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News / Events

KOA Nation was represented well in the qualifying round of the SuperFit Championships with 6 KOA athletes qualifying for the championship. Ashley Casimir, Rachel Syko, Jamie Kallinosis, Marissa Levine, BrieAnn Szatkowski and Jill Bonafide will head down to the beach for the finals. The SuperFit Championship will take place at Jenkinson's Beach in Point Pleasant on Saturday June 22nd.  The first event will begin at 8:30am.

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SuperFit Championship

KOA Nation was represented well in the qualifying round of the SuperFit Championships with 6 KOA athletes qualifying for the championship. Ashley Casimir, Rachel Syko, Jamie Kallinosis, Marissa Levine, BrieAnn Szatkowski and Jill Bonafide will head down to the beach for the finals. The SuperFit Championship will take place at Jenkinson's Beach in Point Pleasant on Saturday June 22nd.  The first event will begin at 8:30am.
If you want to head down to the beach to cheer them on you will need to pruchase spectator tickets. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the SuperFit website for $25 or at the door for $35.
 
 
 
 

KOA Nation if you plan on walking on Saturday how about we meet at the refreshment stand at 10am. This is a great event in which to bring the kids as they can participate and walk too. If you are not familar with this cause it is to raise money to help a 4 year old boy from Cranford who has a rare form of cancer called Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma. Click on the link to learn more, donate and to register for the event.  
http://www.practicehard.com/EventView.asp?eid=1041

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Walk4Will

KOA Nation if you plan on walking on Saturday how about we meet at the refreshment stand at 10am. This is a great event in which to bring the kids as they can participate and walk too. If you are not familar with this cause it is to raise money to help a 4 year old boy from Cranford who has a rare form of cancer called Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma. Click on the link to learn more, donate and to register for the event.  
http://www.practicehard.com/EventView.asp?eid=1041

Well this is it.  My final blog post for CrossFit Koa.  When I first posted a blog on our old website, I had no idea people would actually read or even care to read what I wrote.  I am still not sure if anyone reads it, but I have come to really enjoy writing these blogs.  I enjoyed writing them most of all because I was writing for Koa, for all of you.  If people outside the gym could relate and gain smoe perspective than that was a bonus but my objective has always been to reach the minds, hearts and souls of our members here at CrossFit Koa.  I will continue writing now for a different a

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The Grand Finale

Well this is it.  My final blog post for CrossFit Koa.  When I first posted a blog on our old website, I had no idea people would actually read or even care to read what I wrote.  I am still not sure if anyone reads it, but I have come to really enjoy writing these blogs.  I enjoyed writing them most of all because I was writing for Koa, for all of you.  If people outside the gym could relate and gain smoe perspective than that was a bonus but my objective has always been to reach the minds, hearts and souls of our members here at CrossFit Koa.  I will continue writing now for a different audience, and hopefully be able to share my knowlede and thoughts with an even larger population.  But always and forever will I have CrossFit Koa in my heart, and hopefully you will continue to read my writings.
For my final blog post here, I want to end on a positive note.  Or should I say a happy note.  I am trying not to be sad about leaving all of you, because I know our bond and our relationships that we have developed in and outside of the gym will carry on no matter where I go. 
   But still…. It kind of sucks. 
   I want to leave you with a few final words, coming from not only the man who has been your trainer and coach, but as a person who has come to know all of you and honestly and truly want nothing but the best for you all.  So here you go, my final instructions:

