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SOS 2017 - That's a Wrap People...

So I've got this idea....

That's pretty much how it starts every year, somewhere in April/May when the dust has settled from the previous SOS and thoughts turn to, 'what if...' The idea of having a Friday light nights event appealed and once the whole Murph/vest idea got thrown around it was 'simply' a question of how do we make this happen? Four months later we had some working vest prototypes and plate designs and away we go!

Next thing you know we have waves of 40 athletes and 20 judges per heat on the floor in sweltering heat, sporting weight vests, belting out SOS2017 WOD #1 'Kinda Like Murph', one of the longest WODs we have ever seen at a comp anywhere. As organisers it was simultaneously nerve racking, awe-inspiring and just epic to be part of - and to top it off we knew all the other 'surprises' we had in store for you across the weekend.

Sure enough, two and half days and 11 WODs later we were throwing out some high-fives and cracking open a few cold ones.

3..2..1..Lift

It really is a dance of many moving parts and one of the biggest cogs is you guys - The Athletes. Not just for handing over some hard earned cash and trusting that the organisers won't program stupid stuff, it's the effort, the heart and soul, the blood, sweat and tears you all poured out over and over as we threw the most diverse and challenging set of WODs we could devise in a bid to test 'broad time and modal domains'.

Hopefully you have had a chance to sift through the mountain of photos from Anthony and Craig and reflect on the amazing performances from each and every athlete. Be proud of the successes, the PRs and the surprises, learn from the hardships and setbacks and come back stronger!

(and for the record, when the recording for the thruster ladder failed and I called out 3..2..1 rest...3..2..1..Lift - I repeated it a total 196 times, in a row...PR)

Behind the curtain..

Santa might get all the shopping centre gigs and photos with the babies but it's the elves getting the real work done and a comp is no different. It simply doesn't happen without a small, dedicated, tireless army of volunteers behind the scenes who give up their time to judge, carry stuff, run errands, fix things, co-ordinate, unpack, pack up, lift, clean and just about everything else - from doing coffee runs to clearing port-a-loos. 

We are blessed to have such an awesome community of people who give and give of themselves to allow the whole thing to come together. So to the judges, volunteers, the guys that spent days setting it all up and then days packing it all away again, the WOD testers (even if you didn't know it..) and our members for supporting a few timetable juggles over the weekend - thank you. From us as organisers and on behalf of the Athletes - thanks for giving so freely of yourselves for the benefit of the community. 

 

MVPs

A few people need a special mention for regularly going above and beyond.

Our photographers, Craig Homberg and Anthony Rogers - tireless, professional and incredibly generous with their work, thank you for giving our event and community an artistic record we can share and re-live the 'competitive exercising'

James Kruger - not just for the Milo and Otis outfit...but for competing and once again being the IT guru getting the scoreboards running so efficiently and ironing out every scoring wrinkle and query, It takes an huge load off our shoulders to know that that part of the comp is always in expert hands. Your feedback post-comp is always invaluable. 

Diesel, Claire, Dylan, Mitch, Mark and Famous - set up doesn't happen overnight nor does packing it all away and without days of hard work from Dylan, Mark, Mitch and Famous it would have taken much longer.  To Claire and Diesel for testing, chasing, sourcing, planning, organising equipment, marshalling athletes, rolling with alterations and challenges (mainly from me), pushing their own training aside and giving up days of work, all for a free t-shirt, heaps of stress and some high fives...

What next??

Everyone takes away something different from an event like this. Some of you will come away and review some weaknesses that may have shown up, some may have found a new love for 'fun runs', I know for a fact that as athletes you inspired a huge number of people in the crowd to start thinking (or acting ) on competing in 2017 at beginners and intermediate comps around the state. As organisers we are constantly learning as well, what worked, what didn't, what we would change, how can we go one better. 

So keep competing, or judging, or helping out - every time you do you are not only strengthening our CrossFit community as a whole but you are inspiring others - from competitive athletes to mums and dads who start thinking 'I want to do that'. 

Best of luck in 2017 - whether it's The Open, or any number of the comps around that traps that I know we will probably see you at. As Pat Sherwood says, '...get fit and make it the best part of your day, stay safe, turn up the music, high five some people and blow off some steam...relax, have fun, work out...'

As for SOS2018...well you just never know.

See you soon :)

Paul & Ilona. 

 

 

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Your Fitness isn't a happy meal...

At 12:01 am on December 26th three things are universally guaranteed to happen. 

Hot Cross Buns appear in supermarkets, you comprehend the phenomenal amount of calories you have consumed in the last 24 hours and social media is suddenly crammed full with fitness deals.

Given that I'm all for the hot cross buns and that I too hit the Christmas roast harder than Homer Simpson at an all you can eat buffet, let's skip straight to my favourite part - The Fitness Deal Silly Season.

Type 1 - The McHappy Meal.

They look good at the time, the packaging is cute and for a little while you really enjoy it. But not long after that you start feeling unsatisfied, realise you still need something else and decide that the free toy wasn't that awesome after all. 

These are probably my fav. They are plastered all over Instagram and all look exactly the same. Cue the skinny girl doing a heap of mountain climbers, jumping lunges and half depth squats. These McHappy's come in 4, 8 and 12 week meal deals and will have you in your dream body in less time than it took you to demolish the pudding only a few short days ago. 

And just like McDonalds these follow a very strict standard operating procedure - have your clients do a metric shit-ton of cardio, ensure they don't eat anywhere near enough calories to sustain themselves and 'tada' - weight loss. The scales say I'm lighter therefore I'm healthier....right???

2. The 'Buy in Bulk & Save'

Don't buy 1 for the price of 1 when you can buy 12 for the price of 10. I know you've all seen these - sign up now and don't pay till Feb, sign up today for no joining fee, first month free...you get the picture. Cool if you're buying dishwashing tablets, not so much with the fitness..

This is the other great lie in the fitness industry. Here's how it works:

Step 1 - Get people to sign up for 12 months with a sweetener at the front end, January is the perfect time when everyone is busy making deals with themselves about how hard they are going to hit 2017.

Step 2 - Price it low enough so that a) members don't value it enough to use it after two months and b) they don't care enough to argue about cancelling it, they just keep paying.

Step 3 - Get in quick - there's 'No Joining Fee' for this week only. Seriously, WTF is the deal with joining fees. Imagine going to a restaurant and being told it's $99 to see a menu and then you can order. Welcome to Target, it's $50 for a privilege of coming in and being a customer....are you serious. (For the record we have never charged a joining fee, not because it's a promotion but because it's the right thing to do!)

Imagine if you actually paid a fair and reasonable price for training and being coached. All of a sudden you actually value it so you turn up and use your membership. And the coaches understand that they have to earn the right to keep you as a member every day - so they work hard to make sure you see the value. Now we are cooking!

