This is the day a lot of tears fall from my eyes. I'm not crying, because I've done that too and this isn't the same. This is that "snottymisty" you get when you're completely overwhelmed. And today I have been completely captivated by the GOOD that surrounds us.
Yup, we saw Santa this morning.
I talk a lot about Casey here, his challenges and his successes. I rarely talk about Sam. I never talk about all the things Sam misses because his brother has Fragile X. That's one of those dark scary roads I choose not to go down.
I'm trying to put equal effort into getting Casey what he needs and not letting Casey's needs affect Sam's childhood. You know all those super adorable, make your ovaries twitch, baby and Santa pictures? Sleepy baby in red and white stripes in Santa's lap while he reads ""Twas the Night Before Christmas"?
We don't have those. Sam doesn't have pictures with Santa until he's 3. Casey couldn't tolerate it so we didn't go. Sam lost out - although he was too little to know it. He's missed movies and parties, and dinners, events, playdates, and sleepovers. He knows all about sensory integration and calming strategies, meltdowns and escape routes. He knows concealment and cover -- in regards to bad guys AND his big brother.
So I'm typing through the mist. It started this morning, as I wrote a couple of notes hopefully expressing how importantly huge and meaningful this day is to me. Later, I left a couple tears in Santa's beard (I think I saw a couple in the corners of his twinkling eyes) I know the elves shed a few. WHAT is it about Santa that makes me do this- year after year?
It's the act of doing something so normal. So ordinary. So commonplace. It's not a simple thing, this seeing Santa gig. It takes overtime and staffing and planning and patience and alcohol, I'm sure of it. It takes a whole company with the biggest hearts to pull it off. I'm wrapped up in the magic of "regular".
So today, we were just ordinary people doing the normal December pictures-with-Santa rite of passage.
How good it feels to be un-special.
How miraculous it is to be able to provide Sam with something so mundane. How full of magic today is.
Perhaps I cry because each year, my heart grows three sizes this day.
(and because he's our mayor and I know of no other 14 year old who can get Santa to play peek-a-boo)
The "Thank you" belongs to our friends at The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse in Sumner. They carve out a morning every year for kids like Casey to get some stress-free time with Santa. It's the only way our family gets to see Santa.
What if I told you that you could only PR on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. That's right, you have 26 days per month to get to the gym, to do something amazing, to break down mental barriers, face the physical ones, and rise to the occasion. But you can only succeed 2 days a month. Three, if it's a month that happens to have a Wednesday on the fifth week.
The rest of the days don't matter, in fact, why even write it down or take a picture of the white board. Don't look at it in the evening, either, when we post it on Facebook so that everyone can see the results of the day. Nope. The only time you can matter is once every 12 days.
Seems ridiculous, right? To only think your effort is worthwhile every other Wednesday. Your effort DOES matter, every day.
You can't quit in January.
Originally, after a quick conversation with Ron, the owner of CrossFit Interbay, I joked about a blog post. Our exchange went something like me sharing the unbelievable number of emails we get in January of people cancelling because they spent too much on Christmas and the panic sets in when the Visa bill arrives. (Yes, this is what the emails say)
"contract clause -no canceling in January"
"thats funny- "no quitting in January" that may just be my next blog post!"
But our conversation got me thinking, one about the ridiculous emails we receive (I've made fun of the "every mistake you've ever made in owning an affiliate and how you fixed it in 4000 words or less -- and my more recent favorites of the manufacturers in China who offer me extruded plastic products. Yup, I'm serious. If you want entertainment hack into my email. It's a riot.)
More importantly, it made me think about how people value themselves. If I only said you could be proud of your effort once every 12 days, that would like be me saying that only January is important. The rest of the year is insignificant. In actuality, what I receive via email is that for a month out of the year, people surrender their self-worth. For a short time each year, I get emails saying in essence "my value as a person is tied up in what I can purchase for others, so much so that I need to neglect the very things that make me a better friend, spouse, parent, human."
You're worth all twelve months my friend.
You're worth climbing the tallest building and shouting from the rooftops about all the amazing things you do everyday. You're worth being consigned to the kids table at Thanksgiving because you won't. shut. up. about. CrossFit.
You're worth PR's everyday. And feeling proud and accomplished every month.
There. I said it. You can't quit in January.
(and I thank all of my Washington Affilate Owner friends for the ongoing fun, grounding, informative, and heartfelt conversations we have. It's truly an honor to be in the with you guys)
RCF joined facebook in 2009 as a way to interact with you guys. We were getting some comments on the website posts but it rarely ever resulted in back-and-forth conversation. Enter facebook, the kitchen of conversation. The place where people gathered, bantered, and laughed. Where it was easy to post a quick picture and a quick blurb- if the intent was to inform or entertain, it didn't matter. The allure was in the quick, easy, and accessible.
Forward to now, where, like most big companies with investors and directors, FB has become about making money. It's no longer enough that advertisers pay to place their products on the sidebar, FB wants business pages, like ours, to pay to have their posts seen.
