Where have I been for a week?

I’ve been gone for a little bit here and it wasn’t on purpose I promise.  Over the weekend I went skiing and had a good time with friends.  That part of not writing anything I actually kind of expected.  Lots of things going on taking 35 high school kids to go ski.  I cooked 10 pounds of bacon, and thanks to the Whole 30 I didn’t have a single bite.  I brought my own meals and worked hard to make sure that I was following the straight and narrow while gone.  But the entire weekend I didn’t feel all that great, and I knew that looming close was my case of the flu coming back full force.  And boy did it come back.  If you think that doing a Whole 30 is no fun, try doing it while sick when all you want is some comfort foods and to lay there miserable.  I’ve been fighting it, but today I broke down and bought some medicine to handle this cough I’ve been having.  Not to be kept down though I still made it into the gym everyday this week.  Tuesday I was able to hit a new PR on the full clean and jerk at 205.  Last week I got 220 doing Power Cleans and Push Jerks so I know there’s more there.  Just couldn’t get under it quick enough the way I’ve been feeling.  I even cut the beard this week to accept two new jobs.  I’ll be working for Mariano’s Grocery Stores and also as a substitute for Chicago Public Schools.  Can’t wait to feel better, this Whole 30 while sick, blows.


Digging deep and pushing past

Pushing past your barriers seems like a never ending experience for me in the last year and a half.  From the time that I first walked into Capital City CrossFit I knew that there was a long road ahead, and throughout I’ve been working to conquer the road ahead.  Often it has felt like a never ending uphill battle.  The little victories are all that I have sometimes, the last couple months there has been nothing but barriers in my head.  I wonder what it is that keeps me going, and everytime I come back to the community of people that I’m now a part of.  Day in and day out the people around me keep me going, to honor that community I struggle and work to get through the problem areas that I have.  The support of these people day in and out helps me through the struggle and I owe them for everything I’ve been able to accomplish.  Going forward I’m going to keep pushing and go past the barriers that I have now.  I owe it to everyone there with me deserve my best efforts, and I’m going to keep on going till I can’t do another rep.  Finding that strength inside will help me to do more and be better everyday, and the people around me will hopefully see new PRs from me as I keep going forward.

Icebreather Classic recap

I feel like I’m just getting back to normal at the end of the day after yesterday.  What an experience the day was.  I can honestly say that I had a blast, but it wore me out.  Walking into Capital City CrossFit I knew I was in for a marathon of a day but I don’t know that I had prepared myself for it fully.  In the end I’m going to try and highlight some of the best moments of the day.  First was actually being a competitor myself with the best guy I could imagine taking on the day with, Tony, you did great and we did our best I can honestly say that.  P1010613

Here we are kicking off WOD 1 with our 50 Cal row.  For a couple guys that didn’t get to practice the movements together to put a strategy together based off that I really think we did well.  And for two big boys those broad jumps were not our strongest thing but we still did great.  The second WOD we took on Wall Walks which I hate and were the death of me.  I failed four attempts to get my second round done and that killed us for that I’m sorry man, but you are the best, if there’s another chance to team up, we need to do it again.

Secondly was judging, I loved meeting all the pairs that I was judging and although in some of the female heats I had a bit of a creeper feeling as I was staring at your midsections to make sure you were getting your bellybuttons to the wall it was still a great time.  You all did great and the Rx women were crazy impressive.  You intimidated me to no end, and more than one of you I would’ve killed to ask out at the end of the day.  Seeing the hard work you put in inspires me to keep on pushing and getting better.  I can’t wait to take some of you on as competition again.  2013 is going to be a year full of me killing it whenever I can in competitive exercising.

Third was the chance to be the eyes and ears for two companies and talk about their products and rep them a bit, as well as hashtag them as much as possible.  Seriously it felt like it was a AMRAP hashtag for Blonyx and KillCliff.  I hope that I did you both proud and that you will give me the chance to rep you again at things.  Let me just throw this one out there for you both, North Central Regional dual company booth.  You let me know and I’ll be there to pass out swag and rep your companies to the best of my abilities.  I loved talking you up, and the people couldn’t get enough of the Tasty that KillCliff sent me, seriously it was gone by the time the first heat started.  I wish I had gotten cases of the stuff to sell, I would’ve made a mint.  I am hoping to do more with both companies, currently I’m an affiliate for Blonyx, they have great recovery through their HMB, and I’m going to start taking the HMB with Creatine for strength gains going into the open.

At the end of the day we gave away a lot of great stuff to the winning teams, including gift cards to Blonyx, Rogue Fitness and a can of Kill Cliff.  

