Tag: crossfit

Rich Froning’s book – a review

Confession: I don’t read all of the books that I review.

Oftentimes, I’ll get a book, read it enough to get the gist, then move on.

But I’m passionate about Crossfit. And anytime CrossFit and faith collide, I’m in.


So when I got a copy of Rich Froning’s (on Twitter HERE) book*, I read it cover-to-cover. If you have any inclination towards CrossFit, you’ll enjoy this book. Rich chronicles his rapid rise to success in the CrossFit world, sharing his story from life on the farm to back-to-back “World’s Fittest Man” titles. Reading this book is like sitting down with Rich over a cup of coffee. Or, more likely, over a protein shake after a WOD. (workout-of-the-day)

Every time I read a portion of the book, I wanted to throw it down and start working harder. Rich’s work ethic and passion are infectious.

Equally infectious is Rich’s faith.** It’s genuine, and you see it laid bare in this book as he does battle against his own pride. I found his faith refreshing, bold, and courageous.

The big question Rich wrestles with throughout the book is, “What legacy am I going to leave when I die?”

Hopefully you’re asking something similar.

For Rich, faith and fitness go hand-in-hand. I’ve found the same to be true, which is why the book resonated so well with me. When I’m disciplined with my body, I find myself more disciplined spiritually.

This is a great summer read. And a great read just in time for this year’s CrossFit Games, as Rich looks to become the three-time champion for this sport.

Pick it up right HERE.


Are you a CrossFitter?



* all amazon links are affiliate links

**If you read the book, you’ll notice that a key player in Rich’s wrestling through faith issues is a guy named Donavan Degrie. Donavan’s my coach at the box where I work out, and I can see why he played such a key role in Donavan’s faith journey.


How I celebrate Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a special day for me for a number of reasons. None of which being that I’m in, or have ever been, in the military.

I have a lot of friends who are faithfully serving our country, putting their lives on the line for our freedom. They’ve fought alongside their friends who have died serving us. They, and their families, have sacrificed. Some ultimately.

Honestly, I don’t know what it’s like to lose a friend in battle. To have to deal with that in the moment, and for the rest of my life. But I’ve got friends for whom this is their reality.

And having a grill-out with some friends just doesn’t seem like an adequate way for me to be reminded that freedom isn’t free. So I CrossFit on Memorial Day. (This may seem like a stretch for you, but hang with me)

CrossFit is special to me because I’ve torn my quad and almost died. And because I just love it.

But on Memorial Day, it takes on a whole new meaning.

Memorial Day Murph


me, at Murph last year

Last year for the first time, I participated in Murph, a Hero WOD (Workout Of the Day), at CrossFit Sola Fide. In fact, Murph is what solidified me as a CrossFitter for life. I was hooked. Pushing my body beyond its limit, in the encouraging environment of community, was just what I needed. Linking it to a real story, and pushing myself right beside soldiers, was almost too much for me to handle emotionally.

Here’s why I’ll be doing the Murph WOD again:

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

So as we celebrate Memorial Day here in the States, I’m remembering, alongside my military buddies, the sacrifice that so many have given.

By doing Murph.

Here’s the workout. Want to join me?

  • 1 mile run
  • 300 air squats
  • 200 push-ups
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 1 mile run

What are you doing to remember?


The power of food

It was a normal workout at Crossfit solafide. Tough, but normal. Time trials get my adrenaline pumping.

image credit: Flickr user CrossFit Pulse

I blew through the 400m run. Smoked it. I felt a little more gassed than normal. “No big deal, though,” I thought. “I’ll recover.” At least I didn’t tear my quad.

Next was 100 pullups. Normally, this is something I could blaze through. But by 30, I was spent. My energy was zapped. I bumped it up to 62 by the 5 minute mark. A bit of encouragement helped.

100 situps, 100 squats. Got ’em.

But then I thought I was going to die. Right then and there, on the black gym mat that smells like rubber and sweat and stale, crusty socks.

I was staring into the face of 100 push ups.

Realize this: Cross Fit is often as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical one. And you’re not going to beat me mentally. I’m like the Evander Holyfield of mental exercises. Or, wait…that’s too early-2000s.

Turns out that this day, it was the physical side of the workout that got the best of me.

I made it through the 100 push ups, but thought that my lunch was going to join that cursed black mat.

Finally, it was a 500m row. Done and done.

Immediately afterwards, I still felt like I might get the distinct privilege of seeing lunch again. I’ve had this feeling before, but this time I couldn’t shake it. Then came a case of the dizzies. Lightheadedness. ‘I can drive home,’ said my sweet wife. “Nah…I’m ok.” Note above: you’re not going to beat me mentally.

Driving home, I couldn’t bring myself to talk much. Dizziness continued and I felt like I needed to lay down.

