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Crossfit Open 2014 – 14.2

5 Weeks.  5 WODs.  

Disclaimer:  I am not an elite Crossfit athlete, there was never a time in this competition that a shot a regionals was even remotely on my radar, but I did have goals set for myself for where I wanted to fall in our box and nationally (basically not last like that one competition I talked about).

The Crossfit Open is a chance for everyone to compete in the same competition and see where they rank in the world.  I paid my $20 Dollars and I build a profile on Crossfit.com.  I want to take you through the journey of each WOD over the next week or so and then sum up where I ended up and more importantly what I learned about myself in this competition.

CROSSFIT OPEN 14.2

14.2

Quote my wife on the release of this WOD.  Be home, I am watching this one, Camille is my favorite!  So when they released the WOD, they have two elite athletes go one on one to show what the workout looks like and to show what the elite are going to do.  Wifey is a fan of one of the women on this release, so we watched it while we ate dinner.

First thoughts when I saw the scheme… 3 minutes of hard work.  I MAY get to the second 3-minute period… a BIG maybe.  When I started CF I couldn’t do a single pull-up, now I can string some together pretty solid.  So there was a little hope of a successful run through this one.  The squats weren’t a worry, I love the lifting side of CF.

WOD starts and I am through 10 OHS with no worries in 12-15 seconds.  I jump on the bar and launch myself into my first attempt at an “In-WOD” Chest to Bar pullup.  NAILED IT.  Got it easy.  Time for my first mistake.  I decided to try to string some together and lost my momentum on the second and third try.  Dropped off the bar, Got back on… Missed by an inch, then missed by two inches, and then three.  Just couldn’t get back up there.  I dropped off the bar with about 45 seconds left in the first 3 minute time period.  I laughed at how hard this was.  A few more failed attempts and I was out of time. I finished with a score of 11 reps.  I was done with 10 of them in 15 seconds.

Frustrated would be an understatement.

This WOD reassured me again that I get too frustrated and get into my head sometimes, I also realized another weakness that needs some attention.  STRICT pullups.  If I can build that core skill up C2B will become quite a bit easier.

Two Weeks in and even though my scores weren’t where I want them to be… I felt like an athlete.  I felt like there was so much progress from 9 months earlier when I started.  The following Thursday, 14.3 was released and I was more than a little stoked.  Things got HEAVY.

Crossfit Open 2014 – 14.1

5 Weeks.  5 WODs.  

Disclaimer:  I am not an elite Crossfit athlete, there was never a time in this competition that a shot a regionals was even remotely on my radar, but I did have goals set for myself for where I wanted to fall in our box and nationally (basically not last like that one competition I talked about).

The Crossfit Open is a chance for everyone to compete in the same competition and see where they rank in the world.  I paid my $20 Dollars and I build a profile on Crossfit.com.  I want to take you through the journey of each WOD over the next week or so and then sum up where I ended up and more importantly what I learned about myself in this competition.

CROSSFIT OPEN 14.1


CrossFit-Open-14.1-Workout-Announced

I came home from my 5 o’clock workout the night of the release and set up my Apple TV to watch my first Open Release show.  It was kind of cheesy and “UFC-ey”, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t just in shock of what the athletes were doing in the showdown.  Dave Castro announced the WOD, I felt somewhat confident about the WOD because the snatches were light and I have been working on DUs for months now after the pitiful show at the Garage Games in January.  I went to work, ate perfectly, drank my spark, and showed up to the workout.

Then my coach said 3,2,1 GO….

Boom.  DUs were nowhere to be found.  Couldn’t string together more than about 3 or 4 for the first few rounds.  The Snatches weren’t easy but they weren’t the bad.  My goal of 5 rounds seemed pretty much shot after the first round ended.  Then, the snatches got heavy fast.  The struggle was real.  I made it through my third round with 30 or 35 seconds on the clock and BOOM 26 unbroken DUs.

Totally pissed me off.

This WOD showed me a few things.  I get antsy when the clock starts.  I get frustrated easily.  My coach knows how to get my mind right mid-WOD by saying certain things.

