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Thursday, April 27, 2017

POV

I missed my noon-time training today due to a meetings, so I went later in the day. On the way to the gym I stopped to check on one of the guys who trains with me, to make sure he was still alive mostly. While visiting with him for a moment, another co-worker (she leads of ladies training group) stopped by and said, "how come every time I check on you guys, your'e always laying on the floor?"

"Because 'CrossFit'! That's why!"

Hey, when you put out all you got and can't stand at the end, then you deserve to lay where ya fall.


Ok, no way to arrange those pics to look like I'm not broken.

Anyway, today's dog food was "Death By Clean and Jerk." (see where the laying down aka "Deadman's Pose" in Yoga comes in?)

Setting a timer to go off every minute, using a 95# Dumbbell, did:
1 Clean and Jerk the 1st minute
2 Clean and Jerks the 2nd minute
3 Clean and Jerks the 3rd minute
4 Clean and Jerks the 4th minute and so on.
I only lasted 8 rounds.
BUT that totals 36 Clean and Jerks for a whopping 3420 pounds.

You think about a lot of things down there on the floor, like how good it feels to be alive . . .

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Next Up

Bear Bait! Hoss! Grab yer packs! The mountains are calling!

Sometime next month I hope to have climbed Sassafrass Mountain (at 3,563 feet) and Table Rock Mountain (3,425). These are two of the highest peaks in a mountains chain found along the 80 mile Foothills Trail that runs along the border of North and South Carolina.


Haven't decided yet if this is going to be a two day hike (hike a section and end on the highest peaks) or do more days and shoot for the whole 80 miles. For a "cross section" map of the elevations covering the entire trail, click here (and don't forget to scroll down as the map is in two parts). 

Doing the Black Crest Trail a couple years ago, we took two days. I lost 6 pounds and was taken to the borders of my existence climbing the highest peak in NC (at 6,683 feet). This year's trip would bring us to the highest peak in SC (3,120 shorter than Mitchell), completing a significantly longer trail.

I'll be 50 this year and every part of me is saying "why not?"

But then I also know what every part of me will be saying at the end of it all. (Note to self: buy epson salts).

And I also know that every part of me will be looking for the next climb in about a week's time after my return. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Late Nite Snack


Was up late doing a little writing when I got the munchies.
Kinda looks like Millenni-ham Falcon.
Wonder if it's flown by Ham Solo . . . ?
Better go . . . before it gets Chewy. 

I crack me up. 

Living With Adjustments

M. Scott Peck in the 1978 book that made him famous, The Road Less Traveled describes (in so many words) life as terrain, so we need a “map”. Immediately one ruffles through the mental index, checking all the metaphors used to describe life: strange; a dream; a seed; a river; a box of chocolates; a mountain railway; a highway; a journey; a beautiful ride; a cereal, and so forth.

Solomon Rabinovich (better known as Sholem Aleichem, author of “Fiddler On The Roof”, a beautifully tragic portrayal of life in it’s own way) is credited with saying that, “Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.” So what is life? Peck assumes that life is territory to be explored and in order to find our way, we need a kind of representation, a chart that reveals the arrangement of the area, or what he calls, a “route to reality.”

Peck holds that we are born without maps so we must make them and the more effort dedicated to its formation, the more one is able to appreciate reality. Map-making has changed over time, which means gone are the days when men either recorded where they’ve been or were able to chart the course that lay ahead from the high points. It’s difficult to chart a course if one cannot see where he is going. Accuracy is required for map to work properly, so maps require revision.

Peck redefines “transference,” as “that set of ways of perceiving and responding to the world which is developed in childhood and which is usually entirely appropriate to the childhood environment . . . but which is in appropriately transferred into the adult environment.”

Perhaps an illustration will help. A scene in the movie “Hook,” shows the adult Peter Pan (Peter Banning) in a moment of retreat from Captain Hook saying, “I remember you being a lot bigger” and Hook replies, “to a 10 year-old, I’m huge.” Presuppositions must constantly change until they are in line with reality and perception has much to do with that. The difficulty for us is that the world is constantly changing. Our world has been flattened by technology. A friend recently commented how he is able to stay at home and virtually scuba dive a reef half-way around the world. How are we to update our “maps” so we are able to navigate this terrain called life?


Self-discipline and truth are important to Peck, for in these one is able to alter the map and in turn, make adjustment to perceived reality. Let’s try an experiment: take out a flat world map and look it over. Notice the country size. As many times as you’ve looked at a map, you’ve may never have known how inaccurate that map is compared to reality. Greenland, for example might be appear huge on your map in contrast to Japan. But if you put them side by side as they exist in reality, Japan is almost exactly the same length as Greenland. Take a look at Russia then notice how small China appears. In actual size, China overlaps Russia. Which is bigger: Canada or Australia? Did you know that Brazil is larger than Alaska? Reality never changes. Something's wrong with the map (we stretch the poles).

The inescapable component of change is pain, discomfort. Felt a little weird to do that experiment, didn't it? It doesn’t hurt to change your mind, but there are times when a challenged presupposition can feel like a train wreck. One must be committed to truth or face great harm in the grind of reality. And there’s the rub: we don’t like pain. Pain hurts. And if change brings us pain, then we tend to avoid the hurt of that change. The result is that our perception and our interaction with reality becomes skewed. Peck would say that we are navigating the terrain of life with an inaccurate map, lying to ourselves.

Socrates, under the sentence of death said, “ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ (“the unexamined life is no life for a man”). One must be open to change, to make the necessary adjustments or he will be broken on life’s hard places.

The problem with Peck’s premise is he assumes we make the map as we go. If that’s the case, then how do we know the way? How do we make a map we are to follow? Our maps only record where we’ve been--and Peck does not simply mean learn from your mistakes. “Transference happens” if you want to put it that way. 

Peck’s book begins with the statement that life is hard. And it’s true. Life is just plain hard. The easy part's behind you. Someone said that, "fife ain’t always beautiful, but it is a beautiful ride." Decisions must be made. That’s what happens at the twists and turns, decisions. Fork in the road? Decision. You think you’re on your way, and suddenly there’s a dead end. But it’s not a dead end. It’s an obstacle to get over, or go around. The journey isn’t over. Life goes on. 

Don’t ever get tired of walking. Keep going and as you go, make adjustments. Let the truth do its work. But as you're going, note where you've been. And share the wisdom with someone. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Remembering Shakespeare

401 years ago, the greatest writer of all time died. It goes without saying how marvelously his work thrives still today. Here's a list of 10 movies that you didn't know were based (or loosely based) on his work. So like him or not, you've seen Shakespeare (more or less). Who remembers #7, at the 3:50 mark?



