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The Rollercoaster Pt. 1


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…


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.


Character vs. Reputation

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” -John Wooden

Step Back.

As a high school video production teacher, my students are always working on projects in groups.  Within those groups you have the same dynamic as you did back when I was in school. The cast of characters hasn’t changed:  The kid that doesn’t do anything, the kid who does everything, the helpless helpers, and the one that wants all the credit.

Sometimes in relationships, the guy like the be the one that looks like the champion.  The guys make the money, build stuff, fix stuff, decide stuff… The guy is in the spotlight more often than not.  I think deep down I enjoy having the spotlight on me.  We have a cute kid, that I personally think looks just like her momma, but 99% of the rest of the world’s population think that she is a duplicate version of mini-Justin.  I know it drives my wife nuts, but I feel good about it.  Granted I don’t go around talking or bragging about it, but I secretly enjoy that the girl who is “so sticking cute” looks like me.

All that being said as men, we need to step back and let the ladies shine.  This week is an opportunity for me to step back and let my wife shine.  February and March are by far the most ridiculous months of the year for me at my job.  We compete almost weekly in competitions and it requires late nights, long trips away from home and stress… lots of stress.  Last year was tough on my wife because I did all this only a month or so after K was born.  She had to pull her weight and then some very frequently last year during this time.  Well, that time is back.  I am at the school until late every night working with kids, and my wife left town for 4 days yesterday.  She has the opportunity to sit down and work with one of the top wedding photographers in the industry this week.  She has been busting her butt to build a photography company, and this will just be the next launching pad for her.  So I will assume the responsibility of taking care of 60+ high school kids, taking care of a 1 year old, eating (hopefully) and just all the everyday things we usually split in order for her to have her time to shine.

I am so proud of her, and I know she will take this opportunity and use it.

How can you step back this week and let your significant other shine this week?