Last weekend saw the largest Courage Games to date. I'm not going to lie, I was a good bit nervous because i had designed things for a 2-day event but switched it all to one because of people getting nervous about the Super Bowl that would be played on Sunday. I knew the workouts would be tough for one day, but totally doable, and I knew all the athletes would be fine. All I was nervous about was timing everything. In the end, we went over by just under three hours! But, so many people stayed all the way to the end, and I must say, all in all the day was a huge success. Let's recap!
Well first I want to make a few shout outs. First off, CrossFit San Mateo. Co-hosting the event by letting us all in their awesome gym was huge. It would have been total chaos had we not had that great space to workout in and they were all so wonderfully supportive of the event. So big thanks to the San Mateo crew: Brendon Mahoney (who took 4th in the competitor male category), Manny Ferrer (who tied for 1st in the amateur male category and finished 2nd after the tie-breaker), and Melissa Guitron (who was a huge help all day as a judge and volunteer). Next is a overwhelmingly HUMONGOUS thank you to all the volunteers and judges. They were all so on their game and so incredibly helpful throughout the day. This event happened because of all of them and they deserve pretty much most of the credit for everything running the way it did. Thank you, thank you, thank you! OK, on to the event!
Athletes began showing up bright and early around 6:45am and we had a full packed house by 7:30. Sponsorship vendor booths were all set up, athletes had they recovery corners scouted out, both gyms were being explored and the air was filled with excitement for what the day would bring. And the athletes did NOT disappoint! The first workout (a 3-event workout with a max back squat, 400 meter run and 100 double unders, and a max shoulder to overhead) I think had well over 10 PR's amongst the athletes. Things ran very smoothly except for one thing: the damn plates! Luckily all the athletes had to suffer the same challenges so there was no unfair advantage for anyone. But those plates were greased up like nobodies business. Unfortunately we got the shipment in only a day before the competition, and try as we did, we could not rid the plates of their layer of "new plate grease". I know it slowed some people down, but again, everyone had to deal with them! And despite that challenge, there were still so many impressive lifts.
Workout 2 was a quick one, running athletes anywhere between 30 seconds and 50 seconds. This was a short, heavy prowler push followed by a T-drill (an agility test where you must show your ability to change direction, sprint, back-peddle, and laterally shuffle). Given the space, we could only go one athlete at a time, but it went so smoothly and drew a good bit of attention from the CalTrain passengers waiting on the platform. Over 100 people crowded around and cheered on the athletes as they drove those sleds from Courage Performance to CrossFit San Mateo for the agility test. It was damn awesome. The day moved on with a ton of positive energy as the sun broke through the clouds and hanging around outside seemed to be a pretty nice thing to do between workouts. And that good atmosphere was needed as the athlete prepared themselves for what clearly was the "beatdown" workout of the day: 500 meter row, then: 21-5-15-9 of deadlifts (heavy) and toes to bar. I set the cut-off time at 12 minutes and the average time on the day looked to be around 9. We all got to see some damn impressive feats, along with a few athletes who got good and beat by this one. From a competition standpoint, this one really separated the top level athletes from the others. From a personal standpoint, I enjoyed having my gym filled with energetic athletes and spectators all getting fired up as the last reps were pulled. My gym is meant for smaller groups of specialized clients so it was a pretty cool feeling to have the walls bursting at the seams with how many people were in there!
Probably the most interesting event was event 4. With 10 minutes all the athletes had to give one attempt at a max reps bench press, then max reps pull ups, then a max weighted plank hold, then 3 attempts to get a max distance broad jump. For me, watching how athletes prepared for this and moved through it was the most interesting. I honestly didn't even know who won the specific events until about two days later when I sat down to go over all the scoring. Some went all out, others took their time completely, while others paced their rest depending on what they had coming up next. I love this style of workout because it truly tests specific aspects of fitness while also forcing the athlete to plan out their entire approach. And it's as simple as not knowing yourself and how to plan these sort of things out that can cause someone to lose a whole bunch of spots in their placement. That's what made this one so exciting for me. This was also one that our volunteers truly made happen. With all the weight adjustments on the bars, and dumbbells (for planks) to utilizing two gyms throughout the workout, all them them worked flawlessly together to make sure the athletes got the most out of this one.
