Thursday, July 30, 2009

31st Annual St. Louis Corkball Championship

This weekend, 01 August 2009, is the 31st annual Corkball championship. This event will run all day long at the Jefferson Barracks fields. Ball, food & drink and no running - all day long; not too bad.

The teams are matched. It Sportmans vs. Lemay I; Gateway vs. Swansea Improvement Dist.: So. St. Louis Corkball vs. Lemay II; and Red vs. Cougars. Jay moore is out of town and not able to make it this year. This is the first time since the beginning of the tournament their team has not made it. River City Pub is also not going to be able to field a team this year but hope to be back next year.

All the match ups are good ones. Lemay and Sportsmans are going head-to-head right off the bat along with So. St. Louis Corkball and Lemay II. These should be good games to watch. The talk is that Ray Timmons is bringing a new good luck towel this year so watch out for Sportmans!

I hope the Swansea Boy do well but they are also up against a good team.

And, Denny Rodner gets to feed on a bunch of pups. Maybe not though, if the pups can hit a curveball.

Good luck to all and let's keep it a fun event!
- Posted from (The one stop network for Corkball information)

For more information on time and place. Post questions to comments.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Day At The Crossfit Games

The 3rd Annual Crossfit Games took place this past weekend in Aromas, CA. Check out the great article covering the games seen on

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Fog Of War

Robert S. McNamara - 7 year Secretary of Defense serving over the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Home front and Vietnam; Among other things - passed today at age 93.

Check out his documentary by Errol Morris, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara.

You can find it on Google Video here: Click Here

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Getting Some Press!

Check it out. A link back to this blog from the Lake Front 7's tournament website. It made my day... although I wish I had proofread a bit better. Ill care a little more now.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lake Front 7's Rugby - Kirkwood High School - Milwaukee, WI

Veteran's Park - Site of Lake Front 7's Rugby - Milwaukee, WI

This weekends travels were subject to the debut of the Kirkwood High School Rugby 7's Team... debuting at a glorious and excellently run tournament taking place on the waterfront of Milwaukee, WI. I have never been to Milwaukee - though it was extraordinary weather in the middle of summer - but from what I saw, of downtown, the lakefront, third ward and suburbs, it is a very nice city.

A bit of background: Although the history goes back further - after all I am an alumni of the team - the KWRFC is two years old, and this was our first ever 7's tournament. We were scrambling to put a team together and in the end we fielded nine athletes - two of whom have never even practiced 7's before - and made the trip and took the field.

I have played in a number of 7's tournaments. And as was my first experience - and I am sure was apart of our athletes or even if a veteran of 15's Rugby - you just cannot truly describe... explain what it is like to play 7's, especially a 7's tournament on the scale of the Lake Front 7's - the atmosphere is/was just so much different, something all it's own. Downtown on the waterfront; A summer concert providing live music across a bay; 85 teams + family, friends and fans - I ran into two fellow ruggers from my GT days just by chance - A number of women's teams (and these girls are not the usual keep at arm's length fare. 7's draws the athletes, the physically fit, and there were some fit ones shaking their hips about). A test match is a test match. However, this tournament, can only be described as a Rugby Driven Rock n' Roll Sexually Charged Stomp... and nothing less.

And There Were Nine

We came. We gained valuable experience. We had fun. A great 36hr 800mi Rugby road trip with a detour into Chicago for a walk about and dinner. Rugby is the best way to travel. Or at least it gives you the best stories.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer 2009 Kickoff - A Weekend Warrior Adventure

~ 70 Pedaled Miles, Movie & Dinner, Drinks with a View and a Rockin' Train Ride Home - I Swept Myself Off My Feet!

A cold winter and a volatile spring.  Whether official or not - dust off the bike, pack the kit & declare summer - I'm going on holiday and off on adventure.  

Prior to this past Memorial Day weekend, thinking of getting on the saddle and looking for new routes, I came across a few articles describing Century Rides (100mi bike rides).  Sometimes things just get in my head... and stay there.  This was no different and the idea was quite exciting.  Logically, it made no sense.  The longest continuous bike ride I had previously accomplished was a 50k.  Though during a triathlon - but being two years ago - I haven't exactly kept a consistent cycling routine.  In fact, I had just gone out on my first ride of the year the week prior to this adventure - To the grocery store and back - and despite the fact that I took the scenic route... see above about logic. 

