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.

Advertisements

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:

Some things just take time

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.

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

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.