I’ve been a big supporter of Christmas Abbott since we met a few years ago. She’s just this bundle of awesomeness wrapped in a strong but tiny package. She resonates kindness. I love watching her grow and make her mark in the world without losing her sparkle.
Not only did she set a new trail by becoming the first woman of a Nascar pit crew, she is now getting press for just being her. Yesterday, she was featured on AOL originals sharing her story and talking about her tattoos. She has 13 at last count. In the video, you get a sense of who she is and how she sparkles. She deserves all the success she is in for… and I will be cheering her on!
I was reading an interview with George Clooney in Esquire magazine this weekend and he said something that has stayed with me about how media and the Internet have exploded into our lives – changing it for the good and some of it for the bad.
The president came here and there were some people who wanted to meet him. And the president and I are talking to them and they’re holding their smartphone cameras up like this. And I’m holding my hand out trying to shake their hand, and they’re like, ‘Smile.’ And I said to the president, I said, ‘You know, the oddest thing about what’s happening right now is that we’ve stopped living our lives and we’re just recording them.’ ”
I realize that I don’t know Mr Clooney, but he seems like a pretty level headed guy and hasn’t let fame completely cloud his perspective. He reminds me of the days before the Internet – things seemed simpler and there wasn’t so much noise in everyone’s life. And damn, he’s great to look at.
I am probably more guilty of recording my life than many because of what I do for a living…but lately I have been trying to actually live in the moment – not rush to take a picture or document the moment. Yes, it’s awesome to have pics but it’s more important to live with and create the memories with people you care about.
“if you are facing a period of overconsumption and inactivity” — also known as the holidays — “a daily bout of exercise will prevent many of the negative changes, at least in the short term,”
- Where Is the Love?
- Giving Tuesday What is #GivingTuesday? We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help us create #GivingTuesday. A new day for giving back. On Tuesday December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.
RIP Strongman Mike Jenkins
Last week, strongman Mike Jenkins died in his sleep. I met Mike at the Strongman Trainer’s course this past spring. He was an imposing figure–but so nice and gentle. I really enjoyed getting to talk to him and learning from his experience.
Although I only met him that one time – I remember how kind and remarkable he was. My thoughts go out to his family as they learn to move on with their new normal.
Thanksgiving has come and gone — I still can’t believe December is here. I love holidays but I also love getting back into the swing of life. I’m excited about what’s happening in my life — new career opportunities and new paths to follow. I am testing out the theory about letting go and letting life take you where it’s supposed to without fear of what’s next. And everything little thing, will be alright. This is new for me but I am committed to trying it this way – worrying and stressing myself out hasn’t really helped before. And so far, new opportunities have appeared from the least likely spots.
I started creating my consulting website: LiftPotential.com. It’s very much a work in progress but I’m excited to see it evolve. Check it out when you get a chance and if you do have any marketing needs focused around social media or integrating social with traditional marketing, let me know!
I didn’t go to workout as usual on Saturday –instead spent it with the family at Mount Vernon. Nothing replaces some good old fashioned time with the family. Scott’s family was in town from Southern Cali, so we met his Aunt and Uncle along with his cousin and her daughter and walked the grounds. I love Mount Vernon — I’ve probably been there 4+ times now and never get tired of it. I love to think about how Washington and his family spent their time there –and we were lucky enough to get to see the third floor on this visit, which is only open one month a year. The room where Mr Washington died is up there. Just a pretty cool day overall…
I have mentioned before, that many people ask me how I manage to stay so inspired and motivated to continue being fit. A lot of it is finding what works for you and being passionate about it. CrossFit and being overall fit has definitely helped me explore a new path in my life – but a huge driving motivator for me are my kiddos.
Your actions and decisions lay the foundation for their lifelong health – and I know how hard it is to start when you are already an adult. My goal is to have being healthy and fit be a normal part of their every day life just like it’s mine now. They won’t know any different – Read this article below and hopefully it will help you get moving the next time you start to slide and lose motivation.
