As I look back over the past 12 months, much of which is actually documented on this website, I am reminded of the progress that has been made in my life, in great part thanks to being surrounded by encouraging friends.
So here is my Top 10 List, you have to have a Top 10 at the end of every year, don’t you?
Follow the Red Links to all the back stories. I expect that you will have a few laughs, at my expense.
1. Defiant Wellness – I launched DefiantWellness.Com in February, on my birthday. Originally my intent was to simply journal my CrossFit progress, but it didn’t take long for DW to morph into a journal of my evolving lifestyle. I discuss Food, Fitness, Failure, Frustration and Friends.
2. Jumping Rope – Those who know me well, that is, those who met me the day I walked in the door for the first time, know I couldn’t jump rope one time in a row. It took me nine months to learn to be proficient in Single-Unders. Perhaps Double-Unders will appear on the 2014 list.
3. Box Jumps – It took fourteen months for me to get the courage to do a Box Jump. Many people tried encouraging me, with various degrees of success, but it was Freddys taking the time to teach me to land, and reverse-engineering that to a vertical jump that got my fear of falling out of the equation and allowed my body to exercise the movement. I am slow, but I can handle 20-inch jumps with ease and I can pull off a few 24’s too. The 30″ box will be a reality in 2014.
4. My first Partner Competition – In October I partnered with Julia to do a fun Guy/Girl Team Competition. She really forced me out of my comfort zone on several moves and she carried a great deal of the points, but I had a blast.
5. My first Mud Run – In November I was a last minute replacement to run with Julia in the Rugged Maniac obstacle course. I was filling in for Katie who decided to get pregnant. I only had a couple weeks notice, so I couldn’t get too anxious. Julia was very patient and she ran along side me for the whole race, in case she needed to administer CPR. Once again, she pushed me beyond my own expectations.
6. My first Individual Competition – In December I made a leap of faith and I did my first scaled Men’s Comp at CrossFit Union. It was grueling, but I survived. I met a lot of great people. CrossFit is a wonderful game for last place finishers, people cheer you on and encourage you to dig deeper than you ever knew you could.
7. Nutrition – This year I began to move “beyond Paleo”. No, I haven’t rejected Paleo, but I have re-introduced whole foods that serve me well and that I do not have a physical aversion to. So I will occasionally introduce some white rice into the mix. Some cheese, dark chocolate, red wine. Yeah, the Paleo Purist may call me a heretic, too bad. I may be old, but I didn’t grow up in a cave.
I have also had to pay attention to how much I eat, as I have realized that oftentimes I eat too little. During the Nutrition/Performance Challenge, I increased my daily caloric intake to 3000 and still lost weight and inches in the 30 day period.
8. Medication – What medication? Well, I am still on three prescription meds, but since I began CrossFit sixteen months ago, all three have had their dosages reduced by 75%. I truly believe that 2014 will be the year I kiss these meds goodbye.
9. Alternative Healthcare – ChiroPro Performance Center (Dr. G.) has been a fantastic resource in helping me understand my body in a holistic fashion. Comprehensive blood work, anti-inflammatory diet, metabolic balance testing, tweaked dietary guidelines and tailored supplementation plans have all contributed greatly to my health and well being where tradition medicine has failed.
10. Transformation – Having logged my progress in these posts since February, has allowed me to be very aware of the progress I have made in regards to endurance, strength, overall fitness, health and body composition. To say I am in the best shape I have been in since Basic Training is amazing to me. The best part of all this is that it is beginning to impact those around me, who take notice and ask how they can get healthy.
I love my friends at CF2a and I am particularly close to the 5:30 and 6:30 morning crews who have adopted me and encouraged me so much. Some of these guys and girls have become buddies outside the box and I hold their friendship dear. But most of all, I want to thank my sweetheart, Suzanne, who has put up with all my mid-course corrections as I seek to grow old in a better way with her and for her. She thinks I’m obsessed! What’s all that about?
As we head into 2014 in a couple hours, be Defiant! Be Well!