The Prep: Google is astounding.  With one night of research, mostly using Google Maps, I was able to detail a route way beyond left and right turns.  Though not flawless - I did encounter one significant error in planning - for the most part not only did the route match what I expected, but thanks to street view I could plan according to which road had a good shoulder and even see and prepare for holding up traffic on the bridge into Washington, MO which did not have a shoulder.  That being said, the night before I packed my kit for early departure.  Water & fuel including two delicious PB & Honeys, social cloths, phone, wallet, camera, pump, extra tube, chaffing stuff blah blah blah; I packed a lot and withstanding doubts early in the ride for the most part it all came in handy. 

The Ride:  First off, the conditions.  If they were any better they would have taken place in my imagination.  Departure occurred at approx 0645 from Clayton towards the Page extension.  Overcast and even a light drizzle at times - cool wet air is a good start.  Upon reaching the Page extension the sun began to shine through, but only at times, and the air was still brisk.  Before engaging the Katy trial I first made a detour to Crossfit St. Charles. The owner had recently moved and opened up a new facility and I thought to check it out.  This made a good pit stop to fill up on one of those PB & Honeys and get some fluids down. After a bit of socializing I continued on to the Katy trail.  Here is where I encountered my flaw in planning.  Rather than back tracking towards the main road to the Katy, maps showed a neighborhood backing up to the trail on a direct shot from my position at Xfit St. Charles.  Two miles through steep bluffs found only private homes and 'no trespassing' signs. I had the feeling they were directed at 'take a shortcut' types... that would be me.  Disheartened, I backtracked through the same bluffs and made the Katy with legs hurting and had a moment to myself.  This was the last abort point.  Bike the 20 miles back home the way you came or set out for what you came to do.  Lets get to Washington and figure it out from there.  

It became quite a trip from here on. I must say the 35 or so miles between Katy entry and Washington had me hurting and then some.  A smooth fine gravel trail intermittently populated, encased in a tree shaded bubble with but seldom looks through to the Missouri river flowing parallel to my labored pedals... an ever increasing sore bottom - Whatever, Ill walk normal next week, get to Washington and figure it out from there

Its a funny feeling to be so out of your element.  I told nobody about this try and I knew I would not make the full century.  But I was out there testing and reaping the rewards.  A stop or two to shake the legs and stretch the back.  A stop at Defiance, Mo for a fuel up, map check and relax.  The mind & body respond to different stimulus. 

Now my thoughts on iPods and exercising are quite entrenched.  For one, I like to hear and feel my surroundings while on the move, not drown them out.  Digging deeper, an article I heard on the radio recently concerned the San Francisco Transportation Department and how they train their employees to be on the lookout for joggers, suits with earpieces, moms and teenagers alike crossing intersections aimlessly while chatting or listening to the new deal.  Along with a very sad story in which a high school student, in tune to his MP3 at highest levels while walking home along his familiar train tracked route, failed to hear its signal; on the move my earpieces stay out.  However, encased in my Katy bubble and minus intersections and fatiguing quite; iPod on and favorite Trace album up; Keeping time to the beat while breaking out to visions of a bright sun beating down on vast farmland plains to my south, the homestretch to Washington, I continued with a renewed smile.  

Making a long story just a bit longer, I soon found myself in Washington, MO approximately 7.5 hrs later.  I admitted to myself then that my bike ride would go no farther that the present city, and calling on an article I had read during my ride research I made my way to Main Street and the local Amtrak station.  Train to Kirkwood, MO departing at 2015.  

Time enough for a layout next to the river.  Time enough for a change - 7.5hrs in bike tights and I was feeling... rather compressed - and with the help of internet via phone, a quick bike to the local movie theatre to catch a screening of Terminator Salvation.  I had high expectations that were not met, being quite a fan of the franchise, but a good entertaining movie none the less.  Time enough for dinner - Johnny G's - overlooking the river; where talk of American Cars roused the most feathers. Time enough for a drink at a bar - to my liking named Marquardt's Landing - situated across from the train station.  And when the train was delayed forty five minutes, time enough for another drink in my bike getup admist the entering night crowd.  Buzzing and on a delight, the train upon entering was quite the joyous atmosphere.  A sparse group of passengers returning and traveling from and to holiday stomps with families and friends. With beers to enjoy the ride - I too swaggered my way to the drink car and back - the swaying florescent cars and one time conversations laid a timeless aura over the days travel.  To and fro...

