Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Update on Aaron

Ginger Schonberg has been kind enough to keep me updated as she receives information about the condition and status of Aaron Edwards. Below is an email that Ginger sent me yesterday.

I want to thank each of you who has taken a moment of silence, a moment or prayer for Aaron and to those of you who felt moved to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project. I'm humbled and honored to know you.


I wanted to update you on Jan’s son Aaron. He is being flown in the morning from Afghanistan to Germany where he will be stabilized for the flight home. We don’t have a further medical update however, but as soon as they get him to Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany she will be able to get an update. It is 10.5 hours ahead of us so he is probably on his way or close to being on his way right now. As soon as they get him in the air to fly home, she will be contacted as to where she and his father and wife will be able to go to be with him.

It is really a miracle that he is still alive. He was shot under his arm, with the bullet then entering and exiting his lung (collapsing the lung) and is now lodged between his lung and his heart. The surgery to remove to bullet is too dangerous. A centimeter in either direction and it may have been a very different report.

She is holding up remarkably well. She is grateful for all the support. It’s made this easier for her, I know.

Please continue to pray and send good thoughts for her.



Sunday, September 27, 2009

Certified or Certifiable?

This weekend was the CrossFit Level I Certification. Anyone who has read this blog over the past couple months knows the background story on going to this cert and how meaningful it is to me. In short, it was worth the wait and all the excitement. For me, this weekend provided no huge revelations or insights about CrossFit, I already had those months ago and have spent several hours researching, studying and practicing; so no Earth shaking news for me this weekend. What I did experience was some refining to my own form and techniques as well as some tools to be a more effective Coach. In addition, it was great to workout and train with other CrossFitters from all over the country. Yes, we spent plenty of time moving and applying what we were learning. And, yes, my legs feel like someone worked me over with a baseball bat. And here is what my hands looked like after Day 1:
My left hand AFTER I washed the blood off. Yup, the right hand looked equally lovely. The result of a team workout that included each of us cranking off 50 pull ups each. Sorry you squeamish folks who just loooove the pictures I post of my feet, I couldn't resist!
On the drive home tonight I had feelings of excitement about the direction of where I am going as a coach and some things I am working on "behind the scenes". Yet I was also bummed that it was over. In fact, after the Day 2 lunch break, I was already starting to feel bummed knowing that it would be coming to a close in a few hours. I wanted this to be a week long experience not just the weekend.

Thanks to all those who helped to make this happen and trust me, it's gonna bring some cool stuff that's already happening "underground".

3, 2, 1... Go!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Your Action Requested

I just received the kind of news I hope I never get, and yet know that sooner or later it's gonna come:

Our dear friend Ginger Schonberg called me to let me know that Jan Edwards son Aaron, a Marine serving in Afghanistan, was seriously wounded in action earlier today. Jan was in the last round of BTWG. I had a chance to speak with Jan just minutes ago and she filled me in with what information she has thus far. Aaron, has been serving in Afghanistan with Bravo Company, 1st Batallion, 5th Marines. Apparently, he was shot in the chest and suffered a collapsed lung. The bullet is still lodged in his lung and, as of right now, they are leaving it in. In addition to his chest wound he was also shot in the arm. While he made it through surgery, he is still in serious condition. Once he is stable, probably sometime tomorrow, he will be flown to Ramstein, Germany. From there he will be transferred for recovery at either Walter Reed or the hospital at Camp Pendleton.

I am requesting that you keep Jan, Aaron, their family and all our Service Men and Women in your prayers. If you would like to send an email message to Jan, please email them to me and I will forward them to her. In addition, if you want to really make a difference and feel like you are doing something tangable, give to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). WWP connects with men and women, just like Aaron, to get a few possessions to them while they are still in the hospital. In addition they offer services to help in the healing and transition process that occurs after being wounded in action. WWP also offers support and advocacy services to ensure wounded vets understand what they are entitled to and how to go about getting their life moving forward in a positive direction. While your donations help in many ways, each $99 donation pays for a WWP backpack that is filled with clothes, playing cards, a CD player, toiletries, phone calling cards and more. These simple items mean a lot to someone who may feel like they just lost everything including all their personal belongings which are still back at their unit. If you would like to give to WWP just click on the icon to the right of this page, or you can write a check to "Wounded Warrior Project" and I will mail it in for you.

While I am seriously heart broken for Aaron and Jan, I am also honored to be involved with the WWP knowing that they are there to support our Hero's such as Aaron. I know many of you have already been EXTREMELY supportive of WWP through your generous donations, and I am deeply grateful. For those of you who may have questioned my intent or thought I was off point by supporting such a cause, perhaps now you see why it is so important to me.

