Thursday, July 19, 2012

Means to an End?

It may try your patience to read this blog... it wanders a bit :)

Like many of my fellow Crossfiters, I watched some of the 2012 Crossfit Games this past weekend.  For those of you that (a) don't care or (b) don't Crossfit, both of last year's individual winners... well... won again.  It was the first repeat and it happened for both the men and women.  And it wasn't even close.

We had a large contingent make the migration to Cali, and each said it was great.  I'm sure it was, because the coverage showed a well oiled event this year.  The equipment was awesome, the WODs were fun to watch, and the staff who managed the equipment and athletes as well as the judges looked top notch.  In the event that required sledgehammers and moving block with said hammers, the staff did sort of a synchronized "resetting" of the equipment.  Each staff member walked to each station, reset it, then stood and waited for everyone else to finish.  Once they did, they moved to the next one, etc.  Pretty slick IMO.  It shows how much cash will improve the presentation and professionalism of a sport.  (Note: the announcers still suck! LOL  However, I credit them for not saying the best athlete in the world, they were careful to say fittest.)

Now, I have to admit, I can't imagine sitting and watching my favorite sport (football) live for 3 straight days for almost 12 hours a day.  So doing the same for people working out would probably drive me slightly insane.  Mainly because of the guilt I'd feel while scarfing beer and peanuts (which IMO is required at live sporting events).  One day I'd like to go (and hopefully a year when our team makes it all the way there), but I'll need help making it through.  You know, like wearing a weighted vest and making "Beer Run AMRAPs", or drinking beer out of some special Rogue design beer mug that weight 50 lbs and requires a full squat to get the liquid to come out (after seeing those crazy team sleds, I'm pretty sure they can pull a design like that off.)

The other thing that struck me was working out was now a legit sport.  Given that sport encompasses SO many different things, the concept works.  However, I hope there will be there is the re-injection of more traditional sports into the games.  When I started Crossfit two years ago, I read much of the primers on the Crossfit Journal website (most of them are free).  One of the main themes was the concept of Crossfit as a means to make people better at athletics.  In other words, to help me get better at basketball, kayaking, or spelunking.  Whatever the hell an athlete chooses to do, Crossfit would help them get better.  Glassman even went so far as to state that on the "rest day", everyone should go out and "do the sport you enjoy".  In other words, you need to reap the benefits of all the hard work "in the box" by doing stuff "out of the box".

At some point, many of us have lost that concept.  Crossfit stopped being a means to the end for many people, and became the end itself.  I am COMPLETELY guilty of my own charge.  The Crossfit "Company" has reinforced "Crossfit as an end" by continuing to grow the games into its own legitimate sports event.  I think for some, Crossfit became more enjoyable than whatever they were doing before.  I know many runners who have given up running because they find Crossfit a more fun alternative.  I get that, it makes sense.  But personally, I started Crossfit with the goal to be able to play basketball again.  I certainly got in good enough shape to do so, but I never did.  I think that was a huge mistake on my part.  I have decided to correct it, but not with basketball (too hard on my 42 year old knees), but with kayaking and a serious hike in Colorado in September.  I have refocused my energy at Crossfit to be a means again... not an end.  I encourage you to at least decide if you want Crossfit to be the end or the means.  I didn't decide... it just happened.

Examine your motivations, did you start Crossfitting to improve your life, and to better enjoy an activity?  Are you using your newfound fitness to realize that end?  Just make the decision, then work your ass off to realize your "end".

Monday, June 25, 2012

Change vs. Maintain

It dawned on me today, I'm the only person left still going to Crossfit from my company.  First, a little background is needed.  As documented in my previous blog, I worked hard to lose weight and get in better shape.  In doing so, people around me became very interested in what I was doing... and in many cases, became inspired.  This led to, at one point, 8 people from my immediate circle of family, friends and co-workers, to try Crossfit.  They in turn spawned another 10 or so to try it as well.  Some became paying members of Crossfit 540.  Others ventured out on their own, creating a similar program on a budget.  While still others figured out quickly it was not for them.

