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.
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.
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.
Day four and I feel like for the most part I’m over the hump getting into the grove of this Whole 30. I had three good meals, a small snack of Almonds and capped the day off with a little bakers Chocolate. I love that i can eat 100% it means that for this month I don’t have to exclude it completely from my diet. During the day today I spent some time at my buddy Space’s house, a few weeks ago I hung a bunch of drywall at his new place so it was good to see it finished and him moved in. We hung a couple shelves for his Star Wars collection and then ran around town a bit. Time to put some work in at the gym. It is my active recovery/skill day so into Crossfit DNA I went for about an hour or mobility followed by a skill class working on the clean, and finishing up with more practice on the clean and jerk. Walking out at 7:30 I was surprised that I had spent 2 1/2 hours there and was pretty starving. I’ve been meaning to make the Salmon Cakes from Practical Paleo for a while so I gave them a go tonight. They are pretty good, and I have three more saved for breakfast tomorrow. In terms of a broader look at my life, I’m still on the job hunt and trying to stay positive. There’s a few leads for long term subs here in Chicago, and I’m hoping that I get into the classroom that way soon. Then I’m looking at finding a classroom to call my own somewhere in the fall and hoping that I’ll land somewhere close so that I can stay near the family. Pretty good day overall and I’m mostly back to normal from the cold that I came down with post NYC. Now to take on prep for the next competition on January 19. I’m excited again playing double duty as a judge for the ladies division and competitor. Also I’ll be repping the supplement Blonyx that I’m working with and passing out some Kill Cliff that I was sent as well. Pretty sweet deal overall. Can’t wait for the next competition of 2013.
Whole 30 day 3 and I have to say that I’m feeling pretty good. Other than having some headaches from the lower coffee consumption it has been pretty good. Even took on a pretty rough WOD and did pretty well. Today’s intake good with some good home cooked food and a snack of some pumpkin seeds. I love those things and they are a great snack when you need a little something. On the job front my hunt continues, current ranger applications are in for a position in Kentucky doing Educational groups, and in California in a year round seasonal position. Where the job would be permanent every year but would be limited to at least 26 weeks but no more than 48. I’m trying to keep my head up and the longer that this thing goes on the more that I’m just trying to find other areas to focus my energy on to that I don’t get discouraged. The Whole 30 is helping that some by giving me a chance to try new recipes and to work on thinking about my day and what I’m doing. I only hope that sometime soon I’ll get a phone call about a job and that I can find some direction on the future.
Every 30 sec for 5 min – 1 Power Snatch, then Every 30 sec for 5 min – 1 Power Clean
15 min AMRAP
5 Double KB Clean and Jerk
2 lengths Walking Lunges with 45# sandbag
10 Pull Ups
20 Squats with 45# sandbag
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.
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.
I’ve been following Outlaw for my six months out here and there are still things that I just can’t do yet. I’m working hard on getting the different required movements down but it has been a long road and it is difficult to keep in mind that I’m still pretty new at a lot of these things. In some ways I expected that by now I wouldn’t have much to learn but I’m humbled day in and day out at the areas that I can still improve greatly. It’s been a great year but as I get closer and closer to the end of this one I’m confronted by a set of goals that I haven’t yet achieved. I think that maybe things this year were a bit to ambitious in some areas and in others the move, and a change in priorities in my training may have limited my chances to achieve them. But I have learned so many things in this past year I’m trying to stay positive and focus on that. Also I’m looking at my progress in the things that I have learned. Today I hit 21 ub Double Unders which is the most that I’ve ever done. They felt really good too, more and more practice and I’ll be getting longer strings of them I’m sure. I’m excited to get back into a more normal mode of training as well. I love following Outlaw but I’m not sure that I’ll keep it going when I get back to Illinois. The programming there takes a lot of elements of Rudy’s training and scales them down to a more normal level. That would allow me to go back to doing most of my work Rx, and it would let me do the work that the classes are doing. And working out with others always feels better. So I can improve by adding in extra training on those things that I need help in. Getting better at my Doubles, getting Handstand Pushups, Handstand Walks, and Muscle Ups down. And I can focus on doing more competitions over the winter. The road from where I started to here has been a long one, but the road from here to where I want to end up is a long one as well.
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.