10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out - “Exercise is a lifestyle, not an event. Being an active person isn’t about taking a class three times a week at the gym. It’s about things like biking to the grocery store and parking your car in the back of the lot and walking instead of taking a cab and catching up with friends on a hiking trail instead of a bar stool.”
This next article is a long read but worth it. It really takes a good look at obesity, from a medical professional’s perspective. Where does personal responsibility fit in while treating it? Is it ok to just give people pills and procedures – enabling them to continue the myth that modern medicine can cure them from their disease? Such a tough subject – from a health standpoint and because society judges harshly those it affects.
Recently someone told me a story about their daughter in law who has gastric bypass – she lost 100 pounds before the surgery at the doctor’s request, then had the procedure and a year or so later - is back to many of the same habits and almost has returned to square one. The problem is not what she is eating. The problem is what’s eating her. It’s easy to say that while I am looking at someone else’s situation, but when you are dealing with people who are so deep in denial about what they are dealing with, or who are so scared to address the feelings they are burying deep inside them because it will no doubt cause serious pain – a quick pill or procedure seems like the right way to go. It’s such a tough subject, because I am one of those that people who believe that everyone deserves kindness, but to teach people to embrace their obesity is not Ok either. Everyone deserves respect and decent treatment period but you have to be realistic and sometimes the truth is harsh and painful. Such a tough, tough situation and topic…
Strength: Power cleans
1P wall balls
Clapping Push ups
- 10 Spiritual Things To Do On Black Friday Instead Of Shopping
- 100 Life Hacks That Make Life Easier
- The Top Ten Mistakes CrossFitters Make
- How CrossFit Can Benefit Triathletes
- ‘Hercules’ star Kellan Lutz embraces paleo diet for better health
- Pint-sized 17-year-old weightlifter packs quite a punch with intense workout
- thxthxthx: The Art of Finding Happiness in Everyday Gratitude
- ‘Giving Tuesday’ encourages kindness in reaction to commercialized ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’
- A month of random kindness – although this article is specific to a local area, many of these ideas can be used in your own area.
And finally, very sad news over the weekend about Paul Walker dying in a car crash. I can’t honestly say I have seen one of the Fast & Furious movies, but reading about Mr Walker and how he resonated kindness and lived his life from a perspective of giving, it’s a big loss to the world. He was also a father, a son, a friend to many and losing someone that special so sudden and tragically is hard to understand. There has been a lot of backlash on social about the support and acknowledgement of his death which has really surprised me. Who are we to tell someone how they should grieve or recognize the death of someone? Everyone deals with tragedy and death in their own way and we have no way of knowing what it represents to them. It sounds like Paul Walker was a stand up guy who didn’t let fame and celebrity get in the way of being kind and giving back. The world needs more people like that. Rest in Peace – Mr Walker.
I am continually working on ways to quiet my mind. It’s true when people say that the mind quits long before the body does. So much of making progress and improving is all in your head. I know from personal experience, as soon as I let my mind focus on how uncomfortable, fearful, horrible - or whatever adjective comes to mind – I feel, the harder whatever it is I am doing becomes. Techniques like meditation can really help you step outside of your head, switch off all the noise when you need to. It’s a skill to practice, just like everything else…
Watch this video from Volvo. John Claude Van Damme is the perfect example of expert focus and skill. This ‘epic split’ doesn’t just happen over night and is so much more than just being flexible. His mind is well trained – I bet it has to do with his years and years of martial arts training. It’s a great example of what we all can achieve with hard work. JCVD is not a young whipper snapper either.
