I Am a Failure



There will be no early crew on Saturday morning

At 31 years old it is safe to say that I am a failure of epic proportions. Looking back on all the things I wished and planned for through the years I think my success rate is hovering at around 10%, and that’s throwing out the wish upon my lucky stars shoot from the hip and hope for a horseshoe kind of goals. I had plans. I remember sitting in the dugout of my 11 year old Little League all-star team telling another teammate that I was in fact going to be a pro baseball player. Come high school that turned into “until someone tells me no.”. That no came pretty quickly after so it turned into “f you I do what I want!”. Obviously I did not become a pro baseball player.

Along the way I was going to be a real Hollywood screenwriter (I have 7 completed screenplays to prove it), a member of the Peace Corps that single handedly solved the crisis in Darfur and/or arrested Joseph Kony with my bare hands, and the youngest Division I baseball head coach ever (until as a 25 year old assistant at Harvard I coached against a team lead by a 23 year old).

Really my life has been one failure after another. Hopes and dreams that just weren’t met, either from a change of circumstance or a change of heart, or the worst an actual outright miss despite my greatest efforts. My transition from college baseball coach to CrossFit person was due only to my attempt to become one of the first graduating members of the 18x Special Forces program in the Army. Knowing my lanky ass marathon figure wouldn’t cut it in Ranger school I found this CrossFit thing all the badasses were doing and decided that would get me ready. Little did I know that you need decent eye sight to pass the physical. Chalk it up as my 5th major fail of my mid 20s. Finishing off my Gatsby-esque enchanted years was realizing that my plans to earn a living as a CrossFit competitor were a bit harder than I imagined (no lie I sat in Fenway Park detailing to my Mom how all I needed to do was train a bit and a Reebok sponsorship was just a matter of time).

I know there aren’t many tears being shed for me out there and that isn’t the point. Failure happens. Life is full of failures big and small. Show me someone who has never failed and I’ll show you someone who is a huge pu**y. What happens after you fail is what separates average from good and good from great. It’s no different than our efforts in the gym. Failing is such a dirty word here and it shouldn’t be. It’s part of the process, part of the plan. If you think you are going to get there without a bump in the road then boy do we need to have a talk! Every day you walk in here you should plan on falling short somewhere, whether it be in a lift or attempting a new skill. Whatever it is, the only way you get better (in anything) is taking chances, and when you take chances you are going to fail. Think to when you have had great success. How many times did that happen on your first try or without any sort of miss along the way?

Failing is educating. The learn the hard way mentality has been my preferred method of education for myself since I was young. When I was 8 I learned that not completing a flip off the diving board because I got scared was a hell of a lot worse than I could have imagined on impact. At 12 I learned what happens when you throw a fastball belt high that splits the plate to a team’s 4 hitter. At 16 I learned what smoking pot and throwing fire crackers around an upper middle class neighborhood on Halloween gets you (it involved Police and a lot of tears from Mom). At 18, 18.5, 18.75, 19, 19.5, 20, 20 and 1 day, 21, and many times in between, before, and after I learned that “liquor before beer, you’re in the clear” actually is a crock of s**t and actual amount of consumption is wayyyyyy more important than order.

Every time you miss a lift you are being told something. Bar in front, bar behind, it all means something. When a workout sneaks up on you that you had no idea would do so, something is telling you something. Maybe it’s your preparation, maybe it’s your diet, sleep, water, or maybe it’s your 4th day in a row. Absolutely nothing, and I mean this with every part of me, absolutely nothing happens in life without a purpose. I don’t care what your higher power is, whether it be God, Allah, karma, unicorns, Ninja Turtles, Hunter S. Thompson, Keith Richards, Ghandi, rhubarb pie, ice cream, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, every outcome has a reason and somewhere in that reason you are involved. It might not be your fault but you better believe something you did had a hand in it.

Accepting this responsibility for the outcomes in your world is a massive part of success. Not necessarily because this is some secret to making everything turn out in your favor, but because looking at the world in that way will in turn make everything a learning experience. Even if whatever happened happened because you crushed it, learn why you crushed it and make sure you do it every single time. Too many times we take the good and dismiss it as “just having a good day” or luck, but when bad happens it’s the root or start of a bigger problem, bigger faults in our process. Good and bad are equal so weigh them so. When you kick ass at the box damn right you should celebrate it. I hung that gong up on the wall for a reason. So Dexter ate the mallet? Smash that sucker with your hand! Humility is something to be celebrated but the woman/man who is constantly humble is one who has never allowed themselves to experience true, amazing success in their heart and soul. Sometimes a gigantic middle finger to the rest of the world (or however you celebrate success) needs to happen.

Take no lesson for granted. Failure is not to be avoided but embraced. Through my years I have learned that my failures aren’t faults but just steps to success. Obviously you want to be sure to be learning from those failures or they just become useless shortcomings. With every failure is a chance to learn and get better. If you look at it that way then you will never be scared of the bar, the skill, the WOD, the interview, leading the project, the breakup, the proposal, or the new beginning. F**k failure. Yay success.

Everything means something.



Core Conditioning

Core: ascending KB and GHD ladder

Start at a light KB, perform 10 russian swings (eye high) then 10 GHD sit-ups. Go up in weight and repeat until you cannot swing the KB 10 times.

Conditioning: 15m AMRAP
30 Air Squats
30 Cal Row/Airdyne (alternate each round)
30 Clapping Pushups
25m Sled Push



Strength: Clean and Jerk
Find a 1 rep max Clean and Jerk. Once you fail the jerk increase and set a new PR on the clean if able


WOD: 10m amrap
40 Bar Facing Burpees
30 Overhead Squat 95/65

– This is a deceiving WOD in format. Getting through 1 round would be very good. Pace your burpees (these will come up in the Opens) and give it your best at the OHS. Even if it is a movement that crushes you, doing 5 at a time at RX would be a great success.




Strength: Clean and Jerk

Find a 1 rep max Clean and Jerk. Once you fail the jerk increase and set a new PR on the clean if able

WOD: 10m amrap
40 Bar Facing Burpees
30 Overhead Squat 95/65
SkWAT Team: complete each part before moving on

a: 3×3 Clean Position Deadlift (heaviest able)
b: 3×3 Bench Press (heaviest able)
c: 3×8 DB Bench Press (heaviest able)
d: 3×6 Single Arm DB Bent Over Row (floor to chest, back parallel)



– If you are competing on Saturday use this as optional. The work on Saturday is not insane and not much different than a normal Saturday training day. Keep in mind it IS competition so your intensity will naturally be much higher. If you feel you want to lift I encourage it (I know a number of competitors are). Competition Saturday is just another day, every training day matters. Full rest is a great option and a full work day is a great option, just make the decision that is best for you. Ultimately you know yourself best.

1. Clean and Jerk
Find a 1 rep max, then 1 rep max clean once failed jerk


2 Clean and Jerk @ 80% above max

2. WOD: “11.4”
60 Bar Facing Burpees
30 OHS 120/90
10 Muscle Ups

3. Complete each portion before moving to the next:
a: 3×3 Clean Position Deadlift (heaviest able)
b: 3×3 Bench Press (heaviest able)
c: 3×8 DB Bench Press (heaviest able)
d: 3×6 Single Arm DB Bent Over Row (floor to chest, back parallel)
e: 2m ME double unders, rest 1m, repeat.

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