Crazy week so far

I’m sure that you can imagine that living on top of a mountain when a hurricane is making it’s way across the country can lead to some interesting weather issues.  This week started out with craziness from the storm approaching and then hitting us.  Monday I went to purchase some food and then to the gym.  Getting home after getting everything done I had an interesting time trying to get around all of the downed trees.  A few times finding alternate routes to get back to housing and a river crossing where the road was covered I made it to a house with no power.  Now no power in park housing also meant no food can be cooked, no water from the well, and no heat because that’s electric too.  I braved the storm again, I hadn’t eaten in 9 hours at that point, and went to Denny’s to recharge the phone, play on some internet, and eat bacon.  I thought it was a safe bet, and bacon always makes me feel better.  Overnight the house was more than a little chilly, it got down to about 50F and I was not prepared for such an event.  Getting up Tuesday morning I was not rested, but a breakfast at a local third generation owned diner, and some time at Panera waiting to see if power was back made for a decent morning.  By yesterday afternoon power was back up, I could make a really good meal and get ready to head back into the gym and get some work done.  I fired the crockpot back up and got some paleo chili going to warm me up on these cold days and then left the house.  Getting back last night I had an interview for Crossfit Radio which will be on tomorrow.  You should definitely check it out.  Today was the first day back at work and it was slow, we had snow from the hurricane.  You have to love that, I’ve termed it Hurrisnow.  I’ve copyrighted it so don’t be stealing it.  I guess that’s it for my Sandy update, tomorrow we will get back to the actual Crossfit and Paleo related posts.  Here’s my pictures from this craziness.

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Update coming tomorrow

Too much to do tonight, as you could imagine Sandy took her toll here as with other parts of the country. Just getting power back and trying to get ready to start the work week tomorrow.  Happy to be safe and have a place to sleep with heat tonight.

Two months mostly strict

Back in September I started to tighten up my intake and I discussed a few reasons why I was doing it.  It has now been two months of eating this way, some things have changed but most has stayed the same.  I feel that it has really helped me in a few ways but there are definitely some drawbacks to being this strict sometimes.  Before getting into all that though I wanted to cover what I’ve kept and what I’ve changed.  Since starting month two on October 1 I have allowed myself more coffee during my day.  I’m not back to the levels I was earlier in the summer, but I’m not limited to just one cup in the morning and on in the afternoon anymore.  Typically this means that I have an extra cup in the evening after my workout either with dinner or as a post dinner drink.  I think that the idea of post dinner coffee is something that has kind of come to me from my mother.  I can remember her having a cup after a meal as a kid, and she still does today.  Also I’ve allowed myself a little bit of snaking here and there.  I generally grab something on the way to the gym after work since it will be a few more hours till dinner.  After getting done with my Outlaw programming then I’d come home and make dinner eating sometime around 8 usually.  My general guidelines for the project haven’t changed, I’m still taking in large amounts of water, I have also excluded iced tea from my drinks so it’s just coffee and water now.   Also I’m not taking in sweeteners with the exception of a celebratory So Delicious ice cream that I got when I was given rehire status to come back next spring.  And I’m trying to make sure that I’m leaning out by keeping an eye on getting enough veggies and not getting crazy with the carbs.  Overall the project this far has been a success, all the extra that I had at the beginning seems to have gone away and I’m pretty lean while keeping the muscle that I have worked to put on this summer.  I feel like body composition wise I’m in a pretty good place and I’m ready to take on the challenges of the holidays that will be in front of me.  I’m not entirely sure how things are going to go for the next two months.  I’m still on the job hunt and while I’m headed back to Illinois that’s not a guaranteed final destination as a park could hire me for the winter still and I would have to relocate again.  Otherwise I’m looking forward to a winter with the family, working somewhere, getting my L1 and trying to do a little coaching.  Sometime over the next week I’m going to put together some comparison pictures of beginning of the summer, mid-summer, and the project to see just how much I have changed during this whole thing.  I bet it will be eye opening to see how different I look. 

Taking the best even when your head isn’t in it

Today was just one of those days, you get those from time to time.  I went into the gym and started my warmup and tried to get into the work that needed to be done, but I just wasn’t there.  I’ve learned over the progress of this journey that there are just going to be some of those days, and the key when I feel this way is just to make myself do it.  I may not feel like it, it might take extra time to get my head in the game but I eventually just have to walk up to the bar and pick it up.  These days it is about making the choice, deciding that no matter what I don’t take the day off just because I don’t feel like putting in the work.  The self discipline that it takes on these days goes a long way towards your own growth….