Thanks Bro for the ride home from the station. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Texas & Athletic Trainers

Tomorrow I will be attending the National Athletic Trainers Association annual get together held in the great city of San Antonio, TX.  Not much to say other than I am pretty excited.  

I once thought about going back to school in pursuit of the Athletic Trainers career, but without going into that thought process, it will suffice to say that I am of the belief that this profession, at least to me, would be very satisfying. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kirkwood 7's Rugby is Official

I am pleased to announce the formation of the Kirkwood High School 7's Rugby Club.  The Kirkwood 15's Team has been in the making the past two years; This summer we will continue to grow as a club by participating in summer 7's rugby. 

Our first tournament is in two weeks.  Lakefront 7's Rugby Tournament in Milwaukee, WI on 27 June 2009.  

The past few weeks of the summer we have been mingling with the St. Louis Bombers, running some touch and picking up a few tips on the way.  Now that our first tournament is secured, we will move forth with more specific training up until the tournament.

I, along with the squad, are very excited. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reengaging the Blogosphere - A New Mission Statement

Russian Landscape Painting - Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC. Forget who it was by but I liked it.

Just about two months have passed since my last post - and that is quite a bit of time in the world of blogs I suppose - or in any world for that matter these days.  

Let me begin by saying that I have been busy and under circumstance.  Physically, since just about the time of my last post, I have dealt with a pulled left hamstring, a sprained left knee - which I am still reminded of time to time - and a rolled left ankle.  Travel has been quite extensive with visits all over the Mid West and Deep South.  Work has been busy, I sought refuge in nightlife, it has rained a lot, there have been a lot of good movies coming out, a bird pooped on my car.  Let me finish by saying... I have been lazy. 

However, I have been lazy in posting only because circumstance has changed.  This blog was originally created to follow a group of dudes learning and pursuing the efficacy of Crossfit.  That is no longer and the dudes have gone their own ways. Perhaps a fault of the programming - that would be me - or perhaps a condition of timing or...whatever. 

Anyways, writing is fun and there is always something to share - I want to write and I'll write what I want - so allow me to reengage into the blogosphere, with no thought or theme, but a direction that will develop in time. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kirkwood Rugby Football Club
61st Annual Gateway Ruggerfest
Tier II Champions
High School Boys Division
Record: 5 - 0

After posting the above news, I almost opened a Twitter account just so that I could share this great news with more people.   Then I found something even better...Nanobloggling! Check it out!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

STL RuggerFest 2009

Rugby, Rugby & more Rugby!!!

Teams from all over the Midwest will be meeting at Creve Coeur Park for matches all day Saturday & most of Sunday, this weekend 05 - 06 April 2009.  I'll be out there and just may end up sticking around for the post tournament social that will be going on.  Therefore, you should join me.  For more information click here or post to comments.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

28 March 2009

Lance & Don and their first test with Fran

Today I worked out with, new to Crossfit, Lance and Don.  Forget the introductions and speeches, Let's Do Fran Then We'll Talk.  

WOD: Fran

For time perform the following...

21 - 15 - 9 

Rx weight is #95.  Both Lance and Don performed at #65 with Lance turning in a time of approximately 10:10 and Don 10:20.  

It is quite a thing to breakaway from your norm and dive right in to such a deceptively brutal workout such as Fran.  In fact, I would not recommend doing so in most cases as mastery of technique should first be learned, but whatever, they did great and may have even had fun.  

If you are new to Crossfit, have a seat and take some time to look around their website,

The Crossfit method is not for everybody, but if fitness is your game and commitment is your practice, then it may just change your life as it has mine. 

Don Taking Care of Business w/ Fran from Brett Markwort on Vimeo.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hats off, or shall I say, tops off, to this amazing entrepreneuring trio of Aussies. Perhaps there is hope yet for me and chemical engineering.  Click here for the skinny.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I wish I had a proper picture for this one.  I'll look for one.  In the mean time, have a laugh, a sigh or whatever emotion this sparks.  Mine was a laugh followed by some minor disgust, a shaking of the head and concluding with another chuckle.

