A few weeks back, I took on my first Memorial Day Murph. This WOD is dedicated to Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in action on June 28th, 2005. For those of you who have seen/read Lone Survivor, it’s the Lt. Murphy from that movie.
Our box did ONE class on Memorial Day and we had 25-30 people show up. We started the class off by watching a video about Lt. Murphy. You could feel the mood in the room change from our usual lighthearted, fun style of workout to a very serious and somber mood. This was a big deal.
Murph is a Hero WOD, a signature WOD in Crossfit. It’s a book-end WOD. A mile at the front and then finish it off with another mile, but in between we got the privilege to do 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups and 300 air squats. Less than a year ago I couldn’t do one pull up. Could I do 100 pullups? Not too sure.
It was my wife’s first workout back after her injury and she picked a heck of one to jump back in on. She did a half Murph, and she KILLED it. Was she sore for a week? Yes, but she finished and even jumped in with one of her girls for their last mile to make sure they finished. Beast.
3,2,1… Go. The first mile wasn’t bad. I got into the box and started scaling the mountain ahead of me. Could I do 100 pull ups? I would find out 10 at a time. During the Regional events, Rich Froning claimed one of the events took him “to a dark place he never likes going, and he has to fight hard to get out”… Murph took me there. FAST. I broke the workout up into 10,15,20 of the PUs, Push-Ups and Squats. Excuses could easily fill this area… We just got home from a weekend at Regionals where the food wasn’t healthy and the beer was good, the box felt like a sweatshop, but none of those really would make this not SUCK as bad as it was sucking.
I took off on my last mile, that looked alot like a guy walking home in shame after getting his butt kicked, and crossed the finish line in 60 minutes and 58 seconds. My goal was under an hour. Was I mad? Not really.
It really was an honor to get to do this workout with my wife and tons of my friends in honor of a REAL Hero. One of the toughest hours of my life, but can’t really compare to the life of a soldier.
Can I do 100 pull ups? Hell Yes I can.
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
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.
Things got a little crazy there for a bit.. Work, family and other random things, I didn’t follow through on #30days hustle of 15 posts last month but I am back!
Today, I want to talk about the opportunity I got a few weekends back to do something that I didn’t think I would have do. When I started this Crossfit thing, I wasn’t doing it to compete in any competitions. I wasn’t doing it to have any sort of medal hanging on my wall or anything like that. I started it to be a healthy dad. My wife started it to be a strong healthy mom.
Fast forward almost a year, we are walking up to my second competition and my wife’s first. We are Team DearSkin and we are competing in the “Sweetheart Scuffle” together as a couple. Everyone we work out with suggested we not work out on the same team but we did it anyways. The first WOD wasn’t as bad as we expected, we came out and did better than a few teams. We didn’t go into this looking for a medal, we wanted to finish. We didn’t want to come in last. That was the goal.
The second WOD was a powerlifting meet basically, and I was excited. I knew we were a strong couple but this WOD proved we were physically stronger than most. Caty stepped up to the bar and did something she didn’t think she could do, she snatched 85 pounds from the ground to overhead in one move. She was one of the top girls in the scaled division. I stepped up and Caty decided it was time to dance and be goofy. According to her, I turn into a psycho when I lift heavy, so she wasn’t surprised when I politely asked her to dance a little to the left so I could death stare at the wall. This picture came from that even and I think it is an amazing depiction of our relationship. Caty is intensely watching as I am trying to do something I haven’t ever done before. She came unglued when the weight hit my shoulders and I stood up. Hello, new PR. Hello 230 pound Clean and Jerk. We finished 5th in the competition in the second WOD because we are physically strong.
Then the third WOD showed up and showed us that we seriously are a strong couple. The wait time between the second and third workout was pushing 2 hours and I was getting anxious and worried and overly nauseous because I wanted to finish this workout, and it definitely looked like the workout was going to be brutal. Finally the workout gets moving and we are knocking the first part out like its the easiest thing we have ever done. That feeling immediately stopped when we moved into the next part of the workout. Partner Fran. My wife had never done a thruster over about 55 pounds and her shoulder was acting up… So that first thruster scared the hell out of her and I could tell the first thought of “We aren’t finishing” clicked in. We got through those 21 as quick as we could and moved to the pull-ups, which were scaled to jumping pull-ups. I can do traditional but I figured, for times sake, I would jump. Got rolling into them and then snap… rolled my ankle off the 45 pound weight I was jumping off. That sucked. We got thru Fran and went into Grace. Another ball of suck, Caty was struggling, my ankle was throbbing and we were running up on our 15 minute cut off. We finished though. 14 minutes and 15 seconds. We finished and we kinda made out… and I slapped her butt before I went and laid down on the floor.
This event proved to me that my wife and I can do just about anything we try. We are both physically and emotionally strong. Now it’s time for the Open… and let’s just say 14.1 kicked my ass.
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:
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.
P.S – Sorry about the topless pictures of myself. Gotta start somewhere.
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…
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:
- Stop for a second, take a deep breathe and laugh.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t knock a fitness method until you try it. I learned this first hand.