  • NEVER EVER QUIT.  If you do I will haunt you forever more.  I am not kidding.  Remember that today’s failures become tomorrow’s success.  If you want something – I mean really want something – commit yourself right this second to putting the time and effort to acquire it.  You wouldn’t want results any other way than through hard work, effort and dedication.  Why do you think so many lottery winners end up going broke a few years later?  Success without the requisite time and effort is often nothing more than fool’s gold.  Do not look for shortcuts.  Embrace the daily grind and the seemingly endless road towards reaching your goals, always believing that one day soon you will get what you want.  I promise. 
  • A coach who will not listen is a coach who cannot teach.  Communicate your issues and your problems with your coaches whenever you feel necessary.  Something hurts or something just doesn’t make sense, ASK your coach (not the person next to you!) If you slept 2 hours because you were up with a screaming baby and now at 6AM we are asking you to back squat 95% of your max for three sets of one, please tell us so we can help adjust the numbers for you!  Assume nothing and let us help you by always communicating with us each and every day.
  • Get better.  Always.  Never be satisfied with the status quo or your current situation.  It’s easy to see progress in the beginning and then get complacent once the plateaus hit.  Complacency is usually followed by frustration and then frustration usually leads to quitting.  Never let it get that far by walking through the gym doors EVERY SINGLE DAY with the mindset that you will be a little bit better today than you were yesterday.  Whether it is improving your technique in a lift, adding some weight to your back squat, or even mobilizing a little more during warm up, never allow yourself to walk out of the gym the same as when you walked in. 
  • Try new stuff!  Go hiking.  Run a race you never ran.  Play a sport.  Challenge someone to an arm wrestling match.  DO SOMETHING NEW!  CrossFit is about general physical preparedness, AKA train you to be able to do awesome stuff!  Ever go ice skating?  Try it.  Go do cartwheels on your front lawn.  Have you ever just run as fast as you can for as long as you can?  Just because?  Do it.  Always seek out new challenges.  Or else complacency comes… then frustration… then you - know- what.  See?  We are learning here!
  • Every once and a while, do something you are awesome at.   If you go through a series a workouts where the movements have been difficult for you and the weights just a bit too high, don’t be dejected.  Pick a movement that you know you can crush and DO IT.  Do a 102 KB swings (love ya Amy!) or climb the rope or rip off fifty double unders.  Remind yourself of how awesome you are and then get back to work. 
  • Last one… run to your dreams and LIVE THEM!  I don’t want to say “chase” your dreams because the reality is your dreams are not running away from you.  They are not afraid of you… you are afraid of them!  It’s a classic piece of advice but just presented in a different way.  Too often we see our dreams and hopes as getting “away” from us and as time passes we feel more and more distant from those dreams.  That is (excuse my language) bulls***.  Your dreams have gone nowhere, it is YOU who has turned and started walking away.  Make today the day you start walking TOWARDS your dreams and although I cannot promise you when, I can promise you that someday you will get there.  Trust me… I am living proof J
  • Never forget me dammit.  Seriously. 

   Ok no sappy goodbyes because I will see you all again.  Please – and I can’t stress this enough – remember that I will FOREVER be your coach and your friend.  Call me, message me, email me any time you want and I will always be there to help any way I can. 
   If I have impacted your lives 1/100000000000000000000000th as much as you have all impacted mine over the years, I know I have done my job well.  Thank you for the greatest three years of my life.  Thank you for helping me make all of my dreams come true.  And in the words of the “Golden Girls” theme song: “… thank you for being a friend.”
(TRIVIA: Name all four “Golden Girls” stars and the state they lived in.  Ten burpees for each incorrect answer.)

  I am not sure how much longer I can sit here and stare at a blank screen getting all emotional and upset.  I guess – like ripping off a band aid – the only thing to do is come right out and address it.
   At the end of this month I will be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to begin a new adventure running the CrossFit facilities at Attitude Nation Gym with Jon and Jessica North.
   Yes, that Jon North.  The same Jon North I became a huge fan of a little less than a year ago. 
   And now, I will be working with him.  
   Amazing how life can change.

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Hardest... blog..... ever....

