Friday, April 15, 2011

the dance.

we struggle with emotions the way a dancer struggles with gravity; diligently, methodically, and ultimately hopelessly. for the final goal is not to conquer this adversary, but through the deliberate application of pressure, of time, and of Will, to absorb and reflect its strength. to attain through our own efforts the knowledge and grace to turn its strength into our own, to know when to bend and when to leap - when to bow out and when to hurl our passion like buckets of paint across a stage. to give every last drop of our selves, not for the critics, not for the spectators, but in gratitude of a worthy adversary, a constant friend. a force that, at the same time, refuses us our goals and forms the only tools to attain them.

so work hard. work smart. this fight will last the rest of your life. and you will be better for it.

-the station.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

romantic genius

an interesting argument.

i dont remember if it was gladwell or goleman who stated that excellence has an entry fee (of IQ or talent), a minimum level of "gifted-ness" but after that it is social conditioning, it is grit. that to be great, one must have a bit of "natural" ability, but that after a certain tipping point, it is all about putting in the hours, about doing the work.

i never really played sports as a kid. i was a loner. i was out of shape. i read books and looked at athleticism as something for "other people" , "talented" people. i never tried because i had already made a decision, i had no room for growth (at least in that direction) in my self image. moreover, i did not understand it. i did not love it.

i believe that is one of the reasons why the idea of "gifted" and "talented" is so prevalent, its easy to separate yourself, us and them, gifted and not. "i wasn't born with the talent so i can never be good so i don't have to try", its a bit harder to say "i wont be any good because i don't want to try" or simply "i don't care enough to try"

people who excell are obsessed. it is a constant. the hours of work. the attention paid. call it love or madness, but the people who get it done are the ones who show up. day after day. and work. the people who dream of their work. who sit and think of new ways to push themselves. people who sit and probe themselves for weakness, who seek out tests to expose those weaknesses, to highlight what needs to be fixed. people willing to do what is hard, to do what is smart. and to pay the price.

depression led me to self examination. to the methodical measuring and excising of self. to keep what is useful and cut out the rest. this served me well and after a few months i had pieced myself back together into something better. leaner, lighter, and more focused. driven. training, working out, only made sense to me after it was filtered through that experience. only after was it explained to me in those terms that i understood, that i felt passionate about, did i make any meaningful progress. love or obsession, it is about emotional content. it is about driving force. it is about the will. get to know that force, it will be your greatest ally, through it you can supercede yourself. understand it. train it. test it and flex it. and do it often.

flame out.

warm up with wall squats and SOTS presses
work up to heavy KB swings, OHS form and some jumping


5x OHS (light)
5x box jump (high)
15x cals on airdyne
5x KB swings (heavy)

max rounds in 25 minutes.

there were some variations, Nate did front squats (OHS form is still a bit shaky so we don't want to set any bad movement patterns that we will have to correct later)

Chris did step ups and "hard style" push-ups (and i think he would like to thank Rob MacDonald for that one)

i did Slosh Pipe OHS and 20 cals on the airdyne.

chris and i also worked for 30 minutes, good fun was had by all, and everyone hates the airdyne just a little bit more.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


there has been a conversation going around at the gym - it started when i was in SLC and i brought it back home to see how others interpreted it. its an old problem really, a toxic mix of faith and focus.

converts make the fiercest zealots. when we find something that helps us (physically or mentally) we give it power. we, as in humans, are so quick to give ourselves over to this tool. to allow it to, eventually, use us.

it is the dieter who looks for tweaks in micro-nutrients to get better athletic performance.

the yoga practitioner who looks to increase flexibility to loose weight.

the overly-academic trainer who reads more books to get better.

while there is nothing wrong with tweaking ones diet, with reading and collecting more data, but it has its time and its place.

we love success. we attach ourselves to strategies that work, we develop faith and it becomes our solution to everything. whenever we struggle, it is easy to blame it on an improper micro-nutrient balance, on poor flexibility, on a lack of good training data. on the things we know, that we are good at, that we know how to work with.

the hard thing to do is recognize that the tool that got you from point A to point B may not be able to get you from point B to point C.

that armor that saved your life in battle will kill you in a sinking ship.

to be honest.

to be critical.

to look without faith or romance at your strengths and weaknesses, at your abilities and your shortcomings.

to find the problem, and to fix it.

is my diet what is holding me back? or is it just the easiest thing to adjust?

its fine to honor your victories. to give credit where it is due. remain vigilant, but don't waste tomorrow fighting yesterdays battle. there are many fronts, countless approaches, and chances are there is one or two that are being neglected.

simply put, big picture : find out what you are bad at, and get better.

find out what is holding you back - and correct it.

i heard the goal of the GYM JONES seminar summed up simply as "to teach you how to think" and while that may initially feel like some sort of affront, the growth that comes from listening with an open mind to a variety of driven, talented, curious and intelligent individuals is invaluable and immeasurable. check your assumptions with your ego - or be willing to watch them die in front of you (and others).

in the words of a friend -

struggle well.


10 min row

5x clean hi-pull + 5x box jumps - 5 rounds

95# - 24"
115# - 28"
135# - 32"
135# - 34"
135# - 36"

2k row for time - 7:09.3

knee jumps, however, feel like an exercise in faith.