Getting older, and shorter

Had to get a new doctor. My previous doc left to start a medical device company, not that I saw her more than a couple of times. New doc insisted on a physical, so it took forever to lock down an appointment.


  • I’m an inch shorter
  • I’m “close” to the point where doc will hassle me about my weight
  • new doc doesn’t have a clue what fitness is

The shorter bit really stinks. Back in the Navy I measured in repeatedly at 6’2″. My old man was 6’2″, so this was a point of pride for me. Granted, I only weighed about 160 pounds, but I was as tall as the old man. Now, I’m only 6’1″ and, technically, a little shy of that. I don’t have an L5-S1 which disintegrated a while back, and L2-L3 is lacking. L4-L5 was repaired years ago, and it’s probably well deflated again. Sure, I live with intense low back pain daily because of all this, but I was doing a great job of denying the fact that I’m not as tall as I used to be. But no longer. It’s official. I’m 1 inch shorter than I used to be.

I hate saying, “than I used to be.” I don’t care if I turn 50 on my next birthday I hate saying, used to be”

Per my handy-dandy scale I was at 12% body fat this morning. I did a dunk tank test a while back with the results aligning quite well with the body fat scale, so I roll with it. Sure, it’s going to vary a bit, but my body fat % is somewhere around 12%.

New doc pointed out that my BMI was “pretty much OK” and “if it creeps up much above 26, we’ll have to talk.”

Really? Are you kidding me? (normally I’d say, “Are you fucking kidding me?” but I’m trying to swear less).

I’m damn near 50 years old, I’m 6’1″ (excuse me while I wipe away a tear over that one), I weigh between 195-200#’s, I have 12% body fat, and you are going to say anything about my weight because my BMI is over 25? There is not one single person on this planet who would look at me and think, “dude needs to lose a few pounds.” I’m lean. Most people think I’m still a runner because, duh, lean. Skinny. If you noticed earlier, as kid (young adult), I stood 6’2″ and weighed 160#’s. I’m not now, nor have I ever been big. Never.

In all honesty, and knowing nothing about this doctor’s quiver of clients other than she said, “I deal with a lot of older people”, I’d bet I’m in the top-1% fittest in her portfolio.

So, </rant> for now. I’ll get the blood work done that she demanded, but I’ll be finding a new doctor soon.





17.4 thoughts


16.4 I was off the rower at 10:38, had 2 1/2 minutes and got 2 HSPUs
17.4 I was off the rower at 9:24 – really? wow. Did not realize I got off the rower 1 minute faster than last year. Had 3 1/2 minutes and got 12 HSPU
Kind of stunned – a full minute faster off the rower. I don’t think I rowed much faster, but I know I was a lot faster on the wallballs and some on the deads.
All of my no reps were from coming off of the wall instead of kicking into the wall. I basically did about 20 HSPUs with only 12 counting.
Slowing down a bit and making each rep count should get me above 12 HSPU. Per our conversation – taking 30 seconds after the rower to collect a bit before hitting HSPU is well within my time budget.
Wish I could do more sets of 3. I did one good set of 3 this time. Doing 2’s it feels like the set up time takes way too long compared to the number of reps.
Overall – really good improvement. Stoked about that.

Getting Better – is really simple

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2017 vs the 3 previous years. 16.1 was clearly an outlier, but the Overall speaks volumes. Consistently 75th percentile in 2014, 2015, and 2016. I know, top 25% doesn’t suck, but it wasn’t enough for me.

Then I hired a coach who programs specifically for me, knowing my strengths and weaknesses, and I busted my ass. 17.1 and 17.3 are both BAD workouts for me. They don’t fit anywhere into my wheelhouse. With 2 out of 3 workouts in the Bad category, I’m still 15 points better…. just shy to 90th percentile vs. 75th.

Hire a coach.

Work hard.

It’s that simple.

The Open is Fucking Perfect Just the Way it is

It may piss a few people off, but so what. Here goes.

I’m fed with the whining and crying and gnashing of teeth over how the Open is unfair or Scaled should be treated with more respect or the weights are too heavy for all but the elite athletes.

The Open is what it is and it does a great job of telling you where you rank compared to other people your age, rank and serial number.