Number 4 is one of my favorites.

I think it's only fitting as we recognize the longevity of this incredible writer that we take a few minutes to consider what's changed over the years, particularly regarding the speech, the accents and language of Shakespeare's time.



Lastly, as thou hast tarrie'd so long,
let us relish here the high exposition
a duet, a ditty, a rolicking song
 of  "Who Doth Inhabit The Primary Position,"
(as played in the original Elizabethan):

Friday, April 21, 2017

50 Years!

It was 50 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper put the mic's away.

That's right! 50 years ago today, the Beatles wrapped up recording what is perhaps one of the greatest albums of all time by putting the finishing touches on "A Day In The Life."

I hear through the internet(s) that a 50 year anniversary re-issue of the album is planned for May 26.

That would be awesome.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Best Mash-up Of All Time, Ever

I like The Who and I like Johnny Cash (who doesn't?) but this guy likes both more than anyone I think. Just . . . amazing. 


Who'd-a-thunk? 
Well, this guy, apparently. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Peace For The Marathon Boy

Today was the Boston Marathon. Congratulations to the winner.

But do you remember Martin? He was 8 years old when he died at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 when two bombs exploded. Martin was one of three who died that day. 264 others were injured.

A marathon is a long race and it is said that the first "marathon" was run by a Greek soldier who ran to Athens with the news that Greeks had defeated the Persians at The Battle Of Marathon. It was a race to bring good news. An "evangelion," that is, "good news," of sorts.

In the video below you'll note that Martin had a message. There's a picture of Martin holding a blue sign that says, "No more hurting people. Peace." Martin believed in peace and he seemed to be vocal about it. That's about all I know about Martin, that he stood for peace.

There's a personal thought here though: I'm a father and a grandfather with thoughts and feelings that only a father can have for his children. The kinds of things that Martin's father must have had for his son. There are so many ways a father can lose a child, a son or daughter--and losing a child hurts. Especially when children make choices that are not the best. When a child chooses to make better choices, then a father's heart races. But you know what? I'll always love my sons and daughters, no matter what. Even to my own hurt. I pray peace on my kids.

One of my favorite bands recorded this beautiful piece in memory of Martin, The Marathon Boy. I hope his message of peace resonates with you as you listen.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tolkien Got It Right



And a little glimpse of what Heaven:

Friday, April 14, 2017

"On Keeping A Notebook" by Joan Didion

I'm nearly finished reading Joan Didion's collection of essays, Slouching Towards Bethlehem. The book was discovered through another book I was reading, Jon Krakauer's Eiger Dreams. If Jon felt this book was good enough to pack along on a mountain climbing expedition, then I'm interested. Took me three tries, but I finally found my copy on Amazon. One of the best book buys I've made.

Joan selected the title of this book from William Butler Yeats' classic poem, Second Coming. The book title is shared with one of her larger essays, a record of encounters with people in the 1960's drug culture. Didion's book is divided into three distinct parts: "Life Styles In The Golden Land," a collection of articles capturing the California experience of the 1960's; "Personals," a few of essays of the first-hand nature; and "Seven Places Of The Mind", some thoughts about those parts of California that are now long gone.

One essay found in the second part made me dive for a highlighter. Her words resonate with me in, "On Keeping A Notebook." Here she thinks out loud about the reasons why one maintains a journal--causing me to re-think and even appreciate more deeply on what keeping a notebook is all about.

************

"Why did I write it down? In order to remember, of course, but exactly what was it I wanted to remember? How much of it actually happened? Did any of it? Why do I keep a notebook at all? It is easy to deceive oneself on all those scores. The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. . . . 

 . . . Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss. . . .

[T]he point of my keeping a notebook has never been, nor is it now, to have an accurate factual record of what I have been doing or thinking. That would be a different impulse entirely, an instinct for reality which I sometimes envy but do not possess. At no point have I ever been able successfully to keep a diary; my approach to daily life ranges from the grossly negligent to the merely absent, and on those few occasions when I have tried dutifully to record a day’s events, boredom has so overcome me that the results are mysterious at best. . . .

How it felt to me: that is getting closer to the truth about a notebook. . . See enough and write it down, I tell myself, and then some morning when the world seems drained of wonder, some day when I am only going through the motions of doing what I am supposed to do, which is write — on that bankrupt morning I will simply open my notebook and there it will all be, a forgotten account with accumulated interest, paid passage back to the world out there . . . I imagine, in other words, that the notebook is about other people. But of course it is not. I have no real business with what one stranger said to another . . . 

It is a difficult point to admit. We are brought up in the ethic that 10 others, any others, all others, are by definition more interesting than ourselves; taught to be diffident, just this side of self-effacing . . .  . our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable “I.” We are not talking here about the kind of notebook that is patently for public consumption . . . we are talking about something private, about bits of the mind’s string too short to use, an indiscriminate and erratic assemblage with meaning only for its maker. And sometimes even the maker has difficulty with the meaning. . . .

It all comes back. Perhaps it is difficult to see the value in having one’s self back in that kind of mood, but I do see it; I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be . . .

It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about. And we are all on our own when it comes to keeping those lines open to ourselves: your notebook will never help me, nor mine you. . . ."

Read the full essay here.

I think next I'll read her essay, "Why I Write."


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Elements of Suspense



In this Open Culture post, "Lessons From The Screenplay" creator Michael Tucker explores "the nature and tensions of suspense." Click through to: How Quentin Tarantino Creates Suspense in His Favorite Scene, the Tension-Filled Opening Moments of Inglourious Basterds. (spoiler alert)


It doesn't matter if you like Tarantino or not--the truth remains that we are captivated by suspense. Spend the next 15 minutes in this "master class" to better understand the mechanism behind those spell-binding, nail-biting scenes that keep us coming back for more. 

Genius. Pure genius. 

Sunday, April 09, 2017

A Wiser Man

τούτου μὲν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐγὼ σοφώτερός εἰμι· κινδυνεύει μὲν γὰρ ἡμῶν οὐδέτερος οὐδὲν καλὸν κἀγαθὸν εἰδέναι, ἀλλ᾽ οὗτος μὲν οἴεταί τι εἰδέναι οὐκ εἰδώς, ἐγὼ δέ, ὥσπερ οὖν οὐκ οἶδα, οὐδὲ οἴομαι· ἔοικα γοῦν τούτου γε σμικρῷ τινι αὐτῷ τούτῳ σοφώτερος εἶναι, ὅτι ἃ μὴ οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι.

