This is Your Team. Orion, Kyler, Jeff, Ricky, Ingrid, Karen, Jess, Alyson. Team CrossFit Jääkarhu.
When we opened our bay doors at 113 Industrial Blvd, Unit D, in October of 2014, we knew exactly what we wanted. One of those things was to take a team to the CrossFit Games. We spoke our intentions out loud. We told the Universe what we wanted. Our words became our actions. Our actions became our habits. Our habits became our character. Our character has become our destiny.
10 months into CrossFit Jääkarhu, we have already achieved many of the things that we set out to (as well as some things we had not originally intended on). There are still many items on our list. Some are set for the Fall of 2015. Some are planned for 2016. But there is one that we will fulfill in 10 days.
In 10 days, we will send 4 men and 4 women to compete at the 2015 CrossFit Games in Carson, California. Competing at the Games is a dream that all CrossFitters hold, somewhere deep inside. The vast majority will never have the opportunity to compete at that stage, on that level. Those that do are privileged. It is a gift.
The group that you see in the above picture is a truly special group of people. They are men and women of the highest integrity. They are amazing athletes, but more than that they are amazing human beings. One of my goals as a coach to develop high-level competitors. My primary goal as a coach is to develop amazing human beings. I want to surround myself with men and women who care more about others than they do about themselves. I want people who are interested in the greater good – the good of their team and of their community. I want to see our top athletes representing our community as ambassadors of sportsmanship, hard work and excellence. These are the kind of people that hold the door open for you when you walk into a restaurant behind them. They will give you a scoop of their protein and then the extra shirt in their bag if you forgot yours.
Orion, Kyler, Jeff, Ricky, Ingrid, Karen, Jess, Alyson.
I have come to know and love these people over the last months and years. I am engaged to one (guess who), and have been best of friends and coached alongside Jess and Karen since 2010. Jeff has been an athlete of mine since 2011. Alyson, Kyler, Ricky and Orion have all come on in the last year or two, but I feel like I have known them for much longer than that.
When this team came together and started training in 2014, I knew they had what it takes. They knew they had what it takes. However, there are many teams in the world who also “have what it takes”. The difference is in the application. Some have it but squander their gifts and talents in the wrong time at the wrong place with the wrong people. These eight are the right people in the right time at the right place. They have the total and unwavering support of every last one of our Sleuth. They have families that love, back and support them. They have each other.
I would be lying if I said everything has been sunshine and roses. That’s what people want to hear. That’s bullshit. This team has been through the ringer, and I don’t just mean physically. There have been ups and downs along the way. There have been highs and lows – double rainbows and dark dark moments. There has been doubt. There has been fear. There has been hurt and disappointment. There has been anxiety and every other negative emotion you can name. They have fought and they have argued. They have laughed and cried. They have pushed past all of their individual notions of what a team looks like, and they have truly come together and bonded as a unit. They have trained an ungodly amount of skills, drills, positions, rep schemes, WODs, strengths, lifts, weaknesses and conditioning. They have worked one-a-days, two-a-days and days that seemed like five-a-days. They rested and recovered when they were supposed to. They have dedicated their lives, their finances and their souls to this beautiful pursuit of greatness.
Our Regional performance was in and of itself a roller coaster of a weekend.
22nd. 3rd. 18th. 3rd. 1st. 4th. 16th.
There are a million permutations of ways we could have finished 3 points lower than we did — and not on the podium. But – we did. That fact alone embodies the entire spirit and theme of this year so far. Determination and perseverance in the face of the worst odds and certain failure. In more ways than one, the team mirrors the gym that it trains in.
Orion, Kyler, Jeff, Ricky, Ingrid, Karen, Jess, Alyson.
They have done everything that I have asked them to and more. I could not have asked for a better group of athletes to put the Bear on their chests and represent us at the Games. As a coach, it is my privilege to coach these athletes. I have nothing but the utmost love and respect for them, and I want to thank them for trusting me, my programming, my advice, my guidance and my process. This has by no means been a perfect year, and I am by no means a perfect coach – but in the end all that matters is that we are here, now, on the precipice of the biggest and most important CrossFit competition that there is.
We leave on a plane to California in 8 days. In 10 days, they will take to the beach in Hermosa where they will pit their physical, mental, emotional and team capacities against the best in the world. 40 teams. 240 team athletes. These are the best in the world in the year 2015. I simply have no words to convey my excitement at watching them on the field. We have high expectations for ourselves, and we are ready.
If you are in California and have a chance to say hi, please do so 🙂 If you won’t be making the trip to Cali, then watch and cheer them on from your computer – or wherever you are. This is an amazing group of human beings – and they deserve all the cheers coming their way.
If you want to keep on top of all the Jääkarhu action, you can follow them in the following ways:
The CrossFit Games live stream: games.crossfit.com
FaceBook: the CrossFit Jääkarhu FB Page or your group’s private page
Ingrid Kantola: @ingridkantola
Karen Pierce: @karenpierce
Alyson Boyd: @alysonjboyd
Jess Estrada: @estradaflys
Jeff Vanlandingham: @jeffvanham
Kyler Allison: @kyler.allison
Orion Hones: @orionhones
Ricky Redus: @ricky_redus
CrossFit Jääkarhu: @karhustrength
Michael Winchester: @coachwinchester
We look forward to representing CrossFit Jääkarhu, Austin, the state of Texas and the South Region at the Games.
Week 50: 15.07.13
A. Snatch Ladder, 2 Rounds
Men: 135. 145. 155. 165. 175. 185
Women: 85. 95. 105. 110. 115. 125
Coach’s Notes: Go through the snatch ladder once, rest 5 minutes, and then go through the ladder a second time. Take as much time as you need to complete the ladder. You should be moving as fast as possible – but “as fast as possible” to get through the ladder and complete as many bars successfully as you can. If you have to take 20 seconds – or 90 seconds – between bars, do so.
B. Back Squat: Build to a Heavy Single
Coach’s Notes: Build to a heavy single. When you hit a heavy single, pull the plug and call it a day.