Many of them lost weight, ate better, and came to be in the best shape of their lives.  A few stuck with it for a very long time.  But as of today, I believe I am the last standing "Crossfit crazy" from the ~ 20 people I directly or indirectly inspired.  When I realized it today, two thoughts immediately crossed my mind.  First, I was a little sad of this fact because some have reverted back to old habits (note: others have just changed programs).  Second, it dawned on me I've had limited success at recruiting new people, despite a similar level of effort and advocacy.

The result of the epiphany is this blog.  Change vs. Maintain.

People react to change more than maintain.  People aren't nearly as impressed at someone who can maintain a high level of health, performance, etc. as someone who can change their lives to improve it.  It is true.  The is no show named "The Biggest Maintainer".  Though I would submit, maintaining is twice as hard as the change.

Don't get me wrong.  The initial change is excruciating.  This is why so many people never do it.  It is an acute pain over the course of a few weeks as your body and mind adjust to a new way of doing things.  Once the progress really starts, it becomes surprisingly easy to keep trucking toward the goal.  It can be frustrating, but the habits are newly formed, you are inspired by others noticing the improvement.  In short, the attention it generates keeps you going.  You eat perfectly, you work out hard, and you live clean.  People also gravitate to your success.  They want some of what you have, the lighting in the bottle as it were.  It was during my change when I generated so many new clients.

Then you reach your goal and it is time to maintain.  Whoever said you are always either moving forward or backwards in life was correct.  I was able to maintain for about 6 months, when in practice I was still improving.  Oddly, people were still curious about what I did, but not inspired.  I have been 0 for 10 of recruits since reaching my goal.

What is worse about maintain, is life catches you asleep.  The mental edge leaves.  Personally, I no longer have the mental desire to live "perfectly" everyday.  Unfortunately, this is a slippery slope.  It leads quickly to rationalizations and justifications.  In short, it leads to small slips that eventually become medium slips, which turn into habits.  I have personally found maintaining much harder than changing.  I'm waiting for the moment when I realize I no longer need to maintain... but indeed actually change again.  This is the moment I will move forward again instead of backwards.  My struggle is wrought with injury, poor eating habits, slower times, lighter weights, and less desire in general.  It sucks and it is difficult to break lose from each and every day.  So I guess, I'm not really that different from the 20 others I inspired except I'm too damned stubborn to stop Crossfitting.

I guess the best thing to do is take a long view again and determine my goal for my 43rd birthday and hit it.  Maybe during that time, I can recruit some new people again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Get Your Grilling on

My grilling successes and failures are well documented on Facebook (and my apologies to those who hate seeing my posts).  I thought I'd share what I have learned the first 7 months with my Big Green Egg (BGE).

Like many, I've been grilling for a long time.  I always prided myself on "feeling my way" through grilling.  The food I made was pretty good but I always thought my results were a little inconsistent.  After I bought the BGE, I actually did an "anti-guy" thing and read the instructions, listened to experts, and attempted to use it as a learning experience.  Initially, I was required to give up my "man card" while I was actually reading the directions, but the first time I pulled off a perfect steak, I got it back.

So what have I learned that is worth sharing?  Surprisingly, way more than I thought.  I would boil it down to two concepts.
1. You get what you pay for (YGWYPF).  
2. Treat grilling like school.  You have to learn new things to get better.

So if you are serious about making excellent grilled food, buy decent stuff.  This goes for the grill, the charcoal, the accessories, and the food.  I'm not pimping BGEs as the only way to go, it certainly is a great one, albeit expensive.  Weber makes wonderful grills as does Traeger.  A less expensive option:  Chargriller.  I had one that was great for direct grilling, but difficult to slow cook or smoking.  The point is, don't expect a $50 grill to produce $100 tasting steaks.  These companies research and develop grills to cook food well, last a long time, and generally make their owners very happy.