3. The Real Deal.

They don't do the flashy January deals, there isn't the flashy rows of machines and the reception probably ins't that glossy. The mirrors are non-existent and all the equipment looks like it actually gets used - all the time. It can be a little daunting. 

The coaches tend to be a little tougher around the edges, they will actually call you out if you slacken off and don't show up, they will be brutally honest with you - usually when you least want them to but most need them to.  The coaches also walk the walk - and not in the 'have you seen my latest selfie on Insta' kinda way, but in the put yourself out there and compete, train hard, risk, fail, succeed, get sweaty and struggle kinda way. They study - all the time, read journals, attend seminars, test drive programs, seek out knowledge. 

The last sign that it's the real deal - their members have moved passed being a number or a client, they are part of a community. A diverse, supportive, crazy community.

Ease up 'Broseph'...

But hey Coach - isn't it a good thing that at least people are having a crack? How about you stop raining on peoples parade and go lift something. It's true - I'm all for people getting off the couch and getting their fitness on. What I'm not cool with is a fitness industry that is selling them a pile of BS to ensure that the revolving door of clients kicks off every January. Nothing wrong with a 8 or 12 week program but make sure that you actually learn something (so you can keep going), that you are actually getting healthier (not just lighter) and that whoever is driving the program actually has an interest in your progress after the three easy payments have all happened.

In November this year we made the tough decision to close the doors to new members for two months. From a business point of view that seems crazy - but for us as coaches it was the right thing to do for our members (and our coaches). Jamming 50 people into a class sounds good for the finance dept. but means the coaches are getting slammed and the members aren't getting the attention they deserve. So we took a break to build our coaching crew and class capacity before opening the doors again (which we will be very soon). It's simply quality over quantity.

TL:DR - Cut to the chase

So after all that here's the short version. 

1. Don't treat your health and fitness like a Happy meal - don't be distracted by the shiny toy or special deal. Look beyond that and see if what you are getting will educate you, challenge you and deliver long after the 'newness' has worn off.

2. Jan 1st is just another day. If you're ready to start today, start today, if it's the third Wednesday in Feb and you're ready then go for it. Don't wait for Monday, or next week or next month. Get up and get going.

3. Invest in you. Not just financially but in terms of time, commitment, priority. You currently inhabit the only 'vehicle' you will own for an entire lifetime. It has to not only serve you for your entire life, but others will rely on it too - your work mates, your partner, your kids, your parents, your friends. Invest in you - it doesn't just save your life, it will give you the best one possible.

See you soon.

 

 

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The Open is Closed...again.

Five weeks of madness is once more behind us...time for a little reflection and of course - our Top 3 of the Open 2016 !

The number of Awesome is 51

We approached the Open a little differently this year, recognising that the level of competition and intensity isn't for everybody we tried to be a little more low key about getting people to pony up their $20 and throw their hat in the ring. The end result was we had our biggest number of athletes ever signing up for the Dave Castro roller coaster - 51 awesome athletes who laid it all on the line to see what they could throw down every Saturday afternoon. For many of you this was a new experience, probably a daunting or even horrifying one - but you did it anyway. Trust me when I tell you that the very act of signing up and having a crack has changed you for the better. You faced a fear, took the harder option, put yourself out there and win, lose or draw - you are stronger and smarter for it. 

That works for us as coaches as well - it provides us with an insight into what you can really do when the clock is ticking, the scoreboards are out and the judge is watching. It also provides a window into the success of our programming - where are the gaps or weak spots, where are the skills we need to workshop, what do our athletes need for the next step?

As your coaches our goal for the Open is to see you smash some barriers, shatter some pre-conceived beliefs, realise what you are truly capable of - and what can come next!

So here's to you awesome athletes - on a job well done! I hope you're proud of what you achieved - because you should be!

 

1. Better call Kenny Loggins - because you're in the danger zone!

Massive shout out to all those who took the hard road - whether it was signing up for your first Open, going an Rx movement/load because you knew it would challenge you, or just throwing down as hard as you could and seeing what you were capable of. It was epic to see every week the PR's, the improvements, the genuine surprise when people realised what they could actually do.  It's a win:win - as athletes (and just as regular people) you get a massive boost when you discover how far you have come and as coaches it's a huge thrill and privilege to see the hard work pay off! 

So if you hit a PR, did something you never thought you would, or could, or just crushed an inner demon - then kudos to you!

 

2. hug it out Bro'

The community is the glue, it's the fabric, the special sauce, the eleven secret herbs and spices. And that is never more obvious than over the last five weeks. So whether you judged, competed, got in early, stayed late or just came to support your friends - thank you! Most people outside of CrossFit would have no idea why we give up our hard earned Saturday afternoons to torture ourselves in the name of fitness. But we do. 

 

3. This kid.

It takes a team to run the show but this year Diesel especially put in the hard yards every week to see that we all had the best chance to deliver our all. From researching and setting out the detailed warm ups (which I'm sure you all did) to scheduling and organising, to giving up her own time to make sure everyone had a chance to get it done and post a score. It was a huge effort worthy of the highest of fives :)

While we are throwing out high fives - thanks to all those that judged, set up , cleaned up, hustled, cheered, organised every week. It only works with everyone on board and that was never more evident than in the last five weeks.

What now...

Well for most of us we get to kick back, reflect on our awesomeness and hopefully never do thrusters and burpees again for another year. But for some the beat goes on - the Frasernator continues her relentless march to another Regionals appearance against a field that seems to get tougher and tougher every year.  Les 'Judginator' Burchell is slaying them in the Masters Mens field and was top 15 in the Region after 4 weeks - once the dust settles in the next few days we will have a world wide ranking for the #originalalphamale. 

So stay tuned for more updates as the last scores roll in and the leaderboards settle into final positions. We will keep you posted of all the standings. 

In the meantime - anyone for thrusters??

 

 

 

 

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The CrossFit Games Open 2016 - It's that time of year again!

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR - THE OPEN IS ALMOST UPON US.

WHAT IS THIS OPEN YOU SPEAK OF?

One WOD a week, for five weeks. 

Seriously, it's that simple. The WOD is announced Thursday arvo and you have till Monday to get it done. Do the workout, with a judge ensuring standard of movement and keeping score and that's it. The fun part is that whilst you're doing that so are over a quarter of a million other people all over the planet. 

Log your score and see how you stack up. 

You can get as serious - or not so serious - as you want. You can plan, have strategies, have two extra espressos before you hit it up, or you can go down the 'Danny Brofabulous' path as depicted below, and just have some fun! (personally the better option!)

