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Rest Day 

Are We Having Fun Yet?

At the end of every Foundations Class we've included a lecture on training perspective. The emphasis of this lecture is all about taking the long road with your training and enjoying the process.  Today is a good opportunity to reflect on why you train and what you'd be missing in your life if you stopped.  Think beyond quantifiable gains, specific numbers or movements you've gotten strong enough to do.  At a more fundamental level, appreciate the simple fun of playing with barbells, learning new skills, regularly challenging yourself and realizing that you're more capable than you were before.  CrossFit should be first and foremost a fun and enriching experience. What you do is not normal, most people don't take the time to learn technical exercises, most people don't push themselves to discomfort and many wouldn't come to a gym without air conditioning in the summer heat.  Reflect on why fitness is important to you and what, beyond the performance markers stimulates you.

2012 CFSBK Subway Series Event


Recently, Coach Josh showed me an interview on the CrossFit Journal featuring Ben Bergeron, coach of 2011's 1st place affiliate team talking about training and competition.  Ben quipped that if people are part of a running club, they typically run races, if they're part of a Judo club, competing in tournaments is expected. He considered his gym a CrossFit club and said one of the primary reasons for their success is their emphasis on people going out and competing in CrossFit events. It could be the Open, local throwdowns or even national events, the point was that there are physical and mental elements of sport that can't be developed by working out in the same place with the same people under the same psychological pressures. Another example of a gym finding success through regular competition would be the famous Westside Barbell Club in Columbus Ohio. Owner and world renown strength coach Louie Simmons has said that people who come to train at Westside but avoid competition, even informal in-house challenges are permanently kicked out of the gym, that's how highly they value it.  Now that sounds all well and good for world class CrossFit athletes and Powerlifters, but what about your every day middle of the pack CrossFitter?  On CrossFit.com, under the "What is CrossFit" tab there is a famous line that might give you some perspective, it says, "The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen." While this quote is speaking about programming specifically, we can still extract the concept that often it's the degree not type of stimulus that needs to be modified.  Local competitions exist so that a wider net of people can experience the benefits of competing, you don't need to have your eyes on Regionals or the Games to sign up and you don't have to go in expecting to win. I have yet to meet someone who put themselves out of their comfort zone, signed up for an event and didn't come out better on the back end, regardless of how they did.  It's a profound learning experience about yourself, a great way to focus your training and an opportunity to meet more like-minded people.   If you're on the fence about signing up for the Subway Series, think about what you have to lose versus what you could gain from the experience.

  • There is still room availible to sign up for the 2013 Subway Series event happening here at CFSBK on 8/17. There are both Rx'd and Scaled divisions. For more information and to register, click here.
  • Saturday is the first event of the season happening at CrossFit Queens. Good luck to all the athletes signed up already to compete!

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Reader Comments (38)

Repost from late last night...

Got last minute suckered into a college roommates wifes birthday "bash" this weekend in dc... Apparently i "bring the party". Ill make up my saturday tomorrow before skipping town, but does anyone have a good box recommendation for Sunday?

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad d

Repost #2

That also reminds me I never posted about my very first crossfit experience outside of cfsbk at cfsb (crossfit south bend) - confusing I know. I really enjoyed visiting there and would recommend it to any of you that find your way to "michiana". My tie is notre dame, but so far I haven't met anybody else at cfsbk who has that tie... Which is about the only reason to go there!

But if you do end up in south bend, check this place out. I spent two hours there on a Friday making up three days worth of our strength programming (squats, snatch/press, and deadlift), and then joined for their wod on Saturday (heavy thrusters, t2b, and burpees). Really appreciated their emphasis on mobility (crazy green band/PVC wrench front rack mobility work) and the emphasis on strength (owner told me they have some affiliation with the crossfit programming for football players),

Anyhow. Had a great experience there, but not as good as a normal day at cfsbk. Working out elsewhere has made me appreciate our great coaches even more.

