CrossFitter’s Hands…

by Andre Anna


They belong to doctors, lawyers,

Students, mothers.

They are black, white, brown,

and every color in between.

They callous, they tear, they bleed.

Some have wedding bands.

Some have marks where one once was.

Some have bitten down nails.

Others have perfectly manicured cuticles.

For every difference they have,

they are, among all else equal.

They callous, they tear, they bleed.

Because they push

when they want to give up.

They grab the bar and pull

when they feel like there’s nothing left.

They hold the barbell and lift

when the skin is rubbed raw.

They callous, they tear, they bleed.

They fist pump each other

after a workout so hard, they almost cry.

They hug people who have become family

when they get their first pull-up.

They high-five the girl who took 20 minutes

longer than everyone else,

because she finished.

They clap and cheer as they wait for the guy

running his first mile.

They clink a beer at a bar on the weekend,

brethren in some secret club.

They callous, they tear, they bleed.

They are not pretty.

They are beautiful.

A CrossFitter’s hands.


Does Sugar Call You By Your First Name?…

CRAZY Cravings: How do cookies, pizza, etc. know your name??

Let’s play pretend…  Imagine that you had a great week of eating well, exercising, and feeling good.  It’s Friday night – dinner out and possibly a movie are in the cards.  Your intentions are good.  You’re going to keep it clean and if anything, maybe have a drink with dinner.  At the restaurant everything on the menu looks great and even though your plan was grilled steak and broccoli the cheeseburger and fries special looks a little too good to pass up.  In fact you’re pretty sure you can hear the Heinz ketchup bottle on the table screaming at you – “ORDER THE FRIES”.  It’s just one meal so what the heck, you spring for burger and fries and throw in a milkshake for good measure.   Now that was GOOD – we’re talking the stuff dreams are made of – and now you are STUFFED.  Off to the theatre to catch the 9:00 pm show.  You walk in, and even though you are uncomfortably full you can’t help but be tempted by the scent of buttery popcorn.  In fact, you actually feel like you NEED some…  And so the weekend continues.  Sunday night rolls around and you basically feel awful.  The weekend tasted great, but now you are dealing with a massive “food hangover” and more guilt than a death-row inmate.  Why did this happen?  How did the cravings that you so vigilantly fought off all week manage to run you over like a freight train?  Why do you feel like you want/NEED certain foods?  How did the cookies, ice cream, pizza, potato chips, beer, etc. find out your name and why can’t they stop calling it??

Cravings – we all have them.  If someone tells you that they NEVER crave anything they are lying like a rug…  There is good news though; the longer we fight off/avoid certain foods – sugar, carbohydrates, overly salty foods, etc. and the healthier we become – the fewer and less powerful the cravings will be. But at some point, for one reason or another, everyone is tempted.  And why have you never once (or VERY rarely) had a sudden craving for a big plate of broccoli (unless maybe it’s covered with cheese…)?  There are actually three classes of craving triggers.  Yep, three – because just one wouldn’t be enough…  So which of the three triggers are pulling you toward your cravings most often??

#1.) Biological Triggers

These are the signals that your body sends you and usually mean that something is out of balance.  For example, if your serotonin or blood sugar levels get low or if you are in a state of adrenal fatigue it is likely that you will experience more and stronger cravings.  Additionally, if you are dehydrated, short on sleep or lacking a certain nutrient you are more likely to hear the OREO’s calling your name. Here are a few specific examples from moderate to extreme:

Bread, bagels, pasta, cookies – if you are craving sugary, starchy food it may mean that your blood sugar and/or serotonin levels are low.

Candy, sweet stuff – how did you sleep last night??  Your body probably needs sleep more than it needs sugar…

Chocolate – try some magnesium.  If it’s truly a biological craving, you might be lacking in this nutrient!

Ice, chalk, paper, or dirt – craving non-food items (yes, this does happen) signals extreme nutrient deficiencies.  The name for this condition is pica.

#2.) Emotional Triggers

Do you eat when you’re stressed, upset, happy, sad, feeling guilty or maybe, all of the above???  If you answered yes then you are an emotional eater.  Uncovering the reason that the Reese’s reach out to you is important in fending off these cravings.  Here are a few things to consider:

Are you stressed out?  Stress cravings can occur up to 24 hours post stress response!!  So even if you feel calm and collected when the cookies call stress could still be the culprit in your craving.

Feeling guilty?  This one is a biggie!!  So, you had the fries and now you’re thinking, I blew it and figure you might as well just keep going and eat all of the foods that you usually don’t indulge in.

Eating by association:  When you were growing up did your parents give you a certain food when you were sad, upset, sick, hurt, or as a reward?  Do you associate certain foods with happiness and/or celebrations?  These feelings may be triggers for your feedings…

#3.) External Triggers

Finally and most commonly are the ‘external’ triggers.  These range from obvious to obscure:  walking into a movie theater and smelling popcorn, seeing a commercial on TV for a juicy cheeseburger or a picture of an ice cream sundae in a magazine, looking at the clock and realizing that it’s noon, hearing the ding of the microwave, watching others eat, and the list goes on.  There are SO many cues for us to eat and they just keep multiplying!!

