…this was what stood out to me during the first day of the Garage Games New England Throwdown.
There were porta potties lined up in the back of CrossFit Milford. And of course, each and every workout brought about some bouts nervousness beforehand. So I had to piss, sometimes even multiple times before a WOD.
I noticed one girl opened a porta potty, only to quickly move onto the next open one. It was pretty obvious what was behind those doors, but I just wanted to get things over with. That’s how bad I had to piss. That’s how pretty damn nervous I was.
So I was like “Fuck it” and #yolo.
I encountered Jabba the fuckin Hutt. Mannnnnn…so this is what a legit Paleo poop looks like.
Got out of there ASAP.
Okay, about the actual Garage Games. What an experience! Sure, the wait times did get nerve-racking, but once you were there and in the zone, adrenaline and the energy of the crowd took over your performance.
I’m currently reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest book Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, and in one section he writes:
“A guy from the other team who was a better lifter than me found the audience distracting and failed to complete his last lift. He told me afterward that he couldn’t concentrate as well as in the gym. For me, it was the opposite. The audience gave me strength and motivation, and my ego kicked in more. I discovered that I performed much, much better in front of others.”
The same rang true for myself.
For example, with the first WOD – 12 minutes total for your whole team to get a 3 rep max overhead squat – I shot up that weight from my back to overhead easier than ever before. Usually, the awkwardness of going overhead from the back would hold me back. At times, I would mess up the lockout.
The ease was all thanks to the crowd. Despite hearing friends of mine yelling my name and random shit to get me amped, it was like I was somewhere else. I tuned out all that stuff out, even with the environment naturally fueling me.
It’s almost like that feeling of studying or getting work done at a Starbucks. The people might be loudly chatting about the latest iPad mini or some fixed-gear bicycles and the noise of the coffee machines might seem distracting, but seeing other people “getting things done” can inspire you to get shit done yourself.
Sure, I didn’t get to attempt my goal of 185# since time ran out, but I was pretty stoked with my 155# as it was smooth and easy and I’ve never attempted a 3 rep max that heavy. OHS used to be a HUGE weakness of mine, mainly because of flexibility issues.
Now it’s one of my favorite lifts…also rocking a pair of CrossFit shoes helps.
Yeah, my 2 mile PR with 16:57. As you all know, I fuckin hate running, so I was pretty damn happy with that time lol.
We pretty much ran around the block where the gym is, a path which had some inclines and declines. In the final quarter mile, I kept hearing some dude’s heavy breathing behind me. Things were getting too close for comfort.
Avoiding the creepiness was my motivation to not let this fucker pass me haha. That was really my only goal during the run, aside from getting around 17-18 minutes. It felt so good to beat my expectations.
As much of a bitch this chipper was (even for the scaled division), I really appreciated it. The programming I’ve been experiencing over the past year and a half or so has gotten pretty complicated and the volume has gone up, so it’s pretty sweet to experience a classic CrossFit chipper.
If you want to see some pics, check out this page:
Yes, I’m in some of them, but who I am is for you to figure out 😛
By the end of that 3rd WOD, my body was spent. I had no idea how the hell I was supposed to deal with the Airdyne and a Team Fran the following day. If you were to ask me to do all these workouts in a span of 2 days before this, I would’ve laughed in your face.
Competitions like these, even if you’re doing them for fun, show you that there’s more in you than you think. It’s pretty interesting how much your mind limits you. Your own mind is probably your own worst enemy. Then you hear all this talk from CrossFitters around you saying “OMG TOMORROW’S GONNA BE TERRIBLE”…”I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS”…”I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS SHIT TOMORROW”…
And that’s what I did lol. Since my college’s alumni weekend was going on last weekend, and I managed to get out earlier than expected, I was just like #YOLO and caught up with some old friends over a few beers.
Don’t worry…I didn’t get shitty and it definitely didn’t affect my performance (too much) the next day.
So how did the Airdyne and Team Fran WOD’s go? I’m saving that shit for tomorrow. Cause it was more than just a battle with myself and my body. It was more of that mental game.
Kip it real, my friends.
