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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer!

See schedule here.


Entries in sabal (51)

Theme Workout Announcement: Army

Every Summer we try to bring back a Theme workout from the past; this Summer, by the request of Elizabeth Banet, we are bringing back the Army workout from Summer 2014.

In the old CrossFit Journal printouts, they used to feature "The Grinder" section, which was a team workout designed for Army members stationed overseas to do with minimal and improvised equipment. The test run we did in 2014 went well, so we're going to try it out again on Saturday at 9 am with a few modifications.

Hope to see you there!

Shark Week/Hawaiian Workout Recap

For the 4th Summer in a row, we combined two classic theme workouts: Shark Week and Hawaiian. We had a small turnout this morning, and unfortunately is was an odd number, so I was forced into service alongside the uninspiring and unflattering attire of Chris Binno.

I have always thought this was the toughest of all the theme workouts, and the sharking relay is a main culprit. This year we followed the same format as 2016: one minute at each of the 4 stations (we added the push jerk/press to Limbo Lifts) and 2 minutes on the Shark Relay. For the second week in a row, Aaron Sabal came out on the winning team, this time with Conor.

No doubt Conor was counting by two's, but I guess that's what they gotta do to win. The full results can be seen here. We will still be having at least 2 more theme workouts coming for the rest of the Summer. Maybe more. Be on the lookout!

80's Theme Workout Recap

The 7th installment of the 80's Theme Workout took place earlier this morning and, well, we have a winner...

After Mr. Wonsil walked through the door, there was very little attention paid to reps completed, movement technique, or anything unrelating to those fantastic calves and pale thighs. But for the sake of tradition we did our best to count reps and such, and it turns out Sabal and Reggie came out on top!

Full workout results can be seen here. And full photo gallery here. And full-body pics of Mr. Wonsil will now be in the dreams of every single mom that reads our website.

Great job to everyone who showed up today! Be on the lookout for another theme workout next weekend. Should be extra dangerous!

Coach's Corner: Feet Together on Jump Ropes

Jumping with your feet together can definitely be a hassle sometimes. I distinctly remember a Summer 2014 incident where Jesse Junkin just about ran out of the gym frustrated after a few missed attempts of double unders w/ foam in the feet.

The concept of blocking movement is set in place so you can go faster and more smoothly without having to worry about your position; the blocking keeps the position good for you.

When looking at jump ropes, we honestly could not care less about your ability to make a rope go under your feet; that point needs to be clear. What we do care about is your ability to leave the ground and land back down repeatedly in a good position so you will be set up for both safety and longer endurance. For this reason, we require feet together on jump ropes - it forces the feet to stay straight and knees to track out (or at least not in). Have a look at our 8:30 session.

Rachael Kroll, bless her, has put up with a very interesting week capped by arriving at the doctor's office at 5:45 am on Friday only to find out her surgery to remove bunions on her feet would have to be pushed back because the doctor basically slept in. So while she is still waiting for the surgery, I allowed her to jump with feet apart because her bunions hurt to the touch. She tried to keep the knees out and still could not met the standard. Sabal and Shakes were able to keep feet together and their knees reflected it.

Stay patient peeps! This is a long process and a difficult habit to break (Mr. Carey!) It will be more efficient in the long term.

Goon and Goblin Resurgence 2/6

Very simple yet controversial topic from Jacob the goon.

Would you rather be smart or handsome*?

*I suppose you could include being "pretty" if you are a female/Sabal.

Pics of the Week: Lanni's Viewing Party, Brian's Humor, and Handstands

Our first candidate for Pic of the Week comes from last Sunday's mobility session. Shannon's sister, Lanni, was finishing up the marathon as the session started, so we did some couch stretch while she crossed the finish line. 23rd place out of 160 people participating.

Next Jacob showed me this SnapChat he got on Tuesday, asking if this is what he means when he calls BTAD a Troll.

And finally, we got two handstand pictures from Shakes and Sabal on recent vacations.

The Flaw in the Grade Scale

In school, 60 percent should be an A. Maybe an A+, if they still give those out.

When dealing with a conflict, it seems to me that everyone’s first assumption is that they are correct and the other person/thing is wrong.

Mom: “You’re coming home too late”
Our thoughts: No I’m not. Moms be trippin’

Coach: “We’re going to cut you from the team”
Our thoughts: The coach sucks

Lumbergh: “Yeah… I’m going to need you to go ahead and move all your stuff to Storage B
Milton: “Okay… I’ll set the building on fire”

While it is true that people can say and do things that the majority would conclude are wrong, their mind tells the opposite story. To them, they are right and we are the ones who are frustratingly wrong. In other words, they are thinking the exact same thing we are! What make us so special to judge quickly? Still, our reflex is to deflect responsibility and refuse to accept that maybe we were out late, or didn’t practice hard enough, or were too obsessed with squirrels and Swingline Staplers. I think a main reason for this habit comes from our history of being penalized for being wrong in the place we spend most of our developmental years: the classroom.