- 8 Natural Ways to Fuel Your Energy Level Through the Day
- Curcumin for Athletes: Why You and Your Joints Might Like It
- Letting go of keeping up
Yesterday, I ran the 10K Trail Race from Hell aka the Loudoun 10K Trail Run in Middleburg VA. It was probably one of the hardest races I have personally ever done mostly due to the huge hill at the start and the finish of the race. The race benefits the Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors and it was a worthy cause especially since today is Veteran’s Day. Trail racing seems to be so much tougher than regular road running too. There were leaves all over the trails, so you aren’t sure what the terrain is really like –and it was bumpy, uneven & slippery underneath all of those leaves. Then we had small creeks to get over – It was really challenging and I was so ready to go home when it was done. The last quarter mile was this steep hill that kept on going and going. I stopped in the middle of it — and thought how am I going to finish. I am sore, my lower back hurts. I just decided to put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. At the very last part, I really didn’t think I could run to the finish line and this other lady ran by and said “come on, we will run together.” And we did –and I was done. My time was nothing at all to write home about –but for someone who doesn’t run long distances often and who doesn’t enjoy running – the fact that I finished it was an accomplishment. That’s all that mattered to me and I got to hang out with some super cool, strong chicks who took it on together!
After getting laid off, I wanted to do something completely out of my comfort zone that would challenge me to the max for some reason. I am glad I did it –although I am not likely to do that course again – but never say never! And the ladies I spent time with on Saturday were awesome. As I said, I am focused on being around strong, positive people who want to be better and do better each and every day.
A few lessons learned –
- 1. Do not wear a fanny pack with a bottle of water. My back started to get really tight and uncomfortable after a while and only after I dumped the water, did it start to feel a wee bit better.
- 2. Do not use Spotify when you are on a trail in the woods. Reception is bad and your music becomes unreliable.
- 3. Don’t plan to do anything the rest of the day because you will need to rest and recover.
Saturday, after my workout – we all as a family went to see Thor. I am not usually into movies like that but it was really good. I thought the story played out really well. The kids really liked it too — and it was yet another reminder that my daughter is growing up. She now has a crush on Chris Hemsworth!
The Olivet Eagles football team at Olivet Middle School in Olivet, Michigan, decided to run a play and intentionally not score, all without their coaches knowing.
The football team planned the play for weeks, all so they could set up a very special moment for a special boy.
Keith Orr is a special needs child, and his buddies on the football team decided to give him the chance to run for a touchdown.
How can you not love Mr. Rogers. These facts are just more proof of what a wonderful, kind man he was in real life.
I gotta say that I love Russell Brand – he’s wacky, screwed up in so many ways, but sharp and smart as a whip and because of that, I just think he’s awesome. He has a way of getting his point across in such a coherent way that hits the point where it counts. I embedded an interview below that is making its way around the web that he did earlier this week with the BBC – at the end of it, he says something that totally resonated with a quote that I shared earlier this week from, of all people, Jillian Michaels:
Mr. Brand says: “Why is that naive? Why is that not my right because I’m an ‘actor’? I’ve taken the right. I don’t need the right from you. I don’t need the right from anybody. I’m taking it.”
Jillian Michaels’ quote asks Why Not You? Think about it: Russell Brand is saying: Why Not Him? So, I ask you – Why Not You? We are all responsible for the message we send out to the world and we can all make changes in our own lives, that in turn impact us all. Watch the interview and you will start to understand what I mean…and probably become a Russell Brand fan.
Here’s the link to that video as well as the first video, where I discovered how awesome he really is. Again, he’s probably a really screwed up character in many facets of his life –but many times, those are the people who end up having an indelible impact on the world.
On another note, we all know how important exercise is – but this study “Study: More Active Teens Get Higher Test Scores” highlights an interesting finding:
“…the effects seemed to be lasting. A child’s physical activity at age 11 continued to be linked to how she performed academically at age 13. And at age 15 and 16, for every 17 minutes a day a boy exercised, he enjoyed a boost in his scores while 11 year old girls saw a benefit in their scores for every 12 minutes a day they exercised. As the girls grew older, the link between more exercise and better science performance continued to be strong.”
