Archive for April, 2011

Food Revolution

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Have any of you watched the show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution? It was on last season and he went to the most unhealthy city in the United States and tried to make some changes to people’s eating habits by starting in the schools. I remember watching last season and seeing the complete crap that is fed to kids at school on a daily basis. His goal was to help them learn how to make healthier food and try to keep costs down. This season, which just started last week, he is in LA. and the school district there will not let him in to even look at what they are making at the schools for lunch. He can’t even step foot inside a cafeteria, let alone the kitchen. They have been throwing out these crazy high obesity percentages for the L.A. area kids and it is just nuts. I think this is a great show and totally on board with revamping what our schools are trying to feed our kids. Now I will just continue to send my kids to school with homemade lunches, but that does not really solve the health problems we are having in the U.S. due to poor diet. I am going to start looking into how I can get more information about my children’s school district and what their food guidelines are. I want to make sure I am involved and trying to make changes to improve not only the live of my children, but all children. Even child deserves to be healthy. All this being said, most people reading this know that I eat predominantly Paleo and Jamie Oliver does not teach Paleo nutrition. I totally get that, but what he is teaching and doing to make school lunches better is fine with me for two reason. The first is, he is teaching about using quality meats and fresh ingredients, this is very important to me. The second is, even though he include some pasta and breads, it is still 100% better than what is available now. I think it would be unrealistic to try to start getting schools to go Paleo and much more doable to just get them to get rid of processed crap and tons of sugar. If you have never seen this show I would highly recommend it, even if you don’t have kids. It is on ABC and if you go to this link you can sign a petition to get better food in schools Let’s start making a change here in the U.S. to turn around this epidemic of unhealthy and overweight people with diabetes, heart disease, and a myriad of other ailments. Everyone deserves a healthy life.

This Is Our Time

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

In CrossFit we have a very unique opportunity, that opportunity is the Reebok CrossFit Open. CrossFit has been growing by leaps and bounds, new boxes popping up, pro athletes saying they are going to try it, and business magazines saying that the Games just might be the next big thing. How long do you think something like the Open will be around, I suspect not too many more years before there will be an Open for armatures and an Open for sponsored athletes only. Right now we are all getting to compete with everyone, it is like getting to go play with your favorite pro sports team. We have the opportunity to experience what it is like to be in competition with the best of the best and on occasion maybe even top them. We should take advantage of this opportunity and just participate because we can be a part of something special. Whether you come in first place or last place doesn’t matter as much as how hard you worked to get to whatever place you end up in. Just remember that everyday is a new day and a new chance to do work harder and do better.

This is our time, it is our time to seize the moment and make it count. You can make the choice to put the bar down because the competitor next to you does or you can dig deep and hold on for dear life and pull ahead. There is no guarantee the guy that always beats you is going to do it today, today is your day. This is the day you refuse to stop when he just can’t keep going. This is a sport where heart can sometimes trump skill, but always gains more respect. This is CrossFit.

