Category: family

5am… is EARLY

Sucked it up and made it to the 5am WOD this morning.

Truth be told, my wife, who wakes up really early, got up, turned on the heater and really helped me get moving this morning. Thank you.

Hit the San Jose location. It’s weird that I felt out of place. It’s my normal Saturday WOD and CrossFit Kids location, but I’ve never been there during the week. Felt almost like a drop-in.

EMOM (on the 2 minute) 12 minutes
1 power snatch
1 hang power snatch
1 overhead squat

because we had a 2 minute gap the coach tossed in some burpees and air squats on the minute to keep us warm.

Result? Meh. But my body was moving.

EMOM 12 Minutes
1st minute, 10 OHS
2nd minute, 10 burpees over the bar
3rd minute, 12 toes-to-bar

Results? The body was moving…. OHS’s were light and less reps. Burpees over the bar were burpees over the bar – can they possibly be anything else? Toes-2-Bar were 2 rounds unbroken, 1 round knees to elbows and 1 round of flopping around like a dead fish.

I thought it was 3 rounds for that last EMOM, so when round 4 came I was not a happy camper. Sucked it up though. My last round of OHS were clearly NOT at depth. Pat Barber stopped beside me for 2 reps, didn’t say anything but looked closely at my depth before giving me  the stink eye. Some coaches don’t even need to use words.

Alright – time to finish eating and hit the Power Point.

A message to a few people I know… ([rant], you have been warned)

I’m a husband (20 years), a father (10 ½ years), a person (way too many years), an employee (again, way too many years, and why the hell do I always gravitate to insane hours at startups?), and an athlete. I’ve been doing the athlete thing for several decades now. It hasn’t been easy. At times it is glorious. Like when I have just hiked, sleep-deprived, overnight with a 40 pound pack up a steep assed trail to over 10,000′ of elevation and see a sunrise that makes me remember just how amazing life is.

In case anyone missed it…. the sunrise was glorious, but I earned the view of it.


I have heard some of my favorite phrases over the last few weeks, and my head is about to explode.

“Staying fit is easy for you”
“It’s much harder for me to workout. You workout all the time and don’t know how hard it is for those of us who don’t do that.”
“If I only had as much time as you do to workout.”
and, of course my favorite,
“You want to gain weight? I wish I had that problem.”

Fuck off.

No, really. I mean that.

Fuck off.

I love to workout. I absolutely, positively love it. It’s part of my psyche. It’s part of my being. It’s central to my sanity.

But it ain’t “easy” and it never has been. Here’s the deal – the feeling of accomplishment that I get after a workout far surpasses any other feeling of accomplishment that I can get on a regular basis, and I am addicted to that feeling.

OK, that’s not true. Seeing my wife or daughter’s smile blows all the other stuff away. Comforting a scared/stressed kid and know that I’m truly making a difference in someone’s life is a feeling like no other in this world. But I digress.

Back to the workout stuff. It’s a HUGE pain in the ass to get to the gym every day. It’s time away from my family. It’s time away from my job. It’s time that could be spent doing a zillion other things – things that REALLY need to get done. But there’s a catch. Without my health, without a good sweat, without endorphins in my blood stream, without a feeling of accomplishment that comes from hitting a solid workout – I’m freakin’ useless.

I’ve been through 4 major surgeries. It should have been 5 major surgeries, but I just couldn’t deal with another surgeon cutting into my spine again. Once was enough. After each surgery I could have quit. Instead I took the brutal path of regaining strength, doing the days and days of physical therapy, the embarrassment of lifting 2 pound weights when I had been doing 50 pounds, 200 pounds, or more…. the frustration of walking 30 minute-miles instead of running sub-6 minute miles… because I didn’t give up. I didn’t quit.

So you chose to quit. Fine. Honestly, I’m not judging you. I’ve got enough on my plate to worry about that your choice of lifestyle is totally, completely, and utterly irrelevant to me.

