2 sec Pause at the bottom
6 min AMRAP
*6 burpees every break
SCORE= total DU
3 rounds NFT
2 wall walks
15 UB push-ups (hardest scale possible)
15 UB ring rows (hardest scale possible)
We've officially had our doors open for a year now. It honestly doesn't feel like it’s been even half that long… The time has flown by. When we were just a group of friends working out in a hot, airflow-less barn, I never even dreamed we would grow into such an incredible, athletic, encouraging, inspiring community.
We've had some original faces move away… And while I understand life will take people in different directions, that doesn’t make it the least bit easier to deal with. We don’t see you guys every day any more, but you all are in my thoughts just as much now as when you were still here. Our White Tail CrossFit community would not be here without you.
We have tons of new faces… People who gave our community a shot and decided “these guys aren’t so bad.” People who’ve put their faith in our coaches, and our programming, and have seen results. People who show up, work their asses off, listen, learn, and cheer on those around them. People who took that first, HUGE, scary, courageous step to change their lives, and allowed us to be the ones to take that trip with them. This community would not be here without you, either.
And we have our original crew. Those that spent months in a small barn with minimal space and even less cool air (especially those that got stuck working out in the corner of death… Somehow it was almost always Sean.) Those that took turns sharing barbells and bumpers, because it’s all we had. Those that showed up every day, whether you were feeling it or not, because without THAT, we wouldn’t have been able to keep this going. Those that donated equipment, time, money, sweat, mornings, evenings, weekends… This community wouldn’t even have been a possibility if it weren’t for you, and I can’t thank you all enough for making this happen.
And even though I’ve said it before, I cannot say it enough- this gym would not be here without our head coach, Amanda. She’s put countless hours into making this gym as supportive, efficient, and effective as it is. She was born to be a coach. If you can, think back to where you started, and remember the struggles you had with pull ups, cleans, TTBs, KBs…. And think where you’re at now. Not just anyone can read a book or two and get you that far. It takes a special kind of person, and we’re lucky to have her leading the way. This community absolutely would not even be here if it weren’t for you.
One year ago, we were getting this gym ready for our grand opening. Painting, putting down floors, moving equipment, planning, organizing, building a rig, welding, decorating… It’s been a YEAR, and it still blows me away that I never once had to ask for help from anyone. You guys gave up your evenings… Some *really* late evenings, afternoons, mornings. You just showed up, ready to work, ready to have a good time, ready to get this gym rolling. THIS is the community we have at White Tail CrossFit. I’ve never been more proud of anything in my life than I am of this community that WE have built. And it only continues to grow and get better. Thank you for everything you guys do to make White Tail CrossFit what it is.
I want to leave this with a list of things I’ve learned over the last year. Some good, some amazing, some…. Definite learning experiences. Here they are:
I love coaching
It doesn’t make the tough workouts ANY better knowing that I programmed them
There’s a giant step between people *wanting* to be in shape and those working for it
People will try to sell you literally anything (like tickets to a 5k that you run on your own time in your own place) (this is not a joke)
Some days, some people, including myself, just need a win
Seeing someone do something they didn’t think they could is one of my favorite things in life
Seeing someone clap chalk dust everywhere always reminds me of rappers throwing hundreds in the air
No one likes doing 7 minutes of burpees
I really don’t like 7 minutes of burpees
We have the BEST community, no doubts about that at all
Watching someone get their first Rx pull up will never get old
The CrossFit community, as a whole, is pretty damn awesome
People stepping up for our fundraiser was one of my favorite moments of the year
It’s truly a blessing having people in your life that you know you can count on
I love watching people make a new face feel welcome
Most people are capable of so much more than they think they are
Your life is what you make of it- You can blame things, or you can do things… I see a lot of both.