Side note... They waived the drop in fee after some really interesting conversation about strength biased programming... Owner is a great guy.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad d

ive posted previously that ive been having problems with my wrists... and now it's my elbows, too... so i've been reading about working at a desk and what not and found this really helpful article by my favorite and yours, kelly starrett, that i thought i'd share: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/01/11/proper-sitting.aspx

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterariel c

text like a ninja

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterariel c

So, I'm in the hotel "gym" ( a buncha machines & treadmills) trying to get a little workout. There's some DBs, so I'm doing some thrusters and some snatches. I get bored with that and see a rack of slam balls and think, "This'll be a nice way to finish up." So I grab a 20 pounder and set up to slam... except it's NOT a slam ball. It's some kinda bouncy medicine ball which blasted me in the face, busting my lip wide open. I look around to see if anyone saw that, slink over to the rack to put the offending ball away and get the hell out of there.

I miss the box.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter H.

1. A few of us have been yammering about rolling up to CrossFit Queens tomorrow to support all the muscles that will be killing it for WOD 1. I know an outstanding place to eat/drink right by there, in addition to being close to the train, so its kind a a double triple threat of awesome. Anyone else wanna black sea it up?

2. I'm researching kickball leagues and am curious if people really would be down to form one for CFSBK. Its effing super fun and we should do this. I may have found black kickballs that would really like to be stenciled with a skull and crossbones. Just sayin'.. julie.barnard@gmail.com

3. Point Break Live tonight! Is everyone meeting at SBK and heading over or what? Inquiring minds want to know! Linds and I are ready to jump out of a perfectly good airplane because the little hand says it's time to rock and roll.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJB


Try Crossfit MPH (1469 Church St NW, P and 15th). I did a drop in there and found the coaches (and there were many for a small class) and the program solid. A good friend trains there and confirms it's consistently good.

Enjoy the swamp.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan S

If anyone's interested in joining me, I'm going to do Legless (the workout from the games with the trusters/rope climbs) at open gym tonight. You know you want to.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Katz

Well those open spots for the Subway series didn't last long. Unless Eventbrite is lying....

@Julie I'm down for kickball!! I'll email you.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I am one of those on the fence about signing up for Subway Series: "conditioning/met.cons are not my strong point. i'm slow, always last...i don't know" Then i read today's blog and decided to stop second guessing myself, step out of my comfort zone, stop analyzing things and just do it!! I went to register but eventbrite says it's sold out...am i out of luck? Can i be squeezed in? What's a girl to do??

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecca Wolf

Long wod this morning starting at 3AM with crying baby - 30 rounds of walking him around the block and finally after 150 minutes (an endurance event) asleep and what the heck? I might as well go to the 6Am class. Worked up to 125 on the snatch - my snatches were just okay.. I find it hard to sustain the grip as the bar gets heavier - but I did feel much more comfortable this time around with the snatch balance...

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermrav

@erin @becca, I still have my open slot for the CFSBK event, since I'll be out of town. not sure if it matters which division an athlete is in though...

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

7am with Nick. Worked up to pretty (if I do say so myself) 68# on the snatch/OHS complex. Then went for 73# and it was ugly. Even though I didn't have huge weight gains on the snatch this cycle, I feel like my movement is getting better and that I can do a little self-diagnosis when it goes wrong. Victory. 63x3x5 on the press. Kinda loved the fartlek mile cash-out.

For all you runners out there, I do a 200 mile relay race every September in NH - Reach the Beach (www.rtbrelay.com). My team, Bam! Pow!, is looking for a few good men and women to join us as we run through the White Mountains, gorge ourselves on meatball subs, and jump in the Atlantic for a post-race ice bath. Race is Sept. 13-14. All levels welcome! Email me at rebecca.carvalho(at)gmail.com if you might be interested.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca C

6am with McDowell and Nick

Snatches: I worked up to complete one Hang Power Snatch/OHS complex at #135, which is a PR of 10 pounds over last week, and up 30 pounds from the start of this cycle.

