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Congratulations to David Saporito, Athlete of the Summer, 2017

See his feature editorial here.

Pics of the Week: Mrs. Dawkins and Ender

Unbeknownst to me until yesterday, Summer 10 am MVP Mrs. Dawkins was a dancer growing up - jazz, tap, all that - and apparently it is not too far gone.

This, kids, is called a pancake split. That thing we do where we're against the wall, feet straddled out as far as possible, where your legs feel like they are tearing into little slivers of meat... that is a scaled version of this thing. This is definitely good mobility to have.


Walk-a-thons are boring. You just walk, someone makes a little mark on your paper, then you walk some more. Meanwhile, every lap you finish is one less dollar your grandma can spend on socks for you for Christmas.

Running is the less-boring people's version of walking. And you know what people are not boring (for the most part)? Elementary school kids! In an event that I randomly found out was created by Katie Shakes's mother some years ago, Warren Consolidated schools do a Fun Run every year as a fundraiser. Yesterday I was invited to Ender's at Wile Elementary.

He finished 30 laps around the baseball field within the alotted time! Great job kiddo!


Campus Improv Eats - Mrs. Dawkins 9/29

Since being out of it for the first two weeks after Summer, Mrs. Dawkins has been very consistent in her attendance and has even put herself on the nutrition track. Yesterday morning she sent me her breakfast.

No that is not a typo, breakfast this is, indeed! I can't recall ever eating steak for breakfast but I am not complaining by any means. Here's the breakdown:

  • Protein - steak
  • Carbohydrate - green beans
  • Fat - almonds

On paper this looks perfect. Balanced protein and carbohydrate, then some added fat on the side. But this is where something called the "glycemic index" comes into play. Without getting into too much detail, all you need to understand about the glycemic index is that the amount, or density, of carbohydrate is varied depending on the food source. Most fruits and veggies are pretty low in carbohydrate density when compared to sugar or starch. For example:

2 cups of green beans = ~9g of carbohydrate

1/5 cup of mashed potatoes = ~9g of carbohydrate

Which one would fill you up more? Well, that is obvious. So when we look at Mrs. Dawkins' plate, you'll see that her only carbohydrate source is probably not even one block (9g), as opposed to her protein being close to 3 blocks. So in this circumstance, there might be more delicious carboydrate to be had!

Win or loss? This one definitely counts as a win, despite the imbalance. It is a favorable carbohydrate source, there's something from each category, and this was one of her first meals trying to balance.

Next time: add some carbohydrate (fruits, maybe a small slice of toast), then cut the almonds in half or so.

Defense: For Don Brown, Kawhi, and Others Who Get Paid For It (Not Us)

Last September I remember being extremely frustrated with our attendance numbers and the lack of organization on the business side of the Champions Club. The money I was bringing in each month was stagnant, as was the attendance, and I was spending a lot of my time on stuff that took my attention away from doing the thing I enjoy most about the Champions Club: trying to coach CrossFit better than anyone I know.

So I emailed Jeremy Kochis, who is the owner of CrossFit Reviver in Rochester, to see if he had any insight into the situation; I ran into him a few times before and he seemed to be very organized as a business owner. He agreed to help me out and we scheduled some time to meet up on September 29. Going into this I committed to being as open to everything as possible and making every effort NOT to defend myself unless him or Vince (the other owner/coach) specifically asked.

In other words, I decided I would go into the meeting in full student mode. In retrospect, this is probably not the best decision I've made with the Champions Club, but it's definitely top 5.


The more I have studied ActivInsight with Andy Bernstein, the more I notice how often people default to defending themselves.

Me: "Jacob, your back was rounding on your deadlift."

Jacob: "Yeah. My arms are short and I can't really feel when it's rounded and technically it's not rounding if you fix it after you grab the bar and I'm just picking it up for a push press and this bar weighs about as much as Carter's left bicep!"

I, too, have eyes. Eyes that function well enough without the use of glasses. Therefore I can see that Jacob has short arms. He also knows I have seen probably 5,000 athletes deadlift close-up, and am pretty well aware of when they are lacking coordination. And yes, he will never get hurt lifting 65 lbs. with a minor flinch in his low back.

