James can be reached at TwinFreaks CrossFit, where he is an owner and trainer. James coaches barbell lifting classes and CrossFit classes. Contact him by email at james@twinfreakscrossfit.com or by phone at 720-204-2631.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

the Grinder

Excuse me. Maybe it's the endorphins.

Or maybe it's that I did everything right today.

Or maybe I got the endorphins because I did everything right today.

I had been sick for nearly two weeks which for me is devastating because I rarely get sick.  Most of those days I didn't feel horrible, but I knew if I went to jiu jitsu at some point my nose would run on my unfortunate partner, so I didn't train.

So yesterday I felt almost but not quite good enough to train, and I was sure I would wake up today ready for anything.  That actually did happen, but with my sometimes terminal insomnia, I woke up ready for anything at 4 am, and as is usually the case when that happens - although my nose was clear - I felt like dog shit by about 8 am when I had to go to work.

And so I did go to work.  I performed my  menial job competently, and I dealt with my co worker's ignorance without undue strain.  Nonetheless I was ebbing by the time I had to go to school.  School unfortunately is always draining.  While I can and do learn there and sometimes even enjoy it, the class is usually dominated by the incessant squeaking of a few 20 year olds who don't understand their chatter really doesn't prove how smart they are.

So when I left school I was tired and had a headache.

I had not squatted yet at that point, and I tried momentarily to rationalize skipping a session.  I knew I was out of food, had to go to the grocery store, and I had about two hours before I had to train jiu jitsu.  Further I knew that after jiu jitsu class, there would be a grinder, a lengthy match against an opponent for the competition team, which I assumed from past experience would be 20 minutes.

But I squat everyday, which means that if I skip a day, I do not squat everyday, so I more or less have to squat.

So I squatted the minimum,a 315 double, and left.  As a friend of mine asked about the Squat Everyday Program, "how do you finish watching Sex and the City without elliptical time?"  I don't.  I have the squat and leave routine down to 8 minutes, so it really isn't a hardship once I give in and make myself go to the gym.

And then a couple hours after that came the Grinder.  It turned out to be 25 minutes, and I was paired with a new but decent blue belt who at least approximated my own weight.

I can't really write what happened there.  I know that my guard broke down very quickly, so the Grinder turned into 24 minutes of training from atypical positions I don't seek out.  And it happened, somehow, that I flowed.  True at my age I flow like a glacier, but all the same I flowed.  I was doing snake mounts and break dance passes, and I think probably I did a toreando pass which I never do.  I just know that at some point I had a double pants grip and then I found myself on top of side control which usually describes a toreando.

I could tell you how many submissions I caught, but I won't.  The point is that I flowed like a glacier.

And too in the middle of this day that started poorly and ended perfectly, I got texts from people who want to pay me to train them.  That seems, in part at least, to refute criticism from those who say I didn't do CrossFit right.

And so all of this makes me love the people who love and forget the people who don't.

And here, maybe, are the endorphins, but right now I want to eat raw meat and sleep outside.

So once, right now, everything is perfect with the world.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I do Smile too

I rarely read my own blog.  I just do it and put it out usually without any editing other than fixing whatever mistakes would embarrass an English major who managed a lower GPA than I did.  I realized though that in my last blog I strongly insinuated if not outright said that no one understood what I was doing.

Someone did, and it went like this.

In the last few weeks I was accused of driving away gym members.  I was reasonably sure this was untrue since I actively socialize with many of those people, I routinely text most of the rest of them, and there is a grand total of two people who I do not know why they left the gym.

And one of those people I text, I lost.  I had to get a new phone, and I didn't have her number.

It happened one night that I saw her.

She asked me what was new, and after explaining that I changed phones, I told her I was selling my half of the gym.

She looked at me with the jaw dropped utter horror look usually reserved for movies.

And after a suitable dramatic pause, she said this:

"Where are you going to train?"

Of course I had figured that out some weeks ago.

And so she knew that I knew that the only thing that matters is training, and I knew that she knew what I do.

And it happened, yes, that I smiled.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Freebirds & Bear Claws

Yes, I'm a freebird.

I no longer have any association with CrossFit or any of their affiliates.

I'm not sure if I'll ever disclose publicly much of what went into that over the last five or six years.  I've realized few, actually no, people understand what I was trying to do, what I did, or how I did it, so a post mortem wouldn't be particularly helpful to anyone.

Some parts of the story are ridiculously funny, like that one time I had a stalker for a couple of years or those  times I was completely financially broke for a while, and it might be irresponsible not to eventually report those in case anyone needs the entertainment.

And I know too that, "what do you think of CrossFit?" is not a real question.  I'd have to ask my interlocutor what session at which CrossFit was under discussion.  I've done this long enough to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some of that, too, is ridiculously funny, and I'd be remiss not to report on some of those like the 100 bar roll outs.

But for now, and for once, I get to think of me.  I have some specific, ambitious yet attainable goals that I will report here.  I'm fortunate to have been accepted by a perfect team to help me reach my goals.

But look, I can't think of me for very long without thinking of you, the people who helped make me during this time.

A few years ago I developed a fascination with Mongolian culture, and I especially liked the story of Genghis Khan being pursued accompanied only by a handful of remaining loyalists and being forced to hide in the mountains.  The men were compelled by necessity eventually to drink brackish water, and thereafter for the rest of his life Genghis Khan took care of those who drank the black water with him.

I didn't do any of that.

I took the 7:30 am crew to Winchell's Donuts for bear claws.

The point though is that figuratively a lot of you ate bear claws with me.

All of you have a piece of my heart.

One of you only got a bit more.

And what good is all that?  I'm not sure other than that I'm doing pull ups and squatting and stuff like that and I hope you are too.

Some of you have me on text and you'll find I'm free with help.  If you don't have me on text and you want to find me, well, start looking for a place where people do pull ups and squats and stuff like that.

Lastly and most importantly, I want to sincerely thank those of you who understood some of what I was trying to do, some of what I did, and some of how I tried to do it, and who gave me much and needed support over the last few weeks.

You guys can find me at Winchell's.