Click here for:  Gym Machine Hurls Woman

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Team Ronin & The Return From Arnold - - 08 March 2009

The Three Competitors from Team Ronin:  (left to right)  Muah: No Gi Lightweight, Clem: No Gi Featherweight, Mike: No Gi & Gi Heavyweiht. I may need to work on my Snarl.

Damn, what a trip!  We departed approximately 8am Friday and returned approximately 6am Sunday covering, again approximately, a thousand miles.  All for one extremely long day of waiting, anticipating and being... in the midst of one day of mass competition. 

To describe it all would take too long for a single post.  There were people, lots of people. Professional MMA fighters, celebrities, The Govinator, The Hulk, body builders, women body builders, olympic weightlifters, gymnasts, eye candy girls, protein shakes, and testosterone, more testosterone, and holy hell if there was any more testosterone the Columbus, OH convention center may have imploded

We competed at the NAGA (North American Grappling Association) World Grappling tournament at the Arnold's World Classic.  Two first time competitors and a veteran competitor made up our team, Team Ronin.  

As a first time competitor, from a team sport background, never having even seen a martial arts competition and this being the second largest annual tournament in the United States, I can only provide describing phrases and the hackneyed cliche You had to be there

Too many people, too little space, too much confusion and too much waiting. 
Anxiety, fear, hope and dreams, daydreams and frustration building. 
The security of being with your team and the pull of insignificance. 
Suddenly, presence,
All eyes upon you on a furiously nonchalant stage, 
Blood...Whom's...Relax and play your game.  
Intensity strikes,
and vanishes, 
Hell just happened and I'll soon remember,
I survived and I fought and I was left standing, wanting.
But the wait is over and so fades the weight. 
Euphoria begins and rational thoughts slowly creep in,
Stayed by pints, laughs and teammates smiles, 
The explosion of violence more than covers the miles.

To see more photos from the event click here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

05 March 2009

Above is exactly how I feel at this very moment.  Leaving in a few hours for the Arnold's Tournament, holy f@ck.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

01 March 2009

No Posts since 08 February!  This is atrocious!  Don't worry, whomever is in charge of this will pay dearly!

Forgive the heavy use of exclamation points and allow me to make up for lost time the best way I know how, making fun of Nazis. 

Yes those Nazis had it coming.  On a more relevant note, there really has been little activity for our band of Nothing To It'ers other than Steven and I getting into the gym this past Thursday for a quick burn.  Our workout consisted of...


Four Rounds of as much time and as many reps of Two Exercises in One Minute followed by One Minute Rest of...

Straight Arm Support on Rings

Thrusters were performed at 55#.  Not a bad workout. Quick, functional, effective.  I have been wanting to get more into gymnastic exercises, and straight arm support is a fundamental place to start. The goal is to support yourself, straight arms, and palms and elbows out in order to get your arms away from the straps.  

I liked this workout, and as time progresses, hopefully our strength does as well.  A combination of heavy thrusters along with more advanced gymnastic exercises (ie. back/front lever holds, dips, MU's, etc) would fit this model well, IMO.

Further note:  Arnold's World Championship in No Gi Grappling is this Saturday.  Nothing To It. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

06 February 2009

Five minutes into first game of Rugby. Was out at practice the next day.  He got his Badge of Honor...and ate it for a post nose bleed snack.

Time to get back on the board, let's, or shall I say, lets*, not waste time...


Max Snatch 

For those of you that have been following this blog, y'all know that I have posted concerns regarding my 'shrinking ass'.  I have come to accept this.  Reasoning: My body type fits a purpose.  I am a Rambling Man.  In the past two years I have moved from event from style from motivation; moved through life with an evolving singular purpose.  

That evolving purpose has, like all growth and aspiration, a foundation or roots which is not evolving and is in fact completely set.  

I want to live
To grow
To love
To be loved
Live my fascinations,
Without sickness but Well being
I volunteer my forever lasting 
True hearted Wanting

Goodness, lets get back to the Snatch. 

I have been following Crossfit since almost 2005. The Snatch is a lift I have rarely delt with.  I heart cleans, my PR is #195 (BW #165), and I don't know, I just have never really spent time doing overhead squats or snatches.  

