The Rewards of Fatherhood, Fitness and Frugality
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Category — Dying On The Treadmill

“El Capitan”

It’s about six months post when I was asked to lead my gym’s group of misfits in bettering their fitness to heights that are completely unnecessary in the real world. But for some reason, although there is very little conventional reward in being able to lift heavy sh*t and being fast as f*ck, we do it anyway. My band dubbed me “El Capitan”. And I have to say, I like the name. It reminds me of why I accepted the role. It’s simply the selfish desire to help others be better. Yes, selfish. Because it feels damn good to see others achieve goals and knowing you had a small hand in it. So I take my role as coach/leader/El Capitan and this thing we call elite fitness serious as sh*t! I want these guys (and gals) to be the baddest mofos they possibly can.

American Eagle Outfitters Ae El Capitan Baseball Cap

Since then, my reach has expanded a bit beyond our little band of super-ninjas. And I’ve been asked to help others in their pursuit of extreme-ability-to-mess-you-up! (That’s a metaphor for lifting heavy barbells fast and furiously.) I welcome the challenge to help anyone who shares the desire to simply get fast, strong and fit for no real reason other than he or she simply has to do it! She is called to do it. Cats that reel in pain because they miss the feel of steel and chalk in their hands. Or miss the sound of the wind blow by their brow as they cut the air with grace and violent speed. I want the cats that love this like I do on my team. The ones that take this sh*t serious too. I’m down to help anyone get better. Cause I know what it feels like and I want everyone to feel it.

If you are of kindred spirit, feel free to contact me about programming or coaching.

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November 15, 2012   No Comments

Me Against Me

I’m getting older. Can’t say it’s all fun and games. Shoot, let’s be real. No part of it is fun. Well, at least not the physical part. Knowing more and more stuff that I didn’t know before is kind of cool. I’ll take that. But the physical changes? Ugh!


I’ll say this though. I won’t age gracefully. I’m going to fight Father Time in a dark alley with a small bat and brass knuckles. He won’t get the best of me. I’ll Rogaine him, fish oil him, floss my teeth every night him. He won’t stand a chance. I’ll even make really random goals like being the strongest old person in America. Whatever, I’m not going out without fight.

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October 13, 2012   4 Comments

Packing For The Unknown And Unknowable

My "computer" bag.

CrossFit teaches us to be ready for the unknown and unknowable. I guess I’ve taken that to heart somewhat. My computer bag contains everything but the computer. Unless you count the iPad. But it does contain everything I might need in an low-grade emergency. Bandages, athletic tape, books, pens, ground coffee (yes, ground coffee), weapons (non-lethal), overnight garments, toothpaste, ibuprofen and can forget the gymnastics rings and jumprope. You never know when a wod will jump off.

What’s in your bag?

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December 9, 2011   No Comments

The 12th Man Of Crossfit

Warm Up:

Our warmup is your workout.

Metcon (am):
AMRAP 8 min
3 Snatch Complexes @ 125#
3 Wall Climbs

Metcon (pm):
Teams of 2
AMRAP in 5 min of:
5 Push Jerks @ 155#
Rest 2 min
AMRAP in 5 min of:
5 Deadlifts @ 225#
Rest 2 min
AMRAP in 5 min of:
5 Supine ring pulls

AM metcon: 27 reps
PM metcon: 317 reps

Over the last two years I’ve really struggled with the amount of time I spend on thinking about and engaging in Crossfit. The time I want to spend on it is not the time I have. I’ve struggled with this balance for over two years. My time with my girls is hard to come by and I find myself having to sacrifice other things, especially Crossfit, in order to just hang with them.

I was supposed to meet friends at the box to do the pictured wod. But I also had to get my girls ready for school. To be able to do both I had to enlist the help of my father to drop the girls off to school. Feeling guilty about my selfish decision to Crossfit instead of dropping my girls to their school steps, I dilly-dallied this morning, hanging out with the girls a few more minutes before I left for the box. As a result I was late to wod with my homies. So instead, the wod became my warmup, greatly modified.

Instead I decided to re-do “Camille”. The first time around I did it with friends at Brazen Athletics sort of half-assed. In fact, I wasn’t even going to do it then. But it was something about seeing my friends attempt the wod, suffer through it, miss some reps and then be blasted at the end, that made me want to jump in. It’s one of the weirdest things about this Crossfit community. Things you never have done or just unlikely to do, you do because this community provides one of the greatest support systems I’ve ever seen.

This morning for instance, I had no plans of re-doing “Camille” but my cronies stayed behind just to cheer me on while I did the wod. I had to do it at that point. Within in the wod I wanted to stop several times saying to myself, “I don’t want to do this.” But the voices in the background saying, “C’mon Ben!” motivated me to continue. In football we call the crowd The 12th Man. When the 12th man is making noise he can motivate the team to extraordinary feats. In every Crossfit box around the country, there’s the 12th man. Some voice or voices you hear bellowing from the corner urging you to keep pushing. I love this community. Sometimes stealing a little time away from parenting feels worth it.

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October 19, 2011   1 Comment

Ropes Are Dope

The ropes at Guerrilla Fitness

All the cool kids are doing it so I figured I’d join in on the fun.

Today’s wod:

Front squat at 5 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 2 – 2

4 rounds
3 rope climbs, 15′
15 static lunges @ 95#

Strength: 255/255/275/275/305/305(1)
Metcon: 6:30

I haven’t done any sort of strength based squat in a while. So this felt good. But it’s clear I need to build my strength back up in this area. I think a strong squat is essential in Crossfit as well as life.

I failed my last rep and I could feel my knees buckle in a little. My coach pointed out that little flaw to me. So next time I’ll bring my feet in a little and hopefully that will help me out with my knees.

The lunges in the metcon were a challenge especially after the squats. But I’ve worked hard on my footwork with rope climbs and feel comfortable with the movement now. It used to be I could only climb the rope using all arms. It goes to show you a little perseverance goes a long way.

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October 17, 2011   No Comments

Change Your Benchmark

I am baffled why you put yourself through this. I do not know why you insist on putting yourself through the mental torture. Why is it even a part of your life? It never tells you exactly what you want to hear. And it’s likely you’ve answered for yourself before you even ask it the dreaded question.

The Liar
source: wader

Am I fat?

You don’t know it but what a ridiculous question. And the only reason you’re asking is because you think you are fat. No matter what number pops up on that scale, it will not convince you otherwise. Whether the number that pops up is “high” or “low”, you will see the phrase “big fat fatty”. But don’t confuse this for chatizing. I don’t blame you for asking a silly question. I don’t even blame you for your self-defeating self-perception. You been conditioned.

Throughout your life, you’ve been sent subliminal and overt messages by a plethara of sources; movies, magazines, your girlfriends, your mother, your rabbi, your coach and I’m sure many other well meaning but ignorant folk. Their message to you has been you should be obsessed with your weight. These messages even go as far as to have you believe your self-worth is inversely correlated to the number that shows up on the scale. The smaller the number on the scale the better the person you are. But let me let you in on a little secret. The number on that scale, no matter what it says, is a crock of shit! And the question, “Am I fat?”, that prompts you to step on to such an abominable device in the first place is a bigger crock of shit.

STOP! [

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April 29, 2011   No Comments