End of the year, what comes next?

Well here I sit, it’s early afternoon I’m in a Brooklyn apartment in NYC, I’ve been cleaning and packing and listening to some of the shows from the last couple nights again.  It has me wondering what this year has been, and with a blog title such as mine this time of year means something special I guess.  The last year has been one that did not go anywhere near the way I thought it would.  Had you asked me on 12/31/11 what 2012 would have been like I would have talked about finding a Ranger job, moving across the country and settling in.  I would have mentioned something about settling down with someone and looking to start what I likely would have called “grown up life” but that’s not really the way it worked out.  In 2012 I returned to customer service work for a short time while I was a barista for Starbucks, a job I would like to go back to at some point I might add.  I did move across the country for a job, but only for six months and I learned much about self motivation, self discovery, and what it takes to keep going when there’s nobody there to keep you’re slacking in check.  I studied more about the science behind the Paleo Diet, I had a date with a fellow paleo eater.  I did not however settle down, and my love life continues to taunt me with it’s failures.  I made many new PR’s I was published in a magazine, hung out with Rudy and became an Outlaw.  I learned that I have lots to work on if I really want to push it to the next level.  I also learned that I have come a very long way in a very short time and sometimes I need to let myself catch up to that fact.  There are many times that I still have the fat kid image in my head, and that’s not what I am anymore.  So what’s in store for 2013, well that’s a good question.

-Becoming an L1 CrossFit coach

-Teaching

-Being an awesome uncle

-Taking time to appreciate the new life that I have.

-Lifting lots of heavy things

-Getting better at MetCons

-Passing on this amazing transformation in my life to others.

-Being thankful for everyday.

Hard to believe that this year is already over, best wishes on 2013, and have a safe night celebrating everyone.

 

Closing out the year with the family

Tonight I shared what will be my last meal with the family in 2012.  Today was the nephew’s birthday and we had a great meal, shared a lot of laughs, and everyone seemed to have a good time.  Now I’m basically done packing for tomorrow and I’m ready to fly out to NYC for a few days of fun.  I love my nephews they’re just really way too funny and sometimes like tonight when they’re good it’s great to be around them.  At the end of the meal I spent some time with the younger of the two and we took a few pictures to end the year.  Here they are, you can tell he’s a good looking kid and that he’s a lot of fun to be around.

2012-12-27 20.52.23 2012-12-27 20.52.30

And like that I’m back

Wow, I can’t believe that such a break has come to my writing on this thing.  I guess moving cross country, seeing family members you haven’t seen in six months and learning that your sister is going to have her first baby can distract a guy.  So this one will be a bit of a catch all of the last two weeks and then I’ll need to make sure to keep talking about what is going on.  First I came home to spend the holidays with the family and to job hunt.  So I am back in the great Chicago area, if you would like to invite me to visit your affiliate and do a WOD I’d love to drop by, or you can come see me at Crossfit DNA in Dyer, IN.  That’s my new home and the group there has been great.  Jake is an exceptional coach and I’m really liking getting to be a part of a new crew day in and day out.  Also being around the family has been great and I’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone more often than I have been able to in years.  I also have started to make a connection with a lady and while it’s early I think that we are having fun.  Now if only I could get her to eat better and do CrossFit.  Is it sad that these are the things that make me doubt the long term potential of this thing?

I’m still on the hunt for work but there have also been developments on that front as well.  This winter I’m getting my Cert and I’m going to be a CrossFit coach, I’m also going to look for other work in the classroom and get some experience teaching.  I think that I want to teach Jr High, and the plan is that I’ll do that and coach for a couple years.  In 2015 I want to open my own affiliate.  That will give me time to raise capital and scout locations to settle.  So if you’re an owner and you think you might want a guy with a sweet beard and a pretty interesting story we should talk.  I’m also going to be doing some other training such as getting my EMT this winter and looking forward to next summer and figuring out if I’m going to head east again or land somewhere else.  This is a huge change because to be honest I had decided that I would always be a Park Ranger, but the situation in the service right now just makes me think that I need to step away for a bit.  I may return at some point but for now it seems like a permanent job is just not to be.