The final workout began as the sun went down and there was a crazy excitement as the spectators packed in around the final 6 athletes in each division. With a descending ladder of heavy cleans, handstand push ups and varying levels of pull ups (normal kipping, chest to bar, and muscle ups) the top finishers had a beast of a workout to battle through as they closed out the day. And yet again they did not disappoint! They struggled through; some not able to finish as the days volume caught up to them, others pushing to their very limits to fought for another spot and possibly the podium. The competitor men's division was awesome to watch because when they finished those crazy heavy cleans and HSPU's, they had to ruin over to the other gym to complete the muscle ups. Each on of them fought like crazy to the very end, it was incredibly motivating.
In the end we had a tie for first in both the Masters men and Amateur men. The tie breaker was: 1 minute AMRAP burpees to a target touch. It, was, intense! But we came out with our winners:
Crashing down onto my couch after we cleared things up a little and grabbed some food, I was able to soak in the entire day. With only a couple small hiccups, this was far and beyond the smoothest and most exciting event I have put on. I could not asked for a better group of athletes and spectators, the sponsors were an incredible support, and my volunteer crew was overwhelmingly helpful and efficient. The day went so damn well! People have been posting pictures and videos on Facebook and I would love it if you kept on doing so, and tagging myself and/or the Courage Games page.
Thank you so much everyone for making this event such a great one. And please keep your eyes open for the announcement of the Courage Games "throwdown series" coming in late summer (I will be hosting one every summer, and a "combine series" event every winter!). I want to be sure to give a shout out to Breeze Scoring for hooking us up with the most flawless scoring system. I wasn't planning on using one until the last second and I am SO happy I did. We were easily able to just punch in scores directly after the workout and have them clearly displayed on the site for everyone to see. Could not be happier with how that worked out. I also want to give a special shout out to Jon with Merrell who stepped up and was able to hook up an athlete with a pair of their awesome minimalist shoes (I've worn them every day for almost two months now, they freaking rock) after I forgot to load up a bar for him on workout 3. He was a great sport about it and Jon at Merrell stepped in big time to thank him for his understanding. Finally Destino Retreats who donated a FREE VACATION TO CABO to our Competitor Men winner. This is just flat out awesome support and the type of thing you can expect from Courage Games events!!
And of course, thank you to the sponsors:
Again, thank you everyone for making this such a great day. I am eagerly looking forward to the next one!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
First off I want to apologize for the crappy video uploads on the Occupy Strength event, I tried like 4 times and still couldn't get them all up there! If you really want to see all of them, and check out some pictures, your best bet is to go to my Facebook page. They're all on that. Next up, I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up to find myself on CrossFit Footballs mainsite page! Pretty cool! Two more things! I have created a site for trial this summer and you can check it out HERE. It is meant to be for all the athletes who are training at The Garage this summer, but I am in the process of trying to generate some data for the thing and if you all would be so kind as to check it out, offer opinions, ask questions, etc. And finally, I am hosting The Courage Games IV! All info will be posted in the Courage Performance Facebook page, but click HERE to register!
On to the good stuff! Breathe. Nope, this is not a post about the benefits of proper breathing techniques while lifting, although that would be a great post! This is more about taking the time to sit back, take in the warm summer air, and just breathe. All sorts of stuff has happened with me over the past six months. I have been up, down, and sideways. It's basically been one of the biggest roller coaster rides of my life and it left me more confused, lost, and overwhelmed than I've ever been. I forgot what it meant to live for the things I most hope for in life, and I got caught up in so much negativity I began to lose the ability to be positive and happy myself. This is always a tough place to find yourself in, and while I'm sure everyone experiences it, and I would honestly say that everyone SHOULD experience it, I really don't wish it on anyone. Everyone deserves to be happy. Everyone deserves to experience joy, positivity, and good. And everyone deserves the opportunity to live a life they dreamed of. The really cool thing to realize is that these things are constantly available to you if you just know where to look, how to ask, and how to take them.