For the 1% of athletes (#elite, #fraserfit, #chasingcookie) the Open is the qualifying stage to make it to the Australasian Regionals to fight it out for a spot at the main event - The CrossFit Games.

WHY DO IT? WHAT IF I SUCK? WHAT IF I'M TOO AWESOME FOR MY JUDGE TO HANDLE?

1. IT'S JUST A WORKOUT.

You already do 3,4 or 5 a week anyway. This time you have someone counting for you and cheering you on. And we record your score. There will be plenty of people better than you and plenty worse than you - so just have a crack and see what happens

2. WHAT IF I SUCK AT IT? 

Join the club. I've done the Open for the last 4 years and some WODs my score was 0 - big fat 0.  BUT, now a few years later I can do those same WODs and get some serious scores. And that's where the magic is - it's an awesome way to prove to yourself just how far you've come each year. We are talking about 5 weeks out of 52 and your fitness is a lifelong journey! This is just one part of the trip. 

3. COMPETITION IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL.

Sometimes you need to get out of the comfort zone and see what happens. You might just surprise yourself. In the vast majority of cases you are capable of much more than you think you are - and sometimes having someone next to you pushing you to find that extra effort is all it takes to knock down a physical or mental wall and get through to a whole new space.

4. YOU CAN SCALE.

For the first time ever there is a Scaled and Teenager division in the Open - making it incredible accessible and inclusive. Remember - think of this as a long term project, get some scores on the board for this year and see how they stack up next year and the year after, 

5. WHAT IF I'M TOO AWESOME FOR MY JUDGE

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

Head to games.crossfit.com and sign up. It'll take about 2 minutes and cost you $20. 

Make sure you select CrossFit Warrnambool as your affiliate.

Do it now, I'll wait here.

 

WHEN DO I DO THE OPEN WORKOUTS?

This is the important part. We only have a few days to get the WODs done - they are released Thursday worldwide and scores must be in by midday Monday (so I can validate them all). We also need to have enough judges on hand - judges have done the online judges course from CrossFit HQ and have satisfied our coaches that they not only understand the movements but will adhere to standards. 

So here's how it will roll.

For the five weeks of the Open;

The time for completing the Open WOD for the week will be on Saturday afternoons between 4pm and 6pm. And that's it. Seriously. You don't need to do it five times unless you are a shot of making Regionals.

We have chosen these times to be fair for everyone - those doing the Open and those not. If you can't make those times for the Open WOD - re-schedule what ever you need to so you can.

We can't have people doing the Open WOD whilst a regular class is running - it's unfair on the coaches and those in the regular class. The Open is always a tough balancing act for us as coaches to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to compete as well as maintain our regular classes - so please work with us over these five weeks.

SO SIGN UP !

If you're hoping to do your first competition this year, or have got the bug from some of the great comps this year, sign up and have some fun! You might just surprise yourself! 



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Why are you here?

So it's January - which means peak season for making shiny new deals with your future self - we're getting fit, going to eat right, going to run every day, crush weights and drink green smoothies until we look like Bruce Banner on a rampage.

And according to my Instagram and Facebook feed there is an entire army of selfie-taking fit-lebrities ready to help me transform into a 2016 Adonis - just try these 'five fat-torching super-moves', grab your nutri-ninja-turbo-blitz-bullet-mixo for a liver-blasting superfood-antioxidant-metabolism-blasting smoothie' and my personal favourite - 'never eat this food again and suddenly have a six pack'

Now don't get me wrong - I'm all for getting your shit in order and becoming a healthier you. What I'm not about is the epic trail of BS that we get told (and worse - we tell ourselves) about how this is all going to happen. 

Because the raw truth is this - all the tupperware, membership deals and active-wear in the world won't make a lick of difference if you didn't start work on what matters most. And it's one thing virtually no-one talks about. It's not pretty or sexy and it doesn't look great in a selfie on Instagram but it's the only thing that matters.

Time for some knowledge bombs.

'Fitness' is just a word.

"I'm going to work on my fitness" is a fairytale statement

For the vast majority of us fitness isn't '20% in the gym and 80% in the kitchen'

It's 100% in your head. 

And if you don't start there - I'll see you next January and we can start all over again.

 

Tell me why you're here.

You have to have a 'why'.

It doesn't have to be lofty and Everest-size in scale. It can be base and personal - I want to look amazing for my wife/husband/partner. I never again want to be too tired to play with my kids, I want my life back like it used to be. 

I'm done with being weak, or slow, or tired, or unhappy. I refuse to accept that I'm a certain age and therefore can't/shouldn't be able to do certain things. I'm tired of missing out because it's beyond me, or I'm scared, or I shouldn't.

I'm here because I want that change so bad I can taste it. 

Good - now we are getting somewhere.

Move the Dirt.

This is my favourite part. Now we know why you're here it's time to do the work. It isn't going to dig itself - so grab your shovel and 'move the dirt'. 

It's not going to be pretty, it's going to be tough and sweaty and it's going to hurt. You're going to have make sacrifices, commit to doing different things - like stretching and mobility. 

And you are going to want to stop, or quit, or yell at your coach, or cry, or do something else, anything else. 

And that's when we talk about your 'why'.

This is why we need to get your head straight before you start. Because the 'why' is what will keep you coming back, long after the flakes and perennial resolutioners are long gone. When daylight savings is over and it's dark and cold but you have to get up so you can fit your training in before the rest of your life gets up and going. Trust me - I've been there.

Now we are doing something much more than burning fat and building muscle - we are hardening the soul and forging a mental fortitude that will serve you 24/7 - not just in the gym or on the field.

 

"...I shall fear no evil..."

I've seen people fold - i've seen it on the sporting field, on mountaineering expeditions, in the workplace, in business, in life. I've buckled and folded myself. And what was missing wasn't stronger quads or a bigger back squat, it wasn't because they missed a spin class or didn't have the right shoes. It's was because we lost the will. The indomitable spirit. As Kipling puts it;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

Does this mean it'll all be roses and butterflies and you'll never fold again? Nope. Life's a battle and sometimes no matter how hard you are the knees will buckle and the spirit will fold. But what you will have is the belief and knowledge that you can stand again.  

So don't start a 'fitness journey' because it's January 1st or a new week or month or whatever.

Do it because you know why you're doing it and the time is right for you. I don't care if it's 3pm on a Wednesday - when you're ready get to work. Understand what you want and why you want it - find a coach who understands that and is ready and able to drive you past the roadblocks. 

Now get to work.

 

All the images courtesy of John Baseley. They were taken at CrossFit Warrnambool's annual Southern Ocean Showdown on Jan 3rd/4th.. The athletes pictured are real people, have partners or are parents, they have real jobs and responsibilities. And they are all awesome. Next year you might be there too.

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Dear Doughnut...

What does McDonalds sell?

