Friday 101231


Three rounds for time of:
20 L-pull-ups
30 Toes to bar
40 Burpees
Run 800 meters

Post time to comments.

We don't want to acknowledge it's happening, but the time is here, we are losing our Blake to the Marines.  You will be missed our friend, break a leg in OCS.

Blake came to Verve with a goal.  A goal to pass the physical test for the OCS program in the Marine Corp.  His success is simple a testament to his amazing will, which is sure to lead him in the new challenge he faces over the next three months.

Here is Blake's story: 

So this somewhat overweight, lethargic, desk-bound guy walks into a gym, not just any gym but one of those mythical crossfit gyms.  He stands in the doorway and kind of stares, disbelieving what his eyes are taking in.  One of the strongest looking men he has ever seen walks over to him and enthusiastically offers his hand and introduces himself.  Matt, it turns out co-owns the gym and is one of the trainers.  He offers this newbie the chance to come in for a free workout to see if the crossfit method works for him.  At this point the newbie explains that he has a sports background but desires to raise his fitness a notch to make it as a applicant for Marine OCS.  So the guy is me, by the way.  I came in a week later and proceeded through my first elements class.  Not having any background in lifting weights it was an eye opening experience to say the least.  Then came the first WOD, none other than Fran.  Matt sets me up with the 65# thruster set up and asks me how many pull-ups I can do.  I sheepishly admit that I can do three, no matter says Matt and he sets me up with a red band.  Well, lets just say that Fran was close to a disaster ending with me using the green band and getting some generous counting from Matt.  I finished in over ten minutes and wasn't sure how I performed that poorly.  Matt, the ever-optimistic person that he is, told me I had done really well and he could see my inner athlete starting to come out during the workout.  Words of encouragement have never been so well received.  The next two weeks were a struggle, starting with some serious DOMS and then migraines from not breathing while attempting the WODs.  Next came starting full-fledged classes and my first PFT with the Marines.  I scored a 173 out of 300, 5 pullups, 73 crunches and a three mile run in approximately 22 minutes.  This was not a good sign since I need to be as close to 300 as possible to have a realistic chance of getting selected.  

I started with three days a week at Verve, then moved to four and a month after that starting doing five days weekly.  As I became more comfortable and acclimated to the style of workouts and with my fellow crossfitters I started to notice substantial changes.  I attempted the Paleo challenge because in my estimation as a newbie to Crossfit I had the greatest chance of improvement.  Little did I realize or think that I would actually end up winning the challenge.  That was when Crossfit really clicked for me.  I mean if I can accomplish that, what else is possible.  I still had doubts about WODs and would willingly scale down the prescribed weights.  The defining day for me was when the hero WOD Murph came up on the schedule.  As I was getting warmed up and setting up my pull-up bar I decided that a purple band was a safe bet since this was going to be a massive undertaking.  Cherie asked me what was wrong with my shoulder.  I quickly responding that nothing was wrong with it, she then informed me that I wont be needing a band for this WOD.  Shit I thought, this is going to be ugly; not only am I going to be here for over an hour but I might not even be able to finish it.  After some serious mental fatigue and physical exertion I completed Murph in 52 minutes without assistance on the pullups.  I left the gym drained physically but ecstatic mentally.  If I can do 100 pull-ups without assistance what else is possible, I thought to myself.  From that WOD on I have pushed myself to be better than I was yesterday in my physical fitness.  In the last few weeks I have started comparing my times and efforts with those of the guys in the gym that I know are beasts in their own right.  I have been extremely satisfied to see that my times and output are starting to approach those that I have admired.  I know that this is a personal journey and that the only results to be concerned with are my own but it is uncanny to think that after six months I am putting up times that rival people who I never thought I could hold a candle to.  This week I tore through Fran at 6:35 without any bands and doing 95# thrusters, I can't put into words how amazing this personal transformation has been.  This morning I signed my contract with the Marine Corps and will be hearing about when I will go to OCS in the coming weeks.  My final PFT was a 300 out of 300 including a max score on pull-ups (20) and crunches. Regards Blake

Blake we are proud of you and will miss your smiling face more then you know!
New Years WOD's, fun and booze free.  For those of you who have asked, we will be having an intimate gathering at the Verve (OLD), on New Years eve if you are interested in a sober New Year with a few work outs, food and board games to boot. Come with a chair to lounge in, some grub, some work out clothes to kick some ass in and some games to share while we wait for the New Year. Be there at 8pm sharp to before the first 3.2.1..GO!  


  1. Stacey E :

    To let you know…you’ve been an inspiration to some of us new to Verve as well. Good luck to you in this new adventure, you will rock it!!

  2. Kiley :

    Good luck Blake!! You will be missed. You are going to do amazing things for the Marines, and for yourself. Keep in touch and kisck some ass!!

  3. Dan W :

    Blake, you’re an inspiration to all of us bud. I’m seriously going to miss the presence you bring to Verve, not to mention trying to chase your WOD times.
    Godspeed and Semper Fidelis brother.

  4. Cherie :

    Blake – I’m gonna miss you in my 7am’s ripping it up and silently getting stronger and stronger and stronger until we stopped recognizing you! Way to be.
    All who will be chilling for the relaxing New Years at Verve. There is not a scheduled time for workouts. Just wanted to give those a heads with that might be expecting the usual coaching/321 go! I have some WOD’s that we can all do together or in groups, some games and even some ropes to build ladders if you are so inclined. Otherwise bring food, and chairs and any games you want to ring the new year in with.
    Cheers – CC

  5. Matt :

    I’ll miss ya buddy – good luck.
    Have fun tonight kids, don’t get in any trouble.

  6. Dan Y :

    Blake good luck brother, not that you’ll need it

  7. Gayle :

    Good luck Blake! I’ll miss you and all your support during the WODs. Best wishes for 2011-stay safe. Gayle

  8. Doug :

    Good luck, Blake- it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for serving- It’s comforting to know there are people such as yourself in our armed forces. Just promise to make good on your New Years Resolution of staying safe.

  9. tiff :

    Blake is awesome. You’ll be missed, my friend!

  10. Ali Nichols :

    Blake…you are soooo awesome! We are all VERY proud of you! Keep in touch and here is one of my favorite quotes that I thought I would share with everyone:)
    “Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it
    is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and
    province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.”
    – Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

  11. heather :

    Good Luck Blake! We will look for you on the CrossFit Main Page hanging pull ups from some cool object or location!

  12. Amanda K. :

    Best of luck Blake! Take care, Amanda.
    Happy New Year Verve Peeps! Make it a fun and safe one =)

  13. Cheresa, Mike, and Charlie C. :

    Blake, best of luck to you in your new ventures! We will miss you greatly and will think of you often. Thank you for your service and all that you will do in the future. You have and will continue to do great things!

  14. Dawn :

    You are an inspiration Blake and we will all miss your awesome dance moves. Good luck with everything!!

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