I feel blessed to be a part of this BTWG community and know that Jan and her family will feel the comfort and peace of your prayers and thoughts.

On that note:
Project Grad Ian Merten's Father had surgery earlier this week as did Project Grad Cindy Boll's Mother - if you could add them to your prayers it would be appreciated.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Welcome Aboard, "New Recruits"!

Last night was Orientation for the newest group of Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap Recruits. For this round, I wanted a small group of dedicated and highly motivated recruits and this is exactly what we have. The newbies are a diverse group in just about all areas except gender. For the first time the recruits are all female! I am excited and looking forward to coaching these ladies to higher levels of health, fitness, and well-being.

I'm sure you will be seeing them around Cityoga or at upcoming BTWG workshops and adventures. If so, be sure to welcome them and offer your support and encouragement.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Free OJ?

"Free OJ"? Is it a call to release the former football player turned criminal, or a promotion for one of the Nations favorite breakfast beverages? Sorry for the crappy picture best I could get

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Studio

A couple shots that I snapped at last Saturday's Cityoga class; great space. The morning light filtering in the windows really helped to heat things up and generate some purifying puddles of sweat.

Down Dogs in the morning sun...

Attempted to capture a shot of Rob's moat, I mean puddle of sweat around his mat.
This session was particularly memorable as you could see steam coming off of Rob during class.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quick Shot

For months I've been preaching to my private clients, and now I'm gonna start preaching to you about chucking your running-style shoes during your strength workouts and getting yourself some Chuck's. Unless your strength workout includes running more than a mile at a pop, I suggest working out in a shoe with no heel wedge and little to no support. Options include: old school Converse "All Star" Chuck Taylor's (my personal favorite), Vans or similar "skate" shoe (my second choice), Vibram Five Fingers (also high on my list), or something along these lines. Along with the range of shoes comes a range of price. Jody picked up a pair of Chuck's at Marshall's for $25, Kohl's always has Vans for under $50 where as VFF will set you back around $75.Katie rocking out her new VFF during our workout.

A shoe with cushioning and an elevated heel really screws with being grounded, especially when lifting heavier loads and it throws off your center of mass, thus the workout isn't as effective, isn't as functional, and isn't as safe.Katie doing "Air Squats" in her VFF. In just one session Katie made huge progress in her squat form and really learned how to active her hamstrings in the squat and "stay in her heels"; something we have worked on for a long time, yet never happened while training in conventional running shoes. Way to go Kate!

Next time you need to replace your workout shoes, chuck the running shoe and get some Chuck's!


Making Progress and Setting PR's

I hope you all don't mind me being a little self indulgent here and sharing some of my own progress in my training.

One of the cool things about recording your training and occasionally repeating your workouts is the ability to compare results and observe changes that are taking place. This gives you insight into whether your training is helping in your progress and if so, how effective is it. Below is a snapshot of my training from my last recovery day (Sat. 8.29.09) through yesterday. Some of these workouts were benchmark sessions that I have never done before, such as Sundays CrossFit WOD, others were opportunities to observe progress. Here is how it looked:
  • Sat. 8.29 - Recovery day
  • Sun 8.30 - CrossFit WOD: 5 rounds for time of 75lb Power Snatch X 15 reps, run 400 meters
  • Mon 8.31 - CrossFit Recovery day - I ran 10 miles hitting a new PR! Really pleased especially after doing the Power Snatch/Run WOD the day before and the fact that I was not attempting a PR run, I was just cruising and ended up posting my fastest 10 miler yet.
  • Tues 9.1 - CrossFit WOD: For time Row 1000 meters, 75lb Thrusters X 21 reps, 21 Pull Ups. Row 750 meters, 75lb Thrusters X 15 reps, 15 pull ups. Row 500 meters, 75lb Thrusters X 9 reps, 9 Pull Ups
  • Wed 9.2 - CrossFit WOD: "Elizabeth" (my daughters middle name!) 21-15-9 reps of Squat Clean 105lb., Dips. Set a new PR on this WOD!
  • Thurs 9.3 - CrossFit WOD: Run 5K (which worked out great as I intended to do a tempo run) - Set a PR on this run as well!
Okay, enough of the self indulgence. Check this out. Since back in March, I've been integrating "Project: Performance" and CrossFit-style workouts with my Bootcamp class at Delta Faucet (I teach it every Thursday) and recording the times and scores of those attending. Yesterday we repeated the following workout, which we last did at the end of April:

For time, complete the following exercises/reps. You may do them in any order and break down the number of reps in any fashion you like. For example, you do not have to do all 50 push ups in a row. You can do 10 push ups, move to another exercise and come back to push ups when you choose; you just have to complete all the reps, or scale the workout to your current fitness level:
  • Run 2 X 400 meters
  • 50 Air Squats
  • 50 Push Ups
  • 50 Sit Ups
  • 50 Box Jumps (or step ups)
  • 25 Burpees
The results were pretty phenomenal - of those present yesterday, there were 5 present when we did this workout in April and each improved their finishing time by 20%-35%! Sure, part of this is due to the fact that they had a better idea of what to expect from this workout and how to use some strategy. But, check this out - the fastest time in April was 15:07, by the super-fit Kyle Rush (he was the fastest again yesterday at 12:30); 80% of those doing yesterday's workout were faster than Kyles time and EVERYONE was faster than the slowest time in April and they were faster by several minutes. Congrats to all who were there! You are making progress and getting more fit!

Ready to get some of this? Email me: chris-roche@comcast.net


Thursday, September 3, 2009

One Calling in the Night...

While the rest of the BTWG blogs are collecting a serious case of dust, and others are neatly stored away in moth balls (come on gang, get 'em fired up, will ya?!?!), Project Grad Corbin has (almost) secretly lit afire his health, fitness, and well-being, along with his blog. Maybe it's just me and the fact that I feel I know Corbin pretty well, but if you read his past posts and the energy behind his current posts, you can't help but come away motivated and inspired to amp up your training as well as cheering him from the sidelines. Check it out as Corbin transforms from being in a funk to getting funky with his training! Click HERE, or the link to his blog in the side bar.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Toe the Line

In "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap" progress and growth comes in many different ways, for some it's losing a certain amount of weight, for others it about finding balance in life. For others it's a natural progression to find yourself toeing the start line of a race: 5K, 1/2 marathon, triathlon, trail race; it happened to me and I couldn't be more happy seeing BTWG Grads signing up for races and giving it their best shot. For most of us BTWG'ers, winning isn't even a consideration, placing in our age group isn't something that crosses our minds, it's about racing within yourself and just doing your personal best. If doing your best means you also happen to place on the podium, sweet! If it doesn't, sweet! Who cares?

If you never sign up for a race, that's great too. I simply encourage it as a form of external motivation, personal expression, self discovery and transformation. Nothing helps to fuel your motivation like an upcoming 5k walk or run. Few things can get you to the core of your being like training for a marathon.

Last weekend, BTWG saw 3 teams of empowered women participate in the Go Girl Triathlon, several of them doing their first ever race and two getting PR's on their 5k run! Each came away with a huge smile and a story to tell. How cool is that. Project Grad, Joe, who spent the morning supporting the ladies at the race, has stepped up and signed up for the Tecumseh Trail Marathon:
"It was a good time yesterday the girls have a lot of team spirit...

Well I signed up for the Tecumseh Marathon. I wasn't sure if i should, but I saw they offered a partial refund if I chickened out and the 17 minute per mile cut off seemed reasonable enough so I did it. I guess I'll see where it goes from here."

Way to go Joe! Sure wish I could join you for this one but I'll be racing in Maryland just a couple weeks before, not sure I'd be recovered enough to finish in the hills of Brown County. You are gonna do great.

And another personal best, this time from Project Grad, Stacy:

"I wanted to share this with you…….Sunday I decided to go out for a run, it was such a beautiful morning! My intention was to do the endurance run I missed out on Friday night due to all of the rain…so I hit the street running and decided I would stay at it for an hour. As I was about 10 minutes in I decided to run to a new landmark and back and just see how long it would take. After 66 minutes I was back at home and hit my cool down pace around the neighborhood. With my protein shake in hand I drove the distance I had just run and realized I had gone 7.6 miles in 66 minutes which averages 8.68 minutes per mile…Holy Cow!!! Who would have thought 8 months ago I would have done this and better yet enjoyed it????? I did nurse my right leg a bit as the distance runs seem to affect it most but otherwise felt great and very relaxed. I know this is no speed record but for me I am thrilled!

Thanks for sharing in my accomplishment as I would not be at this place in my life without your inspiration!"

Awesome job, Stacy! I'm super proud of you!

So how 'bout you? Ready to toe the line of a race or fun walk/run? How 'bout a little race against your personal best like Stacy?