I had a hockey game this night, considering my 'shrinking ass' and the fact that I had not been in the gym for a solid time I figured to go in and do a nice 5x5 set of heavy backsquats and see what weight I could straighten out.  Funny thing about going into the gym on a Friday evening, hoping to go out for an exciting evening, I wanted to do something exciting with the weights as well.  Thoughts on Squats quickly turned into thoughts on Snatches (put your mind in the gutter here), and I was happy with the outcome. ;)

I Snatched #125 comfortably, failed twice on #135.  I am not upset at all.  My form could use much work, and I am confident that, with some tweaking form will, account for much addition of weight. What a great movement.  The fact that after Snatching #125 more that once I got light-headed after each lift, the power prescribed from the move more than solidifies the fact that Snatchin' is Amazin'. 

Nothing To It'ers.  My birthday is Tuesday. I expect y'all to show up and come ready to have yourselves a most magical birthday WOD.  The best gift y'all can give me is meeting Pukie, well, that would be cool, but  at least I hope to see y'all out.  

* Apostrophe's/Apostrophes: Personally, they are a nuisance but get the job done. Read This. Again those British are stirring the most frequented waters. 

Saturday, January 31, 2009

31 January 2009

Economic downturn and Worldwide fiscal woes, Whatever; Thanks to one upbeat 'look at the bright side' British man; I can now sleep and walk about my dwelling at peace.

I just could not stop imagining this...

From the BBC headlines:  Man trapped by sofa sipped whiskey

Note the picture posted above.  One step ahead of you buddy!

Honestly, have you ever imagined your sofa as an area of concern for your safety.  It is supposed to be a place of comfort everlasting.  A location in your confines that you wish to spend less time in, but happily give a few more minutes, and a refuge and safe haven from those nights you simply cannot, do not wish or are forced to make your usual nest. 

I really do not know what to say about this...giggle...I certainly hope that when I come of age I will not be subdued by a sofa of all things.  I do understand that certain enticing centers for relaxation carry quite the load with their fold out mattresses and hidden coolers, but I do hope, should I ever find myself taken down by a resentful sofa, old stale crumbs in my face along with stains and smells I eliminated with a 180 degree turnover, that I should be well enough to squirm and shrimp my way out of said treacherous cavern of fabric and into the kitchen for a leisurely shot of my favorite drink.  Much rather than some awkward sipping, for dear life, of my previous sinning that just happened to linger in between myself and my weight. 

Regardless, you have to hand it to those British, they sure are a humorous and happy lot. 

BTW: This is still a Crossfit influenced Nothing To It'ers blog, we simply have not gotten together or done any WOD's in quite the while.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shane & Mike, Training, Team Ronin

Two months off the mat is more than enough time to develop some rust and need for training wheels.  But back at it again and I can certainly feel a resurgent set of familiar firings in my mind and body.   I am excited.  Enough said. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

19 January 2009

The most recent trip, this was the best picture I took, Dulles Airport Washington, DC approximately 0800; ugh, all this traveling is beginning to weaken my positive vibes.

It's another lonely evening
And another lonely town
But I ain't too young to worry
And I ain't too old to cry
When a woman gets me down...

But I know what I'm gonna do -
I'm gonna ride on
Ride on
Ride on, standing on the edge of the road
Ride on, thumb in the air
Ride on, one of these days I'm gonna
Ride on, change my evil ways...

Wow, thanks AC/DC.  In that case, and along with the fact that I will actually be in the STL for sizable period of time, I have decided to commit to something that scares me to even think about. Butterflies....but beautiful butterflies.  Arnold World Grappling Championship.

This tournament takes place 07 March 2009 in Columbus, Ohio.  This gives a good solid seven or so weeks to train up.  I will be training up with Ronin MMA.  I have been training with these guys & girl, off and on, for the most part of the past year.  I have no doubt that they can take me to true competition level.

Nothing To It'ers, this event is not something that I can simply walk into with the thought, let's go suck at something, lest I wish to become physically known as damaged goods.  The bar is high, a tremendous challenge that demands time, effort, sweat and a few loose marbles.  I am ready to give the former, thankfully, I already have the latter. 

Sam, you have come a long way since we first got started with Crossfit back in August. I hope you agree.  I will be happy to post WODs and train with you when I can.  My schedule as it stands would include training Mon & Wed nights and Sun morning (but the workload will most likely increase as the tournament draws nearer) and I am also committed now to Kirkwood Rugby and training days of Mon & Thurs afternoons and Saturdays. 

