Saturday, July 30, 2011


it was 4 years ago today. that morning i woke up in the back of my truck and headed over to a nondescript parking lot to wait. to wait for others, to wait to begin a seminar on how to train. to get some answers....

and answers i got. the good kind of answers. the ones that lead to more questions. some simple phrases i still need to repeat to myself, others proved to be the thread, that when tugged brought the whole picture into a different focus. as i sit today, waiting for a ride to take me back out there, its hard not to compare.

the warehouse is different now, a little bigger, a little more organized. i too am slightly heavier, and certainly more organized. in the last 4 years i have put 100 pounds on my deadlift, near that on my overhead squat, i have watched my capacity - my tolerance for work, increase while my body weight remained almost unchanged.

more than the physical changes, the last 4 years have taught me much about capacity and tolerance. about stretching and about focus. about true cost and what i am willing to pay.

the most interesting comparison, however, lies in motivation. in the uneasy feelings about testing and confronting the unknown. 4 years ago i was worried about the work. about how hard it would be, and what kind of people i would be dealing with. this time, it is not the work that makes me anxious, but the fear of letting people down.

for everyone who has helped me. who has motivated me. who put their faith in me. i sincerely thank you, and i hope i can prove to you your sacrifices were not made in vain.


the airdyne is often a case study in coping mechanisms. it has been wonderful to watch mary work, grow and begin understand her abilities. she is running her first warrior dash today, a feat i could not witness because of my travel plans...

integrity. camaraderie. influence. there is power in a tribe. i am lucky to have friends like these.

the question is not how far. the question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?

Sunday, July 24, 2011


in the last few years crossfit has popularized the idea of workouts as a prescription, even giving rise to the phrase "as rx'ed" and while the idea of workouts being akin to the corrective advice a doctor hands out is something i support, i feel that many use the term without understanding the implication...

please understand, this is not an "anti-crossfit" post, this is an "anti-bastardization of language" post.

i don't post many workouts on this page. that may change, but my reasoning is this: its not for you. not that i have any secrets, or that i don't want to share.... just that everyone i train is different. they have different goals, different abilities, different histories.... as a result, each workout is prescribed - for that individual, at that point of their growth. without knowing the histories of the players involved, seeing a workout can serve as an inspiration, perhaps even a jumping off point - but can only be useful in the general sense. many warmups are designed to help correct work related stresses, to fix imbalances. old injuries. movements chosen reflect a players skill level. or perhaps their goals. or perhaps lingering effects from a previous session. sometimes methods are chosen to elicit an emotional response, to intentionally make someone uncomfortable - or conversely, to blow off steam or otherwise manipulate a players emotional state to better suit the task at hand.

this brings up two important points. the first is that everything has its place. its difficult for many people to accept that what at one time, is forbidden - at some other date can be essential. we must match the tools to the task and the task to the goal. without dogma. i will even remain open to the idea that dumbbell curls may be the most appropriate exercise in some, strange circumstance. me liking or disliking a certain tool does not rob it of its usefulness unless i let my bias keep me from picking it up and learning how to use it. medicine does not have to taste good, it just has to work.

the second point is a little more esoteric. it is why i take my job so seriously. there is always a dark humor about the gym, about the times that training feels like an abusive relationship.... the fact that many times i intentionally push people into uncomfortable situations. try and orchestrate situations to bring them face to face with a shortcoming, with a part of themselves that i (or in better cases, we) have decided needs to change. training is taking advantage of the adaptive nature of humanity. training is sending the mind and the body a specific message to try and get a specific response. the more focused the trainee, the more vital the goal, the more specific the message. coaches are in the business of sending messages. often uncomfortable messages. occasionally manipulating the emotional state of another to get the desired effect. we push people into places they will not willingly go on their own. sometimes we need to keep them from slamming into a wall, other times we need to push them off a cliff.

this is what separates coaches and trainers. this is why coaches don't deal with many people. it costs a lot. to know what people need. to earn the trust of each individual. to carry that weight. to bear the responsibility.

that is one of the main reasons i continue to visit gym jones in SLC. it is the first place that i have seen that level of dedication to be the rule. the standard. that is, as a result, my standard. i work and i learn. i try and ask the right questions and understand. i try to seek the stress. the stimulus. to act appropriately to bring about the necessary change. to explore. to allow people to see me at my worst. to ask them to find my weaknesses.

realize that this is all information, and therefore useful.

the individual who beats you is teaching you how to win.

the coach who makes you cry, who pushes your emotional limits makes you tougher. makes you more resilient to bad news. to hard news. makes you understand yourself. your limits. helps you reassess and redefine things. to respect things for their utility. to understand cost. to understand how our approach influences our outcome. to not take things so personally. to own our failures as openly and honestly as our victories.

i am honored and humbled to have the chance to work with everyone involved with the gym jones project. it was nearly 3 (correction: 4) years ago that i first stepped into a small warehouse space in SLC, and i never expected how far it would take me...

thank you to all who have helped, i can never repay your kindness, my only hope is to conduct myself in a manner deserving of your faith.

45" box jump. emotional content.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

make a mark.

each action makes a mark.
changes things.
makes a difference.
enough marks, and a picture begins to form.
as our actions become more deliberate, more consistent, we refine this image.
our image.
i aim to leave a mark.
my mark.
to change things.
to create, to embody this image fully.
to become exactly the person i wish to be.
and to do so, unapologetically.

much work has been done lately. restructuring, refining, re-learning. corrective efforts and questions. there are changes ahead...

hard rows on hot days. these marks bleed through.