Good Afternoon CFTP,

Sometimes it’s really nice to take a break for a while but I am happy to be back and ready to get back into the box with all of you!

While I was on my trip I had a chance to go golfing a couple of times. Golfing has always intrigued me much like Olympic Lifting intrigues me. I think the reason is because you are never done improving on it. There is always something that you will need to correct to become more proficient at the movement. There are so many elements in the golf swing and so once you feel like you have mastered one part of it, another piece goes awry.

Another thing that messes up my golf swing are long periods of absence from the golf course. I learned a very valuable lesson this past week. Just because you could once do something, if you stop doing that thing and stop practicing, you will lose it! That first 9 holes were pretty ugly and I have no one to blame but myself. Now, I say I can only blame myself but that didn’t stop me from throwing the blame on everything and everyone around me! It was too windy. I have never done this course. I didn’t sleep well the night before. Scarlet wore me out. It was too much pressure. The course was stupid. LOL. The list goes on.

I believe we all get stuck into the blame game when in all reality, if you want to get better at something, you must put in the work. If you really want to get a bar muscle up, then instead of looking for shortcuts, put in the work to build that foundation and I better see you actually working to get a bar muscle up. People say to me all the time, I really want a ring muscle up. What can I do to get a ring muscle up? (Or any other movement… Ring muscle ups are just an easy example). So I give them exercises they can perform to work their way up to the ring muscle up. I even tell them, depending on where they are at, that you need to be doing these exercises 3-4 times a week in addition to your workouts but rarely do I see the follow through I had hoped to see.

How did I get a ring muscle up? How long was I doing CrossFit before I successfully accomplished this movement for the first time?

As many of you know, I started CrossFit while I was deployed to Iraq. Me and my team got together every day and started doing the WODs. This was in December. Then in the middle of February, me and my buddies decided to order rings and it was time to learn how to do a ring muscle up. None of us had ever done a ring muscle up. I don’t think anyone on the whole base had ever done a ring muscle up or even heard of one.

We all watched videos and “coached” each other on the ring muscle up. We finally got the metal rings in the mail and hung them from the back of the basketball standard. It wasn’t optimal but it worked. Over and over we tried to get a ring muscle up. We worked and worked on it. We failed over and over and over again. From the time we got the rings until one of us got a ring muscle up, I’d say it was about two weeks. Zane Williams was the first. The man is an ox and just muscled his way up the rings. It wasn’t pretty but it worked.

It took me another 2 weeks of failing to get myself up on the rings. Now when I say I worked for a month to get my ring muscle up, that may not seem like a lot. But I would say on average I attempted 30 ring muscle ups a day for a month. Not even kidding. I would say, I failed at least a thousand times before I finally got myself up on those rings. Was it the best way to learn how to do a muscle up? No, now that I have the training and the years of experience coaching I know there are better ways to build that foundation so you don’t get into bad failing habits or even worse, injure yourself. But the point I am trying to make is that when you want something, truly want something, you better be ready to work your butt off.

You all have a huge advantage over young Coach Dan. You have a coaching team who is dedicated to seeing you succeed. You have facilities that are available to you to help you build your strength. You don’t have to hang a pair of rings from a basketball standard or a water well (our outdoor location for our muscle ups).

If you want something then tell us. If you have goals then let us know what they are so we can be on your team to help you accomplish them. But don’t tell me your goals if you are not willing to work. Don’t wish for something or ask for shortcuts if you aren’t willing to put in the labor to accomplish your dream.

If you want to become a better snatcher, work. If you want to become a better gymnast, work. If you want to become a better runner, work. If you want to squat heavier, work. If you want a sub 3 minute Fran time, work. There are no shortcuts in this life. Those people you see at Regionals and at The Games, they didn’t get there by accident. I follow many of them and even know a few, they work everyday, even when there isn’t anyone watching. They put in the extra hours so they can stand on top of those podiums.

We all have different goals. Not all of us or even a huge number of us have eyes for regionals or the games. Some of us just want to be able to overhead squat a bar or squat snatch or do a pullup. No goal is too small and no goal is impossible if you are willing to put in the elbow grease and work.

Love you all and I can’t wait to get back into the box tomorrow with ya and put in the work.

Coach Dan