Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's Like Legos!

Photo by Tai Randall
Short post today folks. I am looking at prosthetic components and I seriously feel like a kid with a box of legos. If I mix this piece with that it makes a cool car but if I mix this one in, it's like a Mad Max car with hidden weapons and badassery....

I'm working with the Dept of VA and my prosthetic therapist, Elliot at the Orthotic and Prosthetic Center to come up with an activity limb for me that'll be light weight but very strong with fewer moving mechanical parts than my existing rig since the moving parts I keep breaking or coming damn close to. It's a blessing that I have friends such as Scott Rigsby to bounce ideas off of. Being a triathlete and crossfitter, Scott is a wealth of knowledge.

Stay tuned for the testing of what's to come.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meant For Something Else!

As crossfitters, we are generally in love with our sport. We tell everyone about it and swear by both our fitness way of life as well as our dietary knowledge we all end up learning while training at our boxes. There are also a fair amount of us who spend a vast amount of time daydreaming about how we could make a career in the business of CrossFit. I am no different.

Since I was medically retired from the Army in 2003, I have worked in the information technology industry; building a reputation as a knowledgeable and hardworking guy. In 2009, I graduated from college with a B.S. in Information Systems Security and I have numerous IT Certifications. Honestly, these things have helped me pave the way for stability with my family and have allowed me to be able to give my kids the nicer things they want. Things I never really had as a kid. Despite all of these things I have earned and achieved, I'm still not anywhere near fulfilled in my career. There are a few times a week where I am extremely happy with my work and where I can honestly say that the lines between work and play are blurred. Every day I coach, whether they are my adaptive athletes or my non-adaptive athletes, I am truly happy. When we are contacted by adaptive athletes who want help training, I am truly happy. When I coach the newcomers class on Saturday mornings; giving people their first taste of CrossFit, I am happy. During classes, the serious but also giddy joking we coaches engage in makes me feel more than at home and happy.

This weekend, I attended the CrossFit Kids Certification Course with a fellow coach from CrossFit Rubicon. As Tiffany Harrison (Tiff) and I absorbed the information we were being given, I found my mind filling with ways to start and grow the Rubicon Kids program. How to grow Rubicon. How to build a tribe in our gym where mom and dad come in and get healthier, stronger and faster while their kids are accomplishing the same thing. How to incorporate and run the Real World Six project in all of this. I already have a vested interest in my sport and my box but I have an even larger desire to help grow that business to maximum potential.

I believe I am meant for something other than IT work. Something that one of our trainers spoke about this weekend echoes in my mind right now as I write this. In fact, it's been bouncing around my noggin since he uttered the words. If it's important, crossfitters always seem to figure out a way to get it done. Now for me to figure out a way to best use my talents and abilities to enrich peoples lives and teach their kids life skills. It's time for me to make a serious difference. It's time for me to make it work, figure out a way to impact people as much as I can and for me to build a tribe in our gym!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I Clean Up Well......

When Mrs. Sturm asked if I wanted to attend The Inaugural Ball, I was of course excited and jumping for joy...... Ok, not really. Mainly because I am not a formal event type guy. Although I was a little interested in seeing what I looked like in a tuxedo since the last time I wore one was almost 15 years ago. (Damn I'm old.....)

The Sturms...... At a formal event........
We coordinated with our friends, lined up a sitter and went about getting all fancied up. A quick trip to JoS Bank for a tux for me and a quick hair trim at the barber shop and I was set! Mrs. Sturm was a bit of a different story. Gotta get a gown. Gotta get a shawl. Gotta get a purse. Shoes. Make-up. Hair. Nails. Jewelry. The list was a like a deployment packing list! Nevertheless, our friend Danna took care of my lady and made her up! A rendezvous at Danna's house for the making of a ball ready wife while I drank a whiskey..... or two and watched TV was my pre-game show for the event. I think it literally took me 10 minutes to throw on my tux and brush my teeth!