 

Seems a pretty straight forward question doesn't it?

They sell fast food right?

Wrong.

 

The golden arches sell time. 

Fast food isn't about food - it's about speed, time saved because I don't even have to get out of my car - by the time I drive from window A to window B my food will be ready and I can be cruising, changing gears and shoving fries into my face. Deep down we all know it isn't food - it was simply fast and convenient. It was easy. 

And therein lies the problem. Fast & Easy.

Society has geared us to measure value in terms of minutes, hours, days and weeks. How fast can we get this done? How fast can I see results? How long will this take?

I don't have time.

Then there is the second problem - how hard will this be? Because the bottom line is that a vast majority of people shy away from hard work. I'm not talking about - I work hard at my job or I worked hard mowing the lawns. I'm talking about having to work 'deep-down-hurts-my-feelings' hard to achieve a serious, lasting goal. Something of value, something of significance. Having to deny yourself a 'luxury', having to make a hard choice, having to do what you need to do rather than what you want to do.

Welcome to the generation of the quick fix.

6 weeks to shredded abs, 4 weeks to your best bikini body, go buy whatever crap Dr Oz is spruikin' this week, the list goes on. It seems like I can't touch the internet without being bombarded with '10 foods I should never eat', '7 foods I should always eat', '1 simple trick to shred unwanted earlobe fat...'.

Any fool can do a metric shitload of cardio for four weeks, eat no carbs and dump weight.

Then what?

You go back to square one. Maybe not right away but eventually - over 90% of people fall back to their starting weight or worse. (Popkess-Vawter 1998). After 3 years you have an almost 100% rate of return to the original weight. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10449014)

Why?

Because it was unsustainable & because you didn't learn anything.

Sustainability.

If you want to lose 5 kg - then I would ask 5 kg of what? And more importantly why? If you lose 5kg but it's all muscle because you spent the last 2 weeks on long cardio sessions and calorie restriction - are you healthier? If you lost 5kg of fat and put on 7kg of lean muscle - the scales will tell you you're 2kg heavier - and I would argue much healthier, but the scales are telling you that you're heading backwards.

See the problem?

Kevin Geary calls it 'The 10 Pound Problem' and I totally agree. Having a 5% body fat doesn't make you healthy. Both the women in the picture below have a low body fat % - does that immediately make them equally healthy? 

Dieting is one dimensional. All it addresses is calories. You know the rule - calories in versus calories out - that's how it works right? 

Right?....

So you're telling me that if I only eat 1500 calories a day and expend 1800 calories a day I'll get thinner and therefore healthier right. Even if those calories just come from Mars Bars....

And this is where the problem lies - a calorie isn't just a calorie and losing FAT (not weight) isn't just about dieting. Diets just look at intake - what about nutrient density, energy levels, emotional eating, sugar dependency, sleep, rest, exercise, stress, metabolic imbalances and so on.

Any approach to nutrition must first do away with the word 'diet'. As the Whole 30 put it - 'it starts with food' but then it goes way beyond there.

We need to stop thinking about 'healthy eating' as a restrictive endeavour and instead reframe it as simply a way of life. 

'nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so'

               W. Shakespeare.

If you go around feeling depressed about how you eat - guess what, you'll give up. If instead you embrace, experiment and relish your food, then you just might end up enjoying yourself. Imagine that!

When you stop dieting and start eating you have found the answer to finding and achieving a sustainable weight - whatever that may be for you.

But all that only works if you know what to do.

You have to know - because in the end you are responsible for what you stuff in your face.

Time for some knowledge bombs.

 

Knowledge.

Notice whenever you attend a course or seminar the first question people ask is, 'How was it?'

A mentor of mine never asked that, instead he simply asked, 'What are you going to do differently?' 

That question was a far better measure of the value of the course. It moves away from the realm of 'it was funny and there were interesting people and the food was great' and into the real point - what did you learn and how much is it going to impact you? What changes now?

So if you're on a 'X week program' - and all the meals are planned, and it involves shakes, replacements and bars - then stop now. 

Seriously.

What happens when 'X' weeks are over - and the shakes and bars and replacements stop?

What will you do then?

Any 'program' worth a damn should teach you how to experiment with your food to determine what works for you. Learn - what triggers your hunger, cravings, influences your sleep, hampers your recovery, makes you feel bloated, demolishes your skin, makes you feel energetic, satisfies cravings, helps you relax, improves your concentration.

Food, food, food - it is all about the food.

Or if you want to really get into it - it's about your relationship with food.

So what do we do?

We are advocates for the Whole30.

What's that? Well here's a quick summary direct from their own site;

Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.

Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.

So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.

- See more at: http://whole30.com/step-one/#sthash.1fDCLGVp.dpuf

This IS NOT about cutting entire food groups out forever - it's about intelligently setting a baseline from which to measure the impact of food groups ON YOU - and then restructuring how you eat around your new found knowledge and personal experience.

We like it because it's intelligent, it's well researched and most of all it's sustainable.

And it's how we eat.

Remember;

The food you eat will make you more healthy or less healthy.. These are your only choices.

 

If you are keen to learn more then join us at our free information evening - Friday Oct 16th at 7pm.

We'll talk about our approach to food, what we've learnt and most all how to change your relationship with what you eat.

It might just change your life.

Book your spot now (you can use the form below)

 

It starts with food.

 

Name *
Name
Whole 30 Info Sept 18th 2014



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Gladiators, I Salute you

So this weekend we have over a dozen first time competitors taking on Reebok CrossFit Frankston Beginners Comp. Some of these people have been competitive in other sports, others never imagined they would be doing something as 'crazy' as this. Either way here's a few thoughts for you before you step out into the arena!

1. You're already Brave.

The bravery was in signing up and turning up on the day. You've already done the hardest part psychologically and for that I salute you! The world is unfortunately chock full of keyboard warriors, armchair critics and Monday morning experts. What it does lack is people who are prepared to put their money where their mouth is, sign up for something tough, uncomfortable and damn challenging and then turn up and lay their heart and soul out on the floor. 

So before you start the first WOD tomorrow, give yourself a quick mental pat on the back, because you are already tougher, mentally and emotionally than all those folks on the couch. I'm proud of you, win, lose or draw. 

 

2. Look, Laugh and Learn.

It's easy to get sucked up in all the '3..2..1...Go' stuff that's going to happen but remember that this isn't the Olympics and Guiness World records are not measuring the results. This is a beginners comp - at some point everyone is probably going to do something dumb (trip over) completely gas themselves in the first minute (0-100 in 0.1 sec) or just completely forget what they are meant to be doing. 

Who gives a shit. Have a laugh, don't sweat the small stuff and get back on with getting the job done. Watch others, sometimes to learn from them, sometimes to give them a high five or a pat on the back when they need it. You're all in the trenches - that's often where the best friends are made. 