“I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.” (Plato’s, "Apology”)

My world is mostly academic. Five years of study has gained both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree and the last 17 years has been filled by my continued employment at a University. We have educated all our children at home and though this is the graduating year for our youngest from High School, this has also been my wife’s freshman year in college. Someone’s either reading or writing or surfing Netflix and YouTube for something educational (and the occasional brainless activity of just watching for entertainment). Regardless, seems there’s a boatload of knowledge around the house. As I reflect on what I’ve learned, the subjects I’ve taught, the papers I’ve written--while considering my bookshelves, notebooks, the near-to-bursting filing cabinets and the unfathomable collection of electronic resources I’ve collected, I’ve come to appreciate the Socratic paradox just a little more, “I know that I know nothing.”

A number of years ago I met a man who set about disposing through various means a room full of books. I stood looking over boxes and boxes of books wondering not how a fellow could have collected so much and wondering what it was that moved the same man to part with the same collection. Asking him about his change of heart, I recall how he looked at me with a hint of visible sadness and said, “I just don’t need them any more.” Needless to say that he blessed me with no small number of his books, but now I’ve found myself nearly in the same position. A point of saturation, as it were. I myself have let a number of books go, but not without some serious soul-searching. I’ve collected with a purpose and that is to leave a legacy (of sorts) of knowledge.

Then there’s that paradox again. What do I know? Of all my learning, teaching, what do I know? “I know that I know nothing.” I find a kind of liberation with the thought in that, while it is impossible to retain much of anything in this addled brain on a daily basis, I cannot hold everything else that makes this person “educated.” It’s fascinating to think that one has been exposed to so much information, but at the end of the day, what does one know? It’s best to say, “I know nothing.” And there’s the beauty. I am liberated to be a lifelong learner. This is where Socrates was leading with the thought--while others considered him to be wise, he considered himself to be a lifelong learner.

What got me thinking of all this was a book I’m presently reading, A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar. This is a well researched and painfully documented biography of Nobel Prize Winner John Nash. As a young man rising through the ranks of Princeton and other schools of learning, I found a connection with Nash (though certainly no genius as Nash) in that desire to “own” what is learned. Nash’s learning style was much different than the average student. He was so far ahead of everyone that he felt it a waste of time to attend lectures and instead sought the information he needed by dialogue and personal research. Professors recall being approached by Nash with outcomes already discovered by others--what makes that important is that he was guided by curiosity and found his way to conclusions on his own. There were no “shortcuts” for him--nobody told him the answers were there. He just chased his questions until he found the answers--and in many cases, found answers when others were not aware there were question.

The connection for me was my own desire to know and how I set off on unguided research projects until I found an answer that seemed satisfactory. While first pursuing music education right out of high school in my first attempt at college, I spent untold hours exploring astrophysics and various aspects of religion. Later, upon returning to school I delved deep into theology, philosophy and an comprehensive exposure to variations of worldview. My study in biology even provided an opportunity to perform an actual surgery on a cat (from anesthesia to stitches in the end--yes, she lived). Even in the breaks during my formal education I could not help but pursue a research topic or three now that I was equipped to write academically. I just had to know!

Again, I’m making no declaration that I am any genius level--I just recognized that desire to learn. The older I get, the more I realize I know so very little and, I’ll be honest, tend to forget that I’m hungry for more. Yes, like my friend from years ago have run into the danger of not needing my books anymore . . . but reading of Nash reminded me of two very important truths: that life is for the living, and that in living, one should never stop learning for in a lifestyle of always learning, one is wise.

The Biggest Challenge Yet

"After the April 9, 1942, U.S. surrender of the Bataan Peninsula on the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese during World War II (1939-45), the approximately 75,000 Filipino and American troops on Bataan were forced to make an arduous 65-mile march to prison camps. The marchers made the trek in intense heat and were subjected to harsh treatment by Japanese guards. Thousands perished in what became known as the Bataan Death March." (History.com)

Every year, the march is remembered in a high desert memorial event held in White Sands, New Mexico honoring our soldiers who defended our country in the Philippines during World War II. The standard courses is marathon length (26 miles) and may be completed with or without a 35 pound ruck by military personnel and civilians. This year marks the 75 year anniversary of the event and was attended by survivors of the ordeal.



Here in South Carolina, I've participated in two memorial runs honoring fallen soldiers as well as runs remembering those who lost their lives on 9/11. My fitness regimen includes "Hero WODs" which are workouts designed to remember those who gave their lives fighting for our freedoms. "Murph" is coming up this Memorial Day.

Completing a memorial Bataan Death March at White Sands would be an incredible experience and perhaps my biggest challenge yet. Climbing the highest peak on the Eastern seaboard (Mt. Mitchell, NC) was extreme in its own right, but a trek in the high desert with a mind to remember men who endured such brutality in fighting for our country--these men deserve to be remembered.

This event is on my "list."
Not sure I would call it my "bucket list"--not exactly a "wish list" either, but it's on a list. 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

That's A Lot Of Burgers!

Since I've started using Endomondo as my tracker (some training sessions didn't get logged--a friend of mine says, "they never happened"--some friend, huh?) here's what I've accomplished so far:


I like the "trips around the world" and "trips to the Moon" calculator. 
I'm on my way! 

Nearly 1000 miles on foot! Imagine how far we travel without trackers! Can't get nowhere sittin' on the couch--get out there and play hard!

Monday, April 03, 2017

"If you know what you want...

... it's easy to tune out the noise." (Annie Mist Thorisdottir)



When Thor's daughter speaks, one should listen!

This is one of my CrossFit heroes. Sure she warms up with my max loads, but that's not what inspires me. That terrifies me, actually.

What inspires me is that smile at the end of a WOD. An elite athlete who performs with a disarming ferocity, she's a beast--but what makes her smile is that she gets what she wants. She finishes.

There's a laser-beam focus to finish well as she moves through the paces and it's in that focus that she's tuned out the noise. The beat of her own drum drowns out everything else. Keeping her "eye on the prize" as it were. Makes all the difference in the world in anything you do--shutting out the noise. Noise can be deafening, so know what you want and get louder than the noise!

