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"The Games is the least important thing that happens in CrossFit. There is nothing less important than The Games."

- Coach Glassman

A Short, Unofficial, Probably C+ Literary Analysis of "You're Only Old Once" by, Dr. Seuss

I was at my grandma's last week and while rummaging through the basement I came across a Dr. Seuss book not only I hadn't seen there before, but also never heard of before.

It's called You're Only Old Once (A Book for Obsolete Children) and it was given to my grandma and grandpa as a 1986 Christmas present, as was written by my cousins Jordan and Troy on the inside title page.

I decided to read it on the spot and, to me, it seemed the book was so far ahead of its time when it comes to health and fitness that I wanted to share it here. Subject-verb or tense agreement has never been my strong-suit, but the way this book jumps around probably made it worse for my writing than usual. And I'm sure you'll find a few typos and spelling errors as usual. Either way, hope you enjoy.


One day you will read

in the National Geographic

of a faraway land with no smelly bad traffic.

In those green-pastured mountains

of Fotta-fa-Zee

everybody feels fine

at a hundred and three

I have heard many times from many different sources that the human body is designed to last anywhere from 110-120 years. When I hear Reggie - or even worse, Cory - talking about "Man, Chris, I'm getting old" it's annoying because, according to simple math even a former Marygrove student could understand, this is not true.

'cause the air that they breathe

is potassium-free

and because they chew nuts

from the Tutt-a-Tutt tree.

This gives strength to their teeth,

and length to their hair,

and they live without doctors,

with nary a care

Clean air, no pollution, and a diet of normal food keeps people healthy and out of the doctor's office.

And you'll find yourself wishing that you were out there

in Fotta-fa-Zee and not here in this chair

in the Golden Years Clinic on Century Square

for Spleen Readjustment and Muffler Repair

As the poor old man enters in the office, he is put through an array of tests. And just when he tries to walk out after his initial eye exam, more doctors come corral him in to ask him about his medical history, his family's medical history, and the possible causes (alphabet soup and martinis being the main culprit).

Then the physical exams begin, and before he knows it, he's stripped down bare while "The Oglers have blossomed like Roses in May! / And silently, grimly, they ogle away." What I love about this mostly is their wellness meter. Doctor's and other medical people use big, Latin words and confusing abbreviations with numerical values attached to them, when everything is really boiled down to: are you good, bad, or so-so?

What those Oglers have learned

they're not ready to tell.

Clinicians don't spout

their opinions pell-mell.

This is even more relevant now considering how much has been discovered about the conflicts of interest and connections major medical corporations have had with big food companies like Kellogs, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi.

Soon the old man is beckoned back into the test rooms where he undergoes an earwax exam and a very entertaining hearing test, then gets promptly picked up by Whelden the Wheeler with his VIP wheelchair status, and wheeled straight down Stethoscope Row.

So I'm sure you'll be simply delighted to hear

that in the Internal Organ Olympics last year

Doctors Schmidt, Smoot, Sinatra, Sylvester, and Fonz

won fifteen gold medals,

nine silver,

six bronze!

Awards in the medical field must be difficult to determine because the success of a doctor should be based on how infrequently your patient has to see you. For instance, if a family went to Sabal a few years from now with a blood pressure problem and his advice was so effective that they didn't have to see him again for another year for a routine check-up, then he should be recognized for that. Not for how precise he is with his scalpel.

Next our old man heads to the allergy room, where he is tested for just about everything imaginable.

He will check your reactions to thumbtacks and glue,

catcher's mits, leaf mold, and cardigans too,

nasturtiums and marble cake, white and blue chalks,

anthracite coal and the feathers of hawks.

Also corn on the cob. Also buffalo grease

and how you react when you're stared at by geese

After the allergy room, next up is the stress test by Van Ness and the food test with the Diet-Devising Computerized Sniffer. Then it's off to feet, fungus, freckles, shins, and tantrums. When our old man has had a full-body and symptom analysis, the best part begins: pill prescriptions!

