September 27, 2017

You might be a CrossFitter

  • If you have ever had enough tape on your hands to hold a bad marriage might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you proudly show off your skinned knees and don't care that it makes you look like might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you roll out of bed in the morning, realize that you can't walk, and it makes you might be a CrossFitter.
  • When you show off the rips in your palms to people just to make them might be a CrossFitter
  • When the time you spend laying on the floor after the WOD takes longer than the WOD might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you get an urgent need to pee exactly ten seconds before the WOD might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you have ever rolled around on a foam roller while saying "Who's your daddy?" might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you own five different tubs of protein powder and hate the taste of them might be a CrossFitter
  • When you can't fix a leaky faucet but you can tape two lacrosse balls together like a might be a CrossFitter.
  • When you make your kids do "penalty burpees" for not cleaning their might be a CrossFitter
  • If you have ever screamed after using hand might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you have ever took a screenshot of the Wodify score and sent them to a “friend” so they know you kicked their might be a CrossFitter.
  • When you don’t know who your congressman is but you know Mat Fraser’s "Fran" might be a CrossFitter.
  • You don’t believe in the science of Global Warming but won’t touch a white potato because you believe it is 100% fact that our ancestors only ate meat, nuts, and might be a CrossFitter
  • After a workout you puke more than a 16 yr old girl with might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you can't say "Fran" without also saying "I hate that bitch!" might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you refer to dating fat people as "RXing" might be a CrossFitter.
  • If when you have sex you get excited that you finished first then bump knuckles and say "Good work!" might be a CrossFitter.
  • When you take a nap you refer to it a 3 rounds of pillow hugs for might be a CrossFitter.
  • You complain about prices at Target but will gladly pay $90 for a tank top at might be a CrossFitter
  • If you've ever shouted "No Rep!" during might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you “hook grip” your might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you have ever said “You’re a beast!” to a girl and she said “Thanks!” might be a CrossFitter
  • If you have ever referred to gloves as “bitch mittens” might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you own more shirts that say “Rogue” than you don’ might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you think $100 is too much for dress shoes but have 4 pair of the newest $130 Nano’ might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you take your shirt off the second you walk into the might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you put so much chalk on your hands it looks like you have been giving massages to circus might be a CrossFitter.
  • If you have ever posted a picture of a bloody apendange on Instagram with the hashtag might be a CrossFitter.

September 24, 2017

Working on weakness doesn’t make you weak

Weaknesses. We all have them and believe me, I have a ton. Lately I have been low key obsessed with them. I’ve always been like most CrossFitters and I tend to work on my weaknesses when I am forced to or simply ignore them. I usually shrug off a bad workout as “not what I am good at”. Joining Mentality was a concerted effort to fix that behavior on my part. I knew if I was ever going to get stronger and faster I would need to be challenged around the areas I suck at. What I never anticipated is that same “mentality”, if you will, challenged my thinking on this topic...

I went to the gym on Thursday this week which is weird for me. Thursday is typically a day off but I was feeling out of sorts and needed to move some. Since it was “rest day” it seemed like a good time to work on some weaknesses. I hadn’t been to “open gym” prior to this but it immediately became my new favorite time because for about an hour there it was just me. I got to enjoy some needed alone time without the stress of missing lifts in front of a room full of people.

At some point others started rolling in and I had moved on to work on bar muscle-ups. Because I’m old and apparently look as helpless as a baby seal while almost as white, a member asked me if I could do “all of the movements”. I hadn’t really thought about that before but I said “I suppose so". It led to a conversation about how long I have been doing CrossFit and then she hit me out of left field with “What are your goals?” I wasn’t prepared for the question and gave her my standard answer of “Training for a competition and being healthy for my kids.” but the question made me think. It made me realize that I am full of sh*t. Now I know a lot of you are sitting around thinking “You JUST figured that out?!?” but I’m kind of a slow learner...

I’m full of sh*t because I tell people I have goals but I never allow them or myself for that matter to see what the real “goal” or “weaknesses” happen to be. You see we all have goals of some sort. Some people want to lose weight, others want to be stronger, and the list goes on. As CrossFitters we are often driven to talk about and achieve goals. At Mentality we have an amazing board on the wall dedicated to them. What we never talk about however is the “why” and that was what this member made me acknowledge.

The “why” for me is that I do all of this crazy stuff to my body because my insecurities rule me. I could be wrong but I think most of us feel that way. Why else would we do this to ourselves? We fight and scrape and bleed (literally) at CrossFit not because we want to fix weaknesses but because it is easier to beat yourself up than it is to love yourself.

