Get Active – Stay Active!

Nearing my sixth year working out at Crossfit Newport – I continue to be grateful for this particular approach to fitness. During these times… Exercise and diet are more important than ever. While certainly not the only determinants of health and wellness – the frequency with which we move and the fuel we provide our bodies are unquestionably critical to maintaining our wellbeing.

“Oftentimes we see self-improvement merely as goal achievement. Tim Ferriss notes that achievement is only 50% of it. He says, “The other 50% is gratitude and appreciating what you already have, not focusing solely on future accomplishments.” – Noelle Bloom (Interviewing Tim)

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more: “Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $3.5 trillion in annual health care costs.” – CDC.

Stack COVID-19 with one or more possible comorbidities and a bad situation has become even more dangerous.

Filmed at classes in August ( How many different movements in this video? Front squat, ring dips, running, box jumps, rope climbers, squat clean, jump rope, walking lunges, row, push ups, push jerk, wall balls, box jump overs, air squat, power clean, various yoga, burpee bar jump overs, pull ups. Maybe more…

What’s the fix? A clean and healthy diet. Exercise. Movement.  Not difficulty in theory.  Right? “The truth is a lot of people want wellness, but it’s really not about a quick fix. It’s about a lifestyle, and it’s tough, especially if you’re not coming from a place of wellness.” – Brad Stulberg

About six years ago I discovered my silver bullet. Sounds cliché. And, for a time it was in our cultural lexicon. The numbers speak for themselves: CrossFit has 13,000 gyms in more than 120 countries, up from just 13 in 2005.  That’s pretty amazing growth.

Those closest to me are unsurprised at my continued reverence and affirmations for one of my favorite hobbies and life shaper.  Although, no longer the buzzword it once used to be, the activity model remains unchanged for the average athlete attending classes at thousands of gyms or “boxes” across the globe.  Crossfit continues to implement “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.”

Recently, at my workplace we have convened our Wellness Committee. As I was brain storming what kind of survey questions we might ask employees I realized we might try and determine our shared language and vocabulary. What does wellness mean, anyway? What constitutes quality of life for one may be very different for another. Work in progress.

Crossfit Newport, my gym, like many businesses has experienced hard times during COVID.   After closing the doors we initially followed the enthusiasm of our ownership, trainers and other athletes with many creative variations of workouts replicated at home. 

During our early response to Coronavirus I was thrust into some of the longest days of my working career.  At the front lines of emergency response for our County my workout routine was sidelined. I felt like I was lucky to get though the day, after day, after day – trying to avoid burn out. I found it difficult to get motivated without my fellow comrades, under the watchful eye of a trainer and the pressure of the timer in the center of the gym.

The months away from the gym had a few silver linings. My appreciation for a place to congregate has been reignited. The sense of “community” that we feel from our place of anaerobic worship is the the real deal. People need people.  My home routine resembled more of our average warm up at class than and actual hi intensity strength and cardio session. Thankfully, the gym closure felt short lived with the blurring of workdays. A few of my intermittent aches and pains had magically resolved themselves after the extended period of rest. A little bonus.

As we reengaged at the gym – our newest trainer took over my former position as MWF training lead.  For the first time in nearly five years I was able to be a student athlete, once again. Now, I have some extra time. I am free from the cognitive load of preparing to teach class.

I love the quote because it’s often one that I need to be reminded of. Procrastinating until I have the perfect set and setting or waiting until I acquire the perfect gear for my fantasy activity: I have been guilty of both more than once. But, when I do break it down the objective to simpler components and get my ass in gear – yes, I realize it’s often mental. Mind games. Fear. Low self-confidence.

Five years training Crossfit at an average of 2 hours per class (including travel and preparation) is a total of roughly 1,440 hours.  Instead of a 4:20 AM alarm setting – it’s now 4:45 AM. Instead of reviewing “points of performance” and lifting cues (CrossFit’s anatomy and biomechanics Cliff Notes) at 9 PM – I am free to watch Netflix.  Total time savings not teaching classes = 12 hours per month. Sleeping in until the very last minute before working out = priceless. Nevertheless, I still like to take a shower, make a cup of coffee and “wake up” before working out.  

But, currently… I don’t have to.

Since the gym has reopened, I have been working out and average of two days a week. The experience has been fantastic! After a couple of weeks of acclimation, the spark returned. I am reliving “the feeling” I discovered six years ago as I began to exercise on the regular. I LOVE it all over again! (

Sixty Days – TrainRideFilmEdit

A few videos encapsulated in a larger gestalt filmed over the last couple of weeks. It’s been awhile since I threw together longer “me” edit. I love training, filming, riding, filming and editing it all together. Sixty seconds (below) prepped initially for IG: getting the acknowledgement from my peeps on social media is a pump. I like that. There’s also something satisfying about mashing videos it into a flowing narrative that I can look back on. Social is as much a mirror and photo album of sorts as it is a broadcast and sharing tool.

I’ve recently given up two of my “trainer” days. We’ve got some talented new blood who are hungry to guide our classes. It’s given me the option to simply work out and play with filming during class. It also gives me the opportunity to sleep in. It’s been over four years, three days a week at 5:30. Nice to have a break.

There’s a underlying story. I am 60 days – opioid free. Doesn’t look like much typing it now. Certainly feels like a LONG time from the day I pulled the rip cord. The first thirty were surprisingly and terrifyingly difficult. This last two weeks “the feeling” of optimism and enjoyment has redeployed.

X-ray vision or x-ray image. Its hard to make out. At the bottom of my tail bone is a subluxed coccyx. Pointing the wrong directions. My doctor said it might take a year. Indeed. And longer. I guess I did’t want to hear that…

My subluxed coccyx has been a two year long affair. Will I ever be ever be free of tail bone discomfort? I don’t know. I at least know that I don’t need pain management to deal with life. I am freer now. At my last D.O. appointment she said my body was “zen like.” Felt pretty good to hear that! So many appointments I have hammered my bod like hours before at the gym. This last one I intentionally did some yoga prior to see if I could loosen up a little. Maybe that worked or maybe it’s the larger arch of recovery.

I’ve got a few shots here with the Sony Alpha a6600. Can you tell the difference? While I would like to integrate the Sony more during rides – the extra weight and size kid of get in the way as I explore on longer rides. Mostly iPhoneXS here.

On day two of the withdrawal process I filmed my state. I originally posted that on You Tube as a reminder of the difficulty among other things. Even in my misery I wanted to check out the capability my new camera at that time… This video is now in a privacy setting for family and a subsequent blog post sits in draft form. It’s doesn’t feel right at this time to full on public. I do want to elaborate in time.

Many lessons learned. The psychological addictions are what I am observing, as well. So many themes come into play. I am reminding myself often that if I’m not mindful – some unwanted behaviors and thoughts can become habitual, if I let them. Here’s to the future. Stay the course. Staying kinder to myself and others. #recovery #crossfit #mtb #bmx24 #mindfulness