Y’all

Hey, I was wondering if y’all keep records of who has taken the CrossFit Football certification course. If you do, I was wondering if y’all would be able to send me a copy of my certificate. Please let me know if there is anything you need from me. Thank you!

Collin Poole

Collin,

What a great question, so much so I thought I would answer it for... well, y’all.

I live in Texas and hear “y’all” on the daily, but I think this is my first time actually seeing “y’all” written out. This sent me down the rabbit hole. Did Collin dictate this message?  I tried the iPhone dictation feature but could not replicate it. Maybe I speak too fast or (more likely) Apple decided I am not Texas enough to be given the privilege of the hillbilly dialect. Either way, let me know if you can get your dictation to register “y’all”.

I taught the CrossFit Football seminar from 2009 to 2017 and enjoyed working with CrossFit athletes and coaches. My goal was to virally infect the CrossFit community with dreams of athleticism to offset the daily (at minimum) lashing from their glycolytic gods. The CrossFit athlete and coach came in with tunnel vision and a sparse yet enthusiastic toolbox. I aimed to open their eyes and increase their tool inventory to include increased strength, speed, and power in all planes of motions, in every direction, not just in sagittal, bilateral hip hinge training these folks biased daily (at minimum).

I saved CrossFit Football seminar attendees’ emails so I could contact them when cool stuff like new merch dropped. Or when Crossfit Football was rebranded the CrossFit Specialty Seminar: Sports Specific Application. Or when said freshly-rebranded CrossFit Specialty Seminar: Sports Specific Application was summarily and unceremoniously cancelled a few months later due to a lack of sense of humor …via social media…on the Internet.

Let’s descend the rabbit hole a bit more: why has humor died on the Internet?

I have sent emails and posted comments on social media posts that, if said in person, would have had everyone laughing (or at minimum, wielding a courteous smirk). What about the Internet transforms these otherwise innocuous jokes into points of contentious outrage among sensitive souls?

I wrote a post a few years ago, “42 Things I Learned Leading Up to 2013”. It went viral and people really identified with it.  One in particular drew quite the reaction.  My grandmother told me, “It is better to live like a farmer, and not a bartender.” Her thought was, farmers get up early, work all day tilling the land and tending the animals, eat dinner, and sleep when the sun goes down. Bartenders sleep during the day, get up late, eat, and go to the bar where they hang with drunks till 3 AM.

This reminds me of another time in my life; down the rabbit hole once again.

I used to ride motorcycles, not factory bikes or Harleys, but badass custom bikes that required effort and skill to ride and maintain. Years ago, my good friend Bundy and I took our bikes south to Daytona Beach for Bike Week. We have a tradition of riding up to an Ormond Beach dive bar to grab a drink and enjoy the open road. When we pull in that night to a few drunken bikers and a band playing, I recognized Johnny Van Zant instantly. Lynyrd Skynyrd was in town to play Daytona to 100,000 people and this was a warm up show.

As they worked through their set, I heard the opening cords to Skynyrd’s “Simple Man”. I knew the song all too well as the guy who took me to school in high school played “Gimme Three Steps”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Ballad of Curtis Loew”, “Call Me The Breeze”, and “Simple Man”…everyday, on repeat without fail. While I had listened to the song ad nauseam, I had never heard the lyrics.

"Oh take your time, don't live too fast”
“Troubles will come, and they will pass”
“An' get your lust from the rich man's gold”
“All that you need now, is in your soul”
“And you can do this, oh baby, if you try”
“All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied”
“And be a simple kind of man”

When those lyrics finally hit me, my grandmother’s advice snapped into focus. Life is anything but simple and the secret to happiness was searching for the simplicity in it. Learning to take pleasure in a sunrise instead of dismissing it as something that happens while walking out of a club. Taking joy in watching my kids run in the pasture and not just racing from event to event fearing I was missing out. Taking satisfaction in cooking a steak over an open fire instead of sitting primetime at a 5 star Vegas restaurant.  It took years but I eventually got there.

While I thought the “live like a farmer” mantra was a great life lesson, not everyone agreed, especially the bartender whose anger it drew. How dare I risk offending someone by writing something on my personal blog that my grandmother told me before she died?

Here’s the deal - I should not have to censor my thoughts just because it might possibly offend someone. I know everyone believes they have right to express their gospel-esque opinions, but I should not have to curb mine because it might offend you. My opinions and thoughts are just that - mine not yours. Most importantly, they are open to evolution when someone compels me to reflect and think.

If you’re a bartender, rock on. You do not need me to valid your career choice as a good one. However, I do believe staying up late nightly slanging alcohol to drunks is a poor way to optimize health and performance, hence the reason I do not work as a bartender. But that’s me. As the wise-beyond-his-years Ingo B loves to say, "you do you, playa."

Despite what the Internet may lead you to believe, everyone’s opinion DOES NOT HAVE TO be heard and respected.

Recently, I got roped into a Facebook exchange with a guy asking a loaded question about power cleans and developing football players. His contention is they are irrelevant. Ultimately, I don’t believe he was interested in anyone else’s thoughts, he wanted more to puff his chest and strut around. You know who else exhibits similar behavior? The turkeys I hunt. Literally, they spread their tail feathers, puff their chest, and strut around, usually right before they catch an arrow in the neck. Anyway, this mischief-maker tags me into the FB string, “I would like to hear John Welbourn’s opinion…” like I’m some avenging angel of strength and conditioning for developing athletes and training football players…oh wait, I kinda am.