Weakness revealed in 14.1 – DAMN DUs.

I liked this one overall, would love to hit it on a day when my DUs were going my way.

Day 1

I have mentioned before that I am a strong believer in the Advocare product line.  We are distributors and we are most definitely ‘users’ of the products.  With that being said today I begin my 5th Advocare 24 day.  My previous results have been awesome, but with work, a young kid and just general laziness old habits creep back into play on a daily basis.  I begin this journey at almost 280 pounds and I have gotten as low as 237.  I am starting this challenge 10 pounds heavier than my lowest weight, and 5 pounds over where I was when I had to finished my last challenge.

My stats going into this challenge are:

Weight: 246.2

Measurements:  Chest: 48 in – Waist:44 in – Hips: 43 in – Thigh: 24 in

This will be my first full challenge (we ended the last one early because of illness) while doing Crossfit and running this blog.  I plan on posting occasionally about how it is going.  I have an intense plan for this challenge.  This will be the best results I have gotten.  I will be getting 4-5 workouts in a week, doing extra ab work after each workout (unless the workout was an ab wrecker already, cough cough Annie), I am going to start running a few times a week as well, whether it is to and from the gym or a planned run/5k, I will be dominating this challenge.

Anyone want to jump on this with my wife and I?  I know a guy that can get you the hook up. Ha.

BEFORE

P.S – Sorry about the topless pictures of myself.  Gotta start somewhere.

The Rollercoaster Pt. 1

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Third Place.

There I was standing on the podium getting my third place metal for a Crossfit competition.  Crossfit, a workout that I swore I would never do before I was introduced to it 7 or 8 months before the competition.  The picture hit Facebook, Instagram, and twitter… I posted it.  I was proud, I had gotten third place in a competition that forced me to do some things that I never thought I would be able to do… A PULL UP!

Here’s the truth:  There were three people in my division.  I knew that going in and I was OK with it. I told people that asked me about it that there were only three in the division, it wasn’t about that.  It was about being able to do three workouts without scaling ONE movement during the day.  If we were told to do pull-ups, I was doing full blown pull-ups.  If it asked for double-unders… GOT IT.  I was ready.

The emotions that went through my head that day, I think resemble the emotions everyone goes through during tough times or tough workouts.  The first being excitement.  I was excited when we were getting ready to start, and then once the timer started and I blasted through the first exercise in about 30 seconds and knocked out 12 straight pull-ups like someone who had been doing them since high school (I couldn’t do one 9 months ago)… I was on fire.  I was about to make this 12 minute workout look easy.

Back Story:  I knew going in that jumping rope was apart of the workout and it would be the part that would kill me.  I practiced everyday I went to the gym for 10 minutes before we would start.  I got better.  I did 37 double jumps in a row without screwing up…

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Wasn’t laughing yet… probably cussing!

Back to the competition, time to jump rope… I am stud at these now, or so I thought. Started my first series of jumps and nailed 25 of the hundred I had to do.  Then everything came to a screeching halt.  One. Jump. At. A. Time. The second emotion popped up… Major Frustration.

Frustration followed by exasperation… It got comical.  After a few choice words that I won’t type on here, I finally just had to laugh.  After 5 minutes of trying to 100 double unders finished, my judge said I could move on.  So, back to the beginning.  Clear your mind, start at the beginning, second chance.  I told myself, out loud, and I am sure everyone heard it to MAN UP and get done.  Quick through the first exercise, fly through the pull-ups. Back to my friend the jumprope.  Same result.  Didn’t finish the workout, ran out of time.

Welcome anger to the emotions.  I walked out of the box pretty pissed off and not happy with myself.  My support group (wife, kid and father in law) came over and my father in laws first word were “DUDE, you murdered those pull-ups.  I am proud of you”.  That helped some.

All this was during the first hour. The first workout of the day, I had two more to go. 

