The 100 Burpee Challenge: WHY!?

 

Just had an athlete get pretty psyched about doing a 100 day Burpee Challenge. You know the one, one burpee day one, two on day two, three on day three, etc.

I love you. All of you.

Or my heart would not engage my mouth and my typing fingers with such efficiency. Well then… Ok, maybe you are just testing my oath to ‘above all else, do no harm’, but here goes anyway:

Why?

Do you, for some reason, need to work on your burpee form for the next 100 days?
Is there no ‘goat’ in your toolkit that needs your attention more?
How about something that will pay off for you in a real way? A Double-Under challenge, for instance. A hand stand pushup or overhead squat or toes to bar etc. etc.

I get it, “… just because it’s fun.”
Right.
Burpees.
Are you on too many/not enough drugs? How much MORE fun would it be to conquer something you currently cannot do well?

Musashi said,

“Do nothing that is of no use.”

If you have not read Musashi, sneer at yourself a little then get it ‘Kindled’ ASAP. please. its important stuff.

My words are meant to encourage you do use full things that will make you BETTER, not just challenge that which you already do well. Horizontal growth is for specialists, like insects. CrossFitters are generalists. What tool in your kit is holding you back? What do you need most to consider yourself TRULY ‘Generally Physically Prepared’? Why are you not ALREADY doing a ‘challenge’ by greasing the groove every day on those things that need your focus to move you toward glorious neuro-synaptive facilitation and the ability to get those little bastards off of your Goat’s List?

“Nothing that is easy is worth learning,
or worth celebrating.”

Besides, if you really wanted to get your big boy/girl skivies on, you’d do a 100 burpees a day for a hundred days, that’s 10,000 burpees, and stop phucking around with ‘challenges’ that have been accomplished by literally thousands of people before you that never really challenged themselves with the challenge in the first place. Savvy?

“Cheering and Coaching” by Tai Randall

This is a post from the outstanding CrossFit Coach and the owner of what I would like to think of as ‘our sister gym’, CrossFit Montgomery County. It speaks volumes and is much worth your time to read and contemplate a wee bit.

One of the things that came to mind when I read this was that the gift of a being a good coach is earned from years of being a silent coach first. Understanding what an athlete needs at any one time is complex at it’s simplest. It as much an awareness of what is the biggest stumbling block in his or her way and knowing what NOT to say. The nuanced skill of not ‘over-coaching’ can only be gained from experience learning from other coaches and, sadly, is often never learned if the mentor is guilty of being a bit of an 0ver-corrector. No certification or degree can teach this one key ingredient.

I am always, as Tai is, deeply pleased to see any of our family so excited about what they have learned that they can barely hold it back. It’s a sign of dedication and joy to be bursting with a desire to share what’s so good about what we do, but can, as Tai says, cause ‘far more harm than good.’ You trusted in our coaching for your education, you trusted our judgement and care for your safety, trust in our coaching for those around you as well so that they may one day be as excited as you are now.

 

“Cheering and Coaching” by Tai Randall

There are few things that I love hearing more than people shouting encouragement to others in the gym. I’m frequently told by an athlete (usually after a big PR on something) that they wouldn’t have pushed themselves that hard without the loud and excited support of everyone cheering for them to go harder and faster. It’s one of the many things that makes CrossFit so great, in my humble opinion.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in another person’s success that you begin throwing out helpful pointers here and there too, in hopes they’ll fix whatever is keeping them from going even faster. This is where the problem begins, however, and it needs to be addressed before it gets any worse.

There is a fine line between shouting encouragements (“C’mon Jack! You can do it! Go go go!!”) and shouting unsolicited advice (“Push through your heels! Keep your elbows up! Drive with your hips!!). It’s one we cross readily and happily when watching sports on TV (“Don’t pass it to HIM you idiot, just go up the middle!), but it’s a line you should never, EVER cross at a CrossFit gym (this one or any other).