With my days filling up with clients, workouts, social media craziness, and programming, I am finding it somehow easier and easier to just take a moment (even though the moments are sparse) to just sit down, gaze into the woods, and breathe. And every time I do, good things flood in:
I love that I can sit on a plyo box in my tiny little gym and look into the woods.
I love that every day, athletes of all shapes, sizes, and ages come in to work hard, have fun, and get better at whatever it is they hope to get better at!
I love standing in the backyard in the humid evening air, charcoal fire slowly cooking a grill-full of grass-fed steak, chicken and asparagus for my wonderful feasting.
I love the sweat dripping down my face as I grab the chalked-up bar, every inch of me focused on executing my next rep as perfectly as I can. Getting stronger, getting faster, getting better.
I love my friends who I know I can call and meet up with to fill up hours of energetic and fulfilling conversation. Having groups and individuals who support you in being who you want to be and challenge you to keep perfecting that is becoming more important to me every day.
I love the hope of another day bringing more experiences, more smiles, more challenges and more excitement. The next few months are going to be tough, I know that much. I have TONS of people to train, I have tons of training to do myself. I have major life-choices to make that no matter how you look at them, will make some people upset. But I see so much more clearly now that that sort of thing is just a part of life. Challenging decisions are the ones that end up changing your life the most, so they are not to be taken lightly. The only thing you can do is clear your mind of the things that weigh you down, and the answer will come to you, more obvious than ever!
I love hope. But I hope I'm not addicted to it.
I love learning. I love learning through doing. I love learning from failure. I love learning through succeeding. I love learning from reading. I love learning most through watching.
How many of you could articulate what it means to be happy, successful, positive, satisfied and generally GOOD with yourself and the world? And how many of you are DOING it? Because Batman is the greatest character in the history of anything in the world, it's obvious that I would use quotes from those movies and comics:
"It's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you"
LIVE the life you want and not only your life, but the lives of people around you will be wonderful.
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.
First off, had a couple posts ready to go but our internet was down at the house, and, wonderfully, I've been so busy with training I could not get out to the coffee shop where I could sit for a little and do updates. Back up and ready to go now!
Alright all you fitness, here is the first "storyline" if you will for the Fitness Survival Challenge coming up in one month. For those of you who don;t know, I'll be hosting the third installment of The Courage Games Series CrossFit style competition on Saturday, August 20th at the Washington Waldorf School, the awesome outdoor fitness stage right across the street from The Garage. This time around though, I am dishing out 4 workouts that are unlike most people have ever seen. Rather than testing your athleticism against each other through lifts and "typical CrossFit WODs (workouts), there will be 4 events that are styled after real-life, potential emergency (or, crappy) situations. the idea is that athletic people, or CrossFitters in general should be able to handle themselves well when the shit hits the fan in the real world. So, prove it on August 20th! You know what your deadlift is, you know what you time is in certain workouts, but does all that training, and all that focus on health and fitness actually translate to you being able to take care of yourself and your surroundings when things go bad in the world?
We shall see...
"World Of Wars"
As you drive your car on a sunny Saturday morning one summer, enjoying some great tunes and just appreciating life as the wind blows through your hair, the world instantly changes for the worse! Some life form from a clearly-pissed-off-at-us planet has decided enough is enough and sends a massive electrical shock-wave surging through the planet, shutting down every possible thing in its way, radio and TV towers, air conditioning, computer systems, traffic lights and even the cars all promptly stop working. Panic rushes through every single person in the entire world as the reality of the situation quickly sets in: the world is vulnerable to anything! Just then come the groaning, deafening sound of the cause of the shock-wave and the world's eyes look upwards.
