So, last Friday was my 30th birthday, and it was a damn good one. There wasn't really a plan to do anything leading up to the big day, probably a little frolic through the woods and then out to grab a boat-load of meat to consume! But, one of my long-time clients and good friends asked if her and her husband could put together a party for me. I hesitatingly accepted her offer (I just feel guilty when someone does stuff for me, something myself and all of us should learn to get over if you have that problem!) and she went about organizing what would turn out to be one of the most wonderful gifts I've ever received. There were some 50+ people who rolled through this wonderful house, great food, plenty to drink, and the coolest cake I have ever seen in my life! It was great to hang out with so many of my friends and I must make one quick point to a new group of friends I am excited to have, the Outlaws! Only having met the crew from Outlaw CrossFit a few months ago really, I feel like I have connected with an awesome group of people. And I'm proud to rep the team this coming weekend!This is my natural transition to my next topic, The CrossFit Games Regionals! Tomorrow marks the first of three days of competition and I'll be headed to the PG County Athletic Complex with Team Outlaw to battle for a spot at this years CrossFit Games! I am feeling so confident in our chances of making the top three teams to win a spot to the Games. Rudy (our coach and owner at CrossFit Outlaw) has done a damn good job of programming so that all of us are more than prepared. And as the first time ever competing as part of a team, I am looking forward to the group dynamic and added energy of each event!It's been a crazy couple weeks for sure. Training has been really focused, birthday was awesome, Lindsey surprised me with a GoPro camera which is AWESOME and all you guys will get to check out my experiences this weekend from the view of this bad ass camera! And the next couple months look to be just as exciting. I have a trip down to South Carolina to celebrate my host-sister's (from my host family when I played baseball in FLA) graduation/birthday. I have a long trip out to CA to hang with the old crew, workout and do a little training camp at CrossFit San Mateo (and probably go surfing and eat the best BBQ in the world!). I have Courage Bars to attend to and am planning some huge things for them this summer. And I expect to see a record breaking number of athletes come though the nations largest gym, The Garage (all of 200 square feet) through the summer months!I also promise (as I have done many times before) to write a little more regularly on this thing! I definitely go through phases with being motivated to write. As many of you know, writing doesn't really come naturally to me (as you can tell with all the grammatical errors on this site, something I plan to change, in fact, read note on this below!) so I struggle here and there with the idea of just sitting and writing anything. Either way, I am scheduling out a time on a regular basis to write, and edit video over the summer. Should be one filed with plenty of good info and ideas!As for grammatical errors, if you find one of my idiotic misspellings, or a major error in my writing (overuse of commas, run-on sentences and the like do NOT count!), let me know and I will do something "entertaining" as self-punishment for writing like a loser! Sound good?Finally, I'll be posting all sorts of updates from Regionals on Facebook and Twitter (@jcourage), so make sure to follow along!Never Stop, GET FIT.Josh Courage
My favorite picture of us
Feeling a little bad that for the first time in a good while I passed over my moms birthday without writing a little post. So, perhaps it’s a bit late, but I wanted to pay a little respect to the woman to inspired so much in me, and continues to do so.
For those of you newer readers who don’t know about my mom, she was one of the greatest fighters I have ever met (and I do know a few elite level MMA crazies, so…). What I mean by that is that when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she fought through an incredible number of years going the natural route. She stayed active, she committed to overall health both inwardly and outwardly. She worked on healing relationships and making new and lasting ones with the idea that all of this would allow her body to naturally fight this horrible sickness. What blew my mind about my mother the most was that when she was seemingly at her worst, and I mean stage-4 cancer, disintegrated spine, major osteoporosis, rapid weight loss and probably a whole list of things I am forgetting, she still lived. With all these problems, she still cooked almost every single meal. And a meal for her would easily average an hour or two because it was 100% real food. She consumed nothing processed, nothing fake at all. She would walk twice a day, sometime for over an hour. Put this into perspective people, so many of us seemingly “healthy” people make excuses to not workout, be active, and make our own food every single day. Our country is fatter and sicker than ever before. And yet there was this frail, horrendously falling apart woman who chose to pursue what she believed and loved every single day. She made no excuses, she smiled every day, and she hoped to leave us all with the feeling of deep love in the end. And I would argue that her ultimate goal in life was achieved. She proved that living a life that you can respect and smile about is way better than choosing excuses, prescription drugs, tons of surgeries and a long, painful death.
Now I don’t want to paint a completely positive picture of her, while she inspired so much good, there was plenty she did that caused pain in our family. But this is also something she taught me; to be straightforward about how you feel and to face those feeling with honesty and a clear mind. She strived to be the best woman she could be to all of us, and to everyone in her life. And while she slipped up here and there, she clearly found success in the pursuit of what she wanted out of life.
I am especially aware of her missing in my life around this time of year because we used to go see the Cherry Blossoms together in Kenwood, MD. We would stroll around, talking, silent, laughing, thinking, and just soaking in the power of the beauty of those flowers. One of the most vivid memories I have of her was her spinning and spinning around with her arms out when a gust of wind blew and covered us in a snow-fall of pick flower pedals. It doesn’t matter who you are, there was something so touching about the joy and freedom she clearly felt in those moments. It was impossible not to smile.
I miss her. I hope to remember every day that the best way to live life is to do what you feel deep down to be right. It doesn’t matter if people disagree with you, try to hold you back, argue with you, or even fight you. If you believe in it with all your heart, good things will happen in your life. And when the end comes, you can look back on everything you did, everything you stood for, and be proud. My mother was proud of all of us, and I am so proud to have had her as a driving force in my life for so long.
