Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Picture re-post from August 27, 2009. In a word, classy.

This week, the MPH community says goodbye to Joe “Chef Diesel” P., a founding athlete, as he heads South to Charleston, SC.

When Joe first started with us at the “Globo Gym” palace, he hated even walking from the squat rack to the pull-up bar—about 75 feet. Defibrillator on hand, once he got to the pull-up rig, it was a triage of substitutions—bands, boxes, aerobics steps and anything else we could use to get the big guy’s chin over the bar. While his lungs still haven’t completely caught up to our requests, by the time we made the move to Church Street his strength and character sure did. It wasn’t long before he established a presence on the Olympic bar (still not the pull-up variety), earning his place as one of the strongest athletes in the gym. Except for Dave R.

Despite the fact that he refuses to give us a shout out on his regular Today Show appearances (1, 2, 3), or that he has the most confounding squat depth we’ve ever seen (three judges at Sectionals in 2010 couldn’t figure it out either), Joe is one of our all-time favorites. The respect he shows for every athlete in the gym makes him great. His “perfect storm” days, when he PRs by tens of pounds after being stuck on a lift for months (or years), are amazing to be part of. Most of all, we will miss the unwavering dedication and loyalty he’s given us over the years, especially these last three.

Safe travels, and good luck in South Carolina!

–Melody, Rebekka and John

With a continuously running clock, establish a two-rep max power clean in 10 minutes.

then, one round:
max strict chin-up

then, as many repetitions as possible in seven minutes:

then, for time:
1.5 mile run

This workout is scored by the heaviest load lifted, the number of strict chin-ups completed, the number of burpees completed, and the time to completion in part four.


  1. coach | April 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Congratulations Diane N., for getting your first pull-up last night during the 6p class!

    –Rebekka and Melody

    • alissa g. | April 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Nice job, Diane! šŸ™‚

      • dianenew | April 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm

        Thank you! (….and thanks to 6PM for cheering me on!)

  2. christyphillips | April 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I am going to miss you!! Mostly for these reasons:
    1. I give you a lot of shit and you always take it so well
    2. You are a consistent commenter on the MPH blog and sometimes you even have something interesting to say šŸ˜‰
    3. Best. Picture. Ever. There’s no replacing that.

    • The Diesel | April 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks, darlin! Sorry I can’t be around for regionals this year, but I look forward to making it to the 2013 Games to watch you defend your upcoming title. Kick some ass!

  3. Special K | April 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Good luck, Joe! We’ll miss you!

  4. joepap | April 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Good luck Joe! I’ve always looked forward to working out with you at noon or during the barbell team. You definitely provided a lot of motivation for me over the last two years. You also never shied away from answering my cooking questions–and the guys at work appreciated that as well.

    I look forward to eating some good food from a great chef at your next professional pursuit and spending some time with Diesel the next time I head south!

    Stay safe brother,

    Your fellow Joe P.

  5. Ted | April 24, 2012 at 5:25 am

    “The respect he shows for every athlete in the gym makes him great.” No truer words… but there’s a whole lot of things that make you great, Joe, and it’s been a privilege being a part of this with you from the start. I know you’ll continue to inspire on all fronts in Charleston. Good luck!

  6. Tink | April 24, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Oh no. Sad to hear. Glad we got to do the CMC together as one my last “WOD” with you. All the best. I hope you get a big dog šŸ™‚ and that you come back to visit!

  7. cjsiegel | April 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Joe P, I am so happy that you get to go back to SC and persue your goals. You deserve it. What a crappy loss for us, though. Hope you visit.
    Some of my fondest memories of you:
    – you said something to the effect of: a bag of doritos is not any part of nutrition. don’t get me wrong, sometimes you just want to eat them, though.
    -the time you commented: “still pregnant, i see”
    – most recently, you barreling over that last ladder at the CMC. You killed that–just like you will today’s!

    Best –Christine and David

  8. Mrs. F | April 24, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Joe, it was really fun doing today’s Shazam! WOD with you. You will be missed, but just as I said to so many others who have left MPH, you can’t ever *really* leave MPH- this is family now. Stay in touch, find a new CrossFit home, and see you on the Leaderboard for next year’s games!

  9. sidc | April 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Joe, it’s been fun working out with you these past few years. One of my favorite memories is how the barbell team frequently became a cooking class when you, Erez and Steve got to chatting about food. We’ll miss you around MPH. Best of luck in Charleston!

  10. bghent | April 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Joe, do you know what’s worse than seven minutes of burpees? Seven minutes of burpees followed by a mile and a half run.