For charcoal grills, good quality charcoal is the way to go.  Less ash, better, more consistent heat.  I recommend The Good One or BGE.  Cowboys from Lowes will do in a pinch.  Avoid the Sam's Club version... it'll clog your grill by the second use.

Gas grills are fine if you aren't looking to do anything other than direct cooking.  The heat is generally inconsistent and the grills "leaky" of heat.  There are higher end gas grills which do mimic charcoal, but they cost some $$$$.  Again, perfectly fine for direct heat cooking or simple indirect heat dishes (i.e. sautéed veggies).

Finally, the meat... it should go without saying, the best meat will be from your local butcher.  But if you want a balance between quality and economics, Sam's Club meat gives me great results.  I hear Costco's does as well, but have no direct experience.

P.S. Finally, also invest in some good rubs.  Butt Rub or Head Country give me consistently tasty results. Both are very versatile.  Weber's rub are pretty good.  But the best are homemade.  I don't go this far, but probably will at some point.

Grilling 101:
Since I got the BGE, I've documented temps, time, etc. in an attempt to perfect the cooking.  I can tell you, setting aside my pride to begin writing it down, tweaking it, and repeating was the smartest thing I've done.  I make very juicy chicken and "Ruth Chris" steaks.  The pork tenderloin is outstanding (though I'm still working my way through this one as the cook time seems to vary greatly due to the meat/fat content).  And the cool thing is, I get the grill at the right temp, put on the meat, set my timer, and walk away.  It tells me when to flip, and when to remove. 
There are some things I still get to "feel my way" with:  Burgers... bacon... and Pizzas, so I can still feel manly.
To do this, you will need to have the right tools.  Invest in: 
1. Evernote (it's free) or a notebook to make notes in.
2. A good meat thermometer (I recommend an electronic one)
3. A cooking timer app. Preferably one that can start multiple timers simutaneouly.  I have a timer for "flip" and "remove" for grilling.  They start at the same time.  iPad's ClockHD Pro works pretty well.
4. A grill thermometer with actual temp readings.  Not "cold, warm, hot" :).  If your grill has a crappy one, replace it.  If it doesn't have one, buy one you can install (you'll have to drill a hole.)

Then follow a simple method:  Write down everything you can.  I know people who right down weather conditions.  With the BGE, I don't have to worry about ambient temp too much.  With a gas grill, you may have to, but not sure. The things I document are:
- Initial and nominal Grill Temp
- Meat type and thickness
- Time on side 1, total time (you should only ever have to flip meat once, except thick steaks which requires two flips).
- Doneness - temp reading from meat therm.
- Juiciness - subjective

Obviously, you'll have to monitor the time and doneness throughout the last few minutes the first couple of times you cook a particular meat.  Once you get something where you like it, program those timers into your app with the appropriate labeling and enjoy the fruits of your work. It takes a little work, but I've found the third time I cook something, I get it close to perfect. 

Finally, the only problem I have is I sometimes revert to "feeling my way" out of laziness (not wanting to find the damn iPad or wash up the thermometer).  I ruined half the chicken I cooked last time.  Never again :D

Happy Grilling.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Last night, I went to my first concert in over 2 years (over 10 if you don't count DMB concerts).  In an odd way, I was a little nervous... not in a traditional sense.  Instead I was worried it would suck and I'd wasted time and money.  It could never be too bad, since I had Angie along.  Boy, I had nothing to worry about... CAKE delivered in spades and it rekindled the concert lover in me.

