CrossFit Support Network (As a Coach and as an Athlete)

Today, I want to take a step back and look at one of the primary ways to be successful in the world.  I will frame this in my world as a CrossFit coach and an aging (not old yet) CrossFit athlete.  When I started this journey approximately 6 years ago, I had some underlying health issues.  They were nothing major, but they were present and they were the beginning of the nagging truth that I was getting older.  I could no longer eat however I wanted, be lazy and expect to be in good shape.  The spare tire was growing and reality was setting in.

I talked with my wife and her family and the next thing you know, I am sitting in the car at 5:45 in the morning on my way to my first workout.  I am not a morning person and yet here I was on my way to The BodyLab CrossFit to meet up with their coaches and get this whole snowball rolling!  First workout was a wonderful set of 50 man-makers (weighted burpees).  I continued to get up and go….six weeks later, my health issues were getting better.  I still had my spare tire, but one small miracle at a time.

The snowball continued and if we fast forward 6 years, I am now a coach and manager of the affiliate.  And there is really only one reason that I can say that I was successful.  AND it had little to do with me.  I was successful because of those that were closest to me.  I was able to make the changes that were necessary because of my support network.  My wife got up with me every morning and to this day she works beside me towards OUR goals in this fitness world.  She teaches a kids class with me and she supports me.  Her family helped cover the costs so that we could go on this journey together and change our lifestyles to something that will ensure a healthy future.

My family helped pay for my initial certification as a coach so that this journey could continue.  And from their the network has grown and grown.  If you want to be successful then having a plan is great, but having people that are going to help make that happen is invaluable.  You must remove all the negative influences from your life if you want to be successful.  Remove the enablers of your bad habits and the naysayers who tell you it cannot be done. (You can talk to them after you have found success and let them know that yes it can be done!)

Outside of my family, friends have encouraged me to continue on the path.  They have given me the pep-talks as I learned what worked and what didn’t.  They have come with me to future certifications or referred someone to give me a shot as a coach.  They have helped grow my confidence in myself, so that I can get out there and change lives.

So build that network.  If you do not have it in your house, then start with finding the right gym that has it.  You can come to my gym and we will be that support network.  If you don’t think you have what it takes, then let us be the support you need to see that yes, you do have what it takes.  Find a group of people that can celebrate your successes and help you through the tough times.  They will even help you get back on your horse should you fall off.  The support network makes sure that if you fall down seven times, you get up eight!

That network makes all the difference in the world!

Where Do I Start?

This past week, I sat down with one of my fellow coaches (check out his website here) and we were discussing programming.  We explored the growth of CrossFit and more importantly the growth of the CrossFit athlete.  We discussed the different philosophies that are used when training for general fitness and those used for our more advanced athlete.  It was a great time, but it got me to think a little about that person that is just starting and the age old question about “Where do I start?”

This question is usually followed by or a rehashing of the “I have to get in better shape before I can start doing that, don’t I?”

My, slightly rhetorical, question back at you would be, “Can you do that?”

I do not mean that to come across as derogatory, but if you are able to get yourself to a higher level of fitness, why are you out shopping for a gym.  Again, I do not mean that as rude, but simply making a point that the best place to start is by committing and signing up.

The best place to start is by simply making a decision within yourself to commit.  Everything that stops you from getting starting and moving towards a new healthier you, is an excuse or fear.

Whether you lean on it being too expensive, not enough time, or the fact that you are out of shape, then you don’t really want to get healthier.  It is not just about the working out, it is everything that goes with becoming a better and healthier you.  So where do you start, you stop listening to the voice that keeps wanting to maintain the current status quo.  That is where you start.

One of the best lines that my fellow coach said during our recording was this…”When you commit to being healthy be prepared to spend money on 2 things…your training and your nutrition.  Everything else is just fluff”.  And he is right.  You need to be willing to invest in yourself.  If that means NOT having a smartphone, give up the smartphone.  If it means hiring a personal trainer, go for it, make that commitment.  If it means getting someone else to go with you, great all the better…take care of your friends as well.

So the simplest answer to “Where do I start?”