When at last we are sure

you've been properly pilled,

then a few paper forms

must be properly filled

so that you and your heirs

may be properly billed.

This says it all. And apparently it's the final straw for our old man, because instead of finishing the paperwork he decides to leave the doctor's office and just live the way he wants to, and seems perfectly fine with his decision.

And you'll know 

once you're necktie's

back under your chin

and Norval has waved you

Godspeed with his fin

you're in pretty good shape

for the shape you are in!

Dr. Seuss is my favorite author, followed by JK Rowling, Brian and BiSB from MGoBlog, and myself of course. What I love the most about his books is their elegance and artistry.

Art is reducing a body of work so that only the essentials remain and nothing can be subtracted from it any further. For example, The House-Elf Liberation Front chapter of Goblet of Fire could probably be subtracted from it without losing much from the book. And when I look at a lot of my editorials - especially the older ones - I notice how much of it could be condensed and simplified. Pat Sherwood talked about elegance in CrossFit workouts and coaching, and Dr. Seuss is the epitome of that in writing. He gives just enough words to convey a flow, rhythm, and feeling, but not too much where a 5 year-old, or college dropout couldn't digest it. I've always marveled at that; what I didn't know was how much insight he had on the American Health System. You could read an entire journal of medical jargon and corrupted studies, or you could read You're Only Old Once! The former will confuse you, and the latter will enlighten you. Your choice.

Play Time: Into the Garbage We Go

I give free time during and after every one of our babies sessions. It's where I go in crisis control mode and stand in front of sharp things or spot JT swinging on the parallel bars his hands barely fit around; otherwise I do my best to not coach and let the kids figure things out for themselves - which is actually my main objective for the Babies Session as a whole, but it really shows itself during the injections od Free Time.

Now that we got the older kids session going I begin to introduce formal coaching and movements, but I am conscious to still keep free time a thing. Within the last two weeks I have been noticing the boys gravitate towards the Smear-The-Queer/King of the Hill route; someone finds the football then the other 4 or 5 kids try to wraastle it from their grasps, rinse and repeat.

Today Adam Demonaco (part of the Emma/Mrs. Demonaco family) must have been in an uber-annoying state, because next thing I knew Cameron picked him up like a rag doll, carried him over to the garbage can, and deposited him like a empty pizza box. So naturally I encouraged this a little and made suggestions for the next person to wraastle in the trash. After awhile, Pierce, the lone 5th grader, was the trashee.

If you look at it from a movement perspective, everyone involved was pushing, pulling, squatting, deadlifting, and bracing. There is also a good amount of cardio involved, judging by how they were sweating and breathing hard. It just looks different than push-ups, pull-ups, front squats, deadlifts, hollow rocks, and running. It's also a lot more fun, considering how they were all laughing. The parents of the kids getting thrown in the trash were laughing just as much as anyone else, so big ups to them!

I coach a lot of soft kids in many different settings, and I think more "roughhousing" like this would go a long way to help that. Watch any Planet Earth episode and you'll see all baby mammals go through a wraastling stage with other cubs or pups in their local group. This kind of play is so important not only for physical development, but mental also. So when you look at Pierce in the garbage can - or, at least Pierce's shoes sticking out of the garbage can - appreciate that there was no bullying, or picking-on, or anything stupid like that. It was simply free play. Pierce took the push-ups, hollow holds, and squats we practiced and managed to fend off a gang of older kids for about 3 minutes before finally succumbing to the garbage. Not only is that impressive for the time being, but also useful for when he's a freshman on the high school varsity lacrossel team 4 years from now.

Play on Pierce!

Pic of the Week: Dads At Bowling

As many of you are aware, the Champions Club dads are part of a bowling league in Berkley on Wednesday nights. To celebrate the event, limited edition Champions Club shirts were made for them. If I heard correctly, Mr. Auggie decided on the name "Old Balls."

Not pictured: Mr. Wonsil

As luck would have it, the happened to go undefeated last Wednesday, which was their first time rocking the shirts. We'll have to catch you guys one night soon. Keep representing!

