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Open Field Practice Time, Fridays from 6:30-7:30pm

Any teams, schools, parents, or kids interested, see this post for details.


Pic of the Week: Mobility Extra

This morning at the mobility session, Noah needed a little extra help on his double lacrosse ball mobility and we were finally able to put Dylan to good use.

Murley's Unexpected Rant

[Ed. - The teaching one will be posted sometime next week. Enjoy!]


Hey, friends! If you’re wondering what I’m doing on the website for the first time in years, I’m about to go on a largely personal, but hopefully relatable, rant about why I hope you’ll see more of me – and a happier me – in the gym from now on.

In August 2016, I felt like I was in the best shape of my life going into my senior cross-country season. About a week before practice started, I got a call from the principal at Gabriel Richard, and my plans for a PR changed. That fall, I was a full time first year teacher, a full time student, and coach managed to convince me to finish my senior season. Looking back, I can’t believe I finished that year relatively unscathed. The only blemish I have to remember that time is the tiny – next to the A in Mama V’s Microbiology course (although, if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the course at all – she’s the real MVP). The secret to my survival was to prioritize everything I thought was most important – teaching and school – and ignore the rest – including my general well-being.

We’ve all been in that time period where we excused ourselves from healthy eating and exercise because we had too much else on our plate. But for me, I noticed another huge drop-off in my emotional well-being. Since that year, I’ve tried to get my eating back on track, but I failed miserably – mostly because I was miserable. I thought that when I began teaching at Foley that I would miraculously become healthier again, but here again I failed. I think I went the entire month of November without eating a single vegetable, instead having dinners consisting of cookies, ice cream, or both. Every time I came to the gym and I wasn’t magically as fit as I was in 2016, I threw a temper tantrum that ranged from cutting range of motion on the workout to cutting the workout short and leaving altogether. I was afraid to go to the gym because I hated having people see me like that. So I just stayed home.

Murley and Matt - Summer 2016

I told myself that I had absolutely no reason to be as miserable as I was. I landed the job I wanted, I had the house and the husband and the dogs, I had everything that I computed would mathematically produce happiness. When it didn’t, I became frustrated, I questioned my ability to teach, I questioned my desire to teach… I questioned my desire to do anything. I kept shaming myself for eating poorly and being out of shape, which just led to a never-ending cycle of negative emotions.

The self-pity parade continued until a couple weeks ago. I realized that I focused so much on my mistakes and poor health choices that I was setting myself up to fail. When talk of New Years Resolutions came up, I decided mine was not going to be dwelling on diet and exercise as is often the trap. Instead, I decided I would focus on improving my mood and attitude about life. I started reading a book called “High Performance Habits” by Brendan Burchard, and trying little changes in how I go about my day. Now when you see me in the gym, I am focusing on being positive. I am trying to reduce my complaining to the joking kind. I am going to do rope climbs or max effort lifts if they are the workout of the day. At school, I am focusing on being patient with my students and especially with myself. I am taking a lesson that didn’t go the way I thought it would as a learning experience. I am finding something to be excited about every day. I am finding a way to show gratitude to the people around me. I’ve been focusing on these things, but I’ve found that I started living eating healthier and having better workouts as a by-product. I’m learning quickly how much my mood affects the rest of my life, and I’m also learning just as quickly that I have a lot of power over my mood. I’m enjoying life more. I just hope I can stick to my resolution and see how much progress I can make over the course of the year.

If you read this all the way to the end, thank you! I need a community like you to keep me accountable. And if you’re ever feeling the way that I felt, please reach out. I’d love to share the book and thoughts with you. Peace and Love!


Campus Improv Eats - Soda Undercover

Food companies make a shiteload of money, and they can pay their employees a shiteload of money. That means they get to hire the top-notch scientists, cooks, and advertisers to make their product look great and taste a way that makes you want to eat more of their product.

Want to be healthy? How bout some tea. Pure Leaf Tea.

While at the grocery store I saw a bottle of this sitting on the shelf:

For the sake of this post, I chose to use the "healthy" kind: unsweetened. The front labels of products always look good (as designed by marketing people that are really good at what they do), but you can really find out more by flipping around to the back. And there was one thing in specific I was looking for: who really made this stuff?

If I recall correctly, the Sweetened Tea had 27g of carbohydrate for 8 oz., which is the same as almost 3 cups of raspberries.

Yup, Pepsi.

What about something as simple as Dasani bottled water?


