Overcome: The Confrontation of Self

on Monday, 12 December 2011. Posted in overcome resistance

Someone wise once said that the true measure of a person's character is not who they are when things are good, easy or comfortable. Instead, the true measure of their character is who they are when they're being tested… when they're barely hanging on… when they're at their limit.

The type of training we take on and the atmosphere we train in often have a way of pushing us to our physical and mental limits.  There at the end of all we've YET been capable of is a mirror that's being held directly in front of us… a mirror that reflects those parts of ourselves that we do everything to hide, ignore & turn away from. There at the brink, we're confronted with our true selves. Who do you see there? Is it a person who will cheat yourself and others in order to win… cheat yourself and others so you don't come in last? Is it a person who can't genuinely be happy for anyone else's successes, especially if those successes are more than your own? Is it someone who quits or only gives half-hearted attempts? Is it someone who never fully commits so that you always have an excuse for why you're not where you could be? Is it a person who will try to derail someone else's attempt to rise out of their circumstance so they don't make you feel guilty about your own circumstance? Is it someone who always blames someone or something else for why you are where you are?

Who do you see there? Will you keep turning away or can you stand to face and then move beyond it?

Overcome: The Lure of Tomorrow

on Tuesday, 13 September 2011. Posted in inspiration, overcome resistance

I'll do it later.
I'll do it tomorrow.
I'll do it when I'm motivated.
I'll start next week.
I'll start on the first of the month.
I'll start at the first of the year.

What is it that gives us so much confidence in our future-self's ability to do the thing that we can't seem to get ourself to do right now? Is our future-self more motivated? More productive? More commited? Does tomorrow hold some power that today does not?

What happens when we arrive at that future date only to find that we're the same person we are right now... the same person who'd rather do it tomorrow?

If something is worthwhile, then why leave yourself an out like "later…" "tomorrow…" "when I'm motivated…" - what does motivation have to do with worthwhile things? Either it's worth it or it's not, and if it is, why not set fire to all of the things keeping you from doing it now?

What Did Misty Do?

on Wednesday, 31 August 2011. Posted in news

Early on in Jogo's existence a woman named Misty Nikula found her way to us. From day one she came in and started putting up top scores on the board during 6am class. Throughout the day, the other classes would arrive and make their way over to the board and at first the question was, "who is this Misty person?!?" But as the legend of Misty grew folks walked in the door for their workout and the first words from their mouths were, "what's the workout today?" - immediately followed by - "what did Misty do?" Over the years she's continued to set the bar high for her 6am crew and the other classes to follow.

Earlier this month, one of the largest CrossFit competitions in Washington State was held at Magnuson Park in Seattle. Misty has had her sights set on it since Regionals in June. After a month away on summer vacation, she came back and worked her butt off in class and with her personal coach, Jonathan, to get ready... and boy was she ever ready.

At 42-years-old, she chose to compete in the Master's division and came away with a stellar 3rd place overall finish.

Here's the full rundown of her efforts during the competition:

Event #1: Sandbag RunFinished: 4th w/ a time of 15:54

Event #2: One Rep Max Clean & JerkFinished: 5th w/ a weight of 125#
Side-Note: She also completed a body-weight clean at 135# which was a PR for her

Event #3: Box Jumps & Double-UndersFinished: 2nd w/ a score of 4-rounds

Event #4: Clean Thruster, Toes to Bar, Hand Release Push-Ups, KB SwingsFinished: 3rd w/ a time of 8:51

Congrats Misty & Coach Jonathan on an awesome day!

2,368 Miles

on Wednesday, 29 June 2011. Posted in inspiration

"On to Bellingham..."

I just spent the last week with my family in Indiana. Evansville, my hometown, is exactly 2,368 miles from Bellingham. Flying gets me there in a little over 8-hours. The distance always feels infinite the night before I leave to fly back here.


