Nerves from

I’m always nervous before a CrossFit workout. Always.

Aren’t you?

If you don’t have a little bit of nerves before your workout, then maybe your workout is not hard enough. It’s a cliche, a slogan, the back of a t-shirt, but here’s the thing about that kind of stuff: there’s usually an element of truth, that’s why people repeat it and wear it. Good workouts scare you a little bit. They make you throw up a little bit in your mouth before — and maybe some during or after. (Ewww. But true, admit it.)

If you’re looking forward to today’s WOD with a smile and a skip and a song in your heart, then something is probably wrong in your WOD or your head. Or you’re the trainer. (Ha! We are some sick folks.) Because very few people actually look forward that much to pushing themselves into the red zone. There will be more pain than pleasure during most WODs. As someone a lot smarter than me said last week: “You have signed up for something whose mascot is a vomiting clown. What made you think this would be pleasant?”

Anyhow, the point is this: Performing at a high level is not a walk in the park, a jog around the track, or a nice and steady heart rate. No matter what you’re engaged in, if you want to achieve, you’ve got to put it out there on the line, push yourself into discomfort, and do it again and again and again. (Although not every single workout: be smart and listen to your body.) This holds true for CrossFit, for writing, for love, for life. Achievement does not come without discomfort. And, if you’re planning to achieve, then you might be a little bit nervous. That’s okay. People cope with nerves in all sorts of ways: breathing, drink, drugs, pills. We cope with anxiety by going harder in the workout. Yup, we’re sick mothers. Now go get your butt in the gym and train like hell.

1/Sept/2011 Thursday WOD

10-1 Front Squats (75/53)

10-1 Pullups

10-1 Box Jumps 24/20

Complete 10 reps of each, 9 reps, 8 reps, etc down to 1.


Oly:  5:30pm class or 5×1 Hang Snatch @ 70%, 5×1 Snatch @ 80%.

Endurance:  Row 2K on 1/1 breath, then row 1K on 2 inhales/1 exhale per stroke.

With Bob’s permission I’m sharing an email he sent me this week on the day of his 1 year Crossfit Anniversary:

Hey Damon, exactly 1 year since you, yourself, started me on CrossFit – 8/29/2010.  I started at 201 lbs, Bicep 13in, Quad 23in, Waist 41.5in, couldn’t run to any extent, do pull ups or push ups for the most part.  64 years old, not on Medicare.

Today, a year later at 179.5 lbs, Bicep 12.5, Quad 22, Waist 34, run a mile, better all around abilities but lots of room for more improvement.  65 years old, on Medicare even though I have no intention on using it.  Injury free which quashes the fear I keep hearing from others of my age.  Modified diet primarily by cutting out the breads.

So thanks to you, Damon and Priscilla, your very talented Coaches (in no particular order) Tiff, Carol, Jen, Zack, John, Jill) and my  fellow athletes for pushing and supporting me.  I’ve met a lot of really great folks in CF.

Especially thanks to Kim, Shane, and Lu of the family for prompting me and keeping me motivated as fellow CFers @ CFCV in Logan.

And to Suz for supporting me the past year to the extent now she is beginning CF as she retires from her work-life.

Looking forward to the coming year.


31/Aug/2011 Wednesday WOD, courtesy of

Eight rounds for max reps of:

75/53 pound Push press, 20 seconds
Rest 10 seconds
Jumping alternating lunge, 20 seconds
Rest 10 seconds

Each round lasts 1 minute, this WOD runs for 8 straight minutes.


Strength:  Good morning 3×5 @ 50% of back squat 1RM.  Stiff legged Deadlifts 3×5 @ 50% of DL 1RM

Endurance:  Run 2.4 mile (the loop x2)


SKILL – deadlift


2 Deadlifts

4 Box Jumps

6 Push Ups


SKILL – kettlebell swing


5 Kettlebell Swings

5 Tetter Totters

5 Sit ups

I heard Anne smiled through all 20-some minutes of her Birthday WOD too

Today’s WOD is in honor of Coach Jen’s birthday which was yesterday.  She said she’s turning 21 so I was tempted to do Fran but after last week’s Baby Fran decided we’d do a couple of her favorite movements.  The pullups are chin-ups:  Palms facing you and strict!  If sets of 5 are easy for you feel free to add a chain or two.

