Your CrossFit Coach is not there to baby you, they are there in the literal sense, to change your life. That is not to say they are mean and will be yelling at you, but they sure as heck won’t be sugar coating the truth. It is their responsibility to point out your crappy form or try and push you harder when it looks like you are wimping out or even question why it looks like your body composition is not changing when according to Facebook you are the poster child for eating Paleo. It is their responsibility to make you the best you that you can be. For the athletes that get it, this is respected and appreciated, and for the athletes that don’t, their CrossFit career is short lived. CrossFit is for everyone, but everyone is not for CrossFit. It still shocks me every time I see someone new come into the box that clearly needs some lifestyle changes, stays long enough to hear all of the huge transformation stories, and maybe even long enough to see some people change before their own eyes, and then ends up quitting. These are also usually the people that don’t seem to ever really challenge themselves and don’t appreciate it when their coach points that out. To those people I say, “Harden the F$%# Up” Your coach is not trying to tear you down, they are trying to build you up. Being able to control your body and improve your health is extremely empowering and they just want you to experience that first hand. They still remember what it was like when they first felt it themselves and they want to share that feeling with you. So in short, your coach will never tell you, don’t worry about working hard today if you are tired, all of your lifts are perfect and you are done improving, eating paleo can be a tough transition so don’t bother, but they will tell you what you need to hear, when you need to hear it. Thank your coach the next time you see them, they deserve some feedback too.

#5 – The Cherry Picker

This is the person that only comes in for the WODs they think they will be good at. This in turn means they never get practice working on the movements they are not good at, which turns into minimal growth.

#4 – The Complainer

Ugh, I can’t believe the warm up is soooo hard, it is too hot, why do we do so many OHS, my arms are sore, I have a headache, it is too early, it is too late. Get my drift?

#3 – The Big Ego

Often times this is a problem with newbies, but can also be found in those that have been around for quite a while. The ego seems to rear its ugly when one can’t actually do the movement they are supposed to be doing at the Rx weight, so they are doing their very own special dangerous version of the movement so they don’t, heaven forbid, have to scale the weight and do it right. The really annoying part of the big ego is when a correction is given they do it one and go back to doing what they were doing before, don’t listen at all, or have to have someone else actually remove weight from their bar.

#2 – The You Should Know Better

This person has been at your box for quite a while now, maybe even one of the longest, but they still don’t seem to grasp basic concepts. They still don’t know what a Thruster is, they still don’t know how to figure out if they should go Rx and if they have to scale they seem clueless as to what they should scale to. This person might even try and be helpful and teach new people how to do stuff incorrectly. This person is just plain frustrating to watch, because they really should know better.

#1 – The Cheater

In CrossFit there is no room for cheating because it flat out gets you absolutely nowhere. Not only do people not respect the cheater, but they also question their integrity in general. There is no reason to cheat, when it comes down to brass tax and you are judged, you will be discovered and called out. On top of that the cheater might feel great that they are always toward the top of the leaderboard, but they are not progressing as much the person that is next to them because they are doing less work. Over time they just have to cheat more and more to try and keep up. Really, they only thing they are cheating are themselves. They are cheating themselves out of maximum results, out of respect from others, and out of feeling the absolute satisfaction of being proud of laying it all out on the line and getting an honest win.

All of these types of CrossFitters are annoying, but larger than that, these are all things we don’t want to be labeled as in any part of our lives. My kids come to CrossFit with me and my wife almost every day and I have a feeling if other people can spot these characteristics, my kids can to. I am going to display the characteristics that I want them to grow up to have. It might seem insignificant at the time, but our kids learn by watch us and assume that what we are doing is the right thing to do.

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Life is about experiences. Sometimes you need to step outside your comfort zone and take on a new challenge and gain new perspective. Experiences also vary in magnitude; you don’t need to think so grand that it seems impossible to achieve, it could be as little as mixing things up by trying a new coffee shop. Sometimes it is hard to just get off your butt and go do something, there are always excuses like, I need to finish the laundry, clean the kitchen, clean the garage, etc… There will always be other things that you “should” be doing, but it is ok to put off the daily grind every once and a while and go do something. In the end I don’t think you will look back and think, wow I am really glad my house was always spotless. I think you will think things like, I wish I had spent more time with my kids, or I wish I would have made more time for my hobbies. Sometime you literally are just feeling tired and lazy from all the other work you have put in, but once you get over that hump and get to whatever activity you have decided to do, it is all good. Try and remember that feeling and harness that emotional energy to help you get over that hump next time you are feeling too tired to go outside and play with your kids, or take them on a hike, or head out to happy hour with friends.

