21 Jun 2010
This past weekend, I finally got around to getting some work done on my wife’s car. It was a fairly simple job of replacing the axles and brakes. Something that takes less than than 3 hours, but it’s been something I’ve been leaving off for the past few months!
There was a point in my life where cars were everything to me. I used to spend hours (and paychecks) just maintaining, modifying, tuning, washing, buffing, waxing, and admiring my little imports. After my first car got jacked and stripped of it’s beautiful turbo, I had brought my car to a shop that my mom’s coworker recommended. They were super cool and my mom actually talked to the owner for me to see if I can be an apprentice there because I guess she was tired of me spending all my time and money on my car and figured I could make a career out of it.
So, that’s where I began my automotive career, I took classes at EVC and worked the weekends at the shop. I thought I knew a lot about cars, but after the owners Viet and Tin introduced me to what real automotive work entailed, I discovered that I knew nothing! I started with just oil changes, brake jobs, cleaning the shop, and then progressed with helping them with timing belt, transmission, and engine replacement jobs.
After about a year or so, the work finally ground me down. I couldn’t hang with these guys in this line of work. I started dreading it. The last thing I wanted to do after I got back home from working at the shop was working on my own car or any other car at that point. It was not meant to be, but I still liked the technical aspects of cars. This is about the same time where I said goodbye to the guys at the shop and started working at NUMMI as a Quality Engineering specialist on what else, more car stuff.
Well, kind of like how Goldilocks took a while to find the right bed, I found out that NUMMI and the manufacturing side of the automotive industry wasn’t right for me either. I hope that I’ve finally settled into doing something that I’m truly passionate about, because I finally feel that there’s nothing I’d rather be doing for the rest of my life than train people.
So, I am officially over working on cars. I’ll leave it to the pros who taught me everything I know about cars and who are about the only damn honest mechanics around. They love what they do, take care of their customers, and they always give it to you straight. Looks like they also taught me a lot about how I want TRACFIT to run as well.
If you have any car concerns at all, do yourself a favor and take your baby over to Precise for me.
28 Apr 2010
This is a clip of Nick Vujicic. Positivity and confidence cannot be counterfieted.
And this is Kyle Maynard hitting up “Fran”. Can you understand why I love what we do so much?
17 Feb 2010
Disclaimer: You will have to verify with my wife regarding the accuracy of this post! I kind of don’t like this post because it’s like a magician revealing his secrets, it might come back to bite me in the butt! =P
With that said, let’s start the discussion. If CrossFit wasn’t effective at changing me or the trainees physically, we wouldn’t be gushing all over it so much. And, it’s pretty safe to say now, that the workouts also require a strong sense of mental commitment. What’s been interesting for me is how being both physically and mentally stronger has carried over into my marriage life.
My wife has joined me in training a few of our relatives, and she has seen first hand my coaching technique and style. It’s been said that there are two golden rules in training. One is that you don’t get romantically involved with your clients or students. The other is you don’t train your wife or significant other. At first, there’s no specific reason given to these two rules, except for the observation that both will end in bad terms. My wife wants to train in Crossfit, I love my wife, and I love CrossFit, but even I know that training my wife in CrossFit would be challenging at best.
Why this is would require a whole other dialogue. But, I’ll focus on some specific points that will help illustrate the problem. One point my wife brought up after she observed how I coached was how I could be so patient, supportive, understanding, and openly communicative with my trainees, but be so blunt and cold when it came to helping or teaching her about a subject. My first response was that I guess it’s because I expect more out of her and that I had an attitude of “If I’m the one doing the coaching, I expect her to just follow my lead, and stop questioning what I’m trying to teach her!” Both she and I would end up irritated and I would pretty much give up. Not a good experience for either one of us to say the least.
