Open Perspective

The Open is a good test of fitness. As leaders, we encouraged everyone to participate in this five week competition for a variety of reasons. These five weeks are an excellent opportunity to see where you are at, how far you’ve come and may give insights on what you need to work towards. It’s also a chance to gather together.

This is a great time of year, as long as you don’t lose perspective

Read the full blog here.

Checking into Facebook

A few weeks ago I was invited to visit Facebook’s office in Austin, Texas. As a user and a generally curious person, I was immediately intrigued to visit the place behind the social network.

I’ve spent a pretty good amount of time working on Facebook as a small business owner, contract storyteller and consultant. My focus has been building an online presence and working to develop a captive audience that enjoys their experience. Oddly enough I had not put much thought into how Facebook operates or what their end and systems look like.

My visit was outstanding.

It was such a pleasant surprise to find that they are doing the exact same thing that I am. Their focus is on the user and shipping them the best possible experience—reaching beyond what they can hope for and making that readily available.

Bullshit Writing - Johnathan Haynes

Encouragements, motivational quotes and support line the walls of the building and shine throughout just about every employee I encountered. Every aspect of the building has been thought out, curated and purpose driven. People that work there are placed in an environment that is meant for them to thrive in. Getting a real-life look at Facebook’s Austin office changed my perspective of Facebook as a whole. I appreciate what is being done and the opportunity the company provides in a new light. Facebook has indirectly given me a place to showcase my abilities and communicate a variety of ways. I can’t help but be grateful and excited to continue this unspoken partnership in business.

Thanks Facebook.

The Moment Before - CrossFit Jääkarhu

The Moment Before

The moment “right before” is easy to overlook. It’s easy recall the game-winning touchdown or hitting a PR in the gym. But what about right before that? 

Earlier this week I was in the gym taking pictures for an upcoming seminar and I accidentally took the photo above. This happens often and I normally discard these misfires. But this time I didn’t, instead I just starred at it. It’s right before Jess performed a muscle-up. She’s done 100s (if not 1000s) of them. This one wasn’t any more special than the last ten she has done. But look at the picture, it’s beautiful. She’s completely calm, focused and ready to do something uncommonly well. Seeing this made me wonder about how many of these moments are missed. They are definitely significant. Without them, the finished product would not occur. Excellence isn’t an accident. It’s a product diligence.

My takeaways are to see more beauty in abstract moments and focus on perfecting the “moment before” and see how it affects the finished product.

Details are the difference maker. Enjoy the adventure.

Jessica Estrada Karhu Academy copy


Photo courtesy of CrossFit Jääkarhu

Arriving in London

It’s been a week or two since I recently traveled to London,England. It was probably one of the best things I’ve done for myself. During the trip, I wrote. Here is a slice of the first day:

I landed in Heathrow airport early Wednesday morning. It was my fifth time at the airport but the first time to leave it.

Landing in London - Travel Adventures

Hello London. It’s so nice to finally meet you.

There is a certain thrill that comes with visiting another country. It’s difficult to capture, communicate or recreate in any other activity. Exploring is something that has been instilled in me since I was small. After organizing my excitement, I grabbed my bag off the carousel and went to look for my ride into town. Most of the time—when I travel in America— I prefer to be spontaneous and plan my transportation as a I go. But when traveling outside the U.S., I’ve quickly learned that I need to have all ducks in a row with backup ducks ready to go.

I pre-scheduled a ride from the airport to my hotel. I actually had one of those suited gentlemen waiting for me with my name on a sign—always wanted to be one of those people. He was from Kosovo, very professional and insisted upon snatching my bags from upon figuring out I was his fare. I felt official.

Car Ride - London

Mr. Driver led me to the car and opened the door for me on the left side of the vehicle. I thought it was odd that he wanted me to sit behind the drivers seat … wait, the wheel is on the right side of the vehicle … oh yeah, I am in the UK. For some reason, I only thought that was a thing in Australia. In school, geography and history were the subjects I paid the most attention to—but apparently not enough attention. Simple things, that I should know as an adult, continue to escape slash baffle and thrill me on my adventures.