Leaving after 12 hours I was exhausted and hadn’t really eaten anything all day.  A quick stop for some food and I was headed back home.  This trip back to Springfield was far too short but I’ll be back soon, and hopefully this time it will be just to hang out, spend far too much time playing at Capital City CrossFit and will include a fun Strongman Sunday of picking up heavy things.  I can’t say enough about how awesome this experience was, and if you have a competition coming up in the midwest, make sure to let me know.



What a day, the Icebreather Classic

Wow what a day, after spending 12 hours at Capital City running around between competing, judging other divisions and doing social media for Blonyx and KillCliff to promote their products I am a beat man.  I’m back at home and I will post a full recap tomorrow but let me say that it was an amazing time and that I had a blast.  I can’t wait to do it again, and I’m going to leave this post with a couple pictures of me doing my thing during the WODs.

Prepping to Compete

Tomorrow I’m headed down to Springfield for the first competition of 2013, and my first team competition ever.  Tony and I will be in the Intermediate division of the Icebreather Classic at Capital City CrossFit.  First event has already been announced and based on it I’m hopeful of our chances to do well.  Tony and I are pretty similar so in terms of strategy in team making we didn’t really think it through.  If WOD 2 has burpees or a long run we are done for, but for now I’m a good rower, and I’m pretty good at the other movements.

WOD 1:

For Time: 
  • 50 Calorie Row
  • 40 Standing Broad Jumps (6’/4′)¹
  • 30 Toes to Bar²
  • 20 Hang Snatches (95/63)³
The 50 Calorie Row may be broken up in any manner the team wishes, this can include 1 teammate rowing the whole 50 Calories
¹Standing Broad Jumps are to be broken up in any increment the team desires, with each person performing at least 1 rep
²Toes to Bar are to be completed in any increment the team desires, with each person performing at least 1 rep. While one person is performing the reps, the other person must be hanging from the bar
³Hang Snatches are to be completed in any increment the team desires, with each person completing at least one rep. While one partner is performing snatches, the other partner must be in a chin-over-the-bar hold. Their chin may not contact the bar at any time.

 Time will tell how things play out during the day but I’m really excited to get back into town and put some work in with my boy Big T.  I’m also crashing at his place with his pretty awesome lady and two dogs, so it’s going to be a fun time all around.  After the way that I’ve been feeling lately this is just what I need.  Not to get too negative but when on the job hunt and things seem pretty bleak it’s hard to keep yourself motivated sometimes and pushing yourself in other areas of life.  I wonder if the Whole 30 has helped or hurt in that area.  I’m going to venture to guess that it’s a bit of both.  It has kept me from going crazy on “paleo treats” and such and made sure that I’m watching what I’m eating.  But at the same time there’s some comfort that comes from some of that so it’s been hard.  At the same time I’m over the hump with it so I’m not feeling like I’m missing a lot.  Although I will admit to secretly dreaming of a meal consisting of a pound of bacon on day 31.  I don’t care if anything else appears in that meal I just want bacon.  Actually I take that back, I want Coffee, Bacon, and Chocolate.  Even though I have had a little bit of 100% Cocoa, there’s still nothing like a quality dark chocolate bar.  And I’ll be dominating some pumpkin stuff too that first week.  I don’t know what but it will be big.  So this weekend there will be lots of pictures, laughs with friends, and a few dirty words as I lift heavy stuff, work my hardest and try to bring one home for the team.  I’m looking forward to it, and then who knows, maybe I’ll come home to find one of my many applications have brought some fruit to this job hunt.

New challenges ahead

So this post was originally going to be about my childhood.  The challenges of growing up big, and the struggles I had overcoming that mindset as I grew older.  But all that changed just a few minutes ago.  I had a conversation with my Mom about a program that one of the daughters of a coworker is in.  I took a look at the program and I’m very excited to say that I am going to be applying for this.  As someone that has already finished my teaching certification this offers a chance to get my Master’s in Urban Education.  But more importantly than that it offers the chance to make an impact in the Urban Schools that are struggling in Chicago.  The Program is the Academy for Urban School Leadership, and it’s a one year program that would have me in the classroom four days a week with one day spent in graduate classes.  The program uses a variety of things to promote achievement, and to develop the skills of the teachers in the classroom.  Working with a mentor throughout the year I would get to perfect my skills and learn about how to run an urban classroom.  But most exciting to me is the chance to use technology in the classroom.  I have their promo video about something they call the TCH channel where videos of various members of the program are put up to highlight the best practices, and the exceptional work that is being done.  Take a look: 

 I’m really excited to move forward on this, not only is it a chance to build my roots deeper here in Chicago now that I’m with family again, but to make an impact in the area that I call home, and to learn how to be the most effective teacher possible  So sorry for this post not containing anything fitness related, I’m too excited about this.