Remember whilst you're watching others and being inspired - you are doing exactly the same for a lot of other people. Some of them will be there watching you - others will be back home. Kids, partners, friends are going to be looking at what you're doing and going  - what if I could do that? How awesome is my mum/dad/brother/sister/weird next door neighbour? 

 

3. Have fun but have the Game Face handy.

Victory is victory. Sometimes that victory is you versus you - the win might be fronting up to WOD #1, it might be a PR or hitting something you thought was beyond you. But sometimes it's about seeing the finish line and knowing you can take it from all those around you - have fun but don't be ashamed to go for the win. 

Smile inside but when you look across to the lane next to you at the start, this face would be appropriate.

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Do the Open they said...it'll be fun they said...

The 2015 CrossFit Open is done and dusted!

We can finally stop obsessively studying @thedavecastro's instagram account, searching for hidden clues about the workouts. 

We can sleep soundly on Thursday nights knowing that all we need to be ready for on Friday is whatever heinous WOD Claire has dreamed up.

Cookie can once again workout without the fear of being hit with a PVC mid-WOD.

Over forty brave souls from CF Warrnambool ponied up their hard earned $20 and fronted up for this years Open - and they got their monies worth. The workouts were varied, they were tough and the inclusion of the scaled division ensured that no matter what your level, you were working just as hard as the person next to you. Deadlifts, toes-to-bars, snatches, clean & jerks, wall balls, muscle ups, handstand push ups, heavy cleans, rowing, thrusters. We got it all.

And after all was said and done we have managed to once again select our Top 4 moments of the 2015 CrossFit Games Open.

4. This Kid

Declan is what I call a quiet achiever. Doesn't make a lot of noise, isn't flashy, but gets serious work done every time he shows up and his work ethic and determination haven't gone unnoticed. A few days after the Open was finished Declan received a surprise email and was offered a spot at the upcoming Again Faster Youth Development Squad training camp with Rob Forte and Kara Webb. He has been selected to spend time training and working under the watchful eyes of the Again Faster team as he vies for a permanent spot on their Development Squad. This is an unbelievable achievement and opportunity and we will keep you posted on his progress.

We are super proud of you mate - imagine where you will go from here!

 

3. Every day. Every damn day..

"Nothing works unless you do"

Every year the competition gets tougher. The pool of athletes gets bigger and the standards are pushed further. You have to be on top of your game every single Open WOD - any significant weakness will see you eliminated.

And this year, just like the last three years, Claire has faced off with the best in Australia and NZ and found herself worthy - finishing 19th out of over 5000 competitors. Once again she will head to the Regionals in Wollongong to throw down for three days with the very best from Asia, Australia and NZ.

This doesn't happen by accident. Claire's work ethic is nothing short of phenomenal. Often at the box before 5am and still there in the evening, juggling her own training, PT clients, coaching classes, as well as spending what seems like an inordinate amount of time on Facebook messenger - Claire still manages to continually push the envelope and improve year on year. 

Once again she has done her sponsors (Again Faster, True Protein) her coaches (RAW Strength & Conditioning) and most of all - us, proud. And we will be there in the 'Gong cheering her every step of the way.

 

2. Strong Sock Game.

Let's be honest - if your socks don't have their own capes, you're simply not superhero enough.

When you have a cape, and your socks have capes, and you walk in backed by your own theme song.....yeah you're winning. Our very own Diesel put in an awesome Open - not just for her own performance but making sure the rest of us were ready to go. From writing up awesome warm up plans, judging heats, doing the WODs herself as well as helping people scale and push through, she delivered it all. 

But her greatest moment was surely her epic Wonder Woman performance for 15.5 - rocked it out all class and then rocked it out at breakfast. 

Girl got game.

1.  #AccidentlyRichFroning

Credit for this awesome hashtag goes to Missie 'MuscleTruck' McDonough but the sentiment behind it applies to a host of awesome people who made their first venture into The Open this year. 

It takes guts to face some of the challenges we throw at you on a daily basis - but it takes even more to have a judge watch your every move and put your score out there for the world to see.  "If it doesn't challenge you , it doesn't change you."

These workouts were challenging; in some cases I thought the scaled versions were even harder than the Rx. But sometimes, in the heat of competition people found themselves #accidentlyrichfroning -  personal records were broken, old beliefs were shattered, new PR's were set. You became the champ!

So to those people who took on their first Open - as coaches we salute you - for your guts, your determination, for overcoming fear and having belief in yourselves. 

Remember, you never know who is watching and who you just inspired.

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"You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em and know when to flip the table and start shootin'..." - not Kenny Rodgers

So last week someone on the 'internets' gave our business a review of one star out of five.

They have never stepped foot in our door, never spoken to any of our coaches, or talked to our assistant coaches. Never trained with us, done an On Ramp with us, never attended a seminar with us. Just didn't agree with something we said and decided it was ok to hit that big ole one out of five. 

Here's how my brain works.

Stage One - The Raised Eyebrow

Read it, did some research to see if they had a valid point - had we done something wrong, been abusive, dismissive or wrong.  Came to the realisation that this person was either a) trolling or b) genuinely stupid. Potentially both. Either way you could then count on zero hands the number of shits I gave about their opinion. 

Stage Two - Did you just..

So I don't care what you think about me (bonuses of a resilient and sizeable ego) but then I realised you just slagged off our business. Now you're not just talking about me but also our coaching staff, the years of work they, myself and my wife have poured into building something real and working with real people. Ok now I'm a little pissed.

Stage Three - You shouldn't poke bears...

What about our members, are you also critiquing their efforts and challenges, are you belittling their successes and achievements. All from the comfort of your dim existence behind a keyboard.

My general policy with trolls and idiots on the 'interwebs' is to ignore them. I'm too busy.

But sometimes it's not about standing up to defend yourself - it's about standing up for those beside you. Those working hard and not in a position to  argue or fight back. It's about not just believing in what you practise and preach but being ready to defend it - vehemently if necessary.

"You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em and know when to flip the table and start shootin'..."   - not Kenny Rodgers

Having the courage to go to a gym - especially if you're not a natural athlete is hard. I don't care what gym, if you are starting a fitness journey or just working hard to make progress it's tough every day. And if you're training with us I personally guarantee that it's hard - physically, emotionally, mentally. Our coaches and our community focus on helping you find walls, barriers, excuses and those places you hide in - and we drag them kicking and screaming into the light and help you destroy them. That's why we are so successful at what we do. It's why we love what we do.  It's why we don;t just produce fitter people - we forge resilient, confident and fit arse humans.

If you are a 'natural athlete' that trains with us - guess what - it's still damn hard. Welcome to the pain cave. 