The people who DO things are my favorite
The athletes who listen, adapt, and improve make this job the best and most rewarding job on Earth
Taxes are dumb
Apparently, cargo shorts are no longer in fashion
People secretly like when the actual workout isn’t what was posted
People go all out for something they believe in
I’ve learned a TON over the last year, and am ready to learn a ton more
Your name MEANS something
I’ve met some of the best people in my life from CrossFit
You get out of this whatever you put in to it
You are no doubt familiar with the phrase “constantly-varied, functional movement, at high intensity”. It’s something that you hear during your first interaction with a CrossFit coach. It’s a catchy definition. It’s any coach’s mantra. It’s our favorite flavor of Kool-Aid. It also has some interesting sub-text.
Let’s take a look at that phrase from a different angle; a mental perspective. Simply replacing the word “movement” with “thinking” will get you there. Constantly-varied, functional thinking, at high intensity. Not only is CrossFit training your body to react to extreme and ever-changing situations, while under duress by the clock, but it is training your mind to do the same.
Every WOD requires a unique mental approach: constantly varied mental strategies.
Put yourself in a “real world” situation. You have had a long, hard day at work, and just before quitting time your boss drops big mess on you. It’s a good thing you deal with being fed up and ready to quit every day at the gym. You roll up your sleeves and do the work. If you can do 100 burpees, you can certainly do this.
CrossFit is like anything else; it is what you make of it. You are going to get out of it what you put into it, and that’s going to be different for everyone. The one unwavering truth is that it is going to challenge you. It’s not only going to challenge your body, but it will challenge your mind as well. It doesn’t matter if you are a fire-breather, chasing someone on the whiteboard, or just show up to get a decent sweat on a couple times a week, you will definitely feel your mind sharpen from it. Embrace that, people! There might be days when the WOD doesn’t excite you or you just feel sore and tired and would be okay with phoning it in. These are perfect days for you to really challenge yourself mentally. Find a mental area of improvement and tackle it head on. Maybe you don’t pace yourself very well, or you take too many breaks, or too long of breaks. Maybe today is the day that you just forget the clock and focus on taking short or no breaks. Give yourself a goal and fight for that goal. Think “I cannot do all these thrusters unbroken, but I am going to count to 5 when I have to drop the bar and pick it right back up”. Maybe it’s 10. Maybe it’s 3. If you do this, you will become it. Your breaks will become shorter out of habit. Give your mental training some attention and you will be surprised at the dividends it pays.
Back in the real world, problems that seem insurmountable to others will look like mere speed bumps to you.
You’ve heard us talk about it during classes, urging you to sign up. You might have even seen others participate sometime in your CrossFit career. I just want to give a little deeper description of the CrossFit Open and why you absolutely should sign up.
There is no truer test of fitness in the world. Over the course of 5 weeks, you are tested across numerous modalities and time domains. You will discover your strengths. Some, you know you had, while others might surprise you. Likewise, your weaknesses will be exposed. Sometimes that’s hard to confront… It’s never easy seeing that you suck at something. Trust me…. I know. But these are always good things to know, so that you have some ideas of what you need to work on.
In the Open, you get to compare your scores with thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of people across the world. This is both intimidating and awesome at the same time. Athletes in CrossFit boxes around the WORLD will all be doing the exact same workout week after week. Some will be people who just found CrossFit… maybe it’s the first athletic thing they’ve done in years, or ever. Some will be casual CrossFitters… Those who work out just to stay in shape/support their pizza habit. Others will be the top athletes in the world. The Fronings and Thorisdottirs and Camilles. You personally get to see how you compare to the FITTEST PEOPLE ON EARTH. What other sport allows you to compete alongside athletes on the top level??
The 5 open workouts will push you in ways you don’t normally get pushed. The excitement, the chance to compete from the comfort of your own box, the adrenaline… Just knowing that there are thousands of other people across the world suffering through the same movements… It’s an experience that’s hard to put into words, try as I might. I’ve seen, and experienced, people getting through workouts and movements that they sincerely didn’t think they’d get through. I’ve seen people get their first pull ups, first CTB pull ups (me!), first muscle ups… PR their snatches and deadlifts. Last year we saw people fight through 84 thrusters and 84 burpees and, in fact, not die like they promised they would. The Open has a way of getting out of you more than you thought you had. While it’s fun to watch… It’s incredible to experience.
