Three best buds raising money and crushing WODs

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Meet Dray (on the CFLA blog)

I was meandering amongst the noisy cages when I was utterly stunned to see two crystal blue eyes staring right at me. The very large, 7-year old Alaskan Malamute those eyes belonged to wasn’t barking, wasn’t making a fuss, he was just sitting there panting. A volunteer took him out for me and we walked around the yard together, and that was pretty much that. My room mate came to meet him the next day and I brought him home that afternoon. Draymond “Dray” Martin was now a part of the family.

Read the rest on the CFLA site.

Lots of bonus Dray pics can be found on my instagram (@samworkmartin). Here are a couple of my favorites:

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Game Time

We’re 970 hits, about $22 dollars raised, and literally tens of laughs into this whole brogging experiment, and I say it’s been a wild success.  And now, my attentions turn to this Saturday and the beast itself: Fight Gone Bad.


Sam & Logan before FGB...

I got a little sick just writing that.  I’ve been getting pumped for weeks, but now the prospect of that horrible 17 minutes is staring me in the face, and I actually feel sick.  I normally get nervous right before the start of a workout–sort of a Pavlovian thing.  Based on all the other times it’s happened, someone yelling “3-2-1 GO” means I’m headed for the pain cave.  But now I’m getting that feeling three days ahead of time, which is not a good sign.

In growing as a CrossFitter, one of the key realizations that has allowed me to put up faster and faster times is that I’m not going to die during a workout.  I know it sounds silly, but there’s a voice in my head and a burning in my muscles that says “STOP!  YOU’RE GOING TO DIE IF YOU KEEP GOING!”  I eventually figured out that the voice was wrong–kinda like when the governor in your car stops the thing at 90 MPH.  Turn off the governor, and you can really cruise.

Then we did another of our FGB variations last Friday.  This one was each movement for 3 minutes with a minute of rest between each: “Fight Gone Forever.”  My last movement was box jumps.  I was tired as hell at the start of the 3 minutes.  100 box jumps later, I was rolling around, gasping for air, once again not sure if I was going to die or not.  I’m not one to lie down after a workout–I’m a sucker for that whole Mikko Salo “only dying animals surrender” deal.  But in this case, I was a dying animal.


...Sam & Logan after FGB

So on Saturday, when I make a run at four bills, you better believe I’m going to be afraid for my life once again.  But I’ll shut that voice up and jump on the stupid box–even if I end up looking like roadkill.

Fight Gone Afghanistan

Fight Gone Bad 5 is in a little over 7 days! One week people!

When contemplating my next move in this Fight Gone Blog game, I was reminded of the new additions that CrossFit Central has to their fundraising project.

Mike Osburn, a CrossFitter working in East Afghanistan, rallied a team of soldiers in Kunar Province (where LT Michael Murphy earned the Medal of Honor http://www.navy.mil/moh/mpmurphy/soa.html and subsequently where the Hero WOD, Murph, came from) to sign up under the CrossFit Central team & participate in Fight Gone Bad 5! Their goal is to raise over $3500 for the Wounded Warrior Project & The Livestrong Foundation. This goal is also to raise more money through the event in AFG than the rest of the international region combined!
This group is rallying together despite a general lack of basic equipment. “It almost resembles more of an apartment complex ‘fitness room.’ Think very small with a few machines. Luckily there are some heavy plates and barbells when we need to get in a strength day, not to mention a pull up bar or two on base,” Mike reported. That’s definitely something to think about when we are set up on huge Sony production stages or lush all-weather HS practice fields.

Muscle-ups AFG style

I can’t tell you how huge of an honor it is for us to have them think of our CrossFit Central box as their home base for this. As Mike had mentioned previously, “I can think of no better way than soldiers, who are working in Afghanistan, to participate in FGB5 to raise money for soldiers who have served in Afghanistan. We are excited to have soldiers in one of the most kinetic areas of Afghanistan participating in raising money for wounded warriors.” They are doing FGB while on deployment!
 The philosophy behind this group getting into FGB5 is incredibly inspiring. The fact that they are making do with little to no equipment in attempt to raise money from halfway around the world, goes to show the significance of this fundraiser.  I personally am so excited by their motivation to do this WOD in solidarity with the CrossFit Community.   There is really no excuse for you not to sign up and do it yourself… Or at least to donate.
And I’m not even asking you to donate to me anymore. Help out Sam or one of these amazing individuals by searching for their first name on the Donate page and contributing to their funds.
The Team from Kunar Province, Afghanistan:
CPT  Mike Holbrook
SSG Vincent Ruiz
CS3  Rahkeem Daniels
SPC Simon Pompa
1LT   Vino Darmarajah
MAJ  Brian Elliott
SPC McLean Raybon
Dan Krimowski
Mark Lowe
Mike Osburn
Check out the Provincial Reconstruction Team’s  Facebook page &  Blog.
Another inspiring Fight Gone Bad Athlete, is my good buddy since 4th grade- Harris Kashtan. His donation page caught my attention: “For those not familiar with the organization, the Wounded Warrior project provides services to those brave Americans who have been wounded in action serving our country. As a future military doctor, the care of these individuals will be my profession and as such, I feel a particularily close connection with the mission of this organization.” How freaking cool is that!!

