Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Family Time PRs!

Here lately, it's been tons of fun in the sun for the Mhire crew! Last weekend, after CFS East's grand opening, we went to my in-law's home in Joplin for a family reunion and some pool time. Monday's training session/constantly varied bro-pic photo op was a grind due to all the garbage I ate and "blue waters" I guzzled down on Saturday and Sunday- I was hurtin' yo- and it was totally worth it:) It was a relaxing weekend- plus, we got to see Vin jump off the diving board and swim on his own; always an exciting milestone for a kid:

Yesterday, my cuddly wuddly snuggle-ham, Emille, turned 1 year old! Before loading her and spiderman into the truck, I plopped her up on the chair in our living room to get a photo of her in her little birthday dress. "Gimme sweet eyes, baby girl", I said. She delivered...
This afternoon, we'll be heading back to Joplin to celebrate the 4th of July and Emille's birthday! I'm looking forward to more family play time! Such a blessing...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Love & Marriage, Love and Marriage...

We don't always live life on top of the mountain. All of us experience days, sometimes much longer, where we travel through the valley. As a believer, I know this is where God helps to refine me, build my faith, and where I learn to persevere. Guess what? It doesn't make trudging through "the valley" suck any less. To be completely honest, as of late, I've struggled to maintain balance in just about every area of my life - particularly at home and in my relationship with my amazing wife and ride-or-die chick, Jenny. Anyone who has ever been married would be lying to you and to themselves if they told you they didn't experience "the valley" in their marriage from time to time. I certainly don't have every answer and I also understand that every marriage and circumstance is unique, but I do want to share a couple of fundamental concepts I have personally come to embrace throughout my marriage of 9 years. I'll cut to the chase and try to be concise:

1. Prayer is POWERFUL. This will forever be my battle cry. Over the years, and especially here more recently, I've discovered the importance of understanding not only HOW I should pray but also the importance of praying with PURPOSE. Here's what I mean: Today, I read Colossians 1: 9-14 (NIV)...

"9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified yout to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

...This 2,000 year-old passage was nothing more to me than a bunch of eloquently written words to some peeps called Colossians until I REFLECTED on them, MEDITATED on them, and then APPLIED them directly to ME and MY marriage. This was and is my prayer:


I will not stop praying for you, for our relationship, and for our family. I will continually ask God to fill us with his wisdom and understanding through God's Spirit, so we may both live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work. I pray, Jenny, for you to continue growing in the knowledge of God. I pray for you to be strengthened and for you to be given great power, great endurance, and great patience (particularly with me). For God has rescued us from darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption and forgiveness."

2. In every aspect of life, you will at some point be faced with the decision to FIGHT or to ROLL OVER and throw in the towel. This is not a THEORY. It is a LAW. If you want to get your marriage out of the valley, you'd better start quick marching both of your stubborn hindquarters to the base of the mountain and start climbing.

Love & Cheers,


Sunday, June 24, 2012


This Mhire family video has it all in just 50 seconds: Emille dancing, Vin barking orders at everyone to leave at once, Emille walking, laughing, and falling in to mom's arms where she is greeted with a kiss, me imploring Vin to "play a HOT beat" and laying down a phat beatbox rhythm, Vin headphoning up to play said "HOT beat, and at 30 seconds - we get not from Vincent a hot beat, but a super hot bunghole blast. Stay HOT, Vincent Lee Mhire. Stay hot.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Regionals has concluded and I've been trying to relax more, spend more time focusing on my family, and I've been gearing up for the opening of our second crossfit affiliate: CrossFit Springfield East! I'm also excited about getting back to blogging a bit. It seems to help me during the CrossFit Games season to back off the amount of personal blogging I do, mainly because it usually ends up being done during the wee hours of the night. If it's not done then, it cuts into spending time with the family. Which seg-ways me perfectly...

