Tuesday, March 24, 2015


What's the big deal about RX?

Remember when you came to your first foundations class, you had to ask what RX meant.

Why are you bending over backwards killing yourself just to say you did RX?

Rx- a shorthand for prescription, pronounced "arr- ecks"

RX as you used to know it, pre-crossfit, wasn't always good.  Getting a prescription, or Rx, meant you had something wrong that needed fixing.

RX in crossfit, still means prescription.  But not to fix something wrong-- to define an intensity.  Rx is a coach's way of telling you if you are to go fast, slow, heavy, or light.  RX is a coach's way of assigning movements and ranges of motion that they want you to perform.

RX is not a death sentence or some set of golden letters for you to wear on your chest.  RX is a goal, an intensity you should be achieving.

I'm not going to lie, it sure does feel good to click on that button to say "RX".  But, you know what, it feels really really good to put in any score- to be capable of doing the workout.  I love feeling my heart racing, shortness of breath, my face burning up because I got so hot, my sore calloused hands, smelly sweaty shirt, chalk all over my clothes--to me that is my RX.  My RX is to work all my crazies out to be a happier, better, more patient, tolerable person.

Two and a half years ago, I could not RX anything, but I kept showing up and I never complained.  I just kept working hard- there were lots of things I could not do.  Um, yeah, there are still lots of things I can not do.  I do not let these things get the better of me because my goal is to get the better of them.

Don't let RX be a thorn in your side, instead let it be the fire under you.

Maybe you can do the weight, but you can't do some of the movements.  You have lots of muscles and memory patterns to sync to get that movement.  It isn't going to happen with a sprinkle of pixie dust, it takes hard work.  Instead of using your voice to release your frustration by complaining, use your body.

So, you didn't get that muscle up, well how will you know what to work on if you don't try.  Attempt complete: you could not get the swing, well get in the rings and practice your swing, strengthen your hip flexors to give yourself more power- practice holding yourself up in the rings.  That push press at 95 setting you back?  Well, practice at 65 or 75 until people are looking at you like DAMN- that form is legit!

Envision yourself getting that double under, then go practice- have someone film you so you can see what you're doing.  Weak abs holding back that HSPU? Stay after class once a week and do some L-sits or sit-ups.  You got 140 as your 1 RM but you can't get 145, well, you go for 142, you approach that bar until you're the one intimidating it.

Just because you didn't RX a workout doesn't mean your workout is any less valuable.  Do you feel good about yourself, were you pushing as hard as you could?  Maybe if you RX'd, you would have had less reps, maybe your form wouldn't have been as good, maybe you would have given up on yourself.

If you didn't RX a workout, you are not a failure.  I came across this great quote today:

" There is no such thing as failure, only feedback."

If you can't RX, figure out why and strive to get better at those things.  If you did RX and you got a whole lot less reps than everyone else, figure out why.  Stop looking at yourself and your performance as an excuse to have a pity party- because nobody wants an invitation.  Instead, rise up, and tell yourself some positive feedback.  Every mistake you make, every failed attempt, is one step closer to getting it right.

There are 26 letters in the alphabet.  Stop focusing on two of them.  Here are some letters that I like to focus on:

You can add your own.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Because of You

Because of you standing next to me moving, I don't stop.

Because of you continuing to put forth effort day in and day out,  I work harder.

Because of you cheering me on, I got that extra rep.

Because of you and your desire to be something better, I am inspired.

Because of your voice and your enthusiasm, I got better.

Because of you and your presence, I look forward to coming to class every day.

Because of you, our box and our class are complete.  Maybe you can't RX every WOD, maybe you can't do any advanced movements, maybe you are still using the trainer bar for your lifts- you are important and you matter to me.  Without you, something is missing.

You are all the members of my box.

Because of you and your programming, I do things I am bad at.

Because of you and your knowledge, I am getting better at things I would not normally try.

Because of your compassion, I feel safe.

Because of your cues and attention, I feel confident.

Because of your smile, I feel welcome.

Because of your trust, I have a job that I love.