Anyone who has looked at the last 200 years of the CrossFit Open knows what happens. The weights get heavy, Castro puts out some nasty rep scheme with a smirk on his face, and a whole bunch of people do shit they never thought they could do because they force themselves to push just a little bit (or a lot) harder than they would have during an average Friday WOD.

Sure, the Open is supposedly about seeding the elites (the youngsters, the Teams and the Masters) for a shot at the Games, but for 98.6% of Men aged 45-49 the Open is as far as we are going to go. Only 1.4% of us hit the top 200 and reach the Masters Qualifier. Realistically only 0.28% have any real shot of getting to the Games. The Top 200 only matters for the Top 40 when it comes to making it to the show. For the masses, the Open is a way to put our fitness on the line 8 to 20 minutes at a time.

Yes, I said “last 200 years”- the Open has been around that long. Trust me. I know things.

It’s not fair that muscle ups appear except that it is. It’s not fair that someone who Scaled a WOD is ahead of you on the Leaderboard, expect that it’s pretty clear that they are, overall, fitter than you are. It’s not fair that the snatch weights jumped from 95# in round 1 to 135# in round 2. There should have been 20 pound jumps not 50. I’d complain about the jump from 135# to 185# in round 3, but why complain about something that doesn’t affect me in the slightest?

You paid your twenty bucks, and you knew something nasty was going to come your way.

17.1 was pure pain for me. Lowering a heavy dumbbell after snatching it and then doing box jumps is a perfect recipe for the muscles in my lower back to revolt, and they did. I was 12 reps shy of finishing that thing, and the last 50 dumbbell snatches were pure agony. Luckily I’m old, have good insurance, and a steady, though meager supply of Oxycontin.

17.2 was almost wheelhouse. I only wish it had been a 20 minute AMRAP because lunging is fun and the longer we go the better I do. Plus, I’ve got bar muscle ups. I don’t have them to perfection, but I have them. That distinction allows for a pretty big gap between the haves and the have not’s.

17.3 was a reminder that I am not in the top 10% of fitness like I was after 17.2. Years of no mobility and pounding the crap out of my body on the road and trail mean I don’t move well. Well, that ain’t 100% true. I move really well in a straight line. I am still a better runner than almost anybody in my gym. It’s amazing how vacuuming cartilage chunks out of my hip a few years ago decreased pain. Back in the day I could hit top 10 in a triathlon, but that was life in a straight line. The snatch is vertical up to get the bar moving and vertical down to get under said bar. It’s that damned change in direction that gets me. And my shoulders suck.

17.3 kicked my ass because I don’t snatch well. It turns out that 135# was a PR for me for a squat snatch. Sorry purists, but we call it a squat snatch because power isn’t allowed. I don’t make the rules. If I did I would have allowed power snatches. On Friday I hit 17.3, cruised through the 95# snatches at a moderate pace and then failed to hit 135# even once. Yeah, that pissed me off, but I also know the truth. As much as I’ve worked to get better over the past year, and I have, I still need a LOT of work to get to even halfway decent on the snatch. During my redo on Sunday (yes, I do the WODs twice) I hit 135# four times. Would I have done that in a class WOD? No. Did I learn something? Oh, hell yes.

Even with those 4 reps at 135#, come Wednesday my overall ranking will plummet. Let’s be honest, it should plummet. Not having a decent snatch means that I’m not a well rounded Crossfitter.

The choices are pretty simple. Like everyone else I know, I balance my health (this winter was hell), my career (startups are fun…. and insane), my family (there’s a reason I’ve been married for over 21 years), and then my fitness obsession. Last year I hired a coach. She upped my game by an easy 10x, but if I want to really kick some ass I’d have to be in the box twice as much. Can I do that? Do I want to do that?

So closing this rant by getting back to the headline. By week 3 every year I settle into a pretty tight band (+/- 10%) of where I’m going to end the Open. From what I’ve analyzed most people do the same thing. If you are a top 1% athlete or a 20% athlete or a bottom 30% athlete it works out over the course of 5 weeks. Nobody hits the Master Qualifier or Regionals by accident. That, my friends, is why Castro’s lovechild turns out to be pretty darn near perfect.

