I’m on my way to 10 pull-ups, and beyond

“We worry when opportunity approaches a little too closely…. This is no way to go through life.”

— Deepak Chopra, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire

I got called out by my second period class today, the first day back from winter break. “How’s the progress on reaching 10 pull-ups, Mr. O?” a smirking student asked.

On the first day back. After 16 days away from these young minds with the unforgiving memories.

And my answer was pretty quiet.

“What?” the student asked.

“I’m still at six.” I stated a little louder. And with a little more embarrassment. Chuckles from the class.

That did it. When I got home, I made the call to CrossFit Marysville. These guys know what they are doing. That’s what my niece, Katie McKinnie, told me.

Surely, they can get me to 10 pull-ups.

So, I’m going to CFM’s On Ramp class on Tuesday at 6 p.m. I was able to negotiate a sweetheart of a deal with CFM by offering to document my two-month experiment with these experts. After all, realistically, if Noah Pester and Ryan Swobody can’t get me to 10 pull-ups in two months, then it’s more of a mental or emotional issue than a physiological one. These guys are the more than experts; these guys have competed on the big stage — the CrossFit Games on ESPN this past summer. They probably do 10 pull-ups as easily as Marshawn Lynch runs over defensive backs.

Truth be told, I decided that this two-month experiment at CrossFit Marysville could also serve a greater purpose than simply getting me to 10 pull-ups, something that requires some serious kind of training.

That long-range plan is to do an extreme obstacle course race with some of my running buddies from Club Northwest who are part of the pro team for Atlas Race Series.

You can see where this is going. I figure that if I can get strong enough to do 10 pull-ups in between periods at school, then maybe, just maybe, I can finish one of those obstacle race courses.

Atlas Race Series markets itself as “the ultimate test of one’s ability.” We’ll see what Ryan and Noah can do for me, your average middle-aged Joe, as I prepare for this “ultimate test.”

My niece swears that these guys at CrossFit Marysville can get me ready. She’s been going there since this past May. In the last seven months, Katie, 26, has become kind of CrossFit’s version of “Beast Mode.” If you’re getting up and in the gym four mornings a week at 5:30 a.m., you’re someone who will stop at nothing — just like Marshawn Lynch. But when you have a community support group like Katie has, you don’t want to miss a session.

I want that. I want people pushing me, encouraging me, and supporting me. I want people cheering me on as I struggle through whatever exercises Noah and Ryan have planned for us.

We are social beings. But lazy ones, too, if not pushed, encouraged, and supported. This is not going to be easy. But, of course, it’s just what I need.

I am committing to two months of intense training at CFM so I can complete an Atlas Obstacle Course Race. And so I can get to 10 pull-ups.

It’s perfect for me because both CrossFit Marysville and the Atlas Race are out of my comfort zone; this is forcing me to train in ways I never have trained before. But I know I can do this! Especially if I have guys like Noah Pester and Ryan Swobody and their 12th Man community at CFM are there to support and motivate me.

Deepak Chopra said it best: “Most of us go through life a little afraid, a little nervous, a little excited. We are like children playing hide and seek, wanting to be found, yet hoping we won’t be, biting our nails with anticipation. We worry when opportunity approaches a little too closely, and hide deeper in the shadows when fear overcomes us. This is no way to go through life.”

I don’t want to go through life fearful.

I’m walking into that CrossFit Marysville gym on Tuesday evening a little nervous, but very determined. Just like my niece, Katie McKinnie, did the first time she joined and started down a path that has changed her life. Just like Marshawn Lynch and Seahawks will when they rush out of the tunnel next Saturday against New Orleans.

It’s time for Beast Mode!

Want to join?

If you are interested in joining me at CrossFit Marysville for the On-Ramp class, it’s not too late. The class starts Tuesday, January 7th at 6 p.m. You can sign up online. It would be great to have others out there. Don’t hide deeper in the shadows and have fear overcome you; the 12th Man will be there to support you.

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