The Open wods will be our Friday workouts, starting February 27th. So most of you will already be doing them anyways. We will also be doing them during open gym for the 5 weeks of the open. So what’s $20 to see how you stack up with the rest of the world??
This year, we will be joining two other local boxes in our little community to fight through these workouts together, Grand Mesa CrossFit and CrossFit Liberty Hill. On February 28th, after our community wod, athletes from both of these gyms will be joining us at White Tail CrossFit to destroy Open wod 15.1. On March 14th, we will all head over to Grand Mesa CrossFit to tackle 15.3, and on March 28th, we will head to CrossFit Liberty Hill to finish up with 15.5. If you were a part of all of this last year, you got to experience how awesome it was to see these communities come together… athletes who don’t know each other screaming and pushing you through each and every grueling rep. If you didn’t participate last year, I highly recommend you giving it a shot this year. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience.
The wods this year will be a little different. For the first time ever, they will have a scaled division. If the more technical movements and heavier weights are keeping you away, they’ve now made it so ANYONE can participate. I would beg of you though, if you do sign up, sign up with the intention of challenging yourself as much as you can.
You can register at games.crossfit.com. Make sure you join our affiliate, and make sure you join our team. If the $20 sign up fee is something you can’t swing right now…. Private message me, and we’ll work something out. Maybe you come clean the gym one or two evenings and I’ll cover your entrance fee… I would much much rather see everyone get the chance to participate than spend the next 5 weeks on the sideline looking in.
Get ready, the Open is here!
As someone who came from a completely sedentary, lazy,
fast-track-to-an-early-grave lifestyle, Crossfit has changed my life in
countless ways. I’m healthier, happier, stronger, faster. I look forward to
each and every day, and am finally excited for all the things that life has to
offer. Crossfit has given me strength, both physically and mentally. It’s
taught me to be confident, it’s taught me to be open, and, most importantly, in
my mind, it’s taught me to be humble.
“Leave your ego at the door.” This phrase can be seen at Crossfit boxes
around the world. And it’s one of the most true statements I’ve seen. Ego can
be a killer in the Crossfit world, for many reasons.
Anyone who has been around Crossfit for a while has experienced it. It
affects everyone eventually, though it manifests in different ways.
We’ve all seen the musclebound meathead who shirt-off’s when he walks
through the door to establish his dominance, only to be using that shirt halfway
through the wod to wipe the tears from his eyes when the middle aged soccer mom
with 4 kids laps him for the 3rd time on the 10 min AMRAP. And we only see them
the one time, because they’re too ashamed to come back.
Or the person who shows up every day, but can’t handle having one of the
slowest times, so they skip reps, or rounds, or use terrible/wrong form, or pick
a weight that’s way too light for them (don’t get this confused with picking a
weight that is helping them work on form or rehab an injury… COMPLETELY separate
topic.) And we all know when that happens, even when they think we don’t.
Or the person who only shows up on days where they know they’ll get a fast
time, because it’s a workout featuring their favorite things. Or they try to
go too heavy to keep up appearances, and end up hurting themselves or not
finishing the workout (or skipping several reps/rounds to try and keep up). Or
maybe fake an injury so they can have an excuse to stop. Or even those who
won’t scale *up* because they like being #1 on the boards by a long shot.
You get the picture. Everyone has seen these people. Odds are you’ve been
one of these people. I know I’ve let my ego show. The common thread here is
that for all of these people, their ego is getting in the way of what Crossfit
is really about. Getting better, every day. Getting healthier, stronger.
Improving your life. Pushing your boundaries. Learning who you are and what
you’re made of.
When I look at the board and see my time, I’m proud of it. I don’t care if
it’s the fastest or the slowest. I’m proud because I know I showed up, I pushed
myself through every grueling rep the best I could. I didn’t take any short
cuts. I didn’t skip any reps. I didn’t half ass any movements. I busted my
ass for that time. Am I MORE proud if it’s the fastest? Absolutely. But I
also know it doesn’t mean a damn thing.
