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“Clash of the Classes” was a huge success last night! Special thanks goes out to Murphy, James, Patrick, and all of the judges Desire, Julie, Kat, Kerri, Mary, Lynn, Susan, Jason, Anthony, Shye and volunteers (Kim) for making the event possible. There were so many highlights last night including a rock, paper, scissors duel to the death and PRs for days. Some highlights include Tiffany Szemplinski‘s clean and jerk at 205, Adam, Cean, Jimmy, and Blake hitting 255. DM snatching 255, Nicholas hitting 205, andChristine hitting 145. Adam Chewie went unbroken for 3 minutes on wall balls with an astonishing 97 reps! Poli completed 91 pull ups, Paige completed 112 pistols, and Lou completed 26 muscle ups in 3 minutes. Special shoutout to all the first time competitors like Lawrence, Louis Vidal,Courtney, Pettograsso, Lindsey, all the others I’m probably missing. Let’s post those PRs from last night below!
“They’ll tell you “failure is not an option.” That is ridiculous, failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times; but it’s a choice. You can choose to fail or you can choose to succeed.”
We all have days, weeks, and hell, even months that plague us with injury, sore muscles, fatigue. Not just from CrossFit, but from life. I often find myself coaching, talking to athletes and reciting the following sentence ‘Life happens.’ This is usually my response to athletes as they are down on themselves from a nagging shoulder injury, the feeling of fatigue, or the lack of attendance. We all need to realize ‘life happens.’ How do you react to those situations? What solutions do you have?
I look at some of our own athletes and see how they have positively responded to injury or setbacks. What sets those athletes apart? What are they doing that is helping them in a positive way? What can we all learn from them? Here I go name dropping…get ready for it.
Mary A – breaks her foot. Solution – Bitch about it? Nope. Works upper body, coach boot camp to see and learn the movements better, helps out at community events, take a gymnastic certification. Her drive to be better is amazing. Can she do all the movements; nope. But she can see correct form, she knows how to scale to her ability, and she is bettering herself by working her sucks while her foot was healing. Amazing!
Chris A – I thought he was going to die the day he did whatever to his rib/lung/side. Die! Good news world. He’s alive! I have never seen someone mobilize and warm up so much. It seems this injury has taught him to listen to his body. Rest when needed. Mobilize, stretch, warm up properly, foam roll….whatever it takes. And world, don’t worry; Chris Anderson is back killing it! Thank the good lord baby Jesus Buddha and all the saints!
Murph – dude breaks his foot. Not only is he still killing it coaching with one leg, he has laughed and accepted his injury. The first thing he said to me was ‘I’m going to kill the bench press!’ Murph is a true example of digging deep and finding ways around injury. He will heal. Albany CrossFit won’t have a peg leg coach much longer. Success.
Mo – Mo wanted to be like Mary and broke her foot too. She continued to come into class with her boot on and scale all her WOD’s to her ability. She was always in good spirits and adapted to the class. She recently killed the hero WOD Murph hitting a mile on the rower instead of running and will only see more success with her dedication to bettering herself.
These are just a few examples of athletes I see around the box who have dealt with set back and struggle. Some athletes struggle with major set backs and injury, while others just need to give themselves a few days rest and get back to the box. Whatever the case may be, we all need to evaluate ourselves and our bodies. What can we do to be better? Foam roll more? Eat better? Hit more or less WOD’s a week? Challenge or step back for a hot minute? Whatever the case take some time to evaluate what’s going on and better you. After all, that’s why we come to Albany CrossFit…to be better than yesterday. Now figure out how to do that!
Friday May 9th Friday Night Fights Clash of the Classes!
Have you ever felt that you trained with a special group of people?
This is your chance to prove it to the rest of the Albany CrossFit Community.
Teams of ten will compete to claim the title of greatest class. Declare which class you belong to or call yourself a mercenary if you have no special allegiance.
The competition is open to all ability levels.
The competition starts promptly at 6pm. Please arrive no later than 5:30pm.
We will all be heading over to the Recovery Room after the event.
I was describing a strongman WOD to a friend the other day; they looked at me and said, “that sounds hard.” Without thinking I said, “yeah, it was great!”, his response was that I was crazy, and it got me thinking, easy is crazy. I’ve done easy, I’ve sat and watched life go by without a challenge, I became sick and depressed and at times I felt indescribably hopeless. One day I woke up and decided easy was going to kill me, and I never looked back. Hard, is where we grow, adversity is where we see what we are made of, challenge is where we find that we are greater than any obsticle. No successful person ever said, when it got hard I quit and thats how I got here; you never hear anyone say I took the easy path and I achieved all of my dreams. Give me hard over easy any day. Easy is where we settle, it is where we accept less than what our hearts desire, easy is where we we watch our lives slip by us never having truly felt alive. I was talking to my mother on the phone one day, she asked what I was doing, I said sitting in my comfy chair, she said “men grow old and die in comfy chairs.” so I stood up. Stand up, challenge yourself, do something hard, something that surprises you, something you never in your entire lifetime thought you could achieve, look your fear in the eyes and call it names. I never want to do easy again, easy is less than, and until I reach the finish line and I lie down and wait to punch the reaper in the throat, I will know that I am greater than. Do something hard, you wont regret it…I promise.