Ever hear the saying “too many cooks spoil the broth?” It goes for coaching too. In terms of improving their movements in the gym, people can generally process only one or two things at a time. It’s the coaches’ job to decide what those one are two things should be in that moment to help that person improve, and your cues will very likely disrupt what the coaches are trying to accomplish. The last thing a beginning athlete with a rounding back needs is advice on fine tuning their behind-the-neck snatch-grip push presses because you saw Coach Burgener use it to help Annie Thorisdottir in a video on the CrossFit Journal.

However, the biggest reason you shouldn’t cross that line is simple: you are not the coach. And even if you are a coach somewhere, you are not the coach at this gym. Have respect for the people who ARE the coaches, and let them do the coaching. It’s their job, not yours. Unless the coach has specifically requested your help, you should keep your coaching cues to yourself (regardless of how badly you feel the athlete needs to hear them).

Cheering is highly encouraged in CrossFit, and everyone benefits from having people push them during the workouts. However, though your coaching cues are intended only to help, they may be doing far more harm than good.

 

5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You

If you can’t convince them, confuse them.–Harry TrumanThe current media debate about the benefits or lack of harm of high fructose corn syrup HFCS in our diet misses the obvious. The average American increased their consumption of HFCS mostly from sugar sweetened drinks and processed food from zero to over 60 pounds per person per year. During that time period, obesity rates have more than tripled and diabetes incidence has increased more than seven fold. Not perhaps the only cause, but a fact that cannot be ignored.Doubt and confusion are the currency of deception, and they sow the seeds of complacency. These are used skillfully through massive print and television advertising campaigns by the Corn Refiners Association’s attempt to dispel the “myth” that HFCS is harmful and assert through the opinion of “medical and nutrition experts” that it is no different than cane sugar. It is a “natural” product that is a healthy part of our diet when used in moderation.Except for one problem. When used in moderation it is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay and more.

[...MORE...]

Paleo 2.0 – A Diet Manifesto -Archevore Blog

Outstanding read and the man who guides much of my thinking on what SHOULD be our ‘modern’ diet, Dr. Kurt Harris. If you dont read his blog, Archevore, you should.

The “Paleolithic diet “ is a chimera, a myth.

No more real than a Griffin.

A beautiful thing that doesn’t really exist.

“I coined the term “evolutionary metabolic milieu” or EM2, to signify that we cannot hope to duplicate the exact diet that was eaten, for all of these reasons. Instead, we can strive to use science and our reasoning to emulate the important elements of the evolutionary metabolic environment – the internal environment of our bodies.

Here was the way to connect the ideas of Taubes, Yudkin, Cleave and Price, who never really invoke evolutionary reasoning, to a sound way of thinking about diet in an evolutionary context.

A way where “Paleo” no longer refers to any particular diet eaten at any particular time, but only to paleo in the sense of “old”. Traditional Neolithic, Paleolithic and modern foods that we know are healthy or are similar nutritionally or metabolically to what archaic diets might have been like – there is room for all of these concepts.

I wrote a blog post about how my concept of evolutionary reasoning was different from trying to re-create a chimerical past…

[MORE....]

Why should I Not Eat Grains? The Research it yourself version…

glutenPunishment

Please forgive the VERY pedestrian descriptions and tone here, we get nerdy with it some other time. The most profound, immediate issue is the relationship between grains and chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.

Lectins and glutens are your first pubmed and google scholar search terms. The crux of the biscuit is that they are proteins found in grains, legumes, and dairy and meat that are fed with grains (it’s the fat of the grain fed animal that is the bitch, for the most part). The most commonly referenced grain lectin is gluten, but its far from the only bitch on the block, and it’s not just wheat that causes the issue, there are nasty lectins in party-grains like groats, oats and quinoa as well, and many more. Minute quantities of Lectins serve some useful work in animals, but foods chock full o’ lectins will tear you up, even in small portions, even once in a great while.

