Over the past few days I’ve let my eating slide a little bit. This has been largely due to my going through a few tough things that have left me feeling a little weak emotionally. Interestingly enough, it is only during these moments when I tend to allow myself to eat certain things. And these certain things include a large amount of sugar!
Now, it’s not uncommon in any way to be an emotional eater. In fact, it’s probably one of the most common issues with how people eat out there. You get very specific attachments to types of food throughout your life, and these become engrained in you forever. Unless you take the time (and incredibly difficult effort) to change them, they’ll only get stronger and stronger. So today, I want to share with you my weaknesses for food, why, and how I formed them, and my thoughts on how I can approach it all.
I have three very distinct memories from childhood in relation to food: first, it was when my grandmother would bring over sour cream latkes (if you don’t know what these are, just think white flour, egg and sour cream, pan fried, with sour cream on top… wowza!) and my brother and I would compete to see who could eat the most. They were about 3-4 inches by 3-4 inches, circular shaped, and I would consume 30+ in one sitting, no matter how much my stomach begged for forgiveness. Second, was when we were sick as very young children. My mother would allow us to have MacDonald’s breakfast after we visited the doctor. I remember loving it so much that I would longingly stare at those magical golden arches every time we drove by. That was the only time we were ever allowed to eat there. Third, was when I was in middle school and would go over to friends’ houses. They would have things like cookies, crackers, candy and other goodies stocked up, while we never had anything even resembling that at our house. I would just lose all control and go to town on their sugary and salty snacks. It was like I was storing it all in my belly for the few days I would have to eat fruit and veggies at home before I could get back to their house to eat more!
Looking back at these three memories, I can see something very interesting: desert food, and highly processed food, was so outlawed to me that it was like a super-gift each and every time I was allowed to have it. So what did this turn into as I grew older? Well, in high school, I found out that with more responsibility in when and what I ate, I seemed to gravitate towards finding these “outlawed” foods because now I had the ability to get them myself. And when I was able to drive, well, holy cow! MacDonald’s and me were inseparable. After baseball games I was known to get 3-4 burgers, super sized fries and soda, and then have an ice cream or apple pie thing. I would have that meal at least 4 times each and every week during the summer. Between games I would enjoy a large sandwich or burger, then wash it down with 8+ free-refilled soda, then pick up another soda, a couple gatorades and some snickers and chips to have during my next game. So yeah. I ate like crap. But I didn’t know any better. I knew my mom wouldn’t be the happiest camper about it all. But she wasn’t around to tell me NO, and I was a big boy who could make my own decisions!
Crap food was my reward for being free to make my own choices. When someone else made choices for me, I wasn’t allowed this stuff. So, of course the floodgates would open later in life. This reward soon expanded to become something that I psychologically needed to feel good. It’s a pretty cut and dry concept: if you reward yourself with something you enjoy, you’ll do more and more to receive said award. The only problem is, food is a necessity in life, and when you get hungry you are faced with a choice: either eat clean, healthy, good food; or, eat fake, unhealthy, crap food. And what happens when you don’t actually understand what the difference is? Well, you eat the food that you learned was the best tasting and gave you instant satisfaction. So, all of a sudden I’m a junior in college, stressed, confused, trying to have fun and allowing my emotions run how and what I ate. When I was happy, or doing good things, I would reward myself with “good” food. When I was sad or depressed, I would make myself feel better with the same “good” food. And that’s how it went until I was a whopping 245 pounds of not so solid, chubby wonderfulness!
Today my habits have changed drastically. The most important thing was learning first what food actually was (if it come directly from nature, it’s probably food). Next it was how to consume it intelligently enough to properly fuel my lifestyle. But the habits that I formed through 21 years of my life still haunt me, less and less each month, but still there nonetheless. Even tonight, as I returned home from training a client to finish up this post, I found myself overcome by my dark food habits. I was at Whole Foods picking up a few odds and ends for my cooking spree tomorrow. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been going through some emotionally difficult issues, and I could feel that overwhelming urge to calm my sadness and insecurities with what I grew up understanding would do so: sugar. And it didn’t help that one of my favorite bakeries; Sticky Fingers (just check out the site!) was selling cookies and brownies. So, I enjoyed a couple of each as I walked the 3 miles back to my house. Did I feel better? Hell yes I did! Did I help myself, and the growth I desire to be a better person? Not in any possible way. I gave in to something I know I honestly don’t want in my life. My stomach feels bloated and uncomfortable, my throat is clogged up, and my brain feels a little fuzzy. I don’t like that feeling. The few minutes of enjoyment was not worth the way I feel now, or the way I’ll feel in the morning.
