One of my favorite things about photography is that it's a continuous learning experience. I wish I knew immediately if I wanted a picture to lean towards the warm or cool side, but to be honest, I never know until I play with them. I've started using the SLR Lounge V6 Presets and these have taken my photos to another level. I used to add some of these manually using Photoshop, but I prefer Lightroom because it's faster.I love this picture of Tyler, the blue tint contrasting with the gold shorts. Often I like to take a warm subject and put them in a cooler environment and vice-versa, which is exactly what happened here. Not pictured is that a couple minutes before this picture, Ty was barely jumping. I explained that these are broad jumps and he better go all out.If you want to take a look at the SLR Lounge presets, you can order them by clicking here
When I first saw this picture, I told my friend Roger that he should expect to be on the main page. If you can figure out what CrossFit is looking for, you have a good shot of being on the main page. The only tip I'll give is that they look for technically perfect photos. This is one of my favorite photos, because there's a story behind it. This was my wife's birthday weekend at Lake Southerland with two of my favorite families, the Calkins' and the Parks's. Roger has a sweet home gym (vacation home) setup and I knew this is exactly what they wanted to see.
What an amazing weekend! We had the Stoneway Resolution Revolution Throwdown over in Queen Anne with my amazing teammate Annie Olson. We went up against my wife and training partner Dave. My sister-in-law competed, as well as my great friends Pete and Jodi from Xplore CrossFit. We were all in the same heats for all three workouts and had a great time with each other. One of my favorite memories from the competition was right before we started when one of the stronger competitors (Tia Wright) said to Annie "I thought Dave was your partner, I was really nervous." So I laughed it off and went through the day trying to give each workout my best. We ended up winning the first two workouts, and finished third in the last workout of the day, bested by Dave and Whitney who finished first. Annie and I won the competition and our training partners were right next to us on the podium. We had lots of people from Xplore, Push Box, and CrossFit Loft cheering us on, which was great to experience. Later in the day CrossFit used one of my photos (link goes to post) on their facebook page, which ironically was the same Tia that had a complete disregard for my abilities.The next day we went to brunch with some non-CrossFit friends (which somehow we seem to do less and less of with our new community), so it was great to see them. We followed that up with a Super Bowl party at Terry and Rob's house. Amazing food, great friends, and 30 rabid Seahawk fans cheering our team to victory. After the game we came back to West Seattle to get a drink with Mike Kreiger before heading home.A couple days later I hit the 12th Man Parade which was like nothing I've ever experienced. There were 700,000 of the best fans in the world celebrating with our team.
For the first year after starting CrossFit, you couldn't have a 30 second conversation with me without hearing about CrossFit. All of my thoughts were consumed with how much fun I had earlier in the day during my WOD, or wondering what was to come tomorrow. Every day I improved in some capacity, and I wanted to share it with anyone interested in listening (and even those who weren't). It closely parallels falling in love and telling the world. One friend I nagged incessantly about CrossFit was JC Lopez. He eventually went into San Francisco CrossFit and enjoyed it so much he paid for one month memberships as birthday gifts for some of his closest friends to try it. He introduced his roommate (Max Conserva) who has lived with a permanent disability his whole life, and when I went down to the Bay Area for a Cal football game in 2011, Max was on my short list of people to see. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met, and even though he's confident in his ability to learn anything faster than most people, I never thought about how he would be reluctant to try sports. This is someone I had snowboarded with at least 50 times, and he was always willing to try things that I was scared of (and yes I'm a huge pussy). CrossFit stuck with Max and when he came to visit Seattle in 2012, it was the first time in 11 years of knowing him that I had ever seen him wear shorts. Fast forward to 2014 and Max is still CrossFitting. He forwarded the email he sent to his trainers which almost brought me to tears. I love this guy and I'm more proud of what it's done for him than anything I've accomplished in the gym.-----------------------------------Kelly & Juliet,Happy New Years to you both. I have been remiss up to this point for not taking the time to tell you how large of an impact you have had on my life. With a new year upon us I thought that it would be a great opportunity to do so. I am sure you get these types of emails frequently, so at the risk of boring you, i'll focus on the special facets of my particular case in the hopes of paying you an original complement.To put it as simply as I can, I came to San Francisco Crossfit as an individual with a tactically managed disability and came out the other side as, for the first time in my life, an athlete. It contributed to a complete change in perspective on how I viewed my disability as it relates to my life and most unexpectedly my interaction with others. Over the months and years that I've participated, crossfit routinely exposed my physical and mental compensations. At SFCF there was no place or time to hide from them. Never in my life had my vulnerabilities been on display to so many.Up to this point in my life I had become an adept controller of my environment. The activity i was willing to take part in was solitary and narrow. Nothing outside of my comfort zone. I took every measure to conceal my disability. I didn't wear shorts. I didn't swim. I didn't run. I didn't hike. I didn't engage in any activity that would expose my limitations to others and on a subconscious level to myself. SFCF was the catalyst to becoming aware of how confining, self defeating and exhausting this parade