This left me to rethink my logic and try to see things from both her and my perspectives. I did find it odd that I really was giving my all and trying my best to be patient and communicate with the trainees, anyway I knew how, to get them moving correctly and effectively. I would also try to explain my theory on the movements and discuss any questions they had without any judgement. If one method didn’t work for the trainees, I would use another, and then another, and so on, and I would try to never give up on them. But, I didn’t know why I couldn’t do this with my own wife. And why was I expecting more out of her, when I really don’t expect anything less than excellence from all the trainees? I figured that it pretty much came down to ego and pride, both of which my wife and I have no lack there of.
I tell the trainees all the time, that ego has no place in our training. Whatever happens, I just want them to try their best. Whether it’s a workout or a problem in front of them, we’ll focus on the task at hand and figure out how to solve that problem one step at a time instead of being overwhelmed by it. If we get stuck, we’ll just find another way around it. This way of thinking is something I’m trying to change in our relationship, and at least from my perspective, I think it’s been having a positive effect.
When we get into an argument, I can feel the tension in both of us elevate and boil over. Instead of fueling the fire, I’ll try to remain as calm as possible (just like in a workout) and tell myself to “Let go of the ego as it will do nothing to improve the situation, focus on understanding what’s at the core of the problem (i.e. read through the lines), actively open up to communication, and then execute the steps that will take us towards resolving the issue.”
Far from being 100% effective, I think this process at least gets us in the right direction. The old me would just shut down, clam up, never actively pursue bringing up the issues, or I would just plain blow up and walk away. I can’t even think about walking away from a workout, so how can I walk away from my own wife. Not to say that temporarily walking away doesn’t have it’s place, it’s just that you can’t just leave the problem go unaddressed. Just like our workouts, you can take a rest if you need to, but the clock is still running, and that workout isn’t done until it’s done. I hope this change in thinking will slowly get us to a point where we’re training side by side one day.
Another aspect of how CrossFit has improved me as a husband is just the increase in my SIU (suck it up) factor. How many of you have heard “Can you take out the trash, hon?” and thought “Serious? The game is on!” or “Does it really have to be taken out now?” or the famous “I’ll get to it, don’t trip.” Well, that’s how I felt about a lot of things. And even as I told my wife that I was willing to help her out with maintaining the house or supporting her in other areas, what it really meant was that I would only do it when I felt like it, or worse, only when it was convenient for me. Not the most synergistic and supporting relationship.
If I can get into the gym 6 days a week, punch out some ridiculously intense workouts, travel from one end of the city to the other to teach 2-3 sessions a day 6 days out of the week, can’t I put in a little bit more effort towards taking care of things at home, where it really matters most? I hope I can answer yes. Like always focusing on the quality of our movements in our workouts, I need to put that same constant focus in the quality of our family life.
CrossFit’s method lies in constant variation. I don’t like every workout that comes down the pipe, some of them plain suck, every one of them is a challenge. Some of them are so hard, that it makes everything else afterwards seem not so bad. So what if there’s a new challenge at home? So what if things get tough? If you want to experience tough, try to achieve a sub 5 minute “Fran” or try on a “Murph” for size. After that, mood swings, melt downs, financial problems, time management, talking out issues, taking out the trash, costco runs, and cleaning up the house just don’t seem as hard.
I’m not going to lie. Marriage is probably the hardest thing in the world. We don’t even have kids yet. I’ll probably read this in 5 years and say what a complete idiot I was. Keeping a family together is a ridiculous challenge in our society. But, through the development of a stronger mind and body, seeing the potential for lives to be changed for the better, and being surrounded by so many inspirational people has helped me keep things in perspective and fortified my trust in the idea that “There is no quitting”.
22 Jan 2010
Haha. Just thought I’d share. I’ve just read over some of the archives and it just amazes and humbles me to see what’s been going on in just a few months. The guys have so much potential and I can feel the synergy building, almost to the point where I can touch it. Yesterday was a 13+ hour day, but it was fun, and I wouldn’t trade it for my old 13+ hour days with overtime!