Enjoyed a nice WOD today and had reason to smile myself. Started with 4x5 of Back Squats (95#, ending with 150#) then went into this wonderful little dance:

4 minutes as many rounds possible (AMRAP) of:
7 Clean and Jerk (95#)
70 Single Jump rope
2 minutes rest

4 minutes AMRAP of:
7 Power Clean (115#)
70 Singles
2 min. rest

4 Min AMRAP of:
7 Deadlift (205#--was supposed to be 185, but I can't count)
70 singles

Finished two full rounds of the first set, nearly finished two rounds of Power Cleans plus 40 Singles of the second and finished out 1 solid round plus 5 DL of the last.

And I was still standing at the end.

Tune out the noise and go for it--even if you have to call in a teammate to root you on--but finish! Sometimes we need a drill sergeant.

Play hard!
And Smile!




Friday, March 24, 2017

Thanks, Sib. You Were Incredible.

"Drummer John “Sib” Hashian who set the beat on Boston’s first two albums — the eponymous 1976 rock landmark and 1978 chart-topping sequel “Don’t Look Back” — died this week with drumsticks in hand."

More at The Miami Herald


ad
 more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/article140498533.html#storylink=cpy

Happy Breakfast Club Day!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Happy (Future) Birthday

Captain Kirk will be born this day in 2228.
Happy (future) Birthday, Captain!


Friday, March 17, 2017

Hero WOD: "Adam Brown"

These intense workouts are completed for the purpose of remembering our heroes, a way of showing gratitude for those who have laid down their lives for our freedom.


Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Adam Lee Brown, 36, of Hot Springs, AR, was killed on March 17th, 2010 in Komar Province, Afghanistan, in a battle against heavily armed militants. He is survived by his wife, Kelley, two children, Nathan and Savannah, and by his parents. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Outta Gas

Today's WOD got me. I mean it got me good.

It's not unusual to find bodies all over the floor when the WOD is over, but today I died much earlier than expected.

Started with 4 sets of 10 reps each of Bench Presses (115#, 120#, 135#, 145) the moved got right to work on 3 rounds of:

  • 20 Upright Row (45#)
  • 30 Ab mat situps
  • 400m run
  • 50 walking lunges
  • 60 sec Plank
Got the WOD going well enough, but in the second round I ended my run feeling like something was off. Stepping out the door of the cardio room to lunge my way back to the weight room, I stopped for a second at the water fountain, got a drink, a few more breaths and counted 40 lunge steps to the weight room. 10 more inside and I was done. 

I assumed the Plank position and sweat began streaming off my head like someone poured a glass of water over me. Don't get me wrong. I was already sweating--but this was a stream. 15 seconds in, my body was shaking. I closed my eyes while the clock ticked down a painfully slow 45 seconds. I dropped to the floor and could not move. 

The floor held me as sweat ran in rivers. Still could not move. My only thought was, "what's happening? Ok, rest a minute." A minute went by, then two. My training partner finished his rows and sit-ups and I was still on the floor. He stepped out to hit the treadmill. When he returned 2 minutes later, he found me sitting on the bench at my station. 

My spirits sank. I wanted to finish. I needed to finish. 

I'm the "coach" after all. The example. 

And here I am sitting on the bench looking like someone hosed me then beat me with it. 

I strategized, "Ok, One thing at a time. 20 rows. Split 'em up. Two sets of 10. Four sets of 5. 20 sets of 1." Then I did the sit-ups in my head. "Three sets of 10 . . ." and so on. 

Me and the floor had a stare-off. I couldn't move. 

My partner counted out 50 lunges like he was at a CrossFit wedding, coming nearby asking "you ok?"

I pulled my shirt over my head and closed my eyes. The Minister of Silly Walks lunged back to his station for his one minute plank. I was done. 

Smoked. 

Empty tank. 

Like someone flipped a switch. 

Disappointed I did not finish, we put our toys away and got cleaned up to re-enter the afternoon. 

The only thing I could think that happened was that I did not eat breakfast. I never miss breakfast. But today I did. So if that's the lesson, I won't be missing breakfast again. But if the WOD simply kicked my butt, well, that ain't happening ever again either. 

It was too much like quitting and I don't like that. The word never crossed my lips, but it sure felt like it. Just ran out of gas. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Et Tu Forke?

Beware the Ides of March!


I Choose The Diamond

I have a confession. I did not want to do the CrossFit Open 17.3 WOD. Hang with me--there's a point to this.

The more I watched the reports online and noticed what other CrossFit boxes were doing, the closer I came to ditching the effort.

Mind you, I'm an old guy, so I was already thinking of how to scale (modify) the session so something could be done with it. I decided (almost last minute) that I was not going to do 17.3. Then I got an e-mail from a guy who trains with me (you know who you are) who was very excited about doing 17.3 with whatever modification I found.

Permit me first to tell you a little about 17.3: it begins with 8 minutes of work and if the athlete completes all the work within the 8 minutes, he or she is awarded with 4 minutes of more work. If the athlete completes the additional work before time elapses, he or she receives 4 additional minutes to do (you guess it) more work. This goes on for 24 minutes, total.



Here's what happened: we got to the gym and I had a very difficult time mentally getting out of the warm-up stage (I was that excited). But like jumping off the high-dive, I started the music (Foo Fighters!), hit the clock and we all started the pull-ups.

Fast-forward to the end: I did not beat the 8 minute clock, so I did not earn the coveted addition of 4 minutes. But one guy did, so we cheered him on through his next four minutes of work. He was three reps short away from earning an additional 4 minutes when the buzzer sounded. Disappointment rained down (not really. More like, "relief").

Here's what I got out of 17.3--my buddy Brad over at SEALGrinderPT had to remind me (restated in my own words): pressure does one of two things--it either crushes or it creates diamonds. I choose the diamond.

Pressure is not fun. But what would we have without pressure? In a sense, one has a pile of untried resources that, if you think about it, aren't worth anything. Is it trash or not? To find out what it's worth, you gotta crush it.

Suffering sucks. But you gotta embrace the suck to be the diamond in the end.

Strange things happen under pressure. For one thing, there's a kind of loneliness--even if you are struggling right beside someone. It's lonely because the pain and the work is all your own. Ain't nobody going to do it for you and ain't nobody gonna hurt the way you do when it's all over.

On the other hand, the person suffering next to you--now that person understands. So you "feed" off of each other, encouraging each other along. Still doing your own work, experiencing your own pain, but together you work some, cheer some, suffer some. This is how you get through it-- together. The team who suffers together, the team who does the hard things together, comes out different in the end than when it all began.

But if the athlete never starts, he never knows.

I did 17.3 and hated it. I still do.
Do you know how long 8 minutes is? It's a like week in CrossFit time.
But I did it.