I am still in the process of learning to overcome these emotional attachments that I’ve created in myself. I don’t have any definitive answers for you, and for that I am sorry. I am merely sharing this all with you to cause some form of thought within yourself. How do YOU see food? What are YOUR attachments and weaknesses? In my being able to be open and honest about my problems, I know I can pursue the things I want with a clearer mind. If I can share my struggles, and openly share the process I have for overcoming those struggles, I believe I can genuinely fix them from their absolute core. If you have a process, share it. If you don’t, be honest with yourself and learn to create and use one. If I didn’t have one I would still be an unhealthy fitness wannabe, right on the cusp on “getting it”.
True change can never happen if you don’t start from deep within.
I hope my ramblings inspire a little thought. And as always, I am here to bounce ideas off of, to discuss (even argue if need be), to answer questions, to help and to support.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Why do you lift?
Why do you run?
Why do you suffer?
Why do you smile?
Why do you get angry?
Why do you hang out with friends?
Why do you spend time alone?
Why do you read?
Why do you watch TV?
Why do you listen to music?
Why do you challenge yourself?
Why do you make excuses?
Why do you stand back up?
Why do you search for answers?
Is it to become a better person? To internalize all the information you receive from all the different resources you can find and find a way to use it to make your life, and the lives of everyone around you better?
Or do you use it to judge? Do you use it to justify potentially negative actions on your own part? Do you use it to learn enough about others to talk behind their backs about how stupid their lives must be?
It is human to complain and judge. It is human to be negative and down. It is human to be angry. But if these things dictate your life; if you let them take over your personality and become what defines you, it’s time to make a change.
Stop using others as your gauge for how life should be lived. Take a good look at yourself, I mean a damn, long, hard, good look within yourself and think about what it is YOU want in life. Are you doing everything to attain that/those thing(s)? Have your surrounded yourself with people who support your needs? Have you pursued the lifestyle, the career that will satisfy you the greatest? Are you every day becoming more and more the person you truly want to be?
What are you good at? If you know what it is (even if it’s many things), are you living that/those? If you don’t know what it is, are you doing anything about that? Is your life hurting or helping yourself? Is your life hurting or helping others? Is your life compromised? Are you settling? Are you happy? Are you pursuing happiness?
Sometimes it’s worth sitting down and asking yourself some of these loaded questions. If you’ve never done this than you are missing out on a HUGE part of what I think life is all about: healthy growth. You think this is cheesy, overwhelming, pointless, and/or too difficult; well, than it’s YOU who should be doing this more than anyone. Swallow your pride, or what ever it is holding you back from learning about YOU, and make the time. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can never truly take care of another. If you don’t love yourself, you can never truly love another.
Why do you do the things you do?
Never Stop, GET FIT.
So, out here in wonderfully awesome California while the movers take care of our stuff. I’m sitting on our barely used balcony, not a cloud in the sky and just letting my mind wander off on all the fun I had while I was out here. One of my athletes out here told me yesterday that every time I leave, it’s like a huge portion of the gym leaves with me. It was funny hearing that perspective because in all honesty, every time I leave here it feels like a good-sized chuck of myself is left behind. I have made a home for myself for the rest of my life out here and I find it impossible to think that I won’t be back here on a very regular schedule to visit, workout and hang out with all the incredible people and places I connected with.
So, for those of you Californian who are reading this, answer me a one-question survey, either post to comments, email me or text me what you think:
If I came out here on a set schedule (like for a week every two months or something like that), would you be interested in specialty training for the time I’d be in town?
