We all do.
One thing becomes obvious—and not because we planned for it to—and that is that an effort shared by a group changes the dynamic of the group, which has the power to change me.
I say it’s obvious because writing it down now doesn’t seem profound at all, but looking up and looking back through the narrow vision that a 4-10min push up a 400m hill, that starts at 7000ft, allows you to feel just like the person next to you and even the person far back from you. It’s as useful as an eyebrow raise to friend or a smirk to an enemy, both convey understanding, neither of them require words.
Shared experience changes the type of conversation one can have. Ego and pretension can’t carry a voice to a person that has seen you hurt. This allows for honesty to be the currency that is most frequently paid with hubris and insecurity. This allows everyone involved the opportunity to learn.
There are probably too many random thoughts floating in my head from a weekend spent discussing and disseminating to accurately portray how much I get out of a weekend spent with peers and people I respect, but it could only happen how it did because of the effort given. So thank you for those who came and those gave, our practice is better because of you.
10min easy bike
10m of everything
5min third world squat + goodies
For Time as teams of 6
40x push us (must be completed by each individually before anyone on team moves on)
200 calories Air Bike (completed as team)
80x burpee (must be completed by each individually before anyone on team moves on)
200 calorie bike erg (completed as team)
120x air squats (must be completed by each individually before anyone on team moves on)
200 calories ski erg (completed as team)
Someone, somewhere posted something that I disagreed with and I thought that telling them my opinion was a waste of time. So now we are here: me telling you my opinion. If you disagree, feel free to write about it elsewhere.
The gist of this post—by a well known “fitnessing company”—was about complaints from athletes about the uncontrollables of a situation. Their example was of someone complaining about the heat during training, and how this poisons the group. This is—by my best estimation—what people are labeling: positive mindset training. And this is why I think they are full of shit.
People complain because they are unprepared, scared or have something important to address. Yes, there are people that complain incessantly, but do they actually fall outside of the categories I described? I don’t think they do, they are just harder to educate, or uneducate-able.
I think the inherent job of a coach is to address all of the reasons people complain, usually it is complaints about their physical self (body image, capability) but will also include basic things they don’t understand or know how to feel about. Let’s use the example above, heat acclimatization. An athlete will only complain about the heat because A) he/she doesn’t know how to take care of his/herself during increased temperatures or B) they know their performance will suffer and they are afraid that it will not live up to a standard set by a coach (they don’t know how to get positive feedback, or think that positive feedback is the purpose; both can be fixed by removing emotional responses to objective outcomes). Both of these things are fixable, the latter is probably the more dangerous when it comes to progression because the coach has become a hierarchical signpost for approval. But ignoring both is a lazy-as-fuck way to deal with people. Also, labeling “heat” as uncontrollable doesn’t acknowledge the fact that you can very much control your reaction to heat. Coaches who claim that they don’t accept complaining sound like—to me—they are saying, “I don’t accept feedback”.
Telling someone to just suck it up has its place, but not in the face of real knowledge, which is what I see when CrossFit coaches step outside the comfort of their “box” and have the same level of ignorance about self care as the people they are supposedly “teaching”. We see this even at the highest levels of the sport, where, in the face of real advice, you have coaches that pretend the nuances of barbell training cross over to the dynamics of hydration and long aerobic effort. Yes, it is in the Krebs cycle. No, you don’t understand it.
From the argument that “complaining is negative self talk”, fuck you, how is that for negative? “Complaining” can just as easily be described as accurate reflection of our circumstances. It is realism. And if people are unable to deal with the reality of a situation it is a clear signal they are underprepared or worse, delusional.
So at what point does describing a situation become negative self-talk, endangering the dynamics of a group, and when does positive ignorance of a circumstance become “head in the sand” reactions to being unable to deal with the realities of life?
There is a fine line for how we adhere to social dynamic rules in order to control our environment. This last week we had a few new people who were underprepared to deal with the intensity of the training listed below. Watching them hover over the garbage can in shame reminded me that I did not fully educate them on how to dose their effort. They were disappointed with themselves and I was with myself. They poisoned themselves by not knowing how to control their body and complained about it (by not being able to help with the work load) but they were far from poisoning the group dynamic, because we have all been there. We have all been led into deep water and floundered, not living up to our expectations. And we have all come up with various excuses and complaints as to why that happened. It is far from poisoning, it is learning.
The difference is in having a guide that can translate a complaint into a question, and then taking the time to foster the appropriate lesson.
5-10min easy spin
“Credit card” 10m (it compounds and gets worse)
Lunge + kick
Lunge + Kick + SLDL
Lunge + Kick + SLDL + Pistol
10m bear crawl
!0m bear crawl + kick out
10m duck walk
10m frog hop
10m hop + burpee + broad jump
“Have Your Cake and Eat It Too”
Teams of 6 (full effort) one person working at a time
-cal assault bike
-burpee (must do at least 5)
-cal ski erg
-air squat (must do at least 10)
The group size changed the dynamic. It is something we are thankful for because circumstances allow us to push to a place that is hard to get to without the environment, or at the very least unsustainable.
