Sharing a Better Man’s Words.

“In a country that most would struggle to find on a map, in a compound that few possess the courage to enter, men from my previous life took the fight to our enemy.

In that compound, they found men that pray five times a day for your destruction. Those men don’t know me, they don’t know you, and they don’t know America. They don’t understand our compassion, our freedoms, and our tolerance. I know it may seem as if those things are currently missing, but they remain, and I know they will return. Our capacity for them is boundless, and is only dwarfed by their hatred for you. They don’t care about your religious beliefs; they don’t care about your political opinions. They don’t care if you sit on the left or the right, liberal or conservative, pacifist or a warrior. They don’t care how much you believe in diversity, equality, or freedom of speech.

I’m sorry that you have never smelled the breath of a man who wants to kill you. I am sorry that you have never felt the alarm bells ringing in your body, the combination of fear and adrenaline, as you move towards the fight, instead of running from it. I am sorry you have never heard someone cry out for help, or cried out for help yourself, relying on the courage of others to bring you home. I am sorry you have never tasted the salt from your own tears, as you stand at flag draped coffins, burying men you were humbled to call your friends. I don’t wish those experiences on you, but I wish you had them. It would change the way you act, it would change the way you value, it would change the way you appreciate. You become quick to open your eyes, and slow to open your mouth.

Most will never understand the sacrifice required to keep men from that compound away from our doorstep, but it would not hurt you to try. It would not hurt you to take a moment to respect the sacrifices that others make on your behalf, whether they share your opinions or not. It would not hurt you to take a moment to think of the relentless drain on family, friends, and loved ones that are left behind. Ideas are not protected by words. Paper may outline the foundation and principles of this nation, but it is blood that protects it.

In that compound, a man you have never met gave everything he had, so that YOU, have the freedom to think, speak, and act however you choose. He went there for all of us, whether you loved him, or hated what he stood for. He went there to preserve the opportunity and privilege to believe, to be, and to become what we want. This country, every single person living inside of its borders and under the banner of its flag, owe that man. We owe that man everything. We owe him the respect that his sacrifice deserves.

Saying thank you is not enough.

We send our best, and lose them, in the fight against the worst this world has to offer. If you want to respect and honor their sacrifice, it needs to be more than words. You have to live it.

Take a minute and look around. Soak it in, all of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly. You have the choice, every day, as to which category you want to be in, and which direction you want to move. You have that choice, because the best among us, the best we have ever had to offer, fought, bled, and died for it.

Don’t ever forget it.” – A Debt That Cannot Be Repaid by Navy SEAL Andy Stumpf

One thing that being away from home has allowed me is a chance to do a lot of thinking, deep thinking. Today I stumbled upon these words again. This is not my first exposure to Mr. Stumpf’s words as I have followed his blog for a while. However, recently events that effect me personally have led me to questioning leadership surrounding me.

These words have allowed my tensions to ease a bit over my leadership dilemma. Re-reading these words have reminded me that I, and my family, are doing something so few do. We are sacrificing on behalf of others who have no idea what goes on in the military. We are sacrificing on behalf of so many who take for granted the freedoms and privileges they enjoy. We are sacrificing on behalf of a bunch of “adults” who act like children fighting over every single aspect of our society.

Mr. Stumpf hits my feelings on the head when he writes “It would change the way you act, it would change the way you value, it would change the way you appreciate. You become quick to open your eyes, and slow to open your mouth.” Unfortunately, in today’s world we have far too many people who need these changes.

Just the Training.

Not a lot happened this week in Korea, so all I have to share is my training for the week. Maybe over the coming week I’ll think of something to write about for you.