On to the update! West Side Barbell has been going very well for me these past two weeks, and the metcons I’ve been throwing in have been perfectly supplementary and fun! I was able to get 385# for a comfortable 3 on the back squats (matching a PR I got about a month back) and I feel as though that consistent 400+ squat is right there! The posterior chain work I’ve been adding in to all my leg days has been working wonders. I feel my glutes and hamstrings have been feeling stronger and stronger and I can now feel them firing at the beginning of all leg movements now, rather than sometime during the middle (inefficient firing sequence if they are going any later than before the movement starts by the way). The metcons have just been flat out awesome! I’ve been outside for every single one for the past month and I really can’t speak any more highly of working out outdoors. There have been tires, ropes, sandbags, hills, bridges, and more. And the best part about it all is I’ve been using all these tools in as many different ways I can possibly imagine. One of the best ones I did with a good group was throwing a large car tire 50 meters, jumping over and through a swing 10 times, overhead throwing the tire 50 meters, running back 50 meters with it, and then jumping through the tire 10 times. So much fun!
Things have been winding down for the summer for my athletes as well. With about 85% of my client base being high school and college athletes, it has hot that time of year where everyone is taking a week or so off, then heading back to school. So, September will bring on a little lull in training before fall classes and private training sessions start up and I will be taking full advantage of the down time. I’ll be training harder than ever, mixing in heavier lifts and a ton more gymnastics and skills work. And my sprint work will begin to increase as I prepare my body for more focused power training in October.
For those of you who don’t know, I am actively pursuing a good sized gym space in the greater Washington DC area and have my sights set on a couple locations (now, f only the counties will work with me a little I might be able to get in to one of them before 2020!). The Garage DOES totally rock, but 200 square feet just doesn’t cut it for the amount of athletes who have been coming through!
What else, what else…I have signed up for what I am only assuming will be the next great ongoing physical challenge of my life: The Spartan Race. If you don’t know about it, check it out! If you like what you see, please join me on my quest to try as many of them as I can, including the ever-dreaded Death Race! I have also begun the pursuit of designing a couple unique Courage Foods! Basically, I’ve been spending so much time in the kitchen over the past three months that I have been coming up with some interesting ideas. With my wild passion for Core Warrior Bars (and the insane success they’ve had in impressing almost every single one of my athletes!), I wanted to see if I could make a protein bar without any grains or sugar at all. Well, after about 6 or 7 different combos of ingredients, I think I may have come to a base level of acceptable! That’s all I’ll share for now. Maybe I’ll having something in more detail for the public in a few months… The other idea has to do with BACON! What else do I have to say? Hoping to unveil that one in the coming months as well!
All right, there’s a little update for you all! Back to the fun and sun of California!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well wait a sec, just so you don’t go mouthing off to me that this post is meant for those people who are actually hurt. But then again, on this pre-post tangent, I would be willing to put a good deal of money on the fact that most of you out there have some form of injury going on right now; whether you know it or not. Most major injuries (strained, pulled, torn muscles, busted joints, messed up ligaments and/or tendons, etc.) are after-effects of micro-tears or minor imbalances. What this means is that injuries and other problems going on in your body, most of them you are probably not even aware of, could very well lead to a major injury not too far down the road.
Okay, sweet, now that I have scared the living hell out of everyone and made the claim that we are all mortally injured it's time to move on to the real point of this post! While this is for people with very noticeable injuries, I think that pretty much everyone could benefit from the perspective. And while some readers of my blog are not CrossFitters, the basic concepts can still be understood. So, weather you kip or not with your pull ups, you all should take the time to really think about weather or not your programming is helping or hurting you.
So, CrossFit. Even though I promote a pretty different-from-normal approach to CrossFit than almost any affiliate I have been to, hearing the word CrossFit still conjures up a pretty specific thing. I think barbell lifts, box jumps, wall balls, pull ups, burpees and short sprints and/or double unders. I am extremely aware of the fact that there is so much more to CrossFit than just that, but in all honesty, that short list there (and the endless combination of workouts with those types of exercises) can easily be considered “Classic CrossFit”.
Now that that point is made, let’s go ahead and look at a case study (names and some details may be altered/invented a bit :-):
Adam is in his late thirties, he played a little baseball and football in high school, intramural sports and semi-professional beer pong in college. After graduation he went off to work a 9-5 where happy hours and business dinners were a somewhat regular occurrence each and every week. He would hit the gym 2-4 times per week, no real workout program but he’d bang out a handful of sets of bench, lat pull downs, bi's and tri's and such for an hour or so before jumping on the treadmill for about 20 minutes. Then one day Adam finds a CrossFit gym. He comes in for the free Saturday workout and is sold on the spot; so, he signs up for foundations. Four months later, Adam is down to about 12% body fat (down from the 18% he was at a couple years after college), eating clean most of the time, getting to CrossFit class about 3-4 days a week on a regular schedule and has just signed up for his first competitive event post-college, a brutal Tough Mudder! A week later Adam’s shoulder starts to really hurt. His left knee is bothering him more and more, and his wrists get these random sharp pains that wake him up in the middle of the night.
