The Road

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mobility/Warm up:

2 rounds:
10 Inchworms (in place or across room)
20 Bar activations, vary the grips
10 Air Squats

Gymnastics Strength: 

5 Rounds or 15 minutes for Quality:
2 Legless Rope Climbs
5 Strict Handstand Pushups OR 15 pushups 

     Notes: If you have to rest more than 1 minute between movements, scale down to an easier variation. If you cannot peform 5 strict handstand pushups, but 15 regular pushups is “too easy,” just rest less between your sets and don’t allow any break in the midline. No partial ROM HSPU for today.


9-15-21 reps
Hang Power Cleans (135/115/75)
KB Jerks (53/35/26)

-10 minute cap-

      Notes:  The goal is to perform these sets unbroken.  For example, if you fail on rep 20 of the 21 set, you have to start over and perform all 21 reps again.  If this is intimidating for you, feel free to sub Dumbbells for KBs as needed.

Summer Six Packs:

20 GHD Sit ups
20 Hip Extensions
15 Toes to Bar
15 Good mornings




This is Part Four of a story I started several weeks ago.  Part One, Part Two, Part Three . . . 

     I loved MDR from the moment I saw her.  Diso and I both did.  I would sit on the stairs and just stare at her, when she had nothing.  Some of you don’t know this but underneath the rubber mats and wood is a smooth and shiny, blood red colored concrete floor, while tile and concrete lie directly underneath under The Obsession (our nickname for MDR’s pull up bar.)  The railing on the stairs?  We had to put that there by law, for safety and liability reasons.  Anyway I would sit on the stairs at night and just look at the bare boned warehouse we secured and imagine a class of 20 + people doing Grace.  Because the stairs had no railings at the time, I would stand at the top, grab one of the three ropes we had and swing from the stairs, rope to rope, and try to see if I could make it to the pull up bar.  If you look at the top left picture on our website ^^way up there to the left^^ you can see my goofy ass swinging like a kid from our old left rope, long since replaced.

     All fun aside, I learned a lot during that time.  I learned there is a difference between fighting for what you want and keeping it once you’ve got it.  I had to choose between a safe, secure job that I would have hated or the precarious, uncertain job I would have loved.  It was a terrifying choice, but also a rare opportunity.  And just as I explained in Part One, you cannot understand the light without understanding the dark.  Diso and I discussed many things in the beginning:  what we could do, what it would look like, but also, what could go wrong.  What could happen on our road?  I told him that I joined him not only because we got along splendidly and our differences could serve the gym, but also because I was smarting from a negative experience from my previous gym.  Not just myself, but a contingent of other people as well.  A bunch of us left at once, and more over time, and the transition was not smooth.  I told him it happened there, and it could happen here, to us.  

     One day, I told him, we may have a black belt with people of his/her own, and they might leave, and we have to be ready for that.  Sure enough six months after we open at MDR, two of our high profile guys inform us they are planning on opening their own box, and possibly several miles away.  Because I was in their position not one year before, I knew how they felt, knew their hopes and fears, knew what other peoples’ reactions would be, both staff and clientele, and knew where both myself and CFHQ stood on the topic.  I knew, both inside and outside the gym, that they would make enemies of friends, and friends of enemies, who would forsake them, who would embrace them, and how it would happen.  Diso knew how hard it would be for them to find a box, how much bullshit red tape they would have to swim through with the city and the neighbors, how slow and annoying the process would be.  It was and still is taboo to talk about, but I wrote a blog about it at the time, because I wanted our people to know exactly where their staff stood on the subject, at least one of us.  I am reprinting a portion of it here . . . 