When we arrived at the event it was cold but admittedly, it was a smooth transition of lines both entering the area of the D.C. Convention Center as well as shuffling through security and into the coat check line. Now here is a helpful hint that we took to another level! We were told to bring a jacket you might not care about leaving behind in case lines were massive when trying to retrieve your coats at the end of the night. We took this a bit further because the coat check lines were so long, we just tossed our "disposable" coats in the corner and headed toward the ball room. Seemed like a good idea and we figured booze would keep us warm enough when leaving!

Yup... Still goofy
An event like this is all about people watching. Look at all the ladies in dresses (now knowing how much it takes to get them to look like they do) and measure up the guys tux's. But there were also some pretty decent musical acts on stage. Alicia Keys, Mana, Brad Paisley, FUN. and Stevie Wonder. We saw the President and First Lady in a very touching dance together (whether you like him or not, it was touching).

When we left, our master plan of dumping off our jackets came into fruition. It was cold..... I mean really fucking cold out there. The ladies were not going to be happy. So, on a hunch, we hit the spot where we discarded the jackets. Yup, still there! BONUS! Happy ladies were at least a little warmer on the way to the cab.

Yes, this shaved ape of a man had fun dressing up in a tux and going to the ball with my wife. Yes, I enjoyed not wearing shorts and a t-shirt for a little while. And yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seriously..... Who do these people think they're messing with!?

I. Like. Meat. Grilled, roasted, smoked, braised wrapped in other meat.... It's freaking intoxicating! I like meat almost as much as I like beer. I miss beer. (I'm midway through a 60 day strict paleo nutrition challenge and miss my cheat beers. Post and pics to come when the challenge completes.) 

The best thing ever has come to my attention. Get ready and hang on to your seats folks. Meat Week! I know!!! The sound of it is just.........


Here's the deal. BBQ and lots of it! So many of the area's best BBQ joints are serving up their awesomeness. It's like BBQ-apalooza! A couple of the events require tickets or preregistration so get those while you can.

And here's the kicker... I even get a T-shirt! (Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a whore for t-shirts.)


I would totally bathe in this...

2012.....A Year in Review

As 2013 begins and we all struggle to capture our goals for the year and begin trying to achieve them, I took some time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard if you want the literal version of what I am doing.....) in reflection of a great year for me!

Coaching Steph Hammerman at CrossFit Rubicon
To start, this year helped me to come to the reality that I am meant to do so much more than what I have done with my life up to this point. Being a father and husband to my wife is my most important job in life but a very VERY close second is being a coach to the adaptive and non-adaptive CrossFit community. You can say I drank the Kool-aid but I like to think I found a community where I can truly help people!

CrossFit Walter Reed and CrossFit Rubicon:

After joining CrossFit Reston in 2011, I met Christy Phillips (CF Games Competitor) who introduced me to Brian Wilson and the CrossFit Walter Reed project. I began working out once a week at CF Walter Reed and almost instantly knew I wanted to be more than just an athlete in the CrossFit community. Armed with the goal of getting to work with the Wounded Warriors, I told Brian that I wanted to coach. About the same time, Maggie Dabe, owner and coach at CrossFit Reston offered a scholarship to the Level 1 certification CF Reston was holding in July. After completing the certification I officially joined CF Walter Reed as a coach and began interning at CF Rubicon with Chef and Hronn Wallach. CF Rubicon has already established themselves as a supporter of the Working Wounded community by training those injured in the line of duty, either military or law enforcement/fire department and their families for $1 a month. Unheard of in the CrossFit world! I have continued coaching at CF Walter Reed and have had the opportunity to meet and coach some outstanding military members and Wounded Warriors. The gift of feeling like I am back in the Non-commissioned role I left the Army in, is priceless and I don't think any of them know just how much it means to me.

Rubicon athletes at Balston CF's Rich Froning event.
In joining the CF Rubicon family, I joined a family of dedicated athletic warriors. One such person has become my motivation by simple virtue of his tenacity and drive. I met Matt Ramsey finally at the 2012 CrossFit Games Regional and started corresponding with him about adaptive crossfitting. It was even more interesting finding out that both Matt and I are former 10th MTN Div soldiers. As his coach and friend I have had the chance to both compete against Matt in the 2012 Working Wounded Games as well as compete on a team with him in CF Liberation's Cold War 2 competition. We also joined forces along side other Rubicon athletes in a charity event at Ballston CrossFit where we worked out on a team with the 2011 and 2012 CrossFit Games male champion, Rich Froning.