It's been a great relief to finally drop down on my training hours and intensity. I've been trying to pump more of that TLC into Jenny and the kiddos. We've had some good times as of late...Exhibit A:

My post-regional approach to training has been all about having some fun. I've tried to decrease the loads on my met-cons and chippers and I've dropped the relative intensity and volume of my training way down as well. For me, it's been mainly all about letting my body reset and recover from the onslaught of abuse it has taken over the past 4 months of prepping for the TNT competition, the Open, and Regionals. Today, I went to the park and did an untimed BW workout of: 150 Air Squats, Run 400m, 100 Sit Ups, Run 400m, 100 Push Ups, Run 400m, 50 Pull Ups. Last Friday I worked up to a 1RM snatch (current PR is 250lb). I hit 245lb and missed on 255lb but came super close:

Bummer, eh? Not to worry...I shall make it float soon :) After the snatch work I did "Amanda" which is 9-7-5 rds of Muscle Ups & Squat Snatch @ 135lb. My time at the 2011 CFG North Central Regional was 5:56 and Friday I managed 5:30; Not bad considering my recent lack of legit WOD-ing all the garbage I've consumed in the past two weeks since the 2012 CrossFit Games North Central Regional concluded. I've done "Amanda" in 4:59 so I know I'll have to eventually pick back up my game to beat my best score. 

For now, I'd like to get back to finding some balance in all aspects of life. This morning, the pastor at our church (Tommy Sparger, North Point) spoke about how if many of us were asked to list our order of priorities in life, we'd say "God first, family second, career third." His challenge to everyone was to think more holistically by using Matthew 6:33 as a guide: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." If GOD really is our first priority and we were to truly and sincerely seek His will in each of our lives, He will begin to permeate and transform everything else we pursue; peace within our families and in all our relationships, success within our workplace, stability in the area of our finances, etc. It is when I remember and meditate on this truth that I begin to feel my life course move toward a more clearly desired objective. Here's to finding balance and to the ongoing journey of life!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends.

What an unbelievable weekend at the 2012 CrossFit Games North Central Regional! For four consecutive years I've competed as an individual at the regional level. If you had told me in 2009 that the talent level of competitors and size of the event would be as great as it has become, I'd have never believed it. The excitement and intensity of the event was palpable. As I mingled with many of the athletes behind the scenes there was an urgency in everyone's voice. It was blatantly apparent that no one was there to just "see what might happen." Everyone was expecting great performances from themselves and from their fellow North Central competitors. And we were witness, many times over, to athletes pushing themselves to their absolute limits.

The first demon on my list to exercise would be the Hand Stand Push Ups in WOD 1: "Diane". My PR for the WOD going into regional weekend was 4:59. I chose to straight up game the work sets in each round. My strategy was 8,7,6 on the round of 21, then 6,5,4 on the round of 15, and finally, 5,4 on the round of 9. It was a conservative split but it allowed me to not have any missed reps and also got me a 45 second PR with a time of 4:16 which ranked me 28th.

The second event was one I knew I could excel at. My strategy was to pace the row, push through the pistols, and go HAM on the 225lb Hang Clean. My 14:06 time placed me 5th for the event.

On the DB snatch WOD I made a couple of critical mistakes. ONE: I shouldn't have worn gloves and TWO: I spent too much time worrying about the positioning of the DB each time I reset to lift it. It never felt heavy - I just felt awkward the entire time because I was over-thinking things and adjusting too much.

For me, WOD 4 was my break through workout due to the drama leading into the final minute of the event. As the MC announced there was only one minute remaining, I still had 5 pull ups and 30 push presses to complete. I was feeling as though I was at the end of my rope; no more gas in my tank. As I completed the final pull ups and turned from the pull up bar to run to my barbell, the crowd surged. I heard people cheering me on, most pleading with me to hustle across the field to get to my bar and bang out the final 30 push presses. As I approached the bar self doubt came over me. At this point there was around 40 seconds left and I began to resign myself to the fact that I'd most likely only partially complete the reps. Then I grabbed the bar and cleaned it to my shoulders and began pressing. "One, Two, Three, Four, Five!" the crowd began counting, their cheers seemingly willing me to finish. In that moment, I suddenly felt restored - as if everyone in the event center was lifting the bar overhead with me on each and every rep. A surge of energy came over me and my pace became even more frantic "Twenty Five, Twenty Six, Twenty Seven, Twenty Eight, Twenty Nine, THIRTY!!!!!"

