Monthly Archives: March 2017

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This week’s programming.

Burnout. This is a word I’ve heard a few times this week. Those of us working through the 12-week lifestyle challenge, we’re in the doldrums of week 11, many of us barely hanging on. We’re going through the motions of food prep, of working out, of getting on the floor to mobilize each evening, of recording our sleep hours. We feel burned out: the fires that drive our motivation seem to have fizzled away.

Or have they? Think about it. If we’re still at it — if we’re still showing up for the WODs, if we’re still successfully digging into our crispers for vegetables and protein to prep dinners (I did this tonight! nearly wilted zucchini and leftover chicken!!), if we’re still making the effort to work at a skill that still seems *just* outside our reach — clearly our motivation is still there. The  spark has not completely burned out. Our fires have just burned down to a slow smolder.

Instead, if you’re feeling some burnout, think of your “burnout” as that moment of motionless, high-speed-spinning-of-tires, that the motorcycle racer engages in to create heat so the rubber is hot, sticky and ready for the racetrack. You may not feel like you’re making progress during that burnout. The motorcycle rider is not making any visible forward progress during that burnout. But the burnout is a necessary step for success later.

burnout-1174864_1280Embrace your burnout. And then brace yourself for the speed of your forward momentum that will most assuredly follow.

Recipe this week courtesy of Coach Melony!
Colcannon with Slow Cooker Beef:

(This is basically mashed potatoes with greens and cabbage hidden inside plus MEAT. Who doesn’t love presents in their mashed potatoes? Who doesn’t love meat and taters?)

In the morning/midday, prep your protein:
Easy Slow Cooker Beef
1 round roast or 2 pounds of stew beef
2-3 cups beef bone broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 TBSP minced onion

Throw all ingredients in crock pot, about 8 hours on low or 4 on high.
Then, when it gets closer to dinner time, prep your Colcannon:

2lbs potatoes (I used red, but you can use yukon or both!)
1TBSP salt
6 TBSP butter
1 small green cabbage (about 1 cup shredded)
1-2 cups kale, shredded
4-6 scallions finely chopped
1/2 c whole milk
additional salt and pepper to taste
1 – 2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 c beef bone broth for added flavor

1) Boil the potatoes: Place the potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a simmer over high heat; this will take about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

2) Cook the kale and cabbage: While the potatoes are boiling, melt 2 TBSP of butter in a pan or electric skillet. Add the cabbage, kale, garlic, and scallions and cook until tender and slightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.

3) Mash them taters: Once the potatoes are tender enough to mash, drain them and return them to the cooking pot. Add the milk and remaining butter and mash with a potato masher.

4) Deglaze: Add the 1/4 cup bone broth to the cabbage pan and scrape the pan as the broth cooks and reduces, 2-3 minutes.

5) Mix it up: Add the kale and cabbage mix to the cooking pot and fold until all ingredients are blended. Place in serving bowl and serve with your beef.
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The Perpetual Student


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For some of us, school was something we’re happy to be done with. The stress of homework and tests, the sitting through boring lectures on obscure history or brain-numbing math formulas, the endless waiting for lunch.

So we might equate some of those less-pleasant feelings of school with being a student.

But you don’t have to be in school to be a student, and being a student doesn’t always mean being forced to sit in a room learning about what you don’t care about.

Being a student means being open to learning. It means experimenting, observing, reflecting, and adjusting. It means seeking opportunities to expand. It means listening before you decide what your response is. It means questioning what you think you know and why you think you know it. It means letting others teach you, even if they’re not supposed to. Students never “grow up.”

We are so fortunate to have a gym full of perpetual students: both athletes and coaches.

Stepping Out of Your Known Zone

Programming for 170313.

Always do what you are afraid to do. (1841) —Ralph Waldo Emerson

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. (1960) —Eleanor Roosevelt

Do one thing every day that scares you. (1997) —Mary Schmich

Most of what guides us to make decisions is something akin to fear of the unknown. We adhere to our routines because they are safe; known. We stick with the same meal at the same restaurant because it’s always good enough, or it’s close by, or it’s convenient. We go to the same hairdresser or barber; we shop at the same clothing store; we vacation at the same beach and stay in the same condo. Every. Single. Year.

While the known and safe are sometimes clearly the smartest bet (really, don’t change your hairdresser if he’s good), sometimes by sticking to our known routine we are simply taking the path of least resistance.

Did you know that CrossFit York wouldn’t be here if Rusty hadn’t taken a flying leap out of his comfort zone? Ten years ago, Rusty was working as an industrial consultant. His clients included BP, McCormick, Nissin Foods. When the economy tanked in 2008, his consulting business took a serious hit. He’d been working as a personal trainer on the side, and he and some of the trainers he worked with tried a few CrossFit workouts. He recognized that this new method was going to be revolutionary not only for himself as an athlete but for his training clients. He saw potential, possibility. But it also meant taking a huge chance. He closed his consulting business to open our gym.

There were additional challenges: he was opening a gym in a market that already had Gold’s, LA Fitness, and Planet Fitness, whose memberships were a quarter of what he was going to have to charge just to keep his doors open. He was opening a gym in a geographic area where snack foods and beer were culturally more valued than fitness. And in 2008, there weren’t any CrossFit Games on ESPN, no Christmas Abbott or Rich Froning on the social media fitspo circuit (there was no INSTAGRAM AT ALL), no Practical Paleo or Whole 30 making waves on the early morning talkshows.

It was basically just him in a dirty warehouse doing the whole “if you build it they will come” thing.

It definitely was NOT the path of least resistance. And it definitely involved some financial and personal risk.

For the first 3 years, Rusty was the ONLY coach. He woke up early every day to run the early sessions; he stayed late every evening to run the night sessions. He came in every weekend and ran every weekend session and event. No days off, no vacation for those first 3 years.

You’ll hear, every once in a while, someone refer to Rusty as our “fearless leader.” And he is: he participates in every challenge and event the gym holds; he works out with the classes as an athlete–doing the programming he’s written (or the programming that one of his coaches has written). He has taken the path of least resistance and he’s made into something for everyone.

Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to mean quitting your job and changing your whole lifestyle. But it can mean making small changes that have big effects for your life or for others’: joining that writer’s group at the library. Volunteering for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Signing up for that triathlon. Taking some swing dance lessons. Booking that trip to South Africa (or at least saving for it and making plans). Going to YorKitchen when they do Farm to Table. Visiting a new market, even.

Or come to a weightlifting class. Sign up for a CrossFit competition. Or a USAW meet. We’ve got one coming up here on April 15 (so, mark your calendar)!

For some of us, becoming a CrossFit York member was a big leap out of our “known zone.” So, what’s your next unknown? Face it, fearlessly.

Rusty’s Homemade Spicy Beef Jerky

beef jerky

~2 lbs of flank steak, sliced thinly
marinate overnight in:
3/4 C of Bragg’s Aminos (coconut or soy)
1C of water
1 tbsp celery salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp Frank’s hot sauce

Put into your food dehydrator for 8 hours.

Evolution Performance Programming 170306

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