So I felt pretty great about this, then picked up the bar to snatch it again and had what is definitely the wackiest fail I've ever experienced in Crossfit. For some reason I failed to jump the bar at all, but still dropped under it, and ended up with #135 on the back of my neck and my weight too far forward to bail backwards. I sort of tried to crawl out from under the bar as it snaked around my neck and eventually fell off to the left. Pride wounded a bit but lesson learned, I suppose: jump it up! In all I'm still really excited about hitting #135 today.

Presses: #95x5x3 with Greg

I learned to scale back my pressing after these snatches complexes, and it all went all right.

Only had time for two laps of the run. Fun stuff.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

I have a spot for 8/24 at Long Island City if anyone wants it. Email me so we can switch ellie.rahochik@gmail.com

I also accidentally purchased an extra women's subway series t-shirt if anyone's interested...they make a nice memento.

The Subway Series is fun! DO IT if you've been thinking about competing.

August 2, 2013 | Registered Commenterellie june

Also, I just donated to ioby, so cough up, Charlotte! This is a great organization. https://ioby.org/cashmob

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

I think Coach Louie Simmons is on to something, either compete or get the AXE!

For any one looking to do LEGLESS, GOOD LUCK. It is a lot of fun...

BUT you will need to show me a :10sec open hand Spanish/Speed wrap. (either is fine)
- No leg wrap on the way is fine
- You must wrap on the way down!

I don't want people falling from 15 feet in the air..

August 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterJoshua Martinez

Those of you who take the R from Manhattan to get to the gym- check the MTA website to understand the changes that are starting today on that line.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

I'm down in Venice, Florida and went to the LA Fitness today. I did chest and arms.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

I'm not able to participate in any of the Subway Series events, but did participate in Hail to the Queen this past winter. I was a nervous wreck going into it and had visions of everyone pointing a laughing at the really slow chick from CFSBK. I really surprised myself and learned a lot about my abilities, strengths and weaknesses and what I could accomplish under pressure. I was really worried about being able to do (any) HR push-ups in the final event of the day. When my heat was called and I got started I ended up getting 21! A feat that has since not been repeated. If you're thinking about it, give it a shot - it may end up going better than you think.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

I forgot to mention that competing is also a lot of FUN!

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle


I was making dairy kefir and water kefir for awhile. I would say Todd and I have a high tolerance for gross things and we would both plug our noses to drink it! It was never really enjoyable and so I let my grains die. We called the coconut water/water kefir grain product....fart water!
I have no problem with the plain store bought kefir. It is not nearly as funky as the homemade version.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercrystal

On "Are We Having Fun Yet?", correct me if I'm wrong-I assume you wrote this. Its just one of the best (of many excellent pieces on our website) condensed principles of advice to any athlete I have ever read. It speaks so directly to why we all do this, keep doing this, and then come back for more "punishment". I say punishment because that's the way all too many people view disciplined, hard training in this country.
Words to live by. A really classy "mission statement" for the Crossfit athlete-young or old. Inspiring.
What really "stimulates" me beyond any progress I may make, is knowing I'm in a community of like-minded individuals who actually enjoy this disciplined life. People who respect their bodies enough to work this hard.
CFSBK: brains and braun.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

I rejoice whenever I see a mainstream lady magazine writing fitness articles with teeth and real value:

www . shape . com/fitness/workouts/8-reasons-why-you-should-lift-heavier-weights

The cynic in me says that next month's issue will feature the model in the main feature holding 5 lb. weights, but baby steps!!

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

Mike: not me. I'm all braun.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Josh - totally agree. Not using your legs on the way down seems like a prime way to get hurt, and I'd like to avoid that.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Katz

@Courtney: thanks for the article--while I was there, I also clicked through the "50 hottest trainers", for research purposes. There were obviously a few glaring omissions from their list, but the good news is, #34 was rocking some sweet jorts.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Yes I wrote both pieces today. Thanks!

Great tip on the affiliate.

