As I gear up to head out to what looks like a fun Team Competition (Team SuperFit, this coming weekend) I wanted to just share with all you readers what i got going on. The main thing is that I am moving back out to California (if you didn't already know that). I will be leaving the DC area in two weeks and am so excited for everything the future holds. I will be taking over the old CrossFit San Mateo building to run Courage Performance while CrossFit San Mateo moves a couple buildings down to a little bigger spot. I have a house already, and a ton of great contacts to get things rolling the second I get out there! Additionally, I will be programming for CrossFit San Mateo, as well as my gym and for a group of pretty serious CrossFitters, and I will be looking to take my programming skills to a new level. That means I'll be programming for gyms, while also helping coaches to get a little more involved with getting their members and athletes that much better at life! There are a lot of great things I'm prepping for over the next year or so out there so I'll save the details for another post. Needless to say, I'm pretty amped up to get out there and really settle down with the life I dream of. I feel badly leaving all the great people I've become so close with in the DC area, but I know that most of you know how important being out West is for me, so I'm sure we'll all be in a good place very quickly.
Directly in line with my move, I am excited to announce the creation of Courage Performance East. A long time client and friend of mine who became an employee this summer is taking over the East Coast branch of the company and I could not be happier. Andrew Whitener knows my training style inside and out, understands how I tick and will represent the brand wonderfully. And he himself has a pretty cool background, Graduate from Wilson High School here in the district, then went off to get his degree at Princeton University where he played some damn competitive baseball. Know he's pursuing a life in the fitness industry and I trust he'll just take off with Courage performance East. So, if you're a DC area resident, and you want to train under my programming and style, make sure to get in touch with Whitey and get to training! And, in addition, we are unofficially going to be running out of a really cool place very, very soon. I won;t announce that until things get more official, but we are so stoked to be asked to be a apart of what's about to happen.
And speaking of programming: Whitey and I are starting up the second phase of The Courage Strength Program and it just continues to blow my mind at the gains people are having on this! On my 3 rep max week I PR'd the squat at 445# and the bench at 300. With all my other lifts getting better and better, I can see a very bright future for this program for anyone who just wants to get straight up strong and athletic. I have mentioned it before, I mention it here, and I am sure I'll be writing about this thing is some crazy detail sometime over the winter.
Ok, so on to the blog. As I know all of you are aware of, I have been pretty sparse in posting. So, I am recommitting myself to the blog! Starting October 1st I will be posting on a very regular basis. I have planned that it will be mostly my streams of consciousness, along with some of the old training posts and videos that i have gotten away from in the past year. You may see a return of some of the "Courageous Meals", "best Of's", and a few more things as well. I just miss getting on this site almost every day and sharing my life with people.
So, with the move out to California comes a new beginning to my life. A great training program, a Courage Performance gym, a new house, a re-assessed and focused blog, and probably a good deal of other things. A I explained to a couple friends: I see a light at the end of the tunnel. It's a incredibly bright light, and the tunnel is very short. I see good things in my very near future and that is a good thing. I hope the end of summer brought some good to everyone out there, and you all have some good, positive things planned for the fall. I hope all of you will enjoy my getting back into regular blogging, and can find some inspiration in my words. Please share them with your friends and family if you do! I have some small aspirations to get some more writing published on some other sites and blogs.
Courage Bars!! (you'll be seeing a come-back of these wonderful treats very soon after I move)
Never Stop, GET FIT.
A couple days ago I had the exciting experience of watching the third Batman move (The Dark Knight Rises) for a third time. Yes, I love Batman. Yes, I argue that Bane is the most intimidating, bad ass character ever created in film. There's one scene when Batman and Bane are beating up on each other and Bane seems to be having fun. One of his lines is this:
"You merely adopted the dark; I was born in it!"
He is clearly a pretty messed up dude deep down, but he has openly accepted his roll in the world and his comfort in what he does and who he is shines through making him that much more powerful. So, why do I bring this up? Do I think we should all be like Bane? Hell no, the whole world would burn to ashes within a week! I bring it up because I think that so much of Bane's power stems from a deeper understanding of how his word works. He truly knows what pain, despair, sorrow, and darkness look and feel like. Unfortunately he decided to embrace the negativity and use it for pure evil (or "necessary evil" as he calls it). I propose something different.
You've heard of the idea of "facing your fears" and I think most people understand that; but how many of you actually DO that? From my experience I find that most people tend to just ignore all the things that cause them fear and/or anger. I know there is a ton more depth into this, and there a re literally thousands of pages of research done on this topic, but I will do my best to keep things simple as to get my point across. Ignoring your negative issues does not actually take care of them. And negativity effects how you function both mentally and physically in a pretty dramatic way. So, the truth of it all is that you CAN'T ignore it all. If you have deep anger, pain, fear, darkness, whatever, it is part of you just as much as having leg pain after running a marathon. Sure you could ignore it, but it won;t make it go away; and it wont make the toll it all takes on your body and mind go away.
