Friday, December 30, 2011

Learn & Play New Sports Regularly

Took Animal to the movies to play some Bowling and to let him do what Animal does best...



AAAAAnd get just a taste of sweet SUCCESS!!! What a funny little creature Vin is, indeed!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011: A Very Cochise Year In Review

As 2011 draws to a close I'd like to throw out a few highlights of my year. For me, these events helped to give shape to my 2011 experience and from them I'll always remember 2011 for a great year filled with time well spent with my family, my CFS comrades, and my ongoing pursuit of world domination.

January: Bring on the snow and dancing penguins!



CROSSFIT SPRINGFIELD finishes as XFIT League Season 1 CHAMPS!!!

XFIT League: End of Season One

League Results

Rank Box Points
1 CF SPR 16
2 CombatCF18
3 BHFIT 21
4 IM CF 25
5 CF 816 33
6 CF MAN 36
7 PFCF 36
8 CF 785 39
10 CF MAT (NEW)0
11 CF LIN (NEW)0

The 2011 "Groundhog Day" Open - I mean - CrossFit Games Open takes place. First 2 weeks: Perform WOD 11.1 as many times as possible. I win.


CFS Hosts Olympic Lifting Cert with Coach Mike Burgener

CFS Prom

The 2011 Open Concludes:

The following men from CrossFit Springfield have placed in the top 60 and are now qualified for the North Central Regional May 27th-29th at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL (Out of 934 registered male competitors in the North Central region):5th, Macy Mitchell; 14th, Andrew Koch; 39th, Jeremy Mhire; 40th, Brian Llewellyn; 47th, Jon Newbold

The following women from CrossFit Springfield have placed in the top 60 and are now qualified for the North Central Regional May 27th-29th at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL (Out of 515 registered female competitors in the North Central region): 24th, Melissa Wistrom; 42nd, Kara Wallace-Racz; 59th, Kristin Anderson; 60th, Kathy Metz

In the Women’s Masters Competition, Cindi Little has finished in 5th Place in the 55-59 yr old division, qualifying her to compete in the 2011 CrossFit Games at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA from July 29-31. Way to go, Cindi!!!

May & June:

Spring arrives! Daddy, Mommy, Vin, and unborn baby Emille head to the park!

CFS represents at CrossFit Games Regional Competition

CrossFit Springfield fields a STRONG team and manages to qualify for the CF Games World Finals in LA! As an individual competitor, I was able to qualify for the finals of regionals and placed 12th overall in the final standings.

Jenny's Baby shower for Emille at the Wistrom casa!

Clean Up in Joplin with Convoy of Hope


Emille arrives!
CrossFit Springfield competes in LA at the 2011 CrossFit Games.


Planning and preparation for HOA3 begins


See August


Fun fall festivities, pumpkin chucking, trips with the family to the pumpkin patch- all good times!


December: My WARPATH to the 2012 CrossFit Games season has begun. Training is in full swing, LivXFit is beginning to gain greater exposure, and the gym is as busy as it's ever been. To top off an already exciting month, an article I recently wrote profiling 2011 CF Games Individual athlete and North Central competitor, Armand McCormick, was published today on the Games site: BOLDLY AGGRESIVE. December was a fun-filled month full of Christmas decorating, gift giving and plenty of sacred time with loved ones!

2012 has got big shoes to fill in my book. I'm thankful for all of the wonderful blessings 2011 gave me! Here's to the New Year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Making Off Season Strength Gains

This CF games off-season I've been very intentional about gaining overall strength. In recent weeks, there have been a ton of interviews and articles with CF games athletes who say they've also been working towards making strength gains in the off-season. In a November video of a conversation on the topic of making off-season strength gains between CFHQ coaches, Nadia Shatlia and Dave Lipson, there are some great points made- many of which I've noticed in my training over the last month:

1. In order to gain strength, you must be willing to gain some mass. If you place more emphasis on hitting the primary lifts using heavier loads, yet continue to repeatedly crush yourself in 15 to 30+ minute conditioning efforts, you'll likely diminish the effect of your strength returns. You've gotta pick your battles in the box. For me, this has meant to hit at least 4 or 5 strength biased workouts per week while only performing one or two 3-10 minute met-cons and 1 chipper style WOD per week.
2. Milk does a body good. Unless you're a strict Paleo person, are lactose intolerant (in which case I'd recommend Lactaid), or can't handle farting all day like a CHAMP (and, boy, does my wife know I can handle it), milk is one of the best ways to help you not only recover- but also to gain mass.
3. Eat lots and eat clean. On the first part- EAT LOTS: You need the calories to build back up that which your training has destoyed. On the second- EAT CLEAN: Keep it simple; avoid processed foodstuffs and sugars and stick to lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and little starch. Glassman said it best: "You won't perform like a high-powered machine if you're always pissing in your gas tank." Even doing this MOST of the time will result in improved overall athletic performance.
4. Determine if your lack of strength is due to neuromuscular insufficiency (technique, proprioception, mechanics, etc), the fact that you've tapped out your contractile potential i.e. you need to gain mass, or perhaps a bit of both. Over the past month, as I've PR'd on many of my primary lifts, I realized that for me, it was both. In many cases, I may have already had the strength to move the weight but what was lacking was the "learned" aspect of actually executing or successfully completing the lift. Bottomline: Slow down. Practice. Go through appropriate progressions. Warm up properly. Allow for gradual accommodation to larger loads. It'll all pay off.

Anyway, that's about enough of my musings for one night...Here's what my past couple of days of training have been like: After hitting yesterday's CFS strength piece of Thruster 4-4-4-4-4 (I reached 230lb x 4 and 235lb x 3), Andy Koch and I did the conditioning WOD of 16 minutes of Wallballs (20lb) for max reps. One person works at a time. Our strategy was to perform sets of 35reps for as log as possible. We made it through 5 full rounds each (Actually 6 for Andy) until at rep number 26 I finally hit the wall and dropped the ball. At this point there was about 3 minutes remaining and it became more of an all out gut-check- at least for me. Andy caught what he called a "second wind" and continued to forge through sets of 20-35 and I managed to trudge through smaller sets of 15-25 all the way to the finish. In 16 minutes the medball touched the ground only twice. Our transitions were always seamless. We switched out by passing off the ball mid-air to the next person who would slide in and continue working. Our grand total was 522 reps of 20lb Wallballs in 16 minutes. Needless to say, today I'm wrecked.