You know who impresses me the most. The quiet ones. Who work. Hard. I know people who have literally driven to our front door, sat in the car, and then driven home. That's where they started - and then they walked in. And then they started making progress. And they have been making progress every day since. Every. Damn. Day. These people are awesome. They probably don't realise but every time they front up they are building and strengthening an indomitable will. A strength that is both physical and mental.  I could care less if they have a six pack, or wear size 20 or can't do a pull up. You turn up, work hard and go home a better human than when you entered. Progress is progress, and you are lapping every internet warrior sitting on the couch. 

So when someone who has never even fronted up to test themselves, put themselves out there with all their insecurities, fears and doubts on display and just hoping it'll work out. When that person judges the work of our coaches who don't just work the classes, but message clients out of hours, email, call and talk food, feelings, emotions, barriers and plans. Who feel every victory and every setback as keenly as you do. When you do that - you aren't just hitting a button on social media in a make believe world. You just passed spurious judgement on literally hundreds of people you don't know. And some of those people aren't just real - they are tough, resilient and strong in ways many people simply don't understand.

Stage Four - Reflection.

Dear internet critic - thank you.

You lead me, unknowingly, on a journey from being pissed at your flippancy and disregard for others to sitting in the park today after the WOD, walking my dogs, thinking about our members and how literally unbelievably awesome they are. Every one of them. Big, small, fast, slow, the early birds, the late comers, the chalk abusers and neat freaks. They are all making progress by putting themselves out there and doing the work. What an epic privilege it is as a coach to spend time with these people and help them chisel away the rough edges to find the incredible human that has been forged beneath.

Strength isn't measured by lifts. It's measured by the trial and tests we are prepared to submit ourselves to and conquer. It resides in the finding the voice deep within that says you can do it. 

And doing it. 

That's fuckin' five star.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Failure - it's good for the soul...

I was a nerd at high school. 

Ok let's be honest, I'm a nerd now, it's more of a lifetime commitment than a 'phase'

And I'm talking a quality nerd - I wasn't just the last to get picked for a sport team, sometimes I just wasn't picked.

At all.

Period. (aahhh the good 'ole days). 

I actually understood the rules of Dungeons and Dragons and thought that maths and chemistry weren't really that hard - not ideal survival skills when you attended a boys school that glorified success on the football and cricket field. 

When I was young I wanted to be an architect, then an archaeologist (thanks Indiana Jones for the realistic career expectations) and finally a Doctor. 

Two decades of formal study, numerous certificates, bachelor and masters degrees later and not a single one of these aspirations came to pass. 

Thank God.

Now, one year shy of racking up four decades of existence and I'm deeply involved in the fitness industry, run an import and retail business, have a pretty impressive climbing and adventure resume and can pass as a half decent chippie.

I'm a nerd - How the hell did I end up here?

Greg Glassman once said that people require three essential skills to thrive and survive - 

  1. Move
  2. Swim
  3. Fight

Be able to move, remain mobile and get yourself from A to B. The loss of mobility as we age is a major determinant in people losing their independence and quality of life.

The majority of the planet is water, a few inches is all it takes to drown a person so how about being able to handle yourself in it. (we do live on an island)

Fight - or more accurately, be able to defend yourself (or your family) and get out of danger.

I think he got it 75% right - in my opinion he missed one - probably the most important one.

The ability to adapt.

Now I'm not talking about some crazy Darwinian capability to suddenly grow gills because the West Antarctic ice shelf just slipped off. I'm talking about the mental capacity to realise that all is not going to plan - and to deal with it. 

The ability to adapt is a mental skill. It's emotional, even visceral. And whilst in may rely on physical capabilities the reality is that your mind is driving the bus. 

So the how the hell do I train 'my ability to adapt'?

More leg days? Run more? More motivational you tube videos?

Nope, personally I've found the best way to develop an ability to adapt is to fail. 

"...Tell me the truth and I'll believe you, tell me a fact and I'll listen but tell me a story and I'll remember...."

So let me tell you a story.

In 2003 I was running multiple businesses, working ridiculous hours and needed a break - preferably somewhere with no phone reception or email. Kathmandu sounded exotic and remote - that was literally my entire criteria. I booked a holiday and a trek because it sounded cool and the lower Himalayas didn't have 3G reception. A two week trek up to buddhist monastery at the foothills of the Himalayas.

This is way off reservation for a nerd. Trust me. 

But I loved it. I came back eager for more but work dominated again for a few years until I finally faced a decision - keep working, be successful, relatively unhealthy and eventually retire. Or get out and see what happened.

So I got out.

Sell everything, hit the adventure trail, see what happens. These 3 'bullet points' represented my entire strategic plan. 

I Trekked Kokoda, retraced my grandfathers wartime footsteps through New Britain, headed back to Nepal and climbed Mera Peak. One thing lead to another - no plan, just going with the flow. Went to New Zealand and spent time learning crevasse rescue, glacier travel and bagged a bunch of peaks. Headed to Antarctica and climbed the Vinson Massif - I went their simply because it was Antarctica but now I had bagged one of the fabled 'Seven Summits' - the highest peak on each of the seven continents. 

So a dream was born - one down, six to go. I headed to Africa and summited Kilimanjaro (tick number two), came home for two weeks to refuel and admire my mountaineering beard before heading off to South America to add Aconcagua to my list. 

Turns out mountains don't give a stuff about your ambitions. Or plans. Or even your life. They can be a little harsh like that. We started with ten climbers, by high camp only three of us would be in any state to attempt the summit. I would fail and turn back about 500 vertical meters from the summit. The other two made it to the summit but at the cost of a helicopter trip down and third degree frostbite for one of them. 

It was my first (and not my last) mountain climbing fail. I was shattered, Aconcagua is high (almost 7000m) but not technically difficult by any stretch. It's just a hard slog and the altitude has a tendency to hand you your arse on a plate. 

I came home, regrouped, and immediately booked in for the next season. 

Why?

What separates those that can suffer a setback and get back up? What makes someone quit whilst others continue. What the hell is going on inside their heads?

This is where the capacity to adapt I believe becomes paramount. The mental capacity to accept an uncomfortable or unpleasant reality and come at it from a different angle. To suffer but learn. To strengthen your mental resilience. 

This is a skill - and like any skill it takes practice. Don't want to go to the gym because it's early and cold and raining? The very decision to get up and go - or not - is training your mind. Strengthening or weakening your mental resilience. To accept an easier path or a harder path. Might skip today's workout because it has heaps of running, won't verbalise that goal (run a marathon, start a business, change my job) in case I fail. All these mental rehearsals, choices silently made, have consequence.

