I’m not OK.

With that title and my medical history, I should probably start this post by saying that to my knowledge, I don’t have cancer again. Breathe easily for a little while at least. This is going in a different but not opposite direction. Tangential is the word the chemo brain wouldn’t let me think of, and at some point I might look it up and see if that’s really the right word.

In about a month, I’ll have my 14th rebirthday. For those of you not hip to the slang all the cool cancer kids use, on July 12, 2006, after receiving intense chemo that wiped out my immune system completely, I was given back the stem cells that were harvested from me at the start of the “You’re gonna need a stem cell transplant” phase of my cancer journey. It also marks the first moment I was truly cancer-free and, having yet to get cancer again, it’s kind of the first day of being cured.

So here I am, coming up on fourteen years… I was going to say “without cancer,” but that’s not exactly right. Yesterday, I would’ve said “without cancer” and I would’ve meant it. Today, I feel like I should start memorializing May 10, 2005: the last day I didn’t have cancer.

I’ve spent the last fourteen years okay with cancer. Well, maybe thirteen years, since I had the radiation and all that after the stem cell transplant. So I’ve spent the past thirteen years okay with cancer. It hasn’t been that big of a deal because it was over. I got the new stem cells, I got the radiation, I got the all clear, so I am done. I’m alive and not cancer-ridden, so it’s all over now and everything’s okay.

I’m not okay.

I don’t feel like I’ve really repressed anything, which I guess is kind of how repressing things work. Over the years, I’ve noticed an increase in stupid crying. Now some of you right now are thinking “crying isn’t stupid, it’s a valid expression of emotions!” I get that, and that’s not what I’m talking about. I’ll give you an example I’m almost positive I’ve used on here before at some point.

Back in the treatment days, I had a few bouts with pneumonia, some of them requiring hospitalization. During one such visit, I had had a rough couple of days. No one tells you how pneumonia can hurt and feel like a knife jabbing into your back.

I had a rough couple of days and rougher couple of nights, which had me awake when the Today Show was on. The movie “Invincible” was coming out that weekend, so they had Marky Mark and the guy who the movie was based on as their guests. That guy’s name is Vince. As soon as it clicked that they called it Invincible because his name is Vince, I started crying. And not like, sad little weepy sobs. Barb came in the room shortly after my realization and I was crying hard enough to concern her. “Oh my GOD! What’s happening?” she asked. With snot pouring from my nose, I manage to choke out between sobs “IT’S CALLED INVINCIBLE BECAUSE HIS NAME IS VINCE!”

That, my friends, was my first bout of stupid crying.

Usually, I’ve used stupid crying as an indicator of how tired I am. The more tired I am, the more likely I’m going to start crying because I’m watching a concert where the singer has gone quiet and the crowd is singing all of the chorus in unison. I suppose that if I were as smart as I think I am, that should have been a clue. Not the concert part, because how can you not get emotional over that, you monster? The “when I’m too tired” part. What happens when you get over-tired? Barriers start to come down.

Oh my god, I just realized that if I drank, I’d be one of the worst kinds of drunks to be around.

So I went along in my life just fine, using stupid crying as my barometer of when I need to try to sleep longer. I talked it all over with my therapist at the time and we convinced each that the stupid crying was related to accomplishments. Like the concert thing, thinking about some guy writing a song that meant something to him and then years later, hearing thousands of people repeat it back to say “it means something to us too!”

Yes, I’m stupid crying right now.

Where was I? Ah yes, I was done with cancer, I get overly emotionally proud of other people’s accomplishments when I’m tired and I’m completely and totally okay. I should probably talk about my brain right now. You see, medical science is still catching up with the personal experiences of cancer patients in a lot of ways. At least the last time I looked at things, it was. “Chemo brain” is one of those things. It’s becoming more accepted now and maybe a little more understood, but it’s oh so real.

Before cancer, my brain worked pretty well. I’m not dipping back in the smart well here, I just mean it functioned correctly for the most part. I had a major concussion back in ’97 or ’98 that really changed my moods around, but other than that, my brain was reliable. During and after chemo, my brain isn’t as reliable. I’m being reminded just how unreliable as I type this post, because two of the first things I noticed when it started happening were typing issues and word retrieval issues.

