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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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By GC Cava

I’ve been very fortunate to learn from some of the most game changing coaches of their profession, EVER!  Coach Kenny Kane is already on the path of introducing the current CFLA coaching staff to you through videos on the monthly newsletter, but really you all already KNOW these people because of what they do as athletes, but more so what they do for you as coaches.  Can you see the progress of the community as a whole? Nope you can’t really see it all, but we’ve made a point to share certain “moments” with you all through social media, but nothing can be as profound as being PRESENT.  Whether you’re achieving some sort of PR moment or you’re in class with students that achieve a PR, you’re in the moment and it inspires you to no end.

We as coaches thrive in your achievement as students, we live for your PR moments as well as your breakthrough moments where you get through a mental toughness wod, or even a particular skill you never thought you could perform.  Your performance is gratifying to us, and we live by the mantra of “your movement, MOVES Me!”  But what of your moments of failure or loss?!?!?  Every person from every walk of life has gone through adversity, and how they choose to respond to that adversity often tells you a lot about their character.  We’re entering a new cycle that will either enlighten you or crush your spirits.  Either way, you’re learning something about yourself or your community, they’ve all bought into the learning experience and understand that the process will produce a “MOMENT” of greatness or improvement.  All of you have experienced winning and losing, and it’s often the losing that produces great moments.  As we all search for the eternal question of “how”, you’ve already achieved something no one can take away from you, a moment of clarity that you are okay with the result of the day because you’re PRESENT.

Showing up everyday has been a theme of most of the recent athlete profiles, and it must be true, because all those people appreciate being present and focused on improvement or else they would never show up!  You want that moment of triumph, and it comes with consistent presence, your attentiveness to your coaches, your focus on your own movement, and your awareness of the communities direction toward Mastery of Movement.  To Diz’s previous point in her blog, our coaches have gone through some personal loss that leaves us all in a state of shock and sorrow, and often at a loss for words, we wish we could console them in some form, but as aptly put by Mark Semos during our Memorial Day epic Pre-Murph speech, honor these people by being a better person, that will resonate and show everyone how much you really care about them.

 


 

Friday’s Workout
Test

AMRAP 18
6 Inverted burpees
12 Toes to bar
18 Box jumps (24/20)

Saturday’s Workout – TBA

Sunday’s Workout 

2 Rounds:
Partner A: 500m Row
Partner B: AMRAP of 5 Thrusters, 10 KB Swings, 20 Bar Hops
Then Switch

Followed by:

2 Rounds:
Partner A 400m Run
Partner B: AMRAP of 5 Hang Power Cleans, 10 KB Goblet Squat, 20 Bar Hops
Then Switch

And Coming Monday
Competition

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

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We are in the midst of a great Test Week. The skills and movements you are seeing this week are a preview of what you’ll be working on during this cycle. The special skill focuses of this cycle are Dips and Handstand Holds, and we’ll work on those in Practice Day workouts and skill practice sessions on. The main lifts we are looking to improve are Weighted Chinups and Thrusters, and we’ll get stronger in these by not only doing those lifts on Practice Days, but also front squats, back squats, deadlifts, and presses.

Continue to show up this week. Save all of your results from Test Week. Write your intention for the cycle on your Why Card. And train smart and hard!

And in case you haven’t see it yet, here’s the entire Test Week:

MONDAY – Test your capacity for activities lasting a few minutes.
FT
1-2-3-4-5
2-4-6-8-10
Front squats (205/135)
Deadlifts
–7min Cap–
–3min Rest–
1k Row

TUESDAY – Test your capacity for activities lasting a few seconds.
For load

0:00 – 20:00
1RM Weighted chinup

20:00 – 23:00
Rest

23:00 – 43:00
1RM Thruster

WEDNESDAY – Test your capacity for activities lasting 20-40min.
AMRAP 35
100 Double unders
20 Power snatches (95/65)
30 Dips
40 Jumping lunges
30 Hand-release pushups
20 Power cleans
100m Sandbag front carry (100/70)

THURSDAY – Test your capacity for activities lasting 7-13min.
“Nancy”
5RFT
400m Run
15 Overhead squats (95/65)

FRIDAY – Test your capacity for bodyweight movements.
AMRAP 18
6 Inverted burpees
12 Toes to bar
18 Box jumps (24/20)

 


Thursday’s Workout
Test

“Nancy”
5RFT
400m Run
15 Overhead squats (95/65)

And Coming Friday
Test

AMRAP 18
6 Inverted burpees
12 Toes to bar
18 Box jumps (24/20)

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Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to release WOD #3 of the 2015 CFLA Buddy Battle!

 

50 Deadlifts (225/155/105)

60 Box Jumps (24/20/16)

70 AKBS (32/24/16)

80 TTB/Knee-Ups

15min Cap

Complete as a team, 1 partner working at a time

 

Wednesday’s Workout:
Testing Week

 

AMRAP 35100 Double unders20 Power snatches (95/65)

30 Dips

40 Jumping lunges

30 Hand-release pushups

20 Power cleans

100m Sandbag front carry (100/70)

And Coming Thursday:
Testing Week

“Nancy”

5RFT

400m Run

15 Overhead squats (95/65)

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Let’s start with my conception. My timing was a failure even before I was conscious. I was a big ol’ surprise, especially to my eighteen year old mother. Whoops. So, from the beginning, I was behind the eight ball.

In second grade, I had a huge crush on Jamie Steiner. Kid never noticed me. WHATEVER JAMIE STEINER.

