Thursday, November 13, 2014

Where'd You Come From?

In class the other night, someone mentioned the pics in my office.  As usual, when anyone asks me anything somewhat personal, I turn into a weirdo, mumble and change the topic.  She said something like, you should tell people more about your training past, so I thought about it and decided that writing about some of the pics in the office would be a cool way to do just that.

Before I get into, I want to write about the actual decision to hang pics at all.  Truth is, I actually thought about quitting.  When I decided to end the Blue Room in Mentor, I didn't know if I wanted to continue training at all.  I let most of my contracts expire and kind of went into hiding.  When Dan let me in to train and began picking up clients, I could feel the momentum coming back.  Meeting the people I have met there, pretty much did what I needed it to do.
Which was...?
I actually dont know yet.  I think in Mentor, I felt a little like a machine, a juke box.
But in hanging these pics... what really good times they were.  Such neat experiences, some great, memorable sessions and some awesome, amazing people.
I've trained clients and teams in Aurora, Lakewood, Solon, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland, Wickliffe, Richmond Heights, Beachwood, Willoughby, Mentor, Eastlake... I dont even know where else.  I've trained in homes, parks, stadiums, the muni lot, running down E 9th, in front of the Rock Hall, the metor parks, the beaches, all over.
Being a trainer... you wear many hats.  You're the fitness guy, the ear, the advice, the big brother, the release, the punching bag, the entertainment, the _________.  And it's all awesome and I wouldn't trade it. I've trained thousands 1 on 1's and groups of 100+, kids as young as 8 and little Martha at a young 81.  I've run yoga classes and humbled football teams and coached a 17 year old girl into a 205 hang clean that helped improve her vertical 7" and work her way into a D1 scholarship.
I've helped countless people think about goals, write goals and then reach goals.
Here we go...
(SOB... now I'm pumped up to train someone)
One of my favs... This was a decent action shot during one of the last classes in the Blue Room.

 A nice shot of the weight room set up just outside the Blue Room.  Nice spot, decent for the circuits we'd run.  

This is one of my favorites as well.  This workout was pretty tough, Todd Field sessions usually were.  I think the group fed off the energy of having a bunch of people in the park too and everyone pushed really hard.  

 Nice group shot from the last session at Todd Field.  
 Just a cool action shot

 Definitely one of my favorite pics.  I always felt like a tool hopping off my mat to snap a pic but this one was worth it.  
Despite the financial short comings that prompted me to end things, I still think this room had something special.  A lot of great sessions happened here, a lot of great people came through the doors and we all poured a lot of sweat on the floors.  

I think Lindsay snapped this one... clearly I didnt, you can kinda see my oafy pose on the far right.  Always good to see people smiling in a yoga class! 

Ahhhh... the Titan days.  These boots were pretty sweet.  The lay out of the building was definitely helpful.  Having the cardio on one floor and that stair case separating it from the weight room helped create some challenging and memorable sessions.  
Here, the group is starting with a classic warm up:  1/4 mile sprint, 25 push ups, 25 squats, 25 push ups, 4 rounds. 

 The Power Program
I had an idea and I think we accomplished what we all set out for.  My goal was to help other people reach their goals, and they werent all physical, most were mental and emotional. A lot had to do with breaking through thoughts of "I cant," which were actually "I havent yet," in disguise.  
This class had nearly all beginners in it.  People lost weight, gained confidence, and realized things about themselves that they had blocked away... it was always there.  The class didnt add or give them anything, it removed the blinders.
Link to a blog I wrote leading up to the program here.

I had this idea for a BOGA class, half boocamp, half yoga... this was kind of it, I'm still working on it.  I'm pretty confident that I'll need some more equipment (strategically placed wooden horses, like the kind gymnasts use) to really capture what I'm going for.  Either way, this was still a very unique and memorable session, led by fellow April Fool baby and my buddy, Jen.  

 This is about 1/8 of the Monster behind squires castle. I spent a summer here, dropping 40 lbs or so and improving my speed up this hill.   So many laps, so many songs on the ipod.  This hill feels like a tunnel, tress all around, no room left or right and if you fall, it wont feel good.  Parts of this are so steep, you need your hands free to be ready to grab a root, this was yoga before I found yoga.  
To this day, I've never met anyone who can sprint the entire thing without stopping.

If Blue Chip had a Mount Rushmore, Elaine would be the first face on it.
Throughout the years, pretty much everyone that came through said something along the lines of "I want to train like her."

 Portable TRX straps in a MetroParks pavillion (thanks Dad for making these).  

 This team was a blast to train.  Eager everyday, brought great attitudes and truly got it.  I threw out so many physical, emotional and mental challenges and they responded perfectly, every single time.  They understood that training wasn't about just getting through to make the coach happy or to shut me up, it was about the journey and their own personal growth.  
Probably one of my top 3 favorite teams I've ever trained (despite getting stiffed on payment).

Just a really cool pic snapped on a really hard session.  Kerry always brought her A game and on this day in particular, I felt she dug a little deeper and pushed harder than ever.  One of those sessions were it didnt matter what I said or what challenges I tossed out, she was going to kill it.  This pic encapsulated her effort for the day and the group in general, sprinting up those 110 or so steps, probably 10-12 rounds.

The first bootcamp group... back in 2010?  

Kristin working her Turkish Get Up... in my driveway.  We used to run sessions in my garage and driveway back in South Euclid.  I had a pretty decent set up w squat rack, sand bags, kettle bells and such.  Again, a really cool pic for me.  You can also see a few people in the background w kettle high.  Along w Elaine, Kristin definitely represented everything I feel this company I'm trying to create is about - intensity, drive, goal oriented, just that skies the limit, anything can happen and nothing's impossible attitude.

This one is funny... for me.  I had this clever little idea of using the TRX straps and tying them to old tires... then take it to the beach and drag them for resisted sprints and other drills, all using the tires as their resistance.  Well, in this pic... they're pretty much protesting.  And this was the only time, EVER, where I thought "Maybe I went too far with this one."  Problem was, as they ran, the tires filled with sand.  So we set out to sprint 30 yards or so, but after 10, these 15lb tires were loaded with 30lbs of sand.  Then I said "Ok liets pick them up and throw them back and do it again!"  And as they picked them up to throw, sand would spill into their face.... you get the point, this one didnt go well.  But the pic is still good :)

This Is Blue Chip