Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! Turning 30 wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, if the rest of the decade is like yesterday, I’ll be pretty content. Sorry for blowing up everyone’s insta story yesterday, but I got my cast off and stitches out. Doc originally said something aboutbeing able to put weight on my ankle once I got das boot. I didn’t get my hopes up though, because last time I kept thinking the doc was going to let me walk, but then he would just give me another cast, or tell me “not yet.”

BUT this doc said, “Ok, cool. Go ahead and start walking when you’re ready. See ya in 4 weeks, and we’ll talk about physical therapy. PEACE OUT!” Same surgery, just way different. So, I practiced walking last night, and I am transitioning slowly from a pimp walk to ya know, just a casual limp. It’s like too good to be true, or something like that. But it is true. I think I still have a long road ahead, as far as lifting weight goes, but I’m thankful to be moving, and I can ride a bike and swim, so that’s pretty legit for two weeks out of surgery.

But enough about that. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done one of these posts. But I do like talking about other people on here and how fitness, or more specifically in this case, CrossFit, has impacted them.  So, today, I’m going to tell you about my friend Blake. If you live in Anderson, you probably know him. I think he knows errbody. I mean… the real question is.. Who doesn’t know Blake? He brings all the hype wherever he goes. 

I met Blake about four months ago when he started doing CrossFit at CFEC. He was really friendly and went out of his way to talk to everyone in the gym. Like everyone.

Blake is a Citadel graduate, USA Army veteran, and he’s climbed a lot of mountains in his life so far. He has a looonnngggg, pretty successful history with Mixed Martial Arts. I guess now he does more coaching, training other people, and refereeing fights. But in his prime, he was pretty legit. Or so they say. Just youtube him. Now he runs Electric City Mixed Martial Arts, and he travels all of the time to referee fights. Like all over the world. In fact, he’s been to the Middle East 27 times to referee fights.

Anyway…back to CrossFit. Blake started doing CrossFit like four months ago, and he’s hooked. Like he doesn’t even wear his MMA boxing shorts to the gym anymore. He wears CrossFit shorts that he bought from Rogue, he rocks some lime green nanos, he cares about his mobility, he renamed his daughter to Blakesdottir, and when he is in town, he doesn’t miss a day. Last week, he got his first ring muscle up on his first try. He loves pullups, but unfortunately, he’s had a hard time getting his hands to toughen up. He couldn’t do an overhead squat when he started (along with a good bit of people who start CrossFit as an adult). BUT he worked on it, asked questions, scaled the weight down for awhile to get the feel of them. And look at him now. He can do overhead squats. He’s improved a lot in his form in all of his movements really. 

He said he originally wanted to try out CrossFit because he liked “the look” CrossFitters have. He said he would even be content with looking like a CrossFit girl. (I think he’s probably realized now that everyone at CFEC has their own look about them. BUT CrossFit does help make that “look” even better. Blake’s wife, Leigh Ann, kicks butt in the gym, and Blake liked her results. So, Blake was interested, but despite ALL of the reasons to start, he held back for awhile because he said he was scared he would suck at it. He also kept telling himself that it would be easier to just not do CrossFit, and instead take naps and eat pizza. I agree, but that would be so sad. I’m sure every now and then he wishes he were anywhere else but at the gym doing wallballs and pullups, but ultimately, he said that finally starting CrossFit was one of the best decisions he’s ever made. 

I asked Blake the other day what his favorite thing about CrossFit is, and why he keeps showing up. I liked what he said, and I can’t be that dramatic or well spoken, so I figured I would just quote him. 

“SO why do I continue? I’m 41. I’m not gonna make “the games”. I’m not gonna break any records on “Fran” either. (I did get 21 thrusters unbroken today but no biggie). Have I gotten great muscle gains? You bet. I’m in better shape than when I was fighting. My body has totally transformed. BUT so has my mind. My food is fuel now. Its honestly changed my life. So, the Real reason I stay is the fist bump. It’s science. Oxytocin. Same as when you hug or kiss. I enjoy suffering in a group. We all survive and get better together. So I’m there for the noon guys and girls. All of them.”

Blake then went on to talk about coaches being an example for other coaches, which I love. Even if it’s a different sport, hanging out with other coaches and learning from them – directly and indirectly – is always a good thing. When Blake comes to the noon class, he gets to show up, be a student, learn, be humbled, and get better. And when class is over, he gets to go take care of biz-niz by leading other people and helping them get better at ECMMA. 

Since Blake has been consistently showing up at CFEC, other MMA fighters have made their way over to try out CrossFit and use it to supplement their training, which I think is really cool. 

What I love most about Blake is that he doesn’t meet a stranger. He wants to be friends with everyone, yet he is genuine. I think he will shoot anyone and everyone pretty straight. The gym wouldn’t be the same without him. I’m glad Blake is a part of CFEC.