If this sounds familiar in any way at all, you are probably in the majority of CrossFitters out there. Because of this, it has come to my attention that there is a common belief out there that this is “just the way it is” with CrossFit, and having these “mild” injuries just sort of comes with the territory.
Wrong. Being on a fitness program to become healthier should do the following:
1. Reduce body fat
2. Increase lean muscle mass
3. Decrease stress
4. Increase REM sleep
5. Increase metabolism
6. Balance the body’s inner workings (Gastrointestinal, Nervous, and Muscular systems, etc.)
7. Rehabilitate and avoid injury
8. Increase energy
You get the picture here. I could throw out another 30 things on that list but the main one I’m trying to get at is number 7. If you can see your abs, have tons of energy, and are sleeping better, but your shoulder hurts like hell and you sometimes can’t walk because your knee hurts; well shoot man, something is WRONG. I totally understand how this sort of thing gets overlooked, or is even seen as a non-issue because of all the positive things going on (numbers 1-6 and 8). But, imagine how awesome you’d feel if you had all the positive side effects of CrossFit, and NONE of the negative ones?
Well, it’s an easy fix. Take a look at your programming. A little example of a typical CrossFitters week (4 x per week attendance):
- Warm up with 3 rounds of 10 air squats, lunges and a few other body weight movements
- 4 sets of front squats
- Short MetCon with squat cleans and toes to bar
-Warm up with KB swings, KB high pulls and KB cleans
- L-sit practice
- Long MetCon with wall balls, burpees and double unders
- Warm up with light-weight barbell bear complex (power clean, thruster, back thruster)
- 6 sets of power snatches
- Short MetCon with heavy overhead squats and running
- Warm up with rowing and light KB swings
- 4 sets of deadlifts
- mid-length “chipper” MetCon with power cleans, broad jumps, overhead lunges, sandbag throws, tire flips and hammer strikes
Let’s break this down: First off, I am sure to most this seems like a pretty harmless, typical looking week of CrossFit. In some people eyes this may even look like a damn fun week! Our buddy Adam gets all sorts of fired up for weeks like this because barbell work is something he loves to do! He sees this week and he sees a crap-load of fun. In my eyes, I see a disaster. Not just for poor old Adam, but for everyone. Before I go into why, and before you jump to the conclusion that I’m just a defeatist or something, do me a favor. Look back over the four workouts and the progression (don’t even worry about associating this week with Adam) and let me know by posting to comments why you either like it or don’t like it.
Adam’s shoulders are going to be shot after this week. I would assume the local masseuse and physical therapist will be happy to see his worried face yet again, but I’d bet he would LOVE to not have to take the entire next week off because of shooting pains down his right arm. You see, the Average Joe out there (taking from Adam's training background before CrossFit) has spent 30+ years creating massive imbalances in his/her body. Over-developed pec muscles is the most common imbalance in men, while shortened hamstrings, leading to tightness in the lower back (thank you sitting in chairs most of your life!) are common in both men AND women. Weak hip flexors and unstable knee joints are common in both but more common in women thanks to the natural alignment of their hips and legs; decreased range of motion (ROM) in the shoulders is just about one of the most common imbalances I see in all people. Take these limitations and then jump yourself into a week of weighted, dynamic, high-repetition exercise and you are basically asking for injury.
Monday’s workout has relatively insane volume on the hip flexors. Add heavy weight to the front squats and I’d be surprised if even the fittest of the fit walk away without major soreness. Tuesday through Friday show little rest for those poor legs, while the shoulders take more abuse then I would like to think about. Rep after rep of weighted movement, joints grinding and being forced into momentum-based ranges of motion they have a hard time getting into naturally. Ouch. Forget Adam here people, anyone following this style of programing day in and day WILL get injured. I would put money on it!