Fitness

23 July 2018

Snatch 

Find a heavy single

75-75-95-95-115-115-135-155-165-175-185

5RFT

5 Deadlifts 275#

10 Burpees

Time – 4:25

24 July 2018

Double Under EMOM 10

First 5 minutes – 40 DUs

Second 5 minutes – 50 DUs

Partner AMRAP 20

25 Calorie Bike

50 KBS 53#

25 Calorie Row

Score – 4 Rounds +95 reps

25 July 2018

Clean and Jerk

Find a heavy single

95-95-135-155-185-205-225-245-265-275

For Time

15-10-5

Power Cleans 135#

Ring Dips

Time – 3:38

Not for time

20-15-10-5 GHD situps

20 HR pushups after each set

26 July 2018

EMOM 10

6 Chest to Bar Pull-ups

For Time

7-5-3 HSPU

21-15-9 Box Jumps 24″

Time – 7:58

Bike Conditioning

5 Miles – 14:55

27 July 2018

8RFT

13 Deadlifts 185#

17 Wallballs 20lb 10ft

Row 500m

Time – 38:49

For Time

2k Bike

3 RDS

15 Power Snatch 95#

45 DUs

1500m Bike

2 RDS

15 Power Snatch 95#

45 DUS

1k Bike

1 RD

15 Power Snatch

45 DUs

Time – 27:28

28 July 2018

Back Squats

Reps of 10-10-10-5-5-5-5

135-185-225-275-315-365-385

Partner WOD – Split evenly

40 Calorie Bike w/ 225# deadlift hold each time

40 Push Press 95#

40 Front Squats

40 Weighted Sit-ups 20#

30 Calorie Bike

30 Push Press

30 Front Squats

30 Weighted Sit-ups

20 Calorie Bike

20 Push Press

20 Front Squats

20 Weighted Sit-ups

10 Calorie Bike

10 Push Press

10 Front Squats

10 Weighted Sit-ups

Time – 20:57

100 Triathlons and counting…

Family

Today is a huge day for my wife Kimberly. Today, she will race in her 100th career triathlon! She’s been racing triathlon for I believe something like 12 years (I may be wrong about that number). She took last year off to have our daughter Morgan, so I know she’s been looking forward to this season and accomplishing this goal. She’s been so dedicated to the sport of triathlon, she even takes jobs like swim coach and spin teacher just to keep training for her races. Her passion for this sport even leaked into me a bit while we were in Texas. She had me doing some of these races too! I have yet to do any since being in Georgia. This may have something to do with spending two summers overseas with my unit. So today, if you see the woman pictured below, give her a huge hug and high five as she just accomplished something amazing! Love you babe!

Kim Tri Photo
This photo made me want to date her. 

Fitness

Here’s the training I did this week. Monday through Friday only, resting this weekend.

16 July 2018

EMOM 12

2 Snatch – First 8 rounds at 135#, last 4 rounds at 155#.

For Time:

500m Row buy in, then:

2 Rounds-

15 OHS 115#

15 T2B

Time – 6:50

Bike Conditioning

10x 500m w/ 30 seconds rest between efforts

Total time- 12:15

17 July 2018

Deadlift

5×5 with my opposite grip

135-225-275-315-365

For Time-

500m Row

15 Strict Press 95#

10 C2B Pull-ups

500m Row

12 Strict Press

8 C2B

500m Row

9 Strict Press

6 C2B

Time – 10:51

3 Person Row Relay

6000m switching every 300m

Time – 26:05

18 July 2018

EMOM 12

2 Clean and Jerk @ 185# *I did Power Clean, Push Jerk, Squat Clean, Push Jerk

AMRAP 9

30 DUs

15 KBS 53#

15 HR Pushups

Score – 5 + 17 reps

EMOM 20

10 Calorie Air Bike

20 Abmat situps

19 July 2018

Back Squat

3 x 5

135-185-205 (All from floor)

In 3 Minutes: max effort bar facing burpees

Score – 34

5RFT

500m Row

20 Alt. Dumbell Snatches 50#

Time – 17:21

20 July 2018

Strict Press

8 x 5

95-105-115-125-135-145-155-165

6 RFT

15 Wallballs 20# 10 ft

30 Calorie Air Bike

Time – 18:31

Row Conditioning

250m-500m-750m-1000m-750m-500m-250m w/90 seconds rest

:57-1:57-2:55-3:55-2:56-1:54-:52

My Greatest Pain

Family

Today, July 15, 2018 where I currently am in the world, is my daughter Morgan’s first birthday. Her mother put together a celebration with friends full of fun, food and dinosaurs. I did not attend. It is the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. In my life I have broken both wrists (at the same time), had my front teeth knocked out by another person’s elbow and fallen down a hillside in Afghanistan. None of that pain even comes close to the feeling I felt today by having to watch the celebration via a FaceTime connection. As I was passed around the room talking to several people, the knot in my stomach grew tighter and tighter. I was missing a very amazing moment in my daughter’s life.