Arrived at my hotel in Hyde Park

London Hotel 3 - Johnathan Haynes

I was immediately captivated by the architecture and atmosphere. It’s engrained into the identity of this country. Being in a new place heightens my curiosity . Everything become more noticeable and worth a closer look. Often times, I find myself looking at things I would normally cruise by and finding those things were worth the trouble.

The hotel room was simple, a place to keep my stuff. I settled my bags and rushed to get back outside and explore. Hyde Park was my first target. Normally I have pretty solid bearings and can navigate well, but it took me a minute to find my way around. Signs and just about everything else is slightly different in London, not difficult, just different. I got lost and ended up walking down a road with the Russian and Israeli embassies on it. Seeing guards with semi-automatic weapons is not a norm for me. I wanted to stare, but how long can you stare at someone whose holding a gun? No plans to find out.

Kensington Palace London 1

Hyde Park is huge! Everything about it was breathtaking. It took me a while to make way through the park grounds because I was too fully engaged in kid mode—trying to looking at  and capture everything. Even the squirrels look slightly different—in fact all of the animals, birds, dogs and everything in between looked familiar with a touch of foreign to me. The park was well manicured and vast. Sidebar: Actually, everything in the city—that I saw—was well taken care of … So many street sweepers, everywhere.  . I came across a house with a large gate with bronze finishings and a statue of William III. Immediately I searched for sign to read and find that this is the Kensington Palace. Official home of the Royal family. Cool.

Queen Vicotoria - London small

I kept walking and found Queen Vicotoria’s statute. At that point, it officially felt like I was walking through a history book at this time and I love that. I went by The Round Pond (which is more squarish than round) and head to the other end of the park. Walking up on the photo that’s featured on this blog was surreal. Subtly stunned. A massive monument in honor of Albert—Queen Victoria’s main man obviously.

The affect of 9+ hours of flying started to sink in and it was time for ime to trek back to food and the hotel. But my appetite to explore had only begun. I immediately planned to make Thursday the day I took the city. No true plans, maps or guides; just pack a bag and go. I had only been in London one day and the trip was already worth it.

Birds - London - Hyde Park JH

Enjoy the adventure.


Thanks for reading, if you enjoy my stories leave a thought, comment or continue to follow along. Subscribing to my blog on the right-hand side gets you my stories (and only my stories) as soon as they publish. 

Saturday Work

I woke up and had a normal Saturday morning debate—with myself—on whether or not I was going to workout. I’ve found that if I just start getting ready and put on clothes, I end up at the gym (CrossFit Jääkarhu). When I arrived, team training was getting started. Team training is an opportunity for athletes from multiple gyms to come together to compete and push each other. It’s a pretty cool environment to observe, but I was there to work, so I hoped on the erg. Without thinking, I set the meter count to 10,000 and began a long journey. It was a really good 45-minute experience for me. There is a lot to think about, observe and learn from throughout the course of a row that long. Afterwards, I felt pretty accomplished. It was my first 10k row, ever. My splits are below.



Johnathan Haynes 10k Row


After this little stroll, I took some shots of some of the action taking place in the gym.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ricky Redus today and watch him (easily) walk through a 10-bar snatch ladder.

Ricky Redus

 Megan of CrossFit Woodward playing on the rope.

Megan Carter

Ingrid and Brittany during a partner workout.

Ingrid Kantola and Brittany Fergueson - CrossFit Jääkarhu


To sum it up, it was a solid day all around with a bunch of talented folks. Until next time.

Team Training at CrossFit Jääkarhu


An Unpaved Road

Today I slipped into a thoughtful space here is a glimpse:

Success: It is not a paved road with well-lit signs and directions. Deciding to go after what you want often begins the most challenging times of your life. Struggle and frustration move in as your new neighbors and the mailman seems to bring you envelopes full of stress, daily. There are moments where you look around and feel like nothing is perfect and it all was a big mistake … but something you can’t explain nudges you forward, so you continue. In good faith, you plant seeds of confidence and trust along the way—a sign of belief that you can make it. …

Read the rest.