I know I’m not the most credible in this area but I think the grading scale I grew up with, and many of you are familiar with now, is totally unrealistic. If I recall correctly, 100-90 is an A, 89-80 is a B, and so on until you get to 60 and below being an F. The further you rise up the academic ladder, the more emphasis is placed on top marks. So getting a C, which is supposed to mean average (despite being right 3 out of 4 times!), is the often the bottom of the barrel. But don’t worry; for some of the difficult classes, you get a boost to a 5-point scale. And if that isn’t enough, teachers will give you partial credit when you are sorta right.

In other words, we are pampered.

No other area of life demands the success rate present in school (especially high school). Think of all the decisions a lawyer, entrepreneur, engineer, or teacher has to make throughout the day – both little things that go under the radar and big things that will affect themselves and their subjects. I would be willing to bet that most good professionals are about 60/40 on their decision making. In other professions, being correct is even less common. A defensive coordinator calling for a blitz on 30 plays in a game would be ecstatic if it resulted in 4 sacks and a few hurries. A decade of succeeding 3 out of 10 times at the plate gets you a statue in Cooperstown. And guess the correct weather once every month or so and they’ll put you on TV.

In real life success comes, sometimes, occasionally, after a lot of hard work and luck. But they are not mutually dependent. Often times, hard work and dedication just don’t produce the results you want. That is why many people see sports as a great learning environment and why a lot of employers look for former athletes to hire; their ability to deal with an unprecedented occurrence of failure is very valuable in any area. On the other end of the extreme, when success taken for granted, you get parents complaining to teachers about their precious child getting that weird minus sign by the A.

In my subjective/anecdotal view, I have noticed a correlation between someone’s GPA and their willingness to admit being wrong. For instance, Murley and Aly had outstanding grades in high school – which is even more impressive considering they each played multiple sports. Coincidently they both struggle dealing with failure (in my opinion) because they experienced so little of it in school. On the flipside people like Matt Fecht, and Jack Trastevere – not the brightest of students – don’t appear hesitant about putting themselves in failure’s way and consistently hold their own. Matt is a lifelong hockey/baseball player who is hell-bent on running for a profession, while Cap’s Jack is an unathletic pudgeball who insists on doing 2:43 rx’d Frans and risking his life longboarding a death hill. There are counter examples, obviously. VJ Tocco, my former teammate, comes to mind – as he was Murley/Aly-level smart yet was consistently the first to admit when he was wrong. And I’m pretty sure JZ got grades similar to Jack and Fecht and still argues with brick walls in his spare time (I’m officially making that a tag). But in my experience, it seems likely that people with a 4.0+ generally don’t take being wrong very well. Again, I think the problem is not with those students, but rather how they are graded.

There is no way I should have received an A in anything other than gym class. I am a B-level writer (above average) and D-level anything else. But I also don’t think I should be penalized for that. Some people are outstanding at math, some people are outstanding at sports, some people are outstanding at science, and nobody is outstanding in everything. If they expect to be, then they have probably been pampered as well. I think the grading scale needs to reflect students’ true strength and weakness.

I know performing a complete overhaul is not realistic. But one of the things Kelly Starrett talks about is this concept of “mutually accommodating systems” – meaning all correct systems have the same principles. So spotting outliers is usually a sign that either there is a misunderstanding, or something is not correct. The fact that being “perfect” is so common in school and so rare everywhere else makes me think that there is a flaw somewhere in the grading scale – in the same way I believe there to be a flaw in the Endurance Base. There are a few adjustments that I think could be incorporated from K-12 to make the results more realistic.

  • Make the questions harder
  • Less leniency with what actually determines a correct answer
  • Less time to prepare for some assignments/tests
  • No 5.0
  • Adjust the difficulty so the class average is a C
  • Keep things as pass/fail
  • Make straight A’s a national newsworthy accomplishment

I have heard classmates say, in the exact words, “I have to be perfect.” In school, this may be realistic for the time being. But if this mentality translates into other areas of life, then problems arise. Expecting one hundred percent on things sets people up for unreasonable expectations and can make them not try things that they could fail. If that becomes the case, then you are missing out.

You don’t generally get smarter/better from being right. If anything, you are just reaffirming that you are as smart/good as you thought you were. Instead, you should strive to be wrong. When you learn why you were wrong, you become smarter. That seems to be generally how intelligence works.

I think Aaron Sabal has this figured out pretty well. He started off as a bad student, changed to a really good student, and is now in Doctor School. He is also very slow to judge. He listens carefully, asks questions, and then presents his understanding if he still thinks he’s right. This kind of delivery, as opposed to the examples at the start of this post, is usually the difference in getting things accomplished.

Our brain is a muscle and it thrives off challenges same as hamstrings and abs. Settling for “being right” does very little to challenge ourselves. Instead, throw yourself to the wolves. Have a conversation with someone that isn’t a yes-man, find a pick-up game with the players everyone considers the best, take on the project that you think is over your head. Start off asking, “Am I wrong?” And give it sincere thought, knowing that if you, in fact, are wrong, it isn’t a bad thing. You aren’t being graded. Rather, it means there’s an opportunity for improvement. And when in doubt, trust Dumbledore:

“Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison; knowing that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as is to breathe.”

Or any of the other Quote of the Week people:

They’re not wrong. Probably.