"There's no crying in CrossFit," someone reminded me before we began.
Yes, there is. It's just that everyone's too exhausted to do it.

I did it. I did 17.3, thanks to "you know who you are." And by the way, I thanked him for pushing me over my red-line.

And I am stronger.
Just a little bit more than the day before.

I choose the diamond.

Monday, March 13, 2017

"Valley Uprising" (2014)

"Valley Uprising" is a gripping documentary focusing on the history, evolution and impact of the climbing community in the Yosemite Valley. Starting in the 1950's, about the time when the American Dream began to feel palpable for people safe at home, a handful of young men set out to pursue another kind of dream in places where safety is a stranger. According to one climber, insanity may have indeed been a contributing factor, but the truth remains: if the laws of gravity are to be broken, others must be broken, too. 

The documentary is not exhaustive in highlighting every contributing climber, but their influence unmistakable. The film does not intend to demonstrate or discuss details of climbing but chooses to introduce three major eras, approaches, personalities of few climbers and the rewards gained by these unique adventurers. If you know the name "North Face" and "Clif Bar," then you will appreciate this film.


"Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that  . . . mountain!" (Jack Kerouac)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Snow Day!

Went from 80 degrees last week to Snow Day in one week. The snow started about 5 a.m. and ended just after noon. At this writing, it's already melted but it was wonderful to get out, hear the calm brought about by snowfall and enjoy a few hours of winter for a change.






Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fastest Ever

Just got back from a run. I use a tracker to log my distance, time, and a bunch of other stuff. My wife often "follows" me "live" as I run, even tracking me on GPS.

This afternoon I came home and she pointed out that at one point in my run, I hit my fastest speed: 85.98 mph (see the chart, below). She showed my on her computer. I double checked my tracker, and sure enough. There it is.













That spike (above) is where my jet pack kicked in. Or something.

I have no clue what happened. But there it is. In the record books.

No wonder I'm so tired!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

It's A Great Day

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to fly a kite but there was no wind? So you took your kite, played out about three feet of string and started running until the kite began to climb. You ran and played out more and more string until you felt the sky pull it back and "viola!" your kite was in the air!

My day began much like that. Only without the running. Or the kite. I had zero mojo at first but doing much better now.

Had a fantastic WOD for lunch today and I'll have to say I was not excited about it at first but it was fun after all. What made the fun was seeing hard work paying off with heavier weights and faster speeds.

Started off with a 3-3-2-2-1-1 Dead Lift (3 reps twice, add weight, 2 reps twice, add weight, 1 rep twice, at heaviest weight). Started off at 115# and ended at 275#. Next time, I shoot higher!

The WOD was:
200m run
20 box jumps
400m run
40 Thruster (45#)
400m run
40 Dead Lift (115#)
200m run
20 power cleans (115#)


Felt my rocket engine kick in after the first Dead lifts at the start, so hit the 200 m runs at 6.5 on the treadmill. Was able to keep that up through the 400's. Hey, I was excited! Cranked it up to 7.0 on the last 200. 

What really made my day was throwing the Power Cleans. Time to go heavier! 

If you need some encouragement, here are some "Pull-ups and Pick-Me-Ups" with Zach (in other words, "what's your excuse?":


Now get out there and play hard! 

"Crawling Up A Mountain"

"It really isn't about the destination it's about the journey and the harder the journey is the more rewarding the destination." (Zach)



I've got climbing fever.
Thinking about Mt. Mitchell again in May . . .

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Progress! I think . . .

Since using a fitness tracker, I've (as of this writing):

  • logged 685 workouts 
  • run 945 miles (the air-distance from where I live to Ft. Worth, TX)
  • trained for 18 days, 13 hours and 38 minutes
  • burned 306,043 calories (equivalent to eating 543 Big Macs--which I don't. Can't stand McDonalds.)

In February 2017, I burned
  • 4,480 calories
  • logged 7 hours, 54 minutes, 20 seconds of fitness
  • ran 14 miles
Obviously, many WOD's or heavy labor tasks have gone unlogged so the numbers are much higher since I've started my fitness lifestyle. It's kind of amazing when you track and can look back because sometimes it feels like you're getting nowhere, but then you look at the numbers. Woah!

I may not be moving faster, but I'm going places. And I'm lifting heavier, which is cool. Got that "Mighty" feeling wracking my body! 

Today's WOD was

Strength: 4x10 push press (started at 95#, ended at 120#)

WOD AMRAP 10

  • 2 power snatch 
  • 30 Double Unders (or 60 single jump rope)
  • 4 power snatch
  • 30 DUBs
  • 6 power snatch
  • 30 DUBs
+ 2 PS each round until the time is called.

After yesterday's WOD I had to laugh . . . legs just won't work after those weighted walking lunges!

Monday, March 06, 2017

Ever Been Hit By A Slow-moving Truck?

I have.
Took a whole 12 minutes, from bumper to bumper.
Not counting the 10 minute specialized warm-up.
Feeling every tread on each wheel 'bout now.

Using 30# Dumbbells (adding 60 pounds to my frame), we did the following (modified) in 12 minutes:

2 rounds:
50 foot walking lunge
16 Knee to Elbow
8 Dumbbell Power Clean

then

2 rounds:
50 foot walking lunge
8 pull-ups + 8 dips
8 Dumbbell Power Clean

Slow moving truck, I tell ya.
I'll be over here feelin' mighty with my proteins shake and banana.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Sometimes All You Get Is A Half An Inch And A Few Deep Breaths


"As the day wore on, I could feel my nerves beginning to unravel. At one point, while leading over crusty, crumbly vertical ice . . . I suddenly became overwhelmed by the fact that the only thing that prevented my from flying off into space were two thin steel picks sunk half an inch into a medium that resembled the inside of my freezer when it needs to be defrosted. I looked down at the ground more than three thousand feet below and felt dizzy, as if I were about to faint. I had to close my eyes and take a dozen deep breaths before I could resume climbing."

