The Weekly Dose of Awesome

A long overdue awesome is in order. Joining UB in 2013, Nathan J. has always been a great addition to our community.  He's consistently one of the first to extend a welcome to unfamiliar faces and group up with newer members.  And for the UB regulars, his fun competitive nature feeds fuel to the WOD intensity fire. 

Though a seasoned athlete (the man's been CrossFitting for over 5 years now), Nathan is very humble and treats everyday as day one. He constantly seeks eyes and feedback from the coaches to find that perfect lift and rep.  This man is after virtuosity.  And his hard work shows.

You can regularly find him in the evenings as well as  grinding it out on Saturday SWODs. If you see him, fist pumps are in order to validate Nathan's awesomeness. 

Photo from Nathan's earlier CrossFit days.  From the beginning this man was serious about his CrossFit.

Photo from Nathan's earlier CrossFit days.  From the beginning this man was serious about his CrossFit.

Level Up... Your Skills

Today is the day you have all been waiting for!  (Ok... maybe not, but I know there are at least a few of you who have been biting your nails in anxious excitement)  We have completed the new  Level 2 standards sheet!  Here is what you need to know:

What changed?

Movements have been added.  Others subtracted.  Others, just the score has changed. New WODs have found their way on the list.  We are even preparing to release a master's standards sheet.  Basically, it's an entire overhaul.

Why change the standards?

More of you UB athletes have tried your hands at competition.  Overall as a population you have stepped up your game.  We would like the level 2 standards to reflect what we believe a well rounded, experienced CrossFit athlete should aiming to achieve in gymnastic, strength, aerobic, and mixed modal capacities. 

One other change is the expectations of the Level 2 athlete, including engaging in competition and continuing to pass level 2 standards that the athlete was unable to achieve at the time they joined the class.

How will the new sheet be enforced (IMPORTANT!)

Please read how this will affect everyone:

Those of you who are already Level 2 - You will have 4 weeks to retest your standards and remain in the class. Last night was the first of a 2 week "Test Fest" in class where you got a lot of the different standards handled. 

Those of you who are not yet Level 2 - While you still need 70% to test into the Level 2 class, the Level 2 class will be open as a "Level 2 to Prep Class" on June 2nd, 9th, and 16th to anyone who has tested over 55%.  If you are interested, I strongly suggest downloading the sheet grab a coach and start testing so you can partake!

The new level 2 athletes can expect to see regular level 2 classes beginning June 23rd.

Where can I get one?

Well, that's easy.  Download it here.

Food for Thought: Daily Rituals

Recently, I have found myself having a lot of conversations with UBites about creating rituals.  Morning rituals, food rituals, evening rituals...etc., I am a firm believer in the power of rituals and their ability to bring attention to goals and setting up your life to achieve them.  I came across this article by Sean Emery from Old City CrossFit I thought summarized the concept well.  Read it and answer for yourselves:  What rituals do you already have?  What rituals could you create to support your goals?


I recently finished reading an interesting book titled Daily Rituals by Mason Currey.  In writing this book Mason “wanted to show how grand creative visions translate to small daily increments.”

The book went on to detail the daily rituals, habits, and small increments of writers, composers, artists, thinkers, and various other creative types.  Many of the people profiled in the book are well known historical figures:  Mozart, Ben Franklin, Karl Marx, Louis Armstrong, and Ayn Rand to name a few.

Mason’s chose to document the daily rituals of creative types because they often spend years in creation of a final product.  Whether it be a novel, a manifesto, a play, a song, an invention, or any other host of creative endeavors, creative professionals rarely spend a day in solitude and emerge with a masterpiece.

I know most of us reading this CrossFit blog aren’t going to retire to our study to compose the next great symphony, but I think we’re all trying to make “small daily increments” in our lives in an attempt to accomplish something significant.

To me, daily rituals, are the methods we use to accomplish the larger goals we set for ourselves.  These goals don’t have to be writing the next great American novel or designing an apartment with shipping containers; your goals don’t even have to be anything creative! Perhaps your goal is to lose 30#?  Maybe it’s to do a handstand?  Deadlift 300#?  Run a sub 20 minute 5k, or do a pull up?  Regardless of the goal, paramount to accomplishing it is the recognition that it won’t happen overnight.  

