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Work Capacity: “Viola”
AMRAP in 20 minutes:
– Run 400M
– 11 Power Snatches, 95/65 lbs
– 17 Pull-ups
– 13 Power Cleans, 95/65 lbs

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Alex Viola, 29, was killed Nov. 17, 2013, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, from wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. Originally from Keller, Texas, Viola was an engineer assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He was awarded numerous awards for his service, including the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Viola traveled often and worked out at many CrossFit affiliates. Some of his favorite movements were pull-ups, power snatches and power cleans. He also enjoyed running.

Viola is survived by his parents, Margaret and Frank; and his sister, Christina.

Work Capacity:
5 rounds for time:
– 15 Thrusters, 95/65 lbs
– 50 Double-unders
– 15 Toes-to-bar

"The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed." - Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Strength: Split Jerk 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." - Aristotle

For max reps:
– Tabata Back Squats, 95/65 lbs
– Rest 1 minute
– Tabata L-sit (count seconds as reps)
– Rest 1 minute
– Tabata Ring Row
– Rest 1 minute
– Tabata Handstand (count seconds as reps)
– Rest 1 minute
– Tabata Row (count calories as reps)

The Tabata interval is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 intervals (4 minutes).

"Money is a great servant but a horrible master."

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
 – C.S. Lewis

Denee came across this quote the other day and sent it to me, and I love it for it’s simplicity and applicability to so many situations in our lives.

One audience that comes to mind immediately for me is folks that are having a hard time starting a workout regimen like CrossFit.  You’ve all probably heard it as many times as I have, “I want to do CrossFit, but I need to get in shape first.”  Think about where you were in your fitness journey before you started working out at CFKI.  Even those of us that THOUGHT we were in shape were rudely awakened with our first few WODs.  So, if you hear this from someone, remind them that their starting point doesn’t matter, what matters is that they do start.

Of course, this quote could also apply to all of us that have taken the leap and are serious about our fitness.  Now I’m thinking of the upcoming holidays that will disrupt our work, family, and fitness schedules to no end.  Many of us spend a lot of extra time in the gym before the holidays and plan to do the same afterward, to account for our plan to not work out or eat right at all during that stretch from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  We’re automatically writing off that whole time as a “no fitness zone”, but that doesn’t have to be the reality!
If you really tear it up on Thanksgiving, layering on the turkey and stuffing with two pieces of pie (you have to try them both) and then 6 beers watching football on the couch, that’s fine!  Another great quote to live by during the holidays is “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”  So, don’t beat yourself up and feel guilty about going overboard once in a Blue Moon (get what I did there?).  That leads down a spiral that can continue the debauchery for much longer than you planned.  In addition to enjoying all the food and drinks with your friends and family if you’re away from home, spend some time hiking outside or tossing the football in the backyard.  If you’re at home, take some “me time” to get to the gym in the morning before the whole crew is awake.  You’ll feel great from the endorphins released when you move around with a purpose, and because you know you’ve once again committed yourself to a healthy lifestyle.

Finally, I’m sure we can all read that quote and think of another area of our life that it really seems to fit.  Something that you know you should be doing but haven’t been able to pull the trigger.  That feeling that is holding you back may be a fear of failure or even just a fear of the unknown.  “What if I make the leap and things suddenly are a lot different?”  Or maybe it’s just that the objective you have in mind is so daunting when you look at the big picture that it seems like too much to bite off at one time.
Thinking about our quote again though, we’re never going to be able to find the perfect starting point, the perfect beginning.  The thing to do is to take small actions that lead toward your future state.  As part of your morning routine, identify ONE THING you can do today to make progress toward your goal.  In the evening, reassess where you are and determine the next appropriate action toward your goal.  The next morning, review your plan and then go out and take action again!  As you continue progressing toward that final objective, the bigger picture will come more into focus and your momentum will keep you energized.