So how do you avoid bad programming, over training, injury? Well, this is where things get really tricky, you can't really. I'm sad to say that the awesomely impressive growth of Crossfit brings with it only a few negatives in my eyes; and the inability to avoid these things is easily the greatest one. I cannot expect all people to educate themselves with proper programming and exercise progressions. I cannot expect people to search for the perfect coach; because, well, how the hell is one supposed to know what’s perfect? With 2800+ CrossFit affiliates out there, I would put all the money I won from people betting me they wouldn’t get injured (and then losing miserably) on the fact that well over 2000 of them have crap for programming. I have read endless posts about athletes complaining about injuries and not knowing why. I have read endless posts on coaches bitching about how their athletes keep getting hurt! No, no, no! This just breaks my heart; and can NOT go on!
Take a second to look past all the great things that have happened to you thanks to CrossFit. DO NOT SETTLE FOR BEING INJURED!
Do this starting next class and for the next 8 classes: Take a notebook or some paper and write down the following two movements:
Now, after each class I want you to write down how many times you performed one of those movements and classify your count into two categories: weighted and unweighted. For example, you warm up with three rounds of 10 squats and lunges; you performed 60 total unweighted repetitions of hip/knee flexion. Then you do 4 sets of 6 heavy front squats; that’s 24 total weighted repetitions of hip/knee flexion. Or, 4 sets of 8 push ups and pull ups are 64 reps of unweighted shoulder flexion. This is followed by 6 sets of 3 power snatches for 18 reps of weighted shoulder flexion.
Do this for 8 training days (make sure to note how many days rest you get between those 8 training days) then count how many total weighted and unweighted reps you performed combined. Let me say this: if it’s over 500, you’re putting yourself at a MAJOR risk. Oh, and I mean 500 weighted and unweighted combined for each movement here. I would seriously be interested in seeing your results with this by the way, so please feel free to post them up or email them to me.
To wrap all this up for today; I have no intention of discouraging people from getting after it in all its CrossFit glory. I personally love the sometimes-insane demands of CrossFit as a sport, training method and community, and enjoy all it has to offer. All I am trying to get across here is that the rapid expansion of the community dilutes the intelligent programming that exists. And without demanding all athletes become fitness experts themselves, all I can do is ask that you NOT settle for being injury prone. Remember, the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. If you keep on following the same programming that is bothering your body, you are going to continue to get injured. And coaches: if your athletes are continuously getting injured, it is NOT because of their lack of focus, it is because of your crappy programming!
There are tons of awesome trainers and coaches out there. I recommend shopping around. Talk to their athletes. Ask them about injuries. If most of the people you talk to seem healthy (and I mean healthy in the sense that they fall into ALL the categories numbered above, not just some), and if your coach/trainer can answer all your questions well, well maybe you found the right place!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Lost yet another awesome post to the wonderful world of Weebly and I am fuming angry right now. Super cool.
While workouts and nutrition seem to be going pretty well, it appears as though everything else just will not go my way and I can't for the life of me figure out why. Big things go great it seems, but any and all little things just don't. Strange how things work sometimes, that's for sure.
I feel as though I am a pretty damn positive person, I stay up, I don't let things bother me too much no matter how much I am tested, and I am always looking for the good in people and things no matter what. So let me ask you this: when negativity surround you, when it seems that people and things just want nothing more than to test your ability to be you. When everything around you seems to try to drag you down. What do you do?
I'm not going to lie, I have thought of going in many different directions here. I have thought about just getting really negative, though about bitching and moaning about anything and everything horrible and potentially crappy in my day. I have thought about going off on the people around me who just refuse to see things in a good light and want to share all their negativity with me. I have thought about joining those people and seeing things their way. I have thought about running away, moving out to the woods, the mountains, shoot, back to California where I can just hide in the wilderness and forget about all the little things that bring me down. I have thought about so much. But then it comes time to do, and the side of me that I am most proud of comes out.
To steal a quote from the greatest movie ever (Batman Begins people!): "it's not who you are underneath, but what you DO that defines you". This rings so true to me all the time. My actions are what make me up as a person, not my thoughts. Hell man, most people out there I know have no clue as to who they really are. They think they are this and that type f person, but in reality, they don't and probably have never ACTED the way they think they are. So what type of person are they?
