On Sunday my girl and I went down to a spot we found a bit south of Half Moon Bay. Before getting into my rant, I want to take a moment to explain one of the many reasons I love where I live. This place is just a tiny turn-off on Route 1, one that I'm sure gets driven past every single day by thousands of cars without even an idea of its existence. You park in the dirt and wander down a hidden path amongst the bushes. You journey down, down some more, and down a little more until you hit a clearing and are welcomed with an awe-inspiring view of the ocean. You're still about 100 yards or more above the beach, on a pretty damn sheer cliff, but you have to stop to soak it all in. To your right is about a half mile of abandoned beach with massive cliffs in the distance with waves crashing off the rocks. To the left, well, the same. Then you look around the clearing and you notice a rope to you right, and another to your left, both leading down and around a worn and loose-textured trail. You really need those ropes to get down or else you'd just stumble and slip your way to the bottom (I experienced about 50 feet of that on this particular adventure). But when you get to the bottom, man; you have officially entered into another world. I'll leave you to your imaginations here; the place is almost perfect.
Rant time. The only thing making it not one of the most perfect places in my life is that fact that it was trashed. Along the cliffs edge in whatever type of growth that is there, there is just every sort of trash. Rappers, bottles, cans, paper, and so on. Then, strewn along the beach was even more. Some of it clearly drift-stuff come in from high tide, but clearly plenty of it left there by visitors to the beach. At one moment there I honestly felt like crying, another I was filled with anger. I was reminded of that awesome Calvin and Hobbes comic:
How can people be so disrespectful? How can people come out to use nature, in all its glory, and then leave the remains of their enjoyment lying around to ruin its beauty? This world sits here, powerful, spacious, and welcoming, and who the hell are these people who think they are special enough to do whatever they want with it. I guess they think it's not their house, once they leave they'll never have to see the heap of crap they left in the sand, so why would they care? Perhaps they think that if trash is washed out to see, or blown away in the wind, it just vanishes from existence? Well, whatever they think, they are freaking stupid. There is absolutely no reason I could even consider thinking that would give any person the right to trash any area that is not their own screwed up house. You don't eat your Pringles in the woods and then throw your empty container into the bushes, you don't smoke a cigarette while driving and then throw it out the window into the grass, you don;t walk into someone elses' house, or gym, or store and not put away what you took out to use. You do not spill something and then walk away. If you don't have any idea what it means to be a respectful person, you don't deserve anything in this world.
Calvin had it in his mind that us humans are clearly the stupidest beings in the Universe. There are tons of really interesting and thought-provoking movies, shoes, and books that touch on our complete misunderstanding and respect for nature and others as our inevitable downfall. And what's funny about all this is it just comes down to having a little respect. It's really not that hard. So what type of person are you?
Never Stop, GET FIT.
This past weekend I was out in the Bay Area visiting old friends, training a few people, workout out like crazy and enjoying the absolutely incredible California wilderness! here is a little rundown of the 5 days I spent out there:Showed up mid morning on Wednesday, grabbed some food with CrossFit San Mateo's owner and head coach Brendon Mahony, then stocked up on some food, Courage Bar ingredients and soon enough hit the gym for a good workout. Thursday and Friday were much of the same, with Lindsey getting in Friday, and one of the toughest workouts I have ever done crushing me so badly that I am still feeling the effects of it as I write this post today! It was a descending ladder of rope climbs and DB squat clean to thrusters, and that damn rope climb beat me down like nobody's business! I took my time on the climbs as I knew my technique was not spotless and I wanted to conserve the grip strength. But, no matter what the approach, by the third round my grip was so far gone, I basically had to take almost a full minute to recover between each one to be able to get back up. The crazy part of this whole thing was that I never had the ability to cardiovascularly recover. i think I was so worked up by the whole thing that my heart rate just never came down. 19 and a half minutes later I finally finished, and it took me close to three hours ot actually feel like i was somewhat normal again! And to top it all off, I ripped my ankle up so much I was having a tough time walking! The one positive takeaway from the workout was my 345# back squat for 13 resp, AWESOME!Anyways, Saturday morning brought even more fun. Core Foods owner Corey and his girl met up with me and Lindsey and we all got workouts in at the gym. Mine was a 5-workouts-within-one-hour mes that left me craving 10 pounds of meat and a 6-hour nap! But, we all geared up and drove down the Peninsula for a few hours of trekking though the woods! this turned out to be such a a blast. We explored the different paths, talked about all sorts of different things, interacted with a buck within 15 yards or so (so much fun to see wildlife that close up!) and stayed out there as the fog and darkness began to cover us completely.We then wandered back to our cars and drove down to Half Moon Bay to see if we could find some camping at the beach. Seeing how it was the famous Pumpkin Festival weekend, the known camp-site was totally booked up; but, with a couple phone calls we were directed a couple miles south to Cameron's Pub. This was one of those placers that causes sensory overload with the amount of crummy, hoarded items they keep hanging on walls and tucked into corners. The place was like a haunted museum of beer cans and tin signs; and in the back, a huge field set aside for RV's and campers to hang out for a night or two (or weeks or months as it seemed some were doing). We found our way to the very far end of the field, just outside a spooky abandoned greenhouse and set up shop. Corey got a great fire going and we enjoyed flank steak, asparagus and grilled bananas before catching a few eukaryote songs at the pub and then crashing for the remainder of the night.After meeting up up another friend Lisa (check out here awesome blog here) for breakfast, we connected with Justin Gubser and his buddies to hit the Pacifica surf for a couple hours. This was an all around blast! And the best part: our last wave had Lindsey and myself riding all the way to the beach, literally side by side, pretty freaking sweet! The cold water and the entertaining crashes and here-and-there wave catches worked our appetites up enough to feast at Guerrilla BBQ and it was off on our separate ways after that. Lindsey and I hot up our favorite burger joint, Roam Burger, in the city before catching our red eye back East. Man what a trip!I must admit, it'd been a real long while since I've been able to just spend some good quality time with a small group of awesome people, and while I was a little bummed out that the Into The Wild weekend didn't take off like I had planned, and that a few people never showed up for the weekend that had said they would, it turned out to be a weekend I will never forget. Sharing that deep connection to the great outdoors with Lindsey and another couple;e that clearly appreciated being out there just as much as me was so energizing. It inspired the need to do this sort of thing WAY more often! Oh, and yet again, surfing is one of the most fun things to do in the world! Yet another reason to head back out to our second home-town on a regular basis!Miss all my West Coaster already, but I'm excited to get back to training in The Garage with all my awesome athletes and friends here in the DC area! This is going to be a crazy brutal week of training for everyone, so let's all keep up the support and get after it!!Never Stop, GET FIT.Josh Courage