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Murph.

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.

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I’m in the green looking like a dead guy hanging from a bar.

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.

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Memorial Day Murph 2014 – Crossfit Fervor

 

Crossfit Games Open – 14.3

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.

Open14.3

 

This is the WOD I was hoping for, something that would give me an advantage.  I love lifting heavy.  I hear Castro say we were going to get heavy and I was ready.  Then he said you had 8 minutes to get there while mixing in some box jumps.  NOT COOL.

I made it 18 reps into the 275 pound round.  The box jumps/step ups were a good break to catch my breathe and recoup from the lift.  My 1RM for deadlift is over 400 pounds, but I’ll be damned if that 275 pound bar didn’t feel like it was 500 pounds on that first rep.  I loved this one.  I felt confident going in and coming out of this one.

Best part of the WOD would be the little kids outside the box screaming with me when I was in my last round of deadlifts.

GoTDeadlift

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.

Wordless Wednesday

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Sweetheart Scuffle

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.

Photo by: Rhonda Kay Photography

Photo by: Rhonda Kay Photography

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.

Photo by: Rhonda Kay Photography

Photo by: Rhonda Kay Photography

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.

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