I am supportive, I am trusting, I am helpful, I am patient, and I am humble. No matter what goes on in my head from time to time, it's these things that seem to always come out in my actions no matter what. I think horrible thoughts, I complain plenty, I judge, I insult, I can be very selfish, I tend to be pretty freaking stupid, and I lack responsibility. All these negative qualities and more are part of my personality, but in the end, I strive to make sure that when I act, when I interact, and when I speak, I am not someone who I myself would not want to be friends with. If life is meaningless if not shared, I hope to be someone who shares my life with everyone. I hope that the person I have chosen to be is one that others can appreciate and respect, without fear, without too many complaints, and with ease and comfort.
Well, there’s a rant for you people! And all I wanted to do was write about my training and nutrition program over the past month. Funny how things just inspire a different path sometimes. I guess I’ve been going through a lot lately and feel as though this blog is a modern and effective way to express some of my thoughts. Good times.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Bright and early Saturday morning, people began to roll in for the third installment of the Courage Games. I really wasn't totally sure what to expect in terms of how many people would show as the only marketing I did for it was to create a Facebook event. But, given the "local, fun throwdown" feel of it all, I was really happy with the turnout. The weather was perfect, the athletes were wonderfully energized, the support was perfect (Lindsey and myself ran the show and things went off without a hitch!) and when the day was done, and a handful of us were enjoying grilled meat and a couple drinks, we all agreed that the day could not have been all that much better!
Things got started with a bang with workout #1:
Push a car 50 meters, push it back 50 meters
(women did 30 meters)
The push down for the first 50 meters clearly put everyone at a physiological disadvantage; it was so damn easy! But, when they ran around and tried to get the things going back, all of a sudden things became real tough, fast. Eric Kolarick took home the fasted time with 54 seconds while Leah Vanhoose and Christie Wheatly tied at 51 seconds for the women; most people were in the mid to upper 90+ second range. People sure were walking a little funny after this one, quad burn galore!
After a little break, workout #2 was announced (follow along as best you can...):
Cross short bridge, run a rough single track tail about 150 meters, run up a crazy steep hill about 30 meters, military crawl 20 meters (knees and forearms crawl), cross the blacktop, 5 rope climbs, each about 15 feet (women do 3), then throw a 52#/32# sandbag three consecutive times as far as you can.
When your time is stopped, you get to take 3 seconds off your total time for every 10 feet you throw your bag. Always a little fun twist to throw into the workout to make people think!
Eric Grant took home the top time for men, while Leah Vanhoose blasted through it for the women. What proved to be the best strategy was to just get the sandbags thrown as fast as possible as to not waste any extra time. But people were good and worn out with the combination of skill and raw power after a touch run and crawling face first in freshly mowed, wet grass!
The third one proved to take the most out of people! (follow along closely with this one as well!):
Grab a large bucket, run under two hurdles, over a sandbag pile, through a collection of tires, across a 10' 2x4 and across the blacktop to a sand pit. Hand fill your bucket half way with sand, then run about a 300 meter, very hilly course and back through the obstacles. Hand fill your bucket to the top now with sand (this is heavy by the way...) and repeat the run. End with dumping your bucket back into the sand pit!
Man was this one fun to watch! People shoveling sand into the buckets then taking off around the great outdoors! But it was that second run that just crushed everyone. Word from the athletes was that right around the 3/4 mark of the run loop, it just hit people so damn hard. Running with that crazy heavy bucket was just about as awkward as a run could ever get as well! But the best part: people had a bucket at hand right there just in case things got a little worked up in their stomachs after the workout...
Adam Chudy tore this one up with Cory Spera close at his heels, and Leah Vanhoose yet again grabbed the top time for the women.
A little extra break was given out here as thing were rolling WAY ahead of schedule. And the last one would be a brutal sprint of sneaky-hard proportions!
Sprint 30 meters across the blacktop, up a little hill, grab a sledge hammer then hammer a tire across the 30 meters of the blacktop.
This one felt like it took 20 minutes even tough most people were getting it around 2-3. The go-to strategy for this was to straddle the tire and over-head slam it between your legs. The trick was hitting the tire just right so that it got the slightest big of air under it and could skid across the concrete about 4-6 feet. But peoples hips, shoulders and hands were just burned!
