Fight Gone Bad 6 at North Shore CrossFit Danvers MA

What did Fight Gone Bad 6 look like at Northshore CrossFit Saturday? Here’s what the GoPro Hero saw:

 

Heat 1-2 Intermission:

Calm before the Storm

Heat 2:

Round 1 Movement 1

Round 1 Movements 2-5

Round 2

Round 3

Heat 2-3 Intermission:

Coach Dave

Around the Room 1

Raf

Coach Dave Soap Box

Berg, Chase, Vlad

Heat 3:

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Heat 3 Aftermath:

Burpee

Around the Room 1 (Coach Dave Reports)

Around the Room 2

NSCF Kids FGB6:

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Before

After

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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:

http://www.myspace.com/music/song-embed?songid=21679510&getSwf=true

Find more artists like Hawaiian Style Band at Myspace Music

 

Who WOULD I Be?

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!

On the Eve of a New Year of Life

On the eve of the next significant segment of my increasingly awesome life, an appreciation of many things (by no means all) that have made it so great…so far…

  • My own two bedroom Beverly MA apartment with one ideal neighbor
  • Living in a city that lends itself to random bump-into hello’s with beautiful people like Jeremy & Nicole Puz
  • Cool train buddies for the morning/evening commute (Julie Dame)
  • Family still covering all the places I’ve lived for any significant amount of time (HI, OH) and right down the street (Adam & Kristi Brusa, who were my “roommates” for 7.5 years and introduced me to Greater Boston)
  • Lifetime friends from primary schools (Ryan Towata, Jeff Lau, Jake Shimabukuro, Mari Kotani, Jen Tupuola, Henry Okazaki, Jason Yamamoto just to name a few)
  • My Bonfire Health Tribe – all the people who have shaped what was once my typical American lifestyle into a full-bore wellness pursuit (Dr. Stephen Franson, Dr. Paul Kratka, Dr. Jesse Davis, Nina Lambert, Alexis Girvan, Sarah Tymann, Chaney Davis, Dr. Ryan Hewitt, Kendra Cecieta, Dr. Nick Araza, Jennifer Nadeau, Dr. Bruce Wong, Franson Family Chiropractic, Merrimack Valley Chiropractic, Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic, Lifetime Family Wellness Centers)
  • The first athletic coach I ever had as an adult, Dan Vadala, who led me through my first year as a CrossFit rookie and built so much confidence into me that the question of “if I can” never exists but only the question of “when I will”.  [And you stuck me with possibly the coolest nickname on the planet brotha!]
  • North Shore CrossFit – the sweet athletic training center I am OVERTLY proud to call home and all the coaches and members, past and present, that have shaped me into an athlete I never could have imagined I’d EVER be (Dave Picardy, Tara Picardy, Dawn Adam-Brown, Paul Dalton, JP Wioncek, Steve Blair, Rafael Flores, Marco Martinez, Alicia Gomes, Brent Miffitt, Ben Rotker, Gordon Plutsky, Cas Green, Dan Meegan, Mike Stankus, Marykate Wioncek, Val Kuthe, Temin Lee, Evan Bernier, Kathryn Leibfried, Doug Williams, Jon Park, Lauren Cecilia, Gayle Masiero, Susie CrossFit and seemingly a million others of no less significance).
  • The global CrossFit community and coaches that do the same for people all over the world and provide great places to work out and a new bunch of friends when I come to town (CrossFit Cape Ann, CrossFit Full Potential, CrossFit Wicked, CrossFit Route 1, PinUp CrossFit, CrossFit New Albany, Rogue Fitness (CrossFit Columbus), South Baltimore CrossFit, CrossFit Relentless, Jon & Karen Conant, Joe Valenzuela, Brian Crosbie, Charlie Gerszewski, Mel Velez, Keith Simon, Graham Holmberg, Troy Venuto, Merle McKenzie)
  • A well-paid occupation that finances my fun and several years in Corporate America that have opened my eyes to the way things work, helping me to look eagerly toward a future of building people, and all the friends made there who will never cease to be friends (Jason Scot Taft, Reagan Rust, Michelle George, Krissy Allaire, Ilirjana Travers, Patrizia Rinko, Jake & Sarah Duckworth, Emily Glick, Wendy Li, Toni Ann Louie, Ranjan Ezra, Erin Frazee, Sonya Ulen, Amanda Wicker Gleason, PDW…there’s no way I could name all of you)
  • A crazy exciting community of faith in The Harbor that amazes me every day in the true meaning of community, brotherly love, and celebration of the individual for everything s/he brings to the table; the incredible musicians I get to work with on a week-to-week basis; and the closely knit faithgroups that I’ve had the privilege of participating in and growing with
  • Friends from prior churches near and far (Oscar & Jayme Arevalo, Enzo & Michelle Surin, Michael Carucci, GJ, John Bereiweriso, Lawrence Bereiweriso, Jimmy & Leda Rodriguez, Eli McNeal, Russ & Cookie Christian, Shawn & Tammy Hammond, Davin & Liko Yokomori, Scott & Darlene Tsuha, Charlie & Diana Lorenz, Dale Napoleon Aoki, Pastors Art & Kuna Sepulveda, Freddie & Hoku Acevedo, Victoria Acevedo Molio’o, Chavonne Taylor, Marques Hammond and so many others)
  • Low profile/high impact friends in local communities who do their thing faithfully regardless of recognition and eventually surface in the public eye because their work and results speak far more loudly than they do (Jason Cruz, Enzo Surin)
  • A good amount of time to figure myself out as an adult before embarking on the adventure of walking side-by-side with someone else along the banks of forever
  • A warm bed, fresh food, clothing and shoes that seem never to wear out, clean water, electricity and all the necessities and luxuries of American life that are so easily taken for granted
  • Encouraging words from all angles, inspiring stories from all sources, a challenging and hope-filled future, and the intrigue of what I will be tomorrow when I wake, and how much better that will be when I close my eyes at the end of the day

