Dark Side


its fucking magic

Ah yes, we hear it all the time, right? “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Or, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. The phrase is used so often in the CrossFit world, it becomes a little meaningless. And in some ways it teeters on the edge of Fitspo, being just another message telling us we are doing it wrong. (I fucking hate Fitspo. This article does an excellent job of summarizing why.) But perhaps I’m missing half the point of all this gettin’ uncomfy bidnass…

say what oprah
I’ve always applied these “inspirational” phrases in a very narrow way – to my physical (dis)comfort in the gym. (That seems like such an obvious oversight now.) And then I listened to Episode 110 of the Paleo Lifestyle & Fitness Podcast where Jason interviewed Dr Robert Biswas-Deiner, author of The Upside of Your Dark Side. Dr Biswas-Deiner presents the concept of “comfort addiction”, the idea that our modern standards of living and the ease with which we are able to achieve basic comforts have caused us all to be less practiced at being uncomfortable, not just physically, but psychologically and emotionally, as well. The conversation touches on a lot of great points and parallels some concepts from the podcast on porn addiction I referenced in a previous post (just tap on the smart phone or tablet for a little fix of dopamine). Biswas-Deiner argues that we are losing our ability negotiate even the smallest hardships, physically or emotionally.

Interesting stuff. I may have listened twice.

28 Oct | Tuesday

-fascial Release & Mobility | 15:00

Workout | AD 30/30’s
5:00 @ easy spin
15:00 @ :30 sprint, :30 walk/rest
5:00 @ easy spin

Stretch | 20:00

Bonus | 10:00 handstands!

The foam roller felt amazing today. The AD sprints are growing on me. The last 5:00 of the sprint portion I worked up to 80 RPMs (thanks to some gentle shit-talking from a member of the cartel), which for me is a lot! Stretched with Stretch Coach Ice and then played around with handstands because… Because.

My Pal 10-28
In lieu of the stat block, thought I’d post a screen shot of today’s macros. A bit heavy on the carbs and light on the protein today and I didn’t even have any beer.

Big Beautiful Glutes

“Every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right.” – Ani Difranco

The number 7 came up a lot in conversation today, seven summits, seven burpees…

seven summits
The episode of Friends where Monica explains the power of seven. Possibly the funniest 3:00 in cable history – if you don’t count the Giggle Loop scene from Coupling

Here I go with the podcasts, again. This time it’s the latest Paleo Solution Podcast with Robb Wolf and his guest, Julie Wiebe. They cover a lot of ground, from post-partum fitness, traditional vs integrative rehab, to cash-based practice. Things get really good around the 23:00 mark when they start talkin’ glutes and the temptation of training for fun as opposed to building quality movement patterns. The importance of moving well is something I like to think I have a solid grasp on, but their discussion really digs deep, making the case in a whole new light (for me at least!). There’s also a great “trunk” quote in there, but I won’t ruin it for you…

27 Oct | Monday

Warm up | 5:00 TGU work (35#)

Training | 4 Sets:
Banded pull ups x5
1:00 rest
Wall walk x2
3:00 rest
– then –
4 sets:
300m row
7 burpees
2:00 rest

Stretch | 20:00

THE Cassie R joined me this evening, so it was sort of a partner session, with each of us doing the full workload. It was just what Monday required. Started the first set of the pull-ups with the blue band, did two sets with the red band (failing on the last rep of each), then back to the blue band for the final set. I’m coming for you strict pull-ups… The wall walks felt great. I am working on keeping my trunk engaged and crackin’ the walnut for the duration of the walk walk. The row + burpee combo felt good. First burpees in months!!! I can’t tell you how excited I am. But it looks a little something like this…

excited ref

Next Monday I am going to start the 21 Day Sugar Detox with JK, my partner in crime on the Summit Challenge. I think it will be very insightful.


Should-less Days

” I’ve learned a lot from my plants. I learn that if a plant’s not growing, it’s dying, and that growth is a state of health. -Ellen Burstyn

oh yeah podcasts

Do you enjoy podcasts? If so, which ones? I really, really love the podcasts, and typically listen to them in the evenings when I am food preppin’ or tinkering around the house.