The past two weekends I have done some other pretty great things.  Last weekend I competed in a competition at my old affiliate and got 5th.  I would have been higher but burpee box jumps hate me and I did horrible in the first WOD, I got second in the other one but it still wasn’t enough to get me a top three.  Yesterday I participated in the Mustache Clash and helped raise over $4000 for Cancer treatment with the crew at CrossFit Bloomington Normal.  Thanks to The Tiki for getting me to come out for it, I had a great time and there are some pictures and videos coming I’m sure.  Lastly I’m also working for the social media side of things for Blonyx, so if you’re in the market for supplements talk to me I’ll hook you up with a discount.

Down to the last few days

It’s odd realizing that the day that I’ve looked forward to for so long is almost here.  I  will be hanging out with my family by this time next week.  Seeing the people that I haven’t spent any time with since the spring and getting giant hugs from my nephews who I’m sure have grown to be gigantic in my absence.  Time here in PA has been really good for me and I’m appreciative for everything that I’ve learned about myself and where I’m headed.  I’ve accomplished a lot while I have been here, met new people, and been a part of the growth of a new Crossfit Affiliate.  I’ve also learned new skills in the workplace and taken on some things that I didn’t know that I could master.  I’m looking forward to getting back with the family, establishing myself with a new group of people at Crossfit DNA and looking into what the next big adventure will be.  I’m not entirely sure what it will be yet, but there’s lots of doors I’m sure one will open.

Like pretty much everyday I did my workout for Outlaw, today we had a number of things programmed including some pause front squats,  I filmed myself today just to see how it looked and here they are, I hope they don’t look too horrible, I actually think they look alright.

Sometimes you just have to do something weird

Today was one of those days for those of us that follow Outlaw.  Five over the box jumps with lateral jumps between.  I’m not going to talk too much about the workout, it was hard, I didn’t have a lot of fun and it was one of those days that my inner fat kid came out and decided that I wasn’t going to be able to do this very fast.  I did however take video, but didn’t get the shot of me basically landing in a sit on top of the fourth box.  So here it is, enjoy and please remember that we need to have fun.  Sometimes our coaches take that to heart and program things that make us look pretty ridiculous to remind us of that.

Getting set for my first local Competition

Moustache Clash 2012

Well I’m registering for my first local competition this week.  I need to figure out if I’m going Rx or Scaled so I haven’t filled out the form yet.  I really want to jump in Rx because let’s face it, you need to Go Big or Go Home.  If there’s one lesson that I can take from my Outlaw brothers and sisters  it is that I need to dominate everything.  So I’ll likely put on my big boy pants, jump into the deep end and see if I can swim.  So far the first two events are announced.  First is Bombs Away, sounds awesome right? Well it is, have you ever been so frustrated you want to throw your kettlebell across the room, well now you can, except it’s not across the room but rather in a field event style outdoor area.  Stand in a 4x4ft box, and throw your kettlebell for distance into the cone shaped area.  Longest throw wins, as a former field athlete I kind of think this might be something I’m good at.  But I don’t have a place to practice throwing kettlebells right now so I’ll have to figure that one out.  I don’t think I’ll be shotputing it, but I’m thinking the double handed over the back launch might be the key.  Here’s the demo video:

 Second event was just announces yesterday, thanks to Zack and his Strongman Sunday programming I’ve got some experience with heavy Farmer’s Carry.  Zack’s determination to make me better at picking up heavy stuff off the ground is going to go a long way in this one.  Rx for men is 112lbs in each hand, so 224lbs total.  One attempt, walk as far as you can.  I need to get in some practice with this in the next couple weeks, but I don’t see this being a problem for me.  Here’s the demo video for this one:

 The last three events are, The Big Move, Sled Dog, and X + Y those will be released in the next few weeks and I’m interested to see what they are, but I’m really excited to take this on.  And let’s be honest, who will bring better facial hair than me to this thing, nobody.  The Red Sea will be in full effect on December 8 when I bring my Outlaw mandate to Crossfit Bloomington Normal and show those midstate kids what’s up.

I’ll leave you with last year’s highlight video:

Interview for Crossfit Radio

My interview is up on Crossfit Radio.  It was great talking to Justin and then to top that off I got a PR on my box jump.  Another 5 inches and I’m so close to hitting a 40″ jump.  Can’t wait to break into the 40s.  Take a listen to the interview and hear a bit about my story.

My Interview

Box Jump PR

Failed

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.

Frustration

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.