FGBrutal

by Gelbro

What scares me about cancer as much as its destructive power is that it is such a mainstay in our culture that it has achieved buzzword status. The news, major motion pictures, conversations among family and friends are littered with the word. Publicity, however, is crucial to a movement. Especially when the movement is to treat and eradicate something as powerful as cancer.  All of this that is seemingly positive worries me, however.

Thank God that in my life experience cancer has just been a terrible, terrible disease that has infected, changed, and taken more lives than is explicable.  It hasn’t been close enough to be real. It hasn’t been real at all. Cancer has been this horrifying news story for me. This is what worries me. It worries me that cancer’s commonplace role in society can make it just another tolerable issue to be discussed, debated, and a catalyst for policy making.

In my opinion, the “I never thought it could happen to me” reaction when someone is diagnosed with cancer is very telling. The same is true when a loved one is diagnosed. The remote diseases that celebrities talk about and people run 5Ks to raise money for quickly becomes real! Last week, a father of a baseball player I coach from my 14 & under academy team called me. He had called me because he had some news for me and knew that I am doing Fight Gone Bad 5—to which he donated generously weeks earlier. His tone was revealing, and I was worried. His son’s best friend, Christian Pappas, has been diagnosed with a rare cancer. This was cancer becoming real for me…

A week after Christian received the catastrophic news he received the video above from Lance Armstrong. Christian is 14 years old. He is normal—very normal. He’s a fun kid. He’s a good student and loves soccer. And obviously, he’s a tougher kid than I ever was. Shoot, I’d be best friends with him if I was in his class, too.  For me Fight Gone Bad 5, will be a mission to help Christian and other best friends, sons, daughters, moms, and dads like him.

Unfortunately, for many Americans whether cancer is “real” or not, isn’t up for debate—it is real. They are battling it, or someone they care for is. For Lance Armstrong cancer is real—and he has the power to fight cancer for others through his foundation and through a simple message like the one he sent to Christian.

What is beautiful about all of this is whether cancer is a real thing in your life or not, you too can influence this movement! If cancer has affected your life, giving is easy. But, if you are lucky enough to know it just from the cover of magazines at the checkout stand like me—IT IS TIME TO MAKE IT REAL!

You can donate to Log’s FGB fundraising page here. –Ed.

Don’t Drink The Haterade

by Samuel Langhorne Clemens Work Martin

“I hate CrossFitters.  All CrossFitters do is talk about their accomplishments, post on facebook about their latest time, and brag about how fit they are.”

That’s a paraphrase, because I wasn’t there to hear the original quote.  I heard it secondhand from FOTFGB (Friend Of The Fight Gone Blog) Mike Hale who was serving in his capacity as Mayor of FO, having a good time, when he was verbally assaulted by the rather resentful (most likely) yoga practitioner quoted above.  This sentiment is not that uncommon, I’ve found.  People think we’re weird.  And they don’t like our ab pictures.

To Stanwyck's 8-pack, I say: "Smoke 'em while you got 'em!"

Here’s my response: I’m sorry I’m not sorry.  People posting online about their PRs and life changes isn’t about showing off or putting oneself above other people who don’t work out.  I love the electronic high fives I get when I post a good time, but here’s the thing: I like reading other people’s posts more.  Seeing that Z threw 246 overhead or that LogNation deadlifted a house or that Armen snatched my Jeep gets me more fired up than a kid on Christmas.  We, CrossFitters, are continually amazed that we can do things we thought were impossible, and we get excited when we see the results.  It’s not “look how much better I am than all those idiots” smug happiness, it’s genuine, Duchenne-smiling, feel-good joy.

The Joy of Fitness.

So please, don’t take it so personal, CrossFit-hating girl.  It’s not about you.  It’s about folks putting in some work on their health, fitness, and life and seeing results.  What’s not fun about that?  Nobody’s saying you have to do CrossFit.  But hey, it works for me.

PS:  Inky and Logan are murdering me in the fund-raising department.  Now I know that (1) Ingrid’s better-looking than me, and (2) Logan’s going Benjamin Braddock on the moms of his youth baseball team, but it’s getting out of hand.  If you enjoyed reading this, throw a couple dollars into my charity box.  You’ll feel good when you do.

How to Train

by Sack D.

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

At CFLA, we’re training for Fight Gone Bad V by doing a different version of the dreaded FGB every week. A week ago, we did “Fight Gone Wild”–same as FGB, but with lighter weights (55# for the barbell stuff, 14# wallball).  I scraped together 437 reps somewhere in there, which I was pretty psyched about.  That got me two reps shy of our resident FGB cyborg destruction robot, Zach’s RX’d score.