Favorite Photo – I Never Posted

This is my favorite of the photos I never posted. I remember it clearly: I was eating when asked to take a photo for media … I totally botched it (haha) and we ended up using a video instead. Throughout the years, I’ve covered the folks in this picture numerous times. But this time, I remember looking through my iPhone screen and realizing who was looking back at me …. Nearly a decade of Championships and excellence at one table. I had a serious “woah” moment. I’ll never forget that. Cheers to an unforgettable 2014. Thanks for following along. I so looking forward to the upcoming CrossFit Games Season.

See you next year.

Enjoy the Adventure

Travel Sweats

I am on a plane again. It seems like I have said this 30 or more times this year (and that’s probably accurate). This time I am headed to hang out with one of my bros. We are not related by blood, but that doesn’t really matter. He is one of seven people who have hung with me—through thick and thin— since before I knew who I was. That feels like such a long time ago. More than 15 years. Wow. Anyway, he is working to become a sustainable farmer and set up a working ranch for youths. I am heading his way to help do some farm stuff, teach his kids bad habits and kick it.


Sitting in the airport a few hours ago, I could feel myself start to throttle back. I have been on-the-go since … January. I can’t tell you where this year has gone. It has blown by for me. I didn’t get it when people said that in the past, but this year, I felt the wind.


There are three big goals on my radar. There is a focus, a passion that drives me towards these goals. At the base of all this is my family and faith. Without those two things, it can be next to impossible to press on at times. I am thankful for the people in my life who have support me regardless of where I am or what I am trying to do. It’s a replenishing comfort and a fueling drive. I am making it a point to show more appreciation of that gift and not just wait “till I make it.” Being driven is not an excuse to not appreciate the ride. I am looking forward to catching up with loved ones and throttling back on “what I do” for a little bit. It’s Christmas after all. Make sure the ones that matter to you know so.

Enjoy The Adventure.

All that I Can

I’ve sat down to write several times over the past few weeks but each time I have found a way to get distracted. Usually I tell myself that something is more pressing or important and that I will write “later tonight.”

Later is always out of reach

Don’t worry this is not one of those times where I’ll harp on doing things now, this is a time to reflect on what is going on around us. To look around and notice the motion of life. At the beginning of this journey, I started to talk more, describe who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. Architect … opportunity architect … craftsman … Storyteller. Yeah, that’s me. I didn’t quite know how to say it at first, so I said too much. I was willing to risk being wrong in order to know what was right. It feels good to understand what I am doing—to know the work I do has value. A value that is not limited to me but available to those around me, an investment in the future.

The future is always something to reach for

So what am I doing? I am living in Austin, Texas. I am traveling to every place I can go. There is constant brainstorming, planning and execution in light of an idea that is so tangible I swear I can touch it. There is rest, recovery and reflection in much-needed pockets and planned break times. I am making mistakes, learning quickly and implementing new ideas. I am pushing myself harder than anyone can push me—accepting an (seemingly) insurmountable challenge and gaining ground. I am laughing, crying, singing (mostly in the car) and enjoying every moment of this adventure. I am writing, tweeting, checking in, editing, framing and generating a new status. There is a story to be told and I am on the path, using every tool to best tell it.

When asked “What I do,” I struggle to nail down a specific job description.

I am not a job, I am on a journey

“But what exactly are you doing?” 

I am doing all that I can


Today is Thanksgiving and the meaning of this holiday rings especially true with me. 

It’s been quite the year for me and for many. Many of the people I have interacted with this year have gone through a great challenge or change. This collective period of growth has shown me so much about myself and the company I keep. I am grateful to be counted among the CrossFit Community at large and CrossFit Jääkarhu. The people of CrossFit Jääkarhu are a special bunch to me. It is beyond my capabilities to describe how much their support and involvement fuels my drive to help make their desires a reality.

Thinking about what I am grateful for is an overwhelming activity. There are so many people who have influence my joy, some without even knowing it. I am thankful for the opportunity to travel and experience life outside what’s comfortable. My support system … my family … close friends, words cannot convey my thanks.

I am thankful the opportunity to live life the way I believe it should be lived—the ability to try new things, make mistakes, continually learn, push to improve and make an impact. Ingrid, Michael, Karen, Ben and Jessica are leaders of a shared dream that I am grateful to be a part of.

This list could go on for a while. It’s hard to narrow it down and cover everything … but if you are reading this now, you have a slice of my gratitude. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving

Read the full blog here.