168 Industrial Dr
Mashpee, MA 02649
(508) 648-5648

October 14, 2010

Friday

WOD

10 Rounds For Time

5 Reps Shoulder To Over Head 135/95
12 Lunges
20 Sit Ups

Determination Part II

It was a funny thing for me when I realized that I was forsaking what so many were paying so much money for. I was working at the time at a very expensive club on Nantucket Island and I got to work out there. For the rest of the world if you wanted to be a permanent member you had to pay 300k dollars plus annual dues. There were winter memberships available to the public for just the fitness building that cost a couple of thousand dollars. It was a very ornate and impressive facility. As far as equipment there was one leg press machine, a leg extension machine, a seated leg curl machine, a calf raise machine, a hip abductor machine, and a hip adductor machine so if you wanted to get a mediocre leg workout performing 3 sets of 10 on each target area of your legs I guess you should plan a half day. It was the same for every body part, Front delts, medial delts, rear delts, all had a machine or two and working just shoulders required the use of a vacation day at work. As you can imagine many grew bored and often resorted to abbreviated sessions and 20 minutes in front of a TV on a treadmill or elliptical.
My workouts and my clients workouts were another story all together. In the hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment were hidden a few things that we could really build fitness with-if we were creative enough, if we looked hard enough, if- we were doing CrossFit. There was a place to do pull ups and a place to do dips. There was one rower. There were two bars and we would steal them from the bench press and put them to use. There were dumbells, and I brought and encouraged the use of jump ropes. These were the least expensive, least frequently used items in the entire facility. They lacked the shine and comfort of the machines but as you all know- they were ultra effective! Which was something that you really couldn’t say about the 10,000 dollar ‘power plate’, a platform that would vibrate, to this day I don’t know what it is supposed to do.
Eventually I worked out almost exclusively at my house. I made a medicine ball out of a basked ball filled with sand, I would jump on the stairs in my basement for box jumps, I measured out the run distances from the basement door, I made a pull up bar out of pipe, I ordered some rings and used the dusty cement floor for burpees and everything else-I didn’t let any thing stand in my way if I wanted to do the wod. There was no electricity but I had an extension chord and a construction lamp if I couldn’t get to it until evening. I would go to play grounds-in fact I remember doing Angie at the playground and I was loving every second of my new adventure into CrossFit. Others began to join me. Guys that were used to going to the gym and benching then blasting bi’s while sitting on an exercise ball were now introduced to things like ‘sandbag grace’ 30 Reps for time from the ground to over head. Some turned green half way through and never showed up again, others turned green loved it and for some reason only showed up now and then. There were a couple who took to CrossFit just like me and ate it up-usually the last people I would think, Sarah for example did her first CrossFit wod in the basement about 2 years ago and could barely hang from the bar. Liz did about 5 burpees and literally fell on the floor but genuinely loved it.
Anyway I was miles away from the expensive club and chugging the CrossFit kool-aid. I was 30 miles out to sea but my motivation also came from the videos on CrossFit.com and the lecture clips from CrossFits founder Greg Glassman. I saw girls doing thing that I knew I couldn’t do, and doubted I ever could. Nonetheless I tried my best. Looking back at all the people who I have been happy to introduce to CrossFit, the success stories and the people that didn’t make it yet there are a couple things that stand out to me.

First is that fitness has nothing to do with comfort, luxury, or label.

Second, getting fit takes a blue collar approach. The, I do it because it’s what I do and that’s just how it is, approach. Just showing up. Just trying. And doing it again the next day. Until eventually you look back and realize you aren’t even the same person physically that you were when you started. In fact as you go through life you realize that you are better mentally as well. And the thing that you know is different is that you are there going face to face with the workout on a regular basis. Facing your weaknesses. Building strength. Enforcing your determination. Proving to yourself and everyone you know that you aren’t going to back down, no matter how much you have going on in your life- YOU ARE NOT GOING TO QUIT. You might get hurt and have to work around it-but YOU ARE NOT GOING TO QUIT. You might have a voice that wants you to stop, wants you to fail, but by your actions you triumphantly shout your reply- “I AM NOT GOING TO QUIT!!!”
You may slow at times, or even over time. You may make sacrifices for the ones that you love. Sometimes you are the hero of your own story and hopefully of someone elses story, as you always hoped you would be. But the only way the story ever has any heroes is when the hero learns how to find a way, how to move forward, how to rise up, how to never, ever, quit.

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  1. Littles Reply

    Mark. so inspiring. thank you.

  2. Drew Reply

    I never realized how much kool-aid can change your life.

    Great post Mark.

  3. Nettie Reply

    Another great post, Mark. Thanks!

  4. Jane Reply

    Awesome post, Mark! Thank you so very much for introducing Drew and I to crossfit, it has truly made a difference in our lives.

  5. Tom B in Luxembourg Reply

    We are drinking the Koolaid – I mean working out in the sunny but spider infested basement with our 1 inch pipe pull up bar suspended between some wood blocks we mounted to walls!

    Love the motivational memo!

    Crossfit hasn’t caught on in Europe but we’ve got our own little “coven” of folks who come to the house for a Run, Lift, Jump, Puke, Repeat session a few times a week!

  6. Amy Reply

    Awesome….you ever think about motivational speaking??

  7. Nicole S. Reply

    I’m printing this and posting it on my fridge…so I can be reminded of not having any excuses in life. I create my own boundaries and need to realize there is nothing I can’t overcome. thanks for your guidance Mark!

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