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PLEASE READ! Two Poll Questions, a Seminar, Consults…and an Alarmingly Low Level of Complaining

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Happy Friday!! A few things…

1) Closing out the first week of the No Complaint Challenge. Couple thoughts:

This is hard. I definitely expected it to be difficult, but this has been eye-opening already. Certain environments and people have already emerged as more-likely sources of complaining. I have heard the same from many of you.

We swear. A lot. This seems to be one of the toughest parts of abiding by this challenge. I have sworn significantly less over the past 5 days, but still let a couple slip on Wednesday (back to zero). I’m practicing a pause before speaking and reacting.

This is effective. I know that I have found myself in a different head space. Not as reactive. More thoughtful. I have heard stories from some of you that this has already had a huge impact on some of your family and work interactions…awesome.

Gratitude is still the key. By practicing sincere and deliberate gratitude every day, this challenge becomes much easier. Our February challenge will explore this.

Accountability. You will notice a spot on the white board at the gym where you can post your progress on how many days you are at. I encourage you to put your name up, as it adds another layer of accountability to this challenge.
Keep it rolling on this! Great work, everyone…
2) Rowing Clinic

We are exploring hosting a rowing clinic here at CFK. It will be a 30-45 minute class with a certified Concept 2 Indoor Rowing instructor who work in Hanover. This will be time very well spent, as we can all benefit from improving our form and efficiency on the rower. We want to gauge your interest. Details:

Saturday 30-45 minutes
9 person maximum per class
$20 class fee

If you are interested, please email me and let me know. If there is enough interest we’ll do more than one of these.
3) Mobility Clinic

The next mobility clinic with Coach Eric will be on Saturday, February 18th. Like last time, we will be holding this clinic in-place of both Saturday AM classes. Eric will be focusing on hips, knees and ankles during this session. Like the last session, this is not to be missed!

4) Curbside Consults with Eric

Speaking of the good Doctor, we will be setting up the ability to have 1-1 consults with him. I think we can all agree that it has been phenomenal having him here at the gym, and he has proven to be an excellent resource. I ALSO want to respect his time while he is at the gym…as it is very easy to pull him aside for questions about this pain or that (I’ve done it myself). A few people do that in the same day, and all of his time at the gym is taken up…not fair to him. So here’s what we’ll do:

*Eric will be offering curbside consults to all CFK members
*30 minute session
*Saturdays from 8:30-10:30
*Book directly with Eric via email, stating your issue and the goal of the session
*$20 per session

Some of you are doing personal training sessions with Eric, which have been awesome. Those are geared toward long term mobility and addressing big mobility limitations (3,5,10+ sessions, 60 minutes in length). Curbside consults can be used for addressing specific pain, quick questions, stretching suggestions, etc.

Interested? Contact Eric at
5) Additional OLY Class

As mentioned in the latest State of the Union, many of you are asking for an additional OLY class with Coach Mikey. We are working on a time…right now we are targeting Mondays at 4:00PM.

If you would attend an OLY class at this time slot, please respond to this email and let me know. If we have enough interest we will do this. Right now, weekends are not an option but we’ll work on that for future classes.

All for now,

“Slick’em & Quick’em” and OLY – Thursday – 1/19

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2 Rounds

750m Row
600m Run
75 Double Unders

Rest 1 Minute

500m Row
400m Run
50 Double Unders

Rest 2 Minutes

Running Subs
40 Burpees / 30 Burpees


OLY Class **6:00PM Only**

Remember if you arrive early start on the warm-up and
Get right into front rack stretch
Warm up
1 rnd
10 strict press
10 push press
10 push jerk
10 split jerk
4 min open up shoulders stretches
2 rnds
with bar
10 squat
10 jump squat
10 sotts press
2 minute total squatting quad stretch with weight

Clean and jerk
Clean Wave EMOM
Concentrate on bar path
65%x1 65%x1 65%x1
70%x1 75%x1 75%x1
75%x1 80%x1 80%x1
80%x1 85%x1 90%x1