    You were always a lot of fun at the gym, and you’ll be missed.

    Bill G.

  11. mike | April 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm


    Over the years, you have been one of the single most upbeat people at MPH, and I really enjoyed working out with you. You cheered for everyone, brought a good attitude to every workout, and kept smiling. Glad to say I’m not *going* to miss you, but that’s only because I left first and I already do.

    Best of luck at the new spot. I’m sure you’ll be a local fixture in no time. More importantly, best of luck with the WOD. Looks like a killer (for you, big guy).


  12. drewpfield | April 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm


    The heavy bar in the 8am class won’t be the same without you! I look forward to visiting your new digs on Charleston!

    OTB and the Burlington, NC City Park:

    20 minute AMREP of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats

    12 rounds +2 pull ups

    Apparently, a dude on the running track doing squats is funny to most passer-bys.

  13. The Diesel | April 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks for the well wishes, all! It has truly been a pleasure to be a part of what Mel/John/ and BKay and (everyone else by extension) are building. In general, I find it saddening that so many people choose to exist through their lives, to endure them at face value, rather than risk something, stretch out and really see what can be done.

    That yardstick is obviously very singular and the metric for success and progress is very much self-defined, but everyone at MPH makes that choice to entertain the possibility of going home disappointed when they come in (I certainly have on more than one occasion), but the possibility of that new one rep max, or new Fran time, or just making it through a workout they thought they could never do, is worth facing that possibility. Sometimes, you may go in thinking you can unseat Dave R in an OHS face-off, and succeed for approximately 4 hours with a 17# PR, only to see that success undone in a video tweeted to you shortly thereafter. These things happen. Irrespective of where those triumphs lie in comparison to others, it is a great thing to see the task undertaken, to see someone fall and get up.

    I think that idea is a quickly fading one in contemporary life (sports teams where everyone gets a trophy for attending, or seeking to mitigate any semblance of disappointment from a kid’s life, that shit drives me nuts). I like the idea of keeping score, of trying to be better tomorrow that I am today. That’s a large reason why I chose my profession, but I hope it has shown in other areas as well. I may go stretches at a time without really accomplishing anything new, or even regressing in some respects, but the choice we all face everyday is to give up or get back up and keep swinging, physically, mentally, or emotionally. I choose to continue to get back up, and have been truly lucky to spend a chunk of my week with people who do the same at MPH. I’m not a baseball guy, but I Curt Shilling said something that I really liked. “I try to teach my kids the difference between losing and failing. If they went out and gave it everything they had and lost, that’s ok, its a basis for improvement. If they went out and didn’t try hard, they failed, and that isn’t ever ok.”

    I wish you all the best, my e-mail is shadetreeculinary@gmail.com and my phone # is 843-324-4343. If y’all head down to Charleston, give me a call, you’ll leave well fed.

    Thank you.

  14. caitlin | April 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm


    Congratulations and good luck! Charleston and High Cotton are lucky to have you.

    Working out with you was a real treat. Your positive energy and good nature is magnetic, and whenever I saw you in the gym it always made me smile.

    Fortunately Mike and I get to Charleston (or at least SC) quite a bit so Iā€™m looking forward to seeing you there.

    Travel safe my friend,

  15. iwearsocksandshoes | April 24, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Joe –

    I hope you can make it back to DC on occasion for some additional barbell throw-downs. Best of luck down south. You’ll be missed.

    dave r

  16. mjfrias15 | April 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm


    what a great post. i find it inspiring and telling that MPH attracts and retains quality people, like yourself and so many others. it is what makes MPH more than just a box but a real community. i wish you all the best in your new endeavors in charleston. be well,

    michael f.

