This is why we CrossFit

This is Rich Froning, this is not me.
This is Rich Froning, this is not me.

This past weekend was the Reebok CrossFit Games, and man were they exciting! Well, they were exciting for me, my wife and those of us who really enjoy doing CrossFit. I don’t think I can call it a sport, but that doesn’t make it or the athletes any less spectacular. 

Lets go back one year. I had been doing P90x steadily for roughly 75 days. Its a 90 day program (hence the name), and was determined to finish. On day 78 I had a car accident… how did I not post about that?! An accident that left me with a Grade 3 AC Joint Separation in my left shoulder. My arm, and my car, and my workout routine was out of commission. I had surgery to repair my shoulder and a month or so later I was back to my trainer working out. This however meant that I did not complete my P90x. I was 12 days short of finishing the program. By this point I was rather frustrated with my shoulder and working out in general. I wasn’t able to get the progress I wanted, lifting things was not as easy as I would have liked and it was just painful at times. You would be surprised at how much you actually depend on your shoulders for day to day activities. Overall, I was slowly creeping back towards how things were before I started the program. This did not sit well with me.

In November we bought a house, and as anyone who has ever bought a house can tell you, that pretty much consumes all your time. Packing, moving, paperwork, planning, schedules, days off, etc., its all you can do. Couple that with the holidays, Jess commuting 100+ miles a day, <1 year old baby and there just isn’t much time in the day for working out.

January rolls around and I’m getting the itch to start working out again. I start looking around at various gyms, since I know that I would a) need a trainer that could tailor routines to a recuperating shoulder and b) push me to excel beyond the wall I had in my head. My previous trainer did a great job at this, but we now lived 60+ miles away and that was just not going to cut it. Eventually I found CrossFit on the Square. Since working out with my previous trainer I had been introduced to the notion of CrossFit and the types of workouts. I knew it was growing steadily in the fitness world and wanted to give it a shot. I like the intensity of the workouts so this should be something right up my alley. The good thing about CFSQ is that its not your typical CrossFit gym. Rather than be all Bros and CrossFit For Life or super douchey, they are super down to earth and “real”. The workouts aren’t strictly CrossFit, rather they are a combination of strength, agility, mobility, cardio, and mental. The classes weren’t 30 people watching 2 instructors go through the motions, and doing the same workouts every time. We have small classes, very personable and knowledgable trainers. It just felt like a second home. A home that makes you lift weights, sweat, and want to puke from time to time.

Well, the first few weeks was ROUGH. I was hurting badly pretty much every time I went. It sucked… a lot. But I pressed on. Weeks turned into months and eventually I was breaking through walls. Not literally, though I’m sure that could be considered a workout. I saw a transformation in myself. Finally my shoulder was getting back to 100%, I was lifting heavier weights, had more stamina overall, my spirit was higher (especially on gym days), and overall… I just felt good.

Eventually, Jess caught the fever and started drinking the Kool-Aid! She was very hesitant at first, but once she got in there and started seeing her own successes, she was hooked! That’s the thing, you are either going to not like it at all, or you’re going to love it. With both Jess and I, we love it! We love most everything about CrossFit, the intensity, the various workouts, the challenge, the endorphins, its just a natural high for both of us. Its something we can do separately and come home and talk about, or we can go together (when the stars align) and push each other while at the gym. We share in our successes, talk about our failed reps, our new PRs, and as of this past weekend, stay up too late just so we can watch the CrossFit games.

Its our new addiction and I couldn’t be happier. I feel healthy and capable of doing most anything these days. CrossFit for me is about bettering myself, pushing beyond my personal walls, and ensuring that I am as healthy as I can be for my family. It gives me a break each week to recharge my batteries and clear my mind. When I’m squatting 200lbs that’s all I’m thinking about. When I’m standing there, looking at a kettlebell, or pull-up bar, or a medicine ball. I can’t be thinking about work or poopy diapers. I have to focus on that one task, clear my head, push through it and get the job done. When I walk out the door I feel refreshed and more alive. I, at time fail at the goal I set for myself, but those failures make me stronger the next time I walk through those doors.

Speaking of walking through the doors, its time for me to change into my gym clothes. I got some pull-ups to do!


What a weekend

This really has been a great weekend. My amazing wife ran in The Color Run – Atlanta (I’ll let her talk more about that), the weather was wonderful, I got to help Chase with a school project that turned out tenfold better than expected and it was Wrestlemania!