Before Ticketmaster and the Interwebz, concert tickets were sold through local music stores (yes, there was such a thing as a music store, with physical CDs, LPs, and cassettes).  Anyway, I had a friend of a friend who worked at the local Turtle Records and Tapes.  He was a jeweler by day and a record geek at night and weekends.  He was confined to a wheelchair, but he made almost every concert in Atlanta (80 miles away).  We became friends and suddenly, I was given a gift of immeasurable value.  See, back in the day, concert tickets went for sale on Saturdays.  People would line up Friday night for the good shows  and camp to get the first tickets coming off.  The ticketing method used was similar to how we buy tickets today.  He logged into a system and when the clock turned 10:00... it was off to the races.  He was fast with the machine (those jeweler hands) and he could poach the best seats very quickly.

Word got around, so our outlet was always busy as hell for the big concerts.  Now here is the immense gift I was given.  Of course, he wanted the best seats for himself but for some reason, I made his short list of friends to whom the next best ones went.  At first I didn't believe it, but when I showed up for my first concert and they walked me to the 3rd row, I was in awe.

Genesis.  Yes, Phil Collins and his band Genesis.  3rd row.  At 15 years old.  It was an unbelievable show.  (Note: this was the awesome version of Genesis - "Abacab, Turn it On Again" not the "Land of Confusion" bulls---).  It only got better.  7th Row for INXS (when Michael Hutchence was alive), 5th for Van Halen, 10th for Madonna (girlfriend), 2nd row for Whitesnake, and 8th for Bon Jovi... that one was me and 4 girls (smile).  I knew I was lucky, but at the time I had NO idea how lucky.  People can go their entire lives and not experience great tickets at a major concert.  I saw a dozen before leaving high school.

Unfortunately, shortly before I graduated, the system changed and his skills no longer guaranteed great seats.  The last few concerts were still awesome, but I started experiencing the bleacher sections instead of the floor.

Def Leppard - Hysteria tour
Bullet Boys
and many I can't remember.

The only tickets I ever declined were for Pink Floyd.  Boy do I regret that one.

Oh, and one other little known fact about me.  I actually saw Elvis live at the Omni in Atlanta with my mom.  I'm 42, so do the math and verify it was possible.

So, my concert history is long.  CAKE rekindled my desire to see great music.

If you don't know CAKE, but love sarcasm... check them out.  Every song is full of it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

10 Things I Wish I Could Say at Work

I love my job.  I really do.  No sarcasm at all.  I love the people I work with, but there are things that drive me a little crazy sometimes.  To allay some of that craziness, here is a compilation of things I wish I could say at work:

10.  "No I don't watch American Idol, Big Brother, Survivor, or the Amazing Race... please don't explain last night's episode to me."
9. "If you ask me about my weekend and I say 'it was fine.', that is not an invitation for you to give a 40 minute debrief on yours."
8. "No, I'm not on a conference call.  I wear this goofy headset because it makes me feel cool."
7. "Please stop IM'ing me to find out if you can call me, to tell me you sent me an email."
6. "Why are you asking everyone around you what the name of that guy in that movie you saw 10 years ago?  GOOGLE IT!"
5.  "I know your weekend was epic, but it's after lunch on Monday and the statue of limitations for you talking about it has expired."
4.  "Yeah, you're great at sales, but you suck at parking."
3.  "Why yes, I do think a well timed f-bomb is strong motivator."
2.  "I hope you enjoyed those beans on the way in because I'm not enjoying them on the way out."

and the one I really would like to say to a few people:

1. "Where can I learn to kiss ass like that?  Wait...nevermind, I actually know how to do my job."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Top 10 Things Going Through Someone's First WOD

The first WOD at Crossfit can be a very stressful time.  Between the gasping breaths, your mind may have a moment for fleeting thoughts... in order it goes something like this:

10. WTF is a WOD?

9.  What do you mean you want me to scale and only do half of the my first WOD?  Hmmmprh.

8. All right, let me show these folks what I'm made of.

7. Holy s--t..

6. This is crazy.

5. These people are crazy!

4. Nasties? Cousins?  BJs? What kind of place is this?

3. My God, I still have to do 35 more of these?  This is SCALED?

2. <                                              >... what just happened to me?

and finally...