You are the owner of the box and my coach. You give us a wide variety of movements, weight schemes, rep schemes, wod designs, and time frames that keep the workouts interesting.  You recognize it's more than just a competition, you strive to make us better and keep us safe and healthy.  The time it takes to program like this is not short, that I know.  The grief you deal with, the time you take, the ear you lend... because of you we have the best box around.

Because of you I strive to improve on complex movements and increase the weights I can move.

Because of you and your unknown, I have something to look forward to.

Because of the challenges you present, I am able to test my limits.

Because of the movements I know you will test me with, I am constantly striving to achieve the next level.

Because of your deadline, I know I have to have a timeframe to achieve my goals.

Because of you, I have focused my training to make my weaknesses my strengths.

Because of you, I am forced to try things I normally talk myself out of or don't make the time for.

You are the crossfit open.  Even though I may not be good at all the moves, be able to perform all the standards, or even rank high compared to others, it's the one time that I am truly 100% motivated to finally attempt or train that move.  Thank you for challenging me and even if it was only for 14 minutes, you made me try something that I want to get better at but in all the other 364 days a year, can't seem to find the 14 minutes to do it.  Because of you, our Thursday nights are exciting, because of you, I have an excuse to get out of the house on Friday nights.  Because of you, I am having fun.

Because of you, I am getting better.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

You are awesome no matter what

You are awesome no matter what.

You did not sign up to walk in and compare yourself to people you didn't know.

You did not sign up to focus on what others are doing.

You signed up to get better, fitter, healthier, stronger, more confident.

Stop looking at what everybody else is doing.

You have 60 minutes from start to finish.  Use your time wisely to move more, lift better, build muscles, get good positions.

During the workout, focus on your range of motion, get into an unbeatable mindset- pay attention to yourself.  If you are using someone to pace yourself, fine.  But don't get caught up in watching people go through motions with bad form or not full range of motion- if you are focusing on the count of someone else's reps, you are wasting your own energy.  Use your energy to become more awesome.

You are awesome no matter what that person next to you is doing.

You are there for you.  You are not getting better if you feel spiteful, bitter, angry.  Let those emotions go.  This is life, people are going to lie, cheat, steal, take short cuts, but you do not have to be one of them.

If that person doesn't perform to standard or even skips a set, that is their loss.  You may show up lower on the whiteboard than them, BUT you are awesome no matter what.

Your score is used for you to push yourself against the clock, for you to push the you of yesterday to get that extra rep or that extra pound.  Do not allow your progress or yourself to be poisoned by the actions of others.  Instead, be humble, because you know deep down inside, you did the best you could do, you did the full range of motion, you know that the next time, you will get that extra rep, or you will be able to replace the 2.5's with 5's.

You have 60 minutes from start to finish- focus on you.  You are awesome no matter what score you get!  If today was the day you decided that you were going to hit the target on every single wall ball or no rep yourself on squats that weren't to depth, don't let that sour your attitude and poison your day when other people who didn't meet this standard scored higher than you.  Walk away, the only person your score really matters to is you and the person you want to become.

You are awesome no matter what!  Even if you have the lowest score on the board, you showed up and worked hard. You put in effort, which gave you a score.  You decided it was time to follow through and meet the standards for every single rep.  Don't get down on yourself because someday, that score will be higher or faster.

Everybody signed up for a reason.  Everybody keeps showing up for a reason, even if their score isn't their score, even if they can't get that position- they keep coming.  It's ok to be last, it's ok to be first, it's ok to be in the middle- everybody is awesome no matter what.  Some people need more convincing of this than others.  Instead of focusing on negativity, focus on making them feel confident with where they are and what they can do.

Work hard and leave with a smile on your face no matter what.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Attitude is Everything

That workout was NEVER going to be easy.

It is inevitable that there is going to be stuff you are not good at.  Stuff that will push you to your limits.  This is what you train for day in and day out- this is no different than the workouts you walk in and do every.single.day!

You got a PR?!  Well way to go!! It finally clicked!  Maybe your coach's cue rang in your head and you finally got it that time!  Maybe the adrenaline was rushing so hard it finally blocked your fear of pushing that weight overhead.  Maybe you were just ready because your hard work and training for hours and hours was about to pay off.

