Tag Archives: CrossFit

In Doubtful Matters Boldness Is Everything

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“In Doubtful Matters, Boldness is Everything”–Pubillius Syrus

   Good morning, I hope you are doing well. Today is a good day. It’s a HUGE day. “Why?” You might ask. Any day that I don’t spend trying to negotiating a one sided deal with St. Peter that could possibly cost him his job is a pretty good one.  Also, my high school football coach, Ken Netherland, is going to be inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame. Coach is no longer with us, but his wife Sharon, aka Mrs. Coach, is going to accept the induction. I have never met anyone quite like Coach. From the time I was about 12 years old I saw him as larger than life. I would watch the varsity football team come onto the field, and I swore that they were all 7′ tall and each weighed 300lbs. I was in total envy. I couldn’t believe how a man could command so much respect that these big monsters would do whatever, whenever this man asked. Coach Netherland was exactly who he was and believed exactly what he believed, seemingly every day of his life. If there was ever a role model for a person who stayed the course and refused to get caught up in the hoopla of politics or others’ opinions, it was Coach. I tell you what else I admired about Coach, he was NOT afraid to fail. He did what he thought to be best, and he stuck with these principles day in and day out, often in the face of overwhelming adversity. The man would not be pushed around. He did not need to raise his voice, and a big vocabulary would not be required. One look from Coach Netherland on any given subject, and you knew exactly where he stood….always.

Coach Netherland spent most of his days herding cats. Fat, dumbassed cats, with short attention spans, and big egos. The task ahead of him each and every day was formidable and there was no room for wavering. I think about how Coach Netherland feeds into my daily life and how much I want to emulate him. First and foremost, I think about his willingness to fail at the risk of success. The guy did what he did for 50 friggin years! (368-131-3) was his record. 131 times he walked out in front of thousands of people and failed, right there in front of God and everybody. I love it! Hell, he went into entire seasons with the knowledge that he would be lucky to win a game or two…. but he did it anyway. Did you hear me? BUT HE DID IT ANYWAY. It was part of the gig. It was part of life. When he wins, no problems, he is a God. When he loses, he is a bum, facing 100 parents who could all do a better job. “THROW THE DAMN BALL” was the rallying cry of the fans who didn’t know 58 Blast from a  Butterfinger Blast, as they were feeding popcorn in their pie holes and trying to figure out why the guard lined up so far back on defense. No sir, not gonna change that man’s mind. He knew the risks, and he knew the rewards. He believed what he thought was best, and he stayed that course, day in and day out, sometimes with entire years going by, and all the fingers pointed squarely at him. How did he handle these years? He handled them the same way he did the State Championship seasons. He handled them with grace and dignity. Humility was his greatest asset. I watched him being interviewed on TV after he had become the winningest coach in Tennessee high school history. The reporter asked, “what does that mean?”. Coach’s response was this, “it means I’m old, and I’ve coached a lot of games”. Humility is an attribute that you don’t see everyday, but I sure like it when I do see it.