I actually started this post yesterday and that’s as far as I got.  My head was not in it at all, work, in the gym, or trying to write that post.  I don’t know what was up with me, some days that happens but man you have to get your head out of it.  Today though was much better, had a good day at work, and walked into Sports Evolution ready to take on the normal class WOD.  Today was 8 minute AMRAMP of 8 pushups, 10 Med ball cleans (20lbs), and 12 Situps.  Final score was 7+11.  Good showing today and it felt good to come in and crush a WOD a full round ahead of anyone else.  Just ran through at a good pace, my situps need to be a bit quicker and I would’ve had 8 rds.  Amazing the difference a day can make my head was in the game and I came in knowing that I needed a good day to recover from yesterday’s performance.  And that’s what I need, sometimes my head won’t be in the game, but on those days I’ll come in and get the work done and try to mentally get into it.  Then on the days following those bad days you have to come in on a mission and bounce back.  I’m excited to get at it again tomorrow and then enjoy a great rest day on Saturday.  Success is about consistency, you show up and put the work in, everyday, no excuses and in the end you’ll end up successful.  I found this on Tumblr today and it has so much truth.

Home is where the whiteboard is

What is it that makes a gym feel like home?  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, trying to put my finger on what it is about a place that can make it the place that you belong, rather than just a place that you show up to.  I’ve been blessed that I’ve found multiple places over the past year that have really felt right to me.  Capital City Crossfit, the place where I started this crazy journey and the place that I still think of as my home affiliate.  When I traveled to see the family I visited Crossfit DNA and one visit was all it took to see that there is a great group of people there, and that I would be coming back to see them over and over again.  When I get back in a month I’ll be officially putting my name down as a full-time member there.  As my life transitions back to me being a Chicago area resident I can’t wait to be a part of this group and see them day in and day out again.  Coming out here to PA I met the guys from Crossfit Iron City, and more than once I’ve made the trip back to Pittsburgh to work out with them.  They are a great group of people there as well, and spending time with them I’ve been lucky that such a great group of people would welcome this Midwestern kid to be a part of their group.  Last but definitely not the least in this list is my newest group of people, Sports Evolution Crossfit.  This group transformed my experience in the gym here from a single pursuit to get in and get the work done, to a place where I look forward to going in everyday.  And a group that I’ll put off dinner for an extra hour so that I can stick around and cheer them on through a WOD, even one as fun as tonight’s, burpees and Kettlebell swings.  I’m sure they loved that one.

So what is it that has made me love each of these places, defiantly I’ve been blessed in this group that they are all led by great trainers, Brian, Zack, Jake, Blake, Jerod, and Allen you are all amazingly talented people, you know your stuff and you know how to communicate it well.  Your determination to get the best out of everyone that walks through the door, and accept no excuses for slacking off has driven me forward.  Having all of you in my corner has been a huge help to me and I owe a lot of my success over almost the last year and a half to your hard work.  The atmosphere that coaches like these have created also goes a long way to making the place feel like home.  I’ve been to each of these affiliates multiple times, and every time I show up I feel welcome, sometimes I recognize people from previous visits sometimes most of the people are new to me.  But always I hop right in and get to work, and spending time with the people there.  Everybody at these workouts have welcomed me into the group, even if it was my first time and we got down to work together as a group, not the group and that guy from out-of-town.  The last part of transforming an owner, group of people and a facility into a place that feels like home has to come from you.  I believe that it has a large part to do with you and how much of yourself you’re willing to put out there for others to see when you show up.  Embracing the people and tearing down any walls that you may have develops that sense of family and home, Crossfit is great for that.  The workouts we do are really good at breaking you down to your core and it’s in that moment where you’re struggling and exposed that those people around you see the person that you are, and you see who they are, and together you push forward to finish closer to one another than you could have ever become any other way.