You didn't get a PR?, Well, way to go- you finished anyways!! No one can PR every single time they do a workout, that would be way too easy and boring.  There are still plenty of things to be positive about and grateful for.  Maybe you didn't make that PR lift, but maybe you raised the bar an inch higher than last time, maybe you felt your hips carry through for the first time.  You are now one attempt closer to the PR you so desire.  You are one step closer to being where you want to be, but you can't get there if you don't try.

Walk away from that non-PR and when someone asks you how you did, you put your chin up and you find something positive to say, "well I got less than my PR, but you know the bar felt lighter today", "I didn't die", "my hand didn't tear".  Who would you rather strike up a conversation with, someone sour or someone upbeat?

I'd like the share a small story from last year when I did the crossfit open.  This happened, it's embarrassing, but true, and I hope the same thing will not happen to you.

I got really mad after my 14.2 WOD. Here’s the thing, something happened, out of my control, and I got messed up and I couldn’t break through it. Guess what, I spent the rest of the night angry about it- I mean angry, so angry that my head felt like it was going to explode.  
Why was I mad? Because I knew I could do chest to bar pull ups better than last year, and my score did not prove that to me. It caused me to wonder, "how did I improve?" You know what, one WOD is not a testament to my whole year’s worth of training. We are going to have good days and we are going to have bad days.

I was eating dinner Friday night right after the workout and boy did I want to be alone, I didn’t want to hear any more whining and complaining from my kids- I just wanted silence and to eat my dinner while it was hot. I told Maeve (age 2) that I wanted to eat alone, she looked at me and said “Mommy I want to eat alone too”. Then, she proceeded to pull her chair as close as possible to mine and sat as close to me as she possibly could- so close I could not even move my arm. It made me laugh because she had no idea what she had said and went about her normal business of trying to eat as close as possible to me. 

The whole situation shed some light on the fact that getting mad over a bad workout- was so silly and if you can’t laugh about it, what can you do. The more time you spend doting about it, analyzing it, excusing it, isn’t going to change the fact that it happened and it is what it is. You cannot change the past, but you can let it help you change the future.

So, I did get better at chest to bar pull ups, in case you were wondering. Maybe my score did not show it, but since last year, I was able to use a normal grip while doing it and kipped through five in a row, can you say PR?!!! Looking at all the possible movements we have in crossfit and how you are going to get good at ALL of them is a very daunting task. Projecting a year in the future and how you will master something the next time it comes around seems easy, just an hour here, and an hour there. Well, a year passed and I really did not put in much extra work outside of the normal WODS. Maybe I am not as smooth with them, but I was stronger, faster, sleeker than last year, that’s for sure. 

“If you can brag about a low 4 minute mile or a high 400 bench press, you could also be a lot fitter. (No one has both).” -Greg Glassman


So, I’ve gotten a little better at a LOT of things and that’s where I want to be. Last week, I had to give a testimonial at church. I was baffled for weeks about what I wanted to write, when it hit me. We are all finite. Someday we will no longer be here and what do I want to leave behind?  I want to leave behind memories, I want to affect people, to encourage them, I want to leave behind spirit. I’ve been on a kick of getting rid of stuff so I can have more free time to have fun doing stuff rather than taking care of stuff. I came across a HUGE pile of medals I had won in various races between high school and now. I decided to throw them away. At the time I won them, they meant something and made me feel special. Now, I find that they are just taking up space. Each of my kids asked to keep one- a while back one of my neighbors came up to me bewildered and asked me when I was in the Olympics. I was like “WHAT?!” I had never been in the Olympics. She said, “Oh your son brought your gold medal to school for show and tell.”

Remember what you may shrug off as a bad performance may be a great one in someone else's eyes.  It's all about perspective.

Here’s the deal, we’ve all had accomplishments in our past and by looking at us now, no one really knows- but us, right? So, maybe you mess up a WOD or don’t do something you know you can do, don’t sweat it because it’s going to be in your past and no one is going to walk up on you on the street and ask you “how could you not have finished that last round”. You are the one who makes the choice to react a certain way or to let it go. Let it go, there's always another new WOD ready to be posted tomorrow- Focus on the big things- your friends, your family, your health.