I’m going to talk about an eating experiment I’m doing but with one caveat:  This is for people who are on a Paleo template, have their eating pretty much dialed, and have a low level of emotional attachment to food.  We’ve got a 30 day “Whole 30″ (google it) challenge coming up next month so don’t by any means feel obligated to do what I’m doing.  On the other hand, if you’re able to think of food as fuel and don’t mind a short-term increase in met-con times balanced out by leaning out quickly read on.  For the next 16 days I’ll be following a simple eating template.  On days 1, 2, and 3 I’ll eat no more than of 25g of carbs.  That’s pretty much a packet of ketchup and so what that really means is only leafy green vegetables.  Otherwise I’ll be eating lean meat and fat from the healthiest sources possible.  For me that’s olive oil, egg yolks, and avocados.  Overall I’m striving to take in slightly more calories than I normally do so anytime I’m hungry I’ll eat and load up on meat & fat.  On the evening of day 4 I’ll carb up from healthy sources like sweet potatoes, fruit, maybe even some rice while continuing to eat a ton of lean protein and good fats.  I’ll repeat this cycle of 3/1 for 16 days.  During this time I expect to drop 2-4% of my bodyfat while maintaining the same weight or even slightly gaining.

There really aren’t a whole lot more details than this.  I’ve been eating a Paleo template for the last 5+ years and like to experiment occasionally and see how my body responds.  I expect some ketosis and for day 3 to suffer a little as my glycogen is depleted but then the evening carb up on day 4 should put refuel my tanks.  If you’re interested and have questions let me know but again….this is for people who have their eating down pat and want to play with leaning out a little.  Typically as you lean out your performance will increase until you reach a point of diminishing returns.  From there you’ll add fat until you’re at the point of optimal performance.  For me that’s 6-8% BF with my strength being highest on the high end of that range.

30/Aug/2011 “Happy Birthday Jen WOD”

5 Rounds for time

3 Deadlifts

5 Chin-ups

Gold:  315/223  Silver:  225/153  Bronze:  Scale as needed.  Go heavy but with great form.


Oly:  Hang C&J x 5 @ 60%, C & J x5 @ 70%.  Focus on finishing the shrug on the clean as well as quickly shooting your front foot out on the jerk.  Or come to our 5:30pm Oly class.

Endurance:  Run 10x100m on grass.  %’s:  70, 70, 80, 80, 80, 90, 100, 100, 100, 80.

Perfect Thruster lockout:  Elbows, hips, knees fully extended, head through the window.

This weekend was great because of the amazing friendships I’ve been fortunate enough to make at WCF.  A BBQ Friday night, O-lifting with my friends Saturday at WCF, then go boating at Pineview, swim and cliff dive at Causey Sunday after church, and then attend a small Birthday party.  All with Wasatch Crossfitters.  When we first moved to Utah in 2004 it was supposed to be temporary.  I had signed a 5 year contract and was literally counting d0wn the days until we left.  Then Wasatch Crossfit happened.  We started building friendships, relationships, and a tremendous level of community.  Now we couldn’t imagine leaving behind the tight-knit community we’re a part of.  We’ll be doing some community events in the next few months and I strongly encourage you to attend.  And if you’re doing something fun next weekend?  Feel free to invite a WCF’er if you’ve got a little extra room.

29/Aug/2011 “Happy 24th Birthday Coach Anne”

Row 750m

24 Burpees

Run 800m

24 Burpees

Row 750m

24 Burpees

Run 800m

24 Burpees


Strength:  Squat 3×5 (add 5 lbs to last workout)
Press 3×5 (add 5 lbs to last workout)

Endurance:  Tabata Row (meters)