I started this workout so excited and probably overly confident and that was shattered about one minute into the workout.  Where I went wrong was letting the emotion take me over and shut me down.  Once my head was gone, the workout was over.  Three steps to prevent this from happening again:

  1. Stop for a second, take a deep breathe and laugh.
  2. Think about why you are doing what you are doing, whether its a workout, extra shift at work, or anything that even remotely adds stress to your every day life.  My kid was right there on the ropes watching and even yelling GO GO GO as I worked.  I was too busy complaining in my head to look over and see the best cheerleader in the world yelling for her daddy.
  3. Cheesy as it is:  Go Finding Nemo on whatever it is and JUST KEEP SWIMMING.  Once you remember why you are doing what you are doing, keep your mind right and GO.

The first workout threw me off, the second workout wore me out, but the third workout lifted me up and made me feel like Thor again.  The last workout was one that I had done before and it literally left me on the floor in a pool of sweat and pain.  This time it killed me, but I killed it 45 seconds faster than I did last time.  I was back to that first emotion of excitement when I threw the bar down and yelled really loud.

I got my medal, I went to lunch with friends, and then I checked my world ranking to see where I ranked against all the other 30-40 males in the country… Tomorrow I will tell you about the emotions of realizing you were ranked DEAD LAST in the country.

Sabotage.

My wife is still out of town, my kid is tucked into her bed and thankfully my students who have been busting their butts for 5 days writing, shooting and editing a short film all go their submissions in before the deadline.  Granted one group got it in with 1 minute left on the clock but we made it.  Half the stress of the week is over, so I decided to watch some TV and landed on The Biggest Loser Finale.

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I have followed this show for the last 6 or 7 seasons.  My wife loves the show and she got me very interested while we were dating and I have just stuck with it since.  It resonates with me because of my new goal of being a healthy dad.  I enjoy the stories, I love the results, but every finale feels like a kick in junk.  A motivating kick in the junk, but still a kick in the junk.  I have been on this route to becoming healthy for a few years now and through major highs like competing in a Crossfit competition and the lowest of lows when our first pregnancy ended too early, I have made huge strides in becoming a better husband and father.

BUT, there’s always a but, I still find ways to sabotage myself.  Whether it’s grabbing five reese’s cups from one of the numerous candy jars in the office, or holding back in a workout for whatever reason or stopping my running training because they canceled the stupid half marathon I was going to participate in.  I started this whole thing pushing 280 pounds, I have lost close to 50 pounds in the last year or so, but I have been ‘stuck’ where I am for the last 4 months.

I promised transparency with this thing when I started it.  I need to figure out how to avoid the temptations and keep on track.  It’s so damn frustrating.

What are your obstacles that pop up?  How do you go after them and knock them down?

What is your Super Bowl Ad?

The Super Bowl is, as much if not more, about marketing and branding than it is about football.  Dober-HuaHua, Doritos Time Machines, #BestBud from Budweiser and all the other advertisements either went for the funny or went for the heartstrings.  These brands spent a ton of money to get their names on the biggest stage.  It got me thinking about how I “market” myself and my family, and how people in general market themselves on their platforms whether it is everyday at work, on Facebook, in the gym or anywhere for that matter.

Everyone knows the guy at work that the first thing out of their mouth when asked how they are doing is “I’m exhausted”, “I’m barely making it” or the ever positive “wish I was somewhere else”.  I was that guy.  The tiredness was brought on by late night Call of Duty marathons before I was married and later was caused by sleepless nights with a newborn.  Also, I am known to have a bit of a dirty mouth when I get fired up or tired.  I hate it, but years of not caring what came out of my mouth has made it a tough habit to change.  Soon enough, even though I am trying, I know my kid is going to repeat something and I will feel like a huge idiot. What does it tell everyone around you if your go-to response to anything is immediate negativity or just simple profanity?

