I shared this with Devlin for the Acorn, but wanted to share it here, too: For years we have wanted to provide a broader variety of group fitness experiences that more closely matches our coaching team’s belief that to support your varied health, fitness and wellness journeys we need to offer a broad range of training and recovery options. Going into the end of 2020 and into 2021, look for us to really begin to live into this with an expanded range of group class options. If ya got questions or suggestions, please send ’em my way.



For Time:

Buy In: 1000m Ski Erg


3 Rounds:

10 Deadlifts (275/195)

10 Bar Muscle-Ups


Buy Out: 1000m Ski Erg

**16-Minute Cap**


I would like to introduce little baby girl Emerson to the world and to the Oak Park Family! Most of you know the parents – Shannon and Vince and we cannot wait to meet the newest  addition! Baby Emerson was born in Las Vegas at 8.26am on October 18th.



 I asked Shannon and Vince if I could write about their baby journey and Shannon wanted to share it with you guys, so here is a small fraction their birth story. Baby Emerson is Shannon and Vinces’ biological child and for those of you who do not know –  she was born with the help of a surrogate. (Surrogacy is when a woman (the surrogate mother) agrees to bear a child for another person or persons who will become the child’s parent(s) after birth).


Shannon shared with me that the journey has been long with lots of ups and downs but having her daughter here in this world now made all the hard work worth it.  Shannon and Vince are so brave for walking this path and I encourage all women (and men) that are  seeking to have a baby to talk to Shannon for guidance if needed. Please send the parents big congratulations and welcome this baby girl to the world because she – and Shannon!! – are worth it! 


Thursday’s Workout


3 Hang Squat Cleans (135/95)

6 Weighted Pushups (45/25)

9 Back Rack Stepups (each side) 20″/16″








In this month’s Acorn (coming out today) we will share the following video celebrating Tom Costain’s 10 years as a student and Coach Shirley’s retirement. Between now and the end of the year we will celebrate our gym’s longest tenured coach with the love and kindness she embodies.


Monday’s Workout

5 on the 4:00
200m Run
15 RKBS (32kg/24kg)
15 Box Jumps (24’/20′)

There has always been uncertainty in the world (“the only constant is change”) but that seems to be especially highlighted this year for more people than in years past. There has been upheaval and there are threats (real and perceived) to the life of the planet, our lives, and our way of life. Yet, for all we believe we understand about these events, what do we really know about whether the uncertainty and these changes are “good” or “bad?”


In the moment, we can experience what we describe as good and bad feelings from or about an event. But do we have the perspective to properly contextualize the events themselves? Can we separate our emotional reactions from our responses? Can we acknowledge that whether any experience feels “good” or “bad,” whether we are “lucky” or “unlucky” may not reflect the actuality of the events? What I am working on – and what I invite you to practice – is to set aside the notion that events and emotions are good or bad. Rather, can I accept that they simply are? And in that acceptance see that all events, however I may experience them in the moment, ultimately provide opportunity for me to experience life and to grow. That what is good is to be present in each moment of life, what is good fortune is that I have these moments at all.


Lately, as I have reflected on the events of my last year (a painful divorce, being broke and homeless, a new leadership role at work, a staggering heartbreak, rediscovering the depth of love and compassion my friends have for me, finding new connection with my mother, new doors opening professionally, surviving serious illness), a Taoist parable has been very much on my mind. There are many versions of this story, but this is how it was shared with me.


The Old Farmer and His Son


An old farmer was working in his field with his old horse. At the end of the season, the farmer felt compassion for the horse and let it loose to live out the rest of its life free from burden. When the villagers saw this, they offered their condolences, saying, “How unfortunate you are to have lost your only horse!”


The old farmer said, “Maybe.”


A few days later the old horse came back to the farmer. He came back with several younger, healthier horses that followed the old horse into the corral. When the villagers heard of this, they congratulated the farmer on his good luck. “How fortunate you are to have so many horses!” they said.


The old farmer said, “Maybe.”


The next morning, the farmer’s only son attempted to train one of the new wild horses, but was thrown to the ground and broke his leg. The villagers arrived bemoaned the farmer’s situation. “Oh, what a tragedy! Your son won’t be able to help you farm with a broken leg. How unfortunate you are!” they said.


