Thirty-six years on one planet
Thirty-six years in one skin
Thirty-six years completed
Thirty-six years since “begin”

Today standing
With hopeful expectation

A future nearer
A future brighter
A future yet to be penned
On the pages of life

A day of celebration
Of community
Of inspiration

A day of work
A day of rest
A day of family
Of friends
Of business
And pleasure

Bright sun
Cool breezes
Running, moving
Thinking, speaking
A day of a million smiles
Of a million laughs

Thirty-six years on one planet
Thirty-six years in one skin
Thirty-six years completed

Day one of year thirty-seven
This day we are in


Find what drives you to make the next mo

Find what drives you to make the next move then grab it and don’t let go until you can turn around and say “I’m there”. http://ow.ly/a7RBR

A Gift of Words

To my younger sister Taren. A gift of words.

Our ages this year will each be divisible by 9. The last time it was so, you were just entering the largest phase of your life. When it occurred once before that, you were just a child and I was unseasoned, ignorant, and fearful.

I write you on your birthday because I know of the significance of words to you. I am now, more than ever, increasingly keen to words’ grossly underestimated value and largely disrespected power. Sheer, unbounded power. Power to build. Power to shatter. Power to nourish the starving heart. Power to starve the most robust of souls.

Today as you begin the next year of life, I wish you well on your journey. Seek truth, life, and a future you are thrilled with. My encouragement is that you do not settle for what others’ words limit you to. If you hear words that are limiting, turn your ear to words that destroy those limits. If you hear words that are hurtful, turn your ear to words that bring joy. If you hear words that devalue your life, turn to words that build your value. Instantly. Immediately. Consistently.

Seek out sources of words that will help you to grow, that will stretch you to become more than you are, that will succeed in producing fruit in you that others have failed so miserably at. As a young seedling reaches for the light, the heat, the energy, set yourself toward the words that produce light, heat, energy. Do not settle for suppression, depression, or for what “is what it is”. That is not life.

Your days of waiting must end, but only you can end them. Your days of being “less than” must cease, but only you can become more. Your days of being anchored to hurts and scars of the past must be put to rest, but only you can bury them. Take your look back at the things of the past, turn away from them, and set your sight on what you want, looking far beyond what you have. Then resolve in your heart to move with unrelenting focus to far exceed whatever “they” have said you could never be.

Let these words move you from one year to the next in the direction of hope and dream. Let them serve as a spur in your side to drive you to the next step forward. Let them burn in your soul such that you cannot bear to live outside of your passion one more moment. Let them comfort you in knowing that everything you see, feel, and know to be your “reality” is one decision, one action, one desire from being anything you truly want it to be.

Let these words empower you to change your world. Life is far too short, and years pass far too quickly, to live anything less than thrilled to be living.

Your new year has just begun. Find the thrill of living and never allow the words of another to shake you from it again.

What’s a Half Pound Record?

A half pound record is – STILL  A RECORD! and we do have a new one to celebrate tonight in the two hands snatch!  Sure it’s only a half pound, and sure I hit the most recent record a little over five months ago and have been trying to match that ever since, but I’ll take it!

I weighed in at 158.8 lbs this morning, and tonight, half a day later, straight up competition-grade snatched 163 lbs, topping my prior personal record set in June and with much better technique and confidence!

Refueled with some roasted turkey in olive oil, black pepper and salt-free garlic and herb seasoning with copious amounts of organic 50/50 baby spinach and spring mix and now I’m heading off to bed…so I can get to one of my favorite workouts of the week: the Friday 6 AM!  (CrossFit + olympic lifting is a combination that’s hard to beat!)

Read my chronicle of tonight’s PR journey right here: ow.ly/7xowI


Rhythm of the Ocean

Looking ahead to the culmination of the 100 Reps for 100 Days fundraiser on September 11, 2011 benefiting the Mauli Ola Foundation that takes children with cystic fibrosis to the ocean for fun, surf, and the healing properties of the ocean.

Come join us – we’re six weeks in with no signs of stopping!

For details, read Dr. Stephen Franson’s blogpost Movement is the Movement

In the spirit of the movement, here’s one of my favorites:


Find more artists like Hawaiian Style Band at Myspace Music



Tonight I received a rather pronounced reminder of just how grateful I am for my health team.

As I was coming up out of my second rep of two back squats at 230 lbs at North Shore CrossFit (where I put into practice much of what I’ve learned), I felt a shift in one of my lower lumbar/sacral vertebrae as I had, for an instant, sacrificed the strong lumbar curve I have been well-trained and well-practiced in maintaining during squats.  Knowing immediately what was coming – stiffness, inflammation, nerve irritation, restricted range of motion – I ended my workout immediately and reflexively sprang into damage control mode, drawing on what I have been trained in for over two years – applying icing, rest, proteolytic enzymes, and chiropractic adjustment.

