Daily Motivation!

There's nothing quite like your very own tombstone to make you take stock of your mortality.

There’s nothing quite like your very own tombstone to make you take stock of your mortality.

While doing yard work last Saturday, I re-discovered my tombstone.

Yes, it is true. I have a tombstone, with my name on it, in my garden.

I’ve had it for about 12 years. It weighs about 300 pounds. I relocated it from our old house when we moved ten years ago.

I came upon it by accident. A friend was building a stone chapel, and I’d help him on weekends.

One day as I was searching in his stone yard, for the next stone for a wall we were building, I rolled over this five foot long block of granite. The plan of the original stone cutter was that this would be a grave marker for CHARLES R. < insert last name here>, but the stone shattered in two, partway into the last name. So the stone was discarded in the reject pile.

The letters are in relief. That is, they are raised off the face of the stone by 3/8 inch. This was hand carved, prior to pneumatic stone cutting tools. The carver had to remove all the stone behind the letters. Each letter is about five inch high. He had invested a great many hours before the stone broke, negating all his sweat and toil.

When I saw the name, my friend told me I could have the stone, so I cut the stone after the first name and we managed to get the stone into my truck. By now if was about three feet long.

Our front yard is not a lawn. It is all perennial gardens. We keep it very informal. The walkways are all stones. I use this stone as a step up between two levels.

When I step out my door every morning, to begin my day, I glance to my right and I see my stone. A subtle reminder that this may be the last time I cross this way. I would like to think that this brief daily reminder of my mortality affects how I act, as I move through the day.

Don’t take today for granted. Don’t waste it. It might be all you have. That should be sufficient motivation to make today a good one, for you, and for everyone you meet.

Be Gratefully Defiant, and Live Well!

 

Best Wishes Chad

Chad and Julia on Chad's last day. Wishing you the best Bro, you will be missed.

Chad and Julia on Chad’s last day. Wishing you the best Bro, you will be missed.

Life is a fascinating confluence of people, places, events and time that can leave one with a remarkable sense of awe. It is simultaneously elegant in it’s simplicity and overwhelming in its complexity.

How is it that people wander through this world, totally unaware of one another, and then, though some twist of fate, their paths cross and they are in the same place, at the same time? And lives change.

Why am I speaking this way. I usually leave this cosmic stuff to mystics and steer clear of it, preferring things that are more tangible and pragmatic.

But today is a time of reflection. A mentor has stepped aside, leaving me to reassess my direction, as I no longer have his wisdom to guide me.

Over the past six months, I have experienced this on three separate occasions as people, who have dramatically influenced me in my quest for health, have moved on to other opportunities. They haven’t left my life. They are still friends and we keep in touch. But their roles in my life have evolved and once again, I am forced to grow.

Today was Coach Chad’s last day at my CrossFit box. He has been coaching for most of my time there and he has been a key motivating force in the progress of the early morning crews at 5:30 and 6:30. Chad is encouraging, knowledgable, and patient. He is also a strong competitor who knows how to have fun.

Every morning I walked into the gym I was greeted by a mischievous grin, as Chad told me he was glad to see me. And every time he said it, I believed him. Why? Because he was always caring about the people in his classes. He encouraged us, he critiqued us. He pushed us. No matter how much grief we gave him, he always smiled as he dealt with us.

Last Spring I went to the CrossFit Regionals (as a spectator of course), and Chad knew everyone. And even though it was like homecoming as he was greeted by his friends from CFNE and ReebokOne, he always took the time to introduce me, so I wasn’t left out of the conversation.

As we watched athletes compete, he took the time to point out how their performance and technique could apply to my primitive imitations of these movements.

Over the past 18 months, every moment I spent with Chad was informative, engaging and fun. When it comes to being a smart aleck, he can dish it out AND he can take it.

Chad, you will be missed and things won’t be the same without you. Thanks for everything.

 

 

Reflections on CrossFit Open 2014

No, I am not mooning the world! This is my first successful Toes-to-Bar which took place in CrossFit Open 14.4.

If I had to sum up my feelings about this year's Open in a single phrase, it would be, "Mixed Emotions". As I reflect upon the past several weeks, I will share my observations regarding what I believe was Good, Bad and Ugly, in this year's Open. … [Continue reading]

How do you like your coffee?

Just in case you were wondering, no, I didn't eat these cookies.

The question has nothing to do with preparing the beverage for consumption, but everything to do with the atmosphere where the beverage is being consumed. My first cup of the day is bulletproof and I sit with my sweetheart, Suzanne, as we chat … [Continue reading]

CrossFit Open 14.5

More than halfway through the WOD and my form was still good, full depth in the squat and full lock-out with the press.

I can't believe we are already at the last event of the CrossFit 2014 Open Competition. These five weeks have flown by. I have to schedule time off for the Regionals. Oh yeah, I forgot, I'm not going to the Regionals. Thursday Announcement … [Continue reading]

Things Aren’t Always As They Seem

Coffee-Dessert

Today I was running a quart low on coffee, so I made my way to Starbucks late in the day. I usually have my second, and last, cup around lunchtime. But today was a bit hectic and I wasn't able to escape the office for lunch. So I figured I'd walk … [Continue reading]

CrossFit Open 14.4 Post Mortem

The Calm before the Storm

Thursday Announcement Party This evening we gathered for some conversation, dessert and fun, as we eagerly awaited the announcement of 14.4. For those of you who need to know, dessert was a collaboration which resulted in Dark Chocolate Bowls … [Continue reading]

Savor the Delicious Pain

A Man and his Barbell is a beautiful thing

I have spent the first two months of this year burned out. I was weak, exhausted, stressed. Whatever was bothering me, it was clear that I wasn't firing on all cylinders. I was so gassed, it would often take me days to recover from a single WOD. … [Continue reading]

Another Pessimist meets His Demise

My reward for a good showing, Stuffed Poblano Chili Pepper, Bacon and a Cheese Omelet, and my second bulletproof coffee. Suzanne will get the Roses when he gets home.

I rose from my slumber at 5:30 on this winter morning to be with my friends as we chased another CrossFit Open. I was paired up with my gal pal Julia. She performed the workout beautifully. She kept her back straight with each lift. She had a … [Continue reading]

CrossFit Open 14.3 – My Forecast

Can Julia motivate me enough to get through CrossFit Open 14.3?

Thursday Evening: All of us kids are gathered once again for the announcement of CrossFit Open 14.3. We're sitting here with homemade paleo apple crisp and not-so-paleo Ben and Jerry's ice cream, eagerly anticipating the announcement. Personally, … [Continue reading]