Dubai Fitness Championship winnings

Last week the Dubai Fitness Championship took place. It was quite the event. From the video and pictures online the facilities looked amazing. Not a shock as Dubai itself looks amazing. The final event(s) in the mall looked really cool.

It attracted some of the biggest names in CrossFit – Mat Fraser, Sam Briggs, Sara Sigmundsdottir, Ben Smith and Annie Thorisdottir just to name a few. I wonder how much each of the really big name athletes were paid to show up – or was their travel at least covered by the owners of the event? From what I can tell it is put on by Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (I think that is his full name?!). He is obviously loaded and my guess if he paid for each athletes, or at least the biggest names, trip and hotel it would be a drop in his ocean of money.

Not shocked that Fraser and Sigmundsdottir won. I would pick them to win the 2017 CrossFit Games if asked. I was pleasantly surprised to see Briggs competing. I thought I saw an Instagram post from her after the 2016 Games that she was done competing. Maybe just done competing at the Games? She made a nice bit of money last week competing in Dubai. I would think it would be hard to turn away those sorts of paychecks if you can still earn them.

The male podium was Fraser, Ben Smith and Alex Anderson. On the female side Sigmundsdottir, Briggs and Thorisdottir took 1st, 2nd and 3rd. There was decent money on the line for each event and a really good chunk for placing high on the podium.

The top five men in terms of money won was

  1. Fraser: $57,000
  2. B. Smith: $38,000
  3. A. Anderson: $28,000
  4. Jonne Koski: $20,000
  5. Ricky Garard: $19,000

On the ladies side

  1. Sigmundsdottir: $69,000
  2. Briggs: $49,000
  3. Thorisdottir: $30,000
  4. Julie Abildgaard: $23,000
  5. Kari Pearce: $20,000

Even “specialists” like Jess Towl (did really well in the long endurance events) won over $10,000 and Jordan Troyan (known for his swimming) won over $10,000 himself.

We are heating up the “off season” competition part of the year leading into the CrossFit Open. Next month WZA takes place and that is typically very well attended by the biggest names in CrossFit. Just gets the CrossFit geek in me excited for the 2017 CrossFit Games season!

Another reminder to myself – EAT, damnit!

Here I am eating 2,700 calories per day in an attempt to get under 200 pounds. I have been eating pretty damn close to this many calories a day for a solid four months. The benefits of tracking your food via myfitnesspal – I see that I changed from 2,800 calories a day down to 2,700 during the first week of July.

I still weigh around 212 pounds most days. Sometimes under 210 and sometimes closer to 215, but 212 is a pretty solid number.

However I hurt. My back hasn’t been pain free for at least the same time frame in which I changed my caloric intake.

Taking a step back – I don’t just track calories, I track macro intake, too. Currently I am eating 40/30/30 carb/pro/fat. Up until recently it was 45/30/25, but still 2,700 calories.

In looking at my workouts dating back to July I see that I start to complain about my back hurting.

Coincidence? I bet it isn’t.

I re-read two blog posts I wrote about this same time last year. Blog post from November 17th, 2015 and blog post from November 30th, 2015. Both talk about eating more and having positive results. Although one does talk about gaining weight and worrying about getting fat again. My biggest fear – waking up and being fat again. This fear keeps me tracking my food maniacally as I still do today. It keeps me working out when I probably shouldn’t be due to nagging injury. I want to keep myself accountable in both what I eat and my exercise to prevent waking up one day and realizing I am once again fat.

So last year about this time this is what I see:

  • On Monday November 16th I was slated to eat 3,400 calories – high carbs, low fat, over 200 grams of protein on a daily basis. It looks like I quickly adjusted down to 3,200 calories based on what I read in that second blog post on November 30th and what is in myfitnesspal. I stayed at 3,200 calories for a few months and then over the course of the next several months continued to take away 100 calories every few months until I got down to the 2,700 I am at right now and have been for over 4 months.
  • Looking at Decembers workouts a few things jump out. 1. I was working out more often including 2 a days fairly regular. 2. there is no complaint of pain. 3. The numbers I was lifting are better than they are today – heavier bench, deadlift and clean numbers jump out.
  • Moving into January I did Fran and was only 2 seconds off my PR – about 2 months ago we did it and I was almost a minute slower. I did Diane and cut 2 minutes off of my PR. I almost jerked 265 which I actually can’t imagine doing today.