As Dr. Alexander Angelov stated today as I aced my second consecutive annual physical exam, when it all boils down to the basics, the most important things are one’s health and one’s relationships – neither of these has ever been greater for me than it is right now.  [And trust me, if your name doesn’t appear here, it doesn’t mean you’re any less significant to this equation.]

Tonight I sleep with a smiling heart, closing out a season, prepared to take on the opportunities that lie ahead in the next – with all of you who inspire me daily to be a better person from the inside out.

3…

2…

1…

go…

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!

Brandon

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…

Men of Art, Visual and Verbal

Last night I introduced two friends, one man whose art speaks through shape, color and form, and another whose art speaks through word, rhythm, and meter.  The venue: RAW Art Works, 37 Central Square, Lynn MA.  The informal introduction, months in the making, lasted just an hour.

Jason Cruz, a man I first met and trained with at North Shore CrossFit, has guided local youth for 15 years at RAW to expression and release through art and creativity, letting their creations tell their stories, many unrefined, emotionally charged, and otherwise unheard (or worse, expressed through violence or other objectionable means).  Enzo Surin, a published poet, author, literacy advocate, and Pushcart Prize nominee is a friend of many years whose art and its impact on young people continue to grow in scope and recognition.  Both men, with great heart for the youth of their local communities, use their unique talents to influence, challenge and encourage young people to become more than what typical society says they must become because of their social, economic and domestic conditions.

The three young men who were also there working on their current project pieces were courteous hosts and presented good handshakes and solid introductions to myself and Enzo.  As Jason said, “they could be anywhere” and yet they chose to be at RAW last night.  I withhold their names here, not because I do not remember them or because they are without significance, for that is certainly not the case, but to provide a trust that was not necessarily requested yet that is certainly deserved.  These young men, who have much more to deal with than I had at their age, shared a glimpse into their worlds, their thoughts, their stories with Enzo and me, and were very attentive and respectful as we were able to casually share a few of our own experiences from our younger days.  I certainly hope to see these young men again in future visits.

