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4 or 5 people and also the campfire "Kumbaya's" we used sing to each other at the conclusion of each night; they've now been replaced by wods of 20 or 30 people, fist bumps (sometimes head butts), and Skrillex blasting (sometimes 2Pac).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!!!