I got shit to do.

I’ve got a wife I want to stay married to, and marriage takes work.

I’ve got daughters who need my care, direction, love and support.

I’ve got a mind that has suffered through over 40 years of extreme anxiety that needs to heal and start a new way of thinking.

I’ve got a career that consumes a lot of time and energy.

I’ve got a busted ass old body that needs a lot of work to stay healthy.

Those are my choices. Those are my priorities. Staying fit is not “easy” for me. It’s a lifelong commitment. There are days when I can’t even think about going to the gym, but I go. I get in my car, I drive to the gym, and I figure it out from there.

Usually I figure it out by going in the gym and busting my ass. Hell, I’ve already driven there, right?

And, yes, there are some days when I say, “Fuck it. I’m not going.” Yep, those days happen, and sometimes it’s a really good decision. Sometimes I really hate myself for giving in.

But the next day I get back to it.

I’d love to see you at the gym. I think it’s a boost for anyone, but I’m not going to cap on your for not going. It’s your life and your choice.

Just don’t try to insult me for choosing to go…..

The Jiruean Diamond

I am so pleased to share this ebook…

Written by my 10 year old daughter in less than 2 weeks at summer writing camp.

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 6.36.12 AM

it shares more about her than I would have been brave enough to do at 10 years old. Posted with her express permission and desire.

Anybody else run a 5k this weekend?

GoTR 5k

12 Rules for Being a Princess – or maybe rules for being a fun person.

as written by my 8 yo daughter (while she was snug in her bed this morning under 15 layers of blankets)

  1. Use your manners.
  2. Be kind to the kingdom
  3. Smile
  4. Dream
  5. Rock the crown
  6. Wish on stars
  7. Keep the castle tidy (and by castle I mean “my room”)
  8. Believe in fairy tales
  9. Curtsy
  10. Listen to grown-ups
  11. Be polite
  12. Give from the heart

I think she’s got it right….

Finding time. Making time. Doing time…. #crossfit #workout

Last Fall I took a job that I knew would require major time commitment. It’s not just the hours in the office (arrive by 6:30am – depart 11-12+ hours later). It is also the travel. More importantly, it’s that the mental process never stops. On my drive home I’m thinking about strategy, about the next three meetings, about pushing the salesforce to get shit done.

My wife and I talked long and hard about what it will really take to be successful. We have been here before. Startups are factories of insanity. They are also fun, unfettered, and allow for a level of freedom that is both scary and inspiring. The first few months were normal insanity, but in the last few weeks the dial got cranked to 11. Add in a major crisis on the home front and it’s been a rocket blast of crazy.

I am not exactly the most stable of people. My nature is to go way off the deep end and embroil myself in stress. One of the things that has always helped center my soul is exercise. 3 hour runs that drained my psyche of all negative emotions were critical to my well being. Getting into that pain cave where the only possible thoughts were those that related to keeping my body moving forward was cathartic and necessary.

I simply do not have time to set aside 2-4 hours per day. That’s where CrossFit has helped. Even an 8-minute metcon is enough to focus my brain. It’s a precious timeframe when I can set aside all other thoughts and focus only on a straightforward task – pick up a loaded bar or knock out 1 more pull-up. There is no multi-tasking in CrossFit. I won’t get interrupted to look at someone else’s pricing analysis. Either the bar is overhead and locked out or it’s not.

My workout log for the last week is blank. My caffeine intake over the last few weeks borders on extremely unhealthy. My diet has fallen to a new low.

It’s funny how little time it takes to allow the wheels to fall off. Clearly I need to figure out a solution. If my evening workouts maybe won’t be happening I need to shift my morning back by 1/2 an hour and get to the box early.

My life depends on it.

No, that is not an exaggeration.

My neck hurts like hell. Thanks Mom!

Seriously folks. My neck really hurts.

I didn’t sleep wrong or hurt it doing some weird kind of head-bob dance move. I don’t dance.

