Now that XCF Capitol Hill is open I am trying to get back into my normal groove again. This is true inside and outside of the gym. I think during the last two weeks of Construction I didn’t see Sam awake except on weekends. Charlie is crepuscular so I saw her plenty even though I would leave the house at 5am and come home at 9pm or later. I dropped down to teaching only 3 classes a week, and during the whole month of December there were probably more UFO sightings than sightings of me actually getting any of my own training in. I decided to get out of Seattle with the family this weekend. I thought a good way to relax would be to put the C monkey, Samurai, and the Kid in the car for 5 hours and go to Portland. I know what you are thinking. You can drive to Portland and back in a little over 5 hours. Well it was a really crappy drive down here. Anyhow, we are staying at the RiverPlace. WIN. Eating like it was our job. Screen Door chicken and waffles anyone? WIN. And meeting up with some friends. Oh and buying trashcans. That’s right folks. You didn’t know this but Ankens Hardware on Stark is the corrugated galvanized steel trash can capitol of the world. I love a good corrugated galvanized steel trashcan and they have every size imaginable. ALL OF THEM! Whatever size you are thinking of right now that they probably don’t have, you are wrong. They have it. Since the rest of this story takes place in the trash can store don’t get distracted by the selection thing you’ll just have to trust me and let’s move on.
I had only been to this store once before and it was in May of 2013. I came to Portland to buy Awesome Cycles for year one Beast Fest. I wanted a specific model so I watched Craigslist and bought every one that came up. I bought all of the ones in Washington and expanded my search to Oregon. I had one dropped off at Bryan Cohen’s Portland office, I had FoJo go pick one up for me, then I drove down in Jodi’s Lesbaroo and rounded up 5 more. You better believe I got 7 Airdynes into a Subaroo Outback. I still get emotional thinking about how much ass was kicked that day. Anyhow, I was walking down the street when I first saw it. A beautiful 4-gallon corrugated galvanized steel trash can. It was glorious. I had to have it. I went in and peed a little when I saw the rest of the summer collection. I had a ton of cash on me for donuts and Airdynes but I didn’t want to blow it all on trash cans since it wasn’t what I came down for but something stirred inside me. Spoiler alert. This story really isn’t about corrugated galvanized steel trashcans, it is about what happened whilst shopping for corrugated galvanized steel trashcans. So I bought 5 of them and during the checkout and I am chatting with the dude, whose name is Ben, and he is asking me what the trash cans are for. I tell him about this incredible gym that I have the privilege of working at, where the intersection of form and functional is nearly palpable when you walk in the door, and you get a sense that design is almost as important as performance and results, and where the people are so friendly, and the trainers are so talented, and then he tells me to stop talking because a line is forming but he had a question. I get this question all of the time. And it goes like this:
Ben: “so let’s say,,,, (and I put multiple commas in because here there is a long pause as they search for the right words) I wanted to lose some weight.
JHo: How much weight?
Ben: Let’s say,,,, 10-15 pounds?
Ben: So,,,,you are a trainer, what should I do?
JHo: Eat less. Move more.
Ben: I eat pretty well.
JHo: I’m betting you don’t
Ben: How do you know how well I eat?
JHo: I don’t know for sure but I have run a few tests and the data says you don’t eat that well.
Ben: What tests?
JHo: Highly classified – years of experience
Ben: Fair point, but what if my metabolism is…
JHo: (interjection) Before we get to metabolism being slow or your family history of bla bla whatever. Tell me what you had for breakfast.
Ben: I had a bowl of cereal, a banana, and a cup of coffee with splenda.
JHo: 3 minutes of silent staring into Ben’s face.
The line is down the aisle at this point and if you ever go to this hardware you would know this is not a convenient store to have a line form in.
JHo: so my original assessment is correct. You don’t eat well.
Ben: So what should I eat?
This is the lame part about this story most of the time. I will tell the person what to do. What to eat, how to train, maybe even where specifically to go to do the training. I have written meal plans on coasters for waiters, I have written training programs for flight attendants on torn out pages from in flight magazines, and even on the paper lap cover they give you at the drive through at In-N-Out Burger. People almost never follow through. I won’t stop though. I believe in the change people are capable of and I want to keep unlocking that door and hoping they walk through it.
I had a lot of driving left to do so I kept it simple. He had access to an exercise bike and he said he was up for anything and wanted to see some quick results to get motivated.
Atkins diet Phase 1. So much good stuff happening there. I know Atkins gets a lot of shit but that is because, like my man CI has always said and my girl Taylor now says, “haters gonna hate hate hate hate.” Leptin, insulin, ketones, read up. I told him to stay in phase 1 until he lost at least 20 pounds.
For exercise it was a 3-day training plan, all on the bike. Day 1, lactate training, also, think 1 min AC repeats. GROSS! Day 2 was aerobic intervals, 3-5 min sets at medium intensity. Day 3 was long slow distance. Get on the bike for an hour and watch TV or chat with mom. Every other day and repeat until shredded.
Ben: I can do that.
JHo: I know you can. Will you?
Ben: I will do that.
JHo: We shall see.
Fast forward to today. I walk in and the corrugated galvanized steel trashcan selection is as magical as ever. XCF is two strong now and our corrugated galvanized steel trashcan demands have increased significantly. Not only for Cap Hill but also to replace the ones that Doreen destroyed downtown. Yup, Doreen Ali. Now you guys know why the current ones look like that. I go to check out and I get Ben again. I had forgotten all about him and he had mostly forgotten about me as it was almost two years ago. He asked me why I needed so many corrugated galvanized steel trash cans and I said I own a couple of CrossFit gyms (I love saying that by the way) and he asks me if I am from Seattle and then reminds me of the last time I was there and what he asked me. Well it turns out he did it. Exactly as I had written and proceeded to lose 25#. AMAZEBALLS! It was so awesome to go back in there and hear that story. Two things were huge for me. The first being the feeling you get when someone gets to that place they wanted to go and getting to celebrate with them. That is one of the best things about this job. The second thing is about listening to and leaning into the nudges we get. We all get them. That thing inside you that says go talk to that guy, or help that girl, or ask that particular question. We ignore it all of the time. We push it down because we don’t know them well enough or we don’t have time to stop and make eye contact and then wait for an answer to “how are things going?”. I love the nudge. I lean into the nudge all of the time. It doesn’t always end in hugs and high fives. Sometimes people aren’t ready for it. Doesn’t mean it is untrue or unkind. They just need more time. Maybe that nudge hangs around them until they are ready and you just don’t get to share the impact. Maybe your delivery sucks. I’ve had a lot of those. It’s ok. Keep doing it. There are enough people ignoring us. One more person leaning into us even if they suck at it isn’t going to kill us and maybe if we listen well enough the next breakthrough is just around the corner.