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Guest blog by Coach GC Cava

I’m still learning that part of life is a never ending process. I’m still making mistakes and failing in some form or fashion everyday, but I’m choosing a positive perspective of being okay with those failures. Over the years I’ve seen almost every variation of how a tennis player can move and strike a tennis ball. I can often predict exactly the result of a stroke, a rally, a point, a game, a set, a match, and so on so forth because of my experience as a player but more so as a coach. I’ve been through so many instances of failure, you often learn immediately what’s wrong with a situation before you know how to find a solution.

I’ve come to this point of being able to predict the outcomes of most tennis situations precisely because of these moments of failure. I’ve been on the court with my students during their greatest achievements but mainly their monumental failures. I choose not to hide from these trials and tribulations but confront them with my students so that they gain perspective and learn from their mistakes and fears. If athletes aren’t performing to their standards it’s often because they haven’t accepted that mistakes and failure are part of the process of learning. When driven solely by results you forget to balance the risk versus reward issues. As one of my mentors said, “What’s the fun in the sport if you don’t miss?!?!?”

It’s similar in CrossFit as you’re all trying to find the balance of “going to failure” or just “practicing” at the gym. Is there potential to get better by going all out or is it detrimental to your progress? Did you take a step back to go forward or did you take two steps back and knock your confidence so far down that it’s hard to recover? Or is it just that your approach and perspective were misaligned? Through the past month and half I spent a majority of my day at UCLA Tennis Camp trying to coach kids of all ages about perspective. I went over which shot selections were correct even though they made mistakes and which decisions were not worth the risk. All the students were at different stages of learning, but most had no idea that missing and “losing” were part of the process of making them better. They didn’t understand how I was able to assess their strengths and weakness during drills within 5 minutes, and they didn’t understand where I was trying to lead them during “practice”. During point play when winning or losing were part of the equation, I started to call out play by play the outcome of each rally and point. They were taken aback by how accurate I was and initially perceived it as me being harsh, but it got their attention because what I was saying was going to directly affect the result of their desired outcome.  During the skills/drills they paid no mind to the coaching, but during match play when something was on the line they hung onto every word and became more intrigued. My point was that they needed to pay attention during the drilling/practice portion of the day so that they could get over that fear of missing and learn how to develop their games so that they could have more consistent results when under match pressure.

The perspective you gain from missing or failing on a daily basis is a positive, and it just takes the right approach to flip that switch from being “this is impossible” to “this is going to take time, but I can see it happening with more practice”.  I’m always looking for coachable moments because I’ve seen failure, I’ve been through failure, but I’m going to be better by trying to find a solution. And when I do, I will most definitely share that information with you — though I can’t share anything with anybody if they’re not willing to accept failure. Once you’ve accepted that there is no easy way out, you’ve prepared yourself for change in a positive direction regardless of result. Michael Jordan said, “You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” So why not call your own shots, take them, and just live with what happens next.


 

Friday’s Workout
Competition

FT
200m Farmer carry (55/40)
30 Alt DB Single-arm clusters
400m Run
50 CTB pullups

Saturday’s Workout

The start of “Crush Cancer Saturdays!”

The Crush Cancer WOD
3 Rounds
1 Min. Each Station – As Many Reps As Possible:
Power Clean 95/65
Kettlebell Swings 24/16/12
Burpees
Shoulder to Overhead 95/65
Double Unders
Rest

Sunday’s Workout
5 rounds
Partner A: 2min row for calories
Partner B: Amrap 2min 6 oh plate lunges, 12 Russian twists(1 count) 45/25
Rest :30 then switch stations. Continue where partner left off.

Monday’s Workout

Labor Day “Trevor Win’E” (no regular classes – come at 9am!)

Teams of 4 together perform the following, 2 people working at a time:

For Rx/Advanced Teams:
300 Pull Ups
400 Push Ups
500 Sit Ups
600 Squats

For Intermediate Teams:
225 Pull Ups
300 Push Ups
375 Sit Ups
450 Squats

For Beginning Teams:
150 Pull Ups
200 Push Ups
250 Sit Ups
300 Squats

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One of the Skill Focuses of Cycle 9.0 is the Dip. During our 12 weeks of training, dips will appear on one Practice Day each week. On four of those days, we will have skill practice sessions, where we will have time to work on position, loading, and kipping. Keep in mind that in order to work on kipping dips, the strength for strict dips must be developed first. In class, we will not permit kipping for any students who cannot complete 5 strict dips.

Position
Start with your shoulders over your thumbs and externally rotated with your elbows back. Activate your lats and put your body into hollow position.

Loading
Dip forward into your shoulders and arrive at the bottom with a vertical forearm. Maintain position throughout the movement.

Kipping
At the bottom of the dip, tuck your knees to your chest while remaining tight. Then, immediately kick your hips upward to assist your push out of the bottom.