1. Hit up the noon class at your CrossFit box
2. Do some shoulder presses and power cleans leading up to a 1 rep max.
3. Fail your shoulder press max at 140#.
4. Fail your first attempt at 240# for the power clean.
5. Wait 3 minutes.
6. Scrape the energy you have left in you to PR at 240# on your power clean.
7. Do 50 kettlebell swings at 55#.
8. Top things off with a 500m row.
9. Get a shitload of congratulations from everyone in the box.
10. Go home.
11. Feel a sharp pain in your upper abdominal area.
12. Think it’s just hunger, so you start preparing your food.
13. Realize it might be gallstones or appendicitis.
14. Shit your pants.
15. Go to the emergency room.
16. Take various tests and prepare to get your appendix removed.
17. Shit your pants again as you realize you might go weeks or months without CrossFit. Might have to bail on your Garage Games team in October.
18. Get appendix removed.
…except for Step 18.
Tonight’s blog post was not supposed to be like this (holding off on that post for another day). Seriously, I was so pumped from PR’ing that power clean that of course I had to share things on Facebook and Twitter.
Literally minutes after those posts, my abdominal area was KILLING me. I couldn’t think. Couldn’t prepare my lunch. Couldn’t do shit.
I’m so relieved that Step 18 didn’t happen.
My surgery probably wouldn’t be until midnight, so I’d probably still be waiting in my tiny hospital room at this time.
…after the results for my blood test came through. All the usual stuff seemed healthy, but I just had higher levels of white blood cells for some reason. The doctor said:
“If I were a betting man, I’d say it’s your appendix.”
My progress has been pretty consistent in terms of nutrition and working out. I even started cooking some really nice paleo meals. Why did all this have to happen now?
I was even thinking of having to live a sedentary lifestyle for weeks or even months after getting the appendix removed.
Luckily, by 8:30pm or so, I got my results from the CT Scan, and things seemed fine. The doc said I probably just went too hard on my workout today.
I was told that I can continue my usual workouts and nutrition. However, tomorrow I’ll just chill and get some work done.
Right now, I just feel so blessed that things worked out fine. Sitting there helpless in the hospital bed with remnants of that sharp pain in my abdominal area, so many terrible possibilities came to mind.
Since things turned out for the better, I have more motivation than usual to keep things up. My WOD times have been pretty damn nice the past few weeks. My eating has been pretty spot-on with Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet, although I’m going full-on paleo once again.
No more cheat days as well.
Why? First of all, I feel like shit after them. Second, while I do see progress despite the cheat, I prefer just staying more clean overall. Lastly, today’s appendicitis scare showed me not to take things for granted.
I’m signed up for the Garage Games team event in October, and I’m going to train and eat well for it. Rather than make this some kind of “diet” or “challenge,” today has shown me that it’s much better to adopt this as a lifestyle.
Okay, even though I’m a guy…I’ve always had a big butt.
From the days of weighing 180# with barely any physical activity (unless Counter-Strike on the computer counts) to my uber slim days going into college, I’d always have some big junk in the trunk.
It’s one of the reasons squats and cleans come naturally to me. Sure, I did put in the time to learning these movements, especially the squat thanks to Starting Strength, but my ass really helped me progress rather quickly.
Same thing with push presses and jerks. I can barely strict press for my life, yet with a slight dip and drive, I can get more than 200# overhead.
Clothing just fits weird.
Especially when I was fluctuating in weight before I found a nutritional plan that worked for me (Slow Carb), my ass would make my clothing look awkward. Even if my core area wasn’t that big, it’d still look like I had a gut thanks to the way my ass would stick out.
Fortunately, I’ve been gradually leaning out, so things aren’t so bad…or so I thought.
So of course, I used my “Carbicide Saturday” cheat day to party with friends still in the area. We ended up at this local bar with a much wider variety of people than usual thanks to this big event.
I was simply chatting with some friends and enjoying the atmosphere when all of a sudden…a motherfuckin slap on my ass sobered me up. Then a booty bump to my ass got me to turn around.
Knowing that no girl worth talking to would do such a thing (hey, I could be totally wrong lol), I decided to simply turn around just to give a kind smile and continue on with my business. I had a pretty good vibe going on.