Lectins simply do not break down easily, we just dont have the right acids and enzymes needed to get the job done as some of our cousins in the animal kingdom. These lectins sail downstream through your GI Tract for the most part unscathed, wreaking havoc on intestinal villi, flogging cells and launching a domino effect that causes severely degraded function shortly followed by necropathy. The savagery that goes on in your gut with all this slashing and burning going on leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome (search please), or more directly holes in your intestinal lining that allow bacteria, protein solids and the crumbs and dustbunnies of your food bolus to enter your bloodstream – that’s bad. Very. No good can come from that.

The body will not simply allow foreign substances to roam around where they dont belong and your immune system automatically (keep that word in mind, it’ll be back) kicks in to save you from the flotsam and jetsam washing around in your blood stream. Welcome to the vast and truly destructive world of auto-immune disorders, too heinous to list here, so once again do some research on celiac and the horrors therein. We ALL suffer from one level of gluten/lectin intolerance, some goes mostly under the radar until the damn bursts, some sound off like klaxons going off in a tin closet.

Forget the worst case scenario stuff, like everything from lupus to chronic systemic inflammation disorders (like, say, cancer?) and just consider the effects on your immune system.

Pick a number, 10%? 20%? of your immune systems capacity being, day in and day out, used to combat issues that are caused by what you can choose not to eat by saying, ‘No thanks.’

You are, in effect, walking around every day chronically ill and getting worse. I have heard the comment (more times than i can count) ‘I had no idea how sick I was until i wasnt sick anymore.’ That chronically compromised immune system sets you up for more nasties: could your body fend off your allergies if it had that 20% of wasted ammo back again? How about skin issues like Acne or dandruff? How about irritable bowel syndrome? Cold and flu? Cancer? seriously. I have a list of etceteras that could fill a shoe box.

The facts are not just gained from some obscure fossil record of the bones of Pre-agricultural revolution (read: pre-graineating) peoples, although there is compelling evidence therein. We have oodles of data from present day hunter-gatherer tribes that eat NO grains whatsoever and have profoundly more benign health issues than we-who-know-whole grains-are-good folks. Take into consideration the lack of modern medcare and the potentials of infant death form birth complications, many ‘primitive’ tribes are just plain healthier. They eat lots of saturated fats, lots of animal product, no refrideration, no sense of a clean cooking or eating environment, some drink alchohol, but the amount of type 2 diabetes is statistically a non issue. Heart disease? Nope, dont think so. Obesity? almost non existent. Are there a profound number of societal issues that promote their ‘shockingly’ good health? Sure, of course. But it would be ignorance to conclude that they are off the charts of the health-sickness continuum markers simply by virtue of having more free time and lots of sex. hmmmm…. Why do I live here, again?

The fact of the matter is, no matter what anyone says, there is no ‘proof’ in dietary science. I cannot and will never say that ‘this’ proves ‘that’ in diet. I will, however, sing from the highest balcony that REMOVING GRAINS ALLEVIATES ALL OR MOST OF THESE DISEASE FACTORS. No, that is in no way, shape or form ‘proof’, but it works pretty good for someone who is sick who wants to no longer be sick. Pretty much.

Hope that wasnt too simplistic. To those of you who want this cocktail served neat, no water to dilute the flava, please, dont ask me to dig up studies. Find the terms that spike your own inner clinician and hit the search trail on pubmed and google scholar.

How Strong Women Will Save Civilization

” Look, Chef, I’m just really not into fighting so hard to be strong. It hurts, it takes too much concentration and my workouts are getting me where I want to be: I’m down into my skinny jeans, I’m proud of how I look… isn’t that enough?”

No. It’s not. Not even close… you have to do more because you’re a woman.

