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Big ups to Josh Howey and Danielle Worden!

Josh finished 4th in the state for wraastling and Danielle finished 3rd in the state for powerlifting

Entries in coach casey (13)

Bad Self or Good Self?

In the winter when I wrote the College Kids Christmas invitation this winter, I posted a video from Summer 2014 of a parking lot sprint workout spread across the sessions. The 5pm group included three Banets, Anita, and a very early-on version of Katie Shakes. She told me after she saw the link that it was difficult for her to watch that because of how different she looked then compared to now. Then on Angie made a similar comment on her 205-lb. deadlift video last week.

In terms of body image, I can't relate to feeling like that, but I can in other areas I've had compare-to's to look at in retrospect. Basketball, for instance, involved constantly watching film grom games past and seeing all the mistakes I made. And I sometimes stumble on old posts like Calling Out the College Kids and cringe at how I handled some situations.

The truth is those are the times to be the most proud of yourself. Mrs. Bennis and Coach Casey are probably the fittest they've ever been in their lives at the moment. It doesn't take too much effort for them to get to the gym because they've made so much progress and they feel better and the ball is already rolling in the right direction. Last March it was not a routine. And for someone in their shape and health to make the choice day after day after day to build a healthy habit takes an unfathomable amount of effort, and a level of effort they might not even be comfortable with now.

"I think I want to get myself in a little better shape before joining" - Coach Casey ten minutes before he decided to join.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there is almost no chance your problem is unique. In fact, you probably don't even have to look that hard to find someone you personally know that is going through the exact same difficulty you are. Putting yourself out there for everyone to see is uncomfortable, but helps other people too. You all see Katie Shakes doing ridiculous things with barbells on the daily, but that's only because you joined recently. If you didn't see her during 2014 or early 2015 then you wouldn't know how much she struggled in here; having that as a reference can definitely be a motivating factor.

Be thankful for your new self, be humbled by your best self, and be proud of your old self.

One Year Anniversary: Game Changers pt. 2

Last spring the New Kids on the Block snowballed at a record pace, and led to a record Summer. This was spearheaded by two families, and while their start dates are not exactly the same, it seems like they have been here forever.

On March 17 of last year, Mr. and Mrs. Bennis started their first Fundamentals session with me.

Two days later, Casey Colussi did his first Fundamentals session.

... and like a month later, Mrs. Tara did her first Fundamentals session.

When these four were going through Fundamentals I had a feeling they would be great fits and long-term members. Even the comparisons were on point:

Bennis Family

Mrs. Bennis has that enviable ability to laugh at herself when she messes up, and Mr. Bennis is what we all wish Crawford was: soft-spoken and strong. Combined together they provide a perfect addition to our parents group.

Coach Casey

And Coach Casey - similar to the Bennis family - is a no-brainer. He's equipped with dad jokes and sarcasm, loves sports, hates working out, and has two kids already in the Champions Club that guilt him to coming in anyway. Sounds like a perfect fit to me!

Mrs. Tara

It has been predetermined by me: Mrs. Colussi will be the most hated parent in our parents crew. You know that person who always seems to be good at everything? That's her. She has endurance, strength, and mobility. In fact, she'll probably be our first parent to perform a pistol at some point in the near future. Go ahead Mr. Carey... you do the honors!

Still, I don't think I would have believed we'd have two of them on the Summer Dream Team, or the constant recruiting, or the freaking nets on the turf, or the road trips to Ionia, or the overall blind trust and buy-in they all have in the Champions Club, or the dry-turkying of pop, or the 10 months it took for a certain one of them to finally kick up to a handstand. The Colussi and Bennis clans just added so much energy to the sessions, and I know they probably each deserve individual posts, but it's impossible to talk about one person and not bring up the other three. So from now on they will be referred to as the Benlussi family.

Thank you guys so much for what you bring to the Champions Club and I am truly excited to see you all keep improving.

Seriously Coach, what the hell were you thinking?