The typing issues take one of two forms. The first is just letters in the wrong order, the second is wrong words or sentences. In both instances, I know I’m typing the right thing, but I’m not. Like how I had to go back in this line and change “owrng” to “wrong” just then. My fingers know it was typed correctly, but it wasn’t. The second instance is the worst. When I was writing blog posts for CrossFit New Haven, I’d have Barb read them before I posted, because often she’d spot a section and ask me “What does this sentence mean: ‘When you’re doing the Olympic lifts, you firetruck your elbows quickly?'” This was all before autocorrect, mind you, so I knew it was supposed to be a different ducking word.

The word retrieval issue is what drives me crazy the most frequently. I can tell you I’m thinking of the word for that round thing in your car that you put your hands on to steer the car and has an airbag, and I could tell you lots of other things about it and still not come up with the word “steering wheel.”

My memory is shot as well. Many of you know me as a reservoir of trivia, and a lot of that is still in there, assuming I can retrieve it when needed. But most things that I’m not immediately using just fade away into the background. “Use it or lose it” has become a way of life. Depending on how long it’s been since I’ve seen you, I might not recognize you. Or will recognize you but have no access to your name. I’ve almost certainly forgotten a lot of the other details of your life that I once knew.

So here I’ve been thinking I’m okay, even while knowing that an important part of me isn’t. My brain is malfunctioning in several bothersome ways. If it weren’t malfunctioning, maybe I’d be able to see that I’m not okay.

My big revelation today was brought on by watching a documentary that I cautiously give my heartfelt recommendation. I watched “It Started as a Joke” today and it was wonderful throughout. However, his wife had cancer. Watching two people who seemed so nice and happy and great having to deal with this just broke me. fourteen years of repression, gone.

Throughout my cancer time, I never let myself get down to crying about myself or my situation, stupid crying usually seemingly about other things. I knew that if I started crying, there wasn’t a place to stop. It worked during treatment, but it looks like I’ve been doing that for these past fourteen years as well. Since I no longer seem to have a more immediate expiration date, maybe now it’s okay to spend a little time feeling sorry for the old me. Shed a few tears for the bits and pieces of me that cancer took away from me. Maybe now I can sit here and say the words as I type them:

I’m not okay.

Don’t Panic.

If you’re here from one of my other sites (Cancer is My Bitch, Lethological, From Couch to Coach), I’m currently trying to combine them all into one location, here on Moondoggie. You’re not going to be able to find all the old stuff for a little while (you know how I am), but eventually everything will be here.

I think I’ve managed to get the text part of my posts all here, but there may be a lot of broken graphics, images, and links. If you find something broken that you neeeeeeed, leave a comment here.

Game of Thrones vs. the DCEU

Okay, so I watched the Game of Thrones premiere, and it made me start thinking about how bad the DCEU has been. It’s easy to brush off a Marvel vs. DC comparison as a difference in editorial mindset or comic universe structure or fanboy grievances, but bringing in a nonrival comparison really highlights the problems.

I laughed a lot during tonight’s episode and only rarely was the laughter due to jokes, puns, or broad winks at the audience. There are only a couple of “zany” characters in Game of Thrones (at least relatively zany by the standard of the GoT universe) but their zaniness tends to be reserved and intermittent. Tyrion, Bronn and the Hound are the first three to come to mind. Their zaniness is just a small part of their character structure and only appears in brief moments, just a little more often than most characters. Unlike most zany characters, they have an off switch.

What the GoT writers (and the Marvel writers and the Firefly writers and the Sherlock writers and the Letterkenny writers and the Star Trek writers and the Star Wars writers and the Blossom writers and…) understand is that people as a whole are inherently funny. We don’t need to stand around pondering why chickens are crossing roads or debating Who is on first to be funny. Humans are funny even when they’re not trying to be funny. Think about the times you’ve been talking to someone and they say something completely seriously that is the most hilarious thing you’ve heard. It probably didn’t happen that long ago.

When we see non-joking humor, we start to believe in the characters more. We start to see ourselves in their shoes. We actually start to care about the characters. They start to become real because we instinctively know that real humans are funny and if that character on the screen is funny, they must be a real human like me.

