Today's Workout: 010413

3 rounds for total time:

50 KBS 24/16kg
25 HR Push-ups

*Rest 2 minutes between each round.


20 minutes of mobility.

Yesterday, CrossFit Media posted an article I wrote about my experience competing in a US prison a few weeks ago. It stirred up a lot of discussion – some for CrossFit in prison, some against. 

Whatever your feelings on violent offenders using CrossFit, the can has been opened (not by me,) and there's no turning back. You can't undo the internet. Personally, I believe strongly in the transformative effects of any program that delivers joy through personal progress. CrossFit does this, and anyone broadminded enough to humbly accept the lessons taught by high-output, high-skill workouts can testify to their own transformation.

Watching an athlete who's better at the snatch (almost all of them are) tells me that I'm nowhere near my physical ceiling. Seeing a beginner wrestle PVC pipe into submission overhead tells me that I'm nowhere near the edge of discomfort, as they are. I can ALWAYS go further in one direction – running, lifting, jumping, eating – as long as I return to the happy middle eventually. This is the real gift of constant variety: the illumination that none of us are experts, that there's ALWAYS another fence to climb.

It's tough, if you've been "working out" for awhile, to try something new. Especially after you've had some degree of success at 'the old way,' or gained some renown for your skills on the bench press. It's TOUGH to swallow a different pill, toss your achievements aside, and start over. But it's not tougher for you than it is for an inmate, where your place in the lunch line – and other places – is guaranteed ONLY by your brute strength. Imagine, after earning the Mayorship of 'C' Block through your 650lbs deadlift…not deadlifting anymore, and doing thrusters instead. THAT is social risk, and that's what is happening in our own prison. What bars hold YOU from trying new things? Fear of failure? Fear of falling in front of us, who are all too familiar with our OWN weaknesses?

Maybe the reason that newcomers to CrossFit are surprised to find us all so welcoming is that we've all become cozy neighbours with failure. We've tried stuff, and it's gone wrong. And gone wrong, and wrong again, and then gone a bit better. The light bulb doesn't go on every time, but we keep pulling the string anyway. When, on your first day, you can't quite get the hang of the snatch….don't worry about it. It will take you awhile to accumulate enough missed attempts to catch the rest of us.  Try things.

Below: the handwritten workout given to me by one of the inmates in the article.


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