Then…once I turned around…all I could think of was.,..fdkfdhkdsdshHAHHAFKDYF&#I%RJFRSRFEF…
…HOLY SHIT it’s VENUSAUR!
Yes, I still did smile…then once I turned to my friends I made some weird look and knew I had to bounce soon. That good feeling I had going was instantly squashed. Killed. Flaccid. Whatever you wanna call it.
My booty has gotten me into some awkward situations.
I worked at a local Cold Stone Creamery one summer while in college, and once I got pretty comfortable bullshitting and joking around with my co-workers (mainly female), things started to get um…interesting.
My supervisor, who was a few years younger than me, would always slap my fuckin ass when I’d walk past her around closing time.
Okay now…so if I did the same thing…haha, nope…I’m not going there.
And yeah, somehow I was in pretty solid shape while working at Cold Stone that summer, despite the constant samplings during the workday. By the way, that Oreo shake they have in one of the sizes amounts to over 1500 calories. When we found the nutrition facts for our products buried behind/underneath the cash register, our minds were blown.
…that always gets me to laugh when coach tells us to touch our ass cheeks during glute-targeted stretches. Or maybe I’m just immature and will never get over that kind of humor.
Whatever it is…this kind of thinking gets me to focus on using my ass properly during the appropriate CrossFit movements. We’re always told random cues like “prison defense” and “squeeze your ass at the top” during things like push presses/jerks and cleans. I may be laughing my ass off (uh…) during coach’s instructions, but the humor actually is a constant reminder in optimal form.
And you know what? My power cleans and snatches are finally rid of most of my arm bending/pulling. It’s been more of my ass and hips getting the weight up there.
Alright, I’ll admit that I just wanted to blog about my ass getting that Pokemon’s attention, but I’ve realized while writing that humor and random stories like these can really help you with your CrossFit game. Then again, it also depends upon your learning style and the kind of person you are.
I can always link a series of events to something that’s happening in the moment. Also, if you can’t tell already, humor grabs my attention and helps me learn things rather quickly.
So the next time you get frustrated with your double unders or some other CrossFit movement…shit, you can even apply this to anything else in your everyday life…think of some random or funny event that can help you learn and improve on your current situation.
No matter how random, dumb, or stupid this event or reminder can be, just roll with it. You’re not doing this to impress someone else. All the validation you need is within.
Do this stuff for yourself 🙂
What the FUCK was wrong with me?
Yes, it’s one of the more challenging CrossFit movements, unless you have a gymnastics background. I just thought it would take a while before even considering the movement. There was even this pseudo-checklist I had in my head of things to accomplish before trying muscle ups. Honestly, I had it in me already. I just had to try.
It was almost a year ago that I nailed my first muscle up. Oh was it SWEEETTTT to finally get my body into that dip position from the kip. From there, it’s simply a dip to victory.
However, for the past few months, I just couldn’t get them for some reason. Something was off. You know what it was?
Even if there would be muscle ups during a WOD, I obviously would have to sub in some sort of pull up/dip combo. I just wasn’t TAKING ACTION and working on this skill before or after class. Trying this movement after class is pretty rough, especially if your body’s SHOT from the WOD. Still…I had no excuse not to learn the movement during warm ups.
Once again…the only person to blame for this is me. For a while, I had some TERRIBLE time management habits. Yes, I would be trying to get some last-minute work done before heading off to the box, but was that really necessary? This simply stressed me out as I was always rushing to class. The majority of the time I was late or would just get there in time.
Yep, that would leave no time at all to practice any skills. How the hell was I supposed to progress as a CrossFit athlete then?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on my productivity and overall time management (many thanks to my buddy who runs Xponics.com, a site for hydroponic gardening). As a result, I have a more relaxed and Zen-like approach to life. I just get things done on time now and have been gradually cutting down on my procrastination.
That’s why now I make sure that I stop all work by 11am to ensure that I’m at the box 15-20 minutes before class. Because of this, I’ve been able to stretch and roll out properly.
And the best result so far? Today I managed to get in 3 muscle ups before class. FUCK YEAHHHHH!