  I am not sure how much longer I can sit here and stare at a blank screen getting all emotional and upset.  I guess – like ripping off a band aid – the only thing to do is come right out and address it.
   At the end of this month I will be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to begin a new adventure running the CrossFit facilities at Attitude Nation Gym with Jon and Jessica North.
   Yes, that Jon North.  The same Jon North I became a huge fan of a little less than a year ago. 
   And now, I will be working with him.  
   Amazing how life can change.
   It is a dream come true… an opportunity that I once would have never thought possible.  I will be a part of the Attitude Nation; I will have a chance to be on “Weightlifting Talk” representing this community and sport of CrossFit we love so damn much.  I will have a huge platform to share with people what we here at CrossFit Koa have come to just know is true: we can change more than your weight, more than your waste size, and more than your 1 rep max back squat… we can change your whole life.
   But as I sit here typing these words, I can feel – literally feel – my heart breaking.  CrossFit Koa has been my life.  Since meeting Josh in his garage back in the summer of 2010, my entire life changed.  His offer to join him, Steve and Tom as a trainer in this new CrossFit gym was just as exciting and exhilarating to me then as moving to Charlotte is for me now.  They opened the door for me to pursue something I was sincerely and deeply passionate about.  I had been training CrossFit for a while and had truly come to love it.  But it wasn’t just about getting people fit that motivated me and it definitely wasn’t money.  To me, it was all about bringing people into CrossFit Koa and helping them become something they never knew they could be.  It was about connecting with people and letting them know that I would do whatever I had to so that they could meet their goals, and letting them know my investment in them was real and unconditional.  It was about being more than a coach, a trainer, an instructor… it was about being a motivator, a mentor, and most importantly a friend. 
   CrossFit Koa allowed me to do all of these things and it has been nothing short of magical.  The people I have met along the way have made me feel like I truly am the luckiest man in the world with the greatest job in the world.  Some have stayed, some have gone, but every single person in one way or another has made an impact on me during their time at CrossFit Koa.  The memories, the experiences, the relationships… how on earth could I possibly put into words how valuable those things are to me?  How they have shaped my life and provided me with a sense of value and self-worth that wasn’t always there for me?  How could I thank Josh, Steve and Tom and every single one of you enough for what you have done for me?  Anything I could write or say just seems so inadequate but you have to know it… I need all of you to know how much I care about you and appreciate every single day I was able to be with you.  I know non-CrossFit Koa members might be reading this and think “This guy is nuts!  It’s just a gym!” but for all the members of CrossFit Koa, you know exactly what I am talking about.  And that is fine because this blog is and always has been for all of you and nobody else. 
   Phew.  I have got to wrap this up because sitting at the Clark Public Library sniffling and fighting back tears in front of two librarians and an old guy reading what appears to be a dictionary (strange…) is just not a good look.  Seriously what must I look like right now… tattoos, backwards hat, rippling muscles (hahahahaha) bottle of Spark by my side, and snot and tears on my face.  Ridiculous. 
   This is not a good-bye because I will never ever separate from CrossFit Koa.  I will never miss a chance to come back and visit and I will never stop being friends with all of you (Facebook and Twitter WHAT WHAT #gettwitterifyoudonthaveit).  I hope that you will not forget about me although I am sure that will be unavoidable once I am replaced… but I do not want to even think about it.  Right now, the thought of someone taking my place is like thinking about seeing your significant other kissing someone else… just aint right!!  But I digress…
   I want to thank each and every one of you at CrossFit Koa for changing my life for the better.  Thank you Josh, Steve and Tom for never acting like bosses but always being my friends.  Thank you to all of the members for laughing at my stupid jokes and bearing with me when I ran out of Spark and got a little cranky.  Thank you to the police guy who wrote me all of those parking tickets for being a few minutes over… actually, there really is no need to thank you. 
   I can leave at peace knowing that I am leaving you all in good hands.  Josh - the Godfather of it all - will still be running the show.  John, Mike, Joe, Megan, Paula, Marissa and Brie are all outstanding coaches and are going to continue to do an amazing job. 
   Time to go out like ROCK STARS!  Let’s have as much fun training as possible in the next two weeks.  I promise to give you all everything I have right up until the very last day.  And I expect you guys to do the same!!  For now, I will leave you with this one quote.  I think it sums things up perfectly…
“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Attention KOA Nation - we need to mobilize and not with bands and foam rollers this time. We need to join together and Walk 4 Will. A few members of CrossFit KOA are friends with the family and we have offered to volunteer at the event and walk.