This is why it’s so heartbreaking when one of these character gets killed off. Ned Stark getting the axe was like losing a member of the family. Walder Frey? That was just justice. If Superman died in a DCEU movie, it wouldn’t be that big of a hit. Oh that’s right, he did. But if you’re like me, the only emotion you felt about it was when you saw the reactions of others.

In comparison, think about how rough the ending of Avengers: Infinity War was. We didn’t need to think about how anyone on the screen felt about what was happening because it was happening to us. And it was happening to us because they got rid of some of the most human characters. Let’s face it, Groot is more human than Henry Cavill’s Superman could ever be. Yeah, Supes is an alien too, but looking like us should give him a leg up in the humanization department.

DC heroes have to bank on their history to get us to care. I care about DC characters because I have a long history with the characters before I walk into a theater. It’s easy for a writer to get lazy and rely on the pre-built care. Or even worse, intentionally try to destroy the pre-built care and goodwill just to be edgy.

All of this being said, at least they’ve turned a partial corner with Shazam. Someone around there realized that no matter what universe you’re in, taking a kid and turning them into the most powerful being on the planet (for those who only know the movies, one of Superman’s non-kryptonite weaknesses is magic) is going to result in funny things happening. Whether it’s the humor in the kid trying to figure out what he can do or taking some of what he can do and using it for entirely wrong reasons, you’ve got a lot of material to work with there.

So please, if by some strange twist of fate you’re writing the next big DC franchise tent pole movie and happen to stumble across this, please just watch good TV and movies and learn from them. Once you’ve done that, stand behind what you’ve done and fight anyone who tries to change it. Like literally fight them. Stab a marketing guy. Bludgeon a producer. Crane kick a director. Just be sure to get video if you do, ‘cause it’ll probably be funny.

A Brief Update Post to Get Us Started

I’m still trying to figure out what this site’s gonna look like, now that I’ve vowed to not do any programming. Which means I’ll probably be doing some programming.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written my thoughts and happenings, so naturally a lot has happened. Here’s a quick summary of the past 14 years or so:

  • Got cancer
  • Beat cancer
  • Got a dog
  • Short-sold a house so I could quit my job and find my happy
  • Ended life as a web programmer
  • Danced a little
  • Started living la vida renter
  • Became a CrossFit coach
  • Opened a CrossFit gym
  • Changed some lives
  • Sold the gym
  • Bought a dirt bike, trailer and all the relevant accoutrements to get back into motocross
  • Got a job that makes me happy
  • Bought a house

A lot of things happened in between those things of course, but these are some of the highlights off the top of my mind. I’m sure I’ll come back to some of these things eventually, and some of it currently exists on other sites, which I’ll eventually be folding into here. Probably. Maybe. Eventually.

Now that the catching up is done, we can get on to the blogging proper. Pitter patter.

Retreat, Regather, Regain.

Well, it’s been an interesting week so far. Filled with various stressors initially but, today at least, taking a turn for the better.

I’ll start with what most of you are probably wondering about: CrossFit Zenith. This week, after so much time getting to this point, we finally got a first draft of the lease. All thirty-one pages of it. In lawyer-speak. Ugh. But we looked through it, as did our attorney, made a loooot of corrections/changes/improvements and sent it back to the owner. Now the waiting begins anew.

In addition to the expected stressor of having to wait for a reply, being this close to a lease means other kinds of stress as well. Now it’s not only time to start making those final decisions on what equipment we’re getting and from where, but it’s also time for… the web site.

I wanted to put up a maintenance mode placeholder so I could tinker behind the scenes. Rather than tracking down all of the local tools I used to use to build sites, I figured I’d do it like a regular mortal and get a template that’s pretty close to what I want, customize it through the WordPress backend and be done. Sounds like a brilliant plan if you don’t take three things into account:

  1. I’m a PC person, not a Mac person. I need to be able to not only tinker under the hood, but I need to have obvious stuff hidden. If you give me a big red “Click to Do It” button, I won’t see it. If I have to dig through ten menus to find the “Do It” entry, I’m much happier.
  2. I’m a perfectionist. If you want to get a perfectionist away from you for a bit, give them a website with a logo that’s five pixels off.
  3. I’ve forgotten how much I really hate web programming.