I finished WOD 4 in 21:46 which placed me 16th for the workout - I ended up finishing the weekend tied for 11th but lost the tie-breaker and took 12th Overall for the second straight year. Although my performance on event 4 wasn't record-breaking and by no means earth-shattering, it was like no other moment I've ever experienced in my 6 years of CrossFitting. To me, it really was super natural in that I know I didn't lift the bar under my own power alone. I know the Lord gave me the strength and the ability to finish AND...I know I got by with a little help from my friends.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Decent Descending Squats Of Overhead Descent

Today's strength at CFS was Overhead Squat 2-2-2-2-1-1-1-1. I hit 295lb for a new PR (woohoo). I got close at 305lb twice but had to bail both times (boohoo). Conditioning WOD was 3 Rds for time of 20 OHS @ 115lb & 20 Hand Release Push Ups (5:12). Here's video of the OHS @ 295lb...
...and of me failing miserably @ 305lb...
What a turd:) Excited for the weekend, though! Looking forward to some good times with family and friends! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK, GO KU!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Me Wanna Lift.

Today I did Split Jerk 1-1-1-1-1-1-1. Because of the Open and my absurd amount of re-testing, it's been awhile since I've gone heavy on any of the overhead lifts. Did some good shoulder prep/mobility and then progressed through the WOD hitting 185-205-225-255-275-295 (ties my PR)-305 (failed). Felt good to throw some weight overhead! Still a work in progress...here's a clip of the lift:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fear and Loathing on the Road to Regionals

Whew! Brace yo-self, FOO! Time to take a deep breath and digest what has been a crazy and awesome kickoff to the 2012 CrossFit Games season. I've gotta start by saying how amazing it's been to see over 80 of CrossFit Springfield's members participate in this year's CrossFit Games Open! Huge congrats to everyone that took the plunge. There is truly no better way to test yourself both physically and mentally for five LONG weeks than by competing in the Open. Whether things went your way or not from a performance standpoint, this simple fact remains true: In the sport of CrossFit, you've gotta be able to quickly turn the page after each event in order to keep on pressing towards the finish line. Lingering on what should or could have been only keeps you in a funk - which ultimately sinks your battleship.

As a team, CrossFit Springfield finished 7th overall in the North Central Region and 37th in the world (out of 1,774 participating teams!). Four of CFS's male athletes and two of our female athletes made the top 60 cut and are qualified to compete at the Regional level this May in Chicago, Ill. And for the second straight year, CFS's very own coach Cindi Little has qualified to compete in the Masters division at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games in LA this summer!

Ok, here's my best attempt to breakdown the 2012 CrossFit Games Open as I experienced it...

The first week of the Open I felt as though I had to drag myself to the starting block. The CrossFit TNT sponsored "Battle for the Cup" challenge and CFS couples competition took their toll not to mention the Mhire family had all passed around a fairly nasty sinus/chest cold. I gave absolute everything I had on the workout, getting 118 reps, but I failed to reach the 124ish rep mark which seemed to be the breaking point for the top shelf scores for WOD 1. It's kind of funny, though. After competing in CrossFit for a few years now I've fully grasped the concept of being "down but not out". Having said this, other peoples expectations and confidence in your abilities are quite often much higher than what you realize. So many people kept coming up to me saying things like, "Hey, what happened on 12.1? I saw you only got 118 on the first workout and are ranked like 174th right now."...as if I should just close up shop, hang up my weightlifting shoes and freakin' awesome brightly colored stretchy board shorts, and drop out of the Open competition right on the spot. I knew, however, that regardless of where I was after week one consistency would be paramount to my success and that the pendulum would swing back in my favor.

And boy did it swing BIG-TIME in week 2. I think WOD 12.2 was hands down the most brilliant event of this year's Open. At first glance, one would presume that just because an athlete has a high 1RM snatch they'd be able to dominate. In the words of the great coach Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend!" This workout was not only about strength- it was also very much about strategy, pace, and your overall work capacity. I went slow and steady throughout the 30 reps at 135lb in an effort to conserve my mojo for the 165lb snatches. I ended up hitting 20 reps at 165 for a total of 80 for 12.2. Just like that, I jumped up from 174th to 61st in the region. ONWARD.

When I first saw 12.3 I think I let out an audible "GULP." High volume box jumps aren't really a strength for me. That being said, they're not necessarily a weakness either. They're just kind of "blahhhhh" if you know what I mean. I knew I could "make my money" and go unbroken on the push presses and toes to bar - so that's what I did. I got into my 11th round, finishing with 373 reps. By no means did I crush it but the important thing was that I didn't bomb it either. After 3 events, I moved just inside the top 60 arriving at 58th place. Cue Jay-Z: "On to the next one..."

