Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Game Time

I decided to support our New Haven Warrior Rugby team members this past weekend and I decided to attend a very important match. Even though things were extremely busy for me personally, I decided that I was going to take my girls to see my boys play. Now I have to be honest, there are different types of rugby games and this particular league is pretty new to me. I played many years of union type – which has more players on the field at once and much more open play. After settling into our seats inside West Haven High School stadium, I was quickly captured by the simplicity, camaraderie and purity of this sport I love.

I have to come clean. My original intention on attending the game was to support the players that come to Elm City Crossfit. But I soon became victim to the supportive environment and uncomplicated love for this game. I was proud to be a part of this event as well as having the opportunity to share with my girls this day. I had a wonderful time!

The highlight of my experience was not even the action on the field – even though very exciting, addicting and even brutal. I yearned to be back in the game myself. My aha moment was when I spotted an old Crossfit friend sitting all by himself in the stands. Ben Kelly – BK, owner of BK Athletics and Crossfit Performance. I watched BK as he read his book that he brought, take notes on players and plays – I watched him yell at players and point towards the opposition and coach the team towards the slightest opportunities. Later BK transitioned from the stands to the field. He quickly changed his flip flop to a more appropriate running shoe and began to coach more intently.

I watched the rest of the game while the team experienced highs and lows – ups and downs as any team would during competition. I was proud to have been able to contribute to this group of men – helping them in their conditioning and preparation. The thing that struck me the most was BK’s compassion and dedication to a group of guys whom play a sport that made him the athlete and coach that he is today. When you think about it, BK is an Average Joe. He was not at this game to drum up new business. He was not participating to make money or to profit off this team. He was there because he loves this game. He was an international rugby superstar – representing our country on the world stage in this sport. Why is he here? He was there because he understands how this game can transform people. It transformed him.

I look at this day, this game, this interaction as an opportunity. I had the great fortune to not only witness a super game but I had the opportunity to witness a great coach and person. I am grateful and honored that I took this opportunity. The funny thing is that great leaders, motivators and coaches do things not for themselves but for others. Simplicity, love, perseverance and commitment – all in the name of the game he loves. What is your game? What is your compassion? Are you committed? ~ The Average Joe

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Are You an Outsider?

Are you on the outside looking in? Have you ever been in a situation where you were clearly not included based on your appearance, social status or general involvement? Unfortunately, during my life I have been marred with countless situations where I have not been included or been with the “in” crowd. When I was younger, I felt as though I was plagued with this unfortunate circumstance. It is this social position that has made me the individual that I am today. In some cases, I find it very comical and a bit motivating to be on the outside looking in.

However, there are still times where I feel as though I am an outsider still looking in. In this case, I am forced to take a hard look at myself in the mirror and reinforce my position and know that what I do and who I am makes me an individual. I am an individual that will not fall victim to social circumstance, I am an individual who has conviction and I will not let others dictate my feelings or my motivation.

I share this because recently I was not invited to an event. Now, on the surface it seemed relatively meaningless. Unfortunately, this incident stirred some ugly self-doubt that had seemingly been lifeless for a very long time. So that got me thinking. Am I an outsider looking in? I began to think of all the things that are important to me. I also began to think about my family, friends and my community. I began reflect on those who are important to me and why I would never feel like an outside to them. I made a decision not focus on the negative but only on the positive. How can I learn as an individual from this event? I made a conscience decision several years ago not to be the type of guy who would knowingly make an individual feel like an outsider. I will not contribute to this social branding and status designation.

I know for certain that this is what draws me towards people who have a story. I have always gravitated towards individuals who fight for what they believe in and have the intestinal fortitude to go out and work towards their goals. I am fortunate to be surrounded by my three beautiful girls and loving wife who would never treat me as an outsider. I am also blessed to be surrounded by like-minded individuals at Elm City Crossfit who share the same fight and motivation when it comes to physical fitness, nutritional choices and positive general health. These people are collectively a community but independently they are individuals with their own set of short-comings, per-existing issues, limitations and demons who struggle against them daily. We all have them but in our community we have collectively made some tough decisions to battle for what we want. These individuals will never be judged in the court of social righteousness. In our environment, there is no barometer or standard for physical status. It is about hard work and participation. You will always be a part of our group the simple fact that you have made a decision to be an individual and face your fears. These speak volumes of what kind of person you really are! For the mere fact that you walk in the door and toe the line, you have made a conscience decision to change your life. No one can place a sticker on your appearance- they cannot tag your personality. It is about conviction, drive and motivation. No one will ever be judged on output, weight or longevity. In life a person is ultimately judged on being an individual- being a hard working, motivated person. The world is less concerned with being “in” and more concerned with being an individual. ~ The Average Joe

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dual For Dillon - Crossfit Event

“Our son, Dillon Hinds, is an energetic and bright 15 year old kid who is full of life. One unsuspecting day changed our lives forever when we found a large mass on the left side of Dillon’s neck. Alarmed, we contacted our pediatrician and we both agreed that this was probably an enlarged lymph node.  To be certain he was brought to Yale Children’s Hospital to have further evaluations done. The doctor said it would be easier for testing if everything were to be done in one place. He was confident that if all the tests looked fine then Dillon would be allowed to be home by the end of the day. Six days later we were still at the hospital. A biopsy of the lymph node and a sample of the bone marrow confirmed our worst fears – Our 15 year old son, Dillon, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma!
We are in for a long fight, but are confident that with Dillon’s drive and conviction we can defeat this. Things are going to be extremely uncomfortable for a while but with family and friends we will prevail. We would like to extend my sincerest gratitude for the outpouring of well-wishes and prayers for the safe treatment of our dearest Dillon.” – Nancy & Will Hinds

To register, go to  Competition registration will begin at 8 a.m. with the first heat starting promptly at 9 a.m. 

Team Competition:
Each team consists of 2 people, see divisions for pairing options.  The entrance fee is $50 per team.  All proceeds go to Dillon Hinds to cover medical expenses.  First 100 participants receive event t-shirt. Live music, face painting and kids bounce house. Awards will be given to the top 3 teams in each division and category. The event will consist of 4 stations – Each team is required to perform the required repetitions at each station before moving to the next station. This will be done for an allotted amount of time depending on your entered category. The movement standards, requirements and repetitions will be posted soon. Each team will be asked to perform as many rounds as possible in the given time duration (AMRAP).

Novice – Less than 6 months training
Intermediate – Over 6 months training, comfortable with movement standards
Advanced – Very comfortable with movements and performs most workouts as prescribed

Men’s Partners
Women’s Partners
Mixed Partners