While I usually avoid Facebook, I decided to engage. I stated the power clean has a use beyond the superficial of developing strength and power. It teaches an athlete to pull a heavy load, catch and absorb the load, then drive against it. There is no weight room activity better for this training stimulus than a power clean. And the lesson taught from a crashing bar is a valuable one to football players.

His narrow response drew my retort, “People fail at the margins of their experience.”

You don’t have to have played 10-years in the NFL to train football players. There are many great coaches that never pissed a drop in an NFL locker room. That said, if a Berkeley-educated, 10-year NFL starter who routinely travels the world coaching athletes and Military, while building a worldwide company that offers certifications, remote training, and a wide breadth of personally-written S&C programming answers your question regarding a barbell lift, his opinion might have some weight, as there are few people whose margin extends this far.

But here is the deal, I contributed to the discussion with my thoughts. Whether he choses to accept it, take it under advisement or discard it like an empty In-N-Out wrapper, that is on him. I was asked for my opinion and I gave it; that is all. Whether or not someone validates its depends on them. Crying, complaining or calling someone a fascist because they are not "respecting' your opinion is ridiculous and you are whiny little bitch that needs to grow the fuck up.

The issue is this: the Internet has become a place to argue the validity of our own conclusions.

Brandon Lilly reflected, “I have never changed anyone’s mind on the Internet.” He’s right. Changing your point of view comes through experience, which as I have said countless times before, you can’t gain over the Internet. As frightening as this sound to snowflakes the world over, you must venture out of your mom’s basement and interact with people. These interactions force you to grow as a human.

Sitting at home formulating opinions from what marketing dollars choose to show has seeded a culture that feels entitled to wave swastikas and Confederate battle flags in the streets. Not sure they got the message, but we beat the Nazis in 1945. And the Confederate flag was borne by the loser of the Civil War which ended in 1865. And keep your dipshit “heritage” comments holstered. The first Robert Alden Welbourn, my great great grandfather, died at the Battle of Shiloh fighting for the Union in 1862. The Confederate Flag is not my heritage.

The Internet has provided a stage for voyeurs to remotely watch and comment sans accountability, begetting further thoughts and opinions in a vacuum. The monster is feeding itself.

And it has killed humor. A whole generation now only knows humor through memes and can’t decipher jokes that require even a modicum of thinking.

If released today, Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles or History of the World Part I would’ve been dead in the water. The Internet would have been outraged by someone mocking the Spanish Inquisition or playing chess with live dwarfs in 18th century France. If you haven’t seen these films, go watch them before they perish in the depths of social justice hell.

Seinfeld would not be funny today because it involved personal interactions among 4 friends with the weirdness that is New York without Internet or texts. If made 20 years later with the same content, nobody would get it because many of the jokes were inferred and involved (gasp!) thought.

Let’s climb out the rabbit hole. To answer Collin’s question, we do keep records of CrossFit Football attendees, but no, we cannot issue you a replacement certificate as neither CrossFit Football nor its seminar exists now. No, I will not email CrossFit to get you another certificate as our relationship with CrossFit ended. Why, you ask? Some poor kid came to us for advice when his CrossFit gym failed to get him strong. We likened his program to an 8-ounce steak at Outback, ours (Jacked Street in this case) to a 42-ounce Kobe Tomahawk at Prime 112 in South Beach, Miami. The pilots of the mothership do not share our sense of humor.

Power Athlete programs drive adaptation immediately. Whether it is strength, speed, power, muscle, or athleticism, we got it on tap, as much as you can handle. Much like the CFFB seminars of yore, it can be like drinking from a fire hose if you choose to open your mouth that wide and let it get all over your face. That’s a double-entendre, snowflakes.

As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are mine only. They are meant to inspire, teach, maybe even offend, but most importantly, provoke thought. Above all, sense of humor is required.

The day you ditch your sense of humor and refuse to expand your horizons through rational reflection and interaction with those of different experiences and thoughts is the day you choose to remain an 8 ounce steak from Outback and never evolve into a 42 ounce Kobe Tomahawk from Prime 112.

Going forward in 2018, don’t be thin skinned. Remember what we were told in 80s, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names and words will never hurt me."

John

Posted in Talk to Me Johnnie | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Y’all

  1. John Mac

    There could be no better response. I’m so glad someone like you still exists on the internet.

  2. Zachary Ducasse

    The Confederate flag wavers are great…celebrating the heritage of losing. There used to be this guy in the military that I worked with who loved his Confederate Flag, and all the “heritage” behind it. He didn’t last long in the military, so I suppose he embodied that loser heritage?

  3. Paul Benincasa

    Awesome read John! Just made my day actually. Thankfully, my sense of humour is still in tact despite the pussification of the modern world!

    – Paul

  4. Collin Poole

    John,

    I must not be checking TTMJ as much as I used to, I just realized my question was answered back in January. I want to thank you for the long and thought out response to my question. I fell in love with CFFB back in ’09 and I was fortunate enough to attend one of your certifications while I was stationed in hawaii. Even though the CFFB programming will always hold a special place in my heart, I have found a way to make room for Johnnie Wod. As for your first question, if I am not in a professional setting, I prefer to write how I talk (Im from florida btw) If there is a way to add “ya’ll” to my iphone, I will find a way and report back ASAP. And lastly, thanks y’all for the kick-ass programming, keep it up!

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