Typhoon Week!

So here in South Korea this week we had the threat of severe weather from a typhoon making its way through the peninsula. There was a lot of worry and panic with people rushing to the stores to stock up on water and foods. I’m happy to say that in our immediate area things were nothing more than a bit of winds and some rain. No major damage occurred and from what I know no injuries were sustained. The only down side was that the gym was closed on Thursday due to preparations for the storm so I had a mandatory rest day. Oh well, it may have been good for me.

Fitness

Here’s how the week looked. Toward the end I was feeling tired and sluggish so some times and weights were slower and lighter than normal.

20 August 2018

Row Conditioning

750m x 6 with 1 minute rest between efforts

3:12 – 3:07 – 3:04 – 3:04 – 2:58 – 2:55

Every 1:15 for 10 Sets

1 Hang Power Clean – 1 Hang Squat Clean – 1 Push Jerk

135-135-155-155-185-185-205-205-225-245

4RFT

24 Calorie Bike

18 KBS 53#

12 Box Jumps 30″

Time – 13:49

Partner Workout

5 Rounds each, alternate rounds, if you drop the bar, 10 bar facing burpees

5 Front Squats 95#

10 Shoulder to Overhead 95#

10 Alternating Overhead Lunges 95#

Time – 10:06

21 August 2018 

Deadlift x 5

225-275-315-365-405-435

Every 3:00 for 5 rounds

15 Calorie Row

10 Thrusters 95#

8 Chest to Bar Pull-ups

21-15-9

Hand Release Pushups

Wall Balls 30# 10ft

Abmat Situp

Time – 5:54

22 August 2018 

EMOM 20

  1. 10 Bar Dips
  2. 2 Rope Climbs 15ft
  3. 40 Double Unders
  4. 10 GHD sit-ups
  5. Rest

Bike Conditioning

With a partner bike 15,000 meters, switching every 750 meters.

Time – 21:29

24 August 2018

Front Squat

135×5 – 185×5 – 225×5 – 255×5 – 275×5

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Power Clean 115#

Bar Facing Burpees

Time – 10:18

Row Conditioning

2,000 meter row

Time – 8:25

25 August 2018

Push Press x 5

75-95-115-135-155-175

Partner Workout – Alternating rounds, untimed. 

20 Calorie Bike

40 Yard Sled Push (352# for 4 rounds, 488# on 5th round)

then 2 heavy 20 yard sled pushes

1) 622#

2) 737#

Core Work

10 GHD Sit-ups prior to each set of

2-4-6-8-10-8-6-4-2 Dual KB Deadlifts at 88#

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.

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

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! 

Do You Know Jocko?

Freedom

Jocko Willink. Ever heard of him? If not, you should research him. He’s done some stuff. A Navy SEAL officer, commander of Task Unit Bruiser in Ramadi, Iraq. Post Navy, he’s become a successful author, writing several books and one Field Manual. He has his own podcast, the Jocko Podcast. He runs his own business, Echelon Front, helping business leaders of today become better leaders. In my opinion, from what little I know about the man, I’d say good leadership is one of the things he is most passionate about. It’s a common theme in his writings and podcasts. Personally, this world needs more people like Jocko. More people who strive for greatness in all aspects of their lives, more military leaders who strive to be great leaders rather than just check the block towards the next promotion. Our country, our world, with be a much better place if people tried to be like Jocko.

Over the last few weeks while over here in Korea I have been enjoying his writings and podcast daily. He’s helped me make some small changes in how I go about my life to try to make it better, for me and my family. After reading his Field Manual, Discipline Equals Freedom, I’ve been cutting out more and more bad foods from my eating habits. Now, let’s be honest, I’m not going to just throw away all the goodies friends and family send me in care packages, but I surely do not indulge like I used to. Now instead of eating a sleeve of Oreos a night, I have two or three cookies, but only after a good workout where I can use the sugars as glycogen replenishment over night. I eat more vegetables in my breakfast and lunch meals. I’ve upped my physical training intensity. Slowly, these changes are shrinking my waistline, letting me feel better in my daily activities. Simply put, Jocko is an extreme motivator. He’s opened my eyes to his concept of Extreme Ownership, the title of his first book.

In Extreme Ownership, Jocko and his co-author, fellow Navy Seal Leif Babin, write about how truly taking ownership is a  key to becoming a successful leader, in combat and business. They draw on their own lessons learned in combat to teach business leaders how ultimately the buck stops with the person in charge. Nothing can happen without the person in charge, the leader, being responsible for it. They point out that to be a great leader, one has to accept ultimate responsibility when things do not go as planned. They also promote pushing the successes of the leader down to the members of the team. It’s one of those situations where the leader takes all the blame for the bad, and none of the credit for the good. Looking at it from the outside, it seems like it’s a sure fire way to make a good leader. However, they share many stories about how leaders struggle with this. Since I have read this book, I have noticed more and more how leaders in my unit could benefit from learning and implementing these principles. I’ve also begun to see places and times when I need to be that type of leader too. While I am not in a direct leadership position in my unit, as a Noncommissioned Officer I do have general leadership authority and need to be sure I do my best to be a good leader as well. It’s not an easy task, but seldom is something worth doing easily done in today’s world.

Again, if you’ve never heard of Jocko, I suggest you look him up and follow him. He offers a lot for everyone looking for some motivation and drive to be better. He’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, just search for Jocko Willink. He’s easy to find. When you do begin to read and listen to him, do your best to implement his teachings in your life. Once you do, you’ll be doing your small part to make our world a better place.