Erin qualified for French Throwdown at the end of June. She has allowed me to guide her training in order to sharpen her abilities. Over the next few weeks I will be posting some of her training. this is not a “how to”, The prerequisite for this training to work is being her. But if you know enough about her and her current state, seeing this might help one understand how we guide.
30min bike erg easy
Every 5min for 30min
2min bike erg @ 185-200w
5x push press @35s DB +20m overhead walk
20x push ups
Plank for remainder.
Warm: technical BB warm up
Work up to heavy double power snatch
1-2-3-4-5 ring muscle up
MU technical work
Pick personal training that is greater than 90min
Warm 10m of everything
Squat Hell 10min
10-20-30-40-50 double under (each set must be unbroken)
20x wall balls
20m walking overhead lunge 50/35 DB
20x cal air bike
50-40-30-20-10 double under (each set must be unbroken)
This is a play on a workout by OPT called flight simulator.
5 rounds NFT
20cal bike erg
20 walking lunges
10x scap pull
10x hollow swing
5x strict pull up
15sec hold at the top
Hand stand walk 3 attempts max distance between rounds
Alt. EMOM/ 60minutes
7x Burpee pull up
9x Chest to bar
9x burpee box jump
11x wall ball
AM LSD 60min
5min third world squat
3 times through
10x pistol kick outs
10x Cossack swift kick outs
10x deck squats
Work to heavy snatch complex (25min cap)
1x high hang + 1x hang + snatch balance + OHS
Push jerk from tack
30min Convo pace
Mobilize shoulders with band
3x10 hollow rock
3x10 bird dog
3x10 hollow swing
3x10 scap pull up
3 rounds NFT
3x wall walk
6x shoulder taps (feet together)
9m bear crawl
Rest as needed between
Olympiganza power clean +power jerk
EMOM starting at 55lbs do one C&J + 4 burpees over bar. Add 10lbs every minute go until failure or unable to get the work done in the required minute.
21x ball over shoulder @100lbs
21x pull ups
15x ball over shoulder @100lbs
15x chest to bar
9x ball over shoulder
9x muscle ups.
“To exist is to survive unfair choices”
Strip everything down to its most basic truth. It isn’t about the question itself but the nature of questioning the Self.
5 rounds NFT
Work to heavy snatch complex
1x Snatch + 1x hang snatch + 1 OHS
3 rounds for time
80min MTB at easy pace
How Do You Do?
I made a run South this weekend to exact revenge on the Schaffer climb in Moab, UT. I think I was staring up at the same spot that I retreated from last time when I had a familiar feeling, like I wasn’t going to make it. The climb is staggering, perhaps because the buy-in is not an easy one. Erin must have seen my pained face because although she was having a hard time 2 hours in on her very first MTB ride in 13-years, she affirmed that she would give it a try.
I hate putting people in bad positions because it usually means that I put myself there too. I was expecting 4-hours in the saddle, and thought if she could make it to the top then it would be a fairly simple coast back to the car. Paradoxically, I love falling prey to a bad position on accident, the unintended consequence of ego + distance + stupidity, I never want it but I always need it.
Erin was taking her time, taking care of herself, and giving me the distance I needed to do whatever it was that I needed to do. I thought that I would jet to the top, rest up for 10-15 while she plotted along, but getting up and looking back at a distant image of her walking had me worried so I descended and found her cramping up 6 switchbacks from the top. She assured me she was fine and that she would make it, so up I went a second time, passing the monolith bends that had evil angles that only a granny gear could contend with.
I was feeling fairly proud of myself, like I made up for some injustice that was bestowed upon me when from the top I glanced down to see Erin fall over into a ditch, she had barely made it up one more switchback. I didn’t even have to ask because I’ve been in that same position, so empathy had me back down the climb once again.
Telling some one to get up and keep moving who is experiencing involuntary muscle cramps is the sweet reminder that all of us have athletically induced amnesia. I could have tried to explain what she did wrong, but I don’t really think there was anything in particular, other than going too far or too hard, but is that really wrong? I mean that is what we are out here to do… to learn how to do and part of that doing is learning how to put the wheels back on once they fall completely off.
I kept checking my watch but by the time we got to the top and she was able to remount and start spinning easy I knew the 4-hours that had already passed would soon be 5 and then 6.
In the end I came to get what I wanted but ended up with what I needed, a long haul in the saddle, but even more so, to know that I share my life with an incredibly stubborn but equally inspiring human being who knows how to do.
Work to heavy snatch or clean and jerk
Each individual must complete the buy in before the team work begins.
Only choose one movement per option (ie; burpee + KBS + HSPU)
2-4-6-8-10-12-14 wall ball/KB swing
As a team of 5 complete:
5km row + 5km ski
20min time cap, timer starts when the first person from each team finishes their buy in. 2 people may work at once.
Ride: MTB 5hr56min 4800ft of elevation