(Krakauer, Jon. Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains. Krakauer: Lyons & Burford, 1990. p. 11)

Friday, March 03, 2017

It's Time To Go Again

Celo Knob (6,327 feet) on the way to Mount Mitchell (6,683 feet, in the clouds, behind me in this pic). 8 more peaks to summit and descend from this point before we're there. (May, 2015)

"Mountain climbing is comprehended dimly, if at all, by most of the nonclimbing world. It's a favorite subject for bad movies and spurious metaphors. A dream about scaling some high, jagged alp is something a shrink can really sink his teeth into. The activity is wrapped in tales of audacity and disaster that make other sports out to be trivial games by comparison; as in idea, climbing strikes that chord in the public imagination most often associated with sharks and killer bees . . . why would a normal person want to do this stuff?" (Author's note, viii)

Krakauer, Jon. Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains.  Krakauer: Lyons & Burford, 1990.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

"Blue Highways" Book Review


Greatly enjoyed this book, the first of three in a travel series. Sure, it's dated by now (first published in 1982), but it's interesting to use this as a landmark of sorts, to mark how things have changed over the years--and how some things never seem to change. 

Felt very much "along for the ride" in his van, "Ghost Dancing." His periods of insight and reflection were refreshing from the sense that here's a man who made a trip--he did not simply take one. In solitude, he thought and in writing, he shares many introspective discoveries. These were the best parts of the trip in reading the book; however, of all the place and people Heat-Moon meets, he seems to be followed by the "same cast of characters" (as it were). No matter where he visits, everyone speaks with the author's voice, with the same kind of whit and humor. Occasionally he seems to be condescending or takes a mocking tone but one could chalk that up to road-weariness. One is confident the author met real people but it's too bad he does not let them speak for themselves. 

Overall, an enjoyable and very distracting read.

Paperback, 428 pages
Published October 19th 1999 by Back Bay Books (first published 1982)
Original Title: Blue Highways: A Journey into America
ISBN: 0316353299 (ISBN13: 9780316353298)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Today I Am Pushing My Limits

Someone once said that every day, you should do one thing that scares you.

Today, my "scary", is "17.1"
The first CrossFit Open workout of 2017.

I've been getting psyched out for it since the announcement last week, watching videos and finding encouragement as I prepare to take myself a place I've never been before. That's what I love about training. That's what I enjoy about CrossFit. It moves me.



It doesn't take long to get to the edge of yourself in training. Once there, something magical happens. The world and everything in it disappears as you toe the line of a choice: quit or step over. That choice comes back again and again. The goal is to keep stepping over. Keep moving the line. The only thing that pays in the end is to be a winner by finishing.

That's all I want to do.
Do something that I've never done before.
Daily.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Today I Am Reading . . .

Ever wonder why men climb mountains?  One may ask but will never understand the answer until one walks out the front door. One is not required to scale a vertical face or endure any measure of harsh condition. But to go a distance, to step up a slope, to drop down into a valley, to chase an elusive peak that, no matter how close one gets, seems to retreat from being touched--an experience will answer the question. This is what Krakauer does. He does not answer the question as to why a "normal person" climbs a mountain, but he does show the reader--from a safe distance.

The Eiger's North Face
Alps
The book takes it's title from The Eiger ("The Ogre"), a 13,000 foot peak in the Swiss Alps. The "Morwand" (The Murderous Wall) is the northern wall (The "Norwand"), a 6,000 foot sheer face of rock and ice that has claimed the lives of more than sixty climbers since the first recorded ascent in the 1930's. Krakauer not only guides the reader up grandeur such as The Eiger, Denali, K2, Devil's Thumb "and leads us back safely" (as one reviewer described) but he also introduces us to the brave climbers who have done the same.

Devil's Thumb
Alaska
Having climbed a few slopes, forged a few streams, made a few passes and topped a few peaks in Colorado, New Mexico and North Carolina, this book feeds my appetite to get outside again, hike, climb, thirst, get hungry, get wet, cold, hot--to stand at the top with the feeling of accomplishment! Guess you have to be there. This book only feeds the fire.

It's been a while, but I'm sure Mt. Mitchell has grown a couple inches since I was last there . . .

Krakauer, Jon. Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains.  Krakauer: Lyons & Burford, 1990. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Today I Am Moved

Yesterday I shared a video made by four college students called, "Living On A Dollar A Day."

Today's I'd like to share the trailer for their second project called "Salam Neighbor." The full movie is found for $4.00 on YouTube, or if you have Netflix, it's streaming.

In this project, the young filmmakers want to experience the refugee situation and set out to live among the 85,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. What they quickly discover is that they actually become refugees as their plans change without warning.

This is a moving film as the project team was able to capture people and moments they would have otherwise missed had their initial plans come to fruition. Any refugee situation is not to be taken lightly because no matter the source or means of the crises, human beings are always at the center.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Today I Am Expanding My Horizons

This week on the campus of Columbia International University we have been learning about Refugees and the crises of "people on the move." Migration is part of human history and occurs just about everywhere, but for various reasons.

The video below is a documentary has nothing directly to do with the refugee situation, but at the heart one finds a few elements that still apply to a refugee situation.

What if you were displaced from your home, all you ever knew, and all you had to live on was a dollar a day? These four college students wanted to find out, so they lived on one dollar a day for two months in rural Guatemala.

Tomorrow I'll share about their most recent project that touches directly on the subject of refugees.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Bear Complex"

Holy Smokes.

Ok, yesterday was a holiday so the CrossFit box I follow did not post a WOD so I thought to myself, "self," I says, "self--why don't you do the Bear Complex?" And I says to myself, "nope. Would love to, but I'll do the Hero WOD 'DT' instead."



So I did.
I did DT with a heavier weight than I've ever done before (115# all the way through). Felt mighty first thing this morning.

So I get up and check the WOD. Bear Complex. I can't remember if I was happy or sad, but "5k" did cross my mind at one point. So I'm sore all morning. Popping Tylenol and Ibuprofen and making sure I'm getting enough protein to recover. I get into the gym and think, "Ok. Bear Complex. I did 115# pounds yesterday, so why not?" I got started and after the third rep of the first set knew that I had to adjust my game face. Got through the first set.

Added 10# and nearly died. I heard angels singing. I saw my body waaaayyyy down there.

After the second rep, I knew I was in trouble. Yes, I dropped the bar. Not supposed to do that in Bear. But I did. But I picked it up again. Don't tell me I bit off more than I can chew unless you've chewed it too. The minutes passed like weeks. But you gotta admit--there's something satisfying in dropping weights.



Took off the 10# for the last set. I was pretty much done. Two days of basically the same movements smoked me.

But still had a 10 minute AMRAP to go of:

  • 5 Shoulder to Overhead
  • 10 Deadlift
  • 15 Box Jump

4 rounds with 115#.

Yeah. Gonna feel that tomorrow.

Today I Am Learning About . . .

Refugees. This week on the campus of Columbia International University we are learning about refugees, the crises of forced displacement, and begin taking steps to provide assistance for refugees.