With this in mind, for my training today I decided to go for 30 Muscle Ups for time. My hope was to beat my previous best time of 4:56. As always, I flew through the first 20 and then slugged through the last 10. However, today I slugged 11 seconds faster and PR'd with a time of 4:45. Here's the video of my effort:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

300lb Ham Nuggett

Last Friday the CFS strength component was Power clean 1-1-1-1-1-1-1. My progression was 245-265-275-285-295f-300f-300PR. Rest assured, it was a gnarly looking power clean, but i picked it up regardless.

I had an amazing weekend relaxing with the family! Vin put on Christmas concerts for us:

And Emille was her usual snuggly little self :)

I'm lookin' at the HAM in the mirra!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

500m Row PR & My Olympic Games Moment!!!

Rowed 500m today in 1:26. One second faster than my previous best 500m row. It hurt. Ooooh, did it hurt. Not sure if it was the cold December air or just me being a pudwhacker (you're right-definitely both), but this felt like one of the most uncomfortable things I've done in a while; even more uncomfortable than that time back in 1940 when I competed in the Summer Olympics...

HardyHarHar. I'm only joking, of course (about me being a pudwhacker). I'm more just a plain 'ole sissy at heart. Anyways, rowing 500m for time just goes to show you how deceivingly difficult the simplest of tasks can be.

I also did 5 x 1 deadlift today...did 335-400-470-505-540(f). I wanted to attempt the 540lb or maybe 535lb again but I did 5 x 7 backsquat yesterday and my hamstrings were strung, if ya know what I mean. They are RIPE, ripe, I tell you.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Act Of Refusal

I REFUSE to be manipulated, refuse to be digraced, refuse to be mistreated, I refuse to be replaced

But who really wins if I refuse to extend GRACE?

I refuse to talk things out, refuse to confront the PAIN, refuse to accept FORGIVENESS, refuse to accept my mistakes

But who really wins if I'm walled up by my SHAME?

I refuse to be a man, who, in living only for myself, would refuse to OPEN MY HEART to the burdens of someone else

And I refuse to find any comfort in a quiet or DARK, "safe" place

For the LIGHT still beckons me, and I refuse to not give chase.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Going Back To The Well

Tuesday's 245lb Snatch miss left me with a feeling of unfinished business. I went to bed last night and woke up this morning with an insatiable desire to stick the lift and stand it up. My plan: After a good warm up, I'd take just 5 snatch attempts with progressive loads up to 245lb and let the chips fall where they may. I had to work for it but my more patient approach (This time I forced myself to take 1-2 minutes between each attempt) and strategy paid off and on my final lift I successfully snatched 245lb for a 10lb PR! Here is a video of the lift:

WooHoo!!! Very thankful to have hit it and appreciate the coaching and encouragement I received from Cole Samuelson and the rest of the noon crew! Immediately following the 5 x 1 Snatch work, I did "Isabel" (30 reps of Snatches @ 135lb for time). Not exactly sure of my previous best time but I'm pretty confident I've never gone sub 2 minutes on it. Today I did and finished in 1:52:

Great training day!!! Here's a video of the entire snatch progression I took towards 245lb:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday & Tuesday Training

Yesterday (Monday 11/28/11):


Front Squat 5 x 3. I reached 285lb
Push Press 5 x 3. I reached 245lb


"Fat Fran"

21-15-9 Thusters @ 135lb & Pull Ups while wearing a 45lb weight vest. My time was 8:45. Never done it before so I guess that makes it a PR. 135lb Thrusters were tough with the vest. Broke at 16 and then did 5 on the 1st set, 10 reps and then did 5 on the second. Last 9 thrusters I went 4-3-2. I do think I can better my time on it without the same volume of strength work being done prior to the WOD.

Today (11/29/11):

Snatch 1-1-1-1-1. I hit 155-185-215-235(PR)-245(Miss). Didn't have a ton of time so I went with an aggressive progression in loads. Was pumped about the 235lb lift but really wish I'd have stuck that 245lb lift. It was CLOSE. I'd like to get 250lb before 2012. Here is a video of the effort:

Afterwards I did 30 Muscle Ups for time in 5:01. Then this evening I did 3 Rounds for time of:

12 Bar-Facing Burpees
Row 400m
12 Overhead Squats, 135lb

Time was 9:31. Great gasser. Great past couple days of training.


Friday, November 25, 2011

First Time's A Charm (Sometimes the 5th or 6th)

I know this sounds weird, but my best ideas always come to me in the shower. The other day, whilst (yes, I said, "whilst") suds-ing it up, I had a thought: I'm going to make it a point to shoot for a PR in something EVERY time I train; not just whenever I'm "feeling it". Not only when I'm having a great day and all is well. But EVERY. D@MN. DAY. It's only been a couple of days since I implemented this new policy for myself but so far it's been working as I bested my 2 rep max hang power clean by 20lb on Wednesday (275lb), totally pillaged and plundered at least 3 more full plates worth of Thanksgiving dinner this year than I've ever eaten on Thursday, and beat my previous best "Filthy 50" time by like 3 minutes today (18:24). I'm not saying that from now on I'm gonna PR on all my benchmark WODs or crush my record numbers on the primary lifts every day. But if I routinely make it a point to find something- anything- to improve on each day, I know I'm going to continue to see progress. L-Sit for time? Yes. Today I'm gonna beat my previous best time. Consecutive double unders? I'm jumping rope til my arms fall off. Squat 2.5 more pounds than I did last time? You betch'ya. And why not? Why not attack every training session with the mentality that I'm going to guarantee myself a victory somewhere, somehow? Whatever it takes. At my CF Football cert last year, CFFB founder, John Welbourne said something that has always resonated with me. He said, "I hate it when I hear people say they can't do something. Whenever one of my HS or college football athletes starts whining about how they just can't squat this or deadlift that amount of weight I tell'em, 'I bet you'd lift it if I put you in a cage, threw a padlock on the door, and said you can't come out until you've lifted it.' " Along the lines of this type of thinking, during my workouts I'll sometimes imagine myself having to fight for my life or lift a heavy object off of a loved one. Here recently, during the final 400m run of a hero WOD I actually imagined myself trying to escape from the enemy in order to survive. Trust me, it made me run faster. I've had people tell me this kind of emergent thinking isn't healthy because it elicits emotional stress. Poppycock, poopypants. Life is all about how you condition yourself to respond to emotional and physical stresses. I, for one, like the idea of placing a ton of pressure on myself in my daily training environment so that on game day or in an actual emergency, I'm prepared. My point is: Don't sell yourself short or cut yourself off at the knees by placing limits on your potential in any aspect of your life. You want to start winning? Start thinking like a winner, wiener. Don't think, "Gee, I hope I'm able to pick up that bar, run that mile, finish all 5 rounds, etc..." Rather, think, "I'm GOING to do it." B-b-b-b-but what if I don't do it?!? What if I fail? First off, stop giving yourself the option of failure. Secondly, whether it's right now, tomorrow, or three years from now, it's only once you've stopped TRYING that you have you successfully FAILED. Keep swinging, slugger...the greatest breakthrough's in life and in sport sometimes come right after the times of greatest adversity.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Snatch Balance 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Although it wasn't graceful, I managed to get a 5lb PR on yesterday's WOD of Snatch Balance 1-1-1-1-1-1-1. I really focused on taking my time with my warm up. It paid off by allowing me to come in on my first attempt at a higher weight. My load progression was 185-205-215-225-235-245-255lb. I'm still working on cleaning up a ton of garbage from a mechanics standpoint but you can see flashes of good technique if you look hard enough. Snatch Balance is an awkward skill transfer movement for me simply because of my arm, torso, and leg length. Anyways, no excuses, no apologies, here it is:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Check Yourself. Fo' You Wreck Yourself.


