CrossFit began back on November 4, 2014 and sheesh, it was in my feed a crazy amount all winter long. I won't even begin to touch on everything in there. Bottom Line: We were very dedicated and rarely missed a class. We tried hard, gave it our all, but eventually, our time would end at that first gym. The coaching just wasn't there. In late January, I got a taste of what another gym was like and traveled over near the Pittsburgh airport to CrossFit Steeltown and did a partner workout with a friend of mine. It was a BLAST! Great time. That was my first exposure to another CrossFit gym outside of my own. One other little note I noticed in my timeline from then...Parenthood. My wife and I become truly addicted to the NBC series and after getting back from Pittsburgh, we wrapped it up. So sad to see it go!
The SuperBowl was around the corner on February 1st and on Super Saturday, the day prior, I hosted a men's all-day event at my house dubbed "Stepping Up." It was centered around manhood and what that looks like. I had a good group of men there that day, great conversation, and hopefully some men left empowered and challenged to step up as men in a world where that has become mucked up, at best.
Enter March 2015 and the CrossFit Open! This is the beginning of process that eventually leads to the CrossFit Games in Carson, CA, where the elite of the elite battle it out on a worldwide stage. For the Open, though, athletes (loose term, there) from affiliates across the globe participate in 5 workouts over 5 weeks. It was a humbling 5 weeks for sure, but I'm glad I did it. Will I do it in 2016? Not so sure. My CrossFit goals, etc. are in the midst of change right now so we'll see.
Spring finally sprang in northeast Ohio and Easter rolled on by. With this came the end of April and time to run my 29th marathon, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon. Well, since my running took a huge dive in mileage since the fall of 2014 and I didn't make any distinct efforts to raise it, this 26.2 miles got done but it wasn't pretty! My fitness, while very good, doesn't automatically include sustained endurance over the long haul. Yes...you will lose it...and I did. Still, I finished with a respectable time and glad I did. I plan to return for it again in 2016 but I'd better prepare...or else!
June arrived, the kids got out of school, and off to Cape Cod we went for a family vacation. Cape Cod potato chips, a visit to the craft brewery Cape Cod Beer, Plymouth Rock, a tour aboard the Mayflower II, and heck, the Mayflower Brewing Company, too! And that was only the day we went north. We also took a day trip to Newport, RI, to show everyone the mansions, walk around Fort Adams, peer in the windows of the Eisenhower House and walk around the Navy base. It was a super vacation and the girls loved it, too. With June, we also left our original CrossFit gym and joined another, in only it's 2nd month of being open. It was a huge course correction, change in schedule, and actual one-on-one coaching. Later that month, my wife and I did our first CrossFit competition at the gym near Pittsburgh that I mentioned earlier. We had a GREAT time and gave it our all. CrossFit Steeltown put on a great event and really made everyone feel welcome, no matter what the ability. Will we return for 2016? Unlikely but we have nothing but great memories from 2015. The photo on the top of my blog where I'm in a handstand is from that event.
In July, I also started a new volunteer program called "Veteran to Veteran." I am now a volunteer with Summa Health System in Akron, OH and within their hospice program. Someone who is put on hospice has been given a prognosis that they will pass away within 6 months and they are no longer being treated to get better, rather treated for comfort and quality of life. When a veteran is put on hospice, they are asked if they'd like to be honored via a pinning ceremony. If so, a volunteer like myself visits them, speaks to them about their service then presents a certificate and "pins" a lapel pin on them. I have had the honor of doing many now and they have spanned from World War II veterans who served at Pearl Harbor to a Navy veteran who was at Normandy on D-Day...and to other veterans from Vietnam and Korea. It has been such an honor to thank these veterans for their service, shake their hand, and glean just a little bit of their life from them so I can pass on their story.
Oh yes....running. Somehow, I still thought I could run an ultra-marathon in late August without ANY real distance running all year long. Such a mistake! On August 29th, I returned to an "easy" 50K in Aurora, OH and ended up dropping out around mile 20. Oh yea, please pass the humble pie! No regrets, though. It was a great measuring stick of where I was. Fit? Yes. Ultra-running fit? Not even close...but that's ok! Just a few days later on September 2nd, it was all made better because I found out I was going to be promoted to the next rank later in 2016. The last time I was promoted was in Afghanistan in September 2011 so this was great news! With September, the fall began, our girls headed back to school and back to the grind we went.
November...December...nothing too significant to report except for our celebration of 23 years together. I like to say we got married right out the womb (I was 19)! Bumps and bruises thoughout our 23 but we're all the stronger because of them. We're really looking forward to the next 23! For December, our schedules have been pretty packed with recitals, choir and band concerts, lots of working out, etc.
Before I wrap up my summary, I thought I'd share a few things. If you're connected with us on social media, you know that my wife and I have "30 Minute Date Nites" on Tuesdays when our girls take music lessons. I gathered just a few selfies from our date nites over 2015 below. While it's only 30min, it's guarded time for us! We have really come to look forward to the time alone just to talk, catch up, and walk the downtown streets hand in hand.
|They did re-open a few days later...thankfully!|
- Be Consistent with CrossFit yet pull back the time dedicated on a weekly basis.
- Participate in my first Go Ruck event in July and meet the local CARC (Cleveland Area Rucking Crew) in January.
- Run more. Period. Integrate bodyweight training into runs and post-runs. 100 burpees after each run isn't too much to ask for, is it?!
- Represent Hammer Nutrition well. I was picked up for a 3rd year sponsorship!
- Continue to volunteer.
- Pray more, forgive more, love more.
- Get more sleep.
- Do my daily job with excellence. I am wearing more leadership hats then ever before in my life. I need to keep them in balance.
- Smile more. (at least try!)
So 2015...it's about time to say goodbye. Not a bad year at all.