But even more importantly, at what point did he mistake my sentence for question? If I wanted to know, I would have asked something along the lines of, "Jacob, sir, lord, why are you rounding your back?" The knee-jerk reaction to defend yourself gives off the vibe that you are uncomfortable in the current situation. It also makes productive conversation a very slow, methodical, and inefficient process. Jacob's was just a made-up scenario to illustrate, but here are a few examples that I have observed about how the following people get defensive:

  • Me - ask the other person to play me in one-on-one.
  • Murley - complain that [insert thing here] is stupid.
  • Shannon - start rambling about how many hours of overtime she works
  • Crawford - oh God don't get me started!
  • Mama V - "ya know, not everything revolves around the gym, and that's okay with me"
  • Reggie - "when I was your age, Chris, I was ripped, dude."
  • Ashley Fry - random cry
  • Jacob - force a laugh, widen his eyes, and begin extreme hand gestures
  • Shakes - explains every single detail in Elle Laurencelle fashion
  • This one-on-one lady - reminds us that she's "not bad for a 40 year-old"
  • Binno - flex his lats
  • Brian the Trainer - cite some obscure study, make up rules, create the Force Factor Index
  • Jennifer - "I AM NOT A FRESHMAN"
  • Crystal - rambles about some Yahoo! article she read on the benefits of heel-striking
  • Arlene - "you're in my spot, Mr. Carey"
  • Mrs. Bass - explains how her class doesn't have the motivation to move as well as T's class
  • Alan - hides behind the alias "Al Money"
  • Pat - curses like a sailor, or names off as many muscles as he's memorized
  • Cory - "you gotta remember, I played hockey"

People who don't really get defensive (in my opinion): Jay, Sap, Conor, Mr. Carey, Mrs. Carey, Mrs. Pip, the Banets, Coach T, Mr. Wonsil, Mrs. Dawkins, Big Kris.

Also doesn't seem to care about neck damage.

Why do we get defensive? It comes from two categories.

Fear. The first reason is the most obvious, and also the most realistic time to defend yourself - both physically and verbally. If you are afraid for your safety, you will naturally throw up defense mechanisms, whether that is fighting, running away, or acting in an intimidating way in hopes to avoid physical confrontation. In normal conversation that is safe to assume won't result in violence - for instance, anything in the gym - defensive remarks happen out of fear of the workout on the board, fear of what other people in the session might think, or fear that Kris Campbell might unleash rectal explosion in the middle of the room. So we defend our actions and thoughts, and explain ourselves in a way that gives us security against that.

Impress. Not all of us want to feel like the smartest person in the room. But I think it's safe to assume that none of us want to feel like the Carter Warthman of the room. Even more so, we have all done things that we are proud of that took a great deal of effort on our part. Unfortunately, we are not special little snowflakes. Many of the little things we are proud of have been done by other people before - whether that's deadlifting 500-lbs. or being in good shape for a 40 year-old. Still, we feel so good about that stuff, and when someone else is giving a vibe of not appreciating "your struggle" the instinct is to buff ourselves up.

Bottom line: if they don't ask, they don't care. So don't bother defending yourself.


I have met with Jeremy and Vince at least three times since our first meeting, and the more vulnerable I make myself, the more I get out of the meeting. I could defend how well we move, how much fun our Theme Workouts are, how much we are respected by great coaches, how in-depth our website is, but what's the point? Save that for grandma talk! In this setting, I'm standing in front of them to get better. And getting better meant I had to assume, for the time being at least, that they knew something I did not know. They were trying to help me accomplish what I want, and anything coming off the wrong way was me being defensive, not their intent.

Interestingly enough, most of the meetings don't involve me asking questions; it's actually them who do most of the asking. Jeremy doesn't defend a single aspect of his gym - training, membership, or location - but he tries to get to know everything behind the decisions I've made and the direction I want to go. In other words, he asked, so he must care. After he pokes and pries to get all of the necessary info he needs, then he gives some direct opinions on what he thinks I should do. At this point I could try to explain myself again, justify why we weren't already doing that thing, or be like, "yeah, we kinda do the same thing" (which, by the way, is one of my all time least-favorite sayings), but I just take it all in. I think this point is worth repeating:

It seems the more vulnerable I make myself, the more I get out of the meetings.