Ahhh, the poor man's chess. I love it. It is, in my opinion, the greatest and most glorious board game of all time - immediately followed by "Shoots and Ladders" and "Monopoly" (joking about the former and dead serious about the latter). For all it's simplicity, the game of checkers can teach us a lot about how to succeed in life. In order to win at checkers it takes a combination of strategy and patience- both noble pursuits. But in checkers and in life, the best players are those who possess a strategic mind, patience, AND the ability to THINK two or three moves in advance. Some call it FORETHOUGHT. I think of forethought as being the more saintly version of premeditation (you just have to get past the Dateline 48 Hours Mystery connotation). Whatever you wanna call it, it means thinking in advance and considering the future or future outcome of any given action. WHAT??? Think before you act!? REALLY!? What a novel freaking idea.

CHECK MY FLOW: Whenever I say or do something stupid and in the moment or have a momentary lapse in judgement, I'll sometimes jokingly say, "I'm gonna let this be future Jeremy's problem to deal with." Funny thing is, there's a little bit of truth in every joke (oftentimes A LOT). "Future Jeremy" typically isn't very pleased with the results of "past Jeremy's" rash decisions. However, when I take time to think through and clearly visualize the finish line or end result of my actions, I usually end up feeling pleased with the outcome. There's merit in visualizing your heart's desires. Why? Because along life's journey, knowing your destination helps to dictate your decisions.

Do me a FLAVOR...Put all of your religious/spiritual biases aside, and just track with me for a moment. What are you pursuing in life? Is your pursuit happiness? Most wouldn't argue "happiness" as their general answer to this question. Those who would argue it are content to be miserable, angry MOFO's and might as well browse themselves off this site if they haven't already done so. L8R, H8R!!! I digress. So, if the goal is to ultimately achieve happiness in your life, then what makes you happy? Think about it. Visualize it. Okay, you can open up your eyes now, cheeseball. Now answer me this: What matters most to you in your relationships with your family and friends? What about your personal life and in your career? What leads you to feeling fulfilled in these arenas? Where are you at now and where will you be five years from now, ten years from now, or twenty years from now based on the decisions you're making? Your headed somewhere...we all are. Is it TOWARDS or AWAY from where you'd actually like to end up at. Just like in checkers, sometimes you've gotta think a few moves in advance in order to get a beat on which direction everything is going.

Hey, and if you don't like the outlook, then guess what you can do? CHANGE DIRECTIONS, JACKHOLE. ABORT MISSION. Throw your stinking sails up and wait for the wind. One brick at a time, your choices will build a stairway to your goal. Think about training for any sporting event. You don't just show up on the day of the event and hope that you'll be able to lift the bar, or hit the ball, or run the race. No, you train for weeks, months, and even years. All for the OPPORTUNITY to win, to compete, or just to simply finish the race. Each day of training is one more move that brings you closer to your objective, your finish line, your destination.

Time to LAND THE PLANE: Although I haven't played a game of checkers for quite some time, I'm pretty sure I'd dominate you if we threw down. Doubtful? Try me, cupcake. It's nothing personal. I just think I'll be willing to sit and out-think you til your thinker is thunked. I know, I know- a victory in a measly game O' checkers isn't nearly as glamorous as crushing your "Fight Gone Bad" score, besting your CrossFit Total, or beating your "Fran" time. No need to worry your pretty little lats off there, princess, I'm already three moves ahead of you...KING ME!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Riding High On Life With Grace!!!

The past couple of months have been crazy and exciting all at the same time! God is good and life has been full of many recent blessings. Our baby girl, Emille, has been growing and getting sweeter with each passing day, Vin is blossoming into a full-time little boy with an agenda of his own, Jenny has recently gone back to work after being on maternity leave, and I've been up to my faux hawk in HOA3 planning and preparation. My head has almost healed all the way from the nasty abscess removal surgery I had last month. I've now got a nice 2 inch scar and a sexy bald spot on my head as keepsakes from the whole ordeal. Way more fun than scars and bald spots is the pick'em up truck I just bought last week! Upon taking my old ride in to get an inspection for tag renewal, I was informed that I'd need around $1200-1500 worth of fixes. Ouch. So, rather than dump more money into the ole' "gangsta-ride" Lincoln LS I've been pushing around for the past few years, I figured it was time to "man-up" with a new Toyota Tundra. I'm loving it and am very thankful to have found a good deal on one.

My training has been going well. I'm still just trying to gain strength and work on having fun with my workouts. I've had a few lingering injuries but I know my body well enough at this point to also know what I need to be doing to fix them. The only problem for me is that I'm really good at knowing and not so great on doing right now. After HOA winds down I plan to get back to yoga and eating a little better and hopefully some of my mobility issues will resolve.