There are tons of articles talking about how Big Soda is corrupting health sciences by funding studies, and CrossFit has seen a major shift of their efforts in recent years to move away from highlighting the CrossFit Games and instead doing eveything they can do drive pop out of the health space. I, personally, try to get the gist of those reports and not get too far down the rabbit hole. I can also see how it would be difficult to trust a "healthy" product, like tea, that has a Pepsi label on it (I do think water is water, though... right?).

Does seeing Coke and Pepsi on labels like this make a difference for you? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

New Guest Post Alert + Poll: Oreos vs. Reeses

Last semester, we got really great guest posts from two of our young teachers in our ranks. Rachael gave us an update on how she's managed to work out in her basement while finishing her student teaching in Armada. Jacob gave us his thoughts about his daily routine and finally getting to teach in a classroom in a writing style only he can pen. This semester I wanted to get a post from the other two teachers: Murley and Mama V. Murley's should becoming out some time this week, so be on the lookout.


In related news, this poll involves two of the most delicious snacks known to man. You're ready for a glorious cheat meal and are staring at a bag of Reeses and full tray of Oreos. Which side are you on?

Note, we're talking about stand-alone, classic candy treats. Not holiday or mixed variations, ice cream flavors, or Blizzards from DQ. 

Quote of the Week vol. 274

"So Chris, I've just realized that I want to be that when I'm older. I want to be Mrs. Pip."

- Danielle while watching Mrs. Pip deadlift on Monday.

Coach's Corner: Introducing the Ricky Style

Ricky Carey joined us back in the Fieldhouse days as, in Erika Banet's words, a chunk of an 8th grader.

I really don't remember anything about him at that time to be honest and I might have my concussions to blame for that. But one thing Ricky confessed either last Summer or the one before is that he would always just to reps of whatever movement until he felt tired then move to the next thing regardless of where he was at. 50 squats? Eh, I'll give you maybe 35 then see where everyone else is at.

Fast forward 7.5(!) years, and I think we may put some good use to the Ricky Style for movements. Here's how the 4:30 pm session did their first few rounds of strict pull-ups and push-ups.

The Ricky Style is loosely defined as follows: do an exercise until near-failure then move on. For everyone except Jay, we modified the first two stations of the workout as follows: 10 rounds, 5 strict pull-ups, 10 push-ups. Now within that we saw some do 5 strict pull-ups, some use small kips to assist the strict pull-up, some do active bar hangs, some do flexed bar hangs, and some did partial range of motion strict pull-ups (unfortunately the squats were not Ricky-style). How many reps or for how long? Who knows? Just see how that round is feeling. As for push-ups, start with 10 and stay with it for as long as possible. When you're struggling to finish your 5th one, time to move on.

Is it accurate and repeatable? Nope. Is that okay? Yup. Some workouts are tests and some are training. This one is obviously training.

Campus Improv Eats - Mr. Stein

Who is Mr. Stein, you ask? He's Hunter and Zack's dad. He drops tweedle dee and tweedle dumb off to the 4:30 session then assists me in making fun of their general freshman awkwardness for the entire hour. My kind of guy.

I always talk about if I had to make a choice, I'd rather have a parent eat the way we tell them than to work out the way we tell them. Mr. Stein hasn't pulled the trigger on joining the Champions Club himself (yet) but he's already lost 10 pounds in the last month balancing protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Here's a meal he sent me this weekend from everyone's favorite Father's Day takeout, Chicken Shack:

Text message: "I'm peeling off the breading"

Here's the breakdown:

  • Protein: chicken
  • Carbohydrate: potatoes, peppers
  • Fat: n/a

Verdict: Bigtime win. Mr. Stein opted to not take a cheat meal (though it would have been justified) and kept balance despite the temptation those Checken Shack potatoes put on you. He also made two good judgements: remove the skin (Eric Cartman probably took it) and added in some cut up peppers from his fridge. You'll notice that there are no nuts or seeds, which is why I gave the fat an n/a in the breakdown. But if you don't see how something is cooked, you can assume there is some kind of less-than-favorable fat source involved, so rest assured there is plenty here. Probably. See below. Mainly, this is good to show that you can usually keep balance no matter where you're at.

Next time: Listen to your body after eating this. If you are full for 3 hours after, then you're good. If you're hungry, you may have wanted to add some almonds on the side, especially to compensate for how quickly those potatoes will wear off.