Your car skreetches to a stop at the side of the road. you try the ignition but can't get anything going. Then you remember, you went on a camping trip last week and never unpacked your car! In the back you have tents, bags, MRE's, fuel, a generator and some base weapons. But the aliens are closing in and you need to get out of there, and fast.
In the distance you see a bit of a shelter, a place to hide. You know that if you can just get there you'll be safe, at least for a little while. It's not far, but you are aware that having some or all of that gear will increase your chances of survival by a long shot. You know exactly what needs to be done...
Expect a new storyline next Friday, and the Friday after that! And by all means, if you have ideas as to what you might be challenged to do on the 20th, throw it out here or on Facebook! Looking forward to seeing everyone out there in a month!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
It was only about a week ago when I wrote about giving credit to the powers that may be at CrossFit HQ. And before getting into this whole post I need to make something very clear: I have the utmost respect for what Coach Greg Glassman and his team have created. From the simple concept of giving people the ultimate training program, they grew the fastest growing movement in the fitness world by merely believing in the effectiveness of their program. I personally aspire to run my company and my ideas in the same way CrossFit started. Believe in something, practicing that something, and offering it to the world in a forum that allows people to do with it what they want. Freaking inspiring is all I can say. That is exactly why I wanted to be a part of the program. They have created a community that allows us all the freedom to be the fittest we can be, learn anything and everything about all aspects of health and fitness, communicate freely with one another about our thoughts, and change the world by making it healthier, faster.
Now that that has been made clear, I need to touch on how things have all of a sudden hit an incredibly massive wall. This year’s necessary shift in how the annual CrossFit Games is being approached has caused a sort of uprising within the growing and very vocal community. Interestingly enough, when push came to shove, their new Open Sectionals method I think won most people over. It has allowed for anyone in the world to be a part of such a huge event. I mean come on, this is unheard of in the sports world. If you want to compete in front of the world at any sport out there, well, I would assume that 100% of the people who read this blog just can’t do that. You don’t even have the opportunity, unless of course there’s a major strike and they hold open tryouts (then they can make a movie about you with Mark Wahlberg too!) But with CrossFIt, any person in the world with access to a gym, a camera, a computer, a couple friend, shoot, well maybe you can be named the “Fittest Athlete”. And even if your chances get smaller and smaller each year, it does not take away from the fact that you COULD.
Now if you are a CrossFitter, you are totally aware of all the crazy glitches that have been messing this incredibly groundbreaking event up. People can’t register, people have registered but their account won’t show up, affiliates can’t register, people can’t opt in to workout at affiliates, confirmations of people’s workouts are not sent out, and on and on. Oh, and the first workout was delayed from being introduced by about 5 or more hours. Because of the open-forum style of business CrossFIt is, this has led to an overwhelming influx of comments on the CrossFit main site, the Games site, Facebook and twitter. I mean shoot, 20,000+ registered competitors and probably up to a million or more people keeping tabs, you better be VERY prepared to handle it. And it appears as though CrossFit was not prepared. So yeah, it’s understandable that people would have some issues with this. They made a major change in how the Games would be approached, they set it up in a very specific way, they gave us a schedule and told us in immense detail what to expect. And then they failed to follow through.
I understand why people complain, I get it, it’s a let down, it proves they don’t “have it all figured out” as they constantly and confidently express to us in so many ways. I personally will complain behind closed, I think that in the end, the fittest person in the world will still be crowned correctly. This post is not to complain about their lack of preparedness for the KNOWN aspects of putting together an insanely huge online program (obviously I am complaining a tad here…). It is not to complain about their seemingly unprofessional demeanor, weather it be posting up controversial pictures on their main site, dropping the f-bomb all over their public videos, or wearing Budweiser shirts on the first ever “how-to” video post on the Reebok sponsored CrossFit Games website. CrossFit has never pretended to be a suit-wearing, perfectly well spoken, non-abrasive organization. In fact, I have seen on multiple occasions that they take pride in running a financially successful company while lacking in commonly understood professionalism. And you know what, good for them! They have been able to generate a worldwide movement without ever straying from the personalities they wish to hold on to.
