Happy New Year
It's the last Friday of 2023! When we meet again at the gym it will be a new year. Here's to good health and good fortune in the new year!
My family has strong southern roots and one of my favorite New Year's Eve traditions is eating black-eyed peas. When I was young they came from a can or bag. As I have developed my epicurean skills over my life I have learned the importance and value in knowing provenance of my food. Now, when I cook beans they come from Rancho Gordo.
Do you have a good luck New Year's food tradition? No? Well you can have fun exploring these good luck foods courtesy of Real Simple. Click on the image below for the recipes. Share with us in the comments you family's New Year celebrations and traditions.
GYM IS CLOSED:
Saturday Dec 30
Sunday Dec 31
Monday Jan 1
See you all back at the gym on Tuesday, Jan 2.
There will be at-home workouts loaded in BTWB for Saturday and Monday.
CrossFit and Arthritis, Part 2
A few weeks ago I blogged about doing CrossFit with arthritis. Since that post I've heard from several well-meaning people about their concern that I'm doing more damage to my knees by continuing to squat and deadlift. The most important thing I'm learning about continuing to exercise with arthritis is to know thyself. I wrote about this as well.
To manage the damage in my knees, I have to dial it back, but NOT STOP! To age well, I need to keep moving. Once I stop moving I will succumb to the arthritis and then I'm done. The benefits of continuing CrossFit, even at a level far lower than what I once could do, absolutely outweigh the cost of not moving.
I will never squat 300 pounds again and that's totally ok! Squatting just half that weight is still enabling my knees to move through the full range of motion under load. It's still driving positive adaptations in my muscles. More importantly, squatting is good for my bones. Now that I'm fully in the menopause transition preserving bone density is my highest priority.
Remember, motion is the lotion. As we age, at some point our performance will decline. When that happens we have to use the wisdom we've gained to learn how modify, adapt and scale movements.
Please listen to this excellent episode of Varied not Random that is exactly about this topic.
A Christmas Poem from 2020
by John Elwell, 5:30PM class
‘Twas almost Christmas, this difficult year
2020 was a long one, with little to cheer
An awful virus, too much anger and hate
A long difficult year, it seems was our fate
A bright spot for me was the True Spirit box
The WODs and the people, it’s a place that just rocks
The last WOD before Christmas was over and done
We all quite enjoyed it, each and every last one
Now the gym was empty as I stretched on the floor
I had stayed after class to cool down a bit more
From above I felt a gust of cold air
Santa came down the climbing rope, with red coat and white hair
Quietly I sat as Santa went this way and that
Trying out the equipment even though he was fat
A kettlebell, a wall ball, he handled them well
It seems Santa’s a CrossFitter, I could just tell
He had no sack with him, not a treat nor a toy
But his eyes how they twinkled and seemed full of joy
Before the whiteboard he stood, stroking his beard
In an instant I saw that the whiteboard was cleared
Touching his nose and nodding his head
A message appeared, soon to be read
He turned back to the rope, gave me a nod and a wink
Then like a true CrossFitter, was up the rope in a blink
I went to the white board to see what he wrote
A workout of the day? Or just a short note?
The writing was beautiful, hand written and clear
And the message he wrote brought me some cheer
“Your last gift in this year of challenges and fear
Is True Spirit, both the feeling, and the gym so near
The true spirit of people, caring for all
Helping friends and others, in big ways and small
And True Spirit the gym, where you come to get fit
To better yourself, and to learn your true grit
The WODs, the challenges, the new people you meet
Working out together to achieve that next feat”
I smiled at the note full of life and of hope
(Still wondering how Santa went so fast up that rope)
Thanks to True Spirit athletes, who make the place fun
Thanks to True Spirit and Coach Leslie for a job well done.
2021 Night Before Christmas
by John Elwell, 5:30pm CrossFitter
‘Twas the night before Christmas in the year 2021
Another difficult year, I was glad it was done
The last workout of the year at the True Spirit box
Just a few showed up, in our True Spirit socks
A few minutes before class we all gathered about
The coach at the white board, athletes stretching out
When such a clatter arose out where we park
We all jumped up and ran out, into the dark
We looked to see what made all that noise
Outside was a red sleigh, stacked high with toys
In the front stood St Nick, there wasn’t a doubt
Even in the snow that was swirling about
“Ho ho ho”, St. Nick laughed as he jumped from his sleigh
“You want a good workout? Well, come this way!”
He unlimbered the reindeer, and let them roam free
Then turning to us, he said with some glee
“There are families who could use some True Spirit cheer
You CrossFitters can help me spread some this year
I’ve got a little chipper that will be lots of fun
And you’ll have a good work out by the time we are done
We’ll do a bit of climbing and work on some lifts
And some sandbag carries, except with some gifts
Throw in some sled dragging up and down slopes
We’ll spread True Spirit cheer, so take ahold of the ropes”
We each grabbed a rope to pull on the sleigh
We grunted and groaned to start on our way
Santa on the sleigh would yell “go left” or “go right”
As we pulled Santa’s sleigh through that wonderful night
We stopped at each house, lifted up bags of toys
Skinnied down chimneys with nary a noise
Back up the chimney once the presents were set
Back to the sleigh ropes, we weren’t done yet
Some toys were light, and some were quite heavy
(Whose kid wanted an engine for a ’68 Chevy?)
All the dragging and lifting and climbing up and down
Made for a good workout as we went around town
Lots of houses we stopped at, though I lost count
When suddenly we stopped and I saw Santa dismount
We were back at the gym, covered head to foot
With ashes and sweat and lots of black soot
We’d had a good workout, we were quite pleased with that
Helping old Santa, in his white-tipped red hat
Santa hooked up his reindeer, and climbed back on his sleigh
“Merry Christmas” he said, and flew off on his way
We watched Santa’s sleigh fly as we stood in the snow
When we noticed all around us a faint red glow
We looked about, what could shine so red?
What could be making that red glow spread?
As we looked at each other, we soon discovered the source
Of the Christmas-red glow that was lighting our course
Our True Spirit socks were bright red as a rose
Glowing in the Christmas eve night, just like Rudolph’s red nose
It was a magical night, when we did Santa’s WOD
Our red glowing socks left us just awed
And sometimes when I walk in the True Spirit box
I swear they still glow faintly, my True Spirit socks
Record your WOD on Beyond the Whiteboard.
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