You start by telling yourself you are worth it and you can do it!


Every Day

Every day you have the opportunity to change someone’s life.

Every day you have the chance to help someone or hurt them; you can encourage or destroy.

Every day, every decision you make affects someone.

Every day you can help someone turn their life around, or continue down the same path (good or bad).

Every day you have the opportunity to change one life…YOURS!


If you had to sit down and watch your life as if it were a movie played out on the big screen…

How many times would you yell at the screen, telling yourself to stop, to not do that, to stop making stupid decisions?

How many times would you have to tell your kids, daddy or mommy made a bad choice here?

How many times would you have a moment that you wanted to replay and rewatch again and again because you did something that made you proud of yourself?  Made you want to jump up and cheer?

How many times would you be disappointed? elated because of the habits you created?

You can change YOUR life for the better or for the worse…right now!  You make that choice



(There is some language in this video…just so you know)

3 Months…Logging, Blogging and Sacrificing

Earlier this week, I started a 3 month long project to log all workouts and eating.  I am a coach, but I am also an athlete looking to get better.  During the next 3 months, I have committed to simply logging my food intake as well as post my workouts to my facebook page.

In so doing, I am hoping to up my own game and force myself out of my comfort zone a little.  I am going to be as clean as possible during this time.  This first week was the last week over the three months that I will have alcohol in my system.  I am going to try hard to stay away from the breads and grains as well.  Along those same lines though, I am not going to make someone else accommodate me and my decisions.  If invited to dinner, I will eat what is served, not bring a separate meal.

I am not expecting this to be easy as I am going to also be following someone else’s training program for those three months.  I will be following the Cube method for CrossFit during that time.  I have an account on Beyond the Whiteboard that I will post the workout and my results to as I complete them.  I am hoping to gain some insight into different training protocols.

Also during the next three months, I am committing to more blogging and more reading.  The goal is to complete one book a week and write a review on it.  In addition to regular posting about training, nutrition and goals in general.  I will still post to my home gyms blog frequently and share those insights here as well.

This post is just me putting some goals down on paper.  If you want to come along for the journey, I’d can always use the encouragement and motivation!

It’s about always getting better!

Every Obstacle is an Opportunity for Accomplishment

Sorry I have been a way for a bit…Hope this new bit of motivation helps you out!  Also posted at my home gym.


Over the past several years, there has been an explosion in the obstacle course race world.  They are popping up everywhere and we are seeing more and more people want to tackle them.  We see more and more people wanting to do more than just run for 3, 13, or 26 miles.  People like the challenge or maybe they simply like the idea of stopping running in order to take on an obstacle.  No matter what, people like to feel like they have accomplished something.

I am not here to say whether or not you should tackle an obstacle course run or not, but rather I want to tap into that mindset.  And that is the idea, that you must look at everything as an obstacle.  That means that if you have a goal (and you should have one…then you must see anything and everything that comes in front of you as an obstacle to reaching that goal.

It is a mindset trick.  It is a way to develop a pattern of success in your life from the ground up.  It is a way to constantly build on little successes and turn them into major accomplishments.  But in order to do that, we must tap into this idea that everything is an obstacle that we can and we must “get over”.

If your goal is to lean up, every little thing that has sugar in it, is an obstacle.  Every time you choose not to have a soda and choose water, you have conquered an obstacle.  Every time you choose to eat clean even if you are tired and want the fast, easy food…obstacle conquered.  Take note of your struggles and more importantly overcoming them.  Develop a pattern of choosing to be successful as opposed to going around it.

Have a goal to increase your lifts, then every time you pick up the bar and work on your technique…obstacle conquered.  Every time you work on your mobility, obstacle defeated.  Every time you seek out your coach to get advice…you are on a path to success.

At the simplest level, Every OBSTACLE is and OPPORTUNITY for an ACCOMPLISHMENT!

Stop seeing and saying how hard it is to not have this or that…focus on your end goal!  See everything that is keeping you from that goal as something that you ARE in fact better than.  You are worth more than the cookies, the cake and skipping your skill work!