One of my favorite stories of standing behind one’s beliefs, is also one of my favorite Coach Netherland stories. As its told, when Coach was being shopped at St. George’s there was a meeting with some of the staff, alumni, and boosters. It was clear that they wanted Coach Netherland’s leadership and experience, but they also wanted him to waiver from his smashmouth, 3 yards and a cloud of dust, bust it up the gut offense, and implement a more flashy passing style of offense. After listening to various high-uppers give their pitch regarding what they wanted to see on the football field, it was Coach’s turn. He confidently approached the whiteboard and drew a rectangle to resemble a foot field with two end zones. He then drew a horizontal line straight down the middle, and said, “the last time I checked, the shortest distance between end zone to end zone is straight down the middle, and that is how I plan to get there. When you throw the football there are only 3 possible outcomes…and 2 of them ain’t good. I don’t like those odds. We will run the ball.” It would only take a few seasons before Coach had won a State Championship with those guys.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am fortunate to have seen a man who lived his life on his terms. Every time I think about WAITING to do something for fear of failure, or whatever ridiculous excuse I use to avoid trying, I think about Coach. Whenever I think, “I’m gonna sign up for that race NEXT year, when I’m more prepared” or “I’m gonna compete in the Open next year, when I’m in better shape”, I think about how Coach didn’t have that option. In fifty years, he didn’t have the option of saying, “my guys suck this year, so we are not gonna participate” or “we will just play the crappy teams that we choose, because we know we can handle them”. He was able to find success in the failures, the beauty in the seasons of losses. He was able to embrace all the hostility and doubt, and use that to make him all the stronger, and remained humble throughout. The success was just too important that he simply had to fail in order to achieve it. I would have never signed up for the CrossFit Open, the 50K, the 50miler if I hadn’t been taught to give things your best, and if you fail…fu*k em (sorry Mrs. Coach, but I also learned, that if you got something to say, say it). I was taught to go for it every day. This blog scares me to death, every single post of it, but having been through losing seasons and championship seasons with Coach, I have learned that sometimes you just have to go out there lower your head and move forward. Sometimes there will be an insurmountable wall made of adversity and ridicule, but if you just keep plugging away eventually its gonna blow wide open and good things will happen. You just have to stick with what you know, focus on the basics, and play smashmouth life. My hope today is that whatever decision you have been teetering on, GO FOR IT! Sign up, run the race, try out for the play, take the test, audition for the role, send the application, go for the jog, join the gym, meet with the group, sign up for the class, enter your credit card and press the “submit” button. FU*K IT. Lemme know how it goes.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,
Beefcake

Stinkin Thinkin

 

My idol Davis has been giving me some tips and i'm even starting to look like him. Thanks dude.
My idol Davis has been giving me some tips and I’m even starting to look like him. Thanks dude.

 

  Good morning. Gosh damn it’s early. I have come to enjoy shaking out the morning cobwebs via daily blog post that I set my alarm for 2am. Hopefully I can get one finished before I start getting ready for 5am CrossFit. We had the kids this past week so I have been unable to play with my morning friends at the gym. I’m excited to see them. There are generally varying levels of excitement, as you can imagine at any early morning gym session, but the people at the gym are so playful and fun. We all give each other a hard time, but everyone is thoughtful of each others’ feelings. Except for Mark Fortune, we don’t give a sh*t about his feelings. The way we see it, if a 50something year old man can color coordinate his workout clothes from head to toe and wear a SpongeBob Squarepants shirt, he is generally pretty comfortable with himself. The last time I left him, he was instructing a fellow member by pointing at his shirt, with the most serious of faces, and exclaiming, “SpongeBob says squat deeper….SpongeBob says deeper.” (For the record, I love Mark and the place would not be the same without him.)

  Last night Amanda and I attended the second class of our 12 week American Sign Language Course. It was fun, interesting, and scary. I would like to tell you that I am excited to learn sign language, but that would indicate that I am enjoying the process, and I am doing a terrible job at this. What I really want is to KNOW sign language, and I want to know it NOW. I sit in this class and I wait for the two hours to pass, not because I don’t enjoy sitting there, but because I am constantly afraid that my brain is going to reach maximum capacity. I fear that I am going to lock up and go into a Silas Marner trance, then have to be deprogrammed at some sort of mental hospital. There is only so much room in the ole noodle, and I’m afraid of filling it up with too much memory that I run out of RAM. I spend a great deal of time in my own head, and the conversations that go on up there are almost audible. The people who attend the meetings in my head can be from all different stages of my life and they can be brutal, impatient, and allow zero grace. The voices I am referring to are my conscience, and I have heard them accurately described as the “shi*ty committee”. It is a virtual boardroom of a*sholes tell me all of the reasons that I am not capable of performing most tasks. The president, CEO, and majority of the shareholders of Beefcake Inc. were all present at the committee during the duration of my class yesterday evening.  Being tired probably had a lot to do with my negative thinking. When I get fatigued, I start focusing on all of the things that I am doing poorly. I don’t cut myself any slack, and I start looking for the area where I am inadequate and start believing myself to be inferior. I forget that I am taking this class “for fun”, and it is supposed to be a “pleasure”. There is no career advancement or human life at stake. There is not a deaf person in my life at the moment who is in urgent need of my mastering the skill of American Sign Language, but you would think that I am needed to be the chief sign language negotiator for a hostage crisis in the Middle East somewhere.

