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New Feature Post: Behind the Champion with Mr. Augustine

Check out the epic interview here.

Entries in babies (27)

Thanksgiving Weekend Schedule

Just an update for this weekend's session times:

Today, Tomorrow



10 am

5:30 pm

*this will be a mobility session, or makeup workout if your're a college kid back home


8:30 am - Thanksgiving Workout 7.0

*A few of The Babies are coming to this one as well, like we did for the Christmas one last year


10 am

5:30 pm



Get your belly ready for an updated version of Plymouth Hollow Rocks on Thanksgiving.

Organic Roasted Seaweed

Halloween was, is now, and will always be my favorite holiday. Disney's Halloween Treat was a nightly viewing, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown was an after-event tradition, and the McDonald's Halloween cassette tapes would be in heavy rotation after school while I played football in the front room. And lord have mercy... the Starbursts would roll in! Then we started to do the Halloween workout with our CrossFit group in 2010 and it has been good ever since.

I would love to say The Babies' Halloween Theme Workout tonight was awesome. I would love to say that is was a success because they practiced deadlifts with kettblebells and looked good, or they actually knew that your elbows are supposed to be in when pushing a weight over your head. And I would love to say that they were able to uphold one of the oldest and most noble of traditions once a year: an incredible sugar buzz and surefire boost in the revenue of local dentist offices. Then I binge on the leftover candy at the gym and pretend that I won't be feeling the effects of it tomorrow. Tried and true this system; one that is not to be tampered with, ever.

But of course, it has to be. PC Principal has struck down with vengence. And now I will have to explain to next year's Babies and parents how, yeah it's fun and cool, but some horrible, horrible person is out there giving out this...

... to Conamora. If I was in the English mood, I would use this as some kind of metaphor to represent the end-of-summer hope for the fall gym attendance, only to be stuck around 20 people per day, or a lens to view the current hip hop scene that has stripped much of the musical instrumentation and in-depth lyrics for repackaged, bland mumbling. Or I could write another Dr. Suess poem. But I'm just mad, so I'm not.

For the first Halloween of my life, I feel defeated, unappetized, and drained.

Good night, sweet candy.

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!

Sunday Highlights: The Babies

Our "babies" session has been rolling since February and we have been hearing great stories about how their soccer, monkey bar swings, conditioning, and overall confidence has improved.

As they are becoming more accustomed to the Champions Club, we are slowly adding some elements that might look a little more like a "workout". Yesterday we did 3 stations: blocked squats, cone touches, and these crazy hands/feet plank things I haven't come up with a name for yet. We did 15 sec. at each station then rotated, going through 3 total rounds of that. Here's how they looked.

At this session we had Jacqueline, Conamora, Zeena, Ender, Lily, JT, Natalie, Sydni, Miranda, and Drew. Every session with them so far has been as fun as I've ever had coaching. Let's hope they can keep things going through the rest of the fall.

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!


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!

Summer 2017 Final Attendance

After some double checking, adjusting, and guessing, here's the Summer 2017 attendance numbers as close as we can see them.

Name          Attendance        Total Possible          Percent
1Andre 26 31 84%
Shakes 58 72 81%
Elizabeth 57 72 79%
Binno 34 48 71%
Sabal 47 72 65%
David Sap 42 68 62%
Murley 43 72 60%
Erika 42 72 58%
Crawford 41 72 57%
10Conor 40 72 56%
Fry 39 72 54%
Jacqueline 39 72 54%
Mr. Warthman 39 72 54%
Jacob 38 72 53%
Josh 38 72 53%
Mrs. Fitz 37 72 51%
Issac 29 58 50%
Mrs. Carey 36 72 50%
Ricky 31 63 49%
20Josh H 14 29 48%
Erica 33 72 46%
Mrs. Howey 13 29 45%
Craigen 31 72 43%
Kroll 31 72 43%
Mr. Carey 31 72 43%
Mr. Z 31 72 43%
Mrs. Dawkins 25 58 43%
Avery 30 72 42%
Pat 30 72 42%
30Maria 29 72 40%
Reggie 29 72 40%
Bubs 27 68 40%
Steven 28 72 39%
Sophia 22 58 38%
Mrs. Pip 27 72 38%
Jay 11 30 37%
Cory 26 72 36%
Lindsey 26 72 36%
Kenny 25 72 35%
40Crystal 24 72 33%
Jennifer 24 72 33%
Kris 12 36 33%
Emily 19 58 33%
Alyssa 22 68 32%
Mrs. Bass 13 42 31%
Olivia 14 47 30%
Carter 21 72 29%
Mrs. Kroll 20 72 28%
Alan 19 72 26%
50Arlene 18 72 25%
Nolan Wesner 15 62 24%
Mr. Wonsil 17 72 24%
James 13 72 18%
Madelyn 13 72 18%
Mr. Auggie 11 72 15%
Elle 7 72 10%
Nate 7 72 10%
Fecht 4 72 6%
Mama V 4 72 6%
60Finegan 2 72 3%
EP 1 72 1%
Conamora* 10 10 100%
Zeena* 9 10 90%
Simone* 7 10 70%
Sydni* 7 10 70%
Drew* 7 10 70%
Natalie* 4 6 67%
JT* 4 6 67%
Josh* 5 8 63%
Ender* 6 10 60%
Lily* 6 10 60%
Jacqueline* 6 10 60%
Bryce* 2 4 50%
Samantha* 5 10 50%

The attendance numbers were a little bit down this Summer, and while there may be some mistakes in there it's probably not too far off. If you think your attendance number should have been better, let me know and I can send you the days there were marked absent and you can double-check.

On the plus side, we could have a pretty solid carry-over from the Summer to the fall. Jacob, Jay, and Alan are on board. The babies are staying. And I'm working on our 10 am session as well.

So again, thank you guys for another fun Summer and let's keep it rolling for the next couple months!