Our speaker in chapel every day is Paul Sydnor, EU Director of the International Association for Refugees and an active founding member of the Refugee Highway Partnership in Europe. Through local churches, Paul has come alongside of a number of refugee leaders over the years to strengthen and support them in their own efforts, including refugee leaders from Croatia, Kosovo, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and several parts of Africa. The goal of IAFR is to "help people survive and recover from forced displacement." 



Students, Faculty and Staff are involved in special activities through the week outside the regular class schedule enjoying International food, even participating in a "refugee experience" through simulated forced displacement scenarios. Also present on campus this week are representatives from other various agencies who seek to impact the nations with the message of Christ. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

"DT"


"DT" is a Hero WOD in honor of USAF SSgt Timothy P. Davis, 28, who was killed on February, 20 2009 supporting operations in OEF when his vehicle was struck by an IED. Timothy is survived by his wife Megan and one-year old son T.J..


Today I Am Listening To . . .



Music to work by.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Today I Am Resting . . .

everything.

Still a little slow, trying to recover from this pulmonary set-back.

Had great plans to get out to walk (at least) but that failed when I lay down "for just a few minutes."

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Better Than Nothing

After being knocked down with the flu and dealing with upper respiratory infection, I did my first training exercise since last Tuesday.

Did 15 minutes of SEALFit Yoga then 5 rounds of Get-ups with a 45# sandbag. Got a nice sweat going and it sure felt good to fill the lungs with deep breathing.

Easing back in.

Today I Am Telling It Like It Is

(ht: Leslie)



Friday, February 17, 2017

Today I Am Enjoying . . .

the changing seasons.

In case you were not aware, South Carolina has four seasons: Nearly Summer, Almost Summer, Summer, and More Summer.

It's February and I think since Winter started we've only had maybe a whole week's worth of winter weather--and by that I mean temperatures below the freezing mark--and those days (nights, mostly) were not consecutive. If I exaggerate, it's not by much. Personally, I enjoy the cold, preferring it much more than the heat. One can never escape the heat. Cold has a grace to it, that, if one gets cold enough, one no longer feels it--but the heat? No mercy.

Regardless, I'm enjoying the changing seasons. The forecast is mid to high 70's well through next week. The daffo-down-dillies and tulips I planted the day after Thanksgiving are well on their way up, so I'm thinking winter is pretty much behind us.

I'm already thinking vegetable garden--bought my seeds. now all I need is place to put them. Thinking of using as much vertical space as possible--like planting a thin strip of cucumbers and squash alongside the fence and let 'em clamber up. Easier to maintain that way.

At this point I'll be shocked if it gets cold or wintery again by March. Though it's happened before (we got snow in February a few years back--and once in March) it could always happen again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Today I Am Realizing . . .

 . . . that YouTube is now eleven years old? Eleven! Well, "happy birthday," YouTube!

Ever since Max took us 20 minutes into the future, we've not looked back. Amazing how something gets fixed into a culture until one day, your just sitting there in a big green chair minding your own business eating a Swiss Cake Roll and watching CrossFit videos (hypothetically speaking, of course--who does that?) when it sneaks up on you, "when did you get here?"

Feels like its always been here. YouTube is such a major fixture of the internet that it's difficult to imagine what life was like before YouTube. Nearly everything's there from user content to corporations.

If I have to explain YouTube, then I feel even stranger. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Today I Am Loving . . .

Quietly
Patiently
Kindly
Selflessly
With Content
With Edification
With Humility
With Respect
Graciously
Softly
Delightfully
Truthfully
Timelessly
Strongly
Faithfully
Hopefully

With Endurance

Forever


Monday, February 13, 2017

Today I Am Feeling . . .

 . . . better. Last week I got hit with an ugly bug that lay me pretty low for a few days. Bug must have come from outer space--planet Ronald McNasty, maybe. Now that I think about it, I did indulge a request to visit a certain "fitness" location the week before--a place with "Planet" in the name--and each one of us got sick. Man, that place was a circus. (I can cross that off my list!) I found a Concept 2 rower and spent 20 minutes ignoring the room with some very loud personalized music--but I digress . . .

I had this awesome training session last Tuesday that left me feeling pretty mighty but when the sickness hit, all the pain from training combined with the pain of the sickness and left me feeling like I'd been in car wreck. Couldn't even do yoga I hurt so bad. And of course, it's making its way through the household, so we're all pretty low or coming out of it.

Cycled through days and nights of spiking and plunging fever--lost 4 pounds overall. I sweated as much in sickness as I do in health! I keep telling myself that's good news.

At least I got my Netflix queue whittled down a little. Got caught up on some documentaries I've been wanting to watch for some time (a couple on North Korea and another called "Gored" focusing on a legendary Bull Fighter from Spain--absolutely fascinating, that one).

Still in recovery as breathing is not where it should be, but physically, I'm feeling fine. Just have to remember not to overdo it.

Stay Healthy!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Today I Am Finding . . .

that I am easily distracted. You don't have that problem though, do you?
(ht: William Wilson)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Today I Am Crafting . . .

. . . drinking glasses from old bottles. Real manly stuff.

Using string, acetone and FIRE (ha HA!) I have already "popped the top" off of some bottles and am working on sanding the rims down to make matching drinking glasses.

Here's a tutorial, if interested. Note: Get that string/yarn soaked well and let the fuel burn by turning the bottle. The glass will most likely break above or below the string--sometimes both. So be careful! And make sure that water stays ICY!

Quite fun!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Today I Am Discovering . . .

 . . . how much more I am capable of.
This documentary is gas to my fire.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Today I Am Celebrating . . .

our Granddaughter's birthday! Happy Birthday, Jude!


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Today I Am Eating . . .

I sure do enjoy my eggs in the morning but am feeling "soup"-ish today.
Oh, how about Green Chili Stew with a flour tortilla . . . I need a napkin just thinking about it.

Enjoy this quote from a book I'm reading:

credit: I Am New Mexico
"[The waitress] serves a stack of unheated flour tortillas, butter, and a bowl of green, watery fire that would have put a light in the eyes of Quetzalcoatl. Texans can talk, but nowhere is there an American chili hot sauce, green or red, like the New Mexican versions, with no two recipes the same except for the pyrotechnic display they blow off under the nose. New Mexican salsas are mouth-watering, eye-watering, nose-watering; they clean the pipes, ducts, tracts, tubes; and like spider venom, they can turn innards to liquid. I'd finished the tortillas when she set down the huevos rancheros with chopped nopales (prickly pear), rice, and a gringo glass of milk to extinguish the combustibles." 