The old farmer said, “Maybe.”


Several days later, soldiers arrived in the village demanding that all the able, young men be conscripted into the Emperor’s army. While all the other young men were marched away, the farmer’s son was spared because of his broken leg. “Your son does not have to go to war! What good fortune you have!” the villagers exclaimed.


The old farmer said, “Maybe.”


As time went on, the son’s broken leg healed, but he was left with a slight limp. The villagers offered condolences. “His life will be so difficult now. That is so unfortunate!” they said.


The old farmer said, “Maybe.”


In the following years, the other village boys all died in the Emperor’s war and the old farmer and his son were the only men left capable of working the village farms. They became very wealthy and were very generous to the villagers. They said, “Oh how fortunate we are!”


To which the old farmer replied, “Maybe.”



OAK PARK OPEN 2020  – Workout #4 Re-Test

For Time:

50 Cals Row

40 Pull-Ups

30 DBALL Squat Cleans (100#/70#)

20 Box Jump Overs (30″/24″)


Today I visited the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC. It is an amazing building located here in Santa Monica. If you don’t know what the Ellison Institute does I recommend you take a look at their website, but here is a short quotation of their mission:

“The Ellison Institute of USC draws collaborators from across conventional health and wellness fields, as well as from a broad range of other disciplines such as physics, biology, math and engineering to study cancer and potential ways to prevent, detect and treat the disease.”  


I have worked with Dr. David Agus for about a year and he is truly an amazing, humble and outstanding person. I am excited for this opportunity and to see what our Oak Park Team of coaches can do to help staff members, doctors and patients at this institute to improve their wellness, health and fitness. Feel free to donate, all donations will go to cancer research. 



Thursday’s Workout 


Aerobic Capacity


Run 500m Row

1.4 Miles AB

We have the re-test of Oak Park Open Workout #3 tomorrow and Saturday. If you tested this six weeks ago, you have a number to chase. If you missed this the first time around, it is a fun workout that you don’t want to miss.



OAK PARK OPEN 2020 Workout #3


2 Shuttle Sprints

5 Deadlifts (315/220)



Level 4 = 315/220

Level 3 = 275/195

Level 2 = 225/155

Level 1 = 185/135

How much do you really know about your own body? Do you understand why something is bothering you and do you listen to the signals the body sends you? Your body and brain are insanely S.M.A.R.T. And they will keep you alive to every price. Have you ever reflected on how many breaths per day you take? Have you ever reflected on the fact that your heart will keep beating for years and years and you don’t have to do anything to make it beat. It is self regulated. Have you ever thought of when and why you have to pee and how you just know how to walk?


I am fascinated, overwhelmed and amazed by the human body. There are systems for everything in your body. And then systems within the systems. You have a skeletal system (skeleton and bones) that can be subdivided into the articular system (joints and related structures). You have a muscular system that includes the skeletal muscles which move the skeleton, you also have the cardiac muscle of the heart walls and the smooth muscle of the walls of viscera and vessels. Furthermore, you have a cardiovascular system that consists of the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins conducting blood to the tissues and importing and exporting nutrients to the every cell in our body. You have the lymphatic system, which is a system of vessels assisting vessels in recovering the bodys tissue fluids and returning them to the heart. The lymph nodes filter lymphs throughout the body. The most fascinating system of them all is the nervous system (or at least I think it is the most amazing system due to its brilliant and complexity). I wrote about the nervous system last week so you should have a brief understanding of what it is. You have probably heard of the endocrine system, which is a system that consists of glands that secrete hormones into the tissue fluids and blood. They are under the control by the hypothalamus and will help metabolic functions, sleep and much more. Last but not least, you have the integumentary system, which consists of the skin, sensory receptors, layers of cells that will protect your body from environmental factors that are harmful to the body. 


Who came up with this? And planned it so extremely well? Is it evolution? I believe in science. 100 percent. But sometimes I do think to myself, is it only science and evolution or something much bigger behind the human body and life?


Thursday’s Workout:

20 Rounds 

Row :20 Max Effort

:40 Active Recovery

– Set damper between 7-10 to add more of a strength-building component.