I am going to warn you in advance you might not like the tone of this coming rant, but I will not apologize. What is at stake here is not just about YOU or ME, so you just might have to suck it up and accept some responsibility for fixing the mess we’re in. The crux of this biscuit, in the shortest terms possible (a miracle for me to achieve, believe me) is that in order to save our country, our very society, our economy, our children’s futures, women need to be Strong and Fast.

On the most basic level women need to be empowered with an overriding understanding that nothing in this life is out of their reach. That the ability to run a major government, a major corporation, a household, a completely happy and successful life is a given right that needs to be claimed by virtue of strengths of character and fortitude of mental toughness. It needs to be clear that focus and humility, patience and ambition, confidence and wisdom are gained through profoundly hard work, a slow progression of both mileage and recovery from life’s failures.

There may not be a more direct or fundamental path to gaining those foundational blocks than by following the arduous path of becoming physically strong and fast. It takes years of training, study, setbacks, incremental progression, revamped and reworked game plans, self scrutiny, being open to criticism, an ability to look abject failure in the face and spit with all the force generated by millennia of gender bias and subjugation to be an aggressively strong and athletic woman. What better way to teach the tools that are needed to be successful in a world that, at times, seems hell bent on keeping women in a position of subordination.

All that’s well and good and required for you women to take the next step, but I am not asking you to rise to mountain top for your own sakes. I am way the hell too selfish for that. I demand that you all become hard, fast, strong, aggressively athletic ass kickers because YOU need to FORCE men to step the hell up to the plate be held accountable. You want to know the best way to get men up off the sofa and to work? Show them you’re more than capable of doing it without them.

Women are the care givers, the primary instructors, the example to follow, our children learn more from their mothers actions than any other stimulus in  their lives. What would happen if all of our kids learned that the best things in life, the things most worth doing, the things worth celebrating, were HARD TO DO. That the greatest pleasures in life were not the lazy, easy, spoon fed things but the things covered with sweat, a little bruised and battered, the things that teeter on the edge of exhaustion and pain and fear and failure. We celebrate those things that are supremely, acutely difficult, but more importantly we, those bent on being strong and fast, exalt above all else the path most difficult and least trodden. We live and love and play in a world where the climb is better when it’s hard, where the dish is more savory when it takes longer to cook, where the path is more important than the peak.

What kind of world would we have if all of us had mothers that were strong and fast and embodied all the glory and wonder and true grit that that entails?

We all know that this lifestyle bleeds over to all aspects of our lives. We are more effective people and better equipped to handle the rigors of life through the lessons learned struggling to become hard, strong, fast… by achieving the small and hard won triumphs of this life. In order to create a society where we, as a group, are fundamentally better people, we must demand that the women in our lives accept the challenge to be strong and fast.

.

.

.

.

“What the hell do we do if everyone actually goes Paleo?!”


“REPENT!! EAT PALEO OR MEET THY FATE!!” … anyone that has crossed my path in the recent past has caught the hot end of the fork on my hopes that we can all eat the way nature intended, in a way that makes sense both on a physiological and economic level,  the way we might just be able to sustain (locally, that is the point of all the following rant).

All fire and brimstone, flowing samite robes and big f*ckoff white beard aside, something has been nagging at me and I was unaware of how profoundly it was bothering me until I tried to type this today. The rattling bones in the closet for me on this all this paleo-vangelism I spew forth, day in and day out, is what actually happens if everyone listens? Not just clients, our athletes, my friends and loved ones, I would consider the vast majority of my life a success with that level of achievement. What fills me with angst is what happens if EVERYONE goes Paleo? What if all marketing sway falters and real, fundamentally natural feeding rises as the one true path to the powers of the earth and EVERYONE EVERYONE decides to stop eating grains?

Uh oh… turn away from the fan! What do we do if all of sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Far East decide to eat by the sacred “Thirteen Words”: ‘Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar?’ This is not a ground breaking observation, but it’s new to me in it’s scope and leads me to some conclusions that I am not only uncomfortable with but that push my oft knee-jerk and Pollyanna neo-liberal expectations around like a skinny kid in a mosh pit.