So yesterday was quite a frustrating little day. After beating my head against a wall for much longer than I’d care to reveal here, I have a coming soon page up that I don’t actively hate. Assuming I don’t look at it on an iPhone, that is.

To add to the frustration, I haven’t slept well at all the past couple of nights. In addition to the mind racing through CrossFit equipment and grousing about CSS as I lay wide awake in bed, there was something even more insidious.

Last Tuesday, I had a CT of my chest and abdomen. My left collarbone has been doing weird things on clean & jerk days and is noticeably different than the right one. Back when I got diagnosed, they took a lymph node from the right side that’s right about where the left collarbone is poking out. My oncologist thought it was probably nothing, but since we’re going to be signing a very expensive lease someday soon, I figured it would  be best to play it safe and talked him into a CT.

The chest portion was fine, but there was something strange on one of the kidneys that was hard to identify. I discovered this when the Health Plan called to set up an appointment for an abdominal ultrasound out of the blue. That didn’t freak me out at all. To make things even better, that sono was scheduled for today, which means a week of “WTF” lurking in the back of my head. The past couple of days, it’s been coming to the forefront a little more often, so that means even less sleep.

This morning after another restless night, I drank my water and went to get my sono. She saw something a little indeterminate as well, so I got to go home to fret. Now I’ve got my health, our gym and a website all looming over me, weighing down my brain. It was then that I made the best decision of the day: time to lift.

I needed something to focus on, so rather than the scheduled metcon I decided I’d do the oly class’ WOD so I could lose myself in form and technique and blot out everything else.

Guess what you need to oly lift. Your brain and attention. I put my hands on 95 pounds for a snatch that… saying it didn’t work is putting it kindly. I mobilized a little more and still couldn’t get into the squat quick enough. Maybe if I switch to power snatches? Nope. Maybe if I grab a 15 pound bar and run through my technique? Nnnope. Now, not only am I diseased, frustrated, tired, overwhelmed and hating technology, I can’t lift either. Great.

Rather than throwing myself against the bar over and over and just pissing myself off, I took a step back and warmed up my brain muscles. Technique sucks today and going home now is not an option. That means it’s wheelhouse time: back squats.

The oly workout had percentage back squats in it, so I had already looked up my 1RM. The only problem was, I looked it up by looking at our gym leaderboard. There was my old 340# PR, lurking in second behind CoachPoach’s 360#.

The late Col. Jeff Cooper observed that ‘the fear of sporting failure is worse than the fear of death.’ It is our observation that men will die for points. – Greg Glassman, “Understanding CrossFit”

So I turned around to the rack and started loading up the bar. Made my way up the warm-up rep ladder feeling pretty good. A little creaky at 225, smoother at 295, smoother still at 315. Interesting. I throw 25 more pounds on the bar and easily tie the old PR. This could be a good day. However, I’ve moved a lot of weight so far, and I’m already thinking of how I’m going to get to that 360. Not wanting to waste time with a lot of building weights, I jump up to 355. Fifteen pounds over my PR.

The late Col. Jeff Cooper observed that ‘the fear of sporting failure is worse than the fear of death.’ It is our observation that men will die for points. – Greg Glassman, “Understanding CrossFit”

The 355 went about like you’d expect a fifteen pound jump over your PR would go: directly to the ground, where it stayed after I dumped it.

I had already been thinking about doing some deadlifting after the squats, so it was convenient that the bar was lying there waiting to be picked up. But in the back of my head was that curiosity. What if I wasn’t a dumbass and just went up a little bit in weight to get an easy PR? Now I was faced with a decision: forget the PR for the day and start in on the deadlifts or strip a LOT of weight so I can get the bar back in the rack.

The late Col. Jeff Cooper observed that ‘the fear of sporting failure is worse than the fear of death.’ It is our observation that men will die for points. – Greg Glassman, “Understanding CrossFit”

Yeah, I stripped the weight down and went back to the rack, loading up 345 this time. Down and up, no problems. 350? Down and up, no problems. Remember me talking about superstition in the last post? Because obviously the only reason I failed at 355 before was because the 5 pound plates I put on were unlucky. So instead of a 5 and a 2½, I put three 2½ plates on each side.