Now, being a Soldier in the Army was my choice. I volunteered. I knew this was a possible situation I would have to endure if I stayed in the Army. That does not make it easier. One thing being in the Army has helped me grow into is being a man who wants everything I do in life to be done well. That includes being a husband and father now. The downside to this, sometimes the Army needs to move me somewhere else in the world and not let my family come with me. I’ve been on a deployment away from my wife before. While that one was not easy, it was easier then because we were not parents yet. I knew my wife could take care of herself and was busy with triathlon races and traveling to help keep herself occupied while I was gone. This time though, we have Morgan, our greatest gift, who makes my separation tougher.

Each day when I get to talk to them via FaceTime I feel more and more guilty for being away. For not being there to help raise her, for not being able to give my wife the breaks she needs. For missing out on Daddy-Daughter time. I have to constantly remind myself that I am providing for them by doing this. I’m earning our comfortable home, our medical care, and the comforts we enjoy by being away on this deployment. Then I also tell myself that if I make a career of the Army, I’ll be done when Morgan is 10 years old. While that may require more separations over those next ten years, I’ll be able to be there for the teenage years when I have to scare away the boys who chase her and comfort her through her heartbreaks. I’ll be there for high school prom. I’ll be there for high school and college graduation. I’ll be there to walk her down the isle at her wedding. I’ll be there for so many more amazing moments in her life. While all of that will not take away the pain I feel by being gone now, I know that what I’m doing now will set our family up for a better future.

Happy Birthday Morgan! You are the greatest gift I have ever received. You are the most amazing little girl and bring me more happiness then you could ever know. I miss you dearly. Daddy loves you!

Fitness

Training this week is a bit lower volume due to some work requirements. Here’s how it went:

9 July 2018

Snatch Work

95×3 – 115×2 – 135×2 – 155 – 160 – 165 – 170

Hang Snatch Work

135 – 135 – 135×2 – 135×2 – 135×2 – 135×2

AMRAP 10

7 Thrusters

7 Pull-ups

7 Burpees

Score – 6 Rounds

Row Conditioning 

10 x 250m resting 1 minute between each

:50 – :54 – :55 – :54 – :55 – :55 – :55 – :54 – :55 – :53

10 July 2018

For Time

1000m Air bike

40 Air Squats

30 Abmat Situps

20 Alt. Dumbell Snatch 50#

10 Handstand Pushups

1000m Air bike

Time – 9:55

Partner WOD

10 Rds each – You Go, I Go format

10 Pushups

10 KBS 53#

10 Alt. Lunges

Time – 16:37

5RFT:

7 Deadlifts 225#

21 Calorie Air Bike

Time – 10:41

11 July 2018

5RFT:

500m Row

7 Shoulder to Overhead 135#

Time – 13:54

18 Minute EMOM

10 Calorie Bike

6 Power Cleans 135#

25 Double Unders

14 July 2018

Front Squat 

10×95 – 8×135 – 6×185 – 4×205 – 2×225

Team of 3

2RFT

75 Wallballs 20lb 10ft

1500m Row

75 Burpees

1500m Row

75 KBS 53#

1500m Row

75 Abmat Situps

1500m Row

Time – 58:30*

*One partner wanted a shorter row in round 2, so he went with 250m then 2 of 3 did not want to finish the last row so we stopped after the situps.

Row Time Trial

250m Max Effort

Time- 40.8 seconds

A Nagging Injury

Well, this week a long time nagging injury reared it’s ugly head again. For several years now I’ve been on a running profile with the Army. Way back in 2014 I began to feel deep pains in my feet every morning when I woke up and got out of bed. After about 3 months of trying different remedies, the doctors finally ordered a bone scan for me. It showed that I had stress fractures in a couple bones of my feet. Well, to make a long story short, after some failed attempts at rest and recovery I was given a permanent profile that prevents me from running a 2-mile event on my physical fitness test and basically allows me to only run when my feet feel good for as long as I can tolerate the pain produced, if any.