Then my hand cramped so hard I had to pry it open with my other hand. A few times. Then came the chills, and I had to lay on the floor in our den to hold myself together. Turns out it smells a little better than the gym floor.

It was only after I ate a little food and drank a protein shake that I began to return to normal.

I had been dangerously close to…something. I don’t know what, but I was dangerously close to it. (just hang with me…being dangerously close to something adds dramatic value, right?). All because I hadn’t eaten much throughout the day. A small breakfast, smaller lunch, and some water were not enough for me to sustain a tough workout. I ran out of gas. When I was at the bottom, I had no reserve to draw from. My tank was empty, and I still had a few miles to go.

The turn

Isn’t the same thing true for us spiritually? You get out what you put in…or what you don’t put in. Spend time away from God, and you’ll find yourself drying up spiritually. Quit feeding your soul, and when tough times come, you’ll have nothing left to give.

It’s when life falls apart that these inadequacies come to light. It’s after a few tough rounds that you realize you’re not where you want to be spiritually. Or, at the very least, not where you thought you were.

Listen to the Psalmist:

Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do. – Psalm 1:1-3

Plant yourself beside the River and you’ll not wither under the burdens of life.

The way you handle life is a reflection of what you have put in to your body. And the training starts now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now. If you wait to work on your spiritual life until things fall apart, you’ll find yourself face-down on a crusty-sock-smelling gym floor.

Want to grow up spiritually? Start now.

Want to be a better mom? Start now.

Want to mature in your leadership? Start now.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8



5 Leadership Lessons I Learned from a Torn Quad

Recently while working out at CrossFit, I ripped my quad.

It hurt about as much as you’d expect ripping a quadriceps muscle would hurt. Unless, of course, you thought it wouldn’t hurt at all. In which case…it hurt much more than that.

image via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/crossfitpulse/

I was doing a kip-up, a martial arts-style move where you “jump” from your back all of the way on to your feet. I made it to my feet, and in that moment, all of the energy transferred to my already-weakened quads, and I instantly felt the pain shoot through my legs.

I sat down for a minute, trying my hardest not to throw up. And trying to act like I was ok. One of the trainers came over to check on me. “You’re probably just tight…and when I’m tight, I just take my fist and pound down my leg like this…” at which point he punched me in my leg. I crumpled to the ground like a man with a torn quad would if punched in said torn quad.

It’s taken me a week to get back to the gym. I’m not nearly at 100%…just close nough to fake my way around.

In the process, I learned a lot about life and leadership.

5 Leadership Lessons I Learned from an Injury

1. Stretching is vital.

If I’d stretched a bit more, I may have prevented my injury. Or at the very least, stretching would’ve reminded me that my quad was still weak.

In leadership: Before major decisions, take a moment to breathe. Before you blow up on a co-worker, stop and check your heart. Before you move forward, take a moment to look back. Before you start your day, spend a few moments in prayer. It’ll remind you who you are, where you’re headed, and that you’ve got a loving Father who wants to guide and shape you every step of the way.

2. Know your limits.

Apparently, kip-ups are above my pay grade. For now. 🙂

In leadership: “Knowing your limits” means understanding your gifts and your weaknesses. And learning, when you’re weak, to surround yourself with others who are gifted. Don’t be prideful. Know your limits. And know that you don’t have every gift necessary.

3. Sometimes, you just have to slow down.

When I was injured, I couldn’t go to the gym. Well, I could’ve gone, but it wouldn’t have done any good. I would’ve had to sit out the majority of the workouts.

In leadership: Organizational life can move at a fast pace, and if you don’t intentionally slow down, remind yourself of what matters most, doing what only you can do, and resting, you’ll burn out. God created the Sabbath because we need it. Which is also why, I believe, He created the hammock. Sabbathing should be a part of your weekly workflow. It’s vital, whether you’re “injured,” or just want to prevent “injuries.”

4. Allow others to help you.

I had to ask for help while I was injured. I needed help across the gym floor. At home, I needed help getting ice packs ready and, at times, just doing normal activities.

In leadership: To try to lead alone is foolish. God has hard-wired us to need others. He’s created us to be dependent on Him…and dependent on other people. Don’t forsake the gift that significant relationships play in your life. Alone, you’re prone to giving up, prone to always thinking you’re right, and only have 1 life experience to draw from. Together, you collaborate, refine processes, and draw from multiple life experiences.

5. Healing takes time.

It’s taken me a week to get back to the gym. It’ll probably take me a month or more before I’m back to pushing myself.

In leadership: When you’ve been injured, whether by relationships, broken dreams, or your own bad choices, it takes time to heal. The same is true for those you’re leading. Don’t expect that you, or anyone else, can recover immediately. It might be awkward, but ask for help! Surround yourself with people who know and love you best. You might not like mine, but find a small group. And pursue active healing.


Ever torn a muscle?



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