Paramount to success is your daily ritual that will lead to that goal’s accomplishment.

Daily rituals don’t have to be as exact as Beethoven’s, who “insisted his morning coffee be made with exactly 60 beans.”  You don’t need to “dedicate every waking hour towards your goal, neglecting your job and living off handouts from your friends” like Karl Marx when writing Das Kapital.  You don’t have to “absolutely detest all openings and parties” like painter Joan Miro.

You can be more like F. Scott Fitzgerald with your daily rituals, who had “trouble sticking to a regular schedule” rising around 11 and “working off and on until 3 am.”

Maybe your routine, like Kingsley Amis, is hard to start:  “I linger over breakfast…staving off the dreadful time when I have to go to the typewriter.”

Regardless of what your daily rituals are, it’s important to understand what purpose they serve.  Twyla Tharp nailed it when she said:

“I being each day of my life with a ritual:  I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat.  I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st Street.  The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab.  The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.”

Mason points out: “By automatically getting up and getting into the cab every morning [Twyla] avoids the question of whether or not she feels like going to the gym; the ritual is one less thing for her to think about, as well as a friendly reminder that she’s doing the right thing.”

Like Twyla, make your daily ritual a process, perhaps even your daily reminder, of what you need to do to accomplish something great and meaningful in your life.

I don’t care what your goal is.  Like Joyce Carol Oates says, the process of obtaining your goal is going to feel like “pushing a peanut with your nose across a very dirty floor.”  It’s time we get serious about our daily rituals.  It’s time we grab our preverbal peanut and  get dirty.

What are your goals?  What are your daily rituals to accomplish them?

Monday Morning Announcements

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Tommy V

Have you enjoyed the Regional WODs?  What have you learned?  This Wednesday is the last regional WOD - Tommy V.  If you are unfamiliar, Tommy V has rope climbs.  Whether or not you do rope climbs in the WOD, I would recommend bringing WOD gloves (if you have them), long socks &/or pants to do your rope skill work.  Rope fun!

Regional Tees

If you ordered a Regional WonderFotsch tee, they're coming in on Wednesday.  Make sure to pick yours up to maximize the WonderFotsch juju!

Level 2

We have been working hard to finalize the Level 2 standards and class function.  We will be releasing the general standards along with masters' standards Wednesday AM.  Keep an eye out!

Memorial Day Murph

This Monday is Memorial Day.  Per national CrossFit tradition, we will be doing Murph.  Class will be at 9am and the class will be open until 10:30AM.  You can show up as early as 8:30AM with your vest to chalk up and mobilize.  See you there! 

Member Organized Volleyball

Jamie B. organized an awesome outing of beach volleyball May 31st.  At 1pm come down to the sand court at Mission Creek Park on Berry St. (correct me if I'm wrong) to get some fun in the sun (hopefully!). 

Let the Regionals Begin!

It's official!  Regionals have begun!

Now that you have had your hand in a few of the Regional WODs, it's time to check in with the events themselves.  The Here is the schedule for the next three weekends:

Regional Weekend 1: May 15-17

  • South Regional | South Central, South West and Latin America | Dallas, Texas
  • Atlantic Regional | Mid Atlantic and South East | Atlanta, Georgia

Regional Weekend 2: May 22-24

  • California Regional | NorCal and SoCal | San Diego, California <-- The most important!
  • East Regional | North East and Canada East | Hartford, Connecticut
  • Pacific Regional | Australia and Asia | Wollongong, Australia

Regional Weekend 3: May 29-31

  • West Regional | North West and Canada West | Seattle, Washington
  • Central Regional | North Central and Central East | Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Meridian Regional | Europe and Africa | Copenhagen, Denmark

To watch any of the eight regional competitions, tune in to Games.CrossFit.com for live streaming of every heat of every event of every division.  If you have a favorite event you want to see, you can check in for a full event schedule broken down by region here.

Tune in to catch all the greatest moments of the weekend!

Tune in to catch all the greatest moments of the weekend!