Eric Kolarick came in first for the men, with Dave Shaw just seconds behind him, while Diane Cole took first for the women.
In the end, Dave Shaw proved to be the most consistent across the board (winners were decided by fasted overall combined time) for the men taking home the top prize, while Leah Vanhose blazed through for the win for the women. Below are the top three from both sides:
Dave Shaw - 639 seconds
Eric Grant - 6 seconds
Joseph Barlia - 650 seconds
Leah Vanhoose - 767
Diane Cole - 802
Christie Wheatly - 876
Special thanks to Core Warrior Bars and 2XU for helping out, both are awesome brands that I personally love and am so pumped that they continuously support these awesome athletes as they challenge themselves! Also a huge special thanks to Lindsey for yet again coming out and choosing to spend her wonderful off day outside with me and helping out! Could not have done this without her at all!
And of course, thanks so much to all the athletes who came out and pushed yourselves! So happy to have to you all out for the day and believe me, I'll be getting people together again very soon!
I'll have a nice little video up from the days fun in the next couple days, so look for that!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Ok, so this weekend I traveled up to upstate NY with Lindsey and her brother to run one of those Warrior Dashes. Turned out to be a damn fun time, and got me brainstorming so many different things. First off, what a perfect concept! It's easy enough that anyone can do it, but tough enough so that you can't just sprint right through without getting a little challenged. I mean, just traversing through muddy water is enough of a curve ball to slow you down a little! I opted to hang with Lindsey and her brother and had such a fun time sloshing through the mud and navigating all the crazy obstacles they had in store for us. I was amazed at the fact that we signed up for a 2:30pm on Sunday heat, and it was packed from registration to end! And that's closing in on the end of the second day of heats! What a successful concept these people have come up with.
While some of the elitist competitors out there might not enjoy the laid-back feel of the whole event, I can't really see any real negatives on the whole thing. It saw people of all ages and fitness levels. I mean, it was not all that off to see mostly out of shape goofballs out there just wanting to play around with everyone. And in my mind, there is nothing but AWESOME things to say about an even that inspires anyone and EVERYONE to get outside and run around!
We got ourselves all checked in, in the craziness and hoards of people dressed up in all sorts of entertaining get-up. We then walked on up to the start line, through even more craziness and got to waiting for our heat to get going. About a mile of straight up the mountain (they are generally held at ski resorts) across the ridge and back down, that was the course. And for the obstacles we had three different water traps, a slip n' slide, walls, tires in all forms of tricky ways, old cars and trucks to climb over and plenty of rope, cargo nets and boards to climb all over. Needless to say, they were not really easy per say, in fact, a couple of them were actually pretty damn hard. They were just perfectly tough!
And to top it all off, a massive turkey leg to feast on afterwards! Can't really think of too much else better than that!
Back in the DC area now, ready to train hard and revamp the nutrition plan to see what else I can learn! Oh, and the Fitness Survival Challenge in less than a week away!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Don't get into a discussion about food with a large group of teenagers. You'll never get anywhere with them all. Rather, make it a one-on-one thing.
Look at what you can do to make things better rather than what is going wrong. You'll be amazed at how much better your workouts and nutrition can and will be when you take a slightly more positive approach.
Take an hour a day, a week, whatever it takes, to figure out exactly what kind of lifestyle you want to live. Eat and train accordingly...
...it's not just WHAT you eat; it's how well you fuel YOUR LIFE that leads to complete success.
If it's hard, difficult, challenging, and/or intimidating, KEEP GOING.
If it hurts, STOP.
Accept that you know very little about most things...
...if you plan to make a change, learn how to do so, properly.
...if you are going to judge, take a look at what you are doing.
...if you are going to make a claim, find out if it's right.
Take plenty of rest days. You will not become fat and out of shape; you will get in better shape and prevent injuries. Recover with the same intensity with which you train.
Get to know your kitchen. Seriously, I know more people who can talk their way around local restaurants better than their own kitchen, it's pretty sad.