No more nasty grain eaters, nothing but natural, Paleolithic eating, worldwide. We’d be in a world of serious trouble, oui? The 1.3 billion rice eaters in china, 1.1 billion rice/legume eaters in India and two billion stragglers that depend on starches for 60% to near 90% of their caloric intake would need how much broccoli to replace the caloric density of all that starch, exactly? What is the deficit in acreage caused by tossing all that grain in the bin and replacing it with grasslands? If we start to think of feeding the 4.5 billion people we’re instantly adding to the table on grass fed meats, do we actually have ANY primordial forest left after we clear cut for grasslands to make our Paleo ends meet?

An analogues conversation reared its ugly head the other day with a few words shared among friends about how we live in the US and our levels of conspicuous consumption. We want all the politically oppressed and downtrodden of the earth to have all the opportunities that we have… er… well… some of us do, far more profess such lofty ideals, a few absolutely oppose such a rabidly ‘worldly’ sentiments, but for the sake of argument, lets hit the middle road. We would certainly like to sell American made autos to every driving-age person in India and china, right? Wrong. Last figure thrown at me was 600liters of water per car to get it out of the factory. If we sell 750 million cars over the next few model years, we run out of water to drink, to put a really REALLY simplistic spin on the data. No mention of the resources needed other than water, a few of which might create global unrest just to get all those folks on the road: where do they park, petrol stations to feed, roads (paved and otherwise to build/maintain/rebuild. Fact is we just can’t afford to ‘LET THOSE PEOPLE HAVE WHAT WE HAVE’. Shudder, stagger, gasp! How could anyone say such a thing?!?

Switch that whole thought back to ‘eating smart’, as we would put it. My libertarian friend put it pretty plainly: ‘those who can afford it, will, those who can’t, wont.’ Am I ok with that? I am not ok with that when it comes to education, or health care, or ‘freedom’ or ‘democracy’… all of which effect changes in my life from places far and wide as would a nationwide or global reduction in the illnesses brought about by ‘crap feeding’ and the financial burdens put upon the healthy by the dietarily diseased.

Ok, so I want to live in world that is un-poisoned by hundreds of thousands of tons of pesticides/fungicides/chemical fertilizers dumped on the land and washed out to sea. I want to have a vague sense that the generations to come will be healthier and there by financially more apt to survive the new challenges our food based economies will provide (food will be the ultimate resource when the worlds population hits 10 billion in our lifetime, no” if’s” about that). I want all this to be a way of life for all humans, ‘as we were meant to eat, as we were ‘designed’ by nature to thrive’… but how the hell do we pull this off?

If I asked this question in 1820 the answer would be very different, not even a problem, really. So what’s changed? Population. We can’t feed us all in the way we should be fed; we won’t be able to feed us all in the way we shouldn’t be fed. Not now, certainly not in 50 years. So what do we hope for? Another man-engineered solution? Genetically altered grains and harvesting of Antarctic Krill are the only two solutions I’ve seen any data on that come CLOSE to feeding the teeming masses we will have in line for food in the next generation…. But I want none of my ‘people’ to eat that way, I haring them every day to do everything  BUT eat that way. So it boils down to its ok for my ‘kind’ to eat ‘right’ but not ok for ‘them’ to do what we do. Factually, statistically, it’s really not ok.  Is this conversation getting darker than I had ever hoped possible? If we want to feed as intended, do we rely on nature shutting down the reservation book via a worldwide catastrophic pandemic? Does the naturalist eater survive only when the seas rise and a few hundreds of millions perish? Does eating Paleo really have to cause an understanding that it’s really ‘us and them’… well, it is very Paleolithic that the strong survive/thrive and ‘those that can’t, won’t’? Am I cool with that? Are you? Do we even have a choice?

