A week of ups, downs, side-tracks and embracing the grind

I really need to blog more. As a blogger for Scrubs Magazine and a Vlogger (is that even a word?) for Scrubs Beat, I’ve been siphoning all my creative juices, thoughts and opinions for them. As a result I’ve been hesitant to tippity-type anything related to nursing on my personal blog. I was once told to ‘save the talent’ for the bigger audience. I mean lets get serious here, there are a lot more readers and viewers over at Scrubs, than on my lil ole’ blog.

But I digress.

I’ve been busy as usual living the dream. Dividing my time between saving lives and improving fitness. This week at work was draining. It was busy.

Let me re-phrase that. It was a bit of a mad-house for 3 of my 4 shifts.

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~delete~delete~delete……. (that would be me deleting a paragraph of words)

As usual I can’t really divulge the details of that info. (I have to practice what I preach.. and keep that darn HIPAA ‘hippo’ under wraps). No need to go breaching protocols and breaking laws at the expense of ‘venting’ on my blog.

Let’s just say, I left 2hrs late 3 out of 4 shifts. It was one of those weeks. LOL.

Training this week sort of stunk. I think I may have been over-training? Or not enough sleep. Not sure. Regardless I was missing lifts and weights that should be a no-brainer lift. After this week’s set-back, I decided to change my game plan a bit. I stopped short of completing my previous program that involved high volume complexes and changed over to a simple strength emphasis.

I signed up for a weightlifting competition the weekend of Thanksgiving. So I’m exactly three weeks out and I need to focus on hitting my numbers and stop worrying so much about increasing my numbers.

I decided to punish myself a bit after a crap-tastic lifting session over last weekend and dig into some pause squats:

They actually felt really good. I’ve talked a lot about my fear of squatting heavy since my hip injury over the summer, and these pause back squats felt solid. So it was a nice confidence booster. And I wasn’t sore or achey afterwards, so no DOMS.

I did a lot of technique work with my Clean & Jerk:

And then played around with my OverHead Squat:

It was a nice rebound for the end of my week, after struggling with the basics. I took a schedule rest day from the barbell and decided to work on some dynamic mobilizing and then out of the blue worked up to a max static box jump. It was only a mild 1/4 inch increase, but an increase nonetheless. It felt good seeing as I did this pretty cold:

Work is going great. Precepting a handful of NP students right now, and I’m having fun watching them work through the process of leaping from classroom to clinical practice. It’s surreal being the preceptor and not the student, but thoroughly enjoyable. I definitely love to teach.

Our barbell club is finding its footing. We have a steady influx of athletes who are growing a learning every day.

I have a handful of athletes who will be joining me during that weightlifting competition in three weeks, so we have been pretty focused. The bad thing is I can’t really stuff my face during the Thanksgiving holiday, otherwise I might not make my weight for the competition. I need to stay in my 85kg weight class.

Coaching is still as fun as ever, my job is still as fun as ever.

Living the dream here people. Living the dream.

Honoring the memory of a fallen CrossFit family member. Coach T.

CrossFit FBO @crossfitfbo lost a member of its family after a long hard fought battle. Tucker beat all the odds and survived longer than anyone ever predicted. Those who were lucky enough to have known him KNOW he survived on the love his extended family had for him especially his owners Lumpy & Kris. While his heart was failing we all knew just how much ‘Heart’ he truly had. He brightened our second home with tons of love and laughter. He will be missed. RIP coach T. Thank you for blessing my world. #crossfitfbo

I remember the first time I saw Tucker. I thought to myself, “wholly sh&t that dog is huge. I hope he doesn’t get hungry.” Tucker stood above waist height. He towered over most other dogs, heck he towered over some human beings. But his physical size only told a fraction of his story.

Tucker was CrossFit FBO. CrossFit FBO was Tucker. Tucker might have resided at his owner’s home, but he lived at FBO. Tucker was a part of such a larger family. Every person that stepped foot through the gym doors learned just how engrained Tucker truly was. He left an indelible mark on every person’s heart both young and old.

The irony of it all? His biological organ that was failing him was unequivocally the ‘glue’ that stitched our small  community together. Tucker suffered from heart failure, but he truly was the ‘heart’ of our gym.

I’m still considered a ‘newbie’ at our gym. I’ve only been there a year and a half. What I know is that Tucker out-lived all his doctors predictions. He was maxed out on every prescription medication you can give a canine, and yet he was still plugging away. Barking, playing and sleeping just like every healthy dog should.

I truly believe in the depths of my soul that Tucker outlived all the odds because of the love in his heart, and the love everyone had for him. Tucker brought smiles to everyone that crossed his path, and before you knew it he had you wrapped around his paw.

Tucker slipped his way into your heart without you knowing it. I miss that gentle giant. I sometimes walk the floors of the gym thinking he’s sleeping in the office, waiting for someone to walk in. I often miss the greetings you would get when you opened up the locked front door, perched at the entrance waiting for the first visitor.

Tucker had a presence. I’ve never met a dog who had a presence, yet he had a presence. You knew when he was there. You missed him when he wasn’t.

Tomorrow our gym is celebrating his life the only way our CrossFit community knows how, by sweating it out:

The Tongue: teams of two (any gender combination)

10 rounds of:
10 front squats
10 burpees
5 rounds of:
20 push press
20 cal row
2 rounds of:
50 hang power cleans
50 front rack lunges

**work can be divided anyway you want between team members. 2 bars for male/female teams. Females 55/65/75. Males 75/95/115.