So if in the end I don’t care all that much about the glitches or how their company is run, what the hell is this post about? Well, it is about their complete and total lack of communication. They screwed up, and screwed up BIG. And what have we heard from them? Practically nothing (there was a sarcastic, VERY defensive comment on the CrossFit Facebook page, that’s really it though).
I have all sorts of ideas on how they could have approached this whole process differently; I have ideas on what they could do now to fix things. But it’s not my place, I am sure they are doing everything in their power to figure it out. BUT, there in lies the problem. If they truly are doing everything in their power, they are not telling us. They are not updating us, they are not giving us insight into the problems they are dealing with, shoot man, they are not apologizing for any of this!
Remember the crap Toyota went through? Well, when their cars started failing, they recalled billions of dollars worth of them, apologized profusely and made efforts to change. People complained sure, people stopped buying their cars sure. But I am willing to bet that their website would have crashed with the amount of complaints if they had not said or done anything. They recognized a problem, then acted to make it better both internally and publicly.
Remember all those professional athletes who screwed up by either taking banned substances or just being irresponsible all around? Well the ones who openly apologized and made a physical effort to change didn’t get all that much crap for very long. The ones who denied things, or stayed silent got so much crap that they became practically obsolete as public figures; or, at least respected public figures.
We the public are pretty damn forgiving when the ones who made mistakes are just honest, sincere and open about those mistakes. But the second you try to hide it all, or pretend like nothing is happening, we eat them alive by our outspokenness and our freedom to express ourselves. I would almost guarantee that if CrossFit went ahead and issued an open apology for everything that is going on, then gave us insight as to what IS actually going on, things would be a whole hell of a lot better. But as of now, each hour, every time someone logs on to the Games website and sees yet anther athlete article posted instead of progress on all the glitches, they loose a little more faith. So my plea to the head honchos up there at CrossFit HQ is to just keep us informed! You have a responsibility to your hundreds of thousands of followers (probably a lot more than that!), not to be perfect, not to be flawless, but to follow through on your word and to be open and honest with all of us. If you choose not to be, you slowly become something similar to all those money-hungry fortune 500’s and financial institutions that, after long last, have crashed and burned because of their selfishness and lack of connection to their customer. Your goal at the start was to be “one” with all of us, to be on par with everyone and bring to the same level all people around health and fitness. Do not preach this and then, when the going gets tough, disregard us and hide from problems. Please just communicate with us and I assure you, all will be better.
I love CrossFit. If you know me, or spend time reading this blog, I am sure you get that very, very clearly. But, I am worried that with its rapid expansion will come the inevitable “it’s all just business” decisions. I have seen this happen with a few companies (all fitness-based mind you) in the past few years and its heart breaking to me. I have come up with a new little slogan, much like the “too big to fail” that we all know so well. “Too big to be kind”. When a business starts to deal with millions of dollars, it becomes pretty damn tough to be friendly with everyone. Companies like lululemon seem to do a good job of it; 2XU (a company I have become very close with recently) does a great job as well as far as I can see. CrossFit defined this idea to me. They refused to become anything but a huge family. But right now it looks like the parents of this family are refusing to talk to their children. For whatever the reason, this is just not good parenting.
I hope that they can open up to us. I hope that they work through all the problems going on right now. I have faith in the fact that the CrossFit Games will be huge, exponentially bigger than last year. And if in the end, HQ chooses to go the route of closed-off, “deal with it yourself” parent, so be it. I just hope they stick to their grass-roots base, no matter how big they become.
So, I’ll keep checking out the Games site here and there. I’ll be hoping things get fixed, waiting anxiously for the next workout, and wondering if HQ will ever let us know what is going on. Besides that, I’ll be working out, writing my blog, and going on with my life as I always do; just with a little less attention being paid to the CrossFit world.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
I finally got my act together and got the review post up. Check it out at the competition site HERE!