Throughout the ALS class, we are asked to go in front of the classroom and act out various phrases. They have been very general terms, like “what is your name?”, “nice to meet you”, and “are you deaf”, but when I am placed in front of a group of my peers, the wheels can really lock up. I performed a sequence last night, and when I sat down I thought that I was going to cry. I was so frustrated that I gripped the table in front of me (while maintaining a cheesy smile, a red face, and my teeth clinched hard enough to split a penny) and thought about flipping it over. I actually played the tape through, and reviewed the pros and the cons of whether or not it would be a good idea to flip over a fu*king table. I’m almost 40 years old and for a brief moment, the biggest decision I had to work through is whether or not to flip over a classroom table because I did not perfectly execute a serious of hand gestures in a language for which I have exactly 2 hours of formal training! Where do I come up with these ridiculous expectations of myself? Why do I allow my classmates so much grace, but I just butcher myself? I could see myself on the pitcher’s mound when I was about 12 years old, and playing rec league ball. I experienced the feeling of getting pulled from the mound and being moved to first base. I would pull my hat down over my brow, and kick the dirt with frustration. I could see my dad at the chain link fence yelling words of encouragement, all while my attitude worsens. Eventually, fed up with my childish attitude, dad yells those words that are the fail proof litmus test for any pre-teen/teenaged boy….”Stop pouting.” These words open the floodgates, and I respond the same way 100% of the time. A kick of the dirt (cue the tears), and a high pitched retort, “I’M NOT POUTING”. An all out come-apart goes down in front of my peers and their moms, dads, and siblings alike.

I had to take a deep breath and regroup. Perspective is what I needed to breath in, and frustration needed to breath out. I have a real knack for trying new things for the sake of learning, and when I find out that I was not born mastering them, then I throw a f*cking fit. A couple of months ago I was having trouble with the timing of my “double-unders” while jump roping at the gym. I got so mad and bent outta shape that I grabbed a PVC pipe and smashed it on the floor. The pipe exploded like a fluorescent tube light and sh*t went everywhere. The effects were actually pretty cool, and looked like a stunt from Wrestlemania, but the whole childlike display was actually quite embarrassing. Just last week, while doing the same movement, I wadded up my rope and I threw it across the gym towards the TV monitor and computer laptop. Pretty ridiculous, huh? While sitting here in my comfortable chair after a good nights rest that sounds ridiculous, but at the time, while I was 100% engaged, it was very real. Disengaging from things is a practice that I must practice everyday. When I am disengaged I get a much clearer picture of the reality of things. Only then can I understand that no one is born knowing sign language, and that is why there are classes for it. Only then can I see that double-unders is a skill that takes time and practice to master, and will not be perfected over night. Only then can I see that no one really gives a sh*t if I can jump rope or not. I enjoy reflecting on my feelings and actions at the end of the day and early morning hours. I enjoying getting to see my ridiculousness for what it is. I would venture to say that 99% of the things that I get bent out of shape about could be avoided with a deep breath and another man’s viewpoint. Nothing is ever as serious of a problem through another man’s microscope. When a married father of two children, whose occupation is weed control, fertilization, and parking lot sweeping is getting bent outta shape over sign language, and a jump rope….there probably needs to be a period of reflection and a change in perception. Hang in there today, and better yet, have some fun. Don’t take it all too seriously.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,

Beefcake

It Could Be A Helluva Lot Worse

January 26, 2016

“We become happier, much happier, when we realize life is an opportunity rather than an obligation.”
Mary Augustine

It is a good morning. I am sure of it. Any morning that I get out of a sheeted bed, in a heated home, under my own strength is a good one. A have a friend who is 72 years old, and he has lived through some real sh*t. One day I was giving him a long, drawn out story about how life was treating me unfairly and bla-blah-blur-bla-pity me-pity me. My friend just gave me a grin and exclaimed, “Wilson, if you think you are having a bad day now, try missing one of them.”(Yep, thats Billy D. if anyone was keeping up) I chuckled out loud, because this old dude is full of wisdom and perspective that can make anyone belly laugh. So, I feel that any day that I wake up 6′ above ground and have some work to do, then I have been dealt a pretty good hand.