** there will be a 30 min cap on this Wod. Scale accordingly**

A Memorial WOD and Fundraiser, proceeds benefit the ANNA Shelter (where I believe Tucker was from)

The night before this even, and I find myself feeling pensive.  I’ve been thinking about the gentle giant, and here are just some of the memories I have of Tucker:

  • I remember the first time I saw him and his ‘tongue’… I couldn’t stop staring at first. I felt so bad for the big fella, but he made it work
  • no matter how big he was, he acted and played like a puppy
  • I still remember how he would run, jump and prance up and down the gym
  • I loved when he would run, and then try to stop on a dime and just slide on the gym floor. Always reminded me of the movie Bambi, when Bambi slid on the ice
  • I remember how he used to bury his head into your hip (or groin) wanting attention. His silent way of saying, “pet me”
  • He actually knocked me over several times when he would bury his head to gain attention
  • “Tucker hates DanceVibe” still makes me chuckle, even though we all know he didn’t hate anyone
  • While his bark was ‘worse than his bite’… his bark could make strangers shake in their shoes
  • I was always amazed at how he could sleep on the most oddly sharped objects.. and it never phased him
  • Boy did he love to run. Give him the chance and he’d let loose out the back alley and into the streets of the city. I heard he loved chasing rabbits
  • Let’s not forget his slobber. It was impressive. It was sort of FBO’s hazing ritual, you weren’t really considered a member of the community until you got slobbered

That damn dog will truly be missed. I know his owners miss him. There’s a void now. I know they say time heals all wounds, but this one may never completely heal. The only comfort I can offer to Kris and Lumpy is that they are not alone. We miss him too.

 

 

Honoring the fallen. CrossFit Hero WOD: The Stoddard| CrossFit FBO

Every so often people ask me, or just ask this question in general: “Why CrossFit?”

Today is why. It’s because of the ‘more’ factor. CrossFit will of course increase your fitness, but it does so much ‘more’. It’s the ‘more’ that draws you in and keeps you coming back. It’s the ‘more’ that separates CrossFit from the others. The ‘more’ I’m talking about is the community.

I’ve mentioned it before here:

The infamous Hero WOD in CrossFit is one of the most respected and more grueling type of workouts performed in the world of constantly varied functional movement. Hero WODs are workouts that are created and named after a fallen hero (or heroes) who have given their life in the line of duty. The majority of these Hero workouts are named after fallen soldiers, but many are in remembrance of those heroes we’ve lost serving the public (Police, FireFighter, etc.)
This one was a little close to the vest. The hero being honored was a (blood relative) family member to some of our coaching staff.

This year the Stoddard honored not only its namesake, but a local veteran who recently passed suddenly.

The 4th annual Stoddard WOD. This event was created 4 years ago to honor Army Ranger SFC James J Stoddard Jr who was killed in action serving his 3rd tour in Afghanistan in 2005. The Stoddard Sr/Jr Memorial was started to honor both Jamie and his father James John Stoddard Sr (Chuck). Since the memorial fund was created, we have been able to make donations to several great causes including Wounded Warriors, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, March of Dimes, and scholarships for graduating seniors from the Stoddards hometown highschool. The cost for this years event will be $25 and will include an event T-shirt. This years proceeds will go to Erie’s own Vietnam Vet Memorial Wall. Please come out and join us honoring a hero and raising money for a fantastic local cause.

This year, A chipper WOD for time:

  • 50 box jumps 30in
  • 40 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 pood
  • 30 hand release push-ups
  • 20  yard burpee broad jumps
  • 1 run around stadium w/ plate of your choice above head (45lb, 25lb, 15lb, 10lb)
  • 20 yard burpee broad jumps
  • 30 hand release push-ups
  • 40 kettlebell swings 1.5 pood
  • 50 box jumps

This past summer, a member of the color guard who helps with the opening ceremonies of our Annual Garage Games Great Lake Challenge suffered a life-ending medical illness during this years event. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and was very active in supporting our local War Memorial Wall. He was remembered for always wanting to ‘keep the lights on’ this particular war memorial.

A portion of the funds that were raised during this event today will go towards ‘keeping those lights on’.

While I did not physically participate this year, I was there to watch, volunteer and show my support. It was held at a local football stadium and it was quite the turnout. While I don’t know the exact number, it far exceeded the approximate 70 participants from last year!!

While I cannot speak for other CrossFit communities around the world, ‘m always personally touched at the outpouring of support from our local community. This was just a simple fundraiser, not a ‘competition’. It was to honor the memory of two fallen heroes who decided that our freedom was worth fighting for.

This was a small way of showing our appreciation and speaking a resounding ‘Thank You’.

A large group of CrossFit citizens honoring a fallen soldier who was part of our extended CrossFit family and supporting another veteran by sweating a little bit and enjoying the very freedom they helped defend. It was a friendly competition with no strict judging. We had fellow athletes who would count your reps and man your timer, but that was it. Another amazing event full of energy, laughter, passion and pride.

The weather was suspect the entire morning with some sprinkles here and there, it looked like it wanted to down pour, and ironically the rain held out until the very end of the kids heat. I guess our soldiers were looking out for us.

 

I’m honored to part of such an amazing family. Thank you.