New lifting rule: when in doubt, go with superstition. 355 wasn’t cake, but it went up and back in the rack. Now I start to look at just how small those 2½ pound plates look. It shouldn’t be too hard to do the lift again with two of those itty bitty plates on it, right? And just in case this is the last lift of the day, I’ll put these little ¼ pound rings for no underlying devious reason. That’s right, math wizards: 360.5 because I’m an asshole like that.

The late Col. Jeff Cooper observed that ‘the fear of sporting failure is worse than the fear of death.’ It is our observation that men will die for points. – Greg Glassman, “Understanding CrossFit”

I chalked my shoulders, tightened my belt and approached the bar. As always, that first moment is filled with no other thought than “Holy CRAP this is heavy!” Toss that thought out, squat down, stand back up, put it in the rack. Done.

What started off as a really crappy day that was only heading lower turned into a 20.5 pound back squat PR. The trick is knowing when to find the pattern to turn things around. Stop what you’re doing and take a step back. Think about what’s happening and why. Step back into it and succeed. Retreat, regather and regain.

And superstition. Always believe your superstitions.

To top off the day (since Barb pointed out I didn’t include it), I had an email from my oncologist waiting for me when I got home: the kidneys are fine. Booyah.

Stevie Wonder was Wrong

First, let’s get the casual readers up to speed.

Naturally, a lot of things happened between my certification and now, including becoming the gym manager at CFNH and the social media guy. Writing the CFNH blog every day took the vast majority of my CrossFit Creativity, so this blog suffered as a result. Eventually I became just the social media guy (as well as a coach throughout my tenure), which meant a little less responsibility but was still taxing on the creativity side of things.

What’s changed to justify dusting off the old blog? I’ve stepped down from my role as the CFNH blogger as one step along the path to running my own CrossFit box. I’ve given myself a bit over two weeks to let my brain recover and start thinking of more great things to say about CrossFit. I’ve decided that I’ll spend this blogging time giving you folks some insight on what it takes to open a CrossFit box nowadays (hint: expect lots of freaking out). The other thing that kept me offline for the past couple of weeks was not knowing where the box would be and letting my superstitious nature keep me quiet.

If you know any motocrossers or hockey players, it will come as no surprise to you that I’m more than a little superstitious at times. I’m usually okay with the generally accepted superstitions: no qualms about the number 13, black cats can walk wherever they want and the only reason I don’t walk under a ladder is because I don’t want something dropped on me. The majority of my superstitions tend to be personal ones, often of the “I was wearing this the last time something good happened” variety. One of the things I’m relatively consistent about superstition-wise is the feeling that talking about good things before they become a reality practically ensures they will never come to be. This was starting to become the case with our #1 location for the new box.

It’s hard to not be excited about something as momentous as opening your own CrossFit box as well as your first business venture, and with excitement comes loose lips and subsequent sunken ships. Especially when you find the PERFECT place for a box: an out-of-the-way gymnasium with its own baseball field which shares a gigantic parking lot with a referral engine Planet Fitness. You would actually have to drive past the Planet Fitness to get to us. Awesome.

We originally found the location on LoopNet, a site catering to commercial properties. When we first tried to find the place, we drove around in circles for a good ten minutes. Once we finally found it, a ray of light broke through the clouds and choirs of angels started singing. Even before talking to the realtor, I was already dreaming up prowler and wheelbarrow WODs for the field next to the gym.

Meriden Color BirdsEye
So much room for activities!

We created our LLC and submitted our affiliate paperwork and set up an appointment with the realtor. Turns out the inside of the place was pretty grim. It had been empty for the past 7-8 years and on the market for the past 5. There was a lot of disrepair and some downright creepiness, but Barb and I have rehabilitated old places before. After you’ve pulled fused-together dead rats out of a wall in a 1910 Victorian house, there’s not much that will faze you.

We got home, checked our financials and put together an offer. Since we called their realtor out of the blue, it was basically up to us to do the negotiating. Since there was a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo to go through as well and since our WODtime consigliere isn’t licensed in CT, we tracked down a real estate lawyer to give us a much-needed hand.

History and superstition were beginning to prove me right, as our negotiations with the landlord kept dragging out and getting bleaker and bleaker. The breaking point was when the landlord talked to some contractors and decided our list of tenant improvements (things like “fix broken windows, put on a fresh coat of paint, make showers less rapey”) would mean the price per square foot would need to go up an extra $2 from the original listing, close to an extra $1500 per month, or almost $87k over the span of a 5 year lease. Woof.