Having realized just how much of a reflex corrective action is for me now and how easy it is to recognize the technical/structural errors I’ve made in movement and lifestyle when they occur, I think it’s time to give another shout out to my health team.  I realized that if the chiropractors I have been so blessed to have been working with for the last couple years had not introduced me to the functional fitness model and CrossFit as a method of achieving it, I quite possibly might not be aware that I can squat 230 lbs in a two-rep set, or that I am decent with olympic lifts, or that I do have an intensity and aptitude that helps me do things I certainly never thought I would!  I also realized that if it weren’t for the coaching and chiropractic care that I’ve received, I would be in much worse shape than I am and injuries, minor or moderate, would take far longer to recover from.

So, without going on and on about what I’ve learned (and trust me, I certainly can!), let me once again say a HUGE THANK YOU to the chiropractors, coaches, and really the whole community who are on my health team!  Who WOULD I be today if you had not been coaching me, adjusting me, and demonstrating a lifestyle of wellness and extreme fitness for me over the last two years???  Doctors Stephen Franson, Camilla Franson, Jesse Davis, Paul C Kratka, Nicholas Araza, and Ryan Hewitt; coaches Dave Picardy, Tara Picardy, Dawn Adam-Brown, Rafael Flores, JP Wioncek, Paul Dalton, Marco Martinez, Dan Vadala, Alicia Gomes, Brian Crosbie, Jon Conant; and all the fellow athletes locally and in other cities I’ve had the privilege of working out together in – you have all had serious roles in helping me become who I am and I appreciate it IMMENSELY!

Tomorrow is another day, and because of what I’ve learned and have been trained in over the last two years, and because of your willingness to take time to help me when I need it most, I’ll be able to take it on with a smile and health that speaks for itself!

Dear Pin Up CrossFit…

With your words you say you love me, but your “heart” says something COMPLETELY different!

Just a 1600 meter warm-up/cool-down walk from my downtown Houston hotel is a little brick building with a fenced-in parking lot on the corner of Austin and Webster.  It’s pretty unnoticeable from the outside save some markings on the front plate-glass windows…at least for now until it gets a fresh coat of paint this weekend.  In the dark of the early morning, it could be easy to miss.  But it’s not about what’s outside…

Enter Pin Up CrossFit (http://pinupcrossfit.com).  With early morning Mon, Wed, and Fri classes in the weekly schedule, it’s a perfect fit for desk jockeys (like me) who spend FAR too much time seated in front of their PC’s (like I am right now).

Three times now I’ve been able to have my butt kicked and handed to me with a phenomenal 6 AM crew (space was at a premium in there this past Wed) who’s not afraid to go at it 100% before the sun’s up to rock the start of their days, exemplifying the universal community that is CrossFit.  From my first visit, I felt right at home amongst the various states of awakeness [heh, let there be no question – by the time the hour’s up, EVERYBODY’s fully awake and a TON more alive than they were when they came in (though it certainly might not feel like it when “Time!” is called)].

Charlie’s coaching will wring tears out of the toughest of ’em.  Well, actually, his coaching’s great – very good on technique, safety, and motivation…it’s the programming that derives tears.  (Mine are actually sweat drops, not tears – that’s my story and I’m sticking with it!)…

Charlie and 6 AM Pin Up crew, thanks for reminding me how much CrossFit…”loves” us all…

…I make no promises on when I’ll be back

…and I’m not sure if I should let Charlie know or not – for I detect an evil trend here that was expressed quite well with his smirk just before this morning’s countdown, and I’d like to save you all from that evil if at all possible…

Pin Up CrossFit – keep kicking butt!


P.S. If I ever see that heart on the board again…
The gory details of my experiences at Pin Up CrossFit:
WOD 1 – Wed 2011 Feb 02 06:00

OH Squats: 5, 5, 5, 5 straight sets @ 95 (skill, not strength)
“Frienemy” faceoff with Aaron.
75 Thrusters @ 65# (75# Rx)
Person A does AMRAP thrusters while Person B does 7 burpees. When 7 burpees are complete, “frienemies” swap stations and person on thrusters initiates start (burpees cannot begin until thrusters begin). Alternating stations continues until one person finishes 75 thrusters and is declared the winner.

WOD 2 – Wed 2011 Apr 06 06:00

“Buddy Battle” teamed with Sean (Shawn? Shaun? Sorry dude, didn’t see it spelled out…)
3 Rounds

18 Thrusters (HEAVY) @ 125#

50 box jumps

75 push ups

Buddy carry, down and back across parking lot (I let him carry me since he’d have some serious road rash on his knuckles if I was the one doing the carrying)

Warning!  Warning!  Warning!

If you’re a Pin Up member reading this on Fri 2011 Apr 08 and have not made your visit to the box today yet, !!!STOP HERE!!!…spoiler info below!

Ok, you asked for it…

WOD 3 – Fri 2011 Apr 08 06:00

“Burpee Love”
150 burpees for time

Finished LAST in the class, everybody watching (except for the couple guys passed out on the deck) as I did my last, painful 25

19:55…and in a couple hours, the longest 3.5 hour flight back to Boston I’ve ever sat on…