A Letter from Ross G.
Ring Practice – 20 minutes
(muscle ups, handstands, iron cross, levers, skin the cats, etc.)
3 rounds for max reps:
1 min Power Clean (155/105)
1 min Pull UpsRecently the CFLA coaching staff received this email from long-time student, Ross G. Many of you have probably seen Ross before or after class, in the tall room, practicing his handstands. You probably don’t know his full story, though. Ross has been on an amazing journey…and he can tell it far better than me, so please read his letter (and so you know, “Leon” is what he named the weight around his waist!):
One year ago today I started the “RossG Challenge 2010!” on Facebook with the naive proposal I’d get myself in shape in 3 months. I learned through regular attendance that I could get in shape much slower and much more effective over a year, and beyond. My habits needed changing. A quick fix was not going to work.
EVERYTHING about my health and fitness has changed in the last year. I’ve learned it’s a “marathon and not a sprint” and that the scale doesn’t matter. It’s about your daily habits with food and training and letting the process work. That took the pressure off and made it effective. My met-con is not great but has gone WAY up. My strength is more than I could have thought possible (a 365 lb deadlift? a 95lb Turkish get up? I can walk on my hands??? (Thanks to regular gymnastics classes at DogTown)). Wow, when you follow the “recipe,” it works!
Regarding “Leon”: I know I’ve cut 21 lbs on the scale, but I gained around 10 lbs muscle, so that’s around 30 lbs fat alone, just in the last year.
The Sweet Cheeks No Grains & No Sugar challenges, the “Santa Monica Smoker” challenge (I won that one!), Fight Gone Bad, Upside Down challenge, Michael’s brilliant Whole Life Challenge (I’ve finally learned to put all the elements of CF together and to have fun), eating Paleo — these were the catalysts within CFLA that told me “I can do this.” Of course, I now hang out after class and voluntarily do my Handstand training and other gymnastics! LOL. I’m an obnoxious show-off at work with what I can now do with my body.
Andy, Becca and Michael know why I’m so happy with all this. I started CrossFit at Petranek Fitness in FALL OF 2006! That’s the same time as Michael and before the rest of you. I fought it. I struggled. It was too hard. I had too much drama in my life and too many food overeating issues. I’d show up for awhile, then I’d vanish. Becca would call every Thursday, email every Thursday, “When are we gonna see you?” and I’d hand her a random day, knowing I wouldn’t be there (couldn’t bear the pain, and I was fight training and kickboxing in that period of time!) or I would intend to show up, but would not. I kept paying my membership (yikes) but I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING TO THIS THAT I WANTED (after all, there’s a “ROSS” in “cROSSfit”. LOL) I just wasn’t ready.
At the end of a 9 month absence, where Becca wrote or called me weekly (no Globo gym would do that), she strung all my excuses together in one email and sent them to me. I was so PISSED at her that I returned. I vanished again, however, after 3 months. When I came back once more, Andy said to me, like teaching a kindergartner, “Just show up 3 times a week for 6 months. I don’t care if you do the whole WOD, I don’t care about weights or intensity, I just want you to show up.” I lasted 2 months. I still couldn’t do it! So, I kept struggling with coming and going, getting used to it and getting sore, for a total of 3.5 years. My health actually got worse. I gained 40 lbs in the first 3.5 years of CrossFit.
Then in Oct 2009, at 248 lbs, I hit “rock bottom” and got my motivation when I couldn’t stand up for 3 minutes to brush my teeth without back pain, like a pregnant chick. I started back at CFLA slowly and inconsistently, did the two Sweet Cheeks challenges, then at 233 lbs, I put it all out to the world with the “RossG Challenge 2010!” on Facebook and became a consistent attendee. I did whatever was in the CrossFit and CFLA recipe, like the challenges and seminars. That caused a lot of change in my body, but the daily food habits came much later, in the last two months. Slowly but surely.
So, thanks for having such a complete and great CF program. Now my goal is to keep up the habit change.