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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 mrs. colussi (10)

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?

Running Jump Rope/Ice Running FYI

We have to be one of the most unsympathetic CrossFit gyms in Michigan. And when I say "we," obviously I'm not talking about myself because I would never make anyone run in the cold. But whatever tyrant that runs the Champions Club seems to include running no matter what conditions come. Yesterday, as far as I can remember, was a first though.

The 4:30 session - all 17(!) of them - ran in the snow, but the sidewalk was dry. Then as soon as said tyrant was going to send the 5:30 kids out for the run, it started to sleet and hail. That session consisted of Cory, Shaka, and Owen, so they did jump rope instead. Our 6:30 session had a collective 46 years of CrossFit experience and the "new kids" were Mrs. Tara and Coach Casey - two people who I really trust. So instead of making them do jump ropes I gave everyone the option to run if they wanted even though the ice made for very little traction on the sidewalk. Everyone except Mrs. Pip decided to run. Here's how they looked:

When you run on sand, ice, or snow your cadence automatically has to adjust. With sand and snow, if you leave your foot on the ground too long it will sink in and become more difficult to get out. On ice, the consequences for leaving the foot on the ground too long are a little more severe.

Another thing on ice to avoid is overstriding. When running on a normal surface this will cause your momentum to slow down with each step, and your meniscus to get cheese-graded over the long haul. When running on ice... this actually is doesn't happen. Or, at least to the extent it normally does. That is because, subconsciously, we'll get our feet up off the ground quicker, which ensures we land close underneath our hips. Everyone in the video normally has a slow cadence with the exception of Mrs. Tara; we didn't go over any technique before running and they all sped up quite a bit relative to their normal cadence and rhythm. And what does this do?

While not in perfect Pose alignment (her other ankle should be closer to the yellow line), Mrs. Tara, notorious over-strider/shin splint extraordinaire, lands almost directly underneath her hips. The landing in running is not something we should be thinking about. Instead the thought should be getting ourselves off the ground as soon as we feel the pressure strike the bottom of our foot.

Running on ice is not something I will probably allow again any time soon (especially today being way worse than last night). But one of the best drills to practice this is the Running Jump Rope we do. In place is great. Moving forward and backward is even better. Here's Mr. Carey and Conor from the team workout last Thursday.

Aside from a substitute for actual running, the running jump rope is a really good to practice a concept Dr. Romanov calls "framing" or Carl Paoli calls "blocking movement." This means it sets restrictions and barriers to force us into the right movement pattern. Or at least something really close to the standard.

What happens when your foot stays on the ground too long? The rope hits it.

What happens when your foot pulls too far back behind you? The rope hits it.

What happens when your foot steps down first? The rope hits it.

Doing this in place is usually pretty easy to get the hang of for anyone without the last name Jabara. But going forward and back really causes problems and makes us focus on the "up" part of running, not the "down." Adding speed makes it even more difficult.

Given the weather we've had for most of the winter, we're probably due for more crappy snow and ice days. So while we wait for garage door weather to come again, look out for more running jump ropes to help prime our technique for when we're ready to run again.

New Graduate: Mrs. Tara's Pistol?

The Champions Club has never seen a parent do a pistol. Last night that changed. I think. This is Mrs. Tara's attempt after the workout:

So Mr. Carey, what's the verdict?

Beast Mode: Mrs. Tara and Mrs. Bennis

Thrusters are universally known as one of the toughest movements CrossFit has to offer. Doing a relatively heavy weight for 7-15 reps doesn't make them any more fun.

At the 4:30 session yesterday, the troublemaking duo of Mrs. Bennis and Mrs. Tara took their shot at 65 lbs. for what seemed like a half hour doing set after set of lots of reps. Here's their final one of the day:

New Graduate: Mrs. Tara

Tara Colussi has been off-and-on so far this fall (usually more off than on) with having to cart the kids around and participating in a 6-week bootcamp her friends challenged her to. But rumor is her draft stock is back on the up-and-up. Yesterday's workout was a great showing for her, but the real highlight came during the warmup when she got her first rope climb!

Great job Mrs. Tara! I mean, Coach Casey did get his first rope climb like 5 months ago, but you keep doing your thing!

Beast Mode: Mrs. Tara

Yesterday we spent a lot of time with each session trying to get the timing down on the split jerk. Much to my surprise, Mrs. Tara had it down about as good as anyone at the 6:30 session. Here's her last set of the night at 70 lbs.

Does it Count: Triple Pull-up Edition

Yesterday we had quite a few New Graduates with Josie and Jen Ash's double unders, the entire 10 am session got their first rope climb, and in the afternoon we had three near pull-ups at the 4:30 session: Coach Casey (who is sometimes called ManCasey, Mrs. Tara (his loving and supportive wife), and Nick Bewick. Check it out!

Do they count? Is this just their way of showing their jealousy at Mr. Bennis and his lofty, resume'-worthy Athlete of the Week award? You guys make the call.