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Archive for the ‘Disasters’ Category

Some New Equipment, a Little Remodeling and Murphy’s Law

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I meant to post this last Friday night, but since most our staff, including myself, were up most of the night working on improvements to The Cave,  I simply ran out of gas and had to go to sleep.  (Just as well, though, because now I can include in the blog post what happened on the very next day, less than 12 hours later, which considering the circumstances is at least as comical as it is tragic.)  Check out these picture of our diligent staff working on the new look of our office area:

Russ, JB, Amy, Tom Hutchman, Amanda & Brian working away in The Cave's office area

Russ, JB, Amy, Tom Hutchman, Amanda & Brian working away in The Cave's office area

What a diligent group!

What a diligent group!

You know, rumor has it that Tom Hutchman actually owns The Cave,... well, at least if you watch American Ninja Warrior!

You know, rumor has it that Tom Hutchman actually owns The Cave,... well, at least if you watch American Ninja Warrior!

Rumor also has it that Brian Oki is the worst one-handed painter in the world, if you listen to Amanda, anyways.

Rumor also has it that Brian Oki is the worst one-handed painter in the world, if you listen to Amanda, anyways.

There's Drey.  He looks very artistic.  Is he actually working?  I can't tell.

There's Drey. He looks very artistic. Is he actually working? I can't tell.

Looks more like he's posing to me.  Drey has a cat-like parkour grace about him.

Looks more like he's posing to me. Drey has a cat-like parkour grace about him.

Here's one with Drey working!  And.... this shot's for the ladies in the house.

Here's one with Drey working! And.... this shot's for the ladies in the house.

In the meantime Roger was busy running wires and moving his desk out of the CF area mezzanine loft.  I mainly worked on the new dyno setup for the climbing wall.  (An explanation of that coming in a subsequent blog post.)   I’d like to recognize JB Douglass, Andrey Pfening, Tom Hutchman (volunteering!), Ryder Darcy, and Travis Furlanic, for coming in and working so diligently.  Also, a special thanks to Amy Dockus,  and Amanda for staying extra late to make sure we completed the painting of the front room in the office area and to Russell Bruel for heading up the whole remodel project.   And now for the Comic relief:  Nick held a self-defense seminar on Saturday from 1-5pm (which was awesome, as usual.  You should take the next one if you haven’t yet.  Keep checking our events section on the website for the next time one is scheduled )  During one of the simulations Sally, one of our lady CrossFitters, walks in on Nick who was pretending to be a murderer and was repeatedly stabbing Sally’s friend with a (plastic) knife.  Instead of panicking, Sally straight up tackles Nick and knocks him into the wall.  I know who I want next to me when Mr. Crazy Bad Guy shows up!

So this is what happens when you take the scenarios from the self-defense seminar indoors!  Poor Nick was straight up tackled by Sandy, one of our lady CrossFitters.  That's what he gets for trying to trying to stab her friend with a knife!  Well, it was supposed to be a simulation.

So this is what happens when you take the scenarios from the self-defense seminar indoors! Poor Nick was straight up tackled by Sally. Damn girl, take it easy. It's just a simulation!

So this was about 12 hours after we had just painted and remodeled!  You can imagine the staff’s reaction when I texted them the picture of the broken wall.  Amanda’s: “Seriously…!?”  Honestly, Nick and I could not stop laughing about the whole calamity.

And here's the newly painted, then broken then patched wall.

And here's the newly painted, then broken then patched wall.

We also acquired some new equipment; I hope all of you CrossFitters have noticed it.  Well, the work at The Cave is never done.  And don’t worry, fun’s not over.  There’s more to come shortly.

The Usefulness of Being Strong

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

One of my favorite quotes by Mark Rippetoe is, “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and generally more useful.” For me, being fit isn’t about looking good or even feeling good, it’s about being hard to kill.  It is also very important to be fit enough to help when somebody else is in trouble.

It’s funny, I’ve had multiple people say things like, “well, when am I ever going to have to run a mile?”  Or “when am I ever going to need to pull somebody out of a burning car?”  Well, you never know.  Wouldn’t it be better to train for it and be able to do something like that if the situation arose?

Case in point:

The bottom line is that the world is a chaotic and dangerous place, despite our best attempts to convince ourselves otherwise.  The more fit you are, the better you’re going to be able to deal with that chaos and danger.

See you in the gym.

Exercise as a Buffer to Injury

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Roger and I had a conversation the other day in which he hypothesized that people get hurt in the gym more than they get hurt in real life.  Wait, let me back up because that sounds really bad– that’s not the kind of thing you wan to say if you actually want people to train with you.

This knee has been tinted red to show you that it's hurt.

This knee has been tinted red to show you that it's hurt.

When I was in school to be an EMT, we were told to make mistakes.  If you make a mistake in the classroom, little real harm is done.  Maybe your ego is bruised, but you learn something and can keep going.  If you made the same mistake a real life situation, you might kill somebody.

While getting an injury in the gym and making a mistake in class are very different, the concept is the same.  The gym is a controlled environment, just like a classroom.  If you get hurt during a workout, you can stop and assess your injury.  You can treat it immediately and prioritize the rest of your day around how to best take care of yourself.