Carl Paoli is a great friend of CFLA and a great resource for all things gymnasty. Check out these two videos of his about the dip:
Dip
Kipping Dip on P-Bars Progression


Thursday’s Workout
Practice

A) FQL
Back squats
3-5 x 3 (~85-90%)

B) EMOM 10
1 Clean pull
1 Clean high pull

C) 3 RFQ on the 3:00
150-200m Row
10 HR Pushups
5 Inverted burpees
–2min Cap each round–

Friday’s Workout
Competition

FT
200m Farmer carry (55/40)
30 Alt DB Single-arm clusters
400m Run
50 CTB pullups

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Come test your Olympic lifting skills during CFLA’s Buddy Battle 2015!!!

Wednesday’s Workout:
Practice

A) FQL
Weighted chinups
Work up to heavy 3

B) QAMRAP 15
200m Run
20 Jumping lunges
10 Strict dips
10 Box jumps (24/20)

And Coming Thursday:
Practice

A) FQL
Back squats
3-5 x 3 (~85-90%)

B) EMOM 10
1 Clean pull
1 Clean high pull

C) 3 RFQ on the 3:00
150-200m Row
10 HR Pushups
5 Inverted burpees
–2min Cap each round–

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As much as I love this place, I didn’t want anything to do with it this past weekend. I didn’t even want to say its name.

I’ve been working a lot lately, which has been great, but even (especially) when you love your job, you don’t often realize how much energy you expend while working your butt off. The last few weeks, I’ve worked week days — some 12 hour days — then I worked a day or both weekend days. It was too much. It’s a recipe for burn out. So though I really wanted to attend the Knot Out Seminar, I told Kenny I just couldn’t. I envisioned a scenario of me snapping mentally during the event, which would then end with me in handcuffs and a mobility tool logged in someone. I was at my brink. Lovingly Kenny said, “I hear you. Have a great weekend.”

Man, did I. I did exactly everything I wanted: I strolled around after my spin class without any where to go, I saw an art installation I was dying to see, I ate good food, I got a massage, I took two naps, I read, the girls and I made home dance videos, I had a date night, I saw a movie … basically I chilled hard with the people I love and like the most. It was exactly what I needed.

A lot of us are on important missions, work-wise and hobby-wise. We work hard, we play hard. I offer that you guys chill hard a little more often. Balance is the great equalizer. And suddenly, my everyday jammed schedule became possible again after a little restoration.


 

Tuesday’s Workout
Competition

“Franklin Hill”
6 on the 6:00

And Coming Wednesday

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As some of you know I returned to the country under extraordinary circumstances… If you don’t know my amazing and brilliant wife gave birth to our son Thor on August 8 in Sweden. Two days later my amazing and brilliant mom unexpectedly passed away. Needless to say I’ve been a bit wobbly this month.

As I’ve stumbled back to LA the love and support of our community has helped to steady and ground me. Without it, I honestly feel I’d snap. Soon we will celebrate Char’s return and Thor’s entrance to the US.  In time and as I’m ready I look forward to sharing stories about my mom via the blog and social media. In the meantime, I simply want to thank all of you for saying that subtle kind of, “Hello,” that makes me feel loved and understood; offering hugs that convey the same thing; a willingness to listen when I go on about the profundity of life and just simply caring – it makes all the difference.


 

Monday’s Workout
Practice

A) FQL:
Thrusters
3-5 x 5 (~80-85%)

B) EMOM 10
     1 Snatch pull
     1 Snatch high pull

C) 3 RFQT
     50m SB Front carry
     50 Double unders
     15 Toes to bar
 –1min Rest between rounds

And Coming Tuesday
Competition

“Franklin Hill”

6 on the 6:00

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imageWednesday was supposedly National Dog Day — and whether that was a real thing or not, it was a lot of fun to see everyone’s pet posts. Mainly, the sentiments shared about pets just reinforced the many claims that pets not only improve one’s health, but our lives as a whole. I know my dogs have made me laugh every day for 11 years. And they always love me no matter what. I am very grateful for them.

Share in the comments photos or what your pets have meant to you.

And have a great weekend!

 


 

Friday’s Workout
Practice

A) FQL
Presses
3-5 x 5 (~80-85%)

B) Dip Party
Focus on position and loading

C) QAMRAP 10
50 Double unders
10 Box jumps (24/20)
10 Overhead squats (60-65%)

And Coming Monday
Practice

 

A) FQL
Thrusters
3-5 x 5 (~80-85%)

B) EMOM 10
1 Snatch pull
1 Snatch high pull

C) 3 RFQT
50m SB Front carry
50 Double unders
15 Toes to bar
–1min Rest between rounds

 

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I’m reading a book called Resilience by Eric Greitens, which was a referral from one of my students parents. I’m moving through it slowly, but thoroughly enjoying it. There is a ton of good stuff in this book so I thought I would share just a little.

One of the recent chapters I read was entitled happiness.  Looking back, happiness was what I wanted when I grew up. I remember people used to ask me what I wanted and I would say, to be happy. I do still want to be happy but as life moves along and I continue to learn and grow the meaning of happiness seems different from when I was a child. More recently I thought of happiness as a choice, which is might just be, but it might be a state of mind or a state of being.