” . . . I’m also going to segue into a topic that is sensitive among CF owners and trainers, hardly broached on a public forum, and has passionate stances on both sides:  CF boxes opening within miles or feet from each other, and often from members of the older box.  This is a good thing.  Not only for CrossFit, but for members of both boxes, and the community at large.  Usually the scare comes out of ’losing’ members to the new box if they’re cheaper/cooler/better than the old box.  I don’t want to rant about this (not in the usual way), so here’s a paraphrased amalgamation of hours of debate and discussion on the topic:

Client:  “Zeb, a new box is opening 30 feet away from us!”
Zeb:  “Awesome.  Do we know who they are?”
Client:  “They used to be members from here!”
Zeb:  “Even better.  We can cross promote, and hold multi-box events.  Box to box Murph!”
Client:  “Aren’t you worried we’ll lose people?”
Zeb:  “No.”
Client:  “You don’t think we’ll lose people?”
Zeb:  “I can guarantee we will.”
Client:  “Don’t you want to keep them?”
Zeb:  “They were going to leave anyway.  We were only babysitting them until they did.”
Client:  “What if the new box starts poaching our athletes?  Isn’t that unethical?”
Zeb:  “Probably.”
Client:  “Isn’t it disrespectful?”
Zeb:  “Most assuredly.”
Client:  “Don’t you give a shit?!”
Zeb:  “No.”
Client:  “What are you going to do about this?”
Zeb:  “Congratulate them for starters.”
Client:  “That’s all?!”
Zeb:  “I’ll promote their website on our own, support them in whatever way I can, and encourage
our people to attend their Grand Opening.”
Client:  “But this is mad.  What are you trying to pull?”
Zeb:  “400 lbs in the Deadlift, but man it’s taking me forev-”
Client:  “This is serious!”
Zeb:  “Hahaha . . .  Okay.”
Client:  “What if they offer cheaper prices?  Better events?”
Zeb:  “Sounds like excellent value to me.”
Client:  “They will try to outdo us and outperform us in every manner.”
Zeb:  “I would be ashamed to promote them were they any other way.”
Client:  “You will lose money.”
Zeb:  “Their opening will make me more money, but I can understand how it would seem that way to you.”
Client:  “They’re going to take some good people.”
Zeb:  “‘Take’, like with a gun?”
Client:  “No, but -”
Zeb:  “Force?”
Client:  “No, but -”
Zeb:  “Threat?”
Client:  “You know what I mean!  Don’t you want to hold on to them?”
Zeb:  ”I can’t ‘hold on’ to them any more than they can ‘take’ them.”
Client:  “You trust your people that much?”
Zeb:  “Everywhere and always, yes.”
Client:  “But you could lose everything.”
Zeb:  “Yes.”
Client:  “Isn’t it scary?”
Zeb:  “Terribly.”
Client:  “So you’re scared?”
Zeb:  “No.”
Client:  “How can you be this way?”
Zeb:  “There are people who will stay with us no matter what, people who like us but will leave for something better, and people who want to leave but have nowhere else to go.  New, more, and closer boxes make the ‘fitting’ process easier, and it’s just healthy for everyone.”
Client:  “What about the people in this neighborhood who’ve never heard of CrossFit before?”
Zeb:  “They will soon have two excellent boxes to choose from.  Hopefully more in the next few
Client:  “You know not everyone sees it the way you do.”
Zeb:  “They can see things and run their own business in whatever manner they choose, and I will fight for the freedom that allows for everyone to do this.”
Client: “This altruistic vision of yours will cost you dearly.”
Zeb: “This has nothing to do with altruism.”
Client: “But you can’t be doing this just for the good of mankind.”
Zeb:  “I could give a shit about the good of mankind.”
Client:  “So who the hell are you doing this for?”
Zeb:  “Why the Remnant of course.  I grow weary of this talk.  Wanna workout?”
Client:  “Alright, but this isn’t over! . . .”
     I get into a lot of trouble for seeing things this way.  Indeed, very few things make me feel alone as this philosophy. Nonetheless,  this story is being told because it was an important part of PCF’s journey, and it exposed or helped expose not only where we stood on the issue but also helped solidify us moving forward.  In time, MDR grew like wild fire, and Diso was on the hunt for a second location . . .
Continued next week.



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