This weekend I attended CrossFit Gymnastics Training. Two full days of body mechanics and movements and learning the art and sport that is gymnastics. I signed up for the cert. to challenge myself. There is no part of my body or experience with gymnastics that says this will come easy to you. I was that kid who could not complete a handstand and dropped early from the monkey bars. Upper body strength was never a forte. I accepted it an early age and stopped challenging the notion.
Saturday morning I walked into the triple-wide and introduced myself and put on a name tag. Lead by Kevin Montoya and Tim Muenkel, our CrossFit Gymnastics course began with a brief lecture and review of some drawings on the white board.
‘What is CrossFit Gymnastics?’ Kevin asked us.
The class murmured.
‘Right!’ Kevin said. ‘CrossFit Gymnastics is Body Weight Movement.’
He drew the CrossFit Hierarchy of an Athlete on the white board and then started to fill in the gaps. ‘Where do you think Gymnastics lands in the Hierarchy?’ he asked.
Crickets from the sleepy crowd.
‘That’s right,’ he continued. ‘The answer might surprise you. Gymnastics lands in the middle.’
‘Why do we do Gymnastics?’ Kevin continued, ‘because it’s one of the most important foundations of CrossFit.’ Then in capital letters he wrote, ‘You can only maximize one category if you have laid the foundation before it.’
I looked at his drawing and started to reconsider my CrossFit career. I work hard on the nutrition and the met cons and who doesn’t love sexy weightlifting but the one component I’ve continually tried to ignore, Gymnastics, was staring down at me and it had something to say: Gymnastics is a foundation. Gymnastics lands in the middle of the Hierarchy and unless you face it and embrace it, all your lovely weightlifting will eventually stall.
Kevin sounded the battle-cry, ‘Ladies and gentleman to the bar.’ The crowd began to move towards the pull up bar and rings. The kid inside of me that couldn’t swing from the monkey bars or kick-up into a cart-wheel started to moan, I can’t do this. I stared at Kevin’s stick figures swinging upside-down from rings and thought, there’s no way.
Ball Up. Pass Through. Skin the Cat. Um, sure.
There’s much more to the Gymnastics Cert than learning movements that you can practice on your own. It’s a complete and total How To: how to coach the movements, how to scale the movements, how to guide the athlete through the different options and one of the biggest takeaways, how to properly spot an athlete. Quite simply, spotting means love. To Spot is To Love. When done properly spotting keeps the athlete safe and it helps an athlete build confidence
I learned the beauty of a good team of spotters during one of the first movements of the day, the Ball Up and progression to the Pass Thru. To my right and to my left I had two fellow athletes.
‘Are you ready?’ Carmen asked.
‘I can’t do this,’ I said.
‘Yes you can,’ Lindsay replied.
I looked at them both and they confidently looked back at me and patiently waited for me to stand in place and get ready to go to work. Ready. Ball Up. Doodle Bug! The room started to turn around me and before I knew it I was upside down on the rings. I was passing thru. I was skinning the cat.
I yelped – partially from being startled but mostly from pure joy. This is the work of good spotters. They make you feel safe because you are safe. A good spotter gives you confidence. A good spotter empowers you to do the movement and makes you want to do it again.
The remainder of the weekend progressed much like this with Kevin drawing stick figures in pretty green and pink on the white board and the class studying the figures and then getting to work.
Most times when I studied each of the drawings I secretly thought to myself, there’s no way, and then I’d regroup with my team and we’d start to move. Together, we collaborated, encouraged, created a safe place and tackled the movements in front of us – each and every one. At one point I was even on top of the rings in a Muscle Up and staring down at the triple-wide. The view is so pretty from up here, I thought.
The weekend not only taught me to look at Gymnastics from a completely different perspective, it also helped me to see the real importance of learning your body and knowing its capacity and testing its strength in new ways all based on the simplicity of its own weight. There were no barbells and no bumpers and I walked away Sunday evening more sore than in recent memory. It was a new and different deep tissue kind of sore. It was comforting. It was empowering.
She may seem sweet and innocent, but hand this girl a barbell and take a step back, because you are about to witness something amazing. This month’s MOM goes out to Samantha Carr. Although she has been a member of Albany Crossfit for a few years now, it wasn’t until last summer that Sam began to competitively Crossfit. Since making that decision she has grown tremendously as a person and athlete. What I admire most about Sam is her determination to be better. You can find her just about every morning spending countless hours working on her sucks. This hard work has paid huge dividends as Sam was chosen as the alternate for the Albany Crossfit regional team. In one short year she went from doing Crossfit as a hobby, to becoming a fierce competitor. I am proud to call Sam a teammate and a friend. I can’t wait to see the progress that she is going to make in this upcoming year.
Prior to joining Albany CrossFit last November, Joe was very active, but unfortunately he was sidelined for two years by a serious knee injury. During this time Joe put on weight, his stamina decreased and he lost motivation to do things he was once passionate about. Eventually however, enough was enough and Joe decided to change his lifestyle for the better and signed up for our On Ramp Course and then the 90 Day Challenge.
For the past six months Joe has put his head down and worked extremely hard to get to where he is right now. Some of his achievements in the 90 Day Challenge were:
Congratulations Joe! Your hard work over the last few months has truly paid off.