Bathroom Construction Update

This, my friends, is a baby wipe:

When I google searched images for baby wipe, the first thing that came up was not actually a baby wipe, but a rapper I've never heard of with 38 million YouTube views named Ski Mask the Slump God who apparently has a song called BabyWipe. It's convenient, actually, because both items belong in the same place: the trash can. Why the trash can? Because that is where garbage goes. The toilet, on the other hand, is not where garbage goes.

Similar to our friend Ski Mask the Slump God, a non-human baby wipe is not capable of thinking for itself, and therefore cannot decide whether to go in the toilet or the garbage can conveniently located merely 4-feet and 5-inches away from the toilet. It falls on us, the human with a brian, to place said baby wipe in the garbage, and not the toilet. When baby wipes get placed in toilets, it costs $300 to find someone with a snake longer than Ski Mask the Slump God's criminal record to fetch it from the plumbing system that runs all the way under the parking lot.

$300 can go towards next week's ice skating adventure, or more 14-lb. med balls, or a 2-pood kettlebell, or the buy-the-building-one-day fund. Or it could go towards getting a baby wipe out of the pipes. It is in your control.

I thought it went without saying until I put the sign up about the paper towels in the toilet, but I suppose I should refresh yet again. Things that are allowed to be flushed down a toilet: pee, poo, and the stuff rolled on the metal rack next to the toilet called toilet paper. Things that are not allowed to be flushed doen a toilet: everything else.

The Harbaugh bathroom is now fully functional. The other one will be as soon as the toilet gets put back on the thing it connects to.

Bathroom Under Construction

Hey kids, the bathrooms were both acting funny foday in the form of seemingly low pressure/suction when flushing. This happened before when they were working on the roof and was fixed, but it came back. So I had a plumber come out and take a look at them and it might need a bit more work than the old fashioned plunge-a-thon.

As of now, we have one toilet that is currently connected to the ground (Harbaugh bathroom) and flushes very slowly. It can handle R. Kelly but no Randy Marsh efforts. I cannot make it more clear than that. The McDonalds down the street will surely take deposits of all shape, kind, and texture.

Both of our bathrooms are clean still and available for changing though.

Not okay in our bathroom at the moment

Hater's gonna hate

From the Vault: The Takeover Goes to Sparta For Real This Time

So when Coach T and I left MSU last year, we both left a tad bit disappointed because, in our eyes, we did not think we got the point accross to Coach Mannie like we were hoping. But new info makes me think we may have been wrong about that assumption.

Neither Coach T or I went to the clinic this year, but one of T's assistants did and was shocked when hearing Coach Mannie give his weight room demo. I got an email from T this afternoon.

"So I think Coach Mannie was paying attention to us last year and did some reading of Supple Leopard 

Watch his weight room demo this year and pay attention at about 8:13 when he puts his guy through the bench. I have heard him talk about Bench for 9 years now and never heard about elbow position and bending the bar."


In addition, at the 16:40 mark you can watch Coach Mannie coach one of his athletes through the deadlift. And it's honestly incredible to hear him say the words "brace," "hip hinge," and "neutral midline". I have not gone to his clinic for 9 years like Coach T did, but I did watch about 20 hours of film on him in prep for last year's clinic and I cannot remember a time I saw or heard him fix someone's deadlift set-up when they rounded to grab the bar. This is very cool. Here's our weight room demo from last year for reference.

Slowly but surely the Movement Standards are getting spread around the athletic community. Stay tuned...

New Kids on the Block: Not the Babies

Our Babies Session has been on fire since last year around this time. Then all of a sudden I found myself at a session in January with 17 rascals bouncing off the walls in the gym. I spent the entire session in disaster-avoidance mode, when I should normally only spend about half of the session in disaster-avoidance mode. With the wide age ranges, I decided to split up and have an older kids session separate on Sunday nights. We have 4-5 of the former Babies crew in there, as well as 2-3 I picked up from a thing I did with the City of Madison Heights. Here's some clips of their workouts from the past few weeks.