1.  Who the hell is Pukie and why do people keep congratulating me on meeting him?

5 Greatest (and Worst) Moments in My World of Crossfit

I wasn't sure how to title this because these are a mix of my personal moments along with my witnessing other moments that warrant attention.  So I did the best I could.

The Top 5 Greatest
5.  Meeting people from every walk of life, only sharing 1 thing in common... at first, and then becoming friends beyond the gym.

4.  Watching people grow up in front of your eyes.  Mind you, I'm talking about people of all ages.  People finding their way and staying in town because they find their way... people coming back because they know where home is... and people simply finding a new person inside of themselves... one more confident and tenacious than they'd imagined.

3.  Accomplishing more than I dreamed:  The first time I got a Rx pull-up, the first time I Rx'd a pull up WOD.  The time I ran a 5k in under 24 minutes. I haven't come within 3 minutes of again...

2.  Watching people set PRs on weight WODs, or getting their first MU or PU.  The excitement they display is unparalleled.

and my favorite moment:

1.  Getting to walk around all day saying "I did Diane (Elizabeth, Karen, Angie, Fran, etc.) today!!!"  All day... to clueless people.

Top 5 Worst Moments:
5.  Ripping my hands, badly on pull up # 98 of a 100 pull up WOD.

4.  Being constantly reminded that people seem to be most gassy at 5:15 in the morning.

3.  Watching a wall ball fall just short of the white.... again and again.  I've decided I'm wearing platform shoes next time we do Karen.

2. Really crowded WODs when finding a pull up bar is like a game of musical chairs...

and the worst moment:

1. Last week as the reality hit me... I have to cut back on some movements due to a nagging injury.

What are your top moments?  Good or bad?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Which Way Did You Go Today?

A person of sizable influence in my life inspired me with a comment a long time ago.  I'm paraphrasing, but you'll get the gist:  "Everyday, at the end of the day, I ask myself two questions.  Did I get better today?  Did I make the world around me better?  If I can say yes to one, it was a good day.  If I can say yes to both, it was a great day.  If I can't say yes at all, I need to go to sleep and refocus myself for tomorrow."

Frankly, I never developed a habit of asking myself these questions.  Until a recent conversation with a friend, I had forgotten the advice altogether.  I believe every single day of your life is one where you make progress or you lose progress.  I do not believe it is possible to stay the same.  In a nutshell, everyday you either get better or you get worse.  

For most of the past two years, I've made significant progress on my health, weight and fitness.  Most days, I got better.

Until recently....

Then I started getting worse.  About 6 months ago, it was only "slightly worse".  My eating habits have slowly worsened.  There are no where near as bad as they were, but I've been giving myself a pass on many things. I've been getting less sleep (because of poor personal choices).  So, for the last 6 months, my weight got slightly worse.  BUT, I had been getting stronger and stronger in the gym.  My PR's were up and I broke some lifting barriers, finally.  I've been slightly slower at some WODs but faster at others.  It was if I traded bulk and speed for strength.  I thought that was an OK trade-off.  Unfortunately, it solidified, in my mind, that my diet was "JUST FINE."  I guess I thought I was still getting better despite the warnings I wasn't.

The last 2 months getting "slightly worse" finally added up to "a lot worse".  The ill effects of losing my way are showing up readily.  I'm slower, not quite as strong, and consistently finish in the back of the pack again. My weight is up (For those of you who were reading my blog during my initial 10 month journey to losing 80 lbs, I weigh the same as I did 2 and a half months before hitting my goal.) and my energy level is down.  I'm still working out hard, I'm eating decent, but my bad choices are clearly impacting me over and over.

I could sit here and blame the holidays or the really busy season at work. Both very true.  Unfortunately, I can look back and see a time where I had a new baby, a new job, and chaos in other areas too.  Through all of that time, I maintained my healthy lifestyle, weight and performance.  In other words, there ain't no good excuse for my current situation.