By process of elimination I really did have a feeling that 12.4 would include either wallballs or muscle ups (there's that, and the fact that a little bird named Jake Woolfenden tipped me off based on his insider info - true story - you'd think HQ would be able to keep these things more on the DL...but no). Magically, we were blessed with both, and 90 double unders to boot. In the past I have struggled with doing DUs while fatigued. Not this time. I paced the workout perfectly, breaking the wallballs into sets of 50, 30, 20, 20, 15, and 15. When I got to the double unders I felt like I still had tons of air. It took two sets (50 and 40) and, boom, there I was with just under 4 minutes to grind through as many muscle ups as possible. I never did any multiple reps (wanted to avoid the eccentric loading of my triceps and lats - this was a very smart move BTW)...just singles with 2-3 seconds in between reps for 4 minutes. Final score was 265 reps which placed me 12th in the region for 12.4 and jumped me from 58th to 41st place overall. Big mental victory and boost of confidence going into the final Open WOD. 7 minutes of burpees are now a distant memory. Cue "Battle Hymn of The Republic"...

I was standing in the kitchen at 7pm last Wednesday when event 12.5 was posted. This time instead of "GULP" I let out a huge "HOORAY!" I love thrusters. And thrusting. Dirty, I know, but just ask Jenny- true story. I also love me some chest to bar pull ups. The marriage of the two create nothing short of wedded WOD bliss. My goal was simple: Beat my score from 2011 (136). I paced it well, took only a few short breaks, and ended up getting 141 reps, 15 thrusters into the round of 21. It felt good to go out with a bang and also to be able to PR on the WOD...aaaand also to eat an entire pepperoni pizza that same night. My 12.5 performance placed me 11th in the region and moved me from 41st to my final overall ranking of 32nd. I set out to qualify and make the top 60 in the North Central and with a little luck, mental fortitude, and God's good grace I accomplished the mission.

I'm so very thankful on many levels. First off, I'm thankful to have a wife who is as patient and supportive as Jenny is and has always been. Five weeks is indeed a long time to totally immerse yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically to a competitive endeavor. It ends up being a sacrifice for you and those closest to you. That's the way it has to be. In order to be successful in CrossFit and at many things in life, you almost have to constantly tip-toe and blur the line between obsession and dedication.

Secondly, I've always been thankful for the incredible support system that is CrossFit Springfield and our local CrossFit community in SW Missouri, but this year during the Open my eyes were truly opened to just how critical it is to place yourself in tough situations from a competition standpoint. Iron truly does sharpen iron and this was evident to me each week as I worked tirelessly chasing the scores of athletes like Andy, David, Brian, Ryan, Jared (CrossFit 417), Jordan, Rodney (CrossFit SOMO) and many, many other competitors from CFS. Getting beat down is the very best way I know to learn what it takes to win. Thank you guys for kicking my tail :)

I've got to mention this one more thing before I end: I absolutely LOVE the North Central Region. Period. I love our region. I don't know exactly what it is. Maybe it's the whole Midwest charm thing. Whatever it is, I somehow found it so comforting each week to see all of the all-too-familiar names floating around the leaderboard. Some, I know well...others just barely...others not at all. But with everyone I competed with and against from our region in this year's Open I feel I share a bond. Cheesy? Maybe. Or maybe it's just the appropriate respect due to those who forged through til the end; win, lose or draw; top 60 or not, and gave it their absolute best to better themselves and their fellow competitors. At it's core, CrossFit is all about true grit. As Raoul Duke in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas would say, "And we are chock full of THAT, man!"


Sunday, March 11, 2012

I AM Second.