Solar System

First up, the school project. Ever since I can remember I’ve always excelled in any sort of project that was due at school. Whether it was a diagram, a science fair presentation, sculpture, plant rubbings, you name it. The main reason was my mom and dad. At the time I loved it! We would spend hours in the kitchen or garage working on the best possible thing to turn in. I would build elaborate objects to turn in that would ensure that I would get some sort of recognition. Regardless of how I was doing in the class or when it was due, we would always be working on the best of the best. I have vivid memories of late nights in the kitchen gluing the last newspaper clipping onto a board showing some info about water purification. I remember building some overly complicated windmill thing for a project in college with the aid of my dad. It has to be this sense of overachievement that led me to what we put together for Chases solar system project this weekend.

At first it was pretty basic. Jess and Chase got a kit to make a solar system and a foam board to put the planets on. We had some tempra paint to paint the planets and it was going to be a slam dunk. However, after some trial and error it was discovered that painting styrofoam was a lot more challenging that initially thought. We tried several different methods, and eventually we got frustrated. I am not one to easily give up so I did some research and found the right kind of paint to use and Chase and I were on our way to get some supplies. An hour or so later and we had an amazing project that any kid would be proud to bring to school. I really thought it looked cool and can’t wait to hear the feedback tomorrow. No matter what I was going to make the project a success. Unlike John Cena, when I said that I was going to put everything I had into it, I meant it.

That brings me to my next point. The main event at Wrestlemania this year was John Cena vs. The Rock. They have been pimping this match for a year. I was extremely eager to see it. I was excited about all the other matches (well most of them) tonight, but I really was eager to see the outcome of this one. I had my money on Cena, but as luck would have it… my money was in the wrong spot.

I spoke with my friend Adam about this for a while leading up to the match, but Cena really had it all on the line. He had to win. The Rock, had nothing to lose. Tomorrow, The Rock will go back to making his movies, but John Cena will go back to wrestling every single week. After such amazing matches as Triple H vs. The Undertaker I was expecting greatness from the Cena/Rock match. What I got was a really good match with a piss poor ending. When the Undertaker finally beat H3 you could tell that both men were simply spent. When Cena was done with his match, he looked like he was just kinda chillin. The ending was so terrible. In my opinion The Rock had nothing to gain from beating Cena and as much as Cena talked about putting his entire soul into the match, I felt like it was a half-ass ending. They had to carry Trips out of the ring, Cena was just hanging out after his match. They really could have ended it better. The best thing that can happen at this point is for The Rock to come out tomorrow and put Cena over. Otherwise Cena is going to have to turn heal. That’s really the only thing, but then again, this is the WWE and anything is possible.

So that was pretty much it. I had an epic time building a solar system with Chase, then I got to watch Wrestlemania with my family and friend. I wish John Cena had won the match, but it’s not “real” so it should be just fine.

2011 – Let’s review

2011 started off like any other year, with a wicked ice storm that pretty much shut down the whole state of Georgia. We made the best of it and actually had a really great time. We wouldn’t get that kind of ice/snow again for the rest of the year. I’m actually hoping that we get one again, only this time we’ll have a lil’ baby with us.

February brought us Gracie. A Great Dane that would put us to the test.

Neither one of us had ever owned such a beast. She was one of the sweetest and happy dogs ever, but damn was she a handful. After many ‘discussions’ we finally decided to find another home for her. Luckily I was able to find a nice lady that lived on a farm, a real one night the typical ‘dog farm’. Off to a better home Gracie went and I’m sure she is much happier now.

March ushered in some Spring little league for Chase. He really got into the ‘swing’ of things and enjoyed himself.

Honestly it was a lot of fun. We got to meet some new people and Chase had a lot of fun. I don’t think the Mudcat’s won that many games, but it didn’t really matter to him, he just wanted to play.

I don’t think much happened in April. Well… I mean Chase did get to go a Wrestlemania Art show, meet a bunch of wrestlers and then go to the actual PPV. Oh, and there was Tax Day. Hmm… something else happened… Oh that’s right, WE GOT MARRIED!!!! It was a wonderfully magic wedding. Everything we had hope for. I got to finally call the love of my life my bride, and it was the beginning of our forever. The honeymoon was in Vegas, and well… and we know good and well what happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay in Vegas. In addition to finding out we were pregnant (but really what could top that) we spent the May kinda floating around in happiness and bliss.

Every summer we like to take a family vacation, and a pregnancy this year wasn’t going to slow us down. For the 2011 Summer Vacation we decided it would be a lot of fun to head to Disney! We loaded up the car and drove down to the most magical place on earth. Chase had never been and neither Jess nor I had been in SEVERAL years so it worked out perfectly. It wasn’t easy for Jess with the heat and the walking plus being pregnant, but we made it. It was a great vacation and a birthday I don’t think Chase will ever forget.

The rest of the summer went on by, carrying with the ups and downs of being pregnant. We found out we were having a boy and man, that made me excited. I was the last male Turner and to be able to continue the name, meant a lot to me.