Happy belated Birthday, Mom!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
After a few last minute changes, Lindsey and I decided on San Diego as our spot to chill for about a week. The choice could not have been more perfect, and to celebrate my 29th birthday, we had all sorts of fun. Here’s a bit of a run-down of our adventures: Tuesday – Woke up, had a massive breakfast at our hotel in downtown San Diego, then headed out to Pacific Beach to get a workout in at my buddy Bryan Boorsteins’ gym Pacific Beach CrossFit. I got some decent squat work in, then a super quick metcon of double unders and GHD sit ups. Then it was a few hours out by the pool, a nice little dinner and a Padres game before headed to bed. Wednesday – My birthday and I was excited to get rolling! Lindsey and I hit an AM run along the bay with some nice stir sprints to finish. Then it was a he breakfast before heading back to Pacific Beach for another workout: 29 reps of each for time: Power cleans 95# Box jumps 24” Pull ups Push press 95# Air squats Row for calories OH lunge 45# Ring dips Toes to bar Burpees Wowza was this a killer. I finished in 15:29 and am sure this is one that could be done sub-12. Toes to bar and dips got me. Oh well, off to the beach for some lunch and sun! After we burned ourselves up a bit, we hit the road, headed for Cuyamaca Rancho State Park out in the mountains for some camping. Before getting into the wild though, we found a Whole Foods to stock up at, and then hit an absolutely AWESOME Mexican spot for dinner, El Zerape. Steak burrito and fish tacos baby! Rolling into the campsite around 8pm did not help us with the organization of the whole evening, but, we found a site, got the tent up and promptly passed out under the sounds of nature and the amazing clear night sky. Thursday – I woke up around 6 and was buzzing with energy. We had granola and fruit, and then packed up our gear to head to Ramona to a trail head. The once rugged path was now a spacious winding trail (we even hiked past a bunch of workers making the trail more navigatable) that led us about 2.5 miles into a gorge. Once down in lower and, we waded through three river crossings before popping out to a absolutely breathtaking 150+ foot waterfall. The next three or so hours was spent chilling by the water basin, jumping from rocks and just soaking in the incredible beauty nature supplies us (if only we go looking for it!). This part of the whole trip was hands down one of my most memorable experiences. I would travel back to San Diego for this waterfall alone in a hear beat. SO NICE! The hike back was a tough, but our minds were filled with excitement from the waterfall and it flew by. Back at the trail-head we chowed down on salami, celery and almond butter and trail mix. We then stopped at a store in Ramona to get a few more supplies and drove o back to the same campsite to have a peaceful evening. We got the fire going, set up our tent and cooked up some burgers and chicken sausages, topped off with a few s’mores and another early bedtime under the stars! Friday – Another breakfast in the great outdoors and we began out trek back towards the city. We made a quick stop at some batting cages first and took a handful of rounds each. I have been missing baseball a lot lately and it felt so great to swing the bat again. I plan to do a lot more baseball stuff this coming summer! The rest of the day was spent checking out downtown for lunch, hitting Pacific Beach CrossFit again for some deadlifts and bent rows, and then out to La Jolla for a perfect dinner at an organic restaurant, before heading home and getting some sleep in. Saturday – Not much to write about here, just some food, one last stop at PB CrossFit to bring Bryan and Anders (the other owner) a little gift, then off to the airport to head back up to San Mateo! Man, when I break down this week and I can think of not too much else to add. I always have all these ideas f things I want to do but when you boil it down it consists of only a few things: hanging with Lindsey, working out, being outside, and exploring. I got to do all that and more this past week and it was one for the record books in terms of awesomeness! I spent mot of the last day thinking about what I want out of my life and realized that with everything I hope to accomplish, all I want is to have those four things on a regular basis: Lindsey, Workouts, Outdoors, Exploring Now I’m back home, ready for a new training program to prepare for regionals, and the reality of this whole move back East is really stating to sink in. I have a lot to do these next couple weeks! Never Stop, GET FIT. Josh Courage
Yesterday we had a decent group come in for the "StrongMan Saturday" workout, but it ended up being a little scattered thanks to the absolutely crazy rainstorm that hit us. And what's even crazier is the rain that's coming down right now. Apparently there IS a rainy season around here, but people are freaking out at how much it's been coming down as of late. It is coming down like mad right now.
So back to yesterday's fun. Things got started with breakfast at the place Lindsey and I have found to have the best breakfast around these parts. We took JP over there and ordered our food. Interestingly enough, not too long after our meal, all three of us did not feel right. JP and Lindsey were able to have that feeling subside, me on the other hand, well, I felt pretty much like crap the entire day. It was brutal. Even today I am still feeling a good bit off. Ugh.
So, we started off our workout yesterday by hooking up the harness to the car and running 100 meters with it. Immediately following the run, we zipped into the gym and held a heavy barbell over our heads for as long as possible. We ended up getting two rounds each with this, I was able to get 185# for 59 seconds, then 205# for 41 on my second attempt. Time and rain cut that off at two rounds each, then we wasted a ton more time trying to figure a way to get some unique pulling work in. JP came up with the sweet idea to wrap our climbing rope around the high pull up bar and tie a KB to the end. We then went three times through each of pulling the weight up to the bar (3 times), 50 weighted jump ropes and 30 sit ups. It was pretty cool.
We then finished with a birthday workout for Justin. It was his 17th birthday so we hit 10 burpee pull ups and 7 broad jumps for 3 rounds. This was a sneaky hard one. I finished in the high 3-minute range and my arms were spent, pretty sue the rope pulling had a good amount to do with this.
Well, anyways, after a skipped metcon on Friday, a spread out workout yesterday, and a LONG rest day on Thursday, I am itching for a great workout. So, today I am headed in to test my clean and jerk numbers and then attack two metcons! Despite having an upset stomach, I am really looking forward to just getting after it today.
Never Stop, GET FIT.