Friday, March 13, 2015

Dave Castro Killed CrossFit

At least he did for me.  And at least what he did was kill the CrossFit Open for me.  A few safe harbor statements.  I am not a competitive CrossFitter, I'm not even a particularly good one.  I'm not very strong, I'm definitely not very fast, and I have the gymnastics skill of a baby elephant.  I do, however, love everything about it.  I love pushing, and sweating, and suffering, and more than anything, I love the shared experience of it with everyone in my gym.  I "come in last" in almost every workout I do with 10-15 other people, and sometimes by a huge margin, but after it's over, I have shared something with the people next to me that we laugh and cry and cuss about until the next time we do it. I rarely do the weight the big dogs do during their workouts, and my totals are way below theirs, but we have a common bond.  And every March, something incredible happens. For 5 weeks, the CrossFit Open MAKES me do every workout RX with the same weight and same movements that the man who's going to win the CrossFit games does.  I might do 5 and he might do 155 reps, but we do the exact same workout.  For those few workouts we have a connection even though I'll never touch the level of skill and fitness that he has.

This year Dave Castro destroyed that.  He made a scaled division in the open, basically giving the people who "can't" do certain movements a way to "take part." What he really did was say that we have these professional athletes that do one thing, and then the rest of you can do this other thing that is kind of like what they do.  What Dave Castro did was say, see these NFL players, they're going to do their thing, you can go play in the vacant lot with your friends across the street.  What was special about the Open was that I got to play in an NFL game.  Not with a crowd, not with any money, not with any glory (sometimes the opposite), but I got to play the exact game that the pros did.  That CrossFit Open said that we are a community of fitness where everyone is important and connected and capable.  This CrossFit open feels like I would be playing dress up.

I didn't participate in the Open this year, and I'd like to say it was because of my philosophical differences with Dave Castro's new format, but the truth is I let myself go and wasn't in any shape to even try this year.  But when I heard how this was going down, especially hearing about releasing a workout with muscle ups, probably the biggest limiting movement in the CrossFit arsenal, I see clearly that the Open isn't for me anymore.  Dave Castro doesn't care if I want to do the Open or not, he cares about making a sporting event to put on ESPN, and I get that, I just wish it weren't true.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Jack of a few trades, master of none

The past few weeks have been a very bitter pill to swallow.  I pursue fitness, swimming, biking, running, weightlifting, CrossFitting, etc., because I love feeling healthy.  Working hard, sweating, and even being worn out is fun for me.  I spent long enough in my life being sick and sedentary that I truly enjoy pushing my body to do things it didn't used to be capable of.  The fact is, finding new ways to do this has become almost as damaging an obsession as was the compulsive overeating that I replaced it with. I mean if running was fun, than triathlon must be like 3 times as fun, and if triathlon is 3 times as fun, then Ironman must be like lots of fun for even longer, and then CrossFit and triathlon is amazing, and coaching triathlon and CrossFit, and... you see the pattern.  The fact is I love all of these things, but instead of being a better runner, triathlete, CrossFitter, or coach, I've just become pretty lame at all of them.

My heart is in too many places, and not fully committed to anything.  I literally don't have enough passion to go around to all of the things that I love, and that includes my family, my wife, God, even, ironically, my health.  Fact is, my health should be EXACTLY the reason I'm doing any of the things I've been doing, but honestly the way I've been doing them has been hurting my health more than it's been helping it.  For one, I'm never fully recovered, I'm always dealing with an injury of some kind, because I'm always throwing myself into situations that I'm not prepared for because I haven't been doing anything as consistently as I should.  I'm in a constant state of guilt for not giving some part of my life enough attention.  If I take time off from CrossFit to concentrate on triathlon, I feel like I'm going to lose strength.  If I stop running and biking, I won't finish my Ironman.  If I take a break and spend time with the people I love I'm going to get fat again.  These fears seem crazy to "normal" people, but I assure you that they plague me as much as anyone's fear of spiders or heights.

So what do I do?  Keep going, just get along at as many things as I can and hope for the best? Or do I make a tough decision, cut some things out and try and do something well enough that I actually enjoy it again.  That seems like a no brainer, but it's a much harder decision than maybe it should be.

The fact is I'm not going to be ready for Ironman Texas.  I might be able to get there in the next ten weeks, but am I going to have any fun doing that?  If recent history is any indicator, probably not.  If I'm honest about what I want out of my health and fitness, I want the ability to be strong, fast, flexible, and ready for any kind of challenge, and training for long course triathlon doesn't get me there.  Devoting myself to CrossFit and healthy nutrition is.  Not because of any data or anecdotal evidence, because that's what I feel.  I've got to follow my gut.

I'll always swim bike and run, and I'll even do triathlon races this year, but I feel like I have to let Ironman go.  I've completed one and am really proud of it, but I don't need another one to feel accomplished.  I need to be healthy and happy.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 1, July 1, 2013

So here's my first crack at it.  I said it's a 30 day challenge for myself, but turns out July has 31 days, when did that happen?! :)  Hopefully I get better at these, but here goes.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Where to (re)Start?

It's safe to say it has been a while.  When I looked and saw that my last post was so long ago, I would say I was surprised, but it wouldn't be true.  In fact, I was kind of surprised that it was that recent.  The truth is that it has been almost a year since I've felt like myself.  I sustained an injury last summer that put me out for months, got back, and sustained another one that put me out of training and out of my hopes for my second Ironman finish.  These injuries derailed me physically, but I allowed them to derail me mentally and emotionally also.  I've had spurts of time when I felt like I was coming back, but they've fallen short.  I guess I can't say that wont happen again, but I've got one little thing on my side that I'm hoping might make a difference.  Starting Monday, July 1, I have one month of summer vacation. No work, total vacation.  I'm going to use this as a 30 day reboot of my life.  I'm also going to use it to do a project that I've been wanting to try for a long time.  I'm going to chronicle the 30 day reboot in a video blog here.  Every day for 30 days I'll post a video of my progress, thoughts, struggles, etc.

In a nutshell, here's my plan for the reboot:
-30 days of totally clean/paleo eating.  Along with this I really want to refine the way I was doing the diet before, even when it was successful.  I'm a carnivore, but I really want to up the plants.  I'm going to incorporate some juicing, stack on the veg and try and stick to higher quality meats in smaller portions.

-My calf has been feeling normal and I've even been doing a little running.  I'm going to continue to swim/bike/run as well as do crossfit at least one a week (usually twice).

-While this is a month off of work, it's also my only vacation month, my birthday is this month, and hey, it's summer.  So I'm going to allow myself 4 days this month (one for each week) to enjoy a beer or two, or eat a non paleo meal.  These aren't "cheat" days, because I don't believe in cheat days (more on that later), but rather than go completely off the rails because I have a beer or a slice of pizza, let myself know that there will be circumstances where it happens.  Let it happen, then move right back on course.  That being said, I'm going to try NOT to use these 4 days.  Part of the purpose of this is to show that I believe this is a sustainable lifestyle and not something that is a departure or anomaly from "normal."