Learning to love yourself is a battle for me. A battle to see who will win control. Will it be the insecurity deep inside me that wins or my stubborn will to control it? You see everyone gets to see my Instagram posts, videos, and pictures of PRs. No one gets to see the daily weigh-ins or standing in front of the mirror judging every flaw as if they define me. No one gets to see the look of regret on my face after I have a stress eating or drinking binge. Absolutely no one gets to see the tossing and turning as I try to fall asleep, replaying all of my mistakes of the past and wishing I had just one more chance to correct them or simply say “I’m sorry”...

But you can’t go back can you. As much as I wish we could, you can only go forward and that is the beauty of CrossFit. It allows you to move forward with a measure of control. Control over the insecurities and broken nature that we are inherently. Control over the deep seeded fears that we all have when we see how others perceive us. Control over the stress and fear that we carry on our shoulders like an unbearable cross. It allows the community to come together without judgement and raise each other up and over the fears that drive us.

Since I have joined Mentaility, this is what CrossFit has come to mean to me. A community that challenges me to be better while encouraging me to be the person I am without judgement of who that person may have been in the past or now. It is challenging me to be more than the sum of my weaknesses while still addressing them. This community makes me want to work harder on those weaknesses while being someone that they can be proud of. It is quite possibly not only making me a better CrossFitter but a better man.

September 17, 2017

Quit complaining and get to work

I need to issue an apology to a few people. Kyle, Lindsey, and Gordon are my former coaches at CrossFit Distinction. Each one of them are amazing coaches and invested a lot of time in me over the years. At some point or another they all tried to give me structured warmup and WOD advice and I complained and moaned like the little b*tch I can be. I should have just taken their lead and ran with it. If it is any consolation guys I have learned my lesson. (mostly)

The truth is that if I have figured out anything in the last month and a half it is that there is peace (and value) in just showing up and doing as you are told. When I made the switch to Mentality I told myself that I would be quiet and do the work without complaint. I can honestly admit that I have done that to the best of my ability. What I didn’t count on was what quick progress I would see and how much easier it would make everything. I swear at this point they could tell me to do just about anything and I would barely question it.

Scott: “Ok class. Today we are gonna do chicken clucks for time. What I want you to do is stand on one leg, move your head back and forth while flapping your arms and making clucking sounds. Any questions?”

Me: “Ummmmm yeah. I have one. Right leg or left leg?”

Scott: “Great question! Right leg.”

Me: (standing on right leg) “Bwaaaaakkk!”

Ok. I might be embellishing a bit. Scott would make us do Chicken Clucking Rope Climbs but you get the point. I really don’t question or complain about the warmups or WODs anymore and here is why...

1. Less Stress - I don’t like to think. My life as a whole is obviously proof of that but when it comes to programming I figure that I’m gonna let the peeps that do this full time worry about it. I’ll waste my brainpower on more important things like trying to discretely watch the girls do deadlifts and where the closest garbage can is in case the WOD makes me puke...

2. Less injury - This is a pretty big deal. Virtually every time I have been injured it was because I didn’t prepare for the workout properly. If doing jumping jacks and shoving a lacrosse ball up my ass keeps me injury free then so be it.

3. Progress - Warmup is a great time to work on form and technique. Rowing, SkiErg, Bike, and Double-unders are particularly important. If you want to make progress in WODs you need to be able to do all four of these. I hear people say all the time “I suck at the bike” or "I hate double unders”. Yeah well they both hate you too. Just do them and get over it. No one ever gets better at the Assault Bike. They just lose so many brain cells riding it that they are no longer scared of it.

4. Community - One of the best parts of CrossFit is forming relationships with the other members. The joint suffering that comes from the WOD builds camaraderie. This is exactly why you should only b*tch about a workout AFTER it is over. Let the coaches design the pain and then you can make friends after. Granted the friend may be a nurse in the emergency room but a friend is a friend...

At the end of the day I know it can be stressful going into a WOD that has movements you are not comfortable with. Talk to the coaches about it. Don’t complain. They will gladly help you find a scale that works for you. You can complain some after the WOD if you like and console yourself in the realization that a well programmed WOD is a lot like a marriage. Everyone is unhappy. Besides, if things get really bad during the WOD you can treat it like a marriage and tell the coach you are going out for milk and just never come back....