Ok, Courage, I'll just find a good way to release it! Well, that's a step in the right direction, especially if you use physical activity or something like that to move "flush it out". But unfortunately, having a simple release of all this stuff is actually just a glorified way to ignore it all. Let me use an analogy here:
You have a bully and his/her friends picking on a roup of your friends, beating up on them, and stealing from them. Obviously, you want this to stop. You know they are doing this to way more than just your friends, so you weigh your options: face them head on in an epic battle. Tell on them to the proper authorities and hope it gets taken care of. Just avoid the hell out them as best you can. Or, attempt to communicate with them in some way.
I know that communication is probably the least accepted appraoch to this situation, but, if you were actuially able to get any of them one on one and engage them in a conversation about theoir lives, you would very quickly understand just WHY they are acting they way they do. This might not stop them, sure; but what it will do is allow you to make a much more educated and effective decision on how to actually respond. Perhaps talking to someone is all they really wanted. Or perhaps knowing you a little better causes them to not feel like beating up on your friends. Perhaps you find they can;t be reasoned with and fighting back is your only option, but at least you know more about them and how to approach the fight. Or perhaps you figure out the best way to avoid them because you learn where they hang out. When all was said and done though, what you found out was a deeper understanding of wehre the negativity on your life was coming from. Now, whatver you choose to do will have a greater possibility of effectivle ridding that megativity from your life for good!
Understand the darkness, and you can kick it's ass! If you don't understand it, you are going into the fight completely blind and will only succeed if you are very, very lucky.
It's not just about facing your fears and negativities, it's about understanding them, knowing where they come from, and knowing why you have them. Feel them, you need to truly know what they are doing to you before you are genuinely able to move past them. And if you do that, you not only get to a better place, but you give yourself the tools to be able to deal with the same sort of thing later on in your life (and shit will alwsys happen at some point, unfortunately). And if you are the type of person that like to help and support others, you'll have the tools and understanding to better help and support those others.
So there's my philosophising for the day. Hope you enjoyed, hope it helped! Later this week I will be getting a post up about the changes happening to this blog starting in mid-October. Super stoked!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
I really hope to god everyone reading my blog knows who that is in that pic. Bo knows:-)
So how do you get better at sports?
Play sports dummy! As with most things, that's all that really should need to be said after a question like this. But, of course, a more detailed explanation is needed. So, let's do that.
First off, if you have nothing else, just play your sport. I'll probably use baseball as the example here mostly as it's the sport i played the most, and I can tell you this: no amount of time spent in the gym made me a better baseball player. Playing baseball was what did that What I mean is that the skills needed to play a sport are usually pretty specific, and you need repetition after repetition to be able to excel at those skills. The gym is to help with athleticism and fitness, which translate to a greater potential to adapt to the demands of your sport. But, it doesn't actually MAKE you better at your sport.
So, let's break this down. The more athletic you are, the greater your potential to perform specific tasks. The greater your potential to perform tasks, the better you'll probably become at sport. I;m not about to get into the discussion about the best way to become more athletic; I think I cover that pretty often with most of my posts. What I'll do is supply the basics: lift heavy weights (get strong), move dynamically (become more explosive and coordinated), sprint. Boom. Obviously it's a bit more complicated when actually designing an effective program, but you really don;t need to get all fancy. If your program is overdone, you are probably putting yourself more at risk. If it's too simplistic (many baseball players I know do things like basic med ball work and lunges and twists and stuff like that, and that's it. I think that's not enough for a serious athlete) you aren't getting a solid base. But again, if you want a good example of a program that works really well for serious athletes check out: www.baseballworkout.weebly.com. Skim through the past few months and you'll see how I put it together. I am sure I'll be writing about programing plenty on this blog, as I always do, so just follow along!
So, that helps with becoming more athletic. But as I always say, simply being athletic does not make you good at a specific sport (you ever see Jason khalipa's softball throw at the 2010 CrossFit Games, or what do you think would happen if you threw a Navy SEAL into an NFL football game right quick?). To become better at your sport, you NEED TO PLAY YOUR SPORT! Strength is built through overloading your body with weight and moving (muscle tissue break down and regeneration). Stability is built through strength and forcing your body to control an imbalanced load or surface. Skill is built through repetition of that particular skill. Hitters learn to hit by swinging a baseball bat and trying to make contact with a ball as often as they can. Pitchers learn to command their pitches through rep after rep after rep of putting each pitch in a specific spot.
All this applies to any sport. If you want to be a great biker, bike; a great basketball player, play basketball a decathlete, god bless you because you are awesome! That being said, do NOT neglect the benefits of a good strength and conditioning program. becoming more athletic will do nothing but help in your efforts to perfect the skills you are working on. Anyone who says that lifting weights for their sport is pointless is grossly misinformed. No matter your sport, lifting weights WILL help you. Again, I stress that being on a specific program that's geared towards the athleticism you need will help you exponentially more. So don't just hit the gym and do random things. Find a coach who knows what he/she is talking about, who understands the demands of sports, and get on a program.