Family Day = Awesome

Posted: April 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

I sat down tonight on the couch and starting thinking about what I was going to write. There are several topics that have been rolling around in my mind that I wanted to address like, Kevin Daigle’s condescending article, how the Open is going so far, focus during a WOD, etc….. What I am choosing to write about instead is Family Day. Maybe it sounds kind of cheesy but this has turned out to be the best idea I have had in a long time and my most looked forward to day of the week. Family day is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, we just hang out and do stuff as a family. About 3 months ago I decided that we were going to choose one day a week that was going to be family day and find some activity to do or place to go. Then I started putting together a list of all the different ideas I had about things we could do and we have just been ploughing through it and adding more as we think of them. The reason why I think these days are so great is because on most days we are so busy with work, going to the box, doctors appointments, e-mail, Facebook, yard work, and every day life that we are not always fully engaged for long periods of time with our kids. But on family day the focus is on the family and carving out that time to bond and connect on that fully engaged level. At the end of these days I always think about what a great day it was and when I go to work on Monday I feel like I had a fantastic weekend that was packed full of awesomeness. Over the past few months Sunday has turned into our usual family day and this is an example of what we did today. First we took our time getting up and out of bed and then had a little breakfast together. Next we headed out to cheer on an Open competitor and in the process of that we got to watch our 3-year-old son demonstrate how to do a burpee box jump, so awesome. Then we went to go see the movie Hop and the best part about this was how my 6-year-old daughter wanted to hold my hand almost the entire time. It also just brought back a flood of memories from the first couple of movies my parents took me out to. Then I started thinking about how this silly sounding activity could be a memory they have for life. It really helped me put into perspective how important the little things are. After the kids did a great job at the movies we headed over to Whole Foods to have lunch, this gave us an opportunity to have a tasty and healthy lunch which brought up the topic of nutrition. And not by me or my wife, but my daughter. After lunch we hit Lululemon for a quick shopping trip and then started the trek home. Once we arrived it was time for everyone to have a little quiet time. Everyone choose their own thing to do for an hour to recharge. Next we were feeling a bit lazy, so we decided to go out to eat for dinner too. We all enjoyed a good meal and then headed home to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos together (one of the rare not cartoon shows we can all enjoy). Lastly it was time for the bed, which includes one on one time with each of the kids reading and snuggling in bed. Don’t get me wrong, this was a busy day and once the kids were in bed I was ready to just crash on the couch but it was fantastic. Our family days aren’t always this aggressive, sometimes it might mean just hanging out together at home and do stuff like making crafts, watching movies, art, or cooking together. That is part of the greatness, you can do whatever you want as long as you are all spending time together. I know these day are not only important to me because I have started getting questions from the kids on when the next one is and what we are going to do. It is crazy how different I feel if we have to miss a family day for some reason, it is like my weekend was just two more days of work and I did not get a break. If this is not something you already do, just start putting together a list of fun things you can do and start scheduling away to make sure you don’t forget or over book. I am already looking forward to next weekend 🙂

Tonight I completed WOD 11.4. I am exhausted and my back is a wreck right now, but I couldn’t head up to bed without getting something off my chest. I am happy with my performance overall because I know I gave it my all and I knew going into it that the Over Head Squats would be really heavy for me. So there I was in the box tonight standing with my bar laying in front of me, my coach to the left of me, and a gang of people all around ready to watch the WOD go down. Next I hear, “Coaches ready, athletes ready, 3-2-1-GO!” I start knocking out the burpees at a good pace and at one point I was thinking, when the heck are these going to be done. They felt pretty easy and I was anxious to get to the OHS. Finally the 60 burpees were done at about 4 minutes and it was time to try to knock out these OHS and hopefully make it to the Muscle-Ups. I gripped the bar, took a deep breath and cleaned it up, the pushed it up over my head to rest on my back, positioned my hands wider and jerked it up overhead. Great, arms locked, felt heavy but doable. I lowered down and push back up hard and then did it again. I dropped the bar and thought, wow that is really heavy, but I still had like 5 minutes and change left. Then I went for number 3 and that is when things get a bit foggy, can’t remember if I failed that one or got it up right away, but at some point around completing rep 4 or 5 I hear the most important words I heard all week,  “Do Not Hang Your Head.” and then it was repeated again. That completely changed my attitude at that point, I didn’t even realize I was doing it. It was heavy, I was struggling, and whether I knew it or not I failed a couple reps and leaned over hands on knees and just hung my head. WTF I thought, I am no quitter, I am not going to give up, I can get one more, and I immediately grabbed that bar and went for another rep. To be honest I am not positive if that was the last rep I got, but either way I went down swinging. I have to thank my coach Tom for reminding me mid WOD that I don’t quit. Sometimes sh%t just gets hard and you can start feeling a little defeated, but that is your time to shine. How are you going to handle those rough spots, that is what counts. My kids where there tonight and I hear my son was cheering for me while I was at it and the last thing I want them seeing me do it quit. I haven’t got to where I am at today by quitting. What was it that I got from the words, do not hang your head? What I took from that was, you have no reason to hang your head, you should be proud of what you have done, and you got what it takes to get one more. Mikko Salo has SISU and now I have, Do not hang your head.

Am I excited for WOD 11.3?

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Am I excited for WOD 11.3? Good question. I am always excited about the Reebok Open WOD’s even if I don’t think I am going to do well. Why, just because it is a challenge. I love the competition. Does that mean I am super stoked if I don’t do well, heck no. But once the initial disappointment wears off I at least know that I gave it my all and have other people on my team that killed it. Then I can live through them and their achievements. That is the great thing about CrossFit in general and having teams for the Open, even if you don’t do well you really want others to do awesome and cheer them on like it was the Games or something.