For everyone looking for the review post on this past weekends Courage Games, it is coming. I am gathering up and looking though pictures and videos and want to try to get something good up either tonight or tomorrow. So you can expect it soon!
I also have a small list of articles I want to put up inspired by the competition, so you can expect a few of those in the coming weeks. But, in the mean time, want to get back to some regular posts. Yesterday I was back in the gym to get into some serious training for the Sectionals that are approaching quickly! I had been so eager to throw some weights around after a full 4 days of "rest" thanks to planning this event. So, I wanted to get back after it in a big way.
5, 5, 3, 3, 3 front squats
4 rounds for time of (w/ 20# weight vest):
200 meter run
10 GHD sit ups
20 double unders
15 OH squats 95#
10 pull ups
The front squats felt great and I was bale to get a pretty good final round at 295#. I need to work on opening up my lats, shoulders and wrists if i want to get to where I think I should be. My strength feels like I could get up around the 350# range, but my lack of mobility leads to a less stable lift and I struggle at sub-max weight. I was happy with that 3RM though, it is a PR for me after all! The metcon was a blast. It felt like a sprint because you never really spend very much time at any of the exercises, but because it's a lot of them, and the weight vest had be going a tad slower, it ended up taking 12:53. I do think this is a sub-10 minute one though. My double unders were rusty and each piece of equipment was spread out around the gym making my transition a little slower. It was great to just go for an extended amount of time though, really felt good.
Today calls for some skills work and some good conditioning and then back to the weights tomorrow! I am so excited to gt back on a solid routine.
A couple other things to mention: I'll be in the DC area this coming weekend, scouting out neighborhoods with Lindsey for us to move to, looking around at gym locations and such. And, depending on how things pan out I am looking into getting into the DC's Most Primal Competition at Primal Fitness. If I have the ability to do so (allowed to register and can rearrange flights) I'll be looking to best my last years 2nd place finish! The following weekend is a competition out in Elk Grove I am considering. I really feel like I have missed out in terms of getting in some good competitions, so I want to find a couple of them before the Games season starts up in less than a month!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
The title for today's workout has two meanings, one for the workout itself and one for the workout location. I wanted to get out to the hills to get some running in and I decoded to head back to a trail I have been on once before. With only about an hour to spare before Powerlifting class got started I had to get after it, no messing around. So, I zipped up to Skyline College in the hills, parked by the trail-head and took off.
The trail starts off as a wide gravel path that winds gradually up for about a quarter mile, once you get to an abandoned shed f sorts, it turns into a super narrow, rock, root and mud filled path that heads straight down into a deep canyon only to head straight back up again. Because it's actually a kind of popular trail, the super steep down and up have a massive collection of wooden stairs to navigate, this added a totally different element to the run as I had no choice but to stay light on my feet and keep my knees up. The added fatigue from this hit so hard when the stairs ended and I had a good 3/4 mile path that averaged out at around a 10% grade all the way to a bike trail that circles the peak.
Killer dude, killer. BUT, the views were insane! I expected it to be super foggy because the weather today just was not good, but the gray skies and chillings winds were deceiving and when I reached the separate peaks I was welcomed with views of the Peninsula, the southern part of San Francisco, and the Ocean. Each time I was able to soak in a couple seconds of these views I was instantly flooded with new energy and it just kept me going. Not sure why, perhaps it's because I wasn't expecting to have them, but they totally inspired me. My energy levels, even while gasping desperately for air, were through the roof and I felt so good. I have said it many times before, but I feel like it can not be said enough: finding inspiring scenery for your workouts takes them to a whole new level. Sure you can get great results doing all your workouts in a gym, but what's the fun in that? Different settings add entirely new dynamics and challenges to workouts; and for anyone wanting to truly make fitness a part of their lives, these extra motivators are what ultimately make the suffering fun. Like I just said, I was so out of breath climbing these hills I doubled over a few times, grabbing at something to support me, but somehow I just did not want to stop. I felt alive, part of nature, like i was experiencing something extraordinary. It was beautiful.