At some point in life we all find our selves lost to addiction. Some of us are the more straight forward pill poppers, snorters, grass smokers or alcoholics. We crave the more stereotypical drugs which are mind-altering or emotionally and behaviorally charged. For others of us our careers, relationships, sex, money, our sport, or our pursuit of earthly accolades are our drugs of choice. No matter which "drug" I've ever found myself worshiping, none have ever been powerful enough to provide my soul with an overwhelming sense of peace and fulfillment that lasts. They're all moving targets which I endlessly toil and labor for just to get to a point where I'm able to grasp them for only a fleeting moment...before they once again escape my reach.
As I enter the last half of the 2012 CrossFit Games Open, I, like many others have been all consumed by asking the question of "what place am I in now?". I found my answer to this question not on the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games learderboard, but rather in this dynamic video testimony given by former Korn metal band lead guitarist, Brian "Head" Welch:

Monday, February 13, 2012


I've had a blast the past two weekends competing in the CFS couples challenge and the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Battle for the Cup competition in St Louis! What I love most about competition is the opportunity to learn and grow both mentally and physically. Competing with Jenny for the first time ever two weekends ago was an experience I will cherish forever! I'm SO proud of her - not only because of her performance in the couples challenge - but more for the tremendous courage and effort she put forth. At the end of it all we took 2nd at the event...Most importantly we bonded in a way that words could never describe.
As for the St Louis competition...WOW. What a weekend. Great camaraderie all weekend long! I'm extremely proud of every CFS athlete who participated. I'm also wrecked. I mean REALLY wrecked. I've had rhabdo before so I know what it feels like...it feels just like this. The deadlift ladder WOD was one that I felt confident I could excel at but I also knew that it would take a lofty toll on my body. I've done enough of these high volume/multiple WOD competitions now to know that sometimes it's best to "live to fight another day". That philosophy went straight out the window for me on Saturday evening at TNT. Although I finished 1st for the deadlift event, I can't help but wonder if my performances on the final 2 events would have possibly been better had I listened to my back when it pleaded with me to throw in the towel. Shoot first, ask questions later, right?
After hobbling my way through Sunday's workouts, I managed to place 3rd and CFS's Cap'n Koch placed 1st (Andy DOMINATED this event for the 2nd year straight!) in the men's RX division at the STL Battle for the Cup. Overall, I'm pleased with the direction things are heading as the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games rapidly approaches. Just as last year, I've tried to stay off the computer and keep my blogging to a minimum in an effort to focus on doing the work in order to be prepared rather than distract myself by talking about doing the work I need to do to be prepared. Sounds to me like the perfect time to shut up and get back to work...On second thought, I might wait a few days :) I should probably make sure I'm not peeing blood before I get back on the ole' warpath wagon.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I had someone who used to come to CrossFit Springfield say to me yesterday, "You know, CrossFit Springfield isn't what it used to be. It's lost that close knit-family vibe it once had." Interesting, I thought. I don't see it that way at all. Sure CrossFit Springfield has grown over the past 5 years. Gone are the group wods of only 4 or 5 people and also the campfire "Kumbaya's" we used sing to each other at the conclusion of each night; they've now been replaced by wods of 20 or 30 people, fist bumps (sometimes head butts), and Skrillex blasting (sometimes 2Pac). But what I've noticed that isn't gone from 5 years ago is our members continued desire to help each other, to build each other up, to cheer for one another's successes, and to sharpen each other through the healthy competition of their CFS training experience. Families take care of each other - through thick and thin. They don't avoid one another, keep their heads low, or walk out on each other just because they might not always get their way. No, members of a family actively seek opportunities to be engaging. Are we a family at CrossFit Springfield? Maybe the better question is, "Are you playing an active role in the family that is CrossFit Springfield?" Cuz there's a ton of us who are. And we're having the time of our lives!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

This WOD's For You, Tanner.

This one was all for 10 year old Tanner Lager who is suffering from Ewing Sarcoma cancer. His condition is terminal. Tanner is currently being cared for by his 23 year old sister, Savanna. They must travel to St. Louis weekly for experimental treatments that could prolong his life for a few years. Without these treatments, Tanner has only a few short months. Tanner is a fighter and despite his condition, he is upbeat and always has a smile. These experimental treatments and the 3 1/2 hour weekly trips to St. Louis are financially devastating for the young 23 year old and her brother. Their mother is in and out of hospitals, unable to care for Tanner, and the father is not a part of their lives.

The awesome folks at CrossFit SOMO organized and hosted "Grace for Tanner" an event to raise money to benefit Tanner. I was unable to attend the event in person but my heart, my mind, and prayers were on Tanner and Savanna as I did "Grace" this morning at CrossFit Springfield.