Just incase you don’t know what the 11.3 WOD is yet, here it is:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 5 minutes of:
Squat clean (165lb / 75kg) Women’s weight is 110lb
Jerk (165lb / 75kg) Women’s weight is 110lb

Now this is more than my bodyweight, so it is going to be rough going but I like the fact that it is only 5 minutes. The reason I like that is, I feel like I can sustain a good amount of energy output for 5 minutes and since that clock is going to go quick I think I will constantly have that extra adrenaline rush like you get in the last 60 seconds of most WODs. This should be a very interesting (read painful) WOD for me because I am having a hard time estimating how many rounds I will be able to get. My last clean and jerk max was 185lbs, but maybe I have improved since that time??? What I am really going to focus on is form, form, and more form. I feel like if I can be efficient with my form, more than I have been in the past, I will be able to put out a number I am happy with. For those of you out there that are nervous about this WOD because this would be a PR for you, my recommendation is to work on your form every day this week. I firmly believe that if you are within 30 lbs of this weight with your last max, then you can knock out one full round to stay in the Open just by making sure you are utilizing the best form you can. Seek out your Box’s resident Oly stud and get some tips and have them watch you and get some good cues. Want it, visualize it, believe it, you can do this. And for you big mo fo’s out there, I can’t wait until we have to do pull-ups and handstand push-ups 😉 3-2-1-GO!

11.3 WOD Predictions

Posted: April 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Reebok CrossFit Open WOD 11.2 is closing today and we are already 1/3 of the way through the competition. It has been a real eye opener for me. The first two WODs appeared to be very appealing with such light weights, however they were both much harder than expected. After finishing 11.1 I realized that it was a big guy WOD disguised as a little guy WOD. Now I know that is a real generalization because I have seen some guys that are in the small guy category that killed that WOD, but in general a big dude can toss around 75 lbs with not a whole lot of effort. In the end I wasn’t super stoked with my score, but I know I laid it all out there by just the way I felt at the end of both attempts. Then 11.2 came along and once again I was stoked, deadlifts, push-ups, and box jumps, right up my alley. I was excited, couldn’t wait to tackle this one, so I hit this one Wednesday. Well, I was the first person to go at our box and I didn’t have any strategy besides hitting it hard and fast. Ummmmmm, that did not go so well. Going into round 4 I had already hit a wall and it was rough to get to the end. It made WOD 11.1 not seem so bad. On top of that I was frustrated as heck because I should have done really well at this and I was not pleased with my score once again. So I watched other people go and talked to several people about what their strategy was and then made sure my diet was on point. I was focused and decided to give it another go yesterday. Right before the WOD started  one of my Coaches (Michelle) reviewed my strategy and remind me that I need to breathe deep and not let the guys next to me get in my head. On top of that one of my other coaches (Tom) said a lot of the right things to keep me moving, like telling me when I was close to beating someone else. This all paid off in spades. I was able to improve my score by a full round and 2 reps. Ahhhhh, the feeling of victory. This was just what I needed to re-energize me. I am already starting to feel butterflies when thinking about what 11.3 is going to be.

What will WOD 11.3 look like? No one but HQ knows for sure, but a lot of people are thinking it might be something heavy like a 1 rep max of some lift. Personally I don’t think we are going to see this in 11.3. My reasoning behind this is, HQ made it pretty clear that they wanted the Open to be very inclusive, so you weren’t going to see things like muscle ups because that eliminates way too many people from being able to complete the WOD Rx. Along that same philosophy when you do a max effort lift you may need to have a lot of weights to complete this and the average garage competitor many not have the poundage in weights to make this happen. On the other hand olympic lifting is a big part of CrossFit, so it makes complete sense to include something that tests some of your technical lifting abilities. But I am going to stick to my guns and say, there may be some heavy lift at some point, but probably not until the end to help spread the field out more. I think there is a strong possibility in seeing something more like Helen for WOD 11.3 where you might have a little running, kettlebells, and pull-ups. The gymnastics aspect of CrossFit should be rearing its head soon, maybe in the form of chest to bar pull-ups or handstand push-ups. Sorry heavy lifters, it may be a little while longer until you get your wish.