Hook grip clean pull
Concentrate on bar path bar stops at mid chest below pecs
5×4 @ 110% of 1RM clean

10 min amrap
@ 75% of 1 RM jerk
5 power cleans
5 back squats
5 back jerks

CFK No Complaint Challenge – Final Thoughts

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Alright kids…we’re about to pull the trigger on this No Complaint Challenge. I’ve been getting my head around what I’m looking to get out of it for myself, and wanted to share one more piece that could be helpful to you as you do the same. It’s a solid 2015 Fast Company piece that looks at the concept of a No Complaint Challenge, the pros and cons, and a few ideas on how to approach it.

Here’s the link:

If you don’t have time to read it, here’s the gist and some additional thoughts:

One of the people interviewed was asked why she was doing it, and she said she “wanted to be more self aware and mindful of what she was putting out there”.


Self-awareness is a SKILL that we can all stand to sharpen. Paying attention to the manner in which you move throughout your day, and the impact your words and vibe have on others, is a powerful exercise. We all get so wrapped up in our own interests that we can forget to spend any time here.

For me, that’s a big part of this challenge. But an even BIGGER motive is selfish. What about the idea of “creating a more positive life by eliminating negative statements”? Or literally changing the composition of my brain for the better?


This will not be perfect, nor is it a panacea for your problems. It’s self-directed, self-policed, and there is no prize. But I guarantee that if you see it through, you will see real and positive changes. That’s the hope I have for my experience.

And if you are not participating? Good – that is ALSO a self-aware move. This isn’t for everyone, and you should be 100% committed to this. This won’t be easy, so no need to waste your time if you’re not into it. February’s challenge might be of more interest (and no worries…both challenges intertwine so for those doing this one, you can 100% do both with low maintenance).

A few other things that stood out from this article for me:

* Discussion on WHY we complain – “Nothing unites people more strongly than a common dislike”
* Evolution has primed us for complaining – The more we look at something that can hurt/kill us, the more we are programmed to guard against it. Hence our inclination to complain
* Second hand smoke – When we complain OR hear OTHERS complain, our brains release stress hormones that can harm neural connections
An interesting question in the article: is this kind of challenge set up to fail? Things we do habitually are hard to give up…so will this be impossible to do?

Nope. It just depends on the expectations going in. Here are four tips to make it through:

1) Define what a complaint is

We have set the parameters (see previous post). To elaborate…an observation is not a complaint. “It’s cold outside” isn’t a complaint. “It’s always cold here, I hate living in this place” IS a complaint. Similar to when Supreme Court Justice Stewart opined about hardcore pornography in a 1964 hearing, stating “I can’t define it…but I know it when I see it”, you most likely know when you’re complaining. For the purposes of this challenge, use the parameters for what a complaint is, and use your common sense. You know the spirit of this exercise. Be honest with yourself, and don’t cut corners. If you complain, call yourself on it and start from day zero.

2) Separate yourself from chronic complainers

If nothing else, this exercise will probably highlight the complaining that those around you participate in. Do you have repeat offenders? And how are you responding? It’s difficult to not chime in for that “shared” negativity. See how you do with it…and if there are a few frequent fliers…perhaps some distance between you would be good.

3) Turn complaints into solutions

For me, this is the punchline for the whole challenge. We all find ourselves in situations that annoy us. The question is, what will we DO in that moment? Stew in the problem? Or do something about it. And if nothing can be done? Adjust your frame of reference to something either neutral or positive

4) Change “have to” to “get to”

The word “gratitude” is all you need to know here. Practicing gratitude truly eliminates complaining. “I have to pick the kids up” turns into “I GET to pick the kids up”. “I have to do 150 wall balls today” turns into “I GET to do wall balls, and am incredibly lucky to be physically able to even do so”.

Too corny? Again…that’s fine too. But practicing different levels of gratitude can truly be incredibly effective…and it works.
There you have it. I hope this challenge proves to be time and energy well-spent for each of you.

Good luck!