I have now been working out at Sports Evolution Crossfit for a month now. I am still doing my programming through The Outlaw Way so my actual class WODs are limited but I’m still in there with the group and I do a few workouts with them a week. It has made a big difference in how I feel walking into the gym. It is easy to take what Crossfit brings to the table for granted. For the first ten months of this change in my life I went to Capital City and saw the same crew day in and day out. I got to know those people, struggled through the workouts, got to look forward to seeing Jill’s boys the St. Bernard’s in the back of her car, shared stories of triumph and struggle day in and day out. Then I moved here, a new challenge awaited me. Working out at the Summit meant that I didn’t know anyone here, passing the cardio room and finding an area past the machines to get to work I put in my headphones and tried my best to do the programming with the tools at hand. Going in without those people there made for some days that the motivation just wasn’t there. On the hardest days I struggled to push myself past my limits, no one knew if I cut it short. Nobody was there to see that I was letting my technique slip and cheating myself out of the benefits of the movements. For the first four months I was here my time in the gym was my time alone. Honestly I don’t think I know the name of a single person at that gym. The people at the front desk all know me, I’m there six days a week how can they not, but the people that workout in the weight room I have no idea who they are, and they don’t know me either. My ipod became my only friend while working and trying to get through each day seemed to get longer and longer. Then over a month ago Sports Evolution opened, they welcomed me to come do my work in their part of the gym and everything changed. I can’t explain how much better I feel about walking into the gym now. I look forward to seeing Allen, Jerod and the rest of the crew. I try to share some of the knowledge I’ve gotten over the last year, and to encourage them to push through. When we work out together we push each other and I love it. Getting back into a Crossfit routine has been great, I feel more motivated to work out, and on Sundays when I’m working out alone again I can tell that there’s a different feeling about that workout compared to the rest of the week. In these past few weeks I have already developed a bond that I know will come with me back to Illinois, and if I get asked to come back here for next season you can bet that I’ll be back at it with the group again, looking forward to seeing how the months I spent away have changed the people that go there day in and day out. The community aspect of Crossfit is amazing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, without it I can promise you that I would not be where I am today. So thank you to everyone at Capital City and now at Sports Evolution, I owe you a lot.
I wanted to take a moment and just write a list of all of the things that have happened to me in the last year, some good and some not so good but all essential to getting me where I am today. It’s going to be quite a list I’m sure, so let’s get started.
-Finished Student teaching, after five years I graduated college.
-Earned two Bachelor’s degrees and a teaching license.
-Left my first Ranger job at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
-Spent six weeks unemployed.
-Went to work for Starbucks, met awesome people and learned a bit about myself.
-Applied for over 200 Ranger positions all over the country, spent nervous days hoping to hear back.
-Competed in the Crossfit Open, was shown that I am definitely not elite.
-Started going to Strongman Sunday, embraced lifting odd heavy things a lot.
-Flipped my first tire
-Ran my first mile.
-Came in second in my first Paleo Challenge
-Did my first pull up.
-Spent New Year’s in NYC with some awesome people and a band called Phish.
-Attended my first Paleo meet up.
-Visited numerous other Crossfit Affiliates, met great people and learned about how other people have been changed by Crossfit.
-Was interviewed for a yet to be published article for the Crossfit Journal.
-Met Rudy from Outlaw, tried not to Fanboy out too much.
-Had The Outlaw Way kill me day in and day out and keep going back for more.
-Visited Richmond for the first time.
-Saw Washington D. C. if only through the eyes of my windshield as I made my way through traffic.
-Wrote my first book review, and was asked to do a second one.
-Started this little blog and got into the habit of writing almost every day.
-Went strict paleo again and experienced the effects of putting more structure in my life.
-Learned to sleep on a twin size bed again.
-Had three shots at dating different ladies, all did not end well.
-Rode my first roller coaster in over eight years.
-Visited my brother at school, got closer with him over the rest of the summer.
-Competed in my first Beard Competition.
-Learned to hew logs and cut stone by hand.
-Bought a used car, learned the joys of used car ownership firsthand.
-Tackled the highs and lows of being far away from family, grew to appreciate them much more than I have before.
-Lost a friend to an ultimatum.
-Learned that an on and off ex of mine is engaged to her current guy, still processing that one.
-Experienced jealousy about another friend that I didn’t know I had feelings for.
-Went back to NYC, saw some stuff, got a parking ticket.
-Had my first real paleo date, that’s a topic for another post.
-Attended the September 11 commemorative service at Flight 93 National Memorial, sat next to the representatives of the flight crew.
-Found a new Crossfit Affiliate to attend here in PA, met a whole new group of people to struggle with day in and day out.
-Starting to do double workouts to try to push myself even further.
-Turned 30, became an old man.
-Learned to coupon and work inside a budget.
-Stopped drinking, don’t know that I’ll go back.
-Rediscovered my love of cooking.
-Lived with a cat again, why do people do this to me?
-Was in only 1 wedding now that I’ve lost all this weight.
-Went to my first Major League Baseball game since I was a kid, had great seats and went with my parents which were the best company for the game I could have asked for.
-Attended concerts, slept in my truck, and enjoyed the best of Pittsburgh life more than once this summer.
I’m sure that there are many more things worthy of this list, this past year has been full of an amazing amount of experiences that I can’t even think of them all. The people in my life have managed to help me to get the most out of every one, there’s too many of you to list, maybe I’ll get to a post where I thank each of you. But you have all been a huge part of my last year, I can’t say thank you enough because I owe you all a lot.