So in the end, whether we’re talking about starting or maintaining our commitment to fitness and health, or even creating a meaningful change in our lives, the process is simple but not easy.  Wherever we are in the continuum of “ready”, all we need to do is start.  Take one step in the right direction, which leads to another… and the rest is your story!


Endurance: “Michael”
3 rounds for time:
– Run 800M
– 50 Back Extensions
– 50 Sit-ups

In honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael McGreevy, 30, of Portville, NY, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28, 2005.

Michael grew up in Portville, New York, a hamlet 80 miles south of Buffalo.  He was a top athlete and scholar who went on to graduate from the Naval Academy in 1997. Retired school staff noted that Michael was the best they ever had.  Michael ran track, and set a school record for the 800-meter run. He also wrestled, played soccer and youth ice hockey. He would run more than 3 miles to school each morning, to be there by 6 a.m. so that he could get in a session of strength building before classes started.

Times to beat: Matt Smith 17:40 (6/14/2017), David Oliva 17:55 (6/14/2017), Maddie Little 18:59 (6/14/2017), Carrie Clime 20:17 (6/14/2017)


"Make clearer lines. Define who you are and what you do. Free up your energy for other considerations. Let your discipline be set in stone."

Work Capacity:
For time:
– 30 Overhead Squats, 115/75 lbs
– 15 Muscle-ups
– 20 Overhead Squats, 115/75 lbs
– 10 Muscle-ups
– 10 Overhead Squats, 115/75 lbs
– 5 Muscle-ups

"You never think about quitting when you're thinking about winning." - Stew Smith

Strength: Deadlift 3-3-3-3-3

Core: 3 x max Sorensen Hold

Strength: 10 minutes to find 2RM Turkish Get-up (1 on each arm)

Work Capacity:
AMRAP in 20 minutes:
– 20-cal Row
– 15 Dips
– 10 Turkish Get-ups, 50/35 lb DB

“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills. There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.” - Marcus Aurelius

In my last blog post I outlined how to become more consistent with your workouts by planning out your week of fitness and then executing on that plan.  But let’s bring it back up one level.  Why workout anyway?  What are you training for?  PR’ing your Fran time and your 1RM Clean and Jerk every few months is pretty awesome, and at first just being noticeably better at CrossFit is all the motivation you need!  But if you hit a plateau in your Wodify weightlifting graph or find yourself searching for motivation to get in the gym on a regular basis, you might need something else, a meaningful challenge in your future that you can keep in mind.

This special, looming challenge could be CrossFit-related like competing in the next Eastern Shore Affiliate Challenge, or even just committing to doing better than last year in the CrossFit Open.  Maybe even more powerful would be an event that you don’t feel like you’re currently prepared for, something you’ve never done before.  A Spartan Beast obstacle course race, or a GORUCK Challenge, or an Olympic Weightlifting meet.  Of course, it must be something you are interested in — otherwise the motivation won’t really be there — but also the more outside of your comfort zone it is, the better!  Think of it like this – if I sign myself up for a 50K trail run that is going down in March, I am going to be super gung-ho about creating a stepwise training plan for myself that will address all of my weaknesses that would be exposed on those rocky hills.  If I sign myself up for a 5K road run on Kent Island, I wouldn’t feel too bad about neglecting my training and nutrition for a while — if I get ramped up a couple weeks before the race I’ll be good to go.  So make it something you will enjoy training for and then crushing on “race day”, but also something that you do NEED to train for.

On those days that we all have when you’re lacking that internal motivation to get in the gym or even just get out of bed, keeping that difficult event in mind will be that external motivation that you need to work on improving your fitness and your mental game.  We all know that CrossFit makes us more physically fit, but practicing that discipline to do the hard work when you really don’t feel like it will also pay big dividends during the toughest times of your event.

So, as this year wraps up and the colder weather is dragging in shorter days, I encourage you all to commit to a tough challenge to loom in your near future.  Sign up, put it on your calendar, and your winter workouts will be fueled by motivation to arrive at that event ready to kick ass, and a huge success at the event will propel you forward to even greater challenges!