Then go out and play your sport. A lot!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
As most of you who actually follow my blog can pretty quickly figure out, I write off the cuff a bit. My writing style is to sit down with an idea and just, write. To the detriment of my professionalism, I generally don’t come back to the page and re-read my thoughts, spell check, and all that fun stuff. I just write what’s on my mind and walk away. I’ve been working on this over the past year or so, re-reading and such. But, I’m not going to lie, I am not a professional writer. On the other hand, I really enjoy it. I honestly don’t care that I’m not a professional writer, I just enjoy getting my crazy thoughts down on paper on a regular basis. It feels good.
Um, on that “regular basis” concept, yeah, not so great. Is it a coincidence that I have been writing less as I’ve realized more and more people started following the blog and I began getting some criticism for my crappy writing? Maybe. But I think it’s more my state of mind that has led me to write less and less.
I know that with every post in the past few months comes a statement about how I’ll be better about posting on a regular schedule, and it hasn’t happened. So, today's post is going to do what I like to do best, analyze stuff. And I want to analyze (in not too crazy detail) why the hell I haven’t been writing very much lately. It’s kind of like my streakiness with reading. There are times when I can sit down and bang out like 3-5 books in a month. It’s exciting, it’s energizing, and it makes me feel smarter. But then, all of a sudden I just can’t make it though a few pages. Like right now. I have a handful of books I want to read and I just can’t do it; so I watch movies and TV shows (I’m actually watching “Warrior” as I write). Upon sitting down and thinking about it for a little, I have found that my writing streaks coincide with my reading streaks, as in, I write more when I’m able to read. Perhaps I’m a bit bipolar in my intelligence?
So, lately I have been having a tough time organizing my thoughts. It’s been a crazy few months in my life and with the way my slightly helter-skelter mind works, having less organization in my outer life does not help me mentally at all. Yeah, this is pretty obvious, and I know about, say, 100% of people work this way, but it’s nice to realize it. Every time I do my normal mind-chilling drills (hanging in the woods, working out, writing, etc.) nothing seems to work. The woods are still awesome as ever, but it hasn’t been working. My workouts are going great, been making solid gains and dropping fat, but my mind is still the same. And my writing, well, pretty clear it hasn’t gotten better at all.
I would say that about 5-6 nights a week I sit down at my computer, scan over the ever-growing list of topics I want to write about, have some great thoughts and ideas and just sit at the blank sheet of computer screen paper for about 10 minutes before standing up and walking away. You might call it writer's block. But I’m no writer. Perhaps a lack of motivation? No, I don’t feel like that at all, and there is MORE than enough inspiration around for me to write hundreds of pages. So what the hell could it be? Well, I figured it out. I don’t want to share.
So much of who I am is the desire to share my thoughts and ideas with as many people as I can. For those of you who haven’t heard, my goal in life is to do fun, adventurous, crazy things, and share my experiences with the world. I simply want to do, and share, that is all. But right now I just don’t want to share anything with all of you. Perhaps that sounds rude, or selfish, or I don’t know what, but it’s the truth.
I’ve always thought of my mind like this huge warehouse lined with shelves upon shelves of thoughts and ideas. Generally I am pretty good at knowing where things are and keeping everything organized. Over the years this warehouse has grown to be a bit bigger than I can handle, but I have learned to adapt. I have figured out a way to very quickly find the shelves I need when specifically inspired. And, every now and then, I might be a bit slow to find the shelf, but I generally do. Right now it seems as though someone has broken into my warehouse and decided it would be fun to knock a few of these shelves over. I didn’t know things were such a mess until I finally sacked up and realized I would actually have to personally head deep inside and start to pick things up, one at a time, and put it all back together. You still with me, dear readers? And this is MY process, the thing that only I can do, alone.
For quite some time now I have been feeling guilty about not writing on a regular basis like I used to. I've also been feeling guilty about not being my normal focused and positively energetic self. But I shouldn’t feel that way. I should accept that there is a mess, head on back with understanding and patience, and clean it all up. And while I’m doing so I should not expect to live my life exactly how I did a couple years ago when things were running so smoothly. I will get there. There are TONS of things to be grateful and happy for each and every day right now. So, I will enjoy those things while I’m on my break from cleaning things.
Well, this got a little darker than planned. But as I made clear when I started, I just sit down and the words come out. But perhaps you all have a better understanding as to why it’s tough for me to write on the regular sometimes. And perhaps it has allowed you all to sit back and think about your own lives, and how you deal with “messy” situations in your own head. Do you actually clean them up? Or do you just walk away and try to find a new room to live in? Well, if you have some faith in my theories, let me tell you a truth that I firmly believe in: you CAN’T walk away and find a new room. The mess will be there for the rest of your life. If you don’t pursue a clean mind, you will never have a clean life. And I know, that can mean very different things to each and every person, and that’s the point. Take all this and use it in your own life. See what happens.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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