Archive for April, 2014


My best in the CrossFit Open competition was not good enough. The WOD’s this year just did not support my strengths and skills. Along with great coaching, and the support of my box I was able to get on the board and put in my best effort less than three months after finishing treatment for brain cancer.

WOD 14.1
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 double-unders
55-lb. power snatches, 15 reps
-started with double unders, something I gave up working on long ago. I may be fast at single jump rope but stink at double unders. My score was 7 for the WOD.

Almost to the top

Almost to the top

WOD 14.2
From 0:00-3:00
2 rounds of:
10 overhead squats at 65#
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
From 3:00-6:00
2 rounds of:
12 overhead squats
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups
From 6:00-9:00
2 rounds of:
14 overhead squats
14 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds

-can’t do pull-up so got score of 10 for the overhead squats at 65 pounds, which was challenging enough


Box Jumps

WOD 14.3
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
95-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
135-lb. deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
155-lb. deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
185-lb. deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
205-lb. deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
225-lb. deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
-I was able to get 97 reps. My best WOD of the open and the best WOD for my middle distance athletic type. I made a major mistake. I did not think I would get to 185 so I had to run to the racks to get the weights than load them. Probably would have gotten a few more reps if I had not made the mistake.

WOD 14.4
Complete as many rounds and repetitions as possible in 14 minutes of:
60-calorie row
50 toes-to-bars
40 wall-ball shots, 14 lb. to 9-foot target
30 cleans, 95 lb.
20 muscle-ups
-Rowing is one of my best sports and I was unsure about getting any toes-to-bar going into the WOD. Took it easy because of the weightlifting meet the next day but got 73, including 13 toes to bar.
WOD 14.5
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
65-lb. thrusters

– My box had a 20 minute cap but I still wanted to do the whole workout. When it took me about 15 minutes to get though a few rounds a dropped my rx’d weight and followed the 20 minute cap. The workout was doable but it would have taken me 45 minutes with all the rest I needed. Burpees are not my thing and jumping over a barbell with weights makes it more challenging. Took me several days to recover from this workout (well the 1.25 hour strength indoor bike workout the next day did not help my recovery either). DNF

I hope my best is better next year. I know it will because I belong to a great CrossFit community in Rochester, MN at CrossFit Progression.



March 22, 2014 represents the anniversary of learning that I had a possible brain tumor. After I nearly blacked out while driving home after work, I went to the ER and waited 2 hours just to get in. I told them what happened. They did several tests including a head CT. When I asked about my CT results the staff replied, “Well there is a spot on your CT scan, we do not know what it is but we will have neurology see you.” The neurologist came in did  thorough neuro-testing. He stated that the CT results like what I had represent 90% of the time meningioma, a benign brain tumor. I was discharged from the ER with a follow-up appointment in a week.
The next part of the story, which is written in previous posts, should have never happened at Mayo Clinic. Very few brain tumor survivors and caregivers that I have talked to had to wait over two months from when they found the tumor to the actual  biopsy let alone after a seizure wait over a month to get on medication. I guess looking back if I known the seriousness of the issue I would have been more proactive but I believed what the ER doctor also believed that the tumor was meningioma. In reality the tumor is an evolving astrocytoma meaning it starts as a lower grade and progresses to a higher grade (more malignant) over time.

Rochester Barbell Club members at MN LWC

Rochester Barbell Club members at MN LWC

Fast forward one year to March 22, 2014. On the same day one year later I competed in my second Olympic weightlifting competition, the Minnesota LWC Championship. Although not much of the US knows about the sport and the number of competitors at the meet was small with well less than 70 competitors, the sport is growing and becoming more popular in the US thanks in part to CrossFit. It is my new found sport and although I am not that strong relative to the competition it forces me to keep getting stronger. Weightlifting is as much of a mental sport as much as physical sport. Although you may have support from your team, coach, and the spectators, in reality it is just you, the barbell, and the referees. I repeat it is just you, the barbell, and the referees. So when a bad lift was called on my snatch on what I thought was good I became upset. I told my coach that I did not want to continue with the competition because my lifts were going to be called bad-no lift. Well, I continued with the competition with good lifts on my clean and jerk and totaled. After my competition was over, I stayed for the rest of the competition which included the rest of my club, my coach and an 8 year old boy and cheered them on to PR’s. One year later I am a weightlifter now and forever.