While I was finally glad to know why the pain in my feet was there, I dislike being on a profile. It’s a very limiting thing when it comes to career potential. I’m disqualified from many programs the Army offers for career progression or special schools. Not only that, but by not being able to run as much as I used to my weight has gone up a bit and is harder to stay lean. I’ve spent a lot of time on a rower and fan bike in the last couple years to get my higher intensity cardio in.

About two years ago I began to notice pain in my feet was gone after a day of jogging, so I began to test my body out a bit more frequently. Up until recently it’s held up and I’ve been running more often to try to get back into Army run time shape and pass a standard physical fitness test. It’s not that easy when running was never a strong suit and you’ve added about 30 pounds of muscle mass since your initial injury. Regardless, I was working at it. Over here in Korea though it seems I may have pushed a little bit too hard. Last week I began to notice a soreness in my left heel. It has only gotten worse this past week, culminating in a severe limp while walking after just a 4-mile ruck march this past Friday. So, I’m going to have to shut down the running work for a couple weeks and see if this pain goes away. Then I’ll have to be cautious about how often I run going forward to try to prevent it from acting up again. I have to keep the long term goal of being capable of running pain free in my sight during this short hiatus. You’ll notice in my training that I scale runs to either the air bike or rower, often trying to add more work than would have been done had I run during a workout. With some luck and smart training I’m hoping to be back to jogging/running in a couple of weeks.

Here’s the week’s work in the gym. It left me feeling pretty accomplished and thoroughly ready for a rest day today.

Fitness

25 June 2018

Partner AMRAP 20

24 Alt. Dumbell Snatch 50#

500m Air Bike

Score- 10 Rounds + 24 Snatch and 285m

Partner Workout

Row 3000m – at 0, 1k, and 2k do each does:

15 Deadlifts 225#

30 Box Jumps 24″

Time- 21:12

26 June 2018

Barbell Complex – Hang Squat Clean, Squat Clean, and Push Jerk

95 – 95 – 135 – 155 – 185 – 205 – 225 – 245

AMRAP 8

3 Hang Squat Cleans 95#

3 Toes to bar

* Increase each by 3 every round

Score – 5 Rounds + 3 Cleans (through the round of 15)

Air Bike Conditioning

Every 4 minutes for 28 Minutes, 30 Calories for time

1:37 – 1:39 – 1:33 – 1:51 – 1:51 – 1:47 – 1:36

27 June 2018

Push Press x 3

95-115-135-155-185-205-215-225

Partner AMRAP 40 – Split Reps Equally

50 Burpees

500m Row

50 KBS 53#

500m Row

50 Pull-ups

500m Row

50 Pushups

500m Row

Score – 2 Rounds + Burpees and 393m Row

28 June 2018

Deadlift x 10

135-225-245-275

5 Rounds for Time:

12 Calorie Row

8 Burpee Box Jump Overs 24″

4 Deadlifts 315#

Time- 12:27

Partner Bike Conditioning

10K switch every 500m

Time- 14:27

29 June 2018

AMRAP 13

150m Row

10 Wallballs 20lb 10 ft

150m Row

10 Thrusters 95#

Score- 4+ 58m

7 Rounds for Time:

15 Calorie Bike

15 Abmat Situps

15 Calorie Row

Time – 20:38

30 June 2018

Bench Press/ Barbell Bent Over Row Superset

7 x 5 reps at 185#

“Helen” Takes a Ride

3 Rounds for Time:

750m Bike

21 KBS 53#

12 Pull-ups

Time- 9:40

Testing Week

So, this week at the gym I train at now, Humphrey’s CrossFit, it was 1-rep max testing week. For the past couple months they have followed the Wendler 5-3-1 program for 4 different lifts. They trained the back squat, front squat, deadlift, and strict press using Wendler.

Personally, I missed about 6 weeks of the work due to field exercises and other work requirements. Needless to say, I was not too worried about whether or not I established a higher weight lifted, and being as I’m getting older every year, I was confident a new personal record was not going to happen. I was okay with it. After all, about a year and a half ago I decided my goal with training was not to be the strongest but to focus on developing my weak areas, mainly my conditioning and bodyweight work.