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Walk for Will

Attention KOA Nation - we need to mobilize and not with bands and foam rollers this time. We need to join together and Walk 4 Will. A few members of CrossFit KOA are friends with the family and we have offered to volunteer at the event and walk. Details are to come on how we can volunteer etc. Below you will find more info on Will, the event and a link to register and commit to a number of laps. Let's help them get to their goal of 1,000 laps, Right now they need about 200 more laps to get to the goal. 

The Walk for Will event will take place on May 18th at David Brearley High School in Kenilworth.

Will is four years old. He lives in Cranford. He likes pirates, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, dinosaurs, and the New York Giants. 

Will also has a rare form of cancer called Adrenal cortical Carcinoma.

Will is a hero. He has committed to fighting cancer. Join us by committing to walk laps on the track for him. Our goal is to walk a total of 1000 laps for Will! 

http://www.practicehard.com/EventView.asp?eid=1041

 

May 18, 2013 from 9-12 come walk for Will! In addition to the walk there will be activities for the kids, snacks and entertainment. The walk will be held at David Brearley High School in Kenilworth NJ.
Description
Here is some background information from his CaringBridge page posted by his mom:

In July, Will and I went to his pediatrician for a routine physical with, among other things, a concern about his belly looking a bit distended. His trusted pediatrician, with a look of concern, said to get blood work, an ultrasound, and make an appointment with an endocrinologist. Two of the three appointments were made when I received a call the next morning. Dr. Luke couldn't sleep bc he just couldn't figure out Will's prognosis and suggested we head to the ER. We went and immediately had bloodwork and a CAT scan. The results were that Will's distention was due to a large tumor growing in that little belly of his. We were transported to Morristown Memorial and the many specialists in pediatric oncology, endocrinology, radiology, and surgery were in and out monitoring Will, and helping us feel secure in their hands. Will was operated on July 27th by Dr. Jacir and he removed the entire mass and the adrenal gland it was growing from too.

Will bounced back from surgery like it was nobody's business! He was such a rock star! 

Will's tumor was Adrenalcortical Carcinoma stage 2 and malignant, however at that time it was still unclear whether chemotherapy was needed. Numerous pathology labs looked over his labs, including CHOP, and had the same determination. The lymph nodes did not have any of the disease which was great news. 

After visiting CHOP for a 2nd opinion to meet Dr. Mustafi (the oncologist/endocrinologist), and meeting back at Morristown with Dr. Jacir (Will's surgeon), Dr. Halpern (his oncologist) and Dr. Silverman (his endocrinologist) in mid August it was determined that Will did NOT need another surgery. His blood levels were already where they needed to be just 7 days after surgery, so they will continue to monitor him every month. This is what helped to make the decision not to do the surgery, amongst other things.

Over the weekend, Will had another visit at CHOP and an MRI scheduled at Morristown. We learned that Will has abnormal cell growth on his lungs and liver. Chemotherapy will begin Nov 13th.

Thanks for the love and support!! Will is a fighter and the most determined little boy I know!!

Come help support Will!

 

CrossFit KOA will be sponsoring two upcoming 5k races. One is the NJ Miles with Moms 5k and Fun Run on Saturday, May 4th. Here is the link if anyone from KOA Nation wants to register or learn more.

http://cnj.motherscenter.org/5k/

 

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Upcoming 5k's Sponsored by CrossFit KOA

CrossFit KOA will be sponsoring two upcoming 5k races. One is the NJ Miles with Moms 5k and Fun Run on Saturday, May 4th. Here is the link if anyone from KOA Nation wants to register or learn more.

http://cnj.motherscenter.org/5k/

 

The other is the Bloomingdale Ave. School/Orange Ave. School 5k. This will take place in Cranford on Sunday, April 21st. This was originally scheduled for November 4th, 2012 but had to be rescheduled because of Hurricane Sandy. KOA Nation this is perfect for an active recovery Sunday. Below is the link to register.

http://www.bestrace.com/Bloomingdale5k

 

 I have a direct order for every single member of CrossFit Koa:
   STOP UNDERESTIMATING YOURSELF.
   Right at this very minute I want you to stop underestimating yourself and get rid of all those negative thoughts in your mind. 

