Character Building

You  cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself.   -James A. Froude

I have been blessed with the health and ability to complete workouts in honor of our Country’s finest people and fallen heroes.  I am one that is still here with the ability to drive on using the gift of movement and the strength of mind to appreciate the moment.  I am bathed in humility by the character of heroes that have given their lives in service to others, and I am sensitive to the lasting impact it makes on their families.  I revere them and I’m forever grateful.

Lt. Michael Murphy is one of those heroes. When Michael Murphy completed the workout that was eventually named after him he called it “Body Armor”. I think the workout not only makes your body stronger, it makes your spirit more resilient. It’s a character builder. The grind we go through in this particular workout is universal yet so simple. You learn to drive on through the doubt and pain while encouraging your teammates around you.  That is beautiful pain.

This year I wore some old body armor and carried the Sisu Hammer for the entire workout. I carried it on the run, held it on top of my feet while doing strict pull ups, and held it in my hands during the squats and push-ups. The hammer simulated a protection weapon that men better than me aren’t here to carry anymore. It represented a weight that I felt honored to carry, and no matter how heavy it was, it was a gift of burden that shows I am alive and can feel pain.  How lucky am I? Continue reading

Unbroken Workout Challenge

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This was a challenge developed from a discussion with a very good friend of mine, someone I have been CrossFitting with since 2006.  We were looking for a goal to try and reach by a month out.  Not competing anymore coupled with the amount of time we have been CrossFitting, we were looking for something to spark our drive.

Pull ups are very underrated by most people and I feel it is an essential skill especially for someone that trains.  You can walk into a any gym in the world and you would have a hard time finding someone that can do 20 strict pull ups, let alone 25.  Same can be said with push ups. There is something very humbling about not being good at doing something as simple as push ups, yet they are a very perishable skill. These two components alone are the where I expect people to have to reevaluate themselves.

The standards are as follows, however, I don’t want someone who can’t meet these yet to shy away from this challenge.  This is more of an internal workout than external. The goal here is to go hard and learn something about yourself. To face something challenging and test yourself. Be unconquerable.  Continue reading

Movement Is a Gift

I have been blessed with the health and ability to complete several physical tasks. This includes things like running, competing in CrossFit, playing sports, carrying my kit, lifting my kids off the floor, etc. This ability comes and goes with certain injuries. When it happens we focus on what we can no longer do and when we have it we complain that things like running and burpees suck.  There was a time when my hamstring was blown out and I couldn’t do something as simple as walk quickly across the street and jump up a curb because traffic was coming.  I lost the ability to play frisbee at the beach (if I wanted to do that). I wasn’t only thinking about fitness, I was thinking about my wellness and quality of life.

 

While being injured can be physically and emotionally painful, that is something you have control over.  That is the time you make a decision. Part of the pain is the loss of a gift you had and you want it back. Choosing to accept your current predicament and focus on the gifts you still CAN do is the path to strength and appreciation.  Getting injured is good. It’s an opportunity to slow down, regroup, appreciate what you do have, and to come back better than you were before.  It’s also a lesson that movement is a gift. Health is wealth.  Don’t pollute that gift with complaints.

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