600M Shoulder Shredder at Pantheon

GREAT morning!! Take advantage of the May chill. A month from now we will be far from it.

No FNGs, disclaimer was said and off we went.

Ran around the short loop of the parking lot to warm up and to the non-residential side of the school for the COP:

20 or so of each:
* Windmills
* Imperial Walker
* Hillbilly Walker
* A little Broga

Then we went back to the front of the school where YHC had set up the main event.
What did these two numbers mean to me? That’s what I asked on Twitter the day before.
The large oval-ish drive that starts at the student drop-off area at the front of the school and proceed all the way around the field out front and back is about 600m long. Then I had set up 6 work stations of cones w labels that detailed an exercise to do, then a means to transition to the next cone. That’s 100 meters roughly from station to station.  First station is right by the school near the baseball field, then proceed clockwise all the way around.

Stations are as follows:
Station / Exercise / Transition to Next
1 / 25 Merkins / Burpee broad jump
2 / 25 4ct Flutter / Lt Dan
3 / 25 Reverse Crunch / Bear Crawl
4 / 25 Merkins / Run
5 / 25 4 ct Flutter / Bear Crawl
6  / 25 Reverse Crunch / Lt Dan

A lot of bear crawls and Lt Dans!!  We finished with almost 10 minutes left. Next time I’ll up the exercise count from 25 to 50. I did not want to start another loop so we went to the posts along the student drop off for  2 rounds of BTTW-to-burpee, and people’s chairs – to – burpee. Then a short jog around the lot to COT.

Everyone did great. Shoulders are kinda smoked. Great discussions during the WOD. See below.

Announcements / P&P:
* Read your newsletter, get involved!
* Remembrance workout in honor of Badger at Golden Corral coming up
* Cannoli run/ruck on 5/18
* Convergence 5/24
* F3 Dads/kids at the Deep on 5/25
* Prayers for Bear’s mother in law as she fights cancer
* Prayers for Router’s M
* Prayers  for injured PAX, marriages

Mental Health Awareness Month – My Story

May is Mental Health Awareness month, with the purpose of bringing mental health in all aspects out in the open, drive support, find cures/treatments, and open minds. During the first half of the workout, when I had breath, I started sharing with the PAX something that has recently and directly affected me and my immediate family I am responsible for here in Fort Mill. I have a sister who, for 30 years, has fought depression and still is. I have friends who live with it as well. I have a friend who is bipolar. Mental health issues have been in my life for some time, I am no stranger to them.

But this new development hits even closer to home now. My older son, who is now 10, has been diagnosed with ADHD since 1st grade. We got him the help and meds he needs and all was well.  But over the past year we noted some changes in him. Not just pre-puberty or a 10yr old boy being a 10yr old boy, but some of the previous diagnoses were being amplified, as well as some new concerns. To most people he is a normal boy but in certain situations our concerns became evident. He’s an incredibly intelligent boy but his grades were way off, and some behaviors were concerning. After several months of doctor visits, questionnaires, testing, and so forth we found that he is now on the Autism spectrum, diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. We were really not too surprised, and by no means disappointed or mad or what not. It’s NOT about us as parents, that our child is ‘defective’ or ‘broken’ or ‘abnormal’ as some parents would possibly feel when they hear the diagnosis.  To most others who first meet him he seems like a normal boy – active, chatty, but a little socially awkward (just like his dad). Because he is. He just processes info, reacts to input, and shows emotion a little differently than others. What the diagnosis meant is that he will get the help he needs when he transitions to middle school next year. He won’t be in special ed classes, he won’t be set aside from the others or what not as most parents fear about. He will be in a normal class but will have his own ‘personal assistant’ of sorts. All of this came from months of effort by many, including us.

But my main point is not my personal plight or that of my son. It’s that it took so long to get to where we are now, with answers and a plan to get him on a path for better success in life however it is defined. In the US there are over 1.1 MILLION physicians and growing. They are everywhere. They fill up their own phone book (millennials may have to google what a phone book is). But there are only roughly  28,000 psychiatrists and 106,000 psychologists in the US. And that number is declining as the number of registered psychiatrists that are retiring is more than new ones to replace them. That’s almost 9:1 ratio, which is unacceptable, and to me is VERY indicative of our view, culturally, towards mental health. What that also means, and what we experienced first hand, is when you have a need for mental health diagnosis, treatment, and support – it is not easy to find. It is not as readily available as the minute clinics inside every CVS and Target, not as readily available as the Ortho treatment centers or family care centers that are everywhere. Seeking help is a long, arduous process that you have to push, drive. If you break an arm, in most suburban environments help is less than 10 minutes away on average. But if you are suffering depression or show signs of mental trauma, your options are few and they are often over-booked. Why is that? Why isn’t anyone concerned as they should be?

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Period. Unfortunately many do not see it that way. It is still in the shadows in this country in my opinion. It’s getting better, but still has a long way to go. When the average person hears ‘mental health (issues)’ they think looney bin, straight jackets, problem people/children, crazy people, warped minds, and just general problems they do not want to understand, deal with, or be exposed to in their warm, comfy cocoon of a life they’ve made. Because hey, it does not affect them right? Mental health issues are more prevalent that one may think, but they still have a stigma associated with them. Birds of a feather flock together is the old saying. It is a quite true and very simplistic statement about human sociology, human nature. Those in the mental health struggle feel they cannot be part of the “normal”, average flock. That is the burden they bear, but it is also the burden placed upon them as well. That has to change.

The only way to break that stigma, to bring things out of the shadows, is to be open with the struggle, be open-minded about the struggles, and to educate and enlighten for fear tends to be bred from the unknown. People in the struggle cannot feel ashamed or scared to talk about it. People in their lives need to learn that they need to be the non-judgmental, fearless support system they can be. Society in general needs to demand more access to diagnosis, treatment, and support. If we can change a culture over time to – view cigarettes as a health hazard and not a cool stress relief; to view great white sharks as an endangered species that need to be protected instead of slaughtered like Jaws monsters; to be more mindful of our resources and impact to our earth; and to value diversity and the differences in each other – then why can’t we change the culture to a one more empathetic, understanding, and open towards those in the mental health struggle?

We need to break the stigma.
Be open.
Be open minded.
Be the change.

Thanks for the opportunity to lead.


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