Man…to think that months of being late to class has slowed down my progress? Sure, it might be for only a few classes here and there, but they add up. That time could’ve been spent working on one of my goats or skills I struggle with.
Hey, better late than never right? I’m just happy I managed to pick up on these poor habits before I was a lost cause.
That was the first thought to come to mind as I was at the apex of my dip. Being higher off the ground than usual on the rings, it can get pretty scary. Not gonna lie…I’m afraid of heights…that’s why rope climbs are still a goat of mine.
So yeah…I tried dropping into the beginning of a kip after one of my muscle ups, and I simply went straight down. The next rep was dead. No dice.
I tried looking like this:
If you can do around 10 chest to bar pull ups and are fine with ring dips (I suck at them by the way…), then you can definitely try out a muscle up. Here’s a good primer vid on muscle up progressions:
You also can’t go wrong with Jon Gilson’s muscle up video either:
All this time I was struggling with muscle ups, it had NOTHING to do with physical issues. It was simply about getting more practice time by hitting up the gym earlier.
That’s why when you just can’t seem to figure out a CrossFit problem of yours or any issues in your everyday life, sometimes you just need to take a step back and go over your progress. In many instances, all you need to do is a simple tweak to get the job done.
Kip it real, my friends.
Okay, maybe the first time you might think you’re BADASS. After that, it’s just fuckin annoying.
On Wednesday, as I posted on Facebook and Twitter (LIKE and Follow me if you haven’t already), I managed to PR my back squat by 10# (back in December) with 315#. Initially, I was worried due to the heat and not having attempted a max back squat in months.
Luckily my spotter is the type of guy to hype me up every time we lift together. He just told me to go for it, even though I was sadly thinking of only 310# at the time.
I looked up at the clock. My rest time was over, so I did my typical cheesy “oh get a load of me” type of walk to the rack. Loaded the bar. Backed up a bit.
Once my feet were in place, I let my booty drop. Went slightly below parallel. Slowly I ascended.
Now it was the moment of truth. Would I be able to get that last quarter of the squat? Or would my buddy have to catch me?
I’ll be honest…the idea of failing a squat scares me to death even with a good spotter. It’s one of the reasons I never truly push my limits on this lift even though the squat was one of my first. That’s why I don’t just let anyone spot me.
Okay, so what happened?
I had a slight lean forward that last quarter of the way up. At this point, I was expecting some sort of struggle…but nope. Without any grunting or yelling, I PR’d 🙂
So after the back squat, we had a 2 rep max thruster, which I PR’d too at 185#, and 20 sets of 5 pull ups for time…sounds, fucked up, huh?
After that HIGH of PR’ing two lifts in a row, it was such a BONER KILL tearing my hand up after 16 sets of 5. I only needed 4 more sets to finish. Around set 12 or 13, I was feeling the skin tearing a bit, but I was like “screw it.”
I went with the damn YOLO mentality…and of course, shit hits the fan whenever I think that way.
It’s been over a day since the tear, so it’s healed up a bit:
If you saw the tear when it was fresh though…mannnn. It looked like the Miami bath salt-consuming face eater took a chunk out of my finger. Not cool.
Take care of your hands. Please.
Unfortunately, I thought of filing down my callouses as I got out of my driveway on Wednesday but didn’t feel like going back into the house and whatnot. Bad mistake.
When I’m not an idiot, I usually file down my callouses with a simple foot file (lolz…I know…but it works).
If you do happen to make a bungle like me or just tear out of the blue, make sure you clean your shit. Wash your hands with warm soap and get any debris out of there. At home, use some small nail scissors or even a normal nail clipper to remove the hanging skin. Trying to bite (haha…) or rip it off yourself might make you bleed more.
Done that before. Not fun either.
Use some antibiotic and cover with a bandage after. Because I did this once I got home, within hours, the cut healed enough that it no longer stings when wet. Now I just have to bandage and tape that area for tomorrow’s 1 rep max deadlift. YEAHHHHH BUDDYYYYYY.
Alright…I need to get some work done on my other projects before I rest up for another testing day tomorrow.
Kip it real, my friends.