Lose yourself. Find Yourself.

My favorite part of the WOD is not the 3, 2, 1, GO. Nope, not at all. My favorite part is the final minute. I like the excitement, the pace, the frenzy.

You see, the final minute is what CrossFit is about. It's about digging deep, and pushing yourself harder than you thought you could. You find out what you're made of in that last minute.

Are you the type to stop working with 7 seconds on the clock, or the type that pushes through the final seconds? Do you scramble down to the floor to squeeze in one more push-up, or do you finish your deadlifts and stand with your hands on your hips until someone calls TIME?

I know what I see in that last minute. I see determination. I see you cheering for each other like you've never cheered before. In that final minute of each heat, I find myself closing my eyes for a second or two and smiling just listening to bars hitting the floor, feet hitting boxes, and voices straining to be heard.

The next time you're faced with the final minute, remember that it's your time to push. Remember that the final minute is what sets CrossFit apart from everything "ordinary".

Feeling Chesty?

3/8/2014 - Open 14.2
3:00 to complete 2 Rounds of:
10 Overhead Squats (43/29)
10 C2B Pull-ups
3:00 to complete 2 Rounds of:
12 Overhead Squats (43/29)
12 C2B Pull-ups
3:00 to complete 2 Rounds of:
14 Overhead Squats (43/29)
14 C2B Pull-ups

Ah, chest to bar pull-ups. They seem so similar to regular pull-ups, and yet, they're SO MUCH FREAKING HARDER. If you have unassisted pull-ups then you should, in theory, be able to successfully complete chest to bar. You can try one of two strategies for accomplishing this. The first is to keep your normal pull-up grip, but change your kip slightly. You'll want to think about keeping your hips forward of the bar, and try to get your body parallel to the floor. You'll be in more of a laying back motion. The other way, and my preferred method, is to switch your grip. For some reason, palms facing you seems to be easier for chest to bar. It's harder on the elbow joint though - so if you have elbow issues, this isn't for you. With palms facing you, you're going to pull extra high. If you're an inch or two short, try looking at the ceiling as you pull. Look up, and you go up!

Hope that helps! You guys are going to kill it tomorrow! I hope to hear lots of stories about people getting their first chest to bar pull-ups. I know Melissa already got some!

The Forgotten

"The overlooked. The ignored. Willful or not, we sometimes forget what counts, what matters most. It's easy to go for the obvious - the show stoppers, the sizzle. But you're different. You know the importance of substance, the steak. That's why you squat. While everyone else trains arms, you're in the hole, grinding out another set. Squats are the foundation for everything else you do in the gym. But squats can take a toll on the body like nothing else. Maybe that's why many forget them." 

I found that quote in a muscle & fitness magazine. It was an advertisement for Animal Flex. I don't even know what the product does, but it made me want to squat. Like, a lot.

The text of their ad struck a chord with me. Because they're right. So many times people want to skip right for the fancy stuff, and they forget the foundation. How many times have you been impressed by someone's push-ups? Or their ability to keep their knees tracking perfectly over their toes in their air squat?? Probably never.

Let's take this opportunity to praise all the forgotten movements at the Fort. The unsung heroes of what make us better at our everyday lives. Personally, I'd like to say thanks to body rows. I believe with all my heart and all my soul that if I hadn't done a million of these over the years, I'd probably have lunch lady arms, and wouldn't be able to carry all the groceries in one trip.

What's your unsung hero of the gym? What would you like to give a little praise to?

Get More Ready-er

5 sets of: Power Cleans (:15 rest b/w singles)
3:00 Rest

15-10-5 of:
Power Clean (75% 1RM)
Box Jumps (24/20)

So? What did you guys think of the first Open workout? Pretty incredible, right? There are so many amazing triumphs for the first workout, I hope I can remember all of them. Here goes.....

Cindy showed up Saturday morning to do the workout, and during her workout couldn't even get a single double under. She told Bill that she was even considering just going home. She ended up getting 60 total double unders! ATTA GIRL!

Kelly Allen was in a similar situation. She had never done double unders before. Ever. She ended up getting a total of 54 amazing double unders!

Then we have Kinsy, who did the workout on Saturday AND Monday. Her huge extra push on Monday got her 8 rounds even, and she's currently tied for 23rd place in our region.

There were so many stories like this! Every single year we see people accomplish things they had  never imagined during the Open. I just want to congratulate all of you on your first WOD of the 2014, and thank you for believing me when I asked you to sign up! LOVE YOU GUYS!

Triple the Reasons to Celebrate

Team Saturday - Open WOD 14.1
10:00 AMRAP
30 Double Unders
15 Snatches

This might be the most epic Saturday in the history of the world. We start our day with Open WOD 14.1. The workout is double unders and snatches. Let me repeat that. DOUBLE UNDERS AND SNATCHES! It's like someone said, do you want to win the lottery, or have 6-pack abs - BOTH!!! If you've never been a part of an Open WOD, then you're in for a real treat! Get ready to cheer, yell, and sweat with your fellow CrossForters like never before!

And how about this AMAZING poster Laudina made for us!? KAZAAM that girl sure is creative!

Then I want everyone to go home and take a nap, because Saturday night we're celebrating not only my birthday, but Pete's as well! We'll be at J&D's in Wauconda around 9PM for karaoke and fun! Fort karaoke is quite the experience. RTL and Pete are both great performers, and I've been known to belt out a tune or two.



It’s boom time

2/27/2014 - Open 14.1 Announced
10:00 EMOM of:
2 Front Squats (65% 1RM)
Push Press - build to a max
1 set of:
Max Push Press (70% of max above)

*if you weren’t here Wednesday:
3000m Row @ 80% effort
*if you were here Wednesday:
10 sets of:
:30 AD @ 85%
:30 AD @ 50%

Looks like you can't escape the Airdyne work this week! Muwahahaha!

So...I don't mean to be all brag-y, but my birthday is next week. A yearly tradition we have is that we all go out together and sing karaoke on my birthday because it's what I love to do. I realize many of you may not be interested in singing, but how about you come along for some good times and some good tunes!? We're celebrating my 35th birthday this Saturday starting at 9:00PM at J&D's in Wauconda. It's at the corner of Rte 12 and old rand road. I hope you can all make it!

Come play Open with me!

GAME. Know what I love about the CrossFit Open? I love that it feels like a game. I love that there's a worldwide leader board where I can enter my score. I love the rules. I love the cheering. I love that there are judges. But most of all I love how fun it feels.

GIFT. Have you ever been part of a white elephant gift exchange? Everyone brings something crappy all wrapped up like it's the hope diamond, and you randomly choose a gift. Hell, there's even "stealing" allowed just in case someone else's crappy gift looks better than yours. At the end of it, you're no better or worse off than where you started because you came with a gift, and you're leaving with someone else's gift. - That's what the CrossFit Open is like!

FUN. I'm not saying that you are getting something crappy...that's not what I mean at all. It's actually just the opposite. You see, a white elephant isn't about getting a gift, it's simply about playing a game. It's about spending a few hours with your Aunt Cathy and 20 other relatives laughing and having a good time.

OPEN. I want you to sign up for the CrossFit Open. You get to play CrossFit with me every day. This is our chance to play CrossFit with the rest of the world. Would a white elephant exchange be fun if you played it every day? Probably not. That's why you do it once a year with your whole family. (see where I'm going with this?) Join your CrossFit family, because the Open is our game.