In the one hour that we were onsite at RAW, we engaged in conversation on athletics, writing, coaches, potential, current pieces on and their meaning; and shared curiosity, openness, encouragement, challenge, visual art, and even some impromptu poetry.  Enzo and I were able to make a solid impact on the three young men through our stories that they showed genuine appreciation for at the end of our time together.  Before we parted ways, all of us described the evening with phrases that included “awesome”, “creative-minded”, “inspiration”, “future”,  and “destiny” and rated our day as ending at a net-positive; one of the young men even acknowledging that though his evening had begun at a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, during our visit, it turned into an 8.

I had waited all day (not to mention the months in planning) to introduce Enzo to Jason and meet the RAW crew.  At the end of the night, I was certainly not disappointed.  That was what it was all about.  That was the reason we were there.  Those three young men were the reason Enzo, Jason, and my schedules finally lined up last night, let alone the many other lives that will be touched and forever changed by these men and their collaboration in the future.

Neither Jason nor Enzo, separated by less than a mile in the center of their city, had any real knowledge of the other’s passion and work until last night.  The impact of that meeting cannot be estimated, it can only be observed in days ahead.  From what we saw and all felt of the meeting, the future will be much brighter for many of the urban youth of Lynn MA because of the efforts of these two artists and their unique and complementary delivery styles.

Thank you Jason and Enzo for setting aside the time for our introduction.  I look forward to what future collaboration amongst us will produce and the exponentially greater positive impact it will have on the young people of Lynn and the surrounding areas.

More to come.  That, I’m certain of.

For more information on Jason Cruz and RAW Art Works, visit http://rawart.org [Click on the “Giving to RAW” link in the middle of the top menu for an online donation form.]

For information on and booking for Enzo Surin’s work, visit http://www.enzosurin.com

Warm Peppered Coconut Shrimp Salad with Grapefruit Reduction

Winning paleo-culinary experiment tonight.  In a restaurant, it’d probably be enough for three “servings” at $8-$12 each but it’s dinner for one in my home and didn’t cost anywhere near that much or require a tip.

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts organic mixed greens/baby spinach (yes, I measure my greens by qt instead of by c)
  • 1 serving WILD CAUGHT shrimp, thawed if frozen (don’t mess with farm raised)
  • 3 grapefruit segments
  • 1 teaspoon organic coconut oil
  • 2 cranks of rainbow pepper grinder

Directions:

  1. Wash greens in a large mixing bowl, drain, and set aside.
  2. Peel skin and “juice” the grapefruit wedges into small saucepan and simmer at medium heat.  I used my fingers keeping the pulp in the sauce…extra fiber.
  3. Add pepper.
  4. Shell, tail, and slice shrimp into bite sized pieces.
  5. Once grapefruit juice is simmering, add coconut oil and shrimp (both will add additional fluid).
  6. Bring dressing back to a simmer and reduce to thick-ish consistency – you don’t want too much of it puddling at the bottom of your mixing bowl but you don’t want it so thick/dry that it doesn’t cover the whole 2 quarts of greens.
  7. Once dressing has been reduced to desired consistency, drain greens again (water gathers at the bottom of the bowl once you’ve let it sit for a few minutes) and pour entire reduction dressing onto greens and toss/mix thoroughly.
  8. Serve (or just enjoy from the large bowl like I did).

It started heavy on the shrimp flavor and took a little while for the sauce as Rx’d ;o) to build but by the end of the whole salad, the mix of flavors was great.  Next time I’ll probably add one or two more cranks of the pepper mill and two or three more grapefruit wedges for a thicker, more punchy dressing.

You may want to experiment with the shrimp in various stages of cooked-ness as pre-cooked shrimp may absorb more of the flavor of the reduction.

Other good candidates for additional fat content: walnuts, avocado slices, etc…

Totally enjoyable dinner, quite satisfying, well-balanced, and completely free of refined sugars, dairy, and grains.  Perfect!