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.


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.

Friday Fun

Today I was sore, really sore, the kind you only experience when your rest day turns into practice your clean and jerk for two hours.  But after a slow start to the day I made it into the gym.  Once again I was flying solo for the 4pm class so I worked by myself and eventually the 5pm group came in early and cheered me on.  New 2rm for Dead-lift today – 425, failed a 435 attempt.  Going in I had put the over/under at 450 I really wanted that number but I was just too sore to get it.  Workout today was Hang clean thrusters, burpee over box jumps, and kettlebell swings.  Again Burpees show me that I’m not back to 100% as I struggled hard during them each round.   Finished off the night with a trip to the grocery store and came home with some Lamb chops that were on sale.  Excited to have these in the next couple days, also bought a Veal steak to try since I’ve never had it before.  With that out of the way let me rant for a second.


And yes you can read that screaming.  I haven’t had one since I went paleo in July of 2011, that’s right almost two years with none.  No I haven’t made a Paleo version, I really just have not missed them or wanted them at all.  But yesterday at the gym they were mentioned and ever since I’ve been craving them ridiculously   I think about them, in the grocery store they seemed to be everywhere.  I smell the sweetness of the glaze on them and I just want to eat a whole dozen.  No idea why, but I really want them badly.  And it’s not as though I could just say if I crave them this much I’ll have one, I’ve got three more weeks of Whole 30 before I can even think about a cheat.  What is wrong with me, guess I’ll add one to my eat a pound of bacon because you haven’t had it for a month meal when this thing is over.  I don’t know if this is what they were intending when the program was put together.  But this is ridiculous.  Now excuse me while I think thoughts of sugary glazed goodness and drool a little.  Just like Homer would.

Love from an Outlaw

I owe a big thanks to Rudy and his programming The Outlaw Way.  From the time I started following his blog in May to today I have been changed by his hard work programming and the challenge of taking on his challenges in the gym.  I owe you more than these few words of thanks, but I hope this can at least serve as a beginning to let him know how he was able to change my life this summer.

Without Rudy, his programming The Outlaw Way, and the people that follow it this summer could have turned out very different. Instead of having a summer of doing whatever and just kind of trying not to lose any of my skills from the first nine months of Crossfit I found a new determination to continually transform myself. Following The Way has given me confidence in my abilities to work out no matter where I end up and continue to get better at Crossfit exercises. It has also inspired me to do more competitions, because if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that it is my duty as an Outlaw to win everything. Rudy manages to get to the point and direct his coaching to whatever is happening with the group of followers and do so in a way that usually also brings a few laughs. He also gives programming that is rough, but somehow pulls you into it to see where you are at on that day. Going into the programming I had never really done a lot of Olympic lifting and even today my numbers aren’t impressive. But what is good is the confidence that the work has given me, the way in which my strength numbers have gone up, even while I’m leaning down. And the way that I was able to feel some sort of community from the comments on the board when I had no one here to offer that kind of support. It helped that I went to visit and the man welcomed me in and I had a good workout. Even mentioning my visit, and then later when I hit a week worth of crazy PRs sent me an email about it. Rudy I owe you a lot, I’m sure that many people say that but I have to offer my deepest thanks, for the programming, community, and even an awesome picture. You deserve all the attention you get and the appreciation of all of us over on the blog. Keep it up.


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.

Big weekend ahead

It’s been a slow day today, I actually almost didn’t write a post.  It’s hard not to get caught up in the basics of life and just think that there isn’t really anything that people might want to know about that happened that day.  Today I didn’t PR, didn’t finish my book, only had 40 visitors at the park, and did ok on the WOD but nothing special.  I didn’t cheat on the diet, and besides deciding to cut iced tea from my intake because I think I drink too much of it I didn’t do anything different.  So I guess you could call today the day of didn’t.  And I guess that’s worth mentioning.  It was a day where things went along, I did what I needed to, didn’t do anything I shouldn’t do and besides eating a huge dinner which may or may not have been more than I needed it was a day hardly worth noting.

This weekend however is looking to be a big deal.  Tomorrow night I had planned to go to see Finding Nemo, well that is going to have to be pushed back a day.  Because one of the couples at Sports Evolution Crossfit is having a get together at their house. So I’m going to be social instead.  Following that up on Sunday I’m headed to Pittsburgh for my first Paleo meet up.  and while I’m there I’ll hit up one more WOD at my favorite box in town, Crossfit Iron City.  Afterwards I’ll go ahead and see the movie.  I should maybe try to find a place to shower I guess.  That may turn into an issue since I don’t have any ideas where I could get cleaned up.  So if you live in Pittsburgh and you don’t mind a guy coming to shower at your place you should let me know.  Because I’ll be in need of a shower I’m sure.  During the afternoon I don’t have any plans so I’m thinking it will be a Nemo filled afternoon and then off to meet up with new Paleo friends.  Also I currently have three pies in the oven.  One for tomorrow, One for Sunday, and one as an experiment and because I love pumpkin pie.  Here’s a shot of the crusts, and of them headed into the oven.