As August rolled around we started getting read to go back to school, and doing just normal family things. Chase was doing great and really getting into the spirit of being an older brother. He was helping around the house and he just felt a little more grown up. October would creep upon us before we knew it and in addition to me getting a new car and turning 32 it started to really sink in that I was going to be a daddy, very soon.

Between Halloween and right now it’s all kind of a blur. It’s as if time sped up and didn’t really wait. We had our first, and second baby shower and started getting the nursery ready. Baby clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, bottles, all of it started coming in and every time we would get something new it would sink in just a bit more how soon this bundle of joy would be here. Lane’s nursery looked fantastic and in no time at all everything was in its right place and we could start getting ready for the holidays.

Baby Lane's Room
Baby Lane's Room

Our Christmas tree was up BEFORE Thanksgiving, and the house was all set and ready to go. We made our rounds to friends and family. Did the gift exchanges and then it was Christmas day at the Turner household. I couldn’t have asked for a better holiday season. My wife was glowing with that baby glow, Chase was happy and doing all the big brother things and I was doing everything I can to make the house and my wife ready for this baby.

In contrast to the rest of the year, this past week has been filled with lots of taking it slow. Everything we could possibly do to be prepared for Lane, we have done. The bags are packed, the car seat is in, clothes washed and put away, house is secure, etc. You name it, we’ve done it. Now all we need is for Lane to come home.

It’s been such a wonderful year. I’m sure I left things out, but it’s all good. They say that the first year of marriage is the toughest thing you’ll go through other than the 9 months your wife is pregnant. Well, I’ve done both at the same time and I’m more in love now than the day I got married and I don’t see signs of this ever stopping.

That's my boy!
That's my boy!

Thanks for all the memories 2011, but it’s time for 2012!


‘Mudcat’ Malley

Locust Grove Mudcats

Yesterday was opening day for the Locust Grove Little League. For weeks Chase has been going to practice, out in the yard throwing the ball or catching the ball or hitting or swinging, or running or anything he could do to prep for “the big game”. He didn’t get his uniform until the morning of so he was a bit concerned about that in addition to all the butterflies about being on the field with all the people watching. As it got closer and closer to the actual game you could tell that it was all he could think about. He was ready!

So the Mudcat’s took the field (Chase playing first base) and were all set to get this game started. Since this was the first official game all the kids were still a bit unsure of where to throw the ball or when to run or which one of the dozen’s of yelling adult voices to listen to. Chase may have missed a few catches for a play at first, but he also was right there to get a few kids out. His eye was always on the ball and he was focused. Eventually the Mudcat’s were up to bat. Chase was deep in the line-up to bat, so it took a while for him to get out there. Once he did he got a base hit. It wasn’t the grandslam he wanted, he didn’t send the ball soaring over the fences into someone’s windshield, but he got on base. He did exactly what he was supposed to, listed to the first base coach, ran like the dickens and stayed put. That inning the Mudcat’s didn’t score any runs.

The game went on and eventually the Cats lost. Their very first game was loss in points but a gain in fun. Those kids were out there having a blast! They were doing what they had been practicing and trying their best. No hard feelings where had cause they knew there would be other game and much more fun to be had.

Since this was opening day there was a wonky game schedule. If they lost the first game they would play again at 2:30, if they won the first game they would play at 4:30, then if they lost that they were out, but if they won that there would be a 6:30 game. Luck for us, we only had one more game that day. So Chase hung out with his dad and Jess and I went and had some lunch and piddled around the house trying to get chores done we knew we’d have to do at some point this weekend. We made it back to the game just in time to watch the first pitch (parking was a mad disaster). This game was between the Mudcats and The Braves!

You could tell the kids were tired but somehow more into this game. They were more focused on where throw the ball or when to swing. It was like a different team! Chase had 2 turns to bat in this game, the first was a double! He slammed the ball into the outfield getting it just shy of the fences. Had the kids not thrown the ball when they did, ‘Mudcat’ Malley would’ve been on third. The next kid up didn’t do so well, so that inning was over. As the game went on The Braves just couldn’t hold up to the onslaught that the Mudcat’s were bringing! A few more outs here, some more runs there, and the game was over. Final score was like 8 to 5 or something. The Mudcat’s could now celebrate their first victory!

Chase played SO well out there. He was working with his teammates, listening to the coaches, focused on hitting the ball and really made us proud. He really likes playing baseball and we’ll keep him at it for as long as he wants. I never thought I’d be a dad out there with a camera filming my son in a little league baseball game. Those kinds of things just never came as a thought to me. Sports were just not something I did growing up so it never occurred to me that I’d be out there with a kid enjoying them as much as I did. I’m so proud of him and can’t wait to be out there again with my camera, cooler, sunflower seeds, and wife, and anything else I can bring to make these moment’s last a life time.