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Congratulations to David Saporito, Athlete of the Summer, 2017

See his feature editorial here.


Beast Mode: Erica Overhead Squat

Last Friday we did max effort overhead squat, and this always proves to be one of the most challenging movements in CrossFit. Other than the deadlift, this may be the best "ab" exercise in our arsenal; you guys can no-doubt feel the amount of effort that goes into keeping your spine from moving in the deadlift, and with the overhead squat, the average distance from the bar to your feet is greater than any other movement, providing a unique challenge to your abs.

Erica Krueger has the mobility needed for the movement, but I didn't know she had the strength to progress very high in weight until Friday. She topped out at an impressive 115-lbs., and only showed a tiny knee wobble at the heaviest weight. While this is something to improve on, I felt it was more than okay for the session. Here's how her last few sets looked.

Teardrop Model for CrossFit

Last Wednesday's Quote of the Week was definitely taken out of context and was not a great introduction to Ben Bergeron. He definitely like the competition side of CrossFit - aka, the Sport of Fitness - but he is also a great coach both to his athletes and to business owners around the world.

He released a video yesterday of a small lecture he gave to his 8:30 am class at CrossFit New England that shared his views on what is actually happening in the CrossFit ecosystem at the moment. Check it out.

Do First, Ask Questions Later

My sister, Sarah, is absolutely ridiculous on the piano. As I was helping clean up around the house yesterday, I saw a stapled pile of papers filled with song titles written in Sarah's handwriting; I recognized a few (Changes by Tupac, Be by Common, Everything I Am by Kanye West), and the others were in some language that Senora Peterson did not cover in Spanish class. They were all songs Sarah could play on piano, and over the years she would entertain family and friends sitting on that little bench, hitting the perfect notes on the electric keyboard. There was one part none of us could wrap our heads around, though:

She never took a lesson. Not a single one.

Now, you have seen me bobbing my head off-rhythm here in the gym or trying to sing along so a song, and you'll know I have zero musical talent. My dad has less than I do. My mom can sing in church, but that's about it. So we can assume Sarah doesn't get her music ability from the genetic lottery. But when we were young my mom get her that electric keyboard for Christmas. And Sarah just played, and played, and played, until she just figured out how to make it sound good.

...........

I am a professional coach; I make my living coaching. If people didn't want/need me to show them how to do something, I would probably be living in a van down by the river. So my ability to make money entirely depends on people not being Sarah and figuring out how to do something on their own. Still, I think there needs to be more of that.

I try to build it into the Champions Club. In 2014, I kind of changed my coaching philosophy while I was doing the Day Care CrossFit thing. My goal became to help you guys to the point where you move really, really well without anyone coaching you; the main reason you come back to the gym over and over being for the community. It's really a never-ending process, but the shift away from being dependant on someone telling you what to do was a major change for me. It required me to be more hands-off and not fix things right away, but let you see if you can fix them yourself (assuming it's not an immediate safety issue). So far I like what I see, and I notice this most in the relaxed warmups when you are talking and moving at the same time.

I have also been doing a lot of private basketball coaching on the side, and this is where Sarah playing the piano really came into mind. I've had 34 people message me since the end of June, 14 of them have come in to do sessions with me, and I would consider ongoing private basketball sessions not being a waste of money for like 4 of the 14 kids. The other 10 just need to play, man. Buy a basketball, find a hoop, and just figure it out - especially if you are just competing at the rec level. But in talking to them, I also find that not only are they doing private lessons for basketball, but other things as well. In fact, one kid I coach does private lessons for basketball (with me), hockey, violin, and math. I don't want to judge the parents without understanding the motives, but when I get messages like this...

...I just wonder if any of them remember what it was like to be a young kid learning a new skill. I do, and it generally did not come from ongoing private lessons. It came from watching someone do something, then spending hours trying to emulate it. Then when I got to a sticking point, I would go to the private lesson route (in this case, it was my dad). This would go for basketball, football, or anything else.

...........

Whille the weather is still nice, make an effort to learn a new skill. It can be something as simple as taking a normal habit and doing it a different way, like throwing a football with your left hand or going for a run on a trail instead of your normal sidewalk route. And most of all, enjoy the learning process. Once we finish school, we often forget how to be students. It doesn't come from someone telling you what to do, but it comes from actually doing; feedback based on feel is always more permanent than feedback that is told to you. So just play and figure it out as you go!

Goon and Goblin Resurgence 10/16

This week's poll is ripe with the season and comes from Jacob.

What is the better combo: Cider and donuts or milk and cookies?

Pics of the Week: Bird of Prey and Mexican Food

On Tuesday I happened to have the camera rolling at the morning session when someone pointed out there was a hawk on the telephone poll. I got ready to snap a few pictures worthy of a National Geographic documentary when that thing started flying towards us.

We don't seem to get a lot of wildlife around here besides squirrels, so it's cool to see something that could pluck up Crawford from a run and eat him for dinner.

Speaking of dinner, later that night a group of the 6:30 session went out to eat at a nearby Mexican restaurant. Reggie snapped a picture.

Beast Mode: Mr. Carey OHS and Ahs!

When working with the parents, I have come to notice that some days they have it, and some days they don't. Then there are other days where they don't seem like they have it but then Mr. Carey comes out of the cave and does a 135-lb. overhead squat. He did that today.

Good form. Good man. Keep up the consistent work Mr. Carey!

New Graduate: Cory...maybe?

I have said it on here before, but Cory has done a great job since the beginning of the Summer. Coming back after a long hiatus is not easy, and Cory has been steadily making improvements - whether that's his first rope climb, or better running, or his shins staying pretty vertical on the thrusters tonight.

This evening during the 5:30 session, Cory took a crack at getting his first pull-up. Here's what it looked like:

Close call... does it count?