Going around the office, or looking through Facebook/Twitter, I have started to really notice a trend in how people are marketing themselves to the masses.  I can guarantee that I will see an anti-religion post, hard core republican post and posts about what food I shouldn’t touch on my Facebook daily.  Somethings I enjoy keeping to myself than trying to incite an argument with my “digital friends” that I haven’t talked to since 2006.  My wife has a a ‘friend’ on a social site that she graduated with and, as bad as it is, we have made a game out of reading their profile to see what insane thing they will say that day.  The topics range from wild stories about drinking, smoking and fighting to full blown racist tirades.  I have never met the guy but I am pretty sure I know who he does and doesn’t like in our country from a few simple posts on Facebook.

fitness-meme-crossfitSo, if I am going to talk about what everyone else is posting, I need to examine my billboard.  I could/have been labeled a Crossfit Addict, Advocare peddlin’ (that’s the nice version of that label) guy that takes too many pictures of his kid.  People have criticized me numerous times for posting about CF on my Twitter and Facebook, and I get it.  That’s a huge knock on people in that community is we like to talk about it.

 

One time I saw a movie, and I liked it a lot… but I didn’t tell anyone.

People talk about things they like/love.  Some people talk about it too much.  I may be one of those people, I can admit that.   When you find something, even as simple as new flavor of coffee, it is human nature to talk about it.

All I would say to anyone who see this is stop down for a few and look at your conversations, look at your online billboard and look at yourself and see what you are telling everyone about who you are?

The one thing you can label me as on any social site and I will never change, is the guy that likes taking pics of his kid and wife.  That is something I am proud to be.  If someone is annoyed by my kid’s goofy moment of the day, I gladly invite them to click the ignore button.  /soapbox

The Other 23 Hours… Part 3

So I have talked about the Fitbit Flex and MyFitnessPal and how I use it to keep me on track for the hours I am not in the gym.  Today I want to go ahead and open myself up for ridicule and mockery, but today I will be talking about how I use Pinterest to help me do right during my day.

Pinterest, even though it is thought by many to be a girly website is a VITAL part of my daily/weekly/monthly routine.  There are days I can not get into the gym and I use a home workout that I can find on the site.  When the routine of Chicken and veggies, or fish and asparagus gets old, I can go to Pinterest and search for healthy options to keep us from burning out on the basics.  Some of the recipes that are labeled healthy on that site are FAR from healthy, so be aware of your ingredients and fats that are being used to cook with when you jump on a Pinterest recipe.

I also use Pinterest for basic motivation.  There are links to some impressive transformation stories, quotes with cool pictures, and just overall motivating links about fitness, food, and faith.

Pinterest

Pros: Tons of Recipes, Motivational Articles/Quotes, Workouts for when you can’t get to the gym

Cons: “Girly Website”, Some recipes aren’t what they say they are, and after awhile you see the same things over and over again.

Here is a link to a recipe I found on there last week that was a perfect example of a recipe we needed at the right time, we were getting burnt out on our routine lunch and we worked this into the weekly prep list and BOOM.  Loved it.

MEAT. BACON.

Crossfit Apology

Before we even start, let me say that before I even went to a Crossfit workout, I had a serious dislike of everything CrossFit.  I saw the videos, I saw the “games”, I heard about serious injury and horrible form, and I just didn’t get it.  I was alright with staying in the gym or doing the boot camps I was doing, and I said I would NEVER do CrossFit.  I didn’t think you could do a “WOD” as fast as humanly possible with proper form, proper intensity, and still actually get a good workout in that could make a difference.

Now that you know where I was, let me do something else.

I am sorry, I was wrong.

Last year, while hanging with some of our friends, we started hearing rumblings of them joining a Crossfit Box in Waxahachie.  They were so pumped to be doing these workouts, sweating like crazy, and RX’in (no clue what that meant) daily workouts.  I listened and was genuinely excited for them, but it still wasn’t something I wanted to even check into.  Something changed, my wife got the itch.  She had been doing so well with her dieting and had just wrapped up another one of our 24 day challenges, she decided it was time to step it up in the workout department in order to really reach her goals.  I researched some CrossFit Gyms for her and even went to a free workout with her.

Crossfit in the Park.  Dead.

Crossfit in the Park. Dead.