I have a lot to be thankful for

Yet another day in the park with very few other people has given me even more time to think.  As I looked back as this summer and tried to come to terms with my time here ending shortly I was struck by just how much I have to be thankful for in these last few months.  I have grown a lot, overcome challenges, established new routines to replace old, found a source of drive from within that I wasn’t sure was there before I left, and came to look out over the edge of this cliff that is coming up with excitement rather than fear.


I have grown more than I thought I would in these months.  Since leaving Illinois I have had to reestablish myself in a new place, with new people, and find a place among a new set of coworkers.  All of this has taken place while still trying to keep up with the changes in personal life that come when you lose almost half your bodyweight.  I have found new friends, but also reestablished my individuality in ways that has been both good and bad.  I have found myself happy being alone again, not needing others around me for enjoyment and actively seeking out time to spend by myself many times.  This has been good, and it has been out of necessity in many ways.  Without the comfort I have rediscovered I might have gone crazy out here.  My life is quite literally dominated by work, working out, and being in housing.  I don’t do much else, and before the opening of Sports Evolution Crossfit I worked out alone.  At times this was a lonely existence, but while I did miss people I also learned to be comfortable alone.  This is going to make my return all the better because I’m excited to see people who previously I took for granted.


Being here I have also overcome challenges and established myself in a new work environment.  Learning the history of not one but two new parks was challenging, learning to do the living history programs and to work with people who I had little in common with was difficult but good for me.  Coming away from the experience I can honestly say that I have made new friends, and feel comfortable moving to a new park and going through the process again.  It has been a big help professionally and personally and will allow me to overcome many other parts of my professional development as I progress.


Lastly I started a new workout program and have seen huge gains in my life from it.  I have had to teach myself new lifts, push myself past my limits when there was no one there to see if I was slacking off, and work day in and day out to get better.  This past week has shown the fruit of that hard work, I have had a new personal record everyday of testing this week, many of them by a large amount.  Things that I couldn’t even do before I came out here I can no do and do them okay.  I look forward to getting back to Illinois and seeing the people who have been a huge part of this journey and showing them just how far I have come.  At this point in the journey you have to take pride in all the little victories and to have a week of them has been huge.  I’m really excited to see what happens in the next cycle of programming.


Overall I’m blessed, and this week has shown that to me more and more.  Sometimes it’s easy to complain but when you look at just how far you’ve come it’s time to be a man and show some thankfulness even for all the hard times.

Strict Paleo and still hittin PR’s

Going into this month I was curious as to how my body would react to the scaling back of my intake.  Turns out my body is fine with it in week 2.  It’s testing week for those of us that follow The Outlaw Way and Rudy has been putting us through our paces.  Yesterday was Jerk and a run through Diane.  Today was Back Squat, Burpees in one minute, Muscle Ups in one minute and a mile run.  I hit a PR in the Back Squat and on the run.  I don’t know if you can count that I’ve never only done one minute of Burpees as a PR but if so then I hit three PR’s today by default.  I was really gunning for a 385 squat but my hips kept driving up early and throwing me forward. I’ll take my 375, which is a PR for me.  I’ve done a shallow 380 before but as that’s not to depth it’s a no rep.  Since coming out here my Squat is up 30 pounds, and all my lifts have seen improvements.  For as much as a hate to run, knocking almost a full minute of my best mile time was another big win for me.  Running the track that has 17 laps making a little more than a mile I did the full laps in 7:52, which according to the people there makes my mile 7:40-45 approx.  Last best was an 8:36 mile.  How’s that for winning? I feel like I should celebrate but I’ll hold that off till I finish the week and get a full PR total.

Thoughts today:

-Really need to keep my hips down in the squat, I have the strength for that illusive 400lb squat in there somewhere I just need to work on technique.

-A clean house is a nice house.

-I love pumpkin, I’ll eat it all the time and it’s pretty low carb so I don’t feel bad when I do.

-I’m looking leaner and leaner.

-Crossfit competition in Pittsburgh in October, if I’m still here I should compete, maybe I’ll meet Christmas and she will realize that I’m the one for her.

-I’m becoming more at peace with my situation here, there’s nothing I can do about it, and while I’d like to know how much longer I’ll have a job I’m dealing.  Side note: do you need a park ranger that makes awesome paleo food and loves to crossfit at your workplace? Hook a brother up then.


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