I did manage to PR on "Grace" yesterday which was fun. "Grace" is undoubtedly one of my favorite CrossFit benchmark WODs because it's short and sweet. It had been almost a year since I last did it, so I figured I'd program the workout for CFS and give myself an excuse to pony up and see if I could improve on my previous PR of 1:46. I hit 22 reps unbroken but kind of punked out and dropped the bar in between reps 25, 26, and 27. Had I been able to push through just a little bit more I think I might have been able to pull a sub-1:30 score. Regardless, I'm pleased with bettering my time by 10 seconds. Here's a video of my effort:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

If You Chop Them Down, They Will GROW

I have the hiccups. I am speaking to you right now, from the middle of the now, and I keep hiccuping over and over again. It's completely irrelevant to the point I'd like to speak to but it's really pissing me off so I thought I'd just throw that out there. Now that we've cleared that up, I'd like to talk about my many failure's, or hiccups, in life. I know, it's hard to comprehend but, yes, I've screwed up LOTS. And LOTS.

As the firstborn child in my family I frequently suffered from what many would describe simply as a disorder of, "I am the center of the universe-itis." If you too are the eldest of your siblings you might relate well to this condition. Jealousy, selfishness, entitlement, and a tendency towards temper-tantrums are all frequently reported symptoms associated with this typical childhood disorder.

As a teenager in high school, I used my four years at Kickapoo High School to climb to the pinnacle of the failure mountaintop. I've always hated math. My solution at the time was to do everything in my power to find ways to cheat my way through every math class I ever took in HS. Although it got me through, as you can imagine, I learned absolutely nothing. If I'm honest with myself, I graduated from KHS with an underwhelming sense of responsibility and no comprehension of what it means to have work ethic.

In my sophomore year of high school there was one weekend evening where myself and a buddy snuck out of my house and broke into some cars in the neighborhood. We ended up stealing nothing of value but did end up landing ourselves in juvenile hall and were ordered to serve community service.

My bad-boy streak didn't end there as in my junior year-right before summer break- I ran from the police when an impromptu drinking party in a parking lot was broken up. I wasn't so crossfit at the time so needless to say, they caught me and I landed myself in jail for the evening.

It's not that I always maintained a rebellious attitude but for the most part, all the way through my young adult years, I managed to always find a way to screw up in epic fashion. In no way am I proud of any of these personal shortcomings but I have come to realize something quite profound through each of these instances- and the many blunders I've strategically failed to mention to you: I've managed to learn from my failures. I've experienced personal growth which has directly contributed to more decisive victories throughout my adult life.

At 24, after my wife, Jenny, and I were married, I went back to college at Missouri State University to study Sports Medicine and Athletic Training. During my first feeble attempt to receive a higher education I, of course, failed out of school. Never went to class and did nothing but party. This go-around the stakes were higher. Now, I was married and out of the desire to succeed for myself and my family, I resolved in my heart of hearts to do something I'd never actually done: To try. To try with every fiber of my being. I enrolled in classes at MSU and received an academic renewal. I sat in the front of every class. I listened. I studied. Four years later, I graduated from one of the most rigorous (we started with 44 students in my SMAT class; 10 completed the program) undergrad programs offered at MSU.

Looking back, my will to grow as a man and succeed in life was not birthed only out of my desire or duty to be a good husband or family man. It grew slowly and steadily because of many of the consequences of my failures. The community service I did back in high school was spent at a local nursing home. For weeks, I showed up at this nursing home day in and day out to perform janitorial tasks, wash dishes, and help transport beds. Ultimately, I would interact and socialize with many of the elderly folks who were living out their final days and months of life at the facility. They would tell me stories of their lives, of their families, their failures, successes, and what they learned from it all. Again, I listened. More than anything, I was blessed. In doing so I developed a keen awareness of the fact that our mistakes and failures have the uncanny ability to till up the soil in the landscape of our lives. From this state of tilled and broken soil we are given the chance to grow new gardens; new gardens which, if properly nurtured, maintained, and constantly cared for, can bear good fruit and bring forth abundant life.

The thought I would pose to myself and to you is this: When we fail (or maybe just have a hiccup or two) and look down only to find our feet sunken in broken ground, the only way we'll ever have a chance at bringing life back to our barren lot of land is if we begin sowing good seed. It may take time, but with lots of love, hope, patience, and perseverance we'll one day experience the joy of strolling through a fruitful garden rather than the regret of sauntering through an unproductive desert.

I've trained, coached, and competed as a CrossFitter for a few years now and one thing I've noticed is that whenever you allow any fear of failure to permeate your psyche, you immediately diminish the possibility for athletic growth to occur. To make gains in human performance, it's necessary to take risks, to try, and to expose oneself to bigger and tougher challenges. Likewise, in life outside the box, if we are ever to experience sustainable personal growth, we must free ourselves from the paralyzing fear of failure by intentionally giving an honest effort every moment of each and every day. Here's to daily sinking in our roots a little deeper, sprawling out our branches a little wider, and when necessary, breaking new ground and planting new trees!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where's That Darn Easy Button...

After being stuck at 225lb for over a year, this week I finally PR'd on snatch with a lift of 233.8lb. Here's a clip of the lift:

My training has been going fairly well lately. Each week is kind of hit-or-miss but more than anything, I'm just trying to enjoy myself and enjoy being in the off-season for CrossFit Games competition. I've competed at the regional level each of the past 3 years and each year, gaining strength is the focal point of my off-season training. There's been plenty of action in my life as of late: a beautiful newborn baby girl, 2011 HOA planning, and a recent surgery to remove a nasty infection on my scalp which put 13 staples in my dome...

Balancing family time with work has been tough so, needless to say, my training has somewhat taken a back seat for the time being- which is fine by me. I'm really more concerned with getting my diet cleaned up sooner than later. It's not that I've been eating terribly, it's more that I've just been pretty inconsistent over the past couple of months. When it comes to eating healthy, I struggle with the same issue most everyone else does; I'll do great throughout the week and then I end up crushing everything in sight on the weekend. Which reminds me- it's Wednesday...only 2 more days til the weekend! Sweet.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Community: A Little Less Observation, A Little More Action

Community. It’s the foundation and launching pad for a project Jake, Chance, and myself have initiated called LivXFit. The defining characteristic of any thriving community is shared and active participation by its members. I think Elvis said it best when he sang, “A little less observation and a little more action.” Ok, ok, maybe he actually said “conversation” not “observation” but for the purposes of me making an awesome point, let’s all just pretend he said, “observation”. Thanks.

