What A Jerk!

At least that jerk is clean, amirite?!
Bad. I know. I’m sorry my little bastardos. I can do better. Dear joke diary, I failed today. Love, Jon.
With Mike O creepin’ on me the other night during Oly, I just had to play around with the Clean and Jerk. He said it was like me being capable of lifting you (the assumed you, not actually you, dear reader. I’m not a monster. Mostly.) over my head and slamming you to the ground.
I I hadn’t really thought of that, to be honest. (See aforementioned denouncement of monster label.) But if I’m being honest, that sounds pretty cool! Not slamming someone specifically to the ground, per se, but just the concept. That’s strong. Stronger than I ever thought I would or could be. Yet, there I was, push jerking 155 lbs over my head like it was a sack of potatoes.
Mmmmmm…potatoes! Right?
Just a step at a time. A day at a time. One workout at a time, CrossFit America.
I’ve been fortunate to have had no stoppage in work and projects for the last few months, which is shredding my workout routine instead my workout routine shredding me like it does in my self-indulgent dreams. But I make it work as I can. When I can. And I try to not beat myself up about it too hard.
Get there when you get there. Be where you are now and don’t worry about the rest.
​So grab a friend. Hit The Box. Then hoist that friend over your head and throw them like you’re in a Double Dragon video game.*
*Don’t really take this advice. In fact, you probably shouldn’t listen to me at all. Like ever. Just so we’re clear.

The Big, Dirty C-word

Take it easy, my little bastardos! I’m talking about commitment.  You’re so dirty. 

Commitment is a mofo, am I right? Rhetorical. I see you in the back. Just keep it to yourself, you eager little ruffian. 

We commit to this journey of CrossFit or we don’t, and this in turn gives us what we want, or it gives us more of the “business as usual.” And like Neo in the Matrix, we’ve been down that old road before, and we know where it ends. Usually with us sitting around, lamenting our lack of commitment. 

But commitment isn’t just saying, “I want to do X!” It’s showing up. Commitment isn’t just coming to The Box and working out. It’s fighting for that last rep in the AMRAP. Commitment isn’t just getting a PR in the Snatch Clean. It’s perfecting every minuscule movement in the Snatch Clean. 

Ever been so-so in your commitment to a Push Jerk and caught your chin with the barbell? Yeah. That would be me. 

You have to pay attention and commit to every little detail along the way. 

Here’s the thing. 

It isn’t giant leaps that get us where want to go. It’s tiny little steps along the way, taken consistently, sustained over a long period of time. It’s a commitment to the lifestyle, the life, the body, the mind, the spirit, anything and everything you want out of your time on this weird blue ball spinning in infinite space.

Look, I struggle. Im not even close to perfecting this sage advice I’m doling out like I got some corner on the wisdom market. Hell no. I’m not where I want to be yet. I’m not always consistent. I have to be honest with myself about that. Sucks don’t it? 

Just don’t let it keep you mired in your own bullshit. Choose today. Choose now. Just right now. 

Commit to one movement. One day. One hour. One minute. One grip. One shoulder shrug. One high pull. One dip under the barbell. 

Before you know it, you might find yourself exactly where you dreamed you’d be. 

Okay, suckas! Go dream. Then live that mofo like a champ! I’m out! 

Just Fail, Baby!

CrossFit America!

This one goes back out to my newbies, but this is some fundamental life shit I’m giving you, and it’s for everybody, including you savvy vets! Don’t sleep on the fundamentals, son!

So let’s grub, my little bastardos!

Just fail, you gloriously beautiful creature, you! Fail today. Fail tomorrow. Fail, fail, fail. Fail on that Snatch Squat. Fail on that Hang Clean. Fail on an AMRAP. Fail all day. Fail all night. Keep showing up for failure. It’s the only way.

This isn’t about CrossFit. This is life.

Show up. Try. Fail. Show up again. Try again. Fail again.

If you’re showing up and failing, you’re showing up and trying. This is the only secret to growth, and it doesn’t matter if it’s your physical muscles, your emotional or mental muscles, or any other growth you want to experience in this life.

There’s no way around this. You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it. You can’t do what you can’t do until you do it. You can’t learn without trying. You can’t try without failing. You can’t grow without failure. You can’t succeed without failure.

Push yourself! See what you’re made of! Fail, fail, fail.

Fail gloriously. Fail beautifully. Fail spectacularly. Fail so big you have no choice but to celebrate it and maybe even laugh at it. Then throw yourself the biggest damn failure party because you f*cking deserve it!

Only those who dare to try, risk failure. Risking failure is the only way to learn, the only way to grow. And isn’t that why you’re here? Isn’t this why you’re alive?

Okay my little bastardos, go out there and be the adorable, loveable, badass failures I know you can be! I’ll catch you on the flip.

What is Strong? 

CrossFit America! Let’s talk. Or rather I’ll talk. You just read along silently. And I see you moving your lips, you focused little bastardo, you. 

Let’s eat!

I found myself in two consecutive classes, where during the first, I was the only male in The Box. The second, I was one of two males. And while we grunted and sweated to Beyoncé, I thought, “This is f*cking great!” 

Now, I would never put on Beyoncé to work out, but that’s just me. But something interesting happened for me. I found myself reveling in the change of pace and direction. I found myself loving the experience I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t in the minority. Why the hell CAN’T I work out to Beyoncé? I didn’t have a good rebuttal, so I embraced it. 

It got me thinking. These ladies are f*cking strong. And I don’t mean they were/are strong “for a girl.” I mean they’re just f*cking strong. Period. 

Recently, my sister and I have had conversations about body image and awareness and how best to protect her three year old daughter from the prejudices, biases, and “expectations” of society at large, as it relates to women. 