At that point, I decided that sadly, we wouldn’t be getting this space. Between my superstition and the interactions we had up to that point, it appeared that it was time to look elsewhere. We talked to a tenant representative (someone who tracks down places, shows them to you and does all of the lease negotiations) and it turned out he was good friends with the realtor we had been talking to about the property. He gave the realtor a call to see where their side of this negotiation stood, since we were reluctantly ready to walk away at that point.

That lit a fire and got things rolling again. I continued with the story that negotiations were falling through because again, superstitious. Superstitious for good reason, I might add, because we’re about to sign a lease for the new home of CrossFit Zenith in Meriden, CT.

Fuck yeah.

As I type this, we’ve just had an offer to meet in the middle price-wise, so we’re looking at signing a lease for this place soon soon soon. It’s now time for me to step away from the computer and dance.

Born to Coach

So in the midst of all of the house packing, I came across the “We’re gonna miss you” card from the company I worked for out in California. Among the varied roles I played at the company was the “Keeper of Knowledge” role. This is a continuous problem with tech companies in particular – all of the information winds up in the brains of just a few people. It’s also known as the bus factor – how many people would have to die in a bus accident to screw your company over?

I was reading through what the various folks wrote and trying to picture some of them, when I came across this inscription:

“Mr. Watts – You will be missed, even though the first two months we worked together you made me ask questions to a puppet.”

While that comment pretty much stands on its own, you might be thinking to yourself “Surely this is some weird sort of in-joke. It can’t mean what it sounds like it means, can it?” It can, and it does. As one of my “the answers are at your fingertips, do you really want to ask me the question?” tactics for teaching people to fish, I had a hand puppet named QA Cow. Kind of a fuzzy version of “Speak to the Hand.” If you had a question about how to do something in our little QA group, you had to go through QA Cow first. Yes, I’m just that wonderful to work with.


Okay, I know I said last week I was going to have a post about the Regionals, but this is not that post. If you’ve followed any of my other blogs, you’re accustomed to to the despair, heartbreak and broken promises that comes with following me.

Instead, this post is about one thing: Certification.

No Homer, not that certificate.

Last weekend was my Level 1 Cert up at Reebok and I kicked its ass. We had an awesome coaching staff headed up by EC Synkowski and composed of Heather & Ben Bergeron, James Hobart (AKA J. Ho), Dave Lipson, Austin Malleolo and Mr. Smooth Talker himself, Jon Gilson. As you’d expect, all of them were smart, friendly, funny and extraordinarily helpful.

The sheer amount of information covered in the two day cert is astounding when you look at it on paper, but everyone does such a great job of explaining things and covering all the bases that it doesn’t feel like a gigantic info dump. I wish I had kept a tally of all the times I thought to myself “Oh, so that’s why we do that.” Just in the first day, I was probably already in the teens.

If you haven’t taken it yet, it basically boils down into a combination of sit-and-take-notes lectures (on the more general things like what CrossFit, nutrition, programming, that sort of thing) and mini-lectures on a set of movements followed by a breakout into groups to practice the movements and try our hand and spotting flaws in form. I’m torn on which was my favorite. The breakout sessions were great and we learned a lot about the actual coaching side of things, whereas the lectures were fascinating and didn’t destroy my calves nearly as much.

The other two things involved over the weekend are one WOD per day (three guesses what one of them was and the first two don’t count) and… The Test. The most interesting thing about the test was that for about 80% of it, I could look at the question and recall just who covered the answer for it in their lecture. The moral of the story is, when someone with a red shirt is talking to you, pay attention!

So my recommendation is, start saving your pennies and go to the first Level 1 cert you can. It’s worth the money for the education alone, then you have fun on top of it. What could be better, right?

There was also one other little bit of stress to add to the whole certification process: Today at noon was my first class coaching all by myself at CFNH. And what better day to start your coaching career than a WOD with a max effort power snatch? It’s not like that’s a complicated movement to teach or anything, right? Then we had a max effort weighted chin-up, which was much easier to teach (do a chin-up, but with weight. Go!) and we finished it all off with Isabel – 30 snatches for time.