I went climbing at BKB for the second time today and was very excited to boulder a V3 and a V4 climb! Really exciting and rewarding. Then I lost two rounds of ping pong to Todd which knocked me down a few pegs.

Okay- I was talking to lindsey about this. I've had this life long intense aversion to patterns with asymmetrical holes in them. Certain textures, whether they're on walls, food, anything really that kind of looks like moldy with holes or something really freaks me out. She found it's called trypophobia but isn't really recognized as an official phobia. I mean they're inherently gross patterns so I get why most people might be freaked out by it but it's the closest thing to a phobia I have and I've been aware of it since I was a little kid.

Check this out: http://www.popsci.com/trypophobia

I got about 14 seconds into the video at the bottom and started squirming uncontrollably. By the end I was literally sweating, had mild anxiety and couldn't stop moving around. I had to look at the floor a few times and felt nauseous with the frog and human skin ones. BLECHHHHH

August 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Squats (high-bar): 245x8x4. Good bar speed at the beginning. The last sets were rough. Conditioning: 4 rounds of 250m row, 25 sit-ups: 8:30. Was on track for 8-even until the last set of sit-ups. Rest 1 hour. And then a 1 hour tennis lesson. Most fun I've had in a long time.

Really wish I could compete in the subway series, but I'm away for the remaining weekends of the summer.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Courtney- a little late with this response but re: boxes in Ireland...Here is what my friend had to say- he owns a CrossFit box in Birmingham UK.

It really depends where you are going but...

'In Dublin CrossFit Ireland (near Leopardstown) is seriously legit - they've heavily involved with Rudy Nielsen of outlaw way fame, great gym with great coaches. In Belfast CrossFit Northern Ireland is excellent - the owners are good craic and regular judges at regionals and the games In cork I've only very been to CrossFit return in the dosco industrial estate by Christ the king girls school in douglas but its a really nice place and they seem pretty switched on'

One of my best friends goes to CrossFit Cork - (my hometown) and obviously, she says that is the better one in Cork- not sure if you plan on going there, but if you do, let me know and I'll give you some sightseeing advice. My friend owns 'West Cork Discovery Tours' which would involve lots of outdoors-y sightseeing stuff in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland.

There is also an Irish Crossfitters fb group which you could join.

Email me for more info if you like- hurricanecharlie8282@gmail.com

Have fun! I'm kind of jealous :)

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercharliethechick

@David O

The New York Times ran an article earlier this year called "Why We Love Beautiful Things." Beauty isn't the opposite of what you're talking about, but the article might explain a bit more why a condition like trypophobia exists. (I also get squirmy with such things, the aftermath of the cage scene in The Silence of the Lambs being a prime example. I couldn't eat pizza for years afterwards.)

This quote from the article is my favorite and seems relevant...

"Certain patterns also have universal appeal. Natural fractals — irregular, self-similar geometry — occur virtually everywhere in nature: in coastlines and riverways, in snowflakes and leaf veins, even in our own lungs. In recent years, physicists have found that people invariably prefer a certain mathematical density of fractals — not too thick, not too sparse. The theory is that this particular pattern echoes the shapes of trees, specifically the acacia, on the African savanna, the place stored in our genetic memory from the cradle of the human race. To paraphrase one biologist, beauty is in the genes of the beholder — home is where the genome is."

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

@ Kate,
Thanks for passing along. Similarly, I'm currently reading The Paleo Manifesto by John Durrant which so far is actually really interesting and offers much more anthropological research about how the paleolithic era influenced how we are fundamentally human. Similarly, he talks about different fears and aversions we have ingrained in our genome. IE, why people are generally afraid of even non-poisonous snakes and the dark as opposed to things like automobiles which actually are a much higher risk to ourselves, statistically speaking.

Low Bar Back Squat

OTM for 10 minutes:
Odd Minutes: Power Snatch + OHS
Even Minutes: Power Snatch


August 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

@Charlie - thanks a million for the suggestions!!