On a good note – you now have 12 months to make things different for 2018.

Your move.

That wasn’t so bad after all – 35 min AMRAP

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“conversation pace” is a great descriptor for me. Used to use this for years when running. How hard was the effort?

  • Could you hold a conversation easily?
  • Could you talk with single sentences?
  • Can you only say a couple of words at a time?
  • Can you only  speak in monosyllables?
  • Can you even breathe?

Of course I went a bit harder than “conversation pace” but only to about 75-80% where I was able to talk in single sentences. Pushing it but not that hard.

Handstand kick ups were interesting – in that a bunch of them turned into handstand holds. That’s something I really need to work on, and it was freakin’ awesome to feel vertical.

Hit 8 rounds with 30 seconds to spare, and that was with a steady sustained effort. Cool stuff.

35 minutes? It sounded long, but it didn’t feel long when I was into it. Then again, I love, love, love long sucky workouts.

Box was doing 800m run/ 60 cal row / 40 T2B / 25 deads @ 275#. Damn, that looked like fun.


On Tuesdays we clean

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Did a whole lot of snatching yesterday, and my knees were stiff as hell getting into the gym at 5am this morning for a clean kind of day. You know it’s going to be a tough morning when you have to (and I do mean “have to”) hold onto the hand rail when going downstairs to make coffee.

took a long time to get my legs/patella tendons mobile enough to get into a squat. Did the last 2 reps of my final set at 85%.

Lifting on 4 hours of sleep is not beneficial.

Metcon – went with 4 reps on the power cleans and unbroken on every round of  toes-to-bar.

Work was done. That’s what matter.

Back to the Grind

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couldn’t find the gorilla plate, so went 60 sec planks with 45# plate instead of bumping it to 65# for the second round.

and then the Metcon. It’s been a down week: physically not on my game and mentally a LOT going one. One thing that brings me back is diving into the suck and gutting it out. Yeah. This was it.

Went 155# on the barbell walk – not comfortable on the traps if you ask me, and 45# dumbbells on the farmer’s carry.

Here’s the kicker…. the close-out 1k row? only 4 seconds off my 1k row PR.

I know. That’s what I thought too…..


Gwen – deceptive

had another go at Gwen yesterday. Failed.

15-12-9 clean and jerk, add weight each round, you choose the weight.

Sets must be unbroken. No regrip on the ground.

It always seems so light to start out, but hanging on to a moderately heavy bar for 15/12/9 reps of clean and jerk is so much harder than 30 reps of Grace, also a moderate weight bar, but you can let go of the thing.

Got the 15 though the struggle was real. Only hit 10 of the 12 and 7 of the 9. Forearms were fried each set. Darn, this is a tough one.

Finished off with 10-8-6-4-2 strict C2B with 3 wallclimbs per round.

Feeling it today

Just keep moving. Smooth is fast.

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Snatching from the blocks, a bunch of gymnastics holds and then this. A lot of fun.

only made it 4 rounds with the 6@30# and 12@20# rep scheme. Decided to drop to 4@30# and 8@20#. Do you know how light a 20# ball feels after throwing a 30# ball? Even at 8 or 12 reps it felt like I was tossing a 14# ball.

Burpees to target. Wow did I forget how tough these can be. Had to get feet underneath me and actually jump. Totally different than sloppy no jump or bar facing burpees.

Happy Monday folks!

Yoke, ropes and core… Thursday, August 11th

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If I don’t place significantly better in the 2017 Open there’s something seriously wrong with this world.

First time using the yoke. Went with 285# and bumped it to 315# for the last round. Definitely could have gone higher but it was good to feel it out a bit this time. Just focus on putting one foot in front of the other and breathing. One hell of a trap massage though….

Rope climbs were pretty darn good. After some initial flubs I got down to only needing 2 pulls which saves a lot of energy and time. Plus, I bought a shin skin which was great especially since my rope burn leg is also the shin that I slammed on the failed box jump yesterday. Protects much better than just a long sock.

Midline work was really tough. Shoulders have been worked lately and holding knees up (couldn’t do L-sit for this long). Holding suspended works the shoulders as well as the core. And the core. Did I mention it works the core?