Here's a simple exercise that's helped me out; wait 3 seconds before you respond. And this is not a Conor counting on an L-sit 3 seconds, wait a thousand one, a thousand two, a thousand three. Then respond. This delay, for me at least, really fizzles out the urge to defend myself. It would be like saying a comeback 5 minutes after Jacob makes fun of you. Or simply do the Coach Glassman Invincible Ignorance test and ask, "is there a way I could convince you otherwise?" This is also a very efficient way to feel out the person you're talking to. If, for example, Jeremy spent the entire time bigging himself up, giving advice, and not asking questions, then red flags would have gone up in my head and I would have known he was probably not the person I needed to be talking with.

The only place for defense is in court, on the court, or wearing winged helmets. The quicker I have realized that, the more I get accomplished.

Quote of the Week vol. 210 + Mini-Editorial Alert

"If they don't ask, they don't care. So don't bother defending yourself"

- Me (I think)

New mini-editorial coming out today at 3 pm. Defense: For Don Brown, Kawhi, and Others Who Get Paid For It (Not Us). Enjoy!

New Kid on the Block: Emma D

On most Wednesdays, Shannon's cross country team comes in to either add in a workout into their running week, or mobilize to recover from a meet. After last week's session we picked up one of the girls to join the gym. Her name is Emma Demonaco.

Emma is a freshman at Cousino and teammate of Summer rookie Avery Maslowski. Aside from running Cross Country in the fall, Emma also plays soccer in the spring. She is coming off of two ACL surgeries suffered the past two years, and is very focussed on keeping her form good on things like jumping and squatting.

So far Emma finished two days of Fundamentals and is scheduled for another one later this week. So far she's done a good job digesting all of the technique and shows a genuine interest in learning to do things the Champions Club way. We also had a nutrition talk last night with her mom, and they both seem to have a good foundation in that area as well. Let's hope things keep going as well as the first two sessions. We'll check back in after Day 8.

Campus Improv Eats - Conor 9/25

I went over some nutrition stuff with Conor about two weeks ago. Last Thursday I texted him in school to have him send me a picture of his lunch. Here's what I got back:

And here's the p/c/f breakdown.

  • Protein - meat in that sub thing, meat and cheese in the sandwich thing, milk
  • Carbohydrate - apple, apple sauce, bread on sandwich thing, bread on sub thing, chocolate in milk, sugary glaze on sub thing
  • Fat - milk... oh wait... fat free milk. Never mind.

Ah, the old high school lunch room - the perfect place to sit by yourself and wonder why people enjoy socializing. From the looks of it, Conor is one of those social butterflies and his lunch is probably a product of his burning desire for people to like him and his feelings. We know how sensitive he gets.

Anyway, this meal is all over the freaking place. Protein is pretty well represented here in different forms of the remains of couped up and slaughtered mammals. Also the non-chocolate portion of the milk. The carbohydrate side is where things get a little bit lopsided, and judging by my eyeballs, I would guess there's about 19 blocks(!) of carbohydrate in comparison to roughly 5 blocks of protein. In other words, Conor had his entire day's supply of carbohydrate blocks lying in front of him at his cafeteria lunch table. Considering he probably did not eat breakfast, I would prefer him to eat more food than less of it, for the immediate time being, but lord have mercy Conor!

I have inside information that the sandwich on the side is from his mom, bought from a local store. Putting two and two together tells me Conor took the time to pack this from home, which means he's perfectly capable of bringing his own lunch. That will be a point of discussion along the line.

Final verdict: I count this as a loss, Panic. No fat. Bushels of carbohydrate. Apple and applesauce combo is sure to cause a rushed trip to the nearest restroom, Paul Finch style.

Next time: Try regular milk instead of chocolate milk. Tip the applesauce on Crawford's head and fill the cup with peanut butter. Keep the apple, figure something out with the rest of the bread.

New Graduates: Kids Climb the Rope

This afternoon at the babies session (half of which aren't really babies any more), three of our athletes got their first rope climb all the way to the top:




Jacqueline has been talking about climbing the rope for the past year and a half, and today she finally got it! Miranda is Murley's cousin who just joined this month; she has a gymnastics background and found that useful today. Finally, JT is like 4 and surprised everyone in the gym by pulling his way up.

Great job kids! Especially Jacqueline, this was a long time coming!