New Graduate: Coach Casey

Leaders are ones who forge ahead and make their own path where none have travelled before. Then there are those who wait for everyone else in the gym to get their handstand before doing their own. Thus Coach Casey at the 5:30 session tonight:


Beast Mode: 6:30 Session + PSA from Coach T

Two very difficult movement patterns cameup on Monday and it gave us the opportunity to nitpick on each. We've let burpee technique slide a bit since the Summer in favor of intensity, so we made these "strict burpees" with our best inperpretation of a push-up, and also kept feet together and vertical shins on the landing. On the snatches I really wanted to exaggerate loading order. You'll notice us sitting back after the landing if it was caught in a bad position. Our 6:30 session featured Coach Casey, Sam, Evan, Angie, Barry, Jay, and Jesse. Out of sheer boredom from lack of Josh Bennis in the house, Mallory jumped in as well. We also had a surprise appearance from 2016 rookie Matt Hickey in the middle of the video!

Good work crew!


And now a public service announcement from Coach T.

Good morning,

The Christmas season is approaching and I wanted to give an opportunity for those who want to help others and give back through community service. Below is a link to my Church's 2018 Warming Center for the homeless. We do this every year around Christmas. Basically, we provide shelter, warm clothing, food and a place to sleep overnight for the homeless. It takes a lot of selfless service and team work to have a successful night. There are two opportunities to sign up. One is for families to help with dinner service, registration and give away room/blanket distribution. The other is for adult men to provide security during check in and to keep the peace from 7:30-11:00 PM. If you are interested in helping, please click on one of the links below to see the days and times listed and to sign up.

Family Sign Up

Security Sign Up

Thank you and God Bless!

Coach T

Pop-less Pops

At first I was thinking of making this a challenge, then a poll, but finally I just decided on a shout out. It has been brought to my attention that two of our dads (one old school and one new school) are taking serious steps towards their health. Two weeks ago, Coach Casey decided to stop drinking pop. And less than a week ago, unaware another dad was doing the same thing, Mr. Carey gave up pop as well.

I'd also like to share a few thoughts on this. First off, I've always said that, despite its negative connotation, peer pressure can be an awesome thing. Holding yourself accountable is not always an easy thing (on Tuesday, I did the box jump/run workout by myself and only did 2 rounds), so having someone or many someones involved can really help. If there is a good way to do daily check-ins on this no-pop challenge, I'm all for it. Maybe start a Coach Casey/Mr. Carey column on the board and tally dates down? Too much?

Secondly, one of the most simple ways to lose weight is to stop consuming liquid calories. Seriously, pop, beer, juice, Gatorade, and lemonade are all plain old shit. Nature provided us with water for a reason. Milk is probably cool too.

Thirdly, with that being said, I am a big fan of moderation. Nature didn't provide us with Starbursts, but I binge through them any time I'm nervous during a Michigan game (which is always). I also can't say no to the cookie jar when I'm at my grandma's house. And nor should you. Mr. Carey and Coach Casey, from what it sounds like, have a daily habit of drinking pop they are trying to break. This requires a short-term destruction of all pop-related items in a 10 foot radius. But I hope this doesn't mean they'll never drink pop again - I just want them to have control when they do. If Coach and Dylan are watching March Madness together and Jordan Poole hits a prayer to beat Houston, I think they earned a 7Up as they sit back and enjoy the next game. If Mr. Carey is up north with the Andersons and Pippins and crew, nothing wrong with a Pepsi. If they built up a habit of good nutrition, the pop will taste glorious for about 3 minutes, feel like crap for the following 30 minutes, then remind them to get back on track until the next special occasion comes up.

I'm usually a fan of subtracting for improvement rather than adding. Coach Casey and Mr. Carey are making a choice that I think will pay off sooner rather than later. Big ups to both of you!

New Graduates: Alexis and Coach Casey

Two new Graduations to announce coming from yesterday. First up is Summer rookie Alexis Anthes. She started the workout yesterday by doing half-climbs and as the 20 minutes progressed, her technique improved. So I had her try a full climb and she nailed it!

Then later on at the 5:30 session, Coach Casey was one of the few athletes actually doing the warmup - like the dedicated athlete he is - and on his first pull-up attempt he got up there with ease. I did a double-take to make sure that was actually his first one, and it turned out it was. So I grabbed the camera and got one for the official records.

Keep up the good work both of you!

Poll: Who Wore It Better

I though Mr. Wonsil had the best 80's attire I've ever seen from a parent at last year's workout.

...and then Coach Casey came in for tonight's parents workout:

Who had the better 80's outfit?

Parents 80's Workout results are in Build a Champion and their photos will be in the 80's Gallery.