If you are looking for an inspiring end to this story, I don't have one yet.  My track record suggests this could go either way, but I'm using Lent (even though I'm not Catholic/Methodist) to cut back on my worst vices and get back to improving again.

For today, I can say I'm better than I was yesterday... and the day isn't over yet.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

V-Day Edition: Double-Unders are Like Being a Husband

When you first realize jumping rope is fun, you get all excited.  We hop around like it is so neat.  Doing regular old rope jumping is like being a boyfriend.  How apropos we call it "singles".  We play around with being "single" for a while.  We get a rhythm going.  We become fast and consistent and know EXACTLY the effort it takes to keep singles up indefinitely.  Likewise, you are a damn good boyfriend, hitting all the important dates in stride, saying the right things, planning the right night out.

But the whole time, the "singles" are watching the people doing "double unders" and thinking... "I should be doing double unders too."  At some point, a boyfriend starts looking around at all the husbands and thinks... "I should become a husband too."  With DUs, you think you can start slowly, kinda like a couple  moving in together.  After a while, you realize it isn't the same.  You have to commit at just DOING THEM to really learn how.  You commit:  you speed up the rope, heighten your jump, grit your teeth and go for it.  But you TOTALLY SUCK.  "Holy shit." you think, "what the hell did I just try to do?"  Yeah... becoming a husband feels exactly the same way.

How DUs are like being a Husband
- It looks easy.
- It ain't.
- It can take your breath away.... for a long time.
- Some days you are awesome at it, but you have NO idea why.
- Other days you totally suck at it, and you have NO idea why.
- Sometimes you get whipped in places you shouldn't.
- You walk around with more whelps than a Singapore criminal.
- When it isn't working, you throw things.
- They are hard work.
- But at the end of the the day it is TOTALLY worth it.

Happy Valentines Day suckers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

10 Things Burpees Will Do For You

For Dax,

10. Make you hate your trainer more than the a-hole driving 35 in a 65.
9.  Make you stop and chalk up... even though you ain't grabbing nothing but your underwear outta your crack.
8.  Give you the worst knee burn since you were a horny college kid.
7.  Cause you to question the existence of God but not Satan.
6.  Wonder WTF you were thinking when you agreed to start Crossfit.
5.  Make running seem like frolicking on the beach with a Margarita.
4.  Cause you to wonder if you passed 2nd grade math... because you can't remember if you were on 34 or 35.... DAMMIT!!!  Where the hell is Count von Count when you need him?
3.  Make you Cherry pick WODs.
2.  Make you sing this DAMN SONG the whole time.

and the #1 things Burpees will do for you?

1. Lose a little faith in humanity when you realize just how sadistic people are...

P.S. All the links are safe for work... I promise.

Monday, January 30, 2012

10 Things to Never Say on Facebook

I written before about how Facebook is a lot about bragging.  Everyone, myself included, does a lot of "look at what I did" posts as a mini pat on the back.  It's usually pretty harmless, but sometimes it gets a little out of control.  Hence, my top 10 things you should post on Facebook.

Warning, Adult Humor:
10.  Hey guys, I was wrong, that toe fungus IS contagious.  P.S. Can I have my socks back?
9.  I was right, that cream is making that place I discovered feel better.
8.  Second best booty call EVER!
7.  I didn't know condoms expired.
6.  Dude, I just palmed $5000 in chips from Caesars Palace!
5.  My mom just told me I wasn't supposed to be an only child, but I was so special, they decided to stop!
4.  Master Bater... just set a PR.
3.  My girlfriend just told me I kiss better than her dad!
2.  I just finished cataloging all 456 of my comic books!!

and the number 1 thing not to brag about on Facebook:

1. Forgot my underwear in my gym bag... WODing Commando!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Crap I've Learned this Week