Today, tons of CFS members stepped up to the plate and donated money to help Tanner and his sister in their fight. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your graciousness and your compassion. I spoke with Rodney Hamby of CrossFit SOMO in West Plains this afternoon. He said their event was a great success and that they were able to raise over $5,000 for Tanner and Savanna…That’s without adding in the contributions from CrossFit Springfield and CrossFit 417 in Ozark which have yet to be totaled. Every little bit truly COUNTS. Way to take action and extend such GRACE, peeps! I’m extremely proud to be apart of such a caring community!

Huge props to Rodney, Nicole, Chase, Leslie and everyone at CrossFit SOMO for being such a blessing to this family. You guys are an inspiration!


Thanks for reminding us that sometimes true strength means being able to simply SMILE in the face of adversity. Stay in the fight, buddy and keep on smiling. I'm praying and will continue to pray for your complete restoration!

"Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in all things
and be in health, as I know you are in spirit." ~ 3 John 2

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Ask Cochise" on Q102 with Kristen B

I fielded some great questions during this week's "Ask Cochise" segment on Q102's The Kristen Show! I'm having a blast doing the spot and am grateful to Kristen for the opportunity! Here's what we covered this AM:

I didn't train today cuz I'm feeling a bit sickly. I think I may have the stomach bug that's been going around town. Came home after the radio deal and straight crashed. I'm hoping it passes soon so I can get back at it over the course of the next few days.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Max Consecutive 100lb KB Swings

Great little "man test". It was my first attempt at max consecutive swings with the 100lb kettlebell. I was shooting for 30+ reps. It was tough to get in a rhythm and even tougher to get it vertical in a controlled manner. There are a few reps that were questionable but, for the most part I was getting the work done. I'll do it again before sectionals and see if I can't clean things up a bit.

Friday, January 6, 2012

INK Around The Rosie Nipple

"This feels AMAZING!"

Outline: CHECK...Halfway there.

The finished product. For my past 7 pieces, I've gone to "Hearts of Fire" owner and artist Ethen. Aside from the fact that his work is SHARP, Ethen is just a cool, down to earth guy. He's a smart business man, he's got mad hustle (he works hard - for all you old folk who aren't jive'n with me), and I can tell he's also a bigtime family man. Aaaaand he's tattooed from head to toe and still not afraid to order a strawberry daiquiri. I'd recommend him to anyone looking into getting some fresh ink or wanting someone to share a fruity cocktail with.

The chest piece he did for me today was redonkulously painful. It had me trash talking, zoning out, fighting to control my breathing, and sweating like a mofo!!! I consider myself a somewhat tough little boy to routinely be able to tolerate the pain of CrossFit WODs- but this was a discomfort of a whole new flavor.

I'm completely stoked about the outcome. I told Jenny this might have been one of the best training methods I could have adapted just prior to the 2012 open simply because I was forced to sit there and try to breathe and remain calm while my left boobie was under tremendous duress. My poor, poor boobie. I actually went to CFS to do yoga prior to my tattoo appointment just to calm myself...Not sure if it worked but the result totally made the inevitable pain worthwhile! I love the way it turned out!!!

The best part is, now once a day I'll get to hear someone say to me, "I hope this whole CrossFit thing works out for you" for the rest of my life. Don't you worry, dear. I've been ALL IN for some time now.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Said The Mighty Heart To The Feeble Mind...

As for my Sectionals training, this week has been very much about trying to ramp up my mental game. Yesterday I did 6 x 5 of backsquat and strict press 5 x 1, push press 5 x 3, and push jerk 5 x 5. On Backsquat I did 245, 250,250,250,275, and 275- modest loads but heavy for all 6 sets. On strict press I got up to 175, on push press 235 for 3, and on push jerk 250 x 5. It was a taxing strength progression and I fully felt the effects of New Years Eve festivities.

In the afternoon I did a metcon of 10-1 KB swing @ 100lb with 1 round of "Cindy" between each set. Slugged through it at a steady pace, not breaking anything up but moving calmly through the WOD. I ended with a time of 11:25.