Yoga Day One

Well I went in today and had my first Yoga experience.  Turns out that I have free Yoga classes with my membership to the gym, who knew? So I figured with less than a month left and with some friends telling me how much it could help I should give it a go.  Tonight’s Yoga class was called Power Yoga, and it was a full 90 minutes of work.  After getting myself set up we started to go and really it didn’t seem like it was an hour and a half long.  I did pretty good, at least that’s what they say.  I felt good during the class and at the end I really felt like my body had benefited from the challenge.  Turns out there’s another class tomorrow afternoon that I’m going to go to.  In order to work this in I did this instead of a second WOD and really I feel like this might be the more important thing that I do.  With my mobility issues being what they are beating myself up trying to push through a second Metcon just a little bit after the first seems like a dumb choice.  So tomorrow I’ll go in, get as much of Outlaw done as possible before getting the Yoga class done and if need be coming back to take on whatever’s left.  Then I’ll try to make sure that I don’t stick around for Metcon number 2 of the day.  The thing about that is that if I time it just right, I could Oulaw, Yoga, and do the class Metcon.  But do I really need to push my body to take on that?  Before I do anything tomorrow though I’m going to try to get in a chair massage, turns out that supposedly there will be someone doing them tomorrow till 3 so a pre workout massage, don’t mind if I do.

Four weeks to go

Today marks two pay periods till I’m no longer a Park Ranger for 2012.  This is the second to last pay period that I’m scheduled for and I am pretty excited to get back home.  The strictness of my intake has been pretty steady over the past few weeks but right now there’s some cheese in my fridge just calling my name.  I’m going to allow a couple other things.  I’ve been dreaming of a piece of ham for days so I’m thinking that I’ll buy ham and have some for breakfast.  Pretty much that’s the amount of the “cheats” that I’m desiring right now.  Cheese and ham, delicious goodness that will get in my belly.  I’m looking forward to trying a few new things this month too.  I found out that my membership includes Yoga classes, so I figured why not.  I’m hoping for a little help with core stability as well as some mobility.  It turns out that one time slot is right after I usually get done working out so it will make a great cool down.  I’ve never done Yoga before so I’m wondering what it will do, but I’ve heard some good things from other people that have worked it in.  At some point I’m really going to have to figure out a schedule to all this, I think there’s a limit to how much I can really expect of myself, I know that I don’t really have a life other than the gym, but at this point I’m almost spending enough time that I should just move in.  That means that this week I need to take some time to figure out my priorities in the gym, do I need to get the Outlaw done everyday, do the class wod, mobility, yoga, or active recovery.  Then I’ll have to work a schedule out and stick to it for the month.  Hopefully this week will give me a chance to test out a few things and then get everything worked out for the last few weeks till I’m back in Illinois.  Can’t wait to finish these last few weeks strong and see the family again.

Rest Day

What am I going to do with my rest day? Well this week I’m headed to see Argo.  I’m excited to see it because I’ve heard good things.  So a tiny little post tonight, an enjoyable movie later on and a day to let my body recover before I get back into it next week.  I’m officially under a month left here in PA.  Tomorrow I start my second to last schedule as a Park Ranger in 2012.  Have a great night everyone.


For the past few weeks as Sunday rolls around I’m less than motivated to go into the gym.  I’ve been fighting my Olympic lifts and on Sunday I have to try for a new one rep max.  I’ve been stuck at my current weights which I cannot even bring myself to share here because I feel they’re pathetic.  I don’t know what it is, I think that I need to go back to taking video and breaking it down.  I have a feeling that it’s in the hit at my hips.  I’m either not driving hard enough, or driving too far out and so I can’t get the weight into the correct position for me to receive it at the bottom.  Each week I go in and I work up to weights that I should be able to hit but I can’t.  It doesn’t help that on those days I’m working in the main part of the gym with metal plates and so everytime I fail it makes a huge noise and people are less than enthused.  Those days I really need to dig deep sometimes, there’s no one else there to push you, it’s all on what you’ve got inside.  Those are the days that while I’m frustrated there is also a victorious feeling inside of me.  My rule is 3 failed lifts and I’m done, so I push till I fail a weight 3 times.  At that point I move on, I’ve given what I have for that lift and there’s always more work to do.  So while my lifts aren’t where I want them to be and I’m not happy about it, I know that just means that I have more room to grow.  I’m going to start tearing apart my technique over these last few weeks out here and working on finding ways to get more weight up.  New PRs will come, and then I’ll be celebrating a sweet victory, because it wasn’t easy.  It shouldn’t be easy I’m just going to keep pushing through and in the end my success will be all the sweeter for it.

I haven’t put up a picture in forever, I was reading and decided to give an update shot of the beard growth, let me say it is in full effect these days.  It’s to the point that I catch it under the bar in the clean sometimes, I need to do something about that.