The Tree


Da Mini Hoppa


A) 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1
DB Squat Clean (45/30)
Weighted Pull-up

B) 10 min MU Skill Work

C) With a partner, complete
3 Rounds for Quality (RFQ)
15 Calories Row
25 Squats

D) 15 minutes, 1RM Snatch
When there is risk, there is aliveness. There is fear, accompanied by extreme alertness, consciousness. There are consequences, that could lead to undesirable results… and there is exuberance, fun, joy, and flow. Generally, the greater the risk for me, the greater the fun.

I was reminded of these things on my recent snowboarding trip to British Columbia. On the third of four days, on just about the last run, I was coming down a fairly ordinary slope, ordinary, at least, for the backcountry of BC… steep slope, powder up to my waist, small avalanche possibility, and burnt trees (burnt from a previous season’s forest fire) everywhere. As I headed down the slope, all was good… steep runs with good slope are my specialty… I do really well when I’m I have the momentum and speed that a steep slope creates.

Upon arrival to a flatter section, I was rapidly approaching a couple of the other in my group. As I’m yelling out to one of them, letting him know that I’m going to be passing on his right side, something very strange happens. My snowboard suddenly turns sharply, about 30 degrees to the right. As you and I both know, my snowboard didn’t just turn by itself… but as it was happening, it sure did feel that way! It was as if someone underneath all that powder had just grabbed my board and literally turned it so that I would rotate at exactly the right degree so as to head straight for a large tree… straight on.

I had less than one second to react and change course… not enough for me to do anything but brace for impact.

The only bracing I could think of doing (since hitting a tree is not something I’ve ever trained for) was to stick out my left hand to slow down my approach. That worked… or at least it lessened the impact of the collision… enough so that I was, in fact, OK. Not impaled by a tree branch, no concussion, hadn’t poked my eye out, or broken a leg. But I rode away from the tree wondering what just happened… and how. It wasn’t until later when I got back on board the snow cat, that I noticed the pain in my left hand – and through some troubleshooting on the fly, figured out that the pain was something coming from my fifth metacarpal. I actually was in enough pain, and had enough swelling that I took the next day off of riding completely, not willing to risk further injury for a fourth and final epic day in the powder.

A few days later, after arriving home, I got my hand x-rayed, and found out that it’s only badly bruised, not broken (as is my ego). My only real regret… missing out on that last day of in the mountains (at $700/day, it wasn’t a cheap decision!) But I wouldn’t have traded any of it for the world. The powder, cliffs, trees, guides, lodge, food, beauty in nature, peace & solitude, camaraderie, sleep, time away with the boys, and yes, even the injury. As much as an injured hand is a pain and hassle (getting it the way of normal life, slowing me down, keeping me from normal workouts), it is a great reminder for me of the risks of the game, the importance of training, practice and preparation, and the inherent dangers that exist even when I think I’ve covered every base (or find out that I haven’t).

Life presents risks at every turn… avoiding it isn’t an option (at least if you want to live a full life). But I have found over the course of my life that although the fear never really goes away, I’ve gotten better at experiencing it, embracing it, and then, after all considerations, when I’ve decided that it’s the right risk to take, really going for it, toward it, right into it’s jaws… in spite of how it feels. I’m not comfortable with the fear, but it’s familiar, and it’s something that I know I’m going to have when I’m living life to it’s fullest. That practice is one of the incredibly valuable skills I continue to hone and develop in my 10 year CrossFit practice… it’s something we do pretty much daily.

Hope you enjoy the video!



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