I like to categorize my life into 3 major categories, those being Faith, Family and Fitness. Yes, my career doesn't fit anywhere in there nor does my military service but aside from a few things, there isn't much to share for public consumption. My time in uniform did, however, afford me my first trip to Japan in May which got me gliding in the air adjacent to Mt. Fuji and also a trip to participate in a wargame exercise in July. Other than that, all went well.
FAITH: My personal faith journey is a huge cornerstone in my life and my marriage. Every decision whether it be small or large is prayed on and we lean heavily on His leadership in our lives as well as how we parent. We seek to be authentic in how we live, accept all regardless of their faith, but stay true to what we believe. We also feel called to serve other marriages and continued in 2019 to lead our church's marriage ministry. Those events spanned from studies to date nights to large in-house events. We even had our first ballroom dancing lessons offered at the church! I also continued as part of the Scripture Reader team and occasionally read on stage on Sunday mornings. In July, the senior pastor approached me and offered me the opportunity to become an Elder at the church. I accepted that position and serve on the Board today. All in all, it was a great year in terms of my relationship with Christ and letting Him lead me as a husband, father and leader in my church. I honestly wouldn't change a thing!
FAMILY: It was a year of transition as our oldest graduated from high school and pushed forward into college life. Senior photos, prom, dating, "identity" ... all issues we all worked through together. We are blessed in the area of our daughters. They are strong, beautiful women that work hard, love hard, and know what they believe and stand unashamed of it. They also both have servants' hearts and give back to others. As a couple, we went on our annual Marriage Cruise with FamilyLife in February and then took the girls on their first cruise in June. Our younger daughter joined National Honor Society as an incoming junior and quickly became president and our oldest flew for the first time on her own, bound for London with her cousin and aunt. Both girls work, manage a bank account, put gas in their own cars (that they paid for) and continue to learn how to navigate "adult" decision-making while still under our "wings." Heck, they even wandered into the garage a few times to workout... and since we're talking about fitness, let's go there!
FITNESS: While I only give 60-75min a day to this, I'll admittedly say that it does take much more space in my mind and thoughts. It's something I love to do, and I don't just mean "CrossFit" but overall fitness and health. That includes CrossFit, rucking and nutrition. My bodyweight is about 4-5lbs higher as I type this from 12 months ago but my clothes all fit the same. (can we just all agree it's MUSCLE?!?!) The holidays have wreaked some havoc but I'm quickly fixing those things and am already back on track.
CrossFit: Since May 2018, I have been a member of CrossFit Linchpin and follow their programming "religiously" in the garage. In 2019, I teamed up with the owner/founder, Pat Sherwood, and we launched a closed Facebook group for CrossFit Linchpin which has over 1000 members in it spanning the globe. From Australia to Europe to Canada to the U.S., it is a GREAT community free of ego, bashing or anything negative at all. Inside the garage, I ran some analytics today and here are some interesting tidbits I found:
- I averaged 5.16 days of working out per week which is perfect. I take Thursdays and Sundays off but occasionally can't help myself and need to do something more. :)
- Programming: 41% weightlifting, 39% gymnastics, 20% monostructural
- Durations: Sprints 6%, Short Duration: 24%, Medium: 44%, Long: 24%
- Schemes: Singlets 33%, Couplets 20%, Triplets 27%, Chipper 17%.
- Fitness Level: went from 59 to 63 over the span of 12 months per Beyond the Whiteboard
I also handstand walked for the first time just a week ago! That was a major victory for someone who is extremely gymnastically-challenged. Olympic lifting and gymnastics are my chief weaknesses and bodyweight movements and movements that thrive on an engine are in my wheelhouse. I also participated in both the 2019 CrossFit Open and 2020 CrossFit Open in October.
Rucking: It was another good year! My wife and I lead local rucks every month and sometimes it was just us in the summer months and in the colder months, we normally had 5-10 others join us. We continued our Ruck-n-Brew series and just hosted our 11th Ruck-n-Brew this past Saturday. The concept is simple: we start about 2 hours prior to the craft brewery opening and then enjoy lunch and brews after. We normally cover about 6 miles under weight. We almost always have someone totally new show up which is awesome! So many new friendships have been forged as a results of us stepping out and doing this. For official events, we did two together this year when going in, the only plan was for one. In April, we headed to Columbus, OH and did the 50 Mile GORUCK Star Course and took 2nd place overall! TOTAL surprise! Then, we signed up for our 2nd 50 Mile Star Course and headed to the Big Apple in September. We took all the lessons learned from Columbus and put them into play for NYC and we walked away from that even unscathed. Not a blister, sore spot or anything. We absolutely crushed it! We also had the opportunity to be interviewed by Brian at All Day Ruckoff Podcast after the Columbus event to share our story. You can find that in his June 2019 archives. Solo, I headed to Philadelphia over Veterans Day weekend for the GORUCK Tun Tavern 13hr Tough event that celebrated the Marine Corps Birthday and birthplace of the USMC. It was an EPIC event! This and the Star Course events were all summed up in written After Action Reports that I posted to my blog. Other than that, my ruck goes everywhere with me. I ruck my breaks at work and often, you'll find us rucking on a date night prior to grabbing something to eat. It's just something we love to do...TOGETHER!
Lastly in the fitness arena, I had the privilege of traveling to Madison, WI at the very end of July to volunteer on the Gear Team at the CrossFit Games. While there, I moved tons of weight and was witness up close and personal to many of the world's elite athletes and the chance to be a part of the "machine" that makes this annual global event happen. While there, I also finally got to meet Pat Sherwood that I mentioned earlier along with Dan Bailey. Truly, an awesome time volunteering and immersing myself in a world I love and that has done so much for me and my life trajectory.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one last stop I made...that being to an Orange Theory Fitness class in Chesapeake, VA. I was down there for the military in August and a great friend of mine invited me to one of his classes. I spent the bulk of my active duty years there and have not ever lost ties with Chuck who has made EPIC strides in his fitness journey. I truly was honored to join him for a class and then relax with him and his wife for the evening.
All in all, 2019 was a pretty good year and one I'm thankful for. I have struggled back and forth with my social media presence and every time I lean towards shutting it all down, someone messages me with an encouraging note that something I posted either encouraged them or motivated them. I have always said that if only one person is positively impacted, it's all worth it. I try to be as "real" as possible and not live out a fake life. There ARE some things that don't make it online but for the most part, it's for security reasons and heck, some things are just personal! As I named my new podcast this year, "Living with Intention," I'd like to encourage you to do just that. Do everything you do with intention. BE INTENTIONAL. Love those around you hard, serve others, and BE YOU.
Happy New Year!