consists of family and good friends getting together to just hang out, watch some tv, maybe get a game of football or soccer going, and then a great dinner and relaxing. Now since it is a pretty relaxed day you want to make sure you don’t go completely haywire on crappy food and go into a food coma. Luckily a Paleo Thanksgiving dinner is pretty easy. Here are some ideas for a delicious dinner that would satisfy everyone, even it they aren’t paleo eaters. First you start off with your turkey, make sure and pick up a good quality all natural turkey without all the extra chemical preservatives. Unfortunately this are quite spendy, but it is once a year so splurge a little if you can. Next we move onto some ideas for side dishes:

1. Mashed sweet potatoes – to prepare these peel your sweet potatoes, boil until soft, and then add coconut milk and start mashing. Use as much coconut milk as you need to get the consistency you want. If you want to spice that up a little more you can even add a little curry seasoning to it.

2. Brussel Sprouts – to prepare these just wash up your desired amount, cut them in half, put them all in a plastic bag, dump enough olive oil in the bag to coat all of the spouts, add salt and pepper, and then shake the bag vigorously. Next lay them all out on a baking pan and cook at 350 for 12 to 18 minutes depending on how well done you like them.

3. Green Bean Casserole – Boil some fresh green beans until they are the desired texture and then set them aside in a casserole dish. Next cut off the ends of a medium-sized onion and then make somewhat thin slices in the direction that will leave you with rings of onion. Once you have those slices cut them in half so you have half circle strips rather than rings. Put one egg and some heavy cream in a bowl and mix well. In another bowl put 1 cup of finely ground almond meal. Put the onion strips in the egg and cream mixture and then into the almond meal to coat them. Place them on a backing sheet and cook them at 350 until they start getting a little crispy and brown. Then take them out and put them on top of your green beans and bake again when it is time for dinner to heat everything up.

4. Fruit and Nut Stuffing – brought to you my Martha Stewart

5. Cranberry Sauce – brought to you by Elana’s Pantry

6. Cinnamon Walnut Turtles – To prepare you will need; 2 cups walnuts, 1 cup raw honey, 1/2 cup cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, then in a large bowl, mix honey, cinnamon and vanilla into paste. Stir in walnuts  until throughly coated. Form into small clusters and dehydrate at least 24 hours. You can also add some coconut or other dried fruits if you would like.

7. Pumpkin Pie – I am not a fan of pumpkin pie myself, so this one is a make at your own risk, but CrossFit Vancouver posted this up and it got some good feedback so here you go:

This should definitely give you a good start on your planning and some ideas of things you can make. Don’t forget to include the kids, recruit them to help make some of these delicious dishes. I am sure they would love to mash some sweet potatoes. Get creative and if you have any great recipes you would like to share please send them along and I will post this up to this blog post.

Improving your Handstand Push Up

Posted: November 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

As I have been evaluating some of the skills I would like to improve in general as well as for sectionals I ran across a great article on how to do a Handstand Push Up correctly. It was a very thorough article and had a lot of pictures to show you what your form should look like in several different positions. This is the type of thing I can really learn from, I need to see stuff to be able to soak it in. I have put a link to that article at the bottom of this page. This is one of the skills I chose to improve because in watching the CrossFit Games last year I noticed that this skill can be a deal breaker for a lot of people. Those that have this skill down well were able to pull head or stay out in the lead and those that didn’t have it didn’t just fall behind, but fell way behind. These are the type of things that can really gain you an advantage when competing and especially if you are smaller in stature. I know I am not the biggest guy in the world, so I can’t expect to throw around the heavy weights like Rob Orlando, Jason Kalipa, and Dave Lipson.But what I can do is kick butt in areas that are body weight like the handstand push up. Look at Chris Spealer for example, pound for pound I believe he is probably the strongest guy in CrossFit, but where he absolutely dominates are the bodyweight movements. He is able to gain so much time doing those that even if he is half as fast in the heavy weights he can still have a chance to win. Here is a link to the article:

Next I wanted to follow-up on my post from yesterday about where CrossFit is headed. I got a key piece of feedback last night that I 100% agree with and should have put in the post myself. A good friend and SnoRidge CrossFit box owner Tom Nugent said, “Let’s hope wherever it goes they remember the sport is second and that it is the purpose to get fit to enjoy a healthier life.” This is so right on with what I think I wanted to make sure and post this up today.