Anyway, I’m happy with my numbers this week. I had a 24 hour duty cycle which may have hurt my back squat number and during my Army Physical Fitness test I somehow pinched some muscles and/or nerves in a shoulder blade which really effected my ability to hold a front rack during my front squat test. Regardless, here is the training from the week.

18 June 2018

Row Conditioning

Row maximum distance in 90 seconds, rest 45 seconds after each round.

370m – 385m – 386m – 387m – 400m

Deadlift – Work to a heavy 1 rep lift

135×3 – 225×3 – 315×3 – 365 – 405 – 435 – 455 – 475 – 505 – 525

For Time

21-15-9

Deadlift 185#

Bar Facing Burpee

Time- 6:50

Bike Conditioning 

5k for time – 8:34

20 June 2018

Back Squat – Work to a heavy 1 rep lift

135×5 – 185×5 – 225×3 – 275×2 – 315 – 345 – 365 – 385 – 405

For Time

25 Wallballs 20lb 10ft

20 Hang Power Cleans 95#

400m Run

15 Hang Power Cleans

400m Run

10 Hang Power Cleans

400m Run

25 Wallballs

Time – 11:28

21 June 2018 

Strict Press – Work to a heavy 1 rep lift

95×5 – 115×5 – 135×3 – 155 – 185 – 195 – 205

For Time

10 Handstand Push Up (HSPU)

2 Chest to Bar Pull-ups (C2B)

8 HSPU

4 C2B

6 HSPU

6 C2B

4 HSPU

8 C2B

2 HSPU

10 C2B

Time – 15:15

22 June 2018

Front Squat – Work to a heavy 1 rep lift

135×3 – 185×2 – 225 – 275 – 295 – 315

6 Rounds for Time with a partner (you go, I go style per movement)

6 Overhead Squats 95#

9 Calorie Row

12 Box Jumps 24″

15 Abmat Situps

Time – 20:07

23 June 2018 

4 Rounds for time

25 Calorie Row

10 Burpees

25 Calorie Row

20 Kettlebell Swings 53#

25 Calorie Row

40 Double Unders

Time – 36:53

Bike Conditioning – 1000m x5 with 3 minute rest

1:31 – 1:34 – 1:31 – 1:31 – 1:29

 

It was a solid training week. I posted some videos of my lifts on my IG account, follow me there if you want, @hulk_v2.0 I’m interested to see how things go going forward now that the Wendler cycle is over. As for tomorrow, I think a pool day is in order. Have a great week everyone!

Father’s Day Thoughts

Family

First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who may read this. I hope you’re enjoying time with your child or children.

As some of you may know, on my first Father’s Day I am in South Korea as part of the Army’s rotational training unit. I’m not really going to talk about that aspect in this post, I’d rather keep a positive vibe today.

I will say this, becoming a father has no doubt changed my life for the better. Sure, it hurts to be away from my daughter, but having her in my life has brought so much more smiling and laughing. I get to see her on FaceTime almost every day. Those few moments are just awesome. I believe that she actually knows its me on the screen. We play peek-a-boo and monkey see monkey do over the phone while she eats her dinner. I’ve gotten to watch her take her first steps and turn that into walking laps around the house with a juice cup in hand. She has truly grown up so fast over these past 11 months. Even though I’m away for these moments, Kim keeps me up to date with the latest photos of this cute little red head. Some of my favorites from the last few months are below.

What? Doesn’t everyone where their Cheerios? 

A red ball for me and one for you too!

I’m hungry Mom! Let’s eat some lunch!

She’s a practical joker in the making. 

First time floating in the pool. 

Who knew swimming was so tiring?

If you think this is bad, you should see the other baby!

Morgan has been nothing short of an awesome baby. She brings us smiles, laughs, a few scares, but most of all, just great memories and fun. I love this kid with everything I have and cannot wait to spend all my off time with her when I get home. Country singer Lee Brice has a song out called “The Best Part of Me,” and I could not agree more with it. 