This has all given me time to think and reflect on how I contribute to those views, for better and worse. Let’s face it, it’s really easy being a white male in this world. I don’t have to do too much. Just don’t be an asshole, and life comes along easily. 

I don’t have to worry about qualifiers. Am I strong “for a man?” Or am I hardcore “for a guy?” Does anyone look at me and think in a surprised way, “wow! He’s pretty tough?” Or do I ever, and I mean EVER have to worry about someone thinking, “oh he’d be hot if he only lost X amount of pounds?” 

I’ll save you the suspense. No. No, I don’t. 

I work out with a ton of strong people. Not men. Not women. People. We are strong because we’re f*cking strong. Not because of a qualifier. 

Just showing up to The Box is strong. Choosing to even try is strong. Being willing to fail is strong. Finding ways to silence the nagging negative voice in our heads is strong. Knowing we are worth it is strong.  Standing there, cheering on our fellow CrossFitters while they finish after us, is strong. Taping up bloody palms because the desire to keep going is far more empowering, that’s strong. Conquering ourselves is strong. Valuing ourselves first, because there’s no guarantee anyone else will, that’s f*cking strong.

We are all strong. We’re strong because we choose it. We’re strong-ER because we do this together. 

So be strong, my little bastardos. You already are. And I f*cking love you for it! 

Chin Up, Young Buck!

My little bastardos! You know I lave ya, but this one’s for my new buddy, Izzy, (not his real name) a young man, who just finished Build-Up. 

I see you kid! And better yet, I got you! We all got you. 

I know you’re not feeling very confident right now, and I’m here to tell you that’s okay. In fact, it’s par for the proverbial course, young buck. So relax. 

This shit takes time. Trust the process. 

No one knows what they’re doing until they know what they’re doing. We all went through it. All. Of. Us. Not a single one of us got through it unscathed, or without doubting ourselves, or without asking our bodies, “what in the hell are you doing?” when movements didn’t make sense to our muscles. 

None of us had the muscles we have now before we started. It’s a journey, little brother. It can’t be done in a day, or in a week, or even a year. It’s a way of life. It’s a decision. A choice. 

Decide you want your life to be healthy. Decide you want to be stronger. Decide you want to be better today than you were yesterday. Choose you, kid. 

F*ck the haters, young buck. Especially the little bastard hater that lives in your mind. You know the one. That little shit who is telling you that it’s not worth it, that maybe you’re not worth it. 

You. Are. Worth. It. More than worth it, kid. 

And any time you’re doubting this, doubting yourself, worried about looking dumb, worried about not being able to keep up, look up! Whatever your worry, your fear, your concern, I’m here to tell you that we all got you. 

You’re not alone. This CrossFit shit is a family, and we don’t let our family fall without helping them find the confidence they need to get back up. 

So keep your head up, young buck. Take your time. One step, one day at a time. Choose to be better today. Just today. The hell with tomorrow. Make your choice. Then stand firmly on it. 

Choose you. Every. Damn. Time. 

Together

What’s happening my little bastardos?

I’m going to ask you to forgive my recent silence, and then I’m going to ask to bear with me while I talk about silence.

I don’t tend to get emotional on here. I love putting on the grumpy CrossFitter mask and pretending that I’m angry about what I put myself through at The Box. It’s a mask. It’s a fun mask for me. I love life and people.

I just want a minute of your time to say thank you.

Thank you for being such an awesome family. Thank you for always being so supportive. Thank you for picking me up when I fall down. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for always making me feel like we’re in it together.

If you have a pulse, and if you can read this (since it’s online) I assume you see the news and the state of the world and our country.

People are being torn apart. Emotionally. Spiritually. Sometimes, unfortunately, quite literally.

Something about the culture of CrossFit that I adore is the inclusivity of it all.

In The Box, we’re all equal. Sure, you may do an Rx or Fire Breather workout while I only do a Level 2. And you might use 70 pound Kettle Bell where I use a 36 pounder. Or you may do real Double Unders when I do singles.

But when you finish before me, and I’m struggling to cross that line, you come sit next to me and cheer me on. You’re invested in my success.

The world, at large, needs more of this. The world, at large, needs more of you. The world needs more “Us” mentality and practical practice.

Even if you stand in silence with your brothers and sisters at The Box, at least you’re standing.

In a world filled with all kinds of the wrong type of silence, we have a microcosmic example of what we all can be when we’re in The Box.

So recognize what you do here. What WE do here. Let that spill out into your community, your city, your state, your country. Don’t stop embodying the practice until it spills out and washes over the entire world.

CrossFit is community. It’s a way of life. When practiced and implemented properly, it’s a gorgeous way of life and a glimpse of what we all can be. Together.

I Want to Break Free!

Oh Freddie! I miss ya buddy!

Seriously! CrossFit America!

I finally did unassisted Pull-ups today! Say what?

I know! Can’t hardly believe it meself!

The Oly classes have been so instrumental in helping me find my Power Clean, Power Snatch, and that translates to Squat Snatches, which is what we did a lot of today.

For once, the Skill portion of our program finally felt like a damn skill instead of mother flockin’ workout. So thanks for the small things, CrossFit!

7’s were wild in today’s workout. I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but I don’t care. I did a f*#king pull-up with no assistance! No band! No box! No jumping! Did I mention I did it without assistance!

This is almost as good as prom night. No. Wait. It was better than prom. Tommy Peters didn’t punch my upper lip, Suzy Matelan didn’t puke on my tux then make out with Tommy Peters, then dump me in a McDonald’s parking lot 7 miles from my house. So…yeah. This workout was marginally better.

Okay my little bastardos! I’m gonna go celebrate with some stretching and some ice on this sore shoulder of mine.

I’ll see you cats at the after party! Peace!