The time, to me, is a record of my accomplishment. Something I KNOW I
couldn’t have done without all the work I’ve put in up to this point. Was it
faster than some other times up there? Possibly. Was it slower than some other
times? Almost definitely. Does that make me any better or worse than those
people? Hell no. I don’t know the conditions all of those other people worked
out in. Maybe a father of 3 came in on little-to-no sleep and struggled
through. Or a young woman with a huge job interview that afternoon came in and
just couldn’t get mentally in to it. Or some tweaker came in loaded on speed
and blew away that AMRAP box jump workout shortly before going in to cardiac
arrest. Or it was 30 degrees cooler when I worked out. Or there was some smoke
in the air when the earlier class worked out.
The point is, Crossfit, in general, is a competition with yourself to be
better than you were before. If your pride keeps you from walking through that
door, it’s over before you even started. If you’re cutting corners to make
people think you’re awesome, you definitely won’t get better, physically or
mentally, and you definitely won‘t ever find out what you‘re made of. (AND,
trust me, everyone knows when you’re doing it. I promise.) If you’re blowing
through workouts that are too easy for you so you get that top time, then you aren’t
pushing your boundaries... Sure, you‘re getting a good workout, but I promise
there are a lot of people out there that are working harder than you. If you’re
constantly comparing your time to everyone else’s, then you’re probably
overlooking the gains and achievements you’ve made, and how far you‘ve come.
Unless you’re Rich Froning and a swim wod isn’t involved, there are going to be
people out there with faster times, more reps, and heavier lifts.
No one cares about your time on the board, or whether you Rx’d a workout or
not. That’s for you to keep track of how you’re doing. What people do care
about, though, is whether you showed up, busted your ass, and got it done. You
want to have a friendly competition with your friends? Go for it, as long as
it’s pushing you. But don’t let “winning” or “losing” get in the way of what is
REALLY important. Is competition the most important thing to you? Go sign up
for a competition, there’s one happening almost every weekend. Don’t let your
ego get in the way of making yourself better. And you better damn sure not let
your ego get in the way of other people making themselves better.
Show up. Bust your ass. Push your boundaries. Get better.
That is all that matters.
The day is finally here. I’ve been hoping and waiting for this day since early this year, when some friends and I decided we wanted to try and start our own CrossFit gym. I’d be lying if I said this was a lifelong dream of mine… In fact, 5 years ago in the midst of my video-game-cigarettes-and-whoever-would-deliver-me-food lifestyle, I didn’t even want to be a member AT a gym, much less could I see myself ever owning one. But now that I’m here….. I know it’s definitely something I should be doing.
We started out as a small group of friends just wanting to work out together. My parents generously donated their garage, and without that (or them) this never could have been a possibility. Everyone pitched in equipment- barbells, dumbbells, weights, jump ropes, kettle bells, homemade plyo boxes (thanks Mize!)… We never had a ton of stuff, but I never heard one single complaint. Our class times were limited, they had to be. Understandably, this couldn’t fit into everyone’s schedule, but for those people, they still tried to show up when they could. Our space was also limited… The garage wasn’t very big, and CrossFit equipment can take up quite a bit of space. But we made it work.
Our classes were small. Most mornings for several months, it was just me and another guy, Jorge Yanez. We always knew how the workouts would go- weightlifting days, I would win. Every other day, he would win. I’m sure we terrified the neighbors when I was “chasing” him down the street on sprint days. It was rough getting up and around a lot of those days, but I honestly wouldn’t take back a single one of those workouts. If he hadn’t committed himself to coming every day, we might not have even had a morning class, and it’s now by far our most popular one. So if you work out in our morning class, be sure and send a “thank you” his way.
Then word started to spread. Members invited friends to our Saturday wods, or got them to go through our Foundations class. People who followed us on Facebook, or saw our high-class Instagram account (run by the talented Chris Brull) saw what we were doing and wanted to take part. They saw the fun we were having, and the community we were forming. We offered so much more than just a good workout. And our classes grew. Some of the last few days in the barn… I don’t know how we did it. It was crowded. And it was awesome.