(Heat-Moon, William Least. Blue Highways: A Journey Into America. New York: Back Bay Books, 1999, p. 154)

I miss New Mexico . . .

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Today I am Trying . . .

Sorry, Yoda. I disagree--there must be "try" because sometimes a "do" may look like a "do not," and if one does not try then the "do" becomes a "didn't" and the opportunity is gone. When one stands at the brink of "do" and one "does not," then one has acted out of fear. He has not "tried," thus killing his chance along with that part of himself that should have known, could have known, victory.

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." (Frank Herbert, Dune)

Think of those who tried.
They may have died because they tried. But they tried. 
They did not fail. 
They died "doing."


Families are born because parents try. 
Lives are saved because medical teams try.
Discoveries are made because explorers tried.
Victories are won because warriors tried. 

Surround yourself with people who believe in you, encourages you to "try." When you do the same for them, then you join the ranks of great people. 

So, I am trying.
Every day I try. I try and train on my own personal Grinder.

When I try, it will not be I who fail but that which is tried, tested.
I will succeed. 

Monday, February 06, 2017

Today I Am Playing . . .

Hard. Here's what's on the menu for lunch today:

Strength Training:
5x3 Back Squat

WOD (For Time):

  • 75 Double Unders (150 singles)
  • 55 DB/KB Shoulder to Overhead (45/30 in each hand)
  • 35 Burpees

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Today I Am Drinking . . .

Water.
And thinking of the ocean. And sandcastles.
Would love to get back to the beach again . . . some day.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Today I Am Cooking . . .

 . . . with gas.

The Urban Dictionary explains that "cooking with gas" means that one is, "efficiently performing a task after a long period of inefficient performance or possibly failed attempts at the entire task or certain steps in the process." In other words, no longer cooking with wood. Gas is easier.

"Hey, now we're getting somewhere!"

I've been wondering what I should write this month and after a few attempts, it seems like this theme of "Today I Am . . . " is coming together. So I'm "cooking with gas!" That's part of the fun of spontaneous writing--just get started and see where it goes. Find a theme.

But I do cook with gas. It's better than electric by a long shot. Especially if the power goes out, I still have means for food preparation and heat. Once I got up early in the morning and took my coffee outside and cooked bacon. Something wonderful about that camping feeling, you know? Bacon, coffee and fresh air.

Since it's Saturday, we'll be fixing either Banana Waffles and eggs with bacon, or hand-shredded Hash Brown potatoes with eggs and bacon for breakfast. Or home-made biscuits and gravy with eggs. And coffee. Lots of coffee. 

Friday, February 03, 2017

Today I Am Thinking . . .

about the timelessness of Polonius' farewell blessing and advice to Laertes, with his "few rules of life" (Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3):



In modern English:

"You’re still here? Shame on you—get on board! The wind is filling your ship’s sail, and they’re waiting for you. Here, I give you my blessing again. And just try to remember a few rules of life. Don’t say what you’re thinking, and don’t be too quick to act on what you think. Be friendly to people but don’t overdo it. Once you’ve tested out your friends and found them trustworthy, hold onto them. But don’t waste your time shaking hands with every new guy you meet. Don’t be quick to pick a fight, but once you’re in one, hold your own. Listen to many people, but talk to few. Hear everyone’s opinion, but reserve your judgment. Spend all you can afford on clothes, but make sure they’re quality, not flashy, since clothes make the man—which is doubly true in France. Don’t borrow money and don’t lend it, since when you lend to a friend, you often lose the friendship as well as the money, and borrowing turns a person into a spendthrift. And, above all, be true to yourself. Then you won’t be false to anybody else. Good-bye, son. I hope my blessing will help you absorb what I’ve said." (from Sparknotes)


Stay humble and kind!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Sun-setting


Today I Am Remembering . . .


Chris Kyle with a Hero WOD. 3 rounds (one for his wife and two for his children left behind) each of:

  • 40 KB Swings (70/50#) 
  • 40 Box Jumps 24″/20″ 
  • 40 Thrusters (70/45#) 
  • 40 Elevated Push-ups (feet on box)
* The 4 movements represent Chris’s 4 tours in Iraq and the total reps for each round equal 160 representing Chris’s confirmed kills.

"Christopher Scott "Chris" Kyle (April 8, 1974 − February 2, 2013) was a United States Navy SEAL veteran and sniper. Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War and was awarded several commendations for acts of heroism and meritorious service in combat. He was awarded one Silver Star Medal, four Bronze Star Medals with "V" devices, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and numerous other unit and personal awards. Kyle was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2009 and published his bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, in 2012. . . . On February 2, 2013, Kyle was murdered by Eddie Ray Routh at a shooting range near Chalk Mountain, Texas. A former Marine with PTSD, Routh was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.' (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

AMRAP 20: "Improve Night"


Most of my CrossFit brothers and sisters understand the significance of a Triple Chocolate Bundt cake. Ok, many of my CF brethren . . . Ok--a couple folks understand (you know who you are). 

For one, a chocolate bundt cake looks like a tire and tires are for flipping and since you can't eat a tire, well, that's what the cake is for. So I enjoyed a nice piece of a chocolate bundt cake recalling the great fun we had flipping tires just yesterday. But what does that have to do with today's AMRAP 20? Not much--except that, well, chocolate bundt cake. That's why. 

Did not get my lunch-time WOD in today due to a called meeting; however, I did get the WOD done at home with a little improvisation. The WOD was 3x5 Back Squats then an AMRAP 20 of: 
The first improvisation came in that I don't have a squat rack, so I had to clean and jerk the bar in order to lower the bar to my neck. Don't think I ever C & J 140 pounds, but I did tonight! Bonus points for the extra workout! Of course the fun part is getting that bar off your neck . . . a reverse jerk. And hang on!

The second came when I had to do Wall Balls. I don't have a high wall but I do have a basketball goal--however, 1) the goal wobbles when doing WB, so I was trying to hit a moving target (read: Bro-reps) 2) I had to take off my glasses because of sweat. And if I miss, I don't want my glasses smashed into my face by a falling 20# basketball. I'll just take the basketball; and, 3) it was dark by the time I got started. So finding the target--in the dark--without glasses . . .

I deserved my cake after that 3x5 then an AMRAP 20 for 5 rounds (started the 6th at the 20:00 buzzer). And it was a difficult day today. I might have another piece.

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