I am completely confident that you have learned and experienced enough, you have done many nitty and nasty gritty workouts, that you can continue to develop your fitness Crossfit style on your own when the situation calls for it.  You will simply have to avoid being a Sack of Shit.  

Herbie is on the Disabled List & Steven I believe is still off in honeymoon land.  Realize the satisfaction of doing something beyond your comfort level and giving your all, and then WOD it up. 

Thoughts or comments?  You know where to post them.  Posts make me happy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

13 January 2008

Steven, a few days before he gets married.  This is Crossfit, not cold feet. 

Oh my, oh my, this one had heartbreak written all over it.  With the memories of last wod's spankings, confidence shaken and all, doubts were in abundance.  


Power Clean 15 reps
Ring Dips 30 reps
Power Clean 12 reps
Ring Dips 24 reps
Power Clean 9 reps
Ring Dips 18 reps
Power Clean 6 reps
Ring Dips 12 reps
Power Clean 3 reps
Ring Dips 6 reps

My goodness, that was tiring just typing that.

Rx weight for Power Clean is #155

This day, I weighed in at #157.5. This is going to be tough. Nothing to it, my ass.

Sam: ~24:00 performed Cleans at #115 and assisted Dips (see below, but next time you are getting more weight)

Herbie: ~32:00 performed Hang Cleans at #85 and Pushups

Brett: ~31:00 as Rx'd

Let's talk about Sam first. Sam is definitely ready to step it up on the Cleans and bend the bar some more.  The form is not perfect, neither is mine, but I was happy to note on the times I caught glimpses that the split step he would do on the catch, a previously formed habit, was corrected. Obviously the Dips need work as ring dip strength is not yet achieved, this can be thrown in the warmup, but I was very happy with the Cleans. 

Herbie performed quite well.  Of the note were his push ups which have come a long way.  I am concerned that we are going to fast throwing in the Hang Cleans though.  I believe that we should go back to getting the Deadlift basics perfect before doing any more Cleans or other more progressive Oly lifts.  His Hang Cleans clearly got better as he became more fatigued, as often happens with high reps, but there were still a few in there that were beyond ugly and likewise beyond the 'safe zone' for the weight he was using.  We will go back to basics.  Before you Run you learn to walk, before you walk you learn to crawl.

As for me and as mentioned above, I was very intimidated by this WOD, but I was determined to finish as prescribed.  My PR on Cleans is #190, my body weight a few hours before performing this WOD was #2.5 over the weight I would be Cleaning.  Performing 45 reps of roughly body weight Power Cleans is not something I do often, throw in 90 Ring Dips, and I may as well slam a fifth of dirt cheap tequila and call it even.  

One by one I lifted, heaved, shrugged, and caught. Grunts followed.  The Ring Dips were handled in patient sets.  Only until the end did it get sloppy.  A missed a Clean on my last rep, I got greedy with my patience, and the sets of Ring Dips became mismatched.  Steady progress produced prescribed completion in ~31:00, the time was not my concern this time around, I was more than satisfied with the completion. 

Excellent work everybody. 

Next WOD:

Deadlift 3-3-3-3-3
Bench Press 5-5-5-5-5

Sam, I really want you to step it up on the Deadlift, and also coach Herbie on his form; start conservative.

The bench press, though unexciting, is a very good way to increase raw push and chest strength for pushup, dips etc.  Work hard, and spot each other. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

11 January 2009

Shawn Johnson, USA Gymnastic Olympic Team Beijing 08', Runner Up All-Around, Gold Medalist Balance Beam; I wish I was still sixteen

Dudes, and Dudets, in a gymnastics gym.
Today, Crossfit St. Charles hosted an open gym in the Generation Gymnastics gym where they share space. There were about fifteen of us, all Crossfit folk, from various affiliates around the St. Louis region, a large presence however was from Crossfit Valley Park. I did not bring my camera, so in the mean time I will wait until others post pictures so that I can then 'borrow' them and post them here, but in the mean time click on the Valley Park link, they have already posted a few pics.

