Invictus Athletes’ Training Camp Report
Written by Andrew Killion – Owner of District CrossFit and Invictus Online Athlete
I’m not a very religious guy. In reality, I’m a pretty strict atheist. So I’ve never really experienced that eye-opening/a-ha!/eureka moment many of my more religious friends speak of. That is, until I went to San Diego for the Invictus Athlete Training Camp a few weeks ago.
I’ve always been a believer in science. I love data, facts and results; they are really the only thing I put credence in. It’s certainly part of why I clung to CrossFit when I first heard about it. It’s also why I came to CJ and Invictus in the beginning. I always followed the Invictus blog (and in truth modeled the District CrossFit website and community after it) and knew of what you all had/were accomplishing. When I read that CJ was looking for more athletes I decided to take him up on it (I mean the guy’s results speak for themselves, right?) I’m glad I did because it wasn’t long after until he invited me to join y’all for the training camp. He was even nice enough to let me bring one of my athletes, Jenn, (since I’m being rather revealing anyway; I’ll also admit half the reason I wanted to work with CJ was so I could pick his brain [read: unabashedly borrow/steal] to improve my own coaching).
For me, there was a nervous energy from the minute I hopped on the plane. Who would be there? How would I stack up? What if I suck and CJ’s just too nice to tell me? Luckily for Jenn and I, from the minute we stepped foot in Invictus we were treated like family. We were even nervous about the run but it turned out to be a fantastic opportunity to catch up with some awesome fellow “honorary” Invicti while enjoy the uhh…”jealousy-inducing?”.. scenery. Then, to be a part of the 3-year anniversary party and experience first-hand the “sea of green” camaraderie was special. From the “founding member” speeches to the great Pops and Krazy K tribute, I suddenly noticed the nervousness had vanished and it felt like I was right back at DCF.
The information at this thing was practically indescribable. Ask my athletes and they’ll tell you I can be verbose and descriptive, but I have no idea how to distill all the information I absorbed into one post. [Seriously CJ.. you need to raise the price of this thing]
Coach B’s instruction was so succinct and spot-on you feel like an idiot for over-thinking it the way I think everyone tends to do. It’s really as simple as he makes it sound. There’s no magic touch behind his success. In essence: If you’re real fast, get stronger. If you’re real strong, get faster. Be aggressive; and if the frying pan is hot; it’s time to do the cooking.
Shane’s rowing strategies we’re dead on. As a former D-1 rower; the technique was nothing new to me. But his ability to relate rowing to CrossFit as a whole completely changed how I perform. I always knew the advantage to my rowing skill was that I could perform the same work and expend less energy; Shane convinced me that strategy applies to everything. Basically it’s not the stronger or faster athlete who wins; it’s simply the more efficient one.
K-Star is just simply amazing. The guy can pack so much insightful information into a 5 minute explanation your head is spinning yet it all makes so much sense. For me, the best Starrett moment was when we were doing Jerk doubles and I got my first at a fairly heavy weight with Kelly observing. “Knee’s out when you dip, bro.” Friggin “knees out, bro” and those three words have now made my previous 1RM feel like a toy. I can’t even think it without calling myself, “bro.”
Carl Paoli, the master of movement, took my HSPUs from about 30 to 40 in all of 2 minutes.
Dennis Waitley’s insight into the mind control of elite athlete’s made me realize how being negative and lowering my expectations pre-workout was holding me back more than any preconceived weakness.
George convinced me that 3 lbs of pork shoulder and water is not the meal of an elite athlete.
Heidi, the healer has me now doing visualizations every single night before I go to sleep.
Even the breakfast post-trail run, when I spoke with CJ about how elite CrossFitters manage their own work/life balance affected me and allowed me to put things into such clear perspective of what’s important.
I could go on, and on, and on… and into even more detail but I would just start getting deeper and deeper into how lucky I felt to be a part of that training camp. Every Invicti (honorary or actual) is lucky to have coaches like the ones we do. This sounds corny (and believe me… I HATE corny) but I’ve never been more affected by a single experience in my life. I’m a better businessman, coach and athlete all because of one weekend.
So thanks CJ, Coach B, Shane, Kelly, Dennis, Carl, George, Heidi and everyone of the other athletes I learned so much from. I’ll always wear my green t-shirt with pride.