In your physical training,  in your personal life, in your work - take the path less travelled. Put yourself in the uncomfortable place, risk the failure, the discomfort, the agony of defeat. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it wont, but every time, regardless of the outcome you will be learning, and becoming tougher mentally and emotionally. You will be building that ability to adapt and overcome. 

'Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth' - Tyson.

Sometimes you will win and sometimes you will fail. But you will be making unrelenting progress. And next time you will be harder to stop, harder to stall, harder to keep down.

I went back to Aconcagua a year later, a team of two guides and five climbers.

Only one guide and one climber made it to the summit. 

I called my wife via sat phone from the top - 'I made it, I didn't stop, I made it.'

'...It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves..." E. Hillary

 

I still can't ocean swim for shit, but hey I'm working on it.

Do the uncomfortable work, and be truly stronger for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the internet no -one knows you're a dog...or do they...

As an Affiliate owner and Crossfit coach I get regularly bombarded by the plethora of media out there on why Crossfit is; saving the world, bringing on the apocalypse, revolutionising fitness, destroying the fabric of society. Anyway you get the picture. In general my response can be summarised as:

My standard policy is ignore and move on. Both the haters and popularists have pumped out some questionable propaganda on  both sides of the fence - I'm generally too busy actually doing my job. But eventually you reach a point where it seems prudent to dissect an article (briefly) and put some coherent and intelligent discussion around the veritable river of crap that flows through my news feed. 

 

That brings me to Erin Simmons blogpost, touted about by Dailydot,  that reached me this morning, 'Why I don't do Crossfit' - you can waste some brain cells and time by reading it here.

Alternatively let me give you a highlight reel...

First question I ask is who wrote this and why? 

Second question - would it stand up to any valid peer review scrutiny. (I'm a scientist and nerd by trade as well so the peer review thing sits well with me)

 

Let's start with the who and why.

The beauty of the internet - you are free to post your opinion, whatever that is, for all and sundry to gaze at in wonder. 

The problem with the internet - everyone else can do the same. 

SO if I have a blog that needs some traffic, I need to stand out from the crowd. You can do that by actually being a seriously credible expert in your field and post quality content over time, garnering the respect and confidence of your community.....or you can troll like a mastermind, take some cheap shots and let the comments drive your traffic stats through the roof. 

Looks like Erin (and Dailydot) went the low road.

So to me that looks like the why, lets check out the who.

'...Erin Simmons has a Master of Science in Biology. She has worked for the Department of Defense as a contractor in a physiology laboratory, and she is currently working on her Ph.D. in Fisheries at Texas A&M. A former student athlete, she is a volunteer assistant coach for the national championship track and field teams there, and she has created her own brand of fitness and health advice with Erin Simmons Fitness....'

Ok so looking past the 'volunteer assistant coach' thing, (that's a gimme if ever there was one) you're doing a PhD so I assume you have some understanding of statistics, hypothesis and conclusions. And i'm wasn't sure what 'your own brand of fitness and health advice' consitituted but after some research of your article and your blog I think I have an idea - but we will get to that.

Given that any PhD student worth a pinch of footnote would understand the value of peer review - or at the very least having an arguement that will withstand intelligent enquiry. Let's have a crack..

 

Your Honour, defense calls 'complete contradiction' to the stands..

Erin's Article;

"..Never once, in the five years I was at Florida State University working out with a three-time back-to-back national championship team, did my strength coaches give me a workout sheet that told me to do Olympic or Power lifts for time. Never once did they give me a workout that told me to do sets of 15, 20, or 30 Olympic or Power lifts. Never once did they tell me to do as many as I possibly could. Never once in the nearly two years I’ve been at A&M working for a men’s four-time national championship track and field team and women’s three-time national championship team, have these things occurred.

Why? Because Olympic and power lifts are not meant to be done in sets of 30 or for time. They are extremely technique-oriented and are meant to be explosive and powerful over very short periods of time with plenty of rest. Subjecting your muscles to those movements continuously for time or for reps sets you up for injury..."

 

Erin's Blog; (Jan 2012 - here)

"...This week’s workout, the “P” Workout! Give it a try :) it may look simple but it’s not so easy. If you’re not completely exhausted after 4 sets (which you should be if you’re doing them as fast as possible!), then take a 5-10 minute break and do it again! I completed my 4 sets in 18:58.

Keep in mind that “for speed” never compromises form! Keep power cleans and push press light. The real speed comes from the pull-ups as well as your transit time. So just keep moving...'

Holy Sheet Batman - kinda looks like you're advocating power cleans for speed and time there...in complete contradiction to your espoused expert opinion...

But in your defence when it came to giving some advice on the movements you did refer to the industry standard for proper form reference;

Myrna says:

March 13, 2012 at 2:23 am

Hi Erin!
I’d love to follow your workouts but I don’t know what all the exercises are (like power clean, pikes and push press) where can I find these and how to do them properly?
Thanks!
Myrna

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  • erinsimmonsfitness says:

    March 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Myrna,
    Try some instructional videos on YouTube. Eventually I hope to have my own videos up for all my workouts, but I just haven’t had the chance to really sit down with my photographer to shoot that much video! Pikes should be on my stability ball workout which is also on YouTube. Let me know if you have any more specific questions!
    -Erin

I kid you not - straight from the blog to you...

But let us continue...

Defense calls ignorance and wild accusation to the stand..

 

"...Then the timer started. I was constantly yelled at to go faster, to take shortcuts, and to do movements from which previous injuries precluded me. It was a whirlwind, and all I remember was stopping at one point and watching some of the bad form that people were using around me. 

And that’s when I started to worry.....but I did it anyway....'

 

Let's be honest - there absolutely is some poor Crossfit coaches out there, As well as general personal trainers, garage gym trainers and weekend warriors. There is bad programming, poor coaching and even injury. As there is in every single sport on the planet. Every watched a local footy or netball match - ever seen an injury?

The flip side - there are some amazing coaches and facilities out there. I actually don't know a CrossFit Affiliate that religiously follows HQ programming so please don't tar us with the same brush. I also don't know of a Box where the coaches sole qualification are a Level 1. Sure you can get a Level 1 and open a box but I guarantee you will be out of business within a few months. If that. 

Erin went to two boxes from what I can read and had a bona fide poor experience. The problem is that she then used two boxes  to extrapolate to the behaviour of the other 8000+ of us out there. And by extrapolate I mean this;

"...Boxes have attempted to combat the bad reputation of CrossFit by saying that other gyms do bad stuff but their gym is different, their coaches know good form, their gym focuses on safety. This is simply not true and every single thing that I’ve posted in this article refers to every single gym that follow CrossFit. There are no exceptions, if you’re following the WODs, it’s not good for you, it’s not safe, and you’re putting your health in danger. Take it for what it’s worth, but please believe that your box is not different, no matter what your coach says...'