I chose to sleep in and skip CrossFit this morning because I got to bed late, which by late I mean bout 9:45pm. At the end of the evening I could feel myself getting pouty, tired, and anxious. I use finess to give me energy, and sometimes I will keep pushing and pushing myself before I realize that I am not energized….I’m miserable. I did this last year while training for Sylamore 50k. I got so caught up in the result, that I forgot to enjoy the journey. I need to find balance. The reason I was out so “late” is that Amanda and I have enrolled in a 12 week ASL course to learn sign language. I can’t remember exaclty what made us decide to enroll, but we did. I have never met anyone who is so full of life as Amanda. There is absolutely nothing that she won’t do if there is the opportunity to pack a little more “life” into the equation. There is nothing that I won’t SAY i’m gonna do, but she will actually follow through, and I will follow her anywhere. She is whole hearted believer in trying, failing, trying again. If she sets her mind to something, she will knock at it’s door until someone answers or the hinges break off the frame. Anyway, I don’t have a concise reason as to my desire to learn sign language, but I like to think that it would be an opportunity to listen and connect with another individual who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction. God only knows that my life would not be what it is today if people had not spent countless hours “listening” to what I had to say. I had SO MUCH SH*t in my head and heart, that I can’t imagine not having an outlet for which to get it all out. In typical fashion, here I am conjuring up visions of grandeur in regards to helping someone, and I don’t even know the alphabet. I had learned the alphabet well enough to MAYBE make it through one time, while stopping MAYBE once, or twice. Amanda was about the same….or so I thought. On the way to the class, she starts spelling out words to the music with her hand, and I about had a heart attack. She looked like an international mediator who was in charge of negotating a treaty between the Vice Lords and Gangster Disciplines all through signs. I was ill prepared and instantly afraid of the upcoming class. I was petrified. Keep in mind, Amanda has her doctorate…it took me twelve years to get my undergrad. My idea of accelerated classes involved amphetimines in the parking lot. This was well out of my comfort zone. It did not help when the teacher of the class informed us, with her hands, that there would be no speaking of any sort during class times…all signs. I whispered to Amanda that someone needed to quickly teach me how to sign, “oh fu*k”, cause that is what was going through my head for the next 120 minutes. All seriousness, it was really great and I welcome the challenge. I’m a little slower than many in the class, but I tend to start slow…and gradually taper off. Just kidding. I’ll be fine. All good things.

Sooooo, about my day today, THIS is what I do:

 

Clearly I’m a pretty big deal. Part of my worldly duties is that I sweep parking lots. Well, I actually blow parking lots while my buddy drives the vaccuum truck. It’s kinda like being doctor, except it requires no education, very little knowledge, and any idiot can do it. This being said, I fu*king love it. I love the openess of the huge warehouse parking lots. I love the excercise, as I will travel 12-15 miles a day with a 10lb blower on my back. And, I love the time to myself and my thoughts. I will tell you another reason that I enjoy it, as I have shared before. One my grandfathers was studying to be an attorney before he was attacked by friendly fire in WWII. After having a metal plate placed in his head, and most of his vision lost, he was unable to practice law. He spent the rest of his career with a respectful job on the sales floor at Goldmith’s. I never once heard him bitch or complain about what could have been. He didn’t live like he had been fu*ked over, he lived like he was lucky to be alive, and he did his work with pride and integrity. My other grandfather was a pipe welder. He was the son of an alcoholic and lived his youth travelling from place to place as his dad found work on the railroad. He learned a trade and learned it well. He provided for his family, and he did it with dignity. So, with that being said, those are two distinguished men who would welcome me, or any guy like me, at their dinner table. They are people that did not place importance on WHAT you did, as much as THAT you did, something. You do a job, and you do it the best that you can, and anyone with an opinion can suck it (pretty sure neither of my grandparents said “suck it”…not a direct quote). If I can die having just had the opportunity to provide for my family, to any degree at all, then I consider myself lucky.

Y’all have a good day, don’t take it all too seriously, and by all means if someone tells you it cannot be done…full throttle, onward and upward.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,

Beefcake