Totally Random, but Enlightening

1.  If our work janitor calls in sick, the men's bathroom runs out of toilet paper at exactly 9:37am.
2.  Related to #1, Bounty may be the quicker picker upper, but it ain't the softer wiper upper.
3.  If you aren't very strong but want to do push-ups anyway, you can buy a Push Up Pump to help you maintain your weakness.
4.  Drinking and ordering on-line should be mutually exclusive activities.
5.  On a pull-up ripped hand, many things will make it sting.... but in least to most hurtful are:  salt, water, soap, shampoo.... but the worst is hair gel... ouch.
6.  Tabasco Chipotle is the tastiest low calorie condiment in the entire world.
7.  If you've been married for more than 7 years AND you forget to plan something for your wife's birthday AND it's cold outside, you need long underwear to survive sleeping outside.
8.  Related to #7, your wife gets to hand you a long birthday wish list of expensive items.  All of which you will buy.
9.  At work, you always want to toilet seat to be cold.  Never do you want to sit on a warm one.
10.  Elmo and Jimmy Fallon are the funniest comic duo I've seen in a long while.

Have a great week.  I hope you learn something too.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Recapping Two Years of Crossfit (or How I Came to Adore Calluses)

In a few days, I will celebrate my second full year of Crossfit.  It has been a great two years but I look forward to the next two even more.  I'm usually pretty sarcastic and tongue in cheek in these posts, but I want to be serious for a few minutes.

This year held a lot of ups and downs for me.  I'll admit, they were mostly ups.  New daughter, great job change, continuing a path to health, watching my teenagers mature, loving my wife more each day.  The downs were related somewhat to my health.  I gained back about 7 - 10 pounds (half muscle, half fat), I got slower in my runs, my lower back and knees started bothering me more and more.  The flip side is that I still set PRs in almost every repeated WOD except the pure running ones.  I guess I traded strength and size for speed and svelte.

I watched a lot of good friends leave the box for various reasons.  I made new friends as it continued to grow.

OK, yawn, I know... it get's boring reading a chronicle of someone else's year... so here come the insights I gleaned.

Top 10 Insights from 2 Years of Crossfit
10.  Crossfit is so diverse, so intense, so technical, it will keep you engaged, involved, and excited for a very long time.  I'm on year 2 and currently resting for a cycle.  I am so damn ready to get back in the gym, it's hard to keep my commitment to rest.
9.  For me, diet is way harder than completing the WODs.  It requires willpower every minute of every day and sometimes I simply don't have it.  Despite having felt the benefits, I still struggle to maintain it.
8.  It may be all about diet, but life needs to be worth living.  True.  That is why I've adopted the 85% rule.  I target to have 85% of my diet be "perfect" so I can eat 15% of whatever I want.  I've tried it two different ways, (a) cheating 15% everyday and (b) saving it all up for 1 day.  I've found it makes no difference weight/performance wise.  But I personally like (a).
7.  There are many paths to the same result.  I don't have much to say on this, but it's true :D.
6.  Crossfit isn't perfect.  No program is.  There have been many "breaks" from the community by experienced, highly visible Crossfitter trainers.  There are valid points to their criticisms of the Crossfit regimen.  However, I contend that on the whole, CF is accessible to "everyday people" and shakes "everyday people" out of their comfort zone... therefore, it is highly effective.  Many of the professional trainers, Oly lifters, and Navy SEAL BUD/S trainers can find faults, but for the everyday Joe, it's "good enough" to make us look and feel great.  It also inspires many, many people by flipping some hidden switch in some of us.  No other workout regime has ever done that.... so Crossfit ain't perfect, but nothing is.
5.  The spotlight can be good, it can be bad.  I'm still not sure how I like the Reebok agreement. I'll admit some of the allure of Crossfit is it is not a mainstream program.  I like feeling like a badass to other "mortal" exercisers.  I'm not a narcissist, but in this one area I feel cocky.  When Reebok introduces Crossfit "lite", which they must at some point to recoup their investment... I'm going to be pissed when Joe Smo from the local gym tells me he's doing Xfit when all he's doing is a couple of box jumps and pretending to toss a wall ball.
4.  While discipline can be public, motivation is highly personal,  Have you ever watched the Biggest Loser? I didn't for a long time because I assumed it was basically exploiting overweight people.  Boy was I wrong.  As a former fat ass, it is one of the most inspiring things to watch people transform themselves.  After seeing plenty of people in the gym and watching the show, I can say that motivation comes in all shapes and sizes, but it always personal and specific.
3. There is always room for improvement.  I am still working to improve my clean after 2 years and it is BY FAR, my best move.  I have continued to improve with methodical coaching and corrections to form.
2.  Crossfit people are the best.  I have met so many great people from such diverse backgrounds.  In the course of a 15 minute warm-up, I will talk to: a nurse, a financial planner, a logistics manager, a student, a marketer, a highway patrol officer, a corporate manager, a corporate executive, a stay at home mom, a sales person, a drug rep, a teacher, a solider, and numerous firefighters.  How cool is that?