  17. b-kay | April 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    James C.: 165*-lbs., 14, 81, 10:22
    Ben H.: 165*-lbs., 8, 64, 10:19
    Christine S.: 115*-lbs., 15, 90, 12:00
    Keena S.: 102*-lbs., 5, 83, 4:34 (sub: jump-stretch strict chin-up, red, 800m run)
    Campbell R.: 100*-lbs., 11, 71, 4:34 (sub: jump-stretch strict chin-up, green, 800m run)
    Chap G.: 145*-lbs., 10, 38, 9:27 (sub: strict bodyrow, 5′ amrep, 1-mile run)
    Matthew W.: 135-lbs., 15, 75, 9:46
    Alex M.: 192-lbs., 15, 90, 9:55
    Dave K.: 185*-lbs., 19, 78, 9:59
    Steve M.: 175*-lbs., 16, 63, 9:58
    Ralph A.: 170-lbs., 5, 55, 9:43
    Ted K.: 142*-lbs., 8, 76, 12:34
    Jon H.: 145*-lbs., 16, 88, 11:36
    Peter H.: 125*-lbs., 13, 74, 10:51
    Kaisa A.: 100-lbs., 8, 94, 12:01
    Katie M.: 80-lbs., 6, 72, 11:00 (sub: jump-stretch strict chin-up, red)
    Shawn J.: 85*-lbs., 9, 43, 3:54 (sub: jump-stretch strict chin-up, green, 5′ amrep, 800m run)
    Molly B.: 70*-lbs., 14, 57, 4:35 (sub: jump-stretch strict chin-up, green, 800m run)
    David O.: 55, 13, 56, 12:41 (55-lb. db.; sub: single-arm squat clean, strict bodyrow, no pushup burpee)
    Bill G.: 200-lbs., 12, 103, 11:53
    Glenn C.: 155*-lbs., 8, 84, 11:11
    Cristian D.: 140-lbs., 10, 80, 12:24
    Sidra C.: 143*-lbs., 9, 67, 13:55
    Kirsten P.: 120-lbs., 5, 64, 11:59
    Shawn C.: 130*-lbs., 8, 73, 12:16
    Mark L.: 125*-lbs., 14, 81, 12:18
    Joe P.: 232*-lbs., 6, 71, 13:33
    Josh M.: 150-lbs., 20, 103, 12:20
    Ralph B.: 155-lbs., 15, 74, 10:14
    Ivy F.: 135-lbs., 2, 50, 4:37 (sub: 5′ amrep, 800m run)
    Joe K.: 160*-lbs., 7, 60, 11:05
    Holmes H.: 115-lbs., 7, 102, 11:40
    Mark W.: 65*-lbs., 15, 43, 4:31 (sub: strict bodyrow, 5′ amrep, 800m run)
    Brandon W.: 4 rounds, 9, 70 (sub: 30″ plank hold + 30″ v-hold + 20x superman, pushup)
    Dave R.: 230-lbs., 19, 111, 13:02
    Leota T.: 108*-lbs., 2, 84, 9:35 (sub: 1-mile run)
    Holden H.: 45*-lbs., 10, 39, 5:36 (sub: strict bodyrow, 5′ amrep, 800m run)
    Lisa C.: 180-lbs., 12, 105, 8:00 (sub: strict bodyrow, no pushup burpee, 1-mile run)
    Jim C.: 200*-lbs., 33, 89, 11:52
    David S.: 170*-lbs., 18, 101, 10:42
    Thomas M.: 135*-lbs., 11, 95, 11:14
    Erez Y.: 285-lbs., 15, 123, 13:26 (sub: deadlift, single-arm strict pull-up, no pushup burpee)
    Chris C.: 195*-lbs., 10, 82, 11:17
    James H.: 155*-lbs., 15, 95, 14:58
    Sean F.: 155*-lbs., 10, 74, 9:50
    Ty C.: 155*-lbs., 8, 77, 11:17
    Lee P.: 120-lbs., 7, 73, 12:12
    Brett B.: 125*-lbs., 8, 70, 13:38
    Spencer S.: 115*-lbs., 14, 61, 13:54
    Danny M.: 135*-lbs., 8, 70, 10:14
    JC L.: 115*-lbs., 5, 67, 13:05
    Diane N.: 90*-lbs., 1, 65, 15:08
    Katherine S.: 75*-lbs., 6, 65, 12:54 (sub: jump-stretch strict chin-up, blue)
    John P.: 105*-lbs., 15, 70, 2:52 (sub: strict bodyrow, 800m run)
    Candida M.: 67*-lbs., 1, 83, 14:19
    Michael F.: 200*-lbs., 13, 103, 12:06
    Mark Co.: 180*-lbs., 12, 95, 11:06
    Chris T.: 180*-lbs., 16, 65, 12:01
    Krishnan S.: 130*-lbs., 6, 78, 11:51
    Randy F.: 125*-lbs., 8, 76, 11:55
    Alissa G.: 115*-lbs., 8, 98, 11:25
    Jeremy M.: 130*-lbs., 9, 80, 11:09
    Set S.: 100*-lbs., 5, 65, 14:27 (sub: jump-stretch strict chin-up, blue)
    Daniel H.: 135*-lbs., 15, 65, 10:22


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