Today I felt pretty sore from the volume of yesterday and was hesitant to do the CFS WOD of 4 rds of 500m row, each for time with a 3min rest between attempts. My reluctance was evidence enough for me to know that I needed to treat it as a competition WOD and give it an ALL OUT EFFORT. I pushed very hard on the 1st 500m row but tried to lay back just a tad in order to put up consistently fast times for all 4 efforts. My first 500m row took me 1:27.1. One second over my PR. I rested exactly 3 minutes and managed to pull my 2nd 500 in 1:33.3. After the second attempt the following mental battle ensued...

Head: How are you gonna be able to put out another relatively fast time a 3rd time, let alone a 4th time as well? You're wrecked!

Heart: You have to. Finish what you started. Just try your best. Count your strokes on the rower to 50 and you'll be fine. Hopefully...

Head: You're an idiot. That's crazy. Ok. Well, go then!

My third 500m row took me 1:38.4.

Head: Just ONE more to go...Can you do this one more time?

Heart: Yes, I KNOW I CAN...just shut up and let me breathe for a second!!!

COCHISE:Both of you best shut up and stop being wieners!

Head and Heart (simultaneously): Ok.

4th 500m row I did the same thing as the 3rd.I told myself, "Don't look at the monitor, just pull hard to 50, use your legs, follow through with your arms, and tough out the last 100m. Whatever you do, don't let the clock get to 1:40!!!"

I was pleased to achieve almost the same result as my 3rd attempt: 1:38.9.

As you can see, there was so much tough mental "self talk" occurring that eventually it began to drown out (or at least somewhat diminish) the physical discomfort of the last few 500m sprints.

Simple single modality WODs like these are often overlooked or underestimated for their potency and ability to produce a monstrous metabolic effect on the body. WODs such as these are absolutely necessary for the serious crossfit athlete because of their ability to increase not only your workload capacity but also your mental toughness. The voices in your head will tell you 100% of the time to let up. The voices in your heart telling you to KEEP FIGHTING must speak louder if you are to ever tap into your full athletic potential. No Seas Weiner! Permanecer En La Lucha!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Create In Me A Clean Heart, Oh God...

When I began this whole blogging business back in February of 2010, it was kind of against my better judgment. I also questioned whether I'd even stick with it. My intent was for Proximal Strength to simply be used as my training blog, which, primarily it has always been, but it's also been somewhat therapeutic for me as well to be able to journal about where I'm at in life. It's one thing to keep record of your daily musings and thoughts on life; it's another to actually take the time to review and reflect on those records. It's here where you might find that need to be careful of your actions, for they become your character and your character ultimately becomes your destiny.

This afternoon- in the wake of the 2012 new year- that's exactly what I did. I went back to December of 2010 and read a prayer that I had blogged about how I was sensing a season of change upon my life. Then I went straight to January 15th , 2011 where, after letting all the initial resolution banter die down, I finally decided to give my take on how I'd try to attack life in 2011. My thoughts centered on what my core values are. Here's what I had to say then:

"I know it's a little late but while since we're still relatively close to the new year, I've been thinking alot recently about my resolutions and goals for 2011. It never fails that each year when I make new resolutions, I often gear them towards curbing my behaviors or vices. You may tend to do the same thing. If you're anything like me, as the year wears on and your good intentions wane, you may also tend to revert back to those same tendencies you were trying to deviate from. It got me thinking: At the end of the day, my behaviors and habits should ultimately reflect my core values. If I'm really wanting to make any lasting changes to my daily actions, I'm going to have to take an honest look at what I value most in life. This thought forced me to ask myself, "What are my personal core values?" Well, here are a few that I've come up with so far (it's a work in progress):

1. I value my walk with Christ. I'm thankful for the opportunity life gives me to seek Him. My spiritual journey has had many highs and many lows, but the only times I've ever been able to experience consistent personal and spiritual growth is when I've sought Him daily. All too often I lose sight of this value and become malnourished. My attitude, decisions, and actions are poor when I'm not spiritually fed just as my athletic performance is compromised when I'm not eating enough or eating garbage.

2. I value my family. Jenny and Vin are my best-known remedy for lethargy, apathy, anger, and fatigue. Yet if I allow myself to forget that my family is one of my core values, they can quickly become the catalysts for my lethargy, apathy, anger, and fatigue. If I truly love and value Jenny and Vin, my actions and behavior will reflect it. I will listen. I will play. I will clean. I will be patient. I will engage. I will discipline. I will encourage. I will wait to fart. Nah. I will fart. Which brings me to my 3rd value...