For all of you coming out to the Courage Games this coming Saturday, even if the weather is not ideal, I am sure you will experience something similar. Your workout stage will literally be feet from the beach. Your view will be the northern Peninsula coast and the San Francisco skyline off in the distance. You will be surrounded by 100-plus people challenging themselves and cheering you on. I envy you all so much!
Oh, and this video is a bit different than normal...got a little excited with my mini-adventure, you'll see. Um, hope you enjoy!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
This week has been all kinds of up and down in terms of workouts. I am overflowing with confidence, yet my strength numbers are nowhere near where I want them to be. My energy levels have been mostly up, but when they were down they were way down.
Thursday I hit some hill and stair repeats at one of the most incredibly breathtaking spots in the San Mateo area. Friday I got a good deal of tumbling work in and some solid sets of shoulder press. I was able to get 171.5 for a single with not too much struggle. While this doesn't seem like a ton of weight in comparison to my other lifts, but it's good for me and my majorly weak shoulders.
Today's workout was a blast. A handful of us met up at CrossFit San Mateo for some strongman style work.
2 x 50 meter car push, 20 shoulder changes with a log, 10 tire flips, 10 tire jumps
2 x 50 meter car push, 8 tire flips to jump throughs, 20 sledge hammer strikes
I was able to get the first two in 1:28 and 1:26, and the second two in 1:38 and 1:34, all of them all-out sprints. The rest of the group had an awesome mix of times between 1:30 and 2:30 and we all had a great time doing unconventional things in the gorgeous weather. After people shuffled out, Lindsey and I messed around with some of the competition WOD's for the Courage Games 2011 coming up in a week. We have one or two things to test, but everything is looking real good for this thing!
My programming feel right after this week and I expect to just keep working on all my weaknesses and seeing huge gains over this month. I have a huge testing week planned for the first week of March, so we'll see where I stand then!
In insightful articles news, I am working on a couple inspired by my CrossFit Community Month last month, so you can expect a slew of thought-provoking posts coming after this competition is over. Lot's of things to be excited for!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Today ended up being a pretty chill day physically, but mentally it beat me to the ground. I just spent so much time worrying about all the crap I have to do in preparation for moving back East. Sure, sure, I just got myself caught up in a bit of a self-pity trap, but I'll tell you what, I got trapped in there real good!
Back out of it now, and amped for a good couple workouts tomorrow!
Yesterdays workouts began in the morning with a good 30 minutes of tumbling and other "body awareness" work. I put together a little course where I would do 5 back to back forward rolls, right to a box jump, then directly to the pull up bar where i would get a pull over. So much fun! And what was cool was after 5 rounds of that I could bang out an easy 6+ feet of handstand walking AND string together about 6 very slow and controlled cartwheels from both sides. So cool. Barbell work later on involved a frustrating bunch of jerk misses at 235# (yep, that 30# off what I normally jerk...), cleans felt pretty good at that weight. But in the end I was ok with the jerks as I know I have some work to make up for from last months craziness. I'll be back on my technique very quickly. I then hit 4 rounds of 3 front squats getting up to 275#. I struggled on rep two, just rushed it a little, but got a very solid and comfortable 3rd rep. I then hit this beast of a metcon:
4 rounds of:
3 jerks 185#
50 double unders
This will hit you hard at the 3rd round. I got it unbroken until the final set here i didn't lock out quick enough and ad to dump the 3rd rep. That wasted a LOT of time and I rolled in at 7:28, a time I am pretty happy with. I ended up taking today off thanks to my super low energy, and I am on tomorrow with a bunch of ring work, planche work and lever work in the am. Later on I'll hit the barbells with snatches, split squats, weighted verticals and a very short metcon.
Lot's of great things happening for the Courage Games coming up in about a week and a half! We have confirmed so much, yet there is so much still to do! If there is anybody interested in volunteering, we need help! Judges, event staff, so on, so forth, please email me asap if you are willing!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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