I almost did not get out of bed this morning, but I am glad that I did, it was a great time. Steven is out of town, but Sam and Herbie, you guys really missed out, and so our next workout is going to be extra awful. At the workshop was a girl who led the group through the gymnasium, showing and detailing various exercises and apparatuses, and allowing us uninhibited reign at making fools of ourselves, proving even for Crossfitters, the laws of physics and most importantly gravity, still apply, and thank God for foam pits and soft reminders. BTW: The girl leading the workshop clearly was not impressed whatsoever with Crossfit and seemed very eager to see said laws of physics at work accompanied by grunts and whines... I liked her.

I have been to Team Central Gymnastics open gym hours a handful of times. Those moments were great as well (I have grown to really love gymnastics in the past year) and the set up was quite similar. A bunch of dudes, and sometimes dudets, jumping, pulling, swinging, balancing, etc all over the place with an instructor to make sure no one was planning on bouncing into a wall or doing something beyond a layman's acceptable version of stupid. However, those situations, despite one instance where I was the only in attendance and received almost one-on-one instruction, were quite often intimidating. And being in the presence of other dudes and dudets, without any formal training opposite to theirs, working on handstands while they tumbled ridiculous routines, just the clash of experience and the vibe put forth was at times too much. Though I learned a lot from some of them it was nonetheless a weight.

This workshop, set with some familiar faces but all with similar foundations, provided a totally comfortable experience. No need to expand further, it was just plain nice, and I thank the always charming Kim over at Crossfit St. Charles, and hope that she can set up more workshops like that in the future.

On a personal note: One of the skills that I wanted to learn upon first actively engaging in gymnastics was a tumbling pass. Today I performed for the first time a round off tied to a backhand spring. It was done on the trampoline runway deal, and honestly it was more of a mental hurdle, but a big hurdle, and I am quite excited by that. Next up, take it to the floor. Nothing To It.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

08 January 2009

Ever received a wake up call.  For me they are never inviting.  Who the hell would be calling me here at this hour? Oh yeah, I asked for that.

Ever received a wake up call, Crossfit style.  What the hell, there is no way I can finish this Rx'd.  Damn, I have been neglecting that.

This day we did the Crossfit HQ workout which is explained as follows...


Ten Rounds for Time of...

3 Weighted Pullups #45
5 Strict Pullups
7 Kipping Pullups

Coming off the bar at any time concludes a set.

My pullup strength, before going into this one, I knew was lacking.  Not so much my strength, but my power generation.  I rarely do weighted pullups, or strict pullups for that matter.  The ability to perform many kipping pullups, I know, does not bring with it the ability to perform many strict pullups or heavy pullups.  I have neglected this ability but have in the past put it aside, this workout scared me though, and I most definitely received my wake up call. Get your hands on the bar and get yourself over the bar, go heavy. This is the most basic of functional movements of which real life applications are endless.  The simple ability to hoist yourself, and then some, onto and above an obstacle;  fairly basic, quite important.  

Spanked! In a Good Way!

Spanked! In a Bad Way!  I am not even going to detail the results of this WOD.  For me, one round Rx'd. Then a fast steeping decline. Ten rounds not achieved.  Sam zoomed down a similar path.  Herbie showed up late and this workout was above his level.  He did some pullup negatives and a few sets of bar rows, until Sam and I finished our WOD, making more of an exercise walking to the dumbbell rack to substitute for a lighter weight than the actual WOD itself.  Ugh, it sucked, but there is a solution.

Get your hands on the bar, often, and get yourself over the bar, go heavy.  

I have previously written in a post, on my first visit to Crossfit St. Charles, that I don't like to warm up.  However, I am in accord with the fact that the warmup is a great place to work on lacking skills & strength.  Sure, if the WOD calls for many pullups, best save your strength.  But if lacking in pullup strength and power as described above, get in some reps during the warmup, everytime.  Lacking in the Handstand Push Up region, do what you can during the warmup.  Lacking in the Thruster region, the Clean region, etc...

Then get some reps in the warmeps!

See how I made that rhyme, you can let me know if that was clever or not by posting to comments.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

30 December 2008

Burpee Race. Oh, the thoughts I had on this one. It was not much of a race. Sam was out of town, Steven was amiss, but Herbie and I went forth, and hopped our way around the track, sucking wind the entire time.