TV, internet, magazine ads, billboards, restaurant signs and fronts – these are all MAJOR cues that we are exposed to nearly every second of every day. We are so ‘connected’ these days that exposure to the media and its messages is a fact of life.

Eating by the clock – we are trained from a young age that we need to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Often we have times associated with these meals and whether we are hungry or not, we eat.  This happens with snacks too – think back to grade school.  What did you do when you got home every day??

Smells, sounds and the behavior of others – the scent of fresh baked bread, French fries, or popcorn, hearing the microwave ding or people crunching/chewing, and seeing others eat are all things that make us feel hungry or leave us wanting a certain food.

Now that you know the possible reasons why certain foods seem to be on a first name basis with you it’s your job to identify your major triggers and be aware of the role these foods are playing in your life.  Above all things food should not rule your life.  It is there to provide the energy and nutrients we need to live, it should be enjoyed but should not be your only enjoyment.  Next up we’ll talk about methods for dealing with cravings because they shouldn’t make you CRAZY!!!

70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

By Rob Shikina (AFP) – 6 hours ago HONOLULU, Hawaii — The United States on Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with memorial services, lowered flags and silence at the moment the history-changing assault began. Ceremonies were scheduled from Pearl Harbor in Hawaii to Washington DC on the US East Coast to remember the 2,400 Americans who died on December 7, 1941 when Japan launched a devastating surprise offensive on the US Pacific Fleet. President Barack Obama called for the Stars and Stripes to be flown at half mast on federal buildings across the country, to mark National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. “On a serene Sunday morning 70 years ago, the skies above Pearl Harbor were darkened by the bombs of Japanese forces in a surprise attack that tested the resilience of our armed forces and the will of our nation,” he said Tuesday. “In the wake of the bombing of our harbor and the crippling of our Pacific Fleet, there were those who declared the United States had been reduced to a third-class power. “But rather than break the spirit of our Nation, the attack brought Americans together and fortified our resolve. Patriots across our country answered the call to defend our way of life at home and abroad.” At exactly 7:55 am (1755 GMT) on the fateful day, Japan awakened the American “sleeping giant,” bombing the US Pacific Fleet anchored in Hawaii. In two hours some 20 ships were sunk or damaged and 164 planes destroyed. Of the 2,400 who died, nearly half were killed in a matter of seconds aboard the giant USS Arizona battleship, when a bomb detonated the ship’s munitions depot, igniting a conflagration that burned for three days. Denouncing “a date which will live in infamy,” president Franklin Roosevelt declared war on Japan, leading the United States into World War II at a time when many of his countrymen had hoped to avoid the conflict. For seven decades, some conspiracy theorists have believed that president Roosevelt had received intelligence about the Japanese attack before it happened, but willingly chose not to act on it. The theory goes that Roosevelt believed the shock of the attack would persuade Americans of the need to enter the war. The theory is based on the fact that US military radar failed to detect the approach of six Japanese aircraft carriers with 400 planes on board, which stopped 220 miles (350 km) from their target. Whatever the truth, the day after Pearl Harbor, the US Congress officially declared war on Japan. Three days later, Germany declared war on the United States. The US entry was to change the course of the conflict. Nearly six decades after Japan’s surprise World War II assault, Al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 attacks drew comparisons with Pearl Harbor, in the sense of prodding the US into military action and a profound strategic rethink. In Pearl Harbor on Wednesday, just west of Honolulu, a handful of USS Arizona survivors will join other military veterans to salute those who died in the attacks, an annual ceremony made more poignant by the 70th anniversary. In Washington, where a ceremony is scheduled at the US capital’s World War II Memorial, Hawaiian-born Obama paid tribute on Tuesday to “the more than 3,500 Americans killed or wounded during that deadly attack and … to the heroes whose courage ensured our nation would recover from this vicious blow. “As a nation, we look to December 7, 1941, to draw strength from the example set by these patriots and to honor all who have sacrificed for our freedoms.”

Part 1 of Intensity and Mental Acuity….

Say NO to easy, breezy workouts!   “It is effort and sweat and pushing past current capacities that force gains.”  “The big gains occur when the body is taken past capacity-only then are muscles forced to grow and only then is the body forced to burn its stored body fat.”


Let’s take a minute and talk about pain:    I’m not talking the kind of pain you feel when you burn your hand on the stove; a more accurate phrase for training pain would be ‘intense momentary discomfort’.  You all know what I’m talking about here!  While training-induced pain can be harsh and painful during the actual exercise, this pain goes away when we finally stop moving and leaves no permanent debilitation.  Even though many would argue that after they just completed “Fran” or “Murph”.  In fact, this temporary discomfort is beneficial and without it the chances for athletic improvement of some type or kind are virtually impossible.   Do you really think you are going to magically become stronger/faster/leaner in response to fun, easy, breezy workouts?  That is delusional.


Training and nutrition are always mentioned in the same breath:  there is no separating the training from the eating.  “Optimal nutrition amplifies training results.


More to come….