Pictured: Eagle Eyes.

My first class went okay. I had all my steps in my head as I drove to the box, going from ground to overhead. Then I see Dan as he’s leaving and he tells me how he teaches it, which is head to toes. Now I’m starting class with this mixed bastardization of down-to-up and up-to-down steps boiling in my head. Fortunately there were only four folks at the class, yet somehow we still managed to span the full range of abilities in those four people. I’m proud to say that by the end, I’m relatively sure everyone was snatching better by the end of the class than they were at the start and no one died so, Mission Accomplished.

Next class: Friday at 6AM. And this time, we’ve got back squats and deadlifts. Those of you who really know me can imagine the smile on my face when I say that. It’s wheelhouse time, baby!

Does the ground feel cold to you?

Holy crap, three days in a row.

This one will be a little scrambly just because that’s how my brain is this morning. Last night was a late night, but it fell under CrossFit’s motto of “Try new sports.” Assuming that trivia is a sport. Three of my fellow CFNH Honey Badgers (Barb, Mark & Taylor) and I descended upon Anna Liffey’s last night to take on their weekly trivia contest thingie. In true honey badger fashion, we smacked the shit out of it. We attacked the bar two weeks ago and placed second, but last night we steamrolled over the competition to take the win.

Today’s lesson was the shoulder press, which I did… let’s say “okay.” Out of a hundred, I’d give myself a 63. Totally forgot about shoulder positioning and the subsequent arm position at the top of the lift. D’OH! After class, Jay had me teach the push jerk (which was the actual movement in today’s workout) to Adam (one of the other coaches).

Not to be confused with The Jerk. Also, SafeSearch is your friend.

I did okay, better than I would have expected when I woke up this morning. The biggest problem I had was in my own technique. I’d do an okay job of explaining what I wanted Adam to do, but then my own example would be, shall we say, lacking. I need to work on my own hip extension, as I’m usually thinking hard about it when I’m lifting, but can’t use all that brainpower when I also need to be talking about it.

One other thing happening in my world lately has been my stupid right shoulder getting impinged again. It re-happened a couple of weeks ago and I’m slowly creeping up into that “It feels better” danger zone. Today’s workout had a nice little 500m row sprint in the middle of everything and I manged to tear off a callus. That’s right. 500 meters of rowing shredded my hands. I can only imagine what’s going to happen to them once I can start doing pull-ups again.

Kinda like this, but hand-shaped.

One last note – I’ll shortly be packing up so Barb and I can head up to the Northeast Regionals. Right now you’re thinking “Oh my God, Brian! I didn’t know you were such a bad ass firebreather!” First, thank you. Second, Barb and I are going up to volunteer for the weekend, so don’t get too awe-inspired. I’m dragging my laptop along so I can keep up with the daily posting thing, but the post times are probably going to shift into the evening so I don’t have to lug this thing around Reebok headquarters all day.

Also, with that in mind, I’ve updated the “Follow” link for Facebook over there on the right, so it should actually take you to the From Couch to Coach Facebook page rather than, well, nowhere. Go like the page, then you won’t have to sit here hitting refresh all day. Plus, it’ll make me feel special.

Let’s see now. Socks? Check. Underwear? Check. Fanboy eyes with optional Gaze of Wonderment? Check. Extra underwear in case of excitement peeing? Check.

Another Pictureless Post

Today, I’m writing from the table at CrossFit Milford, since my eye was messed up all day and I neeeeeed to get on a daily posting schedule. The downside to that is, I’m posting on my phone. That means no multimedia and slooooooow typing. Especially since the WordPress app doesn’t have autocorrect, let alone the “two spaces equals a period and a space” feature. Bastards.

Yesterday went quite well, teaching the back squat. There’s a definite difference when you’re teaching a movement that you’re 100% confident about. I could just focus on talking about the movement, since I knew my body could do it right on autopilot.

Today is all about deadlifts, though I haven’t heard if I’m teaching it yet. Then tonight is Anna Liffey’s to kick some more trivia ass.

Oh, I also stopped by CFNH last night to follow Dan around for the last class. Dan had posted about me being the new intern on the CFNH blog, so I got an “I know you! You’re the trainer in training!” from one of our on-rampers. Yes, I’m THAT famous.