Then the purchase of CrossFit Crush happened in March. I was still eating 3,200 calories a day, but my general stress/activity level went up by way of owning a gym. I started to note that my “cardio” times were dropping in March. Jackie was slower among other things. But I wonder how much of this was related to the added duties of being a gym owner? I know I never broke 220 pounds on the scale. So I wasn’t getting appreciably fatter.

In April the numbers still look good in my training log. I deadlifted 380 on at least 1 occasion and cleaned 245 – both numbers I just don’t feel like I could do today. Still eating 3,200 calories per day.

But in mid-April my calories started to decline. April held strong, but my mid to late May I started to note some disappointments in my lifts. By mid June I started to comment on my back and by then my calories were down to 2,800 per day. It’s essentially all down hill from there.

To summarize for myself: when I was eating over 3,000 calories a day I was setting PR’s and feeling good. Most noticeably in my higher rep deadlift sessions with weight over 300 pounds.

At no point did I get over 220 pounds.

Now I am eating around 2,700 calories a day and feel pretty beat up. No more PR’s. Running isn’t any better. Muscle ups aren’t any easier. Things I tell myself would be better if I weighed less. But there is the kicker – 500 calories a day less (I ate 3,200 calories for months where I at 3,400 calories for only a month at most) and I still weigh about the same.

Travis – please remind me again why you are eating so little?

That’s it. I’m kicking it back up starting immediately. I’m putting my goal daily at 3,000 again and on the days in which I work out I am having an extra Isagenix meal replacement shake at the end of the day that I will NOT count towards my daily intake. Just some extra calories in the form of good protein and carbs.


Cubs win! …and I’m not as excited as expected

Kids change you in so many ways.

In my adult life “my” teams have never won a championship. I have always rooted for three teams: the Oakland Raiders, Iowa Hawkeyes (football and basketball) and the Chicago Cubs. The latter has and always will be my favorite. I painted the basement of my first house in Cubs colors. I painted their logo in one of the rooms. I have spent way too much money on Cubs stuff – jerseys, baseball cards, stuff.

The Raiders won in 1977, ’81 and ’84 – I was alive for two of those championships. The win in ’77 was 21 days before I was born and I don’t recall the wins in ’81 and ’84 as I was 3 and 6, respectively. The Cubs should have went to the World Series if it weren’t for Alex Gonzalez kicking the ball around the infield (no, it had nothing to do with Bartman). The Hawkeyes have never made it to the Final Four and were just in the Rose Bowl this year…and they were curb stomped by Stanford. I was a Colorado Avalanche fan when they won in 2001, but I was far from a life long fan like I am of the Raiders, Hawkeyes and Cubs.

I have always imagined I would empty my bank account on more memorabilia when/if the Raiders or the Cubs (especially the Cubs) won a championship. That ain’t happening.

I used to live and die with sports. I was way too invested in my teams. I somehow felt that if my teams lost is was a reflection of me. If they lost a big game, that was on me for some reason. And to that end I always figured that when/if the Raiders or the Cubs won a championship I would feel euphoric. I would want to scream and yell and make sure everyone knew that MY TEAM just won the championship.

I felt far from those feelings last night as I laid in bed watching the final out of the 2016 World Series.

My first born was at his first Cubs game before he was 3 months old.


CJ was about 3 months old at old HoHoKam park for Spring Training

My third child was named after the 1987 MVP – Andre “the Hawk” Dawson.


I guess I am trying to portray how serious my fandom is for the Cubbies on anyone who reads this. I have a “W” flag that I used to hang out after EVERY Cubs win. I had to let my neighbors know when the Cubs won, right?

I thought when the Cubs won the World Series I would jump for joy, drink a beer or three in celebration, be with other Cubs fans yelling and screaming – PARTYING.

That didn’t happen.

