Friday, June 25, 2010

Opportune Jamaica Sunset

Just thought I would give y'all a little taste of what it was like to be in Jamaica. If you couldn't tell from the previous post, we had more than a little fun... This photo was shot from our private jacuzzi on our private patio. 

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have been provided in my life. To be born where and when I was born to the parents that gave me life; to grow up knowing that I was loved and supported every step. I must say (I know I am biased) that my parents are the best parents that I know. They are the best people that I know. If  it was not for them, my life at it is today would not be possible. Thanks mom and dad. I love you.

Opportunities are nothing without action. Are you taking advantage of the opportunities in front of your face? They are right there to be had! GO GET THEM. Grab them with both hands and do not let go until you have achieved all that you want to achieve. There is nothing else - no time to be wasted - no ifs ands or buts - no feelings of inadequacy or fears of failure. 

If you want a sunset like this: go get it. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"If it's not fun, don't do it."

Big Mike G and Me. Dunns River Falls State Park, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. 

THIS IS FUN! On my recent vacation to Jamaica, Big Mike and I decided to up the ante, so to speak... We were climbing a section of waterfalls, having the time of our lives in one of the most gorgeous tropical settings I have ever seen -- and then an idea popped into my head: "Let's do handstands right here in the rushing water, mere feet from a cliff!" Mike was right there with me, and with no hesitation whatsoever, we popped a couple handstands. The most fun EVER. Who else can say they did this? 

This was the hot topic amongst my friends today at the gym. If we're not going to have fun, we're not going to do it. Period. I love it. 

If YOU aren't having fun with your life. CHANGE IT. "But I have this to do, and I have that to do." OK. Maybe. But you also have a choice. You have the choice to make your like FUN, or SERIOUS and BORING. 

Life is about one thing: living powerfully and living a life you love. If you are not living a dream and loving your life, you aren't living. Period. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Human Potential and CrossFit

Overhead squat at the 2010 South Central Regionals - CrossFit GSX - Ft. Worth, TX.

Regionals have come and gone, and with it many learnings and realizations. CrossFit is diverging into two separate but equally awesome components: CrossFit the training methodology, and CrossFit the sport. 

Gone are the days when anyone training at a crossfit box could sign up for a sectional or regional event, show up and compete. Come is the era when crossfit transforms into: a) the training program that you use to get in the best shape of your life or b) the sport you live for. 

Why these two distinctions? I will explain from my own personal experiences...

When I started crossfitting seriously in January of 2009, I fell in love, like many, with the intensity of the workouts, the camaraderie of my fellow athletes, and the ease with which I  found myself in the best shape of my life. I was running farther and faster and lifting more than I ever had, and when competition time came, I was eager to test myself against the best. 

Regionals 2009: I showed up having been training in earnest for little over three months. There were many things I still could not do well (overhead squat; anything heavy overhead) or at all (muscle ups, handstand pushups). I put out a good performance personally, but it was mediocre compared to the rest of the field, and I finished a modest 60th. 

Fast forward to Regionals 2010: Having qualified 23rd in sectionals, I was now proficient in many of the things that one year ago I was not. But the game had changed dramatically. If the field of competitors this year were to take on the field from last year, they would dominate with ease (to give you a brief example, Paul Smith, a former NFL linebacker of 6 years, and quite possibly one of the best athletes I have had the pleasure of watching at a crossfit competition, did not qualify in the top 4 to move on to the games -- he finished 6th). I finished 45th this year. Better than last year by far, but still miles and years away from the podium. 

What does all this have to do with my post? The simple fact that crossfit has grown exponentially over the last 4 years of its life (as a sport - it has been around for 10 years as a training methodology); it shows no signs of slowing down. As more and more people become aware of its potency and are drawn into the sport aspect - the field of competitors will only grow to include more ex-college ad ex-pro athletes.

Does this scare me? No. It motivates me. But it also serves as a wake up call to all: CrossFit the sport is here, and if you want to compete, you have to live the lifestyle 24/7/365. There are no off-days (except for the off-days) and you better be dialed in on: hydration, sleep, nutrition, supplements, and all of your strengths and weaknesses. If not, you will be punished without mercy by both the WOD's and the other men and women out there gunning for your spot on the podium.

A couple of years ago, the believed human physiological limit of the workout "Helen" (3 rounds: 400m run, 21 kettlebell swings with a 24kg kettlebell, and 12 pullups) was thought to be 8 min. Today, many of the coaches at CrossFit Central easily break 8 minutes (my PR is 7:37). Chris Spealler, on of the all-time greats and one of the favorites at this year's games is now sub-7 minutes. 

Where can we go from here? EVERYWHERE. At one point, everything is thought "impossible". The 4-minute mile -- broken. Much the same way, our workouts and WOD's  will be pushed to their limits. Human physical and mental capacity will be shot into the stratosphere, and I am glad I will be there to see this all unfold. 

Crossfit: for all. Crossfit the sport: we'll see...