Eric writes about happiness and talks about it in the context of flourishing.  He referrers to the Greek world, to live well, which meant to live a flourishing life.  Now what does a flourishing life really look like?  He compared it to a tree which you can tell when a tree is flourishing, its colorful and lifelike and growing and overflowing. We know that the tree needs the proper surroundings to flourish, this tree needs light, water and some good soil. For humans to flourish we also need to be surrounded by love, education, challenge, encouragement, nutrients and support. Much like this community here at CFLA.

He also speaks about different kinds of happiness. The happiness of grace, the happiness of pleasure and the happiness of excellence.  The happiness of grace he defined as a free gift from God, like a sense of joy and gratitude. I’m sure many of you can identify with that. The happiness of pleasure can come from experiences. The happiness of excellence he said can often come from the engagement in the world and servicing others.

I know that experience happiness in many different ways and parts of my life and am very thankful for that. Much of that happiness comes from experiences right here at CFLA.  After reading this chapter I look at happiness with a bit more definition yet,  still something  that is hard to define.  I would love to hear what happiness means to you or what brings you happiness.


Thursday’s Workout:
Practice

A) FQL
Deadlifts
3-5 x 5 (~80-85%)

B) FQT
21-15-9
Power cleans (50-55%)
Jumping lunges (2ct)

C) 4 RFQ with a partner
A) 200m Row
B) Max Handstand Hold
Switch and repeat

And Coming Friday:
Practice

A) FQL
Presses
3-5 x 5 (~80-85%)

B) Dip Party
Focus on position and loading

C) QAMRAP 10
50 Double unders
10 Box jumps (24/20)
10 Overhead squats (60-65%)

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As my intro into the COMPETITION WOD yesterday, which was challenging, I went around and asked the members to describe a time outside of the gym where they view themselves as being on a stage.  I thought of this idea as I played a gig this past Friday night.

There were some great responses, but the common theme to all of them, was that each person described a moment when they needed to achieve greatness, and to enter into “Flow”.  They needed to put their fears aside, dig deep, and bring their “A” game.  They put their head down, and move forward, staying in focus and not letting in any distractions. 

This is how I usually look at CFLA’s COMPETITION days.  It is Game Day baby!  It is the Super Bowl, World Series, U.S. Open (yes, tennis or golf), whatever event you want to relate it to, you have prepared through practice and determination, and the time has finally come for you to head up onto that stage, and give it your best shot. 

I am proud of myself every time I get up on that stage, and I am proud of all of our members every time they walk into the gym, regardless of the WOD, because they are committed to our cause of longevity for health and fitness. 

So, the next time you have an important presentation during your office meeting, or that last round of interviews for your dream job, or your next talent show, be sure to tell yourself that you are prepared for this, and that you’re going to hit a home run!

Wednesdays’ Workout:
Mental Toughness

Complete as much work as possible until cutoff at undisclosed time
2*4*6*8*10*…
KB Swings (24/16)
KB Alt cleans
KB Goblet squats
*100m KB Carry

And Coming Thursday:
Practice

A) FQL
Deadlifts
3-5 x 5 (~80-85%)B) FQT
21-15-9
Power cleans (50-55%)
Jumping lunges (2-ct)

C) 4 RFQ, with a partner
A: 200m Row
B: Max Handstand hold
Switch and repeat

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I want to acknowledge not only those who participated in the Dress For Success workout on Saturday, but all the people who donated the many bags of such high-quality clothing. The workout group was small, but mighty and turned into a organically wonderful family affair. It was really fun.

But the quality of clothes has been the most impressive thing about the drive. I envision women who are very down on their luck putting on your beautiful clothes and feeling a small thrill of hope — an inkling of confidence where they have one less thing to worry about. The job-hunting process will become a tiny bit easier because of you. You are now part of a stepping stone that could very well change the course someone’s life forever. How good does that feel? It feels amazing to me.

When I think of the CFLA Strongwoman Society here at CFLA, I think of a sisterhood of empowered women who are dedicated to building women up. We don’t tear women down especially ourselves. Most of the time we are trying to simply build up ourselves for our own health and to be examples to our children, spouses, our whole family even; inspiring them to be more healthy and push past what we feel is possible. But sometimes it means a little outreach into our community and extending that strong hand to the any number of people who could use help.

I am incredibly proud when I look at my car filled with the fine garments donated by the CFLA community, and I’ll beam even more when I drop them off downtown this week at the Dress For Success office.


 

Tuesday’s Workout
Practice

A) FQL

20
Front squats

5-5-5-5-5
Weighted chinups

B) FQ
800m Run
1min Rest
50 HR Pushups
1min Rest
1000m Row
1min Rest
200m SB Front carry

And Coming Wednesday
Mental Toughness

Complete as much work as possible until cutoff at undisclosed time
2*4*6*8*10*…
KB Swings (24/20)
KB Cleans
KB Goblet squats
*100m KB Carry

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Here’s what’s on tap for the first week of our new training cycle!


Monday’s Workout
Competition

4 RFT
20 Burpees
10 Push presses (135/95)
10 Alt Pistols

And Coming Tuesday
Practice

A) FQL

20
Front squats

5-5-5-5-5
Weighted chinups

B) FQ
800m Run
1min Rest
50 HR Pushups
1min Rest
1000m Row
1min Rest
200m SB Front carry

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