19 Apr 16 – New Outlook, New Box, New Blog

Welcome back to the new outlook, updated and newly focused “My Nomadic CrossFit Experiment”.

You’ll recall that I stopped writing this a few months ago, somewhat in a bit of a low patch. Carrying multiple injuries, flu, poor performances and just no significant development, all I was achieving with this blog was to remind myself daily how I’d not achieved my aims; the blog itself was becoming a chore and a negative influence.

So what can you expect from this blog?

Going back to basics and the original reason for this blog, I aim to present something with genuine utility to assist both my own journey and that of others. Instead of just my mood and viewpoint each day, there will be programming advice, explaining the point of the workouts from the view of metabolic pathways, CV/Gymnastic/Monostructural Development. There will be far more emphasis on nutrition and the reasons behind my nutritional choices, citing the latest research. It will swing back to traditional CrossFit methodology, something I remain deeply passionate about. Some of it will remain my own personal musings, rants and amusements. Overall though, I hope it will be a page that people will actually want to read, comment upon and share. If there is anything you would like me to write about, let me know.

So what has changed?

Well, I’ve moved jobs. Although I am now 235 miles from my family, the silver lining is that with the Warrior Monk lifestyle of ‘weekly boarding’ comes the opportunity to control my training, feeding and sleep far greater than before. That’s 4 evenings and 5 mornings per week that I can programme and monitor. The new job also brings significantly more structure and far less disturbance to the overall routine. Sure, there will be time out and in other offices / overseas but it’s manageable.

Having arrived here over a week ago, I decided to visit CrossFit Ickenham first off. I’d seen CrossFit Watford previously, during the abortive and self-destructive CF Open 16.4 WOD (flu, lots of coughing and deep embarrassment). CF Ickenham is certainly an unusual box. Established inside a large marquee in a playing field, it thrives on ‘traditional’ CrossFit values of inclusivity, good form, outdoor ‘functional’ activity and good humour. By its design, the flooring is laid directly over the top of the grass, leading to an uneven surface in most of the box. However, they’ve overcome this well and it is a fantastic working environment. As boxes go, it is an attractive, airy and fun one. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford their rates, despite them being a little closer to my workplace. I therefore headed over to CF Watford on the Wednesday, knowing that I was probably going to sign up if I didn’t make an arse of myself again! 😉

Sure enough, stepping in to CFW, I knew I would sign up; 3 sessions a week, at 7.30pm. All other opportunities in the week I shall carry out in my own time here in work.

CFW is situated in the back of a local industrial estate in Watford; I couldn’t find it the first time I came up! About 30m long by 15m wide, it has all the established facilities you’d expect. Its ‘warehouse-style’ is perfect and very comfortable from my point of view. There is open space below the box, resulting in no dropped weights except in lifting platforms, but I can cope with that after CrossFit Keelhaul (above a Costa coffee!). The members are very diverse in standards; their top athletes are VERY good but there is no sign of any kind of elitist division in there. The programming has a strength bias, excellent for what I need right now, although there has already been a very heavy emphasis on running! Excellent! After 4 sessions so far, I feel like I’m settling in.

Using their programming for General Physical Preparedness (GPP), I am going to supplement the next 2 months with early morning ‘Aerobic Engine’ work on the Concept II and the Watt Bike; lots of interval work over a long period of time. It’s an area I’ve suffered in the past. After 2 months, I shall switch that to anaerobic work and may have to tie in with the head coach, Charlie, for advice on balancing the demand. Throughout, I have greater control over my weekly nutrition, an area that I am very keen to tighten up on. As a starter, I am very tempted by the Zone Diet and will be exploring that shortly.

What has significantly changed, however, is my outlook. My father is now seriously ill; he has been for a while but more recently has taken a categorically more severe turn. Life is short, it should be enjoyed and not wasted on pointless, unachievable goals that will only make me feel worse. It should be positive, adventurous, risk-taking and fun. I didn’t achieve my goals in the Open this year, mainly due to illness, but my negative attitude towards it was what upset me the most. Of course I wish to improve and develop, but I’m not a competitive CrossFit athlete and will not have time to enter regular competitions. My overall goals are long-term health and the vision of playing rugby in the garden with my grand-children in many, many years from now. I will have short-term objectives along the way (sure, I still want to regularly Clean & Jerk more than 105kg) but more than anything, I want to be able to wrestle all my kids at the same time, carry them on my shoulders and run races with them.

So, welcome back. Let’s enjoy this journey.


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