It was nice to get a few days away and an opportunity to focus on family.  COVID times have been hard for many of us.  Since our shut down in mid-March I’ve worked 7 days a week until this, the first week of August.  Every morning I’ve started my day with work, a couple hours online starting at 6am when not coaching or just after 4am on coaching days.  And I’ve ended every day online publishing the next day’s blog & WOD and emailing wait listed members finishing around 8pm on non-coaching days or 9-10pm on coaching days.  It’s been draining to say the least.

So I was very grateful to hand it all over to our capable coaches for three consecutive days so I could get out of town with my family to celebrate our son’s 18th birthday.  I’m not going to say I did not work – the emails, texts and calls don’t stop just because I leave town – but I did very little work.  At least I did not allow work to dominate my days.  Instead my family got to do that.  It was a good time.  But even when relaxing, the coach in me never turns off and here’s a couple observations I made during our short getaway:

1) Strong People Are More Useful
Kaelin and I went white water rafting in Squamish with Canadian Outback Adventures.  It was a blast.  I really recommend it.  60% of their business relies on international tourists so with none of those around, they aren’t too busy these days.  Check them out if you get a chance, the guides were great and so was the river.  We were on a raft with more active adventurous folks and got to ride some rough patches the other rafts avoided because we had a crew of strong paddlers.  We had a couple opportunities to jump overboard and float alongside the raft and were surprised to discover that only Kaelin and I were strong enough to pull ourselves back in without assistance.  I would immediately pull in the next strongest guy on my side and then help him as he struggled to pull in the others.  With no one on his side to help him, Kaelin had to haul all the paddlers on his side in on his own.  Once our crew was back in the boat they asked us how we got back in the boat and were stunned to learn that we did it ourselves.  Being strong is useful.  For helping yourself and for helping other people.  For me this is what CrossFit is all about.  It is good to feel capable, independent and helpful!

2) What You Like Is Not What You Need
We really enjoyed our stay at the Executive Inn in Squamish.  The mountain view was pretty, our kitchenette room well appointed, the location convenient, the pool and hot tub were lovely and the gym has dumbbells and a pull up bar, just what we needed to get Fran done.  While in the gym we saw a big 6 foot plus muscular young man in his 20’s who was sporting about 40lbs too much belly.  What did he come to the gym to do?  About 15 minutes of bicep curls.  Nothing else.  After that, he was back out the door, presumably on his way to breakfast.  Nothing but bicep curls?  I felt there was a bit lacking from his fitness program.  Maybe he did shoulders yesterday.  But honestly, the coach in me felt that for real health and fitness his training needs to incorporate more than just some slow lifts.  He’s going to need to get his heart rate up, get winded a bit and get that body moving at an uncomfortable pace if he wants to outrun lifestyle diseases that are headed his way in a couple decades if he doesn’t address his body composition issues!

At the other end of the spectrum, we saw a skeletal looking older athlete in his early 60’s who is obviously active and lean but lacking in muscular development.  He dodged all the strength training equipment on his predictable path to the treadmill.  He ran at a good clip and was still at it when we left 30 minutes later.  No question his cardiovascular respiratory endurance is top notch but as frail as he looks, his biggest benefits will come from adding in some strength training to complement his running.

I’m not saying either guy should abandon the training he loves but that both will get the greatest benefit from sprinkling in a healthy dose of work in their areas of weakness.  But that’s not what we’re inclined to do as human beings is it? Left to our own devices, we’ll avoid the work we need in order to do what we’re best at.  They’re both dedicated enough while on vacation to hit the gym but they’re fooling themselves if they believe that the effort they’re investing is getting them the best fitness outcomes.  That’s why I let CrossFit do my programming for me and I never pick and choose workouts.  I do them all, especially the ones I don’t want to do!  So should you.

Friday Make Up Day

1) AMRAP Run-L-Pull Up-Hip Ext
20 min AMRAP
400m Run
15 L-Pull Ups
15 Hip Extensions

2) Squat Cleans & Push Jerks

1 min Squat Cleans @95/135#
1 min Push Jerk @95/135#
2 min Squat Cleans @95/135#
2 min Push Jerk @95/135#
3 min Squat Cleans @95/135#
3 min Push Jerk @95/135#

3) Row-Push Up-T2R
3 Rounds:
500m Row
21 Push Ups
12 Strict Toes-to-Rings

4) Reset #6
1min Belly Breathe Any Position
30 sec Head Nods On Knees And Forearms
30 sec Head Rotations On Knees And Forearms

1 min Upper-Body Rolls
1 min Lower-Body Rolls

7 mins
20x Gait Bugs
10x Egg Rolls

7 mins
5x Rock On Forearms and Knees:
5x Circle Left
5x Circle Right
20x Speed Skaters

4 Rounds
1 min Forward/Backwards Hands And Knees Crawling
30 sec Forward/Backwards Leopard Crawl