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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Last week I talked about the Fitbit Force and how it has opened my eyes to the laziness of the 23 hours of my average. I spend an hour a day 4 or 5 days a week at my Crossfit box working my tail off, but the other hours I was pretty stationary. The Fitbit has changed that.
One of the added benefits of the Fitbit is it’s ability to sync up with other apps and websites to help build some habits and change routines. Today I am talking about MyFitnessPal. I have never been one to count calories because it is a tedious, and frankly boring habit to get into. Nobody wants to finish off their favorite meal at a local restaurant only to pull out their phone and realize they ate more calories in the last 15 minutes than they were supposed to the whole day (Thanks a lot Buffalo Wild Wings). Anyways, I decided if I am going to chart my steps and be diligent about the work I am doing, I needed to investigate what was going in vs. what was coming out when it comes to calorie burn. A month with my Fitbit and MyFitnessPal and there are some major positives and a few negatives of the calorie tracking app.
Pros: Actively thinking “Should I eat this? Do I have enough room in my “budget”, Easy barcode tracking, automatically syncs both ways with Fitbit App and website, Easy to use, tons of foods on the database. Set reminders to log your meals
Cons: Still boring to track calories, water logging is weird, I log through FitBit, Creating new foods is annoying.
MyFitnessPal – I will continue to use it because it does force me to think about that late afternoon snack or whether or not the second beer is worth the count. I have had a few moments where I think “Oh I have burned 700 calories walking today, I can eat a _______ which isn’t on plan but it won’t put me over”, luckily 95% of the time my will power will carry me.
One hour a day. Sometimes less than that depending on what is written on the whiteboard at our crossfit box. Yesterday it said, 100 Double Unders, Deadlift 5-5-3-3-1-1-1 and 100 situps for time. That was the workout for the day. That was “it”, nothing that would take forever. In all honesty, looking at it, it was a day that should be pretty easy. It’s one of those days you don’t think you will feel the next day. I am sitting here writing this knowing that I was wrong. Insanely sore.
I know going into the daily WODs at our gym that I am getting a good workout whether it is the workout above or some crazy chipper or hero workout. I know I am burning through calories and building a better me. The other 23 hours of the day is where I was wondering what was going on. For Christmas, my wife got me a fitbit force. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure how much I would use it. One month in it is very revealing to what is going on with my 23 hours outside of the gym.
Over the next few posts I will be detailing some of the different technology, apps and other things I am using to monitor my other 23 hours.
When I started using my force I decided that I wouldn’t do anything different during the first week to see just how active or inactive I was. It was pretty revealing that on days I wasn’t chasing the kid around I was only getting a couple thousand steps in. My goal I set was 10k, I was getting close to 4 or 5k on average before I started “trying”. The sleep tracking app was crazy accurate. It was apparent when I would eat within two hours of going to bed, I would toss and turn all night. I have noticed that I have made it a competition to get more steps, my sleep has improved because of being conscience of the time I eat/drink anything.
Downfall of the Fitbit, but wasn’t my original intended use, is the lack of an accurate monitor of certain (i.e. Crossfit) workouts. You can add an activity to partnering apps to help calculate the calories if you want to but they aren’t exactly accurate to the intense level of some workouts. I also got confused between the features of the Fitbit and the Up Band and was disappointed when I didn’t have the idle alert feature that lets you know when you haven’t been active for a certain amount of time. I hear thats in the horizon in a firmware update.
Pros: Accurate Tracker, syncs with other apps, competition with “fitbit buddies”, Battery Life is 7 or 8 days of use.
Cons: Does not track well during Crossfit workouts, Takes a week or so to get used to wearing it, Idle alert
Overall, I have seen a huge impact in my daily activity because of this device. I find my self checking it often during the day, parking my car a little further away and taking an extra trip around the school during my break time in order to get my number.
Next Post: MyFitnessPal
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.