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Negativity....? Aint Nobody Got Time For That!

 I have a direct order for every single member of CrossFit Koa:
   STOP UNDERESTIMATING YOURSELF.
   Right at this very minute I want you to stop underestimating yourself and get rid of all those negative thoughts in your mind. 
      I understand it is human nature to compare ourselves to others, and to be disappointed when we feel that progress is not coming as quickly as we would like. Whether its about our performance in a workout, our physical appearance, or something going on outside of the gym, its human nature to let our negative thoughts pile up like dirty laundry in a hamper and eventually overwhelm us.   But the truth is our lives are too short, our time on this earth too brief to waste one second feeling bad about ourselves and spend our time living with this negative frame of mind. 
   I have seen the most amazing transformations in our gym, and not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.  I have seen people lose some weight and add lean muscle… but more importantly I have seen so many of you change the way you think.  That to me is more important than a few pounds or an inch or two off your waistline.  And I don’t want us to ever lose sight of that.
   When we do forget about this transformation, we begin to doubt.  We begin to question.  We begin to UNDERESTIMATE ourselves.  That should be criminal because the truth is none of you have a clue just how vast your true potential is. Maybe think of it like this…
   Look at Thomas Edison, the man who invented the light bulb.  When asked if it was true that he failed 1,000 times before being successful in creating the light bulb, he responded “I have not failed 1,000 times.  I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways how not to make a light bulb work.”  That change in perspective, his ability to see positivity in something the world defines as "failure", altered the history of Thomas Edison and the world as we know it.   Imagine if after failing once, twice, even a few hundred times, Edison would have said, “Forget it I am not good I quit.”?  No light bulb.  At least not then… and someone else who wouldn’t give up and who wouldn’t UNDERESTIMATE themselves would have come along and figured out a way to make that light bulb work. 
   And then your son or daughter would never have had that chance to attend Thomas Alva Edison Middle School… but I digress.
   I am once again challenging all of you to clean out the negativity clogging up your mind and make room for serious positivity.  The world is full of challenges, some much more serious than others.  I will not pretend to understand what each and every one of you goes through outside our gym… but I sure as hell know what you are enduring INSIDE our gym.  Let’s start making changes inside CrossFit Koa and lets start making the impossible possible.  Do this and let it be a catalyst to changing your life outside the gym as well.  (Seriously if you can even ATTEMPT 150 wall balls and survive, the world cant throw ANYTHING at you that you cant handle!!!!!)
   And this is how we will do it:

  • Stop saying you can’t because the truth is you can.
  •  Stop thinking you aren’t good enough when the truth is you are great.
  • Stop worrying about what others saying and start hearing the voice inside you that knows exactly what you are capable of.
  • Stop letting negativity influence your thoughts and emotions and realize positivity is nothing more than a shift in focus. 
  •  Stop wondering what your future could be like and start planning and working towards what it WILL be like. 

 
TIP OF THE WEEK!
   Are you keeping a journal / log of all of your workouts?  No?? Well then this tip will be step #2 for you… step #1 is get yourself a journal to record your training numbers!  For those of us who already have a journal, start writing notes in your journal along with your workouts and corresponding numbers.  If you received a useful cue from a coach on a particular day, write that cue down and remind yourself of it the next time that movement comes up.  If you struggled with a particular movement write down what exactly it was that you were struggling with.  If you felt a weight was too light or too heavy that you chose for a particular conditioning workout, write that down in the journal and write what you should have used instead so you know for next time.  This little bit of extra writing will go a looooong way in helping you improve and achieve your goals.

Attention all runners or anyone interested in running:  Next Thursday, March 28th at 8:15pm Coach Ryan will be holding a short and fun running clinic and a brief session on CrossFit Endurance and the implementation of CrossFit Endurance classes for the gym.  The session is free.  All skill levels are welcome. Come learn something new and have some fun!

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CrossFit KOA Endurance Program

Attention all runners or anyone interested in running:  Next Thursday, March 28th at 8:15pm Coach Ryan will be holding a short and fun running clinic and a brief session on CrossFit Endurance and the implementation of CrossFit Endurance classes for the gym.  The session is free.  All skill levels are welcome. Come learn something new and have some fun!