Earlier today I was unfortunate enough to get involved in a pretty humorous argument my college guys were having as they warmed up before class (this obviously inspired my first point above...). While I immediately realized it was just not going to end with any sort of progress made, it got me thinking about how much most people do not know about health and fitness. As a fitness professional, hanging out with other fitness fanatics like myself, and reading article upon article about it all, I sometimes forget that the world I live in is still a pretty limited world in terms of its serious population. Shoot, even people who claim to be a part of this world have no idea what's going on (how many "trainers" have you seen who are over weight, relying on rehabilitation machines for their workouts, and eating like complete crap?! I have seen TONS!). What I have found over and over again is that peoples lack of knowledge in what is truly good for them is a slippery slope to injury, sickness, limited or stalled fitness gains, and an overall negative and lethargic lifestyle.
If your energy sucks, if you sleep like crap, if you're overweight, if your productivity is down, if you're in a bad mood all the time, feeling frustrated, depressed, angry and so on, perhaps you need to make a change. And as stated above, REAL change will be hard to come buy if you are not educated in what you need to do. Read a book, read an article, talk to a professional, take a class, watch a documentary, try things out.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well ladies and gents, The Courage Games 3rd Edition is coming on fast!
First off I want to apologize for not posting up more story lines over the past couple weeks. My initial reaction was to not do it any more as nobody commented or reacted to my first one; then, I had a couple pretty intense weekends of all-over-the-placeness. So, let this post be a little catch-up.
We are now less than two weeks away from the wonderfully exciting day and I am so looking forward to seeing how all this pans out. The workouts are designed, mostly tested (no worries, they will all be tested and doable!), and everything is on track and as ready to go as they can be at this stage.
As mentioned with the announcement of the event, the workouts will not be announced until the day of, so, you won't find any major clues here. But, I want to be sure to give you all enough info so you can be as prepared as possible.
First off: this thing will happen rain or shine. And for anyone moaning and groaning about that, I hosted The Courage Games #2 in 40 degree weather in a torrential downpour. Not only did all 85+ competitors show, but over 40 spectators hung out in the craziness all day! Just saying...
While there are 4 total "workouts", or events, they are designed in such a way that literally anyone could and can complete. To reiterate, this is NOT your typical CrossFit competition. Your ability to assess a situation and come up with the most efficient way to utilize your body along with whatever obstacles are included will be tested here. You will NOT see barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, boxes, med balls, pull up bars and all that fun stuff. For those if you who came out to The Courage Games #1last summer, your advantage is you know the terrain. There are woods, a huge field, interesting hills, a school building, trees, playground stutters, plenty of rocks and logs, grass, dirt, sand, concrete, rock, and mulch surfaces and plenty of interesting pieces of equipment my crazy mind has though up. And for those of you who know me, I love interesting, funky and fun programming...
What to bring:
A change of clothes
Extra pair of shoes
TONS to drink
Some money (for donations, extra goodies and anything else yu mint want)
Tent/canopy (there is shade, but play it safe)
Chairs (there are plenty of paces to sit, but play it safe again)
Food and drink to bring to the after party
Swim suit (also for the after party)
What you'll get:
Courage Games/Courage Performance T
Courage Performance bracelet
25% coupon for 2XU gear
Core Warrior half-bar
$5 discount for Core Warrior Bars
What'll be available:
Core Warrior Bars
What you could win:
Core Warrior Bars
Schedule of events:
7:30am - Registration opens
(This is a first come first serve event. Unless you emailed me, or posted up on the Facebook page that you are in, you better show up early to secure a spot. There WILL be a cut-off!)
8:30am - 1st workout announced. Heats announced
9:00am - 1st workout starts
10am-4ish pm - Workouts 2-4 will be announced, along with heats and will take place. The times of these will be dependent on heat numbers and such.
5:00pm - Winners announced. After party begins!
There are a few places to grab food nearby (Safeway, sandwich shop, Starbucks and a couple others) and I will have directions and info readily available to anyone who wants (be advised that the workout schedule will be a little erratic, so don't disappear for too long!).
If you plan to come to the after party to eat, drink, swim, and chill, please please please bring something to share. If you don't, you'll be kicked out!
Well, I hope that answers a lot of questions, and helps to raise a little excitement! If you have any questions at all, please post on the events page or email me any time. If anything else comes up between now and then, I will be sure to post up on the Facebook page. If anything big should come up (like hints and whatnot), it'll all be posted here as well.
Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!!
Never stop, GET FIT.