The workout was ROUGH, and the box was nice, but we weren’t sure it was for us.  We stopped at another Box here in Mansfield that I had looked up and took a tour, set up a workout, and asked about pricing.  The “Box” was cool, loud music, bright colors, and a wall to sign when you puke… It reminded me of back in the day when I used to workout at Metroflex in North Arlington.  It was a room for working and lifting.  No machines, No mirrors.  Just weights, racks, and other things that would eventually be used as torture devices on me I was sure.  The selling point for my wife was the owners, they had a story.  They had been on a journey.  They were real people that seriously just love helping others get healthy.  So we did the free workout. The warmup was jumping rope, instant flashbacks to jumprope for heart at Charlotte Anderson in Mansfield (I suck at jumping rope).  The WOD (main workout of the day) was a combination of Burpees, Wall Balls, and Pushups for a certain number of reps and rounds.  I finished in 3:41 seconds.  I laid on the floor for longer than the workout when I finished.  Dead. Nauseous. Fat. Then we wrapped up the day with a foam rolling session.  I have had a foam roller in my house for a year and never touched it.  That thing has been worn out now that I know how to use it.

Eight months into my first year with Crossfit, and I can say that it is a life-changing decision for me.  I have made new friends that pick us up when we are down, who give us popsicles for my sick wife when I can’t get away from the house, and who support us when we are doing something we never thought we could do half a year ago.  I have seen my body and more importantly my mind change.  I see myself as an athlete now, I can do some cool stuff.  I competed in a competition this past weekend and while I may not have performed as well I thought I could, I “RX’d” ( I know what that means now) the whole competition.  I couldn’t do a pull up 9 months ago, and easily knocked out the prescribed number for the competition.

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My legs were too tired to jump on that box.

Don’t knock a fitness method until you try it.  I learned this first hand.

Fitness.

Over the last three years, I have realized that getting to the gym and eating right is about way more than losing weight, getting a six-pack and meeting hot chicks.  That was my mentality about fitness up until I met my wife.  I had a membership to one of the local franchise gyms, I wasn’t ever on a diet although I didn’t just let myself eat everything in site, and I only saw it as a social event with friends with the potential of lifting enough weight to impress someone.

This picture made me think WHOA.

This picture made me think WHOA.

I was active all through high school playing many sports, but never was the best at any of them.  I could easily rattle of a 5000 word blog post about my battle with weight and self confidence, but I want to focus on what fitness and eating right does for me now as an adult, as a husband, and as a father.  Just after marrying my wife, I had the opportunity of shooting pictures at my cousin Ashley’s wedding, of course since I am her favorite, she made me come from behind the camera and take a picture with her.  This picture, quite honestly, disgusted me.  Don’t get me wrong, she looked great but the lumpy dude next to her with the 5 chins needed some work.  The idea of being a healthy father started to really get me thinking, and when I turned 29, knowing that we were planning on starting a family eventually, I set a goal of being “Fit by 30”.  Little did I know that “eventually” would mean Caty was pregnant less than 6 months later, but still it was time.

K was born and both my wife and decided it was time to get serious.  I was already working out but the eating was on point at all.  We decided to try the Advocare challenge and had great success and still use their products to this day.  I was noticing immediately that a healthier me, was a happier me, and a happier me made the world a little more easy.  

Beast Mode.

You will hear me talk about Crossfit a lot on the blog.  I was introduced to ‘the cult’ 9 months ago and the way I viewed working out changed.  It doesn’t matter how bad the day is, if I can get in a workout at the end of the day I get to let go of frustration and anger of some of the things that get thrown at us.  My wife just asked me if I remember when I used to never work out… That’s how much things have changed.  I feel like today, while I am not at my goal, I am currently the best version of me.  My wife has gone from asking me if I am going to start working out, to noticing if I miss more than a day or two.

My goal in fitness for 2014 is to continue to chase my fitness goals whether it is a PR on a lift or a number on a scale (which oddly enough doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to).  My second fitness goal is to help others find their potential and start their journey.

What’s your 2014 Fitness Goal?