I want you to part the clouds and hand me a solution that makes some sense. Please.

Train for Aesthetics! (… no really,)

CROSSFITTERS SHOULD TRAIN TO LOOK GOOD!*

“Vanity Factor” gets poo-poo’d all the time, the hell with that! It’s a ‘prime directive’ on a biological level! Ya gotta be HAWT! No kidding…

We are meant to be fast and strong, that wonderful state of affairs is required to express the genes that keep us healthy and disease free and to keep the genes that want to pluck the biologically frumpy out of the gene pool from getting a toe-hold.

We are also driven on a primary, reptilian level, to propagate the species and we MUST, therefor, give a crap what we look like. A ‘beautiful’ bird is a healthy and thereby desirable mate: a bird that can do Fran in 1:47 doesn’t mean shite on a biological level if they look like a bag o’ fertilizer.

Prior to our ability to fix all the bad biomarkers with makeup, surgery, fat burners, hair color, perfume, thighmasters, straight tequila, beer goggles, etc, the only way for a ‘bird’ to look like a hot candidate for recreation/procreation was to avoid all the sh*t that makes you sick/look like sh*t and to maximize ones potential shag-ability with moving fast under heavy loads (from the Sumerians to the Greeks to us, we know STRONG and FAST is HAWT!!).

So, yah, g’head, train/eat for aesthetics but be honest about NATURAL, WELL BALANCED aesthetics and you will find yourself executing natural movements at high intensity and living by “The Thirteen Words”: ‘eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.’ You wont be fueling your bad-ass ride by pissing in the tank. Feed the frame with what your body was DESIGNED to eat, not what man designed for eating. Does the word ‘PALEO’ ring a bell? If it don’t, you need to stay afterschool and write a thousand times: “I want it all. I will not settle.” M’kay?

If you use near perfect form in your quest for productive application of force, if you have proper recovery time, if your body is thriving and well balanced because you SMR/Foam Roll and maintain long, fluid ROM from proper stretching technique, if you focus your intentions and actions with a positive, strong, confident attitude as a foundation, your are gonna be hawter than the sun. Crazy hawt! A veritable hawtasaurus.

Aggressively strong, wickedly fast, glaringly healthy/disease free and focused like a laser beam is the most compelling, sexiest thing on earth! Really. Really, Really.

Paleo Evangelism: ENOUGH already! Choose!

I love rationalizations and indecision as much as the next fellow, but puhlease  STOP EXCUSING AWAY YOUR DECISIONS WITH “I CAN’Ts”!!!

Look, you really don’t have to hide it, I know more than a few of you panic and do a quick check of the nearest exit when The Paleo Evangelist in me gains purchase on the soapbox. Having a conversation with me about food or dietary science can be a little taxing on the patience: I have issues with shutting up and even bigger issues with those that fill their bushels with “I cant’s”.

Does any of this sound familiar?

“I can’t have my coffee without milk. Nope. Can’t do it. The earth’s crust would crack and swallow countless Nuns and innocent orphans if I even attempted something so fundamentally impossible.”

or

”Not eat pasta? I can’t do that. Nope. No way. Every one of the earth’s economies would falter and implode if I stopped eating refined wheat products. ’

Don’t forget the classic

”I can’t be bothered, It’s too time consuming to eat/live that way. I MUST have fast food crap twice a day because I need to work nonstop every minute to pay for the added health care I require because of all the shit I eat. I have to go now so I can master how to txt msg my boss with one hand while driving, eat a KrispyKreme and snort diet Coke at the same time. ”

and the tried and true crowd pleaser

“It costs too much to eat all that natural stuff. I can barely make ends meet with the cost of my diabetes meds and the added expense of my kids larger clothes every two weeks and the seven shot lattes I need every time my insulin avalanche causes my energy to hit rock bottom.”

