I was told CrossFit Central was considering including me in one of its success stories. I’ve enjoyed reading and seeing many of the success stories on the CrossFit Central website, for they have been of real people discovering and persevering to achieve a success for them, whatever that may mean at that time. They have all been interesting, and many have been inspiring. If I were to be included in that fine group, it would be not so much because of anything I have done, but because of all those around me who have instructed, energized, and inspired. All in the CC community… from the owners, to the coaches and staff, to the athletes in the classes… all are supportive, encouraging, and, yes, fun. Calvin Coolidge said “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence…,” and so my story, if worth telling at all, is not one of my accomplishments, but truly one of persistence made possible through those around me. The tribute goes to them, as does my gratitude.

Before joining CrossFit Central, I was training with Carey Kepler, doing triathalons which followed several years of circuit training, spin training, weight/strength training, kickboxing (yeah baby, better show me the respect), rehab from kickboxing injuries, and pilates (although not said directly, I always figured Carey saw me needing something a little tamer than kickboxing… hence the pilates…and I was fine with that notion).

The work I do has its long hours and high stresses, and the training, without at doubt, unconditionally, allowed me to perform in that arena. I, you, none of us, can perform mentally, at least not in an enduring way, without some form of physical fitness being part of the equation. That’s not my rule, it is life’s rule. Disagreeing with it or ignoring it does not change it. It’s a choice. Saying yes to fitness is win-win for all involved.

After “only” 3 months and lots of patience from Carey, I learned to do “A” kipping pullup. That’s one. One in a row. One unbroken. This milestone was even before CrossFit Central had an official home, other than a carport and a backyard where I Carey and I trained. As I focused more on them, I got to 49 unbroken kipping pull-ups, which goes to show all of you that skinny little arms can do this stuff once ya learn how and give it practice.


Once I started to pay attention to the nutritional side of the CrossFit Central program, the health part of the fitness equation improved. I’m going way out on a limb, here… one of those “knock on wood” things, but I haven’t missed a day of work due to illness in somewhere around 6 years. I’d never had even one year without illness in the entirety of my career before. Better nutrition begets better health results.

Gonna sneak one in here to see if anybody notices. January 20, 2014 WOD in support of all crossfit geezers everywhere who have reached a certain “milestone:” 60 pullups; 60 pushups; 60 situps; 60 air squats; 60 double-unders; 6 hand stand pushups. We’ll call it the 5.1 x 60! or maybe “geezers rule!”

And here’s the big result: I go to CrossFit Central because I really really really like to! More than any other sports or athletic endeavor I’ve ever done. The positive energy, the community of regular folks just trying to improve themselves, the stellar instruction… all adds up to inspiration. Over and over and over again. Being no longer a spring chicken as they say, I’ve always wondered how physically active I might be as the years sped by (they stopped creeping by a few decades ago). CrossFit Central has shown me that it is entirely doable to maintain some physical fitness despite the trend otherwise for folks of my vintage. I had intended to be here to slow the decline, and have discovered that, even at this stage, it is entirely doable to maintain and even improve my fitness level. Of course I know that is not an indefinite situation, but I am grateful for this period where it is occurring. It is the entire community that creates this environment.

Being an engineer, you’d think I’d have charts and graphs and records to track the ups and downs of my training years at CC. Well, truth is, I do not. And saying that publicly is taking lots of courage because Carey may well clobber me for not having done so. Still, in the BIG picture, I can offer this: I’m a couple inches smaller in the waist than I was when I started CC; I’m about 15 pounds lighter; and using the last CrossFit totals we did as a “yardstick,” I’m (slightly) stronger than when I started Crossfit Central. I’ve always been a bit of a stick guy (tall and thin), so these numbers aren’t necessarily big in the annuls of fitness worlds, but they’re okay by me. (And BTW, my waist and weight are where I was when my dear bride and I met in high school… though I’m an inch shorter and can no longer do shoulder presses with her! Ha!)

I am at CrossFit Central for a host of reasons. I trust the folks at CrossFit Central. Trust them with my health and fitness. Trust their motives. Trust their judgment. Trust their integrity. Trust them with my life. It starts at the top with Carey and Jeremy and Big Mike. It permeates throughout the organization. CrossFit Central also has what I call the Critical Mass of motivated professionals that learn from one another, constantly cross pollinating as it were, and extending those lessons to all clients, friends, and even business competitors. CC embodies what I believe is THE premier work ethic. Whether known by the staff or not, Col 3:23 reads loud and clear when I think of them. NO same old thing. NO monotony. Always great programming. Always changing. Always challenging. Always fun.

I love the people in my Happy Hour class. It has been through the years a wonderful experience to meet and get to know them, coaches and athletes alike. I believe there are few places in life where such a broad range of folks can come together to work darn hard, grow in the process, and enjoy what they’re doing. The positive energy in this setting is so contagious. And when someone is experiencing a tough time in their world, it’s a place where you can get away and clear the fog and cobwebs for just a while, and be better able to deal with the whatevers of life. It gets back to that body-mind-spirit thing, you know. (And if you’re willing, there are always people there who will share a few moments to visit with you about “stuff” that’s on your mind and heart. ) Amazing community. For me, it has been and continues to be so incredibly energizing and inspiring to get the chance to hang out a few hours each week with young folks. Nowhere else in my world do I get this kind of relationship with young people. It is awesome that they let me come play in their playground.

Mom always reminded my brother and me when growing up that our body were temples, and that we should treat them as precious gifts and keep them strong so we could use them for good. While for sure there are no guarantees of how we might get to use this temple in our lives, trying to keep it prepared and versatile and able, as best we might, I believe is consistent with Mom’s biblical reminders. Mom also said one of the best gifts parents can give to their children is to do what we can to be healthy. As she has been a great example in that area, I figure I should learn from it. Dad has always said never stop improving. It’s a key to worthwhile living. And never means never. Never quit. Never give in. And help others to do the same. All you can.

Carey and I have a pact. She will coach me as long as I can be coached. We joke about the walker WODs. I would be so blessed should I have her in my world that long.

Heidi. The greatest tribute goes to her. I’ve talked about inspiration at CrossFit Central, and truly it abounds there. But the inspiration for all I am and the credit for any success I may receive really belongs to her. The very finest mentor, wife, mom, daughter, and business partner. Always patient, always kind, always loving. Always. The greatest earthly gift a fellow could ever receive. So, if there’s a success story in all this, it’s really one that belongs to her. If you should ever get to meet her, you’ll know why.