However, if you were called upon to perform a grueling physical task outside of the gym– say carrying a 300lb patient down a flight of stairs, pulling some poor soul of out a burning car, or arresting a a parolee on PCP– then getting injured isn’t really an option for you.  If you twist your ankle, pull your back or blow out your knee on that call, you could hurt somebody, let somebody die or get yourself or your coworkers killed.  These types of situations are the reason why CrossFit was initially (and still is) popular with the law enforcement, fire, and military communities, people who can’t afford to get hurt on the job.  Chances are very good that no matter how bad things get, you’re not going to expend as much energy in an emergency situation as you will doing “Eva,” or “Fran.”  And if you do, you’ll have the advantage of being more fit all around and more mentally ready to expend that kind of energy.

“Yeah, but I’m not a firefighter or a soldier, so why should I train like that?”  Maybe you like to actually do things for fun, things like scuba diving, rock climbing, backpacking or skiing.  If you blow your shoulder out while rock climbing, or break your ankle while backpacking, you could very easily die.  But what if you work in a cubical and like to watch movies and play video games for fun?  Two things.  1) You never know when being strong and resilient might save your life– car accidents, fires, maniacs, and natural disasters aren’t things that you can schedule, but they are things that you can physically and mentally prepare for.  2)  The more fit you are, the less likely you are to become afflicted with numerous medical conditions, like diabetes, and heart disease.

Now make no mistake, I’m not saying that you should come into the gym and try to get injured.  I’m also not saying that CrossFit,  gymnastics,  parkour, or judo is any more dangerous than any other type of activity (and a whole lot less dangerous than sitting on the couch, at least in the long term).  Any physical activity has a risk of injury, but subjecting yourself to potentially injurious workouts in the gym can actually create a buffer against injuries in real life.  It goes right back to Mark Rippetoe’s saying, “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”  But I guess the point is that not only will you be harder to kill, you’ll also be harder to injure and faster to recover if you do get injured.

Struggle is Relative- The Tsunami and Keeping the Big Picture in the face of all the small things

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

It’s always been interesting to me how the human psyche is set up so that we are preoccupied, absorbed and worried by the current challenge or issue at hand that can make a difference in our lives, however significant or insignificant.  For example, one person may be stressed about changing jobs, someone else may feel lonely and worried that the person they like isn’t showing any interest in them.  Someone else wants the latest cell phone model and that would make them happy and excited (at least for the moment).  One person wants to upgrade their car and someone with no transportation would be happy to have a car at all.  Seraphina just texted me on Friday that she passed her permit test and she was obviously very happy and proud.  ( This kind of thing is a big deal if you’re a teenager, you know.)   Currently, the CFM management is consummed with remodeling the expansion in 417 and the mirrors for the martial arts and dance studio.  We’re pretty stressed about it all being done on time before the new dance classes start on March 15th.  This issue may pales with a death or terminal illness in the family.  The point here is that we as people, largely grow accustomed to what we have and the current state that we’re in and “happiness” or “unhappiness”, (or at least the perception thereof)  often depends more on a change in our current state than on what we already have.  Give a starving man a slice of bread and he feels great joy and relief.  Give a spoiled rich kid a VW Jetta and he may be pissed that he didn’t get a beamer.  (Ok, extreme example here, but you get the idea.)  Many of us go through life planning, goal-setting, training, studying or scheming in an attempt to overcome our little obstacles and achieve our little prizes that make us happy, and often rightly so, but it’s very important to have a self-check, keep things in perspective,  and see the big picture, and that’s where the tsunami comes in.

This is a different level of struggle

This is a different level of struggle

 As you already know, half way around the world off the coast of Japan, an earthquake caused a tsunami that has washed away the lives of thousands of people, in what may be the most earthquake/tsunami ready nation in the world.  If something like this happened off the coast of San Francisco, we would be completely screwed and you wouldn’t be worried about shaving seconds off your Fran time, your deadlift PR, your consecutive double-unders, or even the upcoming CrossFit Games.  (Suddenly, even Ninja Warrior may not seem quite as important.)   The main concern would be locating any surviving family members and loved  ones (if you were lucky enough to have survived yourself) while having enough to eat to not starve.  A disaster like this should trump whatever else is going on.   We’re planning on organizing a fundraiser.   There will be a workout and/or a disaster preparedness clinic where proceeds and sales of several gift certificates will be donated to tsunami relief funds,  probably for Sat., March 26th or possibly later.   We will let you know more details as time unfolds.  In the meantime, here are a couple of links to check out:

Pictures of the disaster: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/03/massive_earthquake_hits_japan.html  (Boston.com / Boston Globe)

You can go to the following link to donate to the American Red Cross and help support the relief efforts:

http://www.causes.com/campaigns/154523.   When you consider that there are people who are completley devestated and would be happy to know that their homes haven’t been washed away by a 30ft wave or that some of their loved ones are still alive, not having an I-pad II may not seem like such a big deal!  Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering any time to help with, organize, or manage the upcoming event.