I used to get pissed about this kind of thing.  Ingrid can attest to this after witnessing first-hand my meltdown after taking a knee on “thirty muscle-ups for time” after eight.  I stomped around, threw a tantrum, swore, and generally acted like the kid who couldn’t get playing time on the “B” team in eighth grade basketball.  But then I took a look at what happened: I did 8 muscle ups.  The “disappointment” was that I didn’t do something else, which has nothing to do with what happened.  I tried as hard as I could, so what else could I do?  Despite what my high school baseball coach (whose catchphrase was “you gotta be better”) thinks, you can’t be what you’re not.  If you go at it hard, though, you can get better.

Trying really hard.

Maybe Herm Edwards is right.  Maybe I’m wrong.  But I think there’s a lot to be gained from just working hard, regardless of your time/score/weight/whatever.  After that muscle-up day, I resolved to try as hard as I could in every workout, and whatever score I get is where I’m at.  I ended up finishing 30 muscle-ups for time in 109 hours, 15 minutes, and 27 seconds.  Might not be world-class, but it’s a baseline.

So when people ask, “what’s your FGB goal?” I tell them the truth: I don’t really have one.  I’d like to hit 400, but I don’t know if that’s possible.  I can only promise that I’m going to leave it all on the floor.  So for heaven’s sake, give me some money.

I used to get pissed about this kind of thing.  Ingrid can attest to this after witnessing first-hand my meltdown after taking a knee on “thirty muscle-ups for time” after eight.  I stomped around, threw a tantrum, swore, and generally acted like the kid who couldn’t get playing time on the “B” team in eighth grade basketball.  But then I took a look at what happened: I did 8 muscle ups.  The “disappointment” was that I didn’t do something else, which has nothing to do with what happened.  I tried as hard as I could, so what else could I do?  Despite what my high school baseball coach (whose catchphrase was “you gotta be better”) thinks, you can’t be what you’re not.  If you go at it hard, though, you can get better.

Maybe Herm Edwards is right.  Maybe I’m wrong.  But I think there’s a lot to be gained from just working hard, regardless of your time/score/weight/whatever.  After that muscle-up day, I resolved to try as hard as I could in every workout, and whatever score I get is where I’m at.  I ended up finishing 30 muscle-ups for time in 109 hours, 15 minutes, and 27 seconds.  Might not be world-class, but it’s a baseline.

I Hate Fighting

by LogNation

OK, here’s the deal. Fight Gone Bad is not a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. In fact, I’m pissed just thinking about it. I am confident that I’d rather get a sandpaper and Tabasco massage or go head to head in an Eyeball Paper-Cut Competition than do Fight Gone Bad again.

I have this morbid attraction to adversity and failure, because I think that in each there are great sources of power and growth. What I want to make clear, however, is that though I make a conscious effort to seek out things that help manifest this in my life—I still cannot begin to relate to the hardship that millions of people manage daily.

The people that benefit from the CrossFit Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and the Wounded Warriors Project earn their wings in the areas of honor and perseverance day in and day out, at a level that cannot be simulated. Fight Gone Bad is NOT a few minutes in the day and the life of someone going getting in a street fight with cancer or a warrior adapting to civilian life a different person than when he/she left—the same way that “Murph” doesn’t put you up in the mountains of Afghanistan with Danny, Axe, and Marcus. What it is, though, is blessed people recognizing the needs of some outstanding people that are in a tougher spot in life. Luckily we can use CrossFit as a positive vehicle to do so.

This is my first experience latching on to a charity event and it has sparked my awareness to that which is good in people. For the people that know me well, you know I can often get disappointed with people and their actions. However, the moment I said this was something I believed in and that I needed help—dozens of people exemplified generosity I could have ever expected. No questions asked. And for that I am grateful.

I can’t be sure what led to the outpouring of support I have experienced thus far for this event. Then again, I know for at least a hand full of people the idea of me going through hell for a few minutes could do it—haha. I described Fight Gone Bad to many of the prospective donors as a miserable workout, and explained how difficult it is to relate it to a relevant experience. So, I encouraged them to try it for themselves, or that bending down and having a friend kick them in the face for five minutes would suffice as well. Shockingly– people seemed to like the sound of me wearing that. Please help support this thing with me—unlike actually doing FGB, it will make you feel good!

(You can donate to my FGB5 page here.)

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Both Sam and Ingrid have been checked into the Tri-Cities Medical Center in Asheville, NC and should recover after some of the great treatment they do there. Their psychology department is a world-renowned facility, and their success rate is off the charts. Hopefully when they get home, free of their insanity, they will realize this idea was stupid and we can stop subjecting ourselves to this awful, awful WOD.