One of the newer additions to my playlist is Death, Sex and Money with Anna Sale. With a name like that, how does a person resist a listen? On the latest episode, Anna interviews actress and director Ellen Burstyn. I wasn’t familiar with her or her work, but she is a really fascinating lady, and at age 81 had some pretty incredible things to say. One such nugget was this idea of having should-less days, days where you liberate yourself from your “To Do” list and do whatever the fuck you feel like doing. (She puts it much more eloquently – I highly recommend a listen.)

Inspired by this concept, I spent a portion of my Sunday afternoon getting my Rolleiflex ready for action. I picked up this camera up in Buenos Aires some EIGHT years ago and have yet to learn how to use the thing. Until now…

Light meter is on it’s way from Amazon. Next weekend it’s QT with the Rollei


26 Oct | Sunday
PSC Training Hike #10
Rest Day

25 Oct | Saturday
PSC Training Hike #9
Alta-Bajada Trail
@ South Mountain
12.0 miles

24 Oct | Friday
Training | 3 Sets:
Single-arm DB row x 6 (30#)
1:00 rest
Top half press x 3 (65, 70, 75#)
2:00 rest
– then –
30 mins of work:
Tire hits x 20
Sled walk x 200m (120#)
Single arm waiter’s carry x 100 m – switching arms @ 50m (35#)

Sunday was supposed to be a training hike day, but my hip and my guts told me take a rest day, so I did. No pain, just tightness, to be clear. Did some -facial release and a nice lengthy session of stretching post- evening dog walk.

Saturday’s 12-mile hike was great! Jennifer and I kept a solid pace, despite the sun being a little spicier than anticipated. 

Alta Bajada Pano
Our view from the top
Alta-Bajada Route
PSC 9 Elev
Elevation Stats


Friday was fun. Tire hits are so much fun, and a close second to beating up a heavy bag in terms of stress relief. The seated press was effective. And the instructional video that accompanied the workout was very entertaining. I really focused on screwing myself under the bar. (What?!?)

The thirty minutes of continuous work felt SO good. 

As far as the eats go, well, Saturday I had ice cream for dinner…

I feel you Cooper.

But I cleaned it up on Sunday. AND did some sleep banking, which was glorious! The food logging business really isn’t as annoying as I thought it would be. And it’s proving to be really insightful, into both the particulars of what I’m eating as well as the absurdity of the standards and assumptions within the app itself.



Six and one: the Broncos record after this evening’s victory over San Diego. It’s also a good ratio of champagne to OJ in a quality mimosa. I could have entitled this post, “A Bunch of Random Shit”, but that was a little wordy. Six and one.

“Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.”

Name that movie quote. It’s a good one…

take that Thursday
How it feels leaving the ‘nasium these days… coming off the injuries!

Life tip of the day: When a person tells you they are an asshole, you should believe them. You can find 31 additional Life Tips here. (The frog I die.)

And finally, a video I’m certain will help me with my less that stellar med ball tosses!

23 Oct | Thursday

3 Sets:
Reverse Zercher lunges x 10 ea. (45, 55, 55#)
1:00 Rest between legs
3 Sets: (more like 7 attempts)
HS walk x 5-10 ft (made it 5 ft max.)
1:00 Rest
Banded rows x 8 reps (totally missed these)
1:00 Rest
5 Sets:
AD x 1:00 hard spinning, 2:00 easy spinning (yay)

The lunges hurt in a good way. The handstands are always fun, even when I stand still. Accidentally skipped the rows. Typical. And the sunset was nice while I did the AD drill.

I’ve added a “no fucks were given” icon to the Mood & Stress bar. Look at that.



“The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.” – Rumi

Another great TEDx Talk brought to you by JK. The title is misleading and I think instead it should be called, “No one has enough time for bullshit.”

The presenter puts some pretty incredible numbers out there – like the fact that women spend 3,276 hours grooming over a lifetime compared to 1,092 hours for men. What!?! Think of how great my Portuguese would be if I dedicated those hours to the Rosetta Stone instead of the mirror. What was it Boney said about worrying about your shitty eyebrows in the post about Distractions…?