 Walk into CrossFit Koa and you will notice a lot of things.  Great people eager to make your acquaintance, clean and tidy equipment (or Josh will make us do burpees), bad ass graffiti on both gym walls, gnarly looking ropes hanging from the ceiling reminding you this isn’t an ordinary gym, and of course weightlifting shoes. 
   Lots and lots of weightlifting shoes. 

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Shoe Shopping

 Walk into CrossFit Koa and you will notice a lot of things.  Great people eager to make your acquaintance, clean and tidy equipment (or Josh will make us do burpees), bad ass graffiti on both gym walls, gnarly looking ropes hanging from the ceiling reminding you this isn’t an ordinary gym, and of course weightlifting shoes. 
   Lots and lots of weightlifting shoes. 
   I have never addressed this issue but I think it is time.  As your head coach, I would like to assist all of you in every way I possibly can when it comes to your health and fitness.  These shoes can cost anywhere from $90 to $220 dollars, which in my book means it’s a substantial enough investment to really think, “Do I need these things?”
   Here is my take and my advice to you on whether purchasing a pair of weightlifting shoes is appropriate for you:

  • Weightlifting shoes are NOT a crutch to solve your mobility, stability and strength issues.  This is clearly the number one issue I have with many people who buy these shoes.  You cannot overhead squat a piece of PVC in regular shoes but you can in your Romaleos so VOILA… problem solved.  WRONG!!  You need to be able to move well and develop a baseline of strength without the shoes first. 
  • Identify your goals.  Are you someone who primarily wants to focus on improving your snatch and clean and jerk?  Have you been working at these movements for months and seem to have hit a plateau?  Have you dedicated ample time to learning the intricacies of the movements in AND out of the gym?  If so, then perhaps it’s time to shop around for shoes.  If not, you have a lot of work to do BEFORE you should even consider the idea. 
  • Weightlifters ALWAYS wear weightlifting shoes.  Because they are WEIGHTLIFTERS.   They also cannot run 800m without becoming winded.  Endurance is not their goal.  Lifting a heavy object and establishing it over their head is their SOLE mission.  Therefore shoes are necessary.  Can you say the same?  We are CrossFitters who are concerned with general physical preparedness and a broad based approach to fitness.  We want to run fast and run far, pull ourselves up on a bar or rope, AND lift some weights.  Our goals are quite varied.  How integral are a pair of specialized shoes to helping you reach these broad and varied goals? 
  • When and if you buy shoes, it also imperative that you do not become dependent on them.  Josh and I always joked with each other once we purchased weightlifting shoes that every WOD that came up the first question we asked ourselves was “Can I wear the shoes??” Who wouldn’t love the extra stability at the bottom of an overhead squat or clean during a WOD?  But what if that workout requires me to also run 400m?  Then what?  (Cue Coach Glassman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is04CcxYBGs)

   Weightlifting shoes are a great tool and are beneficial for most, but not all people.  Instead of using shoes as shortcut, spend an extra 20 minutes each day at home to work on mobility.  Instead of wearing weightlifting shoes, perhaps take some weight off the bar and work on doing the movements correctly in regular, flat shoes.  Maybe take your eyes off the clock and stop worrying about how fast you move and take your time to perform the movements accurately and safely without your shoes.  Work on just YOU before you work on you with your shoes. 
*** NEW SEGMENT IN MY BLOGS***
   A few members gave me the great idea to do a “Tip of the Week”!  Most of the time it will pertain to movement and improving your health… sometimes it will pertain to miscellaneous stuff.  Today I will give you an example of both:
TIP OF THE WEEK:
-      Are you taking fish oil right now?  YOU NEED TO BE.  Read this.
   http://crossfitimpulse.com/why-fish-oil

  •  Just because you aren’t the last class of the day doesn’t mean you can leave equipment, cups, chalked up bars and whatever else you want lying around so that I can run around and clean it all up when we close late at night.  As much as I love staying in the gym till 10:00pm, I would rather get home to eat dinner and watch the last few minutes of either the Knicks or Rangers breaking my heart with yet another loss.  Thank you!