I have several baseball memories that I won’t forget:

  • Shawon Dunston throwing liners across the infield that you could hang clothes from.
  • Mark Grace being the only good thing the Cubs had going for them.
  • Sosa and McGwire breaking the home run record in 1998. We were at a restaurant on Arapahoe road for my mom’s birthday. My dad and I watched McGwire break the record on a TV in the bar area.
  • Kerry Wood struck out 20 Astros. I just happened to be at home in 1998 watching the game on WGN. I remember the weather and how hopeless the Astros looked.
  • Game 7 2003 NLCS – so depressing. Kerry Wood homers and the Cubs still lose. I was at a bar watching the game. Over near Park Meadows mall. Will never forget that.
  • Now I can add laying in bed, watching the 10th inning of game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Dawson had woke up crying during the rain delay and Lisa was out with friends. So I brought him into our room and laid down in bed with him on my chest. He fell back asleep. I cherish this moment more so than the Cubs winning. My last child, almost 10 months old, sleeping on my chest. These days will never happen again. Hopefully the Cubs win another one in my lifetime (I know, 108 years and all). So Dawson lay on my chest, almost snoring, as I watched Ben Zobrist drive in the winning run. I didn’t cheer. I didn’t jump up and down. I put my fist in the air and made no noise. Then went back to patting Dawson on the butt and making sure he stayed asleep.

I wouldn’t change that for anything. Not for being at a bar with other Cubs fans. Not even for being at the game in Cleveland, or at a bar in Wrigleyville. Nothing. That was perfect.

And that is the first example of how kids change your life. Rather than being at a bar with strangers and screaming, yelling and drinking, I was at home in a quiet room with the people who matter most to me.

But that isn’t the only way kids change you.

I wasn’t even all that euphoric when they won. It wasn’t a giant relief. It wasn’t like I was overcome with emotions. Not even overcome with happiness. It was great, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t even the best baseball moment that I witnessed in the past seven days.

My son CJ was playing in his last baseball game of the year the weekend prior. My first born. My son. My super smart, super caring, sports loving kid. I can’t imagine caring about anyone or anything more (other than Maggie and Dawson, of course). You don’t know true love until you have a child. Not trying to slight Lisa, my beautiful, caring, fantastic mother to my kids and loving wife, but there is something about your kids. (Don’t even get me started down the path of those dog owners out there who think their dogs are like their kids.)


CJ and I around his first Christmas. He was almost 1 year old.

Being a typical seven year old, CJ has become a bit afraid of the baseball when batting. During practice with an adult pitching he hits the ball very good – hard hit balls all over the field. When another seven year old is throwing the baseball during a game things get a little more unpredictable and wild. He tends to step out and swing late because he is worried about getting hit.

On the way to his last game I told him to just have fun during his last game. Nothing else. Just have fun. Stay in the box and swing and get a good hit and have fun. After about six months of baseball you could tell the boys on his team were losing interest and I wanted him to end on a positive note with a positive feeling for baseball.

Enter his first at bat and with two strikes he hits a ball over the third baseman’s head and into the grass in the outfield for a solid double. By far his best hit of the season during a game. His team mates were cheering for him and the smile on his face…that is by far the best baseball moment for me this week. Hell, best baseball moment this summer…year, even. Better than any of the Cubs three straight wins to win the World Series. That hit, that smile, easily the best baseball moment for me this year. Easily.

So, as I hung out the “W” flag this morning – a solid five hours after the game was over – I felt good, but not what I expected. I wasn’t running up and down the street with it at 11pm last night after the final out. I didn’t wear it to bed as a blanket. And I haven’t even looked at what sort of memorabilia I could purchase (I did almost buy a USA Today this morning). Instead I hope I get to celebrate another World Series win with my children in coming years.


I hope I get to see CJ play baseball for many more years. I hope I get to coach Maggie next summer in tee ball and help her develop a love for the game. I can’t wait to do the same with Dawson.

Cubs break the “curse” (aka being owned by a faceless owner for far too many years). They are built for years to come. Hopefully many more titles to follow. At the very least many more World Series appearances. And, God willing, many more games spent watching the Cubs win with my children.

Battle at the Rock – take 4 – review

Another year has passed and another attempt at finishing in the top half of the male athletes competing at the Battle of the Rock has passed. And another year in which I did not make that goal. At the age of 39 competing with guys in their early 20’s is getting more and more difficult.

My goal every year for this event is to finish in the top half of the athletes and this year I finished 47th out of 73 athletes. Close, but no knee sleeves.

This event continues to be really well run. I don’t compete in many events every year, but this is one I always will try to compete in.

I think they were on time all day except for maybe the last two or three male heats of the second to last event. But I think they caught up for the last event even with the re-seeding of athletes. I believe the first male masters heat of the last event was supposed to start at 4:30 and I think I went right at 4:30.

