Moving Weight

Last friday a pretty fun clean and jerk cycle that began with two clean and jerks every minute on the minute (EMOM) for five minutes. The final five minutes were one clean and jerk. I started at 235 lb. and finished at 335 lb. It was a good day.

I happened to leave my lifting shoes at home and things still worked out fine. I always used to lift in chucks so it was kind of a throwback.


From time to time, I struggle. With life responsibilities and self imposed pressure to achieve the things I want. To say the least I live uncommonly, almost to a fault sometimes. Mainly because too many incredible individuals have invested in me and I refuse to half ass my life. I am focused and driven to achieve my goals. Despite my motivation, I still struggle sometimes. I slip into this deep place of heaviness to where it feels like an inch is a marathon away. These times don’t last very long, but they are not the best of times.

Oddly enough, I am starting to look forward to these moments. The times where I push myself a little bit too much and momentarily loose sight of my vision. Why? Because of what comes next… It seems that when you push yourself beyond your limits and feel like you cannot move another inch, you receive a simple reminder and then you break through. Mine reminder was Fran.

[Quick Snapshot]

Francisca Mardones aspired to make the Olympic Games, she spent years on her craft. An injury sustained during a landslide left her with a broken back and severely damaged spinal cord. She fought through a years of recovery rehabilitation to be able to have use of her legs. [That alone is a feat I could spend a year talking about]    I remember meeting Fran after a workout and learning how she had competed in the 2012 London Paralympic Games, entering ranked 25th in the world (Austin 360). Aspiration achieved, in my opinion.

[Don’t Water this Down]

This isn’t about “what’s your excuse,” feeling sorry for anyone or anything like that. I look at Fran and see a champion, I see what I want to be. She was dealt a challenge and from what I can see, she is kicking its ass. She shows up to our gym and works harder than most, training for her next tennis endeavor ( I think she is ranked even higher now). On this past tuesday I was gasping for air after finishing a portion of a workout and I look up to see Fran with sandbag attached to her wheel chair, dragging it across the gym floor. She then proceeded to do work with the conditioning ropes and even a barbell movement. Seeing that changed my whole posture – mentally and physically. I stood up straight, composed myself and moved on to the next phase of training. It is a privilege to be able to CrossFit. Fran does’t take it for granted and neither will I.

There are many things in this world that will push against you, pull you down and try to take you out. If you have an aspiration for greatness, it is guaranteed to be in your path. The question is: What will you do? Do not get lost in doubt, instead realize that you have been brought to the edge of a cliff because you were meant to build a bridge to the other side. 


Fran with her coach, Nyki Helmcamp 


Another training cycle is in the books. Looking back it was probably the most difficult ones yet. Training freakin’ sucks sometimes. Training at CrossFit Central brings with it a level of expectations that can crush you if you don’t understand what you are doing.

If you lose sight of your goals will find yourself hating what you claim to love. For a few weeks this was me. Somewhere in the middle of a hellacious squat wave I broke mentally. Losing sight of my goals, I drifted off into a terrible limbo of indifference and frustration. Workouts were not fun, in fact they hurt and seemed to be in the way. And then came the Open..(I’ve already out that subject to bed so if you aren’t caught up on that, read my previous blogs). Despite all of my missed lifts, last place finishes and mediocre performances I managed to do one thing right. I kept showing up. Each day I put my excuses aside and gave each day  a go. I am not condoning just showing up. But some days that is all you can do. Sometime maintaining is its own victory.

Training isn’t supposed to be easy. It is meant to push, shove or even sometimes drag you through the mud in order to progress. This last cycle has been one of the hardest things I’ve done in a while. But I stuck with it and paid my dues. During De-Load week, I set a Personal Record in the following lifts:

Most attempted Muscle Ups W/O a miss: 17

  • Fastest Mile
  • 455 lbs Squat
  • 320 Clean & Jerk
  • 1st workout completed unbroken
  • 300lbs Bench (not an all time PR but its been a while)

Point being – sometimes you need to struggle. Sometimes progress is draped with pain. Good training is meant to break you. Welcome it.

The Worst 4 Minutes

The Worst 4 Minutes – My 13.5 Experience

The Open has been 5 weeks of lessons, stress, excitement, growth, ups, downs and frustration. The first two workouts got the best of me, but I began to come into my own after having a huge break through on 13.3. After putting up a solid showing on 13.4, I was excited to close out the Open strong. And then the workout was announced…..

I cannot lie I was in shock for about a day and then I started to get excited about the challenge. I knew I could make it out of the first round. Last year, no way, but this year I had the skills and if I executed everything perfectly, I would make it. Leading up to the workout, I would bounce from being excited about the challenge to weary of the pain.

I showed up yesterday (Friday) ready to go. My plan was to go for it full tilt and leave it on the mat.

[The Workout Begins] I flew out of the gates (as planned) executing the first two rounds almost perfectly. ALMOST! On my second round of C2B Pull Ups,  I got lost and came of the bar with only 13 reps completed(Critical Mistake 1). That cost me valuable time. In the midst of that confusion, I made critical mistake 2. I miss heard the time keeper while executing my final round of thrusters (my fault not his) causing me to break my last round at the 3 minute mark when I could have pushed through and completed the set unbroken. As soon as I let go of the barbell an unexplainable pain engulfed my entire body. I have NEVER felt anything like that before. I worked tried to pull it together, but it was too late. I finished with 77 reps. I was disappointed to say the absolute least.

[Re-Do] I have had no desire to re-do a workout until 13.5. It has been eating at me ever since I completed the workout. But I will hold true to one and done and accept my score. If I were to do this workout again, it would not be for the right reasons or intentions. This is will be a tremendous lesson for me to digest over the next year. That is probably a good thing.

Overall I am so proud of myself and how I performed in the 2013 Open. I am so ready to get back to work.

The picture above is of Chelsea Ross from RedBlack Gym. She showed up and smashed 13.5. 138 Reps – It was awesome to watch!

Photo Credit: Nicole Hughes

Constant Teacher

The barbell has no meaning, except that which you impress upon it. The barbell force soreness, bloody or callused hands upon you. It doesn’t ask you to pick it up when you are exhausted. It does not want to be slammed down victoriously when you break through a performance barrier. The barbell asks nothing of you. You ask it of yourself to perform. The barbell is a merely a reflection of you.

This metal is simply and instrument of your maturation. The rules do not change, you only learn how to better operate within them. The barbell remains constant, It is you that transforms.