Yes, I brought in a 16 pound Bowling Ball to be used for a bit more aggressive "Foam Rolling". And as tempting as it may be, NO, it is NOT to be used for rolling into the Tabata Borg that forms at the end of every class, nor into the 15 dogs attached to the GHD's. It is strictly for the "comfort" and enjoyment for those of us who may be considered a bit on the masochistic side. 😉

You may have noticed some new faces lately.  We’ve had a lot of new athletes joining our community here at CrossFit West.  It seems like every couple weeks there are some new athletes in my classes.  Please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself if you see someone new or someone you haven’t met yet.  Remember what it was like when you first started; that bit of nervous trepidation mixed with utmost excitement.

To all of our new athletes that have joined us recently and will be joining us soon, Welcome!  …Welcome to what I think is one of the coolest places and communities anywhere.

As you start your journey with us here at CrossFit West, I strongly encourage you to establish consistency before intensity.  It’s amazing what the human body can adapt to if given enough of a timeline for which to do so.  Remember, everything is scalable, not only by weight, but by volume.  “Volume” can be adjusted in many ways, such as flensing rounds or altering the rep scheme a bit.

Be consistent, and you will be amazed at what you can do and accomplish.  Build intensity over time, and you can awaken areas within yourself you never knew existed.

Don’t simply think of your coach as someone that’s just running you through a group class workout.  Utilize us as much as you can, wish or desire as an information resource and guide as well as a coach.  Don’t ever hesitate to ask questions, voice comments, concerns, etc.  Remember, WE are here to serve YOU!–And we will do anything we can to help you.  You are not alone in this journey, and you never will be.

Don’t be nervous.  Every person here, “Games Athlete” or otherwise, remembers their first day and what it was like back when they first started.  While Matt Malone (featured in the photo above) now has a sub 2 minute “Grace”, his first “Grace” time after his third elements class was upwards of seven and a half minutes.  We’ve all had that, “Oh my God, what’ve I gotten myself into?!” moment.  Everyone starts somewhere.  The travesty would be in never starting.

As far as I’m concerned, this is really one of the only guaranteed investments in life.  I don’t care whether it be your time, energy or financial resources, investing in your personal health, longevity and wellbeing is one of the only guaranteed investments you can make in life.  If you have a Stock Broker that’s done you right and made you some money, have em over for dinner and wine and pin em down with the hard questions, they may indeed say, “Well, yeah, I do my best to read the markets and take all the info available to me and I make educated guesses and hope to God it works out.”  …Your fitness isn’t like that.  With a good program and solid coaching, you invest the time, energy and resources, and you will see a return on that investment.  It’s amazing, …and it’s one of the best things you could ever do for yourself or someone you love.

You should know that, the community here is really incredible.  Remarkable, really.  This isn’t just a “gym”.  It’s so much more than that.  It truly is like family here in many ways and may well be unlike anything you’ve seen.  Know that everyone here is incredibly welcoming and supportive, though completely genuine.  You are going to forge some amazing relationships here.  I see it every day.  I’ve met the most amazing people being a coach here, people I likely would’ve never had the opportunity to meet otherwise.  Every now and then I just take a step back and think of all the truly amazing people I’ve met here and how incredibly supportive, genuine, and strong this community is.  It’s really the clients that have helped forge this community, made it so strong and such an amazing environment to be in and to be a part of.  …I just feel so blessed.  My life is certainly better with them in it.  …We truly have the most amazing people here as clients.  …People like like you.  YOU are part of this community and we will do everything we can to make sure you feel welcome here and feel like this is your home.  …Whatever you need, tell me and I will do what I can to make make it so and to make sure you are getting the support you need.  Like I said, …we are here to serve you.  You are not alone in this journey.  You have the support of every coach here and the support of this entire community.

Think of where you will be 3 months from now, …6 months, …or by this time next year.  I can’t wait to see.

I’m excited for you!

Guess who I spotted at The Abbey while writing this blog post! Yup! Rachel S! The same girl who, after starting CrossFit, loved it so much that she successfully got BOTH of her parents, (John and June) to start CrossFit! (Her mom, June, recently completed her first Murph!) Rachel assured me that she is coming back and has ONLY been MIA the past 2 weeks due to a crushing work load at school. Judging by this photo, ...I'm sure she can't wait to climb the rope again once she get's back! Haha! ...I can only imagine she will have the same exuberance and excitement after finishing midterms and getting back to West as she had when reaching the top of the rope for the first time!

Last week, in my “Good vs Evil” post, I presented a “Caption This Photo” contest.  Well, it’s time to announce the winner!

With 3 people getting a final vote, (PJ Rubel, Matt Malone and myself), and a very, very close race between potential winners, including several “honorable mentions”, …I’ve decided to make an “unprecedented move” and announce THREE WINNERS!!!

And the winners are….

Golden Brown; “hey get off me PJ”…  …said no one ever.

Kaitie Korver;  …“If you like my rack…you should see my snatch!”

Emmett Ziegler;

“Papa Mathew?
Yes PJ.
Can you tell me again the story about how the Advanced Crossfit West Team #1 narrowly defeated the Crossfit Santa Cruz team in the finals of the 2012 Affiliate Cup.
And Papa Mathew?
Yes PJ.
Can you once again tell the story about how the two men of the Advanced Crossfit West Team #1 went on to live happily ever after in the Meat and Poultry section of Costco Santa Cruz.”

Golden, Kaitie and Emmett; let me know at your convenience what you would like in terms of prize selection, (T-Shirt, Jump-Rope, etc), and I will purchase it for you.

…As with last time, there were several entries who were “in contention” to win.  For those who didn’t win this time, know that I will indeed run more contests like this in the future so you will have more opportunities to not only “win a prize”, but to make us all laugh!

Also: …As some of you may recall, I grew out a rather rugged and surly beard over several months for a part I was playing in a friend’s short film to be used as a long commercial for a friend’s high-end custom pen company.  We filmed in the 120 degree heat of Borrego Springs Desert in Southern California.  For those who haven’t seen it yet, here, at last, is the “Cowboy movie.”


1 Clean-&-Jerk, O.T.M. x 15 Min, add 5# to last weeks weight

(As with previous weeks, work the Squat-Clean and Split Jerk)


Partner Wod!  (2 athletes per team)

2 Buddy-Carry’s for each athlete, alternating athletes each time; 150m first buddy carry for each athlete, 100m second buddy-carry for each athlete;


75 1-Armed Kettle-Bell Snatch (53/35) while partner holds chin above bar in a pull-up;


150 Air-Squats amongst team (divided any way) while partner holds KettleBell;


Sprint Relay, alternating athletes each time, 2x sprints each; each athlete sprints 150 meters while carrying KettleBell.

“Time” is when final athlete finishes their second KettleBell-Carry Sprint.


*1-Armed KettleBell Snatches can be divided amongst the team any way the athletes like, and athletes do not have to alternate each rep between R/L arms.

*Snatches can not be performed until other athlete has chin above bar.

*Air-Squats too can be divided amongst the team any way the athletes like.

*If athletes aren’t quite able to feasibly do the Buddy-Carry in the beginning of the wod, then simply allow that athlete to carry the KettleBell instead of their partner as a means of “scaling”.

*Note for Games Athletes: For competitive “Games” level athletes, “RX” is a 1-Armed DumbBell-Snatch at 75 pounds for men and 50 pounds for women, (in lieu of !-Armed KB-Snatch), and athlete must alternate Right/Left arms after each rep, just as in the 2012 Regionals.