Freedom
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my future lately. One thing being deployed with little work to do does is allow a lot of time for reflection and thinking. I find myself contemplating a path towards financial freedom and the chance to spend more time with my family than the Army someday allows. 
One path that could potentially allow this is entrepreneurship. I’ve thought a lot the possibility of starting my own business. My only problem is I don’t have a solid idea of what to do. Obviously that is a huge hurdle. I’ve tried to spend time thinking about what I could be good at or what I enjoy doing. Right now I have a couple ideas in mind. First would be to finish my graduate degree in accounting then sit for and hopefully pass a CPA exam. I could then start out working at an established accounting firm and work towards my own practice or just jump out on my own. My second idea is opening a physical training center. I really enjoy training and used to be a CrossFit certified trainer. I could get re-certified and even add on some more traditional certifications to open up my portfolio. Obviously I’d have to start small, as going full on into a full facility is expensive. That’s okay though, starting small would allow me to alter methods or training styles if needed. I’d also be able to develop strong client relationships and provide more personal guidance. 
If this path grew well, and it becomes something as a definite full time venture I have great ideas of what I’d like to do for a facility. With Kim being a triathlete, I’ve thought of helping her get certified to coach triathletes as it is something she has expressed interest in. Then for our training facility I’d want to find a large enough piece of land to start with a 400 meter outdoor rubberized track. Inside of the track will be the building and an in ground 25 meter swimming pool. The pool will be large enough for three swim lanes and be a heated system. Our building would have a couple different partitions in it. I’d like to have a room dedicated for spin cycling classes. Kim has been an instructor for years and it would also aid in her triathlon coaching. The largest space in the building would be dedicated to CrossFit group classes. I’d then also like to have a space with more traditional weight training options. I like the idea of having some Hammer Strength isolation systems and some cable weight stack systems available. Add in some dumbbell racks and benches to complete the room. It’s quite an elaborate vision I have and certainly one that would take great success to make happen, but no sense dreaming if you don’t dream big right?
Anyway, that’s just some thoughts I’ve been having in my down time lately. 
Fitness
It’s been a decent training week. Here’s how it all went. 
11 June 2018
Build to a heavy 2-rep TnG Power Snatch
95-115-135-155-185-200
For Time
18-15-12
Power Snatch 75#
Bar Facing Burpees
Toes to Bar
Time- 10:15
5K Bike 
1 Min On
1 Min Off intervals
Time – 12:17
12 June 2018
Front Squat (from floor)
5 @ 125#
5 @ 155#
3 @ 185#
5 @ 235#
3 @ 265#
10 RFT with a partner
20 Calorie Row
10 Thrusters 115#
Time – 19:16
10K Bike
Time – 17:30 at an aerobic pace
13 June 2018
3RFT
22 KBS 53#
22 Box Jumps 24″
400m Run
22 Burpees
22 Wallballs 20lb 10 ft
Time – 28:08
10 Rounds
Row 500m – Rest 1 Min 
2:21
2:16
2:14
2:10
2:06
2:07
2:05
2:04
2:02
1:59
14 June 2018 
Shoulder Press
5 @ 75#
5 @ 90#
3 @ 110#
5 @ 135#
3 @ 155# 
5 @ 170#
AMRAP 7
5 Double Unders
2 Power Clean 155#
10 DUs
4 Power Cleans
* Increase by 5 DU and 2 Power Cleans every round
Score – 6 Rds + 44 Reps (191 Reps/ 35DU + 9 of 14 PC)
15 June 2018
Back Squat
10 @ 135#
10 @ 185#
10 @ 225#
11 @ 275# (Meant for 10, but lost count and did an extra) 
1 @ 315#
1 @ 335#
1 @ 365#
1 @ 385#
EMOM 20
1) 10 Alt. DB Snatches 50#
2) 15 Air Squats
3) 10 Hand Release Pushups
4) 15 Calories Air Bike
16 June 2018
Deadlift x 3
225 – 275 – 315 – 365 – 405 – 435
10 RFT
5 Chest to Bar Pullups
10 Pushups
10 Ab Mat Situps
15 Calorie Row
Time – 24:50
Again, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!