22 Oct | Wednesday

Mobility | 15:00

3 Rounds – NFT:
100m row
10 Push ups
10 KB swings (44#)
10 Wall ball (14#)
– then –
3 Sets:
Banded hip thrusts x10 reps
right into
Clams x10 ea. side
1:00 rest
– then –
3 Rounds @ 6-7 on RPE scale:
100m row
10 Push ups
10 KB swings (44#)
10 Wall ball (14#)

Stretch | 20:00

I really enjoyed this workout. I was pretty winded, but man did that feel good after however many months of no dynamic hip action. And all the movements felt great without any bad pain. The clams on my right side were pretty weak. I can tell the movement pattern isn’t what it should be, or rather, just that it takes a lot of brain power to make sure I am moving well on that side.  

Day Two of the food logging and the Hawthorne Effect is in full effect. Which I suppose is a win..


That’s All I Got

cant stop laughing

I really can’t stop laughing at that. Tuesday’s favorite thing.

 21 Oct | Tuesday

Warm up | a lil rowing

Training | 4×5 DB bench press @ 13×1 (25, 30, 30, 30# DBs)
3:00 rest
4 sets:
Wall runs x 20-30 seconds
1:00 rest
Box step ups x 8 each leg (35# BB)

Stretch | 20:00

The tempo bench with dumbbells felt so much better than with the barbell. Why is that? Different range of motion? Different movement pattern? Whatever it was, they felt good. The wall runs were so much more fun this time! I walk walked up to the top position and was able to bang out 30 seconds relatively easily without issue. Other than not falling on my face is there anything else I should be keeping in mind while I do these? The box step-ups were legit. I would have grabbed the 45# BB but my right side… mmm… just wanted to make sure I kept moving well, in the proper position.

I did experience some TGU and barbell envy watching the 6:00 class. Really excited for Friday’s workout. Tire hits!

Going to log my food for a while just to see just how dialed in I really am. I think calories and the scale are bullshit, but seeing the macros will be interesting. I am using the My Fitness Pal app because it doesn’t make my face hurt when I look at it. (Seriously who designs these apps. I am offended by how awful they are.) FINALLY slept like the dead last night, though there were some migraine meds involved. Gonna do whatever I can to fix this disrupted sleep business.


Hard Choices as Opportunity

“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.” -Susan Sontag

Confession: I own the entire series of Sex and the City on DVD and should probably be embarassed at how frequently scenes from that show appear in my head during (in)appropriate moments of my life. (I still can’t see a peppermill without a little giggle.) One of my G-rated favorites happens in Season 4 when Charlotte is trying to convince herself that she’s made the right decision and demands her friend Miranda’s approval in order to do so.

I seriously can’t believe there wasn’t a gif of this scene online. So I made this one (first time, be gentle) and now there is.

I came across this TED talk who’s message I found to be really fantastic. It’s relatively short, a bit slow to start, but has a really strong finish.

Chang’s presentation is so refreshing; the idea that the “tough” decisions we face aren’t a burden, but rather an opportunity to push ourselves to become the people we want to be. That we create the reasons one choice is better than another is so empowering. It all cycles back to listening to yourself, being your own N=1 experient. And it reminds me that life is more like 11 Lifetimes than beating the drum. No one wants to be a drifter. (Or at least not me!)

19 October | Sunday
PSC Training Hike #8
Piestewa Peak
+/- 3.0 mi

18 October | Saturday
PSC Training Hike #7
Mormon Loop – National Trail + Fat Man’s Pass
+/- 6.0 mi

17 October | Friday
Rest Day

The hikes felt great this weekend! No pain in the ass at all! This morning we did the summit trail at Piestewa and am really happy with our performance. We got to the summit in about 38 minutes – and that was without a push, just a steady up we go pace. Boy, I had forgotten how beautiful that hike is…

photo 2
On our way up Piestewa Peak
photo 1
JK making me nervous at the top looking down…

Jennifer and I need a team name. With two creatives this shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. Or it will be impossilbe! We are open to suggestions…

This afternoon I am going to drink beer, watch football, and eat oysters with part of my clan. Beer – not paleo – but the clan factor cancels that out. Boom.