The Hard Goodbye

Three rounds, 12 – 9 – 6 reps, for time of:

135 pound Squat clean and jerk

Muscle up

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Rico, we’ve trained together so many times, for so long, I can’t imagine what it would be like without you.

You were always there.

Before I joined Petranek Fitness all those years ago, you were there. Before I got my Level 1 and found out who I was, you were there.  I talked about the Zone and you did it. You were the first to follow me here, to Paradiso CrossFit, when it was just a hole in the wall, a chance and a dream to do it the way we wanted it done.

We had nothing, we made mistakes, devastating, harrowing mistakes, and diso and I watched as people and friends fell away, and still you stayed.

I’ve been writing this post in my head since you told me you were leaving however many months ago.  I can’t say good bye to you objectively, like I could with the others, thereby forcing me to write the most selfish blog I’ve ever posted on a public forum.

  You always cared about others, welcomed them in before I knew how, made them feel welcome and at home.  I accused you of being soft, of having a soft, bleeding heart, but the truth is I learned from you the value of empathy and compassion.  Don’t remember if I ever told you that; probably didn’t have the guts.  A gym should be so lucky to have you. 

It’s times like these I wish being a CrossFit trainer meant you didn’t get involved in your clients lives. That you didn’t get to know their fears and hopes and dreams and goals, over how many nights and months and years of training and eating and partying and dinners and breakfasts and trips.  Remember when your drunk ass got kicked out of Improv for New Years? And Sherwin followed you?  Or when you signed up for the Nancy Challenge and you couldn’t overhead squat to save your life and kept looking for me to try to fix you?  I always found that funny.  Remember when we all lived in the same complex and it became CrossFit Place, the dorm experience of a lifetime;  making 11pm Vons Mud Pie runs and It’s It runs and laughing hysterically at Jersey Shore?

  Or when my gimp ass had to limp the entire 10K of Volkslauv and we watched helplessly as other teams and couples passed us?  Hahaha, you hated that.  And I hate writing this.  I wish these moments, piled up and collected over a slow process of years, with me carelessly, stupidly, thinking it could go on forever, I wish it didn’t result in me learning to accept you as one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had, and loving you as such, and right now, late at night, composing this bullshit, fucking good bye post.

My friend, my brother, take care of yourself.  May you travel far, and live free.     


Eddie ‘Rico’ Malone.

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