had been. Kelly, I credit your skill as a PT and coach for convincing my rational mind that your perspective on fitness would be beneficial for even my compromised state. Combined with the culture you both developed, for the first time I let my guard down. The results became apparent immediately.Crossfit begin to slowly chip away at what I thought I knew to be possible. Almost every movement on the programming I had never attempted in my life. Somethings came easier, pressing, gymnastic bar work, etc. Slowly things I though to be impossible begin to come as well. I went from hardly being able to air squat to box squatting close to 300 pounds. I went from not running, ever, I mean not at all, to running to the dock and back. Then twice, then 4 times in a workout. Then a mile. I begin to run on my own. After 6 months, I ran a 10k. I went from avoiding long distance walks to hiking a 16,000ft mountain.Up to this point I haven't even mentioned the specific physical knowledge which has been imparted on me. While this is obvious for anyone that is involved in crossfit, I want to make sure that you fully appreciate what it means to someone living with a life long condition. Dealing with a disability for 20 years is physical compensation writ large. I had no normal movement patterns and I had no idea. The knowledge I have acquired has influenced not only my physical activity, but how i move on a daily basis and has guided the design of my latest orthotic gear. It will be a tool that I use for the rest of my life.I could go on about how all of the technical knowledge is utilized for my specific dilemma but I don't want to dilute the main point. I didn't realize at the time and it has taken a while to come to terms with it but the sobering truth is, I came into San Francisco Crossfit ashamed of my disability and I came out proud.Your friend always,Max
November is very quickly becoming one of my favorite months. It started off strong on November 6th when my boss asked me to update a PowerPoint for him. I emailed him back asking if he needed it right away or whether I could get to in the afternoon. He responds that I need to update it right away and present it at the Patient Experience Committee meeting in two hours, which includes our CEO and a handful of administrators. Meeting went well except for this one guy who fell asleep.Then later that evening I get a text from my buddy Ryan Calkins thanking me for one of my photos that made it on the CrossFit.com main page (link goes directly to the photo). I felt like this was a huge accomplishment to be selected from the thousands of photos that are submitted on a daily basis.I also decided to take Friday, November 8th off because I'm planning on turning all of my three day holiday weekends (Veteran's Day) into four day weekends from now on. Not only do four day weekends feel exponentially longer than three day weekends, the four day work weeks on both sides of the weekend feel much shorter.Then on Tuesday, November 12th a picture of my wife was selected to the CrossFit.com main page (link goes directly to the photo), giving me another notch in my proverbial photography belt. I don't know any other local photographers who have had even a single photo selected for the main site, let alone two. This is actually one of my favorite photos that I've taken and edited.Fast forward to a three day work week during with Thanksgiving and this might be my favorite month of all time. Since it was our first holiday in the new house we decided to host. We broke up the cooking and did the turkey, mashed potatoes, and appetizers. My mother-in-law brought the apple pies, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and some crab dip. Grandma Toni brought pumpkin pies, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, and ambrosia fruit salad. We finally got to use the Kate Spade china we got for our wedding gifts. Side note : I would not recommend anyone having china on their wedding registry as you only use it maybe once a year. I would much rather have something that we use on a daily basis.The month ended on a high note as my wife and I sat around and watched football most of the day. We saw the best Ohio State vs Michigan game we've ever seen, and then one of the best endings to a football game of all time in the Iron Bowl. My wife booked tickets to Teatro ZinZanni, which is part circus, part dinner theater. The contortionist was my favorite part, but I also loved my wife in her cute new hat. I'm thankful that she thinks of things like this for me to experience.
Kind of a strange morning for me. If you don't know my wife, she's not a morning person, but she was planning on going to the gym with me in the morning anyway. Getting her out of bed in the morning is very similar to trying to give a house cat a bath with a garden hose.With a couple minutes before it's time to leave she decides she's staying home, then flips again and decides to go. I typically ride my bike to the gym, but we drove and threw my bike in the back of the car. Workout was good, got a new front squat 5RM PR and did a killer workout (100 TTB for time with a 50 Double Under penalty every time you dropped).I was feeling good, and even caught a bus at the last second before it left West Seattle. Something was strange when I got on the bus though, traffic to the bridge was backed up about 12 blocks, which was more than I've ever seen. We get on the West Seattle Bridge and all lanes are bumper to bumper except the bus lane. Apparently a car was flipped on Highway 99 and the bus driver didn't even take the route. Instead he takes the next exit and gets off in SODO and starts driving towards downtown. I've been on the bus for 20 minutes at this point and Whitney texts me asking where I left the car key. I look in my pocket and notice I accidentally took it with me. I get another text from her saying that she left her house keys in the car, so getting a ride home wasn't an option. My wife is a fiery Leo and like her father, lacks patience in difficult situations. She even texted saying that she was ready to break the car window......So I get off downtown, ride my bike back to the bus stop and head back to West Seattle to drop off the car key. The first thing I said to her was "I'm glad you kept your composure, because I almost lost it". We are a perfect balance.