Wednesday, December 9, 2009


  1. tubameat | December 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    GUYS, if i may spew forth:

    yesterdays wod was exceptionally difficult (respect to Mike, big time) for many of us, myself included. i had never wanted to say “fuck this” and just walk out like i wanted to during this one (i would NEVER, NEVER disrespect myself, you guys or our coaches by doing that, btw). those chinups were just SOOO hard. not only was it physically obliterating, it was psychologically challenging. from the very first round of chinups there was a voice in my head telling me to hang it up, stop, quit. the whole wod was an argument with my body telling me to cut it out. It was telling me that i was getting nothing out of this and it was not productive, that i was just unnecessarily tearing myself up.

    and that is exactly why it was just what i needed.

    crossfit is often much much more than just a physical workout- it stresses our will too. the mental beat-down i took from this wod will ABSOLUTELY toughen me for the next time my body wants to “just say no”. many crossfit wods build more balls than muscle. we take risks and we achieve success through failure.
    i HATE seeing a DNF next to my name (im sure we all do) and it used to happen a lot when i first started out. this wod was a reminder of frustrating times, a reminder of when i could not do many wods at all due to weakness, lack of skill, lack of wind, lack of testes, lack of any of the ten attributes of fitness. it reminded me of how hard crossfit is, and how it never gets easier. but it also reminded me of getting my first kipping chinup, my first double under, my first muscle up, my first HSPU, etc and the sweet satisfaction and sense of accomplishment i got from those achievements. it reminded me of how discouraged i got and how, with intelligent diligence, i got more able. it reminded me of why i dont go to vida or some other chrome/mirror/fern funhouse for a comfy, coddling experience. it reminded me of WHY I DO THIS.

    thanks to Melody, Rebekka and John for being there today. it may not seem like it but i hear you when we wod.

    keep squattin’!

    steve d

    • StuLu | December 9, 2009 at 10:15 am


      This was a wonderful post in expressing the countless aspects of what makes our time at MPH so special. Failure is only defined as such if you let it chart your course for future failings. In business, an area filled with countless failures and successes, I look at “DNF’s” as the lessons for better victories in the future.

      As well, you are quite sage in expressing those remarkable times when special breakthroughs occur in our endeavors. I have always called them “the moments.” For me, they are the positive and wondrous reasons for living itself. All of my passions: family, whitewater kayaking, business, and CrossFit MPH are vehicles within passion to allow for these “moments” to occur. As you compared it; that first double under – or first muscle-up – becomes a magical moment of reward and adrenaline that is the greatest human experience of all: accomplishment. Which is why MPH is so special, and the first “sport” that has aroused my loins since discovering Whitewater Kayaking some 13 years ago: it always leaves me wanting more, challenges, and never ceases to humble amidst earned rewards.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Steve. Tonight, in your honor, I am going to try to muscle-up as rx’d for the WOD. I may fail..but it will make the reward of success later on all that more meaningful.


    • coach | December 9, 2009 at 11:05 am

      This is fantastic, Steve—thank you. It reminds me of the last line in your “10 Things I Believe” from October 24 (“I believe that the true heroes…”), and I’ve been thinking about some of these/those very same things lately, too. I’d like to build on your ideas…

      Within the community-at-large, there is enormous emphasis placed on star power. I’ve seen far more videos and accounts of superhuman efforts (sub-three “Frans,” 500-lb. deadlifts, etc.) than real superhuman efforts. Steve and StuLu, you’ve been part of the larger community for some time now—when was the last time either of you saw a compilation video of athletes’ first pull-ups, or someone’s first, second or third “Fran”—the ones that take 15 minutes to complete with torn hands, sweat-soaked shirts, and countless failed attempts at getting the final few thrusters overhead?

      If I looked hard enough, I’m sure this evidence is there to be discovered, but it sure doesn’t get as much press as Games’ competitors doing what we already know most (not all) of them can do. I guess sex sells, so-to-speak, and it’s easy to be seduced into believing that those efforts, while certainly cool, are impressive. Sadly, I used to be just as indictable as anyone in this regard.

      Real motivation comes from within. We, like other affiliates, provide the venue and coaching, but in the end, you have to want to be here. You have to want to work hard (especially when you don’t want to), practice what you’re not good at and practice those things alone most times.

      The athletes for which success does not come naturally or without an exceptional dose of hard work, are far and away the most impressive. If we must benchmark ourselves against others, these athletes should provide that reference. They are the ones to be chased, because as they get better, they want to win more than anyone. And these are the very athletes for which we opened our doors.

      So, as you come in and give us your best each day, and as you troll the scores, consider the accomplishments of the many, not just the few. Remember where you came from. Know where you’re going. Enjoy your struggle and that of the friends around you. This is the good stuff—the best part of the day.