We'll be between Dublin and Shannon but we'll be in Ireland for a week and a half and that's about a two-and-a-half hour drive, from what I understand, so...no idea how we're making our way about the country and spending our time, really. :)

But if I end up in Cork - my family's hometown and where an absolute ton of family still are - I'll check out that box and possibly West Cork Discovery Tours (and will let your friend know that I'm from CFSBK!).

@JJ - jorts trainer is the best by default, simply because he is wearing jorts.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

Thanks Alex for your donation! Consider your match coughed. Really appreciate the support.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

I just met Helen.
...that b*tch

Right hip, hip flexor is still really bothering me. Trying to be a supple leopard...but I'm still a stuck leopard.

Suggestions? rawr.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGracie

Interesting and timely couple of posts for me... Unedited:

I'm in Turks & Caicos, relaxing, drinking run whenever I opportunity allows. (which is often). Just got back from a scuba dive--- I was 66 feet under water and breathing-- a miracle! Just amazing to be down there with the fish and live coral to appreciate the life we have here on the planet and to breathe a little more consciously.

This morning I was at Wrightfully Fit, a gym over in the marina with a squat rack. You see I'm competing next week and the programming continues. I was stressed about whether the gym would have the proper equipment, could I find a spotter, was the bar/bench/rack even usable. Could I use chalk. (which i packed, along with my belt and shoes but forgot my fins and mask!)

The gym was decent, non-airconditioned and just fine. Bina came along and did a some interval sprints on the treadmill as I warmed up. I asked her to come over to give me squat cues:

Squat: 355, 375, 385 (ties PR again)
THe missiion was to go heavy and not fail. Should have hit a PR, but played it safe. 375 steady, 385 not as fast as I like, but I'm am coming to own this weight, so we'll move on soon.

Bench: (long pauses): 205, 215, 225, 225
The spotter was a little help on the first 225 (I didn't 'train' him well enough) but the 2nd rep was super smooth. Again, should have gone heavier.

Deadlift: worked up to first attempt; 385x1
Just fine, and what you would want out a first attempt.

I have been questioning why I signed up for this stupid meet when it's the weekend after our vacation. First, I have to make weight. (at about 184 and need to be 181 next Saturday). Having a vacation right before making weight= stupid. Next is the fact that i had to haul all this crap down (protein, BCAA, shoes, belt, chaulk, gym clothes) on my vacation. WTF? Is this really worth it? I'm almost 47 and it's been a very stressful 12 months. Why not chill the fuck out?

I'm not really sure, but I really wanted to compete in a real meet, 15 months after my first meet . So I signed up and that's that. I committed. I'm doing it. It may be dumb and maybe I'll even not make weight, but I've set out to do this and so I will.

Which brings me to the first post on the blog today. Are we having fun yet? After the stress of trying to find the gym, I landed in a cool spot with my wife and really enjoyed getting under, below and above the bar today. Once again I re-affirmed that to be active, strong, functional and adaptive was life-affirming and though I added some stress to a vacation, the pay-off was more than worth it-- I felt like a king today and when I got to the ocean floor later this afternoon, I was on top of the world.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Looking forward to returning home to CFSK on Thursday.

August 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterRob Is

why are there holes in those fish or frogs or people's fingers and arms. are there people who don't freak out when they see that?

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterginacatto

I read this days ago but didn't want to answer before having given it thought. I have said to my friends, "CrossFit is like P.E.! for adults! it's so much fun!". When I was young I loved ballet, and although I never had the strength or flexiblity to stand out, I was always recognized for understanding form, and while I'm a novice in CrossFit, a real wobbly novice, I feel like a kid again learning to apply form and striving for it!

Kids feel the opportunity to grow in every way, every day, but as adults some of us may feel that we have stopped, Cross Fit is like a REVIVAL of growing in physical and mental leaps, it's a continuation of growth and fun. It feels great, the coaches and members instill it and inspire it and I'm really grateful.

p.s. I also love the question of the day. Have you ever finished a Chapstick? [yes!]

August 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColleen M.

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