The Weekly Dose of Awesome

It's with a heavy heart that I write this week's Dose of Awesome.  You see, this is a Farewell Awesome to a UB member of the highest order. 

Shaun K. received his first Awesome back in 2013, not long after he completed his first competition.  I have no stats to back this up, but I'm pretty sure he has since become UB's most seasoned competitor.  I can think of at least EIGHT times he's thrown himself into the ring either on a team or as an individual, and that's not even counting the Open or UB-hosted events. 

The man just loves CrossFit, plain and simple.  He has volunteered at both Regionals and the Games, been WODwell's assistant camera man, attended L1 and oly certifications, and taken selfies with more CrossFit celebrities than Dave Castro.

And the man just loves UB, plainer and simpler.  He has supported countless UB athletes at their own competitions, volunteered for countless UB events, and given us countless memories of his kind, selfless spirit.  He has put his blood, sweat, and tears into our gym, and treated it as his home. That's what makes him truly awesome - and unforgettable - in my book.

So, Shaun, as you head off to the next chapter of your life in Seattle with your baby girl, know that you'll always have a little home away from home at UB and a place in our hearts.  You're one of a kind.

Bite Sized CrossFit Concepts: Cardio

If you remember in our first BSCC post, we talked about the 10 physical skills.  When you look at the list - where are your deficiencies?  Which one (or few) of the 10 are keeping you from being your ultimate self?  Over the next 10 weeks, I want to look at these 10 from a CrossFit perspective.  For today, we'll start at the top

1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance
2. Stamina
3. Strength
4. Flexibility
5. Power
6. Speed
7. Coordination
8. Agility
9. Balance
10. Accuracy

First rule of zombieland: Cardio!

First rule of zombieland: Cardio!

Cardio/Endurance is one of those things that people already have an understanding of when they walk through the door.  It might be a love/hate relationship, but you get that it's relates to that winded feeling and the ability of the body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen to your muscles. 

What I want to highlight for you in this post is the cardio is not only built with long slow distances.  Yes the occasional longer run is important, but if you focus on just putting in the miles, you could cause muscle loss, and at the very least inhibit muscle gain.

So if cardio is your weak spot, remember we CrossFitters usually get our “cardio” in by combining it with other physical skills. You do not have to train like a hamster to be cardiovascularly fit, but you should also stop cherry-picking longer workouts, or WODs with longer runs or rows. 

Food for Thought: Wall Street Journal & the Paleo Diet

The front page of the Wall Street Journal's health page questions paleo.  Is Paleo healthier than the standard diet?  They asked their readers what they thought.  Many of you have had at least a trial run with Paleo.  Regardless of how you feel about the standard American nutiritional guidelines, we want to know, what do you think of Paleo?  Is it just a fad?  What nutrition regimen do you adhere to?

Most everyone agrees that Americans eat too much processed food.  The evidence is in our expanding waistlines and the growing ranks of type-2 diabetes sufferers.

But does the secret to less obesity and better health really lie in eating  like our caveman ancestors, who evolved to be hunter-gatherers? Proponents of a paleo diet say it does and that if you eschew grains, dairy, legumes and added sugar in favor of protein, nonstarchy vegetables and healthy fats, you will look and feel better. Many nutritionists aren’t buying it. They say we’re biologically different from our Paleolithic predecessors and that diets that ban whole categories of relatively unprocessed foods are too restrictive and flawed from a nutritional standpoint.

What do you think? Should we eat like cavemen? Let us know your thoughts!

Regionals Week!

Get excited... it's Regionals week!  That's right -- this weekend begins the epic fight between top athletes world wide to earn a place at the 2015 CrossFit Games!  As you tune in for this weekend's Regionals (and the California Regional next weekend), do you ever wonder how the average Joe would do in the Regional WODs?  Well...... why not give yourself a point of reference? Try them out yourself!  Starting tomorrow, we are going to throw some Regionals action your way so you can see how you stack up against the CrossFit world's finest.  3, 2, 1, Go!

Tomorrow we will be taking on events 5 and 1

Tomorrow we will be taking on events 5 and 1