The impact of having physically active kids doesn’t just impact their here and now, it actually helps them learn and progress academically indefinitely. And for girls, more exercise led to better performance in STEM subjects. Findings like these are no joke — we need to get our kids moving. We are failing our kids as we continue to see cuts in physical fitness programs in school. There is proof, actual scientific proof that exercise helps them learn. Why are we not screaming and yelling about this to our school board/state representatives?
workout: Muscle up progressions
This is what CrossFit is all about to me —
5×5 Weighted Pull Ups 5#
Buy in: 800m run
20 KB Swings
30m Burpee Broad Jumps
Cash out: 400m run
How cute is this? Jimmy Fallon is just getting better and better & seems to really enjoy what he’s doing. Watching his stuff makes me happy.
Are you the type of person that cares too much – whether it be in your friendships/relationships, personal life, professional life? Read this post below — It once again drives home myI need to focus on working with people who have a real passion for what they are doing — who genuinely believe they can make a difference in people’s lives. I have been settling for less than that for far too long…
Organizations move toward mediocrity when they silence those who care deeply.
Pursue your passion or accept irrelevance.
Every initiative, project, department, and product needs a champion who obsessively cares. CEO’s become champions of average when they don’t freakishly care for their organizations.
Excellence is a function of caring deeply.
Deep breaths and move onward….
Switching gears, here’s an interesting post I read yesterday:
This post summarizes a lot of what I have talked about before and what needs addressing in the world of CrossFit. Inexperienced coaching, bad programming, safe movements performed dangerously — another reminder of the saturation of the CrossFit market and lack of oversight. You really can open a CrossFit facility after paying 1K for a two day course, taking a multiple choice test, and then paying CrossFit HQ 3K for your affiliation. That’s it — and many have opened with just that. My Level one class had a few people who had not even done CrossFit before?!! WTF!!
How do you deal with that? Ask questions!! 10 questions to ask when starting CrossFit Look at the coach bio’s before even trying out the place. Is it all ‘fluff’? Remember, taking CrossFit weekend courses is great and all but it certainly doesn’t qualify you to get out there and coach new athletes! Knowing what I know now that I am training with some experienced coaches–the difference in coaching is night and day.
This morning for example, I was working on my strength lift and doing the Push Press. I have always thought I was pretty good at this lift but Coach Randy pointed out that I was going way too fast down into the lift, which made the bar bounce off my ‘shelf’ and then I was under it, pushing it up. It works – don’t get me wrong but it’s not efficient and I lose power. We worked on rejiggering my lift –slow and controlled on the way down, and transmitting the power explosively on the way up! It felt awkward and made me stop for a few to think about it –but then it came and sure enough — it made the lift easier. I am going to have to work on it though, because I am so used to doing it the other way. But, seriously – I have been doing it that same way for years!!! That got me fired up and excited to work on it for sure! So a big Thank You to Coach Randy and Highbar CrossFit.
- Paleo diet: Here’s how to get started with breakfast and lunch
- Calorie Deprivation, Decreased Mental Bandwidth and Why True Paleo Stands Apart from Other Diets
- PLEASE STOP SAYING “EVERYTHING IN MODERATION”
“Why are you even attempting “moderation” of bread, cheese, or diet sodas if these foods make you significantly and tangibly less healthy?”
5×3 Push Press 98#
5 DB Snatch 25#
12 Wall Balls
80m bear crawls
–1m rest every 2rounds
This weekend was good — got in some great workouts, got some crap done around the house, my Hannah Bea came home, saw a movie with my Silver Fox and… Breaking Bad was on! If you aren’t watching this show, go stream it from the beginning and stick with it. I almost gave up on it after the second episode but tried again and ended up getting hooked. Great writing, great acting, great story.
Today, we worked on front squat and then did a bit of a doozy of a WOD.
front squat 135#
5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats
5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats
time: 18:30 RX
Once I got out of my head, the kipping pull ups were fluid and that made me super happy! Two more days until vacation…. and boy do I need it!