  2. coach | December 9, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Ralph A.: 35:40 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, green)
    Kris C.: 43:03 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, blue)
    Lynsey H.: 35:58 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, green)
    Alex M.: 38:02 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives + jump, 2x ctb pull-up)
    David O.: 45:56 (sub: 2x ring dip, 2x ctb pull-up)
    Sean M.: 29:30 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, green)
    Mike S.: 19:54
    Jen M.: 41:05 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, blue)
    Jessica H.: 43:44 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives + jump, 2x pull-up)
    Caitlin F.: 34:37 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, green)
    Charles H.: 45:32 (sub: 2x jumping muscle-up, 2x ctb pull-up)
    Rob K.: 17:15
    Stuart W.: 32:42 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, green)
    Erez Y.: 34:37 (sub: 2x ring dip, 2x ctb pull-up)
    Guy F.: 32:51 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, green)
    John S.: 32:19 (sub: 2x ring dip, 2x pull-up; 3 rounds)
    Travis O.: 34:44 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, blue)
    Jeff W.: 39:17 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives + jump, 2x pull-up)
    Christine S.: 37:06 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives + jump, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, red)
    Joe F.: 29:47 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x pull-up)
    David C.: 30:41 (sub: 15x pushup, 2x bench dip, 2x bodyrow)
    Roselena R.: 31:05 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, blue)
    Steve D.: 19:59
    StuLu: 38:02 (sub: 2x jumping muscle-up, 2x pull-up)
    Daniel B.: 25:29 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, green)
    Erin H.: 27:14 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, red)
    Koji H.: 26:09 (sub: 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, red)
    Adam C.: 31:10 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x pull-up)
    Wayne C.: 25:04 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, blue)
    Amy S.: 31:55 (sub: incline pushup, 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, green)
    Josh O.: 20:31 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, blue)
    Meghan M.: 27:28 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x ctb pull-up)
    Jonathan H.: 27:58 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x pull-up)
    Ricky B.: 32:02 (sub: 2x ring dip negatives, 2x ctb pull-up)
    Teal B.: 35:07 (sub: incline pushup, 2x bench dip, 2x jump-stretch pull-up, green)

  3. ralswang | December 9, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you for the great morning. Felt good to get through the workout after Tuesday. CrossFit MPH pushes us all to reach higher each day. Thank you for making it happen. I learned a lot today about the meaning of chipping away.
    Ralph xoxo

  4. coach | December 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    A story appropriate to today’s somewhat limited dialogue (I guess you fine folks all have jobs, or something):

    So, I finished writing the comment above and was fired-up and ready to workout. The main site has a 5k run today (yeah right), so I decided to conquer today’s MPH WOD, which includes two of my best and favorite exercises. I was ready to kick some ass…

    Six minutes in and three rounds down, my muscle-ups disappeared. Gone. See you next time.

    This happened once before, but that was a long time ago—the second time I’d ever tried them. Nine minutes in, and rings were flying everywhere, but still no more muscle-ups. Twelve minutes in, and DNF.

    15 minutes passed—along with several curses, a spilled chalked bucket and a gigantic hole in the wall (it’s a long story, but not as cool as you think)—before I chalked up again, this time with the 12p class (apologies to B-kay and Joe F., who had the displeasure of working out with me; I’m even less fun when I’m working out, if you can believe that). I figured that it couldn’t get any worse, so I turned away from the clock, (re)started from zero, and slugged through all five rounds this time.

    The point? You’re not alone out there. Though we preach perfection, we are far from it ourselves.

    We are all always a work in progress, as long as we are willing to do the work.


  5. Mrs. Finkenstadt | December 9, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    John, so many of the thoughts you expressed in both posts have hit home. Many of them are simple truths that sometimes don’t seem so simple to live out in daily life. Therefore, in true new-fangled fashion, I’m going to steal your last line for my gmail message and my facebook status- with credit given of course.

    Can’t wait to WOD (by the way, Steve is the first person I’ve ever heard to use this as a verb) with y’all again tomorrow.

  6. tbferg | December 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I love this series of posts. Last week, I spent 45 minutes struggling through a workout everyone else finished in 30 minutes. And I mean struggling. It was brutal. At some point, I stopped caring about, or even noticing, how long it was taking and just became determined to get through the cleans. I was struck by how, later (much later), I felt better about finishing that workout than I felt when I deadlifted 275. My time was the longest by far that day, but all I cared about was that there WAS a time there, instead of DNF. I’ve been trying to put it into words, but you guys expressed it better than I ever could. Something about making myself do one more clean, then one more, then one more, just felt really good.

    Usually, I compare my scores to everyone else’s, then beat myself up for not being strong enough, or not being tough enough, or not being fast enough, or not being dedicated enough – there are always so many of you who just do better. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who sometimes feels that way. Yesterday was tough, and there’s a DNF up there for me, too, but I kept working until the last minute, and I got close (sortof), and I think I can be proud of that.

  7. operationyetifit | December 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    is the black market cow purchase cabal still looking for members? i’m interested in some beef, but also in chicken. any one know a good chicken farm… maybe one of those roof top urban chicken farms.


  8. swimdra | December 9, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    I also love this series of posts. It’s nice to hear from some of the best athletes at this gym that even they have a hard time sometimes and that their abilities now are a reflection of the hard work they have put into getting where they are. That these skills did not in fact come naturally (I knew this, but it’s still nice to hear it sometimes).

    I have to be honest- yesterday when I read the workout I thought to myself, ‘oh great, a workout filled with skills I’m not good at’. But immediately after I had that thought, I realized something else- so what if I’m not good at it right now, the only way to get better is to come in there and try. And I like to think that that is what I did. I came in there and tried and even though it resulted in a DNF I was able to come away from it knowing I had done the best that I could. I also know that next time will be better.

    With these WODs I frequently think ‘next time will be better’ because no matter how well I did there is always something I could have done better. I often feel that as soon as I master one skill, another skill that we haven’t seen before (or in a long time) gets (re)introduced and I have to add it to my ever-growing list of “things to work on”. Before last week I would have never thought that I was bad at something like getting up off the floor, but the sit-up + jump and reach proved me wrong. The idea that no matter what your skill level, every single athlete has a list of “things to work on” is what sets crossfit apart from other workout programs and what makes it great. With crossfit each day is guaranteed to bring some sort of challenge and that is why I love it and why it so frequently is the best part of my day.



Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *