This past Saturday there was a bit of a CrossFit Competition down on Capitol Hill. Mostly athletes from CrossFit Balance were there and it was organized as a sort of birthday celebration by the birthday boy himself, Ash Cope. I knew a whole slew of people attending and competing so I figured it would be a good time to join in the fun and hang with everyone while getting a few awesome workouts in!
APRAP 1 minute of: ground to overhead anyhow w/ 85% body weight (no dropping or resting the bar on the ground)
I weighed in at 202.8 at that morning (this nutrition experiment is going crazy on me In a good way) and used a weight of 175#. This felt pretty heavy but my goal was just to find a comfortable rhythm and keep moving for the short minute. In the end, Ash counted out that I got 12 reps (I always try to count on these and end up losing track after about 3...not sure why). Not too bad with the tight back from heavy deads on Thursday, and a late night "lock-out" workout the night before; and, it was enough for 3rd on the event. I believe one guy got a whopping 17 reps!).
A note before going into the next two workouts: this whole thing took place at Ash's house, a nice brownstone between Eastern Market and the Capitol Building, so our first workout was literally set up on a rubber mat in the walkway in his front yard, so cool! The second workout utilized whatever outdoor space he had...
Workout #2: (you kind of had to be there for this and the next...)
With a three minute cap do:
Sprint walkway, hurdle front gate
Run around to back of building, scale 8 foot wall
Grab 30# sandbag, throw over wall, scale wall again
Carry sandbag to front of house, hurdle gate with it, carry to top of stairs
Hurdle gate again, grab 80# sandbag, hurdle gate, bring to top of stairs
Tire flip jump through for remainder of time
It seems like a lot, but most people finished the obstacles and sandbags in about 90 seconds. Then came the burn-out tire flips. Up until my turn the top flip was 19, so everyone was wondering if 20 could be reached. And, thanks to the insane amount of tire flips we all did back in the day with all my High School guys, I was able to efficiently move through them and bang out 25 reps before time was called. This was an AWESOME workout! Massive props to Ash for his programming. All of our lungs were on fire.
For the final workout we all grabbed a collection of 20# and 12# dynamax med balls and walked about a 800 meters to a large park to the side of the Capitol Building. To paint a picture here: we had 50 meter lanes marked off along a sort of reflecting pool with a grand stairway and fountain directly in front of us. Here is what we did, i dare you to follow along!
For time do:
50 meter burpee broad jumps
Run up, around and down stair case with med ball
Overhead lunge 50 meters
25 push ups
Bear crawl 50 meters
run up around and down
Bear crawl 50 meters
25 push ups
Overhead lunge 50 meters
Run up, around and down with med ball
Burpee broad jump 50 meters
Sprint 50 meters
This one was just a gasser and we had a great heat pushing all along. Devin, the athlete set up next to me pushed away on the overhead lunges and first set of push ups, but I was able to stay on his tail and take over the lead on the second set of push ups. It was a dead sprint alone for me at the end and I finished up in an exhausting 6 minutes flat and an overall victory!
We posed for a big group picture and headed back where I believe everyone hung out and grilled and partied (I stupidly scheduled a client and had to get back to The Garage STAT). In the end, this was exactly the perfect example for why I love CrossFit so much. A huge group of people banded together (all in all around 40+ showed up, and this is NOT counting the masses of people that stopped and hung out to watch as they walked by) to push themselves and support each other outdoors. I can not explain how excited it makes me to be a part of a community that truly enjoys finding ways to workout together at all times, it is so freaking awesome! I feel so much at home and comforted knowing that this is such a fast growing community, and that I involved in the capacity I am. I honestly hope that it never stops growing and the world can shift to a healthier, more active one.
OK, so, going a little off there. I woke up this morning to a text from my biddy JP about headed out to hike the Billy Goat Trail with a couple he knows. I was totally game and jumped up to meet him and head out there. We threw on a 20# vest each and just moved through it enjoying the perfect weather, saying hi to the throngs of people (perhaps throngs is the wrong word, but it was more crowded then i have ever seen!) and just chatting. It was the perfect recovery and chill type of thing to do. Then, it was off to coach a double header before headed home for a nap and a little TV before bed and plenty of training this coming week!
What did you do this weekend?
Never Stop, GET FIT.
So, I am in the middle of writing a long post about my transition out of California, and it's been an emotional experience for me. So, I will just get on with some other posts as I work through that one, and post it up when I feel better about it! Anyway, I returned to the East Coast on Saturday and got right into the swing of things. Sunday morning run down at the C and O canal, about 4 miles, an old run I have done countless times. It was nice to run the the crazy think foliage that I have totally forgot takes over the greater DC area in the summer. It was humid, think and all around a really nice morning! I then headed out to Balance Gym Kalorama to meet up with a couple guys for some strength work.
5 x 3 back squats
3 x 3 weighted chest to bar chin ups with 8 total barbell overhead lunges with a twist
2 rounds with 3 minutes rest between of:
1 hill run (about 300-400 meters)
21 pull ups
12 handstand push ups
The squats felt heavy, and I struggled to get 355#, a bit of a bummer. The chins felt awesome, and I was able to get 3 out of five chest to bar on the final set with 65# added to my 215# frame! We then jogged about 3/4 a mile to a sweet park underneath the Calvert and Connecticut Ave intersection. The plan was 3+ rounds; but, after the first round I put my foot down and said I was done after the second one. I didn't want to burn out with a metcon at all, I feared I'd be pushing my body WAY too far too quickly. Besides, two rounds was more than enough. Each took me around 6 minutes (mostly thanks to my total crap handstand push ups). A massive lettuce-wrapped burger later and I felt so good!
I grilled out with my pops and his girl in the evening, firing up some skirt steak and asparagus, then hit the bed hard! This morning, I woke up ready to get things going! I again went to Balance to get my training in and I got some great stuff. Thanks to a brief, but very insightful conversation with Oly Coach extraordinaire Mike Choi the day before, I had a better approach: Tone back the weight, work speed in sets of 3 to 5, take very long rests and make sure to be fueled and not fatigued going into the session. The idea is to make sure the central nervous system is at peak awareness for these lifts. This is something I have been not taking seriously enough in the past couple weeks, I have been trying to force things a little much and it has been to my detriment. So, I gave this approach a try and it was great.
3x5 OH squats
3x3 power snatch
5x1 strict press
3x10 cable face pulls
I went in this order because i have found that I have almost no ability to be comfortable underneath the bar (in the overhead squat position) without about 5 sets of warm up before hand. So, the forced overhead squat work acted as a warm up to my snatches. The power snatches got me moving more quickly, and I pulled 55, 60, 60, 62.5, 65 and 67.5 respectively (in kilograms) on the snatches. They felt AWESOME! Quick, comfortable and smooth. Very happy with that. Th strict presses were a different story. Perhaps my shoulders were a little beat up from the HSPU's yesterday, and all the snatch practice, but I tied my previous PR with a big struggle at 175#. I'll get that 185# before Regionals, I know it!
Ok, off to grill up another dinner, then up super early to run before a client comes in. Here's to finding some form of routine!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
As most of you should know at this point, I am making huge transition in my life and job only 9 months after making the biggest transition of my life. My girl and I are moving back to the East Coast. This is a very bitter sweet process for me as I have fallen so madly in love with the California life-style but am excited to the core to return to the community I had spent so long creating in the greater DC area. Even though I’ve only been in CA for less than a year I feel as though have made friends for life and I fully expect to be making continuous trips back to workout and hang out with all the great people I have bonded with.
Right now Lindsey and I are faced with the overwhelming task of figuring out how to get our lives moved back across the country. Our memories of the crazy times we had in getting things out here are still pretty fresh on our minds so the intensity of the stress is multiplied a bit. But, I have a great deal of confidence that things will work out pretty damn well because we have our sights set on our awesome future and the journey towards that!
So, this past weekend saw the start of our physical search. We hopped a redeye out to DC, getting in at around 7:30am ready to explore. The goal for the weekend was twofold: to find a neighborhood to live in, and to search around for gym locations for my business. Basically we picked out a collection of neighborhoods and drove on through them to get a gut feeling. We did this a bit before we moved out to California and it worked out great. Over the course of three days we were able to find the place we wanted to be and we love it! So, with the couple days in the DC area, we were hoping for the same thing; and for the most part, we did. We narrowed it down a good bit to a few different areas we liked best, AND, I was able to search out a good collection of spaces and locations for my new gym! All in all, I think it increased our excitement for this new transition.
