Wednesday 151007

For time:
Run 800 meters
21 Right arm DB snatch, 40#(25#)
21 Left arm DB snatch, 40#(25#)
Run 600 meters
30 DB hang power cleans, 40#(25#)
Run 400 meters
18 DB clusters, 40#(25#)

Post times to comments and BTWB

Congratulations to Kimberly and Sean for making it all official.

Congratulations to Kimberly and Sean for making it all official.


8 secrets to grit and resilience, courtesy of the Navy SEALs, written By Eric Barker and brought to your attention By Courtney Shepherd

I’m sitting in the office, listening to the fans of the rowers and the heavy breathing of the athletes sitting on them. Before the workout of rowing and burpees started today I heard people come into the gym and say things like, “this looks like a rough one”. This statement makes me smile, not because I want to see athletes suffer, but because I am impressed by the fact that this athlete saw the workout, thought it was going to really suck, and still came to class ready to tackle it. I think we can all agree that CrossFit has at times, given us the desire to quit, right in the middle of what we are doing. In fact, there are times that quitting right in the middle of what we are doing would actually be pretty easy. . . and yet we don’t. We push those thoughts from our mind, we suck it up, and we move on. I feel like this idea of not quitting when it would be easy to do so, has carried over into my life outside of CrossFit. Anyone else ever think to themselves, “if I can make it through Murph, I can make it through this”?

Let’s also be honest though, the quit factor is different from person to person. Take myself vs Kaplan, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that in a really rough workout. . . that guy is definitely quitting before I do. I mean, have you seen that dude workout? Does he even try? Seriously. But where do these differences come from, why are some people less likely to quit compared to others. Per Eric Barker “The emerging science of grit and resilience is teaching us a lot about why some people redouble their efforts when the rest of us are heading for the door. Research is great, but it’s always nice to talk to someone who’s been there firsthand, and to see how theory holds up against reality. So who knows about grit and persistence? Navy SEALs.” Eric reached out to his friend James, a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander. They spoke at length, bringing to us insight on how we can get through tough times. 

1) Purpose and meaning- To say SEAL training is hard is a massive understatement. The initial vetting phase (“BUD/S”) is specifically designed to weed people out who aren’t serious.

How do you get serious? Grit often comes from a place of deep purpose and personal meaning. Without a good reason to keep pushing, we’ll quit. Studies of “central governor theory” show our brains always give in long before our body does, “…Overall, it seems that exercise performance is ultimately limited by perception of effort rather than cardiorespiratory and musculoenergetic factors.”

But this isn’t just true for athletics, it also holds for careers. In a study of West Point alums, those that had intrinsic goals (“I want to serve my country. I want to test my abilities.”) outperformed those that had extrinsic goals (“I want to rise in the ranks and become an officer because that’s a really powerful position and it’s prestigious.”)

2) Make it a game- When I hear something over and over from very different sources, I take notice. And “make it a game” is one of those things. What’s one of the things people who live through disaster scenarios have in common? They make survival a game. Happiness expert Shawn Achor said the best way to deal with stress is to see problems as challenges, not threats. Kids do better in school when it’s treated like a game. 

3) Be confident — but realistic- In the book “Supersurvivors” the author makes an interesting distinction: People in tough situations need to be very realistic about the danger they’re in — but they need to be confident about their ability to handle it. Lack of confidence isn’t an option but neither is denial. Research has shown that hope and despair can be self-fulfilling prophecies.

4) Prepare, prepare, prepare- Marathons aren’t as hard after a few months of training. But if I said you had to run one tomorrow you’d probably cry. Most people think SEALs are going from mission to mission, always in the field. Nothing could be further from the truth. James spent only 25 percent of his time deployed. He spent 75 percent of his time training. 

According to the research, who survives catastrophic scenarios? The people who have prepared. Research shows that reducing uncertainty reduces fear. According to Dan Coyle, before the Bin Laden mission SEALs built two full scale replicas of the building they’d be entering and practiced the raid for three weeks.

5) Focus on improvement- When you frame things as a win/lose scenario and they don’t go well, you’re a loser. And so you quit. When you take the perspective that everything is a learning experience, there are no winners or losers. And you just keep getting better. 

Carol Dweck’s research at Stanford shows that a “growth mindset” (believing abilities aren’t fixed and you can improve) is a key element of success. And how do you become an expert? By focusing on your weaknesses, not your strengths.

6) Give help and get help- James had buddies who supported him and who he gave support to. Lone wolves don’t make it in the teams. The benefits of getting help are obvious. But by giving help and taking on the role of caretaker we increase the feeling of meaning in our lives. This helps people in the worst situations keep going.

As The Power of Habit author Charles Duhigg explained, having a support network is vital to improvement. Seeing others achieve goals makes us believe we can.

7) Celebrate small wins- The research on motivation is clear: “small wins” are a big deal. Taking a moment to appreciate the little good things that happen is far more motivating than thinking you need to win that Nobel Prize or Academy Award before you’re allowed to be happy. James said almost the exact same thing about BUD/S. Appreciating the small fleeting victories is essential to getting through the hard moments like the infamous “Hell Week”.

The research on happiness agrees too: Lots of little good things beat infrequent great things when it comes to how good we feel.

8) Find a way to laugh- A while back I interviewed Army Ranger Joe Asher and he said this about making it through the punishment of Ranger School: “If I can laugh once a day, every day I’m in Ranger School, I’ll make it through.” James said the same thing about SEAL training, “You’ve got to have fun and be able to laugh; laugh at yourself and laugh at what you’re doing.”

Experts say that humor provides a powerful buffer against stress and fear.


What we can learn from James, the SEALs and the research on how to have grit:

Purpose and meaning. It’s easier to be persistent when what we’re doing is tied to something personally meaningful.
Make it a game. It’s the best way to stay in a competitive mindset without stressing yourself out.
Be confident — but realistic. See the challenges honestly but believe in your own ability to take them on.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Grit comes a lot easier when you’ve done the work to make sure you’re ready.
Focus on improvement. Every SEAL mission ends with a debrief focusing on what went wrong so they can improve.
Give help and get help. Support from others helps keep you going, and giving others support does the same.
Celebrate small wins. You can’t wait to catch the big fish. Take joy where you can find it when good times are scarce.
Find a way to laugh. Rangers, SEALs, and scientists agree: a chuckle can help you cope with stress and keep you going.
Real grit and dedication pays dividends long after the challenges are over.

*Click here for full article.


  1. Kimberly :

    Awwww thanks for putting our picture up on the blog! We are so happy to be finally married and thankful for such an awesome family of support in life and at the gym!

  2. Danni :

    Congratulations Kimberly and Sean!!

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