Not everyone requires being told they're doing a good job when they’ve, indeed, done a good job. I do. I require verbal affirmation along with some type of super secret best friend fist bump/hand shake combo and a toy- any toy will do. But I’m an anomaly of sorts. However, in all seriousness, if we were to be completely honest with ourselves, most all of us would admit our desire for some level of affirmation in life. Words of encouragement build us up, they motivate us, and they give us confidence. We typically establish trust and forge a sense of camaraderie with those who take the time and effort to speak words of encouragement into our lives because it shows they care. It is this very concept that has catalyzed the success of CrossFit as a training philosophy. As co-owner of a CrossFit affiliate, I see the willingness of our coaches and members to empathize, encourage, care for one another and build each other up as being directly responsible for our success. The very nature of CrossFit to be community-based has cultivated the opportunity for CrossFitters to take some form of action in each other’s lives, be it positive or negative action. No matter the size or type of business, organization or community, none has the potential to be viable unless a critical mass of its membership contribute something positive. If you think about it, this is true in every aspect of life and at every organizational level of relationships from an individual basis, to family, friends, and acquaintances. When we pour out positivity into the lives of those surrounding us, it starts a chain reaction similar to the effects of an earthquake; the effects may be most evident at the epicenter, but the shockwaves are capable of carrying a lofty punching power which can be felt for miles and miles.

Outside of having a mohawked Filipino dude conjure up some of the most creative, potent, effective, and dare I say (I do), ingenious WODs in the world, what originally drew most of us to CrossFit was the fact that, at some point, someone engaged us. At CrossFit, we became more than just another faceless name in a stack of signed auto-renewal gym contracts. We weren’t allowed to fall through the cracks, hide beneath a hat, or workout alone in the corner of the room. When we needed to be cheered on to the finish line; someone cheered, when we completely butchered the technique for a movement and needed coaching; someone coached us, and when we needed to know we weren’t the only ones struggling for air; we sat up and looked around only to discover everyone else lying flat-backed as well.

Here’s the bottom-line: Even a little bit of encouragement can go a long way in terms of helping to build a cummunity. The amount of effort required in learning a new members name or by offering someone a well deserved “Congrats!” or “Great job today, buddy!” when they establish a new PR is minimal compared to the substantial impact it may have in their lives. But don’t cut yourself off at the knees by ending your pursuit of taking action within the bay doors of your affiliate’s box. LivXFit’s challenge to you is to not only see what can happen when you intentionally and purposefully infuse nuggets of encouragement in CrossFit settings but to take the concept of pouring out positivity into all those you encounter outside of the box: Your family, your friends, co-workers and acquaintances. In this life, you’re either someone who always wishes things would happen, someone who always makes things happen, or one of those who always ends up asking, “What the heck happened?” Be proactive. Take action within your sphere of influence. Make an impact in your community, one friendly smile, one sincere showing of support, and one super secret best friend fist bump/hand shake combo at a time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sometimes You Wear Stretchy Pants.

I rarely post Facebook status updates. Now I'll post links to CFS's site and to my blogsite on FB but that's about it. The thing is, I'm an all-or-none dude. I typically don't do status updates cuz I know if I started posting them all the time, everyone would get sick of hearing the play-by-play analysis of what I just ate and how big my resulting bowel movement was. Oh, but, my friend, the spirit moved me. The spirit moved and I updated my FB account, yo. Maybe it was the hotsauce on my naked burrito from Qdoba. Or, maybe it was the low-pressure system that moved into the Ozarks today, dumping rain on us and then leaving us as cold and wet as a vampire's vajayjay. More than likely, it's all the CrossFit naysayers out there I've had to listen to over the past few years who led me today to post on FB:

To everyone who has ever asked the question: "CrossFit? What's that?"

I say, "Watch ESPN 2 tonight from 7pm-9pm Central."

To everyone who has known what CrossFit is and has said:

"CrossFit? Yeah, it'll be another workout fad that'll be a flash in the pan."

I say, "Watch ESPN 2 tonight from 7pm-9pm Central...then kiss my rock hard CrossFit glutes."

And then like a true CrossFitter I kicked back in my chair at Qdoba, smiled, and kept score as I PR'd on the number of "Likes" I've received off one post. Whew. It's alot to take in...This many FB "Likes" all at once from so many of my Facebook besties. Guess somebody's gotta do it...

Monday, September 12, 2011

One Pound PRs and HOA WOD Testing...

Great Monday at the box! Started out with a canceled client so Grant and I decided to Clean & Jerk 1-1-1-1-1-1-1. I reached 276lb (because of kg, it made it a new PR...kind of) Here's the lift:

Wasn't a great lift but I was happy to reach my previous best. After monkeying around with Cleaning & Jerking, Grant and I took on WOD 1 from the 2009 CFG Southwest Regionals 1:
3 Rounds of 10 155lb Squat Clean & Jerk, Row 500m. My time at regionals 3 years ago was 13:05. Today I did it in 11:06 and felt every bit of the suck this WOD has to offer... big time. After grabbing lunch, training another client, and programming the CFS daily WOD for Tuesday, Grant, Melissa, and myself decided to test out one of the 2011 HOA WODs...I can now officially proclaim: That WOD is gonna be a beautiful, violent, suckfest. I'm confident of it. And it feels good:) Game ON!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Story Of CrossFit Springfield

Over the past few months, I've received numerous calls and emails from individuals asking questions about CrossFit Springfield's business model, our growth, and what has led to our success as an affiliate. As a result, I've been thinking a lot lately about CFS; about where we're at, where we've come from, and where we're going. I figured I'd write it down while it's all fresh on my it goes...

If you were to document the rise of CrossFit Springfield's growth and influence in southwest Missouri, you'd have to start at the VERY BEGINNING. Before the 12,500 sq ft facility within which we currently reside, before the office space on Lark Street. You'd even still have to look before the opening of The Next Level Fitness Academy at the strip mall behind the Ye Ole Buggy Bath Car Wash on Lark St. CrossFit Springfield's rise to be generally acknowledged as one of the largest CrossFit Affiliates in the Midwest began with a man by the name of Carl Jungers who, after identifying several well respected and talented fitness clinicians training and teaching classes at the Springfield Jones Family YMCA, decided to present an offer to them. An opportunity to start up their own business based on training individuals through multiple fitness related disciplines. Carl would foot the bill and the core group of trainers and clinicians would be responsible for making a business plan and executing it as best they could. Jessi Grove, with her management background, personal training and group training experience would primarily take the lead, while other training domains (eg Boxing, Capo-era, Selah, and bootcamps, hiphop dancing, and personal training) would fill in the gaps and ideally provide additional revenue. The biggest problem with this format was that it left the business with no true sense of direction or solid identity. Next Level Fitness was kind of like "jack of all trades and master of none".