3. I value my personal time. I'm very much like my mother in that I can easily get wrapped up in being a "social butterfly". I love good company and often overextend myself because of it. I'm still not the best at it, but I'm learning that sometimes it's okay to say, "No thanks- not this time." You know you're not getting enough quiet time when the only way you get quiet time is by taking a shower.

4. I value CrossFit Springfield. Even if my business partners kicked me out and I was no longer an owner and even if our members fired me from programming the website, I'd still show up and do the WODs just to experience the comradery of the CFS community. My resolve to stay true to this value drives me to pour my heart and soul into every athlete I train, every WOD I write, and every CFS business endeavor."

As I take stock in my progress in each of these values, I have to be honest and say I think there are some values I excelled in. For instance last year, I created more time for family. Which has made ours a happy home...usually. I could still use some more patience, but who couldn't? I also see the fruits of our CFS Labor throughout the year paying dividends in terms of increased memberships, many successful events, and increased local media coverage. The reality that I didn't really do much more in 2011 to grow my relationship with Christ is one that really bums me out. It's not that I didn't experience spiritual growth; I just know I must strive to be more proactive in daily seeking God's word.

There's a ton of me ranting in the paragraphs above...but I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon when I got the opportunity to watch a real wordsmith in Pastor John Cremeans (also a member of CrossFit Springfield!) of North Point Church in Springfield speak on the topic of New Year Reflection and Resolutioning. "Its a mistake to decide what your gonna do before determining WHO you want to ultimately be.", John says. John's sermon was spot on for what God has been speaking into my life lately. Forget about the fact that John gave a really cool shout out to CrossFit Springfield (particularly when he spoke about the dedicated weekly Hero WODs to HONOR fallen service members). Bottom line: This sermon represents everything that I desire in my life. The four principles John speaks on can tell alot about a person's character: Authenticity, Honoring, Purity, and Resiliency. These component's tied together for me everything that I've ever wanted Proximal Strength to stand for. Furthermore, I truly believe that if you make it your JOB to excel in each of these domains, you will begin to experience life more abundantly, irregardless of your spiritual or religious ideals. Here they are:

#1 Authenticity- I want to be real with everyone God places in my path. I want to make authentic, deeply rooted connections that impact peoples soul or their center; hence Proximal.

#2 Honoring - Something that in my adult life I'm VERY sensitive to. This, of course, is because as a young buck I had to learn-many times over the HARD way- that DISHONORING those who God had placed strategically in my life as my authorities repeatedly got me nowhere. It usually left me with a tremendous amount of pain and regret. I want to be a man of HONOR in all I set my hand to and towards all those I meet ESPECIALLY to those God has positioned in my life as my authority.

#3 Purity - It's a very personal and guarded topic for most- especially men. But, as Pastor John states, "Sexual impurity is an area of life that if you don't constantly check yourself on, it can tear down relationships, marriages, and unravel the entire fabric of your being...It can destroy you through guilt, shame, and loathing. You must decide to create appropriate boundaries for yourself." It means daily praying, "Create in me a clean heart Oh God and RENEW a right spirit within me." This is the daily charge to myself for the year of 2012.

#4 Resiliency - I never back down from challenges. That's how I'm hard-wired. I have the mentality that even if you're more talented than me in any discipline, I'd go head to head with you because I'm willing to bet that I'll do whatever it takes to out work you. It's not an ego thing. At all. It's just my mantra: I'm willing to do the WORK. I'm willing to give the EFFORT. Here's the rub: Even when you out work someone, things still don't always end up in your favor. Then what? To be resilient means to be able to recover quickly from difficult conditions. In 2012, my prayer is to be RESILIENT. To bounce back and to continue to MOVE FORWARD.

Below is John's sermon from Sunday at North Point Church. Allow it to challenge you and allow yourself to reflect on where you're at as we enter the new year. And remember: "Its a mistake to decide what your gonna do before determining WHO you want to ultimately be." So the question is this: Who do you want be? What do you want your legacy to be?

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Got to welcome in the 2012 new year with my best friend, ride-or-die chick, and beautiful wife, Jenny!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVED getting to be with just you babe!!!