Hope everyone is having a great Friday. It is almost time to take on my Friday evening WOD and start the weekend off right.

Where is CrossFit Going?

Posted: November 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

With the recent conclusion of the Rogue vs Again Faster event in Tahoe, it made me think about where is the sport of CrossFit going. We know that CrossFit as a phsycial fitness program is growing very quickly and more people are opening boxes and more people are joining, but where is the actual competition sport going? There have now been 4 CrossFit Games and they have grown hugely every year. In fact they were even labeled by Forbes as a diamond in the rough and they can see the CrossFit Games as being the next popular action sport. I totally agree because I feel like there is a little in there for everyone. There are so many different activities being done, you have the team events, men’s, women’s, and the masters men’s and women’s divisions. And inside each of those you have everything from heavy lifts, to running, to climbing over walls and moving sandbags. You can also see how much passion each of the athletes have for this sport and with a lot of today’s professional sports you don’t see that as much as you would like. With the popularity growing it will be interesting to see what the next step is, will we start seeing more events like the Lake Tahoe event that just took place? Could it turn into a circuit and you see 4 or more events around the country or world each year? I know one thing I would like to see is weight classes. As this sport gets bigger and bigger having things like weight classes are going to become much more important. I don’t think you will ever get to the point where it is like MMA and you have new weight classes for about ever 10 pounds, but I could definitely see a good solid 3 or at the very least 2. I am very excited to see what happens this year, hopefully information will start flowing out about the location and dates soon. I am also curious about what other sponsors are going to start popping up. Right now Rogue and Again Faster and huge in CrossFit, but is some of the big dogs like Nike and Adidas start taking more of an interest will some of these other companies get pushed to the sidelines? I certainly hope not. Ideally I would like to see companies like Rogue and Again Faster grow with CrossFit and always be closer to the core.  The other thing that I think would be great about the sport expanding would be, for this be something for the family to watch together. I know I have great memories of going to see the Seahawks in the Kingdom with my dad and I think it would be very cool to think my kids would have great memories about us going to see the NorthWest CrossFit Games. Do you have any other directions you can see CrossFit going in?

Defending the Paleo Diet

Posted: November 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ok, my bad. It has been a few days since I have had a new post, but is was quite a whirlwind the last week. Getting back from traveling, wife’s birthday, daughter’s birthday, and crazy workload. But all excuses aside, it is time to kick back into gear and add to this blog 😉

Defending the Paleo Diet, have you had problems with people knocking how you eat? Do they ask you stuff like, “What is that, some sort of crazy diet, is that South Beach, is that Atkins.” Things like that? And after you take a few seconds to give a brief overview, they pretty much try to discount it by saying things like, “Well I eat pasta all the time and I am pretty healthy, my Dr. says that whole grains are fantastic, it doesn’t sounds like you are eating very healthy with all of that red meat.” Then you try to defend eating Paleo, tell them you haven’t covered everything thing about the diet, you just gave them the elevator pitch, and there is much more behind it than what you have explained. It honestly gets very tiring if you are always trying to explain to someone why are you eating the way you do. Some people are just flat-out rude about it and try to dismiss it as being silly or unhealthy, so as to make what they are doing or not doing seem ok. I personally am not a preacher and never look at what someone is eating and start telling them why it is bad for them, but if you ask, I am more than happy to give my perspective. The best possible advice I can give you is to not try an defend with words as much as let them see the results. A good example is my wife, since she has started CrossFit and eating Paleo she has completely transformed into this super fit hottie. It is undeniable that she is doing something right and that it didn’t just happen on accident. Both her and myself frequently get questions from friends and coworkers about what we think they should do to get fit or eat healthier. All of these requests came without saying a word to them about trying to be more healthy. The key is to not let people get to you and if they are truly interested because they see how fantastic you are doing, they will ask. The strongest argument for Paleo is simply the results that it generates and if someone is truly a non believer then I say throw down the 30 day Paleo Challenge. Just be crystal clear that if they do not stick with it and continue to cheat during that 30 days they will not see half the results. The next thing you can do is toss them a copy of Robb Wolf’s new book, The Paleo Solution or have them order one. He does such a fantastic job of telling the story about why you should consider eating Paleo. If anyone has any success stories about them convincing a nay sayer to try Paleo and has converted them I would love to hear about it. Thanks and talk to you soon.