In the winter of 2008, my involvement with NLFA came about basically by chance (and "by chance" I, of course, mean "by way of God's divine plan"). I was in a church life-group with Dr Jami and Rana Jones. At the time I was a full time student in school for sports medicine and athletic training. I had just left the globo gym circuit in Springfield where I had worked for a few different training facilities making peanuts and for the most part, doing my absolute best to provide the clients I was blessed to work with with a quality strength and conditioning experience despite the "fluff" my employers expected me to dole out to them. At this time I had already discovered CrossFit but wasn't yet fully committed to the CrossFit method (mainly because my knowledge base on CrossFit programming was very minimal). Rana and Jamie encouraged me to meet with Carl and Jessi to discuss whether or not I might be able to contribute to NLFA. So I met with them. We hit it off well. Our initial agreement was that I would bring in my established client base, be able to train them at NLFA and in exchange, I would assist in building up and coaching NLFA Team Bootcamp sessions. During this time, Jessi and I realized that we shared the same interest in pursuing the CrossFit method wholeheartedly. In May of 2008, we flew to San Diego and participated in a two day CrossFit Level 1 Coaches Course. It was a phenomenal experience and birthed in both of us the genuine desire to start a CrossFit Affiliate in Springfield, MO. When we returned home from our certification, Jessi immediately wrote to CrossFit HQ and acquired our affiliation. I immediately launched and began structuring and formatting our WOD times, programming CFS daily WODs, and established membership rates. We decided to throw an event; a CrossFit competition-we would throw a Fight Gone Bad WOD challenge and scheduled our CrossFit Springfield launch date for June 28th, 2008. We had over 100 athletes show up to participate. The event went very well and because we offered Charter Membership rates for anyone who joined us on that date, we ended up immediately getting around 30 new CrossFit Springfield members.

Now, at this time both Jessi and I were embedded in Nursing school (Jessi) and Sports Med School (Me). Because of my obligation to my clinical hours and a verbal offer I'd received to be hired by St. John's Sports Medicine after graduation, my concern about committing to the new direction kept me from pulling the trigger on dedicating myself to CrossFit Springfield as a Co-Owner. Looking back, I find it hard to understand why I didn't simply commit due to my wholehearted love for what we were building at CrossFit Springfield. My thoughts were that after having spent so much time, energy, and effort (not to mention, money) at establishing myself as an ATC, how could I just throw it all away to pursue something that was uncertain. It was an obvious risk. The problem for my heart and head was that I knew deep down that CFS was were I wanted to be. I also knew that never, EVER, would I be able to find another business partner as wonderful and skilled as Jessi. Carl told us once that, "You guys are like thunder and lightning. If you two ever decide to pool your talents and your passion for people, you're going to be an unbeatable team."

So, after taking a great deal of time to pray and seek God's will, after taking much time to talk with Jenny, and after ultimately feeling a complete peace in my heart about my decision, I approached Jessi and let her know of my desire to partner with her as co-owners of CrossFit Springfield. Over a long 400m lunge with "Sandy" she oblidged and we discussed our desire to build up something special. Something unique even within the unique world of CrossFit. We expressed our desire for CrossFit Springfield to be a strong community of athletes whose relationships would be forged in respect and love and encouragement. We resolved ourselves to be engaging to every person who stopped by to try out CrossFit Springfield. To learn names. To build people up. To take the time to listen to our members when they had concerns or ideas about how we might improve the service CrossFit Springfield provides.

Today, September 7th, 2011, over 3 years later, we're just as committed to these tasks as ever.
We've had many changes: New members (500+ now), we've had additional owners in Grant and Melissa Wistrom who share the same vision and core values as both Jessi and I, we've moved facilities 5 times in an effort to expand the amount of impact we might be able to have in the community. But the heart of CrossFit Springfield beats on with the same sincere intention to help people achieve more physically, mentally, relationally, and spiritually than they might not have ever been able to achieve on their own or elsewhere. How blessed we truly are to be a part of such a caring CrossFit affiliate that is motivated to take action in their community and in the lives of each other.

Thanks so much for 3 years of great memories, CrossFit Springfield! Here's to many, many more!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Funny Parts.

The whole "funny parts" business started this evening when Vin kept asking me to fast forward a DVR'd video of the Looney Toons to "the funny part with Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny".WAIT!!! Before you inevitably click on the oh-so-awesome link I have so kindly provided you with (you're welcome), I beg of you, do me one favor: Watch the entire clip with a straight face and try, juuuuuust try to not crack even the slightest smile. If you can do this, my friend, then you were apparently born lacking a funny bone or possibly even an entire funny skeleton. You best get your sense-of-humorless self to the doctor ASAP. I digress. Seriously, I love watching old Looney Toons re-runs almost as much as I love PRing on hang snatch...


Monday, August 29, 2011

Me Is Not An Animal

Last week I tackled the somewhat infamous CrossFit WOD "King Kong". I knew going into it that the 250lb squat clean x3 reps/rd would be the limiting factor for me. It went better than expected (6:19) but on the 3rd round I missed the s.clean twice before finally making the lift on the third attempt. It's a frustrating place to be: At the very end of a workout- Just a few reps from the finish line and miles away from finishing because your either gassed or at muscle failure or both. Today I decided to force myself into the same training scenario with the hope of raising my "I'm tired but I've gotta lift it again" game. After doing a strength WOD of Squat Clean 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 (155-185-205-225-245-265-275), I did 7 rounds of: 21 Ring Push Ups & 3 Squat Cleans @ 225lb. I'm pretty sure my time wasn't anything spectacular- the noon CFS WOD was on the clock so I didn't use one. But I do know that it was a tough one and was exactly what I needed.

In other news, Jenny started back at work today after being on maternity leave for the past 8 weeks. I picked the kids up today from their school/daycare. Actually, it's Emille's daycare and more a court-ordered daycage for Vin (aka "Animal"). Anyways, after expecting to struggle to keep both munkeys entertained, I was pleasantly surprised to get home and have Animal ask me if he could give Emille drum lessons...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What Goes Up....

The bigger and taller the object, the harder it falls. In life just as with gravity, the harder we work to build up relationships, businesses, ideals, our status, our careers, etc...the more there is at stake when we suddenly see them come toppling down. Sometimes before we act, before we speak, or before we respond, perhaps it would do us some good to search our hearts and ask whether the loss of our integrity and character is also worth losing all we have worked so very hard to create. Just a thought. This way when life brings that unexpected storm, and your walls come crashing in on you, you'll be able to smile and say, "I still have my honor. It is well with my soul."