Another obstacle is thinking that you completely have to trade one thing for another, like if you choose to go play with your kids for bit that you will have to completely not finish whatever chore you think you should be doing. If you give your kids 15 solid minutes of focused and present time, they are good to go. They you can go back to whatever chore it was that you were doing and you will feel great about the time you just spent having fun and you kids will feel great too.

Over this last week, my son finished his first year of preschool, my daughter finished 1st grade, and it was the 2nd anniversary of my dad passing away. It has been a great and emotional week and it has also refocused my perspective. It reminded me of how friggin fast time flies and why I always put my family first and make no excuses about it. Life is about experiences, so make sure you are getting your fill, and don’t let the monotony of life hinder you from trying something new or having a little fun.

Well we got about a foot of snow over the last couple of days and it has been fun. However, over last night and this morning we got freezing rain and that has fucked up all the snow and toppled countless trees. We lost power, along with 250,000 other people and the box was closed. But not all was lost, I am an active person and I don’t like feeling trapped in so it was time for a shovel WOD. Isn’t this what we CrossFitters train for anyway, functional fitness? So with shovel in hand I first hunted down the two closest storm drains and cleared those suckers. Then I started clearing tracks for my truck to make it up our hill. As I was clearing this heavy ice my back started feeling a little tired and I thought, WTF I am using pretty crappy form and I was supposed to deadlift today anyway so it was time to put my training to work. Dig in, set my back, lift, and dump to the side. Now i know this is not an exact substitute for a deadlift, be it sure helped and I pounded up to my destination with no problem. Also I must have inspired a couple of neighbors because they came out to help, this is a great community, sound familiar? Same reason I love CrossFit, the community always has your back, sometimes literally 🙂 This was all typed on my phone, Thanks Windows 7  Phone, you are a life saver when then power is out.

CrossFit Going Mainstream

Posted: January 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

If you did not see it or hear about it, CrossFit got some major national exposure yesterday via a Reebok commercial on network television. I will be honest, from the beginning I have not been fond of the CrossFit and Reebok partnership. It is the one sports apparel company that I did not even own one piece of clothing from. It has just never been my style, Reebok has pretty much always been pretty whack in my book. That being said I was going to give them another shot because in the long run CrossFit getting more exposure will be a good thing. But their track record to date has not been great, not enough stock at the CrossFit Games, t-shirt that look like they belong in Old Navy, high prices, consistent issues with shipping new product, I could list more, but you get the point. Putting all of that to the side, I think the kick off of these commercials is going to be GREAT. I am glad Reebok is spending some big money to help build CrossFit up. I know their  main focus is making more money, but they are a company and that is what companies do. The great part is they are spreading the word about CrossFit and it is getting to millions of people, millions of people who desperately need to take a serious look at their health. On July 21st of 2011, the CDC reported that 33.8% of all adults in America and 17% of children are not considered obese. Those numbers are staggering and it is undeniable that we have taken a wrong turn somewhere. I don’t believe that 1/3 of adults are just making a conscious choice to be obese, I think it is all the crap people have been fed both literally and figuratively. Tons of different fad diets, commercials telling kids that chocolate milk and Lucky Charms with whole grains are healthy, label on food saying it is fresh and organic but there are still ingredients that are barely pronounceable, and almost zero healthy fast food joints. Then on top of all that, schools have been getting rid of physical education classes and after school sports because of budget cuts. Don’t get me wrong, I think academics are important and clearly there is improvement that needs to be done in the education system in the U.S. too, but having a bunch of smarter kids that are growing up into fat and sickly adults is not what is going to keep the U.S. as one of the world leaders. I love the fact that CrossFit is kinda underground and feels like a bit of a club,  but so many more people can benefit from it. CrossFit is not just the gym you go to, but it is a lifestyle. Once you have fought through the tough first couple of months you slowly start getting why all the die hards act the way they do. It slowly creeps into your life and changes it for the better. I am just a better person in general, I am not only healthier, but I am happier as well. I feel great, have made fantastic friends, and my kids are reaping the benefits as well. Dad almost always has energy to go have some fun. I also want my kids to be active, so we have made it a priority to make sure our kids are always in some sort of activity as well. So do I think it is a good thing that CrossFit is going mainstream, definitely. I feel it is now my duty to let people know what the fuss is all about and am happy to be an ambassador to CrossFit. I don’t like to go out and preach about it, but if you start asking me questions I will talk your ear off. Hopefully as these commercials are played more and more I will get more and more people asking me about CrossFit. It is time to fight back for our live against the bombardment of bullshit information out there that is literally killing people.