Working on that Snatch

Today I was once again flying solo in the gym at 3pm.  I swear if I didn’t know better I would think that I must smell or something, because lately I’m doing the WOD alone more often than I’m working with others.  But I came in and after some mobility and warmup it was 15 minutes to get a new 1RM Snatch from the hi-hang.  I’m still doing split since I can’t get to full depth in the overhead position.  I started at 75 not sure how high I would go but I hit 150, and failed an attempt at 155 before time ran out.  Since 150 was my best pull from the floor before I made the switch to split snatches and started working with Jake I’m thinking that it might be time to do another max effort and see where I land.  This month is all about pushing myself in multiple areas so taking on a new PR attempt would be good for me.  I’ll have to talk to Jake and see when I can work the attempt into the programming.  My day was solid overall, with good food, lots of job applications and sorting books to sell to make some extra cash.  These posts seem very boring to me as I haven’t really done much that seems worth mentioning to me.  Tomorrow I’m going to sell the books back, take on the last WOD before skill day, and pack to get myself ready to compete this weekend.  The first WOD for the partner competition was announced and tomorrow I’m going to talk about the WOD and what strategy I may use to take it on.

Week 2 begins

Whole 30 week two has begun, and it’s a good kick off when I get to spend some time with the nephews, play a little more MarioKart and have a good evening working on reading.  The older nephew is in Kindergarten and he needs help with his reading.  So Uncle Steve and the boy had a good time working on on his list of words.  It did a lot to make me feel better, and spending the day working on job applications also helped.  Getting back into CrossFit DNA was a good workout programmed and after knocking that out and having a good daily intake I can say that while I do miss a couple things, the prospect of pairing eggs and chili for breakfast has me as a big fan.  No new PR’s to announce or other such things but overall I think that as the second week begins I can say that I’m feeling pretty good about everything.  I’m leaner than I was and I have good energy, and I’m still playing with some things but overall I’m happy.  Now if only someone would offer this guy a job I could be all set.  With that I’m getting off this thing and winding down to get to bed early tonight.

Week 1 recap

2013-01-13 17.13.06

Sunday night and it’s almost midnight but I have to get this post in to keep myself going on this.  Whole 30 week 1 is in the books and I’ve learned a few things.  First my body is starting to normalize itself and I have way more even energy throughout the day now that my coffee consumption is lower.  I think it’s time that I switch to decaf when this thing is over if I’m going to have any coffee after lunch.  I still love the taste of a good cup of coffee but I’m also learning to appreciate herbal teas so I may have found my substitute there.  Also I’m snacking much less and finding myself to have a better level of fullness throughout the day, I kind of expected this.  So that’s good to see it happen, for a while I felt like I was eating like a horse and it was good to see that I could go to smaller meals but still feel full and not need to snack.  I’m also trying to stay with as little fruit as possible and so far I’ve only had one Larabar this week and one thing of applesauce.  So I’m doing well there, I’ve been having more sweet potatoes, and today I made mashed pumpkin which actually was kind of an experiment that turned out really well.  I’m also getting more variety into my intake by introducing different things and I’m enjoying that as well.  Sunday is a rest day for me so no workout to talk about, and I have to say that I am loving the chance to just chill out for a while and let myself recover.  On Saturday I have my first team competition so I’ll be back in Springfield, can’t wait to get back down there and see how I do in this one.  Also looking forward to taking on another week at DNA and getting into the swing of things now that my body seems to have straightened itself out for the most part.

Thoughts on the past

Lately I’ve been thinking about my past a lot, what it was like growing up, accomplishments, failures, and the like.  I’ve really been wanting to talk about more than the tediousness of everyday life lately.  To be honest there has not been much to report on, and I feel like this thing can very easily take on a negative tone if I’m not careful.  Growing up for me like many other people was full of it’s ups and downs.  I had always been a big kid, I don’t think that I can remember a time when I wasn’t considered large for my age.  Even during a short period between eighth grade and my sophomore year when I was somewhat smaller I wasn’t what you would consider little.  I was a 200 plus pound freshman, and as a sophomore I wrestled 215.  I tried to play sports but wasn’t very athletic until my last couple years of high school when I was what you could consider an average athlete.  As you could expect I had a dual personality about it at times.  Putting on a front of being somewhat outgoing, all the while worried about what people really thought about me, and what they said I was like when I wasn’t around.  To be honest that sticks with me even today.  I’m often worried about how I was recieved in a situation after I leave it.  That insecurity is something that I still have to work to overcome.  I am often found in my small group of friends that I’m comfortable with, not wanting to push outside of that group for fear that I will not be looked at favorably.  Over the next couple weeks I’m going to try to talk about different times in my life more specifically, but for now I’ll just leave this post with a promise to push myself to be more comfortable in social situations and to try to be more open with people in my real life interactions.  For now, how about a picture of a younger me.

me and lindsey