and the # 1 thing I've learned:
1. Maintaining a healthy weight is mostly due to good eating habits, while maintaining a healthy fitness level is mostly due to good exercise habits.  They are certainly interdependent, but not as much as people want to believe.  Think about it for a minute, have you or anyone you know ever lost a significant amount of weight by simply adding an exercise routine to their lifestyle?  I'd guess "none".  How many people that lost a lot of weight do so by changing their diet?  I'd guess "all of them".  On the flip-side, eating raw veggies, lean meat and good fat ain't gonna make your mile faster if you don't go out and run on a regular basis.  You have to choose both to have a balanced, healthy life...

OK, now for the fun:

The Top 5 Things I Haven't Learned in 2 Years
5. How to keep someone stealing my damn box during the WOD.  I need it to get myself hooked onto the pull-up bar!
4. How to not get a "front wedgie" when using the pull-up bands.
3. That keeping up with a 20 year old on the first 800m run is STUPID.
2. To enjoy "All the Single Ladies" as a motivating workout song.  Bleech.

and the number one thing I still haven't learned...
1. WODs that look easy... aren't, WODs that look hard... usually suck worse than you can imagine.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Top 10 New Year's Crossfit Resolutions

My <sarcastic> NY resolutions...

10.  Not to mutter "go f--- yourself" under my breath, to the trainer, when my squat isn't deep enough.
9. Not to steal someone else's <bar, kettlebell, band, box, wife, husband, or score> during a WOD.
8. To write down my score before the endorphins wear off and completely forget where I am.
7. Not to make voodoo dolls replicas of the "fast people" and poke needles in their legs just before a running WOD.
6. Not to take the chalk out of the bucket... even when I just to write my rep count on the floor.
5. To bomb the bar from way overhead with 5 lb weights.  I know it makes me look bad ass to hold 55 lbs overhead and then just drop it, but I know it's not good for the equipment.
4. To run like a gazelle, lift like a beast, and whimper afterwards like a baby.
3. To buy no less than 18 t-shirts, 14 pairs of shoes, 5 pairs of rope climbing socks, 83 rolls of tape, 15 lbs of protein powder, and 9 subscriptions to the Crossfit Journal.  Dedication... all it takes is a little cash.
2.  To  NEVER, EVER, EVER think a "100 day burpee challenge" is in any way a good idea.

and finally,

1. To recognize and cherish the outstanding people I have met at Crossfit 540.  To continue the life changing, life enhancing, life extending, programming from Trevor Belline.  To set an example for others by working as hard as I can each and every day.  To greet and welcome each new person and make them feel welcome in an intimidating environment.  To improve my form in lifting, running, and especially squatting.  To work on my mobility, my warm-ups, and my nutrition, all to become even better in 2012.

Happy New Year Crossfit 540ers...