Coaching with Chef wt CrossFit Rubicon.
Coaching has become a passion of mine and I love working with our athletes, both adaptive and non-adaptive. I really wouldn't be half the coach I am though without the coaches I've encountered in the past but more importantly, without the friendship and mentoring from Chef and Hronn Wallach, Ben Chismar, Coach Rick, BJ Peyton, Mark Tippett, Mike Riggs, Tiffany Harrison (bad ass ginger) and all of my fellow coaches at Rubicon.


In June of 2012, I had the honor of joining well over 100 other participants in a GORUCK Challenge in D.C. Little did I know that:
1. This was an indoctrination into another branch of my extended family.
2. This was a cadre reunion which meant an extra hour or so of abuse before we even started.
3. (This is probably the more important point) Running through the streets of D.C. barefooted with a ruck on your back (and sometimes front) sucks balls!!!

After completing the GORUCK Challenge, in June, I've shadowed a few others including the July 4th D.C. Challenge where I extended my GORUCK family tree as well as had the honor of meeting an outstanding individual who made a profound impression on me. I met Atom Ziniewicz, former U.S. Army SOF Operator and Owner of CrossFit Liberation. As a crossfitter I picked Atom's brain and he took all the time he could to discuss programming, coaching and even box owning with me. Afterwards, he even reached out to me to make sure I knew I could count on him to answer any questions I had. We tragically lost Atom this year and both CF Liberation and CF Rubicon were rocked by his loss. I took the time to honor Atom along with his CF Liberation extended family in a memorial WOD that was brutal but worth it.

Working Wounded Games 2012:

This year we held the first annual Working Wounded Games where adaptive crossfitters gathered to compete in the first CrossFit styled competition for adaptive athletes. From limb dysfunction to amputees to those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries; we battled it out for three WODs before moving onto a surprise static row for calories where we rowed using only our arms. It was a hard fought day filled with camaraderie, blood and sweat. 
Static row at the Working Wounded Games 2012.
A congenital arm amputee, multiple lower extremity amputees from the armed forces, a blind amputee from an auto accident, service members who suffered traumatic brain injuries, limb dysfunction and other amputees all descended on CF Rubicon and battled it out. The biggest takeaway of the day though was how inspirational all of these athletes are. When you watch an adaptive athlete perform, you can't help but be impressed. You also can't help but to dismiss any of your prior excuse.

With buzz already starting to build for WWG 2013, a video appeared on the CrossFit HQ main page which has already exploded all over the CrossFit community and social media outlets. The video, created by Gary Roberts, highlights the amputees at WWG 2012. It's an insight into adaptations and fitness as an amputee. It's worth the 30 minutes to watch: http://journal.crossfit.com/2013/01/evolutionadaptation.tpl#featureArticleTitle

What did I do this year, by the numbers.........

Team 6ft of Rubicon at Cold War 2

Level 1 Certification Course
Memorial Day Murph
31 Heroes
CrossFit for Hope
Barbells for Boobs
Atom's Memorial WOD
Fight for Mike 
Working Wounded Games 2012
Cold War 2
Rich Froning Event for No Greater Cause
Coach at CrossFit Walter Reed
Coach at CrossFit Rubicon
Joined Team RWB and WOD for Warriors
Holiday WOD and ANC Ruck


June 15th GORUCK Challenge Class 187
Shadowed July 4th GRC Washington D.C.
Shadowed Oct GRC in Richmond, VA
31 Miles for 31 Heroes
Holiday WOD and ANC Ruck


Army Ten Miler

This year has taught me humility and pride. Everyday I coach CrossFit, I learn more about myself while I reaffirm that I am more than just Jason the IT guy. Every time I go on a ruck with my GORUCK family and see another GRT in need and the support they get, I miss my rucktards even more. I've extended my family far beyond where I thought I would from the GORUCK events to the various CrossFit boxes I visit for events, competitions and just to workout!