Herbie Burpee'ng for Distance from Brett Markwort on Vimeo.
- filmed & Directed by Brett

My idea for our final workout of the year 2008 was to have ourselves a burpee race, one lap around the track (~150m), advancing only by the jumps following a burpee, with a twist...complete 5 Handstand Pushups and 25 Squats at each turn, beginning the race with said exercises thus finishing with a final glorious Burpee.

It was not much of a race, Herbie got winded early but great work, and finished 3/4 of the track in 20:30 and ~ 45 Burpees. I completed the track in 11:30 and ~ 50 Burpees (I lost count a bit). I had fun, adding the distance factor to doing Burpees really makes you jump more forcibly than you would staying in place.

Hopefully we can do this again when we are all together, hopping around in front of those on the treadmills made me feel a little self conscious, albeit I was too busy inhaling air and wiping sweat to care. I am sorry though if I made a few look up from their TV's or magazines. Just imagine what a scene it would be for four guys, Burpeeing their way around the track, it makes me...giggle...just a little bit.

A good WOD to end the year.

Up Next in the WOD Queue: Crossfit HQ has put up a brand new WOD under the date 08 January 2009 that has got me thinking. I would like to try it, some scaling may be in order, but I really don't know how I would handle it as my pullup strength should be better. I guess its right up my alley then. We'll give this one a try.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

06 January 2009

BTW: I cut and pasted a few things on this post and paid the price. The format got all F#@KED, its readable, but you can post your comments if it bothers you. But I did post a rather fit female to brighten the post.

East Meets West. Quite literally. Sam returned yesterday from South Florida, I returned yesterday from San Diego, and we had ourselves a back to work WOD with Herbert joining us. The workout we did was straight from a recent Crossfit HQ posting, so I will just copy and paste that...


With a continuously running clock do one 135 pound Clean and Jerk the first minute, two 135 pound Clean and Jerks the second minute, three 135 pound Clean and Jerks the third minute...continuing as long as you are able.

Use as many sets each minute as needed.

Sam: Performed 6 Rounds Successfully and 4 C&J's on the seventh @ #105

Herbie: Performed 6 Rounds Successfully and 2 C&J's on the seventh @ #75

Brett: Performed 6 Rounds Successfully and 4 C&J's on the seventh as Rx'd

What is up with that Seventh Round?


7 rounds + 5, first time

In the fifth round I was done in 22 seconds, so I am thinking 10 rounds is a piece of cake maybe more. In round six I felt a wave hit me on the last couple reps and near the end of round 7 I felt like I was standing in sand. Massive metabolic breakdown.

Comment #140 - Posted by: p. l. at January 2, 2009 4:16 AM

The above comment, ripped from the HQ site, sounded just about right to me, though I must say that I was not quite as optimistic after, for me, the fifth round, but I thought then that I could make it through seven rounds. As p. l. said, 'massive metabolic breakdown'.

I had never done this type of workout before, it has come up a number of time on the main site but usually involving pullups. It has never seemed to exciting to me. This however is the first time that I have seen it involving Clean & Jerks...

I Heart Cleans

So we did this. Crossfit never disappoints, I enjoyed this one. Slowly, but forcibly turn up the power...

To Eleven.

Sam I thought did very well, however on his cleans he has developed a habit to split his step on the catch. I have never seen that before, it does not seem natural to me, the rest of the movement looks good, I really don't know what to think about it. We'll practice some more and see what happens when the bar gets heavier.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

02 January 2009

InTransit Audio performing live at the Tiki Bar in Pacific Beach, CA.  Left to right are band members Jack (Keys & Trumpet), some Rapper Guy, Dave (Bass & Guitar), Mike (Drums), and Adam (Guitar & Bass)

Happy New Year!!!

Resolutions, nope, not for me. 

How about just Keep on Keepin' On, that was from Joe Dirt by the way. 

There is no better place to do that than what has been almost my home away from home, if you will, than San Diego, CA.  I have been out here quite a bit in the past year and it has always been something special.  New Year's Eve was great, and on New Year's day I got to see the live show of one of my oldest mate's band, InTransit Audio, perform at the Tiki Bar in Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA.  A small venue, but the fresh funk driven wavelengths were enough to penetrate any previous nights sinning. Yaba Daba Doo!

For now, for those on holiday and those the subject of matrimonious events and those celebrating them, enjoy and live it up.  We'll get back to work one of these days.  Keep on Keepin' On!