On Small Business Saturday, we ran a promotion for $50 off of January On Ramp. I paid $20 to "boost" the post and facebook "served" it to 9252 people. The next day, I changed the cover photo for our page, which I do every weekend, and FB showed it to 198 of you. As of this morning, 2854 people have said they "like" RCF's page, yet the majority of them never see anything we post.
So it's clear to me that if I want to get information like the pool workout or fun stuff like the "I'm a little teapot" pictures to you guys, it's going to cost me. And I'd much rather buy those air assult bikes than pay facebook.
So here's what you can do:
If you want to see what we post, you need to interact with the page. Facebook tracks the things you click on and it tries to "feed" you what you like. So if you comment, like posts and pictures, etc, FB will start to place it in your feed more often. All you have to do is click "like" on any post.
Another way is to select "get notifications", which is in a drop down menu if you hover over "liked" on the cover photo on your desktop. Unfortunately, I can't find a simple way to "get notifications" from RCF on mobile. The light grey down arrow in the corner of a post will only allow you to be alerted to activity on the one post, not on the page itself. Warning, the few times I've had "get notifications" turned on, I'm overwhelmed and irritated by the sheer number of notification, so while you may try this method, it didn't work for me and it may not for you-- and that's OK.
Sometimes, FB lets lots of people see a post for no apparent reason -- like the 3926 who saw Rinda's deadlifts on Wednesday.
You're heard it before "It's not you, it's me" Except this time, it's US.
There's been a pretty self-centered vibe in the gym recently.
People packing up before everyone's done with the workout instead of cheering each other on. Leaving DNA **everywhere** to include the bars, the drinking fountain, the sinks. (EWWW) Leaving trash for the coaches to clean up Moving other peoples equipment Leaving messes in the bathrooms, throwing trash on the floor, missing the toilets.... Not erasing your whiteboards when you're done with them
While some of this is just inconsiderate, much of it is GROSS and potentially dangerous. Water on the bathrooms floors is a slipping hazzard and chunks of skin on the barbells??? Double EWWW.
We want to you guys to feel at home here. It IS your home. As such, it would be to the benefit of your fellow athletes if you treated it like one. A home, not a fraternity house.
Wipe up your blood. Throw away your trash. Support your friends. Ask before you move, dismantle, or take over.
Athletes IN the middle of a workout always have priority with space and equipment. When it's your turn, your friends will do the same for you.
We've always prided ourselves on the qualities of our community. It's time to reestablish the qualities that make RCF our home.
I got to spend a moment with one of our newest family members yesterday. She said she spent the weekend more sore than ever and we talked about what was "good sore" for someone young in their CrossFit career.
One of the benefits of not having a constant influx of beginners and On Ramp classes is that we get literally months to get to know our new faces and focus on them. We get to spend time and really dial in technique, load and intensity.
That's where our conversation started- with technique, load, and intensity. The continued pursuit of sound and correct technique will always be our goal. Figuring out appropriate load is probably one of the hardest things we do. Our best tool, of course, is experience but beyond that, the athletes log book is critical in determining appropriate load.
We don't care if you use iphone pictures, a WODBook, an app, or a carrier pigeon but you HAVE TO write down your work. Take it one step even better (yes, I mean that) and take notes about your workout too.
Take last weeks 11-11-11. We've been doing the same Veteran's Day workout since 2004 or 2005. This year, 121 wall ball shots messed me up. I know why, and if I make a note of it in my book, I'll be able to make a good decision next year when that workout comes up again. If I fail to log it, and fail to make a note of it, I won't remember the 10 days of pain it's caused me and I'm likely to repeat the same, terrible mistake.
Pain is a good lesson, but it's not what we're going for. Yes, it's OK to be sore. To have a body part feel a little spicy, a little angry, a little, well- used. When you can't sleep, can't sit on the toilet, can't reach your hair to wash it-- that's too much.
It's important that our new friends realize that a little sore is OK, pain is not. We're here to help them find the right balance of load and intensity to achieve this. We'll use their log book to guide us.
And we'll use all the time we need to get it right.
It's our hope that this CrossFit journey is a long one, there's no need to rush into it all crazy right now. We'll get there, all in good time.
As our weather turns colder, wetter, and darker we'll stay inside the gym more- which means more shuttle runs, rowing, and double unders and less outside running. Will your running suffer? Yeah, some. It will feel harder in the spring when we re-emerge from our winter hibernation.
Remember that progress is rarely linear. As something improves, something else will decline. But as long as the stair-step progression is in the direction of fitter and stronger, little regressions in single modalities don't phase us.
On Thanksgiving Thursday we're going to buck the trend of "you should be closed on Thanksgiving so employees can enjoy the day with their families"
While I support businesses who are closed on Thanksgiving, and I don't plan on shopping that day anyway, I'll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner and I'm kicking Kurtis out of the house for a few hours. So he decided to hang out at RCF for a while and invites all of you to join him for a terrible little turkey day workout to kick things off.
Open at 9:30, 3-2-1 GO! at 10 am, Saturday Suck style.