We’ve spent the last 10 days getting our new location ready. It looks phenomenal. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for everyone that’s shown up to help. I never once had to even ask for someone to do something, with anything. Most of the time I was trying to find stuff for people to do. Some people donated hours and equipment and manpower and tools. Some donated days and weekends. And one donated her entire last 10 days. Without Coach Amanda, this gym wouldn’t even be nearly ready for tomorrow. She has spent almost all day, every day in our new gym, making it perfect. I will be forever grateful for all she has given to get our new home to the level that it is at. She even had her mom up picking out paint colors and helping us paint. And there was a LOT of painting done. I would try to list everything that everyone did, but I would be afraid to leave someone out… There was probably even stuff done that I wasn’t even aware of. Just know that I am thankful to all of you.
Tomorrow is our Grand Opening. Our first day as a “real gym,” and not just a garage affiliate. I put that in quotes for a reason…. It’s not the facility, or the equipment, or the location that makes a CrossFit gym what it is. It’s the community. It’s the people who show up every day and give it their all. The people who make the newcomers feel welcome. The people who make the last person still working out feel like they’re in first place. It’s you guys. I can’t be more proud than I am of the community that I am a part of.
Thanks for the barn memories. I will never forget them, they’ve been some of the most fun memories I have. Tomorrow marks a new beginning for us. Our community will grow, we will welcome new members- some looking for fitness, others maybe looking for something else. New milestones will be reached, new PRs will be hit. Lives will be changed. We will face these exciting new challenges the same way we’ve done everything else since early this year…. Together.
CrossFit is spreading like a wild fire across the nation right now, and I truly think it’s for more than just the fitness. CrossFit offers something that everyone should have, and that is community. Real, authentic, do-life-together, blood sweat and tears, family style- community.
There is much to be said about having somewhere to go. We all desire our own form of escape. Whether you are a parent that needs a break from the kids, a working professional that needs an hour away from the office, or you are just looking to hang around other people. CrossFit created that somewhere. The actual building doesn’t seem to matter much. It can be a garage that has been turned into a make shift gym with a driveway and street to run on, right Damon? Simply having a common place to call “home” keeps the community alive and growing.
It’s one thing to come and go somewhere unnoticed. But it’s quite another thing to go somewhere and actually belong. At CrossFit, and especially at White Tail, everyone belongs. How do I know? Your name goes on the board. The time clock levels the playing field because it counts down the same “3…2..1...Go!” for everyone in the room. CrossFit has no regard for age, race, gender, job, money, or status; everyone belongs. It doesn’t matter if you RXed your work out or scaled back, it doesn’t matter if you had the fastest or slowest time. Your name and your WOD go up on that board alongside everyone else. Your name belongs there. You belong there. You are part of the family.
So, not only has CrossFit created a place to go and belong, but it has also created a place where you can struggle. We live in a society that saves face and pretends like we have our lives under perfect control. Not with CrossFit. You can’t fake muscle ups, snatches, or a timed 400m run. You can’t hide that you’re exhausted and sore. You can’t pretend to knock time off your FRAN or KAREN. It’s one of the few places you are allowed to openly struggle. You are allowed to start with the basics. You are allowed to plateau out and then start building again. You are allowed to fail and then coach Amanda or Mike is going to encourage you to fail forward and keep pushing. It is good for the soul to struggle and then have a community come alongside you to keep you moving forward.
We all need community; we all want a place to go and belong, a place to struggle, and a place to encourage other people. People like Damon start gyms like White Tail CrossFit for the obvious health benefits, but also because he believes in the power of community and that it impacts lives. Amanda, Mike, Eric and Damon are all coaches at White Tail for the right reasons. They all care, they want to challenge people, and ultimately want to enjoy being a part of a growing and changing community. So come join them! Because at White Tail CrossFit it isn't just about being healthy and fit, it's about the community of people around you. And that makes all the difference.