Proverbs 18

12 Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 24

3 By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
4 through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What's Been Goin' Down In Mhiretown

Well weeks have gone by and I've slacked tremendously on keeping my Proximal Strength site up to speed so I figure I'll try to re-hash this last month as best I can and hopefully bring ya up to speed on what's been shakin' in Mhiretown. Deal? Well screw you then. Listen anyways...I got two chirrens now. I'm sorry, maybe you don't speak worn-down daddy talk. I repeat: I gots two chirrens now. Seriously, everyone tries to brief you on just how big of a change it is when you go from 1 to 2 kids. Guess I was just naive to think that it wouldn't change the family dynamic like it has. The biggest change is the lack of personal time your able to take for yourself. There is, of course, now two more life-forms for whom you must actively engage and wipe feces from their butts. The old, "You've gone from zone to man-to-man defense" line could never be more true. I've always said that this whole blogging thing is more for me than for anyone else. When done consistently, it's a fulfilling opportunity to reflect and get inside of my own headspace. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to it more often in the coming months.

All things considered, time marches onward. My beautiful children, Vincent and Emille are blossoming into vibrant and brilliant little characters in our own Mhire house-hold reality TV show. Vin, the wild and rambunctious wannabe rockstar crossfitter and Emille, the adorable baby girl who will sometimes catch you off-gaurd with her rocket propelled flatulence. I must admit, it's been the most rewarding accomplishment in my life: To now have this wonderful family to love and care for. Emille's addition to our family has helped me and Jenny to be more intentional in our quest to work together as a team. I think we're doing quite well.

Summer is drawing to a close and we've made some sweet memories: A trip to Joplin to assist in relief efforts, a week long stay in Joplin with Jenny's family where we were able to relax and let the kids bond with Grandma and Papa, CFS's journey to LA to compete in the spectacle that was the 2011 CrossFit Games, lounging by the pool at the Wistrom casa, and a couple of awesome weekend trips to the lake.

It certainly has been a HOT summer. As far as my training is concerned, I've been enjoying myself a lot since my Games Season concluded at Regionals. I've not had much structure to anything I've been doing but I've still had a few highlights over the past couple of months (PRs on Fran: 2:24, Deadlift: 525lb, Overhead Squat: 290lb, FGB 403, Clean: 290lb, Front Racked Split Jerk: 285lb, King Kong: 6:19, and the CrossFit Total: BS 340/SP 190/DL 525). This Games off-season, my goals are to increase my maximal strength and to gain more capacity with the HSPU; my only real nemesis at Regionals.

Other than my own personal athletic pursuits, I'm eager to keep the ball rolling towards the Heart of America CrossFit Team Competition which CFS will host this November. I'm praying for this event to be well planned, well organized, and well received by all who participate! I can say this: THE WODS WILL BE AWESOME. I've completed the programming for HOA III and I honestly think this is the best I've ever done at creating events that will accurately reflect which teams should finish on the podium. We'll see....

CrossFit Springfield continues to grow in many areas: members, inspiration, toughness, and very soon, equipment! Over the next few weeks, we'll be providing our members with tons more toys! Can't wait to dish'em out!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bend...Don't Break.

I know, I know...bad form this, poor technique that...but I was locked in a death match wrastlin' with that rusty ole' 525lb barbell. I was tryin' to pick him up again. Guess what that rusty ole' 525lb barbell was trying to do? Stay on the ground. Guess who won?

Friday, July 22, 2011

CrossFit Hat Trick

1 Week: Three PRs. I think Mista Miyagi say, "Dassa vedy goo Daniel san." We've all been in that place where you feel you're in a bit of a training rut. It could be for any reason, really. Maybe you're burned out, maybe a heatwave has struck the midwest and has been sucking the very life and O2 out of you. Or maybe you just had a baby and sleep has now become like that old best friend whom you are no longer on speaking terms with and when you happen to run into each other your meeting is just all awkward and short lived. You're numbers on lifts aren't what they've been when they've been at their best, your times seem to be getting slower, all is not well with your Jedi crossfit-force. Last week, this is where I found myself. I went into this week determined to get back into a good rhythm. I decided to keep swinging hard at everything thrown my way with the hope that maybe I'd connect with something. It began on Monday with my quest to pick up something heavy from the ground to my shoulders and then put it above my head. I programmed the following WOD for the CFS games competitors: C&J 5-4-3-2-1. Then, 1 minute of Toes Through Rings, 2 minutes of Double Unders, and 3 1/2 minutes to reach a 1RM of C&J (barbell begins unloaded). I warmed up well and on the 5-4-3-2-1 ended up hitting 290lb on the clean for a PR but missed the jerk overhead. On the 6 1/2 minute WOD I didn't do as well as I know I can (ended up with 432- got 265lb C&J) but I at least took away a small victory in reaching a new PR for clean. Momentum. Wednesday, I did the shoulder press,push press, front rack split jerk strength component of the CFS daily WOD. On split jerk I ended up sticking 285lb for another PR. More momentum. I had tossed around the idea of hitting "Fran" on Friday with CFS Coach and CFS Games athlete Andy Koch earlier in the week. Once Friday was upon us I wasn't feeling so frisky about going overhead after the volume of overhead training I did throughout the week.
Buuuuut....I decided to suck it up and be a gamer, dang it :) !!! No better time than right now...right? Right. Here's what ensued:

Gotta love getting a new PR on "Fran" (2:24) ...also gotta hate losing to that beast of a man, Cap'n Koch who also PR'd with a 2:18 (well done, sir!). But, hey 3 PRs in one week? Now, if that ain't positive momentum...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Love You Too.

I was once reading this great book (you may have heard of it- it's a little book called: The Bible) and it said, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks". Well, my heart is now as abundantly full as it could ever be, so I figure I might as well speak a bit. Last Saturday July 2nd, at 8:39am, Jenny, Vincent, and I welcomed a brand new family member into the Mhire clan. Emille Annalise Mhire came into the world with big bright almond-shaped eyes and with a furry head of blackish-brown hair. She was very alert at the time of her birth. Slowly stretching and squirming about, her movements were like a baby ninja pterodactyl.