   Here is what is fascinating about the CrossFit Games and more importantly the Open: as coaches we are always pushing and motivating all of you to throw your hat in the ring and enjoy what we believe is a unique, challenging and rewarding experience.
   But what sometimes unfortunately happens is we look at the workout and think, “Oh man I can’t do that I’m no good.” Or after completing a workout the thought process almost immediately goes to “I totally could have done better” and instead of pride and excitement some of us feel dejected and frustrated.

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A Note About the CrossFit Open

   Here is what is fascinating about the CrossFit Games and more importantly the Open: as coaches we are always pushing and motivating all of you to throw your hat in the ring and enjoy what we believe is a unique, challenging and rewarding experience.
   But what sometimes unfortunately happens is we look at the workout and think, “Oh man I can’t do that I’m no good.” Or after completing a workout the thought process almost immediately goes to “I totally could have done better” and instead of pride and excitement some of us feel dejected and frustrated.
   That should NEVER be the case!!!
   I want to share what I believe the CrossFit Open is supposed to mean to all of us.  These 5 individual workouts are NOT any indication of whether you are “fit” or not.  That probably sounds crazy but it’s true.  We all know many people we would consider “fit” that have not yet developed the skill to perform a muscle up; therefore if muscle ups come up in one of the five workouts, they may not post a great score.  Is that an indication of the level of their fitness?  Are they not fit because they post a relatively low score? 
   Absolutely NOT.
   Well then if it is not a measurement of how fit we are, then what the hell did I go around pushing all of you to sign up for then?!?!?  Glad you asked…
   The CrossFit Open is a test.  It is a test that reveals the truth about what you have been doing the previous 6-9 months. The Open reveals fitness that was created in the days and weeks and months leading up to this event.   Have you been getting to the gym and hitting every workout with the requisite amount of intensity to create change and progress?  Or have you been skipping those days that look “too tough”?  Have you been listening to our cues and instructions and trying to improve your skills?  Or have you been ignoring us and taking the “I’ll just do it my way” approach?  Have you been attempting to clean up your nutrition and fuel your body with what it needs?  Or have you made ice cream and pizza a staple of your weekly diet?
   Also, where has your focus been?  Has it been on strength?  Endurance?  Running?  Gymnastics?  Have you favored one particular area over another?  Have you truly worked on your weaknesses? 
   This is what the Open is about.  It is a chance to look back at your training and see how it has prepared you for the sport of fitness that CrossFit has become.  It can be a reality check, telling you that you have not been working as hard as you thought you were.  Or maybe a wakeup call to stop focusing on your strengths and start getting better at some of your weaknesses.   Remember: the Open isn’t just about where you are at this moment; it’s also about where you want to be in the future. 
   Example: Bill Lord.  Last year in the Snatch ladder – with NO burpees – I believe he got a handful of snatches at 165 lbs. 
   This year – ONE YEAR LATER – with 90 burpees mixed in between, Bill snatched 165 lbs. twenty times.  That ladies and gentlemen, is what we call progress. 
   So do not waste one second wondering if you should have or could have done better.  Instead look back at your last 6-9 months of training and see how that has or has not prepared you for these workouts.  Are you disappointed in your results?  Then map out your next 6-9 months to assure you are exactly where you want to be.  Are you content with your performance?  Then maintain the positive attributes you have established in the months leading up to this Open and make sure you continue them in the future. 
   You do not become “fit” or “unfit” from one workout.  It takes a long time to get to that point.  Use the Open not as a competition against 140,000 people, but instead as a personal test to determine if you are where you want to be and if you have done what you needed to get there.
   And then, after all this analyzing crap is over, sit back and smile and realize just how bad ass you are for even attempting the Open.  Most people will go a lifetime without EVER snatching a barbell over their head once, let alone 30 plus times!!!  In the end, ALWAYS be proud of your effort and your dedication to your goals to improve.  See yourself like I see each and every one of you: as the best damn CrossFitters any gym could ever possibly ask for!!

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