No faster way to get me into high gear than to toss up a fine dusting of “I can’ts”:

No, actually, you CAN. You simply CHOOSE NOT TO. Fine by me, but… …speak plainly, m’kay? You CHOOSE not to… You CHOOSE to suffer from the litany of nasties we all know come from eating ‘engineered’ foods, you CHOOSE to live in the fetid swamp of auto-immune disorders and gastro-intestinal compromise that come from eating gluten and grains, you CHOOSE to drag your chronically inflamed arse down the path completely avoidable disease factors that will not only end your life prematurely but while you continue to support companies that KNOW you CHOOSE convenience over sanity and will continue to milk a profit out of your CHOSEN willing ignorance at the expense of your very existence.” (Run on sentences make me giddy, me thinks.)

Now, I have family and friends that flip me the figurative middle finger and say, ‘Look, that’s all peaches and coconut milk for you, FoodFreak, but I don’t WANT and knowingly CHOOSE NOT TO do what you do, come what may. So f*ck off, with love, but f*ck off.” … who can argue with that? I don’t agree but in the end it’s not my life. I would rather that my tax dollars not go to patching the holes they chewed in their own buckets, but that’s another article all together.

Finally, I shouldn’t be casting stones. I at a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich and enough phenominally good ice cream to make Mike Moore do a double-take (a vacation choice I have made this past week)

The point is, you KNOW what needs to be done to get to that place you have wasted so much time hemming and hawing about… GET MOVING. NOW! I will spare no kind words for the “I can’ters” that would rather rationalize away their lives than take one solid, perhaps frightening and painful, step FORWARD.

Now, if you approach me and whisper, ‘But, Cheffy, I don’t know HOW…” then you have a partner, a brother, a mentor, a comrade in arms that will move a mountain with his bare hands just to get you to a point where you know how. My dream is that you will learn WHY as well as HOW, and care enough to pay that forward.

I Know (ode to limits lost) a reply to Lisbeth for the CFAffiliates Blog

I believe leaves a doubt, herein lies what I know

  1. I know that being an expert means ‘knowing more and more about less and less’ and that in that simplicity lies the joy of being part of such a complex community. The deep reaching and ever evolving  knowledge of the experts in our CrossFit family builds a foundation impervious to fad or the fickle finger of fate.
  2. I know that without Coach I would never know the joy of using the word ‘milieu’ on a regular basis. ;->
  3. I know that we long to fill our flesh with soul and to fill our soul with flesh, that we will one day, within us, reconcile the two eternal antagonists. Until that time we travel both paths, pleasure and pain, success and failure, with our eyes on the future not on the past. We plant trees in form of seeds.
  4. I know that, as Voltaire said, “A small effort every day and the seemingly impossible completes itself.” In more direct terms? To paraphrase Coach Jeff Tincher, ‘You have to work your bitches.’ CrossFit is like eating an Elephant: you go one bite at a time.
  5. I know that I can give my athletes no more than a cue, a watchful eye and the promise that if it will get them to a higher place, a more solid base, a place where no goal is out of reach, I will move mountains with my bare hands. No one gets left behind. Ever.
  6. I now know that ‘Elite’ is a personal benchmark and that it’s the path not the peak. ‘Hey Mister, how much can you deadlift?’, “A little more than yesterday, a little less than tomorrow.”
  7. I know that when one of my athletes goes from “I can’t” to “I can,” from “I can” to “I will,” and finally from “I can” to “I must”, I often have to turn my head to hide the tears.
  8. I know that the willingness to walk, arm in arm, often bloodied and bruised, into new levels of challenge, into harms way, from complacency to extreme discomfort, to carry our weakest to the finish line is what makes our community a model for my life, my relationships and for the path I want for my children.
  9. I know that after all these years, I don’t give a shit what goes on inside the box. I have become a fitness whore. Thanks, Coach.
  10. Finally, I know that one must be moderate in all things, even in one’s moderation: you have to binge to be truly moderate. CrossFit is my reward.