Although the adrenaline rush and excitement I felt witnessing the birth of both my children was certainly impacting, nothing compares to that moment hours, days, or weeks later when your newborn locks eyes with you for the first time. It's that moment when they look up at you and seemingly telepathically say to you: "I know you. You're my protector. You're my mother" or "You're my father. I love you". It's an irreplaceable moment and memory which recently brought me overwhelming joy as I looked into my Emille's eyes just as it did 3 1/2 years looking down into the eyes of my baby Vincent.

It's yet again the beginning of a brand new adventure in our lives!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Everyday I'm Shuffling.

Ahhhhh, post-sectionals and regionals life feels goooood. Really goood. I've been able to spend more time with the family- scratch that. More accurately, I've probably been spending just as much time with my Jenny shine-shine and my furry little drummer boy now as I did pre-regionals, the only difference is that now around 15-25% of the time I'm actually paying up to 90% attention to either of them, as opposed to my in-season average of 5-10% of the time paying even 50% attention to what anyone was ever saying. Rest assured, this data will be placed on the back of my official Topps CrossFit playing card right under: "Sucks at HSPU". I digress. Currently, I'm not thinking about thruster ladders or handstand push ups. Nope. Right now, I'm all about crushing pizza and kickin' it poolside, fool. I've been enjoying training without worrying about the clock or a stopwatch running. Even if one is, it feels nice to sincerely not give a flip about who may or may not be beating my times. Lately, it's also been fun to not have much focus to my training sessions. I literally did a workout yesterday that went something like this:

"Hmmm...What activity should I start with for my workout today? Maybe I'll farmers walk 50ft with those two 95lb barbells sitting over there." So I did. Then I was all like, "Well, that 50ft wasn't so bad...I think I'll farmers walk 50ft more." Here's where it gets good. "Whaaat next? Let's see here, I think now I'll do 30 snatches with one of these 95lb barbells." (15 snatches later) "Fifteen'll do. What now? Walking lunges? Why not!?! 50ft sounds good. That was easy. Let's do 100ft. That did the trick (water break- cue elevator music). Okay, now I need a grand finale'(cue drum roll)...For my final trick, I shall perform 100 single-arm bent-over-rows with one of those shiny black 55lb kettlebells we have over by the rowers while simultaneously closing both eyes and shuffling to LMFAO's instant party rock anthem "Everyday I'm Shuffling"...(walking to get said shiny black 55lb kettlebell)...But, wait!!! What's this?! It's a shiny black 35lb kettlebell! He looks so lonely. I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him and hold him and call him George."

(Cue "Everyday I'm Shuffling")...

Even though I talk a big game, it's not been all too unproductive. Today I did "Chubby" Fran: 21-15-9 rounds of 115lb Thrusters & Chest to Bar Pull Ups and PR'd by almost a minute with a time of 4:34, beating my previous time of 5:20. Special thanks to Jared for pushing me through the suck! Speaking of the suck, I never posted my "Amanda" WOD from regionals so here it is. I took 7th on the event, finishing in 5:56- a full minute OVER my PR of 4:55. This performance of "Amanda" was, of course, done under slightly different circumstances and performed with my body - let's say- "less than fully recovered". Coulda-woulda-shoulda pushed a little harder on this or that- anyway, enough with the excuses. Here it is:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mumfords The Word

I've competed as an individual at the regional level each of the past 3 years. Each year, there have been twists and changes to the format of the CrossFit Games qualifying process. Two years ago there was no qualifier to get to compete at regionals- anyone could sign up, show up, and throw down. Last year, the sectionals filter was added. This upped the level of competition. This year, the online Open format increased the level of sectionals participants by almost 20,000 people. We now have a bigger pool, thus we ideally catch bigger fish.

This year, one of the most notable changes in the format of regional competition is the change to 3 days of competition with cuts being made at the end of day 2. For teams, the pool of 30 gets cut down to the top 10 and for the individual competitors, only the top 14 competitors advance to the day 3 finals. All of the sudden, the stakes become higher and the pressure much greater for each event- Particularly the first four WODs.

This inherent increase in pressure actually influenced my training strategy leading up to the North Central Regional. Rather than practice all 6 WODs, I completely ignored WODs 5 and 6 and focused solely on the first four, cycling through them before competition. I knew WOD 1- the run/handstand push up/row event- would be my Achilles heel. But I also knew that the workouts would gradually begin to cater to my skill-set with each event.

After WOD 1, I was ranked 34th out of 40 individual male competitors. With an 11th place finish on WOD 2, my rank jumped to 25th. WOD 3 was heavy deadlifts and high box jumps. I placed 14th for the event. Going into WOD 4 I was ranked 17th, 3 spots away from the top 14 cut-off. Oddly enough, I wasn't nervous at all before my heat. I was more eager than anything else.

Everyone has their own thing when it comes to pre-game rituals. Some people like to punch themselves in the face repeatedly and listen to hardcore music. I prefer to embrace the calm before the storm. All weekend long in Chicago, it was just me and Mumford & Sons in my ear-holes. I had tested "The 100s" WOD once, going out of the gate hard only to crash and finish it in around 21:30ish. The last thing I wanted to do in competition was let adrenaline get the best of me and force me out of a "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" game plan. At the end of the day, my cooler head prevailed and it paid off. My time of 20:42 placed me 7th for the event and jumped me to 13th place overall- good enough to sneak into the finals.

I feel like I learned a lot of personal life lessons this games season...some silly, some are just a few:
1. Eating junk food every once and a while helps me to relax; and relaxing helps me to perform at a higher level.
2. Even when your down- I mean WAY down- you're only out if you start to believe that you're out. So, if you're gonna choose to believe otherwise- you'd better start fighting.
3. I love me some Mumford & Sons. Seriously. This has to be the most I've fallen in love with a band since I fell in love with The Wu-Tang Clan. I kidd (kind of). But seriously, Mumford & Sons: Awesome.
4. Note to self: Chicago is expensive...Save nickels and dimes before visiting. Along these lines...The W hotel in Chicago is over-rated. Sad but true. It's like they use two-by-fours for mattresses and sandpaper for bed linens. I've stayed at two other W hotels- one in LA and the one in New Orleans. Both were hands-down way nicer.
5. My sister is a GAMER. The event director, Eric Barber of Next Generation CrossFit in Tulsa, asked me about 5 minutes beforehand if my sister would be able to sing the National anthem to kick off day 3. His exact words: "Is she good?" and "Are you sure she knows the words?" God bless you, Eric. But, please. This is what followed...

Here is video of me taking on WOD 4 at Regionals...

Mumford & Sons song listened to most last weekend...