I'll throw in some updates about this process as we continue on as it basically is taking over about 85% of my energy these days (the rest is gearing up for the CrossFit Games Sectionals coming up in two weeks!!). Its a crazy process and I am expecting the best from it all!
Well, besides the crazy programming with traveling around to so many affiliates, and the planning for the Courage Games 2011, I have been at the highest level of stress I have ever been in my life. This difficulty has come since around the holidays when Lindsey and I began discussions on our future and how we wanted to approach it. As many of my readers here know, our move out here was based on literally ONE thing: to live in California. Both of us were leaving quite a bit in the East Coast and we knew that going into this crazy move. So after settling down a little bit (living together for the first time as well!) we began the long discussion of family and future. In the end, we came to the difficult conclusion that our future would be better off back in the East Coast.
We initially planned to really sink in here for a while, up to five years, but while enjoying what California has to offer us, we would have in the back of our heads that we would most likely be leaving at some point soon. This began to weigh on me as I left so much in the DC area to recreate my business here. And I was struggling with the idea of getting everything going here and then leaving it all once again to start fresh in a new place. I just could not see this as a plausible choice for me and what I want out of life. So, when push came to shove, we realized that it would be best for both of us to pack up our gear and head back East to really sink our roots in and settle down.
This has been a very, very tough process for both us as we both really like it out here. I have had nothing but positive experiences in the short time exploring the greater Bay Area and I have made friends and connections quicker than I ever thought possible. While I do not struggle very much with the actual decision to move back East, what I do struggle with is the knowledge that I am leaving days like today. Today, as I write this, I am sitting at my kitchen counter, windows and patio door open to the 68 degree weather, birds chirping and not a could in the sky. After I finish this I will head over to a park right on the Bay to do some tumbling and ring work, then it's off to the gym to train a large group of kids, workout with a couple training buddies, train another group of athlete, cook dinner and read some of my book. That right there is the perfect life to me (if Lindsey was not traveling for work it would truly be perfect!). I know we will have this life, and better (because Lindsey won't be traveling so much) back East, but this weather, and these people! Man, I will miss those a ton.
So what it is looking like now is that I will be returning to the greater Washington, DC area in early April, setting up shop in The Garage again while pushing like crazy to open up a much larger gym. I have a whole slew of things prepared for getting up and running when I get back there, so all you Washingtonians, Marylanders and Virginians better be ready!
In the mean time, I have folded my CrossFit affiliate in Burlingame out of 1st String and have partnered with CrossFit San Mateo. I am helping out a local High School baseball team as well. Once I have the CrossFit Kids class, Powerlifting/Strength class and baseball teams up and running, and once the Courage Games 2011 are over and done with, I will bid farewell to lovely California as my place of residence and return to my home town area of Greater Washington, DC. To all my athletes who were so committed to me before I scampered out West, please send me a note and let me know if you are game to get back into things. I will set a date for my return and will plan on having people back in The Garage within a couple days of that date. So spread the word, and get yourselves ready to have a Spring and Summer filled with massive gains!
To everyone I have met and connected with in my short time in California, you better believe I will be back out here on a VERY regular basis to workout, hang out, explore and chill with everyone. California was everything and more than I expected and I will be be visiting every chance I get. And of course, each and every one of you will have a place to stay and train if you ever want to visit the East Coast; and I would expect a ton of you to come let me show the same hospitality all of you have shown me since I have been out here.
So, for the final 1.5 to 2 months I have left here, I will be re-visiting gyms, exploring more areas, introducing more people to CrossFit and basking in the intensely active calm that is Northern California. For those of you who have never been out here, get your butts out here, it freaking rocks! I look forward to the life Lindsey and I have ahead of us. I am eager to grow my business and see where it takes me. I am excited with the knowledge that I will be living in an area I truly do love. Yet I will travel back with the bittersweet feeling of knowing I am leaving behind something that connected with me in the deepest of ways. I will miss California intensely, but I am overjoyed with what is to come.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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