Fitness

Here is the training from this past week.

4 June 2013
Rowing Intervals
5 x 500m with 1 minute rest
2:14 – 1:58 – 1:55 – 1:53 – 1:47
Pullup Work
5×3 Strict Pullups
5×3 Chest to Bar pullups
Back Squat
5 @ 145#
5 @ 185#
3 @ 220#
3 @ 255#
3 @ 295#
5 @ 330#
For Time
21-15-9
Calories on Air Bike
Toes to Bar
Thrusters 95#
Time – 13:16
5 June 2018
Strict Press
5 @ 80#
5 @ 100#
3 @ 120#
3 @ 140#
3 @ 160#
3 @ 180#
For Time
1600m Row, with Death By Pushup
 * Every minute, get off the rower and do a pushup, increasing reps by 1 pushup every minute. 
Time – 6:36, I then continued the Death by Pushup through the 15 minute mark. 
5 Rounds, untimed
20 Calorie Bike
40 Double Unders
6 June 2018
Partner “Lumberjack 20”
For Time
20 Deadlifts 275#
400m run
20 KBS 53# (No 70# in our gym)
400m run
20 Overhead Squats 115#
400m run
20 Burpees
400m run
20 C2B pullups
400m run
20 Box Jumps 24″
400m run
20 DB Squat Cleans 45#
400m run
* split the reps evenly, both partners run 400m
Time- 27ish minutes, the coach did not set the clock to run continuously, it stopped at 15:00
7 June 2018
Front Squat
5 @ 125#
5 @ 155#
3 @ 185#
3 @ 220#
3 @ 250#
3 @ 280#
Crossfit Games Open 11.1
10 Minute AMRAP
30 Double Unders
15 Power Snatch 75#
Score: 6 + 12 reps
10 minute casual pace bike
5300 meters
83 calories
8 June 2018
Deadlift
5 @ 190#
5 @ 240#
3 @ 285#
3 @ 335#
3 @ 380#
5 @ 430#
Power Clean
6×2 Touch and Go
135-185-205-225-245-255
For Time
100 Wallballs 20lb 10ft
* every break do 10 burpees
Time – 7:16, 2 breaks (sets of 35-25-40)
5k Air Bike
Time – 8:28
9 June 2018
6 Supersets
4 Chest to bar pullups
4 ring dips
Row Conditioning
1000m – rest 2 min
750m – rest 90 sec
500m – rest 1 min
250m – rest 30 sec
500m – rest 1 min
750m – rest 90 sec
1000m
Times- 4:06 – 3:05 – 2:01 – :59 – 2:06 – 3:10 – 4:24

More Field Time

It’s been an off week with the gym due to preparing for more time away in the field. I’m not too sure why though. This time I’ll be gone for a week, but the training event is 4 days long. I find myself more and more confused with how things are done here in Korea. The time to go home cannot come soon enough! Anyway, here are the few days I did get to the gym:

23 May 2018
“McGhee”
30 Min. AMRAP
5 Deadlifts 275#
13 Pushups
9 Box Jumps 24″
Score- 14 Rounds + 19 Reps
25 May 2018
Overhead Squat 
95 x 3
115 x 3
135 x 3
155 x 3
175 x 3
185 x 3
205 x 3
225 x 3
12 Min. AMRAP
250m Row
12 Alt. Dumbell Snatch 50#
12 Abmat Situps
Score – 6 Rounds + 17 meters
5K Air Bike
Time- 7:58 holding an aerobic pace
26 May 2018
5 Sets w/ full rest
20 Calorie Air Bike
10 Chest to Bar Pullups
Bench Press
10-8-6-4-2-4-6-8-10 Reps
135-155-185-205-225-225-205-185-155 lbs
15 Min. AMRAP
15 Power Snatch 75#
30 Calorie Row
15 Wall Balls 20 lb. 10 ft.
30 Calorie Row
Score- 2 Rounds + 41 Reps

A Month With No Fitness

Alright, I’m back. This weekend I arrived back at Camp Humphreys from spending a month, albeit an unnecessary one up at Camp Casey for a “exercise.” In reality, there was no reason to be up there as all that was done was our same jobs, but in a large tent. And it even turns out our higher command did not want us to be up there. So there’s that bonus.

Anyway, I went almost a whole month without any fitness in my life. Bad decision. In the 28 days I was up there, I did 2 workouts. And I ate crappy food, a lot. I could make up a few excuses for this, the 12-14 hour work days, the 1 hour total time for bus travel to and from work each day, the poor management of dining facility rotation of our section’s Soldiers, but what good would that be? The fact still remains that I could have woke up a bit earlier or gone to be a bit later to get some fitness in. Maybe not in a gym, but outdoor fitness is still fitness. I just did not do that. Here’s the real surprise, I did not gain weight!

So, yesterday when I got back in the gym I decided to just do things to get my heart rate up without complication. Obviously it wasn’t going to take much. Here’s how it went:

6 May 2018
5RFT:
5 Strict Pullups
10 Pushups
15 Air Squats
20 Double Unders
Time- 10:06
4RFT:
40 Calorie Row
20 Alt. Dumbell Snatch 50#
Time- 17:06
5K Airbike – 8:08

Nothing too fancy, just some aerobic work and movement of the body. I’ll head back to affiliate classes today. I may only get 2-3 weeks until the next “exercise” but if that’s the case, the next one will involve me doing some training, even if it’s simply running hill sprints and bodyweight movements. No more taking so long off without a real reason.