So I'm going to guess that the fact that our coaches learnt their Olympic lifts from Commmonwealth Games athletes, their kettlebell form from Andrew Read and the RKC team, their gymnastics coaching from Hangstrong - Yep we clearly have no idea what we are doing. (I won't mention the bachelor and masters degrees floating around, granted I'm not doing my PhD in Fisheries but hey, it's not like that is relevant anyway...). Did I mention a collective four decades of teaching, coaching and competitive experience.

"...And that’s when I started to worry.....but I did it anyway....'

If in your expert opinion this was so dangerous then why the F*$k didn't you stop.

Are you incapable of speech or require constant adult supervision?

With you extensive athletic background of volunteerism surely you could have stopped and offered some advice?

Last but not least if you are going to reference articles to back up your assertions - don't use the Huffington Post or WedMD. It's like using a wiki to make policy decisions. Next time just send in Colin Powell with a powerpoint presentation. That worked.

If you want one iota of credibility use some peer reviewed material that has already withstood some actual scrutiny. Then I might give your opinion some weight.

So well done Erin, you wrote a blog that will gather plenty of traffic. 

The Crossfit haters will love it, the trolls will applaud you and a few us will read it and see it for the tissue paper thin argument it is.

 

 

 

 

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The Open is Closed....until it's Open again.

It's just five WOD's.

Seriously how hard could it be.

I think Ricky put it best, '..if it was just the WOD on the board and you didn't call it the Open, you'd turn up , do it and go home, but instead you obsess for a few days. lose your shit, do it, hate it and then wonder if you should do it again...'

The Open is pitched as an all encompassing worldwide on-line fitness competition. And whilst it is all that the most important point is this - for 95% of us the real competition is simply against ourselves. A few people mentioned they thought the Open was only for the elite, or competitors or more advanced CrossFitters.

Survey says...no.

In my first Open 4 years ago, I posted spectacular scores like '0' - there were some WODs I simply couldn't do. The real success is looking back now and realising that today you can crush what a few years ago you couldn't dream of doing.  The Open gives you a great platform to record your capacity and skill at a moment in time and then re-test it a year later, and a year later and a year later. And be proud of your progress.

So let's go some highlights - the great, the weird and the downright funny.

I like to call them my Top 5 - Open 2014

 

5. The day Danny Bro-Flex came to town.

This is awesome, sometimes (make that always) your mental headspace determines the outcome - good or bad. The ability to turn the serious down a notch and the piss-take up a notch, makes all the difference - not just for one person but for everyone. So props to Al 'Famous' Turner for bringing the fun. (no bro-reps were given in the making of this picture)

4. The Les & Neil Show

Kicking ass and taking names - it's the only way I can describe it. As our chronologically more advanced athletes these guys brought the hurt and were inspirational. Whether it was Les executing serious game face or Neil being able to simultaneously do toes to bar whilst hanging shit on some-one, either way it was awesome to be around. You guys should both be proud of the example you set for others, I know we are bloody proud of you both.

3. I Shall not be Defeated - Stacie, Kerri & Casey.

We expect great things from our Regional Athletes - that's their job. But if you want to see guts and determination  - and a real grasp of what the Open is all about then these three ladies are my example.

Kerri - Deadlift and box jumps. Owned it. Period. Went from 'I might get one round' to round three here I come. We knew Kerri was strong enough to hit the deadlifts but 20" box jumps can be a nightmare for anyone - Kerri knuckled down and did the work. Top notch performance.

Stacie - can't do the Open WOD Rx? Then do something about it - and she did. Stacie hit up 14.5 in her own fashion and nailed it. It was great to see that our sneaky little photo of her mid 14.5 racked up over 80 likes in a matter of minutes. And she stills smiles afterwards. Gold.

Casey - I'm not doing it. Seriously just reading it hurt my feelings. I don't want to do it. Ok whatever I'll do it. 14.5...Casey's favourite WOD ever....not. But the story was that she did it, knowing how much it would hurt and how long it would take. She still did it. Every rep, to standard. Burgie you are freakin' awesome.

 

2. The Cookinator

Well it's official - we now have TWO Regional athletes. Cookie made it into the top 200 WORLDWIDE for the masters and now gets (as his 'prize') to do the four extra masters workouts mid April. Don't worry we will run these as a major spectacle with crowd, DJ, parade, float, fireworks display and flyover - because we know Cookie hates a crowd.

Rarely have I seen someone receive so much 'encouragement' during a WOD - I'm sure deep down he found all the yelling and 'encouragement' helpful. I'm certain that the really supportive comments from his son Brad (like 'If you didn't stuff around so much you would have gone faster' or 'stop being so soft') we instrumental in his performances.

The win for me was his repeat of 14.5 to shave nearly 40s off his time and guarantee his place in the top 200 - again that's top 200 in the world. Even if Claire had to bust out the kind of language that would make a bikie blush - he got it done.

 

1. The Frasernator.

If you need an example of how hard work pays off well here it is.

For the third year in a row Claire is heading to Regionals. This year she finished 15th in the Region and 157th IN THE WORLD. That's top 200 on the whole freakin' planet.

To put that in perspective - every year the talent pool gets broader and deeper in CrossFit. That means to even hold your position from last year requires an incredible level of improvement across a whole range of skills. If you take the 3 athletes that finished ahead of Claire last year and the 3 that finished just behind her, only 3 of them made it back to top 60 this year. 

On top of that we do have to take into consideration that Claire is training in a regional town - she doesn't have the benefit of a number of other Regionals level athletes close by to train with and help push her along. To demonstrate that level of discipline, often training alone, is an epic testament of her will power (or is it stubbornness...) Either way, I realise why Cookie has her as chief motivator when he is hitting the Open WODs (and maybe because she doesn't give him a choice)

Whilst the rest of us get to breath a sigh of relief, for Claire the work continues as she builds for Regionals - the real goal. 

 

So if you get a chance and see some of our 'Top Five' moments people maybe give them a pat on the back or a high five or a wedgie...maybe not a wedgie...you know what I mean, let them know they we are proud of them.

For the rest of us 'normal' folk - it's time for some reflection. (I know that sounds like hippie stuff but go with it). Hopefully the Open gave you an insight into the stuff you suck at - it might be a movement, it might be your mental approach, it might be as simple as your mobility. So face it and do something about it - if you're not sure what to do ask one of the coaches - that's what we are here for.

On the flip side don't forget to celebrate the wins! Got some double unders? Hit some toes to bar? Just finished something you thought you would never get done? Bro - high five.

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Now it's back to business,  a few days of de-load as we reclaim and re-fuel than back into it.

The Open 2015 is only 327 days away...





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