In catholic school, in general, I was a f*ck up. I was usually the example of what not to do. I got a D in Social Studies and Effort in third grade. And I didn’t understand why everyone had a stick up their butts. And why couldn’t I talk during mass? And studying seemed impossible.

In middle school, I could never beat Mike Iba at one-on-one basketball. (But it was fun trying, if you know what I mean.)

In high school, I tanked my grades in my senior year because I ditched school so often to play basketball at Memorial Park.

Though I was MVP of your very mediocre Santa Monica Vikings, only one college came to see me, Northridge. They hinted at a partial scholarship, and I had no tools on how to follow that up.

I didn’t go to college.

I pined hard about going to college. Then did nothing about that.

I failed at becoming fluent in Spanish more than a handful of times.

I landed an interview for a job I really wanted, then marked down the wrong day and showed up to the interview a day late. What a heel!

I was hired to be a salsa dancer for the movie Mambo Kings, but I failed to take the offer. I was too scared to leave any of the three jobs I was working at the time for something that seemed frivolous. Sigh.

I took a chance working for a start up company and worked really hard from the ground up. As soon as I started to make real money, I blew most of it like a total idiot. And I ruined my credit. Welcome to your typical failure of one’s 20’s!

I once fell on the dance floor during a salsa exhibition when my partner stepped on my shoe. I don’t even need a metaphor for failing and getting back up — this one is literal!

I have failed at my share of relationships and friendships.

I failed at owning a business.

I should have written three books by now.

I’ve messed up this parenting thing a few times even when that’s the thing I work hardest at.

For the first 40 years of my life, I failed to realize that I alone am responsible for my happiness. Sometimes I still forget.

And currently, I’m totally blowing my prep for my next bikini bodybuilding competition. (Why did I eat all the food in New York?)

In blogs and coaching, I talk a lot about failure and not shying away from it. It occurred to me to point out some of the many times I’ve done it myself. If you know me from the gym and/or from Instagram or FB, my life looks pretty spectacular. That’s because it is, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t gone through a lot of failure to get here.

I still constantly wonder if I’ve done enough, if I’ve tried hard enough. Possibly not, but just like with the other items on my Failure Laundry List (I left MANY off to save time and space), I’m just going to keep going. I’ll dust myself off, and try again harder at the things I’m passionate about even if they’ve eluded me before. What else am I gonna do? Without the constant getting back up, my life would not be anywhere near as spectacular as it seems – and is.


Tuesday’s Workout
Test Week

For load

0:00 – 20:00
1RM Weighted chinup

20:00 – 23:00
Rest

23:00 – 43:00
1RM Thruster

And Coming Wednesday
Test Week

AMRAP 35

100 Double unders
20 Power snatches (95/65)
30 Dips
40 Jumping lunges
30 Hand-release pushups
20 Power cleans
100m Sandbag front carry (100/70)

 

 

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This week we begin Cycle 9. Be intentional with your testing; choose tests that are important to you. And as always, train smart!


Monday’s Workout
Test

FT
1-2-3-4-5
2-4-6-8-10
Front squats (205/135)
Deadlifts
–7min Cap–
–3min Rest–
1k Row

And Coming Tuesday
Test

For load

0:00 – 20:00
1RM Weighted chinup

20:00 – 23:00
Rest

23:00 – 43:00
1RM Thruster

 

Comments

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Nothing really deepens our appreciation for life more than the shock of death. The unexpected door slammed shut leaves us stark and frightened of the impermanence of every single thing. Do we freeze in our tracks, afraid to move forward; crushed, alone, devastated? Do we forge ahead with more gusto than ever because goddamn, the road before us will not be there forever; because isn’t there so much joy still undiscovered or ignored?

It takes an insane amount of bravery to go forward and go for it, for whatever especially when Death cruelly shows us Its presence. But Death, if anything, reminds those of us still living to actually live, and hopefully live with abandon.

Abandon, you say? But what of perfection? What of our need to do it all so calculatedly and right? To perform well, to feel under control, to not appear human? Can we not be an emotional mess on our way to true discovery? Can we not fail and get up and fail and get up and fail and get up…? Are you nodding your head because this is all so true — for others? What about for yourself?

I can’t string together words better than Anne Lemott on the subject so here is a quote from her:

“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen. Repent just means to change direction — and NOT to be said by someone who is waggling their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing. Pick a new direction, one you wouldn’t mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.”

Savor and appreciate and live and fail and cry and laugh so hard a lung may come up, and love so much you see stars; feel and be true, be real already; and live your fvcking life. It’s all yours. And it’s so golden.

RIP Marion Kane Elston
International Swimming Hall of Fame
Master Coach
Hero to Kenny Kane
And many others

RIP Ginger Brown
Companion
Bed Warmer
Dog Super Model

And Best Doggie Child to Shirley Brown


Friday’s Workout
Tire Week

A) Tire flip skill practice

B) 3 RFR, 2min at each station, alternate reps with a partner
Rope climbs
Wall walks
Sandbag ground to shoulder
Tire flips
–1min Rest between rounds–

Saturday’s Workout
5 RFT – 35 minute cap
400 M Run
15 RKBS (32/24)
10 Pull Ups
15 KB Sumo DL High Pull
10 Toes to Bar

Sunday’s Workout
“Plate Baby”
AMRAP 20 w/ Partner
10 Plate Burpees
20 Plate GTO (10/25/35/45)
30 Plate Russian Twists
200m Plate Carry/Run
Partners can split work however they like; must do the 200m together

And Coming Monday
Test Week – Cycle 9!

FT
1-2-3-4-5
2-4-6-8-10
Front squats (205/135)
Deadlifts
–7min Cap–
–3min Rest–
1k Row

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