Seven of the people I love most in the world are there. There's my 62-year-old type-A dad, with mannerisms that are strangely similar to mine and who can take 30-second stories and stretch them out for a good 10-minutes, all the while possessing some storyteller's charm that keeps you engaged. There's my 50-something (you're welcome mom) artsy, free-spirited mom, with her blonde hair and 5-feet 2-inches, who, to my horror, often shows people her stretch marks to prove to them that this 5'11" brown headed daughter of hers is, in fact, not adopted. The woman that has been my second-mom and constant source of comedy for most of my life is there. There's my big sister, who, when I was little, yanked more of my teeth out than I can count, most of which weren't ready to be pulled, and who has shared more of the bittersweetness of life with me than anyone. There's her sweet babies who had "Auntie Bup" at hello. There's my 18-year-old baby brother, who my family refers to as my "mini-me" and who has owned my heart since I was 14-years-old and held him in the delivery room for the first time.

They are seven human beings who make 2,368 miles seem impossibly far, but who also make it possible for me to thrive out here by supporting the fact that I'm doing what I love and by believing in my dream with me. The dream being to open a little gym, nestled amongst the mountains and water in the small "subdued" town of Bellingham... a gym that would fill people with the spirit of play and adventure and community... a gym where I could live out my life's purpose of helping people see their magic.

So here I am, 2,368 miles away, living out my dream, all the while missing my family, but what a motivation that distance is in making me want my moments out here to matter all the more.

A friend once wrote to me, "life is short... and it's long..." It has stuck with me ever since. I'm never more reminded of the brevity and breadth of life than when I'm home with my family. My dad's salt-and-pepper hair, my little brother's facial stubble, my niece's new words, all whisper... "life is but a moment love, live free..." -- while the pictures that line the walls of my family's house, that tell our story, add, "it's also so very long, live true."

So there it is Jogo, life is short and it's long. Live it out!


on Wednesday, 24 November 2010. Posted in news

jogo ohio street
3-days Before Our Grand Opening - November 9th, 2007
A little more than three-years-ago I remember standing in our old space on Ohio Street, the night before we opened, taking everything in. The walls were painted. The rubber floor was finished. The equipment was all setup... the gym was ready... and I remember being just totally overwhelmed with gratitude.

Gratitude, to me, is when you look at some beautiful thing in your life and recognize it's beyond your doing. This is the feeling I have every day about Jogo... infinite thanks and humility to get to be a part of something that's so much bigger than me.

There were so many hopes for Jogo before it came to be...

As a gym, I wanted it to be a place that challenged people... where they'd leave a little better, a little stronger, a little fitter, a little more confident of what they were capable of every single day. I wanted it to be a place of elite fitness... where the programming, instruction and experience the members received would be second to none.

As a community, I wanted Jogo to be a place where people would come and have life breathed into them... where they would know they mattered and belonged, no matter their story... where they'd find a home away from home.

As a business, I wanted our success to be built solely on the success of our community. I wanted their results and their stories to be what inspired others to join us. If we grew, I'd know it wasn't because of advertising or marketing, but because we were serving our members well and they were sharing the love.
jogo birthday book
Looking Back - Jogo's 3rd Birthday Party - November 22, 2010
And so here we are, living it out, and it's beyond anything I ever could've wanted or imagined for it. Somewhere along the way, it took on a life of it's own... a life added to by each one of you. I'm so grateful for the part each of you has played in making Jogo what it is... for how good you are to one another... for how much you rise to the challenges we throw at you and inspire those around you to rise. I'm grateful for the way all of you have made Jogo a home... to a point that you leave your shoes, clothes, jewelry, Christmas trees, coat racks, fans, water-bottles, notepads, jumpropes, bikes, orthotics, protein powder, headbands, socks, towels and so many other things behind, knowing they'll be well kept... meanwhile taking so so soooo many of our pens with you, knowing we'll just keep buying more ;)

I believe one of the greatest miracles in life is finding something that lights you up inside. Well thank you little gym, from the bottom of my heart, for lighting me up... for making me excited to wake-up and go to "work" every morning... for giving me a purpose where I get to love and serve each of you every day and help show you your potential... a purpose that challenges me to bring more and better to the table everyday... that inspires me to lead from the front. Thank you for joining in the journey.

Thank you to my brothers... Brad, Art, Justin, Jonathan and sweet Shain.
I couldn't ask for better men to stand beside. I often get so much of the credit because I have the "owner" title next to my name - but I hope each of you know how much of the success of the gym is because of your hearts, passion and stellar good looks. You're exceptional. Thank you.

So to you, little gym, I hold up my post-Whole 30-challenge glass of wine and toast you and say CHEERS and Happy Thanksgiving!