The judges were super nice. The swag bags were on point. The free chiropractic service was awesome and it looked like the winners loot was bountiful.

The communication prior and even after the event was top notch. You can tell that the folks who run this event truly care about it being one of the most successful events every year in Colorado.

Now on to my recap of each event and my day: Continue reading

Battle at the Rock, year 4, my strategy

This will be my fourth year doing the Battle of the Rock. It is a great event, run very well and the competition is tough.

As I have done in the past I am going to try to write down my strategy and guessestimate how I will do on each of the WODs. Three of the WODs were announced last night and the floater isn’t announced until Friday evening.

WOD 1:
This is two parts, but scored three times.
Part 1 carries a 4-6-8 rep scheme of deadlifts and box jump overs (or on and overs). There are three sets of 4-6-8 with each set having a heavier deadlift. The first set is at 135, second set at 185 and third set at 225. I will perform 4-6-8 of deadlifts (135) and box jump on and overs (24) immediately followed by the same scheme but using 185 for deadlift. Then repeat a third time using 225 for the deadlift. That has a seven minute cap.

Part 2 is simple: 40 bar facing burpees. This has a five minute cap and the entire event has a 12 minute cap.

The 4-6-8 part is one score, the 40 burpees are another score and the time it takes to do all of the work is a third score. This is quite the workout to start out with and score three times.

If I had to venture it will take me about 90 seconds to do the first set of 4-6-8 and not much longer for the second set. My back has not been happy leading into this event so if it holds up the last one shouldn’t take too long, either. I should finish under seven minutes pretty easily (well, maybe not easily, but with time to spare, this will hurt).

I think my strategy here will be to try to keep a nice, even, semi-hard pace. I won’t sprint out of the box and try to keep a nice pace. I fear if I sprint out of the box I will be gassed by the time I get to the middle of the 185 round and definitely be gassed by 225. Not to mention when I get my first burpee. I would rather go steady and try to finish the first part in about six minutes and then get the burpees done quickly – I think I can go faster here with little rest. My goal will be to complete the entire thing in less than nine minutes.

800m run, 30 KBS (53), 15 thrusters (95), 30 pull ups, 15 thrusters and 30 KBS
The run is going to probably take me longer than most and then there isn’t enough work in there to allow me time to catch up. I know 800m, especially with the hill I think we will have to run up to finish the run, will take me close to 3:30-4 minutes. I think I can do the KBS unbroken and with a few deep breaths I can do the thrusters unbroken, too. Hopefully I catch up a little bit there. The pull ups I will try to plow through. It is a small enough set that I will do as many as possible to begin and then keep my breaks short – even if that means small sets. This has a 12 minute cap and I should finish in time.

800m worse case is 4 minutes, about 1 minute for KBS and maybe another minute for thrusters puts me at 6 minutes. The pull ups should take 2 minutes at the very most with another few minutes of thrusters and KBS puts me around the 10 minute mark for this workout. I’m going to try to keep my transitions short and push on the pull ups and try for 9 minutes on this WOD, too.

This is a repeat from my first year competing. We have three minutes to complete “Grace” and with the remaining time do as many double unders as possible. The funny thing is that just the other day I felt like redoing this WOD. I didn’t, but I had planned on redoing it after the competition.

When I did this in 2013 it took me 2:35 to complete Grace and I only got eight double unders. My PR now on Grace is 1:49 – but I won’t shoot for that. Assuming my back feels good I will try to get at least 10 reps of Grace unbroken to start – hopefully 15. Then do quick singles to finish and hope to finish in less than two minutes. Considering how taxing Grace is, but how much better my DUBs are then they were a 3 years ago I hope to get 50+ reps in for my double unders. If I have a minute I hope I can rally and keep the side stitches to a minimum and get a bunch of DUBs unbroken. And that is the key – get a bunch  UB. If I can get a set of 30 to begin that should only take me about 20 seconds. Leaving me another 20-30 seconds to get more. I look forward to redoing this workout.

Those are three really challenging workouts and I look forward to the day. It will be a lot of fun!


…. I wonder what the floater will be? In the past it has been a very short sprint of sorts. Maybe this year it will be something heavy since none of the workouts have any heavy weight in them.