Nope. I hurt it looking up. Granted, I was looking up for several hours. I was not at an air show. I was at a climbing gym.

We have been trying to find something physical that will spark some passion for my oldest daughter. It hasn’t been easy. Soccer, gymnastics, dance, tennis, soccer again…. we tried just about everything that is open to a suburban middle-class family. I mean we tried everything!

Then she asked to have her birthday at a climbing gym. Or maybe my wife suggested it, and my daughter agreed. The spark was immediate. Her friends had fun, but she took it personally. Each route was a challenge.

For Christmas I “gave” her 5 trips to the climbing gym. We would have gone anyway, but making it a gift put a little bit of a shine on it. It also allowed us to buy one less gift.

Since she only weighs 50 pounds she can’t belay my 195# frame, so all of our time at the climbing gym is dedicated to her doing the climbing. I don’t mean an hour or two. I mean 4-5 solid hours of me holding the rope and looking up. It’s hell on my neck, and she refuses to come down until she is 50′ up at the end of the route.

I wish I could count the hours that my mother spent, freezing in the ocean driven fog and mist, in the stands of the Little League field where I played for years and years or the hours spent making sure dinner was ready before driving me to practice at one of many fields. I will never be able to count the hours she invested in my life.

Thanks Mom. Thank you very much.

If I can’t pick goals for 2015, can I pick CrossFit disappointments I want to avoid?

It should not come as a surprise, but I have been struggling with goal setting for this year. Yes, Type-A me has no clue what to shoot for, and it’s driving me nuts. I’ve written about goals a couple of times already.. like here, and here… I stand wholeheartedly behind the first post. There really is nothing more important than being a better father to my girls.

But what should I write on my whiteboard for CrossFit? I have no idea. OK, that’s not really correct. I have an idea of what to shoot for, but I don’t know how to or if I can get there. Hip surgery seems to be going really well, but “full recovery” will be several more months. I’m not supposed to be handling weight until March, and I’m already doing so. But the uncertainty of the recovery process makes it hard to say when I can really get back to CrossFit with a passion. I’m trying to look at 2015 as a prep year for 2016. There’s just too much unknown about 2015 to make any concrete plans for this year.

That said (i.e. these really are my plans if I were to make plans…..) I would be really disappointed if I was to enter 2016 without accomplishing:

  • 300# back squat
  • 225# clean
  • sub-5:00 Fran
  • 50 consecutive Double Unders (all I have to do is buy a new jump rope, right?)
  • 200# jerk
  • consecutive muscle ups (2 is “consecutive”…)

I’m just laying it out there. My head says, “set goals. make a plan. drive results.” My heart says, “Dude, just roll with it.”

What do you say?

I watched my daughter fail – repeatedly – this weekend. Most inspiring thing I’ve seen in a long time

Local climbing gym. Oldest is really getting into climbing. We all start with the same fear, “I can’t fall because I will die.” Falling is scary, really scary. Now she has gotten to the point where falling is nothing. Of course she hates it when she misses a hold, but she is not afraid to fall and be caught by the rope she knows will be there.

2+ hours in, and I ask her what route she wants to climb. She takes me to a really difficult area. It’s not a kid friendly route, but she wants to give it a go. She struggles.

Shocker! She even asks for advice. After learning how to make a dynamic move  – and using 2 such moves she gets to about 10′. She fails.

This is a kid who won’t start a 4 sentence book review until she has “the perfect opening sentence” and will wait for hours until she gets it. She fears failure.

But she swings back to the wall to try again and again. She asks me to lower her so she can try a different tactic. What? Lose precious height that has been gained? Not this child. Yes, this child.

She tries again and again and again, falling every time. Finally I lower her down.

She did not succeed. She did not get above 10′ on this route.

But she is smiling. And laughing. And taking a break, “so we can try that one again.”

I love watching her fail.

and yet not fail at all….