Rejected article written for Crossfit Journal
At the request of trainers in my box I submitted an article with supporting photos to the Crossfit Journal regarding 9 months training for a remote Alaskan Brook Range Trip.
The rejection stated...
"Thanks for your submission. I enjoyed reading about the training and the hunt. Unfortunately, we are moving away from articles about how CrossFit prepared people for physical challenges as we've published quite a few of them and it's becoming clear that CrossFit can help you accomplish any physical task or goal.
I do think your article has value, and I'd encourage you to publish it on the CrossFit Message Board or on your affiliate website so others can enjoy it. Thanks for taking the time to write to us, and best wishes for your training!"
Enjoy.... Had to post it in two parts do to length limits of message board.
My Alaska Sheep Hunt bagged me a fitness family
Standing on a 6,400 foot high ridge line above the Arctic Circle in the remote Northern Brooks Range of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge I know how a bird of prey feels while looking down towards the food chain.
Much effort went into getting to this point but that began 9 months prior with a bit of dumb luck walking through the correct doorway.
My wife and I turn 60 years old this year and for her last birthday she requested I find her a “personal trainer”. I have to admit I was a bit prejudiced against the idea based on stories of friends who paid high hourly fees to have someone talk to them while they were on a treadmill. I have two nephews that Crossfit and both recommended I find a local box. I too needed some other form of exercise in order to prepare for the upcoming self guided, fly-in Brooks Range Dall Sheep hunt in 9 months.
Joyce and I visited Revolution Sports Training/Crossfit Alaska on Saturday November 17, 2012 just to watch a class. Looking back I think we were too scared to even show up with workout clothes. Tony Reishus, head trainer and part owner, greeted us warmly. Tony is built like an NFL strong side linebacker yet his personality puts one at ease. He went to great lengths to explain Crossfit and especially scaling since he realized with one look that a pull-up was not in the near future for either of the elders standing in front of him.
He asked, “Why do you want to Crossfit? Do you have a specific goal in mind?”
When I told him of the pending Brooks Range Dall Sheep hunt he lit up. Like many Alaskans Tony also hunts. He had not yet been able to try sheep but knew the physical challenge of mountain hunting. Climbing slopes with a pack full of light weight gear totally 50+ pounds is one thing but once an animal goes down the weight of the pack increases dramatically. All meat MUST be salvaged and if you add horns and a wet fleshed out cape to the mix you are talking serious weight.
Nervously, we showed up the following Friday on 11/23/12 the day following Thanksgiving for our first class. Like all newbie’s do, we looked at a dry erase board comprised of a foreign language of acronyms. We followed the lead of the rest of class and started into the warm up. That warm up alone was an adequate workout based on our initial fitness level but we marched on into the WOD. I can honestly say I asked Joyce to drive home after class because I was afraid of getting a leg cramp while driving.
We took the weekend off and returned on Monday. I look back now with amazement at how truly terrible we were at practically every movement. I doubt I could string three Burpees together without feeling like my lungs would explode.
I weighed 188 pounds with close to 30% body fat at the start of this journey. I find it disgusting now to even admit to those numbers. At the start of the Sheep hunt I weighed 157 pounds with 17% body fat. Joyce always had a good figure and “weight loss” was never her goal in this. She merely wanted to find a fun way to exercise. She could not do a single male style plank pushup in the beginning and now can rip off 17 hand release pushups in perfect form without a second thought.
Inspiration!! We both started hearing that word more and more from fellow Cross fitters. It wasn’t that we were killing WOD’s and finishing first it was more the fact we always gave it our all and showed up to class with consistency. With that effort came physical accomplishments measured in small steps.
I fondly remember the first day Joyce climbed the rope to the top. As she relates her perspective she was ready to give it up three quarters of the way up but the entire class stopped their WOD and started cheering. Joyce knew she had no choice but to touch that beam.
A simple request for a personal trainer found us a fitness family. A family that supports. A family that encourages. And for us a family that appreciates our effort and achievements.
We started with a one month membership. A test drive if you will. I asked Joyce at the end of the month if she wanted another month. Her answer was a firm “No, I want three months”. And so it happened. Our lives changed.