Resolutions

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Well, we are 8 days into the New Year now. Have you come up with any resolutions? Usually by the time I get to New Years Eve I already have a list, but this year I didn’t have anything. It wasn’t until I was at a party that night and people started talking about what resolutions everyone had. As usual I was with a bunch of CrossFitters, so we all immediately went to CF goals. Here are a few of mine to keep my honest: 1. 50 pull-ups in a row (currently at 41) 2. Do Nasty Girls Rx (just need Muscle Up stamina built up) 3. Press (strict) my body weight 4. Break 400 lbs for my dead lift (currently 393) 5. Snatch 135 lbs (stuck at 125, need work on my technique). Other than those CF related resolutions I want to: 1. Make sure my kids are in one outside of school activity at all times 2. Do at least 26 family days (we were awesome about planning one about every week for a while and the holiday season threw us for a loop) 3. Get birthday cards on time to all of my family members that don’t live in my house 😉 4. Get my Level 1 Certification 5. Get my Mustang back up and running. This is a lot of stuff, but I truly believe that I can do everything on this list. What resolutions have you made for the year? Are they specific? Make sure they are specific and measurable, sometime you may need to set several small goals that build up to meeting the big dog.

Next on the agenda is the good ol Paleo challenge that my box does every January. Technically the challenge does not start until tomorrow, but I started on January 1st. I am already feeling much better after all the crap I was eating in November and December. This being said you can expect more posts on recipes, how to eat paleo when you are eating out, and products that make it a little easier. For example I took the family out to the Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie WA for breakfast today. This is a very notable place with AMAZING food. It would be super easy to cut loose and get a bunch of non paleo grub, but I stuck to my guns and got a fantastic omelet with Crab, onions, peppers, asparagus, and spinach. I also had their delicious coffee and it was a great breakfast out. Breakfast is probably one of the easiest meals to make sure you are eating paleo when you go out, so if you like to go out to eat breakfast is a great time to go if you have a hard tie sticking with it once you are out of the house.

Talk to you soon.

You Gotta Believe

Posted: December 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

The magic of belief is a powerful and exciting thing. I am sitting here on the couch trying to decide where I will move Keith tonight for my kids to find him in the morning. Wondering who Keith is and why I may be moving him? If you have an Elf on the Shelf you may have been able to guess, but for those of you what are like, what the heck is that, The Elf of the Shelf is a little elf doll that comes with a story book you read to your kids. Most parents get the question of, how does Santa know if I have been good or bad and to answer that you can tell them, “Every year an elf watches over you in your house and reports back to Santa.” So you take out the little elf you got with the book and the kids get to name him and he is the little dude that keeps an eye out on their behavior. Every night after the kids go to bed we move him to a different location in the house and when the kids get up every morning the first thing they do is go try and find him and see where he magically flew to overnight. They LOVE it and truly believe that this little doll flies to Santa every night, gives him a report, and comes back to find a new place to hang out. They have stuffed animals, dolls, actions figures, all that kind of stuff and this elf looks just the same, but what is different about him is they believe he is different and Santa has provided him with actual magic to do a very important duty during the Christmas season. It is that type of belief that is important to keep instilled in kids as they grow up. I am not talking about trying to get them to keep believing in magical stuff like the elf or unicorns; I just mean the concept, that with hard work and dedication you can make big things happen. You know the old saying as well as I do, “You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up.” For the most part I whole heartedly believe that, along the way you just need to decide if the work, time, and sacrifices you have to make are worth it. Also, life isn’t fricken easy; even with a ton of hard work you don’t always get what you want very quickly, there will be failures along the way. But you have to believe that just because you have failed once, doesn’t mean that you will fail again or that your goal isn’t achievable, you have to believe in yourself and keep pushing ahead. I think now-a-days too many kids give up too damn easy; the good shit is almost never easy. Remember getting your first pull up, muscle up, Rx WOD, whatever it was for you that you really had to work hard to get, how did that feel when you got it? Badass right? Well, I want my kids to feel badass a lot in life. When there is tough stuff you are working through, big or small, show them that you recognize thing aren’t great right then, but that you believe that things will get better and that you might just have to work a little bit harder, longer, or faster to make it better, but it will be better. Not only is that a comfort to them, but they will carry that skill on with them into their adult lives too.